Robert Clay Blain, Jr., of Lincoln County, Kentucky was only 21 in 1839 when he composed “Union,” an eloquent love letter to his country.
“For more than fifty years,” he wrote, “has this union been formed–formed by those generous patriots who valliantly contended & nobly achieved their ‘dear bought liberties’–by those . . . who taught the haughty sons of Britton, that those contending for the cause of freedom are invincible. It was union, Blain continued, that had been “the grand cause of our country’s prosperity” and had guided its founders to victory. “Cemented by love and dearest ties of national interest, did these brave souls promulgate a declaration of their right; and fearlessly continued their course thro’ blood and fields of deepest sorrow until freedom was established.”
The Manuscripts & Folklife Archives section of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections has many resources relating to the War of Independence including veterans’ pension applications, land grants to soldiers rewarding them for their service, and data assembled in the 1960s by WKU librarian Elizabeth Coombs on Revolutionary War veterans with connections to Warren County and southcentral Kentucky. We even have a letter written by Nathaniel Lucas to his future wife just before the decisive battle of Yorktown. “There is great appearance of success in our taking Lord Cornwallis,” he declared. “Our army is very strong.”
Click on the links to access finding aids for these collections. For more, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.