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Its Earliest Settlement to the 










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Hampshire county, the oldest in West Virg^inia, was 
foi'med in 1754. It then included nearly all the valley of the 
South branch, and its limits westward were not defined. 
The present county of Mineral and a portion of Morg-an 
were then in Hampshire. In 1785 Hardy county, including- 
the present territory of Grant and part of Pendleton, was 
taken from Hampshire. In 1820 Morg-an county was cre- 
ated, taking- part of its territory; and in 1866 Mineral was 
formed from Hampshire. Thus the old -county was re- 
duced to its present limits. In 1784 its area was two 
thousand eight hundred square miles, with about fourteen 
thousand population. Its area is now six hundred and 
thirty square miles with about thirteen thousand popula- 
tion. In writing the present history no labor or expense 
has been spared. The aim has constantly been to present 
a faithful narrative of events, beginning with the earliest 
explorations and settlements and leading down to the 
present 'time. In order to present occurrences in their 
proper sequence and relation, the work has been divided 
into three parts. The first considers the county of Hamp- 
shire as one in a group of counties forming the state. 
Many features of history cannot be adequately considered 
if restricted to a single county because they concern the 
whole state. Part I. of this book, therefore, contains a 
synopsis of the history of West Virginia, thereb}^ laying a 
broad foundation on which to construct the purely local 
history of the county. Part II. contains the county his- 
tory. Part III. deals with family history. Each of these 
parts is complete and could stand alone ; but the three are 
so related that they form one work, the state history beings 


the foundation, the county history the superstructure, 
and the fjirnil}^ history the finishing-. Every nook and cor- 
ner of Hampshire has been ransacked to collect the scat- 
tered and disconnected, but mutually related, frag-ments 
from which to compile this book. The mag-nitude of this 
work ma}^ be partially appreciated when it is stated that 
more tha.n thirteen hundred families were visited at their 
homes, and a record made of the births, marriag'es and 
deaths in each family, not only for the present g-eneration 
but often extending' back more than one hundred years. 
The result of this has been carefully condensed and is pre- 
sented in part HI. The ag-g-reg^ate distance traveled in col- 
lecting- this material was no less than three thousand miles; 
and if one man had collected the material and written this 
History of Hampshire it would have occupied his whole 
time for seven hundred days. 

While the preparation of the family history was the most 
laborious and expensive part of the undertaking-, much 
work was required for the other parts. The book has 
been written for the homes, and the aim has been to make 
it an educational work, not so much for the older people 
who probably are already acquainted with much that is in 
it, but for the young- whose education has only beg-un. To 
this end, special attention has been g-iven to the g-eog-raphy, 
l>otany, g-eolog-}^ and mineralog-y of the count}^, and the kin- 
dred topics relating- to climate and products. These have 
been written from orig-inal investig-ation and observation ; 
for no writer had ever before entered that field in Hamp- 
shire county, except in the most gfeneral and superficial 
manner. It is confidently believed that the school children 
of Hampshire will find the way opened for a more intelli- 
g-ent and practical understanding- of their county's geog"- 
raphy and natural features, particularly of what the moun- 
tains contain, how soils are made, and the eft'ects of cli- 
mate, and many kindred topics. 

The destruction of many of tiie county records during- 


the war has been a serious obstacle In the way of fully in- 
vestig'ating- many events In the county's early history. 
However, no source of Information that could possibly 
throw lig-ht upon the subject has been neg-lected. The 
compilation of the history of the vv'ar in Hampshire pre- 
sented most dlscourag-Ing- difiiculties. There were few 
documents and almost no official or unofficial records ac- 
cessible. Days of Investlg-ation often were required to fix 
a date ; and sometimes the date could be iixed only approx- 
imately. The narratives of events were collected from 
scores of sources, and v.^ere often so conflicting that to 
bring order out of chaos seemed impossible. But, after 
months of labor, the chapter on the war Is presented to 
the people with the assurance that they will find it an im- 
portant and painstaking- record of events as they occurred . 
in Hampshire. It Is believed that. In the main features 
it is absolutely correct, and in the minor details it contains 
very few errors. 

It has not been the purpose to g-o much beyond the pres- 
ent borders of the county In dealing- with Its history, yet, 
so intimately are historical occurrences interrelated, that 
a proper handling- of the subject often led the investig-ator 
bej/ond the confines of Hampshire. The book is a tolera- 
bly full history of the low^er portion of the South branch , 
valley. Trivial matters have been omitted in order to de- 
vote more space to what is of g-reater importance. Valua- 
ble assistance has been g-Iven b}^ the citizens of Hampshire. 
They have cooperated nobly in the work, and if they find 
this history a book of value, they helped to make it so. 



tate History 




It is impossible to say when and where the first vrhite 
man set foot on the soil of what is now West Virg-inia. In 
all probabiiit}'^ no record was ever made of the first visit. 
It is well known that adventurers always push into new 
countries in advance of org-anized exploring- parties ; and 
it is likely that such v/as the case with West Virg-inia when 
it was only an unnamed wilderness. Probably the Indians 
who wag-ed war with the early colonists of Virginia car- 
ried prisoners into this regionon their hunting- excursions. 
But there is no record of this, and history deals with rec- 
ords and not conjecture. Sixty-five years were required 
for the colonists of Virginia to become superficially ac- 
quainted with the country as far west as the Blue Ridg-e, 
which, until June 1670, was the extreme limit of explora- 
tions in that direction. The distance from Jamestown, 
the first colonv, to the base of the Blue Ridge, was two 
hundred miles. Nearly three-quarters of a century was 
required to push the outposts of civilization two hundred 
miles, and that, too, across a country favorable for explor- 
ation, and with little danger from Indians during- most of 
the time. In later years the outposts of civilization moved 
westward at an averag-e yearly rate of seventeen miles. 
The people of Virginia were not satisfied to allow the Blue 
Ridge to remain the boundary between the known and un- 
known countries; and, in ir370, sixt3^-three years after 
the first settlement in the state, the governor of Virginia 
sent out an exploring- party with instructions to cross the 
mountains of the west, seek for silver and gold, and try to 


discover a river flowing" into the Pacific ocean. Early in 
June of that year, 1670, the explorers forced the heights of 
the Blue Ridg-e which they found steep and rocky, and de- 
scended into the valley west of that rang-e. They discov- 
ered a riverflowingdue north, as far as they could see. The 
observations and measurements made by these explorers 
perhaps satisfied the royal g-overnor who sent them out ; 
but their accuracy may be questioned. They reported 
that the river which they had discovered was four hun- 
dred and fifty yards wide; its banks in most places one 
thousand yards high. Be3^ond the river they said they 
could see towering mountains destitute of trees, and 
crowned by white cliffs, hidden much of the time in 
mist, but occasionally clearing sufficiently tOg"ive ag^limpse 
of their rug-gedness. They expressed the opinion that 
those unexplored mountains mig-lit contain silver and g-old. 
They made no attempt to cross the river, but set out on 
their return. From their account of the broad river and 
its banks thousands of feet high, one mig-ht suppose that 
they had discovered the Canyon of the Colorado; but it was 
only New River, the principal tributary of the Kanawha. 
The next year, 1671, the g-overnor of Virg-inia sent ex- 
plorers to continue the work, and they remained a consid- 
erable time in the valley of New River. If they penetrated 
as far as the present territory of West Virginia, which is 
uncertain, they probably crossed the line into v.'hat is now 
Monroe or Mercer counties. 

Forty-five years later, 1716, Governor Spotswood of Vir- 
ginia led an exploring- party over the Blue Ridg^e, across 
the Shenandoah river and to the summit of the Allesfhenv 
mountains near the source of the South branch of the Po- 
tomac. It is probable that the territory of West Virg-inia 
was entered on that occasion in what is now Pendleton 
county. It would be unreasonable to suppose that these 
exploring- parties were the real pioneers of West Virg-inia. 
Daring hunters, traders and adventurers no doubt were 


by that time somewhat acquainted with the g-eography of 
the eastern part of the state. Be that as it may, the ac- 
tual settlement of the counties of Jefferson, Berkeley, Mor- 
gan, Hampshire and Hardy was now near at hand. The 
gap in the Blue Ridge at Harpers Ferry, made by the Po- 
tomac breaking through that range, was soon discovered, 
and through that rocky gateway the early settlers found a 
path into the valley of Virginia, whence some of them 
ascended the Shenendoah to Winchester and above, and 
others continued up the Potomac, occupying Jefferson 
county and in succession the counties above; and before 
many years there were settlements on the South branch 
of the Potomac. It is knov/n that the South branch was 
explored within less than nine years after Governor Spots- 
wood's expedition, and within less than thirteen years 
there were settlers in that country. 

Lord Fairfax claimed the greater part of the territory 
in what is now the eastern panhandle of West Virginia; 
that is, he claimed the territory now embraced in the coun- 
ties of Jefferson, Berkeley, Morg-an, Hampshire, Hardy and 
Grant. But his boundary lines had never been run. The 
grant called for a line drawn from the head of the Potomac 
to the head of the Rappahannock. Several years passed 
before it could be ascertained where the fountains of these 
streams were. An exploring party traced the Potomac 
to its source in the year 1736, and on December 14 of that 
year ascertained and marked the spot where the rainfall 
divides, part flowing into the Potomac and part into Cheat 
river on the west. This spot was selected as the corner 
of I/ord Fairfax's land; and on October 17, 1746, a stone 
v/as planted there to mark the spot and has ever since 
been called the Fairfax stone. It stands at the corner of 
two states, Maryland and West Virginia, and of four coun- 
ties, Garrett, Preston, Tucker and Grant. It is about 
half a mile north of the station of Fairfax, on the West 
Virginia Central and Pittsburg railroad, at an elevation of 


three thousand two hundred and sixteen feet above sea 

Georg-e Washing-ton spent the summers of three years 
surve3'ing- the estate of Lord Fairfax, partly in West Vir- 
g-inia. He began the work in 1748, when he was sixteen, 
and persecuted it with ability and industry. There were 
other surveyors employed in the work as well as he. By 
means of this occupation he became acquainted Math the 
fertility and resources of the new country, and he after- 
wards became a large land holder in West Virginia, one of 
his holdings Ivinij as far west as the Kanawha. His knowl- 
edge of the countrv no doubt had something to do with the 
organization of the Ohio company in 1749 which was g-ranted 
500,000 acres between the Monongahela and the Kanawha. 
Lawrence Washington, a half brother of Georg-e Washing"- 
ton, was a member of the Ohio company. The granting; 
of land in this western country no doubt had its weight in 
hastening the French and Indian war of 1755, by whif h 
England acquired possession of the Ohio valley. The 
war would have come sooner or later, and England would 
have secured the Ohio valley in the end, and it w^ould have 
passed ultimately to the United States; but the events were 
hastened by Lord Fairfax's sending the youthful Wash- 
ington to survey his lands near the Potomac. While en- 
gaged in this work. Washing-ton frequently met small par- 
ties of friendl}^ Indians. The presence of these natives 
was not a rare thing in the South Branch countr}-. Trees 
are still pointed out as the corners or lines of survej^s made 
by Washington. 

About this time the lands on the Greenbrier river were 
attracting attention. A large grant was made to the 
Greenbrier company; and in 1749 and 1750 John Lewis 
surveyed this region, and settlements sprang- up in a short 
time. The land was no better than the more easil}^ acces- 
sible land east of the Alleghany mountains; but the spirit 
of adventure which has always been characteristic of the 


American people, led the daring- pioneers into the wilder- 
ness west of the mountains, and from that time the tral- 
posts of settlements moved down the Greenbrier and the 
Kanawha, and in twenty-two years had reached the Ohio 
river. The frontiersmen of Greenbrier were always fore- 
most in repelling- Indian attacks, and in carrying- the war 
into the enemy's country. 

The eastern counties g-rew in population, and within a. 
dozen vears after their settlement there was an org-anized 
church on the South branch, with regular monthly meel- 
ing-s at Opequon. Prior to the outbreak of the Frencli 
and Indian war in 1755, there were settlements all along: 
the Potomac river, not only in Jefferson, Berkeley and 
Hampshire, but also in Hardy, Grant and Pendleton coun- 
ties. It is, of course, understood that these counties^ zs. 
now named, were not in existence at that time. 

The Alleghany mountains served as a barrier for awhilfc 
to keep back the tide of emigration from the part of the 
state lying west of that rang-e; but Vv^hen peace v/as re- 
stored after the French and Indian war the w^e stern valleys 
soon had their settlements;. Explorations had made the 
country fairly well known prior to this time as far west as 
the Ohio. , Immense tracts of land had been granted in. 
that wilderness, and surveyors ..had been sent to mark the 
lines. About the time of the survey of the Greenbrier 
country,, the Ohio company sent Christopher Gist to explore 
its lands already g-ranted and to examine West Virginia, 
Ohio and Kentucky' for choice locations in vie v/ of obtain- 
ing future grants. Mr. Gist, a noted character of his tim«, 
and a companion of Washington. a few years later, per- 
formed his task well, aiid returned with a report satisfac-. 
tor)?- to his employers. ' He visited Ohio and Kentucky, 
and on his return passed up the Kanawha and New rivers 
in 1751, and climbed to the summit of the ledge of rocks 
now known as Hav/k's Nest, or Marshall's Filler, over- 


hangfing- the New river, and from its summit had a view of 
the mountains and inhospitable country. 

In speaking- of the exploration and settlement of West 
Virg-inia, it is worthy of note that the Ohio river was ex* 
plored by the French in 1749; but they attempted no set-^ 
tlement within the borders of the state. 

Had Virg-inia allowed relig-iou& freedom, a larg-e colony 
would have been planted on the Ohio company's lands, 
between the Monongahela and the Kanawha, about 1750,. 
and this would probabl}' have changed the early history of 
this part of West Virginia. A colony in that territory 
would have had its influence in the subsequent wars with 
the Indians. And when we consider how little was lacking' 
to form a new state, or province, west of the Alleghanies 
about 1772, to be called Vandalia, it can be understood 
what the result mig-ht have been had the Ohio compaJiy 
-succeeded in its scheme of colonization. Its plan was to 
plant a colony of two hundred German families on its land. 
The settlers were to come from eastern Pennsylvania. 
All arrang-ements between the company and the Germans 
were satisfactory ; but when the hardy Germans learned 
that they would be in the province of Virg-inia, and that 
they must become members of the Eng-lish church or 
suffer persecution in the form of extra taxes laid on dis- 
senters by the Episcopacy of Virg-inia, they would not g'o; 
and the Ohio company's colonization scheme failed. 

Another effort to colonize the lands west of the Alle- 
gfhanies, and from which much mig-ht have come, also 
failed. This attempt was made by Virg-inia. In 1752 the 
House of Burg-esses offered Protestant settlers west of the 
Alleg-hanies, in Aug-usta county, ten years' exemption from 
taxes; and the offer was subsequently increased to fifteen 
years' exemption. The war with the French and Indians 
put a stop to all colonization projects. Virg-inia had enough 
to do taking- care of her settlements along- the western 
borderwithout increasing- the task bv advancing- the fron- 


tier seventy-five miles westward. The first settlement, if 
the occupation by three white men may be called a settle- 
ment, on the Monongahela was made about 1752. Thomas 
Eckerly and two brothers, from eastern Pennsylvania, 
took up their home there to escape military duty, they 
being- opposed to war. They wished to live in peace re- 
mote from civilized man; but two of them fell victims to 
the Indians while the third was absent. The next settle- 
ment was by a small colony near Morg-antown under the 
leadership of Thomas Decker. This was in 1758, while 
the French and Indian war was at its heig^ht. The colony 
was exterminated by Indians the next spring. 

In 1763, October 7, a proclamation was issued by the 
King of England forbidding settlers from taking up land- 
er occupying it west of the Alleghanies until the country 
had been bought from the Indians. It is not known what 
caused this sudden desire for justice on the part of the 
king, since nearly half the land west of the Alleghanies, in 
this state, had already been granted to companies or indi- 
viduals; and, since the Indians did not occupy the land 
and there was no tribe within reach of it with any right 
to claim it, either by occupation, conquest or discovery. 
Governor Fauquier of Virginia issued three proclamations, 
warning settlers west of the mountains to withdraw- from 
the lands. No attention was paid to the proclamations. 
The governors of Virginia and Pennsylvania were ordered, 
1765, to remove the settlers by force. In 1766 and the 
next year soldiers from Fort Pitt, now Pittsburg, were 
sent into West Virginia to dispossess the settlers by force. 
It is not probable that the soldiers were overzealous ii\ 
carrying out the commands, for the injustice and nonsense 
of such orders must have been apparent to the dullest 
soldier in the west. Such settlers as were driven away, 
returned as soon as the soldiers were gone, and affairs 
went on as usual. Finally, Pennsylvania bought the 
Indian lands within its borders; but Virginia after that 


date, never paid the Indians for any lands in West Virg-Inia. 
The foreg"oing- order was the first forbidding^ settlements 
in West Virg-inia, north of the Kanawha and west of the 
.Alleg-hanies. Another order was issued ten years later. 
Both were barren of results. The second will be spoken 
of more at leng-th in the account of the incorporation of 
part of Ohio in the Province of Quebec. 

Settlements along- the Ohio, above and belov/ AVheeling, 
were not made until six or seven years after the close of 
the French and Indian war. About 1769 and 1770 the 
Wetzels and Zanes took up land in that Yicinit}^ and others 
followed. Within a few years Wheeling- and the territory 
above and below, formed the most prosperous community 
west of the Alleghanies. That part of the state suffered 
from Indians who came from Ohio ; .but the attacks of 
the savag-es could not break up the settlements, and in 
1790, five years before the close of the Indian war, Ohio 
county had more than five thousand inhabitants, and Mon- 
ongalia had nearly as. many. 

During- the Revolutionary war, parts of the interior of 
the state were occupied by white men. Harrison county, 
in the vicinity; of Clarksburg- ,■ and further west, was a 
flourishing- community four or five years before the Revo- 
lution. Settlers pushed up the West fork of the Monong-a- 
hela, and the site of Weston, in Lewis county, was occupied 
soon after. Long- before that time frontiersmen had their 
cabins on the Valley river as far south as the site of 
Beverly, in Randolph county. The first settlement in 
Wood county, near Parkersburg^, was made 1773, and the 
next 3'ear the site of St. Georg-e, in Tucker county, was 
occupied by a stockade and a few houses. Monroe county, 
in the southeastern part of the state, was reclaimed from 
the wilderness fifteen years before the Revolution; and 
Tyler county'sfirst settlement dates back to the year 1776. 
Pocahontas was occupied at a date as early as any county 
w^est of the Alleghanies, there being white settlers in 1749; 


but not many. Settlements along- the Kanawha were 
pushed westward and reached the Ohio river before 1776. 

The population of West Virginia at the close of the Rev- 
olution is not known. Perhaps an estimate of thirty-five 
thousand would not be far out of the wa}'. In 1790 the 
population of the territory now forming- West Virg-jnia was 
55,873; in 1800 it was 78,592, a gain of nearly forty per cent 
in ten years. In 1810 the population was 105,469, a gain of 
thirt5^-five per cent in the decade. The population in 1820 
was 136,768, a gain of nearly twenty-tliree per cent. In 
1830 there were 176,924, a g-ain in ten jears of over twenty- 
two per cent. In 1S40 the population was 224,537, a gain of 
more than twenty-one per cent. The population in 1850 
was 302,313, a gain in t'.ie decade of more than twenty-live 
per cent. In 1860 the population was 376,388, a gain of 
more than twenty-tv/o per cent. In 1870 the population 
was 442,014, a gain in ton years of nearly fifteen per cent. 
In 1880 the population of the state was 618,457, a gain of 
twenty-six per cent. In 1890 the population of the state 
was 762,794, a gain of more than twentj'-taree per cent, in 
ten years. 

Land was abundant and cheap in the early days of West 
Virg-inia settlements, and the state was generous in g-rant- 
ing- land to settlers and to companies. There was none of 
the formality reouired, which has since been insisted upon. 
Pioneers usually located on such vacant lands as suited 
them, and they attended to securing- a title afterwards. 
What is usuall}^ called the '"tomahav/k right" was no right 
in lav/ at all; but the persons who had such supposed 
rig-hts were usually given deeds for what they claimed. 
This process consisted in deadening- a few trees near a 
spring or brook, and cutting the claimant's name in the 
bark of trees. This done, he claimed the adjacent land, 
and his right was usually respected by the frontier people; 
but there was very naturally a limit to his pretentions. 
He must not claim too much; and it was considered in his 


favor if he made some improvements, such as planting" 
corn, withi.i a reasonable time. The law of Virginia gave 
such settlors a title to 400 acres, and a pre-emption to 1,000 
more adjci ling-, if he built a log cabin on the claim and 
raised a crop of corn. Commissioners were appointed 
from time to time, some as early as 1779, who visited differ- 
ent settlements and gave certificates to those who gave 
satisfactor}' proof that they had complied with the law. 
These certificates were sent to Richmond, and if no pro- 
test or contest was filed in six months, the settler was sent 
a deed to the land. It can thus be seen that a tomahawk 
right could easily be merged into a settler's right. He 
could clear a litll: land, build his hut, and he usually ob- 
tained the land. The good locations were the first taken, 
and the pi;orer land was left until somebod}^ wanted it. 
The surveys were usually made in the crudest manner, 
often without accuracy and without ascertaining whether 
they overlapped some earlier claim or not. The foundation 
was laid for iranv iutur j law suits, some of which may 
still be on the co:irt dockets of this state. It is said that 
there are 'la,es in West Virsfinia where land titles are 
fire deep. Some of them are old colonial grants, stretching 
perhaps across two or three counties. Others are grants 
made after Virginia became a member of the United States- 
Then come sale -5 made subsequently by parties having > 
claiming a right in the land. The laws of West Virgini 
are such that a settlement of most of these claims is noi 
difficult, where the met^s and bounds are not in dispute. 




Indians enter larg-ely into the early history of the state, 
and few of the early settlements were exempt from their 
A'isitations. Yet, at the time West Virg-inia first became 
known to white men, there was not an Indian settlement, 
villag-e or camp of any considerable consequence within its 
borders. There appears to have been several villag-es in 
the vicinity of Pittsbui-g-, and thence northward to Lake 
Krie and westward into Ohio; but West Virginia was va- 
cant; it belong-ed to no tribe and was claimed by none with 
shadow of title. There were at times, and perhaps at 
nearly all times, a wigwam here or there within the bor- 
ders; but it belonged to temporary sojourners, hunters, 
lishermen, who expected to remain only a short time. So 
far as West Virginia is concerned, the Indians were not 
dispossessed of it by the white man, and they were never 
iustified in waging war for anv wrong done them within 
this state. The white race simply took land which they 
found vacant, and dispossessed nobod}-. 

There was a time when West Virginia was occupied by 
Indians, and they were driven out or exterminated; but it 
was not done by the white race, but by other tribes of In- 
dians, who, when they had completed the v/ork of destruc- 
tion and desolation, did not choose to settle on the land they 
had made their own by conquest. This war of extermina- 
tion was waged between the years 1656 and 1672, as nearly 
as the date could be ascertained by the early historians, 
who were mostly missionaries among the tribes further 
north and vrest. The conquerors were the Mohawks, a 


fierce and powerful tribe whose place of residence was in 
Western New York, but whose warlike excursions were 
carried into Massachusetts, Virg-inia, Pennsylvania, West 
■Vdrg-inia, even fu -ther south. They obtained firearms 
Krom the Dutch colonies on the Hudson, and having- learned 
how to use them, they became a nation of conquerors. The 
©nh^ part of their conquests which comes within the scope 
©f this inq airy was their invasion of West Virg-inia. A 
tribe of Indians, believed to be the Hurons, at that time oc- 
cupied the country from the forks of the Ohio southv/ard 
along- the Monong-ahela and its 'tributaries, on the Little 
Kanawha, on the Great Kanawha and to the Kentucky 
line. During the sixteen years between 1656 and 1672 the 
Mohawks overran the country and left it a solitude, extend- 
ing their conquest to the Guyandot river. There was 
scarcely a Huron left to tell the tale in all this state. If a 
small village on the Little Kanawha at the coming of the 
white man vras not a remnant of the Hurons, it cannot be 
ascertained that there was one of that tribe within the bor- 
ders of til is state when the white men pushed their settle- 
ments into it. Genghis Kahn, the Tartar, did not exter- 
minate more completely than did these Mohawks. If there 
v*-ere any Huron refugees who escaped, they never returned 
to their old homes to take up their residence again. 

There is abundant evidence all over the state that In- 
dians in considerable numbers once made their home here. 
Graveyards tell of those who died in times of peace. The 
dead left on the field of battle are seldom buried by savages. 
Graves are numerous, sometimes singly, sometimes in 
large aggreg-ations, indicating that a villag^e was near by. 
Flint arrowheads are found everywhere, but more numer- 
ous on river bottoms and on level land near springs, where 
villages and camps would most likely be located. The 
houses of these tribesmen were built of the most flimsy 
material, and no traces of them are found, except fireplaces, 
which may occasionally be located on account of charcoal 


and aslies which remain till the present day and may be un- 
earthed a foot or more below the surface of the g-round. 
Round these fires, if the imag-ination may take the place of 
historical records, sat the wild huntsmen after the chase 
was over; and while they roasted their venison, they talked 
of the past and planned for the future; but how long- ag-o, 
no man knows. 

As to who occupied the countr}^ before the Hurons, or 
how long- the Hurons held it, history is silent. There is 
not a leg-end or tradition coming- dov/n to us that is worthy 
of credence. There v/as an ancient race here w^hich built 
mounds; and the evidence found in the mounds is tolera- 
blv conclusive tliat the people Vv'ho built them were here 
long- before any Indians with which we are acquainted; 
but history has not yet been able to deal w^ith the question 
whether the Indians built the mounds or whether they are 
the work of another race. The strong-est arg-umcnt ag-ainst 
the claim that the mounds are the work of Indians of a pre- 
historic time is the fact that Indians have not built mounds 
since thej have been under the eye of the white race. This 
evidence is of a neg-ative sort, but it is g-iven weig-ht, and 
properly so. The argument that the work done shows 
that the people who built the mounds were a more highly 
civilized race than the Indians, is not well supported. 
They were probably more industrious. The mounds in 
this state, and in the Ohio and Mississippi s'alleys, seem to 
have been the crude beg-inning-s of architecture which was 
improved and enlarg-ed in the pyramids of Mexico, built, 
or supposed to have been built, by the ancestors of the 
Aztecs and Mayas. If such were the case, the conclusion 
would not be unreasonable that the people who built the 
mounds were driven south westward into Mexico by the 
irruption of a new people from the north, and that when 
the exiles reached their new home they turned their hands 
ag-ain to building- mounds, and their experience in building 
enabled them ultimately to build pyramids. In Mexico to- 


da}' the Indians, Mayas and Aztecs live side by side, and 
their features and g-eneral characteristics show them to be 
radically the same people, not different races. They are 
at least as much alike as are the Germans and Spanish, the 
Greeks and the French; and the common orig-in of these 
nations is not difiBcult to trace. The limits of this work 
will not permit an extended discussion of this puzzling- 
question. Neither is it proper nor profitable to enter 
at leng-th upon the consideration of the orig-in of the In- 
dians. It is a question which history has not answered, 
and perhaps never will answer. If the orig-in of the In- 
dians were known, the orig-in of the people who built the 
mounds would be near at hand. But the whole matter is 
one of speculation and opinion. The favorite conclusion of 
most authors is that America was peopled from Asia by 
way of Bering-s strait. It could have been done. But the 
hypothesis is as reasonable that Asia was peopled by emi- 
g-rants from America who crossed Bering^s strait. It is 
the same distance across, g-oing- west or coming- east; and 
there is no historical evidence that America vvas not peo- 
pled first; or that both the old world and the new were not 
peopled at the same time; or that each was not peopled in- 
dependently of the other. Since the dawn of histor}^ and 
as far back into prehistoric times as the analysis of lan- 
g-uag-es can throw any lig^ht, all g-reat mig-rations have been 
westward. No westward mig-ration would have g-iven 
America its inhabitants from Asia; but a mig-ration from 
the west would have peopled Asia from America. As a 
matter of fact, Bering-s strait is so narrow that the tribes 
on either side can cross to the other at pleasure, and with 
less difficulty than the Amazon river can be crossed near 
its mouth. 

It is the opinion of ethnolog-ists that a comparison of the 
grammatical construction of a large number of the Indian 
lang-uag-es would reveal characteristics showing- that all 
had a common orig-in. But the study has been barren of 


results lip to the present time. The langfuag-e of the 
Indians is a puzzle, unless it be accepted as true that there 
is no common thread throug-li all leading- to one source. 
There were eig^ht Indian lang-uag-es east of the Mississipt 
at the coming- of the Europeans. • \ 

The number of Indians inhabitin- a given territory was 
surprisingly small. They could hardly be said to occupy 
the land. They had settlements here and there. Of the 
number of Hurons in the limits of this state, before the 
Mohawk invasion, there is no record and no estimate. 
Probably net more than the present number of the inhabi- 
tants in the state capital, Charleston. This will appear 
reasonable when it is stated that, according to the mission- 
ary census, in 1640, the total number of Indians in the 
territory east of the Mississippi, north of the Gulf of 
Mexico and south of the St. Lawrence river, was less than 
one-fourth of the present population of the state of West 
Virginia. The total number is placed at 180,000. Nearly 
all the Indians who were concerned in the border wars in 
West Virginia lived in Ohio. There were many villag-es in 
that state, and it was densely populated in cemparison with 
some of the others; yet there were not, perhaps, fifteen 
thousand Indians in Ohio, and they could not put three 
thousand warriors in the field. The army which General 
Forbes led against Fort Duquesne (Pittsburg") in 1758 was 
probably larger than could have been mustered by the 
Indians of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois combined, and the 
number did not exceed six thousand. The Indians were 
able to harrass the frontier of West Virg-inia for a quarter 
<^)f a century by prowling- about in small bands and striking- 
the defenseless. Had they organized an army and foug-ht 
pitched battles the}^ would have been subdued in a few 

While the Indians roamed over the whole country, hunt- 
ing- and fishing, they yet had paths which they followed 
■when going- on long journeys. These paths were not made 


with tools, but were simply the result of walking- upon 
them for g-enerations. The}' neai'ly always followed, the 
best g-rades to be found, and modern road makers have 
■profited by the skill of savag^es in selecting the most prac- 
tici^ble routes. These paths led long- distances, and in a 
g-eneral direction, unvarying from bcg-inning to end, show- 
ing' that they were not made at haphazzard, bat with design. 
Thus, crossing- AVest Virginia, the Catawba warpath led 
from New York to Georgia. It entered West Virginia 
from Fayette county, Pennsylvania, crossed Cheat river 
at the mouth of Grassy run, passed in a direction south 
by southwest through the state, and reached the head- 
waters of the Holsten river in Virginia, and thence 
continued through North Carolina, South Carolina and it is 
said reached Georgia. The path was well defined when 
the country was first settled, but at the present time few 
traces of it remain. It was never an Indian thoroughfare 
after white men had planted settlements in West Virginia, 
for the reason that the Indian tribes of Pennsylvania and 
New York had enough war on hand to keep them busy 
without making long- excursions to the south. It is not 
recorded that any Indian ever came over this trail to attack 
the frontiers of West Virginia. The early settlements in 
Pennsylvania to the north of us cut off incu»*sions from 
that quarter. A second path, called by the earl}' settlers 
Warrior Branch, was a branch of the preceding. That 
is, they formed one path southward from New York to 
southern Pennsylvania, where they separated, and the 
War-rior Branch crossed Cheat river at McFarland's; took 
a southwesterly direction through the state and entered 
southern Ohio and passed into Kentucky. Neither was 
this trail much used in attacking- the early settlements in 
this state. It is highly probable that both this and the 
Catawba path were followed by the Mohawks in their wars 
ag-ainst the Hurons in West Virg-inia; but there is no 
positive proof that such was the case. Indian villages 


were always on or near larg-e trails, and by following' 
these, and their branches, the invaders v/ould be led di- 
rectly to the homes of the native tribe which they were 
bent on exterminating". 

There were other trails in the state, some of them ap- 
parently very old, as if they had been used for many g-en- 
erations. There was one, sometimes called the Eastern 
Path, v/hich came from Ohio, crossed the northern part of 
West Virg-inia, throug-h Preston and Monong-alia counties, 
and continued eastward to the South branch of the Poto- 
mac. This path was- made long- before the Ohio Indians 
had any occasion to wag-e war upon white settlers; but it 
was used in their attacks upon the frontiers. Over it the 
Indians traveled who harrassed the settlements on the 
South branch, and, later, those on the Monongahela and 
Cheat rivers. The settlers whose ht>m'es happened to lie 
near this ti'ail were in constant dang-er of attack. During- 
the Indian wars, after 1776, il was the custom for scouts to 
watch some of the leading- trails near the crossing- of the 
Ohio, and when a party of Indians were advancing-, to out 
run them and report the dang-er in time for the settlers to 
take refug-e in forts. Many massacres were averted in 
this way. 

. The arms and ammunition with vv'hich the Indians foug-ht 
the pioneers of this state were obtained from white traders; 
or, as from 1776 to 1783, or later, were often supplied by 
British ag-ents. The worst depredations which West Vir- 
ginia suffered from the Indians were committed with arms 
and am munition obtained from the British in Canada. This 
was during- the Revolutionary war, when the British made 
allies of the Indians and urg-ed them to harrass the west- 
ern frontiers, while the British reg'ular army foug-ht the 
Colonial army in the eastern states. 




For the first twenty-five years after settlements were' 
commenced in the present territory of West Virg'inia there- 
was immunity from Indian depredations. There was no- 
occasion for trouble. No tribe occupied the South branch 
when the first colony was made; and the outposts of the 
white man could have been pushed across the state until 
the Ohio river was reached without takinpf lands claimed 
or occupied by Indians, except perhaps in the case of two 
or three very small camps; and this most likely would 
have been done without conflict with Indians, had not Eu- 
ropeans stirred up these unfortunate children of the forest 
and sent them ag^ainst the colonists. This was done by 
two European nations, first by France, and afterwards bj*^ 
Eng-land. There were four Indian wars wag-ed against 
West Virginia; the war of 1755 and Pontiac's war of 1763, 
the Dunmore war of 1774 and the Revolutionary war of 
1776. In the war beginning- in 1755 the French incited and 
assisted Indians ag-ainst the English settlements along- the 
whole western border. In the Revolutionary- war the 
British took the place of the French as allies of the Indians, 
and armed these savag-es and sent them ag-ainst the set- 
tlers on the western border. For at least a part of the 
time the British paid the Indians a bounty on every scalp 
taken, making- no distinction between man, woman and 

It is proper that the causes bring-ing about the French 
and Indian war be brieflv recited. No stale was more 
deeply concerned than West Virg-inia. Had the plan out- 


lined by the French been successfully executed, West 
Virg-inia would have been French instead of Eng-lish, and 
"the settlements by the Virg-inians would not have been 
carried west of the Alleghany mountains. The coast of 
America, from Maine to Georg-ia, was colonized by En- 
g-lish. The French colonized Canada and Louisiana. 
About the middle of the eighteenth century the desig-n, 
probably formed longf before, of connecting Canada and 
Louisiana by a chain of forts and settlements, began to be 
put into execution by the king of France. The cordon 
was to descend the Alleghany river from Lake Erie to the 
Ohio, down that stream to the Mississippi and thence to 
New Orleans. The purpose was to confine the English to 
the strip of country betw^een the Alleghanies and the At- 
lantic ocean, which would include New England, the 
g-reater part of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, East- 
ern Pennsylvania, the greater part of Maryland, seven 
eastern counties of West Virginia, Virginia, North Caro- 
lina, South Carolina and Georgia. The French hoped to 
hold everything west of the Alleghany mountains. 
The immediate territory to be secured was the Ohio val- 
ley. Missionaries of the Catholic church were the first 
explorers, not only of the Ohio, but of the Mississippi val- 
ley, almost to the head springs of that river. The French 
took formal possession of both banks of the Ohio in the 
summer of 1749, when and expedition under Captain Cel- 
eron descended that stream and claimed the country in the 
name of France. 

The determination of the Virginians to plant settlements 
in the Ohio valley was speedily observed by the French, 
who set to work to counteract the movement. They be- 
gan the erection of a fort on one of the upper tributaries of 
the Alleghany river, and no one doubted that they intended 
to move south as rapidly as they could erect their cordon 
of forts. Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia decided to send 
a messenger to the French who already were in the Ohio 


valley, asking- for what purpose they were there,. and in- 
forming- them that the territory belong-ed to England. It 
wasa merediplomaticformality, not expected to doanyg-ood. 
This was in the autumn of 1753, and George Washing-ton, 
then twenty-one years of ag-e, was commissioned to bear 
the dispatch to the French commander on the Alleg-liany 
river. Washing-ton left Williamsburg-, Virg-inia, Novem- 
ber 14, to travel nearly six hundred miles throug-h a track- 
less wilderness in the dead of winter. When he reached 
the settlement on the Monong-ahela where Christopher 
Gist and twelve families had planted a colony, Mr. Gist ac- 
companied him as a g-uide. The messag-e was delivered to 
the French commandant, and the reply having- been writ- 
ten, Washing-ton and Gist set out upon their return, on foot. 
The boast of the P'rench that they Vv-ould build a fort the 
next summer on the present site of Pittsburg- seemed 
likely, to be Carried out. Yv'ashing-ton counted over two 
hundred canoes at the French fort on the Alleg-hany river, 
and he rig-hth^ conjectured that a descent of that stream 
was contemplated. After many dang-ers and hardships. 
Washing-ton reached Williamsburg- and delivered to Gov- 
ernor Dinwiddle the reply from the P'rench commandant. 
It was now evident that the French intended to resist 
by force all attempts by the Eng-lish to colonize the Ohio 
valley, and were resolved to meet force with force. Gov- 
ernor Dinwiddle called the assembly together, and troops 
\vere sent into the Ohio valley. Early in April, 1754, En- 
sign Ward, with a small detachment, reached the forks of 
the Ohio, where Pittsburg now stands, and commenced 
the erection of a fort. Here began the conflict which 
raged for several years along the border. The PYench 
soon appeared in the Alleghany with one thousand men 
and eighteen cannon and gave the English one hour in 
which to leave. Resistance was out of the question, and 
Ward retreated. The French built a fort which they 
called Duquesne, in honor of the governor of Canada. 


The Eng-lish were not inclined to submit so tamely. 
Virg-inia and Pennsylvania took steps to recover the site 
at the forks of the Ohio, and to build a fort there. Troops 
were raised and placed in command of Colonel Fry, while 
Washing-ton was made lieutenant colonel. The instruc- 
tions from Governor Dinwiddie were explicit, and directed 
that all persons, not the subjects of Great Britain, who 
should attempt to take possession of the Ohio river or 
any of its tributaries, be killed, destroyed or seized as 
prisoners. When the troops under Washing-ton reached 
the Great Meadows, near the present site of Brownsville, 
Pennsylvania, it was learned that a party of about fifty 
French were prowling in the vicinity, and had announced 
their purpose of attacking- the first English the}^ should 
meet. Washington, at the head of fifty men, left the camp 
and went in search of the French, came upon tlieir camp 
early in the morning-, fought them a fevv^ minutes, killed 
ten, including the commander, Jumonville,and took twenty- 
two prisoners, with the loss of one killed and two or three 
wounded. The prisoners were sent to Williamsburg-, and, 
at the same time, an urgent appeal for more troops was 
made. It was correctly surmised that as soon as news of 
the fight reached Fort Duquesne, a large force of French 
would be sent out to attack the English. Considerable 
reinforcements were raised and were advanced as far as- 
Winchester; but, with the exception of an independent 
company from South Carolina under Captain Mackay, none 
of the reinforcements reached the Great Meadows where the 
whole force under Colonel Fry amounted to less than four 
hundred men. 

The Indians had been friendly with the settlers on the 
western border up to this time; but the French haAang: 
supplied them bountifully with presents, induced them to 
take up arms against the English, and henceforward the 
colonists had to fight both the French and the Indians. 
Of the two, the Indians were the more troublesome. Thev 


had a natural hatred for the Eng-lish, who had dispos- 
sessed the tribes east of the Alleg-hanies of their land, and 
were now invading- the territory west of that rang-e. But 
it is difficult to see wherein they hoped to better their con- 
dition by assisting- the French to g-ain possession of the 
country; for the French were as g-reedy for land as were 
the English. However, the majority of the natives could 
not reason far enoug-h to see that point; and without much 
investigation they took up arms in aid of the French. One 
sachem, however, wiser than the rest, is reported to have 
stated the case thus: "If the French claim all the land on 
one side of the river, and the Eng-lish claim all on the other 
side, where is the Indians' land?" His countrymen were 
too busily eng-ag-ed in preparation for war to g-ive any an- 
swer, and they joined the French and marched against the 

After the brush v/ith Juraonville's party, it was expected 
that the French in strong- force would march from Fort Du- 
quesne to drive back the Eng-lish. Washington built Fort 
Necessity about fifty miles west of Cumberland, Maryland, 
and prepared for a fight. News was brought to him that 
large reinforcements from Canada had reached Fort Du- 
quesne; and within a few days he was told that the French 
were on the road to meet him. Expected reinforcements 
from Virginia had not arrived, and Washington, who had 
advanced a few miles toward the Ohio, fell back to Fort 
Necessity. There, on the third of July, 1754, was foug-ht 
a long and obstinate battle. Many Indians were with the 
French. V/ashing-ton offered battle in the open ground, 
but the offer was declined, and the English withdrew 
within the entrenchments. The enemy fought from be- 
hind trees, and some climbed to the top of trees in order to 
get aim at those in the trenches. The French were in su- 
perior force and better armed than the English. A rain 
dampened the ammunition and rendered many of the guns 
of the Eng-li^h useless. Washing-ton surrendered upon 


honorable terms which permitted his soldiers to retain 
their arms and bag-g-ag-e, but not the artillery. This capit- 
ulation occurred July 4, 1754, just twenty-two years before 
the sig-ning- of the Declaration of Independence. The 
French and Indians numbered seven hundred men. Their 
loss in killed was three or four. The loss of the Eng-lish 
was thirty. 

When Washington's defeated army retreated from the 
Ohio valley, the French were in full possession, and no at- 
tempt was made that year to renew the war in that quarter, 
but the purpose on the part of the Eng-lish of driving- the 
French out was by no means abandoned. It was now un- 
derstood that nothing- less than a g-eneral war could settle 
the question, and both sides prepared for it. It was with 
some surprise, in January, 1755, that a proposition was re- 
ceived from France that the portion of the Ohio valley be- 
tween that river and the Alleg-hanies be abandoned by both 
the French and the Eng-lish. The latter, believing- that 
the opportunity had arrived for driving- a g-ood barg-ain, de- 
manded that the French destroy all their forts as far as 
the Wabash, raze Niag-ara and Crown Point, surrender the 
peninsula of Nova Scotia, and a strip of land sixty miles 
wide along- the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic, and leave 
the intermediate country as far as the St. Lawrence a 
neutral desert. France rejected this proposition, and un- 
derstanding- the designs of the Eng-lish, sent three thousand 
men to Canada. General Braddock was already on his way 
to America with two reg'iments; yet no war had been de- 
clared between Eng-land and France. The former an- 
nounced that it would act only on the defensive and the 
latter affirmed its desire for peace. 

When General Braddock arrived in America he prepared 
four expeditions ag-ainst the French, yet still insisting- that 
he was acting- only on the defensive. One was against 
Nova Scotia, one ag-ainst Niag-ara, one ag-ainst Crown Point, 
and the fourth ag-ainst the Ohio valley, to be led by Brad- 


dock in person. This last is the only one that immediately 
concerns West Virg-inia, and it only will be spoken of some- 
what at leng"th. In it Braddock lost his life. 

Much was expected of Bx-addock'scampaig-n. He prom- 
ised that he would be beyond the Alleg^hanies by the end 
of April; and after taking" Fort Duqiiesne, which he calcu- 
lated would not detain him above three daj^s, he would in- 
vade Cana(^ by ascending- the Alleg^hany river. Pie ex- 
pressed no concern from attacks by Indians, and showed 
contempt for American soldiers who v/ere in his own ranks. 
He expected his British reg^ulars to win the battles. Never 
had a g-eneral gone into the field with so little understand- 
ing- of what he was undertaking-. He paid for it with his 
life. He set out upon his march from Alexandria, in Vir- 
g-inia, and in twenty-seven days reached Cumberland with 
about two thousand men, some of them Virg-inians. Here 
Washing-ton joined him as one of his aids. From Cumber- 
land to Fort Duquesne the distance was one hundred and 
thirty miles. The army could not march five miles a day. 
Everything- went wrong-. Wag-ons broke down, horses 
and cattle died, Indians harrassed the flanks. On June 19, 
1755, the army was divided, and a little more than half of 
it pushed forward in hope of capturing- Fort Duquesne be- 
fore the arrival of reinforcements from Canada. The 
prog-ress was yet slow, althoug-h the heaviest bag-g-age had 
been left with the rear division. Not until July 8 were the 
forks of the Monong-ahela reached. This river was forded, 
and marching- on its southern bank, Braddock decided to 
strike terror to the hearts of his enemies by a parade. He 
drew his men up in line and spent an hour marching- to 
and fro, believing- that the French were watching- his ever}"- 
movement from the bluff beyond the river. He wished to 
impress them with his power. The distance to Fort Du- 
quesne was less than twelve miles. He recrossed the 
river at noon. This was July 9. The troops pushed for- 
ward toward the fort, and while cutting- a road through 


the woods, were assailed by French and Indians in ambush. 
The attack was as unexpected as it was violent. It is not 
necessary to enter fully into the details of the battle which 
was disastrous in the extreme. The reg"ular soldiers were 
panic stricken. They could do nothing ag-ainst a concealed 
foe which numbered eig-ht hundred and sixty-seven, of 
which only two hundred and thirty were French. About 
the only fig-hting- on the side of the Eng-lish was done by 
the Virg-inians under Washin;:;-ton. The}^ prevented the 
slaug-hter of the whole army. Of the three companies of 
Virg-inians, scarcely thirty remained alive. The battle 
continued two hours. Of the eig-hty-six officers in the 
array, twenty-six were killed, and thirtj'-seven were 
wounded. One-half the army Vv^as killed or wounded. 
Washing-ton had two horses killed under him and four bul- 
lets passed throug-h his coat; yet he was not wounded. 
The reg-ulars, when they had wasted their ammunition in 
useless hring-, broke and ran like sheep, leaving- everything- 
to the enem3\ The total loss of the Eng-lish was seven 
hundred and fourteen killed and wounded. The French 
and Indians lost about sixty in killed and wounded. Brad- 
dock had five horses shot under him, and was finally mor- 
tally wounded and carried from the field. 

The battle vv^as over. The Eng-lish were flying toward 
Cumberland, throwing- away whatever impeded their re- 
treat. The dead and wounded were abandbned on the 
field. Braddock was borne along- in the rout, conscious 
that his wound was mortal. He spoke but a few times. 
Once he said: " Who would have thoug-ht it!" and ag-ain: 
^'We shall know better how to deal with them another 
time." He no doubt was thinking- of his refusal to take 
Washing-ton's advice as to g-uarding- ag-ainst ambuscades. 
Braddock died, and was buried in the nig-ht about a mile 
west of Fort Necessity. Washing-ton read the funeral 
service at the g-rave. 

When the fugitives reached the division of the army un- 


der Dunbar, wnich had been left behind and was coming' 
up, the greatest confusion prevailed. General Dunbar de- 
stroyed military stores to the value of half a million dollars 
and did not C3as2 to retreat until he reached Philadelphia, 
where he went into w^inter quarters. The news of the de- 
feat spread rapidly, and the frontier from New" York to 
North Carolina prepared for defense, for it was well known 
that th2 French, now flushed with victory, would arm the 
Indians and send them ag"ainst the exposed settlements. 
Even before the defeat of Braddock a taste of Indian war- 
fare was given many outposts. With the repulse of the 
army at Braddock's field there was no protection for the 
frontiers of Virg-inia except such as the settlers them- 
selves could provide. One of the first settlements to re- 
ceive a visit from the savag^es was in Hampshire county, 
Braddock's defeated army had scarcely withdrawn when 
the savag"es appeared near the site of Romney and fired at 
some of the men near the fort, and the fire was returned. 
One man was wounded, and the Indians, about ten in num- 
ber, were driven off. Early the next spring- a party of 
fifty Indians, under the leadership of a Frenchman, ag"ain 
invaded the settlements on the Potomac, and Captain Jere- 
miah Smith with twenty men went in pursuit of them. A 
fig-ht occurred near the source of the Capon, and the 
Frenchman and five of his savag-es were killed. Smith lost 
two men. The Indians fled. A few days later a second 
party of Indians made their way into the country, and were 
defeated by Captain Joshua Lewis with eig'hteen men. 
The Indians separated into small parties and continued 
their depredations for some time, appearing- in the vicinity 
of the Evans fort, two miles from Martinsburg-; and later 
they made an attack on Neally's fort, and in that vicinity 
committed several murders. A Shawnee chief named 
Killbuck, whose home was probably in Ohio, invaded what 
is now Grant and Hardy counties in the spring- of 1756, at 
■the head of sixty or seventy savag"es. 'He killed several 


settlers and made his escape. He appeared ag'ain two 
years later in Pendleton county, where he attacked and 
captured Fort Seybert, twelve miles west of the present 
town of Franklin, and put to death over twenty persons 
who had taken refug-e in the fort. The place no doubt 
could have made a successful resistance had not the in- 
mates trusted to the promise of safety made by the In- 
dians, v/ho thus were admitted into the fort, and at once 
massacred the settlers. In 1758 the Indians ag-ain invaded 
Hampshire county and killed a settler near the forks of 
Capon. This same year eig"ht Indians came into the country 
on the South branch of- the Potomac, near the town of 
Petersburg-, and attacked the cabin of a man named Bin- 
g'aman. They had forced their way into the house at 
nig-ht, and being at too close Quarters for shooting, Bing-a- 
man clubbed his rifle and beat seven of the in to death. 
The eig-hth made his escape. In 1759 the Indians com- 
mitted depredations on the Monongahela river ne&.r Mor- 

The settlement on the Roanoke river in Virg-inia, be- 
tween the Blue Ridg-e and the Alleghany mountains, was 
the theater of much bloodshed in 1756, by Indians from 
Ohio who made their way, most probably, up the Kanawha 
and Nevv' River, over the AUeg-hanies. An expedition 
against them was org-anized in the fall of 1756, under An- 
drew Lewis who eig^hteen years later commanded the Vir- 
g-inians at the battle of Point Pleasant. Not much good 
came of the expedition which marched, v/ith g^reat hard- 
ship, through that part of West Virg-inia south of the 
Kanawha, crossed a corner of Kentucky to the Ohio river 
where an order came for them not to cross the Ohio nor 
invade the country north of ihat river. They returned in 
dead of winter, and suffered extremely from hunger and 
cold. This is notable from the fact that it was the first 
military expedition by an Eng-lish speaking- race to reach 
i;he Ohio river south of Pittsburg-. 


Durin-,; the three years following" Braddock's defeat, the 
frontier was exposed to dang-er. Virginia appointed 
Oeorg-e "\Yashington commander in chief of all forces raised 
.or to be raised in that state. He traveled along the whole 
frontier of his state, inspecting- the forts and trying to 
bring- order out of chaos. His picture of the distress of 
the peopL? and the horrors of the Indian warfare is 
summed up in these words, addressed to the Governor of 
Virg-inia: "The supplicating tears of the women, and the 
moving petitions of the men, melt me with such deadly 
sorrow that I solemnljr declare, if I know my own mind, I 
would olTer myself a willing" sacrifice to the butchering- 
enemy, p:-:>vidcd that would contribute to the people's 
ease." He found no adequate means of defense. Indians 
butchered the people and fled. Pursuit was nearly always 
in vain. ¥/ashington insisted at all times that the only 
radical remedy for Indian depredation was the capture of 
Fort Duquesno. So long as that rallying- point remained, 
the Indians would be armed and would harrass the fron- 
tiers. But, in case the reduction of Fort Duquesne could 
not be undertaken. Washing-ton recommended the erection 
of a chain of twenty-two forts along" the frontier, to be 
g-arrisoned by two thousand soldiers. 

In 1756 and again in 1757 propositions were laid before 
the government of Virginia, and also before the com- 
mander-in-chief of the British forces in America, by Wash- 
i:igton for the destruction of Fort Daquesne. Bat in 
neither of these years was his proposition acted upon. 
However, the British were v/aging- a successful war 
against the French in Canada, and by this were indirectly 
contributing to the conquest of the Ohio valley. In 175S 
all was in readiness for striking a blow at Fort Duquesne 
with the earnest hope that it would be captured and that 
rallying point for. savages ultimately destroyed. 

General Joseph Forbes was g-iven command of the army 
destined for the expedition ag-ainst Fort Duquesne. This 


was early in 175S. He had twelve hundred Hig-Manders; 
two thousand seven hundred Pennsylvanians; nineteen 
hundred Virgfinians, and enoug-h others to bring- the total 
to about six thousand men. Washins^ton was leader of the 
Virg-inians. Without him, General Forbes would never 
have seen the Ohio. The old g-eneral was sick, and his 
prog-ress was so slow that but for the efforts of Washing-- 
ton in pushing- forward, the army could not have reached 
the Ohio that year. A new road was constructed from 
Cumberland, intended as a permanent highway to the 
west. When the main army had advanced about half the 
distance from Cumberland toFort Duquesne, Major Grant 
with eig-ht hundred Hig-hlanders and Virg-inians, went for- 
ward to reconnoitre. Intellig-ence had been received that 
the g-arrison numbered only eig-ht hundred, of whom three 
hundred v^^ere Indians. But a reinforcement of four hun- 
dred men from Illinois had arrived unknown to Major 
Grant, and he was attacked and defeated with heavy loss 
within a short distance of the fort. Nearly three hundred 
of his men v/ere killed or wounded, and Major Grant was 
taken prisoner. 

On November 5, 175S, General Forbes arrived at Lo\'-al 
Hanna and decided to advance no further that year, but 
seven days later it was learned that the g-arrison of Fort 
Duquesne was in no condition for resistance. Washing-ton 
and twenty-five hundred men were sent forward to attack 
it. General Forbes, with six thousand men, had spent 
fifty days in opening- fifty miles of road, and fifty miles re- 
mained to be opened. Washing-ton's men, in five days from 
the advance from Loyal Hanna, were v^athin seventeen 
miles of the Ohio. On November 25 the fort was reached. 
The French g-ave it up without a fig-ht, set fire to it and 
tied down the Ohio. 

The power of the French in the Ohio valle}'' was broken. 
When the despairing- g-arrison applied the match which 
blew up the mag-azine of Fort Duquesne, they razed their 


last strong-hold in the valley of the west. The war was not 
over; the Indians remained hostile, but the dang-er that 
the country west of the AUeghanies would fall into the 
hands of France was past. Civilization, prog"ress and re- 
lig-ious liberty were safe. The g-ateway to the g-reat west 
was secured to the Eng-lish race, and from that day there 
was no pause until the western border of the United States 
was washed by the waters of the Pacific. West Virginia's 
fate hung- in the balance until Fort Duquesne fell. The 
way was then cleared for colonization, which speedily fol- 
lowed. Had the territory fallen into the hands of France, 
the character of the inhabitants would have been different, 
and the whole future history of that part of the countr}' 
would have been chang-ed. A fort was at once erected on 
the site of that destroyed by the French, and in honor of 
William Pitt was named Fort Pitt. The city of Pittsburg- 
has g-rown up around the site. The territory now em- 
braced in West Virg-inia was not at once freed from Indian 
attacks, but the danger was g-reatly lessened after the ren- 
dezvous at Fort Duquesne was broken up. The subse- 
quent occurrences of the French and Indian war, and Pon- 
tiac's war, as they affected West Virg-inia, remain to be 

The French and Indian war closed in 1761, but the Pon- 
tiac war soon followed. The French had lost Canada and 
the Ohio valley, and the Eng-lish had secured whatever real 
or imag-inary rig-ht the French ever had to the countr}-. 
But the Indians rebelled ag-ainst the Eng-lish, who speedily 
took possession of the territory acquired from France. 
There is no evidence that the French g-ave assistance to 
the Indians in this war; but much proof that more than 
one effort was made by the French to restrain the savag-es. 
Nor is the charg-e that the French supplied the Indians 
w^ith ammunition well founded. The savages bought their 
ammunition from traders, and these traders were French, 
Eng-lish and American. In November, 1760, Rogers, an 


Eng-lish officer, sailed over lake Erie to occupy French 
posts further west. While sailing- on the lake he was 
waited upon by Pontiac, who may justly be reg-arded as 
the ablest Indian encountered by the English in America. 
He was a Delaware captive who had been adopted by the 
Ottawas, and became their chief. He hailed Rog-ers on 
Lake Erie and informed him that the country belong-ed 
neither to the French nor Eng-lish, but to the Indians, 
and told him to g-o back. This Rog-ers refused to do, and 
Pontiac set to work forming- a confederacy of all the Indians 
between Canada on the north, Tennessee on the south, the 
Mississippi on the west and the Alleg-hanies on the east. 
His object was to expellthe Eng-lish from the country west 
of the Alleghany mountains. 

The superiority of Pontiac as an organizer was seen, not 
so much in his success in forming the confederacy as in 
keeping it secret. He struck in a moment, and the blov/ 
fell almost simultaneously from Illinois to the frontier of 
Virginia. In almost every case the forts were taken by 
surprise. Detroit, Fort Pitt and Fort Ligonier were al- 
most the only survivors of the fearful onset of the savages. 
Detroit had warning from an Indian girl who betrayed the 
plans of the savages; and when Pontiac, with hundreds of 
his warriors, appeared in person and attempted to take 
the fort b}'^ surprise, he found the English ready for him. 
He besieged the fort nearly a year. The siege began May 
9, 1763, and the rapidity with which blows were struck 
over a wide expanse of country shows how thorough were 
his arrangements, and how well the secret had been kept. 
Fort Sandusky, near Lake Erie, was surprised and cap- 
tured May 16, seven days after Detroit was besieged. 
Nine days later the fort at the mouth of St. Joseph's was 
taken; two days later Fort Miami, on the Maumee river, 
fell, also taken b}^ surprise. On June 1 Fort Ouatamon in 
Indiana was surprised and captured. Machilimackinac, 
far north in Michig-an, fell also. This was on June 2. 


Venang-o in Pennsylvania, near Lake Erie, was captured, 
and not one of the g-arrison escaped to tell the tale. Fort 
Le Bceuf, in the same part of the country, fell June 18. 
On June 22 Presque Isle, now Erie, Pennsylvania, shared 
the fate of the rest. On June 21 Fort Lig-onier was at- 
tacked and the siege persecuted with vig-or, but the place 
held out. It was situated on the road between Fort Pitt 
and Cumberland. On June 22 the savag"es appeared before 
the walls of Fort Pitt, but were unable to take the place by 
surprise, althoug-h it was in poor condition for defense. 
The fortifications had never been finished, and a flood had 
opened three sides. The commandant raised a rampart 
of logs round the fort and prepared to fight till the last. 
The garrison numbered three hundred and thirty men, 
More than two hundred women and children from the 
frontiers had taken refuge there. 

Despairing of taken the fort by force, the savages tried 
treachery, and asked for a parley. When it was granted, 
the chief told the commandant of the fort that resistance 
was useless; that all the forts in the north and west had 
been taken, and that a large Indian army was on its march 
to Fort Pitt, which must fall. But, said the chief, if the 
English would abandon the fort and retire east of the 
AHeg'hanies, they would be permitted to depart in peace, 
pro^^ded they would set out at once. The reply given by 
the comma.ndant was, that he intended to stay where he 
was, and that he had provisions and ammunition sufficient 
to enable him to hold out against all the savages in the 
woods for three years, and that English armies were at 
that moment on their march to exterminate the Indians. 
This answer apparently discouraged the savages, and they 
did not push the siege vigorousl}-. But in July the attack 
was renewed v/ith great fury. The savages made numer- 
ous efforts to set the fort on fire b}' discharging burning 
arrovt^s against it; but they did not succeed. They made 
holes in tl e river bank and from that hiding place kept up 


an incessant fire, but the fort was too strong- for them. 
On the last day of July, 1763, the Indians raised the sieg"e 
and disappeared. It was soon learned wha^t had caused 
them to depart so suddenly. General Bouquet v/as at that 
time marching- to the relief of Fort Pitt with five hundred 
men and a large train of supplies. The Indians had g-one 
forward to meet him and g-ive battle. As Bouquet marched 
west from Cumberland he found the settlements broken 
up, the houses burned, the grain unharvested, and desola- 
tion on every hand, showing- how relentless the savag-es 
had been in their determination to break up the settlements 
v/est of the Alleg-hanies. 

On August 2, 1763, General Bouquet arrived at Fort Lig- 
onier, which had been besieged, but the Indians had de- 
parted, He left part of his stores there, and hastened for- 
ward toward Fort Pitt. On August S the Indians who had 
been besieging Fort Pitt attacked the troops at Bushy run. 
A desperate battle ensuued. The troops kept the Indians 
off by using the bayonet, but the loss was heavy. The 
next day the fight was resumed, the Indians completely 
surrounding the English. The battle was brought to a 
close by Bouquet's stratagem. He set an ambuscade and 
then feigned a retreat. The Indians fell into the trap and 
were routed. Bouquet had lost one-fourth of his men 
in killed and wounded; and so many of his pack horses had 
been killed that he was obliged to destroy a large part of 
his stores because he could not move them. After a march 
of four days the army reached Fort Pitt. 

The effect of this sudden and disastrous war was wide- 
spread. The settlers fled for protection from the frontiers 
to the forts and towns. The settlements on the Green- 
brier were deserted. The colonists hurried east of the 
Alleghanies. Indians prowled through all the settled por- 
tions of West Virginia, extending their raids to the South 
branch of the Potomac. More than five hundred families 
from the frontiers took refuge at Winchester. Amherst, 


commander-iu-chief of the British forces in America, was 
enragfed when he learned of the destruction wroug-ht by 
the Indians. He offered a reward of five hundred dollars 
•to any person who would kill Pontiac, and he caused the 
offer of the reward to be proclaimed at Detroit. "As to 
accommodation with these savages," said he, "I will have 
none until they have felt our just reveng-e." He urg-ed 
every measure which could assist in the destruction of the 
savag-es. He classed the Indians as "the vilest race of 
being^s that ever infested the earth, and whose riddance 
from it must be esteemed a meritorious act for the g"ood 
of mankind." He declared them not only unfit for allies, 
but unworthy of being- respected as enemies. He sent or- 
ders to the ofl&cers on the frontiers to take no prisoners,, 
but kill all who could be caug-ht. 

Bouquet's force was not large enough to enable him to 
invade the Indian country in Ohio at that time; but he col- 
lected about two thousand men, and the next summer 
carried the war into the enemy's country, and struck 
directly at the Indian towns, assured that b}^ no other 
means could the savages be broug-ht to terms. The army 
had not advanced far west of Pittsburg- when the tribes of 
Ohio became aware of the invasion and resorted to various 
devices to retard its advance and thwart its purpose. But 
General Bouquet proceeded rapidly, and with such caution 
and in such force, that no attack was made on him by the 
Indians. The alarm among- them was great. They fore- 
saw the destruction of their towns; and when all other re- 
sources had failed, they sent a delegation to Bouquet to 
ask for peace. He signified his willingness to negotiate 
peace on condition that the Indians surrender all white 
prisoners in their hands. He did not halt however in his 
advance to wait for a reply. The Indians saw that the 
terms must be accepted and be complied with without de- 
lay if they would save their towns. The army was now 
within striking- distance. The terms were therefore ac- 


cepted, and more than two hundred prisoners, a large 
number of whom were women and children were g-iven up. 
Other prisoners remained with the Indians in remote 
places, but the most of them were sent to Fort Pitt the 
next spring-, according- to promise. Thus closed Pontiac's 

An ag-ency had heen at work for some time to bring- 
about peace, but unknown to the English. It was the 
French, and without their co-operation and assistance it is 
probable the Indians would not have consented to the 
peace. DeNeyon, the French officer at Fort Chartres, 
wrote a leter to Pontiac advising him to make peace with 
the English, as the war between the French and English 
was over and there was no use of further bloodshed. This 
letter reached Pontiac in November while he was con- 
ducting the siege of Detroit, and its contents becoming 
known to his Indian allies, greatly discouraged them; for 
it seems that up to this time they believed they were help- 
ing the French and that the French would soon appear 
in force and fight as of old. When the Indians discovered 
that no help from France was to be expected, they became 
willing to make peace with Bouquet, and for ten years the 
western frontiers enjoyed immunity from war. 




The progress of the settlement of West Virg^inia from 
1764 to 1774 has been noticed elsewhere in this volume. 
There were ten years of peace; but in the year 1774 war 
with the Indians broke out ag^ain. Peace was restored be- 
fore the close of the year. The trouble of 1774 is usually 
known as Dnnmore's war, so called from Lord Dunmore 
who was at that time Governor of Virginia, and who took 
personal charg^e of a portion of the armv operating ag'ainst 
the Indians. There has been much controversy as to the 
orig-en or cause of hostilities, and the matter has never yet 
been settled satisfactorily to all. It has been charg-ed that 
emissaries of Great Britain incited the Indians to take up 
arms, and that Dunmore was one of the moving- spirits 
in this disgraceful conspiracy against the colony of Vir- 
g-inia. It is further charg-ed that Dunmore hoped to see 
the army under General Andrew Lewis defeated and 
destroyed at Point Pleasant, and that Dunmore's failure 
to form a junction with the army under Lewis according- 
to ag-reement, Vv'as intentional, premeditated and in the 
hope that the southern division of the army would be 

This is a charg-e so serious that no historian has a rig-ht 
to put it forward without strong- evidence for its support 
— much strong-er evidence than has yet been brought to 
light. The charge may be neither wholly true nor 
wholly false. There is not a little evidence ag-ainst Dun- 
more in this campaign, especially when taken in connec- 
tion with the state of feeling- entertained bv Great Britain 



ag-ainst the Ame'ican colonies at that time. In order to 
present this matter somewhat clearly, yet elini lating^ 
many minor details, it ii necessary to speak of Great 
Britain's efforts to annoy and intimidate the colonies, as 
early as 1774, and of the spirit in which these annoyances 
were received by the Americans. 

Many people, both in America and England, saw, in 
1774, that a revolution was at hand. The thirteen colonies, 
were arriving- very near the formation of a confederacy 
whose avowed purpose was resistance to Great Britain. 
Massachusetts had raised ninety thousand dollars to buy 
powder and arms; Connecticut provided for military 
stores and had proposed to issue seventy thousand dollars 
in paper money. In fact, preparations for war with 
England were going steadily forward, although hostilities 
had not begun. Great Britain was getting ready to meet 
the rebellious colonies, either by strategy or force, or 
both. Overtures had been made by the Americans to 
the Canadians to join them in a common struggle for 
liberty. Canada belonged to Great Britain, having been 
taken by conquest from France in the French and Indiaa 
war. Great Britain's first move was reg^arding Canada; 
not only to prevent that country from joining the 
Americans, but to use Canada as a menace and a weaposi 
against them. Eng-land's plan was deeply laid. It was 
largely the work of Thurlow and Wedderburn. The 
Canadians were to be granted full religious liberty and a 
large share of political liberty in order to gain their friend- 
ship. They were mostly Catholics, and with them En- 
gland, on account of her trouble with her thirteen colonies, 
took the first step in Catholic emancipation. Having won 
the Canadians to her side, Great Britain intended to setup 
a separate empire there, and expected to use this 
Canadian empire as a constant threat against the colonies. 
It was thought that the colonists would cling to England 
through fear of Canada. 


The plan having been matured, its eriecution ^vas at- 
tempted at once. The first step was tbe emancipation of 
the Canadian Catholics. The next step was the passag-eof 
the Quebec Act, by which the province of Quebec was ex- 
tended southward to take in western Pennsylvania and all 
the country belong-ing- to England north and west of the 
Ohio river. The king of England had alread}^ forbidden 
the planting of settlements between the Ohio river and the 
Alleghany mountains in West Virginia; so the Quebec Act 
was intended to shut the English colonies out of the west 
and confine them east of the Alleghany mountains. Had 
this plan been carried into execution as intended, it would 
have curtailed the colonies, at least Pennsvlvania and Vir- 
ginia, and prevented their growth westward. The country 
beyond the Ohio would have become Canadian in its laws 
and people; and Great Britain would have had two empires 
in America, one Catholic and the other Protestant; or, at 
least, one composed of the thirteen colonies, and the other 
of Canada extended southward and westward,, and it was 
intended that these empires should restraiii, check and 
threaten each other, thus holding both loyal to and depend- 
ent upon Great Britain. 

Some time before the passage of the Quebec Act a move- 
ment was on foot to establish a new province called Van- 
dalia, west of the Alleghanies, including the greater part 
of West Virginia and a portion of Kentucky. Benjamin 
Franklin and George Washington were interested in it. 
The capital was to be at the mouth of the Kanawha. The 
province was never formed. Great Britain was not in- 
clined to create states west of the mountains at a time when 
efforts were being made to confine the settlements east of 
that range. To have had West Virginia and a portion of 
Kentucky neutral ground, and vacant, between the empire 
of Canada and the empire of the thirteen colonies, would 
have pleased the authors of the Quebec Act. But acts of 
parliament and proclamations by the king had little effect 


on the pioneers who pushed into the wilderness uf the west 
to find new homes. 

Before proceedings to a narrative of the events of the 
Dunmore wax, it is not out of place to inquire concerning- 
Governor Dunmore and whether, from his past acts and 
general character, he would be likely to conspire with the 
British and the Indians to destroy the western settlements 
of Virginia. Whether the British were capable of an act 
so savag-e and unjust as inciting- savages t<) barrass the 
western frontier of their own colonies is nut a matter for 
controversy. It is a fact that they did do it during the 
Revolutionary war. Whether they had adopted this policy 
so early as 1774, and whether Governor Dunmore was a 
party to the scheme, is not so certain. Therefore let us 
ask, who was Dunmore? He was a nced3-, rapacious 
Scotch earl, of the House of Murray, who camo to America 
to amass a fortune and who at once set about the accom^ 
plishment of his object with little regard for the rigfhts of 
others or the laws of the country. He vras g-overnor of 
New York a short time; and, althoug"h poor \vlien he came, 
he was the owner of fifty thousand acres of land v/hen he 
left; and was preparing to decide, in his own court, in his 
own favor, a large and unfounded claim which he had pre- 
ferred against the lieutenant-governor. When he assumed 
the ofQ.ce of g^overnor of Virginia his greed for land and 
for money knew no bounds. He recognized' no law which 
did not suit his purpose. He paid no attention to positive 
instructions from the crown, which forbade him to meddle 
with lands in the west. These lands were known to be 
beyond the borders of Virginia, as fixed by the treaties of 
Fort Stanwix and Lochaber, and therefore were not in his 
jurisdiction. He had soon acquired two larg-e tracts in 
southern Illinois, and also held lands where Louisville, 
Kentuck}', nov»^ stands, and in Kentucky opposite Cincin- 
nati. Nor did his greed for wealth and power stop wdth 
appropriating wild lands to his own use; bui, without any 


warrant in law, and in violation of all justice, he extended 
the boundaries of Virg-inia northward to include much of 
western Pennsylvania, Pittsburg- in particular; and he 
made that the county seat of Aiig^usta county, and moved 
the court from Staunton to that place. He even chang-ed 
the name Fort Pitt to Fort Dunmore. He appointed forty- 
two justices of the peace. Another appointment of his as 
lieutenant of militia was Simon Girty, afterwards notori- 
ous and infamous as a deserter and a leader of Indians in 
their war ag^ainst the frontiers. He appointed. John Con- 
nolly, a physician and adventurer, commandant of Fort 
Pitt and its dependencies, which were supposed to include 
all the western country. Connolly ^\"as a willing- tool of 
Dunmore in man}^ a questionable transaction. Court was 
held at Fort Pitt until the spring- of 1776. The name of 
Pittsburg- iirst occurs in the court records on Aug-ust 20^ 
1776. When Connolly received his appointment he issued 
a proclamation, setting- forth his authority. The Pennsyl- 
vanians resisted Dunmore's usurpation, and arrested Con- 
nolly. The A^'irg-inia authorities arrested so7ne of the 
Penns3'lvania ofticers, and there was confusion, almost an- 
archy, so long- as Dunmore was g-overnor. 

Dunmore had trouble elsewhere. His domineering- con- 
duct, and his support of some of Great Britain's oppres- 
sive measures, caused him to be hated by the Virg-inians, 
and led to armed resistance. Thereupon he threatened to 
make Virg^inia'a solitude, usmg^ these words: '*I do enjoin 
the mag-istrates and all loyal subjects to repair to mv as- 
sistance, or I shall consider the whole country in rebellion, 
and myself at liberty to annoy it by every possible means, 
and I shall not hesitate at reducing- houses to ashes, 
and spreading- devastation wherever I can reach. With a 
small bod}^ of troops and arms, I could raise such a force 
from among- Indians, neg-roes and other persons as 
would soon reduce the refractory people of the colony to 
obedience." The patriots of Virg-inia hnall}" rose in arms. 


and drove Governor Dunmore from the country. Some of 
-these events occurred after the Dunmore war, but they 
serve to sho v what kind of man the g-overnor was. 

Perhaps t'l; strong-est arg-ument ag-ainst the claim that 
Dunmore wa in leag-ue with Indians, backed by Great 
Britain, to pu di back the frontier of Virg-inia to the Alle- 
g-hanies, is th i fact that Dunmore at that time was reach- 
ing- out for linds, for him.self, in Illinois, Kentucky and 
Ohio; and hi \ land g-rabbing would have been cut off in 
that quarter had the plan of limiting Virg-inia to the Alle- 
g-hanies been successful. He could not have carried out 
his schemes o" acquiring- possessions in the west, had the 
Quebec Act hi2a sustained. Dunmore did more to nullify 
the Quebec Act than any one else. He exerted every en- 
ergy to exteni and maintain the Virg-inia frontier as far 
west as possible. By this he opposed and circumvented 
the efforts of Great Britain to shut Virginia off from 
the west. Ha and the g-overnment at home did not 
work together, nor agree on the frontier policy; and, in 
the absence of direct proof sustaining- the charg-e that he 
was in conspiracy with ths British g-overnment and the In- 
dians to assail the western frontier, the doubt as to his 
Sfuilt on the charg-e must remain in his favor. 

From the time of the treaty made by General Bouquet 
with the Indians, 1764, to the year 1773, there was peace 
on the frontiers. War did not break out in 1773, but 
murders were committed by Indians which excited the 
frontier settlements, and were the first in a series wdiich 
led to war. The Indians did not comply with the terms 
•of the treaty with General Bouquet. They had ag-reed to 
g-ive up all prisoners. It was subsequently ascertained 
that they had not done so. Some captives w^ere still held 
in bondage. Bat this in itself did not lead to the war of 
1774. The frontiers, since Bouquet's treaty, had been 
pushed to the Ohio river, in West Virginia, and into Ken- 
tucky. Although Indians had no rig-ht by occupation to 


either Yv'csi A'irg-inia or Kentuclv}^ and althougfh they had 
g-iven up l)y treaty any rigfht which they claimed, they yet 
looked Vviili .uig-cr upon the planting-of settlements in those 
countries. 'I'hc first act of hostility was committed in 
1773, not ill \W.-t Virg-inia, but further south. A party 
of emijjiTunts, imder the leadership of a son of Daniel 
Boone, woir on their way to Kentucky when they were 
set upon nnd so \eral were killed, including- j^oung" Boone. 
There can l>c n.> doubt that this attack was made to pre- 
vent or hinder the colonization of Kentucky. Soon after 
this, a wiiito m.-m killed an Indian at a horse race. This 
is said ti> '1:1 \o been the first Indian blood shed on the 
frontier of X'ir^iiiia by a white man since Pontiac's war. 
In Febru:i ry 1774 the Indians killed six white men and two 
negroes; ■■'ml in the same month, on the Ohio, they seized a 
trading- c:!n<'o. Killed the men in charge and carried the 
g"oods to tliv' Sh:i\vnee towns. Then the white men began 
to kill also. In .March, on the Ohio, a fight occurred be- 
tween scttKi-s and Indians, in which one was killed on 
each side, and li\e canoes were taken from the Indians. 
John Con nulls' w i-ote from Pittsburg on April 21, to the 
people of WlK-eling to be on their guard, as the Indians 
were preparing- tor war. On April 26, two Indians were 
killed on tlK(>hio. On April 30, nine Indians were killed 
on the same river near Steubenville. On May 1, another 
Indian A\a-. Killed. About the same time an old Indian 
named Bald Ma^-K' was killed on the Monongahela river; 
and an Indian eanip on the Littls Kanawha, in the present 
county of llraxtte.i, was broken up, and the natives were 
murdered. A |>-irty of white men with Governor Dun- 
more's permission destroyed an Indian village on the 
Muskin'^mm i-iwr. The frontiers were alarmed. Forts 
were built in w hieh the inhabitants could find shelter from 
attacks. I'',\]>resses were sent to Williamsburg entreating 
assistance. The Virginia assembly in May discussed the 
dangers fr-'m In-lians on the frontier, and intimated that 


i,be militia should be called out. Governor Dnnmore 
ordered out the militia of the frontier counties. He then 
proceeded in person to Pittsburg-, partly to look after his 
lands, and partly to take charg-eof the campaig-n against the 
Indians. The Delawares and Six Nations renewed their 
treaty of peace in September, but the Shawnees, the most 
powerful and warlike tribe in Ohio, did not. This tribe 
had been sullen and unfriendly at Bouquet's treaty, and 
had remained sour ever since. Nearly all the captives yet 
in the hands of the Indians were held by this fierce, tribe, 
"which defied the white man and desoised treaties. These 


savag-es were ruled^by Cornstalk, an able and no doubt a 
g"ood man, opposed to war, but when carried into it by the 
headstrong- rashness of his tribe, none foug-ht more bravely 
than he. The Shawnees were the chief fisfhters on the 
Indian side in the Dunmore war, and they were the chief 

After arrang-ing- his business at Pittsburg-, Governor 
Dunmore descended the Ohio river with twelve hundred 
men. Daniel Morgan, with a company from the valley 
•of Virg-inia, was with him. A second army was being- 
org-anized in the southwestern part of Virginia, and Dun- 
more's instructions were that this army, after marching- 
down the Great Kanawha, should join him on the Ohio 
where he promised to wait. The Governor failed to keep 
his promise, but crossed into Ohio and marched ag-ainst 
the Shawnee tov/ns Vvhich he found deserted. He built a 
fort and sat down to v/ait. 

In the meantime the army was collecting- which was to 
descend the Kanawha. General Andrew Lewis was com- 
Tuander. The pioneers on the Greenbrier and New River 
formed a not inconsiderable part of the army which ren- 
dezvoused on the site of Lewisburg- in Greenbrier county. 
In this army were fifty men from the Wataug-a, among- 
whom were Evan Shelby, James Robertson and Valentine 
.Sevier, names famous in history. Perhaps an army com- 


posed of better fig-hting material than that assembled for 
the march to Ohio, never took the field anywhere. The 
distance from Lewisburg- to the moivth of the Great 
.Kanawha was about one hundred and sixty miles. At that 
time there was not so mvich as a trail, if an old Indian path, 
hard to find, is excepted. At the mouth of Elk river the 
army made canoes and embarking in them, proceeded to 
Point Pleasant, the mouth of the Kanawha, which they 
reached October 6, 1774. A halt was here made. Four 
days later the Indian army under Cornstalk arrived, about 
one thousand in number. The Virginians were encamped 
©n the narrov/ point of land formed by the meeting of the 
Kanawha and Ohio. The Indians crossed the Ohio the 
evening before, or during the nig-ht, and went into camp 
on the West Virginia side, and about two miles from the 
Virginians. The were discovered at daybreak, October 
10, by two young men who were hunting. The Indians 
fired and killed one of them; the other escaped and carried 
the news to the army. 

This was the first intelligence the Virginians had that 
the Indians had come down from their towns in Ohio to 
g'ive battle. By what means the savages had received in- 
telligence of the advance of the army in time to collect their 
forces and meet it before the Ohio river was crossed, has 
never been ascertained; but it is probable that Indian 
scouts had watched the prog'ress 6f General Lewis from 
the time he took up his march from Greenbrier. Cornstalk 
laid well his plans for the destruction of the Virg-inian 
army at Point Pleasant. He formed his line across the 
neck of land, from the Ohio to the Kanawha, and enclosed 
the Virginians between his line and the two rivers. He 
posted detachments on the farther banks of the Ohio and 
the Kanawha to cut off General Lewis should he attempt 
to retreat across either river. Cornstalk meant not only 
to defeat the army, but to destroy it. The Virginians 
numbered eleven hundred. 


When the news of the advance of the Indian army 
reached General Lewis, he prepared for battle, and sent 
three hundred men to the front to meet the enemy. The 
fiofht beg'an at sunrise. " Both armie ^ were soon eng^aged 
over a line a mile long-. Both foug-ht from behind trees, 
log's and whatever would oifer protection. The lines were 
always near each other; sometimes twenty yards, some- 
times less; occasionally near enoug-h to use the tomahawk. 
The battle was remarkable for its obstinacy. It rag-ed 
six hours, almost hand to hand. Then the Indians fell 
back a short distance and took up a strong- position, and all 
efforts to dislodg-e them by attacks in front failed. Corn- 
stalk was along- his whole line, and above the din of battle 
Iiis powerful voice could be heard: "Be strong-! Be strong-!" 
The loss was heavy among- the Virg-inians, and perhaps 
equally heavy among- the Indians. Late in the afternoon 
General Lewis discovered a way to attack the Indians in 
Hank. A small streatii with hig-h banks empties into the 
Kanawha at that point, and he sent a detachment up this 
stream, the movement being concealed from the Indians, 
and when an advantageous point was reache<.'l, the soldiers 
emerged and attacked the Indians. Taken by surprise, 
the savages retreated. This movement decided the day in 
favor of the Virginians. The Indians fled a short distance 
up the Ohio and crossed to the western side, the most of 
them on logs and rude rafts, probably the same on which 
they had crossed the stream before the battle. The Vir- 
ginians lost sixty men killed and ninety-six wounded. 
The loss of the Indians was riot ascertained. They left 
thirty-three dead on the field, and were seen to throw 
others into the Ohio river. All their wounded were car- 
ried off, 

The battle of Point Pleasant was the most stubbornly 
contested of all frontier battles with the Indians; but it 
was by no means the bloodiest. Several others could be 
named in which the loss of life was much greater; notably 


Braddock's defeat, and the defeat of General St. Clair. 
The battle of Point Pleasant was also remarkable from 
the number of the men who took part in it who aftewards 
became noted. Among- them may may be mentioned Isaac 
Shelby, the first g-overnor of Kentucky; William Campbell, 
the hero of King-'s mountain, and who died on the battle 
field of Eutaw Spring-s; Colonel John Steele, afterward 
g-overnor of Mississippi; Georg^e Mathews, afterward gov- 
ernor of Georgia; Colonel William Fleming-, g-overnor of 
Virg-inia, and many others. Nearly all the men who were 
in that battle and afterward returned to their homes, were 
subsequently soldiers of the American army in the war 
for independence. 

The day following- the battle. Colonial Christian arrived 
with three hundred soldiers from Fincastle. Fort Ran- 
dolph was built at Point Pleasant; and after leaving- a g-ar- 
rison there, General Lewis crossed the Ohio and marched 
nearly a hundred miles to the Scioto river to join Governor 
Dunmore. Before he arrived at Fort Charlotte, where 
Dunmore was, he received a messag-e from the g-overnor, 
ordering- him to stop, and g-iving- as a reason that he was 
about to negotiate a treaty with the Indians. General 
Lewas and his men refused at first to obey this order. 
They had no love for Dunmore, and they did not regard 
him as a friend of Virg-inia. Not until a second express 
arrived did General Lewis obey. 

After the fig-bt at Point Pleasant, Cornstalk, Logan and 
Red Eagle, the three principal chiefs who had taken part 
in the battle, retreated to their towns with their tribesmen. 
Seeing- that pursuit was swift and vigforous, Cornstalk 
called a council and asked what should be done. No one 
had any advice to offer. He then proposed to kill the old 
men, women and children; and the warriors then should 
^o out to meet the invaders and fig-ht till every Indian had 
met his death on the field of battle. No reply was made 
to this proposition. Thereupon Cornstalk said that since 


his men would not figfht, he would g-o and make peace; 
and he did so. Thus ended the war. Governor Dunmore 
had led an army of Virg-inia into Ohio, and assumed and 
exercised authority there, thus setting- aside and nullify- 
ing the act of parliament which extended the jurisdiction 
of Quebec to the Ohio river. 




The territory of the present state of West Virg-inia was 
not invaded by a British army,, except one company of fifty, 
during- the war for American independence. Its remote 
position made it safe from attack from the east; but this 
ver}'^ remoteness rendered it doubly liable to invasion from 
the west where Great Britain had made allies of the In- 
dians, and had armed and supplied them, and had sent 
them ag-ainst the frontiers from Canada to Florida, v/ith 
full license to kill man, woman and child. No part of 
America suffered more from the savages than West Vir- 
g-inia. Great Britain's purpose in emj^loying* Indians on 
tbe frontiers was to harrass the remote country, and not 
only keep at homa all the inhabitants for defense of their 
settlements, but also to make it necessary that soldiers be 
sent to the west who otherwise migfht be employed in op- 
posing- the British nearer the sea coast. Notwithstanding- 
West Virg-inia's exposed frontier on the west, it sent many 
soldiers to the Continental armv. West Yirofinians were 
on almost every battlefield of the revolution. The portion 
of the state east of the Alleg-hanies, now forming- Jefferson, 
Berkeley, Morg^an, Hampshire, Plardy, Grant, Mineral and 
Pendleton counties, was not invaded by Indians during- 
the revolution, and from this reg-ion larg-e numbers of sol- 
diers joined the armies under Washing-ton, Gates, Greene 
and other patriots. 

As early as November 5, 1774, an important meeting- 
was held by West Virg-inians in which they clearly indi- 
cated under which banner they would be found fig-hting-. 


if Great Britain persisted in her course of oppression. 
This was the first meeting- of the kind west of the Alle- 
g-hanies, and but few similar meeting-s had then been held 
anywhere. It occurred during- the return of Dunmore's 
army from Ohio, twenty-five days after the battle of Point 
Pleasant. The soldiers had heard of the dang-er of war 
with Eng-land; and, althoug-h they were under the command 
of Dunmore, a royal g-overnor, they were not afraid to let 
the country know that neither a royal g-overnor nor any 
one else could swerve them from their duty as patroits 
and lovers of liberty. The meeting- \v as held at Fort 
Gower, north of the Ohio river, while on the homeward 
march from the Indian country. The soldiers passed 
resolutions which had the rig-ht ring-. They recited that 
they were willing- and able to bear all hardships of the 
Avoods; to g-et along- for weeks without bread or salt, if 
necessary; to sleep in the open air; to dress in skins if noth- 
ing- else could be had; to march further in a day than any 
other men in the world; to use the rifle with skill and with 
bravery. They affirmed their zeal in the cause of rig-ht, 
and promised continued alleg-iance to the king- of Eng-land, 
provided that he would reig-n over them as a brave and free 
people. "But," they continued "as attachment to the real 
interests and just rig-hts of America outweigh every other 
consideration, we resolve that we will exert every power 
within us for the defence of American liberty, vvhen 
reg-ularly called forth by the unanimous voice of our 
countrymen." It was such spirit as this, manifested on 
every occasion during the revolution, which prompted 
Washington in the darkest year of the war to exclaim that, 
if driven from every point east of the Blue ridge, he would 
retire west of the mountains and there raise the s|;andard 
of liberty and bid defiance to the armies of Great Britain. 

At tvv'O meetings held May 16, 1775, one at Fort Pitt, the 
other at Hannastown, several West Virginians were 
present and took part in the proceedings. Resolutions 


were passed by which the people west of the mountains 
pledged their support to the Continental cong-ress, and 
expressed their purpose of resisting- the tyranny of the 
■ mother countr}'. In 1775 a number of men from the valley 
of the Monong-ahela joined Washing-ton's army before 
Boston; but how many and from what part of the valley 
they came is not known. The number of soldiers who 
went forward from the eastern part of the state was larg-e. 
There were a few persons in West Virg-inia who ad- 
hered to the cause of Eng-land; and who from time to time 
gave trouble to the patriots; but the promptness with 
which their attempted risings were crushed is proof that 
traitors were in a hopeless minorit}'. The patriots con- 
sidered them as enemies and dealt harshly with them. 
There were two attempted uprisings in West Virginia, 
one in the Monongahela valley, which the inhabitants of 
that region were able to suppress, the other uprising was 
on the South branch of the Potomac, in what is now Hardy 
and Grant counties, and troops were sent from the 
Shenandoah valley to put it down. In the Monongahela 
valley several of the tories "were arrested and sent to 
Richmond. It is recorded that the leader was drowned in 
Cheat river vrhile crossing under guard on his. way to 
Richmond. Two men of the Morgan family were his 
guard. The boat upset while crossing the river. It was 
the general impression of the citizens of the community 
that the upsetting vv'as not accidental. The guards did 
not want to take the long journey to Richmond while their 
homes and the homes of their neighbors were exposed to 
attacks from Indians. The tory uprising on the South 
branch was much more serious. The first indication of 
trouble»was given by their refusal to pay their taxes, or 
to furnish their quota of men for the militia. Complaint 
was made by the sheriff of Hampshire county, and Colonel 
Vanmeter with thirty men was sent to enforce the collec- 
tion of taxes. The tories armed 'themselves, to the num- 


ber of fifty, for resistance, and placed themselves under 
the leadership of John Brake, a German whose house was 
above Petersburg-, in what is now Grant county. These 
enemies of their country had made his place their 
rendezvous. They met the militia from Hampshire, but 
no fight took place. Apparently each side was afraid to 
begin. There was a parley in which Colonel Vanmeter 
pointed out to the tories the consequence which must 
follow, if they persisted in their present course. He ad- 
vised them to disperse, go to their homes and conduct 
themselves as law abiding- citizens. He left them and 
marched home. 

The disloyal element g-rew in streng-th and insolence. 
They imag-ined that the authorities were afraid and would 
not ag-ain interfere with them. They organized a com- 
pany, elected John Claypole their captain, and prepared to 
march off and join the British forces. General Morgan 
was at that time at his home in Frederick county, and he 
collected militia to the number of four hundred, crossed 
the mountain and fell on the tories in such dead earnest 
that they lost all their enthusiasm for the cause of Great 
Britain. Claypole was taken prisoner, and William Baker, 
who refused to surrender, was shot, but not killed. Later 
a man named Mace was killed. Brake was overawed; and 
after two days spent in the neighborhood, the militia, un- 
der General Morgan, returned home. The tories were 
crashed. A number of them were so ashamed of what 
they had done that they joined the American arm}- and 
fought as patriots till the close of the war, thus endeavor- 
ing to redeem their lost reputations. 

The contrast between the conduct of the tories on the 
South branch and the patriotic devotion of the people on 
the Greenbrier is marked. Money was so scarce that the 
Greenbrier settlers could not pay their taxes, although 
willing to do so. They fell delinquent four years in suc- 
cession and to the amount of thirty thousand dollars. They 


were willing- to perform labor, if arrang-enients could be 
made to do it. Virg-inia ag"reed to the proposition, and the 
people of Greenbrier built a road from Lewisburg- to the 
Kanawha river in pa^onent of their taxes. 

The chief incidents in West Virg-inia's history during 
the revolutionary war were connected with the Indian 
troubles. The state a\^s invaded three times by forces 
large enoug^h to be called armies; and the incursions by 
smaller parties were so numerous that the mere mention 
of them would form a list of murders, ambuscades and 
personal encounters of tedious and monotonous leng-th. 
The first invasion occurred in 1777 when Fort Henry, no\v 
Wheeling-, was attacked; the second,^ 1778, when Fort Ran- 
dolph, now Point Pleasant, was besieg-edfor one week, the 
Indians moving- as far east as Greenbrier county, where 
Donnolly's fort -was attacked; the third invasion was in 
1782, when Fort Henry was ag-ain attacked by Indians un- 
der the leadership of Sinijn Girty. The multitude of in- 
cursions by Indians must be passed over brielly. The 
custom of the savag-es was to make their way into a settle- 
ment, and either lie in wait along" paths and shoot those 
who attempted to pass, or break into houses and murder 
the inmates, or take them prisoner, and then make off 
hastily for the Ohio river. Once across that stream, pur- 
suit was not probable. 

The custom of the Indians to take prisoners, and their 
g-reat exertion to accomplish that purpose, is a difficult 
thing" to explain. Prisoners were of little or no use to 
them. They did not make slaves of them. If the}- some* 
times received money as ransom for captives, the hope of 
ransom money seems seldom or never to have prompted 
them to carry prisoners to their towns. The}^ sometimes 
showed a liking", if not affection, for captives adopted into 
their tribes and families; but this kindly feeling" was shal- 
low and treacherous; and Indians would not hesitate to 
burn at the stake a captive who had been treated as one of 



their family for months, if they should take it into their 
heads that revenge for injuries received from others called 
for a sacrifice. The Indians followed no rule or precedent 
as to which of their captives they would kill and which 
carry to their towns. They sometimes killed children and 
spared adults, and sometimes the reverse. 

The year 1777 is called in border history the " bloody 
year of the three sevens." The British sent ag-ainst the 
frontiers every Indian who could be prevailed upon to g"o. 
Few settlements from New York to Florida escaped. In 
this state the most harm was done on the Monong-ahela 
and along* the Ohio in the vicinity of Wheeling-. Monon- 
g"alia county was visited twice by the savages that year, 
and a number of persons were killed. A party of twenty 
invaded what is now Randolph county, killed a number of 
settlers, took several prisoners and made their escape. It 
was on November 10 of this year that Cornstalk, the Shaw- 
nee chief, was assassinated at Point Pleasant by militia- 
men who assembled there from Greenbrier and elsewhere 
for the purpose of marching against the Indian towns. 
Earlier in the year Cornstalk had come to Fort Randolph, 
at Point Pleasant, on a visit, and also to inform- the com- 
mandant of the fort that the British were inciting the In- 
dians to war, and that his own tribe, the Shawnees, would 
likely be swept along with the current, in spite of his 
efforts to keep them at home. Under these circumstances 
the commandant of the fort thought it best to detain Corn- 
stalk as a hostage to insure the neutrality of his tribe. It 
does not seem that the venerable chief was unwilling to re- 
main. He wanted peace. Some time after that his son 
came to see him, and crossed the Ohio, after making his 
presence known by hallooing from the other side. The 
next day two of the militiamen crossed the Ohio to hunt, 
and one was killed by an Indian. The other gave the 
alarm, and the militiamen crossed the river and brought 
in the body of the dead man. The soldiers believed that 


the Indian who had committed the deed had come the day 
before with Cornstalk's son, and had lain concealed until 
an opportunity occurred to kill a man. The soldiers 
were enrag-ed, and started up the river bank toward the 
cabin where Cornstalk resided, announcing- that they 
would kill the Indians. There were with Cornstalk his. 
son and another Indian, Red Eag^le. A sister of Cornstalk, 
known as the Grenadier Squaw, had lived at the fort some- 
time as interpreter. She hastened to the cabin and urg-ed 
her brother to make his escape. lie might have done so^ 
but refused, and admonished his son to die like a man. 
The soldiers arrived at that time and fired. All three In- 
dians were killed. The leaders of the men who did it were 
afterwards g^iven the semblance of a trial in Virginia, and 
were acquited. 

It is the opinion of those acquainted with border history 
that the murder of Cornstalk brought more suffering- upon 
the West Virginia frontier than anvother event of that time. 
Had he lived, he would perhaps have been able to hold the 
Shawnees in check. Without the cooperation of that blood- 
thirsty tribe the border war of the succeeding years would 
have been different. Four yaars later Colonel Cravv'ford, 
who had been taken prisoner, was put to death with ex- 
treme torture in revenge for the murder of Cornstalk. 

Fort Henry was besieg-ed September 1, 1777, by four 
hundred Indians. General Hand, of Fort Pitt, had been 
informed that the Indians were preparing" for an attack in 
large numbers upon some point of the. frontier, and the 
settlements between Pittsburg- and Point Pleasant were 
placed on their g-uard. Scouts were sent out to discover 
the advance of the Indians in time to give the alarm. But 
the scouts discovered no Indians. It is now known that 
the savages had advanced in small parties, avoiding trails, 
and had united near Wheeling, crossed the Ohio a short 
distance below that place, and on the nig-ht of the last day 
of August approached Fort Henr}', and setting- ambus- 


cades near it, waited for daylig"ht. Fort Henry was made 
of log's set on end in the g-round, in the manner of pickets, 
and about seventeen feet hig-h. There were port holes 
through which to fire. The garrison consisted of less 
than forty men, the majority of whom lived in Wheeling- 
and the immediate vicinity. Early in the morning- of Sep- 
tember 1 the Indians decoyed Captain Samuel Mason with 
fourteen men into the field some distance from the fort, 
and killed all but three. Captain Mason alone reached the 
fort, and two of his men succeeded in hiding-, and finally 
escaped. When the Indians attacked Mason's men, the 
firing was heard at the fort, together Vv^ith the yells of the 
savag-es. Captain Joseph Ogle with twelve men sallied out 
to assist Mason. He was surrounded and nine of his men 
were killed. There were only about a dozen men remain- 
ing in the fort to resist the attack of four hundred Indians, 
flushed with victory. There were perhaps one hundred 
women and children in the stockade. 

In a short time the Indians advanced ag-ainst the fort, 
with drum and fife, and the British flag waving- over them. 
It is not known who was leader. He was a white man, or 
at least there was a white man among- them who seemed 
to be leader. Ma-n}'^ old frontier histories, as Vv-ell as the 
testimon}^ of these who were present, united in the 
assertian that the Indians at this sieg-e were led by Simon 
Girty. It is strange that this mistake could have been 
made, for it was a mistake. Simon Girty was not there. 
He was at that time, and for nearly five months afterwards, 
at Fort Pitt, serving in garrison duty, and did not desert 
till February, 1 778, when with Elliott, McKee and two or 
three others, he ran away and proceeded at once to the 
Indian towns in Ohio where he soon became a leader of the 

The commander of the Indian army posted himself in 
the window of a house within hearing of the fort, and read 
the proclamation of Governor Hamilton, of Detroit, offer- 


ing- Great Britain's protection in case of surrender, but 
massacre it case of resistance. Colonel Shepherd, com- 
mandant of the fort, replied that the g-arrison would not 
surrender. The leader was insisting" upon the impose i- 
bility of holding out, when his words were cut short b}^ a 
shot fired at him from the fort. He was not struck. The 
Indians began the assault with a rush for the fort gate. 
They tried to break it open; and failing in this, they en- 
deavored to push the posts of the stockade down. They 
could make no impression on the wall. The fire of the 
gfarrison was deadh', and the savages recoiled. They 
charged ag'ain and again, some times trying to break down 
the walls with battering rams, attempting to set them on 
fire; and then sending- their best marksman to pick off the 
g"arrison by shooting through the port holes. In course of 
time the deadly aim of those in the fort taught the savag-es 
a wholesome caution. Women fought as well as men. 
The battle raged two nights and tvv'o days; but all attempts 
of the Indians to burn the fort or break into it were un- 
availing. They killed many of the cattle about the settle- 
ment, partly for food, partly from wantonness. They 
burned nearly all the houses and barns in Wheeling-. The 
savages v.-ere preparing- for another assault when Colonel 
Andrew Swearengen with fourteen men landed near the 
fort and g-ained an entrance. Shortly afterwards Major 
Samuel McColloch at the head of forty men arrived, and after 
a severe fig"ht, all reached the fort except McColloch who 
was cut off, but made his escape. The Indians now de- 
spaired of success, and raised the siege. No person in 
the fort was killed. The loss of the Indians was estimated 
at forty or fifty. 

In September of this 3^ear, 1777, Captain William Fore- 
man, of Hampshire county, with about twenty men of that 
county, who had g-one to Wheeling to assist in fightings the 
savages, was ambushed and killed at Grave cre'ek, below 


"Wheeling- by Indians supposed to have been a portion of 
those who had besieg-ed f^ort Henry. 

The next year, 1778, was one of intense excitement on 
the frontier. An Indian force, of about two hundred, at- 
tacked Fort Randolph, at the mouth of the Kanawha, in 
May, and besieg-ed the place one week. The enemy made 
;seveTal attempts to carry it by storm. But they were 
unsuccessful. They then moved off, up the Kanawha, in 
the direction of Greenbrier. Two soldiers from Fort 
Randolph eluded the savag"es; overtook them within twenty 
miles of the Greenbrier settlement; passed them that 
nig-ht, and alarmed the people just in time for them to flee 
to the blockhouses. Donnally's fort stood within two 
miles of the present villag-e of Frankfort in Greenbrier 
•county. Twenty men with their families took shelter 
there. At Lewisburg-, ten miles distant, perhaps one 
hundred men had assembled with their families. The 
Indians apparently knew which was the weaker fort, and 
according-ly proceeded against Donnally's upon which they 
made an attack at daybreak. One of the men had g-one 
out for kindling- wood and had left the g-ate open. The 
Indians killed this man, and made a rush for the fort, and 
crov\^ded into the yard. While some crawled under the 
floor, hoping to gain an entrance by that means, others 
climbed to the roof. Still others beg-an hewing- the door 
which had been hurriedly closed. All the men in the fort 
■were asleep, except one white man and a neg-ro slave. As 
the savag-es were forcing- open the door, the formost was 
killed with a tomahawk by the white man, and the negro 
discharg-ed a musket loaded with heavy shot into the faces 
of the Indians. The men in the fort were awakened and 
fired through the port holes. Seventeen savag-es were 
killed in the yard. The others fell back, and contented 
themselves with firing- at long-er rage. In the afternoon 
sixty six men arrived from Lewisburg-, and the Indians 
were forced to raise the siege. Their expedition to Green- 


brier had been a more sig-nal failure than the attempt on 
Fort Randolph. 

The country along- the Monong-ahela was invaded three 
times in the year 1778, and once the followin"^ year. Few 
settlements within one hundred miles of the Ohio river es- 
caped. In 1780 Greenbrier was again paid a visit by the 
savag-es; and in this year their raids extended eastward 
into R?.ndo1ph county, and to Cheat river in Tucker 
county, to the very base of the Alleg-hany mountains. The 
Monongahela valley, as usual, did not escape, and ten set- 
tlers vre re killed. Governor Hamilton of Detroit, known 
as the "hair buyer," had encourag-ed the Indians by pay- 
ing as high as thirty dollars bounty for scalps of men, 
women and children, but no bount}^ for prisoners. The 
savag'es killed their prisoners in large numbers for the 
bounty on scalps. This made the war terrible in its fierce- 
ness. In 1778 and 1779 General Roger Clarke, at the head 
of a small but excellent army, mostly Virginians, carried 
the war into the enemy's country, and struck at British 
forts in Illinois and Indiana, believing that if the British 
were driven out of that country, Indians would have more 
difficult}^ in obtaining arms, ammunition and supplies, and 
their raids on the settlements would be less frequent. 
Kaskaskia and Cahokia, in Illinois, were captured, and 
then, after a memorable march in midwinter, Clarke fell 
upon Vincennes, Indiana, and after a severe fight captured 
the place, released nearjy one hundred white prisoners, 
chastised the Indians, captured stores worth fifty thousand 
dollars, cleared the v/hole country of British from the 
Mississippi to Detroit; and, most important of all, captured 
Governor Hamilton himself, and sent him in chains to 
Richmond. This victory secured to the United States the 
country as far as the Mississippi; and itg-reatly dampened 
the ardor of the Indians. They saw for the first time that 
the British were notable to protect them. 

In 1781 Colonel David Broadhcad crossed the Ohio at 


Wheeling" with eig"ht hundred men; and, after a rapid 
march to the Miami, destroyed Indian villages and inflicted 
severe punishment upon the savages. The year 1782 is 
memorable on the border on account of the massacre of 
the Moravian Indians in Ohio, and the second sieg-e of Fort 
Henry at Wheeling-. The Moravian Indians, or Christian- 
ized Indians, with their missionaries, lived at peace with 
the white people; but it was suspected that they harbored 
hostile savages v/ho harrassed the frontiers. An expedi- 
tion was sent ag^ainst them; their towns were destroyed, 
and a revolting- massacre almost exterminated the unfor- 
tunate p2ople. The occurrence forms a dark pag-e of 
border history. 

The second siege of Fort Henry occurred in September, 
1782. There were fewer than twenty men in the fort 
when the Indians appeared. The commandant, Captain 
Bog-g-s, had g-one to v*-arn the neighboring- settlements of 
danger. The Indians numbered several hundred, under 
command, as is said,*of Simon Girty. In addition, there 
was a company of British soldiers commanded by Captain 
Pratt; and the whole force marched under the British flag-, 
and appeared before the fort September 11. Just before 
the attack commenced, a boat, in charge of a man named 
Sullivan, arrived from Pittsburg, loaded with cannon balls 
for the garrison at Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Sullivan 
and his party seeing 'the danger, tied the boat and made 
their way to the fort and assisted in the defense. The be- 
siegers demanded an immediate surrender, which was de- 
clined. The attack was delayed till night. The experience 
gained by the Indians in the war had taught them that little 
is gained by a wild rush against the walls of a stockade. 
No doubt Captain Pratt advised them also what course to 
pursue. When nig-ht came they made their assault. 
More than twenty times did they pile hemp against the 
walls of the fort and attempt to set the structure on fire. 
But the hemp was damp and burned slowly. No harm 


was done. Colonel Zane's cabin stood near the stockade. 
His house had been burned at the sieg-e in 1777; and when 
the Indians again appeared he resolved to defend it. He 
remained in the cabin with two or three others, among- 
them a negro slave. That nig^bt an Indian crawled up 
with a chunk of fire to burn the house, but a shot from the 
neg-ro's gun crippled him and he gave up his incendiary- 
project. Attempts were made to break down the gates, 
but they did not succeed. A small cannon mounted on 
one of the bastions was occasionally discharged among the 
savages, much to their discomfiture. On one occasion 
when a number of Indians had gathered in a loft of one of 
the nearest cabins and were dancing and 3'^elling- in defiance 
of the garrison, the cannon was turned on them, and a 
solid shot catting one of the joists, precipitated the sav- 
ages to the floor beneath and put a stop to their revelr3^ 

The Indians captured the boat with the cannon balls, and 
decided to use them. The procured a hollow log, plugged 
one end, and wrapped it with chains ^olen from a neig-h- 
boring blacksmith shop. They loaded the piece with 
powder and ball, and fired it at the fort. It is to be won- 
dered at that the British officer would have permitted his 
allies to make such a blunder, for he must have known that 
the wooden cannon would burst. Its pieces flew in all di- 
rections, killing and maiming several Indians, but did not 
harm the fort. The savages were discouraged, and when 
a force of seventy men, under Captain Boggs, approached, 
the Indians filed. They did not, however, leave the coun- 
try at once, but made an attack on Rice's fort, where the}' 
lost four warriors and accomplished nothing". 

The siege of Fort Henry is remarkable from the fact 
that the flag under which the army marched to the attack, 
and which was shot down during the fight, was the last 
British flag to float over an army in battle, during the rev- 
olution, within the limits of the United States. West Vir- 
ginia was never ag"ain invaded b}" a large Indian force, but 


small parties continued to make incursions till 1795. The 
war with England closed b}^ a treaty of peace in 1783. 
After that date the Indians foug-ht on their own account, 
althoug-h the British still held posts in the northwest, 
under the excuse that the Americans had not complied with 
the terms of the treaty of peace. It was believed, and not 
without evidence, that the savages were still encouraged 
by the British, if not directly supplied with arms, to wage 
war against the frontiers. The United States government 
took vig'orous measures t© suppress the Indian depreda- 
tions, and bring the savages to terms. General Harmar 
invaded the country north of the Ohio at the head of a 
strong force in 1790. He suffered his army to be divided 
and defeated. The next year General St. Clair led an 
army into the Indian country, and met with one of the most 
disastrous defeats in the annals of Indian warfare. He lost 
nearly eight hundred men in one battle. • General Wayne 
now took charge of the campaign in the Indian country, 
and in 1794 gave battle to the Indians on the Maumee river 
near the Ohio and Indiana line, at a place called Fallen 
Timber, and utterly crushed the Indian confederacy. The 
savages never recovered from that defeat, and the frontiers 
were not again molested for nearly twenty years, and West 
Virginia was never again invaded by Indians. 




West Virg-inia's boundaries coincide, in part, with the 
boundaries of five other states, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Mary- 
land, Virg-inia and Kentucky. Some of these lines are as- 
sociated with events of considerable historical interest, 
and for a number of years were subjects of controversy, 
not alwa3'^s friendly. It is understood, of course, that all 
boundary lines of the territory now embraced in West 
Virg-inia, except the line between this state and Virginia, 
were agreed to and settled before West Virginia became 
a separate state. That is, the lines between this state 
and Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky and Ohio were all 
settled more than one hundred years ag"o. To speak 
briefly of each, the line separating West Virginia from 
Ohio may be taken first. 

At the time the Articles of Confederation were under 
discussion in congress, 1778, Virginia's territor^^ extended 
westw^ard to the Mississippi river. The government of 
the United States never recognized the Quebec Act, which 
was passed by the English parliament before the Revolu- 
tionar}" war, and which extended the province of Quebec 
south to the Ohio river. Consequently, after the Declara- 
tion of Independence was sig-ned, Virginia's claim to that 
territor}' was not disputed by the other colonies; but when 
the time came for agreeing- to the Articles of Confedera- 
tion which bound the states together in one common 
country, objection was raised to Virginia's extensive ter- 
ritory, which was nearly as large as all the other states to- 
g-ether. The fear was expressed that Virginia would be- 


come so powerful an i wealthy, on account of its extent, 
that it would possess and exercise an influence in the 
■affairs of g-overnment too great for the well being- of the 
other states. 

Maryland appears to have been the first state to take a 
decided stand that Virginia should cede its territory north 
and west of the Ohio to the g-eneral government. It was 
urged in justification of this course that the territory had 
been conquered from the British and the Indians by the 
blood and treasure of the whole countr}^, and that it was 
right that the vacant lands should be appropriated to the 
use of the citizens of the whole country. Maryland took 
this stand June 23, 1778. Virg-inia refused to consent to 
the ceding of her western territory; and from that time 
till February 2, 1781, Maryland refused to agree to the Ar- 
ticles of Confederation, On November 2, 1778, New Jer- 
sey formally filed an objection to Virginia's large territory; 
but the New Jersey delegates finally signed the Articles 
■of Confederation, expressing- at the same time the convic- 
tion that justice would in time remove the inequality in 
territories as far as possible. On February 22, 1779, 
the delagates from Delaware signed, but also remonstrated, 
and presented resolutions setting forth that the United 
States congress ought to have power to fix the western limits 
of any state claiming territorv to the Mississippi or be- 
yond. On May 21, 1779; the delegates from Maryland laid 
before cong-ress instructions received by them from the 
g-eneral assembly of Maryland. The point aimed at in 
these instructions w^as that those states having almost 
boundless western territory had it in their power to sell 
lands at a very low price, thus filling their treasuries with 
money, thereb}^ lessening taxation; and at the same time 
the cheap lands and the lowtaxes would draw away from ad- 
joining states many of the best inhabitants. Congress was, 
therefore, asked to use its influence with those states having 
extensive territor}-, to the end thcrt they would not place 


their lands on the market until the close of the Revolution- 
ary war. Virginia was not mentioned by name, but it 
Avas well known that reference was made to that state. 
Cong-ress passed, October 39, 1779, a resolution requesting- 
Virg-inia not to open a land office till the clos2 of the war. 
On March 7, 1780, the delegates from New York an- 
nounced that state ready to give up its western territory; 
and this was formally done on March 1, 1781. New York 
having thus opened the way, other states followed the ex- 
ample and ceded to the United States their western terri- 
tories or claims as follows: Virginia, March 1, 1784; 
Massachusetts, April 19, 1785; Connecticut, September 
14, 1786; South Carolina, August 9, 1787; North Carolina, 
Februry 25, 1790; Georgia, April 24, 1802. 

Within less than two months after Virginia ceded her 
northwest territory to the United States, congress passed 
an ordinance for the government of the territory. The 
deed of cession was made by Thomas Jefferson, Arthur 
L/ee, Samuel Hardy and James Monroe, delegates in con- 
gress from Virginia. The boundary line between Vir- 
ginia and the territory ceded to the general government 
was the northwest bank of the Ohio river at low water. 
The islands in the stream belonged to Virginia. When 
West Virginia became a separate state, the boundary re- 
mained unchanged. 

The line between West Virginia and Kentuck}' remains 
the same as that formely separating Virginia from Ken- 
tuck3% The general assembly of Virginia, December 18, 
1789, passed an act authorizing a convention to be held in 
the district of Kentucky to consider whether it was 
expedient to form that district into a separate state. The 
convention decided to form a state, and Kentucky was ad- 
mitted into the union in 1792. Commissioners were ap- 
pointed to adjust the boundary line between Virginia and 
Kentucky, and agreed that the line separating the two 
states should remain the same as that formerly separating 


Virg-inia from the district of Kentucky. The line is as 
follows so far as West Virg-inia and Kentucky are con- 
tig"uous: Beg"inning- at the northwestern point of Mc- 
Dowell county, thence down Big" Sandy river to its con- 
fluence with the Ohio. 

The line dividing- the northern limits of Vv'est Virginia 
from the southern limits of Pennsylvania was for many 
years a matter of dispute. Maryland and Pennsylvania 
had nearly a century of bickering- concerning- the matter 
before Virginia took it up in earnest. It is not necessary 
at this time to give the details of the controversy. A few- 
facts will suffice. Pennsylvania and Marj'land having- 
contended for a long- time over their common boundary- 
line, two eminent astronomers, Charles Mason and 
Jeremiah Dixon, of Eng-land, were employed to mark a 
line five deg-rees west from the Delaware river at a point 
where it is crossed by the parallel of north latitude 39 
deg-rees, 43 minutes, 26 seconds. They commenced work 
in the latter part of 1763, and completed it in the latter 
part of 1767. This line called Mason and Dixon's line, 
was accepted as the boundary between Pennsylvania and 
Maryland, and the controversy v/as at an end. But 
beyond the west line of Maryland, where Virg-inia's and 
Pennsylvania's possessions came in contact, a bitter 
dispute arose, almost leading to open hostilities between 
the people of the two states. Virginia wanted Pittsburg, 
and boldly and stubbornly set up a claim to the territory, 
at least as far north as the fortieth degree of latitude. 
This would have given Virginia part of Fayette and 
Greene counties, Pennsylvania. On the other hand, 
Pennsylvania claimed the country south to the thirty 
ninth deg-ree, which would have extended its jurisdiction 
over the present territory of West Virginia included in 
the counties of Monongalia, Preston, Marion, Taylor, 
parts of Tucker, Barbour, Upshur, Lewis, Harrison, 
Wetzel and Randolph. The territory in dispute was 


about four times as larg-e as the state of Rhode Island. It 
was finally settled by a compromise. It was agreed 
that Mason and Dixon's line be extended west five 
desrrees from the Delaware river. The commissioners 
appointed to adjust the boundary were Dr. James Madi- 
son and Robert Andrews on the part of Virg-inia, and 
David Ritenhouse, John Ev/ing- and Georg-e Bryan on the 
part of Pennsylvania. They met at Baltimore in 1779 and 
ag-reed on a line. The next year the ag-reement was rati- 
fied, by Virg-inia in June and Pennsylvania in September. 
A line was then run due north from the western end of 
Mason and Dixon's line, till it reached the Ohio river. 
This completed the boundary lines batv/een Virg-inia and 
Pennsylvania; and West Virg-inia's territory is bounded 
by the same lines. 

The fixing- of the boundary between Virg-inia and Mary- 
land was long- a subject of controversy. It beg-an in the 
early years of the colony, long before the Revolutionary 
war, and has continued, it may be said, almost till the 
present day, for occasionally the ag-itation is revived. 
West Virginia inherited most of the subject of dispute 
when it set up a separate government. The controversy 
beg-an so early in the history of the country, when the g'eog-- 
raphy of what is now West Virginia was so imperfectly 
understood, that boundaries were stated in g-eneral terms, 
foUow^ing- certain rivers; and in after time these g-eneral 
terras were differently understood. Nearly two hundred 
years ag-o the Potomac river was desig-nated as the dividing- 
line between lands g-ranted by Maryland and lands g-ranted 
by Virg-inia; but at that time the upper tributaries of that 
river had never been explored, and as no one knew what 
was the main stream and what were tributary streams, 
Lord Fairfax had the stream explored, and the explorers 
decided that the main river had its source at a point where 
the Fairfax stone was planted, the present corner of 
Tucker, Preston and Grant counties, in West Virg-inia.. 


It also was claimed as the southwestern corner of Mary- 
land. It has so remained to this day, but not without much 
controversy on the part of Maryland. 

The claim was set up by Maryland, in 1830, that the 
stream known as the South branch of the Potomac is the 
main Potomac river, and that all territory north of that 
stream and south of Pennsylvania, belong-ed to Maryland. 
A line drawn due north from the source of the South 
branch to the Pennsylvania line was to be the western 
boundary of Maryland. Had that state succeeded in 
establishing- its claim and extending- its jurisdiction, the 
following territory would have been transferrd to Mary- 
land: Part of Hig-hland county, Virg-inia; portions of Ran- 
dolph, Tucker, Preston, Pendleton, Hardy, Grant, Hamp- 
shire and all of Mineral counties. West Virg-inia. The 
claim of Maryland was resisted, and Governor Floyd, of 
Virg-inia, appointed Charles J. Faulkner, of Martinsburg-, 
to investig-ate the whole matter, and ascertain, if possible, 
which was the main Potomac, and to consult all available 
early authorities on the subject. Mr. Faulkner filed his 
report November 6, 183.^, and in this report he showed 
that tha South bi^anch was not the main Potomac, and that 
the line as fixed by Lord Fairfax's surveyors remained the 
true and proper boundary between Virg-inia and Maryland. 
The line due north from the Fairfax stone to the Pennsyl- 
vania line remains the boundary in that quarter between 
West Virginia and Maryland, but the latter state is still 
disputing- it. 

Vv'hen West Virg-inia separated from Virg-inia and took 
steps to set up a government for itself, it was at one time 
proposed to call the state Kanawha; and its eastern bound- 
ary was indicated so. as to exclude some of the best coun- 
ties now in the state. The counties to be excluded were 
Mercer, Greenbrier, Monroe, Pocahontas, Pendleton, 
Hardy, then including- Grant; Hampshire, then including- 
Mineral; Morg-an, Berkeley and Jefferson. It was pro- 


vided that any adjoining- county of Virginia on the east 
might become a part of the state of West Virg-inia when- 
ever a majority of the people of the county expressed a 
wilhng-ness to enter the new state. But, before the state 
was admitted the boundary line was chang-ed and was as 
follows: Beg-inning- at the Tug- fork of the Big Sandy river 
at the western corner of Wyoming- county, thence follow- 
ing- the dividing- line between McDowell and Buchanan 
and Tazewell counties to Mercer, thence along- the south- 
ern line of Mercer to Monroe, along- the southern line of 
Monroe to Greenbrier, thence following- the crest of the 
Alleg-hanies on the eastern boundaries of Greenbrier and 
Pocahontas to the corner of Pendleton, thence following- 
the southern and eastern lines of Pendleton and Hardy, 
along- the southern and eastern boundary of Hardy to 
Hampshire, along- Hampshire's eastern line to Morgan, 
thence following- the southwestern boundaries of Morgan, 
Berkeley and Jefferson to the Loudoun county line, thence 
following- the Loudoun and Jefferson county lines to the 

Potomac riv-er^ 


As is well known, the territory which now forms West 
Virg-inia was a portion of Virg-inia from the first explora- 
tions of the country until separated from that state during- 
the civil war, in 1863. For a quarter of a century after the 
first settlement was planted in Virg-inia there were no 
counties; but as the countr}^ begfan to be explored, and 
when the orig-inal settlement at Jamestown g^rew, and 
others were made, it was deemed expedient to divide the 
state into counties, although the entire population at that 
time was scarcely enoug-h for one respectable county. Ac- 
cording-ly, Virg-inia was divided into eig^ht counties in 1634. 
The western limits were not clearly defined, except that 
Virg-inia claimed the land from the Atlantic to the Pacific, 
and it was no doubt intended that the counties on the west 
should embrace all her territory in that direction. The 
country beyond the Blue Ridg-e was unexplored, and only 
the vag-uest ideas existed concerning- it. There was a pre- 
vailing- belief that beyond the Blue Ridg-e the country 
sloped to the Pacific, and that a river would be found with 
its source in the Blue Ridge and its mouth in that ocean. 

The eastern portion of West Virg-inia, lying- along- the 
Potomac and its tributaries, was no long-er an unbroken 
wilderness, but settl^nents existed in several places. In 
1738 it was urg-ed that there were people enoug-h in the 
territory to warrant the formation of a new county. Ac- 
cordingly, that portion of Orang-e west of the Blue Ridge 
vv^as formed into two counties, Aug-usta and Frederick. 
Thus Orang-e county no long-er embraced any portion of 
the territory now in this state. Frederick county em- 
braced the lower, or northern part of the Shenandoah val- 
ley, with Winchester as the county seat, and Aug-usta the 
southern, or upper valley, with Staunton as the seat of jus- 
tice. Aug-usta then included almost all of West Virg-inia, 


and extended to the Mississippi river, including- Ohio, Ken- 
tucky, Michig-an, Indiana and Illinois. From its territor}- 
all the counties of West Virg"inia, except Jefferson, Berke- 
ley and part of Morg-an, have been formed, and its subdi- 
vision into the counties will be the subject of this chapter. 
No part of West Virg^inia retains the name of Aug^usta, but 
the county still exists in Virg-inia, part of the orig-inal 
county of that name, and its county seat is the same as at 
first — Staunton. 

In 1769 Botetourt county was formed from Aug-usta and 
included the territory now embraced in McDowell, Wyom- 
ing-, Mercer, Monroe, Raleig-h and portions of Greenbrier, 
Boone and Log-an. No county in West Virg-inia now has 
the name Botetourt. It is thus seen that no one of the 
first counties in the territory of West Virg-inia retains 
any name in it. Spotsylvania, Orang-e, Aug-usta and 
Botetourt, each in its turn, embraced larg-e parts of the 
state, but all the territory remaining- under the orig-inal 
names is found in old Virg-inia, where the names are pre- 
served. There was another county formed within the 
limits of West Virg-inia which has been sub-divided until 
none of it exists under the orig-inal name. This was 
West Aug-usta. It was called a district, but it seems to 
have been as much a county as some of the others althoug-h 
the matter never was fully settled, as to just what West 
Aug-usta was. It was formed in ^776 and included the 
following- territory: Wetzel, Marshall, Ohio, Brooke, 
Hancock counties, parts of Randolph, Tucker, Taylor, 
Preston, Marion, Monong-alia, Harrison, Doddridg-e, Tyler, 
and all of Washington and Greene counties Pennsylvania, 
and parts of Alleg-hany and Beaver counties. Following- 
are the counties of West Virg-inia. 

Hampshire. Area 630 square miles; formed 1754 from 
Aug-usta; county seat Romney; population in 1790, 7,346; 
in 1800, 8,348; in 1810, 9,784; in 1820, 10,889; in 1830, 11,279; 
in 1840, 12,295; in 1850, 14,036; in 1860, 13,913; in 1870, 


7,613; in 1880, 10,336; in 1890, 11,419; settled about 1730. 

Berkeley. Area 320 square miles; county seat Mar- 
tinsburg-; formed 1772 from Frederick; population 1790, 
19,713; in 1800, 22,006; in 1810, 11,479; in 1820, 11,211; in 
1830, 10,518; in 1840, 10,972; in 1850, 11,771; in 1860, 12,525; 
in 1870, 14,900; in 1880, 17,380; in 1890, 18,702; settled about 

Monongalia. Area 360 square miles; county seat 
Morg-antown; formed from West Aug-usta 1776; population 
1790, 4,768; in 1800, 8,540; in 1810, 12,793; in 1820, 11,060; in 
1830, 14,056; in 1840, 17,368; in 1850, 12,357; in 1860, 13,048; 
in 1870, 13,547; in 1880, 14,985; in 1890, 15,705, settled 
about 1758. 

Ohio. Area 120 square miles; county seat Wheeling-; 
formed in 1776 from West Aug-usta; population 1790, 5,212; 
in 1800, 4,740; in 1810, 8,175; in 1820, 9,182; in 1830, 15,584; 
in 1840, 13,357; in 1850, 18,006; in 1860, 22,422; in 1870, 28,- 
831; in 1880, 37,457; in 1890, 41,557; settled about 1770. 

Greenbrier. Area 1,000 square miles; formed 1777 from 
Botetourt; county seat Lewisburg-; settled about 1750; 
population in 1790, 6,015; in 1800, 4,345; in 1810, 5,914; in 
1820, 7,041; in 1830, 9,006; in 1840, 8,695; in 1850, 10,022, in 
1860, 12,211; in 1870, 11,417; in 1880, 15,060; in 1890, 18,034. 

Harrison. Area 450 square miles; county seat Clarks- 
burg-; formed 1784 from Monong-alia; settled about 1770; 
population in 1790, 2,080; in 1800, 4,848; in 1810, 9,958, in 
1820, 10,932; in 1830, 14,722; in 1840, 17,669; in 1850, 11,728; 
in 1860, 13,790; in 1870, 16,714, in 1880, 20,181; in 1890, 21,- 

Hardy. Area 700 square miles; county seat Moorefield; 
formed in 1785 from Hampshire; settled about 1740; popula- 
tion in 1790, 7,336; in 1800, 6,627; in 1810, 5,525; in 1820, 
5,700; in 1830, 6,798; in 1840, 7,622; in 1850, 9,543; in 1860, 
9,864; in 1870, 5,518; in 1880, 6,794; in 1890, 7,567. 

Randolph. Area 1,080 square miles, the larg-est county 
in the state; county seat Beverly; formed in 1786 from 


Harrison; settled about 1754; population in 1790, 951, in 
1800, 1,826; in 1810, 2,854; in 1829, 3,357; in 1830, 5,000; m 
1840, 6,208; in 1850, 5,243; in 1860, 4,990; in 1870, 5,563; in 
1880, 8,102; in 1890, 11,633. 

Pendleton. Area 650 square miles; county seat Frank- 
lin; formed in 1787 from Aug-usta, Hardy and Rocking-- 
ham; settled about 1750; population in 1790, 2,452; in 1800, 
3,962; in 1810, 4,239; in 1820, 4,846; in 1830, 6,271; in 1840, 
6,940; in 1850, 5,797; in 1860, 6,164; in 1870, 6,455; in 1880, 
8,022; in 1890, 8,711. 

Kanawha. Area 980 square miles; county seat Charles- 
ton; formed in 1789. from Greenbrier and Montg-omer}^; 
settled about 1774; population in 1800,3,239; in 1810,3,866; 
in 1820, 6,399; in 1830, 9*,326; in 1840, 13,567; in 1850, 15,- 
353; in 1860, 16,150; 1870,22,349; 1880,32,466; 1890,42,756. 

Brooke. Area 80 square miles, the smallest county in 
the state; formed in 1796 from Ohio; county seat Wells- 
burg-; population in 1800, 4,706; in 1810, 5,843; in 1820, 
6,631; in 1830, 7,041; in 1840, 7,948; in 1850, 5,054; in 1860, 
5,494; in 1870, 5,464; in 1880, 6,013; in 1890, 6,660; settled 
about 1772. 

Wood. Area 375; county seat Parkersburg", formed in 
1798 from Harrison; settled about 1773; population in 1800, 
1,217; in 1810, 3,036; in 1820, 5,860; in 1830, 6,429; in 1840, 
7,923; in 1850, 9,450; in 1860, 11,046; in 1870, 19,000; in 
1880, 25,006; in 1890, 28,612. 

Monroe. Area 460 Square miles; county seat Union; 
settled about 1760; formed in 1799 from Greenbrier; pop- 
ulation in 1800, 4,188; in 1810, 5,444; in 1820, 6,580; in 1830, 
7,798; in 1840, 8,422; in 1850, 10,204; in 1860, 10,757; in 
1870, 11,124; in 1880, 11,501; in 1890, 12,429. 

Jefferson. Area 250 square miles; formed 1801 from 
Berkeley; county seat, Charlestown; settled about 1730; 
population in 1810, 11,851; in 1820, 13,087; in 1830, 12,927; 
in 1840, 14,082; in 1850, 15,357; in 1860, 14,535; in 1870, 
13,219; in 1880, 15,005; in 1890, 15,553. 


Mason. Area 430 square miles; county seat Point 
Pleasant; settled about 1774; formed in 1804 from Kana- 
wha; population in 1810, 1,991; in 1820, 4,868; in 1830, 
6,534; in 1840, 6,777; in 1850, 7,539; in 1860, 9,173, in 1870, 
15,978; in 1880, 22,296; in 1890, 22,863. 

Cabell. Area 300 square miles; county seat Hunting- 
ton; settled about 1790; formed in 1809 from Kanawha; 
population in 1810, 2,717; in 1820, 4,789; in 1830, 5,884; in 
1840, 8,163; in 1850, 6,299; in 1860, 8,020; in 1870, 6,429; in 
1880, 13,744; in 1890, 23,598. 

Tylkr. Area 300 square miles; county seat Middle- 
bourne; settled about 1776; formed in 1814 from Ohio 
county; population -in 1820, 2,314; in 1830, 4,104; in 1840, 
6,954; in 1850, 5,498; in 1860, 6,517; in 1870, 7,832; in 1880, 
11,073; in 1890, 11,962. 

Lewis. Area, 400 square miles, county seat Weston; 
formed in 1816 from Harrison; population in 1820, 4,247; in 
1830, 6,241; in 1840, 8,151; in 1850, 10,031 in 1860, 7,999; in 
1870, 10,175; in 1880, 13,269; in 1890, 15,895. Settled prior 
to 1784. 

Nicholas. Area 720 square miles; county seat Sum- 
mersville; formed in 1818 from Kanawha, Greenbrier and 
Randolph; population in 1820, 1,853,. in 1830, 3,346; in 1840, 
2,255; in 1850, 3,963; in 1860, 4,627; in 1870, 4,458; in 1880, 
7,223; in 1890, 9,307. 

Preston. Are 650 square miles; county seat King-wood; 
formed 1818 from Monongalia; population in 1820, 3,422; 
in 1830, 5,144; in 1840, 6,866; in 1850, 11,708; in 1860, 13,- 
312; in 1870, 14,555; in 1880; 19,091; in 1890, 20,335. 

Morgan. Area, 300 square miles; county seat, Berkeley 
Springs; formed in 1820 from Hampshire and Berkeley; 
population in 1820, 2,500; in 1830, 2,694; in 1840, 4,253; in 
1850, 3,557; in 1860, 3,732; in 1870, 4,315; in 1880, 5,777; in 
1890, 6,774. 

Pocahontas. Area 820 square miles; county seat Hun- 
tersville; settled about 1749;' formed 1821 from Bath, 


Pendleton and Randolph; population in 1830,2,542; in 1840, 
2,922; in 1850, 3,598; in 1860, 3,958; in 1870, 4,069, in 1880, 
5,591; in 1890, 6,814. 

Logan. Area about 400 square miles; county scat 
Lownsville; formed in 1824 from Kanawha, Giles, Cabell 
and Tazewell; population in 1830, 3,680, in 1840, 4,309, in 
1850, 3,620; in 1860, 4,938; in 1870, 5,124; in 1880, 7,329; in 
1890, 11,101. 

Jackson. Area 400 square miles; county seat Ripley; 
settled about 1796; formed in 1831; population in 1840, 
4,890; in 1850, f.,544; in 1860, 8,306; in 1870, 10,300; in 1880, 
16,312; in 1890, 19,021. 

Fayettk. Area 750 square miles; county seat Fayette- 
ville; formed in 1831 from Log"an, Kanawha, Greenbrier 
and Nicholas; population in 1840, 3,924; in 1850, 3,955; in 
1860, 5,997; in 1870, 6,647; in 1880, 11,560; in 1890, 20,542. 

Marshall. Area 240 square miles; county seat Mounds- 
ville; settled about 1769; formed in 1835 from Ohio; popula- 
tion in 1840, 6,937; in 1850, 10,138; in 1860, 12.937; in 187(1, 
14,941; in 1880, 18,840; in 1890, 20,735. 

Bkaxton. Area 620 square miles; county seat Sutton; 
settled prior to 1796; formed 1836, from Kanawha, Lewis 
and Nicholas; population in 1840, 2,575; in 1850, 4,212; in 
1860, 4,992; in 1870, 6,480, in 1880, 9,787; in 1890, 13,928. 

Mercer. Area 400 square miles; county seat Princeton; 
formed in 1837 from Giles and Tazewell; population in 
1840, 2,233; in 1850; 4,222; in 1860, 6,819; in 1870, 7,064; in 
1880, 7,467; in 1890, 16,002. 

Marion. Area 300 square miles; county seat Fairmont; 
formed in 1842 from Harrison and Monono-alia; population 
in 1850, 10,552; in 1860, 12,722; in 1870, 12,107; in 1880, 17,- 
198; in 1890, 20,721. 

Wayne. Area 440 square miles; county seat Trout's 
hill; settled about 1796; formed in 1841 from Cabell; popula- 
tion in 1850, 4,760; in 1860, 6,747; in 1870, 7,852; in 1880, 14,- 
739; in 1890, 18,652. 


Taylor. Area 150 square miles; county seat Grafton; 
formed in 1844 from Harrison, Barbour and Marion; 
population in 1850, 5,367; in 1860, 8,463; in 1870, 9,367; in 
1880, 11,455; in 1890, 12,147. 

Doddridge. Area 300 square miles; county seat West 
Union; formed in 1845 from Harrison, Tyler, Ritchie and 
Lewis; population in 1850, 2,750; in 1860, 5,203; in 1870, 
7,076; in ISSO, 10,552; in 1890, 12,183. 

Gilmer. Area 360 square miles; county seat Glenville; 
formed in 1845 from Kanawha and Lewis; population in 
1850, 3,475; in 1860, 3,759; in 1870, 4,338; in 1880, 7,108; in 
1890, 9,746. 

Wetzel. Area 440 square miles; county seat New 
Martinsville; formed in 1846 from Tyler; population in 
1850, 4,284; in 1860, 6,703, in 1870, 8,559; in 1880, 13,896, in 
1890, 16,841. 

Boone. Area 500 square miles; county seat Madison; 
formed in 1847 from Kanawha, Cabell and Log"an; popula- 
tion in 1850, 3,237; in 1860, 4,840; in 1870, 4,553; in 1880, 
5,824; in ISJ^O, 6,885. 

Putnam. Area 320 square miles; county seat Winfield; 
settled 1775; formed in 1848 from Kanawha, Cabell and 
Mason; population in 1850, 5,335; in 1860, 6,301; in 1870, 
7,794; in 1880, 11,375, in 1890, 14,342. 

Barbour. Area 360 square miles; county seat Philippi; 
formed in 1843 from Harrison, Lewis and Randolph, popu- 
lation in 1850, 9,005; in 1860, 8,958; in 1870, 10,312; in 1880, 
11,870; in 1890, 12,702. 

Ritchie, Area 400 square miles; county seat Harrisville; 
formed in 1844 from Harrison, Lewis and Wood; popula- 
tion in 1850, 3,902; in 1860, 6,847; in 1870, 9,055; in 1880, 
13,474; in 1890, 16,621. 

Wirt. Area 290 square miles; county seat Elizabeth; 
settled about 1796; formed in 1848 from Wood and Jack- 
son; population in 1850, 3,353; in 1860, 3,751; in 1870, 4,804; 
in 1S80, 7,104; in 1890, 9,411. 


Hancock. Area 100 square miles; county seat New 
Cumberland; settled about 1776; formed in 1848 from 
Brooke; population in 1850, 4,050; in 1860, 4,445; in 1870, 
4,363; in 1880, 4,882; in 1890, 6,414. 

Raleigh, Area 680 square miles; county seat Beckley- 
ville; formed in 1850 from Fayette; population in 1850, 
1,765; in 1860, 3,367; in 1870, 3,673; in 1880, 7,367; in 1890, 

Wyoming. Area 660 square miles; county seat Oceana; 
formed in 1850 from Log"an; population in 1850, 1,645; in 
1860, 2,861; in 1870, 3,171; in 1880, 4,322; in 1890, 6,247. 

Pleasants. Area 150 square miles; county seat St. 
Mary's; formed in 1851 from Wood, Tyler and Ritchie; 
population in 1860, 2,945; in 1870, 3,012; in 1880, 6,256; in 
1890, 7,539. 

Upshuk. Area 350 square miles; county seat Buckhan- 
non; formed in 1851 from Randolph, Barbour and Lewis, 
settled about 1775; population in 1860, 7,292; in 1870, 8,023, 
in 1880, 10,249; in 1890, 12,714. 

Calhoun. Area 260 square miles; county seat Grants- 
ville; formed in 1856 from Gilmer; population in 1860, 
2,502; in 1870, 2,930; in 1880, 6,072; in 1890, 8,155. 

Roane. Area 350 square miles; county seat Spencer; 
settled about 1791; formed in 1856 from Kanawha, Jack- 
son and Gilmer; population in 1860, 5,381; in 1870, 7,232; in 
1880, 12,184; in 1890, 15,303. 

Tucker. Area 340 square miles; county seat Parsons; 
settled about 1774; formed in 1856 from Randolph; popu- 
lation in 1860, 1,428; in 1870, 1,907; in 1880, 3,151; in 1890, 

Clay. Area 390 square miles; county seat Clay Court 
House; formed in 1858 from Braxton and Nicholas; popula- 
tion in 1860, 1,787; in 1870, 2,196; in 1880, 3,460; in 1890, 

McDowell. Area 860 square miles; county seat 
Perrysville; formed in 1858 from Tazewell; population in 



1860, 1,535; in 1870, 1,952; in 1880, 3,074; in 1890, 7,300. 

Webster. Area 450 square miles; county seat Addison; 
formed in 1860 from Braxton, Nicholas and Randolph; 
population in 1860, 1,555; in 1870, 1,730; in 1880, 3,207; in 
1890, 4,783. This was the last county formed while West 
Virg-inia was a part of Virg-inia. 

Mineral. Area 300 square miles; county seat Keyser; 
population in 1870, 6,332; in 1880, 8,630; in 1890, 12,085. 
This was the first county formed after West Virg-inia 
became a state. Grant county was formed fourteen days 
later, in 1866. 

Grant. Area 620 square miles; county seat Petersburg-; 
settled about 1740; population in 1870, 4,467; in 1880, 5,542; 
in 1890, 6,802. 

Lincoln. Area 460 square miles; county seat Plam- 
lin; settled about 1799; formed in 1867 from Kanawha, 
Cabell Boone and Putnam; population in 1870, 5,053; in 
1880, 8,739; in 1890, 11,246. 

Summers. Area 400 square miles; county seat Hinton, 
formed in 1871 from Monroe, Mercer, Greenbrier and 
Fayette; population in 1880, 9,033; in 1890, 13,117. 

Mingo. Area about 400 square miles; formed in 1895 
from Log-an. 

Nearly all the counties of West Virg-inia are named after 
well-known men, as follows: Barbour — James Barbour, 
g-overnor of Virginia in 1812; Berkeley — William Berkeley, 
g-overnor of Virginia in 1641; Boone — Daniel Boone, the 
pioneer of Kentucky; Braxton — Carter Braxton, signer of 
the Declaration of Independence; Brooke — Robert Brooke, 
g-overnor of Virginia in 1794; Cabell — William H. Cabell, 
g'overuor of Virginia in 1805; Calhoun — the statesman J. 
C. Calhoun; Clay — Henry Clay; Doddridge — Philip Dod- 
dridge of Virginia; Fayette — General La Fayette; Gil- 
mer — Thomas W. Gilmer, governor of Virginia in 1840; 
Grant — Ulysses S. Grant; Greenbrier — because many 
briers grew on the banks of the river; Hampshire — from 


a shire of that name in England; Hancock — John Hancock^ 
the first sig-ner of the Declaration of Independence; Hardy 
—Samuel Hardy of Virg-inia; Harrison — ^Benjamin Harri- 
son, governor of Virginia in 1781; Jackson — President An- 
drew Jackson; Jefferson — Thomas Jefferson; Kanawha — 
an Indian word meaning River of the Woods; Lewis — 
Charles Lewis, who was killed at Point Pleasant in 1774; 
Lincoln — Abraham Lincoln; Logan — an old Indian chief of 
the Mingoes; Marion — General Marion of the revolution; 
Marshall — John Marshall of Virginia, chief justice of the 
United States; Mason — George Mason of Virginia; Mer- 
cer — General Hugh Mercer, killed at the battle of Prince- 
ton; Mineral — named from its coal; Monongalia — an 
Indian name meaning a river with crumbling banks; 
Monroe — James Monroe of Virginia, governor in 1709, 
Morgan — General Daniel Morgan of the revolution; Mc- 
Dowell — James McDowell, governor of Virginia in 1843; 
Nicholas — W. C. Nicholas, governor of Virginia in 1843; 
Ohio — an Indian word meaning the Beautiful river; Pendle- 
ton — Edmund Pendleton, of Vii-ginia; Pleasants — James 
Pleasants governor of Virginia in 1822; Pocahontas — an 
Indian girl; Preston — James P. Preston governor of 
Virginia in 1816; Putnam — General Israel Putnam of the 
revolution; Raleigh — Sir Walter Raleigh; Randolph — 
Edmund Randolph, governor of Virginia in 1786; Ritchie- 
Thomas Ritchie of Virginia; Roane — Judge Roane of 
Virginia; Summers — Lewis and George W. Summers of 
Kanawha count}"; Taylor — John Taylor of Virg-inia; 
Tucker — Judge St, George Tucker; Tyler — John Tyler, 
governor of Virginia in 1808; Upshur — Judge A. P. Upshur, 
secretary of state under President Tyler; Wayne^ — Gen- 
eral Anthony Wayne of the revolution; Webster — Daniel 
Webster; Wetzel — Lewis Wetzel the Indian fighter; Wirt — 
William- Wirt of Virginia; Wood — James Wood, governor 
of Virginia in 1796; Wyoming — supposed to be an Indian 
name; Mingo — a tribe of Indians. 




The territory now embraced in the state of West Vir- 
ginia has been g-overned under five state constitutions, 
three of Virginia and two of West Virginia. The first 
was adopted in 1776,, the second in 1830, the third in 1851, 
the fourth in 1863, the fifth in 1872. The first constitu- 
tion was passed by the Virginia convention, June 29, 1776, 
five days before the sig'ning of the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence. Virginia had taken the lead in declaring the 
United States independent and capable of self government; 
and it also took the lead in preparing a system of govern- 
ment for itself. The constitution passed by its conven- 
tion in 1776 was one of the first documents of the kind in 
the world, and absolutely the first in America. Its aim 
was lofty. It had in view greater liberty than men had 
ever before enjoyed. The document is a masterpiece of 
statesmanship; yet its terms are extremely simple. It 
was the foundation on which nearly all the state constitu- 
tions have been based. It was in force nearly fifty years, 
and not until experience had shown wherein it was defec- 
tive was there any disposition to change it or form a new 
constitution. Viewed now in the light of nearly a century 
and a quarter of progressive government, there are fea- 
tures seen in it which do not conform to the ideas of states- 
men of today. But it was so much better, at the time of 
its adoption, than anything gone before, that it ^^•as en- 
tirely satisfactory. 

A Bill of Rights preceded the first constitution. On 
May 15, 1776, the Virginia convention instructed its dele- 


g-ates in congress to propose to that body to declare the 
united colonies independent; and at the same time the con- 
vention appointed a committee to prepare a declaration of 
rights and a plan of g-overnment for Virginia. On June 12 
• the Bill of Rights was passed. The document was written 
by Georg-e Mason, member of the committee. This state 
paper is of interest, not only as being- one of the earliest of 
the kind in America, buf because it contains inconsisten- 
cies which in after years clung to the laws of Virginia, 
carrying- injustice with them, until West Virginia, when it 
became a state, refused to allow them to become part of 
the laws of the new commonwealth. The chief of these 
inconsistencies is found in the declaration at the outset 
of the Bill of Rights " that all men are by nature equally 
free and independent;" and yet further on it paves the 
way for restricting- the privileg-e of suffrage to those who 
own property, thereby declaring in terms, if not in words, 
that a poor man is not as .free and independent as a rich 
one. Here was the beg-inning- of the doctrine so long- held 
in Virg-inia by its law makers that a man without property 
should not have a voice in the g-overnment. In after years 
this doctrine was combatted by the people of the territory 
now forming West Virginia. The inhabitants west of the 
Blue Ridge, and especially west of the Alleghanies, were 
the champions of universal suffrag-e; and they labored to 
attain that end, but with little success, until they were 
able to set up a government for themselves, in which g-ov- 
ernment men were placed above property. Further on in 
this chapter something- more will be found on this subject. 
The Bill of Rights declares that the freedom of the press 
is one of the chief bulwarks of liberty. This is in marked 
contrast with and a noticeable advance beyond the doctrine 
held by Sir William Berkeley, one of Virg-inia's royal g-ov- 
ernors, who solemly declared: "I thank God we have not 
free schools or printing, and I hope we shall not have these 
hundred years; for learning- has brought disobedience and 


heresy and sects into the world, and printing- has divulg-ed 
them and libels ag"ainst the g-overnment. God keep us 
from both." This solemn protest of Virg-inia's g-overnor 
was made nearly forty years after the founding- of Harvard 
university in Massachusetts. It has been sometimes cited 
as an illustration of the difference between the Puritan 
civilization in Massachusetts and the cavalier civilization of 
Virgfinia. But the comparison is unfair. It was no test 
of Virg-inia's civilization, because the g-overnor was carry- 
ing- out instructions from Eng-land to suppress printing-, 
and he did not consult the people of the colony whether 
they wanted printing- presses or not. But when a printer, 
John Buckner by name, ten years after Governor Berkeley 
asked divine protection against schools and printing-, ven- 
tured into Virg-inia with a press, he v/as promptly brought 
before the g-overnor and was compelled to g-ive bond that 
he would print nothing' until the king- of Eng-land gave 

In view of this experience it is not to be wondered at 
that the Virg-inians were prompt in declaring- in their Bill 
of Rig-hts, that the press should be free. But they did 
not embrace that excellent opportunity to say a v/ord in 
favor of schools. Nor could they, at one sweep, bring- 
themselves to the broad doctrine that property does not 
round off and complete the man, but that '"a man's a man 
a' for that," and capable, competent and trustvvxirthy to 
take full part in the aifairs of g-overnment. This Bill of 
Rights v^'as brought into existence in the early part of the 
Revolutionary war; and at that very time the bold, patient, 
patriotic and poor back woodsmen from the frontiers were 
in the American armies, fighting- and dying- in the cause of 
liberty, and equal rights; and yet, by lav/s then being 
enacted, these same men were denied the rig-ht to take 
part in the ma.nagement of the government v/h!ch they 
were fighting to establish. It was for no other reason 
than that they were not assessed with enough propert}' to 


^•ive "sufficient evidence of permanent common interest 
•with and attachment to the community." This notion had 
been brought from England, and had been fastened upon 
the colony of Virginia so hrmly that in could not be shaken 
off when that state severed the political bonds which 
bound it to the mother country. The idea clung to the 
constitution passed in 1776; to that of 1830; to that of 1851; 
but sentiment against the property qualification for 
suffrage constantly grew, and particularly among the 
people of Western Virginia, until it manifested itself in 
striking the obnoxious clause from the constitution when 
the new state of West Virginia came ints separate exist- 

If the war of the revolution did not teach the statesmen 
of Virginia that the poor man can be a patriot; and if the 
thirty-five or more years intervening between the adop- 
tion of the constitution of 1776 and the second war with 
England had not sufficed to do so, it might be supposed 
that the new experience of the war of 1812 would have 
made the fact clear. But it did not convince the law 
maker. Virginia was speedily invaded by the British 
after the declaration of war, and some of the most valuable 
property in the state was destroyed, and some of the best 
territory was overrun by the enemy. The capital at 
"Washington, just across the Potomac from Virginia, was 
captured and burned. An ex-president of the United 
States was compelled to hide in the woods to avoid capture 
by the enemy. In this critical time no soldiers fought 
more valiantly, none did more to drive back the invader, 
than the men from Western Virginia, where lived most of 
those who were classed too poor to take part in the affairs 
of government. It is said that sometimes half the men in 
3. company of soldiers had never been permitted to vote 
because they did not own enough property. 

The people of Western Virginia felt the injustice 
lieenly. They never failed to respond promptly to a call 


when their services were needed in the field; but in time 
of peace they soug-ht in a lawful and decent manner the 
redress of their g-rievances. They could not obtain this 
redress under the constitution then in force; and the war 
of 1812 had scarcely came to a close when the subject of a 
new constitution beg"an to be spoken of. It was agitated 
long- in vain. Nor was the restriction of suif rag-e the only 
wrong" the people of Western Virg-inia endured, somewhat 
impatiently, but always with full respect for the laws then 
in force. 

The eastern part of Virginia had the majority of in- 
habitants and the larg-est part of the property, and this 
g-ave that portion of the state the majority in the assembly. 
This power was used with small respect for the rig-hts of 
the people in the western part of the state. Internal im- 
provements were made on a larg^e scale in the east; but 
none were made west of the mountains, or very few. 
Men in the western counties had little encourag^ement to 
aspire to political distinction. The door. was shut on them. 
The state offices were filled by men from the wealthy 
eastern districts. At leng-th the agitation of the question 
of a new constitution ripened into results. The assembly 
of Virg-inia in 182S passed a bill submitting- to a vote of the 
people whether they would have a constitutional conven- 
tion called. At the election there were 38,542 votes cast, 
of which 21,896 were in favor of a constitutional conven- 
tion. By far the heaviest vote favoring- the convention 
was cast west of the Blue Ridg-e. The wealthy slave 
owners of the lower counties wanted no change. The 
constitution had been framed to suit them, and they 
wanted nothing- better. They feared that any chang-e 
would g-ive them something- less suitable. Nevertheless, 
when the votes were counted and it was ascertained that 
a new constitution was inevitable, the representatives of 
the wealth of the state set to work to g-uard ag-ainst any 
invasion of the privileges they bad so long- enjoyed. 


The delegfates from what is now West Viro^inia elected 
to this convention were: E. M. Wilson and Charles S. 
Morgan of Monong-alia county; William McCoy, of Pendle- 
ton county; Alexander Campbell and Philip Doddridg-e of 
Brooke county; Andrew Beirne of Monroe county; William 
Smith of Greenbrier county; John Baxter of Pocahontas; 
H. L. Opie and Thomas Grig-g-s of Jefferson; William 
Naylor and William Donaldson of Hampshire; Philip 
Pendleton and Elisha Boyd of Berkeley; E. S. Duncan of 
Harrison; John Laidley of Cabell; Lewis Summers of 
Kanawha; Adam See of Randolph. The leader of the 
western deleg-ates in the convention was Philip Doddridge 
who did all in his power to have the property quantifica- 
tion clause omitted from the new constitution. 

The convention met at Richmond, October 5, 1829. 
From the very first meeting the western members were 
slighted. No western man was naJied in the selection of 
officers of the convention. It was seen at the outset that 
the property qualification for suffrage would not be given 
up by the eastern members without a struggle, and it 
was soon made plain that this qualification would have a 
majority. It was during the debates in this convention that 
Philip Doddridge, one of West Virginia's greatest men, 
came to the front in his full stature. His opponents were 
Randolph, Leig-h, Upshur, Tazewell, Standard and others, 
who supported the doctrine that a voter should be a prop- 
erty owner. One of Doddridge's colleagues was Alexan- 
der Campbell; the founder of the church of the Disciples of 
Christ, sometimes known as the Christian church, and 
again called, from its founder, the Campbellite church. 
Here were two powerfur intellects, Doddridge and Camp- 
bell, and they championed the cause of liberty in a form 
more advanced than was then allowed in Virginia. Dod- 
dridge himself had followed the plow, and he felt that the 
honest man does not need a certain number of acres be- 
fore he can be trusted with the right of s.iifiirage. Pie had 


served in the Virg-inia leg-islature and knew from observa- 
tion and experience the needs of the people in his part of 
the state. He was born on the bank of the Ohio river two 
years before the backwoodsmen of Virg-inia annulled the 
Quebec Act, passed by the parliament of Eng-land; and he 
had grown to manhood in the dang-ers and vicissitudes of 
the frontiers. He was but five years old at the first siege 
of Fort Henry; and was ten years old at the second siege; 
and the shot which broug-ht down the last British flag- that 
floated above the soil of Virg-inia during- the Revolutionary 
v/ar, was fired almost within hearing- of his home. Among- 
his neig-hbors were Lewis Wetzel, Ebenezer Zane, Samuel 
Brady and the men who fought to save the homes of the 
frontier settlers during- the long and anxious years of In- 
dian warfare. Although Doddridge died two years after 
this convention, while serving in cong-ress, he had done 
enoug-h to g-ive West Virginia reason for remembering- 
him. The w^ork of Campbell does not stand out in so con- 
spicuous a manner in the proceedings of the convention; but 
his influence for g-ood was great; and if the deleg-ates from 
west of the mountains labored in vain for that time, the re- 
sult was seen in later 3- ears. 

The work of the convention was brought to close in 1830, 
and a new constitution was given to the voters of the state 
for their approval or rejection. The western members 
had failed to strike out the distasteful property qualifica- 
tion. They had all voted ag-ainst it, except Doddridg-e, 
who w^as unable to attend that session on account of sick- 
ness, no doubt due to overwork. His vote, however, would 
have chang-ed nothing, as the eastern members had a large 
majority and carried every measure they wanted. In the 
dissatisfaction consequent upon the failure of the western 
counties to secure what they considered justice, began the 
movement for a new state. More than thirty years elapsed 
before the object was attained; and it w-as brought about 
by means and from causes which not the wisest statesman 


foresaw in 1830; vet the sentiment had been growing- all 
the years. The old state of Virg-inia was never forg-iven 
the offense and injury done the western district in the con- 
stitutional convention of 1829-1830. If the injustice was 
partly removed by the enlarged suffrage granted in the 
constitution adopted twenty years after, it w^as then too 
late for the atonement to be accepted as a blotting out of 
past wrongs; and in 1861 the people of West Virginia re- 
plied to the old state's long years of oppression and 

The constitution of 1830 adopted the Bill of Rights of 1776 
without amendment or change. Then followed a longpream- 
ble reciting the wrongs under which Virginia suffered, prior 
to the Revolutionary war, before independence w^as se- 
cured. Under this constitution the Virginia house of del- 
gates consisted of one hundred and thirty-four members, 
of which twenty-six were chosen by the counties lying 
west of the Alleghenies; twenty-five by the counties be- 
tween the Blue Ridge and the Alleghanies; forty-two by 
the counties betw^een the Blue Ridge and tidewater, nad 
thirty-six by the tidewater counties. The senate con- 
sisted of thirty-two members, of w^hich thirteen were from 
the counties west of the Blue Ridge. No priest or preacher 
was eligible to the legislature. The right of suffrage was 
based on a property qualification. The ballot w^as forbid- 
den and all voting was viva voce. Judges of the supreme 
court and of the superior courts were not elected by the 
people, but by the joint vote of the senate and house of del- 
egates. The attorney general was chosen in the same way. 
Sheriffs and coroners were no'minated by the county courts 
and appointed by the governor. Justices of the peace were 
appointed by the governor, and the constables were ap- 
pointed by the justices. Clerks were appointed by the 
courts. The state treasurer was elected by the joint vote 
of the senate and house of delegates. It is thus seen that 
the only state officers for w^hich people could vote directly 


■were senators and members of the house of deleg^ates. 
Such an arrang^ement would be very unsatisfactory at the 
present day among people who have become accustomed to 
select their officers, almost without exception, from the 
hig-hest to the lowest. The g-rowth of the republican prin- 
ciple of g^overnment has been g^radual. It was not all 
grasped at once; nor has it reached its fullest development 
yet. The Bill of Rig-hts and the first constitution of Vir- 
ginia were a g-reat step forward from the bad government 
under England's colonial system; but the gathered wis- 
dom of more than a century has discovered and corrected 
many imperfections. 

It is noticable that the constitution of 1830 contains no 
provisions for public schools. It may be stated generally 
that the early history of Virginia shows little development 
of the common school idea. The state which was satisfied 
for seventy-five years with suffrage denied the poor would 
not be likely to become famous for its zeal in the cause of 
popular education. The rich, who voted, could afford 
schools for their children; and the father who was poor 
could neither take part in the government nor educate his 
children. Virginia was behind most of the old states in 
free schools. At the very time that Governor Berkeley 
thanked God that there were neither free schools nor 
printing presses in Virginia, Connecticut was devoting 
to education one fourth of its revenue from taxation. As 
late as 1857 Virginia with a population of nearly a million 
and a half, had only 41,608 children in common schools. 
When this is compared with other states, the contrast is 
striking. Massachusetts with a smaller population had 
five times as many children in the free schools; New 
Hampshire with one-fifth the population had twice as 
many; Illinois had nearly eight times as many, yet a 
smaller population; Ohio with a population a little larger 
had more than fourteen times as many children in public 
.schools as Virginia. The following additional states in 



1857 had more children attendin«- common schools than 
Virginia had in proportion to their population: Maine, 
Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsyl- 
vania, New Jersey, Delaware, Indiana, Michig-an, Iowa, 
Wisconsin, Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Louisiana, 
Tennessee, North Carolina, Georg-ia, Alabama. The 
states with a smaller percentage of children in the com- 
mon schools than Virginia's, were South Carolina, Cali- 
fornia and Mississippi. For the remainder of the states, 
the statistics for that year were not compiled. 

The showing is bad for Virginia. Although the lack of 
provision for popular education in the convention of 1830 
does not appear to have caused opposition from the western 
members, yet the promptness with which the new state of 
West Virginia provided for public schools as soon as it 
had a chance, is evidence that the sentiment west of the 
Alleghanies was strong in favor of popular education. 

When the western delegates returned home after com- 
pleting their labors in the convention of 1829-1830, they 
found that their constituents were much dissatisfied with 
the constitution. The chief thing contended for, less 
restriction on suffrag'e, had been refused; and the new 
constitution, while in some respects better than the old, 
retained the most objectionable feature of the old. At the 
election held early in 1830 for ratifying or rejecting the 
new constitution, 41,618 votes were cast, of which 26,055 
were for ratification and 15,563 against. The eastern part 
of the state voted stronglv for ratification; the western 
part against it. Only two counties in what is now West 
Virginia gave a majority for it; and only one east of the 
Blue Ridg-e voted against it. The vote by counties in West 
Virginia was as follows: Berkeley, for 95, against 161; 
Brooke, the home of Doddridge and Campbell, for 0, against 
371; Cabell, for 5, against 334; Greenbrier, for 34, against 
464; Hampshire, for 241, against 211; Hard}', for 63, 
against 120; Harrison, for 8, against 1.112; Jefferson, for 


243, ag-ainst 53; Kanawha, for 42, ag-ainst 266; Lewis, for 
10, ag-ainst 546; Log-an, for 2, against 255; Mason, for 31, 
against 369; Monongalia, for 305, ag-ainst 460; Monroe, for 
19, ag-ainst 451; Morg-an, for 29, against 156; Nicholas, for 
28, ag-ainst 325; Ohio, for 3, ag-ainst 643; Pendleton, for 58, 
against 219; Pocahontas, for 9, against 288; Preston, for 
121, ag-ainst 357; Randolph, for 4, ag-ainst 567; Tyler, for 
5, ag-ainst 299; Wood, for 28, ag-ainst 410. Total, for 1,383, 
ag-ainst 8,375. 

Although the constitution of 1830 was unsatisfactory to 
the people of the western counties, and they had voted to 
reject it, it had been fastened upon them by the vote 
of the eastern counties. However, the matter was not 'to 
end there. In a republican g-overnment the way to reach 
a redress of g-rievances is to keep the proposed reform 
constantly before the people. If rig-ht, it will finally pre- 
vail. In all reform movements or questions, the rig-ht is 
nearly always in the minority at first; perhaps it is always 
so. The western Virg-inians had been voted down, but 
they at once beg-an to agitate the question of calling- another 
constitutional convention. They kept at it for twenty 
years. Finally a legislature was chosen which called 
an election on the subject of a constitutional con- 
vention. The majority of the leg^islature was in favor of 
the convention, and in May, 1850, an election was held to 
choose deleg-ates. Those elected from the country west of 
the AUeg-hanies, and from districts partly east and partly 
west of those mountains, were John Kenney, A. M. New- 
man, John Lionberg-er, Georg-e E. Deneale, G. B. Samuels, 
William Seymour, Giles Cook, Samuel C. Williams, Allen 
T. Caperton, Albert G. Pendleton, A. A. Chapman, Charles 
J. Faulkner, William Lucas, Dennis Murphy, Andrew 
Hunter, Thomas Sloan, James E. Stewart, Richard E. 
Byrd, Charles Blue, JeflF erson T. Martin, Zachariah Jacob, 
John Knote, Thomas Gaily, Benjamin H, Smith, William 
Smith, Samuel Price, Georg-e W. Summers, Joseph John- 


son, John F. Snodg^rass, Gideon D. Camden, Peter G. Van 
Winkle, William G. Brown, Waitman T. Willey, Edward J. 
Armstrong-, James Neeson, Samuel L. Hayes, Joseph 
Smith, John S. Carlisle, Thomas Bland, Elisha W. Mc- 
Comas, Henry J. Fisher, and James H. Fergfuson. 

One of these deleg-ates, Joseph Johnson, of Harrison 
county, was the only man up to that time ever chosen g^ov- 
ernor from the district west of the AUeg-hanies; and in the 
three-quarters of a century since the adoption of Virg-inia's 
first constitution, no man from west of the Alleg-hanies 
had ever been sent to the United States senate; and only 
one had been elected from the country west of the Blue 
Ridg-e. Eastern property had out-voted western men. 
Still the people west of the mountains soug-ht their remedy 
in a new constitution, just as the}' had soug-ht in vain 
nearly a g-eneration before. 

The constitutional convention met and organized for 
work. The delegates from the eastern part of the state at 
once showed their hand. They insisted from the start 
that there should be a property qualification- for suffrag-e. 
This was the chief point ag-ainst which the western people 
had been so long- contending-; and the members from west 
of the Alleg-hanies were there to resist such a provision in 
the new constitution, and to fig-ht it to the last. Lines 
were drawn upon this issue. The contending- forces were 
at once arrayed for the ng-ht. It was seen that the western 
members and the members who took sides with them were 
not in as hopeless a minority as they had been in the con- 
vention of 1830. Still they were not so strong- as to assure 
victory; and the battle was to be long- and hard-foug-ht. If 
there was one man among- the western members more 
conspicuous as a leader than the others, that man was 
Waitman T. Willey, of Monong-alia count}^ An unswerv- 
ing- advocate of libert}' in its widest interpretation, and 
with an uncompromising- hatred of tyranny and oppres- 
sion, he had prepared himself to fight in the front when * 


the question of restriction of suffrag^e should come up. 
The eastern members forced the issue, and he met it. He 
denied that property is the true source of political power; 
but, rather, that the true source should be soug-ht in wis- 
dom, virtue, patriotism; and that wealth, while not bad in 
itself, frequenly becomes a source of political weakness. 
The rig-hts of persons are above' the rig-hts of property. 
Mr. Scott, a deleg'ate from Fauquier county, declared that 
this movement by the western members was simply an 
effort to g'et their hands on the pocket books of the wealthy 
east. Mr. Willey repelled this impeachment of the integ-- 
rity of the west. Other members in sympathy with the 
property qualification took up the cue, and the assault 
upon the motives of the people of the west became severe 
and unjust. But the members from that part of the state 
defended the honor of its people with a vig"or and'a success 
which defeated the pi'operty qualification in the constitu- 
tion. ' 

It was not silenced however. It was put forward and 
carried in another form, b}'^ a proviso that members of the 
assembl}^ and senate should be elected on an arbitrary 
basis until the year 1865, and at that time the question 
should be submitted to a vote of the people whether their 
deleg-ates in the legislature should be apportioned on what 
was called the "white basis," or the "mixed basis." The 
first provided that members of the leg-islature should be 
apportioned according- to the number of white inhabitants; 
the second, that they should be apportioned according;* to 
both property and inhabitants. The eastern members 
believed that in 1S65 the vote of the state would favor the 
mixed basis, and thus the property qualification would 
ag-ain be in force, aithoug-h not in exactly the same form 
as before. 

The proceeding's of the convention had not advanced far 
when it became apparent that a sentiment in that body 
was strongs in favor of electing- many or all of the county 


and state officers. The sentiment favoring electing- judg"es 
was particularly strong-. Prior to that time the judges in 
Virginia had been chosen by the legislature or appointed 
by the governor who was a creature of the legislature. 
The members from western Virginia, under the lead- 
ership of Mr. Wille}', were in favor of electing the 
judges. It was more in conformity with the principles of 
republican g-overnment that the power which selected the 
makers of laws should also select the interpreters of those 
laws, and also those whose duty it is to execute the laws. 
The power of the people was thus increased; and with ir- 
crease of power, there was an increase also in their 
responsibility. Both are wholesome stimulants for the 
citizens of- a commonwealth who are rising to new ideas 
and higher principles. The constitution of 1850 is remark- 
able for the general advance embodied in it. The experi- 
ence of nearly half a century has shown that many im- 
provements could be made; but at the time it was adopted, 
its landmarks were set on higher ground. But, as yet, the 
idea that the state is the greatest beneficiary from the 
education of the people, and that it is the duty of the state 
to provide free schools for this purpose, had not gained 
sufficient footing to secure so much as an expression in its 
favor in the constitution of 1850. 

The work of the convention was completed, and at an 
election held for the purpose in 1852 it was ratified and be- 
came the foundation for state government in Virginia. 
The Bill of Rights, passed in 1776, and adopted without 
change as a preamble or introduction to the constitution 
of 1830, was amended in several particulars and prefixed 
to the constitution of 1850. The constitution of 1830 re- 
quired voting by viva voce, without exception. That of 
1850 made an exception in favor of deaf and dumb persons. 
But for all other persons the ballot was forbidden, The 
property qualification for suffrage was not placed in the 
constitution. Although a provision was made to foist a 



property clause on the state in 18G5, the great and unex- 
pected chang-e made by the civil war before the year 1855, 
rendered this provision of no force. The leading- feat- 
ures of the "mixed basis," and "white basis," as con- 
templated b}'- the constitution, were: In ISoS the people, 
by vote, were to decide whether the members-of the state 
senate and lov/er house should be apportioned in accord- 
ance with the number of voters, without reg^ard to prop- 
erty; or, whether, in such apportionment, property should 
be represented. The former wa.s called the white basis 
or suffrag-e basis, the latter, mixed basis. Under the 
mixed basis the apportionment would be based on a ratio 
of the white inhabitants and of the amount of state taxes 
paid. Provision was made for the apportionment of sena- 
tors on one basis and members of the lower house on the 
other, if the voters should so decide. The members of 
the convention from V/est Virg-inia did not like the mixed 
■basis, but the clause making- the provision for it went into 
the constitution in spite of them. They feared that the 
populous and wealthy eastern counties would out-vote the 
counties beyond the Alleg-hanies, and fasten the mixed 
basis upon the whole state. But, West Virg-inia had sep- 
arated from the old state before 1865, and never voted on 
that measure. There was a clause which went so far as 
to proA'ide that the members of the senate might be appor- 
tioned solely on the basis of taxation, if the people so 
decided by vote. 

Under the constitution, free neg*roes were not permitted 
to reside in Virg-inia, unless free at the time the constitu- 
tion went into effect. Slaves thereafter manumitted for- 
feited their freedom by remaining- twelve months in the 
state. Provision was made for enslaving- them ag-aiu. 

For the first time in the history of the state, the g-ov- 
ernor was to be elected by the people. He had before 
been appointed by the leg-islature. County olilicers, clerks, 
sheriff, prosecuting- attorney and surveyor, were now to 


be elected by the people. The county court, composed of 
not less than three or more than live justices of the peace, 
.held sessions monthly, and had enlarg-ed jurisdiction. 
This arrangement was not consistent with the advance 
made in other branches of count}^ and state g-overnment as 
provided for in the constitution. That county court was 
not satisfactory; and, even after West Virginia became a 
state, it did not at first rid itself of the tribunal which had 
out-lived its usefulness. But after a number of years, a 
satisfactory change was made by the new state. Under 
Virginia's constitution of 1850, the auditor, treasurer and 
secretary were selected by the legislature. 

The first constitution of West Virginia Vv'as a growth, 
rather than a creation by a body of men in one convention. 
The history of that constitution is a part of the history of 
the causes leading up to and the events attending the 
creation of a new state from the counties in the western 
part of Virginia, which had refused to follow the old state 
when it seceded from the union of states and joined the 
coalition of rebellious states forming the Southern Confed- 
erac3\ Elsewhere in this volume will be found a narra- 
tive of the acts by which the new state was formed. The 
present chapter will consider only those movements and 
events directly related to the first constitution. 

The efforts of the northern states to keep slavery from 
spreading to new territory, and the attempts of the south 
to introduce it into the west; the passage of laws by 
northern states by which they refused to deliver runaway 
slaves to their masters; decisions of courts in conflict with 
the wishes of one or the other of the great parties to the 
controversy; and other acts or doctrines favorable to one 
or the other; all entered into the presidential campaign of 
1860, and gave that contest a bitterness unknown before or 
since in the history of American politics. For many years 
the south had been able to carry its points by the ballot 
box or by statesmanship; but in 1860 the power was slip- 


ping- away, and th? north was in the ascendanc}^ with its 
doctrines of no further extension of slavery. Aware of 
this, the threat came from the south that the southern 
states would not abide by the result if a republican presi- 
dent should be elected. There were four candidates in 
the field; and the republicans elected Abraham Lincoln. 
The south lost no time in putting" into execution its threat 
that it would not submit to the will of the majority. Had 
the southern states accepted the result; acquiesced in the 
limitation of slavery within those states wherein it already 
had an undisputed foothold, the civil war would not have 
occurred at that time, and perhaps never. Slavery would 
have continued years long-er. But the rashness of the 
southern states, and their disreg^ard of law and order,, 
hastened the crisis, and in its result, slavery was stamped 
out. South Carolina led the revolt by a resolution Decem- 
ber 20, 1860, by which that state seceded from the Union. 
Other southern states followed; formed " The Confederate 
States of America," and elected Jefferson Davis president. 

Virg-inia, as a state, went with the south; but the people 
of the western part when confronted with the momentous 
question: "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve, "chose 
to remain citizens of the United States. Governor Letcher 
of Virg-inia called an extra session of the leg"islature to 
meet January 7, 1861, to consider public aifairs. The leg-- 
islature passed a bill calling- a convention of the people of 
Virg-inia, whose deleg-ates were to be elected Feburay 4^ 
to meet in Richmond, February 13, 1861. A substitute 
for this bill offered in the lower house of the leg^islature, 
providing- that a vote of the people of the state should be 
taken, on the question of calling- the convention, was 
defeated. The convention was thus convened without the 
consent of the people; a thing- which had never before been 
done in Virg-inia. 

Deleg-ates were chosen for Western Virg-inia. They 
were nearly all opposed to secession, and worked to defeat 


it in the convention. Finding- their efforts in vain, they 
returned home, some of tiiern escaping- many dangers and 
overcoming- much difficulty on the way. The action of 
the Virg-inia convention was kept secret for sometime, 
while state troops, and ti'oops from other states, were- 
seizing- United States arsenals and other g-overnment 
propertv in Virg-inia. But when the deleg-ates returned 
to their homes in Western Virg-inia with the news that 
Virginia had joined the Southern Confederac}^ there was 
much excitement, and a widespread determination among- 
the people not to be transferred to the confederacy. Meet- 
ing's were held; deleg-ates were chosen to a convention in 
Wheeling- to meet June 11 for the purpose of reorganizing- 
the g-overnment of Virg-inia. The g-overnment which had 
existed there had g-one over to the Southern Confederacy. 
The chief purpose was to save as much of Virg-inia as 
possible from joining- the south, and to take such measures 
for the public safety as mig-ht be deemed necessary. 

Owing- to the peculiar circumstances in which the state 
of Virginia was placed, part in and part out of the Southern 
Confederacy, the constitution of 1850 did not apply to the 
case, and certainly did not authorize the reorg-anization of 
the state g-overnment in the manner in which it was about 
to be done. No constitution and no statute had ever been 
framed to meet such an emerg-ency. The proceeding- 
undertaken by the Wheeling- convention was authorized 
by no written law, and so far as the statutes of the state, 
contemplated such a condition, they forbade it. But, as 
the g-old which sanctified the Temple wasg-reater than the 
Temple, so men who make the law are greater than the 
law. The principle is dang-erous when acted upon by 
bad men; but patriots may, in a crisis which admits of no 
delay, be a law unto themselves. The people of Western 
Virginia saw the storm; saw the only salv'ation, and with 
promptness and wisdom they seized the helm and made 
for the harbor. 


* The constitution of Virg-inia did not apph' . The Wheel- 
ing- convention passed an ordinance for the g-overnment of 
the reorganized state. This ordinance could scarcely be 
called a constitution, yet it was a good temporary sub- 
stitute for one. It authorized the convention to appoint a 
gfovernor and lieutenant governor to serve until their 
successors were elected and qualiiled. They were to 
administer the existing- laws of Virg-inia. The general 
assembly was called to meet in Wheeling, v/here it was to 
provide for the election of a g-overnor and lieutenant 
g-overnor. Tiie capital of Virg-inia was thus changed from 
Richmond to Wheeling, so far as this convention could 
chang-e it. The senators and assemblymen who had been 
chosen at the preceeding electio.n were to constitute the 
legislature. A council of five was appointed by the con- 
vention to assist the governor in the discharg-e of his duties. 
An allusion to the state constitiftion, made in this ordinance, 
shows that the convention considered the Virginia con- 
stitution of 1850 still in force, so far as it was applicable 
to the changed conditions. There was no general and 
immediate change of county and district officers provided 
for; but an oath was required of them that they would 
support the constitution of the United States. Provision 
was made for removing from office such as refused to take 
the oath, and for appointing others in their stead. 

Under and by virtue of this ordinance the convention 
elected Francis H. Pierpont governor of Virginia, Daniel 
Polsley lieutenant g-overnor, and James S. Wheat attorney 

• g-eneral. Provision having- been made by the g-eneral 
assemblv v>^hich met in Wheeling- for an election of dele- 
gates to frame a constitution for the new state of West 
Virginia, provided a vote of the people should be in favor 
of a new state, and the election having shown that a ne^v 
state was desired, the deleg-ates to the constitutional con- 
vention assembled in Wheeling November 26, 1S61. The 
purpose at first had not lee i to form a new state, but to 


reorg^anize and administer the g-overnment of Virg-inia. 
IBut the sentiment in favor of a new state was strong-, and 
resulted in the assembling- of a convention to frame a con- 
stitution. The list of delegates were, Gordon Batelle, 
Ohio county; Richard L. Brooks, Upshur; James H. Brown, 
Kanawha; John J. Brown, Preston; JohnBog"g"s, Pendleton; 
W. W. Brumfield, Wayne; E. II. Caldwell, Marshall; 
Thomas R. Carskadon, Hampshire; James S. Cassady, 
Fayette; H. D. Chapman, Roane; Richard JM. Cooke, 
Mercer; Henry Bering-, Monong-alia; John A. Dille, Pres- 
ton; Abijah Dolly, Hardy; D. W. Gibson, Pocahontas; S. 
F. Griffith, Mason; Stephen M. Hansley, Raleig-h; Robert 
Hog-ar, Boone; Ephaim B. Hall, Marion; John Hall, Mason; 
Thomas W. Harrison, Harrison; Hiram Haymond, 
Marion; James Hervey, Efi'ooke; J. P. Hoback, McDowell; 
Joseph Hubbs, Pleasants; Robert Irvine, Lewis; Daniel 
Lamb, Ohio; R. W. Lauck, ^etzel; E. S. Mahon, Jackson; 
A. W. Mann, Greenbrier; John R. McCutcheon, Nicholas; 
Dudley S. Montag-ue, Putnam; Emmett J. O'Brien, Barbour; 
Granville Parker, Cabell; James W. Parsons, Tucker; J. 
W. Paxton, Ohio; David S. Pinnell, Upshur; Joseph S. 
Pomeroy, Hancock; John M. Powell, Harrison; Job Robin- 
son, Calhoun; A. F. Ross, Ohio; Lewis Ruffner Kanawha; 
Edward W. Ryan, Fayette, Georg-e W. Sheets, Hampshire; 
Josiah Simmons, Randolph; Harmon Sinsel Taylor; Benja- 
min H. Smith, Log-an; Abraham D. Soper, Tyler; Benja- 
min L. Stephenson, Clay; William E. Stevenson, Wood; 
Benjamin F. Stewart, Wirt; Chapman J. Stewart, Dod- 
dridg-e; G. F. Taylor, Braxton; M. Titchenell, Marion; 
Thomas H. Trainer, Marshall; Peter G. Van Winkle, 
Wood; William V/alker, Wyoming-; William W. Warder, 
Gilmer; Joseph S. Wheat, Morg-an; Waitraan T. Willey, 
Monong-alia; A. J. Wilson, Ritchie; Samuel Young-, Poca- 

There were two sessions of thi^ coiiventior, the first in 
the latter part of 1861; the second beginning- February 12, 


1863. The constitution was completed at the first session, 
as was supposed; but when the question of admitting- the 
state into the Union was before cong-ress, that body re- 
quired a chang-e of one section regarding- slavery, and the 
convention was reconvened and made the necessary 

When the convention assembled November 15, 1861, it 
set about its task. The first intention was to name the . 
new state Kanav/ha, but there being objections to this, the 
name of Aug-usta was sug-gested. Then AUeg-hany, 
Western Virg-inia, and finally the name West Virg-inia was 
chosen. Selecting a name for the new state was not the 
most difficult matter before the convention. Very soon 
the question of slavery came up. The sentiment against 
that institution was not strong enoug-h to exclude it from 
the state. No doubt a majority of the people would have 
voted to exclude it, but there was a strong element not yet 
ready to dispense with slavery, and a division on that 
question was undesirable at that time. Accordingly, the 
constitution dismissed the slavery question with the pro- 
vision that no slave should be brought into the state, nor 
free negroes come into the state after the adoption of the 
constitution. Before the constitution was submitted to a 
vote of the people, it wias changed to provide for the 
emancipation of slaves. 

The new constitution had a provision v^^hich was never 
contained in the constitutions of Virginia; it affirmed that 
West Virginia shall remain a member of the United States. 
When this constitution was framed, it did not regard 
Hampshire, Hardy, Pendleton, and Morg-an asparts of the 
state, but provided that they mig-ht become parts of West 
Virginia if they voted in favor of adopting- the constitution. 
They so voted, and thus came into the state. The same 
provision was made in rcg-ard to f^rederick county, but it 
chose to remain a portion of Virginia. It was declared 
tb:- ■■■:'; '"■ edom of the press and of ::.peech. 


and the law of libel was'g-Iven a liberal interpretation, and 
was rendered powerless to curtail the freedom of the 
press. It w^as provided that in suits of libel, the truth 
could be given in evidence, and if it appeared that the mat- 
ter charg-ed as libellous was true, and was published with 
g-ood intentions, the judg-raent should be for the defendant 
in the suit. The days of viva voce voting- were past. The 
constitution provided that all voting- should be by ballot. 
The leg-islature was required to meet every year. 

A clause was inserted declaring- that no persons who 
had aided or abetted the Southern Confederacy should be- 
come citizens of the state, unless such persons had subse- 
quently volunteered in the army or the navy of the United 
States. This measure seems harsh when viewed from 
afteryears when the passions kindled by the civil war have 
cooled, and the prejudice and hatred have become thing's 
of the past. It must be remembered that the constitution 
came into existence during the v/ar. The better judg-- 
ment of tlie people at a later day struck out that clause. 
But at the worst, the measure was only one of retaliation, 
in remembrance of the tyranny recentl}'^ shov/n within 
this state toward loyal citizens and office holders by 
sympathizers of the Southern Confederacy. The over- 
bearing- spirit of the politicians of Richmonnd found its 
echo west of the Alleg-hanies. Horace Greeley had been 
deterred from delivering- a lecture in Wheeeling- on the 
issues of the day, because his lecture contained references 
to the slaver}^ question. In Ohio county at that time, 
those who opposed slavery were in the majority, but not 
in power. There were not lifty slave holders in the 
county. Horace Greeley was indicted in Harrison county 
because he had caused the Tribune, his newspaper, to be 
circulated there. The agent of the Tribune fled from the 
state to escape arrest. Postmasters, acting- as they 
claim.ed under the lav/s of Virginia, refused to deliver to 
subscribers such papers as the New A^'ork Tribune and the 


New York Christian Advocate. A Baptist minister who 
had taug-ht colored children in Sunday school was for that 
act ostracized, and he left Wheeling-. Newsdealers in 
Wheeling- v/ere afraid to keep on their shelves a statistical 
book written by a North Carolinian, because it treated of 
slavery in its economic aspect. Dealers were threatened 
with indictment if they handled the book. Cassius Clay 
of Kentucky was threatened with violence for comino- to 
Wheeling- to deliver a lecture which he had delivered in 
his own state. The newspapers of Richmond reproached 
Wheeling- for permitting- such a paper as the Intelligencer 
to be published there. 

These instances of tyranny from southern sympathizers 
are g"iven, not so much for their value as simple history, as 
to show the circumstances under which West Virg-inia's 
lirst constitution was made, and to g-ive an insig-ht into the 
partisan feeling- which led to the insertion of the clause dis- 
franchising- those who took part ag-ainst the United States. 
Those vv'ho upheld the union had in the meantime come 
into power, and in turn had become the oppressors. Re- 
taliation is never rig-ht as an abstract proposition, and sel- 
dom best so as a political measure. An act of injustice 
should not be made a precedent or an excuse for a wrong- 
perpetrated upon the authors of the unjust act. Time has 
done its part in committing- to oblivion the hatred and the 
wrong- which g-rew out of the civil war. Under V/est Vir- 
g-inia's present constitution, no man has lesser or g-reater 
political powers because he wore the blue or the g^rey. 

Representation in the state senate and house of dele- 
g-ates was in proportion to the number of people. The 
question of the "white basis," or the "mixed basis," as 
contained in the Virg-inia constitution of 1850, no long-er 
troubled West Virg-inia. Suffrag-e was extended until the 
people elected their officers, state county and district, in- 
cluding- all judg-es. 

The constitution provide 1 for fre2 schools, and author- 


ized the setting- apart of an irreduceable fund for that pur- 
pose. The fund is derived from the sale of delinquent 
lands; from g-rants and devises, the proceeds of estates of 
persons who die without will or heirs; money paid for ex- 
emption from military duty; such sums as the leg-islature 
may appropriate, and from other sources. This is in- 
vested in United States or state securities, and the interest 
is annually appropriated to the support of the schools. 
The principal must not be expended. 

The constitution was submitted to the people for ratifi- 
cation in April, 1863, and the vote in favor of it was 18,862, 
and ag-ainst it 514. Jefferson and Berkeley counties did 
not vote. They had not been represented in the conven- 
tion which formed the constitution. With the close of the 
war, Virg-inia claimed them, and West Virg-inia claimed 
them. The matter vras finally settled by the supreme 
court of the United States in 1870, in favor of West Vir- 
g-inia. It was at one time considered that the counties of 
Northampton and Accomack on the eastern shore of Vir- 
g-inia belong-ed to the new state of AVest Virginia because 
they had sent deleg-ates to the Wheeling- convention for the 
reorg-anization of the state g-overnment. It was once pro- 
posed that these two counties be traded to Maryland in 
exchange for the two western counties in that state which 
were to be added to West Virg-inia; but the trade was not 

Under the constitution of 1863 the state of West Virg-inia 
was governed nine years, and there was g-eneral prosperity. 
But experience demonstrated that many of the provisions 
of the constitution were not perfect. Amendments and 
improvements were sugg-ested from time to time, and there 
g-raduallv grew up a strong- sentiment in favor of a new 
constitution. On February 23, 1871, a call was issued for 
an election of deleg-ates to a constitutional convention. The 
election was held in August of that year, and in January, 
1872, the cieloi>-atc met in Charleston and began ihe vwak. 


They completed it in a little less than three months. 
The following- deleg"ates were elected by the various 
senatorial and assembly districts of the state: Brooke 
county, Alexander Campbell, William K. Pendleton; 
Boone, William D. Pate; Braxton, Homer A. Holt; Berke- 
ley, Andrew W. McCleary, C. J. Faulkner, John Blair 
Hoofe; Barbour, Samuel Woods, J. N. B. Crim; Clay, B. 
W. Byrne; Calhoun, Lemuel Stump; Cabell, Evermont 
Ward, Thomas Thornburg-; Doddridg-e, Jeptha F. Ran- 
dolph; Fayette, Hudson M. Dickinson; Greenbrier, Henry 
M. Mathews, Samuel Price; Harrison, Benjamin Wilson, 
Beverly H. Lurty, John Bassel; Hampshire, J. D. Arm- 
strong, Alexander Monroe; Hardy, Thomas Maslin; Han- 
cock, John H. Atkinson; Jefferson, William H. Travers, 
Logan Osburn, William A. Morg-an; Jackson, Thomas R. 
Park; Kanawha, John A. Warth, Edward B. Knig-ht, Nich- 
olas Fitzhug-h; Lewis, Mathew Edmiston, Black well Jack- 
son; Logan, M. A. Staton; Morg-an, Lewis Allen; Monon- 
g-alia, Waitman T. Wille}^ Joseph Snider, J. Marshall 
Hag-ans; Marion, U. N. Arnett, Alpheus F. Haymond, 
Fountain Smith; Mason, Charles B. Wag-g-ener, Alonzo 
Cushing-; Mercer, Isaiah Bee, James Calfee; Mineral, John 
A. Robinson, John T. Pearce; Monroe, James M. Byrn- 
sides, William Haynes; Marshall, James M. Pipes, J. W. 
Gallaher, Hanson Criswell; Ohio, Georg-e O. Davenport, 
William W. Miller, A. J. Pawnell, James S. Wheat; Putnam, 
m John J, Thompson; Pendleton, Charles D. Bogg-s; Poca- 
hontas, Georg-e H. Moffett; Preston, William G. Brown, 
Charles Kantner; Pleasants, W. G. H. Care; Roane, Thomas 
Ferrell; Ritchie, Jacob P. Strickler; Randolph, J. F. Hard- 
ing-; Raleigh, William Price, V/illiam McCreery; Taylor, A. 
H. Thayer, Benjamin F. Martin; Tyler, Daniel D. Johnson, 
David S. Pugh; Upshur, D. D. T. Farnsworth; Wirt, D. 
A. Roberts, David H. Leonard; Wayne, Charles W. Fer- 
g-uson; Wetzel, Septimius Hall; Wood, James M. Jackson, 
Okev Johnson. 


The new constitution of West Virginia enters mticii 
more fully into the ways and means of g-overnment than 
an}^ other constitution Virg-inia or West Virginia had 
knovvn. It leaves less for the courts to interpret and 
decide than any of the former constitutions. The details 
are elaborately worked out, and the powers and duties of 
the three departments of state government, the legisla- 
tive, judicial and executive, are stated in so precise terms 
that there can be little ground for controversy as to what 
the constitution means. The terms of the state officers 
were increased to four years, and the legislature's sessions 
were changed f-rom yearly to once in two years. A 
marked chang-e in the tone of the constitution regarding 
persons who took part in the civil v/ar, against the govern- 
ment, is noticeable. Not only is the clause in the former 
constitution disfranchising those who took part in the 
rebellion, not found in the new constitution, but in its 
stead is a clause which repudiates, in express terms, the 
sentiment on this subject in the former constitutions. It 
is stated that "political tests, requiring persons, as a pre- 
requsite to the enjoyment of their civil and political rights, 
to purg-e themselves, by their own oaths, of past alleged 
offenses, are repugnant to the principles of free g-overn- 
ment, and are cruel and oppressive." The ex-confeder- 
ates and those who sympathized with and assisted them in 
their war ag-ainst the United States, could have been as 
effectively restored to their rig'hts by a simple clause to 
that effect, as b;/ the one employed, which passess judg- 
ment upon a part of the former constitution. The lan- 
guage on this subject in the new constitution may, there- 
fore, be taken as the matured judgment, and as an expres- 
sion of the purer conception of justice by the people of 
West Virg-inia when the passions of the war had subsided, 
and when j-ears had given time for reflection. It is pro- 
vided, ^Iso, that no person who aided or participated in 
the rebellion shall be liable to any proceeding-s, civil or 


criminal, for any act done by him in accordance with the 
rules of civilized warfare. It was provided in the consti- 
tution of Virginia that ministers and priests should not be 
elig-ible to seats in the leg-islature. West Virginia's new 
constitution broke down the barrier against a worthy and 
law-abiding class of citizens. It is provided that "all men 
shall be free to profess, and, by argument, to maintain 
their opinions in matters of religion; and the same shall, 
in no v/ise, affect, diminish, or enlarg'e their civil capaci- 

A change was made in the matter of investing the state 
school fund. The first constitution authorized its invest- 
ment in United States or West Virginia state securities 
only. The new constitution provided that it mig-ht be in- 
vested in other solvent securities, provided United States 
or this state's securities cannot be had. The provision 
for courts did not meet general approval as left by the 
constitution, and this dissatisfaction at length led to an 
amendment which was voted upon October 12, 1S80, and 
Vv'as ratified by a vote of 57,941 for to 34,270 against. It 
provides that the supreme court of appeals shall consist 
of four judg-es who shall hold office twelve years; and they 
and all other judges aud justices in the state shall be 
. elected by the people. There shall be thirteen circuit 
judges, and they must hold at least three terms of court 
in every county of the state each year. There tenure of 
office is eight years. The county court was remodeled. 
It no longer consists of justices of the peace, nor is its 
powers as large as formerly. It is composed of three 
commissioners whose term of office is six 3'ears. Four 
reg-ular terms of court are held yearly. The powers and 
duties of the justices of the peace are clearly defined. No 
county shall have fewer than three justices nor more than 
twenty. Each county is divided into districts, not fewer 
than three nor more than ten in number. Each district 
has one justice, and if its population is more than twelve 


hundred, it is entitled to tvvo. They hold office four 

There is a provision in the constitution that any county 
may chang-e its county court if a majority of the electors 
vote to do so, after the forms laid down by law have been 
complied with. It is left to the people, in such a case, to 
decide what shall be the nature of the tribunal which takes 
the place of the court of commmissioners. 

The growth of the idea of liberty and civil g"overnment 
in a century, as expressed in the Bill of Rigfhts and the 
Virg-inia constitution of 1776, and as embodied in the 
subsequent constitutions of 1830, 1850, 1863 and 1872, 
shows that the most sanguine expectations of the states- 
men of 1776 have been realized and surpassed in the 
present time. The right of suffrage has been extended 
beyond anything- dreamed of a century ago; and it has 
been demonstrated that the people are capable of under- 
standing- and enjoying their enlarged liberty. The 
authors of Virginia's first constitution believed that it was 
unwise to entrust the masses with the powers of govern- 
ment. Therefore, the chief part taken by the people in 
their own government was in the selection of their legisla- 
ture. All other state, county and district officers were 
filled by appointments or by elections by the legislature. 
Limited as was ^he exercise of suffrage, it was still 
further restricted by a property qualification which dis- 
franchised a large portion of the people. Yet this liberty 
was so great in comparison with that enjoyed while under 
England's colonial government, that the people were 
satisfied for a long time. But finally they demanded 
enlarged rights, and obtained them. When they at length 
realized that they governed themselves, and were not 
governed by others, they speedil}'^ advanced in the science 
of government. The property qualification was abolished. 
The doctrine that wealth was the true source of political 
power was relegated to the past. From that it was but a 


step for the people to exercise a rig-ht which they had long- 
suffered others to hold — that of electing- all their officers. 
At first they did not elect their own g-overnor; and as late 
as 1850 they acquiesed, thoug-h somewhat reluctantly, in 
the doctrine that they could not be trusted to elect their 
own judg-es. But they have thrown all this aside now, 
and their officers are of their own selection; and no man, 
because he is poor, if capable of self support, is denied an 
equal voice in g-overnment with that exercised by the most 
wealthy. Men, not wealth, intellig-ence, not force, are the 
true sources of our political power. 




The attempt of John Brown to free the slaves; his slez- 
ure of the United States armory at Harper's Ferry; his 
capture, trial and execution, form a page in West Virginia's 
history in which the whole country, and in a lesser degree 
the whole civilized world, felt an interest at the time of its 
occurrence; and that interest will long- continue. The 
siezure of the g-overnment property at that place by en 
ordinary mob would have created a stir; but the incident 
would have lost its interest in a short time, and at a short 
distance from the scene of disturbance. But Brov/n's ac- 
comphces were no ordinary mob; and the purpose *in view 
g-ave bis attempt its great importance. In fact, much more 
importance was attached to the raid than it deserved. 
Viewed in the light of history, it is plain that Brown could 
not have freed many slaves, nor could he have caused any 
wide-spread uprising among them. The military re- 
sources of the government, or even of the state of Virginia, 
were suf&cient to stamp out in short order any attempted 
insurrection at that time. There were not enough people 
willing and ready to assist the attempt^ There were too 
many willing and ready to put it down. Brov/n achieved 
about as much success as he could reasonably expect, and 
his attempt at emancipating slaves ran its logical course. 
But the extreme sensitiveness of the slave holders and their 
fears that abolitionists would incite an uprising, caused 
Brown's bold dash to be given an importance at the time 
far beyond what it deserved. 

John Brown was a man of great courage; not easily ex- 


cited; cool and calculating-; not bloodthirsty, but willing- to 
take the life of any one who stood between him and the ac- 
complishment of his purpose. lie has been very generally 
reg-arded as a fanatic, who had followed an idea until he be- 
came a monomaniac. It is difficult to prove this view of 
him to be incorrect; yet, without doubt, his fanaticism was 
of a superior and unusual kind. The dividing- line between 
fanatics and the hig-hest order of reformers, those who live 
before their time, who can see the lig-ht touching- the peaks 
beyond the valleys and shadows i:i which other men are 
walking-, is not always clearly marked. It is not for us to 
say to which class of men Brov/n belong-ed; and certainly 
it is not g-iven us to s^-et him among- the blind fanatics. If 
he must be classified, we run less risk of error if we olace 
him with those whcse prophetic vision outstrips their 
physical streng-fh; v.ith the sentinel on the watch tower 
of Sier, of whom Isaiah speaks. 

What he hoped to accomplish, and died in an attempt to 
accom2lish, was broug-ht about in less than five years from 
his death. If he failed to free the slaves, they were speed- 
ily freed by that sentiment of which he was an extreme 
representative. It cannot be said that Brown's efforts 
were the immediate, nor even the remote, cause which 
emancipated the black race in the United States; but be- 
yond doubt the affair at Plarper's Ferry had a powerful 
influence in two directions, either of v/hich worked toward 
emancipation. The one influence operated in the North 
upon those who desired emancipation, stimulating- them to 
renewed efforts; the other influence had its effect among- 
the Southern slave owners, kindling- their ang-er and 
their fear, and urg-ing- them to acts by which they 
hoped to streng-then their g-rip upon the institution of 
slavery, but which led them to war ag-ainst the g-overnm.ent, 
and their hold on slavery was shaken loose forever. John 
Brown was born in Connecticut, went to Kansas with his 
family and took part in the civil war in that state which 


rag^ed between the slave faction and those opposed to the 
spread of slavery. Brown affiliated with the latter, and 
foug-ht in more than one armed encounter. He was one of 
the boldest leaders, fearless in fig"ht, stubborn in defense, 
and relentless in pursuit. He hated slavery with an in- 
appeasable hatred. He belong-ed to the party in the North 
called abolitionists, whose avowed object was to free the 
slaves. He was perhaps more radical than the majority 
of that radical party. They hoped to accomplish then- 
purpose by creating- a sentiment in its favor. Brown ap- 
pears to have been impatient at this slow process. He be- 
lieved in uniting- force and arg-ument, and he soon became 
the leader of that wing- of the ultra abolitionists. On May 
8, 1858, a secret meeting- was held in Chatham, Canada, 
which was attended by deleg-ates from different states, and 
from Canada. The object was to devise means of freeing- 
the slaves. It is not known exactly what the proceeding-s 
of the meeting- were, except that a constitution was out- 
lined for the United States, or for such states as might be 
taken possession of. Brown was commander-in-chief; 
one of his companions named Kagi was secretary of war. 
Brown issued several military commissions. 

Harper's Ferry was selected as the point for the upris- 
ing-. It was to be seized and held as a place of rendezvous 
for slaves from Maryland and Virg-inia, and when a suffi- 
cient number had assembled there they were to march un- 
der arms across Maryland into Pennsylvania and there 
disperse. The neg-roes were to be armed with tomahawks 
and spears, they not being- sufficiently acquainted with 
firearms to use them. It was believed that the slaves would 
eag-erly g-rasp the opportunity to g-ain their freedom, and 
that the movement, begun at one point, would spread and 
g-row until slavery was stamped out. Brown no doubt in- 
correctly estimated the sentiment in the North in favor of 
emancipation by force of arms. In company with his two 
sons, Watson and Oliver, Brown rented a farm near Sharps- 


burg-, in Maryland, from Dr. Kennedy. This was within 
a few miles of Harper's Ferry, and was used as a g-ather- 
ing- point for Brown's followers, and as a place of conceal- 
ment for arms. Brown represented that his name was 
Anderson. He never had more than twenty-two men about 
the farm. From some source in the east, never certainly 
ascertained, arms were shipped to Brown, under the name 
of J. Smith & Son. The boxes were double, so that no one 
could suspect their contents. In this manner he received 
two hundred and ninety Sharp's rifles, two hundred May- 
nard revolvers and one thousand spears and tomahawks. 
Brown expected from two thousand to five thousand men, 
exclusive of slaves, to rise at his word and come to his as- 
sistance. In this be was mistaken. He knew that twenty- 
two men could not hold Harper's Ferry, and without doubt 
he calculated, and expected even to the last hour before 
capture, that his forces would rally to his assistance. When 
he found that they had not done so, he concluded that the 
blow had been struck too soon. 

About ten o'clock on the nig-ht of October 16, 1859, with 
seventeen white men and five neg-roes. Brown proceeded to 
Harper's Ferry, overpowered the sentry on the bridg-e, 
seized the United States arsenal, in which were stored arms 
sufficient to equip an arm}^ took several persons prisoner 
and confined them in the armory; visited during- the nig-ht 
some of the farmers in the vicinity, took them prisoner and 
declared freedom to their slaves; cut the telegraph wires 
leading- from Harper's Ferry; seized an eastbound train on 
the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, but subsequently let it 
proceed, after announcing- that no other train would be 
permitted to pass through Harper's Ferry. 

The people in the towni knew nothing- of what was tak- 
ing- place until daybreak. At that time a neg-ro porter at 
the railroad station was shot and killed because he refused 
to join the insurgents, and an employe at the armory was 
shot at when he refused to be taken prisoner. A merchant 


witnessed the sliootinj^, and fired from his store at one of 
Brown's men. He missed, but was shot dead in return. 
When workmen belong-ing- to the armory appeared at the 
hour for beg-inning- their daily labors, they were arrested 
and confined in one of the g-overnment building-s as a prison. 
The villag-e was now alarmed. The mayor of the town, 
Fontaine Beckham, and Captain Georg-e Turner, formerly 
of the United States army, appeared on the scene, and 
were fired upon and killed. The wires having- been cut, 
news of the insurrection was slow in reaching- the sur- 
rounding- country; but during- the forenoon teleg-rams were 
sent from the nearest offices. The excitement through- 
out the south was tremendous. The people there believed 
that a g-ig-antic uprising- of the slaves was at hand. The 
meag-re information concerning- the exact state of affairs at 
Harper's Ferry caused it to be g-reatly overestimated. At 
Washing-ton the sensation amounted to a shock. General 
Robert E. Lee v/as ordered to the scene at once v/ith one 
hundred marines. 

Military companies beg-an to arrive at Harper's Ferry 
from neig-hboring- towns. The first upon the scene was 
Colonel Baylor's company from Charlestown. Shortly 
afterwards two companies arrived from Martinsburg-. A 
desultory fire was kept up during- the day, in which sev- 
eral persons were killed. An assault on one of the build- 
ing-s held by Brown was successfully made by the militia. 
Four of the insurg-ents were killed and a fifth was made 
prisoner. Brown and the remainder of his men took 
refug-e in the eng-ine house at the armory, except four who 
fled and escaped to Pennsylvania. Two of them were sub- 
sequently captured. Two of Brown's men came out to 
hold a parley and were shot and taken prisoner. One was 
killed in reveng-e for the death of Mayor Beckham; the 
other was subsequently tried, convicted and hang-ed. 
About three o'clock in the afternoon of October 17, about 
twenty railroad men made a dash at the eng-ine house, 


broke down the door and killed two of Brown's men. But 
they were repulsed with seven of their number waunded. 

Before sunset there were more than one thousand men 
in Harper's Ferry under arms, having- come in from the 
surroundmg- country; but no further assault was made on 
Brown's position that day for fear of killing- the men whom 
he held prisoner in the building with him. That nig-ht R. 
E. Lee arrived from Washing-ton with one hundred marines 
and two pieces of artillery. Lieutenant J. E. B. Stuart was 
with him. Early Tuesday morning-, October 18, Stuart 
was sent to demand an unconditional surrender, promising- 
only that Brown and his men should be protected from im- 
mediate violence, and should have a trial under the laws of 
the country. Brown refused to accepted these terms, but 
demanded that he and his men be permitted to march out 
with their prisoners, cross the Potomac unpursued. They 
would then free their prisoners and would escape if they 
could; if not, they would lig-ht. Of course Stuart did not 
accept this offer. Preparations were made for an attack. 
The marines brought up a heavy ladder, and using it as a 
battering- ram, broke open the door of the engine house and 
rushed in. Brown and his men foug-ht till killed or over- 
powered. The first man who entered, named Quinn, was 
killed. Brown was stabbed tv/ice with bayonets and then 
cut dov/n by a sabre stroke. All his men but two were 
killed or wounded. These were taken prisoner. Of the 
whole band of twenty-two, ten white men and three negroes 
were killed; three white men were wounded; two had made 
their escape; all the others were captured. 

It was believed that Brown's injuries would prove fatal 
in a few hours, but he rallied. Within the next few days 
he was indicted for murder, and for treason against the 
United States. In his case the customary interval did not 
elapse between his indictment and his trial. He was cap- 
tured October 18, and on October 26 bis case was called 
for trial in the county court at Charlestown, in Jefferson 


county. Brown's attorneys asked for a continuance on the 
ground that the defendant was physically unable to stand 
trial. The motion for a continuance was denied, and the 
• trial proceeded. Brown reclined on a cot, being- unable to 
sit. The trial was extremely short, considering- the im- 
portance of the case. Within less than three days the jury 
had bi-oug-ht in a verdict of g-uilty, and Brown was sen- 
tenced to be hang-ed December 16. Executive clemency 
was soug-ht. Under the law of Virginia at that time the 
g-overnor was forbidden to g-rant pardon to any one convic- 
ted of treason, except with the consent of the assembly. 
Governor Henry A. Wise notified the assembly of Brown's 
application for pardon. That body passed a resolution, 
December 7, by which it refused to interfere in Brown's 
behalf, and he died on the scaffold at the appointed time. 
Six of his companions were executed, four on the same 
day with their leader, and two in the following- March. 

The remains of Brown were taken to North Elba, New 
York, where Wendell Phillips pronounced a eulog-y. Per- 
haps Brown contributed more to the emancipation of slaves 
by his death than by his life. 




Althoug-h Wesit Virg-inia at the time was a part of Vir- 
g-inia, it refused to g-o with the majority of of the people of 
that state in seceding- from the United States and joining 
the Southern Confederacy. The circumstances attending- 
that refusal constitute an important chapter in the history 
of West Virginia. Elsewhere in this book, m speaking of 
the constitution of this and the mother state, reference is 
made to the differences in sentiment and interests between 
the people west of the Alleghanies and those east of that 
range. The ordinance of secession was the rock upon 
which Virginia was broken in twain. It was the occasion 
of the west's separating- from the east. The territory 
which ought to have been a separate state at the time Ken- 
tucky became one, seized the opportunity of severing the 
political ties which had long bound it, somewhat unwill- 
ingly, to the Old Dominion. Virginia, after the war, in- 
vited the new state to reunite with it, but a polite reply 
was sent, that West A^irginia preferred to retain its state- 
hood. The sentiment in favor of separation did not spring- 
up at once. It had been growing- for three quarters of a 
century. Before the close of the Revolutionary v/ar the 
subject had attracted such attention that a report on the 
subject was made by a committee in congress. But many 
years before that time a movement for a new state v/est of 
the Alleghanies had been inaugurated bv George Washing- 
ton, Benjamin Franklin and others, some of whom were 
interested in land on the Kanawha and elsewhere. The 
new state was to be named Vandalia, and the capital 


was to be at the mouth of the Great Kanawha. The move- 
ment for a new state really beg-an there, and never after- 
wards slept; and finally, in 1863, it was accomplished, after 
no less than ninety-three years of agitation. 

The leg-islature of Virg^inia met in extra session January 
7, 1861. The strug-g-le had begun. The rebels had not 
yet opened their batteries on Fort Sumpter, but the South 
had plainly spoken its defiance. The Southern Confed- 
eracy was forming. The elements of resistance were get- 
ting together. The storm of war was about to break upon 
the country. States further south had seceded or had 
decided- to do so. Virginia had not yet decided. Its peo- 
ple were divided. The stg.te hesitated. If it joined the 
confederacy, it would be the battle g-round in the most 
gigantic war the world ever saw. It was the gateway by 
M^hich the armies of the north would invade the south. 
Some affected to believe, perhaps some did believe, that 
there would be no war; that the south would not be in- 
vaded; that the north would not go be\-ond argument. 
But the people of better judgment foresaw the storm, and 
they knew where it would break. The final result, no 
man foresaw. Many hoped; many doubted; but at that 
time no man saw what four years would bring forth. 
Thus, Virginia hesitated long before she cast her fortunes 
w^ith the states already in rebellion. Y/hen she took the 
fatal step; when she fought as only the -brave can fight; 
when she was crushed by weight rather than vanquished, 
she accepted the result, and emerged from the smoke of 
battle, still great; and like Carthage of old, her splendor 
seemed onh' the more conspicuous by the desolation v%'hich 
war had brought. 

The Virginia legislature called a convention to meet at 
Richmond February 13, 1861. The time was short, but 
the crisis was at hand, The flame was kindling. Meet- 
ings were being held in all the eastern part cf the state, 
and the people were nearly unanimous in their demand 


that the state join the Confederacy. At least, few opposed 
this demand; but at that time it is probable that one-half 
of the people of the state opposed secession. But rebellion 
was in the saddle and it held the reins. Richmond had 
g-one mad. It was the center of a whirlpool of insurrec- 
tion. West of the Alleg^han}- mountains the scene was 
different. The mass of the people did not at once g-rasp 
the situation. They knew the signs of the times were 
strang-e; that currents were drifting to a center; but that 
war was at hand of gigantic magnitude, and that the state of 
Virginia was "choosing that day whomshevv-ould serve," 
were not clearly understood at the outset. But, as the 
g-reat truth dawned, and as its lurid light became brig-hter, 
West Virginia was not slow in choosing whom she would 
serve. The people assembled in their towns, and a num- 
ber of meetings were held, even before the convening of 
the special session of the legislature, and there was but 
one sentiment expressed, and that was loyalty to the gov- 
ernment. Preston count}'' held the first meeting, Novem- 
ber 12, 1860; Harrison county followed the twenty-sixth of 
the same month; two days later the people of Monongalia 
assembled to discuss and take measures; a similar gather- 
ing took place in Taylor county, December 4; and another 
in Wheeling ten days later; and on the seventh of the Jan- 
uary following there was a meeting" in Mason count}-. 

On January 21 the Virginia legislature declared by res- 
olution that, unless the differences between the two sec- 
tions of the country could be reconciled, it was Virginia's 
duty to join the confederacy. That resolution went side 
by side with the call for an election of delegate to the Rich- 
mond convention, which was to "take measures." The elec- 
tion was held February 4, 1861, and nine days later the 
memorable convention assembled. Little time had been 
given for a campaign. Western Virginia sent men who 
were the peers of any from the eastern part of the state. 
The following delegates were chosen from the territory 


now forming- West Virg-inia: Barbour county, Samuel 
Woods; Braxton and Nicholas, B. W. Byrne; Berkeley, 
Edmund Pendleton and Allen C. Hammond; Brooke, Camp- 
bell Tarr; Cabell, William McComas; Doddridg-e and Ty- 
ler, Chapman J. Stuart; Fayette and Raleigh, Henr}^ L. 
Gillespie; Greenbrier, Samuel Price; Gilmer and Wirt, 
C. B. Conrad; Hampshire, David Pug-h and Edmund M. 
Armstrong-; Hancock, Georg-e M. Porter; Harrison, John 
S. Carlisle and Benjamin Wilson; Hardy, Thomas Maslin; 
Jackson and Roane, Franklin P. Turner; Jefferson, Alfred 
M. Barbour and Logan Osburn; Kanawha, Spicer Patrick 
and George W.Summers; Lewis, Caleb Bog-g-ess; Logan, 
Boone and Wyoming-, James Lawson; Marion, Ephriam B. 
Hall and Alpheus S. Haymond; Marshall, James Burley; 
Mason, James H. Crouch; Mercer, Napoleon B. French; 
Monong-alia, Waitman T. Willey and Marshall M. Dent; 
Monroe, John Echols and Allen T. Caperton; Morg-an, 
Johnson Orrick; Ohio, Chester D. Hubbard and Sherard 
Clemens; Pocahontas, Paul McNeil; Preston, AVilliam G. 
Brown and James C. McGrew; Putnam, James W. Hog-e; 
Ritchie, Cyrus Hall; Randolph and Tucker, J. N. Hughes; 
Taylor, John S. Biirdette; Upshur, Georg-e W. Berlin; 
Wetzel, L. S. Hall; Wood, General John J. Jackson; Wayne, 
Burwell Spurlock. 

When the convention met, it was doubtful if a majority 
were in favor of secession. At any rate, the leaders in 
that movement, who had caused the convention to be 
called for that express purpose, appeared afraid to push 
the question to a vote, and from that day beg-an the work 
which ultimately succeeded in winning- over enoug-h dele- 
g-ates, who at first were opposed to secession, to carry the 
state into the confederacy. 

There were forty-six deleg-ates from the counties now 
forming- West Virg-inia. Nine of these voted for, the ordi- 
nance of secession, seven were a,bsent, one Vv'as excused, 
and twenty-nine voted ag-ainst it. The principal leaders 


among- the West Virg"inia deleg^ates who opposed seces- 
sion, were J. C. McGrew, of Preston county; Georg-e W. 
Summers of Kanawha county; General John J. Jackson of 
Wood county; Chester D. Hubbard of Ohio county, and 
Waitman T. Willey of Monongalia county. Willey was the 
leader of the leaders. He employed all the eloquence of 
which he was master, and all the reason and log'ic he could 
command to check the rush into what he clearly saw was 
disaster. No man of feeble courag-e could have taken the 
stand which he took in that convention. The ag-ents £rom 
the states already in rebellion were in Richmond urging- 
the people to cry out for secession, and the people were 
not unwilling- ag-ents in pushing- the desig-ns of the South- 
ern Confederacy. The convention held out for a month 
against the clamor, and so fierce became the populace that 
delegates who opposed secession were threatened with 
personal assault 3.nd were in dang-er of assassination. The 
peril and the clamor induced many deleg-ates who had been 
loyal to g-o over to the confederacy. But the majority held 
out in spite of threats, insults and dangers. In the front 
was General John J. Jackson, one of West Virginia's most 
venerable citizens. He was of the material which never 
turns aside from dang-er. A cousin of Stonewall Jackson, 
he had seen active service in the field before Stonewall was 
born. He had foug-ht the Seminoles in Florida, and had 
been a member of General Andrew Jackson's staff. He 
had been intrusted by the g-overnment with important and 
dangerous duties before he was old enough to vote. He 
had traversed the wilderness on horseback and alone, be- 
tween Florida and Kentucky, performing- in this manner 
a circuitous journey of three thousand miles, much of it 
among the camps and over the hunting- g-rounds of treach- 
erous Indians. Innured to dang-ers and accustomed to 
peril, he was not the man to flinch or g-ive ground before 
the clamor and threats of the Richmond populace, aided 
and backed by the most fiery spirits of the south. He 


stood up for the union; spoke for it; urg-ed the convention 
to pause on the brink of the abyss before taking- the leap. 
He risked his life for the honor of his state and country in 
those days of peril, and he stood to his g-uns until he saw 
that Virg-inia had taken the leap into the dark. Another 
heroic worker in the famous convention was Judg-e G. W. 
Summers of Charleston. He was in the city of Washing-- 
ton attending- a "Peace Conference" when he received news 
that the people of Kanawha county had elected him a dele- 
g-ate to the Richmond convention. He hurried to Rich- 
mond and opposed with all his powers the ordinance of 
secession. A speech which he delivered ag-ainst that meas- 
ure has been pronounced the most powerful heard in the 

On March 2 Mr. Willey made a remarkable speech in 
the convention. He announced that his purpose was not 
to reply to the arg-uments of the disunionists, but to de- 
fend the rig-ht of free speech which Richmond, out of the 
halls of the convention and in, was trying- to stifle by 
threats and derision. He warned the people that when 
free speech is silenced liberty is no long-er a realty, but a 
mere mockery. He then took up the secession question, 
althoug-h he had not intended to do sp when he beg^an speak- 
ing-, and he presented in so forcible a manner the arg-u- 
ments ag-ainst secession Vmii he made a profound impres- 
sion upon the convention. During- the whole of that month 
the secessionists v/cre baffled. They could not break 
down the opposition. Arg-uments had failed; threats had 
not succeeded. But on the other hand, the loyal members 
of the convention could not carry their point, and it was 
thus a deadlock until late in April. Secession then carried 
the day and Virg-inia, on April 17, 1861, took the plunge 
into the abyss, from which she was not to extricate herself 
until the flood of war, with all its horrors and ruin, had 
swept over her and left her fields untilled, her prosperity 
crushed and her homes desolate. 



The next day, April 18, a number of deleg-ates from 
Western Virg-inia declared that they would not abide bj^ 
the action of the convention. Amid the roar of Richmond 
run mad, they beg-an to consult among- themselves what 
course to pursue. They were watched by the seces- 
sionists, and it was evident that their season of usefulness 
in Virg-inia's capital was at an end. On April 20 several 
of the West Virg-inians met secretly in a bed room of the 
Powhatan hotel and decided that nothing- more could be 
done by them at Richmond to hinder or defeat the seces- 
sion movement. They ag-reed to return home and urg-e 
their constituents to vote ag-ainst the ordinance of seces- 
sion at the election set for May 24. They beg-an to depart 
for their homes. Some had g-otten safely out of Richmond 
and beyond the reach of the confederates before it became 
known that the western deleg-ates were leaving-. Others 
were still in Richmond, and a plan was form.ed to keep 
them prisoners in the city; not in jail, but they were re- 
quired to obtain passes from the g-overnor before leaving- 
the city. It was correctly surmised that the haste shown 
by these delegates in taking- their departure was due to 
their determination to stir up opposition to the ordinance 
of secession in the western part of the state. But when 
it was learned that most of the western deleg-ates had 
already left Richmond, it was deemed unwise to detain the 
few who yet remained, and they were permitted to depart, 
which they -did without loss of time. 

The passag-e of the ordinance of secssion was a farce, so 
far as the leaders who pushed it throug-h the convention 
were concerned. They intended to drag- or drive Virg-inia 
into the Southern Confederacy, no matter whether the 
ordinance carried or not. They laid g-reat stress on being- 
constitutional in what they did in seceding- from the union; 
but they violated both the letter and the spirit of their 
state constitution >vhen they called a convention for pur- 
poses of secession; when they kept that ordinance a secret 


for many days after its passag^e; when they acted upon it 
as thoug-h it had been ratified by the people, not only be- 
fore it had been voted upon, but before the people of Vir- 
g-inia knew that such a thing- as an ordinance of secession 
was in existence. It was passed in secret session. It was 
kept secret for several days, There are crises in human 
affairs w^hen men may act contrary to the strict letter of 
the law% when the end clearly justifies the means, and 
when the end can be reached by no other means. Every 
individual man ma}^ at some time in his life be called upon, 
in a sudden and momentous emerg-ency, to become a law 
unto himself; and bodies of men may meet similar emer- 
g-encies; and if they are rig-ht, no injustice will result. 
But the emerg-ency had not come to the state of Virginia 
which justified the drag-ging- of that state into the Southern 
Confederacy without the knowledg-e or consent of the 

Before the people knew that an ordinance of secession 
had passed, the convention began to levy war upon the 
United States. Before the seal of secrecy had been re- 
moved from the proceedings of that body, larg-e appropri- 
ations for militar}^ purposes had been made. Ofi&cers were 
appointed, troops were armed; forts and arsenals belong- 
ing- to the g-eneral g-overnment had been seized. The 
arsenal at Harper's Ferry and that at Norfolk had fallen 
before attacks of Virg-inia troops before the people of that 
state knew that they were no long-er reg-arded as citizens 
of the United States. Nor was this all. The convention, 
still in secret session, without the knowledge or consent of 
the people of Virg-inia, had annexed that state to the 
Southern Confederac}'-. It was all done with the presump- 
tion that the people of the state would sustain the ordi- 
nance of secession when they had learned of its existence 
and when they were g-iven an opportunity to vote upon it. 
In fact, it was a part of the conspiracy that the convention 
should see to it that the ordinance was sustained at the 


polls. Every precaution was taken to that end. The 
election came May 24, 1861; and before that day there were 
thirty thousand soldiers in the state east of the Alleg-ha- 
nies, and troops had been pushed across the mountains 
into Western Virg-ina. The majority of votes cast in the 
state were in favor of ratifying- the ordinance of secession; 
but West Virg-inia voted ag-ainst it. Eastern Virg-inia was 
carried by storm. The excitement was intense. The cry 
was for war, if any attempt should be made to hinder Vir- 
g-inia's g-oing- into the Southern Confederacy. Many men 
whose sober judg-ment was opposed to secession, were 
swept into it by their surrounding-s. That portion of the 
state of Virg-inia lying- east of the Alleg-hanies would prob- 
ably have voted for secession had no troops come ijp from 
the south to assist by their presence the spread of disloy- 
alty. As it was, few men cared to vote ag-ainst that measure 
while confederate bayonets were g-leaming- around the polls. 
Before the day of election the g-eneral government had 
taken steps to invade Virg-inia. The President had called 
for seventy-five thousand volunteers. Federal troops had 
crossed, or were preparing- to cross, the Potomac to seize 
Arling-ton heig-hts and Alexandria; and when the time came 
for voting-, the war had beg-un, and Virg-inia became one of 
the states of the Southern Confederacy. 




The officers and visible g-overnment of Virg-ini?^ abdi- 
cated when they joined the Southern Confederacy. The 
people reclaimed and resumed their sovereig^nty after it 
had beeen abdicated by their reg-ularly constituted 
authorities. This rig^ht belong-s to the people and can not 
be taken from them. A public servant is elected to keep 
and exercise this sovereig-nty in trust; but he can do no 
more. When he ceases doing- this, the sovereig-nty re- 
turns, whence it came, — to the people. When Virg-inia's 
public officials seceded from the United States and joined 
the Southern Confederacy, they carried with them their 
individual persons, and nothing* more. The loyal people 
of the state were deprived of none of the rig-hts of self- 
g-overnment; but their g-overnment was left, for the time 
being-, without officers to execute it and g-ive it form. In 
brief, the people of Virg^inia had no g-overnment, but had 
a rig-ht to a g-overnment, and they proceeded to create one 
b}^ choosing- officers to take the place of those who had 
abdicated. This is all there was m the reorg-anization of 
the g-overnment of Virg-inia; and it was done by citizens of 
the United States, proceeding- under that clause in the 
constitution of the Umited States which declares: "The 
United States shall g-iiarantee to every state in this union 
a Republican form of g-overnment." 

The g-overnment of Virg-inia was reorg-anized; the state 
of West Virg-inia was created; and nothing- was done in 
violation of the strictest letter and spirit of the United 
States constitution. The steps were as follows, stated briefly 



here, but more in detail elsewhere in this book. The loyal 
people of Virgfinia reclaimed and resumed their sovereig"nty 
and reorg-anized their g"overnment. This g^overnment, 
throug^h its leg^islature, g"ave its consent for the creation of 
West Virg-inia from a part of Virginia's territory. Dele- 
g-ates elected by the people of the proposed new state pre- 
pared a constitution. The people of the proposed new 
state adopted this constitution. Congress admitted the 
state. The President issued a proclamation declaring" 
West Virg-inia to be one of the United States. This state 
came into the union in the same manner and by the same 
process and on the same terms as all other states. The 
details of the reorg-anization of the Virginia state g-overn- 
ment will now be set forth more in detail. 

When Virg-inia passed the ordinance of secession, the 
territory- now forming West Virg-inia refused to acquiesce 
in that measure. The vote on the ordinance in West Vir- 
g-inia was about ten to one ag-ainst it, or forty thousand 
ag-ainst to four thousand for. In some of the counties there 
were more than twenty to one ag-ainst secession. The 
sentiment was very strong-, and it soon took shape in the 
form of mass meeting-s which were larg-ely attended. 
When the deleg-ates from West Virg-inia arrived home 
from the Richmond convention, and laid before their con- 
stituents the true state of affairs, there was an immediate 
movement having- for its object the nullification of the ordi- 
nance. Althoug-h the people of Western Virg-inia had long- 
wanted a new state, and althoug-h a very g-eneral sentiment 
favored an immediate movement toward that end, yet a 
conservative course was pursued. Haste and rashness 
g-ave way to mature judg-ment; and the new state move- 
ment took a course strictly constitutional. The Virg-inia 
g-overnment was first reorg-anized. That done, the consti- 
tution of the United States provided a way for creating- the 
new state; for when the reoi'g^anized g-overnment was 
recognized by the United States, and when a legislature 


had been elected, that legfislature conld g-ive its consent to 
the formation of a new state from a portion of Virg-inia's 
territory, and the way was thereby provided for the accom- 
plishment of the object. 

On the day the ordinance of secession was passed, April 
17, 1861, and before the people knew what had been done, 
a mass meeting- was held at Morg-antown which adopted 
resolutions declaring- that Western Virg-inia would remain 
in the union. A division of the state was sug-g-ested in case 
the eastern part should vote to join the confederacy. A 
meeting- in Wetzel county, April 22, voiced the same senti- 
ment; and similar meeting-s were held in Taylor, Wood, 
Jackson, Mason and elsewhere. But the movement took 
definite form at a mass meeting- of the citizens of Harrison 
county held at Clarksburg-, April 22, which was attended 
by twelve hundred men. Not only did this meeting- pro- 
test ag-ainst the course which was hurrying- Virg-inia out 
of the union, but a line of action was sug-g-ested for check- 
ing the secession movement, at least in the western part 
of the state. A call was sent out for a gfeneral meeting- to 
be held in Wheeling, May 13. The counties of Western 
Virg-inia were asked to elect their wisest men to this con- 
vention. Its objects were stated in g-eneral terms to be 
the discussion of ways and means for providing for the 
state's best interests in the crisis which had arrived. 

Twenty-five counties responded, and the deleg-ates who 
assembled in Wheeling- on May 13 were representatives of 
the people, men who were determined that the portion of 
Virg-inia west of the AUeg-hany mountains should not be 
drag-g-ed into a war ag-ainst the union without the consent 
and ag-ainst the will of the people. Hainpshire and Berke- 
ley counties, east of the AUeg-hanies, sent deleg-ates Many 
of the men who attended the convention were the best 
known west of the Alleg-hanies, and in the subsequent his- 
tory of West Virg-inia their names have become household 
words. The roll of the convention was as follows: 


Barbour county — Spencer Dayton, E. H. Manafee, J. H. 

Berkeley county — J. W, Dailey, A. R. McQuilkin, J. S. 

Brooke county — M. Walker, Bazael Wells, J. D. Nichols, 
Eli Green, John G. Jacob, Joseph Gist, Robert Nichols, 
Adam Kuhn, David Hervy, Campbell Tarr, Nathaniel 
Wells, J. R. Burg-oine, James Archer, Jesse Edging-ton, R. 
L. Jones, James A. Campbell. 

Doddridg-e county — S. S. Kinney, J. Cheverout, J. Smith, 
J. P. F. Randolph, J. A. Foley. 

Hampshire county — Georg-e W. Broski, O. D. Downey, 
Dr. B. B. Shaw, Georg-e W. Sheetz, Georg-e W. Rizer. 

Hancock county — Thomas Anderson, W. C. Murray, 
William B. Freeman, Georg-e M. Porter, W. L. Crawford, 
L. R. Smith, J. C. Crawford, B. J. Smith, J. L. Freeman, 
John Gardner, Georg-e Johnston, J. S. Porter, James Stev- 
enson, J. S. Pomeroy, R. Breneman, David Donahoo, D. S. 
Nicholson, Thayer Melvin, James H. Pugh, Ewing- Turner, 
H. Farnsworth, James G. Marshall, Samuel Freeman, John 
Mahan, Joseph D. Allison, John H. Atkinson, Jonathan Al- 
lison, D. C. Pug-h, A. Moore, William Brown, William 
Hewitt, David Jenkins. 

Harrison county— W. P. Goff, B. F. Shuttleworth, Wil- 
liam Duncan, L. Bowen, William E. Lyon, James Lynch, 
John S. Carlisle, Thomas L. Moore, John J. Davis, S. S. 
Fleming-, Felix S. Sturm. 

Jackson county — G, L. Kennedy, J. V. Rowley, A. 
Flesher, C. M. Rice, D. Woodruff, Georg-e Leonard, J. F. 

Lewis county— A. S. Withers, F. M. Chalfant, J. W. 
Hudson, P. M. Hale, J. Woofter, J. A. J. Lig-htburn, W. L. 

Marshall county — Thomas Wilson, Lot Enix, John Wil- 
son, G. Hubbs, John Ritchie, J. W. Boner, J. Alley, S. B. 
Stidg-er, Asa Browning-, Samuel Wilson, J. McCondell, A. 


Bonar, D. Price, D. Roberts, G. W. Evans, Thomas Dowler, 
R. Alexander, E. Conner, John Withers, Charles Snediker, 
Joseph McCombs, Alexander Kemple, J. S. Rigg-s, Alfred 
Gaines, V. P. Gorby, Nathan Fish, A. Francis, William 
Phillips, S. Ing-ram, J. Garvin, Dr. Marsh man, William 
Luke, William Baird, J. Winders, F, Clement, James 
Campbell, J. B. Hornbrook, John Parkinson, John H. 
Dickey, Thomas Morrissa, W. Alexander, John Laug-hlin, 
W. T. Head, J. S. Parriott, W. J. Purdy, H. C. Kemple, 
R. Swan, John Reynolds, J. Hornbrook, William McFar- 
land, G. W. Evans, W. R. Kimmons, William Collins, R. C. 
Holliday, J. B. Morris, J. W. McCarriher, Joseph Turner, 
Hiram McMechen, E. H. Caldwell, James Garvin, L. Gard- 
ner, H. A. Francis, Thomas Dowler, John R. Morrow, Wil- 
liam Wasson, N. Wilson, Thomas Morg-an, S. Dorsey, R. 
B. Hunter. 

Monongalia county — Waitman T. Willey, William Lazier, 
James Evans, Leroy Kramer, W. E. Hanaway, Elisha 
Coombs. H. Dering-, Georg-e McNeeley, H. N. Mackey, 
E. D. Fog-le, J. T. M. Laskey, J. T. Hess, C. H. Burg-ess, 
John Bly, William Price, A, Brown, J. R. Boug-hner, W. 
B. Shaw, P. L. Rice, Joseph JoUiff, William Anderson, E. 
P, St. Clair, P. T. Lashley, Marshall M. Dent, Isaac Scott, 
Jacob Miller, D. B. Dorsey, Daniel White, N. C. Vander- 
vort, A. Derranet, Amos S. Bowlsby, Joseph Snyder, J. A. 
Wiley, John McCarl, A. Garrison, E. B. Tagg-art, E. P. 

Marion county — F. H. Pierpont, Jesse Shaw, Jacob 
Streams, Aaron Hawkins, James C. Beatty, William Beatty, 
J. C. Beeson, R. R. Brown, J. Holman, Thomas H. Bains, 
Hiram Haymond, H. Merryfield, Joshua Carter, (i. W. 
Joliff, John Chisler, Thomas Hough. 

Mason county — ^Lemuel Harpold, W. E. Wetzel, W3'att 

Willis, John Goodley, Joseph McMachir, William Harper, 

William Harpold, Samuel Davies, Daniel Polsley, J. N. 

Jones, Samuel Yeager, R. C, M. Lovell, Major Brown, 


John Greer, A.Stevens, W. C. Starr, Stephen Comstock, 
J. M. Phelps, Charles B. Wag-g-ener, Asa Brig-ham, David 
Rossin, B. J, Rollins, D. C. Sayre, Charles Bumg-ardner, 
E. B. Davis, William Hopkins, A. A. Rogers, John O. 
Butler, Timothy Russell, John Hall. 

Ohio county — J. C. Orr, L. S. Delaplain, J. R. Stifel, G. 
L. Cranmer, A. Bedillion, Alfred Caldwell, John McClure, 
Andrew Wilson, Georg-e Forbes, Jacob Berg-er, John C. 
Hoffman, A. J. Woods, T. H. Logan, James S. Wheat, 
Georg-e W. Norton, N. H. Garrison, James Paull, J. M. 
Bickel, Robert, Crangle, Georg-e Bowers, John K. Bots- 
ford, L. D. Waitt, J. Hornbrook, S. Waterhouse, A. Hand- 
Ian, J. W. Pax ton, S. H. Woodward, C. D. Hubbard, 
Daniel Lamb, John Stiner, W. B. Curtis, A. F. Ross, A. B. 
Caldwell, J. R. Hubbard, E. Buchanon, John Pierson, T. 
Witham, E. McCaslin. 

Pleasants county — Friend Cochran, James Williamson, 
Robert Parker, R. A. Cramer. 

Preston county — R. C. Crooks, H. C. Hag-ans, W. H. 
King-, James W. Brown, Summers McCrum, Charles 
Hooten, William P. Fortney, James A. Brown, G. H. Kidd, 
John Howard. D. A. Letzing-er, W. B. Linn, AV. J. Brown, 
Reuben Morris. 

Ritchie county — D. Rexroad, J. P. Harris, N. Rexroad, 
A. S. Cole. 

Roane county — Irwin C. Stump. 

Taylor county — J. Means, J. M. Wilson, J. Kennedy, 
J. J. Warren, T. T. Monroe, G. R. Latham, B. Bailey, J. J. 
Allen, T. Gather, John S. Burdette. 

Tyler county — -Daniel Sweeney, V. vSmith, W. B. Kerr, 
D. D. Johnson, J. C. Parker, William Pritchard, D. King-, 
S. A. Hawkins, James M. Smith, J. H. Johnson, Isaac 

Upshur county — C. P. Rohrbaug-h, W. H. Williams. 

Wayne county — C. Spurlock, F. Moore, W. W. Brum- 
field, W. H. Copley, Walter Queen. 


Wirt county — E. T. Graham, Henry Newman, B. Ball.. 

Wetzel county — Elijah Morg-an, T. E. Williams, Joseph, 
Murphy, William Burrows, B. T. Bowers, J. R. Brown, J. 
M. Bell, Jacob Young-, Reuben Martin, R. Reed, R. S. 
Sayres, W. D, Welker, Georg-e W. Bier, Thomas Mc- 
Quown, John Alley, S. Stephens, R. W. Lauck, John Mc- 
Claskey, Richard Cook, A McEldowney, B. Vancamp. 

Wood county — William Johnston, W. H. Baker, A, R. 
Dye, V. A. Dunbar, G. H. Ralston, S. M. Peterson, S. D. 
Compton, J. L. Padg-ett, Georg-e Loomis, Georg-e W. 
Henderson, E. Deem, N. H. Colston, A. Hinckley, Benneti 
Cook, S. S. Spencer, Thomas Leach, T. E. McPherson, 
Joseph Dag-g-, N. W. Warlow, Peter Riddle, John Paug-h, 
S. L. A. Burche, J. J. Jackson, J. D. Ing-ram, A. Laug-hin, 
J. C. Rathbone, W. Vroman, G. E. Smith, D. K. Baylor, 
M. Woods, Andrew Als, Jesse Burche, S. Og-den, Sardis 
Cole, P. Reed, John McKibben, W. Athey, C. 
Hunter, R. H. Burke, W. P. Davis, Georg-e Compton, C. 
M. Cole, Rog-er Tiffins, H. Rider, B. H. Bukey, John W. 
Moss, R. B. Smith, Arthur Drake, C. B. Smith, A. Mather, 
A. H. Hatcher, W. E. Stevenson, Jesse Miirdock, J. 
Burche, J. Morrison, Henry Cole, J. G. Blackford, C. J. 
Neal, T. S. Conley, J. Barnett, M. P. Amiss, T. Hunter, 
J. J. Neal, Edward Hoit, N. B. Caswell, Peter Dils, W. F. 
Henry, A. C. McKinsey, Rufus Kinnard, J. J. Jackson Jr. 

The convention assembled to take whatever action mig-ht 
seem proper, but no definite plan had been decided upon, 
further than that Western Virg-inia should not g-o into se- 
cession with Virg-inia. The majority of the members 
looked forward to the formation of a new state as the ulti- 
mate and chief purpose of the convention. Time and care 
were necessary for the accomplishment of this object. 
But there were several, chief among- whom was John S. 
Carlisle, who boldly proclaimed that the time for forming- 
the new state was at hand. There was a sharp division in 
the convention as to the best method for attaining- that end. 


While Carlisle led those who were for immediate action, 
Waitman T. WiUey was among the foremost of those who 
insisted that the business must be conducted in a business- 
like wav, first by reorg-anii^ing- the goverment of Virginia, 
and then obtaining the consent of the legislature to divide 
the state. Mr. Carlisle actually introduced a measure pro- 
viding for a new state at once, and it met with much favor. 
But Mr. Willey and others pointed out that precipitate ac- 
tion would defeat the object in view, because congress 
would never recognize the state so created. After much 
controversy, there was a compromise reached, which was 
not difficult where all parties aimed at the greatest good, 
and differed only as to the best means of attaining it. 

At that time the ordinance of secession had not been 
voted upon. Virginia had already turned over to the South- 
ern Confederacy all its military supplies, public property, 
troops and materials, stipulating that, in case the ordi- 
nance of secession should be defeated at the polls, the 
property should revert to the state. The Wheeling con- 
vention took steps, pending, the election, recommend 
\ug that, in case secession carried at the polls, a con- 
vention be held for the purpose ai deciding what to do — 
whether to divide the state or simply reorganize the gov- 
ernment. This was the compromise measure which was 
satisfactory to both parties of the convention. Until the 
ordinance of secession had been ratified by the people, 
Virginia was still, in law, if not in fact, a member of the 
Federal union, and any step was premature looking- to a 
division of the state or a reorganization of its goverment 
before the election. F. H. Pierpont, afterwards governor, 
introduced the resolution which provided for another con- 
vention in case the ordinance of secession was ratified at 
the polls. The resolution provided that the counties rep- 
resented in the convention, and all other counties of Vir- 
ginia disposed to act with them, appoint on June 4, 18bl, 
delearates to a convention to meet ^une 11. This conven- 


tion would then be prepared to proceed to business, 
whether that business was the reorg-anization of the gfov- 
ernment of Virginia or the dividing" of the state, or both. 
Having- finished its work, the convention adjourned. It 
had saved the state from anarchy. It had org-anized a 
nucleus around which a stable and adequate g-overnment 
was built. It made a good beg-inning-. Had it rashly at- 
tempted to divide the state at that time the effort must 
have failed, and the bad effects of the failure, and the con- 
sequent confusion, would haA^e been far reaching. No man 
can tell whether such a failure would not have defeated for 
all time the creation of West Virg^inia from Virginia's 

The vote on the ordinance of secession took place May 
23, 1861, and the people of eastern Virg-inia voted to g-o 
out of the Union, but the part now comprising West Vir- 
g-inia gave a larg-e majority ag-ainst seceding. Delegates 
to the assembly of Virginia were elected at the same time. 
Great interest was now manifested west of the AUegha- 
nies in the subject of a new state. Deleg-ates to the sec- 
ond Wheeling convention were elected June 4, and met 
June 11, 1861. The members of the first convention had 
been appointed by mass meetings and otherwise; but 
those of the second convention had been chosen by the 
suffrage of the people. Thirty counties were represented 
as follows: 

Barbour county — N. H. Taft, Spencer Dayton, John H. 

Brooke county — W. H. Crothers, Joseph Gist, John D. 
Nichols, Campbell Tarr. 

Cabell county — Albert Laidly was entered on the roll 
but did not serve. 

Doddridge county — James A. Foley. 

Gilmer county — ^Henry H. Withers. 

Hancock county — George M. Porter, John H. Atkinson, 
William L. Crawford. 



Harrison county — John J. Davis, Chapman J. Stewart, 
John C. Vance, John S. Carlisle, Solomon S. Fleming-, Lot 
Bowers, B. F. Shuttleworth. 

Hardy county — John Michael. 

Hampshire county — James Carskadon, Owen J. Downey, 
James J. Barracks, G. W. Broski, James H. Trout. 

Jackson county — Daniel Frost, Andrew Flesher, James 
F. Scott. 

Kanawha county — Lewis Ruffner, Greenbury Slack. 

Lewis county — J. A. J. Lig-htbura, P. M. Hale. 

Monong-alia county — Joseph Snyder, I^eroy Kramer, R. 
L. Berkshire, William Price, James Evans, D. B. Dorsey. 

Marion county — James O. Watson, Richard Fast, Fon- 
tain Smith, Fraticis H. Pierpont, John S. Barnes, A. F. 

Marshall county — C. H. Caldwell, Robert Morris, Re- 
membrance Swan. 

Mason county — Lewis Wetzel, Daniel Polsley, C. B. 

Ohio county — Andrew Wilson, Thomas H. Log-an, Daniel 
Lamb, James W. Paxton, Georg-e Harrison, Chester D. 

Pleasant county — James W. Williamson, C. W. Smith. 

Preston county — -William Zinn, Charles Hooten, William 
B. Crane, John Howard, Harrison Hag-ans, John J. Brown. 

Ritchie county — -William H. Doug-lass. 

Randolph county^ — Samuel Crane. 

Roane county — T. A. Roberts. 

Tucker county — Solomon Parsons. 

Taylor county— L. E. Davidson, John S. Burdette, Sam- 
uel B. Todd. 

Tyler county — William I. Boreman, Daniel D. Johnson. 

Upshur county— John Love, John L. Smith, D. D. T. 

Wayne county — William Radcliff, William Copley, W. 
W. Brumfield. 


Wetzel count}' — James G. West, Reuben Martin, James 
P. Ferrell. 

Wirt county — James A Williamson, Henry Newman, E. 
T. Graham. 

Wood count}^ — John W. Moss, Peter G. Van Winkle, 
Arthur I. Boreman. 

James T. Close and H. S. Martin of Alexandria, and John 
Hawxhurst and E. E. Mason of Fairfax, were admitted as 
deleg-ates, while William F. Mercer of Loudoun, and Jona- 
than Roberts of Fairfax, were rejected becafise of the in- 
sufficiency of their credentials. Arthur I. Boreman was 
elected president of the convention, G. L. Cranmer, secre- 
tary, and Thomas Hornbrook, serg-eant-at-arms. 

On June 13, two days after the meeting of the conven- 
tion, a committee on order of business reported a declara- 
tion by the people of Virg-inia. This document set forth 
the acts of the secessionists of Virg-inia, declared them 
hostile to the welfare of the people, done in violation of the 
constitution, and therefore null and void. It vfas further 
declared that all of&ces in Virg-inia, whether legislative, 
judicial or executive, under the g-overnment set up by the 
convention which passed the ordinance of secession, were 
vacant. The next day the convention beg-an the work of 
reorg-anizing- the state g-overnment on the following lines: 
A g-overnor, lieutenant g-overnor and attorney g-eneral for 
the sta.te of Virg-inia were to be appointed by the conven- 
tion to hold office until their successors should be elected 
and qualified, and the leg'islature was required to provide 
by law for the election of a governor and lieutenant gov- 
ernor by the people. A council of state, consisting of five 
members, was to be appointed to assist the governor; their 
term of office to expire at the same time as that of the gov- 
ernor. Delegates elected to the legislature on Maj^ 23, 
1861, and senators entitled to seats under the laws then 
existing, and who would take the oath as required, were to 
constitute the reorganized legislature, and were required 


to meet in V/lieelIng- on the first day of the following" July. 
A test oath was required of all officers, whether state, 
county or municipal. 

On June 20 the convention proceeded to choose officers. 
Francis H. Pierpont w^as elected g-overnor of Virg-inia; 
Daniel Polsley was elected lieutenant g-overnor; James 
Wheat was chosen attorney g-eneral. The g-overnor 's coun- 
cil consisted of Daniel Lamb, Peter G. VanWInkle, AVil- 
liam Lazier, William A. Harrison and J. T. Paxton. The 
leg"islature was required to elect an auditor, treasurer and 
secretary of state as soon as possible. This closed the 
work of the convention, and it adjourned the same day to> 
meet ag-ain Aug-ust 6. 

A new g-overnment existed for Virg-inia. The leg^isla- 
ture which was to assemble in Wheeling- in ten days could 
complete the work. 

This leg-islature of Virg-inia, consisting- of thirty-one 
members, beg-an its labors immedia,tely upon org-anizing-, 
July 1. A messag-e from Governor Pierpont laid before 
that body the condition of affairs and indicated certain 
measures which oug-ht to be carried out. On July 9 the 
leg-islature elected L. A. Hag-ans of Preston countv, secre- 
tary of Virg-inia; Samuel Crane of Randolph county, audi- 
tor; and Campbell Tarr of Brooke county, treasurer. Wait- 
man T. Willey and John S. Carlisle were elected to the 
United States senate. 

The convention which had adjourned June 20 met ag-ain 
Aug-ust 6 and took up the w^ork of dividing- Virg-inia, whose 
g-overnment had been reorg-anized and was in working- 
order. The people wanted a new state and the machinery 
for creating- it was set in motion. On July 20 an ordinance 
was passed calling- for an election to take the sense o'' the 
people on the question, and to elect members to a consti- 
tutional convention at the same time. In case the vote 
favored a new state, the men elected to the constitut'onal 


convention were to meet and frame a constitution. The 
convention adjourned Aug-ust 2, 1861. Late in October 
the election was held, with the result that the vote stood 
about twenty-five to one in favor of a new state. 





The reorg-anized g-overnment of Virg-inia made all 
thing-s ready for the creation of the new commonwealth. 
The people of Western Virg-inia had waited long- for the 
opportunity to divide the state. The tyranny of the more 
powerful eastern part had been borne half a century. 
When at last the war created the occasion, the people were 
not slow to profit by it, and to bring- a new state into ex- 
istence. The work began in earnest Aug-ust 20, 1861, 
when the second Wheeling- convention called upon the peo- 
ple to vote on the question; and the labor was completed 
June 20, 1863, when the ofi&cers of the new state took 
charg-e of affairs. One year and ten months were re- 
quired for the accomplishment of the work; and this chap- 
ter g-ives an outline of the proceeding-s relative to the new 
state during- that time. It v/as at first proposed to call the 
state Kanawha; but the name was chang-ed in the consti- 
tutional convention at Wheeling- on December 3, 1861, to 
West Virg-inia. On February IS, 1862, the constitutional 
convention adjourned, subject to the call of the chairman. 
In April of that year the people of the state voted upon the 
ratificatien of the constitution; and the vote in favor of rati- 
fication was 18,862, and ag-ainst it, 514. Governor Pier- 
pont issued a proclamation announcing- the res'alt, and at 
the same time called an extra session of the Virg-inia leg-is- 
lature to meet in Wheeling- May 6. That body met, and 
six days later passed an act by which it g-ave its consent 
to a division of the state of Virg-inia and the creation of a 
new state. This was done in order that the constitution 


mig-ht be complied ^Yith; for, before the state could be di- 
vided, the legislature must give its consent. It yet re- 
mained for West Virg-iuia to be admitted into the union 
"by an act of congress and by the president's proclamation. 
Had there been no opposition and had there not been such a 
press of other business this might have been accomplished 
in a few weeks. As it was there was a long and bitter con- 
test in the senate. The opposition did not come so much 
from outside the state as from the state itself. John S. 
Carlisle, one of the senators elected by the legislature of 
the reorganized government of Virg-inia at Wheeling, was 
supposed to be friendl}^ to the cause of the new state; but 
when he was put to the test it Vv'as found that he was 
strongly opposed to it, and he did all in his power to defeat 
the movement, and almost accomplished his purpose. The 
indignation in V/estern Virginia was great. The legisla- 
ture, in session at Wheeling, on December 12, 1862, by a 
resolution, requested Carlisle to resign the seat he held in 
the senate. He refused to do so. He had been one of the 
most active advocates of the movement for the new state 
while a member of the first Wheeling convention, in May, ^ 
1861, and had been a leader in the new state movement be- 
fore and after that date. Why he chang'ed, and opposed 
the admission of West Virginia by congress has never 
been satisfactorily explained. 

One of the reasons given for his opposition, and one 
which he himself put forv/ard, was that congress attempted 
to amend the state constitution on the subject of slavery, 
and he opposed the admission of the state on that ground. 
He claimed that he would rather have no new state than 
have it saddled with a constitution, a portion of which its 
people had never ratified. But this could not have been 
the sole cause of Carlisle's opposition. He tried to defeat 
the bill after the proposed objectionable amendment to the 
constitution had been satisfactorily arranged. He fought 
it in a determined manner till the last. He had hindered 


the work of getting* the bill before cong-ress before any 
change in the state constitution had been proposed. 

The members in cong-ress from the reorg-anized g-overn- 
ment of Virg-inia were William G. Brown, Jacob B. Blair 
and K. V, Waley; in the senate, John S. Carlisle and Wait- 
man T. Willey. In addition to these g^entlemen, the leg^is- 
lature appointed as commissioners to bring- the matter be- 
fore cong-ress, Ephraim B. Hall of Marion county, Peter 
VanWinkle of Wood county, John Hall of Mason county, 
and Elbert H. Caldwell of Marshall county. These com- 
missioners reached Washing-ton May 22, 1862. There 
were several other well-knovv-n West Virg-inians w^ho also 
went to Washing-ton on their own account to assist in 
securing- the, new state. Among- them were Daniel Pols- 
ley, lieutenant g-overnor of West Virg-inia; Granville Parker 
and Harrison Hag-ans. There were members of congress 
and senators from other states who performed special ser- 
vice in the cause. The matter w^as laid before the United 
States Senate May 29, 1862, by Senator Willey, who pre- 
sented the West Virg-inia constitution recently ratified, 
and also the act of the leg-islature g-iving- its consent to the 
creation of a new state within the jurisdiction of Virg-inia, 
and a memorial requesting- the admission of the new state. 
In presenting- these documents, Senator Willey addressed 
the senate and denied that the movement was simply to 
g-ratify reveng-e upon the mother state for seceding- from 
the union and joining- the Southern Confederacy; but, on 
the contrary, the people west of the AUeghanies had long- 
wanted a new state, and had long- suffered in consequence 
of Virginia's neglect, and of her unconcern for tlieir wel- 
fare. Mr. Willey's address was favorably received, and 
the whole matter regarding the admission of West Vir- 
ginia was laid before the coinmittee on territories, of which 
Senator John S. Carlisle was a member. It had not at that 
time been suspected that Carlisle was hostile to the move- 
ment. He was expected to prepai'e the bill. He neglected 


to do so until nearly a month had passed and the sessioa 
of congress was drawing- to a close. But it was not so- 
much the delay that showed his hostility as the form of the 
bill. Had it been passed by congress in the form proposed 
by Carlisle the defeat of the new state measure must have 
been inevitable. No one acquainted with the circum- 
stances and conditions had any doubt that the bill was pre- 
pared for the express purpose of defeating" the wishes of 
the people by whom Mr. Carlisle had been sent to the sen- 
ate. It included in West Virg-inia, in addition to the coun- 
ties which had ratified the constitution, Alleg-hany, 
Aug^usta, Berkeley, Bath, Botetourt, Craig-, Clark, Fred- 
erick, Highland, Jefferson, Page, Rockbridg-e, Rocking-- 
ham, Shenandoah and Warren counties. The hostility in 
most of these counties was very g-reat. The bill provided 
that these counties, in conjunction with those west of the 
Alleg-hanies, should elect delegates to a constitutional con- 
vention and frame a constitution which shojuld provide that 
all children born of slaves after 1863 should be free. This 
constitution was then to g"o back to the people of the sev- 
eral counties for ratification. Then, if the Virg-inia leg-is- 
lature should pass an act giving- its consent to the creation 
of a new state from Virg-iuia's territory, and the g-overnor 
of Virg-inia certify the same to the president of the United 
States, he might make proclamation of the fact, and West 
Virg-inia would become a state without further proceeding-s 
by congress. 

Senator Carlisle knew that the counties he had added 
east of the Alleghanies were opposed to the new state on 
any terms, and that they would oppose it the more deter- 
minedly on account of the g-radual emancipation clause in 
it. He knew that they would not appoint deleg^ates to a 
constitutional convention, nor would they ratify the consti- 
tution should one be submitted to them. In short, they 
were strong enough in votes and sentiment to defeat the 
n:oven:ent for a nev, state. All the v/ork dene for the 


creation of West Virg-inia would have been thi'own away- 
had this bill prevailed. 

Three da3"s later, June 26, the bill was called up, and 
Charles Sumner proposed an amendment reg^arding" 
slavery. He would have no slavery at all. All indications 
were that the bill would defeat the measure for the new 
state, and preparations were made to beg"in the fight in a 
new quarter. Cong-ressman William G. Brown of Preston 
county, proposed a new bill to be presented in the lower 
house. But the contest v/ent on. In July Senator Wiliey 
submitted an amendment, which was really a new bill. It 
omitted the counties east of the AUe^hanies, and provided 
that all slaves under twenty-one 3^ears of ag-e on July 4» 
1863, should be free on arriving- at that ag-e. It now became 
apparent to Carlisle that his bill was dead, and that West 
Virg-inia was likely to be admitted. As a last resort, he 

• ... 

proposed a postponement till December, m order to gam 
time, but his motion was lost. Carlisle then opposed the 
bill on the g-rounds that if passed, it would impose upon 
the people of the new state a clause of the constitution not 
of their making- and which they had not ratilied. But this 
arg-ument was deprived of its force by offering- to submit 
the proposed amendment to the people of West Virg-inia 
for their approval. Fortunately the constitutional conven- 
tion had adjourned subject to the call of the chair. The 
members were convened; they included the amendment in 
the constitution, and the people approved it. However, 
before this was done, the bill took its course through con- 
g-ress. It passed the senate July 14, 1862, and was imme- 
diately sent to the lower house. But cong-ress being- about to 
adjourn, further consideration of the bill went over till the 
next session in December, 1862, and on the tenth of that 
month it was taken up in the house of representatives and 
after a discussion continuing most of the day, it was passed 
by a vote of ninety-six to fifty-five. 

The friends of the new state now felt that their efforts 


had been successful; but one more step was necessary, 
and the whole work mig-ht yet be rendered null and void. 
It depended on President Lincoln. He mig-ht veto the 
bill. He requested the opinion of his cabinet. Six of the 
■cabinet officers complied, and three favored sig^ning- the 
bill and three advised the president to veto it. Mr. Lin- 
coln took it under advisement. It was believed that he 
favored the bill, but there was much anxiety felt. Nearly 
two 5'^ears before Mr. Lincoln, throug"h one of his cabinet 
officers, had promised Governor Pierpont to do all he 
could, in a constitutional way, for the reorg^anized govern- 
ment of Virg-inia; and that promise was construed to mean 
that the new state would not be opposed by the president. 
Mr. Lincoln was evidently undecided for some time \yhat 
course to pursue, for he afterwards said that a teleg^ram 
received by him from A. W. Campbell, editor of the 
Wheeling- Tntellig-encer, larg-ely influenced him in deciding- 
to sig-n the bill. On December 31, 1862, Cong-ressm'an 
Jacob B. Blair called on the president to see if any action 
had been taken by the executive. The bill had not yet 
been sig-ned, but Mr. Lincoln asked Mr. Blair to come back 
the next day. Mr. Blair did so, and was g-iven the bill 
admitting- AVest Virginia into the Union. It was signed 
January 1, 18u3, 

However, there was yet something- to be done before 
West Virg-inia became a state. The bill passed by con- 
g-ress and signed by President Lincoln went no further 
than to provide that the new state should become a mem- 
ber of the Union w^hen a clause concerning slavery, con- 
tained in the bill, should be made a part of the constitution 
and be ratified by the people. The convention which had 
framed the state constitution had adjourned to meet at the 
call of the chairman. The members came together on 
February 12, 1863. Two days later John S. Carlisle, who 
had refused to resign his seat in the senate when asked by 
the Virginia legislature to do so, made another effoi't to 


defeat the will of the people whom he was sent to congress 
to represent. He presented a supplementary bill in the 
senate providing- that President Lincoln's proclamation ad- 
mitting- West Virg-inia be withheld until certain counties 
of West Virg-inia had ratified by their votes the clause re- 
g-arding- slavery contained in the bill. Mr. Carlisle be- 
lieved that those counties would not ratify the constitu- 
tion. But his bill was defeated in the senate by a vote of 
28 to 12. 

The clause concerning- slavery, as adopted by the con- 
stitutional convention on reassembling- at Wheeling-, was 
in these words: "The children of slaves, born within the 
limits of this state after the fourth day of July, 1853, shall 
be free, and all slaves within the said state who shall, at 
the time aforesaid, be under the ag-e of ten years, shall be 
free when they arrive at the ag-e of twenty-one years; and 
all slaves over ten and under tvventj'-one years, shall be 
free when they arrive at the ag-e of twenty-five years; and 
no slave shall be permitted to come into the state for per- 
manent residence therein." The people ratified the con- 
stitution at an election held for that purpose. The 
majority in favor of ratification was seventeen thousand. 

President Lincoln issued his proclamation April 20, 
1863, and sixty days thereafter, that is June 20, 1863, West 
Virginia was to become a state without further leofislation. 
In the meantime, May 9, a state convention assembled in 
Parkersburg- to nominate officers. A confederate force 
under General Jones advanced within forty miles of Par- 
kersburg-, and the convention hurried throug-h with its 
labors and adjourned. It nominated Arthur I. Boreman 
of Wood county for g-overnor; Campbell Tarr of Brooke 
county for treasurer; Samuel Crane of Randolph county 
for auditor; Edg-ar J. Boyers of Tyler county, for secre- 
tary of state; A. B. Caldwell of Ohio county, attorney 
general; for judg-es of the supreme court of appeals, Ralph 
L. Berkshire of Monong-alia county, James H. Brown of 


Kanawha county, William A*. Harrison of Harrison county. 
These were all elected late in the month of May, and on 
June 20, 1863, took the oath of office and West Virginia 
was a state. Thus was fulfilled the prophecy of Daniel 
Webster in 1851 when he said that, if Virg-inia took sides 
with a secession movement, the result would be the forma- 
tion of a new state from Virg-iuia's transalleghany terri- 

The creation of the new state of West Virginia did not 
put an end to the reorganized government of Virginia. 
The officers who had held their seat of government at 
Wheeling, moved to Alexandria, and in 1865, moved to 
Richmond where ther held office until their successors 
were elected. Governor Pierpont filled the giibernational 
chair of Virginia about seven years. 




In a work of this sort it sliould not be expected that a 
full account of the civil war, as it affected West Virg-inia, 
will be g-iven. It must suffice to present only an outline of 
events as they occurred in that g"reat strug-g-le, nor is any 
pretence made that this outline shall be complete. In deal- 
ing- with the military operations within the particular 
county under consideration, no effort has been spared to 
make the account as complete as possible; but, for the 
state at larg-e, as the events concerned all the counties in 
g"eneral, only a synopsis can be g-iven. Elsewhere in this 
volume will be found a narrative of the events leading- to 
and culminating in the passag-e of the ordinance of seces- 
sion; the formation of the provisional g-overnment of Vir- 
g-inia, and the creation of the new state of West Virg-inia 
and its admission into the Union. The vote on the ordi- 
nance of secession showed that a larg-e majority of the 
people in this state were opposed to a separation from the 
United States. This vote, while it could not have been 
much of a surprise to the politicians in the eastern part of 
Virg-inia, was a disappointment. It did not prevent Vir- 
g-inia, as a state, from joining- the Southern Confederacy; 
but the result made it plain that Virginia was divided 
against itself, and that all the part west of the Alleghany 
mountains, and much of that west of the Blue Ridge, would 
not take up arms against the general government in fur- 
therance of the interests of the Southern Confederacy, 

It, therefore, became necessary for Virginia, backed by 
the other southern states, to conquer its own transmon- 


tane territory. The commencement of the war in what is 
now West Virginia was due to an invasion by troops in the 
service of the Southern Confederac}-, in an elTort to hold 
the territory as a part of Virg-jnia. It should not be un- 
derstood, however, that there was no sympathy with the 
south in this state. As nearly as can be estimated, the 
number who took sides with the south, in proportion to 
those who upheld the union, was as one to six. The peo- 
ple g-enerall}^ were left to choose. Efforts were made at 
the same time to raise soldiers for the south and for the 
north, and those who did not want to go one wa}' were at 
liberty to g-o the other. In the eastern part of the state 
considerable success v/as met in enlistin»- volunteers for 
the confederacy; but in the western counties there were 
hardly any who went south. That the g-overnment at 
Richmond felt the disappointment keenly is evidenced by 
the efforts put forth to orga.nize companies of volunteers, 
and the discourag^ing- reports of the recruiting- officers. 

Robert E. Lee was appointed commander-in-chief of the 
military and naval forces of Virg-inia, April 23, 1851; and 
on the same day he wrote to Governor Letcher accepting- 
the office. Six days later he wrote Major A. Loring- at 
Wheeling-, urg-ing- him to muster into the service of the 
state all the volunteer companies in that vicinity, and to 
take command of them. Loring- was asked to report what 
success attended his eft'orts. On the same day Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel John McCausland, at Richmond, received or- 
ders from General Lee to proceed at once to the Kanawha 
valley and muster into service the volunteer companies in 
that quarter. General Lee named four companies already- 
formed, two in Kanawha and two in Putnam counties, and 
he expressed the belief that others would offer their serv- 
ices. McCausland was instructed to org-anize a company 
of artillery in the Kanawha valley. On the next day, April 
30, General Lee wrote to Major Boy kin at Weston, in Lewis 
county, ordering- him to muster in the the volunteer com- 


panies in that part of the state, and to ascertain how many 
volunteers could be raised in the vicinity of Parkersburg-. 
General Lee stated in the letter that he had sent two hun- 
dred flint lock muskets to Colonel Jackson (Stonewall) at 
Harper's Ferr}^ for the use of the volunteers about 
Weston. He said no better g-uns could be had at that 
time. The next day, May.l, Governor Letcher announced 
that arrangements had been made for calling- out fifty 
thousand Virg-inia volunteers, to assemble at Norfolk, 
Richmond, Alexandria, Fredericksburg-, Harper's Ferry, 
Grafton, Parkersburg-, Kanawha, and Moundsville. On 
May 4, General Lee ordered Colonel Georg-e A. Porterfield 
to Grafton to take charg-e of the troops in that quarter, 
those already in service and those who were expected to 
volunteer. Colonel Porterfield was ordered, by authority 
of the g-overnor of Virg-inia, to call out the volunteers in 
the counties of Wood, Wirt, Roane, Calhoun, Gilmer, 
Ritchie, Pleasants and Doddridg-e, to rendezvous at Park- 
ersburg-; and in the counties of Braxton, Lewis, Harrison, 
Monong-alia, Taylor, Barbour, Upshur, Tucker, Marion, 
Randolph and Preston, to rendezvous at Grafton. General 
Lee said he did not know how many men could be enlisted, 
but he supposed five reg-iments could be mustered into 
service in that part of the state. 

In these orders sent out, General Lee expressed a desire 
to be kept informed of the success attending- the call for 
volunteers. Replies soon began to arrive at Richmond, 
and they were uniformly discourag-ing- to General Lee and 
the officers of the Southern Confederacy. It was very soon 
apparent that the people of Yv^estern Virg-inia were not 
tumbling- over one another in their eag-erness to take up 
arms for the Southern Confederacy. Major Boykin wrote 
General Lee that the call for volunteers was not meeting- 
with success. To this letter General Lee replied on May 
11, and urg-ed Major Boykin to persevere, and call out the 
companies for such counties as were not so hostile to the 


south, and to concentrate tliem at Grafton. He stated 
that four hundred rifles had been forwarded from Staun- 
■ton to Beverly, in Randolph county, where Major Goff 
would receive and hold them until further orders. It ap- 
pears that Major Bo3^kin had requested that companies 
from other parts of the state be sent to Grafton to take 
the places of companies which had been counted upon to 
org-anize in the vicinity of Grafton, but which had failed to 
materialize. To this sug-gestion General Lee replied that 
he did not consider it advisable to do so; as the presence 
of outside companies at Grafton would tend to irritate the 
people, instead of conciliating them. 

On May 16 Colonel Porteriield had arrived at Grafton 
and had taken a hasty survey of the situation, and his con- 
clusion was that the cause of the Southern Confederacy in 
that vicinity vv'as not promising-. On that day he made a 
report to R. S. Garnett, at Richmond, adjutant g-eneral of 
the Virg-inia army, and stated that the rifles ordered to 
Beverly from Staunton had not arrived, nor had they been 
heard from. It appears from this report that no volun- 
teers had yet assembled at Grafton; but Colonel Porter- 
field said a company was org-anizing- at Pruntytown, in 
Taylor county; one at Weston, under Captain Bog-g-ess; one 
at Philippi, another at Clarksburg-, and still another at 
Fairmont. Only two of these companies had g-uns, 
flintlocks, and no ammunition. At that time all of these 
companies had been ordered to Grafton. Colonel Porter- 
field said, in a tone of discourag-ement, that these com- 
panies, almost destitute of g-uns and ammunition, were all 
he had to depend upon, and he considered the force very 
weak compared with the streng-th of those in that vicinity 
who were prepared to oppose him. He said he had found 
much diversity of opinion and "rebellion" among- the peo- 
ple, who did not believe that the state was strong- enoug-h 
to contend ag-ainst the g-eneral g-overnment. "I am, too, 
credibly informed," said he, "to entertain doubt that they 



have been and will be supplied with the means of resist- 
ance. * * * * Their efforts to intimidate have had their 
effect, both to .dishearten one party and to encourag"e the 
other. Many jjfood citizens have been dispirited, vv^hile 
traitors have seized the g"uns and ammunition of the state 
to be used agfainst its authority. The force in this section 
will need the best rifles. * * * * There will not be the 
same use for the bayonet in these hills as elsev/here, and 
the movements should be of lig-ht infantry and rifle, 
althoug-h the bayonet, of course, would be desirable." 

About this time, that is, near the middle of Mav, 1S61, 
General Lee ordered one thousand muskets sent to Beverly 
for the use of the volunteer companies org-anizing- to the . 
northward of that place. Colonel Heck was sent in charge 
of the g"uns, and General Lee instructed him to call out all 
the volunteers possible along- the route from Staunton to 
Beverly. If the authorities at Richmond had learned by 
the middle of May that Western Virginia was not to be 
depended upon for filling with volunteers the ranks of the 
southern armies, the truth was still more apparent six 
weeks later. By that time General Garnett had crossed 
the Alleghanies in person, and had broug-ht a larg-e force 
of confederate troops with him and was entrenched at 
Laurel Hill and Rich Mountain, near Beverly. It had been 
claimed that volunteers had not joined the confederate com- 
panies because they were afraid to do so in the face of the 
stronger union companies org-anizing ia the vicinity, but if 
a confederate army were in the country to overawe the ad- 
vocates of the union cause, then larg-e numbers of recruits 
would org-anize to help the south. Thus Garnett marched 
over the Alleghanies and called for volunteers. The result 
was deeply mortifying- to him as vvell as discouraging- to 
the authorities at Richmond. On June 25, 1861, he wrote 
to General Lee, dating his letter at Laurel Hill, between 
Beverly and Philippi. He complained that he could not 
find out what the movements of the union forces v/ere 


likely to be, and added that the union men in that vicinity 
were much more active, numerous and zealous than the 
secessionists. He said it was like carrying-'on a campaign 
in a foreig"n country, as the people were nearly all ag"ainst 
him, and never missed an opportunity to divulg-e his move- 
ments to McClellan, but would give him no information of 
what McClellan was doing-. "My hope," he wrote to Lee, 
"of increasing my force in this regnon has, so far, been 
sadly disappointed. Only eight men have, joined, 
and onh" fifteen at Colonel Heck's caiiip^-not enough to 
inake up my losses by discharges. The people are thor- 
oughly imbued with an ignorant and bigoted union senti- 

If more time was required to ascertain the sentiment in 
the Kanawha valley than had been necessary in the 
northern and eastern part of the state, it was nevertheless 
seen in due time that the Southern Confederacy's sup- 
porters in that quarter were in a hopeless minorit}'. 
General Henry A. Wise, ex-governor of Virginia, had 
been sent into the Kanawha valley earl}^ in 1861 to organize 
such forces as could be mustered for the southern a.vmj. 
He was one of the most fiery leaders in the Southern Con- 
federacy', and an able man, and of great influence.' He 
had, perhaps, done more than au}^ other man in Virginia to 
swing that state into the Southern Confederacy. He it 
was, when the ordinance of secession was in the balance 
in the Richmond convention, rose in the convention, drew 
a horsepistol from his bosom, placed it upon the desk be- 
fore him, and proceeded to make one of the most im- 
passioned speeches ever heard anywhere. The effect of 
his speech was tremendous, and Virginia wheeled into line 
with the other confederate states. General Wise hurried 
to the field, and was soon in the thick of the fight in the 
Kanawha vallev. He failed to organize an army there, and 
in his disappointment and anger he wrote to General Lee, 
August 1, 1861 saying: "The Kanawha valley is wholly 


disa.ffected and traitorous. It was g-one from Charleston 
to Point Pleasant before I got there. Boone and Cabell 
are nearly as bad, and the state of thing-s in Braxton, 
Nicholas and part of Greenbrier is awful. The militia are 
nothing- for warlike uses here. They are worthless who 
are true, and there is no telling who is true. You c?ainot 
persuade these people that Virginia can or will reconquer 
the northwest, and the_7 are submitting, subdued and 
debased." General Wise made an urgent request for 
more g'uns, ammunition and clothing-. 

It may be stated as a matter of history that one of the 
first companies to uphold the cause of the Southern Con- 
federacy in this state, was at Clarksburg, under the 
captaincy of Uriel M. Turner. It was organized in 
January, 1S61, and at the fight at Philippi contained one 
hundred men. This company killed the first union soldier 
in the state, at Fetterman, Taylor county, May 24, 1861. It 
was in the whole war; fougdit in more than thirty hard 
battles; and of the one hundred men who received their 
baptism of fire at Philippi in 1861, only six surrendered at 
Appomattox in 1855. The town of Clarksburg- contributed 
more toward the success of the south than any town in 
the whole country, in proportion to size. Not only did it 
furnish Stonev/all Jackson, but it gave the confederacy 
twenty-six other officers, of lovver rank. It may be said 
that Clarksburg w^as the war center of West Virginia. 
The strongest advocates of the union, and the most zealous 
adherents of the south came from that town and vicinity. 

AYhile the confederates were doing their utmost to 
organize and equip forces in Western Virginia, and were 
meeting discouragements and failure nearly everywhere; 
the people v,'ho upheld the union were also at work, and 
success was the rule and failure almost unknown. As 
soon as the fact was realized that Virg-inia had joined the 
Southern Confedei'acy; had seized upon the government 
arsenals and other propej-ty vv^ithin the state, and had 


commenced war upon the g-overnment, and was preparing- 
to continue the hostilities, the people of Western Virg-inia, 
who had long- suffered from the injustice and oppression 
of the eastern part of the state, began to prepare for war. 
The}^ did not long- halt between tw^o opinions, but at once 
espoused the cause of the United States. Companies were 
org-anized everywhere. The spirit with which the cause 
of the union was upheld was one of the most discouraging- 
features of the situation, as viewed by the confederates 
who were vainly trying- to raise troops in this part of the 
state. The people in the Kanawha valley who told Geaeral 
Wise that they did not believe Virg-inia could reconquer 
Western Virg-inia, had reasons for their conclusions. The 
people along the Ohio, the Kanawha, the Monong-ahela; in 
the interior, among- the mountains, were everywhere 
drilling- and arming-. Sometimes a company ^vas organiz- 
ing for the confederate service and one for the union 
service in the same vicinity at the same time. Occasionally 
there were collisions; usually not. This was particularly 
the case earlv in the war. At Clarksburg- in Ma}^, 1861, a 
company had drilled and armed for the confederate 
service, and was about to take the field. A union company 
was also org-anizing- and drilling- there, and the}" occupied 
the court house nig-ht about with the confederates. 
Finally, however, as the war g-rew more furious in the 
east, the two Clarksburg- companies could not occupy the 
same town without collision. The union company was the 
strong-er, and compelled the confederates to surrender 
their arms. But on the next day the arms were restored 
to them on condition that they would leave the town at once. 
They did so, and marched to Grafton. This is the com- 
pany above spoken of which surrendered the six men at 

There was some delay and disappointment in securing- 
arms for the union troops as they were organized in West 
Virginia. Early in the war, while there was yet hope en- 


tertained by some that the trouble could be adjusted with- 
out much fig-hting-, there was hesitation on the part of the 
g-overnment about sending- g-uns into Virg-Inia to arm one 
class of the people. Consequently, some of the first arms 
received in Western Virg-inia did not come directly from 
the g-overnment arsenals, but were sent from Massachu- 
setts. As early as May 7, 1851, a shipment of two thous- 
and stands of arms was made from the Watervleit arsenal, 
New York, to the northern panhandle of West Virg-inia, 
above Wheeling-. These g-uns armed some of the first 
soldiers from West Virg-inia that took the field. An effort 
had been made to obtain arms from Pittsburg-, but it 
was unsuccessful. Campbell Tarr, of Brooke county, and 
others, went to Washington as a committee, and it was 
throug-h their efforts that the g-uns were obtained. The 
g-overnment officials were very cautious at that time lest 
they should do something- without express v/arranty in law. 
But Edwin M. Stanton advised that the g-uns be sent, 
promising- that he would find the law for it afterwards. 
Governor Pierpont had written to President Lincoln for 
help, and the reply had been that all help that could be 
g-iven under the constitut'.on would be furnished. 




It has been seen vvhat success attended the efforts of the 
Southern Confederacy to beat up recruits in West Vir- 
g-inia. It has also been pointed out what other purpose 
prompted the early occupation of this state by the 
southern forces. It now remains to relate the first clash 
of arms west of the Alleg^hanies. Colonel Porterfield at 
Grafton was doing- all in his power to collect a rebel army 
at that point, and was sending- urgent appeals to Richmond 
for arms and ammunition, when the government of the 
United States set in motion its army recently organized in 
Ohio and Indiana. Up to this time, May, 1851, no heavy 
lighting had been done, and the war had onlj^ commenced. 
A synopsis of the chief events up to that time will show 
that the occupation of West Virg-inia by McCiellan's army 
was the principal movement made b}^ the g-overnment up 
to that time. 

April 17, 1861, ordinance of secession adopted by the 
Richmond convention. 

April 18, United States armory at Harper's Ferry seized 
by the confederates, after having- been set on lire and aban- 
doned by the union troops. 

April, 19, A. mob in Baltimore attacked union troops on 
their v\"ay to the defense of Washington. 

April 20, General Butler's command arrived at Annap- 
olis, ready to march upon Baltimore. 

April 23, General Robert E. Lee was appointed to the 
command of the land and naval forces of Virginia. 

April 27, Stonewall Jackson, of Clarksburg, was sent to 


Harp3r's Ferry to command the Virg-inia troops in that 

May 1, The g-overnor of Virg-inia called for volunteers to 
make war upon the United States. 

May 3, An additional call for volunteers was made by 
the g-overnor of Virg-inia, and sent to all the commanding- 
officers in Western Virg-inia. 

May 4, Colonel G. A. Porterfield was assig-ned to the 
command of the state forces in northwestern Virg-inia, by 
the g-overnment at Richmond. 

May 5, The Virg-inia troops abandoned Alexandria. 

May 9. Fight between the confederate batteries of 
Glouster point, Virg-inia, and the United States steamer 

May 13, General Butler and United States troops occu- 
pied Baltimore. 

Ma}^ 13, General McClellan was appointed to the com- 
mand of the Ohio, including West Virginia. 

May 14, Seizui'e of a train of cars at Harper's Ferry by 
the Virginia troops. 

May 15. General Joseph E. Johnston, of the confederate 
army, appointed to the command of the troops near Har- 
per's Ferry. 

May 18, Fight at Sewell's Point. 

May 24, United States troops crossed the Potomac near 
Washington and took possession of Alexandria and Ai'ling-- 
ton Heights. 

May 26 to 30, Colonel Kelley with troops from Wheeling, 
and McClellan's army from Ohio and Indiana moved upon 

The first order .from McClellan to Kelley was, that he 
should fortify the hills about Wheeling. This was on May 
26, 1861. This appears to have been tliought necessary 
as a precaution against an advance on the part of the con- 
federates; but McClellan did not knov/ how weak they 
were in West Virginia at that time. Colonel Porterfield 


could not get tog-ether men and ammunition enougfh to en- 
couraofe him to hold Grafton, much less to advance to the 
Ohio river. It is true that on the day that Virg-inia passed 
the ordinance of secession, Governor Letcher made an 
effort to hold Wheeling, but it sig^nally failed. He wrote 
to Mayor Sweeney of that city to seiz2 the post office, the 
custom house, and all g-overnment property in that city, 
hold them in the name of the state of Virg"inia. Mayor 
Sweeney replied: "I have seized upon the custom house, 
the post ofhce and all public building^s and documents, in 
the name of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United 
States, whose property they are." 

Colonel Kelle}'', when he received the order to fortify the 
hills about Wheeling-, replied that he did not believe such 
a step was necessary, but that the proper thing- to do was 
to advance to Grafton and drive the rebels out of the coun- 
try. McClellan accepted the sug-g-estion, and ordered 
Kelley to move to Grafton with the force under his orders. 
These troops had enlisted at Wheeling- and had been 
drilled for service. Thc}^ were armed with g-uns sent from 
Massachusetts. The}' carried their ammunition in tlicir 
pockets, as they had not 3'et been fully equipped with the 
accoutrements of war. They were full of enthusiasm, and 
were much g-ratified when the orders came for an advance. 
While Kelley 's troops were setting- out from Wheeling- an 
independent movement was in prog-ress at Morg-antown to 
drive the confederates out of Grafton. A number of com- 
panies had been organized on the Monongahela, and they 
assembled at Morg-antown, where they were joined by 
three companies from Pennsylvania, and were aT^out to set 
out for Grafton on their own responsibility, to drive Colonel 
Porte rfield out, when they learned that Colonel Kelley had 
already advanced from Wheeling-, and that the confeder- 
ates had retreated. Colonel Porterlield learned of the ad- 
vance from Wheeling- and saw that be would be attacked 
before his looked-for reinforcements and arms could arrive. 


The poorly-equipped force under his command would be 
unable to successfully resist an attack, and he prepared to 
retreat southward. He ordered two railroad bridg-es 
burned, between Fairmont and Manning-ton, hoping- there- 
by to delay the arrival of the Wheeling- troops. 

At daybreak on May 27 Colonel Kellev's troops left 
Wheeling on board the cars tor Grafton. When they 
reached Manning-ton they stopped long- enoug-h to rebuild 
the burnt bridg-es, which delayed them only a short time. 
While there Kelley received a teleg-rara from McClellan in- 
forming- him that troops from Ohio and Indiana were on 
their way to his assistance. When the Wheeling- troops 
reached Grafton the town had been deserted b}^ the con- 
federates, v/ho had retreated to Philippi, about twenty-live 
miles south of Grafton, Colonel Kelley at once planned 
pursuit. On June 1 a considerable number of soldiers- 
from Ohio and Indiana had arrived. Colonel R. H. Milroy,. 
Colonel Irvine and General Thomas A. Morris were in 
command of the troops from beyond the Ohio. They were 
the van of General McClellan's advance into West Vir- 
g-inia. When General Morris arrived at Grafton he as- 
sumed command of all the forces in that vicinity. Colonel 
Kelley 's plan of pursuit of Colonel Porterfield was laid be- 
fore General Morris and was approved by him, and prepa- 
rations were immediately commenced for carrying- it into 
execution. It appears that Colonel Porterfield did not ex- 
pect pursuit. He had established his camp at Philippi 
and was waiting for reinforcements and supplies which 
failed to arrive. Since assuming- command of the confed- 
erate forces in West Virg-inia he had met one disappoint- 
ment after another. He had come to fill a want not exten- 
sively felt b}^ the people of that part of the state. His force 
at Phdippiwas stated at the time to number two thousand, 
but it is not believed to have been so larg-e. General Mor- 
ris and Colonel Kelley prepared to attack him with three 


thousand men, advancing- at night by two routes to fall 
upon him by surprise. 

Colonel Kelley was to march about six miles east from 
.Grafton on the morning- of June 2, and from that point 
march across the mountains during- the afternoon and 
nig-ht, and so reg^ulate his movements as to reach Philippi 
at four o'clock the next morning-. Colonel Dumont, who 
had charg-e of the other column, was ordered to repair to 
Webster, a small town on the Parkersburg- branch of the 
Baltimore and Ohio railroad, four miles west from Grafton, 
and to march from that point toward Philippi so that he 
would appear before the town exactly at four o'clock on 
the morning of June 3. Colonel Kelley's task was the more 
difficult, for he followed roads that were very poor. Gen- 
eral Morris suspected that spies in ,and about Grafton 
would discover the movement and would carry the news 
to Colonel Porterlield at Philippi, and that he would hur- 
riedly retreat, either toward Beverly or eastward to St. 
Georg-e, on Cheat river. Colonel Kelley was therefore 
ordered, in case he received positive intelligence that the 
rebels had retreated eastward, to follow as fast as possible 
and endeavor to intercept them: at the same time, he was 
to notify Colonel Dumont of the retreat of the enemy and 
of the movement to intercept them. 

Colonel Kelley left Grafton in the morning. It was g-en- 
erally supposed he was on his way to Harper's Ferry. 
Colonel Dumont's column left Grafton after dark on the 
evening- of June 2. The march that night was throug-h 
rain and in pitch darkness. This delayed Dumont's divi- 
sion, and it seemed that it would not be able to reach 
Philippi by the appointed time; but the men marched the 
last live miles in an hour and a quarter, and so well was 
everything managed that Kelley's and Dumont's forces 
arrived before Philippi within fifteen minutes of each 
other. The confederates had not learned of the ad- 
vance and were off their g-uard. The pickets fired a few 


shots and fled. The union artillery opened on the camp 
and the utmost confusion prevailed. Colonel Porterfield 
ordered a retreat, and succeeded in savings the most of his 
men, but lost a considerable portion of the small supply of 
arms he had. He abandoned his camp and stDres. This 
action was called the "Philippi Races," because of the 
haste with which the confederates fled and the union forces 
pursued. Colonel Kelle}^ while leading- the pursuit was 
shot throug-h the breast and was supposed to be mortally 
wounded, but he subsequently recovered and took an ac- 
tive part in the war until near its close, when he and Gen- 
eral Crook v/ere surprised and taken prisoner at Cumber- 
land, Maryland. General McClellan, who had not yet 
crossed the Ohio, was much encourag"ed by this victory, 
small as it appears in comparison with the momentous 
events later in the v/ar. The loyal people of West Virg-inia 
were also much encourag^ed, and the southern sympath- 
izers were corresponding-ly depressed. 

Colonel Porterfield's cup of disappointment was full 
when, five days after his retreat from Philippi, he learned 
that he had been superseded by General Robert S. Gar- 
nett, who was on his way from Richmond to assume com- 
mand of the confederate forces in West Virg-inia. Colonel 
Porterfield had retreated to Pluttonville, in Randolph 
count}^, above Beverly, and there turned his command over 
to his successor. A court of inquiry vv^as held to examine 
Colonel Porterfield's conduct. He v/as censured by the 
Richmond people who had sent him into West Virg-inia, 
had neg-lected him, had failed to supply him with arras or 
the adequate means of defense, and when he suifered de- 
feat, they threw the blame on him Vv^hen the most of it be- 
long-ed to themselves. Little more than one month elapsed 
from that time before the confederate avithorities had oc- 
casion to understand more fully the situation beyond the 
Alleghanies; and the g-eneral who took Colonel Porterfield's 
place, with seven or eig-ht times his-force of men and arms, 


conducted a far more disastrous retreat, and was killed 
while bring-ing- off his broken troops from a lost battle. 

Previous to General McClellan's coming- into West Vir- 
g-inia, he issued a proclamation to the people, in which he 
stated the purpose of his coming-, and why troops were 
about to be sent across the Ohio river. This proclamation 
was written in Cincinnati, May 26, 18&1, and sent by tele- 
g-raph to Wheeling- and Parkersburg-, there to be printed 
and circulated. The people were told that the army was 
about to cross the Ohio as friends to all who were loyal to 
the g-overnment of the United States; to prevent the de- 
struction of properl}^ by the rebels; to preserve order; to 
cooperate wath loyal Virginians in their efforts to free the 
state from the confederates; and to punish all attempts at 
insurrection among- slaves, should they rise ag^ainst their 
masters. This last statement was no doubt meant to allay 
the fears of many tliat as soon as a union army was upon 
the soil, there would be a slave insurrection, which, of all 
thing-s, was most dreaded by those who lived among- slaves. 
On the same day General McClellan issued an address to 
his soldiers, informing- them that they were about to cross 
the Ohio, and acquainting them with the duties to be per- 
formed. He told them they w^ere to act in concert with 
the loyal Virginians in putting down the rebellion. He 
enjoined the strictest discipline and warned them against 
interfering with the rights or property of the loyal Vir- 
ginians. He called on them to show mercy to those .cap- 
tured in arms, for many of them were misguided. He 
stated that, when the confederates had been driven from 
northwestern Virginia, the loyal people of that part of the 
state would be able to org-anize and arm, and would be com- 
petent to take care of themselves; and then the services of 
the troops from Ohio and Indiana would be no longer 
needed, and they could return to their homes. He little 
txnderstood Avhat the next four years would bring forth. 

Three weeks had not elapse:! after Colonel Porterficld 


retreated from Philippi before General McClellan saw that 
something- more was necessary before Western Virginia 
would be pacified. The confederates had been larg-elv 
reinforced at Huttonville, and had advanced northward 
within twelve miles of Philippi and had fortified their 
camp. Philippi was at that time occupied by General 
Morris, and a collision between his forces and those of the 
confederates was likely to occur at any time. General Mc- 
Clellan thouofht it advisable to be nearer the scene of 
•operations, and on June 22, 1861, he crossed the Ohio with 
his staff and proceeded to Grafton where he established 
his headquarters. He had at this time about twenty 
thousand soldiers in West Virg-inia, stationed from Wheel- 
ing to Grafton, from Parkersburg to the same place, and 
in the country round about. 



Colonel Porterfield was relieved of his command by 
General Garnett, June 14, 1861, and the military affairs of 
northwestern Virg-inia were looked after by Garnett in 
person. The Richmond g-overnment and the Southern 
Confederacy had no intention of abandoning- the country 
beyond the Alleg-hanies. On the contrary, it was resolved 
to hold it at all hazzards; but subsequent events showed 
that the confederates either g-reatly underestimated the 
strengfth of McClellan's army, or greatly overestimated 
the strength of their own forces sentaga,inst him. Other- 
wise, Garnett, with a force of onl}'- eight thousand, would 
not have been pushed forward against the lines of an 
army of twenty thousand; and that, too, in a position so 
remote that Garnett was practicall}^ isolated from all as- 
sistance from the south and east. Reinforcements 
numbering about two thousand men were on the way from 
Staunton to Beverly, at the time of Garnett's defeat; but 
had these troops reached him in time to be of service, he 
would still have had only half as large a force as that of 
McCiellan opposed to him. Military men have severely 
criticised General Lee for what they regard as a blunder in 
thus sending- an army to almost certain destruction, with 
little hope of performing any service to the confederacy. 

Had the confederates been able to hold the Baltimore 
and Ohio railroad, the disaster attending General Garnett's 
campaign would probably not have occurred. With that 
road in their hands, they could have thrown soldiers and 
supplies into Grafton and Clarksburg- within ten ht>urs 


from Harper's Ferry. The}^ would thus have had quick 
communication with their base of supplies, and an open 
way to fall back when compelled to do so. But they did 
not hold the Baltimore and Ohio road, and their only prac- 
ticable route into western Virginia, north of the Kanawha 
was by wagon roads across the AUeghanies, by way of the 
Valley of Virginia. This was a long- and dif&cult route by 
which to transport supplies for an army; and in case that 
army was compelled to retreat, the lirie of retreat was 
liable to be cut by the enemy, as it actually was in the case 
of Garnett. 

On July 1, 1861. General Garnett had about four thousand 
five hundred men. The most of them were from eastern 
Virginia and the states further south. A considerable 
part of them were Georgians who had recent!}' been sta- 
tioned at Pensacola, Florida. Reinforcements were con- 
stantly arriving- over the Alleg-hanies, and by July 10, he 
had eight thousand men. He moved northward and west- 
ward from Beverly and fortified two points on Laurel hill, 
one named Camp Rich Mountain, five miles west of Beverly, 
the other fifteen miles north by west, near Belington, in 
Barbour county. These positions Vv^ere nat-arally strong, 
and their strength Vv'as increased by fortifications of logs 
and stones. Thev were only a few miles from the out- 
posts of McClellan's army. Had the confederate positions 
been attacked from the front, it is probable that they could 
have held out a considerable time. But, there was little in 
the way of flank movements, and when McClellan madehis 
attack, it was by flanking. General Garnett was not a 
novice in the field. He had seen service in the Mexican 
war; had taken part in many of the hardest battles; had 
fought Indians three years on the Pacific coast, and at the 
outbreak of the civil war he was traveling in Europe. He 
hastened home; resigned his position in the United States 
army, and joined the confederate arm}^, and was almost 
immediately sent into West Virginia to be sacrificed. 


While the confederates were fortifying- their positions in 
Randolph and Barbour counties, the union forces were not 
, idle. On June 22 General McClellan crossed the Ohio 
river at Parkersburg". The next day at Grafton he issued 
two proclamations, one to the citizens of West Virg-inia, 
the other to his soldiers. To the citizens he g^ave assur- 
ance again that he came as a friend, to uphold the laws, to 
protect the lawabiding, and to punish those in rebellion 
ag-ainst the g-overnment. In the proclamation to his sol- 
diers he told them that he had entered West Virginia to 
bring- peace to the peaceable and the sword to the rebel- 
lious who were in arms; but mercy to disarmed rebels. 
He soon beg-an to concentrate his forces for an attack on 
Garnett. He moved his headquarters to Buckhannon on 
July 2, to be near the center of operations. Clarksburg 
was his base of supplies, and he constructed a teleg-raph 
line as he advanced, one of the lirst, if not the very first 
militarj?- teleg-raph line in America. From Buckhannon he 
could move in any desired direction by g"Ood roads. He 
had fortified posts at Webster, Clarksburg-, Parkersburg- 
and Grafton. Eig-ht days later he had moved his head- 
quarters to Middle Fork, between Buckhannon and Bev- 
erly, and in the meantime his forces had made a g-eneral 
advance. He was now within sight of the confederate 
fortifications on Rich mountain. General Morris, who was 
leading- the advance ag-ainst Laurel Hill, was also within 
sig-ht of the confederates. There had already been some 
skirmishing-, and all believed that the time was near when 
a battle v/ould be foug-ht. Lieutenant John Peg-ram, with 
thirteen hundred confederates, was in command at Rich 
Mountain; and at Laurel Hill General Garnett, with be- 
tween four thousand and five thousand men, was in com- 
mand. There were about two thousand more confederates 
at various points within a few miles. 

After examining- the ground McClellan decided to make 
the first attack on the Rich Mountain works, but in order 



to divert attention from his real purpose, he ordered Gen- 
eral Morris, who was in front of General Garnett's posi- 
tion, to bombard the confederates at Laurel Hill. Accord- 
ing-ly shells were thrown in the direction of the confeder- 
ate works, some of which exploded within the lines, but 
doing- little damag-e. On the afternoon of July 10 General 
McClellan prepared to attack Peg^ram at Rich Mountain, 
but upon examination of the approaches he saw that an at- 
tack in front would probably be unsuccessful. General 
Rosecrans, who was in charg-e of one wing- of the forces in 
front of the confederate position, met a young" man named 
Hart, whose father lived two miles in the rear of the rebel 
fortifications, and he said he could pilot a force, by an ob- 
scure road, round the southern end of the confederate 
lines and reach his father's farm, from which an attack on 
Peg-ram in the rear could be made. The young- man was 
taken to General McClellan and consented to act asag-uide. 
Thereupon General McClellan chang-ed his plan from at- 
tacking- in front to an attack in the rear. He moved a por- 
tion of his forces to the western face of Rich Mountain, 
ready to support the attack when made, and he then dis- 
patched General Rosecrans, under the g-uidance of young- 
Hart, by the circuitous route, to the rear of the confeder- 
ates. General Rosecrans reached his destination and sent 
a messeng-er to inform General McClellan of the fact, and 
that all v/as in readiness for the attack. This messenger 
was captured by the confederates^ and Peg"ram learned of 
the new dang-er which threatened him, w^hile McClellan 
was left in doubt wdiether his troops had been able to reach 
the point for which they had started. Had it not been for 
this perhaps the fig-hting- the next day would have resulted 
in the capture of the confederates. 

Colonel Peg-ram, finding- that he was to be attacked from 
the rear, sent three hundred and fifty men to the point of 
dang-er, and built the best breastworks possible in the 
short time at his disposal. When Rosecrans advanced to 


the attack be was stubbornly resisted, and the fig-ht con- 
tinued two or three hours, and neither side could g^ain any 
advantag-e. Peg^ram was sending- down reinforcements 
from the mountain when the union forces made a charg-e, 
and swept the confederates from the field. Colonel Peg-- 
ram went up the mountain and collected several compa- 
nies and prepared to renew the attack. It was now late in 
the afternoon of July 11. The men were panic stricken, 
but they moved forward, and were led around the moun- 
tain within musket rang^e of the union forces that had re- 
mained on the battle g-round. But the confederates be- 
came alarmed and fled without making- an attack. Their 
forces were scattered all over the m.ountain, and nig-ht was 
coming on. Colonel Pegram saw that all was lost, and de- 
termined to make his wa}^ to Garnett's army, if possible, 
about fifteen miles distant, through the woods. He com- 
menced collecting- his men and sending them forward. It 
was after midnight when he left the camp on the summit 
of Rich mountain, and set forward with the last remnants 
of his men in an effort to reach the confederate forces on 
Laurel Hill. The loss of the confederates in the battle 
had been about forty-five killed and about twenty wounded. 
All their bag-gage and artillery fell into the hands of the 
union army. Sixty-three confederates were captured. 
Rosecrans lost twelve killed and forty-nine wounded. 

The retreat from Rich mountarn was disastrous. The 

• ... 

confederates were eighteen hours m g-ropmg- their way 

twelve miles throug-h the woods in the direction of Gar- 
nett's camp. Near sunset on July 12, they reached the 
Tygart river, three miles from the Laurel Hill camp, and 
there learned from the citizens that Garuett had already 
retreated and that the union forces were in hot pursuit. 
There seemed only one possible avenue of escape open for 
Pegram's force. Thatwas a miserable road leading- across 
the mountains into Pendleton county. Few persons lived 
near the road, and the outlook was that the men would 


starve to death if they attempted to make their way 
throug-h. They were already starving-. Accordiiig-ly, 
Colonel Peg-ram that nig-ht sent a flag- of truce to Beverly, 
offering- to surrender, and at the same time stating- that 
his men were starving-. Early the next morning- General 
McClellan sent several wag-on loads of bread to them, and 
met them on their way to Beverly. The number of pris- 
oners surrendered was thirty officers and live hundred 
and twenty-five men. The remainder of the force at Rich 
Mountain had been killed, wounded, captured and scat- 

It now remains to be told how General Garnett fared. 
The fact that he had posted the g-reater part of his army 
on Laurel Hill is proof that he expected the- principal at- 
tack to be made on that place. He was for a time deceived 
by the bombardment directed ag-ainst him, but he was un- 
deceived by the sound of cannon at Rich Mountain, and 
later he learned that Colonel Peg-ram had been defeated, 
and that General McClellan had thrown troops across Rich 
Mountain and had successfully turned the flank of the con- 
federate position. All that was left for Garnett was to 
withdraw his army while there was yet time. His line of 
retreat was the pike from Beverly to Staunton, and the 
union forces were pushing- forward to occupy that and to 
cut him off in that direction. On the afternoon of July 12, 
1861, Garnett retreated, hastening- to reach Beverly in ad- 
vance of the union forces. On the way he met fug-itives 
from Peg-ram's army and was told by them that McClellan 
had already reached Beverly, and that the road in that 
direction was closed. Thereupon Garnett turned eastward 
into Tucker county, over a very roug-h road. It is now be- 
lieved that the union forces had not reached Beverly at that 
time, and that Colonel Peg-ram's fug-itives had mistaken 
retreating- confederate cavalry for union troops. In Cap- 
tain A.J. Smith's history of the 31st Virg-ii;ia (confeder- 
ate) reg-iment, it is stated that the reason v/hy Garnett 


turned eastwai'd was because confederate cavalry had 
blockaded the Beverly pike. Whether this was the case 
or whether McClellan had reached Beverly, retreat in that 
direction had been cut off. General Morris pursued the 
retreating- confederates over the mountain to Cheat river, 
skirmishing- on the way. General Garnett remained in the 
rear directing his skirmishers; and on July 14, at Corrick's 
Ford, where Parsons, the county seat of Tucker county, 
has since been located, he found that he could no longer 
avoid giving battle. With a few hundred men he opened 
fire on the advance of the pursuing army and checked the 
pursuit. But in bringing* off his skirmishers from behind 
a pile of driftwood, Garnett was killed and his men were 
seized with panic and fled, leaving his body on the field, 
with a score or more of dead. 

Up to this point the retreat had been orderly, but it soon 
became a rout. The roads were narrow and rou^rh, and 
the excessive rains had rendered them almost impassible. 
Wagons and stores were abandoned, and when Horse Shoe 
run, a long and narrow defile leading to the Red House, in 
Maryland, was reached information was received that 
union troops from Rowlesburg* and Oakland were at the 
Red House, cutting off retreat in that direction. The artil- 
lery was sent to the front. A portion of the cavalry was 
piloted by a mountaineer along a narrow path across the 
Backbone and Alleg'hany mountains. The main body con- 
tinued its retreat to the Red House. A union force had 
reached that point, but retreated as the confederate front 
came within hearing about two o'clock on the morning of 
July 15. The army pursued its way unmolested across 
the Alleghanies and proceeded to Monterey. Two regi- 
ments marching in haste to reinforce Garnett at Laurel 
Hill, had reached Monterey when news of Garnett's retreat 
was received. The regiments halted there, and as Gar- 
nett's stragglers came in thej'were reorganized. 

The union arm}- made no pursuit beyond Corrick's Ford, 


except that detachments followed to the Red House to pick 
up the stores abandoned by the confederates. Garnett's 
body fell into the hands of the union forces and was pre- 
pared for burial and sent to Richmond. It was carried in 
a canoe to Rowlesburg-, on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad 
thirty miles below, on Cheat river, in charg-e of Whitelaw 
Reid, who had taken part in the battle at Corrick's Ford. 
Reid was acting- in the double capacity of correspondent 
for the Cincinnati Gazette and an aid on the staff of Gen- 
eral Morris. When Rowlesburg- was reached Garnett's 
body was sent by express to Governor Letcher, at Rich- 

This closed the campaig-n in that part of West Virg-inia 
for 1861. The confederates had failed to hold the country. 
On July 22 General McClellan was transferred to Wash- 
ing-ton to take charg-e of military operations there. In com- 
parison with the g-reater battles and more extensive cam- 
paig-n later in the war, the affairs in West Virg-inia were 
small. But they were of g-reat importance at the time. 
Had the result been different, had the rebels held their 
g-round at Grafton, Philippi, Rich Mountain and Laurel 
Hill, and had the union forces been driven out of the state, 
across the Ohio, the outcome would have changed the his- 
tory of the war, but probably not the result. 




' After Garnett's retreat in July, 1861, there were few 
confederates in West Virg-inia, west of the Alleg-hanies, 
except in the Kanawha valley. But the g-overnment at 
Richmond, and the confederate gfovernment, were not in- 
clined to give up so easily the part of Virg-inia west of the 
mountains; and, in a short time, preparations were made 
to send an army from the east to reconquer the territory 
beyond the Alleg"hanies. A larg-e part of the army with 
which McClellan had defeated Garnett had been sent to 
other fields; the terms of enlistment of many of the soldiers 
had expired. When the confederates crossed the moun- 
tains late in the summer of 1861 they were opposed by less 
than ten thousand federals stationed in that mountainous 
part of West Virg-inia about the sources of the Greenbrier, 
the Tyg-art Valley river, Cheat, and near the source of the 
Potomac. In that elevated and rugged reg-ion a remarka- 
ble campaig-n was made. It was not remarkable because of 
hard fig-hting-, for there was no pitched battle; but because 
in this campaign the confederates were checked in their 
purpose of reconquering- the g-round lost by Garnett and 
of extending their conquest at least as far north and west 
as Clarksburg- and Grafton. This campaign has also an 
historical interest because it was General Lee's first work 
in the field after he had been assig-ned the command of 
Virg-inia's land and sea forces. The outcome of the cam- 
paign was not what might be expected of ag^reatand calcu- 
lating- g-eneral as Lee undoubtedly was. Althoug-h he had 
a larg-er army than his opponents in the field, and had at 


least as g-ood ground, and althoug-h he was able to hold his 
own at every skirmish, yet, as the campaig-n progressed he 
constantly fell back. In September he foug-ht at Elk- 
water and Cheat Mountain, in Randolph county; in October 
he foug-ht at Greenbrier river, having- fallen back from his 
first position. In December he had fallen back to the 
summit of the AUeg-hanies, and foug-ht a battle there. It 
may be stated, however, that General Lee, althoug-h in 
command of the army, took part in person only in the 
skirmishing- in Randolph county. The importance of this 
campaign entitles it to mention somewhat more in detail. 

General Reynolds succeeded General McClellan in com- 
mand of this part of West Virg-inia. He advanced from 
Beverly to Huttonsville, a few miles above, and remained 
in peaceful possession of the country two months after 
Garnett's retreat, except that his scouting- parties were 
constantly annoyed by confederate irreg-ulars, or gruer- 
rillas, usually called bushwhackers. Their mode of 
attack was, to lie concealed on the summits of cliffs, over- 
hang-ing- the roads, or in thickets on the hillsides, and fire 
upon the union soldiers passing- below. They were justly 
dreaded by the union troops. These bushwhackers were 
usually citizens of that district who had taken to the woods 
after their well-known southern sympathies had rendered 
it unsafe or unpleasant to remain at home while the 
country was occupied by the union armies. They were 
excellent worksmen, minutely acquainted with all the ins 
and outs of the mountains and woods; and, from their 
manner of attack and flight, it was seldom that they were 
captured or killed. They hid about the outposts of the 
union armies; picked off sentinels; waylaid scouts; am- 
bushed small detachments, and fled to their mountain 
fastnesses where pursuit was out of the question. A war 
is considered severe in loss of life in which each soldier, 
taken as an averag-e, kills one soldier on the other side, 
even thoug-h the war is prolong-ed for years. Yet, these 


biishwliackers often killed a dozen or more each, before 
being- killed; and, a case is recorded, in Pendle- 
ton county, in which a bushwhacker, named William Har- 
per, was captured and shot after he had killed thirty-five 
union soldiers. It can be readily understood why small 
detachments dreaded bushwhackers more than confeder- 
ate troops in pitched battle. Nor, did the bushwhackers 
confine their attacks to small parties. They often fired 
into the ranks of armies on the march with deadly eiiect. 
Vv^hile in the mountains of West Virginia General Averell's 
cavalry often suffered severely from these hidden 
guerrillas who fired and vanished. 

General Reynolds, with headquarters at Beverly, spent 
the summer of 1861 in strengthening his position, and in 
attempting to clear the country of guerrillas. Early in 
September he received information that large numbers of 
confederates were crossing the AUeghanies. General 
Loring established himself at Huntersville, in Pocahontas 
county, with eight thousand five hundred men. He it was 
who had tried in vain to raise recruits in West Virginia 
for the confederacy, even "attempting to gain a foothold in 
Wheeling before McClellan's arm 5^ crossed the Ohio river. 
He had gone to Richmond, and early in September had re- 
turned with an army. General H. R. Jackson was in com- 
mand of another confederate force, six thousand strong, at 
Greenbrier river where the pike from Beverly to Staunton 
crosses that stream, in Pocahontas county. General Rob- 
ert E. Lee was sent by the g-overnment at Richmond to 
take command of both these armies, and he lost no time in 
doing so. He concentrated his force at Big Spring, on 
Valley mountain, and prepared to march north to the Bal- 
timore and Ohio road at Grafton. His design was nothing 
less than to drive the union army out of northwestern Vir- 
ginia. When the matter is viewed in the light of subse- 
quent history, it is to be wondered at that General Lee 
did not succeed in his purpose. He had nearly fifteen 


thousand men, and only nine thousand were opposed to 
him. Had he defeated General Reynolds; driven his army 
back; occupied Grafton, Clarksburg- and other towns, it 
can be readily seen that the seat of war mig-ht have been 
changed to "West Virginia. The United States govern- 
ment would have sent an army to oppose Lee; and the Con- 
federate g-overnment would have pushed strong- reinforce- 
ments across the mountains; and some of the great battles 
of the war rhight have been foug-ht on the Monongahela 
river. The campaign in the fall of 1861, about the head- 
waters of the principal rivers of West Virg-inia, therefore, 
derives its chief interest, not from battles, but from the 
accomplishment of a g-reat purpose — the driving back of 
the confederates — without a pitched battle. Virginia, as 
a state, made no determined effort after that to hold West- 
ern Virginia. By that time the campaigm in the Kanawha 
valley was drawing to a close and the rebels were retir- 
ing-. Consequently, Virginia's, and the Southern Confed- 
eracy's efforts west of the Alleghanies in this state were 
defeated in the fall of 1861. 

On September 13, General Reynolds sent a regiment to 
Elkwater, and soon afterwards occupied Cheat Mountain. 
This point was the highest camp occupied by soldiers 
during the war. The celebrated "battle above the clouds," 
on Lookout Mountain, was not one-half so high. The 
whole region, including parts of Pocahontas, Pendleton 
and Randolph counties, has an elevation above three thous- 
and feet, while the summits of the knobs and ridges rise 
to heights of more than four thousand, and some nearly 
five thousand feet. General Reynolds fortified his two ad- 
vanced positions, Elkwater and Cheat Mountain. They 
were seven miles apart, connected by only a bridle path^ 
but a circuitous wagon road, eig-hteen miles long, led from 
one to the other, passing- around in the direction of Hut- 
tons\ ilic. iSo sooner liad the United States troops estab- 
lished themselves at Elkwater and Caeat Mountain than. 


General Lee advanced, and skirmishing- begfan. The con- 
federates threw a force between Elkwater and Cheat 
Mountain, and posted another force on the road in the di- 
rection of Huttonsville. They were attacked, and for 
three days there was skirmishing-, but no g-eneral eng^age- 
ment. On September 13, Colonel John A. Washing-ton, in 
the confederate service, was killed near Elkwater. He 
was a relative of President Washington, and also a relative 
of General R. E. Lee, whose family and the Washingtons 
were closely connected. General Lee sent a flag of truce 
and asked for the body. It was sent to the confederate 
lines on September 14. That day the confederates con- 
centrated ten miles from Elkwater, and the next day again 
advanced, this time threatening Cheat Mountain; but their 
attack was unsuccessful. In this series of skirmishes the 
union forces had lost nine killed, fifteen wounded and 
about sixty prisoners. The result was a defeat for the 
confederates, who were thwarted in their design of pene- 
trating northward and westward. 

The confederates were not yet willing to give up West 
Virginia. They fell back to the Greenbrier river, thirteen 
miles from the union position on Cheat Mountain, and for- 
tified their position. They were commanded by General 
H. A. Jackson, and their number was believed to be about 
nine thousand. On October 3, 1861, General Reynolds ad- 
vanced at the head of live thousand troops. During the 
first part of the engagement the union forces were success- 
ful, driving the confederates nearly a mile; but here sev- 
eral batteries of artillery were encountered, and reinforce- 
ments arriving to the support of the confederates, the bat- 
tle was renewed, and General Reynolds was forced to fall 
back, with a loss of nine killed and thirty-five wounded. 
On December 10, General Reynolds was transferred to 
other fields, and the command of the union forces in the 
Cheat Mountain district was given to General R. H. Mil- 
roy. Within three days after he assumed command he 


moved forward to attack the confederate camp on the sum- 
mit of the Alleg-hanies. The confederates had g-one into 
winter quarters there; and, as the weather was severe, 
and as the union forces appeared satisfied to hold what 
they had without attempting- any additional conquests 
in midwinter, the rebels were not expecting- an attack. 
However, on December 13, 1861, General Milroy moved 
forward and assaulted the confederates' position. The 
iig-hting- was severe for sevei-al hours, and finally resulted 
in the retreat of the union forces. The confederates made 
no attempt to follow. General Milroy marched to Hunt- 
ersville, in Pocahontas county, and went into Avinter quar- 
ters. The rebels remained on the summit of the Alleg-ha- 
nies till spring-, and then went over the mountains, out of 
"West Virg-inia, thus ending- the attempt to reconquer 
northwestern Virg-inia. 

It may not be amiss to speak here of Virg-inia's relation 
as a state to the Southern Confederacy. It is the more 
necessary to do so because the militarj' undertaking-s of 
Virg-inia and those of the Southern Confederacy often ap- 
peared independent of each other, or in conflict with each 
other, during- the operations in West Virg-inia. General Lee 
at that time was commander-in-chief of the Virginia land 
and sea forees — not of the confederate forces. But this 
was a distinction without a difference, for the Virg-inians 
under him were all confederates. The theory of State's 
Rig-hts, the chief corner-stone of the Southern Confeder- 
acy, required each state in the confederacy to retain, main- 
tain and insist upon its separate existence, even when all 
had banded together in a desperate strug-g-le. Thus Vii'- 
g-inia soldiers were impressed with the belief that their 
first and chief service was to the state, and after that to 
the confederacy. During the occupation of Western Vir- 
g-inia, before McClellan crossed the Ohio, General Lee's 
and Governor Letcher's orders to their officers in the north- 
west were to seize and hold railroads, custom houses and 


other property for the state of Virginia. Yet at that time 
Virg-inia, or rather the secession convention at Richmond, 
had placed all its military forces and property at the dis- 
posal of the Southern Confederacy. It is therefore seen 
that the painful efforts of the Richmond g-overnment, 
always to draw a hair-breadth distinction between the 
state and the confederac}^ were far-fetched. When Vir- 
g^inia's soldiers were sent by the Richmond authorities 
across the Alleg-hanies, under the impression that their 
mission concerned the state alone, and that their duty con- 
sisted in holding" the country beyond the mountains in its 
alleg-iance to the eastern part of the state, they must have 
been surprised to find soldiers from Georg^ia and other 
southern states already in West Virg-inia by thousands. 
It must have dawned upon them that they were not fig-ht- 
ing- for state rig-hts, but that all state rig-hts had been in 
fact, if not in name, swallowed up by the Southern Confed- 
eracy. There was no difference, so far as state's rig-hts 
were concerned, between the soldiers from the north and 
from the south. Those from Georgia, Florida, Texas, 
Virg-inia, or any other seceding- state, may have been told 
that they were fig-hting- for their respective states, but they 
knew they were fighting- for the Southern Confederacy, and 
that alone. The soldiers from the north, not matter what 
their states, knew that they were fighting- for the preser- 
vation of the union. Even the state militias, called out to 
repel an invasion, and not mustered into the United States 
armies, knew that they were battling for the whole 




It has been seen that the efforts of the confederates to 
hold northwestern Virg-inia met with little success on the 
tributaries of the Monong-ahela, about Grafton, Philippi, 
Beverly and about the headwaters of the Greenbrier. 
They had been driven from that region by the close of the 
year 1861. It now remains to be seen what success at- 
tended their efforts to g'ain and retain control of the Ka- 
nawha valley. Their campaig^n in West Virginia for the 
year 1861 was divided into two parts, in the northwest, 
and in the Kanawha valley. General Henry A, Wise was 
ordered to the Kanawha, June 6, two days before General 
Garnett was ordered to take command of the troops which 
had been driven south from Grafton. Colonel Tompkins 
was already in the Kanawha valley in charge of confederate 
forces. The authorities at Richmond at that time believed 
that a g'eneral, with the nucleus of an army in the Kanawha 
valley could raise all the troops necessary among the 
people there. On April 29. General Lee had ordered 
Major John McCausland to the Kanawha to organize com- 
panies for the confederacy. Only five hundred flintlock 
muskets could be had at that time lo arm the troops in 
that quarter. General Lee suggested that the valley 
could best be held by posting the force below Charleston. 
Very poor success attended the efforts at raising volun- 
teers; and the arms found in the district were insufficient 
to equip the men. Supplies were sent as soon as possible 
from eastern Virginia. 

When General Wise arrived, and had collected all his 


forces, he had elg-ht thousand men, of whom two thousand 
were militia from Raleig-h, Fayette and Mercer counties. 
With these he was expected to occupy the Kanawha valley, 
and resist invasion, should union forces attempt to pene- 
trate that part of the state. General John B. Floyd, w^ho 
had been secretary of war under President Buchanan, was 
g-uarding- the railroad leading- from Richmond into Tennes- 
see, and was posted south of the present limits of West 
Virginia, but within supporting distance of General Wise, 
In case a union army invaded the Kanawha valley, it was 
expected that General Floyd would unite his forces with 
these of General Wise, and that they w'ould act in concert, 
if not in conjunction. General Floyd was the older officer, 
and in case their forces were consolidated, he would be 
the commander-in-chief. But General Floyd and General 
Wise were enemies. Their hatred for the yankees was 
less than their hatred for each other. They were both 
Virginia politicians, and they had crossed each other's 
paths too often in the past to be reconciled now. General 
Lee tried in vain to induce them to work in harmony. 
They both fought the union troops bravely; but never in 
concert. When Wise was in front of General Cox, Gen- 
eral Floyd -was elsewhere. When Floyd was pitted in 
battle against General Rosecrans, General Wise was 
absent. Thus the union tro()ps beat these quarreling" 
Virginian brigadier generals in detail, as will be seen in 
the following narrative of the campaign during the sum- 
mer and fall of 1861 in the Kanawha valley. 

When Generals Wi§e and Floyd were sent to their dis- 
tricts in the west it was announced in their camps that 
they would march to Clarksburg, Parkersburg- and Wheel- 
ing. This v>^ould have brought them in conflict with Gen- 
eral McClellan's army. On July 2 McClellan put troops 
in motion against the confederates in the Kanawha valley. 
On that date he appointed General J. D. Cox to the com- 
mand of regiments from Kentucky and Ohio, and ordered 


him to cross the Ohio at Gallipolis and take possession of 
Point Pleasant, at the mouth of the Kanawha. On July 
23 General Rosecrans succeeded McClellan in command of 
the department of Ohio. Rosecrans pushed the prepara- 
tion for a vig"orous campaig^n, which had already been com- 
menced. He styled the troops under General Cox the 
brig-ade of Kanawha, On July 17, in Putnam county, a 
fiw-ht occurred between detachments of union and confed- 
erate forces, in which the latter appeared for the time vic- 
torious, but soon retreated eastward. From that time 
until September 10 there was constant skirmishing- be- 
tween the armies, the advantage being- sometimes on one 
side, sometimes on the other; but the union forces con-' 
stantly advanced and the confederates fell back. On 
Aug-ust 1 General Wise was in Greenbrier county, and in 
a report made to General Lee on that date, he says he fell 
back not a moment too soon. He complains that his mil- 
itia are worthless as soldiers, and urg-es General Lee to 
send him g-uhs and other arms, and clothing- and shoes, as 
his men are ragg-ed and barefooted. On Aug-ust 20 Gen- 
eral Rosecrans was at Clarksburg- preparing- to go in per- 
son to lead reinforcements into the Kanawha. He issued 
a proclamation to the people of West Virg-inia, calling- on 
them to obey the laws, maintain order and co-operate with 
the military in its efforts to drive the armed confederates 
from the state. 

Prior to that time. Colonel E. B. Tyler wath a union force 
had advanced to the Gauley river, and on Aug-ust 13 he 
took up a position at Cross Lanes. He thus covered Carn- 
ifex Ferry. General Cox was at that time on the Gauley 
river, twenty miles lower down, near the mouth of that 
stream, nearly forty miles above Charleston. General 
Floyd advanced"!, and on August 26 crossed the Gauley at 
Carnifex Ferry with twenty-iive hundred men, and fell 
upon Colonel Tyler at Cross Lanes with such suddenness 
that the union troops were routed, with fifteen killed and 


fifty wounded. The latter fell into the hands of the con- 
federates, who took fifty other prisoners also. The re- 
mainder of Tyler's force made its retreat to Charleston; 
and General Floyd fortified the position just g^ained, and 
prepared to hold it. On September 3, General Wise made 
an attack on General Cox at Gauley Bridg-e, near the mouth 
of the river, twenty miles below Carnifex Ferry. The at- 
tack failed, the confederates were beaten and were vi;gor- 
ously pursued. Had Wise held Gauley Bridg-e, Floyd al- 
ready being- in possession of Carnifex Ferrj^ they would 
have been in positions to dispute the further advance of 
the union forces up the Kanawha valley. 

General Rosecrans lelt Clarksburg- September 3 with re- 
inforcements, and after a march of seven days reached 
Carnifex Ferry, and that same evening- beg-an an attack 
upon the confederates under General Flo3^d, who were en- 
trenched on the top of a mountain on the west bank of the 
Gauley river, in Nicholas county. This proved to be the 
severest battle foug-ht in West Virg-inia west of the Alle- 
g-hanies during- the war. General Floyd had about four 
thousand men and sixteen cannon, and his position was so 
well protected by woods, that assault, with chance of suc- 
cess, was considered exceeding-ly difiicult. He had forti- 
fied this naturally strong- position, and felt confident that 
it could not be captured by any force the union g-eneral 
could bring- ag-ainst him. The fig-ht beg-an late in the after- 
noon, General Rosecrans having- marched seventeen miles 
that day. It was not his purpose to bring on a g-eneral en- 
g-ag-ement that afternoon, and he directed his forces to ad- 
vance cautiously and find where the enemy lay; for the 
position of the confederates was not yet known. While 
thus advancing-, a camp was found in the woods, from 
which the confederates had evidently fled in haste. Mili- 
tary stores and private property were scattered in con- 
fusion. From this fact, it was supposed that the enemy 

was in retreat, and the union troops pushed on, througfh 


thickets aud over ridg-es. Presently they discovered that 
they had been mistaken. They Vvere fired upon by the 
confederate army in line of battle. From that hour imtil 
darkness put a stop to the lig-bting-, the battle continued. 
The union troops had not been able to carry any of the 
rebel works; and General Rosecrans vrithdrevv'liis men for 
the nig'ht, prepared to renew the battle next morning-. 
But durinar the nisfht General Flovd retreated. Ke had 
g-rowa doubtful of his 3,bility to hold out if the attack was 
resumed with the same impetuosity as on tlie preceding- 
evening-. But he was more fearful that the union troops 
would cut off his retreat if he remained. So, v/liile it was 
yet tim.e, he v/ithdrew in the direction of Lev/isburj^, in 
Greenbrier county, de3tro3dng- the bridg'e over the Gauley, 
and also the ferry aci'oss that stream. General Rosecrans 
was unable to pursue because he could not cross the river. 
It is a powerful, turbulent stream, and at this x^kice Bows 
several miles down a deep g'org-e, filled with rocks and cat- 
aracts. Among- spoils which fell into the hands of the vic- 
tors was General Flo3'd's hospital, in which were fifty 
wounded union soldiers who had been captured when Col- 
onel Tyle^- was driven from this same place on Au:^ust 26. 
General RoSecrans lost seventeen killed and one hundred 
and fortv-one wounded. The confederate loss was never 

After a rest of a few days the union army advanced to 
Big- Sewell mountain. The weather was wet, and the roads 
became so muddy that it wa.s a.lmost impossible to haul 
supplies over them. For this reason it w\as deemed ad- 
visable to fall back. On October 5 General Rosecrans be- 
g-an to v/ithdraw his forces to Gauley Bridge, and in the 
course of two weeks had transferred his command to that 
place, where he had water communication with his base of 

On November 10 another action v/as fouij-ht between 
General Floyd and General Rosecrans, in v\'bich the con- 


federates were defeated. This virtuall}^ closed the cam- 
paig-n for the year 1861 in that quarter, and resulted in the 
occupation of all the lower Kanawha valley and the g-reater 
part of the upper valley. The confederates were finally 
driven out, and never again obtained a foothold in that part 
of the state, althoug-h larg-e bodies were at times in the 
valley of the Kanawha, and occasionall}^ remained a consid- 
erable time. 




The confederate g-overnment, and the state of VIrg-inia 
as a member of that g-overnment, had an object in view 
when they sent their forces into West Virginia at the com- 
mencement of the civil war. Virginia as a state was inter- 
ested in retaining the territory betvv'een the Alleghany 
mountains and the Ohio river and did not believe she could 
do so without force and arms, because her long neglect and 
oppression had alienated the >vestern counties. Virginia 
correctly judged that they vrould seize the first opportun- 
ity and organize a separate state. To prevent them from 
doing so, and to retain that large part of her domain lying- 
west of the Alleghanies, were the chief motives which 
prompted Virginia, as a state, to invade the western part 
of her own territory, even before open war was acknowl- 
edged to exist between the Southern Confederacy and the 
general government. The purpose which prompted the 
Southern Confederacy to push troops across the Allegha- 
nies in such haste was to obtain possession of the country 
to the borders of Ohio and Pennsylvania, and to fortify the 
frontiers against invasion from the north and west. It was 
well understood at the headquarters of the Southern Con- 
federacy that the thousands of soldiers already mustering 
beyond the Ohio river, and the tens of thousands who would 
no doubt soon take the field in the same quarter, would 
speedily cross the Ohio, unless prevented. The bold 
m.ove which the south undertook was to make the borders 
of Ohio and Pennsylvania the battle ground. The southern 
leaders did not at that time appreciate the magnitude of 


the v\ ar which was at hand. If the}^ had understood it, and 
had had a military man in the place of Jeff Davis, it is prob- 
able that the battle grround would have been different from 
w^hat it was. Nevertheless, to rig-htl}' understand the 
earl}" movements of the confederates in West Virg-inia, it 
is necessary to consider that their purpose was to hold the 
country to the Ohio river. Their effort was weak, to be 
sure, but that v/as partly due to their miscalculation as to 
the assistance they would receive from the people of West 
Virg-inia. If they could have org-anized an army of forty 
thousand West Virg-iniaus and reinforced them with as 
many more men from the south, it can be readily seen that 
McClellan could not have crossed the Ohio as he did. But 
the scheme failed. The West Virg-inians not only vsould 
not enlist in the confederate army, but they enlisted in the 
opposing- force; and when Garnett made his report fi*om 
Laurel Hill he told General Lee that, for all the help he 
received from the people, he mig-ht as well carry on a cam- 
paign in a foreig-n country. From that time it was regard- 
ed by the rebels as the enemy's country; and when, la^er 
in the war, Jones, Jackson, Imboden and others made raids 
into West Virg-inia they acted toward persons and prop- 
erty in the same wa3^as v/hen raids were made in Ohio and 

The Baltimore and Ohio railroad, crossing- West Vir- 
g-inia from Harper's Ferry to Wheeling-, and from Grafton 
to Parkersburg-, was considered of the utmost importance 
b}^ both the north and the south. It was so near the bound- 
ary between what was reg-arded as the Southern Confed- 
eracy and the north that during- the early part of the war 
neither the one side nor the other felt sure of holding- it. 
The management of the road was strongly in sympathy 
with the north, but an effort was made to so manag-e the 
property as not to g-ive cause for hostility on the part of 
the south. At one time the trains were r-on in accordance 
with a time talkie prepared by Stonewall Jackson, even as 


far ^s Baltimore and Washing-ton. This fact is detailed 
more fully in another part of this book. It is mentioned 
here only to show that the road attem^pted to avoid the hos- 
tility of the south. But the road did all in its power to as- 
sist the federal g-overnment. It was a part of the confed- 
erate scheme in West Virg-inia to obtain possession and 
control, in a friendly way if possible, of the Baltimore an^ 
Ohio railroad. The possession of it would not only help 
the confederacy in a direct way, but it would cripple the 
federal g-ovei;nment and help the south in an indirect way 
Within six days after General Lee was appointed com- 
mander-in-chief of the Virginia armies he instructed Major 
Loring-, at Wheeling-, to direct his military operations for 
the protection of the terminus of the Baltimore and Ohio 
railroad on the Ohio river, and also to protect the road else- 
where. Major Boykin was ordered to g-ive protection to 
the road in the vicinity of Grafton. General Lee insisted 
that the peaceful business of the road must not be inter- 
fered with. The branch to Parkersburg was also to be 
protected. Major Boykin was told to "hold the road for 
the benefit of Maryland and Virg-inia." He was advised 
to obtain the co-operation of the officers of the road and 
afford them every assistance. V/hen Colonel Porterfield 
was ordered to Grafton, on May 4, 1851, among the duties 
marked out for him by General Lee was the holding- of the 
Baltimore and Ohio railroad, and to prevent its being- used 
to the injury of Virginia. 

No one has ever supposed that the Southern Confederacy 
wanted the Baltimore and Ohio road protected because of 
any desire to befriend that company. The leaders of the 
confederacy knew that the officers of the road were not 
friendly to secession. As soon as Western Virg-inia had 
slipped out of the grasp of the confederacy, and when the 
railroad could no longer help the south to realize its ambi- 
tion of fortifying the banks of the Ohio, the confederacy 
threw off the mask and came out in open hostility. Georg-e 



Deas, inspector g^eneral of the confederate army, urg-ed 
that the railroad be destroyed, bridg-es burned along- the 
line, and the tunnels west of the Alleghanies blown up so 
that no troops could be carried east from the Ohio river to 
the Potomac. This advice was partly carried out on June 
^3, 1S61, after Colonel Porterfield had retreated from 
Grafton and had been driven from Philippi. But the 
damage to the road had not been so g^reat but that repairs 
were speedil}^ made. Governor Letcher of. Virginia had 
recommended to the leg-islature a short time before that, 
the Baltimore and Ohio road oug-ht to be destroyed. 
He said: "The Baltimore and Ohio railroad has been a 
positive nuisance to this state, from the opening" of the 
v/ar till the present time. And, unless the manag-ement 
shall hereafter be in friendly hands, and the g-overnment 
under which it exists be a part of our confederacy, it must 
be abated. If it should be permanantly destroyed, we 
must assure our people of some other communication with 
the seaboard." From that time till the close of the war 
the confederacy in^'icted every damag^e possible upon the 
road, and in many instances the damag-e was enormous. 
When the raids under Jones, Imboden and Jackson were 
made into West Virginia, the. officers had special orders 
to strike that road wherever possible. The high trestles 
on the face of Laurel hill between Rowlesburg- and Graf- 
ton were named for destruction, but for some reason they 
escaped, although the rebels were wnthin a mile of them. 

It is proper to state here that an effort was made, after 
iig-hting- had commenced, to win the West Virg^inians over 
to the cause of the south by promising- them larg-er privi- 
leg"es than they had ever before enjoyed. On June 14, 
1861, Governor Letcher issued a proclamation, which was 
published at Huttonsville, in Randolph county, and ad- 
dressed to the people of Northwestern Virginia. In this 
proclamation he promised them that the injustice from 
unequal taxation of which they had complained in the past^ 


should exist no longer. He said that the eastern part of 
the state had expressed a willing-ness to relinquish exemp- 
tions from taxation, which it had been enjoying-, and was 
v/illing- to share all the burdens of g-overnment. The 
g-overnor promised that in state affairs, the majority- 
should rule; and he called upon the people beyond the 
AUeg-hanies, in the name of past friendship and of historic 
memories, to espouse the cause of the vSouthern Confed- 
eracy. It is needless to state that this proclamation fell 
flat. Tiie people of Western Virg-inia would have hailed 
with delig-ht a prospect of redress of gn'ievances, had it 
come earlier. But its coming- was so long- delayed that 
they doubted both the sincerity of these who made the 
promise and their ability to fulfill. Twenty thousand 
soldiers had already crossed the Ohio, and had penetrated 
more than half way from the river to the AUeg-hanies, and 
they had been joined by thousands of Virg-inians. It was 
a poor time for g-overnor Letcher to appeal to past 
memories, or to promise justice in the future which had 
been denied in the past. Coming- as the promise did at 
that time, it looked like a death bed repentance. The 
Southern Confederacy had postponed fortifying- the bank 
of the Ohio until too late; and Virg-inia had held out the 
olive branch to her neg-lected and long suffering people 
beyond the mDuntains when it was too late. They had 
already cast their lot with the north; and already a power- 
ful army had crossed the Ohio to their assistance. Vir- 
g-inia's day of dominion west of the AUeg-hanies was near- 
ing- its close; and the Southern Confederacy's hope of 
empire there was already doomed. 




Tiie campaign unclert?..ken bv McClellan to drive (Tarnett 
and the other confederates out of West Virg-inia; the 
movement of Lee to reoccupy the lost territory; and the- 
campaign in the valley of the Kanawha against Wise and 
Floyd, were military movements undertaken with design 
and persecuted with systematic strateg-y and tactics, and 
with definite objects in view. They have been Vv-ritten of 
somewhat in detail elsewhere in this book. There were 
many other military movements on the soil of .West Vir- 
ginia., not perhaps to be classed as regularly org-anized 
campaigns, but rather as incidents and episodes in other 
campaigns having their chief centers outside of this state. 
Some were raids, occasionally small, ag'ain of so large pro- 
portions as to cover many counties. Again, there v/ere 
raids starting on West Virginia soil, but having their prin- 
cipal developments elsewliere. In a local history, such as 
this book is, and professing to deal chiefly with the events 
of a sing-le county, it is impossible to enter into a detailed 
account of the military occurrences in this state. But, in 
order to understand the history of even one county, it is 
necessary to speak, althoug-h in the briefest manner, of 
circumstances of the war taking place in neighboring coun- 
ties. Otherwise, the meaning and sequence of occurrences 
in one localitv could not be appreciated. So dependent 
and inter-related are the facts of history that it is often 
necessary to step, temporarily, outside the immediate 
territorial limits under consideration, in order to see the 
beginning or the ending of movements or occurrences. 


which seem, at iirst g-lance, to be local. This chapter will 
be devoted to an account of various and sundry military 
movements within West Virg-inia, or partly within it. 
Manv of these have no direct connection with one another; 
but vv'hen taken, as a group, they g-ive a tolerable idea of 
the war in V/est Virg-inia. It is necessary to be brief. 
Nor will any attempt be made to include all the occur- 
rences within the state that deserve to be recorded as 
features of the civil v»'ar. 

Harper's Ferry- — At the mouth of the Shenandoah 
river, where the Potomac has cut its way through the Blue 
Ridge, Harper's Ferry is situated. On account of its loca- 
tion it was contended for by botli the north and the south. 
It is the gateway to the valley of Virginia. The Baltimore 
and Ohio railroad, the chief military road of the war, passed 
that place. The confederates wanted the town, because 
when they held it, they could cut the road at will. The 
surroundings are picturesque, amounting almost to the 
sublime. The river at that place is the lowest point in the 
state, being two hundred and sixty feet above sea level. 
The summits of the mountains, almost overhang'ing the vil- 
lage, are about eight hundred feet higher. At the begin- 
ning of the war the Baltimore and Ohio railroad had a 
branch line up the Shenandoah to Winchester, about thirty 
miles. Harper's Ferry was one of the first places seized 
by the confederates after Virginia passed the ordinance of 
secession and joined the confederac3^ Lieutenant R. 
Jones, of the United States army, was in command when 
the Virginia troops approached. Believing that he would 
not be able to hold it, he set the armory on fire and re- 
treated into Pennsylvania. The arsenal contained fifteen 
thousand stands of arms. The guns were badly damaged, 
but some of them were subsequently repaired and v/ere 
used by the confederates in future battles. Harper's 
Ferry was held by the southern forces for some time. 
Stonewall Jackson was placed in command there. He at 


once beg-an to regulate traffic on the Baltimore and Ohio 
railroad, and finally carried off a larg^e number of cars and 
engines. This was regarded as a great feat by the con- 
federates. In General J. D. Imboden's histor}^ of the war 
he speaks of it as follows: "From the very beginning of 
the war the confederacy was greatly in need of rolling 
stock for the railroads. We were particularly short of lo- 
comotives, and were without the shops to buiid them. 
Jackson, appreciating- this, hit upon a plan to obtain a good 
supply from the Baltimore and Ohio road. Its line was 
double tracked, at least fi-om Point of Rocks to Martins- 
burg, a distance of twenty-five or thirt}^ miles. We had 
not interfered with the running of trains, except on the 
occasion of the arrest of General Harvey. The coal traffic 
from Cumberland was immense. The Washington gov- 
ernment was accumulating supplies of coal on the sea- 
board. These coal trains passed Harper's Ferry at all 
hours of the day and night, and thus furnished Jackson 
with a pretext for arranging a brilliant scoop. When he 
sent me to Point of Rocks, he sent Colonel Harper to Mar- 
tinsburg. He then complained to President Garrett, of 
the Baltimore and Ohio, that the nig-ht trains, east bound, 
disturbed the repose of his camp, and requested a change 
of schedule that would pass all east bound trains by Har- 
per's Ferry between eleven and one o'clock in the daytime. 
Mr. Garrett complied. But, since the 'empties' were sent 
up the road at night, Jackson again complained that the 
nuisance was as great as ever; and, as the road had two 
tracks, said that he must insist that the west bound trains 
should pass during the same two hours as those going 
east. Mr. Garrett promptly complied. One night, as 
soon as the schedule was working at its best, Jackson sent 
me an order to take a force of men across to the Maryland 
side of the river the next day at eleven o'clock, and, letting 
all west bound trains pass till twelve o'clock, to allow none 
to g-o east, and at twelve o'clock to obstruct the road so 


that it would require several da}' to repair it. He ordered 
the reverse to be done at Martinsburg-. Thus he caug-ht 
all the trains that were g"oing- east or west between these 
points. He ran them up to Winchester, thirty-two miles, 
on the branch road, v/here they were safe, and whence 
they were removed b}^ horse power to the railroad at Stras- 
burg-, I do not remember the number of trains captured, 
but the loss crippled the Baltimore and^Ohio road seriously 
for some tim.e, and the g-ain to our scantily-stocked Vir- 
g-inia roads of the same g'aug-e was invaluable." 

Harper's Ferry remained in possession of the confeder- 
ates until May 14, 1861. General Patterson, in command 
of a larg-e union force, crossed the Potomac near Martins- 
burg-, defeated Stonewall Jackson at Fa.lling- Waters, and 
was moving- upon Harper's Ferry when the confederates 
evacuated the place. General Banks succeeded General 
Patterson in command of the forces in that part of Vir- 
g-inia. The defeat of the union army soon after rendered 
the abandonment of the south bank of the Potomac neces- 
sary, and Harper's Ferry ag-ain fell into the hands of the 
confederates. They held it till March, 1862, when the 
retreat of their armies up the Shenandoah made it impos- 
sible for them long-er to hold the town which, for the second 
time, was evacuated by the confederates, and was at once 
occupied by the union forces. The rebels had destroyed 
the Baltimore and Ohio bridg-e at that place. On Aug-ust 
15, 1862, Colonel Miles, who was holding- Harper's Ferry, 
received orders from General Wool to fortify Maryland 
Heig-hts. It was at that time believed that a larg-e confed- 
erate army was preparing- to move in that direction. 
Colonel Miles neg-lected to fortify, as instructed, althoug-h 
in tlie latter part of Aug-ust it was positively known that 
the confederates were coming-. 

On September 4 the confederate army beg-an to ci'oss the 
Potomac and invade Maryland. The next day Colonel T. 
H. Ford, who was in charg-e of the union forces on the 


heig-hts overlooking- Harper's Ferry, sent an urgent re- 
quest for reinforcements and tools for erecting fortifica- 
tions. He received the reinforcements, but not the tools. 
He borrowed a few axes and built breastv/orks by cutting- 
down trees. He was eng-aged in this w^ork -when the con- 
federates appeared, commanded by Stonewall Jackson, who 
had been detached from Lee's invading- army. As soon as 
the rebels appeared lire was opened upon them from the 
heights. The federals were reinforced by troops from 
Martinsburg under General Julius White. This raised 
the force in and about Harper's Ferry to thirteen thous- 
and. The confederates w^ere strong-er. The onl}' defen- 
sive position fortified by Colonel Miles wasBolivar Heights, 
behind the town, and this was commanded by Maryland 
Heights, and by Loudon Heights on the Virginia side of 
the Potomac. The confederates attacked and captured 
Maryland Heights September 13, and on the same day the 
rebels occupied Loudon Heights and advanced directly to- 
ward the town along the Charlestown pike. Colonel Miles 
saw that he would be cut off and he sent a message to 
McClellan for reinforcements. The confederates opened 
fire September 14. About two thousand five hundred union 
cavalry, under Colonel Davis, cut their way out and escaped 
into Pennsvlvania. The next morning Colonel Miles sur- 
rendered. Eleven thousand prisoners fell into the hands 
of the victors. Colonel Miles was mortall}^ wounded by a 
confederate shell fired half an hour after the white flag had 
been raised. A special cominission was appointed to in- 
vestigate the circumstances attending- the surrender of 
Harper's Ferry. The result was that Colonel Ford and 
other officers were dismissed from the service; the conduct 
of Colonel Miles was stated in the report to have exhibited 
"an incapacity amounting almost to imbecility," and Gen- 
eral Wool was censured for placing Colonel Miles in so im- 
portant a place. It vv^as also stated that "General McClel- 
lan could and should have relieved and pi'otected Harper's 


Ferry." Jackson occupied the place one day and then pro- 
ceeded into Maryland to join Lee's invading- array on the 

inarch to Antietam. 


Eig-ures have been compelled, showing- that the Baltimore 
and Ohio road, east and west from Harper's Ferry, lost in 
the year's 1862 and 1863, forty-two engines, three hundred 
and eig"hty-six cars; twenty-three bridges, thirty-six miles 
of track; all the waterstations and teleg-raph offices for one 
hundred miles; and the machine shops and engine houses 
at Martinsburg. 

General Schench' s Defeat: ATter the campiig-n, 
•during- which the battles of Elkwater, Cheat moujitain, 
Greenbrier and Camp AUeg-hany were foug-lit, the union 
army went into winter quarters among- the mountains, and 
early in the spring- of 1862 beg-an to move toward Staunton. 
The confederates had been driven out of West Virg-inia, 
and it was the plan to push them into the vallej^ of Vir- 
g-inia. This plan v^^as thwarted by the result of the battle 
at McDowell, May 8, 1862. This hglit did not take place 
within the present limits of West Virg-inia, but in the ad- 
joining county of Highland, in Virg-inla. But it is not im- 
proper to speak of the occurrence, for the movement was 
made from West Virginia, largely by West Virginia 
troops, and after the repulse, the union force retreated 
into West Vii-ginia. General John C. Fremont was at 
that time in command of the mountain department, which 
included the forces designed for the descent on Staunton. 
General Milroy had immediata command of the troops, 
until the arrival of General Schenck, who then took com- 

The confederates were not slow to learn of the advance 
of Melroy, and they prepared to repulse him. While he 
was at Monteray, the county seat of Highland count}^ on 
April 12, he was attacked by a force of one thousand. The 
attacking party was repulsed. About two weeks later, 
Milroy marched to McDowell, twelve miles distant, on the 


road to Staunton. Some days later, about May 7, a for- 
ward movement was made; but the confederates beo^an to 
mass their forces for battle. Stonewall Jackson had come 
up with reinforcements for tlie confederates. Hq had 
seven thousand men; but he was badly in need of artillery. 
Milroy's troops numbered thirty-seven hundred, and were 
strong- in artillery. The next day a hard battle v/as 
foug-ht,.beg-inning- at 3:30 p. m. and ending- after dark. In 
some places the fighting- was exceeding-ly severe. A com- 
pan}' of confederates and a company of union ti'oops, all 
from Clarksburg-, and all acquainted, were pitted ag-ainst 
each other. They v/ere so near they could speak from* 
one line to the other. They foug-ht face to face with un- 
flinching- bravery. Portions of the two armies were some- 
times not one hundred yards apart, and maintained their 
positions in these close quarters a considerable time. At 
leng-th, about nine o'clock in the evening-, it became ap- 
parent that the g-round could not be held, and General 
Schenck ordered a retreat in the direction of Franklin, in 
Pendleton county. He succeeded in saving- nearly all his 
stores, and reached Franklin, closely pursued by the con- 
federates, who kept at a safe distance. They made dem- 
onstrations, as if to attack General Schenck's forces at 
Franklin; but no attack was made, and Jackson soon with- 
drew in the direction of Staunton. 

Confederate Raids. — At intervals, after the con- 
federates were pushed over the Alleg-hanies by McClellan, 
and driven from the Kanawha by Rosecrans, the)'^ made 
raids into West Virg-inia ilntil near the close of the war. 
These incursions Vv'ere sometimes military movements of 
considerable masfnitude, on one occasion extending- en- 
tirely across the state east and west, to the Ohio river, and 
across that stream into Ohio; and at another time penetrat- 
ing- within cannon shot of the borders of Pennsylvania 
near the Monong-ahela. Other incursions were of less ex- 
tent; some being- no more than the dash of larg-c scouting- 


parties to pick up plunder and to destroy property. No 
complete record of all these raids has ever been made; 
and from the nature of the case, perhaps it would be im- 
possible to make a full list. After the confederates saw 
that West Virg-inia would not willing-ly join the confed- 
eracy, and that they could not force it to join, they re- 
g-arded it as the enemy's country, and as leg"itimate plun- 
der. The citizens of West Virg-inia lost thousands of 
horses, carried oif by raiders to* replenish the decimated 
ranks of confederate cavalry. A brief account of a few of 
these raids is here g"iven. 

In May, 1862, General Henry Heth, in command of a 
confederate force of twenty-five hundred men, advanced 
from New River Narrows upon the union forces at Levids- 
burg-, in Greenbrier county, under Colonel Georg-e Crool-c. 
On the morning- of May 23 the confederates arrived in 
front of the town, on a hill to the east, and planting- g-uns, 
were ready for battle. Colonel Croolc had prepared for 
the attack, and made an impetuous charg-e with both in- 
fantry and cavalrjr. The light was over in thirty minutes. 
The confederates Vv^ere swept from the hill, and driven 
across the Greenbrier river, losing eighty killed, one hun- 
dred wounded, one hundred and fifty-seven prisoners, four 
guns, twenty-five horses, three hundred stands of small 
arms. The union forces lost thirteen killed, fifty v/ounded 
and six prisoners. 

In September of this year, 1862, a raid of far grea,ter 
dimensions was made Into the valley of the Kanawha by 
General Loring-, with a force estimated at nine thousand 
men. A raid to Guyandotte, on the Ohio river, was made 
by another confederate force about the same time. Colonel 
J. A. J. Lightburn was the chief officer in charge of union 
forces in the Kanawha valley. He fell back as Loring ad- 
vanced. The confederates made a tolerably clean, sweep 
of the whole valley from the mountains to the Ohio river. 
At one o'clock in the morning- of September 14 Lightburii 


retreated from Charleston and burned vast quantities of 
g-overnment stores to prevent their falling" into the hands 
.of the confederates. He then formed a line of battle, and 
Loring- promptly replied, and an artillery engagement con- 
tinued for some time. The battle was not decisive, but the 
imion forces continued their retreat and the confederates 
were slow to follov\'. Colonel Lightburn had twent3'--five 
killed and ninety-five vv'ounded. The confederates lost 
nearly the same number. They remained in Charleston 
to procure salt for their armies. In the meantime the 
rebel force which had appeared near Gu3^andotte had been 
attacked and defeated by Colonel Paxton. Union forces 
gathered at Point Pleasant in large numbers and proceed- 
ed to reoccupy the Kanawha valley. The confederates did 
not attera pt to hold it, but withdrew to the east. Before 
the close of the year all the country to the base of the AUe- 
ghanies was again in possession of the union forces. 

In November, 1S62, a remarkable feat was accomplished 
in the mountains of Greenbrier county by General Vv . H. 
Powell. General George Crook, in command of the Ka- 
navvha division, learned that about five hundred confede- 
rates were soending the winter in an abscure camp in 
Sinking- creek valley. He sent an ample force for their 
capture; but the march v/as a hard one; there was a heavy 
snowstorm; the infantry g-ave out and could not proceed, 
and the cavalry vvas divided. General Powell vv^as in 
charge of the advance party of twenty men. When near 
the camn four confederates v/ere encountered; two were 
captured and tv/o escaped. Knowing that they would 
alarm the camp, if allowed to reach it, Powell made a 
charge. The rebels, not doubting that an army was upon 
them, surrendered. Thus, a force of twentj'-'-two men, 
Vi^ith'out i*'ing- a gun or losing- a man, captured a' camp of 
five hundred confederates. Congress presented General 
Powell with a medal on account of this achievement. 

In September, 1862, General A. G. Jenkins, at the head 



\oi a confederate cavalry force, crossed the Alleg-lianies 
from the head cf the Shenandoah river, and made a de- 
scent upon Bevei-ly in Randolph county. Not meeting- 
with much opposition, he continued to Buchannon, Wes- 
ton, westward throug-h Roane county, thence to the Ohio 
river which he crossed. The confederate flag- was then 
seen for the first time in a northern state. He re- 
crossed the Ohio and made his way back to Virginia by 
vray of the Kanawha vallc)-. 

In the latter part of March, 1853, General Jenkins, with 
eight hundred confederates, made another raid into West 
Virg-inia, this time coming* from Dublin, a small town on 
the Virg-inia and Tennessee railroad. He soon appeared 
in Putnam county, and an encounter took place between 
his force and a body of union troops at Hurricane Bridge. 
The battle continued five hours, wheii the confederates 
withdrew. They continued their raid, and the next day 
attacked a steamer on the Kmawha, but failed to capture 
it. The next day, March 30, they reached Point Pleasant, 
on the Ohio. A small union force stationed there took 
refug-e in the court house, and fought the besiegei's four 
hours. News of the fight had reached Gallipolis, on the 
opposite side of the Ohio, a short distance above, and 
a force was sent down the river, and planting a battery on 
the opposite bank of the Ohio, were about to open fire, 
v^hen the confederates retreated. 

The most disastrous raid experienced by West Virginia 
during the war, occurred in April and May, 1853. Three 
dashing confederate leaders took part in it, Imboden, Jones 
and n. L. Jackson. Their combined forces amounted to 
four thousand men. They drove the union forces before 
them wherever encountered, except at Clarksburg- and 
West Union. They did not attack either j^lace. Their 
first attack was made upon Colonel George R. Latham's 
force of nearly nine hundred men at Beverly. Latham 
retreated to Buc-khannon, and later to Clarksburg. The 


union forces at Sutton, in Braxton county, hurried to 
Clarksburg-, as did those at Bulltown, Birch, Weston, and 
other points in that part of the state. General B. S. 
Roberts was in command of the union forces in that part 
of the state. He was urg-ed to hold Clarksburg- at all haz- 
zards, and the forces, hurriedlj^ concentrated there, were 
sufficient to deter the confederates from making- an attack. 
The raiders reached the Baltimore and Ohio railroad at 
Cranberry Summit, in Preston county, and at Rowles- 
burg. Independence and other points. Major Showalter 
with two hundred and twenty men had fortified the moun- 
tain above Rowlesburg-. He was attacked by General W. 
E. Jones with one thousand cavalry on Sunday, April 23. 
After a short resistance. Major Showalter retreated into 
Pennsylvania. General Lee had instructed General Jones 
to destroy the trestles on the Baltimore and Ohio road be- 
tween Rowlesburg and Tunnelton, but he failed to do so. 
The confederates occupied King-wood, and marched to 
Morg-antown where the}^ looted stores, killed two citizens, 
and wounded a third, claiming- that these citizens had 
attacked them. They burnt bridg-es as they went, and 
captured horses and cattle in larg-e numbers. It was be- 
lieved that they were striking- at Wheeling-, and troops for 
its defense were hastily concentrated there; but no attack 
was They marched to Fairmont, and overrun that 
country. They advanced almost within sig-ht of Parkers- 
burg-; and at Burning- Spring-s, on the Little Kanawha, 
they burned one hundred thousand barrels of crude 
petroleum at the oil wells. This was on Ma}^ 9. Soon 
after this the invaders beg-an to withdraw, and by May 14 
the most of them recrossed the Alleg-hanies. They 
carried away fifteen hundred horses, more than three 
thousand cattle, and destroyed or carried away property 
to the value of millions of dollars. As soon as the confed- 
erates had left the country General Roberts returned with 
his forces. But his failure to stop the raid led to his rc- 



Tiioval from the command, and General V/. W. Averell was 
s-ent to tuke charg-e of the troops. Confederate raids 
into his territor}' were unsuccessful, for he was as quick 
in movement as they, as able in planning- and as feai'less 
in execution. 

A confederate raid had been made into Pennsylvania, 
and Chambersburg" had been burnt because the inhabi- 
tants had refused to pay a ransom of half a million dollars. 
The rebels fled into AVest Virg-inia, crossed the Balti- 
more and Ohio railroad at New Creek, and reached Moore- 
field on the South branch of the Potomac, and there rested 
in fancied security within a day's march of the valley of 
Virginia. But, Averell pursued them, and just before day 
came up with them. An impetuous charge swept the con- 
federates from one bank of the river; and Averell crossed 
immediately, drove them from a whea.t field where they 
had formed for battle; broke their lines in the timber 
where they had prepared an ambuscade, and put the army 
to "Ilig-ht in a few minutes. 

On January 1, 1864, a fig-ht took place a short distance 
from MooreHeld between a strong- confederate force, and a 
detachment of union soldiers under Colonel Joseph Snider, 
g-uarding- a supply train on the road from New Creek to 
Petersburg-, in Grant county. The union force was out- 
numbered and defeated with the loss of the train, and hve 
killed and thirty-four wounded. In this skirmish General 
Nathan Goff, of Clarksburg-, was taken pioneer. His 
horse was shot, and falling upon him, held him until the 
confederates came up. 

On November 28, 1854, a confederate raid, under Gen- 
eral Rosser, penetrated to New Creek, captured the place, 
and tore up the railroad. A number of prisoners were 
taken, and the force hastily retired to the valley of Vir- 
g-inia. A small raid was made about the same time on 
Beverly, in Randolph county, but not much damag-e was 


All Unpopular Policy.— On March 23, 18G3, the 
*' Fourth Separate Brigade " was' created, and the com- 
inand was sriven to General Beniamin S. Roberts, who fixed 
his headquarters at Weston. His jurisdiction embraced 
the g-reater part of West Virg-inia, north of the Kanawha. 
Perhaps five out of six of the inhabitants of this district 
were supporters of the union cause; but many favored the 
confederacy, and General Roberts soon beg-an a Vv'ar upon 
them. He was determined to drive them out of the coun- 
try. The majority of the men v>'ho sympathized with the 
south were at that time in the confederate armies; but 
their wives and children remained at home. One of Gen- 
eral Roberts' orders v/as, that all those whose na tural pro- 
tectors were eng^ag^ed in war ag-ainst the .United States 
should be sent beyond the union lines. In obedience to 
this order, numbers of ^vomen and children from Lev/is, 
Upshur, Harrison and adjoining- counties were sent south 
into the confederate lines. This policy made General Rob- 
erts very unpopular, not only with the inhabitants, both 
southern and northern, in their sentiments, but also with 
his subordinate oScers and the soldiers. The latter 
spoke their sentiments freely, and said they had joined 
the army for the purpose of fighting* armed men, not to 
make war upon women and children. 

When the confederate raid, under Jones, Jackson and 
Imboden was made into General Roberts' territory, and he 
abandoned the country to pillag^e, the authorities over him 
decided it was time to make a chang-e, and he was sent to 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and General W. W. Averell was 
given command of the Fourth brig-ade. His orders were 
dated May 18, 1863, and he was told to proceed to Weston, 
*' or wherever else 3^ou ma}^ find Brig-adier General B. S. 
Roberts, and relieve him of his command." General Aver- 
ell vv'as ordered to protect from raids the territory be- 
tween the Baltimore and Ohio railroad and the Kanawha, 
and to g-uard well the passes throug-h the Cheat mountains. 


He was g-iven liberty to pursue the confederates, even into 
the valle}' of Virg-inia, should occasion require. He was 
ordered to transform hrs infantry into cavalr3^ By a sys- 
tem of persistent drilling- he soon had a force of three 
thousand cavalry, equal, perhaps, to the best the world has 
ever seen. It was said of him that his cavalry moved like 
a whirlwind and struck like a thunderbolt. He soon be- 
came the terror of the confederate outposts from Win- 
chester to the Tennessee line. The rapidity of his move- 
ments overcame resistence and baSed pursuit. 

At the time General Averell took command in West Vir- 
g-inia he was about thirty 5''ears of ag-e. A native of the 
state of New York, he g-raduated at West Point at the ag-e 
of tv»'enty-two, the head of a class in cavalry. He vvas a 
man of fine literary t-aste and culture. He Vvas instructor 
in the g-overnment cavalry school, first at Jefferson, Mis- 
souri, and subsequently at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. At this 
school Fitzhug-h Lee, W. H. Jackson, D. K. Maury and C. 
H. Tyler were his pupils; and their subsequent history 
shows that he instructed them well. General Averell v/as 
sent to New Mexico, and there foug-ht Indians until 
wounded. He was a cripple two years, and was on 
crutches when the civil war beg-un. He was sent upon a 
perilous mission to carrv dispatches to the few United 
States posts in Texas and Arkansas, which were still hold- 
ing- out ag-amst the attacks of the confederates. His jour- 
ney, after crossing- the Mississippi, was one of dang-ers, 
hardships and desperate escapes. The country was in the 
hands of the confederates. He was pursued and captured; 
he escaped and swam rivers; he crossed the plains; he 
made his way throug-h barren deserts and over pathless 
mountains, and at last reached the farthest Unite! States 
post in Texas, and found it surrounded and hard pressed 
by the confederates. He conducted the g-arrison north- 
ward to Kansas, and then hurried to Washing-ton and was 
at once sent to the field in charg-e of cavalr3% His success 


attracted notice at once, and when the need of an efficient 
cavalry officer in West Virg-inia was seen, he was sent 
here. It was desirable that such raids as Jones, Jackson 
and Imboden had made should not be repeated; and they 
were not repeated within Averell's territory. 

Expedition to Rocky 6^a7^\— General AvereU v/ith- 
drew his forces from West Virginia to assist in the cam- 
paign against Lee in Pennsylvania. He did not arrive in 
time to take part in the battle of Gettysburg, but he fought 
portions of Lee's army while it vras retreating. He hast- 
ened to Moorefield, which he reached August 6. It became 
desirable to clear the country of confederates, if possible, 
along the borders of West Virginia and Virginia, from 
Pendleton count v to Greenbrier. Imboden and Jones 
were in that country, and it was surmised and ^vas subse- 
quently ascertained that the\' were contemplating a de- 
scent into the valley of the South branch. There were 
saltpeter works in Pendleton and Alleghany counties, 
v/hich the confederates were operating in manufacturing 
gunpowder, and Averell wished to destroy them. His 
command was short of ammunition, having only thirty-live 
cartridges to the man. It was short of horse shoes and 
nails, also. He ordered these supplies and waited for 
them some days, but they did not arrive. He could delay 
no longer, and set forward on the march to Pendleton 
county, part of bis force ascending the South branch and 
part the North fork. The saltpeter works five miles from 
Franklin were destroyed. He pushed on to Zvlonterey in 
Highland count}^ Virginia. He came near surprising the 
confederate Generals Jones and Imboden. They had been 
there the da}- before, consulting whether they should 
march into the South branch valley. It was probably there 
learned that Averell was on the march, and Jones, Jackson 
and Imboden prepared for battle; but they misunderstood 
Averell's purpose. They supposed he was aiming at 
Staunton, and laid their plans accordingl}-. He proceeded 

ZnIISCELLANEOUS war notes. 215 

to Huntersville, routing- three hmdrei confederates on 
Aug-ust 21, and on the next day another detachment was 
driven from a ravine- near Huntersville, utterly routed, 
losing nearl)' ever^^thing in the way of arms and stores. 
Two days later Jackson was met, defeated, and driven out 
of Pocahontas county. Averell proceeded to Jackson river, 
where other saltpeter works were destroyed: also those 
near Coving;ton. 

The battle of Rocky Gap, near White Sulphur Springs, 
in Greenbrier county, was at hand. General Jones, with 
two thousand five hundred confederates, accidentally found 
himself in front of Averell, vv'hose force at that time was 
thirteen hundred, but other union troops came up later. 
The battle was a surprise to both sides, but they went at 
it like veterans. It took place in a defile, and for a time the 
artillery played the chief part, and the cannonade was ter- 
rific. Averell's ammunition beg-an to run short before sun- 
set, but he held his ground all night. The confederates 
ran short of ammunition also, but during- the night they 
received a fresh supply, and they likewise received rein- 
forcements from the direction of Lewisburg. Averell ex- 
pected reinforcements from General Scammon, in the 
Kanawha valley, and looked in vain for them all night. 
Although he had more than held his own since ten o'clock 
in the morning, having pushed the confederates back, he 
knew that he could not maintain his position without cart- 
ridges. During the night he brought up all the ammuni- 
tion in the wagons and distributed it among- his troops, and 
sent every available man to the front. In speaking of his 
situation, Averell afterwards said: "Two chances re- 
mained, first, the enemy might retreat; and second, Scam- 
mon might arrive. The morning showed us that both 
chances had failed." Every arrangement had been made 
for retreat; but as soon as it was lig'ht, the battle was re- 
newed and Averell held his ground till after ten o'clock, 
and t^- en wlt^'rew, anl after some skirmishing, reached 


Beverh' on Aag"ast 31. His loss in killed and wounded was 
abont one hundred and fifty. The loss of the confederates 
was a little larg-er. Among- Averell's oSicers who fell was 
Captain Paul Von Koenig. It is said he was killed by his 
own men in revenge for his having struck several of them 
durinaf the march from Moorefield. It is also said that 
those who killed him did not knov/ Averell by sight, and 
supposed that Koenig was Averell. 

Droop Mountain. — In November, 1853, occurred 
the Droop Mountain campaig-n, so named from the place 
where an important battle v/as fought, November 6, be- 
tween General Averell ani a force of four thousand con- 
federates under Major Echols. Averell's campaign into 
Greenbrier county, terminating at Rocicy Gap, had not 
resulted in clearing- that reg-ion of confederates. He pre- 
pared for another advance and set forward from Beverly 
November i. He was promised support from the Kana- 
wha valley, under General Dufiie. He no doubt remem- 
bered that he hal been promised support from the same 
source on the former campaig-n into that region, and had 
been disappointed. On the present occasion be provided 
himself with plenty of ammunition, so that, in case assis- 
tance again failed him, lie couli fight to a finish. 

There was skirmishing- all the way to Huntersville, and 
small parties of rebels v/ere killed, captured or dispersed. 
The first considerable force of confederates was encount- 
ered near Huntersville, under command of Colonel Thomp- 
son,' but it fell back on the main body without a fig-ht. A 
few miles further a larg-er confederate force was met, but 
it also retreated without a fight. The union forces were 
now within thirty-four miles of Lewisburg. The confed- 
erates took position on Droop mountain and offered battle. 
They were advantageously placed, and a direct attack was 
believed by Averell to be difficult. He prepared a flank 
movement, and also purposely dela5'^ed the attack till the 
next day in hope that General Duffie's expected reinforce- 


meats would arrive. They did not arrive, and the next 
morning- General Averell began the battle. He sent a force 
to g-ain the flank and rear of the confederate position and 
he moved up in front. In the meantime reinforcements 
arrived for the enemy, and their coming- was announced by 
Joud yeiis and by a band of music. Colonel Moor, with 
more than one thousand men, had been entrusted with the 
Hanking- moyeflient. The g-iiides who went with him 
j)roved worthless, and he was obliged to proceed the best 
he could; and the result was he did not reach his destina- 
tion till nearly two o'clock in the afternoon, having- marched 
nine miles throug-h woods and over hills. 

General Averell's practiced eye detected the confusion 
in t!]e ranks of the confederates on the mountain when they 
discovered Colonel Moor's advance upon their flank. An 
attack from the front was at once ordered, and the union 
troops moved up the mountain. In the meantime the artil- 
lery po ired a lire upon the confederates. They held their 
g-round an hour and a quarter and then gave wa}' every- 
where and fled. The pursuit v/as vigorous, and the con- 
federate were scattered. A portion of them passed through 
Lewisburg the next morning in a deplorable condition. 
They lost in killed and wounded two hundred and fifty; 
one g-un v/as abandoned on the field and two more in the 
retreat. This left Echols only four guns. 

Averell proceeded toLewdsburg and found the pi-omised 
reinforcements there under General Duflie. It v/as ascer- 
tained that the confederates had retreated in the direction 
of Dublin, on the Virginia and Tennessee railroad. It was 
also learned that General Lee had promised to send ample 
reinforcements to Major Echols at or near that point. This 
information induced Averell to march for that place in hope 
of capturing or scattering the forces there. He set for- 
ward on November 8 with his entire command, including 
Duffle's reinforcements. The confederates had blockaded 
the road and much labor was required to cut it out. Gen- 


eral Duffie reported his troops unfit for service, as they 
had no rations and were tired. The march to Dublin was 
therefore g-iven up and Averell returned to Beverly, de- 
feating- Imboden on the road. While in Greenbrier county 
Averell went to White Sulphur Spring-s and recaptured his 
wounded prisoners who had fallen into the haiids of the 
rebels at the battle of Rocky Gap in the preceding August. 
Averell's loss at Droop mountain is not stated, except that 
he had fifty-five wounded. On November 17 his command 
arrived at New Creek. 

The Salem Maid.— The memoi-able i-aid to Salem, in 
Roanoke county, Virg-inia, sixty miles west of Lynchburg-, 
followed. This-was Averell's crowning feat. No g-eneral 
ever performed a greater, taking into account the numbers 
engag-ed, the difficulties of the way, and the dangers 
throug-h which he -passed. It can be fittingly compared to 
Xenophon's "Retreat of the Ten Thousand" through Per- 
sia, althoug-h, of coarse, on a much smaller scale, both as 
to numb2rs engaged and distance traveled. The govern- 
ment at Washington fully realized the dangers when it 
sent Averell upon the raid, nor was any effort made to con- 
ceal from him the fact that he was probably about to march 
into the jaws of death. He was ordered to cut the Vir- 
g-inia and Tennessee railroad at Salem at all hazzards, even 
at the cost of the destruction of his whole army. A mo- 
mentous issue was at stake. General Burnsides was be- 
sieged at Knoxville, Tennessee, by General Long-street, 
and it Vv^as feared that no help could reach him in time to 
save him. The only hope lay in cutting Long-street's line 
of supplies and compelling him to raise the sieg-e. This 
line was the railroad from Richmond to Knoxville, passing 
through Salem. Four confederate armies, any one of them 
larger than Averell's, lay between him and the railroad 
marked for destruction. But ^vhen the order was given, 
his veteran cavalry, stationed at New Creek, nov/ Keyser, 
West Virginia, went forward, m.oving in a course almost 


as straig-ht as an arrow; rode live days and nig-hts; struck 
a blow at Salem which was felt throug-hout the Southern 
Confederacj" and out-rode, out-ran, outg^eneraled and out- 
foug-ht twelve thousand rebels that tried to hem them in, 
and they returned in triumph. The story is worth a state- 
ment more in detail. His force was larg-ely West Vir- 
g-inians, and many of the old veterans still live, and not a 
few of them attribute their broken constitutions to the 
terrible hardships endured during^ the twenty days occu- 
pied *in tha.t raid; now drenched with rain; now climbing- 
mountains and dragging- cannon by hand in cold so intense 
that cattle froze to death in the fields. 

General Averell's force reached New Creek November 
13, from the Droop mountain campaign. On. December 6, 
1853, he Vv-as notified that hard service was ahead of him, 
and to prepare for it. That night he went to Cumberland 
to consult Vv'ith the department commander concerning the 
proposed raid. Averell asked that movements be made 
from several quarters against the confederates near his 
line of march, to confuse them as to the real object of the 
raid, and also to assist him in making his escape after 
leaving Salem. He knew that confederate troops would 
be rushing from all sides to intercept him. His line of 
march was from New Creek, through Petersburg-, Frank- 
lin, Monterey, Back Creek, Gatewood's Callaghan's, Sweet 
Sulphur Springs, New Castle to Salem; much of the way 
following the general line of the summit of the AUeghanies. 
In order to distract attention from him he asked that 
General Scammon advance frOm the Kanawha to Green- 
brier and Monroe counties; Colonel Moor to march into 
Pocahontas countv; Colonel Sullivan to threaten Sta,untoa 
from the direction of Yfoodstock in the Shenandoah valley; 
Colonel Thoburn was to threaten Staunton from the direc- 
tion of Monterey. 

The march began December 3. Sux^cient time was not 
g^iven to shoe all the horses before starting, and the 


soldiers had to finish it on the road whenever an oppor- 
tunity was presented; and these opportunities did not 
cpme often. The command of about thirty-three hundred 
men reached Monterey December 11. Colonel Thoburn 
with seven hundred men was sent to threaten Staunton, 
and Averell moved on in a terrible rain which swelled the 
mountain streams to torrents. In the eastern part of 
Pocahontas county he had a iig^ht with confederates under 
Jackson, dispersed them, destro3^ed their waggons, and 
hurried on, following' an obscure road throug-h incessant 
rains. On December 14 he was opposite Greenbrier 
count}^ but east of the Alleg-hanies, and here learned that 
forces of coafederat5s under Echols were in Monroe 
county, almost ahead of him, having" been driven there b}'" 
General Scammon who had advanced from the Kanawha 
valley. In order to deceive these confederates, Averell 
made a false movement in the direction of Coving^ton; then, 
at two o'clock on the morning of December 15, pushed 
forward up Dunlap creek, in a nig-ht as dark as dung-eon. 

A ride of eig'ht hours broug-ht the squadron to vSweet 
Sulphur valley where a halt was made of two hours to feed 
the horses and m.ake coffee, preparing- for the dash inta 
Salem which they hoped to reach b}^ daylig-ht the next 
morning. At one o'clock in the afternoon of December 15, 
the adv^ance was made. From the top of Sweet Springs 
mountain a splendid view was opened before them. Av- 
erell, in his official report speaks of it thus: "Seventy 
miles to the eastward the Peaks of Otter reared their 
summits above the Blue Ridg-e, and all the space between 
was filled with a billo'vving- ocean of hills and mountains; 
while behind us the ereat AUeg-hanies, coming from the 
north vvith the g-randeur of innumerable tints, swept past, 
and faded in the southern horizon." Newcastle was 
passed during- the night. Averell's advance g-uard were 
mounted on fleet horses, and carried repeating rifles. 
They allowed no one to go ahead of them. They cap- 


tared a squad of confederates now and then, and learned 
from these that Averell's advance was as yet nnknown in 
that quarter. It v/as, however, known at that time at 
Salem, but it was not known at Vv^hat point he was striking-. 
Valuable military stores were at Salem, and at that very 
time a trainload of soldiers was hurr;,nn;jf up from Lynch- 
burg- to g-uard the place. ¥/hen within four miles of 
Salem a troop of confederates were captured. They had 
come out to see if they could learn anything- of xVverell, 
and from them it was ascertained that the soldiers from 
Lynchburij;- were hourly expected at Salem. Averell saw 
that no time was to be lost. From this point it became a 
race between Averell's cavalry and the Lynchburg train 
loaded v/ith confederates, each trying to reach Salem first. 
The whistling of the eng-ine in the distance was heard, 
and Averell saw that he would be too late if he advanced 
with Ills whole force. So, he set forward with three hun- 
dred and fifty horsemen, and two rifled cannon, and w^ent 
into Salem on a dead run; people on the road and streets 
-parting rig-ht and. left to let the squadron pass. The train 
loaded with confederates was approaching the depot. 
Averell wheeled a cannon into position and fired three 
times in rapid succession, the first ball missing', but the 
next oassing throug'h the train almost from end to end, 
and the third following close after. The locomotive was 
uninjured, and it reversed, and backed up the road in a 
hurry, disappearing in the direction whence it had come. 
Averell cut the telegraph v/ires. The woi'k of destroying- 
the railroad was beg-un. When the remainder ^i the force 
came up, detachments were sent four miles east and 
twelve miles west to destroy the railroad and bridg-es. 

Among- the stores destroyed were one hundred thousand 
bushels of shelled corn; ten thousand bushels of wheat; 
two thousand barrels of flour; fifty thousand bushels of 
oats; one thousand sacks of salt; one hundred wag-ons, and 
larg-e quartities of clothing-, leather, cotton, harness, shoes, 


saddles, tools, and many other thing-s. The depot, water 
station, turntables, a larg-e pile of bridge timber, and other 
.stores were burned. Five bridg-es were destroyed and 
the track torn up as much as possible for sixteen miles, 
and the rails twisted to render them useless. Private 
property was untouched. Six hours vrere spent in the 
work of destruction. 

It was now 4 p. m,, December 16, and Averell set out 
upon his return. Word had been given out that he would 
take the road to Euchanan; but this was a ruse, and it sub- 
sequently proved that the confeder3.tes had been deceived 
by it and had marched toward that point, expecting to head 
Averell off. Bat he was many miles away. He had started 
back over the way bj^ which he came. Seven miles from 
Salem a halt was made for the night. The troops vi^ere ex- 
hausted, and a rest was absolutely necessary. That night 
it rained hsavily, and for the following twenty-four hours. 
It looked as if Averell's force was doomed. He had per- 
formed the work which he was sent to do, and all that re- 
mained for him was to save himself if he could. The con- 
federates were closing in on all sides. Fitzhugh Lee, 
Jackson, Early, Echols, each had an army, and smaller 
forces were on all sides. Averell was hemmed in, and 
practically surrounded by more than twelve thousand reb- 
els; and that, too, while rain fell in torrents; creeks over- 
flowed their banks; rivers deluged the country; bridges 
were broken down or destroyed; nearly every avenue of 
escape was held by the enemy in overwhelming numbers. 
Averell's, troops dared everything, endured everything, 
rain, cold, hunger, fatigue, assaults of enemies seen and 
unseen. In crossing the raging torrents, heavy caissons, 
were swept away and men and horses were drowned. 
But there was no rest. The onl}^ escape from destruction 
was to push on; and on Averell went. He captured con- 
federate scouts and learned something of the positions of 
their forces. There was little comfort in this. Fitzhugh. 


Lee was ahead of him and Jones was ready to fall on his 
flank, while Echols, Jackson and Early were uncomforta- 
bly near. Aver ell was trying- to cross into West Virginia 
in Monroe, Greenbrier or Pocahontas county. Echols was 
in Monroe, shutting- off escape in that quarter. 

Drenched with rain, muddy and hungry, the force 
reached Newcastle about sunset December 18. The am- 
munition was wet, and Averell did not know whether it 
could be used in battle. At nine o'clock that night the col- 
umn again took the road to Sweet Spring-s. About two 
o'clock in the m^orningof December 19, confederate pickets 
were encountered. These fled. As soon as the confed- 
erate pickets were driven away, Averell halted and built 
fires to deceive the enemy whom he knew to be near. He 
left the fires burning and set forward toward the Coving- 
ton and Fincastle pike. The night was exceedingly dark 
and cold. He marched thirty miles through the forest, 
and about noon reached the Fincastle pike, fifteen miles 
from the brido-e below Covington, across the James. The 
river was reported unfordable, on account of high water 
and floating ice. Averell caref'ally calculated his chances 
of reaching this bridge in advance of the confederates. 
He had his doubts; but there was no other avenue of es- 
cape, and he set forward toward the bridge. After pro- 
ceeding seven miles a confederate force appeared in the 
road ahead between him and the bridge. An attack on the 
confederates was immediately made. They broke and 
fled, and Avereli's cavalry after them. For eight miles it. 
was a desperate race. Averell knew that the rebels were 
trying to reach the bridge to set it on fire before he could 
cross; and he was determined they should have no time to 
strike a match. ' Down the pike went the rebels in a head- 
long run for the bridge, and Averell at their heels. At 
nine o'clock at night the bridge was reached. The con- 
federates had kindling- wood piled ready for firing, but 
they were not g-iven time to apply the match, Averell 


captured tl;e brldg-e. Five miles beyond was another, 
across the same river, and the rebels proceeded to that, 
and the union cavalry followed. Fag-ots had been piled 
on it also for firing-, but the union cav'3.1ry was in time to 
save it. 

Before Averell could g-et his forces across the bridg-es 
the confederates under Jackson were upon him. They 
took position upon the bluff above the river and cut his army 
in two. Part was on one side of the river and part on the 
other. The confederates made desperate efforts to cap- 
ture the bridg-e, but failed. The battle contintied. all nig-ht, 
and Averell lost one hundred and twenty-four men, besides 
some drowned while trying" to cross the river. Finding- 
that Jackson could not be dislodg-ed while the bridg-es re- 
mained, Averell, who had tried unsuccessfully all nig-ht to 
bring- the remainder of his forces across, ordered the 
bridg-es to be set on fire. He sent Vv^ord to his men still on 
the other side to swim the river. This they did, but some 
of the ambulances and wag-ons were lost. 

While hemmed in on all sides, and when apparently every 
avenue of escape was closed, Averell intercepted a dispatch 
from General Jones- to General Early, dated December 19. 
From this dispatch he learned the positions of the various 
forces of the confederates around him. The outlook was 
g-loomy, but by knowing; what routes were impassable he 
could g-ain some advantag-e. He relied on help from the 
forces v.'hich he supposed had been sent to Greenbrier and 
Pocahontas counties, according- to orders, to render him 
assistance on his return. But by some blunder these 
forces had been withdrawn, althoug-h he did know it at 
that time. The demonstrations ag-ainst Staunton had also 
failed to be of any service to him. Thus, cut off from all 
hope of help, he was left in the mountains to strug-g-le 
a.g-ainst four or five times his own number. But the brave 
never despair. From the intercepted dispatch he learned 
that the rebel post at Callighan's, near the summit of the 



Alleg-hanies, was held by otily a small force, if at all, and 
he pushed for that place, and was in possession of it while 
the hridg-es across the James river were still burning-. A 
formal demand for his surrender was received from Gen- 
eral Early, but he made no reply to it. He took an obscure 
road across the Allegfhanies to Hillsboro, in Pocahontas 
county, and reached the base of Droop mountain, his re- 
cent battlefield. The confederates made almost super- 
human efforts to capture him, but they usually took wrong- 
roads. The citizens of the countr}'^, who knew the roads 
best, considered Averell's escape impossible. After reach- 
ing- Pocahontas county and crossing- the Greenbrier river, 
several attacks on the rear were made by the confederates, 
but they were g-enerally repulsed with small loss. 

The weather had now g-rown intensely cold. The roads 
were sheets of ice. The horses could not pull the artillery 
up the hills, and men performed this service. Nor could 
the heavy g-uns be held back, g"oin^ down hill. Trees 
were tied behind the cannon to act as brakes while de- 
scending- the mountains. For two days men drag-g-ed the 
cannon. News had reached Beverly that Avercll was 
returning-, hungry, freezing- and almost exhausted. Rein- 
forcements, with supplies were sent to meet him. Beverly 
was reached after a march of four hundred miles in six- 
teen days. Many of the men were frozen. Averell's feet 
were swollen and were wrapped in sacks. Fearing- that 
the confederates would retaliate by sending- a force on a 
raid into the South branch valley, Aver ell did not stop at 
Beverly, but proceeded to the railroad in Taylor county, 
and moved his command by rail to Martinsburg-, arriving- 
there just in time to confront and drive back the rebels 
who were advancing* upon that place. The United States 
g-overnment, in consideration of the services rendered by 
Averell's force, presented each man with a new suit of 
clothes and a new pair of shoes to replace those worn out 
on the march. 


The Duhlin i?azV7.— In May, 1834, an important 
movement was made against the Virg-inia and Tennessee 
railroad, in the vicinity of the villag-e of Dablin, in Pulaski 
county. The cavalry was under the command of General 
Averell, while General Georg-e Crook v/as in command of 
all the forces. On May 9 occurred a desperate battle on 
Cloyd mountain, near the boundary betv/een Giles and 
Pulaski counties, Virg-inia. General Crook commanded 
the union forces, and the confederates were under General 
Albert G. Jenkins. For a long- time the issue of the battle 
was doubtful; but at leng-th General Jenkins fell, and his 
army g-ave way. He was mortally wounded, and died soon 
after. His arm had been amputated at the shoulder by a 
federal surg-eon. In the meantime General Averell, with a 
force of cavalr}", two thousand strong-, advanced by 
wretched roads and miserable paths thro'ag'h Wyoming- 
county, West Virg-inia, into Virginia, hoping to strike at 
Siltviile, or V/ytheville before the confederates could con- 
centrate for defense. When the troops entered Tazewell 
county they had numerous skirmishes with small parties 
of confederates. When Tazewell court house was reached 
it v/as learned that between four and five thousand confed- 
erates, commanded by Generals W. E. Jones and John H. 
Morgan, had concentrated at Siltviile, having learned of 
Averell's advance. The defences north of that town were 
so strongly fortified that the union troops could not attack 
with hope of success. Averell turned, and made a rapid 
march toward Wytheville, in order to prevent the confed- 
erates from marching to attack General Crook. Arriving 
near Wytheville on May 10, he met Jones and Morgan, 
with fiv^e thousand men, marching to attack General Crook. 
Averell made an attack on them, or they on him, as both 
sides appeared to begin the battle about the same time. 
Although out-numbered and out-flanked, the union forces 
held their ground four hours, at which time the vigor of 
the confederate fighting- began to slack. After dark the 


confederates withdrew. The union loss was one hundred 
and fourteen in killed and wounded. Averell made a dash 
for Dablin, and the confederates followed as fast as possi- 
ble. The bridg-e across New river, and other brido-es, 
were destroyed, and the railroad was torn up, S3on after 
crossing- New river on the morning- of May 12, the confed- 
erates arrived on the opposite bank, but VaQj could not 
cross the stream. They had been unable to prevent the 
destruction of the railroad property, althoug-h their forces 
out-numbered Averdl's. The union cavalry rejoined 
General Crook, and the army returned to the Kanawha 
valley by way of Monroe county. 

JVoteS. — West Virg-inia furnished 36,530 soldiers for 
the union armies, and about 7,000 for the confederate 

The first union regiment recruited in the state was Col- 
onel Kelley's, at AYheeling-. It took the field May 25, 1861. 

The first armed confederate killed in the state, and also 
said to be the first killed in the war, was Captain Christian 
Roberts. His death occurred on the morning of May 27, 
1861, at Glover's Gap, on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, 
between Wheeling and Grafton. He fell in a fig-ht with a 
squad of union soldiers under Lieutenant Oliver R. West, 
Company A, Second Virg-inia Infantry, afterwards the. 
Fifth West Virginia Cavalry. 

The first enlisted union soldier killed in the state, and also 
said to be the first killed in the war, was Bailey Brown, of 
Company B, Second Virginia Infantry, afterwards Fifth 
West Virginia Cavalry. He was killed at Fetterman, near 
Grafton, on the night of May 22, 1861. The shot was fired 
from a flintlock musket in the hands of Daniel W. S. 
Knight, of Captain Robinson's company, Twenty-fifth Vir- 
g-inia confederate regiment. 

The first regiment to enlist for the three years service 
in the state was the Second West Virginia infantry. 

The last gun ever pat into position by General Lee was 


silenced by General Thomas S. Harris, of West Virg-inia, 
on the day of the surrender at Appomattox; and the last 
bug-le command g-iven the union troops prior to Lee's sur- 
render, was g-iven by Nathaniel Sisson, also a West Vir- 




Newspaper history commenced in the territory now 
forming" West Virg-inia, nearly one hundred years ag"o; 
that is, in 1803. The beg-inning- was small, but ambitious; 
and althoug-h the first journal to make its appearance in the 
state, ceased to pav its visits to the pioneers g-enerations 
ag-o; yet, from that small beg-inning- has grown a press 
which will rank with that of any state in the union, if pop- 
ulation and other conditions are taken into account. West 
Virg-inia has no larg-e city, and consequently has no paper 
of metropolitan pretensions; but its press fulfills every 
requirement of its people; faithfully represents every bus- 
iness interest; maintains every honorable political princi- 
ple; upholds morality; encourag-es education, and has its 
strength in the g-ood will of- the people. This chapter can 
do little more than present an outline of the g-rowth of 
journalism in this state, tog-ether »vith facts and figures 
relating to the subject. 

The first paper published in "West Virg-inia was the 
Monongalia Gazette, at Morgantown in 1803. The Farm- 
er's Register, printed at Charlestown, Jefferson county, 
Mas the next. These were the only papers in the state in 
1810. The oldest paper still being published in West Vir- 
ginia is the Virginia Free Press, printed at Charlestown, 
Jefferson county. It was founded in 1821. The Monon- 
galia Gazette was perhaps an up-to-date journal in its dav; 
but it would be unsatisfactory at the present time. It was 
in four page form, each page sixteen inches long and ten 
inches wide. There were four columns to the page. Its 

1 '*a 


editors were Campbell & Britton; its subscription rate 
was six cents a copy, or two dollars a year. It v/as impos- 
sible that a weekly paper so small could efficiently cover 
the news, even thoug-h the news of that day was far below 
the standard set for the present tim:^. Yet, had such a 
paper been edited in accordance v/ith modern ideas, it 
could have exerted a much wider influence than it did ex- 
ert. No other paper was near enoug-h to make inroads 
upon its field of circulation and influence; and it mi»-ht 
have had the whole reg-ion to itself. But it did not expand, 
as mig-ht have been expected; on the contrary, within three 
years it reduced its size about one-half. More Space in it 
was g-iven to foreig-n news than to the happening's of county, 
state and nation. Before the dajrs of railroads, steam- 
boats and telegraphing, it may readily be understood that 
the events recorded from foreig^n countries were so stale 
at the date of their publication in the backwoods paper 
that they almost deserved classification as ancient histor3% 
The domestic news, particularly that relating- to distant 
states, was usually several weeks old before it found place 
in the Gazette. County occurrences, and happening-s iu 
the neigfhboring" counties, were g-iven little attention. 
Many a valuable scrap of local history might have been 
permanently preserved in that pioneer journal; but the 
county historian looks throug"h the crumpled and yellow 
files in vain. But, on the other hand, he encounters numer- 
ous mentions of Napoleon's movements; the emperor of 
Russia's undertaking's, and Eng-land's achievements; all of 
which would be of value as history were it not that Guizot, 
Rambaud and PInig-ht have g-iven us the same thing-s in 
better style; so that it is labor thrown away to search for 
them in the circumscribed columns of a pioneer paper 
printed on the forest-covered banks of the Monong-ahela. 
Joseph Campbell, one of the editors and proprietors of the 
Gazette, had learned the printing- trade in Philadelphia. 
It is not known at what date the paper suspended publica- 


lion. It was customai"}" in earl}^ times, as well as at the 
present clay, to incorporate tv/o or more papers into one, 
drop the name of one and continue the publication. The 
Gazette may thus have pas:ie:l quietly out of its individual 

Monong-alia count}'' fostered the first newspaper west of 
the Alleg-banies in the state, and it also has had perhaps as 
man}'' papers as any county of West Virg-inia. The full 
list, from the first till the present time, numbers between 
thirty and forty. The list compiled by Samuel T. Wiley, 
the liistorian of Monong-alia, shows that the county had 
thirty-one papers prior to 1830. Nearly all of these sus- 
pended after brief careers. It would be difficult to com- 
pile a list of all the papers established in this state from 
the earliest times till the present. It would perhaps be 
impossible to do so, for some of them died in their infancy, 
and a copy cannot now be found. There were, no doubt, 
many whose very names are not now remembered. It 
would not be an extravagfant estimate to place the total 
number of papers published in this state, both those still 
in existence and those which are dead, at five hundred. It 
would be a surprise to many persons to learn how ephem- 
eral is the averag-e newspaper. It comes and g"oes. It has 
its be;,yinning-, its prosperity, its adversity, its death. 
Another follows in its path. Few can be called relatively 
permanent. There are now more than one hundred news- 
papers published in West Virg-inia. Only nine of these 
w^ere in existence in 1863, v/hen the state was admitted 
into the union. These nine are the Wheeling- Intelligencer, 
Wheeling- Reg-ister, Clarksburg- Teleg-ram, Charlestown 
Free Press, Charlestown Spirit of Jefferson, Shepherds- 
tov/n Reg-ister, Barbour County Jeifersonian, Wellsburg- 
Herald and Point Pleasant Register. Of the papers in exis- 
tence ill this state in 18/0 only sixteen have come down to 
the present day. The cause of the eaidy death of so many 
papers which beg-in life in such earnest hope is that the 


field is full. Two newspapers try to exist where there is- 
room for only one. It does not require an evolutionist to 
foretell the result. Both must starve or one must quit. 
If one quits there is always another anxious to push in and 
try its luck. 

V\rest Virg-inia's does not differ from experiences else- 
where. Journalism in country towns is much the same 
the country over. In cities the business is more stable, 
because conducted on business principles. Men with ex- 
perience and business training- accustom themselves to look 
before the}' leap. The inexperienced man who is ambiti- 
ous to crowd some one else out of the newspaper business 
in the interior towns is too prone to leap first and do his 
looking- afterwards. There is no scarcity of g^ood news- 
paper men outside the cities, and V/est Virg-inia has its 
share; but at the same time, there are too many persons 
who feel themselves called upon to enter the arena, 
althoug-h unprepared for the fra}', and who cannot hold 
their own in competition with men ol training- in the pro- 
fession. To the efforts and failures of these latter persons 
is due the ephemeral character of the lives of newspapers,, 
taken as a whole. Country journalism comes to be looked 
upon as a chang-ing-, evanescent, uncertain thing-, always 
respectable; only moderately and occasionally successful; 
inaug-urated in hope; full of promise as the rainbow is full 
of g-old; so-oietimes materializing- into thing-s excellent; now 
and then falling- like Lucifer, but always to hope ag-aiu. 
There is something- sublime in the rural journalist's faith 
in his ability to push forward. Though failures have been 
many, tountry journalism has builded g-reater than it 
knew. West Virg-inia's development and the rural press 
have g-one hand in hand. Every railroad pushing into the 
wilderness has carried the civilizing; editor and his outfit. 
He gfoeswith an unfaltering- belief in printer's ink and con- 
fidence in its conquering- power. He is ready to do and 
suffer all things. The mining- town and the latest county 


seat; the lumber center and the oil belt; the manufacturing- 
villagfe and the railroad terminus; these are the fields in 
which he casts his lot. Here he sets up his press; he issues 
his paper; he booms the town; he records the births, mar- 
riag-es and deaths with a monotonous faithfulness; he ex- 
presses his opinion freely and g^enerously. In return he 
expects the town and the surroundings country to support 
his enterprise as liberally as he has g"iven his time, talent 
and energ-y in advancing- the interests of the town. Some- 
times his expectations are realized; sometimes not. If not, 
perhaps he packs his wordly assets and sets out lor 
another town, richer in experience but poorer in cash. 
There are men in West Virg-inia who have founded a num- 
ber of newspapers, usually selling- out after a year or two 
in order to found another journal. 

This is the class of editors who blaze the way into the 
woods. They bear the same relation to the journalism 
which follows as the "tomahawk rig-ht" bore, in early days, 
to the plantations and estates which succeeded them. 
After the adventurous and restless journalist has passed 
on, then comes the newspaper man who calculates before 
he invests. He does not come in a hurry. He is not afraid 
some one will get ahead of him. He does not locate before 
he has carefully surveyed the field, and has satisfied him- 
self that the town and the surrounding- country are able to 
support such a journal as he proposes establishing-. His 
aim is to merit and receive the patronage of the people. 
This becomes the solid, substantial paper, and its editor 
wields a permanent influence for good. Such papers and 
such editors are found all over West Virginia. 

Journalism among- businesses is like poetry among the 
fine arts — the most easily dabbled in but the most difficult 
to succeed in. It may not appear to the casual observer 
that the newspaper business is nearly always unsuccess- 
ful, or, at least, that nearly all the papers which come into 
existence meet untimely death in the very blossom of their 


3''0utli. An exammation of the history of nawspapers in 
nearly aii}' old town will show that ten have failed where 
one has succeeded. The history of journalism in Monon- 
galia county, already alluded to, differs little from the 
history of the papirs in any county of equal ag-e and popu- 

In 1851 whenllorace Greeley was asked by a parliamen- 
tar}" committee from England "at what amount of popula- 
tion of a town in America do the}^ first beg-in the publica- 
tion of a weekly newspaper?" he replied that eyery county 
vv^ll- have one, and a county of twenty thousand popula- 
tion usually has two weekly papers; and when a town has 
fifteen thousand people it usuall}^ has a daily paper. This 
rule does not state the case in West Virg-inia today. The 
average vv'ould probably show one newspaper for each six 
thousand people. In the small counties the average 
is sometimes as low as one paper to two thousand people; 
and not one fourth of these people subscribe for a paper. 
It is not difhcultto see that the field can be easily ov^er- 
supplied; and among newspapers there must be a survival 
of the fittest. 

The early journals published in this state, as v/ell as 
those published elsewhere at that time, say seventy or 
eighty years ago, were very diiferent in appearance from 
those of toda}'. The paper on v/hlch the printing was 
done was rough, rugged and discolored, harsh to the 
touch, and of a quality inferior to wrapping paper of the 
present time. S^me of them advertised that they would 
take clean rags at four cents a pound in pa3'-ment of sub- 
scriptions. At that time paper v/as made from rags. It is 
now mostly made from wood. The publishers no doubt 
shipped the rag"s to the paper mills and received credit on 
their paper accounts. Some of these early journals clung 
to the old style of punctuation and capitalization; and some, 
to judge by their appearance, followed no style at all, but 
were as outlandish as possible, particularly in the use of 


-capital letters. They capitalized all nouns, and as many- 
other words as they could, being- limited, apparently, only 
by the number of capital letters in their type cases. 

As late as 1835 all the printing- presses in the United 
States were run by hand power. On the earliest press 
the pressure necessary was obtained by means of.a screw. 
Fifty papers an hour was fast work. The substitution of 
the lever for the screw increased the capacity of the press 
five fold. This arrang-ernent reached its greatest develop- 
ment in the Washington hand press, patented in 1829 by 
Samuel Rust. This press is still the standby in many 
small offices. The printing- done with it is usually good; 
but the speed is slow, and two hundred and fifty impres- 
sions an hour is a hig-h averag-e. Printers call this press 
•*'The Man Killer," because its operation requires so much 
physical exertion. 

The early nevv'spapers in backwoods towns attempted to 
pull neck and neck with the city journals. They tried to 
.g-ive the news from all over the world; and the result was, 
they let the home ne%vs g-o. They were long in learning- 
that a small paper's field should be small, and that the 
readers of a local paper expect tha.t paper to contain the 
local news. Persons who desired national and foreig-n 
news subscribed for metropolitan papers. This was the 
case years ag-o the same as novr. In course of time the 
lesson was learned; the local papers betook themselves to 
their own p3.rticular fields with the result that the home 
paper has become a power at home. The g-rowth of 
journalism has a tendenc}' to restrict the influence of indi- 
vidual g-reat papers to smaller and smaller g-eog-raphical 
limits. All round the outer borders of their areas of 
circulation, other papers are taking- possession of their 
territory, and limiting- them. No daily paper now has a 
general and large circulation farther away from the place 
of publication than can be reached in a few hours. This 
.is not so much the case with small papers. When once 


firmly established they can hold their small circulation and 
local influence much more securely than larg-e circulation 
and larg-e influence can be held b}' metropolitan papers. 
The trouble with the country- papers is that the most of 
them die before they can establish themselves. 

Some of the earlier statesmen feared dangfer from what 
they termed a newspaper aristocracy, formed by the con- 
centration of the influence of the press about a compara- 
tively fev," journals advantag-eously located in commercial 
centers. This dang-er is feared no more. The of 
the press has been infinitesimally divided; among- the 
metropolitan papers first; then among- those in the smaller 
cities; lastly, among- those in the smaller towns, until all 
fear of concentration is a thing- of the past. The funda- 
mental law of evolution, which rules the influence of the 
press as it rules the destinies of nations, or the g-rov\i;h 
and decline of commerce and political power, renders it 
impossible that any ag-g-regate of newspapers, acting- in 
concert, can long vrield undisputed influence over wide 
areas. They must divide into smaller ag-g- re gates, and 
subdivide ag-ain, each smaller ag-g-reg-ate exercising- its 
peculiar power in its own appropriated sphere, and not 
trespassing- upon the domains of others. The lowest sub- 
division is the country paper; and so secure is it from the 
inroads of the city journals that it can hold its g-round as 
securely as the metropolitioa journal can hold its field 
against the paper of the interior. 




In this chapter will be presented facts concerning- West 
Virg-inia g-eog-raphj, climate, soil and g"eolog-y. Its g"eog- 
raphy relates to the surface of the slate as it exists now; 
its g-eolog-y takes into account, not only the present sur- 
face, but all chang-es which have affected the surface in 
the past, tog-ether with as much of the interior as may be 
known and understood. The climate, like g-eog-raphy, 
deals chie^Y vvith present conditions; but the records of 
g-eolog-}" sometimes g"ive us g"limpses of climates which 
prevailed ag-es agfo. The soil of a state, if properly studied, 
is found to depend upon g-eog"raphy, g-eolog-y and climatol- 
ogy. The limits prescribed for this chapter render im- 
possible any extended treatise; an outline must suSce. 

Reference to the question of g-eolog-y naturally comes 
first, as it is older than our present geography or climate. 
We are told that there was a time when the heat of the 
earth was so great that all substances within it or upon its 
surface were in a molten state. It was a white-hot globe 
made of all the minerals. The iron, silver, gold, rock, 
and all else were liquid. The earth was then larger than 
it is now, and the days and nights were longer. After 
ages of great length had passed, the surface cooled and a 
crust or shell was formed on the still very hot globe. 
This was the first appearance of "rock, "as we understand 
the word now. The surface of the earth was no doubt 
very rough, but without high mountains. The crust was 
not thick enough to support high mountains, and all under- 
neath of it was still melted. Probably for thousands of 


years after the first solid crust made its appearance, there 
was no rain, althoug-h the air was more filled with mois- 
ture then than now. The rocks were so hot that a drop of 
water upon touching- them was instantly turned to steam. 
But they g-radually cooled, and rains fell. Up to this point 
in the earth's history we are g-uided solely by inductions 
from the teaching's of astronomy, assisted to some extent 
by well-known facts of chemistr_7. Any description of our 
world at that time must be speculative, and as applicable 
to one part as to another. No human e3^e ever saw, and 
recog^nized as such, one square foot of the orIg"inal crust of 
the earth, in the form in which it cooled from the molten 
state. Rains, winds, frosts and fire have broken up and 
worn away some parts, and with the* sand and sediment 
thus formed, buried the other parts. Bat that it was ex- 
ceedingly hot is not doubted; and there is not wanting^ 
evidence that only the outer crust has yet reached a toler- 
able degree of coolness, while all the interior surpasses- 
the most intense furnace heat. Upheavals and depres- 
sions affecting larg-e areas, so often met with in the study 
of g-eolog}", are supposed to be due to the settling down of 
the solid crust in one place and the consequent upheaval 
in another. Could a railroad train run thirty minutes, at 
an ordinary speed, toward the center of the earth, it would 
probably reach a temperature to melt iron. And, it may 
be stated parenthetically, could the same train run at the 
same speed for the same time away from the center of the 
earth, it would reach a temperature so cold that the hottest 
day would show a thermometer one hundred deg-rees 
below zero. So narrow is the sphere of our existence — 
below us is fire; above us "the measureless cold of space.'* 
In a well on Bog-gf's run, near Wheeling, the temperature 
at 4,462 feet was one hundred and ten degrees. A descent 
of less than a mile raised the temperature sixty deg'rees. 
A well five thousand feet deep near Pittsburg- had a tem- 
perature of one hundred and twenty degrees. A well in. 


Germany five thousand seven hundred and forty feet deep 
g"ave a temperature of one hundred and thirty-five deg^rees. 
The rate of Increase in heat is nearly the same in distant 
parts of the world, and g-ives us strong" evidence that only 
the outer crust is cool, and that intense heat lies below. 

When v/e look out upon our quiet valleys, the Kanawha, 
the Potomac, the Monong-ahela, or contemplate our moun- 
tains, rug-g-ed and near, or robed in distant blue, rising- and 
rolling-, rang-e beyond rang-e, peak above peak; cliffs over- 
hang-ing- g-org'es and ravines; meadows, uplands, gdades be- 
yond; with brooks and rivers; the landscape fring-ed with 
flowers or clothed with forests; v/e are too apt to pause 
before fancy has had time to call up that strangle and v/on- 
derful panorama of distant ag^es when the waves of a vast 
sea swept over all; or when only broken and ang^ular rocks 
thrust their shoulders throug^h the foam of the ocean as it 
broke ag'ainst the nearly submcrg-ed ledg-es where since 
have risen the hig-hest' peaks of the AUeghanies and the 
Blue Ridg-e. Plere where we now live have been strang-e 
scenes. Here have been beauty, awfulness and sublimity, 
and also destruction. There was a long- ag-e with no win- 
ter. Gig-antic ferns and rare palms, enormous in size, and 
delicate leaves and tendrils, flourished over wide areas and 
vanished. And there was a time when for ag-es there was 
no summer. But we know of this from records elsewhere; 
for its record in Vv^est Virg-inia has been blotted out. 
Landscapes have disappeared. Fertile valleys and undu- 
lating hills, with soil deep and fruitful, have been washed 
away, leaving- only a rocky skeleton; and in many places 
even this has been g-round to powder and carried away, or 
buried under sands and drift from other reg-ions. 

An outline of some of the cliang-es which have affected 
the little spot in the earth's surface, now occupied by West 
Virg-inia, will be presented, not by any means complete, 
but sufficient to convey an idea of the ag-encies which enter 
into the work-ing-s of g-eology. It is intended for the young-, 


into whose hands this book will come; not for those v/hose 
maturer years and greater opportunities have already 
made them acquainted with this sublime chapter in the 
book of creation. 

When the crust of the earth had cooled sufficiently, rains 
washed down the hig-her portions, and the sands and sedi- 
ment thus collected were spread over the lower parts. 
This sand, when it had become hardened, formed the first 
layers of rock, called strata. Some of these very ancient 
formations exist yet and have been seen; but v/hether they 
are the oldest of the layer rocks, no man knows. Some of 
the ancient layers, of g-reat thickness, after being- depos- 
ited at the sea bottoms, were heated from the interior of 
the earth, and were melted. In these cases the stratified 
appearance has usually disappeared, and they are called 
metamorphic rocks. Some g-eolog"ists reg"ard granite as a 
rock of this kind. 

As the earth cooled more and more, it shrank in size, 
and the surface was shriveled and wrinkled in folds, larg-e 
and small. The larg-er of these wrinkles were mountains. 
Seas occupied the low places; and the first brocks and 
rivers began to appear, threading- their way wherever the 
best channels could be found. Rains, probably frost also, 
attacked the hig-ber ridg-es and rocky slopes, almost desti- 
tute of soil, and the washing-s were carried to the seas, 
forming- other la3'ers of rocks on the bottoms; and thus the 
accumulation went on, varying- in rate at times, but never 
changing- the g-eneral plan of rock building- from that day 
to the present. All rock, or very nearly all, in West Vir- 
g-inia were formed at the bottom of the ocean, of sand, mud 
and gravel, or of shells, or a mixture of all, the ing-redients 
of which were cemented tog-ether with silica, iron, lime, or 
other mineral substance held in solution in water. They 
have been raised up from the water, and now form dry 
land, and have been cut and carved into valle3'-s, ridg-es, 
g-org-es and the various inequalities seen within our state. 



These rocks are sometimes visible, forming- cliffs and the 
bottoms and banks of streams and the tops of peaks and 
barren mountains; but for the g-reater part of West Vir- 
g-inia, the underlying- rocks are hidden by soil. This soil, 
however, at the deepest, is only a few feet thick, and were 
it all swept off we should have visible all over the state a ' 
vast and complicat3d system of ledg-es and bowlders, carved 
and cut to conform to every heig-ht and depression now 
mai'king- the surface. The ag-g-re.g-ate thickness of these 
layers, as they have been seen and measured in this state, 
is no less than four miles. In other words, sand'and shells 
four males deep (and perhaps more) were in past time 
spread out on the bottom of a sea which then covered West 
Virg-inia, and after ,being- hardened into rock, were raised 
up and then cut into valleys and other inequalities as we 
see them today. The rockbuilding- was not all done dur- 
ing- one uninterrupted period, nor was there only one up- 
heaval. West Virg-inia, or a portion of it, has been several 
times under and above the sea. The coast line has swept 
back and forth across it again and ag-ain. We read this 
history from the rocks themselves. The skilled g-eolog-ist 
can determine, from an examination of the fossil shells and 
plants in a stratum, the period of the earth's history when 
the stratum was formed. He can determine the oldest and 
the young-est in a series of strata. Yet, not from fossils 
alone may this be determined. The j)osition of the layers 
with reg-ard to one another is often a sure g-uide in discov- 
ering the oldest and young-est. The sands having- been 
spread out in layers, one above the other, it follows that 
those on top are not so old as those below; except in cases, 
unusual in this state, where strata have been folded so 
sharply that they have been broken and turned over. 
Thus the older rocks may lie abo'v^e the newer. 

Unmeasured as are the ag-es recorded in the mountains 
and cliffs of West Virg-inia, yet the most ancient of our 
ledg-es are young- in comparison with those of other parts 


of the world, or even of nelgfliboring- provinces. North of 
us is a series of rocks, the Laurentian of Canada, more 
than five miles thick, formed, like ours, of the slow accumu- 
lation of sand. Yet that series was finished and was prob- 
ably partly worn away before the first gfrain of sand or the 
first shell, of which we have any record, found a resting- 
place on the bottom of the Cambrian sea which covered 
West Virg-inia. If the inconceivable lapse of years re- 
quired for accumulating" shell and sand four miles deep in 
the sea bottom, where we novv^ live, amazes us, what must 
we say of that vaster period reaching- back into the C3^cles 
of the infant world, all of which were past and g-one before 
the foundations of our mountains were laid! Nor have we 
reached the beg-inning- yet. No man knows whether the 
Laurentian rocks are oldest of the layers; and if they are, 
still back of them stretches that dim and nebulous time, 
unrecorded, uncharted, penetrated only by the -light of 
astronomy, when the unstratified rocks were taking form, 
from whose disinteg-rated material all subsequent forma- 
tions have been built. 

Let us beg-in with the Cambrian age, as g-eolog-ists call 
it. Within the limits of our state we have little, if any, 
record of an3^thing- older. Were a map made of eastern 
United States during- that early period it would show a 
mass of land west of us, covering- the middle states, Ohio, 
Indiana, Illinois and beyond. Another mass of land would 
lie east of us, occupying- the Atlantic coastal plain, from 
New Eng-land to South Carolina, and extending- to an un- 
knov>m distance eastward, where the Atlantic ocean now 
is. Between these two bodies of land spread a narrow arm 
of the sea, from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Alabama. 
West Virginia was at the bottom of that sea, whose eastern 
coast line is believed to have occupied nearly the position, 
and to have followed the g-eneral direction, of what is now 
the Blue Ridg-e. Sand washed from this land east of us 
was spread upon the bottom of the sea and now forms the 


lowest layers of rocks met with in West Virg-inia, the 
foundations of our mountains. But this rock is so deep 
that it is seen only in a few places where it has been 
brought up by folds of the strata, and where rivers have 
cut deep. For the most part of the state these Cambrian, 
rocks lie buried, under subsequent formations, thousands 
of feet deep. 

There were mountains of considerable mag^nitude in that 
land east of the sea. The country west of the sea must 
have been low. During- the immense time, before the next 
g-reat chang^e, the eastern mountains were worn down and 
carried, as sand and mud, into the sea. The Silurian ag-e 
followed, and as it drew near, the region beg-an to sink. 
The sea which had covered the g-reater part of West Vir- 
ginia, or at least the eastern part of it, began to overflow 
the country both east and west. The waters spread west- 
ward beyond the present Mississippi. The land to the 
eastward had become low and not much sediment v/as now 
coming from that direction. The washing-s from the 
rounded hills were probably accumulating as a deep soil in 
the low plains and widening valleys. Over a large part of 
West Virginia, during the Silurian age, thick beds of lime- 
stone were formed of shells, mixed with more or less sedi- 
ment. Shell-fish lived and died in the ocean, and when 
dead their skeletons sank to the bottom. It is thus seen 
that the origin of limstone differs from that of sandstone 
in this, that the former is a product of water and the ma- 
terial for the latter is washed into water from land. 

The character of rocks usually tells how far from land 
they were formed, and if sandstone, what kind of country 
furnished the material. The coarsest sandstones were 
deposited near shore, back of which the country was usu- 
ally high and steep. Fine-grained sandstones, or shales, 
were probably laid down along flat shores, above which the 
land had little elevation. Or they may have been deposited 
from fine sediment which drifted a considerable distance 


from land. If limestone is pure, it is proof that little sedi- 
ment from the land reached it while being- formed. The 
limestone deposited over a considerable part of West Vir- 
g-inia during- the closing- of the Cambrian and the beg-in- 
ning- of the Silurian age forms beds from three thousand 
to four thousand feet thick. During- the vast period re- 
quired for the accumulation of this mass of shells the land 
to the east remained comparatively flat or continued slowly 
to sink. We know this, because there is not much sedi- 
ment mixed with the limestone, and this would not be the 
case had large quantities been poured into the sea from 
the land. 

Another great chang-e was at hand. The land area east 
of us beg-an to rise, and the surface became steep. V/hat 
perhaps had been for a long- time low, rounding- hills, and 
wide, flat valleys, with a deep accumulation of soil, was 
raised and tilted; and the strong-er and more rapid cur- 
rents of the streams, and the rush of the rain water down 
the more abrupt slopes, sluiced off. the soil into the sea. 
The beds of limestone were covered two thousand feet 
deep beneath sand and mud, the spoils from a country 
which must have been fertile and productive. The land 
was v/orn down. Ages on ages passed, and the work of 
grinding went on; the rains fell; the winds blew; the 
floods came; the frost of winter and the heat of summer 
followed each other throug-h years surpassing record. 
Near the close of the Silurian time the shore of the con- 
tinent to the east rose and sank. The vertical movements 
were perhaps small; they may have been j ust enough to 
submerge the coastal plain, then raise it above water; 
repeating the operation two or more times. The record 
of this is in the alternating coarse and fine sediments and 
sand composing the rocks formed during that time. At 
the close of the Silurian period the continent east of us 
was worn down again and had become low. The sea cov- 


ering West Virginia had been cut off from the Gulf of St. 


Lawrence by an upheaval in the state of Nevv^ York. 
The uplift of the land seems to have been much 
g-reater during- this time north of us than south. The 
Devonian age followed, which was a great rock-builder in 
the north. The aggregate thickness of the Devonian rocks 
in Pennsylvania is no less than nine thousand feet. From 
there to southward it thins out, like a long, sloping wedge, 
until it disappears in Alabama, after thinning to twenty- 
five feet in southern Tennessee. Li some parts of West 
Virginia the Devonian rocks are seven thousand feet 
thick. The sediments of which these strata were made 
were usually fine-g^rained forming shales and medium 
sandstones, with some limestones here and there. The 
long, dreary Devonian age at last drew to a close, and an 
epoch, strange and imperfectly understood, dawned upon 
the earth. It was during this age that the long summer 
prevailed; the winterless climate over the northern hemi- 
sphere; the era of wonderful vegetation; the time of plant 
g"rowth such as was perhaps never on earth before, nor 
will be ag-ain. It is known as the Carboniferous age. 

During that period our coal was formed. The rocks 
deposited on the sea bottom in the Carboniferous age 
ranged in thickness from two thousand to eight thousand 
feet in different parts of West Virginia. During this 
time there is evidence of the breaking up and redistribu- 
tion of a vast gravel bar which had lain somewhere out of 
reach of the waves since earlier ages. This bar, or this 
aggregation w^hether a bar or not, was made up of quartz 
pebbles, varying in size from a grain of sand to a cocoanut, 
all vv'ornand polished as if rolled and fretted on a beach or 
in turbulent mountain streams for centuries. By some 
means the sea obtained possession of them, and they were 
spread out in layers, in some places hundreds of feet 
thick, and were cemented together, forming coarse, hard 
rocks. We see them along the summits of the Ailegha- 
nies, and the outlying spurs and ridges, from the southern 


borders of our state, to the Pennsylvania line, and beyond. 
The formation is called cong-lomerate; and the popular 
names are "bean rock," "millstone grit," etc. A heavy 
stratum of this stone forms the floor of the coal measures. 
The pebbles probably represent the most indestructible 
remnants of mountains, once seamed with quartz veins, 
but deg"raded and obliterated before the middle of the 
Carboniferous era, perhaps long- before. The quartz, on 
account of its hardness, resisted the g-rinding- process 
which pulverized the adjacent rocks, and remained as 
pebbles, in bars and beds, until some g-reat chang-e swept 
them into the sea. Their quantity was enormous. The 
rocks composed of them now" cover thousands of squa,re 
miles to a considerable thickness. 

As the Carboniferous ag^e advanced the sea which had 
covered the g-reater part of West Virg-inia since Cambrian 
time, was nearing its last days. It had come down from 
the Cambrian to the Silurian, from the Silurian to the Di- 
vonian, from the Divonian to the Caboniferous, but it came 
down through the ages no further. From that area w^here 
the waves had rolled for a million 5^ears they were about to 
recede. With the passing of the sea, rose the land, which 
has since been crossed by ranges of the Alleghany, Blue 
Ridge, Laurel Ridge, and all their spurs and hills. From 
the middle of the Carboniferous epoch to its close was a 
period of disturbance over the whole area under consider- 
ation. The bottom of the sea was lifted up, became dry 
land, and sank again. It seemed that a mighty effort was 
being- made by the land to throw back the water which had 
so long held dominion. It was a protracted, powerful 
struggle, in which iirst the land and then the water gained 
the mastery. Back and fort'n for hundreds of miles swept 
and receded the sea. Years, centuries, niillennials, the 
struggle continued, but finally the land prevailed, was 
lifted up and the waves retreated westward and south- 


ward to the Gulf of Mexico, and West Virgfinia was dry 
land, and it has remained such to this day. 

Beds of coal, unlike layers of rock, are made above 
water, or at its immediate surface. While the oscillation 
between sea and land was g^oing- on, during- the Carbonifer- 
ous ag^e, West Virginia's coal fields were being- formed. 
Coal is made of wood and plants of various kind, which 
grew wath a phenomenal luxuriance during- a long- period 
of summer that reig-ned over the northern half of the earth. 
Each bed of coal represents a swamp, larg-e or small, in 
which plants g-rew, fell and were buried for centuries. The 
whole country in which coal was forming- was probably 
low, and it was occasionally submerg-edfor a few thousand 
years. During- the submerg-ence, sand and mud settled 
over it and hardened into rock. Then the land was lifted 
up ag-ain, and the material for another bed of coal was ac- 
cumulated. Every alternation of coal and rock marks an 
elevation and subsidence of the land — the coal formed on 
land, the rock under water. This was the period when 
the sea was advancing- and recedinsr across West Virg-inia, 
as the Carboniferous ag-e was drawing to a close. 

Other ages of g-eolog-y succeeded the Carboniferous; but 
little record of them remains in West Virg-inia. The land 
here was above the sea; no sediment could be deposited 
to form rocks, and of course there was little on which a per- 
manent record could be written. The strata underlying- 
the g-reater part of our state g-rew thicker and deeper 
from the Cambrian age to the Carboniferous; then the sea 
receded, and from that time to the present the layers of 
rock have been underg-oing the wear and tear of the ele- 
me'iits, and the ag-g-regate has been growing thinner. The 
strata have been folded, upraised by subterranean forces 
and cut through by rivers. In some places the Carbon- 
iferous rocks have not yet been worn away; in other places 
the river gorges have reached the bottom of the Devonian 
rocks; in still other localities the great Silurian layers have 


been cut through; and in a few places the cutting- has g-oiie 
down deep into the Cambrian rocks. The Glacial age, the 
empire of "steadfast, iiiconceivable cold," which followed' 
the warm period in which coal was formed, did not write its 
history in West A^irg-inia as indelibly as in some other 
parts of our country. The great morains and bowlders, 
so conspicuous in other localities are not found with us. 
No doubt that the cold here was intense; perhaps there 
were 'g-laciers the high lands; but the evidence has 
been well nigh obliterated. 

Land seems to have been lifted up in two ways, one a 
vertical movement which elevated large areas and formed 
plateaus, but not mountains; the other, a horizontal move- 
ment which caused folds in the strata, and these folds, if 
large enough, are ranges of mountains. In West Virginia 
we have both acting in the same area. Independently of 
the mountains. West Virginia has a rounding form, slop- 
ing gradually upward from three directions. Imagine the 
mountain ra,nges sheared off until no irregular elevations 
exist in the state. The resulting figure v/ould show West 
Virginia's surface as it would be presented to us if no 
strata had been folded to make mountain ranges. This is 
the shape given by the vertical upheaval since the Carbon- 
iferous age, uninfluenced by the horizontal thrust of strata. 
The fig-ure v/ould show a great swell in the surface, the 
highest portion at the interlocking sources of the Green- 
brier, the Elk, the Potomac, the east fork of the Mononga- 
hela, and Cheat. From that highest point the surface 
slopes in every direction, as shown by the course of the 
rivers. There is a long, curved arm of the plateau thrust 
out toward the southwest, reaching- around through Poca.- 
hontas, Greenbrier, Monroe and McDowell counties, and 
overlapping into the state of Virginia. The New river, 
from the highlands of North Carolina, cuts through this 
plateau to join the Kanawha on the western side. The 
highest part of this rounded area is perhaps three thousand 


feet above sea level, not counting- the mountains which 
stand upon the plateau; for, in order to make the matter 
plain, we have supposed all the mountains sheared off level 
with the surface of the plateau. 

Having- now rendered it clear that portions of West Vir- 
g-inia would be hig-h if there were not a mountain in the 
state, let us proceed to consider how the mountains were 
formed and why nearly all the hig-hest summits are clust- 
ered in three or four counties. We have already observed 
that ranges erf mountains such as ours are formed b}^ the 
folding- of layers of rocks. This is apparent to any one 
who has seen one of our mountains cut through from top 
to bottom, such as the New Creek mountain at Greenland 
Gap. Place several layers of thick cloth on a table, push 
the ends toward each other. The middle of the cloth v/ill 
rise in folds. In like manner were our mountains formed. 
The layers of rock were pushed horizontally, one force act- 
ing- from the southeast, the other from the northwest. 
Rivers and rains have carved and cut them, changing- their 
orig-inal features somewhat; but their chief characteristics 
remain. The first upheaval, which was vertical, raised 
the West Virg-inia plateau, as we believe; the nex,t up- 
heaval, which was caused by horizontal thrust, folded the 
layers of rocks which formed the plateau and made moun- 
tain rang-es. F'rom this view it is not difficult to account 
for so many hig-li peaks in one small area. The mountain 
rang-es cross the plateau, running- up one slope, across the 
summit, and dov>^n the opposite slope. These rang-es are 
from one thousand to nearly two thousand feet hig-h, meas- 
uring- from the g-eneral level of the country on which they 
stand. But that g-eneral level is itself, in the hig-hest part, 
about three thousand feet above the sea. So a mountain, 
in itself one thousand feet in elevation, may stand upon a 
plateau three times that hi,gh, and thus its summit will be 
four thousand feet above the sea. The highest peaks in 
the state are where the rang-es of mountains cross the 


hig-hest part of the plateau. There are many other moun- 
tains in the state which, when measured from base to sum- 
mit, are as hig-h as those just mentioned, but they do not 
have the advantage of resting" their bases on ground so ele- 
vated, consequently their summits are not so far above sea 
level. To express it briefly, by a homel}' comparison, a 
five-foot man on three-foot stilts is higher than a six-foot 
man on the g-round; a one thousand-foot mountain on a 
a three thousand-foot plateau is hig-her than a two thous- 
and-foot mountain near the sea level. 

Exact measurements showing the elevation of West Vir- 
o^inia in various parts of its area, when studied in connec- 
tion with a map of the state, show clearl}^ that the area 
rises in altitude from all sides, culminating in the nest of 
peaks clustered around the sources of the Potomac, the 
Kanawha and Monongahela. The hig-hest point in the 
state is Spruce mountain, in Pendleton county, 4,860 feet 
above sea level; the lowest point is the bed of the Potomac 
at Harper's Ferr}-, 260 feet above the sea; the vertical 
range is 4,600 feet. The Ohio, at the mouth of Big Sandy, 
on the boundary between "West Virg"inia and Kentuck)'^ is 
500 feet; the mouth of Cheat, at the Pennsylvania line is 
775. A line drawn throug-h the principal points in the 
state at an elevation of 1,000 feet, would not run round the 
state, but beginning in the southwest would follow a 
waving and zigzag course along the western side, across 
part of the northern side, and after being cut off by the 
high region of western Maryland, would reappear in the 
state. If we begin at the mouth of Crane creek, on Dry 
fork of Big Sandy, the one thousand foot level passes 
through the mouth of Dr}' branch on Tug fork, in McDowell 
county; it svveeps up the Kanawha valley to Sewell, in 
Fa3'ette county, passes through Wood's ferr\^ on the 
Gaule}^ and passes up the Elk to the line between Webster 
and Braxton counties. The line ascends the Little 
Kanawha to the mouth of Glady creek, in Lewis county. It 


sweeps up the Monong-ahela and Tyg-art's valley rivers 
six miles above Grafton, in Taylor county, and up the West 
fork to Weston. It ascends Cheat river to the mouth of 
Sandy, in Preston county. It crosses the North branch 
of the Potomac at Blooming-ton, in Mineral county, and 
ascends the South branch to the mouth of the North fork, 
in Grant county. The line is almost level with the tops 
of the mountains in Jefferson and Berkeley counties. 

The fifteen hundred foot contour line, beg-inningf at the 
mouth of Cucumber creek, in McDowell count)'-, follows 
the upper vallevs and ridg-es around to the New river 
beyond the Virg-inia line. Thus the fifteen hundred foot 
contour cuts our state in two along the valley of the. New 
river. The line returning along the face of the mountains 
north of New river, strikes the Greenbrier at Lowell sta- 
tion, and the Gauley at Hug-hcs' ferry, the Elk at Addison, 
and the Little Kanawha at the boundarv between Upshur 
and Webster counties. The line g-oes up the Buckhannon 
river to the mouth of Grassy run; up Cheat to St. Georg-e, 
in Tucker county. East of there the line leaves the state 
and enters Maryland; reappearing- on the North branch 
below Elk Garden, and ascending- the South branch to 
Deer run, in Pendleton county. The two thousand foot 
line crosses the south fork of Tug- river near the Virg-inia 
line, in McDowell county; passes throug-h Mercer couiaty, 
crossinsf the Bluestone river at the mouth of Wolf creek. 
It crosses the Greenbrier at the line between Pocahontas 
and Greenbrier counties. It ascends Dry fork of Cheat to 
near the mouth of Red creek, in Tucker county, and 
crosses the North branch of the Potomac at Schell in 
G-rant county. The hig-her contour lines enclose narrower 
areas until when four thousand feet is reached, only peaks 
pi-oject above. The g-eneral level of Pocahontas county is 
about three thousand feet above the sea. The bed of 
Greenbrier river where it enters Pocahontas is three 
thousand three hundred feet in elevation. Where Shaver's 


fork of Cheat river leaves Pocahontas, its bed is three 
thousand seven hundred feet. A few of the hig-hest peaks 
in Pocahontas, Pendleton, Randolph and Tucker counties 
are: Spruce knob, Pendleton county, four thousand eig-ht 
hundred and sixty feet above sea level; Bald knob, Poca- 
hontas county, four thousand eig-ht hundred; Spruce knob, 
Pocahontas county, four thousand seven hundred and 
thirty; Hig-h knob, Randolph county, four thousand seven 
hundred and ten; Mace knob, Pocahontas county, four 
thousand seven hundred; Barton knob, Randolph county, 
four thousand six hundred; Bear mountain, Pocahontas- 
county, four thousand six hundred; Elleber ridge, Poca- 
hontas county, four thousand six hundred; Watering- Pond 
knob, Pocahontas count}^ four thousand six hundred; 
Panther knob, Pendleton county, four thousand five hun- 
dred; Weiss knob. Tucker count}', four thousand four 
hundred and ninety; Green knob, Randolph county, four 
thousand four hundred and eig-hty-five; Brier Patch moun- 
tain, Randolph county, four thousand four hundred and 
eig-hty; Yokum's knob, Randolph county, four thousand 
three hundred and thirty; Pointy knob. Tucker county, 
four thousand two hundred eig-hty six; Hutton's knob, Ran- 
dolph county, four thousand two hundred and sixt}'. 

We do not know whether the vertical upheaval which 
raised the plateau, or the horizontal compression which 
elevated the mountains, has yet ceased. We know that 
the work of destruction is not resting-. Whether the up- 
lift is still acting- with silfficient force to make our moun- 
tains hig-her; or whether the elements are chiseling- down 
rocks, and lowering our whole surface, we cannot say. 
But this vv-e can say, if the teaching's of g-eolog-y may be 
taken as warrant for the statement: every mountain, every 
hill, every cliff, rock, upland, even the valleys, and the 
whole vast underlying- skeleton of rocks, must ultimately 
pass away and disappear beneath the sea. Rain and frost, 
wind and the unseen chemical forces, will at least complete 


the work of destruction. Every rock will be v/orn to sand, 
and the sand will g-o out with the currents of our rivers, 
until the rivers no long-er have currents, and the sea will 
flow in to cover the desolation. The sea once covered a 
level world; the world will ag-ain be level, and ag-ain will 
the sea cover it. 

There is greater diversity of climate in West Virg-inia 
than in almost an other area of the United States of equal 
size. The climate east of the Alleg-hanies is different from 
that west of the rang-e; while that in the hig-h plateau 
reg-ion is different from either. The state's topog-raphy 
is responsible for this, as mig-ht be expected from a ver- 
tical rang-e of more than four thousand feet, with a portion 
of the land set to catch the west wind, and a portion to 
the east, and still other parts to catch every wind that 
blows. Generally speaking-, the country east of the 
Alle«-banies has the and dryer climate. In the 
mountain reg-ions the summers are never verv hot, and the 
winters are always very cold. The thermometer some- 
times falls thirty degrees below zero near the summit of 
the Alleg-hanies; while the hig-hest summer temperature 
is seldom abo^-e ninety deg-rees, but the record shows 
ninety-six. The depth of snow varies v/ith the locality 
and the altitude. Records of snow six and seven feet 
deep near the summits of the highest mountains have been 
made. At an. elevation of fifteen hundred feet above the 
sea, there was snow forty-two inches deep in 1856, along 
the mountains and valleys v/est of the Alleghanies. In 
1831, at an elevation of less than one thousand feet, snow 
accumulated three feet deep between the mountains and 
the Ohio river. Tradition tells of a snow .in the north- 
western part of the state in 178Q which was still deeper; 
but exact measurements v/ere not recorded. The sum- 
mer of 1854 was almost rainless v/est of the mountains. In 
the same region in 1834 snow fell four inches deep on the 
fifteenth of May; and on June 5, 1S59, a frost killed almost 


every green thing- in the central and northern part of the 

The averag-e annual rainfall for the state of West Vir- 
g-inia, including- melted snow, is about forty-seven inches. 
The precipitation is g-reater west of the AUeghanies than 
east, and g-reatest near the summit of these mountains, on 
the western side. Our rains and snows come from two 
g-eneral directions, from the west-southwest, and from the 
east. Local storms may come from any direction. East- 
ern storms are usuallv confined to the reg-ion east of the 
Alleg-hanies. The clouds which bring- rains from that 
quarter come from the Atlantic ocean. The hig-h country 
following- the summits of the Appalachian rang-e from Can- 
ada almost to the Gulf of Mexico is the dividing- line be- 
tween the two systems of rains and winds which visit West 
Virg-inia. Storms from the Atlantic move up the g-entle 
slope from the coast to the. base of the mountains, precipi- 
tating- their moisture in the form of rain or snow as they 
come. They strike the abrupt eastern face of the Alleg-ha- 
nies, expending- their force and g-iving-out the remainder of 
their moisture there, seldom crossing- to the west side. 
The Blue Ridg-e is not hig-h enoug-h to interfere seriously 
with the passag-e of clouds across their summits; but the 
Alleg-hanies are usually a barrier, especially for eastern 
storms. As the clouds break ag-ainst their sides there are 
sometimes terrific rains below, while very little, and per- 
haps none falls on the summit. On such an occasion, an 
observer on one of the Alleg-hany peaks can look down 
upon the storm and can witness the play of lig-htning- and 
hear the thunder beneath him. Winds which cross hig-h 
mountains seldom deposit much rain or snow on the lee- 
ward side. 

V/hence, then does the western part of our state 
receive its rains? Not from the Atlantic, because the 
winds which bring- rain for the country west of the Alle- 
g-hanies, blow towards that ocean, not from it. No matter 


in what part of the world rain or snow falls, it was derived 
from vapor taken up by the sun from some sea or ocean. 
An insig-nificant portion of the world's rainfall is taken up 
as vapor from land. From what sea, then, do the vv'inds 
blow which bring- the rain that falls ag-ainst the v/estern 
slopes of the mountains, and waters the country to the 
Ohio river and beyond? 

Take the back track of the winds and follow them to 
their starting- point,, and that will settle the question. 
They come from a direction a little west of southwest. 
That course will lead to the Pacific ocean west of M(?xico. 
Go on in the same direction two thousand or three thous- 
and miles, and reach the equator. Then turn at rig-ht an- 
g-les and g-o southeast some thousand miles further and 
reach that wide domain of the Pacific which stretches 
from South America to Australia. There, most probably, 
would be found'the starting- point of the winds which bring- 
us rain. The evidence to substantiate this statement is 
too elaborate and complex to be g-iven here; suf&ce it that 
the g-reat wind systems of the world, with their circuits, 
currents and counter-currents, have been traced and 
charted until they are almost as well known as are the 
rivers of the world. Not only is the g-reat distance from 
which our rains come an astonishing- theme for contempla- 
tion, but the immense quantity transported is more amaz- 
ing- — a sheet of water nearly four feet thick and covering- 
an area of twenty thousand square miles, lifted by the 
sun's rays every year from the South Pacific, carried 
throug-h the air ten thousand miles and sprinkled with a 
bountiful profusion upon our mountains, hills, vales, 
meadows and g-ardens to make them pleasing- and fruitful. 




There are four hundred and twelve species of forest 
trees in» North America, exclusive of Mexico. Of these 
one hundred and three species are found in West Virg-inia. 
The Atlantic coast has two hundred and ninety-two spe- 
cies; the Pacific coast fewer than one hundred. There are 
not more than thirty species between the AUeg^hanies and 
the Rocky mountains which are not also found on one coast 
or the other. West Virginia, with less than twenty-five 
thousand square miles, contains in its forests one-fourth 
of all the species of trees, north of Mexico, in the whole 
American continent, and its number exceeds those of the 
Pacific coast from the Gulf of California to the shores of 
the Arctic ocean, embracing- above one million square miles, 
rangfing- in temperature from the torrid to the frigid zones. 
It is usually the case that a certain tree is found over a 
wide country, but there is always some restricted territory 
in which it reaches its g-reatest development. The differ- 
ence in size and appearance between this tree at its best 
and at its worst is often so g-reat that a person acquainted 
with it at one extreme would scarcely recog-nize it at the 
other. A number of the forest trees found in West Vir- 
g-inia reach their g-reatest development in this state. Few 
territories of the world, so limited in area, can show the 
fullest development of as many species. The difference 
between trees and shrubs, as usually insisted on by botan- 
ists, is this: a tree has one straight, woody stem, which 
branches above the ground. A shrub does not have that 
characteristic. Trees and shrubs are not always dis-^ 



ting-uished by their size. Some trees are smaller than some 
shrubs; as, in Greenland, the former may not be six inches 
hig-h, and in Florida the latter may be thirty feet. There 
is no well understood reason wh}^ a certain species among^ 
trees flourishes in one territory and is absent from an ad- 
joining area of similar climate and soil. There is no doubt 
that trees and plants, as species, mig-i'ate the same as ani- 
mals, but of course much more slov/ly and in a different 
way. The}^ spread from one area to another. Yet, from 
some unknown cause, there are lines which it seems a cer- 
tain species cannot p^ss. To this is larg-ely due the g-roup- 
inf»- of one kind of trees in one part of an area and another 
kind in another part. In West Virg-inia may be found a 
belt of white pine extending- across three or four counties. 
Parts of the adjoining counties have no white pine. The 
persimmon flourishes in one county, in one valley, in one 
range of hills, and is not found on similar hills or in similar 
valleys not far away. The black haw is also select, and 
seemingly unreasonable as to its habitat. The same ob- 
■servation might be truthfully made of other trees. Some- 
times a certain soil is unfriendly to a certain species of 
plant, w^hile other plants grow upon it. There is a kind of 
laurel in West Virginia which will no more grow on a lime- 
stone soil than in a gorge of ice. 

In this brief chapter little more will be attempted than 
to present a catalogue of the species of forest trees found 
in West Virginia. Care has been taken to make the list 
complete. Some of the species are found only in one or 
two localities in the state, while others cover the whole 
area. Perhaps the chief cause for West Virginia's divers- 
ity of forest trees is the peculiar topography of the state, 
by which its climate and soil are ail ected. It has a greater 
average elevation than any other state east of the Missis- 
sippi, yet it poss'esses much low country, the lowest being 
the district along the Potomac, at and above Harper's 
Ferry. It has climate and soil peculiar to lofty peaks; to 


rang-es of mountains less elevated; to upland ridg^es; to 
narrow valleys and coves; to low hills, and wide, fertile val- 
leys. The rainfall on the v/estern slopes of the Alleg-hany 
rang-e is very heavy. It is somewhat less westward of that 
range, and is still less east of it. Thus the climate and 
soil vary exceeding-lv within an area of less than twenty- 
five thousand square miles. The trees suited to each soil 
and climate have taken possession of such localities as they 
like best. In the catalog-ue which follows, the popular name 
of the species is first given and the botanical name 
follows for the benefit of those who care to examine 
the subject more particularl3\ 

Cucumber, or mountain magnolia, magmolia acuminata. 
It g-rows best along- the Alleg'hanies. 

Elkwood, or umbrella tree, magnolia umbrella. On 
western slope of the soutliern Alleg'hanies its hig-best de- 
velopment is reached. 

Yellow Poplar, liriodendron tulipifera, sometimes at- 
tains a heig-ht of one hundred and eig-hty feet. The bot- 
anist Ridgway describes trunks ten feet in diameter. It 
is estimated that four billions of feet of yellow poplar stand 
in the forests of West Virg-inia, more than half on Cheat 
river and its tributaries. • 

Pawpaw, or custard apple, asiraina triloba, grows best 
east of the Alleghanies. 

Lin, tilia Americana, called also lime tree, basswood 
and bee tree. Its bloom is rich in honey. 

Wahoo, or white bass wood, tilia heterophylla. It is 
somtiraes confounded with lin, which it resembles. 

Prickly Ash, or toothache tree xanthoxylum Ameri- 

Wafer Ash, or hoptree, sometimes called shrubby tre- 
foil, ptelia trifoliata. 

American Holly, ilex opaca. This is an everg^reen, 
popular for Christmas decorations. It is not found in all 
parts of West Virgina. 


Indian" Cherry, rbamnus Caroliniaiia. The wood is of 
little value, but the fruit is pleasant to the taste. 

Fetid Buckeye, or Ohio buckeye, aesculus g-labra. 
This is the best wood in the world for artificial limbs. 

Sweet Buckeye, sesculus flava. This and fetid buck- 
eye are of the same g-enus, but this has fragrant blossoms. 
The nuts, when eaten by cattle, are injurious. 

Striped Maple, accr Pennsylvanicum. It has other 
names, moosewood, striped dog-wood, g-oosefoot maple, 
whistlewood. It is seldom more than seven inches in diam- 
eter. There are six species and one variety of maple found 
in the forests of West Virg-inia. 

Mountain Maple, acer spicatum, g-rows from Georg"ia 
almost to the Arctic ocean. 

Sugar Tree, or sug-ar rhaple, hard maple, rock maple, 
acer saccharinum. Bird's eye maple and curled maple 
are accidental forms. Black sug"ar maple, acer nig-rum, is 
a variety of the sug-ar tree. 

Soft Maple, acer dasycarpum; also called white maple 
and silver maple. It is seldom met with east of the Alle- 
ghanies in West Virg-inia. 

Red Maple, acer rubrum, or swamp maple. The bark 
is sometimes used with sulphate of iron in making- ink. 

Ash-Leaved Maple, or box elder, negundo aceroides, is 
one of the most widely distributed trees of the American 

Staghorn SuiviACH, rhus typhena. 

Dwarf Sumach, rhus capallina. The leaves and bark are 
largely used in tanning. 

Poison Sumach, or poison elder, rhus venenata. The 
poison of this tree is due to a volatile' principle called toxi- 
codendric acid. 

Locust,' or black locust, robinia pseudoacacia. The 
wood is durable in contact with the ground. Of late years 
great ravage has been committed on this tree by the locust- 


CoFF^EE KuT, g-lymnocladus Canadensis. The seeds 
are used as coffee, and the leaves as poison for house flies. 

Honey Locust, g-leditschia triacanthos, also known as 
sweet locust, honey shucks and three-thorned acacia. 
There are two or more varieties, one nearly destitute of 

Redbud, or Judas tree, cercis Canadensis. 

Wild Plum, or Canada plum, prunus Americana, has 
been cultivated for the fruit until it is almost a domestic 

Chicasaw Plum, or hogf plum, prunus ang-ustifolia, is 
not believed to be a native of West Virginia, but was im- 
ported from the west, and now g-rows wild west of the 

Wild Red Cherry, or pig-eon cherry, prunus Pennsyl- 
vanica. It flourishes best near the summit of the Alle- 
g-hanies. It is sometimes called choke cherry. 

Wilb Black Cherry, prunus serotina. This valuable 
tree reaches its greatest development in West Virginia. 

Sweet Scented Crab, pyrus coronaria, so called on ac- 
count of its blossoms. 

American Crabapple, pyrus angustifolia. 

Mountain Ash, pyrus Americana, grov/s only on high 
mountains in West Virginia. It extends to Greenland. 

CocKSPUR Thorn, or Newcastle thorn, crataDgus crus- 
g-alli- The long, sharp thorns are occasionally used as 
pins for fastening woolsacks. 

Red Haw, or white thorn, scarlet haw Crataegus coc- 
cinea, is the heaviest wood in West Virginia. The name 
scarlet haw is misleading, as the true scarlet haw is not 
found in this state. 

Black Thorn, or pear haw, Crataegus tomentosa. There 
aire several varieties; that which bears the largest fruit 
mispilus pometata, dull red or yellow, reaches its highest 
development in West Virginia. The tree has a wide 
geographical range. 


Washington Thorn, crataeg-us cordata, is found chiefly 
near the AUeg-hanies. 

Service Tree, amelancnier Canadensis, called also 
June berry, shad bush, May cherry, gfrows from Labrador 
to Florida, but reaches its g-reatest development on the 
Alleg-hany mountains. A variety found on the summit of 
that rang-e has a tree only a few feet high with fruit sweet 
and pleasant. 

Witch Hazel, hamamelis Virg-inica, reaches its hig-hest 
development among the AUeghanies. 

Sweet Gum, or red gum, starleaved blisted, liquidamber, 
iiquidamber styraciflua, is exceedingly tough as a wood. 

Dogwood, cornus alternifolia. 

Flowering Dogwood, or boxwood, cornus Florida. 

Sour Gum, or black gum, pepperidge, tupelo, n3rssa syl- 
vatica. This is the most unwedgeable wood in West Vir- 
ginia. There are many varieties with differences so 
slight that botanists cannot agree on names for them. 
Marshall groups them as " forest gums," and Wangenheim 
as "many-flowered gums." 

Sheepberry, or nannyberry, viburnum prunifolium, 
emits a disagreeable odor. 

Black Haw, or stagbush, viburnum prunifolium. 

Sorrel Tree, or sourwood, oxydendrum arboreum. 

Calico Bush, or small laurel, ivy, spoonwood, kalmia lat- 
ifolia, is poisonous to sheep and cattle. 

Great Laurel, or rose bay, rhododendron maximum, 
when in bloom is one of the most gorgeous trees' in the 
world. It never grows over limestone. 

Persimmon, diospyros Virginiana. 

Snowdrop Tree, halesia tetrapetra, has its northern 
limit in West Virginia. It is Seldom seen growing wild in 
this state, but is common in cultivation. 

Whitp:: Ash, fraxinus Americana, has large commercial 
value as lumber. 


Red Ash, fraxinus pubesceus, is sometimes mistaken 
for white ash, but it is a smaller tree. 

Green Ask, fraxinus viridis. The v/ood is inferior to 
white ash, but resembles it in appearance. 

Black Ash, or hoop ash, g-round ash, fraxinus sambu- 
cifolia, is one of the most northern of the species in Amer- 
ica, reaching- Newfoundland. 

Sassafras, sassafras officinatc. Althoug-h this well- 
known vv'ood is plentiful in V7est Virg-inia, it does not 
reach its g-reatest development in this state, "but in Arkan- 
sas, where it attains a heig-ht of one hundred feet and a 
diameter of seven feet. 

Slippery Elm, or red elm, moose elm, ulmus fulva, is val- 
uable for its mucilag-inous and nutritious inner bark, used 
for medicinal purposes. 

White Elm, or water elm, ulmus Americana. 

Rock Elm, ulmus racemosa; also known as cork elm, 
hickory elm, white elm, cliff elm. The wood is larg-ely 
used for bicycle rims. 

SuGAKBERKY, or hockberry, celtis occidentalis. 

Red Mulbekky, morus rubra. 

Sycamore, or buttonwood, platanus occidentalis. This 
is the largest tree of the Atlantic states, sometimes attain- 
ing- a heig-ht of one hundred and thirty feet and a trunk 
diameter of fourteen feet. The larg-est specimens are 
usually hollow. 

White Walnut, or butternut, jug-lans cinerea. 

Black AValnut, jug-lans nig-ra. This valuable wood 
reaches its g-rcatest development in West Virg-inia, west 
of the Alleg-hanies. It is a splendid forest tree, sometimes 
attaining- a heig-ht of one hundred and forty-five feet. It 
doee not form extensive forests in this state, but the trees 
are scattered. 

Shellbark Hickory, carya alba, is of the first economic 


Black Hiciio:^/, car/a toni^ntosa, is also called king- 
nut, mocker nut, big- bucl bickor}-, and vvdiite heart hickory. 

Bkown HiCKOi'^Y, carya porcina, is sometimes con- 
founded with black hickor}'. It is also called pig- nut and 
switch bud hickory. It is a little heavier than black 

Bitter Hickory, or swamp-hickory, carya araara. 

Wpiith Oak, quercus alba, reaches its g-reatest devel- 
opment in \Yest Virg-inia, along- the western slopes of the 
Alleghanies. There are thirty-seven species of oak in the 
United States, of which fourteen are found in V/est Vir- 
g-inia. There are at least sixty-one varieties, and a full 
share of them belongs to this state. 

Post Oak, or iron oak, quercus obtusiloba. 

Swamp White Oak, quercus bicolor. A tree of this 
species at Genesee, New York, the larg-est, perhaps in the 
world, reached a diameter of ten feet. 

Gov/ Oak, or basket oak, quercus michauxii. 

Chestnut Oak, quercus prinus. 

Chinquapin Oak, quercus prinoides. The wood of this 
tree is the heaviest of all the oak family in this state. The 
chinquapin has a remarkable ability of adapting itself to 
all sorts of environments, and it chang-es it shape, size and 
other characteristics to conform to its surroundings. 
East of the Alleghemies it is usually a shrub. 

Red Oak, quercus rubra. There are six well-defined 
varieties of red oak; not all, however, in West Virginia. 

Scarlet Oak, quercus coccinea. 

Quercitron Oak, quercus tinctoria. The bark of this 
tree is much used in tanning-. 

Black Oak, quercus nigra. 

Spanish Oak, quercus falcata. 

Pin Oak, or water oak, quercus palustris, reaches its 
.greatest development west of the Alleghanies. 

Possum Oak, quercus aquatica. 

Laurel Oak, quercus imbricara. 


Chestnut, castanea vulgaris, variety, Americana. It 
reaches its gfreatest development among^ the southern 
AUeg'hanies; specimens as much as thirteen feet in diam- 
eter having- been measured. 

Bekch, fag^us ferrug-inea, 

Ironwood, or hop horn beam, ostrya Virg-inica. 

Blue Beech, or water beech, carpinus Caroliniana. 

Yellow Bikch, or gray birch, betula lutea, is often 
mistaken for white birch, betula alba, variety, populi- 
folia, which is not found in West Virg-inia. The wood is 
larg-ely used in the manufacture of pill boxes. 

Red Birch, or river birch, betula nig-ra. 

Black Bikch, betula leuta. The fermented sap of this- 
tree is used in making- birch beer. 

Black Alder, almus serrulata, has at least eig^ht varie- 
ties. It is often little more than a thick-branching- shrub. 

Black Wh.low, silex nigra, has several varieties, som& 
of which are divided into sub-varieties. The willow family 
offers many puzzles for botanists. 

Sandbar Willow, silex long-ifolla, is found along- the 
Potomac river. 

Aspen, or quaking asp, populus tremuloides, is the most 
widely distributed North American tree, g-rowing- from 
the Arctic ocean to the Rio Grande, and from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific. 

Poplar, populus g-randidentata, is seldom more than 
seventy-five feet high, or two in diameter. 

White Cedar, or arbor vit^e, thuya occidentalis, the 
lig-htest wood in West Virginia, is found among- the Alle- 
g-hanies, on the rocky banks of streams. 

Red Cedar, or savin, juniperus Virginiana, is the most 
widely distributed of the cone-bearing- trees of North 
America. Its wood is preferred to all others for lead 

White Pine, pinus strobus, reaches in this state its 
southern limit as an important source of lumber supply- 


There is an area of about two hundred square miles, con- 
taining- six hundred million feet, of marketable white pine 
in West Virg-inia. 


Pitch Pine, pinus rig-ida. 

Hickory Pine, pinus pung-ens. 

Yellow Pine, pinus mitis, is sometimes called spruce 
or short-leaved pine. The wood is much heavier tlian 
that of pitch pine and nearly twice the weig-ht of white 

Black Spruce, picea iiig-ra, has at least three varieties. 
It is found near the summit of the AUeg^hanies. 

Hemlock, tsug-a Canadensis, is found in many localities 
among the Alleg^hanies. It g"row9 best on steep hillsides 
facmg" the north, and in deep and cold ravines. 

Balsam Fir, or balm of Gilead fir, abies balsamae, is not 
abundant anywhere in this state, but is occasionally found 
near the summit of the Alleg"hanies. 

The weig-hts of the vvoods of West Virginia differ 
g-reatly, rang-ing from red haw, the heaviest, to white cedar, 
the lig-htest. To ascertain the comparative weig"hts of 
woods, the specimens are carefully cut and measured, and 
are made exactly of the same size. They are then dried 
at a temperature nearly equal to that of boiling water, and 
are kept in that heat until they cease tp grow lig-hter. 
They are then weig-hed, and a record kept of each. Below 
will be found the weig-hts in pounds of a cubic foot of each 
species of wood in this state. Fractions are omitted, and 
only the even pounds are g-iven. A cubic foot of water 
weig-hs about sixty-two and a half pounds. There is no 
"Wood in this state that heavy; consequently they all float 
in water. The weig-hts, from the heaviest to the lightest, 
are as follows: 

Red haw, a little more than fifty-four pounds to the 
cubic foot; chinquapin, fift3^-four; ironwood, fifty-two; 
post oak, fifty-two; shellbark hickory, fifty-two; black haw, 
fifty-two; flowering dogwood, fifty-one; black hickory. 


fifty-one; brown hickory, fifty-one; covv oak, fifty; service, 
forty-nine; persimmon, forty-nine; sr/arap white oak, forty- 
■ eig-iit; black thorn, forty-eig-ht; blue ash, forty-seven; bit- 
ter hickor}'-, fort3"-seven; chestnut oak, forty-seven; laurel 
oak, forty-seven; black birch, forty-seven; jack oak, forty- 
si:-:; scarlet oak, forty-six; wliite oak, forty-six; sorrel 
tree, forty-six; sheepberry, forty-six; locust, fort3^-six; 
wild plum, forty-five; cockspur thorn, forty-five; Wash- 
ing-ton thorn, forty-five; small laurel, forty-five; rock elm, 
forty-five; sag-ar berry, forty-five; possum oak, forty-five; 
blue beech, forty-five; yellow oak, forty-four; g-reen ash, 
forty-four; v.'itch hazel, fort5^-four; sweet scented crab, 
forty-four; sug-ar tree, forty-three; black sug-ar maple, 
forty-three; coffee nut, forty-three; chickasa.w plum, for- 
ty-three; crabapple, forty-three; slipper}^ elm, fortj-three; 
Spanish oak, forty-three; pin oak, forty-three; beech, 
forty-three; dog-wood, forty-two; honey locust, forty-two; 
white ash, forty one; water elm, forty-one; red oak, forty- 
one; yellow birch, forty-one; sour g"um, forty; red bud, 
forty; big- laurel, thirty-nine; red ash, thirty-nine; yellow 
pine, thirty-eig-ht; black walnut, thirty-ei^ht; red maple, 
thirty-eight; sweet j^um, thirtj'-seven; red mulberry, 
thirty-seven; red birch, thirty-six; wild black cherry, 
thirty-six; holly, thirty-six; prickley ash, thirty-five; snov>-- 
drop, thirty-five; sycamore, thirty-five; mountain ash, 
thirty-four; Indian cherry, thirty-four; striped maple, 
thirty-three; mountain maple, thirty-three; soft maple, 
thirty-three; dwarf sumach, thirty-three; pitch pine, 
thirty-two; wild red cherr}^ thirty-one; sassafras, thirty- 
one; sandbar willow, thirty-one; red cedar, thirty-one; 
hickory pine, thirty-one; cucumber, twenty-nine; black 
alder, twenty nine; poplar, twenty-nine; black spruce, 
twenty-nine; black willow, twenty-eig^ht; chestnut, twent}'- 
eig-ht; fetid buckeye, tw^entj'-eig-ht; lin, twenty-eig-ht; elk- 
wood, twenty-eig-ht; w'hite bass wood, twenty-seven; sweet 
buckeye, twenty-seven; hemlock, twenty-seven; poison 


sumach, twenty-seven; box elder, twentv-seven; wafer 
ash, twenty-six; yellow poplar, twenty-six; pawpaw, 
twenty-live; butternut, twenty-five; quaking- asp, twenty- 
five; balm of g-ilead, twenty-four; v^hite pine, twenty-four; 
white cedar, twenty. 

Estimates have been made of the amount of cordwood in 
the forests of West Virginia, placing- the total at six hun- 
dred and fifty millions of cords. The counties of this 
state having- the smallest proportion of forest are Harri- 
son and Jefferson; next are Monroe, Mason, Jackson and 
Roane; third, Preston, Monong-alia, Marion, Taylor, Bar- 
bour, Upshur, Lewis, Doddridge, Tyler, Ritchie, V/ood, 
Ohio, Hancock and Brooke, The fourth group of coun- 
ties, the densest forest and proportionately largest area, 
embraces the remainder of the state. In the first group, 
the cordwood is estimated at five to ten cords per acre; in 
the second, ten to twenty cords; in the third, twenty to 
fifty, and in the fourth, over fifty cords. The fourth 
group includes more than half the state; so, it is not prob- 
ably out of the way to estimate the quantity of cordwood 
for the whole state at forty cords per acre. 

When woods are seasoned, their capacit}!' for giving out 
heat in combustion is proportioned to their weights, pro- 
vided that the two classes, resinous and non-resinous, are 
compared, each with specimens of its own class. Weight 
for weight, resinous woods develop about twelve per cent 
more heat than non-resinous; but, under ordinary circum- 
stances, resinous woods are not wholly consumed. The 
smoke carries away much that might be converted into 
heat, in a proper furnace. For this reason resinous woods 
are often considered inferior to non-resinous of equal 
weights in the production of heat. The fault is in the 
furnace, not in the wood. 

A cubic foot of yellovv' poplar, which weighs twenty-six 
pounds will develop, in combustion, one-halt as much heat 
as a cubic foot of black hickorv, which weighs fiftv-two 


pounds. A cubic foot of green wood develops, when 
burned, as much heat as the same quantit}^ when dry; but 
the apparent results are not the same, because a portion of 
the heat from the green wood is required to evaporate the 
water in the wood. The amount is usually about fifteen 
per cent. The quantity of heat g-iven out when wood is 
burned is no more and no less than the quantity absorbed 
(if the unscientific expression may be used) from the sun- 
lig"ht while the tree was g-rowing-. Heat g"iven out from 
burning- wood was obtained from the sun; it follows, then, 
theoretically, and experiments have proved it, that the 
process of dr^'ing- adds nothing- to the wood, and that the 
g-reen stick can develop, in combustion, as much heat as. 
the dry. 




BY 11. L. SVriSHER. 

But little more than a decade bad passed after the settle- 
ment of Jamestown before the necessity for a tribunal of 
justice was felt and provided for. The numerous courts 
of today had their orig-in in justice courts, or as they are 
more popularly called, county courts. These were estab- 
lished in Virofinia in 1623-4. In 1653 their members were 
elected by the house of burg-esses. It was not until 1776 that 
the appointing- of these justices became a part of the power 
of the g-overnor of the state. This power he exercised 
until 1852. From 1852 to 1863 the county court was com- 
posed of four justices from each mag-isterial district into 
which the county v/as divided. The power of appointing- 
was taken from the g-overnor and the justices were elected 
by direct vote of the people. A board of supervisors, with 
one member from each township of the county, took the 
place of the county court from 1863 to 1872. The consti- 
tution of 1872 revived the old county court and it continued 
until 1880. In 1880 the amendment of the eig-hth article of 
the constitution destroyed the county court and established 
in its stead a board of commissioners, still commonly 
known as the county court. This board is composed of 
three members elected by the people of the county and has 
jurisdiction over the police and fiscal affairs within the coun- 
ty's area. 

The first mention made of a court for Hampshire county, 
in any records accessible, is June 11, 1755. Who the jus- 
tices were is not stated, but Archibald Wag-er was clerk. 



Two years later we find another session of the same court, 
with a mention of the justices' names and Gabriel Jones as 
clenk. Among- the powers conferred upon Lord Fairfax, 
in whose possession the whole area of this county was for 
many years, we find that he was permitted "to hold a court 
in the nature of a court baron." This court had power to 
collect debts not exceedin<>- forty shilling's. He also had 
♦ power to hold a court leet tvv'ice a year. 

One of the earliest court records now in the possession 
of the county clerk is an old order book for the years 1788- 
91. Interesting- indeed are some of the orders passed by 
these old courts more than a century ago, and while they 
may seem trivial to us at this day, they were at that time, 
no doubt, matters of importance. Let a few instances 
illustrate. At a session of the justice court held March 
14, 1788, Peter Theran was plaintiff in a case of "trespass, 
assault and battery" ag-ainst Joseph Powell. The jury 
found the defendant g-uilty "in the manner and form as the 
plaintiff ag"ainst him hath declared, and they do assess the 
plaintiff damag-es by occasion thereof to one penny." Mr. 
Theran is ordered to proceed at once to collect this mag-- 
nanimous sum, but whether he succeeded or not we shall 
never know. A more serious verdict was passed, however, 
by a special session of the court called April 3, 1788, "for 
the examination of a man who stood committed to the 
county jail of said county charg-ed with feloniously steal- 
ing- a black mare, the property of John Thompson." The 
prisoner denied his g"uilt, but sundry witnesses broug-ht 
about "the opinion of the court that the said C — P — is 
g-uilty of the felony aforesaid, but the court doubts whether 
the testimony would be sufficient to convict the prisoner 
before the g-eneral court, and the prisoner being- willing- to 
submit himself to the mercy of the court, it is therefore 
ordered that the said C — P — receive ten lashes on his 
bare back, weH laid on at the public whipping- post, and 
the sheriff is ordered to cause immediate execution thereof 





1H£ M"- 






OA..-I >r\ 


to be done." So the rattle of British musketry had its 
echo in the crack of the torturing- whip. At a session of 
May court in the same year, we find it ordered by the 
court "that the sheriff let the repairing- of the g^aol and also 
the making- of a pillory and stocks to the lowest bidder." 
The common medium of exchang-e for a period of about 
fifteen years after the Revolution was tobacco, and we 
find that witnesses were paid twenty-five pound*\ a day for 
attending- court, and at the rate of four pounds for each 
mile traveled in g-oing^ to and from the court house. Hunt- 
ing- in those early days was no doubt pursued as a means of 
livelihood and in some instances, at leafet, it appears to 
have been profitable. By the county court of December 
16, 1790, one man is ordered to be paid ten pounds and five 
shillings for ten wolves' heads. This sum was just equal 
to the salary of the prosecuting- attorney of the county for 
that year. Such was the g-eneral routine of business that 
occupied the time of these early courts from which our 
execellent judicial system has been evolved. 

The records of the superior courts for Hampshire 
county are very incomplete, owing- partly to the fact that 
the courts for this county were held principally in other 
counties for many years after the Revolutionary war. 

The courts of this county were the same as those of Vir- 
ginia until the formation of West Virg-inia into a state. 
For this reason a brief notice of the courts of Virg-inia 
more than a century ag-o may not be amiss here. In the 
acts of the g-eneral assemblv of 1792 there is provision 
made for a court of appeals, consisting- of one judg-e, who 
composed the court. This was afterwards chang-ed to 
five judg-es, any three of whom constituted a court for ap- 
pellate cases. This court was held twice a year at Rich- 
mond, or such other place as the g-eneral assembly desig- 

The g-eneral court at this time was composed of ten 
judges and met at Richmond twice a year. These ten 


judg-es were sent out by twos to hold district courts in the 
different judicial divisions of the state. In 1819 the num- 
ber of judg"es was increased to fifteen, and each judg-e was 
to hold one circuit court a year in each count}^ of bis dis- 
trict. The district courts of this county were always held 
at Winchester, where all such leg"al business as fell within 
the jurisdiction of such a court had to be transacted. 
From the district court established very soon after the 
capture of Cornwallis we have by an easy step the circuit 
courts of today. 

In 1818 we find it stated in the Revised Cod 2 that there 
was to be held one superior court of chancery in each of 
the nine districts of the state. The counties of Frederick, 
Shenandoah, Hardy, Plampshire, Berkeley, Jefferson and 
Loudon composed Winchester district, where this court 
was held twice a year for the counties named. 

It was not until after the constitution of 1830 was adopted 
that any superior court was held in Hampshire. The first 
was called the circuit superior court of law and chancery, 
and v/as held at Romn«y court house, October 5, 1831, with 
Richard E. Parker, one of the judg-es of the seventh judi- 
cial district and judg-e of the thirteenth judicial district, 

At the April session, 1832, we find present as presiding- 
judge, John Scott, "a judge of the g-eneral court." He 
does not appear to have tarried long-, as at the next term in 
October, of the seme year, Richard E. Parker ag-ain ap- 
pears as judge, and so continues until September, 183(j. 

Isaac R. Douglass was his successor and appears for the 
first time at April session, 1837, and continues until Sep- 
tember, 1850. 

Following him came Richard Parker, evidently a differ- 
ent person from the first judge. He served as judge from 
1851 until 1861 with the single exception of the September 
session, 1851, at which time G. B. Samuels was the pre- 
siding judge. 


During- the period, 1861 to 1865, there was no superior 
court oa account of the troublous conditions attendant on 
the civil war. The period covered by Richard Parker 
was under the constitution of 1850 and it was during- this 
time that the name circuit court came into use. This 
court is still called by that name. 

The constitution of 1850 established Clarke, Frederick, 
Hampshire, Morg-an, Berkeley and Jefferson counties as 
the thirteenth judicial district. Under this constitution 
the present court of appeals came into being-. It was com- 
posed of five judg-es, one for each section. These were 
elected by the people for a term of twelve years v/hile the 
circuit judges were elected for a term of eig-ht years in 
the same manner. 

After the civil war L. P. W. Balch was judg-e for one 
term, September, 1865. 

In May, 1866, w^e find E. C. Bunker serving- as judg-e and 
he continued in that capacity until 1868 with the sing-lc 
exception of the September term, 1866, when Thomas W. 
Harrison, of the Third^ judicial district, was judg-e in his 

J. P.'Smith, of the Eleventh judicial tlistrict, served from 
March, 1868, to September, 1869. 

For a sing-le term, March, 1869, court was held by 
Judg-e Georg-e Loomis, of the Ninth judicial district. 

The period of September, 1869, to Aug-ust, 1870, was 
supplied by Judg-e Joseph A. Chapline. 

Judg-e Ephraim B. Hall, judg-e of the Sixth judicial dis- 
trict, seryed from October, 1870, to March, 1873. 

For a period of three years, Aug-ust, 1873, to 1876, J. W. 
F. Allen filled the position. 

The long-est period covered by any judg-e in this county 
was that during- which Judg-e James D. Armstrong- served. 
He became judg-e in 1876 and presided over the courts of 
the counties- in his 'district with sing-ular abilit}'- for six- 
teen years, resigning- in 1892. He was elected as judg-e o 


the Fourth judicial circuit, but the state has been redis- 
tricted and Pendleton, Hampshire, Hardy, Grant and 
Mineral counties now form the Twelfth judicial district. 

Upon the resig-nation of Judg-e Armstrong-, R. W. Dailey, 
Jr., was appointed by the g-overnor in his stead and later 
was elected to the office by popular vote. 

Below is a list of the justices of the county of Hamp- 
shire together with the date of their appointment or elec- 

1788 — Abraham Johnson, Isaac Millar, Samuel Dew, 
Ralph Humphries, Ig-natius Wheeler, George Beall, 
Thomas Maccubin, Michael Cresap, John J. Jacob, Philip 
Wig-g-ins, Marquis Calmes, William Fox, Thomas Collins, 
Andrew Cooper, John Mitchell, Okey Johnson, David 

1789 — James Monroe. 

1790 — Isaac Parsons, Jonathan Purcell, James Martin, 
Cornelius Ferrel, Edward McCarty, Solomon Jones, Elias 

The records for the years 1790 to 1795 are lost.- 

1795 — Alexander King-, Francis White, William Vause, 
John Jack, Virg-il McCrackin, John Snyder. 

179(.— John Parish. 

1798--John Mitchell, James McBride, John Parrill, 
Mathew Pig-mon, Archibald Linthicum. 

No records for the years 1798 to 1814. 

1815 — James Dailey, Isaac Kuykendall. 

1816 — Henry Cookus. 

1817— Thomas Collins. 

1817 to 1824— No records. 

1824 — ^George Sharpe, Jacob Vandiver, Christopher 
Heiskell, David Gibson, Frederick Sheets, Samuel Cock- 
erill, John Sloan, Reuben Davis, William Armstrong, 
William MuUedy, Eli Beal, Elisha Thompson, Jacob 
Smith, Robert Sherrard, David Parsons, Nathaniel Kuy- 
kendall, Vause Fox, John McDowell, John Stump. 


1828 — William C. Wodrow, Ephraim Dunn, Marquis 
Monroe, Philip Fahs, John Brady, William Donaldson, 
William Welch, Zebulon Sheetz. 

1831— Michael Pugh. 

1832 to 1837— No record. 

1837 — James Hig-g-ins, William Vance, Thomas Car- 
skadon, Robert Newman, William Racey, John McDowell, 
Daniel Myting-er. 

1838— Daniel Keller, William Ely, John Stump, William 
A. Heiskell. 

1840— Robert Sherrard. 

1842 — William Vandiver, Samuel Davis, George Baker, 
Robert Monroe, William Miller, Joseph Frazier. 

1843— Robert Carmichael, David Pugh, Georg-e W. 
Washington, Charles Blue, Joseph Smith, Samuel Bum- 

1844 — Thomas B. White, Isaac Baker, Nimrod McNary. 

1846 — Georg-e Baker, Isaac Baker, Robert B. Sherrard. 

1849 — John L. Temple, Edward M. Armstrong. 

1850— Samuel J. Stump. 

The office of justice was abandoned with the adoption 
of the constitution of 1851. 

The judges of the superior courts of Hampshire county 
since 1830 are given below. The dates show in what year 
they began to serve: 

Richard E. Parker, 1831; Isaac R. Douglass, 1837; Rich- 
ard Parker, 1851. Courts were pVactically suspended 
during the civil war. The judges since the war are: L. P. 
W. Balch, 1855; E. C. Bunker, 1856; J. P. Smith, 1868; Geo. 
Loomis, 1859; Joseph A. Chapline, 1869; Ephraim B. Hall, 
1870; J. W. F. Allen, 1873; Jas. D. Armstrong, 1876; R. W. 
Dailey, jr., 1892. 

The names of those who have served as members of the 
house of delegates from Hampshire county are as follows: 

James I. Barrick, 1853; Thomas P. Adams, 1855; Samuel 
Cooper, 1856; John Largent, 1858; John J. Jacobs, 1869; 


Alfred H. Pownall, 1870; Francis W. Heiskell, 1871; John 
Monroe, 1872; Geor.sjre Deaver, jr., 1873; Alexander Monroe, 
1875; Asa Hiett, 1877; Alexander Monroe, 1879; Henry B. 
Gilkeson, 1883; A. L. Pug-h, 1887; Georg-e A. Hott, 1891; 
Evan P. Pug-h, 1895; B. W. Power, 1897. 

The following- is a list of the prosecuting- attorneys of 
the count}^ with the year of their appointment or election: 
Chas. McGill, 1788; William Nay lor, 1828; Philip B. Streit, 
1830; Ang-us McDonald, 1836; Jas. D. Armstrong-, 1844; 
Alfred P. White, 1850; A. W. McDonald, jr., 1858, William 
Perry, 1865; R. W. Dailey, jr., 1870; W. B. Cornwell, 1892. 

The clerks of the county court of Hampshire county are 
as follows: 

Archibald Wag-er, 1755; Gabriel Jones, 1757; Andrew 
Woodrow, 1782; Samuel McGuire, 1815; John B. White, 
1815. No courts 1861-64. Thos. A. Kellar, 1865; J. A. 
Parsons, 1870; C. S. White, 1873. 

The clerks of circuit court of Hampshire county: 

Smith, 1865; C. M. Tayloi", 1865; C. S. White, 1873; 

V. M. Poling-, 1876. 

The following- list contains the names of the surveyors 
of Hampshire county: 

James Genn, 1755; Elias Poston, 1778; Joseph Nevill, 
1786; John Mitchell, 1788; John Jones, 1808; Daniel Lyons, 
1810; Samuel Dew, 1816; John Sloan, 1827; Samuel Cooper, 
1852; Abram Smith, 1859; V/arner T. Hig-h, 1865; David 
Biser, 1866; J. Z. Qhadwack, 1868; Chas. N. Hiett, 1870; 
Alex. Monroe, J. G. Ruckman, Robert Monroe. 

The following- is a list of the assessors of Hampshire 
county from 1865 to 1897: 

Alfred H. Pownall, Eastern district, 1865; William S. 
Purg-ett, Western district, 1865; Georg-e Hawses, district 
No. 1, 1866; Georg-e Milleson, district No. 2, 1866; Benja- 
min Pug-h, district No. 1, 1870; Georg-e Milleson, district 
No. 2, 1870; Samuel C. Ruckman, district No. 1, 1872; Geo. 
Milleson, district No. 2, 1872; James A. Gibson, district 


No. 1, 1876; Georg-e Miileson, disti-ict No. 2, 1876; James 
A. Gibson, district No. 1, 1880; George Miileson, district 
•district No. 2, 1880; James A. Gibson, district No. 1, 1884; 
Evan P. Pug-h, district No. 2, 1884; James A. Gibson, dis- 
trict No. 1, 18S8; E.van P. Pug-h, district No. 2, 1888; John 
Blue, dis r ct No. 1, 1892; Maurice Scanlon, district No. 2, 
1892; John Blue, district No. 1, 1896; C. W. Schaffenakfer, 
district No. 2, 1896. 

A list of the sheriffs of Hampshire county since its for- 
mation is as follows: 

Edward C. Davis, 1754; Abraham Johnson, 1756; Elias 
Posten, 1788; Thomas McCubbin, 1790; William Fox, 1814; 
-James Coleman, 1815; Lewis Petters, 1816; Thomas Col- 
lins, 1818; James Dailey, 1819; E. M. McCarty, 1821; Fran- 
cis White, 1825; Isaac Kuykendall, 1826; Frederick Sheetz, 
1829; Georg-e Sharpe, 1831; J. Vandiver, 1833; M. Pug-h, 
1835; Samuel Cockerell, 1837; John Sloan, 1839; John Mc- 
Dowell, 1841; William Armstrong, 1843; Vause Fox, 1845; 
Reuben Davis, 1848; John Stump, 1850; Eli Beall, 1852; J. 
C. Heiskell, 1854; George Miileson, 1856; D. T. Keller, 
1858; J. C. Heiskell, 1860; J. H. Trout, 1865; J. A. Jarboe, 
1866; J. H. Powell, 1868; Samuel Cooper, 1870; W. H. 
Powell, 1872; R. D. Powell, 1876; Jonn Monroe, 1880; W. 
H. Powell, 1884; George Miileson, 1888; A. L. Pugh, 1892; 
James A. Moni'oe, 1896. 

At the legislature of 1863 Hampshire was among the 
counties reported as having no sheriff or other collector of 
the revenue "because of the dangers incident thereto." 

County superintendents of Hampshire; 

Henry Head, 1865; John J. Jacob, 1866; Rev. O. P. 
Wirgman, 1867; Thomas A. Kellar, 1871; Dr. Townsend 
•Clayton, 1873; A. M. Alverson, 1875; Henry B. Gilkeson, 
1877; Chas. N. Hiett, 1879; Daniel M. Shawen, 1885; Chas. 
W. Stump, 1889; Jonathan F. Tutwiler, 1891; Chas. N. 
Hiett, 1895. Jocob was appointed to fill out the term of 





That travel was g-eneral throug-hout Hampshire county 
a century ag-o is shown by the number of ferries. At that 
time bridg-es were few, and those who would cross the 
larger streams must do so by boat. A list of public fer- 
ries in the county, in the year 1790, so far as it is now pos- 
sible to compile it, shows that there were eight, as follows: 

Over the South branch, where R. Parker lived at that 

Over the South branch at the residence of Isaac Parsons. 

Over the South branch from the land of John Pancake 
to that of Jacob Earsom. 

Over the South branch at the residence of Conrad Glaze. 

Over the Capon from James Chenowith's to James 

Over the Capon at the residence of Elias Poston. 

Over the north fork of Capon at the residence of Rees 

Over the Potomac at the residence of Luther Martin, 
below the confluence of the North and South branches. 

The rate of toll established by law for all of these ferries, 
was six cents for a man, and six cents for a horse, except 
the ferr}^ at R. Parker's and that at John Pancake's, and 
the rate for these was live cents for a man and live for a 
horse. There was a schedule of tolls for vehicles of all 
kinds, and for sheep, hog's and cattle. The rate was es- 
tablished by law, and there was a severe penalty for an 
overcharg-e on the part of the ferryman, who must refund 


to the injured party the amount of toll demanded and also 
pay a fine of two dollars. These ferries were public, that 
is, they were established and reg-ulated by the state, but 
whether the keepers received salaries for their services, 
or whether they retained a percentage of their collections,, 
is not clear from the reading" of the law on the subject, 
passed by the Virginia assembly in 1792. But the infer- 
erlce is that they retained a percentage, otherwise there 
would have been little temptation to overcharge, and no 
need of so severe a law against it. The probability that 
the ferrymen received a percentage is likewise strength- 
ened by the study of an act of the Virginia assembly 
passed the same year for the purpose of breaking up pri- 
vate ferries. It can be seen that the state was in the ferry 
business strictly for the money there was in it. The law 
provided that no one should run a private ferry for profit 
where it would take patronage from a public one. The 
penalty for so doing' seems unnecessarily severe. The 
person who undertook to turn a few dimes into his own 
pocket by carrying travelers across a river, where those 
travelers might go by public ferry, was fined twenty dol- 
lars for each offense, and half of it to go to the nearest 
public ferryman and the other half to the person who gave 
the information; and in case the public ferryman gave the 
information, the entire fine went into his pocket. It wall 
readily be surmised that the public ferryman maintained 
a sharp lookout for private boats which should be so pre- 
sumptuous as to dare enter into competition for a portion 
of the carrying trade, and it is equally probable that com- 
petition with public service soon became unpopular, when 
a man might receive five cents fo:* carrying a traveler 
across a river, and to be fined twenty dollars for it. 

Messetigers and other persons on business for the state 
wxre not required to pay toll, and they must be carried 
across immediately, at any hour of the day or night. But, 
as a precaution against being imposed upon by persons- 


falsely claiming- to be in the service of the state, the ferry- 
man was authorized to demand proof, which the applicant 
was oblig-ed to furnish. This proof consisted of a letter, 
on the back of which must be written "public service," and 
'must be sig^ned by some officer, either in the civil or mili- 
tary service of the state. Inasmuch as the punishment for 
forg-ery at that time Vv'as death, it is improbable that any 
person would present forg-ed documents to the ferryman 
in order to save a few cents toll. The men who kept the 
ferries enjoyed some immunities and privileg^es denied to 
the masses. They were exempt from vv'ork on the public 
roads. They were not required to pay county taxes, but 
w^hether this privileg-e was extended only to poll tax, or 
whether it applied also to personal property and real estate, 
is not clear from the reading of the reg'ulations governing* 
the business. They were exempt from military service 
due the state, and they were excused from holding- the 
office of constable. 

The roads of Hampshire county compare favorabh^ with 
those of any other county in the state. In the rug-g-ed and 
thinly settled mountain districts the highways are often 
not all the people desire, but this is offset b}' the fine pikes 
which follow the principal streams. History does not 
record the beginning- of road-building in Hampshire. Their 
growth has been an evolution from the trails and paths 
followed, first by Indians, and afterwards by the early set- 
tlers. One by one these paths were widened for wagons, 
but the earliest wagon road in the county cannot now be 
named. It may be that none were made prior to the mili- 
tary road constructed by Braddock during- the campaign 
of 1755, unless a portion of a road made the preceding- year 
for military purposes may be classed as a wagon road. 
The Braddock road was not built as a temporary measure. 
It was not the purpose of the British government and the 
American colonies that it should be used only as a militar}'- 
road and then abandoned. But it was to be a g-rcat high- 


Avav between the east and tlie boundless and almost unex- 
plored west. Civilization was to march toward the setting 
sun upon that thoroug-hfare. The land beyond the moun- 
tains was to be reached along- the hig-hway built by Brad- 
dock and his army as they marched ag-ainst the French. 
Wag-ons and teams to the value of a quarter of a million 
dollars went west with the army. They never returned, 
but were abandoned on the Mononp-ahela after the terrible 
defeat of July 9, 1755. That was the largest train of wag-- 
ons that ever passed tbroug-h Hampshire county, except, 
perhaps, that of General Forbes in 175S; and it is remark- 
able that it should have been the first, and that the first 
should have had so melancholy ending. There is no evi- 
dence that the Braddock road was ever extensively used 
by the people. Portions of it vv'ere early abandoned. 

A number of the roads now in the county are on excel- 
lent grades, so far as the topography of the country v^il 
permit; but others were never pi'operly surveyed, and 
many grades are steeper than necessary, while in numer- 
ous instances hills and mountains are crossed v/hen the 
I'oads could have been constructed as easily around them. 
The men who laid them out forgot that a potbail is as long 
standing up as laying down. 

The Virginia road law, several parts of which were in 
operation before the beginning of the nineteentli century, 
provided amply for roads. All men over sixteen years of 
age must work on the highvv^ays. Slaves must work the 
same as free people. The owner of two slaves who per- 
formed their required labor on the highways was exempt. 
The law required that every road must be kept in repair, 
and thirty feet wide. This provision was seldom complied 
with. Finger-boards to direct travelers must be kept at 
all intersecting roads, and the overseer was authorized by 
law to take timber and stone from adjoining lands to be 
used for finger-boards, but such material must be paid for. 
This law was passed in 1785. Bridges were required to 


be at least twelve feet wide. When a road or bridg-e was 
in need of repairs the overseer could impress teams and 
teamsters and seize material for that purpose. But, thoug-h 
material mig-ht be taken from county property, the law for- 
bade g"oing- upon town property for that purpose. When 
such material had been seized, its value was determined by 
two householders acting" as a board of arbitration. Bridg-es 
across streams which were the dividing- lines of two coun- 
ties must be maintained bv both counties in proportion to- 
their respective assessments. The punishment prescribed 
for cutting- a tree across a public road, or in a stream above 
a public bridge, and not removing it within forty-eight 
hours, was a fine of fifty dollars. A road leading across a 
milldam was required to be kept in repair, twelve feet wide^ 
by the owner of the dam. In case the dam washed away 
the owner was not held responsible for the repair of the 
road until one month after he had repaired the dam and 
had ground one bushel of g-rain. 

The early law of Virginia was strict on viewers of pro- 
posed roads, lest they should take bribes of such persons 
as were interested in having- the hig-hway located in cei*- 
tain places. The law passed in 1786 provided that the 
viewers appointed to locate the road should meet at a cer- 
tain point on the proposed road, and begin work. From 
that time until their work was completed they were for- 
bidden to accept any present from any person, "neither 
meat nor drink," on penalty of immediate imprisonment. 
The law of 1785 provided that no road could be opened 
through a lot in town without the owner's consent. The 
land could not be condemned. 

Road overseers were not highly paid. In 1830 they 
received fifty cents a day, and there were thirty of them 
in Hampshire county. It may be of interest to know who 
they were at that time, and their names are g-iven: Caleb 
Evans, Abbott Carder, John Horn, James Summerville, 
Absalom Doll, Georg-e Rudolph, Jacob Pug-h, Moses 


Thomas, John Berry, Benoni Cassady, Michael Pug"h, John 
Crawfish, John Leatherman, Thomas Sloan, William Tor- 
rence, Mathew Hare, John Larg^ent, Jesse Bane, Jacob 
Vandever, Arthur Spencer, Jacob Lambert, Henry Powel- 
son, Frederick Spaid, Clark D. Powell, Peter Evans, 
Thomas Dean, Joseph Smith, Peter Leatherman. 

The building- of the Northwestern pike from Winches- 
ter to Parkersburg-, throug-h Romney, was a g-reat event. 
This splendid hig-hway was surveyed by one of the mili- 
tary eng-ineers who served under Napoleon Bonapart in 
the Russian campaig^n. On the downfall of the emperor, 
it became necessary for the eng-ineer to leave France, and 
be came to the state of Virg-inia, and was employed 
in road surveys. The construction of the pike was com- 
menced at Winchester and was completed as far as Rom- 
ney in 1837. The road was required to be twenty-one 
feet wide, and no gfrade more than five deg^rees, which is 
about two hundred and eig-hty-five feet to the mile. It 
was fortunate for Hampshire that nature cut g^aps througfh 
Mill creek mountain in four places, by which roads may 
pass without climbing- over that hig-h and steep rang-e. 
These g-aps are, at the mouth of Mill creek, at upper 
Hang-ing- Rocks, at lower Hang-ing^ Rocks, and at the Poto- 
mac just above the mouth of the South branch. The 
Northwestern pike passes throug-h Mill creek g-ap, by a 
g-rade of about one deg-ree, and along- a route of g-reat 
beauty. Every stream on this road was bridg-ed. During- 
the war nearl}^ all the bridg-es were destroyed. The most 
of them have been rebuilt. 

The Jersey mountain road was surveyed and improved 
in 1846. An older road had followed nearly the same 
route for many years, but at the above date it was widened 
and straig-htened. The Capon and North branch turn- 
pike was made about 1842. It passes from Cumberland 
to Capon bridg-e, by way of Frankfort, Spring-field, Higf- 
g-insville, Slanesville and North river mills. It was built 


by subscription, two-fifths of the stock subscribed by the 
state of Virg-inia, and the other. by private parties. The 
pike from Greenspring- to Moorefield was built by a stock 
company about 1850, the state taking- two-fifths of the 
stock. This was called the Moorefield and North branch 
turnpike. In 1852 a turnpike was built from a point near 
Charles Taylor's, on the Capon and North branch turn- 
pike, to a point near French's store, on the Potomac, near 
the mouth of the South branch. 

The first stag-e line in Hampshire county, so far as any 
record exists, was established in 1830, between Winches- 
ter and Cumberland. In 1845 the stag-e lines from Green- 
spring- to Romnc}^ and from Romne)'' to Parkersburg- and 
Marietta, Ohio, were owmed by Nathaniel Kuykendall and 
Jesse Hildebrand. This was the main tboroug-hfare be- 
tween the east and west, throug-h what is now the nothern 
part of West Virg-inia. The National road, from Cumber- 
land to Wheeling- was a rival in importance. The stag-es 
from Romney to the Ohio river made remarkably g-ood 
time, reaching Clarksburg- in one day and Parkersburg- in 
two. Stag-es left Greenspring- for the Ohio river on Mon- 
days, Wednesdays and Fridays, "upon the .arrival of the 
cars from Baltimore," as stated in an advertisement of that 
date. It would appear that only three passeng-er trains a 
week arrived from the east at that time. The distance 
from Greenspring- to Parkersburg- was two hundred and 
ten miles, and the fare by stag-e was ten dollars. The 
railroad fare from Baltimore to Greenspring- was four 
dollars, or from Baltimore to Pa-rkersburg-, fourteen dol- 
lars. The time required for the journey from Baltimore 
to the Ohio river was fifty-seven hours; and from Balti- 
more to Greenspring- nine hours. Stag-es from W^inches- 
ter and from Moorefield connected at Romney with ihe 
stag-es for the Ohio river. 





The tracks of the Indians were scarcely effaced from 
our valleys and hills before the pioneer pedag-ogue appeared 
upon the scene. Who the first teacher was that ever meted 
out learning- in the county of Hampshire will never be 
known. Even the names of these early teachers have be- 
come mere traditions, and we can only describe them as a 
class, making- abundant allowance for exceptions. 

In those early days that a man was a teacher did not sig"- 
nif y that he v/as educated or cultivated. In fact these were 
often his least important qualifications. He must, how- 
ever, be a man of courag^e and muscle, able to hold his own 
when the "big* boys" entered upon the precarious pastime 
of "puttuig the teacher out." He must, moreover, be ex- 
pert in the use of the rod and skilled in making- quill pens. 
"While he was not always of the most relig-ious turn of 
mind, he had no siiadowof doubt but that Solomon's saying": 
"Spare the rod and spoil the child," was a divine revela- 

This primitive apostle of education, the forerunner of 
the present educational system, labored under many dis- 
advantag-es. His remuneration was small, and a place to 
hold his school was not always to be had. Sometimes a 
rude hut near a fort answered the purpose, or sometimes 
a public-spirited citizen would allow the use of his cabin a 
few hours each day. 

It was not many years, however, until the backwoods 
school house was built. It was not an eleg^ant building, but 


it served as a place for holding- schools, religious and polit- 
ical meeting-s. The structure was usually of unhewn log-s 
with the cracks between more or less closed by puncheons 
and mortar. The floor was made of puncheons placed 
with the hewn side up, and the door made of clapboards. 
Somewhere in the wall a part of a log- was left out and 
paper g-reased with lard served to close the aperture 
and let in the lig-ht. There was a hug-e chimney at one 
end larg-e enoug-h to accommodate a child or two on each side 
and yet have a roaring- fire in the middle. Nor was the furni- 
ture more inviting- than the building- itself. The seats 
were made of split log-s, hewn smooth on one surface, 
which was placed upward and supported by leg's thrust 
into aug-er holes on the under side. These benches had 
no backs, and as they were rather hig-h the position was 
not an easy one, especially for the smaller pupils, who sat 
all day dang-ling- their tiny feet in a vain effort to reach 
the floor. Writing- was done exclusively with pens made 
from quills, and a slab supported on pins driven into the 
wall served as a writing- desk. Among- the earlier text 
l)ooks there was a United States speller, the New Testa- 
ment, the Eng-lish reader and an arithmetic. 

These early schools received no state aid, nor were they 
reg-ulated by law. They were made up in something- like 
the following- manner. A peripatetic pedag-oj^ue appeared 
in a neig-hborhood with a subscription paper and each fam- 
ily "sig-ned" whatever number of pupils it felt able to 
send. If enoug-h "signers" were secured the school would 
beg-in; if not, the teacher wandered on to another neig-h- 
borhood to try his luck ag-ain. Not infrequently the 
teacher took his pay in "produce," and the meag-er pay be 
received was made to g-o further by what was called 
*' boarding- round." By this system the teacher stayed a 
part of the time with each of his patrons. He frequently 
contributed to the comfort of the families with whom he 
stayed by chopping- wood and doing- chores. 





The instruction g-ivenwas usualh^of a very rudimentary 
nature, embracing- the three R's, "reading-, 'riting- and 
'rithmetic," and some knowledge of spelling-. In mathe- 
matics the study extended as far as vulg-ar fractions, 
before which came proportion in the old arithmetics. But 
proportion was not proportion in those old books; it was 
the "single rule of three" and its mastery was consid- 
ered an intellectual feat. There were no blackboards, no 
g-lobes and charts, no steel pens, in fact hardly an}^ appa- 
ratus and 3Aet these primitive schools v/ere the places 
where many a man got his inspiration that in after life 
made him a g-iant among- his fellows. 

It viras not until 1810 that Virg-inia g-ave any recog-nition 
to popular education. It was then that the g'eneral assem- 
bly created what was known as the "Literary Fund." 
One of the provisions of the act was that all escheats, con- 
fiscations, fines and pecuniary penalties and all rig-hts in 
personal property, accruing- to the commonwealth as 
derelict and having- no rig-htful proprietor should be used 
for the encourag-ement of learning. The auditor was 
instructed to open an account with the "Literary Fund," 
The management of this fund was vested in the g-overnor 
lieutenant governor, treasurer, attorney g-eneral and 
president of the court of appeals. 

By an act passed 1818 it was provided that "it shall be 
the duty of the courts of the several counties, cities and 
corporate towns * * * jj-^ ^}-,g month of October or as 
soon thereafter as may be, to appoint not less than five 
nor more than fifteen discreet persons to be called school 
commissioners." These commissioners had charg-e of 
the disbursement of their pro rata share of the fund which 
was distributed annually. In 1819 the "Literary Fund" 
amounted to four thousand five hundred dollars. That 
portion received by each county was used to pay the 
tuition of indigent children at the subscription schools. 
These children were selected b}^ the commissioners and 


apportioned to the different schools of the county. Here 
we see the first instance of the state taking" it upon itself 
to educate its citizens, a work which at the present time 
seems so necessar}^ These "poor" or "primary" schools 
were what in 1863 developed into the free school system. 

Poor white children only received benefit from the 
"Literary Fund." No provision was made for the educa- 
tion of colored children, in fact it discourag^ed by sen- 
timent and statute. An act passed by the g^eneral assem- 
bly, March 2, 1819, provides, "that all meeting's or assem- 
blag-es of slaves at any school or schools for teaching" 
them reading- or writing" either in the day or in the nig"ht 
shall be deemed and considered an unlawful assembly." 
Corporal panishment to the extent of twent)^ lashes was to 
be inflicted upon the offenders. This was likely to make 
it unpleasant for the philanthropic teacher who soug"ht 
to g"ive instruction to his African brother. 

There was a semi-compulsory provision connected with 
the distribution of the "Literar}^ Fund" by which the com- 
missioners were allowed to select children whom they con- 
sidered as standing" in need of help. After these children 
had been selected by the board of commissioners it became 
the duty of the parents or g"uardians to send such children, 
and if they failed they were made to pa)' a sum equal to the 
tuition for each day the children were absent. Many pei'- 
sons objected to this system of schools as when they re- 
ceived aid it placed them in the lig-ht of paupers. There 
v.-ere unquestionabh^ many grave faults in the S3^stem, but 
it was a step toward that system which sets forth the idea 
that there is no child either too rich or too poor to receive 
an education at the hands of the state. 

There was little chang-e in the school system from 1819 
to 1845, when we find an act passed by the state leg"islative 
bod}' authorizing" the county court to redistrict the coun- 
ties and appoint a commissioner for each district. These 
commissioners were to meet at the court house of their 


respective counties at the October term of court, and pro- 
ceed to elect viva voce a county superintendent of schools. 
This is the first officer of that kind provided for in the 
school system. His duties were numerous, among- them 
was to keep a reg"ister of the children in his district and 
report annually to the "Literary Fund" the condition of 
the schools under his care. 

Still another step toward the free school system of today 
was an act for the establishment of a district public school 
system. This act was passed March 5, 1846. It provided 
that if one-third of the voters of a county should petition 
the county court, the court should submit to them at the 
next reg-ular election the question of establishing- district 
public schools. If two-thirds of the votes cast were in 
favor of such schools they were established. The main- 
tenance of these schools was accomplished "by a uniform 
rate of increased taxation" upon the taxable property in 
the count3^ This additional levy was laid by the school 
commissioners. There was also a provision for three trus- 
tees in each district, two of whom were elected by the vot- 
ers of the district at the annual election, and one of whom 
was appointed by the board of commissioners. These 
trustees were authorized to select a site for a school house 
in the district, build and furnish the same, and to employ 
a teacher, whom they could discharg-e for g-ood cause. 

It was also a part of their official business "to visit the 
school at least once in every month and examine the schol- 
ars and address the pupils if they see fit, and exhort them 
to prosecute their studies dilig-ently and to conduct them- 
selves virtuously and properly." 

We see, then, how nearly the plan of the present system 
of schools was evolved more than fifty years ag-o, but its 
weak point was that it was left to the option of each county 
to accept or neglect it as the people saw fit, and we may 
safely say it was more often neg-lected than accepted. 

The boom of cannon had scarcely died out. of our hills 


when the arts of peace began to be taught in every county 
in the state. During- the horrors of civil strife, in which 
time our state was born, the free schools had been estab- 
lished. The S3^stem was in operation before the war in 
many states of the union, and in the neig-hboringf states of 
Pennsylvania and Ohio. When those men who refused to 
follow the old state in seceding- from the union met to frame 
a constitution for the new state they comprehended the 
advantag-es of a uniform system of free education. Well 
knowing- the opposition such a system would meet with 
and the obstacles it would have to surmount, they builded on 
a sure foundation by inserting- in the first constitution this 
declaration: "The leg-islature shall provide, as soon as 
practicable, for the establishment of a thoroug-h and ef- 
cient system free schools by appropriating- thereto the 
interest of the invested school fund, the net proceeds 
of all forfeitures, confiscations and fines accruing to 
this state under the laws thereof, and by general tax- 
ation on persons or propei't}', or otherwise. They shall 
also provide for raising in each township [district], by 
the authority of the people thereof, such a proportion of 
the amount required for the support of free schools 
therein as shall be prescribed by general laws. " When 
the first legislature met, December 20, 1863, they showed 
their desire to co-operate with the framers of the con- 
stitution by passing an act establishing- the free school 
system. The A'oters of each township were to elect a 
board of education, and the voters of the county were 
to elect a county superintendent of free schools. The 
first board of education for Hampshire county was that of 
Romney district and was composed of Rev. O. P. Wirg- 
man, president; William S. Purgett, Dr. Leatherman and 
J. D. Mcliwee, secretary. 

The first count}- superintendent of free schools was Wil- 
liam Head, who was elected in 1865. At this time there 
were less than a dozen schools in the county. This svs- 


tern, which all now consider so necessar}' and which all 
heartily support, met with vig"orous opposition for several 
years after its introduction. The duties of the board of 
education at that time included those now performed by 
both board and trustees. It was not until 1866 that an act 
was passed providing- that the board should appoint three 
trustees for each sub-district. The powers of these trus- 
tees consisted in caring- for school property, hiring- teach- 
ers and visiting- the schools under their charg-e. 

The duties of the county superintendent were many and 
diversified. He was "to examine all candidates for the 
profession of teacher and to g-rant certificates to those 
competent." There was at that time a wide range in 
securing- a certificate. There were five g-rades, known as 
number ones, twos, etc., up to number fives. Many of 
those who applied for certificates were woefully unpre- 
pared and few number ones were g-ranted. The lower 
g-rades, however, made it almost impossible for a candi- 
date to fail if he could vrrite his name and knew the date of 
his birth. There is a current traditicn of a teacher 
who presented himself to the county superintendent for 
examination in those early days. When he returned home 
some of his neig'hbors inquired how he had succeeded. 
He replied that he had done very well, having- made a num- 
ber four, but that he intended to return to the next exam- 
ination and try for a number five, as he thoug-ht he could 
do better a second time. 

Other duties of the superintendent were to visit the 
schools "at least three times during- each term of six 
months," to "encourag-e the formation of associations of 
teachers and teachers' institutes," and "to secure as far 
as practicable uniformity in the text-books used in schools 
thoug-hout the county." His salary for this service was to 
range from one hundred to five hundred dollars. 

While these schools were established for persons from 
six to twenty-one years of ag-e, they were even more lib- 


eral than this. In 1865 union soldiers honorably dis- 
charired from the service could receive instruction in the 
free schools without charg-e. It was also provided that 
other persons over school ag"e could receive instruction 
upon the payment of a stipulated amount. 

At the present time the district levies are laid by the 
board of education for each district. This has been the 
case since 1S68, but previous to that time they were laid by 
the annual township or district meeting^s and could not g-o 
beyond twenty-five cents on each hundred dollars valuation 
for building- fund and twenty cents for the teachers' fund. 
In 1867 the maximum for each fund was fixed at fifty cents 
on the hundred dollars valuation, and the moneys of the 
funds were to be kept separate. Uniformity in the text- 
books was aimed at in a law enacted in 1865, enabling- the 
state superintendent to prescribe a series of class books 
to be used. The question of providing- suitable text- 
books has been one that has alwa3"s confronted and hin- 
dered the advance of education. There is probably not a 
state or territory in the United States that has a series of 
text-books which are wholly satisfactory. When some 
satisfactory solution to this troublesome problem has been 
reached the free schools will make still more wonderful 
steps forward than have been made in the past. 

We have seen that under the laws of Virg-inia, while 
there was in reality no free school system, yet there was 
a provision whereby district schools m.ight be established, 
and later there was an act calling- for three trustees to be 
appointed to care for each district. Trustees were pro- 
vided for as early as 1866 by the new state, and it became 
the duty of the board of education to appoint three trus- 
tees for each sub-district. 

In introducing- the free schools the leg-islature and 
friends of education overreached themselves b}^ passing a 
law requiring- the schools to be kept open uniformly six 
months each year. This could not be done by the maxi- 


mum levy laid, and thus one law made another null and 
void. It was therefore enacted m 1867 that the schools 
should be kept open at least four months in the year, but 
even this could not be done, and in some districts of coun- 
tiesin the state there were not more than two months' school 
a year. The constitution of 1S72 reaffirmed the position 
of the former one and enjoined upon the leg-islature to pro- 
vide by g-eneral law for a thorough and efficient s^^stem of 
free schools. When the leg^islature assembled after the 
adoption of this constitution, among- its first acts were 
those intended to carry out this clause of the constitution. 
A board of education was to be elected in each district, 
composed of a president and two commissioners. At the 
same time one trustee was to be elected. This number 
was afterwards chang-ed to three and they were appointed 
by the board. 

The countv superintendent had enjoyed a monopoly on 
holding- examinations for candidates for the profession of 
teaching- up to the year 1873, but the acts of that year pro- 
vided two examiners to assist him. His office heretofore 
had some possibilities of being- moderately lucrative, but 
in 1879 he v/as reduced to a maximum salary of one hun- 
dred and twenty-five dollars, but as an offset he was ex- 
cused from visiting- school and his duties became very few. 
This office has always been so poorly paid as to render it 
almost useless by not holding- out inducements sufficient 
to lead men of education and ability to devote their time 
and attention to it. A little more dig-nity was added to the 
office and a little better salary attached by an act passed 
in 1881 when it v/as made to pay not less than one hundred 
and fifty dollars nor more than three hundred dollars, and 
the superintendent was ag-ain required to visit the schools. 
Just where and by whom the first school was taught in 
Hampshire cannot now be stated with any absolute cer- 
tainty. There are many traditions and facts, however, 
•concerning- these schools, some of which will be g-iven. 


Even after the civil w^ar the school houses in this county,. 
perhaps, did not exceed a dozen. In earlier times they 
were exceeding-ly scarce. There was a school house on 
Sandy ridg-e where some of the oldest persons now living- 
attended school. This was built about 1835. Another at 
Forks of Capon near John Hiett's was scarcely less old. A 
very old school house with dirt floor and a chimney built of 
mud and sticks was standing- as early as 1845 three miles^ 
from Forks of Capon, near North river. On the Bright's 
hollow road, one mile from Levels Cross roads, was built 
a school house in 1840, Outside of the towns these were, 
no doubt, among the first, if not the first, school houses 
built in the county. 

The names of the early teachers have almost been for- 
gotten. In the eastern part of the county we hear of the 
names o'i Barrett, AVarren and Higg-ins as teachers, but 
the dates when and places where they taught are now for- 
g-otten. It was without question near the beg-inning- of 
this century. Jeduthan Hig-bee, who taug-ht in this coun- 
try as early as 1830, came here from Eng-land. He had 
been educated for an Episcopal minister, but chose the 
profession of teaching-. An entry made in an old note 
book shows that William Dunn taug-ht school in Romney 
in 1S13. Other early teachers who have long- since passed 
away wore a I'Jr. Chad wick and James A. Cowg-ill, the 
latter an able preacher of the Disciples' church. 

Some of the pioneer educators of Hampshire are yet 
alive and can contemplate with pleasure the harvest now 
being- g-athered from their sowing-s in former years. 
Among- these is Mrs. D. W. Swisher (nee Katharine 
Bonnilield) who taught her first school in Hampshire 
county, near Hig-g-insville, in 1845, something- over a half 
century ago. Miss Mary E. Keckley is another of our 
aged and respected early lady teachers. Colonel Samuel 
Cooper began teaching in 1843 and Colonel Alexander 
Monroe about the same time. Another of the veteran 


educators of this county is B. F. McDonald, who be- 
gan teaching" in 1852 at the ag^e of eighteen. All honor 
to these early workers in the educational vineyard. May 
they share with the present generation the advantag-es 
that have come to us from their labors. 

The iirst public school taug-ht m the county had for its- 
V home the law office of Andrew Kercheval in Roraney 
and the teach r was Rev. O. P. Wirg-man. This was in 
1864-5. The six or seven schools opened the year after 
the war have grown to be more than a hundred at the 
present time. The county is now divided into seven 
school districts as follows: Gore, Bloomery, Capon, 
Sherman, Springfield, Romney and Mill Creek. vSonie 
mention of the academic schools is here in place and they 
will be considered in the order of their foundation. 

Romney Academy . — Just back of where the present 
court house stands, for many years there stood a stone 
building, constructed so long ago that all remembrance of 
when it was built is now forgotten. This was the Rom- 
ney academy. Many of the oldest inhabitants of the town 
went to school there in their youth. John G. Combs 
remembers attending- school there as early as 1823, at 
which time he was ten years old. He has, how-ever, no 
recollection of when it was built. It was undoubtedly the 
oldest school house in the county, and perhaps was built 
about the beginning of the present century. The rough, 
unhewn stones of which the academy was built, g-ave it a 
very uncouth exterior. The name of its founder, as well 
as of the first teachers who wielded the rod and saved the 
child within the walls of this early structure, are lost in 
oblivion. The remembrance of some of those early dis- 
ciples of learning and knights of the birch is yet fresh in 
the memory of persons now living. Henry Johnson, an 
Englishman, was for years a teacher there. 

Rev. Wm. H. Foote became principal about 1826 and 
continued in that position for many j^ears. The following 


named gfentleraen were either principals or subordidate 
teachers in the academy at sundry times in its history: 
E. W. Newton, Silas C. Walker, Brown, Thomas Mulledy 
and Samuel Mulledy. 

After it ceased to be used as a school building- the old 
academy was put to various purposes. For a time it was 
the home of the Virginia Aro; as. Its upper hall was also 
used for years as a meeting- place for secret orders. The 
walls stood for years after it ceased to be used at all, and 
the place where it stood is yet to be recog-nized. 

Romnejj Classical Instititte. — it was throug-h 

the educational forces put into operation by the Romney 
literary society that this school was established. Before 
any considerable prog-ress can be made in any enterprise 
it is essential that people first think along- the line of pro- 
g-ress desired. The thoug-ht concerning- educational ad- 
vancement provoked by the discussions in the literary so- 
ciety at leng-th materialized in the above-named school. 

It was in 1845 that the matter took definite shape. In a 
local paper of the date April 4, 1S45, we find a notice asking- 
forbids from contractors ''for the erection of a building- 
for the Literary Society of Romney." This was, in the 
words of the advertisement, to be "a brick building-, 36 
feet by 40 feet, 22 feet hig-h from the foundation of the 
square, to consist of two stories, to have a tin roof and be 
surmounted by a cupola. The end to be the front and to 
be embellished with a handsome portico the whole width 
of the house." The notice is sig-ned by E. M. Armstrong-, 
John B. Kercheval, David Gibson, committee. 

All bids were to be in by the 24th of May of the same 
year, and it was on this day that the deed for the land on 
which the building- was to stand was made to the trustees. 
The school opened the following- year. 

Rev. Wm, H. Foote, who at that time was teaching- an 
academic school in the old court house which stood on the 
present site of W. N. Guthrie's store, was induced to be- 


come principal. He continued in this capacity until the 
fall of 1849, when he withdrew and soon after established 
the Potomac seminary. 

When Dr. Foote resig-ned E. J. Meany was chosen 
principal. He had for his assistants John J. Jacob," Mrs. 
Meany and Miss Kern. 

For some years there was a literary org"anization known 
as the Phrena Kosmian society in connection with the insti- 
tute. On November 15, 1850, this society discussed the 
question, "Would the Southern States be justified in 
seceding- from the Confederacy^ under present circum- 
stances?" There is no record of the conclusion reached, 
but we all know too well, alas, the decision of the states 
themselves little more than a decade after the debate. 

John J. Jacob, afterwards g-overnor of AVest Virg-inia, 
became principal of this school in 1851. At this time Rom- 
ney had tv/o academic schools, the seminary and the insti- 
tute, both in a flourishing- condition. 

Mr. Jacob was succeeded bv J- Nelson, who v/aS teach- 
ing- in the institute when the war broke out in 1861. The 
doors of the school were then closed until peace once more 
came to possess the land. About 1866 William C. Clayton 
became principal and held school for a few terms. Mr. 
Dinwiddie was also a teacher in this school after the war. 

When West Virg-inia decided to establish a school for 
the deaf and blind, Romney put in its bid for the location. 
■One of the inducements was the offer on the part of the 
trustees of the classical institute to g-ive the building- and 
g-rounds of that school to form the nucleus of the new 
school for the deaf and blind. Romney was finally chosen 
as the site for the state school for these unfortunates, and 
with the foundation of the institution we loose sig-ht of the 
Romney Classical institute which was then' absorbed by 
and became a part of the new org-anization. 

Potoniac Serninary .—O mng to some friction be- 
tween Dr. Foote, principal, and the g-overning- body of the 


Romney Classical institute, he resig-ned the principalship 
of the institute in 1849 and established the Potomac sem- 
inary in 1850. The deed for the land on which the build- 
ing-s stand was made a year after the building- was erected. 
It was expressly stipulated in the deed that the principal 
of the seminary should always be a member of the Presby- 
terian church, and that the government of the school should 
be in the hands of the pastor and sessions. Such has 
always been the case, and the school is yet governed and 
presided over in the manner orig-inally intended. 

In the opening session in the fall of 1850 Rev. W. H. 
Foote was principal, Rev. Edward Martin professor and 
Mrs. Foote and Mrs. White assistants. Dr. Foote con- 
tinued as principal until June, 1861, when the breaking- 
out of the civil war turned the minds of the people to 
thing's other than education. 

J. M. Diffenderfer took charge of the school soon 
aftei-fthe war, but his success was not g-reat owing- larg-ely 
to the financial stringency of the times. For a few years 
after Mi*. Diffenderfer's resignation no academic school 
was held, but primar}' instruction in the form of a sub- 
scription school was still g-iven. 

About the year 1870 S. L. Flournoy took charg-e of 
the school and met with considerable success. He was 
succeeded by Dr. John A¥ilson, who continued for some 
3^ears when the school was ag-ain g-iven over to primary 

W. H. Morton, of Kentucky, in 1890, placed the school 
once more upon an academic ba.sis and it has so continued 
until the present time. Mr. Morton had charge of the 
seminary until 1894 when he was succeeded by Professor 
J. B. Bentley, who served as principal for a single year. 

The present efficient principal took charg-e of the semi- 
nary in the fall of 1895. Under Rev. W. S. Friend, the 
g-entleman now in charg-e, the name of this institution of 
learning was changed from Potomac seminary to Potomac 


academy. Under his administration the tendency has 
been decidedly progfressive and the future outlook of the 
school is encourag-ing". 

Springfield Academy: — This school mig-ht almost 
be called a branch of the Potomac seminary as Dr. Foote, 
Vv'ho shaped the destinies of the seminary, also took an 
active part in founding- the academy. 'J^n.a deed for the 
g-round on which this school was built was made in 1854 by 
AVilliam Abernathy to William Henry Foote, William 
Walker and William Earsom, trustees. The deed con- 
veys "the said land to be held for the purpose of erecting- 
such building-s as may be thought necessarj- for carrying- 
on a school or schools of such order and grade as may be 
deemed advisable for the welfare of the community." 

The followmg- gentlemen v/ere principals of this school 
in the order named: Rev. Conkling-, John Q.. A. Jones, J. 
INI. Diffenderfer and Rev. Mr. Chadwick. The academy 
closed its doors during- the late war and they were never 

We have passed In hasty review the various educational 
movements within our county's borders. It Is gratifying-, 
to be sure, that so much has been done and the past augurs 
well for the future. The principal drawback to educa- 
tional advancement at the present time is the meager 
salaries of the teachers. Such salaries as are now paid 
are not calculated to encourage persons to thoroughly pre- 
pare themselves for the profession of teaching. Buft let 
the friends of education be patient. Teachers are paid as 
much perhaps as the people are able to pay, or at least as 
much as they are willing- to pay, at the present time. 
Public shools have long ago proved their raison d'etre and 
we can but hope and believe that In the future those who 
have shared In their blessings will see to It that they are 
well cared for. An Institution that has Its foundation In 
the affections of a people cannot be easily destro3''ed. 





Hampshire being- the oldest county in the state of West 
Virginia, has been g-overned by every state law of Vir- 
g-inia in force between the years of 1754 and 1861, and by 
every West Virginia law from 1863 until the present. A 
history of the county would be incomplete with-it a refer- 
ence to some of these old laws. They are not only worthy 
of consideration because they were once the rule of the 
land, but they should be studied to show the pi'ogress of 
society during" the past century. There are persons who 
speak of the g-ood old times as though everything were 
better than now; and who speak of the people of a hundred 
years ag-o as if they were gfreater, purer, nobler than the 
men of today, and as if when they died, wisdom died with 
them. The historian knows that this belief is erroneous. 
Not only are there men now living* who are as upright, 
wise and patriotic as any who ever lived, but society, in all 
its branches and departments, has g^rown better. Only 
the pessimist refuses to see that the human race is climb- 
ing" to a higher level, and not retrograding. 

To bring" this truth nearer home to the people of Hamp- 
shire county, let a retrospective view of the customs and 
laws prevailing here a century ago be taken. That the 
people of Virginia, and those of Hampshire in common 
with the rest, tolerated the laws long after the close of the 
Revolutionary war, is proof that the laws were not obnox- 
ious to a majority of the people; otherwise they would 
have changed them. Before proceeding- to a statement of 


the acts of the Virginia leg-islature, let it be remembered 
that at that time Washing-ton was president of the United 
States, and the g-reat men of Virg-inia, at the close of the 
last century and the beg-inning- of this, were in their prime. 
They were responsible for the bad laws, as well as for 
the g"Ood; if not directly, at least indirectly, for they were 
looked upon as leaders. Patrick Henr}?-, who had ex- 
claimed, "g-ive me liberty or g-ive me death," was yet liv- 
ing- and practicing- law; John Randolph of Roanoke was 
entering- his career of g-reatness; James Monroe, soon to 
be president of the United States, was a leader in Virg-inia; 
Georg-e Mason, the author of the Bill of Rig-hts, had not 
yet lost his influence; James Madison, also to be president 
of the United States, was a leader among- the Vii'g-inians; 
William Wirt, one of Virg-inia's g-reatest lawyers, was in 
his prime; Edmund Randolph, g-overnor of Virg-inia, was 
in politics; John Marshall, the famous chief justice, was 
practicing- in the courts; Thomas Jefferson, the author of 
the Declaration of Independence, was in the heig-ht of 
power; and the list mig-ht be extended much further. Yet, 
with all of these truly g-reat men in power in Virg-inia, the 
leg-islature of that state passed such laws as will be found 

On December 26, 1792, an act was passed for the pur- 
pose of suppressing- vice, and provided that for swearing, 
cursing- or being- drunk the fine should be eig-hty-three 
cents for each offense, and if not paid, the offender should 
have ten lashes on the bare back. For vv' orking- on Sunday 
the fine was one dollar and sixty-seven cents. For steal- 
ing- a hog-shead or cask of tobacco found lying- by the pub- 
lic highway, the punishment was death. 

On December 19, 1792, an act was passed by the Vir- 
ginia legislature providing that any person found guilty of 
forgery must be put to death; and the same punishment 
was provided for those who erased, defaced or changed the 
inspector's stamp on flour or hemp. No less severe was 


the punishinent for those who stole land warrants. But 
for the man who made, passed, or had in his possession 
counterfeit money, knowing it to be such, the penalty of 
death was not enoug^h. He was not only to be put to death, 
but was forbidden the attendance of a minister, and must 
g-o to execution "in the blossom of his sin." The desitrn 
of the law-makers evidenth^ was to add to his punishment 
not onl}^ in this life, but, if possible, send him to eternal 
punishment after death. It is not in the province or power 
of the writers of this history to ascertain whether the Vir- 
g-inia assembly ever succeeded in killing- a man and send- 
ing^ him to hades because he had a countefeit dime in his 
pQcket; but the probability is that the powers of the law- 
makers ceased when they had hang-ed their man, and a 
more just and rig^hteous tribunal then took charg^e of his 

It is evident that the early Virg-inia law-makers laid g'reat 
stress on the idea of clerg-y to attend the condemned man. 
If they wanted to inflict extreme punishment they put the 
finishing- touches on it by denying- the privilege of clerg-y. 
On November 27, 1789, an act. was passed by the leg-isla- 
ture seg-reg-ating- crimes into two classes, one of which was 
desig-nated as "clergyable," and the other as "unclerg-y- 
able." It was provided that the unclergyable crimes were 
murder in the first degree, burglary, arson, the burning 
of a court house or prison, the burning of a clerk's office, 
feloneousl}^ stealing from a church or meeting-house, rob- 
bing a house in presence of its occupants, breaking into 
and robbing a dwelling house by day, after having put its 
owner in fear. For all of these offenses the penalty was 
death. A provision was made in some cases for clerg}-; 
but, lest the convicted man's punishment might not there- 
by be too much lightened, it was stipulated that he must 
have his hand burned before he was hang-ed. The same law 
further provided that, although a man's crime might not 
be unclei-gj^able, yet if he received the benefit of clerg}-, 


and it was subsequently ascertained that he had formerly 
committed an unclerg-yable offense, he must then be put 
to death without further benefit of clerg-y. In this law it 
was expressly provided that there should be no mitig-ation 
of punishment in case of women. 

E}^ an act of December 26, 1792, it was provided that the 
man vvho apprehended "a runaway servant and put him in 
jail was to receive one dollar and forty-seven cents, and 
mileag-e, to be paid by the owner. This law was, no doubt, 
intended to apply chieily to slaves rather tl'an to white 
servants. If the runaway remained tv/o months in jail un- 
claimed, the sheriff must advertise him in the "Virg-inia 
Gazette," and after putting- an iron collar on his neck, 
marked with the letter "F," hire him out, and from his 
Avages pay the costs. After one year, if still unclaimed, 
he was to be sold. The money, after the charg-es were 
paid, was to be g^iven to the former owner if he ever proved 
his claim, and if he did not do so, it belong-ed to the state. 

The law-makers believed in discourag-ingg-ossip and tat- 
tling-, as well as burning- a condemned man in the hand 
prior to his execution. A law passed by the Virginia leg-- 
islature, December 27, 1792, was in the following- languag-e: 
"Whereas, many idle and busy-headed people do forg-e and 
divulg-e false rumors and reports, be it resolved by the gen- 
eral assembly, that v/hat person or persons soever shall 
forg-e or divulge any such false report, tending to the 
trouble of the countrj^ he shall be by the next justice of 
the peace sent for and bound over to the next county court, 
where, if he produce not his author, he shall be fined forty 
dollars, or less if the court sees fit to lessen it, and besides 
give bond for his good behavior, if it appear to the court 
that he did maliciousl}^ publish or invent it." 

There was a studied effort on the part of the legislators 
to discqurage hog stealing. It is not apparent why it should 
be a worse crime to steal a hog- than to steal a cow; or why 
the purloining of a pig should outrank in criminality the 


taking- of a calf; or why it should be a greater offense to 
appropriate a neig-hbor's shoat than his sheep. But the 
early la^Y-makers in Virginia seem to have so considered, 
and they provided a law for the special benefit of the hog- 
thief. This law, passed by the leg-islature December 8, 
1792, declared that "any person, not a slave, who shall steal 
a hog-, shoat or pig-, " should receive thirty-five lashes on 
the bare back; or if he preferred to do so, he might escape 
the lashing- by paying- a fine of thirty dollars; but whether 
he paid the fine or submitted to the stripes, he still must 
pay eig-ht dollars to the owner for each hog- stolen by him. 
This much of the law is comparatively mild, but it was for 
the first offense only. As the thief advanced in crime the 
law's severity increased. For the second offense in hog-- 
stealing- the law provided that the person convicted, if not 
a slave, should stand two hours in a pdlor}-, on a public 
court day, at the court house, and have both ears nailed to 
the pillory, and at the end of two hours, should have his 
ears cut loose from the nails. It was expressly proAaded 
that no exception should be made in the case of women. If 
the hog- thief still persisted in his unlawful business and 
transg-ressed the law a third time, he v/as effectually cured 
of his desire for other people's hog-s by being- put the death. 
The slave had a still more severe punishment for steal- 
ing- hog-s. For the first offense he received "thirty-nine 
lashes on the bare back, vrell laid on, at the public whip- 
ping- post." For the second offense he vras nailed by the 
ears to a post, and after two hours of torture, had his ears 
cut off. For the third offense he was put to death. The 
law provided that if a negro or Indian were put on the 
stand as a witness ag-ainst a person accused of stealing" 
hog-s, and did not tell the truth, he should be whipped, 
nailed to a post, his ears cut, and if he still testified 
falsely, he paid the penalty with his life. After a hog- had 
been stolen and killed, the relentless law still followed it to 
try to discover if some one else mig-ht not be punished. If 


a person boug-ht, or received into his possession, a hog 
from which the ears had been removed, he was adjudg-ed 
g-uilty of hog- stealing-, unless he could prove that the hog 
was his own property. There was also a law forbidding 
any one from purchasing pork of Indians, unless the ears 
went with the pork. There would be some inconvenience 
in retailing pork under this restriction, as it would require 
a skillful butcher to so cut up a hog that each ham, 
shoulder, side and the sausage should retain the ears. 

There can be no question that hog raising was profita- 
ble in Hampshire under this law, and also before the law 
was enacted. Indeed, it is said that the name Hampshire 
was given the county because of its excellent hogs. Ac- 
cording to this stor}^ Lord Fairfax was once in Winches- 
ter when a drove of very fine hogs passed along the street 
on their way to market. He asked where they came from, 
and upon being told that they were raised on the South 
branch of the Potomac, he remarked that when a new 
county should be formed in that part of the country it 
should be called Plampshire, after a place of that name in 
England Vv^hich was famous for its fine hogs. 

If stealing hogs was a crime almost too heinous to be 
adequately punished in this world, horse stealing was so 
much worse that the law^-makers of Virginia would not 
undertake to provide a law to reach the case. They, 
therefore, enacted a law, December 10, 1792, that the con- 
victed horse thief must be put to death; and, in order that 
he should certainly reach eternal punishment beyond 
death, he was forbidden to have spiritual advice. The 
language of the law is that the horse thief shall be "utterly 

A law of unnecessary severity was passed December 23, 
1792, against negroes who should undertake to cure the 
sick. It is reasonable and right that the law should care- 
fully guard the people against harm from those w^ho ig-nor- 
antly practice medicine; but to us of the present day it 


appears that a less savag-e law would have answered the 
purpose. It was provided that any neg-ro who prepared, 
exhibited, or administered medicine should be put to 
death without benefit of clerg-y. It was provided, how- 
ever, that a negro mig-ht, with the knowledg-e and consent 
of his master, have medicine in his possession. 

The law of Virg-inia required every county to provide a 
court house, jail, p'lllory, whipping- post, stocks and a 
ducking- stool. But the ducking- stool mig-ht be dispensed 
with, if the county court saw fit to do so. The whipping- 
post was the last of these relics of barbarism to be 
removed from Hampshire county. Many persons now 
living- can remember when the whipping- post stood in the 
rear of the old court house, a g-rim reminder of the severe 
laws g-one by. It was a largfe post, octagon in shape, and 
had a roof over it. The culprit was tied by his wrists and 
drawn close ag-aiust it, and the whip was applied. 

So far as can be ascertained from an examination of 
countj/ records, mutilated and destroyed by time and war, 
the last public and leg-alized burning of a convicted man in 
Hampshire county occurred in July, 1833, in the old court 
house. A neg-ro slave, named 'Simon, the property of 
David Collins, w^as tried on a charge of assault. The 
record does not show that he had a jury. The court found 
him guilty and ordered the sheriff to burn him on the hand 
and give him one hundred lashes, chain him, and keep him 
on "coarse and low diet." . The minutes of the court state 
that the sheriff "immediately burned him in the hand in 
the presence of the court," and gave him then and there 
twenty-five lashes. The remaining seventy-five were 
reserved for future day^s. The judges who were present 
on that occasion were John McDonald, Christopher Heis- 
kell, Vause Fox, John Brady and W. C. Wodrow. The 
sheriff who executed the order of the court was Francis 
White, and the clerk was John B. White. 

It is but justice to the law-makers of Virginia, and the 


people at that time, to state that nearly all of these Severe 
laws came from Eng-land, or were enacted in the colony of 
Virg-inia many years before the Revolutionary war. Some 
of them date back to the time of Cromwell, or even earlier. 
Althoug-h the people of Virg-inia took the lead in the move- 
ment for g-reater liberty, both mental and physical, tbey 
could not, all at once, cut loose from the wrecks of past 
tyrann3\ They advanced rapidly along- some lines, but 
slowly along- others. They found those old laws on the 
statute books, and re-enacted them, and suffered them to 
exist for a g-eneration or more. But we should not believe 
that such men as Patrick Henr}^, Edmund Randolph, 
Thomas Jefferson, Georg-e Washing-ton, and the other 
statesmen and patriots of that time believed that a man 
should be nailed to a post for stealing- a pig-, or that the 
crime of stealing- a hymn book from a church should be 
punished with death without benefit of clerg-y. 

A law passed near the close of the last century, and still 
in force in 1819, provided sheriff's fees on a number of 
items, among- which were the following-: For making- an 
arrest, sixty-three cents; for pillorying- a criminal, fifty- 
two cents; for putting- a criminal in the stocks, twenty-one 
cents; for ducking- a criminal in pursiaance of an order of 
court, forty-two cents; for putting- a criminal in prison^, 
forty-two cents; for hang-ing- a criminal, live dollars and 
twenty-live cents; for whipping- a servant, by order of 
court, to be paid by the master and repaid to him by the 
servant, forty-two cents; for whipping- a free person, by 
order of court, to be paid by the person who received the 
whipping-, forty-two cents; for whipping- a slave, by order 
of the court, to be paid by the county, forty-tvv'O cents; for 
selling- a servant at public outcr}^, forty-two cents; for keep- 
ing- and providing for a debtor in jail, each day, twenty- 
one cents. 

It was more expensive to be v/hipped or pilloried by the 
sheriff than by a constable, althoug-h there is no evidence 


that the sheriff did the work any more effectively. Since 
the person who received the punishment usually paid the 
fees of the officer who performed the service, it is proba- 
ble tha.t such person preferred being- whipped or nailed to 
a post by the constable because it was less expensive. 
Some of the constable's fees are shown below: for putting" 
a condemned man in the stocks, twenty-one cents; for 
whipping a servant, twent^z-one cents; for whipping a slave, 
to be paid by the master, twent3'-one cents; for removing- 
a person likelj^ to become a charge on the cou^t5^ per mile, 
four cents. 

It would appear from this that it was customar}^ to send 
persons out of the county who v/ere likel}^ to become pau- 
pers; but, of course, the county to Vv-hich thej^ were sent 
must take charge of them, or send them on to the next 
county. Most likely the pauper Vv^as hustled on from 
county to county, it being- found cheaper to move him than 
to maintain him. Not much can be said in praise of a cus- 
tom which sent paupers to some one else to be cared for; 
but, at that time, indigents were not numei-ous. Although 
each count}' might claim and exercise the right of shoving- 
its paupers into another county to be cared for, 3-et when 
it came into possession of an indig-ent in this manner from 
an adjoining- county, it considered it hard luck. There is 
a letter preserved in the old county records giving an in- 
sight into the feeling's of disgust with which one county 
court received a pauper from another. The letter contains 
a fine vein of sarcasm, and is worth quoting: 

" Winchester, County of Frederick, 

"State of Virginia, Aug. 4, 1794. 

"To the Honorable Court of Hampshire County. 
"State of Virginha, Gentlemen: ■ ""~~l 

'• GREPnTNG: — The court of Frederick beg leave to in- 
form the court of Hampshire that we have just received a 
visit from one Simon Pelman, a pauper, who informs us 
that he was sent to us by the court of Hampshire. The 


court of Frederick beg" leave to inquire to wliat may we at- 
tribute the honor of this visit from Mr. Pelman, late of 
your county? This court were not aware that they had 
merited the distinction of being- thus v/aited upon by 
your envoy extraordinary. But, notwithsto.nding- this 
court were taken by surprise, they find themselves in a 
position to return the honor by returning- Mr. Pelman to 
Hampshire, by the road which he came; v/itb the sug-g-es- 
tion that vv^hen it again shall please you to accredit to us an 
ambassador of Mr. Pelman 's rank, 3-0 u v/ill so far observe 
the rules of diplomacy as to inform us of your purpose, 
that v,'e may not ag-ain be taken by surprise, but may be 
prepared to meet your envoy on our frontiers and receive 
him in a manner becoming- his rank and the digmity of the 

court which sent him. 

"Court of Fkkderick County." 

Within the past century several important chang-es have 
taken place intlie laws under which Hampshire county has 
been governed. An act of assembl}', passed November 
29, 1792, provided that in cases where a person is suspected 
of having- committed a murder, and the coroner's jury 
recommend that he be held for trial, and be eludes arrest, 
the coroner must seize his house and property and hold 
them until he surrenders himself or is arrested. Where 
a defendant was found g-uilty the costs of the prosecution 
^vas collected b}- sale of his property, if he had any prop- 
erty; but he might pay cost a.nd thus save his property. 
No constable, miller, surveyor of roads or hotel-keeper was 
eligible to serve on a g-rand jury. A law passed Januar}'- 
16, 1891, provided a fine of five dollars as a penalt}' for kill- 
ing- deer between January 1 and August 1 of each year. A 
lavv^ enacted January 26, 1814, provided that sheep-kiljing- 
dogs should be killed. If the owner prevented the execu- 
tion of the law upon the dog- he was subject to a fine of two 
dollars for each day in which he saved the life of the dog-. 
The bounty on wolves vv^as made six dollars for each scalp. 


by a law passed February 9, 1819. But the bounty was 
not alwajrs the same, nor was it uniform throug"hout the 
counties of Virg-inia. In 1828 Georg-e O. King- and Isaac 
Davidson were each paid twenty dollars for the scalps of 
two old wolves which they had killed in Hampshire county. 
There were six wolves killed in the countv that year. A 
law of January 16, 1802, provided a line of thirty dollars for 
setting- the woods on fire; and a law of January 4, 1805, pun- 
ished by a fine of ten dollars the catching of fish in a seine 
between May 15 and August 15. 

There was a severe law passed by the Virg-inia leg-isla- 
ture Februar}^ 22, 1819, for the benefit of tavern-keepers. 
It provided a fine of thirty dollars for each offense, to be 
levied ag-ainst any person, not a licensed tavern-keeper, 
who should take pay from a traveler for entertainment 
g-iven. Not only was this law in force in and near towns, 
but also within eight hundred yards of any public road. 
There was a law enacted by the assembly of Virg-inia 
December 24, 1796, which was intended to favor the poor 
people. It is in marked contrast with many of the laws of 
that time, for they vvere g-enerally not made to benefit the 
poor. The law had for its object the aiding- of persons of 
small means in reaching- justice throug-h the courts. A 
man who had no money had it in his power to prosecute a 
suit against a rich man. He could select the court in which 
to have his case tried; the court furnished him an attorney 
free; he was charg-ed nothing- for his subpoenas and other 
wn'its; and he was not charg-ed with costs in case he lost 
his suit. 





In the settlement of a new country one of the first thing-s- 
that occupies the attention of a people is ag"riculture. 
More especially is this the case in a county like our o\vu in 
which the chief source of wealth is in the agricultural 
products. Dang-ers and hardships attended every step of 
the early settler's progress. After his cabin was built it 
became necessa^;}' for him to supplement the supplies of 
g'ame and fish he could capture, by the food products of 
his truck patch and cornfield. His implements for clear- 
ing- and cutlivating the g-round were rude and in the use of 
these he was often molested. Vv^'hen he went to the field 
he must carry with him his g^un, as he labored he must 
keep constant watch lest some Indian in ambush shoot 
him at his work. Not infrequently v/as he compelled to 
throw down his hoe and seizing- his g-un cover his own 
retreat to the nearest fort. 

Ag-riculture in the early settlements was not carried on 
extensively. A small patch of corn, and perhaps one of 
tobacco, tog-ether with a small g-arden or truck patch was 
the extent of each settler's farming-. Very often the only 
implement used in the cultivation of these primitive crops 
was the hoe, as the keeping- of a horse was difiicult, owing- 
to the thieving- Indians. The first plows used were made 
entirel}^. of wood and the addition of an iron plate to the 
lower end of his wooden implement g-ave rise to what was. 
called the "shovel plow." Oxen and horses were both 
used by the early settlers in tilling- their lands and if there 


was any favor shown it was to the ox, if we may call con- 
sttint and persistent use shov.'ing- favor. The early har- 
row was even ruder than the earl}^ plow and sometimes it 
consisted in nothing- more than a thorn-bush slig-htly 
trimmed and weig-hted dov/n by t3ang- some chunks across 
it. The first manufactured harrows had wooden frames 
and wooden teeth. The scythe, when indeed that im- 
proved implement came into use, was not made of carefully 
tempered steel as it nov/ is, but v/as wroug-ht at the villag^e 
smithy, and instead of being- g-round to sharpen it, it was 
beat thin on an anvil. Nor v/as it supplied with a sneathe 
crooked like the one now in use, but had onl}- a straig"ht 
stick which was usuall}^ cut from the nearby woods. In 
using- this the mower was compelled to bend himself like 
the bow of promise. Forked sapling-s peeled and care- 
fully dried served to handle the hay and g-rain. Wooden 
spades and shovels were tlie only kind then in use. It is 
safe to say that if the present g-eneration could see the 
rude and clumsy tools with which the early settlers had to 
raise and harvest their crops they would be filled with 
wonder and would look upon them as implements of tor- 
ture if they were compelled to use the same in ag-ricul- 
tural pursuits today. We must not think, however, that 
our forefathers in this then wilderness had no enjoyment 
for they spent many a happy hour and their fewer wants 
and these easily satisfied, made them on the average as 
well content as their descendants. 

When clearing- land there were frequent "log- rolling-s" 
at which the neig-hbors would g-ather for miles around 
bringing- v/ith them their teams of oxen and horses to 
assist in putting- the log-s in heaps to burn them. Usually 
the "clearing-" had been burned over previousl}" to make 
way with the smaller brush and underg-rowth. This left 
the remainintjf log-s blackened and as the men worked 
among- them they became sweat}^ and beg-rimed. The 
teams were no less so. All around rose the flames and 


smoke of the burning- heaps wliile the soot}'' laborers 
toiled in the midst. It was such a scene as mig-ht easily 
be imag-ined in the workshops of the mythical blacksmith 
"Vulcan underneath Vesuvius. Another g-atherinsf in these 
early settlements was the "raising-." Y/hen one man in a 
community wished to build a house or barn it was an 
expected courtesy upon the part of his neig-hbors to assist 
him until the heavier parts were in position. No pay was 
tendered nor expected for this help, but a like labor was, 
perhaps, afterv/ards asked of the ouc assisted. Another 
social and co-operative g-athering- of those times which has 
now been almost wholly abandoned is the corn husking-. 
"The ears of corn were "jerked" husk and all from the 
stalks and hauled tog-ether in hug-e ricks. Some night 
when the weather was favorable, usually a inoonlig-ht nig-ht, 
the neig-hbors were all invited to the husking-. A g-eneral 
overseer of the work was appointed and the men were 
arrang-ed along- the rick of corn at reg-ular intervals. 
Then the work began. It v.'as considered especially lucky 
to find a "red ear" and as the husks v/ere torn off each one 
was carefully scrutinized to see if it was of the desired 
color. While the men Vv'ere enjoying- themselves at the 
liusking- the v,'omen of the neig-hborhood were usually 
assembled at the farm house eit a "quilting-." After a few 
hours' work the "quilting-" and "husking-" alike broke up 
in a dance or as it was popularly called a "hoe down." 
Sometimes there was a too liberal use of "rock and rye" 
and a few fights lent interest to the g-athering-. 

In those early times when it was necessary that almost 
ever3'^thing- used should ba produced on the farm, or at 
least in the neig-hborhobd, women added much to the com- 
fort of the home by their skill and industry. Almost 
every household wis supplied with a loom, a spinning- 
wheel and all else that v/as necessary for chang-ing- the 
wool or flax from its ori'jfinal condition into clothing- and 
blankets. V/ool was sheared from sheep raised on the 


farm. It was carded, spun and woven or knit into cloth- 
ing- on the place. The flax was g^rown in the fields, it was 
allowed to weather in the patches vv^here it was raised, it 
was broken on the flax brake and the woody portion 
combed out on the hackle, spun and woven into cloth 
without leaving" the farm on which it was g"rown. 

Evidently the tobacco crop in Hampshire was once a 
much more important affair than it is now. As stated in 
another chapter, it formed the medium of exchange, serv- 
ing- as money until after the Revolutionary war. In March, 
1819, the g-eneral assembly passed an act providing- that 
"Public warehouses for the receipt of tobacco be estab- 
lished at Romney warehouse and Cresap's warehouse, at 
the confluence of North and South branches of the Potomac 
in Hampshire county." Before tobacco could be stored in 
these warehouses it was necessary that it be inspected. 
There was an inspector appointed for Romney. His salary 
was sixty-two dollars and fifty cents a year. At Cresap's 
the inspector was paid at the rate of eig-hty-four cents a 
hog-shead, of which seventeen cents were to be paid the 
proprietor of the warehouse for rent. There is no record 
to show how many hog'sheads or pounds were stored in 
any year. Another important crop that beg^an to be culti- 
vated early in this county was wheat. In fact the soil here 
is so well adapted to the cultivation of this cereal that it has 
become the principal crop raised for shipment. In early 
years, however, it was cultivated on a much more limited 
scale. Numerous difficulties stood in the way of an exten- 
sive acreag-e. The sowing- vvas a matter of no small labor. 
The seed had to be scattered by hand and then covered by 
harrowing- or "shoveling-" it in. This was not only labori- 
ous, but also very slow. Harvesting-, too, was a tedious- 
process, A sickle was then the most improved reaping- 
implement. The reaper g-athered a g-rip of g-rain in his. 
left hand and cut it off with the rig-ht. These handfuls 
were placed in bundles and bound into sheaves. When it 


came time to haul the crop in from the fields this was done 
on sleds, as wag-ons were then not in g-eneraluse. Thresh- 
ing" the crop was next. This was accomplished by means 
of the flail, and it required an expert hand to flail out fifteen 
bushels a day. Another mode of threshing- somewhat in 
* advance of the flail and less laborious, was to place the 
g-rain on a barn floor and tramp it out with horses. There 
was a chance here to use the small boy, ever such a con- 
venience about a farm. He could ride one horse and lead 
another around over the grain. When it was well tramped 
it was turned and g-one over ag^ain until at leng"th most of 
the g-rain v/as threshed out. The next step in advance 
was a threshing- machine, known as a chafl:-piler. This 
was probably introduced in this country as early as 1835. 
It was a small affair and very incomplete, not separating- 
the chaff from the wheat. The first "separa.tors" were 
horse-power machines and came into use about a half cen- 
tury ag-o. The last advance was the steam thresher, and 
now the g-reater part of the g-rain in the country is threshed 
by these machines. No such thing- as a windmill was 
known here before the present century, and the early 
method of separating- the chaff and g-rain was to toss the 
mass into the air and the chaff, being lig-liter, would be 
blown away, while the wheat would fall to the g-round on a 
sheet or floor prepared to receive it. 

After the crop was raised it had yet to be prepared for 
food. The matter of making- meal and flour like the other 
mechanic arts, was in the pioneer days, rude and incom- 
plete. Corn was the chief crop raised by the earl}^ settlers 
and the matter of its preparation for table use was of first 
importance. The homin}^ block was one of the earliest 
contrivances. A larg-e block was hollowed out at one end 
by burning-. The top of the opening- in the block's end 
was larg-e, but it narrowed at the bottom so as to form a 
funnel-shaped cavity. The corn was placed in this block, 
and by means of a v/ooden pestle it was pounded into a 


moi^e or less fine condition, so that it served partly for 
johnny-cake and bread, while the coarser was cooked as 
hominy. While the corn was soft it Vvas sometimes pre- 
pared for bread by means of a g-rater. This consisted of 
a piece of tin punched full of holes and bent into concave 
shape by nailing- its sides to a piece of wood. The ears of 
corn were rubbed on the roug-h surface of the tin and a 
kind of meal was thus made. The sweep for pounding- 
g-rain is thus described by Dr. Doddridg-e: "This was a 
pole of some spring-y, elastic wood thirty feet long- or more, 
the butt end of which was placed under the side of a house 
or a iarg-e stump. This pole was supported by two forks 
placed about one-third of its length from its butt end, so 
as tb elevate the small end about fifteen feet from the 
g-round. To this was attached, by a larg-e mortise, a piece 
of sapling- about five or six inches in diameter and eight or 
ten feet long, the lower end of which was shaped so as to 
answer for a pestle, and a pin of w^ood was put throug-h at 
the proper height, so that two people could w^ork at the 
sweep at once." A little more improved was the hand- 
mill which came into use somewhat later. This was con- 
structed of two circular stones, one running on to the 
other. The nether of these was called the bed stone and 
■was stationary. The upper one was called the runner; 
around these was a w^ooden hoop with an opening for dis- 
charging the meal. In the upper surface of the runner 
there was a hole near the edge into which the end of a pole 
was fitted. The other end of this pole was put through a 
hole in a board fastened to the joist above. With one hand 
grasping the upright pole the operator turned the stone 
and with the other he put the grain into the central open- 
ing in the runner. The grinding of one bushel of grain 
was considered a day's work. 

The first water mills were designated tub mills. In this 
the upper stone w^as stationary and the lower one turning 
against it ground the grain. A perpendicular shaft was 


fitted into the lower stone or runner. On the lower end of 
this shaft there was a water wheel about five feet in diam- 
eter. The wheel was sunk in the stream and the force 
of the running- v/ater caused it to revolve, turning- the 
stone at the other end of the shaft. Following- these came 
the grist mills, with a water w4ieel having- a horizontal 
shaft. In these early mills bolting- cloths were not used. 
Selves were used, but not the ordinary wire seive of today. 
At that time they were made by stretching- deerskin tig-litly 
over a hoop and punching- it full of holes with a hot wire. 
Ever since Hampshire became even sparsely settled it 
seems the inhabitants have had a surplus of wheat, and it 
has furnished them a means of obtaining- ready money. 
In the early days after the revolution the matter of trans- 
portation was a serious hindrance to commerce. Goods 
had to be hauled from the cities in wag-ons, and the pro- 
ducts of the farm had to be taken to market in a like man- 
ner, at least in most instances. 

Hampshire had an important advantag'e in this particu- 
lar. Throug-h the most fertile and productive valley of the 
county ran the South branch river. By means of boats 
this river was made to perform an important service. Had 
a person chanced to pass up the South branch in those 
days, at the various eddies and places of easy access, as 
far up as Moorefield, he would have seen scores of barrels 
of flour sitting-. When the river beg-an to rise boatmen 
would come and build boats, load the flour upon them and 
float away with it to market. There were no particular 
depots or places for storing- the flour, but it was placed on 
the river bank at such points as it could be easily loaded. 
Flour merchants would hire boatmen to build boats to 
take this flour to market. The boats used were usually 
mere flat structures, built temporarily for the purpose of 
transporting- this flour and sold for lumber when their des- 
tination was reached. There were, however, keel boats 
of more expensive and g-raceful build, that w^ere pushed 


back up the river by the boatmen when they had delivered 
their carg-o. This traf&c ceased about 1830. Two of the 
men who used to make these boating- trips, James Lari- 
more and Samuel Larimore, lived on Jersey mountain, near 
Three Churches. They, tog-ether v/ith Captain Jake 
Earsom, another of their number, are vvell remembered by 
persons now living. Alexandria and Washing-ton were the 
principal markets for this flour. Some fourteen miles 
above Washington the Potomac plunges over a precipice 
some sixty feet in heig-ht. To g-et around this a canal was 
built. It was about a half mile in leng-th and deep enoug-h- 
to float heavily loaded boats. The v/alls of this historic 
canal, the first in America, are still standing-, and are fre- 
quently visited b}' those interested in the early industrial 
history of this country. 

Much of. the drudgery of farming- has been removed by 
the introduction of farm machinery. It is no exaggera- 
tion to say that one man can with the improved machinery 
of toda.y, accomplish 'asgmuch as five men could with the 
implements in use at the beginning of this century. Im- 
provements in farm machinery came slowly, but the pro- 
gress already made is very great, and there is unquestion- 
abl}' still a larg-e field for improved inventions in agricul- 
tural implements. One of the first improvements of im- 
portance was the grain drill, and while the first invention 
Vv^as a rude machine, it was an immense step forward from 
the shovel plow. The "old blue drill," as it was called, 
was in use in this county as early as 1850. Windmills 
came in somewhat earlier, perhaps as soon as 1810, Pre- 
vious to their appearance grain had been cleaned by means 
of a sheet. One man taking hold of each end, the sheet 
was swung to and fro, creating a current of air by this 
motion. A third person tossed the wheat into the air or 
stood upon an elevated placed and poured in from a vessel. 
While this w^as a slow process it was more satisfactory 
than one would at first suppose. The first windmills had 


IHf WL/' V.fjjc 
^^^^ilC LibRARV 




wooden cogwheels and were kept oiled by means of soft 
soap. The iron cogwheels came in about 1840. Reaping- 
machinery was introduced along the South branch valley 
several years before the civil war. The reapers were 
what were then known as "droppers." They did not bind 
the grain in sheaves, but threw it off in bunches, and it 
was afterwards tied by hand. About 1870 the binder came 
into use, and these machines, now highh^ improved, are in 
general use throughout the county. The mower and hay- 
rake are two inventions that have added much to the ease 
of caring for the hay crop. These machines in their 
present improved form have not been in popular use more 
than a quarter of a century. The first rake for gathering 
hay by means of horse power was almost entirely of wood. 
It was without wheels and slid upon the ground much after 
the manner of a sled. Occasionally one of these old rakes 
is still used. 

It was not long after land had been farmed and its best 
grain growing elements extracted until the need of fertil- 
izers was felt. Among the earliest fertilizers used in this 
county were lime and ground gypsum or plaster. These 
enriched the soil to a certain degree, but there was a desire 
for something that would hav^e a more immediate effect. 
Something that would have a direct effect on the crop on 
which it was sown. This led to the use of manufactured 
fertilizers. As early as 1852 Philip B. Streit and Rev. 
John M. Harris were using Peruvian guano on their farms 
on Jersey mountain. This guano was put up in Rich- 
mond, Virginia, and proved a very excellent stimulus to 
crops. The acid fertili/:ers so widely used on our fields 
today have not been generally used for more than twenty 
years. When first placed upon the market these fertil- 
izers sold at from thirty to forty dollars a ton. 

In the days of early settlements the matter of soil was 
of little importance. The pioneer cleared his field and 
larmed it until the gn'owing qualities of the soil w^cre 


exhausted. But all around him was wooded lands whose- 
soil had never felt the plow, and for the clearing- these 
became his fields. When the country became more 
thickly settled there was a limit to the acreag-e of each 
man. Then the preserving- of soils and the reclaiming- of 
those already barren, became a matter of interest. There 
is, perhaps, no more important matter confronts the far- 
mer today than the proper care for his newer soils and 
the reclaiming- of now barren tracts. The soil upon our 
hills and valleys is the accummulation of untold g-eolog-ical 
ages and its wasteful destruction should not be permitted. 
When once destroyed it can only be replaced, if at all, by 
years of careful ag-riculture and unmeasured work. 

Hampshire county has for years been noted as a stock 
raising- center and is even supposed to have been named 
after Hampshire in Eng-land because the two districts 
very much alike in the production of fine hog-s. As long- 
ag-o as 1750 droves of hogs were driven from the South 
branch valley to Winchester to market. Cattle were- 
raised and marketed within a few years after this date. 
Improved stock have been introduced from time to time and 
the county yet has many advantages as a stock raising 
district, thoug-h from being more thickly populated there 
is less range than in the early days of its settlement. 
Man's progress upwards has been largely due to his sub- 
jugation of other animals and of plants. The friends he has 
won have made their own bondage more complete by the 
added strength they have given their captor. So long as 
man w^as content with the meager supplies of flesh he 
could capture from the forest, and, so long as he depended 
upon the uncultivated hills and valley to furnish him 
grains and fruits, his advancement was slow. To his lack 
of ability to domesticate we may ascribe the backward 
condition of the American Indian when discovered b}^ the 
whites. He had no domestic animals, as the horse, cow or 
hog; his domestication of plants had been limited to corn 


and tobacco, while of tame fowls lie had none. The Aryan 
race are the ^ifreat domesticators of the earth. The white 
man has his scores of friendly animals and plants to help 
him in the stru£f,afle for existence. He rano-es his stock 
and tills his fields and plants his orchards. Probably the 
last phase of ag^riculture to receive attention in this 
county was the g^rowing- of fruits. Many can yet remem- 
ber the puny orchards that surrounded the early settler's 
cabin, or the chance scrubby tree that stood in the com- 
mons like a rag-g^ed vag-rant asking- for sustenance. Apples 
were apparently the first fruit cultivated and there are 
standing- today many trees a half century old. Peaches 
were next, but chiefly seedling- varieties, until 1875, when 
budded fruit began to be planted as an experiment. 
There are at present some extensive peach farms in. 
Hampshire. Those of Harry Miller, near Bethel church, 
on Little Capon, and then controlled by a stock company, 
near Rornney, are the most extensive. Pears, plums, 
cherries and quinces have all been cultivated with varying- 
deg-rees of success for the last half century, but no one 
has planted extensively of these fruits. The soils of the 
county seem v/ell adapted to the g-rowing- of nearly all 
fruits that can be raised in the temperate zones. A con- 
siderable development of this line of ag^riculture may be 
looked for in the future. 
The West Virginia Fish Commission. — An 

act was passed February 20, 1877, creating- this commis- 
sion for the purpose of encourag-ing- the culture of fish and 
the stocking- the streams of the state. The first commis- 
sioners were, Major John W. Harris of Greenbrier, Hon. 
Henry B. Miller of Wheeling-, and Captain C. S. White of 
Hampshire. These were appointed June 1, 1877, for a 
period of four years. The commission org-ani^ed Jul}^ 17, 
1877, by electing- Major Harris president, Captain White 
secretary, and H. B. Miller treasurer. In the summer of 
1877 Captain White purcha.sed of Charles Harraison the 


Mag-uire Spring-s near Romney, and erected and equipped 
a hatchery at a cost of seven hundred dollars. The com- 
mission also purchased the Maguire Springs, including- 
one-fourth acre of land for five hundred and fifty dollars. 
In 1879 Major Harris resig-ned and N. M. Lowry was ap- 
pointed in his stead. H. B. Miller was then elected presi- 
dent. In 1S80 the g-rounds were g-reatly improved. New 
ponds were constructed and the g-rounds about the 
hatchery enclosed by a tig-ht seven foot fence. A house 
for the manag^er of the hatchery to use as a dwelling- was 
built in 1885. In June of 1885, Hon. L. J. Baxter of Brax- 
ton county, was appointed commissioner, succeeding- Mr. 
Miller. C. S. White was made president. In June of the 
next year M. A. Manning- of Summers county, was ap- 
pointed commissioner, vice N. M. Lowry, removed from 
the state. Mr. Manning- removed from the state the next 
year, and Hon. James H. Miller was appointed in his stead. 
This year the ponds were much enlarg-ed. In 1889 N. C. 
Prickett, Esq., of Jackson county, was appointed in place 
of J. H. Miller. In the year 1891 a new hatching- house 
was built and equipped, an addition was made to the dwel- 
ling-. The ponds were also repaired and enlarg-ed. The 
following- persons have been manag-ers at the hatchery: 
From June, 1878, to May. 1880, Z. N. Graham; from Octo- 
ber, 1880, to January, 1881, R. G. Ferg-uson; from January, 
1881, to Aug-ust, 1881, W. H. Maloney; from July, 1883, to 
February, 1886, Vfilliam Montg-omery; from April, 1886, 
to April, 1895, F. P. Barnes. Before Z. N. Graham was 
appointed manag-er, and during- other intervals, when there 
was no manag-er. Commissioner V7hite served in that 

In the year 1877 and for some years thereafter it was 
confidently believed by United States Commissioner Baird 
and all leading- fish culturists that the California salmon, a 
fish of fine quality, could be successfully introduced into 
our streams, and at his request the first and most expen- 


sive efforts of the West Virg-inia commission were made 
by hatching- and depositing- in adjacent streams larg-e num- 
bers of this fish. This hatching- was successfully accom- 
plished by Captain White in charcoal troughs of his own 
design and manufacture. The salmon did well in the 
South branch and Potomac and went to the sea. Numbers 
of them were caug-ht all the way from Romney to Wash- 
ing-ton. Hig-h hopes were entertained that this experi- 
ment would prove a success, but to the surprise of all in- 
terested in fish culture, the salmon never returned to our 
streams to spawn nor to any other stream entering the 
Atlantic ocean, althoug-h they invariably return to streams 
entering- the Pacific. It will be interesting- to g-ive some 
fig-ures showing- the work done by the commission. In the 
years 1877-78 about 675,000 salmon, 100,000 trout, 1,200 
black bass, most of them larg-e enough to spawn, were dis- 
tributed. In the years 1879-80 there were distributed 
360,000 salmon, 165,000 shad, 600 carp, 2,000 g-ray bass and 
1,400 native fish (black bass, pike, perch, jack and blue 
catfish), tog-ether with larg-e numbers of mill-pond roach, 
as food for the bass. In 1881 and 1882 the commission put 
out 18,500 land-locked salmon, 7,000 trout, 2,000 carp, 600 
black bass, 125 silver perch, 25 pike perch. 

The appropriations since that time ($500 a year) have 
been so meag-re that the work of the commission has been 
devoted almost entirely to the raising- of carp and native 
fish, and food fish for the bass. The streams of the state 
are now pretty thoroug-hly stocked with these fish. New 
river, Gauley and Greenbrier rivers, Vvith their tributa- 
ries, have been supplied with black bass until now they 
contain g-reat numbers of these fish. Many depleted trout 
streams have been restocked and many streams have been 
supplied with small food fish for the bass. In 1893 the 
leg-islature failed to make any appropriation for the com- 
mission nor have succeeding- leg-islatures done anything-. 
^11 that is now done by the commission is to care for the 


state houses and ponds and furnish carp as they are 
called for. 

Fanners' Alliance.— The only org-anization of ag-ri- 
cultural people in this county that has met with success is 
the ]^*ational Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union. In 
the spring- of 1889 W. B. Parham was commissioned by 
Colonel Barbee of Virginia, to come to Hampshire county 
and lecture at the same time, perfecting- local org-anizations 
of the Alliance. Mr. Parham according-ly labored here in 
the spring- and summer of 1889, meeting- with considerable^ 
success and bring-ing- into life man}' sub-divisions of the 
org-anization. In answer to a call these local sub-divisions 
of the Alliance sent deleg-ates to Romney Tuesday, July 
23, 1889, at which time the county Alliance was organized. 
There is a store at Romney which is under the control of 
the Alliance. Shares are issued to members of the org-an- 
ization only, and a board of directors have the manag-ement 
of the enterprise. The present officers of the Alliance in 
this county are. Dr. J. W. ShuU, president; David Fox, 
vice-president; John Breinig^, secretar}'; Geo. M. Haines, 
chaplain; L. H. L. Henderson, lecturer; Joseph H. Clem, 
assistant lecturer. 





Allusion has been made in other chapters of this book to 
the fact that George Washing-ton earned on the the South 
branch his first money, which became the foundation of 
his fortune. It is not amiss to enter more fully into de- 
tails of the g-reat man's visits to Hampshire, when he was 
a mere 3'outh, and before he had won the justly-deserved 
fame of after years. 

"His g-reatness he derived from heaven ak)ne, 
For he was great ere fortune made him so; 
And wars, like mists which rise ag^ainst the sun. 
Made him but g^reater seem, not greater grow." 

It is the purpose in this chapter to give extracts from 
Washington's diar}^ and letters, referring to the South 
branch and neighboring country. Early in the spring of 
1748 he made the acquaintance of Lord Fairfax, who had 
but lately arrived from England to take possession of his 
vast estate in Virginia. He sent Washington, who was 
just past sixteen years of age, to examine and survey the 
lands. George William E'airfax accompanied him. On 
March 18, 1848, Washington entered in his journal: 
"Thomas Beckwith's on the Potomac. We agreed to stay 
till Monday. We this day called to see the famed warm 
springs, and campedin the field all night." These springs 
are at Bath, in Morgan count}'. There was high water at 
that time, and the party did not venture to cross the river, 
but on March 20, Washington writes: "Finding the river 
not much abated, we, in the evening, swam our horses over 


to the Maryland side." March 21, ''Traveled up the 
Maryland side all day in a continual rain, to Colonel Cre- 
sap's, over against the mouth of the South branch." March 
25. "Left Cresap's and went up to the mouth of Patter- 
son's creek. There we swam our horses over the Potomac 
and went over ourselves in a canoe and traveled fifteen 
miles, where we camped." March 26, "Traveled up to 
Solomon Hedg-es', one of his majesty's justices of the peace 
in the county of Frederick, where we camped." The next 
day the party reached the South branch, and on March 28, 
this entry was made: "Traveled up the South branch 
about thirty miles to Mr. J. R.'s (horse jocke^O. and about 
seventy miles from the mouth of the river." It is proba- 
ble that Washington overestimated the distance from the 
mouth of the river by about ten miles. It is not likely that 
the distance had been measured at that time. On March 
30 he wrote: "Began our intended business of la\nng- off 
lots." On April 4 he made an entry showing- the kind of 
people who then lived there, and who were all squatters on 
the lands of Lord Fairfax, or at least on land claimed by 
him; but some of them considered the land as their own, 
and in after years suits were brought to quiet the title, 
some of the suits remaining on the court dockets unde- 
cided for a generation. On April 4 he whites: "We were 
attended with a great company of people, men, women and 
children, who followed us through the woods, showing- 
their antic tricks. They seem to be as ignorant a set of 
people as the Indians. They would never speak English, 
but when spoken to they all spoke Dutch." 

To judg-e from this, the country must have had a consid- 
erable population at that time, and this population was 
largely German. It is also interesting to note that many 
localities then had the names by which they are still known, 
such as Patterson's creek, the Trough and South branch 
Many years after that this river is given the Indian name, 
Wappacomo, in deeds and other public records, and one 


mig-ht be led to suppose it had no other name; but the 
journal of Washing-ton shows that in 1748 it was called 
South branch, the same as now. While surveying- in the 
vicinity of Moorefield Washington boarded at Mr. Van 
Meter's, a relative of an influential family of the same 
name which has ever since been identified with the inter- 
ests of Hardy and Hampshire counties. It appears that, 
althoug-h Washing-ton made his headquarters at Van Me- 
ter's he slept in a camp; for, on April 7, he records that he 
slept at the house of a man named Casey, and says it "was 
the first nig-ht I had slept in a house since coming- to the 
branch." On Aprils Washing-ton wrote in his journal: "We 
breakfasted at Casey's, and rode down to Van Meter's to 
g-et a company tog^ether, which when we had accomplished, 
we rode down below the Troug-h to layoff lots there. The 
Troug-h is a couple of mountains, impassable, running- side 
by side for seven or eig-ht miles, and the river between 
them. You must ride round the mountains to get below 
them." The surveyings below the Troug-h was completed 
in a couple of days, and on April 10 Washington wrote: 
"We took our farewell of the branch and traveled over hills 
and mountains to Coddy's, on the Great Cacapehon, about 
forty miles." This Coddy was none other than Caudy, a 
well-known pioneer who v/as a noted Indian fig-hter in after 
years, and from whom Caudv's Castle was named. It is 
interesting- to note how Washington spelled Capon. He 
was not a very accurate speller, but usually spelled words 
as they were pronounced, and it is tolerably conclusive evi- 
dence that Capon was then pronounced as V/ashing-ton 
spelled it. For the various spellings of the word, the 
reader is referred to the chapter in this book on early 
lands and land owners. From Capon, Washington and 
Fairfax proceeded home, and closed their business in 
Hampshire for that time. The report to Lord Fairfax 
proved satisfactory, and Washington was appointed public 
survevor. That office was then somewhat different from 


what it is now. Fairfax owned all the land, or at least had 
a perpetual lien on all of it, and there was no "public," so 
far as a surveyor's duties extended. 

Tradition has long- maintained, and many people believe 
it, that the bottom lands of the South branch in Hampshire 
county, both above and below Romney, were laid off into 
lots by Georg^e Wa,shing-ton. Such, however, was not the 
case. This part of the county v/as surveyed prior to Oc- 
tober 19, 1749, by James Genn, in the employ of Lord Fair- 
fax. It was orig-inally the purpose of Fairfax to retain the 
level land along- the South branch and the adjacent hills, 
as a manor; but he changed his mind and offered the land 
for sale. 

In the fall of 1753 Washing-ton passed throug^h Hamp- 
shire, on his way to the upper tributaries of the Ohio, on 
his mission from the governor of Virg^inia to the French 
in thit country. The next year he was in the county 
ag-ain, on his way with troops to build a fort where Pitts- 
burg- now stands. In 1755 he passed throug^h the county 
ag-ain, accompanied by General Braddock, on the ill fated 
expedition which met disaster on the bank of the Monon- 
^ahela. The road by which this army marched is yet to 
be seen in some parts of Hampshire county. It passed 
through Spring g-ap, and crossing- the Potomac near the 
mouth of Little Capon proceeded to Cumberland on the 
Maryland side of the river. After Braddock's defeat the 
Indians became troublesome along the frontier. On 
October 11, 1755, Washing-ton wrote from Winchester to 
the governor of Virg-inia saying-; "The men I hired to 
brin:>- intelligence from the South branch returned last 
night with letters from Captain Ashby, and other parties 
there. The Indians are gone off." This refers to an 
Indian incurson a short time before. "It is believed their 
numbers amounted to about one hundred and fifty, that 
seventy-one men are killed and missing-, and several houses 
and plantations destroyed. I shall proceed by quick 


niarche-s to Fort Cumberland in order streng-hen the g'ar- 
rison. Besides these, I think it absolutely essential to 
have two or three companies of rang-ers to g-uard the Poto- 
mac waters. Captain Wag-g^oner informed me that it was 
with difficulty he passed the BlueRidg-e for crowds of people 
M'ho were flying- as if every moment v^'as death. He 
endeavored, but in vain, to stop them, they firmly believ- 
ing- that Winchester was in flames." It can thus be seen 
that the Indian warfare must have been savag^e when 
iieventy-one men on the border, perhaps nearly all of them 
in Hampshire county, vrere killed in a few days. On 
November 18, 1755, AVashing-ton wrote: "I think, could a 
brisk officer and two or three serg^eants be sent among- 
the militia stationed on the South branch, they would have 
probable chance of eng-ag;ing- many, as some v/ere inclined 
to enlist at Winchester." On April 7, 1756, Washing-ton 
^vrote: "Mr. Paris, who commanded a party, is returned. 
He relates that upon the North river he fellin Vv"ith a small 
party of Indians whom he eng-ag^ed, and after a contest of 
half an hour, put them to flig-ht." Washington states that 
he had just sent an officer and twenty men to reinforce 
Edwards' fort on Capon. Ag-ain on April 22, 1756, AVash- 
ington wrote to the g-overnor of Virg-inia: "Your honor 
may see to what unhappy straits the inhabitants and ray- 
self are reduced. I see inevitable destruction in so clear a 
lig-ht that, unless vigorous measures are taken by the 
assembly, and speedy assistance sent from below, the 
poor inhabitants that are now in fort, must unavoidably 
, fall, while the remainder are flying before the barbarous 
t'oe. Ashby's letter is a very extraordinary one. The 
design of the Indians was only, in my opinion, to intimi- 
date him into a surrender; for which reason I have written 
him word that, if they do attack him, he must defend the 
place to the last extremity, and when bereft of hope, to 
lay a train to blow up the fort, and retire by night to Fort 


The Captain Ashby named in Washing-ton's letter was 
John Ashby, grandfather of General Turner Ashby and of 
. Captain Richard Ashby, both of Hampshire county and 
both killed while serving in the confederate army. In 
Washington's letter of April 22, 1756, he speaks of a fig^ht 
on Patterson's creek: "A small fort which we have at the 
mouth of Patterson's creek, containing^ an officer and 
thirty men g-uarding- stores, was attacked by the French 
and Indians. They were as warmly received, upon which 
they retired." Two days later he wrote another letter 
from Winchester in which he said: "The inhabitants are 
removing- daily, and in a short time will leave this county 
as desolate as Hampshire, where scarce a family lives. 
Colonel Martin has just sent me a letter from Fort Hope- 
well on the South branch. They have had an eng-ag-ement 
there with the French and Indians. The waters were so 
hi^h that, although Captain Wag-g-oner heard them 
engag-ed, he could send them no assistance. You may 
expect, by the t'lme this comes to hand, that, without a 
considerable reinforcement, Frederick county will not be 
mistress of fifteen families. They are now retreating- to 
the securest parts in droves of fifties. Fort Cumberland 
IS no more use for defense of the place than Fort Georg-e 
at Hampton. At this time there is not an inhabitant living; 
between this place and Fort Cumberland except in few 
settlements upon the manor around a fort we built there, 
and a few families at Eldwards' fort on Cacapehon river, 
with a guard of ours, which makes this town (Winches- 
ter) at present the uttermost frontier." 

This is a g^loomy picture of Hampshire as it existed in 

the darkest hour of the French and Indian war. When 
Washing-ton drew that picture he did it with all the factti 
before him. Only two small clusters of families between 
Winchester and Cumberland! One of these were seeking- 
protection at Fort Edward on Capon, the others at Pear- 
sail's fort, which stood on the bluff overlooking- the present 


bridgfe across the South branch, about half mile south of 
Koraney. It is no wonder there is a blank place in the 
court records of Hampshire county from June 11, 1755, till 
1757. Nobody was left in the county to hold court. It is 
interesting- to learn from this letter of Washing-ton that he 
built the old fort which stood almost on the site of the 
present town ot Romney. 

In 1770, on October 9, Washing-ton visited Romney and 
remained over nig-ht in the town, the next day proceeding- 
Mpon his journey to the west to look at larg-e tracts of lands 
on the Monong-ahela and Kanawha rivers. The house in 
^vhich he spent the nig-ht stood on lot number ninety-six, 
at present owned by S. L. Flournoy of Charleston, West 





Elsewhere in this volume will be found chapters dealings 
with Indian wars in g-eneral, as they affected the state. 
The present chapter will be devoted to depredations which 
took place within the limits of Hampshire county, or near 
its borders. No tribe of Indians occupied and claimed this 
part of West Virg^inia when it first became known to white 
people; but larg-e and small parties of the aborig^ines fre- 
quently occupied it temporarily, and no doiibt sometimes 
remained for a considerable time. Indians from Pennsyl- 
vania on the north, North Carolina on the south and Ohio 
on the west often hunted alonsf the South branch and over 
the neig"hbOring- mountains, and also in the valley of Vir- 
ginia. And in time of war Indians from these same locali- 
ties made incursions into Hampshire and adjacent sections, 
often murdering- many people. These war parties usually 
came from Ohio and western Pennsylvania. A complete 
record of their murdei's does not exist, but a conservative 
estimate of the number of persons killed by the savages in 
Hampshire county from 1754 to 1765 would reach one hun- 
dred, and in addition to these, many were carried into cap- 
tivity and never returned. There is no lack of evidence 
that the valley of the South branch was once the home of 
Indians. Their numerous graves attest this fact. Flint 
arrowheads in abundance were formerly found, usually on 
ridges overlooking the valley, and in the vicinity of springs 
where villages were probably located. Excavations in the 
graves a century ag^o occasionall}"- revealed bones or entire 


skeletons in a tolerable state of preservation. This was 
proof that no g-reat time had passed since occupants of the 
g-raves had been laid to their final rest. Under favorable 
circumstances a skeleton may lie in a grave one hundred 
years, or probably long-er, without total decay. There are 
accounts of skeletons and bones of g-iants dug- from some 
of these graves, but these stories should be accepted with 
caution. That there have been giants in the world is well 
known, but authentic history records no race of giants. 
Individual Indians may have been abnormall}' large, the 
same as individuals of other nations, but doubts may well 
be entertained whether so man}^ of them existed in the 
vicinity of the Potomac as old stories relate. It is said that 
a jawbone was plowed up near Moorefield which would 
pass over the outside of a common man's lower jaw; that 
it contained eight jaw teeth on either side, and that they 
sat transversely in their sockets. A bone of that size would 
have belonged to a man eight or nine feet high. That there 
were eight jawteeth on either side may safely be set down 
as a mistake. Another jawbone of enormous size is record- 
ed as having been discovered near Martinsburg. The 
skeleton of a g-iant is said to have been dug- up near the 
Sh,annondale springs. On Flint run, in Shenandoah county, 
the thigh bone of a giant is among the discoveries claimed. 
It was three feet long. This would indicate that the 
owner, ia life, was fully nine feet high. The catalogue of 
larp-e bones might be continued almost indefinitely, but 
they do not deserve a place in history because of the ele- 
ment of exaggeration attending their description. 

It is claimed, and is probable, that the occupants of the 
South branch and^surrounding country were exterminated 
or driven off by other Indians a.bout the time of the eai'liest 
settlements by Europeans in Virginia. A date more 
definite cannot be given, because no man knows. The 
sole evidence is tradition supplemented by a study of the 
ruins found on the sites of former villages, their decay,' 


and the probable leng-th of time which has passed since 
they ceased to be occupied. There was a tradition widely 
believed among- the earl}' settlers that a fierce battle was 
once foug-ht at Hanging- Rocks, on the South branch, a few 
miles north of Romne}', between Delaware and Catawba 
Indians. According to this tradition, the Delawares had 
invaded the Catawba country, in the vicinit}^ of western 
Carolina, captured a number of prisoners and retreated 
northward with them. When they reached Hanging- 
Rocks, they stopped to catch fish. At this place a narrow 
strip of land is enclosed between the river and the cliff. 
The pursuing- Catawbas came up unobserved, threw a 
detachment across the river, another in front of the Dela- 
wares, then advancing-, made the attack from three sides, 
killing- all or nearly all of the Delawares. A row of g-raves 
extending sixt}'^ yards or more, on the bank of the river, 
was early pointed out as confirmatory evidence of the 
slaughter of the Delawares. The tradition is given for 
what it is worth, but the reader is cautioned that the evi- 
dence of such a battle at Hanging- Rocks is very unsatis- 
factorv. The fact that there are g-raves at that place is 
about the strong-est evidence, and that, in itself, is of little 
value. It is strong-er evidence that an Indian village was 
somewhere near, and that this was the g-rave yard. That 
the evidence was unsatisfactory to the early inhabitants is 
proved by the fact that the battle field was located at two 
other places, one on the Opequon, several miles northeast 
of Winchester, and the other on Antietam creek, in Mary- 
land. There was evidently a tradition of such a battle 
some v^^h ere, and the earliest inhabitants beg-an to hunt a 
suitable location for it. Without question, the Hang-ing- 
Rocks vv-ould have been an admirable field for such a 

There is evidence, if not positive proof, thvit there was 
an Indian town two miles below Hanging Rocks. Of this 

Kercheval savs, writing- earlv in the present centurv: 

24 " ' '■ 


*'About two miles below Hang-ing- Rocks, in the bank of the 
river, a stratum of ashes, about one rod in leng-th, was 
some years ago discovered. At this place are signs of an 
Indian villag-e and their old lields." The most permanent 
remains of Indian towns are the beds of ashes left by their 
fires. Their frail wigwams fall to pieces in a short time, 
but the ashes remain for ages, covered with a greater or 
smaller accumulation of soil, depending upon the length of 
time and t'le surrounding- conditions. The "Indian Old 
Fields," in Plardy county, so called to this day, are without 
doubt the site of an Indian settlement. When the country 
was first explored by white men these fields were bare of 
trees, evidently having long been under cultivation. The 
Indians who occupied the South branch, as well as those 
who lived in the valley of Virginia, probably of the same 
tribe, were farmers as well as hunters, as is shown by the 
extent of their old plantations. That portion of the valley 
of Virginia lying between the Blue Ridge and Little North 
mountain, about twentjj'-five miles W'ide and forty-five long, 
was nearly all cleared of timber when first visited by wiiite 
men. Agrricultural Indians had no doubt lived there for 



In all parts of Hampshire county, but especially on the 
bluffs overlooking South branch valley, Indian arrow heads 
have been picked up since the country was first occupied 
by civilized man. These flints formed the tips of their 
arrows, both for the chase and in war. The notion that 
the Indians were accustomed to dip their arrows in rattle- 
snake poison, to make them more deadly, is erroneous. 
They did so at times, but it was not the usual practice. It 
is believed that the "^int from which they made their arrow- 
heads was carried from Ohio. It is not found in this part 
of the country; but in Ohio old quarries have been discov- 
ered which seem to have been worked from time out of 
mind. The flint bears evidence of having been blasted by 
means of fire, being broken into fragments by heat. 


When the French and Indian war broke out, ani during- 
Pontiac's war, a period extending- from 1754 to 1765, the 
people of Hampshire county, in common with those of other 
parts of the frontier, built forts as places of refuge from 
the savag-es. These forts were usually large log houses, 
but sometimes consisted of a number of cabins enclosed 
by a stockade of logs planted on end, side by side in the 
ground and rising eighteen or twenty feet. There was a 
fort seven miles above Romney, but its name and its exact 
location are now forgotten. Fort Edward was on the Capon 
river, near where the road from Romne}^ to V/inchester 
now crosses. Eight miles below Romney was another 
fort, the name of which is not remembered. Fort William 
vvas a short distance below Hanging Rocks, and Furman's 
fort was some distance above Hanging Rocks. Ashby's 
fort was at Frankfort, on Patterson creek. Fort Gedrge 
stood near Petersburg, in Grant county, and Fort Pleas- 
ants, near Moorefield, in Hardy count v. These were all 
small forts, but a number of formidable fortifications were 
built during those troublous times, not within Hampshire 
count}", but so near that man}- Hampshire people found 
refuge in the "d. Fort Cumb^rlaid stood v/here the town 
of Cumberland, in Maryland, has since been built, about 
twenty-eight miles from Romney. Fort Frederick was 
also in Maryland, about twelve miles from Martinsburg. 
It. was built of stone, walls twenty feet high and four and 
a-half feet thick. It is said to have cost more than three 
hundred thousand dollars. Fort Loudoun, near Winches- 
ter, was very strong, and at one time five hundred families 
fled there for refuge. The fort was planned and built by 
Washington, who superintended it in person. It was 
erected immediately after Braddock's defeat, 1755, and no 
doubt was meant as a stronghold to withstand the attacks 
of the French and Indians should they advance and destroy 
Fort Cumberland. Fort Loudoun mounted twenty-four 
cannon, of which six were eig^hteen-pounders, six twelve- 


pounders, six six-pounders, four swivels and two howitzers. 
When the French and Indian war broke out, Hamp- 
shire, lying- on the exposed western frontier, soon felt the 
effects of savag-e warfare. The county at that time in- 
cluded Mineral, Hardy, Grant, Pendleton, part of Morg^an, 
as well as much territory lying- westward. In speaking- 
of Indian depredations, the present limits of the county 
will be chiefly considered, but events near the borders 
will not be omitted. It will be observed that the Indians 
made hostile inroads into Hampshire from 1754 to 1765, 
eleven years, never before nor after. One of the most 
noted Indian chiefs whose presence added to the horrors 
of the savag-e warfare in the South branch valley was 
Kdlbuck, a Shawnee from Ohio. He was well acquainted 
with the people along- the South branch before the war. 
His invasion of Pendleton, Grant and Hardy counties is 
spoken of elsewhere in this book. When the war broke 
out, Killbuck led some Indians to Patterson creek and 
killed a man named Williams after Williams had killed five 
of the savag-es, firing- on them from his cabin as they at- 
tempted to break into it. Procuring a larg-er band of fol- 
lowers, Killbuck became ambitious of conquest, and led 
his men ag-ainst Fort Cumberland, where Cumberland, 
Maryland, now stands. Not being- strong- enoug-h to cap- 
ture it by assault, he resorted to deceit, and sent word to 
the commandant. Colonel Living-ston, that his intentions 
were honorable and' his desire was for peace. He wanted 
to visit the fort with his Indians. But Colonel Living-ston 
suspected his design, and when Killbuck and his principal 
chiefs were inside, the g-ate was closed. The command- 
ant charg-ed him with treachery and drove him out in dis- 
g-race. No attack was made on the fort at that time. The 
experience which the savag-es had g-ained in attacking- 
Fort Cumberland a short time before had taug-ht them the 
perils of the enterprise. A high knob on the Maryland 
side of the river overlooked the fort, and Indians in con- 


siderable numbers amused themselves b}' taking- position 
on the summit of this knob and firing- into the fort. They 
did little damag^e, but the practice wasanno)dng-. One nig-ht 
while the savages were firing- into the fort, and making- 
the hill hideous with their yells, seventy-five soldiers sur- 
prised them and killed all but a few. For 3'ears there- 
after the knob was called Bloody hill. 

Killbuck continued to annov/ the settlements until the 
close of the war. He then repaired to his home in Ohio, 
and occasionally visited Wheeling-, Subsequently he be- 
came blind, but lived to be more than one hundred years 
old. A companion of Killbuck, named "Crane," because 
of his unusually long neck and leg"s, v/as a great nuisance 
along- the South ^branch, but not much record has been 
found of his doings. In that dav he was considered nearly 
as dang-erous as Killbuck. 

A party of Indians appeard before a fort about seven 
miles belov/ Romney, perhaps in the 3"ear 1757, and a num- 
ber of men unwisely sallied out to fight them; but they 
were comipelled to retreat to the fort with the loss of sev- 
eral of their part}^ 

In 1757 a large body of Indians invaded the country, sep- 
arated into small parties and murdered many people. 
About thirty of them approached Fort Edward, on the 
Capon, about three-quarters of a mile above where the 
road to Winchester now crosses. The Indians decoyed 
the g-arrison into the woods, Captain Mercer being- in com- 
mand. The savag-es waylaid them and killed thirty-four. 
Only six escaped to the fort. This party had previoush'- 
killed two men in that vicinity, making- a total of thirty-six. 

Isaac Zane, well known in the annals of Indian warfare, 
was a resident of the South branch, but was taken prisoner 
when quite j^oung- and was carried to Ohio where he g-rew 
up with the Indians, married a sister of a Wyandott chief 
and lived near Cbilicothe. During- the revolution when 
the Indians were v/ag-ing- a relentless war ag-ainst the 


frontier, Isaac Zane on more than one occasion secretly 
sent warning- to the settlements, informing- them of 
intended Indian raids, thus saving- many lives. It is not 
improbable that he at one time saved Wheeling- from sur- 
prise and capture. He never forg-ot the English language. 
His childhood home was in the present county of Hardy. 

Very early in this war Michael Cresap, then a youth, 
but afterwards a brave soldier, disting-uished himself in 
an Indian fig-ht-near Old Town, in Maryland, near the 
mouth of the South branch. An Indian had shot a settler 
and when in the act of scalpingf him, w^as shot by Cresap 
who was armed with only a pistol. The aim was g-ood and 
the savag-e v/as killed. During- that Indian war there were 
unprincipled white men who went about the settlements 
disguised as Indians, for the purpose of robbing the 
houses, after frightening the people away. In 175S two 
such men were killed by settlers in Berkeley count}''. 

In 1764 a party of Delawares invaded the South branch 
valley and hid near Furman's fort. William Furman and 
Nimrod Ashby left the fort to go to Jersey mountain to 
hunt deer and were both pursued and killed. The Indians 
prowled around other settlements several days, taking a 
number of prisoners, and with them returned to the 
South branch. AVhile crossing that stream near Hanging 
Rocks, one of the prisoners, Mrs. Thomas, was carried 
away by the swift current, but fortunately escaped drown- 
ing. She escaped from the Indians and reached Furman's 
fort in safety, 

Logan, the famous Mingo chief, from whom both Logan 
and Mingo counties, in this state were named, began his 
career of blood in the South branch valley, killing Benja- 
min Bowman, taking prisoner Humphrey Worsted, and 
stealing a number of horses. Logan's principal achieve- 
ment was the killing with his own hand of thirty or more 
settlers, chiefly women and children, during the Dunmore 
war in 1774. He has also received considerable notoriety 


on account of aspsecb attributed to him which was read at 
Dunmore's treat}- with the Indians at Camp Charlotte, 
1774. But Log-an was not the author of the speech, and 
perhaps never saw it or heard of it. In that speech he is 
made to say: "During- the course of the last long- and 
bloody war Logman remained idle in his cabin, an advocate 
of peace. Such was my love for the whites, that my 
countrymen pointed as they passed and said, 'Log-an is 
the friend of the white men.' " This, in itself, is reasona- 
bly conclusive proof that some one wrote the speech who 
was not acquainted with Logan's murdering- and horse 
stealing- expedition to the South branch a few years before. 
Michael Cresap, who was charg-ed in the speech above 
referred to, with being the cause of the Dunmore war, but 
which charge was groundless, was well known in Hamp- 
shire county, although a citizen of Maryland, just across 
the Potomac. The accusation that Cresap murdered 
Logan's relatives near Wheeling in 1774, is novv^ known to 
have been false, although long reiterated in histories, even 
by George Bancroft the most eminent historian of the 
United States. Captain Michael Cresap was on the Ohio 
river when the war of 1774 began. He returned at once to 
the Potomac, raised a companj^ of volunteers, mostly in 
Hampshire county, and within seventeen days from his 
departure from the Ohio he had returned almost to that 
place when he was ordered to dismiss his men by John 
Connolh", of Pittsburg. Cresap did so with great reluc- 
tance. Connolly was a willing tool of Dunmore's in his 
conspiracies against the American people, and when the 
patriots of Virginia shortly afterwards drove Dunmore 
out, Connolly fled also. More than a century has passed, 
and in the light of histor}^ Cresap stands out as a patriot, 
while Dunmore and Connolly are convicted by their own 
acts of conspiring against the Virginians who were light- 
ing for liberty at the opening of the revolution. 

When Fort Henry, at Wheeling, was threatened and 


T33sieg"ed by an Indian army in 1777, Captain F'oreman 
with a company of Hampshire volunteers marched vnih 
all speed to help save the settlements along- the Ohio. 
Before his arrival the Indians had been compelled to 
retreat from Wheeling-, but twelve miles from that place 
Captain Foreman fell into an ambuscade and himself and 
twenty-one of his men were killed at Grave creek. In 
every danger, in ever}^ call for help, the men of Hampshire 
have been found among the first to respond. 





The mere enumeration of substances and commodities- 
that have been used as a medium of exchange or money 
would fill much space and occupy much time, and thoug^h 
it would possibly be interesting- to show how the currency 
of today has been evolved, and to conjecture as to a means 
of exchang-e in future years, such a treatise does not fall 
within the scope of a county history. The earliest cur- 
rency used in this country was that in use among- the 
Indians at the time white men arrived here. This con- 
sisted of shells strutig- on strings and circulated freely 
among the different tribes and to some extent among- the 
first settlers on the James river. Furs were another 
primitive means of exchange and we find a considerable 
traffic in these along the South branch at an early day. It 
was not until a later time that we find tobacco the standard 
of value. The unsavory weed was used for this purpose 
and to a much larger extent than is generally supposed. 
In an old order book of the Hampshire justice court for 
the years 178S to 1791 we find continual reference to the 
payment of judgments in tobacco. Witnesses were invar- 
iably paid in tobacco for their attendance at court. The 
rate was twenty-five pounds a dav and four pounds for 
each mile travelled in going- to and f ropa court. Clerks' and 
sheriffs' salaries as well as those of other county officers 
were paid in tobacco a little more than a century ago. The 
specie value of this tobacco was a penny and a half-penny 
per pound or about three cents in the money of today. At 


a justice court held April 16, 1789, judg-meiit was 
awarded "Andrew Wodrow ag^ainst James Anderson, late 
sheriff of Harrison county, for one thousand three hun- 
dred and eighteen pounds of tobacco at a penny and a half- 
penny per pound, being- the amount of fees put into the 
hands of said Anderson to collect on which he never re- 
ported." We can easily see how clumsy this medium of 
exchang-e was in the adjustment of larg-e accounts. Then 
it was no small matter to transport such a load of money. 

We cannot wonder that in 1792 tobacco as money was 
abandoned and the present system of dollars, cents and 
mills was introduced with some modifications. Coins of 
other countries circulated freely, but led to considerable 
complication in business transactions, so that the g^eneral 
assembly passed an act in 1792 reg-ulating- the value of 
foreig-n coins. It stated that twenty-seven g-rains of the 
g-old coins of France, Spain, Eng-land and Portug-al should 
be e([ual to one hundred cents in Virg-inia money. The 
g-old of Germany being- of less fineness, it required twenty- 
nine and eig-ht-tenths g-rains to equal one dollar in Virg-inia. 
Spanish milled dollars were worth one hundred cents and 
other silver coins, uncut, w^ere worth one dollar and eleven, 
cents an ounce. A "disme" was one-tenth of a dollar. 

The first bank in this county v/as the Bank of the South 
branch of the Potomac. The building- in which it did 
business stood on the g-round now occupied by the Literary 
hall in Romney. The date of the org-anization of this bank 
could not be ascertained, but it was, in all probability, in 
operation at the beg-inning- of the present centur}^ An 
act was passed November 16, 1816, which was "to g-ive the 
Bank of the South branch of the Potomac more time to 
close its business." Unchartered banks had been ordered 
to quit circulating- their notes and this act was meant to 
suspend the order temporarily. The same year banks 
were ordered to pay specie on penalty of an addition of six 
per cent. This bank continued in business as late as 1819^ 


at which time Nathaniel Ku5"kendall was cashier. The 
Bank of the Valley of Virginia, at Winchester, was author- 
ized b}' act February 5, 1817, and the provision was made 
that if the counties of Jefferson, Berkeley, Hampshire and 
Hardy would subscribe one hundred thousand dollars 
stock, an office of deposit and discount should be estab- 
lished in each county, or if they subscribed two hundred 
thousand dollars two such offices were to be established. 
By taking- advantage of this provision a branch of the Val- 
ley bank was established at Romne}^ about 1825, with John 
McDowell, president, and John Jack, cashier. Other 
branches were established at Moorefield, Charlestown, 
Christiansburg and Staunton. It was this bank that 
served the people of the county until the civil war, when 
the mother baxik at Winchester suspended and the branch 
banks went out of existence. 

During the war there was no bank in the county and the 
circulating medium, which consisted largely of confeder- 
ate money, Vv-as in a disturbed condition. The frequent 
incursions of union and confederate forces and the capture 
and recapture of the territory by the opposing parties lent 
such an element of uncertainty to business transactions 
that no one knew vrliat kind of money to accept. A great 
many, firm in the belief that the confederate cause would 
be triumphant in the end, accepted its money without hesi- 
tation, and finally had only worthless paper to represent 
the large estates they owned at the beginning of the war. 
The counterfeiting of bank notes seems to have been quite 
common previous to 1860. Each month there was a "Bank 
Note List," taken from Bucknell's Reporter, published in 
the county papers. In a copy of the Virg-inia Argus for 
August 21, 1851, there is such a list published. The whole 
number of banks in Virginia at this time vras fort3'-one, 
three of which are reported closed and two of which have 
failed. Out of this number, forty-one, there are twenty- 
six banks on which there were "either counterfeit or 


altered notes of various denominations in circulation 
throug-hout the United States, for the description of which 
we refer our readers to the Detector," The Romney 
branch of the bank of the Valley is amonjj the number 
having- spurious notes in circulation. 

Immediately following- the war there was a g"reat dearth 
of money and in consequence business was hampered and 
hindered. The considerable volume of confederate money 
then in the county having- become utterly worthless, the 
people were left without a medium of exchang-e and conse- 
g-uently transactions of a business nature were carried on 
larg-ely by barter. For more than twenty years after the 
war there was no bank in Romney or in the county. Peo- 
ple g-enerall}^ did business with the Second National Bank 
of Cumberland for which J. C. Heiskell acted as ag-ent. 
"While this method of banking- was quite satisfactory so 
far as methods were concerned it was found to be very 
inconvenient. It was therefore decided to org-anize a bank 
in the county. The Bank of Romney which is still in oper- 
ation and doing- business in the building- occupied by the 
branch of the Valley bank previous to the war, was 
g-ranted its charter September 3, 1888, and went into oper- 
ation January 1, 1839. It was org-auized with the following- 
board of directors: H. B. Gilkeson, president; Judg-e 
James D. Armstrong-, R. W. Dailey, Jr., I. H. C. Pancake, 
R. E. Guthrie, J. C. Heiskell, J. AV. Carter, members and 
John P. Vance, cashier. The convenience of having- a bank 
within the county's limits for the accommodation of its 
citizens is likely to make the Bank of Romney a permanent 





Hampshire county was not invaded by the enemy during- 
the war of the revolution. The British were never in a 
position to invade it, had they so desired. There was 
too much country between the mountains and the sea. 
Little could be grained and much mig-ht be lost by such an 
invasion. The fate of Colonel Furg-uson, who attempted 
to cross the mountains in North Carolina with a strong- 
British force, was a warning- to all others. The story of 
King's mountain soon became familiar far and near. No- 
record exists in Hampshire, so far as known, of the names 
or number of the soldiers who went from the county to the 
war of the revolution, but there were many, as is shown by 
the history of the old families, nearly all of whom had rep- 
resentatives fighting under Washington, Gates, Greene, 
or some other general in that long and desperate struggle. 
The character of the soldiers from Hampshire needs no 
words of praise. Well might a general exclaim, as Pyr- 
rhus exclaimed, "Had I such soldiers how easily could I 
conquer the world!" Trained and schooled in the wars 
with the Indians, the settlers of Hampshire were not afraid 
of danger. Their loyalty to the cause of liberty was not 
to be shaken, as may be seen from their indig-nation when 
the tory rebellion broke out in Hardy county, and from the 
promptness with which they helped to suppress it. A full 
account of that unpleasant affair will be found elsewhere 
in this book. 

General Washington fully appreciated the character of 


the people on the western frontier when he said, in the 
most discourag-ing- season of the war, that if driven from 
the lower country by overwhelming- force he would retreat 
to the mountains and raise the standard of liberty there 
and hold that rug-g^ed country for freedom. No doubt he 
had Hampshire county, among- other mountain reg-ions, in 
mind when he thus spoke. No country along- the ranges 
of mountains was better known to him than was Hamp- 
shire. He had walked over its hills and camped in its vil- 
leys before the county was formed, and before he was 
known to fame. He knew that Hampshire pioneers refused 
to be driven from their county by the Indians, but held out, 
at the fort at Romuey and on Capon, v\^hen all the rest of 
the country betvv-een Winchester and Cumberland had been 
g-iven up to pillag-e. These things, no doubt, he called to 
mind when he seriously considered what he would do if 
driven from the lower country by overvk'helming- forces of 

During- the revolution a larg-e number of prisoners of 
war v/ere confined in the fort at Winchester. They were 
larg-ely Hessians, who had been imported from Germany 
by Eng-land to fight against the patriots in America. They 
were savag-e aiid merciless on the field of battle so long- as 
they had the advantag-e, but when they were on the losing- 
side, and more particularly when taken prisoners, they 
were humble, submissive and contrite. After they had 
been confined at Winchester for some time, Tarleton, a 
British officer, undertook a raid ag-ainst Winchester for the 
purpose of liberating the prisoners. But the movement 
was discovered in time, and the prisoners were hurried off 
to B'^ort Frederick, in Maryland, twelve miles from Mar- 
tinsburg. Learning that the prisoners were beyond his 
reach, Tarleton did not continue his march to Winchester. 
It is probable that the Hessians were g-lad that Tarleton 
did not succeed in setting- them at liberty, for they v/ould 
then have been put back in the army, and' they preferred 


to remain in captivity. They had a better time where they 
were. They were allowed almost as much liberty as the 
private citizens in the surrounding- country, yet few of 
them attempted to escape. When, at last, they were set 
at liberty, they preferred to stay in America, and many of 
them found their way into Hampshire county and settled. 
Their descendants are in the county yet, and form a re- 
spectable portion of the community. 

John Chamve.—^^ few miles south of Romney, near 
the South branch, is the site of a house v/hich long- ag-o fell 
into decay, only a few ruins remaining-. Connected with 
these ruins is a story dating- back to the revolution. Here 
lived for thirty years John Champe, one of the bravest 
soldiers in Washing-ton's army. A mystery hung- over his 
life, but it has long- since been cleared away. He came into 
the South branch valley while the war for independence 
was in prog-ress; and, since it was known that he had been 
an officer in the army, enjoying- the confidence of Wash- 
ing-ton, it was a source of speculation why he had left the 
army and taken up his abode in v»'hat was then the remote 
frontier of A^ii'g-inia. The true reason was understood by 
a few, but the truth became g-enerally known only long- 
years after the Vv-ar, when Washing-ton and many of his 
soldiers had g-one to their last rest. Washing-ton sent 
Champe into Hampshire county to remove him from the 
dang-er of falling- into the hands of the British, by whom he 
would have been hang-ed had they captured him. The story 
of his life and of the hazzardous mission which he under- 
took is as follows: 

John Champe was born in Loudoun county, Virg-inia, 
about 1756. He enlisted in the continental army in 1776, 
and was in the command of Major Henry Lee. Champe 
rose to the rank of serg-eant major, and was a g-reat 
favorite with Lee. He was thus performing- the duties of 
a soldier and officer when peculiar circumstances broug-ht 
him to the notice of Washing-ton. Benedict Arnold had 


turned traitor and had fled to the British army at New 
York. Major Andre had been captured and was held as a 
spy. Rumors were in circulation to the effect that at 
least one other American of&cer of hig'h rank contemplated 
desertion, and no one knew how far the spirit of treason 
mig-ht extend. It was an hour of uncertainty and dang-er. 
Washing-ton felt the gravity of the situation. He sent for 
Major Henr}^ Lee in Vv'hom he had unbounded confidence, 
and laid before him a plan for the capture of the arch- 
traitor Arnold. Could he be taken and executed, his death 
would satisfy justice and furnish the public example 
deemed necessary; and the unfortunate Major Andre's 
life could be spared. To carry out Washington's plan, it 
was necessary to find a man of cool determination, delib- 
erate purpose, desperate courag^e, and absolute self- 
possession under any and all circumstances. He v/as to 
desert to the British, and execute a plan for kidnapping- 
Arnold and carrying- him into the American lines. V/ash- 
ing-ton asked Lee to find him a man who could do this. 
Lee selected Champe and brought him to Washington. 
The youn^j officer was of a silent and morose disposition, 
of dark complexion, a splendid horseman, of a frame mus- 
cular and powerful, combining- the qualities, both mental 
and physical, necessary for performing^ duties difficult and 

The young- officer came to Washing-ton, and heard the 
plan for Arnold's capture. He did not like to undertake 
it, not because of the dang-er, but the thoug-ht of desertion, 
even when feig-ned, was abhorrent to him. Upon the 
earnest entreaty of Washington, he finally ag-reed to g-o 
upon the mission. The time was short, for it was neces- 
sary to act at once. About eleven o'clock that night he 
quietly mounted his horse and started for New York by 
way of Paulus Hook. He hoped to escape unobserved, or 
at least to have several hours the start of his pursuers. 
But in this he Was disappointed. He had not been gone an 


hour before a troop of cavalry was in pursuit. When he 
reached the water's edg-e, within sight of a British ship, 
the pursuers were within two hundred yards of him. He 
left his horse and plung-ed into the water. The British 
came to meet him and he was assisted on board, and in a 
short time reached New York, where he was introduced 
to Sir Henry Clinton, who at once saw that Champe was a 
man who could be useful. The news of the desertion had 
already reached the British commander. Champe had 
papers on his person which showed him to be an officer; 
and it was the policy of the British to give deserting- 
officers the same rank in the British arm}' that they had 
held in the American army, by this method encouraging 
others to desert. Benedict Arnold had already been 
received with favor, and was engaged in raising a body of 
soldiers, w-hich he called the American Legion, composed 
of tories and deserters. It was natural that Champe should 
be sent to Arnold to be given service in the American 
Leg-ion. This was what he had hoped for; and at the end 
of a few da3'-s he found himself with Benedict Arnold. 
Arrangements w^ere made for carrying the traitor back to 
the American lines. Champe had two companions who 
were ready to assist him. A boat was prepared and was 
tied at a convenient point. Major Lee vvas notified, and 
sent a troop of cavalry to a place agreed upon to be in 
readiness to carr}^ Arnold away if Champe should succeed 
in kidnapping him and bringing him in the boat to shore. 
The plan w^as to seize Arnold, gag him, carry him by force 
to the boat and make off. Everything was ready, and the 
night approached for executing the plan. But at the last 
hour it was defeated by an unforeseen occurrence. Arnold 
was ordered to another point, and Champe, with much dis- 
g-ust, saw his project fall through. It is believed that it 
would have succeeded had Arnold remained a few hours 
longer where he was. In the meantime Major Andre had 
confessed, thus rendering unnecessary a protracted trial» 



and he bad been put to death in accordance with the severe 
but necessary rules of war which decree that the spy must 
pay the penalty with his life. Had Arnold been captured, 
and executed, the lifp of Andre could not have been spared 
under the circumstances. 

Benedict Arnold and his newl}^ org-anized troops sailed 
for the south and landed in Virg-inia. Chanipe went with 
them, and was thus carried far from his friends in New 
York, and all hope of kidnapping- the traitor was past. He 
therefore prepared to escape back to the American lines. 
The opportunity to do so came soon after Arnold joined 
Lord Cornwallis at Petersburg-, Genei'al Greene was then 
in the south, as was Major Lee also. Champe returned to 
Lee, and was by him introduced to General Greene who 
furnished him with a horse and sent him to General Wash- 
ing-ton who received him kindly, and g-ave him his dis- 
charg-e from the army, lest he fall into the hands of the 
British and be hang-ed by them. It is hig-hly probable that 
Washing-ton advised him to g-o to the South branch valley 
"beyond the reach of the British. It is well known that 
Washing^ton was acquainted with Hampshire county, and 
knew the wealth of the country in natural resources; and 
also knew that no British ami}' would ever penetrate so 
far into the intei-ior. At any I'ate, Champe took up his 
residence on the South branch, on land now belong-ing to 
John M. Pancake, near the Haunted Gate, five miles south 
of Romney. 

The subsequent history of Champe is much like that of 
Simon Kenton, the Kentucky pioneer who was doomed to 
disappointment and neglect and who died in poverty. When 
Y/ashing-ton sent Champe upon his perilous mission he 
promised him, in the name of the United States, that he 
should be well rewarded. This promise seems never to have 
been fulfilled. Champe remained at his home on the South 
branch, but there is no recottd that he ever owned the land 
on which he lived. However, Washington never forgot 


him. About fifteen years afterward, when it seemed that 
war was about to be declared between the United States 
and France, and Washing-ton had been called to take com- 
mand of the American army, he endeavored to find Champe, 
intending- to give him a command in the arm v. But he Vvas 
told that Champe had g-one to Kentucky, where he had 
died. But this was incorrect. He still lived in the South 
branch valley, but it is uncertain v/hether at the place of 
his first settlement or further up the river. In 17SS his 
name occurs on the land books. In that year he entered a 
claim on a tract of public land on the Alleg-hany mountains, 
in Hardy county, but within the present limits of Grant 
county. It is not believed that he ever lived on this land. 
For the next twenty-five years nothing- is knov,-n of his life, 
except that he married Phoebe Parnard and had a family. 
About 1815 he moved to Ohio, in compan}"- with Isaac Miller 
of Hampshire county. Mr. Miller settled on a tributary 
of the Scioto river. Champe remained a short time in Ohio 
and then went to Kentucky and soon died. His descend- 
ents are still living- in Ohio and Micbig-an. His son, 
Xathaniel, was an ofiicer in the war of 1812 and 
made an honorable record. About 1858 S. S. Cox of _Ohio, 
presented a petition to cong-ress on behalf of the heirs of 
John Champe, asking- for recog-nition of the claim of their 
fiither. The heirs then resided in Ohio and Michig-an. 
The petition was prepared by A. W. Kercheval of Hamp- 
shire count}^. It was never acted upon. 

Early Militia Boll. —The earliest militia roll now 
obtainable in Hampshire county is in the possession of 
Lieutenant John Blue, to whom it descended from his 
g-randfather, Captain John Blue. The roll bears date 
April 28, 1790, and as that was but a short time after the 
close of the Revolutionary war it is highly pi'obable that 
the same company was in existence during that war. From 
the list of names given below it ^\^ll be seen that many of 
the names are still common in this county among- the best 


class of citizens: John Blue, captain; Robert RosSj^JgbiL 
R^sSi Garrett Blue, William Linton, John Pancake, James 
Spilman, John Reynolds, John Newman, Andrew Kumes, 
Georg-e Glaze, Robert Parker, William Hanson, George 
Newman, William Newman, James Dale, Thomas Cornick, 
Barton Davis, Abraham Blue, John Williams, Joseph Hall, 
Peter Parker, Jesse Edw^ards, William Beakemao, Benja- 
min Belford, John Elos, Benjamin Swick, Isaac Daiton, 
John Rqss^JT., David Laycock, Jacob Blue, William Skid- 
more, Samuel Davis, Samuel Newman, George Taylor, 
Ralph Skidmore, John Walker, William Coug-hran, Joseph 
Coughran, John Donalson, William Donalson, Robert 
Walker, Samuel Walker, Robert Buck, Anthony Buck, 
JeTe^miah Sullivan, Patrick Savage, John Wells, W^illiam 
•Corbett, Isaac Johnson, Robert Reynolds, Henr\' Plinds, 
Samuel Abernathy, James Halls, James Smought, Simon 
Pancake, V/heeler Meradeth, Thomas Davis, Joseph Wil- 
liams, James Starr, Samuel Shrout, Vfilliam Sheets, Wil- 
liam Spilman, James AYood, Abraham Skilmon, Peter 
Swick, Henry Barber, Peter Williams, John Campbell, 
Feildon Calmers, Benjamin Neale, Isaac Newsman. 

It will be seen that four men of the name Nevvman were 
members of that company. It is believed that they were 
brothers of Dr. Robert Newman, but proof of it has not 
been found. Dr. Newman had five brothers who, with 
himself, took part in St. Clair's battle wath the Indians, 
north of Cincinnati, the year after the date of the above 
militia roll, that is in 1791, and five of the brothers were 




Hampshire's newspaper histor}^ is long- but not so varied 
as that of many counties a century younger. We find in 
many counties numerous newspapers of an ephemeral na- 
ture. They g-row up as suddenly as Jonah's g-ourd and 
like it perish in a night. Such is not the history of news- 
papers in Hampshire. This county seems to have never 
had a paper but met with a reasonable degree of success 
and accomplished in a certain measure the purpose for 
which it was established. In the year 1830 William Har- 
per set on foot the Hampshire and Hardy Intelligencer 
This paper served the people of both counties as a news- 
paper as there was no other paper nearer than Cumber- 
land. The name was in a short time changed to The 
South Branch Intelligencer and under this head it was run 
for two generations. This paper when established was a 
six-column, four page paper 14x20 inches in size. It was, 
however, soon enlarged to seven columns and later to 
eight. At first it was printed on an old Franklin press, 
and the printing of one thousand to twelve hundred copies, 
which was its circulation at that time, was no small job. 
The ink was distributed by means of buckskin-covered 
•balls filled with some absorbing substance. Such a thing 
as a composition roller was unknown. This paper was 
"whig ni politics during all its career up to the war, but 
after the war it lent its support to the regular democratic 
party. Mr. Plarper continued as editor of the Intelli- 
gencer until his death, which took place in 1887. During 


his long- connection with newspaper work in the county he 
became acquainted with most of the older inhabitants, and 
they looked upon him and his paper as indispensable 
friends. After his death the paper was conducted, for 
about three years, by his widow until 1890, when Mrs, 
Harper sold the paper to a stock company who placed C. 
F. Poland at the head, and he continued as editor until 
January, 1897, when the stock and fixtures were boug-ht 
by Cornwell Brothers, of the Review. With this event the 
old South Branch Intellig-encer, which had visited the peo- 
ple of the county regularly, except during- the civil war, 
for almost three score years, passed out of existence. 

The Virg-inia Arg-us, a democratic paper, was estab- 
lished in Romney in the month of July, 1850. Its founder 
was A. S. Trowbridg-e, who had formerly followed the 
profession of teaching- in New Orleans. The measure of 
success was not such as he thoug-bt oug-ht to be meted out 
to his enterprise, so in the year 1857 he sold the paper to 
Samuel R. Smith and John G. Combs, who held it for three 
years and nine months and in turn sold it to William Par- 
sons. A few months' experience satisfied Mr. Parsons 
that he did not need the paper, so he in turn sold it to 
Colonel Alexander Monroe and Job N. Cookus. These 
g-entlemen continued as editors and proprietors until the 
first year of the war w^hen they laid aside the pen and took 
up the sword and substituted for the noise of the printings 
press the din of battle. The paper was not revived after 
the war. 

The Review, the strongest paper ever In the county, 
and one of the most ably edited local papers in the state,, 
was established in 1884 b}^ C. F. Poland, who conducted 
the enterprise with considerable success until 1890, when 
he sold out to the present proprietors, Cornwell Brothers. 
The Review has a comfortable home, built In 1855, and 
is steadily increasing in circulation and influence. When 
established it was a seven column folio, but has recentlj 


€nlarg"ed to eig^ht columns, and is now printed on a new 
steam press. In politics it has always been democratic. 

The latest journalistic enterprise in the county is the 
Romney Times, established March 25, 1897. James Wirg-- 
man is editor and proprietor. The paper is republican in 
politics and has thus far received a fair measure of sup- 

The Tablet is an educational paper supported by the 
state and published at the Institution for the purpose of 
teaching- printing- to the pupils. It is issued weekly, on 
Saturday, durin»- the school session of forty weeks. 
Parents of pupils attending- the Institution receive the 
paper free. Others pay fifty cents a year for it. In size 
it is four column, 16x22, and its makeup is chiefly of such 
matter as concern the school and pupils. This paper was 
established in January, 1877, by A. D. Hays and has 
remained under his manag-ement for the greater part of 
the time since: 

There is nothing- that so minutely mirrors local senti- 
ment and current history of a community as its local 
papers. In after years the chaff of weekly news, as re- 
corded in the columns of a county's papers, yields the 
g-olden g-rain of history. Some of the incidents and hap- 
penings of former years that we find recorded in those 
old papers seem trivial enough, but, in fact, they were 
once matters of moment. 

The oldest paper published in Hampshire which the 
author has seen, is a copy of the South Branch Intelli- 
gencer of April 4, 1845. It is a seven-column folio. The 
tittle is in moderately-sized letters, but without display. 
The paper is filled up largely with descriptive articles and 
foreign news. Some local items, hovx^ever, are of interest. 
There is a list of unclaimed letters remaining in the Rom- 
ney postoffice April 4, 1845, signed by E. M. Armstrong, 
P. M. This paper and several other very old ones were 
furnished the writer by J. N. Buzzard. They bear the 


name of James Larimore. In this issue John Green and 
Joseph Davis g-ive notice that they do a g-eieral business in 
carding- and fulling-. There is also a column and a-half arti- 
cle on the Chesapeake and Ohio canal, showing- the proba- 
bility of its being- built and the benefits to be derived there- 
from. In an issue of the same paper for 1847 we find this 


"Georg-e Gilbert contemplates delivering- a temperance 
address in the court house in Romuey on Saturday nig-ht, 
23d inst,, at early candle lig-hting-." 

We see thus that active war was v/ag-ed against intoxi- 
cants fifty years a.go even in our midst. In the market 
reports for this year wheat is quoted at one dollar and 
forty cents to one dollar and fifty cents a bushel; corn sixty- 
nine to seventy cents; oats forty to forty-five cents, and 
rye seventy to seventy-five cents. Here is a notice that 
must have caused consternation among- the small boys: 

"no ball playing against the court house. 
*'Hampshire County. 

"September Court, 1847. 

"Ordered, That Joseph Poling-, keeper of the court house, 
prevent all ball-playing- ag-ainst the court house and defac- 
ing- and injuring- the same; and that if any person or per- 
sons shall hereafter play ball ag-ainst said court house, or 
deface or injure the same, it shall be the duty of the said 
Poling- to report to the court the names of all such offend- 
ers in order that he or thej- may be proc3eded ag-ainst for 
said offence. 

"This order is ordered to be published. 

"A copy: Teste." 

There is also an advertisement of "The most brilliant 
lottery ever drawn in the United States." It was located 
at Alexandria, and no doubt attracted many an adventurer 
by its brilliancy. There is, however, no local mention of 
any fortunate ticket-holder in this countv- Another copy 


of the paper for November 15,1850, is very much improved 
in size, appearance and makeup. There are numei-ous 
professional cards and many business notices. Two 
schools of academic g^rade are advertised, showing- that 
educational advancement kept pace with material prog^ress. 
Two year later still g^reater prog^ress is manifested and the 
paper becomes in tone much like the local paper of today, 
A couple of peculiar notices from these old papers will close 
this chapter: 

"half a cent reward. 

"Ran away from the subscriber on 22 of February of Feb- 

ruar}', a bound boy by the name of James C •, about 13 

years of ag^e. The above reward will be g"iven to any per- 
son who may bring him back to me. 

"Washington Park. 

"Hamp. Co., Mar. 5, 1852." 

We have no record of who captured the prize. There are 
also several advertisements of slaves for sale and for hire, 
which read to us of the present g-eneration like tales from 
a foreig"n land. 

Times were not then so prosaic as one might suppose, 
for in an old paper printed in 1852 a shoemaker thus pours- 
forth his soul in a poetic advertisement: 

"Each lady, too, will please to recollect 
Men have for pretty feet a great res])ect. 
Many a time the foot a beau will g'ain. 
E'en when a pretty face has tried in vain." 

But let us drag into the light no more of the peculiarities 
of times and people so long- past. Who shall say others 
will not in time to come, smile at those thiag-s we now con- 
sider sum and substance? 





Hampshire county, being- the oldest in the state, its pub- 
lic. records of course date back beyond those of any other 
county. So far as can be ascertained the lirst public 
record for Hampshire was written June 11, 1755. It was 
the minutes of a court held at that time. The oldest book 
in the court house, or that which is apparently the oldest, 
is a record of deeds, leases and mortgagees immediately 
following the organization of Hampshire. The entry oa 
the first pag-e bears date in December, 1757, and to this 
fact are probably due the statements made by most his- 
torians who have written on the subject, that the oldest 
record was made in 1757. A person who is seeking the 
date of the oldest record, naturally looks on the lirst page 
of the oldest book. But in the present case, that would be 
misleading; and it is apparent that Kercheval, Howe, 
Lewis and others Who have examined into Hampshire's 
history, have fallen into the error, and have concluded that 
the entry on the first page of the oldest book extant is 
actually the oldest record. Such is not the case. This 
old book bears internal evidence of being a copy of a still 
older book; or, more probably, it is a copy of records 
which existed some years as documents folded and laid 
away. The evidence of this is the fact that at different 
places in the books are instruments bearing- dates earlier 
than those on the first pages. For example, on the first 
pag-es are deeds prefaced by these words: "At a court 
held in and for the county of Hampshire, December 13. 


1757, ordered to be placed on record." A hundred or 
more pag^es further in the book occurs this preface to a 
deed: "At a court held in and for the county of Hamp- 
shire, June 11, 1755, ordered to be placed on record." 
Documents admitted to record at earlier sessions of court 
are found following- those admitted later, probably twenty 
places in the book, showing, or at least indicating", that the 
recorder had before him a bundle of papers of dffferent 
dates, all to be recorded; and that he endeavored to record 
them in the order of their dates, and usually did so, but a 
fev\' of the earliest were overlooked, and had to be recorded 

The honor of bein^ the first clerk of Hampshire has 
usually been given to Gabriel Jones; but this is also a mis- 
take, and it was made in the same manner as the error as 
to the first court. The first page of the oldest book v/as 
examined, and the clerk who recorded that pag^e was 
Gabriel Jones. But the records of the court of June 11, 
1755, show that Archibald Wager was the first clerk, or at 
least was in office before Gabriel Jones. There is nothing- 
in this old book to show where this first court was held. 
It would be interesting to show this, for at that time the 
French and Indian war was rag-ing- with all its fury, and 
Hampshire was overrun with savag-es and their French 
allies. Three days before this first court was held in 
Hampshire, the British and American troops, under com- 
mand of General Braddock, left Cumberland on the march 
to the present site of Pittsburg; and within one month 
from that date occurred the terrible battle on the bank of 
the Monong-ahela where Braddock fell and where he lost 
nearly halt his army. Washin<jton conducted the retreat 
to Cumberland, and the place was considered so unsafe, 
that the British troops continued the retreat to Philadel- 
phia. Washington returned to Virginia with the Ameri- 
can soldiers, and built a strong- fort at Winchester as a de- 
fense against the Indians and French. If such was the 


desperation of the situation that a British army was afraid 
to stay in Cumberland, and Washing-ton thought it neces- 
sary to fortify Winchester, what must have been the situ- 
ation of Hampshire which lay exposed to attack, and forty 
■or fifty miles nearer the Indian country than Winchester 
Avas? Yet, it was in that summer, in the midst of the war, 
that Hampshire's first court was held. As already said, 
it would be interesting- to know where the court convened 
and what protection it had ag-ainst Indian attacks. It is 
known that the oldest court house stood several miles 
above the site of Romney, on the South branch; but 
whether it was in existence as early as the summer of 1755, 
and whether the first court v^as held there, is not certainly 
known, and perhaps the truth will never be ascertained. 
No person living- can remember anything- throwing- lig-ht 
on the subject. It is probable, however, that the first 
court was not held in the court house on the river. It is 
more probable that it was held in some private house, the 
owner and its location having- been long- agfo forg-otten. 
Some persons are inclined to believe that the first court 
was not held in the county at all, but somewhere else. 
Wherever it was held, it was under British rule, and the 
judg-es were appointed by the crown, probably on author- 
ity deleg-ated to Lord Fairfax. 

Gabriel Jones was clerk of the court in 1757, and held 
office twenty-five years, and sig-ned the court proceedings 
till the close of the Revolutionary war. If not a relative of 
Lord Fairfax he was at least on intimate terms with him, 
and held his office by appointment from Fairfax. He was 
a personag;e of considerable importance in his time, at least 
in his own estimation. He was clerk of other courts be- 
sides Hampshire, and went from place to place sig'ning- the 
court proceeding's, which were written by his deputies. 
Sometimes, h'owever, several pag-es in the old books are 
found in the unmistakable penmanship of Gabriel Jones, 
showing- that he could work when he wanted to. Lord 


Fairfax owned several counties and could have appointed 
Jones clerk of all of them had he so desired. As it was the 
old clerk had g-ood pay and enough to do to keep him busy 
part of the time, and he was philosophical enoug-h not to 
g-rasp at so many of the emoluments of office that he would 
have no time to enjoy the fleeting- years. Thus life ran 
smoothly with him, and for a quarter of a century he sig^ned 
the pa^es of the Hamshire courts. There is no record of 
how or why he lost his place; but, since his name diappears 
just after the close of the revolution, and soon after the 
death of Lord Fairfax, it is probable that the end of British 
rule in Virg-inia also was the end of the clerkship of Gabriel 
Jones. Nevertheless he had been permitted to hold the 
office all throug-h the war, althoug-h it was well known that 
his patron, Lord Fairfax, was an enemy to the cause of 
American independence. 

Althoug-h he was clerk of several counties, yet he found 
time for long pleasure trips to Richmond, Baltimore and 
elsewhere. Those cities w^ere not so large or busy then 
as now, and many of the inhabitants, perhaps the most of 
them, at least in Richmond, knew Gabriel Jones. Like 
many other men of fame or g-enius, he sometimes took 
refuge from business cares in the excitement and pleasure 
of a g^ame, usually as pastime, but sometimes for money. 
The story is told of him that once in Richmond the games 
went against him all nig-ht, and by the dawn of day his 
pocketbook had collapsed; the last shilling- had gone into 
the pocket of the successful shark who played against him. 
But Mr. Jones had resources other than ready money. He 
wore a coat with g-old buttons, every one worth five dollars, 
and there were a dozen of them. When his money was 
g-one he commenced betting- his buttons, ^s fast as he 
lost one he cut off another and staked it. Luck was against 
him, and the buttons went until only one was left. He 
hesitated wlien he came to that, but his hesitation was 
short, and as he cut off the button he remarked: "Here 


g-oes the last button on Gabe's coat." That sentence be- 
came a proverb in Hampshire count}^, and still may be 
heard. When a man is driven to extremities and is com- 
pelled to pnt forward his last resource, he does so with the 
remark: "Here g-oes the last button on Gabe's coat." 

The oldest books in the court house are made of linen 
paper, apparently equal to the best modern paper. At 
any rate, it has stood the test of a century or more of use 
and wear, and is still in g-ood condition. The writing" in 
most cases is clear and easily read. The ink used then 
must have been of an excellent quality, for it has neither 
faded nor rotted the paper. This is no doubt partly due 
to the fact that the writing v\'as done with quill pens. It 
is v/ell known that public records and documents to be pre- 
served for a great length of time, should never be written 
with steel pens, but with quills, or with gold org-lass pens. 
The rust from a steel pen forms a combination v/ith some 
kinds of ink and rots the paper. In manuscripts not a 
quarter of a century old the ink sometimes has rotted the 
paper until every letter is eaten out, due to having" been 
written with a steel pen and poor ink. But in Hampshire's 
records not a case of this kind was met v/ith, either among" 
the old or the new books. 

The spelling and the grammar are often faulty and 
unique in the old records. This Vv^as due to two causes: 
■first, documents were sometimes copied in the books just 
as they were written, mistakes and all; secondly, those 
who did the recording were sometimes deputies who had 
little education. The clerks of Hampshire have usually 
been educated g"entlemen, but occasionally they have em- 
ployed less educated persons to do the clerical work, and 
errors in grammar and spelling" have crept in. A lease 
was recorded before the Revolutionary v>^ar in which the 
word "acres" is spelled in seven different ways, and not 
one of them rig-ht. It is "akers," "eakers, " "akkers, " 
aquers," "ackers," aikers," and "akres." One is 



tempted to believe that the person who wrote it was exper- 
imenting- to see in how many wrong- wa3's he could spell 
the word. Another case of the same kind occurs in which 
"the calculus of variations" is broug-ht to bear with all its 
powers upon the proper name "Hug-hes." From the 
handwriting- it is evident that the copying- was done by the 
same person who had experimented on "acres." It 
appears that Thomas Hug^hes and Susanna Hug-hes, his 
wife, made a deed. At first they are spoken of as "Thomas 
Hughes and Susanna Hties, his wife," and then as 
"Thomas Hughes and his wife Susannah Hug-hs;" again 
as "Thomas Hews and S. Hug-hes," and finally pure pho- 
netics are resorted to and names are "Tomas Huse and 
Suzana Huze, his wife." Such variation in the soelling- 
could not have been the result of ig-norance, and must have 
been done by some copyist for amusement. The varia- 
tions in the spelling- of "Capon" are little better; but in 
that case the diJierent orthog-raphies v/ere usually by dif- 
ferent persons, and are fo-and all throug-h the records from 
the earliest times till the present. Each clerk, or copj'ist, 
had his own w:ay to spell the name; and to this da}'' men 
who have lived their whole lives in Hampshire will dispute 
over the proper spelling- of the word. It is the name of a 
river, and is said to be of Indian origin, meaning- "to 
appear," "to rise to viev/," "to be found ag-ain," or some- 
thing- of that kind. Lost river after flowing- many miles, 
sinks and disappears, and after passing- some distance 
under g-round, rises to the surface, and then takes the 
name Capon. The word is spelled in different ways now. 
It is pronounced "Ca-pon," with accent on the first sylla- 
ble, and that oug-ht to be the spelling-. But some Vv-rite it 
"Cacapon" to this day, and it so spelled on the g-overn- 
ment g-eologic maps. In the earliest records it appears as 
"Cape Capon," "Capecapon," "Capcapon," "Cacapehon," 
"Cacapon," "Capecacapon," "Capecacahepon," and even 
in other ways. In 1849 Dr. Foote in his "Sketches of Vir- 


g-inia" spells it "Cacopon." The name "Potomac" has 
nearly as many spelling's, not to mention three or four dif- 
ferent and distinct names by which it was known in early 
years. It was "Powtowmac,"' "Potomack," "Powtowmac," 
"Powtowmack." "Pawtomack," "Potawmack," "Poto- 
muck, " and "Potomoke," 

There is little dif&culty in determining- whether a docu- 
ment was written under British rule or after the achiev- 
ment of independence, even if the date is missing-. Under 
the British rule there is a long" preamble, reciting- the great 
and lasting- benefits which befall humanity on account of 
the benign sovereig-nty of "the king of Great Britain, 
France and Ireland, by the g-race of God." After the Rev- 
olutionary war there is no more of this foolishness. Some- 
times papers of the most trivial character are prefaced by 
pompous and highflown language, always referring to the 
royal family on the throne of England, One may be given 
as an example of a large class. Early in 1762 Elizabeth 
Long, wife of Christian Long, of Hampshire county, owned 
a tract of land and v/anted to sell it. But she vv'as an i;]- 
valid and was unable to travel from her home to the court 
of Hampshire county to acknowledg-e the deed and to be 
questioned as to whether she had sig-ned it willingly, as the 
law required. She being- unable to travel to court, and the 
court being- unwilling to travel to where she was, there was 
a hitch in the proceedings, and the throne of England was 
appealed to for assistance. Thereupon, "George the 
Third, by the g-race of God, of Great Britain, France and 
Ireland, King-, Defender of the Faith, etc.," appointed a 
commission to visit Mrs. Long- at her house and ascertain 
whether she had signed the deed of her own free wnll, or 
whether she had done it "through force, fear or fraud." 
This commission was composed of Benjamin Kuykendall, 
Jonathan Heath and Robert Parker, all of Hampshire. 
The gentlemen performed their duty as became loyal sub- 
jects of King- George, and made a written report "to the 


justices of our lord, the king-," that Mrs. Elizabeth Long- 
had willing"!}'' sig-ned the deed, and force, fear or fraud had 
no influence over her. Thereupon the deed was admitted 
to record May 12, 1762. Of course this document was in 
compliance with a form used in all similar cases; but that 
makes it none the less interesting-, as it reminds us force- 
ably of the time when the people who inhabited the Yalle3's 
a.nd hills of Hampshire acknowledg-ed the sovereignty of 
the king- of Eng-land. Althoug-h they were loyal and 
obedient subjects, yet it is doubtful if they had much re- 
spect for any king-. At least the people of this part of the 
country were the strong-est supporters of independence, 
both at home and on the battlefield. 

The first divorce g-ranted in Hampshire county was a 
peculiar affair. If the law had been strictly interpreted, it 
probably would not have been declared a lawful divorce; 
but it is desig-nated a divorce on the face of the record, 
and without doubt it was so considered by all interested 
parties. The history of the transaction, as nearly as can 
be ascertained, was as follows: During- Pontiac's war, 
prior to 1765, a farmer in Hampshire county v/as taken 
prisoner by the Indians, but his wife escaped. He was 
carried to Ohio and from there was sold from tribe to 
tribe until several years afterwards, when peace was made 
wnth the Indians, he came home. He had heard nothing- 
from his wife during- the years of his captivity, but he evi- 
dently expected to see her ag-ain. Great was his disap- 
pointment when, upon arriving- at his old home, he learned 
that she had long- ag-o given him up as dead; had married 
ag-ain, and had several children. He did not seek reveng-c, 
but accepted the situation with the resig-nation of an Enoch 
Arden. The following- record was made February 19, 
1773, except that the names are left blank. 
"To all whom these presence may come or may concern: 

"Whereas, My w-ife hath sometime left me, and hath in- 
termarried with J C , I do hereb}"^ certify that I do 



freely acquit and discharg-e the said J C from all 

trouble or damag-es, and I do consent thatthey may dwell 
tog-ether as husband and wife for the future without any 
interruption from me. Given under my hand and seal this 
XIX day of February, 1773. 

"J K ." 

After Gabriel Jones had held the office of clerk twenty- 
five years, Andrew Wodrow came in and held from 1782 to 
1S14, thirtv-two years. There was then a clerk who was 
in office only a few months, and gave way for John B. "White, 
who was clerk from 181 i to 1862, forty-eig-ht years. Dur- 
ing- the war and immediately following, the office was ad- 
ministered by different parties till C. S. White was elected 
in 1872, and was subsequently elected for terms ending- in 
1903. No other county in the state, and probably none in 
the United States, can show such a record. In 1903 the 
county will be one hundred and forty-eight 3'^ears old, and 
four clerks will have held oflice one hundred and thirty-five 
years. These clerks are Gabriel Jones, twenty-five years; 
Andrew Wodrow, thirty-two years; John B. White, forty- 
eig-ht years; C. S. White, thirty years. The last two are 
father and son, and their combined terms are seventy-eight 
years. The historian is not gifted to see into the future, 
but at the date of the writing- of this book the county clerk, 
C. S. W^hite, is not an old man, and judging- from the cus- 
tom of Hampshire of keeping clerks in office all their lives, 
it is not beyond the range of possibilities that the father 
and son may hold the office a century. 

It is not positively known where the first Hampshire 
county court was held, but very early in the county's his- 
tory a court house was built in the valley several miles 
above Romney. This was prior to 1762. In that year 
Romney was made the county seat, and a wooden court 
house was afterwards built between the present store of 
J. H. C. Pancake and the foot of the hill, southwest. Court 
was held there many years, and finally a brick building- 


was erected for the court. It stood east of the present 
court house and answered all purposes for v/hich it was 
intended until 1837, when the present court house was 

The records have passed throug-h vicissitudes of fortune, 
and many are now missing-. It is believed, however, that 
they were complete up to the beg^inning- of the war. Dur- 
ing- the war the court house was used as a stable by the 
soldiers who were stationed at Romney, and all recoi'ds 
which had been left in the building- were scattered and 
lost. Fortunately, however, the most valuable books had 
been removed. Early in 1861 when the union forces under 
General Lew Wallace came to Romney, John B. White was 
clerk. He was fearful that the books would be meddled 
with, and he kept close watch over them. But they were 
not molested. In the fall of 1861 another union army 
advanced to Romne}'^ under General Kelley. Learning- of 
the advance of the federal forces, and not wishing- to risk 
the books ag-ain in the hands of the union troops, Mr. 
White loaded them on wag-ons and sent them to Yv^inches- 
ter. He took only the bound volumes, such as deed books, 
wills, and settlements of estates, and left the orig-inal 
papers in the court house taking- two chances of preserv- 
ing- the records. If the books should be destroyed, there 
was a chance that the papers in Romney would escape. If 
the papers should be lost, the books in Winchester 
mig-ht escape. The wisdom of this measure was after- 
wards apparent. Had the books been left in the court 
house, all of Hampshire's records before the war would 
have been destroyed, opening- the way to almost endless 
litig-ation reg-arding- the title to lands. As it was, the books 
had many a narrow escape as related in what follows. 

In 1S63 Winchester was no long-er a safe place for any- 
thing- that could be destroyed. That town was captured 
seventy-eig-ht times during- the war. It chang-ed hands 
of tener than the moon chang-ed. The 3'aukees and the rebels 


chased one another in and out of it in rapid succession. 
By the close of the second year of the war the town could 
no long-er be held any length of time by the confederates. 
Captain C. S. White, then in the southern army, kept his 
eye on the Hampshire records with concern for their 
safety. The 5^ankees had ascertained that the books were 
in V/inchester, and they were bent on destroying- them. 
To prevent this. Captain White removed them to Front 
Royal. In a short time they were in danger here, and they 
were taken to Luray and remained several months. The 
union forces threatened that town, and it was apparent 
that it must soon fall into their hands. Captain 
White was determined to take the Hampshire books away, 
and with a company of about sixty men hurried to Luray, 
hoping to reach there ahea.d of the federal troops. In this 
he was disappointed. They entered the town ahead of 
him, and made straight for the place vv here the books were 
stored and commenced destroying them. That appeared 
to be the principal object they had in view, and had they 
been left alone a few hours they would have succeeded. 
But they were surprised in the act. Captain White and 
his men rode- up and caug-ht the 3'ankees tearing up the 
books. The first intimation they had of the approach of 
the rebels was when a load of shot fired from a double- 
barreled gun in the hands of Captain White took effect on 
the exposed part of the body of a yankee who was in the 
act of perpetrating an insulting defilement upon the open 
pages of a deed book. The j^ankee sprang into the air as 
the load of shot struck him, ran a few steps, butted his 
head against a wall, and fell. Another 3-ankee was at w^ork 
on a book v/ith his knife, slashing the pages. When the 
shot was fired, the Yankees fled. Captain White and his 
men threw the books, about one hundred and fifty in num- 
ber, into a wagon, and carried them safely avv'ay. They 
were taken to North Carolina and were concealed until the 
war was over. This was in the autumn of 1864. The 


next year Captain White went to North Carolina and 
hauled the books to Staunton, and from there sent them by 
express to Romney. 

In all of these chang-es of location, and ups and downs of 
fortune, not a volume was lost, and the only damag^e sus- 
tained was the wear of the covers, and the mutilation of 
two books bj^ the yankees at Luray. The Romney court 
house was repaired and cleaned out, and the clerk's office 
was once more opened for business, after an interval of 
four years. 

Other portions of the county records did not fare so 
well. Some of the records of the superior court are not 
in Romney, and may ncv^r be found. Among- the volumes 
dating- from before the war are, "Field Notes of the 
County Surveyor," in 1820, containing- many names of old 
surveys; "Minutes and Fee Book," from 1792 to 1796, of 
about four h'andred pag-es; "Tavern License Book," from 
1843 to 1850, about one hundred pag-es; "Fee Book" of 
1820, 1821 and 1822; "Chancery Cases," from 1843 to 1861; 
"Execution Book," of 1818, 1819, 1820 and 1821; "Supei'ior 
Court Proceeding-s," from 1809 to 1831; "Execution Book," 
from 1814 to 1818; "Surveyor's Book," from 1793 to 1803; 
"Surveyor's Book," from 1804 to 1824; "Surveyor's Book," 
from 1778 to 1793; "Fee Book," from 1814 to 1817; "War- 
rant Book," from 1788 to 1810. This was connected with 
the state land office, and contains a record of all state lands 
patented in Hampshire county during- the 3^ears which it 
covers. It will thus be seen that there are many g-aps 
which will probably remain forever unfilled. It is said 
that records of some of the earliest courts have never been 
deposited in Romney; but that they were kept in the pri- 
vate office of Lord Fairfax, and thej^ niay have been long- 
since lost beyond recovery. 




The pioneer settler had not spent many moons in his 
rude cabin before the pioneer minister visited his abode. 
It would be hard indeed to discover the name of the first 
minister who braved the dang-ers of the forest to point men 
to a hig-her and nobler life. Nor is it definitely known 
what denomination first built a church v/ithin the present 
limits of Hampshire county. 

This chapter is compiled from such data as could be 
g-athered from histories and from ministers and members 
of the different denominations. No particular order was 
observed in the treatment of the different churches, but 
this chapter prog-ressed as information was received. If 
more space is given to the treatment of one church than 
another it is because more data was furnished the author 
by those interested in that partici3lar church. 

Protestant Episcopal Church.— "^^^ county of 
Hampshire was formed into a parish by this church in 
]753. When Hardy county was cutoff from Hampshire 
in 1785 a new parish was formed in that county. Some- 
time in 1771-72 the Reverend Messrs. Ogilvie, Manning- 
and Kenner were ordained in England for the church work 
in Hampshire county. Of these three Mr. Manning only 
reached the county, and the success or failure of his work 
is not recorded. About 1S12 the Reverend Mr. Reynolds 
had charge of the parish of Hampshire, and quite soon 
after that Bishop Moore of Virginia, ordained the Reveretid 
Norman Nash for church work in Hampshire, and such 


was his zeal that unexpected success crowned his efforts. 
With his own skillful hands he helped to erect one if not 
two churches in this county. Zion, near North river mills, 
stands today as a monument to his skill and industry. 
After at least sixty years silence the voice of the Episcopal 
ministry was ag-ain heard at Zion a few years ag-o, when 
Bishop Peterkin and Reverend Gibbons held service at that 
place. Service is now held there quite frequenth'. It is 
probable also that Reverend Nash built a frame church at 
the tov/n of Frankfort. Rev. Sylvester Nash, a nephew of 
the above-named g^entleman, succeeded his uncle and often 
preached in the log" churches he had erected. Through 
the untiring- efforts of the last mentioned g^entlemau the 
old brick church in Romney was built. This church was 
partly destro^'ed by fire just previous to the Civil war. 
The remaining- Vv'alls are nov/ incorporated in the public 
school building- which stands on the lot formerly ow^ned by 
the church. Succeeding- Mr. Nash came Rev. Mr. Hedg-es, 
and after him Rev. Mr. Irish. On October 12, 1878, Rev. 
J. Dudley Ferg-uson took charge of the work in Hampshire 
and remained until his successor, Rev. J. Tottenham 
Loftus, arrived in Janu^-r}^, 1881. He, on the sixth of Sep- 
tember of the same year, received injuries in a railroad ac- 
cident from which he died in Eng-land in 1883. After an 
interreg-nura of nearl3^two and a-half years, Rev. Samuel H. 
Grif&th took charge and remained one year. The Rev. G. 
A. Gibbons of Fairmont, W. Ya., was then called and took 
charg-e of the vvork in Hampshire and adjoining- counties 
July 2, 1885. The same year the brick church, St. Stephens, 
was built in Romney, chiell}" through the efforts and liber- 
ality of the late J. C. Corell. This church was consecrated 
November 13, 1887, Bishop Pekerkin and the rector, Rev. 
G. A. Gibbons, officiating-. St. Stephens has at present 
twenty communicants and a Sunda}^ school of five teachers 
and twenty scholars, E. O. Wirg-man, superintendent. 
In November, 1835, Rev. Gibbons and Bishop Peterkin 


visited the McGills and Russells, near Okonoko, this 
county. During- this visit they for the first time conducted 
Episcopal service in the M. E. church, south, on the Levels, 
about a mile from Levels cross roads. This service was 
repeated from time to time until this mission g-rew to have 
tv^'enty communicants. At leng-th the beautiful Epiphany 
church was built, chiefly throug-h the well-directed efforts 
of Miss Hester McG^ill and other faithful adherents, and 
bv the kindness of Yv"m. L, Davis of Rochester, New York, 
who ;g-enerou3lv donated hiswoi'k while buildinjifthc church. 
Epiphan}- has tvv^enty communicants and a Sunday school 
of twenty scholars and five teachers, Henry McGill 
Russell, superintendent. 

We g-ather, then, that this church formed the parish of 
Hampshire in 1753. It has been served by ten clerg-ymen, 
Messrs. Manning-, ■ Reynolds, Nash, Nash, Hedg-es, Irish, 
Ferg-uson, Lof tus, Griffith and Gibbons. There have been 
six churches, four of which, Zion, Frankfort, St. Stephen 
and Epiphany, are still standing-. The old brick in Rornney 
and a church on North river have been destroyed. 

Evangelical Lutheran Church. — In the last 
quarter of th.e eig-hteenth century a cong-reg-ation known 
as the "German Churches" was org-anized at a point about 
four miles from Capon Spring's on Capon river. These 
"German Churches" were German Reformed or Lutheran 
coirg-reg-ationPr. The house in which these congreg"ations 
Avorshiped for a full half century was built of hewn logs. 
It is still standing and is used as a sexton's house. The 
official records date back as far as 1786, and in I836 inter- 
esting centennia.i exercises were held in Hebron, the name 
of the present Lutheran church at that place. P^or a num- 
ber of years the two denominations had but one pastor, 
who was sometimes a German Reformed minister and 
sometimes a Lutheran. 

The preachers in those early days served this congrega- 
tion in connection with churches in the vallej'- of Virginia. 



Rev. A. Reck, a Lutheran raiuister residing in AVinchestery 
became pastor of the Capon church, as it was then called, 
and since that time only Lutheran ministers have served 
as pastors. The present church, Hebron, was erected in 
1849, under the ministry of H. J. Richardson. A visit ta 
[the cemetery of this pioneer org-anization reveals the fact 
-that the Swishers, Rudolphs, Klines, Brills, Sechrists and 
Baumg-ardners were the first worshipers, and their de- 
scendants to the tiiird and fourth g-eneration worship there 
today. Mrs. Maud L. Michael, the wife of the present 
pastor, is of the fourth g^eneration, being- a great-g-rand- 
daug-hter of Georg-e Rudolph, sr. There are but three of 
the pastors who served Hebron church now living-. These 
are Reverends P. Miller, P. J. Wade and the present pas- 
tor, Rev. D. W. Michael. Rev. W. G. Keil, who was pas- 
tor at Hebron from 1822 to 1827, died at Senacaville, Ohio, 
in 1891, in his ninety-second year. In 1867 the member- 
ship of this church was the hig-hest it has ever been, 106 
being- then enrolled. 

St. James, formerly known as Laurel Chapel, wasorg-an- 
ized in 1866. There is also a congreg-ationatRio, on North 
river, known as North River Evan<^elical Lutheran church. 
It was founded by Rev. H. J. Richardson in 1849. The 
house of worship is owned jointly by Lutherans and Pres- 

liegiilar Primitive Baptist Church.— Three 
cong-reg'ations of the Primitive of Rcg-ular Baptists were 
earl}' formed in the limits of what v/as then Hampshire. 
The first of these was at North River and was established 
in 17S7 by B. Stone, with twenty-six members. Crooked 
Run had forty-four members to start with and was founded 
b}' B. Stone, 1790. Paterson's Creek cong-reg-ation was 
formed in 1808, by John Munroe, v/ith sixteen members. 
All these belong-ed to the Ketocton association. Robert B. 
Semple, in his "History of the Rise and Prog-ress of the 
Baptists in Virg-inia," published in 1810, speaking- of the 


above-named org-auizations, says: "North River, Crooked 
Run and Patterson's Creek are new churches, concerning- 
which nothing- interesting- is known, except that they are 
preached to by Elder John Munroe, a practitioner of 
ph3^sic. Doctor Munroe has long- been eng-aged in the 
heavenly employment of dispensing the g-ospel, and was, 
when a resident of Fauquier, as well as since his removal 
to Hampshire, a very successful preacher of the g-ospel." 

Crooked Run, one of these early congreg-ations, is now 
known as Union church, and is situated hear the North- 
western g-rade, one and a half miles from Pleasant Dale, 
and one mile from Aug-usta. There are three other 
churches of this denomination in the county known as Lit- 
tle Capon, Mount Bethel or Branch Mountain and Grassy 
Lick. Elder B. W. Power is pastor of these cong-reg-a- 
tions at the present time. The total membership is about 

Messrs. John Arnold, John Munroe, Herbert Cool, Jesse 
Munroe, George Loy, Benjamin Cornwell, John Corder, 
and T. N. Alderton have all served in the capacity of elder 
for the Reg-ular Primitive Baptist church in Hampshire 

Presbyterian Church. — Very soon after the Revo- 
lutionary war ministers of the Presbyterian faith preached 
at different points in this county. Mount Bethel, at Three 
churches on Branch mountain, v/as org-anized in 1792. 
The same year the Romney church was founded, but it 
was reorg-anized in 1833. Rev. John Lyle was the minister 
for the cong-reg-ations of Frankfort, Romney and Spring-- 
lield when the Winchester Presbytery was formed in 1794. 
This presbytery had five ministers and sixteen churches, 
viz: "Rev. Moses Hog-e, pastor of Carmel (Shepherds- 
town) congreg-ation; Rev. Nash Legrand, of Winchester, 
Opequon and Cedar creek; Rev. William Hill, of Charles- 
town and Hopewell (Smithfield); Rev. William Williamson, 
of South river (Front Royal) and Flint run; and Rev. John 


Lyle, of Frankfort, Rornney and Spring-field; with the fol- 
lowing- vacancies, ^iz: Middletown (Gerardstown) and 
Back creek, united, able to support a minister; Concrete 
(in Hardy county), able; and Powell's fort and Lost river, 

Rev. John Lyle died in 1807 and was buried at Spring- 
field. After him, Rev. James Black preached at Romney, 
Spring-field and Moorefield as stated supply. Rev. William 
H. Foote took charg-e of the work in 1819, and continued 
many years. Previous to 1833 all the churches in the 
countv were included in the Mount Bethel conp-reGfation. 
In that 5^ear, October 19, we find the following- entry upon 
the minute book: "Sufficient evidence appearing- before 
the Presbytery that Mount Bethel church desires a 
division, therefore. Resolved, That the name of Mount 
Bethel church be chang-ed to that of Romnevi Mr. Foote 
continuing; the pastor of the same; and that Mr. Foots 
have leave to form separate org-anizations at Spring-field, 
Mount Bethel, North ri\'er and Patterson's creek." 

Spring-field was org'anized in 1833 at the time of the 
reorg-aaization of Romney. Seven years before, in 1826, a 
church had been org-anized at Bloomery. North river 
church was org-anized in 1833. Stone Qi.iarr\-, near 
French's Denot, is a fiourishin^j cong-reg-ation with a con- 
siderable membership. The last two churches of this 
faith, Westminster, at Capon bridg-e, and the one at Rio 
were org-anized in 1S94, making- eight churches of this 
denomination in the count}'. The combined membership 
at the present time is three hundred and sixt3'-uine; num- 
ber of Sunday school teachers, eleven; scholars, two hun- 
dred and twelve. 

The Presbyterian church has always been closely con- 
nected with the various educational mo-/ements in the 
county. Some of its ministers have been teachers of won- 
derful ability and wide reputation. 

Mebhodist Episcopal Church, Sou th.— The 


foundation of this clnircli in the county is cotemporaneous 
with the foundation of the Methodist Episcopal church, for 
until recent years the two org-aiiizations were one. The 
history of the one is, therefore, the history of the other 
until comparatively recent years. It was in 1844 that a plan 
of separation was ag'reed upon by the churches, and in 
1846 this separation took place. Conferences on the bor- 
der were allowed to chose v/hether they would adhere to 
the north or south. Baltimore conference was one of these, 
and its decision was to remain with the northern branch 
of the church. So mau)^ of the members of the Methodist 
church in this county were southern in feeling- thai, 
thoug-h the Baltimore conference was yet nominall}^ in con- 
trol, they desired the churches in vvhich they worshiped 
to belong- to the Methodist Episcopal church, south. 
There were many disj^utes as to which of the churches 
the property belong-ed, but in most cases these v/ere 
decided in favor of the Southern church. The Baltimore 
conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, south, then 
took these cong-reg-ations under its.charg-e. 

In 1845 Sprinj/held was in Winchester district and John 
Smith was presiding- elder. The annual conference, which 
met at Baltimore for that year, appointed Revs. C. Parki- 
son and J. W. Hedg-es as ministers to Springfield circuit. 
Rev. James A. Duncan is thoug-ht to have been fhe first 
minister to this county after the churches were definitely 
and completely separated. Mr. Duncan came in 1846. 
Among- those who early supported the Southern Methodist 
church in Hampshire county especial mention should hxt 
made of Geo. W. Washing-ton, who lived on the South 
branch a few miles belovy- Romney. 

Mooreneld district at the present time is presided over 
by Rev. Geo. H. Zimmerman. There are six circuits of 
this district which touch Hampshire. Romney circuit, 
with Rev, C. Sydenstricker in charge, has t' e following- 
churches: Romney, Fairview, Ebenezer, St. Luke's, Sul- 


phur vSpring"s, Duncan Memorial, Trinity and Marvin. 
There is also at present a cong-reg-ation at Number Six, 
making- nine cong-reg^ations and eig-ht churches on this cir- 
cuit. Capon Bridg-e circuit has for its present pastor Rev. 
W. H. Balleng-ee. It is made up of the following- churches: 
Capon, Bridg-e, North River Mills and Green Mound. 
There are also congreg-ations at the following- places: 
Aug-usta, Sedan, Park's Hollow, Sandy Ridg-e and Capon 
chapel. Rev. V/. A. Sites is at present in charg-e of Slanes- 
ville circuit, which was cut off from Spring-field circuit 
about five years ag^o. There are seven churches on this 
circuit, known as McCool's Chapel, Bethel, Levels, Wesley 
Chapel, Branch Mountain, Salem and Forks of Capon. 
Since the cutting- off of Sianesville circuit Spring-field cir- 
cuit has but one church in this county. This is located in 
the town of Spring-field. There is also a cong^reg-ation at 
Green Spring-. Rev. J. W. Mitchell and Rev. W. J. Kig-ht 
are the pastors in charg-e. Hard}^ circuit touches this 
county with but two churches. One of these is Mt. Zion, 
the other Hott's chapel, Rev. C. H. Cannon pastor in charg-e. 
Wardensville circuit has just one church in this county, 
Shiloh. There are, however, cong-reg-ations at Capon 
Spring-s and Mt. Airy. This circuit is at present minis- 
tered to by Rev. C. L. Potter. The Methodist Episcopal 
church south has at present in the county twenty-two 
churches and thirty-one congreg-ations. Besides a hand- 
some district parsonag-e in Romney, there are circuit par- 
sonag-es at Spring-field, Capon Bridg-e and Romney. There 
are about one thousand three hundred and eighty-five mem- 
bers in the county. The latest minutes show twenty-four 
Sunday schools with over a thousand scholars. There are 
also six Epworth Leag-ues. 

The following- is a list of presiding- elders who have served 
since 1866 in this district: South Branch district, John 
C. Dice, 1866-1870; Mcorefield district, David Thomas, 
1871 1875; P. H. Whisner, 1875-1878; Rumsey Smithson, 


1878-1882; W. G. Hammond, 1882-1886; S. G. Ferg-uson, 
1885-1890; Geo. T. Tyler, 1890-1894; Geo. H. Zimmerman, 

Evangelical Association. — Rev. Moses Bowers in 
company with Rev. Henniberger came to Hampshire and 
preached in the interest of the Evang^elical Association as 
early as 1825. Rev. Mr. Bowers was a man of pure char- 
acter and was commonly spoken of a-s the sainted Moses 

Rev. Jacob Shemp was the first preacher in the Grassy 
Lick reg"ion. He first held meeting's just below where 
Bethel church now stands, on the creek which flows near 
the Shing-leton property. The Grassy Lick Run church 
was built about the j^ear 1855, by Rev. Elijah Beaty, who 
was then preacher in charg-e. He afterwards deeded the 
property to conference, asking- no return for his labor and 
expense. The Bethel Church property was purchased in 
1842. It belong-ed at first to Abig-ail and Elisha Pownell, 
who conveyed it June 18, 1831, to Martha and William 
Shing"leton. They in turn conveyed it to the trustees of 
the church. These were Jonathan Pownell, Joseph Haines 
and William Poling-. This latter deed was recorded March 
9, 1843. Rev. Daniel Long- preached at Bethel in 1845 and 
continued for some time to preach at different points iu 
the county. Another of these early preachers was Rev. 
William Poling-, who served as early as 1847. He after- 
wards went to Minnesota as a missionary. He is at pres- 
ent living- at Dayton, Ohio and is nearly seventy-five years 
old. Rev. Daniel Poling- joined the conference in 1855, and 
afterwards became presiding- elder. Succeeding- Rev. 
Poling- came Rev. John T. Boles, the g-reat revivalist. 

In later years the following- named g-entlemen have 
served in the capacity of pastors of this denominntion 
within the limits of Hampshire: Reverends Reising-er, 
Treseith, Ellenberg-er, John Curry, Charles Kioto, Dickey, 
John Mull, John Wing-er and Berkley. After the civil war 


Rev. Ham me r came to this circuit but was not well 

Rev. S. M. Baumg-ardner then took charg-e and built up 
the church wonderfullv. For four years previous to 1897 
the church was v/ithout a pastor. At present Rev. Frank 
Van Gorder is in charge. Romney circuit, as this portion 
of the work is called, b^long-s to Somerset district of Pitts- 
burg- district. Rev. S. M. Baunig-ardner is presiding- 
elder. There are at the present time two churches owned 
exclusively by the Evang-elical association and they have 
an associate interest on two more. There are seven places 
where preaching is held. About fifty persons belong- to 
the Association in this county. 

Methodist Episcopal CJuircJi. — Among the first 
churches that planted their banners in America was the 
Methodist. Long before the Indians had departed to 
leave the white settler in peaceful and undisputed 
possession of the country, the missionaries of this church 
w^ere at work spreading good news from a far country. 

Virg-inia was earl}^ a scene of their labors. In 1771 
Robert Williams, "the Apostle of Methodism in Virginia," 
was busy in the field, At the formation of the first Amer- 
ican Methodist conference, which took place in Philadel- 
phia in 1773, it was shown there were one hundred Meth- 
odists in Virginia. Likewise the work was early begun in 
this county. Who the first minister of this church in 
Hampshire was cannot be positively stated. The Rev. J. 
J. Jacob, vv^ho lived near where Green Spring, on the Balti- 
more and Ohio railroad, now stands, was licensed to preach 
in 1789. 

Bishop Asbury held a session of the Baltimore confer- 
ence at Mr. Jacob's place in 1792. He is also said to have 
preached several times in the South branch valley about 
this time. It is said that the only minister of any denomi- 
nation who remained in Romney all through the Civil war, 
was Rev. O. P. Wirgraan, of the Methodist church. The 


Baltimore conference, to which the work in this county has 
always belonged, was established in 1784, on Christmas day. 
Methodist churches and congreg-ations continued to in- 
crease in number and enlarge in influence to a wonderful 
degree. At the close of the late war the greater number 
of church organizations in the county adhered to the 
southern division of the church until at present there are 
but tw^ Methodist Episcopal churches in the county. 

One of these is the Romney church, with Rev. M. L. 
Beal as present pastor. This congregation belongs to 
Romney circuit, Frederick district of the Baltimore confer- 
ence. A list of the pastors v/ho have served on Romney 
circuit since 1875 includes the following gentlemen: 
Reverends D. B. Winstead, Ed. C. Young, H. P. West, F. 
G. Porter, H. C. McDaniel, Pasco, William Harris, W. A. 
Carroll, Henry Man, John F. Dayton anr J. I. Winger. 

The other church of this denomination is located at 
Levels Cross Roads. Rev. Milson Thomas is pastor at 
present. This church belongs to Paw Paw circuit in 
Frederick district of Baltimore conference. 

Disciples of Christ or Christians. — The Church 
of the Disciples was first organized in this count}'^ by G. W. 
Abell in 1853. This organization v/as at Sandy Ridge, on 
the Springfield grade, two miles east of North river mills. 
Prior to the organization of the church several ministers 
of this faith labored in the county. About the year 1820 
Thomas Campbell, father of the illustrious Alexander 
Campbell, founder of Bethany college and the person to 
whom the Christian church largely owes its present power 
and success, preached in an old school house on Sandy 
ridge. This old school house is now in ruins. It stood 
near the present Sandy ridge church. Other preachers 
in these early times were Rev. Robert Ferguson and his 
eloquent son Jesse, who afterwards became an infidel. A 
Rev. Jackson and Rev. William Lane also belong to the 
pioneer period of the church's history. 


Since the Civil war Reverends G. W. Abell, John Pirkey, 
Frederick Booth, J. A. Cov/g-ill and R. C. Cave of St. Louis, 
Missouri, have served in the county. 

About 1868 an org-anization was eifected at Pine Grove 
school house, which was afterwards removed to Zion 
church, two miles west of North river mills. Somewhat 
later a church was org-anized at Barrettesville, now 
Augusta. In recent years the following--named ministers 
have served in this county: Revs. P. S. Rhodes, G. W. 
Og-den, W. E. Kincaid, Jacob Walters, J. A. Spencer, J. D. 
Dillard, J. D. Hamaker, W. S. Hoye, D. H. Rodes, J. P. 
Hawley, C. S. Lucas and J. J. Spencer. In 1896 a church 
was org-anized in Lupton's Hollow and a house of worship 
erected the same j^ear at the junction of the Beck's Gap 
road with the Lupton's Hollow road. 

The membership of the Disciples church in this county 
at^the present time is three hundred. There is a Sunday 
school at each preaching" place in the county. The minis- 
ters now serving- the congreg-ations are Revs. Alexander 
Khun and W. H, Patterson. 

Qlidhers. — There was a congregation of Quakers in 
the county quite early in its histor3^ This congregation 
tuilt a church at Quaker Hollow in Capon district, near 
where John Powell and Georg-e Slonaker now live. 

It is very probable that this church was established more 
than a hundred years ago by Quaker emig-rants from the 
Shenandoah valley, as these people were, among- the very 
early settlers of that reg-ion. Thomas Chaukley, a mem- 
ber of the church, wrote an official letter in 1738 to the 
''dear friends w^ho inhabit Shenandoah and Opequon." 
Among- other thing-s he says:'"I desire you to be very careful 
(being- far and back inhabitants) to keep a friendly cor- 
respondency with the native Indians, g-iving them no occa- 
(sion of offense; they being- a cruel and merciless enemy 
Where they think they are wrong-ed or defrauded of their 
rig-hts, as wof ul experience hath taug-ht in Carolina, Vir- 



g-inia and Maryland, and especially in New Eng-land." 
Further on in the same letter he adds: '-If you believe 
yourselves to be within the bounds of William Penn's pat- 
ent from King- Charles the Second, which will be hard for 
you to prove, you being- far southward of his line; yet, if 
doiie, that will be no consideration with the Indians with- 
out a purchase from them, except you will g-o about to con- 
vince them by fire and sword, contrary to our principles; 
and if that were done they would ever be implacable ene- 
mies and the land could never be enjoyed in peace." It is 
quite probable that these people perfected one of the first 
church org-anizations in this county. 

German Baptist Bretlieren. — The word "Dunk- 
ard," which is commonly applied to this church, is not cor- 
rect. The word was orig-inally -Tanker," from the Ger- 
man word "tunken," to dip. It was applied to the Breth- 
ren as a term of derision because they baptized by dipping-, 
Eng-lish corruption of the orig-inal g-ives us the present 
word "Dunkard." Properly speaking-, however, there is 
no such church as the Dunkard or Tunker, for the incor- 
porate name of this body of Christians is "German. Bap- 
tist Bretlieren. " 

The Beaver run cong-reg-ation now in Mineral, but once 
in Hampshire, was the first org-anization of this church in 
the county. More than one hundred years agfo three 
Arnold brothers moved here'from Frederick county, Mary- 
land. Two of these brothers, Samuel and Daniel, were 
ministers, and soon beg-an active work in behalf of their 
church. Dwelling houses were the only meeting- places for 
many years until the first Beaver Run church was built. 
This church was used for nearly fifty years as a place of 
worship, but in 1876 it was torn down and the present 
brick church was built. The second g-eneration of minis- 
ters in this section included Joseph Arnold, Benjamin 
Arnold, Jacob Biser and many others. At the present time 


about fifty members of the Beaver run cong-reg^ation live 
ill Hampshire county. 

The Pine Church congreg-ation, partly in Hampshire 
and party in Hardy, dates its orig-in from mission work 
done by the Beaver run congreg^ation. The Pine Church 
congreg-ation was formerly Nicholas, organized about 1870 
by Dr. Leathermau, who entered the ministry near that 
tiftie. Pine Church is owned in partnership by several 
churches, but the Bretheren are the largest shareholders. 
A small portion of the Bean settlement congregation live 
in Hampshire and the others in Hardy. This church, 
which also owes its orig-in to the missionary labors of 
Beaver Run church, is near Inkerman. Its history extends 
over some^ thirty 3^ears. 

The Tearcoat congregation is the only one vv^holly within 
the present limits of the count}' . Its origin dates back 
about forty-five years. Several families' connected with 
the church early emigrated from the Valley of Virginia to 
Pleasant Dale • and the Levels. Abraham Miller, Isaac 
Miller, William Roby and Abraham Detrick, who lived on 
the Levels, were ministers for years in that neighborhood, 
but finally moved to the west. The church now near 
Pleasant Dale was built after the Civil war. There are 
at present two hundred and forty members living in the 
county. There are also seven ministers, two of whom are 
elders. The Home Mission board of the First district of 
West Virginia is prosecuting work on the part of this 
church at various points in the county. 

Mission Baptists.— Through the preaching- of 
Whitfield in New England what was known as the New- 
light-stir, was orig-inated. Members of all ch'urches, who 
felt the need of vital and experimental religion, separated 
from the established churches and formed themselves into 
a society which about the year 1744 was given the name of 
Separates. It is from this movement that the Mission 
Baptists have sprung. One of the early preachers of this 


church organization was Rev. Shiibal Stearns, who hc-ji- 
preaching- in 1745. He felt himself called to preach ' .,e. 

<t 3-g5' 

people in the "far vfest." Accordingly he set oi .-loni 
New England in 1754 tog-ether with a few of his i?,fnbers. 
They first halted at Opequon in Berkeley couuty. Here 
they found a Baptist church already established and under 
the care of S. Henton. Here, also, he fell in with Rev. 
Daniel Marshall, a Baptist minister who had just returned 
from a missionary visit to the Indians. These two then 
joined their companies and moved to Cacapon in Hamp- 
shire county about 1755. This was the first church oi-g-an- 
ization in this county. Rev. Stearns and his companions 
did not stay long en Cacapon but moved to North Carolina. 

There are at present four congregations of the Mission 
Baptist church in this county. They are named and loca- 
ted as follows: Bethel, on Grassy Lick; Zoar, near Mt. 
Zion; Salem, at Mechanicsburg; and Little Capon church, 
at Barnes' mills. Rev. Samuel TJmstot is at present the 
pastor in charge. 

United Brethren. — Parts of four circuits of this 
church are represented in the county, with a considerable 
membership. Preachers of this faith have been laboring 
in the county for many years and a fair degree of success 
has crov/ned their efforts. 

Jllormons. — There is no regular organized church of 
this denomination in the county, nor is there any estab- 
lished preaching place. From time to time itinerant elders 
of the Latter Day Saints or Mormons preach at different 
places in the county and have made some converts. 

Roman Catholic Church. — In the neighborhood 

of Barnes' mills there are a number of members of this 
church. They are tisited from time to time by priests of 
that faith and services are held at intervals. There is no 
church building or regular church org-anization. 

The Christian Church. — This is a different organ* 
ization from the Disciples church, though the two are some- 



, abou 
"•'vHa? confused. A church was built by this body about 

iytpj^e '^^' 1S18, on Timber ridg-e, seven miles from Capon 

4>ricigvti The lot was given by William Groves. The first 

person 'byried in the cemetery at this church was Mary 

Spaid. The l^eautiful brick church which now stands on 

Ihe site of the former log- structure was built in 1875. 

There is an especially larg-e cong-reg-ation at this point. 

^Reverends Isaac N. Waltei*, Miller, and Enoch Harvey are 

among- those who have been ministers of this church in the 


As a closing- to this chapter the following- extract from 
"the diary of Rev. William H. Foote, is appended as g-iving- 
a clear idea of the work of a missionary in Hampshire at 
an early day. This extract comes under the date of No- 
vember 16, 1819: 

"I think I can never forg-et the events of this cool, chilly 
■day. The morning- was lowery, threatening- rain, and the 
clouds riding- low, g-ave to the Capon mountains back of 

Mr, S 's a more sable hue. They had always a drear}'- 

appearance, but now looked melancholy, as if draped in 
mourning-. I set out after breakfast to pass over them and 
w^ind among-st them to find N — L — , to whom I had sent on 
an appointment. The wind whistled a November tone 
among- the fallen and falling- leaves, and now and then a 
lowering- cloud let fall a few drops as I wound my solitary 
way over and among-st the Capon ridg-es of barren soil. 
Few houses were to be seen from the road, which is sel- 
dom passed by wag-ons. At the second house I was to in- 
quire. The way measured a dreary leng-th before I came 
to the second house. Then I was told to leave the road and 
take a horse path to N— L— 's. I left ^otice for preaching-, 
which I foand was entirely news to the people, and turned 
in among- the thick pines and followed the spine of a ridg-e. 
I had proceeded not far before I met an old man ridingf a 
small black horse, his g-ray hairs from his bent shoulders 
hang-ing- near the saddle-bow. 


*'I had approached near before he saw me. His bridle 
and saddle were like his raiment, the relics of a past age. 
A hat in keeping- with his costume crowned his head, which 
was bent near to his saddle. As I came near he raised 
himself a little, for it seemed he could not straig^hten him- 
self, and g-ave a keen look from a bright black eye, which 
glistened amongst his long- grey hair and beard. As he 
answered my inquiry, 'Is this the way to N — L — 's?' T am 
N — L — ; what do you seek?' 'lam a missionary going there 
to preach.' 'A missionary!' said he, looking more intently. 
*A missionary! who sent you; who are you.?' I told him my 
name and by whom sent. 'Sent hf Wilson!' said he, hold- 
ing out his hand. 'Welcome! It is now a long time since 
missionaries came here. They used to come. There 
were Hill, and Glass, and Lyle; but none has been here 
for years. Can yon go home with me? I was g^oing- to a 
neighbor's. When do vou want to preach? Have you no 
appointment?' 'None; I sent you one for tonight.' 'Well, I 
never heard of it, but I will send out now; it is not noon 
yet.' So he turned and led me along- a narrow, winding- 
path, questioning and talking, and expressing his satisfac- 
tion that a missionary had come from his own and his 
father's church. 

"Then suddenly turning we were on the b"owof a steep 
precipice of no ordinary height. At our feet lay a beauti- 
ful g-cene. The Capon, running- with fine stream, was in 
full view, making a semicircular bend of more than a mile, 
the land Vvithin the bend, level, and in beautiful cultivation, 
little plots of plowed land, of grass, of orchards scattered 
over it, a few buildidgs, and near to us a little mill. The 
Capon almost surrounded the little spot in the shape of a. 
horse shoe, and was itself hedged in by a higher precipice 
of similar form. At our feet the Capon, at our left a con- 
tinuation of the precipice on which we stood, beyond the 
little plot of land a high ridge of rocky mountains, and as 
far as the eye could reach all round tops of ridg-es, wild 


and fierce, and dark as the clouds that lowered about them. 
'That house is mine,' said he, pointing- to one whose smoke 
seemed to come near us, almost overhung- by the precipice, 
as it stood on the brink of the river. He led me along- 
down a winding- horse path, 'x^re there any relig-ious 
people here?' 'Yes, a few.' Fit retreat thoug-ht I, for 
persecuted relig^ion; a residence becoming- the Waldenses. 
Busy in g-azing- around I felt my horse stumbling-; and by 
a fortunate fall up the precipice side felt thankful my fall 
had not been on the other side of mv horse as it must have 
probably landed me in the stream belov*^, so near were 
we to the edg-e of the shelvinj^ projecting- rocks. I wa,lked 
to the bottom, feeling- more secure on my feet than on my 
pony's back. I could not keep my eyes from running- to 
the immense precipice of rocks that surrounded me as I 
approached the house which stood near the horse shoe 
neck of land and which was above half surrounded by it. 
Says the old man as we entered the house: 'This is a 
missionary come to preach; put away 3^our work, clear the 
room, g-et something- to eat, and send out word to the 
neig-hbors.' The house was small, one room sufficed for 
eating- and cooking- and working-. The spinning- wheels 
were laid aside, and the cooking- commenced. I took one 
seat in the corner of the ample chimney, near me were 
some cooking- utensils. I observed in the other corner the 
remaining- cooking- furniture and various preparations of 
the family. The chimney had its supply of choice sticks 
of various timber taking- the smoke, drying- for use. 'Go, 
son,' said he to a stout young- lad, 'g-o, son, and tell neig-h- 

bor , and tell him to tell his neig-hbor there v."ill be 

preaching- here, and g-o by neig-hbor and tell him the 

same, and if you see an}^ one tell him the same, and I will 
g-ive notice at the mill.' 

"Towards middle of the afternoon I looked out and saw 
persons coming- in different directions down the moun- 
tains. I had seen so few places of residence I could not 


contrive wlience they came. Looking- to the old man, half 
in jest. 'Where do these people come from? from the 
rocks?' 'No, from their houses,' half angry at the ques- 
tion. But his frown soon passed away. I preached from 
the words, 'Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's 
good pleasure to g-ive you the king-dom.' After the congre- 
gation had dispersed I foiind that the old man had fulfilled 
in part his duty as an elder in the church by assembling 
his neighbors and reading to them and praying with them, 
some few of whom are religious. 'My father and grand- 
father,' said he, 'were pious. My grandfather came here 
and chose this spot in preference to any of the Valley of 
Virginia, because he thought it more healthy. There he 
was driven away by the Indians — here he lived — h-ere my 
father lived. They taught me my duty. They were French 

"Something was said about his children. 'Some are in the 
western country, some are here at home, .ind one is dead. 
He was my best son;' here he paused, and I saw by the 
flashing light that tears were stealing down his cheeks. 
'I never liked that war. I liked peace. But when a draft 
came they took my son. Pie came home and told me he 
was taken and must go to Norfolk. I never liked that war. 
I went out and prayed for him. He was a good boy; he 
never disobeyed me in his life. I came in and took down 
my best rifle — a true shot — "Here," said I, "my son, take 
this, be a good soldier; your grandfather fought the In- 
dians, and you must go and fight the British; be a good boy; 
if you go to fight don't run." The first I heard of him after 
he got to camp at Norfolk was that he was dead.' " 





There was a time when every acre of land in what is now 
Hampshire county belong-ed to one man, Lord Fairfax. 
The pvirpose of this chapter is to give a brief account of 
his lands and the manner by which the}' passed into the 
possession of others, together with the names of some of 
the early land-owners, and where their possessions were 
situated. Before proceeding" to do this, it is proper to 
state, once more, that Hampshire county v»-as once larger 
than at present, and that lands, novv beyond the county 
borders, were once within the count}^ and in this chapter 
will be so considered. Lord Fairfax's estate consisted of 
the territory now contained in the following counties of 
Virginia and West Virginia: Lancaster, Northumberland, 
Richmond, Yvestmoreland, Stafford, King George, Prince 
William, Fairfax, Loudoun, Fauquier, Culpeper, Clarke, 
Madison, Page, Shenandoah, Frederick, JeiTerson, Berke- 
ley, Morgan, Mineral, Hampshire, Hard}^ and Grant, 
twenty-three in all. The total number of acres was little 
short of six millions. This estate was not granted to Lord 
Fairfax in person, but to Lord Hopton, Lord Germyn, 
Lord Culpeper, Lord Berkeley, Sir William Morton, Sir 
Dudley Wyatt and Thomas Culpeper. This grant was 
made by Charles 11. The lands were bounded by the Rap- 
pahannock on one side, by the Potomac on the other, and 
by a line drav/n from the head of the Rappahannock to the 
head of the Potomac, then called the Quiriough. Thia 
name was given to the Potomac below its confluence with 


the Shenandoah; above the mouth of the Shenandoah it 
was called Cohong-oroota; and the South branch was called 
Wappacomo. In granting- this larg-e body of land, King- 
Charles expressed the hope that it would be speedily set- 
tled by Christian people. The king reserved one-fifth of 
all the gold and one-tenth of all the silver which might be 
discovered on the j^rant. The proprietors were required 
to pay a 3^early rental equivalent to thirt3^-three dollars. 
This was to be paid at Jamestown "on the day of the feast 
of St. John the Baptist." Lord Hopton sold his interest 
to John Frethewey. There was some misunderstanding- 
concerning the grant, and the king expressed his willing-- 
ness to give a new charter, if the old one were suri-tndered. 
A nevv^ one was according-ly g-ranted, authorizing the pro- 
prietors to found schools, colleg-es and courts. There was 
one condition, however, which was ne)t satisfactory. The 
king stipulated that the patent should cease on any part of 
the land "not possessed and occupied" within twenty-one 
years. This condition was subsequently modified. The 
proprietors were strictly forbidden to meddle with military 
affairs. Virginia had full power to levy taxes upon the 
land, and it was subject to the laws of that state the same 
as any other la.nds. Receiving a good offer for their hold- 
ing's the other proprietors sold all of them to Lord Cul- 
peper, son of Lord John Culpeper. Thus the entire estate 
came into the possession of one man, and from him de- 
scended by inheritance to Lord Thomas Fairfax. The 
title to the land was questioned, and adventurers took pos- 
session of larg-e tracts. Law suits resulted, ^ome of which. 
were in the courts fifty years, long- after the parties to the 
original suits were dead. Some of these suitors bad the 
title to their lands confirmed by the assembly, but the 
transaction appears to have been in the nature of a com- 
promise to which both parties consented, for it was or- 
dered that such persons might hold their lands, but must 


pay the yearh'' rent to L( rd P^airfax, the same as those 
who had purchased their lands of him. 

Lord Fairfax never married. He was a scholar and man 
of letters, tall, dark of complexion, usually g^reedy for 
money, but at times g^iving- away farms to those of his ten- 
ants or servants who pleased him. He made a trip from 
Engdand to America to seethe land which had fallen to him 
by inheritance. He was so well pleased with it that he de- 
cided to make his home in Virg-inia and enjoy his vast 
estate. He arranged his business in England, and about 
1747 came to Virg-inia. He lived awhile at Belvoir. He 
was a middle-aged man, about fifty-seven years old at that 
time. Lawrence Washing-ton, a brother of General Wash- 
ington, had married a near relative of Lord Fairfax and 
this broug-ht the Fairfaxes and the Washing-tons into close 
friendship, and to this friendship g-reat events in history 
may be traced. Georg-e Washington at that time, 1748, 
was sixteen ya^ars of age, educated only in the rudiments 
of reading-, writing-, arithmetic and surveying-. Lord Fair- 
fax had such confidence in him that he employed him to 
survey the vast estate. 'Washington's salary for this work 
rang-ed from seventeen to twenty-two dollars a day. In 
addition to this, both he and his brother Lawrence obtained 
valuable tracts of land within the former limits of Hamp- 
shire county on the most favorable terms. In this work 
Washing-ton laid the foundation of his fortune; built up a 
robust and powerful constitution, and g-ained that acquaint- 
ance with the wilderness west of the Blue Ridg-e which 
caused him some years later to be sent wdth important dis- 
patches to the French forts above Pittsburg-. This led to 
his military career, and all its grand achievements followed. 
Washing-ton, the youthful surveyor, climbed the mountains 
and crossed the valleys of Hampshire, mapping- the estate 
and setting- landmarks, and the accuracy of his work has 
been a marvel to surveyors ever since. Speaking of his 
■occupation at that time, and comparing- it with the great 


■congress in Europe, in session at the time Washing-ton was 
in the woods of Hampshire, Georg-e Bancroft, the venera- 
ble historian, speaks thus: 

"At the very time of the congress of Aix-la-Chapelle, the 
woods of Virg-inia sheltered the youthful Washing-ton, the 
son of a widow. Born by the side of the Potomac, beneath 
the roof of a Westmoreland farm, almost from infancy his 
lot had been the lot of an orphan. No academy had w'el- 
comed hira to its shades; no colleg-e crowned him with its 
honors; to read, to write, to cipher — these had been his 
deg-rees of Icnowledg-e. And now, at sixteen years of ag-e, 
in quest of an honest maintenance, encountering- intoler- 
able toil; cheered onvv'ard by being- able to V\^rite to a school- 
bey friend: 'Dear Richard, a doubloon is my constant 
g-ain every day, and sometimes six pistoles,' himself his 
own cook, 'having no spit but a forked stick, no plate but a 
larg-e chip:' roaming- over spurs of the Alleg-hanies, alive to ' 
nature, and sometimes spending- the best of the day in ad- 
miring- the trees and the richness of the land; among- skin- 
clad savages, with their scalps and their rattles, or un- 
couth emig-rants 'that would never speak Eng-lish;' rarely 
sleeping- in a bed; holding- a bearskin a splendid couch; 
gdad of a resting- for the nig-ht upon a little hay, straw, or 
fodder, and often camping- in the forests, where the place 
nearest the fire was a happy luxury — this stripling- sur- 
veyor in the woods, with no companions but his unlettered 
associates, and no implements of science but his compass 
and chain, contrasted strang-ely with the imperial mag-nifi- 
cence of the cong-ress of Aix-la-Chapelle. And yet God bad 
selected, not Kaunitz nor Newcastle, not a monarch of the 
house of Hapsburg-, nor of Hanover, but the Virg-inia strip- 
ling-, to give an impulse to human affairs, and, as far as an 
event can depend upon an individual, had placed the rigmts 
and the destinies of countless millions in the keeping- of the 
widow's son." 

P^airfax had the best lands of his larg-e estate laid out in 


manors. Two of these were in Hampshire county, prior to 
the formation of Hardy and Mineral; but now there is 
little of the manor land in Hampshire. The Wappacomo 
manor, containing- fifty-five thousand acres, lay along- the 
the South branch, mostly in the present county of Hardy. 
The Patterson creek manor, of nine thousand acres, was 
in what is now Mineral county. Georg-e Yv^ashing-ton, after 
he was president of the United States, owned land in 
Hampshire. These manors were subsequentl}^ bought by 
John Marshall, chief justice of the United States, Raleig-h 
Colston, and General Henry Lee. 

Lord Fairfax had an eye to money-making-, and resolved 
to realize as much as possible from his property. It is not 
necessary in this place to enter fully into his plan of deriv- 
ing- revenue from his possession. Suffice it to sa}^ that his 
desire v/as to provide a perpetual income. It amounted to 
the same thing- as renting his land forever at a fixed yearly 
rental. He required a small sum, usually two and one 
half cents an acre, or even less, to be paid down. He 
called this "composition money." He required a sum of 
about an equal amount to be paid every year "on the feast 
day of Saint Michael the Archangel. " He did not always 
charg-e the same sum yearl}^ per acre. He was greedy 
and overbearing-, and if a person settled and improved his 
lands without title, and afterwards applied for title, he 
took advantag-e of it, and charg-ed them more, thinking- they 
would pay it sooner than give up their improvements. 
Had he succeeded in disposing- of all his lands on his reg-u- 
lar terms, his perpetual income would have been about one 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars yearly. This would 
have enabled him and his heirs to live in royal style. But 
it was to be otherwise, as will be shown in this chapter. 

Lord Fairfax took up his residence at Greenway court, 
in the present county of Clarke, about twelve miles from 
Winchester. He had a large manor laid off there, and 
planned a number of buildings, only one of which he ever 


completed, and he never lived in it, but made it the resi- 
dence of his steward. Fairfax lived in a small cabin near 
by, fared like the country people around him, and appeared 
satisfied. He had about one hundred and fifty slaves who 
lived in log- houses scattered about the woods. As early 
as 1747 he beg-an to sell his real estate. Land within 
Hampshire county was sold in 1749, and perhaps earlier, 
but that is the earliest record found here. This county 
was not org-anized till 1755, and the first instrument admit- 
ted to record in Hampshire county was at a term of court 
held June 11, 1755. On December 13, 1757 the first deed 
sig-ned b}' Fairfax was recorded. It had been executed in 
1749, but for eig-ht years had remained unrecorded. It was 
made to John Cunning-ham, and in its preamble these 
words occur: "The Rig-ht Honorable Thomas Lord Fair- 
fax, Baron of Cameron, in that part of Great Britain called 
Scotland, Proprietor of the Northern Neck of Virg-inia, in 
the nineteenth day of Aug-ust in the twenty-third year of 
the reig-n of our sovereig-n Georg-e the Second, of Great 
Britain, France and Ireland, by the Grace of God defender 
of the faith, etc." The land conveyed was "on the Wappa- 
como or g-reat South branch of Potowmack." In making- 
these early deeds it was stipulated that the person who 
boug-ht should "never kill elk, deer, buffalo, beaver or 
other g-ame," without the consent of Fairfax or his heirs. 
Land along- the South branch in those daj^s was not so 
valuable as at present; yet it found ready sale. Four hun- 
dred acres, near Moorefield, sold for one hundred and 
twenty-five dollars in 1758. Prior to the Revolutionary 
war a method of conveying- land was in vog-ue, both in this 
county and in Eng-land, which is not now often met with 
in this state. It was resorted to as a means of deeding- 
land, because, under the old Eng-lish laws, an ordinary 
deed was usuall}^ defective because few people absolutely 
owned their land, which was also the property of heirs 
yet to follow. By the system of a lease, and a release im- 


mediately following", a valid deed could be made. In the 
oldest book of records in Hampshire couut_v, there are ten 
leases and releases to one deed m fee simple. This book 
contains all deeds, mortg^a^es, bends, powers of attorney, 
bills of sale, leases and releases recorded in this county 
from June 11, 1755 to November 12, 1766. During- this 
interval there were placed on record fifteen deeds, tvro 
bonds, two povv'ers of attorney, three mortgages, two bills 
of sale, one hundred and fift}" leases and an equal number 
of releases. Thus, there were one hundred and sevent}^ 
deeds recorded in the first tvrelve years of the count3^'s 
history. A list of the first fifteen deeds in fee simple 
recorded in Hampshire county may be of interest, v/ith 
date of record: Lord Fairfax to John Cunningham, Lot 
thirty-eight. South branch, 1757. James Simpson to 
Thomas Wag-g-oner, one hundred acres on South fork of 
South branch, 1757. John Elswick to Kachel Elswick, 
two hundred acres near Hanging- Rocks, 1759. ^Villiam 
Bowell to Joseph Craycroft, ninety-two acres, on Capon, 
1760. Vv'illiam' Bowell to William Craycroft, ninety-five 
acres, on Capon, 1760. Stephen Ruddell to Daniel Wood, 
three hundred acres, on Lost river, 1761. Stephen Rud- 
dell to Robert Denton, two hundred and sixteen acres on 
Great Capon, 1761. Rachel Elswick to John Kepling-er, 
two hundred acres, on Lost river, 1761. George Horner 
to John Owens, fifty acres, on North river, 1761, Francis 
McBride to Robert Denton, tv/o hundred and twenty-two 
acres, on Lost river, 1761. Hugh Murphew to Thomas 
Cresap, land in "French's Neck," 1762. John Johnson to 
Daniel McGloliu, one hundred and thirty-two acres, on 
Great Capon, 1765. Thomas McGuire to Robert Parker, 
one hundred and thirteen acres, on New creek, 1765. Job 
Peariall to Luke Collins, three hundred and twent3^-three 
acres, on the South branch, 1766. 

The history of the Revolutionary war is given elsewhere 
in this book. No county felt immediately the chang-e from 


a monarchal g-overnment to a republic any more forceably 
than Hampshire. Under British rule the land all belong-ed 
to Fairfax, and all who occupied it must pay him perpetual 
rent; and had the British arms been successful in that war, 
most probably the lands would still be paying- rent to the 
heirs of Fairfax. No man could have felt that he abso- 
lutely owned his land. But the British armies were de- 
feated and Fairfax lost his grip on his possessions. As 
this is an important matter in the history of Hampshire it 
is proper to consider it more fully. 

Lord Fairfax always considered himself a British sub- 
ject, although he remained quietly on his estate near Win- 
chester during the revolution. His sympathies with the 
royal cause were well known; and had he been an ordinary 
person he would have been roug-hly treated by the patriots 
in the valley of Virginia. But the great friendship that 
existed between him and General Washington saved him. 
Out of respect for Washington, Fairfax was spared. 
When the great general was in that part of the state he 
always visited Fairfax, for whom he had much respect- 
The old Englishman earnestly hoped that England might 
retain its hold on the colonies. But when Cornwallis sur- 
rendered at Yorktown, October 19, 1781, Fairfax saw that 
all was over. It may be said that it was his death blow. 
He took to his bed and never again left it, dying soon after 
in his ninety-second year. 

Prior to this the Virginia leg-islature had been passing- 
laws to break up such estates as that of Fairfax, for the 
g-ood of the people. Thomas Jefferson v/as the leader in 
this movement. As early as October 17, 1776, he intro- 
duced a bill in the Virginia legislature to abolish estates 
in tail; that is, he wanted a law that would prevent a man 
from selling land and still keeping it, and prevent him 
from collecting rent forever. Estates should be held in 
fee simple. This was a blow at the Virg-inia aristocracy. 
That class of people were obnoxious to the ideas of liberty 


and equality for which the Americans were then fig-hting-. 
It was not thought best for larg-e estates to remain in one 
family forever. The result was, the law ag-ainst estates 
in tail was passed. This in itself did not at once break up 
the Fairfax estate, but it stopped the rent on land already 
sold. However, the final blow fell at last, and the Fairfax 
estate was confiscated, because it belong-ed to a tory dur- 
ing- the revolution. The land became the property of Vir- 
l^inia, except such tracts as had been already sold, and the 
purchasers of these received clear titles. 

This w^as a g-reat event for the people of Hampshire as 
well as of the other counties formerly owned by Fairfax. 
The land was thrown open to the public, and the best parts 
of it were soon taken. That which was more remote re- 
mained state land long-er, but the last acre of it was finally 
boug-ht, and within a reasonable time thereafter fully two 
hundred thousand people possessed homes in a countrv in 
which one man formerly controlled everything-. It is said 
that not one acre remained in the possession of any mem- 
ber of the Fairfax family. This chapter will be closed 
with a list of about two hundred persons who early availed 
themselves of the opportunity to possess Fairfax lands 
which had been confiscated by the state. The first entry 
on the commonwealth land, of which there is any record in 
Romney, was in 1788. There may have been older records, 
but they cannot be found. From January 14, 1788, to 
Aug-ust 21, 1810, there were 1,986 land entries made in this 
county. The records are missing- from February 4, 1804, 
to January 29, 1808, and it is unknowni how many entries 
were made during- that interval. The 1986 entries were 
probably made by not more than three hundred persons. 
As many as fifty entries were made by one person, proba- 
bly for speculation. Half dozen entries by one person w^as 
not unusual. In the list which follows will be found names 
of persons whose descendants now constitute many of the 
most prominent families of the county. The date when 



they took up their land, the number of acres, and the loca- 
tion are gfiven: 

1788. James Machan, 400 acres, "adjoining- Lawrence 
Washing-ton's land on Knobly." 

1788. John Dawson, 80 acres, on North branch. 

1788. Andrew Cooper, 100 acres, on Painter's run. 

1788. David Hunter, 79 acres, on North branch. 

1788. William Bell, 120 acres, on Patterson creek. 

1788. Thomas Collins, 800 acres, on North branch. 

1788. Hugh Malone, 300 acres, on the vvaters of xMill 

1788. Thomas Bryan Martin, 400 acres, on the waters 
of South branch. 

1788. Thomas Whittecher, 150 acres, on Knobby. 

1788. Marion McGraw, 300 acres on Capon. 

1783. Rees Pritchard, 400 acres, on North run. 

1788. Isaac Means, 400 acres, in Mill creek g^ap, 

1788. William Adams, 400 acres, on the waters of Pat- 
terson creek. 

1788. Samuel Boyd, 20 acres, on the North branch, and 
800 acres on Capon. 

1788. Nathaniel Parker, 300 acres, on Patterson creek. 

1788. HenryHawk, 400 acres, on thewatersof Millcreek. 

1788. William Armstrong-, 400 acres, on the North 
branch, adjoining- Michael Cresap's land. 

1788. Andrew Wodrow, 100 acres, on Capon. 

1788. William Keeder, 100 acres, on Caoon. 

1788. John Jones, 50 acres, on Patterson's creek. 

1788. Eben V/illiams, 300 acres, on Patterson creek. 

1788. Ezekiel Whitman, 150 acres, on Cat Tail run, and 
180 acres at the head of Green Springy valley. 

1788. Andrew Cooper, numerous tracts in all parts of 
the county. He was, apparently, the larg-est land holder 
at that time in Hampshire. 

1788. Richard Stauord, 400 acres, near Cross roads on 
the waters of South branch. 


1788. Frederick Metheny, 100 acres, on Limestone run, 
"including- the sug-ar camp." 

1788. Adam Hall, 150 acres, on Sonth branch, "at Hall's 

1788. Elisha Collins, 309 acres, on Cls-j Lick run. 

1788. Joseph Bute, 100 acres, on Buck Island run, 

1788, William Young-, 50 acres, on South branch. 

1788. Peter Walker, 100 acres, in Green Spring- valley. 

1788. David Holmes, 2,400 seres, on the waters of Capon, 
and 900 on the waters of Lost river. 

1788. David Williams, 100 acres, on Patterson creek. 
''^ 1788. Henry Kuykendall, 91 acres, on Buffalo run. 

1788. John Peyton, 115 acres, on Captain John's run; 
also 319 acres near the foot of Sidelong- hill; also 800 acres 
on Watt run; also 400 acres on Capon. 

1788. John Wolleston, 100 acres, on Buck Island run. 

1788. Abraham Johnson, 100 acres, on Patterson creek; 
also, 200 acres on Cabin run. 

1788. Joseph Mitchell, 405 acres, on the waters of Pat- 
terson creek. 

1788. James Fleming-, 150 acres, on the waters of Mill 

creek; also 500 acres on Lick run. 

1788. Joshua Calvin, 400 acres, on the waters of Little 

1788. Jolin J, Jacob, 212 acres, on South branch moun- 

1788. Joseph Steers, 50 acres, on Bloomery run. 

1783. Moses Star, 300 acres, on Middle ridg-e. 

1788. Peter McDonald, 100 acres, on Middle ridg-e. 

1789. Ebenezer McKinley, 150 acres, on Mill creek. 
1789. John Hug-h, 200 acres, on Thompson run. 
1789. Archibald Mag-ill, 500 acres, on Mill creek. 

1789. John Keller, 400 acres, on Patterson ci'eek ridg-e. 

1789. John Wilkins, 92 acres on Saw Mill run. 

1789. Benjamin Stone, SO acres, on jMaple run. 

1789. Richard Huff, 130 acres, or North river. 


1789. John Bishop 400 acres, on Mill creek. 

1789. Jesse Pug-h, 4 acres, on South branch. 

1789. James Keys, 50 acres, at the foot of Dillon':^ 

1790. Georg-e Wolf, 350 acres, on Lick run. 

^ 1790. Robert Ross, 400 acres, on Morg-an's run. ^ 

1790. Daniel Slain, 170 acres on Sandy ridg-e. 

1790. Janies Hiott, 200 acres, on Sandy ridge. 

1790. Janies Forman, 780 acres, on Sugar run. 

1790. Lewis Stallraan, 250 acres on Stag"g run. 

1790. John Chenowith, 50 acres, on North river. 

1790. Thomas Williamson, 400 acres, on the headwaters 
of Little Capon. 

1790. Jacob Miller, 150 acres, on Hazel run. 

1790. William Fox, 300 acres, on Middle ridge. 

1790. Jacob Short, 100 acres, on Spring- run. 

1790. William Russell, 50 acres, on Capon. 

1790. William Smith, 200 acres, on South branch. ^ 

— ^1790. Valentine Swi^sher, 222 acres, on Capon. 

1790. Alexander King, 800 acres, on North branch. 

1791. Frederick High, 610 acres, on Mill creek. 

1791. Thomas Morg-an, 50 acres, on White Oak bottom. 

1791. Ephriam Johnson, 150 acres, on Sugar Tree 

1791. William Jeney, 500 acres, on Deep run. 

1791. Robert McFarland, 100 acres, on Town hill. 

1791. John Hough, 100 acres, on Parg-att's run. 

1791. Richard Neilson, 234 acres, on Tearcoat. 

1791. Peter Kizer, 100 acres, on Town hdl. 

1791. William Chapman, 25 acres, on Clay Lick ridg-e. 

1791. Daniel Pugh, 9,600 acres, on both sides of Patter- 
son creek, including the g-reater part of the Philip Martin 

1791. Isaac Means, 50 acres, on Mill creek. 

1791. Moses Thomas, 100 acres, on Craig-'s run- 

1792. John Goff, 25 acres, on Kuykendall's sawmill run. 


1792. Hug-h Murphy, 50 acres, on Little Capon. 

1792. John Blue, 300 acres, on South branch below 
Hang-ing- Rocks. 

1792. Robert French, 260 acres, on Little Capon. 

1792. Benjamin Ayers, 200 acres, on Patterson creek. 

1792. Peter Larew, 100 acres, on Capon. 

1792. Daniel Newcomb, 160 acres, on Sidelong- hill. 

1792. Isaac Daton, 300 acres, incuding- Two islands in 
the South branch. 

1792. Nicholas Boyce, 400 acres, on Mill creek. 

1792. Georg-e Bowman, 100 acres, on Georg-e's run. 

1792. John Hig-h, 137 acres, on Mill creek. 

1792. Thomas Hailey, 50 acres, on Spring- Gap moun- 

1792. William Jackson, 200 acres, on Capon. 

1792. William Carlyle, 15 acres, on High Top moun- 

1792. Jonathan Pursell, 100 acres, on South branch. 

1792. Jacob Doll, 50 acres, on Knobly. 

1793. Newman Beckwith, 300 acres, near Davis' mill. 
1793. John Butcher, 50 acres on Capon mountain. 
1793. Jesse Barnett, 100 acres, on New creek. 

1793. John Seaburn, 30 acres, on Little Capon. 

1793. Abram Rinehart, 200 acres, on Edward's run. 

1793. Peter Putman, 25 acres, on Knobly. 

1793. James Jamison, 100 acres, on Little mountain. 

1793. Thomas Fry, 100 acres, on Capon. 

1793. Virg-il Gray bill, 100 acres, "adjoining- the land of 
President Washing-ton on the waters of the. Potomac." 

L793. William Scott, 50 acres, on Sidelong- hill. 

1793. Jacob Jerkins, 25 acres, "near and including- the 

1793. Joseph Lang-, 100 acres, on Widow Gilmer's run, 
near Big- Mud lick. 

1793. Jacob Purg-att, 50 acres, at the foot of Knobly. 

1793. Francis and Yv'illiam Deakins, 12,000 acres, be- 

Also 6c 


tween Patterson creek and New creek, next to the North 

1793. Virg-il McCrackin, 100 acres, adjoining- Washing-- 
ton's survey. 

1793. Moses Ashbrook, 300 acres, on Maple run. 

1794. James Caruthers, 4 acres, on Capon. 

H794. James Largent, 100 acres in the Chimney tract. 

1794. Isaac Lupton, 28 acres, on Sandy ridge. 

1794. Jacob Baker, 175 acres, on North river. 

1794. Perez Drew, 83 acres, on Little Capon. 

1794. John Wallis, 100 acres, on Little Capon. 

1794. Job Shepherd, 65 acres, on Wiggins' run. 
I 1794. Abram Neff. 100 acres, on Wild Meadow run. 

1794. Jacob Umstott, 50 acres, on Mill creek. 

1794. Jacob Hoover, 100 acres, on North mountain. 

1794. John Stoker, 100 acres, on Spring- Gap mountain. 

1794. George Phebus, 100 acres, near Rhobe)^'s g'ap. 

1794. David Stephens, 100 acres, on Capon. 

1794. George Chambers, 64,544.acres, located in varioua 
parts of the county, but chiefly near the Hardy county 
line, on Patterson creek mountain and on the North 

1794. Georg-e Gilpin, 14,000 acres, on Knobly, and along: 
the Hardy county line, and other large tracts elsewhere ia 
the county. 

1795. Jacob Kisner, 80 acres on North river. 
1795. John Plumb, 100 acres, on Mill creek. 

. 1795. Simon Taylor, 200 acres, on South branch. 

1795. Isaac Parsons, 100 acres, on South branch. 

1795. Philip Pendleton, 1,000 acres on great Capon, 

1795. John Jack, 100 acres, on the road leading from 
Romney to Winchester. 

1795. Samuel Chesshire, 69 acres, on Tear Coat. 

1795. Elisha C. Dirk, 40,000 acres, partly along: the 
Alleghaney mountain and New creek, and partly between 


North river and South branch; also 2,400 acres in other 
parts of the count3\ 

1795. John and Joseph Swan, 10,000 acres, between 
Spring- Gap mountain and Little Capon. 

1795. Aaron Steed, 100 acres, on Hopkin's run. 

1795. Joseph B. Billings, 727 acres, on the North branch; 
also other tracts in different parts of the county. 

1795. John Randolph, 300 acres, on Abram's creek. 

1796. Peter Good, 50 acres, on Dry run. 

1796. John Pancake, 50 acres, on South branch. 

1796. William Winterton, 50 acres, on Capon. 

1797. Joseph Baker, lOG acres, on Capon. 

1797. Frederick Gulick, 50 acres, on Little Capon. ^ 

1797. Frederick Haus, 64 acres, on South branch. 

1797. Gabriel Throckmorton, 600 acres, on Capon. 

1797. Robert Gustin, 100 acres, on Capon, 

1797. Samuel Dobbin, 100 acres, on Cabin run. 

1797. David Parsons, 300 acres, on South branch. 

1798. Samuel Howard, 50 acres, on Capon. 

1798; Charles Dowles, 1,500 acres, on the road from 
Romney to Winchester. 

1798. John Pearsall, 100 acres, on Patterson creek. 

1798. John Wolfe, 40 acres, on Capon. 

1798. Jacob Bowers, 50 acres, on Dilling-'s mountain. 

1798. John Lay, 20 acres, on Knob ridg-e. 

1798. Daniel Dug-g-an, 50 acres, on North River moun- 

1798. John Switzer, 190 acres, on Dilling-er's run. 

1798. Luther and Samuel Calvin, 100 acres, on the v/aters 
of South branch. 

1798. William Reeder, 40 acres, on Crooked run. 

1799. John Templeton, 300 acres, on North branch. 
1799. Adam Hider, 4 acres, on Shrub mountain. 
1799. John Foley, 300 acres, on Long- ridg-e. 

1799. Thomas Parker, 50 acres, on Green Spring- run. 
1799. John Abcrnathy, 5 acres, on Pine Svv'amp run. 


1799. Norman Bruce, 100 acres, on the Potomac. 

1799. . Natley Robe3s 100 acres, on Mill creek. 
1799. John Jones, 115 acres, on North river. 
1799. Philip Pendleton, 9,500 acres, on Branch moun- 
tain and elsewhere. 

1799. Daniel Hopwood, 100 acres, on Knobl3^ 

1799. William Gray, 50 acres, on the Potomac. 

'- 1800. William Buffing-ton, 100 acres, on South branch. 

1800. Francis White, 20 acres, on North river. 
1800. Georg-e Harris, 50 acres, on Mill creek. 
1800. James Laramore, 225 acres, on South branch. 
1800. Henry Hartman, 139 a.cres, on Mill creek. 
1300. Jacob Millslag-el, 150 acres, on Timber ridg^e. 
1800. Alexander Monroe, 300 acres, on North river, and 

1,700 acres on Patterson creek. 

1800. Jeremiah Ashbv, 300 acres, on North branch. 

1801. James Slack, 16 acres, on South branch. 
1801. John Casper, 50 acres, on North river. 

1801. David Bookless, 80 acres, on Cattleman's run. 

1801. John Moore, 50 acres, on Myke's run. 

1801. Schantzenbach Kisler, 100 acres, on Sidelong- hill. 

1801. Andrew Bog-le, 100 acres, on New creek. 

1801. Robert Rogers, 100 acres, on the Potomac. 

1801. William Naylor, 50 acres, on Town run. 

1801. Thomas Carscaddon, 250 acres, on Stag-g- run. 

1801. Richard Hollida}-, 5 acres, on Spring- run. 

1801. John Griffin, 83 acres, on Horse Camp run. 

1801. William Stennett, 500 acres, on Spring Gap moun- 

1801. John Poland, 41 acres, on Kuykendall's run. 

1802. Andrew Walker, 100 acres, on Green Spring run. 
1802. Solomon Hoge, 25 acres, on South branch moun- 

, 1802. George Beattjs 139 acres, on Mill creek knob. 

• 1802. Daniel Lantz, 50 acres, in Green Spring valley. 

1802. Robert Gustln, 73 acres, on Rock Gap run. 



1802. James Caudy, 50 acres, on Mill creek, 

1803. John Selby, 50 acres, on North run mountain. 
1803. Eli Ashbrook, 100 acres, on Tear Coat. 
1803. John Wrig-ht, 60 acres, near Capon spring-s. 

1803. Jacob Jenkins, 50 acres, near Bear g-arden. 

1804. William Florence, 200 acres, on Cabin run. 
1808. Lewis Vandever, 279 acres, on Patterson creeks 
1808. William Armstrong-, 100 acres, on Patterson 


1808. Michael Widmire, 70 acres, on Capon. 

1808. Henry Dang-erlield, 20 acres, on Capon. 

1809, Peter Bruner, 25 acres, on Capon, 

1809. Jacob Stucksla^h, 6 acres, on the Potomac. 

1809. Nathan Sutton, 148 acres, on Hig-h Gap mountain. 

1809. Frederick Buzzard, 10 acres, on Mill's branch. 

1809. John Swisher, 50 acres, on Hug^hes' run. 

1810, Jacob Leopard, 300 acres, on North branch. 
1810, Henry Huntsman, 600 acres, on South branch. 
1810, John Wolford, 25 acres, on North river. 

1810. James Glinn, 25 acres, on Bennett's run. 

1810. Thomas Young-ley, 84 acres, on North river 





Capon SpTin^S. — Four miles up the mountain from 
Capon river and two miles from the summit of North 
mountain, Capon spring-s and baths, today among- the 
famous watering- places of the world, rest like a hawk's 
nest ag-ainst the mountain side. The buildings are on a 
small plateau containing- a couple of acres, and throug-h the 
middle of this flow^s a small crystal stream whose waters 
are from the mineral spring's at its head. 

These spring-s have been known for years. Long- before 
the beg-inning- of this century a man named Henry Frye 
had discovered the spring-s and m^ade some improvements. 
While hunting- one day on the mountain side, near the 
spring-s, he killed a large bear. Gathering- up such a por- 
tion of his g-ame as he could carry, he started for camp. 
Before he had proceeded very far, however, he became 
thirsty, and throwing- down his burden, he descended into 
the g-len in search of water. He found a larg-e spring-, 
from which he cleared away the moss and leaves and then, 
satisfied his thirst. The temperature and peculiar taste 
of the water led him to suspect its medicinal value. When, 
during- the following summer, his wife was afflicted with 
rheumatism, he decided to take her to this place to see if 
a cure could not be effected. He built a small cabin and 
removed with his wife thither. This was undoubtedly the 
first improvement of the place and was made perhaps 
about the year 1765, although there is no definite record of 


ihe late. The place was for many years knjwn as Frye's 
spring-s, in honor of the discoverer. 

In the month of October, 1787, twent}' acres of land 
around and including- the spring was laid off into lots and 
streets. The place was named Watson and retained this 
name for some years. The following- persons made up the 
first board of trustees: Elias Poston, Henry Frye, Isaac 
Hawk, Jacob Hoover, John Winterton, Valentine Swisher, 
Rudolph Bumg-arner, Paul M'lvor, John Sherman Wood- 
cock and Isaac Zane. 

The lots thus laid off v/ere to contain one-half acre, and 
it became the duty of the trustees to advertise the lots and 
offer them for sale at the next session of the county court. 
One of the conditions to a title was that the purchaser 
should build on each lot a dwelling- house sixteen feet 
square and having a brick or stone chimney. 

Defining the duties of trustees, article eig-htb of the same 
act states: "The said trustees shall lay off the said lots and 
streets as contiguous to that part of said laud from whence 
the water issues, supposed efficacious in certain disorders, 
as the situation will admit of; and shall also lay off half an 
acre of land, to include said' spring-, the length of which 
shall extend down the stream and be double the width; 
which half acre so laid off shall be and the same is hereby 
vested in said trustees and their successors, in trust, to 
and for the use of such persons as may resort thereto." 

Another act was passed on December 27, 1800, by v/hich 
Andrew Wodrow, James Singleton, John Litle, Stephen 
Pritchard, Moses Russell, Henry Beatty, John Croudson 
and Thomas Powell were made trustees. Disputes arose 
concerning- titles to the lots sold by the first board of trus- 
tees, and in 1303 John Mitchell, at t'lat time county sur- 
veyor, was appointed to re-survey the town and'make a plat 
showing- boundar}^ of lots. This plat was approved by the 
trustees and afterwards established by the assembly as 
the true survey of the town. The law which, compelled 


ihe purchasers of lots to build stone or brick chimneys to 
their dwelling-s was also repealed in the same year. On 
January 4, 1816, Charles Brent, Philip Williams, David 
Og-den, John Litle (son of Thomas Litle), George Huddle, 
William Herri n and Archibald CraijJ-well were appointed 
trustees. There was another act passed in 1830, which 
made it the duty of the board to appoint a clerk, who had 
charg-e of collecting- and disbursing- moneys accruing- to 
the trustees. 

An earl}^ historian, writing- about the place in 1833, says: 
•'This place is too publicly known to require a minute de- 
scription in this v.'ork; suffice it to say, it is located in a 
deep, narrow g-len, on the west side of the Great North 
mountain. The road, across the mountain is rug-g-ed and 
disag-reeable to travel, but money is now raising by lotter}^ 
to improve it. The trustees for several years past have 
imposed a pretty heavy tax upon visitors for the use of the 
waters. This, tax is iiitended to raise funds for keeping 
the baths, etc., in repair. There are seventeen or eig-hteen 
houses erected without much regard to regularit}^ and a 
boarding establishment, capable of accommodating- fifty or 
sixty visitors, v/hich is kept in excellent style." 

Such was a description of the place sixty-four 3^ears ago, 
but there have been great changes since then. In 1849 
the ra-ain building was built by Buck, Blakemore and Ric- 
ord, at a cost of $75,000. During the summer following Its 
•completion Daniel Webster paid the place a visit and made 
a speech while there. He was accompanied by Sir Henry 
Bulwer, at that time English ambassador to this country. 
President Pierce also paid the place a visit during his 
term of oSce. At one time, when there was a vacancy in 
the board of trustees, J. P. Morgan, the multi-millionaire 
of today, was chosen for the place. His going to Europe 
soon thereafter prevented his acceptance. When>the Civil 
war came on the board of trustees were some eight thous- 
and dollars in debt. A special act passed the Virginia 


assembly permitting- the trustees to sell the building-s and 
property for debt. This was done, but after the war was 
over the sale was annulled as a confederate transaction. 

Capon Spring's have long- enjoyed a reputation as a water- 
ing- place. It was once a favorite summer resort with the 
Washing-ton family. "Long- before hotels were built,"' 
writes Dr. Still, "the wealthy families of Virg-inia and the 
neig-hboring- states pitched their tents around the Spring-s 
during- the heated term. " Another writer speaking- of this 
place before the war, says: "The Capon Spring-s and baths 
in ante-bellum days enjoyed a reputation unsurpassed by 
an}^ watering-place in the South. The wealth and intelli- 
g-ence of the North and South met here during- the season 
in pleasant, social relation, and g-ave to Capon a historic 
interest and national reputation which to this day have 
made it among- the most popular and attractive summer 
resorts in this country." 

The people of this county are far less acquainted with 
this resort than many strang-ers from hundreds of miles 
away. For this reason a description of the place as it ap- 
pears today may be of interest to readers of this book. 
The main hotel which stands at the base of the hills which 
rise in the rear of the building-, is an imposing- structure. 
It rises four stories in heig-ht and has a frontag-e of two 
hundred and sixty-two feet on the north and one hundred 
and ninety-six feet on the south. In front of this building- 
runs a larg-e portico one hundred and seventy-five feet long- 
and eig-hteen feet in width. The front of this portico is 
set off with hug-e white Doric pillars rising- up thirty-five 
feet to the ceiling-. The dining- hall, which is two hundred 
and forty feet long- and forty feet wide, permits more than 
six hundred persons to be seated at one time. Adjoining- 
the dining- room is the larg-e and finely furnished ball 
room. In the same building- is the parlor, which is quite 
au fait. Besides the main hotel there are a couple of 
annexes which are building-s of considerable size. Facing- 


the building- above described, and separated from it by 
about a hundred yards of lawn, stand the bath house and. 
swimming- pool. There are about forty bath rooms in the 
building- with arrang-ements for douche, plunge and. 
shower baths. The swimming- pool is an elliptical pit 
ninety feet in leng-th and forty-eig-ht feet wide. The 
depth varies from three and one-half to eig-ht and one-half 
feet, but the crystal clearness of the water g-ives it the 
appearance of being- but a few inches deep. 

At the head of the g-len in which the building-s are situ- 
ated, is the main spring- which pours out its waters from 
the base of white cliffs at the rate of six thousand g-allons 
an hour. As it flows from the earth the temperature is 
sixt3'-four decrees. In the swamming- pool the temperature 
is ordinarily near seventy, but this is due to the sun's 
heat. The water is what is known as alkaline lithia, and. 
as it flows from the earth has a saponaceous feel. A qual- 
atative analysis of the water show*s that it contains silicic 
acid, soda, mag-nesia, bromine, iodine and carbonic acid. 
The waters are not repug-nant to the taste, but are, in fact, 
pleasant. The}^ belong- to the alkaloid carbonates and Dr. 
Ashby, who made an extensive study of mineral v/aters, 
declared that they were similar in medical affect to the 
Vichy of France, the Carlsbad of Germany and the 
Bethesda of Wisconsin. The waters are ag-reed to be 
especially valuable in the treatment of idiopathic affections 
of the nervous system, dyspeptic depravities and derang-e- 
ments of the mucous surfaces. They are, no doubt, valua- 
ble also for rheumatic and. catarrhal troubles. 

There is also a chalybeate Spring- about three-quarters 
of a mile from the main spring-. Capon spring-s is thirty 
miles from Romney and about twenty-five miles from 
Winchester. The spring-s are likely to g-row in favor as 
they become better known. Sir Henry Bulwer, who vis- 
ited them in 1850 in company with Daniel Webster, 


declared there was no more complete bathing" resort in 

Ice Jilountain. — This curious work of nature, which 
is perhaps better known than any other natural curiosity 
in the county, is situated about half a mile from North 
river mills. It consists of a ridg-e, shaped like an arc of 
an eliptic, with its concave side facing- northwest. At the 
foot of the mountain, which is perhaps five hundred feet 
hig^h, flows North river in a horseshoe, conforming- to the 
shape of the mountain. The sides of the mountain are 
covered with frag-ments and boulders of broken sandstone 
which have rotted away from the cliffs above. Thi-s talua 
is a perhaps fifty feet thick at the mountain's base. A part 
of the slope is completely barren, but much of it is covered 
with laurel, birch and stunted pine, while at the foot there 
is a strip of trees of considerable heig^ht. Crowning- the 
ridg-e is Raven rock, which presents a perpendicular face 
of two hundred feet. It is the last remaining- vestig-e of a 
towering- cliff that once overlooked the river. It is the foot 
of the mountain, hovvever, that attracts attention and has 
made the place famous. 

At the mountain's base, extending- for about two hun- 
dred yards along- the river and averaging- about two rods 
in width, is a hug-e natural refrig-erator. By removing- the 
loose rocks, even in the hottest season of the year, ice can 
always be found. The rocks are so cold as to numb the 
fing-ers, though the mid-day sun may be shining- full upon 
them. There is a continual expulsion of cold air which is 
felt perceptibly some feet from the edg-e of the rocks. 

Many theories have been advanced to account for th^ 
formation and preservation of ice at this place. The phe- 
nomenon is most likely due to very simple causes. The 
open nature of the talus of course allows the free circula- 
tion of air and water in the spaces between the boulders. 
During- the cold season ice is formed from rain and snow 
in the crevices of the rocks until the mountain side for 


many feet below the surface is a mass of ice and stone. 
The outer ice acts as a protection to that deeper in the 
rocks by sealing- it up, as it were, from the outside air, 
while the deeper ice acts in a preserving- manner b}^ lovv^er- 
iug- the temperature. When the hot weather comes, the 
ice hif^her up on the mountain soon disappears, while that 
at the base is preserved, because it is less exposed to the 
sun on account of the trees along- the base, and also on ac- 
count of the facing- of the mountain. Then ag-ain, its thick- 
ness is much greater. It is well known that as the season 
advances it becomes necessary to dig' deeper in the loose 
rocks in order to find ice. The expulsion of cold air from 
the base may be accounted for by supposing- that the sur- 
rounding- air circulating- among- the rocks above the ice 
becomes cool and settles to the bottom. Its own g-ravity 
prevents its rising- and the pressure of the atmosphere 
above forces it out along- the face of the rocks at the lowest 
point. Ice mountain seems admirably adapted as a site for 
a dairy, or with the expenditure of considerable capital, it 
could be made a famous summer resort. 

Caildj/s Castle.—l'^^ a spur of North river mountain 
known as Castle mountain, on the west bank of Capon river, 
is situated Caudy's Castle. This imposing- work of nature 
is named for James Caudy, an early settler in that part of 
the county and a noted Indian fig-hter. Facing- the river 
and rising- almost perpendicular at this point, is an im- 
mense cliff about four hundred and fifty feet hig-h. The 
Castle proper crowns this cliff and rises solemn and barren 
fifty feet hig-her. The ascent is made from the v/est with 
the g^radual slope of the mountain from that side till with- 
in seventy-five feet of the top, when one is compelled ' to 
follow along- a narrow shelf of rock around the northern 
end of the Castle and then along- its face overhanging- 
Capon. The last fifteen or twenty feet is nearly perpen- 
dicular, and the top can only be reached by perilous climb- 
ing-, cling-ing- to the projecting- edg-es of the rock. On top 


there is a space of about twenty feet, but such a g"ale con- 
stantly sweeps across its barren summit that one with 
difficulty stands erect. 

The Tea Table. — Four miles from Forks of Capon 
and on Capon mountain is a curiosity of so ne not?. 
This is the Tea Table. Alarg-e flat rock fifteen feet wide, 
is supported on a column which rises fifteen feet or more 
in the air, and which is not more than three feet in diame- 
ter at it narrowest place. The upper surface of the table 
is concave and usually contains several g"allons of water. 
This is due, however, to rainfall and not to a spring- in the 
rock as is stated in Howe's History of Virg-inia. 

DiairiOJld Ricl^e. — This name is given to a moun- 
tain spur just west of the town of Bloomery, Larg^e rocks 
are here found, the surfaces of which are studded with the 
most beautiful crystals, some of them an inch in diameter. 
From these the ridg-e has taken its name. 

Pivot Roclc. — On the land of Amos McElfresh, about 
one mile from Spring-field, may be seen a curiosity, which 
of its kind is, perhaps, equal to anything- in the world. 
This is Pivot Rock. A huge boulder, weig-hing- hundreds 
of tons, is supported on a slender stem less than one-eig-hth 
the diameter of the rock above. 

This rock is about twenty-five feet hig-h above its fragile 
stem and nearly fort}^ feet thick at its g-reatest diameter. 
The column on which it rests is twelve feet hig-h and at 
the narrowest place not more than five feet in diameter. 
One is puzzled to understand how this g-reat mass of 
silicious sandstone is able to rest on such small support, 
and it is evident that a slight earthquake shock, or a few 
sticks of dynamite, rig-htly placed, vrould send this mighty 
rock thundering- and crashing- dov.'n the declivity below. 
Just back of this goblet-shaped curiosit}^ carved out in the 
long- course of g-eolog-ical time is the cliff from which it is 
taken. A log from the cliif to the rock some twent}'^ feet, 
served for sometime as a means of access to the top of the 



lattei- for those adventurous persons who desired to ascend 
it. No veg-etation g-rows upon the boulder save a few 
birch bushes. Numerous camping- parties from the city 
have visited the place and many views have been taken of 
it. This natural curiosity was pointed out to the author 
by J. T. Woodson, Vvdio lives near by, and was the first 
person to call public attention to it. 

Han^Ul^ RocJcs. — Four miles north of Rornney the 
South branch river has cut throuo-h Mill Creek mountain 
forming- an interesting- and imposing- cliff know as Hangfing- 
Rocks. This cliff, more than three hundred feet hig-h, 
rises almost perpendicular from the river's edg-e. The 
rocks are arched like a bended bow forming- what in g-eolog-y 
is known as an anticline. The distance tnroug-h the g-ap 
is five-eig-hths of a mile. The upper stratum of rocks is 
Monterey sandstone, while that immediateh^ below is a 
cherty limestone called Lewiston chert-lentil. The limetone 
is made of a cong-lomeration of small sea shells known as 
brachiopods. Long- before man inhabited the earth this 
mountain beg-an to rise out of the sea and the Wappato- 
maka (South branch,) which was then flowing- in its present 
course, beg-an to cut throug-h it. Slowly the mountain 
rose a few inches in a century perhaps, slowly the river 
cut its way downward until it made the mig-hty cliffs that 
now cause us to stand and w^onder. This g-ap is only one 
of four in the same mountain in Hampshire county. The 
first is at Mechanicsburg- where Mill creek cuts throug-h, 
the next, proceeding- northward, is the one described, two 
miles south of Spring-field, knov/n as Low'er Hang-ing- 
Rocks, is the third; vrhile the fourth is made by the North 
branch of the Potomac near the junction of the two rivers. 

Blue's Gap. — Going- to Capon Bridg-e via of the North- 
western -g-rade one passes throug-h Blue's Gap, sixteen 
miles east of Romney. Here a small stream that empties 
into North river has cut thro'ug-h North river mountain, 
forming- a pass about two hundred yards in leng-th. The 


rocks in this gap are wholly of sandstone of a very fine 
variety. So little of cementing material is there mixed 
with the finely triturated g-rains that a piece of the rock 
can easily be crushed to pieces with the hand. At the 
eastern end of the pass is a tunnel some fifteen feet wide 
and twenty feet high, and extending- in the mountain a con- 
siderable distance. This artificial cave was made by per- 
sons hewing out the stone and carrying it away for various 
purposes. It is a great favorite with the housewives round 
about for scouring purposes, while many farmers use it in 
the manufacture of whet paddles for sharpening scythes. 

Caves. — There are but few caves in this county. Cav- 
erns most frequently occur in limestone, and the fact that 
there is so little of this stone exposed in Hampshire ac- 
counts for the absence of them. There are a fev/ small 
ones, however. There is a cave on what is knov^m as. the 
Milslagle farm on Timber ridge. This was explored for 
a short distance some years ago by William Offutt, but has 
since attracted little attention. 

Mineral jSpj^ings.—The^c are quite numerous and 
distributed over a "large area in the county. Sulphur 
springs are most abundant and of many varieties, locally 
known as red, white and black sulphur springs. Capon 
Springs are alkaloid lithia. There are also a few chalyb- 
eate or iron springs in different parts of the county. 

1 \. i 





So far as can be ascertained fi-om extant traditions, the 
iirst burying- place for the dead of Romney was situated 
on the public square on which the court house was after- 
wards built, but the g-raves were between the present 
court house and the Kellar hotel, on the site and in the 
rear of the present bank of Romney. It is probable that 
the first dead of the town were laid to their last rest in 
that old cemeter3^ How many sleep there, no one now 
kno\ys. But there were many; for tiaere is evidence that 
it was still used as a burying- g-round after the beg-inning- 
of the present centur}^ Old people a few years ag-o could 
remember when the g-raves could be disting-uished, one 
from another. But the land was occupied by houses and 
g-ardens; and the plow iinalh^ obliterated each 

"Mouldering- heap, 
Where, in his narrow cell forever laid, 

The rude forefathers of the l^amlet sleep." 

It is related that, after the g-round ceased to be used as 
a burying- place, and was appropriated as a g-arden, a per- 
son in walking throug-h the hig^li g-rass and rank weeds 
would sometimes stumble into the deeply sunken g-raves. 
No stone now marks the signit of a sing-le tomb, and the 
name of a sing-le person who v/as buried there cannot now 
be ascertained. In their day they no doubt believed they 
were filling- a place in the world of the living^ which would 
entitle them to, and secure for them, at least a g-ravestone 
to murk their narrow house in the realm of the dead. But, 


such has not been the case. No doubt, in that old ceme- 
tery lie the men who saved from the tomahawk of the sav- 
ag-e many a frontier home in Hampshire; and who, in 
their lives, were looked upon as the protectors, defenders 
and saviors of the people and their homes, when the cruel 
Indian and his no less cruel white ally made wide desola- 
tion along- the frontiers. But, alas, how soon the children 
forg-et the debt of g-ratitude which their parents owed ! How 
applicable to the dead here are the verses written of the 
neglected g-rave of Simon Keuton, the .defender of Ken- 
tucky in its earliest 3'ears: 

"Ah, can this be the spot where sleeps 

The bravest of the brave! 
Is this rude slab the only mark 

Of Simon Kenton's grave ! 
These broken paling-s, are they all 

His ing-rate country gave 
To one who perded life so oft 

Her hearths and homes to save!" 

In the old cemetery in Romnev there remain not so 
much as the "broken paling-s" or the "rude slab." All 
have passed away, and nothing- is left but the memory, and 
that, being- the most immaterial and ephemeral of things, 
will soon pass into nothingness, and the shadow of oblivion 
will settle down forever. 

Archaeologists who dig- into the tumuli along the Nile, 
the Tigris and the Euphrates, discover that very ancient 
cities often stood upon the ruins of cities more ancient, 
and these, in their turn, rested their foundations upon 
cities antedating them b}^ centuries, one ruin upon another, 
stretching back into the dim antiquity of the infant world 
until a time is reached when there is not so much as a 
cuniform inscription or a rude hieroglyph to g-ive an ap- 
pi'oximation of the date, nor a hint of the name or charac- 
ter of the first city and its inhabitants. Histor}- repeats 
itself, even in the small thing of village graveyards. Rom- 
ney a hundred years ago abandoned the cemetery in which 


it had buried its first people. Perhaps the space was full. 
A new, larg-er and more beautifully situated cemetery was 
chosen, beg-inning- near the southwestern street of the 
town, and rising" toward the hill with a g^entle slope. It 
was no doubt believed that this new field would furnish 
ample space for burying- the villag-e, dead for centuries. 
But no cities increase in population more rapidly than the 
cities of the dead. All that live must some time make 
their habitation there. The new cemetery was ample for 
more than half a century. Then space became circum- 
scribed. One by one the vacant places grew smaller and 
fewer; and the people who still lived beg^an to interest 
themselves in securing" a less crowded place in which to 
rest when dead. The graveyard was full. The old church 
in the cemetery, which was building- while British cannon, 
were bombarding- Baltimore's protecting- fort; while British 
fire was burning- the capitol at Washing-ton ^ while British 
troops, which had driven Napoleon from Spain, were break- 
ing against Jackson's fortifications at New Orleans, like 
waves against immovable rocks — that old church in the 
cemetery had the dead buried close to its very walls. So 
crowded had the places become that no other room could 
be found. The graveyard was full. A new one, a larg-er, 
must be found; for Romney still furnished people for "the 
narrow chambers in the halls of death." 

On a high, beautiful terrace, overlooking the valley, In- 
dian Mound cemetery was marked out. It was the burial 
place of Indians centuries before the white race saw the 
Blue Ridge, hence its name. Further back, in geological 
time, it was the channel of the South branch, and the 
rounded stones of the old flood plane lie in drifts beneath 
the subsoil. This is the graveyard of today. 

The old abandoned and neg'lected cemetery at the foot 
of the hill is a melancholy picture. The hand of time lias 
been laid heavily upon it, and its beauty has departed, save 
that beaut}^ which a pensive fancy can see in ruin and deso- 


latioa, especiall}- when so intiraatel}^ associated with the 
dead. Heavy foundations, covered with grass which hides 
the wreck of masonry, mark the site of the church, w^hich 
ceased to be used more than a quarter of a century ag-o. 
In this edifice the eminent Dr. P^oote preached for nearly 
thirty years. He and the church have taken their depar- 

"Dead the sing-er; dead the song-." 

A clump of locust trees, no doubt planted w^hen the 
church was new, stands there still, about the only cheer- 
ful thing- to relieve the monotony of the desolation. A row 
of posts, some of them broken, and g'aps where others are 
missing-, shows where the enclosing- fence once was. At 
present the cemetery is the villag-e pasture g-round; and 
cattle fight for the tufts of g-rass which flourish in the 
spaces between the overturned tombstones. Slabs of mar- 
ble, broken into frag-ments, strew the g-round; and g-rave- 
stones, leaning- at all ang-les, show how numerous are the 
g-raves. Vandalism has done its worst. Evidence is not 
wanting- that many a stone has been broken deliberately, 
for the dints of blows are visible w^here one g-ravestone has 
been used as a maul to break another. On some of the 
stones still standing, on others lying- flat and half buried, 
and on the broken frag-ments of still others, may be read 
epitaphs and names which sug-g-est much that deserves to 
be remembered. We do not know how much was once 
there which cannot now be read. We cannot tell who lie 
in g-raves no long-er marked. The oldest citizen of Romney 
has forg-otten, if he ever knew, who are the occupants of 
tombs which, to judg-e from the heavy pedestals on which 
g-ravestones formerly stood, were made for influential and 
prominent men. The best catalog-ue that can now be made 
of the graves is but a mere frag-ment. We know what we 
have, but cannot know what we have not. The historian, 
whose sense of duty impels him to rescue what he can 
from oblivion, finishes his task with the feeling- that, afler 


all his pains, he can present only a pag-e here and a torn 
frajj-ment there from this book of the dead. Yet he feels 
that the f rag-ments, like broken vases from Etruscan ruins, 
are valuable. What is done must be done quickly, or the 
dead of this cemetery, like those of the older one, will pass 
into oblivion and leave not a name. 

The land occupied by the cemeteryw^asg-iven byAndrew 
Wodrow, and was deeded to James Beach, William Inskeep, 
Adam Hare and John Lawson, as trustees. The church 
was several years in building-. The aisle took up half the 
interior space. The first elder in the church, William 
Na34or, was among- the first to be buried there. He was 
a lawyer, and a pillar in the Presbyterian church. 
Another elder, Jolm McDowell is buried there. He was a 
son-in-law of Andrew Vv^odrow. In this old cemetery 
sleeps Andrew W^odrow, a Scotchman by birth, a g-entle- 
man bynature, ascolar above the averag-e of his time. He 
came from a family of scholars. His father enjoyed, and 
still has, a national reputation as a historian. His father, 
the historian of the church of Scotland, was Robert Wod- 
row. He published his history the year Andrew Wodrow 
was born, 1752. Lord Macaulay frequently quoted from 
that book in his history of Eng-land, and it was dilig-ently 
read by Walter Scott and other g-reat men. The Wodrows 
were related to the family of Dr. McCosh of Princeton 
colleg-e. They were a family of colleg-e professors. Two 
members of the Wodrow family filled, in succession, the 
chair of theolog-y in the Glasg-ow university, in Scotland, 
and another was librarian of the university. Andrev/ came 
to America, and late in the eig-hteenth century took up his 
home in Romney, and there lived and died. His son, Craig- 
Wodrow, also rests in the cemetery. He, too, was a 
scholar, but poor health throug-h life prevented his taking- 
part in active business. Alarg-e marble slab, whose broken 
frag-ments are half buried in the g-rass, was over the g-rave 
of William Sherrard, who died at St. Aug-ustine, Florida, 


and who was bfouqfht home that he niig-ht be buried where 
friends could visit his grave. Had he been laid to rest un- 
der the everg-reen palms in the southern land of flowers it 
would have been as well. The quietude of a Florida forest, 
where the g^round is flecked by sheen and shadow, were 
preferable to "a marble wilderness." 

The wife of J. B. Sherrard and the two wives of David 
Gibson were buried here; also the wife of John W. Mar- 
shall. Here was laid to Ills last rest that unsatisfied man, 
Dr. Robert Newman, whose early life was a romance, and 
whose later years v>'ere filled v/ith long-ing^s after scientific 
truths v/hich forever eluded him. He read the g-reat 
works of Newton on astronomy, and criticized them, but 
was never able to perfect his own theory. He had been 
hindered in his early years from acquiring' a university 
education; and for this reason he ever afterwards felt him- 
self handicapped in his pursuit of knowledg-e. Pie was the 
author of a book on medicine. In early life he was a deist;. 
but these views v/ere modified in later life. Elsewhere in 
this book will be found more extended mention of Dr. 

In this old cemetery was buried Nathaniel Ku3^kendalV 
a character which stands out in bold relief. He had 
known the trials of this life; had known the bitterness of 
desertion, and in all the vicissitudes of fortune he had been 
a man in all senses of the word. Here v/as buried Peter 
Peters; the ag-ed and venerable Joseph Combs; and Eli 
Davis, the old jailor who faithfully performed the unpleas- 
ant duty of locking- doors between unfortunates and free- 
dom, but who himself finally entered the narrow cell whose; 
door will never be unlocked until the graves g^ive up their 
dead. The old tavern keeper, Steinbeck, known to the. 
early inhabitants of Romncy, occupies the six feet of earth 
set aside for every man. He fares as well in this city of 
the dead as his neighbors, the scholarly Wodrow and the 
scientist Dr. Newman. Death levels all. Even the old,. 


faithful slave, known only by the name of Mammy Betsy, 
occupies the same place of honor in the silent city, as those 
who in their lives believed that they w^ere made of better 
clay. When that bourne is passed, from which no traveler 
ever returns, all differences soon pass away. "x\ll that 
live shall share thy destiny." 

A willow tree once waved over the graves of Mrs. 
McGuire, the mother of tho second wife of William 
Naylor, and the mother of Samuel McGuire, clerk of 
Hampshire county, in 1S15, and who was a son-in-law of 
Andrew Wodrow. The willow tree is grone. No man can 
now say which is the mother's g^rave, and which the son's. 
That pagfe is missing- from the records of the dead. Not 
far distant is the g'rave of Mary, the wife of William S. 
Naylor. Old people used to remember her as a beautiful, 
lig'ht hearted g'irl, daug"hter of Mrs. Sarah Davis, who is 
buried beside her. The g^irl g-ave her love and her hand to 
a strang-er, and left Eomney to make her home with him. 
In one year he broug-ht her back a corpse, beautiful in. 
death, and here she rests. Miss Charity Johnson, loved 
by all who knew her, has not been forg-otten, althoug-h her 
g"rave has been neg^lected. Here is shown the g-rave of Dr. 
Dyer, and his story illustrates the irony of fate. He had 
been buried elsewhere, but was removed to this cemetery 
to be near friends; and nov/ his g-rave is hard to find. 
Friends forg-et; for the dead cannot remember the dead. 
Dr. Snyder also was buried here. His skill as a phj^sician 
was widely knov/n; and he prolong-ed and saved many a 
life; but althoug-h "he saved others, himself he could not 
save," and here he lies, almost forg-otten. Others have 
taken his place among- the living-. Here were buried also,, 
men whose names and the names of their descendants are 
identified with the history of Hampshire from its early 
years to the present. The}'- are Jacob Heiskell, Samuel 
Heiskell, Adam Heiskell, and Elizabeth the daug-hter of 
Christopher Heiskell. 


The g-rave of Mrs. Fitzg-crald has a pathetic interest. 
Her two sons went to the war of 1812 and both fell in bat- 
tle. Vv-'hen the news of their death reached her, she be- 
took lierself to her bed, and never left it until carried to her 
g'rave. Chichester Tapsoott, a young- lawyer of promise' 
but whose d.elicate health stood in the way of success, is 
among- the dead. Near his is the grave of his sister, Mrs. 
AVhite. The grave of a strang-er, whose onh' known name 
was Wood, may be pointed out. He died somewhat sud- 
denly while in Romney, and some one manifested enougfh 
interest in him to mark his g'rave. No one knov/s whence 
he came, nor whether he had a family. For years, per- 
haps, some one waited for his return, and never knew his 
fate. But, the very fact that he was a strang-er caused 
him to be remembered, while those whose lives were spent 
in Romney have been forg-otten. Another g-rave lias an 
interest, not from the prominence or worth of its occu- 
pant, but because it shows that the g-reatest are not always 
the long-est remembered, Elizabeth Evans, an outcast, an 
inebriate, welcomed to nobody's home while living-, was 
g-iven the same welcome to the tomb that all others receive; 
and her g-rave is pointed out to this day; but the names of 
those buried to the rig-ht'and to the left of her are not 
known. Mr. and Mrs. David Griffith and Mrs. Catherine 
Cookus, well remembered by the older people of Romney, 
were buried here. John Baker White, and wife of John B. 
White, have graves which have not yet been lost. J. B. 
Kerchevak g-randson of the historian of the valley of 
Virg-inia, Samuel Kercheval, is buried here. Adam Heis- 
kell, one of the first of that name to come to Hampshire, 
lies undisturbed, "waiting- the judg-ment da3\" Few 
scenes of dang-er and hardships he did not look upon; few 
have shared in g-reater gflory than he, so far as heroic serv- 
ice to one's country can bring- g-lory to the soldier. He 
was one of Morg-an's men, and he fought unflinchingly in 
the darkest hour of the revolution. He was in the meraor- 


able march to Quebec. "After life's fitful fever he 
sleeps vvell." A g-rand niece of Lord Fairfax is among- the 
dead who were laid to rest here. The g-rave of an insane 
man is said to be in the enclosure, but oo mark now re- 
mains, nor is his name remembered. But it is related that 
his g-rave was dug- near a remote corner, removed as far as 
possible from all the other dead. That was ^mnecessar3^ 
So far as mortal man can learn, there is no difference in 
the g-rave, or beyond it, between the philosopher Aristotle 
and the poorest lunatic. Opinion, creed and hypocrisy- 
put up no bars across the avenues of immortality and eter- 
nity; althoug-h they erect many barricades this side. 

Another occupant whose g-rave can no longer be pointed 
out, is Thomas Ragland, a young lawyer of promise, but 
who succumbed to consumption before he had fairly be- 
g-un life's work. James Daile}- Vv'as also buried there, one 
of the first inhabitants, a banker, and a relative of the 
Wood family, from whom the county of that name in West 
Vii-g-inia received its name. Georg-e Porterfield is niterred 
in the old cemetery. He is said to have been a member of 
the Porterfield family of the valley of Virginia, and a rela- 
tive of Colonel George A. Porterfield, who had charge of 
the first confederate forces that saw active service in 
northwestern Virginia, and v»^ho was defeated by General 
Kelley at Philippi, June 3, 1861. Neglected, overrun by 
cattle, uncared for by anybody, is the grave of one of the 
greatest men Hampshire has produced, William MuUedy. 
Born in 1796, of poor parents, without an inti'oduction to 
men in high places, he pushed into the great battle of life, 
and by the splendor of his mental abilities he compelled 
recog-nition, and in his short life of only thirty-five years 
his name became known on both sides of the Atlantic as 
an ecclesiastic of the Roman Catholic church, and as an 
intellectual leader at the head of one of America's best 
collei3fes. He is mentioned elsewhere in this book. 

When the old cemeter}^ became filled, a few years prior 


to the Civil war, the ground for a new one was procured, 
larg-e enough to meet the requirements of the people of 
Romney for a few g-enerations. It is on a promontor}^ 
naturally sterile and barren, which juts out over the wide, 
South branch valley. The g-round has been improved and 
beautified, and few more attractive cemeteries are in the 
state. There is, perhaps, not another one where the nat- 
ural scenery on all sides is finer. The Indians recog-nized 
this when they buried their dead there; although that be- 
nighted race had little conception of beauty. Their dull 
appreciation, however, saw that the mountains were in 
sight, and the river flowed beneath, and these features of 
nature they could understand. The mountains south and 
west are the flanking ranges of the Alleghanies, and in the 
language of the Indians the name "Alleghany" is their 
nearest expression of the idea of eternity. They were the 
eternal mountains, the everlasting range; they went on 
forever. But, their conception of the idea of eternity par- 
took more of distance than of time. It cannot be stated as 
a fact of history that the Indians buried their dead on that 
promontory because of the wide view obtainable from that 
point, for it is not known when or why they used that bury- 
ing ground; but it is highly probable that the place was 
chosen because of its beauty and sublimity. It has never 
been a prevailing custom of the Indians to bury their dead 
on prominent hig-hlands; but many instances are known 
wherein they did so, expressly for the purpose of giving 
their dead an opportunity of a perpetual view of their fa- 
vorite haunts while alive; in their simplicity supposing 
that the dead continued to partake of the sensations of the 
living and to feel an interest in the afl^airs of their friends. 
No matter what was their motive, it is certain that a bury- 
ing place was there. A large mound, covered with pines, 
not perhaps a century old, is a prominent feature of the 
cemetery. This mound may contain the bones of a score 
of persons, or twice that number. It is built of boulders 


and soil. The rocks are waterworn, and it is a commoa 
supposition that they were carried up from the river, half 
a mile away and two hundred feet below. Such may have 
been the source of supply, but it is not probable; at least 
it was not necessary to go so far for boulders. The ter- 
race is underkiid with such I'ocks, v^nth a few feet of earth 
on top; and where the neig-hboring- ravine cuts the terrace 
the boulders may be picked up in largfe numbers vv'ithin 
fifty yards of the mound. Indians would not likel}^ carry 
them from the river w'hen they could obtain them within a 
few steps. The mound has been opened and numerous 
frag'ments of bone were found; but all indications were 
that the tumulus was old, prehistorical. It was more than 
an ordinary grave; how much more, must forever remain 





The Literary Society of Romnej/ dates from January 30^ 
1819. It is the oldest literary society in the state, and 
there are few older in the United States. It is believed 
that not one of the orig-inal members is living-. Never at 
one tim_e were there more than ilfty-two members on the 
roll, and there is no record that of this number more than 
seventeen vv'ere ever present at one meeting-. The work 
accomplished by these few euerg-etic citizens of Romuey is 
astonishing-. No other one thing- in the history of the towi> 
has had such lasting- results for g-ood. The founders did 
not appreciate what a great work they were inaug-urating- 
when they entered upon it. On the e-\-ening- of January 30, 
1819, ten g-entlemen of Romney met in the ofSce of Dr. 
John Temple to org-anize a literary societ}-. Those present 
on that occasion v/ere Samuel Kercheval, Charles T. Ma- 
g-ill, John Temple, Thomas Blair, James N. Stephens, 
Nathaniel Kuykendall, David Gibson, Y7. C. Wodrow, 
James R. Jack and William C. Morrow. They org-anized 
by electing- Mr. Kuykendall chairman and Mr. Mag-ill sec- 
retary. The business of the evening was the appointment 
of a committee to draft a constitution. This committee 
reported at a meeting- held February 4, 1819. The provi- 
sions of the constitution were, that the org-anization should 
be known as "The Polemic Society of Romney;" that the 
dues from each member should be fifty cents a month; 
that no political or relig-ious question should be debated 
unless in the abstract and in general terms; that after the 


running- expsnses of the society had been paid, the remain- 
ing- funds should be expended in buying- books; that a mem- 
ber who should use profane lang-uag-e in presence of the 
society, or bring- spirituous liquors to the meeting's, should 
be fmed one dollar for each offense. The election of offi- 
cers resulted in the selection of Mr. Mag-ill as president, 
Mr. Wodrow secretary, and Dr. Temple as treasurer. 
This constitution was adopted February 4, 1819. 

The next meeting- was held in the court house, Febru- 
ary 13, and the debate for the evening- was on the question: 
"Oug-ht a representative be g-overned by instructions from 
his constituents?" The decision was for the affirmative. 
On February 19 the question for debate was: "Is educa- 
tion in a public school better than that of a private "school?" 
The decision v/as in favor of the public school; At this 
meeting- the first money appropriated by the society was 
paid the doorkeeper. The sum was twenty-live cents. On 
February 26 the affirmative won in a debate on the ques- 
tion: "Is a system of banking- advantag-eous to a com- 
munity?" On March 6 a question somewhat m.ore psycho- 
log-ical in its nature v/as discussed. It was an abstract 
question of relig-ion: "Can the human mind, by its own 
reflection, arrive at the conclusion that the soul is immor- 
tal?" The society decided in the neg-ative. For ten years 
the societ}^ met at least twice a month, and usually four 
times. The questions debated covered all rang-es of top- 
ics, scientiiic, religious, political, social. Some of them 
may have been "in the abstract so far as politics and 
relig-ion are concerned," at that day, but viewed from the 
present standpoint, some of them seem almost partisan. 
For example, they debated and decided in the neg-ative the 
question: "Is a protective tariff detrimental to the inter- 
ests of the country?" 

The first money to buy books was appropriated April 23, 
1819. Two volumes were bought, "Plutarch's Lives of 
Illusti ., and "Vallett's Laws of Nations." This 


was the humble beg^inning- of the splendid library accumu- 
lated during- the succeeding- fort}'^ years, and which was 
scattered and almost destroyed during- the Civil war. On 
July 2, 1819, the balance of money in the treasurer's hands 
was two dollars and forty-six cents, but by October 23, 
following-, sufficient funds were on hand to buy "Rollins' 
Ancient Histor}'," "Lewis' Roman History," and "Robert- 
son's History of Charles the Fifth." No more books were 
boug-ht till near the close of the next 3-ear, vvhen "Livy," 
"Tacitus" and "Marshall's Life of Washing-ton" were pur- 
chased. Three months later a bookcase was purchased. 
About this time, 1821, an act was passed by the Virg-inia 
assembly incorporating- the "Library Society of Romaey." 
The charter g-ranted was not satisfactory to the society, 
because it required chang-es which had not been asked for, 
one of which was the name. The members considered 
that they had a "literary" society, not a "library" society. 
The assembly was asked to amend the charter, which was 
done a year or so later, and after man}- delays and debates 
the new charter was accepted by the societ}^ February 4, 
1823, and it became "The Literar}'^ Society of Romne}^," a. 
name which it ever after retained. 

In April, 1821, the new books added to the librar}^ were 
"Hook's Roman History," "Herodotus," "Travels in 
Greece," "Modern Europe," "Ramsay's History of the 
United States," and the "Works of Benjamin Franklin." 
In May, 1822, a spirited debate took place on the question: 
"Is it to the interest of the people of Hampshire to 
encourag-e the canalling- of the Potomac?" Unfortunately, 
no record exists of the arg-uments advanced in this dis- 
cussion, but the decision was that it would be detrimental 
to the interests of Hampshire county, to have a canal built 
along- the Potomac. It is presumed that the objection to 
the canal was that it would destroy the business of team- 
sters who hauled merchandise from the east. Such, at 
least, was the objection to building- the Baltimore and 




.^ . "««iistant 

Ohio raiii'oad. The societ}" had passed a by-law that an_y 

member who published one of his own, or anybody else's, 

speeches delivered before the society should pay a fine of 

live dollars. Consequently no speeches were published. 

The society adopted a new. constitution in 1824. 

In the eleven 3^ears, between January 30, 1819, and Jan- 
uar}^ 22, 1830, the names of fifty-two members appear on 
the books of the society. They were: Francis A. Arm- 
strong-, Thomas Blair, Joseph W. Bronaug-h, R. W. Baker, 
James H. Clark, William Curlett, James Dailey, Andrew 
W. Dailey, Joseph P. Eblin, David Gibson, James Gibson, 
Andrew Gibson, Isaac A. Inskeep, Henry M. Inskeep, 
James R. Jack, C. T. Jack, John G. Jack, Samuel Kerche- 
val, Nathaniel Kuykendallj Thomas McDonald, Charles T. 
Mag-ill, John McDowell, William Mulledy, Alfred T. 
Mag-ill, Ang-us McDonald, Edward C. McDonald, John H. 
McEndree, Henry M. Machen, William S. Naylor, Robert 
Newman, William Nalyor, Granville Newman, E. W. 
Newton, Cuthbert Powell, James Parsons, Peter Peters, 
Thomas Rag-land, James M. Stephens, John Snyder, 
William Sherrard, John Temple, Warren Throckmorton, 
William Thompson, Chichester Tapscott, Newton Tap- 
scott, John A. Thompson, W^illiam C. Wodrow, John B. 
White, Thomas B. White, Washing-ton G. Williams, Neill 

No record of the proceeding-s of the society can be 
found coverinj^ the period from Januar}^ 22, 1830, to May 
15, 1869, neai'l}' forty years. The records of this period 
are supposed to have been destroyed during- the war. 
This is to be reg-retted, because during- that period the 
society did its g-reat work, Vv'ithout doubt many members 
were on the rolls during- these years whose names cannot 
now be ascertained; but, althoug-h the historian is com- 
pelled to pass over their individual acts without mention, 
yet the result of their work stands as a monument to their 
memory. It is learned from the proceeding-s of the Vir- 



,1 ,.emblv, and from other sonrces, that the g-reat 
' .vorkof the society beg-an in 1832. On January 6 ot that 
year the assembly passed an act authorizin.w- the society to 
raise by lottery the sum of twenty thousand dollars to be 
expended in educational purposes. A detailed statement 
of how the money was expended cannot be found; but it is 
known that larg-e sums were paid for books; a building- 
was erected; strong- financial support was g-iven to the 
Potomac academy, which stood near the site of the present 
court house. On Febuary 15, 1844, the Virg-inia assembly 
passed an act authorizing- the society to donate to the Rom- 
ney academy the balance of the money raised by lottery; 
and on December 12, 1846, another leg-islative act was 
passed empowering- the society "to establish at or near the 
town of Romncy, a seminary of learning- for the instruction 
of youtli in the various branches of science and literature; 
and the society may appropriate to the same such portion 
of the property which it now has or may hereafter acquire, 
as it may deem expedient." In accordance with this act a 
handsome building- was erected on the site of the present 
institute for the deaf and blind. In fact, the old building- 
forms a part of the lar^fer institution, as will be detailed 
more fully in this chapter. The splendid libi'ary of the 
societ)' was removed to the new building-, and a school was 
opened under 'the most auspicious circumstances. Few 
schools in the state of Virg-inia at that time had access to 
better libraries. In September, 1849, the society prepared 
a code and a system of by-laws for the g-overnment of the 
Classical institute. 

In October of the same year the principalship was tend- 
ered to Dr. Foote, who considered the proposition and 
finally declined to accept it, and founded an opposition 
school, called the Potomac seminary. Thereupon Pro- 
fessor Meany was chosen as principal of the Classical in- 
stitute. The difference between Dr. Foote and the 
society, v/hich led to his refusal to accept the principal- 


ship, was in regard to the appointment of the assistant 
teachers and the amount of their salaries, and the manner 
of paying- them. The literary society and the school 
flourished until the beginning- of the Civil war. The disas- 
trous four years, from 1861 to 1865, brought ruin to many 
a southern enterprise. The Literary Society of Romney 
suffered irreparable losses. Nearly all the members joined 
the confederate army, and the building and books remain- 
ing in Romney were considered legitimate plunder by the 
union troops. It is a wonder that a book remained. No 
list of the books at the commencement of the war can be 
found, but those who are familiar with the library say that 
fully three-fourths of the books were carried away or de- 
stroyed. The most valuable were never recovered. There 
were about three thousand volumes in 1861. About two 
hundred remained on the shelves when the war was over, 
but a considerable number of others were subsequently 
found, and the library contains perhaps seven hundred 
volumes now. But the value of these is greatly lessened 
by the sets being broken. Some sets of ten or twenty vol- 
umes now contain only three or four books. Other sets 
are all gone but one or tv.'o, and others are all missing. A 
cyclopedia which cost over eighty dollars, and was boug-ht 
in 1826, is gone. It is no wonder that the members of the 
society were discouraged when they came home from the 
war and saw the ruins of the library which had cost much 
money and the labor of half a centur}^ What remained 
seemed scarcely worth bothering with, and not until May 
15, 1869, was an effort made to revive the society and col- 
lect what remained of the books. A meeting was called 
for that date, and the members who responded to the call 
were, A. P. White, William Harper, James D. Armstrong, 
A. W. Kercheval, Robert White, John C. Heiskell, Samuel 
R. Lupton, David Entler and James Parsons. • Many who 
were members in 1861 did not respond to the roll call of 
the society in 1869. They were at rest in soldiers' graves 


by the rivers of Virg-inia. Those who were elected new 
members between 1859 and 1886 were, Lemuel Campbell, 
J. J. Inskeep, J. D. Parsons, Robert J. Pug-b, John T. 
Vance, T. T. Brad^s James A. Gibson, S. L. Flournoy, R. 
W. Dailey, Dr. R. W. Dailey, Henry B. Gilkeson, John C. 
Covell, E. M. Gilkeson, C. M. Davis, John S. Pancake, H. 
H. Johnson, C. S. White, R. G, Ferg-uson, I. H. C. Pancake, 
Wilbur AYirg-man. 

A new hall was erected in 1869 and in November of that 
year the remnants of the librar}-, and the other property 
were moved to the new quarters. At that time the prop- 
osition of establishing- a school in West Virginia for the 
deaf and blind v>'as under consideration; and the literary 
society took up the work of securing" the institution for 
Romney. On April 12, 1870, the society passed a resolu- 
tion by which it was agreed to deed, free of cost, the 
building-s and g-rounds of the Romney Classical Institute 
to the Deaf, Dumb and Blind Institute, on condition that 
the institute be located in Romney. The reg^ents met in 
Wheeling- April 20, 1870, and A. W. Kercheval and Robert 
White were sent by the Romne}' society to make the 
formal offer of the building-s and g-rounds to the reg-ents. 
The offer was made, and in a short time was accepted by 
the reg-ents. The society appropriated three hundred and 
twenty dollars, July 11, 1870, for the purpose of repairing- 
and putting- in g-ood condition the building-, preparatory to 
turning- it over to the reg-ents. The transfer was made, 
and the valuable property passed into the hands of the 
Deaf, Dumb and Blind Institute. 

After that the literary society met only occasionally. 
There is no record of any meeting- from March, 1872, to 
April 1878. The last meeting- of which there is any record 
was held February 15, 1886. The full results of the labors 
of the Literary Society of Romne)^ cannot be measured. 
The influence for g-ood has been very g-reat. The principal 
visible results may be summed up in the collection of a fine 


library; the substantial support of the Romney academy; 
the founding- and support of the Romney Classical Insti- 
tute; and great influence and assistance in securing for 
Romney the Deaf, Dumb and Blind Institute. It detracts 
none from the credit due to others to say that without the 
aid of the literary society it is barely possible that the 
institute for the deaf, dumb and blind could have been 
secured for Romney. 





Hampshire county, which is pre-eminent in many thing-s, 
is not wanting in writers of note. Elsewhere in this book 
will be found a history of the newspapers and editors who 
have" helped mold and lead public opinion in Hampshire; 
and in this chapter will be g-iven a sketch of the lives, with 
extracts from th&ir writings, of those who have ventured 
farther into the fields of literature. 

John J. Jacob, father of Gov. John J. Jacob, published in 
1825 a book which possesses much historical value. It was 
the life of Michael Cresap, the well-known Indian fighter. 
Cresap lived opposite the mouth of the South branch, on 
the Maryland side of the Potomac, and after his death, 
Mrs. Cresap became the wife of Mr. Jacob. The purpose 
of the book was to correct a widespread error regarding 
the part taken by Captain Cresap in the Dunmore 
war. The charge had been made, and was given 
wide circulation by Thomas Jefferson, and by other 
writers, that Cresap had murdered the family of the cel- 
ebrated Indian Chief Logan, and by that act plunged the 
border into v/ar with the Indians. Mr. Jacob's book un- 
dertakes to prove, and it does prove conclusively, that Cap- 
tain Cresap did not murder Logan's family, and that the 
Dunmore war was not brought on by anything done by 

George Armstroxg Wauchope, formerly of Hampshire 
county, but now professor of English language and litera- 
ture in the university of Iowa, has won a reputation in the 


iield of letters, both as a writer and editor. He was born 
in 1863, and g-raduated from the university of Virg-inia 
1884, and two years later received the deg-ree of master of 
arts, and later that of doctor of philosophy. He taught ' 
Greek and Latin, and studied in Germany. He made a 
specialty of early P^nglish and the kindred lang-uages, and 
won distinction in that field of investigation. He is one of 
the staff reviewers for The Critic of New York, and the 
editor of De Quincey's Revolt of the Tartars, and of the 
Confession. He has written in both prose and poetry. 
The following sonnet on the death of Dr. William Shrader, 
who sacrificed his life while experimenting with the Roent- 
gen rays on consumption germs, will show his style. 

O noble friend! high hopes inspired thy breast, 
Who lately wrapped all pale in Azrael's pall 
Was borne from sad Missouri's classic hall. 
Thou daredst unclasp old Nature's book, to wrest 
From some dim page of her fast-sealed bequest 
To mortals under foul disease's thrall, 
A potent charm, the dread fiend to appall. 
Unselfish, thou refusedst needful rest. 
But with unswerving toil consumed the night 
On duty, testing the mysterious ray, 
An humble martyr to the cause of truth. 
Grasping the white torch of world-girdling lig"ht, 
Thou hast passed forth, for the high gods did say, 
"Le.t him, our well beloved, die in youth!" 

■ Andrew W. Kercheval, born 1824, contributed much to 
the literary culture of Hampshire. He came from a 
family eminent for learning. On one side he was related 
to the Wodrows, an old Scotch family of sterling worth. 
He inherited French blood from his father's ancestors, 
who were Huguenots. They fled to England from France 
to escape persecution. There were two brothers of the 
name, Samuel and Lewis Kercheval, Samuel dying- in Lon- 


don, Lewis making- his wa}' to Virginia, and settling" near 
the Chesapeake bay. There he married and reared a 
family. His sons moving- to the Valley of Virg-ihia, 
William, g-randson of Lewis Kercheval the founder of the 
American family, was one of the earliest merchants of 
Winchester, and his son, Samuel Kercheval, the historian, 
was born in Winchester before the Revolutionary war, 
Samuel was the father of twelve children, the eldest, 
Samuel, being- a lawyer, and the father of the subject of 
this sketch. He came to Romney to write in the clerk's 
office under Andrew Wodrow, and married the clerk's 
daughter, Emily Jean Wodrow. He lived for a time in 
Kentucky, but returned to Virg-inia v/here he died in 1840. 
Sketches of the other branches of the Kercheval family 
cannot be g-iven here, suffice it to say that men of that 
family have been prominent in all the honorable walks of 
life in many states of this union. John lierchevai, a great- 
uncle of Andrew, was an efficient officer in the patriot 
army under Washing-ton. He it was who carried the 
wounded Reverend Charles Myron Thruston, the famoufv 
"fig-bting- parson," off the battle field of Monmouth. Ben- 
jamin B. Kercheval was a prominent citizen of Detroit, 
Michigan, and was at one time the law partner of General 
Cass. Lewis Kercheval, another member of the family,, 
was one of the first mayors of Chicag-o. Captain Thomas- 
Kercheval was an aid of General Harrison at the battle of 
Tippecanoe. Another Kercheval of the same family was 
an early mayor of Nashville, Tennessee. 

Andrew W. Kercheval, nearly all his life, was a member 
of the Romney Literary society and contributed to the 
success which that society attained. He was a writer for 
newspapers and mag-azines, and undertook several preten- 
tious literary works, but never finished any of them. He 
published a pamphlet of criticisms and. notes on a poem,. 
"Idothea," written by Professor Joseph Saliards, of Vir- 
g-inia. But Professor H. H. Johnson, of Romney, is 


entitled to a share of the credit for that pamphlet, as he 
and Kercheval wrote it tog-ether. KerchevJ undertook 
the compilation of an exhaustive history of the war of 1812, 
but never finished it. He also revised his g-randfather's 
History of the Valley, but left the work in manuscript. 
He collected material for a History of the Upper Potomac, 
but that, too, v/as left unfinished. He commenced the 
study of many lang-uag^es, and acquired considerable pro- 
ficiency in several of them. He read French, German, 
Spanishj Italian, Latin, Greek and Hebrew. At the beg^in- 
ning- of the civil war he left Romney and went south, not 
as a soldier, but as a speculator. He had a contract to 
supply the confederate army at Richmond with soap, and 
realized a larg-e sum; but the confederate money ultimately 
became worthless and he lost it all. 

Mr. Kercheval occasionally contributed verses to the 
newspapers. It is all in a dig-nified, serious, reflective 
strain, no touch of humor, with no satire in it. The fol- 
lowing- extracts from longfer poems will show the character 
of his verse: 


Gone out the flame of those soul-li^-hted eyes. 
That flashed with g-lory, beamed with tenderness, 
Or rose in joy, and darkliest sank in g-loom. 
Twin stars of hope and love, of faith and fame! 
And hushed that voice discoursing- music rare. 
That wooed young- love, and thrilled the hearts of men, 
An anthem rolled through vast cathedral aisles, 
Or clarion's blast or harp-string-'s dying- swell: 
And that heroic, faithful, generous heart, 
Shedding- o'er life divinity and power. 
Crowning- with g-lory the fair brow of love. 
To home, to altars, to bright honor true, 
Transformed to marble, by the touch of deathl 

Alas my soul 
Is filled with sadness, even nature's face 


Hath lost its old, accustomed lovliness, 

While raemor}'- sorrows for the cherished dead. 

Dead? Yet thy life unperishing- remains, 

Hig-h, priceless thoug-hts, and wing-ed words that bear 

Parturient power, and bright example given 

To teach us, while we waste or weary here, 

Truth, honor, g-enius triumph o'er the grave! 


Prometheus-like, the fire celestial caug-ht, 
Explore far fields of action and of thought, 
And then, O heart! subdued by toil and pain, 
Confess the rock, the vulture, and the chain! 
Ah, but to feel, in some awakened hour. 
The conscious pride of virtue and of power, 
Victorious eagfles throug^h the world to bear. 
To vanquish death and triumph o'er despair. 
To win from fate some envied, hig-h renown. 
Or conquest's laurel, else the martyr's crown, 
With curious weapon that thyself hadst wrought 
In other vears — old armories of thoug-ht. 
Yet this may be ambition's vainest dream, 
Like starlig-ht mirrored in a treacherous stream. 
O God of Heaven, gfive me power to feel 
Truth in all brig-htness o'er m_v spirit steal; 
Subdue in me this earth born, lowly pride — - 
Hark! the g^ood ang-el whispers at my side: 

"And canst thou o'er life's errors v/eep, 

Faith's utmost holy vigils keep? 

The oil of g-ladness sweetly shed 

Upon thy fallen brother's head? 

Affections' soft and shadowy wing- 

O'er hearts that hate thee, g-ently fling-? 

Canst thou, with equal mind, and g-reat, 

Brave the Thermopylae of fate?" 

Above all fortune, even above the fame 


That servile waits upon a great man's name; 
Brig-hter than all of worldly, vain success; 
Purer than all its vaunted happiness — 
To feel thou hast some path of duty trod, 
True to thyself, to country, and lo God; 
Or won how well in g-lory's phantom field, 
"Non Omnis Moriar," v/ritten on thy shield! 
Do thou thy duty, duty's path is plain. 
And th)^ life's mission shall not be in vain. 
After the war Kercheval returned to Romney and spent 
the remainder of his life, dying- in 1896. He and his sister, 
Miss Mary S. Kercheval, lived tog-ether, and she survived 

James W. Horn, a resident of Capon Bridg-e, and a stu- 
dent in the West Virg-inia university, has occasionally con- 
tributed verses to the columns of the papers. One of his 
best, "Capon River," is here g-iven: 


Capon river, sparkling- water, 
Running-, never asking- rest; 
Old Potomac's southern daug-hter 
Rushing- to vour mother's breast. 

Bathing- banks of bramble bushes, 
Shoving- sand and shells ashore. 
Outward each broad breaker pushes, 
Reaching- for a wider floor. 

Moistening- massy beds of mosses, 
Sprinkling shining- silver spray, 
Catching- leaves the light wind tosses, 
Smiling in the glare of day. 

Drinking- water from the mountains. 
Drinking- autumn's chilling- rain. 
Quaffing- down the brooks and fountains, 
Breaking- winter's icy chain. 

Stealing- summer's sunny showers, 


Draining- drops that try to stay 
On the brig-ht and blooming- bowers 
That above your sarface play. 

Here with g-entle calmness flowing-, 
Making motion merely seen; 
Here with g-reater swiftness gfoing^ 
Steep and stony banks between. 

Sometimes measured murmurs making". 
Sometimes music soft and lo^v; 
Sometimes into torrents breaking-, 
Louder music, swifter flow. 

Peaceful, cheerful, ever singing-, 
Not despised although small; 
No city walls your echo ring-ing-. 
Sounding- no Niag-ara Fall. 

Treasured not in song- nor story. 
Knowing- naug^ht of history's pag-e. 
Covered not with fame nor glor}'^, 
Acting- in the current ag-e. 

Yet to me, O, Capon river. 
There's no other river flows. 
That, of half the jo3^s is g-iver, 
Which your daily soug^ bestows. 

Sing- more sweetly, sing- more loudly, 
Throug-h the years that are to be; 
Flow more g-raudly, flow more proudly, 
With the seasons, fast and free. 

H. L. Swisher was born in Hampshire county in 1870; 
passed his early years on the farm of his father, on the 
Levels. At eig-hteen years of ag-e he became a school 
teacher in his native county. Later he attended the state 
normal school at Fairmont, and g-raduated. After visiting- 
the northwestern states, and making- a journey through 
Manitoba, Assiniboia, Alberta and British Columbia, he 


spent two years in California, part of the time teaching" 
school. After that he returned to West Virginia and en- 
tered the university'' at Morg-antown, graduating in three 
years. While in that institution he edited the colleg^e 
paper, the Athenaeum. In the meantime he published a 
small book of poetry, containing*. about six hundred lines, 
and dedicated it to his class-mates in the normal school. 
He contributed numerous articles to the newspapers while 
in the west, usuall}'' in prose, but occasionally in verse. 
He was one of the authors of the present'volume, the His- 
tory of Hampshire County. Extracts from his published 
verses follow: 


No more the angels come to earth, 

I've heard them say. 
This was, in truth, my thought 

Until today; 
But now I know they come, 

A bright boon; 
For I have seen thy face, 

Lottie Doon. 

Not of earth were you born, 

This I know; 
You winged your way from heaven 

To us below. 
Your smile would chang-e the midnight 

Into noon. 
It has banished all my sorrow, 

Lottie Doon. 

There is beauty in 3^our face, 

This is triie; 
But 'tis not half the beauty 

Seen in you. 
Your cheeks are like the roses 

Blown in June, 


Yet more beautiful your soul, 
Lottie Doon. 

For your soul shines in your face, 

Gladdening- all, 
And to worship at your feet 

I would fall. 
Your pathway all throug-h life 

vShall be strewn 
With sweet flowers of adoration, 

Lottie Doon. 

All homag-e you may ask 

Shall be g^iven, 
Ere from us you shall go 

Back to heaven. 
Earth's harps shall for 3'ou play 

A g-lad tune, 
If with us you will stay, 

Lottie Doon. 


There is many a spot on the old home place 
That I'm \vishing- and long-ing- to see. 

But the dearest of all is the meadow lot 
And the spring- 'neath the old g-um tree. 

At the harvest noon when the wheat in the field 

Waved a billowy, g-olden sea, 
Round the clover heads the bumble bees croon 

By the spring- 'neath the old ^um tree. 

Oh, the shade was sweet, and the g-rass was g-reen 

While, merry harvesters, we 
Spent a happy hour when we used to meet 

By the spring- 'neath the old g-um tree. 

The spring- bubbled up vv'ith a laug-h on its lips, 

And danced away to the sea. 
While again and ag-ain we filled the cup 


From the spring" 'neath the old g^um tree. 

But those days are fled in the din of life 

And never more shall I be 
With the harvesters of then (who now are dead) 

By the spring- 'neath the old gum tree. 

So, there's many a spot on the old home place 
That I'm wishing and longing to see, 

But the dearest of all is the meadow lot, 
And the spring- 'neath the old gum tree. 


We are poor, dear heart, but we will feign 
That we a castle have in Spain. 
When clouds are dark and storms are high. 
Together v/e will thither fly. 

Around it spreads the living- green, 
Above it bends the smiling- sky; 
'Twas meant, my love, that you and I 
Should reign within as king- and oueen. 

We are sad, dear heart; but we will feign 
That we a castle have in Spain, 
Where tears flow not and hearts are light, 
Where lips are red and eyes are brig-ht. 


We are faint, dear heart, but we will feig-n 
That we a castle have in Spain, 
Where love doth wield her magic spell 
And faith and hope together dwell. 

The windows dance a diamond sheen. 
The slim spires sparkle tov/ard the sky; 
I am sure, my love, that 3^ou and I 
Ere long- shall reign there king- and queen. 

The following- verses are samples of a translation front 
the French of Be ranger, "Shooting Stars:" 

Shepherd, say you that in the skies 


Gleams the star that g^uides our sail? 
'Tis so, my child; hut from our eyes 
Nig'ht hides that star withia her veil. 

Shepherd, 'tis thought, v/ith mystic art, 

You read the secret of the skies: 
What is that star which downward darts, 

AVhich darts, darts and darting- dies? 

My child, an erring mortal dies, 

And instant downward shoots his star; 

He drank and sang- amid the cries 

Of friends whose joys no hatred mars. 

Happy he sleeps, nor moves, nor starts; 

After the wine he quiet lies — 
Another star is seen which darts. 

Which darts, darts and darting dies. 

Marshall S. Cornwell was born in Hampshire county, 
October 18, 1871. His boyhood was spent on bis father's 
farm, about twelve miles from Rom^ney, where he had the 
benefit of the country schools. He ventured upon busi- 
ness for himself as editor of the Gazette, at Petersburgf, 
Grant county. West Virginia. He made a success of this, 
and by his vigorous editorials attracted attention beyond 
the borders of his county. He was invited b}^ United States 
Senator Stephen B. Elkins to take charge of the Inter- 
mountain, a newspaper published at Elkins, in Randolph 
county, West Virginia. He accepted the position and 
built up an excellent paper. He filled a position as clerk 
during- a session of the state legislature at Charleston. 
His health failed, and in 1896 he was obliged to give up his 
newspaper work. He spent the winter in Florida, where 
he was not idle, but occupied bis time studying the charac- 
ter of the country and people. The result was, he wrote 
with a keen appreciation of what he saw. 

The letter which will be found below was written by 



/ ^"^^ ^*^.k 


James Whitcomb Riley, tlie poet, and the poem to which it 
refers is also g"iven: 

"Indianapolis, Ind., March 12, 1897. 
"M. S. CoRNWELL, Esq. Dear Sir: — By the poems you 
send me, especially the one 'Success,' yourg-ift seems gen- 
uine and far above that indicated in verse, meeting- g-eneral 
approval. Your own philosophy in last r.tanzas of 'Suc- 
cess' contains the entire creed of fame or failure for the 
striver, in anj,^ line of art, in this world's order and condi- 
tions. You can succeed, but must be of stoutest heart and 
hope and patience — just as every master before our time. 
Therefore let us read their lines as well as work's, and in 
between the lines down fathoms deep. Remain firmly 
superior to all trials; keep sound of soul and always hale of 
faith in all good thing's. AVork and enduringly rejoice in 
your work and utter it ever like a jubilant prayer. 
"Fraternally yours, 

"James A'vmTCOMB Riley." 


Two ships sail over the harbor bar 

With the flush of tlie morning- breeze, 
And both are bound for a haven far 

O'er the shimmering- summer seas. 
With sails all set, fair wind and tide, 

They steer for the open main; 
But little the}^ reck of the billows wide 

Ere they anchor safe ag-ain. 

There is one perchance, ere the summer is done, 

That reaches the port afar; 
She hears the sound of the v/elcoming- g-un 

As she crosses the harbor bar. 

The haven she reaches, success, 'tis said, 

Is the end of a perilous trip. 
Perhaps the bravest and best are dead 

V/ho sailed in the fortunate ship. 


The other, bereft of shroud and sail, 
At the mercy of wind and tide, 

Is swept by the mig-ht of the pitiless gfale 
'Neath the billows dark and wide. 

But 'tis only the one in the harbor there 

That receiveth the meed of praise; 
The other sailed when the morn was fair, 

And was lost in the stormy ways. 
And so to men who have won renown 

In the weary battle of life, 
There cometh at last the victor's crown, 

Not to him v/ho fell in the strife. 
For the world recks not of those Avho fail, 

Nor cares what their trials are, 
Only praises the ship that with swelling- sail 

Comes in o'er the harbor bar. 


Some day throug-h the mists of the earthly nig-ht 
We shall catch the gleam of the harbor lig-ht 
That shines for a3^e on the far off shore 
Where dwell the loved who have g-one before; 
We shall anchor safe from our stormy way 
In that haven of rest, some day, some day. 
Some day our sorrows will all be o'er 
And we'll rest from trouble forever more: 
When over the river's rolltng- tide 
We shall "strike g"lad hands" on the other side. 
In the city celestial, at last we may 
Rest in peace, some day, some day. 
Some day will close these weary eyes 
That shall look no more on the earthly skies, 
And over the heart that has ceased to beat 
Kind hands will place fresh flowers sweet; 
But my soul shall hear the celestial laj'-. 
Sweet pagans of praise, some da3\ 



Give me oh Lord, of Life, I pray 
A little love lest I should stray. 
'Tis this I ask and this alway 
Unto the end of life's brief day. 

I crave no storm of passion's flood 
That madly stirs the human blood. 
Only the love of friend for friend — 
And it be faithful to the end. 

For human hearts have human needs; 
And naug-ht of piety or creeds, 
Of peace can g-ive to souls forlorn 
That stem alone life's battle-storm. 

I ask not wisdom — the divine; 
For death shall make this soul of mine 
To heig"hts and depths of know^ledg-e vast 
When outworn dreams of earth are past. 

A little love alone I crave 
To lig-ht my pathway to the g^rave — 
The hand of friendship tried and strong- 
To steer my shattered barque along-, 

Until at last the sail is furled 
In the wide bay where tempest hurled 
Storm-rive-n wrecks from time's roug-h sea 
Ride safe throug-h all eternity! 

Dr. Robert Newman, author of a book on the Treat- 
ment of Dropsy, was a noted man in his day. He wrote 
many books, but published only the one above mentioned. 
He was philosophical in his tastes; and, while he practiced 
medicine and achieved distinction in that field, he found 
time to prosecute investig-ation along- other lines. He was 
born in Culpeper county, Virg-inia, in 1770. His youth 
passed with nothing- to disting-uish him from others of his. 
ag;e and circumstances. He was the young-est ot six 


brothers, .and of a delicate constitution. In 1791 all six 
brothers joined the army under General Arthur St. Clair, 
and took part in the battle of November 4, of that year, 
ag-ainst the Indians north of Cincinnati. St. Clair's defeat 
is one of the saddest pag-es in American history. Of the 
nine hundred soldiers who went into action, more than six 
hundred were left dead on the field of battle. They had 
met the allied army of all the Indian tribes of Ohio and 
Indiana: With this overwhelming- force, they, 

■*'Foug-ht eye to eye and hand to hand; 

Alas, 'twas but to die! 
In vain the rifle's deadly flash 
Scorched eagie plume and wampum sash, 

The hatchet hissed on hig-h; 
And down they fell in crimson heaps, 
Like the ripe g-rain the sickle reaps." 

The exhausted and panic stricken f ug-itives made their 
escape to Fort Jefferson, near Cincinnati. Among- those 
f ug-itives was the subject of this sketch, Robert Newman. 
Of the six brothers who went into the fig-ht, he alone 
escaped with his life. It mig-ht be supposed that he would , 
have been satisfied with his experience and would have 
been content to return to the quietude of his Virg-inia 
home, and remain with his books, of which he was very 
fond. But, although he loved books much, he loved adven- 
ture more; and we next find him seeking- his fortune on 
the banks of the Mississippi, the first years of the nine- 
teenth centurv. About that time Burr and Blannerhassett 
were eng-ag-ed in a mysterious undertaking", never fully 
understood, but believed to have for its object the setting- 
up of a g-overnment on territory of Texas, v/hich then 
belong-ed to Spain. At an}^ rate, Burr and Blannerhassett 
were arrested, together with others, and were tried in 
Richmond. Robert Nev/man was, by many, believed to 
liave knowledge of the designs of Burr and his associates. 


He was summoned to Richmond as a witness, but, if he 
had any knowledg-e on the subject, he did not divulg-e it. 
He often spoke of the matter, but was careful in his state- 
ments, except that he frequently said that he considered 
the undertaking- a speculation rather than a plot ag^ainst 
the g-overnment of the United States or any other g-overn- 

Returning- from the south he married Mrs. Elizabeth 
Hancock, formerly Miss Neale, and made his home on the 
Potomac at Old Town, where he commenced the practice 
of medicine. He removed to Romuey in 1820, when he 
was fifty years old, and resided there ever afterwards, en- 
joying- much local celebrit}^, especially in the treatment of 
dropsy and consumption. 

His views on relig-ion have been spoken of in another 
chapter of this book, and his history as a physician in still 
another. It is proper here, in connection with his literary 
labors, to speak of his scientific studies. He was a man 
who merited notice in several fields of labor, in medicine^ 
in science, in literature and relig-ion. In astronomy he 
found pleasure, formulating- theories which could not then, 
and cannot now, be substantiated by facts. Nor did he 
claim to substantiate them, and he knew of his failure, but 
he still hoped that the future would show that he was 
rig-ht. He wrote extended treatises on the subject, which 
he left in manuscript at his death. The outline of his 
theory of the movements of the heavenly bodies, as con- 
tained in his manuscript works, is as follows: Isaac New- 
ton was wrong- in claiming- that planets, and all heavenly 
bodies, are held in their orbits by the balancing- of the cen- 
trifug-al and centipetal forces, but these bodies are held 
apart by the elasticity of their respective atmospheres, 
which are in contact. He claimed that worlds are not so 
far apart, nor so far from ours, as mathematicians had 
calculated them to be; not that mathematics was unrelia- 
ble as a science, but that correct data had not been obtained 


on which to base the calculations. He replaced gravita- 
tion by mag-netisra, but in attempting- to show how all 
known celestial phenomena could, be thus accounted for, 
he encountered problems which he could solve only by 
calling- in "electricity" as an assistant to raag-netism. Had 
he been so fortunate as to have attained a thoroug-h educa- 
tion he would not have attributed to electricity everything- 
which could not be explained. 

Richard Newman was one of the founders, and most 
earnest supporters, of the Romney Literary society. He 
died January 28, 1843, in his seventy-seventh year. 

William Henry Foote is in the foremost rank among- 
the literary men of Hampshire county, where he spent a 
long- life of activity working- in the cause of education, the 
church, and literature. The publication by which he is 
best known was "Sketches of Virg-inia," printed in Phila- 
delphia in 1850, with a second and enlarg-ed edition later. 
It is the best history of the Presbyterian church in Vir- 
ginia that had been written at that time; yet, it is not 
strictly a church history, but deals with persons, places 
and events. 

John O. Casler, author of a book widely read in Hamp- 
shire county, Four Years in the Stonewall Brig-ade, has 
contributed to the cause of literature and history; to the 
latter by preserving- from oblivion facts which were fast 
passing- beyond recall; to the former by writing- in a plain 
and entertaining- style. He was born in Frederick county, 
Virg-inia, nine miles from Winchester, in 1838. His 
mother's maiden name was Hieronimous, an old family 
dating- back to the Revolutionary war. In 1841 his father 
moved his family to Spring-field, in Hampshire county, and 
there the subject of this sketch g-revv- to manhood. Early 
in 1859 he came to the conclusion, so common with the 
energ-etic young- men of West Virg-inia, that the west 
offered better opportunities than could be found in his na- 
tive state, and he took his departure, and landed in Cass 


county, Missouri. He lived two years in that state, and 
no doubt would have remained had not the sig^ns of the 
times portended war. He could have found all the fig-ht- 
ing- he wanted in Missouri, as subsequent events proved, 
but he preferred to cast his fortunes with Virgima, which 
he reg-arded as his home. He, therefore, returned to 
Winchester in the spring- of 1861, and after visiting- rela- 
tives in Frederick county, he passed into Hampshire, and 
at Blue's Gap, on the I'oad between Romney and Winches- 
ter, he joined the company of Captain P. T. Grace, which 
had been organized at Springfield, and with nearly all the 
men he was personally acquainted. His book g-ives his 
experience in the war; and it has been consulted with ad- 
vantag-e by the authors of the present history of Hamp- 
shire. It was published at Guthrie, Oklahoma, in 1893. 

Howard Hill Johnson comes of a sturdy race of ances- 
tors remarkable for sterling- qualities of mind and heart, 
and in some instances for broad culture and extensive 
learning-. His father. Colonel Jacob F. Johnson, was for 
fifty years a prominent citizen of Pendleton county, and 
represented his county in the legislature of 1872-3. He 
held many other offices of trust and responsibility. His 
g-randfather, James Johnson, represented the same county 
in the legislature of Virginia several times, and was a 
member of the constitutional convention of 1829. His 
_g-reat-g-randfather, Joseph Johnson, was born in Pennsyl- 
vania of English parents, in the early part of the eig-hteenth 
century, and migrated to the Shenandoah valley du ring- 
that remarkable movement which settled that part of Vir- 
g-inia with the ancestors of the present enlightened popu- 
lation. He married there, and finally settled in Pendleton 
county about the time of the Revolutionary war, or shortly 
before, where he raised a family of several children late in 
life. He was past ag-e for service, and his children were 
not old enough to engage actively in the strug-gle for 


The subject of this sketch was born at the old family 
home on Friend's run, near Franklin, in Pendleton county, 
Virg-inia-, now West Virg-inia, February 19, 1846, and was 
soon found to be, like his elder brother James, almost 
totally blind. His parents were persons of superior 
judg-ment and information, and wisely arrang^ed for 
the most favorable conditions to give their unfortunate 
offspring- equal opportunities and chances with their more 
fortunate brothers and sisters. The older brother was 
entered at the institution for the deaf and the blind at 
Staunton in 1848, and finished the usual course there in 
1855. He became his young-er bro'ther's instructor at 
once, and prepared him for school with great care and 
ability. Two years later Howard was enlered at the same 
school, and made rapid progress till he was oblig^ed to leave 
off his training by the opening- of the war 1861. By this time 
James had established himself as a teacher in his native 
county, and the younger brother's education was little in- 
terrupted, as he went immediately into his brother's, 
school, v/here he was taught just as other children were 
taug-ht, with the single exception, that his lessons were 
read to him by his schoolmates instead of by himself. To 
this circumstance, more than to any other, he attributes 
much of th 3 success he may be thoug-ht to have achieved as 
a teacher of the blind. 

After two years he v/as considered to have covered 
enough ground to warrant his being placed in a classical 
school near New Market, Virg-inia, under the care of Jos- 
eph Saliards, a most remarkable scholar in many respects. 

During- the two years he spent in this school under his 
learned preceptor lie made considerable progress in math-^ 
ematics, literature, science, and the languag-es, and when, 
the war closed he and his brother opened a school of high 
g-rade at Franklin, in whicli many of the young- men of the 
neighborhood who had been deprived by the war of their 


school advantaofes, found ample opportunity of preparing- 
themselves for the duties of life and business. 

In 1866 the institution at Staunton offered the young- 
student-teacher advantages in the prosecution of his 
studies, which he availed himself of for one more term, 
greatly to his advancement. In September, 1867, he began 
a school at Franklin under the provisions of the free school 
system which had just gone into effect in Pendleton 
county. The next year he was called to Moorefield, where 
he taught the public school for three successive terms, v/ith 
great acceptance. 

During his years of early teaching- he had noticed with 
regret and concern, that there was no provision in the gen- 
eral system for the education of the blind in his native 
state, and he soon set for himself the task of supplying 
this defect, and of removing from the fair fame of his be- 
loved state this apparent reproach. Accordingly, in 1870, 
he realized his most sang-uine expectations in seeing the 
establishment of a school for the education of the deaf and 
the blind at Romney, in vrhich he was made the principal 
teacher in the blind department, and where he is at this 
writing, entering on his twenty-eighth term of service. 

In 1877 LIr. Johnson received from the Virginia Pol}^- 
technic institute at New Market, the successor to his old 
friend's school, the degree of A. M. through the kind par- 
tiality of Professor Saliards, an honor not unworthily be- 
stowed, and most gratefully appreciated. 

He had married in 1368 a Miss Barbbe of Virginia, to 
whom were born three children, Leila B., William T. and 
H. Guy Johnson. He lost his wife in 1880, and the care of 
his little family was kindly assumed by the grandparents, 
at Bridgewater, Virginia. In 1882 Mr. Johnson married 
again, his second wife being Miss Elizabeth Neale, daug-h- 
ter of Dr. Hamlet V. Neale of Keyser, West Virginia. 
George N. and Lucy N. are the only children of this 


The lessons of this sketch are valuable in their bearing- 
on the education and training" of blind children. The wis- 
dom and thoroughness of Mr. Johnson's home training- are 
credited by him with whatever he has been able to accom- 
plish, either for himself or his fellows under the like cloud 
of blindness, to the amelioration of whose condition he has 
devoted himself with singleness of heart. 

Mr. Johnson has written in both prose and verse. His 
prose writings treat chiefly of educational topics, particu- 
larly in relation to the blind. A few selections from his 
poems are given: 


Man, thy virtues shine not faintly; 

But magnificently they blaze. 
Say, thy neighbors deem thee saintly: 

Art thou worthy of their praise? 


Ah, veiled and clouded in eternal night. 

The opening blossom, and the verdant plain, 

And landscapes, smiling in the mellow light, 
On me expend their holy charms in vain. 


The fragrance that bursts from the bosom of nature 
And spreads to the star-spangled heavens above — 

O, that rich exhalation, ethereal teacher — 

Bids us act by the instinct God g-ives us to love. 


The black austerity of snow clad hills, 

Of icy forests and of frozen rills. 

Of winter howling through the leafless trees 

With notes all mournful as he rules the breeze. 

Has rolled its glittering armanent afar 

With polar strands and artic seas to war. 

Adieu, dread tyrant of the year, adieu 


Till ice-wroug-lit shackles bind the world anew. 

All hail, thou balmiest season of the year, 
The summer's cradle and the winter's bier! 
Thee I salute, thou soft, etherial spring- 
That all the charms of sunny south dost bring-, 
Of fields conceiving- in the warm embrace 
Of g-enial sunshine every living- g-race 
That decks the carpet of the verdant sod 
And wafts its g-ratef ul incense to its God. 

Since last thy banners were unfurled around; 
Since last thy presence spread the naked g-round 
With softest carpeting- of heaven-dyed hue, 
Sig-ht-soothing- g-reen 'neath heaven's expanse of blue, 
The summer's heat inatured the vi^elcome g-rain 
That waved all g-olden on the fertile plain. 
His withering- scepter then the autumn swayed, 
And field and forest each his lord obeyed. 

Then rose the winter in the endless train. 
And spred his snows upon the prostrate plain; 
And one interminable shroud of white 
Concealed decaying nature from the sig-ht. 

T^hrice curved the vestal sovereig-n of the night 

Majestic o'er the glittering- fields of white, 

Ere winter ceased impetuous wrath to vent; 

Ere all the fury of his storms was spent, 

Then slow retiring- to the arctic main 

He leaves thee. Goddess, to resume thy reig-n. • 

At first, kind subject of the muse's song-. 

Thy march was doubtful and thy halts were long-. 

For winter, g-littcring- in his cave of snow. 

Was loth to battle with so fair a foe; 

Yet, proud and arrogant as foemen are, 

He left ZEolus to support the war. 

In vain, he labored to subdue thy mig-ht. 


Exhaust thy patience in the airy flight; 
In vain, his hostile leg-ions of the air 
Around him rallied in their last despair. 
Repulsed, and flying in impetuous haste, 
They left thee sovereign of a desert waste. 

The wandering breezes, ever circling round. 

At last submitting, though at first they frowned. 

And disengaging their ethereal mold 

From wintry vestiges of piercing cold, 

Now stand, expectant of thy kind command 

To waft thy fragrance o'er the smiling land. 

At thy sweet bidding, too, thou vernal Care, 

The joyous, swift-winged messengers of air 

Will bear to regions yet confined in ice 

The greateful tidings of the kind device 

That shines effulgent on thy flower- v/rought shield 

And wakes new vig'or in the torpid field. 

They'll tell the oppressor of the aching ground, 

With songs outgushing from the heart's profound. 

To heal the wounds of heartless tyranny. 

And, swift dispersing, leave the landscape free; 

For once again the bright, celestial fire 

Relights the pole, and frantic flames with ire.. 

When last his chariot coursed its vernal path,, 
The like inditfnities awoke his v/rath 
That wake it now; for fields he left in bloom. 
Now lie inhumed beneath an icy tomb. 
The sunbeams, dancing on the snowy plain^ 
Will raise thick vapors to recruit the rain; 
Snows disappear as comes the vernal queen;, 
Their white monotoi}^ is lost in green; 
They fall, as tyranny m.ust ever fall. 
When weak subjection shall for mercy call. 

The high, celestial arbiter of light, 

Whose flaming- disc consumes the shades of night. 


Controls thy seasons with omniiic sway; 
Spring-, summer, autumn, even snows, obey; 
And, thoug-h they war, their conflict is in vain, 
As each, unrivaled, in his turn must reig-n. 

The world, long- trembling 'neatb the wintry king", 
Would never smile but for thy soothing wing. 
Kind brooding- bird, the spacious womb of earth 
At thy command teems m3a-iads at a birth. 
Thy g-enial presence, quickening- every grain 
That, smiling-, bursts beneath thy joyous plain, 
And shooting- upward to salute its queen, 
The world is carpeted in living- green. 
The hills, the vales, the landscapes far and wide. 
The rolling- prairies, and the mountain side. 
Proclaim thy praises, O thou g-oddess fair; 
Their incense rises in the balmy air. 

Each shrub, thy altar, and thy priest, each rose 
That all the rang-e of fragrant nature shows; 
Each g-rove, thy temple; and tliy court, each plain. 
No earthly sovereign has so wide a reig-n. 
Dew-dissolved odors on the wing-s of morn 
High toward the vaulted skies are softly borne 
From opening- petals of symbolic love, 
From out the arbor, and from out the g-rove; 
From every turf that feeds the vital stock, 
From every cranny in the barren rock. 
To thee, O spring, this offering- sweet is g-iven; 
To thee whose presence makes the world a heaven. 

Winged warblers, twittering- o'er the world of flowers, 

Enchant with melody the fleeting' hours; 

From nature's orchestra what notes arise 

In sweet vibrations through the liquid skies! 

Such is the universal feast of spring-, 

Yet, all her sweetness she herself doth bring-. 

What, though contending- elements should war, 


And storms, fierce g-rowling-, should be heard afarl 

What, thoug-h the clouds should quench the blazing- sun. 

And spread thick darkness 'neath his hig-hest nooni 

What, though the demons of the air attend 

And all their terrors to these terrors lend, 

Whilst lightnings, blazing in the murky cloud. 

Presage in wrath the bellowing thunders loud; 

When thunders bursting, from the forger hurled, 

In peals terrific shake a startled world; 

Still thou art welcome to the earth most dear, 

Thou brightest, loveliest season of the year. 





There is no surer evidence of advancement in civilization 
in a state or community than that it has a care for those of 
its members who are unfortunate. When we remember 
how those physically or mentally unsound were treated in 
centuries past, and even today in those social societies 
where little advancement has been made, we can cong-rat- 
ulate ourselves that we live in a more enlig-htened time and 

Doubtless more than one person felt pity for those un- 
fortunate persons to whom the whole world of lig-ht and 
shade, the smiling- landscape and sparkling- stream is worse 
than unknown, before any active steps were taken to bet- 
ter their condition. In this state it v/as left for one w^ho 
knew the hardship of sig-htless eyes to do something- for 
his fellow-beings who were afflicted in like manner. The 
history of the founding- of this benevolent institution is so 
closely connected with the history of one man, who first 
g-ave it shape and has since devoted more than a quarter of 
a centurv of his life to its success, that it will be necessarv 
before g-oing- further to g-ive some account of his life. 

Professor H. H. Johnson, founder of the West Virg-inia 
schools for the deaf and blind, was born near Franklin, 
in Pendleton county, then in Virg-inia, February 19, 184G. 
From infancy he was afflicted with very imperfect vision, 
and in a few years became totally blind. Having- heard of 
the Staunton school for the blind, he went there at the ag-e 
of eleven and remained four years. His prog-ress in his 


studies was remarkably rapid and his ability was a subject 
of remark among- his teachers and acquaintances. Leav- 
ing- Staunton, he went to his home at Franklin, where his 
brother, James Johnson, some 3^ears older than himself, 
was conducting- a school. His brother was also blind. 
After this he attended school at New Market, Virg-inia, for 
two years. His teacher while here was Professor Joseph 
Saliards, a ripe scholar, an able teacher and an author of 
considerable note. Professor Johnson was accompanied 
to New Market by a young- man named Clark, v/ho read 
his lessons for him and in turn was assisted by young- 
Johnson in his studies, especially in French, with which 
his blind friend had early made a familiar acquaintance. 
Leaving- New Market Mr. Johnson ag-ain returned to 
Franklin, where, during- the winter of 1865-66, he taug-ht 
a private school in connection with his brother. Not yet 
satisfied with his accomplishments in fields of study, in 
the fall of 1866 he re-entered Staunton school for the blind 
and remained there one year, taking- advanced studies. 

The next year we find him teaching- at Moorefield, and 
also the year following- he is at his post in the school room 
at the same place. It was early in the year 1869 that Pro- 
fessor Johnson became imbued with the idea of establish- 
ing- a school for the blind and so persevering-ly did he labor 
that his idea now has a material representation in the 
West Virg-inia schools for the deaf and blind. Governor 
William E. Stevenson had been recently maug-urated and 
Professor Johnson opened a correspondence v/ith him in 
reg-ard to his hope and ambition to found a school for the 
blind. The governor assured him of his s3'-mpath3^ and 
support. Mr. Johnson then took it upon himself to make 
a canvas of the state, stirring- up public thoug-ht and dis- 
cussion concerning- his enterprise. Unquestionably much 
good was done and it is doubtful if the bill could h?,ve been 
g-otten through the legislature the next spring had it not 
been for the sympathy and good will aroused by this can- 



vass. The legislature convened in Wheeling- on January 
18, 1870, and it was decided to make an effort to have the 
school established that year. With the bill already v/ritten 
Professor Johnson set out for Wheeling-. He was at this 
lime only twenty-four years old yet he had undertaken a 
work from v/hich many an older person would have shrunk 
and which was encompassed by so many difficulties and 
discouraging circumstances that even a stout heart mig-ht 
well despair of success. 

On his v/ay to Wheeling Mr. Johnson fell in with Ex- 
Governor Francis H. Pierpont at Fairmont and soon 
endeavored to get him interested in the proposed institu- 
tion. When asked to present the bill to the legislature he 
replied that he could not afford to connect his name with 
an enterprise so sure to fail. Hon. Joseph S. Wheat, the 
member of house of delegates from Morgan county, when 
approached in regard to the matter, declared the bill would 
fail because it ought to fail, the state, as he claimed, not 
then being able to establish any more public institutions. 
Not discouraged by these rebuffs, Mr, Johnson persevered 
and through the kindness of some friends wasg-ranted the 
use of the hall of the house of delegates in which to g-ive an 
exhibition in connection with his brother, James Johnson, 
and Miss Susan Ridenour, also blind. This exhibition 
consisted of music, recitation and class drill. The hall 
was full of people who had gathered to witness the per- 
formance. After the exhibition was over Professor John- 
son arose and for an hour he reasoned and pleaded with 
the law-makers of the state for the establishment of a 
school for those who were denied the sense of sight. This 
speech had a Vi^onderful effect, and, when he had closed, 
people crowded around to cong-ratulate him upon his won- 
derful effort. Mr. Wheat v/ho the day before had been 
opposed to the bill and had declared the measure oug-ht to 
fail, pressed up to him and grasping- his hand, said earn- 
estly, "Johnson, I'll vote for your bill if it costs a hun- 


dred thousand dollars." After this there was no lack of 
persons who were willing- to put the bill before the house. 
It was finally done by Hon. John J. Davis, Harrison county's 

It must be remembered that all this time the labor was 
in behalf of a school for the blind. When the bill was put 
before the leg-islature no mention was made in it of a school 
for the deaf. After the bill had passed through all the 
stages necessary to becoming- a law and j vist when it was 
at the last possible point where it could be amended, 
Hon. Monroe Jackson, of Wood county, offered as an 
amendment that the words, "deaf and dumb and" be in- 
serted before the word blind in every instance in which it 
occurred in the bill. The amendment was accepted and 
the bill became a law March 3, 1870, establishing- what was 
first called the West A^irginia Institution for the deaf, 
dumb and blind. The dual character of the school is now 
more definitely shown by the name which has been 
changed to the West Virginia Schools for the deaf and the 

Some of the provisions of this bill were, first: "That im- 
mediately after the passage of this act the governor 
shall appoint one person from each senatorial distrifct of 
the state, to constitute, collectively, a body corporate, Vv-ith 
powers to rent, purchase and convey real estate, and with 
all the powers necessary for the establisment of a tempor- 
ary institution for the education of the deaf and dumb and 
blind youth of West Virg-inia, as hereinafter provided, and 
to be known as the Board of Regents of the West Virginia 
Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and Blind." Another 
provision was that "the board of regents of the West Vir- 
ginia Institution for the deaf and dumb and blind shall 
meet in Wheeling, at a time to be specified by the gov- 
ernor within a fixed period of three months after the pas- 
sag^e of this act, and shall proceed at once to adopt and put 
in execution the necessarj'- means for the education of the 


deaf and dumb and blind youth of West Virg-'mia." The 
eig-bth section of the bill reads: "The board of reg-ents in 
the establishment of the institution herein authorized, shall 
provide accommodations for not more than forty persons, 
at first, including- officers, assistants, etc. And they shall 
autliorize their principal to notify the principal of the Vir* 
g-inia institution and the superintendent of the Ohio insti- 
tution for the deaf and dumb and blind, at as early date as 
practicable, of the time at which, the West Virg-inia insti- 
tution for the deaf and dumb and blind shall be open and 
ready to accommodate the indig-ent and all other deaf and 
dumb and blind j'-onth from this state, who have been so 
kindly and so liberally accommodated in their respective 
institutions; and the board shall at that time furnish the 
necessary means for the transportation of such indigent 
3f0Uth as maj^ then be in said institutions, to their own in- 

Further on it was provided that "all deaf and dumb and 
blind youth, residents of the state of West Virginia, be- 
tween the ages of six and twenty-five years, shall be ad- 
mitted to pupilage in the institution on application to the 
principal until the institution is filled." 

In section eleven of the bill it is declared that: "In addi- 
tion to their other duties, the assessors of the state are 
hereby required to register in a book, to be fur- 
nished them by the auditor for the purpose, the names of 
all deaf and dumb and blind persons in their respective 
districts, with the degree and cause of their blindness in 
each case, as far as can be ascertained from 'the heads of 
families, or from other persons, whom the assessors may 
conveniently consult, their ages, the names of their par- 
ents or guardians, their postoflice address, and such other 
circumstances as may constitute useful statistical informa- 
tion, in making the institution herein authorized promptly 
efficient in ameliorating- the condition of the deaf, dumb 
and blind by education." The last provision of the act ap- 


propriates "the sum of eight thousand dollars, to be paid 
out by the treasurer of the state, upon the order and war- 
rant of the board of reg-ents of the West Virg-inia institu- 
tion for the deaf, dumb and blind; which sum shall be used 
by said board in meeting- the expenses of the establish- 
ment of the institution hereby authorized, and in support- 
ing the same from the date of its establishment to the 
thirtieth day of September, eighteen hundred and seventy- 

According to the first provision of the act the governor 
proceeded to appoint the first board. It was composed of 
the following members: 

Hon. V/m G. Brown, president, Kingv/ood, Preston 
county; Rev. D. \Y. Fisher, Wheeling, Ohio county; Gen- 
eral D. N. Couch, Concord Church, Mercer county; Rev. 
T. H. Trainer, Benwood, Marshall county; Rev. R. N. 
Pool, Clarksburg, Harrison county; Col. G. K. Leonard, 
Parkersburg, Wood county; Hon, Henry Brannon, Weston, 
Lewis countv; J- D- Baines, Esq., Charleston, Kanawha 
county; Major J. H.Bristoe, Martinsburg, Berkeley county; 
Prof. H. H. Johnson, Moorefield, Hardy county; Capt. A. 
W. Mann, Falling Spring, Greenbrier county. This board 
met in Wheeling, April 20, 1870, and proceeded to formu- 
late plans for the school. Towns and cities th rougbout the 
state v/ere invited to compete for the location of the insti- 
tution; the one which would make the best offer v/as prom-, 
ised the school. Wheeling, Parkersburg and Romney all 
offered strong inducements. Wheeling proposed to give 
the property known as the Female College, and so libera 
was the offer that it was decided to locate the school there. 
After the board had adjourned, however, the authorities 
were hindered from transferring the property to the board 
by an injunction gotten out by friends of the Female Col- 
lege, who were unwilling to see that school discontinued. 
The matter was not contested and at the next meeting, 
which was held at Parkersburg, June 23 of the same year, 


the board decided upon Romne}'^ as the place where the 
school should be established. The literary society and 
citizens of Romney agreed to g'ive the building" known as 
"Romney Classical Institute," tog-ether with fifteen acres 
of land attached. This property was situated just east of 
the town. Its value vv^as twenty thousand dollars. The 
acceptance of this offer gave the institution a home, and 
the only thing yet to be done was the election of a corps of 

The board met again on July 20, 1870, in Romney. H. 
H. HoUister, x\. M., a teacher in the Ohio institution, was 
elected principal at this meeting. The other teachers and 
officers chosen to serve at the same time, were Prof. H. H. 
Johnson, teacher in blind department; Holdridge Chides- 
ter and Miss Rosa R. Harris, teachers in deaf department; 
Henry White, watchman; Mrs. Lucy B. White, matron; 
and Dr. S. R. Lupton, physician. With this able crev/ at 
the helm the institution launched upon its career Septem- 
ber 29, 1S70. Its success from the beginning" v/as assured. 
The first year twenty-five deaf mutes and five blind pupils 
were enrolled. Robert White, secretary of the board of 
regents, in his report to Governor Stevenson at the close 
of the first year, says: "The board has to express its en- 
tire satisfaction v/ith the present flourishing condition of 
the institution. The discipline, the progress of the pupils 
in their studies and their general improvement, deserve 
the highest commendation and entitle our deaf and dumb 
and blind institution to the unstinted patronage of the 

Some excerpts from the report of the principal for the 
first year may prove interesting. After some introductory 
remarks concerning the repairs made in the building and 
auspicious opening of the school, he sa5'-s: "It is believed 
to be the first time in the histor}^ of similar institutions 
that the number of applications received before the open- 
ing was greater than the building" could possibly accom- 


modate. At the commeucement of the session, or soon 
thereafter, thirty pupils (twenty-five mutes and five blind) 
were received. Among these are three (two mutes and 
one blind) transported according- to law from the Virginia 
institution. The pupils were immediately classiiied and 
put under instruction. The teachers whom you appointed 
have all showm a commendable zeal and faithfulness in the 
discharge of their duty. Professor Johnson, in the in- 
struction of the blind, has displayed a marked ability 
which is showing, and will show, good results in this de- 
partment. Professor Chidester bring's to us an expe- 
rience of fifteen years as private teacher and as instructor 
in a sister institution. His skill, diligence and enthusiasm 
are ample proof of the wisdom of the board in his appoint- 
ment. Miss Harris, in the facility with which she is ac- 
quiring the sign language and the peculiar processes of 
deaf m.ute instruction, g-ives promise of great future use- 
fulness. With the assistance of an advanced pupil she also 
gives musical instruction to the blind. The board were 
fortunate in securing- the services of Mrs. Lucy B. "White 
as matron. She has discharged her duties with kindness 
towards all the inmates, and with a marked ability and zeal 
for the interests of the institution. The number of pupils 
already admitted is fully equal to the capacity of the build- 
ing; and as it is, we have to dispense with many con- 
veniences which a w^ell regulated institution should have." 
The following further quotation from his letter shows 
how a person may reconcile himself to the absence of con- 
veniences: "When the institution was located at Romney 
I felt that the lack of a railroad would prove prejudicial to 
its highest interests. But our location has advantages 
which are a large compensation for our isolation. It gives 
us cheaper provision of every kind; it relieves us from all 
anxiety lest our pupils should wander away and be killed 
on the railway track, as has happened a score of times in 
other states, but above all, it gives us a retirement favora- 


"ble to the advancement of the pupils." Let another quota- 
tion, showing- the financial condition of the institution, suf- 
fice: "From an inspection of the expenditures so far, it 
will be seen that the appropriation made b}^ the last leg-is- 
lature Is not sufficient to meet the expenditures of the 
establishment and support of the institution until Septem- 
ber 30, 1871, Of the eig-ht thousand dollars appropriated 
nearly one thousand dollars were expended before the 
org-anization of the institution could be completed. About 
three thousand dollars were expended for repairs and fur- 
niture. Thus about four thousand dollars were left for 
the support during- a little more than one year — a sum 
hardly suuiclent to pay the salaries and wag-es of employees 
and the traveling- expenses of the board, leaving- no provi- 
sion for current expenses and clothing- of indig-ent pupils. 
In view of all these facts I would ask an appropriation of 
five thousand dollars to meet the deficiency. Besides these 
amounts, not less than eleven thousand dollars will be re- 
quired to support the institution during- the current years 
of 1871 and 1872. Therefore I respectfully recommend 
that you ask our next legislature for forty thousand dollars 
for the above purposes. 

"It is desirable at no distant day to make arrang-ements 
for the training- of the pupils m some useful trade. The 
.trades most commonly taug-ht are carpentering-, printing- 
and shoemaking- for the deaf, and broom making- for the 
blind. Permit me here to acknowledg-e the g-reat assist- 
ance v/hich Colonel Robert White, 3'our secretary, has 
g-iven me in the duties I have had to perform. The unfor- 
tunate children entrusted to our care ov/e him a debt of 
g-ratitude for the interest he has taken in their welfare. 
Also to acknowledg-e the skill with vv-hich Dr.^Lupton has 
performed his professional duties to the inmates of the in- 
stitution, and his many sJ^^estions and cordial coopera- 
tion to promote the, physical weilbcing- of the pupils." 

Guch Is the history of the founding; of the institution and 


a review of its first year's work. This was twenty-seven 
years ago. Around the old "Classical Institute," as a nu- 
cleus, the beautiful and spacious building-s have grown. 
Two wings, each 70 by 30 feet, were added to the original 
building in 1871-72. This gave the building a front of 194 
feet. The same year thirty-three new pupils were en- 
rolled and many were turned away because of lack of ac* 
commodations. Mr. Hollister continued as principal for 
three years, and under his careful management the school 
grew from thirty in 1870 to seventy-seven in 1872. In Oc- 
tober, 1873, Mr. Hollister resigned to practice medicine. 

When Mr. Hollister severed his connection with the 
school, Dr. S. R. Lupton, who had been serving the institu- 
tion as physician since its foundation, was elected tempor- 
ary principal. On the 15th of December, of the same year, 
the board of regents met and chose Mr. C. H. Hill as prin- 
cipal. Mr. Hill was at that time a teacher in the Maryland 
school at Frederick city, and being offered additional in- 
ducements by that institution, declined the tendered prin- 
cipalship. The board met again on January 5, 1874, and 
selected Leveus Eddy, Esq., a teacher in the Wisconson 
school for the deaf, for principal. Mr. Eddy came imme- 
diately and took charge of affairs, but remained only until 
the next July. 

The same month the board elected Major John C Covell 
to the principalship, and in the fall of 1874 he began his 
long and successful career of thirteen years. Previous to 
this time Major Covell had for some years been principal 
of the Virginia school at Staunton. The unprecedented 
success of the school under his management was largely 
due to his splendid scholarship and remarkable aptness, 
coupled with* wide experience, which he made to serve him 
in this work. The year preceding the electioa of Major 
Covell showed a falling off in the attendance of thirteen, 
but under his administration the school at once began to 
grow. Finding that twelve out of the fifty-four counties. 


in the state had no representatives in the institution, he at 
once urg^ed upon the board of reg-ents the necessity of 
making" a canvass to discover if there were not in these 
counties persons who would be glad to avail themselves of 
the advantag'es of the school. His recommendation was 
adopted, and investig^ation showed that his supposition. 
was founded on fact. In his first report he urged the 
jiecessity of introducing- g-as into the building-s for pur- 
poses of lig-ht. This was afterwards done. The present 
supply of pure water is another improvement urged in his 
report and soon afterwards arranged for. 

A new system of classification was introduced into the 
school in 1875, bj which the pupils were arranged in. 
grades similar to the present system. A committee con- 
sisting of Messrs. John Johnson, chairman; H. L. Hoover 
and John Wilson, jr., apj:>ointed in 1875 to examine 
into the condition of the schtKjl, gave in a very favorable 
and flattering report, culminating in the statement that, 
"in the judgment of the committee it can be said in refer- 
ence to this in.^titution, from the board of regents and 
principal down through every grade of office that the right 
man is in the right place." It v/as the year following that 
the first biennial report was published, covering the years 
1875 and 1876. Hitherto the reports had been published 

It was recommended to the board at their June meeting 
in 1877 by the principal that they establish the department 
of visible speech. The recommendation was considered 
and such a department was created. The things to be 
taught the deaf mutes in these classes were articulation 
and lip reading. The position as teacher in this branch of 
the school was tendered to Miss Susie W. Allen, a distin- 
guished graduate of Profeaaor A. Graham Bell's school in. 
Boston. Miss Allen accepted the position and entered 
upon her duties on the 30th of November, 1877. 

When the institution was ten years old in 1880 the at- 


tendance had reached 120. Of these, elg"ht3^"seven were 
deaf mutes and thirty-three were blind. During- this year 
the following disting-uished g-entlemen, Geo. W. Peterkin, 
G. W. Finley and C. E. Joyce, who, at the principal's re- 
quest, attended the annual examination of the institution, 
reported that: "The classes g^ave g^ratifying- evidence of 
proficiency in their studies and of the diligence and faith- 
fulness of their teachers." They further report "the 
marked efficiency of the teacher of music, Mr. O. W. 
Schaeffer, and the prog-ress of the pupils under his tui- 

The annual appropriation for the 3'ears 18S5-89 was 
twenty-five thousand dollars, which g-oes to show that more 
than three times as iwuch was expended on this state 
charity in these years as was in the year of its org-aniza- 

Thirteen years of labor in the school on the part of 
Major John C. Covell was closed by his death June 4, 1887. 
Under his gradance the school had increased in attendance 
from sixty to one hundred and thirty. The benefits and 
influence of the Institution were made known in every 
section of the state, larg-ely through his untiring labors 
an unflag-g-ing- courage. The following- resolution passed by 
the board of reg^ents five da3's after his death, will strve to 
show the esteem in which he was held by that body: 

"V/hereas, We have learned of the death of Major J. C. 
Covell, the late principal of the West Virg-inia Schools for 
the Deaf and the Blind, therefore, 

"Resolved, That we g-reatly deplore his loss to the Insti- 
tution over which he presided v»'ith such universal accepta- 
'bility; that in his death v/e recog-nize the loss of a friend 
worthy of the fullest confidence and an official of marked 
ability 'and adaptation to his duties .which he ahvays per- 
formed with a faithfulness and efficiency unexcelled." 

No eulog-y, however, could speak so hig-h in his praise as 
the eloquent labors of love he performed when alive. Cast- 


ing" about for a new principal to fill the now vacant place, 
the board was fortunate enoug-h to fall upon Hon. H. B. 
Gilkeson, a prominent lawyer of Romney. Any special 
training- for this work that he lacked was amply made up 
by his broad culture and liberal education. His capacity 
for business enabled him to conduct the schools with 
economy and in a manner very satisfactory to the board. 
Mr. Gilkenson had left a lucrative lav/ practice to assume 
the j)rinc!palship and after a year's service he decided to 
return to his former more lucrative profession. 

After the resig-nation of Mr. Gilkenson the board in 
their meeting" in the summer of 1888 elected as principal 
Professor C. H. Hill, who was then teaching- in the North 
Carolina Institution at Raleig-h. It will be remembered 
that Mr. Hill was offered the same position fifteen years 
before but had declined. This time, however, he accepted 
and entered upon his duties in September, 1888. His long- 
experience in this work before coming- to the Institution 
has enabled him to maintain the hig-h standard established 
» by his predecessors as well as to further advance the work. 
Under his administration numerous additions have been 
made to the building-s and many improvements made in 
other building-s previously erected. He early recom- 
mended the purchasing- of additional acroag-e of land to 
afford a place of recreation for the larg-ely increased num- 
ber of pupils. The building-s as they stand at present are 
very -handsome and convenient. Two parallel building-s 
of equal dimensions, each one hundred and ninety-four 
feet in leng-th, are joined in the middle by a cross building-, 
which g-ives the whole structure the shape of the letter H. 
In the rear building-, in the central part, is the g-eaeral 
dining- room on the first floor, school rooms on the second, 
with the third used as a chapel hall, and stairways in each 
wing- communicate v/ith these apartments so that the boys 
and g-irls can. enter from opposite directions. The build- 
ing-s are all of brick and finished in the French style of 


architecture. In the ends are extensive dormitories, sit- 
ting: room and hospitals. The boys enter the north wing- 
and the g-irls the south. The blind exclusive use of 
the front building- while the rear is occupied by the deaf. 
The size of the chapel is 42x64 feet with a pitch of thirteen 
feet, and the general dining- room is 42x59 feet with a ceil- 
ing- ten feet hig-h. Behind the main building and connected 
with it by a covered way is another brick structure, 40x80 
feet. In the basement of this is the laundry and boiler 
room. In the upper rooms of the same building- are the 
kitchen, storerooms and bakery. In the rear of the north 
wing stands another large three story brick building, 
30x51 feet, in which the industrial classes are taught. 
Somewhat further back stands a comfortable two-story, 
six-roomed brick building used by the servants connected 
with the schools. The green campus in front is 
neatly mapped out by smooth walks covered with black 
shale that wind hither and thither among the trees and 
flowers and around the plots of fresh green grass. In the 
midst a pretty fountain jets its silver spray into the air, 
adding to the already beautiful spot. 

The two-fold character of the school is recognized in the 
name by which it is nov/ of&cially deaig-nated; "The West 
Virg-inia Schools for the Deaf and Blind." This title is 
first used in connection with the Institution, as it is still 
popularly called, in the biennial report for the two years 
closing September 30, 1896. 

At the last session of the legislature a bill was introduced 
for the separation of the two schools. The first section of 
the bill read as follows: 

"Be it enacted. That the V/est Virginia schools for the 
deaf' and the blind, located at Romnev, in the county of 
Hampshire, shall, after the expiration of the present term, 
that is to say, after the 15th day June, 1897, cease to be a 
school for the education of deaf and bliud youth, and shall 
thereafter be a school for the education of deaf youth only." 


The bill then further provided for the establishment of 
a separate school for the blind. Professor H. H. Johnson, 
senior teacher in the blind department, framed the bill and 
labored for its passag"e, but it was defeated. 

At the last meeting- of the board, July 14, 1897, Professor 
James P. Rucker was elected principal vice Professor C. 
H. Hill. Mr. Rucker was for several years principsJ of 
the g-raded school at Lewisburg-, Greenbrier county. Vf hile 
he is without special training- for the work he will assume 
this fall, his energetic qualities and liberal education be- 
speak for him a successful administration. 

The following tables contain a complete list of princi- 
pals, teachers and officers connected with the institution 
from its beginning to the present time, with the dates of 
entrance to the school: 

Principals: Horace H. Hollister, 1870; Dr. S. R. Lupton, 
1874; Leveus Eddy, 1875; J. C. Covell, 1875; H. B. Gilkeson, 
1887; C. H. Hill, 1888; James T. Rucker, 1897. 

Teachers in blind department: H. H. Johnson, 1870; 
Mrs. Cornelia Wilson, 1874; Miss Maggie Blue, 1875; Oliver 
W. Schaeffer, 1879; Mrs. S. E. Caruthers, 1880; Mrs. L. W. 
Campbell, 1886; Mrs. L. W. Ferguson, 1888; Miss Aonie 
Fetzer, 1894. 

Teachers in deaf department: Holdridge Chidester, 
1870; Miss Rose R. Harris, 1870; Miss Lucy White, 1871; 
Miss L. M. Kern, 1873; R. G. Ferguson, 1874; O. D. Cooke, 
1875; E. L. Chapin, 1875; Miss A. B. Covell, 1877; J. Brooks 
McGann, 1880; A. D. Hays, 1880; Miss M. H. Keller, 1890; 
John A. Boland, 1890; Miss Susie Chidester, 1894; J. W. 
Neel, 1894; A. J. Thompson, 1897. 

Teachers in musical department: J. H. Holmes, 1872; 
Oliver W. Schaeffer, 1877; Vfilliam Mooney, 1885; Miss N. 
Lucas, 1885; Richard McGee, 1888; Miss Lena Wright, 
1897; Miss Leob,' 1897. 

Teachers in the department of visible speech and artic- 
ulation: Miss S. W. Allen, 1877; Miss A. M. Grimm, 1884. 


Matrons: Mrs. Lucy B. White, 1870; Miss M. McClel- 
land, 1873. 

Physicians: Dr. S. R. Lupton, 1870; Dr. John M. Snyder, 
1873; Dr. R. W. D:uley, 1874; Dr. S. R. Lupton, 1876; Dr. 
R. W. Dailey, 1878. 

Y/atchman: Henry White, 1870. 

Governesses: Miss M. Blue, 1873; Mrs. S. E. Caruthers, 
1874; Mrs. L. W. Campbell, 1884; Mrs. S. E. Burke. 

Foremen of shoe shop: Henry Friddle, 1872; John S. 
Seeders, 1874. 

Foremen of broom shop: J. H. Holmes, 1372; Herbert 
Estes, 1874; H. C. Jackson, 1S78; R. H. Cookus, 1880. 

Foremen of tailor shop: A. J. Kreamer, 1873; Georg-e 
Smith, 1876; William V/. Smith, 1884; William G. Smith, 
1888; Louis Meier, 1890. 

Foremen of cabinet shop: H. C. Jackson, 1873; A. D. 
Hays, 1875; William Bierkamp, 1880; W. C. Bierkamp, 

Foremen of printing- office: A. D. Hays, 1875; M. Reh- 
lian, 1888. 

Members of board of reg-ents: First board, 1870: Hon. 
Wra. G. Brown, president; Rev. D. AV. Fisher, General D. 
N. Couch, Rev. T. H. Trainer, Rev. R. N. Pool, Col. G. K. 
Leonard, Hon. Henrv Brannon, J. D. Eaines, P^sq., Major 
J. H. Bristoe, Prof. H. H. Johnson, Capt. A. W. Manii, 
Capt. Robert White, secretary. Second board, 1871-73: 
Hon. Wm. G. Brown, president; Rev. D. W. Fisher, chair- 
man executive committee; J. D. Baines, Esq., Georg'e W. 
Washington, Esq., J. C. Palmer, Col. Charles T. Beale, 
Geo. G. Orr, Esq., Col. Robert White, secretary. Third 
board, 1874-76: Thomas Maslin, president; Dr. Georg-e 
Baird, J. W. Mason, R. B. Kidd, Geo. G. Orr, G. W. 
Craig-, W. S. Laidley, Isaac T. Brady. Col. Robert White, 
secretary. Fourth board, 1876-1880: M. F. Hullihen, M. 
D., president; J. AV. Ma5on, W. S. Laidley, S. R. Lupton, 
M. D., G. W. Craig-, John T. Pierce, Alex. Campbell, S. L. 


Flournoy, Henry B. Gilkeson, secretar3^ Fifth board, 
1880-84: J. R. S. Hard.esty,M. D., president; Col. Geo. W. 
Thompson, N. D. Baker, M. D., John T. Pierce, Charles 
L. Payton, G. W. Craig-. John N. Holt, H. B. Gilkeson, sec- 
retary. Sixth board, 1884-88: John T. Pierce, president; A. 
L. Pug-h, Charles L. Peyton, George Baird, M. D., V. S. 
Armstrong-, William T. Smoot, J. Holt, W. H. McClung, 
M. D,, John R. Donehoo, H. B. Gilkeson, secretary. 
Seventh board, 1888-1890: John T. Pierce, president; 
W. H. McClung-, Georg-e Baird, M. D., J. E. Peck, W. P. 
Vicars, John R. Donehoo, A. L. Pugh, C. F. Poland, secre- 
tary. Eighth board, 1892-1894: John T. Pierce, president; 
W. S. Wiley, J. E. Peck, D. C. Casto, W. H. McClung, M. 
D., A. L. Pugh, J. R. Donehoo, J. J. Cornwell, secretary. 
Ninth board, 1894-1896: W. H. McClung, president; 
W. S. Wiley, J. E. Peck, D. C. Casto, George H. Johnson, 
Jesse Fisher, C. W. Brockunier, J. J. Cornwell, secretary. 
Tenth board,, 1897: F. M. Reynolds, president; Dr. W. 
C. Jamison, Dr. G. A. Aschman, Dr. H. G. Stalnaker, J. 
W. Shick, C. C. Watts, Benjamin Bassell, Jr., D. A. Petti- 
grew, S. S. Buzzard, M. S. Cornwell, secretary. 

These tables are prepared from the annual and biennial 
reports of the institution. The year given as the first 
appeara.nce of a teacher, or officer, is the first for which he 
is cataloo-ued. 

"In a pamphlet history of the West Virginia Schools lor 
the Deaf and Blind, Professor Hill says: "The schools 
have thus far been most liberally supported by the state. 

The appropriation for some years has been twenty-five 
thousand dollars per annum, for current expenses besides 
one thousand dollars annually to cover the cost of trans- 
portation of indigent pupils. In addition to this the law 
provides that clothing shall be supplied all needy children, 
to an amount not exceeding forty dollars a year and 
charged to the counties from which they come. With 
competent and skilled teachers, comfortable buildings, a 


healtliful climate, good medical attendance and the gener- 
ous support of the state the future of the school is bright 
with promise, if only the large number within the borders 
of the commonwealth, who have not availed themselves of 
its benefits, can be brought under it ameliorating influ- 



^11^ 0f^ 



3. DR. J. M. MILLER. 







A history of Hampshire county would be lacking- in an 
important point without a record of a worthy and intelli- 
g-ent class of citizens whose work is quiet and unobtrusive, 
but who are indispensable- — the physicians. It is to be re- 
g-retted that the data from which to compile a history of 
the doctors of the county is so incomplete. It is impossi- 
ble to do the subject justice, because information concern- 
ing many successful and learned men of the medical pro- 
fession is f rag"mentary or wholly wanting-. A record, often 
the name only, of twenty- nine physicians of Hampshire is 
all that can be obtained. There can be no doubt that one- 
half the doctors have been forgotten, This seems a cruel 
and undeserved fate; but it is a fact. Who can doubt that 
Hampshire in the one hundred and forty years of its exist- 
ence has had at least one hundred practicing physicians? 
Yet, not one-third of them are now known by name. This 
is largely due to the fact that no medical society or associ- 
ation has ever been organized in the county. Had such 
society been in existence during the century or more last 
passed, a record of its proceedings v/ould contain a history 
of Hampshire's medical men, and this chapter could be 
made far more complete than it is. In most counties such 
associations have been In existence many years, and every 
member is given a place upon its records. Following will 
be found sketches of a number of physicians. 

B. F. Berkeley, M. D., was born In August, 1824, and 
attended the Louisville (^Kentucky) medical institute In 


years of age removed with his parents to Bunker Hill, 
Berkeley county, West Virg-inia, where he spent the early 
3-ears of his life on his father's farm. He entered the Balti- 
more medical colleg-e and graduated in the spring of 1894. 
In the fall of that year he commenced practicing his pro- 
fession at Springfield, Hampshire county. In December 
of that year he was married to Miss Ella M. Pine of Darke- 
ville, Berkeley county. 

RiiUBEN Samuel DA\^s, M. D., son of Reuben Davis, was 
"born November 6, 1834, on New creek, then in Hampshire 
count\-, now Mineral. Hife grandfather, of Welch ancestry, 
was born April 1761. He married Rebecca Dent, the 
daughter of Thomas Dent, who resided near Charlotte 
Hall, St. Mary's county, Maryland. The Dents came from 
Gainsborough, York county, England. Joseph Davis resid- 
ed in Fauquier county, Virg-inia, from 1790 to 1799, and 
then removed to New creek, Hampshire county, and built 
a dvvelling house v/ithin one rod of the county line, at which 
place he resided till his death, which occurred September 
16, 1831. Thomas Dean, grandfather of the subject of this 
sketch, was born in 1757, and married Jane Gilmore. The 
ancestry of both came from Dublin, Ireland. He lived on 
New creek until his death, March 27, 1809. Reuben Davis 
was born September 30, 1792, in Fauquier county, Vir- 
ginia, and came to Hampshire with his father in 1799. His 
great uncle. Colonel George Dent, stood godfather at his 
baptism, and gave him a set of silver sleeve buttoms with 
his initials, "R. D.," engraved on each, which are now in 
possession of Dr. Davis, who retains them as a souvenir of 
the past century. Colonel Dent married Eleanor Dean, 
daughter of Thomas Dean, April 1, 1813. In the war of 
1812 he served as ensign iu Captain Cockerell's ccynpany 
at Norfolk, Virginia. He served many years as a magis- 
trate by appointment, and was next to the last one to hold 
the oflice of sheriff of Hampshire county, on the priority 
of his commission, previous to the adoption of the consti- 


tution of 1850. He resided at Piedmont from 1860 to his 
death, November 17, 1868. Dr. Davis enlisted in Captain 
Georg-e F. Sheetz's company at Romney, June 6, 1861. The 
company was mustered into service about July 20, 1861, as 
company F, seventh regiment of Virg-inia cavalry, Colonel 
Turner Ashby's reg-iment, and become a part of iVshby's 
brig-ade, and was commanded b}' General Rosser at the 
close of the war, and was included in General Lee's surren- 
der at Appomattox. Dr. Davis commenced the study of 
medicine in May, 1856, under Dr. W. H. Dew of West Mil- 
ford, Harrison county. West Virg-inia, and continued the 
study until he volunteered in the confederate army, in June, 
1861. He resumed his study in 1865, and commenced 
practice in 1868. His residence is at Kirby, Hampshire 

Robert Newman, M. D. A sketch of the life of Dr. 
Newman will be found in this book in the chapter on the 
literary workers of Hampshire, and in the present chapter 
only such mention of him as refers especially to his labors 
as a physician will be g^iven. He occupied a place of honor 
and confidence in Hampshire county, as well as in the ad- 
jacent portions of Maryland, which would be a credit to 
any professional man. He was an orig-inal investig-ator. 
His ideas did not follow beaten tracks, but struck boldly 
into unexplored regions. As elsewhere remarked, if he 
could have had the advantage of a university education, by 
which he would have been enabled to concentrate his tal- 
ents upon unexplored fields rather than waste them in. 
going- over g-round already traveled by others, he would 
probably have acquired a national reputation. But the 
time and place in which his lot was cast were not suited to 
acquiring knowledg-e from books. He foug-ht on the fron- 
tiers, explored wildernesses beyond the Mississippi, en- 
countered dang-ers, surmounted obstacles, triumphed over 
difficulties, and in spite of them all accomplished much as 
an investig-ator in the profession of medicine. His book 


on the treatment of dropsy, which he published while at' 
Old Town in Maryland, embodied his own original ideas 
and investigations on the subject. He could claim what- 
ever of merit there was in it; for it was his work, his idea, 
his experience. It would not be difficult for a well-read 
physician to compile a book on nearly any branch of his 
professiqu, by appropriating the ideas and investigations 
of others. But Dr. Newman did not do this. He acted 
upon the injunction: 

"Think for thyself. One good idea. 
But known to be thine own, 
Is better than a thousand gleaned 
From fields by others sown." 

Dr. Newman was never a man of vigorous health. He 
always believed himself predisposed to consumption; but, 
as often happens, the man with questionable health out- 
lives those who seem to be physically perfect. Dr. New- 
man had reached the age of fifty when he made Romney 
his home, removing to that place from Old Town, in 1820. 
His acquaintance with the people of the South branch 
dated several 5'ears earlier; for he had often been called, 
professionally, to attend the sick, even as far south as 
Moorefield. When he took up his residence in Romney he 
at once entered upon a large practice, and was particularly 
successful in treating cases in which the seat of the trouble 
was in the lungs. He was a resident of Romney until his 
death, which occurred in 1843, in his seventy-seventh 

Dr. Newman's ideas regarding religion have already 
been mentioned; but he had a peculiarity which was all 
the more noticeable because of his scepticism, and which 
led some to doubt his siuceritv in his claims of being un- 
orthodox. Although he might have considered scepticism 
good enough during life, he evidently believed religion was 
better when the hour of death came. Whenever he reaS 
zed that a patient of his could not recover, and that death 


was near, he would request Rev. Dr. Foote to pay the pa- 
tient a ministerial visit. He and Dr. Foote were lifelong" 
friends, and so uniform was his custom of sending- the 
reverend g-entlentan to administer to the spiritual wants of 
those about to die, that the neig-hbors learned to under- 
stand what it meant when Dr. Foote would call upon one 
of Dr. Newman's patients. It meant that the sick person 
had been g-iven up to die: 

Although half a centur}' has passed since Dr. Newman 
ceased his labors among- the people of Hampshire, yet the 
influence of his life and work has enlarg-ed and increased 
to this day. 

Josr:PH M. Miller, M. D., of Rornney, is of German ex- 
traction, both on the side of his mother and father; but 
the families were in America, probably before the Revo- 
lutionary war; at least at a very early date. His father, 
Rev. Peter Miller, descended from an old established fam- 
ily of Rockingham county, Virg-inia. The g^randfather of 
the subject of this sketch, Joseph Miller, was born in 
Rockingham county, and there is no written record of the 
family further back. Rev. Peter Miller was born in 1828, 
and was married to Miss Margaret Lutz, of Rocking"ham 
count\% whose father, Georg-e Lutz, was a native of Penn- 
sylvania. Dr. J. M. Miller was born in 1853, in the old 
homi county, Rocking-ham. When he was live years old 
his father's ministerial labors called him to Wardensville, 
in Hardy county, and he there resided many years in the 
work of the church. 

The early life of Dr. Miller was spent at Wardensville 
where he attended such schools as the district afforded, 
and during- vacations did farm work. The vacation took 
up the g-reater part of the year, and as a consequence, he 
had more opportunity to become acquainted v/ith* plows, 
pitchforks, horses and cattle, than with books. Neverthe- 
less, he had ambitions which looked forward to better 
thing-s. The drudgery of farm life gives little time for 


books, and he embraced the first opportunity of taking- up 
something- else. He clerked in the store of M. Coffman at 
Woodstock, Virg-inia, during- portions pi 1873 and 1874. 
But having made up his mind to pursue one of the learned 
professions, and having- chosen medicine, he looked about 
for means of acquiring an education fitting him for his 
work. He entered theg-raded schoolat Woodstock, and made 
excellent prog-ress under the instruction of Professor 
Lindsay. An opportunity presenting- itself, he entered 
the ofiice of Dr. W. H. Triplett, at Woodstock. Dr. 
Triplett was a successful physician, and had a large prac- 
tice. The three years which Dr. Miller spent in the office 
were of the greatest value to him in fitting him for his future 
work. So well was he instructed, not only in theor}- of 
medicine, but in its practice also, that he opened an oiSce 
of his own and carried on a successful practice for two 
years without having- attended any medical college. But 
not being satisfied with anything less than thorough in- 
struction and training in his chosen profession, he entered 
the College of Ph3'^sicians and Surg-eons at Baltimore, and 
g-raduated in the spring of 1877. 

Soon after this be located at Rio, on North river, in 
Hampshire county, and was soon in the enjoyment of a 
remunerative practice. He remained at that place till 1389 
when he removed to Komney and has since lived there. 
On January 3, 1S7S, Dr. Miller was married to Miss 
Alberta C. ColTman, of Hampshire county, daughter of 
John C. Coffman who was born in Shenandoah county,. 
1805, and who was married to Miss Mary Thompson, of 
Hampshire county. Two sons were born to Dr. and Mrs. 
Miller, John Luther, 1880, who died at the age of five 
months, and Clyde Peter, born in 1882. Mrs. Miller died 
October 19, 1895. 

Samukl R. Lupton, M. D., was born near Winchester,. 
Virg-inia, March 21, 1827. His ancestors were Quakers 
and belonged to that g'roup of persecuted persons who- 


were imprisoned in Winchester during- the Revolutionary 
war. Many of these were carried thither from Philadel- 
phia, and the accusation ag-ainst them was that they were 
friendly with the British and were furnishing- information, 
to the enemy. It is certain that this charge, if made 
ag-ainst the Quakers as a body, was not well founded^ 
althoug-h individual cases no doubt occurred in which per- 
sons of that denomination were friendly with the British. 
The persecution of the Quakers formed one of the unpleas- 
ant pag-es in the history of America during- the revolution. 
Yet, in time of war, and particularly when the enemy 
was ravaging the land, as was the case when the British 
occupied Philadelphia, the most careful and just people 
may do that which at other times they would strong-ly 
condemn. Many of the Quakers who were imprisoned at 
Winchester were no doubt earnest sympathizers with the 
American cause. From that stock Dr. Lupton descended. 
Nothing- eventful has been recorded of his early life, and 
while still a very young- man he entered the Winchester 
medical college, and he g-raduated in June, 1848. 

He beg-an the practice of his profession in Pennsylvania,, 
and remained eight years in that state. He then returned 
to Virg-inia and commenced practice in Romney. This, 
was in 1856, and he brought with him a recommendation, 
from Dr. H. H. McGuire of Winchester. He was soon in 
possession of a larg-e practice and retained it till the end of 
his life, a period of more than twenty 3'ears. ;^rom the 
founding- of the institution for the deaf and blind in Rom- 
ney until his death, Dr. Lupton was its physician, with the 
exception of a brief interval. He was a reg-ent of the insti- 
tution, and for a brief period was its principal. In the lat- 
ter part of his life he suffered from heart trouble, and 
knev*' that his end was not far off; yet, while in the grasp 
of death, he never neglected a patient, never let others suf- 
fer when he could help them; he would cheerfully answer 
calls diiy and night, in rain or sunshine, forgetful of his. 


■own suffering- while trying- to relieve the suffering- of oth- 
ers; and at last he fell dead while in the act of reaching- to 
a shelf for a bottle of medicine for a patient who had called 
at his of&ce. Dr. Lupton was buried in Indian Mound 
cemetery, but his grave is unmarked, and the strang-er 
who seeks it is liable to search in vjfln. Yet he was one 
who was not dependent upon sculptured marble as a guar- 
dian of his fame. He had built a more endurinij monu- 
ment. He had secured the respect, the confidence and the 
love of the people among- whom he labored. Man's most 
everlasting- monuments are not erected in the cities of the 
dead, but in the hearts of the living-. 

J. M. Snydkr, M. D., was born at Clear Springs, Missouri, 
May 23, 1818, and was a son of Jacob and Marg-aret Snyder, 
of German origin. He was married September 22, 1841, 
to Miss Savinia Rizer, a native of Maryland. Their chil- 
dren were Anna M., Kate L., Robert D., Bettie S. and 
John. Mrs. Snyder having- died, Dr. Sn^^der, on Septem- 
ber 2, 1873, was married to Miss Virg-inia Bo3"d Kidd, 
daug-hter of James and Hester Kidd, in the Presb3'terian 
church at Romney, by Rev. Georg-e W. Finlcy. The death 
of Dr. Snycler occurred October 19, 1877. He beg-an the 
study of medicine v/hen he was twenty-one years of ag-e, 
and g-raduated from the university- of Maryland. He then 
entered the office of the disting-uished Dr. Samuel Smith, 
at Cumbeiiand, Marjdand, and read an extensive course of 
medicine. From the ofnce of Dr. Smith he v/ent to Rom- 
ney and practiced medicine with Dr. McClintock, whom he 
subsequentl}^ boug-ht out, practice, house and all. Dr. 
Snyder enjoyed the reputation of being- an excellent 

Edv/akd K. Wilson, M. D., son of M. and Annie 
E. Wilson, nee Robinson, was born at Darkeville, Berkeley 
county. West Virg-inia. He belong-s to a very old family 
in Virg-inia. His paternal g-randfather, Samuel K. Wilson, 
was born May 19, 1783, in Virg-inia, and was the eldest son 


of William Wilson. Samuel Wilson was a merchant at 
Gerardsville, and his son, the father of the subject of this 
sketch, was a farmer and afterwards a drug-g-ist. He is 
now a resident of Mineral county. Dr. Wilson was edu- 
cated at North Mountain institute, in Berkeley county, 
taking- the deg-ree of A. M. in 1873.. He then studied med- 
icine under Dr. Samuel D. Marshall of Philadelphia, and 
afterwards g'raduated at JelTerson medical colleg"e, that 
city, 1877. He spent six years in Moorefield in the prac- 
tice of his profession, then went to Kansas City, Missouri, 
where he lived several years, returning- thence toRomne}'', 
where he has since been eng-ag-ed in practice. 

A complete list of the physicians who have made their 
homes in Hampshire county from the earliest times till the 
present cannot now be made out. The few names herein 
g-iven have been g-athered from various sources. The old 
court records contain the names of a few, but g^ive no in- 
formation concerning- their births, deaths or family his- 
tory. As far back as 1788 Dr. Ung-er was spoken of as "a 
reputable surg-eon," in connection with a salaried position 
as surg-eon of the Hampshire militia. Dr. Dyer was one 
of the early physicians. Dr. McDonald and Dr. Temple 
spent many years in the county, and both were reputed to 
be excellent doctors; but like many others, few facts con- 
cerning- them can now be ascertained. Dr. Washing-ton 
Williams lived in Romney in 1831. He was a brother of 
Dr. M. Williams of Moorefield. Dr. McClintock was one 
of the leading- physicians of the county prior to 1342, He 
left Hampshire that year. Dr. Pratt was here about the 
same time. Dr. Kendall is well remembered by many 
people of the county. Pie died a few years ag-o at Plea^-ant 
Dale, but had not been in active practice for several 3'ears 
prior to his death. Dr. Townsend Clayton died at Spring-- 
field about thirty years ago. Dr. John W. Moore v/as also 
a resident of Spring-field, as was Dr. Reuben Moore. Dr. 
Lemuel Moore practiced at Frankfort, now in Mineral 


county. Dr. Trask was a successful physician residing- 
in Romne}^ but he subsequently went to Mineral county. 
Dr. John Taylor died in Romney about ten years ago. Dr. 
A. B. Hayden was for a long-time a successful physician of 
Hampshire. He was in the county as earl}- as 1838, and in 
1874 removed from North river to the state of Texas. Dr. 
Lyons, a native of New York, was at Pleasant Dale a few 
years, and moved away. Dr. John Monroe, a great uncle 
of Colonel Alexander Monroe, lived on North river about 
the beginning of the present century. He removed to 
Capon and died there. He was a Baptist preacher as well 
as doctor. Dr. F. P. Canfield's name is found as one of 
the successful physicians of Hampshire. It is said that 
there were two Dr. Snyders in Hampshire, one dying- half 
a century ago. 




The bai* of Hampshire is the oldest in West Virg-inia. 
For almost a century and a half advocates have expounded 
the law in the courts of justice of the county. They have 
been men of ability, as a rule; and while in years of service 
they surpass all other bars of the state, in ability and 
learning- they suffer in comparison with none. Attorneys 
who held their commissions under the crown of Eng"land 
pleaded causes in Hampshire almost a quarter of a cen- 
tury before the Revolutionary war. After the achieve- 
ment of independence, the practice of law in Romney 
flourished under Virginia's first constitution for fifty 
years; then under the second constitution twenty years; 
and under the third ten years. West Virg-inia then took 
the place of the mother state and g-ave a constitution and a 
code of laws, following- it later with a second. Under all 
of these the leg-al profession in Hampshire was recognized 
as in the front rank. Lawyers who began their work at 
that bar have risen to fame; and lawyers who have won 
laurels elsewhere have honored the old county's bar by 
giving it the benefit of their wisdom and long experience. 
Althoug-h the court is the oldest in the state, it cannot be 
claimed for it that it has had more litigation than the court 
of any other county of West Virginia. The people have 
been peaceful, and comparatively few of them have been 
brought into court for punishment. Land titles, often a 
source of long and expensive litigation, have never been 
much questioned or disturbed in Hampshire, probably 


because the first settlers were chiefly men of business who 
took pains to clear the titles to their lands very early in the 
county's history; by this means being- able to bequeath 
their propert}' to their children, unincumbered and clear 
of dispute. A person who will examine this county's 
court records, and compare them with the records of some 
of the other counties of the state, will be impressed with 
Hampshire's favorable showing-. Suits at law to clear 
titles to real estate have been few. 

The purpose of this chapter is not to g-ive a history of 
the courts of this county, for that has been done else- 
where in this book, but to present a list of prominent 
attorneys who have practiced at the Romney bar, in order 
that future g-enerations may haye information concerning- 
an important profession and its members. Extended 
notice of each lawyer has not been attempted. The biog- 
raphies of many of them will be found elsewhere in this 
volume. Four members of the Kercheval family practiced 
at the Hampshire bar, Samuel, Robert C, Andrew W. and 
John B. William Naylor was well known in his day, and 
was a successful advocate early in the present century. 
Ang-us W. McDonald, sr., and Ang-us W. McDonald, jr., 
were known in the leg'al profession before they became 
noted as military men during- the civil war. William B. 
Street and William Perry are names often met with in the 
court records. Thomas C. Green, as a lawyer, has been 
an honor to Hampshire. His father, John W. Green, was 
on the bench of the court of appeals of Virg-inia in 1822. 
Thomas C. Green was a son-in-law of Colonel Ang-us 
McDonald, and commenced the practice of law in Jefferson 
county. He was in the confederate arm}^ and while in the 
field was elected to the Virg-inia leg'islature and served two 
terms. Governor Jacob, of Romne}^ appointed him a 
judge of the supreme court of appeals of West Virginia, 
and he was subsequently twice elected to the same 
position. William C. Claj^ton, another law3^er \yhich West 


Virg-iiiia takes pride in accrediting- to Hampshire county, 
was born in 1831. He was a pupil in Dr. Foote's school at 
Romney, and was there prepared for the Virg-inia univer- 
sity which he entered m 1846 and remained three years. 
He was subsequently principal of Washington academy at 
Charlestown, Jefferson county. He commenced the prac- 
tice of law in Romney in 1859, and in 1873 removed to 
Keyser. He was a member of the West Virg-inia senate 
1875 and 1877. Alfred P. White, Robert White, John B. 
White and C. S. White were all active and influential mem- 
bers of the bar of the county. Judge James D. Armstrong, 
both at the bar and on the bench, won the confidence and 
the esteem of the people, not only of his county, but of the 
neighboring- counties and of West Virg-inia. 

R. W. Varder, Robert N. Harper and Powell Conrad are 
names well remembered as members of the bar. Alexan- 
der Monroe, a v/hose ability has attracted attention in 
both peace and war, was enjoying- a lucrative practice in 
Hampshire before many of the lawyers of today were born. 
He was born in 1817, and read law with Alfred P. White of 
Romnc}^ and was admitted to the bar at the ag-e of forty- 
one. Pie was a member of the Virg-inia legislature of 1849; 
ag-ain in 1862 to 1865; a member of the constitutional con- 
vention of West Virg-inia, 1872; a member of the leg-isla- 
ture of Hampshire, 1875, and was elected speaker; also in 
the legislature 1879, 1881, 1882. John J. Jacob, the first 
democratic g-overnor of West Virginia, was a partner of 
Colonel Robert White in the practice of law in Romney. 
A full account of Governor Jacob's public services is g-iven 
in another chapter. He practiced law in Romney about 
six years, from 1865 to 1871. Geoi-g-e A. Tucker, F. M. 
Reynolds, William M. Welch, won their way into promi- 
nence as members of the Hampshire bar. Robert W. 
Dailey, born and reared in Romney, early g-ave evidence 
that he was destined to achieve success beyond that of a 
successful practitioner at the bar. The people of this 


county were not slow in appreciating- his worth, and when 
the opportunity to recog-nize his ability in a substantial 
way presented itself, they did it by electing- him judg-e of 
the circuit court. Not only did Hampshire, his native 
county, confer this honor upon him, but he was g-iven a 
handsome majority by the twelfth judical circuit, com- 
posed of Hampshire, Hard}^, Grant, Pendleton and Min- 
eral counties. C. Wood Dailey, brother of Judg-e Dailey, 
beg-an his career as a lawyer in Romney, afterwards re- 
moving- to Keyser, and subsequently to Randolph county. 
Samuel Lig-htfoot Flournoy, now of Charleston, West 
Virg-inia, studied his profession in Romney, and beg-an 
practicing- in 1873, when twenty-seven ytars of ag-e. His 
life had been a bus}^ one, and haying- spent part of it in the 
confederate arm}'- when a youth, he did not have an oppor- 
tunity to acquire the classical education which he v/as de- 
termined to have, until after the war closed. He g-radu- 
ated from Hampden Sydney colleg^e with honors, and then 
took up the study of law. He is g-iven additional mention 
in this book. Henry B. Gilkeson, by his example, has 
show that industry, hard work, and close applica.tion to 
business are the surest and safest roads to success. Hav- 
ing- served the people, first as a school teacher, then as 
county superintendent of Hampshire, he took up the study 
of law, and has the ^ood fortune to acquire a substantial 
reputation, not onl}^ in his county but in the state at larg-e. 
Robert W. Monroe, brotner of Alexander Monroe beg-an 
the practice of law in Romney, but he has extended his 
practice to other fields. He was appointed by President 
Cleveland Indian ag-ent in Idaho, and removed to that ter- 
ritor}'. But becoming- tired of the place he returned to 
Romney, and subsequently made his home in Preston 
count3^ William B. Cornwell studied law in the West 
Virg-inia university, and after practicing- his profession a 
short time, was elected prosecuting- attorney of Hamp- 
shire. John J. Cornwell, brother of the forg-oing-, is a 




nil jvEw/ V ,iRK 




Tnembcr of the bar. dividing" his time between bis profes- 
sion and editing" his newspaper. J. S. Zimmerman, a 
young" man, has made a success at the bar of Hampshire, 
and A. J. Welton's name, althoug-h the last to be mentioned 
on the roll of resident attorneys, should not be classed as 
of the least importance. 

A number of lawyers of note have practiced at the Rom- 
ney bar who have never resided in the county, and it is due 
them and the Hampshire bar that mention be made of 
them. The list contains names well known throug'hout 
the state. James M. Mason, Robert Y. Conrad, Philip 
Williams, David W. Barton, Charles J. Faulkner, sr., James 
W. Green, J. Randolph Tucker, William Seymour, Andrew 
Hunter, J. W. F. Allen, Richard E. Byrd, General Thomas 
McKaig", L. T. Moore, Richard Parker, Josiah H. Gordon, 
Holmes Conrad, A. Hunter Boyd, A. R. Pendleton, Joseph 
Sprig-g, Edmund P. Dandridg"e, Benjamin Dailey, Georg-e 
E. Price, W. R. Alexander. 

No place more appropriate than in the history of the 
Hampshire county bar can be found for the mention of a 
lawyer of profound learning- and national reputation, who 
was born in Romney about 1830, but who left the county 
early in life to achieve fame elsewhere. Creed Haymond, 
son of William Calder Haymond, was a native of this 
county. While yet young", he removed with his parents 
to Fairmont, in Marion county, where he resided several 
years. When g-old was discovered in California he was 
among- the first upon the scene. Having" cast his lot on the 
Pacific coast, he took up the study of law, and rose to the 
head of his profession. He yielded first place to none, 
even when matched with the best lawyers of the west, such 
as General Barnes, Deuprey, Delmas and Foote. He was 
for years attorne}^ for the Southern Pacific railroad. He 
was president of the commission w^hich codified the laws 
of California and produced a work seldom equalled and 
never surpassed. He was attorney for several of Califor- 
nia's millionaires, and he drew up the papers for the found- 
ing" of Stanford university. He died in 1894. 





This chapter, which deals with the physical features of 
Hampshire, will present a study of the county's hills and 
valleys, rivers and smaller streams, soils and products, the 
rocks which appear on the surface, and w^hat is beneath 
the surface, so far as known, tog^ether with a few easily-, 
understood facts of the county's g-eolog-y and mineralogy. 

Altitudes above the Sea. — While Hampshire 
count}' is hilly or mountaiaous, it 3'et has no mountains 
equallinf^ in height and ruggedness those of some of the 
counties west, particularly Grant, Pendleton, Pocahontas, 
Greenbrier, Webster and Randolph. The most elevated 
point in Hampshire county is 3,100 feet above the scr. The 
lowest point is the bed of Capon river where it flows across 
the line from Hampshire into Morgan 510 feet. The county, 
therefore, has a vertical range of 2,590 feet. Every point in 
Hampshire lies somewhere between these two extremes. 
The average elevation is probably hot far from 1,200 feet. 
It is a prominent feature of the mountains of this county 
that they have few peaks which rise sharply above the sur- 
rounding ranges. This is because the mountains of 
Hampshire county are very old, geologically considered, 
and peaks which may once have existed have been worn 
down till they now rise little above the ridges, and appear 
as broad, rounded domes. In the present chapter the alti- 
tudes of the most prominent points in this county will be 
given. This will include the elevation above the sea of the 
hills and mountains; of the beds of the rivers at different 


points; and of the towns and postoffices. These calcula- 
tions have been carefully made and are believed to be cor- 
rect in every particular, as nearly as can be shown by a 
barometer. This chapter will also g-ive the distances and 
directions from Romney of all the important points in 
Hampshire county, and of several places in adjoining- coun- 
ties. These distances have all been calculated from lati- 
tude and long-itude, and thus are what are known as "air 
lines." That is, they are the shortest lines between the 
two points, and take no account of roads, nor of irreg-ularl- 
ties of the land surface. They are always shorter than 
any road can be constructed between the two points, be- 
cause a roa.d is always, in this county, more or less crooked, 
and therefore long-er than an "air line." This difference 
often amounts to considerable. Sometimes the road is 
nearl3^twice as long- as the direct line between the two points. 
The elevation of some of the mountains and hills of 
Hampshire are shown in the following list: South branch 
mountain, one mile east of the head spring of Trout run, 
3,100 feet; South branch mountain at the Hampshire-Hardy 
line, 3,000; High knob, near the head of Big run, 2,900; 
Capon mountain, tv/o miles south of the Hampshire-Mor- 
gan line, 2,900; Short mountain, four miles west of Delra)^, 
2,800; Capon mountain, at the Hampshire-Morgan line, 
2,700; High knob, in Mill creek mountain, at the Hamp- 
shire-Hardy line, 2,600; Great North mountain, three miles 
southeast of Lafolletsville, 2,600; Great North mountain^ 
two miles southeast of Capon springs, 2,500; the ridge on 
which is the- common corner of Hampshire, Hardy and 
Mineral counties, 2,300; the mountain three miles east of 
Delray, 2,300; the mountain two miles northeast of Sedan, 
2,200; Mill creek mountain, across the river opposite Rom- 
ne}^ 2,000; Sandy ridg-e, the highest point of which lies 
west of the road leading from Forks of Capon to Cold 
stream, 1,800; the hill south of Romney one-fourth mile, 


In the following- list will be found the altitude of the beds 
of streams at various points in their courses in Hampshire 
county: Capon at the Hampshire-Morg-an line, 510 feet; 
North river at its mouth, 580; Little Capon at the Hamp- 
shire-Morg-an line, 600; the Potomac at the Hampshire- 
Morg-aa line, 625; South branch at the mouth of Tovvn run 
below Romney, 700; Capon, tvv'o miles above Cold stream, 
700; South branch at Moorefield, 800; Mill creek, two miles 
above Moorefield junction, 800; Mill creek at Parg-atsville, 
900; Little Capon, where the road fi'om Hig-ginsville to 
Frenchburg- crosses, 1,000; North river, two miles above 
Sedan, 1,000; Tearcoat, where the Northwestern pike 
crosses, 1,025; Capon, at the Hampshire-Hardy line, 1,040; 
North river at the Hampshire-Hardy line, 1,100; Grassy 
run at the Hampshire-Hardy line, 1,500. 

The list which follows will show the altitude of towns, 
places and postof&ces in Hampshire county: Forks of Ca- 
pon, 600 feet; Cold Stream, 700; Hig-g-insville, 700; North 
River Mills, 775; Glebe, 780; Springfield, 800; Moorefield 
Junction, 800; Capon Bridg-e, 800; Parg-atsville, 900; Rom- 
ney, 900; Sedan, 980; Yellow Spring-, 980; Hang-ing- Rocks, 
near North river, 1,000; Delray, 1,050; Frenchburg-, 1,050; 
Pleasant Dale, 1,100; Mutton run, 1,100; Bloomery, south- 
east of the Forks of Capon, 1,100; Adams Mill, 1,150; Mill 
Brook, 1,200; Lafolletsville, 1,200; Lehew, 1,275; Slanes- 
ville, 1,300; Aug-usta, 1,300; Capon Spring-s, 1,400; Bloom- 
ery, northeast of the Forks of Capon, 2,500. 

Distances from Romney .—T'o.q following- list 
shows the distance in an "air line" from Romney to the 
several points named; and it also shows the direction of 
each from Romney. The directions are expressed in the 
g-eneral terms of "east," "southeast," "east of southeast," 
etc., and are not g-iven in deg-rees. They are accurate 
enough for all practical purposes, althoug-h not strictly 
correct in all cases. From Romney to Spring-field, north 
of northeast, 8 miles; to Greenspring- run, north of north- 


east, 13^2 miles; to Hig-g-insville, northeast, 11 miles; to 
Slanesville, east of northeast, 13 miles; to Frenchburg-, 
east of southeast, 6 miles; to Aug-usta, east of southeast, 
7 miles; to Pleasant Dale, east of southeast, 10 miles; 
North River Mills, east, 13^^ miles; Hang-ing- Rock, east of 
southeast, 12/^ miles; Adams Mill, southeast, 6 miles; 
Ruckman, southeast, ^j/i miles; Delray, southeast, 13 
miles; Mutton Run, southeast, 17 miles; Sedan, southeast, 
12^ miles; Mill Brook, southeast, 15 miles; Yellow Spring-, 
southeast, 16>2 miles; Glebe, south of southwest, 8 miles; 
Ruckman, southeast, 7j-^ miles; the Mineral county line, 
west, 4 miles; Moorefield junction, southwest, 5 miles; 
Parg-atsville, southwest, 17 miles; Burling-ton (Mineral 
county), west 8 miles; Ridgaville, (Mineral county), west. 
12 miles; Headsville (Mineral county), northwest, (^Vz 
miles; Keyser (Mineral county), west of northwest, 13 
miles; Old Fields (Hardy county), south of southwest, 15 
miles; Hampshire-Hardy line crossing- the South branch, 
south of southwest, 12 miles; Moorefield (Hardy county), 
south of southwest, 22 miles; Wardensville (Hardy county), 
south of southeast, 20 miles; common corner of Ham.pshire 
and Frederick counties, southeast, 21^2 miles: common 
corner of Hampshire, Morg-an and Frederick counties, 
east of northeast, 24 miles; the Virg-inia Ime, east 21/-3 
miles; Bloomery, east of northeast, 21 J2 miles; Cold 
Stream, east, 17^^ miles; Capon Bridg-e, east of southeast, 
17)^2 miles; Capon Springs, southeast, 19 miles; LafoUets- 
ville, southeast, 19/'2 miles; Lehew, southeast, 19 miles; 
Winchester (Frederick county), east of southeast, 33 
miles; Gerrardstown (Berkeley county), east, ZS^A miles; 
Darkesville, (Berkeley county), 39 miles; the Virg-inia 
state line at the nearest point, east of southeast, 18 miles. 

TJlG Soils of Hampshire. — The soil of a country 
is usually understood to be the covering- of the solid rock.. 
It is very thin in comparison with the thickness of the sub- 
jacent rock, not often more than four or five feet, and fre- 


quentiy less. This is not the place for a chemical discus- 
sion of soils; but a few plain facts may be given. What is 
soil? Of what is it made? In the first place, leaving- 
chemical questions out, soil is simply pulverized rock, 
mixed with veg-etable humus. The rocky ledg-es under- 
lying" a country, become disinteg"rated near the surface; 
they decompose; the sand and dust accumulate, washing- 
into the low places, and leaving- the hig-h points more or 
less bare, until a soil of sufficient depth is formed to sup- 
port vegetation. A soil in which little or no vegetable 
humus is intermixed, is poor, and it produces little growth. 
Sand alone, no matter how finely pulverized, is not capable 
of supporting vegetation, except a few peculiar species or 
varieties. This is why som.epf the hillsides of Hampshire 
are so nearly bare. The soil is deep enoug-h, but is poor. 
The state of being poor is nothing more than a lack of 
humus, or decaying vegetation. Those poor hillside soils 
either never had humus in them, or it has been vrashed 
out. A soil tolerable fertile is sometimes made miserably 
poor by being burned over each year when the leaves fall. 
The supply of vegetable matter which would have gone 
to furnish what the soil needed, is thus burned and de- 
stroyed; and in course of time that already in the soil is 
consumed or washed out, and instead of a fertile wood- 
land, there is a blasted, lifeless tract. Examples of this 
are too often met with in West Virginia, and as often in 
Hampshire as elsewhere. 

Excessive tillage of land exhausts it, becuuse it takes out 
the humus, and puts nothing back. It does not exhaust the 
disintegrated rock — the sand, the clay, the dust; but it 
takes out the vital part, the mold of vegetation. Fertil- 
izers are used to restore the fertility of exhausted land. 
That process is misleading, in many cases. Too often the 
fertilizing material is a stimulant rather than a food to the 
land- It really adds no element of fertility, but, by a 
chemical process, compels the soil to give up all the 


remaining- humus; and when the veg;etable matter is all 
gone from the soil, all the fertilizers of that kind in the 
world would not cause the land to produce a crop. The 
intellig-ent farmer does not need be told this. His experi- 
ence has taug-ht him the truth of it. No land is so com- 
pletely sterile as that vt'hich, throug-h excessive use of fer- 
tilizers, has been compelled to part with its vegetable mat- 
ter. Something- cannot be created from nothing. If a soil 
has no plant food in it, and a fertilizer contains no plant 
food, the mixing- of the two will not produce plant life. 
The most apt illustration is that of alcohol and the human 
body. Let the body represent a soil, and alcohol the stim- 
ulant. There is no nutritive element in alcohol, yet when 
taken into the stomach it stimulates the body to greater 
activity for a while. It simply calls up the reserve force; 
but after a time the bod}^ has no more force in reserve, 
and no amount of alcohol can stimulate to further action. 
So, the soil, as long as it has streng^th in reserve, can be 
stimulated to activity; but when its reserve streng-th is ex- 
hausted, it cannot be further stimulated. It must have 
more food before it can do more work. 

A crop of clover, of buckwheat, of rye, or any other crop, 
plowed under, fertilizes land -because it adds vegetable 
matter to the soil. Then if the soil is stubborn about 
yielding- up its fertility, a treatment of the proper fertil- 
izing- ag-ent will compel it to do so. Bottom lands along- the 
rivers and creeks are usually more fertile than lands on 
the hills because rains leach the uplands and wash the 
decaying- leaves and the humus down upon the lowlands. 
The soil along- the river bottoms is often many feet deep, 
and fertile all the way down. This is because the wash- 
ing-s from the hills have been accummulating- there for 
ages faster than the veg-etation which annually drew from 
it could exhaust the supply. It sometimes happens that 
the surface of a deep soil is exhausted by longf cultivation; 
and that a sub-soil plow, which g-oes deeper than usual, 


turns up a new fertile soil which had lain beyond the 
reach of plant roots for agfes. Occasionally a flood which 
covers bottom lands leaves a. deposit of mud which is full 
of humus. This enriches the land where it lodg-es, but 
the mountain districts from which it was carried were 
robbed of that much fertility. 

Disinteg-rated rock of every kind cannot be made fertile 
b}^ the usual addition of veg"etable humus. Certain chem- 
ical conditions must be complied with. Limestone g"en- 
erally forms good soil because it contains elements which 
enter into plants. Strata of rock, as we now see them, 
were once beds of soil. They hardened and became stone. 
Sandstone is formed of accumulations of sand; shale is 
made from beds of clay or mud; limestone was once an 
ag-gregfation of shells and skeletons of larg-e and small 
living- creatures. When these rocks are broken up, disin- 
teg^rated and become soils, they return to that state ia 
which they were before they became rock. The limestone 
become*!; sliells and bones, but of course pulverized, mixed 
and changed; sandstone becomes sand ag^ain; shale 
becomes mud and clajf as it originally was. This g-ives a 
key to the cause of sornc soils being- better than others. A 
clay bank is not easily fertilized; but a bed of olack mud 
usually posseses elements on which plants can feed. So, 
if the disintcg-rating shale was orig-inally sterile clay, it 
will make a poor soil; but if it wrs ong-inally a fertile mud, 
the resulting- soil will be g-ood. If the disintegrating- sand- 
stone wiis once a pure quartz sand, the soil will likely be 
poor; but if it was something better, the soil will be bet- 
ter. The fertility of limestone soil is mainly due to the 
animal matter in the rock. It should always be borne in 
mind, however, that the difference of soils is dependent 
not so much upon their chemical composition as upon the 
physical arrangement of their particles. 

Plants do not feed exclusively upon the soil. As a mat- 
ter of fact, the principal part of the material which enters. 


into the construction of the stems and leaves of some 
plants is derived, from the air. It is often said, but is not 
quite true, that the ash remaining- when v/ood is burned 
represents the portion derived from the soil, v/hile the 
invisible portions which escape as smoke and g-asses, were 
derived from the air. Some plants prosper without touch- 
ing soil. A species of Chinese lily flourishes in a bowl of 
water with a few small rocks in the bottom. On the other 
hand there are plants that v/ill wither in a few minutes if 
taken from the g-round. This shows that some plants ex- 
tract more material from the soil than other. It is a com- 
mon saying- that buckwheat rapidly exhausts land, 

Some lands are more affected by drought than others, 
v/hen both receive thg same rainfall. This may be due to 
the character of the underlying- rocks, althoug-h usually 
due to a different cause. If the soil is shallow, and the 
subjacent rocks lie oblique and on edge, they are liable to 
carry the water away rapidly by receiving it into their 
openings and crevices, thus draining the soil. But if the 
subjacent rocks lie horizontally, water which sinks throug-h 
the soil is prevented from escaping, and is held as in a tub, 
and is fed gradually upward through the soil by capilliary 
attraction. This land will remain moist a long time. But 
the more usual reason that one soil dries more rapidly than 
another, is that one is loose and the other compact. The 
compact soil dries first. The smaller the interspaces 
between the ultimate particles which make up the soil, the 
more rapidly water rises from the wet subsoil by capilliary 
attraction, and the supply is soon exhausted. The more 
compact the soil, the smaller the spaces between the par- 
ticles. In loose ground the interspaces are larger, the 
water rises slowly or not at all, and the dampness remains 
longer beneath the surface. In the western countries 
where the summers are hot and rainless, the farmers irri- 
gate their land, thoroughly soaking it from a neighboring 
canal. If they shut the water off and leave the land alone^ 


in a few days it is baked, parched, hard and as dry as a 
bone. But the farmer does not do this. As soon as the 
water is turned off, he plows and barrows the land, making- 
the surface as loose as possible. The result is, the im- 
mediate top becomes dry, but a fev/ inches below the sur- 
face the*soil remains moist for weeks. The water cannot 
escape throug-h the porous surface. The same rule 
applies everywhere. If two cornfields lie side by side, 
especially in a dry season, and one is carefulh^ tilled and 
the surface kept loose, while the other is not, the differ- 
ence in the crops will show that in one case the moisture 
in the soil was prevented from escaping- and was fed to the 
corn roots, while in the other case it rose to the surface 
and was blown away by the wind, leaving the corn to die 
of thirst. 

The Bomney Shale— ^^ peculiar rock formation 
takes its name from Romney, because it reaches its typical 
development in the vicinity of that town. In the United 
States Geological survey it is called "Romney Shak." It 
rests upon the Monterey sandstone (which is seen in 
Hang-ing- Rocks below Romney), and is next to the lowest 
formation in the Devonian age in this part of the state. 
The Romney shale extends through Maryland into Penn- 
sylvania, and in the other direction is found as far as 
Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties, and is abundant in 
some portions of Grant county. It probably extends west- 
ward beyond the Alleghanies, but is there buried beneath 
vast beds of more recent rock and has not been seen. 
The thickness of this shale m Maryland, north of Hamp- 
. shire, is about seven hundred feet. In Grant county the 
thickness is about thirteen hundred feet, and in Hamp- 
shire it is between these extremes. A description of this 
remakable and almost worthless rock will prove of inter- 
est to the people of this county, who are already more or 
less familiar with it. It is popularly called slate, but it is 
not slate. It bears the same relation to slate that dried 


clay bears to a burnt brick. Shale is indurated and partly 
pressed mud. Slate is burnt and completely pressed 
shale. If the beds of shale, as we now have them, were 
heated (from the internal heat of the earth), and, while in 
Si semi-fused condition, were submitted to an enormous 
pressure and allowed slowly to cool, they would be slate, 
or schist. 

Romney shale is found along- the South branch valley, 
m the valleys of Patterson creek and New creek, in Min- 
eral county, and along- the flanks, near the bases, of the 
neig-hboring- hills and mountains. It is usually black, but 
sometimes lig-hter colored, and in places is almost terra 
cotta. Near the base of the formation the color is darker. 
The lig-hter colors are near the top. It breaks and splits 
easily; and the typical mode of fracture is in long- and 
slender pieces like slate pencils. In Romney it is used 
for sidewalks, and when newly made these sidewalks have 
the appearance of masses of broken slate pencils. The 
rock is easily pulverized, and is quickly g-round to a pow- 
der so fine that the wind blows it away and the rain washes 
it oif. It has been used in macadamizing- roads, but it soon 
wears out, a covering a foot deep disappearing in a few 
3^ears. However, when a road passes throug-h a shale 
forraatian and the roadbed is cut from the solid rock, it 
makes an excellent hig-hway, never becoming- troublesome 
on account of mud or dust. The most solid roads in 
Hampshire are those which pass over strata of shale. The 
finest exposure of this formation in Hampshire county is 
at the river bluff, half mile, or less, from Romney, in a 
northwestern direction. There a perpendicular cliff, in 
places more than one hundred and fifty feet high, may be 
seen. The fissile nature of the rocks can be studied to 
advantage. The face of the precipice is shattered in mul- 
tiplied millions of fragments, in size rang-ing from a few 
pounds to pieces like the smallest needle. 

The manner in which these beds of shale were formed, 


ages ag-o, is clearly indicated. A former chapter in this 
book describes the method of rock building, such as we 
had in this part of West Virg-inia. It was there pointed 
out that all the rocks Vv-ere formed in the bottom of the 
sea; the sandstone was made of sand; limestone of shells 
that settled to the bottom, and shale was made of mud. 
The chief difference between sandstone and shale is, that 
the former is made of coarser material — sandstone is con- 
solidated sandbars; shale is hardened mud fiats. The 
Romney shale gives us a glimpse of conditions in this part 
of the world millions of years ago. The sea was then 
shallow over an area covering several counties, with Hamp- 
shire in the center. The land toward the east, from which 
the mud was washed by rivers, was low, and the rivers 
were stagnant or sluggish. Had their currents been rapid 
they would have carried sand into the sea, and we would 
have had sandstone instead of shale. The shores were 
swampy and low. In fact, the whole area under consider- 
ation was probabl_y a vast, dismal swamp, with lagoons, 
'swales, channels, curronts and counter currents, caused 
by the ebbing and flowing of the tides. The m.ud accumu- 
lated in these semi-submerged s%vamps to a depth of a 
thousand feet or more, and then an elevation of the neigh- 
boring land gave currents to the rivers, and sand came 
pouring in and covered the mud to a depth of more than 
two thousand feet. This sand now exists as sandstone 
and overlies the shale in every part of Hampshire where it 
has not been stripped off by erosion. The deep beds of 
mud thus buried were pressed and hardened and became 

Veg^etation was somewhat abundant at that time, as is 
shov/n by the carbon in the shale, giving it its black color. 
In places the rock resembles coal, and persons not ac- 
quinted with the geology of the section have attempted to 
open coal mines in this shale. Of course the}' never found, 
any coal, except perhaps a thin and stony vein occasionally; 


for coal, in paying- quantities, does not exist in formations 
as old as the Romney shale. Had veg-etation been as abund- 
ant at the beg-inning-of the Devonian as in the middle of the 
Carboniferous age, it is probable that the area of the Rom- 
ney shale would have been a field of enormous coal beds. 
But the veg-etation -v^aa lacking, and mud fiats took the 
place of peat bogs, and we now have shale instead of coal. 

There is no clearly defined line in Hampshire county 
between the sha.le and the overlying formation — called the 
Jennings. The sandstone of the latter lies upon the shale, 
and occasionalh^ a layer sandstone is included in the shale, 
or a bed of shale is found among the strata of sandstone. 
This shows that the change from, the mud flats to the sand- 
bars — from the swampy shores to the elevated coast line 
bordering the ancient sea — was g-radual. 

There is another paragraph in the history of the rocks 
which may be read by following the Piney mountain road 
about a mile from where it leaves the Noi'thwestern pike. 
Halfway up Town hill, after passing over various grades 
of sandstone, a ledge of. coarse conglomerate is met with. 
It rests upon and lies beneath finer-grained sandstone. 
The conglomerate is made up of rounded, water-worn, 
%vhite quartz pebbles, cemented in a strong- mass. The 
most careless observer will notice the difference between 
this and the neighboring- rocks. Conglomerate is found in 
all countries of the world, and is not confined to any age of 
rocks. All have the same general history. They are 
formed of pebbles w-orn round in the beds of swift rivers 
or by the churning- of waves on stormy coasts. That ledge 
on Town hill has its story to tell. The pebbles of which 
it is composed were probably worn and polished in the 
headwaters of the rivers which brought the mud to sea to 
form the Romney shale. But these rivers became slug-- 
g-ish when th&y reached the low-coasted plain, and could 
not carry the pebbles tc) sea, and they there lodged for 
ages, while the upper portion of the Romney shale and the 


superincumbent sandstones were being- deposited. Then 
a chang-e in the elevation of the land increased the strength 
of the river currents, and the g^ravel was carried to sea and 
was cemented into rock as we now see it. Some of the 
pebbles are an inch in diameter. They are white quartz 
and originally were derived from veins of that beautiful 
rock which were formed in early ages of the earth's historv. 
These white pebbles are remnants of mountains lonp- aco 
ground down and vvhich were scattered and spread over 
the bottoms of ancient oceans to form rocks for newer con- 
tinents. The mountains from which the material was de- 
rived are believed to have stood east of the present Blue 
Ridge. Immense areas of very hard rock, supposed to be 
the remnants and foundations of ancient mountains, are 
still to be seen in that reg-ion. 

There is another important series of rocks named from 
its abundance in this county. It is called the "Hampshire 
Formation." It lies above the Roraney shale and is separ- 
ated from it by the Jenning-s Formation more than two 
thousand feet thick. 

Mill Creek Mountain .—The student of Hampshire 
county's geog-raphy and g-eolog-y v/ill be well repaid by 
careful study of Mill creek mountain and its relations to 
the South branch of the Potomac. In this chapter Mill 
creek mountain is understood to include that rang-e which 
begins in Hardy county north of Old Fields, and extends 
parallel with the South branch, sometimes on one side of 
it and sometimes on the other, to the North branch, at the 
Maryland line, between Green Spring- station and South 
Branch station. Different portions of the mountain have 
different names in the several localities, but the g-overn- 
ment charts, made in 1S91, from the surveys of 1883, 1884 
and 1885, g-ive the g-eneral name. Mill creek mountain, to 
the range. The casual observer mig-ht suj»pose that the 
rang-e is properly divided into several mountains. That 
which g-ives it the appearance of district mountains is the 


fact that it has been cut throug-h ag-ain and again from side 
to side, and in one instance cut down from summit to base 
lengthwise for seven miles — split open as it were — by the 
South branch. It therefore becomes a profitable subject 
for study. Instances are rare in this state, and rare in 
any part of the world, in which the relative ag^esof a moun- 
tain and a river can be so clearly seen, and for which the 
proof is so manifest, 'l^he proof is conclusive that the 
South branch was flowing- along- nearly its present course 
before Mill creek mountain had an existence. 

The method by which rivers cut throug-h mountains has 
been discussed somewhat at leng-th in a former chapter of 
this book. The discussion will not be repeated here. It 
was formerly held by geologists that where a river has cut 
a g-ap throug-h a mountain it first was stopped in its course 
by the sudden upheaval of the mountain across its channel, 
and formed a lake by the backv/ater which rose hig-her and 
hig-her until it found an outlet throug-h the lowest gap in 
the obstruction, and then burst through with tremendous 
force, tearing- the rocks out and cutting- a passage through 
the mountain to its base, and draining- the lake in a short 
time, perhaps in so short a time that the whole work par- 
took of the nature of an explosion, bursting through the 
rocks and hurling them before the rushing waters from 
the pent-up lake. This view of the case is now known to 
be erroneous. The process was not one of violence. There 
were no lakes, except in rare cases. Had it been possible 
for a man to have lived so long, and had he stood at Hang- 
ing Rocks below Roraney and watched the whole operation 
of the river cutting its channel through the mountain at 
that place, he probably would never have witnessed any- 
more violence than can be seen at present. The work is 
perhaps g'oing on today in the same manner as in past ages. 
The river was flowing before there was a mountain across 
its path. The mountain was formed by the upheaval of 
rocks from below the surface. Vast beds of limestone, 


sandstone and shale, which once lay flat, were folded by 
stupendous pressure, and the folded part rose above the 
surface as a vast arch. This arch, is it now exists, forms 
the mountain. It can thus be understood how the gaps 
were cut throug-h it by the river. The mountain rose out 
of the earth so slowly that as it appeared above the g-eneral 
surface of the country and across the channel of the river, 
the stream kept its old channel, cutting- and wearing- the 
rocks away as they rose hig-her and hig-her. 

The most northern g-ap throug-h this mountain, in Hamp- 
shire county, is that made by the North branch, between 
Greenspring- and South branch station. The main line of 
the Baltimore and Ohio railroad passes throug-h it, along- 
the bank of the North branch. It will be presently shown 
that, had this mountain been older than the river the mouth 
of the South bi'anch would be at Greenspring- instead of 
where it is. If the mountain had been there first, the only 
method by which the river could have g-otten through it 
would have been by backing- up, forming- a lake, until the 
water poured over the top of the mountain. Take the case 
of the lower Hanging- Rocks, where the wire bridge use to 
bs, and see what the result would have been, had the 
South branch attempted to back up before the gap existed, 
forming a lake till it overflowed the mountain where the 
gap now is. The general height of the mountain in that 
vicinityis nowfromeleven hundred to fourteen hundredfeet 
above sea level. The bed of the South branch at that 
point is now about seven hundred feet above sea level — a 
few feet less, perhaps. Thus, the river w^ould impound 
its waters and form a lake four hundred feet deep before 
finding escape over the mountain to commence cutting the 
gap. But, before the waters had risen in that lake to a 
depth of two hundred and fifty feet it would have flowed 
through the low gap at the head of Greenspring run and 
would have emptied itself down the present valley of Green- 
spring into the North branch, and it would not have cut 


the gfap at the wire bridg-e at all. This is conclusive proof 
that the g-ap was cut slowly, as the mountain rose out of 
the earth. 

If further proof is wanted, take the case of the upper 
I-Iang"ing Rocks, four miles below Romne}^ and the same 
arg-ument will lead to a similar conclusion. The South 
branch, for fifteen miles above Hang-ing- Rocks, flows along" 
the eastern base of Mill creek movmtain, and at Hang-ing- 
Rocks breaks throug-h to the west side. If the mountain 
had been there first it would have been necessary that a 
lake form from the pent-up water till it overflowed the 
mountain at that place. The mountain is twelve hundred 
feet above sea level, or five hundred above the bed of the 
river. A lake must have formed five hundred feet deep to 
overflow the mountain toward the west. But, before the 
water had risen three hundred feet it would have passed 
out tbroug-h the low gap, on the east side of the mountain, 
between the upper and lower Hang-ing- Rocks. That g-ap 
is less than eig-ht hundred feet above sea level, and the 
river would have made its channel there and would not 
have cut throug-h the mountain, which is more than two 
hundred feet hig-her. Water always flows throug-h the 
lov/est g-aps. This proof is conclusive that, had the South 
branch, v^'hen it first started on its course to the sea, found 
Mill creek mountain across its path at upper Hanging- 
Rock, it would have continued down the east side of the 
mountain, and the gfaps at both the upper and lower rocks 
would not have been made. 

Mill creek gap, or Mechanicsburg- g-ap, is another case 
to the point. This passag-e throug-h the mountain was not 
m.ade by the South branch, but by Mill creek, just before 
it empties into the river. T^Iill creek is a comparatively 
small stream, and the amount of labor it has performed, in 
sawing- a passage for its water through that lofty moun- 
tain, is almost incredible. A river like the South branch 
may be expected to do great things; but so much work 


seems out of the question with so small a stream as Mill 
creek. Yet, by working- steadily throug-h countless a^es 
it has sawed a g"ap throug-h the mountain from top to bot- 
tom. This stream is also older than the mountain. Its 
entire course, except the lower two miles, lies west of that 
rang-e. It drains a basin of about sixty square miles, and 
empties throug-h a pass cut to a depth of not less than 
twelve hundred feet. It is a much deeper g-ap than any of 
the three made by the South branch and the North branch 
below that place. The mountain on both sides of the pass 
is nearly two thousand feet above sea level, and the bottom 
of the pass is less than eig-ht hundred, showing- a perpen- 
dicular cut of twelve hundred feet. Had it been necessary 
for Mill creek to form a lake until it overflowed the moun- 
tain, before the cutting- process beg-an, the lake would have 
been more than a thousand feet deep. If no water had 
been permitted to escape, except by evaporation, t^e rain 
and snow of a thousand years would not have sufficed to 
accumulate water to that heig-ht. It would have been im- 
possible for a lake to form at that place to a depth of a 
thousand feet; because before it had reached one-third of 
that depth it would have found two passag-es for escape, 
one through the low g-ap above Parg-atsville into the South 
branch near Old Fields, and the other throug-h the low g-ap 
toward the north, at the head of Dumpling- run, a small 
stream which empties into the South branch about five 
miles below Romney, near the residence of Franklin Her- 
riott. The divide between Dumpling- run and the water of 
Mill creek is only nine hundred and seventy feet above the 
sea, and the divide between the water of Mill creek and 
Mud lick, near the Hardy county line, is eleven hundred 
feet above sea level. The mountain throug-h which Mill 
creek made its outlet is two thousand feet; so it can be 
seen that the water, if sufficiently accumulated, would have 
passed throug-h either g-ap long- before it would have over- 
flowed the mountain. Where rivers once fix their courses, 



there they usually keep them, not suffering- themselves to 
be turned aside by mountains thrust across their paths. 

The cases already cited are those in which streams have 
cut a:ro.^s m3untain^, making- a way through from one 
side to the other: Mill creek g-ap, the passes at the upper 
and the lower Hang-ing- Rocks, and that between Green 
soring and South branch station. A remarkable and 
peculiar case of mountain cutting remains to be described. 
It is the Trough. There the river did not cut across the 
mountain, from one side to the other, but made a passag-e 
through it from end to end. It may be compared to a cir- 
cular saw, cutting- a log- leng-thwise. The narrow, troup-h- 
like g-ap made by the river is. about seven miles long-, 
partly in Hardy county and partly in Hampshire. The 
process by which the passag-e was made, was without 
doubt similar to that already described in the excavatioa 
of the other passes throug-h the same rang-e. The river 
was flowing. upon its course before there was a mountain. 
When the folding rocks beg-an to rise from the earth, the 
axis, or anticline, of the fold was directly beneath, and 
parallel with the river which beg-an the work by cutting- a 
troug-h along- the backbone of the embryonic mountain. As 
the elevation of the range became g-reater, the river cut 
deeper, until at the present day the g-org-e is hundreds of 
feet deep, and the South branch flows in a narrow channel 
at the bottom, with nearly perpendicular walls of rock on 
either side. 

It seems almost superfluous to examine ag-ain for proof 
that if the mountain had been their first, the river would 
have soug-ht and found a channel very different from the 
one it now follows. It is out of the question that a stream 
would flow over a mountain, along- its summit lengthwise 
when it could have found an outlet hundreds of feet lower 
on either side. Had the South branch, when it first started 
out upon its course, found itself confronted by the end of 
Mill creek mountain, below Old Fields, it would have 


formed a lake, until the empounded waters escaped 
through the lowest gap. That g-ap would probably have 
been found near Parg-atsville, althouf^h the gap on the east 
side of the river, through which the road from Romney to 
Moorefield passes, is on nearly the same level. Both gaps 
are about eleven hundred feet above the sea, or three hun- 
dred above the bed of the river at Moorefield, Had a lake 
been formed there, it would have found drainage down 
Mill creek before it attained a depth above three hundred 
feet. The mountain through which the Trough extends 
was split from end to end. Half the mountain is now east 
of the river, half west. But the larger half (if an expres- 
sion so unmathematical may be allov/ed,) is west of the 
Trough. At least, it is the higher portion. It rises above 
the bed of the river to a height of nineteen hundred feet, 
culminating in High Knob, on the Hampshire-Hardy line. 
The portion to the east of the river rises nine hnndrcd 
feet above the bed of the stream. There the two portions 
of the mountain stand facing each other, v/ith a yawning 
chasm between them. The appearance is, that some ter- 
rific convulsion of nature had burst the mountain from end 
to end, and that the river, finding a channel thus ready 
made, adopted it. But convulsions of nature, especially in 
that region, have never burst mountains in such a way. 
The chasm was made by flowing water, through ages un- 
numbered; yet, the evidence docs not contradict the 
theory that the work may have been facilitated by the rup- 
ture of the top of the strata under the immense strain as 
they were folded and thrust upward. 

Without dwelling more at length on this subject, the 
conclusion may be thus presented: When the South branch 
first commenced flowing, near the close of the Carbonifer- 
ous age, if it had found ?»Iill creek mountain in its path at 
the south end of the IVough, the course of the river 
would have been very different from what it is now. It 
would have been as follows: Passing through Old I<'ield:i 


it would have made a cbatinel taroug:b the low gap near 
Pargat^vUle, thence down Mill creek valley, throug^h the 
gap at the head of DumpUngf run, down that brook, follow- 
ing- the present course of the river from upper to lower 
Hanging- Rocks, thence throug-b the low g-ap abov^e Sprlng-- 
tield, and down Green spring- run to the North branch of 
the Potomac. The fact that the river did not take tl^at 
course is proof that it already had its course before the 
mountain came into existence, and the mauntain could not 
deflect or obstruct it. 

There is no doubt that the whole face of the conntrj has 
been much worn down since the upheaval of Mill creek 
mountain, and the tojxi«g'raphy was different in early times 
from what it is now. The divides near Parg^itsville, at 
the head of Dumpling- run, and at the head of Greenapring- 
run, were probably not so low as now; but the moantaia 
was also hig-her once than it is now, and the log^ic of the 
argument is not changed. 

T/?f' Jiomriej/ Terrace. — Tiie vuugo oi; Roiuucy 
stands on a river terrace, the average of which is about 
one hundred and tifty feet abiwe the S«.>uth branch. It was 
known as Pearscill's Flat before the town had an existence 
probably because a man of that narae lived there at a very 
early time. Pears^iU's fort, which ^vas built under the 
personal supervision of Washing-ton, did not stand on the 
terrace where Romney stands, but on a smaller and lower 
terrace one half mile further south, nearly opposite the 
present bridg-e across the South branch. Thesc^ two ter- 
races demand more than a piissing- mention when consid- 
ered trv>m the standpoint of g^x»g'raphy and g^jjolog-y. The 
upper one. where the town stands, is the older of the two; 
that is, it was made tirst. They were both carved by the 
S<>uth branch. Each was in its turn a portion of the bed 
of that river. This may seem unreasonable, if consider«-d 
in relation with the present land features; but gxx>log-r 
takes into account a^fcs almost unnumbered, and in that 


immense time great results are accomplished. River ter- 
races, far above the present channels of the streams, are 
found in many parts of the world, and are studied with 
interest and profit. They g-ive us hints of former land- 
scapes. The g-ravel and bowlders, now buried under soil, 
tell us what manner of rocks were broug-ht down by the 
ancient floods, and whether they were different then from 
those now carried down by the same streams. 

There was a time when the valley which now lies be- 
tween Roraney and the mountain on the other side of the 
river had not been scooped out. A plain level with Indian 
Mound cemetery then extended to the mountain west of 
the South branch — the bottom of that valley being about 
one hundred and seventy-five feet above the level of the 
present valley. It was no doubt a wide and beautiful plain 
but the evid2iic2 which remains is not suf&cient to fix its 
exact boundaries or dimensions; nor to justify a conclusion 
as to its veg-etable or animal life, except within certain 
wide limits. The ancient floor of that whole valley has 
been worn down and washed away, except one little frag- 
ment. This fragment is the terrace now occupied by 
Romney. The river has cut far below the ancient level; 
but the frag-ment of the old bcttom«remains to show where 
the river once flowed. 

Y/hat is the evidence of this? The position, slope and 
g-eneral appearance of the terrace suggest its orig-in; but 
the direct and positive proof that the river once flowed 
there, is found in the beds of rounded bowlders cov- 
erino- the whole terrace. These bowlders are exactly 
like those found in the present bed of the river. Their 
rounded and polished surfaces show that they were rolled 
a long- distance. They are typical water-woi'n bowlders, 
and cannot have any other origin. They rest upon the 
solid bedrock, and they are covered with several feet of 
soil. The solid rock was first cut out by the river. Next 
the bowlders accummulated. Then the river cut a deeper 


-channel and left the beds of bowlders to be covered by 
soil. Any person who will follow the edg-e of the terrace, 
beg-inning- at the ravine south of the cemetery, and passing- 
northward for a niile, will li;id beds and layers of river 
bowlders exposed in m.iny places, usaiUy whsrj the sjil 
lias been rem )ved or cut throag-h by smill ravines and 
g-ullies. Near the top of the g^rade where the North- 
Avestern pike ascends the hill at the cemetery, the layer of 
bovvdders is exposed, resting- upon the shale. 

On the south side of the ravine at the same point, and 
all the way to its head, where it has cut back in the ter- 
race, the bowlders are exposed to view. The covering- of 
soil at that place is thin. A person would not need dig- 
deep, anyvvhere in that vicinity, to find river bowlders and 
gravel. In raanv parts of Romney wells and cisterns have 
been dug- throug-h beds of bowlders. In one place a well 
passed nearl}^ fifty feet throug-h soil, g-ravel and bowlders 
before the be:lro:k v/is reached. From the cemetery 
northv/ard, along- the bluff for a mile, bowlders are found 
in layers between the soil and bed rock. In many places 
they have rolled down and have covered the face of the 
bluff from top to bottom. There are a ievv places, how- 
ever, where bowlders are not found in larg-e quantities; 
and some of the wells and cisterns in Romne}'^ reached bed- 
rock without encountering many. This exception to the 
rule is not difficult of explanation. At the present day the 
river deposits g-ravel and bowlders more bountifully in 
some portions of the bottom-lands than in others. It did 
likewise in ancient time. 

. The Romney terrace is not horizontal. It slopes from 
its hig-liest part, near the cemetery, northward about one 
mile, reaching- a much lower level. It seems to have orig-- 
inally been a series of terraces, one above the other, de- 
scending- like steps in the direction of the flow of the river. 
But the erosion which has taken place, and the cross-cut- 
ting- by ravines and g-ullies, have obliterated the dividing- 


lines between the different planes, if such ever existed^ 
and at present the whole terrace, from north to south, has.. 
a g-eneral and uniform slope, much cut by oruUies and 
ravines, but still appearing- from a distance as if it were 
one unbroken, oblique The probable explanation 
of the obliqueness of the terrace — its slope toward the 
north — is that the hig-her portion, where Romney stands, 
is oldest. The river having- cut out that part — a platform 
in the side of the mountain — sank to a lower level, leavings 
the platform dry, and cutting another a little further down 
stream and a little lovv'er; thus continuing- one after another 
until the whole series v/as done. Since then the South 
branch has continued to lower its bed, cutting- deeper and 
deeper into the bedrock, until it is found today almost two 
hundred feet below where it flowed when it cut the hig-hest 
part of the Romney terrace. 

An examination of the bov.-lders which cover the terrace 
shows that the were, in most cases, broug-fet from a great 
distance. They were ail carried to their present resting- 
place by the South branch; and a comparison with the for- 
mations up the river warrants the conclusion that many of 
the bowlders came from the present limits of Pendleton 
county. The swift current of the river transported them, 
rolling- them along- the bottom until they found lodgment 
where they are today. 

How long ago? The question cannot be answered. The 
time has been sufficient for the river to cut down through 
bedrock from the level of the cemetery to the present river- 
bed, and to widen the valley from hill to hill. The stream 
is probably still cutting- deeper, and is certainly widening- 
the valley. The evidence of this is open to every one who- 
will inspect the almost perpendicular bluff north of the 
cemetery, where the river is undermining- the terrace, and 
where the cliff of shale is constantly crumbling down. The. 
stream is eating its way across the terrace. It is cutting 
away the base, and the top falls down. By that process 


the vallev is beinsf widened. If the South branch continues 
to encroach upon the cru'mbling- cliff, the time will come 
when the whole terrace on which Romney stands will be 
undermined and washed awa}^ The work is rapid. The 
shaJe which forms the bluff is soft, and offers comparatively 
little resistance. That i^, it perhaps is carried away 
twenty times as rapidly as would be possible with the 
sandstone and cnert-lentel of the Hang-ing- Rocks, four 
miles below. As the cliff crumbles down, now and then a 
bowlder is loosened from the g^ravelly subsoil on the brow 
of the precipice and falls to the bed of the river, nearly two 
hundred feet below. One cjfcie of that bowlder's history 
closes. It was oriifinally torn from its native ledge, per- 
haps in Pendleton. It was then an ang-ular rock. In the 
course of a few centuries it was rolled by the river, had its 
corners rounded, and found lodg-ment in the old channel of 
Romney terrace. There it was covered with soil; forests, 
g-rew above it; ag"es passed; the river cut a deeper channel, 
undermined it, au'l it fell, to be rolled ag-ain, onward to- 
ward the Atlantic. 

There are many frag-raents of river terraces along" the 
South branch in more or less advanced stag^es of ruin. 
Some have almost disappeared; others are being- under- 
mined and will ultimately be washed away. Without doubt 
many that formerly existed have been entirely destroyed 
by the ever-encroaching- and never-resting- river. It is a 
work of stupendous destruction. Miles of level uplands 
have been carried away. It has not been done by violent 
convulsions of nature, but quietly, ceaselessly, resistlessl}^ 
just as the present Romney terrace is being- destroyed and 
obliterated by the river, which seems eternal when com- 
pared with the crumbling- rocks and mountains which it 
has Carried away. 

To the east of the road leading- from the bridg-e to Rom- 
ney lies a smaller river terrace, about one-half as hig-h as 
the cemetery. This is more clearly defined and is more 


nearly level than the larg-er one. It is not so old as the up- 
per terrace, having- been formed at a later period in the 
river's history. 

The Levels. — In the northeastern part of Hampshire 
county is a reg'ion of fifteen or more square miles known 
as the Levels. It is a plateau, bounded on the north by the 
Potomac, on the east by Little Capon, on the west by the 
South branch, and on the south by the gradually rising- 
ridg-es which skirt Jersey mountain. The averag-e eleva- 
tion of the Levels is about one thousand feet above the sea, 
a little more in places, and in others a little less. Viewed 
from the standpoint of g-eolog-y and g-eog-raphy, the district 
appears to be an old base-level of erosion. That is, it 
once worn down until it was little hig-her than the beds of 
thethreerlvers which then, as now, washed its three sides. 
It was then the bottom lands, with some slight irregulari- 
ties, lying in the quadrilateral formed by the three rivers 
and the higher region of Jersey mountain. Long-continued 
rest at one altitude and never-ceasing erosion had worn 
down all the irregularities and made the district level. 
Witho-at doubt the chief cause for the uniform surface over 
the ai-ea was the soft rock formation which underlies it. 
The rock is red shale, and it has comparativelv little power 
to resist the action of the elements, rain, frost and wind; 
and consequently all wore down at a uniform rate and 
reached the same plane; while the harder rocks of the 
mountains beyond its borders resisted more successfully 
the wear and tear, and remained at greater altitudes, with 
more irregular outlines. 

After the Levels had worn down nearly or quite to the 
plane of the rivers, there was an elevation of the land. 
The whole region rose together and became much higher 
than it was. The beds of the rivers of course rose with 
the land. But they continued to cut deeper, and have now 
reached a depth nearly or quite five hundred feet below 
the plateau. The bluff from the border of this upland 


plain, down to the present channels of the three rivers is, in 
many places, very steep, and in a few places quite precip- 
itous. Since the elevation took place, the erosive forces 
have been busy with the plateau. It has been cut with 
ravines all round the borders where the rainfall on the 
plateau flows over the brink of the bordering- bluff to reach 
the rivers below. These ravines are deeper and steeper 
where they descend the bluff; gfradually becoming- 
shallower and wider as they are followed toward their 
sources near the center of the upland plain. The re- 
sult is, the Levels have the g-eneral appearance of a rolling- 
prairie, the water courses being wide, shallow troug-hs, and 
the intervening- ridg-es low, with g-raceful outlines and reg-- 
nlar curves. One may here observe the first sLag-es in the 
process by v/hich plateaus are g-radualiy cut to pieces and 
destroyed by flowing- water. The work has but lately be- 
gun, when compared with the much more ancient results 
of erosion in tht county. Future ages will see the Levels 
very different from what they are now. The ravines 
which have already cut deep into the bordering- bluffs, will, 
as the ag-es g-lide away, cut deeper and work their way fur- 
ther back toward the center of the plateau, until the whole 
reg-ion Vvill become a network of deep canons and steep 
hills, and ultimately, but very gradually, the face of the 
country v/ill chang-e and will wear away, becoming- a hilly 
district instead of a nearly level upland. 

The result will be broug-ht about by the irresistible but 
inconceivabl}' slow process which, in the unmeasured past, 
have chiseled continents, worn away mountains, widened 
"valleys, and changed ag-ain and again the face of the whole 
world. No man knov;s how long vvdll be the time required 
to cut away that five-hundred foot plateau and bring- it 
down to the level of the present bed of the Potomac. The 
best g-eolog-ist will not risk an estimate in years. But that 
the ag-es to come v/ill be sufficiently long- to accomplish that 
result admits of no doubt. The past ei'as have been long- 


enough to accomplish greater results in the same place; 
for the unerring and indubitable records of geology, 
written in the rocks, soils and sands about us, show that 
from the top of that same plateau, the Levels, there have 
already been stripped no less than seven thousand feet of 
rock, which once v/ere piled stratum on stratum, and if 
now replaced would reach to the clouds. That stupendous 
work of destruction has been accomplished since the close 
of the Carboniferous age, one of the recent eras of geology. 

Vyliy Hampshire Has .Yo Coal- — All theories 
and the deductions from all experience teach that Hamp- 
shire county has no coal in commercial quantities. For a 
centur}^ from time to time, explorations have been made, 
and in some instances money has been spent iu dig-ging, 
and always with the result that prospects fail to material- 
ize. To the observer who is guided solely by local appear- 
ances, there are places which promise to yield coal; but a 
knowledge of the conditions under which coal is always 
found, and outside of which conditions it is never found, 
makes it plain that this valuable product of the earth is not 
to be expected in Hampshire county. A brief explanation 
of what these conditions are will be g'iven, after stating 
that coal is to be looked for only in rocks of the Carbonif- 
erous age. It is not found in paying quantities in older 
formations; and good coal is seldom or never found in 
newer formations. ^ 

Geologists segregate the rocks on the earth into great 
groups, called ages, the rocks of each age having some- 
thing in common — usually fossils^to distinguish them. 
The oldest rocks lie deepest, the next oldest on top of 
them, thus ascending, layer on layer, until the highest and 
newest are reached. The clastic rocks — those in layers. 
and which can be taken to pieces without breaking them — • 
begin with the Algonkian age, the oldest. On these lie 
the rocks of the Cambrian age, next to the oldest. Third 
comes the Silurian age; then the Devonian age; and next is 


the Carboniferous age. There are later ag-es, but none of 
them ever had any representative rocks in this part of 
West Virg-inia, and it is not necessary to consider them, 
the oldest two ag-es — the Alg-onkiau and Cambrian — are 
buried so deeply in this part of West Virginia that they 
have never been seen. Therefore, the only ag-es nov/ rep- 
resented in Hampshire are the Silurian and the Devonian. 
The Carboniferous rocks once w^ere represented here. 
The rocks of each of these ag-es have a great thickness. 
It cannot be stated exactly how thick they are in Hamp- 
shire. They vary in thickness in different parts of the 
country. But partial measurements and estimates based 
on measurements elsewhere, indicate that the rocks of the 
Silurian age are thirty-five hundred feet thick, underlying 
Hampshire. More complete measurements show that the 
rocks of the Devonian age, resting upon the Silurian, are 
no less than sixty-six hundred feet thick. 

If this is not plain already, it may be further explained 
that the rocks were formed on the sea bottom, la3^er upon 
layer, spread out fla.t. Vv'^hen these layers were piled up 
until their aggreg-ate was thirty-five hundred feet thick, 
that completed the Silurian age. Then other rocks, layer 
on layer, were deposited on top of the Silurian rocks, and 
these newer strata reached a thickness of sixty-six hun- 
dred feet. That closed the Devonian age. But in all the 
rocks thus far formed there was no coal. Then came the 
Carboniferous age. Layers of rocks, aggreg-ating thous- 
ands of feet in thickness, were deposited on top of the De- 
vonian. At intervals, and in certain localities, beds of coal 
were formed among the layers of the Carboniferous rocks. 
The material of which the coal was formed was always de- 
posited on top, and then was covered by a new stratum of 
rock. It is believed that the positions and the sequence of 
formation of the rocks are nov/ sufficiently plain to render 
easily understood the reason why Hampshire has no coal. 
It is simply because there are no rocks of the Carbonifer- 


ous ag-e in the county. The formations all belong- to the- 
Silurian and Devonian ag"es, and they have no coal. Thev 
never had any and never v^'ill have an3^ In the first part 
of this book is a chapter dealing- with West Virg-inia'sg-eol- 
og-y, and the reader who cares to do so, may refer to that 
for additional facts and conclusions. 

Did Hampshire ever have coal? There is no positive 
evidence that it ever had any, but the probability is that it 
once had as much coal as the counties lying- west. The 
reason why it now has none is because the rocks of the 
Carboniferous ag-e, which once rested upon the Devonian, 
and if now restored would extend across the county far 
above the tops of the present mountains, have all been 
stripped off and washed awa}^. They once formed the 
surface of the g-round here; but the vast number of )^ears 
since then has been sufficient to wear away the last pebble 
of the once enormous strata. The veins of coal which 
probably were sandwiched in among- the rocks, have all 
been g-round to pieces, broken up and washed into the At- 
lantic ocean. The South branch, Capon, North river, and 
all the tributary streams were the agents by which this 
pulv^erized rock was carried away. These rivers have been 
at work for millions of years carrying- back to the sea the 
sand and pebbles worn and broken from the mountains of 
Hampshire. They are at work now the same as then. 
They are the mills of the g-ods; they g-rind slowly, but 
they g-rind exceeding- fine. 

The work of denudation which has been done, even in 
the small space of Hampshire county, appalls the imag-ina- 
tion. It seems impossible. Yet our reason compels us to 
believe it. Climb to the summit of some- lofty eminence, 
as the writer of this has done — that conspicuous dome six 
miles southeast of Romney, rising- with g-randeur twenty- 
four hundred feet, fertile and cultivated to the very top. 
From that lofty watch-tower, an a clear day, read the open 
book of g-colog-y and it will teach a useful lesson. The 


whole county lies below, and the eye can reach the rolling- 
hills and sequestered valleys of four states. Far off to- 
ward the west stretch the Alleg^hanies, which seem eternal; 
farther away in the east the reg"ular and unbroken summit 
of the Blue Ridg-e meets the sky which bends above the 
valley of Virginia. Toward the north the mountains of 
Maryland and Pennsvlvaniaare crowded together in beau- 
tiful confusion. In the south, mountains are piled on moun- 
tains as far as the eye can reach. But it is not the study 
of distant objects which now claims attention, but of the 
landscape near at hand, all cut and scarred, furrowed and 
trenched, until the original form of the land can scarcely 
be restored, even in fancy. Yet there was a time when 
not one of those valleys had an existence; not one of those 
rocks, hills or cliffs had ever seen the light of day. Every 
object on which the eye now rests was buried thousands 
of feet beneath the vast beds of the Carboniferous rocks 
which then rested upon them. The only feature of that 
ancient land which would now seem familiar, if we could 
see it, were the rivers. They were flowing then. They 
were cutting channels and valle3^s in the Carboniferous 
formations. They were carrying the spoil to the sea. The 
sand was being- worn from the surface of the ground, and 
ag"e after age the surface of the country changed. The 
streams cut deeper; the valleys widened; the hills became 
rounded in form. The merciless hand of erosion was laid 
heavily upon the land. The larger rivers finally cut en- 
tirely through the Carboniferous rocks and reached the 
upper layers of the Devonian. Then all the streams cut 
through the Carboniferous formations and the intervening* 
hills were worn down and washed out to sea as sand, and 
at length the last vestige of Carboniferous rock had been 
stripped off and was g-one. Hampshire's coal went too. 
The Carboniferous rocks v/ere worn further and further 
back toward the AUcghanics, until today the edges of those 
vast strata may be seen sticking out of the side of that 


rang-e, reminding- one of a remnant of ice adhering" to the 
bank after that which once crossed the entire stream has 
been broken up and washed away. 

The work of erosion and denudation is g^oing- on now as 
rapidly as ever. The Carboniferous formations are gone; 
the Devonian rocks are g-oing*. The vastness of the work 
of destruction may be viewed from the summit of the 
mountain. On every side, in ever}'^ direction, lie valleys, 
ravines and g-org-es. Each of them is the trench cut by 
some stream. The South branch, which lies in full view 
from one end of the county to the other, has cut entirely 
throug"h the sixty-six hundred feet of Devonian strata, and 
is now attacking- the upper layer of the subjacent Silurian. 
Beyond Mill creek mountain the wide, irreg"ular valleys of 
Mill creek and Patterson creek show the work of erosion 
there. The rounding- hills and intervening- vales between 
the Mill creek mountain and Knobby, ten miles further 
west, are witnesses to the work of destruction, the g-rind- 
ing- down of all the sharp ang-les of the hills, the scooping- 
out of the valleys, the havoc of frost and rain, of flood and 
wund, throughout the unnumbered centuries of the past. 
It is the same in every direction. Trout run, a mere brook, 
with its source near the Hardy county line, lies in full view 
from head to mouth. It flows as straight as an arrow 
from its source, northward several miles, between two 
mountains, one of which is the highest in Hampshire 
county, thirty-one hundred feet. Then it turns to the 
west and reaches the South branch. That small stream 
has scooped out a ravine more than one thousand feet deep, 
several miles long, and two miles wide across the top, from 
summit to summit of the mountains between which it flows. 
This ravine lies entireh" in Devonian rocks; but before the 
brook began the work which is now visible, it first cut 
through and carried away the thousands of feet of Carbon- 
iferous rocks which lay above the Devonian. The same 
mav be said of the other ravines and valleys to the east and 

' 30 



THE N£W )'mK 

' aStor, lenok and , 

irlLDSM FOU N Da 710N-1 


south, and of Grassy Lick and Tearcoat in particular. 
Fully one-half, perhaps much more than one-half, of the 
Devonian rocks which once covered Hampshire has already 
been stripped off. The time \viil come when these rocks 
will all disappear, as has been the case with the Carbonif- 
erous rocks which once rested upon them. Then the forces 
of erosion will commence upon the Silurian formations, and 
when the Silurian has been stripped off, the same forces 
will attack the still lower Cambrian; then the underlying- 
Algonkian; and finally, when that shall have shared the 
same fate, the attack v/ill be made upon the lowest of all, 
the Archaean rocks, which have no bottom that has ever 
been reached, but are supposed to extend so deeply that 
their lower portions rest upon the fused or plastic interior 
of the earth. 

The belief is common among- some people, in Hampshire 
as elsewhere, that coal may be found "by going deep 
enough." This is a false doctrine. In some parts of the 
world coal is reached by deep shafts, but that is because 
the Carboniferous rocks lie beneath the surface. In Hamp- 
shire the Carboniferous rocks and their coal veins, if they 
still existed, would be found overhead, somewhere near 
the present clouds. It is, therefore, plain that the deeper 
into the earth one g"oes in Hampshire the further he is from 
coal. He is digging away from it rather than toward it. 

The statement has been made, and no doubt truthfully, 
that coal has actually been found in Hampshire county. 
In the first part of this article it will be remembered that 
the writer always qualified his assertion that no coal ex- 
ists in rocks older than the Carboniferous, by saying that 
it does not exist in "commercial quantities, " or "paying 
quantities." Wh}^ this qualifying- term was used will now 
be explained. Small and worthless seams and streaks of 
coal are frequently found in rocks older than the Carbon- 
iferous; and it is not uncommon to find beds of what is 
called "carbonaceous shale," which occasionally will burn 


in an imperfect manner. But all efforts to develop such 
deposits and make them valuable, result in failure, because 
they are either too limited in extent or too poor in quality. 
Coal, as is well known, is formed of veg^etation. Vast quan- 
tities were required to make thick and g^ood veins. The 
climate and other conditions of the earth were not suited 
to luxuriant vegetation until the Carboniferous ag-e. When 
that ag"e came, coal was formed, usually in vast swamps 
near the sea level, where the accumulation of trees, leaves 
and plants of many kinds formed beds of g^reat thickness. 
But before that time there had been comparatively little 
vegfetation, and there could be only thin seams of coal. 
Carbonaceous shale was made of a mixture of mud and ac- 
cumulated veg-etatlon. If there was only a small amount 
of veg-etable matter present, the shale is probably black in 
color, but with little other resemblance to coal. If veg^eta- 
ble matter was more abundant, the shale may now contain 
enoug-h of it to burn imperfectl3^ But, in any case, these 
deposits arc nearly or quite valueless. They excite but 
never satisfy the hopes of the prospector. 

If a capping- of Carboniferous rocks should be found on 
some mountain of Hampshire, there mig-ht be a vein of 
coal discovered in it. But it is unlikely that such a cap- 
ping- will be found, and if found it v/ill be exceeding^ly 
small. It would be only a limited patch of such rock not 
yet entirely worn away; and the places to look for such 
are on the tops of the highest mountains. But the writer 
has made a tolerably thoroug-h examination of the moun- 
tains of the county, and has been unable to discover one 
pebble that can be assig^ned to the Carboniferous ag-e. 
The strata in places are much folded and broken, and the 
intellig-ent observer will examine the troughs of protected 
synclines as well as the tops of anticlines for remnants of 
coal-bearing- rocks. But the probability is that the search 
will be forever in vain in the future as it has been in vain in 
the past. 


Lest there be a misapprehension, it is proper to state 
that the presence of rocks of the Carboniferous ag-e is by- 
no means a proof of the presence of coal. There are places 
where these rocks lie undisturbed, and j^et they may be 
bored throug-h from top to bottom without encountering- 
veins of coal worth working-. Coal was not formed every- 
where over the earth's surface during- the Carboniferous 
ag-e. Some portions were too deep under water; in others 
perhaps the conditions were not favorable to the g-rowth of 
rank veg-etation. In most cases the important beds of coal 
are believed to have been formed on low coastal plains, 
similar to the Dismal swamp in Virg-inia. Deep water and 
hig-h and dry land were not favorable to the accumulation 
of vegetable remains in vast quantities. 

Starting- from the summit of the Alleghanies, west of 
Romney, and traveling- eastward to the Chesapeake bay, it 
is found that the surface rocks become older the further 
east, with local and slig-ht exceptions. Rocks of the Car- 
boniferous ag-e are never met with after leaving- the Alleg-ha- 
nies. First, the Devonian is the prevailing- formation. 
Further east, in the valley of Virg-inia, the principal rock 
is the Silurian. Further east the Cambrian, Alg-onkiau 
and the Archaean are encountered. It is like g-oing- down 
stairs, beginning with the highest and newest, the Carbon- 
iferous, on the Alleg-hanies, and stepping- first down to the 
Devonian in Hampshire