Pioneers: Seeking Manifest Destiny:
Between 1780 and 1810, 200,000 to 300,000 people traveled the Gap in search of a better life. The dream of settling one's own land and becoming a free, independent landowner was the single most powerful reason people emigrated west. Popular guidebooks such as John Filson's book, The Discovery, Settlement and Present State of Kentucke, promoted the state with descriptions of fertile soil and abundant riches.
To pursue this dream, pioneers risked their lives, suffered from fear and loneliness, and endured physical and emotional hardships. Some found what they envisioned, though it did not come without toll and hardship; however, many homesteaders were disappointed. Yet the promise of Kentucky persisted in Scots-Irish, German, English and other families settled and established communities, bound by the frontier experience.