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In 1792, the state of Kentucky was admitted into the Union in 1792, making it the 15th state, and the first one west of the Appalachian Mountains. It was explored by Hernando de Soto in 1541, and on June 16, 1774, the first European settlement in what would become Kentucky, Harrod’s Town, was founded. Strangely, although there were no battles fought within Kentucky during the War of 1812, most Americans who died in that war were Kentucky troops. In the mid-1800s, Kentucky was quite a violent place. In 1848, Kentucky’s largest slave uprising took place when an Irish man, Patrick Doyle, tried to lead 75 runaway slaves into Ohio. The runaway slaves were armed, and when they entered Bracken County, they were confronted by General Desha and 100 followers and gunfire was exchanged. Forty of the slaves dashed into the nearby woods and eluded capture. The rest were apprehended, and Doyle was sentenced to 20 years of hard labor. The captured slaves were returned to their owners. A few years later, on election day, August 6, 1855, in Louisville, members of the Know-Nothing political party set upon the German, Irish, and Catholic neighborhoods which were predominantly Democrats, causing several riots and what became known as Bloody Monday. Street brawls broke out, and when it was all said and done, an estimated 100 people were dead, dozens injured. and fires had destroyed property. Although 5 people were indicted for the riots, none were convicted.


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