To help understand the "Westward Movement" I recommend the book "Western Lands and The American Revolution" by Abernethy(1890). A must to read, also, is the webpage of "The Chronicals of Scotch-Irish in Virginia" (SW-Pennsylvania) by Lyman Chalkley. They Chronical the movement with actual court records.
|Irish Humphries (The Black Stranger||lee||Jones|
Virginia Looks Beyond The Mountains
The great exodus from the German Palatinate and from Ulster (Ireland) began about this time (1730) and aided the colonization of the Valley (Shanandoah's Irish Track") . Immigrant ships were met with enticing advertisements of this El Dorado in Virginia, and during the decade several important Irish and Scotch-Irish families settled west of the Blue Ridge.
James Patton, from Donegal, was the head of one of these. He had formerly been a sea captain and had crossed the ocean many times, his vessel crowded with redemptioners for Virginia, some of whom were bound for Beverleys estate (Virginia). It was inevitable that Patton himself should get the contagion for a fling at fortune in the New World. In 1736 he, with his brother-in-law John Preston, formerly a ships carpenter, settled together on Beverleys grant. Prestons son William and his sons-in-law Robert Breckinridge and John Brown were destined to be leaders in the West, as was also Pattons son-in-law John Buchanan.8
Probably the earliest settler in this neighborhood was John Lewis, an Ulsterman who under great provocation had killed his landlord and fled to America. In 1732 he settled in what was soon to be "Beverley Manor" and surveyed the town of Staunton for Beverley in 1748. There came with him to America three young sons: Andrew--whom some Virginians thought should have been given command of the Revolutionary Army instead of Washington--Thomas and William. These together with Charles, born in Virginia and who was to die at Point Pleasant, became important figures on the frontier. A third family of equal importance was that of John Campbell who, like Lewis, was an early Scotch-Irish settler in the neighborhood. His descendants were numerous and distinguished, but the most famous in the early period were General William Campbell of Kings Mountain fame and Colonel Arthur Campbell of separatist tendencies.5
When Augusta County, including most of Virginia west of the Blue Ridge, was organized in 1745 Patton became its first high sheriff and Thomas Lewis its first surveyor.6 In the same year the governor and council of Virginia granted Patton and others a tract of one hundred twenty thousand acres to be located at the southern end of the great Valley of Virginia.
Lewis Preston Summers, History of Southwest Virginia (Richmond, 1903) p. 43; Joseph A. Waddell, Annals of Augusta County, Virginia (Staunton, 1902) pp. 30, 57--58; R. A. Brock, ed., "The Official Records of Robert Dinwiddie, Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of Virginia, 1751--1758," Collections of the Virginia Historical Society, new series, 1l--1ll (Richmond, 1883--1884) I, 8n.
'Archibald Henderson, Dr. Thomas Walker and the Loyal Company of Virginia, reprinted from the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, 1931) p. 14; Summers, op. cit., p. 41; Waddell,op. cit.,pp. 24, 64; John Haywood, The Civil and Political History of the State of Tennessee(Nashville, 1915) pp. 45--46, 48--49, 88.Virginia Magazine of History and Biography,VII, 126--127; Waddell,op. cit., pp. 147--150.
Summers,op. cit., p. 42.
valley of Virginia.
It looked as though the old sailors dream (James Patton's), of wealth was about to be realized, and in 1748 a party was organized to explore the princely domain. In addition to Patton himself, its more important members were his son-in-law, John Buchanan; Charles Campbell, son to John; and Dr. Thomas Walker, a land magnate from Albemarle County who soon took up a large acreage where Abingdon now stands. He called this place Wolf Hills.8 Daniel Smith, whose later land speculations were to carry him far, was the young school teacher in this wilderness settlement. Thomas Lewis and John Buchanan, his deputy, had been surveying in the neighborhood as early as 1746, and in 1750 they laid off a tract for Edmund Pendleton which was supposed to lie within \Virginia, but which was actually in North Carolina and is now in Tennessee.9
Thus by the middle of the eighteenth century the southern end of the Valley was being exploited, and at about this time the settlement of Drapers Meadows was established, the first in Virginia to lie on the "western waters." On Frys and Jeffersons map of 1751 Stalnakers settlement on the Holston was given as the extreme Western outpost. While population was thus flowing southward down the Valley, a strenuous effort was being made to push the Virginia frontier northwestwards to the Ohio River. In 1747 Thomas Lee, president of the Virginia Council of State, organized the Ohio Company, the object of which was trade with the Indians and, land speculation. In 1744 Lee had acted as one of the Virginia commissioners at the Indian treaty at Lancaster, in Pennsylvania,
then one of the last outposts of the frontier, and it was probably this experience which first interested him in Western lands. His technical adviser in the business was Thomas Cresap, a seasoned Maryland trader who lived high up on the Potomac and whose one hundred and six years of existence seem to have been one long adventure. In 1748 the petition of the company for a grant of two hundred thousand acres near the Forks of the Ohio was approved by the King and Council, and in July, 1749, the governor and council of Virginia made the grant. It was conditioned, however, on the building of a fort near the Forks and the settlement of a hundred families upon the land within seven years.10
'Virginia Magazine of History and Biography,V, 175--180, a list of early Virginia grants; Judge Lyman Chalkley, "Before the Gates of the Wilderness Road,ibid., XXX, 183--204.
William M. Darlington, ed., Christopher Gists Journals (Cleveland, 1893) pp. 23-.
25; Henderson,op. cit., p. 12.
Summers,op. cit., pp. 44--45.
10 Herbert T. Leyland, "The Ohio Company,Quarterly Publication of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio,>XVI, 3-20; Samuel M. Wilson, "The Ohio Company of Virginia" (pamphlet, Lexington, Ky., 1926); Kate Mason Rowland, "The Ohio Company,"William and Mary Quarterly Historical Magazine,I, 197-- 203; Corra Bacon-Foster, Early Chapters in the Development of the Potomac Route
..page 256: In 1781, Arthur Campbell, Lieutenant of Washington County (later East Tennessee), had already given evidence of his opposition opposition to the claims of the Loyal Land Company which were confined principally to his section of the State. Without any legal claim except the vague recognition which was expressed in the order of the Virginia council handed down in 1773, the company had induced numerous settlers to have their lands surveyed by its agents under the direction of Walker and Preston. The land act of 1779 had recognized the validity of these surveys and had given final jurisdiction in the case to the court of appeals. This meant that the settlers who had submitted to the surveys would have to pay the higher price which the company demanded, whereas they otherwise would have been entitled to grants by settlement and preemption. Campbell held lands under the company and would be adversely affected by this situation. So would a large number of his neighbors.
The commission on land titles which was appointed for Washington and Montgomery Counties under the act of 1779 consisted of Harry Innes, and Nicholas and Joseph Cabell. On September 17, 1781, Innes wrote to Campbell stating that the commission was concerned over the advantage that the Loyal Company was taking of the settlers, and that it would do the best it could to protect them. It was also discovered at this time, through the activities of the commission, that John Buchanan, who had made a number of surveys in southwestern Virginia for James Patton under the authority of Thomas Lewis, surveyor for Augusta County, had no commission to serve as deputy surveyor from the College of William and Mary. This, according to the terms of the act of 1779, should have invalidated all his work, which would have been a serious blow to the Patton interests with which Walker, Preston, and Pendleton were connected.0 The interested parties decided to keep the matter as quiet as possible, and the commission seems not to have been able to accomplish anything. The court, of course, validated the Loyal Company surveys, and Campbell and Innes were left to make the best of the situation. But petitions from Washington County against the Loyal Company were presented to the House of Delegates on the 1st and 14th of December, 1781. A copy of one of these memorials, together with a copy of one from Montgomery County, is preserved in the Campbell papers. Campbell thought that the assembly had not treated him justly in connection with an expedition which he had recently led against the Cherokee, and this may have added to his discontent. He seems also to have had a grudge against Colonel William Russell, who was one of the Preston group of southwestern Virginia magnates.
40 Henderson,Walker, pp. 83--85; Hines to Campbell, Sept. 17, 1781, Draper MSS.
DD29; Arthur Campbell to Col. Win. Edmondson, Sept. 22, 1781, ibid., 9DD30; Pendleton to Preston, Nov. 1, 1781, ibid., >5QQ99; Journal of the House of Delegates, Nov.21, 1781,p.10. the Preston group of southwestern Virginia magnates."
As a result of his Cherokee campaign Campbell was working at this time for the establishment of a military post at the mouth of the Holston River, near where Knoxville now stands, and he wrote to the president I of Congress urging that Joseph Martin be made Indian agent for the
Southern Department with headquarters at this place. It is possible that Martins former connection with the Henderson company may have been in his mind. Be that as it may, it is significant that it was at this time that Campbell began planning for the secession of the five southwestern counties of Virginia and the two adjoining counties of North Carolina. We shall trace the development of this movement in the next chapter.(Old State of Franklin Organized)2
"A. Campbell to Jefferson, June 20, 1781, Cont. Cong. MSS., 7111,141; Journal
of the House of Delegates,Dec. 1,14, 1781, pp. 24, 39.
42 Summers, History of Southwest Virginia,p.391ff.; A. Campbell to Geo. Muter, Jan. 16, 1781, Cont. Cong. MSS., 71, II, 43; A. Campbell to Pres. of Congress, Sept.28, 1781, ibid., 78, VI, 55; Journals of the Continental Congress,XXI, 1088-4089.