Kentucky was admitted into the Union as the 15th state on June 1, 1792, splitting from Virginia in the process. It is known as the "Bluegrass State", a nickname based on Kentucky bluegrass, a species of green grass introduced by European settlers for the purpose of grazing in pastures, which has supported the thoroughbred horse industry in the center of the state. Historically, it was known for excellent farming conditions for this reason and the development of large tobacco plantations akin to those in Virginia and North Carolina in the central and western parts of the state with the use of enslaved labor during the Antebellum South and Civil War period. Kentucky ranks 5th nationally in goat farming, 8th in beef cattle production, and 14th in corn production. Kentucky has also been a long-standing major center of the tobacco industry. Today, Kentucky's economy has expanded to importance in non-agricuIturaI sectors, including auto manufacturing, energy fuel production, and medical facilities. The state ranks 4th among US states in the number of automobiles and trucks assembled.
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A portrait engraving of Edwards from Life and Adventures of the Accomplished Forger and Swindler, Colonel Monroe Edwards, published a year after his death
Monroe Edwards (1808 – January 27, 1847) was an American slave trader, forger, and criminal who was the subject of a well-publicized trial and conviction in 1842. Originally from Kentucky, Edwards moved to New Orleans then settled in Texas. He smuggled slaves into Brazil in 1832 and used the proceeds to purchase land in Texas. In 1836, he was again smuggling slaves, this time into Texas. After attempting to swindle his partner out of the profits of the venture, partly with forged documents, Edwards was forced to flee the Republic of Texas to the United States. He then tried to scam money out of various abolitionists in the United States and the United Kingdom, partly with forged letters of introduction. He traveled to the United Kingdom, but his schemes were mainly unsuccessful and he returned to the United States in mid-1841.
Edwards' largest swindle involved forged letters from cotton brokers in New Orleans which he used to secure bank drafts for large sums that he then cashed. His fabrications caught up with him, and he was arrested and tried for the forgeries in June 1842. Convicted partly because his distinctive good looks made him memorable and easily recognizable, and partly from making the same spelling errors in his fakes, Edwards was sentenced to 10 years in prison and died in 1847 while incarcerated. Several sensational accounts of his offenses and trial were published after his death, and he was mentioned in Herman Melville's 1853 short story "Bartleby, the Scrivener". (Full article...)
Transylvania's name, meaning "across the woods" in Latin, stems from the university's founding in the heavily forested region of western Virginia known as the Transylvania Colony, which existed briefly between 1775 and 1776 in south and western Kentucky. (Full article...)
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