The History of Big Bone

Captain Charles Lemoyne de Longueil
"Discovers" Big Bone Lick, 1729


Willard Rouse Jillson

More than two hundred years ago — in 1729 to be exact — an intrepid French Canadian soldier and explorer, then commanding at Fort Niagara, Captain Charles Lemoyne de Longueil,¹ descended the Ohio River from the eastern Great Lakes and discovered Big Bone Lick in Northern Kentucky. His was the military entourage that accompanied and protected the famous French engineer, M. Chaussegros de Lery,² whose compass surveys at this time gave basis for the first reconnaissance charting of the meandering course of the Ohio River. Though records do not so state, we may assume without fear of error that he was taken to this locality by the Indian guides who accompanied him, for this lick in southwestern Boone County was widely known among the aboriginal tribes that inhabited the Ohio Valley.

¹ Later the Governor of Montreal and Interim Governor or New France; born 1687, died 1759. commanded Fort Niagara, 1726-1733.

² Remarques sur le Carte de l'Amerique Septentrionale by Jacques Nicolas Bellin, pp. 120-121, Paris, France, 1755.

from Jillson, Big Bone Lick, 1936, p. 3.

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