More than any other colony, Virginia looked to the west for its future. After the French and Indian War, the Royal Proclamation of 1754 declared that officers and soldiers would be paid with parcels of western land, vaguely extending about eighty miles in all directions from Lexington. By 1768 most of the area had been explored by the Long Hunters, including Daniel and Squire Boone, James Knox, Hasker Mansker, and the Skagg Brothers. These brave, enterprising men battled both with nature and with the Indians, bringing their families to settle this rough frontier. Virginia's Western War traces the little-known period of colonial history.
Neal O. Hammon, an architect, is the author of several books and numerous articles on pioneer history, including My Father, Daniel Boone published in 1999. He served in World War II aboard the USS Montpelier and was recalled to serve on the USS Helena for two years during the Korean War. He graduated from the University of Illinois. Richard Taylor is a professor of English at Kentucky State University in Frankfort. He has written a novel (Girty), four collections of poems, and Three Kentucky Tragedies. In 1992, he received the Distinguished Professor Award at KSU. He served as Kentucky's Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2001. He and his wife live near Frankfort with their three children.