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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
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 Henderson.

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 immagine 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. [1]

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." [2] 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

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 home-builder--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 settlement.

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." [3] 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. [4] 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

I.      The Migration of the Peoples                      3
II.     The Cradle of Westward Expansion                 19
III.    The Back Country and the Border                  32
IV.     The Indian War                                   49
V.      In Defense of Civilization                       64
VI.     Crushing the Cherokees                           78
VII.    The Land Companies                               96
VIII.   The Long Hunters in the Twilight Zone           116
IX.     Daniel Boone and Wilderness Exploration         130
X.      Daniel Boone in Kentucky                        144
XI.     The Regulators                                  160
XII.    Watauga--Haven of Liberty                       175
XIII.   Opening the Gateway--Dunmore's War              196
XIV.    Richard Henderson and the Transylvania Company 	216
XV.     Transylvania--A Wilderness Commonwealth 	237
XVI.    The Repulse of the Red Men                      252
XVII.   The Colonization of the Cumberland              269
XVIII.  King's Mountain                                 289
XIX.    The State of Franklin                           306
XX.     The Lure of Spain--The Haven of Statehood       327
        List of Notes                                   351
        Bibliographical Notes                           363
        Index                                           371



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 some 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

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 continent.

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 Ireland
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 marriages.

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." [5] 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

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 Müller and his fellow
Germans had established the first permanent white settlement in the
Valley of Virginia. [6] 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. [7] 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 Pennsylvänische 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. [8]

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 borderer.

Noteworthy among these pious pilgrimages is the Virginia journey of
Brothers Leonhard Schnell and John Brandmüller (October 12 to December
12, 1749). [9] 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. [10] 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

These men were the highest type of the pioneers of the Old Southwest,
inspired with the instinct of home-makers 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.


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. [11] 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 rôles in the drama of westward migration.
[12] 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.
[13] 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 persuasion.

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." [15]

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." [16]

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. [17]

Such, then, were the rude and simple people in the back country of the
Old Southwest--the deliberate and self-controlled English, the
aggressive, land-mongering 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

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 and 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.


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. [18]

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. [19] 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. [20] 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.
[21] 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. [22] 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. [23] 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." [24] 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. [25] 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 naïve 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 make 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. [26] 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." [27]

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 backwoodsman:

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 powder-horn, 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. [28]

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 linsey [flax] petticoats and 'bed-gowns' [like a
dressing-sack], and often went without shoes in the summer. Some had
bonnets and bed-gowns 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. [29]

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." [30] 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

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. [31]

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. [32] 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." [33] 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 traders."

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, Céloron de Bienville,
was despatched by the far-visioned Galissonière 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.


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

--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. [34]

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. [35] 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." [36] 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. [37]

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 prepared 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
Alrichs 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 the [y] 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." [38] 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 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. [39] 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 Gnadenhütten. 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 Vaux'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 invade 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. [40]

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 Capt Hugh Waddel Forty six Effective men
Officers and Soldiers ... the said Officers and Soldiers Appearing well
and in good Spirits. [41]

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 coöperation 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 skins. 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 coöperated 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. [42]

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. If the White
people make strong drink, let them sell it to one another, or drink it
in their own families. This will avoid a 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. [43]

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°" and
might properly be included within a circle of thirty miles radius. [44]

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." [45]


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, 1757

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. [46] 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 coöperation 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." [47] 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. Although 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. [48] 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 there.

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.
[49] 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. [50] 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." [51] 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. [52]

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); [53] 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 [54] at the mouth of Line
Creek on the east bank of the Catawba River.

In the spring and summer of 1757 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. [55]

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. [56] 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. [57] 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. [58]

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. [59] 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. [60] 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. [61] 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 Griffith
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." [62] On October 1st and again on October 31st, Governor Dobbs
received urgent requests from Governor Lyttelton, asking that the North
Carolina provincials and militia coöperate 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. [63]


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." [64]

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
recd 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
Reception. [65]

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. [66]

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 Rutherford, 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 Carolina. [67]

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
wayfaring 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. [68]

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. [69]

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 blood-curdling 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 Loudon.

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 coöperate 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. [70] 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. [71]

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.


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 Cèloron 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

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 Findlay 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. [72]

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 the 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.
[73] 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 pre-eminence, 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." [74] 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." [75] 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 Southwest.

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. [76] 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. [77]

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. [78] The prevailing opinion among the shrewdest
men of the period was well expressed by George Washington, who wrote his
agent for preëmpting 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." [79]
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. [80] 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. [81] 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." [82] 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. [83]

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; [84] 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 made 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.
[85] 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 line to the mouth of the Great
Kanawha. [86] 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. [87]

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. [88]

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.


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 calld 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 Léry 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 Yadkin 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
Shawanoes 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-ta-ke, 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. [89] 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 Knob--were 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 Blevens 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,
the Bledsoes, 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 finally reached home in the late
spring of 1770. [90]

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 significance: "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 half-breed 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 [91]

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, Timothé
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.


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, 1784.

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

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). [92]

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 seam, 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 Cæsar 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

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 Kentucky.

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 Leatherstocking, 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

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. [93] 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. [94]

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 1767
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 Sandy. 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 hilly 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 Yadkin.

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


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 Nuñez, standing alone on the peak of Darien,
and stretching his eyes over the hitherto undiscovered waters of the

--William Gilmore Simms: Views and Reviews.

A chance acquaintance formed by Daniel Boone, during the French and
Indian War, with the Irish lover of adventure, John Findlay, [95] 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 camp-fires, 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. [96] 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. [97] 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." [98] As
confidential agent of the land company, Boone carried with him letters
and instructions for his guidance upon this extended tour of
exploration. [99]

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 cane-brake 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. [100] 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." [101]

Boone and his party now stationed themselves near the mouth of the Red
River, and soon provided themselves, against the hardships 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." [102] 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 Lorbrulgrud) 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 outlines 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 Rivière" (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, bare-headed, 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." [103]

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. [104] 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."


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 brigandage 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. [105] 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. [106] 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. [107]

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 death. [108]

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. [109]

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.


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 assessments. [110]

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." [111] 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 Frohocks 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.

An Impartial
of the
First Rise and Cause
of the
Publick AFFAIRS,

In the Province of North-Carolina; and of the past Tumults and Riots
that lately happened in that Province.

Containing most of the true and genuine Copies of Letters, Messages and
Remonstrances, between the Parties contending:------By which any
impartial Man may easily gather and see the true Ground and Reasons of
the dissatisfaction that universally reigns all over said Province in
more or less Degree.

Printed for the Compiler, 1770.

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." [112]
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." [113]

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." [114] 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." [115]

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. [116] 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 oppressors, 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. [117]

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." [118] 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." [119]

The fundamental reasons underlying the approaching westward hegira are
found in the remarkable petition of the Regulators of Anson 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." [120] 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. [121] The glad news of the rich valleys
beyond the mountains early lured such adventurous pioneers as Andrew
Greer and Julius Cæsar 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." [122]

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!" [123] 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 coöperation in the opening up of Kentucky and Tennessee. [124]

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. [125] 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. [126] 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. [127]

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. [128] Cameron's order did not apply,
however, to the settlement north of the Holston River, south and east of
Long Island; and the settlement in Carter's Valley, north of the Holston
and west of the Long Island, 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


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

--The Harrodsburg Petition.
June 7-15, 1776.

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 accomodation 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." [129] 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

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." [130] 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 and 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 observes, 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 authority." 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
independence 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." [131]
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. [132]

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." [133] 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." [134] 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; [135] and a true copy, made in London, April 1, 1772, was
transmitted to Judge Henderson. [136] 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. [137] 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

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. [138] 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 town.

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.
[139] 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. [140] 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

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. [141]
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 expedition. [142]

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 not."

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 black-hearted 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, thus 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 battle-field and left the victory with the whites. [143]

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. [144]


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

--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. [145] 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
Hillsborough. [146]

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." [147] 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. [148]

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." [149] 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." [150]

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. [151] 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 himself 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. [152] 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." [153] 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." [154] 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.o 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." [155]

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, [156] 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 south 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 as the Bloody

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. [157]

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
Trail. [158]

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. [159] In
Henderson's party were some forty men and boys, with forty pack-horses
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
oClock 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. [160]

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 simplicity:

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

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. [161]

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 country."
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
informing 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 flame-azalea, 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 eloquence:

Perhaps no Adventureor 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 America. [162]

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 back. [163]

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.


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." [164] 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."
[165] In a letter to Dartmouth he denounces "Henderson the famous
invader" and dubs the Transylvania Company "an infamous Company of land

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. [166] 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. [167] 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." [168]

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." [169] 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. [170]

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." [171]

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 Harrod's 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 Governg or good of the Community in
Genl." 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 settlemts. 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 an
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 originally in the people; make it their
interest, therefore, by impartial and beneficent laws, and you may be
sure of their inclination to see them enforced.

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 leadership 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 backwoodsmen. 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." [172] 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 favr. 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 title." [173]

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. [174] 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." [175]

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." [176]


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 1776.

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 possible, now is our time, the Indians must not
drive us." The 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. [177] 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." [178] 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. [179] 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
go[o]d, others douted whether or not Virginia coud with propriety have
any pretentions to the cuntrey." [180] 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. [181] 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." [182] 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; [183] 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 Liberty." [184]

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 leadership 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. [185]

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." [186]

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.


The Colonization of the Cumberland

March 31, 1780. 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

The little chain of stockades along the far-flung 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 Griffith 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 years. Soon
the red men were lurking in the 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. [187] 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. [188]

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 reëstablishment 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.
[189] Finally, after a full and impartial discussion before the Virginia
House of Delegates, that body declared the Transylvania purchase void.
[190] 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. [191] 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 close.

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 Carolina. [192]

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, 1780):

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 company. [193]

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." [194] 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

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. [195] 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 election in
any of the said stations, and elect others 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. [196] 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. [197]

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.


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 Louisiana. [198]

At the original place of rendezvous, the Sycamore Shoals of the Watauga,
the over-mountain 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 volunteers.

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

The battle which ensued presents an extraordinary contrast in the
character of the combatants and the nature of the strategy and tactics.
[199] 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 rôle 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

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. [200] 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 bay.

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 his 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." [201]
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 frontiersmen. [202]

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 battle-field 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 doomed.

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.


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. [203] 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. [204]

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."
[205] 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. [206] 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 furtheir 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 Disregarded. [207]

Following the issuance of vigorous manifestos by Martin (April 25th) and
Sevier (May 15th), [208] 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. [209]

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


Agreed to, and resolved upon, by the Representatives of the Freemen of


Elected and chosen for that particular purpose, in Convention assembled
at Greeneville, the 14th of November, 1785.


Printed by Francis Bailey, at Yorick's Head.

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. [210]

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." [211] 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, 1787):

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. [212]

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.


The Lure of Spain[213]--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 West 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 opéra 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 rôles. 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 chargé 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 Miró, 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. [214]

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

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

Through Miró, 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 Miró, 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 Miró 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 brigadier-general.

When Dr. White reported to Miró 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 Miró
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 settlements.

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 Miró, through Dr.
White, their favorable inclination toward the proposals of the one
country which promised them protection. In a letter which McGillivray
wrote to Miró (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, Miró 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

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 Miró: "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 "Miró" 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),
Miró, who had just received letters from Robertson (January 29th) and
Daniel Smith (March 4th) postmarked "District of Miró," observes: "The
bearer, Fagot, a confidential agent of Gen. Smith, informed me that the
inhabitants of Cumberland, or Miró, 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 terms." [215]

Robertson, Bledsoe, and Smith were successful in keeping secret their
correspondence with McGillivray and Miró; 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. [216]

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 (Miró), 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 Connection.

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

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

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, [218] 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.


1 Roosevelt's The Winning of the West, a stirring recital with chief
stress thrown upon the militant characteristics of the frontiersmen, is
open to grave criticism because of failure to give adequate account of
social and economic tendencies, the development of democracy, and the
evolution of government under the pressure of frontier conditions.

2 Johnson MSS., xii, No. 127.

3 Journal of a Tour in Unsettled Parts of North America in 1796 and
1797, 217.

4 Turner: "Significance of the Frontier in American History," American
Historical Association Report, 1893.

5 Hugh Williamson: History of North Carolina (1812), ii, 71-2.

6 Virginia Historical Magazine, xiii, 133; William and Mary Quarterly,
ix, 132.

7 Virginia Historical Magazine, op. cit. Cf. also West Virginia
Historical Magazine, April, 1903.

8 Bernheim: The German Element and the Lutheran Church in the Carolinas.

9 For this and other Moravian diaries, see Virginia Historical Magazine,
vols xi and xii.

10 Original diary in German in Archives of the Moravian Church,
Winston-Salem, N. C. Cf. Mereness, Travels in the American Colonies
1690-1783, 327-356.

11 Cf. original minutes of Abington and Gwynedd Monthly Meetings, Pa.

12 MS. History of Bryan family, compiled by Col. W. L. Bryan, Boone,
N. C.

13 Ely: The Finleys of Bucks (Publications, Bucks County Historical
Society); also "Historic Associations of Neshaminy Valley," Daily
Intelligencer (Reading, Pa.), July 29, 1913. See also Wisconsin State
Historical Society, Draper MSS., 2 B 161.

14 "The Creative Forces in Westward Expansion," American Historical
Review, xx, 1.

15 North Carolina Colonial Records, vii, 100-101.

16 Magazine of American History, November, 1881.

17 Foote: Sketches of North Carolina, xiii.

18 Howe: History of the Presbyterian Church in South Carolina.

19 Virginia Historical Magazine, xiii, 127-8-9.

20 Draper: MS. Life of Boone; Draper Collection, Wisconsin State
Historical Society.

21 Rowan County Records, Salisbury, N. C.

22 Rumple: History of Rowan County.

23 Logan: History of Upper South Carolina.

24 "Diary of Bishop Spangenberg" (1752), North Carolina Colonial
Records, v.

25 Sheets: History of Liberty Baptist Association.

26 Moravian Community Diary, preserved at Winston-Salem, N. C.

27 North Carolina Colonial Records, v, 6.

28 J. F. D. Smyth: A Tour in the United States of America (London:
1784), vol. 1. Chapter xxiii.

29 Unpublished MS.: "In the Olden Time."

30 Margry: Navigation of the Mississippi, iv, 322.

31 Raunié: Chansonnier historique du xviiie siècle, iii, 132-3. This
translation is by Barbara Henderson.

32 J. Haywood: Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee (1823), 223.

33 Byrd: History of the Dividing Line.

34 North Carolina Colonial Records, v, 25.

35 D. D. Wallace: The Life of Henry Laurens, Appendix iv.

36 See also Hewit in Carroll's Collections, i, 435. Fort Prince George
was located in the fork of the Six Mile Creek and Keowee River, in the
southwestern part of Pickens County, and was completed probably by the
end of 1753 (South Carolina Gazette, December 17, 1753).

37 North Carolina Colonial Records, v, 140.

38 Cited in Channing, History of the United States, ii, 5-73 n.

39 North Carolina Colonial Records, v, 333, 357.

40 Moravian Community Diary.

41 North Carolina Colonial Records, v, 849.

42 Virginia Historical Magazine, xiii, 225-264. North Carolina Colonial
Records, v, 560, 617.

43 North Carolina Colonial Records, v, 579.

44 North Carolina Colonial Records, v, 641, 742, 849. Cf. also Hunter:
Sketches of Western North Carolina, 325.

45 North Carolina Colonial Records, v, 604, 639.

46 Virginia Historical Magazine, xiii, 263; North Carolina Colonial
Records, v, 606, 609, 613.

47 North Carolina Colonial Records, v, 585, 612-4, 635, 637.

48 North Carolina Colonial Records, v, 610; Cf. Timberlake's "A Draught
of the Cherokee Country" in Avery's History of the United States, iv,
facing p. 347; Ramsey, History of Tennessee, 57.

49 Summers: Southwest Virginia, 57-60.

50 Virginia Historical Magazine, xv, 254-7; Waddell, Augusta County
(second edition), 115-6, 150-1.

51 North Carolina Colonial Records, v, 606-8.

52 Summers: Southwest Virginia, 60-1.

53 Williamson: History of North Carolina, ii, 37, footnote.

54 North Carolina Colonial Records, viii, 563; xi, map facing p. 80, and
p. 227.

55 North Carolina Colonial Records, v. Introduction, pp. xxx-xxxi.

56 Carroll's Collections, i, 433; ii, 519-20; Draper's MS. Life of
Boone, iii, 65-6.

57 Sparks: Washington, ii, 322.

58 Journal: "Concerning a March that Capt. Robt. Wade took to the New
River," in Summers, Southwest Virginia. 62-66.

59 Carroll's Collections, i, 443-4.

60 South Carolina Gazette, May 12, 1759.

61 South Carolina Gazette, July 14, 1759.

62 South Carolina Gazette, Aug. 4, Sept. 22, 1759.

63 North Carolina Colonial Records, vi, 221.

64 Draper: MS. Life of Boone, iii, 75.

65 North Carolina Colonial Records, vi, 229-230.

66 For a full account of the part which Fort Dobbs played in this Indian
warfare see the monograph, Fort Dobbs, by Mrs. M. H. Eliason.

67 Maryland Gazette, May 8, 1760; Haywood: Natural and Aboriginal
History of Tennessee, 239-40; North Carolina Colonial Records, xxii,

68 "Notes on the Indians and the Early Settlers of Western North
Carolina," Collections of the North Carolina Historical Commission.
Printed in Papers of A. D. Murphy, ii, 380 et seq.

69 Maryland Gazette, May 8, 1760.

70 South Carolina Gazette, Dec. 23, 1760; Feb. 28, April 11, 1761.

71 North Carolina Colonial Records, vi, 622.

72 J. S. Johnston: The First Explorations of Kentucky. Filson Club
Publications, No. 13.

73 William and Mary College Quarterly, xii, 129-134; Young: Genealogical
Narrative of the Hart Family (1882); Nash: "History of Orange County,"
North Carolina Booklet; Henderson: "A Federalist of the Old School,"
North Carolina Booklet.

74 North Carolina Colonial Records, ix, 349.

75 Turner: "The Old West," Wisconsin Historical Society Proceedings,

76 Cf. "Memoir of Pleasant Henderson," Draper MSS. 2CC21-23; W. H.
Battle: "A Memoir of Leonard Henderson," North Carolina University
Magazine, Nov., 1859; T. B. Kingsbury: "Chief Justice Leonard
Henderson," Wake Forest Student, November, 1898.

77 "The Life and Times of Richard Henderson," in the Charlotte Observer,
March 9 to June 1, 1913; Draper's MS. Life of Boone; Morehead's Address
at Boonesborough, 105 n.

78 C. W. Alvord: "The Genesis of the Proclamation of 1763," Michigan
Pioneer and Historical Collections, xxxvi.

79 Sparks: Works of Franklin (1844), iii, 69-77.

80 J. M. Peck to L. C. Draper, May 15, 1854.

81 Washington to Crawford, September 21, 1767, in Sparks: Life and
Writings of Washington, ii, 346-50.

82 Haywood: Civil and Political History of Tennessee (1823), 35.

83 Ramsey: Annals of Tennessee (1853), 69-70.

84 Ramsey: Annals of Tennessee, 69.

85 Cf. C. W. Alvord: "The British Ministry and the Treaty of Fort
Stanwix," Wisconsin Historical Society Proceedings, 1908.

86 North Carolina Colonial Records, vii, 851-855. For Tryon's line,
ibid., 245, 460, 470, 508.

87 Johnson to Gage, December 16, 1768.

88 Jefferson MSS. Department of state. Cf. also Weeks: General Joseph

89 Hanna: The Wilderness Trail, ii, 216, 230, 255; Darlington: Journals
of Gist, 131.

90 "Narrative of General William Hall," Draper MSS., Wisconsin State
Historical Society.

91 Draper: MS. Life of Boone, viii, 238.

92 Summers: Southwest Virginia, 76.

93 Papers of A. D. Murphy, ii, 386.

94 Pennsylvania Journal, October 29, 1769.

95 Compare "John Finley; and Kentucky before Boone," being chapter seven
in volume two of C. A. Hanna's The Wilderness Trail (1911).

96 J. W. Monette: History of the Discovery and Settlement of the Valley
of the Mississippi (1846), ii, 53.

97 Court Records of Rowan County.

98 Cf. "The Pioneers of the West" in Missouri Republican (1847). Cf.
also Putnam: Middle Tennessee, 20.

99 J. M. Peck to L. C. Draper, May 15, 1854.

100 Missouri Republican (1847).

101 A Memorial to the Legislature of Kentucky (1812).

102 Deposition Book No. 1, p. 156, Clark County Court, Kentucky.

103 Cf. "Daniel Boone and the Wilderness Trail," Bristol
(Tennessee-Virginia) Herald Courier, Boone Trail Edition, April, 1917.

104 Hall: The Romance of Western History (1857), 150-1, 158-9.

105 North Carolina Colonial Records, vii, 713.

106 Martin: History of North Carolina, ii, 191.

107 "The Origin of the Regulation in North Carolina," American
Historical Review, xxi, No. 2.

108 North Carolina Colonial Records, vii, 14-31, 32-4, 37.

109 Raleigh (N. C.) Register, June 2, 1825.

110 Cf. Tryon's Journal, North Carolina Colonial Records, vii, 819-838.

111 Tryon to Hillsborough, December 24, 1768.

112 North Carolina Colonial Records, viii, 231-4.

113 North Carolina Colonial Records, viii, 241-244.

114 North Carolina Colonial Records, viii, 241-244.

115 North Carolina Colonial Records, viii, 236-240.

116 Cf. J. S. Bassett: "The Regulators of North Carolina (1765-1771)",
American Historical Association Report for 1894.

117 North Carolina Colonial Records, x, 1019-1022; Caruthers: Life of
Caldwell, 145-158.

118 North Carolina Colonial Records, vi, 250.

119 Alderman: "The Baptists at the Forks of the Yadkin," in Baptist
Historical Papers.

120 North Carolina Colonial Records, viii, 70-80.

121 The discovery of an immense quantity of contemporary documents,
since Roosevelt's The Winning of the West was written, betrays the
numerous inaccuracies of that fascinating work, as well as the imperfect
perspective in the picture of the westward expansionist movement. Mr.
Roosevelt's virile apotheosis of the strenuous pioneer seems today
almost as old-fashioned in its method and outlook as is Draper's work on
King's Mountain.

122 Bancroft Transcripts, Library of Congress.

123 Purefoy: History of Sandy Creek Baptist Association (1859).

124 Cf. "Pioneer Contributions of North Carolina to Kentucky," Charlotte
(N. C.) Observer, November 10, 1913.

125 Summers: Southwest Virginia, 616-8.

126 North Carolina Colonial Records, xiv, 314. Cf. Farrand: "The Indian
Boundary Line," American Historical Review, x.

127 Dunmore to Hillsborough, March, 1772. Cf. also Draper, MS. Life of
Boone, Draper MSS., 3 B 87, 88.

128 North Carolina Colonial Records, x, 885-6.

129 Moses Fisk: "A Summary Notice of the First Settlements made by White
People within the Limits which Bound the State of Tennessee," in
Massachusetts Historical Collections, 1st series (1816).

130 Dunmore to Dartmouth, May 16, 1774.

131 North Carolina Colonial Records, ix, 825-6, 982. MS. Copy in Minutes
of Council, Public Record Office, Colonial Office, 5:355.

132 Haywood: Civil and Political History of Tennessee (1823), 40.

133 Butler: History of Kentucky (1836), p. lxvii, note. Also Draper
MSS., 2 CC 34.

134 Wharton: Plain Facts (1781), 9.

135 Alvord: The Illinois-Wabash Land Company Manuscript.

136 A copy of the opinion, bearing this date, is in the Henderson
papers, Draper collection, Wisconsin Historical Society.

137 Extended investigation establishes beyond question that Judge
Henderson was proceeding in strict accordance with law in seeking to
acquire title by purchase from the Cherokees instead of applying to the
royal government for a grant. When Virginia's sea-to-sea charter was
abrogated in 1624, Virginia became a royal province and the settlement
of boundaries a royal prerogative. Of the three presumed Indian
claimants to the trans-Alleghany region, viz., the Iroquois, Shawanoes,
and Cherokees, the Iroquois by defeating the Shawanoes and their
confederates in the Ohio Valley at the battle of Sandy Island in 1672
acquired title, as understood by the Indians, to this region. By the
treaties of Lancaster (1744), Loggstown (1752), and Fort Stanwix (1768),
the claims of the Shawanoes and the Iroquois to the trans-Alleghany
territory were ceded to the crown. While the Shawanoes and the Cherokees
acquiesced in the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the crown fully acknowledged
the claim of the Cherokees to the trans-Alleghany region; and by the
treaties of Hard Labor (1768) and Lochaber (1770) confirmed them in
possession of this region to the west of the boundary line (See Chapter
XII). The sovereignty of England extended over this territory, the right
of eminent domain being vested in the crown. Henderson was legally
justified in disregarding the royal proclamation of 1763 which was
largely in the nature of a temporary expedient, and in purchasing the
title to the trans-Alleghany region from the Cherokees in 1775. The
right of eminent domain over the trans-Alleghany region still vested in
the crown after the treaty of Sycamore Shoals.

138 MS. Journals of James and Robert McAfee. Durrett Collection,
University of Chicago. These journals are printed in Woods-McAfee

139 Hening: Virginia Statutes at Large, x, 558.

140 Wharton: Plain Facts, 96 et seq. See also text ff.

141 Alvord: The Mississippi Valley in British Politics, ii, ch. 7;
Cotterill: History of Pioneer Kentucky, 65-66.

142 T. Wharton to Walpole, September 23, 1774, in "Letter Book of Thomas
Wharton," Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, xxxiii
(October, 1909).

143 For ample materials, cf. Thwaites and Kellogg: Documentary History
of Dunmore's War--1774.

144 Cf. "The Inauguration of Westward Expansion," News and Observer
(Raleigh, N. C.) July 5, 1914.

145 Letter of Major Pleasant Henderson, in The Harbinger (Chapel Hill,
N. C), 1834.

146 Cf. "The Beginnings of Westward Expansion," North Carolina Review,
September and October, 1910.

147 Draper MSS. 1 CC 2-9, Wisconsin State Historical Society.

148 Jefferson MSS. 5th Series, v. 8. In MSS. Division, Library of

149 Draper MSS. 1 CC 2-9.

150 Diary of Morgan Brown in Tennessee Historical Magazine.

151 Enclosure 6 in Dunmore to Dartmouth, No. 25, March 14, 1775, Public
Record Office, Colonial Office, 5:1353.

152 North Carolina Colonial Records, ix, 1117, 1129-1131.

153 Draper MSS. 4 QQ 1.

154 Virginia Historical Magazine, viii, 355. Cf. also Draper MSS. 2 CC

155 Letters to Washington, MSS. Division, Library of Congress.

156 I am indebted to Miss Lucretia Hart Clay for the privilege of
examining the extensive collection of Hart and Benton MSS. in her

157 The voluminous records of the treaty are found in the Jefferson
MSS., vol. 5. MSS. Division, Library of Congress.

158 "Narrative of Felix Walker," Original MS. owned by C. L. Walker.

159 Hulbert: Boone's Road.

160 Original of Henderson's Journal is in Draper MSS., 1 CC 21-130 A. D.

161 Hall: Sketches of the West, i, 254-5.

162 This quotation is taken from the original manuscript. The version in
De Bow's Review, 1854, is imperfect. For better printed versions of
Walker's two accounts, see Memoirs of Felix Walker, New Orleans (1877),
and Journal of American History, i, No. 1 (1907).

163 Original journal of William Calk, owned by Mrs. Price Calk.

164 Letters to Washington, MSS. Division, Library of Congress.

165 North Carolina Gazette.

166 Draper MSS., 1 CC 160-194, deposition of Arthur Campbell.

167 Draper MSS., 1 CC 160-194, deposition of Arthur Campbell.

168 Draper Collection, Kentucky MSS., ii. For a contrary view, cf. P.
Henry's deposition, Kentucky MSS., i.

169 Published in Virginia Gazette, March 23, 1775. Cf. "Forerunners of
the Republic", Neale's Monthly, January-June, 1913.

170 Draper MSS., 4 QQ 17.

171 Letters to George Washington, MSS. Division, Library of Congress.

172 Draper MSS., 1 L 20.

173 Henderson and Luttrell to the Proprietors, July 18, 1775; printed in
Louisville News-Letter, May 9, 1840.

174 Nathaniel Henderson to John Williams, October 5, 1775. Copy supplied
by heirs of B. J. Lossing.

175 "The Struggle for the Fourteenth American Colony," News and Observer
(Raleigh, N. C.), May 19, 1918.

176 In connection with Transylvania, consult G. W. Ranck: Boonesborough:
Filson Club Publications, No. 16; F. J. Turner: "State Making in the
Revolutionary Era", American Historical Review, i; G. H. Alden: "New
Governments West of the Alleghanies before 1780."

177 In a "Proposal for the Sale of its Lands" (Virginia Gazette, Sept.
30, 1775), the Transylvania Company offered to any settlers before June
1, 1776, land, limited in amount, at the rate of fifty shillings
sterling per hundred acres, subject to an annual quit-rent of two
shillings. Cf. facsimile.

178 Draper MSS., 2 CC 25.

179 These increased rates were voted at a meeting of the Proprietors of
Transylvania at Oxford, N. C., September 25, 1775. American Archives,

180 Draper MSS., 47 J 1. This memoir has often been printed.

181 Cf. for example, Mason to Washington, March 9, 1775, in Letters to
Washington, MSS. Division, Library of Congress.

182 Letter of date May 19, 1776. Draper MSS., 33 S 292-295.

183 Original in Virginia State Archives.

184 Original in Virginia State Archives. This and the aforementioned
petition are printed in the Virginia Historical Magazine, xvi, 157-163.
See also J. R. Robertson: Petitions of the Early Inhabitants of
Kentucky, Filson Club Publications, No. 27.

185 Cf. "Richard Henderson and the Occupation of Kentucky, 1775,"
Mississippi Valley Historical Review, December, 1914. Also A. B.
Hulbert: Pilots of the Republic.

186 Original in North Carolina State Archives. Printed in Ramsey: Annals
of Tennessee (1853), 134-138.

187 Haldimand MSS.

188 Original in Draper MSS. Collections. It has recently been printed in
Colonial Men and Times (1915), by Lillie Du P. Van C. Harper.

189 Haywood: Civil and Political History of Tennessee, (1823), Appendix,

190 Journal Virginia House of Delegates, Nov. 4-17, 1778.

191 Hening: Statutes at Large, ix, 571. Cf. also Starling: History of
Henderson County, Kentucky.

192 Cf. Sioussat: "The Journal of Daniel Smith," Tennessee Historical
Magazine, March, 1915.

193 The original journal is in the archives of the Tennessee State
Historical Society.

194 N. Hart, Jr., to Wilkins Tannehill, April 27, 1839, in Louisville
News-Letter, May 23, 1840.

195 The original document is preserved in the archives of the Tennessee
Historical Society. It is printed, with a number of minor inaccuracies,
in Putnam: Middle Tennessee, 94-102.

196 Acts of North Carolina, 1783, ch. xxxviii, North Carolina State
Records, xxiv, 530-531.

197 For a more extended treatment of the subjects dealt with in the
present chapter, see "Richard Henderson, the Authorship of the
Cumberland Compact, and the Founding of Nashville," Tennessee Historical
Magazine, September, 1916.

198 "Isaac Shelby, Revolutionary Patriot and Border Hero," in North
Carolina Booklet, xvi, No. 3, 109-144.

199 While Draper's King's Mountain and its Heroes is most valuable as a
source book, it is very faulty in style and arrangement. The account of
the battle, in particular, is deficient in perspective; and in general
no clear line is drawn between traditionary and authentic testimony.

200 F. B. McDowell: The Battle of King's Mountain (Raleigh, 1907). This
account was prepared chiefly from unpublished letters from Isaac Shelby
to Franklin Brevard.

201 A Sketch of the Life and Career of Colonel James D. Williams, by
Rev. J. D. Bailey (Cowpens, S. C., 1898).

202 A valuable source is the King's Mountain Expedition, by David Vance
and Robert Henry, edited by D. L. Schenck (Greensboro, 1891).

203 Cf. Acts of North Carolina, 1784, April Session, Chapters XI and

204 Sioussat: "The North Carolina Cession of 1784 in its Federal
Aspects," Mississippi Valley Historical Association Proceedings, ii.

205 Quoted in Alden: "The State of Franklin," American Historical
Review, viii.

206 See Charlotte (N. C.) Observer, September 25, 1904. Also consult
North Carolina State Records, xxii, 664 ff.

207 State Archives of North Carolina.

208 Pennsylvania Packet, August 9, 1785.

209 State Department MSS., Library of Congress.

210 A single complete draft, in pamphlet form, printed in 1786, is
preserved in the archives of the Tennessee Historical Society. Cf. "The
Provisional Constitution of Frankland," American Historical Magazine, i.

211 Franklin Papers, vii, folio 1651. MSS. Division, Library of

212 Franklin Papers, viii, folio 1803. MSS. Division, Library of

213 For a more extended treatment of matters dealt with in this chapter,
compare "The Spanish Conspiracy in Tennessee," Tennessee Historical
Magazine, December, 1917.

214 Gardoqui to Floridablanca, April 18, 1788.

215 On April 30th Miró wrote to Valdez, in Spain, informing him of the
proposals received through McGillivray and stating that he had returned
conciliatory replies but had refrained from committing the Spanish
Government until the pleasure of the king should be known.

216 W. W. Henry: Life, Correspondence and Speeches of Patrick Henry,
iii, 409, 412-5.

217 Archives of the Indies, Seville, Spain.

218 Ramsey: Annals of Tennessee (1853), 502-3.


For the entire period (1740-1790) covered by this volume, an
exceptionally rich store of materials is to be found in the Colonial
Records of North Carolina, 1662-1775 (published 1886-1890), and its
continuation, the State Records of North Carolina, 1776-1790 (published
1895-1905), thirty volumes in all, including the four volumes of index.
The introductions and supplementary matter in these volumes constitute a
survey of the period. Theodore Roosevelt's The Winning of the West
(1889-1896; various editions), a vigorous and stirring narrative,
over-accentuates the strenuous life, largely underemphasises economic
and governmental phases, and is by no means free from error.

For the Scotch-Irish migrations one should read C. A. Hanna, The
Scotch-Irish (2 vols., 1902), a large collection of original materials,
imperfectly coördinated; and the excellent historical sketch by H. J.
Ford, The Scotch-Irish in America (1905). For the German migrations,
adequate and readable accounts are A. B. Faust, The German Element in
the United States (2 vols., 1909); J. H. Clewell, History of Wachovia in
North Carolina (1902); J. W. Wayland, The German Element of the
Shenandoah Valley of Virginia (1907); and G. D. Bernheim, History of the
German Settlements and of the Lutheran Church in North and South
Carolina (1872).

The best original sources for the life of the people in this period are:
the State Archives of North Carolina at Raleigh, scientifically ordered
and accessible to collectors; the Lyman C. Draper Collection at Madison,
Wisconsin; the Reuben T. Durrett Collection at the University of
Chicago; the State Archives of South Carolina, especially rich in
collections of contemporary newspapers; the collections of the North
Carolina Historical Society at Chapel Hill; and the Archives of the
Moravian Church, in Pennsylvania and at Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
The State Archives of Virginia, an unexplored mine of great riches, are
as yet inaccessible, properly speaking, to investigators. The state of
Tennessee has not yet made any provision for the conservation of
historical materials; but the Tennessee Historical Society has preserved
much valuable documentary material.

Books shedding light, from various quarters, upon the life of the people
in this period are: W. H. Foote, Sketches of North Carolina, Historical
and Biographical (1846; reprinted 1913), dealing almost exclusively with
the Presbyterian Church and the Scotch-Irish; J. F. D. Smyth, A Tour in
the United States of America (2 vols., 1784), untrustworthy as to
historical events and partisan as to politics, but graphic in
description of the people and the country; William Bartram, Travels
through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida (1791),
delightful in its simplicity and genial tone; William Byrd, History of
the Dividing Line and other writings (J. S. Bassett's edition, 1901), of
sprightly style and instinct with literary charm, pungently satirical,
untrustworthy as to North Carolina; Joseph Doddridge, Notes on the
Settlement and Indian Wars &c. (1824; reprinted 1912), photographic in
its realistic delineation of backwoods conditions; J. H. Logan, History
of Upper South Carolina (1859); J. Rumple, Rowan County (1881; reprinted
1916); Biographical History of North Carolina (8 volumes printed,
1905-); S. Dunbar, A History of Travel in America(4 vols., 1915), first
volume; Travels in the American Colonies, 1690-1783 (Edited by N. D.
Mereness, 1916); and O. Taylor, Historic Sullivan (1909).

Many valuable articles, of both local and national interest, are found
in the excellent periodical publications: James Sprunt Historical
Monographs and Publications (16 vols., 1900-), published by the
University of North Carolina; North Carolina Booklet (18 vols., 1901-),
published by the N. C. Society, D. A. R.; Virginia Magazine of History
and Biography (27 vols., 1893-); American Historical Magazine (8 vols.,
1896-1903); Tennessee Historical Magazine (4 vols., 1915-); Register of
the Kentucky State Historical Society (17 vols., 1902-); Mississippi
Valley Historical Review (6 vols., 1914-). A notable study is F. J.
Turner, The Old West (Wisconsin Historical Society Proceedings, 1908).

There is no adequate account in print of the French and Indian War, in
the Old Southwest. Useful sources are E. McCrady, South Carolina under
the Royal Government, 1719-1776 (1899); S. A. Ashe, History of North
Carolina, 1584-1783 (1 vol., 1908); L. P. Summers, History of South-West
Virginia, 1746-1786 (1903); J. P. Hale, Trans-Alleghany Pioneers (1886);
J. A. Waddell, Annals of Augusta County, Virginia (1886); S. Kercheval,
A History of the Valley of Virginia (third edition, 1902); A. S.
Withers, Chronicles of Border Warfare (R. G. Thwaites' edition, 1908);
B. R. Carroll, Historical Collections of South Carolina (2 vols., 1886);
E. M. Avery, History of the United States (7 vols., 1908), fourth
volume; J. G. M. Ramsey, Annals of Tennessee (1853); Calendar Virginia
State Papers (11 vols., 1875-1893). An interesting biography is A. M.
Waddell, A Colonial Officer and his Times (1890).

The early explorations of the West, and the career of Boone, are treated
with reasonable fullness in the admirable publications of the Filson
Club of Kentucky (27 vols., 1884-); C. A. Hanna, The Wilderness Trail (2
vols., 1911); John Haywood, Civil and Political History of Tennessee
(1823; reprinted 1891), written in delightfully quaint style; L. and
R. H. Collins, History of Kentucky (2 vols., 1882), a mine of
conglomerate material; N. M. Woods, The Woods-McAfee Memorial (1905);
A. B. Hulbert, Pilots of the Republic (1905) and Boone's Wilderness Road
(1903), attractively written; R. G. Thwaites, Daniel Boone (1911), a
lifeless condensation of Draper's sprawling projected (MS.) biography;
and John Filson, Kentucke (1784).

Of the voluminous mass of literature dealing with the Regulation in
North Carolina, one should read: J. S. Bassett, The Regulators of North
Carolina, 1765-1771 (American Historical Association Report, 1894); M.
DeL. Haywood, Governor Tryon of North Carolina (1903); H. Husband, An
Impartial Relation of the First Rise and Cause of the Present
Differences in Publick Affairs, in the Province of North Carolina
(1770); and Archibald Henderson, The Origin of the Regulation in North
Carolina (American Historical Review, 1916).

In addition to titles already mentioned, the following books and
monographs give the best accounts of the Watauga and Cumberland
settlements and of the State of Franklin: A. W. Putnam, History of
Middle Tennessee (1859), a remarkably interesting book by a real
"character"; J. W. Caldwell, Constitutional History of Tennessee (second
edition, 1907); F. M. Turner, Life of General John Sevier (1910), in
pedestrian style, reasonably accurate for the romantic period only;
G. H. Alden, The State of Franklin (American Historical Review, 1903);
S. B. Weeks, Joseph Martin (American Historical Association Report,
1894); Archibald Henderson, Isaac Shelby (North Carolina Booklet,
1917-1918). The source book for the Indian war of 1774 is Documentary
History of Dunmore's War (Edited by R. G. Thwaites and L. P. Kellogg,
1905). For exhaustive data concerning the King's Mountain campaign and
its preliminaries, read L. C. Draper, King's Mountain and its Heroes
(1881), though the book is lacking in discrimination and deficient in
perspective. For a briefer treatment, read D. L. Schenck, North
Carolina, 1780-1781 (1889).

Other books and monographs dealing with the period, the westward
movement, the settlement of the trans-Alleghany, and the little
governments, to be consulted are: James Hall, Sketches of the West (2
vols., 1835) and The Romance of Western History (1857); Journals of the
House of Burgesses of Virginia for 1766-1769 and 1770-1772 (published
1906); G. H. Alden, New Governments West of the Alleghanies before 1780
(published 1897); C. W. Alvord, The Mississippi Valley in British
Politics (2 vols., 1917), a notable work, ably written and embodying an
immense amount of information; J. T. Morehead, Address at Boonesborough,
May 25, 1840 (published 1840); F. J. Turner, The Significance of the
Frontier in American History (Wisconsin Historical Society Proceedings,
1894) and Western State-Making in the Revolutionary Era (American
Historical Review, 1895-1896), papers characterised by both brilliance
and depth; and Archibald Henderson, The Creative Forces in Westward
Expansion (American Historical Review, 1914), The Occupation of Kentucky
in 1775 (Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 1914), The Founding of
Nashville (Tennessee Historical Magazine, 1916), and The Spanish
Conspiracy in Tennessee (Tennessee Historical Magazine, 1917).

On the subject of Indian tribes and Indian treaties, the Annual Reports
of the Bureau of Ethnology, in especial numbers 5, 18, and 19, although
compiled from secondary historical sources and occasionally erroneous in
important matters, are useful--as is also Bulletin 22: J. Mooney, Siouan
Tribes of the East (1895). Rare and interesting works dealing with the
Eastern Indian tribes are H. Timberlake, Memoirs (1765); J. Haywood,
Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee (1823); and J. Adair,
American Indians (1775).

For both wider and more intensive reading in the history of this period,
consult: F. J. Turner, List of References on the History of the West
(Edition of 1915); A Critical Bibliography of Kentucky History, in R. M.
McElroy, Kentucky in the Nation's History (1909); S. B. Weeks, A
Bibliography of the Historical Literature of North Carolina (1895);
E. G. Swem, A Bibliography of Virginia (Part I, 1916); and the
bibliographies in J. Phelan, History of Tennessee (1888); E. McCrady,
South Carolina under the Royal Government, 1719-1776 (published 1899)
and South Carolina in the Revolution, 1775-1780 (published 1901); and
E. M. Avery, A History of the United States (1908), volumes 4, 5, and 6.

Note. For the use of a complete set of transcripts of the Richard
Henderson Papers in the Draper Collection, I am indebted to the North
Carolina Historical Commission through the courtesy of the Secretary,
Mr. R. D. W. Connor.

Abingdon: 134, 191.
Adams, John: 250.
Adams, Samuel: 241, 250.
Ahualco: 144.
Alamance: see Battles.
Alexander, Abraham: 172.
Alexander, James: 27.
Alexander, Moses: 27.
Alexander, Capt. Nathaniel: 62.
Alexander, William: 27.
Alibamu Fort: 65.
Alleghany Mountains: 100, 142, 155, 246, 259, 311.
Alleman's Ford: 36.
Alrichs, Herman: describes ambuscade of Braddock's army, 54.
Amazons: 267.
America: 111, 134, 159, 234, 248, 329; continent of, 198; history of,
286; emigration to, 7; people of, 173, 186, 198, 199; democracy in, ch.
XIV-ch. XV, 174; colonies of, necessity for union, 65-66.
American: cause, 185; congress, 329, 341; confederation, 215, 259, 291;
republic, 329.
American Revolution: 12, 123, 239, 259, 267, 270, 277, 305.
American Union: 319, 335, 336, 342, 348, 349; see Union.
Americans: 190, 300, 329, 339, 340; pioneers, 283; civilization of, ch.
X, 199; character of, ch. X, 30-31, 195.
Amherst, Gen. Jeffrey: 93.
Anderson, Colonel: 308.
Anshers, James: 52.
Appalachian Mountains: 4, 5, 42, 107, 137, 139, 334, 343.
Arkansas: 122.
Atlantic Ocean: 4.
Atta-kulla-kulla, Cherokee chief: 66, 74, 76, 217, 242, 262.
Augusta: 79.

Bacon, Francis: 172.
Bailey, Capt. Andrew: leads sortie from Fort Dobbs, 80-82.
Baily, Francis: on frontiersmen, ch. XIV.
Baker, John: 139.
Baker, William: 121.
Bainton, Epaphroditus: 130.
Balboa: 155.
Baptists: 175, 185, 190.
Barbour, explorer: 122.
Battles: Alamance, 168, 175, 182-183, 186, 189, 219; Great Kanawha, of
the, 203-204, 209, 305; King's Mountain, at, ch. XVIII, 289, 327;
Lexington, 244, 277; Long Island Flats, of, 262-263; Musgrove's Mill,
at, 291.
Beaujeu, Captain: 53.
Been, John: 196.
Been, Mrs. William: 264.
"Belle Riviere": 156; see Ohio River.
Bentham, Jeremy: 246.
Benton, Jesse: 222.
Benton, Samuel: 170.
Benton, Thomas Hart: 170.
Bethabara: 38, 56, 75, 85, 161, 162, 166; invested by Indians, 88.
Bethania: 87.
Bienville (Blainville) Céloron de: 46-47, 98, 116.
Bienville, Jean Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur de: 42.
Big Bone Lick: 116, 156; see Great Bone Lick.
Big Lick: 33.
Big Salt Lick: 284; see French Lick, French Salt Springs, Great French
Lick, Great Salt Springs.
Black Fish, Shawanoe chief: adopts Daniel Boone, 274.
Bledsoe, Anthony: 194, 327, 332, 339, 340, 341, 342, 344.
Bledsoe family: 123.
Bledsoe, Isaac: 126; discovers lick, 124.
Bledsoe's Lick: discovery of, described, 124-125.
Blevens: hunters named, 109.
Blevens, William: 119.
Blount, William: 348.
Blowing Rock: 134.
Blue Licks: 156.
Blue Ridge: 3, 5, 97, 142.
Board of Trade: Johnston to, 3; Glen to, 51; draft royal proclamation,
Boiling Spring: 243, 253.
Bonn, Dr. Jacob: 85.
Boone, Anne: 23.
Boone, Daniel: 16, 20, 22, 29, 38, 41, 101, 108, 110, 115, 119, 129,
130, ch. IX, 131, 132, 133, 134, 142, 144, 148, 153, 155, 156, 158, 159,
160, 164, 165, 166, 185, 190, 200, 212, 221, 225, 226, 227, 231, 232,
235, 236, 280, 282; personal appearance, 37; at Braddock's Defeat,
54-55; meets Richard Henderson, 105; explores Tennessee for Henderson &
Company, 109; serves under Waddell, 133; explores Kentucky for Richard
Henderson, ch. X; clears Transylvania Trail, 226; asks aid of Judge
Henderson, 227-228; returns to Boonesborough, 253; rescues daughter,
271; rescued by Kenton, 272; captured, 272; adopted by Black Fish, 274;
deceived by Indians, 274.
Boone family: settles in North Carolina, 34, 36, 117.
Boone, George: 21, 165.
Boone, James: 137.
Boone, Jemima: captured by Indians, 271.
Boone, Jesse: 137.
Boone, Squire: 21, 34, 35, 36, 37, 105.
Boone, Squire, Jr.: 29, 142, 156-157; sent by Transylvania Company to
aid Daniel Boone, 153.
Boone, William: 23.
Boonesborough: 199, 215, 254, 277; Henderson arrives at, 235;
Transylvania convention at, 244-248; Boone returns to, 253; capture of
girls at, 270-271; besieged by Indians, 272, 273, 274-276; Henderson
returns to, 282; corn sent to, from French Lick, 284, 285.
Boone's Caves: 157.
Boone's Ford: 36.
Boston: 8, 180.
Botetourt; Governor, of Virginia: 192.
Boyd's Creek: 307.
Braddock, Gen. Edward: 53, 58, 135, 295; defeat of, described, 53-55.
Brandmüller, John: pilgrimage of, 14-15.
British: 49, 102, 189, 261, 270, 276, 289, 290, 292, 294, 296, 299, 302,
342; Crown, 191, 200.
Brobdignags: 154.
Brown, Francis: 57.
Brown, Jacob: 194, 224.
Brown, the widow: 337.
Bryan family: 203.
Bryan, James: 22.
Bryan, Joseph: 22.
Bryan, Martha: 33.
Bryan, Morgan: 22, settled in Pennsylvania, 22; in Virginia, 23; in
North Carolina, 16, 34; leads frontier rangers, 75-76, 83; in Rowan, 35.
Bryan, Morgan, Jr.: 22.
Bryan, Rebeckah: 132, 160.
Bryan, William: 22, 33.
Bryan's Station: 22.
"Buffalo Bill" (W. F. Cody): ch. XV.
Bull, Lieut. Gov. William: 88.
Bullitt, Capt. Thomas: 204.
Bullock, Leonard Henley: Member Transylvania Company, 218.
Bunker's Hill: battle of, 277.
Burke, Edmund: on charters, ch. XI.
Burnaby, Andrew: describes life in backwoods, 32.
Byrd, Col. William, 3rd.: 59, 91, 92, 94, 133, 187, 208, 210, 249.
Byrd, William: 36, 45, 98, 130; describes Yadkin region, 35.

Calhoun, Patrick: family attacked, 79; commands Provincial Rangers, 89;
relatives of, 168.
Calk, William: 235; with exploring party from Virginia, 226.
Callaway, Elizabeth: captured by Indians, 271; rescued, 271.
Callaway, Flanders: 271.
Callaway, Frances: capture by Indians, 271; rescued, 271.
Callaway, Col. Richard: 253; commands in defence of Transylvania Fort,
Callaway, Samuel: 110.
Camden: 292.
Camden, Lord Chancellor: 201.
Camden-Yorke opinion: 207, 239, 240, 241.
Cameron, Alexander: 194, 261.
Camp Charlotte: 212.
Campbell, Col. Arthur: interested in Kentucky lands, 208; seeks
partnership in Transylvania Company for Patrick Henry, 240; leads force
against Cherokees, 307; plans Greater Franklin, 323.
Campbell, Colonel William: leads Virginians, 293; elected commander
King's Mountain expedition, 294; at King's Mountain, 296, 299, 300.
Campbell, David: 314, 321.
Campbell, John: 263.
Campbell, Robert: scalped, 82.
Cape Fear: 53, 75.
Captain Will: 151.
Carlisle: 144.
Carolina: 116, 118.
Carolinas, the two: 75, 139, 201.
Carter, John: 224.
Carter's Valley: 195, 224.
Carteret, Lord: lands of, 9.
Caswell, Gov. Richard: 57, 318, 322, 340.
Catawba Town: 59.
Catawba Valley: 10, 13.
Catawbas: 35, 45, 59-62, 64, 65, 70, 71, 72, 96, 118, 146; towns of, 96;
country, 131.
Cession Act: 310-311, 326.
Charles the Second: 42.
Charleston: 32, 33, 38, 66, 68, 88, 94, 161, 167, 289.
Charleville, Charles: at French Lick, 44.
Charlotte: 289, 294.
Cherokees: 15, 28, 49, 59-60, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72, 73, 77, 78, 86, 88,
89, 91, 96, 111, 112, 114, 116, 123, 127, 133, 140, 141, 159, 187, 192,
193, 202, 206, 216, 221, 222, 225, 239, 242, 249, 252, 265, 266, 270,
290, 307, 310, 316, 331, 346; fort promised to, by South Carolina, 58;
treaty with, 59; hunters, 74; attack on Long Cane settlement, 79;
warriors, 76; defeated, 83, 265; boundary line, 191; chiefs, 217, 242,
316; country of, 64.
Chickamaugas: 308; town of, 283; bloody forage of, 289-290; quelled,
Chickasaws: 125, 310, 340.
Chilhowee: 307.
Chillicothe: 204.
Chiswell's Mine: 112, 191.
Choctaws: 45.
Christian, Col. William: member of company to purchase Cherokee lands,
239; leads Virginia forces against Cherokees, 266.
Chronicle, Major William: killed at King's Mountain, 301.
Clark, George Rogers: 255, 259, 277; prospecting in Kentucky, 205;
opinion of Transylvania title, 248; Memoir of, cited as to Henderson
Claim, 255-256; threatens Virginia with revolt in Kentucky, 257; visited
by James Robertson, 281.
Clark, Jonathan: 248.
Cleveland, Col. Benjamin: 296; explores West, 123; leads pioneers
against Indians, 267; leads Wilkes volunteers at King's Mountain, 293;
addresses troops at King's Mountain, 297, 301.
"Cleveland's Bulldogs": 293, 301.
Clinch Valley: 203.
Cocke, William: 231, 263, 321; delegate from Franklin to Continental
Congress, 318; appeals to Benjamin Franklin, 324.
Coldwater Expedition: 340.
Columbus, Christopher: 144, 234.
Committee of Safety: 259.
Concord: 236.
Coghnawagas: 118.
Connolly, Dr. John: 205, 208, 209, 210, 239.
Constitution: rejected by North Carolina, 335, 336.
Continent, European: 4.
Continental Congress: 249, 250, 257, 261, 276, 318, 319, 324, 329.
Cooley, William: explores Kentucky, 149, 153.
Cooper, James Fenimore: 85, 271.
Corbin, Francis: 169.
Cornstalk, Shawanoe chief: 204; leads Indians at the Great Kanawha,
Corn Tassel, Indian Chief: 337.
Cornwallis, Lord Charles: 289, 291, 292, 294, 295, 304.
Cortez, Hernando: 144.
Counties: Albemarle, 99; Anson, 16, 19, 32, 162, 167, 185; Armagh, 22;
Augusta, 55, 198; Berks, 34; Botetourt, 204; Brunswick, 188; Bucks, 8,
22, 34; Burke, 293; Chester, 22-23; Culpeper, 138; Davidson, 343;
Fincastle, 220; Floyd, 142; Frederick, 55; Granville, 160, 169, 170,
179, 181, 218, 291; Greene, 312, 326; Guilford, 203; Hampshire, 55;
Hanover, 108; Jessamine, 157; Kentucky, 258; Lincoln, 126, 234, 298;
Mecklenburg, 27, 30, 171, 200, 245; Miller, 205; Orange, North Carolina,
19, 25-30, 169, 177, 189; Orange, Virginia, 113, 122; Philadelphia, 34;
Prince William, 226; Roanoke, 33; Rowan, 19, 34, 56, 147, 177, 232, 294,
298; Rutherford, 293; Shenandoah, 198; Sullivan, 291, 308, 312, 328;
Sumner, 124, 343; Surry, 40, 166, 293, 298, 303; Tennessee, 343;
Washington, 132, 277, 293, 312, 319, 336, 337; Wayne, 124; Wilkes, 293;
York, Pennsylvania, 52, 59; York, South Carolina, 295.
Couture, Jean: 44.
Cowpens: 294.
Cox, Charles: 119.
Coytomore, Lieut.: murdered by Indians, 80.
Craighead, Rev. Alexander: 30.
Crawford, William: Washington to, on Western lands, 106, 108.
Creeks: 308, 310, 339, 340, 341, 342, 346.
Creeks: Bean Island, 85; Bear, 131; Beaver, 194; Bledsoe's, 128;
Crooked, 213; Cross, 218; Dutchman's, 132; Elk, 137; Fish, 205; Fourth,
57, 58; Line, 71; Linville, 34; Lulbegrud, 119, 154; Otter, 228, 229,
236; Sinking, 328, 336; Sugar Tree, 132; Sugaw, 59; Swearing, 135;
Station Camp, 124, 150; Third, 57; Walden's, 120.
Cresap, Col. Thomas: 101.
Crockett, Robert: 125.
Croghan, George: 46, 120.
Cross Creek (Fayetteville): 218.
Crozat, Antoine: 43, 44.
Culloden: 100.
Cumberland: Colony, 200, 341, 342, 343; leaders, 341; desire alliance
with Spain, 343, 345; traders, 330, settlements, 283, 288, 309, 310,
330, 340, 345, 346; settlers, 328, 342; desire separation from North
Carolina, 343; valley, 280; region, ch. XVII, 280, 345, 347.
Cumberland: outlaw, 165.
"Cumberland Compact": drafted by Richard Henderson, 285-286.
Cumberland District: 331, 339, 341.
Cumberland, Duke of: 100.
Cumberland Gap: names, 100, 115; traversed by traders, 118, 119, 121,
123, 124, 126, 145, 158, 229; see Ouasioto Gap.
Cumberland Mountains: 100, 113, 138, 233.
Cutbird, Benjamin: 139.

Darien: 144.
Dark and Bloody Ground: 126; origin of name, 223-224.
Dartmouth, Earl of: 208, 209, 238.
Dean Swift: 154.
Declaration of Independence: 258; read at Boonesborough, 272.
Delaware: 8; valley, 8.
Demere, Capt. Raymond: 76; takes command of Virginia Fort, 66;
surrenders Fort Loudon, 90-91.
De Peyster: 298, 299, 301.
De Soto, Fernando: ch. XII.
Detroit: 273.
Devonshire, East: 21.
Dick, Captain: Cherokee hunter, 126.
Dinwiddie, Gov. Robert: 50, 53, 55, 58, 65; 67, 70, 72.
Dividing Line: running of the North Carolina-Virginia, 269; William
Byrd's History of the, 35.
Doak, Rev. Samuel: 293.
Dobbs, Gov. Arthur: 55, 73, 77, 92, 93, 169; sends commissioner to treat
with Indians, 59; begins erection of Catawba Fort, 62, 70; orders
building discontinued, 71.
Dobbs, Edwards Brice: 54.
Doddridge, Joseph: on conditions of pioneer life, 125.
Donelson, Col, John: 194, 206, 222, 288; runs boundary line, 193; meets
Richard Henderson, 269; leads party by water route to French Lick, 282;
diary of, quoted, 269, 283-284.
Donelson's line: 194, 224, 239, 242.
Dragging Canoe, the Cherokee chief: 223, 290; leads Indians in battle,
Drake, Enoch: 235.
Drake, Joseph: 125.
Dunmore, John Murray, Earl of: 196, 198, 199, 200, 204, 206, 210, 211,
220, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 248, 249, 254.
Dunmore's War: ch. XIII, 196, 214.
Dugger, Julius  Cæsar: Tennessee pioneer, 137, 187.
Dutch, Pennsylvania: 12, 302.
Dutchman's Creek Church: 185.

East India Company: 201.
Eaton's Station: defence of, 262.
Echota: 64, 66, 307.
Edwards, Rev. Morgan: on exodus of Regulators for North Carolina, 175.
Emery, Will: 127.
England: land-mad, ch. XI, 4, 21, 43, 201, 247.
English: 67, 120, 274; settlers, 5, 96; Revolution, 6; parliament, 7;
colonies, 13; troops, 66; settlements, 46.
Es-kip-pa-ki-thi-ki: 117, 150.
Et-chow-ee: 89.

Fagot: 343.
Falls of the Ohio River (Louisville): 255, 284.
Fanning, Col. Edmund: 22, 172, 173, 176, 177, 180, 182.
Fauquier, Gov, Francis: 94.
Fayetteville: 218.
Ferguson, Col. Patrick: 291, 292, 295, 296, 297, 298, 299, 300; conduct
at King's Mountain, 302; killed, 303.
Few, William: describes life in backwoods, 25.
Fields, Jeremiah: 180, 181.
Filson, John: 117, 147.
Fincastle, Committee of West: drafts protest against Transylvania
Company, 257, 258.
Findlay, Findley, Finley: Archibald, 22; Michael, 22.
Findlay, John: visits Kentucky, 117-118; meets Boone, 144; visits Boone
on the Yadkin, 22, 101, 138, 148, 149, 150, 153.
Fish, William: murdered by Indians, 84.
Fleming, Col. William: 208.
Florida: 138; East, 122, 138; West, 122.
Floyd, John: 212, 243, 254; appointed Surveyor General of Transylvania,
Fontaine, John: journal of, 97.
Fontainebleau: 212.
Forbes, Gen. John: 73, 74, 133.
Forks of Ohio River: 47.
Forts: Bethabara, at, 75; Boone's, 236, 270; chain of, 83; Carolina, 75,
84-85; Catawba, 62, 70, 71; Cumberland, 53; Dobbs, 55, 57-58, 75, 80-82,
84, 87; Duquesne, 47, 72-73, 74; Dutch, 57, 83, 86;--at mouth of Line
Creek, 71; Loudoun, 68, 76, 88-90; McDowell's, 265, 270; Necessity, 48;
Ninety-Six, 89; Patrick Henry, 269, 282-283; Pitt, 121, 209; Prince
George, 51-52, 79-80, 91, 93, 94; Robinson, 94; Stalnaker's, 83, 94;
Stanwix, treaty of, 111, 112, 191, 207;--on Tellico River, 68;
Transylvania, 215, 243, 244, 245, 253, 270, 272, 274, 276, 282; Vaux's,
56, 69; Virginia, 64, 67, 68, 69; Watauga, 263.
Fowey: 254.
France: 43, 78, 96, 99.
Frankland: 318, 331, 339; origin of name, 314, 321.
Franklin: 89.
Franklin, Benjamin: 8, 107, 184, 185; new state named for, 314, 324; to
Cocke, 324; to Sevier, 324-325.
Franklin, State of: 200, ch. XIX, 315, 317, 318, 323, 325, 326, 328,
339, 334, 335, 336, 317, 338, 344, 347, 348;--leaders of, 326, 330;
--legislature of, 312, 313-314, 316, 318;--Greater, 323; origin of name,
314, 324.
Freeland's Station: 309.
French: 45, 47, 48, 49, 65, 66, 70, 97, 116, 274; coureurs de bois, 44;
Huguenot, 198; voyageurs, 123, 128;--Canadian, 274; immigration of, 5;
settlers, 28; traders, 44; explorations, 46.
French Lick: 281; treaty of peace at, 269, See French Salt Springs,
Great French Lick, Great Salt Springs.
French and Indian War: 52, 102, 144, 145.
Frohock, John: 172, 177.
Frohock, Thomas: 172, 177.
Frontier: ch. VII.

Galaspy, William: 234.
Galissonière, Roland Michel Barrin, Marquis de la: 47.
Gammern: storekeeper on Yadkin, 161.
Gardoqui, Diego de: 327, 329, 330, 331, 332, 333, 334, 335, 338, 339.
Gee, Joshua: 98.
George I: 97.
George III: 93, 214.
Georgia: 116, 122, 265, 268, 291, 313;--Assembly of, 344; tours into,
German: pioneers, 11-18, 28;--Palatinate, 11; immigration, 5, 11-12, 19.
Gilbert Town: 292.
Gillespie, Robert: slain from ambush by Indians, 87.
Gist, Christopher: 46, 108, 114, 116, 117, 137, 146; makes exploration
for Ohio Company, 101-102.
Gist, Nathaniel: 134, 137.
Glen, Governor James: 58-59, 65; describes South Carolina's condition,
50-51; promises Cherokees a fort, 51; concludes treaty at Saluda, 51.
Glumdelick: 154.
Gnadenhütten: 56.
Gordon, Capt. Harry: 120.
Grandfather Mountain: 135.
Grant, Col. James: 138; leads expedition against Indians, 93.
Granville, Edward, Earl of Clarendon, Lord: 15; lands of, 9-10, 34, 171.
Great Bone Licks: 120.
Great Britain: 48, 247.
Great French Lick: 280; See Great Salt Springs, French Lick, French Salt
Great Grant: 224.
Greathouse, Daniel: 211.
Great Meadows: 48, 53.
Great Mogul: 201.
Great Tellico: 65.
Great Trading Path: 35, 45, 96, 131.
Great Treaty: 249.
Great Salt Springs, 44, 269, See French Lick, French Salt Springs, Great
French Lick.
Great Warrior's Path: 118, 119.
Green: 62.
Greeneville: 319.
Greer, Andrew: 187.
Grube, Rev. Bernhard Adam: heads settlers into North Carolina, 16.
Gulf of Mexico: 43, 44, 341.
"Gulliver's Travels": 154.
Gutry, John: 52.

Hackett: 341.
Hall, Gen. William: 116, 128.
Hall, Rev. James: 267.
Hambright, Lt. Col. Frederick: at King's Mountain, 296, 302.
Hamilton, Gov. Henry: 273, 274, 276.
Hampton, Anthony: leads Rowan rangers, 83.
Hampton, Col. Andrew: leads Rutherford riflemen, 293.
Hampton, Gen. Wade: 83.
Hancock, John: 241.
Hanks: family, 23, 34;--Abraham, 23, 235.
Hard Labor: treaty at, 112, 114.
Harman, outlaw: 165.
Harris, Col.: 75.
Harris: Elizabeth, 144; John, 145.
Harris's Ferry: 145.
Harrisburg: 145.
Harrison, Richard: 255.
Harrod, James: 121, 205, 212, 243, 244, 253.
Harrodsburg: 253; election held at, 257.
Harrodsburg Remonstrance: 255.
Hart: David, 187, 218;--Nathaniel, 108, 187, 217, 218, 222, 227, 284;
--Thomas, 108, 187, 218, 222.
Hartman, George: 38.
Hawkins, Benjamin: 268.
Hayes: 347.
Haywood, John: 314.
Hempinstall, Abraham: 122.
Henderson, Kentucky: 279.
Henderson, Col. Samuel: chosen special envoy to Franklin, 315-316;
negotiates with John Sevier, 316-318.
Henderson, Nathaniel: 222, 233, 255.
Henderson, Richard: born in Virginia, 104; removes to North Carolina,
104; acquainted with Boones, 105; promotes Western exploration, 110; in
law suits involving Boone, 147; promotes Western exploration under
Boone's leadership, 148-149; sends supplies to Boone, 153; court broken
up by Regulators, 179-181; burned out by Regulators, 182; secures from
English authorities sanction for purchase of Indian lands, 201-202;
reorganizes Richard Henderson & Co. into Louisa Company, 217; visits
Otari towns, 217-218; organizes Transylvania Company, 218-219;
negotiates Great Treaty with Cherokees, 221-225; despatches Boone to
clean Transylvania Trail, 225-226; receives urgent appeal from Boone,
227-229; hastens to Boone's rescue, 229-232; reaches Fort Boone, 236;
draws up plan of government for Transylvania, 243-244; addresses
Legislature of Transylvania, 237, 245; elected delegate from
Transylvania to Continental Congress, 249; prepares plan of government
for Powell's Valley settlement, 252; attends Virginia Convention,
256-257; purchases corn for Cumberland settlement, 269; runs North
Carolina-Virginia dividing line, 269, 282; presents memorial on
Transylvania purchase, 278; plans colonization of Cumberland region,
279-280; despatches Robertson on prospecting tour, 280-281; sends corn
to French Lick, 284-285; organizes government on Cumberland, 285; author
of "Cumberland Compact," 286-287; introduces recall of judges, 286-287;
founder of Nashville, personal appearance, 221-222; diary of, quoted,
227, 229; mentioned, 158, 159, 183, 187, 190, 200, 203, 215, ch. XIV
passim, 216, 220, 234, 235, 238, 240, 241, 242, 246, 247, 248, 253, 258,
272, 282, 315.
Henderson, Richard & Company: organized, 107; despatch Boone on Western
exploration, 109, 160, 216-217; granted 200,000 acres by Virginia; see
Land Companies.
Henderson, Samuel: 104.
Henderson & Company; 109; see Richard Henderson & Company.
Henley, Chief Justice Peter: 60.
Henry, Patrick: 209, 211, 249, 293, 329; pronounces Camden-Yorke
decision valid, 210; endeavors to purchase lands from Cherokees,
239-240; desires to become partner in Transylvania Company, 240;
considers Transylvania title good, 256; confiscates Transylvania, 258;
correspondence of, with Joseph Martin, 344-345.
Hewatt, Rev. Alexander: 78.
Heydt, Jost: settles in Virginia, 12.
Heygler, King, Catawba chief: petitions for fort, 60; prevents
completion of fort, 71; see Oroloswa.
Hiawassee: 307.
Hicks, Harry: heroic defence of home against Indian attack, 85-86.
High Shoals: 29.
Highlanders: 90.
Hill, William: 138, 142, 143.
Hillsborough: 26, 103, 179, 188, 217, 218, 219.
Hillsborough, Earl of: 96.
Hingham: 22.
Hogg, James: 251; partner in Transylvania Company, 218; appointed
delegate from Transylvania to Continental Congress, 250.
Holder, John: rescues sweetheart, 271.
Holden, Joseph: 149, 153.
Hollows, the: 166.
Holston: region, 99, 126; settlement, 281;--settlers, 262; valley of,
134, 187, 191-192, 306.
Honeycut: 189.
Hooper, William: 180, 182.
Hopewell: 310.
Horton, Joshua: 121.
Houston, Rev. Samuel: 321, 323; drafts constitution for Frankland, 319;
features of constitution drafted by, 321-322.
Howard, Cornelius: 165, 166.
Howell, Rednap: poet-laureate of the Regulation, 173, 179.
Hubbardt, Col. James: 316.
Hudson Valley: 4.
Hunter, James: 179.
Hunter's Trail: 150.
Husband, Herman: author of "Impartial Relation," 177, 178, 197; leader
in insurrection at Hillsborough, 179; in correspondence with Benjamin
Franklin, 184.

Iberville, Le Moyne d': 42, 43.
Illinois Company: see Land Companies. Illinois country: 120, 128, 281.
"Impartial Relation": 177, 197.
Indian: agent, 281;--Allies, 72; chiefs, 211, 217, 274, 337;
--depredations, 56, 163, 308, 340;--expeditions, 313; governments, 201;
Grant, 202; hostages, 80;--lands, 161, 308;--outbreak, 74, 262;
--princes, 201;--territories, 200;--towns, 76, 89, 93, 117, 290, 307,
308;--trade, 44-46, 145;--traders, 144, 145, 217, 225;--trails, 119,
139;--tribes, 45, 201, 261;--war, 325;--warfare, 133, 295-296, 297;
--affairs, superintendent of, 111.
Indians: 44, 46, 49, 57, 58-63, 68, 69, 74, 75, 85, 86, 87, 88, 112,
119, 122, 125, 127, 140, 151, 152, 156, 162, 196, 197, 200, 204, 205,
207, 209, 211, 213, 214, 215, 217, 218, 221, 222, 223, 227, 228, 229,
240, 242, 249, 252, 253, 261, 262, 263, 265, 267, 268, 270, 273, 275,
276, 283, 288, 290, 297, 306, 307, 308, 311, 332, 339, 340, 345;
--Northern, 49, 111, 141, 191;--Southern, 35, 191, 261.
Indiana: 123.
Ingles: John, 69;--Mrs. Mary, 69;--William, 69;--Mrs. William, 69.
Innes, Col. James: 53.
Ireland, 7, 22, 33; character of inhabitants of North of, 6-7.
Irish: immigration of, 5;--Pennsylvania, 33; settlers, 28.
Iroquois: 117.

Jack, Col. Samuel: 265.
Jackson, Andrew: 282.
Jacobite uprising: 7.
Jamestown: 6.
Jay, John: 329-330.
Jefferson, Thomas: desires to join Transylvania Company, 240; favors
free government back of Virginia, 250-251; attitude of, toward
Transylvania claim, 256.
Jenkins, Leoline: on character of Scotch-Irish, 6.
Johnson, Sir William: 112.
Johnston, Gov. Gabriel: on immigration into North Carolina, 3.
Johnston, Gov. Samuel: 332, 336, 338, 339; to Robertson and Bledsoe,
Johnston, William: 217.
Jones, John Gabriel: 257.
Jones, Robert (Robin): 169; characterization of Scotch-Irish by, 24-25.
Jonesborough: 292, 312, 313, 316, 337.
Joseph, Miller: describes conditions of North Carolina backwoods, 36,
Judge's Friend, Cherokee chief: 242.

Kenedy, William: agent for Virginia gentlemen to purchase Cherokee
lands, 240.
Kenton, Simon: rescues Daniel Boone, 272.
Kentucky (Cantucky, Cantuckey, Cantuckie, Cantuck): ch. XV, 22, 100,
101, 102, 107, 111, 112, 116, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 129, 137,
139, 140, 142, 143, 145, 146, 148, 149, 150, 153, 155, 156, 191, 196,
200, 203, 204, 205, 221, 223, 224, 227, 229, 231, 233, 234, 235, 256,
259, 269, 270, 273, 276, 277, 279, 315, 327, 335, 341, 342, 348, 349;
origin of name, 117;--road, 332.
Keowee: 51;--valley of, 89.
King's Mountain: 295, 303.
King's Mountain campaign: 306, 348.
Kipling, Rudyard: 137.
Kirk: 337.
Kirtleys, the: pioneers, 113.
Knob Lick: 126.

Lacey, Col. William: 293, 296.
Land: policy of selling large tracts of, 113.
Land Companies: Illinois, 207-208, 239; Louisa, 217, 218; Loyal, 47, 
99-100, 113; Ohio, 47; organized, 100; sends out exploring expedition,
101-102; Richard Henderson & Company, organized, 107; Transylvania
Company, 114, 218; Wabash (Ouabache), 209, 238-239.
Land of Cockayne: 44.
La Salle, Robert Cavelier de: 42.
Laurel Mountain: 119.
"Leatherstocking Tales": 85, 271.
Leestown: 248.
Lewes: 8.
Lenoir (Le Noir), Gen. William: describes costume of pioneer women,
40-41; marches against Indians; at King's Mountain, 301-302.
Léry, Chaussegros de: 116.
Lewis, Major Andrew: 66-67, 81, 191, 208; erects Virginia Fort, 64-65;
leads Sandy River expedition, 70; commands at Battle of Great Kanawha,
212, 214-215.
Lexington: 236.
Lincoln: family, 34;--Abraham, 23, 34, 235; John, 34;--Mordecai, 22-23,
34; Samuel, 22;--Sarah, 23.
Lindsay, Isaac, 121.
Linville: John, 140, 142; Capt. William, 137, 140, 142.
Linville Falls: 136, 141.
Lochaber: 192, 193.
Locke, John: "Fundamental Constitutions" of, 203.
Loesch, Brother: 75.
Logan, Cayuga Mingo chief: 211.
Logan, Col. Benjamin: 234, 277.
Logan, James: on character of squatters, 8-9.
London: 202.
Loudoun, Lord: 68.
Long Cane Settlement: 79.
Long Hunters: ch. XII, ch. VIII, 126, 128, 129, 157, 158, 204.
Long Island of Holston River: 94, 194, 195, 226, 266, 278, 308.
Long, John: slain by Indians, 87.
Long Knives: 213.
Longueuil, Charles de Moyne, Baron de: 116.
Lorbrulgrud: 154.
Louis Quatorze: 43.
Louisa Company: see Land Companies.
Louisiana: 292, 331.
Love, Col.: 266.
Lower Blue Licks: 101.
Lower Salt Spring: 273.
Lower Shawnee Town: 101.
Lowry, James: 118.
Loyal Company: see Land Companies.
Loyalists: 190, 261, 291, 298, 299.
Lucas, Robert: 224.
Luhny, Robert, mill of, on James River, 16.
Lulbegrud: 154.
Luttrell, Col. John: 227; joins Transylvania Company, 217.
Lyttelton, Gov. William Henry: 65-66, 71, 77, 78, 88.

Madison, Thomas: 263.
Madrid: 341, 342.
Mansfield, Low: 201.
Mansker, Gasper, pioneer: 123, 282; discovers lick, 124; encounters
Boone, 157-158.
Mansker's Lick: 110, 124.
Margry, Pierre: 43.
Martin, Gov. Alexander: 182, 312, 315, 316, 322; attorney for Daniel
Boone, 148; appoints Samuel Henderson ambassador to Franklin, 315;
issues manifesto against State of Franklin, 306, 318; Sevier to, on
Franklin, 317-318; academy named for, 318.
Martin, Col Joseph: 150, 227, 262, 290, 306, 307, 313, 322, 325; settles
in Powell's Valley, 113; driven out, 114; appointed agent for
Transylvania Company, 202; Richard Henderson to, 252-253; letter of, to
Governor Randolph, 326; exonerated of treason by North Carolina
Assembly, 344; acts as spy on Spaniards, 344-345.
Martin, Gov. Josiah: 103, 200; issues proclamation against Transylvania
Company, 238.
Martin's Station: 226, 229; founded, 220-221; Henderson draws up plan of
government for, 252; brave defence of, against Indians, 253.
Maryland: 5, 14, 24, 101, 114; price of lands in, 9.
Mason, George: opposed to Transylvania claim, 256.
Maxwell, Col. George: 328, 332.
McAden, Rev. Hugh: diary of, 27-28, 49, 69.
McAfees: 243; exploring party, 204; return home, 235;--James, 235;
--Robert, 235; Robert, Jr., 235; Samuel, 235; William, 235.
McBride, James: 117.
McCulloch, Major John: 122.
McCulloh, Henry Eustace: 172.
McDowell, Col.: 265.
McDowell, Col. Charles: 291, 293, 337.
McDowell, Col. Joseph: 293, 296, 298, 337.
McDowell, Thomas: 228.
McFeters, Jeremiah: 228.
McGillivray, Alexander: 339, 342, 344, 345; receives overtures from
Cumberland leaders, 341.
Mendenhall: John, 203;--Richard, 203.
Middle Ground: 111.
Middle Settlements: 93.
Middleton, Col. Thomas: 93.
Middle Towns: 89.
Middle West: 117.
Millerstown: 198.
Miró, District of: 343, 346.
Miró, Gov. Estevan: 331, 335, 338, 339, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345; reports
on separatist movement in West, 342.
Mississippi Bubble: 43.
Mohawk Valley: 4.
Monbreun, Timothé de: hunts on Cumberland, 128.
Monongahela: 205.
Montagu, Lord Charles: 168-169.
Montgomerie, Col. Archibald: abortive campaign of, against Indians,
88-89; sails, 92.
Montreal: 118.
Mooney, James: explores Kentucky, 149, 153.
Moore: 62.
Moravian: church, 1, 3, 88-89, 166;--community diary, 88;--brotherhood,
15-16;--town, 56; Gemein Haus, 87;--store-keeper, 161.
Moravians: 166; eleven killed, 56; warned against Indians, 85;
hospitable to Indians, 86.
Morgan family: 34;--Edward, 21; Sarah, 21, 34;--Richard, 34.
Morganton: 337, 338.
Morris, Gov. Samuel: 54.
Morrison: 337.
Mount Mitchell: 135.
Mulberry Fields: 15, 163.
Müller, Adam: settles in Virginia, 12.
Murray, William: 207, 208, 238, 239.

Nantahala Mountains: 267.
Nash, Gen. Francis: 177, 288.
Nashborough: 309.
Nashville: 282, 342, 345.
Nassau Hall: 27, 267.
Natchez: 123, 125, 330.
Neely, Alexander: 153, 154.
Neilson, Archibald: 219.
Nelson, Acting Governor William: 96, 188.
Newcastle: 8.
New England: 4, 86.
New Jersey: 5.
"Newlanders": 11.
Newman, hunter: 119.
Newman's Ridge: 119.
New Orleans: 123, 343, 345.
New River: region, 123, 126;--settlement, 69;--settlers, 70.
"Nolichucky Jack of the Border": 332.
Nolichucky: Valley, 224.
North America: 120, 202.
North Carolina: ch. XV, 5, 10, 13, 14, 15, 43, 52, 55, 59, 71, 73, 84,
99, 101, 107, 116, 130, 134, 136, 140, 160, 162, 163, 167, 174, 175,
176, 186, 187, 188, 191, 192, 193, 194, 197, 200, 203, 218, 219, 220,
221, 222, 237, 238, 245, 259, 260, 261, 265, 269, 277, 278, 279, 280,
281, 282, 288, 289, 290, 291, 295, 304, 305, 307, 310, 311, 312, 313,
317, 319, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 328, 330, 332, 335, 339, 343, 344,
345, 346, 347; frontier conditions in, 25-28;--border, 76;--back
country, 261; grants lands in Tennessee to Transylvania Company, 287;
immigration into, 10, 13; increase in population of, 3, 11;--piedmont,
9, 26;--hunters, 141; pioneers, 95; governor of, 60; commissioners of,
310; troops, 53, 72, 77, 89, 93, 94, 266, 273; cedes Western territory
to United States, 347; legislature of, passes second cession act, 347;
lands accepted by Congress, 348.
North Carolina Assembly: 57-58, 61, 92, 93, 277, 313, 314, 338, 343.
North Carolina: Provincial Congress of, 259, 277; Provincial Council of,
260, 265, 266.
Northwest: 259, 261, 270, 277.
Nottaway Indians: 72.
Nuntewees: 65.

Oconostota, Cherokee chief: 242; treacherously murders Lieut. Coytomore,
Ohio Company: see Land Companies.
Ohio Indians: 46.
Ohio Valley: 102, 145.
Old Abraham: 263.
Old Chillicothe: 212.
Old Southwest: 104, 126, 195, 198, 212, 226, 260, 265, 305, 309, 348;
pioneers of, ch. XV, 5, 12, 14, 17, 28-31; pioneer democracy of, 20-21,
103-104;--planter aristocracy of, 20;--Mimic republics of, 200;
--colonizers of, 20.
Ormond, Duke of: to Leoline Jenkins, 6.
Oroloswa, Catawba Chief: 71, see King Heygler.
Osborne, Captain Alexander: leads Rowan militia, 62.
Otari towns: 217.
Ouasioto Gap: 118, 145, 146, 150, see Cumberland Gap.
Outassitus, Cherokee chief: 91.
Overton, Samuel: 239.
Owen, William: 163, 164, 165.
Oxford: 249.

Pacific Ocean: 144.
Page, John: 239.
Paintsville: 100.
Paris: 43.
Path Deed: 224.
Paxtang: 145.
Pearis, Capt. Richard: 70.
Peck, John M.: 148.
Penn, William: 8, 21, 22.
Pennsylvania: 5, 10, 13, 27, 33, 45, 54, 99, 118, 144, 209, 277;
population of, 8; lands, 9; immigrants into, 12;--Synod, 13;--settlers,
146;--Proprietaries of, 111;--traders, 146, 207.
Pensacola: 138, 139.
Perkins, John: defeats Indians by strategy, 83-84.
Phifer, Martin: leads frontier rangers, 83.
Philadelphia: 8, 32, 123, 185, 249, 250.
Pilot Knob: 102, 118, 119.
Pilot Mountain: 135.
Piomingo, Chickasaw chief: 125.
Pioneer: farmer, ch. IX; promoter, ch. XI.
Pittsburgh: 122.
"Pocahontas of the West": 262; see Nancy Ward.
Point Pleasant: 213.
Polk, Thomas: 172.
Ponce de Leon: ch. XII.
Portwood, age: 232.
Post St. Vincent: 281.
Pound Gap: 102.
Powell's Mountain: 224.
Powell's Valley: 113, 114, 149, 203, 224, 252; lands in, granted to
Transylvania Company, 287-288.
Presbyterians: in Ireland, 7;--Scotch-Irish, 27.
Preston, Col. William: 208, 212, 240; to Lord Dunmore on Henderson's
offers of land, 220; to George Washington on Transylvania, 237-238,
242-243;--supports Judge Henderson, 254.
Price, Thomas, Indian trader: guides Henderson at Hart to Otari towns,
217; testifies regarding Great Treaty, 225.
Price's Meadow: 124.
Privy Council: 206.
"Proposals for the encouragement of settling the lands, etc.": issued by
Transylvania Company, 219, 220.
Puritan: 86.

Quaker Meadows: 294.
Quakers: 20-21.
Quebec: 212.
Quindre, Dagniaux de: commands at siege of Transylvania Fort, 274-276.

Rains, John: 123.
Randolph, Col. Peter: treaty commissioner, 59.
Recall of Judges: early example, 286-287.
Red Lick Fork: 150.
Regulation: 167, 173, 174, 175, 176, 182, 192.
Regulators: ch. XI, 166, 167, 168, 175, 176, 177, 179, 180, 181, 183,
185, 190.
Reid, Capt. Mayne: 282.
Revere, Paul: 231.
Richard Henderson & Company: 119, 129, 138; organized, 107; despatch
Boone on exploring expedition, 109; granted land by Virginia, 279; see
Land Companies.
Richter: 166.
Rivers: Big Sandy, west fork of, 142; Broad, 59, 289; Catawba, 62, 70,
83, 84;--South fork of, 298; Chattahoochee, 266; Cherokee, 111, 121;
Clinch, 142; Cumberland, 44, 109, 114, 119, 121, 128, 157, 223, 224,
269, 284, 288, 308; Dick's, 126, 156; Great Kanawha, 107, 112, 191, 192,
193; Green, 151, 157, 188, 279, 294; Hiwassee, 332; Holston, 142, 192,
194, 195, 224, 283; Illinois, 207; James, 16, 96-97; Kentucky, 156, 159,
212, 236, 242, 248, 253, 284; Licking, 156; Little Tennessee, 65, 307;
Louisa, 149, 193; Meho, 163; Miami, 102; Mississippi, 42, 102, 139, 155,
259, 329, 330, 343; Muskingum, 102; New, 224; Nonachunheh, Nolichucky,
194, 197; Ohio, 42, 44, 45, 100, 107, 116, 117, 121, 122, 142, 151, 156,
191, 192, 193, 207, 213, 279;--falls of the, 255, 284;--forks of the,
47; Opeckon, 12; Pacolet, 76; Potomac, 122; Red, 119, 153, 154; Reedy,
112, 191; Roanoke, 69; Rockcastle, 100, 155; Scioto, 102; Shenandoah,
17; Stone's, 121; Swannanoa, 136; Tellico, 68; Tennessee, 44, 58, 121,
191, 283, 290; Trinity, 42; Tugaloo, 266; Twelve Mile, 89; Wabash, 123;
Washita, 122; Watauga, 197, 219, 221, 224, 293.
Robertson, Charles: 224.
Robertson, James: 188, 189, 190, 196, 197, 200, 222, 260, 263, 287, 309,
327, 332, 339, 340, 341, 342, 344, 347; leads scouting party for
Transylvania Company, 280-281; guides party to French Lick, 282; joined
by Donelson and party, 284; names Miró District, 343; desires union with
Spain, 343; seeks separation of Cumberland from North Carolina, 345; to
Miró on separatist movement, 346.
Robinson, John: 69.
Rochelle: 43.
Rocky Mountains: 135.
Rogers, Sergt.: 73.
Rogersville: 290.
Roan Mountain: 135.
Round-O, Cherokee chief: 79.
Rowan, Matthew: 19, 76.
Rowan rangers: 83; described, 82-83.
Rowan: settlers murdered, 77, 265.
Rucker, Capt.: 113.
Rutherford, Gen. Griffith: leads Rowan rangers, 76, 83; leads rescuing
force, 265, 270; leads army against Cherokees, 267.
Russell, Capt. William: 203.

Saint Augustine: 138.
Saint Lusson, Daumont de: 41-42.
Salem: 87.
Salisbury: 34, 38, 59, 146, 148, 162, 165, 166, 168, 172, 289.
Salling, John Peter: 117.
San Salvador: 144.
Sandy Creek Association: 175, 184, 185, 190.
Sandy River expedition: 70.
Sapona Town: 35.
Sault Ste. Marie: 41.
Savannah: 51.
Savannah Indians: 65.
Scaggs, Charles: 126.
Scaggs, Henry: 282; meets Daniel Boone, 109; agent for Richard Henderson
& Co., 109-110; explores Cumberland region, 119; leads Long Hunters into 
Kentucky, 125-126.
Scaggs' Ridge: 120.
Schnell, Leonard: pilgrimage of, 14-15.
Scotch Lowlands: 6.
Scotch-Irish: 7, 11, 27, 33, 188; in Pennsylvania, 8;--immigration of,
5, 19; settlers, 28.
Scotchman: 218.
Scotland: 217.
Scovil: 168.
Searcy: connection, 190; Reuben, 169; Valentine, 222.
Settiquo: 76, 307, 316.
Sevier, James: emissary of Franklin to Miró, 337-338.
Sevier, John: 200, 222, 260, 298, 313-314, 322, 325, 326, 327, 330, 337,
344, 347; early life, 198; defends Watauga Fort, 263; rescues Bonny Kate
Sherrill, 264; with Shelly plans King's Mountain campaign, 292, 296;
defeats Indians, 307-308; disavows revolutionary intent, 315; elected
Governor of Franklin, 317; writes defiant letter to Caswell, 323-324;
appeals to Benjamin Franklin, 324; besieges Tipton, 330; attacks
Indians, 331-332; writes Gardoqui, offering to "deliver" Franklin to
Spain, 333-335; arrested for high treason, imprisoned, 337; rescued,
338; restored to office by North Carolina, 338; elected first governor
of Tennessee, 348.
Shawanoes, Shawnese: 25, 44, 69, 117, 151, 203, 205, 209, 271;--chief
of, 204.
Shelby, Col. Evan: leads force against Chickamaugas, 290; appointed
brigadier-general, 322.
Shelby, Isaac: 222, 291, 298; at Battle of Great Kanawha, 213-214;
initiates King's Mountain campaign, 292; at King's Mountain, 301;
elected first governor of Kentucky, 348.
Shelby, Capt. James: 263.
Shenandoah Valley: 10, 34.
Sherrill, Katherine: rescued by John Sevier, 264.
Silonee, Cherokee chief: 79; checks Montgomerie, 89; see Young Warrior
of Estatoe.
Sims, George: writes A Serious Address, etc., 160, 169, 170.
Simms, William Gilmore: 144.
Six Nations: 111, 191.
Slaughter: 138.
Slaughter, Col. Thomas: 244.
Smith, Capt. John: 69.
Smith, Gen. Daniel: 343, 344.
Smith, James: 121.
Smith, John, Jr.: 69.
Smith, William Bailey: 222; carries corn to French Lick, 284.
Smith's Bridge: 89.
Smyth, J. F. D.: describes North Carolina backwoodsmen, 39-40.
South Carolina: ch. XV, 14, 27-28, 43, 45, 58, 66, 68, 71, 112, 121,
139, 167, 192, 237, 262, 265, 268, 291, 294, 295, 305, 313; rangers, 89;
traders, 71.
South Fork of Catawba River, 62, 70;--Boys, 298, 301.
South Sea: ch. XI, 42.
South Sea Islands: 219.
Southwest: see Old Southwest.
Southwest Territory: 348.
Southern Department: 111, 331.
Spach: 166.
Spain: ch. XX, 330, 331, 332, 337, 338, 339, 340, 344, 345, 347.
Spangenberg, Bishop Augustus Gottlieb: makes exploring tour, 13, 14,
131; preaches at Bethania, 87.
Spaniards: 292, 332, 340, 345.
Spanish: authorities, 339; charged affairs, 329;--conspiracy in
Kentucky, 335, 339;--conspiracy in Tennessee, ch. XX, 339;--court,
347;--domain, 348;--government, 346;--minister, 331;--traders, 340.
Spotswood, Gov. Alexander: 97, 98.
St. Asaph's: 243.
St. Clair, Sir John: 54.
St. Clair, Gen. Arthur: 133.
Stalnaker, Samuel: 83, 94.
Stanford: 243.
Steep Rock: 194.
Stephen, Col. Adam: 94, 95.
Stewart, John: 139, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153.
Stone, Uriah: 121, 123.
Stoner, Michael: 121, 212, 232, 272.
Stuart, Capt. John: 91-92.
Stuart, John: 111, 191, 192, 194, 261.
Stuart, pioneer: 283.
Superintendent of Indian Affairs: 112, 331.
Swan, David L.: 252.
Switzerland: 134.
Sycamore Shoals of Watauga River: 219, 221, 263, 293.
Synge, Archbishop: 7.

Tate, Samuel: 228.
Taylor: Hancock, 122;--Richard, 122; Zachary, 122.
Tennessee: ch. XV, 9, 112, 124, 128, 129, 132, 140, 190, 191, 192, 196,
211, 224, 269, 289, 290, 315, 348, 349; countries, 332;--riflemen,
291;--settlements, 261, 264, 314, 315;--settlers, 270, 281, 330, 331.
Terre Haute: 123.
Thompson: 84.
Thompson, James: 263.
Tiftoe, Cherokee Chief: 79.
Tipton, Col. John: 321, 322, 328, 331.
Tipton, Jonathan: 322.
Tonti, Henry de: 45.
Tories: 289, 305.
Town Fork: 163.
Trabue, Daniel: diary of, 275.
Tracey, John: 69.
Trade: British, 46.
Traders: with Indians, ch. VII-ch. IX, 44, 46, 59, 113, 117, 118, 136.
Trading Ford: 35.
Trading House: British, 47.
Trans-Alleghany: 21, 48, 99, 102, 119, 129, 140, 147, 159, 185, 201,
202, 204, 206, 212, 215, 216, 242, 277, 279, 330, 340.
Transylvania: 200, 235, ch. XV, 243, 248, 252, 258, 279, 280, 287;
colony of, 25; president of, 246; proprietors of, 229, 236, 244, 248,
Transylvania Company: 114, 119, ch. XII, 237, 238, 240, 249, 253, 254,
258, 278, 287, 288; compact of, with Cumberland settlers, 285-286;
organized, 218; permanent contribution of, to colonization of West, 259.
Transylvania Legislature: 244, 249, 255.
Transylvania Purchase: 220, 248, 278.
Transylvania Trail: 215, 226.
Treaty: with Indians, 59; at Charleston, 94; at Fort Stanwix, 111; at
Hard Labor, 112, 114; at Lochaber, 192; at Sycamore Shoals, 221-225.
Trent, Capt. William: 47.
Tryon, Gov. William: 112, 141, 176, 183, 191.
Tryon Mountain: 112, 135, 191.
Tryon's Line: 112.
Tuckasegee: 307.
Tuscarora Indians: 72.

Ulster: 6-7.
Ulster Scots: characterization of, 23, 32.
Unakas: 263.
Union: 319, 335, 336, 342, 348, 349; see American Union.
United States: 277, 335, 339, 344, 345, 346, 347.
United States Congress: 310, 311, 312, 346.
Untoola: 316.
Upper Towns: 66, 89.
Utopia: 44.

Valley of Mexico: 144.
Vandalia: 206, 208.
Vasco Nuñez: 144.
Venango: 47.
Versailles: 43.
Villiers, Coulon de: 48.
Virginia: pioneers of, 95, 296;--traders, 96;--troops, 212, 266, 273;
--frontier, 74; Gazette, 110, 272;--backwoods, 28-29;--Valley of, 9, 16,
26, 33, 34;--Convention, 251, 257;--Land Office, 281;--Assembly, 67,
278;--Militia, 209;--House of Delegates, 278, 279;--Governor of, 67,
198;--Path, 64, 76;--Remonstrance, 207, ch. XV, 10, 14, 42, 45, 47, 52,
53, 58, 59, 64, 68, 69, 70, 72, 83, 96, 99, 112, 113, 114, 116, 118,
127, 130, 131, 132, 134, 138, 163, 187, 188, 191, 192, 193, 195, 198,
200, 204, 205, 206, 209, 211, 214, 220, 221, 222, 226, 235, 237, 239,
242, 243, 244, 251, 256, 258, 265, 269, 277, 278, 279, 281, 282, 287,
290, 305, 323, 326.
Virginians: 96, 205, 208, 230, 231, 251, 299.

Wabash (Ouabache) Land Company: see Land Companies.
Wachau: 83, 87.
Wachovia: 86;--community diary, 64.
Wade, Capt. Robert: 74.
Waddell, Gen. Hugh: 53, 55-56, 95, 133, 134; appointed Indian
commissioner, 59; begins erection of Catawba Fort, 70; discontinues work
on fort, 71; in Fort Duquesne campaign, 72; hastens to Rowan's defence,
76; marches to aid South Carolina, 77; report of, on defeat of Indians
at Fort Dobbs, 81-82; rescues captives, 86; leads North Carolina troops,
93, 94.
Walden, Elisha: 119.
Walden's Mountain: 119-120.
Walker, Dr. Thomas: 99, 102, 115, 116, 117, 191; makes exploration for
Loyal Land Company, 99-100; sells land to Joseph Martin, 113.
Walker, Felix: 228, 245, 260; describes Kentucky, 233-234.
Walpole, Thomas, 206.
Ward, James: 139.
Ward, Nancy: 262, 264.
Washington District: 260, 277, 314, 326.
Washington, George: 47, 55, 72, 134, 256, 291; opinion of royal
proclamation, 106; purchases Western lands, 106-107; makes charges
against Dunmore, 206-207; secures military grants for Western lands,
208; Preston to, on Henderson purchase and Transylvania Company, 221,
237-238, 242-243.
Watauga: ch. XII, 191, 194, 200, 270, 281-282;--commonwealth, 199;
valley of, 188, 195, 196, 306;--country, 187, 189; settlers, 195, 196,
197, 200, 259;--Articles of Association, 197;--Association, 224;
settlement, 260, 281.
"Watauga Plan": commission form of government, 260.
Waxhaws: 32.
Webster: 307.
Welsh: immigration of, 5;--settlers, 28;--stock, 163.
West: 160, 187, 259, 273, 277, 327, 342, 348.
West Virginia: 14, 206.
Western: leaders, 292;--people, 347;--settlers, 311, 329; territory,
347, 348;--waters, 314, 348.
Wharton: Samuel, 206;--Thomas, 209-211.
White, Dr. James: 331, 332, 338, 346; emissary of Franklin, 337.
Whitehall: 206.
Wilderness Trail: 230.
Wilkinson, General James: 335, 336.
Williams, Brigadier-General James: 291, 294; killed at King's Mountain,
Williams, Col. John: 105, 107, 149, 187, 222, 254; elected delegate from
Transylvania to Continental Congress, 249.
Williams, John: 141.
Williams and Henderson, law firm: 105, 147.
Williamsborough: 103.
Williamsburg: 210.
Williamson, Col. Andrew: 266.
Williamson, Dr. Hugh: 10, 312-313.
Wilmington: 169.
Winchester, Kentucky: 117.
Winchester, Virginia: 12.
Winston, Major Joseph: leads North Carolina troops against Cherokees,
266; leads Surry riflemen at King's Mountain, 293, 298, 303-304.
Wolf Hills (Abingdon): 134.
Wood, Col. Abraham: 42.
Wormley, Ralph: 239.
Wytheville: 112.

Yadkin: country, 117, 131, 139, 143, 145, 163, 164;--Forks of the, 33,
34, 162, 185;--valley, 10, 13, 15, 32.
York, Pennsylvania: 12.
Yorke, Charles: renders legal opinion, 201.
Young Warrior of Estatoe, Cherokee chief: 79; see Silonee.

Zinzendorf, Count: 13.

Transcriber's Notes


We have retained the original punctuation and spelling in the book, but
not in the index. Obvious errors were corrected--and all of these
changes can be found in the Detailed Notes Section of these notes. The
Detailed Notes Section also includes issues that have come up during
transcription. One common issue is that words are sometimes split into
two lines for spacing purposes. These words are hyphenated in the
physical book, but there is a question sometimes as to whether the
hyphen should be retained in transcription. The reasons behind some of
these decisions are itemized.

There were numerous errors in the index. Places like the Ouasioto Gap
and the Green River, which were spelled consistently and correctly
throughout the text, ended up as "Onasioto" and "Guen" in the index.
Such errors detract from the index. Therefore, corrections were made to
the index and listed in the Detailed Notes Section.

Detailed Notes Section:


• Page viii:
In his letter to the Earl of Dartmouth, Lord Dunmore wrote the clause
"Should for ever immagine the Lands further off..." This is a direct
quote; the spelling is correct.


• Page xvii:
Home-builder is hyphenated and split between two lines for spacing
purposes, giving us two choices on how to transcribe the word. The word
was not used again in the book. However, "home-makers" was used on Page
17, and the word included a hyphen and was in the middle of the line. We
believe that the author's use of home-makers signals the author's intent
to keep the hyphen in "home-builder." So we kept the hyphen.

Chapter III

• Page 39:
Powder-horn is hyphenated and split between two lines for spacing
purposes, giving us two choices on how to transcribe the word. On Page
213, powder-horns with the hyphen appears in the middle of a line. That
was the only other occurrence of the word in the book. Therefore, we
kept the hyphen.

Chapter VI

• Page 68:
The author used the original spelling of the fort on page 68 in the
clause "To this fort, named Fort Loudoun in honor of Lord Loudoun," but
changed the spelling to modern usage (Fort Loudon) on pages 76, 88, and
90. We made no modifications and retained the spelling from the text.

Chapter VII

• Page 98:
Céloron de Bienville is spelled with a grave accent despite the correct
spelling (according to Wikipedia) of Céloron on Page 46. The spelling in
the book was retained.

Chapter VIII

• Page 127:
Half-breed is hyphenated and split between two lines for spacing
purposes, giving us two choices on how to transcribe the word. On Page
141, half-breed with the hyphen appears in the middle of a line. That
was the only other occurrence of the word in the book. Therefore, we
kept the hyphen.

Chapter IX

• Page 133:
Life-time is hyphenated and split between two lines for spacing
purposes, giving us two choices on how to transcribe the word. There was
no other occurrence of life-time or lifetime in the book. We kept the

Chapter XII

• Page 181:
Court-room is hyphenated and split between two lines for spacing in the
clause "the Regulators took possession of the court-room." On page 180,
court-room is spelled with a hyphen in the middle of a sentence, so we
retained the hyphen here.
• Page 194:
There is a printer's mistake on page 194: the first line of page 194 is
actually the last line of page 194. The line "ston River, south and east
of Long Island;" which is on the top line of page 194 in the printed
book, should be on the bottom line, below "however, to the settlement
north of the Hol-." We have transcribed the book making this adjustment
to the text.
• Page 195: We have removed (See map for settlement and treaty lines.)
because our transcription does not have images scanned.

Chapter XIV

• Page 224:
(Compare map.) after "including the Nolichucky Valley." was removed
because maps and images have not been scanned and included in our
transcription of the book.

Chapter XVI

• Page 266:
Rendez-voused was hyphenated for spacing and split between two lines in
the clause "Colonel William Christian rendez-voused." Rendezvous is
written without the hyphen on pages 59, 203, 226, and 292. Therefore,
the hyphen was omitted in transcribing rendezvoused.

Chapter XVII

• Page 270:
Far-flung is hyphenated for spacing and split between two lines in the
clause "along the farflung frontier of Kentucky." There are no other
occurrences of the word. Far-away, far-visioned, and far-reaching were
used in the book. Far west, far north, and far faint were used in the
book, but replacing the hyphen with a space is not an option in
transcribing hyphenated words. There weren't any options with far being
part of a conjoined word. The hyphen was retained in far-flung.
• Page 283:
Flat-boats is hyphenated for spacing and split between two lines in the
clause: "about thirty flatboats, dugouts." On Page 285, flatboats is not
hyphenated, so the hyphen was not kept in transcribing the same word on
page 283.
• Page 286:
Co-partners is hyphenated for spacing and split between two lines in the
clause: "contract between the copartners." There were no other
occurrences of the word. We did not use the hyphen here.
• Page 287:
Entry-taker is hyphenated for spacing and split between two lines in the
clause: "the entry-taker being appointed by Judge Henderson." On Page
220, "entry-Taker" was used in a quote from Joseph Martin. There were no
other occurrences of the word. We retained the hyphen.

Chapter XVII

• Page 293:
Over-mountain men is hyphenated for spacing and split between two lines
in the clause: "the over-mountain men gathered on September 25th." This
word was used other times in the book, on pages 295, 306, and 316. Each
time it was spelled with a hyphen, so we have kept the hyphen here, too.
• Page 303:
Battle-field is hyphenated for spacing and split between two lines in
the clause: "His frenzied efforts on the battle-field ..." This word was
used three other times, on pages 54, 214, and 306. Each time it was
spelled with a hyphen, so we have kept the hyphen here, too.

Chapter XIX

• Page 315:
In Sevier's quote, "we shall pursue no furtheir measures as to a new
State," the spelling of furtheir matches that of Henderson's book.
Because this is a quote, no change was made, although Sevier meant


• Page 393:
In the book, the clause "begins erection of Catawba" is embedded between
"see Land Companies" in the Index entry for Wabash Land Companies. That
clause belongs before "Fort, 70;" in the entry under Hugh Waddell. We
have made the correction.

Spelling Errors in the Index

As described in the Introduction to the Transcriber Notes, the book has
numerous spelling errors in the index. Here is a list of changes made
only to the Index, and only because a new, incorrect variation of the
word was introduced in the index.

• Changed "Bieville, Jean Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur de: 42." to
• Changed "Bathama" to Bethania in preaches index under Bishop
• Changed "corn sent from to French Lick" to corn sent to, from French
Lick, in index entry under Boonesborough.
• Changed "Black Fish, Schawano chief" to Shawanoe.
• Changed "Celoron de Blainville" to Céloron.
• Changed "Charleville; Charles" to Charleville, Charles.
• Changed "Conewagoes" to Coghnawagas.
• Changed "Cullodan" to Culloden.
• Changed "Onasioto" to Ouasioto in entry under Cumberland Gap.
• Changed "Laudown" to Loudon in entry under Captain Demere.
• Changed "Dugger, Julius Caesar" to Dugger, Julius Cæsar.
• Changed "Es-Kippa-Ki-Thi-Ki" to Es-kip-pa-ki-thi-ki.
• Changed "Etchowee" to Et-chow-ee.
• Changed "Gnadenhutten" to Gnadenhütten.
• Changed "Greathouse, Darmel" to Daniel.
• Changed "Howell, Rednup" to Howell, Rednap.
• Changed "Onabache" to Ouabache in the entry for Land Companies, under
the subtopic Wabash.
• Changed "Lockaber" to Lochaber.
• Changed "Lorbulgrud" to Lorbrulgrud. Also added index entry for
Lulbegrud. Lulbegrud is the name of the creek in Kentucky; Lorbrulgrud
is the capital metropolis of Brobdingnag in Swift's Gulliver's Travels.
• Changed "Miro, District of:" to Miró.
• Changed "Monbrenn" to Monbreun under Timothé de Montbreun.
• Changed "Paxtong" to Paxtang.
• Changed "Guen" under Rivers to Green.
• Changed "Nonachunbreh" and "Nolichuetry" under Rivers to Nonachunheh
and Nolichucky.
• Changed "Trabum, Damie" to Trabue, Daniel.
• Changed "Tascarora Indians" to Tuscarora Indians. Moved index entry
from the top of the T's to the bottom to reflect the proper alphabetical
order with the changed spelling.
• Changed "Vasco Nunez" to Vasco Nuñez.
• Moved "begins erection of Catawba," misplaced under index entry Wabash
Land Company to Waddell, Gen. Hugh. The sub-entry is "begins erection of
Catawba Fort, 70;" which is after "Indian commissioner, 59."
• Changed "Wachan" to Wachau.
• Changed "Wachonia" to Wachovia.
• Changed "Young Warrior of Estaloe" to Estatoe.

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