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Kentucky Northern Kentucky

Northern Kentucky Region

The nearly 420,000 people of the eleven counties of Northern Kentucky reside in an area of rich historical importance, not only to Kentucky but also to the history of the westward expansion of the United States. Maysville, along the Ohio River, served as one of two important pioneer gateways into Kentucky and to additional points west. Explorers like Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton worked and lived in Northern Kentucky, and some historians claim that one of the last battles of the American Revolution occurred at the Blue Licks.

Before and after the Civil War, Northern Kentucky was embroiled in the controversies over slavery and states' rights, and once again, proved a historic gateway between the East and the West, the North and the South. Maysville, Covington, and Newport were important conduits for the Underground Railroad, and Newport was home to an abolitionist press. At the same time, slave hunters patrolled the area and captured Northern Kentucky slave Margaret Garner, who hurriedly murdered her own young daughter rather than see her return to slavery. The subsequent court case drew national attention. Noted integrationist and founder of Berea College, Reverend John G. Fee, harkened from Bracken County, which suffered raids from the confederate general, John Hunt Morgan. The union army's massive defence of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati against an encroaching Confederate invasion in September 1862 helped to turn the tide of the Civil War in a state that Abraham Lincoln regarded as crucial to the Union cause when he avowed that "I hope to have God on my side, but I have to have Kentucky."

Following the Civil War, Northern Kentucky continued to garner national attention. Covington and Newport were important destinations of German immigrants, becoming one of the three points composing what ethnic historians regard as the "German Triangle" of immigration in the United States. Famed bridge-builder John Roebling completed the "Covington and Cincinnati Suspension Bridge" in 1866, then the world's longest suspension span. Boss Rule tightened its hold on Covington, while reforming elements like the Populist Party of Kentucky were organized in Covington, and the area produced numerous state and federal governmental officials, including William Goebel, a proponent of the extension of civil rights for workingmen, blacks and women, and the only Governor in United States history assassinated while in office.

There is a lot to discover and learn when you visit the Northern Kentucky Region.


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