Share This Story!

Honoring Jack Hart, African American Pioneer

A ll of our guest lodgings are named after historical figures who played an important role in the settlement of Kentucky, and Stanford in particular. Currently, we have the Ann and Benjamin Logan Cottage, the Rebecca and Daniel Boone House, the Susannah and Isaac Shelby Cottage, and the Esther and William Whitley Cottage.

Many years ago, the late African American historian Dr. Ann Butler did some research for us on the contributions of African American pioneers to Lincoln County. She gave us a copy of a resolution she crafted that was passed by the Kentucky Legislature in 2007. One of the mentioned pioneers was a black settler named Jack Hart.

We are proud to announce that our newest guest house has officially been named The Jack Hart House.

Here are some highlights about Jack Hart:

  • Jack Hart emigrated to Kentucky in 1774 as a bodyguard and slave of Nathaniel Hart. History shows he was at Sycamore Shoals in present-day Tennessee, where the famous signing of the treaty resulted in the purchase of “Kaintucke” from the Cherokees.
  • He was not only a member of Daniel Boone’s party exploring the Wilderness Road, but served as a “pilot,” or guide.
  • He may have been the first African American to reach the lands lying on the south side of the Kentucky River.
  • Hart family history indicates that Jack Hart endured the perils and hardships experienced by the pioneers of “the dark and bloody ground” of Kentucky and nearby regions.
  • He most likely helped to clear the land at Traveler’s Rest, home of Isaac Shelby, since Shelby was married to Susanna Hart.
  • He is also buried at Traveler’s Rest, home of Isaac Shelby.

We are thankful for the service of Jack Hart and look forward to incorporating the Hart House into our Stanford Inn at Wilderness Road offerings.