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´╗┐Title: The Conquest of the Old Southwest; the romantic story of the early pioneers into Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Kentucky, 1740-1790
Author: Henderson, Archibald, 1877-1963
Language: English
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  Some to endure and many to fail,
  Some to conquer and many to quail
  Toiling over the Wilderness Trail.





The country might invite a prince from his palace, merely for the
pleasure of contemplating its beauty and excellence; but only add
the rapturous idea of property, and what allurements can the
world offer for the loss of so glorious a prospect?--Richard

The established Authority of any government in America, and the
policy of Government at home, are both insufficient to restrain
the Americans.... They acquire no attachment to Place: But
wandering about Seems engrafted in their Nature; and it is a
weakness incident to it, that they Should for ever imagine the
Lands further off, are Still better than those upon which they
are already settled.--Lord Dunmore, to the Earl of Dartmouth.


The romantic and thrilling story of the southward and westward
migration of successive waves of transplanted European peoples
throughout the entire course of the eighteenth century is the
history of the growth and evolution of American democracy. Upon
the American continent was wrought out, through almost superhuman
daring, incredible hardship, and surpassing endurance, the
formation of a new society. The European rudely confronted with
the pitiless conditions of the wilderness soon discovered that
his maintenance, indeed his existence, was conditioned upon his
individual efficiency and his resourcefulness in adapting himself
to his environment. The very history of the human race, from the
age of primitive man to the modern era of enlightened
civilization, is traversed in the Old Southwest throughout the
course of half a century.

A series of dissolving views thrown upon the screen, picturing
the successive episodes in the history of a single family as it
wended its way southward along the eastern valleys, resolutely
repulsed the sudden attack of the Indians, toiled painfully up
the granite slopes of the Appalachians, and pitched down into the
transmontane wilderness upon the western waters, would give to
the spectator a vivid conception, in miniature, of the westward
movement. But certain basic elements in the grand procession,
revealed to the sociologist and the economist, would perhaps
escape his scrutiny. Back of the individual, back of the family,
even, lurk the creative and formative impulses of colonization,
expansion, and government. In the recognition of these social and
economic tendencies the individual merges into the group; the
group into the community; the community into a new society. In
this clear perspective of historic development the spectacular
hero at first sight seems to diminish; but the mass, the
movement, the social force which he epitomizes and interprets,
gain in impressiveness and dignity.

As the irresistible tide of migratory peoples swept ever
southward and westward, seeking room for expansion and economic
independence, a series of frontiers was gradually thrust out
toward the wilderness in successive waves of irregular
indentation. The true leader in this westward advance, to whom
less than his deserts has been accorded by the historian, is the
drab and mercenary trader with the Indians. The story of his
enterprise and of his adventures begins with the planting of
European civilization upon American soil. In the mind of the
aborigines he created the passion for the fruits, both good and
evil, of the white man's civilization, and he was welcomed by the
Indian because he also brought the means for repelling the
further advance of that civilization. The trader was of
incalculable service to the pioneer in first spying out the land
and charting the trackless wilderness. The trail rudely marked by
the buffalo became in time the Indian path and the trader's
"trace"; and the pioneers upon the westward march, following the
line of least resistance, cut out their roads along these very
routes. It is not too much to say that had it not been for the
trader--brave, hardy, and adventurous however often crafty,
unscrupulous, and immoral--the expansionist movement upon the
American continent would have been greatly retarded.

So scattered and ramified were the enterprises and expeditions of
the traders with the Indians that the frontier which they
established was at best both shifting and unstable. Following far
in the wake of these advance agents of the civilization which
they so often disgraced, came the cattle-herder or rancher, who
took advantage of the extensive pastures and ranges along the
uplands and foot-hills to raise immense herds of cattle. Thus was
formed what might be called a rancher's frontier, thrust out in
advance of the ordinary farming settlements and serving as the
first serious barrier against the Indian invasion. The westward
movement of population is in this respect a direct advance from
the coast. Years before the influx into the Old Southwest of the
tides of settlement from the northeast, the more adventurous
struck straight westward in the wake of the fur-trader, and here
and there erected the cattle-ranges beyond the farming frontier
of the piedmont region. The wild horses and cattle which roamed
at will through the upland barrens and pea-vine pastures were
herded in and driven for sale to the city markets of the East.

The farming frontier of the piedmont plateau constituted the real
backbone of western settlement. The pioneering farmers, with the
adventurous instincts of the hunter and the explorer, plunged
deeper and ever deeper into the wilderness, lured on by the
prospect of free and still richer lands in the dim interior.
Settlements quickly sprang up in the neighborhood of military
posts or rude forts established to serve as safeguards against
hostile attack; and trade soon flourished between these
settlements and the eastern centers, following the trails of the
trader and the more beaten paths of emigration. The bolder
settlers who ventured farthest to the westward were held in
communication with the East through their dependence upon salt
and other necessities of life; and the search for salt-springs in
the virgin wilderness was an inevitable consequence of the desire
of the pioneer to shake off his dependence upon the coast.

The prime determinative principle of the progressive American
civilization of the eighteenth century was the passion for the
acquisition of land. The struggle for economic independence
developed the germ of American liberty and became the
differentiating principle of American character. Here was a vast
unappropriated region in the interior of the continent to be had
for the seeking, which served as lure and inspiration to the man
daring enough to risk his all in its acquisition. It was in
accordance with human nature and the principles of political
economy that this unknown extent of uninhabited transmontane
land, widely renowned for beauty, richness, and fertility, should
excite grandiose dreams in the minds of English and Colonials
alike. England was said to be "New Land mad and everybody there
has his eye fixed on this country." Groups of wealthy or
well-to-do individuals organized themselves into land companies
for the colonization and exploitation of the West. The pioneer
promoter was a powerful creative force in westward expansion; and
the activities of the early land companies were decisive factors
in the colonization of the wilderness. Whether acting under the
authority of a crown grant or proceeding on their own authority,
the land companies tended to give stability and permanence to
settlements otherwise hazardous and insecure.

The second determinative impulse of the pioneer civilization was
wanderlust--the passionately inquisitive instinct of the hunter,
the traveler, and the explorer. This restless class of nomadic
wanderers was responsible in part for the royal proclamation of
1763, a secondary object of which, according to Edmund Burke, was
the limitation of the colonies on the West, as "the charters of
many of our old colonies give them, with few exceptions, no
bounds to the westward but the South Sea." The Long Hunters,
taking their lives in their hands, fared boldly forth to a fabled
hunter's paradise in the far-away wilderness, because they were
driven by the irresistible desire of a Ponce de Leon or a De Soto
to find out the truth about the unknown lands beyond.

But the hunter was not only thrilled with the passion of the
chase and of discovery; he was intent also upon collecting the
furs and skins of wild animals for lucrative barter and sale in
the centers of trade. He was quick to make "tomahawk claims" and
to assert "corn rights" as he spied out the rich virgin land for
future location and cultivation. Free land and no taxes appealed
to the backwoodsman, tired of paying quit-rents to the agents of
wealthy lords across the sea. Thus the settler speedily followed
in the hunter's wake. In his wake also went many rude and lawless
characters of the border, horse thieves and criminals of
different sorts, who sought to hide their delinquencies in the
merciful liberality of the wilderness. For the most part,
however, it was the salutary instinct of the homebuilder--the man
with the ax, who made a little clearing in the forest and built
there a rude cabin that he bravely defended at all risks against
continued assaults--which, in defiance of every restraint,
irresistibly thrust westward the thin and jagged line of the
frontier. The ax and the surveyor's chain, along with the rifle
and the hunting-knife, constituted the armorial bearings of the
pioneer. With individual as with corporation, with explorer as
with landlord, land-hunger was the master impulse of the era.

The various desires which stimulated and promoted westward
expansion were, to be sure, often found in complete conjunction.
The trader sought to exploit the Indian for his own advantage,
selling him whisky, trinkets, and firearms in return for rich
furs and costly peltries; yet he was often a hunter himself and
collected great stores of peltries as the result of his solitary
and protracted hunting-expeditions. The rancher and the herder
sought to exploit the natural vegetation of marsh and upland, the
cane-brakes and pea-vines; yet the constantly recurring need for
fresh pasturage made him a pioneer also, drove him ever nearer to
the mountains, and furnished the economic motive for his westward
advance. The small farmer needed the virgin soil of the new
region, the alluvial river-bottoms, and the open prairies, for
the cultivation of his crops and the grazing of his cattle; yet
in the intervals between the tasks of farm life he scoured the
wilderness in search of game "and spied out new lands for future

This restless and nomadic race, says the keenly observant Francis
Baily, "delight much to live on the frontiers, where they can
enjoy undisturbed, and free from the control of any laws, the
blessings which nature has bestowed upon them." Independence of
spirit, impatience of restraint, the inquisitive nature, and the
nomadic temperament--these are the strains in the American
character of the eighteenth century which ultimately blended to
create a typical democracy. The rolling of wave after wave of
settlement westward across the American continent, with a
reversion to primitive conditions along the line of the farthest
frontier, and a marked rise in the scale of civilization at each
successive stage of settlement, from the western limit to the
eastern coast, exemplifies from one aspect the history of the
American people during two centuries. This era, constituting the
first stage in our national existence, and productive of a
buoyant national character shaped in democracy upon a free soil,
closed only yesterday with the exhaustion of cultivable free
land, the disappearance of the last frontier, and the recent
death of "Buffalo Bill". The splendid inauguration of the period,
in the region of the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and
Kentucky, during the second half of the eighteenth century, is
the theme of this story of the pioneers of the Old Southwest.





CHAPTER I. The Migration of the Peoples

Inhabitants flock in here daily, mostly from Pensilvania and
other parts of America, who are over-stocked with people and Mike
directly from Europe, they commonly seat themselves towards the
West, and have got near the mountains.--Gabriel Johnston,
Governor of North Carolina, to the Secretary of the Board of
Trade, February 15, 1751.

At the opening of the eighteenth century the tide of population
had swept inland to the "fall line", the westward boundary of the
established settlements. The actual frontier had been advanced by
the more aggressive pioneers to within fifty miles of the Blue
Ridge. So rapid was the settlement in North Carolina that in the
interval 1717-32 the population quadrupled in numbers. A map of
the colonial settlements in 1725 reveals a narrow strip of
populated land along the Atlantic coast, of irregular
indentation, with occasional isolated nuclei of settlements
further in the interior. The civilization thus established
continued to maintain a close and unbroken communication with
England and the Continent. As long as the settlers, for economic
reasons, clung to the coast, they reacted but slowly to the
transforming influences of the frontier.. Within a triangle of
continental altitude with its apex in New England, bounded on the
east by the Atlantic, and on the west by the Appalachian range,
lay the settlements, divided into two zones--tidewater and
piedmont. As no break occurred in the great mountain system south
of the Hudson and Mohawk valleys, the difficulties of cutting a
passage through the towering wall of living green long proved an
effective obstacle to the crossing of the grim mountain barrier.

In the beginning the settlements gradually extended westward from
the coast in irregular outline, the indentations taking form
around such natural centers of attraction as areas of fertile
soil, frontier posts, mines, salt-springs, and stretches of
upland favorable for grazing. After a time a second advance of
settlement was begun in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland,
running in a southwesterly direction along the broad terraces to
the east of the Appalachian Range, which in North Carolina lies
as far as two hundred and fifty miles from the sea. The Blue
Ridge in Virginia and a belt of pine barrens in North Carolina
were hindrances to this advance, but did not entirely check it.
This second streaming of the population thrust into the long,
narrow wedge of the piedmont zone a class of people differing in
spirit and in tendency from their more aristocratic and
complacent neighbors to the east.

These settlers of the Valley of Virginia and the North Carolina
piedmont region--English, Scotch-Irish, Germans, Scotch, Irish,
Welsh, and a few French--were the first pioneers of the Old
Southwest. From the joint efforts of two strata of population,
geographically, socially, and economically distinct--tidewater
and piedmont, Old South and New South--originated and flowered
the third and greatest movement of westward expansion, opening
with the surmounting of the mountain barrier and ending in the
occupation and assumption of the vast medial valley of the

Synchronous with the founding of Jamestown in Virginia,
significantly enough, was the first planting of Ulster with the
English and Scotch. Emigrants from the Scotch Lowlands, sometimes
as many as four thousand a year (1625), continued throughout the
century to pour into Ulster. "Those of the North of Ireland...,"
as pungently described in 1679 by the Secretary of State,
Leoline Jenkins, to the Duke of Ormond, "are most Scotch and
Scotch breed and are the Northern Presbyterians and phanatiques,
lusty, able bodied, hardy and stout men, where one may see three
or four hundred at every meeting-house on Sunday, and all the
North of Ireland is inhabited by these, which is the popular
place of all Ireland by far. They are very numerous and greedy
after land." During the quarter of a century after the English
Revolution of 1688 and the Jacobite uprising in Ireland, which
ended in 1691 with the complete submission of Ireland to William
and Mary, not less than fifty thousand Scotch, according to
Archbishop Synge, settled in Ulster. Until the beginning of the
eighteenth century there was no considerable emigration to
America; and it was first set up as a consequence of English
interference with trade and religion. Repressive measures passed
by the English parliament (1665 1699), prohibiting the
exportation from Ire land to England and Scotland of cattle,
beef, pork, dairy products, etc., and to any country whatever of
manufactured wool, had aroused deep resentment among the
Scotch-Irish, who had built up a great commerce. This discontent
was greatly aggravated by the imposition of religious
disabilities upon the Presbyterians, who, in addition to having
to pay tithes for the support of the established church, were
excluded from all civil and military office (1704), while their
ministers were made liable to penalties for celebrating

This pressure upon a high-spirited people resulted inevitably in
an exodus to the New World. The principal ports by which the
Ulsterites entered America were Lewes and Newcastle (Delaware),
Philadelphia and Boston. The streams of immigration steadily
flowed up the Delaware Valley; and by 1720 the Scotch-Irish began
to arrive in Bucks County. So rapid was the rate of increase in
immigration that the number of arrivals soon mounted from a few
hundred to upward of six thousand, in a single year (1729); and
within a few years this number was doubled. According to the
meticulous Franklin, the proportion increased from a very small
element of the population of Pennsylvania in 1700 to one fourth
of the whole in 1749, and to one third of the whole (350,000) in
1774. Writing to the Penns in 1724, James Logan, Secretary of the
Province, caustically refers to the Ulster settlers on the
disputed Maryland line as "these bold and indigent strangers,
saying as their excuse when challenged for titles, that we had
solicited for colonists and they had come accordingly." The
spirit of these defiant squatters is succinctly expressed in
their statement to Logan that it "was against the laws of God and
nature that so much land should be idle while so many Christians
wanted it to work on and to raise their bread."

The rising scale of prices for Pennsylvania lands, changing from
ten pounds and two shillings quit-rents per hundred acres in 1719
to fifteen pounds ten shillings per hundred acres with a
quit-rent of a halfpenny per acre in 1732, soon turned the eyes
of the thrifty Scotch-Irish settlers southward and southwestward.
In Maryland in 1738 lands were offered at five pounds sterling
per hundred acres. Simultaneously, in the Valley of Virginia free
grants of a thousand acres per family were being made. In the
North Carolina piedmont region the proprietary, Lord Granville,
through his agents was disposing of the most desirable lands to
settlers at the rate of three shillings proclamation money for
six hundred and forty acres, the unit of land-division; and was
also making large free grants on the condition of seating a
certain proportion of settlers. "Lord Carteret's land in
Carolina," says North Carolina's first American historian, "where
the soil was cheap, presented a tempting residence to people of
every denomination. Emigrants from the north of Ireland, by the
way of Pennsylvania, flocked to that country; and a considerable
part of North Carolina ... is inhabited by those people or
their descendants." From 1740 onward, attracted by the rich lure
of cheap and even free lands in Virginia and North Carolina, a
tide of immigration swept ceaselessly into the valleys of the
Shenandoah, the Yadkin, and the Catawba. The immensity of this
mobile, drifting mass, which sometimes brought "more than 400
families with horse waggons and cattle" into North Carolina in a
single year (1752-3), is attested by the fact that from 1732 to
1754, mainly as the result of the Scotch-Irish inundation, the
population of North Carolina more than doubled.

The second important racial stream of population in the
settlement of the same region was composed of Germans, attracted
to this country from the Palatinate. Lured on by the highly
colored stories of the commercial agents for promoting
immigration--the "newlanders," who were thoroughly unscrupulous
in their methods and extravagant in their representations--a
migration from Germany began in the second decade of the
eighteenth century and quickly assumed alarming proportions.
Although certain of the emigrants were well-to-do, a very great
number were "redemptioners" (indentured servants), who in order
to pay for their transportation were compelled to pledge
themselves to several years of servitude. This economic condition
caused the German immigrant, wherever he went, to become a
settler of the back country, necessity compelling him to pass by
the more expensive lands near the coast.

For well-nigh sixty years the influx of German immigrants of
various sects was very great, averaging something like fifteen
hundred a year into Pennsylvania alone from 1727 to 1775. Indeed,
Pennsylvania, one third of whose population at the beginning of
the Revolution was German, early became the great distributing
center for the Germans as well as for the Scotch-Irish. Certainly
by 1727 Adam Miller and his fellow Germans had established the
first permanent white settlement in the Valley of Virginia. By
1732 Jost Heydt, accompanied by sixteen families, came from York,
Pennsylvania, and settled on the Opeckon River, in the
neighborhood of the present Winchester. There is no longer any
doubt that "the portion of the Shenandoah Valley sloping to the
north was almost entirely settled by Germans."

It was about the middle of the century that these pioneers of the
Old Southwest, the shrewd, industrious, and thrifty Pennsylvania
Germans (who came to be generally called "Pennsylvania Dutch"
from the incorrect translation of Pennsylvanische Deutsche),
began to pour into the piedmont region of North Carolina. In the
autumn, after the harvest was in, these ambitious Pennsylvania
pioneers would pack up their belongings in wagons and on beasts
of burden and head for the southwest, trekking down in the manner
of the Boers of South Africa. This movement into the fertile
valley lands of the Yadkin and the Catawba continued unabated
throughout the entire third quarter of the century. Owing to
their unfamiliarity with the English language and the solidarity
of their instincts, the German settlers at first had little share
in government. But they devotedly played their part in the
defense of the exposed settlements and often bore the brunt of
Indian attack.

The bravery and hardihood displayed by the itinerant missionaries
sent out by the Pennsylvania Synod under the direction of Count
Zinzendorf (1742-8), and by the Moravian Church (1748-53), are
mirrored in the numerous diaries, written in German, happily
preserved to posterity in religious archives of Pennsylvania and
North Carolina. These simple, earnest crusaders, animated by pure
and unselfish motives, would visit on a single tour of a thousand
miles the principal German settlements in Maryland and Virginia
(including the present West Virginia). Sometimes they would make
an extended circuit through North Carolina, South Carolina, and
even Georgia, everywhere bearing witness to the truth of the
gospel and seeking to carry the most elemental forms of the
Christian religion, preaching and prayer, to the primitive
frontiersmen marooned along the outer fringe of white
settlements. These arduous journeys in the cause of piety place
this type of pioneer of the Old Southwest in alleviating contrast
to the often relentless and bloodthirsty figure of the rude

Noteworthy among these pious pilgrimages is the Virginia journey
of Brothers Leonhard Schnell and John Brandmuller (October 12 to
December 12, 1749). At the last outpost of civilization, the
scattered settlements in Bath and Alleghany counties, these
courageous missionaries--feasting the while solely on bear meat,
for there was no bread--encountered conditions of almost
primitive savagery, of which they give this graphic picture:
"Then we came to a house, where we had to lie on bear skins
around the fire like the rest.... The clothes of the people
consist of deer skins, their food of Johnny cakes, deer and bear
meat. A kind of white people are found here, who live like
savages. Hunting is their chief occupation." Into the valley of
the Yadkin in December, 1752, came Bishop Spangenberg and a party
of Moravians, accompanied by a surveyor and two guides, for the
purpose of locating the one hundred thousand acres of land which
had been offered them on easy terms the preceding year by Lord
Granville. This journey was remarkable as an illustration of
sacrifices willingly made and extreme hardships uncomplainingly
endured for the sake of the Moravian brotherhood. In the back
country of North Carolina near the Mulberry Fields they found the
whole woods full of Cherokee Indians engaged in hunting. A
beautiful site for the projected settlement met their delighted
gaze at this place; but they soon learned to their regret that it
had already been "taken up" by Daniel Boone's future
father-in-law, Morgan Bryan.

On October 8, 1753, a party of twelve single men headed by the
Rev. Bernhard Adam Grube, set out from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania,
to trek down to the new-found haven in the Carolina
hinterland--"a corner which the Lord has reserved for the
Brethren"--in Anson County. Following for the most part the great
highway extending from Philadelphia to the Yadkin, over which
passed the great throng sweeping into the back country of North
Carolina--through the Valley of Virginia and past Robert Luhny's
mill on the James River--they encountered many hardships along
the way. Because of their "long wagon," they had much difficulty
in crossing one steep mountain; and of this experience Brother
Grube, with a touch of modest pride, observes: "People had told
us that this hill was most dangerous, and that we would scarcely
be able to cross it, for Morgan Bryan, the first to travel this
way, had to take the wheels off his wagon and carry it piecemeal
to the top, and had been three months on the journey from the
Shanidore [Shenandoah] to the Etkin [Yadkin]."

These men were the highest type of the pioneers of the Old
Southwest, inspired with the instinct of homemakers in a land
where, if idle rumor were to be credited, "the people lived like
wild men never hearing of God or His Word." In one hand they bore
the implement of agriculture, in the other the book of the gospel
of Jesus Christ. True faith shines forth in the simply eloquent
words: "We thanked our Saviour that he had so graciously led us
hither, and had helped us through all the hard places, for no
matter how dangerous it looked, nor how little we saw how we
could win through, everything always went better than seemed
possible." The promise of a new day--the dawn of the heroic
age--rings out in the pious carol of camaraderie at their
journey's end:

  We hold arrival Lovefeast here,
  In Carolina land,
  A company of Brethren true,
  A little Pilgrim-Band,
  Called by the Lord to be of those
  Who through the whole world go,
  To bear Him witness everywhere,
  And nought but Jesus know.

CHAPTER II. The Cradle of Westward Expansion

In the year 1746 I was up in the country that is now Anson,
Orange and Rowan Counties, there was not then above one hundred
fighting men there is now at least three thousand for the most
part Irish Protestants and Germans and dailey increasing.--Matthew
Rowan, President of the North Carolina Council, to the
Board of Trade, June 28, 1753.

The conquest of the West is usually attributed to the ready
initiative, the stern self-reliance, and the libertarian instinct
of the expert backwoodsmen. These bold, nomadic spirits were
animated by an unquenchable desire to plunge into the wilderness
in search of an El Dorado at the outer verge of civilization,
free of taxation, quit-rents, and the law's restraint. They
longed to build homes for themselves and their descendants in a
limitless, free domain; or else to fare deeper and deeper into
the trackless forests in search of adventure. Yet one must not
overlook the fact that behind Boone and pioneers of his stamp
were men of conspicuous civil and military genius, constructive
in purpose and creative in imagination, who devoted their best
gifts to actual conquest and colonization. These men of large
intellectual mold-themselves surveyors, hunters, and
pioneers--were inspired with the larger vision of the
expansionist. Whether colonizers, soldiers, or speculators on the
grand scale, they sought to open at one great stroke the vast
trans-Alleghany regions as a peaceful abode for mankind.

Two distinct classes of society were gradually drawing apart from
each other in North Carolina and later in Virginia--the pioneer
democracy of the back country and the upland, and the planter
aristocracy of the lowland and the tide-water region. From the
frontier came the pioneer explorers whose individual enterprise
and initiative were such potent factors in the exploitation of
the wilderness. From the border counties still in contact with
the East came a number of leaders. Thus in the heart of the Old
Southwest the two determinative principles already referred to,
the inquisitive and the acquisitive instincts, found a fortunate
conjunction. The exploratory passion of the pioneer, directed in
the interest of commercial enterprise, prepared the way for the
great westward migration. The warlike disposition of the hardy
backwoodsman, controlled by the exercise of military strategy,
accomplished the conquest of the trans-Alleghany country.

Fleeing from the traditional bonds of caste and aristocracy in
England and Europe, from economic boycott and civil oppression,
from religious persecution and favoritism, many worthy members of
society in the first quarter of the eighteenth century sought a
haven of refuge in the "Quackerthal" of William Penn, with its
trustworthy guarantees of free tolerance in religious faith and
the benefits of representative self-government. From East
Devonshire in England came George Boone, the grandfather of the
great pioneer, and from Wales came Edward Morgan, whose daughter
Sarah became the wife of Squire Boone, Daniel's father. These
were conspicuous representatives of the Society of Friends, drawn
thither by the roseate representations of the great Quaker,
William Penn, and by his advanced views on popular government and
religious toleration. Hither, too, from Ireland, whither he had
gone from Denmark, came Morgan Bryan, settling in Chester County,
prior to 1719; and his children, William, Joseph, James, and
Morgan, who more than half a century later gave the name to
Bryan's Station in Kentucky, were destined to play important
roles in the drama of westward migration. In September, 1734,
Michael Finley from County Armagh, Ireland, presumably
accompanied by his brother Archibald Finley, settled in Bucks
County, Pennsylvania. According to the best authorities,
Archibald Finley was the father of John Finley, or Findlay as he
signed himself, Boone's guide and companion in his exploration of
Kentucky in 1769-71. To Pennsylvania also came Mordecai Lincoln,
great grandson of Samuel Lincoln, who had emigrated from England
to Hingham, Massachusetts, as early as 1637. This Mordecai
Lincoln, who in 1720 settled in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the
great-great-grandfather of President Lincoln, was the father of
Sarah Lincoln, who was wedded to William Boone, and of Abraham
Lincoln, who married Anne Boone, William's first cousin. Early
settlers in Pennsylvania were members of the Hanks family, one of
whom was the maternal grandfather of President Lincoln.

No one race or breed of men can lay claim to exclusive credit for
leadership in the hinterland movement and the conquest of the
West. Yet one particular stock of people, the Ulster Scots,
exhibited with most completeness and picturesqueness a group of
conspicuous qualities and attitudes which we now recognize to be
typical of the American character as molded by the conditions of
frontier life. Cautious, wary, and reserved, these Scots
concealed beneath a cool and calculating manner a relentlessness
in reasoning power and an intensity of conviction which glowed
and burned with almost fanatical ardor. Strict in religious
observance and deep in spiritual fervor, they never lost sight of
the main chance, combining a shrewd practicality with a wealth of
devotion. It has been happily said of them that they kept the
Sabbath and everything else they could lay their hands on. In the
polity of these men religion and education went hand in hand; and
they habitually settled together in communities in order that
they might have teachers and preachers of their own choice and

In little-known letters and diaries of travelers and itinerant
ministers may be found many quaint descriptions and faithful
characterizations of the frontier settlers in their habits of
life and of the scenes amidst which they labored. In a letter to
Edmund Fanning, the cultured Robin Jones, agent of Lord Granville
and Attorney-General of North Carolina, summons to view a piquant
image of the western border and borderers: "The inhabitants are
hospitable in their way, live in plenty and dirt, are stout, of
great prowess in manly athletics; and, in private conversation,
bold, impertinent, and vain. In the art of war (after the Indian
manner) they are well-skilled, are enterprising and fruitful of
strategies; and, when in action, are as bold and intrepid as the
ancient Romans. The Shawnese acknowledge them their superiors
even in their own way of fighting.... [The land] may be truly
called the land of the mountains, for they are so numerous that
when you have reached the summit of one of them, you may see
thousands of every shape that the imagination can suggest,
seeming to vie with each other which should raise his lofty head
to touch the clouds.... It seems to me that nature has been
wanton in bestowing her blessings on that country."

An excellent pen-picture of educational and cultural conditions
in the backwoods of North Carolina, by one of the early settlers
in the middle of the century, exhibits in all their barren
cheerlessness the hardships and limitations of life in the
wilderness. The father of William Few, the narrator, had trekked
down from Maryland and settled in Orange County, some miles east
of the little hamlet of Hillsborough. "In that country at that
time there were no schools, no churches or parsons, or doctors or
lawyers; no stores, groceries or taverns, nor do I recollect
during the first two years any officer, ecclesiastical, civil or
military, except a justice of the peace, a constable and two or
three itinerant preachers.... These people had few wants, and
fewer temptations to vice than those who lived in more refined
society, though ignorant. They were more virtuous and more happy....
A schoolmaster appeared and offered his services to teach
the children of the neighborhood for twenty shillings each per
year.... In that simple state of society money was but little
known; the schoolmaster was the welcome guest of his pupil, fed
at the bountiful table and clothed from the domestic loom....
In that country at that time there was great scarcity of books."

The journals of itinerant ministers through the Valley of
Virginia and the Carolina piedmont zone yield precious mementoes
of the people, their longing after the things of the spirit, and
their pitiful isolation from the regular preaching of the gospel.
These missionaries were true pioneers in this Old Southwest,
ardent, dauntless, and heroic--carrying the word into remote
places and preaching the gospel beneath the trees of the forest.
In his journal (1755-6), the Rev. Hugh McAden, born in
Pennsylvania of Scotch-Irish parentage, a graduate of Nassau Hall
(1753), makes the unconsciously humorous observation that
wherever he found Presbyterians he found people who "seemed
highly pleased, and very desirous to hear the word"; whilst
elsewhere he found either dissension and defection to Baptist
principles, or "no appearance of the life of religion." In the
Scotch-Irish Presbyterian settlements in what is now Mecklenburg
County, the cradle of American liberty, he found "pretty serious,
judicious people" of the stamp of Moses, William, and James
Alexander. While traveling in the upper country of South
Carolina, he relates with gusto the story of "an old gentleman
who said to the Governor of South Carolina, when he was in those
parts, in treaty with the Cherokee Indians that 'he had never
seen a shirt, been in a fair, heard a sermon, or seen a minister
in all his life.' Upon which the governor promised to send him up
a minister, that he might hear one sermon before he died." The
minister came and preached; and this was all the preaching that
had been heard in the upper part of South Carolina before Mr.
McAden's visit.

Such, then, were the rude and simple people in the back country
of the Old Southwest--the deliberate and self-controlled English,
the aggressive, landmongering Scotch-Irish, the buoyant Welsh,
the thrifty Germans, the debonair French, the impetuous Irish,
and the calculating Scotch. The lives they led were marked by
independence of spirit, democratic instincts, and a forthright
simplicity. In describing the condition of the English settlers
in the backwoods of Virginia, one of their number, Doddridge,
says: "Most of the articles were of domestic manufacture. There
might have been incidentally a few things brought to the country
for sale in a primitive way, but there was no store for general
supply. The table furniture usually consisted of wooden vessels,
either turned or coopered. Iron forks, tin cups, etc., were
articles of rare and delicate luxury. The food was of the most
wholesome and primitive kind. The richest meat, the finest
butter, and best meal that ever delighted man's palate were here
eaten with a relish which health and labor only know. The
hospitality of the people was profuse and proverbial."

The circumstances of their lives compelled the pioneers to become
self-sustaining. Every immigrant was an adept at many trades. He
built his own house, forged his own tools, and made his own
clothes. At a very early date rifles were manufactured at the
High Shoals of the Yadkin; Squire Boone, Daniel's brother, was an
expert gunsmith. The difficulty of securing food for the
settlements forced every man to become a hunter and to scour the
forest for wild game. Thus the pioneer, through force of sheer
necessity, became a dead shot--which stood him in good stead in
the days of Indian incursions and bloody retaliatory raids.
Primitive in their games, recreations, and amusements, which not
infrequently degenerated into contests of savage brutality, the
pioneers always set the highest premium upon personal bravery,
physical prowess, and skill in manly sports. At all public
gatherings, general musters, "vendues" or auctions, and even
funerals, whisky flowed with extraordinary freedom. It is worthy
of record that among the effects of the Rev. Alexander Craighead,
the famous teacher and organizer of Presbyterianism in
Mecklenburg and the adjoining region prior to the Revolution,
were found a punch bowl and glasses.

The frontier life, with its purifying and hardening influence,
bred in these pioneers intellectual traits which constitute the
basis of the American character. The single-handed and successful
struggle with nature in the tense solitude of the forest
developed a spirit of individualism, restive under control. On
the other hand, the sense of sharing with others the arduous
tasks and dangers of conquering the wilderness gave birth to a
strong sense of solidarity arid of human sympathy. With the lure
of free lands ever before them, the pioneers developed a
restlessness and a nervous energy, blended with a buoyancy of
spirit, which are fundamentally American. Yet this same
untrammeled freedom occasioned a disregard for law and a defiance
of established government which have exhibited themselves
throughout the entire course of our history. Initiative,
self-reliance, boldness in conception, fertility in resource,
readiness in execution, acquisitiveness, inventive genius,
appreciation of material advantages--these, shot through with a
certain fine idealism, genial human sympathy, and a high romantic
strain--are the traits of the American national type as it
emerged from the Old Southwest.

CHAPTER III. The Back Country and the Border

Far from the bustle of the world, they live in the most
delightful climate, and richest soil imaginable; they are
everywhere surrounded with beautiful prospects and sylvan scenes;
lofty mountains, transparent streams, falls of water, rich
valleys, and majestic woods; the whole interspersed with an
infinite variety of flowering shrubs, constitute the landscape
surrounding them; they are subject to few diseases; are generally
robust; and live in perfect liberty; they are ignorant of want
and acquainted with but few vices. Their inexperience of the
elegancies of life precludes any regret that they possess not the
means of enjoying them, but they possess what many princes would
give half their dominion for, health, content, and tranquillity
of mind.--Andrew Burnaby: Travels Through North America.

The two streams of Ulstermen, the greater through Philadelphia,
the lesser through Charleston, which poured into the Carolinas
toward the middle of the century, quickly flooded the back
country. The former occupied the Yadkin Valley and the region to
the westward, the latter the Waxhaws and the Anson County region
to the northwest. The first settlers were known as the
"Pennsylvania Irish," because they had first settled in
Pennsylvania after migrating from the north of Ireland; while
those who came by way of Charleston were known as the
"Scotch-Irish." The former, who had resided in Pennsylvania long
enough to be good judges of land, shrewdly made their settlements
along the rivers and creeks. The latter, new arrivals and less
experienced, settled on thinner land toward the heads of creeks
and water courses.

Shortly prior to 1735, Morgan Bryan, his wife Martha, and eight
children, together with other families of Quakers from
Pennsylvania, settled upon a large tract of land on the northwest
side of the Opeckon River near Winchester. A few years later they
removed up the Virginia Valley to the Big Lick in the present
Roanoke County, intent upon pushing westward to the very
outskirts of civilization. In the autumn of 1748, leaving behind
his brother William, who had followed him to Roanoke County,
Morgan Bryan removed with his family to the Forks of the Yadkin
River. The Morgans, with the exception of Richard, who emigrated
to Virginia, remained in Pennsylvania, spreading over
Philadelphia and Bucks counties; while the Hanks and Lincoln
families found homes in Virginia--Mordecai Lincoln's son, John,
the great-grandfather of President Lincoln, removing from Berks
to the Shenandoah Valley in 1765. On May 1, 1750, Squire Boone,
his wife Sarah (Morgan), and their eleven children--a veritable
caravan, traveling like the patriarchs of old--started south; and
tarried for a space, according to reliable tradition, on Linville
Creek in the Virginia Valley. In 1752 they removed to the Forks
of the Yadkin, and the following year received from Lord
Granville three tracts of land, all situated in Rowan County.
About the hamlet of Salisbury, which in 1755 consisted of seven
or eight log houses and the court house, there now rapidly
gathered a settlement of people marked by strong individuality,
sturdy independence, and virile self-reliance. The Boones and the
Bryans quickly accommodated themselves to frontier conditions and
immediately began to take an active part in the local affairs of
the county. Upon the organization of the county court Squire
Boone was chosen justice of the peace; and Morgan Bryan was soon
appearing as foreman of juries and director in road improvements.

The Great Trading Path, leading from Virginia to the towns of the
Catawbas and other Southern Indians, crossed the Yadkin at the
Trading Ford and passed a mile southeast of Salisbury. Above
Sapona Town near the Trading Ford was Swearing Creek, which,
according to constant and picturesque tradition, was the spot
where the traders stopped to take a solemn oath never to reveal
any unlawful proceedings that might occur during their sojourn
among the Indians. In his divertingly satirical "History of the
Dividing Line" William Byrd in 1728 thus speaks of this locality:
"The Soil is exceedingly rich on both sides the Yadkin, abounding
in rank Grass and prodigiously large Trees; and for plenty of
Fish, Fowl and Venison, is inferior to No Part of the Northern
Continent. There the Traders commonly lie Still for some days, to
recruit their Horses' Flesh as well as to recover their own
spirits." In this beautiful country happily chosen for settlement
by Squire Boone--who erected his cabin on the east side of the
Yadkin about a mile and a quarter from Alleman's, now Boone's,
Ford--wild game abounded. Buffaloes were encountered in eastern
North Carolina by Byrd while running the dividing line; and in
the upper country of South Carolina three or four men with their
dogs could kill fourteen to twenty buffaloes in a single day."
Deer and bears fell an easy prey to the hunter; wild turkeys
filled every thicket; the watercourses teemed with beaver, otter,
and muskrat, as well as with shad and other delicious fish.
Panthers, wildcats, and wolves overran the country; and the
veracious Brother Joseph, while near the present Wilkesboro,
amusingly records: "The wolves wh. are not like those in Germany,
Poland and Lifland (because they fear men and don't easily come
near) give us such music of six different cornets the like of wh.
I have never heard in my life." So plentiful was the game that
the wild deer mingled with the cattle grazing over the wide
stretches of luxuriant grass.

In the midst of this sylvan paradise grew up Squire Boone's son,
Daniel Boone, a Pennsylvania youth of English stock, Quaker
persuasion, and Baptist proclivities. Seen through a glorifying
halo after the lapse of a century and three quarters, he rises
before us a romantic figure, poised and resolute, simple,
benign--as naive and shy as some wild thing of the primeval
forest--five feet eight inches in height, with broad chest and
shoulders, dark locks, genial blue eyes arched with fair
eyebrows, thin lips and wide mouth, nose of slightly Roman cast,
and fair, ruddy countenance. Farming was irksome to this
restless, nomadic spirit, who on the slightest excuse would
exchange the plow and the grubbing hoe for the long rifle and
keen-edged hunting knife. In a single day during the autumn
season he would kill four or five deer; or as many bears as would
snake from two to three thousand pounds weight of bear-bacon.
Fascinated with the forest, he soon found profit as well as
pleasure in the pursuit of game; and at excellent fixed prices he
sold his peltries, most often at Salisbury, some thirteen miles
away, sometimes at the store of the old "Dutchman," George
Hartman, on the Yadkin, and occasionally at Bethabara, the
Moravian town sixty odd miles distant. Skins were in such demand
that they soon came to replace hard money, which was incredibly
scarce in the back country, as a medium of exchange. Upon one
occasion a caravan from Bethabara hauled three thousand pounds,
upon another four thousand pounds, of dressed deerskins to
Charleston. So immense was this trade that the year after Boone's
arrival at the Forks of Yadkin thirty thousand deerskins were
exported from the province of North Carolina. We like to think
that the young Daniel Boone was one of that band of whom Brother
Joseph, while in camp on the Catawba River (November 12, 1752)
wrote: "There are many hunters about here, who live like Indians,
they kill many deer selling their hides, and thus live without
much work."

In this very class of professional hunters, living like Indians,
was thus bred the spirit of individual initiative and strenuous
leadership in the great westward expansionist movement of the
coming decade. An English traveler gives the following minute
picture of the dress and accoutrement of the Carolina

"Their whole dress is very singular, and not very materially
different from that of the Indians; being a hunting shirt,
somewhat resembling a waggoner's frock, ornamented with a great
many fringes, tied round the middle with a broad belt, much
decorated also, in which is fastened a tomahawk, an instrument
that serves every purpose of defence and convenience; being a
hammer at one side and a sharp hatchet at the other; the shot bag
and powderhorn, carved with a variety of whimsical figures and
devices, hang from their necks over one shoulder; and on their
heads a flapped hat, of a reddish hue, proceeding from the
intensely hot beams of the sun.

Sometimes they wear leather breeches, made of Indian dressed elk,
or deer skins, but more frequently thin trowsers.

On their legs they have Indian boots, or leggings, made of coarse
woollen cloth, that either are wrapped round loosely and tied
with garters, or laced upon the outside, and always come better
than half-way up the thigh.

On their feet they sometimes wear pumps of their own manufacture,
but generally Indian moccossons, of their own construction also,
which are made of strong elk's, or buck's skin, dressed soft as
for gloves or breeches, drawn together in regular plaits over the
toe, and lacing from thence round to the fore part of the middle
of the ancle, without a seam in them, yet fitting close to the
feet, and are indeed perfectly easy and pliant.

Their hunting, or rifle shirts, they have also died in a variety
of colours, some yellow, others red, some brown, and many wear
them quite white."

No less unique and bizarre, though less picturesque, was the
dress of the women of the region--in particular of Surry County,
North Carolina, as described by General William Lenoir:

"The women wore linses [flax] petticoats and 'bedgowns' [like a
dressing-sack], and often went without shoes in the summer. Some
had bonnets and bedgowns made of calico, but generally of linsey;
and some of them wore men's hats. Their hair was commonly
clubbed. Once, at a large meeting, I noticed there but two women
that had on long gowns. One of these was laced genteelly, and the
body of the other was open, and the tail thereof drawn up and
tucked in her apron or coat-string."

While Daniel Boone was quietly engaged in the pleasant pursuits
of the chase, a vast world-struggle of which he little dreamed
was rapidly approaching a crisis. For three quarters of a century
this titanic contest between France and England for the interior
of the continent had been waged with slowly accumulating force.
The irrepressible conflict had been formally inaugurated at Sault
Ste. Marie in 1671, when Daumont de Saint Lusson, swinging aloft
his sword, proclaimed the sovereignty of France over "all
countries, rivers, lakes, and streams ... both those which have
been discovered and those which may be discovered hereafter, in
all their length and breadth, bounded on the one side by the seas
of the North and of the West, and on the other by the South Sea."
Just three months later, three hardy pioneers of Virginia,
despatched upon their arduous mission by Colonel Abraham Wood in
behalf of the English crown, had crossed the Appalachian divide;
and upon the banks of a stream whose waters slipped into the Ohio
to join the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico, had carved the
royal insignia upon the blazed trunk of a giant of the forest,
the while crying: "Long live Charles the Second, by the grace of
God, King of England, Scotland, France, Ireland and Virginia and
of the territories thereunto belonging."

La Salle's dream of a New France in the heart of America was
blotted out in his tragic death upon the banks of the River
Trinity (1687). Yet his mantle was to fall in turn upon the
square shoulders of Le Moyne d'Iberville and of his brother--the
good, the constant Bienville, who after countless and arduous
struggles laid firm the foundations of New Orleans. In the
precious treasury of Margry we learn that on reaching Rochelle
after his first voyage in 1699 Iberville in these prophetic words
voices his faith: "If France does not immediately seize this part
of America which is the most beautiful, and establish a colony
which is strong enough to resist any which England may have, the
English colonies (already considerable in Carolina) will so
thrive that in less than a hundred years they will be strong
enough to seize all America." But the world-weary Louis Quatorze,
nearing his end, quickly tired of that remote and unproductive
colony upon the shores of the gulf, so industriously described in
Paris as a "terrestrial paradise"; and the "paternal providence
of Versailles" willingly yielded place to the monumental
speculation of the great financier Antoine Crozat. In this Paris
of prolific promotion and amazed credulity, ripe for the colossal
scheme of Law, soon to blow to bursting-point the bubble of the
Mississippi, the very songs in the street echoed flamboyant,
half-satiric panegyrics upon the new Utopia, this Mississippi
Land of Cockayne:

  It's to-day no contribution
  To discuss the Constitution
  And the Spanish war's forgot
  For a new Utopian spot;
  And the very latest phase
  Is the Mississippi craze.

Interest in the new colony led to a great development of
southwesterly trade from New France. Already the French coureurs
de bois were following the water route from the Illinois to South
Carolina. Jean Couture, a deserter from the service in New
France, journeyed over the Ohio and Tennessee rivers to that
colony, and was known as "the greatest Trader and Traveller
amongst the Indians for more than Twenty years." In 1714 young
Charles Charleville accompanied an old trader from Crozat's
colony on the gulf to the great salt-springs on the Cumberland,
where a post for trading with the Shawanoes had already been
established by the French. But the British were preparing to
capture this trade as early as 1694, when Tonti warned Villermont
that Carolinians were already established on a branch of the
Ohio. Four years later, Nicholson, Governor of Maryland, was
urging trade with the Indians of the interior in the effort to
displace the French. At an early date the coast colonies began to
trade with the Indian tribes of the back country: the Catawbas of
the Yadkin Valley; the Cherokees, whose towns were scattered
through Tennessee; the Chickasaws, to the westward in northern
Mississippi; and the Choctaws farther to the southward. Even
before the beginning of the eighteenth century, when the South
Carolina settlements extended scarcely twenty miles from the
coast, English traders had established posts among the Indian
tribes four hundred miles to the west of Charleston. Following
the sporadic trading of individuals from Virginia with the inland
Indians, the heavily laden caravans of William Byrd were soon
regularly passing along the Great Trading Path from Virginia to
the towns of the Catawbas and other interior tribes of the
Carolinas, delighting the easily captivated fancy and provoking
the cupidity of the red men with "Guns, Powder, Shot, Hatchets
(which the Indians call Tomahawks), Kettles, red and blue Planes,
Duffields, Stroudwater blankets, and some Cutlary Wares, Brass
Rings and other Trinkets." In Pennsylvania, George Croghan, the
guileful diplomat, who was emissary from the Council to the Ohio
Indians (1748), had induced "all-most all the Ingans in the
Woods" to declare against the French; and was described by
Christopher Gist as a "meer idol among his countrymen, the Irish

Against these advances of British trade and civilization, the
French for four decades had artfully struggled, projecting tours
of exploration into the vast medial valley of the continent and
constructing a chain of forts and trading-posts designed to
establish their claims to the country and to hold in check the
threatened English thrust from the east. Soon the wilderness
ambassador of empire, Celoron de Bienville, was despatched by the
far-visioned Galissoniere at Quebec to sow broadcast with
ceremonial pomp in the heart of America the seeds of empire,
grandiosely graven plates of lasting lead, in defiant yet futile
symbol of the asserted sovereignty of France. Thus threatened in
the vindication of the rights of their colonial sea-to-sea
charters, the English threw off the lethargy with which they had
failed to protect their traders, and in grants to the Ohio and
Loyal land companies began resolutely to form plans looking to
the occupation of the interior. But the French seized the English
trading-house at Venango which they converted into a fort; and
Virginia's protest, conveyed by a calm and judicious young man, a
surveyor, George Washington, availed not to prevent the French
from seizing Captain Trent's hastily erected military post at the
forks of the Ohio and constructing there a formidable work, named
Fort Duquesne. Washington, with his expeditionary force sent to
garrison Captain Trent's fort, defeated Jumonville and his small
force near Great Meadows (May, 1754); but soon after he was
forced to surrender Fort Necessity to Coulon de Villiers.

The titanic struggle, fittingly precipitated in the backwoods of
the Old Southwest, was now on--a struggle in which the resolute
pioneers of these backwoods first seriously measured their
strength with the French and their copper-hued allies, and
learned to surpass the latter in their own mode of warfare. The
portentous conflict, destined to assure the eastern half of the
continent to Great Britain, is a grim, prophetic harbinger of the
mighty movement of the next quarter of a century into the
twilight zone of the trans-Alleghany territory:

CHAPTER IV. The Indian War

All met in companies with their wives and children, and set about
building little fortifications, to defend themselves from such
barbarian and inhuman enemies, whom they concluded would be let
loose upon them at pleasure.--The Reverend Hugh McAden--Diary,
July, 1755.

Long before the actual outbreak of hostilities powerful forces
were gradually converging to produce a clash between the
aggressive colonials and the crafty Indians. As the settlers
pressed farther westward into the domain of the red men,
arrogantly grazing their stock over the cherished hunting-grounds
of the Cherokees, the savages, who were already well disposed
toward the French, began to manifest a deep indignation against
the British colonists because of this callous encroachment upon
their territory. During the sporadic forays by scattered bands of
Northern Indians upon the Catawbas and other tribes friendly to
the pioneers the isolated settlements at the back part of the
Carolinas suffered rude and sanguinary onslaughts. In the summer
of 1753 a party of northern Indians warring in the French
interest made their appearance in Rowan County, which had just
been organized, and committed various depredations upon the
scattered settlements. To repel these attacks a band of the
Catawbas sallied forth, encountered a detached party of the
enemy, and slew five of their number. Among the spoils,
significantly enough, were silver crucifixes, beads,
looking-glasses, tomahawks and other implements of war, all of
French manufacture.

Intense rivalry for the good will of the near-by southern tribes
existed between Virginia and South Carolina. In strong
remonstrance against the alleged attempt of Governor Dinwiddie of
Virginia to alienate the Cherokees, Catawbas, Muscogees, and
Chickasaws from South Carolina and to attach them to Virginia,
Governor Glen of South Carolina made pungent observations to
Dinwiddie: "South Carolina is a weak frontier colony, and in case
of invasion by the French would be their first object of attack.
We have not much to fear, however, while we retain the affection
of the Indians around us; but should we forfeit that by any
mismanagement on our part, or by the superior address of the
French, we are in a miserable situation. The Cherokees alone have
several thousand gunmen well acquainted with every inch of the
province ... their country is the key to Carolina." By a treaty
concluded at Saluda (November 24, 1753), Glen promised to build
the Cherokees a fort near the lower towns, for the protection of
themselves and their allies; and the Cherokees on their part
agreed to become the subjects of the King of Great Britain and
hold their lands under him. This fort, erected this same year on
the headwaters of the Savannah, within gunshot distance of the
important Indian town of Keowee, was named Fort Prince George.
"It is a square," says the founder of the fort (Governor Glen to
the Board of Trade, August 26, 1754), "with regular Bastions and
four Ravelins it is near Two hundred foot from Salient Angle to
Salient Angle and is made of Earth taken out of the Ditch,
secured with fachines and well rammed with a banquet on the
Inside for the men to stand upon when they fire over, the
Ravelins are made of Posts of Lightwood which is very durable,
they are ten foot in length sharp pointed three foot and a half
in the ground." The dire need for such a fort in the back country
was tragically illustrated by the sudden onslaught upon the
"House of John Gutry & James Anshers" in York County by a party
of sixty French Indians (December 16, 1754), who brutally
murdered sixteen of the twenty-one persons present, and carried
off as captives the remaining five."

At the outbreak of the French and Indian War in 1754 North
Carolina voted twelve thousand pounds for the raising of troops
and several thousand pounds additional for the construction of
forts--a sum considerably larger than that voted by Virginia. A
regiment of two hundred and fifty men was placed under the
command of Colonel James Innes of the Cape Fear section; and the
ablest officer under him was the young Irishman from the same
section, Lieutenant Hugh Waddell. On June 3, 1754, Dinwiddie
appointed Innes, his close friend, commander-in-chief of all the
forces against the French; and immediately after the disaster at
Great Meadows (July, 1754), Innes took command. Within two months
the supplies for the North Carolina troops were exhausted; and as
Virginia then failed to furnish additional supplies, Colonel
Innes had no recourse but to disband his troops and permit them
to return home. Appointed governor of Fort Cumberland by General
Braddock, he was in command there while Braddock advanced on his
disastrous march.

The lesson of Braddock's defeat (July 9, 1755) was memorable in
the history of the Old Southwest. Well might Braddock exclaim
with his last breath: "Who would have thought it? ... We shall
know better how to deal with them another time." Led on by the
reckless and fiery Beaujeu, wearing an Indian gorget about his
neck, the savages from the protection of trees and rough
defenses, a pre pared ambuscade, poured a galling fire into the
compact divisions of the English, whose scarlet coats furnished
ideal targets. The obstinacy of the British commanders in
refusing to permit their troops to fight Indian fashion was
suicidal; for as Herman Alriclis wrote Governor Morris of
Pennsylvania (July 22, 1755): "... the French and Indians had
cast an Intrenchment across the road before our Army which they
Discovered not Untill they came Close up to it, from thence and
both sides of the road the enemy kept a constant fireing on them,
our Army being so confused, they could not fight, and they would
not be admitted by the Genl or Sir John St. Clair, to break thro'
their Ranks and Take behind trees." Daniel Boone, who went from
North Carolina as a wagoner in the company commanded by Edward
Brice Dobbs, was on the battle-field; but Dobbs's company at the
time was scouting in the woods. When the fierce attack fell upon
the baggage a train, Boone succeeded in effecting his escape only
by cutting the traces of his team and fleeing on one of the
horses. To his dying day Boone continued to censure Braddock's
conduct, and reprehended especially his fatal neglect to employ
strong flank-guards and a sufficient number of Provincial scouts
thoroughly acquainted with the wilderness and all the wiles and
strategies of savage warfare.

For a number of months following Braddock's defeat there was a
great rush of the frightened people southward. In a letter to
Dinwiddie, Washington expresses the apprehension that Augusta,
Frederick, and Hampshire County will soon be depopulated, as the
whole back country is in motion toward the southern colonies.
During this same summer Governor Arthur Dobbs of North Carolina
made a tour of exploration through the western part of the
colony, seeking a site for a fort to guard the frontier. The
frontier company of fifty men which was to garrison the projected
fort was placed under the command of Hugh Waddell, now promoted
to the rank of captain, though only twenty-one years old. In
addition to Waddell's company, armed patrols were required for
the protection of the Rowan County frontier; and during the
summer Indian alarms were frequent at the Moravian village of
Bethabara, whose inhabitants had heard with distress on March
31st of the slaughter of eleven Moravians on the Mahoni and of
the ruin of Gnadenhutten. Many of the settlers in the outlying
districts of Rowan fled for safety to the refuge of the little
village; and frequently every available house, every place of
temporary abode was filled with panic stricken refugees. So
persistent were the depredations of the Indians and so alarmed
were the scattered Rowan settlers by the news of the murders and
the destruction of Vaul's Fort in Virginia (June 25, 1756) that
at a conference on July 5th the Moravians "decided to protect our
houses with palisades, and make them safe before the enemy should
in vade our tract or attack us, for if the people were all going
to retreat we would be the last left on the frontier and the
first point of attack." By July 23d, they had constructed a
strong defense for their settlement, afterward called the "Dutch
Fort" by the Indians. The principal structure was a stockade,
triangular in plan, some three hundred feet on a side, enclosing
the principal buildings of the settlement; and the gateway was
guarded by an observation tower. The other defense was a stockade
embracing eight houses at the mill some distance away, around
which a small settlement had sprung up.

During the same year the fort planned by Dobbs was erected upon
the site he had chosen--between Third and Fourth creeks; and the
commissioners Richard Caswell and Francis Brown, sent out to
inspect the fort, made the following picturesque report to the
Assembly (December 21, 1756):

"That they had likewise viewed the State of Fort Dobbs, and found
it to be a good and Substantial Building of the Dimentions
following (that is to say) The Oblong Square fifty three feet by
forty, the opposite Angles Twenty four feet and Twenty-Two In
Height Twenty four and a half feet as by the Plan annexed
Appears, The Thickness of the Walls which are made of Oak Logs
regularly Diminished from sixteen Inches to Six, it contains
three floors and there may be discharged from each floor at one
and the same time about one hundred Musketts the same is
beautifully scituated in the fork of Fourth Creek a Branch of the
Yadkin River. And that they also found under Command of Cap' Hugh
Waddel Forty six Effective men Officers and Soldiers, the said
Officers and Soldiers Appearing well and in good Spirits."

As to the erection of a fort on the Tennessee, promised the
Cherokees by South Carolina, difficulties between the governor of
that province and of Virginia in regard to matters of policy and
the proportionate share of expenses made effective cooperation
between the two colonies well-nigh impossible. Glen, as we have
seen, had resented Dinwiddie's efforts to win the South Carolina
Indians over to Virginia's interest. And Dinwiddie had been very
indignant when the force promised him by the Indians to aid
General Braddock did not arrive, attributing this defection in
part to Glen's negotiations for a meeting with the chieftains and
in part to the influence of the South Carolina traders, who kept
the Indians away by hiring them to go on long hunts for furs and
skinns. But there was no such contention between Virginia and
North Carolina. Dinwiddie and Dobbs arranged (November 6, 1755)
to send a commission from these colonies to treat with the
Cherokees and the Catawbas. Virginia sent two commissioners,
Colonel William Byrd, third of that name, and Colonel Peter
Randolph; while North Carolina sent one, Captain Hugh Waddell.
Salisbury, North Carolina, was the place of rendezvous. The
treaty with the Catawbas was made at the Catawba Town, presumably
the village opposite the mouth of Sugaw Creek, in York County,
South Carolina, on February 20-21, 1756; that with the Cherokees
on Broad River, North Carolina, March 13-17. As a result of the
negotiations and after the receipt of a present of goods, the
Catawbas agreed to send forty warriors to aid Virginia within
forty days; and the Cherokees, in return for presents and
Virginia's promise to contribute her proportion toward the
erection of a strong fort, undertook to send four hundred
warriors within forty days, "as soon as the said fort shall be
built." Virginia and North Carolina thus wisely cooperated to
"straighten the path" and "brighten the chain" between the white
and the red men, in important treaties which Have largely escaped
the attention of historians."

On May 25, 1756, a conference was held at Salisbury between King
Heygler and warriors of the Catawba nation on the one side and
Chief Justice Henley, doubtless attended by Captain Waddell and
his frontier company, on the other. King Heygler, following the
lead set by the Cherokees, petitioned the Governor of North
Carolina to send the Catawbas some ammunition and to "build us a
fort for securing our old men, women and children when we turn
out to fight the Enemy on their coming." The chief justice
assured the King that the Catawbas would receive a necessary
supply of ammunition (one hundred pounds of gunpowder and four
hundred pounds of lead were later sent them) and promised to urge
with the governor their request to have a fort built as soon as
possible. Pathos not unmixed with dry humor tinges the eloquent
appeal of good old King Heygler, ever the loyal friend of the
whites, at this conference:

"I desire a stop may be put to the selling of strong Liquors by
the White people to my people especially near the Indian nation.
great deal of mischief which otherwise will, happen from my
people getting drunk and quarrelling with the White people. I
have no strong prisons like you to confine them for it. Our only
way is to put them under ground and all these (pointing proudly
to his Warriors) will be ready to do that to those who shall
deserve it."

In response to this request, the sum of four thousand pounds was
appropriated by the North Carolina Assembly for the erection of
"a Fort on our western frontier to protect and secure the
Catawbas" and for the support of two companies of fifty men each
to garrison this and another fort building on the sea coast. The
commissioners appointed for the purpose recommended (December 21,
1756) a site for the fort "near the 'Catawba nation"; and on
January 20, 1757, Governor Dobbs reported; "We are now building
a Fort in the midst of their towns at their own Request." The
fort thereupon begun must have stood near the mouth of the South
Fork of the Catawba River, as Dobbs says it was in the "midst" of
their towns, which are situated a "few miles north and south of
38 degrees" and might properly be included within a circle of
thirty miles radius."

During the succeeding months many depredations were committed by
the Indians upon the exposed and scattered settlements. Had it
not been for the protection afforded by all these forts, by the
militia companies under Alexander Osborne of Rowan and Nathaniel
Alexander of Anson, and by a special company of patrollers under
Green and Moore, the back settlers who had been so outrageously
"pilfered" by the Indians would have "retired from the Frontier
into the inner settlements."

CHAPTER V. In Defense of Civilization

We give thanks and praise for the safety and peace vouchsafed us
by our Heavenly Father in these times of war. Many of our
neighbors, driven hither and yon like deer before wild beasts,
came to us for shelter, yet the accustomed order of our
congregation life was not disturbed, no, not even by the more
than 150 Indians who at sundry times passed by, stopping for a
day at a time and being fed by us.--Wachovia Community Diary,

With commendable energy and expedition Dinwiddie and Dobbs,
acting in concert, initiated steps for keeping the engagements
conjointly made by the two colonies with the Cherokees and the
Catawbas in the spring and summer of 1756. Enlisting sixty men,
"most of them Artificers, with Tools and Provisions," Major
Andrew Lewis proceeded in the late spring to Echota in the
Cherokee country. Here during the hot summer months they erected
the Virginia Fort on the path from Virginia, upon the northern
bank of the Little Tennessee, nearly opposite the Indian town of
Echota and about twenty-five miles southwest of Knoxville." While
the fort was in process of construction, the Cherokees were
incessantly tampered with by emissaries from the Nuntewees and
the Savannahs in the French interest, and from the French
themselves at the Alibamu Fort. So effective were these
machinations, supported by extravagant promises and doubtless
rich bribes, that the Cherokees soon were outspokenly expressing
their desire for a French fort at Great Tellico.

Dinwiddie welcomed the departure from America of Governor Glen of
South Carolina, who in his opinion had always acted contrary to
the king's interest. From the new governor, William Henry
Lyttelton, who arrived in Charleston on June 1, 1756, he hoped to
secure effective cooperation in dealing with the Cherokees and
the Catawbas. This hope was based upon Lyttelton's recognition,
as stated in Dinwiddie's words, of the "Necessity of strict Union
between the whole Colonies, with't any of them considering their
particular Interest separate from the general Good of the whole."
After constructing the fort "with't the least assistance from
South Carolina," Major Lewis happened by accident upon a grand
council being held in Echota in September. At that time he
discovered to his great alarm that the machinations of the French
had already produced the greatest imaginable change in the
sentiment of the Cherokees. Captain Raymond Demere of the
Provincials, with two hundred English troops, had arrived to
garrison the fort; but the head men of all the Upper Towns were
secretly influenced to agree to write a letter to Captain Demere,
ordering him to return immediately to Charleston with all the
troops under his command. At the grand council, Atta-kulla-kulla,
the great Cherokee chieftain, passionately declared to the head
men, who listened approvingly, that "as to the few soldiers of
Captain Demere that was there, he would take their Guns, and give
them to his young men to hunt with and as to their clothes they
would soon be worn out and their skins would be tanned, and be of
the same colour as theirs, and that they should live among them
as slaves." With impressive dignity Major Lewis rose and
earnestly pleaded for the observance of the terms of the treaty
solemnly negotiated the preceding March. In response, the crafty
and treacherous chieftains desired Lewis to tell the Governor of
Virginia that "they had taken up the Hatchet against all Nations
that were Enemies to the English"; but Lewis, an astute student
of Indian Psychology, rightly surmised that all their glib
professions of friendship and assistance were "only to put a
gloss on their knavery." So it proved; for instead of the four
hundred warriors promised under the treaty for service in
Virginia, the Cherokees sent only seven warriors, accompanied by
three women. Al though the Cherokees petitioned Virginia for a
number of men to garrison the Virginia fort, Dinwiddie postponed
sending the fifty men provided for by the Virginia Assembly until
he could reassure himself in regard to the "Behaviour and
Intention" of the treacherous Indian allies. This proved to be a
prudent decision; for not long after its erection the Virginia
fort was destroyed by the Indians.

Whether on account of the dissatisfaction expressed by the
Cherokees over the erection of the Virginia fort or because of a
recognition of the mistaken policy of garrisoning a work erected
by Virginia with troops sent from Charleston, South Carolina
immediately proceeded to build another stronghold on the southern
bank of the Tennessee at the mouth of Tellico River, some seven
miles from the site of the Virginia fort; and here were posted
twelve great guns, brought thither at immense labor through the
wilderness. To this fort, named Fort Loudoun in honor of Lord
Loudoun, then commander-in-chief of all the English forces in
America, the Indians allured artisans by donations of land; and
during the next three or four years a little settlement sprang up

The frontiers of Virginia suffered most from the incursions of
hostile Indians during the fourteen months following May 1, 1755.
In July, the Rev. Hugh McAden records that he preached in
Virginia on a day set apart for fasting and prayer "on account of
the wars and many murders, committed by the savage Indians on the
back inhabitants." On July 30th a large party of Shawano Indians
fell upon the New River settlement and wiped it out of existence.
William Ingles was absent at the time of the raid; and Mrs.
Ingles, who was captured, afterward effected her escape. The
following summer (June 25, 1756), Fort Vaux on the headwaters of
the Roanoke, under the command of Captain John Smith, was
captured by about one hundred French and Indians, who burnt the
fort, killed John Smith junior, John Robinson, John Tracey and
John Ingles, wounded four men, and captured twenty-two men,
women, and children. Among the captured was the famous Mrs. Mary
Ingles, whose husband, John Ingles, was killed; but after being
"carried away into Captivity, amongst whom she was barbarously
treated," according to her own statement, she finally escaped and
returned to Virginia." The frontier continued to be infested by
marauding bands of French and Indians; and Dinwiddie gloomily
confessed to Dobbs (July 22d): "I apprehend that we shall always
be harrass'd with fly'g Parties of these Banditti unless we form
an Expedit'n ag'st them, to attack 'em in y'r Towns." Such an
expedition, known as the Sandy River Expedition, had been sent
out in February to avenge the massacre of the New River settlers;
but the enterprise engaged in by about four hundred Virginians
and Cherokees under Major Andrew Lewis and Captain Richard
Pearis, proved a disastrous failure. Not a single Indian was
seen; and the party suffered extraordinary hardships and narrowly
escaped starvation.

In conformity with his treaty obligations with the Catawbas,
Governor Dobbs commissioned Captain Hugh Waddell to erect the
fort promised the Catawbas at the spot chosen by the
commissioners near the mouth of the South Fork of the Catawba
River. This fort, for which four thousand pounds had been
appropriated, was for the most part completed by midsummer, 1757.
But owing, it appears, both to the machinations of the French and
to the intermeddling of the South Carolina traders, who desired
to retain the trade of the Catawbas for that province, Oroloswa,
the Catawba King Heygler, sent a "talk" to Governor Lyttelton,
requesting that North Carolina desist from the work of
construction and that no fort be built except by South Carolina.
Accordingly, Governor Dobbs ordered Captain Waddell to discharge
the workmen (August 11, 1757); and every effort was made for many
months thereafter to conciliate the Catawbas, erstwhile friends
of North Carolina. The Catawba fort erected by North Carolina was
never fully completed; and several years later South Carolina,
having succeeded in alienating the Catawbas from North Carolina,
which colony had given them the best possible treatment, built
for them a fort at the mouth of Line Creek on the east bank of
the Catawba River.

In the spring and summer of 1758 the long expected Indian allies
arrived in Virginia, as many as four hundred by May--Cherokees,
Catawbas, Tuscaroras, and Nottaways. But Dinwiddie was wholly
unable to use them effectively; and in order to provide amusement
for them, he directed that they should go "a scalping" with the
whites--"a barbarous method of war," frankly acknowledged the
governor, "introduced by the French, which we are oblidged to
follow in our own defense." Most of the Indian allies
discontentedly returned home before the end of the year, but the
remainder waited until the next year, to take part in the
campaign against Fort Duquesne. Three North Carolina companies,
composed of trained soldiers and hardy frontiersmen, went through
this campaign under the command of Major Hugh Waddell, the
"Washington of North Carolina." Long of limb and broad of chest,
powerful, lithe, and active, Waddell was an ideal leader for this
arduous service, being fertile in expedient and skilful in the
employment of Indian tactics. With true provincial pride Governor
Dobbs records that Waddell "had great honor done him, being
employed in all reconnoitring parties, and dressed and acted as
an Indian; and his sergeant, Rogers, took the only Indian
prisoner, who gave Mr. Forbes certain intelligence of the forces
in Fort Duquesne, upon which they resolved to proceed." This
apparently trivial incident is remarkable, in that it proved to
be the decisive factor in a campaign that was about to be
abandoned. The information in regard to the state of the garrison
at Fort Duquesne, secured from the Indian, for the capture of
whom two leading officers had offered a reward of two hundred and
fifty pounds, emboldened Forbes to advance rather than to retire.
Upon reaching the fort (November 25th), he found it abandoned by
the enemy. Sergeant Rogers never received the reward promised by
General Forbes and the other English officer; but some time
afterward he was compensated by a modest sum from the colony of
North Carolina.

A series of unfortunate occurrences, chiefly the fault of the
whites, soon resulted in the precipitation of a terrible Indian
outbreak. A party of Cherokees, returning home in May, 1758,
seized some stray horses on the frontier of Virginia--never
dreaming of any wrong, says an old historian, as they saw it
frequently done by the whites. The owners of the horses, hastily
forming a party, went in pursuit of the Indians and killed twelve
or fourteen of the number. The relatives of the slain Indians,
greatly incensed, vowed vengeance upon the whites. Nor was the
tactless conduct of Forbes calculated to quiet this resentment;
for when Atta-kulla-kulla and nine other chieftains deserted in
disgust at the treatment accorded them, they were pursued by
Forbes's orders, apprehended and disarmed. This rude treatment,
coupled with the brutal and wanton murder of some Cherokee
hunters a little earlier, by an irresponsible band of Virginians
under Captain Robert Wade, still further aggravated the Indians.

Incited by the French, who had fled to the southward after the
fall of Fort Duquesne, parties of bloodthirsty young Indians
rushed down upon the settlements and left in their path death and
desolation along the frontiers of the Carolinas. On the upper
branch of the Yadkin and below the South Yadkin near Fort Dobbs
twenty-two whites fell in swift succession before the secret
onslaughts of the savages from the lower Cherokee towns. Many of
the settlers along the Yadkin fled to the Carolina Fort at
Bethabara and the stockade at the mill; and the sheriff of Rowan
County suffered siege by the Cherokees, in his home, until
rescued by a detachment under Brother Loesch from Bethabara.
While many families took refuge in Fort Dobbs, frontiersmen under
Captain Morgan Bryan ranged through the mountains to the west of
Salisbury and guarded the settlements from the hostile incursions
of the savages. So gravely alarmed were the Rowan settlers,
compelled by the Indians to desert their planting and crops, that
Colonel Harris was despatched post-haste for aid to Cape Fear,
arriving there on July 1st. With strenuous energy Captain
Waddell, then stationed in the east, rushed two companies of
thirty men each to the rescue, sending by water-carriage six
swivel guns and ammunition on before him; and these
reinforcements brought relief at last to the harassed Rowan
frontiers." During the remainder of the year, the borders were
kept clear by bold and tireless rangers-under the leadership of
expert Indian fighters of the stamp of Grifth Rutherford and
Morgan Bryan.

When the Cherokee warriors who had wrought havoc along the North
Carolina border in April arrived at their town of Settiquo, they
proudly displayed the twenty-two scalps of the slain Rowan
settlers. Upon the demand for these scalps by Captain Demere at
Fort Loudon and under direction of Atta-kulla-kulla, the Settiquo
warriors surrendered eleven of the scalps to Captain Demere who,
according to custom in time of peace, buried them. New murders on
Pacolet and along the Virginia Path, which occurred shortly
afterward, caused gloomy forebodings; and it was plain, says a
contemporary gazette, that "the lower Cherokees were not
satisfied with the murder of the Rowan settlers, but intended
further mischief". On October 1st and again on October 31st,
Governor Dobbs received urgent requests from Governor Lyttelton,
asking that the North Carolina provincials and militia cooperate
to bring him assistance. Although there was no law requiring the
troops to march out of the province and the exposed frontiers of
North Carolina sorely needed protection, Waddell, now
commissioned colonel, assembled a force of five small companies
and marched to the aid of Governor Lyttelton. But early in
January, 1760, while on the march, Waddell received a letter from
Lyttelton, informing him that the assistance was not needed and
that a treaty of peace had been negotiated with the Cherokees.

CHAPTER VI. Crushing the Cherokees

Thus ended the Cherokee war, which was among the last humbling
strokes given to the expiring power of France in North America.--Hewatt:
An Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of the
Colonies of South Carolina and Georgia. 1779.

Governor Lyttelton's treaty of "peace", negotiated with the
Cherokees at the close of 1759, was worse than a crime: it was a
crass and hideous blunder. His domineering attitude and
tyrannical treatment of these Indians had aroused the bitterest
animosity. Yet he did not realize that it was no longer safe to
trust their word. No sooner did the governor withdraw his army
from the borders than the cunning Cherokees, whose passions had
been inflamed by what may fairly be called the treacherous
conduct of Lyttelton, rushed down with merciless ferocity upon
the innocent and defenseless families on the frontier. On
February 1, 1760, while a large party (including the family of
Patrick Calhoun), numbering in all about one hundred and fifty
persons, were removing from the Long Cane settlement to Augusta,
they were suddenly attacked by a hundred mounted Cherokees, who
slaughtered about fifty of them. After the massacre, many of the
children were found helplessly wandering in the woods. One man
alone carried to Augusta no less than nine of the pitiful
innocents, some horribly mutilated with the tomahawk, others
scalped, and all yet alive.

Atrocities defying description continued to be committed, and
many people were slain. The Cherokees, under the leadership of
Si-lou-ee, or the Young Warrior of Estatoe, the Round O, Tiftoe,
and others, were baffled in their persistent efforts to capture
Fort Prince George. On February 16th the crafty Oconostota
appeared before the fort and under the pretext of desiring some
White man to accompany him on a visit to the governor on urgent
business, lured the commander, Lieutenant Coytomore, and two
attendants to a conference outside the gates. At a preconceived
signal a volley of shots rang out; the two attendants were
wounded, and Lieutenant Coytomore, riddled with bullets, fell
dead. Enraged by this act of treachery, the garrison put to death
the Indian hostages within. During the abortive attack upon the
fort, Oconostota, unaware of the murder of the hostages, was
heard shouting above the din of battle: "Fight strong, and you
shall be relieved."

Now began the dark days along the Rowan border, which were so
sorely to test human endurance. Many refugees fortified
themselves in the different stockades; and Colonel Hugh Waddell
with his redoubtable frontier company of Indian-fighters awaited
the onslaught of the savages, who were reported to have passed
through the mountain defiles and to be approaching along the
foot-hills. The story of the investment of Fort Dobbs and the
splendidly daring sortie of Waddell and Bailey is best told in
Waddell's report to Governor Dobbs (February 29, 1760):

"For several Days I observed a small party of Indians were
constantly about the fort, I sent out several parties after them
to no purpose, the Evening before last between 8 & 9 o'clock I
found by the Dogs making an uncommon Noise there must be a party
nigh a Spring which we sometimes use. As my Garrison is but
small, and I was apprehensive it might be a scheme to draw out
the Garrison, I took our Capt. Bailie who with myself and party
made up ten: We had not marched 300 yds. from the fort when we
were attacked by at least 60 or 70 Indians. I had given my party
Orders not to fire until I gave the word, which they punctually
observed: We rec'd the Indians' fire: When I perceived they had
almost all fired, I ordered my party to fire which We did not
further than 12 steps each loaded with a Bullet and 7 Buck Shot,
they had nothing to cover them as they were advancing either to
tomahawk us or make us Prisoners: They found the fire very hot
from so small a Number which a good deal confused them: I then
ordered my party to retreat, as I found the Instant our skirmish
began another party had attacked the fort, upon our reinforcing
the garrison the Indians were soon repulsed with I am sure a
considerable Loss, from what I myself saw as well as those I can
confide in they cou'd not have less than 10 or 12 killed and
wounded; The next Morning we found a great deal of Blood and one
dead whom I suppose they cou'd not find in the night. On my side
I had 2 Men wounded one of whom I am afraid will die as he is
scalped, the other is in way of Recovery, and one boy killed near
the fort whom they durst not advance to scalp. I expected they
would have paid me another visit last night, as they attack all
Fortifications by Night, but find they did not like their

Alarmed by Waddell's "offensive-defensive," the Indians abandoned
the siege. Robert Campbell, Waddell's ranger, who was scalped in
this engagement, subsequently recovered from his wounds and was
recompensed by the colony with the sum of twenty pounds.

In addition to the frontier militia, four independent companies
were now placed under Waddell's command. Companies of volunteers
scoured the woods in search of the lurking Indian foe. These
rangers, who were clad in hunting-shirts and buckskin leggings,
and who employed Indian tactics in fighting, were captained by
such hardy leaders as the veteran Morgan Bryan, the intrepid
Griffith Ruthe ford, the German partisan, Martin Phifer
(Pfeiffer), and Anthony Hampton, the father of General Wade
Hampton. They visited periodically a chain of "forest castles"
erected by the settlers--extending all the way from Fort Dobbs
and the Moravian fortifications in the Wachau to Samuel
Stalnaker's stockade on the Middle Fork of the Holston in
Virginia. About the middle of March, thirty volunteer Rowan
County rangers encountered a band of forty Cherokees, who
fortified themselves in a deserted house near the Catawba River.
The famous scout and hunter, John Perkins, assisted by one of his
bolder companions, crept up to the house and flung lighted
torches upon the roof. One of the Indians, as the smoke became
suffocating and the flames burned hotter, exclaimed: "Better for
one to die bravely than for all to perish miserably in the
flames," and darting forth, dashed rapidly hither and thither, in
order to draw as many shots as possible. This act of superb
self-sacrifice was successful; and while the rifles of the
whites, who riddled the brave Indian with balls, were empty, the
other savages made a wild dash for liberty. Seven fell thus under
the deadly rain of bullets; but many escaped. Ten of the Indians,
all told, lost their scalps, for which the volunteer rangers were
subsequently paid one hundred pounds by the colony of North

Beaten back from Fort Dobbs, sorely defeated along the Catawba,
hotly pursued by the rangers, the Cherokees continued to lurk in
the shadows of the dense forests, and at every opportunity to
fall suddenly upon way faring settlers and isolated cabins remote
from any stronghold. On March 8th William Fish, his son, and
Thompson, a companion, were riding along the "trace," in search
of provisions for a group of families fortified on the Yadkin,
when a flight of arrows hurtled from the cane-brake, and Fish and
his son fell dead. Although pierced with two arrows, one in the
hip and one clean through his body, Thompson escaped upon his
fleet horse; and after a night of ghastly suffering finally
reached the Carolina Fort at Bethabara. The good Dr. Bonn, by
skilfully extracting the barbed shafts from his body, saved
Thompson's life. The pious Moravians rejoiced over the recovery
of the brave messenger, whose sensational arrival gave them
timely warning of the close proximity of the Indians. While
feeding their cattle, settlers were shot from ambush by the
lurking foe; and on March 11th, a family barricaded within a
burning house, which they were defending with desperate courage,
were rescued in the nick of time by the militia. No episode from
Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales surpasses in melancholy
interest Harry Hicks's heroic defense of his little fort on Bean
Island Creek. Surrounded by the Indians, Hicks and his family
took refuge within the small outer palisade around his humble
home. Fighting desperately against terrific odds, he was finally
driven from his yard into his log cabin, which he continued to
defend with dauntless courage. With every shot he tried to send a
redskin to the happy hunting-grounds; and it was only after his
powder was exhausted that he fell, fighting to the last, beneath
the deadly tomahawk. So impressed were the Indians by his bravery
that they spared the life of his wife and his little son; and
these were afterward rescued by Waddell when he marched to the
Cherokee towns in 1761.

The kindly Moravians had always entertained with generous
hospitality the roving bands of Cherokees, who accordingly held
them in much esteem and spoke of Bethabara as "the Dutch Fort,
where there are good people and much bread." But now, in these
dread days, the truth of their daily text was brought forcibly
home to the Moravians: "Neither Nehemiah nor his brethren put off
their clothes, but prayed as they watched." With Bible in one
hand and rifle in the other, the inhabitant of Wachovia sternly
marched to religious worship. No Puritan of bleak New England
ever showed more resolute courage or greater will to defend the
hard-won outpost of civilization than did the pious Moravian of
the Wachau. At the new settlement of Bethania on Easter Day, more
than four hundred souls, including sixty rangers, listened
devoutly to the eloquent sermon of Bishop Spangenberg concerning
the way of salvation--the while their arms, stacked without the
Gemein Haus, were guarded by the watchful sentinel. On March 14th
the watchmen at Bethania with well-aimed shots repelled the
Indians, whose hideous yells of baffled rage sounded down the
wind like "the howling of a hundred wolves". Religion was no
protection against the savages; for three ministers journeying to
the present site of Salem were set upon by the red men--one
escaping, another suffering capture, and the third, a Baptist,
losing his life. A little later word came to Fort Dobbs that John
Long and Robert Gillespie of Salisbury had been shot from ambush
and scalped--Long having been pierced with eight bullets and
Gillespie with seven.

There is one beautiful incident recorded by the Moravians, which
has a truly symbolic significance. While the war was at its
height, a strong party of Cherokees, who had lost their chief,
planned in retaliation to attack Bethabara. "When they went
home," sets forth the Moravian Diary, "they said they had been to
a great town, where there were a great many people, where the
bells rang often, and during the night, time after time, a horn
was blown, so that they feared to attack the town and had taken
no prisoners." The trumpet of the watchman, announcing the
passing of the hour, had convinced the Indians that their plans
for attack were discovered; and the regular evening bell,
summoning the pious to prayer, rang in the stricken ears of the
red men like the clamant call to arms.

Following the retirement from office of Governor Lyttelton,
Lieutenant-Governor Bull proceeded to prosecute the war with
vigor. On April 1, 1760, twelve hundred men under Colonel
Archibald Montgomerie arrived at Charleston, with instructions to
strike an immediate blow and to relieve Fort Loudon, then
invested by the Cherokees. With his own force, two hundred and
ninety-five South Carolina Rangers, forty picked men of the new
"levies," and "a good number of guides," Montgomerie moved from
Fort Ninety-Six on May 28th. On the first of June, crossing
Twelve-Mile River, Montgomerie began the campaign in earnest,
devastating and burning every Indian village in the Valley of
Keowee, killing and capturing more than a hundred of the
Cherokees, and destroying immense stores of corn. Receiving no
reply to his summons to the Cherokees of the Middle and Upper
Towns to make peace or suffer like treatment, Montgomerie took up
his march from Fort Prince George on June 24th, resolved to carry
out his threat. On the morning of the 27th, he was drawn into an
ambuscade within six miles of Et-chow-ee, eight miles south of
the present Franklin, North Carolina, a mile and a half below
Smith's Bridge, and was vigorously attacked from dense cover by
some six hundred and thirty warriors led by Si-lou-ee. Fighting
with Indian tactics, the Provincial Rangers under Patrick Calhoun
particularly distinguished themselves; and the bloodcurdling
yells of the painted savages were responded to by the wild huzzas
of the kilted Highlanders who, waving their Scotch bonnets,
impetuously charged the redskins and drove them again and again
from their lurking-places. Nevertheless Montgomerie lost from
eighty to one hundred in killed and wounded, while the loss of
the Indians was supposed to be about half the loss of the whites.
Unable to care for his wounded and lacking the means of removing
his baggage, Montgomerie silently withdrew his forces. In so
doing, he acknowledged defeat, since he was compelled to abandon
his original intention of relieving the beleaguered garrison of
Fort London.

Captain Demere and his devoted little band, who had been
resolutely holding out, were now left to their tragic fate. After
the bread was exhausted, the garrison was reduced to the
necessity of eating dogs and horses; and the loyal aid of the
Indian wives of some of the garrison, who secretly brought them
supplies of food daily, enabled them to hold out still longer.
Realizing at last the futility of prolonging the hopeless
contest, Captain Demere surrendered the fort on August 8, 1760.
At daylight the next morning, while on the march to Fort Prince
George, the soldiers were set upon by the treacherous Cherokees,
who at the first onset killed Captain Demere and twenty-nine
others. A humane chieftain, Outassitus, says one of the gazettes
of the day, "went around the field calling upon the Indians to
desist, and making such representations to them as stopped the
further progress and effects of their barbarous and brutal rage,"
which expressed itself in scalping and hacking off the arms and
legs of the defenseless whites. Atta-kulla-kulla, who was
friendly to the whites, claimed Captain Stuart, the second
officer, as his captive, and bore him away by stealth. After nine
days' journey through the wilderness they encountered an advance
party under Major Andrew Lewis, sent out by Colonel Byrd, head of
a relieving army, to rescue and succor any of the garrison who
might effect their escape. Thus Stuart was restored to his
friends. This abortive and tragic campaign, in which the victory
lay conclusively with the Indians, ended when Byrd disbanded his
new levies and Montgomerie sailed from Charleston for the north
(August, 1760).

During the remainder of the year, the province of North Carolina
remained free of further alarms from the Indians. But the view
was generally entertained that one more joint Effort of North
Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia would have to be made in
order to humble the Cherokees. At the sessions of the North
Carolina Assembly in November and again in December, matters in
dispute between Governor Dobbs and the representatives of the
people made impossible the passage of a proposed aid bill,
providing for five hundred men to cooperate with Virginia and
South Carolina. Nevertheless volunteers in large numbers
patriotically marched from North Carolina to Charleston and the
Congaree (December, 1760, to April, 1761), to enlist in the
famous regiment being organized by Colonel Thomas Middleton. On
March 31, 1761, Governor Dobbs called together the Assembly to
act upon a letter received from General Amherst, outlining a more
vigorous plan of campaign appropriate to the succession of a
young and vigorous sovereign, George III. An aid bill was passed,
providing twenty thousand pounds for men and supplies; and one
regiment of five companies of one hundred men each, under the
command of Colonel Hugh Waddell, was mustered into service for
seven months' duty, beginning May 1, 1761.

On July 7, 1761, Colonel James Grant, detached from the main army
in command of a force of twenty-six hundred men, took up his
march from Fort Prince George. Attacked on June 10th two miles
south of the spot where Montgomerie was engaged the preceding
year, Grant's army, after a vigorous engagement lasting several
hours, drove off the Indians. The army then proceeded at leisure
to lay waste the fifteen towns of the Middle Settlements; and,
after this work of systematic devastation was over, returned to
Fort Prince George. Peace was concluded in September as the
result of this campaign; and in consequence the frontier was
pushed seventy miles farther to the west.

Meantime, Colonel Waddell with his force of five hundred North
Carolinians had acted in concert with Colonel William Byrd,
commanding the Virginia detachment. The combined forces went into
camp at Captain Samuel Stalnaker's old place on the Middle Fork
of Holston. Because of his deliberately dilatory policy, Byrd was
superseded in the command by Colonel Adam Stephen. Marching their
forces to the Long Island of Holston, Stephen and Waddell erected
there Fort Robinson, in compliance with the instructions of
Governor Fauquier, of Virginia. The Cherokees, heartily tired of
the war, now sued for peace, which was concluded, independent of
the treaty at Charleston, on November 19, 1761.

The successful termination of this campaign had an effect of
signal importance in the development of the expansionist spirit.
The rich and beautiful lands which fell under the eye of the
North Carolina and Virginia pioneers under Waddell, Byrd, and
Stephen, lured them irresistibly on to wider casts for fortune
and bolder explorations into the unknown, beckoning West.

CHAPTER VII. The Land Companies

It was thought good policy to settle those lands as fast as
possible, and that the granting them to men of the first
consequence who were likeliest and best able to procure large
bodies of people to settle on them was the most probable means of
effecting the end proposed.--Acting-Governor Nelson of Virginia
to the Earl of Hillsborough: 1770.

Although for several decades the Virginia traders had been
passing over the Great Trading Path to the towns of the Cherokees
and the Catawbas, it was not until the early years of the
eighteenth century that Virginians of imaginative vision directed
their eyes to the westward, intent upon crossing the mountains
and locating settlements as a firm barrier against the
imperialistic designs of France. Acting upon his oft-expressed
conviction that once the English settlers had established
themselves at the source of the James River "it would not be in
the power of the French to dislodge them," Governor Alexander
Spotswood in 1716, animated with the spirit of the pioneer, led
an expedition of fifty men and a train of pack-horses to the
mountains, arduously ascended to the summit of the Blue Ridge,
and claimed the country by right of discovery in behalf of his
sovereign. In the journal of John Fontaine this vivacious account
is given of the historic episode: "I graved my name on a tree by
the river side; and the Governor buried a bottle with a paper
enclosed on which he writ that he took possession of this place
in the name and for King George the First of England. We had a
good dinner, and after it we got the men together and loaded all
their arms and we drank the King's health in Burgundy and fired a
volley, and all the rest of the Royal Family in claret and a
volley. We drank the Governor's health and fired another volley."

By this jovial picnic, which the governor afterward commemorated
by presenting to each of the gentlemen who accompanied him a
golden horseshoe, inscribed with the legend, Sic juvat
transcendere montes, Alexander Spotswood anticipated by a third
of a century the more ambitious expedition on behalf of France by
Celoron de Bienville (see Chapter III), and gave a memorable
object-lesson in the true spirit of westward expansion. During
the ensuing years it began to dawn upon the minds of men of the
stamp of William Byrd and Joshua Gee that there was imperative
need for the establishment of a chain of settlements in the
trans-Alleghany, a great human wall to withstand the advancing
wave of French influence and occupation. By the fifth decade of
the century, as we have seen, the Virginia settlers, with their
squatter's claims and tomahawk rights, had pushed on to the
mountains; and great pressure was brought to bear upon the
council to issue grants for vast tracts of land in the uncharted
wilderness of the interior.

At this period the English ministry adopted the aggressive policy
already mentioned in connection with the French and Indian war,
indicative of a determination to contest with France the right to
occupy the interior of the continent. This policy had been
inaugurated by Virginia with the express purpose of stimulating
the adoption of a similar policy by North Carolina and
Pennsylvania. Two land companies, organized almost
simultaneously, actively promoted the preliminaries necessary to
settlement, despatching parties under expert leadership to
discover the passes through the mountains and to locate the best
land in the trans-Alleghany.

In June, 1749, a great corporation, the Loyal Land Company of
Virginia, received a grant of eight hundred thousand acres above
the North Carolina line and west of the mountains. Dr. Thomas
Walker, an expert surveyor, who in company with several other
gentlemen had made a tour of exploration through eastern
Tennessee and the Holston region in 1748, was chosen as the agent
of this company. Starting from his home in Albemarle County,
Virginia, March 6, 1750, accompanied by five stalwart pioneers,
Walker made a tour of exploration to the westward, being absent
four months and one week. On this journey, which carried the
party as far west as the Rockcastle River (May 11th) and as far
north as the present Paintsville, Kentucky, they named many
natural objects, such as mountains and rivers, after members of
the party. Their two principal achievements were the erection of
the first house built by white men between the Cumberland
Mountains and the Ohio River a feat, however, which led to no
important developments; and the discovery of the wonderful gap in
the Alleghanies to which Walker gave the name Cumberland, in
honor of the ruthless conqueror at Culloden, the "bloody duke."

In 1748 the Ohio Company was organized by Colonel Thomas Lee,
president of the Virginia council, and twelve other gentlemen, of
Virginia and Maryland. In their petition for five hundred
thousand acres, one of the declared objects of the company was
"to anticipate the French by taking possession of that country
southward of the Lakes to which the French had no right...."
By the royal order of May 19, 1749, the company was awarded two
hundred thousand acres, free of quit-rent for ten years; and the
promise was made of an additional award of the remainder
petitioned for, on condition of seating a hundred families upon
the original grant and the building and maintaining of a fort.
Christopher Gist, summoned from his remote home on the Yadkin in
North Carolina, was instructed "to search out and discover the
Lands upon the river Ohio & other adjoining branches of the
Mississippi down as low as the great Falls thereof." In this
journey, which began at Colonel Thomas Cresap's, in Maryland, in
October, 1750, and ended at Gist's home on May 18, 1751, Gist
visited the Lower Shawnee Town and the Lower Blue Licks, ascended
Pilot Knob almost two decades before Find lay and Boone, from the
same eminence, "saw with pleasure the beautiful level of
Kentucky," intersected Walker's route at two points, and crossed
Cumberland Mountain at Pound Gap on the return journey. This was
a far more extended journey than Walker's, enabling Gist to
explore the fertile valleys of the Muskingum, Scioto, and Miami
rivers and to gain a view of the beautiful meadows of Kentucky.

It is eminently significant of the spirit of the age, which was
inaugurating an era of land hunger unparalleled in American
history, that the first authentic records of the trans-Alleghany
were made by surveyors who visited the country as the agents of
great land companies. The outbreak of the French and Indian War
so soon afterward delayed for a decade and more any important
colonization of the West. Indeed, the explorations and findings
of Walker and Gist were almost unknown, even to the companies
they represented. But the conclusion of peace in 1763, which gave
all the region between the mountains and the Mississippi to the
British, heralded the true beginning of the westward expansionist
movement in the Old Southwest, and inaugurated the constructive
leadership of North Carolina in f he occupation and colonization
of the imperial domain of Kentucky and the Ohio Valley.

In the middle years of the century many families of Virginia
gentry removed to the back country of North Carolina in the
fertile region ranging from Williamsborough on the east to
Hillsborough on the west. There soon arose in this section of the
colony a society marked by intellectual distinction, social
graces, and the leisured dignity of the landlord and the large
planter. So conspicuous for means, intellect, culture, and
refinement were the people of this group, having "abundance of
wealth and leisure for enjoyment," that Governor Josiah Martin,
in passing through this region some years later, significantly
observes: "They have great preeminence, as well with respect to
soil and cultivation, as to the manners and condition of the
inhabitants, in which last respect the difference is so great
that one would be led to think them people of another region."
This new wealthy class which was now turning its gaze toward the
unoccupied lands along the frontier was "dominated by the
democratic ideals of pioneers rather than by the aristocratic
tendencies of slave-holding planters." From the cross-fertilization
of the ideas of two social groups--this back-country
gentry, of innate qualities of leadership, democratic
instincts, economic independence, and expansive tendencies, and
the primitive pioneer society of the frontier, frugal in taste,
responsive to leadership, bold, ready, and thorough in
execution--there evolved the militant American expansion in the Old

A conspicuous figure in this society of Virginia emigrants was a
young man named Richard Henderson, whose father had removed with
his family from Hanover County, Virginia, to Bute, afterward
Granville County, North Carolina, in 1742. Educated at home by a
private tutor, he began his career as assistant of his father,
Samuel Henderson, the High Sheriff of Granville County; and after
receiving a law-license, quickly acquired an extensive practice.
"Even in the superior courts where oratory and eloquence are as
brilliant and powerful as in Westminster hall," records an
English acquaintance, "he soon became distinguished and eminent,
and his superior genius shone forth with great splendour, and
universal applause." This young attorney, wedded to the daughter
of an Irish lord, often visited Salisbury on his legal circuit;
and here he became well acquainted with Squire Boone, one of the
"Worshipfull Justices," and often appeared in suits before him.
By his son, the nomadic Daniel Boone, conspicuous already for his
solitary wanderings across the dark green mountains to the
sun-lit valleys and boundless hunting-grounds beyond, Henderson
was from time to time regaled with bizarre and fascinating tales
of western exploration; and Boone, in his dark hour of poverty
and distress, when he was heavily involved financially, turned
for aid to this friend and his partner, who composed the law-firm
of Williams and Henderson.

Boone's vivid descriptions of the paradise of the West stimulated
Henderson's imaginative mind and attracted his attention to the
rich possibilities of unoccupied lands there. While the Board of
Trade in drafting the royal proclamation of October 7, 1763,
forbade the granting of lands in the vast interior, which was
specifically reserved to the Indians, it was clearly not their
intention to set permanent western limits to the colonies. The
prevailing opinion among the shrewdest men of the period was well
expressed by George Washington, who wrote his agent for
preempting western lands: "I can never look upon that
proclamation in any other light (but I say this between
ourselves) than as a temporary expedient to quiet the minds of
the Indians." And again in 1767: "It (the proclamation of 1763)
must fall, of course, in a few years, especially when those
Indians consent to our occupying the lands. Any person,
therefore, who neglects the present opportunity of hunting out
good lands, and in some measure marking out and distinguishing
them for his own, in order to keep others from settling them,
will never regain it." Washington had added greatly to his
holdings of bounty lands in the West by purchasing at trivial
prices the claims of many of the officers and soldiers. Three
years later we find him surveying extensive tracts along the Ohio
and the Great Kanawha, and, with the vision of the expansionist,
making large plans for the establishment of a colony to be seated
upon his own lands. Henderson, too, recognized the importance of
the great country west of the Appalachians. He agreed with the
opinion of Benjamin Franklin, who in 1756 called it "one of the
finest in North America for the extreme richness and fertility of
the land, the healthy temperature of the air and the mildness of
the climate, the plenty of hunting, fishing and fowling, the
facility of trade with the Indians and the vast convenience of
inland navigation or water carriage." Henderson therefore
proceeded to organize a land company for the purpose of acquiring
and colonizing a large domain in the West. This partnership,
which was entitled Richard Henderson and Company, was composed of
a few associates, including Richard Henderson, his uncle and
law-partner, John Williams, and, in all probability, their close
friends Thomas and Nathaniel Hart of Orange County, North
Carolina, immigrants from Hanover County, Virginia.

Seizing the opportunity presented just after the conclusion of
peace, the company engaged Daniel Boone as scout and surveyor. He
was instructed, while hunting and trapping on his own account, to
examine, with respect to their location and fertility, the lands
which he visited, and to report his findings upon his return. The
secret expedition must have been transacted with commendable
circumspection; for although in after years it became common
knowledge among his friends that he had acted as the company's
agent, Boone himself consistently refrained from betraying the
confidence of his employers. Upon a similar mission, Gist had
carefully concealed from the suspicious Indians the fact that he
carried a compass, which they wittily termed "land stealer"; and
Washington likewise imposed secrecy upon his land agent Crawford,
insisting that the operation be carried on under the guise of
hunting game." The discreet Boone, taciturn and given to keeping
his own counsel, in one instance at least deemed it advantageous
to communicate the purpose of his mission to some hunters, well
known to him, in order to secure the results of their information
in regard to the best lands they had encountered in the course of
their hunting expedition. Boone came among the hunters, known as
the "Blevens connection," at one of their Tennessee station camps
on their return from a long hunt in Kentucky, in order, as
expressed in the quaint phraseology of the period, to be
"informed of the geography and locography of these woods, saying
that he was employed to explore them by Henderson & Company." The
acquaintance which Boone on this occasion formed with a member of
the party, Henry Scaggs, the skilled hunter and explorer, was
soon to bear fruit; for shortly afterward Scaggs was employed as
prospector by the same land company. In 1764 Scaggs had passed
through Cumberland Gap and hunted for the season on the
Cumberland; and accordingly the following year, as the agent of
Richard Henderson and Company, he was despatched on an extended
exploration to the lower Cumberland, fixing his station at the
salt lick afterward known as Mansker's Lick.

Richard Henderson thus, it appears, "enlisted the Harts and
others in an enterprise which his own genius planned," says Peck,
the personal acquaintance and biographer of Boone, "and then
encouraged several hunters to explore the country and learn where
the best lands lay." Just why Henderson and his associates did
not act sooner upon the reports brought back by the
hunters--Boone and Scaggs and Callaway, who accompanied Boone in
1764 in the interest of the land company "is not known; but in
all probability the fragmentary nature of these reports, however
glowing and enthusiastic, was sufficient cause for the delay of
five years before the land company, through the agency of Boone
and Findlay, succeeded in having a thorough exploration inside of
the Kentucky region. Delay was also caused by rival claims to the
territory. In the Virginia Gazette of December 1, 1768, Henderson
must have read with astonishment not unmixed with dismay that
"the Six Nations and all their tributaries have granted a vast
extent of country to his majesty, and the Proprietaries of
Pennsylvania, and settled an advantageous boundary line between
their hunting country and this, and the other colonies to the
Southward as far as the Cherokee River, for which they received
the most valuable present in goods and dollars that was ever
given at any conference since the settlement of America." The
news was now bruited about through the colony of North Carolina,
that the Cherokees were hot in their resentment because the
Northern Indians, the inveterate foes of the Cherokees and the
perpetual disputants for the vast Middle Ground of Kentucky, had
received at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, November 5, 1768, an
immense compensation from the crown for the territory which they,
the Cherokees, claimed from time immemorial. Only three weeks
before, John Stuart, Superintendent for Indian Affairs in the
Southern Department, had negotiated with the Cherokees the Treaty
of Hard Labor, South Carolina (October 14th), by which Governor
Tryon's line of 1767, from Reedy River to Tryon Mountain, was
continued direct to Colonel Chiswell's mine, the present
Wytheville, Virginia, and thence in a straight Brie to the mouth
of the Great Kanawha. Thus at the close of the year 1768 the
crown through both royal governor and superintendent of Indian
affairs acknowledged in fair and open treaty the right of the
Cherokees, whose Tennessee villages guarded the gateway, to the
valley lands east of the mountain barrier as well as to the dim
mid-region of Kentucky. In the very act of negotiating the Treaty
of Fort Stanwix, Sir William Johnson privately acknowledged that
possession of the trans-Alleghany could be legally obtained only
by extinguishing the title of the Cherokees.

These conflicting claims soon led to collisions between the
Indians and the company's settlers. In the spring of 1769
occurred one of those incidents in the westward advance which,
though slight in itself, was to have a definite bearing upon the
course of events in later years. In pursuance of his policy, as
agent of the Loyal Land Company, of promoting settlement upon the
company's lands, Dr. Thomas Walker, who had visited Powell's
Valley the preceding year and come into possession of a very
large tract there, simultaneously made proposals to one party of
men including the Kirtleys, Captain Rucker, and others, and to
another party led by Joseph Martin, trader of Orange County,
Virginia, afterward a striking figure in the Old Southwest. The
fevered race by these bands of eighteenth-century "sooners" for
possession of an early "Cherokee Strip" was won by the latter
band, who at once took possession and began to clear; so that
when the Kirtleys arrived, Martin coolly handed them "a letter
from Dr. Walker that informed them that if we got to the valley
first, we were to have 21,000 acres of land, and they were not to
interfere with us." Martin and his companions were delighted with
the beautiful valley at the base of the Cumberland, quickly "eat
and destroyed 23 deer--15 bears--2 buffaloes and a great quantity
of turkeys," and entertained gentlemen from Virginia and Maryland
who desired to settle more than a hundred families there. The
company reckoned, however, without their hosts, the Cherokees,
who, fortified by the treaty of Hard Labor (1768) which left this
country within the Indian reservation, were determined to drive
Martin and his company out. While hunting on the Cumberland
River, northwest of Cumberland Gap, Martin and his company were
surrounded and disarmed by a party of Cherokees who said they had
orders from Cameron, the royal agent, to rob all white men
hunting on their lands. When Martin and his party arrived at
their station in Powell's Valley, they found it broken up and
their goods stolen by the Indians, which left them no recourse
but to return to the settlements in Virginia. It was not until
six years later that Martin, under the stable influence of the
Transylvania Company, was enabled to return to this spot and
erect there the station which was to play an integral part in the
progress of westward expansion.

Before going on to relate Boone's explorations of Kentucky under
the auspices of the land company, it will be convenient to turn
back for a moment and give some account of other hunters and
explorers who visited that territory between the time of its
discovery by Walker and Gist and the advent of Boone.

CHAPTER VIII. The Long Hunters in the Twilight Zone

The long Hunters principally resided in the upper countries of
Virginia & North Carolina on New River & Holston River, and when
they intended to make a long Hunt (as they calls it) they
Collected near the head of Holston near whare Abingdon now
stands....--General William Hall.

Before the coming of Walker and Gist in 1750 and 1751
respectively, the region now called Kentucky had, as far as we
know, been twice visited by the French, once in 1729 when
Chaussegros de Lery and his party visited the Big Bone Lick, and
again in the summer of 1749 when the Baron de Longueuil with four
hundred and fifty-two Frenchmen and Indians, going to join
Bienville in an expedition against "the Cherickees and other
Indians lying at the back of Carolina and Georgia," doubtless
encamped on the Kentucky shore of the Ohio. Kentucky was also
traversed by John Peter Salling with his three adventurous
companions in their journey through the Middle West in 1742. But
all these early visits, including the memorable expeditions of
Walker and Gist, were so little known to the general public that
when John Filson wrote the history of Kentucky in 1784 he
attributed its discovery to James McBride in 1754. More
influential upon the course of westward expansion was an
adventure which occurred in 1752, the very year in which the
Boones settled down in their Vadkin home.

In the autumn of 1752, a Pennsylvania trader, John Findlay, with
three or four companions, descended the Ohio River in a canoe as
far as the falls at the present Louisville, Kentucky, and
accompanied a party of Shawnees to their town of
Es-kip-pa-ki-thi-ki, eleven miles east of what is now Winchester.

This was the site of the "Indian Old Corn Field," the Iroquois
name for which ("the place of many fields," or "prairie") was
Ken-take, whence came the name of the state.

Five miles east of this spot, where still may be seen a mound and
an ellipse showing the outline of the stockade, is the famous
Pilot Knob, from the summit of which the fields surrounding the
town lie visible in their smooth expanse. During Findlay's stay
at the Indian town other traders from Pennsylvania and Virginia,
who reported that they were "on their return from trading with
the Cuttawas (Catawbas), a nation who live in the Territories of
Carolina," assembled in the vicinity in January, 1753. Here, as
the result of disputes arising from their barter, they were set
upon and captured by a large party of straggling Indians
(Coghnawagas from Montreal) on January 26th; but Findlay and
another trader named James Lowry were so fortunate as to escape
and return through the wilderness to the Pennsylvania
settlements." The incident is of important historic significance;
for it was from these traders, who must have followed the Great
Warriors' Path to the country of the Catawbas, that Findlay
learned of the Ouasioto (Cumberland) Gap traversed by the Indian
path. His reminiscences of this gateway to Kentucky, of the site
of the old Indian town on Lulbegrud Creek, a tributary of the Red
River, and of the Pilot Knobwere sixteen years later to fire
Boone to his great tour of exploration in behalf of the
Transylvania Company.

During the next two decades, largely because of the hostility of
the savage tribes, only a few traders and hunters from the east
ranged through the trans-Alleghany. But in 1761, a party of
hunters led by a rough frontiersman, Elisha Walden, penetrated
into Powell's Valley, followed the Indian trail through
Cumberland Gap, explored the Cumberland River, and finally
reached the Laurel Mountain where, encountering a party of
Indians, they deemed it expedient to return. With Walden went
Henry Scaggs, afterward explorer for the Henderson Land Company,
William Elevens and Charles Cox, the famous Virginia hunters, one
Newman, and some fifteen other stout pioneers. Their itinerary
may be traced from the names given to natural objects in honor of
members of the party--Walden's Mountain and Walden's Creek,
Scaggs' Ridge and Newman's Ridge. Following the peace of 1763,
which made travel in this region moderately safe once more, the
English proceeded to occupy the territory which they had won. In
1765 George Croghan with a small party, on the way to prepare the
inhabitants of the Illinois country for transfer to English
sovereignty, visited the Great Bone Licks of Kentucky (May 30th,
31st); and a year later Captain Harry Gordon, chief engineer in
the Western Department in North America, visited and minutely
described the same licks and the falls. But these, and numerous
other water-journeys and expeditions of which no records were
kept, though interesting enough in themselves, had little bearing
upon the larger phases of westward expansion and colonization.

The decade opening with the year 1765 is the epoch of bold and
ever bolder exploration--the more adventurous frontiersmen of the
border pushing deep into the wilderness in search of game, lured
on by the excitements of the chase and the profit to be derived
from the sale of peltries. In midsummer, 1766, Captain James
Smith, Joshua Horton, Uriah Stone, William Baker, and a young
mulatto slave passed through Cumberland Gap, hunted through the
country south of the Cherokee and along the Cumberland and
Tennessee rivers, and as Smith reports "found no vestige of any
white man." During the same year a party of five hunters from
South Carolina, led by Isaac Lindsey, penetrated the Kentucky
wilderness to the tributary of the Cumberland, named Stone's
River by the former party, for one of their number. Here they
encountered two men, who were among the greatest of the western
pioneers, and were destined to leave their names in historic
association with the early settlement of Kentucky, James Harrod
and Michael Stoner, a German, both of whom had descended the Ohio
from Fort Pitt. With the year 1769 began those longer and more
extended excursions into the interior which were to result in
conveying at last to the outside world graphic and detailed
information concerning "the wonderful new country of Cantucky."
In the late spring of this year Hancock and Richard Taylor (the
latter the father of President Zachary Taylor), Abraham
Hempinstall, and one Barbour, all true-blue frontiersmen, left
their homes in Orange County, Virginia, and hunted extensively in
Kentucky and Arkansas. Two of the party traveled through Georgia
and East and West Florida; while the other two hunted on the
Washita during the winter of 1770-1. Explorations of this type
became increasingly hazardous as the animosity of the Indians
increased; and from this time onward for a number of years almost
all the parties of roving hunters suffered capture or attack by
the crafty red men. In this same year Major John McCulloch,
living on the south branch of the Potomac, set out accompanied by
a white man-servant and a negro, to explore the western country.
While passing down the Ohio from Pittsburgh McCulloch was
captured by the Indians near the mouth of the Wabash and carried
to the present site of Terre Haute, Indiana. Set free after four
or five months, he journeyed in company with some French
voyageurs first to Natchez and then to New Orleans, whence he
made the sea voyage to Philadelphia. Somewhat later, Benjamin
Cleveland (afterward famous in the Revolution), attended by four
companions, set out from his home on the upper Yadkin to explore
the Kentucky wilderness. After passing through Cumberland Gap,
they encountered a band of Cherokees who plundered them of
everything they had, even to their hats and shoes, and ordered
them to leave the Indian hunting-grounds. On their return journey
they almost starved, and Cleveland, who was reluctantly forced to
kill his faithful little hunting-dog, was wont to declare in
after years that it was the sweetest meat he ever ate.

Fired to adventure by the glowing accounts brought back by Uriah
Stone, a much more formidable band than any that had hitherto
ventured westward--including Uriah Stone as pilot, Gasper
Mansker, John Rains, Isaac Bledsoe, and a dozen others--assembled
in June, 1769, in the New River region. "Each Man carried two
horses," says an early pioneer in describing one of these
parties, "traps, a large supply of powder and led, and a small
hand vise and bellows, files and screw plate for the purpose of
fixing the guns if any of them should get out of fix." Passing
through Cumberland Gap, they continued their long journey until
they reached Price's Meadow, in the present Wayne County,
Kentucky, where they established their encampment. In the course
of their explorations, during which they gave various names to
prominent natural features, they established their "station camp"
on a creek in Sumner County, Tennessee, whence originated the
name of Station Camp Creek. Isaac Bledsoe and Gasper Mansker,
agreeing to travel from here in opposite directions along a
buffalo trace passing near the camp, each succeeded in
discovering the famous salt-lick which bears his name--namely
Bledsoe's Lick and Mansker's Lick. The flat surrounding the lick,
about one hundred acres in extent, discovered by Bledsoe,
according to his own statement "was principally Covered with
buffelows in every direction--not hundreds but thousands." As he
sat on his horse, he shot down two deer in the lick; but the
buffaloes blindly trod them in the mud. They did not mind him and
his horse except when the wind blew the scent in their nostrils,
when they would break and run in droves. Indians often lurked in
the neighbourhood of these hunters--plundering their camp,
robbing them, and even shooting down one of their number, Robert
Crockett, from ambush. After many trials and vicissitudes, which
included a journey to the Spanish Natchez and the loss of a great
mass of peltries when they were plundered by Piomingo and a war
party of Chickasaws, they finilly reached home in the late spring
of 1770."

The most notable expedition of this period, projected under the
auspices of two bold leaders extraordinarily skilled in
woodcraft, Joseph Drake and Henry Scaggs, was organized in the
early autumn of 1770. This imposing band of stalwart hunters from
the New River and Holston country, some forty in number, garbed
in hunting shirts, leggings, and moccasins, with three
pack-horses to each man, rifles, ammunition, traps, dogs,
blankets, and salt, pushed boldly through Cumberland Gap into the
heart of what was later justly named the "Dark and Bloody Ground"
(see Chapter XIV)--"not doubting," says an old border chronicler,
"that they were to be encountered by Indians, and to subsist on
game." From the duration of their absence from home, they
received the name of the Long Hunters--the romantic appellation
by which they are known in the pioneer history of the Old
Southwest. Many natural objects were named by this party--in
particular Dick's River, after the noted Cherokee hunter, Captain
Dick, who, pleased to be recognized by Charles Scaggs, told the
Long Hunters that on HIS river, pointing it out, they would find
meat plenty--adding with laconic signifigance: "Kill it and go
home." From the Knob Lick, in Lincoln County, as reported by a
member of the party, "they beheld largely over a thousand
animals, including buffaloe, elk, bear, and deer, with many wild
turkies scattered among them; all quite restless, some playing,
and others busily employed in licking the earth.... The
buffaloe and other animals had so eaten away the soil, that they
could, in places, go entirely underground." Upon the return of a
detachment to Virginia, fourteen fearless hunters chose to
remain; and one day, during the absence of some of the band upon
a long exploring trip, the camp was attacked by a straggling
party of Indians under Will Emery, a halfbreed Cherokee. Two of
the hunters were carried into captivity and never heard of again;
a third managed to escape. In embittered commemoration of the
plunder of the camp and the destruction of the peltries, they
inscribed upon a poplar, which had lost its bark, this emphatic
record, followed by their names:

2300 Deer Skins lost Ruination by God

Undismayed by this depressing stroke of fortune, they continued
their hunt in the direction of the lick which Bledsoe had
discovered the preceding year. Shortly after this discovery, a
French voyageur from the Illinois who had hunted and traded in
this region for a decade, Timothe de Monbreun, subsequently
famous in the history of Tennessee, had visited the lick and
killed an enormous number of buffaloes for their tallow and
tongues with which he and his companion loaded a keel boat and
descended the Cumberland. An early pioneer, William Hall, learned
from Isaac Bledsoe that when "the long hunters Crossed the ridge
and came down on Bledsoe's Creek in four or five miles of the
Lick the Cane had grown up so thick in the woods that they
thought they had mistaken the place until they Came to the Lick
and saw what had been done.... One could walk for several
hundred yards a round the Lick and in the lick on buffellows
Skuls, & bones and the whole flat round the Lick was bleached
with buffellows bones, and they found out the Cause of the Canes
growing up so suddenly a few miles around the Lick which was in
Consequence of so many buffellows being killed."

This expedition was of genuine importance, opening the eyes of
the frontiersmen to the charms of the country and influencing
many to settle subsequently in the West, some in Tennessee, some
in Kentucky. The elaborate and detailed information brought back
by Henry Scaggs exerted an appreciable influence, no doubt, in
accelerating the plans of Richard Henderson and Company for the
acquisition and colonization of the trans-Alleghany. But while
the "Long Hunters" were in Tennessee and Kentucky the same region
was being more extensively and systematically explored by Daniel
Boone. To his life, character, and attainments, as the typical
"long hunter" and the most influential pioneer we may now turn
our particular attention.

CHAPTER IX. Daniel Boone and Wilderness Exploration

Here, where the hand of violence shed the blood of the innocent;
where the horrid yells of the savages, and the groans of the
distressed, sounded in our ears, we now hear the praises and
adorations of our Creator; where wretched wigwams stood, the
miserable abodes of savages, we behold the foundations of cities
laid, that, in all probability, will equal the glory of the
greatest upon earth.--Daniel Boone, 1781.

The wandering life of a border Nimrod in a surpassingly beautiful
country teeming with game was the ideal of the frontiersman of
the eighteenth century. AS early as 1728, while running the
dividing line between North Carolina and Virginia, William Byrd
encountered along the North Carolina frontier the typical figure
of the professional hunter: "a famous Woodsman, call'd
Epaphroditus Bainton. This Forester Spends all his time in
ranging the Woods, and is said to make great Havock among the
Deer, and other Inhabitants of the Forest, not much wilder than
himself." By the middle of the century, as he was threading his
way through the Carolina piedmont zone, the hunter's paradise of
the Yadkin and Catawba country, Bishop Spangenberg found ranging
there many hunters, living like Indians, who killed thousands of
deer each year and sold the skins in the local markets or to the
fur-traders from Virginia whose heavy pack-trains with their
tinkling bells constantly traversed the course of the Great
Trading Path. The superlative skill of one of these hunters, both
as woodsman and marksman, was proverbial along the border. The
name of Daniel Boone became synonymous with expert huntsmanship
and almost uncanny wisdom in forest lore. The bottoms of the
creek near the Boone home, three miles west of present
Mocksville, contained a heavy growth of beech, which dropped
large quantities of its rich nuts or mast, greatly relished by
bears; and this creek received its name, Bear Creek, because
Daniel and his father killed in its rich bottoms ninety-nine
bears in a single hunting-season. After living for a time with
his young wife, Rebecca Bryan, in a cabin in his father's yard,
Daniel built a home of his own upon a tract of land, purchased
from his father on October 12, 1759, and lying on Sugar Tree, a
tributary of Dutchman's Creek. Here he dwelt for the next five
years, with the exception of the period of his temporary removal
to Virginia during the terrible era of the Indian war. Most of
his time during the autumn and winter, when he was not engaged in
wagoning or farming, he spent in long hunting-journeys into the
mountains to the west and northwest. During the hunting-season of
1760 he struck deeper than ever before into the western mountain
region and encamped in a natural rocky shelter amidst fine
hunting-grounds, in what is now Washington County in east
Tennessee. Of the scores of inscriptions commemorative of his
hunting-feats, which Boone with pardonable pride was accustomed
throughout his life time to engrave with his hunting-knife upon
trees and rocks, the earliest known is found upon a leaning beech
tree, only recently fallen, near his camp and the creek which
since that day has borne his name. This is a characteristic and
enduring record in the history of American exploration

        D. Boon
  CillED   A. BAR  On
     in      The

Late in the summer of the following year Boone marched under the
command of the noted Indian-fighter of the border, Colonel Hugh
Waddell, in his campaign against the Cherokees. From the lips of
Waddell, who was outspoken in his condemnation of Byrd's futile
delays in road-cutting and fort-building, Boone learned the true
secret of success in Indian warfare, which was lost upon
Braddock, Forbes, and later St. Clair: that the art of defeating
red men was to deal them a sudden and unexpected blow, before
they had time either to learn the strength of the force employed
against them or to lay with subtle craft their artful ambuscade.

In the late autumn of 1761, Daniel Boone and Nathaniel Gist, the
son of Washington's famous guide, who were both serving under
Waddell, temporarily detached themselves from his command and led
a small party on a "long hunt" in the Valley of the Holston,
While encamping near the site of Black's Fort, subsequently
built, they were violently assailed by a pack of fierce wolves
which they had considerable difficulty in beating off; and from
this incident the locality became known as Wolf Hills (now
Abingdon, Virginia).

From this time forward Boone's roving instincts had full sway.
For many months each year he threaded his way through that
marvelously beautiful country of western North Carolina
felicitously described as the Switzerland of America. Boone's
love of solitude and the murmuring forest was surely inspired by
the phenomenal beauties of the country' through which he roamed
at will. Blowing Rock on one arm of a great horseshoe of
mountains and Tryon Mountain upon the other arm, overlooked an
enormous, primeval bowl, studded by a thousand emerald-clad
eminences. There was the Pilot Mountain, the towering and
isolated pile which from time immemorial had served the
aborigines as a guide in their forest wanderings; there was the
dizzy height of the Roan on the border; there was Mt. Mitchell,
portentous in its grandeur, the tallest peak on the continent
east of the Rockies; and there was the Grandfather, the oldest
mountain on earth according to geologists, of which it has been

  Oldest of all terrestrial things--still holding
  Thy wrinkled forehead high;
  Whose every scam, earth's history enfolding,
  Grim science doth defy!

  Thou caught'st the far faint ray from Sirius rising,
  When through space first was hurled
  The primal gloom of ancient voids surprising,
  This atom, called the World!

What more gratifying to the eye of the wanderer than the
luxuriant vegetation and lavish profusion of the gorgeous flowers
upon the mountain slopes, radiant rhododendron, rosebay, and
laurel, and the azalea rising like flame; or the rare beauties of
the water--the cataract of Linville, taking its shimmering leap
into the gorge, and that romantic river poetically celebrated in
the lines:

  Swannanoa, nymph of beauty,
  I would woo thee in my rhyme,
  Wildest, brightest, loveliest river
  Of our sunny Southern clime.
     * * *
  Gone forever from the borders
  But immortal in thy name,
  Are the Red Men of the forest
  Be thou keeper of their fame!
  Paler races dwell beside thee,
  Celt and Saxon till thy lands
  Wedding use unto thy beauty
  Linking over thee their hands.

The long rambling excursions which Boone made through western
North Carolina and eastern Tennessee enabled him to explore every
nook and corner of the rugged and beautiful mountain region.
Among the companions and contemporaries with whom he hunted and
explored the country were his little son James and his brother
Jesse; the Linville who gave the name to the beautiful falls;
Julius Caesar Dugger, whose rock house stood near the head of Elk
Creek; and Nathaniel Gist, who described for him the lofty
gateway to Kentucky, through which Christopher Gist had passed in
1751. Boone had already heard of this gateway, from Findlay, and
it was one of the secret and cherished ambitions of his life to
scale the mountain wall of the Appalachians and to reach that
high portal of the Cumberland which beckoned to the mysterious
new Eden beyond. Although hunting was an endless delight to Boone
he was haunted in the midst of this pleasure, as was Kipling's
Explorer, by the lure of the undiscovered:

Till a voice as bad as conscience, rang interminable changes
On one everlasting whisper day and night repeated--so:
'Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the
ranges--'Something lost behind the ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go.'

Of Boone's preliminary explorations for the land company known as
Richard Henderson and Company, an account has already been given;
and the delay in following them up has been touched on and in
part explained. Meanwhile Boone transferred his efforts for a
time to another field. Toward the close of the summer of 1765 a
party consisting of Major John Field, William Hill, one
Slaughter, and two others, all from Culpeper County, Virginia,
visited Boone and induced him to accompany them on the "long
Journey" to Florida, whither they were attracted by the liberal
offer of Colonel James Grant, governor of the eastern section,
the Florida of to-day. On this long and arduous expedition they
suffered many hardships and endured many privations, found little
game, and on one occasion narrowly escaped starvation. They
explored Florida from St. Augustine to Pensacola; and Boone, who
relished fresh scenes and a new environment, purchased a house
and lot in Pensacola in anticipation of removal thither. But upon
his return home, finding his wife unwilling to go, Boone once
more turned his eager eye toward the West, that mysterious and
alluring region beyond the great range, the fabled paradise of

The following year four young men from the Yadkin, Benjamin
Cutbird, John Stewart (Boone's brother-in-law who afterwards
accompanied him to Kentucky), John Baker, and James Ward made a
remarkable journey to the westward, crossing the Appalachian
mountain chain over some unknown route, and finally reaching the
Mississippi. The significance of the journey, in its bearing upon
westward expansion, inheres in the fact that while for more than
half a century the English traders from South Carolina had been
winning their way to the Mississippi along the lower routes and
Indian trails, this was the first party from either of the
Carolinas, as far as is known, that ever reached the Mississippi
by crossing the great mountain barrier. When Cutbird, a superb
woodsman and veritable Leather stocking, narrated to Boone the
story of his adventures, it only confirmed Boone in his
determination to find the passage through the mountain chain
leading to the Mesopotamia of Kentucky.

Such an enterprise was attended by terrible dangers. During 1766
and 1767 the steady encroachments of the white settlers upon the
ancestral domain which the Indians reserved for their imperial
hunting-preserve aroused bitter feelings of resentment among the
red men. Bloody reprisal was often the sequel to such
encroachment. The vast region of Tennessee and the
trans-Alleghany was a twilight zone, through which the savages
roamed at will. From time to time war parties of northern
Indians, the inveterate foes of the Cherokees, scouted through
this no-man's land and even penetrated into the western region of
North Carolina, committing murders and depredations upon the
Cherokees and the whites indiscriminately. During the summer of
1766, while Boone's friend and close connection, Captain William
Linville, his son John, and another young man, named John
Williams, were in camp some ten miles below Linville Falls, they
were unexpectedly fired upon by a hostile band of Northern
Indians, and before they had time to fire a shot, a second volley
killed both the Linvilles and severely wounded Williams, who
after extraordinary sufferings finally reached the settlements."
In May, 1767, four traders and a half-breed child of one of them
were killed in the Cherokee country. In the summer of this year
Governor William Tryon of North Carolina laid out the boundary
line of the Cherokees, and upon his return issued a proclamation
forbidding any purchase of land from the Indians and any issuance
of grants for land within one mile of the boundary line. Despite
this wise precaution, seven North Carolina hunters who during the
following September had lawlessly ventured into the mountain
region some sixty miles beyond the boundary were fired upon, and
several of them killed, by the resentful Cherokees Undismayed by
these signs of impending danger, undeterred even by the tragic
fate of the Linvilles, Daniel Boone, with the determination of
the indomitable pioneer, never dreamed of relinquishing his
long-cherished design. Discouraged by the steady disappearance of
game under the ruthless attack of innumerable hunters, Boone
continued to direct his thoughts toward the project of exploring
the fair region of Kentucky. The adventurous William Hill, to
whom Boone communicated his purpose, readily consented to go with
him; and in the autumn of 1768 Boone and Hill, accompanied, it is
believed, by Squire Boone, Daniel's brother, set forth upon their
almost inconceivably hazardous expedition. They crossed the Blue
Ridge and the Alleghanies, the Holston and Clinch rivers near
their sources, and finally reached the head waters of the West
Fork of the Big Sand. Surmising from its course that this stream
must flow into the Ohio, they pushed on a hundred miles to the
westward and finally, by following a buffalo path, reached a
salt-spring in what is now Floyd County, in the extreme eastern
section of Kentucky. Here Boone beheld great droves of buffalo
that visited the salt-spring to drink the water or lick the
brackish soil. After spending the winter in hunting and trapping,
the Boones and Hill, discouraged by the forbidding aspect of the
hill-country which with its dense growth of laurel was
exceedingly difficult to penetrate, abandoned all hope of finding
Kentucky by this route and wended their arduous way back to the

The account of Boone's subsequent accomplishment of his purpose
must be postponed to the next chapter.

CHAPTER X. Daniel Boone in Kentucky

He felt very much as Columbus did, gazing from his caravel on San
Salvador; as Cortes, looking down, from the crest of Ahualco, on
the Valley of Mexico; or Vasco Nunez, standing alone on the peak
of Darien, and stretching his eyes over the hitherto undiscovered
waters of the Pacific.---William Gilmore Simms: Views and

A chance acquaintance formed by Daniel Boone, during the French
and Indian War, with the Irish lover of adventure, John Findlay,
was the origin of Boone's cherished longing to reach the El
Dorado of the West. In this slight incident we may discern the
initial inspiration for the epochal movement of westward
expansion. Findlay was a trader and horse peddler, who had early
migrated to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He had been licensed a trader
with the Indians in 1747. During the same year he was married to
Elizabeth Harris, daughter of John Harris, the Indian-trader at
Harris's Ferry on the Susquehanna River, after whom Harrisburg
was named. During the next eight years Findlay carried on his
business of trading in the interior. Upon the opening of the
French and Indian War he was probably among "the young men about
Paxtang who enlisted immediately," and served as a waggoner in
Braddock's expedition. Over the campfires, during the ensuing
campaign in 1765, young Boone was an eager listener to Findlay's
stirring narrative of his adventures in the Ohio Valley and on
the wonderfully beautiful levels of Kentucky in 1752. The fancies
aroused in his brooding mind by Findlay's moving recital and his
description of an ancient passage through the Ouasioto or
Cumberland Gap and along the course of the Warrior's Path,
inspired him with an irrepressible longing to reach that alluring
promised land which was the perfect realization of the hunter's

Thirteen years later, while engaged in selling pins, needles,
thread, and Irish linens in the Yadkin country, Findlay learned
from the Pennsylvania settlers at Salisbury or at the Forks of
the Yadkin of Boone's removal to the waters of the upper Yadkin.
At Boone's rustic home, in the winter of 1768-9, Findlay visited
his old comrade-in-arms of Braddock's campaign. On learning of
Boone's failure during the preceding year to reach the Kentucky
levels by way of the inhospitable Sandy region, Findlay again
described to him the route through the Ouasioto Gap traversed
sixteen years before by Pennsylvania traders in their traffic
with the Catawbas. Boone, as we have seen, knew that Christopher
Gist, who had formerly lived near him on the upper Yadkin, had
found some passage through the lofty mountain defiles; but he had
never been able to discover the passage. Findlay's renewed
descriptions of the immense herds of buffaloes he had seen in
Kentucky, the great salt-licks where they congregated, the
abundance of bears, deer, and elk with which the country teemed,
the innumerable flocks of wild turkeys, geese, and ducks, aroused
in Boone the hunter's passion for the chase; while the beauty of
the lands, as mirrored in the vivid fancy of the Irishman,
inspired him with a new longing to explore the famous country
which had, as John Filson records, "greatly engaged Mr. Findlay's

In the comprehensive designs of Henderson, now a judge, for
securing a "graphic report of the trans-Alleghany region in
behalf of his land company", Boone divined the means of securing
the financial backing for an expedition of considerable size and
ample equipment. In numerous suits for debt, aggregating hundreds
of dollars, which had been instituted against Boone by some of
the leading citizens of Rowan, Williams and Henderson had acted
as Boone's attorneys. In order to collect their legal fees, they
likewise brought suit against Boone; but not wishing to press the
action against the kindly scout who had hitherto acted as their
agent in western exploration, they continued the litigation from
court to court, in lieu of certain "conditions performed" on
behalf of Boone, during his unbroken absence, by his attorney in
this suit, Alexander Martin. Summoned to appear in 1769 at the
March term of court at Salisbury, Boone seized upon the occasion
to lay before Judge Henderson the designs for a renewed and
extended exploration of Kentucky suggested by the golden
opportunity of securing the services of Findlay as guide. Shortly
after March 6th, when Judge Henderson reached Salisbury, the
conference, doubtless attended by John Stewart, Boone's
brother-in-law, John Findlay, and Boone, who were all present at
this term of court, must have been held, for the purpose of
devising ways and means for the expedition. Peck, the only
reliable contemporary biographer of the pioneer, who derived many
facts from Boone himself and his intimate acquaintances, draws
the conclusion (1847): "Daniel Boone was engaged as the master
spirit of this exploration, because in his judgment and fidelity
entire confidence could be reposed.... He was known to
Henderson and encouraged by him to make the exploration, and to
examine particularly the whole country south of the Kentucky--or
as then called the Louisa River." As confidential agent of the
land company, Boone carried with him letters and instructions for
his guidance upon this extended tour of exploration."

On May 1, 1769, with Findlay as guide, and accompanied by four of
his neighbors, John Stewart, a skilled woodsman, Joseph Holden,
James Mooney, and William Cooley, Boone left his "peaceable
habitation" on the upper Yadkin and began his historic journey
"in quest of the country of Kentucky." Already heavily burdened
with debts, Boone must have incurred considerable further
financial obligations to Judge Henderson and Colonel Williams,
acting for the land company, in order to obtain the large amount
of supplies requisite for so prolonged an expedition. Each of the
adventurers rode a good horse of strength and endurance; and
behind him were securely strapped the blanket, ammunition, salt,
and cooking-utensils so indispensable for a long sojourn in the
wilderness. In Powell's Valley they doubtless encountered the
party led thither by Joseph Martin (see Chapter VII), and there
fell into the "Hunter's Trail" commented on in a letter written
by Martin only a fortnight before the passing of Boone's
cavalcade. Crossing the mountain at the Ouasioto Gap, they made
their first "station camp" in Kentucky on the creek, still named
after that circumstance, on the Red Lick Fork. After a
preliminary journey for the purpose of locating the spot, Findlay
led the party to his old trading-camp at Es-kip-pa-ki-thi-ki,
where then (June 7, 1769) remained but charred embers of the
Indian huts, with some of the stockading and the gate-posts still
standing. In Boone's own words, he and Findlay at once "proceeded
to take a more thorough survey of the country;" and during the
autumn and early winter, encountering on every hand apparently
inexhaustible stocks of wild game and noting the ever-changing
beauties of the country, the various members of the party made
many hunting and exploring journeys from their "station camp" as
base. On December 22, 1769, while engaged in a hunt, Boone and
Stewart were surprised and captured by a large party of
Shawanoes, led by Captain Will, who were returning from the
autumn hunt on Green River to their villages north of the Ohio.
Boone and Stewart were forced to pilot the Indians to their main
camp, where the savages, after robbing them of all their peltries
and supplies and leaving them inferior guns and little
ammunition, set off to the northward. They left, on parting, this
menacing admonition to the white intruders: "Now, brothers, go
home and stay there. Don't come here any more, for this is the
Indians' hunting-ground, and all the animals, skins, and furs are
ours. If you are so foolish as to venture here again, you may be
sure the wasps and yellow jackets will sting you severely."

Chagrined particularly by the loss of the horses, Boone and
Stewart for two days pursued the Indians in hot haste. Finally
approaching the Indians' camp by stealth in the dead of night,
they secured two of the horses, upon which they fled at top
speed. In turn they were immediately pursued by a detachment of
the Indians, mounted upon their fleetest horses; and suffered the
humiliation of recapture two days later. Indulging in wild
hilarity over the capture of the crestfallen whites, the Indians
took a bell from one of the horses and, fastening it about
Boone's neck, compelled him under the threat of brandished
tomahawks to caper about and jingle the bell, jeering at him the
while with the derisive query, uttered in broken English: "Steal
horse, eh?" With as good grace as they could summon--wry smiles
at best--Boone and Stewart patiently endured these humiliations,
following the Indians as captives. Some days later (about January
4, 1770), while the vigilance of the Indians was momentarily
relaxed, the captives suddenly plunged into a dense canebrake and
in the subsequent confusion succeeded in effecting their escape.
Finding their camp deserted upon their return, Boone and Stewart
hastened on and finally overtook their companions. Here Boone was
both surprised and delighted to encounter his brother Squire,
loaded down with supplies. Having heard nothing from Boone, the
partners of the land company had surmised that he and his party
must have run short of ammunition, flour, salt, and other things
sorely needed in the wilderness; and because of their desire that
the party should remain, in order to make an exhaustive
exploration of the country, Squire Boone had been sent to him
with supplies. Findlay, Holden, Mooney, and Cooley returned to
the settlements; but Stewart, Squire Boone, and Alexander Neely,
who had accompanied Squire, threw in their lot with the intrepid
Daniel, and fared forth once more to the stirring and bracing
adventures of the Kentucky wilderness. In Daniel Boone's own
words, he expected "from the furs and peltries they had an
opportunity of taking ... to recruit his shattered
circumstances; discharge the debts he had contracted by the
adventure; and shortly return under better auspices, to settle
the newly discovered country."

Boone and his party now stationed themselves near the mouth of
the Red River, and soon provided themselves, against the hard.
ships of the long winter, with jerk, bear's oil, buffalo tallow,
dried buffalo tongues, fresh meat, and marrow-bones as food, and
buffalo robes and bearskins as shelter from the inclement
weather. Neely had brought with him, to while away dull hours, a
copy of "Gulliver's Travels"; and in describing Neely's
successful hunt for buffalo one day, Boone in after years
amusingly deposed: "In the year 1770 I encamped on Red River with
five other men, and we had with us for our amusement the History
of Samuel Gulliver's Travels, wherein he gave an account of his
young master, Glumdelick, careing him on market day for a show to
a town called Lulbegrud. A young man of our company called
Alexander Neely came to camp and told us he had been that day to
Lulbegrud, and had killed two Brobdignags in their capital." Far
from unlettered were pioneers who indulged together in such
literary chat and gave to the near-by creek the name (after Dean
Swift's Lorbrugrud) of Lulbegrud which name, first seen on
Filson's map of Kentucky (1784), it bears to this day. From one
of his long, solitary hunts Stewart never returned; and it was
not until five years later, while cutting out the Transylvania
Trail, that Boone and his companions discovered, near the old
crossing at Rockcastle, Stewart's remains in a standing hollow
sycamore. The wilderness never gave up its tragic secret.

The close of the winter and most of the spring were passed by the
Boones, after Neely's return to the settlements, in exploration,
hunting, and trapping beaver and otter, in which sport Daniel
particularly excelled. Owing to the drain upon their ammunition,
Squire was at length compelled to return to the settlements for
supplies; and Daniel, who remained alone in the wilderness to
complete his explorations for the land company, must often have
shared the feelings of Balboa as, from lofty knob or towering
ridge, he gazed over the waste of forest which spread from the
dim out lines of the Alleghanies to the distant waters of the
Mississippi. He now proceeded to make those remarkable solitary
explorations of Kentucky which have given him immortality--through
the valley of the Kentucky and the Licking, and along the
"Belle Riviere" (Ohio) as low as the falls. He visited the Big
Bone Lick and examined the wonderful fossil remains of the
mammoth found there. Along the great buffalo roads, worn several
feet below the surface of the ground, which led to the Blue
Licks, he saw with amazement and delight thousands of huge shaggy
buffalo gamboling, bellowing, and making the earth rumble beneath
the trampling of their hooves. One day, while upon a cliff near
the junction of the Kentucky and Dick's Rivers, he suddenly found
himself hemmed in by a party of Indians. Seizing his only chance
of escape, he leaped into the top of a maple tree growing beneath
the cliffs and, sliding to safety full sixty feet below, made his
escape, pursued by the sound of a chorus of guttural "Ughs" from
the dumbfounded savages.

Finally making his way back to the old camp, Daniel was rejoined
there by Squire on July 27, 1770. During the succeeding months,
much of their time was spent in hunting and prospecting in
Jessamine County, where two caves are still known as Boone's
caves. Eventually, when ammunition and supplies had once more run
low, Squire was compelled a second time to return to the
settlements. Perturbed after a time by Squire's failure to rejoin
him at the appointed time, Daniel started toward the settlements,
in search of him; and by a stroke of good fortune encountered him
along the trail. Overjoyed at this meeting (December, 1770) the
indomitable Boones once more plunged into the wilderness,
determined to conclude their explorations by examining the
regions watered by the Green and Cumberland rivers and their
tributaries. In after years, Gasper Mansker, the old German
scout, was accustomed to describe with comic effect the
consternation created among the Long Hunters, while hunting one
day on Green River, by a singular noise which they could not
explain. Stealthily slipping from tree to tree, Mansker finally
beheld with mingled surprise and amusement a hunter, bareheaded,
stretched flat upon his back on a deerskin spread on the ground,
singing merrily at the top of his voice! It was Daniel Boone,
joyously whiling away the solitary hours in singing one of his
favorite songs of the border. In March, 1771, after spending some
time in company with the Long Hunters, the Boones, their horses
laden with furs, set their faces homeward. On their return
journey, near Cumberland Gap, they had the misfortune to be
surrounded by a party of Indians who robbed them of their guns
and all their peltries. With this humiliating conclusion to his
memorable tour of exploration, Daniel Boone, as he himself says,
"once more reached home after experiencing hardships which would
defy credulity in the recital."

Despite the hardships and the losses, Boone had achieved the
ambition of years: he had seen Kentucky, which he "esteemed a
second paradise." The reports of his extended explorations, which
he made to Judge Henderson, were soon communicated to the other
partners of the land company; and their letters of this period,
to one another, bristle with glowing and minute descriptions of
the country, as detailed by their agent. Boone was immediately
engaged to act in the company's behalf to sound the Cherokees
confidentially with respect to their willingness to lease or sell
the beautiful hunting-grounds of the trans-Alleghany. The high
hopes of Henderson and his associates at last gave promise of
brilliant realization. Daniel Boone's glowing descriptions of
Kentucky excited in their minds, says a gifted early chronicler,
the "spirit of an enterprise which in point of magnitude and
peril, as well as constancy and heroism displayed in its
execution, has never been paralleled in the history of America."

CHAPTER XI. The Regulators

It is not a persons labour, nor yet his effects that will do, but
if he has but one horse to plow with, one bed to lie on, or one
cow to give a little milk for his children, they must all go to
raise money which is not to be had. And lastly if his personal
estate (sold at one tenth of its value) will not do, then his
lands (which perhaps has cost him many years of toil and labour)
must go the same way to satisfy, these cursed hungry
caterpillars, that are eating and will eat out the bowels of our
Commonwealth, if they be not pulled down from their nests in a
very short time.--George Sims: A Serious Address to the
Inhabitants of Granville County, containing an Account of our
deplorable Situation we suffer .... and some necessary Hints with
Respect to a Reformation. June 6, 1765.

It is highly probable that even at the time of his earlier
explorations in behalf of Richard Henderson and Company, Daniel
Boone anticipated speedy removal to the West. Indeed, in the very
year of his first tour in their interest, Daniel and his wife
Rebeckah sold all their property in North Carolina, consisting of
their home and six hundred and forty acres of land, and after
several removals established themselves upon the upper Yadkin.
This removal and the later western explorations just outlined
were due not merely to the spirit of adventure and discovery.
Three other causes also were at work. In the first place there
was the scarcity of game. For fifteen years the shipments of
deerskins from Bethabara to Charleston steadily increased; and
the number of skins bought by Gammern, the Moravian storekeeper,
ran so high that in spite of the large purchases made at the
store by the hunters he would sometimes run entirely out of
money. Tireless in the chase, the far roaming Boone was among
"the hunters, who brought in their skins from as far away as the
Indian lands"; and the beautiful upland pastures and mountain
forests, still teeming with deer and bear, doubtless lured him to
the upper Yadkin, where for a time in the immediate neighborhood
of his home abundance of game fell before his unerring rifle.
Certainly the deer and other game, which were being killed in
enormous numbers to satisfy the insatiable demand of the traders
at Salisbury, the Forks, and Bethabara, became scarcer and
scarcer; and the wild game that was left gradually fled to the
westward. Terrible indeed was the havoc wrought among the elk;
and it was reported that the last elk was killed in western North
Carolina as early as 1781.

Another grave evil of the time with which Boone had to cope in
the back country of North Carolina was the growth of undisguised
outlawry, similar to that found on the western plains of a later
era. This ruthless brigand age arose as the result of the
unsettled state of the country and the exposed condition of the
settlements due to the Indian alarms. When rude borderers,
demoralized by the enforced idleness attendant upon fort life
during the dark days of Indian invasion, sallied forth upon
forays against the Indians, they found much valuable
property--horses, cattle, and stock--left by their owners when
hurriedly fleeing to the protection of the frontier stockades.
The temptations thus afforded were too great to resist; and the
wilder spirits of the backwoods, with hazy notions of private
rights, seized the property which they found, slaughtered the
cattle, sold the horses, and appropriated to their own use the
temporarily abandoned household goods and plantation tools. The
stealing of horses, which were needed for the cultivation of the
soil and useful for quickly carrying unknown thieves beyond the
reach of the owner and the law, became a common practice; and was
carried on by bands of outlaws living remote from one another and
acting in collusive concert.

Toward the end of July, 1755, when the Indian outrages upon the
New River settlements in Virginia had frightened away all the
families at the Town Fork in the Yadkin country, William Owen, a
man of Welsh stock, who had settled in the spring of 1752 in the
upper Yadkin near the Mulberry Fields, was suspected of having
robbed the storekeeper on the Meho. Not long afterward a band of
outlaws who plundered the exposed cabins in their owners'
absence, erected a rude fort in the mountain region in the rear
of the Yadkin settlements, where they stored their ill-gotten
plunder and made themselves secure from attack. Other members of
the band dwelt in the settlements, where they concealed their
robber friends by day and aided them by night in their nefarious
projects of theft and rapine.

The entire community was finally aroused by the bold depredations
of the outlaws; and the most worthy settlers of the Yadkin
country organized under the name of Regulators to break up the
outlaw band. When it was discovered that Owen, who was well known
at Bethabara, had allied himself with the highwaymen, one of the
justices summoned one hundred men; and seventy, who answered the
call, set forth on December 26, 1755, to seek out the outlaws and
to destroy their fortress. Emboldened by their success, the
latter upon one occasion had carried off a young girl of the
settlements. Daniel Boone placed himself at the head of one of
the parties, which included the young girl's father, to go to her
rescue; and they fortunately succeeded in effecting the release
of the frightened maiden. One of the robbers was apprehended and
brought to Salisbury, where he was thrown into prison for his
crimes. Meanwhile a large amount of plunder had been discovered
at the house of one Cornelius Howard; and the evidences of his
guilt so multiplied against him that he finally confessed his
connection with the outlaw band and agreed to point out their
fort in the mountains.

Daniel Boone and George Boone joined the party of seventy men,
sent out by the colonial authorities under the guidance of
Howard, to attack the stronghold of the bandits. Boone afterward
related that the robbers' fort was situated in the most fitly
chosen place for such a purpose that he could imagine--beneath an
overhanging cliff of rock, with a large natural chimney, and a
considerable area in front well stockaded. The frontiersmen
surrounded the fort, captured five women and eleven children, and
then burned the fort to the ground. Owen and his wife,
Cumberland, and several others were ultimately made prisoners;
but Harman and the remainder of the band escaped by flight. Owen
and his fellow captives were then borne to Salisbury,
incarcerated in the prison there, and finally (May, 1756)
condemned to the gallows. Owen sent word to the Moravians,
petitioning them to adopt his two boys and to apprentice one to a
tailor, the other to a carpenter. But so infuriated was Owen's
wife by Howard's treachery that she branded him as a second
Judas; and this at once fixed upon him the sobriquet "Judas"
Howard-a sobriquet he did not live long to bear, for about a year
later he was ambushed and shot from his horse at the crossing of
a stream. He thus paid the penalty of his betrayal of the outlaw
band. For a number of years, the Regulators continued to wage war
against the remaining outlaws, who from time to time committed
murders as well as thefts. As late as January, 1768, the
Regulators caught a horse thief in the Hollows of Surry County
and brought him to Bethabara, whence Richter and Spach took him
to the jail at Salisbury. After this year, the outlaws were heard
of no more; and peace reigned in the settlements.

Colonel Edmund Fanning--of whom more anon--declared that the
Regulation began in Anson County which bordered upon South
Carolina. Certain it is that the upper country of that province
was kept in an uproar by civil disturbances during this early
period. Owing to the absence of courts in this section, so remote
from Charleston, the inhabitants found it necessary, for the
protection of property and the punishment of outlaws, to form an
association called, like the North Carolina society, the
Regulation. Against this association the horse thieves and other
criminals made common cause, and received tacit support from
certain more reputable persons who condemned "the irregularity of
the Regulators." The Regulation which had been thus organized in
upper South Carolina as early as 1764 led to tumultuous risings
of the settlers; and finally in the effort to suppress these
disorders, the governor, Lord Charles Montagu, appointed one
Scovil, an utterly unworthy representative, to carry out his
commands. After various disorders, which became ever more
unendurable to the law-abiding, matters came to a crisis (1769)
as the result of the high-handed proceedings of Scovil, who
promiscuously seized and flung into prison all the Regulators he
could lay hands on. In the month of March the back country rose
in revolt against Scovil and a strong body of the settlers was on
the point of attacking the force under his command when an
eleventh-hour letter arrived from Montagu, dismissing Scovil from
office. Thus was happily averted, by the narrowest of margins, a
threatened precursor of the fight at Alamance in 1771 (see
Chapter XII). As the result of the petition of the Calhouns and
others, courts were established in 1760, though not opened until
four years later. Many horse thieves were apprehended, tried, and
punished. Justice once more held full sway.

Another important cause for Boone's removal from the neighborhood
of Salisbury into the mountain fastnesses was the oppressive
administration of the law by corrupt sheriffs, clerks, and
tax-gatherers, and the dissatisfaction of the frontier squatters
with the owners of the soil. At the close of the year 1764
reports reached the town of Wilmington, after the adjournment of
the assembly in November, of serious disturbances in Orange
County, due, it was alleged, to the exorbitant exactions of the
clerks, registers, and some of the attorneys. As a result of this
disturbing news, Governor Dobbs issued a proclamation forbidding
any officer to take illegal fees. Troubles had been brewing in
the adjacent county of Granville ever since the outbreak of the
citizens against Francis Corbin, Lord Granville's agent (January
24, 1759), and the issuance of the petition of Reuben Searcy and
others (March 23d) protesting against the alleged excessive fees
taken and injustices practised by Robert (Robin) Jones, the
famous lawyer. These disturbances were cumulative in their
effect; and the people at last (1765 ) found in George Sims, of
Granville, a fit spokesman of their cause and a doughty champion
of popular rights. In his "Serious Address to the Inhabitants of
Granville County, containing an Account of our deplorable
Situation we suffer ... and some necessary Hints with Respect
to a Reformation," recently brought to light, he presents a
crushing indictment of the clerk of the county court, Samuel
Benton, the grandfather of Thomas Hart Benton. After describing
in detail the system of semi-peonage created by the merciless
exactions of lawyers and petty court officials, and the
insatiable greed of "these cursed hungry caterpillars," Sims with
rude eloquence calls upon the people to pull them down from their
nests for the salvation of the Commonwealth.

Other abuses were also recorded. So exorbitant was the charge for
a marriage-license, for instance, that an early chronicler
records "The consequence was that some of the inhabitants on the
head-waters of the Yadkin took a short cut. They took each other
for better or for worse; and considered themselves as married
without further ceremony." The extraordinary scarcity of currency
throughout the colony, especially in the back country, was
another great hardship and a perpetual source of vexation. All
these conditions gradually became intolerable to the uncultured
but free spirited men of the back country. Events were slowly
converging toward a crisis in government and society. Independent
in spirit, turbulent in action, the backwoodsmen revolted not
only against excessive taxes, dishonest sheriffs, and
extortionate fees, but also against the rapacious practices of
the agents of Lord Granville. These agents industriously picked
flaws in the titles to the lands in Granville's proprietary upon
which the poorer settlers were seated; and compelled them to pay
for the land if they had not already done so, or else to pay the
fees twice over and take out a new patent as the only remedy of
the alleged defect in their titles. In Mecklenburg County the
spirit of backwoods revolt flamed out in protest against the
proprietary agents. Acting under instructions to survey and close
bargains for the lands or else to eject those who held them,
Henry Eustace McCulloh, in February, 1765, went into the county
to call a reckoning. The settlers, many of whom had located
without deeds, indignantly retorted by offering to buy only at
their own prices, and forbade the surveyors to lay out the
holdings when this smaller price was declined. They not only
terrorized into acquiescence those among them who were willing to
pay the amount charged for the lands, but also openly declared
that they would resist by force any sheriff in ejectment
proceedings. On May 7th an outbreak occurred; and a mob, led by
Thomas Polk, set upon John Frohock, Abraham Alexander, and
others, as they were about to survey a parcel of land, and gave
them a severe thrashing, even threatening the young McCulloh with

The choleric backwoodsmen, instinctively in agreement with
Francis Bacon, considered revenge as a sort of wild justice.
Especial objects of their animosity were the brothers Frohock,
John and Thomas, the latter clerk of the court at Salisbury, and
Edmund Fanning, a cultured gentleman-adventurer, associate
justice of the superior court. So rapacious and extortionate were
these vultures of the courts who preyed upon the vitals of the
common people, that they were savagely lampooned by Rednap
Howell, the backwoods poet-laureate of the Regulation. The temper
of the back country is well caught in Howell's lines anent this
early American "grafter", the favorite of the royal governor:

  When Fanning first to Orange came,
  He looked both pale and wan;
  An old patched coat was on his back,
  An old mare he rode on.

  Both man and mare wan't worth five pounds,
  As I've been often told;
  But by his civil robberies,
  He's laced his coat with gold.

The germs of the great westward migration in the coming decade
were thus working among the people of the back country. If the
tense nervous energy of the American people is the transmitted
characteristic of the border settlers, who often slept with
loaded rifle in hand in grim expectation of being awakened by the
hideous yells, the deadly tomahawk, and the lurid firebrand of
the savage, the very buoyancy of the national character is in
equal measure "traceable to the free democracy founded on a
freehold inheritance of land." The desire for free land was the
fundamental factor in the development of the American democracy.
No colony exhibited this tendency more signally than did North
Carolina in the turbulent days of the Regulation. The North
Carolina frontiersmen resented the obligation to pay quit-rents
and firmly believed that the first occupant of the soil had an
indefeasible right to the land which he had won with his rifle
and rendered productive by the implements of toil. Preferring the
dangers of the free wilderness to the paying of tribute to
absentee landlords and officials of an intolerant colonial
government, the frontiersman found title in his trusty rifle
rather than in a piece of parchment, and was prone to pay his
obligations to the owner of the soil in lead rather than in gold.

CHAPTER XII. Watauga--Haven of Liberty

The Regulators despaired of seeing better times and therefore
quitted the Province. It is said 1,500 departed since the Battle
of Alamance and to my knowledge a great many more are only
waiting to dispose of their plantations in order to follow
them.--Reverend Morgan Edwards, 1772.

The five years (1766-1771) which saw the rise, development, and
ultimate defeat of the popular movement known as the Regulation,
constitute a period not only of extraordinary significance in
North Carolina but also of fruitful consequences in the larger
movements of westward expansion. With the resolute intention of
having their rulers "give account of their stewardship," to
employ their own words, the Sandy Creek Association of Baptists
(organized in 1758), in a series of papers known as Regulators'
Advertisements (1766-8) proceeded to mature, through popular
gatherings, a rough form of initiative and referendum. At length,
discouraged in its efforts, and particularly in the attempt to
bring county officials to book for charging illegal fees, this
association ceased actively to function. It was the precursor of
a movement of much more drastic character and formidable
proportions, chiefly directed against Colonel Edmund Fanning and
his associates. This movement doubtless took its name, "the
Regulation," from the bands of men already described who were
organized first in North Carolina and later in South Carolina, to
put down highwaymen and to correct many abuses in the back
country, such as the tyrannies of Scovil and his henchmen.
Failing to secure redress of their grievances through legal
channels, the Regulators finally made such a powerful
demonstration in support of their refusal to pay taxes that
Governor William Tryon of North Carolina, in 1768, called out the
provincial militia, and by marching with great show of force
through the disaffected regions, succeeded temporarily in
overawing the people and thus inducing them to pay their

The suits which had been brought by the Regulators against Edmund
Fanning, register, and Francis Nash, clerk, of Orange County,
resulted in both being "found guilty of taking too high fees."
Fanning immediately resigned his commission as register; while
Nash, who in conjunction with Fanning had fairly offered in 1766
to refund to any one aggrieved any fee charged by him which the
Superior Court might hold excessive, gave bond for his appearance
at the next court. Similar suits for extortion against the three
Froliocks in Rowan County in 1769 met with failure, however; and
this outcome aroused the bitter resentment of the Regulators, as
recorded by Herman Husband in his "Impartial Relation." During
this whole period the insurrectionary spirit of the people, who
felt themselves deeply aggrieved but recognized their inability
to secure redress, took the form of driving local justices from
the bench and threatening court officials with violence.

At the session of the Superior Court at Hillsborough, September
22, 1770, an elaborate petition prepared by the Regulators,
demanding unprejudiced juries and the public accounting for taxes
by the sheriffs, was handed to the presiding justice by James
Hunter, a leading Regulator. This justice was our acquaintance,
Judge Richard Henderson, of Granville County, the sole high
officer in the provincial government from the entire western
section of the colony. In this petition occur these trenchant
words: "As we are serious and in good earnest and the cause
respects the whole body of the people it would be loss of time to
enter into arguments on particular points for though there are a
few men who have the gift and art of reasoning, yet every man has
a feeling and knows when he has justice done him as well as the
most learned." On the following Monday (September 24th), upon
convening of court, some one hundred and fifty Regulators, led by
James Hunter, Herman Husband, Rednap Howell, and others, armed
with clubs, whips, and cudgels, surged into the court-room and
through their spokesman, Jeremiah Fields, presented a statement
of their grievances. "I found myself," says Judge Henderson,
"under a necessity of attempting to soften and turn away the fury
of these mad people, in the best manner in my power, and as such
could well be, pacify their rage and at the same time preserve
the little remaining dignity of the court."

During an interim, in which the Regulators retired for
consultation, they fell without warning upon Fanning and gave him
such rough treatment that he narrowly escaped with his life. The
mob, now past control, horsewhipped a number of leading lawyers
and citizens gathered there at court, and treated others, notably
the courtly Mr. Hooper of Boston, "with every mark of contempt
and insult." Judge Henderson was assured by Fields that no harm
should come to him provided he would conduct the court in
accordance with the behest of the Regulators: namely, that no
lawyer, save the King's Attorney, should be admitted to the
court, and that the Regulators' cases should be tried with new
jurors chosen by the Regulators. With the entire little village
terrorized by this campaign of "frightfulness," and the court
wholly unprotected, Judge Henderson reluctantly acknowledged to
himself that "the power of the judiciary was exhausted."
Nevertheless, he says, "I made every effort in my power
consistent with my office and the duty the public is entitled to
claim to preserve peace and good order." Agreeing under duress to
resume the session the following day, the judge ordered an
adjournment. But being unwilling, on mature reflection, to permit
a mockery of the court and a travesty of justice to be staged
under threat and intimidation, he returned that night to his home
in Granville and left the court adjourned in course. Enraged by
the judge's escape, the Regulators took possession of the court
room the following morning, called over the cases, and in futile
protest against the conditions they were powerless to remedy,
made profane entries which may still be seen on the record:
"Damned rogues," "Fanning pays cost but loses nothing," "Negroes
not worth a damn, Cost exceeds the whole," "Hogan pays and be
damned," and, in a case of slander, "Nonsense, let them argue for
Ferrell has gone hellward."

The uprising of these bold and resolute, simple and imperfectly
educated people, which had begun as a constitutional struggle to
secure justice and to prevent their own exploitation by dishonest
lawyers of the county courts, now gave place to open anarchy and
secret incendiarism. In the dead of night, November 12th and
14th, Judge Henderson's barn, stables, and dwelling house were
fired by the Regulators and went up in flames. Glowing with a
sense of wrong, these misguided people, led on by fanatical
agitators, thus vented their indiscriminate rage, not only upon
their op pressors, but also upon men wholly innocent of injuring
them--men of the stamp of William Hooper, afterward signer of the
Declaration of Independence, Alexander Martin, afterward governor
and United States Senator, and Richard Henderson, popular
representative of the back country and a firm champion of due
process of law. It is perhaps not surprising in view of these
events that Governor Tryon and the ruling class, lacking a
sympathy broad enough to ensure justice to the oppressed people,
seemed to be chiefly impressed with the fact that a widespread
insurrection was in progress, threatening not only life and
property, but also civil government itself. The governor called
out the militia of the province and led an army of well nigh one
thousand men and officers against the Regulators, who had
assembled at Alamance to the number of two thousand. Tryon stood
firm upon the demands that the people should submit to government
and disperse at a designated hour. The Regulators, on their side,
hoped to secure the reforms they desired by intimidating the
governor with a great display of force. The battle was a tragic
fiasco for the Regulators, who fought bravely, but without
adequate arms or real leadership. With the conclusion of this
desultory action, a fight lasting about two hours (May 16, 1771),
the power of the Regulators was completely broken."

Among these insurgents there was a remarkable element, an element
whose influence upon the course of American history has been but
imperfectly understood which now looms into prominence as the
vanguard of the army of westward expansion. There were some of
the Regulators who, though law-abiding and conservative, were
deeply imbued with ideas of liberty, personal independence, and
the freedom of the soil. Through the influence of Benjamin
Franklin, with whom one of the leaders of the group, Herman
Husband, was in constant correspondence, the patriotic ideas then
rapidly maturing into revolutionary sentiments furnished the
inspiration to action. As early as 1766, the Sandy Creek leaders,
referred to earlier in this chapter, issued a call to each
neighborhood to send delegates to a gathering for the purpose of
investigating the question "whether the free men of this country
labor under any abuses of power or not." The close connection
between the Sandy Creek men and the Sons of Liberty is amply
demonstrated in this paper wherein the Sons of Liberty in
connection with the "stamp law" are praised: for "redeeming us
from Tyranny" and for having "withstood the lords in Parliament
in behalf of true liberty." Upon the records of the Dutchman's
Creek Church, of "regular" Baptists, at the Forks of the Yadkin,
to which Daniel Boone's family belonged, may be found this
memorable entry, recognizing the "American Cause" well-nigh a
year before the declaration of independence at Philadelphia: "At
the monthly meeting it was agreed upon concerning the American
Cause, if any of the brethren see cause to join it they have the
liberty to do it without being called to an account by the
church. But whether they join or do not join they should be used
with brotherly love.

The fundamental reasons underlying the approaching westward
hegira are found in the remarkable petition of the Regulators of
An son County (October 9, 1769), who request that "Benjamin
Franklin or some other known PATRIOT" be appointed agent of the
province in London to seek redress at the source. They exposed
the basic evil in the situation by pointing out that, in
violation of the law restricting the amount of land that might be
granted to each person to six hundred and forty acres, much of
the most fertile territory in the province had been distributed
in large tracts to wealthy landlords. In consequence "great
numbers of poor people are necessitated to toil in the
cultivation of the bad Lands whereon they hardly can subsist." It
was these poor people, "thereby deprived of His Majesties
liberality and Bounty," who soon turned their gaze to the
westward and crossed the mountains in search of the rich, free
lands of the trans-Alleghany region.

This feverish popular longing for freedom, stimulated by the
economic pressure of thousands of pioneers who were annually
entering North Carolina, set in motion a wave of migration across
the mountains in 1769. Long before Alamance, many of the true
Americans, distraught by apparently irremediable injustices,
plunged fearlessly into the wilderness, seeking beyond the
mountains a new birth of liberty, lands of their own selection
free of cost or quit-rents, and a government of their own
choosing and control."' The glad news of the rich valleys beyond
the mountains early lured such adventurous pioneers as Andrew
Greer and Julius Caesar Dugger to the Watauga country. The
glowing stories, told by Boone, and disseminated in the back
country by Henderson, Williams, and the Harts, seemed to give
promise to men of this stamp that the West afforded relief from
oppressions suffered in North Carolina. During the winter of
1768-9 there was also a great rush of settlers from Virginia into
the valley of the Holston. A party from Augusta County, led by
men who had been delighted with the country viewed seven years
before when they were serving under Colonel William Byrd against
the Cherokees, found that this region, a wilderness on their
outward passage in 1768, was dotted with cabins on every spot
where the grazing was good, upon their return the following year.
Writing to Hillsborough on October 18, 1770, concerning the "many
hundred families" in the region from Green River to the branches
of the Holston, who refused to comply with the royal proclamation
of 1763, Acting-Governor Nelson of Virginia reports that "very
little if any Quit Rents have been received for His Majesty's use
from that Quarter for some time past"--the people claiming that
"His Majesty hath been pleased to withdraw his protection from
them since 1763."

In the spring of 1770, with the express intention of discovering
suitable locations for homes for himself and a number of others,
who wished to escape the accumulating evils of the times, James
Robertson of Orange County, North Carolina, made an arduous
journey to the pleasing valley of the Watauga. Robertson, who was
born in Brunswick County, Virginia, June 28, 1742, of excellent
Scotch-Irish ancestry, was a noteworthy figure of a certain
type--quiet, reflective, conservative, wise, a firm believer in the
basic principles of civil Liberty and the right of local
self-government. Robertson spent some time with a man named
Honeycut in the Watauga region, raised a crop of corn, and chose
for himself and his friends suitable locations for settlement.
Lost upon his return in seeking the mountain defiles traversed by
him on the outward journey, Robertson probably escaped death from
starvation only through the chance passing of two hunters who
succored him and set him upon the right path. On arriving in
Orange he found political and social conditions there much worse
than before, many of the colonists declining to take the
obligatory oath of allegiance to the British Crown after the
Battle of Alamance, preferring to carve out for themselves new
homes along the western waters. Some sixteen families of this
stamp, indignant at the injustices and oppressions of British
rule, and stirred by Robertson's description of the richness and
beauty of the western country, accompanied him to Watauga shortly
after the battle.

This vanguard of the army of westward advance, independent
Americans in spirit with a negligible sprinkling of Loyalists,
now swept in a great tide into the northeastern section of
Tennessee. The men of Sandy Creek, actuated by independent
principles but out of sympathy with the anarchic side of the
Regulation, left the colony almost to a man. "After the defeat of
the Regulators," says the historian of the Sandy Creek
Association, "thousands of the oppressed, seeing no hope of
redress for their grievances, moved into and settled east
Tennessee. A large proportion of these were of the Baptist
population. Sandy Creek Church which some time previous to 1771,
numbered 606, was afterward reduced to fourteen members!" This
movement exerted powerful influence in stimulating westward
expansion. Indeed, it was from men of Regulating principles--Boone,
Robertson, and the Searcys--who vehemently condemned the
anarchy and incendiarism of 1770, that Judge Henderson received
powerful cooperation in the opening up of Kentucky and Tennessee.

The several treaties concerning the western boundary of white
settlement, concluded in close succession by North Carolina,
Virginia, and the Crown with the Southern and Northern Indians,
had an important bearing upon the settlement of Watauga. The
Cherokee boundary line, as fixed by Governor Tryon (1767) and by
John Stuart (1768), ran from Reedy River to Tryon Mountain,
thence straight to Chiswell's Mine, and thence direct to the
mouth of the Great Kanawha River. By the treaty at Fort Stanwix
(November 5, 1768), in the negotiation of which Virginia was
represented by Dr. Thomas Walker and Major Andrew Lewis, the Six
Nations sold to the Crown their shadowy claim to a vast tract of
western country, including in particular all the land between the
Ohio and the Tennessee Rivers. The news of the cession resulted
in a strong southwestward thrust of population, from the
neighborhood of Abingdon, in the direction of the Holston Valley.
Recognizing that hundreds of these settlers were beyond the line
negotiated by Stuart, but on lands not yet surveyed, Governor
Botetourt instructed the Virginia commissioners to press for
further negotiations, through Stuart, with the Cherokees.
Accordingly, on October 18, 1770, a new treaty was made at
Lochaber, South Carolina, by which a new line back of Virginia
was established, beginning at the intersection of the North
Carolina-Cherokee line (a point some seventy odd miles east of
Long Island), running thence in a west course to a point six
miles east of Long Island, and thence in a direct course to the
confluence of the Great Kanawha and Ohio Rivers. At the time of
the treaty, it was agreed that the Holston River, from its
intersection with the North Carolina-Virginia line, and down the
course of the same, should be a temporary southern boundary of
Virginia until the line should be ascertained by actual survey. A
strong influx of population into the immense new triangle thus
released for settlement brought powerful pressure to bear upon
northern Tennessee, the point of least resistance along the
western barrier. Singularly enough, this advance was not opposed
by the Cherokees, whose towns were strung across the extreme
southeast corner of Tennessee.

When Colonel John Donelson ran the line in the latter part of
1771, The Little Carpenter, who with other Indian chiefs
accompanied the surveying party, urged that the line agreed upon
at Lochaber should break off at the head of the Louisa River, and
should run thence to the mouth thereof, and thence up the Ohio to
the mouth of the Great Kanawha. For this increase in the
territory of Virginia they of course expected additional payment.
As a representative of Virginia, Donelson agreed to the proposed
alteration in the boundary line; and accordingly promised to send
the Cherokees, in the following spring, a sum alleged by them to
have been fixed at five hundred pounds, in compensation for the
additional area. This informal agreement, it is believed, was
never ratified by Virginia; nor was the promised compensation
ever paid the Cherokees.

Under the belief that the land belonged to Virginia, Jacob Brown
with one or two families from North Carolina settled in 1771 upon
a tract of land on the northern bank of the Nonachunheh
(corruption, Nolichucky) River. During the same year, an
experimental line run westward from Steep Rock and Beaver Creek
by Anthony Bledsoe showed that upon the extension of the boundary
line, these settlers would fall within the bounds of North
Carolina. Although thus informally warned of the situation, the
settlers made no move to vacate the lands. But in the following
year, after the running of Donelson's line, Alexander Cameron,
Stuart's deputy, required "all persons who had made settlements
beyond the said line to relinquish them." Thus officially warned,
Brown and his companions removed to Watauga. Cameron's order did
not apply, however, to the settlement, to the settlement north of
the Holston River, south and east of Long Island; and the
settlement in Carter's Valley, although lying without the
Virginia boundary, strangely enough remained unmolested. The
order was directed at the Watauga settlers, who were seated south
of the Holston River in the Watauga Valley.

The plight in which the Watauga settlers now found themselves was
truly desperate; and the way in which they surmounted this
apparently insuperable difficulty is one of the most striking and
characteristic events in the pre-Revolutionary history of the Old
Southwest. It exhibits the indomitable will and fertile resource
of the American character at the margin of desperation. The
momentous influence of the Watauga settlers, inadequately
reckoned hitherto by historians, was soon to make itself
powerfully felt in the first epochal movement of westward

CHAPTER XIII. Opening the Gateway--Dunmore's War

Virginia, we conceive, can claim this Country [Kentucky] with the
greatest justice and propriety, its within the Limits of their
Charter. They Fought and bled for it. And had it not been for the
memorable Battle, at the Great Kanaway those vast regions had yet
continued inaccessable.--The Harrodsburg Petition. June 7-15,

It was fortunate for the Watauga settlers that the Indians and
the whites were on the most peaceful terms with each other at the
time the Watauga Valley was shown, by the running of the boundary
line, to lie within the Indian reservation. With true American
self reliance, the settlers met together for deliberation and
counsel, and deputed James Robertson and John Been, as stated by
Tennessee's first historian, "to treat with their landlords, and
agree upon articles of accommodation and friendship. The attempt
succeeded. For though the Indians refused to give up the land
gratuitously, they consented, for a stipulated amount of
merchandise, muskets, and other articles of convenience, to lease
all the country on the waters of the Watauga." In addition to the
land thus leased for ten years, several other tracts were
purchased from the Indians by Jacob Brown, who reoccupied his
former location on the Nolichucky.

In taking this daring step, the Watauga settlers moved into the
spotlight of national history. For the inevitable consequence of
leasing the territory was the organization of a form of
government for the infant settlement. Through his familiarity
with the North Carolina type of "association," in which the
settlers had organized for the purpose of "regulating" abuses,
and his acquaintance with the contents of the "Impartial
Relation," in which Husband fully expounded the principles and
practices of this association, Robertson was peculiarly fitted
for leadership in organizing this new government. The convention
at which Articles of Association, unfortunately lost, were drawn
up, is noteworthy as the first governmental assemblage of
free-born American citizens ever held west of the Alleghanies.
The government then established was the first free and
independent government, democratic in spirit, representative in
form, ever organized upon the American continent. In describing
this mimic republic, the royal Governor of Virginia says: "They
appointed magistrates, and framed laws for their present
occasion, and to all intents and purposes, erected themselves
into, though an inconsiderable, yet a separate State." The most
daring spirit in this little state was the young John Sevier, of
French Huguenot family (originally spelled Xavier), born in
Augusta County, Virginia, on September 23, 1745. It was from
Millerstown in Shenandoah County where he was living the
uneventful life of a small farmer, that he emigrated (December,
1773) to the Watauga region. With his arrival there begins one of
the most fascinating and romantic careers recorded in the varied
arid stirring annals of the Old Southwest. In this daring and
impetuous young fellow, fair-haired, blue-eyed, magnetic,
debonair--of powerful build, splendid proportions, and athletic
skill--we hold the gallant exemplar of the truly heroic life of
the border. The story of his life, thrilling in the extreme, is
rich in all the multi-colored elements which impart romance to
the arduous struggle of American civilization in the opening
years of the republic.

The creative impulses in the Watauga commonwealth are hinted at
by Dunmore, who serves, in the letter above quoted, that Watauga
"sets a dangerous example to the people America, of forming
governments distinct from and independent of his Majesty's

It is true that the experiment was somewhat limited. The
organization of the Watauga association, which constituted a
temporary expedient to meet a crisis in the affairs of a frontier
community cut off by forest wilderness and mountain barriers from
the reach of the arm of royal or provincial government, is not to
be compared with the revolutionary assemblage at Boonesborough,
May 23, 1775, or with the extraordinary demands for inde pendence
in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, during the same month.
Nevertheless the Watauga settlers defied both North Carolina and
the Crown, by adopting the laws of Virginia and by ignoring
Governor Josiah Martin's proclamation (March 26, 1774) "requiring
the said settlers immediately to retire from the Indian
Territories." Moreover, Watauga really was the parent of a series
of mimic republics in the Old Southwest, gradually tending toward
higher forms of organization, with a larger measure of individual
liberty. Watauga, Transylvania, Cumberland, Franklin represent
the evolving political genius of a free people under the creative
leadership of three constructive minds--James Robertson, John
Sevier, and Richard Henderson. Indeed, Watauga furnished to Judge
Henderson precisely the "dangerous example" of which Dunmore
prophetically speaks.

Immediately upon his return in 1771 from the extended exploration
of Kentucky, Daniel Boone as already noted was engaged as secret
agent, to treat with the Cherokees for the lease or purchase of
the trans-Alleghany region, on behalf of Judge Henderson and his
associates. Embroiled in the exciting issues of the Regulation
and absorbed by his confining duties as colonial judge, Henderson
was unable to put his bold design into execution until after the
expiration of the court itself which ceased to exist in 1773.
Disregarding the royal proclamation of 1763 and Locke's
Fundamental Constitutions for the Carolinas, which forbade
private parties to purchase lands from the Indians, Judge
Henderson applied to the highest judicial authorities in England
to know if there was any law in existence forbidding purchase of
lands from the Indian tribes. Lord Mansfield gave Judge Henderson
the "sanction of his great authority in favor of the purchase."
Lord Chancellor Camden and Mr. Yorke had officially advised the
King in 1757, in regard to the petition of the East Indian
Company, "that in respect to such territories as have been, or
shall be acquired by treaty or grant from the Great Mogul, or any
of the Indian princes or governments, your Majesty's letters
patent are NOT NECESSARY; the property of the soil vesting in the
company by the Indian grant subject only to your Majesties right
of sovereignty over the settlements, as English settlements, and
over the inhabitants, as English subjects, who carry with them
your Majesties laws wherever they form colonies, and receive your
Majesties protection by virtue of your royal charters." This
opinion, with virtually no change, was rendered in regard to the
Indian tribes of North America by the same two authorities,
certainly as early as 1769; and a true copy, made in London,
April 1, 1772, was transmitted to Judge Henderson. Armed with the
legal opinions received from England, Judge Henderson was fully
persuaded that there was no legal bar whatsoever to his seeking
to acquire by purchase from the Cherokees the vast domain of the
trans-Alleghany. A golden dream of empire, with its promise of an
independent republic in the form of a proprietary colony, casts
him under the spell of its alluring glamour.

In the meantime, the restless Boone, impatient over the delay in
the consummation of Judge Henderson's plans, resolved to
establish himself in Kentucky upon his own responsibility.
Heedless of the question of title and the certain hazards
incident to invading the territory of hostile savages, Boone
designated a rendezvous in Powell's Valley where he and his party
of five families were to be met by a band under the leadership of
his connections, the Bryans, and another company led by Captain
William Russell, a daring pioneer of the Clinch Valley. A small
detachment of Boone's party was fiercely attacked by Shawanoes in
Powell's Valley on October 10, 1773, and almost all were killed,
including sons of Boone and Russell, and young John and Richard
Mendenhall of Guilford County, North Carolina. As the result of
this bloody repulse, Boone's attempt to settle in Kentucky at
this time was definitely abandoned. His failure to effect a
settlement in Kentucky was due to that characteristic disregard
of the territorial rights of the Indians which was all too common
among the borderers of that period.

This failure was portentous of the coming storm. The reign of the
Long Hunters was over. Dawning upon the horizon was the day of
stern adventurers, fixed in the desperate and lawless resolve to
invade the trans-Alleghany country and to battle savagely with
the red man for its possession. More successful than Boone was
the McAfee party, five in number, from Botetourt County,
Virginia, who between May 10th and September 1, 1773, safely
accomplished a journey through Kentucky and carefully marked
well-chosen sites for future location." An ominous incident of
the time was the veiled warning which Cornstalk, the great
Shawanoe chieftain, gave to Captain Thomas Bullitt, head of a
party of royal surveyors, sent out by Lord Dunmore, Governor of
Virginia. Cornstalk at Chillicothe, June 7, 1773, warned Bullitt
concerning the encroachments of the whites, "designed to deprive
us," he said, "of the hunting of the country, as usual ... the
hunting we stand in need of to buy our clothing." During the
preceding summer, George Rogers Clark, an aggressive young
Virginian, with a small party, had descended the Ohio as low as
Fish Creek, where he built a cabin; and in this region for many
months various parties of surveyors were busily engaged in
locating and surveying lands covered by military grants. Most
significant of the ruthless determination of the pioneers to
occupy by force the Kentucky area was the action of the large
party from Monongahela, some forty in number, led by Captain
James Harrod, who penetrated to the present Miller County, where
in June, 1774, they made improvements and actually laid out a

A significant, secretly conducted movement, of which historians
have taken but little account, was now in progress under the
manipulation of Virginia's royal governor. As early as 1770 Dr.
John Connolly proposed the establishment of an extensive colony
south of the Ohio; and the design of securing such territory from
the Indians found lodgment in the mind of Lord Dunmore. But this
design was for the moment thwarted when on October 28, 1773, an
order was issued from the Privy Council chamber in Whitehall
granting an immense territory, including all of the present West
Virginia and the land alienated to Virginia by Donelson's
agreement with the Cherokees (1772), to a company including
Thomas Walpole, Samuel Wharton, Benjamin Franklin, and others.
This new colony, to be named "Vandalia," seemed assured. A clash
between Dunmore and the royal authorities was imminent; for
Virginia under her sea-to-sea charter claimed the vast middle
region of the continent, extending without known limit to west
and northwest. Moreover, Dunmore was interested in great land
speculations on his own account; and while overtly vindicating
Virginia's claim to the trans-Alleghany by despatching parties of
surveyors to the western wilderness to locate and survey lands
covered by military grants, he with the collusion of certain
members of the "Honourable Board," his council, as charged by
Washington, was more than "lukewarm," secretly restricting as
rigorously as he dared the extent and number of the soldiers'
allotments. According to the famous Virginia Remonstrance, he was
in league with "men of great influence in some of the neighboring
states" to secure, under cover of purchases from the Indians,
large tracts of country between the Ohio and the Mississippi." In
shaping his plans Dunmore had the shrewd legal counsel of Patrick
Henry, who was equally intent upon making for himself a private
purchase from the Cherokees. It was Henry's legal opinion that
the Indiana purchase from the Six Nations by the Pennsylvania
traders at Fort Stanwix (November 5, 1768) was valid; and that
purchase by private individuals from the Indians gave full and
ample title. In consequence of these facts, William Murray, in
behalf of himself and his associates of the Illinois Land
Company, and on the strength of the Camden Yorke decision,
purchased two large tracts, on the Illinois and Ohio
respectively, from the Illinois Indians (July 5, 1773); and in
order to win the support of Dunmore, who was ambitious to make a
fortune in land speculation, organized a second company, the
Wabash (Ouabache) Land Company, with the governor as the chief
share-holder. In response to Murray's petition on behalf of the
Illinois Land Company, Dunmore (May, 1774) recommended it to Lord
Dartmouth, Secretary of State for the Colonies, and urged that it
be granted; and in a later letter he disingenuously disclaimed
any personal interest in the Illinois speculation.

The party of surveyors sent out under the direction of Colonel
William Preston, on the request of Washington and other leading
eastern men, in 1774 located lands covered by military grants on
the Ohio and in the Kentucky area for prominent Virginians,
including Washington, Patrick Henry, William Byrd, William
Preston, Arthur Campbell, William Fleming, and Andrew Lewis,
among others, and also a large tract for Dr. Connolly. Certain of
these grants fell within the Vandalia area; and in his reply
(September 10, 1774) to Dunmore's letter, Lord Dartmouth sternly
censured Dunmore for allowing these grants, and accused the white
settlers of having brought on, by such unwarrantable aggressions,
the war then raging with the Indians. This charge lay at the door
of Dunmore himself; and there is strong evidence that Dunmore
personally fomented the war, ostensibly in support of Virginia's
charter rights, but actually in order to further his own
speculative designs." Dunmore's agent, Dr. Connolly, heading a
party posing as Virginia militia, fired without provocation upon
a delegation of Shawanoe chiefs assembled at Fort Pitt (January,
1774). Taking advantage of the alarming situation created by the
conflict of the claims of Virginia and Pennsylvania, Connolly,
inspired by Dunmore without doubt, then issued an incendiary
circular (April 21, 1774), declaring a state of war to exist.
Just two weeks before the Battle of the Great Kanawha, Patrick
Henry categorically stated, in conversation with Thomas Wharton:

"that he was at Williamsburg with Ld. D. when Dr. Conolly first
came there, that Conolly is a chatty, sensible man, and informed
Ld. Dunmore of the extreme richness of the lands which lay on
both sides of the Ohio; that the prohibitory orders which had
been sent him relative to the land on the hither side (or
Vandalia) had caused him to turn his thoughts to the opposite
shore, and that as his Lordship was determined to settle his
family in America he was really pursueing this war, in order to
obtain by purchase or treaty from the natives a tract of
territory on that side; he then told me that he was convinced
from every authority that the law knew, that a purchase from the
natives was as full and ample a title as could be obtained, that
they had Lord Camden and Mr. York's opinion on that head, which
opinion with some others that Ld. Dunmore had consulted, and with
the knowledge Conolly had given him of the quality of the country
and his determined resolution to settle his family on this
continent, were the real motives or springs of the present

At this very time, Patrick Henry, in conjunction with William
Byrd 3d and others, was negotiating for a private purchase of
lands from the Cherokees; and when Wharton, after answering
Henry's inquiry as to where he might buy Indian goods, remarked:
"It's not possible you mean to enter the Indian trade at this
period," Henry laughingly replied: "The wish-world is my hobby
horse." "From whence I conclude," adds Wharton, "he has some
prospect of making a purchase of the natives, but where I know

The war, thus promulgated, we believe, at Dunmore's secret
instigation and heralded by a series of ghastly atrocities, came
on apace. After the inhuman murder of the family of Logan, the
Indian chieftain, by one Greathouse and his drunken companions
(April 30th), Logan, who contrary to romantic views was a
blackhearted and vengeful savage, harried the Tennessee and
Virginia borders, burning and slaughtering. Unable to arouse the
Cherokees, owing to the opposition of Atta-kulla-kulla, Logan as
late as July 21st said in a letter to the whites: "The Indians
are not angry, only myself," and not until then did Dunmore begin
to give full execution to his warlike plans. The best woodsmen of
the border, Daniel Boone and the German scout Michael Stoner,
having been despatched on July 27th by Colonel William Preston to
warn the surveyors of the trans-Alleghany, made a remarkable
journey on foot of eight hundred miles in sixty-one days.
Harrod's company at Harrodsburg, a company of surveyors at
Fontainebleau, Floyd's party on the Kentucky, and the surveyors
at Mann's Lick, this warned, hurried in to the settlements and
were saved. Meanwhile, Dunmore, in command of the Virginia
forces, invaded territory guaranteed to the Indians by the royal
proclamation of 1763 and recently (1774) added to the province of
Quebec, a fact of which he was not aware, conducted a vigorous
campaign, and fortified Camp Charlotte, near Old Chillicothe.
Andrew Lewis, however, in charge of the other division of
Dunmore's army, was the one destined to bear the real brunt and
burden of the campaign. His division, recruited from the very
flower of the pioneers of the Old Southwest, was the most
representative body of borderers of this region that up to this
time had assembled to measure strength with the red men. It was
an army of the true stalwarts of the frontier, with fringed
leggings and hunting-capes, rifles and powder-horns,
hunting-knives and tomahawks.

The Battle of the Great Kanawha, at Point Pleasant, was fought on
October 10, 1774, between Lewis's force, eleven hundred strong,
and the Indians, under Cornstalk, somewhat inferior in numbers.
It was a desultory action, over a greatly extended front and in
very brushy country between Crooked Creek and the Ohio.
Throughout the long day, the Indians fought with rare craft and
stubborn bravery--loudly cursing the white men, cleverly picking
off their leaders, and derisively inquiring, in regard to the
absence of the fifes: "Where are your whistles now?" Slowly
retreating, they sought to draw the whites into an ambuscade and
at a favorable moment to "drive the Long Knives like bullocks
into the river." No marked success was achieved on either side
until near sunset, when a flank movement directed by young Isaac
Shelby alarmed the Indians, who mistook this party for the
expected reinforcement under Christian, and retired across the
Ohio. In the morning the whites were amazed to discover that the
Indians, who the preceding day so splendidly heeded the echoing
call of Cornstalk, "Be strong! Be strong!", had quit the
battlefield and left the victory with the whites.

The peace negotiated by Dunmore was durable. The governor had
accomplished his purpose, defied the authority of the crown, and
vindicated the claim of Virginia, to the enthusiastic
satisfaction of the backwoodsmen. While tendering their thanks to
him and avowing their allegiance to George III, at the close of
the campaign, the borderers proclaimed their resolution to exert
all their powers "for the defense of American liberty, and for
the support of her just rights and privileges, not in any
precipitous, riotous or tumultuous manner, but when regularly
called forth by the unanimous voice of our countrymen." Dunmore's
War is epochal, in that it procured for the nonce a state of
peace with the Indians, which made possible the advance of Judge
Henderson over the Transylvania Trail in 1775, and, through his
establishment of the Transylvania Fort at Boonesborough, the
ultimate acquisition by the American Confederation of the
imperial domain of the trans-Alleghany.

CHAPTER XIV. Richard Henderson and the Transylvania Company

I happened to fall in company, and have a great deal of
conversation with one of the most singular and extraordinary
persons and excentric geniuses in America, and perhaps in the
world. His name is Richard Henderson.--J. F. D. Smyth: A Tour in
the United States of America.

Early in 1774, chastened by his own disastrous failure the
preceding autumn, Boone advised Judge Henderson that the time was
auspicious for opening negotiations with the Cherokees for
purchasing the trans-Alleghany region." In organizing a company
for this purpose, Henderson chose men of action and resource,
leaders in the colony, ready for any hazard of life and fortune
in this gigantic scheme of colonization and promotion. The new
men included, in addition to the partners in the organization
known as Richard Henderson and Company, were Colonel John
Luttrell, destined to win laurels in the Revolution, and William
Johnston, a native of Scotland, the leading merchant of

Meeting in Hillsborough on August 27, 1774, these men organized
the new company under the name of the Louisa Company. In the
articles then drawn up they agreed to "rent or purchase" a tract
of land from the Indian owners of the soil for the express
purpose of "settling the country." Each partner obligated himself
to "furnish his Quota of Expenses necessary towards procuring the
grant." In full anticipation of the grave dangers to be
encountered, they solemnly bound themselves, as "equal sharers in
the property," to "support each other with our lives and
fortunes." Negotiations with the Indians were begun at once.
Accompanied by Colonel Nathaniel Hart and guided by the
experienced Indian-trader, Thomas Price, Judge Henderson visited
the Cherokee chieftains at the Otari towns. After elaborate
consultations, the latter deputed the old chieftain,
Atta-kulla-kulla, a young buck, and a squaw, "to attend the said
Henderson and Hart to North Carolina, and there examine the Goods
and Merchandize which had been by them offered as the
Consideration of the purchase." The goods purchased at Cross
Creek (now Fayetteville, North Carolina), in which the Louisa
Company "had embarked a large amount," met the entire approval of
the Indians--the squaw in particular shrewdly examining the goods
in the interest of the women of the tribe.

On January 6, 1775, the company was again enlarged, and given the
name of the Transylvania Company-the three new partners being
David Hart, brother to Thomas and Nathaniel, Leonard Henley
Bullock, a prominent citizen of Granville, and James Hogg, of
Hillsborough, a native Scotchman and one of the most influential
men in the colony. In the elaborate agreement drawn up reference
is explicitly made to the contingency of "settling and voting as
a proprietor and giving Rules and Regulations for the Inhabitants
etc." Hillsborough was the actual starting-point for the westward
movement, the first emigrants, traveling thence to the Sycamore
Shoals of the Watauga. In speaking of the departure of the
settlers, the first movement of extended and permanent westward
migration, an eye-witness quaintly says: "At this place
[Hillsborough] I saw the first party of emigrant families that
moved to Kentucky under the auspices of Judge Henderson. They
marched out of the town with considerable solemnity, and to many
their destination seemed as remote as if it had been to the South
Sea Islands." Meanwhile, the "Proposals for the encouragement of
settling the lands etc.," issued on Christmas Day, 1774, were
quickly spread broadcast through the colony and along the
border." It was the greatest sensation North Carolina had known
since Alamance; and Archibald Neilson, deputy-auditor and naval
officer of the colony, inquired with quizzical anxiety: "Pray, is
Dick Henderson out of his head?" The most liberal terms,
proffered by one quite in possession of his head, were embodied
in these proposals. Land at twenty shillings per hundred acres
was offered to each emigrant settling within the territory and
raising a crop of corn before September 1, 1775, the emigrant
being permitted to take up as much as five hundred acres for him
self and two hundred and fifty acres for each tithable person
under him. In these "Proposals" there was no indication that the
low terms at which the lands were offered would be maintained
after September 1, 1775. In a letter to Governor Dunmore
(January, 1775), Colonel William Preston, county surveyor of
Fincastle County, Virginia, says "The low price he [Henderson]
proposes to sell at, together with some further encouragement he
offers, will I am apprehensive induce a great many families to
remove from this County (Fincastle) & Carolina and settle there."
Joseph Martin, states his son, "was appointed entry-Taker and
agent for the Powell Valley portion" of the Transylvania Purchase
on January 20, 1775; and "he (Joseph Martin) and others went on
in the early part of the year 1775 and made their stand at the
very spot where he had made corn several years before. In
speaking of the startling design, unmasked by Henderson, of
establishing an independent government, Colonel Preston writes to
George Washington of the contemplated "large Purchase by one Col.
Henderson of North Carolina from the Cherokees.... I hear
that Henderson talks with great Freedom & Indecency of the
Governor of Virginia, sets the Government at Defiance & says if
he once had five hundred good Fellows settled in that Country he
would not Value Virginia."

Early in 1775 runners were sent off to the Cherokee towns to
summon the Indians to the treaty ground at the Sycamore Shoals of
the Watauga; and Boone, after his return from a hunt in Kentucky
in January, was summoned by Judge Henderson to aid in the
negotiations preliminary to the actual treaty. The dominating
figure in the remarkable assemblage at the treaty ground,
consisting of twelve hundred Indians and several hundred whites,
was Richard Henderson, "comely in person, of a benign and social
disposition," with countenance betokening the man of strenuous
action" noble forehead, prominent nose, projecting chin, firm-set
jaw, with kindness and openness of expression." Gathered about
him, picturesque in garb and striking in appearance, were many of
the buckskin-clad leaders of the border--James Robertson, John
Sevier, Isaac Shelby, William Bailey Smith, and their
compeers--as well as his Carolina friends John Williams, Thomas
and Nathaniel Hart, Nathaniel Henderson, Jesse Benton, and
Valentine Searcy.

Little was accomplished on the first day of the treaty (March
14th); but on the next day, the Cherokees offered to sell the
section bargained for by Donelson acting as agent for Virginia in
1771. Although the Indians pointed out that Virginia had never
paid the promised compensation of five hundred pounds and had
therefore forfeited her rights, Henderson flatly refused to
entertain the idea of purchasing territory to which Virginia had
the prior claim. Angered by Henderson's refusal, The Dragging
Canoe, leaping into the circle of the seated savages, made an
impassioned speech touched with the romantic imagination peculiar
to the American Indian. With pathetic eloquence he dwelt upon the
insatiable land-greed of the white men, and predicted the
extinction of his race if they committed the insensate folly of
selling their beloved hunting-grounds. Roused to a high pitch of
oratorical fervor, the savage with uplifted arm fiercely exhorted
his people to resist further encroachments at all hazards--and
left the treaty ground. This incident brought the conference to a
startling and abrupt conclusion. On the following day, however,
the savages proved more tractable, agreeing to sell the land as
far as the Cumberland River. In order to secure the additional
territory watered by the tributaries of the Cumberland, Henderson
agreed to pay an additional sum of two thousand pounds. Upon this
day there originated the ominous phrase descriptive of Kentucky
when The Dragging Canoe, dramatically pointing toward the west,
declared that a DARK Cloud hung over that land, which was known

On the last day, March 17th, the negotiations were opened with
the signing of the "Great Grant." The area purchased, some twenty
millions of acres, included almost all the present state of
Kentucky, and an immense tract in Tennessee, comprising all the
territory watered by the Cumberland River and all its
tributaries. For "two thousand weight of leather in goods"
Henderson purchased "the lands lying down Holston and between the
Watauga lease, Colonel Donelson's line and Powell's Mountain" as
a pathway to Kentucky--the deed for which was known as the "Path
Deed." By special arrangement, Carter's Valley in this tract went
to Carter and Lucas; two days later, for two thousand pounds,
Charles Robertson on behalf of the Watauga Association purchased
a large tract in the valleys of the Holston, Watauga, and New
Rivers; and eight days later Jacob Brown purchased two large
areas, including the Nolichucky Valley. This historic treaty,
which heralds the opening of the West, was conducted with
absolute justice and fairness by Judge Henderson and his
associates. No liquor was permitted at the treaty ground; and
Thomas Price, the ablest of the Cherokee traders, deposed that
"he at that time understood the Cherokee language, so as to
comprehend everything which was said and to know that what was
observed on either side was fairly and truly translated; that the
Cherokees perfectly understood, what Lands were the subject of
the Treaty...." The amount paid by the Transylvania Company
for the imperial domain was ten thousand pounds sterling, in
money and in goods.

Although Daniel Boone doubtless assisted in the proceedings prior
to the negotiation of the treaty, his name nowhere appears in the
voluminous records of the conference. Indeed, he was not then
present; for a fortnight before the conclusion of the treaty he
was commissioned by Judge Henderson to form a party of competent
woodmen to blaze a passage through the wilderness. On March 10th
this party of thirty ax-men, under the leadership of Boone,
started from the rendezvous, the Long Island of Holston, to
engage in the arduous labor of cutting out the Transylvania

Henderson, the empire-builder, now faced with courage and
resolution the hazardous task of occupying the purchased
territory and establishing an independent government. No mere
financial promoter of a vast speculative enterprise, he was one
of the heroic figures of the Old Southwest; and it was his
dauntless courage, his unwavering resolve to go forward in the
face of all dangers, which carried through the armed "trek" to a
successful conclusion. At Martin's Station, where Henderson and
his party tarried to build a house in which to store their
wagons, as the road could be cleared no further, they were joined
by another party, of five adventurers from Prince William County,
Virginia." In Henderson's party were some forty men and boys,
with forty packhorses and a small amount of powder, lead, salt,
and garden-seeds. The warning freely given by Joseph Martin of
the perils of the path was soon confirmed, as appears from the
following entry in Henderson's diary:

"Friday the 7th. [April] About Brake of Day began to snow. About
11 O'Clock received a letter from Mr. Luttrells camp that were
five persons killd on the road to the Cantuckie by Indians. Capt.
[Nathaniel] Hart, uppon the receipt of this News Retreated back
with his Company, & determined to Settle in the Valley to make
Corn for the Cantucky people. The same Day Received a Letter from
Dan. Boone, that his Company was fired uppon by Indians, Kill'd
Two of his men--tho he kept the ground & saved the Baggage &c."

The following historic letter, which reveals alike the dogged
resolution of Boone and his reliance upon Henderson and his
company in this black hour of disaster, addressed "Colonel
Richard Henderson--these with care," is eloquent in its

"Dear Colonel: After my compliments to you, I shall acquaint you
of our misfortunes. On March the 25 a party of Indians fired on
my Company about half an hour before day, and killed Mr. Twitty
and his negro, and wounded Mr. Walker very deeply, but I hope he
will recover.

"On March the 28 as we were hunting for provisions, we found
Samuel Tate's son, who gave us an account that the Indians fired
on their camp on the 27th day. My brother and I went down and
found two men killed and sculped, Thomas McDowell and Jeremiah
McFeters. I have sent a man down to all the lower companies in
order to gather them all at the mouth of Otter Creek.

"My advice to you, Sir, is to come or send as soon as possible.
Your company is desired greatly, for the people are very uneasy,
but are willing to stay and venture their lives with you, and now
is the time to flusterate their [the Indians'] intentions, and
keep the country, whilst we are in it. If we give way to them
now, it will ever be the case. This day we start from the battle
ground, for the mouth of Otter Creek, where we shall immediately
erect a Fort, which will be done before you can come or send,
then we can send ten men to meet you, if you send for them.

"I am, Sir, your most obedient
          Omble Sarvent
Daniel Boone.

"N.B. We stood on the ground and guarded our baggage till day,
and lost nothing. We have about fifteen miles to Cantuck
[Kentucky River] at Otter Creek."

This dread intelligence caused the hearts of strong men to quail
and induced some to turn back, but Henderson, the jurist-pioneer,
was made of sterner stuff. At once (April 8th) he despatched an
urgent letter in hot haste to the proprietors of Transylvania,
enclosing Boone's letter, informing them of Boone's plight and
urging them to send him immediately a large quantity of powder
and lead, as he had been compelled to abandon his supply of
saltpeter at Martin's Station. "We are all in high spirits," he
assures the proprietors, "and on thorns to fly to Boone's
assistance, and join him in defense of so fine and valuable a

Laconically eloquent is this simple entry in his diary: "Saturday
the 8th. Started abt. 10 oClock Crossed Cumberland Gap about 4
miles met about 40 persons Returning from the Cantucky, on Acct.
of the Late Murders by the Indians could prevail on one only to
return. Memo Several Virginians who were with us return'd."

There is no more crucial moment in early Western history than
this, in which we see the towering form of Henderson, clad in the
picturesque garb of the pioneer, with outstretched arm resolutely
pointing forward to the "dark and bloody ground," and in
impassioned but futile eloquence pleading with the pale and
panic-stricken fugitives to turn about, to join his company, and
to face once more the mortal dangers of pioneer conquest.
Significant indeed are the lines:

  Some to endure, and many to fail,
  Some to conquer, and many to quail,
  Toiling over the Wilderness Trail.

The spirit of the pioneer knight-errant inspires Henderson's
words: "In this situation, some few, of genuine courage and
undaunted resolution, served to inspire the rest; by the help of
whose example, assisted by a little pride and some ostentation,
we made a shift to march on with all the appearance of gallantry,
and, cavalier like, treated every insinuation of danger with the
utmost contempt."

Fearing that Boone, who did not even know that Henderson's
cavalcade was on the road, would be unable to hold out, Henderson
realized the imperative necessity for sending him a message of
encouragement. The bold young Virginian, William Cocke,
volunteered to brave alone the dangers of the murder-haunted
trail to undertake a ride more truly memorable and hazardous than
that of Revere. "This offer, extraordinary as it was, we could by
no means refuse," remarks Henderson, who shed tears of gratitude
as he proffered his sincere thanks and wrung the brave
messenger's hand. Equipped with "a good Queen Anne's musket,
plenty of ammunition, a tomahawk, a large cuttoe knife [French,
couteau], a Dutch blanket, and no small quantity of jerked beef,"
Cocke on April 10th rode off "to the Cantuckey to Inform Capt
Boone that we were on the road." The fearful apprehensions felt
for Cocke's safety were later relieved, when along the road were
discovered his letters in forming Henderson of his arrival and of
his having been joined on the way by Page Portwood of Rowan. On
his arrival at Otter Creek, Cocke found Boone and his men, and on
relating his adventures, "came in for his share of applause."
Boone at once despatched the master woodman, Michael Stoner, with
pack-horses to assist Henderson's party, which he met on April
18th at their encampment "in the Eye of the Rich Land." Along
with "Excellent Beef in plenty," Stoner brought the story of
Boone's determined stand and an account of the erection of a rude
little fortification which they had hurriedly thrown up to resist
attack. With laconic significance Henderson pays the following
tribute to Boone which deserves to be perpetuated in national
annals: "It was owing to Boone's confidence in us, and the
people's in him, that a stand was ever attempted in order to wait
for our coming."

In the course of their journey over the mountains and through the
wilderness, the pioneers forgot the trials of the trail in the
face of the surpassing beauties of the country. The Cumberlands
were covered with rich undergrowth of the red and white
rhododendron, the delicate laurel, the mountain ivy, the
flameazalea, the spicewood, and the cane; while the white stars
of the dogwood and the carmine blossoms of the red-bud, strewn
across the verdant background of the forest, gleamed in the eager
air of spring. "To enter uppon a detail of the Beuty & Goodness
of our Country," writes Nathaniel Henderson, "would be a task too
arduous.... Let it suffice to tell you it far exceeds any
country I ever saw or herd off. I am conscious its out of the
power of any man to make you clearly sensible of the great Beuty
and Richness of Kentucky." Young Felix Walker, endowed with more
vivid powers of description, says with a touch of native

"Perhaps no Adventurer Since the days of donquicksotte or before
ever felt So Cheerful & Ilated in prospect, every heart abounded
with Joy & excitement ... & exclusive of the Novelties of the
Journey the advantages & accumalations arising on the Settlement
of a new Country was a dazzling object with many of our Company....
As the Cain ceased, we began to discover the pleasing &
Rapturous appearance of the plains of Kentucky, a New Sky &
Strange Earth to be presented to our view.... So Rich a Soil
we had never Saw before, Covered with Clover in full Bloom. the
Woods alive abounding in wild Game, turkeys so numerous that it
might be said there appeared but one flock Universally Scattered
in the woods ... it appeared that Nature in the profusion of
her Bounties, had Spread a feast for all that lives, both for the
Animal & Rational World, a Sight so delightful to our View and
grateful to our feelings almost Induced us, in Immitation of
Columbus in Transport to Kiss the Soil of Kentucky, as he haild &
Saluted the sand on his first setting his foot on the Shores of

On the journey Henderson was joined in Powell's Valley by
Benjamin Logan, afterward so famous in Kentucky annals, and a
companion, William Galaspy. At the Crab Orchard they left
Henderson's party; and turning their course westward finally
pitched camp in the present Lincoln County, where Logan
subsequently built a fort. On Sunday, April 16th, on Scaggs's
Creek, Henderson records: "About 12 oClock Met James McAfee with
18 other persons Returning from Cantucky." They advised Henderson
of the "troublesomeness and danger" of the Indians, says Robert
McAfee junior: "but Henderson assured them that he had purchased
the whole country from the Indians, that it belonged to him, and
he had named it Transylvania.... Robt, Samuel, and William
McAfee and 3 others were inclined to return, but James opposed
it, alleging that Henderson had no right to the land, and that
Virginia had previously bought it. The former (6) returned with
Henderson to Boonesborough." Among those who had joined
Henderson's party was Abraham Hanks from Virginia, the maternal
grandfather of Abraham Lincoln; but alarmed by the stories
brought by Stewart and his party of fugitives, Hanks and Drake,
as recorded by William Calk on that day (April 13th), turned

At last the founder of Kentucky with his little band reached the
destined goal of their arduous journeyings. Henderson's record on
his birthday runs: "Thursday the 20th [April] Arrived at Fort
Boone on the Mouth of Oter Creek Cantuckey River where we were
Saluted by a running fire of about 25 Guns; all that was then at
Fort.... The men appeared in high spirits & much rejoiced in
our arrival." It is a coincidence of historic interest that just
one day after the embattled farmers at Lexington and Concord
"fired the shots heard round the world," the echoing shots of
Boone and his sturdy backwoodsmen rang out to announce the
arrival of the proprietor of Transylvania and the birth of the
American West.

CHAPTER XV. Transylvania--A wilderness Commonwealth

You are about a work of the utmost importance to the well-being
of this country in general, in which the interest and security of
each and every individual are inseparably connected .... Our
peculiar circumstances in this remote country, surrounded on all
sides with difficulties, and equally subject to one common
danger, which threatens our common overthrow, must, I think, in
their effects, secure to us an union of interests, and,
consequently, that harmony in opinion, so essential to the
forming good, wise and wholesome laws.--Judge Richard Henderson:
Address to the Legislature of Transylvania, May 23, 1775.

The independent spirit displayed by the Transylvania Company, and
Henderson's procedure in open defiance of the royal governors of
both North Carolina and Virginia, naturally aroused grave alarm
throughout these colonies and South Carolina. "This in my
Opinion," says Preston in a letter to George Washington (January
31, 1775), "will soon become a serious Affair, & highly deserves
the Attention of the Government. For it is certain that a vast
Number of People are preparing to go out and settle on this
Purchase; and if once they get fixed there, it will be next to
impossible to remove them or reduce them to Obedience; as they
are so far from the Seat of Government. Indeed it may be the
Cherokees will support them." Governor Martin of North Carolina,
already deeply disturbed in anticipation of the coming
revolutionary cataclysm, thundered in what was generally regarded
as a forcible-feeble proclamation (February 19, 1775) against
"Richard Henderson and his Confederates" in their "daring, unjust
and unwarrantable proceedings." In a letter to Dartmouth he
denounces "Henderson the famous invader" and dubs the
Transylvania Company "an infamous Company of land Pyrates."

Officials who were themselves eager for land naturally opposed
Henderson's plans. Lord Dunmore, who in 1774, as we have seen,
was heavily interested in the Wabash Land Company engineered by
William Murray, took the ground that the Wabash purchase was
valid under the Camden-Yorke decision. This is so stated in the
records of the Illinois Company. Likewise under Murray's control.
But although the "Ouabache Company," of which Dunmore was a
leading member, was initiated as early as May 16, 1774, the
purchase of the territory was not formally effected until October
18, 1775--too late to benefit Dunmore, then deeply embroiled in
the preliminaries to the Revolution. Under the cover of his
agent's name, it is believed, Dunmore, with his "passion for land
and fees," illegally entered tracts aggregating thousands of
acres of land surveyed by the royal surveyors in the summer of
1774 for Dr. John Connolly. Early in this same year, Patrick
Henry, who, as already pointed out, had entered large tracts in
Kentucky in violation of Virginia's treaty obligations with the
Cherokees, united with William Byrd 3d, John Page, Ralph Wormley,
Samuel Overton, and William Christian, in the effort to purchase
from the Cherokees a tract of land west of Donelson's line, being
firmly persuaded of the validity of the Camden-Yorke opinion.
Their agent, William Kenedy, considerably later in the year, went
on a mission to the Cherokee towns, and upon his return reported
that the Indians might be induced to sell. When it became known
that Judge Henderson had organized the Transylvania Company and
anticipated Patrick Henry and his associates, Colonel Arthur
Campbell, as he himself states, applied to several of the
partners of the Transylvania Company on behalf of Patrick Henry,
requesting that Henry be taken in as a partner. It was afterward
stated, as commonly understood among the Transylvania
proprietors, that both Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson desired
to become members of the company; but that Colonel Richard
Henderson was instrumental in preventing their admission "lest
they should supplant the Colonel [Henderson] as the guiding
spirit of the company."

Fully informed by Preston's elaborate communication on the
gravity of the situation, Dunmore acted energetically, though
tardily, to prevent the execution of Henderson's designs. On
March 21st Dunmore sent flying through the back country a
proclamation, demanding the immediate relinquishment of the
territory by "one Richard Henderson and other disorderly persons,
his associates," and "in case of refusal, and of violently
detaining such possession, that he or they be immediately fined
and imprisoned. This proclamation, says a peppery old chronicler,
may well rank with the one excepting those arch traitors and
rebels, Samuel Adams and John Hancock, from the mercy of the
British monarch. In view of Dunmore's confidence in the validity
of the Camden-Yorke decision, it is noteworthy that no mention of
the royal proclamation of 1763 occurs in his broadside; and that
he bases his objection to the Transylvania purchase upon the
king's instructions that all vacant lands "within this colony" be
laid off in tracts, from one hundred to one thousand acres in
extent, and sold at public auction. This proclamation which was
enclosed, oddly enough, in a letter of official instructions to
Preston warning him not to survey any lands "beyond the line run
by Colonel Donaldson," proved utterly ineffective. At the same
time, Dunmore despatched a pointed letter to Oconostota,
Atta-kulla-kulla, Judge's Friend, and other Cherokee chieftains,
notifying them that the sale of the great tract of land below the
Kentucky was illegal and threatening them with the king's
displeasure if they did not repudiate the sale.

News of the plans which Henderson had already matured for
establishing an independent colony in the trans-Alleghany
wilderness, now ran like wild-fire through Virginia. In a letter
to George Washington (April 9, 1775), Preston ruefully says:
"Henderson I hear has made the Purchase & got a Conveyance of the
great and Valluable Country below the Kentucky from the
Cherokees. He and about 300 adventurers are gone out to take
Possession, who it is said intends to set up an independent
Government & form a Code of Laws for themselves. How this may be
I cant say, but I am affraid the steps taken by the Government
have been too late. Before the Purchase was made had the Governor
interfered it is believed the Indians would not have sold."

Meanwhile Judge Henderson, with strenuous energy, had begun to
erect a large stockaded fort according to plans of his own.
Captain James Harrod with forty-two men was stationed at the
settlement he had made the preceding year, having arrived there
before the McAfees started back to Virginia; and there were small
groups of settlers at Boiling Spring, six miles southeast of
Harrods settlement, and at St. Asaph's, a mile west of the
present Stanford. A representative government for Transylvania
was then planned. When the frank and gallant Floyd arrived at the
Transylvania Fort on May 3d, he "expressed great satisfaction,"
says Judge Henderson, "on being informed of the plan we proposed
for Legislation & sayd he must most heartily concur in that &
every other measure we should adopt for the well Govern'g or good
of the Community in Gen'l." In reference to a conversation with
Captain James Harrod and Colonel Thomas Slaughter of Virginia,
Henderson notes in his diary (May 8th): "Our plan of Legislation,
the evils pointed out--the remedies to be applyed &c &c &c were
Acceeded to without Hesitation. The plann was plain & Simple--'twas
nothing novel in its essence a thousand years ago it was
in use, and found by every year's experience since to be
unexceptionable. We were in four distinct settlem'ts. Members or
delegates from every place by free choice of Individuals they
first having entered into writings solemnly binding themselves to
obey and carry into Execution Such Laws as representatives should
from time to time make, Concurred with, by A Majority of the
Proprietors present in the Country."

In reply to inquiries of the settlers, Judge Henderson gave as
his reason for this assembling of a Transylvania Legislature that
"all power was derived from the people." Six days before the
prophetic arrival of the news of the Battle of Lexington and
eight days before the revolutionary committee of Mecklenburg
County, North Carolina, promulgated their memorable Resolves
establishing laws for independent government, the pioneers
assembled on the green beneath the mighty plane-tree at the
Transylvania Fort. In his wise and statesmanlike address to this
picturesque convention of free Americans (May 23, 1775), an
address which Felix Walker described as being "considered equal
to any of like kind ever delivered to any deliberate body in that
day and time," Judge Henderson used these memorable words:

"You, perhaps, are fixing the palladium, or placing the first
corner stone of an edifice, the height and magnificence of whose
superstructure ... can only become great in proportion to the
excellence of its foundation.... If any doubt remain amongst
you with respect to the force or efficiency of whatever laws you
now, or hereafter make, be pleased to consider that ALL POWER IS

An early writer, in speaking of the full blooded democracy of
these "advanced" sentiments, quaintly comments: "If Jeremy
Bentham had been in existence of manhood, he would have sent his
compliments to the President of Transylvania." This, the first
representative body of American freemen which ever convened west
of the Alleghanies, is surely the most unique colonial government
ever set up on this continent. The proceedings of this backwoods
legislature--the democratic leader ship of the principal
proprietor; the prudence exhibited in the laws for protecting
game, breeding horses, etc.; the tolerance shown in the granting
of full religious liberty--all display the acumen and practical
wisdom of these pioneer law-givers. As the result of Henderson's
tactfulness, the proprietary form of government, thoroughly
democratized in tone, was complacently accepted by the backwoods
men. From one who, though still under royal rule, vehemently
asserted that the source of all political power was the people,
and that "laws derive force and efficiency from our mutual
consent," Western democracy thus born in the wilderness was
"taking its first political lesson." In their answer to
Henderson's assertion of freedom from alien authority the
pioneers unhesitatingly declared: "That we have an absolute
right, as a political body, without giving umbrage to Great
Britain, or any of the colonies, to form rules for the government
of our little society, cannot be doubted by any sensible mind and
being without the jurisdiction of, and not answerable to any of
his Majesty's courts, the constituting tribunals of justice shall
be a matter of our first contemplation...." In the
establishment of a constitution for the new colony, Henderson
with paternalistic wisdom induced the people to adopt a legal
code based on the laws of England. Out of a sense of
self-protection he reserved for the proprietors only one
prerogative not granted them by the people, the right of veto. He
clearly realized that if this power were given up, the delegates
to any convention that might be held after the first would be
able to assume the claims and rights of the proprietors.

A land-office was formally opened, deeds were issued, and a store
was established which supplied the colonists with powder, lead,
salt, osnaburgs, blankets, and other chief necessities of pioneer
existence. Writing to his brother Jonathan from Leestown, the
bold young George Rogers Clark, soon to plot the downfall of
Transylvania, enthusiastically says (July 6, 1775): "A richer and
more Beautifull Cuntry than this I believe has never been seen in
America yet. Col. Henderson is hear and Claims all ye Country
below Kentucke. If his Claim Should be good, land may be got
Reasonable Enough and as good as any in ye World." Those who
settled on the south side of Kentucky River acknowledged the
validity of the Transylvania purchase; and Clark in his Memoir
says: "the Proprietors at first took great pains to Ingratiate
themselves in the fav'r of the people."

In regard to the designs of Lord Dunmore, who, as noted above,
had illegally entered the Connolly grant on the Ohio and sought
to outlaw Henderson, and of Colonel William Byrd 3d, who, after
being balked in Patrick Henry's plan to anticipate the
Transylvania Company in effecting a purchase from the Cherokees,
was supposed to have tried to persuade the Cherokees to repudiate
the "Great Treaty," Henderson defiantly says: "Whether Lord
Dunmore and Colonel Byrd have interfered with the Indians or not,
Richard Henderson is equally ignorant and indifferent. The utmost
result of their efforts can only serve to convince them of the
futility of their schemes and possibly frighten some few
faint-hearted persons, naturally prone to reverence great names
and fancy everything must shrink at the magic of a splendid

Prompted by Henderson's desire to petition the Continental
Congress then in session for recognition as the fourteenth
colony, the Transylvania legislature met again on the first
Thursday in September and elected Richard Henderson and John
Williams, among others, as delegates to the gathering at
Philadelphia. Shortly afterward the Proprietors of Transylvania
held a meeting at Oxford, North Carolina (September 25, 1775),
elected Williams as the agent of the colony, and directed him to
proceed to Boonesborough there to reside until April, 1776. James
Hogg, of Hillsborough, chosen as Delegate to represent the Colony
in the Continental Congress, was despatched to Philadelphia,
bearing with him an elaborate memorial prepared by the President,
Judge Henderson, petitioning the Congress "to take the infant
Colony of Transylvania into their protection."

Almost immediately upon his arrival in Philadelphia, James Hogg
was presented to "the famous Samuel and John Adams." The latter
warned Hogg, in view of the efforts then making toward
reconciliation between the colonies and the king, that "the
taking under our protection a body of people who have acted in
defiance of the King's proclamation, will be looked on as a
confirmation of that independent spirit with which we are daily
reproached." Jefferson said that if his advice were followed, all
the use the Virginians should make of their charter would be "to
prevent any arbitrary or oppressive government to be established
within the boundaries of it"; and that it was his wish "to see a
free government established at the back of theirs [Virginia's]
properly united with them." He would not consent, however, that
Congress should acknowledge the colony of Transylvania, until it
had the approbation of the Virginia Convention. The quit-rents
imposed by the company were denounced in Congress as a mark of
vassalage; and many advised a law against the employment of
negroes in the colony. "They even threatened us with their
opposition," says Hogg, with precise veracity, "if we do not act
upon liberal principles when we have it so much in our power to
render ourselves immortal."

CHAPTER XVI. The Repulse of the Red Men

To this short war may be properly attributed all the kind
feelings and fidelity to treaty stipulations manifested by the
Cherokees ever afterwards. General Rutherford instilled into the
Indians so great a fear of the whites, that never afterwards were
they disposed to engage in any cruelty, or destroy any of the
property of our frontier men.--David L. Swain: The Indian War of

During the summer of 1775 the proprietors of Transylvania were
confronted with two stupendous tasks--that of winning the favor
and support of the frontiersmen and that of rallying the rapidly
dwindling forces in Kentucky in defense of the settlements.
Recognizing the difficulty of including Martin's Station, because
of its remoteness, with the government provided for Transylvania,
Judge Henderson prepared a plan of government for the group of
settlers located in Powell's Valley. In a letter to Martin (July
30th), in regard to the recent energetic defense of the settlers
at that point against the Indians, Henderson says: "Your spirited
conduct gives me much pleasure.... Keep your men in heart if
gloom which had been occasioned by the almost complete desertion
of the stations at Harrodsburg, the Boiling Spring, and the
Transylvania Fort or Boonesborough was dispelled with the return
of Boone, accompanied by some thirty persons, on September 8th,
and of Richard Callaway with a considerable party on September
26th. The crisis was now passed; and the colony began for the
first time really to flourish. The people on the south side of
the Kentucky River universally accepted proprietary rule for the
time being. But the seeds of dissension were soon to be sown
among those who settled north of the river, as well as among men
of the stamp of James Harrod, who, having preceded Henderson in
the establishment of a settlement in Kentucky, naturally resented
holding lands under the Transylvania Company.

The great liberality of this organization toward incoming
settlers had resulted in immense quantities of land being taken
up through their land-office. The ranging, hunting, and
road-building were paid for by the company; and the entire
settlement was furnished with powder, lead, and supplies, wholly
on credit, for this and the succeeding year. "Five hundred and
sixty thousand acres of land are now entered," reports Floyd on
December 1st, "and most of the people waiting to have it run
out." After Dunmore, having lost his hold upon the situation,
escaped to the protection of a British vessel, the Fowey, Colonel
Preston continued to prevent surveys for officers' grants within
the Transylvania territory; and his original hostility to Judge
Henderson gave place to friendship and support. On December 1st,
Colonel John Williams, resident agent of the Transylvania
Company, announced at Boonesborough the long-contemplated and
widely advertised advance in price of the lands, from twenty to
fifty shillings per hundred acres, with surveying fees of four
dollars for tracts not exceeding six hundred and forty acres. At
a meeting of the Transylvania legislature, convened on December
21st, John Floyd was chosen surveyor general of the colony,
Nathaniel Henderson was placed in charge of the Entering Office,
and Richard Harrison given the post of secretary. At this meeting
of the legislature, the first open expression of discontent was
voiced in the "Harrodsburg Remonstrance," questioning the
validity of the proprietors' title, and protesting against any
increase in the price of lands, as well as the taking up by the
proprietors and a few other gentlemen of the best lands at the
Falls of the Ohio. Every effort was made to accommodate the
remonstrants, who were led by Abraham Hite. Office fees were
abolished, and the payment of quit-rents was deferred until
January 1, 1780. Despite these efforts at accommodation, grave
doubts were implanted by this Harrodsburg Remonstrance in the
minds of the people; and much discussion and discontent ensued.

By midsummer, 1775, George Rogers Clark, a remarkably
enterprising and independent young pioneer, was "engrossing all
the land he could" in Kentucky. Upon his return to Virginia, as
he relates, he "found there was various oppinions Respecting
Henderson claim. many thought it good, others douted whether or
not Virginia coud with propriety have any pretentions to the
cuntrey." Jefferson displayed a liberal attitude toward the
claims of the Transylvania proprietors; and Patrick Henry openly
stated that, in his opinion, "their claim would stand good." But
many others, of the stamp of George Mason and George Washington,
vigorously asserted Virginia's charter rights over the Western
territory." This sharp difference of opinion excited in Clark's
mind the bold conception of seizing the leadership of the country
and making terms with Virginia under threat of secession. With
the design of effecting some final disposition in regard to the
title of the Transylvania proprietors, Judge Henderson and
Colonel Williams set off from Boonesborough about May 1st,
intending first to appeal to the Virginia Convention and
ultimately to lay their claims before the Continental Congress.
"Since they have gone," reports Floyd to Preston, "I am told most
of the men about Harrodsburg have re-assumed their former
resolution of not complying with any of the office rules
whatever. Jack Jones, it is said, is at the head of the party &
flourishes away prodigiously." John Gabriel Jones was the mere
figurehead in the revolt. The real leader, the brains of the
conspiracy, was the unscrupulous George Rogers Clark. At Clark's
instance, an eight-day election was held at Harrodsburg (June
7-15), at which time a petition to the Virginia Convention was
drawn up; and Clark and Jones were elected delegates. Clark's
plan, the scheme of a bold revolutionist, was to treat with
Virginia for terms; and if they were not satisfactory, to revolt
and, as he says, "Establish an Independent Government" ...
"giving away great part of the Lands and disposing of the
Remainder." In a second petition, prepared by the self-styled
"Committee of West Fincastle" (June 20th), it was alleged that
"if these pretended Proprietors have leave to continue to act in
their arbitrary manner out the controul of this colony [Virginia]
the end must be evident to every well wisher to American

The contest which now ensued between Richard Henderson and George
Rogers Clark, waged upon the floor of the convention and behind
the scenes, resulted in a conclusion that was inevitable at a
moment in American history marked by the signing of the
Declaration of Independence. Virginia, under the leader ship of
her new governor, Patrick Henry, put an end to the proprietary
rule of the Transylvania Company. On December 7th such part of
Transylvania as lay within the chartered limits of Virginia was
erected by the legislature of that colony into the County of
Kentucky. The proprietary form of government with its "marks of
vassalage," although liberalized with the spirit of democracy,
was unendurable to the independent and lawless pioneers, already
intoxicated with the spirit of freedom swept in on the first
fresh breezes of the Revolution. Yet it is not to be doubted that
the Transylvania Company, through the courage and moral influence
of its leaders, made a permanent contribution to the colonization
of the West, which, in providential timeliness and effective
execution, is without parallel in our early annals.

While events were thus shaping themselves in Kentucky--events
which made possible Clark's spectacular and meteoric campaign in
the Northwest and ultimately resulted in the establishment of the
Mississippi instead of the Alleghanies as the western boundary of
the Confederation--the pioneers of Watauga were sagaciously
laying strong the foundations of permanent occupation. In
September, 1775, North Carolina, through her Provincial Congress,
provided for the appointment in each district of a Committee of
Safety, to consist of a president and twelve other members.
Following the lead thus set, the Watauga settlers assumed for
their country the name of "Washington District"; and proceeded by
unanimous vote of the people to choose a committee of thirteen,
which included James Robertson and John Sevier. This district was
organized "shortly after October, 1775, according to Felix
Walker; and the first step taken after the election of the
committee was the organization of a court, consisting of five
members. Felix Walker was elected clerk of the court thus
organized, and held the position for about four years. James
Robertson and John Sevier, it is believed, were also members of
this court. To James Robertson who, with the assistance of his
colleagues, devised this primitive type of frontier rule--a true
commission form of government, on the "Watauga Plan"--is justly
due distinctive recognition for this notable inauguration of the
independent democracy of the Old Southwest. The Watauga
settlement was animated by a spirit of deepest loyalty to the
American cause. In a memorable petition these hardy settlers
requested the Provincial Council of North Carolina not to regard
them as a "lawless mob," but to "annex" them to North Carolina
without delay. "This committee (willing to become a party in the
present unhappy contest)", states the petition, which must have
been drafted about July 15, 1776, "resolved (which is now on our
records), to adhere strictly to the rules and orders of the
Continental Congress, and in open committee acknowledged
themselves indebted to the united colonies their full proportion
of the Continental expense."

While these disputes as to the government of the new communities
were in progress an additional danger threatened the pioneers.
For a whole year the British had been plying the various Indian
tribes from the lakes to the gulf with presents, supplies, and
ammunition. In the Northwest bounties had actually been offered
for American scalps. During the spring of 1776 plans were
concerted, chiefly through Stuart and Cameron, British agents
among the Southern Indians, for uniting the Loyalists and the
Indians in a crushing attack upon the Tennessee settlements and
the back country of North Carolina. Already the frontier of South
Carolina had passed through the horrors of Indian uprising; and
warning of the approaching invasion had been mercifully sent the
Holston settlers by Atta-kulla-kulla's niece, Nancy Ward, the
"Pocahontas of the West"--doubtless through the influence of her
daughter, who loved Joseph Martin. The settlers, flocking for
refuge into their small stockaded forts, waited in readiness for
the dreaded Indian attacks, which were made by two forces
totaling some seven hundred warriors.

On July 20th, warned in advance of the approach of the Indians,
the borderers, one hundred and seventy in all, marched in two
columns from the rude breastwork, hastily thrown up at Eaton's
Station, to meet the Indians, double their own number, led by The
Dragging Canoe. The scouts surprised one party of Indians,
hastily poured in a deadly fire, and rushed upon them with such
impetuous fury that they fled precipitately. Withdrawing now
toward their breastwork, in anticipation of encountering there a
larger force, the backwoodsmen suddenly found themselves attacked
in their rear and in grave danger of being surrounded. Extending
their own line under the direction of Captain James Shelby, the
frontiersmen steadily met the bold attack of the Indians, who,
mistaking the rapid extension of the line for a movement to
retreat, incautiously made a headlong onslaught upon the whites,
giving the war-whoop and shouting: "The Unakas are running!" In
the ensuing hot conflict at close quarters, in some places hand
to hand, the Indians were utterly routed--The Dragging Canoe
being shot down, many warriors wounded, and thirteen left dead
upon the field.

On the day after Thompson, Cocke, Shelby, Campbell, Madison, and
their men were thus winning the battle of the Long Island
"flats," Robertson, Sevier, and their little band of forty-two
men were engaged in repelling an attack, begun at sunrise, upon
the Watauga fort near the Sycamore Shoals. This attack, which was
led by Old Abraham, proved abortive; but as the result of the
loose investment of the log fortress, maintained by the Indians
for several weeks, a few rash venturers from the fort were killed
or captured, notably a young boy who was carried to one of the
Indian towns and burned at the stake, and the wife of the pioneer
settler, William Been, who was rescued from a like fate by the
intercession of the humane and noble Nancy Ward. It was during
this siege, according to constant tradition, that a frontier
lass, active and graceful as a young doe, was pursued to the very
stockade by the fleet-footed savages. Seeing her plight, an
athletic young officer mounted the stockade at a single leap,
shot down the foremost of the pursuers, and leaning over, seized
the maiden by the hands and lifted her over the stockade. The
maiden who sank breathless into the arms of the young officer,
John Sevier, was "Bonnie Kate Sherrill"--who, after the fashion
of true romance, afterward became the wife of her gallant

While the Tennessee settlements were undergoing the trials of
siege and attack, the settlers on the frontiers of Rowan were
falling beneath the tomahawk of the merciless savage. In the
first and second weeks of July large forces of Indians penetrated
to the outlying settlements; and in two days thirty-seven persons
were killed along the Catawba River. On July 13th, the bluff old
soldier of Rowan, General Griffith Rutherford, reported to the
council of North Carolina that "three of our Captains are killed
and one wounded"; and that he was setting out that day with what
men he could muster to relieve Colonel McDowell, ten men, and one
hundred and twenty women and children, who were "besieged in some
kind of a fort." Aroused to extraordinary exertions by these
daring and deadly blows, the governments of North Carolina, South
Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia instituted a joint campaign
against the Cherokees. It was believed that, by delivering a
series of crushing blows to the Indians and so conclusively
demonstrating the overwhelming superiority of the whites, the
state governments in the Old Southwest would convince the savages
of the futility, of any attempt ever again to oppose them

Within less than a week after sending his despatches to the
council Rutherford set forth at the head of twenty-five hundred
men to protect the frontiers of North Carolina and to overwhelm
the foe. Leading the South Carolina army of more than eighteen
hundred men, Colonel Andrew Williamson directed his attack
against the lower Cherokee towns; while Colonel Samuel Jack led
two hundred Georgians against the Indian towns at the heads of
the Chattahoochee and Tugaloo Rivers. Assembling a force of some
sixteen hundred Virginians, Colonel William Christian
rendezvoused in August at the Long Island of Holston, where his
force was strengthened by between three and four hundred North
Carolinians under Colonels Joseph Williams and Love, and Major
Winston. The various expeditions met with little effective
opposition on the whole, succeeding everywhere in their design of
utterly laying waste the towns of the Cherokees. One serious
engagement occurred when the Indians resolutely challenged
Rutherford's advance at the gap of the Nantahala Mountains.
Indian women--heroic Amazons disguised in war-paint and armed
with the weapons of warriors and the courage of despair--fought
side by side with the Indian braves in the effort to arrest
Rutherford's progress and compass his defeat. More than forty
frontiersmen fell beneath the deadly shots of this truly Spartan
band before the final repulse of the savages.

The most picturesque figures in this overwhelmingly successful
campaign were the bluff old Indian-fighter, Griffith Rutherford,
wearing "a tow hunting shirt, dyed black, and trimmed with white
fringe" as a uniform; Captain Benjamin Cleveland, a rude paladin
of gigantic size, strength, and courage; Lieutenant William
Lenoir (Le Noir), the gallant and recklessly brave French
Huguenot, later to win a general's rank in the Revolution; and
that militant man of God, the Reverend James Hall, graduate of
Nassau Hall, stalwart and manly, who carried a rifle on his
shoulder and, in the intervals between the slaughter of the
savages, preached the gospel to the vindictive and bloodthirsty
backwoodsmen. Such preaching was sorely needed on that campaign--when
the whites, maddened beyond the bounds of self-control by
the recent ghastly murders, gladly availed themselves of the
South Carolina bounty offered for fresh Indian scalps. At times
they exultantly displayed the reeking patches of hair above the
gates of their stockades; at others, with many a bloody oath,
they compelled their commanders either to sell the Indian
captives into slavery or else see them scalped on the spot.
Twenty years afterward Benjamin Hawkins relates that among Indian
refugees in extreme western Georgia the children had been so
terrorized by their parents' recitals of the atrocities of the
enraged borderers in the campaign of 1776, that they ran
screaming from the face of a white man.

CHAPTER XVII. The Colonization of the Cumberland

March 31, 1760. Set out this day, and after running some
distance, met with Col. Richard Henderson, who was running the
line between Virginia and North Carolina. At this meeting we were
much rejoiced. He gave us every information we wished, and
further informed us that he had purchased a quantity of corn in
Kentucky, to be shipped at the Falls of Ohio, for the use of the
Cumberland settlement. We are now without bread, and are
compelled to hunt the buffalo to preserve life.--John Donelson:
Journal of a Voyage, intended by God's permission, in the good
boat Adventure, from Fort Patrick Henry, on Holston River, to the
French Salt Springs on Cumberland River.

To the settlements in Tennessee and Kentucky, which they had
seized and occupied, the pioneers held on with a tenacious grip
which never relaxed. From these strongholds, won through sullen
and desperate strokes, they pushed deeper into the wilderness,
once again to meet with undimmed courage the bitter onslaughts of
their resentful foes. The crushing of the Cherokees in 1776
relieved the pressure upon the Tennessee settlers, enabling them
to strengthen their hold and prepare effectively for future
eventualities; the possession of the gateway to Kentucky kept
free the passage for Western settlement; Watauga and its
defenders continued to offer a formidable barrier to British
invasion of the East from Kentucky and the Northwest during the
Revolution; while these Tennessee frontiersmen were destined soon
to set forth again to invade a new wilderness and at frightful
cost to colonize the Cumberland.

The little chain of stockades along the farflung frontier of
Kentucky was tenaciously held by the bravest of the race, grimly
resolved that this chain must not break. The Revolution
precipitated against this chain wave after wave of formidable
Indian foes from the Northwest under British leadership. At the
very time when Grifth Rutherford set out for the relief of
McDowell's Fort, a marauding Indian band captured by stealth near
the Transylvania Fort, known as Boone's Fort (Boonesborough),
Elizabeth and Frances Callaway, and Jemima Boone, the daughters
of Richard Callaway and Daniel Boone, and rapidly marched them
away toward the Shawanoe towns on the Ohio. A relief party, in
two divisions, headed respectively by the young girls' fathers,
and composed among others of the lovers of the three girls,
Samuel Henderson, John Holder, and Flanders Callaway, pursued
them with almost incredible swiftness. Guided by broken twigs and
bits of cloth surreptitiously dropped by Elizabeth Callaway, they
finally overtook the unsuspecting savages, killed two of them,
and rescued the three maidens unharmed. This romantic
episode--which gave Fenimore Cooper the theme for the most
memorable scene in one of his Leatherstocking Tales had an even
more romantic sequel in the subsequent marriage of the three
pairs of lovers.

This bold foray, so shrewdly executed and even more sagaciously
foiled, was a true precursor of the dread happenings of the
coming neighborhood of the stations; and relief was felt when the
Transylvania Fort, the great stockade planned by Judge Henderson,
was completed by the pioneers (July, 1776). Glad tidings arrived
only a few days later when the Declaration of Independence, read
aloud from the Virginia Gazette, was greeted with wild huzzas by
the patriotic backwoodsmen. During the ensuing months occasional
invasions were made by savage bands; but it was not until April
24, 1777, that Henderson's "big fort" received its first attack,
being invested by a company of some seventy-five savages. The
twenty-two riflemen in the fort drove off the painted warriors,
but not before Michael Stoner, Daniel Boone, and several others
were severely wounded. As he lay helpless upon the ground, his
ankle shattered by a bullet, Boone was lifted by Simon Kenton and
borne away upon his shoulders to the haven of the stockade amid a
veritable shower of balls. The stoical and taciturn Boone clasped
Kenton's hand and gave him the accolade of the wilderness in the
brief but heartfelt utterance; "You are a fine fellow." On July
4th of this same year the fort was again subjected to siege, when
two hundred gaudily painted savages surrounded it for two days.
But owing to the vigilance and superb markmanship of the
defenders, as well as to the lack of cannon by the besieging
force, the Indians reluctantly abandoned the siege, after leaving
a number dead upon the field. Soon afterward the arrival of two
strong bodies of prime riflemen, who had been hastily summoned
from the frontiers of North Carolina and Virginia, once again
made firm the bulwark of white supremacy in the West.

Kentucky's terrible year, 1778, opened with a severe disaster to
the white settlers--when Boone with thirty men, while engaged in
making salt at the "Lower Salt Spring," was captured in February
by more than a hundred Indians, sent by Governor Hamilton of
Detroit to drive the white settlers from "Kentucke." Boone
remained in captivity until early summer, when, learning that his
Indian captors were planning an attack in force upon the
Transylvania Fort, he succeeded in effecting his escape. After a
break-neck journey of one hundred and sixty miles, during which
he ate but one meal, Boone finally arrived at the big fort on
June 20th. The settlers were thus given ample time for
preparation, as the long siege did not begin until September 7th.
The fort was invested by a powerful force flying the English
flag--four hundred and forty-four savages gaudy in the vermilion
and ochre of their war-paint, and eleven Frenchmen, the whole
being commanded by the French-Canadian, Captain Dagniaux de
Quindre, and the great Indian Chief, Black-fish who had adopted
Boone as a son. In the effort to gain his end de Quindre resorted
to a dishonorable stratagem, by which he hoped to outwit the
settlers and capture the fort with but slight loss. "They formed
a scheme to deceive us," says Boone, "declaring it was their
orders, from Governor Hamilton, to take us captives, and not to
destroy us; but if nine of us would come out and treat with them,
they would immediately withdraw their forces from our walls, and
return home peacably." Transparent as the stratagem was, Boone
incautiously agreed to a conference with the enemy; Callaway
alone took the precaution to guard against Indian duplicity.
After a long talk, the Indians proposed to Boone, Callaway, and
the seven or eight pioneers who accompanied them that they shake
hands in token of peace and friendship. As picturesquely
described by Daniel Trabue:

"The Indians sayed two Indians must shake hands with one white
man to make a Double or sure peace at this time the Indians had
hold of the white men's hands and held them. Col. Calloway
objected to this but the other Indians laid hold or tryed to lay
hold of the other hand but Colonel Calloway was the first that
jerked away from them but the Indians seized the men two Indians
holt of one man or it was mostly the case and did their best to
hold them but while the man and Indians was a scuffling the men
from the Fort agreeable to Col. Calloway's order fired on them
they had a dreadful skuffel but our men all got in the fort safe
and the fire continued on both sides."

During the siege Callaway, the leader of the pioneers, made a
wooden cannon wrapped with wagon tires, which on being fired at a
group of Indians "made them scamper perdidiously." The secret
effort of the Indians to tunnel a way underground into the fort,
being discovered by the defenders, was frustrated by a
countermine. Unable to outwit, outfight, or outmaneuver the
resourceful Callaway, de Quindre finally withdrew on September
16th, closing the longest and severest attack that any of the
fortified stations of Kentucky had ever been called upon to

The successful defense of the Transylvania Fort, made by these
indomitable backwoodsmen who were lost sight of by the
Continental Congress and left to fight alone their battles in the
forests, was of national significance in its results. Had the
Transylvania Fort fallen, the northern Indians in overwhelming
numbers, directed by Hamilton and led by British officers, might
well have swept Kentucky free of defenders and fallen with
devastating force upon the exposed settlements along the western
frontiers of North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, This
defense of Boonesborough, therefore, is deserving of
commemoration in the annals of the Revolution, along with
Lexington and Bunker's Hill. Coupled with Clark's meteoric
campaign in the Northwest and the subsequent struggles in the
defense of Kentucky, it may be regarded as an event basically
responsible for the retention of the trans-Alleghany region by
the United States. The bitter struggles, desperate sieges, and
bloody reprisals of these dark years came to a close with the
expeditions of Clark and Logan in November, 1782, which
appropriately concluded the Revolution in the West by putting a
definite end to all prospect of formidable invasion of Kentucky.

In November, 1777, "Washington District," the delegates of which
had been received in the preceding year by the Provincial
Congress of North Carolina, was formed by the North Carolina
General Assembly into Washington County; and to it were assigned
the boundaries of the whole of the present state of Tennessee.
While this immense territory was thus being definitely included
within the bounds of North Carolina, Judge Henderson on behalf of
the Transylvania Company was making a vigorous effort to secure
the reestablishment of its rights from the Virginia Assembly. By
order of the Virginia legislature, an exhaustive investigation of
the claims of the Transylvania Company was therefore made,
hearings being held at various points in the back country. On
July 18, 1777, Judge Henderson presented to the peace
commissioners for North Carolina and Virginia at the Long Island
treaty ground an elaborate memorial in behalf of the Transylvania
Company, which the commissioners unanimously refused to consider,
as not coming under their jurisdiction. Finally, after a full and
impartial discussion before the Virginia House of Delegates, that
body declared the Transylvania purchase void. But in
consideration of "the very great expense [incurred by the
company] in making the said purchase, and in settling the said
lands, by which the commonwealth is likely to receive great
advantage, by increasing its inhabitants, and establishing a
barrier against the Indians," the House of Delegates granted
Richard Henderson and Company two hundred thousand acres of land
situated between the Ohio and Green rivers, where the town of
Henderson, Kentucky, now stands. With this bursting of the
Transylvania bubble and the vanishing of the golden dreams of
Henderson and his associates for establishing the fourteenth
American colony in the heart of the trans-Alleghany, a first
romantic chapter in the history of Westward expansion comes to a

But another and more feasible project immediately succeeded.
Undiscouraged by Virginia's confiscation of Transylvania, and
disregarding North Carolina's action in extending her boundaries
over the trans-Alleghany region lying within her chartered
limits, Henderson, in whom the genius of the colonizer and the
ambition of the speculative capitalist were found in striking
conjunction, was now inspired to repeat, along broader and more
solidly practical lines, the revolutionary experiment of
Transylvania. It was not his purpose, however, to found an
independent colony; for he believed that millions of acres in the
Transylvania purchase lay within the bounds of North Carolina,
and he wished to open for colonization, settlement, and the sale
of lands, the vast wilderness of the valley of the Cumberland
supposed to lie within those confines. But so universal was the
prevailing uncertainty in regard to boundaries that it was
necessary to prolong the North Carolina-Virginia line in order to
determine whether or not the Great French Lick, the ideal
location for settlement, lay within the chartered limits of North

Judge Henderson's comprehensive plans for the promotion of an
extensive colonization of the Cumberland region soon began to
take form in vigorous action. Just as in his Transylvania project
Henderson had chosen Daniel Boone, the ablest of the North
Carolina pioneers, to spy out the land and select sites for
future location, so now he chose as leader of the new colonizing
party the ablest of the Tennessee pioneers, James Robertson.
Although he was the acknowledged leader of the Watauga settlement
and held the responsible position of Indian agent for North
Carolina, Robertson was induced by Henderson's liberal offers to
leave his comparatively peaceful home and to venture his life in
this desperate hazard of new fortunes. The advance party of eight
white men and one negro, under Robertson's leadership, set forth
from the Holston settlement on February 6, 1779, to make a
preliminary exploration and to plant corn "that bread might be
prepared for the main body of emigrants in the fall." After
erecting a few cabins for dwellings and posts of defense,
Robertson plunged alone into the wilderness and made the long
journey to Post St. Vincent in the Illinois, in order to consult
with George Rogers Clark, who had entered for himself in the
Virginia Land Office several thousand acres of land at the French
Lick. After perfecting arrangements with Clark for securing
"cabin rights" should the land prove to lie in Virginia,
Robertson returned to Watauga to take command of the migration.

Toward the end of the year two parties set out, one by land, the
other by water, for the wonderful new country on the Cumberland
of which Boone and Scaggs and Mansker had brought back such
glowing descriptions. During the autumn Judge Henderson and other
commissioners from North Carolina, in conjunction with
commissioners from Virginia, had been running out the boundary
line between the two states. On the very day--Christmas,
1779--that Judge Henderson reached the site of the Transylvania
Fort, now called Boonesborough, the swarm of colonists from the
parent hive at Watauga, under Robertson's leadership, reached the
French Lick and on New Year's Day, 1780, crossed the river on the
ice to the present site of Nashville.

The journal of the other party, which, as has been aptly said,
reads like a chapter from one of Captain Mayne Reid's fascinating
novels of adventure, was written by Colonel John Donelson, the
father-in-law of Andrew Jackson. Setting out from Fort Patrick
Henry on Holston River, December 22, 1779, with a flotilla
consisting of about thirty flatboats, dugouts, and canoes, they
encountered few difficulties until they began to run the gauntlet
of the Chickamauga towns on the Tennessee. Here they were
furiously attacked by the Indians, terrible in their red and
black war-paint; and a well-filled boat lagging in the rear, with
smallpox on board, was driven to shore by the Indians. The
occupants were massacred; but the Indians at once contracted the
disease and died by the hundreds. This luckless sacrifice of
"poor Stuart, his family and friends," while a ghastly price to
pay, undoubtedly procured for the Cumberland settlements
comparative immunity from Indian forays until the new-comers had
firmly established themselves in their wilderness stronghold.
Eloquent of the granite endurance and courageous spirit of the
typical American pioneer in its thankfulness for sanctuary, for
reunion of families and friends, and for the humble shelter of a
log cabin, is the last entry in Donelson's diary (April 24,

"This day we arrived at our journey's end at the Big Salt Lick,
where we have the pleasure of finding Capt. Robertson and his
company. It is a source of satisfaction to us to be enabled to
restore to him and others their families and friends, who were
intrusted to our care, and who, some time since, perhaps,
despaired of ever meeting again. Though our prospects at present
are dreary, we have found a few log cabins which have been built
on a cedar bluff above the Lick by Capt. Robertson and his

In the midst of the famine during this terrible period of the
"hard winter," Judge Henderson was sorely concerned for the fate
of the new colony which he had projected, and immediately
proceeded to purchase at huge cost a large stock of corn. On
March 5, 1780, this corn, which had been raised by Captain
Nathaniel Hart, was "sent from Boonesborough in perogues
[pettiaugers or flatboats] under the command of William Bailey
Smith.... This corn was taken down the Kentucky River, and
over the Falls of Ohio, to the mouth of the Cumberland, and
thence up that river to the fort at the French Lick. It is
believed have been the only bread which the settlers had until it
was raised there in 1781." There is genuine impressiveness in
this heroic triumphing over the obstacles of obdurate nature and
this paternalistic provision for the exposed Cumberland
settlement--the purchase by Judge Henderson, the shipment by
Captain Hart, and the transportation by Colonel Smith, in an
awful winter of bitter cold and obstructed navigation, of this
indispensable quantity of corn purchased for sixty thousand
dollars in depreciated currency.

Upon his arrival at the French Lick, shortly after the middle of
April, Judge Henderson at once proceeded to organize a government
for the little community. On May 1st articles of association were
drawn up; and important additions thereto were made on May 13th,
when the settlers signed the complete series. The original
document, still preserved, was drafted by Judge Henderson, being
written throughout in his own handwriting; and his name heads the
list of two hundred and fifty and more signatures. The
"Cumberland Compact," as this paper is called, is fundamentally a
mutual contract between the copartners of the Transylvania
Company and the settlers upon the lands claimed by the company.
It represents the collective will of the community; and on
account of the careful provisions safeguarding the rights of each
party to the contract it may be called a bill of rights. The
organization of this pure democracy was sound and
admirable--another notable early example of the commission form
of government. The most remarkable feature of this backwoods
constitution marks Judge Henderson as a pioneer in the use of the
political device so prominent to-day, one hundred and forty years
later--the "recall of judges." In the following striking clause
this innovation in government was recognized thus early in
American history as the most effective means of securing and
safeguarding justice in a democracy:

"As often as the people in general are dissatisfied with the
doings of the Judges or Triers so to be chosen, they may call a
new selection in any of the said stations, and elect bothers in
their stead, having due respect to the number now agreed to be
elected at each station, which persons so to be chosen shall have
the same power with those in whose room or place they shall or
may be chosen to act."

A land-office was now opened, the entry-taker being appointed by
Judge Henderson, in accordance with the compact; and the lands,
for costs of entry, etc., were registered for the nominal fee of
ten dollars per thousand acres. But as the Transylvania Company
was never able to secure a "satisfactory and indisputable title,"
the clause resulted in perpetual nonpayment. In 1783, following
the lead of Virginia in the case of Transylvania, North Carolina
declared the Transylvania Company's purchase void, but granted
the company in compensation a tract of one hundred and ninety
thousand acres in Powell's Valley. As compensation, the grants of
North Carolina and Virginia were quite inadequate, considering
the value of the service in behalf of permanent western
colonization rendered by the Transylvania company.

James Robertson was chosen as presiding officer of the court of
twelve commissioners, and was also elected commander-in-chief of
the military forces of the eight little associated settlements on
the Cumberland. Here for the next two years the self-reliant
settlers under Robertson's wise and able leadership successfully
repelled the Indians in their guerrilla warfare, firmly
entrenched themselves in their forest-girt stronghold, and
vindicated their claim to the territory by right of occupation
and conquest. Here sprang up in later times a great and populous
city--named, strangely enough, neither for Henderson, the
founder, nor for Robertson and Donelson, the leaders of the two
colonizing parties, but for one having no association with its
history or origins, the gallant North Carolinian, General Francis
Nash, who was killed at the Battle of Germantown.

CHAPTER XVIII. King's Mountain

With the utmost satisfaction I can acquaint you with the sudden
and favorable turn of our public affairs. A few days ago
destruction hung over our heads. Cornwallis with at least 1500
British and Tories waited at Charlotte for the reinforcement of
1000 from Broad River, which reinforcement has been entirely cut
off, 130 killed and the remainder captured. Cornwallis
immediately retreated, and is now on his way toward Charleston,
with part of our army in his rear....--Elizabeth Maxwell
Steel: Salisbury, October 25, 1780.

So thoroughly had the Cherokees been subdued by the devastations
of the campaign of 1776 that for several years thereafter they
were unable to organize for a new campaign against the
backwoodsmen along the frontiers of North Carolina and Tennessee.
During these years the Holston settlers principally busied
themselves in making their position secure, as well as in setting
their house in order by severely punishing the lawless Tory
element among them. In 1779 the Chickamaugas, with whom The
Dragging Canoe and his irreconcilable followers among the
Cherokees had joined hands after the campaign of 1776, grew so
bold in their bloody forays upon small exposed settlements that
North Carolina and Virginia in conjunction despatched a strong
expedition against them. Embarking on April 10th at the mouth of
Big Creek near the present Rogersville, Tennessee, three hundred
and fifty men led by Colonel Evan Shelby descended the Tennessee
to the fastnesses of the Chickamaugas. Meeting with no resistance
from the astonished Indians, who fled to the shelter of the
densely wooded hills, they laid waste the Indian towns and
destroyed the immense stores of goods collected by the British
agents for distribution among the red men. The Chickamaugas were
completely quelled; and during the period of great stress through
which the Tennessee frontiersmen were soon to pass, the Cherokees
were restrained through the wise diplomacy of Joseph Martin,
Superintendent of Indian affairs for Virginia.

The great British offensive against the Southern colonies, which
were regarded as the vulnerable point in the American
Confederacy, was fully launched upon the fall of Charleston in
May, 1780. Cornwallis established his headquarters at Camden; and
one of his lieutenants, the persuasive and brilliant Ferguson,
soon rallied thousands of Loyalists in South Carolina to the
British standard. When Cornwallis inaugurated his campaign for
cutting Washington wholly off from the Southern colonies by
invading North Carolina, the men upon the western waters realized
that the time had come to rise, in defense of their state and in
protection of their homes. Two hundred Tennessee riflemen from
Sullivan County, under Colonel Isaac Shelby, were engaged in
minor operations in South Carolina conducted by Colonel Charles
McDowell; and conspicuous among these engagements was the affair
at Musgrove's Mill on August 18th when three hundred horsemen led
by Colonel James Williams, a native of Granville County, North
Carolina, Colonel Isaac Shelby, and Lieutenant-Colonel Clark of
Georgia repulsed with heavy loss a British force of between four
and five hundred.

These minor successes availed nothing in face of the disastrous
defeat of Gates by Cornwallis at Camden on August 16th and the
humiliating blow to Sumter at Rocky Mount on the following day.
Ferguson hotly pursued the frontiersmen, who then retreated over
the mountains; and from his camp at Gilbert Town he despatched a
threatening message to the Western leaders, declaring that if
they did not desist from their opposition to the British arms and
take protection under his standard, he would march his army over
the mountains and lay their country waste with fire and sword.
Stung to action, Shelby hastily rode off to consult with Sevier
at his log castle near Jonesboro; and together they matured a
plan to arouse the mountain men and attack Ferguson by surprise.
In the event of failure, these wilderness free-lances planned to
leave the country and find a home with the Spaniards in

At the original place of rendezvous, the Sycamore Shoals of the
Watauga, the overmountain men gathered on September 25th. There
an eloquent sermon was preached to them by that fiery man of God,
the Reverend Samuel Doak, who concluded his discourse with a
stirring invocation to the sword of the Lord and of Gideon--a
sentiment greeted with the loud applause of the militant
frontiersmen. Here and at various places along the march they
were joined by detachments of border fighters summoned to join
the expedition--Colonel William Campbell, who with some
reluctance had abandoned his own plans in response to Shelby's
urgent and repeated message, in command of four hundred hardy
frontiersmen from Washington County, Virginia; Colonel Benjamin
Cleveland, with the wild fighters of Wilkes known as "Cleveland's
Bulldogs"; Colonel Andrew Hampton, with the stalwart riflemen of
Rutherford; Major Joseph Winston, the cousin of Patrick Henry,
with the flower of the citizenry of Surry; the McDowells, Charles
and Joseph, with the bold borderers of Burke; Colonels Lacy and
Hill, with well-trained soldiers of South Carolina; and
Brigadier-General James Williams, leading the intrepid Rowan

Before breaking camp at Quaker Meadows, the leading officers in
conference chose Colonel William Campbell as temporary officer of
the day, until they could secure a general officer from
headquarters as commander-in-chief. The object of the
mountaineers and big-game hunters was, in their own terms, to
pursue Ferguson, to run him down, and to capture him. In
pursuance of this plan, the leaders on arriving at the ford of
Green River chose out a force of six hundred men, with the best
mounts and equipment; and at daybreak on October 6th this force
of picked mounted riflemen, followed by some fifty "foot-cavalry"
eager to join in the pursuit, pushed rapidly on to the Cowpens.
Here a second selection took place; and Colonel Campbell, was
again elected commander of the detachment, now numbering some
nine hundred and ten horsemen and eighty odd footmen, which
dashed rapidly on in pursuit of Ferguson.

The British commander had been apprised of the coming of the
over-mountain men. Scorning to make a forced march and attempt to
effect a junction with Cornwallis at Charlotte, Ferguson chose to
make a stand and dispose once for all of the barbarian horde whom
he denounced as mongrels and the dregs of mankind. After
despatching to Cornwallis a message asking for aid, Ferguson took
up his camp on King's Mountain, just south of the North Carolina
border line, in the present York County, South Carolina. Here,
after his pickets had been captured in silence, he was surprised
by his opponents. At three o'clock in the afternoon of October
7th the mountain hunters treed their game upon the heights.

The battle which ensued presents an extraordinary contrast in the
character of the combatants and the nature of the strategy and
tactics. Each party ran true to form--Ferguson repeating
Braddock's suicidal policy of opposing bayonet charges to the
deadly fusillade of riflemen, who in Indian fashion were
carefully posted behind trees and every shelter afforded by the
natural inequalities of the ground. In the army of the Carolina
and Virginia frontiersmen, composed of independent detachments
recruited from many sources and solicitous for their own
individual credit, each command was directed in the battle by its
own leader. Campbell--like Cleveland, Winston, Williams, Lacey,
Shelby, McDowell, Sevier, and Hambright--personally led his own
division; but the nature of the fighting and the peculiarity of
the terrain made it impossible for him, though the chosen
commander of the expedition, actually to play that role in the
battle. The plan agreed upon in advance by the frontier leaders
was simple enough--to surround and capture Ferguson's camp on the
high plateau. The more experienced Indian fighters, Sevier and
Shelby, unquestionably suggested the general scheme which in any
case would doubtless have been employed by the frontiersmen; it
was to give the British "Indian play"--namely to take cover
everywhere and to fire from natural shelter. Cleveland, a
Hercules in strength and courage who had fought the Indians and
recognized the wisdom of Indian tactics, ordered his men, as did
some of the other leaders, to give way before a bayonet charge,
but to return to the attack after the charge had spent its force.

"My brave fellows," said Cleveland, "every man must consider
himself an officer, and act from his own judgment. Fire as quick
as you can, and stand your ground as long as you can. When you
can do no better, get behind trees, or retreat; but I beg you not
to run quite off. If we are repulsed, let us make a point of
returning and renewing the fight; perhaps we may have better luck
in the second attempt than in the first."

The plateau upon which Ferguson was encamped was the top of an
eminence some six hundred yards long and about two hundred and
fifty yards from one base across to the other; and its shape was
that of an Indian paddle, varying from one hundred and twenty
yards at the blade to sixty yards at the handle in width.
Outcropping boulders upon the outer edge of the plateau afforded
some slight shelter for Ferguson's force; but, unsuspicious of
attack, Ferguson had made no abatis to protect his camp from the
assault to which it was so vulnerable because of the protection
of the timber surrounding it on all sides. As to the disposition
of the attacking force, the center to the northeast was occupied
by Cleveland with his "Bulldogs," Hambright with his South Fork
Boys from the Catawba (now Lincoln County, North Carolina), and
Winston with his Surry riflemen; to the south were the divisions
of Joseph McDowell, Sevier, and Campbell; while Lacey's South
Carolinians, the Rowan levies under Williams, and the Watauga
borderers under Shelby were stationed upon the north side.
Ferguson's forces consisted of Provincial Rangers, one hundred
and fifty strong, and other well-drilled Loyalists, between eight
and nine hundred in number; but his strength was seriously
weakened by the absence of a foraging party of between one and
two hundred who had gone off on the morning the battle occurred.
Shelby's men, before getting into position, received a hot fire,
the opening shots of the engagement. This inspired Campbell, who
now threw off his coat, to shout encouraging orders to his men
posted on the side of the mountain opposite to Shelby's force.
When Campbell's Virginians uttered a series of piercing shouts,
the British officer, De Peyster, second in command, remarked to
his chief: "These things are ominous--these are the damned
yelling boys."

The battle, which lasted some minutes short of an hour, was waged
with terrific ferocity. The Loyalist militia, whenever possible,
fired from the shelter of the rocks; while the Provincial Corps,
with fixed bayonets, steadily charged the frontiersmen, who fired
at close range and then rapidly withdrew to the very base of the
mountain. After each bayonet charge the Provincials coolly
withdrew to the summit, under the accumulating fire of the
returning mountaineers, who quickly gathered in their rear. Owing
to their elevated location, the British, although using the
rapid-fire breech-loading rifle invented by Ferguson himself,
found their vision deflected, and continually fired high, thus
suffering from nature's handicap, refraction. The militia, using
sharpened butcher-knives which Ferguson had taught them to
utilize as bayonets, charged against the mountaineers; but their
fire, in answer to the deadly fusillade of the expert squirrel-shooters,
was belated, owing to the fact that they could not fire
while the crudely improvised bayonets remained inserted in their
pieces. The Americans, continually firing upward, found ready
marks for their aim in the clearly delineated outlines of their
adversaries, and felt the fierce exultation which animates the
hunter who has tracked to its lair and surrounded wild game at

The leaders of the various divisions of the mountaineers bore
themselves with impetuous bravery, recklessly rushing between the
lines of fire and with native eloquence, interspersed with
profanity, rallying their individual commands again and again to
the attack. The valiant Campbell scaled the rugged heights,
loudly encouraging his men to the ascent. Cleveland, resolutely
facing the foe, urged on is Bulldogs with the inspiriting words:
"Come, boys; let's try 'em again. We'll have better luck next
time." No sooner did Shelby's men reach the bottom of the hill,
in retreating before a charge, than their commander, fiery and
strenuous, ardently shouted: "Now boys, quickly reload your
rifles, and let's advance upon them, and give them another hell
of a fire." The most deadly charge, led by De Peyster himself,
fell upon Hambright's South Fork boys; and one of their gallant
officers, Major Chronicle, waving his military hat, was mortally
wounded, the command, "Face to the hill!", dying on his lips.
These veteran soldiers, unlike the mountaineers, firmly met the
shock of the charge, and a number of their men were shot down or
transfixed; but the remainder, reserving their fire until the
charging column was only a few feet away, poured in a deadly
volley before retiring. The gallant William Lenoir, whose
reckless bravery made him a conspicuous target for the enemy,
received several wounds and emerged from the battle with his hair
and clothes torn by balls. The ranking American officer,
Brigadier General James Williams, was mortally wounded while "on
the very top of the mountain, in the thickest of the fight"; and
as he momentarily revived, his first words were: "For God's sake,
boys, don't give up the hill." Hambright, sorely wounded, his
boot overflowing with blood and his hat riddled with three bullet
holes, declined to dismount, but pressed gallantly forward,
exclaiming in his "Pennsylvania Dutch": "Huzza, my prave poys,
fight on a few minutes more, and the pattle will be over!" On the
British side, Ferguson was supremely valorous, rapidly dashing
from one point to another, rallying his men, oblivious to all
danger. Wherever the shrill note of his silver whistle sounded,
there the fighting was hottest and the British resistance the
most stubborn. His officers fought with the characteristic
steadiness of the British soldier; and again and again his men
charged headlong against the wavering and fiery circle of the

Ferguson's boast that "he was on King's Mountain, that he was
king of the Mountain, and God Almighty could not drive him from
it" was doubtless prompted, less by a belief in the
impregnability of his position, than by a desperate desire to
inspire confidence in his men. His location was admirably chosen
for defense against attack by troops employing regulation
tactics; but, never dreaming of the possibility of sudden
investment, Ferguson had erected no fortifications for his
encampment. His frenzied efforts on the battlefield seem like a
mad rush against fate; for the place was indefensible against the
peculiar tactics of the frontiersmen. While the mountain flamed
like a volcano and resounded with the thunder of the guns, a
steady stricture was in progress. The lines were drawn tighter
and tighter around the trapped and frantically struggling army;
and at last the fall of their commander, riddled with bullets,
proved the tragic futility of further resistance. The game was
caught and bagged to a man. When Winston, with his fox-hunters of
Surry, dashed recklessly through the woods, says a chronicler of
the battle, and the last to come into position,

Flow'd in, and settling, circled all the lists,


From all the circle of the hills death sleeted in upon the

The battle was decisive in its effect--shattering the plans of
Cornwallis, which till then appeared certain of success. The
victory put a full stop to the invasion of North Carolina, which
was then well under way. Cornwallis abandoned his carefully
prepared campaign and immediately left the state. After
ruthlessly hanging nine prisoners, an action which had an
effectively deterrent effect upon future Tory murders and
depredations, the patriot force quietly disbanded. The brilliant
initiative of the buckskin-clad borderers, the strenuous energy
of their pursuit, the perfection of their surprise--all
reinforced by the employment of ideal tactics for meeting the
given situation--were the controlling factors in this
overwhelming victory of the Revolution. The pioneers of the Old
Southwest--the independent and aggressive yeomanry of North
Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina--had risen in their might.
Without the aid or authority of blundering state governments,
they had created an army of frontiersmen, Indian-fighters, and
big-game hunters which had found no parallel or equal on the
continent since the Battle of the Great Kanawha.

CHAPTER XIX. The State of Franklin

Designs of a more dangerous nature and deeper die seem to glare
in the western revolt .... I have thought proper to issue this
manifesto, hereby warning all persons concerned in the said
revolt ... that the honour of this State has been particularly
wounded, by seizing that by violence which, in time, no doubt,
would have been obtained by consent, when the terms of separation
would have been explained or stipulated, to the mutual
satisfaction of the mother and new State.... Let your
proposals be consistent with the honour of the State to accede
to, which by your allegiance as good citizens, you cannot violate
and I make no doubt but her generosity, in time, will meet your
wishes.--Governor Alexander Martin: Manifesto against the State
of Franklin, April 25, 1785.

To the shrewd diplomacy of Joseph Martin, who held the Cherokees
in check during the period of the King's Mountain campaign, the
settlers in the valleys of the Watauga and the Holston owed their
temporary immunity from Indian attack. But no sooner did Sevier
and his over-mountain men return from the battle-field of King's
Mountain than they were called upon to join in an expedition
against the Cherokees, who had again gone on the war-path at the
instigation of the British. After Sevier with his command had
defeated a small party of Indians at Boyd's Creek in December,
the entire force of seven hundred riflemen, under the command of
Colonel Arthur Campbell, with Major Joseph Martin as subordinate,
penetrated to the heart of the Indian country, burned Echota,
Chilhowee, Settiquo, Hiawassee, and seven other principal
villages, and destroyed an immense amount of property and
supplies. In March, suspecting that the arch-conspirators against
the white settlers were the Cherokees at the head waters of the
Little Tennessee, Sevier led one hundred and fifty horsemen
through the devious mountain defiles and struck the Indians a
swift and unexpected blow at Tuckasegee, near the present
Webster, North Carolina. In this extraordinarily daring raid, one
of his most brilliant feats of arms, Sevier lost only one man
killed and one wounded; while upon the enemy he inflicted the
loss of thirty killed, took many more prisoners, burned six
Indian towns, and captured many horses and supplies. Once his
deadly work was done, Sevier with his bold cavaliers silently
plunged again into the forest whence he had so suddenly emerged,
and returned in triumph to the settlements.

Disheartened though the Indians were to see the smoke of their
burning towns, they sullenly remained averse to peace; and they
did not keep the treaty made at Long Island in July, 1781. The
Indians suffered from very real grievances at the hands of the
lawless white settlers who persisted in encroaching upon the
Indian lands. When the Indian ravages were resumed, Sevier and
Anderson, the latter from Sullivan County, led a punitive
expedition of two hundred riflemen against the Creeks and the
Chickamaugas; and employing the customary tactics of laying waste
the Indian towns, administered stern and salutary chastisement to
the copper-colored marauders.

During this same period the settlers on the Cumberland were
displaying a grim fortitude and stoical endurance in the face of
Indian attack forever memorable in the history of the Old
Southwest. On the night of January 15, 1781, the settlers at
Freeland's Station, after a desperate resistance, succeeded in
beating off the savages who attacked in force. At Nashborough on
April 2d, twenty of the settlers were lured from the stockade by
the artful wiles of the savages; and it was only after serious
loss that they finally won their way back to the protection of
the fort. Indeed, their return was due to the fierce dogs of the
settlers, which were released at the most critical moment, and
attacked the astounded Indians with such ferocity that the
diversion thus created enabled the settlers to escape from the
deadly trap. During the next two years the history of the
Cumberland settlements is but the gruesome recital of murder
after murder of the whites, a few at a time, by the lurking
Indian foe. Robertson's dominant influence alone prevented the
abandonment of the sorely harassed little stations. The arrival
of the North Carolina commissioners for the purpose of laying off
bounty lands and settlers' preemptions, and the treaty of peace
concluded at the French Lick on November 5 and 6, 1783, gave
permanence and stability to the Cumberland settlements. The
lasting friendship of the Chickasaws was won; but the Creeks for
some time continued to harass the Tennessee pioneers. The
frontiersmen's most formidable foe, the Cherokees, stoically,
heroically fighting the whites in the field, and smallpox,
syphilis, and drunkenness at home, at last abandoned the unequal
battle. The treaty at Hopewell on November 28, 1785, marks the
end of an era--the Spartan yet hopeless resistance of the
intrepid red men to the relentless and frequently unwarranted
expropriation by the whites of the ancient and immemorial domain
of the savage.

The skill in self-government of the isolated people beyond the
mountains, and the ability they had already demonstrated in the
organization of "associations," received a strong stimulus on
June 2, 1784, when the legislature of North Carolina ceded to the
Congress of the United States the title which that state
possessed to the land west of the Alleghanies. Among the terms of
the Cession Act were these conditions: that the ceded territory
should be formed into a separate state or states; and that if
Congress should not accept the lands thus ceded and give due
notice within two years, the act should be of no force and the
lands should revert to North Carolina. No sooner did this news
reach the Western settlers than they began to mature plans for
the organization of a government during the intervening twelve
months. Their exposed condition on the frontiers, still harassed
by the Indians, and North Carolina's delay in sending goods
promised the Indians by a former treaty, both promoted Indian
hostility; and these facts, combined with their remote location
beyond the mountains, rendering them almost inaccessible to
communication with North Carolina--all rendered the decision of
the settlers almost inevitable. Moreover, the allurements of high
office and the dazzling dreams of ambition were additional
motives sufficiently human in themselves to give driving power to
the movement toward independence.

At a convention assembled at Jonesborough on August 23, 1784,
delegates from the counties of Washington, Sullivan, and Greene
characteristically decided to organize an "Association." They
solemnly declared by resolution: "We have a just and undeniable
right to petition to Congress to accept the session made by North
Carolina, and for that body to countenance us for forming
ourselves into a separate government, and to frame either a
permanent or temporary constitution, agreeably to a resolve of
Congress...." Meanwhile, Governor Martin, largely as the
result of the prudent advice of North Carolina's representative
in Congress, Dr. Hugh Williamson, was brought to the conclusion
that North Carolina, in the passage of the cession act, had acted
precipitately. This important step had been taken without the
full consideration of the people of the state. Among the various
arguments advanced by Williamson was the impressive contention
that, in accordance with the procedure in the case of other
states, the whole expense of the huge Indian expeditions in 1776
and the heavy militia aids to South Carolina and Georgia should
be credited to North Carolina as partial fulfilment of her
continental obligations before the cession should be irrevocably
made to the Federal government. Williamson's arguments proved
convincing; and it was thus primarily for economic reasons of far
reaching national importance that the assembly of North Carolina
(October 22 to November 25, 1784) repealed the cession act made
the preceding spring.

Before the news of the repeal of the cession act could reach the
western waters, a second convention met at Jonesborough on
December 17th. Sentiment at this time was much divided, for a
number of the people, expecting the repeal of the cession act,
genuinely desired a continued allegiance to North Carolina. Of
these may well have been John Sevier, who afterward declared to
Joseph Martin that he had been "Draged into the Franklin measures
by a large number of the people of this country." The principal
act of this convention was the adoption of a temporary
constitution for six months and the provision for a convention to
be held within one year, at the expiration of which time this
constitution should be altered, or adopted as the permanent
constitution of the new state. The scholars on the western
waters, desiring to commemorate their aspirations for freedom,
chose as the name of the projected new state: "Frankland"--the
Land of the Free. The name finally chosen, however, perhaps for
reasons of policy, was "Franklin," in honor of Benjamin Franklin.
Meanwhile, in order to meet the pressing needs for a stable
government along the Tennessee frontier, the North Carolina
assembly, which repealed the cession act, created out of the four
western counties the District of Washington, with John Haywood as
presiding judge and David Campbell as associate, and conferred
upon John Sevier the rank of brigadier general of the new
district. The first week in December Governor Martin sent to
Sevier his military commission; and replying to Joseph Martin's
query (December 31, 1784, prompted by Governor Martin) as to
whether, in view of the repeal of the cession act, he intended to
persist in revolt or await developments, Sevier gave it out
broadcast that "we shall pursue no further measures as to a new

Owing to the remoteness of the Tennessee settlements and the
difficulty of appreciating through correspondence the atmosphere
of sentiment in Franklin, Governor Martin realized the necessity
of sending a personal representative to discover the true state
of affairs in the disaffected region beyond the mountains. For
the post of ambassador to the new government, Governor Martin
selected a man distinguished for mentality and diplomatic skill,
a pioneer of Tennessee and Kentucky, Judge Richard Henderson's
brother, Colonel Samuel Henderson. Despite Sevier's disavowal of
any further intention to establish a new state, the governor gave
Colonel Henderson elaborate written instructions, the purport of
which was to learn all that he could about the political
complexion of the Tennessee frontiersmen, the sense of the
people, and the agitation for a separate commonwealth. Moreover,
in the hope of placating the leading chieftains of the Cherokees,
who had bitterly protested against the continued aggressions and
encroachments upon their lands by the lawless borderers, he
instructed Colonel Henderson also to learn the temper and
dispositions of the Indians, and to investigate the case of
Colonel James Hubbardt who was charged with the murder of Untoola
of Settiquo, a chief of the Cherokees.

When Colonel Henderson arrived at Jonesborough, he found the
third Franklin legislature in session, and to this body he
presented Governor Martin's letter of February 27, 1785. In
response to the governor's request for an "account of the late
proceedings of the people in the western country," an extended
reply was drafted by the new legislature; and this letter,
conveyed to Governor Martin by Colonel Henderson, in setting
forth in detail the reasons for the secession, made the following
significant statement: "We humbly thank North Carolina for every
sentiment of regard she has for us, but are sorry to observe,
that as it is founded upon principles of interest, as is aparent
from the tenor of your letter, we are doubtful, when the cause
ceases which is the basis of that affection, we shall lose your
esteem." At the same time (March 22nd), Sevier, who had just been
chosen Governor of the State of Franklin, transmitted to Governor
Martin by Colonel Henderson a long letter, not hitherto published
in any history of the period, in which he outspokenly says:

"It gives me great pain to think there should arise any Disputes
between us and North Carolina, & I flatter myself when North
Carolina states the matter in a fair light she will be fully
convinced that necessity and self preservation have Compelled Us
to the measures we Have taken, and could the people have
discovered that No. Carolina would Have protected and Govern'd
them, They would have remained where they were; but they
perceived a neglect and Coolness, and the Language of Many of
your most leading members Convinced them they were Altogether

Following the issuance of vigorous manifestos by Martin (April
25th) and Sevier (May 15th), the burden of the problem fell upon
Richard Caswell, who in June succeeded Martin as Governor of
North Carolina.

Meantime the legislature of the over-mountain men had given the
name of Franklin to the new state, although for some time it
continued to be called by many Frankland, and its adherents
Franks. The legislature had also established an academy named
after Governor Martin, and had appointed (March 12th) William
Cocke as a delegate to the Continental Congress, urging its
acceptance of the cession. In the Memorial from the Franklin
legislature to the Continental Congress, dealing in some detail
with North Carolina's failure to send the Cherokees some goods
promised them for lands acquired by treaty, it is alleged:

"She [North Carolina] immediately stoped the goods she had
promised to give the Indians for the said land which so
exasperated them that they begun to commit hostalities on our
frontiers in this situation we were induced to a declaration of
Independence not doubting we should be excused by Congress ... as
North Carolina seemed quite regardless of our interest and the
Indians daily murdering our friends and relations without
distinction of age or sex."

Sympathizing with the precarious situation of the settlers, as
well as desiring the cession, Congress urged North Carolina to
amend the repealing act and execute a conveyance of the western
territory to the Union.

Among the noteworthy features of the Franklin movement was the
constitution prepared by a committee, headed by the Reverend
Samuel Houston of Washington County, and presented at the meeting
of the Franklin legislature, Greeneville, November 14, 1785. This
eccentric constitution was based in considerable part upon the
North Carolina model; but it was "rejected in the lump" and the
constitution of North Carolina, almost unchanged, was adopted.
Under this Houston constitution, the name "Frankland" was chosen
for the new state. The legislature was to consist of but a single
house. In a section excluding from the legislature "ministers of
the gospel, attorneys at law, and doctors of physics," those were
declared ineligible for office who were of immoral character or
guilty of "such flagrant enormities as drunkenness, gaming,
profane swearing, lewdness, Sabbath-breaking and such like," or
who should deny the existence of God, of heaven, and of hell, the
inspiration of the Scriptures, or the existence of the Trinity.
Full religious liberty and the rights of conscience were
assured--but strict orthodoxy was a condition for eligibility to
office. No one should be chosen to office who was "not a scholar
to do the business." This remarkable document, which provided for
many other curious innovations in government, was the work of
pioneer doctrinaires--Houston, Campbell, Cocke, and Tipton--and
deserves study as a bizarre reflection of the spirit and genius
of the western frontiersmen.

The liberal policy of Martin, followed by the no less
conciliatory attitude of his successor, Caswell, for the time
proved wholly abortive. However, Martin's appointment of Evan
Shelby in Sevier's place as brigadier, and of Jonathan Tipton as
colonel of his county, produced disaffection among the Franks;
and the influence of Joseph Martin against the new government was
a powerful obstacle to its success. At first the two sets of
military, civil, and judicial officers were able to work amicably
together; and a working-basis drawn up by Shelby and Sevier,
although afterward repudiated by the Franklin legislature,
smoothed over some of the rapidly accumulating difficulties. The
persistent and quiet assertion of authority by North Carolina,
without any overt act of violence against the officers of
Franklin state, revealed great diplomatic skill in Governors
Martin and Caswell. It was doubtless the considerate policy of
the latter, coupled with the defection from Sevier's cause of men
of the stamp of Houston and Tipton, after the blundering and
cavalier rejection of their singular constitution, which
undermined the foundations of Franklin. Sevier himself later
wrote with considerable bitterness: "I have been faithfull, and
my own breast acquits myself that I have acted no part but what
has been Consistent with honor and justice, tempered with
Clemency and mercy. How far our pretended patriots have supported
me as their pretended chiefe magistrate, I leave the world at
large to Judge." Arthur Campbell's plans for the formation of a
greater Franklin, through the union of the people on the western
waters of Virginia with those of North Carolina, came to nought
when Virginia in the autumn of 1785 with stern decisiveness
passed an act making it high treason to erect an independent
government within her limits unless authorized by the assembly.
Sevier, however, became more fixed in his determination to
establish a free state, writing to Governor Caswell: "We shall
continue to act independent and would rather suffer death, in all
its various and frightful shapes, than conform to anything that
is disgraceful." North Carolina, now proceeding with vigor
(November, 1786), fully reassumed its sovereignty and
jurisdiction over the mountain counties, but passed an act of
pardon and oblivion, and in many ways adopted moderate and
conciliatory measures.

Driven to extremities, Cocke and Sevier in turn appealed for aid
and advice to Benjamin Franklin, in whose honor the new state had
been named. In response to Cocke, Franklin wrote (August 12,
1786): "I think you are perfectly right in resolving to submit
them [the Points in Dispute] to the Decision of Congress and to
abide by their Determination." Franklin's views change in the
interim; for when, almost a year later, Sevier asks him for
counsel, Franklin has come to the conclusion that the wisest move
for Sevier was not to appeal to Congress, but to endeavor to
effect some satisfactory compromise with North Carolina (June 30,

"There are only two Things that Humanity induces me to wish you
may succeed in: The Accomodating your Misunderstanding with the
Government of North Carolina, by amicable Means; and the Avoiding
an Indian war, by preventing Encroaching on their Lands....
The Inconvenience to your People attending so remote a Seat of
Government, and the difficulty to that Government in ruling well
so remote a People, would I think be powerful Inducements with
it, to accede to any fair & reasonable Proposition it may receive
from you towards an Accommodation."

Despite Sevier's frenzied efforts to achieve independence--his
treaty with the Indians, his sensational plan to incorporate the
Cherokees into the new state, his constancy to an ideal of revolt
against others in face of the reality of revolt against himself,
his struggle, equivocal and half-hearted, with the North Carolina
authorities under Tipton--despite all these heroic efforts, the
star of Franklin swiftly declined. The vigorous measures pursued
by General Joseph Martin, and his effective influence focussed
upon a movement already honey-combed with disaffection, finally
turned the scale. To the Franklin leaders he sent the urgent
message: "Nothing will do but a submission to the laws of North
Carolina." Early in April, 1788, Martin wrote to Governor
Randolph of Virginia: "I returned last evening from Green Co.
Washington destrict, North Carolina, after a tower through that
Co'ntry, and am happy to inform your Excellency that the late
unhappy dispute between the State of North Carolina, and the
pretended State of Franklin is subsided." Ever brave, constant,
and loyal to the interest of the pioneers, Sevier had originally
been drawn into the movement against his best judgment. Caught in
the unique trap, created by the passage of the cession act and
the sudden volte-face of its repeal, he struggled desperately to
extricate himself. Alone of all the leaders, the governor of
ill-starred Franklin remained recalcitrant.

CHAPTER XX. The Lure of Spain--The Haven of Statehood

The people of this region have come to realize truly upon what
part of the world and upon which nation their future happiness
and security depend, and they immediately infer that their
interest and prosperity depend entirely upon the protection and
liberality of your government.--John Sevier to Don Diego de
Gardoqui, September 12, 1788.

From the early settlements in the eastern parts of this Continent
to the late & more recent settlements on the Kentucky in the Rest
the same difficulties have constantly occurred which now oppress
you, but by a series of patient sufferings, manly and spirited
exertions and unconquerable perseverance, they have been
altogether or in great measure subdued.--Governor Samuel Johnston
to James Robertson and Anthony Bledsoe, January 29, 1788.

A strange sham-battle, staged like some scene from opera bouffe,
in the bleak snow-storm of February, 1788, is really the prelude
to a remarkable drama of revolt in which Sevier, Robertson,
Bledsoe, and the Cumberland stalwarts play the leading roles. On
February 27th, incensed beyond measure by the action of Colonel
John Tipton in harboring some of his slaves seized by the sheriff
under an execution issued by one of the North Carolina courts,
Sevier with one hundred and fifty adherents besieged Tipton with
a few of his friends in his home on Sinking Creek. The siege was
raised at daybreak on February 29th by the arrival of
reinforcements under Colonel Maxwell from Sullivan County; and
Sevier, who was unwilling to precipitate a conflict, withdrew his
forces after some desultory firing, in which two men were killed
and several wounded. Soon afterward Sevier sent word to Tipton
that on condition his life be spared he would submit to North
Carolina. On this note of tragi-comedy the State of Franklin
appeared quietly to expire. The usually sanguine Sevier, now
thoroughly chastened, sought shelter in the distant settlements--deeply
despondent over the humiliating failure of his plans and
the even more depressing defection of his erstwhile friends and
supporters The revolutionary designs and separatist tendencies
which he still harbored were soon to involve him in a secret
conspiracy to give over the State of Franklin into the protection
of a foreign power.

The fame of Sevier's martial exploits and of his bold stroke for
independence had long since gone abroad, astounding even so
famous an advocate of liberty as Patrick Henry and winning the
sympathy of the Continental Congress. One of the most interested
observers of the progress of affairs in the State of Franklin was
Don Diego de Gardoqui, who had come to America in the spring of
1785, bearing a commission to the American Congress as Spanish
charge d'affaires (Encargados de Negocios) to the United States.
In the course of his negotiations with Jay concerning the right
of navigation of the Mississippi River, which Spain denied to the
Americans, Gardoqui was not long in discovering the violent
resentment of the Western frontiersmen, provoked by Jay's crass
blunder in proposing that the American republic, in return for
reciprocal foreign advantages offered by Spain, should waive for
twenty-five years her right to navigate the Mississippi. The
Cumberland traders had already felt the heavy hand of Spain in
the confiscation of their goods at Natchez; but thus far the
leaders of the Tennessee frontiersmen had prudently restrained
the more turbulent agitators against the Spanish policy, fearing
lest the spirit of retaliation, once aroused, might know no
bounds. Throughout the entire region of the trans-Alleghany, a
feeling of discontent and unrest prevailed--quite as much the
result of dissatisfaction with the central government which
permitted the wholesale restraint of trade, as of resentment
against the domination of Spain.

No sooner had the shrewd and watchful Gardoqui, who was eager to
utilize the separatist sentiment of the western settlements in
the interest of his country, learned of Sevier's armed
insurrection against the authority of North Carolina than he
despatched an emissary to sound the leading men of Franklin and
the Cumberland settlements in regard to an alliance. This secret
emissary was Dr. James White, who had been appointed by the
United States Government as Superintendent of Indian Affairs for
the Southern Department on November 29, 1786. Reporting as
instructed to Don Estevan Miro, governor of Louisiana, White, the
corrupt tool of Spain, stated concerning his confidential mission
that the leaders of "Frankland" and "Cumberland district" had
"eagerly accepted the conditions" laid down by Gardoqui: to take
the oath of allegiance to Spain, and to renounce all submission
or allegiance whatever to any other sovereign or power. Satisfied
by the secret advices received, the Spanish minister reported to
the home authorities his confident belief that the Tennessee
backwoodsmen, if diplomatically handled, would readily throw in
their lot with Spain.

After the fiasco of his siege of Tipton's home, Sevier had seized
upon the renewal of hostilities by the Cherokees as a means of
regaining his popularity. This he counted upon doing by rallying
his old comrades-in-arms under his standard and making one of his
meteoric, whirlwind onslaughts upon their ancient Indian foe. The
victory of this erstwhile popular hero, the beloved "Nolichucky
Jack of the Border," over the Indians at a town on the Hiwassee
"so raised him in the esteem of the people on the frontier,"
reports Colonel Maxwell, "that the people began [once more] to
flock to his standard." Inspirited by this good turn in his
fortunes, Sevier readily responded to Dr. White's overtures.

Alarmed early in the year over the unprovoked depredations and
murders by the Indians in several Tennessee counties and on the
Kentucky road, Sevier, Robertson, and Anthony Bledsoe had
persuaded Governor Samuel Johnston of North Carolina to address
Gardoqui and request him to exert his influence to prevent
further acts of savage barbarity. In letters to Governor
Johnston, to Robertson, and to Sevier, all of date April 18th,
Gardoqui expressed himself in general as being "extremely
surprised to know that there is a suspicion that the good
government of Spain is encouraging these acts of barbarity." The
letters to Robertson and Sevier, read between the lines as
suggestive reinforcements of Spain's secret proposals, possess
real significance. The letter to Sevier contains this dexterously
expressed sentiment: "His Majesty is very favorably inclined to
give the inhabitants of that region all the protection that they
ask for and, on my part, I shall take very great pleasure in
contributing to it on this occasion and other occasions."

This letter, coupled with the confidential proposals of Dr.
White, furnished a convenient opening for correspondence with the
Spaniards; and in July Sevier wrote to Gardoqui indicating his
readiness to accede to their proposals. After secret conferences
with men who had supported him throughout the vicissitudes of his
ill-starred state, Sevier carefully matured his plans. The
remarkable letter of great length which he wrote to Gardoqui on
September 12, 1788, reveals the conspiracy in all its details and
presents in vivid colors the strong separatist sentiment of the
day. Sevier urgently petitions Gardoqui for the loan of a few
thousand pounds, to enable him to "make the most expedient and
necessary preparations for defense"; and offers to repay the loan
within a short time "by sending the products of this region to
the lower ports." Upon the vital matter of "delivering" the State
of Franklin to Spain, he forthrightly says:

"Since my last of the 18th of July, upon consulting with the
principal men of this country, I have been particularly happy to
find that they are equally disposed and ready as I am to accept
your propositions and guarantees. You may be sure that the
pleasing hopes and ideas which the people of this country hold
with regard to the probability of an alliance with, and
commercial concessions from, you are very ardent, and that we are
unanimously determined on that score. The people of this region
have come to realize truly upon what part of the world and upon
which nation their future happiness and security depend, and they
immediately infer that their interest and prosperity depend
entirely upon the protection and liberality of your government....
Being the first from this side of the Appalachian Mountains
to resort in this way to your protection and liberality, we feel
encouraged to entertain the greatest hope that we shall be
granted all reasonable aid by him who is so amply able to do it,
and to give the protection and help that is asked of him in this
petition. You know our delicate situation and the difficulties in
which we are in respect to our mother State which is making use
of every strategem to impede the development and prosperity of
this country.... Before I conclude, it may be necessary to
remind you that there will be no more favorable occasion than the
present one to put this plan into execution. North Carolina has
rejected the Constitution and moreover it seems to me that a
considerable time will elapse before she becomes a member of the
Union, if that event ever happens."

Through Miro, Gardoqui was simultaneously conducting a similar
correspondence with General James Wilkinson. The object of the
Spanish conspiracy, matured as the result of this correspondence,
was to seduce Kentucky from her allegiance to the United States.
Despite the superficial similarity between the situation of
Franklin and Kentucky, it would be doing Sevier and his adherents
a capital injustice to place them in the category of the corrupt
Wilkinson and the malodorous Sebastian. Moreover, the
secessionists of Franklin, as indicated in the above letter, had
the excuse of being left virtually without a country. On the
preceding August 1st, North Carolina had rejected the
Constitution of the United States; and the leaders of Franklin,
who were sorely aggrieved by what they regarded as her
indifference and neglect, now felt themselves more than ever out
of the Union and wholly repudiated by the mother state. Again,
Sevier had the embittered feeling resultant from outlawry.
Because of his course in opposing the laws and government of
North Carolina and in the killing of several good citizens,
including the sheriff of Washington County, by his forces at
Sinking Creek, Sevier, through the action of Governor Johnston of
North Carolina, had been attainted of high treason. Under the
heavy burden of this grave charge, he felt his hold upon Franklin
relax. Further, an atrocity committed in the recent campaign
under Sevier's leadership--Kirk's brutal murder of Corn Tassel, a
noble old Indian, and other chieftains, while under the
protection of a flag of truce--had placed a bar sinister across
the fair fame of this stalwart of the border. Utter desperation
thus prompted Sevier's acceptance of Gardoqui's offer of the
protection of Spain.

John Sevier's son, James, bore the letter of September 12th to
Gardoqui. By a strangely ironic coincidence, on the very day
(October 10, 1788) that Gardoqui wrote to Miro, recommending to
the attention of Spain Dr. White and James Sevier, the emissaries
of Franklin, with their plans and proposals, John Sevier was
arrested by Colonel Tipton at the Widow Brown's in Washington
County, on the charge of high treason. He was handcuffed and
borne off, first to Jonesborough and later to Morganton. But his
old friends and former comrades-in-arms, Charles and Joseph
McDowell, gave bond for his appearance at court; and Morrison,
the sheriff, who also had fought at King's Mountain, knocked the
irons from his wrists and released him on parole. Soon afterward
a number of Sevier's devoted friends, indignant over his arrest,
rode across the mountains to Morganton and silently bore him
away, never to be arrested again. In November an act of pardon
and oblivion with respect to Franklin was passed by the North
Carolina Assembly. Although Sevier was forbidden to hold office
under the state, the passage of this act automatically operated
to clear him of the alleged offense of high treason. With affairs
in Franklin taking this turn, it is little wonder that Gardoqui
and Miro paid no further heed to Sevier's proposal to accept the
protection of Spain. Sevier's continued agitation in behalf of
the independence of Franklin inspired Governor Johnston with the
fear that he would have to be "proceeded against to the last
extremity." But Sevier's opposition finally subsiding, he was
pardoned, given a seat in the North Carolina assembly, and with
extraordinary consideration honored with his former rank of

When Dr. White reported to Miro that the leaders of "Frankland"
had eagerly accepted Gardoqui's conditions for an alliance with
Spain, he categorically added: "With regard to Cumberland
district, what I have said of Frankland applies to it with equal
force and truth." James Robertson and Anthony Bledsoe had but
recently availed themselves of the good offices of Governor
Johnston of North Carolina in the effort to influence Gardoqui to
quiet the Creek Indians. The sagacious and unscrupulous half
breed Alexander McGillivray had placed the Creeks under the
protection of Spain in 1784; and shortly afterward they began to
be regularly supplied with ammunition by the Spanish authorities.
At first Spain pursued the policy of secretly encouraging these
Indians to resist the encroachments of the Americans, while she
remained on outwardly friendly terms with the United States.
During the period of the Spanish conspiracy, however, there is
reason to believe that Miro endeavored to keep the Indians at
peace with the borderers, as a friendly service, intended to pave
the way for the establishment of intimate relations between Spain
and the dwellers in the trans-Alleghany. Yet his efforts cannot
have been very effective; for the Cumberland settlements
continued to suffer from the ravages and depredations of the
Creeks, who remained "totally averse to peace, notwithstanding
they have had no cause of offence"; and Robertson and Bledsoe
reported to Governor Caswell (June 12, 1787): "It is certain, the
Chickasaws inform us, that Spanish traders offer a reward for
scalps of the Americans." The Indian atrocities became so
frequent that Robertson later in the summer headed a party on the
famous Coldwater Expedition, in which he severely chastised the
marauding Indians. Aroused by the loss of a number of chiefs and
warriors at the hands of Robertson's men, and instigated, as was
generally believed, by the Spaniards, the Creeks then prosecuted
their attacks with renewed violence against the Cumberland

Unprotected either by the mother state or by the national
government, unable to secure free passage to the Gulf for their
products, and sorely pressed to defend their homes, now seriously
endangered by the incessant attacks of the Creeks, the Cumberland
leaders decided to make secret overtures to McGillivray, as well
as to communicate to Miro, through Dr. White, their favorable
inclination toward the proposals of the one country which
promised them protection. In a letter which McGillivray wrote to
Miro (transmitted to Madrid, June 15, 1788) in regard to the
visit of Messrs. Hackett and Ewing, two trusty messengers sent by
Robertson and Bledsoe, he reports that the two delegates from the
district of Cumberland had not only submitted to him proposals of
peace but "had added that they would throw themselves into the
arms of His Majesty as subjects, and that Kentucky and Cumberland
are determined to free themselves from their dependence on
Congress, because that body can not protect either their
property, or favor their commerce, and they therefore believe
that they no longer owe obedience to a power which is incapable
of protecting them." Commenting upon McGillivray's communication,
Miro said in his report to Madrid (June 15, 1788): "I consider as
extremely interesting the intelligence conveyed to McGillivray by
the deputies on the fermentation existing in Kentucky, with
regard to a separation from the Union. Concerning the proposition
made to McGillivray by the inhabitants of Cumberland to become
the vassals of His Majesty, I have refrained from returning any
precise answer."

In his long letter of reply to Robertson and Bledsoe, McGillivray
agreed to make peace between his nation, the Creeks, and the
Cumberland settlers. This letter was most favorably received and
given wide circulation throughout the West. In a most
ingratiating reply, offering McGillivray a fine gun and a lot in
Nashville, Robertson throws out the following broad suggestion,
which he obviously wishes McGillivray to convey to Miro: "In all
probability we cannot long remain in our present state, and if
the British or any commercial nation who may be in possession of
the mouth of the Mississippi would furnish us with trade, and
receive our produce there cannot be a doubt but the people on the
west side of the Appalachian mountains will open their eyes to
their real interest." Robertson actually had the district erected
out of the counties of Davidson, Sumner, and Tennessee given the
name of "Miro" by the Assembly of North Carolina in November,
1788--a significant symbol of the desires of the Cumberland
leaders. In a letter (April 23, 1789), Miro, who had just
received letters from Robertson (January 29th) and Daniel Smith
(March 4th) postmarked "District of Miro," observes: "The bearer,
Fagot, a confidential agent of Gen. Smith, informed me that the
inhabitants of Cumberland, or Miro, would ask North Carolina for
an act of separation the following fall, and that as soon as this
should be obtained other delegates would be sent from Cumberland
to New Orleans, with the object of placing that territory under
the domination of His Majesty. I replied to both in general

Robertson, Bledsoe, and Smith were successful in keeping secret
their correspondence with McGillivray and Miro; and few were in
the secret of Sevier's effort to deliver the State of Franklin to
Spain. Joseph Martin was less successful in his negotiations; and
a great sensation was created throughout the Southern colonies
when a private letter from Joseph Martin to McGillivray (November
8, 1788) was intercepted. In this letter Martin said: "I must beg
that you write me by the first opportunity in answer to what I am
now going to say to you.... I hope to do honor to any part of
the world I settle in, and am determined to leave the United
States, for reasons that I can assign to you when we meet, but
durst not trust it to paper." The general assembly of Georgia
referred the question of the intercepted letter to the governor
of North Carolina (January 24, 1789); and the result was a
legislative investigation into Martin's conduct. Eleven months
later, the North Carolina assembly exonerated him. From the
correspondence of Joseph Martin and Patrick Henry, it would
appear that Martin, on Henry's advice, had acted as a spy upon
the Spaniards, in order to discover the views of McGillivray, to
protect the exposed white settlements from the Indians, and to
fathom the designs of the Spaniards against the United States.

The sensational disclosures of Martin's intercepted letter had no
deterrent effect upon James Robertson in the attempted execution
of his plan for detaching the Cumberland settlements from North
Carolina. History has taken no account of the fact that Robertson
and the inhabitants now deliberately endeavored to secure an act
of separation from North Carolina. In the event of success, the
next move planned by the Cumberland leaders, as we have already
seen, was to send delegates to New Orleans for the purpose of
placing the Cumberland region under the domination of Spain.

A hitherto unknown letter, from Robertson to (Miro), dated
Nashville, September 2, 1789, proves that a convention of the
people was actually held--the first overt step looking to an
alliance with Spain. In this letter Robertson says:

"I must beg your Excellency's permission to take this early
opportunity of thanking you for the honor you did me in writing
by Mr. White.

"I still hope that your Government, and these Settlements, are
destined to be mutually friendly and usefull, the people here are
impressed with the necessity of it.

"We have just held a Convention; which has agreed that our
members shall insist on being Seperated from North Carolina.

"Unprotected, we are to be obedient to the new Congress of the
United States; but we cannot but wish for a more interesting

"The United States afford us no protection. The district of Miro
is daily plundered and the inhabitants murdered by the Creeks,
and Cherokees, unprovoked.

"For my own part, I conceive highly of the advantages of your

A serious obstacle to the execution of the plans of Robertson and
the other leaders of the Cumberland settlements was the prompt
action of North Carolina. In actual conformity with the wishes of
the Western people, as set forth in the petition of Robertson and
Hayes, their representatives, made two years earlier, the
legislature of North Carolina in December passed the second act
of cession, by which the Western territory of North Carolina was
ceded to the United States. Instead of securing an act of
separation from North Carolina as the preparatory step to forming
what Robertson calls "a more interesting connection" with Spain,
Robertson and his associates now found themselves and the
transmontane region which they represented flung bodily into the
arms of the United States. Despite the unequivocal offer of the
calculating and desperate Sevier to "deliver" Franklin to Spain,
and the ingenious efforts of Robertson and his associates to
place the Cumberland region under the domination of Spain, the
Spanish court by its temporizing policy of evasion and indecision
definitely relinquished the ready opportunities thereby afforded,
of utilizing the powerful separatist tendencies of Tennessee for
the purpose of adding the empire upon the Western waters to the
Spanish domain in America.

The year 1790 marks the end of an era the heroic age of the
pioneers of the Old Southwest. Following the acceptance of North
Carolina's deed of cession of her Western lands to the Union
(April 2, 1790) the Southwest Territory was erected on May 26th;
and William Blount, a North Carolina gentleman of eminence and
distinction, was appointed on June 8th to the post of governor of
the territory. Two years later (June 1, 1792) Kentucky was
admitted into the Union.

It is a remarkable and inspiring circumstance, in testimony of
the martial instincts and unwavering loyalty of the transmontane
people, that the two men to whom the Western country in great
measure owed its preservation, the inciting and flaming spirits
of the King's Mountain campaign, were the unopposed first choice
of the people as leaders in the trying experiment of
Statehood--John Sevier of Tennessee and Isaac Shelby of Kentucky.
Had Franklin possessed the patient will of Kentucky, she might
well have preceded that region into the Union. It was not,
however, until June 1, 1796, that Tennessee, after a romantic and
arduous struggle, finally passed through the wide-flung portals
into the domain of national statehood.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Conquest of the Old Southwest; the romantic story of the early pioneers into Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Kentucky, 1740-1790" ***

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