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7 1972 

- BINDER? x. 



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JAN 1 a- 2005 


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DEMCO, INC. 38-2931 




Old and New 




Professor of History and Political Science at 
West Virginia University 




By Special Editorial Staff of the Publishers 






"9 2 3 


West Tirginia OnlYerslty 

Copyright 1923, 


James Morton Callahan 

Author's Preface 

The author of this volume of state history in completing the ardu- 
ous and .confining labor involved in its preparation — undertaken pri- 
marily with a purpose of service to the state — greatly appreciates the 
opportunity and facilities for publication provided through the finan- 
cial plans of the publishers to whom belongs all the business respon- 
sibility of the enterprise. He also appreciates the co-operation of many 
public spirited citizens in facilitating researches or in verification and 
revision of data. He especially acknowledges the assistance of those whose 
names appear as collaborators in the preparation of several chapters. 

Although the author has spared no pains to secure accuracy of ma- 
terial, he is conscious of imperfections and does not doubt that mistakes 
may have escaped his detection. A large part of the credit for verifica- 
tions and revisions is due to his faithful amanuensis (under permanent 
engagement), whose earlier investigations on the evolution of the consti- 
tution of West Virginia furnished a large part of the material for the 
chapters on Sectionalism and the Constitution of 1872. 

Morgantown, W. Va., C2^^ 

February 20, 1922. 



Table of Contents 

Introduction : Use of Local History 1 

Survey op Landmarks 12 

Geographic Conditions 21 

Institutional Heritage from Old Virginia 40 

The First Advance 49 


The Struggle for Trans-Allegheny Control 57 


Advance Guard of the Trans- Allegheny West 66 

The Rear Guard of the Revolution 81 


New Call of the Frontier : Awakening of the West 94 

Glimpses from Travelers' Records 115 

Expansion and Dispersion of Settlements 134 


Historic Highways 169 



The First Railroad 187 

Wheeling-Pittsburgh Rivalry 200 

Ohio River Influences (to 1861) 210 

Early Community Life, Economic and Social 219 

Religion and Church 257 

The Tradition of Education 277 

Rise of Local Newspapers 208 

Sectionalism and Constitutional Problems 315 

Achievement of Statehood 335 

Strategy of War 374 

A Traveler's Tales from the Oil Region (1864) 392 


Problems and Policies of Reconstruction 399 

The Constitution of 1872 413 

Industrial Awakening along the Kanawha 424 

Expansion of Development North of the Kanawha 443 



The Awakening South of the Kanawha 483 

Oil, Gas and Coal Development 499 


Development of Agriculture and Country Life 524 


Telephone and Highway Communication 538 

Political and Legislative History 551 


Social and Institutional History 567 


Development of Taxation and Finance 605 


Interstate Relations 621 


Educational Development 628 


West Virginia Literature and Literary Writers 671) 

West Virginia and the World War 697 

The Last Decade, 1910-1921 711 


Suggestive Outline for Study of Local History 720 


Aberdeen Angus cattle, I, 529 

Academies and seminaries, I, 291-296 

Academies, old-time, I, 629 

Academy, first, west of the Blue Eidge, 
I, 110 

Agricultural and household implements, 
I, 223 

Agricultural implements, I, 228 

Agricultural paper, first west of the 
Blue Eidge, I, 300 

Agricultural statistics (1850), I, 254 

Agriculture; status of farming in 1920, 
I, 524; before the Civil War, 526; 
apple producing counties, 527; corn 
and other standard crops, 528; live- 
stock, 528, 529, 530; farm machinery 
improvements and agricultural educa- 
tion, 531; State agricultural institu- 
tions, 531-534; farms and livestock 
(1900-1920), 536; acreage and produc- 
tion, 537; statics of (1900-1920), 
712, 713 

"Aldermanic" act, I, 316 

Aldermanic School Law (1796), I, 279 

Alderson, I, 90 

Alexander and Eastern Eailroad, I, 453 

Alexandria, I, 526 

Allen, Benjamin, I, 259 

Allen, Samuel, letter of (1796), I, 122- 

Alley, L. 8., sketch of, I, 425 

Allied War Belief, World's war, I, 709 

Along the Norfolk & Western Railway in 
Virginia and West Virginia (illustra- 
tions), I, 486 

Alpena, Swiss colony at, I, 593 

Ambler, Charles H., I, 210 

American Gazetteer, extracts from 
(1797), I, 125 

American Telephone and Telegraph Com- 
pany, I, 539 

Ancient home of the Burrs, in Jefferson 
County (illustration), I, 136 

Ansted, I, 432 

"Apple Pie Ridge," I, 527 

Apples, varieties of, and producing 
counties, I, 527 

Aracome, I, 240 

Arbuckle, Mathew, I, 76 

Archer, Robert L., I, 710 

Arnoldsburg, I, 159 

Asbury, Francis (Methodist bishop), 
I, 102; extracts from journal of, 115- 
118; first journey of, to Western Vir- 
ginia (1781), 268 

Ashe, Thomas, extracts from his "Trav- 
els in America" (1806), I, 128-130 

Athens, normal school established at 
(1872), I, 589 

Atkeson, Mary M., I, 679 

Atkinson, Alexander, I, 425 

Atkinson, George W., I, 561-687 

Atlantic, Mississippi & Ohio Railroad, I, 

Aurora, I, 185 

Australian ballot bill, State senate 

passes, I, 560 
Automobile licenses, increase of, I, 547 
Averill, W. W. Union raids under (1863), 

I, 387 
Averill Coal Company, I, 517 
Avery, George D., I, 109 
Avis, I, 429-430 

Babcock Lumber and Boom Company, 
I, 476 

Bailey, Ann, sketch of, I, 220 

Bailey, John, I, 100 

Bailey, Minter, I, 183 

Ballangee, Isaac, I, 430 

Ballardsville, I, 167 

Baltimore & Ohio Railway, I, 135-136- 
144; built to Wheeling (1852), 171; 
built to Cumberland (1842), 173; in- 
corporation and organization of, 187 ; 
surveys for, 188, 189; opening of, 
to the Potomac (1832), 189; western 
extensions, 189-196; engineering ob- 
stacles between Cumberland and 
Wheeling, 192, 193 ; industrial revival 
along the line, 194, 195; reaches 
Wheeling (January 1, 1853), 196; 
Grafton-Parkersburg branch opened 
(June 1, 1857), 197-199; military im- 
portance of, in Civil War, 389-391; 
branches of, I, 445; absorbs Ohio 
River Railroad (1901), 470; its 
freight discrimination against West 
Virginia, I, 555 

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, 
exemption from taxation by, I, 611, 

Bank of Philippi (1855), I, 147 

Bank of Summers, I, 430 

Banks of Charleston, I, 436; of Hun- 
tington, 437; of Wheeling, 467; con- 
dition of (191921), I, 715 

Baptist Church, I, 261-264, 274 

Baptist churches, in 1850 and 1860, I, 

Barbe, Waitman, I, 689, 692 

Barbour county, first settlements in, I, 
103, 146-252; divided in Civil war, 

Barbour County Jeffersonian, I, 314 

Barboursville, I, 114, 239 

Barnard, Henry, I, 637 

Barnes, J. Walter, I, 705 

Barter, I, 226 

Bath (Berkeley Springs), I, 89 

Battelle, Gordon, I, 294 

Batts, Thomas, I, 54 

Beckley, I, 168, 240, 496 

Beckleyville (Beckley), I, 168, 240, 496 

Bedford county, I, 69 

Beef cattle, I, 529 

Beef industry, I, 529 

Belington, I, 477 

Belington and Beaver Creek Railroad, 
I, 480 



"Bell System Employees Benefit Plan" 
(World War measure), I, 542 

Belleville, I, 160 founding of (1785-86), 

Bennett, Jesse, I, 160 

Bennett, Louis, I, 563 

Benwood, I, 240 

Berkeley, Robert C, I, 648, 663 

Berkeley county, f, 89, 243, 252, 368 

Berkeley Springs, I, 239 

Bethany, I, 240 

Bethany college, I, 157, 295 

Beverly, I, 103, 149, 239, 477 

Big bottom survey (1773), I, 70 

Big Sandy boundary dispute, I, 621 

Blackman, David, sketch of, I, 149 

Blacksburg, I, 240 

Blacksville, I, 102 

Blair, Jacob B., I, 364, 638; illustration, 

Bland, Frances M., I, 693 

Blennerhasset, Harman, sketch of, I, 
108; 158 

Blennerhasset, Margaret A., I, 682 

Blennerhasset, Mr. and Mrs. Harman 
(illustration), I, 108 

S^d-letting, of the early times, I, 251 

Bloomery Furnaces, I, 135 

Blue Creek oil field (illustration), I, 512 

Bluefield, I, 90; gateway to the Poca- 
hontas coal field, 488, 489; industries 
of, 489 

Bluefield Colored Institute, established 
(1895), I, 590, 630 

Bluefield Telephone Company, I, 539 

Blue Ridge Gap, at Harper's Ferry, 
I, 31 

Blue Ridge Railroad, I, 424 

Boffri of Children's Guardians, created 
(ISTO), I, 598 

Board of Health, functions and work 
of, I, 599, 600 

Board of Public Works, absorbs immi- 
gration office (1871), I, 593; 598, 615, 

"Board of Regents," West Virginia 
University, I, 647 

Boatmen and steamboat men, I, 215 

Bolivar, I, 239 

Bollman, Eric, extracts from letter of 
(1796), I, 121, 122 

Bonded indebtedness (1920), I, 718 

Bonnifield, Abe, I, 151 

Bonnifield, Samuel, sketch of, I, 103 

Boone, Daniel, I, 60; report of survey 
by (1797), 100 

Boone county, I, 113, 167, 252 

Boreman, Arthur I., I, 336; illustration, 
349; 354, 551, 637 

Boothsville, I, 240 

Bosworth, Squire, sketch of, I, 249 

Boundaries, first, of West Virginia, I, 

Bouquet, General closes Indian cam- 
paign, I, 64, 65 

Boys' and girls' club work, I, 533 

Boys' Industrial School, I, 630 

Braddock, Edward, defeated (1755), I, 
59 ; died of wounds, 60 

Brarlshaw, John, I, 137 

Brandonville, I, 102, 239, 240 

Brandywine, I, 54 

Braxton county, I, 109, 252; early 
schools of, 290 

Bridgeport, I, 145, 239 

Bridges across the Ohio, I, 465, 466 

Briscoe, William, I, 51 

Brook county, I, 156, 252 

Brooke, C. F. T., I, 686 

Brooke Academy, I, 294 

Brooks, Elisha, I, 165 

Brookville, I, 159 

Brown, James H. (illustration), I, 349 

Brown, William G., I, 364 

Brownsville, I, 240 

Bruceton, I, 73, 143, 240 

Buckhannon, I, 147, 148, 239, 455; first 
B. & O. train to (1883), 447; illustra- 
tion, 454 

Buckhannon and Northern Railroad, I, 

Buckhannon Boom and Lumber Com- 
pany, I, 455 

Budget bill, I, 594 

Buffalo, I, 161, 240 

Buffington, Thomas, I, 114 

Bull Creek oil district (1864), I, 393 

Bullett lands, I, 99 

Butlitt, Thomas, I, 71 

Burd, James, I, 66, 67 

Bureau of Markets, created (1917), I, 

Bureau of roads (1913), I, 595 

Bureau of roads, created (1913), I, 
602, 603 

Burke's Garden, I, 90 

Burning Spring (1864), I, 393 

Burning Spring run, I, 500 

Burr, Peter, I, 136 

Burr home Jefferson county (illustra- 
tion), I, 136 

Butcher, B. L., I, 636 

Butcher, Gibson J., sketch of, I, 415 

Butler, Frank, I, 648 

Cabell county, I, 114, 252; early 

schools of, 289 
Cacapon Furnace Stack near Wardens- 

ville, Hardy County (illustration), I, 

Calhoun county, I, 109; county scat 

contest in, 159, 252 
Callahan, J. M., I, 650 
Camden, G. D., I, 183 
Oamden, Johnson N., I, 551, 552, 553, 

557, 560 
Camden, R. P., I, 183 
Cameron, I, 196, 238 
Camp meetings, early, I, 270, 271 
Campbell, Alexander, I, 295 
Campbell, A. W., I, 314; illustration, 

Canaan Valley, native spruces in field 

of blue grass (illustration), I, 525 
Cannelton, I, 431 
Caperton, Allen T., I, 553, 554 
Caperton, Hugh, I, 99 
Capitation taxes, I, 618 
Capon furnace, I, 231 
"Captive watercourses," I, 34, 35 
Carlile, John S., I, 334, 341, 343, 347; 

illustration, 349; 356, 362 
Carpenter, Nicholas, I, 105 
Carr, Robert S., I, 558, 559 
Carroll, Charles of Carrollton, I, 189 
Carter, James C, I, 636 
Carter, John J., I, 511 
Cassville, I, 240, 492 
Catawba war-path, I, 37 
Catholic Church, I, 272, 273; status in 

1850, 274; in 1850 and 1860, 276 
Cats vs. Rats, I, 51 
Cattle raising, early, I, 228 



Central District Telephone Company, 
I, 539 

Central Land Company of West Vir- 
ginia, I, 430 

Central Telephone Company, I, 545 

Ceredo, I, 168 

Chapman, George, I, 104 

Charleston, I, 71, 99, 100; Wellsburg, 
104, 110, 161-165; in 1854 (illustra- 
tion), 164, 239; newspapers of, 307; 
as state capital, 369 ; state capital 
located at, 410, 411 ; constitutional 
convention at (January- April, 1872), 
414; Chesapeake & Ohio Railway 
opened to, I, 425 ; history of since 
incorporation (1861), 432, 433; con- 
test with Wheeling, for state capital, 
433 ; becomes permanent state capital 
(1885), and its subsequent develop- 
ment, 433-436; central portion (birds- 
eye view of), 484; birdseye view of, 
488; business section (birdseye view), 
490; early telephone service at, 539 

Charleston, Clendennin & Sutton Rail- 
way, I, 478 

Charleston division of the Baltimore & 
Ohio Railroad (see Coal & Coke Rail- 

Charleston Hotel, I, 180 

Charleston, Ripley and Ravensvood 
Turnpike Company, I, 180 

Charleston-Sutton- Weston telephone line, 
I, 539 

Charles Town (1740), I, 51 

Charlestown Academy, I, 293 

Charlestown Free Press, I, 314 

Charlestown Spirit of Jefferson, I, 314 

Cheat River View, near Squirrel Rock 
(illustration), I, 23 

Cheat settlement, I, 103 

Chesapeake .""- 1 Ohio canal, completed 
(1850), I, 135 

Chesapeake & Ohio Northern Railway, 
I, 442 

Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, I, 331, 424, 
425; opened to Charleston and Hun- 
tington (1873), 425; Irish settlers 
along, 426, 428-442 ; extension since 
1890, 438-442, development of to 
1920, 428, 429; founding and 
growth of towns and cities along. 
429-442; branches into timber and 
mineral regions, 439; extensions in 
1910-1921, 441, 442 

Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company, 
I, 556 

Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone 
Company (Bell System), I, 540, 541 

Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Com- 
pany of West Virginia, I, 542; oper- 
ations of (1920-22), 543, 544; loca- 
tion of offices of (map), 548 

Chesterman, A. D., I, 638 

Chief mine inspector, office of created 
I, 600 

Children's Home, expenditure for (1912- 
1920), I, 619 

Chilton, William E., I, 563, 564 

Chitwood, O. P., I, 40, 697 

Christian, Charles R,, I, 693 

Christian Church, I, 273, 276 

Christian churches in 1850 and 1860, 
I, 276 

Churches (see also Religion and De- 
nominations) ; chief, supported in 
Western Virginia (1850), I. 274; 
(1860), 275; 569; in 1916, 715 

Cities, population since I860, I, 568 

Cities and towns, uniform system for 
government of (1911), I, 595 

Citizens Bank of Hinton I, 430 

City streets, brick and concrete, I, 550 

Civil war operations: strategic, Monon- 
gahela region, I, 374 ; Confederates 
invade West Virginia, 375; Baltimore 
& Ohio Railroad falls into control of 
Federal troops, 376; McClellan's 20, 
000 Union troops cross the Ohio at 
Parkersburg and Wheeling, 376 ; Mc- 
Clellan 's headquarters at Grafton 
(June, 1861), 377; strategic points, 
377, 378 ; Union victory at Rich Moun- 
tain, 379; McClellan called to com- 
mand the Army of the Potomac and 
Lee sent to recover West Virginia, 
380; railroad communication re-estab- 
lished between Baltimore, Washington 
and Wheeling (April, 1862), 381; 
great transportation feat of the Civil 
war, 381, 382; Confederates lose the 
Kanawha valley, 382, and perma- 
nently pushed over the Alleghenies, 
383 ; Confederate raid down the 
Kanawha valley (1863), 385; other 
Confederate raids, 386-389 

Clark, George R., I, 77; expedition into 
Indian country (1779), 87 

Clarksburg, I, 5, 71, 102, 144, 145, 239; 
educational convention in (1841), 
281 ; first newspaper published in, 
303; free school convention at (1841), 
317; the most important military post 
in State, 377; industrial development 
of, 458; educational convention at, 

Clarksburg Telegram, I, 314 

Clarks Gap, I, 496 

Clay, C. C, I, 429 

Clay county, I, 252 

Claysville, I, 240 

Clendenin, George, I, 99, 100 

Clifton Mills, I, 73 

Clifton Sewer Pipe Yard, New Cumber 
land (illustration), I, 466 

Clover Bottom, I, 90 

Cloyd Mountain, battle of, I, 388 

Coal, formation of, I, 29; first in the 
Kanawha valley, 517 

Coal development, progress of, I, 500 ; 
estimated amount of deposits, 515; 
exploration and experimental develop- 
ment, 517; production in 1863-1920, 
517, 518; notable production (1913- 
1915), 520, 521; employes in 1920, 
521; coal lands owned by great cor- 
porations, 521, 522 

Coal industries along the Kanawha 
(1839-60), I, 167 

Coal lands monopolized, I, 521, 522 

Coal mines, regulation of, I, 601 

Coal mining, I, 17; Virginia Railway 
in connection with, 496; production 
1900-1920, 713 

Coal mining industries, I, 489, 491 

Coal & Coke Railway, I, 478-482 

Coal River branch, Chesapeake & Ohio 
Railway, I, 439 

Coalsmouth, I, 161 

Coal Valley, I, 431 

Cochran, Mrs. Joseph G., I, 704 

Cochran, Nathaniel, I, 219 

Coke, first produced in West Virginia 
(1843), I, 518 

Coke industry, I, 517 



Coke Ovens, Norfolk & Western Kailway 

(illustration), I, 518 
Cole, John L., I, 110 
College of Agriculture, West Virginia 

University, I, 531 
Colonial Councillors, I, 41 
Colonial judiciary, I, 41-45 
Colonial militia, I, 46 
Colonial sheriffs, I, 46 
Colonnade Bridge, B. & O. R. R., Ruins 

of (illustration), I, 192 
Colored Institute (at Farm) established 

(1891), I, 590 
Colored schools, established (1866-67), 

I, 589 
Commencement Hall, West Virginia Uni- 
versity (illustration), I, 650 
Commercial fertilizers, I, 528 
Commercial orchard, first, planted 

(1851), I, 526 
Commission of pharmacy established 

(1881), I, 600 
Commissioner of immigration, created 

(1864), I, 593 
Commissionership of statistics and labor 

created (1889), I, 600 
Community life, early, I, 219-252 
Compensation Commissions, expenditure 

for (1912-1920), I, 619 
Compulsory school law passed (1901), 

I, 589 
Concord Church, I, 407, 408 
Concord State Normal School, Athens 

(illustration), I, 639 
Conestoga wagons, I, 179 
Connolly, John, I, 75 
Consolidated Telephone Company, I, 541 
Constitution; first, I, 317, 318; of 1830, 
323; of 1851, 328-330; of 1861, 358- 
362; of 1872. 413-423; of 1872, amend- 
ments to, 420-423 ; proposed new, 423 ; 
good roads amendment to, 547, 550; of 
1872, 552; amendments to, 716, 717 
Constitutional convention, first (1861), 

I, 357 
Constitutional convention January-April, 

1872, I, 413-417 
Constitutional convention of 1872, mem- 
bers of (illustration), I, 412 
Constitutional problems, early: conflict 
between eastern and western Virginia 
(up country Democracy), I, 315, 316; 
inequalities of county representation, 
319, 320; convention at Richmond, 
320-323; constitution adopted by 
popular vote (April, 1830), 324; dis- 
cussion on state division, 324, 325; 
struggle of western against eastern 
Virginia continues, 325-328; conven- 
tion of 1850-51, 328; constitution of 
1851 ratified, 330; endeavors to unify 
eastern and western Virginia, 331; 
cleavage more fixed (1861), 333, 334 
Convicts, use of, on public works, I, 603 
Cooke, Philip P., I, 683 
"Copeley" oil well, I, 506 
Corbly, L. J., I, 638 
Corn, I, 528 

Cornstalk, Chief, I, 77; murdered, 84 
Cornwell, John J., I, 523, 561, 564, 565, 

Corwin, A. F., I, 511 
Council of National Defense, World's 

war (1916), I, 698 
Counties: formation of early (1727-89), 
I, 278 ; formation and population of 

(1776-1830), 318; represented in 

Wheeling conventions (maps), 360; 

non-Union, during Civil war, 369-373; 

foreign-born by (1870-1910), 583 
County and Parish of Frederick (1744), 

I, 258 
County court system, re-established 

(1872), I, 418; established (1872), 

County fair, first in state, I, 228 
County Farm Bureau, I, 533 
County government, I, 595 
County representation, inequalities of, 

I, 318, 319 
Covington & Ohio Railroad, I, 181, 424 
Covington & Ohio Railroad Company, 

I, 612 
Crago, F. H., I, 638 
Cranmer, Gibson L., I, 354 
Crawford, J. U., I, 474 
Creel, Alexander H., I, 157 
Cresap, Michael, I, 75, 76, 77 
Cresap's war, I, 75, 76 
Crook, George, defeats Confederate force 

(1864), I, 385 
Cross Roads, I, 99 
Crowder, Enoch H., I, 697 
Crowl, Malissa, I, 277 
Crozet, Claudius, I, 185 
Culbertson, Andrew, I, 55 
Cumberland county, I, 69 
Cumberland (see also National) Road, I, 

169, 216 
Cunningham, Albert B., I, 690, 694 

Dairy and beef industries, I, 529 

Dairying, I, 529, 530 

Damascus, I, 240 

Dandridge, Danske, I, 692 

Darkesville, I, 239 

Darst, J. S., I, 627 

Davis, Henry C, I, 136, 406, 472, 474, 
480, 552, 554, 556 

Davis, John J., I, 336 

Davis, Rebecca Harding, I, 684 

Davis, Robert, I, 285 

Davis, Thomas E., I, 560 

Davis, I, 474 

Dawson, William M. O., I, 561 

Deahl, J. N., I, 650 

Dean, J. S. W., I, 663 

DeBar, J. H. Diss, I, 367, 593 

Decker Creek Iron Works, I, 142 

Deepwater, I, 494, 495 

Democratic control (1870-1896), I, 

Democratic-Republic, I, 240 

Dennis, Robert F., I, 425 

Denominations, distribution of member- 
ship by (1890, 1906, 1916), I, 585, 
588; statistics of (1916), 587 

Department of Agriculture, expenditure 
for, I, 619 

Department of Archives and History, 
expenditure for (1912-1920), I, 619 

Department of Archives and History, 
Charleston, created (1905), I, 593 

Department of Health, expenditure for 
(1912-1920), I, 619 

Department of Mines, created (1907), 
I, 601 ; expenditure for, 619 

Department of Public Safety, expendi- 
ture for (1912-1920), I, 619 

Detroit, expedition against, I, 84 

Dickey, (Miss) M. L., I, 638 

Dickinson, J. L., I, 625 

Dinwiddie, Robert, I, 58, 59, 61, 66 



Diphtheria, I, 251 
Diss DeBar, J. H., I, 367, 593 
District of West Angusta (map) I, 91 
Division of child welfare and public 

health nursing, I, 600 
Division of vital statistics, I, 600 
Doctor's saddlebag, I, 251 
Doddridge, Joseph, sketch of, I, 259; 

680, 681, 682 
Doddridge county, I, 186, 252 
Doddrill, W. C, I, 690 
Dolbeare, Benjamin, sketch of, I, 249 
Dorsey, Dennis B., I, 354 
Dow, Lorenzo, I, 271 
Down Draft kilns at the Crescent Yard, 

New Cumberland, Hancock County 

(illustration), I, 465 
Downs, W. S., I, 548 
Draper, C. Lyman, I, 4 
Droop Mountain, battle of, I, 387 
Duncan, E. S., I, 317 
Dunkard Bottom, I, 73 
Dunmore's war, I, 75-79 
Dysentery, treatment of, I, 250 

Early market towns, I, 526 

East India School (1621), I, 277 

Eastern panhandle, settlements of, I, 
99; settlements in 1800-66, 134-136; 
Wheeling chief town of (1818), 154: 
Confederate operations in (1861), 389; 
railroads in, 464 

Education; (see also schools), I, 17; 
tradition of, 277; interest of English 
church in, 278; public schools estab- 
lished by Virginia General Assembly 
(1796), 279; Western Virginia cham- 
pion of free education (1817-45), 280, 
281 ; school statistics by counties 
(Western Virginia) in 1833, 281; 
school law of 1846, 282; Old Field 
schools, 282-284; early schools in 
counties and sections, 285-291 ; free 
school systems in only three counties 
(1863), 291; academies incorporated 
(1797-1860), 291, 292; academies and 
seminaries, 291-296; school statistics, 
(1850), 296, 297; western Virginia 
champions free schools, 316, 317, 588; 
development of public (1863-1908), 
590, 591; rates of State school levies 
(1863-1913), 609, 628-644; schools and 
the World's war, 706; statistics of 
(1918-21), 715, 716 

Education Association, first meeting, I, 

Edwards, Seymour, I, 563 

Elizabeth (Moundsville), I, 104, 239; 
in 1864, 393 

Elizabeth, Wirt County (illustration), 
I, 446 

Elizabethtown, I, 239 

Elkhorn tunnel, I, 483 

Elkins, Davis, I, 563 

Elkins, Stephen B., I, 461, 561, 473 

Elkins, I, 475, 476, 477 

Elkins-Beverly county seat contest, I, 
477, 478 

Elk River, I, 34, 35 

End of the World Cliff, Elk River 
(illustration), I, 28 

English Church, its interest in educa- 
tion, I, 278 

English money system used (1803), I, 

Epidemics, I, 251 

Episcopal ahurch, I, 257-261; status 

in 1850, 274 
Ethel, I, 441 

Eureka-Belmont oil field, I, 506 
Eureka pipe line, I, 510 
European steamship lines, I, 331 
Evansville, I, 185, 240 

Fairfax, Thomas (Lord), sketch of, I, 

Fairfax grant, surveyed by Washington 

(1747-48), I, 53 
Fairfield, I, 239 
Fairmont, I, 102, 143, 144, 240, 462; 

industrial development of, 459, 460 ; 

normal school established at (1867), 

Fairmont Academy, I, 294 
Fairmont Male and Female Seminary, 

I, 294 
Fairmont State Normal School (illus- 
tration), I, 641 
Fairview, I, 104, 168 
Fairview oil fields, I, 505 
Falls of Grassy Creek over Lower Guy- 

andot Sandstone (illustration), I, 30 
Falls of Hominy Creek, Nicholas County 

(illustration), I, 37 
Farley, Thomas, I, 55 
Farm implements and machinery, I, 531 
Farmers' institutes and other organiza- 
tions, I, 533 
Faulkner, Charles J., I, 413, 555, 558, 

Faulkner, E. Boyd, I, 556 
Fayette county, I, 167, 252; non-Union. 

384; development in, 431 
Federal constitution, convention to act 

upon (1788), I, 318 
Fellowsville, I, 185, 240 
Ferguson, Judge, I, 413 
Ferries, I, 233 
Fetterman, I, 240 
Files, Robert, I, 56 

Finance, development of (see also taxa- 
tion), I, 605-620; 1917-20, 718, 719 
First academy west of the Blue Ridge 

I, 110 
First agricultural paper west of the Blue 

Ridge, I, 300 
First boundaries of West Virginia, I, 

First church building (1740), I, 258 
First church house in Wheeling (1819), 

I, 269 
First constitutional convention of West 

Virginia (1861), I, 357 
First county fair in West Virginia, I, 

First family settlement in the Kanawha 

valley, I, 71 
First general tax law (1863), I, 613 
First iron manufactured west of the 

Alleghenies, I, 142 
First legislature meets at Wheeling 

(July 1, 1861), I, 356 
First ' ' long distance ' ' telephone line 

(1894), I, 540 
First Methodist preaching (1773), I, 

First Methodist sermon preached in 

Charleston (1804), I, 270 
First National Bank of Hinton, I, 430 
First National Bank of Parkersburg, I, 

First newspaper in Shenandoah valley, 

I, 299 



First postoffices established (1794), I, 

First post roads, I, 232 
First railroad to the Ohio (1853), I, 15 
First settlers of the Shenandoah, I, 52 
First State Capitol Building, Wheeling 
(Linsly Institute), (illustration), I, 
First telephone exchange in the state, 

(1880), I, 538 
First telephone toll line in West Vir- 
ginia, I, 538 
First through stage line between Balti- 
more and the Ohio river, I, 170 
Fish and game, preservation of, I, 602 
Flatboats, I. 234 
Flat Top coal field, I, 500, 517 
Fleming, A. B., I, 558, 559 
Fleming-Goff State election, I, 558, 559 
Fleshersville (Preston), I, 146 
Flick, W. H. H., I, 406 
Fontaine, William E., I, 531 
Food administration, World 's war, I, 

Forbes, John, I, 63 
Forbes road, I, 67 
Foreign immigration (1880), I, 593 
Foreigners (1860-1920), I, 578-584 
Forest, death knell of West Virginia 's 

greatest primeval, I, 476 
Forest industries. I, 229, 230 
Forests, virgin (1880), (map), I, 534 
Forests, virgin (1913), (map), I, 535 
Fort Belleville, I, 99 
Fort Byrd, I, 62 
Fort Clendenin, I, 99 
Fort Chiswell, I, 61 
Fort Cumberland, I, 61 
Fort Duquesne, as Indian military center 

(1756-58), I, 62 
Fort Henry, I, 86, 93; last siege of, 

(1782), 88 
Fort Henry, September 11, 1782 (illus- 
tration), I, 80 
Fort Le Boeuf. built (1753), I, 58 
Fort Lee, I, 97, 100 
Fort Ligonier, I, 61 
Fort Link, I, 93 
Fort Loudoun, I, 62 
Fort Neal (Neal's Station), I, 99 
Fort Ohio, I, 62 
Fort Pitt, Indians raise siege of (1763), 

I, 64 
Fort Randolph: Shawnee siege of, I, 87; 

protects Greenbrier settlements, 90 
Fort Spring, I, 70 
Fort Stanwix, treaty of, I, 70 
Fort Union, I, 70 
Forts built on the Kanawha (1783-95), 

I, 97, 99 
Forts in French Indian wars, I, 61, 62 
Foster, Peregrine, sketch of, I, 6. 7 
Founders of West Virginia (illustra- 
tion). I, 349 
Four Minute Men, in World's war, I, 

Fourth Methodist Church, Wheeling, I, 

Frankford, I, 70, 135 
Frankfort, I, 239 
Franklin, Benjamin, I, 79 
Franklin (Frankford), I, 70, 135, 238, 

Franklin county, I, 69 
Freed negroes, I, 245 
Freight discriminations, I, 577 
Freight wagoners, I, 179 

French, James H., sketch of, I, 638 
French, Minnie R., I, 691 
French-Indian war, close of, I, 65 
Fry, John, I, 101 
Fuel administration, World's war, I, 705 

Gallatin, Albert, naturalization of, I, 

6; 95 
"Gaps," formation of, I, 29, 30 
Garnett, Robert, I, 378 
Gary, I, 491 
Gary, Miners' Homes and Gardens Near 

(illustrations), I, 516 
Gas development, I, 16 ; early glass 
plants stimulate, 499; producing 
counties, 510, 511; gas used as pump- 
ing and manufacturing fuel, 512, 513; 
piped abroad, like oil, 514; value of 
production (1882-1921), 515; statis- 
tics of (1906-1914), 713 
Gassaway, I, 478 
Gauley Bridge, Wise defeated by Rose- 

crans at, I, 383 
Geographic relations of West Virginia 

(map), I, 20 
Geographical conditions, I, 21-26 
Geological and economic survey, created 

(1897), I, 592 
Geology, I, 26-36 
Gibson, D. W., I, 357 
Gilmer county, I, 252 
Girls' Industrial School, I, 630 
Girty, Simon, I, 77 
Gist, Christopher, I, 54, 55, 58 
Glacial action, I, 32-34 
Glady Creek Fall at Duffy, Lewis 

County (illustration), I, 479 
Glasscock, W. E., I, 562 
Glass industry (1920), I, 714 
Glass plants, early, stimulate gas de- 
velopment, I, 499 
Glenlyn, I, 90 

Glenville, I, 240; normal school estab- 
lished at (1872), 589 
Goff, James, I, 103 
Goff, Nathan, I, 554 
Goff, Nathan, Jr., I, 558 
Good Intent Stage Company, I, ■ 171 
Goodknight, James L., I, 648, 659 
Good roads law of 1917 revised, I, 547, 

548, 549 
Good roads, movement for, I, 547-550 
Governors of Old Virginia, I, 40 
Gradual emancipation clause in State 

Constitution (1862), I, 363 
Grafton, I, 195, 196, 240, 457 
Grafton & Belington Railroad. I, 457 
Grafton-Parkersburg Branch, Baltimore 

& Ohio Railway, I, 197-199 
Graham, William, I, 110 
Graham's Station, I, 110 
Grandville, I, 239 
Grant county, I, 252 
Grantsville, I, 159 
Gravel bar, I, 27 
Grazing, I, 528 
Greathouse, Daniel, I, 76 
Great Kanawha, settlements along the 
(1808-60), I. 161-167; south of the 
(1807-60), 167, 168 
Great War Path, I, 37 
Great Western Mail, I, 169 
Greeley, Horace, indictment against, I, 

Green Bottom, I, 114 
Green, Robert, I, 54 
Greenbrier, I, 92 



Greenbrier branch, Chesapeake & Oliio 
Railway, I, 440 

Greenbrier county, I, 92, 252 ; first news- 
paper published in, 307 

Greenbrier Land Company, I, 55 

Greenbrier region, settlements in (1780- 
1837), I, 137 

Greenbrier settlements (1777-83), I, 90- 

Greensburg, I, 240 

Greenville, Treaty of, I, 97, 102 

Greenville Furnace Company, I, 143 

Greigsville, I, 193 

Grimes, Thomas, I, 527 

Grimes Golden apple, I, 527 

Gross Sales Tax, I, 620 

Guyandotte, I, 114, 161, 239 

Guyandotte and Buffalo Creek branch, 
Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, I, 441 

Haddox, Ella M., I, 693 

Hale, J. P., I, 166 

Hall, Ellery R., I, 357 

Hall, Ephraim B., I, 354 

Hall, Granville D., I, 247, 690 

Hall, James, I, 235 

Hall, John, I, 357 

Hamlin, I, 2JQ_ 

Hampshire county, I, 54, 55, 99 ; ferries 
and early iron industries in, 135, 252 

Hampshire county and parish, I, 258 

Hampshire Furnace Company, I, 135 

Hancock county, early settlers in, I, 104; 
157, 252 

Harahan, W. J., I, 428 

Hardy county, I, 99, 252 

Harmansville, I, 240 

Harper, Robert, I, 51 

Harper's Ferry, national arsenal erected 
at, I, 134; Baltimore & Ohio Railway 
reaches (1833), 189; 240; seizure of 
the arsenal, 342 ; arsenal at, fired by 
United States forces, 389; occupa- 
tion by Confederates (September, 
1862), 390 

Harrington, F. C, I, 511 

Harrison, Henry S., I, 691 

Harrison, Nathaniel, sketch of, I, 403, 
404; 407 

Harrison, William A., I, 355 

Harrison county, I, 102, 252 ; early 
schools of, 287 

Harrisville, I, 159, 239 

Hart, Hastings H, I, 699 

Hartford, I, 240 

Harvey, William H, I, 691 

Hatfield, H. D., I, 564 

Hatfield-McCoy feud, I, 621 

Hawthorne Nail Works, I, 142 

Haymond, A. F., sketch of, I, 402 

Haymond, Luther, I, 287 

Hedgesville, I, 240 

Hellfire band, I, 246 

Helvetia, founded by Swiss Immigrants 
(1869), I, 593 

Hereford, Frank, I, 554 

Herefords, I, 529 

Hervey, James, I, 265 

High school era, I, 632, 633 

High schools, I, 636; development of 
(1909-21), 716 

Higher education: West Virginia Uni- 
versity, I, 644-678; denominational and 
private institutions, 678 

Highway development (1910-1920), I, 

Highway inspector, office of created 
(1907), I, 602 

Highways, historic, I, 169-186 

Hildreth, S. P., I, 517 

Hill, William, I, 704 

Hinton, I, 429-430 

Hinton, Evan, I, 409, 410 

History, uses of local, I, 1-11 

Hite, Joist (Yost), I, 51 

Hite vs. Fairfax, I, 51 

Hodges, Thomas E., I, 638, 648 

Hogs, I, 530 

Holden, I, 441 

Holliday's Cove, I, 104 

Holt, John H., I, 561 

Homestead (Tomahawk) rights, I, 69 

Hornbrook, Thomas, I, 354 

Horses, I, 530 

Hospital for the Insane at Weston, I, 

Hospital for the Insane, Huntington, I, 

Hospitals and charitable institutions, ex- 
penditures upon (1870-1912), I, 617 

House of Delegates, I, 594 

Howard, John, I, 53 

Hubbard, Chester D. (illustration) I, 

Hubbard, W. P., I, 605 

Hughes River oil district (1864), I, 393 

Humane Society, expenditure for (1912- 
1920), I, 619 

Hunter, R. M. T., I, 335 

Huntersville, I, 137, 239 

Huntington, Collis P., I, 424, 425, 430, 

Huntington: Chesapeake & Ohio Rail- 
way opened to, I, 425; 437, 438; early 
telephone service at, 539; normal 
school established at (1867), I, 589 

Huntington Chamber of Commerce, I, 

Huntington National Bank, I, 437 

Hurricane Valley tavern, I, 180 ' 

Hygienic laboratory, established (1914), 
I, 599 

Imboden, John D., I, 386 
Imboden raid (1863), I, 386, 387 
Indian dangers removed, I, 212 
Indian depredations (1783-93), I, 101 
Industrial awakening: along the Kana- 
wha, I, 424-442; south of the Kana- 
wha, 483-498 
Industrial expansion north of the Kana- 
wha, I, 443-482 
Industries, early, I, 227, 228; along line 
of new Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, 
426, 427; of Charleston, 435; lumber 
developed by the B. & O. Railroad, 
450-453 ; in Morgantown, 463 ; of 
Bluefield, 489; timber, 534, 535 
Ingles-Draper settlement destroyed, I, 

Inns: along the National (Cumberland). 
Road, I, 172 ; along James River and 
Kanawha turnpike, I, 179, 180 
Insane, hospitals for, I, 146, 597 
Institutions for dependents, defectives 

and delinquents, I, 597 
Insurance companies, regulated, I, 602 
Intermittent fever, treatment of, I, 250 
Internal improvements (1844), I, 326; 

1858-60, I, 332 
Interstate controversies, I, 717, 718 
Interstate relations; minor questions, I. 
621, 622; boundary dispute with Mary 



land, 622, 623; the Virginia debt 
question, 623-627 

Irish immigration, I, 149, 150, 184 

Irish settlement on Roaring Creek, I, 

Iron, early smelting of, I, 5; first manu- 
factured west of the Alleghenies, 142 

Iron furnaces, early, I, 231 

Iron industries, pioneer Monongalia 
county, I, 142 ; early, in Hampshire 
county, 135; early, of Wheeling, 155; 
1790-1855, 231, 232 

Iron and steel industries (1920), I, 715 

Isaac Ballangee tract, I, 430 

Itinerant preachers, I, 22, 223 

Jackson, Jacob B., I, 555 

Jackson, John J., I, 336, 337 

Jackson, Stonewall, surrender of Har- 
per's Ferry to, I, 390 

Jackson, William L., I, 387 

Jackson county, I, 109, 252 

"Jackson Hall," I, 180 

Jacob, John J., I, 551, 553 

James River and Kanawha Canal Com- 
pany, I, 331 

James River and Kanawha Company, I, 
234, 470 

James River and Kanawha Turnpike, I, 
174-181; tolls on abandoned, 426 

Jane Lew, I, 447, 454 

Jefferson county, I, 252, 368 

Jefferson, Thomas, I, 279 

Jenkins, Albert G., raid of, I, 386; 
killed at Cloyd Mountain, I, 388 

John Brown's Fort, Harper's Ferry, (il- 
lustration) I, 390 

Johnson, D. D., I, 553 

Johnson, Fanny K., I, 691 

Johnson, Joseph, I, 325 

Johnson, William R., I, 425 

Johnson, W. S., I, 625, 627 

Jones, Beuhring H., I, 415, 686 

Jones, Breckinridge, I, 698 

Jones, H. C, I, 671 

Jones, William E., I, 386 

Journals (see Newspapers) 

Judiciary, I, 594 

"Jug" of Middle Island Creek, Tyler 
County, (illustration) I, 32 

Jury trial (Colonial), I, 47 

Juvenile courts, I, 598 

Kanaway county, military establishments 
of, 100; 252; early schools of, 290 

Kanawha, proposed name for new State, 
I, 358 

Kanawha City (Coalsmouth), I, 161 

Kanawha House, I, 181 

Kanawha, Pocahontas & Coal River Rail- 
way, I, 436 

Kanawha River, I, 32, 33 ; improvements 
of (1820-70), 234, 235 

Kanawha river section, early schools of, 
I, 289 

Kanawha Salines, salt works at, I, 165, 

Kanawha Valley, first settlement in, I, 
71; Lewis Summers' trip to (1808), 
129-133; newspapers in, 309, 310; Con- 
federate raid down, 385; first coal in, 

Keel-boat passenger travel (1794-1810), 
I, 235 

Kelley, Benjamin F., I, 375 

Kelly, Walter, I, 71 

Kenna, Edward B., I, 693 

Kenna, John E., I, 556, 558 
Kenova, I, 492 
Kenton, Simon, I, 77 
Kermit, I, 492 
Keyser, I, 136 
Keystone, I, 491 
Kimball, I, 491 
Kingwood, I, 143, 194, 240 
Koon, Samuel, I, 196 
Koontown (Mannington), I, 196 
Koontz, Arthur B., I, 565 

Lake Kanawha, I, 32 

Lake Monongahela, I, 32 

Lamb, Daniel, I, 355; illustration, 349 

Lampblack, product of natural gas, I, 

Lancasterian Academy, I, 294 

Land titles, I, 419 

Latrobe, B. H., I, 192, 198 

Lawnsville (Logan Court House), I, 167, 

Lazier, William, I, 355 

Lee, George H., I, 281 

Lee, Robert E., sent to recover West Vir- 
ginia, I, 380 

Lee, Wilson, forms Methodist society at 
Wheeling (1785), I, 269 

Lees, Thomas J., I, 324, 682 

Legal profession (Colonial), I, 47 

Legislature, composition and meetings 
of, I, 594 

Leib, Charles, I, 685 

Leighton, William, Jr., I, 686 

Letcher, John, I, 351, 352 

Levelton Male and Female College, I, 

Lewis, Andrew, I, 55, 56, 61 

Lewis, Charles, march to Fort Cumber- 
land (1755), I, 60, 61 

Lewis, John, I, 52, 56 

Lewis, Virgil A., I, 636 

Lewis, I, 76 

Lewis and Upshur counties, first mill in, 
I, 103 

Lewisburg, I, 70, 100, 137, 180, 239; 
battle of, I, 384 

Lewisburg Academy, I, 295 

Lewisburg Female Institute, I, 295 

Lewis county, I, 146, 252; first news- 
paper published in, 304 ; oil fields, 455 ; 
oil "gushers" in, 506, 508 

Lewis County Academy, I, 294 

Lewisport, I, 239 

Liberty loan drives, World's war, I, 702, 

Libraries (other than private), 1850, I, 

License tax imposed (1909), I, 602 

Licenses, state taxes on, I, 617 

Lilly, A. A., I, 564 

Limestone, I, 27 

Lincoln, Abraham, approves statehood 
bill (December 31, 1862), I, 364, 365; 
newspapers solidly support for second 
term, 373 ; amnesty proclamations, 402 

Lincoln county, I, 113, 252 

Linsly Institute, first State Capitol 
Building, (illustration) I, 368; first 
State House of West Virginia (erected 
1858), 369 

Literature and literary writers: early 
prose writers, I, 680, 681 ; poetry and 
poets, 682-684; prose and verse of 
Civil war and Reconstruction periods, 
684-687; literature of 1885-1921 
period, 687-694; conclusion, 694-696 



Literary Fund, created (1810), I, 279, 

280; 282, 285, 316 
Little Kanawha, early settlers along, I, 

Little Levels, I, 70 
Little Levels Academy, I, 295 
Live Oak Paper Mills, I, 142 
Livestock, I, 528, 529, 530, 536 
Loan associations, provided for (1907), 

I, 601 
Local history, suggestive outline for 

study of, I, 720 
Logan, chief of the Mingos, murder of 

family, I, 75, 76 
Logan, I, 441 
Logan county, I, 167, 252 
Logan Court House, I, 167 
Log schoolliouse, I, 630, 631 
Lorentz, Jacob, I, 148 
Louisa, I, 168 
Lowther, William, I, 71 
Lucas, Daniel B., I, 656, 685 
Lumber industries (1920), I, 715 
Lumberport, I, 240 
Lung-fever, treatment of, I, 250 
Lutheran church, I, 267, 268; status in 

1850, I, 274 
Lynchburg & New River Railroad, I, 187 

MacCorkle, William A., I, 240, 560, 561 

' ' Mad Anne Bailey, ' ' I, 99, 100 

Madden, Joseph W., I, 671 

Madison, I, 167 

Magill, Mary T., I, 685 

Mahon, Plyant, extradition case of, I, 

621, 622 
Mail boats, early, I, 14 
Maiden, I, 166 
Male and Female Academy at Buckhan- 

non, I, 294 
Mammoth Mound at Moundsville, Mar- 
shall County, (illustration) I, 35 
Mann, Adam, I, 70 
Mann, Isaac T., I, 563 
Mann, Jacob, I, 70 
Mannings, James, I, 196 
Mannington, I, 196, 240 
Mannington oil field, I, 505 
Manufacturing, development of (1909- 

1920), I, 714, 715 
Marietta, Ohio, founded, I, 105 
Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad (char- 
tered 1847), I, 198 
Marion county, I, 102, 139, 141, 144, 
252; early schools of, 286, 287; first 
newspaper published in, 304; Philippi 
court house, 343 
Marion county oil field, I, 506 
Marion House, I, 144 
Marlin, Jacob, I, 55 
Marlinton, I, 440 
Marriage regulations, I, 225, 226 
Marsh, J. F., I, 628, 634 
Marshall, I, 240 
Marshall county, I, 93; early settlements 

in, 104, 252 
Marshall County Agricultural Associa- 
tion, I, 229 
Martin, Alexander, I, 294, 648, 654, 662 
Martin, Thomas B., I, 54, 90 
Martinsburg, I, 90, 135, 239; first news- 
paper at, 299; contestant for State 
capital, 433 
Martinsville, I, 240 
Maryland, boundary dispute with, I, 622, 

Mason, James M., I, 335, 350 

Mason, John W., I, 40 

Mason and Dixon line surveyed (1781- 

84), I, 92 
Mason City, I, 160, 240 
Mason county, 1, 100, 160, 252 
Matewan, I, 492 
Mathews, H. M., I, 554 
Matoaka, I, 495 
Maxwell, Edwin, I, 556 
Maxwell, Robert, sketch of, I, 249 
McAlkin, I, 496 
McCabe, James D., I, 260 
McCarty, Edward, I, 135 
McClellan, George B., his campaign in 

West Virginia, I, 375-380 
McCulloch's path, I, 67 
McCullough traders' trail, I, 38 
McDonald, Edward, I, 113 
McDowell, James, I, 282 
McDowell county, I, 252, 490, 491 
McElhenny, Rev. Dr., I, 295 
McGarry, J. D., I, 136 
McGraw, John T., I, 440, 561 
McGrew, James C, I, 193, 340, (illus- 
tration), 349 
McMurran, Joseph, I, 638 
McWhorter, Henry, sketch of, I, 102 
McWhorter, L. V., I, 690 
Meade Collegiate Institute, I, 294, 295 
Meadowville, I, 240 
Mecklenburg (1762), I, 50 
Medicine, early practice of (1862-1877), 

I, 248-251 
Mephisto Operation, War Eagle Coal 
Company, Mingo County, (illustration) 
I, 522 
Mercer Academy, I, 295 
Mercer county, I, 252; non-Union, 370; 

struggle for county seat, 407, 408 
Methodist church, I, 268-272; status in 

1850, 274; in 1850 and 1860, 276 
Methodist Episcopal Church of America, 

organized (1784), I, 268 
Methodist Episcopal Church South 

formed (1845), I, 272 
Methodist Protestant Church, formed 

(1828), I, 271 
Methodist Protestant churches, I, 271, 

Meyers, John A., I, 532 
Middle New River, settlements in (1783- 

1856), I, 136, 137 
Middle Wheeling, I, 240 
Middlebourne, I, 109, 239 
Middletown (Fairmont), I, 99, 143, 239 
Middleville, I, 239 
Mifflin county, I, 69 
Miles End, I, 239 
Milford, I, 239 
Military roads, I, 66, 67 
Mill at Grassy Creek, Nicholas County, 

(illustration) I, 229 
Miller, James H., I, 401 ; his sketch of 
legal and political matters in Recon- 
struction times, 403-405 
Miller, Mrs. Alexander M., I, 691 
Miller, Thomas C, I, 282, 636, 650 
Miller, William M., I, 553 
Mills, early, I, 229, 230 
Minear, John, I, 73, 93, 230 
Mineral county, I, 252 
Miners' Homes and Gardens near Gary, 
West Virginia, (illustrations) I, 516 
Mingo county, I, 101, 252, 491 
Mingo County Court House, (illustra- 
tion), I, 492 
Mining, statistics of (1889-1920), I, 713 



Milling disorders, I, 519, 523 ; legislation 
regarding, 603, 604 

Mining disturbances, cost of, I, 714 

Miscville, I, 239 

Monongahela Navigation Company, I, 
173, 195 

Monongahela River Railway Company, 
I, 458 

Monongahela river region, early schools 
of, I, 285 

Monongahela Valley, settlements in 
(1776-1860), I, 139-152 

Monongalia Academy, I, 141, 293, 644, 

Monongalia county, I, 73, 92; roads and 
ferries in, 140; means of communica- 
tion improved, 141, 142; 194, 252; 
early schools of, 285; first paper pub- 
lished in (1803), 301 

Monroe county, I, 112, 252; first local 
newspaper of, 308 

Montague, Margaret P., I, 689, 694 

Montgomery, Samuel B., I, 565, 710 

Montgomery county, I, 167 

Montreal (Glenlyn), I, 90 

Moore, Conrad, I, 99 

Moore, James R., sketch of, I, 644 

Moorefield, I, 99, 239 

Moorfield settlement, I, 53 

Morgan, B. S., I, 636 

Morgan, Ephraim F., I, 5"65 

Morgan, Morgan, Jr., I, 258 

Morgan, Morgan, Sr., I, 50, 258 

Morgan, Zachwell, first settler at Mor- 
gantown, 1767, (illustration) I, 72; 73 

Morgan county, I, 252 

Morgantown, I, 5, 73, 92, 102; (1791- 
1865), 139-143; 239; in 1868 (illus- 
tration), 444; 460; developments at, 
462, 463 

Morgantown & Kingwood Railroad, I, 
461; absorbed by B. & O. Railroad, 

Morgantown Female Academy, I, 645 

Morgantown Female Seminary, I, 294 

Morgantown postoffice, (illustration), I, 

Morris, Robert, I, 111 

Moss, James, I, 70 

Moss, John W., (illustration) I, 346 

Moundsville, I, 104, 153, 240 

Mount Carmel, I, 240 

Mount Carmel School, I, 293 

Mount Hope, I, 431 

Mount Pleasant, I, 239 

Mountain Home in southeastern Clay 
county, (illustration) I, 224 

' ' Mountaineers, " I, 25 

Mullens, I, 495 

"Murray settlement," I, 84 

Musselman (C. H.) Canning Factory, I, 

National Bank of Wheeling, I, 155 
National Road (Cumberland), I, 169, 

171, 216 
National Union Convention, Baltimore 

(June, 1864), I, 373 
Native Spruces in Field of Blue Grass, 

Canaan Valley, (illustration) I, 525 
Natural conditions, I, 21-39 
Natural gas, I, 227 
Neal, James, sketch of, I, 104, 105 
Negroes, freed, I, 245 
Nemacolin's path, I, 66 
New California, I, 109 
New Cumberland, I, 104, 157, 465 

New Haven, I, 240 

Newport, I, 109, 158, 239, 240 

Newspapers, early, I, 14; of Charleston, 
165; early (1681-1820), 298; two, 
in Western Virginia (1810), 299; first 
in Martinsburg, 299; first in Monon- 
galia county (1803), 301; pioneers in 
different counties and localities, 304- 
310; make-up of, 312; statistics for 
1850 and 1860, 313 

Nicholas, Wilson C, I, 111 

Nicholas county, I, 99, 252 

Norfolk & Western Railway Coke Ovens, 
(illustration) I, 518 

Normal schools, established (1867), I, 
589, 636-644 

Normal Training high schools (1915), I, 

North Branch trail, I, 38 

Northcott Science Hall, Marshall College, 
(illustration), I, 643 

Northwestern Bank of Wheeling, I, 154 

Northwestern turnpike, I, 145, 184-186 

Northwestern Virginia Academy, I, 287, 

Northwestern Virginia Agricultural So- 
ciety, I, 229 

Northwestern Virginia Railroad, I, 195, 

Notaries public, I, 46 

Oak Hill, I, 167 

O'Brien, Adam, sketch of, I, 221 

Oceana, I, 240 

Oceana Looking Northwest, (illustra- 
tion) I, 497 

Oglebay, Earl W., I, 703 

Oglebay Hall, West Virginia University, 
(illustration), I, 646 

Ohio & Mississippi Railroad (chartered 
1848), I, 198 

Ohio Company, I, 55, 56, 58 

Ohio county, I, 92, 93, 252; early schools 
of, I, 288 

Ohio River: influences of, I, 210 215; 
navigation of, 215-218; completion of 
Baltimore and Ohio Railway to (1852), 
216; resumption of steamboat com- 
munication with New Orleans (1867), 
217, 218; navigation of, 234-237; 
steamboat travel on (1838), 237; rail- 
roads along, 464, 472 

Ohio river homes, I, 215, 216 

Ohio River Railroad, I, 469, 472 

Ohio River Salt Company, I, 166 

Ohio Valley, settlements in (1793-1862). 
I, 161-168 

Ohio Valley outlaws, I, 214 

Oil development: general progress of, 
I, 499; record (1826-1860), 500; in 
Parkersburg district, 501; production 
throughout the state (1876-1888), 503; 
first, caused by drilling of salt wells, 
500; in Parkersburg region, 501; pro- 
duction in State (1876-1888), 503; 
production in 1889-1921, 509 510; sta- 
tistics of (1889-1920), 713 

Oil fields, opening of, I, 505-509 

Oil, gas and coal development, I, 499-523 
Oil operators in West Virginia, I, 394 
Oil pipe lines, laid from fields to sea- 
board, I, 510 
Oil region (in 1864), a traveller's narra- 
tive of a visit to, I, 392-398 
Oil wells at Rosedale, (illustration) I, 

Old Field Schools, I, 279, 282 284, 288 



Old Morgan Homestead, Front Street, 
Morgantown, (illustration) I, 74 

"Old Pack-horse Ford," I, 50 

Orange county, I, 53 

Ordinance of Secession: vote of western 
members against, I, 339; signed by 
Richmond convention, I, 352, 353 

Orlando, (illustration) I, 481 

Orr, James C, I, 357 

Pack Ilorse settlement, I, 50 

Pancoast, S. A., I, 135 

Panhandle Railway Company, I, 464 

Parish (Episcopal) of Frederick, I, 258 

Parker, Granville, I, 413 

Parkersburg, I, 104, 109, 158, 242; first 
newspaper at, 306; 1864, 392; indus- 
trial development of, 471; spectacular 
founding of, 501; first telephone at 
(1882), 538; branch of Baltimore & 
Ohio completed to, 198 

Parsons, I, 476 

Parsons, James, I, 72 

Paxton, James, I, 355 

' ' Peace Conference ' ' at Washington 
(1861), I, 335 

Peeryville, I, 490 

Pendleton, I, 54 

Pendleton county, I, 54, 241, 252; first 
school house erected in, 285; non- 
union, 371 

Penitentiary, contest over superintend- 
ence of (1873), I, 553; 597 

Pennsboro, I, 159 

Pennsylvania, boundary question, I, 621 

Pennsylvania road, I, 67 

People's United Telephone System, I, 

Peters, Christian, I, 70 

Peterstown, I, 90, 113, 239 

Petroleum development, 1, 16 

Peytonia, I, 167 

Peytonia Cannel Coal Company, I, 167, 

Philippi, I, 146, 240 ; bloodless engage- 
ment at, 376; illustration, 456; indus- 
trial development of, 457 

Philippi court house, storm center of 
western secessionism, I, 343 

"Philippi Races," I, 377 

Physicians, early, of Wheeling, I, 154 

Piedmont, I, 136, 206, 240 

Piedmont and Cumberland Railway, I, 

Pierpoint, Francis H., I, 293, 348; illus- 
tration, 349, 354, 355, 356, 383 

Pine Bottom, I, 159 

Piney branch, Chesapeake & Ohio Rail- 
way, I, 439 

Pioneer domestic life, I, 221-226 

Pitt, William, I, 62 

Pittsburgh, her rivalry with Wheeling, 
I, 200-209 

Pittsburg & Steubenville Railway, I, 197 

Pleasant county, I, 252; early schools of, 
I, 289 

Pleasantville, I. 239 

Pocahontas coal, I, 483 

Pocahontas coal field, I, 489 

Pocahontas county, I, 137, 252; non- 
union, 369 

Pocahontas Development Company, I, 

Poffenberger, Lydia S., I, 702 

Point Pleasant, I, 100, 160, 239 

Point Pleasant, battle of (1774), I, 77- 

Point Pleasant Battle Monument, (illus- 
tration) 1, 78 

Point Pleasaut-liavenswood-Belleville toll 
line, I, 539 

Point Pleasant Register, I, 314 

Political problems, recent, 1, 595 

Politics, history of State, 1, 551 

Polk Creek oil wells, Lewis Count v, I, 

Polsley, Daniel, I, 355 

Pontiac, I, 04; sues for peace (1765), 1. 

Poor, care of the, I, 598 

Poor Fund, I, 290 

Population; Marion county (1865), I, 
139; Monongalia county (1790-1830), 
14U-141; of Western Virginia (1790- 
1860), 252, 253; census of 1850, 253; 
by color and condition (1860), 255; 
by towns, 256; Charleston (1778-1920), 
436; of Huntington, 438; of Wheel- 
ing, 467 ; density of, by counties 
(1920), (map), 566; from 1860 to 
1910, 567-568; percent of increase or 
decrease, by counties (1910-1920), 
(map), 571; by race, sex, nativity, 
age, education and social and domestic- 
status (1900-1920), 569-573; by couu 
ties (1860-1920), 573; by towns and 
cities (since 1860), 574; by color and 
condition (1860), 575; negroes, by 
counties (1870-1920), 576; by sex 
(1890-1920), 577; nativity and foreign 
parentage (1860, 1870), 578; origin 
of native and foreign-born (1870), 
579; foreign-born by counties (1860- 
1910), 580; foreign-born by country 
of birth (1870-1910), 581; nationality 
of foreign-born (1870-1910), 582; 
nationality of foreign-born by counties 
(1870-1910), 583; country of birth of 
foreign-born white, for counties and 
cities of 10,000 or more (1920), 584; 
distribution of church members by 
principal denominations (1890, 19(16, 
1916), 585; statistics of religious 
bodies (1916), 587; moral and re- 
ligious life, 588; West Virginia, 1870- 
1912, 609; 1910-1920, 711 

Post, Melville D., I, 687, 688, 689, 694 

Postofiice, Morgantown, (illustration) I, 

Postofnces, early, I, 14; first (1794), 
232; 1797-1841, 238, 239 

Potomac Academy, I, 293 

Potomac and Piedmont Coal and Rail- 
way Company, I, 474 

Potomac Companv, Washington, presi- 
dent of, I, 95, 134 

Potomac River below Harper's Ferry, 
(illustration) I, 24 

Potomac Seminary (Potomac Academy), 
I, 293 

Presbyterian church, I, 264-267; status 
in 1850, 274; in 1850 and 1860, 276 

Presbyterian colony (1798), I, 110 

Presidential election of 1864, I, 373 

Press (See Newspapers) 

Preston, I, 146, 239 

Preston county, I, 73, 102, 140, 143, 252 ; 
unusual beginning of local journalism 
(1839), 303, 461 

Preston Railroad, Lumber and Mining 
Company, I, 143 

Price, George E., I, 557 

Price, Samuel, sketch of, I, 415, 41(1 

Princeton, I, 240, 407, 495 



"Prison bounds," I, 244 

Prohibition amendment carried (1912), 
I, 422; ratified (1912), 595 

Prohibition, legislation regarding, I, 600 

Prolific early families, I, 220 

Property, assessed value of (1919-1920), 
I, 719 

Prosecuting attorneys (colonial), I, 47 

Pruntytown, I, 195, 239 

Public Health Council, I, 60 

Public officers, salaries for, I, 421, 422 

Public school system, development of 
(see also Education) ; work of first 
superintendent, William B. White, I, 
628, 629; first normal schools estab- 
lished, 629; old-time academies, 629, 
630; State institutes and schools, 630; 
high school era, 632 ; school statistics, 
1918-21, 633; changes in State boards 
of education, 634; general develop- 
ment, 1870-1920, 614-636; normal 
schools, 636-644 ; historical sketch of 
West Virginia University, 644-678 

Public schools (see Education) 

Public Service, expenditure for (1912- 
1920), I, 619 

Public Service Commission, created 
(1913), I, 598, 717 

Public whippings, I, 245 

Pugh, Hugh, I, 104 

Pure food law (1907), I, 595 

Purinton, A. L., I, 638 

I'urinton, D. B., I, 648, 655, 661 

Putnam county, I, 110, 161, 252 

Quakers, I 63, 

Quarry Bun powder mill, I, 142 

Bafting, I, 230 

Bailroads: campaign against passes 
(1885-87), I, 6; close out stage lines 
(1852-54), 173; first line in West Vir- 
ginia (Baltimore & Ohio), 187-199; 
Chesapeake & Ohio Bailway, 425, 426, 
428-442; projected, that failed, 443- 
445; Baltimore & Ohio branches, 445- 
464; lumber, 450-453; along the Ohio, 
464-472; vs. steamboats, 471, 472; 
Western Maryland Bailway, 472-478; 
Coal and Coke Bailway, 478-482 ; Nor- 
folk & Western Bailway, 483-494; 
Virginia Bailway, I, 494-498; exemp- 
tion from taxation of, 557; value of 
properties (1919), 719 

Bailroads vs. steamboats, I, 471, 472 

Baleigh county, I, 168, 252 

Bandolph Academy, I, 293 

Bandolph county, I, 103, 148, 149, 150, 
151 ; Irish settlement on Boaring 
Creek, 149, 243, 252; remarkable in- 
dustrial changes in, 472, 475 

Bavenswood, I, 240 

Baymond, Jerome H., I, 648, 650, 659, 

Beal estate, re-assessments of, I, 615 

Beay, Thomas P., I, 645 

Beconstruction, first period of, I, 16; 
problems and policies of, 399; condi- 
tions at close of war, 399-402; test- 
oath act, 402; registration law, 403; 
judges, lawyers and office holders, 403- 
405; suffrage reforms (1869-71), 406; 
State capital located at Charleston 
(1870), 410, 411 

Eector College, I, 195, 294 

Bed Cross Work, World's war, I, 708 

Bed Sulphur and Kanawha turnpike, I, 

Bed Sulphur Seminary, I, 295 
Red Sulphur Springs, I, 240 
Beeside, James, leading mail contractor, 

I, 170 
Eegistration law (1866), I, 403, 406, 407 
Behobeth Church, first Methodist meeting 
house west of the Alleghenies, I, 269 
Beligion (see also churches and de- 
nominations), I, 257, 569 
Beligious freedom, act of, I, 257 
Renick, Felix, description of a trip by, 

I, 125, 126 
Repairing damage on South Side Hill, 
near Charleston, winter of 1918, (illus- 
tration), I, 541 
Repository, Wheeling's first newspaper, 
I, 154 

Republican control, early, I, 551 

Revised school code (1909), I, 716 

Bevolution: rear guard of, I, 81-93; 
forts at beginning of, 81, 82; forts 
erected during, 82, 83; military prep- 
arations and operations in Western 
Virginia, 83-89; invasions during, 86- 
89; settlements and county creations 
during, 89-93 

Beyman Memorial Farms, I, 532 

Beynolds, P. B., I, 648, 650, 657, 659, 
661, 670 

Bheumatism, treatment of, I, 251 

Bich Mountain, Union victory at, I, 379 

Bichmond, Educational convention at 
(1845), I, 282 

Bichmond Enquirer, I, 299 

Bichwood, eastern portion, (illustration) 
I, 451 

Bichwood branch of Baltimore & Ohio 
Bailroad, I, 450 

Eipley, I, 240 

Bitchie, Thomas, father of Virginia 
journalism, I, 299 

Bitchie county, I, 106, 146, 159, 186, 252; 
early schools of, 289; first local paper 
in, 307 

Biver transportation (1793-1872), I, 233, 

Eivesville, I, 143 

Eoads, early, I, 14; 1786-1840, 232, 233 

Boane county, I, 109, 252 

Roberts, B. S., I, 387 

Bobinson, Ira E., I, 564 

Robinson, J. A., I, 664 

Sogers, H. H., I, 494 

Eomney, I, 239 

Eomney County Court House, (illustra- 
tion) I, 464 

Eomney Literary Society, I, 293 

Eonceverte, I, 429 

Bosecrans, William S., his campaign in 
West Virginia, I, 383, 384 

Bosedale, oil wells at, (illustration) I, 

Bosier, Joseph, I, 628 

Eowan, John M., I, 557 

Eowlesburg, I, 240 

Eoyall, Anne (Newport), I, 681 

Euffner, David, I, 165, 166 

Euffner, Henry, I, 166 

Euffner, Joseph, sketch of, I, 110; 165 

Euffner family, pioneers of Kanawha 
salt industries, I, 165, 166 

Euffner Hotel, I, 180 

Eumsey, James, I, 134 

Bumseyan Monument, Shepherdstown, 
(illustration) I, 96 



Rural schools, better day for, I, 631, 632 
Eussel, William, I, 51 

Salaries of officials, expenditure for 
(1912-1920), I, 619 

Salem, I, 102, 145 

Salt industry, I, 227 

Salt Spring, I, 111 

Salt wells (1864), I, 394 

Sand Fort colony, of Irish settlers, I, 

Sandusky-Richmond trail, I, 38 

Sandy Valley, early settlements in, I, 

Santerville, I, 240 

Savanna fort (Fort Union), I, 70 

"Savage Grant," I, 114 

Saw mills (1835), I, 230 

Say're, Greek, I, 257 

Scherr, Arnold C, I, 562 

School Code Commission, appointed 
(1918), I, 590 

School Law of 1846, I, 282 

School statistics, 1850 (see also Educa- 
tion), I, 296, 297 

Schools (see Education) 

Schools and the World's war, I, 706 

Schools for the deaf and blind, I, 630 

Science Hall, West Virginia University, 
(illustration) I, 655 

Scioto-Monongahela trail, I, 37 

Scotch-Irish, I, 13, 36, 52, 57, 63, 68, 69 ; 
their interest in education, I, 290 

Scott, John W., I, 648, 662 

Scott, Nathan B., I, 561 

Secession, advocated by eastern Virginia 
(1850), I, 330 

Second State Capitol, Charleston in Kan- 
awha (1870-71), (illustration) I, 405 

Senate passes Australian ballot bill, I, 

Seneca trail, I, 38, 68 

Settlements, first advance of, in eastern 
panhandle, I, 50; pioneer (1760-1776), 
70-74; New River region (1775-83), 
90; in eastern panhandle (1787-91), 
99; along the Kanawha (1791-1804), 
100; in West Augusta district, 101, 
102; delayed along the Big Sandy, 
101; in West Fork Valley, 102; upper 
Ohio, 104; south of the Great Kan- 
awha, 111; in the eastern panhandle, 
134-136; Middle New River and 
Greenbrier, 136-138; the Monongahela 
valley, 139-152; along the Ohio, 152- 
161 ; early, in Calhoun county, 159 ; 
along the Great Kanawha, 161-167; 
south of the Great Kanawha, 167-168 ; 
early, in Big Sandy Valley, 168 

Sewell, Stephen, I, 55 

Sewell Valley Railroad, I, 439 

Shawkey, M. P., I, 628, 636 

Shawnee (Seneca) trail, I, 38, 68 

Sheep, I, 530 

Shenandoah Valley, first newspaper in, 
I, 299 

Shepherd, David, I, 74, 86 

Shepherd, Thomas, I, 50 

Shepherdstown, I, 89, 134, 239; Episco- 
pal churches at, 258; normal school 
established at (1872), 589 

Shepherdstown Academy, I, 292 

Shepherdstown Register, I, 314 

Shepherdsville, I, 239 

Sherrard, Robert, I, 135 

Shinnston, I, 145, 240 

Shires organized (1634), I, 46 

Shorthorn cattle, I, 529 

Sistersville, I, 109, 240 

Sistersville oil field, I, 506, 510 

Slavery, I, 247, 248, 315 

Smith, Benjamin H., I, 413, 551 

Smith, Henry, narrative of (1794), I, 
118, 119, 222 

Smithfield, I, 54, 239 

Smithville, I, 159, 240 

Smootsville, I, 240 

Snow Hill furnace, I, 166 

Social history (see population) 

South Branch country, I, 53 

South Wheeling, I, 240 

Southern Bell Company, I, 540 

Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph 
Company, I, 539, 541 

Southern West Virginia (Colton's map 
of), I, 400 

Spencer, I, 109, 240 

Splash Dam in the Kanawha River, (il- 
lustration) I, 448 

Spotswood, Alexander, sketch of, I, 49, 

Springfield, I, 99, 238, 239 

St. Albans, I, 436 

St. George, I, 93, 476 

St. Lawrence Boom and Manufacturing 
Company, I, 429 

St. Mathew's (Episcopal) Church of 
Wheeling, formed 1819, I, 260 

St. Marys, I, 157, 240 

Stages, on National Road, I, 170; first 
between Baltimore and the Ohio river, 
170; fares, 177 

Standard Oil Company, purchases hold 
ings, I, 511 

Starksville, I, 240 

State Agricultural Experiment Station, 
organized (1888), I, 532 

State and State School levies (rates), 
(1863-1913), I, 609 

State Board of Agriculture, organized 
(1891-1912), I, 532; created (1891), 

State Board of Children's Guardians, es 
tablished (1919), I, 717 

State Board of Education (1919), I, 590, 

State boards of education, I, 634 

State Board of Embalmers, created 
(1899), I, 600 

State Board of Health, created (1881), 
I, 555 

State budget, I, 716 

State Bureau of Roads, created (1913), 
I, 717 

State capital: contest between Wheeling 
and Charleston, I, 433; vote by coun- 
ties for Charleston, Clarksburg and 
Martinsburg, 434; returned to Wheel- 
ing (1875), 553; permanent removal 
to Charleston, (1885), 556 

State Capitol Building, first, (illustra- 
tion) I, 368 

State Capitol, Charleston (destroyed by 
fire, January, 1921), (illustration) I, 
591; 595, 719 

State Department of Agriculture, created 
in 1913, I, 717 

State depository law, I, 604 

State election, time of, changed, I, 556 

State Executive Council of Defense, 
World's war (1917), I, 698 

State expenditures, huge expansion of, 
since 1912, I, 618-620 



State government, development of, I, 

State highway inspector abolished, I, 602 
State highways, bonded indebtedness 

authorized for (1920), I, 422 
Statehood: achievement of; Secession 
convention, I, 335-337; anti-Union 
sentiment and action, 338; ordinance 
of secession adopted, 339-341 ; United 
States properties seized, 342; Union 
meetings in western Virginia, 342, 
343 ; first Union convention at Wheel- 
ing, 345-353; second convention and 
promulgation of new State, 353-356 ; 
recognized by Congress of the United 
States, 356 ; first constitutional con- 
vention of West Virginia (November, 
1861), 357; name and boundaries 
adopted, 358; constitution (1861), 358- 
362 ; ratified, 362 ; admitted into the 
Union, December 31, 1862, 365 ; begins 
legal existence, June 20, 1863, 366; 
State seals adopted, 367, 368; United 
States senators elected, 368 ; choice of 
permanent capital, 369 ; Non-Union 
counties during Civil war, 369-373; 
presidential election, 1864, 373 
State indebtedness, 1876-93, I, 613 
State institutions, I, 594 
State militia, organization of, I, 603 
State Normal School, first, I, 636 
State Normal School, West Liberty, Ad- 
ministration Building, (illustration) I, 
State officers, salaries of, 1, 594, 595, 717 
State police created (1919), I, 603; es- 
tablished (1919), 717 
State politics (see Politics) 
State prison (see penitentiary) 
State Road Bureau, created (1913), I, 

547, 549 
State Road Commission, I, 547, 549, ex- 
penditure for, 619 
State roads and highways, system of 

(1920), I, 603 
State roads, system of (1920), I, 717 
State Tax Commission, report of the 

first, I, 614 
State tax commissioner created (1904), 

I, 562, 602 
State taxes (1920, 1921), I, 719 
State treasury: receipts and expendi- 
tures of (1863-1912), I, 606, 607; re- 
ceipts and expenditures (1913-1920), 
Statutes of the State, revised by acts of 

1881 and 1882, I, 555 
Staunton, I, 54 
Staunton and Parkersburg Pike, I, 137, 

Steamboat; influences of, I, 215, 216 
Steamboat freight rates, I, 236 
Steamboats (1811-60), I, 235-237 
Steamer and railroad cooperation, I, 216 
Steam-propelled machinery; introduction 

to saw mills, I, 230 
Stebbensville, I, 239 
Steele, William, I, 270 
Stephenson, J. M., I, 336 
Steubenville and Pittsburgh Railway, I, 

Stevens, E. W., I, 155 
Stevens, George W., I, 428 
Stevenson, W. E., (illustration) I, 349 
Stevenson, William E., I, 406, 551, 590 
Stewart, J. H., I, 659 
Stiles, W. C, I, 503 

Stoke & Stockton (National) road line, 
' I, 171 

Stokeyville, I, 158 
Storer, John, I, 630 
Storer College, I, 630 
Stove foundry, first, I, 143 
Streams, pollution of, I, 599 
Strother, David H., I, 241, 681 
Stuart, Alexander H. H., I, 337 
Suffrage question (1869-71), I, 406 
Summers, George, I, 129 ; sketch of, 162, 

Summers, Lewis, sketch of, I, 162, 163 ; 

journal or diary of (1808), 129-133 
Summers, Thomas, I, 163 
Summers county, I, 252 ; non-Union, 

370, 408; formed, 409, 429 
Summerville, I, 239 
Sunday School associations, I, 588 
Suspension bridge, Morgantown (erected 

1852), (illustration) I, 138 
Suspension bridge, opened (July, 1856), 

I, 208 
Sutherland, Howard, I, 564 
Sutton, John D., I, 129 
Sutton, first B. & O. train to (May, 

1891), I, 449 
Suttonville, I, 239 
Swearingen, Thomas, I, 50 
Sweet Springs, I, 112 
Swisher, Charles W., I, 562 
Swiss immigrants found Helvetia (1869), 

I, 593 
System of state roads (1920), 1, 717 

Tanneries, early, in Hampshire county, 
I, 135 

Tanner's Cross Roads (New California), 
I, 109 

Taverns, I, 243, 244 

Tax assessment, reform in, I, 561, 562 

Tax commission, second (1901), I, 616 

Tax commissionership, created (1904), 
I, 595 

Tax law, first general (1863), I, 613 

Taxable property, inadequate assessment 
of, I, 556 

Taxable wealth (1870-1910), I, 609 

Taxation, reform in (1901), I, 595; de- 
velopment of receipts by State treas- 
ury (1863-1912), 606; expenditures 
from State treasury (1863-1912), 607; 
receipts and expenditures in 1913-1920, 
608 ; State school levies, taxable wealth 
and all taxes (1863-1920), 609; aver- 
age rate of levy and classified taxes, 
610; period from 1861-70, 611-613; 
State indebtedness, 1876-93, 613; 
period from 1870 to 1880, 613-614; 
period from 1880 to 1890, 614-616; 
period from 1900-1910, 616, 617; con- 
ditions, tendencies and needs in 1912, 
618; period since 1912, 618-620 

Taxes, in thousands and per capita 
(1904-1912), I, 609; classified, 610 

Taylor, Zachary, I, 172 

Taylor county, I, 194, 252; first paper 
published in, I, 304 

Tazewell, Littleton W., I, 315 

Teachers, higher standards for, I, 631 

Teays, Stephen, I, 100 

Teays clays, I, 32, 33 

Telephone department, I, 598 

Telephone and telegraph companies, 
valuation of their properties in West 
Virginia (1921), I, 545 



Telephone toll line, first, in West Vir- 
ginia, I, 538 

Telephone service: first in State (1880) 
and extensions, I, 538; chief operating 
companies, 539-545; valuation of tele- 
phonic and telegraphic properties, 545, 

Temporary taxes (1871-74), I, 614 

Terminal bridge at Wheeling, I, 465 

Terraces, I, 33 

Test oath, I, 404 

Thncker Coal & Coke Company, Tipple 
No. 11 Operation, (illustration) I, 520 

Third State Capitol, erected by City of 
Wheeling, 1875-76, (illustration) I, 

Thompson, John R., I, 648, 655, 662 

Thompson, Philip, I, 161 

Thompson, Robert, I, 104 

Thrift and war saving stamps, I, 710 

Thurmond, I, 432 

Tilton, William, I, 106 

Timber industry and lands, I, 534, 535 

Tipple at Micco, Logan county (illustra- 
tion), I, 507 

Titlow, C. R., I, 704 

Toll bridges, I, 233 

Toll lines (telephone) established and 
consolidated (1894-1920), I, 540-545 

Tolls, regulation of (1809), I, 175; free- 
dom from (1825), 176; increase of 
(1831), 178 

Tomahawk (homestead) rights, I, 69, 74 

Tomahawk rights men, I, 4 

Topography, I, 25, 26 

Tory conspiracies, I, 84-86 

Towers, George I, 293 

Towns and cities, uniform system for 
government of (1911), I, 595 

Towns, incorporation of (1762-1858), I, 
230, 240; statistics in 1850, I, 253; 
statistics in 1860, 255; population of 
(1860), 256; population since 1860, 

Township system, abandoned (1872), I, 

Trade, early, I, 226, 228 

Trails, I, 14, 36-39, 67, 68 ; in upper Ty- 
gart's Valley, 146 

Trans- Allegheny: settlements encouraged 
by Virginia (1752), I, 56; struggle 
for control of, 57-65; advance guard 
of, 66-80; routes to, 66-68; early mi- 
grations to, 68-74; rear guard of the 
Revolution, 81-93; Washington's faith 
in region, 94 

Trans-Appalachian region; pioneer set- 
tlement of, I, 13-15 

Transportation (see highways, railroads, 
roads and trails) 

Transportation (1864), I, 397, 398; 
1912-1919, 715 

Travelers' records, glimpses from, I, 115- 

Trent, William, I, 58; surrenders, 59 

Triadelphia, I, 93, 240 

Trotter, J. A., I, 636, 705 

Tuberculosis sanitaria, expenditure for 

(1912-1920), I, 619 
Tuberculosis sanitarium, I, 597 

Tucker county, I, 73, 151, 252; remark- 
able industrial changes in, 472, 475 
Tunnelton, I, 193 

Turner, E. M., I, 648, 657, 658 666 
Turnpikes, early (1836-56), I, 137; early 
(1840-56), 142, 147, 158; minor (1827- 

50), 180; ravaged by Civil war, 181, 

Tuscorora Presbyterian church, built in 
1730, (illustration) I, 265 

Tygart, David, I, 55, 56 

Tygart's Valley, Randolph County, I, 
31, 71 

Tygart's Valley settlements, I, 93 

Tyler county, I, 109, 252; early schools 
of, I, 288 

Tyree Stone Tavern near Cliftop (illus- 
tration), I, 172 

Union, I, 112, 237, 239 

"Union Society" of Methodist Episco- 
pal church, I, 271 

United Mine Workers, I, 519, 523, 714 

United War Work Council, World 's war, 
I, 709 

University of Henrico (1619), I, 277 

Univerity library, I, 651, 652 

University enrollment of candidates for 
degrees (1909-21), I, 716 

Upshur county, I, 148, 183, 252; early 
schools of, 285, 286 

Valleyton, I, 240 

Vancluse, I, 157 

Vancouver, Charles, I, 101 

Vancouver tract, I, 101 

Vandalia, proposed colony of (1771), I. 

Van Meter, John, I, 52 

Van Meter, Isaac, extracts from diary 
of (1801), I, 126, 127 

Van Winkle, Peter G., (illustration) I. 
349, 355, 368 

Vickers, E. H., I, 605, 618, 650 

Vienna, I, 239 

Virgin forests (1880), (map) I, 534 

Virgin forests (1913), (map) I, 535 

Virginia, institutional heritage from, I, 
40-48; first constitution of, 317; pub- 
lic debt of (1861), 626 

Virginia Central Railroad, I, 424 

Virginia debt, West Virginia's portion 
of, I, 554, 561; West Virginia's lia- 
bility for, 617; question of, 623-627; 

Virginia debt, settlement of, (illustra- 
tion) I, 624 

Virginia Debt Case, final adjudication 
of, I, 619-620 

"Virginia Debt Commission," I, 626 

Virginia Free Press, I, 314 

Virginia land office grants, I, 111, 112 

Virginia laws: applied to West Virginia 
(before 1863), I, 244-246 

Virginia-Pennsylvania boundary dispute, 
I, 74, 75, 92 

Virginia road, I, 67 

Virginia sectionalism, I, 315-317 

Virginia Warriors Path, I, 36 

Virginian Railway, I, 494-498 

Virginias, proposed reunion of the, I, 403 

Virginius, I, 239 

Wade, B. F., I, 363 

Wallace, George S., I, 697 

Wallcutt, Thomas, extract from journal 
of (1790), I, 119-121 

Walpole, Thomas, I, 79 

Walworth, R. H., I, 203 

Wardensville, I, 240 

Warfield, I, 168 

Warm Springs and Huntersville Turn- 
pike, I, 137 



Washington, George, I, 4, 6; surveys 
Fairfax grant (1747-48), 53; 58, 59; 
as guardian of the West, 61 ; 63 ; 
prophet of the West, 94-97; 101, 106; 
his lands for sale (1802), 312, 526 

Washington, I, 526 

Washington Hall, Birthplace of West 
Virginia, (illustration) I, 344 

Washington's headquarters in 1747 as 
boy surveyor for Lord Fairfax, (illus- 
tration) I, 52 

Watson, Clarence W., I, 563 

Watson, I, 239 

Watsontown, I, 99 

Watts, Cornelius C, I, 561 

Watts House, Morgantown (Built about 
1800), (illustration) I, 141 

Wayne, Anthony, I, 97 

Wayne, I, 492 

Wayne county, I, 168, 252 ; early schools 
of, 289 

Wayne County Coal Company, I, 517 

Webster county, I, 109, 252 

Webster Springs, (illustration) I, 452 

Weddings and marriage regulations, I, 
225, 226 

Weed, Henry, sketch of, I, 265 

Weights and measures, legislation, I, 
600, 601 

Welch, I, 490 

Wellsburg, I, 104, 156, 157, 239 

Wellsburg Herald, I, 314 

Wertz, William W., I, 690 

West (post -Revolution) : awakening of 
the, I, 94-114 

West Columbia, I, 240 

Western Central Telephone Company, I, 

Western (up country) democracy, I, 316 

Westernford, I, 151 

Western Maryland Bailway, I, 472-478 

Western Virginia: population of (1790- 
1860), I, 252; counties and dates of 
formation (1754-1895), 252; composi- 
tion and condition of population and 
town statistics (1850), 253; agricul- 
tural statistics (1850), 254; in 1778, 
268; destiny of, 317; community life 
in (1864), 395-397 

Western Virginia Educational Society, I, 

Westf all 's Fort, Tygarts Valley, Beverly, 
Built 1774, (illustration) I, 71 

Westfield, I, 239 

West Fork valley, I, 102 

West Hamlin, I, 441 

West Liberty, I, 39, 104; normal school 
established at (1867), I, 589 

West Milford, I, 71, 145 

West Virginia : destined for separate 
Statehood, I, 12-19, 36; erection of, as 
a State (1861-62), 15; pioneer settlers 
of, 55; mother counties of 1790, 
(map), 98 

West Virginia 's greatest primeval forest, 
death knell of, I, 476 

West Virginia and Pittsburgh Railroad, 
absorbed by Baltimore & Ohio Rail- 
road, I, 449 

West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh 
Railway Company, I, 474 

West Virginia Children's Home, I, 598 

West Virginia Colored Institute, I, 630, 

West Virginia Compensation Law, I, 
598, 599 

West Virginia Dairy Association, I, 534 

West Virginia Demonstration Packing 
School, I, 532 

West Virginia Good Roads Federation, 
organized (1919), I, 603 

West Virginia Horticultural Society, I, 

West Virginia Humane Society, I, 597 

West Virginia Immigration and Develop- 
ment Association, I, 594 

West Virginia Industrial School for 
Boys, I, 597 

West Virginia Industrial Home for 
Girls, I, 597 

West Virginia Livestock Association, I, 

West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company, 
I, 441, 476 

West Virginia Sheep Breeders' and Wool 
Growers' Association, I, 534 

West Virginia State Poultry Association, 
I, 534 

West Virginia Telegraph and Telephone 
Company, I, 539 

West Virginia Traction and Electric 
Company, I, 468 

West Virginia University: department 
of history, I, 8 ; College of Agriculture, 
531 ; sketch of, 590 ; foundation laid, 
644-647 ; evolution of college depart- 
ments, 650, 651 ; buildings, equipment 
and library, 651, 652 ; policies and 
politics, 652-661 ; co-education, 661- 
669 ; chapel exercises, 660-670 ; recent 
conditions and extensions, 670-673 ; 
student registration (1912-1920), 673; 
enrollment (1867-1921), 674, 675; en- 
rollment College of Arts and Sciences 
(1906-21), 676; attendance of women 
(1906-1921), 677; enrollment in Col- 
lege of Agriculture, 678; appropria- 
tions (1920-21), 678 

West Virginia University, Commence- 
ment Hall, (illustration) I, 650 

West Virginia University, Oglebay Hall, 
(illustration), I, 646 

West Virginia University, Science Hall, 
(illustration) I, 655 

West Virginia University, Women's Hall, 
(illustration) I, 660 

Weston, I, 102, 183 ; first B. & O. train to 
reach (September, 1879), 447; 453 

Weston and Elk River Railroad Com- 
pany, I, 449 

Weston, Showing Hospital at left, (il- 
lustration), I, 596 

Weston College, I, 294 

West Union, I, 185, 239 

West Union Academy, I, 295 

Wetzel county, I, 104, 252; early schools 
of, 288 

Wheat, James S., I, 355 

Wheeling, earliest known settlement of, 
I, 73; 104, 152-156; first newspaper, 
154; first trains into (1853), 193; 
1820, 214; 238; first regular preaching 
in (1812), 265; Methodist churches of, 
269; newspapers of, 305, 306; a center 
of Unionism, 344; meeting of second 
Union convention at, 353; as State 
Capital, 369; in 1870, (illustrotion), 
371; contest with Charleston for State 
Capital, 433 ; government, population 
and banks of, 467; institution of, 468, 
469; first telephone exchange at 
(1880), 538 

Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company, 
I, 201 



Wheeling and Kanawha packet line, I, 

Wheeling Bridge and Terminal Company, 
I, 465 

Wheeling Bridge case, I. 200-209 

Wheeling Bridge, old (blown down Ma}', 
1854), I, 208 

Wheeling Daily Register, seized by 
United States government (1864), I, 

Wheeling Female Institute, I, 294 

Wheeling Improvement Association, I, 

Wheeling Intelligencer, I, 314 

Wheeling, Parkersburg and Cincinnati 
(Ohio River) Railroad, I, 470 

Wheeling-Pittsburgh rivalry, I, 200-209, 

Wheeling Register, I, 314 

Whelan, F. V., I, 184 

White, Albert B v I, 561 

White, I. C, I, 32; his scientific oil in- 
vestigations, 503-505, 713 

White, William R,, sketch of, I, 628; 
637; 638 

Whitehill, A. R., I, 657 

"White man's party," I, 406 

White Sulphur Springs, I, 181 ; 240, 241 ; 
271, 429 

Wickham, William C, I, 424 

Willey, Waitman T., I, 342; (illustra- 
tion) 349, 356, 368 

Willey, William P., I, 332, 333, 656 

"Willey Amendment" to State Constitu- 
tion (1862), I, 363 

Williams, Isaac, I, 74; sketch of, 105 

Williamsport (Pruntytown), I, 195 

Williamston, I, 105 
-Williamson, I, 491, 492 

Williamsville, I, 239 

Wilson, E. Willis, I, 555, 556, 558 

Wilson, William L., I, 648, 655 

Wilson, Willis, I, 6 

Winans, Ross, I, 192 

Winchester, I, 54 

Winfield, I, 161 

Wingerter, C. A. I, 249 

Wirt county, I, 109, 252 

Wise, Henry A., I, 316, 328, 338, 341, 
382; defeated by Rosecrans at Gauley 
Bridge, 383 

Withers, Emma, I, 693 

Women's Hall, West Virginia University, 
(illustration), I, 660 

Woodburn Female Seminary, I, 645 

Wood county, I, 108, 158, 252 

Woods, Katherine P., I, 691 

Wool growing, early, I, 228 

Workmen's Compensation Fund, I, 598, 

Workmen's Compensation Law (1913), 
I, 595 

World's war: elective draft registra- 
tion, I, 697, 698; State Councils of 
Defense, 697-700; war legislation, 701, 
702; Liberty Loan drives, 702, 703; 
production and conservation of food, 
703-705; fuel administration, 705; 
school and the war, 706; the Four 
Minute Men, 707; Red Cross work, 
708 ; Allied War relief, 709 ; other war 
activities, 710 

World's war industries, I, 715 

World's war legislation, I, 701, 702 

World's war taxes (1917), I, 619 

Writers, early, prose, I, 680 

Wyoming county, I, 168, 252; early 
schools of, I, 289 

York county, first county west of the 

Susquehanna, I, 68 
Youghiogheny county, I, 92 
Young, Houston G., I, 627 
Young, John Russell; his narrative of a 

visit to West Virginia oil region 

(1864), I, 392-398 

Zane, Ebenezer, I, 53, 73, 152, 153 
Zane, Elizabeth, I, 88 
Zane, Noah, I, 269 
Zane, Silas, I, 73 

Zane's Trace, I, 53; opening of (1796), 
I, 152 

History of West Virginia 


The importance of local historical research is steadily gaining recog- 
nition. This is reflected in a growing belief that local history should 
have a place in the course of study in our schools. Teachers are dis- 
covering that the surest way to kindle and to stimulate to activity the 
child's attention is to build on his own experience in his home com- 
munity life — whose origin and development he will be interested to 
know. When local life touches the larger streams of national life, local 
history may be employed to introduce or to illustrate national history. 
If it has little connection with national life, the history of every local 
community of whatever age may still be full of vital interest and may 
be made very instructive. If presented in a systematic, organized 
course, it is suitable to unfold the fundamental principles of historical 
development. It contains the universal motives to human action, the 
universal geographic conditions and influences, the law of development 
from the simple to the complex, and the evolution of institutions to 
meet human needs. The common people in their home life, government, 
and industrial interests, have contributed a share to the onward move- 
ment of civilization, and a study of the story of their community life 
will fortify the student with a habit of mind which will fit him to study 
more intelligently the history of the nation and the world. 

The study of history, like charity, should begin at home. The first 
step, as in geography, is to know thoroughly the home district. The 
most natural introduction to a knowledge of the history of the world is 
from local environment, through ever widening circles of interest, along 
lines that vitally connect the past with the present. The child should 
first observe systematically the phenomena and processes which lie near 
to him. He begins this himself and only needs to be guided. He sees 
the institutions and life of his own neighborhood and is interested in 
them. In connection with local geography he can learn many things 
about the society in which he lives, he can get first-hand experience 
with institutions in the concrete. What he learns in regard to the 
family, the school, the church, the industrial life and the affairs of local 
government will aid in giving him a conception of what history is. 

Students should be led to appreciate the common and lowly things 
around them, to understand the familiar facts of local environment 
whose truths are as significant as those of far-away places and remote 
times, to have respect for law, and for the institutions which through 
long ages of the past have been developed in the great school of human 
experience, and now contribute to the welfare of all. The annals, and 
records, and life, of quiet neighborhoods are historically important by 
their vital connection with the progress and science of the nation and 
of the world. 

Local history may advantageously be studied as a contribution to 
national history and to a larger "world history." Almost every com- 
munity has some close and intimate connection with general history. 
Here, the Indians assembled in council and participated in the war 
dance or smoked the pipe of peace. There, a brave explorer passed 

Vol. I— 1 


centuries ago. Here, a self-reliant pioneer, armed with axe and rifle, 
built his log cabin and began his mission of subduing the savage forest 
heavy with the sleep of ages. Through yonder gap pressed the incessant 
wave of frontiersmen clearing the way for civilization. Here, in patches 
of cleared land, strewn with arrow heads, they planted the seed for 
future harvests. Here, they experimented with the difficulties and 
opportunities of the wilderness. There, they sprang into conflict for 
the protection of their homes; near by is a stone marking the graves 
of those who died fighting for freedom; and yonder monument is in 
commemoration of the victory that was won. On every hand also are 
the living monuments of the civilization which followed: the houses, 
mills, bridges, mines, railways, oil derricks, schools, churches and courts. 

In almost every community there have lived conspicuous representa- 
tive leaders whose simple stirring lives may be studied as a fitting in- 
troduction to the vigorous life and struggles of the common people 
in bygone days. They represent the men who established, guided and 
saved the nation. Through them the moving dramatic panorama of 
the past may be unrolled and glimpses of institutional forces may be 

The pioneer epoch is a delightful gateway through which the chil- 
dren of our common schools may find entrance to the fields of Ameri- 
can history, and of general history. The pioneer life in many states is 
rich in stirring events, in difficult enterprises, in deeds of fortitude and 
nobility, in stories of strong men and women, which will thrill the 
children with delight and awaken a deep and permanent interest. In 
the settlement of almost every community plain, modest and uncele- 
brated men performed important service. They faithfully did a great 
work, the consequences of which are around us to-day. Prom many 
unnoticed, scattered fields, where they sowed their seed, came at last a 
mighty harvest. They toiled not in vain. 

The story of the deeds of such men not only awakens human interest 
but impresses the mind with the value of high character and purpose, 
and animates us to do our work with a more intense and patient fidelity. 
All should be grateful for the invisible, molding influences behind these 
men : their humble but reverent homes, their simple churches and their 
rustic schools. The striking phases of their simple, frugal life are full 
of interest and furnish valuable data for later study of social history 
and government : their houses, the home life around the great fireplace, 
their furniture and dress, their meeting houses and long sermons in 
cold churches, their log rollings, house raisings and husking bees, their 
government, methods of travel and trade. 

The study of such things as these will vivify the past — will "fill 
its dim spaces with figures which move and live and feel." Our his- 
tory is rich in inspiring educational materials which, if properly pre- 
sented, will prevent the distaste for history which has so often resulted 
from the study of skeleton outlines and the memorizing of tables and 

Perhaps local history may find its best opportunity as a means of 
illustrating in the simplest terms possible the fundamental principles 
of community life. This idea has recently been applied in the schools 
of Indianapolis where it has resulted in the preparation of a series of 
civic studies on the history of the various institutions of the city, be- 
ginning with a short history of the water supply. Thus local history may 
be utilized as a means of civic instruction. Because of its usefulness 
in illuminating fundamental civic ideas, it may find its own oppor- 
tunity for development in connection with a well organized course in 
civics. A child is led to see that the various institutions and arrange- 
ments of the community have been developed in order to satisfy the 
needs and wants of himself and other members of the community. 

Local history will develop in the child's mind a conception of the 
nature of community life and its relations. The story of a simpler pioneer 
community shows most interestingly the presence of all the motives 


and interests of community life, and it shows how they were the stimuli 
for the development of the various phases of early community life and 
community institutions: such as schools, mills, mines, banks, churches, 
railroads, streets, and government. It shows also how under the hard 
conditions of pioneer life, isolated from civilization, the various interests 
received only partial satisfaction. 

The fascinating story of local development from this standpoint 
teaches its own lesson. It enables one to understand from concrete ex- 
amples that society has advanced only by slow, blind groping move- 
ments—with long halts and many struggles due to ignorance, stupidity 
and prejudice, and that "it is only through labor and painful effort, 
by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things." 
The story of each town is one of interesting development: from the 
primitive and the provincial to the modern and metropolitan; from a 
sleepy condition of mere subsistance and isolation to a life of produc- 
tive business and communication with the entire world ; from trail and 
pack horse to railway and express train ; from an old log house built 
as you please and surrounded by mud and broken glass to a modern house 
built by permission of town council, and approached by sidewalk put 
in by command of the town council, for the general good, — perhaps at 
first against the strong opposition of individual citizens; from corner 
smoke-befogged grocery with chairs and whittling material furnished 
to the evening loafers' club to an orderly business house where loafers 
are discouraged inside by lack of chairs and outside by rows of sharp 
barbs and spikes; from the daily jam of the old postoffice after the 
daily mail hack arrived to the modern office with iron rails to keep 
the people in orderly line ; from the muddy roads of a rural village to 
the paved streets of a city kept clean by a street cleaning force ; from 
single, poorly organized schools to a system of graded schools with 
proper supervision and inspection and culminating in a modern high 
school ; from a few old books read only by a few to a modern free public 
library ; from volunteer bucket brigade to an efficiently trained fire de- 
partment ; from indiscriminate giving and lending to efficient, intelli- 
gent organized charity; from the old wasteful Anglo-Saxon method of 
working the roads to the modern plan of road construction and repair 
under the supervision and direction of an efficient engineer; from un- 
sanitary springs and wells to the modern system of water works and 
water purification; from out-door cess-pools to a well-regulated sewer- 
system ; from the old individualistic method of garbage disposal by 
throwing in the streets to the sanitary compulsory method of dispos- 
ing of garbage by city expense and city authority ; from pill vendors 
and quacks to a respectable medical profession; from uncontrolled un- 
sanitation to the sanitary control of modern boards of health, and to 
medical inspection in the schools; a development from drift and laissez 
fairc to intelligent direction. 

The story of each phase of development is instructive and educative. 
It would certainly be an excellent thing for the development of his- 
torical science in America if teachers in our public schools would culti- 
vate the historical spirit in their pupils with special reference to the 
local environment. Something more than local history can be drawn 
from such sources. 

A multitude of historical associations gather around every old town 
and hamlet in the land. West Virginia and other states of the Ohio 
Valley are especially rich in them. There are local legends and traditions, 
household tales, stories told by grandfathers and grandmothers, inci- 
dents remembered by "the oldest inhabitant." But above all in impor- 
tance are the old documents and manuscript records of the first settlers, 
the early pioneers, the founders of our towns, and the captains of 
industries. Here are sources of information more authentic than tradi- 
tion and yet often entirely neglected. If teachers would simply make 
a few extracts from these unpublished records, they would soon have 
sufficient material in their hands for elucidating local history to their 


pupils and fellow townsmen. The publication of such extracts in the 
local papers is one of the best ways to quicken local interest in mat- 
ters of history. 

Much source of material for the study of local history may still be 
found, although much of the earlier material was captured by Lyman 
C. Draper on his pilgrimages of search. The old court records contain 
much of human interest. Buried in dust and darkness of vaults or 
basements and neglected corners in West Virginia court houses are 
many old, time-stained records which now seldom see the light of day, 
because few lawyers have business with them, and no one else is sup- 
posed to have any interest in things belonging to so long a time ago. 
These records are full of human interest, though mixed with masses of 
rubbish which can never again be of any use to anybody. In a few 
instances local historians have had the patience and endurance to dig 
through thousands of manuscript pages of early records to collect the 
scraps of real history which throw light on the men who redeemed 
the country from the wilderness. Rich finds have sometimes been made 
by thos,e who have taken the time to search. One investigator discovered 
in a trash barrel in the basement of the Monongalia county court house 
the names and locations of 1,215 of the "tomahawk rights" men who 
first broke the wilderness solitude in northern western Virginia. But 
generally little investigation has been done in a thorough and intelligent 
way, though many persons have skimmed the surface. 

While local history has a very useful function in showing the evolu- 
tion of local institutions and local life, it has a larger function to trace 
the relations of the local community to neighboring communities and 
larger regions with which its life has been connected, to trace the rela- 
tion of the community to the larger life of the state and of the nation 
and of the world. When local life touches the larger stream of national 
life, local history may be employed to introduce and to illustrate national 
history. The most natural introduction to the knowledge of the history 
of the region, the state, the nation, and the world is from local environ- 
ment through ever widening circles of interest along lines that vitally 
connect the past with the present. The annals and records and life of 
the most quiet neighborhood may be historically important by their 
connection with the progress of the nation and of the world. The 
local history may be advantageously studied as a contribution to national 
history. Almost every community in the Ohio Valley has some close 
and intimate connection with general history. 

The history of the entire region drained by the Ohio has been one 
of the most important factors in our national history. 

Its future significance in its relation to the rising nation was early 
grasped by George Washington, the surveyor of lands for frontier 
settlements along the South Branch of the Potomac, the messenger of 
English civility who asked the French to evacuate the transmontane 
region claimed by Virginia, the commanding officer whose men near 
the Monongahela fired the opening guns of the world conflict which 
terminated French occupation in trans-Appalachian territory and in 
all continental America, the great American national leader who may 
properly be called the first prophet and promoter of the transmontane 
West as well as the "Father of his Country." The trans-Appalachian 
streams of western Virginia contributed to making the great natural 
waterway to the West a historic artery of commerce — and an entering 
wedge to the occupation and possession of the Mississippi Valley. Early 
communities in trans-Appalachian headwaters and tributaries of the 
Ohio suggested the principles of the Ordinance of 1787, the basis of 
the American policy of colonial government. The problems of their 
early development were closely related to the most impoi'tant national 
problems of domestic policy and of foreign relations and policies. 
Their difficulties and necessities forced the nation away from a narrow 
colonial attitude into a career of territorial expansion which provided 
adequate room for future growth. The possibilities and needs of this 


region were among the most prominent considerations in connection 
with the invention of the steamboat, which became an important in- 
fluence in the development of trade between the upper Ohio country 
and the region of expanding cotton culture in the Southwest. To secure 
the trade of the Ohio was the objective aim which determined the 
East to undertake various internal improvements for better communi- 
cation with the West — improvements which later contributed largely 
to the preservation of the Union and the failure of the Southern seces- 
sion movement. 

To the larger events of history in which the upper Ohio was an impor- 
tant factor, almost every community of West Virginia has had some 
vital relation. Lord Dunmore's war was a focal point in western history 
and an event of national importance in which all western Virginia had 
a large interest. Wayne's victory in western Ohio in 1794 promptly 
registered its results in trans-Appalachian Virginia in the increasing 
activity of settlements in every part of the entire region. 

The annals and records and life of the most quiet neighborhood in 
the state may be historically important by their connection with the 
progress of the nation and of the world. 

For over a hundred years Morgantown, West Virginia, was only a 
little village, without close connection with the great thoroughfares of 
travel, but even in its earliest history it had a close relation to a larger 
life. As early as 1772 it had a boat yard for the accommodation of the 
western immigrants who followed the road from Winchester to Morgan- 
town and thence continued the journey to Kentucky by the Monongaliela 
and the Ohio. In 1791 it obtained a shorter- connection with the west 
by a state road to the mouth of Pishing Greek, now New Martinsville. 
In 1826 it was first visited hy steam boat and by 1830 it had regular 
steam boat connection with Pittsburgh. About the same time it secured 
better connections with the East by better road to connect with the 
national road. 

Glarksburg, as early as 1790, enlarged its vision and its usefulness 
by marking a road through the wilderness to attract the Kentucky 
settlers, and another to the Ohio at Isaac Williams' opposite Marietta 
over which cattle collected at Clarksburg were driven to the new 
Marietta settlements. By 1798 it had a J postoffice and soon thereafter 
was connected with Chillicothe by mail route by way of Salem, Mari- 
etta, and Athens. By 1830 it obtained a better connection with the 
national road which enabled merchants to reach Baltimore by horse- 
back in six days. It obtained additional communications with the East 
by the construction of the Northwestern turnpike and later by the 
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad which was extended to Parkersburg in 1857. 

The early smelting of iron on the lower parts of Cheat River was 
largely a local industry at first but according to tradition it furnished 
some of the cannon used by Perry at Lake Erie and by Jackson at New 
Orleans; and the later development of iron works on Cheat and the 
decline after 1846 were closely associated with the development and 
change in national tariff policy. The story of the large iron works 
procession twelve hundred strong, through the principal streets of the 
neighboring village of Morgantown in the fall of 1840 as told by an old 
resident presents a concrete picture of the methods of the presidential 
campaign of that year. 

At the opening of the Civil War the Monongaliela region became the 
theater of contending armies in a series of introductory local episodes 
whose significance cannot be measured by the size of the forces engaged 
or the extent of territory covered. The local contest centering at Graf- 
ton, West Virginia, from which McClellan drove the Confederates south 
to Philippi and Huttonsville had a vital and important connection with 
some of the chief national problems of the entire war. It prevented 
the Confederates from establishing their military lines along the border 
of Ohio and Pennsylvania which they had hoped to make the battle 
ground. It not only determined the control of Northwestern Virginia, 


including the Western division which by its geographic position between 
the Ohio and the East was of inestimable value to Federal military 
operations throughout the war. It greatly influenced the result of 
later important military events of the war both at the East and at the 
West. It was especially important in its relation to the protection of 
Washington and the advance against Richmond. Last but not least it 
encouraged the natural movement for the formation of a new state west 
of the mountains, the logical conclusion of a long period of sectionalism 
between tide-water and trans-montane regions of the Old Dominion. 

In 1885-87 the government of West Virginia under the leadership 
of Governor Willis Wilson urged proposed legislation to prevent the 
distribution of railroad passes to state officers and party delegates at- 
tending political conventions, waged a fierce and relentless war against 
trunk line railroads which the governor said had discriminated against 
the people of West Virginia in freight and passenger rates, and he 
called a special session of the legislature to secure regulation of rates. 
The story of this struggle is state history but it also illustrates a great 
national movement of which it is a part, resulting in 1887 in the estab- 
lishment of the Inter-State Commerce Commission which has later been 
made more efficient by supplementary legislation to meet new conditions. 

Often local history may be used to create an interest in the larger 
history of the nation. This is illustrated by the increased interest in 
the life of a man of national reputation who resided in the community 
or visited it. Students at West Virginia University are stimulated to 
take a new interest in the history in which George Washington was the 
leader when they find that George Washington in 1784 stopped all night 
three miles from our University on his return trip from a visit to his 
western lands, in Western Pennsylvania. The story of how Washington 
took up his abode in the room belonging to Gallatin, the young surveyor 
who slept on the floor that night, and sent to Morgautown for Zachwill 
Morgan is local history; but the conferences between Washington and 
Morgan introduce one to problems of national history, to questions 
of best roads between the East and West, and to plans for connection 
by waterways between Virginia and the Ohio which eventually found 
expression in the C. & 0. Canal and in suggestions and plans for a canal 
connection with the Ohio by the James River and Kanawha route. 

The naturalization of the Swiss emigrant, Albert Gallatin, at Morgan- 
town in 1785 and his settlement a few miles below at New Geneva, which 
was long ahead of navigation and trade on the Monongahela, were local 
events through which the student may be introduced to the larger events 
of regional and national history in which Gallatin participated; the 
establishment of the first glass works west of the Alleghenies in 1796, 
the establishment (in 1797) of the Payette gun factory in response to 
the imminent danger of war with France, his public service as secretary of 
the treasury under Jefferson and Madison and his diplomatic service 

Through biography, even of local personages, the prominent events 
or phases of national history may be introduced and studied. For the 
early national period, this may be illustrated by the many brief allusions 
to national events or conditions which are presented in the story of 
Peregrine Foster, an early pioneer whose descendents have been useful 
and representative citizens of West Virginia. Mr. Foster was born in 
Brookfield, Massachusetts, in 1759. As a soldier of the Revolution he 
witnessed the execution of Major Andre. After the war he became a 
lawyer at Providence, Rhode Island, but the financial conditions of the 
critical period, including the paper money craze, caused him great 
pecuniary loss and drove him to the wilderness. In the spring of 1788 
he joined the Ohio Company as a surveyor. With forty-seven New 
Englanders he crossed the Alleghanies, followed the course of the 
Youghiogheny and the Monongahela to Pittsburgh and went down the 
Ohio by boat to Marietta where a government of the Northwest Terri- 
tory was first established — three years before the settlement of Gallipolis 


under the auspices of the Seioto Company. He soon returned to Rhode 
Island for his family. In 1793, when the government at Philadelphia 
was beginning its struggle for neutrality, he began again the long trip 
which was necessary to reach the Ohio settlements; but, alarmed at 
rumors which he heard of Indian dangers in the Muskingum Valley 
and in the Northwest, he turned aside, ascended the Monongahela and 
became a gloomy resident of Morgantown, Virginia (now West Virginia). 
At Morgantown, in spite of the depressing sentences written in his 
journal, he soon rose to prominence. In 1794, when he already had two 
unremunerative appointments from the Governor and General Assembly, 
he received a commission from the Governor appointing him magistrate 
(justice of the peace) for the county of Monongalia, an office which 
hardly paid enough to settle the bills for the bowls of toddy which the 
court and the gentlemen of the bar drank together. In 1796, perhaps 
as a reward for his services to the government in quieting disturbances 
on the Monongahela, he received an appointment as the first postmaster 
of the Village of Morgantown through which a post-road had been 
opened, in 1794, from Hagerstown via Hancock and Cumberland to 
Uniontown and Brownsville. After the alarming conditions northwest 
of the Ohio had subsided and the troubles in the Northwest and South- 
west had been adjusted, and in the midst of party strife which soon 
resulted in the fall of his party, he moved to his original destination and 
soon became a settler and land-owner near Belpre, where he died in 1804 
soon after the events which enabled the West to obtain free navigation 
to the sea, and on the eve of other events which were so soon to make 
the neighboring Blennerhasset Island so famous and to give to the 
Federal court the most prominent case which had yet arisen for their 

In expanded form, this story gives one glimpses of several prominent 
events or conditions in national history : the Rhode Island disorders of 
the critical period, Rhode Island opposition to the new constitution, 
the organization of the Northwest Territory under the Ordinance of 
1787, the beginnings of the westward movement, early navigation on 
the Ohio, the Whisky Insurrection, social life in a frontier village, Indian 
difficulties and Wayne's victory, Jay's treaty and the British retirement 
from American border posts, the Spanish treaty of 1795, the Alien and 
Sedition laws, the development of Ohio into a state, and the Louisiana 

Other illustrations, many covering a much larger period, may be 
found by inquiry in almost every community. 

The children should be taught how to study at first hand many of the 
things which relate to life and mankind. They may be taken to the 
county clerk's office to see what documents can be found relating to 
the early history or government of the town, or to the cemetery to read 
inscriptions on tombstones, or to the fields to find Indian arrows or imple- 
ments, or to the scene of some battle or some other point of historic 
interest. They may be requested to inquire at home for old newspapers, 
old relics, old costumes, old weapons, or for the earlier experiences 
of their parents. They may be encouraged to make a collection of such 
things as will illustrate or illuminate the earlier periods of the life of 
the neighborhood. Old settlers may be invited to talk to the school 
concerning the hardships of earlier days, or old soldiers may be asked 
to tell experiences of camp and the battlefield, or men of business affairs 
may be requested to relate the no less interesting and more useful story 
of the rise and growth of industries — the story of logging and lumber- 
ing, mining and railroads. 

In this way a lively interest may be awakened. Another important 
result may be the formation of a museum of local historical collections, 
which may be of use to the whole community. Such collections may 
include : relics and pictures of Indians, old costumes, dishes, tools, coins, 
weapons, etc.; photographs of citizens who have been local leaders or 
prominent actors in great political and economic events; old letters or 


diaries, or other manuscript records of the first settlers, or the early 
pioneers; files of local newspapers; written accounts of the recollections 
of old settlers and soldiers ; books or pamphlets which have any relation 
to the locality or to the citizens ; written biographies of the first settlers, 
or of men and women who have been prominent in the community. 

These collections and industries may prove a means of kindling his- 
torical interest in the community. The people — the town fathers, the 
fathers of families, and all their sons and daughters — will quickly 
catch the bearing of this kind of historical study, and many will be 
willing to encourage it — for it takes hold upon the life of the community 
and quickens not only pride in the past but hope for the future. By 
such systematic work in the most important communities of a county, 
it would be possible for some trained scholar with the modern, sci- 
entific, historical spirit, to write a good history of the county. And 
by such systematic work in all the counties of the state, it would be 
possible to collect the materials for a good history of the state. 

Heretofore the use of local history in the education of children has 
been very unsystematic, and unfruitful of results commensurate with 
its possibilities and value. The history department of the University 
several years ago submitted to the superintendents of schools in the 
principal towns in West Virginia a series of special questions concerning 
the status of instruction in local history in their schools. The replies 
received indicate that local history has usually meant state history and 
that it has been taught in the eighth grade — sometimes as an elective in 
the senior year of the high school — with a text, either as a separate 
study or in connection with United States history and composition. At 
Bluefield, it is also taught incidentally in the lower grades. In some 
instances, as at Parkersburg, some attention is given to local industrial 
and economic conditions. In very few instances has there been any 
attempt to utilize the history of the community in the schools. This 
is largely due to the lack of materials in available form. 

Such materials might properly be made available through the careful 
efforts of historical students either acting independently or identifying 
themselves with the local historical organizations. In some instances 
local organizations or public spirited citizens of means may be willing 
to appropriate money to meet the situation. By systematic planning 
and cooperation all necessary materials for illustrating the development 
of each community may be obtained. 

College departments of history should endeavor to find a means of 
interesting advanced history students in the field of local history and 
to enlist them in some phase of local history activity which, under the 
direction of trained instructors might result (1) in the preparation of 
useful articles for publication in the newspapers or magazines, (2) in 
the encouragement of more efficient and valuable research in local history, 
and (3) in some intelligent plan for the collection of local history in a 
form suitable for use in the schools of our towns and rural communities. 

Beginning in 1903, the department of history at West Virginia Uni- 
versity has offered a seminar course on the history of West Virginia — 
exclusively for advanced history students who are able to pursue co- 
operative investigation in social, economic, political and constitutional 
development. Such students are given some training in scientific 
methods of historical research, interpretation and construction, and are 
encouraged to prepare monographs or briefer articles which will have 
some permanent historical value. They are taught especially the use 
of census reports, the documentary material of the state government, 
old newspaper files and other materials to which they can obtain access 
at the University library. Efforts are also made to collect materials 
from other parts of the state. In several instances, students have pur- 
sued investigations which required an examination of materials in the 
department of state archives and history at Charleston. 

Since 1906, other efforts have been made to encourage the study of 
West Virginia local state history, and, incidentally, the collection of old 


manuscripts, old newspapers, old tools, old maps, old family letters or 
other historical records which might be of use in securing historical data. 
In 1909, the head of the department of history published and distributed 
a suggestive outline for use in the collection and study of local history. 

The investigations by advanced students of the University have con- 
tinued to increase in amount and value, resulting in the completion of 
several monographs, some of which have been published. 

In several instances the work at the University or suggestions and 
encouragement from the University, has resulted in useful local historical 
activities in different parts of the state — such as the publication of the 
Making of Marion County through cooperative studies at the Fairmont 
High School under direction of Miss Dora Lee Newman, and the pub- 
lication of an excellent history of Lewis County prepared by Edward 
C. Smith. 

Could not some plan be devised by which local historical societies, 
or the state department of archives and history, would plan their 
work regularly with a view of aiding teachers and advanced students of 
American history either in collecting or in publishing? It has too fre- 
quently happened that there has not been sufficient contact and coopera- 
tion between our institutions of learning and the state or local historical 
societies. Though occasionally the college instructor consults important 
documents of the society to aid him in his seminar work, there is no 
close relation which should exist between the chair of history and the 
society. What can be done to remedy this situation? 

A state or local historical society, or a state department of archives 
and history, has a wide field of possible activities. Its functions may in- 
clude: the collection and preservation of historical material, printed and 
manuscript, public and private; the maintenance of a library and a 
museum, and perhaps an attractive portrait gallery ; the publication of 
original material and monographs ; encouragement of special researches 
in history; the maintenance of courses of historical lectures; participa- 
tion in the celebration of local and national events, and in movements for 
civic betterment or various phases of civic life ; aid in the diffusion of his- 
torical knowledge; the arousal and maintenance of public interest in 
local history. 

In order to attain its greatest useful development a local historical so- 
ciety should not have too narrow conception of its functions. While the 
reason for its existence is local history, it should take an active interest 
in the larger life of the nation with respect to which many topics of local 
history have their greatest significance. It may become deadened by too 
close adherence to subjects which have no interest for anybody outside 
the community. Its meetings may become the property of a few fossilized 
antiquarians, and unattended by its sustaining members. It cannot hope 
that its members or its proteges will deal with local history rightly unless 
their minds are trained iu larger American history and can see quickly 
the relation of their problems to the history which explains them and 
gives them significance. With the increase of intercommunication, it 
must especially endeavor to avoid "fussy fossilized local antiquarianism" 
and to look chiefly to the larger features of local history or to "Amer- 
ican history locally exemplified." It must not use its research and 
publication funds to further the purposes of those who devote their time 
to searches for genealogies "to prove their right to entrance into the 
charmed circle of the Sons of This or the Daughters of That." 

Its most valuable function is the encouragement of the collection, 
preservation, preparation and publication of material illustrating dif- 
ferent phases of the history of the state or smaller localities, or its 
connection with the larger history of the nation and the world. 

It should be strenuous in the solicitation of all kinds of historical ma- 
terial. It must endeavor to induce private possessors of documentary 
material and historical relics, to contribute their possessions to the 
collections of the society. Through its field work it must endeavor to 
obtain from those pioneers who have recollections worth recording, 


detailed narratives of their experiences, of their memories of public men, 
of the conduct of public affairs, of the social and economic conditions of 
early times, of course, with full recognition of the limitations of such 
testimony — gathering documentary materials from persons who will 
yield readily to appeals by post; getting in touch with early settlers at 
their periodical gatherings; investigating and securing records of 
archaeological discoveries; interesting the newspapers and high school 
teachers in local history, and, in general, awakening within the com- 
munity an historical consciousness. 

A state historical society, or department of archives and history, 
should be in a position to assist investigators in special fields of local 
history. To this end it should prepare suitable catalogues, calendars and 
indexes to facilitate the examination of its most valuable materials, and 
employ trained custodians who can render intelligent assistance to 
investigators. It should also prepare and publish lists, and valuations 
or general descriptions of various county or municipal records which 
have not been collected. It might undertake the compilation of a suit- 
able guide to materials for the study of local history in all parts of the 
state. It should encourage the preparation of monographic studies by 
advanced students in history, and should consult with the college or uni- 
versity departments of history iu regard to the preparation of its publica- 
tions. It should endeavor especially to enlist the interest of students 
and others who have had special training in history aud allied subjects, 
and who, therefore, have broader historical views than the antiquarians 
and genealogists whose contributions so often have no practical benefit. 
It might afford to subsidize the services of trained students of history to 
prepare monographs which have a special value, or to write local history 
in a form suitable for use in the schools, or to direct researches for the 
collection of materials needed in the library. It might also be able to 
develop a general information bureau which would be of great practical 
value in responding to calls for statistical or historical facts. 

It should make itself useful not only in encouraging historical research 
and study, but also in providing for the diffusion of the results of this 
research and study. It should publish original materials selected with in- 
telligence, arranged systematically and ably edited with finished scholar- 
ship ; and also valuable contributions by active and resourceful members, 
or local citizens, or isolated students who desire to cooperate in this kind 
of work through the local press or local societies and local clubs. Many 
of these studies, connected in some way with the life of the community, 
it may use to quicken that life to higher consciousness. If a student, a 
teacher, a leader of industry or a statesman prepares a paper or delivers 
an address on some phase of local history, or on some social question, 
which has a general interest or permanent value, it should encourage 
him to print it in the local paper or in a local magazine, perhaps in an 
educational journal, or in pamphlet form. It should also maintain a close 
touch with the newspaper press and inspire the local journals to publish 
series of articles on local history. It should cultivate a sound historical 
interest among the people and should be of practical value to the people. 

Unfortunately, while the researches in local history have often been 
made by local investigators who strolled at random, without any regard 
to the tenets of historical scholarship, sometimes performing some valu- 
able service, but more often treating isolated subjects of no practical 
value, the work in the department of history in the colleges and uni- 
versities has been largely occupied with instruction in the general his- 
torical culture which every student should have before he can specialize 
in a narrower field. Could not the work of historical societies, or state 
departments of archives and history, and of the college or university 
departments of history, be readjusted to the benefit of both ? After college 
students have received some training in digesting original material and 
in weighing evidence, the department could assign them work on the 
preparation of a thesis which would enable them to secure some experi- 
ence in original investigation in some field of local history and thus 


arouse their interest to pursue further work of this kind after the close 
of their college courses. It is highly desirable that local history should 
be written by those who have had sufficient training to enable them to 
give the power setting for a local event. It seems desirable therefore 
that college or university departments of history should make a special 
effort to induce seniors, who have had proper preparation, to pursue 
a seminar course in which they can secure special training in the prepara- 
tion of some special study of local history under the personal supei*vision 
and direction of well trained instructors. In this way trained students 
from different communities may be able to arouse a widespread and 
increased interest in local history which may result in the organization 
of live local historical associations and the preparation of a series of mono- 
graphs on local history whose publication will be immediately beneficial 
to the people of the state. In this way there may be hope that the local 
field which has heretofore been neglected or left in the hands of untrained 
workers will be occupied by carefully directed students who approach 
their work with the broad spirit of those who have a knowledge of the 
historical development of mankind and are not liable to fall into the 
absurd conclusions or mistakes of those who work with the merely 
antiquarian spirit. 


Historically West Virginia occupies a unique place among the Amer- 
ican commonwealths, and at the same time it has a history which in 
many ways illustrates the larger life of the nation with which it has 
an intimate connection at many points. 

Its earliest settlements along the Potomac above the mouth of the 
Shenandoah, possibly as early as 1726, were encouraged by the Old 
Dominion partly as a protection of older settlements against the Indians. 
Its trans-Allegheny territory, under the early claims of the Old Dominion 
largely controlled the upper Ohio which was the key to the West in the 
final Anglo-French struggle for control. Its early frontiersmen, plain 
and self-reliant — the forerunners of a mighty tide of immigration far 
greater in energy than in numbers which burst the barriers of the Alle- 
ghanies — formed the rear guard of the Revolution and the flying 
squadron of the nation. 

Along its borders or across its wings or on routes across its interior, 
it felt the pulse of the mighty westward movement. ' ' The early emigra- 
tion which passed by the West Virginia hills and valleys and moved on 
west where land was level and the prairies treeless, threw away opportu- 
nities which some of their grandchildren are now returning to take at an 
increased cost of a thousand per cent. ' ' 

West Virginia is the only state formed as a result of the sectionalism 
which existed in every state crossed by the Appalachians. It is the pnly 
case in which the sectional history within every state with an Appalachian 
frontier reached its logical result. 

Its destiny to form a separate state was partly determined by its 
topography and the direction of the flow of its rivers, and partly by 
the character of its people. Its political destiny was greatly influenced 
by the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad which opened a 
market and began a new era of development, and besides facilitating 
travel was a large factor in the military strategy of the Civil War and 
the continued integrity of the American Union. 

In the Civil War its destiny was closely related to the problem of 
preserving the integrity of the American Union. It has a strategic 
position of unusual importance, especially in relation to connections be- 
tween the Middle West and the capitol at Washington. At the beginning 
of the war, its loyalty to the Union prevented Lee from establishing 
along the borders of Ohio and Pennsylvania the main Confederate 
battle line of defense. Later, thi*ough the importance of the Baltimore 
and Ohio railroad, it helped to control the strategy of campaigns both 
in the East and in the Middle South. Its destiny largely determined 
the question of suitable facilities for transportation of troops and sup- 
plies between East and Middle West by the most direct route. 

In the work of re-enfranchisement of Confederate's after the Civil 
War, West Virginia occupies a peculiar place. She accomplished through 
two parties what in other states had been accomplished by one party — 
a complete removal of suffrage disabilities imposed for participation in 
the secession movement against the Union. The work, instituted by the 
liberal wing of one party, was carried to completion by the other. 

Two centuries ago the region of the eastern panhandle first felt the 
touch of civilization, largely through migrations from the occupied val- 
leys of Pennsylvania, southeastward across Maryland via Frederick on 



the historic route which continued up the Shenandoah and beyond its 
headwaters through passes to the trans-Allegheny West. 

Naturally the region between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghenies 
was settled before the region beyond the formidable Allegheny barrier. 
Rut the occupation of the one led to the mastery of the barrier and to 
the occupation of the other territory whose rivers formed another drain- 
age system. 

The early events of the history of Virginia's transmontane history, 
although they probably attracted little attention at the time, and were 
scarcely understood in their larger significance even by participants, 
were important in their relations to the future problems in the estab- 
lishment and growth of the nation. 

The story of the exploration, settlement and development of the 
trans-Appalachian region constitutes one of the most fascinating chapters 
of American history. Its beginnings are filled with thrilling incidents in 
relation to Indians, who, although they did not have their home in 
the region between the Alleghenies and the Ohio when white men came 
to occupy it, long continued to visit it on excursions (incursions) from 
their tribal camps west of the Ohio. Prominent in the pioneer work of 
establishing the new frontier were the Scotch Irish. Led by Virginians 
who were inspired by the movement of settlement which advanced west- 
ward from the Shenandoah to the South Branch, and coincident with 
the growth of population in the region which was almost ready to become 
Hampshire county, they took the initiative which precipitated the great 
Anglo-French struggle for a continent — a struggle which began by 
collisions between the frontiersmen of rival nations along the upper 
Ohio and settled the national destiny of the West. At the close of the 
struggle, from which they emerged with a new stimulus born of victory, 
and with a determination unrestrained by proclamations of the King or 
the colonial governor, they advanced from the ease and security of 
older settlements into the trans-Allegheny wilds, steadily pushed back 
the frontier and the Indians, and in the heart of the wilderness estab- 
lished their homes on many streams whose fate had recently hung in 
the balance. Here, they turned to the conquest and subjugation of 
the primeval forest which the Indians had sought to retain unconquered. 
Although a mere handful of riflemen, they served as the immovable 
rear guard of the Revolution, securely holding the mountain passes 
and beating back the rear assaults of savage bands which might other- 
wise have carried torch and tomahawk to the seaboard settlements. At 
the same time they served as the advance guard of western civilization 
hewing out paths across the mountain barrier and experimenting with 
the difficulties and opportunities of the wilderness. 

The story of the settlement of every early community is full of the 
heroic deeds of these plain, modest, uncelebrated men of the struggling 
common people — men who sought no praise and achieved no great 
fame, who were not conscious of their own greatness, but who were 
always ready for any service which was needed to maintain an advanc- 
ing frontier. Out of many springs among the hills emerged at last 
the irresistible current of their strength. They toiled not in vain. 
While building homes in the wilderness, far from the tidewater Bast 
against which they were later forced to struggle for political and social 
rights, they were raising the framework of a self-governing state des- 
tined to play an important part in the history of the nation. 

The new inducements to settlement, increasing after the battle of 
Point Pleasant in 1774, and receiving a new stimulus at the close of 
the Revolution, produced a rapid expansion movement which resulted 
by 1790 in a total trans-Allegheny population of over 50,000 people 
widely separated into many detached, isolated local groups, intensely 
individualistic in spirit, and with frontier conditions which, in the 
absence of transportation facilities to develop the vast resources of 
the region, were little fitted to develop unity of action or co-operation. 

In several sections the means of communication with the world de- 


veloped earlier than one might expect under frontier conditions. Be- 
fore 1790 steps had been taken to widen the chief pack-horse trails 
from the East into wagon roads. By 1786 a state road was opened 
from Winchester via Romney to Morgantown, and by legislative act 
of 1786 a branch wagon road was authorized from a point on the 
Morgantown road near Cheat. As early as 1788, the trail from Win- 
chester via St. George and Philippi to Clarksburg was called a "state 
road," although still only the "Pringle Pack road." In 1789 a road 
was opened westward from Clarksburg to the Ohio opposite Marietta. 
In 1791 (by authority of an act of 1786) an extension of the Morgan- 
town road was opened from Morgantown to the mouth of Fishing creek 
(now New Martinsville). An extension from Morgantown to the mouth 
of Graves creek was authorized in 1795. About 1790, by act of 1785, 
the old Kanawha trail westward from Lewisburg to the navigable waters 
of the Kanawha was widened for wagons and by 1800 a state road, 
located along the general route of the old trail, was opened to the Ohio. 
By 1797 there were in the territory later formed into West Virginia 
eight postoffices, of which four were located east of the Alleghenies (at 
Martinsburg, Shepherdstown, Romney, and Moorefield). Communica- 
tion of trans-Allegheny Virginia with the East and the world was 
facilitated by the creation of postoffices at Morgantown and at Wheel- 
ing in 1794 (six years later than Pittsburgh), at Greenbrier Court 
House and West Liberty by 1797, at Clarksburg in 1798, at Union in 
1800 and at Charleston in 1801. The first post road to Morgantown, 
excepting a post route established by the Pittsburgh Gazette in 1793, 
was opened in 1794 from Hagerstown, Maryland via Hancock and 
Cumberland, and continued from Morgantown to Uniontown (Pennsyl- 
vania) and Brownsville (Pennsylvania). About the same time, a post 
road was opened from Morgantown across southwestern Pennsylvania 
to Wheeling. 

By 1795 mail boats on the Ohio were carrying mail between Wheel- 
ing and Cincinnati and after 1796 additional facilities for communica- 
tion with the West were secured by a land route known as Zane's Trace, 
via Zanesville, Lancaster and Chillicothe, Ohio, to the Ohio at Lime- 
stone, Kentucky, (now Maysville). Probably the next mail route from 
the East was opened in 1798 via Gandy's (in Preston county) to 
Clarksburg and later continued via Salem to Marietta, Athens and 
Chillicothe. By 1801 another horseback route was established from 
Lewisburg to Charleston. It was extended westward from Charleston 
to Scioto Salt Works by 1804 and to Chillicothe by 1807. 

In the transmontane region the first local newspapers appeared quite 
early — only fourteen years after the establishment of the first local 
paper in the older settled region of the Potomac. The oldest paper 
within the limits of the state was the Potomac Guardian and Berkeley 
Advertiser, started at Martinsburg in 1789, and not as large as its 
title might suggest. In the Monongahela valley the first paper, the 
Monongalia Gazette was established at Morgantown in 1803 eighteen 
years after the establishment of the Pittsburgh Gazette and six years 
after the founding of the Fayette Gazette at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, 
and four years after the appearance of the Martinsburg Gazette (the 
second newspaper established in the eastern panhandle). The s«cond 
paper in the Monongahela valley, the Bystander was started at Clarks- 
burg in 1810. The first local paper at Wheeling, the Repository, was 
published in 1807, seven years before the appearance of a local paper 
at Wellsburg (the Charlestown Gazette). In the Kanawha, the first 
paper (the Spectator) appeared considerably later — in 1818 or 1819. 
Although the majority of the periodical publications which were started 
in West Virginia before the civil war were ephemeral the number 
in existence in 1860 (according to Virgil A. Lewis) was forty-three — 
including three Wheeling dailies. 

Gradually, with the extension of agricultural clearings made by 
steady and laborious work aided by axe and fire, there emerged the 


larger problems of improvements in communication, transportation, and 
industry, accompanied by an increase of refinement and culture and 
a growing sectional opposition against the political domination of tide- 
water Virginia. An era of larger industrial development, foreshadowed 
by the construction of several turnpikes from the East to the Ohio, was 
begun by the completion of the first railroad to the Ohio early in 1853 
after a series of triumphs over the difficulties of the mountains. 

The work of constructing these roads brought to the region new 
elements of population which had a large influence on the later develop- 
ment of the state. 

Considering the different elements of population, different features 
of territory, and different interests, the formation of the new state by 
separation from the mother state (suggested even in the revolutionary 
period under conditions which gave birth to Kentucky), was the 
logical and inevitable l-esult of the half century of sectional con- 
troversy between East and "West in regard to inequalities under the 
constitution of 1776. These inequalities were only partially remedied 
by the constitutional conventions of 1829-30 and 1850-51 — although the 
latter made large democratic departures from the earlier dominating 
influences of the tidewater aristocracy in the government, illustrated 
by the change from appointment to election of state and county officers. 
The secession of Virginia from the Union only furnished the occasion 
and the opportunity to accomplish by legal fiction and revolutionary 
process an act toward which nature and experience had already indi- 
cated and prepared the way. 

The first steps toward separation of western Virginia from the mother 
state were taken by the irregular Wheeling convention of May 13, 1861, 
(composed of 425 delegates from 25 counties), ten days before the elec- 
tion in which the western counties decided against secession by vote of 
40,000 to 4,000. A second irregular convention, which met June 11, 
nullified the Virginia ordinance of secession, vacated the offices of the 
state government at Richmond, formed the "Reorganized" government 
of Virginia, elected F. H. Pierpont to act as governor; and, two months 
later (August 20), made provisions for a popular vote on the forma- 
tion of a new state, and for a third convention to frame a constitution. 
Members of the legislature elected from the western counties met at 
Wheeling on July 1, and, calling themselves the Virginia legislature, 
proceeded to fill the remainder of the state offices. After organizing 
the state government, they selected two United States senators who 
were promptly recognized at Washington as senators from Virginia. 

The popular election of October 24 resulted in a vote of 18,489 to 
781 in favor of the new state. A third convention, in which forty-one 
counties were represented, met at Wheeling on November 26; and, on 
February 18, 1862, it completed a constitution which was ratified early 
in April by a vote of 18,162 to 514. 

The new state, erected by consent of the "Reorganized" govern- 
ment of Virginia (representing forty-eight western counties) and by 
the consent of Congress, revised its constitution (February, 1863) to 
meet the conditions of Congress requiring gradual abolition of slavery, 
and under the President's proclamation of April 20 was admitted to 
the Union on June 20, 1863. 

In the crisis in which the state was born there were serious sectional 
differences. The strong sympathy for the Confederacy in the southern 
and eastern sections resulted in a sad state of disorder — illustrated in 
1864 by the governor's report that in the extreme southern counties it 
was still impracticable to organize civil authority, and that in fourteen 
counties there were no sheriffs or other collectors of taxes "because of 
the danger incident thereto." 

Even at the close of the war the new state was confronted by various 
conditions which seriously threatened its integrity and independence. 
In 1866, it rejected the overtures of Virginia for reunion and secured the 
recognition of Congress in favor of its claim to Berkeley and Jeffer- 


son counties, which had been annexed in 1863 by legal forms and were 
finally awarded by decision of the United States supreme court in 1871. 

The new state inherited from Virginia a boundary dispute with 
Maryland which was not settled until 1912, and it soon became involved 
with Virginia in a debt dispute which was partially decided by the 
supreme court of the United States in 1911 and finally settled by a 
decision of 1915 resulting in a. judgment against West Virginia for 
nearly $12,400,000. 

Beginning its existence without a permanent capital, without any 
of the usual state institutions, excepting a lunatic asylum, and with- 
out proper executive agencies to secure the general welfare, the state 
promptly turned to solve the problems of its institutional and social 
needs, including the establishment of a system of public schools, normal 
schools and a state university. Executive agencies for inspection and 
regulation were developed rather slowly. 

The struggle against obstacles interposed by nature and against 
difficulties resulting from sectional differences and policies was a long 
one requiring persistent effort and energy. 

The first period of reconstruction closed with a victory of the Demo- 
crats in 1870, and the adoption of a new constitution in 1872. For 
over a quarter century the Democrats retained political control, al- 
though their majority steadily declined after 1880 and became a minority 
in 1896. Sectional divergences disappeared in the growing unity result- 
ing from industrial integration and the expansion of improved com- 

The political revolution could not check the steadily growing eco- 
nomic revolution, which since 1872 has largely changed the industrial 
and social character of the state. The largest chapter in the history 
of the state is that relating to the great industrial awakening, which 
had its origin largely in the increasing demand for timber, coal, oil and 
gas, and was especially influenced by inducements for the construction 
of railroads and for the establishment of certain manufacturers for which 
a portion of the state furnishes a clean, cheap fuel. Almost every county 
felt the effects of the great transformation resulting from the exten- 
sion of transportation facilities, the arrival of many immigrants from 
neighboring states and from foreign countries, and the opening of new 
industries which have precipitated a series of new problems not yet 

The entire state has been changed, both in conditions of life and 
habits of the people. Its development in material wealth in the last 
decade of the nineteenth century and the first two decades of the 
twentieth century, far exceeding all expectations, has surprised the 
world. Industrial development has largely been due to construction 
of railroads which now parallel all the chief rivers and connect all the 
chief industrial sections with great industrial centers outside of the 
state. It has also been encouraged by improvement of waterways. 
Lumbering and associated industries have had a large influence upon 
changes in the condition of life in several parts of the state. Manufac- 
turing from feeble beginnings became one of the most important in- 
dustries. Agriculture has passed from the stage of mere subsistence 
to that of business production for the markets. Fruit growing in 
recent years has made a remarkable advance, both in methods and in 
increase of production. 

The organized development of the petroleum industry in West Vir- 
ginia, including the evolution of boring the wells and improvements 
for storage and transportation of the product is full of interest and 
one of the most instructive chapters in American industrial history. 
With it is associated the equally interesting story of natural gas develop- 
ment which became active after beginning of systematic search in 1882 
and after 1906 gave West Virginia first rank among all the states in 
gas production — a rank which was retained until 1914 when Oklahoma 
captured it. 


Coal mining which had scarcely begun before the civil war has 
steadily increased in activity since the nineties and has been the chief 
basis of great changes in community life — especially in the southern 
part of the state and along the Monongahela. The increasing impor- 
tance of the coal industry after 1888 indicated the need of state regula- 
tory legislation which was begun in 1890 by the creation of the office 
of chief mine inspector and continued later by new provisions for pro- 
tection against mine explosions and for improvement of mining condi- 
tions. In coal production the state reached second rank in the United 
States in 1909, but temporarily fell back to third in 1920. 

The clays of great achievement apparently have not ended. A great 
resource of water-power has scarcely been touched. Another resource, 
the natural scenery of the state, which has been poorly appreciated at 
home and not enough known elsewhere, has recently become a greater 
source of enjoyment, and, with the extension of good roads, is becoming 
more and more a source of profit through increasing travel and exten- 
sion of summer resorts. 

As a result of the development of vast i*esources, especially coal and 
oil, the character of the population has greatly changed by a larger 
influx, first from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Ohio, and later 
from Europe, and the opportunities for moral and intellectual develop- 
ment have greatly increased. 

In the orderly development of the early communities of the western 
wilds, in the maintenance of proper social and moral standards in 
neighborhood life, in the continued growth of moral and spiritual ideals 
both in the earlier periods of isolation and struggle for subsistence and 
in the recent years of railway facilities and material wealth, the church 
and the faith of the fathers have been prominent civilizing factors. 
The various church organizations, although they long struggled against 
poverty, have grown in material wealth, and have improved both in 
doctrine and in usefulness. 

The development of the state educationally in two decades has at- 
tracted the attention of other states, and in some instances has fur- 
nished examples of special features which have been adopted elsewhere. 
The development of high schools was a prominent feature after 1909. 
At the University, in the decade from 1909-10 to 1919-20, the enroll- 
ment of candidates for degrees increased from 800 to 1,596, and the 
total enrollment increased from 1,200 to 2,800 (or to 1,992 exclusive of 
short course students). 

In recent years citizens of the state have given some attention to 
problems of economy and conservation, the importance of which has 
finally been impressed upon them by the evils resulting from the long 
period of exploitation and waste. Gradually, and more rapidly in 
recent years the state has extended its functions of inspection and 
regulation in response to necessities arising from new conditions. 

A study of the long struggle for the possession and settlement of 
the trans-Allegheny region now included in West Virginia, the efforts 
to obtain communication with the larger world, the sources of widening 
sectional differences which prepared the way for the formation of a 
separate state for which the civil war furnished the occasion, the social 
and political problems which confronted the new state in the period of 
reconstruction after the war, and the factors and rapidly changing 
conditions of the recent industrial revolution impresses one with the 
fact that earlier ideals and earlier problems of government have greatly 

We owe a debt of gratitude to the self-reliant pioneers who served 
as the rear guard of the Revolution or as the advance guard of the Re- 
public, to the later patriots who founded the mountain state with its 
eastern arm stretched out in defense of the national capital, and to the 
pioneers of the recent industrial development who, with foresight and 
confidence, and at great initial cost, opened the way to new enterprise. 

Vol. 1—2 


They toiled not in vain. The result of their work is our valuable 

We owe also a duty to the present and to the future. If we have 
the spirit of the fathers we shall not allow blind veneration of the crys- 
tallized results of old issues, nor adherence to mere forms and meaning- 
less shibboleths, nor the invidious and menacing ways of invisible lob- 
bies of predatory interests, to block our progress in meeting the vital 
issues of a new age. 

A deep realization of the struggle by which we obtained our liberties 
and our institutions is the firmest basis for a true patriotism and good 
citizenship, which finds its expression not in glittering generalities, but 
in an earnest effort to aid in the proper adjustment of wrong condi- 
tions and the solution of pressing problems. Revering the fathers, who 
in face of dangers paved the way for our liberties and our prosperity, 
we must also be alert to understand present duties. The experience of 
the past has shown that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and that 
a constant and intelligent interest and participation in public affairs is 
the surest safeguard to the preservation of self government. 

The people of each generation have some new issues to meet. Those 
of the present, still maintaining what the fathers won, are struggling 
to secure social and industrial justice by righteous adjustments of evils 
which under changed conditions have resulted from the exploitive and 
wasteful race for riches in a period dominated by great (and often non- 
resident) captains of industry into whose hands the supply of natural 
resources have rapidly been absorbed without a fair return for the sup- 
port of institutions which will be needed by the people long after the 
larger part of the wealth of forest and mine has been removed. In this 
period the early pioneer ideals of squatter sovereignty and the unregu- 
lated exploitation of "development" have broken down, and by force 
of necessity are being replaced by the more recent ideal of social control 
through regulation by law — to secure the general welfare by placing 
restrictions on modern industrial captains and the rapacious industrial 
wolves and sharks and promoters of frenzied finance whose economic 
and political ideals have produced anomalous conditions for which the 
highest political intelligence of the state is urged to find and apply a 

In seeking a defense for its continued existence, the new democracy 
can find it in the ability to secure the execution of an enlightened 
opinion through officials with functions adequate to grapple with exist- 
ing conditions. It must secure legislation to curtail the special privi- 
leges of the strong, to protect the weak from injustice and inequalities, 
and to guard the interests of all. It must seek to make law the mother 
of freedom for all, maintaining a definite minimum of civilized life in 
the interest of the community (as well as the individual), a minimum 
of sanitation (and protection from accidents and frauds), a minimum of 
education, a minimum of leisure and of subsistence, and a minimum 
of efficiency in local governing bodies. It must select leaders with high 
standards of practical government and honest politics, with high and 
broad ideals of what constitutes service to the state, and with a dominant 
standard of success higher than the mere amassing of great wealth for 
the aggrandizement of the individual regardless of the conditions of 
its cost or of the civilization which results. 

The great problems are no longer the appropriation and exploita- 
tion of natural resources such as confronted the solitary backwoods- 
man sinking his axe into the edge of a measiireless forest. The earlier 
pioneer ideals, determined by experience under frontier conditions and 
followed by those who laid the foundations of the state — ideals of con- 
quest and personal development unrestricted by social and governmental 
restraint — have recently been modified greatly by the changed economic 
and social conditions of an era dominated by triumphant captains of 
industry who regard themselves simply as pioneers of a new era chop- 
ping new clearings for larger business, seizing new strategic positions 


for power sites or dam sites, and opening the way to new enterprises. 
They have broken down everywhere in the larger competitions and 
struggles terminating in cannibalistic absorptions, and in trust forma- 
tions to fight new industrial battles. The new conditions, born of the 
struggles of a past whose life has almost vanished, have brought new 
problems which must be met and solved by new struggles — through 
methods of investigation, education and legislation. "It is only through 
labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage that we 
move on to better things." 

The pioneer clearing is broadening into a field in which all that is 
worthy of human endeavor may find a fertile soil to grow ; and the new 
democracy, through law and government, is beginning to exact from 
the constructive geniuses, who sprang from the loins of pioneer democ- 
racy, a supreme allegiance and devotion to the common weal. The 
people of the state, with increasing determination to preserve the heri- 
tage which remains, have begun to initiate proper legislation to restrict 
the evils of an era of unregulated exploitation, often under non-resident 
management, which has subordinated public welfare to private greed. 

"The future holds great promise and also grave responsibility for 
the wise and conservative solution of far-reaching economic problems." 

The past, although dead and gone if considered as a series of isolated 
events, is still living and with us in the reservoired results of evolutions 
marked by series of connected events. The past lives in the present and 
is the guide to the future. Past experience is the best light to guide our 
feet in the next forward step. 

h m 

) 5*fc\ 

111:: ^SSf 





"The earth is the mother of all, and the stones are her bones." 

Man is a product of the earth's surface. This means not merely 
that he is a child of the earth, dust of her dust ; but that the earth lias 
mothered him, fed him, set him tasks, directed his thoughts, confronted 
him with difficulties that have strengthened his body and sharpened 
his wits, given him his problems of navigation or irrigation, and at the 
same time whispered hints for their solution. She has entered into his 
bone and tissue, into his mind and soul. On the mountains she has 
given him leg muscles of iron to climb the slope. 

The character and progress of a people are influenced by the soil 
on which they live. The life of the inhabitants of a region is largely 
determined by the character of the hills over which they roam or of the 
fields on which they toil. Geological influences, both through the forma- 
tion of soils and through deposits of rich mineral resources have greatly 
influenced the industry of people and the course of history. Different 
rocks or soils determine the location of different industries. In the 
region where the Medina sandstone and Pottsville conglomerate appear 
above the drainage, the people (few in number) have poor soil, bad 
roads, few schools and fewer churches, and their principal occupations 
are hunting, fishing, small farming, and possibly lumbering. In the 
region of limestone surface the people have good soil, good roads, and 
better schools and churches, and are prosperous farmers and stock 
raisers or fruit growers. 

Man can no more be scientifically studied apart from the ground 
which he tills, or the lands over which he travels, or the seas over which 
he trades, than polar bear or desert cactus can be understood apart from 
its habitat. Man's relations to his environment are infinitely more 
numerous and complex than those of the most highly organized plant 
or animal. So complex are they that they constitute a legitimate and 
necessary object of special study. Man has been so noisy about the 
way lie has "conquered Nature," and nature has been so silent in her 
persistent influence over man, that the geographic factor in the equa- 
tion of human development has been overlooked. 

Mountain regions discourage the budding of genius because they 
are areas of isolation, confinement, remote from the great currents of 
men and ideas that move along the river valleys. They are regions 
of much labor and little leisure, of poverty to-day and anxiety for the 
morrow, of toil-cramped hands and toil-dulled brains. In the fertile 
alluvial plains are wealth, leisure, contact with many minds and large 
urban centers where commodities and ideas are exchanged. 

In all democratic or representative forms of government permitting 
free expression of popular opinion, division into political parties tends 
to follow geographical lines of cleavage. In the Civil War the divid- 
ing line between North and South did not always ran east and west. 
The men of the mountainous area of the southern Appalachians sup- 
ported the Union and drove a wedge of disaffection into the heart of 
the South. Mountainous West Virginia was politically opposed to the 
tidewater plains of old Virginia, because slave labor did not pay on 
the barren upright farms of the Cumberland Plateau. 

Histoiy is not intelligible without geography. Its course is very 
largely influenced by geographic facts — controls and responses — and 



especially so among primitive peoples ignorant of this influence of 
physical environment over their destinies. That the destinies of men 
are very largely determined by their environment is admitted now even 
by those who have firmly insisted on believing in the doctrine of free 
will. Their food is determined by climate, their occupations are fixed 
by physical features, their ideas and beliefs are suggested or colored by 
the aspects of nature. Even the character of a given race is the resultant 
of geographic influences and other influences operating parallel or con- 
trary or in succession. 

Geography forms the basis of history and often determines its trend. 
Mountain passes determine the routes of migrations and the location of 
earliest settlement iu newly discovered regions. Rivers were the first 
highways into the interior and river valleys and indicated the lines of least 
resistance for later commercial highways. Geological formations, or 
breaks in transportation, determine the place of industrial centers and 
towns. An ancient upward fold or anticlinal fracture of the earth's 
crust, worn away by the scouring of a glacier or the erosion of water 
may determine the industrial life of a region by bringing the coal meas- 
ures to the surface and exposing them as "outcrops" which attract 
drift miners. 

The relief affects the movements of the air, thus influencing tem- 
perature and the rainfall. The climate and the weather influences the 
health and energy of people and thereby influences their character. 
The temperature, humidity, wind, sunshine, barometric pressure, and, 
perhaps, atmospheric electricity and amount of ozone, affects every- 
body. An invigorating climate stimulates industry, sobriety, self-con- 
trol and honesty. It is one of the conditions which promote civiliza- 
tion. West Virginia is in the zone of high climatic energy. The early 
task of clearing its forests by work in the cool bracing autumn or in 
winter and the later task of subduing the weeds and sprouts, was child's 
play compared with the clearing of an equatorial forest. 

In addition to the relatively constant physical features of location, 
land forms and water bodies, and the more variable but relatively con- 
stant feature of soils and minerals and the still more variable feature of 
climate which constitute physical environment, human life is affected by 
certain geographic variables such as the migration of harmful animals 
and plants. Man is influenced by migration of destructive insects such 
as locusts, chinch bugs and boll weevil, and of destructive plants such 
as the daisy and the Scotch thistle, or parasitic fungi such as wheat rust 
and potato blight. He is also influenced by a geographic environment 
of microscopic migrating creatures known as bacteria which by their 
insidious attacks — subject to conditions of climate, ventilation, and 
food — produce devastating epidemics of contagious human diseases such 
as influenza. 

Geographical surroundings have a strong influence on political 
conditions. Each of its various climates may cause conflicting sectional 
interests, and political differences or determine political policies. Lo- 
cation may result in particular prejudices or special interests which 
dominate political questions. Relief may result in lines of cleavage. 
The relief of the Appalachians influenced political allegiance and was 
a powerful factor in determining the fate of the Southern secession 
movement. Rich mineral deposits give rise to the political problems 
of ownership or of taxation. Climate, by determining crops, has a 
strong effect on political relations. Illogical boundaries may be a source 
of political troubles. In international relations, geographical condi- 
tions determine direction of national expansion into adjacent terri- 
tory unless restrained or controlled by the power of concerted inter- 
national action. 

According to Herbert Spencer, life is largely a process of establish- 
ing an equilibrium with environment. Man is a creature of the earth. 
He battles with his environment, responds to its influence and even- 
tually adjusts himself to it or is driven from it. Only by wise and 


intelligent adjustment to physiographic conditions can he succeed best 
in industrial life. The wisest adjustment is coincident with the highest 
success. Without proper interpretation of natural conditions of environ- 
ment, he fails. 

The steady operation of geographic causes in history have been lit- 
tle altered by human counteraction. The mountains, which have lost 
their mystery, still form a barrier which affects the convenience of 
every traveler. Although by arts and industries man can promote 
natural resources to greater usefulness and harness nature to serve 
civilization, he cannot ignore nor defy the conditions of environment 
which restrict him. Although by intellectual alertness, which marks 
progress in civilization, he can modify or reorganize his environment, he 
cannot annihilate it. Possibly by the abandonment of the wheat in- 

Cheat River View, Near Squirrel Rock 

dustry, he can exterminate the chinch bug in his own narrow territory, 
but in starting other crops he finds other conditions necessitating con- 
stant warfare or new adjustments. Although he can utilize for a 
railroad the grade established along a river by centuries of the work 
of excavation by nature, and although by great dams he can divert and 
harness part of the water of the river to the work of great power plants, 
he cannot hope to resist the steady working of the great natural forces 
and their boundless effects on history. Although by inventions he may 
increase human activities which finally assume the nature of geographi- 
cal control, he is in all such cases guided and controlled by nature which 
must favor human undertaking if success is attained. 

The desire for improvement in the condition of life has been the 
chief motive of human progress. For this purpose man has broken 
down the barriers of isolation and made trade and civilizing forces. 

One of the most interesting studies is the relation of geographic 
environment to human activities. Geographic conditions present a 
series of practical problems which are directly useful in the daily affaire 
of life. 

Physical environment largely influenced the life of the people who 
established their homes in the region now included in West Virginia. 


"Mountaineers are always free." In their early history influenced by 
ruggedness and inaccessibility they were backward and uneducated. 
They were heavily handicapped by the relief of the mountains — by 
roads that run up hill, and consequently by the necessity of slower and 
inadequate transportation, by the greater wear and tear on animals 
and engines that pulled the loads, and by the increased cost of trans- 
portation. Influenced by inadequate transportation facilities to enable 
them to find a suitable market for their natural products, some were 
tempted to become law breakers by distilling "moonshine" whisky which 
could be more conveniently taken to a lowland market in order to sup- 
ply the needs of ready money. If they farmed, they were also at a 
disadvantage from the erosion of the soil by the rain or from landslides 
and also from the difficulties of cultivation on hillsides. Therefore they 
sought to improve their condition by keeping cattle or sheep or goats 
which could graze on the slopes. Later they had an advantage over 
lower regions through their larger supply of timber; but this was par- 
tially overcome by the keener business insight of men of the cities who 
bought cheaply enormous tracts of the forests before the original owners 
had any idea of their value. Often they were placed at a new disad- 
vantage by a wasteful exploitation and destruction of timber, resulting 
in new areas of erosion. Their civilization was retarded by their long 
periods of enforced idleness by scarcity of good artisans and by lack 
of encouragement to the professions. Unfortunately, also, in some in- 
stances, under the conditions of their isolation, they engaged in family 
feuds which sometimes lasted for generations. 

Later their life was greatly affected by gas, oil and coal which, in 
addition to their industrial influence, exerted important social and po- 
litical influences. Gas and petroleum had a large influence on human 
activity. Petroleum in addition to its value as a fuel contributed to 
great improvements in machinery. Coal, although the most powerful 
factor in the more recent development of the state, has sometimes seemed 
to hinder civilization through the conditions of life in the mines and 
in the mining camps, through the immigration to mining regions of 
workers ignorant of American institutions and ideals and especially 
through the precipitation of strikes resulting from the relation of miner 
and mine operator. 

The picturesque streams have a large potential water power, which, 
when harnessed through dams and reservoirs, will supply future neces- 
sities of heat and light and of additional power required for new indus- 
tries and transportation systems. 

West Virginia has an unusual topography which produces great 
diversity of climate and a copious rainfall. On its highest mountains 
the temperature may fall to 30 degrees below zero in winter, and in 
other parts of the state may rise to 96 above in summer. It is the 
meeting place of two well defined systems of winds blowing in op- 
posite directions. Upon its Allegheny summits and slopes, clouds from 
opposite seas meet and mingle their rains. Those from the Atlantic 
break against the eastern side of the barrier and often produce terrific 
rains which usually do not reach the western slopes except in case of 
snow storms. Those from the far western seas, carried by warm winds 
from the Gulf and Caribbean or by cold winds from British Columbia, 
precipitate their loads of moisture throughout the remainder of the 
state. Local storms may come from any quarter. The amount of rain 
varies greatly in different years. The average yearly rainfall, including 
melted snow is about four feet. It is always greater west of the Alle- 
ghenies and greatest near the summit. 

The chief rivers of the state have their rise in Pendleton, Poca- 
hontas and Randolph counties — which form the highest part of a 
plateau region which covers about one-third of the state and has a 
high arm which curves around toward the southwest. The New river, 
which has its source in North Carolina, after flowing in a northerly 
direction on the eastern side of the plateau, turns toward the west, 


cuts transversely through the table-land and mingles its waters with 
the Kanawha. It is especially designed by nature as a great source 
of water-power which after long ages of wasted energy may be har- 
nessed and utilized in the new age to turn the wheels of exploitive 
industry at the command of the awakening life along its course. Prac- 
tically every other river of the state also offers superior water-power 
advantages which have begun to attract both private capital seeking 
to seize and public interest seeking to regulate and control. 

The processes recorded by geology determined ages ago what regions 
of West Virginia would become fertile farm land, what would be poor; 
where the coal pits woidd be opened ; where the cement quarried ; where 
the navigable rivers would flow ; where the streams whose steep gradi- 
ents would furnish water, power; what slopes and valleys would grow 
the valuable forests of broadleaf trees, and what sterile flats and ridges 
would furnish the pines. 

All the rock formation visible on the surface of the ground in West 
Virginia, and as far beneath the surface as the deepest wells and the 
lowest ravines give any knowledge, were formed under water. 

The entire area of the state was once the bed of an ancient sea into 
which ancient livers from a surrounding region of land poured layers 
of mud, sand, and pebbles which by the pressure of ages and other 
agencies became sandstone. In the deeper parts of this sea, far from 
the shore, were many marine animals whose shells and skeletons were 
precipitated to the bottom and by long pressure were cemented into 
thick solid limestone. In shallow waters resembling swamps a rank 
growth of vegetation furnished an accumulation of fallen trunks and 
branches which in the course of ages beneath the water were trans- 
formed into vast beds of coal whose later value made them an important 
basis of industrial development. 

After long ages, a large part of the bed of this sea with rocks un- 
broken was elevated above the water and formed the plateau from the 
highest part of which new born rivers began to cut their channels 
toward the ocean. Later at different periods the mountains were formed 
by shrinkings of the earth's crust causing stupendous foldings and 
archings of the rocks into a series of parallel ranges whose remnants 
often appearing in isolated or detached series of individual knobs still 
remain after centuries of destructive erosion accompanied by the in- 
cessant toil of wind, frost, and rivers, which also prepared soils suitable 
for the needs of agriculture and its allied industries. 

One if the great events of North American geology is the expansion of the 
interior sea during Cambrian time. Early in the Cambrian period a narrow strait 
extended from the region of the Gulf of St. Lawrence southwestward to Alabama. 
It divided a western land area covering the Central States from an eastern 
continent of unknown extent. The eastern shore of the strait was probably about 
where the Appalachian Mountains now extend. The great Appalachian Valley ap- 
proximately coincides with the position of the strait. During Cambrian and Silurian 
time the Appalachian strait widened westward to Wisconsin and beyond the 
Mississippi. It probably also expanded eastward, but there is no evidence remain- 
ing of its farthest limit in that direction. 

Before the widening of the Appalachian strait, in early Cambrian time, the 
land to the eastward was probably somewhat mountainous. The. region of the 
central States was comparatively low land. The continued activity of the agents 
of erosion reduced the mountain range, whose bulk is represented in the Cambrian 
sediments. Before the beginning of deposition of the great Cambro-Silurian lime- 
stone the eastern land had become a low plain, whose even surface, subsiding, 
permitted probably extended transgression of the sea. 

Following the Cambro-Silurian limestone in the sedimentary series, there is a 
mass of shale of widespread occurrence and of great thickness locally in the 
Appalachian Valley. It marks uplift of the eastern land and erosion of the 
residual material, perhaps together with the Silurian sediments, then lately accu- 
mulated over the surface. Thus there was toward the close of the Silurian period 
a restoration of moderate elevation to the eastern land and a return of the shore 
from its eastward excursion to a position approximately along the eastern margin 
of the Appalachian Valley. The changes of topography and geography from 
early Cambrian time to this epoch of Silurian time have been called a first cycle 
in Appalachian history. 

The later Silurian sediments are of meager volume as compared with those 


that preceded them, and of variable coarseness. They represent the varying 
conditions of a zone across which the shore migrated back and forth. To the 
eastward lay the generally low continental area, margined by a coastal plain 
which stored the coarsest detritus of the land. Westward extended the shallow 
interior sea. The migrations of the shore are marked in variations of coarseness 
of the sandstones and sandy shales up to and including the Hockwood formation, 
as well as by overlaps of strata, with an incomplete sequence due to erosion of the 
missing members. 

The moderate elevation of the eastern land had again been canceled by erosion 
before the beginning of the Devonian, and the low level is recorded in the fine 
shaly and calcareous deposits of the last Silurian epoch and the widespread black 
shale herein called the Romney. The intermediate sandstone, the Monterey, marks 
an oscillation of the shore, with contributions of sands from the coastal plain and 
an overlap of later strata. 

The lowlands of the early Devonian were general from New York to Georgia. 
This topographic phase continued throughout the Devonian period in the region 
south of Virginia. 

Above Devonian strata throughout the province occur calcareous shales and 
fine-grained limestones of early Carboniferous age. This gradation in sediments 
from heterogeneous, coarse materials to fine silts corresponds to the similar change 
from lower Cambrian sandstones to Cambro-Silurian limestone; and it marks the 
degradation of the Devonian mountains to a general low level. In the early 
Carboniferous time the relations of land and sea were stable, as they had been 
during much of the Cambro-Silurian periods and throughout the early Devonian. 

During middle and later Carboniferous time, however, there ensued that 
general vertical movement of the eastern land area and the region of the interior 
sea which resulted in the withdrawal of the sea to the Mississippi embayment. 
The movement was not simple; it was composed of many episodes of uplift and 
subsidence, among which uplift preponderated. In the repeated oscillations of level 
the sea swept back and forth over wide areas. It received from the coastal plain 
the coarse quartz detritus which had accumulated during previous ages, and the 
concentrated sands and pebbles in beds which alternated with materials of less 
ancient derivation. The Carboniferous strata include shale and sandy shale, de- 
rived more or less directly from lands of moderate elevation, and also the coal 
beds, each of which marks the prolonged existence of a marsh in which peat- 
making plants grew. When the marsh sank beneath the sea the peat beds were 
buried beneath sands or shales, and the peat by a process of gradual distillation 
became coal. At the close of the Carboniferous a great volume of varied sediments 
had accumulated. It represents a correspondingly deep erosion of the land mass; 
but the uplift thus indicated appears to have gone on slowly, and it may be that 
the surface was not raised to the height of the mountains of to-day. The vertical 
movements giving rise to variations in strata, and even to mountain ranges, appear 
to have been independent of the horizontal movements which caused the folding of 
the Appalachian strata. There is at least no apparent direct connection between 
the two phases of earth movement. 

The whole geologic history of these subsidences and elevations is written 
in the rocks themselves. The time during which the process continued cannot be 
measured, but it was vast ages. Nor is it known how thick the accumulation 
became before the land rose from the sea the last time, and the rock building 
ceased. Layers of these rocky formations, aggregating nearly two miles in thick- 
ness, are visible in Grant county, and it is known that these include neither the 
bottom nor the top of the series. 

The oldest of these vast sheets of rock laid down in the remote past, which 
directly concern West Virginia history, is visible now as the bed rock in much of 
Berkeley and Jefferson counties. It is a limestone rock. It was a deep sea forma- 
tion, probably ; and is composed of shells and skeletons of small marine creatures 
that died and sank to the sea bottom. They remained buried during ages, the 
other layers of rock were deposited above them. Finally an upheaval raised the 
mass above water. During succeeding long periods of time its overlying strata 
were worn away by rain, frost, wind and ice, and the limestone was exposed. It is 
exposed yet. The traveler who journeys across the lower Shenandoah Valley sees this 
rock of incalculable age exposed here and there as ledges in the fields or along the 
slopes of the hills. It is wearing slowly away, and its fragments form the fertile 
soil which has made that part of the state famous for its fruit, wheat, cattle, and 
sheep — and people also. 

A newer limestone than the one in the eastern counties, covers a large 
region from Greenbrier county northward, but not continuous to the Pennsylvania 
line. Other regions have no limestone, but their soils are of decomposed sandstone 
and shale. 

During the time that the sea was advancing and receding across what is 
now West Virginia, as the land was alternately elevated and lowered, there is 
evidence of the breaking up and redistribution of a vast gravel bar which had lain 
somewhere out of reach of the waves since earlier ages. This bar, or this aggre- 
gation, whether bar or not, was made up of quartz pebbles varying in size from 
a grain of sand to a cocoanut, all worn and 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 
800 feet thick, and were cemented together, forming coarse, hard rocks. We see 

3 3 




W L. 

O J> 









them along the summits of the Alleghenies, and the outlying spurs and ridges, 
from the southern borders of our state to the Pennsylvania line and beyond. 
The formation is called conglomerate (Pottsville conglomerate) ; 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 remnant of mountains, once seamed with quartz veins, but degraded 
and obliterated before the middle of the Carboniferous era, perhaps long before. 

Beds of coal, unlike layers of rock, are made above water, or at its immediate 
surface. While the oscillation between sea and land was going on, during the 
Carboniferous age, West Virginia's coal fields were being formed. Coal is made 
of wood and plants of various kinds, which grew with a phenomenal luxuriance 
during a long period of summer that reigned over much of the northern half of 
the earth. Each bed of coal represents a swamp, large or small, in which plants 
grew, fell and were buried for centuries. The whole country in which coal was 
forming was probably low and it was occasionally submerged for a few thousand 
years. During the submergence sand and mud settled over it and hardened into 
rock. Then the land was lifted up again, and the material for another bed of 
coal was accumulated. 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 receding across West Virginia as the 
Carboniferous age was drawing to a close. 

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 hori- 
zontal movement which caused folds in the strata, and these folds, if large enough, 
are ranges of mountains. In some eases these folds of earth-crust rose directly 
across the channel of the earlier bed of a river which in spite of the steady upward 
movement, continued to cut its way across, forming a gap such as that cut by the 
Potomac at Harpers Ferry, by the South Branch at Hanging Rocks, by Mill 
creek at Mechanicsburg, by Pattersons creek at Greenland, by North Fork at 
Hopewell, by Tygart's river at Laurel Hill in Randolph and by Cheat at Brievy 
Mountain in Preston. In these instances and in many others, the long and inces- 
sant struggle of the rivers has wrought a grandness and picturesqueness of wild 
scenery too little appreciated in the earlier struggle for possession and the later 
reckless race for riches. 

In different parts of the state, but particularly in Hampshire, Hardy, Grant 
and Pendleton counties, many passes, popularly known as ' ' gaps, ' ' have been cut 
through mountains by creeks and rivers which flow through them. Among some 
of the best known are the following in Hampshire county: At the site of the old 
chain bridge, a few miles above the mouth of the South Branch ; at Hanging Rocks 
four miles below Romney where the same mountain is again cut by the South 
Branch; two miles above Romney where Mill creek has made a pass through Mill 
Creek Mountain; sixteen miles east of Romney where a small stream flows through 
North Mountain, the passage being known as Blue's gap. The passage of the 
South Branch through a mountain between Petersburg and Moorefield is well 
known. Six miles above Petersburg in Grant county the north fork has made a 
passage through New Creek Mountain. Similar passages exist through the same 
range, excavated by small streams which appear totally unable to do so vast a 
work. These gaps are known as Reel 's, Kline 's, Sosner 's and Greenland. Many 
such passes exist in Pendleton county, but they are usually smaller than those 
named. One of the best known is Greenawalt gap near Upper Tract; and another 
is Judah's. These passageways through mountains record remarkable geological 
histories. Each has been excavated by the stream which now flows through it and 
which was there before the mountain was formed. The streams were flowing in 
the same general courses which they now pursue before the particular mountains 
came into existence. Slowly the underground forces exerted sufficient pressure to 
fold the layers of rock and cause them to rise in the form of an arch directly 
across the channel of the stream. The mountain was at first only an undulation, a 
swell in the ground; directly across it the stream continued to flow, cutting the 
channel deeper as the fold of rocks rose higher. The mountain gradually lifted 
itself up from the interior of the earth but with such exceeding slowness that the 
stream, acting like a saw, was able to keep the notch cut deep enough for a 
channel. It sawed the gap down as the mountain rose, the two movements being 
exactly equal. Some of the gapped mountains in West Virginia have elevated 
their summits a thousand feet or more, but the stream has during all the immense 
period of years sawed away and kept its channel open, and it continues still to 
saw asunder the ledges which lie bare in the bottom of its channel. It is a process 
which has gone on for many hundreds of thousands of years, and apparently the 
forces are as active now as ever. The rivers are cutting deeper and ] erhaps the 
mountains are rising higher. 

A person passing through one of these gaps can see the exposed ledges which 
form the mountain, bending as an enormous arch, the top of which is hundreds 
of feet overhead, while the sides bend down and pass beneath the level of the 
stream. Sometimes only a fragment of the arch is visible, the rest being buried 
under accumulation of debris. The best gaps to observe are the Hanging Rocks, 
below Romney ; Greenland gap, near Maysville, and Kline 's gap, near the source 
of Lunice creek. The last two are in Grant county, the first in Hampshire. 

These deep passes through mountains are not of interest merely as curiosities. 


or as freaks of nature, though as such they are very instructive; but they are of 
great use for the passage of highways. Roads pass through nearly all of them, 
and thus cross mountains without being compelled to climb over the summits. 
The most titanic piece of mountain cutting in West Virginia, by which "a stream 
has been able to wear itself a channel through ranges, is in the case of New river. 
That stream rises east of the whole Allegheny range of mountains, and has cut 
its way through them all to the west side. The best known and most spectacular 
mountain pass in the state cut by a river that is older than the range it has 
sawed asunder, is the gap through the Blue Eidge at Harper's Ferry. 

The phenomenon of streams cutting gaps or passage ways transversely through 
mountains, as at Hanging Rocks and Greenland gap, does not stand alone as 
wonders which West Virginia rivers have been responsible for. There are a number 
of places in the state where river channels have been cut through mountains from 
end to end, deepening and widening those channels until what otherwise would 
be one mountain is now two. One such instance is the Trough, through which 
the South Branch of the Potomac flows below Old Fields in Hardy county. The 
geographic and geological evidence indicates that this fact was accomplished in 
much the same way as the gaps already described were cut. Apparently the river 
was flowing in the same course which it now flows, at a time when the mountain 
had not been lifted out of the earth. When the folding of the strata began to 
raise the backbone of the mountain above the surface, it happened that the crest 
of the mountain rose directly under the channel of the stream. The upheaval was 
so slow that the river was able to cut its channel deeper as the mountain rose 
higher, with the result that it sawed the mountain asunder from end to end and 
now pours along the narrow gorge it has made. Another striking example is 
Tygart 's Valley in Randolph county. A trough forty miles in length has been 
excavated along the summit of a mountain, and this trough has been worn down 
and widened until it is now one of the most attractive valleys of the state. Its 
floor lies more than two thousand feet above sea level, and the walls of the valley — 
Cheat mountain on one side and Rich mountain on the other — rise nearly two 
thousand feet higher than the valley floor. The two mountains which now form 
the opposite walls of the valley and whose summits are ten miles apart, air line, 
are but the worn flanks of what was once one mountain. It was a vast fold 
of strata, and if restored to its original dimensions it would rise to a height of 
five thousand feet above the present valley. 

The manner of the formation of this remarkable valley was simple, though 
unusual. The evidence of the rocks that remain show that the mountain was an 
enormous arch of folded strata, the spread of the arch being not less than ten 
miles, and its height at least a mile. While the subterranean energy was lifting 
the mountain, the strain was so great that the arch was ruptured. A crack was 
formed longitudinally along the top. Running water took possession of this crack 
along the mountain summit and followed it northward, and gradually deepened and 
widened it into a valley. The work of the stream was facilitated by the softness 
of the Hamilton shales which it excavated. The extensive valley thus formed was 
made rich by the decay of the soft shale. The valley is forty miles long with a 
flat bottom from one quarter of a mile to more than a mile in width. From 
Elkins to Elkwater it contains some of the finest farms in the state. It attracted 
some of the earliest white settlers to the state. Apparently it attracted the 
Indians at a much earlier day whose remains may still be seen. In the early 
stages of the civil war, it became a battle ground of contending forces in the 
struggle for possession of West Virginia. On one rim of the valley the battle of 
Rich Mountain was fought. On another rim, the battle of Laurel Hill was staged, 
and on the floor of the valley, at Elkwater General Lee was checked in his effort 
to recover ground lost to General McClellan several months before. 

There is conclusive evidence that, in comparatively late geologic 
time, even while this territory had much the same appearance topo- 
graphically as it has to-day, the arrangement of the streams was very 
different from the present. At that time the tributaries of Kanawha 
river were Mud and Guyandot rivers, Twelvepole creek, and possibly 
a small stream that occupied the valley of the present Ohio river above 
the mouth of Guyandot river. When Kanawha river was diverted to 
its present course, Teays valley was left to the former tributaries of 
that stream. Mud river entered the valley near Milton and followed 
it to Barboursville, where it united with the Guyandot and a short 
distance beyond reached Ohio river. In attempting to adjust itself to 
the new conditions Mud river meandered broadly over the wide valley 
of the Kanawha. Its sluggish character continues to the present day, 
as indicated by its name, even though it has succeeded in removing the 
alluvium and is now cutting into the rock floor of the old Kanawha 

The careful study of the stream valleys by geologists has proved 
almost beyond question that the courses of the rivers in this section 



were different before the Glacial period, from the present. At that 
time the Ohio river did not exist, and the drainage of the southern part 
of this state was to the west to about the position of the present Ohio 
and thence northwest across Ohio. The northern drainage along the . 
Monongahela valley was north to Pittsburgh and to the present site 
of Lake Erie. The streams thus flowed north and northwest. 

As the great glacier moved down from the north across the present 
Great Lakes area, it cut off the outlets of these rivers with a wall of 
ice and rock debris, the waters were thus dammed back filling the river 
valleys almost, if not quite, to their sources. The waters spread out 
between the walls of the valleys, forming lakes of quiet water with 
small currents, in which were deposited sediments from the surrounding 
hills, and from the melting ice. One of these lakes occupying the val- 
ley of the Monongahela, lower Allegheny, and upper Ohio basins has 
been named by Dr. I. C. White, Lake Monongahela. The water would 
rise until it found a gap in the surrounding hills through which it 

Showing Break Through at Neck op the Famous "Jug" op Middle 

Island Creek, Tyler County 

(Courtesy of West Virginia Geological Survey) 

coidd escape. In the Monongahela lake this gap seems to be located 
near Salem on the present line of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad from 
Grafton to Parkersburg. The overflow passing through this gap grad- 
ually lowered the waters. With the outflow at this point a current 
would be formed in the lake thus carrying the sediment from the north 
through the whole valley. The fine grained clays adapted to brick and 
pottery manufacture are now found in this valley 100 to 150 feet above 
the present river. The terraces representing long continued water levels 
are marked topographical features today in this valley and the various 
towns are located on them. 

At this same time similar changes were taking place in the southern 
valleys. The ancient Kanawha river was flowing through the Teays 
valley to Huntington and thence to the northwest through a river named 
by Tight, the Marietta river. When the ice sheet closed the outlet of 
this river, the waters were held back, forming a lake similar to the 
northern one, which may be called Lake Kanawha. 

In this basin were deposited the fine grained, banded, Teays clays, 20 
to 50 feet in thickness. The rising water in this lake finally flowed out 


through a gap to the northwest and reached the Marietta river a1 I't. 
Pleasant, a course which it has followed from that time, leaving the 
Teays valley below St. Albans. 

The ice barrier at the north and northwest across Ohio prevented 
the outflow of the rivers in that direction, so the accumulating waters 
passed to the east and south. The rivers in the valley of the present 
Ohio near Huntington and Pt. Pleasant cut their way backward remov- 
ing the barriers near Crown City and Gallipolis until they united, form- 
ing the early Ohio river, which by further deepening of its channel and 
backward cutting and meandering toward Pittsburgh, finally tapped the 
Monongahela waters and established the Ohio drainage system nearly 
as at the present time. 

This is the generally accepted explanation of the origin of these 
clays in the Monongahela, Teays, and adjacent valleys. 

Campbell, however, in the Charleston and Huntington folios of the 
U. S. Geological Survey, has given a theory of origin of the Teays 
valley clays as due to local ice dams formed near Ashland, Kentucky, 
and Milton, West Virginia. 

The most interesting episode in the recent geologic history of this 
region is the change in the course of Kanawha river from west to north, 
resulting in the evacuation of its old channel along Teays valley. This 
valley is but one of several similar features that occur within about 100 
miles of the outermost limit of glaciation ; and in some of the most 
noted cases on Monongahela river, clay analogous to that of Teays val- 
ley has yielded fossil plants which, according to Dr. F. H. Knowlton, 
belong to a Glacial flora. Although these abandoned channels seem 
to be due to conditions which were general throughout the Ohio valley, 
their relation to the surrounding topography, the variation, from place 
to place, of the character of the sediments deposited in them, and the 
difference in height to which these deposits extend, indicate that local 
and special conditions determined each case of diversion separately. 

According to Campbell the only hypothesis which appears to sat- 
isfy existing conditions is that of local ice dams formed by the occa- 
sional breaking up of river ice. 

In applying this hypothesis to Teays valley it will be necessary 
to suppose that a dam of this kind occurred in the vicinity of Ashland, 
Kentucky, by which the stream was forced to abandon its valley back 
of Rus c ell and to seek a new channel farther north, by Ironton, Ohio, 
where the present Ohio river is located. 

In the course of time apparently another dam was formed in the 
vicinity of Milton, and this barrier was so high and strong that it 
backed the water up to the level of the divide on the northern side of 
the valley, across which the stream found several outlets into the pres- 
ent valley of Kanawha river. Pocatalico river also suffered changes 
in its alignment about this time, for it has an abandoned valley almost 
as clearly defined as that of the Kanawha. Similar features may be 
seen on Elk river near Charleston. The divide between Coonskin branch 
and Elk Twomile creek is low and rather broad and is deeply covered 
with river deposits including bowlders as large as 7 inches in diameter. 

Most of the large stream valleys of this region are marked by ter- 
races cut into the bluffs and projecting spurs at about the same altitude 
as the rocky floor of Teays valley. They ai-e particularly prominent 
on Coal river and its various branches. They are remnants of old, 
broad valleys within which the streams have cut their present narrow 
channels. These broad valleys indicate a somewhat advanced cycle of 
erosion, which was interrupted by elevation of the land and the inaugura- 
tion of the present, or post Glacial, cycle. 

Many changes in local streams occurred along the Potomac near 
Pawpaw. The Potomac formerly occupied a large oxbow west of Paw- 
paw, swinging northwest for two miles and turning to the present bed 
of the river down Purslane valley. Southward from the Purslane val- 
ley it made a lateral swing and occupied the low amphitheatre-like plain 

Vol. 1—3 


in which Pawpaw is now located. The river also undouhtedly once 
flowed over the low divide, across the neck of land south of Little 
Orleans, which is partly covered with river gravel, but the rock revealed 
beneath the gravel by the Western Maryland Railway cut demonstrates 
that if this short cut was abandoned owing to the channel being filled 
with alluvium, in the same way that the change in the Purslane oxbow 
is explained, the early channel was not cut as deep as the present 
river bed. 

A very interesting oxbow-cut-off is in process of formation at 
Johnson's Mill on Sleepy creek, 5 miles south of Berkeley Springs. 
The creek formerly flowed in the swampy alluvium-filled valley south 
of its present course. 

In other parts of the state, there are many examples of streams 
which have been turned aside from their original channels by the long 
chiseling processes of time. One example of this is found in Barbour 
County. Indian Pork of Elk, and all the tributaries of Elk above the 
mouth of Indian Fork formerly emptied into the Valley river a short 
distance above Philippi. They now reach the West Pork at Clarksburg. 
By consulting a map it will be seen that Indian Pork and the main 
stream of the Elk have their sources five or six miles west of the Val- 
ley river, and that they flow eastwardly, directly toward the river until 
they approach within a short distance of it, and then, as Indian Pork 
and Elk unite, they turn back toward the west-northwest, and flow in 
a direction almost opposite to the former course and reach the West 
Pork at Clarksburg. Thus, the streams which once were tributaries of 
the Valley river are now tributaries of Elk. They are what geologists 
call "captive watercourses." The process by which Elk was able to cut 
them off and divert them from their former channels is easily under- 
stood when a few facts concerning the geological history of the region 
between Philippi and Clarksburg are taken into consideration. The 
inquiry takes us back many thousand years and deals only with well- 
established geological truths written in the contour and sculpture of 
the region as it now exists. 

During one of the later periods of geology, long after the close 
of the Carboniferous age, the country between Philippi and Clarksburg, 
as well as on all sides round, was more nearly level than now. Then 
the bed of the river at Philippi and the bed of the West Pork at Clarks- 
burg were practically at the same altitude above the sea, and were both 
probably lower than they are now. Today the river at Philippi is 
nearly 400 feet higher than the West Pork at Clarksburg. At the time, 
the divide between the waters of the West Fork and those of the Valley 
river was as far west as Elk City, or probably farther west. A change 
took place, however, which has pushed the divide eastward until now it 
is in several places within a mile of the bed of the Valley river, and 
in some places not half a mile distant. 

This change is a result of a tilting of the region. An uplift raised 
the country along the Valley river several hundred feet and tilted it 
toward the northwest. Thus, the streams tributary to the West Pork 
were made to flow down a steeper incline. They began to cut deeper 
channels because of the increased power given by their steeper gradients. 
As they deepened their gorges they wore the divide back toward the 
east, encroaching rapidly upon the headwaters of the streams emptying 
into the Valley river. At that time Elk was a shorter stream than now. 
Its source was at the divide near Elk City. But it deepened its chan- 
nel and lengthened its course by cutting through the old divide and 
pushing the new watershed further and further east until today it has 
approached in places within less than a mile of Valley river. It inter- 
cepted creeks flowing east. Its deeper gorge cut across their courses 
and diverted their water toward the west. Indian Pork was first cut 
off and then Mutton Run, or (as it is called in its lower course) Elk. 
All the headwaters of Elk creek formerly flowed into the Valley river. 

Those who look for the old channel by which those creeks reached 



the river must bear in mind that an immense period of time must be 
taken into account. However, there is strong evidence and much prob- 
ability for locating it through the wide gap in the divide on the farm of 
Jacob Shank, about three miles southwest of Philippi, in that region 
called "Flat wood." The flatness of the region is due to the fact that 
it occupies the old valley through which Indian Fork and the upper 
tributaries of Elk once flowed on their way to the Valley river. This 
old valley (now on top of a mountain) has been much cut and dis- 
figured by gullies, ravines and brooks which have destroyed what was 
once a level valley floor; but even yet the general level appeals at once 
to the eye when seen from such distance that the local irregularities are 

Other instances of the capture of portions of the drainage of one 
river basin by streams of another found in the neighboring region. 
Glady Fork and Spruce Fork, in Upshur County, formerly emptied 

The Mammoth Mound at Moundsville, Marshall County 
(Courtesy of West Virginia Geological Survey) 

into the Buckhannon river, but they have been cut off and diverted by 
the encroaching channel of Stone Coal creek, and now follow that stream 
to the West Fork at Weston. Another instance is found further south, 
where Laurel Creek, Cow Run and Get Out Run, formerly tributaries 
of French creek, emptying into the Buckhannon, have been intercepted 
by streams emptying into the Little Kanawha. The same tilting of the 
region toward the northwest which caused Elk creek to cut back nearly 
to the Valley river, was also responsible for the encroaching of Stone 
Coal creek and the sources of the Little Kanawha upon the waters of 
the Buckhannon. 

The entire region was picturesque and rich in vast and varied re- 
sources which largely remained untouched for over a century after the 
Indian trails of the wild region of sombre shadows and healthy climate 
first attracted the advance guard of pioneer settlers. In spite of the 
general roughness of surface, the soil was valuable, adapted either to 
various purposes of agriculture or to stock raising and was capable of 
large returns under improved methods of cultivation. There were iron 
ores which formed the basis of earlier active industries, and an abundance 


of coal, oil and gas, fire-clays, sandstones and glass sands formed the 
later basis for prosperous conditions felt by the entire region. There 
was also a wealth of woods, which after remaining largely undisturbed 
for over a century, has recently been almost depleted in most sections 
by a system of exploitation which has left in its desolate path nothing 
more important than the problem of conservation. 

Before the westward invasion of white settlers the ancient ridges 
between the Bine Ridge and the Allegheny plateau formed a great wilder- 
ness rampart which forced the medley population of tidewater Vir- 
ginia in a useful unity and neighborly community life, under the an- 
cestral tutorship of the wide sea, which proved of great value in the 
later struggle for independence from Europe and in the establishment 
of the nation. The explorer finding a gap was always confronted by 
other ridges of mountains, and following the channel cut by the Potomac 
he was soon confronted by the mazy wilderness and other obstacles to 
entrance into the mountain belt beyond. The education of mountain 
and forest came later. 

By its physical formation the trans-Allegheny territory included in 
West Virginia was destined to be geographically distinct from the tide- 
water region of the Old Dominion. The flow of its rivers toward the 
Ohio largely determined its commercial connections after the abandon- 
ment of the earlier transportation by pack-horses. Even the eastward 
flow of the Potomac eventually determined its commercial relation 
with Baltimore instead of with points in eastern Virginia — a relation 
which through the influence of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad in the 
crisis which precipitated the formation of West Virginia determined the 
extension of its eastern panhandle to Harpers Ferry. Even the more 
direct route of communication between the Kanawha and the James 
rivers, presented obstacles which delayed the completion of an adequate 
avenue of transportation until after the separation of the new state was 

The second quarter of the eighteenth century mai'ked the beginning 
of a longitudinal overflow movement southward and westward by ad- 
vance up the Shenandoah from the western edge of the fertile lands 
of Pennsylvania. Among these pioneers, following the earliest con- 
tingents of Germans, were the Scotch-Irish — Scotch in blood, Irish 
by adoption and Presbyterian in religion — who largely populated West 
Virginia and won their way into Kentucky and to the farthest West. 
The Appalachian barrier was finally crossed by the overflow from the 
East. By 1773 the tides of life began to flow toward Pittsburgh which, 
by the strange geological changes resulting from the ice invasion of 
long ago diverting the ancient river system which had its headwaters 
in West Virginia, was the natural gateway to the Ohio and the West 
at which centered various lines of migration from Virginia, Maryland 
and Pennsylvania. From the upper Shenandoah and the upper James 
there was a smaller expansion to the middle New river region. 

Early Trails 

On the eve of its settlement by white men, the territory of western 
Virginia was the hunting ground of tribes of Delaware, Shawnese and 
Mingo Indians whose permanent settlements or villages were located 
in Pennsylvania near the confluence of the Monongahela and the Alle- 
gheny. Since 1713 they had occupied the region as tenants of the 
Iroquois of New York who claimed the ownership. From the valley of 
Virginia to the Ohio river they used various trails which later served as 
the earliest paths of the pioneers. 

One of the most eastern trails was the Virginia Warriors Path which 
became a traders and explorers route ascending the Shenandoah valley 
to the head of Clinch, thence passing through Cumberland Gap via 
the site of "Crab Orchard," Kentucky, and Danville, Kentucky, to the 
falls of the Ohio (Louisville). 



Several trails connecting with the region drained by the Mononga- 
hela were distinctly marked. Westward from the Virginia and Maryland 
routes of travel which converged on the Potomac at Wills creek was a 
transmontane trail which crossed upper Youghiogheny at "Little Cross- 
ings" (Great Meadows) and the main Youghiogheny at "Stewart's 
Crossing" (Connellsville) thence down the "Point" to the site of Pitts- 

Another was the old Catawba war-path between New York and 
the Holston river leading also through the Carolinas (not an Indian 
thoroughfare after white settlements were made in Virginia). This 
path crossed the Cheat at the mouth of Grassy Run near the Monongalia- 
Preston boundary line and farther south passed up the Tygart's valley. 
Another, the Warrior branch passed up Dunkard creek and via Fish 
creek to southern Ohio and Kentucky. Another, the Eastern trail 
(Great War Path) from Ohio via Fish creek and Indian creek and 
White Day creek through Preston county (near the site of Masontown 

Falls op Hominy Creek, Nicholas County 
(Courtesy of West Virginia Geological Survey) 

and Reedsville and crossing Cheat at Dunkard Bottom) to the South 
Branch of the Potomac — a route much used by the Ohio Indians in their 
attacks on the white settlements. A branch starting between Masontown 
and Reedsville passed southward between Independence and Newburg 
via York's run and south of Evansville to Ice's mill on Big Sandy where 
it met the Northwest trail from Maryland via the bridge at Deakin's 
on Cheat. Another trail led from Maryland via Big Sandy near Bruce- 
ton (Preston county) and via Cheat to the vicinity of Morgantown. 

Another important Indian route of travel was the Scioto-Mononga- 
hela trail which, after crossing from Lower Shawnee Town eastward to 
the Muskingum valley and from Big Rock (near Roxbury, Ohio) south- 
east via the watershed to the mouth of the Little Kanawha (Belpre, 
Ohio) and after a junction with another trail from the mouth of the 
Kanawha and the lower Scioto valley, crossed the Ohio and ran near 
the old "Neal's station" (now Ewing's station on the Baltimore and 
Ohio railroad) north of the present Kanawha station and above Eaton's 
tunnel, thence via Dry Ridge to Doddridge county, passing through 
Martin's Woods, north of Greenwood to Centre station thence east to 
West Union tunnel (Gorham's) thence to the head of Middle Island 
creek up Toms fork to the watershed in Harrison county and down Ten 


Mile creek into the Monongahela valley. There was also a trail from the 
Ohio up the Kanawha and across the mountains to Randolph county. 

Along the north side of the Kanawha passed the Sandusky-Richmond 
trail and important branch of the Scioto trail, the principal "war path" 
and trade path of the Shawanese country and the main route of the 
Sandusky-Virginian fur trade ascending the Sandusky valley from Lake 
Erie and descending the Scioto to the mouth at Lower Shawnee Town 
and southward as ' ' Warriors Path ' ' through Kentucky to Cumberland 
Gap and the Cherokee country. It reached the mouth of the Kanawha 
over the highland watershed between the Scioto and the Hockhocking 
rivers by a southeast route from a point on the Scioto above Chillicothe, 
at the intersection of the Scioto-Beaver trail and a trail to Fort Miami 
connecting with the Miami trail which passed through Licking and the 
Kentucky river valleys to the watershed between the Green and the 
Cumberland, thence by two branches — one through the Cumberland 
mountains to the Cherokee country and the other through Cumberland 
Gap to the Scioto trail. 

The trails leading from the Ohio east were well known to the early 
settlers who aften posted scouts on them near the Ohio to report the 
approach of Indian war parties. 

Indian trail and buffalo trace pointed the easiest way for fur trader 
and pioneer settler across mountain barrier into the unbroken wilder- 
ness drained by the Monongahela. The country gradually became known 
by reports of hunters and traders who crossed from very early times. 
Nemacoliu 's path, following in part an old buffalo trail across the moun- 
tains, furnished a pack horse route for traders who had already reached 
the Ohio before 1750. The blazing of this old Indian trail by Nemacoliu 
and other Indians under direction of Cresap, acting for the Virginia 
gentlemen who had received 100,000 acres of land drained by the Ohio, 
precipitated a decisive war to settle the mastership of the western forests. 
This little westward path, marked by Indians axe, became a path for 
Saxon commerce and consequently a path for Saxon conquest leading to 
the realization of the earliest dreams of the youthful Virginian who 
while traveling over it in 1752 was already planning a highway to bind 
the East and the West. It was later widened into a wagon road by 
Washington and Braddock and became an important highway to the 
lower Monongahela — although the first wagon load of merchandise over 
it did not reach the Monongahela until 1789. 

Farther south, crossing a wilderness mountain region over which 
no roads were constructed for a century after the early era of settlement 
of the region drained by the upper Monongahela, were four other trails 
of no less importance for settlers of the region drained by the upper 
tributaries of the Monongahela. The McCullough traders' trail led from 
Moorefield via Patterson's creek and Greenland Gap across a spur of 
the Alleghenies to the North Branch thence to the upper Youghiogheny 
(west of Oakland) thence (via Brueeton Mills) to the Cheat near the 
Pennsylvania line. A branch of it led down Horse Shoe run to the 
mouth of Lead Mine run. The other three were more obscure. The 
North Branch trail, over which came the larger number of the early 
settlers on upper Cheat and many on the Buckhannon river and which 
probably was the route of the Indians who conducted raids in Hamp- 
shire county in 1754 to 1759, continued from Fairfax stone across Back- 
bone mountain and down Lead Mine run and Horse Shoe run to Cheat 
river — connecting here with an up-river branch to the vicinity of Parsons 
and via the head of Leading creek to the Seneca trail at Elkins and to 
the settlements of the Tygart valley, at the head of which it connected 
with trails to the Little Kanawha, the Elk and the Greenbrier. The trail 
to Greenbrier passed through Mingo Flats and west of the present 
Marlinton pike crossed the mountain — dividing at the top of Middle 
mountain into two branches, one of which continued to Old Field Fork 
and the other to Clover Lick. The Shawnee (or Seneca) trail, although 
the chief highway between the South branch and Tygart valley, travelled 
westward yearly by pack horses laden with salt, iron and other merchan- 
dise and later by many droves of cattle driven to the eastern market, 
ascended the South Branch (passing the McCullough trail at Moorefield) 
followed the North Fork and Seneca creek, crossed the Alleghenies 


twenty miles south of the North Branch trail, and the branches of Cheat 
above the mouth of Horse Camp creek, and passed near Elkins and 
Beverly to the vicinity of Huttonsville in Randolph. 

Another path, connecting with the old Shawnee trail from Pennsyl- 
vania and Maryland from the head of North Pork and following the 
general course of the later Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike, passed 
up the South Branch to the mouth of North Pork (in Grant county) 
which it followed to the mouth of Dry run (in Pendleton county), then 
followed Laurel creek to the site of the later crossing of the Staunton 
and Parkersburg pike, then turned westward, crossed the Alleghenies 
thirty miles south of the Seneca trail, followed the East Pork of the 
Greenbrier to the main river, crossed Shaver's mountain to the Shaver's 
Pork of Cheat, thence crossing Cheat mountain to Tygart's valley, inter- 
secting the Shawnee trail near Huttonsville and crossing to the head of 
the Little Kanawha which it followed to the Ohio. Two other trails may 
be noticed. One led from the headwaters of the South Branch via the 
Sinks of Gandy, to Shaver's Pork of Cheat river at the mouth of Fishing- 
Hawk, and across Cheat mountain via the heads of Piles creek to Valley 
Bend (above Beverly). Another led from the Great Kanawha up the 
Elk and Valley Pork and down Elk Water to Tygart's valley — a meeting 
place of so many trails and probably a favorite hunting ground of the 

An old well known Indian trail, originally a buffalo trail and later 
used by settlers till 1786 passed from the Kanawha up Kelley's creek 
thence down Bell creek and down Twenty Mile to its mouth (now Belva) 
up Gauley to a point over a mile north of Rich creek up which it me- 
andered and thence passed over Gauley mountain through the site of 
Ansted and across the branches of Meadow creek to the upper waters of 
Muddy, an affluent of the Greenbrier. Over this trail many of the earliest 
settlers twisted. It was used for the outward trip of Lewis' army in 1774 
and was followed by the Indian invaders who attacked Donnally's fort 
in 1778. The Gauley river route farther northeast also lead to the 
heads of the Greenbrier. The chief old trail of the Indians and early 
settlers from Lewisburg to the Ohio ran along the ridges at the heads 
of the tributaries of the Great Kanawha, crossing Paint creek near its 
source. It was a mere passage way for foot travel through the wilder- 
ness — although over much of it one could ride horseback. It was used 
considerably for early travel. 

The trail up Dunlap and down Second and Indian creeks to New river 
determined the early favored points of settlement in Monroe in the Gap 
Mills valley and the basin of Indian creek. It was joined by side paths. 
Another path crossed Peters mountain at Symmes Gap and passed near 
Ballard and down Stinking creek to the mouth of Indian creek. The 
Dunlap path was used by many immigrants from the Cowpasture, Calf- 
pasture and Bullpasture valleys. The trails across Peters mountain and 
the Narrows of the New were the routes of settlers who came down from 
the upper James and Roanoke and the New. 

The western Indian trail around the narrows of the Great Kanawha 
led from the Kanawha up Paint creek, thence via the site of Beckley over 
the northeast extension of Plat Top mountain, and across the New river 
above the mouth of the Bluestone. 

Among other trails was one via Horse Pen creek to the head of Clear 
Pork, down Tug, to the mouth of Pour Pole, thence across the ridge 
between the Sandy and the Guyandotte. An early hunters' trail from 
the Greenbrier-New river section to Kentucky passed up East river via 
Bluefield, the Bluestone-Clinch divide, and the Clinch and Powell's river. 

(From Articles by Dr. 0. P. Chitwood and Judge John W. Mason) 

West Virginia history at its beginning and throughout its- course was 
influenced by centuries of continuous institutional development or evolu- 
tion, resulting from permanent and changing needs of organized society, 
and from long experience in adjustments to secure these needs. It owes 
a debt to the past from which its people inherited their manners and 
customs of living, their social and religious ideals, their system of govern- 
ment, and their laws. Its heritage from Old Virginia is well illustrated 
by the earlier development of courts and laws. 

On April 10, 1606, King James I granted to the Virginia Company 
letters-patent for the establishment of two colonies in America, one to 
be planted in northern and the other in southern Virginia. There was 
to be a general council in England which was to exercise a supervisory 
control over both the northern and southern colonies. The effort to 
plant a colony in the north in the year 1607 proved a failure; but a like 
attempt in the south the same year resulted in the establishment of a 
permanent settlement at Jamestown. The local government of this colony 
was entrusted to a council of seven men selected by the general council 
in England. 

In this council were vested all the powers of local government, legisla- 
tive, executive, and judicial. In 1609 by a change in the charter, the 
local council was displaced by a governor, who had almost absolute 
power. The first governor, Lord De La Warr, arrived in Virginia in 
June, 1610, and superseded Sir Thomas Gates, who had been governing 
the colony fur about a month as the former V deputy. Lord De La Warr *s 
council, consisting of six men chosen by himself, differed from the first 
one in being only an advisory body. 

Another important change was made in the government of the colony 
when Sir George Yeardley became governor. In obedience to instruc- 
tions issued by the company the previous year, he called together in 
the church at Jamestown en July 30, 1619, the first representative 
legislative assembly that ever convened in English America. This as- 
sembly was composed of the governor and his council together with two 
representatives from each of the eleven plantations. These representa- 
tives of the boroughs, or plantations, were elected by the people and were 
known as Burgesses. The Burgesses, after having been received by 
the governor and council in the choir, retired to the body of the church 
and entered upon their work. This was the beginning of the General 
Assembly, whieh by 1680 had become a bicameral legislature. It corre- 
sponded to its prototype, the English Parliament, and its lineal de- 
scendant, our present legislature. The governor and his council were 
the upper house and the Burgesses, chosen by the qualified voters, con- 
stituted the lower house. After 1661 the laws provided that each county 
should send two representatives to the House of Burgesses. The towns 
of Williamsburg, Norfolk and Jamestown and the College of William 
and Mary also had one representative each. Measures passed by the 
Assembly could be vetoed by the company up until 1624, and by the 
king after that time. The Assembly met at the call of the governor, who 
had power to prorogue or dissolve it. Besides being a law-making body, 
the Assembly was also for some time a court of justice. In the early 



years it had original and appellate jurisdiction in both civil and criminal 
cases, and was the highest court of appeal in the colony. In 1682 the 
Assembly lost its right to hear appeals, but after this we find it exercising 
the privilege of passing bills of attainder. At no time during the colonial 
period were the acts of the Assembly subject to review by the courts. 

The infant colony was governed by the Company until 1624, at which 
time the charter was annulled and Virginia became a royal province. 
No change, however, seems to have been made in the local governmental 
machinery except that the governor and other officials that had been 
chosen by the Company were now appointed by the King. 

By 1682, the Virginia constitution had begun to crystalize into its 
permanent form. The chief executive officer was the governor, who was 
appointed by the company until 1624 and by the king after that time. 
His duties from the beginning were pretty much the same as those that 
engage the attention of our chief executive to-day. Besides being at the 
head of the administration, he was commander in chief of the militia, 
made numerous appointments to office, and exercised the power of pardon 
and reprieve. He also had power to remit fines and forfeitures and 
coidd pardon all crimes except willful murder and treason. Those 
could be pardoned only by the king. 

Next to the governor in the administration came the council, a body 
of varying size but usually numbering about twelve or thirteen. The 
councillors of the first governor, as we have seen, were chosen by him- 
self. Appointments to the later councils were made on the recommenda- 
tion of the governor by the company in the earliest years and by the king- 
after the company's charter had been annulled. They were usually men 
of means and influence, for a high property qualification ruled out 
all but the well-to-do. They were not chosen for any definite period but 
were re-commissioned whenever a new governor was appointed or a 
new king came to the throne. The old councillors, however, were usually 
continued in office by the new commissions and so they virtually held 
their positions by life tenure. They not only received pay for their 
services but also had a monopoly of most of the places of honor and profit 
in the colony. Each one was usually the commander of the militia in 
his own county with the rank of colonel. While the council was theo- 
retically only an advisory body, yet it was frequently able to curb the 
power of the governor. The councillors were also judges of the superior 
court, and we have already seen that they constituted the upper house 
of the Assembly. There is nothing in the governmental machinery of 
West Virginia to-day that corresponds exactly to the old colonial council, 
but to it our senate, our supreme court of appeals, and the governor's 
staff all owe their origin. 

The colonial judiciary developed into its final form at a pretty early 
date. When the colony was first settled, the local council tried all 
causes except certain ones specified in the charter. These were to be sent 
to England for trial, and appeals to the council and company in England 
were to be allowed in certain other cases. Ordinary cases were decided 
by a majority vote, but all capital offenses were tried by a jury of twelve 
men. When the local council was superseded by the governor and his 
council, the power of dispensing justice was probably passed on from 
the former to the latter body. At any rate, we find the governor and 
council acting as a court of justice from 1619 to the end of the colonial 
period. During the first years, (lie meetings of the council for the trial 
of causes were held at irregular intervals. It was not many years, how- 
ever, before a system of regular quarterly terms had been evolved, and 
the council court had received the name of Quarter Court. In 1659, the 
sessions of the Quarter Court were reduced to three a year. The term 
Quarter Court had now become a misnomer, and in a few years that of 
General Court was substituted for it. In 1684, the sessions were made 
semi-annual, and from that time until the Revolution the court met 
regulai'ly in April and October. 

The Quarter or General Court took cognizance of both civil and 


criminal causes, and its jurisdiction was both original and appellate. 
At first the governor and council decided causes of all kinds; but after 
the county courts had grown into importance their jurisdiction was 
restricted to the more important civil and criminal cases. The governor 
presided over the court and passed sentence on convicted criminals. 
Trial by jury was employed in important criminal cases; other decisions 
were made by a majority of the judges present. The court held its 
sittings at the capital, first at Jamestown and later at Williamsburg. 
There seems to have been no state-house in Virginia for a long time, and 
the business of government was for a while transacted in the house of 
the governor. Later in 1663, we find that the sessions of the General 
Court and Assembly were being held in ale-houses. However, a fine 
state-house was built when Williamsburg became the capital, and the 
General Court and Assembly were comfortably housed in this magnificent 

After the sessions of the General Court were reduced to two a year, 
criminals were sometimes necessarily kept in prison six months before 
they could be tried. The need for a more speedy administration of 
justice led to the formation of a new criminal tribunal, the Court of Oy el- 
and Terminer. The establishment of this court as a permanent tribunal 
dates from the first quarter of the eighteenth century. The governor 
named the judges of this court, but in making out the list, he usually, 
and after 1755 always, confined himself to councillors. The sessions of 
the Court of Oyer and Terminer were held twice a year, and at such 
times as to divide equally the intervals between the terms of the General 
Court. Its jurisdiction was confined to important criminal cases. After 
appeals to the Assembly were discontinued in 1682, these two courts 
were the highest tribunals in the colony. The only appeal from their 
decisions after that time was to the king and the Privy Council. 

It had general original jurisdiction, and appellate jurisdiction from 
the county courts. It was a court of last resort except as to certain 
causes which might be appealed to the Courts of England and, for a 
time, certain causes which might be reheard by the General Assembly of 
the Colony. 

The Judiciary System of Virginia was radically changed by the con- 
stitution of 1776 and the laws made under it. The General Court 
remained in name, but was deprived of much of its jurisdiction. A 
Chancery Court was then created and equity jurisdiction taken from 
the General Court. 

By the act of the General Assembly of 1777, five judges were au- 
thorized, and they were required to hold two terms of court every year. 
By the act of December 22, 1788, the state was divided into districts. 
The number of judges was increased and one of these judges was re- 
quired to hold a term of court every year in each district. These terms 
were in addition to the two sessions to be held by all the judges annually. 
These district courts were courts of general jurisdiction except that they 
had no chancery powers. In 1809 the district court was abolished and the 
Circuit Superior Court of Law, substituted. The state was divided into 
circuits, and courts held in every county of the circuit by a judge of 
the Grand Court. 

When the Chancery Court was abolished by the constitution of 1831, 
the Circuit Superior Court of Law was superseded by the Circuit Su- 
perior Court of Law and Chancery. These courts were also held by 
judges of the General Court, one being assigned to each circuit. For 
many years, the General Coui't had exclusive appellate jurisdiction in 
criminal cases. It will be observed that prior to the constitution of 
1851 all judges except those of the court of appeals were judges of the 
General Court. After an existence of 190 years, this most important 
of all Virginia courts was abolished by the constitution of 1851. 

By the act of General Assembly of 1788, District Courts were created 
and held by judges of the General Court. These courts were superseded 
by the Circuit Superior Court of Common Law in 1809. 


It has been the policy of the people of Virginia since the earliest 
times to keep separate common law and chancery jurisdiction. In 
colonial times chancery was considered as a separate jurisdiction but was 
exercised by the ordinary courts sitting as courts of chancery. 

The constitution of 1776 authorized the General Assembly to appoint 
"Judges in Chancery." From that time until 1831 the two jurisdictions 
were not only kept entirely separate but were exercised by separate 
courts, except that County and Corporation Courts had jurisdiction in 
both Common Law and Chancery, and even in these courts separate 
"order books" were required. In 1777, three chancellors were au- 
thorized to hold the ' ' High Court of Chancery, ' ' but only one chancellor 
(George Wythe) was appointed. He held this court until 1802 when 
two additional chancellors were added and subsequently the state was 
divided into four districts. The chancellors' court was abolished by 
the constitution of 1831, and chancery jurisdiction given to the judges 
of the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery. 

In 1851 when the General Court was abolished the Circuit Court was 
established. This court had substantially the same jurisdiction as the 
Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery. The constitution of 
1851 established a somewhat complex judicial system, and made some 
very radical changes. Under this constitution, for the first time in the 
history of Virginia, judges were elected by the people and the term of 
office limited to a certain number of years. The state was divided into 
twenty-one judicial circuits, ten districts, and five sections. A judge 
was to be elected for every circuit and required to hold at least two 
terms of court a year in every county in his circuit. A district court 
was to be held at least onee a year in every district by the judges of the 
circuits constituting the sections and the judge of the Supreme Court of 
Appeals for the section of which the district formed a part ; this was an 
appellate court. For each section a judge of the Supreme Court was 
to be elected by the voters therein. 

The one important unit of local government in colonial Virginia 
was the county, and the most important part of the local governmental 
machinery was the monthly or county court. In 1634, the colony was 
divided into eight shires, or counties, in each of which a court was to 
be held every month. But this was not the beginning of the monthly 
courts. We find that as early as 1624, two local courts had been estab- 
lished, which were to meet every month and decide petty cases coming 
up from the precincts adjacent to them. New counties were formed 
from time to time and each was given a court as soon as it was organized. 

The judges were at first known as commissioners of the monthly 
courts, but were afterwards honored with the title of justice of the peace. 
The office was one of dignity and was usually filled by men of influence 
and ability. Except for a short time during the Commonwealth period, 
the justices were always appointed by the governor. They were not 
chosen for any definite period, and it seems that their commissions could 
be terminated at the discretion of the governor. But it was the usual 
practice for the governor in issuing new commissions to name the old 
members. So the court was practically a self -perpetuating body. Since 
the adoption of the constitution of 1851 justices have been elected by 
the people for a number of years instead of being appointed for an indef- 
inite term by the governor. They received no fees or salaries until recent 
years. The number of justices to a county varied at different times and 
in different counties, but usually ranged from eight to eighteen. 

The justices after 1643 could decide certain minor civil and criminal 
cases individually and their jurisdiction has remained substantially the 
same from that time until the present. When they met together as a 
county court they had a wider jurisdiction in both civil and criminal 
cases. This local tribunal consisted of all the justices of the county, 
though four was the necessary quorum for the transaction of business. 
All decisions were governed by the opinion of the majority of the jus- 
tices present. In some cases questions of fact were decided by a petit 


jury. The local tribunals were at first known as monthly courts be- 
cause they convened once a month. But by a statute of 1643 they were 
to sit only once in two months, and were henceforth known as county 
courts. By the end of the seventeenth century, it had again become the 
custom to meet every month, and this practice continued until the end 
of the colonial period. 

There was no lack of variety in the penalties that the early justices 
enforced against offenders. Whipping was a very common mode of 
punishment. As a rule the number of stripes given did not exceed 
thirty-nine, but they were generally made on the bare back. In the rec- 
ords of one count}* three cases have been found in which culprits received 
one hundred lashes each on the the bare shoulders; and in another 
county the sheriff was ordered to give a law-breaker one hundred and 
twenty lashes on the bare shoulders. Other ways of punishing offenders 
were to require them to sit in the stocks, lie neck and heels together, or 
make public confession in church. Fornication and adultery were very 
much frowned upon by the county courts. In the early years, men and 
women who had committed those sins were sometimes whipped, and 
sometimes were compelled to acknowledge their fault in church before 
the whole congregation. A few instances are recorded in which women 
who had erred from the path of virtue or had slandered their neighbors 
were compelled to make public confession while standing on stools in 
the church, with while sheets wrapped around them and white wands in 
their hands. 

The justices had many duties to perform in addition to those of trying 
cases. They ordered the opening of new roads and saw that surveyors 
appointed by them kept the highways opened and cleared. The levy 
of the county was apportioned by them, and the list of tit.hables was some- 
times taken either by themselves or by officers chosen by them for that 
purpose. The justices licensed taverns and regulated the prices at which 
drinks could be sold. All grievances and claims against the general 
government were heard and examined by the county courts. During 
a considerable part of the seventeenth century, they also had the power 
to make or assist in making the by-laws of their respective counties. 
The court "nominated inspectors of tobacco, granted divorces, regulated 
the relations of whites to the Indians, tried eases of piracy, erected 
ducking-stools, pillories, whipping posts and stocks, appointed collectors 
of county levies, and regulated the relations of master to servant." 

The Virginia courts were governed in their decisions by the com- 
mon law of England and by the Parliamentary statutes that were enacted 
before the colony was settled, but not by any of the latter that were 
enacted after that event except those that made mention of the planta- 
tions. The first act of assembly that has been found in which the 
common law of England is recognized as being in force in Virginia was 
passed in 1662; but in all probability the common law was to some extent 
observed by courts during the entire colonial period with the exception 
of the time during which the colony was under military rule. 

The benefit of the writ of habeas corpus was not formally extended 
to Virginia until 1710, when this privilege was brought over by Lieu- 
tenant-Governor Spotswood. But the right was enjoyed in Virginia 
before this formal recognition of it was made by the crown ; for a writ 
of habeas corpus was granted to Major Robert Beverley in 1682. 

It was not to be expected that the common law of England could be 
adapted to conditions in the new world without modification either by 
statutory enactment or by judicial interpretation. As a matter of fact, 
both methods were employed. A good many laws were passed by the 
assembly dealing with local conditions, and the courts exhibited marked 
originality in devising penalties for offenses. Some of these penalties 
seem unduly harsh as judged by modern canons, but they were quite 
in harmony with the sentiment and practice of the age. The number of 
capital offenses was very much larger in colonial times than to-day, and 
many of these severe laws were still in force after the Revolution. The 


stealing of a hogshead of tobacco lying by the public highway, forgery 
and the making of counterfeit were still punishable by death as late 
as 1792. ' 

The severity of the criminal laws was mitigated by the custom oi 
allowing the "benefit of clergy." When the court granted the benefit 
to an offender, it substituted burning in the hand for the death penalty. 
The old English custom required that the letter "M" be branded in 
the hands of murderers and "T" in those of other felons. This imprint 
was burned into the hand not merely to punish the offender, but also to 
put a mark on him which would show that he had received the benefit of 
clergy and thus keep him from deceiving the court into granting the 
privilege a second time. Clergy was allowed to a criminal only once 
during his life time. 

The county court system remained substantially as it was organized 
in the colonial period until 1851 when by the constitution of that date 
changes were made in the selection of justices. 

These changes had an injurious effect upon the "County Courts." 
This marks the beginning of the down-fall of a system which had been, 
for nearly two centuries, exceedingly popular. Many distinguished men 
had served on this court, among whom was John Tyler, afterwards a 
district judge of the United States, and the father of President John 
Tyler. President Thomas Jefferson's first office was that of a justice 
of the peace and member of the county court. An effort was made in 
the constitutional convention of 1829-30 to abolish this court, but it was 
resisted by such distinguished lawyers as Chief Justice John Marshall, 
Governor Giles, Ex-President Madison, Benjamin Watkins Leigh, Philip 
P. Barbour and others. The system was attacked on the grounds that 
the appointment of members by the governor for life upon the recom- 
mendation of the court itself, was not in harmony with republican princi- 
ples — that being self-chosen for life, they could perpetuate their own 
body according to their liking for ever. In addition to this it was 
insisted that a court with such extensive jurisdiction should not be 
selected from among men who had but little or no knowledge of law, 
as was the case with a large number of the justices, or as was aptly ex- 
pressed in a debate in that convention by Mr. Henderson of Loudoun 
county: "the Magistrates were, in general, worthy men but they were 
not acquainted with law and were not capable of duly discharging the 
duties that were required at their hands." The convention, however, 
endorsed the system and continued it in the constitution. The question 
again arose in the convention of 1851, and although the court was not 
abolished, its usefulness was, to a great extent, destroyed. In 1869 the 
decisive step was taken by Virginia of radically changing this ancient 
tribunal, by requiring the court to be held by a judge learned in the law. 
The County Court system was not embraced in the first constitution of 
West Virginia, adopted in 1863, but was restored in almost its original 
form by the constitution of 1872. It was very unpopular in West Vir- 
ginia, and was abolished by a constitutional amendment in 1879. 

There were no cities in Virginia in the seventeenth century. The 
first town to grow into such importance as to need a local government 
of its own was Williamsburg, the capital. In 1722, Williamsburg re- 
ceived a chai'ter from the king which constituted it a city and gave it 
a separate government. The management of the affairs of the city 
was entrusted to a mayor, recorder, six aldermen and twelve council- 
men. The king appointed the first mayor, recorder and aldermen, who 
were to elect twelve councilmen to hold office during good behavior. 
These officials were to be a self-perpetuating body, as all vacancies 
were to be filled by cooptation. They were to meet every year to choose 
one of the aldermen as mayor for the ensuing year. The mayor, re- 
corder, and aldermen were the judges of the Court of Hustings, and were 
also justices of the peace in Williamsburg. The jurisdiction of this court 
w*as enlarged from time to time, and by 1736 it was equal to that of the 
county courts. In 1722, Norfolk was granted a city charter and a form 


of government that was almost an exact copy of that of Williamsburg. 
There were no other incorporated cities in Virginia before the Revolution. 
The Assembly appointed trustees for the unincorporated towns whose 
duties were "to attend to the surveying, letting and selling of the town- 

In every county there was a regiment of militia composed of all 
the able-bodied men between the ages of sixteen, eighteen or twenty, 
and sixty (these were the different limits at different times)-, except 
certain classes of persons who were exempted from militia duty by law. 
There were usually from eight to ten companies in a county, the number 
of men in each ranging from fifty to seventy-five. Every captain called 
his company together for drilling four times a year or oftener, and once 
or twice a year all the militiamen of the county came together for a 
general muster. The whole regiment was commanded by a colonel or 
inferior officer, who was appointed by the governor and was usually 
a member of his council. 

When the shires were organized in 1634, sheriffs were appointed, 
apparently for the first time. Before this time the duties of the sheriff 
were performed mainly by the provost marshal, though the com- 
mander of the hundred also sometimes executed the orders of the gov- 
ernor. It seems that the sheriffs were appointed at first by the monthly 
courts, but during the eighteenth century they were appointed by the 
governor. The appointment was generally made on the recommendation 
of the justices, and so they virtually made the selections. The sheriff 
was one of the justices, though he did not act as such during his year 
of office. His fees were paid in the fluctuating currency of that day, 
tobacco, and when the price of tobacco was low, the place was by no 
means a lucrative one. In 1710 the remuneration was so small that the 
assembly deemed it necessary to pass a law making the office compulsory. 
The duties of the colonial sheriff were not very different from what they 
are now. He executed the orders and sentences of the courts and as- 
sembly, made arrests, and summoned jurors and others to court. He 
also usually collected the taxes, and sometimes took the lists of tithables, 
that is, acted as assessor. The sheriff was also the keeper of the county 
prison. Prison rules were in one respect more humane in colonial times 
than they are now. The prisoners were not all shut off from the ad- 
vantages of fresh air and exercise, but most of them were allowed to 
walk about during the day time within a certain area around the jail. 
By an act of 1765, the limits within which prisoners were allowed their 
freedom were to include an area of not less than five nor more than ten 
acres. Many persons sent to jail for debt used to take houses within the 
prison limits and thus lived at home while serving out their terms of 

The office of constable was established early in the history of the 
colony. We cannot say exactly when constables were first appointed, 
but we know that by 1657 the office was an established part of the gov- 
ernmental machinery of the counties. Every county was divided into 
precincts, in each of which a constable was elected by the county court. 
Any person elected constable could be forced to serve for one year. The 
duties performed by the colonial constable were about the same as those 
that have engaged his successors up to the present time. 

Another important office was that of clerk of the county court. 
County clerks were usually appointed by the secretary of state, and 
were regarded as his deputies. The appointments were not made for 
any definite period but were revocable at the pleasure of the secretary. 
This patronage not only extended the influence of the secretary through- 
out the colony, but also proved a source of considerable revenue to him, 
as it was the custom for all the clerks to pay him a fee every year. 

Prior to 1662, there was not a notary public in Virginia. Owing to 
the lack of such an officer to attest oaths, statements sworn to in Virginia 
were not given the credit in foreign countries to which they were entitled. 
For this reason the Assembly in 1662 appointed one notary public for 


the colony, and some years later authorized him to choose deputies 
throughout the colony. 

The legal profession was not, as a rule, encouraged by the legislation 
of the colonial period. In 1643, it was enacted that all lawyers must 
be licensed in the Quarter Court before being allowed to practice their 
profession. Their fees were restricted to twenty pounds of tobacco for 
every cause pleaded in the monthly courts and to fifty pounds for every 
one in the Quarter Court. Within two years the assembly repented of 
having allowed lawyers this amount of liberty, and passed a law pro- 
hibiting attorneys from practicing in the courts for money. The reason 
given for this action was that suits had been unnecessarily multiplied 
by the "unskillfulness and covetousness of attorneys." The prohibition 
of "mercenary attorneys" was repealed in 1656 and re-enacted in 1658. 
The courts must have gotten along badly without the assistance of paid 
attorneys, for in 1680 the assembly again passed a law which recognized 
the right of lawyers to charge for their services. This law was soon 
afterwards repealed, but professional attorneys had been again admitted 
to the courts by 1718. During the eighteenth century we find no statutes 
forbidding lawyers to receive compensation for their services, but the 
fees charged by them continued to be restricted by the assembly. 

It was not, perhaps, until 1732 that a license to practice law was 
required. In May, 1732, the governor and council were authorized to 
license persons to practice law who had been examined by men learned 
in the law. * * * This act was repealed in 1742 but revived in 1745. 
It was required by these acts that no persons should be licensed to 
practice law unless found worthy in morals and in legal learning. This 
precaution has, by the letter of the law, been observed ever since, although 
as a distinguished law writer has remarked, "It is very loosely applied 
in practice." No one can now obtain a license to practice law in this 
state without first having a certificate from the county court of the 
county in which he has resided for a year that he is man of good moral 
character; and he must also have passed a satisfactory examination under 
the rules and regulations prescribed by the Supreme Court of Appeals 
or shall have diploma of graduation from the law school of the West 
Virginia University. 

During the first years of the colony 's history, there was no attorney- 
general in Virginia to give legal advice to the Quarter Court. But the 
governor and council could send to England for an opinion if a cause 
came before them involving a question of law which they felt incapable 
of deciding. The first attorney general mentioned in the records was 
Richard Lee, who was appointed in 1643. The attorneys-general were 
appointed by the governor, and sometimes with the consent of the king. 
He had to prosecute criminals before the General Court and the oyer 
and terminer court, and to give his advice to these courts whenever 
it was needful. 

In 1711, it was found necessary to appoint prosecuting attorneys for 
the counties. Before that time breaches of the penal laws were prose- 
cuted in the counties by those persons who had reported them to the 
courts, and informers were given one-half of all fines imposed for of- 
fenses reported by them. It sometimes happened that an informer would 
compound with the accused for his half of the fines and would then stop 
the prosecution. This would cause the case to be thrown out of court, 
and so the crown would fail to receive its half of the fine. There was 
need, therefore, of a better method of prosecuting offenders in the 
counties, and Governor Spotswood issued a proclamation appointing 
prosecuting attorneys for the counties. These new officers came to stay, 
and from this time on we find them performing their duties in the county 
courts. They were deputies of the attorney-general and had to prosecute 
offenders in the county courts as the attorney-general did in the General 
Court and oyer and terminer court. 

The right of jury trial was one of the privileges that the first settlers 
brought with them from England, and this right was put in practice 


before the settlement was a year old. In Dale's scheme of military gov- 
ernment there was no provision for juries; but when the regime of free- 
dom was inaugurated by Governor Yeardley. the people began again to 
enjoy the right of trial by jury. In both the General Court and the 
oyer and terminer courts, important criminal offenses were tried by a 
petit jury after indictments had been made by the grand jury. The petit 
jury in both courts was usually composed of twelve men. The 
petit jury came into the county courts as early as 1642. The grand jury 
did not make its appearance in the county courts until 1645, and ap- 
parently was not permanently established there until more than thirty 
years later. A part of the work that now falls to the grand jury was 
done in the colonial period, especially the early part of it, by the church- 
wardens. They were required to present such offenses as adultery, 
drunkenness, swearing, absence from church, and other offenses of like 
character. There was a property qualification for jury service in both 
the higher and lower courts. In the early years, it was the practice for 
juries to be kept from food until after they had rendered their verdict. 
A few cases are recorded in which juries of women were called on to 
decide questions of fact in cases in which women were charged with 
witchcraft or of concealing bastard children. In the seventeenth century 
perplexed coroners in a few cases appealed to the ordeal of touch to 
decide the guilt or innocence of persons accused of murder. 

Up until 1732, the Virginia laws did not recognize the right of a 
layman to claim the benefit of clergy unless he could read. In that year 
the Assembly extended the benefit of clergy to negroes, Indians, and 
mulattoes, and ordered that the reading test should thereafter never be 
required of anyone who should claim the privilege. In the eighteenth 
century, branding seems to have been regarded as a mere act of form 
in Virginia, for it could be done with a cold iron. 


Over two hundred years ago * the cosmopolitan Lieutenant-Governor 
Alexander Spotswood of Virginia led an expedition which, by penetrat- 
ing the fifty miles intervening between the frontier and the peaks of the 
Blue Ridge, and descending beyond the valley of the Shenandoah, broke 
down the first barrier which had checked the westward expansion of the 
English in America and began a conquest which made Virginia the 
mother of an empire. 

Born in 1676, at Tangier in Morocco, of an illustrious Scottish family 
which had furnished an archbishop who had found a sepulchre in West- 
minster Hall, and he himself a soldier who had fought with Marlborough 
at Blenheim, Spotswood became the first great expansionist and one of 
the first true republicans of the Old Dominion. 

Coming to Virginia in 1710, he soon took an active interest in plans 
to break through the mountain blockade beyond which the traditional 
enemies of England and their Indian allies were already actively en- 
gaged in trade. He was confident that the colonists with proper en- 
couragement would soon extend their settlements to the source of the 

Riding at the head of a gay and merry body of thirty cavalier adven- 
turers, marshalled and guided by the sound of the hunter's horn, and 
followed by a long retinue of negro slaves and Indian guides, spare 
horses, and sumpter-mules laden with provisions and casks of native 
Virginia wine, he left Williamsburg on June 20, 1716, traveled via 
King William and Middlesex counties and via Mountain Run to the 
Rappahannock, thence up the Rapidan to his own estates at Germanna, 
(colonized by Germans 1714) where all their horses were shod, thence 
to Peyton's Ford and via the present site of Stannardsville (in Green 
county) and over the rugged road through the Blue Ridge by Swift 
Run gap to the Shenandoah about ten miles below the site of Port Re- 
public, and some writer has said that he continued westward through 
mountain defiles to a lofty peak of the Appalachian range (perhaps in 
Pocahontas county ) . 

According to John Fontain's journal of the expedition, each day's 
inarch was enlivened by the chase and each night's rest, after the meal 
of grouse and pheasants shot in forest glades, was enlivened by laughter, 
song and story which were stimulated by stores of various liquid mix- 
tures from the vineyards of Virginia lowlands. Looking westward from 
a peak of the mountains, Spotswood was fascinated by the suggestion 
awakened by the view of a more distant mountain peak, to the west and 
north, from which Indian guides said one could see the sparkle of the 
fresh-water sea now called Lake Erie. On the Shenandoah, which Spots- 
wood at first named the Euphrates, "with ceremonious salute, and 

1 At the end of one hundred years, the Virginians knew little or nothing of 
the country except along the coast and on the rivers where they could go in ships 
and boats. They found more territory east of the mountains than they could well 
care for and protect, and much more than they then had any use for, and they 
had not deemed it prudent to go to or to attempt to investigate the country 
beyond the high mountains, and it was proven by Col. Wm. Byrd that in 1709 it 
was not known that the Potomac passed through the mountains. There was no 
attempt to extend their missionary work beyond the vicinity in which they lived, 
and no doubt they had all the work of that kind they could do, and the country 
and the people beyond the mountains were unknown to them. 
Vol. 1—4 



appeal to the store of creature comforts," the adventurers took formal 
possession of the "Valley of Virginia" in the name of the Hanoverian 
monarch of England and buried the record in an empty bottle near the 
camp which they had pitched. 

Returning to Williamsburg he gave a glowing description of the 
healthful region visited; and, perhaps in order to commemorate the 
recent jovial invasion of a wilderness, previously unbroken by the white 
man, he established the " Transmontane Order" of the "Knights of 
the Golden Horeshoe," and gave to each of the members of his expedi- 
tion (and to others who would accept them with a purpose of crossing 
the mountains) miniature horseshoes bearing the inscription "Sic jurat 
transcendere montes." Howe in his Historical Collections of Virginia 
states that in commemoration of the event the king conferred the honor 
of knighthood upon Spotswood and presented to him a miniature golden 
horseshoe on which was inscribed the above motto. 

From his excursion and hunting picnic among the hills he obtained 
visions which expanded his views as an expansionist and induced him 
to propose ambitious and aggressive imperial plans for control from the 
mountains to the Lakes — plans which although held in abeyance at 
the time and for many years after his removal from office in 1722, and 
after his death in 1740, were finally revived under a later expansionist 
governor, also a Scotchman (Dinwiddie) — and pressed to execution at 
a fearful cost. 

Spotswood gave the stimulus which soon attracted to the passes of 
the mountains the pioneers who were later gradually awakened to the 
possibilities of a great movement which resulted in the winning of the 
West. The short journey from Germanna to the Shenandoah was the 
first march in the winning of the territory now included in West Vir- 
ginia. The leader of the expedition continued to encourage western 
settlement by treaties protecting the frontier from Indians and by 
legislation for exemption of the inhabitants of newly-formed counties 
from quit rents. Some of his followers led in the westward movement 
along the Potomac and in the Northern Neck. 

The earliest permanent settlers in the eastern panhandle, however, en- 
tered from Pennsylvania by the "Old Pack-horse Ford" (at Shepherds- 
town). By 1727 Morgan Morgan settled on Mill creek (in Berkeley 
county) and Germans began a settlement which later grew into a vil- 
lage called New Mechlenberg (now Shepherdstown). 

Probably there were hunters and a few settlers on the Virginia 
side of the Potomac above Harper's Ferry before the date of recorded 
settlement. As early as 1715, the Shepherds and others held plantations 
on the Maryland side of the river in that vicinity, at the mouth of 
Antietam creek. This seems to indicate that the Valley was well known 
to Marylanders at that early date. Possibly there was a small settle- 
ment on the Potomac on the site of Shepherdstown even before the 
place was named Mecklenburg. The earliest name applied to the place 
was Pack Horse or Pack Horse settlement. Among the earliest families 
in the neighborhood were the Cookuses, Kepharts, and Mentzins. In 
the common burial ground on the Cookuses' land, were old burial stones 
which appeared to bear the date 1720, 1725 and 1728. After 1755 the 
Pack Horse settlement was known for a short time as Swearingen's 
Ferry, in honor of Thomas Swearingen who at that date established a 
ferry on his own land at the bottom of what was later called Princess 
street. Soon thereafter, during the French and Indian war, Thomas 
Shepherd began to lay out his recently acquired land into streets and 
lots to form a town which at first was called Mecklenburg but was 
later named for its founder. The settlement of the village was inter- 
rupted and delayed by the war with the Indians. Finally, in 1762, 
under an act of the Assembly the town was formally created under the 
name of Mecklenburg. 2 

2 In the year 1765 the famous town ordinance was made against the rats and 
mice which afflicted the housekeepers of the old town so sorely. A town meeting 


In 1730 and within a few years thereafter, other daring pioneers 
settled upon the Opequon, Back creek, Tuscarora creek, Cacapon, and 
farther west on the South Branch. Among; those who founded homes 
along the Potomac in what is now Jefferson and Berkeley counties 
were the Shepherds, Robert Harper (at Harper's Perry), William 
Stroop, Thomas and William Forester, Van Swearinger, James Porman, 
Edward Lucas, Jacob Hite, Jacob Lemon, Richard and Edward Mercer, 
Jacob Van Meter, Robert Stockton, Robert Buckles, John and Sam- 
uel Taylor and John Wright. In 1736 an exploring party traced the 
Potomac to its source. Charles Town was begun about 1740, two years 
later than Winchester. 

In 1732 Joist (Yost) Hite and fifteen other families cut their way 
through the wilderness from York, Pennsylvania, and crossing the Po- 
tomac two miles above Harpers Ferry proceeded to the vicinity of 
Winchester and made settlements which exerted a great influence upon 
the early neighboring settlements in the territory now included in West 
Virginia. He also became involved in a famous land dispute :: of in- 
terest to settlers in the eastern panhandle — a dispute with Lord Fair- 
fax who had inherited under a grant of 1681 a large estate south of 
the Potomac including the present counties of Mineral, Hampshire, 
Hardy, Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson and one-eighth of Tucker and 
three-fourths of Grant. This lawsuit, which Fairfax began against 
Hite in 1736 and which was not settled until all the original parties 
were resting in their graves, a half century later, arrested development 
of the lower valley and stimulated settlement farther west. Several 
German immigrants, induced by insecurity of titles in the lower Shenan- 
doah crossed the Alleghanies and built cabins in the New, the Green- 
brier and the Kanawha valleys. 

was appointed to determine the best course to pursue in order to rid the village 
of these pests. The result of the meeting was that it was "ordered that Jacob 
Eoff is authorized to procure a sufficient number of cats to destroy the rats that 
infest this town and to procure the same on the most reasonable terms in his 
power, as soon as possible, and that the money he expend in procuring the same 
be levied for him the tenth day of June next. ' ' All the country people came to 
the village on the next market day with bags and baskets full of cats and kittens, 
and held a cat marked probably on the spot where, later, the old market house 
was erected. Mr. William Briscoe wrote a most amusing poem based upon this 
order of the old town council. 

3 Hite 's litigation with Lord Fairfax which began in 1736 was not decided 
until 1786. The decision was finally in favor of Hite and those claiming under 
him. In this controversy the right of the case was undoubtedly with Hite. While 
the lands in dispute unquestionably fell within the boundaries of the Northern 
Neck as fixed by the commission of 1745, yet Lord Fairfax, in accepting the 
Eapidan as the southern boundary of his grant, agreed' that all crown grants made 
prior to that date should be confirmed. This agreement was not kept, and his 
litigation with Hite served in considerable measure to arrest the development of 
the lower Valley. 

William Russel, with whom Hite 's litigation was speedily settled, was a Horse 
Shoe Knight, who came over with Gov. Spotswood from England in 1710, accom- 
panied the Governor across the Blue Ridge in 1716. 

In 1733 Lord Fairfax addressed a petition to the King, setting up his claims 
to the lands in controversy. This resulted in an order in Council restraining the 
Virginia Government from perfecting those grants until the boundaries of the 
Northern Neck could be settled. This order is evidence that in 1734 forty families, 
numbering about 250 persons, were settled on and near the Opequon in the vicinity 
of Winchester. 

By the year 1736 Hite and his partners had succeeded in settling 54 families 
upon the tract, when Fairfax entered a caveat against the issuing of patents in 
them. When the dispute between Fairfax and the Crown ended in 1745, Hite and 
his associates claimed their patents, insisting that the Council orders for their lands 
should be construed as grants within the meaning of the Act of 1748, which con- 
firmed the grantees of the Crown in possession of their lands. This Fairfax re- 
sisted, claiming that the only titles confirmed by that act were those cases in 
which patents had actually been issued by the Crown. Hite and partners then 
instituted a suit against Fairfax (in 1749). In October, 1771, a decree was entered 
in favor of the plaintiffs. Fairfax appealed to the King in Council, but the 
Revolution ended the appeal. The case was finally decided in the Virginia courts in 
1786 in favor of Hite and his associates. 



Farther up the Shenandoah at " Belief ont," one mile from the site 
of Staunton, John Lewis in 1732 established a first location in Augusta 
county which at that time comprised all the undefined territory of 
Virginia west of the Blue Ridge mountains. The issue of patents in 
1736 brought to Augusta and Rockbridge from the lower Shenandoah 
and from England a stream of Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, some of 
whom pushed their way with their descendants into the adjoining coun- 
try known as Bath, Allegheny and Craig counties. 

The descendants of these first settlers of the Shenandoah were 
among the pioneers who later crossed the Alleghenies and established 
homes in the valleys of the Monongahela, the Kanawha and the Ohio. 

From the Shenandoah to the South Branch the advance was rapid — 
unobstructed by difficult mountains adventurers and home-seekers could 
either ascend the Potomac or take the shorter route across North Moun- 
tain. As early as 1725 John Van Meter, an Indian trader from the 
Hudson river, traversed the Upper Potomac and South Branch valleys. 4 

George Washington's Headquarters in 1747 as Boy Surveyor for 

Lord Fairfax 

In 1735 the first settlement in the valley of the South Branch was made 
in what is now Hampshire county by four families named Cobun, How- 
ard, Walker and Rutledge. A year afterwards Isaac Van Meter, Peter 
Casey, the Pancakes, Foremans and others reared homes further up the 

4 When Mr. VanMetre returned to New York he advised his sons, that if they 
ever migrated to Virginia, to secure a part of the Soueh Branch bottom. He 
described it as "The Trough," and the finest body of land he had ever seen. One 
of his sons, Isaac VanMetre, who was about to migrate, took his father's advice, and 
about the year 1736 or 1737, settled in Virginia. Mr. VanMetre returned to New 
Jersey shortly afterward, and in 1740 came back, only to find other settlers on 
his place. He went back to New Jersey again, and in 1744 returned with his 
family to make a permanent settlement. Jn the meantime a large number had 
settled in the neighborhood, and already much progress could be noted. 

In 1763 many of them were giving their time and attention to rearing large 
herds of horses, cattle, hogs, etc. Some of them became expert, hardy and ad- 
venturous hunters, and depended chiefly for support and money making on the sale 
of skins and furs. Considerable attention was given to the culture of the pea vine, 
which grew abundantly late in the summer season. 

The majority of the first immigrants were principally from Pennsylvania, com- 
posed of native Germans or German extraction. A number, however, were direct 
from Germany, and several from Maryland, New Jersey and New York. These 
immigrants brought with them the religion, customs and habits of their ancestors. 
They constituted three religious sects, viz. : Lutherans, Menonists and Calvanists, 
with a few Tunkers, and were very strict in their worship. 


South Branch — some of them located within what is now Hardy county. 5 
By 1748 there were about 200 people along the entire course of the 

The expansion of settlements was influenced by conditions result- 
ing from the great land grants owned by Lord Fairfax. In 1736 hear- 
ing glowing accounts of the South Branch (from John Howard who 
had gone via South Branch, crossed the Alleghenies and gone down 
the Ohio), Fairfax ordered a survey of his boundary and soon began 
to issue 99 year leases to tenants at the rate of $3.33 for each hundred 
acres, and to sell land outright on a basis of an annual quit rent of 
33 cents. 

In 1747-48 following the erection of the Fairfax stone at the head 
of the Potomac in 1746 much of the land within the Fairfax grant in 
the South Branch country was surveyed by Washington and laid off 
in quantities to suit purchasers. Nearly 300 tracts were surveyed in 
the two years. 7 

5 All these settlements were at that time in Orange county (formed from Spotts- 
sylvania in 1734) which extended to the "utmost limits of Virginia," including 
in its boundaries all of what is now West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and 

<s The Moorfield settlement became a center of later dispersions not only 
upstream but also across the divide — especially by the MeCulloch trail later (about 
1785-86) widened into a state road from Moorfield to the Potomac, and by the 
branch trail known as the Horse shoe trail. Among its people who migrated to 
the Ohio was Ebenezer Zane who began the settlement at Wheeling and later cut 
' ' Zane 's Trace ' ' across southeastern Ohio and thereby determined the sites of 
Zanesville, Lancaster and Chillicothe. 

7 Lord Fairfax always considered himself a British subject, although he re- 
mained quietly on his estate near Winchester during the revolution. His sympathies 
with the royal cause were well known; and had he been an ordinary person he 
would have been roughly 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. 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. 

He never married and, of course, left no child to inherit his vast estate. All 
his property, or the greater portion of it, was devised to his nephew in England, 
the Rev. Denny Martin, on condition that he would apply to the Parliament of 
Britain for an act to authorize him to take the name of Lord Fairfax. This was 
done, and Denny, Lord Fairfax, like his uncle, never marrying, he devised the 
estate to Gen. Philip Martin, who never marrying, and dying without issue, devised 
the estate to two old maiden sisters, who sold it to Messrs. Marshall, Colston and Lee. 

During the Revolution Virginia Legislature enacted laws against such an 
estate as that of Fairfax. One of these laws against estates entail was proposed by 
Thomas Jefferson as early as October, 1776. It abolished the system of perpetual 
rents and favored estates in fee simple. Although it did not break up the Fairfax 
estate at once it stopped the rent on land already sold. A later law confiscated 
the estates of Tories. 

At the close of the Revolution the Fairfax lands were confiscated by Virginia 
and thrown open to settlement under the regulations for other state lands, and 
in time they became the property of many farmers. The project for large manors 
on South Branch and Patterson creek was never realized. In 1782 the Assembly 
confiscated the claims of the Fairfax heirs, having previously declared invalid the 
claims of the Vandalia and Indiana companies. In 1789 David Hunter received a 
patent for lands which had formally belonged to Fairfax, but being refused pos- 
session he brought suit in the court of Shenandoah county, which decided against 
him in a decision which was later reversed by the Supreme Court of the state. 
Later David Martin to whom Fairfax had bequeathed the right to the disputed 
property appealed to the United States Supreme Court which sustained the lower 
court of Shenandoah (1813) and in 1816 causing many to fear that the confiscation 
of the Indiana and Vandalia claims might not prove a permanent settlement of 
their title to western lands. 

Lord Fairfax had an eye to money-making and resolved to realize as much 
as possible from his property. His desire was 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 charge the same sum yearly 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 advantage of it, and 
charged him more, thinking he would pay it sooner than give up his improvements. 


Coincident with the surveys and sale of Lord Fairfax's land on the 
lower South Branch many frontiersmen — not approving the English 
practice wanted full title in fee — pushed higher up the Shenandoah 
and South Branch valleys. New settlements crept up the South Branch 
into regions now included in Pendleton county, whose triple valleys 
had already been visited by hunters and prospectors — one of whom had 
built a cabin about 1745 a half mile below the site of Brandywine. In 
1746-47 Robert Green of Culpeper entered several tracts giving him a 
monopoly of nearly 30 miles of the best soil. In 1747 he gave deeds of 
purchase to six families who were probably the first bona fide settlers 
of Pendleton. In 1753 there was a sudden wave of new immigration 
and four years later the territory now included in Pendleton had a 
population of 200 — equally divided between the South Branch and the 
South Fork, and most numerous toward the Upper Tract- and Dyer 
settlement. The earlier settlers in the region now occupied by Hamp- 
shire and Hardy counties included Dutch and Germans and Irish and 
Scotch and English. The territory included in Pendleton was largely 
settled by Germans from the Shenandoah. 

Considering the needs of the South Branch region, the Assembly 
in 1754 made provision for the formation of the new county of Hamp- 
shire from the territory of Frederick and Augusta with boundaries 
extending westward to the "utmost parts of Virginia." The county 
was organized in 1757. The presiding justice of the first county court 
was Thomas Bryan Martin, a nephew of Lord Fairfax. Romney was 
established by law in 1762 (by Fairfax). 

In the meantime, to meet the exigencies of the expansion of west- 
ern settlers, commissioners of Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland in 
1744 negotiated with the Six Nations (at Lancaster, Pennsylvania), a 
treaty by which for 400 pounds they ceded to the English all the region 
between the Alleghenies and the Ohio. Settlements were delayed, how- 
ever, first by the barrier of the Alleghenies and later by the uninvit- 
ing character of narrow defiles and dense wilderness, and uncleared 
valleys beyond, which furnished ample cover for treacherous Indians 
opposed to the adventurous pioneers seeking to penetrate the wild hunt- 
ing grounds. 

The first direct stimulus to settlement farther west came from the 
earlier settlements established about 1732 on grants including the site 
of Winchester and the site of Staunton. Following the expansion of 
settlements up the Shenandoah and the James, the most adventurous 
settlers following the hunters began to push their way across the divide 
to the New river and then farther west to lands now included in West 
Virginia. A century before the establishment of permanent settle- 
ments, the New river region of West Virginia westward to Kanawha 
Falls was visited by a party of Virginians under Captain Thomas Batts 
with a commission from the General Assembly "for the finding out the 
ebbing and flowing of ye South Sea." The earliest settlements in the 
New river region of West Virginia had their bases in the earlier settle- 
ment of 1748 by the Ingles, Drapers and others at Drapers Meadows 
(later known as Smithfield near Blacksburg, Virginia) and were pos- 
sibly also influenced by the settlement of 1749 by Adam Harman near 
the mouth of Sinking creek (Eggleston's Spring, Giles county) and 
the neighboring settlement made by Philip Lybrook in 1750. They 
received their direct incentive from the report of Christopher Gist who 
in returning from his Ohio exploring expedition of 1750 passed down 
the Bluestone valley and crossed the New river a short distance below 

In making these early deeds it was stipulated that the person who bought 
should "never kill elk, deer, buffalo, beaver or other game," without the consent 
of Fairfax or his heirs. 

Land along the South Branch in those days was not so valuable as at present; 
yet it found ready sale. Four hundred acres, near Moorefield, sold for one hundred 
and twenty-five dollars in 1758. Under the British rule the land all belonged to 
Fairfax, and all who occupied it must pay him perpetual rent. No man could 
feel that he absolutely owned his own land. 


the mouth of Indian creek at Crump's Bottom (in Summers county). 
In 1753 Andrew Culbertson induced by fear of the Indians to leave 
his home near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, journeyed via the settle- 
ments in Montgomery and Giles county to Crump's Bottom. A year 
later Thomas Farley obtained the Culbertson tract and erected a fort 
at Warford farther west. Around the scattered settlements several 
others were begun in the same year. Pioneers from Pennsylvania came 
both by the James and by the South Branch and Greenbrier rivers. 

The discovery of the Greenbrier by a lunatic citizen of Frederick 
county in 1749, excited the enterprise of two men from New England, 
Jacob Marlin and Stephen Sewell, who took up residence upon the 
Greenbrier where they were found in 1751 by General Andrew Lewis, 
agent of the Greenbrier Land Company which had obtained a grant of 
100,000 acres of land of which about 50,000 acres was surveyed by 
1755 when operations stopped until about the close of the French and 
Indian war (after which they were renewed in spite of the King's 

The earliest incentive to actual occupation in the Monongahela and 
Ohio region was furnished in 1748 by the formation of the Ohio com- 
pany which received from George II a grant of 500,000 acres along 
the Ohio between the Monongahela and the Kanawha and which planned 
settlements by which to divert the Indian trade from Pennsylvania. 
Plans for settlement by Germans from Pennsylvania were prevented by 
Virginia's law against dissenter. 8 Four years later, transmontane set- 
tlements were encouraged by the house of burgesses through an offer 
of tax exemption for ten years. 

Many of the first settlers, west of the mountains considered the soils 
of the region nonsupporting and intended to remain only until the 
game should be exhausted. 

Daring frontiersmen began to seek trans-Allegheny homes farther 
north. The earliest attempts at settlement along the waters of the 
Monongahela were made by David Tygart and Robert Foyle on Tygart's 
Valley river (in Randolph) in 1753, by Thomas Eckarly and his brothers 
on Cheat at Dunkard's Bottom (in Preston) in 1754 and by Thomas 
Decker and others near the mouth of Deckers creek (in Monongahela) 
in 1758. Permanent settlements were not made until after the close 
of the French and Indian war, and until the treaty negotiated with 
Pontiac at the forks of the Muskingum by General Bouquet rendered 
peace on the border more certain. 

The center of the region which in 1754 (at the formation of Hamp- 
shire county) contained the pioneer settlers of West Virginia may be 
indicated by an irregular line drawn from the Blue Ridge through 
Harpers Ferry, Charleston, Martinsburg, Berkeley Springs, Romney, 
Moorefield, Petersburg, Upper Tract and Franklin, Marlinton, and 
thence down the Greenbrier and through Monroe county to Peters 
Mountain. The total population has been estimated at 10,000 whites 
and 400 blacks. 

Soon after the Lancaster treaty of 1744, by which the Iroquois 
granted to the English the control of the region north of the Ohio, a 
small number of pioneer farmers made at Draper's Meadows (upon New 
river) the first permanent English settlement on waters flowing into 
the Ohio — a settlement which prepared the way for the later first set- 
tlements on the Middle New in the territory which is now a part of 
West Virginia. 

For nearly a quarter of a century civilization halted at the eastern 

8 In 1751 the Ohio company desiring to obtain an additional grant for the 
region between the Great Kanawha and the Monongahela sent Christopher Gist 
to make explorations along the Ohio. After Gist made his report in 1752, the 
company petitioned the King for the grant and for permission to form a separate 
government in the region between the Alleghenies and the Ohio. After years of 
waiting and negotiation, the Ohio and Warpole companies were merged into the 
Grand Ohio Company, which continued the efforts to secure the formation of the 
proposed province of Vandalia with its capital at the mouth of the Great Kanawha. 


base of the trackless Alleghenies in the valleys west of the South Branch 
country. There the frontiersmen toiled in clearings and gained strength 
to force the barrier which for a time stopped their advance to lands of 
another drainage system. Gradually their interest in the trans-Alle- 
gheny region was quickened through information brought by a few 
daring traders, adventurers or explorers. 

By 1749 the preparation for a new advance was illustrated in the 
formation of the Ohio company and the Greenbrier company. In 
that year also two men, Jacob Marlin and Stephen Sewell, the first 
trans-Allegheny pioneers, were occupying a cabin in the wilderness on 
the Greenbrier (near the site of Marlinton, West Virginia), near a 
branch of the old Iroquois war path from New York to the headwaters 
of the Tennessee. In 1751 John Lewis and Andrew Lewis reached the 
Greenbrier to survey land. By 1753 Robert Files and Dayid Tygart 
with their families had settled in Tygarts Valley near the Seneca war 
path — Files having built a cabin at the site of Beverly on the creek that 
bears his name, and Tygart three miles above on the river that bears 
his name. About the same time three men named Eckarly, members 
of the Dunkards religious organization, and hiding in the woods to 
escape military duty, built a cabin on Cheat river (on Dunkard Bot- 
tom) near the old Catawba war path and two miles from the site of 
Kingwood on land still claimed by the Iroquois Indians. 

These settlements were on territory which the settlers had no legal 
right to occupy. Both those on Tygarts and that on Cheat were soon 
broken up by the Indians. The entire Files family was murdered. 
Tygart, being warned, fled eastward with his family, crossed the Alle- 
ghanies by an obscure path (probably the Fishing hawk trail) and 
reached settlements in Pendleton county. Two of the Eckarlys were 
killed but one was absent and escaped. 

Meantime the colonization schemes of the Greenbrier company and 
the Ohio company had. failed, partly through fear of the Indians and 
partly through failure to attract German protestant immigrants from 
eastern Pennsylvania. The German protestants, with whom the Ohio 
company had arranged for settlement in the territory between the 
Monongahela and the Kanawha, learning that they would be subject 
to extra taxes laid on dissenters from the English church in Virginia, 
refused to go. In 1752 the Virginia House of Burgesses attempted to 
encourage trans-Allegheny settlements by an offer of ten years' exemp- 
tion from taxes to all protestant settlers in that region, but under the 
changed conditions existing two or three years later, protestants doubt- 
less preferred to pay their taxes in the East than to risk exemptions in 
the West. 


The beginning of West Virginia history is closely associated with the 
final struggle between France and England for control in North 
America. It is especially connected with the Anglo-French struggle 
for control of the Upper Ohio valley into which the hunters, trappers, 
fur traders of Pennsylvania and Virginia were venturing by scores 
through the passes of the Blue Ridge and the Alleghenies by the middle 
of the Eighteenth century — a region which France had long considered 
her own. These adventurous borderers of the upland, frequently forced 
westward in search of new lands, understood the situation far better 
than the inhabitants of the tide water region of the middle colonies. 
They were the advance agents of British occupation, few in number 
at first, and frequently obliged to suspend their operations on the farther 
frontier and to fall back upon the border line of settlement distinguished 
by log cabins of men who were raising horses, cattle, sheep and hogs, 
or even farther back to the region occupied by the small, rough hold- 
ings of the border farmers. 

These frontiersmen, clad in primitive costume which was partly 
borrowed from the Indian, were rough in manners and speech, crude 
and unlettered, but among them were some of superior caliber who 
in time of great public need naturally assumed leadership and exercised 
an elevating influence on their fellow-frontiersmen. 

Many of these borderers who sought new and cheap lands which 
could be found upon the western frontier were Ulster Scotch-Irish who 
had emigrated in large numbers from northeast Ireland to America 
during the first half of the Eighteenth century, especially settling in 
Pennsylvania and in the Carolinas. 

Gradually, as the pressure upon available land became greater, the 
younger generations of Pennsylvania Scotch-Irish moved southwestward 
through the troughs of the Alleghenies, either tarrying on the upper 
waters of the Potomac and the South Branch or pressing on to the deep 
and fertile valleys of southwest Virginia and North Carolina. 

These Ulster bordennen, easily developing into expert Indian fighters, 
formed, with the English colonial adventurers and Protestant Germans 
who commingled with them, a highly important factor in the coming bat- 
tles for English supremacy in the new land beyond the mountains. 

The territorial claims of England and France were in conflict west 
of the Alleghenies. There had never been any commonly recognized 
boundaries. Under colonial charters, the English had a basis of claim 
to all the interior westward to the Pacific, although France, after 1700, 
was willing to allow them only the Atlantic slope to the Appalachians. 
In June, 1744, taking advantage of a clause of the treaty of Utrecht 
(1713), in which France acknowledged the suzerainty of the British 
king over the Iroquois Confederacy, the English obtained from the 
Iroquois at a great council held at the Pennsylvania outpost of Lan- 
caster a grant of the entire control of the Ohio valley north of the river 
which the Iroquois claimed by conquest in previous encounters with 
the Shawnee. This grant became a chief corner-stone upon which the 
English based their pretensions to the West. Soon thereafter a small 
group of agricultural frontiersmen in the neighboring valley of Vir- 
ginia made a settlement at Draper's Meadows (upon New river), the 
first permanent settlement of the English upon westward-flowing waters. 



Soon thereafter prominent Virginians recognizing a Virginian claim 
to the "Northwest" line mentioned in an early charter, planned to 
secure an advantage in the West over Pennsylvania which, because 
of internal dissensions, had been slow in taking steps to settle the Ohio 
basin. In May, 1749, they secured from the British king a charter 
for the Ohio Company which was formed for fur trading and coloniz- 
ing purposes in the region west of the mountains. By the terms of 
this charter, they obtained a half million acres south of the Ohio and 
along the Ohio — "which lands are his Majesty's undoubted right by 
the treaty of Lancaster and subsequent treaties at Logstown" (on the 
Ohio west of Pittsburgh). In return for this grant they agreed to 
build a fort on the Ohio and to plant on their lands 100 families within 
seven years. Meantime, France was taking steps to strengthen her 
claim. In 1749, a French reconnaissance force under Celeron de Bien- 
ville obtained from the fickle Iroquois admittance through the Chau- 
tauqua gateway and proceeded to drive out the English traders and 
to take possession by planting leaden plates at the mouths of the prin- 
cipal streams tributary to the Ohio. The governor of New France 
planned for the immigration of 10,000 French peasants to settle the 
region before the English agricultural pioneers could reach it. 

The English quickly replied to the report that France was propos- 
ing to construct a line of posts along the Ohio from its headwaters to 
its mouth. The Ohio Company promptly sent Christopher Gist (in 
1750) to explore the country to the falls of the Ohio (now Louisville), 
to select lands for the Company, and to carry friendly messages to the 
Shawnee. In 1750-51, he made explorations in territory now included 
in the states of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia, and in western 
Maryland and southwestern Pennsylvania, and met many Scotch-Irish 
traders who were operating on the upper Miami, at Logstown on the 
Ohio and at Venango on the Allegheny. On his return via the Ken- 
tucky river and the Yadkin he made a favorable report which greatly 
stimulated interest in the West. In 1752, after accompanying Col. 
Joshua Fry to Logstown on a mission to conciliate the Indians, he built 
a cabin (still standing) near the site of the present town of Connells- 
ville, Pennsylvania. There Washington found him in 1753. 

Meantime the Company took another step toward occupation by con- 
structing a fortified trading house at Wills creek (now Cumberland, 
Maryland), and by securing the aid of Colonel Thomas Cresap and an 
Indian named Nemacolin in blazing a trail 60 miles long over the 
Laurel watershed to the mouth of Redstone creek (now Brownsville, 
Pennsylvania) on the Monongahela where another stockade was soon 
built (1752). Over this famous historic path came a few daring Vir- 
ginia settlers to plant themselves on the Monongahela which had become 
a river of strategic importance in connection with the French claim to 
the summits of the Appalachians. 

The French made the next move. In the spring of 1753 while the 
Virginians lost time in debating, French authorities built Fort Le Boeuf 
upon a tributary of the Allegheny to protect the portage rout south- 
ward from the French fort at Presq'Isle, and soon sent a small detach- 
ment which seized the English trading post at Venango at the mouth 
of the Allegheny tributary. 

In November (1753) the Virginia governor, Dinwiddie, sent Major 
George Washington (who took Gist as his guide) to remonstrate against 
the French occupation of this region. Late in 1753, after considerable 
haggling with his Assembly (which had no love for the Ohio Company), 
he decided to force matters by sending a small body of men under Capt. 
William Trent of Hampshire county to build a log fort at the forks of 
the Ohio. 

In January, 1754, he decided to send a larger body of men under 
the command of Washington to protect Trent and to resist any at- 
tempts of the French. In order to stimulate enlistment, he offered 
200,000 acres of land on the Ohio to be divided among the men and 


the officers. In February he was finally able to persuade the deputies 
to vote supplies for the enterprise — a slender allowance of 10,000 
pounds. On March 31, Washington, with 300 Virginia frontiersmen, 
started to the Monongahela. At Wills creek, lie met Trent and his 
company of men who, after beginning a stockade at the forks, had been 
compelled to surrender on April 17 by a force of French and Indians 
numbering over 300 persons. Continuing his march westward upon 
the over-mountain path with a determination to hold the strategic point 
from which Trent and his troops had been expelled, he arrived late in 
May at Great Meadows which he selected as his military base. 

On May 28, while leading a scouting party, he stumbled upon Jumon- 
ville who was suspiciously haunting his path. He promptly attacked 
and routed the enemy in a brief engagement which quickly precipi- 
tated a general conflagration. To protect himself against an avenging 
expedition from Ft. Duquesne which was proceeding in boats up the 
Monongahela to Redstone creek, he withdrew to Great Meadows and 
erected Fort Necessity where, after a desperate siege on July 3, by 
French and savages aggregating double his number, he signed articles 
of capitulation, in the midst of a fierce thunderstorm and, at day- 
break on July 4, marched out over Nemacolin's path toward Wills 

The defeat, attributed by Governor Dinwiddie to the delay of the 
Assembly in voting the money for the expedition, resulted in the with- 
drawal of practically all the British traders and pioneers from the 
trans-Allegheny region to the older settlements, leaving France once 
more in complete possession of the West. 

Dinwiddie, strongly impressed with the gravity of the situation, and 
perceiving that a crisis was at hand, persistently appealed to the British 
authorities for assistance to regain the western country from France, 
and finally was able to secure two Irish regiments of 500 men each 
under the leadership of General Edward Braddock who arrived at 
Alexandria, Virginia, with his regiments near the end of March, 1755. 
At Braddock 's camp there was held, on April 14, a conference between 
the governor of Virginia and four other colonial governors. After 
considerable delay in discussing the best route to the Monongahela and 
in obtaining wagons from Pennsylvania for the expedition, Braddock 
pushed west through Frederick, Maryland, to the Potomac at Williams- 
port, and, in order to obtain a satisfactory road, crossed the Potomac 
and marched nearly due south to Winchester, and from that point fol- 
lowed the road through Hampshire county across the Potomac at the 
mouth of Little Capon river and from that point followed the Potomac 
to Wills creek (Fort Cumberland) which was reached on May 10. Here 
he wasted a month waiting for his cannon and in arranging for Indian 
scouts to lead his army through the almost unbroken wilderness beyond. 

On June 10, he started to cross the divide. Finding that the old 
Nemacolin path (Washington's old road) was fit only for footmen and 
pack-horses, he set 300 axemen to work to widen the road for artillery 
and transport wagons. In reply to those who urged greater progress 
by making a temporary road, he insisted upon the importance of a per- 
manent highway for the future and directed that streams and ravines 
should be bridged and hillsides graded. In eight days he advanced 
only 30 miles. Although he moved westward at the rate of only five 
miles a day, he opened across the Alleghenies a good wagon road over 
which the Star of Empire later moved westward. 

Sixteen days after he left Cumberland, acting upon the advice of 
Washington, he pushed forward toward Fort Duquesne a part of his 
force, 1,200 men, with a few cannon and wagons and pack-horses, leav- 
ing Colonel Dunbar to follow at a slower pace with the heavy baggage 
and the reserves. On July 8, at the mouth of Turtle creek, a tributaiy 
of the Monongahela, eight miles from Fort Duquesne, he reached the 
fatal ravine where he was flanked on both sides by the French and their 
allies and defeated with heavy losses. 


Leaving the dead nnburied, the retreating army fled rapidly in the 
direction of Fort Cumberland, led by Colonel Washington. On the 
route, Braddock died from his wounds received in the battle, and was 
buried near Fort Necessity. Dunbar, who had camped on the Laurel 
hills, destroyed his valuable stores following the panic which resulted 
from the news of the disaster, and joined in the disorderly flight to 
Fort Cumberland. Among his fleeing wagonners, riding a horse whose 
traces he had cut, was young Daniel Boone, later famous as a frontiers- 

The disaster was complete. It was a momentous crisis in the border 
settlements of western Virginia. Every frontier settlement was in im- 
mediate danger. Both settlers and traders withdrew promptly from 
the trans-Allegheny region. 

Contrary to expectations, however, the French and Indians did not 
pursue immediately, but, becoming panic-stricken in their fear of ven- 
geance, fled to Fort Duquesne almost as fast as the British and Vir- 
ginians retreated over the ill-fated path of Nemacolin. After the 
celebration of their victory they formed small parties to attack the 
English settlements. Before winter they were in absolute control of 
the trans-Allegheny country — a control which they retained for three 
years. Braddock 's road, which had been cut through the wilderness 
with so much labor, furnished a convenient pathway for French at- 
tacks on the English border. 

Some idea of the conditions may be obtained from the following 
extracts from a journal kept by Col. Chas. Lewis while marching to 
Fort Cumberland to defend the frontier against the Indians after the 
defeat of General Braddock in 1755 : 

Oct. 20. — We left Winchester under the command of Majr. Andrew Lewis 
and marched 10 miles to Capt. Smiths a very remarkable man. I was this day 
appointed Capt. over 41 men of different Companies. A remarkable dispute be- 
tween Lieut. Steinbergen and an Irish woman. — 10 Miles. 

21st. — Marched from Capt. Smiths & crossed great Cape Capon, a beautiful 
prospect & the best land I ever yet saw. We encamped this night on the top of a 
mountain. The roads were by far the worst this day and our march was for 
that reason but 13 miles. Our men never the less were in high spirits, about 8 
o 'clock this night a soldiers musket went off in the middle of our encampment 
without any damage. 

22d. — This day we marched from Sandy To]) Mountain to Little Cape Capon, 
the land very good. We encamped this night at a poor mans house entirely for- 
saken, the people drove off by the Indians, we found here a plenty of corn, oats, 
stock of all kinds, even the goods & furniture of the house were left behind. This 
night about 9 o'clock we were joined by the Honble. Coll. George Washington and 
Capt. George Mercer A. D. C. — 15 M. 

23. — Very bad weather, snow, rain, we marched very slow today & arrived 
at the South Branch where we encamped at a house on the Branch, having come 
up with Coll. Washington, Capt. George Mercer A. D. C. — 9 Miles. Very ill na- 
tured people here. 

24. — A very wet day, we marched to Patterson Creek on which we encamped in 
a house deserted. We found here good corn, wheat & pasturage. Before we 
marched we discharged our pieces being wet, and charged them in expectation of 
seeing the Enemy. Coll. Washington marched before with Capt. Ashby's Company 
of rangers. — 14 Miles. 

25. — Marched from Patterson Creek & passed many deserted houses. I was 
this day very curious in the examination of the mischief done in the houses & was 
shocked at the havoc made by the barbarous & cruel Indians. At one Mecraggins I 
found the master of the family who had been buried but slightly by his friends 
after his assassination, half out of the grave & eaten by the wolves, the house 
burnt, the corn field laid wastej & an entire ruin made. At half after six we 
arrived at Fort Cumberland cold and hungry. We had this day by Maj. Lewis' 
order two women ducked for robbing the deserted houses. — 20 Miles. 

31st. — An Irishman arrived at the Fort with two scalps, it seems he was the 
Sunday before taken prisoner by a party of 52 Indians and being left in custody 
of two while the party proceeded towards the inhabitants, he with his guard arrived 
at the Shanoe Camp. 

Nov. 2. — Ensign Bacon arrived at the Fort from Pattersons Creek, where he 
had been to erect a fort. On his way he heard the Indian hollow & saw many 
tracks of Indians in the woods, this alarmed the Fort but being late 'twas not 
possible to send out a party, but orders were given for a hundred men to parade 
in the morning under Capt. Waggoner. 

21st. — A very bad morning, it still continuing to rain. A party of one hun- 


dreil men paraded under Capt. Waggoner to search for the Indians on Pattersons 
creek according to Ensign Bacons information of the day before. Ma.j. Andrew 
Lewis & myself went volunteers on this command we returned the same day with 
the party, no Indians or tracks of Indians to be seen. 

Dec. 5th — This morning we marched for Fort Cumberland and met about five 
miles from Crissips a relief commanded by Lieutenant Lynn of twelve men, we 
accepted of this relief and gave up our command to Mr. Lynn according to order. 

6. — Five deserters were this day punished each receiving one thousand lashes. 
In this last command I may with the greatest truth aver that I saw the most 
horrid shocking sight, I ever yet beheld, at a house adjoining the cornfield in 
which our soldiers were employed iu gathering corn, we saw the bodies of three 
different people who were first massacred, then scalped, and after thrown into a 
fire, these bodies were not yet quite consumed, but the flesh on many part of them, 
we saw the clothes of these people yet bloody, and the stakes, the instruments of 
their death still bloody & their brains sticking on them, the orchards all down, 
the mills all destroyed and a waste of all manner of household goods. These people 
were in my opinion very industrious, having the best corn I ever saw and their 
plantation well calculated for produce and every other cpnvcniency suitable to 
the station of a farmer. 

In the period of uncertainty which followed Braddock's defeat, 
Washington stood out as the guardian of the West. In measures for 
defense of the exposed frontiers, he was the ehoice of Governor Din- 
widdie who recommended the chain of forts along the Alleghenies 
from the head of the Potomac to the Holston river. For the protec- 
tion of 350 miles of open border, he had under his command less than 
1,500 men, including many expert riflemen, but a turbulent and un- 
disciplined soldiery, without uniforms, electing their own officers, fixing 
their own terms of enlistment and proudly disdaining all manifesta- 
tions of authority which did not appeal to their individual judgments. 
His laborious task was a thankless one. His plans were restricted by 
the irritable and jealous Virginia Assembly which granted stores with 
tardiness and insufficiency and also by the frontiersmen themselves 
who had to be fairly driven into the unpopular service by means of the 
draft. Strongly feeling the obligation which rested upon him, he 
continued to pelt the governor, the Assembly and other influential men 
with letters appealing for necessary assistance. 

Recognizing the difficulty of redeeming western Virginia by a new 
expedition to the Mononhagela, Virginia, in the winter of 1755, planned 
an expedition by route farther south to strike a blow against the Shaw- 
nee towns in Ohio. 1 This was the first English military expedition to 
the waters of the Ohio south of Pittsburgh. The expedition, consisting 
of about 350 men under command of Andrew Lewis, started February 
18, 1756, from Fort Frederick in Augusta county, passed down New 
river and through the Drapers Meadows and by a difficult route through 
the woods with plans to reach the Indians beyond the mouth of Big 
Sandy. The route was partly through West Virginia, apparently by 
way of Tug Fork, and crossed into Kentucky near the mouth of Big 
Sandy. For some reason, possibly because of the loss of supplies in 
crossing the river and partly as a result of the cold weather the ex- 
pedition turned back and was broken up by desertions before its return, 
many members perishing from cold and hunger. Its failure probably 
encouraged new Indian assaults and foraging. 

Under the skillful supervision of Washington, the Virginia and Caro- 
lina borderers erected beyond the main settlements a line of stockaded 
block-houses at strategic points usually determined by the principal 
mountain passes. Among the most important affecting western Vir- 
ginia were: Fort Ligonier on the Loyalhanua (in Pennsylvania), Fort 
Cumberland on the Upper Potomac, Fort Chiswell on the gentle slopes 

i This expedition probably resulted in part from a recent Indian invasion on 
the upper New river. On the day before Braddock's defeat the Shawnese com- 
pletely destroyed the Ingles-Draper settlement and escaped with their prisoners, 
crossing the New above the mouth of Bluestone and from thence passing over the 
northeast extension of Flat Top and via the site of Beckley over the trail to the 
head of Paint creek and thence down the Kanawha. After the return of Mrs. Ingles, 
measures were adopted by Governor Dinwiddie to defend the frontier. 


of the Valley of Virginia, Port Byrd on the upper Holston, and Fort 
Loudoun on the Little Tennessee. Around these log strongholds, which 
became famous in border story, raged a long contest of fierce and bloody 
warfare while the larger operations of the war were being conducted 
farther north. The importance of this border contest was its aid in re- 
taining the Ohio valley which really was the key to the situation. 

In addition to these important stockades many smaller forts were 
used as places of refuge but they were inadequate for the security of 
settlers. The following is a list of those built in the important settle- 
ments within the territory east of the mountains which is now a part 
of West Virginia : 

Port Ohio, built in 1750 as a frontier storehouse of the Ohio Company, 
near the site of Ridgely (Mineral county) on the route later known as Mc- 
Culloch 's path. 

Sellers fort, built in 1756, at the mouth of Patterson Creek (Mineral 
county) ; 

Ashby's Port, built in 1755, on Patterson's Creek (near Frankfort, 
Mineral county) about 25 miles from Fort Cumberland; 

Fort Williams, six miles below Romney; 

Furman Fort, on the South Branch, three miles below Eomney; 

Fort Pearsall, built in 1755 on the South Branch, near the site of Eomney; 

Fort Buttermilk (sometimes called Fort Waggoner), built in 1756 on 
the South Branch three miles above Moorefleld; 

Fort Pleasant, at Old Fields (near Moorefleld) on the South Branch; 

George 's Fort, in the vicinity of Petersburg ; 

Fort Hopewell, on North Fork about six miles above Petersburg; 

Fort Pearson (or Peterson), built in the fall of 1756 near the mouth of 
Mill Creek (Grant county) ; 

Fort Upper Tract, erected in 1756, west of the South Branch near Fort 
Seybert ; 

Fort Seybert, on the South Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac 
(twelve miles northeast of Franklin (Pendleton county) ; 

Ruddell's Fort (Riddle's) built in 1755 on Lost River (Hardy county); 

Fort Warden, near the site of Wardensville (in Hardy county); 

Fort Cox, built in 1755 on land of Friend Cox at the mouth of the Little 
Capon river; 

Fort Maidstone, built in 1755 or 1756 near the mouth of Capon; 

Fort Capon, at the forks of Capon in the Great Cacapon valley; 

Fort Edwards, near the present village of Capon Bridge; 

Hedges' Fort, on Black Creek (west of Martinsburg) ; 

Fort Evans, two miles south of Martinsburg; 

Fort Neally, on Opequon Creek. 

Fort Duquesne was a central hive from which savages swarmed to 
attack the Pennsylvania and Virginia settlers east of the mountains. 
It furnished the inspiration and the sinews of war to Indians of the 
Ohio region who followed the trails across western Virginia to attack 
the settlers of the South Branch county and those on the Potomac. In 
1756 parties of Indians made unsuccessful attacks in Hardy county (on 
Lost river), and others committed depredations near the site of Martins- 
burg. In the battle of the Trough (near Moorefleld) they killed many 
settlers. In 1757 another party, many of which were mounted on stolen 
horses, almost annihilated a company under command of Captain Mer- 
cer at Capon river, in Hampshire county. For two years bands of 
warriors under Kilbuck hung about the settlements on the upper Po- 
tomac. In 1758 they invaded Pendleton county via the old Seneca war 
path and surprised and burned the fort at Upper Tract, killing every 
occupant. Then they appeared before Fort Seybert on the South Fork 
(Moorefleld river) and after inducing the occupants to surrender, mas- 
sacred all except a girl who escaped and one boy, James Dyer, who was 
carried into captivity. After burning the houses they retreated via 
Greenwalt Gap and the Seneca war path. Many of the backwoodsmen, 
uncertain of their security, retired to the Shenandoah or farther east, 
leaving their house unprotected from the Indians' torch. 

Finally, after a period of defeat and humiliation, important events 
turned the scale of war. In England, a master of organization in the 
person of William Pitt was placed in control and in the winter of 1757-58 
he prepared for victory by using his substantial parliamentary majority 


to equip the dogs of war. In Pennsylvania too, preparation was made 
for greater efficiency in fighting. After Braddock's defeat and the 
resulting attack of the Indians upon the unprotected frontier settlements, 
whose settlers had been unable to induce the peaceful legislature to pro- 
vide them with powder and lead and other warlike stores, the Quakers, 
who had always opposed appropriations for war or even the establish- 
ment of militia for self-defense, found themselves in a very embarrassing 
situation. Threatened with expulsion, in 1756 they voluntarily a7id 
public spiritedly retired to private life and patriotically allowed Scotch- 
Irishmen to be elected to the legislature in their places. Such a patriotic 
act of political disinterestedness, has seldom been paralleled in the history 
of legislative bodies. To the Scotch-Irish in no small degree was due 
the result of the final contest against the French in western Pennsylvania. 
They had no conscientious scruples against prosecution of war or the 
voting of a strong militia act for defense. Under the changed conditions, 
with Scotch-Irishmen in the lead, the legislature voted needed supplies 
of war for an expedition to recover the Monongahela and the Ohio. 

Immediately after the retreat of Braddock's army, Washington had 
begun the agitation for an attack upon the French strongheld at Fort 
Duquesne, feeling the futility of waiting on the frontiers to be attacked. 
In 1756 and again in 1757, he urged the necessity of sending an expedi- 
tion over the Alleghanies to drive the French from the Monongahela 
and the Ohio. In 1758 he was gratified at the decision in favor of a 
movement to execute his recommendations. Under the new British plans 
of offense, Brigadier John Forbes, with 1,900 regulars (including 1,200 
Scotch Highlanders) and 5,000 provincials was ordered to recapture 
Fort Duquesne and to repair the loss occasioned by Braddock's tragic 

Virginia and Pennsylvania decided to stand together in a common 
effort to drive the French from the Ohio. But what route should be 
used in crossing the Alleghanies? At first Forbes selected Williamsport, 
Maryland, as his base but following some advice from John St. Clair 
he changed his original plan and made Raystown (Bedford, Pennsyl- 
vania) his base of supplies. Apparently, however, he planned for a 
while to march by way of Carlisle and Bedford to Fort Cumberland 
with a plan to use Braddock's road from that point to the Monongahela. 
He planned to cut a road from Bedford to Fort Cumberland in May, 
1858, when he ordered Washington's regiment to Fort Cumberland. 
Washington fully expected that Braddock's road would be cleared for 
use and in July wrote to Bouquet suggesting that Virginian troops should 
be ordered to proceed to Great Crossings and construct forts there, but 
he found Colonel Bouquet unalterably fixed on a new route to the Ohio 
from Bedford. Although Washington was prejudiced in favor of the 
Virginia route he gracefully accepted the final decision in favor of the 
new rival route, led the Virginians northward over the newly cut road 
to Fort Bedford, plunged westward to the Loyalhannon and himself 
supervised the cutting of Forbes' road westward from Fort Ligonier 
toward Hannastown (Greensburg) and Fort Duquesne. 

Washington, at the head of the Virginians, put new life into the 
expedition. He desired to push forward more rapidly. When the 
expedition reached Hannastown (on November 5, 1758) after fifty days 
had been spent in opening fifty miles of road, he was surprised to learn 
that General Forbes, who was so sick that he could not walk, had de- 
cided to stop the advance and go into winter quarters. Fortunately, 
however, following the arrival of news that the French garrison at 
Fort Duquesne was not in a condition for resistance, he was sent forward 
with 2,500 men to attack. In five days he advanced from Hannastown 
to a point within seventeen miles of the Ohio and on November 25 he 
reached the fort, a pile of blackened ruins. The French, deciding not 
to risk a fight, had burned their barracks and stores and scattered by 
land and water, some down the Ohio (to Fort Massac), others to 
Presq'Isle, and the commander with a small body guard to Fort Maehault, 
the Venango of former years. Their retreat to Canada was rendered 


impracticable by the English control of Lake Ontario following the 
capture of Port Frontenac. 

The power of the French in the Ohio valley was ended. Their few 
posts hundreds of miles further west were too remote to menace the 
Virginia frontier. The fate of western Virginia no longer hung in the 
balance. The way was cleared for the colonization which soon followed. 
The race best suited to conquer the wilderness had won. 

Settlements were threatened with delay, however, by two events 
which followed the treaty of Paris of 1763 and put the patience of the 
backwoodsmen to another test. The king, desiring to prevent conflicts 
with the Indians, commanded his "loving subjects" not to purchase or 
settle lands beyond the mountains "without our especial leave and 
license." The Indians of the West, the unconquered allies of France, 
were uripacified and, organized under the superior leadership of Pnntiac, 
formed an active "conspiracy" to resist the Anglo-French treaty of 
peace and to renew the war on their own account. The injunction of 
the kins resulted in no great inconvenience to those who felt the call 
of the West. Pontiac's war proved more inconvenient. 

The seizure of English forts at Mackinac, Sandusky, St. Joseph and 
at Ouiatanon (near Lafayette) on the Wabash resulted in a reign of 
terror along the western frontier. Fortunately Detroit and Fort Pitt 
successfully withstood the attacks made upon them. In measures for 
defense on the upper Ohio, Virginia and Maryland were far more 
active than Pennsylvania whose conduct was critized by General Am- 

Pontiac's blow fell almost simultaneously at all points from Illinois 
to the frontier of Virginia. In the reign of terror which followed, the 
settlers fled from the frontiers for protection. They deserted the Green- 
brier; they hurried to points east of the Alleghenies. More than five 
hundred families from the frontiers took refuge at Winchester. The 
Indians who prowled through western Virginia extended their raids 
to the South Branch of the Potomac. 

The Indians made a determined effort to take Fort Pitt. They tried 
treachery, deception and direct assault. They dug holes in the river 
bank, and burying themselves out of sight, kept up a fire for weeks, 
they tried to set fire to the fort by shooting burning arrows upon the 
roof. They offered the garrison safe passage across the mountains to 
the settlements if it would agree to evacuate, they falsely represented 
that resistance was useless. The commandant replied that he intended to 
stay and that he had plenty of provisions and ammunition and that 
additional armies were approaching to exterminate the Indians. Ap- 
parently discouraged by this answer, the Indians for a time ceased to 
push the siege vigorously. In July, however, they renewed the attack 
with great fury. Finally on the last day of July, 1763, evidently ex- 
pecting the arrival of General Bouquet from the East, they raised the 
siege and disappeared. 

Meantime General Bouquet was marching to the relief of Fort Pitt, 
with five hundred men and a large train of supplies. As he marched 
west from Cumberland he found the settlements broken up, the houses 
burned, the grain unharvested, and desolation on every hand, showing 
how relentless the savages had been in their determination to break up 
the settlements. On August 2, 1763, he arrived at Fort Ligonier, which 
had been besieged, but he found that the Indians had departed. Leaving 
part of his stores there, he hastened forward toward Fort Pitt and on 
the route his troops were attacked at Bushy run. After a desperate 
battle which was closed by stratagem in causing the Indians to fall 
into a trap, he marched forward to Fort Pitt and prepared to end the 
war. Deciding that his force at that time" was not large enough to 
enable him to invade the Indian country west of the Ohio, he proceeded 
to collect about two thousand men. In the summer of 1764 he carried 
the war into the enemy's country, and struck directly at the Indian 
towns in order to bring the savages to terms. Before he had advanced 


very far west of Pittsburgh, he learned that the tribes had resorted to 
various devices to retard his advance and thwart his purposes. But he 
proceeded rapidly, and with such caution and in such force that pre- 
vented any danger of an attack by the alarmed Indians, who now fore- 
saw the destruction of their towns and sent a delegation to ask for peace. 
Although he signified his willingness to negotiate peace on condition 
that the Indians surrender all white prisoners in their hands, he did 
not halt in his advance to wait for a reply. Soon he was within striking 
distance, and the Indians in order to save their towns and having learned 
something from their defeat, promptly accepted his terms and delivered 
over two hundred prisoners, a large number of whom were women and 

Finally in 1765, after the Indians had become wearied of their 
confederacy and cowed by repeated defeats, the French induced Pontine 
to sue for peace. 

Thenceforth until the beginning of the Revolutionary war, westward 
expansion beyond the mountains did not encounter more than customary 
local opposition from a few tribesmen who jealously watched the passage 
of the Appalachians. 

Vol. 1—5 


The successful outcome of the final English struggle against French 
and Indians determined the destiny of the unsettled trans-AUeghany 
territory which English frontiersmen desired to occupy, and opened the 
way for permanent foundations of a great republic yet unborn. In 
the ten years of peace which followed the peace of 1763 and the defeat of 
Pontiac, the frontier line of settlements, disregarding the king's procla- 
mation of 1763, 1 advanced across the Alleghanies and through the wil- 
derness to the Ohio at an estimated average rate of seventeen miles per 
year, until temporarily stopped by the Indian attacks of 1774. 

The first settlers of trans-Alleghany Virginia came on foot or on 
horseback by the trails or roads which usually followed old Indian paths. 
For thirty years wagons were not used for travel or transportation across 
the mountains. The two or three wagons that found their way into the 
region after the close of the Revolutionary war, or soon thereafter, were 
taken along by a slow and laborious process. 

Two main routes of travel were opened in the contest for control 
of the Ohio, but others farther south became important. Some had 
already been used by early traders with the Indians. 

Possibly as early as 1740 Virginians, Marylanders and Pennsylvanians 
opened trade with the Indians of the Monongahela and in beginning 
operations they consulted with Indians in regard to the easiest route 
and chose the route later known as Nemacolin's path, leading from the 
mouth of Wills creek (Cumberland, Maryland) to the "forks of the 
Ohio" (Pittsburgh). This route was cleared and marked in 1750 under 
the general direction of Colonel Thomas Cresap of Old Town, Maryland, 
for the Ohio Company, by Nemaeolin, a Delaware- Indian residing at 
the mouth of Dunlap's creek, which was first known as Nemacolin's creek. 

Another early route was Dunlap's path leading from Winchester via 
Wills creek to the mouth of Dunlap's creek. From the mouth of Wills 
to the top of Laurel Hill, near the Great Rock, it was identical with that 
of Nemaeolin. By Virginia statute of 1776, it had a temporary legal 
existence as a part of the dividing line between the newly created 
counties of Monongalia and Youghiogheny, but later it passed into 

Another route, originally an Indian trail, much travelled by early 
traders and adventurers, and used by Captain Trent in February, 1754, 
on his way to the Monongahela, was the road opened by Colonel James 
Burd in 1759 from the summit of Laurel Hill to the mouth of Redstone, 
to facilitate communications from Virginia and Maryland to Fort Pitt by 
use of river transportation. This road may be regarded as the extension 

1 In the decade between the French and Indian war and the opening of the 
Revolution, settlements could he made only in opposition to the policy of the 
English government. Although Governor D'inwiddie in 1754 in order to encourage 
volunteers to enter military service had set apart 100,000 acres along the Ohio to 
be granted to soldiers, George III, desiring that the trans-Allegheny region should 
remain a hunting ground for the Indians, or at least expecting to control the 
later settlement and government of- the territory, on October 7, 1763, issued a 
proclamation forbidding the colonists to grant warrants, surveys or patents in 
the territory until it could be opened by treaties with the Indians — thus theoretically 
extinguishing their titles to lands beyond the proclamation line. Two years later 
he directed the governors of Virginia and Pennsylvania to remove by force all 
settlers in that region — an order which was never executed in Virginia. 



of Braddock's road to the nearest navigable water of the West, and it 
probably led to some settlements between 1759 and 1703 in the vicinity 
of the newly erected Fort Burd, at Redstone. 

While Braddock's road was under construction across the moun- 
tains, in June, 1755, another army road was begun by Pennsylvania, 
under superintendence of Colonel James Burd and others, on a route 
from Shippensburg via Raystown (Bedford) and the old Turkey Foot 
settlement to intersect Braddock's at some convenient point — probably 
at Great Crossings (Somerfield). At great cost and with much labor 
it was opened to the top of the Alleghany mountains about eighteen 
miles from Turkey Foot before the arrival of the alarming news of Brad- 
dock's defeat and its opening was completed via Dunbar's camp to Union- 
town several years after Forbes' expedition of 1758. It was called the 
Turkey Foot road or Smith 's road. 

Forbes' road was constructed in 1758 through Carlisle and Shippens- 
burg to Raystown and thence via Ligonier and Hannastown (Greens- 
burg) to the present site of Pittsburgh. To connect with it Washington 
in the same year cut a direct road from Cumberland to Raystown. 

From Bedford on the old Forbes' route, a western branch known as 
the Pennsylvania road via Berlin, Connellsville to Uniontown and thence 
to Redstone was subsequently established. 

Meantime the combination of Braddock's and Dunlap's road became 
known as the established Virginia road. 

These two roads — the Pennsylvania and the Virginia — were the two 
great emigrant and pack horse routes before 1800. They made Red- 
stone a notable place for travel and trade principally for points on the 
Ohio but also for higher points on the Monongahela in the present limits 
of West Virginia. By 1796 the mouth of Dunlap's creek was a great 
shipping place for mill stones made on Laurel hill. 

McCulloch's path, an early Indian and traders' trail westward from 
Winchester and Moorefield passed up Patterson's creek through Green- 
land Gap; crossed the Alleghenies at Mount Storm (in Grant county, 
West Virginia), led across Maryland on the general route of the North- 
western turnpike to the Little Yough near the route of the B. & 0. rail- 
way, across the Big Yough, through Herrington and Murley's Glades, 
via the Crab Orchard across the Pennsylvania line into Fayette county 
east of the summit of Laurel hill which it crossed at Wymp's Gap, 
thence (passing slightly north of Morris' Cross Roads) to McCulloch's 
old camp on the Monongahela between the mouth of Cheat and Neal's 
Ferry. This trail was known to the people of the South Branch as 
early as 1756. One branch of it reached Cheat river at Dunkard's Bot- 
tom (three miles from Kingwood, Preston county), at which the first 
permanent settlement was made in 1766. By 1784, this path eastward 
from Dunkard's Bottom had become somewhat overgrown with briers, 
but a new road from a lower point on Cheat (at Ice's Ferry near the 
Pennsylvania line) ascended the Laurel hill north of Cheat, connected 
with the main McCulloch path at the ford at James Spurgeon's on Sandy 
creek (New Bruceton, Preston county), thence continued northeastward 
via the crossing of the Youghiogheny (about fifteen miles from Spur- 
geon's), and to Braddock's road. Branching from the McCulloch trail 
at or near the present town of Gorman, in Grant county, a path crossed 
the Allegheny mountain, or more properly the Backbone mountain, 
near the Fairfax stone, thence reaching Cheat river at Horseshoe bend, 
in Tucker county. This has been called the Horseshoe trail. William 
Mayo knew of that trail as early as 1736, and probably followed it to 
the waters of Cheat river. During the French and Indian war an escaped 
prisoner, who was making his way home from Ohio, fell on the trail at 
the Horseshoe bend, and followed it to the South Branch. Following 
his directions, settlers took their way to Cheat river in 1766 and 1769 
and located permanently. This was the trail followed by Simpson and 
the Pringle brothers, the deserters from Fort Pitt, when they made their 
way to the site of Buckhannon and Clarksburg, an account of which 


is found in Withers' Border Warfare. The path crossed Tygart's river 
below Philippi and passed near Clarksburg. It was of great import- 
ance in the early years of the settlement of the present counties of 
Tucker, Barbour, Harrison and Upshur. 

Twenty miles south of the Fairfax stone, the Shawnee (or Seneca) 
1 rail .from the upper waters of the South Branch crossed the Alie- 
ghanies to the waters of Cheat near the site of Harmon, thence passing 
across the branches of Cheat above the mouth of Horse Camp creek, 
near Elkins and Beverly and near Huttonsville. It was much nsed 
by early settlers and became important for a century as the chief high- 
way between the South Branch and Tygart's valley. Over it, travelled 
hundreds of pack horses loaded with salt, iron, and other merchandise, 
and many droves of cattle fattened for the eastern market. In the 
Civil War it furnished an avenue of escape for a detachment of Con- 
federates cut off from General Garnett's army at the battle of Rich 
mountain, five miles west of Beverly, in 1861, and it was used by Imboden 
and Jones in driving eastward the horses and cattle captured in their 
great raid of 1863. Fifteen miles farther south the Fishingbawk trail 
crossed the Allegheny mountain above the Sinks of Gauley, and crossing 
Cheat river at the mouth of Fishinghawk creek, entered Tygart valley 
at Beverly. The Tygart family fled east by that trail at the time of the 
massacre on the site of Beverly in 1754. 

Some fifteen miles further south another trail crossed the Alleghenies 
from the head of the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac 
to the waters of the Greenbrier river. It crossed the summit of the 
main Allegheny mountain in Pocahontas on the route of the later Staun- 
ton and Parkersburg turnpike, and passed near the flint mines at Crab 
Bottom, in Highland county, Virginia, and Indians who went there for 
flint no doubt made use of that path both east and west. It was much 
used by early settlers in Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties. 

Further south, connecting the Greenbrier valley with the East was 
another trail. Over it marched the army led by General Lewis to Point 
Pleasant in 1774. Many of the settlers in the Kanawha valley reached 
the western country over that trail. It was also one of the highways to 
Kentucky. In addition to the principal paths connecting the frontiers 
with the East there were trails from settlement to settlement and from 
house to house. Paths led also to hunting camps and elsewhere. So 
numerous were these trails that a missionary who visited the settlements 
of northern and central West Virginia about the close of the Revolu- 
tionary war complained that it was with the greatest difficulty he could 
get through the country at all. 

In the new advance across the mountains, the Scotch-Irish pioneers 
were especially prominent. They were the flying column of the nation, 
both in gaining possession of the Ohio valley and finally in enforcing 
the demand for the entire Mississippi valley. They had a long training 
for their appointed mission. The society of pioneers which formed in 
the beginning of the eighteenth century in the great valley of Pennsyl- 
vania and its lateral extensions was the nursery of the American back- 
woodsmen. By 1730 the tide of pioneers began to ascend the Shenandoah 
from which it occupied Piedmont; and then, receiving new recruits 
from the East, they passed over the mountains to the West ; and with 
the wall of the Alleghenies between themselves and the East, and with 
a new fire, the fire of militant expansion, put into their veins by the cross- 
ing, they found new problems which aroused new ambitions. 

The Scotch-Irish immigration westward across Pennsylvania from 
the Susquehanna began somewhat later after a closer local acquaintance 
with the German element. York county was erected 1749, the first county 
west of the Susquehanna. Its first election precipitated a riot between 
the German and Irish factions. This was followed by a proprietary 
order preventing the further sales of York county land to the progressive 
Irish. Thus a large number of the latter were encouraged to push north- 
westward to the north or Kittatinnv vallev, a region which in 1750 


was formed into Cumberland county, from which by later immigration 
were formed several counties including Bedford in 1771, Franklin in 
1784, and Mifflin in 1789. Those who remained behind in old York 
county to participate in continued political controversy were finally, 
in 1800, after a decade of bitter strife and contention, separated from 
the stubborn German section of the county by the formation of Adams 
county in which the happy Irish faction predominated. But as early 
as 1757 the progressive Scotch-Irish began to move farther west and 
were supplanted by the thrifty Germans who followed closely upon their 
heels. • 

It was the more southern wholesale Scotch-Irish migration, however, 
which carried the Virginia frontier more rapidly toward the Ohio, thus 
preparing the way for a larger national history. The advance of the 
Virginians into the South Branch country, where Washington became 
surveyor of the frontier estates of Lord Fairfax, served to hasten the 
final struggle with France beyond the mountains. Looking down the 
Monongahela, Virginia saw the gateway of the West and yearned to 
possess it. In the crisis resulting from the French advance toward the 
gateway, Dinwiddie sent Lord Fairfax's surveyor on the difficult journey 
to warn the French against trespass. The encounter which followed 
furnished a new opportunity for the Scotch-Irish 2 and began a new 
era in American history. 

The people were determined to occupy the land without purchase 
of Indian titles, and during the peace on the frontier from 1764 to 1774 
proceeded first to secure tomahawk rights 3 and soon thereafter to estab- 
lish settlement rights — pushing the frontier to the Ohio and into Ken- 
tucky. A tomahawk right, respected by the frontiersmen, was often 
merged into a settlement right. Although Virginia took no step until 
1779 to sell lands in West Virginia, and no titles can be traced beyond 
that year, she respected the claims of the earlier settlers and in fact 
taxed these settlers on their lands before patents were issued. Pioneers, 
in order to hold their 100 acres on a settlement right, erected any kind 
of a pole cabin or log cabin near a good spring of water. They could 
preempt 100 acres additional if found free of prior claims. Surveys, both 
the earlier ones and the later ones, were inaccurate and unsystematic 
and laid foundations for many future law suits some of which are still 
on the court dockets. In early years, speculators patented large tracts — 
10,000 to 500,000 acres — often overlapping scores of farms, but they 
could not hold land already occupied, and in many cases the large 
tracts were sold for taxes or otherwise transferred to the people in 
smaller tracts. These permanent settlements, tentatively beginning as 
early as 1764, became especially augmented both in extent and number 
from 1772 to 1774, numbering a total population of about 30,000 by 
1775. They were seriously affected by the conditions which precipitated 
the battle of Point Pleasant in 1774, and by the renewed danger of 

2 The Scotch-Irish were proud of their ancestry and desired to be distinguished 
from the real Irish. This is illustrated by the following incident: Joseph and 
Samuel McClung had charge of the collection of the tithes on the watershed of 
the Greenbrier. In 1775 they posted a list of the men liable for this tax. At that, 
time Andrew Donally was living in that section, on Sinking Creek. In some way 
they had heard a rumor that Donally had changed his name by omitting the O ; the 
rumor stating that he was a papist and that his name was really O 'Donnally. So in 
posting the lists they placed the O before his name. Donally 's wrath was great. 
A verbal apology would not suffice, He compelled these two gentlemen to have 
prepared a formal instrument setting out the facts, and apologizing for the insult, 
which paper after being witnessed by Win. Hamilton, Wm. McClennahan, James 
Hughart and Richard May (his neighbors) was taken before the May term of the 
Botetourt County Court, 1770, where it was proved and in due and solemn form 
ordered to be recorded. 

3 From 176G to 1777 inclusive, 1,197 tomahawk claims were marked within the 
limits of the old Monongahela county of the Revolution, and later established 
before commissioners. These homestead rights increased from 7 in 1766 and 2- in 
1769 to 91 in 1770, 143 in 1772, and 247 in 1773, then decreased to 168 in 1774, 
but increased to 227 in 1775. 


Indian attacks beginning about 1777 and continuing in some sections 
until the treaty of 1795 following Wayne's victory against the Indians 
in northwestern Ohio. Was it any wonder that the Indians fought to 
retain a country which they and their fathers had used for a summer 
retreat for many generations — a land famous for game and fish and with 
abundance of fruits and nuts which could be obtained without toil? 

Especially after the treaty of Fort Stanwix 4 the enterprising yeo- 
manry actively pushed forward over the mountains to the Greenbrier and 
New rivers, to the Monongahela, down the Ohio as far as Grave's creek. 
Preparation for settlement further down the Ohio was begun by the 
survey of land of George Washington at the mouths of the Kanawhas. 
The first settlements made in the District of West Augusta before 1774 
were grouped in a circular belt around a large wilderness of heavy forest 
land which remained largely unsettled for two decades later. The chief 
points of the circle were the Middle New and Greenbrier rivers, thence 
westward down the New aud Big Kanawha to the Ohio, the Monongahela 
with its upper branches (Cheat, Tygart's valley, Buckhannon and West 
Pork) and the region around Wheeling and Grave creek on the Ohio. 

In 1760 James Moss reared his cabin at Sweet Springs, now in Monroe 
county. In 1769 the Woods family settled and built a fort on Rich 
creek about four miles east of the site of Peterstown which fourteen 
years later became the home of Christian Peters, an American soldier 
who served in Lafayette's corps at Yorktown. To the same region in 
1770 came the Manns, Cooks, Millers, Alexanders, Nickels, Campbells, 
Dunsmores, Hokes, Lakes, Calloways, Sweene.ys, Haynes, Erkines, 
Grahams, and Hutchiusons — largely from the Virginia valley. Adam 
and Jacob Mann (of English origin from Kent) and others built a fort 
on Indian creek about ten miles west of the present town of Union ; 
the Cooks from the valley of Virginia built a few miles from its mouth, 
the Keenys later built a fort on Keenys Knobs farther down the river. 

By 1769 settlers began to push up the Greenbrier and to form the 
more western nuclei of settlements which later contributed to the advance 
down the Kanawha, to the Ohio and over the divide to the Monongahela. 
A settlement was made at a fort on Wolf creek (Monroe county) and 
another farther north (in Greenbrier county) at Port Spring. In 1769 
the first permanent settlement in Greenbrier county was made at Prank- 
ford by Colonel John Stuart, Robert McClenachan, Thomas Renick and 
William Hamilton followed by others from Augusta county. In the 
same year, Thomas Williams settled about two miles south of the site 
of Williamsburg and near him William McCoy and William Hughart 
established homes. In 1770 on the site of Lewisburg was built the old 
Savanna fort which became Fort Union. Later settlements were made 
in 1771 at the foot of Hughart 's mountain by John Patton and on Cul- 
berton's creek by William Blake, in 1772 on Muddy creek by William 
McKinney, and in 1773 on Big Clear creek by William McClung (who 
patented a large tract on Meadow river) and on the site of Port Donnally 
by Andrew Donnally. In 1774 a settlement was made on the White 
Sulphur Springs lands. Farther up the stream by 1773 a settlement 
was established at Little Levels (now in Pocahontas) by John McNeil 
and others from the lower valley of Virginia. 

At the same time settlers began to venture down the Kanawha. In 
1770 the land around the site of Montgomery was originally taken up 
by Levi Morris who later came by mule from Alexandria, Virginia, and 
built the first house there. In 1773 the big bottom survey on which 

<iBy the terms of the treaty of Fort Stanwix (now Rome, New York) in 1768 
the Six United Nations ceded to the King of England practically all of West 
Virginia, except what is known as the "Indiana Cession," a large territory north 
of the Little Kanawha (about 4,950 square miles), which they reserved and 
granted to Captain William Trent and other Indian traders in consideration of 
merchandise taken from them by the Indians on the Ohio in 1763. The General 
Assembly of Virginia repudiated the title of the traders who therefore never came 
into possession of any part of the cession. 



Charleston now stands, was located by Colonel Thomas Bullitt. In 
the same year Walter Kelly from North Carolina invaded the trackless 
forest which lay between Camp Union and the mouth of the Kanawha 
and made the first family settlement in the Kanawha valley (at the 
mouth of Kelly's creek). In 1774, on the site of Old Brownstown (now 
Marmet) on the Kanawha, Leonard Morris made a permanent settlement. 
The same year settlements were made at the mouth of the Kanawha 
(on the site of Point Pleasant), on lands surveyed by George Wash- 
ington in 1770. Kelly's place became the point of embarkation for 
later home-seekers and travelers from the East and was often called the 
"Boat Yards." 

Even earlier the pioneer settlers were penetrating into the wilds 
drained by the Monongahela. By 1772 nearly all the land in Tygart's 
valley was located — although few patents were obtained for it until ten 

Westfall's Fort, Tygarts Valley, Beverly, Built 1774 

or fifteen years later. Two forts were built (at Beverly and near Hut- 
tonsville) in 1774. In 1764 at the mouth of Turkey creek on Buck- 
hannon river a forest camp was established by the Pringles and others 
who had deserted from garrison duty at Fort Pitt and after roaming 
through Maryland went west down Horseshoe to Cheat thence over 
the divide to Tygart's valley. To this camp came prospective settlers 
who by 1769 brought their families to the Buckhaunon valley and made 
several settlements which were followed by others at Booth's creek in 
1770 and at Simpson's creek and Hacker's creek in 1772. In 1764 John 
Simpson, a trapper from the South Branch established his cabin op- 
posite the mouth of Elk creek on the site of Clarksburg, around which 
settlers began to locate lands in 1772. 

In 1772, Col. William Lowther and his brother-in-law. Jesse ani 
Elias Hughes, starting from the present site of Clarksburg (to which 
they recently moved from the South Branch) followed the West Fork 
of the Monongahela to its head waters near the present site of Weston 
and crossing the divide followed Sand creek to the Little Kanawha and 
proceeded to name the tributary streams, including the Hughes river. 
Early in 1773 Lowther built below the site of West Milford a cabin 



which was still standing in 1908, and there he lived until Ms death iu 
1N14. Jesse Hughes, who had married Miss Grace Tanner (a sister of 
one of the pioneer settlers of Roane county) settled on Hacker's creek. 

About 1772 or perhaps a year later, Captain James Parsons taking 
his brother, Thomas, with him left Moorefield and passed over the Alle- 
gheny and Backbone mountains to Cheat by the Horse Shoe trail (pass- 
ing near the Fairfax stone) 5 and selected at Horse Shoe some lands for 
which they later obtained patents. Later in crossing back and forth on 

Zachwell Morgan, First Settler at Mobgantown, 1767 

their fine horses while locating and surveying their lands they stra- 
tegically reversed the shoes on their horses in order to elude any strag- 
gling bands of Indians who might be tempted to steal a horse to ride. 

o This route was first discovered about 1762-63 by James Parsons iu finding 
his way eastward across western Virginia from the region beyond the Ohio to 
which the Indians had carried him after capturing him at his home near Moore- 
field. It was also used about the same time by the two Pringle brothers who after 
desertion from Fort Pitt in 1761 had found their way via Geneva, Pennsylvania, to 
the Glades of Preston county (near Aurora) and later (feeling insecure from the 
visits of an increasing number of hunters from the South Branch) pushed farther 
toward the interior (to the Buckhannon river) in company with a straggler named 
Simpson who passed on to establish his cabin at the site of the future town of 


hi 1774 a colony from Moorefield led by John Miiiear buill a fori on 
the Horse Shoe and cleared some land. In 1 770 Minear removed to 
St. George where he built a mill. Jn that year he carried on pack horses 
across the mountains the irons for the saw-mill. These families were 
long prominent in the history of the region which later became Tucker 
count} 7 . 

By 1766 pioneer settlers reached the middle Monongahela region 
now included in Monongalia county. In 1767 the first permanent settle- 
ment at Morgantown was made by Zachwell Morgan and others and from 
this point David Morgan emigrated up the river to lands now included 
in the bounds of Marion county, in which several settlements were made 
by 1772. About the same time settlements were made at various points 
in the territory now included in Preston county ; in 1769 on the waters 
of Big Sandy near the sites of Clifton Mills and Bruceton, in 1770 on 
the Sandy creek Glades and east of Cheat (the Walls settlement) and 
in 1770-73 at Dunkard Bottom by hunters from the South Branch who 
led the way for permanent Virginia settlers. 

The earliest known settlement of Wheeling was made in 1769 by 
Col. Ebenezer Zane and two brothers,!' who leaving the South Branch 
near the present site of Moorefield, followed the trail frequented by 
Indians and traders from Cumberland to Redstone fort, the present 
site of Brownsville, Pennsylvania, and there^' learning— trf-a - beautiful 
and fertile country bordering the waters of the Ohio/ crossed the inter- 
vening country to the head-waters of the stream now known as Wheel- 
ing creek, and travelled along its banks to its confluence with the Ohio. 
Here they marked out a claim on the island in three divisions including 
nearly all of the present site of Wheeling and built a rude cabin. 6 lu 
the following spring Colonel Zane brought his family from the South 

(; It was in December, 1767, that Col. Zane, "who was the first to explore the 
country from the South Branch of the Potomac, through the Allegheny glades, to 
the Ohio Biver, set out on an expedition, thither to make a location. He was 
accompanied on that excursion by Isaac Williams, two men named Bobinson, and 
some others; but setting off rather late in the season, and the weather being very 
severe, they were compelled to return without having penetrated to the Ohio river. 
While crossing the glades they were overtaken by a violent snow storm. This is 
always a cold and stormy region but at this time the snow fell to an unusual 
depth, and put a stop to their further progress. It was followed by intensely cold 
weather, which, with the great depth of snow, disabled them from supplying the 
necessities of their camp by hunting, and they were compelled to subsist upon 
the peltries of the animals killed in the early part of their journey. Before they 
were able to retrace their steps homeward, they were much reduced in health and 
spirits. On the way home, such was the extremity of the cold, that one of the 
Robinsons died of its effects, Williams was much frost-bitten, and the whole party 
suffered exceedingly." 

The succeeding spring, 1768, Col. Zane finally left his home on the South 
Branch, with his family and household goods, accompanied by two younger brothers, 
some negro slaves and other laborers, to found a new home somewhere in these 
Western wilds. Taking the trail of the Indian traders from Ft. Cumberland, his 
journey brought him to the waters of the Monongahela, at Bedstone Old Fort, 
now Brownsville, Pa. Here he remained a year, but not liking the country, nor 
the quality of the land in that vicinity, he concluded to make a wider excursion 
in search of a more eligible location. Leaving his family at Bedstone he pushed 
forward through an unbroken wilderness, in company with his brothers Jonathan 
and Silas, carrying a pack of meal, which together with the game their guns and 
dogs could provide, furnished their meals of subsistence. After many days' journey 
they struck the waters of Wheeling Creek. He was accustomed in after years to 
describe the impression of this scene as like a vision of Paradise. 

They succeeded in ferrying themselves to the other side. Here, on instituting 
an examination, they were surprised to find an island, where they had expected to 
find a large and compact body of land connected with and forming part of the 
western shore. Staking out their claim on it and returning to the eastern side they 
marked out other claims to the choicest land, and set about such "improvements" 
as would confirm the title until the regular state patent could be obtained. When a 
rude cabin had been built, sufficient clearing made, and all the preparations made 
for future occupancy, it was determined to leave Silas Zane in charge of their 
interests while the others returned to Bedstone for the family, household goods, 
horses and cattle, with which they were to begin a new life in the wilderness. 
Thus, in September, 1769, was laid the foundation of what is now the large, populous 
and prosperous city of Wheeling. 


Branch via Redstone fort from which they floated down the Monongahela 
and the Ohio in canoes and pirogues. With him came Isaac Williams 
and domestic servants and laborers who had charge of the live stock. 
In 1770 other families from the South Branch joined the settlement 
including Col. David Shepherd, John Wetzel and the McCullochs. Con- 
stantly recurring warfare with the Indians checked the growth of the 
settlement, which in 1782 consisted of a fort and a few log cabins sur- 
rounding it. Its early history was made up of almost continuous strug- 
gles against the efforts of the savages to destroy it. 

These settlements augmented by new arrivals in 1774 constituted 
an advance guard through which the Indians must penetrate to reach 
the interior in which new accessions were arriving from Maryland, 
Pennsylvania, and Virginia. By their position they also became a ren- 

Old Morgan Homestead, Front St. 
Built 1774. Morgantown, W. Va. 

dezvous for pioneer speculators who were engaged in entering lauds on 
the borders of Kentucky and Ohio. In 1774 protection against hostile 
Indians was provided by the construction of Port Fincastle which at the 
formation of Ohio county in 1776 was changed to Port Henry in honor 
of the new governor of Virginia. 

South of Wheeling, a settlement begun at Grave creek in 1770, re- 
ceived new accessions in 1772. 

Northward, in the territory included in Brooke a few settlers ar- 
rived in 1772, followed by others in 1774. Farther south, around the 
mouth of the Little Kanawha, many tomahawk rights were marked and 
several settlements begun between 1772 and 1776. The number of settle- 
ments in that vicinity was much increased in 1774 and 1775. 

While the Monongahela and Ohio settlements rapidly increased, 
the boundary between Virginia and Pennsylvania was still unsettled. 
Beyond the western line of Maryland, where Virginia's and Pennsyl- 
vania's possessions came in contact, a bitter dispute arose, almost 
leading to open hostilities between the people of the two states. Virginia 
wanted Pittsburgh, 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 in 
Pennsylvania. The line to thirty-nine degrees, originally claimed by 


Perm as the southern boundary of his grant would have given him a 
large part of the Monongahela region which is now included in West 
Virginia. In September, 1767, the surveyors of the Mason and Dixon 
line, who had been accompanied by an escort of the Six Nations until 
they reached Petersburg, Pennsylvania, continued westward from that 
point alone beyond the western limit of Maryland marking the northern 
boundary of what is now Preston and Monongalia counties. They were 
threatened and finally stopped near Mt. Morris on Dunkard creek, at 
the crossing of the Warrior branch of the Great Catawba war path, by 
the Delawares and Shawnees who claimed to be tenants of the country. 
The survey was not finally completed until seventeen years later. 

In 1773 Governor Dunmore of Virginia sent Dr. John Connolly to 
Fort Pitt to resist occupation by Pennsylvania which had just estab- 
lished courts at Hanna's Town (near Greensburg) with determination 
to exercise jurisdiction over the lower Monongahela valley. He soon 
occupied Fort Pitt, changed the name to Fort Dunmore, and established 
a rival court and rival magistrates precipitating the bitter struggle 
which was stopped only by the Revolution. 

Lord Dunmore 's war was the inevitable culmination of a long series 
of mutual grievances and outrages between the Indians of the Ohio 
valley and the Scotch-Irish and German frontiersmen of western Virginia 
and Pennsylvania who had, with migratory instinct after the close of 
the French and Indian war and the smothering of Pontiac's conspiracy — 
and in spite of the policy of the English government — relentlessly pushed 
westward, converting aboriginal hunting grounds first into their own 
game forests and then into virgin farms. Although the native title to 
lands eastward from the Ohio to the mountains was quieted in 1768 
by the treaty of Fort Stanwix, and reinforced in 1770 by the treaty of 
Lochaber with the southern Indians whose boundary was then fixed at 
the Kentucky river, many of the Indians denied the validity of the 

Year by year the exasperation of the borderers, planted firmly among 
the Alleghenies, grew greater, and the tale of wrongs they had to 
avenge, grew longer. The savages grew continually more hostile, and 
in the fall of 1773 their attacks became so frequent that it was evident 
that a general outbreak was at hand. The Shawnees located on the 
Scioto were the leaders in all these outrages; but the outlaw bands, 
such as the Mingoes and the Clierokees, were as bad, and were joined 
by parties of Wyandottes and Delawares, as well as various Miami and 
Wabash tribes. 

The spring of 1774 opened with everything ripe for an explosion. 
Borderers were anxious for a war. Early in the spring, when the hostile 
Shawnees began their outrages, Lord Dunmore 's lieutenant (Dr. Con- 
nolly), issued an open letter commanding the backwoodsmen to hold 
themselves in readiness to repel an attack by the Indians. All the bor- 
derers instantly prepared for war, and were anxious to find an oppor- 
tunity to fight. Cresap 7 and others near Wheeling regard Connolly's 
letter as a declaration of war. ' ' Cresap 's war ' ' was the result. 

i Most prominent among the leaders of the whites in this Indian warfare was 
Captain Michael Cresap, a Marylander, who removed to the Ohio early in 1774, 
and after establishing himself below the Zane settlement (Wheeling) organized a 
company of pioneers for protection against the Indians. He was appointed by 
Connolly, a captain of the militia of the section in which he resided, and was later 
put in command of Fort Fincastle. He was a fearless and persistent Indian 
fighter, and just the one to lead retaliatory parties across the Ohio into the 
red men's country. As soon as Cresap 'a band received Connolly's letter they pro- 
ceeded to declare war in regular Indian style, calling a council, planting the war 
post, etc. "What is sometimes known as " Cresap 's war" ensued. Several Indians 
while descending the Ohio in their canoes were killed by Cresap 's company. Other 
Indians were shot within the Ohio border by intruding and exasperated whites. 
When Logan, chief of the Mingos, established a camp near the mouth of Yellow 
creek, about forty miles above Wheeling, it was regarded as a hostile demonstration. 
Cresap and his party, at first proposed to attack, but finally decided otherwise. 

Logan's people, however, did not escape. Opposite the mouth of Yellow creek 


Border warfare was precipitated by an attack on Indians at the 
mouth of Captina creek and a general fight of Indians and whites at. 
a rum dispensary opposite the mouth of Yellow creek — resulting in 
the death of almost all the members of Chief Logan's family. Lord 
Duumore, although he acted with discretion, was ambitious for glory 
and properly thought that a war against the Indians would prove a 
political measure to distract attention from the growing difficulties 
between the mother country and the colonies. 

Later, when the Indians rose to avenge the murder of Logan's fam- 
ily in "Cresap's war," Dunmore himself prepared for the attack. 
Apprized by messengers from Cresap and Connolly that the frontier 
settlers were alarmed at the situation he promptly sent a defensive and 
punitive force of upper Potomac settlers (about 400 in number) under 
Major Angus MeDonald s who hastened to Wheeling, erected Port 
Fincastle, and after descending the Ohio in canoes and boats to the 
mouth of Captina creek invaded the Shawnee country and destroyed 
their towns and cornfields as far as Wappatomica (on the Muskingum) 
near the site of Coshocton. 

The little army suffered many hardships, and encountered many 
perils. At times their only sustenance consisted of weeds and one ear 
of corn a day. The soldiers returned in a few weeks without serious 
loss. This forceful invasion of the Indian country was sufficient declara- 
tion of war, and produced a general combination of the various Indian 
tribes northwest of the Ohio. 

Soon thereat ter Dunmore raised an army of two wings or divisions 9 
each 1,500 strong, one to advance under Dunmore over a northern route 
via Fort Pitt and to descend the Ohio to the mouth of the Kanawha 
to meet the other, an army composed of backwoodsmen under Gen. 
Andrew Lewis, which was instructed to rendezvous at Port Union and 
march down the Kanawha. 

The backwoodsmen of the Alleghenies felt that the quarrel was their 
own and were eager to fight. They were not uniformed save that they 
all wore the garb of the frontier hunter ; most of them were armed with 
good rifles and all were skillful woodsmen, and although they were 
utterly undisciplined they were magnificent individual fighters. 

On September 8th with 1,110 men Lewis advanced on a fatiguing 
inarch, making his road as he went, from Camp Union, guided by Capt. 
Mathew A rbuck le (an experienced frontiersman) along the trail via 
Muddy en-el-, Keeny's Knob, Rich creek, Gauley, Twenty Mile, Bell 

<m the Virginia side of the Ohio resided the unscrupulous Daniel GTeathouse, and 
fellow frontiersmen. They kept a carousing resort, known as Baker's Bottom, 
where the Indians were supplied with rum, at Baker's cabin. On the last day of 
April, a party of nine Indians from Logan 's camp, on the invitation of Greathouse, 
visited Baker 's place and while plied with liquor were set upon and massacred. 
The nine included a brother and sister of Logan, the latter being the reputed 
squaw of John Gibson. Michael Cresap was not present and had nothing to do 
with the deed, but Logan evidently believed him to be the guilty party. Vengeance 
and retaliation were resorted to equally by both sides. 

8 The decision to send this force was probably in part the result of the 
action of Indians in preventing McDonald from completing a survey of some lands. 
The royal authority had promised the Virginian troops a bounty in these western 
lands as reward for their services in the French. and Indian war. A section had 
been allowed them by royal proclamation on the Ohio and Kanawha rivers. When 
in the spring of 1774 McDonald and party proceeded to survey these lands they 
were driven off by the Indians. 

s In August the governor began his preparations and the plan for the campaign 
agreed upon. An army for offensive operations was called for. Dunmore directed 
this army should consist of volunteers and militiamen, chiefly from the countries 
west of the Blue Eidge. The northern division, comprehending the troops col- 
lected in Frederick, Dunmore (now Shenandoah), and adjacent counties, was to be 
commanded by Lord Dunmore in person; the southern division comprising the dif- 
ferent companies raised in Botetourt, Augusta and adjoining counties east of the 
Blue Ridge, was to be led by General Lewis. The two armies were to proceed 
by different routes, unite at the mouth of the Big Kanawha, and from thence cross 
the Ohio and penetrate the northwest country, defeat the red men and destroy all 
the Indian towns they could reach. 


creek and Kelley's creek to the Kanawha (September 21) which was 
followed to its mouth (some in canoes and some by trail). 

It was a distance of one hundred and sixty miles from Camp Union 
to their destination at the mouth of the Kanawha. The regiments passed 
through a trackless forest so rugged and mountainous as to render their 
progress extremely tedious and laborious. They marched in long files 
through "the deep and gloomy wood" with scouts or spies thrown oul 
in front and on the flanks, while axmen went in advance to clear a 
trail over which they would drive the beef cattle, and the pack-horses, 
laden with provisions, blankets and ammunition. They struck out 
straight through the dense wilderness, making their road as they went. 
On September 21st they reached the Kanawha at the mouth of Elk 
.creek (present site of Charleston). Here they halted and built dug- 
out canoes for baggage transportation upon the river. A portion of the 
army proceeded down the Kanawha, while the other section marched 
along the Indian trail, which followed the base of the hills, instead 
of the river bank, as it was thus easier to cross the heads of the creeks 
and ravines. Their long and weary tramp was ended October fi, when 
they camped on the high triangular point of land jutting out on the 
north side of the Kanawha river where it empties into the Ohio. 

At his camp, at Point Pleasant, General Lewis anxiously awaited 
Dunmore, whom he expected to join him, but who meantime had de- 
cided to march direct to the Scioto to a point not far from the Indian 
town of Chillicothe near the Pickaway plains. 

While the backwoods general was mustering his "unruly and turbu- 
lent host of skilled riflemen" the Earl of Dunmore had led his own 
levies, some fifteen hundred strong, through the mountains at the Poto- 
mac Gap to Port Pitt. Here he changed his plans and decided not to 
attempt uniting with Lewis at Point Pleasant. Taking as scouts George 
Rogers Clark, Michael Cresap, Simon Kenton and Simon Girty, he 
descended the Ohio river with a flotilla of a hundred canoes, besides 
keel boats and pirogues, to the mouth of the Hockhocking, where he 
built and garrisoned a small stockade, naming it Fort Gower. Thence 
he proceeded up the Hockhocking to the falls, moved overland to the 
Scioto, finally halting on the north bank of the Sippo creek four miles 
from its mouth to the Scioto, and about the same distance east of Old 
Chillicothe, now Westfall, Pickaway county. He entrenched himself in a 
fortified camp, with breastworks of fallen trees, so constructed as to 
embrace about twelve acres of ground. 

Finally on October 9th General Lewis received through messenger 
(Simon Girty and others) Dunmore 's orders to cross the Ohio to meet 
him before the Indian towns near the Pickaway plains. Although deeply 
displeased at this change in the campaign, he arranged to break camp 
fhat he might set out the next morning in accordance with his superior's 
orders. He had with him about eleven hundred men. His plans, how- 
ever, were rudely forestalled. 

During the night Chief Cornstalk — who, after an unsuccessful at- 
tempt to prevent the war, was now determined to bring it to a successful 
issue, and who, seeing his foes divided, had determined to strike first 
the division that would least expect the blow — ferried across the Ohio on 
improvised rafts a few miles above Lewis' camp his 1,000 braves, picked 
warriors from between the Ohio and the Great Lakes. Before daylight 
the alarm was given in the camp and the drums beat to arms. General 
Lewis, thinking he had only a scouting party to meet, ordered out 
Col. Charles Lewis and Colonel Fleming each with 150 men. Later, when 
the ringing sound of the rifles announced that the attack was serious, 
Colonel Field was at once dispatched to the front with 200 men just 
in time to sustain the line which, with the wounding of Lewis and Flem- 
ing, had given way except in a few places. He renewed the attack, 
which after his death was continued by Capt. Evan Shelby. The fight 
was a succession of single combats. The hostile lines although over 
a mile in length were never more than twenty yards apart. Through- 

The Point Pleasant Battle Monument 


out the action the whites opposite Cornstalk could hear him cheering 
his braves to be strong. Shortly after noon the Indians began to fall 
back and by one o'clock the action had ceased except the skirmishing 
which continued until sunset. Although the Indians had reached a 
position rendered strong by underbrush, many fallen logs and steep 
banks, under cover of the darkness they slipped away and made a skill- 
ful retreat. The whites, though the victors, had suffered more than 
their foes and had won the battle only because it was against the entire 
policy of Indian warfare to suffer a severe loss, even if a victory could 
be saved thereby. 

The battle of Point Pleasant was distinctly an American victory, 
fought solely by the backwoodsmen, and as purely a soldiers' battle in 
which there was no display of generalship except on Cornstalk's part. 
It was the most closely contested of any battle fought with the north- 
western Indians and the only victory gained over a large body of them 
with a force but slightly superior in numbers. Although to call it "the 
first battle of the American Revolution" would be inaccurate, it was of 
the greatest advantage to the American cause in the struggle for inde- 
pendence: for it kept the northwestern Indians quiet for the first two 
years of the Revolutionary struggle. It was almost equivalent to the 
winning of the Northwest : for if it had not been possible to occupy that 
region during the early years of the Revolution, it is not improbable that 
the treaty of 1783 might have fixed the western boundary of the United 
States at the Alleghenies. It opened an ever-lengthening pathway to 
western settlement. "Thenceforward new vigor was infused into the 
two chief forces of the country — American expansion and American 

Lewis, leaving his sick and wounded in the camp at the Point, and 
reinforced by the arrival of the Pincastle men under Colonel Christian 
who reached the ground at midnight after the battle, crossed the Ohio 
with a thousand men and pushed on to the Pickaway plains. When 
but a few miles from Lord Dunmore's encampment he heard that ne- 
gotiations for a treaty of peace with the Indians were in progress. His 
backwoodsmen, however, flushed with their success and eager for more 
bloodshed were with difficulty restrained; but although grumbling 
against the earl for sending them back they were finally induced to 
march homeward a'fter the treaty at Camp Charlotte. 

Lord Dunmore's war was a focal point in western history. In it 
fought the daring frontiersmen who had carried American institutions 
across the Appalachian barrier, and who later became the rear guard 
of the Revolution. 

A plan to found a new province in the Ohio valley, first urged by 
Dinwiddie as early as 1756, assumed definite shape in 1771 when Thomas 
Walpole, Benjamin Franklin and others submitted to the king a peti- 
tion for a grant of land including the larger part (forty counties) of 
the territory now included in West Virginia and the eastern part of 
Kentucky which they proposed to form into a colony under the name 
of Vandalia, the capital of which they proposed to locate at the mouth 
of the Great Kanawha (now Point Pleasant). The king favored this 
project to organize the sparsely settled Virginia hinterland into a four- 
teenth colony with a government more dependent upon the crown than 
those of the older thirteen, but in 1775 the execution of the draft of the 
royal grant was postponed to await the cessation of hostilities which 
finally closed only with the complete loss of English jurisdiction between 
the Atlantic and the Mississippi. 


The history of western Virginia in the Revolution was largely a 
history of relations with the Indians upon the frontier. 

On the eve of the Revolution, in 177;"), Lord Dunmore, among his 
last acts as governor of Virginia, ordered the abandonment of Fort 
Dunmore at the mouth of the Monongahela and Fort Blair at Point 
Pleasant — forts which he had established in 1774, partly to aid certain 
land transactions in the West and partly to impress the Indians with 
a sense of Virginia's power. The Virginian patriots promptly seized the 
fort at Pittsburgh following the news of Dunmore 's order; but no 
patriot force was at hand to occupy Fort Blair after the commandant 
evacuated it and removed the cattle and stores across the mountains by 
way of the Big Sandy, and the fort was burned by the Indians. Fort 
Fincastle, which had been constructed at Wheeling in June, 1774, had 
no garrison. 

The frontiersmen of northwestern Virginia and western Pennsylvania 
took prompt measures to counteract British influence with the Indians. 
In May, 177."), they met at Pittsburgh in a convention which formed a 
committee of safety and sent a petition to the Continental Congress 
concerning the fear of an Indian attack. A conference with the Indians, 
previously called by Dunmore, was arranged for September of 1775 
and delegates to attend were appointed by Virginia and Pennsylvania 
and by Congress. James Wood was sent by Virginia to confer with the 
Indians and to invite them to attend for the purpose of making a treaty. 
Representatives from the Ottawas (from near Detroit), Wyandots, 
Shawnees, Mingoes, Delawares and Senecas, appeared. Among them 
was Cornstalk who had led the Shawnees at Point Pleasant. The 
treaty of peace which was there concluded was regarded as especially 
important to western Virginia. Possibly it prevented a general Indian 
war on the frontier during the Revolution. At least it secured a pledge 
of neutrality which was kept for two years, thus permitting western 
Virginians to cross the mountains to join the Revolutionary forces in 
the East, and enabling the frontier to establish itself more firmly against 
later attacks which might otherwise have thrust it back again to the 
eastern base of the Alleghenies. Thus it helped to determine the bound 
aries of the treaty of 1783 and the destiny of the trans- Allegheny 

Forts and places of shelter were erected in many places as a pre- 
cautionary measure against sudden attack. 

At the beginning of the Revolution, the following forts were already 
in use : 

Along tin- Ohio: 

Fort Wells, built in 177:: on tin' dividing ridge between the waters of 

Cross creek and Harmon's creek, in Cross creek district, Brooke county; 

Fort Henry, built in 177-1 on what is now Market street. Wheeling; 

Fort Shepherd, built in 1775, at the forks of Wheeling creek in Triadel- 
pliia district, Ohio county; 

foil VanMcter, built in 1774 on the north side of Short rich, Iho miles 
from the Ohio river iii the present Richland district, Ohio county; 

Fort Tomlinson, built in lli7H on the site of the present city of Mooinls 


Fort Flair, built in 1771 on the site ot the present <itv of Point Pleasant 

Ynl. I 6 



Along the Monongahela : 

Fort Martin, built in 1773 on the west side of the Monongahela river on 
Crooked run in Case district, Monongalia county ; 

Port Statler, built about 1770 on Dunkard creek in Clay district, Monon- 
galia county; 

Fort Pierpont, built in 1769 one mile from present village of Easton 
and four miles from present city of Morgantown, in Union district, Monon- 
galia county; 

Fort Morgan, built in 1772 on the site of the present city of Morgan- 

Fort Cobun, built in 1770 near Dorsey's Knob on Cobun creek in Morgan 
district, Monongalia county; 

Fort Stewart, built in 1773 on Stewart's run, two miles from the present 
village of Georgetown in Grant district; 

Fort Prickett, built in 1774 at the mouth of Prickett's creek on the east 
side of the Monongahela river five miles below the present city of Fairmont; 

Fort Powers, built in 1771 on Simpson 's creek in Simpson district, Har- 
rison county, on the present site of Bridgeport; 

Fort Jackson, built in 1774 on Ten Mile creek in Sardis district, Har- 
rison county. 

In the eastern valley of the Monongahela, the following forts were built along 
the Cheat: 

Fort Morris, built in 1774 on Hog run in Grant district, Preston county; 

Fort Butler, built in 1774 at the mouth of Roaring creek, on the east 
side of the Cheat in Portland district, Preston county; 

Fort Westfall, built in 1774 about one quarter of a mile south of the 
present town of Beverly, Randolph county ; 

Fort Currence (also called Fort Cassino), built in 1774 half a mile 
east of the present site of the village of Crickard in Huttonsville district, 
Randolph county. 

Along the Greenbrier branch of the Kanawha-New Valley : 

Fort Donnally, built in 1771 near the present site of Frankfort, ten 

miles north of Lewisburg in Falling Spring district, Greenbrier county; 

Fort Keekley (also known as Fort Day and sometimes as Fort Price), 

built in 1772 on the Little Levels in Academy district, Pocahontas county. 

Along the Great Kanawha: 

Fort Woods, built in 1773 on Rich creek, four miles east of Peterstown 
in Red Sulphur Springs district, Monroe county; 

Fort Culbertson (sometimes called Fort Byrd, Fort Field or Culbertson 's 
Bottom Fort), built in 1774 in Crump's Bottom on New River in Pipestem 
district, Summers county; 

Fort Morris, built in 1774 on the south bank of the Kanawha, opposite 
the mouth of Campbell 's creek, Loudon district, Kanawha county. 

The following additional forts were erected and in use during the 
period of the Revolution : 

Along the Ohio: 

Fort Chapman, built near the site of New Cumberland in Hancock 

Fort Holliday, built in 1776 on the present site of Holliday's Cove, 
Butler district, Hancock county; 

Fort Edgington built near the mouth of Harmon's creek nearly oppo- 
site Steubenville, in Cross creek district, Brooke county; 

Fort Rice, built on Buffalo creek near the present site of Bethany 
college in Buffalo district, Brooke county; 

Fort Beech Bottom, built on the east bank of the Ohio, twelve miles 
above "Wheeling, in Buffalo district, Brooke county; 

Fort Liberty, built on the site of the present town of West Liberty, 
Ohio county; 

Fort Bowling, built above Wheeling in the panhandle; 

Fort Link, built in 1780 in Middle Wheeling district, near the present 
town of Triadelphia, Ohio county; 

Fort Wetzel, built on Wheeling creek in Sandhill district, Marshall 
county ; 

Fort Clark, built on Pleasant Hill in Union district, Marshall county; 

Fort Beeler, built in 1779 by Colonel Joseph Beeler on the site of the 
present town of Cameron; 

Fort Martin, built near the mouth of Fishing Creek in Franklin district, 
Marshall county; 

Fort Baker fknown as Baker's Station or Fort Cresap), built in 1782 
at the head of Cresap 's Bottom in Meade district, Marshall county ; 

Fort Randolph, built early in 1776 on the old site of Fort Blair which 
the Indians had burned after its abandonment by the British garrison. 


Along the Monongahela: 

Port Baldwin (the most western fort of white men in the county), 
built on the site of Blacksville in Clay district, Monongalia county; 

Fort Dinwiddie (also called Rogers' Port), built on the site of the 
present village of Stewartstown, Union district, Monongalia county; 

Port Harrison, built on the west side of the Monongahela river at the 
source of Crooked run, Case district, Monongalia county; 

Port Burris, built on the "Platts" on the east side of the Mononga- 
hela river in Morgan district, Monongalia county; 

Port Kerns, built on the west side of the Monongahela river opposite 
the mouth of Decker's creek in Morgan district; 

Port Pawpaw, built in Pawpaw creek in Pawpaw district, Marion county; 

Port Edwards, built five miles south of Boothsville in Booth creek district, 
Taylor county ; 

Fort Harbert, built on Tenmile creek in Harrison county; 

Port Coon, built on the West Fork river in Harrison county; 

Port Richards, built on the west bank of the West Pork river in Union 
district, Harrison county; 

Port Nutter, built on the east bank of Elk creek, on the present site of 
the city of Clarksburg; 

Fort West, built on Hacker's creek in Hacker's district, Lewis county 
(within the present corporate limits of Jane Lew) ; 

Port Buckhannon, built near the present town of Buckhannon; 

Fort Bush, built a little above the mouth of Turkey run in Upshur 

Along the Cheat: 

Fort Minear, built in 1776 on the east side of Cheat on the site of the 
present town of St. George in Tucker county; 

Port Wilson, built two miles south of Elkins on the east side of the 
Tygart's Valley river in Randolph county; 

Fort Friend, built at Maxwell's Ferry on Leading creek in Randolph 

Fort Hadden, built at the mouth of Elkwater creek in Huttonsville 
district, Randolph county; 

Fort Warwick, built in Huttonsville district, Randolph county. 

Along the Greenbrier branch: 

Fort Arbuckle, built by Captain Mathew Arbuckle at the mouth of Mill 
creek, four miles from the mouth of Muddy creek in Blue Sulphur district, 
Greenbrier county; 

Fort Savannah, built on the Big Levels on the site of the present town 
of Lewisburg in Greenbrier county; 

Fort Stuart, built four miles southwest of Lewisburg, Greenbrier county. 

Along the Kanawha: 

Fort Cook, built about three miles from the mouth of Indian creek in 
Red Sulphur district, Monroe county: 

Fort Kelly (also known as Kelly's Station), built on the Kanawha, 
twenty miles above Charleston at the mouth of Kelly's Creek, in Cabin creek 
district, Kanawha county. 

In 1776 various preparations for defense were made by the assign- 
ment of militia. 

As early as May, 1776, a company of troops was sent from Pitts- 
burgh to Point Pleasant to garrison Fort Randolph which had been 
built in place of the earlier Port Blair. About the same time Captain 
John Lewis and Samuel Vance had their companies of Augusta militia 
in service at Port "Warwick. Sergeant Aaron Scaggs had command of 
some Montgomery county militia in service on Bluestone river, guard- 
ing Mare's and McGuire's stations. Captain John Henderson had a 
company of Botetourt volunteers guarding tne irontiers. They began 
in May at Cook's Port and ranged the country up New river through 
the present Virginia county of Giles. Companies were kept at this fort 
(which was located in Monroe county, at Indian creek, near Red Sulphur 
Springs) from 1776 to 1780. (In 1777 Captain Archibald Wood was 
in charge of these troops, and in the same year Captain Joseph Cloyd, 
of Montgomery, had troops in that section. In 1780 Captain Gray had 
command. Among the men engaged in this service were William Hutchin- 
son, Phillip Cavender, Nicholas Wood, John Bradshaw, and Francis 
Charlton. Its spies were often at Port Wood, on Rich creek, and pa- 
trolled the county for thirty miles or more, until they met the spies 


from Fort Burnsides. They went at times to the head of Bluestone 
river to guard the settlers there while gathering their erops.) 

Another precautionary measure of 1776 was the sending of Captain 
John McCoy's company to the West Fork of the Monongahela river. 
Men from this company were stationed at Fort West, Lowther's Fort, 
and at Nutter's Fort. 

By the beginning of 1777, the signs of fresh trouble with the In- 
dians appeared in acts of hostility which became more frequent there- 
after. Along the exposed frontier from Kentucky to the head of the 
Ohio, the alarm soon became general. The venerable Cornstalk, find- 
ing that he could not much longer restrain the young warriors of the 
Shawnees from joining in the conflict, went to Fort Randolph at Point 
Pleasant to warn the garrison of the danger. When the commandant 
decided to retain him as a hostage to influence the peace of the Shawnee 
warriors, he was apparently content to remain at the fort with his 
sister and some other Indians. When the military expedition arrived 
in the fall from the Greenbrier and other eastern points with plans for 
an invasion of the Indian country, he willingly furnished information 
in regard to routes and rivers. Unfortunately following the action of 
lurking Indians in killing a soldier who had crossed the river to hunt, 
he (and also his son) was murdered by enraged soldiers at the fort 
(who after the semblance of a trial were acquitted). The fierce Shaw- 
nees, no longer held in check by their former chief, and prompted to 
revenge his murder which had occurred while he was on a friendly 
mission, promptly joined in the war against the Americans. They 
became the foremost in raids, the most tireless in pursuit, and the least 
merciful in the treatment of unfortunate prisoners who fell into their 

Among the new preparations for defense in western Virginia in 
1777 was the despatch of a company from Rockingham county to Ty- 
gart's valley, the despatch of an additional force to Warwick's fort, 
the despatch of a force to garrison a fort on Hackett 's creek, the assign- 
ment of a Greenbrier company to Elk river, later transferred to Point 
Pleasant and the assignment of a Hampshire county company to Fort 
Pitt from whence it was sent by General Hand to the fort at Wheeling. 

The most important event of the year (1777) was the preparation 
for sending an army into the Indian country — especially against De- 
troit. Plans were made for the expedition to start from Point Pleasant, 
from Staunton and other points, especially from Augusta and Rock- 
bridge counties. Several companies of men were marched to Point 
Pleasant. To provide for the wants of the troops a lot of cattle were 
driven to the Point, a company from the fort meeting the cattle at 
the mouth of Elk river. There were about 700 of these volunteers. It 
was while these volunteers were at the fort that Cornstalk, his son, 
Ellinipsco and two Indians called Red Hawk and Petalla were brutally 
murdered by these men. It was while at the Point that the news of 
Burgoyne's surrender was announced to the troops. General Hand 
was late in arriving, and decided to abandon the expedition. He had, 
before announcing that decision, irritated the men greatly by com- 
plaining that they were feasting too high, and by issuing orders to 
shorten the pay and cut down the daily allowance of food. When the 
attempt was made to put this order into effect, nearly every man in 
the fort shouldered his gun, put on his knapsack and started for home. 
Colonel McDowell persuaded General Hand to rescind the order, and the 
men returned. 

In western Virginia there was very little trouble from Tories. After 
the suppression of Dr. John Connolly's plot of 1775, there were two 
cases of threatened or apprehended trouble from the Tories in western 
Virginia during the Revolution. One was in the Monongahela valley, 
where there was very little Tory sentiment. In August, 1777, Colonel 
Thomas Gaddis of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, revealed evi- 


deuce of a conspiracy (perhaps largely rumor) connected with an ap- 
prehended attack upon Pittsburgh by a large expedition from Detroit. 

Gaddis at once warned Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Brown at Red- 
stone Old Port on the Monongahela that the Tories had associated for 
the purpose of cutting off the inhabitants; that Brown must therefore 
keep a strong guard over his powder magazine, which supplied all the 
Virginia counties west of the mountains, and also warn the friends of 
the American cause to be "upon their watch." Colonel Brown acted 
with promptness posting a guard of fifteen men over the magazine, 
which Colonel Gaddis with about 100 men went in pursuit of the loyal- 
ists. But the officer who did most in uncovering and destroying this 
conspiracy was Colonel Zackwell Morgan of Monongalia county, Vir- 
ginia. With 500 men he hastened to "Miner's Fort" in his vicinity, 
whence he wrote (August 29) to Brigadier General Edward Hand at 
Pittsburgh that he had been forced to raise all the men possible, unen- 
listed as well as enlisted to put a stop to what he called "This unnat- 
ural unheard of frantic scene of mischief * * * in the very heart 
of our country." Morgan said that he had already taken numbers who 
confessed to having sworn allegiance to the King, with the understand- 
ing that some of the leading men at Port Pitt were to be "their rulers 
and heads." He declared further that such of his prisoners as had 
made confession agreed that the English, French and Indians would 
descend on Pittsburgh in a few days, when the loyalists were to embody 
themselves and Fort Pitt was to be surrendered with but little opposi- 
tion. Morgan added that he had been astonished at some of the per- 
sons taken into custody, but that he was determined to purge the 
country before disbanding his troops. The conspiracy proved to be 
short lived under the prompt measures taken by Colonels Morgan and 
Gaddis, although some of its leaders remained at Pittsburg until the 
following spring. In the neighboring country it required only a skirmish 
to disperse the loyalists. 

The only life lost as the result of the conspiracy was that of a loyalist 
by the name of Higginson or Hickson. Toward the end of October, 
when Colonel Zackwell Morgan and four associates were returning 
across the Cheat river with this man as their prisoner, Hickson was 
drowned. Morgan was charged with having pushed him out of the 
boat in which the passage of the stream was made, and the coroner's 
inquest found an indictment of murder against the Colonel. In con- 
sequence the militia of Monongalia county was thrown into a state. 
approaching mutiny, and most of the officers resigned. Fortunately, 
the trial, which was held at Williamsburg, resulted in Colonel Morgan's 

The rumored expedition from Detroit proved to be only another 
Indian raid, which was directed not against Fort Pitt but against Port 
Henry at Wheeling. 

The other plot or conspiracy for an uprising was east of the Alle- 
ghenies in the region now included in Hardy, Grant and Pendleton 
counties but part of which was then in Hampshire county. The center 
of the plot was near the site of Petersburg in Grant county. A number 
who were implicated in the conspiracy lived twenty miles above at 
Upper Tract and others on the Moorefield river near the base of the 
Shenandoah mountains. Their purpose was first shown by their refus- 
ing to pay their taxes or to contribute to Hampshire's quota of men 
for the army. When Colonel Van Meter was sent from Oldsfields witli 
thirty militiamen to enforce the payment of taxes, fifty Tories armed 
themselves and assembling themselves at the house of a German, named 
John Brake, declared that they would resist the demands by force. 
Van Meter, finding that their strength was greater than he had an- 
ticipated, thought best not to attack at that time. After attempting to 
convince them by arguments that they were in the wrong, he returned 
to Romney, leaving them still in arms and defiant. The Tories, regard- 
ing themselves as victorious became more insolent. They organized 


a company, elected John Claypole as their captain and prepared to 
march away to join the British along the eastern coast as soon as the 
opportunity might present itself. Their self-confidence and defiance 
resulted in their ruin. General Daniel Morgan of the Continental army 
learned of their organization while he was in Frederick county, about 
sixty miles distant. Collecting 400 militia, he advanced against, them 
and without attempting to open any parley or argument, as Van Meter 
had done, he pressed them closely and completely conquered them, shoot- 
ing several and accepting the surrender of Claypole and Brake. Many 
of those who had been so defiant made amends by joining the American 
army and by fighting until the end of the war. 

The period of military operations in western Virginia during the 
Revolution extended from September, 1777, to September, 1782. Dur- 
ing this period there were three main invasions by hostile forces of 
Indians commanded by white men, and other smaller invasions. The 
three main invasions were the attacks against Fort Henry at Wheeling 
in 1777, the attack against Fort Randolph and the extended invasion 
up the Kanawha to the Greenbrier in 1778 and another attack against 
Wheeling in 1782. The smaller invasions consisted of numerous trouble- 
some raids and pillaging expeditions of Indians against various points 
between the Greenbrier and the Pennsylvania line. In 1778 the region 
along the Monongahela was invaded three times. In 1779 it was in- 
vaded again. In 1780, Greenbrier was invaded and raids were also 
extended eastward to the region now included in Randolph county and 
to the Cheat river and the base of the Alleghenies within the present 
limits of Tucker county. A large step toward reducing the danger of 
these invasions was the Virginia expedition of General George Rogers 
Clarke in 1779 against the British post at Vincennes. 

The attack on Fort Henry (earlier known as Fort Fincastle) at 
Wheeling in September, 1777, was a determined one but fortunately 
was unsuccessful. The fort, although a strong one with high walls, had 
no cannon except a wooden dummy erected to scare the Indians who, 
however, were quick in discovering the sham. It was under the com- 
mand of Col. David Shepherd. The plan of defense was simply to pre- 
vent the enemy from breaking through the gate or from starting a fire. 
The attack by over 300 Indians led by a white man, Simon Girty, was 
begun by an ambuscade and a pretended retreat which enticed into a 
trap two squads of men — a pursuing force of fourteen men — leaving in 
the fort, besides women and children, only about a dozen men (not 
soldiers) to resist the attack. Following a demand for surrender and 
an attempt at argument which was cut short by a shot from the fort, 
the assault began with a series of determined but unsuccessful rushes 
against the gate and the stockade posts. After the failure of these 
rushes in which logs and stones were used as battering rams, attempts 
were made to fire the fort until the fire from the port-holes drove the 
enemy from the walls. The attack was then renewed at a safer dis- 
tance, by riflemen who wasted large quantities of powder in unsuccess- 
ful efforts to hit the defenders by shooting through the portholes. After 
two days the attacking force amused themselves by burning all the 
cabins and barns of the neighborhood and by a barbecue of the cattle 
of the neighborhood. While the enemy feasted, the fort was reinforced 
by the arrival of Colonel Andrew Swearingen with fourteen men; and 
soon thereafter it received an additional forty men, commanded by 
Major Samuel McCulloch, who following a sharp encounter with the 
Indians escaped capture by the famous leap on horseback down the 
precipitous bluff east of Wheeling. The Indians, discouraged by their 
failure J to capture the fort, and by their heavy losses, departed — prob- 
ably with the determination to return later. 

1 The success of the defense of the fort against the Indians was probably in 
part due to a supply of powder which had been obtained from New Orleans. In 
1776 two men named Gibson and Linn descended the Ohio and Mississippi, from 
Pitts to New Orleans, and brought back a cargo of 135 kegs of gunpowder, pro- 


Following the attack upon Fort Henry the Indians laid an ambus- 
cade at Grave Creek Narrows, a short distance below Wheeling, and 
killed twenty men who had been sent under the leadership of Captain 
William Foreman, of Hampshire county, to assist in defending the 
settlements along the Ohio. 

In 1778 the Indians visited nearly all settlements west of the moun- 
tains, even making raids to the base of the Alleghenies. The most im- 
portant operation of the year was the Shawnee siege of Fort Randolph 
at Point Pleasant to avenge the death of Cornstalk, and the attack on 
Donnally's Fort in Greenbrier county. At Fort Randolph 200 Indians 
approached the place and set an ambuscade as they had done at Wheel- 
ing. When the soldiers at the fort, suspecting the trick, refrained 
from leaving the fort to fight, the savages threw off all disguises and 
openly came forward in battle line. After one week of unsuccessful 
attempt to carry the besieged fort by storm they abandoned the siege 
and moved up the Kanawha in the direction of Greenbrier with the 
expectation of finding a weaker fort. 

The Commandant at Fort Randolph apprehended the danger which 
threatened the Greenbrier country 160 miles distant, and called for 
volunteers to pass the Indian army in order to warn the settlers. Two 
soldiers volunteered to carry the news of danger. They were dressed 
like Indians and painted black by Cornstalk's sister who had continued 
to remain at the fort after the death of her brother. Succeeding in 
passing the Indians on Meadow River they gave the warning on Green- 
brier in time to enable the settlers to escape to places of safety. Twenty 
men with their families took shelter at Donnally's Fort near the site 
of Frankfort and about a hundred families retired to Lewisburg. At 
Donnally's Fort, which was the first one attacked, preparations were 
made for the expected siege. The Indians arrived at night but delayed 
the attack until morning. Failing in their rush upon the door they at- 
tempted to enter by raising the floor from beneath and by climbing the 
walls to the roof above. The men upstairs sprang from their beds and 
poured into the invaders such a severe fire that they beat a hasty re- 
treat, leaving seventeen dead in the yard and contenting themselves 
thereafter with firing at a safe distance. 

Meantime the settlers at the Lewisburg Fort learned from their 
scouts that the fight was in progress at Donnally's and quickly sent 
sixty-six men to the relief of the besieged fort. Upon the approach 
of this relief the Indians fled and never troubled Greenbrier again. 

Later in the war, in 1782, the Indians made one raid across the 
Alleghenies. Led by an Englishman named Timothy Dorman, they 
burned the fort on Buckhannon river, crossed into Randolph county 
and, proceeding over the Seneca trail, reached the head of Seneca creek 
in Pendleton county but were promptly driven westward by the settlers. 

A large factor in reducing the danger on the frontier was the ex- 
pedition of George Rogers Clarke, consisting largely of Virginians, which, 
in 1779, carried the war into the Indian country. This expedition, 
after penetrating as far as the Mississippi river in the Illinois country, 
marched eastward to Vincennes in the dead of winter, surprised and 
captured the place, liberated 100 white prisoners, seized valuable mili- 
tary stores and sent as a prisoner to Richmond the commander of the 
fort, Governor Hamilton, who had hoped to conquer western Virginia 
and to capture the key to the West at Pittsburgh. This victory, which 
gave the United States a basis for claiming the Mississippi as a west- 
ern boundary, dampened the ardor of the Indians and made war no 
longer an amusement for them. 

cured from the Spanish authorities and intended for the use of the Continental 
army. Altho they probably used canoes or bateaux instead of flat-boats, it is 
stated, that when they reached the falls of the Ohio, in the spring of 1777, they 
were obliged to unload their boats and carry their cargo around the falls. The 
success of their trip gave an impetus to the flat-boat trade, which rapidly increased 
in magnitude, and which, except during temporary suspension arising from Spanish 
hostility continued for many years. 


In ITS! another expedition was sent againsl the Indians. II was 
organized under the command of General Brodhead, consisting of 
about •'!()() men, crossed the Ohio at. Wheeling, attacked the Delaware 
Indians in Ohio and destroyed several of their towns. In the latter 
part of the Revolution additional attacks were planned against Wheel- 
ing. An attack planned in 1781 was abandoned for some reason. A 
contemplated attack in the summer of 1782 was thwarted. About 300 
Indians accompanied by Simon Girty and commanded by a British of- 
ficer named Caldwell moved toward Wheeling but suddenly dispersed 
to defend their homes, after hearing a false report that General Clarke 
was invading their country. 

The last siege of Fort Henry occurred in September, 1782, and has 
sometimes been regarded as the last battle of the Revolutionary. The 
attack was made by forty irregular British soldiers and 230 Indians 
under the command of Captain Bradt, who apparently did not regard 
the surrender of Cornwallis as the end of the war. The attack was so 
sudden that there was barely time for the people to repair to the fort 
after they had received warning from the commandant. The enemy 
began by the demand of an immediate surrender, which was refused. 
Having learned by experience that rushes against the stockade walls 
were not likely to be successful, the enemy remained beyond rifle range 
until dark. During this delay the garrison was fortunate in receiving 
small reinforcements from the captain and crew of a boat from Pitts- 
burgh which was loaded with cannon balls for the garrison at Lewis- 

During the night the savages tried more than a score of times to 
set tire to the fort by firing hemp placed against the palisades, but 
fortunately the hemp was too damp to burn. They next tried to break 
in the gate by assaults with logs but were unsuccessful. They then 
decided to burn the cabin of Colonel Zane (located near the fort), from 
which they had been annoyed during the attack by shots fired by 
Colonel Zane and his family, but again their attempt failed. 

The story of Elizabeth Zane's bravery in this connection is well 
known. Ebenezer Zane's cabin stood very near to the fort. He con- 
sidered it near enough to be successfully defended and he was anxious 
to hold it, as it was believed that the enemy would burn all the houses 
in their power as they had done in 1777. Two white men and a negro 
remained in the cabin with Zane. While the attack was delayed, the 
discovery was made that a keg of powder which was needed in the fort 
had been left in Zane's cabin. To get it while scores of Indians were 
within shooting distance was extremely perilous, but several volunteers 
offered themselves for the service. Among them was Elizabeth, daugh- 
ter of Ebenezer Zane, and upon her insistence she was sent for the 
powder. As she ran from the fort across the open space to the cabin, 
the Indians saw her but refrained from firing, simply exclaiming con- 
temptuously, "A squaw." But when she emerged from the cabin door 
a few minutes later with the powder in a tablecloth that had been tied 
around her waist by her father, the purpose of her mission was suspected 
and bullets struck all about her as she ran, but she fortunately escaped 
harm and safely entered the fort. 

Finally the Indians jeered at what they supposed was a wooden 
cannon (but what was a real cannon) mounted on one of the bastions 
where they could easily see it. Doubting the genuineness of the cannon 
they challenged the garrison to fire it. Then, taking possession of an 
empty cabin near the fort, they proceeded to make night hideous with 
their leaps and yells. Suddenly in the midst of their howls their revelry 
was stopped by a cannon ball which broke a joist and precipitated the 
entire howling crowd to the floor below. Instigated by the repeated 
firing of the cannon thereafter they decided to make a cannon of their 
own for reply. Improvising a siege gun from a hollow log, wrapping 
it with chains from a neighboring blacksmith's shop, and loading it 
with cannon balls taken from the boat at the river's edge, they adroitly 


aimed i1 a1 the gate of the fori and applied fire to the powder. Dis 
eouraged by the resull of the explosion which left some of them wounded 
by splinters and did no harm to the fort, they retired and unsuccess- 
fully turned their attention to Rice's fort in the vicinity. 

The following traditional story of the end of the siege is interest- 
ing. "Girty, finding that all his efforts to reduce the works proved 
abortive, discontinued his fire, again summoned the commandant to 
surrender, promising him at the same time that if they complied with 
the conditions of the proclamation of the English governor, Hamilton. 
of Detroit, and laid down their arms, the lives of all should be spared. 
This offer the Virginians peremptorily rejected. While the negotiations 
between Zane and Girty were in progress, the restless warriors, some 
of whom had seen French artillery in Canada, found a hard, hollow 
maple log and resolved to convert it into a siege gun with which to 
batter down the gate of the fort. One end was tightly plugged, and 
then they went into the smithshop, which stood near the fort, and 
secured a number of log chains and traces which they wrapped around 
their cannon to add to its strength. Then a touch-hole was made and 
they dragged the gun to the high hill in the rear of the fort, where it 
was heavily charged with powder and loaded with stones and such 
pieces of iron as they had been able to find about the cabins outside 
of the fort. Then the great gun was trained upon the gate of the fort 
and a large body of the savages gathered around to witness the result 
of their first experiment in artillery tactics. The fire was applied — the 
cannon was shivered into a thousand fragments and about twenty of 
the. anxious Indian warriors went suddenly to their long homes. The 
survivors made an instantaneous retreat which neither the threats nor 
entreaties of the disappointed Girty were able to arrest." 

At the close of the Revolution the negotiations for the extension 
of the American western boundaries to the Mississippi were greatly 
facilitated by the success of the operations in the West during the war. 
The Lord North proposition to hold the Ohio valley as a barrier by 
recognizing the independence of the Indians in that region had little 
chance of adoption. The Indian chiefs, when informed by the gov- 
ernor of Canada (in July, 1783) that the war was over, were reluctant 
to stop the fighting, and they remained sour and disappointed. It was 
evident that they would not immediately cease to give trouble to the 
advancing settlers in the new era of an awakening life in the West. 

During the Revolution, the older settlements grew and some new 
ones were made. Settlements and population continued to multiply 
west of Harper's Ferry along the Potomac and up the South Branch. 
Shepherdstown was a busy industrial town through which there was 
much travel and traffic and for many years thereafter it continued to 
maintain its position as a center of trade. During the war it had many 
industries, and few places rendered more useful and valuable service 
to the cause. "Clothing was made; shoes, hats, rifles, shotbags, and 
all other military accoutrements; wagons, saddles and many other things 
were manufactured for the use of the soldiers. The town was like a 
hive of industrious bees. The humming of looms ; the whir of numerous 
spinning wheels; the marching of militia and state troops; the lumber- 
ing off of wagons loaded with provisions; the markets held in the vil- 
lage; and the constant stream of pack horses, into and out of the town; 
with now and then the arrival of a half-spent express rider with news 
from the seat of war, must have made it a lively and noisy little center. 
Sometimes a long line of prisoners would pass through the place, strictly 
guarded by the Continental soldiers in blue and buff, or in one of the 
picturesque uniforms adopted by the state troops." 

The new county of Berkeley, including all the territory now em- 
braced in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan, was formed from Frederick 
county in 177'_\ The town of Batli (Berkeley Springs) was incorpo- 


rated in 1776 and laid off into lots a year later. 2 Martinsburg (named 
in honor of Colonel T. B. Martin) was established in October, 1778, by 
act of the Assembly (of 1777), which also named seven timstees in 
whom the titles to lots were vested. The first sheriff was Adam Stephen, 
who was constituted and appointed by a commission from the governor 
for Berkeley county on the 18th day of April, 1772. 

Tradition relates an animated contest that took place between Sheriff 
Adam Stephen and Jacob Hite, Esq., in relation to fixing the seat of 
justice for this county and by which the latter lost his life. Hite con- 
tended for the location thereof on his own land at what is now called 
Leetown, in the county of Jefferson. Stephen successfully advocated 
Martinsburg. Hite became so disgusted and dissatisfied that he sold 
out his fine estate and removed to the frontier of South Carolina. "His 
removal proved fatal; for he had not long settled in that State before 
the Indians murdered him and several of his family in the most shock- 
ing and barbarous manner. ' ' 

The first court was held in the dwelling house of Edward Beeson, 
situated on the land now owned by Mr. A. J. Thomas, at the north end 
of the city. The building was a rude log house and consisted of one 
story and a half. The first court house erected was built of stone, and 
located where the present fine structure now stands. 

In the Middle New river region settlement continued to expand. 
The first important settlement on the Bluestone tributary of the New 
river was made by Mitchell Clay in 1775 at Clover Bottom (five miles 
north of Princeton). A settlement on the site of Alderson was made 
in 1775-77 by Rev. John Alderson a Baptist minister from Rockingham 
county. Here he organized a Baptist church in 1781. In 1778 Thomas 
Ingles and family located in Wright's valley near the site of Bluefield; 
but finding himself too dangerously near the Indians' trail from the 
head of Tug of Sandy southward across East river mountain to Wolf's 
creek and Walker's creek settlements, he soon removed to Burke's Gar- 
den. In 1780 the Davidson and Bailey families located at Beaver Pond 
Spring, a branch of the Bluestone — where they built a fort, battled 
with the Indians and maintained their position on the border until 
the close of the Indian wars in 1795. In the same year John Toney 
settled at the mouth of East river at Montreal (now Glenlyn). John 
and Christian Peters settled on the site of Peterstown in 1783 — a year 
later than the settlement of Capt. George Pearis at Pearisburg on land 
entered in 1780 by William Ingles. The influx of population was in- 
creased during the Revolution by the arrival of immigrant Tories from 
North Carolina (including David Hughes who settled on Sugar run 
in 1780) and at the close of the Revolution by American and Hessian 
soldiers seeking new homes. 

By the construction of Fort Randolph at Point Pleasant the New 
river and Greenbrier settlements were protected from larger bands of 
Ohio Indians although they still suffered from smaller bands who evaded 
the frontier defenses. The murder of Cornstalk at Point Pleasant in 
1777 incited new Indian hostilities which lasted long after the Revolu- 
tion, bringing upon the pioneer settlers the horrors of savage vengeance 
and retarding the advance of the frontier lines of settlement. In 1778 
Fort Randolph was attacked by a large force of Indians who being 
compelled to withdraw started toward the New river settlements which 
were saved only by timely warning. In 1783 Indians destroyed the 
settlement of Mitchell Clay, but they were pursued along the old trail 

2 The springs at old "Bath" are historic, their use as a health resort dating 
back to Washington 's time. They were originally owned by Lord Fairfax, and in 
1776 the tract of land including the spring was set apart by an act of the Vir- 
ginia legislature as a health resort under the control of 14 trustees. Washington, 
Lord Fairfax, and other noted men of their time had cottages there. The locality 
was then reached by the Bath or Warm Spring road, which after crossing the 
Shenandoah Valley from Washington enters the Hancock quadrangle at Hedges- 
ville and passes over the hilly country around the north end of Meadow Branch 


lioiii the Bluestoiie across Plat Top mountain and over the divide be- 
tween the Guyandotte and Coal river along the top of Cherry Pond 
mountain and were overtaken near the mouth oi' Pond fork (in Boone 
county). In the tight that followed many fell before the fire of the 
pursuers and their backs furnished strips of skin used as souvenir 
razor-straps for years later. 

The problems which tested the spirit and endurance of the frontiers- 
men of this period is illustrated by the story of Mrs. Margaret Hanley 
Paulee who starting with her husband and son and others, in Sep- 
tember, 1779, from Monroe county to go to Kentucky/ 1 was captured 
by a party of Shawnee Indians about five miles from the mouth of East 
river and taken to their town at Chillicothe and finally, after her ransom 
in 1782, returned home through the wilderness via Pittsburgh with 
eight other ransomed captives. 

In Greenbrier county, which was created in 1777, new settlers ar- 
rived in 1778 and 1780 and continued to arrive thereafter. In October, 
1776, from the District of West Augusta was formed the counties of 
Youghiogheny, Monongalia and Ohio. Monongalia included all the ter- 
ritory drained by the Monongahela in Virginia and considerable terri- 
tory in the southwest part of Pennsylvania. Its first county seat was 
on the plantation of Theophilus Phillips (two miles from the site of 
Geneva, Pennsylvania), which was located in the most thickly popu- 
lated part of the county. During the Revolution the settlers manned 
the feeble stockade forts against Indian attacks, at the same time their 
ranks furnished men to participate in the campaigns and battles of 
the East. 

At the close of the Revolution, the settlement of the boundary dis- 
pute with Pennsylvania reduced the bounds of Monongalia and neces- 
sitated the removal of the county seat. Prom 1774 to 1780 Virginia 
courts continued to sit on territory claimed by Virginia in western 
Pennsylvania. An agreement on the boundary was finally reached by 
negotiations of 1779 which were ratified by Virginia in June, 1780. 
The temporary survey of the Mason and Dixon line was completed in 
1781, and the permanent survey in 1784 (soon followed by the comple- 
tion of the survey of the western boundary of Pennsylvania northward 
to Lake Erie in 1785-86). In April, 1782, before the Pennsylvania- 
Virginia boundary line was run through Monongalia, and therefore 
prior to the regular administration of civil government in the disputed 
territory, confusion was threatened ; and between the Youghiogheny and 
the Monongahela, and in the larger part of "Washington county, there 
was (among the settlers opposed to the transfer to Pennsylvania) a strong 
sentiment expressed in conventions favorable to a proposed new state 
including the territory west of the Alleghenies from the Kanawha to 
Lake Erie — a resurrection of the old Walpole grant of 1772 (the abor- 
tive Yaitdalia). It w T as counteracted by an act of Pennsylvania, passed 
December, 1782, but was revived in 1794 by some of the leaders of the 
Whiskey Insurrection. 

In 1782 the county seat of Monongalia was located at Morgantown 
by an act of the legislature which made Zackwell Morgan's the place of 
holding court and designated Morgan's and Bush's Port (now Buck- 
hannon) as voting places. At Morgantown was built a frame court 
house which by 1802 was replaced by a brick structure. 

The region stretching along the head streams of Cheat and Tygart, 
forming the southwestern part of the Monongahela drainage system, 
received some of the earliest settlers who passed over the divide from 

3 In September, 1779, John Pauley and family and others set out from the 
Greenbrier section to go to Kentucky via the hunters trail. They crossed New 
river at Horse Ford near the mouth of Rich creek, then down New and up East 
river which was the shortest route to Cumberland Gap (there were no settlements 
then on East river). This route was via Bluefield, Bluestone-Clinch divide to 
the Clinch and down Clinch and via Powell's river and was the route usually 
followed by Greenbrier-New section to Kentucky. 


the older-settled bordering region of Pocahontas. The seal tried settle- 
ments along Tygard's valley, in which three new forts were buill in 
1777, were attacked by Indians late in 1777 and again in 177!), 178U, 
1781 and 1782 — after which this valley remained free from Indian 
invasions, with one exception, in May, 1791. The most disastrous in- 
vasion of 1781 began by an attack on a party of men who were return- 
ing from a visit to Clarksburg to obtain deeds from the land commis- 
sioners, and it closed by an attack which almost broke up the settlement 
on Leading creek. 

On upper Cheat a new settlement Mas begun on the site of St. George 
in 1770' by John Minear, who, after building a stockade, moved his 
family and led a colony of others from the South Branch. Here he 
promptly built a saw mill which was probably the first one west of the 
mountains. Soon thereafter small colonies were established at various 
points along Cheat. They usually led their cows and brought a few 
utensils and other "plunder" on packhorses. On the revival of the 
Indian war in 1777 the Parsons colony, which had been established 
above St. George in 1772-74, built a fort and soon thereafter a grist mill 
and a saw mill. 

During the first four years these settlements prospered and were 
considerably increased by the arrival of new immigrants who brought 
with them horses, cows and other domestic animals. Although some- 
what secluded and less exposed to Indian attacks than other parts of 
the frontier, they were not free from anxiety. Finally in March, 1780. 
while several St. George settlers had gone to take their produce to market 
at Winchester in order to obtain salt, iron, ammunition and tools, they 
were attacked by Indians who, after crossing the Ohio near Parkers- 
burg, had besieged the fort on Hacker's creek and disturbed the set- 
tlers of Buckhannon and Tygart's valley. 

In April, 1781, Minear and others went to Clarksburg to obtain 
their land patents from the commissioners of Monongalia and while 
returning, just before crossing the Valley river below Philippi, were 
attacked by Indians who murdered Minear and then turned south and 
murdered settlers on Leading creek. A year later one of three small 
forces of militia from Hampshire county sent by the governor of Vir- 
ginia to protect the border settlements was stationed on Cheat near 
St. George. After 1781 these settlements were free from Indian in- 

After the expedition of Lord Dunmore there was a revival of the 
movement of settlers westward from the Monongahela toward the upper 
Ohio — a movement which continued at intervals throughout the Revolu- 
tion. The chief outpost of defense was Fort Henry which was besieged 
by the Indians in 1777. In 1780, near the site of Triadelphia the set- 
tlers erected Fort Link which was attacked in 1781. Ohio county was 
formed in 1776. Its first courts were held at Black's cabin on Short 
creek near the site of West Liberty. 

To the settlements farther up the river came new homeseekers in 
1774-76, largely from New England. Below Wheeling creek in the 
present limits of Marshall county, new settlements were made in 1777. 




At the close of the Revolution, Washington, the prophet of the West, 
who had been interested in the trans-Allegheny region for more than 
three decades, again directed his attention to the region "beyond the 
Alleghenies and to the problems of the West. He became a promoter 
of expansion of internal improvements, recognizing that the awaken- 
ing and encouragement of the West was the hope of the East. In- 
stead of resting peacefully in slippers and armchair before a Mount 
Vernon fireplace, after retirement from the honors with which he had 
been loaded, he promptly decided to make a journey into the western 
wilds, partly to look after his neglected farms in western Pennsylvania 
and partly to obtain information in regard to the best possible routes 
for communication between East and West. The leader of the ragged 
armies became a leader in facing the problems of expansion and unifica- 
tion. His anxious eyes were looking at the doors of the Allegheny 
wall and specially to the waterways which might be utilized in secur- 
ing a commercial union of the East with the West. While contemplat- 
ing national problems, he had the spirit of the West, which he desired to 
open to the flood-tides of pioneers and to weld to the East by the bands 
of commerce. 

He still had faith in the trans-Allegheny region in which he had 
learned his earliest lessons in war — first as commander of the Virginia 
expedition of 1754, next in the march with "Bulldog" Braddock in 
1755, and finally as leader of the vanguard of Forbes' army to the 
capture of Fort Duquesne. To him it was no encumbrance. To study 
its problems and to render additional aid in awakening it from the 
sleep of ages, he made his last ride over the Alleghenies — a remarkable 
ride which involved many inconveniences and hardships, including one 
night in the rain amid the Alleghenies 300 miles from home and with 
only a cloak for a cover. His diary of this trip and its affiliated cor- 
respondence reflect the enterprising heart of the man who first saw 
the light of a better day for America, and show he was the greatest 
man in America. Leaving his home on September 1, 1784, a day after 
Lafayette had completed a two weeks' visit with him, he traveled via 
Leesburg and Smickers' Gap to the Shenandoah, thence via Charles- 
town, Back creek (near Martinsburg), Bath (Berkeley Springs) and 
Old Town to Cumberland, thence over the worn path of Braddock 's 
road to Simpson's (near Connellsville) and thence northwest to his 
lands on a branch of Chartiers creek (north of Washington, Pennsyl- 
vania) . 

At Bath he was shown a model of Rumsey's new steamboat con- 
structed for sending rapid current and from it he obtained a new idea 
of revolutionizing the trade of the West and the awakening of America. 

As he crossed the Alleghenies, which he hoped to annihilate more 
effectively than Braddock 's road had done, he saw evidence of the great 
migration which had just begun. 

At Simpsons where still stands the old mill which may be regarded 
as a monument to the unknown Washington who dreamed of the new 
America, he received an odd Scotch-Irish delegation of rough frontiers- 
men who had squatted on his rich land in western Pennsylvania and 
against them he became plaintiff in suits. This is an interesting specific 
instance of a western contest for squatter 's rights and tomahawk claims. 



Here he learned for the first time that the survey of the Mason and 
Dixon line westward from the corner of Maryland had left the mouth 
of Cheat river in Pennsylvania thus disappointing his plans for an all 
Virginia route to the Ohio via Cheat, the "West Fork and Monongahela 
and the Little Kanawha. 

On September 22, after spending several days in the neighborhood 
of "Washington, Pennsylvania, "Washington started on his return trip. 
Stopping at Beasontown (Uniontown) to engage an attorney to prosecute 
his suit, he learned that the "West Fork of the Monongahela had its 
headwaters very near to the waters of the Little Kanawha, and that 
Cheat river was navigable to Dunkard's bottom from which a road was 
already marked across the mountain to the Potomac with a view to 
obtain further information in regard to waterway route he sent his 
baggage back by the old route and decided to return part of the way 
by an unknown route, southward via Pt. Marion, Pennsylvania, and 
across the dividing ridge toward the site of Morgantown. 

At the surveyor's office at the house of John Pierpont (about four 
miles from Morgantown) he stayed all night, and sent for Zackwell 
Morgan from whom he received information in regard to three routes 
east of the Potomac. Here also he met Albert Gallatin who possibly 
received from him the first inspiration for a system of internal im- 

After leaving Pierponts he crossed Cheat at Ice's Ferry (the old 
McCulloch's landing), followed the "New road" eastward over Laurel 
Hill to Brucetnn, thence southward and eastward to the North Branch, 
crossing the Yough near the site of "Webster Switch on the B. and 0. 
railroad where a bridge was later erected on the old pioneer "Moore- 
field Road." 1 From the North Branch he continued southeastward 
to the upper waters of the South Branch (above Moorefield) and thence 
through Brook's Gap to Staunton, thence eastward and northeastward 
to his home. Immediately upon his return to Mount Vernon he drew 
a plan for commercial union of the Monongahela with Virginia by the 
Potomac river route. Referring to certain objections of Philadelphia 
merchants "Washington said that there were in western Pennsylvania 
100,000 inhabitants, many of whom thought of demanding separation 
from Pennsylvania in case the most practical water communication with 
the sea board should be kept closed on account of selfish interests, and 
that they had a right to demand that Pennsylvania should open the 
communication which would benefit them most. In presenting the whole 
plan to Governor Harrison on October 10, 1784, he also referred to the 
unfortunate jealousy of the Potomac region felt by the James river 

Largely as a result of "Washington's efforts Virginia and Maryland 
in 1785 authorized the formation of a company to open the navigation 
of the Potomac and to construct a highway from the uttermost western 
waters, and requested Pennsylvania to improve the navigation of any 
stream in her territory which was found to be the best avenue between 
the Potomac and the Ohio. "Washington was selected as the president 
of the Potomac Company which was organized in the same year, and 
he selected Mr. Rumsey as superintendent of its construction which was 
soon begun. Considering the spirit of emigration and other signs of a 

1 Washington followed the "new road to Sandy creek," but instead of fol- 
lowing it to its connection with Braddock's Road, east of the winding ridge, he 
crossed Sandy creek at James Spurgeons and followed the route of McCulloch's 
path southeast across the glades of Sandy and of Yough, upon which Governor 
Johnson of Maryland had settled two or three families of Palatines, to Longstons 
on the North Branch of the Potomac. At that time a good road from Dunker's 
Bottom via Charles Friends was suggested as feasible. 

At the same time Maryland was extending a road westward from the mouth of 
Savage creek via Friends to connect at the state line with a road which Monongalia 
county was extending eastward from Dunker's Bottom. Before 1786 a "state 
road" from Winchester via Romney to Morgantown was authorized by act of Vir- 
ginia Assembly. Its extension to the Ohio to the mouth of Fishing creek was 
authorized in 1786 and to the mouth of Graves creek in 1795. 







uew awakening, he wrote Richard Henry Lee (on December 14, 1785) 
suggesting the wisdom of congressional action to have the western waters 
explored and chartered and to mark a smooth road to the West to make 
easy the way "before we make any stir about the navigation of the 

Other phases of the awakening of the West which were important 
events in the early development of western Virginia, or events in west- 
ern Virginia in which western Virginia felt a live interest, and in which 
Washington's influence and service were also of great use were: 

(1) State cessions of trans-Ohio territory to the national government; 

(2) Organization of the northwest territory in 1787; 

(3) Efforts at adjustment of the Indian problem in the new territory, finally 
resulting in the Wayne's victory of 1794 and the treaty of Greenville in 1795; 

(4) Provision in the Jay's treaty of 1794 for withdrawal of the British from 
Detroit ard other frontier posts; 

(5) Negotiating on the question of the navigation of the lower Mississippi, 
resulting in the temporary adjustment of 1795 with Spain — an adjustment which 
prepared the way for the later permanent adjustment by the acquisition of 

(6) The establishment of a post office at Morgantown and Wheeling in 1794, 
and of mail boats on the Ohio iii 1795; 

(7) The opening of Zanes' Trace as a direct mail route from Wheeling via 
Zanesville, Lancaster and Chillicothe to the northern bank of the Ohio opposite 
Limestone (Maysville) Ky. in 1796; and 

(8) The admission of Kentucky and Tennessee as states — (Kentucky in 1792, 
and Tennessee in 1796) ; 

Western Virginia had a special interest in the Indian question 
which was the storm center of western politics for over a decade after 
the close of the Revolution. The territory east of the Ohio was still 
not entirely free from danger of Indian raids after the treaty of Fort 
Mcintosh negotiated in 1785, the expedition of George Rogers Clark 
up the Wabash in 1786, the Harmar expedition of 1787-88, and the 
treat}' of Fort Harmar in 1789. It could not feel sure of complete 
safety until the Indians who swarmed the valley of the Wabash could 
be confined to that valley. With a view to greater security for the entire 
Ohio frontier, President Washington, in 1791, authorized an expedi- 
tion which, starting from the mouth of the Kentucky river, pushed 
through woods of the Indiana country and attacked the Weas towns 
(near the site of Lafayette, Indiana), and destroyed the growing corn 
at Ouiatanon. Soon thereafter, in October, 1791, he authorized an 
expedition which advanced northward from Cincinnati under command 
of St. Clair, governor of the Northwest Territory — an expedition which 
terminated in an inglorious defeat, resulting in new Indian raids and 
bold demands for retention of the land north of the Ohio and west of 
the Muskingum. 

Finally Washington appointed to the command on the Ohio the 
famous General Anthony Wayne, who promptly began the active prepara- 
tion of a new army at Fort Washington (Cincinnati), in 1793 (after 
failure of negotiations) moved northward into the Indian country and 
built Fort Greenville, and in the summer of 1794 advanced again, 
erected Fort Defiance, and defeated the Indians who attacked him at 
Fallen Timbers on the Maumee. The result of this expedition, and of 
Wayne's victory, was the Treaty of Greenville of 1795, which, together 
with the surrender of the British posts at Detroit and at other points 
along the Canadian boundary, gave the hope of permanent security to 
the upper Ohio region. 

All forts built between 1783 and 1795 (a period in which the com- 
munities were frequently troubled by wandering bands of Indians) 
were built on the Kanawha or near the mouth of the Little Kanawha. 
Those on the Kanawha were : 

Fort Tackett, erected after 178?., one-half mile below the mouth of Coal river 
in Jefferson district, Kanawha county; 

Fort Lee, erected in 1788 on the site of the present city of Charleston; 
Vol. 1—7 


Fort Cooper, erected in 1702, eight miles from the mouth of the Kanawha in 
what is now Cooper district, Kanawha county. 

Near the mouth of the Kanawha, opposite the foot of Six-Mile Island in the 
Ohio river, now in Robinson district, Mason county, Fort Robinson was constructed 
in 1794. 

Those near the mouth of the Little Kanawha were : 

Fort Neal (Neal's Station) erected after 17S3, one mile from the mouth of the 
Little Kanawha, nearly opposite the city of Parkersburg; 

Fort Belleville built in 1785-86 by Captain Joseph Wood and ten men hired 
in Pittsburgh as laborers for ;i year, on the site of the present village of Belle 
ville, in Harris district, Wood county; 

Fort Flinn, built in 1785 at the mouth of Lee creek in Harris district, Wood 

The spirit of the new era of nationality and expansion was felt in 
the older communities. Although western development was retarded 
for a time by the conditions of the critical period preceding the adop- 
tion of a new constitution, and for a time thereafter by the fear of 
Indian attacks on the western frontier, there was a steady growth in 
the older settlements and an increasing movement to form new settle- 

In the region which now constitutes the eastern panhandle, Middle- 
town was established in 1787 and Drakesville in 1791. The increase of 
settlement in Hampshire county is indicated by the establishment of 
new towns: Watsontowh in 1787, and Springfield (at Cross Roads) in 
1790. In 1786 the new county of Hardy was formed with the counly 
seat at Moorefield which had been established on the land of Conrad 
Moore in 1777. 

In 1793 the alarm created by prowling bands along the upper 
Kanawha and lower New was quieted by the organization of a company 
of men under Captain Hugh Caperton of the Greenbrier section to 
proceed to the Elk and to scout the country to the Ohio. After 1795 
settlers from Greenbrier and the Kanawha began to occupy new lands 
in the region which in 1818 was formed into the new county of 
Nicholas (formed from Kanawha, Greenbrier and Randolph). 

In Fayette near Montgomery a large tract of land was secured by 
Henry Montgomery after his service in the Point Pleasant campaign 
and was used by him as a stock farm. In the vicinity of Ansted the 
earliest settlers were Baptist squatters who arrived about 1790. At 
Sewell, Peter Bowyer settled in 1798 and established a ferry. 

The Bullett lands including the site of Charleston were purchased 
in 1788 by George Olendenin of Greenbrier who brought with him sev- 
eral daring pioneers. Fort Clendenin was built in 1788. Attack upon 
it by Indians in 1791 was the occasion of the famous historic ride of 
".Mad Anne Bailey" up New river to Fort Union to secure needed 

Of all the celebrated characters of pioneer times, there were none more re- 
markable than Anne Bailey, the pioneer heroine of the Great Kanawha valley. Her 
maiden name was Hennis and she was born in Liverpool, England, in the year 
1742. When she was in her nineteenth year, her parents both having died she 
crossed the ocean to find relatives of the name of Bell, then (1761) residing near 
Staunton, Virginia. Here soon after (1765) she wedded Richard Trotter, a dis- 
tinguished frontiersman and a survivor of Braddock's defeat. 

A cabin was reared near where Swope's Depot on the Chesapeake and Ohio 
Railway now stands, and there in 1767 a son, William, was born. The year 1774 
brought with it Dunmore 's War, and Richard Trotter enlisted in General Lewis' 
army and at the battle of Point Pleasant, October 10, 1774, yielded up his life 
in an attempt to plant civilization on the banks of the Ohio. 

From the moment the widow heard of her husband's death, a strange, wild 
fancy seemed to possess her, and she resolved to avenge his death. Leaving her 
little' son to the care of a neighbor, Mrs. Moses Mann, she at once entered upon 
a career which has no parallel in Virginia annals. Clad in the costume of the 
border, she hastened away to the recruiting stations, where she urged enlistments 
with all the earnestness which her zeal and heroism inspired. Then she became 
a nurse, a messenger, a scout, and for eleven years she fearlessly dashed along 
the whole western -border, going wherever her services required, and thus the wilder 
ness road from Staunton to Point Pleasant was all familiar to her. 


November 3, 1785, at Lewisburg, in Greenbrier county, she was married a 
second time, her husband being John Bailey, a distinguished frontiersman from 
the Roanoke river. Fort Lee was erected by the Clendenins on the present site of 
the city of Charleston in 1788-89 and to it John Bailey and his heroic bride at 
once removed. 

In 1791, the fort was besieged by a large body of Indians, and to the terror 
of the garrison, it was found that the supply of powder in the magazine was almost 
exhausted. A hundred miles of wilderness lay between Fort Lee and Lewisburg, 
the only place from which a supply of powder could come. Colonel George Clen- 
denin, the commandant at Fort Lee, asked for volunteers to 'go to Lewisburg, 
but not a soldier in that garrison would brave the task. Then was heard in a 
female voice the words ' ' I will go, ' ' and every inmate of the fort recognized 
the voice of Anne Bailey. 

The fleetest horse in the stockade was brought out and the daring rider mounted 
and disappeared in the forest. Onward she sped. Darkness and day were one to 
her. It was a ride for life and there could be no stop. Lewisburg was reached; 
there was but a short delay, and she was returning with two horses laden with 
powder. The garrison in Fort Lee welcomed her return, and she entered it, as she 
had left it, under a shower of balls. The men thus supplied, sallied forth and 
forced the savages to raise the siege. 

At Clendenin in 1789 the first court of the newly formed county was 
held. By act of 1794 Charleston became a town. Below Charleston on 
the Kanawha settlements were retarded. On December 12, 1791, Daniel 
Boone (then a resident of the Kanawha) writing briefly concerning 
conditions in the Valley said: "From the Pint (Point Pleasant) to 
Alice (Elk) 60 miles; no inhabitants; from Alke to the Bote Yards 
(mouth of Kelley's creek), 20 miles; all inhabited." 2 In 1788 at the 
mouth of Coal river, Lewis Tackett, who came with the Clendenins, 
erected a fort — the only one between Fort Donnally and Point Pleasant. 
In the same year his fort was destroyed by a band of Shawnees from 
the Scioto. Not until twelve years later Stephen Teays came from 
Virginia and established below Coalsmouth a ferry and an inn for 
travellers between the East and the Ohio valley. 

After 1794 settlements along the Kanawha above Coalsmouth de- 
veloped rapidly. From the region at the. mouth Mason county was 
formed in 1804. The new county was long retarded in development. 
Point Pleasant which was first settled in 1774 on lands surveyed by 
Washington four years earlier, did not grow for many years. Residents 
had a superstition that the cruel murder of Cornstalk in 1777 had caused 
a curse to rest upon the place. 

2 While acting as Lieutenant-Colonel of the county, Boone, by letter to Gov. 
Henry Lee, dated December 12th, 1791, reported the military establishments of 
Kanawha as follows: 

"For Kanaway county 68 privits Leonard Cuper Captain, at Pint plesent 
17 men John Morris junior Insine at the Bote yards 17 men Two spyes or scutes 
Will be necessary at the pint to sarch the Banks of the River at the Crosing places. 
More would be Wanting if the could be aloude. Thos Spyes Must be Compoused of 
the inhabitenee who Well Know the Woods and waters from the pint to Belleville 
On mildes no inhabitenee also from the pint to Elke 60 mildes no inhabitenee from 
Elke to the Bote yeards 20 Mildes all inhabited." 

Boone was in the Kanawha Valley as early as 1774. When Lord Dunmore 
organized his Shawnee campaign in 1774, he put Boone in command of_ three 
garrisons — Fort Union (now Lewisburg), Donnally Fort, Stewart's Fort — in the 
Greenbrier country, to protect the citizens in the rear of Gen. Lewis' army. 

Much of Boone's time while he lived in the Kanawha Valley was spent in 
locating and surveying lands. He was familiar with the geography and topography 
of the whole country. He had traveled, and hunted, fought and trapped, up and 
down all the streams and knew where the good lands lay. 

Among other tracts, he located over 200,000 acres in two adjoining surveys be- 
ginning where Boone Court House now stands, and running across the waters of 
Guyandotte, Twelve Pole and Big Sandy, to the Kentucky line. These surveys 
were made in 1795. The surveying party cut their names and the dates on beech 
trees at several places on the route. 

The following is a copy of an original report of a survey made by Daniel 
Boone, at Point Pleasant in 1791 : 

"June 14th 1791 

"Laide of for WiReam Allin ten acres of Land Situate on the South Este Side 
of Crucked Crick in the County of Conhawway and Bounded as followeth Viz 
Beginning at a rad oke and Hickory thence North 56 West 23 poles to a Stake 
thence South 56 Este 23 poles to a Stake thence South 34 West. 58 poles to the 
Beginning Daniel Boone." 


Following the Revolution, settlers in the region now included in 
Mercer and McDowell counties had experiences with the Indians which 
did not encourage the expansion of their settlements. Their difficulties 
are illustrated by the following incidents: 

Starting on the fall hunt with his sons on November 12, 1788, Captain Henry 
Harman w who, after a stay near Salem, North Carolina, had settled in New river 
valley in 1758 a d later on Kimberling creek, met a party of Indians who fired 
on him on the right bank of Tug Fork of Sandy in the present McDowell county 
and after a bloody fight was compelled to return. In 1789 other raiding parties 
came up Dry Pork of Big Sandy and attacked the settlers. In the fall of that 
year a body of them came into the Bluestone and Clinch settlements, crossed East 
river mountain to the waters of Clear fork of Wolf creek and after depreda- 
tions returned via Flat Top mountain and North Fork of Tug Fork, carrying a 
Mrs. Wiley to the Indian town of Chillieothe where she remained until September, 
1792, when she returned home via the Kanawha and New rivers. In 1790 another 
marauding party entered Bluestone and upper Clinch settlements and stole many 
horses. In the spring of 1791, while Andrew Davidson had left his settlement at the 
head of East River (nearly one-half mile from the east limits of Bluefields) to visit at 
Smithfield (Drapers Meadows) from whence his father had moved about ten years 
earlier; Indians captured his wife and children and took them to their town in 
Ohio where the children were shot. On the route (near Logan court house) Mrs. 
Davidson gave birth to a child which the Indians drowned the following day. She 
remained in captivity till after Wayne's victory at Fallen Timbers. In 1792 while 
with a party of militia in pursuit of a band of Indians who had stolen horses in 
Bluestone and upper Clinch settlements, Samuel Lusk was captured in an attack 
on a creek flowing into the Guyandotte and taken to the Ohio town (Chillieothe). 
While the Indians were on their fall hunt in the region of the lakes in September 
he escaped with Mrs. Wiley in a light canoe down the Scioto and up the southern 
bank of the Ohio opposite to Gallipolis where a few French lived with whom they 
took refuge. They feared to follow up Big Sandy or the Guyandotte. Lusk de- 
cided to take no risks by attempt to return through Virginia mountains. He se- 
cured passage on a passing push-boat bound for Pittsburgh. Thence he went to 
Philadelphia where he found Major Joseph Cloyd of Back creek with whom he re- 
turned home — about one month after his escape from Chillieothe. Mrs. Wiley declined 
to go via Philadelphia and a few days after his departure started on her tiresome trip 
up the Kanawha, and New to the home of her husband's people at Wiley's Falls in 
(now) Giles county. Eichard Bailey a revolutionary soldier who had moved from 
(now) Franklin county (then Bedford county) and settled in 1780 at Beaver Pond 
Spring a branch of Bluestone, now in Mercer county and built " Davidson-Bailey 
Fort" discovered in March that Indians had stolen his boy's calf (March, 1793). 
Major Eobert Crockett military commander of Wythe county then at the head of 
Clinch, gathered a party (including Lusk) and followed the Indians and overtook 
them at their camp on the island at the mouth of Island creek (opposite Logan) 
attacked the camp which rapidly dispersed (March 15) leaving their stolen horses 
behind them. 

Awaiting the cessation of dangers from Indians the beginning of 
development along the Big Sandy was delayed for two decades after the 
surveys made by George Washington along the Tug. In February, 1789, 
however, the advance guard began to arrive from the East and at- 
tempted the first settlement at the junction of the Tug and the Sandy 
on the Vancouver tract 40 miles from any other settlement. Here on 
an original survey made by Washington for John Fry about 1770, 10 
men under Charles Vancouver built a fort, raised some vegetables and 
deadened about 18 acres, but the appropriation of their horses by the 
Indians prevented the completion of their plans to raise a crop. Soon 
thereafter a second settlement was attempted near the mouth of Pigeon. 
The earliest settlement in the present limits of Mingo county was made 
at the mouth of Gilbert on the Guyandotte after 1795 by French 
peasants under a man named Swan whose purpose was to start a vine- 
yard there, followed by another on the Tug (at the mouth of Pond 
creek) by the Leslies, but all the inhabitants of these places were driven 
away by Indians. Provision for protection of later settlers along the 
waters of Big Sandy was made by the construction of blockhouses in 
1790, after which the Indians ceased to give trouble in that region, 
although they stole horses in the Scioto valley as late as 1802. The 
Leslies who returned in 1791 and located at John creek were the earliest 
permanent settlers in the Sandy valley. They were soon followed by 
many others including the Marcums on Mill creek (near Cassville). 

Into the old District of West Augusta settlers came in large numbers 


after the Revolution. Both in the Monongahela country and along the 
upper Ohio stockade forts and block houses were built for protection, 
and roads which began to emerge frequently followed the tops of ridges 
in order to avoid Indian ambushes in the hollows. In 1785 by an act 
of the legislature, Morgantown was established as ;i town on fifty acres 
of land belonging to Zackwell Morgan and vested in rive trustees with 
power to lay out lots for sale and to locate streets. To stimulate the 
growth of the town the act of incorporation required every purchaser 
of a lot to erect upon it in four years a house at least eighteen feet 
square with a chimney of stone or brick. In 1788 an extension of three 
years was allowed on account of Indian hostilities, and in 1792 a further 
extension was granted because of difficulty of procuring building ma- 
terials. The final Indian attack in this vicinity occurred on the site of 
Blacksville in 1791. Along the eastern border in spite of the Indian 
attacks on the settlement at Dunkard Bottom in 1778 and 1788 new 
clearings prepared the way for the later county of Preston. Near the 
Maryland boundary in 1784 Francis and William Deakins selected 
numerous choice tracts of land. By 1786 new pioneers located at 
Brandonville and in the vicinity of Aurora. In 1787 at Salem a Ger- 
man settlement was made. Settlements were increased in 1789 by ar- 
rivals from the South Branch and later by immigrants from Ireland 
and Pennsylvania. From 1785 the pioneer clearings slowly widened 
into fai-ms. In 1784 Monongalia was divided by the legislature, and 
Harrison county was erected from that part south of a line drawn from 
Ford Fork on the Maryland boundary to the headwaters of Big Sandy, 
thence down .the Big Sandy and Tygart's to the West Fork, thence up 
West Fork to Bingamon creek and up Bingamon to t he Ohio county 
boundary. To the new county was refunded her proportion of the cost 
of erecting the public buildings in Monongalia. The county seat was 
located at Clarksburg which, although a mere group of log cabins in 
1781, was becoming a settled community and in 1785 it had several 
stores and was incorporated as a town. In 1788, and at other dates, it 
was visited by Bishop Francis Asbury who in his official capacity had 
journeyed horseback from North Carolina via Greenbrier county and 
Tygart's valley. In 1790 it had primitive roads connecting it with both 
East and West. 

Midway between Morgantown and Clarksburg the basis for the later 
county of Marion w r as laid by the arrival of many families who settled 
in the vicinity of the site of Fairmont and at other points. At the head 
of West Fork the first settlement on the site of Weston was made by 
Henry Flesher who in 1784, after an attack by a party of Indians, 
discreetly took refuge for a time at the settlement made by Thomas 
Hughes and others on Hacker's creek. 

Few actual settlements were made in the upper part of the West 
Fork valley until after the treaty of Greenville in 1795. Colonel Jack- 
son was the first to enter this field. He secured a large boundary of 
land where Jacksonville now stands, in Lewis county; also a smaller 
tract at the forks of the river. In .1797 he settled four families by the 
name of Collins on his larger tract, giving each fifty acres of choice 
land. They were to remain until the colony was permanent and open 
a "Bridle Path" to the Flesher settlement, at Weston. These settlers 
were hardy and gave their names to the township known as "Collins 
Settlement." The Collins were afterwards followed by the Bennetts: 
William, Joseph, Abram and Jacob, who came over the Seneca Trail 
from the Upper Potomac. The Bennetts were fruit growers and propa- 
gated trees from seed brought from the Potomac. They left numerous 
descendants in the country. 

Among the early pioneers who found their way into Northwestern Virginia 
after the close of the war of 1776 was Henry MeWhorter. He was born in Orange 
County, New York, November 13th. 1760. His father, a linen-weaver by trade, 
hailed from Northern Ireland and settled in New York after the close of the French 
and Indian war. 


Early in life he married a Miss Fields, and soon afterwards, with her and one 

or two children, sought a home in the wilds of Northwestern Virginia, settling on 
McKcnsies Run, a branch of Hackers Creek, in Harrison county, in 17s I Here he 
erected his cabin and cleared land, but three years later moved to mar Wes1 'a Fort, 
where "Jane Lew" now stands, and on the south bank of the murkey Hackers 
Creek, within a few hundred yards east of West's Fort, built a house of hewn logs, 
where he resided for 37 years. This house — 1 8 Vi feet by 24 feet, of most sub- 
stantial construction, of pioneer characteristics, with fireplace 6 feet 10 inches wide 
and 3 feet 6 inches high — is the oldest house in the historic Hackers Creek Valley, 
if not in Central West Virginia. 

After settling here McWhorter experienced many privations from Indian wai 
fare, and underwent all the horrors and hardships of pioneer life upon the border. 

Being a millwright by trade he erected near his residence, on the banks of tin' 
creek, the first mill in what are now Lewis and Upshur Comities. To this mill came 
the settlers from a radius of many miles to get their eorn ground, and to this 
mill came the settlers from the Euckliannon settlement following the blazed path 
leading through the wilderness from one settlement to the other. And it is a tra- 
ditional fact that no customer of his ever returned home "hungry and cold." It 
is still related of him that at one time the settlements were suffering from a scarcity 
of breadstuff, and parties came from distant settlements and offered him over $1.00 
per bushel for all the eorn stored in his mill, which offer he. refused, giving as his 
reason that if he did so his neighbors would suffer. 

He made frequent trips to Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh) in flat boats, via the 
West Fork and Monongahela rivers, exchanging furs, jerked venison, etc., for am- 
munition and other home necessities. 

On one of these trips he was accompanied by Jesse Hughes, the mo9t noted 
Indian scout and fighter iu Western Virginia (of whom local tradition says "he 
spared neither age nor sex when on an Indian Killing"). 

The earlier settlement on the Buckhannon was broken up in 1782 
by Indians who also destroyed the fort. 

The first settlement in the present limits of Barbour was probably 
made in 1780 two miles northwest of Philippi — soon followed by other 
scattered settlements, for which there were many grants of land, espe- 
cially in 1786-88 and thereafter. As early as 1787, when the Randolph 
county court ordered the survey of a road from Beverly to Sandy creek, 
Daniel Booth probably lived near the site of Philippi, but the original 
owner of the land on which the town stands was William Anglin who 
probably settled there as early as 1783. The place was called Anglin 's 
Ford in 1789 when the Randolph court ordered the survey of the road 
to connect it with Jonas Friend's (the site of Elkins). The place was 
later called Booth's Ferry, named for Mr. Booth, who, about 1800, 
established or owned the old ferry which was not abandoned until after 
the completion of the wooden bridge at Philippi in 1852. 

Randolph county was formed from Harrison county in 1787 by act 
of October, 1786. At that time it included half of Barbour, half of 
Upshur, much of Webster and all of Tucker. At its first county court 
held in 1787 a county seat contest between the people of Leading creek 
and the people of the vicinity of the later town of Beverly was decided 
in favor of Beverly. In 1788 plans were adopted for a court house 
which was not completed until ten years later and was not used after 
1803. In December, 1790, Beverly was established as a town, by the 
Virginia assembly, on lands owned by James Westfall. 

In 1787 and 1789 these Cheat settlements were again invaded by the 
Indians. Among the most prominent men of the county after Cant. 
James Parsons and John Minear was the industrious James Goff who 
settled on Cheat near the Preston county line by 1786 and at one time 
owned the greater part of the land from the .Minear claim to Rowles- 
burg. Others prominent were the Dumires who settled in the eastern 
part of the county above the upper tributaries of Horse Shoe run and 
the Losh family, one of whom built a grist mill on Horse Shoe run 
at an early date. 

Perhaps one of the most prominent men in the community was 
Samuel Bonnifield, who, after the Revolution, in which lie served, 
crossed the Alleghenies from Maryland and settled on Cheat two miles 
from St. George, and in 1796 became justice of the peace in Randolph 
county — an office which he held continuously for fifty years except dur- 
ing his period of four terms as sheriff. He died on Horseshoe Run four 


miles from St. George, in February, 1848, at the advanced age of 96. 
His house, built in 1823, was still standing a few years ago and was 
used as a stable. 

In the region of the upper Ohio the large advance guard of pioneers 
of 1785-87 was followed by a cessation of land entries until 1795 when 
.entries were redoubled in number by a " new irruption. ' ' West Liberty 
was incorporated as a town in 1787. It was the county seat of Ohio 
county until Brooke county was formed in 1797. Wheeling, which was 
laid out into town lots in 1793, established as a town by legislative act 
in 1795, became the county seat in 1797. 

To the settlements farther up the river to which new home seekers 
had come in 1774-76 (largely from New England), several patents were 
located from 1785 to 1787. After 1787 there was a cessation of entries 
until 1795, after which the advance guard was augmented rapidly. 
Charleston (later Wellsburg) which was laid out in 1790 and estab- 
lished by act of legislature in 1791, became the county seat of the new 
county of Brooke at its formation in 1797. In the region now included 
in Hancock county the earliest settlement was made about 1776 by Mr. 
Holliday at Holliday's Cove. In 1783 and thereafter other settlements 
were begun by soldiers of the Revolution. In 1783 George Chapman 
located 1,000 acres including the site of New Cumberland. After 1790 
and especially after 1795 arrivals increased. In 1800 Hugh Pugh lo- 
cated 400 acres including the site of Fairview. 

Below Wheeling creek settlements, now included within the limits 
of Marshall county were made in 1785, 1790 and thereafter. In 1798 
Elizabeth (now Moundsville) was laid out on Tomlinson's land fac- 
ing the ferry across the Ohio 'which was established in the same year. 
In the territory later included in Wetzel county the first clearing was 
made by Edward Doolin, who about 1780, patented and entered upon 
lands at the mouth of Fishing creek including the site of New Martins- 
ville. After his death, resulting from an Indian attack upon his home 
in 1784, part of his land was bought by Presley Martin who was soon 
followed by Friend Cox. The settlement received few accessions for the 
next decade and grew very slowly thereafter. 

The region of western Virginia about the mouth of the Little 
Kanawha secured few settlers before 1785, but its unbroken solitudes 
became more and more tempting in the decade which followed. In 
1783 several tomahawk or preemption claims to rich bottom lands on 
the Virginia side of the Ohio were made by Robert Thornton, Samuel 
and Joseph Tomlinson (and their sister Rebecca) three Briscoe brothers, 
and others. The lands on the site of Parkersburg which were claimed by 
Robert Thompson on the basis of a tomahawk entry made ten years 
earlier, were confirmed to him by the land commissioner. In the same 
year they were assigned to Alexander Parker (of Greene county, 
Pennsylvania) who in 1784 received a patent from Governor Beverly 
Randolph of Virginia. At the death of Parker in 1800 these lands 
descended to his daughter whose title was disputed by John Stokely 
and others. 

One of the first permanent settlers at the mouth of the Little Kana- 
wha was Captain James Neal of Greene county, Pennsylvania, who first 
arrived in 1783 as deputy surveyor of Samuel Hanway of Monongalia 
(to survey the entry of Alexander Parker on the site of Parkersburg). 
He brought others with him by flatboat in 1785 and on the south side 
of the river erected Neal's station, the first block house in the vicinity 
which served as a place of protection for both settlers and travelers. 
Two years later he brought his family. 3 Later he became a justice of 

3 Other early arrivals were the Cooks and Spencers from Connecticut, the 
Beesons from Pennsylvania, the Hamamans, Creels, Pribbles and Kincheloes. Some 
came from Virginia and Maryland all the way to Redstone on horseback, or over 
the state road from Alexandria via Winchester, Eomney, Clarksburg to the Ohio 
opposite Marietta which was built under authorization of 1789 and some from 
Pennsylvania by flatboat. 


the peace with authority to perform the rites of marriage. He and his 
son-in-law, Hugh Phelps, were among the most prominent of the early 
residents. Although security was increased by the erection of Fort 
Harmar on the site of Marietta in 1786 and Farmer's Castle at Belpre 
in 1789 the station was threatened in 1790 by Indian bands who con- 
tinued to invade the Little Kanawha region. 

At the site of Williamston on which the Tomlinson brothers (Samuel 
and Joseph) made a tomahawk entry in 1770, the first permanent settle- 
ment was made in March, 1787, by Isaac Williams, an experienced 
frontiersman, 4 following the establishment of Fort Hannar directly 
across the Ohio at the mouth of the Muskingum in 1786. It was made on 
a wilderness farm of 400 acres of land preempted and partially improved 
in 1783 by the Tomlinson brothers for their sister, Mrs. Rebecca Martin, 
whom Williams married in 1775 at Grave creek where she had been 
housekeeper for her brothers since the death of her first husband in 
1771. The new settlement soon became a noted and interesting place 
and here Williams remained until his death thirty years later. By 1789 
it was connected with Clarksburg and the East by a trail cleared by 
Capt. Nicholas Carpenter and sons who drove cattle over it to Marietta 5 
and were killed on it by the Indians in 1791. 

4 Isaac Williams was born at Chester, Pennsylvania, in 1737. At the age of 
18 he served in the Braddock campaign as a ranger and spy under the employ of 
Virginia. In 1758-67 he hunted on the Missouri river. In 1768 he conducted his 
parents from Winchester and settled them on Buffalo creek (now in Brooke county) 
near West Liberty." In. 1789 he accompanied the Zanes in explorations around 
Wheeling, Zanesville and elsewhere. In 1774 he accompanied Governor Dunmore in 
the expedition against the Shawnoes and was present at the treaty negotiations 
near Chillicothe. He died September 25, 1820. 

5 Marietta located at the mouth of the Muskingum, opposite the Williams 
settlement, was settled in 1788. At a meeting of the directors of the Ohio Com- 
pany, held November 23, 1787, it was resolved to at once establish a settlement of 
the lands of the Company in the Northwest Territory. General Rufus Putnam 
was chosen superintendent, and early in December, six boat-builders were sent for- 
ward to Simrall 's Ferry — now West Newton — on the Youghiougheny, under the 
command of Major Hatfield White. The party reached its destination in January, 
and at once proceeded to build a boat for the use of the Company. 

In midwinter the pioneers left their New England homes and began the journey 
to others to be found in the Western wilderness. They passed over the Alleghenies 
and reached the Youghiougheny about the middle of February. The "Mayflower," 
as the boat was called, which was to transport the settlers to their destination, was 
forty-five feet long, twelve feet wide and of fifty tons burthen. All things were in 
readiness. The voyagers embarked at Simrall 's Ferry and passed down the 
Youghiougheny into the Monongahela; thence into the Ohio, and thence down that 
river to the mouth of the Muskingum, where they arrived April 7th, 1788, and there 
made the first permanent settlement of civilized men within the present limits of 

From 1790 to 1794 the settlements near the mouth of the Little Kanawha were 
much disturbed by Indians. In the autumn of 1790 Jacob Parchment, from the 
Belleville garrison, was killed by a band of nine Indians passing, when he was about 
a mile from the stockade. During the autumn of this year (1791), James Kelly, 
of Belleville, was killed by Indians, while working in the field, and his oldest son, 
Joseph, was carried captive to a Shawnee town in Ohio, where he was adopted, 
and remained until after the Wayne Treaty of 1795. 

In 1791, Capt. Lowther stationed twelve rangers at Neal's Fort; October 4th, 
1791, Nicholas Carpenter, with a drove of cattle, was attacked by the Indians, led 
by Tecumseh, at a place on what has since been called ' ' Carpenters Run, ' ' the 
exact spot is said to have been on land now owned by Hon. John Prine Sharp. 
Mr. Carpenter was a man of prominence, having served as justice, sheriff of his 
county and trustee of Randolph Academy of Clarksburg, but was at the time crippled 
from a wound previously received. 

In the fall of 1792 the son of Captain James Neal and a man named William 
Triplett were massacred at the mouth of Burning Springs run where they were hunt 
ing buffaloes. 

In May, 1792, Moses Hewitt, who had ventured up the ravine from Neal's 
Station to hunt his horse was captured about a mile from the station, but 
later escaped while his captors were securing honey from a bee tree. 

In the spring of 1792, savages appeared near Belleville and captured Stephen 
Sherrod who later escaped and returned home safely the following day. In 1793, 
Malcom Coleman of Belleville was shot by savages at a hunting camp near Cottage- 
ville on Mill Creek. The famous Bird Lockhart while on a deer hunt in the autumn 
of 1793 to secure venison for his friends at Williams Station was attacked by two 
savages on his return route to the station (Williamstown). 


The interior regions now included in Ritchie county (formed from 
Harrison, Lewis and Wood in 1843) were first opened to the notice of 
settlers in 1789 by the construction of a state road from Clarksburg 
to Marietta which for nearly forty years was an important thoroughfare 
to the Ohio. It was still almost an unbroken wilderness for another 
decade. The first cabin home in its limits was built as early as 1800 
by John Bunnell on the site of Pennsboro. In 1795, Mrs. Maley of 
Philadelphia exchanged her dowry for 1,(100 acres near the site of 
Harrisonville, but although she promptly started with her husband 
on the long journey she turned aside to the upper Shenandoah from 
which she moved to Ritchie in 1803. 

Part of the bottom lands below the mouth of the Little Kanawha 
first located in 1771 by George Washington were included in the survey 
of a tract located in 1782 by William Tilton and Company, a mercan- 
tile firm of Philadelphia who in 1785 employed Joseph Wood of Pitts- 
burgh to act as agent for the colonization and sale of the lands. A large 
tract at the site of Belleville was selected as a place to begin settlement. 
In the fall of 1785 Wood freighted a boat with cattle and utensils to 
begin the new settlement and left Pittsburgh, November 28, with Tilton 
and four Scotch families — landing at the site of Belleville on De- 
cember 16, 1785. Here they completed the erection of a block-house 
early in January, 178(i. Mr. Wood then laid out the new town of Belle- 
ville, donating a lot to each actual settler. One hundred acres were 
cleared the first year. When Tilton returned to Philadelphia in the 
spring of 1786 Wood was left in charge as sole agent of the company 
and manager of the settlement. He continued to make improvements 
and provide good defenses. New families arrived in 1787 and also a 
company of hunters from Lee creek Avhere they had erected "Flinn's 
station. ' ' In 1790 Wood married one of the earlier emigrants, the 
marriage being performed at Belpre because no one in Belleville had 
authority to officiate at. the wedding. A year later he moved to Marietta 
where he later filled many important offices. In 1790 Belleville re- 
ceived a new stimulus by the addition of Connecticut emigrants led 
by George D. Avery who for several years thereafter conducted a 
merchandise business there in connection with shipbuilding. 

A glimpse of the rush of pioneer immigrants to the Ohio following 
the treaty of Greenville, after Wayne's victory of 1795, the experiences 
incident thereto and the conditions along the route between Maryland 
and Wheeling and southward along the Ohio, is obtained from a letter 
written at Belleville (near the earlier Flinn's station) in Wood county 
in November, 1796, by Samuel Allen describing a journey from Alex- 
andria via Cumberland to the Ohio via "broadaggs (Braddocks) old 
road" undertaken by himself and several other New Engianders under 
the management of Mi-. Avery who had lots to sell at Belleville. He 

In 1793, the Indians stole three horses near Neat 's Station and were pursued 
by Capt. Bogard into Ohio and up Raccoon Creek; and in March of that year Gapt. 
William Lowther reported many crossing the Ohio and said that on the 3rd of that 
month they had stolen six horses near Clarksburg, whereupon he pursued them to 
Williams Station and with five men additional, there procured, had gone by water 
to about four miles below Belleville, and followed them fifty miles into Ohio, where 
lie retook four of the horses, killed one Indian and wounded another; he sent the 
skin of one of their heads, as convincing evidence of their presence. 

In 1794, Ensign Bartholomew Jenkins was stationed at Neal 's Station. Capt. 
Bogard at Newberry, Lieutenant Morgan at Fishing Creek, Lieutenant Evans at 
Pish Creek, Ensign Jonathan Coburn at Middle Island and Capt. Morgan, with his 
free lance and thirty followers, penetrated beyond the Ohio about two hundred 
miles up the Muskingum, destroyed a town, killed one Indian, and brought back 
three women and two children. In March of this same year, Joseph Cox was cap- 
tured on his way to the mouth of Leading Creek by a party of savages who spared 
his life as he played fool and availed himself of the Indians' peculiar consideration 
for idiots and lunatics; in the early part of April, possibly by the same part}', Paul 
Armstrong's wife ami three younger children were killed at their home ,just below 
Pnrkerslmrg, on the Ohio just above Blonnerhassett Island; his sons, Jeremiah, 
aged nine years, John, aped eleven years, ami an older daughter, Elizabeth, were 
carried captives down and ,'irross the river. 


states that the fare from New London to Alexandria was $6.00 
for each passenger and that freight for goods for sixty cents per ewt. 
At Alexandria wagoners were hired to carry the goods aeross the 
mountains to Morgantown on the Monongalia at a cost of "thirty- 
two shillings and six pence for each hundred weight of women and 
goods." On June 30 the company left Alexandria. The men walked 
tin' entire •'!')() miles and for three days Mr. Allen carried a very sick 
child which without proper medical assistance died (duly 14) on the 
mountain in Alleghany county, Maryland, and was tenderly laid to rest 
in a grave beside those of several strangers who had died crossing tile 
mountains. Leaving Braddoek's road near the Pennsylvania line, the 
company reached Morgantown on July 18. They found the river too 
low for boats but four days later favored by rains which rapidly raised 
the river, part of the company embarked before the arrival of all their 
wagons — leaving orders with a local merchant to send their goods. As 
soon as the rise in the river would permit, on July '!'■], Mr. Allen and 
two others started by land with the cattle and horses via Wheeling creek 
and on August 9 arrived at Belleville. Along the entire route from 
Morgantown to Wheeling they found the country settled and a pleasant 
road, and saw "beautiful plantations," and "large fields of corn and 
grane" but over the large part of the route from Wheeling to Belle- 
ville except along the banks of the river they passed through a wilder- 
ness broken oidy by a blind foot path and in which they found it "very 
difficult to get victules to eat." Along the river they found some 
inhabitants who had arrived in the spring and had no provisions exeept 
what they had brought with them. At Belleville, the new settlers found 
the "country as good as represented and settling very fast." They 
found life on the Ohio interesting and were not tempted to return to 
New England. They had caught the spirit of the West, and had faith 
in the future of their own village from which they could see boats 
which passed on the river laden with families hunting new homes. 
Mr. Allen's letter to his father (see Chapter X) furnishes a live picture 
of local conditions. 

In 1796 Eric Bollman who journeyed from Cumberland west over 
the Alleghanies spent the first night at West Port (Maryland) and on 
the afternoon of the second day passed through the Glades onto which 
many hundred head of cattle were driven .yearly from South Branch, 
etc., for pasturage and after the second night "breakfasted with the 
large and attractive family of Tim Friend the noble hunter and dined 
at Dunkards Bottom on Cheat, spent the third night with Mr. Zinn 
and arrived at Morgantown on the following day." He regarded this 
as the nearest point at which to reach the western waters. From the 
latter point he travelled via the mouth of George's creek (near Geneva), 
through Uniontown, Brownsville and Washington to Pittsburgh. 

i» Ten years earlier, in 1784, the people on the Monongahela, in Pennsylvania 
paid five cents a pound to have their merchandise carried on pack horse from 
Philadelphia, ami in 1789 they paid four cents for carrying from Carlisle to Union- 
town. Packing by horses was a business which many followed for a living. Wages 
paid the paekhorse driver were fifteen dollars per month, and men were scarce at 
that price. In 1789 the first wagon loaded with merchandise reached the Mononga- 
hela River, passing over the Braddock road. It was driven by John Hayden, and 
hauled two thousand pounds from llagerstown to Brownsville, and was drawn by 
four horses. One month was consumed in making the trip, and the freight bill 
was sixty dollars. This was cheaper than packing on horses. 

Probably wagons were used before 1789 for hauling household goods in the long 
emigrant trains across the Alleghenies. Boats upon the Monongahela and Ohio 
before that year bore abundant evidence that the wagon roads over the moun- 
tains were well patronized by wheeled vehicles, as well as by Hocks and herds. It 
is recorded that from November 13 to December 22, 1785, there passed down the 
Ohio 39 boats, with an average of ten persons in each. In the last six months of 
1787 a count at the mouth of the Muskingum river, on the Ohio side a short dis- 
tance above Parkersbtirg, showed that 14(i boats passed, with 3,196 passengers, 165 
wagons. 191 cattle. 24.) sheep, and 24 hogs. Prom November, 17S7, to Novem 
ber, 1788, there passed down the Ohio 967 boats, 18,370 people, 7,986 horses, 2,372 
cows, 1,110 sheep, and 640 wagons. 



In October, 1798, Felix Renick with others starting from the South 
Branch of the Potomac to visit Marietta on the third night reached 
Clarksburg "which was then near the verge of the western settlements 
except along the Ohio." West of Clarksburg he spent the night in the 
woods but early next morning unexpectedly found a "new improve- 
ment" established by a lone man who had settled in the wilderness to 
accommodate the travellers at high prices. After two more nights in 
the woods he reached his destination. 

Settlements along the Little Kanawha were greatly increased by 
the tide of new immigration following the treaty of Greenville of 1795. 
As danger decreased many new families arrived; the Cooks and Spen- 
cers from Connecticut, and the Beesons from Pennsylvania who settled 

Mr. and Mrs. Harman Blennerhassett 

on the river near the site of Parkersburg ; the Hannamans, Creels, Prib- 
bles and Kicheloes on the Kanawha; the Beauchamps on the site of 
Elizabeth and the Hendersons farther above ; the Neals, Phelps, Poleys, 
Wolfs and others (including Blennerhassett) below the Kanawha. In 
1797, Harman Blennerhassett came via Pittsburgh to Marietta and in 
1798 located on the upper half of the island where he could hold his 
colored servants as property and at the same time be near intelligent 
and educated officers of the American army who had settled at Belpre. 
The island first entered by Washington in 1770 and later surveyed in 
1784 under a patent issued by Gov. Patrick Henry, had been owned 
since 1792 by one Backus. Blennerhassett lived in the old block house 
until he completed his mansion in 1800. 

By 1798 there were enough settlers to justify steps to secure a new 
county by separation from Harrison, and in the following year Wood 
was formed with interior boundaries beginning at a point on the Kana- 
wha, thirty miles from the Ohio noitheast, and extending thence north- 
east to the Ohio county line at a point twenty-one miles from the Ohio. 
Much contention arose concerning the location of a county seat which 


the court was authorized by the assembly to select "at or near the 
center of the county as situation or convenience would permit." The 
principal claimants or contestants, for the court house were the Spencers 
at Vienna and Isaac Williams at the Ferry. Justices of the county 
court who met in 1799 at Hugh Phelp's residence fixed the location at 
Neal's station. Those who met at Isaac Williams in October, 1800, 
ordered the erection of public buildings on lands of Williams, but a 
month later by a vote of 10 to 6 adjourned to Hugh Phelp's house at 
which they unanimously agreed to erect the court house and whipping 
post above the mouth of Little Kanawha at its junction with the Ohio 
on lauds of John Stokely. The village at that time was called "The 
Point" or Stokely ville consisting of a half dozen log cabins. Here 
Stokely (whose patent was dated December 8, 1800) laid out a town 
which until 1809 was called Newport. On an adjoining part of the 
Parker estate which was saved to the Parker heirs (700 acres) the new 
town of Parkersburg was laid out. 

In 1810 an act was passed establishing Parkersburg adjoining and 
including Newport and allowing the seat of justice to be removed to a 
proposed brick house. The survey of the town was made by George D. 
Avery, a surveyor and lawyer of Belleville. In 1812 or 1813 a contract 
was made for a new two-story court house to be built of brick 40x40. 
Trouble resulted at once. Vienna and Munroe or Neals on the south 
side continued to assert their claims. Some objected to the extravagance 
and others to the location. The Vienna people prepared a petition 
to the legislature which proceeded to appoint commissioners (from 
Ohio and Mason counties) to decide the contest. The decision was in 
favor of the public square in Parkersbiirg, and there the court house 
was erected in 1815 and also the old whipping post. 

Above Wood county in the present territory of Pleasants settlements 
were made by 1797. In the territory now included in Tyler, the earliest 
centers of settlement were at Sistersville which were laid out in 1814 
as the county seat and at Middlebourne which was established as a town 
in 1813 and has been the county seat since 1816. Sistersville at which 
a ferry was established in 1818 was later known as a good boat landing. 

Farther up the Little Kanawha in the region of Wirt county the 
first settlement was made in 1796 on the site of Elizabeth by William 
Beauchamp who was soon followed by others and in 1803 built a grist 
mill. The earlier name of Beauchamp 's Mills was changed to Eliza- 
beth in 1817 in honor of David Beauchamp 's wife whose maiden name 
was Elizabeth Woodyard. 

Eastward and southward in Calhoun (formed from Gilmer in 1856) 
in Gilmer (formed from parts of Lewis and Kanawha in 1845) in 
Braxton (formed from Lewis, Kanawha and Nicholas in 1836) in 
Clay (formed from Braxton and Nicholas in 1858) and in Webster 
(formed from Nicholas, Braxton, and Randolph in 1860) development 
of settlements was delayed and retarded by location. On a Virginia 
map of 1807 no towns are shown between upper Tygart and the mouth 
of Elk. In the territory of Roane (formed from parts of Kanawha, 
Jackson and Gilmer in 1856) the first settlers, Samuel Tanner and 
family, reached Spring creek valley and located in 1812 at the site of 
Spencer on lands included in a survey of 6,000 acres patented by Al- 
bert Gallatin in 1787 and later owned by J. P. R. Buerau who located 
at Gallipolis with other French colonists in 1791. This settlement was 
called Tanner's Cross Roads from 1816 to 1839 after which it bore 
the name of New California until 1858 when it was incorporated under 
the name of Spencer. 

Along the Ohio below Wood county, in the territory now included in 
Jackson county (formed from Mason, Kanawha and Wood in 1831), 
the first actual settlers were William and Benjamin Hannaman who 
arrived in 1796. With them came James McDade, who became an 
Indian scout along the Ohio between the two Kanawhas. Others set- 
tled in 1800. In 1808 John Nesselroad settled at the mouth of Sand 


creek. Among those who came with him was Lawrence Lane who reared 
his cabin on the site of Ravenswood — on lands which William Crawford 
surveyed for George Washington in 1770 and which were settled by 
squatters who were later ejected by the agents of Washington's heirs. 
Ravensworth (aecidently changed to Ravenswood by the map engraver) 
was laid out in 1836 three years after Ripley became the county seat. 

About sixteen miles above Point Pleasant on 6,000 acres of the Wash- 
ington lands a settlement designed as a Presbyterian colony was begun 
in 1798 by Rev. William Graham who for twenty-one years had been 
president of the first academy west of the Blue Ridge. The attempt 
failed at the death of its leading spirit who died at Richmond a year 
later, resulting in the withdrawal of the discouraged colonists. The 
place is still known as Graham's Station. 

Along the lower Kanawha in the territory which later (1848) formed 
Putnam county settlement was delayed until after 1799 — although 
sites for homes had been selected over twenty years before and George 
Washington and his surveyors had visited it in 1770. A settlement 
at Red House was made in 1806 but none was made at Winfield until 
about 1815. 

New life appeared farther up the Kanawha, in the vicinity of Charles- 
ton. One of the chief leaders in the early development of this region 
was Joseph Ruffner who arrived in 1795 and with penetrating eye saw 
a great future for the valley. After the burning of his barns in the 
Shenandoah country, he set out to find iron-ore lands. At a point on 
the Cow Pasture which may not have been more than twenty miles 
from Clifton Forge, he stopped at the house of Col. John Dickinson from 
whom he quickly arranged to buy a survey on the Kanawha, includ- 
ing the salt spring, for 600 pounds sterling which was about $3,000. 
The next spring (1795) he rode out to Kanawha on horseback alone. 
From Greenbrier he followed for 100 miles the track along which only 
four years before Mad Anne Bailey had run the gauntlet of the Indians 
in carrying ammunition to the Clendennin Fort. When he reached 
Gauley river he found it "booming," but he undertook to cross it and 
succeeded. How he did has been told by the devoted antiquarian, John 
L. Cole, who got it from the lips of Paddy Huddlestone, Sr., who lived 
a few miles below Kanawha Falls, and who witnessed it. Cole, in re- 
peating the incident impersonated Huddlestone, who said : 

"One day I walked up the river and found Gauley very high; drift 
running. I travelled on up stream and when I got about seven miles 
from the mouth of Gauley I saw a man on the opposite side of the 
river leading his horse down a steep place to the bank of the river. 
There was no trail to this point, and I don't know how he got there, 
but he looked as if he meant to cross the river, but I didn't think he 
would be fool enough to try to ford it, or to swim it with all the load 
he had on. I couldn't imagine what he was going to do. But presently 
he took a short-handled axe from his saddle and went to work on a dry 
chestnut tree that had fallen against the cliff. The trunk he cut into 
lengths and split. He then took a rope and tied the pieces to his horse 's 
tail and dragged them to a place to suit him. Then he took from his 
saddle bags some wrought nails and made a raft, which he put into the 
water and loaded his things onto it. He tied the raft to his horse's tail 
and pushed him into the river, jumped on the raft and started over. 
He guided the horse by speaking to him and got over safely. Then he 
knocked the raft to pieces, put the nails back in his saddlebags and came 
home with me for the night. This man was Joseph Ruffner. ' ' 

Ruffner 's visit to Clendennin 's fort was the arrival of a new power 
in the Kanawha valley — a power which was to create, to strengthen, to 
develop and to abide. He at once saw rich resources of many kinds. 
"There were hundreds of acres of the finest saw-mill timber; there 
was the land fat with vegetable matter, loose and easily cultivated ; 
there was the beautiful Kanawha or Woods river, alive with fish, naviga- 
ble for large boats, and communicating with a vast system of navigable 


streams pouring their water into the Gulf of Mexico; and in spite of 
the departure of the elk and buffalo, there were still deer, beaver, otter 
and raccoon, and bears enough to bed all the armies of Europe." 

With faith in the future of the region he was willing to risk a resi- 
dence there and to contribute his money and energy to assist in im- 
provements. Before he left the place he owned everything- from Elk 
river to the "head of the bottom," about three miles. The bottom 
was owned by three of the brothers Clendennin — George, William 
and Alexander — from each of whom he received a deed. 

In a few days after his purchase Joseph started back to Shenandoah, 
and in the autumn of the same year (1795) he removed his family to 
Kanawha, excepting his oldest and only married son, David, who re- 
mained another year in Shenandoah. 

He continued to be land-hungry, even after he had bought the 
great bottom, as shown by a deed made to him in 1797 by Win. T. 
Taylor, of Kentucky, for 6,660 acres on Sixteen-mile creek, on the Ohio 
river below Point Pleasant. 

Whilst waiting for the time when his attention could be somewhat 
withdrawn from his farm work, he leased to Elisha Brooks, "a droll 
genius," the privilege of making salt from the brine that was wasting 
at the edge of the river, and before the lease expired the proprietor had 
ceased his labors. 

He died in March, 1803, aged over 63 years. In his own mind his 
western career was just beginning, but his unfinished work was left 
in able hands. He left four sons. The fourth son, Samuel, was the 
only feeble one, and he became so when in infancy he was nearly burnt 
to death in his cradle. 

The will is dated February 21, 1803, less than a month before he died. 
His home "plantation" and all his personal property he gives to his 
wife until her death, after which Daniel was to become the owner. 

In the will he divided the bottom (exclusive of the town) into three 
parts. The lower division he gave to David, who then lived upon it; 
the middle to Daniel after his mother's death; and the upper division 
to Tobias. Joseph, Jr., and Abraham received outlying lands. The 
front bottom of the Dickinson survey containing the Salt Spring, was 
given to David, Joseph, Tobias, Daniel and Abraham (to all the sons 
jointly, except poor Samuel, who was to be taken eare of by contribution 
from all the rest). To each son was given a lot in Charleston. David 
seems to have fallen heir to all the town lots not otherwise disposed of. 

South of the Great Kanawha, "the whole country swarmed with 
surveyors and speculators" after the news of Wayne's victory and the 
treaty of 1795. Even before the certainty of safety from Indians along 
the old war paths, the wide wilderness domain between the few scat- 
tered settlements invited the enterprise of land speculators of the East 
who procured from the Virginia land office at a nominal price, land 
warrants for large entries and tracts of lands which were later located 
in the unbroken forest under a policy whose methods, resulting in un- 
certainty of land titles, long continued to hinder and retard settlements. 
Nearly if not quite all the territory south of the Kanawha and the Ohio 
to the headwaters of Holston, were entered, surveyed and carried into 
grant. Robert Morris surveyed grants for about 8,000,000 acres of land 
much of which was patented to him as assignee of Wilson ( Jarey Nicholas 
in 1795. The territory comprised within the present counties of Mercer, 
Raleigh, Fayette, McDowell, Wyoming, Boone, Logan, Mingo, Wayne. 
Cabell, Lincoln, Kanawha and Putnam was almost completely shingled 
over with these large grants by the Virginia land office and frequently 
they lapped upon each other. Commencing on the East River mountain 
on the south side and then again on the north side were grants to Robert 
Pollard, one for 50,000 and the other for 75,000 acres, then came the 
grant of 80,000 acres to Samuel M. Hopkins, a grant of 50,000 acres In 
Robert Young, 40,000 acres to McLaughlin, 170,000 acres to Moore ami 
Beckley, 35,000 acres to Robert McCullock, 108,000 acres to Rutter ami 


Etting, 90,000 acres to Welch, 150,000 acres to DeWitt Clinton, 50,000 
acres to Dr. John Dillon, 480,000 acres to Robert Morris, 500,000 acres 
to the same, 150,000 acres to Robert Pollard, 500,000 acres to Wilson 
Carey Nicholas, 300,000 acres to the same, 320,000 acres to Robert 
Morris, 57,000 acres to Thomas Wilson, 40,000 acres to George Pickett, 
and farther down Sandy, Guyandotte and Coal rivers were large grants 
to Elijah Wood, Smith and others. 

Peace having been restored along the frontier settlements, and no 
further danger being apprehended from the Indians, there was also a 
great rush to the most desirable parts of the New river valley and west- 
ward by people from eastern Virginia and western North Carolina. 
The region along Middle New river settled rapidly, and civilization 
advanced by the construction of houses, the opening of roads and the 
election of civil officers. The people complained of the inconvenience 
of travel to the county seat at Lewisburg. Conditions of growth soon 
resulted in a demand for the formation of a new county. In a large 
degree this region was settled independently of that covered by Green- 
brier. Naturally the two localities came to have divergent views in 
local matters. A numerously signed petition of 1790, voicing the people 
of the sinks of Monroe, asked for a new county because of the natural 
barrier of the Greenbrier river. It stated that the court house was forty 
miles from any point on New river. For five years the movement for 
separation appeared to lose its energy. It was revived, however, and 
finally, through the wire-pulling of John Hutchinson, the legislative on 
January 14, 1799, passed an act creating the county of Monroe, named 
in honor of James Monroe who several times visited the Red Sulphur 
Springs. Hutchinson also lobbied through the assembly a bill to estab- 
lish the town of Union, and another to relieve the people of Monroe 
from the Greenbrier taxes of 1799 assessed before Monroe was organized. 

Union was not yet a town. About a mile north of the site chosen for 
the new court house, James Byrnside had made a home in 1762. Nearer 
the site of the proposed town James Alexander had built a cabin in 1774. 
His farm was chosen for the county seat. At a session of August 21, 
1799, the ti'ustees ordered that "the size of buildings on each lot must 
be one square log house of the same size of 16x18 feet, two stories high." 
There was prompt remonstrance against the choice of county seat. A 
petition with many signers condemned it "as being far from the center 
thus disregarding the act creating Monroe, and also as illegal, on the 
ground that the justices of the new county were appointed and com- 
missioned without the consent of the court of Greenbrier." The de- 
cision, however, was not changed. Houses were soon begun in the 
neighborhood. About a year after it was founded the town had a store, 
opened by Richard Shanklin. It tried to obtain the location of the dis- 
trict court (for the counties of Greenbrier, Botetourt, Montgomery, Kana- 
wha and Monroe) but was not successful. 

Sweet Springs was the seat of the district court for a period of eleven 
years — a period of discord. Finally by an act of the assembly of Febru- 
ary, 1807, Lewisburg became the seat. This removal was a result of 
an agitation which arose much earlier. A petition of 1800 requested 
that the court be moved to Union on the ground that the proprietor's 
tavern is given a monopoly "under the most inconvenient charges and 
regulations. ' ' Union was represented as in ' ' the heart of a compact and 
plentiful settlement rapidly progressing." 

In a petition of 1802, the proprietor of Sweet Springs argued that 
his court house is of stone, much larger than the one at Union, and with 
walls two feet thick; and that his jail had two rooms, whereas the jail 
at Union had a single room eighteen feet square. Only two felons have 
escaped from his jail. In 1804, there were 419 petitioners asking that 
the court remain at Sweet Spring for the reason that its court house 
was more commodious than those at Fincastle and Lewisburg. 

The Sweet Springs began to attract attention after the arrival of the 
Lewises in 1782, although the first building was only a log hut known as 


the "wigwam." Early in the nineteenth century the place became 
well known and had as guests many pi-ominent men. It is reputed to be 
the place where Jerome Bonaparte wooed and won his American wife, 
Elizabeth Patterson, whom his despotic brother refused to recognize. 

Peterstown began its official existence in 1803 as the result of a peti- 
tion by Christian Peters, in which it is stated that an area of eighteen 
and one-half acres had been laid off in lots and streets. The earliest 
purchaser of a lot was Isaac Dawson in 1807. The place grew and pros- 
pered. An important factor in its growth was the fine waterpower on 
Rich creek. 

The distribution of wealth was very unequal in Monroe. A few fam- 
ilies had gradually come into possession of very large areas of the best 
farming and grazing lands. A numerous element of the population was 
thus squeezed into a condition of tenantry. 

Part of Monroe was combined with parts of Montgomery and Taze- 
well in 1806. 

Coincident with the increase of immigration a "vast throng of people 
from the New river valley quickly penetrated the country between the 
New river settlements and the Ohio and settled on the Sandy, Guyan- 
dotte and Coal waters, even reaching to the Ohio." Among them were 
the McComases, Chapmans, Lucases, Smiths, Cnapeis, Napiers, Hunt- 
ers, Adkinses, Acords, Aliens, Fryes, Dingesses, Lusks, Shannons, 
Baileys, Jarrells, Egglestons, Fergusons, Marcums, Hatfields, Bromfields, 
Haldeons, Lamberts, Pauleys, Lpwsons, Workmans, Prices, Cookes, 
Clays, Godbeys, Huffs, McDonalds, Whites, Farleys, Kezees, Perdues, 
Ballards, Barrets, Toneys, Conleys, Stollings, Stratons, Buchanans, 
Deskins, and many others who largely peopled and left honored descend- 
ants throughout the section. 

On the territory later (1847) included in Boone the first settlement 
was made in 1798 on Big Coal river near the mouth of White Oak creek, 
by Isaac Barker. At that time the nearest neighboring settlement was 
that of Leonard Morris at Marmet, and the nearest grist mill was at the 
mouth of Gauley. In the decade which followed clearings were made and 
homes built in the Coal river valley by many hardy pioneers from Mon- 
roe, Greenbrier, Cabell and Kanawha counties and from Virginia and 

One of the earliest pioneers of the interior region south of the Kana- 
wha was Edward McDonald (great-grandfather of Judge Joseph M. 
Sanders) who entered and sui-veyed the valuable land on Clear Fork 
of Guyandotte (in Wyoming county) which David Hughes, the tory, 
had pointed out to him for a blanket and a rifle. In 1802, in company 
with his son-in-law, Capt. James Shannon, he removed to Guyan- 
dotte and took possession of the land. Captain Shannon, who settled a 
few miles above the Big Fork of the Guyandotte found Indian wigwams 
still standing in the bottoms. In 1812 James Ellison (born at Warford, 
1778), a distinguished frontier Baptist preacher, planted the Guyandotte 
Baptist church on the site of Oceana. 

In Lincoln the first settlers were four men named McComas who 
arrived from beyond the mountains in 1799 and after raising a crop of 
corn in the fall returned for their families. Near them other cabins 
soon appeared. Farther away on Ranger's branch (tributary of Ten 
Mile creek) Isaac Hatfield settled in 1800 and was soon followed by 
others. Among the early settlers along Trace fork was John Tackett 
who arrived with his family in 1801. On the site of the county seat, 
David Stephenson erected a cabin in 1802. Near the mouth of Slash 
creek on Mud river (twelve miles southeast of Ham ji<rf Luke Adkins 
settled in 1807 and near him several others rearedTnTTTTabins. In 1811 
Richard Parsons led the way through the wilderness to the mouth of 
Cobbs run upon which others soon built neighboring cabins. 

On the upper streams and tributaries of the Big Sandy valley a 
considerable population from North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland 
settled before the settlements were made near the mouth. Near the forks 

Vol. 1—8 


of Big Sandy, Samuel Short reared his cabin (near Cassville) about 
1796, followed by others in 1798 and subsequent years. Near the mouth, 
Stephen Kelley settled in 1789 followed by a neighbor in 1799, and 
others in 1800. On the upper waters of Twelve Pole the first settler 
arrived in 1799. On the same stream at the mouth of Lick creek, James 
Bias settled in 1802 and was followed by others in 1802 and 1803. Near 
the site of Trout's Hill, Jesse Spurlock and Samuel Fergerson built 
cabin homes in 1802 and were followed by others in 1802 and 1806. 

The present territory of Cabell was settled at a comparatively late 
date. The earliest settlements in the territory were located on the Savage 
grant made in 1775 to John Savage and fifty-nine other soldiers of 
the French and Indian war on lands surveyed by William Crawford 
about 1771 and extending from above the Guyandotte and up the river 
for a short distance down the Ohio to the Big Sandy and up the Big 
Sandy on both sides. The earlier grant included 28,627 acres. In a 
later lawsuit it was stated that in 1775 some of the grantees partitioned 7 
the lands among themselves and after taking possession set up a claim 
of exclusive ownership to the allotments which they held, but according 
to established tradition there were no settlers on the grant before 1796. 
Parts of the grant were occupied by squatters after that date. The first 
permanent settlement was made in 1796 at Green Bottom by Thomas 
Hannon of Botetourt county. Guyandotte was settled soon thereafter 
by Thomas Buffington and others on the Savage grant in 1775. It 
became the county seat in 1809 and was made a town by legislative act 
in 1810 — three years ahead of Barboursville. At Salt Rock on the 
Guyandotte, Elisha McComas settled about 1800. Between Guyan- 
dotte and Barboursville, at the Shelton place, Edmund McGinnis settled 
with his family in 1802. Midway between Barboursville and Guyan- 
dotte a settlement was also made by Jacob Hite (grandson of Joist Hite) 
who came to the Savage grant in 1808. 

The new stimulus to trans-Allegheny road improvement and to other 
development, which followed Wayne's victory over the Indians in west- 
ern Ohio in 1795 was greatly increased by the admission of Ohio as a 
state, and the acquisition of Louisiana in 1803. Visions of a larger life 
for the lower Monongahela region followed Gallatin's report of 1806 in 
favor of a national road which, over a decade later, was completed from 
Cumberland across western Maryland and southwestern Pennsylvania 
to Wheeling. 

i The surveyor at this partition probably was Thomas Buffington, of Hamp- 
shire county, whose father had purchased the interest of John Savage. It is sup- 
posed that when the survey was made there were no white people residing any- 
where near the land. It appears that not a single person entitled to a share in the 
"Savage Grant" ever took possession of it. Either the soldiers themselves, or 
their heirs, sold and assigned to others their interest in the grant. 

The partition of 1775 was not satisfactory. In 1809, a chancery suit was 
begun to set it aside. The land was afterwards sold for the United States direct 
tax, and the assignees of the claims purchased of the soldiers, desired to set up 
and have their rights adjudicated. 

By act of January 5, 1810, twenty acres of land on the upper side of the 
Guyandotte part of the Savage grant, Military Survey, held by Thos. Buffington, 
was condemned and upon it was established the town of Guyandotte. 



Glimpses of the early conditions and early wayfaring life along 
(he chief routes of travel through western Virginia may be obtained 
from diaries, journals or letters iu which early travelers recorded their 
observations, experiences and impressions. The records which follow 
begin with the journal of Bishop Asbury, the greatest Methodist circuit 
rider of the early period of American nationality, who frequently visited 
the valleys of the Potomac and the South Branch, of the New and the 
Greenbrier, and of the Monongahela and Tygarts, and close with a diary 
of Col. George Summers, the land hunter who rode down the Kanawha 
and lip the Ohio to Wheeling and West Liberty in 1808. 

1. Extracts from Journal of Rev. Francis Asbury. Glimpses of 
the early life, especially along the Tygart's valley and the lower Monon- 
gahela may be obtained from the Journal of Rev. Francis Asbury, 
bishop of the Methodist Episcopal church, who made long trips on horse- 
back through western Virginia, and in fact from Georgia to Pennsyl- 
vania, eastward to Maryland and Virginia and northward to the Jerseys 
and to New England. The following extracts are selected for illustration : 

Saturday, June 2, (1781) Preached at Martinsburg; afterward returned to 
Brother Bruce 's; he is a lily among the thorns. 

Monday, 4. (1781) I preached to a few lifeless people at Stroud's. 

Tuesday, 5. (June, 1781) Had a rough ride over hills and dales to Guest 's. 
Here brother Pigman met me, and gave an agreeable account of the work on the 
south branch of Potomac. 

Thursday, 7. I set out for the south branch of Potomac — a country of moun- 
tains and natural curiosities. * * * We found some difficulty in crossing Great 
Capon River; three men very kindly carried us over in a canoe, and afterward rode 
our horses over the stream, without fee or reward; about five o'clock we reached 
W. B.'s. 

Friday, 8 (June, 1781) Not being able to cross the South Branch, we had to 
bear away through the mountains, and to go up one or about two hundred yards 

Sunday, 10 (June, 1781) I preached at eleven o'clock to about two hundred 
people with a degree of freedom. I then rode to R. Williams's. On my way 1 had 
a view of a hanging rock that appears like a castle wall, about three hundred feet 
high, and looks as if it had been built with square slate stones; at first glance a 
traveller would be ready to fear it would fall on him. I had about three hundred 
people; but there were so many nicked whisky drinkers, who brought with them 
so much of the power of the devil, that I had but little satisfaction in preaching. 

Monday, 11 (June 1781) From Williams's I crossed the South Branch and went 
to Patterson Creek. I came to a Dutch settlement (in Mineral Co.) : the people 
love preaching, but do not understand class-meeting, because they are not enough 
conversant with the English tongue; and we cannot all do as J, Hagerty and H. 
Wydner, who speak both languages; could we get a Dutch preacher or two to travel 
with us, I am persuaded we should have a good work among the Dutch. I love these 
people; they are kind in their way. 

* * * I am now in a land of valleys and mountains, about ten or fifteen 
miles from the foot of the Alleghany — a mountain that, at this part of it, is two 
days' journey across; thither some of our preachers are going to seek the out- 
casts of the people. 

Monday, 18. (June 1781) I was led to wonder at myself when I considered 
the fatigue I went through; travelling in the rain; sleeping without beds, etc., and 
in the midst of all I am kept in health. 

Wednesday, 20. We had hard work crossing the Fork Mountain, being some- 
times obliged to walk where it was too steep to ride. I was much blessed in 
speaking to about ninety Dutch folks, who appeared to feel the word. 

Friday morning. (June 16, 1784). From Sharpsburg I hastened on to Shep- 
herdstown, where the Lord set home his wind. Came to sister Bnvdstcme's, one of 
the kindest women in Virginia. Here all things wer >in I'm table. 



Thursday, June 17. I preached at Martinsburg to a hundred people or more. 

Sunday, 20 (June 1784) I attempted to preach at Newtown. 

Friday, 25. We had hard work in crossing a mountain six miles over, and it 
was still worse the next day in crossing the greater mountain. I found it very 
warm work, though stripped. We struggled along nevertheless, and met with about 
four hundred people at Strayder's. 

Sunday, 27 (June 1784) I was assisted to speak felling words to some souls 
at Vanmetu's, though in pain and weariness. Thence I hasted to preach at six 
o 'clock at Hoffman 's, a third time this day. About ten o 'clock at night I came to 
brother Dew 's, very weary, and lodged there. 

Wednesday, 30 (June 1784) I had freedome of spirit and utterance, at J. Cres- 
sap's, to a large congregation; and although still weak in body, I preached again 
at Barratt 'a in the evening. 

Thursday, July 1. We began to ascend the Alleghany, directing our course to- 
wards Redstone. 

Sunday, 4. At Cheat River we had a mixed congregation of sinners, Presby- 
terians, Baptists, and it may be, of saints: I had liberty, and gave it to them as 
the lord gave it to me — plain enough. Three thick — on the floor — such is our lodg- 
ing — but no matter: God is with us. 

Tuesday (July, 1785) Rode to the Springs called Bath; now under great im- 
provement. I preached in the play-house, and lodged under the same roof with 
the actors. Some folks, who would not hear me in their own neighborhood, made 
now a part of my audience, both night and morning. Leaving Bath I came to brother 
Dew's (on the South branch of the Potomac) very unwell. 

Virginia. — Thursday, (June 1, 1786) I reached Shepherdstown with difficulty, 
and in pain. 

Saturday, 3. (July 1786) We rode twenty-eight miles along very bad roads to 
Mclbourn's. Brother Watters preached. 

Sunday, 4. The Lutheran minister began a few minutes before I got into 
Winchester : I rode leisurely through the town, and preached under some spreading 
trees on a hill to many white and black people. * * * I then went once more 
to Newtown. I had but little freedom in speaking. I called on Mr. Otterbine: 
we had some free conversation on the necessity of forming a church among the 
Dutch, holding conferences, the order of its government, etc. 

Rode to Col. 's, as welcome as snow in harvest. My soul is kept in 

peace; but my poor body is much fatigued, and I am lame withal. I came over a 
rough road to Johnson's, and preached to a most insensible people. 

Monday, 12 (June, 1786) Rode thirty-one miles; spoke at Dewitt's to about 
fifty people; rather hard this, after riding so far: I shall go elsewhere, and do 
more good, I hope. 

Tuesday, 13. (June 1786) I had an open time at Col. Barratt 's. My lameness 
discourages me. Praise the Lord ! there is a little religion on the Maryland side 
of the Potomac, and this is some comfort, without which this Alleghany would make 
me gloomy indeed. Sick or lame, I must try for Redstone tomorrow. 

Thursday, 15 (June 1786) We rode about twenty-two miles, and were kindly 
entertained for five shillings and sixpence. 

Saturday, 17. We have a heavy ride to Morgantown. I was to have been there 
at four o 'clock, but missing my way, I made it six. 

Monday, 30 (June 1788) Crossed the high mountains, and came to H 's 

in Green Brier. 

Tuesday, July 1. I enlarged on Gal. iii, 22. We then rode to M'Pherson's, a 
serious family on Sinking Creek, where I preached with some freedom. After cross- 
ing some considerable mountains, and preaching occasionally, on Friday we arrived 
at the Sweet Springs: here I preached, and the people were very attentive. 

Saturday and Sunday, 5, 6. I had large congregations at Rohoboth. I preached 
with some satisfaction. 

Monday, 7. Our troubles began; it being the day we set out for Clarksburg. 
Thirty miles brought us to W 's on the GTeat Levels. 

Tuesday, 8. Reached M'Neal's, on the Little Levels, where almost the whole 
settlement came together, with whom I found freedom on Matt, xi, 28-30. Our 
brother Phoebus had to answer questions propounded to him until evening. 

Wednesday, 9. We rode to the Clover Lick, to a very remote and exposed house. 
Here we found good lodgings for the place. The former tenant had made a small 
estate by keeping cattle, horses, etc., on the range, which is fertile and extensive. 

Thursday, 10. We had to cross the Alleghany mountain again, at a bad passage. 
Our course lay over mountains and through valleys, and the mud and mire was 
such as might scarcely be expected in December. We came to an old, forsaken habi- 
tation in Tyger's Valley. Here our horses grazed about, while we boiled our meat. 
Midnight brought us up at Jones's, after riding forty, or perhaps fifty, miles. The 
old man, our host, was kind enough to wake us up at four o 'clock in the morn- 
ing. We journeyed on through devious lonely wilds, where no food might be found, 
except what grew in the woods, or was carried with us. We met with two women 
who were going to see their friends, and to attend the quarterly meeting at Clarks- 
burg. Near midnight we stopped at A 's, who hissed his dogs at us: but 

the women were determined to get to quarterly meeting, so we went in. Our supper 

was tea. Brothers Phoebus and Cook took to the woods; old gave up his 

bed to the women. I lay along the floor on a few deer-skins with the fleas. That 
night our poor horses got no corn; and next morning they had to swim across the 


Monongahela. After a twenty miles' ride we came to Clarksburg, and man and 
beast so outdone that it took us ten hours to accomplish it. I lodged with Col. 
Jackson. Our meeting was held in a long, close room belonging to the Baptists. Our 
use of the house it seems gave offense. There attended about seven hundred people, 
to whom I preached with freedom; and I believe the Lord's power reached the hearts 
of some. After administering the sacrament, I was well satisfied to take my leave. 
We rode thirty miles to Father Haymond's (at Fairmont) after three o'clock, 
Sunday afternoon, and made it nearly eleven before we came in. About midnight we 
went to rest, and rose at five o'clock, next morning. My mind has been severely 
tried under the great fatigue endured both by myself and my horse. O, how glad 
should I be of a plain, clean plank to lie ou, as preferable to most of the beds; 
and where the beds are in a bad state, the iioors are worse. The gnats are al- 
most as troublesome here, as the mosquitoes in the lowlands of the seaboard. This 
country will require much work to make it tolerable. The people are, many of them, 
of the boldest east of adventurers, and with some the decencies of civilized society 
are scarcely regarded, two instances of which I myself witnessed. The great land- 
holders who are industrious will soon show the effects of the aristocracy of wealth, 
by lording it over their poorer neighbours, and by securing to themselves all the 
offices of profit or honour. On the one hand savage warfare teaches them to be cruel; 
and on the other, the preaching of Antinomiana poisons them with error in doc- 
trine: good moralists they are not, and good Christians they cannot be, unless they 
are better taught. 

Tuesday, 15. I had a lifeless, disorderly people to hear me at Morgantown, to 
whom I preached on "I will hear what God the Lord will Speak." It is matter of 
grief to behold the excesses, particularly in drinking, which abound here. I preached 
at a new chapel near Colonel Martin's, and felt much life, love, and power. Eode 

to the widow B 's, and refreshed with a morsel to eat; thence to M. Harden 's, 

where, though we had an earth floor, we had good beds and table entertainment. 

Friday, 18. Eode forty miles to quarterly meeting at Doddridge's, where we 
had a melting season. 

Tuesday, 22. Our conference began at Union Town. We felt great peace 
whilst together; and our counsels were marked by love and prudence. 

Virginia Tuesday, 29. Eeached Barratt's, where we had a little rest and peace. 

We had left our horses at Old Town on the other side of the river, but I thought 
it best to have them brought over and so it was; for that night there were two stolen. 
On Monday we rested; on Tuesday rode down to Capon; and on Wednesday visited 
Bath. I took lodgings at brother Williams's, was well fixed, and found the waters 
to be of service to me. 

Friday, 29. We left Bath, and on the Saturday and Sunday following attended 
a quarterly meeting. I felt enlargement on Peter's case, and also in the love-feast. 

Wednesday, 3. (September, 1788) Eode from I. Hite's to the Blue-Eidge; the 
weather was warm, and so were the hearts of the people. 

Thursday, 4. I preached at Leesburg, and was very warm on, ' ' Thou wilt arise 
and favour Zion ' ' ; and the people seemed to be somewhat stirred up. 

Friday, 9. (July, 1790) We had a tedious, tiresome journey over hills and moun- 
tains to Pott's Creek. 

Sunday, 11. The morning was rainy. About noon I set out for the Sweet- 
Springs, and preached on 1 Cor. i, 23-29. 

Thursday, 15. Eode to Eohoboth, where brother W preached, and brother 

A and myself spoke after him and the people appeared somewhat affected. 

Friday, 16. We had twenty miles to Green-Brier courthouse:- — here some sat 
as critics and judges. We had to ride thirty-one miles without food for man or 
horse, and to call at three houses before we could get water fit to drink — all this 
may serve to try our faith or patience. 

Saturday, 17. Some very pointed things were delivered relative to parents and 
children, from Gen. xviii, 19. After being in public exercises from ten till two 
o'clock, we rode in the afternoon twenty miles to the little levels of Green-Brier. 
On my way I premeditated the sending of a preacher to a newly-settled place in the 
Kenhaway county. 

Sunday, 18. We had a warm sermon at M'Neal's, at which many were highly 
offended; but I trust their false peace is broken. There are many bears in this part 
of the country; not long since, a child in this neighbourhood was killed by one. 

Monday, 19. Eode to DTinnon's, whose wife was killed, and his son taken pris- 
oner by the Indians. 

Tuesday, 20. I believe I never before travelled such a path as I this day rode 
over the mountains to reach Mr. Nelson 's in Tyger-Valley. 

Wednesday, 21. I preached at Wilson's. Here many careless people do not 
hear a sermon more than once in one or two years. 

Saturday, 24. Attended quarterly-meeting at Morgantown — I spoke on super- 
stition, idolatry, unconditional election, and reprobation, Antinomianism, Universal- 
ism, and Deism. 

Sunday, 25. Preached on Matt, xxv, 31, to the end; brother W also gave 

us a sermon; and a Presbyterian minister two: so here we had it in abundance. 

Monday, 26. Preached at B 's; and the next day at H 's. 

Our conference began at Uniontown on Wednesday the twenty -eighth of July: 
— it was conducted in peace and love. 

Friday, 6. (July 1792) We had a long ride to Morgantown: we came in at 


eleven o'clock, being much fatigued. 1 discoursed on t.lie likeness between Moses 
and Christ, in the academical church. 

We set out for Coventry Forge, but we missed our way, and came to brother 
Meredic 's, in the valley. 

Monday, 23 (May 1796) I rode to Rehoboth chapel, in the sinks of Green 
Briar, where we held conference with a few preachers. Here I delivered two dis- 
courses. Thursday, crossed Green Briar River, and had to pass along a crooked and 
dangerous path to Benton's. My mind is in peace. 

Friday, 27. I felt my self very heavy, my mind unprepared for the congrega- 
tion at Gilboa meeting-house, and could not preach with any satisfaction. After 

meeting the society, I came away much clouded. We came off from brother C 's 

about four o'clock, aiming at the Little Levels; but darkness came on, and we had 
to climb and blunder over the point of a mountain, in descending which my feet 
were so squeezed that the blood was ready to gush out of the pores: I could hardly 

help weeping out my sorrow: at length we came to brother H 's, where the 

kindness of the family was a cordial, anil we went to rest about ten o'clock, and all 
was well. 

Sunday, 29 (May 1796) I was very warm in body and mind at M'Neale's. In 
the afternoon (contrary to my sentiment and practice on the Lord's day) we took 
our departure, purposing to reach Morgantown on Wednesday evening, in order to 
attend an appointment made for me on Thursday, the second of June. We reached 
my old friend Drinnon's, who received us gladly, and entertained us kindly. Next 
day (Monday) we opened our campaign through the mountains, following a path 
I had thought never to travel again. Frequently we were in danger of being plucked 
off our horses by the boughs of the trees under which we had to ride. About seven 
o 'clock, after crossing six mountains and many rocky creeks and fords of Elk and 
Monongahela [Tygarts Valley] Rivers, we made the Valley of Distress, called by the 
natives Tyger's Valley. We had a comfortable lodging at Mr. White's [near Hut- 
tonsville] ; and here I must acknowledge the kindness and decency of the family, 
and their readiness to duty, sacred and civil. Thence we hastened on at the rate of 
forty-two miles a day. We had to ride four miles in the night, and went supperless 
to the Punchins [floor], where we slept a little on hard lines. 

After encountering many difficulties, known only to God and ourselves, we came 
to Morgantown. I doubt whether I shall ever request any person to come and meet 
me at the levels of Green Briar, or to accompany me across these mountains again, as 
brother D. Hitt has now done. O! how chequered is life! 

Maryland. — Wednesday, 15, (June 1796) I came to Oldtown, and preached to a 
few people, at brother J. J. Jacobs 's, and the next day rode nearly forty miles 
to father F 's. 

Wednesday, 22. (July, 1796) I will now take a view of my journey for some 
months past. From the best judgment I can form, the distance is as follows: from 
Baltimore to Charleston (S. C.) one thousand miles; thence up the State of South 
Carolina two hundred miles; from the centre to the west of Georgia two hundred 
miles; through North Carolina one hundred miles; through the state of Tennessee 
one hundred miles; through the west of Virginia three hundred miles; through 
Pennsylvania and the west of Maryland and down to Baltimore four hundred miles. 

2. Narrative of Rev. Henry Smith (1794). Rev. Henry Smith, 
an early Methodist minister, left an interesting narrative of his ob- 
servations along the Monongahela in 1794. The following abstracts pre- 
sent a concrete picture of local conditions at that time : 

From this place I pushed ahead through Clarksburg, and met my first appoint- 
ment at Joseph Bennett's, about fifteen miles above Clarksburg. The people came 
to this meeting from four or five miles around, and among them Joseph Chiveront, 
quite a respectable local preacher. They were all backwoods people and came to the 
meeting in backwoods style, all on foot, a considerable congregation. I looked around 
and saw one old man who had shoes on his feet. The preacher wore Indian mocca- 
sins. Every man, woman and child besides was barefooted. Two old women had on 
what we then called short gowns, and the rest had neither short nor long gowns. 
This was a novel sight to me for a Sunday congregation. Brother Chiveront, in 
his moccasins, could have preached all around me; but I was a stranger and withal 
the circuit preacher, and must preach of course. I did my best, and soon found if 
there were no shoes and fine dresses in the congregation, there were attentive hearers 
and feeling hearts. 

When I left Bennett's I went 25 or 30 miles higher up the Monongahela and 
preached at the house of Brother Stortze. Within a short distance of this house the 
Indians took a young woman prisoner, and murdered and scalped her. A messenger 
came and injudiciously announced that her remains had been found, and threw the 
whole congregation into consternation. Here I saw the men coming to meeting with 
their rifles on their shoulders, guarding their families, then setting their guns in a 
corner of the house till after the meeting, and returning in the same order. 

From Stortze 's we went to Edward West's [near Weston] where we had a 
society and preached regularly. The house was enclosed by strong and high pieces 
of timber set deep in the ground and close together. They had built a new house 
outside the enclosure. * * * 


I do not know that I was in danger; but the Indiana having but a little while 
before been through the country, and done mischief, and this being a frontier house, 
I did not feel myself secure in my exposed position. 

From West's we went to John Hacker's on Hacker's Creek. I believe this man 
could read, but not write; and yet he was a magistrate and a patriarch in the settle- 
ment, and gave name to the creek, having lived here more than twenty years. 

On his next preaching tour he wrote: 

They were all glad to see me, but I was rather sorry, and somewhat alarmed, to 
find the women alone, for there was not a man or even a gun about the place. The 
men were all in the woods, some hunting, some digging ginseng and snakeroot, and 
did not come home that night; so I had to guard and comfort the poor women and 
children. The house was crowded. Toward sunset we all went into the house and 
barred the doors as well as we could. The next day the men came home before 
preaching. In this place we had a pretty large society, and some very pious people. 
They lived, in the true sense of the word, in backwoods style. Their sugar they 
made out of the water from the sugar tree. Their tea they got out of the woods, or 
from their gardens. For coffee they had a substitute, namely rye or chestnuts. 
Money they had but little. They traded at Winchester and other places, with gin- 
seng, snakeroot, and skins, for salt, rifles, powder, lead, etc. All their produce was 
carried to market on packhorses. Their wearing apparel and bedding were mostly 
of their own manufacture. Eeligion certainly did exert a happy influence on the 
morals of this uncultivated people, and I was often delighted with their artless sim- 
plicity. In their way, they appeared to be as happy anil contented as falls to the 
lot of most people. Taking all things into consideration, our congregations were 
good; for people made going to meeting a business, and trifles did not stop them. 
In the lower part of the circuit the people were more refined in their manners. 

I was in Morgantown on Christmas eve, where I saw the first Indians, but they 
were prisoners. Captain Morgan had collected a small company of daring spirits 
like himself, and had gone on an Indian hunt. He crossed the Ohio and came 
across an Indian camp, where there were two Indians, three squaws and two chil- 
dren. * * * 

The young women were sad and reserved. They all appeared to be uneasy and 
somewhat alarmed when strangers came in. After the treaty they were returned or 
exchanged. * * * 

We preached in the court house at eleven o'clock; for we had no meeting house, 
neither was there any place of worship in the town. We had but one-half finished 
log meeting house in the whole circuit. We labored hard and suffered not a little, 
and did not get the half of $64 for support. We travelled through all weathers 
and dangers, over bad roads and slippery hills, and crossed deep waters, having the 
Monongahela to cross seven times every round, and few ferries. Our fare was plain 
enough. Sometimes we had venison and bear meat in abundance, and always served 
up in the best style. It is true my delicate appetite sometimes revolted and boggled, 
till I suffered in the flesh. I then concluded to eat such things as were set before 
me; for other people ate them and enjoyed health and why not I? After I had 
conquered my foolish prejudice, I got along better. Our lodgings were often un- 
comfortable. I was invited to have an appointment at a brother's house one night. 
After the people were gone, I found there was but one small bed in the house. 

When bedtime came, the good woman took her bed and spread it crosswise be- 
fore a fine log fire, and I was requested to lie down on one end; and it answered 
very well for me, the man and his wife, and two children. This indeed was very 
comfortable to what I had sometimes. Most of my clothes by this time became 
threadbare, and some worn out, and I had no money to buy new ones. I had to 
put up one night with a strange family, and I was obliged to keep on my overcoat 
to hide the rents in my clothes. 

On this circuit I learned some lessons in the school of adversity which have 
been of great service to me during my itineracy. Although I never was in real 
danger from the Indians, yet I have often ridden fifteen or twenty miles through 
the woods whore no one lived, the people having fled from danger; and I rode alone, 
for I never had any guard but the angels. The tales of woe that were told me in 
almost every place where there was danger; the places pointed out where murders 
had been committed, sleeping in houses where the people who were inured to these 
things were afraid to go out of doors after sunset; I say, riding alone under these 
circumstances was far from agreeable. I was, however, often in real danger in 
crossing rivers, swimming creeks, etc. I found the people remarkably kind and 
sociable. Many pleasant hours were spent together by the side of log fires in our 
loo- cabins, conversing on various subjects. It is true, some of us smoked the pipe 
with them, but we really thought there was no harm in that, for we had no anti- 
tobacco societies among us then. I believe James Fleming and myself were the last 
who traveled the Clarksburg circuit during the Indian wars. 

3. Extract prom Journal op Thomas Wallcutt (1790). The fol- 
lowing is a part of the "Journal" of Thomas Wallcutt of Massachusetts 
who went to Marietta in 1790 and returned eastward over the new 
route via Clarksburg, Cumberland, Hancock, Carlisle, Pennsylvania: 


Monday, 8 March, 1790 [Marietta]. We were up before sunrise, and got some hot 
breakfast, coffee and toast; and Captain Prince, Mr. Moody, Mr. Skinner, Captain 
Mills and brother, Mr. Bent, &c, accompanied us over the river to Sargent's or 
Williams's, and took leave of us about nine o'clock, and we proceeded on our journey. 
We had gone but a little way when we found the path so blind that we could not 
proceed with certainty, and I was obliged to go back and get a young man to come 
and show us the way. When we had got back to our companions again, they had 
found the road, and we walked twenty miles this day. 

Tuesday, 9 March, 1790. The country very rough, the hills high and sharp. 
One third of the road must go over and on the ridges, and another third through 
the valleys. We walked this day about twenty-three or twenty-four miles, and slept 
near the forty-fourth or forty-fifth mile tree. 

Wednesday, 10 March, 1790. To-day we crossed several of the large creeks and 
waters that fall into the Ohio. This occasioned a loss of much time, waiting for the 
horse to come over for each one, which he did as regularly as a man would. The 
country much the same, but rather better today, except that a great deal of the road 
runs along through the streams, and down the streams such a length with the many 
bridges that will be wanted, that it will be a vast expense, besides the risk and 
damage of being carried away every year by the floods. We had so much trouble 
in crossing these streams that at last we forded on foot. One of the largest in par- 
ticular, after we had rode it several times, we waded it four or five times almost 
knee-deep, and after that a number of times on logs, or otherwise, without going 
in water. Two of the streams, I doubt not, we crossed as often as twenty times 
each. We walked this day about fifteen miles. 

Thursday, 11 March, 1790. With much fatigue and pain in my left leg, we 
walked about fifteen miles to-day. They all walked better than I, and had got to 
Carpenter 's and had done their dinner about two o 'clock when I arrived. They 
appear to be good farmers and good livers, have a good house, and seem very clever 
people. Mr. C. is gone down the country. They have been a frontier here for fifteen 
years, and have several times been obliged to move away. I got a dish of coffee and 
meat for dinner, and paid ninepence each, for the doctor and me. We set off, and 
crossed the west branch of the Monongahela over the Clarksburg. The doctor paid 
his own ferriage. We went to Major Eobinson 's, and had tea and meat, &c, for 
supper. I paid ninepence each, for the doctor and me. Weather dull and unpleasant, 
as yesterday. 

Friday, 12 March, 1790. We set off before sunrise and got a little out of our 
road into the Morgantown road, but soon got right again. Wb breakfasted at 
Webb 's mill, a good house and clever folks. Had coffee, meat, &c. ; paid sixpence 
each, for me and the doctor. Lodged at Wickware's, who says he is a Yankee, but 
is a very disagreeable man for any country, rough and ugly, and he is very dear. 
I paid one shilling apiece for the doctor's and my supper, upon some tea made of 
mountain birch, perhaps black birch, stewed pumpkin, and sodden meat. Appetite 
supplies all deficiencies. 

Saturday, 13 March, 1790. Set off not so early this morning as yesterday. 
The doctor paid his ferriage himself. Mr. Moore, a traveller toward his home in 
Dunker's Bottom, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, (?) set out with us. He seems 
a very mild, good-natured, obliging old gentleman, and lent me his horse to ride 
about two miles, while he drove his pair of steers on foot. The doctor and I being 
both excessively fatigued, he with a pain in his knee, and mine in my left leg, but 
shifting about, were unable to keep up with our company, and fell much behind 
them. Met Mr. Carpenter on his return home. He appears to be a very clever man. 
When he had come to Field's I found Mr. Dodge had left his horse for us to ride, 
and to help us along, which we could not have done without. We got a dish of tea 
without milk, some dried smoked meat and hominy for dinner; and from about 
three o 'clock to nine at night, got to Ramsay 's. Seven miles of our way were through 
a new blazed path where they propose to cut a new road. We got out of this in 
good season, at sundown or before dark, into the wagon road, and forded Cheat 
River on our horses. Tea, meat, &c., for supper. Old Simpson and Horton, a con- 
stable, had a terrible scuffle here this evening. 

Lord's Day, 14 March, 1790. Mr. Dtodge is hurrying to go away again. I tell 
him I must rest to-day. I have not written anything worth mention in my journal 
since I set out, until to-day, and so must do it from memory. I want to shave a 
beard seven days old, and change a shirt about a fortnight dirty; and my fatigue 
makes rest absolutely necessary. So take my rest this day, whether he has a mind 
to go or stay with us. Eat very hearty of hominy or boiled corn with milk for 
breakfast, and boiled smoked beef and pork for dinner, with turnips. After dinner 
shaved and shirted me, which took till near night, it being a dark house, without a 
bit of window, as indeed there is scarce a house on this road that has any. 

Monday, 15 March, 1790. Waited and got some tea for breakfast, before we 
set out. Settled with Bamsay, and paid him 9d. per meal, for five meals, and half- 
pint whiskey 6d. The whole came to eight shillings. Weather very pleasant most 
of the day. We walked to Brien's about half past six o'clock, which they call 
twenty-four miles. We eat a little fried salt pork and bit of venison at Friends', 
and then crossed the great Youghiogheny. About two miles further on, we crossed 
the little ditto at Boyles's. * * * We walked about or near an hour after dark, 
and were very agreeably surprised to find ourselves at Brien's instead of Stack- 
pole's, which is four miles further than we expected. Eat a bit of Indian bread, 


and the woman gave us each about half a pint of milk to drink, which was all our 

Tuesday, 16 March, 1790. We were up this morning, and away about or before 
sunrise, and ascended the backbone of the Allegheny, and got breakfast at Wil- 
liams's. I cannot keep up with my company. It took me till dark to get to Davis's. 
Messers. Dodge and Proctor had gone on before us about three miles to Dawson's. 
We got some bread and butter and milk for supper, and drank a quart of cider. 
Mr. Davis was originally from Ashford, county of Windham, Connecticut; has been 
many years settled in this country; has married twice, and got many children. His 
cider in a brown mug seemed more like home than any thing I have met with. 

Wednesday, 17 March. We were up this morning before day, and were Bet off 
before it was cleverly light. Got to Dawson 's, three miles, where Messers, D. & P. 
lodged, and got some tea for breakfast, and set off in good season, the doctor and 
I falling behind. * * » w e stopped about a mile and a half from the Metho- 
dist meeting near the cross roads at Cressops, and four from Cumberland, and got 
some fried meat and eggs, milk, butter, &c, for dinner, which was a half pistareen 
each. After dinner the doctor and I walked into Cumberland village about three 
o 'clock, and put up at Herman Stitcher 's or Stidger 's. We called for two mugs 
of cider, and got tea, bread and butter, and a boiled leg of fresh young pork for 
supper. The upper part of the county of Washington has lately been made a sep- 
arate county, and called Allegheny, as it extends over part of that mountain, and 
reaches to the extreme boundary of Maryland. The courts, it is expected, will be 
fixed and held at this place, Cumberland, which will probably increase its growth, 
as it thrives pretty fast already. * * * 

Thursday, 18 March. Paid Mr. Dodge 6s. advance. A very fine day. We 
stayed and got breakfast at Stitcher's, and walked from about eight o'clock to 
twelve, to Old Town, and dined at Jacob's, and then walked to Dakins's to lodge, 
where we got a dish of Indian or some other home coffee, with a fry of chicken and 
other meat for supper. This is the first meal I have paid a shilling L. M. for. 
* * * We walked twenty-five miles to-day. 

Friday, 19 March, 1790. Very fine weather again to-day. We walked twenty- 
four miles to McFarren 's in Hancock, and arrived there, sun about half an hour 
high. McFarren says this town has been settled about ten or twelve years, and is 
called for the man who laid it out or owned it, and not after Governor Hancock. 
It is a small but growing place of about twenty or thirty houses, near the bank of 
the Potomac, thirty-five miles below Old Town, and five below Fort Cumberland; 
twenty-four above Williamsport, and ninety-five above Georgetown. We slept at 
McFarren 's, a so-so house. He insisted on our sleeping in beds, and would not per- 
mit sleeping on the floors. * * * 

Saturday, 20 March. A very fine day again. We have had remarkably fine 
weather on this journey hitherto. But two days we had any rain, and then but 
little. We stayed and got breakfast at McFarren 's, and set out about eight o'clock, 
and walked about twenty-one miles this day to Thompson's, about half a mile from 
Buchanan's in the Cover Gap in the North Mountain. * * * 

4. Extracts from Letter op Eric Bollman (1796). The follow- 
ing letter was written in 1796, twelve years after Washington's journey 
of 1784, by Erie Bollman, a traveler through Maryland and via Dun- 
kard's Bottom to Morgantown and thence to Pittsburgh via Uniontown, 
Brownsville and Washington (Pa.) : 

From Cumberland we have journeyed over the Allegheny Mountains in company 
with General Irwin, of Baltimore, who owns some 50,000 acres in this vicinity. * * * 

We spent the first night at West Port. Up to this point, at the proper seasons, 
the Potomac is navigable and could be made so quite a distance further. But even 
in the present state the land journey to the Monongahela, which is navigable and 
flows into the Ohio, is but a distance of 60 miles. 

The road is not in a bad condition and could be made most excellent. This 
will, without doubt, be accomplished just as soon as the country is sufficiently in- 
habited, since there is no nearer way to reach the Western waters. 

The next day we dined with Mr. M. McCartin, still higher up in the mountains. 
There are many settlements in this vicinity. We were entertained in a beautiful, 
cool, roomy house, surrounded by oat fields and rich meadows, where the sound of 
the bells told that cattle were pasturing near by. We dined from delicate china, had 
good knives, good forks, spoons, and other utensils. Our hostess, a bright, hand- 
some, healthy woman, waited upon us. After dinner, a charming feminine guest 
arrived on horseback; a young girl from the neighboring farm, of perhaps 15 years 
of age, with such bashful eyes and such rosy cheeks, so lovely and attractive in 
manner that even Coopley, our good mathematician, could not restrain his admiration. 

This is the "backwoods" of America, which the Philadelphian is pleased to 
describe as a rough wilderness — while in many parts of Europe, in Westphalia, in 
the whole of Hungary and Poland, nowhere, is there a cottage to be found, which, 
taking all things together in consideration of the inhabitant, can be compared with 
the one of which I have just written. 

Four miles from this we reached the Glades, one of the most remarkable fea- 
tures of these mountains and this land.* * * Many hundred head of cattle are 


driven yearly, from the South Branch and other surrounding places, and entrusted 
to the care of the people who live here. * * » 

Only lately have the Indians ceased roving in this vicinity ; which has done 
much to delay its cultivation, but now it is being cleared quite rapidly, and in a 
short time will, without doubt, become a fine place for pasturage. We spent the 
second night with one named Boyle, an old Hollander. Early the next morning we 
could hear the howling of a wolf in the forest. 

We breakfasted with Tim Friend, a hunter, who lived six miles further on. 
If ever Adam existed he must have looked as this Tim Friend. I never saw such 
an illustration of perfect manhood. His conversation satisfied the ex- 

pectations which it awakened. With gray head, 60 years old, 40 of which he had 
lived in the mountains, and of an observing mind, he could not find it difficult to 
agreeably entertain people who wished for information. He is a hunter by pro- 
fession. We had choice venison for breakfast, and there were around the house 
and near by a great number of deer, bears, panthers, etc. * * * We left our 
noble hunter and his large, attractive family unwillingly and followed a roadway 
to Duncard's Bottom, on. Cheat river. * * * 

We dined at Dnneard's Bottom, crossed the Cheat river in the afternoon, reached 
the Monongahela Valley, spent the night in a very comfortable blockhouse with 
Mr. Zinn, and arrived the next day at Morgantown, on the Monongahela. We spent 
a day and a half here and were pleasantly entertained by Mr. Reeder and William 
M. Clary, and received much information, especially concerning sugar, maple trees 
and sugar making. From Morgantown we went to the mouth of George creek, 
Fayette county, Pennsylvania. As it was afternoon when we reached here we were 
overtaken by night and compelled to spend the night in a small blockhouse with 
Mr. McFarlain. We found Mr. McFarlain a respectable, intelligent farmer, sur- 
rounded as usual, by a large and happy family. 

Directly after our arrival the table was set, around which the entire family 
assembled. This appears to be the usual custom in the United States with all people 
who are in some measure in good circumstances. One of the women, usually the 
prettiest, has the honor of presiding at table. There were good table appointments, 
fine china, and the simple feast was served with the same ceremony as in the most 
fashionable society of Philadelphia. Never, I believe, was there in any place more 
equality than in this. Strangers who come at this time of day at once enter the 
family circle. This was the case with us. Mr. McFarlain told us much about his 
farm and the misfortunes with which he struggled when he first cultivated the place 
upon which he now lives. He has lived here 30 years, a circumstance which is here 
very unusual, because the adventure loving nature, together with the wish to better 
their condition and the opportunity, has led many people to wander from place to 
place. * * * 

The next morning when we came down we found the old farmer sitting on the 
porch reading a paper. Upon the table lay ' ' Morse 's Geography, " " The Beauty 
of the Stars," "The Vicar of Wakefield," and other good books. I have entered 
into particulars in my description of this family because wo were then only five 
miles from the home of Gallatin, where the people are too often represented as 
rough, uncultured, good-for-nothings. It is not necessary to mention that all fam- 
ilies here are not as this, yet it is something to find a family such as this, living on 
this side of the mountains, 300 miles from the sea coast. We called upon Mr. 
Gallatin, but did not find him at home. Geneva is a little place, but lately settled, at 
the junction of George creek and the Monongahela. 

From here we went to Uniontown, the capital of Fayette county, where we 
saw excellent land and Bedstone Creek. We dined the following day in Bedstone 
or Brownsville: journeyed to Washington, the capital of the county of the same 
name, and arrived the following day in Pittsburg. 

Boats are going back and forth; even now one is coming, laden with hides from 
Illinois. The people on board are wearing clothes made of woolen bed blankets. 
They are laughing and singing after the manner of the French, yet as red as In- 
dians, and almost the antipodes of their fatherland. * * * 

5. Letter op Samuel Allen, an Emigrant from New England 
(1796). An old letter written in 1796 by Samuel Allen on the Ohio 
river at Belleville, near Parkersburg, to his father in Connecticut, de- 
scribing a journey from Alexandria and Cumberland to the Ohio by 
way of "broadaggs (Braddock's) old road," gives a picture of certain 
of the more pathetic phases of the typical emigrant's experience un- 
equaled by any published account. Incidentally, there is included a 
mention of the condition of the road and, what is of more interest, a 
clear glimpse into the Ohio valley when the great rush of pioneers had 
begun after the signing of the Treaty of Greenville, which ended the 
Indian war. 

Belleville, Va., November the 15th, 1796. 
Honored Parents: 

Six months is allmost gone since I left N. London (New London, Connecticut) 
& not a word have I heard from you or any of the family I have not heard wheather 
you are dead or alive, sick or well. When I heard that Mr. Backus had got home I 


was hi hopes of reeieviag a letter by him. but bis brother was here the other day 

and sayes that he left his trunk and left the letters that he had in the trunk, so 
I am still in hopes of having one yet. There is an opertunity of sending letters 
once every week only lodge a letter in the post-offis in N. London & in a short 
time it will be at Belleville. The people that came with me has most all had letters 
from their friends in New England. Mr. Avory has had two or three letters from 
his Brother one in liften dnyes after date all of whitch came by the waye of the 

General Putnam of Muskingdom (Marietta on the Muskingum) takes the New 
London papers constantly every week 

When we arrived to Alexandria (Alexandria, Virginia) Mr. Avory found that 
taking land cariag from there to the Monongehaly would be less expence then it 
would be to go any farther up the Potomac & less danger so he hired wagoners to 
carry the goods across the mountains to Mogantown on the Mongahaly about one 
hundred iniies above Pittsburg Mr. Avorys expence in comeing was from N London 
to Alexndria six dollars each for the passengers and two shillings & six pence for 
inch hundred weight, from Allexandria to Morgantown was thirty two shillings 
and six pence for each hundred weight of women & goods the men all walked the 
hole of the way. I walked the hole distance it being allmost three hundred miles 
and we found the rode to be pritty good untill we came to the Mountaing. crossing 
the blue Mountain the Monongehaly & the Lorral Mountains we found the roads to 
be verry bad. 

You doubtless remember I rote in my last letter that Prentice was taken ill a 
day or two before he continued verry much so untill the 10th of July when he began 
to gro wors the waggoner was hired by the hundred weight & could not stop unless 
I paid him for the time that he stoped & for the Keeping of the horses that I could 
not afford to do So we were obliged to keep on We were now on the Allegany 
Mountain & a most horrid rode the wagon golted so that I dare not let him ride 
So I took him in my arms and carried him all the while except once in a while Mr 
Davis would take him in his amies & carry him a spell to rest me. a young man 
that Mr Avory hired at Allexandria a joiner whose kindness I shall not forgit he 
kep all the while with us & spared no panes to assist us in anything & often he 
would offer himself, our child at this time was verry sick & no medecal assistance 
could be had on this mountain on the morning of the 13th as we was at breackfast 
at the house of one Mr Tumblestone (Tomlinson?) the child was taken in a fit 
our company had gone to the next house to take breakfast which was one mile on 
our way we were alone in the room & went & asked Mrs Tumblestone to come into 
the room she said she did not love to see a person in a fitt but she came into the 
room Polly ask her if she new what was good for a child in a fitt she said no & 
immediately left the room & shut the door after her & came no more into the room 
when that fitt left him there came on another no person in the room but Mr 
Tumblestone who took but little notis of the child tho it was in great distress Polly 
said she was afraid the child would die in one of them fitts Mr. Tumblestone spoke 
in a verry lite manner and sayes with a smile it will save you the trouble of carrying 
it any farther if it does die We then bundled up the child and walked to the next 
house ware we come up with our company I had just seated myself down when 
the child was taken in a fitt again when that had left it it was immediately taken 
in another & as that went off we saw another coming on the Man of the house 
gave it some drops that stoped the fitt he handed me a vial of the dropps — gave 
directions how to use them the child had no more fitts but seemed to be stuped 
all day he cried none at all but he kept a whinning & scouling all the while with 
his eyes stared wide open his face and his eyes appeared not to come in shape as 
before When we took dinner it was six mile to the next house the waggoners said 
they could not git through thro that night we did not love to stay out for fear our 
child would die in the woods so we set off & left the waggons I took the child in 
my arms and we traveled on Mr Davis set off with us & carried the child above 
half of the time here we traveled up & down the most edious hills as I ever saw 
& by nine oclock in the evening we came to the house the child continued stayed all 
the night the next morning at break of day I heard it make a strange noise I 
percieved it grew worse I got up and called up the women (who) ware with us 
the woman of the house got up & in two hours the child dyed Polly was obliged to 
go rite off as soon as his eyes was closed for the waggoners would not stop I stayed 
to see the child hurried I then went on two of the men that was with me were 
joiners & had their tools witli them they stayed with me & made the coffin Mr. 
Simkins (Simpkins) the man of the house sent his Negoes out & dug the grave 
whare he had burried several strangers that dyed a crossing the mountain he family 
all followed the corps to the grave black & white & appeared much affected. 

When we returned to the house I asked Mr. Simkins to give me his name & the 
name of the place he asked me the name of the child I told him he took his 
pen & ink & rote the following lines Alligany County Marriland July the 14th 
179G died John P Allen at the house of John Simkins at atherwayes bear camplain 
broadaggs old road half way between fort Cumberland & Uniontown. I thanked 
him for the kindness I had received from him he said I was verry welcome & he 
was verry sorry for my loss 

We then proceeded on our journey & we soon overtook the waggons & that nite 
we got to the foot of the mountain We came to this mountain on the 11th of the 
month and got over it the 10th at night We left the city of Allexandria on the 


Potomac the 30th day of June & arrived at Morgantown on the Monongahely the 
18th day of July 

Thus my dear pearents you see we are deprived of the child we brought with 
us & we no not whather the one we left is dead or alive. I beg you to rite & let 
me no Polly cant bear her name mentioned without shedding tears if she is alive 
I hope you will spare no panes to give her learning. 

When we arrived at Morgantown the river was so lo that boats could not go 
down but it began to rain the same day that I got there I was about one mile from 
there when it began to rain & from the 22d at night to the 2.3d in the morning it 
raised 16 feet the logs came down the river so that it was dangerous for boats to 
go & on Sunday the 22d in the evening the boats set off three waggons had not 
arrived but the river was loreing so fast that we dare not wate the goods was left 
with a Merchant in that town to be sent, when the river rises they have not come 
on yet one of my barrels & the brass Cittle is yet behind 

Mr Avory said while he was at Morgantown that Cattle were verry high down 
the river & them that wanted to by he thought had better by then he purchased 
some & I bought two cows and three calvs for myself & three cows for Mrs. Heni- 
sted & calves & a yoke of three year old stears. The next morning after the Boats 
sailed I set off by land with the cattle & horses with John Turner & Jonathan 
Prentice & arrived at Bellvill the 9th of August & found it to be a verry rich & 
pleasant country We came to the Ohio at Wheeling crick one hundred miles belo 
Pittsburg & about the same from Morgantown We found the country settled the 
hole of the way from Morgantown to Wheeling & a verry pleasant road we saw 
some verry large & beautiful plantations here I saw richer land than I every saw 
before large fields of corn & grane of a stout groath From Wheeling to Belleville 
it is a wilderness for the most of the way except the banks of the river this side — 
which is one hundred miles we found it verry difficult to get victules to eat. I drove 
fifty miles with one meal of victules through the wilderness & only a foot path & 
that was so blind that we was pestered to keep it we could drive but a little wayes 
in a day whenever night overtook us we would take our blankets & wrap around 
us & ly down on the ground We found some inhabitance along the river but they 
came on last spring & had no provisions only what they brought with them. 

The country is as good as it was represented to be & is seteling verry fast 
families are continually moveing from other parts into this beautiful country if 
you would give me all your intrest to bo gack there to live again it would be no 
temtation if you should sell your intrest there & lay your money out here in a short 
time I think you would be worth three or four times so much as you now are. it is 
incredible to tell the number of boats that goes down this river with familys a 
man that lives at Bedstone Old fort on the Monongehaly says that he saw last spring 
seventy Boats go past in one day with familys moveing down the Ohio. There is 
now at this place a number of familys that came since we did from Susquehanah 
There is now at this place eighty inhabitancy. Corn is going at 2.s pr bushel by 
the quantity 2.s 6-d by the single bushel. There has been between two & three 
thousand bushels raised in Bellville this season & all the settlements along the river 
as raised corn in proportion but the vast number of people that are moveing into 
this country & depending upon bying makes it scerce & much higher than it 
would be 

There is three double the people that passes by here then there is by your house 
there is Packets that passes from Pittsburg to Kentucky one from Pittsburg to 
Wheeling 90 miles one from that to Muskingdom 90 mDes One from that to Galli- 
polees 90 miles the french settlement opisite the big Canawa (Kanawha) & from 
that there is another to Kentucky — of which goes & returns every week & — loaded 
with passengers & they carry the male Mammy offered me some cloath for a Jacket 
& if you would send it by Mr Woodward it would be very exceptible for cloaths is 
verry high here Common flanel is 6s per yard & tow cloth is 3s 9d the woolves 
are so thick that sheep cannot be kept without a shephard they often catch our 
calvs they have got one of mine & one of Mrs Hemstid the latter they caught in 
the field near the houses I have often ben awoak out of my sleep by the howling 
of the wolves. 

This is a fine place for Eunice they ask Is per yard for weaving tow cloth 
give my respects to Betsey & Eunice & tell them that I hope one of them will come 
with Mr. Woodward when he comes on Horses are very high in this country & if 
you have not sold mine I should be (glad) if you would try to send him on by Mr 
Woodward. I dont think Mr Avory will be there this year or two & anything you 
would wish to send you nead not be affrid to trust to Mr. Woodwards hands for he 
is a verry careful & a verry honest man & what he says you may depend upon. 

Land is rising very fast Mr Avory is selling his lots at 36 dollars apeace he 
has sold three since we came here at that price we was so long a comeing & pro- 
visions so verry high that I had not any money left when I got here except what 
I paid for the cattle I bought I have worked for Mr Avory since I came here to 
the amount of sixteen dollars I paid him 80 dollars before we left N London I am 
not in debt to him at preasent or any one else I have sot me up a small house and 
have lived in it upwards of a fortnight we can sell all our milk and butter milk at 
2d per quart Mr Avory will give me three shillings per day for work all winter & 
find (furnish) we with victules or 4s & find myself I need not want for business 
I think I am worth more than I was when I came We have ben in verry good 
health ever since we left home. 

General St. Clair who is now govenor of the western teritoryes & General 


Wilkinson with their Adieongs (Aide-de-camps) attended by a band of soldiers in 
uniform lodged at Bellvill a few nights ago on their way from headquarters to 
Philadelphia with Amaracan coulours a flying 

Please to give my respects to George & James & tell them that if they want 
an interest this is the country for them to go to make it Please to except of my 
kind love to yourselves & respects to all friends who may enquire do give my love 
to Mr. Rogers & family & all my brothers and sisters & our only child Lydia Polly 
sends her love to you & all her old friends & neighbors 

Your affectionate son 

Samuel Allen 

6. Extracts from The American Gazetteer (1797). In 1797 The 
American Gazetteer was published in Boston by Jedidiah Morse. It was 
a volume of about 900 pages with several maps, and dealt with the ge- 
ography of "North America and the West Indies." It contains the 
following information in regard to towns of western Virginia: 

Clarksburg, the chief town of Harrison County, Virginia. It contains about 
40 houses, a court house and jail. It stands on east side of Monongahela river, 40 
miles S.W. of Morgantown. 

Frankfort, the capital of Pendleton County, Virginia, is situated on the west 
side of the South Branch of the Potowmack river. It contains a court house, jail 
and about 30 houses; 180 miles N.W. of Richmond. 

Martinsburg, a post town of Virginia and capital of Berkeley County, situated 
about 8 miles south of the Potowmac, in the midst of a fertile and well cultivated 
country, and 25 miles from the Mineral Springs at Bath. It contains upwards of 
70 houses, a court house, jail, Episcopal church, and contiguous to the town is one 
for Presbyterians. 

Moorefields, a post town and the capital of Hardy County, Virginia, situated on 
the east side of the South Branch of the Potowmac river. It contains a court house 
and jail, and between 60 and 70 houses. It is 180 miles from Richmond. 

Morgantown, a post town of Virginia, and shre-town of Mongalia County, is 
pleasantly situated on the east side of Monongahela river about 7 miles S. by W. of 
the mouth of Cheat river, and contains a court house, a stone jail and about 40 

Romney, the chief town of Hampshire County, Virginia, contains about 70 
dwelling houses, a brick court house and a stone jail. 

The chief town is Lewisburg. At Green Briar court house is a post office, 30 
miles W. by S. of Sweet Springs, and 103 west of Staunton. 

Shepherdstown or Shepherdsburg, a post town of Virginia, situated in Berkeley 
County, on south side of Potowmack river. Its situation is healthful and agreeable 
and the neighboring country is fertile and well cultivated. It contains about 2000 
inhabitants, mostly of German extraction. 

West Liberty, a post town of Virginia, and the capital of Ohio county, is situ- 
ated at the head of Short creek, 6 miles from the Ohio. It contains about 120 houses, 
a Presbyterian church, a court house and jail. 

7. Description of a Trip by Felix Renick (1798). Felix Reniek 
has left the following description of his experience on a trip from the 
South Branch via Clarksburg to Marietta in 1798, and especially gives 
a vivid picture of the earliest sort of taverns on the route : 

Some of our neighbors who had served in Dunmore's campaign in 1774, gave 
accounts of the great beauty and fertility of the western country, and particularly 
the Scioto valley, which inspired me with a desire to explore it as early as I could 
make it convenient. I accordingly set out from the south branch of Potomac for 
that purpose, I think about the first of October, 1798, in company with two friends, 
Joseph Harness and Leonard Stump, both of whom have long since gone hence. We 
took with us what provisions we could conveniently carry, and a good rifle to pro- 
cure more when necessary and further prepared ourselves to camp wherever night 
overtook us. Having a long journey before us, we traveled slow, and reached 
Clarksburg the third night, which was then near the verge of the western settle- 
ments in Virginia, except along the Ohio river. Among our first inquiries of our 
apparently good, honest, illiterate landlord, was whether he could tell us how far 
it was to Marietta (Ohio), and what kind of trace we should have? His reply was, 
' ' O yes, I can do that very thing exactly, as I have been recently appointed one of 
the viewers to lay out and mark a road from here to Marietta, and have just returned 
from the performance of that duty. The distance on a straight line which we first 
run was seventy-five miles, but on our return we found and marked another line 
that was much nearer. ' ' This theory to Mr. Harness and myself, each of us having 
spent several years in the study and practice of surveying, was entirely new : we 
however let it pass without comment, and our old host, to his great delight, enter- 
tained us till late in the evening with a detailed account of the fine sport he and 
his associates had in their bear chases, deer chases, &c, while locating the road. 
We pursued our journey next morning, taking what our host called the nearest, and 
which he also said was much the best route. The marks on both routes being fresh 


ami plain, the crooked and nearest route, as our host called it, frequently crossing 
the other, ire took particular notice of the ground the straight line had to pass over, 
and after getting through we were disposed to believe that our worthy host was 
not so far wrong as might be supposed. The straight line crossing such high peaks 
of mountains, some of which were so much in the sugarloaf form, that it would be 
quite as near to go round as over them. 

The first night after leaving the settlement at Clarksburgh, we camped in the 
woods; the next morning while our horses were grazing, we drew on our wallets and 
saddlebags for a snack, that we intended should pass for our breakfast, and set out. . 
We had not traveled far before we unexpectedly came to a new improvement. A 
man had gone there in the spring, cleared a small field and raised a patch of corn 
&c, staying in a camp through the summer to watch it to prevent its being destroyed 
by the wild animals. He had, a few days before we came along, called on some of 
his near neighbors on the Ohio, not much more perhaps than thirty miles off, who 
had kindly came forth and assisted him in putting up a cabin of pretty ample size, 
into which he had moved bag and baggage. He had also fixed up a rock and trough, 
and exposed a clapboard to view, with some black marks on it made with a coal, 
indicating that he was ready and willing to accommodate those who pleased to favor 
him with a call. Seeing these things, and although we did not in reality need any 
thing in his way, Mr. Harness insisted on our giving him a call, observing that any 
man that would settle down in such a wilderness to accommodate travelers ought to 
lie encouraged. We accordingly rode up and called for breakfast, horse feed &"■ 
Then let me say that as our host had just put the ball in motion was destitute of 
any helpmate whatever, (except a dog or two,) we had of course to officiate in all 
the various departments appertaining to a hotel, from the landlord down to the 
shoeblack on the one side, and from the landlady down to the dishwash on the 
other. The first department in which he had to officiate was that of the hostler, 
next that of the bar keeper, as it was then customary, whether called for or not, to 
set out a half pint of something to drink. The next which he fell at with much 
alacrity, was that of the cook, by commencing with rolled up sleeves and unwashed 
hands and arms, that looked about as black and dirty as the bears' paws which 
lay at the cabin door, part of whose flesh was the most considerable item in our 
breakfast fare. The first operation was the mixing up some pounded corn meal 
dough in a little black dirty trough, to which the cleaner, and perhaps as he ap- 
peared to think him, the better half of himself, his dog, had free access before he 
was fairly done with it, and that I presume was the only kind of cleaning it ever 
got. While the dodgers were baking, the bear meat was frying, and what he called 
coffee was also making, which was composed of an article that grew some hundred 
or one thousand miles north of where the coffee tree ever did grow. You now have 
the bill of fare that we sat down to, and the manner in which it was prepared; 
but you must guess how much of it we ate, and how long we were at it. As soon 
as we were done we called for our bill, and here follows the items: breakfast fifty 
cents each, horses twenty-five each, half pint of whisky fifty cents. Mr. Harness, 
who had prevailed on us to stop, often heard of the wilderness hotel, and whenever 
mentioned, he always had some term of reproach ready to apply to the host and 
the dirty breakfast, though we often afterwards met with fare somewhat similar 
in all respects. 

We camped two nights in the woods, the next day got to Marietta where the 
land office was then kept by general Putnam, and from his office we obtained maps 
of the different sections of country we wished to explore. 

8. Extracts from Diary op Isaac Van Meter (18011. Isaac Van 
Meter, of Hampshire county, Virginia, now Hardy county, West Virginia, 
was one of the leading men of western Virginia during and after the 
Revolutionary war. He was a member of the Virginia convention which 
ratified the United States constitution. In 1801 he made a tour through 
the western country. He kept a record of that journey in the diary that 
follows, which was discovered and copied in 1897 by Hu Maxwell while 
collecting material for a history of Hampshire county. 

Thursday, April 16, 1801: Started from home in company with George Har- 
ness, L. Branson and John Miller. Lodged at Mr. Harvey 's. 

Saturday, April 18: — Crossed Cheat river which is about the size of the South 
Branch, or perhaps larger; hills remarkably high on both sides. 

Sunday, April 19: — Breakfasted at Daniel Davison's in Clarksburg and waited 
until after dinner. Clarksburg has a tolerable appearance on Main street, with an 
academy on an elevated piece of ground near the town. We were informed that 
nearly fifty children are generally taught there. The court house is on one side 
of the street and the jail on the other, near the center. Left Clarksburg and lay at 
Mr. Clayton's fifteen miles distant. The face of the country is very rough, but some 
small strips of bottom well adopted for meadow. 

Monday, April 20: — Down middle Island creek fourteen miles in which distance 
we crossed it seventeen times. A rough hilly country and poor. 

Tuesday, April 21: — We passed through a very rough, hilly country; following 
a dividing ridge ten miles until we came within twelve miles of the mouth of the 
Muskingum. Turned to the right and fell on the Ohio (which I had for many years 


wished to see) at the. mouth of Bull run. Above the mouth is a fine bottom belonging 
to Cresap 's heirs. Back of the tract is an extraordinary body of rich upland for two 
miles, and completely timbered. We went down the Ohio to Isaac Villers', opposite 
the mount of the Muskingum. 

Wednesday April 22: — We went down the Ohio twelve miles to the mouth of 
the Little Kanawha. Below Williams' improvement lies a very handsome bottom, 
and for eight miles small improvements going on. Then came to a very well im- 
proved body of land laid off by Br. Spencer into fifty acre lots and a small town 
called Vienna. 

Tuesday, April 28: — This day we passed an Indian camp where I "as introduced 
to John VanMeter, who was taken prisoner when a child and is so accustomed to 
the Indian habits that his friends cannot prevail on him to leave them. 

Tuesday, May 26: — Fed at Carmichael's Town on Muddy creek and viewed a 
mill on Whiteley creek, where the race has been blown through solid rock underground 
nine poles, and opens three poles above the pierhead. The land from here to the 
Monongahela at Greenburg is fertile. We crossed to Geneva near the glass works 
and lodged at Mr. Crawford 's. 

Wednesday, May 27: — We crossed Laurel hill, and at the foot of this sub- 
took a right hand road and struck for the Crab Orchard, and lodged at Mr. Child 's. 

9. Extracts from Thomas Ashe's "Travels in America" (1806). 
The following extracts, representing an Englishman's impression of 
Wheeling in 1806, appeared in a book entitled "Travels in America," 
written by Thomas Ashe, Esq. 

Wheeling, Virginia, April, 180(i 

The town of Wheeling is well known as one of the most considerable places of 
embarkation to traders and emigrants, on the western waters. It is a port-town, 
healthfully and pleasantly situated on a very high bank of the river, and is increas- 
ing rapidly. Here quantities of merchandise designed for the Ohio country, and 
the Upper Louisiana, are brought in wagons during the dry seasons; as boats can 
frequently go from hence, when they cannot from places higher up the river. Be- 
sides, as the navigation above Wheeling is more dangerous than all the remainder 
of the river, persons should undoubtedly give it the preference to Pittsburg. The 
distance by water to Pittsburg is eighty-two miles; by land only forty-five by a 
good road. A coach runs from Philadelphia also, to this town, for thirty dollars 
each passenger; and the wagons which daily arrive charge little more per cent, than 
the Pittsburg price. On the whole, I give this place a decided preference, and 
1 rognosticate that it will ultimately injure and rival all the towns above its waters. 

The town is formed of about two hundred and fifty houses; ten of which arc 
built of brick, eighteen of stone, and the remainder of logs. * 

This plain, although one hundred feet above low water, was originally formed 
by the river subsiding; and there is a narrower place, or what is here called bottom, 
immediately flowing from the hills which also was under water; but by the growth 
of its timber, and superior height, its submergement must have been at a much 
more remote period than that of the plain on which the town is built. A part of 
the latter is now a very small but excellent race gTound. 

The original settlers were not calculated to give importance to an infant estab- 
lishment. Had they done so, had they attended to worthy commercial pursuits, and 
industrious and moral dealings, in place of rapine on Indian property, drunkenness, 
horse-racing and cock-fighting, their town would have rivalled Pittsburg long since, 
and have now enjoyed a respectable name. 

This part of Virginia was, at no very remote period, deemed the frontier, not 
only of Virginia, but of America. To this frontier all persons outlawed, or escaping 
from Justice, fled, and resided without the apprehension of punishment or the dread 
of contempt and reproach. They formed a species of nefarious republic, where 
equality of crime constituted a social band, which might to this day have remained 
unbroken, but for the effects of the conclusion of the Indian war, which extended 
the frontier across the river nearly to the Canadian line, leaving the ancient boun- 
dary within the jurisdiction of government and under the immediate grasp of 
the law. 

Those who fled from the restraints of moral and political obligations, were 
exasperated at this unforseen event, and felt hurt that a better sort of people came 
among them. The consequence previously assumed by thieves and swindlers, fled 
the presence of morals and justice. Such as were determined not to submit to an 
improvement of life, and a daily comparison of character, left the country; while 
others, who "repented of their ways," remained, and are now blended with the 
better order of citizens. Of these materials, the society of this town is now formed. 
But I have it from the good authority of a quaker of high respectability that the 
old settlers will all be brought out in time, and the place become new and regener- 
ated. He founds his hopes on the belief that his friends when backed by others 
of their profession, to settle in the town, will gain an ascendancy in the municipel 
affairs; abolish cock-fighting, horse-racing, fighting, drinking, gambling, etc., and 
above all, enforce the observance of the Sabbath and other solemn days. * * 

My acquaintance with the place convinces me that much time and unremitted 
assiduity must be employed to make it a tolerable residence for any class of men, 
much less a society of quakers. The majority of the present inhabitants have no 
means whatever of distinguishing Sunday, but by a greater degree of violence and 


debauchery than the affairs of ordinary days will allow them to manifest. Even 
on occasion of business, the smallest occurrence will draw them from it, and expose 
it to total negligence. 

Yesterday two fellows drinking in a public house, the conversation turned on 
the merit of their horses — two wretched animals they had ridden into town that 
morning, and which had remained fasting at a post. A wager, the consequence of 
every argument on this side of the mountains, was made, and the poor brutes were 
galloped off to the race-course. Two-thirds of the population followed; — black- 
smiths, shipwrights, all left work; the town appeared a desert. The stores were 
shut. I asked a proprietor why the warehouses did not remain open. He told me 
all good was done for that day; that the people might remain on the ground till 
night, and many stay till the following morning. I was determined to see this 
Virginia recreation, which caused such an abandonment of eare and business. On 
my arrival on the ground, the original race had been won, and the price of a saddle 
was collecting to excite another course, and raise new opponents. This was soon 
effected; the course was cleared, and six poor devils were started for the saddle, 
and numerous bets laid by the owners and spectators. The number of persons inter- 
ested in this affair, and some disputed points which occurred in the adjustment 
of it, gave rise to a variety of opinion, umpires were called in; their judgment was 
rejected, and a kind of general battle ensued. This affray over, the quarrel took a 
smaller circle, confined to two individuals, a Virginian by birth, and a Kentuckian 
by adoption. A ring was formed and the mob demanded whether they proposed to 
fight fair or to rough and tumble. The latter mode was preferred. * * * Bulk 
and bone were in favor of the Kentuckian; science and craft in that of the Vir- 
ginian. The former promised himself victory from his power, the latter from his 
science. * * * The shock received by the Kentuckian and the want of breath 
brought him instantly to the ground. * * * The Kentuckian at length gave 
out, on which the people carried off the victor, and he preferring a triumph to a 
doctor, who come to cicatrize his face, suffered himself to be chaired round the ground 
as the champion of the times, and the first rough and tumbler. * * * 

Tli is spectacle ended, and the citizens, refreshed with whiskey and biscuit, sold 
on the ground, the races were renewed, and possibly other editions of the monstrous 
history I have just recited ; but I had had sufficient of the sports of the day, and 
returned to my quaker friend, with whom I had engaged to take my dinner. He 
was afflicted, but by no means surprised at the news I brought him, and informed 
me farther that such doings were common, frequently two or three times a week; 
and that twice a year, or at the spring and fall races, they continued for fourteen 
days without interruption, aided by the licentious and profligate of the neighboring 
states. * * * It seems the storekeepers and the principal citizens, seeing the 
people had no intention of returning to their avocations, had resolved to amuse 
themselves, and associated for the purpose of having a ball and supper at the 
principal inn. On my arrival, the landlord, with much politeness, told me that 
my quality of stranger and a gentleman gave me title to enter the public room. 
* * * I entered the ball room, which was filled with persons at cards, drinking, 
dancing, etc. The music consisted of two bangies, played by negroes, nearly in a 
state of nudity, and a lute, through which a Chickesaw breathed with much occa- 
sional exertion and violent gesticulation. The dancing accorded with the harmoney 
of these instruments. The clamor of the card tables was so great that it almost 
drowned every other, and the music of Ethiopia was with difficulty heard. * * * 

There is a very beautiful island directly opposite Wheeling, to which there 
is a ferry, and another ferry from the island to the Ohio shore, where commences 
a road leading to Chilicothe, and the interior of the State of which that town is the 
capital. The road for the most part is mountainous and swampy, notwithstanding 
which a mail coach is established on it, from Philadelphia to Lexington in Ken- 
tucky, through Pittsburgh, Wheeling and Chilicothe, a distance of upwards of seven 
hundred miles, to be performed by contract in fifteen days. Small inns are to be 
found every ten, or twelve miles of the route. They are generally log huts of one 
apartment, and the entertainment consists of bacon, whiskey, and Indian bread. Let 
those who despise this bill of fare remember that seven years since this road was 
called the Wilderness, and travellers had to encamp, find their own provisions, and 
with great difficulty secure their horses from panthers and wolves. 

At Marietta, while describing the more orderly habits of that town, 
he again took occasion to refer to the lawlessness of Wheeling : 

Marietta is also a port town, issues a weekly paper, and possesses an academy, 
court-house, prison, and church. The latter edifice is the only one of the kind be- 
tween this and Pittsburg: a distance of one hundred and eighty-one miles. If justice 
be impotent on the opposite Virginia shore, and morals and laws be trampled upon 
and despised, here they are strengthened by authority; and upheld, respected, and 
supported by all ranks. The New-England regulations of church and magistracy 
are all introduced and acted on to the full extent — to a point bordering on an arbi- 
trary exaction. Every family, having children or not, must pay a certain annual 
sum for the support of a public school; every person, whether religious or otherwise, 
must pay a fixed sum towards the maintenance of a minister of divine worship 
and all persons must pay a rigid respect, and a decided observance to the moral and 
religious ordinance of the sabbath. In consequence never was a town more orderly 


or quiet. No mobs, no fighting, no racing, no rough and tumbling, or anything to be 
observed but industry, and persevering application to individual views. The Vir- 
ginians who at times visit the town, remain for a short period, and return to their 
own shores astonished at the municipal phenomena they witnessed, and wondering 
how man could think of imposing on himself such restraints. 

Mr. Ashe gives the following description of Wellsburg (then called 
Charlestown), which he visited before he reached Wheeling: 

Charlestown is finely situated on the Virginia side, at the junction of Buffaloe 
creek and the Ohio. It is a flourishing place, commanding the trade of the sur- 
rounding rich settlement; and have many excellent mills, is much resorted to by 
purchasers of flour. The boats can be purchased at the Pittsburg price, and articles 
of provision on very rcasonble terms. 

The town, which contains about one hundred and fifty houses was originally 
well laid out with the best row facing the river, and the intermediate space 
answered the purpose of a street explanade and water terrace, giving an air of health 
and cheerfulness gratifying to the inhabitants, and highly pleasing to those de- 
scending the stream. However, owing to the avarice of the proprietor of the ter- 
race, and a disgraceful absence of judgment and taste, he has sold his title to the 
water side, and the purchasers are now building on it; turning the back of their 
houses immediately close to the edge of the bank, and excluding all manner of view 
and communication from the best of the town. This violation of taste, it seems, 
is not to go unpunished. The bank is undermining fast, and in a very few years, 
these obtruding edifices must fall unless removed. This vice of building to the 
high water mark is not peculiar to Charlestown; Philadelphia set the example. 

10. Journal (or Diary) of Lewis Summers (1808). Settlements 
in the Kanawha valley advanced steadily after 1790 — and especially 
after 1800. From 1790 to 1810 a tide of Virginia emigration flowed 
westward into Kentucky. Many traversed the route via the Kanawha to 
Scary creek and thence through Teay's valley and via the Kentucky 
ford across Mud river. Others found homes along the Kanawha. A 
glimpse of conditions in the wilderness along this route in 1808 1 may 
be obtained from the following extracts from a journal or diary writ- 
ten by Lewis Summers on a tour from Alexandria to Gallipolis, Ohio, 
and up the valley of the Ohio in that year in search of a desirable loca- 
tion for his father, Col. George Summers: 

29th Tuesday— June 1808 

Got to Callahan's tavern where I staid all night; 10 miles, making 24 miles 
this day. Callahan 's is situated at the forks of the road leading to Tennessee by 
the way of Fincastle, Knoxville etc., the left [right] to Kentucky by the way 
of Kanawa. 

Here I struck the road opened by the state from the upper navigation of 
James Eiver to the upper navigation of Kanawa. 
Wednesday 29— June 1808 

Left Callahan's and crossed the Allegany mountains to the Sulphur Springs, 
leaving the Sweet Springs 20 miles to the left. The Allegany is by no means as 
difficult to pass at this place as the Blue Ridge. The springs are 11 miles from 
Callahan 's in Greenbrier County and west of the Allegany. The water is cold, 
but very strongly impregnated with sulphur. The wooden trough conveying the 
water from the spring is covered with sulphur deposited from the water. The taste 
is to me very disagreeable and the scent as strong as the washings from a gun. 
Prom these springs I went on 6 miles to Greenbrier river a branch of the Kanawa, 
about 200 yards wide where I forded, but not deep. Three miles to Lewis Burgh 
where I fed and rested myself. This is a small little village about as big as Centre- 
ville; It is the County Town of Greenbrier. Tavern kept by Tyree; pretty good 
house. The state road this far pretty good. Stock almost the only trade of this 
Country. Salt 15s and 18s pr. bushel. After dining and feeding at Lewis Burgh 
rode 8 miles to Piercy's having travelled 32 miles this day. Great contention as 
to the route this road shall go. Major Einnox and Greenbrier Court have ordered 
the route adopted by the state, to be changed, carrying it 2 miles further, to ac- 
commodate the Boyer brothers, and an appeal taken by the opposing party. 

1 Possibly a diary of an earlier trip to the Kanawha may be in existence. In 
a small pocket diary kept by John D. Sutton, dated at Alexandria, Virginia, in 
1796, he speaks of teaching a school in South Carolina, and of coming to Alex- 
andria where his father and brother, James, lived. At his father's request, he made 
a trip to what is now Braxton county to look at some lands which his father had 
bought out of the John Allison survey, lying on Granny's creek and the Elk river. 
He relates that he came by Winchester and Lewisburg, thence to Charleston. At 
Charleston, he hired a canoe and procured the assistance of a riverman to bring 
him up the Elk river to the mouth of Big Birch. He then crossed the country 
to the home of a Mr. Carpenter on Laurel creek. 
Vol. 1—9 


Thursday 30 

Left Piercy 's and traveled 34 miles to New River. This is the main branch of 
Kanawa, about 50 yards wide at the ferry, and 30 feet deep at low water, but is 
not navigable owing to the many rapids and falls. About 10 miles from Lewis 
Burgh the route that the upper Kanawa people so long contended for turns off. 
It goes by the way of Peter 's Creek is said to be further, passing over worse ground, 
and no accommodation to be had, being thirty-five miles of the way without 
houses, crossing Sewall and Gauley mountains and Gauly river. The road I came is 
exceedingly mountainous. Sewall mountain 6 miles over, very steep and rocky, but 
the worst part of the road I have seen are the cliffs at New river. The east cliff a 
mile descending, and the west 1% miles ascending. They are too steep and rough 
to be passed on horseback. I walked nearly all the way over them. This evening 
saw several turkeys and a large bear. 
Friday 1 July 

Left New river and travelled over a rough road to Jinkin 's mountain which I 
suppose is a continuation of Gauly. It is rough stony and steep. Hands are at 
work here and at the cliffs repairing the road under the appropriation of last year. 
Struck the Kenawa at Hooff's Ferry % mile below the falls. Falls S2 feet. This 
ferry is 17 miles from New river. Travelled 8 miles down the river; but little bot- 
tom, and this eight miles as well as the country to near L. B. (Lewisburg) is ap- 
parently poor. Nothing but cabins and small patches of corn, the people depend- 
ing chiefly on hunting. From Morriss' to Jones' 4 miles and 12 from the falls, 
the bottoms widen. — farms larger and houses out houses orchards and., comfortable. 
Greenbrier iron 9d, and Ohio iron — ; good cotton raised here. Drovers and trav- 
ellers take nearly all the surplus gTain. Wolves and bears destroy the sheep and 
hogs. On crossing New river. I entered Giles, which is divided from Kanawa by 
Jenkin's mountain. Travelled 29 miles this day. Corn generally between 6 and 
seven feet high. 
Saturday 2nd July — 

Discovered my horse to be foundered. Left Jones' crossing the river and 
traveling down on the north side to Buffner 's salt works. They are 26 miles below 
the falls, — six miles above Charlestown (Kanawa C. H.') and 66 from the Point. 
They are just commencing the manufacture of salt, — have but 64 kettles. The 
water is obtained from a well, which was sunk near the margin of the river, and 
the water received into the well through a hole bored in through a rock of near 
20 feet thick at the bottom of the well. The covering for the kettles and furnaces 
are quite temporary, as indeed are all parts of the establishment. The water 
produces a bushel of salt for every 200 Gal's. The works at Sandy take 240 to 
the Bushell. 

The farms from the works to K. C. H. increase in size as you descend the 
river, the bottoms growing wider and the hills less steep and high. Mr. Bufner 
informs me that Dr. Craik 's bottom opposite Pokatalico is the finest land he ever 
saw, the back line including no hills but just running at their foot, the bottom 
in parts a mile wide, and as level, even and fertile as he ever saw. He thinks 
this land worth 4$ through, but I find he wishes to purchase. He says no 1,000 
acres co'ld be got together worth 7$50, but thinks some of the lots singly worth 
it. Mr. D'onelson the clerk estimates the best of Craik 's bottom at 12$ 

Washington's heirs begin five miles below Elk; — 2400 acres 5 or — river — prin- 
cipally bottom — from Coal up four miles — Washington's heirs — Pokatalico down 12 
miles, same — 6700 acres — bottom narrow for 7 miles — widens at Bed house shoals; 
below this place excellent bottom. 

Got to Kenawa C. H. this ev'g. Trav'd 20 miles — horse lame and unable to 
proceed — drenched him with a pint of salt dissolved in a halfpint whiskey. 
Sunday 3rd. 

Horse still unable to travel — bathed him with a decoction of smart weed, 
soft soap and vinegar, and applied the weed to his back. 
Monday. 4th July. 

Horse still lame and unable to travel; took off a shoe; appears to be gravelled; 
cleared the wound and filled it with hot tar and nailed leather over it. 

This day was celebrated here by the Gentlemen and ladh'S of the neighbourhood, 
about 20 of each. The dancing commenced at 12 o'el'k; dined about 3, and con- 
tinued dancing etc., until after 12. The ladies were generally hansome; danced 
with great ease if not with elegance. The Gentl'n friendly in the extreme. The 
time was spent in the greatest harmony and sociability, no ceremonial rules im- 
pending a full enjoym't of the ocasion; each, both male and female vying in 
producing the greatest quantity of satisfaction. The Gentl'n and their families of 
most note who attended were Mr. Eeynolds and family, Mr. David and Jos. Buffner 
and family, Mr. Buster and family, Col. Donalson the Clerk and family, Mr. Sparks 
and his family; some fine girls from Teaze's Valley. Note: Promised to write to 
D. Buffner the acc't of my journey home. 
Tuesday, 5th — 

Hard rain this morning; ladies detained in town and dancing cont'd until 
12 o'el'k, when rain abated. My horse still very lame, with a bad cough. * * * 
Mr. Eeynolds proposed a swap. Buster and McKee determined the swap should 
be even. I disagreed, but after trying Eeynolds' horse, made the exchange. Got a 
bay horse fifteen hands 4 inches high, well made before, but bad behind. Extremely 
well gaited; raised by Chancellor Stewart of Staunton; in high repute in this 
neighborhood, and assured not to exceed eight years old this spring. The old grey 


was so stiffened with riding that I feared from his age, cough and lameness, he 
would never be well again. 

Left Charlestown and got to Blake's in the Military Bottom owned by Fry, 
Hogg and Savage etc. This land 's beginning is 4 miles above the mouth of Coal, 
and runs down to Pocatoalico. There is a great deal of good bottom, but all 
the inhabitants are squatters; it contains 21000 acres, and has about 200 cleared. 
Wednesday, 6th — ■ 

Left Blake's and rode to Carruther's crossing the Kanawa at the mouth of 
Poky, which is twenty miles from Elk. Carruthers lives in a two story cabin, part 
of the first story daubed, the upper open. Breakfasted here on onions, milk and 

This tract of Doctor Craik 's begins at about two miles above? the mouth of 
Poky, and extends down to 25 miles creek binding on the river 16 miles. 

The lower bottom on this tract I did not see having crossed the river below 
the Red House shoals in a canoe, swimming the horses; I am informed it is rather 
inferior to the upper part, having more breaks in it. There is but one tenant on it, 
named Honeycut; lie lias about 8 acres opened. Proceeded to Johnston's in 
Bronaugh 's bottom, accompanied by Caruthers. 
Thursday 7th July — 

Examined G-. W. Craik 's land this day in company with Mr. W. Bronaugh and 
Mr. Caruthers. This land is part of a large tract owned by Mr. Jno. Bronaugh 
1200 acres W. B. 1200 Col. Powell 1200 Mrs. Aldrich 1200 and G. W. C. 1200. It 
begins at Little Buffaloe and runs down to 18 mile creek. Mr. Craig's part from 
Buffaloe down about 1 14 miles is extremely narrow on the bottom, being about 40 
poles at the head line, and gradually opening for the above distance at which it is 
about 100 poles wide. 

The ague and fever prevalent here in the fall. I am informed by Mr. Reynolds 
and others that there is a leading valley from Clarksburgh near the head of Little 
Kannaway and down Poky, and into the Kentucky road in Teaze 's valley. This 
route I am told is level for this country and has been traveled and is by far the 
nearest route from that part of the country to Kentucky etc. Charles Town is en- 
tirely built of log houses, except one not yet finished; they are in a string along 
the river bank, a street passing between. 
Friday, 8th July. 

This morning I was induced to postpone my journey until another day. Mr. 
Hale and his family having returned from the Point where they had attended a 
barbecue and dance on the 4th July, who insisted on my spending a day with them 
and enjoying a Deer drive. Mr. Hale is brother to Mrs. Minor, his first wife sister to 
John Bronaugh, and his present to William, the Doctor, etc.; she is a fine agreeable 
woman. I meet here as good society as I co'ld find in Fairfax, tho' the circle 
is small. 
Saturday 9th July 

Left Johnston 's and proceeded down the river. From 28 Mile creek, on which 
Mr. A 's land binds, I saw scarcely any bottom worth having, until I got near the 
Point, the river running generally near the hills, and for a considerable part of the 
way not affording room for a road which now passes over the hills and on the 
ridges. The lands adjoining the Point are level and fine, but this little town 
seems to possess neither energy nor exertion. 

After feeding my horse I crossed into the Ohio State, and proceeded to Galli- 
polis, having heard that Mercer was about leaving this place for London; on my 
arrival found he had started to Chilocothe an hour before, to prosecute some thieves 
who had lately stolen the horses, and not expected back until Wednesday. 

In passing down the Kanawha I missed seeing the celebrated Burning Spring. 
It was the custom of the early stage drivers to make a stop here that all travelers 
might have an opportunity to view the then great curiosity. It is 2*4 miles above 
Rufner 's salt works, and I did not know I had passed it until I got there; my 
horse was then too lame to return, and I was disappointed by rains and the 
ball from visiting it from Charles Town. Mr. Reynolds, Mr. McKee, Mssr Ruf- 
ners, Dr. Bronaugh etc. That the water is collected from the rains and is con- 
tained in a sunken spot, through the bottom of which there are several apertures 
through which pass continual currents of inflamable gass, which gives the water the 
appearance of a boiling spring. I am informed by Mr. McKee that about 20 
miles up GTeat Sandy there is a current of this air discharged from the bottom 
of the river and which he has frequently set on fire. 

Salt from the Scioto works all brought by land to this place for $2 per 
barrell, which is the usual manner of getting it here. The works are 33 miles from 
this town, being on the road and half way between here and Chilocothe. The licks 
are owned by Congress and rented out. Turper and Fletcher's salt-works are 4 miles 
from this place. They have but one furnace in operation, containing about 75 
kettles, and make between 60 and 70 bushells of salt per week. The water is about 
the strength of the Scioto water, taking between 7 and 800 gallons to the bushell. 
The salt is of the quality of the inferior Scioto salt-water is owned by the Govern- 
ment; any person is permitted to sink a well and erect a furnace, on paying to 
Government 6 cents per gallon for the aggregate am't of their kettles per annum. 
There are 16 or 17 furnaces now in operation, generally averaging 65 bushells 
per week. 
Tuesday, 12th July. 

Spent this day in writing home, copying plats, etc., and in visiting some French 


families: Mr. Le Clere and Mr. Beauro, from whom I learned that in the fall of 
1790 (19th Oct.) about 500 French arrived in this place having previously purchased 
of Col. Duer 's agents in France. 
Thursday, 14th 

In comp'y with Col. Clendenin and Mr. Gray, a Gent, also wishing to pur- 
chase lands, devoted the day to the examination of Mercer's bottom. 

The Ohio side is pretty well filled with small settlements; bottoms narrow and 
not yet sold by the Government. At Gallipolis iron 10$ per Hund. 10° nails 16 cts., 
8° 10 cts, — goods generally 100 per ct higher than in Baltimore. Castings, iron, 
stills, millstones, grindstones etc with almost everything useful or ornamental 
brought down in boats. Yesterday 4 large covered boats passed here. I went _ on 
board one loaded with store goods not open for Cincinnati. Two boats were moving 
families; one with millstones etc. Mr. Herriford came out in 22 days, having b't 
52 souls and 3 wagon-loads of furniture, etc. in a boat 24 by 12. He has a good 
blacksmith, which is a great convenience to the country. He sends to the mills 
at the falls of Mud, 16 miles; generally sends a canoe and 20 bushells; a good mill 
on Racoon, and Herriford is about commencing one. Good school at Gallipolis; 
board of scholars 1$ per week. 
Saturday, 16th July 

Took leave of Col. C. and other acquaintances at Gallipolis and proceeded to 
the Point to breakfast with Col. Lewis, who politely rode several miles up the 
river to put Mr. Gray and myself on the road. Gray is well pleased with Mercer's 
bottom, and wishes to get a situation at the Point for ship-building, but the whole 
property of that place has disputes of a serious nature attending the title. 

Got to Grayham's Station to dinner, 18 miles from the Point. 
Sunday 17th July 

After dinner took leave of Mr. Lewis and his family, and rode to Wood Court 
House, where we staid all night. Saw at this place an old man named Neal, who is 
from Loudon, who with his son keeps a tavern and store. 
Monday, 18 — July 

Rode to Dr. Joseph Spencer's; he lives on, and owns the farm called Vienna. 
This tract is equal to any I have seen on this river. It contains 1800 acres. Dr. 
Spencer offers 1000 acres of this land, which would have about 400 poles front, two 
good dwelling houses, kitchen, barns, cabins for tenants, etc. orchards, meadows, etc., 
in high order; price $10 per acre, half down, half 12 months. On this land are 
not more hills than are necessary to support the farm in timber. The reason it is 
now offered for sale is to enable the present owner to relieve a deed of trust on 
it. The Turners and Gills from Fairfax are tenants on this land to Doctor Spencer. 
The old Mr. Turner shed tears at parting, and walked with me a mile on the road 
to talk over the situation of all his old acquaintances. After viewing Dr. Spencer's 
farm and taking breakfast with him proceeded on. His farm is 4 miles from Wood 
Court House, and 8 from Marietta. Dined at William's tavern. Crossed over and 
took a view of Marietta and proceeded to Henderson's Quarter, 10 miles from 
Marietta. This farm contains 2,000 acres, about 200 in corn; expect to make 2000 
barrells. They work 30 hands. Stock of hogs, cattle and horses fine. 
19th, Tuesday (July) 

Rode to Middle Island Creek, 10 miles to breakfast; a rough road and hilly 
country. Six miles beyond this, passed Chimney bottom, in which I viewed an an- 
cient encampment. The trenches are square and contain ten acres. Got to Mr. 
Chs Wells to dinner. He is a very reputable old man, and has often represented 
this County (Ohio) in former times. Left Wells' and got to Friend Payton's six 
miles. He is a talkative old substantial farmer, his house, etc., was the dirtiest 
I had seen in my journey, which surprised me, as he and his family are all quakers. 
Wednesday, 20th (July) 

Rode to Mr. Dickinson's, 16 miles, to breakfast, crossing Fish Creek; from 
thence to Baker's to dinner, 10 miles. A fine shower of rain to-day, which impeded 
our journey. Two miles below Baker's passed the remains of an old block-house, 
near which a number of graves, affording a romantic appearance, being in the 
middle of the woods, and the graves neatly paled in I am told they are the graves 
of the malitia who were posted here, and fell fighting the Indians. Within half a 
mile of this place lives Michael Cressap. From Baker's rode 6 miles after the rain 
to Grave Creek, on the upper side of which is a town laid off on Tomlinson's lands 
called Mount Elizabeth. The houses are few and in a decaying state, except Tom- 
linson's which is of brick, not yet finished. 
Thursday, 21 (July) 

Rode 12 miles to Wheeling to breakfast. This town is respectable for its size 
and business — a small vessel on the stocks, and a number of all kinds of boats ready 
for purchasers wishing to descend the river. Tavernkeeper 's name Knox; a very 
good house. At Grave Creek, Purdy's the best house. From Wheeling proceeded on 
to West Liberty, 12 miles passing Major McCulloch's, who was not at home, and 
the Short Creek meeting-house, which is in an unfurnished state. Detained here two 
hours by the rain. This is a pleasant little village, formerly the county town of 
Ohio before Brooke was taken off, since which it is rather on the decline. Here 
met with Capt. Birch from the city of Washington, on his way through Ohio, Ten- 
nisee, etc., looking out a situation to move to. From him I learned of the arrival 
of the Osage, and the fracas at Geo' Town on the 4th of July. After the rain rode 
to Mr. Robert Laurason's (a brother-in-law). 3 miles. 


22nd, Friday (July) 

At Mr. L. 's. His situation is comfortable; his dwelling-house of hewed logs, di- 
vided into two rooms. He has a thriving young orchard of both apples and peaches. 
This neighbourhood is as thickly settled as Fairfax; the inhabitants more on an 
equality and I think, more general wealth among them, though perhaps not held 
by individuals in as great a quantity. The Commission to arrange the State road 
through this County have lately been engaged in examining it. They are con- 
sidered as unjustifiably partial to the Wheeling route. The ground is said to be 
worse and the distance further than by Charlestown (Wellsburg) at the mouth oi 
Short Creek. On the Wheeling route they are said to have spent nearly all their 
time meandering hills and exerting themselves to find a plausible pretext for report 
ing in its favor and when on either of the other routes, have manifested such 
total indifference as to discover their prejudice ag't them; and great interest is 
making by McKinley and others with the President to counteract the effect of the 
report they make. Most of the Commissioners are s'd to have friends and re- 
lations on the Wheeling route. 
Saturday, Sunday and Monday — 

Weather rainy, and chiefly employed in tending to my horse. 
Sunday 31st, July — 

Rode Mr. Laurason's mare to Short Creek where Bishop Asbury preached and 
consecrated the new meeting-house; he roundly charged the members with too great 
a love of their worldly goods, and a want of zeal in not finishing the meeting-house ; 
all of them, he observed could buy lands, horses, fine clothes etc. but truly they 
were too poor to finish the meeting-house; that the difficulty of a rich man's get- 
ting to Heaven he feared would be exemplified with many of them. * * 

Wednesday, Aug. 10, rode my horse for the first time, to Liberty; his back 
very tender but did not suffer by the ride. I was politely treated by Mr. Ridgeley 
and his family, with whom I dined. I accidentally met here with Alex. McCon- 
nell, who owed me about $70.00; he assured me he had paid it to the_ Sheriff of 
Frederick County, who has execution against him for it, and was to bring me the 
receipt to Liberty on Saturday. This he neglected to do, stating that they were 
mislaid, and I took his affidavit of the payment, to call on the Sheriff on my return. 

In this place there is a wool-carding machine owned and operated by two 
men by name of Gamble. They are Scotchmen. The machine is more complete 
than I supposed; it cost $500, and is worked by one horse. It cards between 40 
and 50 weight pound day and for which the owners receive 10 cts. per pound; he 
has as much as he can well do, and is about setting up a machine for spinning hemp 
and making of bagging. Goods sell very high through this country, but their price 
is not felt, the merchants taking produce, which he sends down the river and con- 
verts into remittances. Salt $3.00 per bushel!, coffee 40 cts. The merchants give 
2s for good towelling in other goods, and it is the usual way of procuring all 
the dresses the girls wear. 

While at Liberty I attended the debating society of which Capt. Jno. Morgan 
is a member; the Capt. appears to be a very friendly good man, but no Orator. 
The question debated was whether or not a man was in justice entitled to vote in 
proportion to his property. Atended at Liberty the Presbyterian meeting; this 
society is the most respectable of any in the neighborhood. They are nearly all 
republicans. McKinley is an Elder of the Church; rather reserved and austere 
man in his manners. He was much pressed to oppose Dodridge, and would probably 
have kept him out of the senate. 

22d. Left Robert's, passing through Taylor (Penn.), where I saw Jno. Mc- 
Clellan, who has a small stock of dry goods at this place (11) miles on to Wash- 
ington 20 miles, 9 from Taylor Town. This is the County town of Washington 
County; a small town with considerable appearance of business. Got to Hawkins' 
tavern 1st night, 33 miles; and day got to Brownsville to breakfast, 12 miles. This 
place with Bridteport form a pretty little town; it is 33 miles by land and 50 by 
water to Pittsburgh, and 19 by land from Geneva. 


The hardy and rugged pioneer settlers, after conquering the In- 
dians, turned to the conquest of primeval wilds which the Indians had 
sought to retain unconquered. With no appreciation of the wealth of 
the depths of the primeval forests they gradually extended the area of 
cleared bottom lands by the steady and laborious work accomplished by 
axe and fire. The finest timber was burned or used for fence rails. 
Gradually, with the introduction of a few rude saw mills, a small 
portion of it found a more appropriate use in the few plank houses 
which began to replace the more primitive log cabins. 

In the eastern panhandle, by 1800, many homes of thrift and in- 
dustry bore evidence of their establishment in an older community. 

Shepherdstown, which, during the Revolution, became a busy center 
of traffic and travel and of domestic manufacture, and after the Revolu- 
tion had large aspirations expressed in the steamboat experiments of 
Rumsey 1 and a bid to secure the location of the national capital re- 
tained its local importance in the county for many years. 2 Its later 
decline was attributed to the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railway. In 1860 it lost its best factory and the population was 400 
less than in 1850. At Harpers Ferry, by an act of Congress of 1794, 
a national arsenal and gun factory was erected in 1799. 

1 It appears that James Rumsey was employed in September, 1781, by the 
Potomac Company (of which Washington was a member) to improve the navigation 
of the Potomac. In the summer of the year 1783, he directed his attention to the 
subject of steamboats; and in the autumn of 178-1 succeeded in a private, but very 
imperfect, experiment on the Potomac at Shepherdstown in order to test some of 
the principles of his invention. In October, 1784, he obtained from the Virginia 
Assembly an act guaranteeing to him the exclusive use of his invention in navigat- 
ing the waters of that state for ten years. In January, 1785, he obtained a similar 
patent from the general assembly of Maryland. Finally, in 1786, at Shepherds- 
town he gave a public trial of his boat succeeding in propelling it by steam against 
the current at the rate of about four miles per hour. 

2 By 1800 Shepherdstown had become quite an active business center. By its 
doors passed "commodities such as Hour, cattle, grain, horses, sheep and turkeys" 
enroute from the great southwest to the eastern cities and especially to Baltimore. 
Almost the whole population of the town were interested in keeping boarders or in 
managing wagon yards and warehouses to accommodate the traffic. The ferry was 
kept busy with the wagon traffic. Rafts or flatboats propelled by man power carried 
much produce from Shepherdstown down the Potomac river to Washington or Alex- 
andria. In the early part of the nineteenth century one could purchase there any- 
thing from a silver spoon to a church steeple. There were blacksmiths and white- 
smiths, hatters, clothiers, harness and wagon makers, fullers, dyers, and weavers. 
Almost every other guild and trade was represented in the village, which was now 
approaching the period of its greatest prosperity. A constant stream of coaches, 
Conestoga wagons, herds of sheep, cattle, horses and hogs, besides horsemen and foot 
passengers, passed daily through the town. No wonder there are so many old tavern 
stands in the village, for it was on the main route between south and west. Old 
residents of Shepherdstown have stated that their fathers remembered the time 
when long line of vehicles extended from the river as far out as what is now Elm- 
wood cemetery, waiting to be ferried across the Potomac. 

A long ordinance made by the Trustees to regulate the market of Shepherds 
Town is printed in the issue Berkeley and Jefferson Intelligencer of June 25, 1802: 
"Be it enacted and ordained by the President and Trustees of said town" * * * 
' ' No person shall sell or cause to be sold victuals or provisions at any other place 
but at the market-house therein, will be under the penalty of five dollars for every 
such offence, and if any servant or slave shall sell or offer for sale, any victuals or 
provisions contrary to the meaning of this act, he or she shall receive ten lashes 
on his or her bare back for every such offence" Wednesdays and Saturdays were 
market days. The hours for the market shall be established "from 4 o'clock until 
8 o'clock, A. M. from the first part of April to the first of October, and from 4 
o'clock to 9 o'clock A. M., from the first of October, to the first of April." 



Better communications for the South Branch region were not long 
delayed. As early as 1790 there were eight ferries in Hampshire county. 
In 1801 plans were begun for the construction of a road from Romney 
through Berkeley county to Washington, D. C. In 1802 commissioners 
were designated to meet at the mouth of New creek to begin the mark- 
ing of a new road from the Maryland road near Gwynn 's Tavern through 
Hampshire and Berkeley counties to Key's Ferry on the Shenandoah. 

From Moorefield and lower points of the fertile valley of the South 
Branch, flatboats floated down to tidewater on the Potomac with flour 
and with iron from Hampshire, beginning at an early period and con- 
tinuing until about 1830. The principal markets for the flour were 
Washington and Alexandria. 

Among the early iron industries in Hampshire was the Hampshire Furnace Com- 
pany, whose plant was built and operated by Edward McCarty, on Middle ridge, 
twelve miles south of Romney. The forge for the furnace was near Keyser. An 
extensive business was carried on by this company, as shown by the many ponderous 
account books of 1816-18 now in possession of the clerk of the courts at Romney. 
The Bloomery Furnaces, ruins of which are still to be seen, were built and operated 
by a Mr. Priestly, and were being run in 1833. Large quantities of iron were made 
and shipped over the Capon river on rafts and flatboats, S. A. Pancoast pur- 
chased these furnaces in 1846, and after his death they continued in other hands 
until 1873. 

In 1800, Robert Sherrard built at Bloomery a large stone mill and also a woolen 
mill. William Fox built a merchant mill in Fox's Hollow in 1818, and shipped 
flour by boat to Georgetown. Hammock 's Mills, flour and woolen, was another 
very early plant. Also the Painter Mill was a pioneer establishment on North river 
about a century ago. Colonel Fox established a tannery in 1816 in Fox's Hollow, 
which was operated until the civil war. Another tanyard was on Dillon's run, 
and Samuel Card had another extensive tannery at Capon Bridge prior to 1820. 
New methods came in and the leather trade in this state had to succumb to the 
advance of this industry and improved machinery. Distilleries were located at 
many points in the county. 

Farther up the South Branch, Franklin (earlier Frankford), the 
first county seat of Pendleton (formed 1788), incorporated in 1794, 
grew slowly but steadily. By 1834 it had two stores, two tanyards, 
three saddlers, two blacksmith shops, a furniture shop, three shoe- 
makers, one tailor, two lawyers and one physician. It also had a 
school and a temperance society. 

The first stage line in Hampshire was established between Winchester 
and Cumberland in 1830. The pike from Green Spring to Moorefield 
was built by a stock company about 1850, the state taking two-fifths 
of the stock. Stages from Romney to the Ohio i - eaehed Clarksburg in 
one clay and Parkersburg in two. 

Martinsburg (the county seat of Morgan, which was formed from 
Hampshire and Berkeley in 1820), received new life and fresh impetus 
in 1835 from the large camp of the surveying corps which was locating 
the route of the Baltimore and Ohio railway, and later (1841) from 
the stores of railway contractors and the trade of the Irish and Ger- 
mans who graded and bridged the road. In 1842 the track layers passed 
through the town, followed by a pioneer steam engine whose first pierc- 
ing whistle completely disorganized the local militia. In 1849 the 
town became a first class railway station with engine house and ma- 
chine shops under construction. In 1854 it became the terminus of a 
turnpike from Winchester. In 1856 it was incorporated and had hope 
of becoming the terminus of the Cumberland Valley railroad connect- 
ing with Chambersburg. In 1859 it had a population of 3,000. 

Throughout the region along the Potomac the Chesapeake and Ohio 
canal exerted a great influence. In 1838 the rioting laborers on the 
canal quit work and marched from Hancock toward Old Town ter- 
rorizing the inhabitants of West Virginia who took measures for de- 
fense by a request upon the governor for arms which were promptly 
furnished. By June 13, 1850, the canal was completed, the head of 
navigation at Cumberland. Although navigation on the canal was sus- 
pended during the winter, causing much produce to accumulate at 
Williamsport, business was brisk at other seasons. Within the week 



before April 22, 1854, sixty- three boats (6,660 tons) left Cumberland 
for Alexandria. 

Piedmont was laid out by the New Creek company and incorporated 
in 1856. Its earliest basis and stimulus was the Baltimore and Ohio 
railway which reached the site of the future town in 1851. Its earlier 
growth was largely due to Henry G. Davis who, on assuming the duties 
of station agent of the railway at that point in 1854 and by his keen 
foresight in grasping its industrial and commercial advantages, estab- 
lished his brothers in the coal and lumber business and four years later 
(1858), on resigning his position with the railroad, became the head of 
the firm and organized the Piedmont Savings Bank of which he became 

The site of Keyser at New creek was merely developed as a farm 
before the war in which it became a strategic position. The town, es- 

Tiif, Ancient Home op the Burrs (in Jefferson County) 

Located one-half mile west of Shenandoah Junction and about seventy yards 
south of the Baltimore and Ohio Bailroad stands the ancient home of the Burrs. 
In 1751 Peter Burr, migrating from Fairfield, Connecticut, bought four hundred 
acres of land from Lord Fairfax and built this home along the old Warm Spring 
Road. The house is a frame structure weather boarded with boards rived out of 
oak logs. The great chimney in the center is built of bricks said to have been 
imported from England. The house has been almost continuously occupied up 
until the present time, and the only repairs that have been necessary has been a 
new roof from time to time. At present it is owned by the heirs of the late 
J. D. McGarry. The stone building to the right was built about 1800. 

tablished after the war, largely through the energy of Henry G. Davis, 
received its larger stimulus to growth through its selection as the county 
seat of Mineral county which was formed from Hampshire county in 

Middle New River and Greenbrier 

In the Middle New river region, beginning with the formation of 
Monroe county in 1799 and the establishment of a post office at Union 
in 1800, there was a slow but steady development of industry and the 
evidence of civilization. Beginning about 1832 an impetus to trade 
and travel was given by the incorporation and construction of turn- 
pikes such as (1) the Price Mountain and Cumberland Gap, (2) the 
"Wayne, Raleigh and Grayson, and (3) the Giles, Fayette and Kanawha. 

In 1837, Mercer county was formed in response to a petition of the 


people living along the Flat Top mountain, the Bluestone, and the 
upper waters of Brush creek, who complained of the inconvenience of 
the long journey to their old county seat. The first court house was 
built in 1839. In 1843 there were in the county only two voting places — 
Princeton and Pipestem. 

Along the lower Greenbrier development was more rapid. This de- 
velopment was influenced by location as well as by the character of 
the people and the character of the soil. Agricultural advance gave 
early prosperity. Lewisburg, at which the oldest church organization 
(Presbyterian) on western waters was formed in 1783 and the first 
church was erected in 1795, became prominent as an early center of 
culture and refinement. 

Preparation of greater development farther west was made about 
1790 by widening the old trail westward from Fort Union and later 
by construction of the "old state road" which left the old trail several 
miles west of Lewisburg, crossed through Little Meadows, passed over 
Sewell mountain, crossed the New river at Bowyer's ferry and thence, 
after passing through "Vandalia" (now Fayetteville) to Montgomery's 
ferry (Kanawha Falls), continued to follow the south side of the river. 

On the upper Greenbrier, settlement developed more slowly. Hunters- 
ville, the first county seat of Pocahontas (formed 1821) was laid out 
in 1821 at the terminus of an early road leading from Warm Springs 
and on the site of John Bradshaw's pioneer cabin which once served 
as headquarters for the pioneer hunters. 

A location near George Baxter's present residence, in the vicinity of what is 
now Edray, had been selected by a committee and favorably reported as the place 
for the permanent location of the County Seat. Inducements by John Bradshaw 
were so enticing and favorable, and the people at the head of Greenbrier so anxious 
on the subject, that Huntersville prevailed, and the report of the committee on 
location was overruled. 

For a number of years previous to the organization of the county, in 1821, 
Huntersville had been a public place for trade. The merchants and tradesmen from 
the east arranged to meet the hunters here and to barter goods for the proceeds of 
the chase. Smithville was suggested to be an appropriate name for the county seat, 
but the present name Huntersville, however, was strenuously insisted upon by John 
Bradshaw and his friends, as a special compliment to the hunters that swarmed 
there during the trading season. 

It was no uncommon thing for Huntersville merchants to realize three or four 
hundred per cent on dry goods, and not much less on groceries, during the period 
from 1822 to 1845. After the Huntersville and Warm Springs turnpike was made, 
and the Parkersburg road penetrated upper Pocahontas, stores of importance were 
opened at Greenbank and Millpoint and in rapid succession at other points. Most of 
the business part of Huntersville was destroyed by fire in 1852. 

About 1836 there was an awakening in favor of better roads to and from 
Pendleton county. The Warm Springs and Huntersville Turnpike was projected, 
and completed about 1838, with Henry Harper and Wm. Gibson, a Huntersville 
merchant, contractors. It was a grand highway for that period, and awakened the 
pride of the community. Every stream was bridged from Huntersville to the Warm 

The Staunton and Parkersburg Pike was made two or three years later. It was 
located by the celebrated Crozet, one of the great Napoleon 's loyal engineers. About 
1854 the Huttonsville and Marlinton Turnpike was located by Engineer Haymond. 
In the same year he engineered the Lewisburg and Marlinton Turnpike, and the 
Greenbrier Bridge at Marlinton. Colonel William Hamilton, of Randolph County, 
esntracted for the road work from Huttonsville to Marlin's Bottom. Lemuel 
Cheneweth from Beverly, built the bridge in 1854-56. Captain William Cochran 
superintended the Lewisburg Road, and all of these enterprises were completed 
by 1856. 

From the Greenbrier the development of settlements advanced west- 
ward both down the Kanawha and into the region which was formed 
into the new county of Nicholas in 1818 (from Kanawha, Greenbrier 
and Randolph). On upper Elk at a few isolated interior clearings, new 
centers established a basis for the organization of Braxton county which 
was formed from Lewis, Kanawha and Nicholas in 1836. At Bulltown, 
the residence of a small tribe of Indians about 1780, salt was made as 
early as 1795. The earliest village by act of 1836 was established as 
the town of Suttonsville which in 1837 was changed to Sutton. Before 
1836 it had scarcely a dozen inhabitants but was known by its post office 
name, Newville. 




















The Monongahela Valley 

In the earlier development of the large region of Virginia terri- 
tory embraced in the drainage system of the Monongahela, the chief 
centers were Morgantown and Clarksburg. In 1776 this extent of ter- 
ritory was practically all included in Monongalia county which was 
divided in 1784 by the creation of Harrison and later by the formation 
of Preston (1818) and of Marion (1842) and which later furnished 
part of the territory for the creation of Taylor (1844). Prom the orig- 
inal territory of the Harrison of 1784 has been created Randolph (1787), 
Lewis (1816), Barbour (1843 from Harrison, Lewis and Randolph), 
Taylor (1844 from Harrison, Barbour and Marion), Upshur (1851 from 
Randolph, Barbour and Lewis) and Tucker (1856 from Randolph) — 
and small portions of its territory contributed to the creation of several 
other counties which do not belong to the topographical region drained 
by the Monongahela. 

The industrial development 3 of Morgantown may be presented as a 
fitting introduction to that of the surrounding region. 

Starting with perhaps no more than four log houses, a frame court 
house and jail, and a store and a grist mill on Decker's creek beyond 
the borough boundary, it grew little before 1791. In 1793 it became the 
terminus of a post route from Pittsburgh established under the Pitts- 
burgh Gazette management, which distributed its papers by private post 
riders both before and after the United States mails reached Pittsburgh 
in 1788. A post office was established in 1794 and a post route was 
designated from Hagerstown via Hancock and Cumberland to Morgan- 
town, thence to Uniontown and Brownsville. Later the route was opened 
from Morgantown via Mt. Morris and Waynesburg to Wheeling. Ordi- 
naries were licensed in 1796. Henry Dering, who came from Lancaster, 
Pennsylvania via Hagerstown, opened a hotel before 1800 ; and John 
Shisler, who came from Winchester, Virginia, in 1796, began to manu- 
facture wagons by 1802. The first newspaper was established in 1803. 
Buggy, carriage and furniture manufacturing works were established in 
the decade after 1840. Tanbark was used in the local tanneries. 

The town improved more rapidly from 1815 to 1830, largely in- 
fluenced by growing trade with the region now included in Preston, 
Marion, Barbour and Taylor counties from which the people came to 
buy salt, iron and groceries. The first steam boat arrived from Pitts- 
burgh in 1826. In the decade after 1840 the town felt a decline of trade 
resulting especially from the construction of the Northwestern Turn- 
pike in 1838, and the formation of Marion county in 1842 — and, after 
the opening of the Baltimore and Ohio mail line in 1853, it lost the great 
interior wagon trade and could thereafter depend only on the local 
county trade until it could secure slack water navigation or railway 
connection. Although the streets seemed deserted in comparison with 
their busy aspect of the thirties, closer touch was felt with the larger 
world by the establishment of a daily mail by 1854. Trade with the 
western end of the county was encouraged by the construction of a 
suspension bridge in 1854 by a company which had been organized four 
years earlier. Before 1853 Pittsburgh was the main point for exchange 
of state bank paper, and in the absence of safe mails, payments were 
conveyed to eastern cities by private messengers. After 1853 money 
was sent by express from Fairmont until 1875 when a nearer express 
office was established at Fairchance. The population in 1865 was only 

3 The civic development is also interesting. In 1810 the first necessary step 
toward self-government was taken by making the trustees elective by the free- 
holders, and in 1816 they were given power to levy taxes. By the new charter 
of 1838 a government under seven trustees of more extended powers was inaugurated 
resulting in an increasing number of ordinances — some of which, necessitating a 
serious break with long-established customs, met with tierce opposition. The latter 
are illustrated by the ''hog ordinance" which after a varied career as one of tin- 
chief municipal problems was finally settled by the referendum in the election 
of 1852, by which the hogs lost by 25 votes. An amended charter by legislative 
act of March 20, I860, provided for election of a mayor, a sergeant, five councilmen 
and a recorder. The borough records are complete from 1838 to 1860. 


648. No one in the county carried either fire insurance or life insurance 
before 1860. Telegraph connection was not opened until 1866, when 
the Atlantic and Pacific Company built a line from Pittsburgh to Fair- 
mont, aided by local men who subscribed for stock in the corporation. 

Probably the first road in Monongalia followed Decker's creek from 
Morgantown to Rock Forge, thence over the general route of the later 
Kingwood pike and across Cheat at Dunkard Bottom to the site of 
Westernport, Maryland, and to Winchester. It was probably cleared, 
as a pack-horse road between 1772 and 1776, and was later known as 
the State road or old Winchester road. Over it the early settlers brought 
salt and iron from Winchester (before the local iron works and Cone- 
maugh salt), and after the Revolution it became an emigrant road to 
the West. Even as early as 1772 Michael Kern kept a boat yard at 
the mouth of Decker's creek for the accommodation of westward emi- 
grants who followed this road to Morgantown — from which they con- 
tinued their journey to Kentucky by the Monongahela and the Ohio. 
In 1784 the importance of trade with the Ohio, and of political con- 
nections between East and West, induced Washington to urge connec- 
tion from the Potomac by a canal via Cheat to the nearest navigable 
point on the Monongahela. In 1791 the state road from Winchester 
was extended to the mouth of Fishing creek (now New Martinsville) 
and soon became a wagon road from the mouth of Savage river (Western- 
port) to Morgantown. In 1812 the Monongalia Glades road was opened 
to Clarksburg via Smithton. 

The first ferry established by law was located across Cheat at An- 
drew Ice's in 1785, others were established across the Monongahela in 
1791 and 1792, and others across Cheat in 1792 and 1805. After Jan- 
uary, 1807, ferries were authorized by the county courts instead of by 
the general assembly. 

In the earlier decades after the Revolution, population and develop- 
ment in Monongalia county increased rapidly in spite of the tide of 
immigration to Kentucky and Ohio. The population of 4,000 in 1790 
was more than doubled in a decade. In 1794 the people resisted the 
attempts to involve them in the Whiskey Insurrection. After the mili- 
tary advance into western Pennsylvania, it appears that part of the 
Virginia division commanded by Governor Henry Lee returned via 
Morgantown, Winchester and Frankfort. 

By 1810 the population had increased to 12,783 and the iron works 
on Cheat and on Decker's creek furnished a basis for prospective in- 
crease of material development restricted only by problems of trans- 

To encourage settlements, to meet the demand for connecting the 
interests of East and West, and for securing more direct commercial 
intercourse with the Ohio from which such commodities as salt could 
be obtained far more conveniently than by the overland route from 
Winchester or the water route from Pittsburgh, in 1812, the legislature 
authorized the opening of a road from the Monongalia Glades (now in 
Preston county) via the mouth of Buffalo to the present site of New 
Martinsville which was to connect on the opposite bank of the Ohio with 
a road from Zanesville. The road, however, did not meet the expecta- 
tions of its projectors, and in January, 1817, new efforts for better com- 
munications resulted in the incorporation of the Monongahela Naviga- 
tion Company to secure better facilities in river transportation, but all 
efforts of the next few years to secure slack water navigation failed. 

The census of 1820 showed a decrease of 2,000 in the population — 
a decrease only partially explained by the creation of Preston county 
with a population of 3,000 in 1818. In 1823, all efforts to secure slack- 
water navigation having failed, attention was directed toward the ques- 
tion of canal communication between eastern and western waters. Three 
years later (on April 29), the first steamboat reached Morgantown, and 
by 1830 their continued arrival from Pittsburg, causing a shifting of 
the old head-of-navigation dispute between Wheeling and Pittsburgh, 



stimulated public demand for improvement of the Monongahela which 
was presented to Congress by Mr. Doddridge. 

In 1830 the census showed an increase of 3,000 white population 
since 1820. Morgantown became an educational center by the incorpo- 
ration of Monongalia Academy in 1829 and the establishment of a 
female academy in 1832. Development in the western end of the county 
resulted in the establishment of Blacksville as a town; and growth of 
settlements further up the river, together with the demand for easier 
access to the county seat, resulted in petitions for the creation of Marion 
county, which was accomplished in 1842. 

In the decade from 1830 to 1840 the question of roads was still 
prominent. Earlier efforts were directed toward securing the survey 
of a road over the nearest and best route from a point on the Ohio be- 
tween the mouth of Pishing creek and Marietta via Morgantown to the 
national road at or near the Youghiogheny bridge, and the establish 

Old "Watts House, Morgantown (Built About 1800) 

ment of a mail route with semi-weekly stages from Uniontown via Mor- 
gantown and Clarksburg to Parkersburg. The first enterprise was op- 
posed in 1830 by Kingwood which seemed disposed to enlist Winchester, 
Romney, Westernport and Pruntytown against the establishment of the 
proposed new route. 

The efforts of Monongalia to secure better means of communication 
were stimulated by neighboring improvements. In 1831 stages began 
to carry great western mail from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh in three 
days. Pennsylvania by her canal, and Maryland by her railroad, were 
struggling for the western trade. It was evident that the completion 
of the canal would soon reduce freights and no one yet knew at what 
point on the Ohio between Pittsburgh and the Kanawha the Baltimore 
and Ohio would terminate, but it seemed certain that either the Balti- 
more and Ohio Railroad or the Chesapeake and Ohio canal would reach 
Cumberland which would thus become a deposit for western products. 
Therefore it was urged that Morgantown should push the opening of the 
road from the mouth of Pishing creek to Sinithfield in the direction of 
Cumberland (via Monongalia county), and urge the opening of the 
navigation of the Monongahela, and secure the establishment of a bank. 
In 1836 the Brandonville and Fishing Creek Turnpike was begun. Early 
in 1833 a line of four-horse stages was started between Morgantown and 
Uniontown by Colonel Johnson and a year later a tri-weekly mail in two 


horse stages was established between Uniontown and Clarksburg via 
Morgantown. The Morgantown and Clarksburg (and Ice's Ferry) 
Turnpike was completed in 1840 via Smithton, and the Brandonville 
and Fishing Creek Turnpike to Ice's Ferry and thence to the Penn- 
sylvania line. 

In 1840 the location and construction of turnpikes and bridges were 
the chief subjects of local interest. The establishment of Ellicott's roll- 
ing mill at Ice's Ferry on Cheat (1840) furnished a new impetus to 
secure better roads and also to obtain slack-water navigation, first on 
the Monongahela and later on Cheat (1847). The Dunkard Creek Turn- 
pike projected in 1839 was revived in 1847 and located to Blacksville 
from whence it was later extended to Burton on the Baltimore and Ohio. 
The Morgantown and Bridgeport Turnpike was authorized by act of 
1849. The Kingwood, Morgantown and West Union (Aurora) Turnpike, 
incorporated in 1848, was completed in 1851 partly on the location of the 
Morgantown and Clarksburg Turnpike. The Pennsylvania, Beverly and 
Morgantown Turnpike, incorporated in 1837 was revived in 1853 and 
constructed via Evansville. From Morgantown to Evansville, it was 
usually called the Evansville pike. The Masontown and Independence 
Turnpike, incorporated in 1856, was built from a point on the road one 
mile west of Ice's Ferry. 

Among the various industries of the county besides agriculture, for 
a half century after 1800, were the manufacture of iron (one of the 
earliest), the preparation of country millstones, the operation of card- 
ing and fulling mills, the manufacture of paper (begun 1839), the 
manufacture of pottery (which became important by 1830), carriage 
making (which became prominent after 1851), the operation of foun- 
dries, and the manufacture of furniture. As early as 1839 a rag paper 
mill was in operation in Morgantown. 

By 1845 Morgantown contained about 150 dwellings, several stores 
and mills, two printing offices, two churches and an academy. 

The iron works on Cheat near Ice's Ferry were industrially impor- 
tant, furnishing employment for over 1,200 persons. The manufactured 
products beyond the needs of the neighboring territory centering in the 
Morgantown market were sent on flatboats to Pittsburgh. A gradual 
decline in the industry, beginning after 1846 and causing the failure of 
the Ellicotts in 1848 or in 1849, resulted in its termination in 1868. 

The first iron manufactured west of the Alleghanies was turned out in 17S0 
at old Alliance Forge, in Pennsylvania, not fifty miles from Morgantown. The 
following year the fires of Springfield Furnace were lighted just beyond the county 
line. The burnt records of 1796 carried in their ashes all records of the first iron 
furnaces in Monongalia county. The Dicker Creek Iron Works, sometimes known 
as the "Rock Forge", were standing in 179S, and were probably in operation as 
late as 1815. The earliest official record of a furnace in the county was 1798, 
mentioned in a deed connected witli the old Jackson Iron Works. At the location 
of the latter, Samuel Jackson, of Fayette county, Pennsylvania, about 1800, built 
a log dam and a mill and before 1809 also erected an iron furnace and made nails 
by hand process. Other early neighboring furnaces were the Henry Clay, and 
Pleasant Furnace. The Henry Clay was run by steam power on Quarry run, four 
miles from Ice's ferry, and was built by Leonard Lamb in 1834. Here four tons 
were produced in twenty-four hours. The Anna Furnace, at Ice 's ferry was built 
by the Ellicotts about 1847. It first used charcoal and later coke. The Cheat Iron 
Works had a series of furnaces about six miles above the mouth of Cheat. They 
were built in 1846, by William Salyards. The Hawthorne Nail Works, owned by 
Robert, and Alexander Hawthorne, were erected soon after the arrival of the owners 
in 1790. They wero located four miles south of Morgantown, on Aaron's creek. 
They were in operation for many years. 

A powder mill was built on Quarry run before 1800. It is related 
that one Smith drove a nail into the building one day, and that the spark 
that came as a result blew up the mill and killed Smith. In a very early 
day, the cutting of mill-stones was a large business. About 1840, Joshua 
Swindler had a boat load shipped to Cincinnati, and from there they 
found their way to many far western mill sites, even going beyond the 
Mississippi river. 

In 1839 the Live Oak Paper Mills were established by John Rogers, 


on Decker's creek. This plant was a four-story stone structure, costing 
$6,000. Pottery was made in large amounts very early. Among the 
early successful operators was a man named Poulk. Carriage-making 
early engaged the attention of a number of firms. John Shisler com- 
menced in 1802 to build a good grade of carriage, and others were added. 
John Stealey made stoves prior to 1825 at Rock Forge, but the first stove 
foundry proper was erected in 1838 at Morgantown by Joel Nuzum and 
the Doughertys. 

East of Morgantown, at the union of the Morgantown and Clarks- 
burg branches of the state road leading to Winchester in 1800 was a 
wooded site well known as a camping place on the route so much used 
by early settlers of Kentucky who reached the Ohio at the fort opposite 
Marietta. The cluster of houses built there in 1807 was named Kingwood 
which was established as a town in 1811. The perceptible progress of 
settlement around the town after 1813, and other changes of conditions 
resulted in the formation of Preston county in 1818 without objection 
of Monongahela. Kingwood, the oldest town, became the county seat. 

The panther was retreating before the advance of the settler, although 
the wolf and the bear were still numerous beyond the margin of the 
settlements. Cattle raising which had begun as a business to meet the 
demands of the eastern market, and was encouraged by the completion 
of the National road between Cumberland and Wheeling in 1818, brought 
money into the community and stimulated new efforts toward new im- 
provements — such as the water mills, the introduction of frame and 
stone buildings, and the beginning of mercantile business in the small 
village store. The frequent passage of immigrant teams on their way to 
Ohio indicated further improvement in the roads, and increasing travel 
stimulated new enterprises. 

By 1845 Kingwood had about thirty dwellings and several stores 
and the chief staple of the county was Indian corn. Considerable 
sugar and tobacco was also raised. In 1850 one of the first prominent 
woolen factories in Preston was established at Bruceton (originally 
called Morton's Mills). In 1840 the legislature incorporated the 
Preston Railroad. Lumber and Mining Company, organized to operate 
in the lumber and mining business on Cheat. In 1850 it incorporated 
the Greenville Furnace company which transported its product by 
water from Cheat to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. 

For the earliest settlers of the region centering around the mouth 
of Tygart's Valley river Morgantown and Clarksburg were marketing 
centers, but with the increase of improvements and the erection of mills 
along the streams nearer stores were established, and later monthly 
communication with the outside world was secured by a regular mail 

In 1819, Middletown (now Fairmont) was legally established and 
regularly plotted in a laurel thicket on the farm of Boaz Fleming — 
the roughest and poorest land in the vicinity. Its earliest development 
was partly determined by the need of a midway stopping-place for 
travelers between Morgantown and Clarksburg. 4 Its later growth was 
due to the establishment of various industries in the vicinity — such as 
the fulling and carding mills of Barnes and Raymond which began 
operations in 1831. 

In 1837 Rivesville was laid out upon the land of Elisha Snodgrass. 
In 1838, across the river from Middletown, was established Palatine 
at which the Marion machine works manufactured McCormick reapers 
a decade before the civil war. 5 In 1839 a town was plotted adjacent 
to the Boothsville postoffice which had been established in 1833 at 
Robert Reed's tavern near the forks of Booth's creek. The first news- 

4 The first hotel built in Fairmont was owned by Frederick Tee, and was located 
near the site of the Watsnn Hotel. It accommodated travelers between Clarks- 
burg and Morgpntown after Middletown beeame a regular stopping plaee. 

5 The Marion Marhine Works were built on what is now Water Street on the 
east side of the river, by E. N. Hazen, who manufactured hardware. James Miller 
opened a cooper shop in 1837, the first of its kind to be established in this section. 


paper of the county was established at Fairmont about 1840. Some 
of the smaller towns of the county are older than the county, but the 
larger number were established after the arrival of the railroad. 

The attempt to secure the formation of a separate county in 1842, 
twenty-three years after the plan had first been proposed to the legis- 
lature, was successful in spite of considerable opposition in the legis- 
lature both from the delegates of Monongalia and those of Harrison. 
By 1845 Fairmont, the county seat, had seventy dwellings and five 
stores ; and Palatine across the river had twenty-five dwellings and two 
stores. In the vicinity were located several flouring mills and other 

In 1851 the largest and best hotel at Fairmont was owned by John Kearsloy, 
who had remodeled the building known as the Marion House, formerly occupied 
by George Erwin. Thomas Poulton kept the Virginia Hotel and stqgecoach office, 
at the corner of Adams, or Main, and Jefferson Streets. From this hotel a line 
of two-horse coaches left daily for Morgantown at 1 P. M., connecting there with a 
daily coach for Uniontown, thence eastward to Cumberland, or westward to Browns- 
ville and Wheeling by coaches on the National Road. Returning, the coach left 
Morgantown at 6 A. M., arriving in Fairmont at noon. 

The building of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad gave the first impetus to the 
coal industry in Marion Comity, although at first wood was chiefly used for firing 
the engines. In 1852 the O 'Donnel mine was opened for commercial purposes. The 
ruins of this mine, which was located on Palatine Knob facing the Monongahela 
River, may still be seen. Its first output was shipped to Baltimore over the new 
railroad in 1853. Other early mines were those of the Pierponts and the Watsons, 
located in what is now Washington Street, Fairmont, the construction of which 
followed closely the opening of the O 'Donnel mine. These were the small begin- 
nings of the great industry that lias made Marion County fourth in the production 
of coal in West Virginia. 

Early improvements developed more rapidly around the center at 
Clarksburg on the West Fork. In December, 1784, the Harrison county 
court ordered a bridle road opened from Clarksburg to Wickwire's 
Ford (below Fetterman) on Tygart's river. By 1790 commissioners 
were ordered to mark a road from the state road by Neal's station on 
the Little Kanawha to the Harrison and Kanawha county line — partly 
to meet the needs of travelers from Kentucky who left their canoes 
at "Belveal" and crossed by land from Neal's station, near the mouth 
of the Little Kanawha, to Clarksburg (often under direction of a 
pilot to keep them from losing their way). This connection with the 
Ohio, and another at Isaac Williams' opposite Marietta were made by 
William Haymond, Sr., and others between 1788 and 1790. In 1790 
or 1791 cattle were collected at Clarksburg to drive through to the 
new Marietta settlement. In 1791 or 1792 beaver skins, buffalo skins 
and bear skins and meat were carried by canoe down the Little Kanawha 
and up the Ohio from Neal's station to Marietta. 

In 1793 Clarksburg was the seat of an academy and by 1797 it con- 
tained about forty dwellings. By 1798 it had a post office. In the early 
days it was on a mail route between Gandy's (of Preston county) and 
Chillicothe via Salem, Webster, Marietta, Athens and Hewitts. By 1804 
it had a wagon shop. At a very early date, too, it had a boat yard for 
the manufacture of large flat boats which before the era of railroads were 
built at several points along West Fork and floated to Pittsburgh loaded 
with old iron, whiskey, grain, flour, lumber and country produce. In 
1815 its first newspaper appeared. By 1818 its connections with a larger 
surrounding region were improved by the opening of new roads such 
as the road to Point Pleasant via the Elk river, and Booth's Ferry and 
Ohio turnpike from Philippi via Clarksburg and Middlebourne to Sis- 
tersville. Its larger trade was always with the East, but by 1819 is re- 
ceived supplies of Bulltown salt and perhaps also supplies of Kanawha 
salt which by this time found a market at Salem and other points north- 
ward. Although its citizens were of old Virginia descendants, its eastern 
trading and commercial relations were always with Baltimore which was 
more conveniently accessible than Richmond. By 1820 its most natural 
markets were either eastward across the mountains to Atlantic cities 
(250 or 350 miles distant) or down the Monongahela to the towns of the 


Ohio and the Mississippi. The transportation of breadstuffs in either 
direction was too expensive to yield a profit. Therefore the surplus grain 
was fed to the horses, cattle or hogs which could transport themselves 
"on the hoof" to the eastern markets. By some labor the products of 
the forest — logs, boats, plank and staves — were a fruitful source of 
wealth if the uncertainties and irregularities of navigation had not pre- 
vented them from reaching the market in time to meet the demand. The 
central position of the town making it a suitable place to collect articles 
for transportation to Brownsville and thence to Baltimore over the turn- 
pike was one of the factors which induced the state to make a survey of 
the West Pork and the Monongahela to the Pennsylvania state line in 
1820. In 1830 during the dispute between the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railway and the Chesapeake and Ohio canal, both of which planned to 
reach the Ohio, Philip Doddridge urged Congress to improve the Monon- 
gahela to Clarksburg. 

By 1820 other early settlements were growing into towns of some im- 
portance Among these were Salem, located on an early strategic site 
as a station for troops sent to watch the Indian trail leading from the 
Ohio up Middle Island creek and Long run to the settlements on the 
West Fork, and named by its first colony of forty families who arrived 
from Salem, New Jersey, before peace had been established with the 
Indians. On the site of Bridgeport which probably received its first 
settlers (Joseph Cavisson and others) between 1771 and 1774 the legis- 
lature in 1816 established a town which by 1845 contained twenty-five 
dwellings and two churches. Shinnston at which the first settlement 
was made in 1773 by Levy Shinn and others, sturdy and independent 
Quakers from New Jersey, was first legally established as a town by 
legislative act of 1818. West Milford, the site of which had been in- 
cluded in tracts of land granted a decade or more earlier, gradually 
grew as a village clustering around the Clements Mill which was erected 
in 1817, and received legal recognition as a town by legislative act of 

Municipal improvement at Clarksburg did not keep pace with eco- 
nomic development. Jack Levegood in 1819 after a journey over the moun- 
tains wrote from the safe distance of the Youghiogheny Glades in Mary- 
land giving some of his impressions of Clarksburg in which he especially 
urged the need of a better cemetery, a hearse and better facilities for 
protection from fires. "I wondered," said he, "why the citizens of 
Clarksburg who are esteemed as a liberal and intelligent people have not 
a place to bury their dead secured by a fence from the intrusion of hogs 
and cattle. * * * Neither engine, bucket, hose, or even a public 
ladder is to be seen in the town." Perhaps his criticism caused the town 
ordinance which went into effect three months later prohibiting hogs 
from running at large. 

According to J. H. DisDebar, a French agent for claimants of the 
Swan lands who visited Clarksburg in 1846, the citizens were "a some- 
what exclusive, conservative set with all the traditions and social preju- 
dices pei'taining to an ancient moss-grown aristocratic town" with 
pretensions "by common consent founded upon antiquity of pedigree 
and superior culture and manners." 

In 1845 the town had a population of 1,100, seven stores, two news- 
paper offices, two churches and two academies, and the county had an 
estimated mineral wealth which was already regarded as an element of 

Connection with the National road by a line of coaches or stages was 
established about 1830 enabling merchants to reach Baltimore by horse- 
back in six days, although their laden wagons required fifteen days or 
more. The town especially felt the influence of the wide Northwestern 
turnpike which was completed about 1836 (macademized from Tygart's 
Valley river to Parkersburg in 1848), increasing facilities for travel 
and news. By 1845 tri-weekly stages connected on the east with Romney 
and thence with Green Springs on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad and 
on the west with Parkersburg. 

Vol. I— 10 


With the increase in the number of settlers and the development of 
settlements around the head waters of West Fork, the inconveniences 
of communication with the county seat at Clarksburg found expression 
in the demand for the formation of a new county. This demand was 
satisfied in 1816 by an act of the assembly which created Lewis and 
provided for the location of a permanent county seat by five commis- 
sioners who chose Fleshersville, which in 1818 was incorporated as a 
town under the name of Preston, which in 1819 was changed to Fleshers- 
ville and then to Weston, which has since borne the honor with no serious 
opposition. In the following spring the first survey of the West Fork 
and the Monougahela, with a view to the improvement of navigation, 
was begun just below the Weston court house. 

Gradually the earlier log houses were succeeded by better structures 
expressing refinement, social tastes and prosperity. The early settle- 
ments of the northern and eastern parts of the county were supplied 
with lumber from choice yellow poplars and black walnuts prepared 
by water power saw mills located along the neighboring streams. Trees 
which were too large to be easily sawed were split into fence rails or 
burned in the clearings. Although in 1843 portions of Lewis were 
detached to contribute to the formation of Barbour and Ritchie counties. 
The population of the county steadily increased — about 2,000 each 
decade — until 1850, after which it was decreased by loss of territory 
occasioned by the formation of Upshur county in 1851. By 1845 
Weston contained about sixty dwellings. 

The large development and aspirations of the people of Lewis at 
the middle of the century found expression in many ways — the most 
prominent of which probably were the Weston and Fairmont turnpike, 
the Weston and Gauley Bridge turnpike, and the Weston and West 
Union turnpike. A branch of the Exchange Bank of Virginia was estab- 
lished in 1853. 

On the eve of the civil war, Weston secured the location of the hos- 
pital for the insane — the first and only state institution which was located 
in the transmontane territory later included in West Virginia. 

On the upper Tygart's Valley, around the site of Philippi the early 
scattered settlements were connected by "blazed" trails many of which 
were distinguished by the kind of tree blazed in order to avoid be- 
wilderment or danger of becoming lost at trail crossings. As early as 
1788 the trail from Clarksburg to Winchester, the east and west highway 
through the territory included in Barbour and Tucker, crossing the 
Valley river a mile below Philippi and Cheat at St. George, was men- 
tioned in the records as the "state road" — although it was still only 
the "Pringle Packroad. " The Beverly trail branched off a mile above 
the mouth of Hacker's creek, and passed via Sugar creek and the site of 
Belington. With the establishment of Booth's ferry, the' road from 
Clarksburg to the Valley river was widened for wagons, and steps were 
taken to open the road toward Beverly via Sugar creek. By 1803 there 
was a wagon road constructed on the east side of the river which was 
later extended to Beverly. The first wagon which appeared in the county 
was brought (by pieces) over the mountain to Cheat in 1783 via North 
Branch, Lead Mine run and Horse Shoe run before trails had been 
widened for wagons. 

The early economic life was largely confined to the problem of mere 
subsistence. Ginseng, however, M*as exported as early as 1789. A tan 
yard was located above Philippi in 1800 and the first mill at Philippi was 
erected in 1818. 

In 1843 Barbour county was formed from Randolph (and parts of 
Harrison and Lewis) and the site for the court house promptly selected 
at Philippi (the old Booth's ferry of Randolph) which was then only a 
farm. Among the first acts of the court was one fixing the charges for 
taverns which was re-enacted every subsequent year for over a decade. 
By 1845 the county was regarded as rather thickly settled at the heads 
of Simpson and Elk creeks and on the Buckhannon and Tygart's Valley 
rivers. Philippi contained only about a dozen houses but a basis for 


later development was believed to exist in neighboring deposits of ex- 
cellent coal and iron. 

Coincident with improved transportation facilities resulting from the 
completion of neighboring turnpikes — the earlier Northwestern and the 
Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike completed via Buckhannon in 1847 
— various signs of improvement appeared. Instances of the introduction 
of improved machinery occurring by 1840 became more common a 
decade later. Although the horse-power thresher began to appear per- 
haps as early as 1846 the first horse-power thresher and separator was 
not introduced until 1852. In 1848 in Cove district there was an attempt 
to develop the iron resources and in 1849 the product, after a haul of 
fifty miles on wagons, was transported to market from Fairmont by 
boats on the Monongahela. At the same time construction of local pikes 
was begun. In 1850 Luther Haymond of Clarksburg completed the sur- 
vey for the Beverly and Fairmont pike, making changes of route above 
Belington and elsewhere which caused bitter controversies. In Barbour 
one of the first steam saw and grist mills was built at Peeltree about 
1856 and continued to saw lumber for local use for thirty or forty 

After the opening of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad the people from 
the northeastern part of Barbour found their most convenient shipping 
point at Thornton. From various points on the Tygart's Valley river 
considerable timber was floated to Grafton. The bank of Philippi, the 
first bank in Barbour, was established in 1855, and closed at the opening 
of the war. Its notes were bought by speculators even after the close 
of the war. 

The first newspaper of the county was founded in 1857 and suspended 
publication in June. 1861. 

At the outbreak of the war nearly all the county officers of Barbour 
sympathized with the secession movement of the South. 

Along the Buckhannon river, in the earlier years of settlement, hunt- 
ing (both animals and medicinal plants) was a necessary occupation 
which ceased as such only when the profits arising from it became less 
than the profits from other labor. 

The settlers of 1770 who braved the perils of the unbroken forest 
found many inconveniences for years thereafter. For thirty years the 
region of Upshur county was without a store. 

The earlier trails were gradually widened into roads to meet the in- 
creasing demands of the settlements — especially after the introduction of 
wagons. In 1800 Jacob Lorentz, Abraham Post and Abraham Carper 
emigrated from the South Branch, cut an uneven wagon road along the 
Indian trail via Beverly and brought the first road wagon to the region. 
In the same year goods were transported from Beverly to Buckhannon 
in a wagon. The second road wagon was brought to the county in 1810 
by the New Englanders on their overland journey. 

A mill built 1783 above the mouth of Fink's run near Buckhannon 
was the only mill in the Buckhannon valley for many years. A second 
mill in that region was built in 1821. Saw mills for domestic use were 
established on Spruce run in 1806, at Buckhannon and Sago in 1810 
and at French creek (Meadville) in 1813. In 1814 the court of Randolph 
ordered a horseback or pack horse road from Beverly to Buckhannon 
which was later widened and graded and converted into a section of the 
Parkersburg and Staunton turnpike. 

Cattle, brought by the earliest settlers of 1770 and by almost all 
later settlers, were improved by a better breed brought by settlers from 

6 Iron ore is found over an area of 10,000 acres, chiefly on Brushy Fork. It is 
in veins and ledges from one foot to fourteen fret thick, p. 318. The furnace 
on Brushy Fork was built in 184S and was used six years. The blast was oper- 
ated first by water power and afterwards by an engine (believed to have been the 
first in Barbour County, about 18S0). It was thirty nine feet high when built, but 
is little more than half of that now, much of the stone of which it was built having 
been removed for various purposes. The fuel was charcoal, and about 9 000 pounds 
of iron were produced a day. This was hauled by mule teams to Fairmont. 


New England about 1810. Sheep were introduced from Hardy county 
and from New England at the same time. Sheep husbandry became an 
important industry — especially after the close of the hunters period 
along the frontier. Obstacles arising from the migratory habits of the 
sheep and the depredations of wolves and dogs were largely overcome 
with the development of the settlements. In the earlier days there were 
many and menacing disputes over ownership of hogs — a product which 
found a ready sale at Richmond, Winchester or Cumberland. 

Spinning, knitting and weaving were common home industries. Every 
family contained its own tailor, usually a woman. At first the tanning 
of leather was a home process, and almost every family contained a 
cobbler. The conditions encouraged native mechanical genius. Salt, 
which in the earlier days was brought over the mountains on pack- 
horses and sold at prices which made it too dear for extensive use, was 
obtained in the county by evaporation after 1839. 

Soon after his arrival, Jacob Lorentz went into the mercantile busi- 
ness near where the Lorentz post office now is. For many years this 
was the only store in all of that section of the country. The roads 
were too steep and uneven to permit the general use of the road wagon, 
and the goods sold from behind the counter of Lorentz 's store were car- 
ried on packhorses from Richmond or Parkersburg or Cumberland. Only 
a few of the most necessary articles were kept. There was no money, 
and no money was brought into the region except on the occasion of 
the arrival of a drove of hogs or a herd of cattle being driven to the 
eastern markets, or upon the arrival of a train of packhorses loaded 
with furs and roots. 

The articles sold were necessarily high in price. One of the relatives of this 
ancient merchant said that calico was sold at 50 cents per yard; nails at 25 cents 
per pound; cotton at 25 cents per yard, and other merchandise correspondingly 

The second store in the county was opened in 1820 by Ezra Morgan and Amos 
Brooks in a small store room on the farm now known as the Andrew Buckhannon 
place, near French Creek. It was opened for general trade, selling goods and buying 
country produce. In the year 1830, Levi Leonard kept a store at French Creek in 
which ginseng, deer hides, furs and linen were exchanged for calico, which was sold 
for from twenty-five to seventy-five cents per yard. 

In 1832 Nathan and Waldo Goz put up the first store in Buckhannon. John 
Wesley Wilson started the first store at Rock Cave in 1851. 

Towns emerged slowly. Buckhannon was established in 1816 on 
lands then in Harrison county. 

Under the loose system of Virginia land warrants which often applied 
to no particular spot resulting in many conflicting claims and endless 
controversies, many New England settlers, who settled in the territory 
from the first of the century, becoming tired of dilatory courts and ad- 
verse decisions, emigrated westward (largely to Illinois) about 1830. 
Many people who remained were compelled to repurchase their lands 
from rival claimants. 

Industrial development and other improvements in the county were 
especially stimulated after 1848 by the construction of the Staunton 
and Parkersburg turnpike and the Clarksburg and Buckhannon turn- 
pike, and especially in 1852 by the completion of the railroad to Grafton 
opening a market for logs rafted down the river. 

The first attempt to establish Upshur county made in 1848, met con- 
siderable opposition especially at Weston which disliked the proposal 
to add to the new county a part of the territory of Lewis. The law 
creating the new county from parts of Randolph, Barbour and Lewis 
was finally enacted in 1851. The town of Buckhannon was incorporated 
in 1852 and the first court house was completed in 1854. 

By the census of 1860, Upshur had a population of 7,299 which was 
about 700 less than that of Lewis and almost 50 per cent greater than 
that of the neighboring mother county Randolph. 

Early development in Randolph county was much retarded by lack 
of communication. The earliest roads were mere "bridle paths" be- 
tween the several settlements. In 1787 the first court of the newly formed 


county provided for marking a way for a wagon road from Leading 
creek to Horse Shoe Bottom on Cheat (now in Tucker), but not until 
1826 were wagons able to cross the mountains from the direction of 
the South Branch. By 1800 a score of roads had been surveyed in 
Randolph county. By 1801 the court ordered a survey from the mouth 
of Black Fork of Cheat to the head of North Branch — which, although 
it resulted in no road, was later followed by the West Virginia Central 
and Pittsburgh railroad from Fairfax to Parsons. In 1814 a pack horse 
road was ordered from Beverly to Buckhannon. In 1822 aid was voted 
to open a road from Beverly via Clarksburg to Sistersville. In 1824 
the legislature authorized a "state road" from Staunton to the mouth 
of the Little Kanawha which was built via Beverly over the same gen- 
eral route followed by the Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike twenty 
years later. In 1826 Randolph co-operated with Monongalia in con- 
structing a bridge across Sandy creek which was their boundary until 
the creation of Marion county in 1842, after which it became successively 
the boundary between Randolph and Marion, then between Marion and 
Barbour (1843) and finally between Barbour and Taylor (1844). In 
1832 steps were taken to raise money by lottery to build a road from 
Beverly to Morgantown. 

Development, with few exceptions, was slow. The first saw mill at 
Mingo (upper end of the county) was built near Valley Head in 1822 
and the wagon which hauled the irons for the mill was the first that 
crossed the mountains to Mingo. The first grist mill in the upper fifteen 
miles of the river was built about 1820 or 1822. 

Outside the valleys of Tygart's river and Leading creek the ter- 
ritory of Randolph was occupied but slowly — and a century later 
much of the forest land remained undisturbed. Even after half a cen- 
tury few houses were built of sawed lumber. A saw mill introduced 
near Valley Head in 1822 was probably the only one in the county in 
1835 and perhaps for several years later. Even in 1840 there were 
few settlements except along the Cheat and in the narrow bottoms of 
the larger creeks toward the northern end of the county. In 1853 there 
were large tracts entirely uninhabited and almost inaccessible. 

Changes in markets and transportation are illustrated in the case of 
David Blackman who, being engaged in the mercantile business at 
Beverly from 1824 until the civil war, hauled his goods first from Bal- 
timore, then from Winchester, then from Cumberland and later from 
Fetterman. 7 The chief source of wealth in the county in the ante-bel- 
lum period was live stock — a product which exported itself to the 
eastern market. 

The population of Beverly in 1845 — three years before it was incor- 
porated as the "Borough of Beverly" — was about 200. The population 
of the originally larger county which reached its highest point in 1840 
(6,208) suffered a reduction from 5,243 in 1850 to 4,990 in 1860— due 
to the loss of territory to form Tucker county in 1856. 

"No event in the history of Randolph county will leave more permanent traces 
than the settlement on Roaring Creek by the Irish in 1840-50. This is true from a 
business, educational, political and religious point of view. These settlers, strong of 
body and intellectually alert, inured to toil and hardship, soon converted the wilder- 
ness into a prosperous community of comfortable homes, churches, and schools amid 
which sprang up the village of Kingsville, with the conveniences of a store, post- 
office and blacksmith shop. These settlers were not only eminently successful them- 
selves in their undertakings, but bequeathed sons and daughters, who took front 
rank in the business and professional life of the county." 

The first to locate in what is known as the Irish settlement was Patrick 

i David Blackman of Connecticut emigrated to Randolph county in 1822. In 
1824 fallowing his marriage he located in Beverly and engaged in the mercantile 
business until 1861. He first hauled goods from Baltimore, later from Winchester, 
later from Cumberland and finally from Fetterman. His store was the principal one 
in the county; at first he had as a partner John Sherman who in 1827 moved to 
Ohio where he raised and educated his cousin's son, John, who later became United 
States senator. In 1829 his former partner wrote him "I have just bought 125 
barrels of whiskey at 25c a gallon. If it were in Beverly it would not last long." 


Flanigan. He was a contractor and was engaged in the building of the Staunton 
and Parkersburg pike. 

John 'Connell was the next to locate in that vicinity, in about 1850. In the 
Civil War he was a strong southern sympathizer and in attempting to communicate 
with the Confederate army at Philippi, in the first year of the war, was shot and 
killed near Laurel, from ambush. 

Patrick O'Connor, who had been engaged in the construction on the Staunton 
and Parkersburg Pike, bought land of Patrick Flanigan and with his family added 
to the nucleus of a settlement in its earliest days. He lived to the ripe old age 
of 108 years. 

About seventy families located in that section. Among them were Michael 
'Connor, Peter King, Patrick Riley, Patsy King, Miles King, Edward King, Owen 
Riley, Andrew Durkin, John Madden, Owen Gillooly, Andrew Durkin, Patrick 
Gillooly, Patrick 'Connor, Richard Ford, John Ford, Patrick Rafferty, Morris 
Hanifan, John Nallen, Sr., Thomas Burke, Alexander Burke, John Conley, Mathew 
Davis, John Cain, Patriek Moyles, John A. King, Thomas O 'Connor and John 

Morris Hanifan, born in County Cavan, Ireland, 1820, came to America in 
1S40. He worked on the C. & 0. Canal in its construction to Cumberland, then on 
the Winchester and Strawsburg Pike to New Market, Va., then on the Staunton and 
Parkersburg Pike to Huttonsville. He settled on Roaring Creek in 1847. He died 
in 1868. 

Daniel Tahaney, who came in 1846, was born in the County Sligo, Ireland, in 
1815. He came to America in 1835. He married Bridget McCan in New York 
City in 1837. For a time he worked on the construction of the Staunton and 
Parkersburg Pike. He died 1872. 

The first priest to celebrate mass in the Kingsville parish was Father Stack, 
of Staunton, Va., at Patrick Flanigan 's house in 1865. In 1863 Father O'Connor 
with the aid of his people commenced the erection of a log church, the first Catholic 
church in Randolph. In 1872 Father Dacey came as resident priest, but died soon 
thereafter. In 1873 Father Fitzpatrick came to take charge of the Mission. Soon 
the growing congregation became too large for the little church and under the 
leadership of Father Fitzpatrick, they built a commodious church and rectory in 
the growing village of Kingsville. Father Fitzpatrick also commenced the erection 
of a church at Coalton, but it was completed by his successor, Father Sauer. 

Father Fitzpatrick was in Kingsville twenty-eight years. He was for many 
years one of the leading figures of the county and had many friends throughout 
Randolph and adjoining counties among the Protestants as well as the adherents of 
his own religious faith. He died in Wheeling. 

John Madden, son of William and Mary (Brennanl Madden, was born in the 
Parish of Kiltormer, County Galway, Ireland, in 1815. In 1834 he sailed for 
America, landed in New York City, and after a short stay in the State of New 
York he went to Baltimore, Md., and was employed on the construction of the Chesa- 
peake and Ohio Canal from that point to Cumberland. In 1839 he was married to 
Cecelia Dwire. He then went to work on the State road from Winchester to Staunton, 
Va., and later was employed on the Staunton and Parkersburg pike to Huttons- 
ville, W. Va. He then located in Tygarts Valley near Huttonsville, where he worked 
as a tenant on the farms of Moses and John Hutton, and also on the Nagler 

John Stanton was born in Ireland, County Galway, Parish of Kiltormer, in 
1826. He came to Grafton, W. Va., and worked along the B. & O. railroad from 
that point to Kingwood, W. Va. In 1857 he migrated to Randolph County, W. Va., 
and settled in Roaring Creek district. 

Luke White, born in the Parish of Kiltevin, County Roscommon, Ireland, came 
to America in 1854, landing in New York City. He came to West Virginia and mar- 
ried Margaret Burke, a widow. He worked on the B. & O. for a time and later 
settled in Roaring Creek district, and in 1858 purchased a farm of 100 acres where 
he made his home for the rest of his life. 

The opportunities of a new country with cheap lands, together with the op- 
pression of English landlordism at home were, perhaps, among the principal reasons 
for Irish immigration to America. The average price paid by Irish settlers for 
Roaring Creek lands was about $1.25 per acre. These lands at the present time 
command fabulous prices, in many instances, as a result of the discovery of very 
rich veins of coal in that vicinity. 

At the close of the Indian troubles the few people of the northern 
end of Randolph in scattered settlements along upper Cheat in the 
vicinity of Leading creek turned to the hard work of clearing small 
spaces on which they cultivated small crops of corn from which to make 
corn bread. During a part of the autumn they hunted deer and bear 
—and in the earliest years sometimes found buffaloes, which, however, 
were never as plentiful as in the region of Buckhannon, Clarksburg 
and farther west along the Ohio. 

At an early date a sash mill was operated in the county by N. M. 
Parsons and George M. Parsons. Among other later ones was that 


built on Cheat as early as 1830 by Arnold Boimifield who operated it 
continually for thirty-five years. The first commercial demand for 
lumber outside the county was created by the construction of a bridge 
over Cheat at the crossing of the Northwestern pike, five or six miles 
above Rowlesburg. Much of the lumber used in the bridge was sawed 
by Boimifield, hauled to the river and built into rude rafts which were 
driven by the current to their destination. 

Beginning about 1852 and continuing long after the civil war, the 
main Cheat river for about twenty or twenty-five miles above the rail- 
road was somewhat developed by an enterprising company which sought 
ship-timber for the English market and had mill-works located at 
Rowlesburg. After 1860 portable and stationary steam saw mills rapidly 
increased, replacing the old water-power mills by which seven-eighths 
of the timber both for home and foreign use had beeu manufactured. 

As late as 1840 there were very few settlers except along the river 
and in the narrow bottoms of the larger creeks. The region called 
"Canada" and the land of Canaan — a high basin surrounded by moun- 
tains, the Backbone on the west and the Allegheny on the east — was 
an uninhabited wilderness. From the head of Black Fork to Fair- 
fax stone was an unbroken forest of trees which stood so thick that 
their branches interlocked for miles completely shutting out the sun- 
light from the soil below. Bears and panthers traveled through tun- 
nels which they had broken through the thickets in all directions. Al- 
though the wilderness of the mountains was largely unbroken, oc- 
casionally among the hills appeared the cabin of a settler who was 
opening a farm. In 1836 settlement was begun about the headwaters 
of Clover run. The first cabin was without door, floor or chimney but 
it attracted other settlers who obtained lands and by 1810 the neigh- 
borhood consisted of five families (including about thirty children) who 
had begun the earnest work of breaking up the thick forests and its 
dens of panthers and bears, and had also built a round-poled, floorless 
school house in which their children might be able to obtain some rudi- 
ments of an education. Canaan valley and the surrounding plateau 
country remained practically undisturbed until the forest fire of 1865 
which was soon followed by other "burnings" started by hunters. 

The people of the northern end of Randolph, long dissatisfied with 
the inconveniences of the journey to the county seat at Beverly over 
bad roads between settlements separated by large tracts of woods, re- 
peatedly agitated the subject of a new county even before the revival 
of the activity resulting from the new industrial opportunities opened 
to them by the construction of the railroad through the neighboring- 
woods on the north at the middle of the century. The decisive step 
was finally taken in the winter of 1854 by a meeting at the residence 
of Enoch Minear in the old stone house at St. George — which was then 
called Westernford. Through the influence of strong petitions and 
strong lobbying, supplemented by the enthusiastic assistance of Judge 
John Brannon of Lewis county in the legislature, early in 1856, the 
new county of Tucker was created with the seat of justice at St. 
George — which remained the county seat until long after the war. The 
size of the county was later increased by the addition of a strip of ter- 
ritory taken from Barbour. The total population in 1860 was only 

When Tucker was created, a few of its citizens foresaw a future of 
greater industrial prosperity. Abe Bonnifield, viewing the principal 
ridge of Backbone mountain along the side of which the sugar maples 
belonging to W. R. Parsons were falling beneath the axes of his slaves, 
saw the promise of rich grazing plantations. Considering the unoc- 
cupied regions of the land of Canaan which had recently come into the 
market, he expected to see a new tide of emigration. Knowing that 
coal had been discovered about 1835 on the sugar lands, and about 
1855 on the other side of the mountain, he had confidence that the rail- 
road projected hi 1856 up the North Branch from Piedmont on the 


Baltimore and Ohio would soon be built, and that its terminus would 
be in the coal lands of Tucker. The realization of his dreams, which 
came in surplus measure thirty years later, was doubtless postponed 
in part by the war of secession in which he was a participant iu the 
Confederate service. 

Along the Ohio 

At Wheeling, which early became an important outfitting point for 
flat boat traffic and which was laid out in town lots by Colonel Zane 
in 1793 (when it had only twelve families), the first post office was 
established in 1794. By 1795 mail boats carried mail between Wheeling 
and Cincinnati (by four relays) in six days downstream and twelve 
days upstream. After the Indian treaty of 1795, additional facilities 
were secured by establishing land routes. 

A factor of influence in the early development of Wheeling was the opening 
of Zane's Trace in 1796 from Wheeling through southeastern Ohio via Zanes- 
ville, Lancaster, Chillicothe to Aberdeen opposite Limestone (Maysville, Kentucky), 
where it connected with the old "Smith's wagon road" which closely followed the 
old buffalo trail from Limestone to Lexington, Kentucky. This new route author- 
ized by Congress as a result of the large increase of emigration and travel to the 
West after the treaty of Greenville, was opened by Ebenezer Zane the patriot- 
pioneer of Wheeling who for his service was granted three tracts of land: one on 
the Muskingum; one on the Hockhocking and one on the Scioto at points crossed by 
the new road. By this path, at first only made fit for horsemen, the Washington 
administration promptly established a regular mail route between Wheeling and 
Lexington, Kentucky, and travel and traffic steadily increased. 

Wheeling was incorporated as a town in 1795 and became the county 
seat of Ohio county in 1797. In 1801 8 its connection with Pennsyl- 
vania and Morgantown was improved by repairs on the roads. In 1802 
it was reached by two routes from Pittsburgh — the more direct but 
rougher route passing through West Liberty. At this date, according 
to P. A. Michaux who visited it on his western travels, it had seventy 
houses built of wood. 

"This little town," wrote Michaux, "is bounded by a high hill, 
nearly 200 fathoms high, the base of which not more than two fathoms 
from the river. In this space the houses are built, forming but one 
street, in the middle of which is the main road which follows the wind- 
ings of the river for a distance of more than 200 miles. Prom fifteen 
to twenty shops, well stocked, supply the inhabitants twenty miles 
around with provisions. This little town also shares the export trade 
that is carried on at Pittsburgh with the Western country. Numbers of 
merchants at Philadelphia prefer sending their goods here although the 
journey is a day longer; but the trifling inconvenience is well com- 
pensated by the advantage gained in avoiding the long winding which 
the Ohio makes on leaving Pittsburgh where the numerous shallows and 
the slow movement oi the stream, in summer time, retard the navi- 

A year later Harris, who visited the place, wrote the following : 

"Most of the houses are handsome, several being built of brick and 
some faced with stone. 9 Next to Pittsburg, it is the most considerable 
place of embarkation to traders and emigrants, anywhere on the west- 
ern waters. Boat-building is carried on here to great extent. 

s Mrs. Harris, of Morristown, Belmont county, Ohio, a daughter of John Mc- 
Oulloch, in narrating some early recollections of Wheeling, said that at the age 
of ten she was taken by her father to a show in Wheeling in 1801, and that they 
stopped at Ebenezer Zane's, who was related to them. Mrs. Harris thinks it was 
the first show that was exhibited in Wheeling, and it only consisted of an elephant 
and a camel. 

9 The rude log structures and more modern scantling shanties of "ye pioneer" 
days, were first superseded by a substantial brick structure in 1803-4, when one 
Jacob Goodling erected for himself a house where the St. James' Hotel formerly 
stood, on Water street. According to tradition, the second brick house was erected 
by William McConell, about 1805-6, on the corner of Main and Eighth street. 


"Opposite the town is a most beautiful island containing about 400 
acres, interspersed with buildings, highly cultivated fields, some fine 
orchards and copses of woods ; it appears to a great advantage from the 
town. Just below the town stands an old fort at the junction of Big 
Wheeling Creek and the Ohio." 

Thomas Ashe, an English traveler, who made a short stop at Wheel- 
ing in 1806, reported that the town had 250 houses (including ten of 
brick and eighteen of stone), predicted that it would "ultimately rival 
all the towns above its waters, ' ' but he was shocked at the sporting pro- 
pensities and lawlessness of the inhabitants and stated that ' ' much time 
and unremitted assiduity must be employed to make it a tolerable resi- 
dence for any class of men." 10 

In 1807, Cummings, another traveler, wrote the following descrip- 
tion of the place : 

"The town appeared very lively, the inhabitants being about their 
doors in the street. It contained 120 houses of all descriptions from 
middling downward, on a street about one-half mile long. The ave- 
nues of the landing are very steep and inconvenient. The court house 
is of stone with a small belfry which has nothing in beauty to boast 
of. 11 The gaol joins it in the rear. 

"It is probable that Mr. Zane, the original proprietor, now regrets 
that he did not place the town on the flats below, at the conflux of the 
Wheeling and the Ohio, where Sprigg's inn and the ship yards now 
are, instead of cultivating it as a farm until lately, when a resolve of 
Congress to open a new public state road from the metropolis through 
the western country, which will come to the Ohio near the mouth of 
Wheeling creek, induced him to lay it out in town lots, but I fear he is 
too late to see it become a considerable town to the prejudice of the old, 
notwithstanding its advantageous situation. 

"The present town does not seem to thrive if one may judge by the 
state of new buildings, two only being built. Stores appear thinly 
stocked with goods; retail prices high. 

"When new road is finished, it will doubtless be of great use to 

"Wheeling island in front of the town, one mile long, one-half mile 
wide, is very fertile and all cultivated as a farm by Mr. Zane. The post 
and stage road to Chillicothe, Ohio, goes across it, which occasions two 

!<> Ashe 's assertion in regard to the border lawlessness at Wheeling is par- 
tially substantiated by an event whieh occurred in September of the following 
year, and was reported in the Wheeling Repository as follows: 

"On the evening of Thursday, the 24th of September, a man who was strongly 
suspected to be grossly inattentive to this place, tarred and feathered, mounted on a 
rail, and carried up and down the street for about two hours. 'The gentleman' as 
his carriers and followers very complaisantly styled him, was occasionally saluted 
with keen reproaches, which together with cries of ' Here goes the man that beats 
his wife,' etc., rendered the procession a very noisy one. The crowd of spectators 
was great, and the proceeding, outrageous as it was, met with very general appro- 
bation. ' ' 

11 The first court house erected in Wheeling was a small stone structure with a 
diminutive cupola on the top, much resembling a full sized chimney. It was located 
on Main street, at its juncture with Tenth street. A Kentuckian once riding 
through the town looked upon it amazed, exclaiming — ' ' Well, the people of Wheeling 
must be mighty fond of bacon — I never saw such a large smoke house before in 
my life. ' ' 

In 1808, an effort was made to remove the seat of justice of Ohio county from 
Wheeling to Grave creek (now Moundsville). Mr. Tomlinson of the latter place 
visited Richmond with a petition liberally signed by citizens of the lower part 
of the county, and by diligently working personally with the members of the house 
of delegates succeeded in getting his project passed by a majority of fifteen, not- 
withstanding the opposition of the two members (Mr. Irwin and Mr. Morgan) from 
Ohio county. In Wheeling the measure was called Mr. Tomlinson 's "wheel-barrow 
project." It was ably opposed in the senate by Philip Doddridge who represented 
the district and was defeated. It appears that Mr. Doddridge was late in reach- 
ing Richmond, and Mr. Tomlinson afterwards remarked that if the senator had 
stayed away six days longer the bill would have obtained the majority of the 


ferries, an inconvenience which will be remedied by tiie new road cross- 
ing by one ferry below the island." 

The Navigator, published at Pittsburg, contains the following de- 
scription of Wheeling in its edition of 1810 : 

"The town fronts the Ohio on a high gravelly bank, opposite the 
middle of the island, and having immediately back of the town, Wheel- 
ing Creek hill, which is steep and lofty, and so narrow at the top that 
at some places there is scarcely room for a wagon to pass along, and 
nearly a precipice to the bottom of the creek. This singular formed 
backbone, as it were, between the Ohio and Wheeling creek, slopes off 
gradually into a fine bottom just below the town and above the mouth 
of the creek, but is considerably lower than the ground on which Wheel- 
ing stands, and in some seasons has been known to be inundated by 
the floods. There are on this bottom an excellent public inn, a ware- 
house, a boat yard, and a rope walk, and some other buildings. Imme- 
diately above the mouth of the creek there used to stand a fort, serving 
as a pioneer post during the wars with the Indians. 

"In the consequence of the hill just mentioned, and which crowds the 
town to the bank of the river, Wheeling has but one street, which is 
thickly built on for a quarter of a mile in length. The town has about 115 
dwellings, eleven stores, two potteries of stone ware, a market house, and 
it had in 1808-09 a printing office, a book store and a library ; the two first 
quit the town for want of public patronage, the last is still upheld by the 
citizens. The mail stage from Philadelphia, Baltimore, etc., arrives here 
twice a week, by way of Pittsburgh, Washington and Wellsburg; thence 
westward the mail is dispatched once a week on horses. The town has a 
court house and jail. The hills about Wheeling contain a good mineral 
coal, which is used as fuel. The thoroughfare through Wheeling, of 
emigrants and travelers into the state of Ohio and down the river, is 
very great during the fall and spring seasons." 

The printing office to which the Navigator refers was evidently the 
office of the Repository, Wheeling's first newspaper, which appeared in 

At that date the town probably supported only two physicians. Its 
first resident physician arrived in 1803, V2 probably from Chester county, 
Pennsylvania. He was alone in the practice until 1806, when he took 
into his office Dr. H. Potter, who had studied medicine under his in- 
struction, and who in 1808 opened an office for himself. Dr. Forsythe 
continued to practice at Wheeling until after the close of the war of 
1812, when he emigrated to the "English Turn," below New Orleans 
and embarked in the manufacture of rum from molasses. Another of 
his students in medicine, Dr. Thomas Toner, practiced four or five 
years, but abandoned practice and became associated with his brother- 
in-law in editing and publishing the Northwestern Virginia Gazette. 
Wheeling's first medical society was not organized until 1835, and its 
first hospital was not established until 1850. 

From 1818 Wheeling became the principal town of the panhandle. 
With the approaching completion of the National road to the Ohio, 
business men from other places arrived and began to promote new enter- 
prises which received Jittle attention from the older inhabitants whose 
money was invested in lands. The first manufacture of window glass 
began by 1820. 

The Northwestern Bank of Wheeling was organized under an act of 
February, 1817, and was probably ready for business in 1818. It con- 

12 During the period from the fall of 1769, the time of the first occupancy of 
the site of Wheeling by the Zane brothers, until they laid it out in 1793, there is 
no record, or tradition, that any physician practiced there. ' ' The early settlers 
being in a wild, uncultivated country, far removed from any other, upon a frontier 
exposed to daily attacks from their savage neighbors, surrounded by dangers and 
privations, created a community of interest and benevolence, exhibited by mutual 
nursing and attendance in sickness or injury." 


tinued until the civil war when it was succeeded by the National Bank 
of Wheeling. 13 

Wheeling 's first iron mill was erected in 1834, by Peter Shoenberger 
and David Agnew. It was located on a portion of the site later occupied 
by the Top Mill, and was designed for the general manufacture of bar, 
sheet iron and nails. For several years the mill was operated success- 
fully. Mr. Agnew, succeeding to the business of the earlier firm, pros- 
pered and in a short time became one of the wealthiest men in the 

The success of the iron mill suddenly awakened the people of Wheel- 
ing from a Rip Van Winkle slumber, and resulted in the beginning of 
wild schemes of aggrandizement. Its total failure in 1810 was a result 
of one of the crises incident to that day of variable tariff policy and 
uncertain currency, which was the bane of our manufacturing inter- 
ests. After the failure, the mill was operated by Greisemer and Tal- 
lant, both of whom had held positions with Mr. Agnew and who con- 
tinued the business during the adverse times between 1840 and 1845 
without financial profit. When the general business interests of the 
country began to revive, E. W. Stevens, having just withdrawn from a 
Pittsburgh iron firm, came to Wheeling with a cash capital of $75,000, 
enlarged the nail department of the mill, and brought to \\ T heeling the 
two Norton brothers (E. M. and George W.) who were practical nailers. 
From this date began Wheeling's reputation for nails — a reputation 
which has known no retrograde. Mr. Stevens was on the high road 
to immense wealth, and had he profited by the experience of his pred- 
ecessor would undoubtedly have attained it. In an evil hour, however, 
he listened to the wonderful talk of an eastern speculator, concerning 
the fabulous riches to be found in the mineral veins of New Jersey, and 
he lost heavily by investing largely in one of those copper mines. Under 
the financial crisis of 1857, the firm "went to the wall." During the 
war the iron works were rented to Norton, Acheson and Company, for 
manufacturing gun boat plates. 

Long after the visit of Ashe, who notes the sporting proclivities of 
the place, Wheeling was interested in horse racing. The first improved 
track was opened prior to 1827 — probably 1825 — at Beech Bottom, some 
twelve miles up the river from W 7 heeling. The second track was opened 
about 1834, on the farm at present owned by Mr. Samuel Spriggs, and 
was owned by Henry Eccles and John Wires. On it occurred one of 
the greatest races ever placed on record in the earlier days of racing. 
The third track was opened on the farm of General Moses Chapman, 
north of Bogg's run, the exclusive right and care of that track being 
retained by John Harvey. Up to this time, gambling had become so 
intolerable at the meetings that the state had to adopt the strongest 
measures to suppress it, and in 1836 there was a great raid made on 
the race course by the state officers, one of whom was seriously wounded 
in the general shooting which resulted from the raid. One gambler 
ran into the river, five or six were apprehended and their entire set of 
gambling tables and unique paraphernalia was confiscated. Although 
this track was closed after the raid, another sprang into existence about 
1838-9, on property owned by Major Good, on the pike. The usual 
rowdyism appeared, but following a brutal assault on Captain H. Mason, 
all races were suspended. 

"The development of Wheeling, as a municipality, began in Jan- 
uary, 1806, when it was incorporated as a village. In 1810 it had 914 
inhabitants. By the building of the Cumberland road to the Ohio river 
in 1818, and its subsequent extension through the state of Ohio about 
this time, it received additional prominence as an avenue and distribut- 

13 The Merchants and Mechanics Bank was founded in 1834 and was succeeded 
by the Merchants and Mechanics National Bank in 1865. The Commercial Bank 
of Wheeling was established by 1853. The Peoples Bank of Wheeling was founded 
in 186U. r lhe Bank of Wheeling was originally started by C. D. Hubbard and D. <J. 
List about 1853. 


ing point for passengers and freight east and west, until the national 
turnpike was superseded by railroads. The population increased rapidly. 
In 1836 it was incorporated as a city and the present city water works 
were built. In 1847 telegraphic communication was obtained by a tap 
wire from the main line of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis Tele- 
graph Co. under construction along the opposite bank of the river. 14 
In the same year the project of building a bridge over the Ohio river 
at Wheeling, which had been previously advocated unsuccessfully by 
several western states as a national measure before Congress, was re- 
vived by the people of Wheeling as a private enterprise, and under a 
charter from the state of Virginia a suspension bridge with a clear 
span of 1,010 feet was in 1849 built over the main channel, and con- 
nected with the Ohio shore by a pier bridge previously built — the two 
structures being subsequently protected by an act of Congress declaring 
them postroads. The suspension span was blown down in 1853, and 
was rebuilt during the same year. 

The corner stone of Wheeling's prosperity to 1860 was the Ohio. In 
1830 the city was made a port 15 of delivery, and boatbuilding which had 
been carried on to some extent previously became one of its important 
industries. Its position as the largest town in western Virginia was 
also influenced by the vast number of emigrants, who, passing through it 
en route to the middle and farther west, increased its trade and gave 
it an atmosphere of business. Its population increased steadily from 
914 in 1810 to 1,567 in 1820, 5,221 in 1830 and 7,885 in 1840. Its con- 
nection with the East was facilitated by the completion of the Baltimore 
and Ohio to Cumberland enabling it to secure goods from Baltimore in 
seven days. From 1849 to 1879, ninety-nine steamboats, varying from 
651 to 14 tons burden were launched from Wheeling boatyards. The 
quality, abundance, and location of the coal strata adjacent to Wheeling 
induced the establishment of other manufactures, notably of glass and 
iron, at an early date, and wagons, furniture and other similar products 
were turned out in considerable quantities for western and southern 
markets. With the establishment of such manufacturers came a further 
proportionate increase of the population of the city, besides a very con- 
siderable increase in its suburban towns and villages. The growth was 
assisted largely by the opening of the Baltimore and Ohio railway to 
Wheeling in 1853, and the completion of its branch connection with the 
West, Northwest and South; and the completion of the Cleveland and 
Pittsburgh railroad and other branches of the Pennsylvania system, and 
of minor roads, opening up communication with adjacent territory. In 
1848 the gas works, now owned by the city, were begun by a private 
corporation. In 1851-52 the building known as Washington Hall, which 
was subsequently burnt and replaced by the present structure, was 
erected, and in 1859 the custom-house, post-office, and the United States 
court building were built. 

Development in Brooke county was also rapid. At an early day 
Wellsburg was the rival of Wheeling for travel between East and West. 
Until 1818 she was one of the most noted shipping points on the upper 
Ohio — even exceeding Wheeling in exports. Her first bank began opera- 
tions in 1813, but was closed in 1815. Though she lost by the decision 
which made Wheeling the terminus of the National road, she renewed 
her rivalry with desperate zeal in 1825 when the question of repairs on 
the road revived her hope of securing a more northern route. To divert 
travel from the route via Wheeling she projected the Wellsburg and 
Washington turnpike which was soon abandoned in despair and allowed 
to languish for many years. In 1832 she obtained the establishment 
of a branch of the Northwestern Bank of Virginia. In 1834 she was 

1* This company was merged with the Western Union in 1853-54. The Western 
Telegraph Co. opened an office in Wheeling in 1848-49 and the "United States" in 
1864. Both were ultimately absorbed by the Western Union. 

i B The port of Wheeling was established by law March 2, 1831. Due to heavy 
importation era of 1854, Custom House was erected at Wheeling Aug. 4, 1854. 


disappointed in her expectation to become a prominent point on a railway 
between Washington, Pennsylvania and the Ohio canal at Stillwater. 
The Bethany turnpike, connecting with a turnpike to Washington was 
engineered and graded in 1850 and macadamized gi'adually thereafter. 

The early settlers depended largely upon the New Orleans market, 
but trading by packhorse over the mountains continued until the open- 
ing of the Mississippi was assured. 

The distilling and milling business was begun in 1807 and flourished 
for many years. Distilleries almost succumbed by 1836 and ceased to 
operate by 1845. The flouring business also declined with the deteriora- 
tion of the land and the opening of new areas elsewhere. Glass works 
were erected in 1813 and cotton manufacture became prominent in 1829. 
Boat building also thrived for a while. 

Bethany college was founded in 1841. The town of Bethany was laid 
out in 1847 by Alexander Campbell who in 1827 had secured the estab- 
lishment of a post-office at his residence there, by agreeing to carry the 
mail free twice a week between his house and West Liberty. 

In the territory included in Hancock county one of the earliest in- 
dustries was the manufacture of iron at a furnace which was erected 
on King's creek between 1790 and 1800 and continued in operation for 
several years. 

The formation of Hancock county in 1848 was the sequence of an 
earlier plan to move the county seat of Brooke from Wellsburg to the 
more central point at Holliday's Cove. Fearful of losing the court house 
the people near Wellsburg voted with the people farther north for a 
division of the older county. 

New Cumberland was laid out in 1839 and enlarged in 1848 and 1850. 
It obtained a post office in 1844. At the formation of Hancock it was 
selected as the county seat by popular election, but the county court 
which sat at New Manchester (now Pairview) refused to remove the 
records until after a second election (1850). On a third vote to settle 
the question, New Cumberland lost by one vote (1852), resulting in the 
return of the records to New Manchester and the settlement of the 
county seat question for a quarter of a century. 

Along the Ohio below Wheeling, development was less rapid. On 
the site of Mr. Tomlinson's earlier town which had decayed after its 
failure in the competition with Wheeling for the county seat, Mounds- 
ville was laid off in 1831 and established as a town by act of 1832. New 
Martinsville at which a hotel was erected in 1807 was established as a 
town in 1838 and became the county seat of the new county of Wetzel 
at its creation in 1848. Its earliest church building was erected by the 
Methodists in 1854 under the pastorate of J. J. Dolliver. Sistersville, 
through its advantages as a convenient boat landing, assumed some im- 
portance as a promising town by the middle of the century. The 
Sistersville and Salem turnpike, begun in 1840, was completed in 1848. 

At the mouth of Middle Island creek St. Marys was founded in 1849 
by Alexander H. Creel who came from eastern Virginia in 1834. Near 
its site the earliest settlement was probably made before 1797. Several 
settlements were made along the Middle Island creek early in the nine- 
teenth century. Mr. Creel in 1834 purchased land on the site of the 
future St. Marys, but in 1837 he located at the mouth of Green's run 
(a mile below) and established a village which he named Vancluse and 
from which he obtained interior communication by a road called the 
Ellenboro Pike, which intersected the Northwestern turnpike at the site 
of the present post office of Pike. By its terminal facilities, Vancluse 
became a central point for the distribution of goods on both sides of the 
river, and for a while seriously affected the monopoly of trade pre- 
viously enjoyed by Parkersburg — even causing several Parkersburg 
merchants to establish "wholesale houses" there. Finding the site too 
contracted for a town, Mr. Creel in 1847 returned to the site of St. 
Mary's and in 1849 made a lot survey of the proposed town at the same 
time giving one acre to the future county of Pleasants on which to erect 
a court house. To secure connections with the interior a road was con- 


structed to join the Vancluse pike at the top of the hill. The population 
increased rapidly and business became active — stimulated especially by 
a wagon trade with interior points including Clarksburg from which 
goods were shipped by flat boat or steamer to pioneer settlements farther 
west. This trade declined after the construction of the railway to 
Parkersburg which offered special inducements for the abandonment of 
the Middle Island route. 

At the mouth of the Little Kanawha industrial and social develop- 
ment was retarded for a generation. The first licensed tavern or ordi- 
nary was kept by Hugh Phelps on the south side in 1789. For some time 
settlers at the mouth and along the river above received their mail at 
Marietta. After the formation of Wood county (in 1799) the first 
county court was held at the house of Colonel Phelps who was one of 
the first justices of the county, and was later (by 1806) captain of the 
militia. William Lowther was the first sheriff and John Stokeley was 
clerk. In 1800 the fourteen justices constituting the county court 
settled upon the "Point" on lands owned by John Stokeley as the 
location of the court house. Soon thereafter a two story building of 
hewn logs was constructed. The upper story, entered from the outside, 
was the court room, and the lower was the jail. (The building was still 
standing a century later.) A whipping post and stocks were also pro- 
vided, in accord with the laws of Virginia. Among the prominent 
citizens in 1800 was Harman Blennerhassett whose costly mansion on 
the neighboring island was completed in that year. At that time the 
site of Parkersburg was known as Newport or Stokeyville, but usually 
called "The Point." It then contained about a half dozen log cabins, 
a tavern ("The Rest"), and possibly a small store. It was merely a 
small pioneer village, whose chief commercial life was based on trade in 
peltries from animals usually killed to provide meat for the settlers. Its 
early supplies came in flat boats from Pittsburgh or from Redstone, to 
which they were brought over the mountains from the East. Its early 
mails were by boat from Wheeling. 

By act of the legislature of 1810, Parkersburg was established, ad- 
joining and including the town of Newport, and provision was made 
for removal of the seat of justice to a brick court house which was 
erected there in the Public Square about 1812 or 1813. While the new 
court house was under construction, a substantial hotel, the historic 
"Bell Tavern" was built on the northwest corner of the square. It be- 
came a popular stopping place and a center of many gayeties. It was 
later known as the United States Hotel and finally as the Commercial. 

By 1818 the steam boat began to create a new era for towns on the 
Ohio. At Parkersburg new stores began to appear and dealers in 
leathers and shoes. Before that date the first school had been opened. 
In 1820 Parkersburg obtained a charter allowing freeholders to vote 
for trustees, recorder, and other officers and authorizing the town gov- 
ernment to collect taxes for expenses and improvements. In 1822-24 
the town suffered from an epidemic of fever which attacked both old 
and young and resulted in many deaths. 

The population of Parkersburg was scarcely 200 (some say about 
400) by 1832. In 1833 the first newspaper was established. As late as 
1830 to 1835 there were few carriages in the region. Although the 
first religious organization (Methodists) held meetings near Nea^ 
station in 1799. the first church building in Parkersburg was not built 
until 1835, following the great revival of 1832. In 1845 its members 
(Methodists) became divided on the question of slavery, resulting in suits 
for the church property in which the anti-slavery members won. The first 
Baptist church building was completed in 1838 and the Presbyterian in 
1839. The Southern Methodists erected a building in 1858. ' 

The larger development of the town dates from the completion of 
the Northwestern turnpike (in 1837) and the Staunton turnpike (in 
1843) both bringing business and traffic which increased the vabie of 
steam boat connection. In 1839 the Northwestern Bank of Virginia was 


established. By 1844 the population was about 1400. In 1847-48 a toll 
bridge was built across the Little Kanawha for the convenience of the 
people south of the river. Later, the St. Marys pike was built. 

The new stimulus received from the completion of railway con- 
nection with the East in 1857 was re-inforced by the oil development 
after 1859. The first National bank was established in 1862 with J. N. 
Camden as president and W. N. Chancellor as cashier. 

In the interior, east of Parkersburg, Harrisville was located and laid 
out in 1822 in a sparsely settled region. It became a post office in 1830 
and the county seat of the new county of Ritchie in 1843. Pennsboro, 
the oldest postoffice in Ritchie came into existence about 1820. Smith- 
field was established as a town in 1842. 

The way to the region now known as Ritchie county was opened near the close 
of the eighteenth century by the construction of a state road from Clarksburg to 
Marietta, which became a leading thoroughfare to the Ohio. Along this road the 
pioneers erected cabins used as "inns" or "taverns" for the convenience of trav- 
ellers. The first cabin within the limits of Ritchie was built by John Bunnell about 
1800 on the site of Pennsboro at which a postoffice was erected by 1820. 

In 1803 another cabin was built by Lawrence Maley, a Scotch Irish Presbyterian, 
one mile east of the site of Harrisville. Around this the "Maley settlement" was 
formed. On the date of Maley 's death in 1808, the Harrises and many other set- 
tlers were arriving in the vicinity and thereafter many others arrived. In the near 
neighborhood on the bank of Hughes river the first mill was built about 1812. The 
nearest store for many years was at Marietta, to which the settlers went once each 
year to exchange their furs, venison, ham (and perhaps snakeroot and ginseng) for 
salt and iron. 

Harrisville was laid off in lots in 1822 but only on one lot was a building 
erected before 1S37. In this first house a store was opened, perhaps as early as 
1825 and a post office was established in 1830. On the same lot was erected (about 
1843) the old "Lincoln House" which served as a public hostelry until 1888 when 
it was destroyed by five. In 1840 an additional store and two residences were built, 
thus increasing the size of the village to four houses. The first hotel was erected in 
1842. Another, the "Watson House," was built in 1843. The White Hall Hotel 
was built by Robert Porter on his arrival from New York about 1846, and in it 
was opened another store. In the meantime a tannery had been established in 1S27. 
The Sugar Grove flouring mill had been erected near by in 1842 and other residences 
had been built. The pioneer church building, the Methodist Episcopal, erected on 
a neighboring farm in 1843 was relocated in 1855, and on the same lot was built 
a parsonage. A Methodist Protestant church was built in 1858. The court house 
constructed in 1844, one year after the formation of the county, served until 1874. 

About 1830 a post office was established at Smithville under the name of 
' ' Hughes River. ' ' The first mail carrier, a boy of twelve years of age, arrived 
from Weston one day of each week, spending the night at Smithville. 

The pioneer bridges in the county were constructed in the forties at Smith- 
ville and at the forks of Hughes river by a constructing company of the Staunton 
and Parkersburg turnpike. The Smithville bridge was swept away by a flood in 
1852, but was soon replaced by another old structure. 

In Calhoun county, which was formed from territory taken from Gilmer in 1855, 
the earliest settlement was made on the West Fork of the Little Kanawha in 1810 
and several families had established homes by 1815. In Sherman district, however, 
no settlement was made until 1830 when John Haverty and John B. Goff located on 
the Little Kanawha. At Arnoldsburg, on the north side of Henry 's Fork, where 
Philip Starcher built his cabin in 1810, and which was named for Charles Arnold 
who taught school there in 1832, a post office was established in 1832 and a store 
was opened by Peregrine Hays in 1833. 

The location of the county seat at GTantsville on the north bank of the Little 
Kanawha was the final settlement of a long contest. 

In no other part of the state has there been so much difficulty regarding the 
permanent location of the seat of justice. The act creating the county provided for 
its location at Pine Bottom, at the mouth of Yellow Creek, or at the Big Bend on 
the Little Kanawha river, a vote of the people to decide between the two places. 
Further it required that first court to be held at the home of Joseph W. Burson. 
This last requirement appears to have been about the only one which was regarded, 
for when the first court adjourned it was to meet not at Pine Bottom or Big Bend, 
but at the residence of Peregrine Hays, on the West Fork. According, the second 
court convened at that place September 9, 1856, and here it was held until 1857. 
But in August of that year, two courts were in session at the same time, one at 
Arnoldsburg, and another at the home of Collins Betz, on the Little Kanawha. 
For the purpose of effecting a reconciliation between the warring factions, it was 
decided to hold court at the mouth of Yellow Creek, now Biookville. A contract 
for a court house was let for that place for $675. But legal proceedings were now 
instituted, and on June 15, 1858, the court again convened at Arnoldsburg, and here 
it continued to be held until 1869. It now seemed that the matter was settled. 
The erection of a substantial brick building was begun at Arnoldsburg. But 


after the basement story had been completed, all of cut stone, at a cost of $1,500, 
the question was once more agitated and another move made, this time to Grants- 
ville (on the bank of the Little Kanawha) — where Eli Riddle had made the first 
improvement before 1839. Here a frame court house was erected, but burned to 
the ground before it was occupied. Another arose upon its ruins and was occupied 
until 1880, when a brick building was erected at a cost of $8,400. 

Below Parkersburg at Belleville, which Mr. Avery had established on 
his tract fronting five miles on the river, the expectations of the founder 
were never realized. In 1806 Mr. Avery had lost heavily from a fire 
(started by incendiaries) which destroyed his grain-filled barn, and his 
grist and saw mill. In 1807, after failing in the ship-building business 
in which he had largely invested, he was confined (for debt) in the Wood 
county jail. At the same time development on the Ohio below Belle- 
ville was prevented by the high price demanded for the land by the heirs 
of Washington whose will had admonished the executors not to dispose 
of it too cheaply and had suggested a price of $10.00 per acre. 

In the northern part of Mason county within the large bend of the 
Ohio, Mason City was laid out opposite Pomeroy in 1852 by coal oper- 
ators who found a market for their product principally at Cincinnati and 
Baton Rouge and who were later succeeded by a company which long 
after the war used all its own coal for the manufacture of salt which was 
sold to the Ohio Salt company of Pomeroy. The town was incorporated 
in 1856, coincident with the opening of its first salt well and salt furnace 
by the Mason City Salt company, which later also opened new coal mines 
which were operated until 1882. At the same time its industrial activity 
was increased by the establishment of its first saw mill resulting soon 
thereafter in the opening of the boat yard. 

Although even early in 1774, the mouth of the Great Kanawha was 
a resting place for surveyors and their attendants and a rendezvous for 
explorers and restless pioneers, the real pioneers of Mason county were 
the occupants of Port Randolph and the settlers who, after the danger 
from the Indians had subsided, established log-cabin homes in the un- 
broken wilderness along the two rivers. At Point Pleasant although 
Boone lived there in 1786 and ferries were established over both rivers 
by Thomas Lewis in 1791 and a few other cabins began to appear around 
the old fort by 1794, and an inn opened in 1797, growth of community 
life was long retarded by the size and price of the tracts held by 
absentee landlords and the difficulty of establishing titles to lands while, 
at the same time on the Ohio side of the river lands could be bought at 
a reasonable price and in small tracts suitable for farms for real settlers. 
Tn 1806 Thomas Ashe in his description said that the town contained 
about forty houses frame and log with an aspect indicating no prospective 
increase. "The few disconsolate inhabitants who go up and down, or 
lie under the trees," said he, "have a dejected appearance and exhibit 
the ravage of disease in every feature and the tremor of ague in every 
step. Their motive for settling the town must have been to catch what 
they can from persons descending the river and from people emigrating 
from the southwestern part of Virginia, with a view to settling lower 
down the river, and who must make Point Pleasant a place of deposit 
and embarkation. Were it not for the unhealthiness of the town, it would 
not be unreasonable to presume that this circumstance would render it 
in time a place of considerable note." 

In 1807 Cumings saw only "Twenty-one indifferent houses includ- 
ing a court house of square logs." In 1820 The Navigator described it 
as a village of "fifteen or twenty families, a log court house, log jail and 
(as usual in the Virginia towns) a pillory and a whipping post." Henry 
Clay who later was on a steamer which stopped at the town compared 
it to a " beautiful woman clothed in rags. ' ' 

The first practising physician in this region was Dr. Jesse Bennett 
(one of the jurors in the trial of Burr) whose practice extended from 
Point Pleasant to Marietta and from Lewisburg to Chillicothe. Among 
the earliest industrial establishments were distilleries and tanneries. A 
new court house and jail were completed in 1826. The town was incor- 


porated in 1833 and again in 1840 and soon thereafter, coincident with 
the extermination of wolves in the neighboring region, its business was 
increased by the opening of a ship yard. The first bank, a branch of 
the Merchants and Mechanics bank of Wheeling, was opened in 1854. 
The Charleston and Point Pleasant Turnpike Company, organized in 
1837, constructed a road which after the destruction of its principal 
bridges by the unusual flood of 1847 became impassable for wheeled 
vehicles and useless except for neighborhood travel. 

Below the mouth of the Great Kanawha, in Cabell county, develop- 
ment was early influenced by the opening of the state road through 
Teay's valley and later by the construction of the Kanawha turnpike 
which connected with Ohio steamer lines at Guyandotte. Guyandotte 
after a steady growth was incorporated and extended in 1849 and its 
prospects were brightened by the incorporation of the Guyandotte Navi- 
gation company which built locks and dams to secure navigation for the 
transportation of timber at all seasons of the year. The Cabell and 
Logan Coal Company was incorporated in 1852, the Bank of Guyandotte 
in 1854, and the Guyandotte River Railroad in 1858. 

Along the Great Kanawha 

Up the Kanawha from Mason, in the territory which was included 
in Putnam at its formation in 1848 the oldest town was Buffalo, laid 
out in 1834 (incorporated in 1837) and named from the earliest post 
office which was removed to it from the mouth of Big Buffalo creek four 
miles above. At Winfield, on the site of a ferry which had been estab- 
lished in 1818, the first hotel was opened in 1850 and the first church 
built in 1856. 

Farther up the Kanawha above the head of Teay's valley earlier 
development was favored both by location on an earlier route of travel 
and by various local influences — especially the salt industry which be- 
came prominent after 1808. At Coalsmouth, however, there was little 
industrial development for a generation. In 1816 Colonel Philip Thomp- 
son of Culpeper, Virginia, arrived at Coalsmouth with his family and 
purchased a part of the George Washington survey on the Kanawha at 
that point. Here he built his home and was later followed by others 
from eastern Virginia. In 1834, three years after the place had become 
a "stage stand," he laid off part of his farm into town lots and named 
the place Philippi which after his death in 1837 continued to be known 
as Coalsmouth, the name of the postoffice. In 1856 Samuel Benedict of 
Pennsylvania laid out adjoining lots and called the town Kanawha City 
— a name by which it was known until the construction of the Chesa- 
peake and Ohio railway furnished the impetus for an additional lot sale. 
A general store and merchant mill, established about 1820 a mile below 
the mouth of Coal, was later moved to Coalsmouth and proved a profit- 
able enterprise. After the improvements were made up Coal at Peyto- 
nia, the work of the mill greatly increased. Another early industry was 
the manufacture of lumber for whip saw and the construction of flatboats 
for the transportation of salt from the Kanawha salines to lower river 
markets. About 1858 the first saw mill was built at the mouth of Coal. 

Charleston had a steady growth, although slow in the earlier years. 
Its first awakening was marked by the authorization of the first ferry 
across the Kanawha and the Elk in 1794 and the establishment of the 
first post office in 1801. 16 Its houses were still chiefly of logs in 1803, 
and its population was probably less than 150. 17 Its first tub-mill was 
built below the mouth of Elk in 1805. 

i« Charleston was on the mail route extending from Lewisburg to Scioto Salt 
Works in 1804 and from Lewisburg to Chillicothe for several years after 1808. 
About 1811 a mail route was established between Kanawha Court House and Galli- 
polis and in 1814 there was a route from Boyers to Catlettsburg. 

17 A glimpse of Charleston in 1803 may be obtained from the following 
reminiscent record, written by Samuel Williams fifty years later: 

"The houses were mostly constructed of hewn logs with a few frame buildings, 
Vol. I— 11 


After 1803, the region had an increased attraction for good families 
of tidewater Virginia, or of the Shenandoah valley, who desired to better 
their conditions, and saw the larger opportunities for the west resulting 
from the acquisition of Louisiana and the consequent removal of the 
earlier restrictions on navigation and trade at the mouth of the Missis- 
sippi. By 1808 the social life at Charleston had an attraction which 
influenced prominent land hunters from the east to extend their visits 
to the place and to return to establish homes. This attraction is illus- 
trated by the migration of the Summers family. 

Among the prominent families on the Kanawha in the early part of 
the nineteenth century was that of Col. Geo. Summers, who before he 
settled in the valley lived near Alexandria, Virginia, in Fairfax county. 
Planning for a home in the far west, desiring information in regard to 
lands in 1808, he sent his son Lewis 18 on a long trip by horseback down 
the Kanawha and up the Ohio. He was evidently well pleased with the 
report which his son brought and especially the report of his visit to 
Charleston and the Kanawha lands. Two years later, in 1810 he took 
the same journey on horseback, accompanied by his oldest daughter 
Jane, and following the route previously marked out by his son Lewis. 
He went down to the mouth of the river and as far down the Ohio river 
as the town of Guyandotte, and, returning from thence, continued the 
journey up the Ohio to a point beyond Wheeling (probably to Wells- 
burg). From the upper Ohio, he and his daughter returned to their 
home near Alexandria. Think of one of the young ladies of the present 
day taking this long and wearisome journey on horseback! Yet this 
faithful daughter often spoke of it as one of the most delightful ex- 
periences of her life. Her admiration of the wild and beautiful scenery 
through which they passed with the companionship of a father whom she 
loved with more than ordinary devotion, made it always a most pleasing 
recollection to her. This tour of inspection resulted in the purchase of 
the Walnut Grove estate, a tract of land on the Kanawha river nearly 
three miles in length and it is somewhat phenomenal that most of it was 
still owned by Col. Summers' grandchildren, a hundred years from the 
time it came into his family. In the spring of 1813 he came to take 

and, in the background, some all round log cabins. The principal, or front street, 
some sixty feet in width, was laid out on the beautiful bluff bank of Kanawha river, 
which has an elevation of thirty or forty feet above low water. On the sloping 
bank between this street and the river, there were no houses or structures of any 
kind, and it was considered the common property of the town. On this street, for 
half a mile in length, stood about two-thirds of the houses composing the village. 
On another street running parallel to this, at a distance of some 400 feet from it, 
and only opened in part, there were a few houses. The remainder lay on cross streets, 
flanking the public square. The houses were constructed in plain backwood style 
and to the best of my recollection the painting brush had not passed upon them. 
The streets remained in the primitive state of nature, excepting that the timber 
had been cut off by the proprietor who had originally cultivated the ground as a 
corn field. But the sloping bank of the river in front of the village was covered 
with large sycamore trees and pawpaw bushes. Immediately in rear of the village 
lay an unbroken and dense forest of large and lofty beech, sugar, ash and poplar 
lumber, with thickets of pawpaw." 

is Lewis Summers, the eldest son of Col. George Summers, and Ann Smith Rad- 
cliffe, his wife, was a native of Fairfax County, Virginia. His earlier years were 
spent on his father's farm and his education, a liberal one for that time, was 
acquired in Alexandria at a private school kept ' ' for the sons of gentlemen. ' ' 

Although successfully pursuing his profession in the city of Alexandria his 
thoughts turned to the western country, as offering a wider field of usefulness and 
activity, and actuated by his father's wishes, as well, to find a home for his family 
in the same region, he left his home June 22, 1808, on horseback, to seek a location 
west of the Alleghenies. * * * On his journey he kept a minute journal from 
which much information was obtained by his father as to routes, distances, prices 
of land, titles, etc. Inspecting Charleston and the Kanawha Valley to the mouth 
of the river he spent a few days at Gallipolis. Thence he travelled northward to 
Wellsburg, where he visited his sister, Mrs. Robert Lowriton, and Aug. 22d, started 
homeward across the northern part of the state. In due time he reached home and 
made his report having travelled almost continually on horseback for over two 
months. (See Chapter X.) 

In the fall of the same year he made his final removal to the west and settled 
in Gallipolis. Although his residence there only extended over a few years, his 
vigorous and well informed mind at once impressed itself upon the community. 


possession of the new home and to prepare it for the reception of wife 
and children. Knowing that he must depend upon himself for every- 
thing, he brought with him a number of his negro men and two or three 
white men of experience. The trees were felled, crops planted, a com- 
fortable house erected and stores of every kind provided. This included 
the purchase of a flock of sheep and the growing of flax and cotton, the 
product of which was to be made into clothing. Even the burial place 
was selected and a quantity of Walnut lumber prepared, and placed 
to season, so as to be in readiness when death should visit the little 
colony. In the autumn of the same year he went back to Virginia to 
bring his family and knowing that in early spring the master's eye must 
be over farm operations, he determined upon a winter journey and early 
in December, with those dear to him, made the slow and tedious passage 
through the almost trailless forests of the Blue Ridge, the valley of 
Virginia, surmounting the Alleghenies and through the canyons of the 
New River. The cavalcade consisted of Col. Summers and three of his 
daughters on horseback, a strongly built "carry-all" in which were 
bestowed Mrs. Summers and the younger children, a two-wheeled vehicle 
called a Gig, in which his daughter, Mrs. Ann Matilda Millan, was taking 
her bridal journey with her newly made husband Mr. Lyle Millan, fol- 
lowed by covered wagons filled with negro women and children, furniture, 
etc. In one of these, fitted for the purpose, the ladies sometimes slept 
when "camping out." These with Mr. Thomas Summers, Col. Summers' 
brother, and a few negro men composed the party, and in January, 
1814, after great perils and hardships, they arrived at "haven where 
they would be." * * * Col. Summers lived to see the new home 
fairly established and his family somewhat accustomed to its new sur- 
roundings, and January 10, 1818, was gathered to his Fathers in the 
confidence of "a certain, religious and holy hope." He was the first to 
be laid in the cemetery of his own selection. 

In 1815 Lewis Summers returned to Virginia (from Gallipolis, Ohio) and too!; 
up his residence in Charleston. He commenced the practice of law but combined 
it with other pursuits. The large business firm of "Bureau Seales and Co.," after- 
wards "Summers, Seales and Co.," which was the leading establishment of the 
valley from 1816 to 1822, was of his inception and he was one of the largest part- 
ners. He also started one of the largest salt furnaces, then the leading industry 
of the valley, and it was in successful operation until. 1833. This furnace he called 
by the name of his old parish in Fairfax, the Truro. 

Soon after the death of his father in 1818 he prevailed upon his mother to 
join him in Charleston where his two younger brothers, Albert Smith and George 
William would have somewhat better educational advantages. 

In 1821, the boys having exhausted the schools of Charleston and being away at 
college, Mrs. Summers returned to the farm and thither her son Lewis accompanied 
her. It was ever afterwards his home and under his watchful and energetic care 
the ' ' Grove ' ' became the fair and beautiful estate which it was at the time of 
his death. 

In connection with this he built the largest lumber and flouring mill then in 
the valley, which was considered a wonderful undertaking for those days. The ma- 
chinery was of the best obtainable and all the latest improvements were adopted. 
In connections with it was a dry goods store, a large warehouse and a packing 
house for meats. It was soon surrounded by small, but comfortable, houses for 
the occupancy of the employees and was quite a little village. The timber sawed in 
the mill, the fuel it consumed and that used in all the houses about it, was taken 
from his own forests, coal being then unknown outside of the salt works. 

Being of literary tastes he early began the accumulation of a library, both of 
law and miscellany, and long before his death it was said to be the best in the state 
west of the Alleghenies. 

In February, 1819, he was chosen by the Legislature of Virginia to be one of 
the Judges of the general Court and the Judge of the Kanawha Judicial Circuit, 
then but recently created. He was also ex-officio a member of the Board of Public 
Works, and these offices he held until the time of his death nearly twenty-five years 

By 1820, Charleston had a promising future as a business center for 
a large area. The first clock and watch maker came in 1808, the first 
regular merchants began business in 1813. The first resident physician 
arrived in 1811, but the first drug store waited until 1825. There were 
several tailors by 1822. Saw mills were erected on Two Mile creek of 


















1 — 1 





















( 1 




, 1 







Elk between 1815 and 1820. Its first steam flour mill was erected by 
Daniel Ruffner in 1832. The first local newspapers were the Spectator 
established in 1818 or 1819, the Kanawha Patriot in 1819, the "Western 
Courier" in 1820 and the Western Register in 1829. The erratic lawyer 
who founded the Spectator soon became principal of Mercer Academy 
which was founded in 1818, and sustained a "Law Department" by 
1823. A library was opened by 1823. A Sunday school, although 
strongly opposed, was opened in 1823. A whipping post, set up by 1817, 
was used for the last time in 1842. 

A new era of growth was stimulated by the opening of steam naviga- 
tion in 1820 — resulting in steamboat connection with Cincinnati about 
1823 — and especially by the opening of the Kanawha turnpike and the 
increasing traffic which followed. The first bank, a branch of the Bank 
of Virginia, was established in 1832. The first church buildings were 
those of the Presbyterians erected in 1828 and the Methodists erected 
in 1833, and of the Episcopalians erected in 1834. The Kanawha tele- 
graph company (organized 1849) constructed a telegraph from Kanawha 
Salines via Charleston and Point Pleasant to Gallipolis in 1852. A wire 
suspension bridge over the Elk was erected in 1852. 

In the earlier growth of Charleston, after 1808, the development of 
the neighboring salt works at Kanawha Salines was the most stimulating 
factor or influence. 

Owing to the value of the licks, Joseph Ruffner in 1795 had bought of John 
Dickinson 502 acres extending up the Kanawha river from the mouth of the Elk. 
But preferring to farm on the rich bottoms where Charleston now stands he rented 
the licks to Mr. Elisha Brooks. 

Elisha BrookB put salt making on a commercial basis. In 1797 he made a small 
furnace, set up a double row of kettles and turned off a hundred and fifty pounds 
of salt a day. He got his brine from the springs and used wood for fuel. Owing 
to the presence of iron and there being no clarifying process the salt was red in 
color. Notwithstanding, it had an excellent flavor and consumers would ask for 
' ' that strong, red salt from the Kanawha Licks ' ' This salt was sold at the fur- 
nace for eight and ten cents per pound. 

David and Joseph Ruffner, the sons of Joseph Ruffner, familiarly styled "The 
Ruffner Brothers," were pioneers in well-boring and in the use of coal for fuel. 
After much patient labor with the crudest of tools, they succeeded in boring, tubing 
and rigging a well several hundred feet deep. This is said to be the first deep well 
west of the Alleghenies and very probably the first in America. Now they were able 
to secure an abundance of strong brine. Wood was becoming scarce: the slopes had 
been stripped. Coal was plentiful, however, so these ingenious brothers experimented 
with coal and found it much superior to wood. The price of salt was reduced to 
four cents. 

The whole story of their many months of preparation for the great experiment 
in searching for a larger and richer supply of brine — their difficulties and marvellous 
labor, their development of inventive genius, and their unfailing faith, unconquerable 
energy — is full of mterest. Finally, in January, 1808, at the depth of forty feet they 
struck a third and better stream of salt water and a month later succeeded in 
obtaining a satisfactory tube by which to exclude upper and weaker veins of water. 

On the 11th day of February, 1808, David and Joseph Ruffner made their first 
lifting of salt; and immediately reduced the price from $5.00 a bushel to $2.00. 
On this achievement of the brothers Ruffner, Dr. Hale pertinently remarks : ' ' Thus 
was bored and tubed, rigged and worked, the first rock bored salt well west of the 
Alleghenies, if not in the United States." 

In 1813 Joseph Ruffner, Jr., sold his interest in the salt property, including 
the land, to Capt. James Wilson, but the next year David traded land near Charles- 
ton to Capt. Wilson, and thus became the sole owner of all that had belonged to him 
and his brother Joseph jointly, and originally to all five brothers, the strip cut off 
to Tobias only excepted. 

The successful operations of the Ruffners were soon imitated by their neighbors 
on the river both above and below. The rapid growth of salt manufacture is shown 
in a letter written by David Ruffner in 1815, and published in Niles Register. In 
this he states that there were then, only seven years after the first lifting of salt, 
no less than fifty -two furnaces in operation, and many others in course of erection; 
all within six and a half miles along the river beginning two and one-half miles 
below the first well and extending four miles above. 

These furnaces severally contained 40 to 60 kettles of 36 gallons each, and 
altogether produced from 2,500 to 3,000 bushels of salt per day; which would 
amount to about 1,000,000 bushels in a year. From 70 to 100 gallons of water were 
required for one bushel of salt. Furnaces continued to multiply and grow in size, 
wells deepened, and processes improved, until the annual production reached 3,000,000 
bushels of superior salt. 


The next scheme which David initiated was the formation of a joint stock 
company in 1831 which laid off a town on the upper end of his Alderson tract; 
where might be accumulated stores, mechanic shops, residences, churches, etc., all 
of which would be needed for the convenience and comfort of the salt manufacturers 
and business men generally. 

This place still lives under the name of Maiden. At first considerable diffi- 
culty was found in settling upon a name for the town, and in fact it was called 
sometimes Saltboro, sometimes Terra Salis, and more generally Kanawha Salines, 
which last name prevailed and became the official designation. The common people, 
however, for what reason I know not, rejected all these names and called the town 
Maiden, which ultimately was settled upon as its permanent title. During the flush 
times of salt making this town grew rapidly and a large amount of business was 
done here. It was the headquarters of the salt companies, and large commercial 
and mechanical operations were carried on for some years; but, with the decline of 
the salt making interests, the town also declined until it became a mere skeleton of 
its former self. 

The character of the population which infested the saltworks during 
the earlier period of its history is thus described by Dr. Henry Ruffner 
in a manuscript written in 1860: "Adventurers flocked in from all parts 
of the country eager to share in the spoils. Most of the newcomers 
were men of bad morals. Some were young men of good character. 
Many boatmen of the old school frequented these salt-making shores, 
before steamboats in a great measure had superseded the old sorts of 
river craft. The old people of Kanawha remember, no doubt, what 
horrible profanity, what rioting and drunkenness, what quarreling and 
fighting, what low gambling and cheating prevailed through this com- 
munity in those days." 

Dr. Ruffner adds that the locality now included in Maiden was in 
those days "the wickedest and most hopeless part of Kanawha." Of 
course, when he made those remarks he had no reference to the popula- 
tion then existing (1860), which was a great improvement on that of 
the period he was alluding to. 

In 1835 Mr. Patrick put into use the steam furnace. This gave an 
impetus to the industry. Deep boring was common in an effort to find 
stronger brine. M. William Tompkins struck a flow of gas. He utilized 
this in boiling his furnace. In 1843 Dickinson and Shrewsberry were 
boring for stronger brine when they tapped a great reservoir of gas. 
The gas blew out the tubing and escaped with such force that the 
roaring could be heard for miles. This gas well became an object of 
interest and the stage driver would stop to let his passengers view the 

The transportation of salt was difficult. In early times it was carried 
overland by packhorses. From this we get the word "pack" which is 
frequently used instead of "carry." It was sent down the river in 
tubs on rafts. Frequently a load would be lost. They say Mr. Donnally, 
on hearing of a load of his having sunk, would ask if any men went 
down with the salt. On being told that they did not he would say that 
' ' It was not a fair sink. ' ' The flat boats carried quantities of it to the 
western markets. 

For over 60 years Kanawha Valley on both sides of the river pre- 
sented a busy and most interesting scene, and directly and incidentally 
gave employment to a great number of men, and kept the river lively 
with its great transportation boats. The height of production was 
reached in 1850 when it exceeded 3,000,000 bushels per annum. 
Much the largest single producer in the valley, possibly the largest in 
the world at that time, was Dr. J. P. Hale, whose great Snow Hill 
furnace reached the aggregate of 420,000 bushels in one year. But, alas ! 
the irresistible force of circumstances gradually extinguished the fur- 
nace fires, until but one was left to wave its black plume of coal smoke. 
This belonged to John Quincey Dickinson, the grandson of one of the 
largest and most noted of the early salt makers. 

In 1853-57 the salt industry on the Kanawha was impoverished to 
satisfy the demands of the salt men of Meigs county, Ohio, and Mason 
county, Virginia, who formed the Ohio River Salt Company which was 
not dissolved until 1872. As the manufacture of salt became a "vanish- 


ing industry," the mining of cannel coal arose into prominence largely 
through the investment of foreign capital which was attracted by the 
reports of the exploration of Kanawha coal deposits by Professor W. B. 
Rogers of the University of Virginia in 1839 and to 1841. Several coal 
companies organized between 1849 and 1856 to operate on the Kanawha, 
Elk and Coal rivers were the avant couriers of business expansion and 
increasing prosperity. In 1857 the Kanawha Cannel Coal Mining and 
Manufacturing Company erected at Charleston buildings for use in the 
manufacture of cannel coal oil. In 1858 the Corwin Coal Company 
erected buildings at Mill creek, seven miles up Elk. All the various 
companies advertised for all classes of laborers in 1859 and were in a 
prosperous condition in 1860. 

Along the upper Kanawha and lower New, Fayette county was 
created in 1831, from Kanawha, Greenbrier, Nicholas and Logan. The 
county seat which at first was located at New Haven (in Mountain Cove 
district) was removed in 1837 to the site of Fayetteville (then called 
Vandalia) where court was held in the house (or tavern) of Abraham 
Vandall until public buildings could be completed. The vote by which 
Vandalia won against New Haven in the election contest was obtained 
by strategy. According to Colonel G. W. Imboden on the authority of 
his father-in-law (Colonel William Tyree) enough votes (of qualified 
free holders) to carry the election were secured by Hiram Hall, the first 
county clerk, by a liberal distribution of one-acre tracts of land with no 
specified boundaries. Shortly before the war the history of Montgomery 
began with the arrival of boats from Cincinnati and other points on 
the Ohio to unload goods at Montgomery landing which was then the 
distributing point for merchants in Wyoming, Mercer, Raleigh, Mc- 
Dowell, Nicholas and Fayette counties. From it they also shipped 
tobacco, hides, wool and other products. Oak Hill, near which Peter 
Bowyer operated a water-power mill as early as 1820, received its name 
later from the earliest post office established at Hill Top on the mail 
route from Fayetteville to Raleigh Court House (now Beckley). On 
the site of Glen Jean a water-power mill was operated as early as 1850 
and a post office was established soon after 1854. 

South of the Great Kanawha 

In the interior south of the Kanawha development was usually long 
retarded. On the Madison map of Virginia of 1807, corrected to 1818, 
no towns are indicated in any part of the interior region and only one 
public road is represented — a road from the Kanawha via Loup's creek 
and upper Piney to Pack's Ford at the mouth of the Bluestone and 
beyond through Monroe. 

In the original county of Logan formed in 1824 from Giles, Kanawha, 
Cabell and Tazewell the county seat was located at Lawnsville or Logan 
Court House which was laid off in 1827. It received its earliest mails 
by horse over a postroad from Charleston. About 1850 it obtained 
better communication with Charleston by a state road through Boone 
which for many years was traveled by long trains of wagons from the 

Boone was formed in 1847 from Kanawha, Cabell and Logan. The 
county seat was at first located at the mouth of Spruce Fork which was 
unsatisfactory to the people. By an election authorized by legislative 
act of 1848 to settle the question, the location was changed to a point 
near the mouth of Turkey creek. The earliest road in the territory 
included in the county was a pack horse road via Marmet to Maiden 
and Charleston at which the early settlers found a market for ginseng, 
venison, and bear hams. The first post offices in the county were estab- 
lished at Ballardsville and Madison. The largest industrial stimulus 
after the opening of the state road from Logan to Charleston was the 
work of the Peytonia Cannel Coal Company which in 1854 placed locks 
and dams in the Coal river and erected an extensive mining plant at 


Raleigh county was formed from Fayette in 1850. Beekleyville 
(now Beckley) incorporated in 1850 coincident with its selection as the 
county seat received its early growth largely through the activities of 
General Alfred Beckley who in 1836 married Miss Amelia Neville Craig 
of Pittsburgh, resigned his commission as first lieutenant in the army and 
removed to Payette county to improve a body of unsettled lands (now 
in Raleigh) for his widowed mother and himself. Largely through 
Beckley 's influence, the Giles, Fayette and Kanawha turnpike, author- 
ized by acts of 1837 and 1839 was constructed from Giles Court House, 
via Red Sulphur, Indian creek, the Bluestone to its mouth, Flat Top 
mountain, Beaver creek, Beckley 's, Loup creek and Fayette Court House 
to the Kanawha. 

Wyoming county was formed in 1850 from Logan and McDowell in 
1858 from Tazewell by a legislative act which declared that the county 
seat should be called Peerysville and appointed a committee to locate it. 
Both counties long remained largely isolated by lack of roads. In 1805 
although it had become the abode of many of the "old Families," the 
region along the Big Sandy and the Guyandotte was one of the wildest 
of western Virginia — a famous hunting ground for bears which fat- 
tened on the chestnuts and acorns and furnished many valuable glossy 
hides to decorate the soldiers of the two contending armies in Europe. 

The pioneers along the Big Sandy and neighboring country often 
belonged to the best families of the older East, and some of them brought 
slaves with them as well as the household goods which they carried on 
the backs of horses. They found the earliest markets for their prod- 
ucts down the Ohio for up-river conveyance; for their larger purchases 
they used flat boats above the Sandy. They received their earliest 
mails from Catlettsburg, Kentucky. To make their earliest exchanges 
they went to the mouth of the river and continued to Burlington, Ohio, 
(three miles below), or to Limestone. In 1815 or 1816 Joseph Ewing 
began store keeping one-fourth mile above the mouth of Sandy in Vir- 
ginia. Frederick Moore established a store farther up the river which 
from 1815 to 1834 secured the larger part of the Sandy trade. Coming 
west from Philadelphia with goods he reached the forks of Sandy six 
years before Louisa became a town. He purchased tracts of land on 
both sides of the river. In 1818 he sent for his wife and children and 
established himself below the "forks" on the Virginia side. 

Among the earlier industries in the Sandy valley was salt manufac- 
ture. As early as 1795 salt was made on lands belonging to Henry 
Clay on Middle Island creek in Floyd county, Kentucky, ten miles 
from Prestonsburg (founded 1799). Near the mouth of Blain on the 
Virginia side of Sandy considerable salt was made as early as 1813. 
Warfield on Tug received its earliest stimulus from salt works established 
before the war by Governor John B. Floyd and brothers of Tazewell 

The new county of Wayne was formed from the southwestern part 
of Cabell in 1842 and the county seat was located at Trout's Hill (at 
Wayne). Ceredo was founded on the Ohio in 1857 by Eli Thayer who 
had dreams of founding a great manufacturing city there coincident 
with his activities to aid the emigrants of anti-slavery men to Kansas. 
Fairview was incorporated in 1860. 


Four prominent roads which crossed the territory of West Virginia 
at different points exerted a great influence on the development of the 
region through which they passed. 

1. The National (Cumberland) Road. The earliest and most 
famous highway across the mountains was the Cumberland or National 
road whose Ohio terminus was largely determined by the preference 
for Wheeling as a place of embarkation in dry seasons because of ob- 
stacles in the river between Wheeling and Steubenville. The road 
was projected largely through the influence of Gallatin and completed 
through the influence of Clay. 

In 1803, at the admission of Ohio as a state, provision was made to 
connect it with seaboard by a road to be constructed by the United 
States from a fund arising from proceeds of sale of United States lands 
located within the boundaries of the new state. In 1805, commissioners 
appointed to examine routes, finally selected one extending from Cum- 
berland to Washington by the shortest portage from Atlantic naviga- 
tion to Ohio river waters. After considerable delay, caused in part 
by insufficient funds from the land sales, Congress began to build the 
road in 1811, and in response to the popular demand for its completion, 
first authorized advance treasury loans based upon expectations of future 
sales of land and finally made additional appropriations openly with no 
pretense of a loan. 

The road was well-built. In the middle of a cleared space of sixty 
feet in width, there was a leveled strip thirty feet wide in the middle 
of which was the strip of roadbed twenty feet wide and covered with 
small crushed stone eighteen inches deep in the center and sloping to 
a depth of twelve inches at the sides. 

In 1815, before its completion to the Ohio, it was used for the Great 
Western Mail upon which prepayment of postage was required for the 
special service. The road was opened to Wheeling in 1818, although a 
section between Uniontown and Brownsville was not yet completed. 
Its immediate influence was felt not only along its route across the 
northern panhandle but also across the entire northern part of the 
state which was in neighboring proximity to the route of the road 
through western Maryland and southwestern Pennsylvania and to some 
extent in other parts of the state — especially along the Ohio which was 
regarded as its western complement. Besides its immediate influence 
upon points directly accessible to it, it exerted on the West and on the 
nation a general influence which was felt by the entire transmontane 

The West, which (by the proof of a century) could not be held by 
waterways, was finally secured to the Union by the construction of this 
road and the vast stream of colonists which poured over it into the 
Ohio valley. "Along the route the ringing of woodsmen's axes, the 
clinking of surveyors' chains, the rattle of tavern signs and the rumble 
of stage coaches prepared the way for the 'star of empire.' The squalid 
cabins in which hunters had lived beside the more primitive thorough- 
fare were pressed into service as Taverns, ' ' and at convenient distances 
apart many new inns sprang up to supply the demand of increasing 
travel and traffic. "Indian fords, where the water had oft run red in 
border frays, were spanned with solid bridges. Ancient towns which 



had been comparatively unknown to the world, but which were of suf- 
ficient commercial magnetism to attract the great road to them, became 
on the morrow, cities of consequence in the world. As the century 
ran into its second and third decades, the Cumberland road received an 
increasing heterogeneous population. Wagons of all descriptions, from 
the small to the great 'mountain ships,' which creaked down the moun- 
tain sides and groaned off in the setting sun, formed a marvelous frieze 
upon it. Fast expresses, too realistically, perhaps, called 'Shakeguts,' 
tore along through valley and hill with important messages of state. 
Here, the broad highway was blocked with herds of cattle trudging 
eastward to the markets, or westward to the meadow lands beyond the 
mountains. Gay coaches of four to six horses, whose worthy drivers 
were known by name even to statesmen, who were often their passengers, 
rolled on to the hospitable taverns where the company reveled. All 
night, along the roadway, gypsy fires flickered in the darkness, where 
wandering minstrels and jugglers crept to show their art, while in the 
background crowded traders, hucksters, peddlers, soldiery, showmen, 
and beggers — all picturesque pilgrims on the nation's great highway." 

For many years the mails and passengers from the East were carried 
over the road by stages largely owned and managed by James Reeside, 1 
popularly designated as the "Land Admiral," who was perhaps the 
largest mail contractor in the United States. Personally he possessed a 
commanding physique, being six feet four and a half inches in height, 
without any surplus flesh, measuring fifty-three inches about the chest, 
and weighing 220 pounds. He was a man of great enterprise, remark- 
able executive ability, strict integrity, plain and direct in speech, and 
free and open handed in his generosity. He was an esteemed friend 
of General Jackson, as well as the associate and friend of Clay, Critten- 
den, Benton, McLean and other distinguished men of the period. 

The first through stage line between Baltimore and the Ohio river 
was organized in relays. These relays lodged the first night at Hagers- 
town, the second at Cumberland, the third at Uniontown, and the fourth 
at Wheeling. The stages were of the old fashioned kind, somewhat 
similar to the modern ambulance, open in front and having a rack behind 
to hold one or two trunks. Persons rarely traveled in those days with 
a trunk. The passengers all faced the team on a level with the driver. 
Saddle-bags, then the usual baggage of travelers, were slung around the 
standards which supported the roof. It was the custom at night, when 
they reached the lodging place, to give their saddle-bags into the custody 
of the landlord, whose wife put them under her bed, and delivered them 
to the travelers in the morning. Travelers often carried large sums in 
this way. 

It was not until the year 1827 that any coaches running day and 
night crossed the Allegheny mountains. At about this time Mr. Ree- 
side became the contractor for carrying the mails between Baltimore 
and Wheeling, via Hagerstown and the National road, and from Phila- 
delphia via Harrisburg, Chambersburg and Bedford to Pittsburgh, upon 
which routes previous to this, no mails had been carried at night. The 
system of running day and night was introduced by him between Phila- 
delphia and Baltimore and the west, reducing the time from four days 
to fifty-two hours, and thereby earned the sobriquet of "Land Admiral," 
bestowed upon him by a Philadelphia editor, who, in giving him that 
title said "that he could leave Philadelphia with a hot Johnnie cake in 
his pocket and reach Pittsburgh before it would grow cold." 

The mail coach always carried a horn, the mellifluous tones of 
which were always sounded in advance on its arriving at its stopping 
place, as well as in setting out from its starting point. This was the 

i The first line of stages run by Eeeside was from Hagerstown, Md., to Mc- 
Connellstown, Penn., in 1814, and in a few years afterward became one of the largest 
mail contractors in the United States. Soon after 1814, when there was no turn- 
pike between Hagerstown and Wheeling, he became interested in establishing a line 
of stages across the Alleghenies. 


signal for the gathering of the villagers at the different relays to obtain 
such news as the passengers might be able or willing to communicate 
to the expectant crowd. A change of horses occurred every ten miles, 
allowing a brief time to passengers for refreshments. 

In 1835 there were two competing lines between Frederick, Mary- 
land, and Wheeling, viz. : the Good Intent Stage company and the Stoke 
& Stockton or National road line. The coaches and stock of the former, 
east of Cumberland, were owned by Messrs. Alpheus Beall and Thomas 
Shriver, of Cumberland; John A. Wirt and J. A. Hutchinson, of New 
Jersey ; and William H. Steele, formerly of New Jersey, and afterward 
a resident of Wheeling; James Reeside owned the stock between Cum- 
berland and Wheeling. 

While the two were running opposition, three daily lines were started 
from Wheeling, and frequently they were supplemented by a large 
number of chartered and extra coaches. 

In 1836, after the federal government arranged for local up-keep, the 
National road by the states through which it passed, a controversy arose 
with Virginia in regard to the tolls at the toll-gate east of Wheeling. 
Virginia placed a toll of twenty-eight cents on each mail coach. When 
the contractor refused to pay, mail from the east, when stopped, was 
returned to Triadelphia and remained there until the Wheeling post- 
master supplied the necessary cash. There was much correspondence, 
but the records fail to disclose how the matter was adjusted. 

In 1836 Colonel Reeside inaugurated lines of stages (with five-horse 
teams), which reduced the time of transit from Baltimore to Wheeling 
from eight to three days — or about forty-eight hours of actual travel 
on the road. Between these lines and those of Stockton there was strong 
opposition, resulting in frequent spirited races. Considerable obstruc- 
tion to the stage-coaches resulted from the numerous droves of cattle, 
sheep and hogs, and from the old-fashioned Conestoga wagon in which 
most of the freight for the West was conveyed from Baltimore and 
Frederick to Wheeling. Three or four coaches were required to trans- 
port the continuing increasing mails. A special wagon, designed by 
Postmaster-General Amos Kendall to carry the mails independent of 
passenger travel, was laid aside after a short trial. 

After the lapse of some years, Reeside dissolved with his partners 
in the Good Intent line and started a line of his own from Wheeling to 
Frederick. At this time then there were three competing lines, and 
the result was that the competition cut down fares from $8 and $10 to 
the nominal fare of 50 cents. This, however, could not long continue, 
and after losing a large amount of money the other two lines bought 
Reeside out, and thenceforward the two survivors, although continuing 
as separate organizations, divided waybills and kept up rates. Two more 
attempts were made to start opposition lines over the same route, the 
Henderson company of Pittsburgh, which put on a daily line, and two 
sons of Reeside, who started a fancy line called the "Junebug." The 
Henderson line, however, was soon bought off and the "Junebug" line 
broke up. The two original companies held the field until the comple- 
tion of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad to Wheeling in 1852, depriving 
them of their occupation. 

The spirit governing the proprietors of the stage company in regard 
to failures of the mail is illustrated by the following incident : In the 
year 1842 the mail was due at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, at 5 :30 P. M., 
and at Wheeling at 8 A. M. Owing to a snow storm in the mountains 
east of Uniontown, the mail was behind time. Mr. Stockton of the 
N. R. S. Co. remained at the office until near midnight, determined to 
save the mail if possible At 12 o 'clock he left for bed, giving me orders 
to save the mail if it reached Uniontown by 2 o 'clock A. M. When the 
mail arrived, twenty minutes before 2 o'clock, the clerk had it trans- 
ferred to the inside of a small six-passenger coach, and at ten minutes 
to 2 o'clock started it for Wheeling with no one on the coach but the 
driver and Mr. Buntering, the road agent. It reached the postoffice 


in Wheeling just as the clock struck 8 A. M., making the trip from Union- 
town to Wheeling (sixty-eight miles) in six hours and ten minutes, in- 
cluding changes of horses on the route. The expense of that fast trip 
could not have been less than $1,000 from injury to stock. Three horses 
were killed and at least a dozen more were placed "hors de combat." 

When President Zachary Taylor and his party were on their way 
to Washington city, they were caught at Moundsville by the ice and 
their boat was frozen in. A driver of the Good Intent Stage company 
was called upon to help forward the presidential party, and drove for 
eighteen hours with only such delays as were necessary to change his 

The road was famous for the number and excellence of its inns or 
taverns, the best being the Frostburg house, Bass Rush's, the National 
house and McClelland 's (at Uniontown). On the mountain division 
they averaged probably one for every mile of road. All were provided 

The Old Tykee Stone Tavern Near Cliftop 

with commodious wagon yards. The sign boards with their golden let- 
ters winking in the sun attracted the passer-by from the hot road-bed, 
and gave promise of good cheer, while the big horse-trough full of clear 
fresh water, and the ground below it sprinkled with droppings of fra- 
grant peppermint, lent a charm to the surroundings that was at once 
irresistible. The uniform price charged for warm meals was twenty- 
five cents. A drink of whiskey was free with the meal. At mid-day a 
cold meal was furnished for twelve and one-half cents (then called a 
"levy"). It also included a drink. 

Men who drove teams on the old pike were invariably called wagoners 
— not teamsters, as is the modern word. They carried their beds (rolled 
up) in the forepart of the conestoga wagon, and spread them out before 
the big bar-room fire when they retired for the night. Some of the bar- 
room grates would hold as much as seven bushels of coal. Teams were 
rarely ever stabled, but almost invariably stood upon the wagon yard, 
no matter how inclement the weather might be. There were two classes 
of wagoners, the "regular" and the "sharpshooter" or "militia." The 
former were engaged in the business from year's end to year's end, and 
did nothing else and carried no food for themselves nor for their horses. 
The latter were composed for the most part of farmers, or common team- 
sters, who put their teams on the road when freights were high, and 
took them off when they declined. The "regular" drove his team on 
an average about fifteen miles a day, while the "sharpshooters" would 
make twenty, or twenty-five miles. There was naturally much jealousy 
between the classes. 


The "regulars," many of whom had hauled goods from Baltimore 
westward before the completion of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad to 
Cumberland, were very hostile to encroachments of railroads, and re- 
garded them as the invention of the evil one. They had an old song 
among them that ran something after this fashion : 

Comall ye jolly wagoners, 

Turn out man for man, 
Who's opposed to the railroad 

Or any such a plan. 
When we go down to Baltimore, 

And ask for a load, 
They'll very soon tell you, 

It's gone by railroad. 

The business of the National Road was largely increased by the 
completion of the B. & 0. railroad to Cumberland in 1842, facilitating 
eastern connection. In the next eight years as many as twenty-five 
stages left Wheeling at one time for Cumberland and from twelve to 
fifteen coaches were frequently seen in procession crossing the bridge 
at Brownsville. Sometimes as many as thirty stages stopped at one 
hotel in a single day. There was a daily line in each direction. There 
was also a large increase of traffic by wagons — forty often entering 
Wheeling in one day. 

The business of the road was also influenced by slack water improve- 
ment completed to Brownsville on the Monongahela in 1844 by the 
Monongahela Navigation Company which was organized under a Penn- 
sylvania act of 1836. The navigation of both the Monongahela and the 
Yough was first planned by the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1782. At 
that time a great emigration took the country by keel-boats and flat- 
bnats. Surveys were made by acts of 1814 and 1815, the first Mononga- 
hela Company was authorized in 1817 and the state assumed control of 
the movement in 1822. Although the completion of the movements to 
Brownsville increased the business of the road between Brownsville and 
Cumberland, it decreased business between Brownsville and Wheeling 
and was regarded as a severe blow to that part of the road. A large 
number of the stage passengers westward took the steamer from Bi*owns- 
ville down the river. Many upriver passengers continued on the steamer 
to Pittsburgh and to Brownsville instead of using the road eastward 
from Wheeling to Brownsville. 

The business of the road suffered a sudden and rapid decline follow- 
ing the opening of the B. & 0. to Wheeling at the close of 1852 and the 
opening of the Pennsylvania railroad to Pittsburgh in 1854. This was 
caused first by the diversion of passengers and later by withdrawal of 
mails and stages from the route. The last prosperous years were 1850 
and 1851. Thereafter the rumble of the broadwheeled freight wagons 
was gradually silenced. The last mail from the East to Wheeling by 
coach was carried by the son of the man who started the first line of 
coaches across the Alleghenies with the daily mail. The wheels of the 
coaches stopped. The horses were sold, and the drivers scattered. 

* * * Alas, the old-fashioned stage-coach with its experience and 
associations as well as the old Conestoga wagon, with its white cover 
and its belled horses and their driver have become relics of the past, 
pushed aside by the progressive spirit of the age. The toot of the horn 
is no longer heard in our midst, and the graceful flourish of the long 
whip is seen no longer as the lumbering coach rattles along at break- 
neck speed as it draws up at the place of its destination. But now in- 
stead is heard the weird shriek of the rushing train, as with swift wings 
it flies along the ringing rail. The gayly decorated coach, drawn by a 
spanking team of four matched horses, driven by a knight of the whip, 
swelling with pride, and handling the "ribbons" with the skill of a 
master, is but a fast fleeting memory. 


"We mourn, bereft of the post-horn deft, 
Blown by that famous driver, 
For we only hear when the cars draw near, 
A screech down by the river." 

2. James River and Kanawha Turnpike. 1 South of Pennsylvania, 
after the Potomac-Wills creek route and the route through Cumberland 
Gap by the Wilderness road, the James River-Kanawha route was next 
in importance as an avenue of migration and travel across the great 
mountain barrier formed by the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains. 
An early writer who traveled over the route to the Ohio pronounced it 
"one of the principal chains destined by nature to bind together the 
eastern and western portions of this great republic." To connect and 
improve these waters and provide better facilities for travel- and traffic 
between East and West along this route was one of the earliest intra- 
state public enterprises presented for the consideration of the govern- 
ment of Virginia after the close of the Revolution. The subject was a 
favorite one with Washington, who in 1784 first brought it to the atten- 
tion of the legislature which promptly passed an act incorporating the 
James River company, and in 1785 authorized the construction of the 
"state road" (for wagons) which was completed to the navigable waters 
of the Kanawha by 1790 and opened to the Ohio by 1800. 

In 1781 an effort of the Greenbrier people to obtain from the legis- 
lature power to extend a wagon road westward from Warm Springs to 
the court house at Lewisburg (The "Savanna") as a convenience for 
the importation of salt and the exportation of hemp, though it met 
with some opposition, finally secured for the county court authority to 
levy money by which the road was opened in 1782. (At the same time 
a similar road was opened from Warm Springs to Sweet Springs.) In 
October, 1785, a new act authorized the opening of bids for opening 
within two years a wagon road at least 30 feet wide from Lewisburg 
to the lower falls of the Kanawha. This road, probably with a width 
considerably less than the specifications, was constructed in 1786. It 
completed what was known in the statutes as early as 1790 as the "Old 
State Road," the first communication by wagon from the East to the 
navigable waters of the Kanawha. In 1791 the terminal point of over- 
land travel westward to Kentucky and other points on the Ohio was 
on the Great Kanawha twenty miles above the mouth of Elk at Kelly's 
creek. Here the travelers secured bateaux or small flat-boats built to 
carry them by water for the remainder of their journey. In 1796, and 
again in 1803, appropriations were made for the repair of this road 
from Lewisburg to the Kanawha. In 1787 a new act authorized the 
construction of a wagon road from Kanawha Falls to Lexington, Ken- 
tucky. This road probably opened as early as 1800, was completed 
to tlie Ohio under authority of the county courts of Kanawha which as 
early as 1802 provided for surveys from which some kind of a road was 
constructed by 1804. In 1791, Thomas Lewis established a ferry at 
Point Pleasant across both the Kanawha and the Ohio. A ferry was 
established at Charleston in 1794, and another one in 1809. Stephen 
Teays, who settled at Coalsmouth in 1800, established a ferry and kept 
an inn for the travel between that point and the Ohio at Gallipolis and 
Point Pleasant. A post office was established at Kanawha C. H., in 
1801. There was a fortnightly mail brought from Lewisburg on horse- 
back. Mails were carried from Lewisburg to Scioto Salt works as early 
as 1804, and from Lewisburg to Chillicothe by 1807. By 1808 many 
drovers from Ohio and Kentucky passed over the Kanawha route to 
find a market for hogs and other live stock. Lewis Summers recorded 
that the drovers and travelers used nearly all the surplus grain along 
the route and that many sheep and hogs were destroyed by wolves and 

i In the collection of data for the study of this turnpike, the author acknowledges 
valuable assistance rendered by F. B. Lambert of Barboursville, W. Va. 


By act of February 1, 1809, tolls were authorized. Greenbrier county 
was authorized to erect on the state road two toll gates one of which 
to be near the ferry on New river ; and Kanawha county was authorized 
to erect another on the road within her limits. Net proceeds of all tolls 
were applied to the maintenance of the road. An attempt was made to 
fix tolls on an equitable basis according to damage done to the road. 
The following rates were established: 

Wagon, team and driver 25 cents 

Four-wheeled riding carriage 20 cents 

Cart or two-wheeled riding carriage 12% cents 

Man and horse 6% cents 

Cattle per head % cent 

Sheep or hogs, per score 3 cents 

In 1814 the chief route of those going westward from southern and 
middle counties of Virginia was via Lewisburg and across New river 
at Bowyer's ferry, through "Vandalia" (now Payetteville), thence over 
Cotton Hill to the Great Falls of the Kanawha, thence continuing along 
the south side of the Kanawha. The road from the salt works east was 
in a "terrible condition." Cabell county which was formed in 1809 
promptly supplied the pioneer demand for roads. By 1814, roads were 
opened to the falls of Guyandotte, to Big Sandy, to the Little Guyan- 
dotte, up Seven Mile, up Twelve Pole, up Four Pole and to other points 
of the county. In January, 1817, the legislature authorized the con- 
struction of a road from Montgomery's Ferry (now Montgomery) via 
Gauley river near its mouth to intersect the state road between Flesh- 
man's Plantation and the top of Sewells mountain. At a very early 
date (by 1818 perhaps by 1807), long before the appearance of any 
towns in the interior south of the Kanawha, there was a public road 
from the Kanawha via Loup's creek and Upper Piney to Pack's Ford 
at the mouth of the Bluestone. 

Among the prime factors which urged upon the legislature the needs 
of road improvement was the salt industry in the Kanawha valley which 
was restricted in its operations and suffered considerable loss through 
lack of proper facilities for transportation. In December, 1814, the 
construction of a more permanent road was urged and attention directed 
to the advantages in suitable road materials along the route. In 1815-16, 
with a view to the improvement of the communication between the 
James and the Kanawha, the Virginia assembly asked the aid of the 
federal government. 

By act of February 17, 1820, the legislature secured a modification 
of the charter of the James River Company that would authorize it also 
' ' to make a convenient road by the most practicable route from the James 
to the Great Falls of the Kanawha, and to improve the latter from the 
falls to the Ohio. For superintending these works the general assembly 
appointed by joint ballot nine commissioners, a majority of whom should 
decide all questions. By act of February 28, 1821, the number of com- 
missioners was reduced to five and the company was empowered to 
graduate the tolls on salt from one to two cents according to circum- 

In 1821 the route of the new Kanawha road was located westward 
through Greenbrier and beyond. The right side of both the New and 
the Kanawha was chosen because that route required fewer bridges and 
furnished better grade at less cost. A year later, the bridges between 
Lewisburg and Gauley were about completed. The covered bridges over 
the Greenbrier and the Gauley cost $18,000 each. In 1822 the company 
finding it difficult to procure "labor of proper kind" were forced to 
consider whether it could purchase slaves to complete the work. 

By 1824 the road was completed between Lewisburg and the falls 
with an extension partly constructed from the falls to Montgomery's 
Ferry, and was much used by wagons transporting salt to Greenbrier, 
which thereby promised to become the main source of supply for Monroe 


and Pocahontas and for part of Nicholas. Salt which cost twenty cents 
per bushel at the works was conveyed to Lewisburg for twenty-five cents. 

By 1824 the large quantities of salt hauled east drove out foreign 
salt which previously had been shipped from the seaboard, or reduced 
the price more than half. In order to extend the benefits of the trade 
the general assembly was asked to extend the road to the lower end of 
the salt works. 

Three years later the road was completed only to a point about 
twenty-six miles above Charleston, and thence westward to the Big 
Sandy travel was only by horseback and light carriages. Much of the 
completed road had been badly damaged by heavy wagons and by hogs. 

Early collection of tolls was attended with considerable difficulty. 
In 1825 the toll was five cents for each person, excepting those exempted 
by living within four miles of a gate and not traveling over four miles. 
Complaint was made that those who enjoyed free tolls assisted others 
to evade the law. The owner of the mill and blacksmith shop at Green- 
brier Bridge obtained exemption from bridge tolls for his family, 
servants and customers. Tolls were much diminished by the action of 
the county court of Greenbrier in keeping open parts of the old Stone 
Road (the state road of 1786), which ran from Lewisburg to the falls 
parallel to the Kanawha turnpike and frequently crossed it. Some gates 
were so situated that roads could be made around them to avoid pay- 
ment of tolls. A private road opened in order to turn Metzger's Toll 
Gate (fifty miles west of Lewisburg) enabled the people to enjoy fifty 
miles of turnpike free from tolls. An act of February 28, 1829, ex- 
empted from tolls persons going to mill or returning from mill. The 
destruction of Gauley bridge by fire on July 11, 1826, by persons in- 
terested in the ferry at that point necessitated the employment of a 
ferryman who was paid one-third of the collections at that point. A 
new bridge, uncovered to reduce the danger from fire — a structure which 
stood until 1849 — was completed in 1828. To keep the road in repair 
from Lewisburg west cost $1,000 per year. The toll gatherers were 
paid 9 per cent of the collections. 

At this period the people of the Kanawha route were temporarily 
excited over the prospects of railway communications with the east, 
but their hopes were soon reduced by the refusal of the Virginia As- 
sembly to grant the request of the B. & 0. for permission to construct 
its lines along the Shenandoah and over the divide to the headwaters 
of the Kanawha. At Richmond and in eastern Virginia the turnpike 
was regarded as an enterprise more desirable for the Kanawha because 
it was less liable to contribute to the commercial importance of Baltimore. 

In 1828 the Board of Public Works in recommending the completion 
of the road to the Ohio to connect the East and the West and to stop 
the flow of population to the West, urged that it would be a better 
and shorter road to the West than any other road, not excepting the 
Cumberland road. An additional advantage was found in cheapness 
of provisions and labor. 

The more direct Teay's valley route to the Ohio was chosen in 
preference to the longer route down the Kanawha to Point Pleasant 
which some desired. There was already a road on the south side of the 
Kanawha from the Falls to the Mud river. There were various reasons 
assigned for the location of the new road on the south side of the 
Kanawha from a point just above the mouth of the Gauley, but Charles- 
ton was selected as the place of crossing. The extension to the Big 
Sandy was probably influenced by the expectation encouraged by the 
assurance of Clay in 1826 that Kentucky would thereby be induced to 
make a good road from the Big Sandy to Lexington. 

Work on the western section advancing eastward from the Big Sandy 
was begun in 1828 and an act for extension of the road to Big Sandy 
was passed early in 1829. A year later Crozet, the principal engineer, 
reported that the contractors had done practically nothing for repairs 
on tha western section. In the most dangerous places the road was too 
narrow. In some places two carriages could hardly pass. Earth slips 


made some parts of the road dangerous. Contractors for construction 
of the road west of Charleston in 1830 suffered from effects of the 
excessive rains and subsequent drouth, and from the advance of price 
of labor and provisions resulting largely from the extensive public works 
undertaken by Ohio. The toll bridge near the mouth of Coal river was 
not competed until near the close of 1832. 

The first stage line was established between Charleston and Lewis- 
burg by Caldwell and Surbough and was in operation by January, 
1827, making one trip each week. The fare was $7.00 and preference 
was given to "those who first registered their names for seats." As 
soon as the road was extended to Big Sandy, the same weekly stage was 
run from Catlett's, Kentucky, to Lewisburg, where it connected with a 
stage line to Sutton. Although at first the stages ran via Pea Ridge 
(Teays Valley) directly to the mouth of the Big Sandy, Guyandotte 
promptly extended a road to Barboursville in order to profit by the 
travel, and thereby became the point of connection with a steamer 
owned by the stage crmnany which made regular trips to Cincinnati 
twice each week. By 1835, with a population of only 300, Guyandotte 
was the most important point of steamboat embarkation and debarkation 
in western Virginia excepting Wheeling. Three miles be'ow, however, 
she had a possible competitor for future supremacy: Brownsville (earlier 
incorporated as South Landing) which had been surveyed into lots by 
Crozet in 1832 and which still awaited the disposition of the proprietors 
of the land to put their lots on the market. 

Since there was no competition of stage lines as on the National (Cumberland) 
road, stage fares changed little in the course of several decades. The schedule time 
for the entire trip was from Thursday at 1 p. m. to Saturday evening. The fare 
from Big Sandy was 75 cents to Guyandotte, $4.50 to Charleston and $11.00 to 
Lewisburg. Each passenger was allowed 20 pounds of baggage free and for excess 
(carried at the option of the driver) was charged $4.00 per 100 pounds for each 
100 miles. Passengers from the steamers at Big Sandy or Guyandotte, or from the 
connecting at Lewisburg, were given preference after those who registered for 
seats. In April, 1829, the stage line from Guyandotte to Lewisburg was purchased 
by Porter and Beldon; and by the close of 1830 stages were running tri-weekly, and 
the company advertised to make the trips by daylight and to rest on Sunday — 
although, when the roads were in a bad condition and the stages were delayed, the 
passengers got little sleep. The earlier stage "stands" (relays where horses and 
drivers were changed) eastward from Charleston were Malone's Landing (opposite 
old Brownstown), Bowserman's (Hughs creek), Kanawha Falls, Mountain Cove (now 
Ansted), Lewis (Lookout), Eichard Tyree's (at foot of Sewell mountain), Sewell 
creek (now Rainell), Meadow Bluff and Lewisburg. 

The extension of the road to the "perfect wilderness" at the Ken- 
tucky line, by "foreign engineers," was criticised as an egregious blun- 
der because it tended toward the "destruction of a flourishing Virginia 
town" (Guyandotte) and because its terminus was closed for a large 
part of the year by obstacles which Kentucky probably would not help 
to remove. This argument was used especially by those who advocated 
a branch road from Charleston down the Kanawha to Point Pleasant 
as a means to connect with Ohio roads. 

Early in 1831, in accordance with the regulations of the post office 
department relating to mail stages, and to avoid delays of the mail, 
the stage drivers were prohibited from doing errands excepting the 
carrying of medicine. The mail contracts enabled the company to run 
daily stages. In establishing this line the speed was increased so that 
75 to 80 miles were covered in a day — "nearly if not altogether accom- 
plished in the daylight." For a while Point Pleasant and Gallipolis 
mail was carried from Coalsmouth on horseback but later it was dis- 
patched from Charleston by water. In July, 1831, the increase of travel 
eastward compelled the contractors to put on extra stages. The steamers 
connecting with the stage lines at Guyandotte and at Charleston were 
doing a good business. In 1832 the stage line carried mail daily, al- 
though under contract to do so only six days each week. Late in the 
year, however, the postmaster general established a daily mail from 
Richmond to Guyandotte. At the close of 1833 this was reduced to a 
tri-weekly mail. By 1837 the mail — carried in the regular passenger 

Vol. 1—12 


stages — was transmitted from Richmond to Guyandotte in four and one- 
half days. 

In 1831 there was considerable opposition to the increased tolls on 
the portion of the turnpike which had been completed above Gauley 
Bridge. Objection was made to the law requiring not only the stages 
but also the individual passengers to pay a heavy toll. At the Gauley 
river and Greenbrier river bridges 6!/4 cents was collected from each 
passenger. Those who at first refused to pay finally yielded to the 
strong arm of the law. The "Daily Stage" line, which had been "es- 
tablished at great expenditure," and in the face of great obstacles, 
applied to the legislature for an abatement of the "excessive tolls to 
which the stages would be subjected" but without success. In 1832 
the House of Delegates by a vote of 72 to 44 passed a bill authorizing 
the James River Company to regulate from time to time the tolls on 
stage coaches using the Kanawha turnpike. By act of March 6, 1833, 
the toll previously charged passengers on the stage coach or riding car- 
riage crossing Gauley bridge and Greenbrier bridge was abolished. 

Notwithstanding the tolls, the stage line attracted much travel which 
previously had gone by a more circuitous route. The scenery along the 
route was an attraction to many travelers. 

In 1832 Hall and Trotter of Kentucky established a tri-weekly line of stages 
from the mouth of the Big Sandy to Guyandotte where it connected with the Kana- 
wha stage line of Porter, Belden & Co. At the Big Sandy this line connected with 
a stage line for Lexington, Kentucky. In order to improve westward connections 
Kentucky in 1837 began two turnpikes at Big Sandy — one leading toward Owens- 
ville, thence to connect with the Maysville and Lexington turnpike, and the other 
down the Ohio. At Lewisburg connection was made with Caldwell's line which ex- 
tended eastward through White Sulphur, Salt Sulphur and Sweet Springs and Fin- 
castle and at Teaks' on the Blue Ridge intersected with the line leading east to 
Lynchburg and Richmond or south to Salem where it connected with the great valley 
line to Huntsville and Nashville. White Sulphur Springs, a resort which has been 
crowded with visitors during the warm season of each years since its first opening in 
1818, was reached from Washington in three days travel — by steamboat to Fred- 
ericksburg, then by stage via Charlottesville, Staunton and Warm Springs. Calla- 
han's celebrated tavern thirteen miles east of White Sulphur was a center of the 
travel from all directions — Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina — and an inter- 
junction of several mail routes. 

In the Gazetteer of Virginia published in 1835 appears a vivid description of 
the route from Covington westward over the mountains. "The great state road 
* * * passing the gigantic Alleghenies at a grade which is almost level, pursues 
its winding yet steady course over ranges of mountains, and through wild and 
hitherto unbroken depths of wilderness and shade. Now and then it courses along 
the margin of some rocky and stupendous precipice often several hundred if not a 
thousand feet in depth,- — and as the mail coach drawn by four spirited steeds whirls 
you along the perilous cliff, you feel an involuntary shuddering at the slender barrier 
which separates you from eternity. The blue mist which hovers along the yawning 
chasm beneath, and is visible through the variegated foliage which obscures without 
concealing the view, impresses the mind with undefinable images of danger — and 
indeed * * * I have been credibly informed that in more than one instance 
the lives of travelers have been exposed to imminent peril. At one of those narrow 
defiles » * * the stage with eight passengers and driver rolled down a steep 
declivity of fifty feet and — although the luckless vehicle turned two or three somer- 
sets and was actually shattered into fragments neither horse nor passenger suffered 
material injury. ' ' 

Among the local influences attributed to the turnpike were the de- 
crease of game, the increase of evidence of civilization resulting partly 
from the immigration of families of refined people from eastern Vir- 
ginia, and the economic and industrial development resulting from mar- 
ket facilities and the increase of passing travel and traffic. 

The route soon became a busy thoroughfare of travel and traffic — 
an avenue of activity and increasing wealth. In the stage the average 
citizen might ride with the greatest statesmen and converse with them 
enroute or at the taverns. Among the passengers of most prominence 
were Henry Clay who was a great favorite along the route and Presi- 
dent Jackson, who in 1832 spent Sunday at Charleston enroute to 
Washington. Many of the wealthier people who disdained to ride in 
the stage with the common herd traveled in their own private con- 


veyances. Many who were too poor to pay the stage fares traveled by 
horseback or walked. 

Westward over the route passed many families emigrating to Ohio 
and Kentucky. Hundreds of wagons and other conveyances filled with 
emigrant families — men, women and children of all ages and condi- 
tions — who had left the worn-out lands of Virginia to seek new homes 
in the states bordering on the Ohio, passed along the road for weeks 
each year. To some of the more conservative Virginians mourning 
over the increasing drain of the population, this spectacle of fugitive 
emigrants "bending their toilsome march to the war West" awakened 
a melancholy train of reflections in regard to what was characterized 
as "the last struggle of despairing poverty to escape from the hard- 
ships of its lot." The road furnished increased facility for driving 
hogs to the eastern market, and consequently increased the demand for 
corn along the route. It was estimated that in the fall of 1826, about 
60,000 hogs passed up the valley of the Kanawha, destined largely 
to Eastern Virginia. This traffic continued until the Civil war, al- 
though part of it was diverted by steamboat to Pittsburgh and Wheel- 
ing in the decade before the war. It stimulated the growth of corn 
among the farmers, some of whom took advantage of their less en- 
terprising neighbors by meeting the drovers several miles toward the 
West in order to make advance bargains. It is said that the soil of 
Teay's valley was worn out by continued cultivation of corn to supply 
the demand of hog traffic. Sometimes the drovers greatly interfered 
with other travel for days at a time. After driving the stock through 
to the Valley, or to Richmond or other eastern cities, they frequently 
made the return trip on foot. 

Freight was usually carried in Conestoga wagons, often painted in gay colors, 
usually drawn by four or six horses and carrying an average of 1000 pounds per 
horse. Even after 1852 these wagons were so common that sometimes as many as 
thirty could be counted in a few hours passing in close proximity and twelve or 
fifteen could be counted almost any day within the period of travel. Those going 
east usually included salt in their list of goods. Those coming west were loaded 
with fruit, and general merchandise — including much plug tobacco to satisfy the 
refined taste of the western pioneers who were not content with the raw product 
which they grew at home. Whiskey was also a common article carried on almost 
every wagon. Many of the wagoners, who endured the hardships of the long 
journey, "left their religion on the Blue Ridge when they went east with their 
produce," but, although often rough, they were a jolly crowd who at night enjoyed 
themselves with fiddling and with bull dances around their camp fires, or with singing 
negro melodies of which they possessed a fine repertoire. They bought their pro- 
visions from the farmers or at the taverns, but they cooked their own meals and 
drank their own whiskey. 

In contrast with the freight wagoners, the stage drivers (young but expert) 
were aristocrats — stopping at the best taverns and conversing freely with their 
passengers. The horses behind which they wielded the whip were the finest that 
could be obtained from the blue grass region of Kentucky or the Valley of Virginia 
and were dressed in the finest harness ornamented in brass. Each stage driver 
drove at a rapid rate, and swiftly turned the shortest curves of the mountains with- 
out fear of danger. Unless hailed by prospectivs passengers he seldom stopped 
until he reached a relay station — the approach to which he announced by blasts from 
the tin horn which he always carried at his side. For his expert service he received 
about $1.00 per day, the highest wage paid on the road at that time. 

To accommodate the increasing travel, better houses of entertain- 
ment were established at regular intervals along the road. These were 
successors of the mountain taverns which had appeared very early 
for the accommodation of the many pioneers who journeyed between 
East and West before the turnpike was begun. The county court rec- 
ords of the first and second decades of the nineteenth century show 
a surprising number of taverns which obtained license and "entered 
into bond and security" as required by law, paying for their license 
about $18.00 per year. Under the law by which county courts fixed 
the rates of charge, ordinaries were licensed on the Kanawha below the 
mouth of Paint soon after 1799, at Coalsmouth soon after 1800, at 
Lewisburg and at Dennis Callahan's (the center of travel farther east) 
by 1808, at Salines by 1810, at Barboursville by 1814, at Guyandotte by 


1815 and at Culloden by 1818. After the construction of the turn- 
pike, the inn-keepers assumed more of a professional character and 
many of the inns became more pretentious. Among the earlier im- 
proved hostelries opened at Charleston by 1826 was the "Jackson 
Hall" kept by George Goshorn, the Charleston Hotel conducted by Mr. 
Spotswood and the popular brick hotel of Major Daniel Ruffner located 
at a picturesque place a mile and a half above the town. The Ruffner 
place became a noted stage stand, and was also famous by its prox- 
imity to a camp-meeting ground at which many people gathered each 
year. In 1831, by an unusual activity in the construction of build- 
ings Charleston secured better facilities for the accommodation of the 
increasing number of stage passengers who preferred to connect with 
the stage line at that point. In 1834 the Kanawha House, a brick 
structure of four stories and thirty rooms, was built near the boat 
landing. In 1831 a new two-story hotel was erected on Coal river. 
By 1832, at a point opposite the Kanawha Falls appeared a spacious 
hotel "kept by a good natured chunk of a man who cast a shadow of 
nearly the same altitude when lying down as when standing up." The 
Hurricane Valley tavern was opened by 1833. A new hotel was built 
at the Salines by 1830 and another by 1834 to accommodate the local 
travel to that, point, from which a hack ran to Charleston morning and 
evening. Fourteen miles east of the Falls was the large farm and 
stage station of Philip Metzker. Ten miles below Charleston, and a 
mile or two above St. Albans, was "Liberty Hall," owned by Robert 
W. Poindexter, and previously occupied by Mrs. E. B. Thornton. One 
mile below Charleston was "Willow Grove," kept by Mrs. Watson. By 
1831 there was a ferry and tavern on the Ohio just above the mouth 
of the Big Sandy at the termination of the turnpike. By 1832 three 
taverns were scattered along the route between Barboursville and Hur- 
ricane bridge. By 1835 there was a hotel at Hansford post office op- 
posite the mouth of Paint creek. At the same time there were three 
hotels at Lewisburg, the great court town, and several around White 
Sulphur Springs within a distance of six or seven miles. Later, taverns 
were opened at the foot of Gauley mountain and on top of the moun- 
tain four miles east of Hawk's Nest. In 1835 there was an increasing 
travel resulting from the wide and increasing popularity of the springs 
east of Lewisburg. By 1836 the buildings at White Sulphur could 
accommodate 400, and in 1838 it was estimated that 6,000 persons 
visited the resort during the entire season. 

The Kanawha turnpike was an incentive to the opening of several 
later lines. By 1827 there was a post-road from Gauley Bridge to 
Nicholas county but the mail contractor complained to the justices 
of Kanawha county that its width was less than the twelve feet re- 
quired by law. In 1838, the Charleston and Point Pleasant turnpike 
was built. About 1848 the Giles, Fayette and Kanawha turnpike 
(begun in 1838) was completed, starting at Pearisburg and passing 
through Peterstown, Red Sulphur Springs and the present site of Beck- 
ley, Mt. Hope, Oak Hill and Fayetteville and joining the Kanawha turn- 
pike at Kanawha Falls. About 1850 a "state road" was constructed 
from Logan through Boone to Charleston, and over it passed much 
traffic which declined after the completion of the Norfolk and Western 
in 1891. About 1850 a turnpike (begun in 1848) was constructed from 
Gauley Bridge via Summersville, Sutton, Flatwoods and Bulltown to 
Weston at which it connected with another road leading to the North- 
western turnpike at West Union. 2 

In 1848 the Charleston, Ripley and Ravenswood Turnpike Company 
was incorporated and in 1857 planned a better road northward to the 
Ohio which was completed by 1861. It was extended to Parkersburg 
and connected with Ravenswood by a lateral road from Sandyville. 

2 From Arnold 's station (near Weston) the Glenville, Ripley and Ohio turnpike 
(dirt road) was constructed by Virginia about 1854-55 via Spencer and Buffalo 
post office. 


The history of the Kanawha turnpike after 1835 has few new fea- 
tures. In December, 1835, the stockholders of the James river and 
Kanawha Company consolidated the eastern and western agencies into 
one agency extending- over the whole of the western improvements. 
Ezra Walker of Kanawha was made agent of the western improve- 
ments at a salary of $1,500. He had full charge of the Kanawha river 
and road, collecting the tolls from the collectors and depositing them 
in the Bank of Virginia at Charleston. 

About May 15, 1837, the road was much damaged by floods which 
washed out eleven of the forty bridges which it crossed. The road 
was also much cut on the mountain slopes by the wheels of the heavy 
stages which had no patent locks. In 1840 the company constructed 
five bridges of which one was on the Burning Spring branch. The 
construction of a new bridge over Gauley and other improvements on 
the road were suspended by cholera in the Kanawha in 1848. The 
arched bridge over Coal river was completed in 1849. A new bridge 
over Gauley was completed in 1850 and continued in use until its 
destruction in 1861. Several bridges finished between 1850 and 1854 
absorbed much of the revenue from tolls. 

Although at the middle of the century the utility of the road was 
somewhat increased by the reduction of tolls on live stock passing 
over it, the need of the road was soon greatly decreased by new 
factors in western transportation. Even as early as 1835, the de- 
mands of the people for a railroad or canal connection threatened 
the increasing business of the road and caused the president (Cabell) 
of the company to file objections and urge that the railway from Cov- 
ington to the Kanawha Falls should be deferred until the completion 
of the water improvements of the line. In 1853, although the turn- 
pike was in good condition, travel on it was manifestly diminished. At 
the same time the business on the Kanawha river was increasing. At 
Charleston could be seen steamers towing flatboats loaded with iron 
rails imported from Wales for the mines above the town. By 1854, 
synchronous with the increase of travel on the river and the connection 
of railroads with the Upper Ohio, the travel on the road was greatly 
diminished and the income of the company from the turnpike de- 
pended entirely on the prosperous business of the salt manufacturers 
at the Kanawha Salines. Early in 1855 travelers from Guyandotte, to 
secure most speedy conveyance to Richmond, went via Cincinnati and 
Columbus, Ohio. Tri-weekly four-horse stages owned by W. P. Parish 
and Company still made trips to points eastward as far as Lynchburg 
but the roads were in a "horrid condition." Such conditions furnished 
reasons for urging appropriations for the completion of the Covington 
and Ohio railway westward through rich regions whose inhabitants 
were deprived of all facilities for travel except mud turnpikes. By 
1860 the eastern terminus of the stage lines was at Jackson river depot, 
now Clifton Forge, which was then the western terminus of the Vir- 
ginian Central railway (now the C. & O.). The decline of the turnpike 
was completed by the ravages of war resulting in the destruction of the 
Gauley and Greenbrier bridges and leaving the road in a very inferior 
condition. The busy life along the route never returned. White Sul- 
phur Springs was reopened in 1867, but even here there was a notice- 
able absence of much of the society which had once given life and 
gayety and grace to the resort. A few years later a new era of life 
along the route was introduced by the completion of the railway from 
Covington to Huntington. 

3. The Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike. Across the terri- 
tory of West Virginia north of the region drained by the Kanawha, the 
Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike upon which the state spent con- 
siderable money was a factor of iio small importance in local develop- 
ment. The story of its inception and its construction may be indicated 
briefly. By an act of 1823, the Board of Public Works was directed to 
inquire into the expediency of directing the public engineer to survey 


and mark a road by the nearest and best route from Staunton to the 
mouth of the Little Kanawha. Following the prompt preliminary re- 
port of the board, in March, 1824, the Assembly made small appropria- 
tions from the revenues of Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Lewis and 
Wood to be used in opening the road, provided each of these counties 
would appropriate an amount equal to the sum provided by the state. 
An act of February, 1826, authorized an increased state aid ($3,200) 
and directed the commissioners of each county to meet at the mouth of 
Riffles ' Run in order to locate the remainder of the road via Beverly and 
Weston. At the same time, Wood county was allowed additional time to 
raise the amount which it was required to contribute by the act of 1824. 
In 1828, the principal engineer was directed to inspect the road from 
Weston to Parkersburg, and was given power to change the route or 
location. In 1830, commissioners were appointed by act of the Assembly 
with power to raise by a lottery $50,000 to complete the road, and the 
county courts of Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Lewis and Wood 
were each required to appoint a superintendent to complete the work in 
their respective jurisdictions. To each of these counties the lottery 
money was to be distributed according to a stated proportion. In 1832 
there was an additional appropriation, of which a given proportion was 
to be provided for each county which would raise an equal amount. 
Some of the counties by act of 1836 were given additional time to meet 
the requirements. In 1837, Wood county, which had failed to raise 
the amount required was again given additional time. 

A step toward greater activity was taken by the act of 1838, which 
authorized the Board of Public Works to borrow $150,000 with which 
to construct a turnpike from Staunton through Dry Branch Gap, with 
a width of not less than 15 feet in addition to side ditches. In the 
same year, the principal engineer made a report pointing out five dif- 
ferent routes for the northwestern part of the road — one of which 
utilized twenty-three miles of the Northwestern turnpike from] the 
Three Forks of Goose creek, and another of which proposed to unite 
it with the Northwestern turnpike which could be utilized for the fifty 
miles west of Middle Island creek. 

The woi'k of construction began at both ends. On the west end one 
of the chief difficulties was the backwater which increased the need 
for additional bridges, and also induced the engineer to select a route 
which did not immediately follow the Little Kanawha. Here, Wood 
county declined to give aid in preserving the road. At the east end 
work was delayed by labor conditions. There, the reduction of the 
price of labor was secured much later than in the west. The begin- 
ning of operations was delayed, especially by the continued demand 
for labor on the Valley turnpike and on the James river. Finally, 
with an anticipated reduction of wages to $10.00 per month at each end 
of the road, operations on the east were begun, but in the middle of 
December (1838) they were stopped for the winter. 

As the work of construction advanced, the Board of Public Works, 
in 1841, were given all the powers and privileges concerning the tolls, 
etc., that had been conferred on the president and directors of the 
Northwestern turnpike by act of 1840. The shorter and better route 
through part of Randolph was changed by an act of 1842 which made 
Beverly a point on the road, on condition that the citizens of Ran- 
dolph would pay $4,200 on construction and that owners of land would 
relinquish all claims for damages. An act of 1845 authorized a loan 
of $30,000 to complete the road between Weston and Beverly, another 
of 1846 appropriated $5,000 for a bridge over the Valley river at Bev- 
erly, and another of 1847 appropriated $15,000 for bridges across the 
Valley river at Huttonsville, across the West Fork at Weston, across 
the south fork of Hughes river, and across Stone Coal creek and other 
creeks. An act of 1848 appropriated an additional $10,000 for bridges 
and an act of 1849 authorized a loan of $60,000 for macadamizing parts 
of the road. An additional appropriation was made in 1852 to repair 


and reconstruct bridges and embankments which had recently been 
injured and destroyed on the road; and $100,000 was appropriated in 
1853 for use in macadamizing, planking and bridging. According to the 
report of the superintendent, John Brannon of Weston, the road at this 
date was in very bad condition resulting from winter and spring freshets, 
and the tolls were not adequate for repairs. The bridges on the north 
and south forks of the Hughes river required stronger masonry and 
higher location. An act of 1860 again provided for the repair of dam- 
age done by recent floods. An act of April 1, 1861, authorized the ap- 
pointment of two superintendents with separate jurisdiction divided by 
Cheat mountain. By an ordinance of the Virginia convention of June 
14, 1861, the governor was authorized to build bridges and make other 
repairs on the road in Randolph for use for military purposes. 

At the close of the war much of the road was in a very bad condi- 
tion; but, along the larger part of the route, it has continued to be 
used for local travel. Tolls were collected in Randolph by order of the 
county court until about 1898. 

The road had considerable influence in the development of different 
regions through which it was located. It was a factor in causing the 
formation of several new counties. The citizens of the western part of 
Lewis county whose trade was down the Little Kanawha, together with 
the citizens of the northern part of Kanawha county, were successful 
in securing the formation of the new county of Gilmer (in 1845), with 
the county seat at Glenville (where Hartford had been established in 
1842). A few years later (in 1855), citizens of the western part of 
the newly created county of. Gilmer, not satisfied with the selection of 
Glenville as the county seat, were successful in securing the formation 
of the new county of Calhoun. 

The construction of the new road together with other influences 
(competition in trade between Buckhannon and Weston and differences 
in politics), resulted in the formation of Upshur county in 1850 by 
separation from Lewis county in spite of the opposition of Weston and 

The construction of the turnpike was a large influence in the stimu- 
lation of other improved roads, acting a9 lateral feeders. It also stimu- 
lated immigration, industry and business prosperity. This is well illus- 
trated in the neighborhood of Weston. The Sand Pork region south of 
Weston (Court House district) was still a dense wilderness in 1840, 
although patents for the land had been granted long before, and although 
settlements had been made in all other parts of Lewis county. Its de- 
velopment was hastened by laws of 1831 and 1835, which marked a 
changed policy of Virginia in regard to delinquent lands and by a 
resulting encouragement to laud speculators. Its development was 
primarily due to a partnership formed in 1841 between Minter Bailey 
(proprietor of the Bailey Hotel at Weston) and two far sighted busi- 
ness men (G. D. Camden and R. P. Camden), who saw that the lands 
might attract settlers and continue to increase in value after the com- 
pletion of the Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike. They were especially 
successful in their plans for inducing the Irish and German laborers 
on the road to settle upon their lands after the completion of the road. 
In this they were favored by economic conditions which caused the ces- 
sation of constructive projects elsewhere and left many laborers with- 
out employment. By dividing large tracts into small farms within the 
means of the laborers and by arranging easy terms of payment, including 
the acceptance of their farm products at the Bailey House, they soon 
attracted a considerable colony of settlers beginning with 1845. In 
1845, when there was only "one Irishman and five children" at Weston, 
Bishop Whelan established a Catholic mission there and celebrated mass 
in an upstairs room at the Bailey House in the presence of a group of 
Irish working men and their families, some of whom had walke'd from 
Sand Fork to attend the service. In 1848 Father A. P. Crogan was 
appointed as permanent pastor and began the erection of a small brick 


church, the fourth church of the denomination in the territory of West 
Virginia. The schools, opened in the basement of the church and taught 
by priests who had good classical education, were attended by boys 
who later became prominent in the county. The new settlers were 
thrifty and by united efforts of husbands and wives soon accumulated 
enough money to complete payment on their lands, which they never 
abandoned. By 1848 the Sand Fork colony secured through Bishop 
F. V. Whelan thirty acres of land upon which a Catholic church was 
later erected. Its success encouraged the formation of another pros- 
perous colony known as the "Murray settlement," developed by specu- 
lators who were competitors of Bailey and the Camdens. Later many 
Irish laborers on construction work of the B. & 0. railroad between 
Cumberland and Wheeling — immigrants who had been driven from Ire- 
land by the potato famine of 1846 — were attracted from the railroad 
(through the efforts of G. D. Camden and others) to work on the inac- 
adamization of the Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike. Settlement on 
Sand Fork was also probably encouraged by Bishop Whelan who had 
established mission relations with the railway construction camps. Addi- 
tional settlers arrived after the completion of railroad construction to 
Wheeling which resulted in temporary employment for many of the 
laborers. About the same time many Germans arrived. The example 
of the new settlers had a good influence on the other farmers of the 
community, although for several years there was little inclination to 
association. They soon made application for American citizenship, for 
which (by their travel in the United States) they were perhaps as well 
fitted as many older residents of the county, and during the civil war 
they were staunch Union men, in accord with their oath of allegiance. 

4. The Old Northwestern Turnpike. The old Northwestern turn- 
pike, extending from Winchester, Virginia, on a general westward course 
to Parkersburg on the Ohio, is a historic highway which deserves more 
mention than it has ever received as a factor related to the American 
westward movement and to the problem of communication between East 
and West. It was the inevitable result of the call of the West and the 
need of a Virginia state road. 

Perhaps its first suggestion was recorded by Washington, who in 
1758 had been the champion of the Braddock road (not then supposed 
to lie in Pennsylvania) and who in 1784 sought a route located wholly 
in Virginia. Returning from a visit to his western lands, after fol- 
lowing McCulloch's path (then the most important route across the 
ragged ridges between the valleys), he crossed the North Branch on 
the future route of the greater Virginia highway — which was first 
partially realized in the "state road" authorized from Winchester via 
Romney to Morgautown before 1786, and extended westward in 1786 
by a branch road from near Cheat to Clarksburg, from which the first 
road was marked to the mouth of the Little Kanawha between 1788 
and 1790. 

The later turnpike was planned and constructed by Virginia partly 
as a result of the rival activities of New York, Pennsylvania and Mary- 
land to secure the advantages in transportation facilities for the trade 
of the W T est ; and was especially regarded as a rival of the national road 
which was opened from Cumberland to Wheeling in 1818, and with 
which parts of Virginia obtained better connection in 1830 by a stage 
line established from Winchester to Cumberland. It was built across 
tlie Appalachian divide with the hope of securing commercial superior- 
ity, and was the main thoroughfare between East and West through 
northern Virginia. 

The act of incorporation of 1827, authorizing subscriptions at Win- 
chester, Romney, Moorefield, Beverly, Kingwood, Pruntytown, Clarks- 
burg and Parkersburg, made the mistake of arbitrarily locating the 
route through important towns without proper consideration of the 
physical features of the country. After finding a way through Hamp- 
shire via Mill Creek Gap in Mill Creek Mountain, and pushing on into 


Preston the engineers encountered insurmountable obstacles to the King- 
wood route, causing the stock to languish. 

The enterprise was saved by the remarkable act of 1831 which or- 
ganized a road company, with the governor as president and one of 
the board of directors, with power to borrow money ($125, 000) on 
the credit of the state to construct a turnpike road of a minimum width 
of twelve feet, "from Winchester to some point on the Ohio river to be 
situated by the principal engineer," and with the right to erect bridges 
or to regulate ferries already in existence and to establish toll gates 
on each twenty mile section completed. 

The chief engineer was Col. Claudius Crozet, a French officer of 
artillery under Napoleon Bonaparte in the Russian campaign, and 
later professor of engineering in the United States military academy 
from 1816 to 1823. He was assisted by Charles B. Shaw. 

The route chosen was through Hampshire, Mineral, Grant, Garrett, 
Preston, Taylor, Harrison, Doddridge, Ritchie and Wood — all in West 
Virginia except Garrett which is in Maryland. In Hampshire coun- 
ty it was established via Capon Bridge, Hanging Rock, Pleasant Dale 
and Augusta to Romney west of which it crossed the South Branch. 
Through Mineral it passed via Burlington, thence westward across 
Patterson's creek, and through Ridgeville on the divide to New creek 
which it crossed at Rees' tannery. Then turning toward the south- 
west, it crossed the North branch of the Potomac southwest of the 
present town of Germania and entered the southwest corner of Maryland 
through which it passed for eight and three-fourths miles, crossing 
the Alleghenies and emerging into Preston east of the German settle- 
ment (later known as Aurora). It passed across the picturesque Cheat 
valley considerably south of Rowlesburg, and via Fellowsville, Evans- 
ville, Thornton, Grafton, Pruntytown and Bridgeport to Clarksburg, 
thence over the summit via the head of Ten Mile creek to Salem, thence 
across Middle Island creek at West Union and via Tollgate, Pennsboro, 
Ellensboro (earlier Shumley) the head of Goose creek, and Murphy town, 
to Parkersburg. Much of the route passed through a vast wilderness 
interspersed here and there by a few old settlements and towns. 

No longer dependent on the larger towns for its success, the road 
was completed through the wilds of Preston, considerably south of 
Kingwood, iu 1832, and was opened westward to Clarksburg and Parkers- 
burg by 1838. Its construction cost $400,000. It crossed the moun- 
tains by easy grades and the larger streams (in some sections all the 
streams) by good bridges. It was macadamized from Tygart's Valley 
river to Parkersburg in 1818. About 18o2, it was further improved by 
construction of new bridges across several streams, at important cross- 
ings. In 1840, facilities for travel and news were increased on the 
western end of the road by the establishment of a daily line of stages, 
and a regular mail service, which made connection with the Ohio steam- 
ers at Parkersburg. By 1845, there was a line of fast tri-weekly stages 
from Romney to the Ohio at Parkersburg. It connected at Romney 
with stages from Winchester, Moorefield and from Green Spring at 
which connections were made with Baltimore by trains of the B. & O. 
railway. The fare from Green Spring to Parkersburg (210 miles) was 

The road, establishing commercial and other relations, soon became a 
busy thoroughfare of travel and traffic which stimulated the creation of 
many inns and towns along the route — such as Aurora, Fellowsville, 
Evansville (1833), and West Union (1846). In many ways it influenced 
the material prosperity and social life of the people of the region 
through which it passed. Following the act of 1831, whLh provided for 
more satisfactory adjustment of land, it was an important in- 
centive to immigration and settlement and development — especially along 
the region of southern Preston and in Ritchie. Its construction also 
stimulated the construction of intersecting roads, such as the Brandon- 
ville pike, starting from Somerfield, Pennsylvania, passing via King- 


wood, and connecting with the Northwestern at a point which became 
Fellowsville by 1848. It also doubtless influenced the legislature in 1837 
to provide for a survey of Cheat from the turnpike crossing to the 
Pennsylvania line. On some parts of its course it furnished the incen- 
tive for the establishment of inns to meet the needs of those who desired 
to escape the heat of the seaboard by a summer sojourn amid the wild 
beauty of the mountains, whose streams were filled with trout and 
whose forest furnished a home for deer and other game. 

Among the immediate political influences of the Northwestern turn- 
pike, together with that of the Staunton, was the creation of Ritchie 
county in 1843 for the convenience of the nearly 3,000 people who lived 
in Hughes River valley remote from their previous courthouses at 
Weston and Clarksburg, and the later creation of Doddridge county, 
(in 1845) especially for the convenience of many dissatisfied citizens 
of the eastern part of the new county of Ritchie who had preferred 
Clarksburg as their political (and business) center. 

Beyond the headwaters of the Potomac, it passed over the Backbone, 
opening the way to a remote and inaccessible region bordering on the 
land of Canaan, which was made famous a few years later by "The 
Clerk of Oxenfords" (David Hunter Strothers) in "The Blackwater 
Chronicle" and later by the same writer under the nom de phwne "Porte 
Crayon" in "A Visit to the Virginia Canaan." 

It might have been a road of greater importance if Virginia soon 
after its completion had not been induced to divert her interest from 
turnpikes to canals — influenced by the completion of a Pennsylvania 
system of transportation connecting with the Ohio at Pittsburgh. West 
of the Alleghenies, it was extensively damaged by the numerous heavy 
cattle driven over it iu the winter and early spring. It was also much 
injured by high waters, especially in 1852 and 1853. 

Although it never became of national importance as did its more 
renowned national rival at the north, it was for awhile the busy scene 
of much business of a national character and gave fair promise of serv- 
ing well the purpose for which Virginia had planned it until its larger 
usefulness was transferred to its horseless rival which, persistently 
overcoming obstacle and opposition, reached Cumberland by 1845, Graf- 
ton in 1852 and Parkersburg in 1857. 

Supported by a sentiment that long scorned the possibility of com- 
petition and that later opposed any improved system of transportation 
which, by absorbing the slower traffic, might close the taverns and 
ruin the local market for grain and provisions, it was finally paralleled 
by a railroad which diverted its travel and traffic, created rival towns, 
and brought pioneer prospectors and promoters who prepared the way 
for the later era of larger industrial development. 

Although its utility was diminished by proximity to the railroad, it 
was still kept in moderate repair in the decade after the close of the war, 
and it has continued a constant local benefit to the territory thx-ough 
which it passes. 


The beginning of the era of larger industrial development in West 
Virginia was due to the enterprising spirit of a few of the shrewder 
business men of Baltimore who feared the doom of their city 's prosperity 
was foreshadowed in the diversion of trade and emigration from the 
National turnpike to the route of the Erie canal around the northern 
flank of the Alleghenies, and after realizing that the expense of the 
completion of the Chesapeake and Ohio canal rendered it inexpedient 
as a measure calculated to counteract New York 's advantage or to retain 
Baltimore's inherited commercial prestige, decided on the feasibility 
of a railroad from Baltimore to the West, and faithfully and persistently 
pushed their plans to completion. 

The Baltimore and Ohio railway was incorporated by act of the Mary- 
land legislature on April 2, 1827. Desiring to reach the Ohio by the 
most southern route possible the directors of the corporation asked Vir- 
ginia for permission to construct its lines along the Shenandoah to the 
headwaters of the Kanawha and thence by that stream to the Ohio. 
Although the inhabitants of the valley and of the Kanawha heartily 
indorsed the scheme, the assembly refused the request and restricted 
the western terminus to such point as the company might select north 
of the mouth of the Little Kanawha. 1 In 1828 Pennsylvania authorized 
the company to construct part of the proposed line across the state, on 
condition that it would locate a branch terminal at Pittsburgh, and 
one of the earlier surveys followed the general course of the National 
road, crossing the Monongahela at Brownsville. 

The company was organized with a capital of $3,000,000 of which 
$500,000 was subscribed by Maryland, $500,000 by Baltimore. The 
remainder was promptly secured by subscriptions at Baltimore, Fred- 
erick and Hagerstown. 

1 The people along the Kanawha made strenuous efforts to secure the road. 
On July 20, 1827, at the inception of the project, they sent a memorial to the presi- 
dent and directors of the railroad company, urging that the route from Baltimore 
via Staunton to the Ohio at Point Pleasant or to Kanawha Falls presented more 
advantages than the route by Cheat and the Monongahela or any more direct Vir- 
ginia route along which many stationary engines would be required. Among other 
advantages mentioned for this route was the convenience of connection with the 
lower part of the Ohio and Erie canal between Cleveland and Portsmouth via the 
Scioto, which was planned for completion in 1831, and which might be reached 
directly by an extension of the railroad from Point Pleasant to the mouth of the 
Salt creek on the Scioto. 

In 1831, the people of the Kanawha urged that the Baltimore and Ohio should 
be allowed to construct its lines through the Valley of Virginia, and thence via the 
Kanawha to the Ohio. Kanawha delegates endeavored to amend the act incorporating 
the Staunton and Potomac railroad company so that it might be able to extend its 
proposed lines westward from Staunton via the Kanawha to the Ohio. The con- 
servatives of the East, however, feared that the Baltimore and Ohio was back of 
the Staunton and Potomac. The amendment was defeated 58 to 53. At the same 
time the Lynchburg and New River Railroad company was incorporated to divert 
the trade of the West to the James river. It contemplated a lateral line to the 
Tennessee boundary. Both these enterprises were killed by the defeat of an appro- 
priation bill of $2,000,000 to aid the companies and other internal Improvements. 
In 1829 an attempt was made in the eastern part of the state to secure a repeal of 
the act of incorporation in order to keep the road out of the state entirely. At the 
same time Virginia began to oppose the scheme of connecting the Potomac and the 
Ohio by a canal, probably because the Chesapeake and Ohio canal had become 
largely a national enterprise. 



The surveys in search of the best way to the Ohio resulted iu the 
examination of numerous routes across the mountains in Maryland and 
Western Virginia. Expirations and reconnaissances were made across 
mountains and long gorges. 

Apparently the engineers feared that the deep gorge through which 
Cheat river flows could be crossed only with much difficulty therefore 
they endeavored to find a way to the Ohio without curiously they ex- 
amined almost every passing creek on the head of Cheat to its mouth 
before they finally discovered the route by way of Rowlesburg where 
the road was finally constructed. Although the surveyors were in- 
structed not to enter Pennsylvania they partly violated their 
instructions in examining some of the mountains and streams north of 
Cumberland along the old Nemacolin trail. 

From the mouth of Savage river (at Bloomington Mineral County) 
they ascended the mountain through Maryland and from the head 
waters of the Youghiogheny river followed for sixty miles the route 
selected by Washington forty years earlier via of the "lower narrows" 
on Cheat below Dunkard bottom. They industriously labored for three 
days on the sixteen miles above Ice's Ferry, "clamoring with excessive 
fatigue over the rocks at the risk of falling from them, and frequently 
fording the river to take advantage of the best ground on either side." 

After reaching the mouth of Cheat they descended Dunkard creek 
and without serious obstacle completed the survey from that point to the 

Following the preliminary survey additional surveys were made resulting in ex- 
plorations of different routes southward to White Sulphur Springs. From Dunkard 
Bottom a route was surveyed up Green 's river over the divide and down Decker 's 
creek to Morgantown — a route followed seventy-five years later by the Morgantown 
and Kingwood Railroad. From Morgantown the survey of this route was continued 
up the Monongahela to Buffalo creek thence by that creek to the divide thence to 
the Ohio. From the top of Chestnut ridge west to Kingwood a branch survey was 
made to Three Fork creek and along this creek to the site of GTafton. 

Among the surveys farther south was one which branched from the main route 
near Oakland, Maryland, followed Wolf creek in Preston county, crossed Cheat 
river five miles above Rowlesburg, ascended Flag run and continuing via Evansville 
across Tygarts Valley river above Grafton and then continued westward to Clarks- 
burg and beyond. Still another was surveyed westward, along the general route of 
an old Indian trail, near Aurora down Mill run to Cheat at St. George, thence across 
the river up Clover run, across Laurel hill to Sugar creek (in Barbour County) and 
to Clarksburg, and thence westward to Parkersburg by practically the same route 
as that followed in constructing the road twenty-five years later. 

Another survey starting from the head of the Youghiogheny river at the top 
of the Alleghenies (near Altamont, Maryland) led westward down Horseshoe run, 
along an old Indian trail to Cheat river, thence down the river three miles to St. 
George and thence westward by the preceding survey. A branch of this survey was 
made up Cheat river from the mouth of Horseshoe run, up Shaver 's fork of Cheat 
to mouth of Pleasant run (in Randolph county), thence up Pleasant run, across 
Laurel hill and down Leading creek to Tygart's Valley (partly along the line later 
selected for the Western Maryland railroad to Elkins). A preliminary examination 
was made for a route via the Black Fork of Cheat with plans to cross the river at 
the site of Parsons. The routes via Cheat and also the route west of Clarksburg 
were regarded as too difficult. The most promising routes seemed to lead around 
the many streams forming the source of Cheat. One survey was made up of the 
south branch of the Potomac to the mouth of the North fork in Grant county but 
no practical route could be found over the Allegheny water shed. At the mouth 
of Seneca creek (about eighty miles from the mouth of the south branch) the old 
Seneca Indian trail was followed to the top of the mountain but the passage over 
the mountain was found impracticable. The survey of the route was continued to 
the source of the South Branch drainage system (113 miles from the Potomac) and 
to the summit of the main ridge of the Alleghenies near the later crossing of the 
Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike, but the search of the mountain wilderness 
indicated that the way around the heads of Cheat was too rough and difficult and 
the survey at that point was abandoned. A reconnaissance was made across the 
headwaters of the Greenbrier and to the source of Elk, thence down Elk through 
Pocahontas into Randolph county with a view to a route crossing from the Elk to 
the source of the Little Kanawha, thence down the latter to Parkersburg but the 
route down Elk was found too rough and the survey was abandoned. A route down 
the Greenbrier to White Sulphur Springs, thence over the Allegheny near the later 
route of the C. & 0. Railroad was examined but evidently was considered too far 


On April 5, 1828, the engineers reported on their survey 2 and on 
July 4 amidst imposing ceremonies the corner stone of the road was laid 
by Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only surviving signer of the 
Declaration of Independence. Soon discovering by actual work that the 
cost of construction had been underestimated, the company increased 
the capital stock to $5,000,000 and made an effort to secure from Con- 
gress an appropriation which failed through the opposition of the canal 

The first brigade of cars, each operated by one horse, began tri- 
daily trips between Baltimore and Ellicott City on May 24, 1830, at 
a rate varying from seven to thirteen miles an hour. Soon thereafter 
experiments were made with a lighter "sailing" car rigged with a 
mast and square sails to catch the force of the wind. Later a horse 
motor car of the tread mill pattern was tried. Finally in August, 1830, 
Peter Cooper made the trial trip of the first American locomotive — a 
working model improved for the occasion and constructed in a carriage 
maker's shop. Although on the return trip the crude locomotive lost 
in the historic race with the gray horse, it solved the problem of steam 
power for the railroad. 

The completion of the track to Point of Rocks on the Potomac on 
April 1, 1832, was followed by a steadily increasing traffic and travel 
from the river above which assured the future success of the road and 
indicated that it had outgrown the earlier conception of a mere im- 
proved form of toll road. At this point the enterprise was halted by a 
decision of the Court of Appeals in favor of the Chesapeake and Ohio 
canal, which contested the right to occupy the narrow valley of the 
Potomac and generously invited the railroad company to abandon its 
work and devote its resources to the completion of the canal. By inter- 
ference of the legislature which compelled a compromise, the rai'road 
company subscribed for 2,500 shares of the canal stock and submitted 
to obnoxious regulations to prevent fright of the tow-path horses — 
including a demand to haul its trains by horses through the passes along- 
side the canal. 

After securing the repeal of these petty regulations, the directors 
of the road after May, 1833, pushed their tracks forward" to Wager's 
bridge opposite Harpers Ferry at which connection was made with the 
short Winchester and Potomac road on December 1, 1834, producing 
an immediate stimulus to the business of the road, coincident with the 
introduction of better cars and additional engines and the invention 
of various devices such as switches and turntables. 

At this point westward extension was abandoned for several years 
during which the democratic legislature of Virginia from 1835-1838 
continued to deny the requests of the company for authority to con- 
struct its lines through the whig country of central Virginia. In 1837, 
after reports of reconnaissances of the engineers from Harpers Ferry 
to Wheeling and from Cumberland to Pittsburgh had been made, the 
directors recommended the extension of the line to Cumberland at a 
cost of $4,600,000. Although Maryland and Baltimore each agreed to 
subscribe $3,000,000 and Maryland paid her subscription in bonds, no 
money was available either to meet the additional cost of new con- 
struction or to rebuild the crude and inadequate experimental road 

- The engineers made reeonnoissanees or surveys on several routes terminating 
on the Ohio at, various points from Pittsburgh on the north to Parkersburg on the 
south. One of the early routes surveyed passed down Muddy creek in Preston and 
down Decker's creek via Morgantown and across the southwest corner of Pennsyl- 
vania. The change of route may have been partly due to the opposition shown both 
in Monongalia county and in Greene county (Pennsylvania) by people who feared 
the innovation would seriously affect the price of horses and horse feed, and the 
lives of wives and children and of cows and hogs. "Compel them to stop at Cum- 
berland," they said in their meetings, "and then all the goods will be wagoned 
through our country, all the hogs will he fed with our corn and all the horses with 
our oats. We don't want our wives and our children frightened to death. * « * 
We don't want our hogs and cows run over and killed." 


already constructed to meet the necessities of growing traffic, and it 
was necessary to overcome objections to the extension of the railway 
parallel to the canal. 

Finally, in 1838, construction through Virginia territory was made 
possible by an extension of the time limit of the earliest charter for 
five years by the Virginia legislature on the condition that the route 
should pass through Virginia from Harpers Ferry westward to a point 
near Cumberland and that Wheeling would eventually be one of the 
termini. At the same time Virginia added a new subscription of $1,058,- 
420 to the subscription of $302,100 made to the stock of the company 
in 1836. 

In the face of overwhelming difficulties the directors, adopting the 
expedient of paying bills by certificates redeemable in Baltimore city 
six per cent stock at par, began actual construction again in 1840 and 
completed the road to Cumberland on November 5, 1842. The extension 
increased the yearly earnings from $391,070 in 1842 to $575,205 in 
1843 and $658,619 in 1844. At the same time there was a reduction in 
passenger rates due to the completion of Pennsylvania lines of road, 3 
and a much smaller traffic from the wagon traffic over the National 
road than had been anticipated, thereby causing a disappointment which 
continued tintil the completion of the road to Wheeling. The effect of 
the road on the region through which it passed may be illustrated by 
Harpers Ferry which changed from a sleepy village to a sprightly 
town, and by Cumberland which increased in population from 1,162 in 
1830 to 6,105 in 1850 and became the most important place between 
Baltimore and Wheeling. 

Failing in an attempt of 1844 to secure money from Europe to 
extend the road to the Ohio upon whose navigation the company largely 
relied for expectations of traffic, the directors in 1846 sold bonds at 
ten per cent discount to finance the reconstruction of the Baltimore- 
Harpers Ferry section (eighty-one miles) on which the antiquated plate- 
rail was replaced by the new edge-rail. 

The postponement of further extension from 1842 to 1848 was due 
to lack of money and credit and to the difficulty of securing additional 
legislation necessary to extend the time limit (1843) provided in the 
Maryland act of 1836 and the Virginia act of 1838. Although Mary- 
land extended the time to 1863 by act of 1842 (which also ordered the 
sale of the state's interest in all internal improvements), Virginia de- 
layed for several years. In 1845, however, the Virginia legislature was 
asked to consider a bill authorizing the extension of the line through 
Virginia to the Ohio but with no mention of a definite location for 
the terminus which was sought by almost every town along the river. 
The railroad company, seeking the shortest route of connection with 
Cincinnati, preferred a river terminus at Parkersburg which probably 
had the best claims to advantages of geographical location — especially 
in connection with the projected plans of the Marietta and Cincinnati 
and the Cincinnati, Hillsboro and Parkersburg railways which were seek- 
ing an eastern route. Nevertheless, Parkersburg lost on the first skirmish. 
Mr. Edgington moved to amend the bill by specifying Wheeling as 
the terminus. Although the bill with the amendment became a law, the 
stockholders of the road rejected it, considering it impractical and its 
conditions (as to rates, taxation, routes, etc.) onerous. Meantime, the 
legislature of Pennsylvania, possibly influenced by the plans of the 
Pennsylvania Railroad which was begun a year later, failed to pass a law 
authorizing the construction of the road by a route through western 

During the summer and fall of 1845 the struggle between Parkers- 
burg and Wheeling was renewed on the home grounds. A convention 

a At one time the directors of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad company being 
interested in the proposed Pittsburgh and Connellsville railway were inclined to 
abandon the Wheeling route in favor of the route to Pittsburgh, and authorized 
a loan of $3,000,000 to build a connecting line to Connellsville. 


of those counties favorable to the terminus of the road at Wheeling 
was held at Fairmont. Resolutions were adopted in favor of the law of 
the preceding legislature. On November 23, 1845, at an internal im- 
provement convention held at Clarksburg resolutions were adopted in 
favor of a liberal charter for the railway. Discussion in the newspapers 
both in eastern and western Virginia was very full and often very 
amusing. Lengthy arguments were made concerning the question 
whether the shortest distance from Baltimore to Cincinnati could be 
found through Parkersburg or through Wheeling. A dispute arose as 
to which place was the head of navigation. It was a matter of great 
importance whether up-river boats could reach the river terminal of 
the road all the year to deliver their cargoes. 

The real objections of Tidewater Virginia to the enterprise, irre- 
spective of the question of western terminus, were voiced by the Rich- 
mond Enquirer, which, after asserting that the road would result in no 
economic benefit to western Virginia equivalent to the extra tolls which 
it would charge on commodities produced along the route, exposed the 
reason for its solicitude by solemnly warning the people that a railroad 
through that region would divert trade from Richmond to a rival city 
in a neighboring state. Another objection from a neighboring region 
was expressed by the Lynchburg Virginian which urged that a railroad 
in northwest Virginia would injure the projected James River and 
Kanawha system of improvements which the state proposed to con- 
nect by a canal across the Alleghenies. From this standpoint the com- 
pletion of the railway to Parkersburg was much more dangerous than 
the completion of the proposed line to Wheeling, which passed through 
a peripheral region whose trade the tidewater section could no longer 
hope to control. To those who desired to push the Baltimore and Ohio 
as far out of the state as possible, the Wheeling terminus seemed the 
least objectionable. 

In spite of a flood of petitions requesting the authorization of a rail- 
way from the East via Clarksburg to Parkersburg, the Virginia leg- 
islature in December, 1845, failed to enact the Potomac and Ohio Rail- 
way bill and at the same time granted the Baltimore and Ohio three 
years to begin its line to Wheeling and fifteen years to finish it. 

The fight for a railway to Parkersburg was renewed with increased 
vigor. At Weston, in the summer, a general convention was attended 
by 1,400 delegates selected from various counties of the Parkersburg 
district. It especially expressed strong feeling against the unjust dis- 
crimination of the Southeast against the prosperity of the Northwest 
whose representation under the existing constitution was too low. 

To counteract the effects of any railroad which Parkersburg was 
almost certain to secure by determined efforts, and to save the traffic 
of this section to eastern Virginia markets, Tidewater interests planned 
a road from Lynchburg via the Valley of Virginia and down New river 
to steamboat navigation on the Kanawha and later proposed to complete 
it to Guyandotte on the Ohio. Similar interests also projected an all- 
Virginia road from Alexandria via Moorefield and Weston to Parkers- 

Finally, in March, 1847, possibly influenced in part by the Pennsyl- 
vania grant of the Connellsville railroad charter, the Virginia legislature 
became more friendly to the railway and granted an act authorizing the 
extension of the road through Virginia on restrictive terms acceptable 
to the company. This act providing for the beginning of construction 
within three years and completion within twelve and designated a route 
via Three Forks and the mouth of Tygart's Valley, 4 and thence to the 
Ohio by either Grave or Fishing creek and along the Ohio to Wheeling. 
It also required all parts of the road between the Monongahela and the 
western terminus at Wheeling to be opened simultaneously for the trans- 

* This route was practically determined by the foresight of Thomas Haymond, 
representative from Marion county. 


portation of freights and passengers. It also annulled the stock sub- 
scriptions made by Virginia in 1837 and 1838 and made provisions as 
to connections, erection of depots, taxation and other regulations. At 
the same time Wheeling was given authority to subscribe $1,000,000. 
In 1848 the large cost of the construction of the remaining two hun- 
dred miles of extension to Wheeling through the roughest region yet 
traversed by an internal improvement in America was partly made 
possible by funds and prestige secured from the sale of $1,000,000 of 
unsalable state bonds to Baring Brothers with whom they had previously 
been deposited as security for railway supplies. In 1848, also, the man- 
agement of the road adopted the policy of applying net revenue as 
capital and of issuing stock dividends instead of money. It issued 
bonds for rails bought in London. The peculiarly difficult conditions 
were met by the ingenuity of Chief Engineer B. H. Latrobe and his 
assistants, and by the motive power supplied by the resourceful mind 
of Ross Winans the indefatigable inventor and locomotive builder. In 
the summer and fall of 1848, Engineer Latrobe induced by the difficulties 
of a suitable route over the mountains and across the valleys of the 

Ruins of Colonnade Bridge (B. & O. R. R.) 

Cheat river and Tygart's Valley river regions, secured the services of 
two other expert engineers. After careful surveys, he reported the selec- 
tion of a route on which construction was practicable. The estimated 
cost of the road was $6,278,000. 

Although some of the directors proposed to complete the road only 
to Fairmont, President Swann urged active measures to push it through 
to Wheeling as originally planned. The construction of the four years 
which followed (1849-52), through the mountains, over ravines and 
rivers, through tunnels drilled in the rocky mountain side, up steep 
ascents and around perilous curves, was achieved without adequate funds 
to execute the matured plans and in the face of other obstacles. Between 
Cumberland and Wheeling eleven tunnels were bored and 113 bridges 
were constructed. The bridge across the Monongahela, 650 feet in length, 
was then the largest iron bridge in America. 

While the forty-niners were rushing to California, the railway was 
advancing to Wheeling. 

In spite of engineering obstacles between Cumberland and Wheel- 
ing the road was carried rapidly forward. The Wheeling end was 
built as a separate section. The first engine on that part of the road was 
brought to Wheeling via Pittsburgh. 

In 1850 controversy and dissension arose in connection with the de- 
cision of the directors of the road to follow the Fish creek route to the 
ravine of the Ohio. At one time an attempt to stop the progress of 
the road in the state was made by the citizens of Wheeling who con- 


tended for the Grave creek route to the Ohio. By law of March 31, 
18.50, the dispute was submitted to a board of engineers which made a 
decision adverse to the company. Bitter controversy was averted by 
the stockholders of the road who submitted to the desires of the people 
of Wheeling. At the same time Wheeling agreed to pay the road $50,000 
for release from an agreement of 18-47 to furnish right of way through 
the city streets and a depot on two acres of ground north of Wheeling 

In spite of the previous scarcity of labor, the operations in 1850 
were conducted by 3,500 laborers and 700 horses. Employment was 
given to the native inhabitants who sought work along the route, and 
the increased demand for food benefitted the people for miles around. 
New towns began to rise around the route — especially near the location 
of tunnels and bridges. The completion of the section from Cumber- 
land to Piedmont was celebrated in 1851 with a formidable excursion 
from Baltimore. At the same time Engineer Eatrobe promised that 
trains would run into Wheeling by January 1, 1853. 

Then followed a series of triumphs over the difficulties in the moun- 
tains. The road was pushed from Piedmont westward across Preston 
county, parallel to the extensively traveled route whose immense throng 
was soon to be diverted to newer routes of more rapid travel. After 
passing over deep gorges on high trestle work, and over turbulent 
streams by heavy masonry work, at Tunnelton it passed through the 
longest railroad tunnel which had yet been constructed in the world and 
continued westward toward Fairmont creating new towns (Rowlesburg, 
Newburg, etc.) in a region which was still sparsely settled and bringing 
the pioneer prospectors who prepared the way for the later era of great 
industrial development based on coal and timber. In order to hasten 
the work westward beyond the site of the Kingwood tunnel which was 
not yet opened, one of the most remarkable achievements, performed in 
older to get the road into Wheeling on schedule time, was conveyance 
of materials over the top of the mountain on a temporary track which 
had a grade of 530 feet per mile. To this point cargoes of supplies, 
which for part of the year reached Morgantown from Pittsburgh by 
steamboats, were transported by wagons from the head of the Mononga- 
hela navigation. By the same route, or across the country from the 
National road, also came bands of Irish laborers inquiring their way 
to the "big toonel." 

Just above the site of Tunnelton, on Tunnel Hill on the pike in the 
direction of Fellowsville, a hamlet known as Greigsville, sprang into 
existence, grew to a busy town resembling the frontier terminal sta- 
tions of the later transcontinental Union-Pacific, and melted away with 
the cessation of the construction of railroad and tunnel. It was the 
scene of the termination of the "Irish War" of the combined factions 
of Connaughters and Corkers (about 500) against the Fardowners who, 
after being driven eastward from the scene of the construction camp 
at Fairmont and partially dispersed at Newburg, were finally relieved 
from further disturbance at Tunnel Hill by the prompt action of acting 
sheriff, Col. J. A. F. Martin, who, with a force of 130 men, dispersed 
the invading force and arrested several leaders. Many of the Irish 
laborers, although in some instances they engaged in disturbing fac- 
tional fights during the construction of the road, became permanent 
residents and contributed a useful element to the citizenship of the 

The new village of Tunnelton, the neighboring successor to the con- 
struction town of Greigsville, was located on the Baltimore and Ohio 
ten miles south of Kingwood at the head of Pringle's run at a spot 
on which the primeval forests were first broken in the summer of 184!) 
by the Baltimore and Ohio surveyors, who announced to the neighbor- 
ing farmer-pioneers the invasion of steam transportation to the Ohio. 

It was built on land acquired by Hon. James C. McGrew who, per- 
ceiving the advantageous position, erected the first house and the first 

Vol. 1—13 


store which furnished the nucleus for the future town. It was largely 
supported at first by timber and lumber industry, to which was added 
a large tannery in 1858. Later Mr. McGrew, after opening mines and 
constructing tramways and other structures, began to mine and ship 
coal to supply the increasing demand in eastern cities ; but he was 
forced to abandon his enterprise by a discrimination in freight rates 
in favor of other mines farther west in which railroad officials were 
interested. The first postoffice immediately followed the opening of 
the railroad. 

New industrial life began at many points and stimulated new en- 
terprises. The stave industry was begun at Independence in 1853. 
The first circular saw mill which entered the county began operations 
two miles south of Tunnelton in 1854. Another began work at New- 
burg in 1865 and a third at Austen in 1867 and three years later they 
were at work in other sections of the county. By 1852 Cranberry Sum- 
mit and Rowlesburg had also become centers of considerable lumber 
and timber business, and coal mines were extensively operated at New- 
burg and Austen. Coal mines were opened at Newburg in 1855 and 
at Austen eleven years later. The Orrel Coal Company which operated 
the Newburg mines after 1856 also acquired timber lands. The revival 
of interest in the iron industry is shown by the construction of the 
Virginia Furnace on Muddy creek in 1853 by Harrison Hagans who 
shipped his product by rail to Cranberry Summit, and by the later 
enterprise of George Hardman near Independence (Irondale) in 1859 
and at Gladesville in 1869. The demand for better highways was also 
increased. The West Union and Morgantown turnpike was opened in 
1854. Brandonville was connected with the railroad in 1857-58 by a 
turnpike terminating at Cranberry Summit. 

The rapid development of the region along the new railroad resulted 
in an unsuccessful attempt to remove the county seat from Kingwood 
to the east side of Cheat at the suspension bridge. Kingwood increased 
its hold on the county seat in 1857 by erecting a fire brick court house 
to replace the small stone structure. This hold was strengthened a year 
later by the establishment of Kingwood 's first newspaper although in 
1869, when the court house was burned by an incendiary, the question 
of removal to Cranberry Summit (later Portland and now Terra Alta) 
was agitated. 

With the gradual development of the eastern part of the county 
there was a revival of the old boundary dispute with Maryland which 
persisted until it was finally settled by the decision of the United States 
Supreme Court in 1910 and the survey which followed. 

In November, 1852, as the Baltimore and Ohio was pushing westward 
through southern Preston and via Fairmont to the Ohio at Wheeling, 
enterprising citizens of Preston and Monongalia counties desiring to 
develop the great mineral wealth of the region secured from the legis- 
lature the incorporation of a company to build a branch railroad by 
1857, from the mouth of Cheat via Morgantown, to intersect the Balti- 
more and Ohio at Independence. 5 Although the enterprise failed through 
lack of general interest and financial means, its inception was prophetic 
of the great industrial development of the region half a century later. 

West of the southern part of Preston was a region, retarded in de- 
velopment, organized as Taylor county in 1844 — following the new 

5 Monongalia county, regretting the earlier opposition which had been a factor 
in diverting the route of the road to Fairmont, made new efforts to escape from her 
comparative isolation. Enterprising citizens also urged another road — ' ' The Monon- 
gahela and Ravenswood Railroad ' ' — which the legislature incorporated in 1854 to 
connect Morgantown with the Ohio, but which never got beyond the paper stage of 
projection. This road was really conceived as a link connecting the Pennsylvania 
lines with the Ohio at a terminal point which, situated below Parkersburg, was 
believed to possess advantages over either Wheeling or Parkersburg as a satisfactory 
head of navigation, and which therefore would give an advantage in securing control 
of the trade of the Ohio valley. At the same time efforts were renewed to secure 
better facilities for river transportation on the Monongahela. 


stimulus to greater development resulting from the opening of the 
Northwestern turnpike. Its first village of any importance was Wil- 
liamsport, or Pruntytown, situated near the ferry across Tygart's river, 
whose growth was influenced first by Rector College, which reported 
110 students in 1840, and later by its selection as the county seat. In 
1845 it had grown to a town of thirty dwellings, three stores and two 
churches. Wonderful changes in the industrial and social life of the 
country followed the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. 
Shipments of cattle and other sources of wealth were made with larger 
profits. Timber resources were utilized, agricultural interests were 
improved, coal mines and other mineral deposits were opened, manufac- 
turing and commercial interests flourished and thriving business cen- 
ters were created. Fetterman, bright with prospects of rapid growth, 
became a way station only through enthusiastic over-confidence of its 
citizens which induced them to elevate the price of land beyond that 
which the railroad promoters proposed to pay. 

Grafton, founded in the woods at Three Forks — its first house con- 
structed by Mr. McGraw, one of the many "railroad Irish," whose de- 
scendants have become prominent and useful in the affairs of the state — 
grasped the opportunity which Fetterman failed to seize, obtained the 
location of railroad shops and buildings, became the division stop for 
the change of engines and crews, and later flourished as the terminus 
of the Parkersburg branch known as the Northwestern Virginia rail- 
road. Largely the creation of the Baltimore and Ohio, the new town 
also later received a new stimulus to growth by securing the location 
of the court house which in 1878 was finally removed to Pruntytown. 
Its railroad facilities attracted capital to the town, gave it excellent 
manufacturing plants and made it quite a mercantile center. Before 
the extension of branches of the Baltimore and Ohio it w T as the market 
for all the timber from Buckhannon and Valley rivers — which was floated 
down and caught in the boom above the town, but later the timber 
was sawed nearer its source and the lumber shipped by railroad. 

West of Grafton construction was continued down Tygart's valley 
to its mouth, thence following the opposite side of the Monongahela 
to Fairmont to which the road was opened on January 22, 1852. Here 
a decided increase in the population of the county had begun in 1849 
through the immigration which followed closely on the heels of the sur- 
veying engineers of the Baltimore and Ohio. Some of the immigrants 
were Irish, fresh from the bogs of Connaught and the lakes of Kil- 
larney, who carried with them all their local feuds and prejudices 
which induced them to transfer their sectional fighting from the old sod 
to the land of greater freedom and opportunity. In a locally famous 
riot, in which the Connaughters, who were employed at Benton's Ferry, 
attacked the Fardowners at Ice's mill and pursued them to Fairmont 
in an exciting chase punctuated by occasional gun-shots and hideous 
yells, the law abiding citizens of Fairmont proved themselves equal to 
the occasion by arresting all accessible assailants, eighty-eight of whom 
they placed in jail where they had an opportunity to study their first 
lessons in Americanization. 

The approaching railroad encouraged other activities which fur- 
nished other incentives to industry and progress. These included the 
construction of three turnpikes, each begun in 1849 — one to Weston, 
another to Beverly and another to Fishing creek. In February, 1850, 
the people were excited with delight by the first arrival of a steamboat — 
the Globe — resulting in the subsequent arrival of others which began 
to make regular trips in high water during 1852, and also producing 
local efforts to secure permanent navigation through organization of 
the Monongahela Navigation Companj' 6 and attempts to interest cap- 

is A company was chartered by Virginia in 1847 to slack the Monongahela from 
the state line to Fairmont. In 1851 it became active in its efforts to obtain sub- 
scriptions but failed. Its charter was extended by Virginia in 1853 and the Board 
of Public Works was authorized to subscribe to its stock as soon as the Pennsylvania 


italists — efforts which failed largely through lack of sufficient encour- 
agement from the people of the county. A suspension bridge across 
the river to Palatine was completed in April, 1852. In 1853 a state 
stock bank was organized. 

Rafting on the Monongahela to Pittsburgh and lower points, which 
began as early as 1840, continued until about 1890. A few years after 
the completion of the Baltimore and Ohio in 1852, much lumber cut by 
portable mills was shipped to Fairmont, Farmington and Mannington. 

Westward from Fairmont the railway followed Buffalo creek and 
at the junction of Pyles creek furnished the stimulus for the creation 
of another town from a cluster of houses which as early as 1845 had 
been known as Koontown, in honor of Samuel Koon, who built a tavern 
and a store there. In 1852 the place was renamed Mannington, for 
James Mannings, a civil engineer of the new railroad, and -in 1856 it 
was incorporated by the assembly. From 1853 it had a tannery and 
a good trade in timber products and farm products. 

Northwestward from Mannington, the route 7 continued up Pyles 
Fork, thence across the divide between Glovers Gap and Burton to 
the upper waters of Fish creek (via Hundred and Littleton and Board 
Tree Tunnel) and finally across another divide to another stream which 
it followed from near Cameron to Moundsville. On the site upon which 
David McConaughey settled in 1846, Cameron began to grow and, by an 
increasing trade from Wetzel, Greene and Marshall counties, soon be- 
came one of the best business points between Grafton and Wheeling. 

At Roseby's Rock, the last rail was laid and the last spike driven 
on December 24, 1852. The first train from the East rolled into Wheel- 
ing on January 1, 1853, and the road was opened to the public on Jan- 
uary 10. 

Extensive preparations were made for a grand celebration at Wheel- 
ing on January 10-12. Over 400 persons, including the legislators and 
executives of both Virginia and Maryland, left Baltimore on two trains 
on January 10 and arrived at Wheeling about midnight on January 11, 
after a ride behind snorting locomotives and an exciting ride on the 
frail and temporary switch back railroad over the steep summit above 
awe-inspiring gorges at Board Tree Tunnel which was not yet com- 
pleted. The triumphal march, banquet and oratory which the citizens 
of Wheeling had planned for their guests was postponed until the 
following day. At six o'clock on the following evening nearly one thou- 
sand persons sat at the banquet in Washington Hall. 

In the control of river traffic, by diverting it from Pittsburg to 
connect with the railway at Wheeling, the company, in 1852, chartered 
a line of boats to run regularly between Wheeling, Cincinnati and Louis- 
ville. Soon after the opening of the road the following advertisement 
appeared in the newspaper: 

"The tunnels across the mountains are now completed. Connection 

company completed slack-water navigation to the state line. Morgantown in March, 
1853, became especially active in soliciting aid and appointed a committee to 
institute suit .against the Pennsylvania company to comnel it to complete its work 
or forfeit its charter, but the suit was never brought. The charter of the Virginia 
company was revived in 1858, extending until 1868. the time for completing the work 
of slacking the river to Fairmont, and again in 1860, authorizing the extension of 
the work to Clarksburg. At. that time the Pennsylvania Navigation Company had 
completed dams (1S44) making the lower Monongahela navigable from Pittsburgh 
to Brownsville and by 1S56 to New Geneva, but assurances of aid from the Pennsyl- 
vania company came to naught, and civil war postponed the subject until the in- 
corporation of the Marion and Monongahela Navigation Company in 180H, and the 
amendment of its charter in February, 1867, so as to allow it to collect tolls on 
lumber and their freight as soon as one lock and dam should be completed. The 
project was fruitless as its predecessors and nothing was accomplished until Congress 
began a policy of appropriations in 1872. 

'< When the Baltimore and Ohio was completed to Grafton, the company con- 
templated a route westward from a point near Mannington via Fishing creek to the 
Ohio and Mr. Hunter who was attorney for the railroad presented a request for a 
right of way through Tyler county (which then included Wetzel) but the plan was 
defeated by the vote of John W. Horner of Middlebourne who was influenced by 
arguments that the trains would scare the game out of the country. 


with a fine Line of steamers from Cincinnati at Wheeling. Leave Wheel 
ing daily at 9 a. m. and arrive at Cumberland ('J01 miles) at 7 p. m., 
and allowing two hours there, arrive at Baltimore (380 miles) at 5 a. m. 
Passengers allowed ample time and opportunity at all points to get their 
meals. Tickets from Wheeling to Baltimore, $8.50." 

For a while after the completion of the railway along Lake 
Erie, from which a good connection was established with Cincinnati, 
there was a reversal of the current of travel by which the routes to 
the East via Wheeling and Pittsburg were practically abandoned, but 
these temporary conditions were changed by later events resulting in a 
return of steady traffic. 

Rejoicing over new advantages by which she might he able to main- 
tain her claim in a contest against Pittsburg for the hegemony, of the 
Ohio, Wheeling soon confronted a new cause for grievance in a pro- 
posed connection contemplated by the Baltimore and Ohio with the 
Ohio Central railway four miles below the city at what is now Benwood 
Junction — a project which induced the people of the city to tear up the 
tracks of the railway and stimulated the city to secure an injunction 
against the railway company, which, after a long fight, was finally dis- 
solved by the Court of Appeals of Virginia in August, 1855. Having sub- 
scribed to the Baltimore and Ohio to get its western terminus, Wheeling 
objected to any change of plans, or to the repeal of any charter restric- 
tions, which would leave her on a mere branch of the road. She was 
also anxious to prevent diversion through travel from Wheeling to the 
Parkersburg branch, known as the Northwestern; With the hope of se- 
curing better communications, she gave hearty support to the Hempfield 
railway enterprise which was organized by Pennsylvania interests in 
1850, incorporated by the Virginia legislature in 1851, begun at Wheel- 
ing in 1855 and completed to Washington, Pennsylvania, by 1857. At 
the same time she strenuously opposed the Pittsburg and Steubenville 
railway, 8 which was chartered by the Pennsylvania interests in 1849 
(as a link in a proposed extension to Columbus), begun at Pittsburg 
in 1852, and thereafter long delayed, first by failure to get permission 
of Virginia to cross the narrow strip of panhandle, and later by the 
objection of the restored government of Virginia to the construction 
of the Steubenville bridge. In May, 1868, a through line from Pitts- 
burg to Columbus, under one management, was finally secured by the 
consolidation of the Panhandle Ry. Co. of Pennsylvania, the Holliday's 
Cove Rv. Co. of West Virginia, and the Steubenville and Indiana Ry. 
Co. of Ohio. 

Grafton-Parkersburg Branch 

Undaunted by previous failures, Parkersburg, with the support of a 
large tributary region, continued the fight for a railway. Meantime, al- 
ways doubtful of the wisdom of establishing the terminus of the road at 
Wheeling, and still regarding it as an unsatisfactory terminus, the di- 
rectors of the company felt the necessity of a river terminus at a lower 
point in order to get an advantage in securing the traffic of the West. To 
this end the Northwestern Virginia railroad was projected (and char- 
tered) in 1851 from the main line at Three Forks (Grafton) to the Ohio 
at Parkersburg. 9 Although regarded as a domestic corporation, which 

s This opposition, sustained by the Virginia legislature, caused considerable ill 
feeling in Brooke and Hancock counties. As late as 1856 the Washington (Pa.) 
Examiner still referred to the contemplated secession of the upper counties of the 
panhandle from Virginia and annexation to Pennsylvania which would thus secure 
the logical western boundary on the Ohio. 

9 The Northwestern Virginia was hardly under construction before a movement 
was started in Philadelphia to save the trade of the Ohio valley to that city. The 
Hillsborough and Cincinnati road, with which the Baltimore and Ohio expected to 
connect at Parkersburg, became involved in financial difficulties and was absorbed by 
the Marietta and Cincinnati, which preferred Philadelphia to Baltimore as an outlet 
for its traffic. By 1854, when the Pennsylvania railway was completed to Pitts 


should receive more friendly support than a foreign corporation, it was 
really constructed under the direction of the Baltimore and Ohio rail- 
way through B. H. Latrobe, who was chosen chief engineer of the new 

Although over 3,000 shares of the stock of the new company were 
held in Parkersburg and along the road to its intersection with the 
Baltimore and Ohio, one can see back of the project the interests of 
Baltimore and especially of the Baltimore and Ohio company pushing 
it to the fullest extent and furnishing the support that made the con- 
struction of the line possible. To relieve the embarrassing financial 
difficulties encountered near its completion, the directors of the North- 
western obtained from the Baltimore and Ohio a loan of $210,000 of 
its bonds and gave a mortgage on the uncompleted road to secure pay- 
ment. The road, after its completion (on May 1, 1857), passed to the 
management of the Baltimore and Ohio. Although it had twenty-three 
tunnels it was one of the best constructed railroads in the country at 
the time. Along its entire route, especially at Grafton, Clarksburg and 
Parkersburg it opened the way for a new era of larger opportunity 
and development. Even at points which did not feel its immediate 
touch it stimulated efforts to secure better communication lu as a basis 
for new enterprise and industry. 

The opening of the road, on June 1, 1857, was simultaneous with the 
opening of the Marietta and Cincinnati railroad (chartered 1847) and 
of the Ohio and Mississippi (chartered 1848 and constructed as a six- 
foot gauge) from Cincinnati to St. Louis. These openings, completing 
a through route from New York to St. Louis, were enthusiastically ob- 
served by the "great railway celebration" of 1857, beginning with a 
triumphal progress from Baltimore to St. Louis, punctuated by many 
stops and delays and enlivened by the long winded speeches of aspiring- 
orators bursting with burning rhetoric which nothing but the shrill 
shrieks of the starting whistles of the locomotive could control. After 
a program of feasting and fireworks at St. Louis and on the return trip, 
the celebration closed with a military banquet at Baltimore. 

The people of Parkersburg, who had made such a long, hard fight 
to secure a road and therefore felt that they were entitled to recog- 
nition, were much disappointed that their town had not been selected 
as a place for the part of the celebration which was held in Cincinnati. 
Their dissatisfaction became increasingly serious by the report that the 
Baltimore and Ohio, which had leased the Northwestern at its com- 
pletion, was diverting Northwestern traffic to the Wheeling route in 
order to force a failure of the new road so that its stock could be pur- 
chased for a trifle. Their complaints gradually died away coincident 
with the stimulating oil development at Burning Springs and the new 
excitement which precipitated the civil war. 

The completion of the Baltimore and Ohio railway, the horseless 
rival of the great Northwestern turnpike, which had scorned the possi- 
bility of competition, greatly facilitated travel between the Ohio Val- 
ley u and the Atlantic coast. Although there were no conveniences, 

burgh, a road to connect with it was already projected from Greenburg to Wheeling. 
In 1854 the legislature of Virginia chartered the Morgantown and Kavenswood rail- 
way which was proposed as a link to connect with another road reaching the main 
line of the Pennsylvania west of Philadelphia. It was thought that this road, striking 
the Ohio south of Parkersburg, would have a great advantage in getting the trade 
of the Ohio valley. Most of the money for the proposed enterprise was promised 
by Philadelphia capitalists. Meetings were held along the proposed route to arrange 
for stock subscriptions. Like so many enterprises of its kind, however, it remained 
on the list of roads constructed only on paper. 

io A projected railway from Williamson to intersect with the Baltimore and 
Ohio at Ellenboro, thirty-seven miles east of Parkersburg, was chartered by Virginia 
but construction failed from lack of capital. 

n The Baltimore and Ohio company no longer looked to the Ohio river for all 
its traffic. Pour years before the Northwestern Virginia was completed a meeting 
of the engineers of this company and those of the Hillsborough and Cincinnati was 
held in Parkersburg to discuss plans for a bridge across the Ohio. After considering 


such as the sleeping car, the buffet and the chair car, the people were 
happy with the new mode of travel, which made a trip East a sort of 
holiday long to be remembered by those who made it for the first time. 

Although for many years at least the road was not a financial suc- 
cess, if measured by its dividends to stockholders, it was an incalculable 
success, if measured by the salutary effect on the country through which 
it passed and upon the city of Baltimore, which gave it birth. It car- 
ried from western Virginia and Maryland great quantities of raw ma- 
terial which were converted into manufactured articles which were 
shipped back for use in reducing the forests and spreading civilization 
along the route of the great highway. It benefited even the lower reaches 
of the Ohio by the improvement of transportation facilities by which 
Baltimore became a good market for Cincinnati and Louisville. Nor 
were its benefits economic alone. The parts of country which it touched 
bound together into a closer social and political union than had before 
been realized. It was a large factor in determining the political destiny 
of West Virginia, the military strategy of the civil war, and the con- 
tinued integrity of the American Union. 

four sites — Parkersburg, Blenneihassett 's Island, Little Hoc-khocking, and Walker's 
brick house — the companies decided that the enterprise was too large to undertake 
at that time. When the road to Parkersburg was finished in 1857 connection with 
the Ohio road was made by boat to Marietta. Wheeling objected to the construction 
of a bridge at Parkersburg on the ground that it would obstruct navigation. 


The Baltimore and Ohio railway, which at its inception was largely 
influenced by rivalry between eastern cities in its period of construc- 
tion west of Cumberland and at its completion to the Ohio, had an im- 
portant relation to an increasing rivalry between Virginia and Penn- 
sylvania and especially between Wheeling and Pittsburg, each of 
which claimed headship on the Ohio. 

The Wheeling Bridge case, in the Supreme Court ill 1849-52 and 
1854-56, is as interesting through its relations to the industrial history 
of the period as it is from the standpoint of constitutional questions 
involved. Its study introduces us to the earlier rivalries of coast cities 
to secure the trade of the West, the systems of internal improvements 
planned to reach the Ohio, the development of trade and navigation and 
the extension of improvements and regulations by Congress on the 
Ohio, and the rivalries of Pittsburg and Wheeling to obtain the hegemony 
by lines of trade and travel converging and concentrating at their 

Pennsylvania was early interested in plans of internal improvements 
to connect Philadelphia with Pittsburg and the free navigation of the 
Ohio. Occupying a central position, resting eastward on the Atlantic, 
north on the Lakes, and flanking on the Ohio which connected her with 
the Gidf and the vast regions of West and South, she had advantages 
over other states for both foreign and domestic commerce. These ad- 
vantages she cultivated from the earliest period. In 18*26, influenced 
by the improved conditions of steam navigation on the western waters, 
by the effects of the Cumberland road in diverting to Wheeling much 
of the westward travel which had formerly passed down the Monon- 
gahela to the Ohio at Pittsburg, and by the success of the Erie canal 
which also diverted travel and trade from Pittsburg, she began a sys- 
tem of canals to connect the Atlantic and the Lakes with the Ohio, 
which had begun to bring to her western gates the commerce from the 
Gulf and the Mississippi — and at great expense and sacrifice she forced 
her way westward, from the end of the horse railway at Columbia, 
up the Juniata to Hollidaysburg. Then, in 1835, by an inclined plane 
portage railway, for thirty-eight miles across the Appalachians, at the 
base of which other enterprises halted, she connected with the western 
canal from Johnstown to Pittsburg. Over this route she transported 
both passengers and goods — carrying to eastern markets the rice, cotton 
and sugar of the South, the bacon and flour of the West, and the furs 
and minerals of the Northwest. In 1844 her connections with the Ohio 
were improved by a packet line established between Pittsburg and Cin- 
cinnati. By 1850, these improvements, together with her interest in 
a slack water navigation from Pittsburg to Brownsville and up the 
Youghiogheny to West Newton, and the importance of the ship-building 
industry at Pittsburg, made her watchful of the problems of naviga- 
tion on the Ohio. At the solicitation of her legislature, and to meet the 
needs of growing commerce, Congress, beginning its policy of improve- 
ment of Ohio navigation in 1824, had appropriated large sums by 1850 
to remove obstructions in the river. 

In the meantime Wheeling, whose growing importance had received its 
first stimulus from the completion of the Cumberland road to the Ohio in 
1818, threatened to rival Pittsburg in prosperity, wealth and greatness, 



.iii.l in become the head of navigation on the Ohio, as well as the western 
terminal of the firs! railway to reach the western waters from the East, 
and a center of other converging lines from both East and West. After 
persevering efforts of nearly a quarter century she scored her greatest 
victory by securing the route of the Baltimore and Ohio Railway, whose 
charter of 1827 had prohibited the termination of the road at any point 
on the Ohio below the Little Kanawha and whose engineers on recon- 
naissance and surveys in 1828 had considered several routes terminat- 
ing on the Ohio between Parkersburg and Pittsburg. Goincidently, 
after the unsuccessful efforts of over half a century, she secured the first 
bridge across the Ohio — a structure which she regarded as a logical 
link and incidental part of the national road, and a fulfilment of the 
provisions of the act of 1802, by which Ohio had been admitted as a 
state, but which Pittsburg regarded as an injury to navigation — ob- 
structing it much more effectively than Congress had been able to 
improve it by her recent expenditures of public money. 

The story of the efforts to obtain the bridge is a long one, reflecting 
the industrial progress and energy of the West and the evolution of 
national policies, and punctuated with the spice and pepper of rival 
memorials and resolutions. In 1816, during the construction of the 
national road from Cumberland to the Ohio, the legislatures of Vir- 
ginia and Ohio incorporated the Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Com- 
pany and authorized it to erect a bridge which, however, was to be 
treated as a public nuisance liable to abatement if not constructed so 
as to avoid injury to navigation. Unable to raise funds necessary for 
the work, the company, in 1830, asked for a national subscription to 
the bridge, and its request received a favorable committee report in 
the House. Two years later citizens of Pennsylvania submitted to the 
House a memorial against the erection of the bridge. 

Under the old charter of 1816, the company in 1836 built a wooden 
bridge from the west end of Zane's Island to the Ohio shore, leaving the 
stream east of the island free to navigation. At the same time petitions 
to Congress, hacked by resolutions of the Ohio legislature, urged the 
construction of the bridge over both branches of the stream in order to 
facilitate trade and travel and to prevent inconvenience and delay in 
transporting the mails by the ferry, which was frequently obstructed 
by ice and driftwood, and especially so in the great floods of 1832. 
A congi-essional committee on roads and canals made a favorable report 
recommending the completion of the Cumberland road by the erection 
of the bridge, but the objection was made that the bridge might prove 
an obstruction to the high chimneys of the steamboats whose con- 
venience Congress did not think should yield to the benefits of the 
bridge. In 1838, government engineers, after a survey made under the 
direction of the war department, presented to Congress a plan for a 
suspension bridge with a movable floor which they claimed would offer 
no obstruction to the highest steamboat smoke-stacks on the highest 
floods, but the plan was rejected. In 1810, the postmaster-general 
recommended the construction of the bridge in order to provide for 
safe and prompt carriage of the mails which had been detained by ice 
from seventeen to thirty-two days each year; but his recommendation 
was buried in the archives. 

Early in 1844, Pennsylvania, awakened by the fear of plans to make 
Wheeling the head of navigation, became more active in her opposition 
to what seemed an imminent danger to her interests and the interests 
of Pittsburg. By action of her legislature she opposed the request of 
W T heeling and the Ohio legislature for national appropriations to con- 
struct the bridge, and soon took new steps to secure the construction of 
a railroad from Harrisburg to Pittsburg. Nevertheless, the House 
committee on roads and canals, deciding that the bridge could be con- 
structed without obstructing navigation, reported a bill making an ap- 
pi-opriation and submitting a plan of Mr. Ellet for a simple span across 
the river at an elevation of ninety feet above low water; but those who 


spoke for Pennsylvania urged the specific objection that ninety feet 
would not admit the passage of steamboats with tall chimneys, and de- 
feated the bill. In vain did Mr. Steenrod, the member from Wheeling, 
propose hinged smoke stacks for the few tall chimneyed boats, and press 
every possible argument in favor of the bridge. Opposition increased 
after 1845 with the increase in the size of the Pittsburg steamboat smoke- 
stacks — an improvement by which speed power was increased through 
increased consumption of fuel. 

Baffled in her project to secure the sanction and aid of Congress 
for a bridge which Pennsylvania regarded as a plan to divert commerce 
from Pittsburg by making "Wheeling the head of navigation, Wheeling 
next resorted to the legislature of Virginia in which the remonstrating 
voice of Pennsylvania could not be heard. On March 19, 1847, the 
Bridge Company obtained from the legislature a charter reviving the 
earlier one of 1816 and authorizing the erection of a wire suspension 
bridge — but also providing that the structure might be treated as a 
common nuisance, subject to abatement, in case it should obstruct the 
navigation of the Ohio "in the usual manner" by steamboats and other 
crafts which were accustomed to navigate it. Under this charter the 
company took early steps to erect the bridge. At the same time, and 
coincident with the beginning of construction on the Harrisburg and 
Pittsburg railway at Harrisburg, under its charter granted by the Penn- 
sylvania legislature on April 13, 1846, Wheeling managed to secure 
a promise of the western terminal of the Baltimore and Ohio railway — 
which, after a long halt at Cumberland, received a new charter from the 
Virginia legislature and prepared to push construction to the Ohio ahead 
of the Pennsylvania line. 

The possible strategic and economic effects of the Baltimore and Ohio 
terminal at Wheeling increased the activity of Pittsburg against the 
bridge, which the engineer of the Pennsylvania and Ohio railway openly 
declared was designed as a connecting link between the Baltimore 
and Ohio and the state of Ohio — by which Wheeling was also endeavor- 
ing to make herself the terminal of the Ohio railways which Pittsburg 
sought to secure. 

A determined struggle followed. Before its cables were thrown across 
the river, the Bridge company received legal notice of the institution 
of a suit and an application for an injunction. The bill of Pennsyl- 
vania, filed before the United States supreme court in July, 1849, charged 
that the Bridge company, under color of an act of the Virginia legis- 
lature, but in direct violation of its terms, was preparing to construct 
a bridge at Wheeling which would obstruct navigation on the Ohio and 
thereby cut off and divert trade and business from the public works 
of Pennsylvania, and thus diminish tolls and revenues and render its 
improvements useless. In spite of the order of Judge Orier (August 1, 
1849), the Bridge company continued its work, and in August, 1849, 
Pennsylvania filed a supplemental bill praying for abatement of the 
iron cables which were being stretched across the river. The Bridge 
company continued to work and completed the bridge. The state treas- 
urer of Pennsylvania reported that it threatened to interfere with the 
business and enterprise of Pittsburg whose commercial prosperity was 
so essential to the productiveness of the main line of the Pennsylvania 
canal. In December, 1849, Pennsylvania filed another supplemental 
bill praying abatement of the bridge as a nuisance, representing that 
the structure obstructed the passage of steamboats and threatened to 
injure and destroy the shipbuilding business at Pittsburg. With no 
appeal to force (such as had recently occurred on the Ohio-Michigan 
frontier), or blustering enactments of state sovereignty, or threats of 
secession, she sought a remedy by injunction against a local corpora- 
tion. In January, 1850, the Pennsylvania legislature unanimously 
passed a resolution approving the prosecution instituted by the attorney- 
general. At the same time the Bridge company secured from the Vir- 
ginia legislature (on January 11, 1850), an amendatory act declaring 


that the height of the bridge (90 feet at eastern abutment, 93y 2 feet 
at the highest point, and 62 feet at the western abutment, above the 
low water level of the Ohio), was in conformity with the intent and 
meaning of the charter. 

In the presentation of the case before the Supreme coiu-t, the at- 
torney-general of Pennsylvania and Edwin M. Stanton were attorneys 
for Pennsylvania, and Alex. H. H. Stuart and Reverdy Johnson for 
the Bridge company. 

The counsel for Pennsylvania urged that the bridge had been erected 
especially to the injury of Pittsburg (the rival of Wheeling in commerce 
and manufactures), whose six largest boats (those most affected by the 
bridge), carried between Pittsburg and Cincinnati three-fourths of the 
trade and travel transported by the Pennsylvania canal. "To the 
public works of Pennsylvania the injury occasioned by this obstruction 
is deep and lasting," said Stanton. "The products of the South and 
West, and of the Pacific coast, are brought in steamboats along the 
Ohio to the western end of her canals at Pittsburg, thence to be trans- 
ported through them to Philadelphia, for an eastern and foreign mar- 
ket. Foreign merchandise and eastern manufactures, received at Phila- 
delphia, are transported by the same channel to Pittsburg, thence to 
be carried south and west, to their destination, in steamboats along the 
Ohio. If these vessels and their commerce are liable to be stopped 
within a short distance of the canals, and subjected to expense, delay 
and danger, to reach them, and the same consequence to ensue on their 
voyage, departing, the value of these works must be destroyed." 

The Bridge company, through its counsel, admitting that Pennsyl- 
vania had expended large amounts in public improvements, terminating 
at Pittsburg and Beaver, over which there was a large passenger and 
freight traffic, alleged the exclusive sovereignty of Virginia over the 
Ohio, submitted the act of the Virginia legislature authorizing the erec- 
tion of the bridge, denied the corporate capacity of Pennsylvania to 
institute the suit, and justified the bridge as a connecting link of a 
great public highway as important as the Ohio, and as a necessity recog- 
nized by reports of committees in Congress, it cited the example set by 
Pennsylvania in bridging the Allegheny, in authorizing a bridge across 
the Ohio below Pittsburg at thirteen feet less elevation than the Wheel- 
ing bridge, and in permitting the bridging and damming of the Monon- 
gahela by enterprising citizens of Pittsburg under charters from the 
state. It declared that the bridge was not an appreciable inconvenience 
to the average class of boats and would not diminish the Pittsburg trade, 
and suggested that the chimneys of steamboats should be shortened or 
put on hinges for convenience in lowering. It also contended that the 
bridge was necessary for transporting into the interior the passengers 
and much of the freight which would be diverted from the streams by 
the greater speed and safety of railroads which would soon concentrate 
at Wheeling. 

The court, accepting jurisdiction, appointed Hon. R. H. Walworth, 
a jurist of New York, as special commissioner to take testimony and 
report. The report indicated that the bridge obstruction would divert 
part of the total traffic (nearly 50,000,000 annually) from lines of 
transportation centering at Pittsburg to the northern route through 
New York or to a more southern route. Of the nine regular packets 
which passed Wheeling in 1847, five would have been unable to pass 
under the bridge (for periods differing in length), without lowering or 
cutting off their chimneys. The passage of three of the Pittsburg-Cin- 
cinnati packets had been actually stopped or obstructed. One, on No- 
vember 10, 1849, was detained for hours by the necessity of cutting off 
the chimneys. Another, the Hibernia, on November 11, 1849, was de- 
tained thirty-two hours and was obliged to hire another boat to carry 
to Pittsburg the passengers, except those who preferred to cross the 
mountains via Cumberland. Later, she was twice compelled to abandon 


a trip — once hiring another boat, and once landing her passengers who 
proceeded east to Cumberland. Two accidents had also occurred. 

Tlic report indicated a preponderance of evidence against the safety 
of lowering the chimneys, which, at any rate, was regarded as a very 
slow and expensive process. Although the commissioner recognized that 
it would be a great injury to commerce and to the community to destroy 
fair competition between river and railroad transit by an unnecessary 
obstruction to either, and recognized the propriety of carrying rail- 
roads across the large rivers if it could be done without impairing 
navigation, he concluded that the Wheeling bridge was an obstruction 
to free navigation of the Ohio. Of the 230 boats on the river below 
Wheeling, the seveu boats of the Pittsburg-Cincinnati packet line were 
most obstructed by the bridge. They conveyed about one-half the 
goods (in value) and three-fourths of the passengers between the two 
cities. Since 1844, they had transported nearly 1,000,000 passengers. 

The Wheeling Bridge Company complained that Mr. Walworth had 
given the company no chance to present its testimony. 

The decision of the court was given at the adjourned term in May, 
1852. The majority of the court (six members), held that the erection, 
of the bridge, so far as it interfered with the free and unobstructed 
navigation of the Ohio, was inconsistent with and in violation of acts 
of Congress, and could not be protected by the legislature of Virginia 
because the Virginia statute was in conflict with the laws of Congress. 

Justice McLean, who delivered the opinion of the court, held that 
since the Ohio was a navigable stream, subject to the commercial power 
of Congress, Virginia had no jurisdiction over the interstate commerce 
upon it, and that the act of the Virginia legislature authorizing the, 
structure of the bridge so as to obstruct navigation could afford no 
justification to the Bridge company. However numerous the railroads 
and however large their traffic, he expected the waterways to remain 
the great arteries of commerce and favored their protection as such 
instead of their obstruction and abandonment. He decided that the 
lowest parts of the bridge should be elevated not less than 111 feet from 
the low water mark and maintained on a level headway for 300 feet over 
the channel. The decree stated that unless the navigation was relieved 
from obstruction by February 1, 1853, by this or some other plan, the 
bridge must be abated. 

Chief Justice Taney dissented on the ground that since Virginia 
had exercised sovereignty over the Ohio, and Congress had acquiesed in 
it, the court could not declare the bridge an unlawful obstruction and 
the law of Virginia unconstitutional and void. He preferred to leave 
the regulation of bridges and steamboat chimneys to the legislative de- 
partment. Justice Daniels, also dissenting, declared that Pennsylvania 
could not be a party to the suit on the ground stated in the bill (diminu- 
tion of profits in canals and other public improvements many miles 
remote from the Wheeling bridge) and that the court could take no 
jurisdiction in such eases of imperfect rights, or of merely moral or inci- 
dental rights as distinguished from legal or equitable. "And." said 
he, "if the mere rivalry of works of internal improvement in other 
states, by holding out the temptation of greater dispatch, greater safety, 
or any other inducement to preference for those works over the Pennsyl- 
vania canals, be a wrong and a ground for jurisdiction here, the argument 
and the rule sought to be deduced therefrom should operate equally. 
The state of Virginia, who is constructing a railroad from the seaboard 
to the Ohio river at Point Pleasant, much further down that river than 
either Pittsburg or Wheeling, and at the cost of the longest tunnel in 
the world, piercing the base of the Blue Ridge mountains, should have 
the right by original suit in this court against the canal companies of 
Pennsylvania or against that state herself, to recover compensation for 
diverting any portion of the commerce which might seek the ocean by 
this shortest transit to the mouths of her canals on the Ohio, or to the 
city of Pittsburg; and on the like principle, the state of Pennsylvania 


has a just cause of action against the Baltimore and Ohio railroad for 
intercepting at Wheeling the commerce which might otherwise he con- 
strained to seek the city of Pittsburg." 

Justice Daniels, intoxicated with tin; recent effects of the develop- 
ment of railroads, directed considerable attention to the reigning fal- 
lacy which Pennsylvania urged upon the court — that commerce could 
be prosecuted with advantage to the western country only by the chan- 
nels of rivers and through the agency of steamboats whose privileges 
were regarded as paramount. He urged that the historical progress of 
means of transportation exposed the folly and injustice of all attempts 
to restrict commerce to particular localities or to particular interests. 
Against the narrow policy of confining commerce to watercourses, whose 
capacity was limited by the contributions of the clouds, he urged the 
superiority of the railroads for speed, safety, freedom from dependence 
on wind or depth of water, and unifying power in interfluvial regions. 

Plans were proposed by the defendant's counsel to remove the ob- 
structions to navigation at less expense than the elevation or abatement 
of the bridge, and the court (March 3, 185:2), referred the plans to 
J. McAlpine, who made a report on May 8, 1852. The majority of the 
court looking only to desired results and not to methods then agreed 
that the former decree would permit the Bridge company to remove the 
obstruction by a 200- foot draw in the bridge over the western branch 
of the river. Justice McLean then delivered the opinion of the court 
in which he stated that the right of navigating the Ohio or any other 
river does not necessarily conflict with the right of bridging it; but he 
declared that these rights could only be maintained when they were 
exercised so as not to be incompatible with each other. If the bridge 
had been constructed according to the language of the charter, he said, 
the suit could not have been instituted. 

Defeated before the courts. Wheeling took prompt steps to save the 
bridge by action of Congress. In her efforts she received the co-opera- 
tion of 121 members of the Ohio legislature who (in April, 1852) pe- 
titioned Congress to protect the bridge by maintaining it as a mail route 
and also by resolutions of the Virginia and Indiana legislatures. She 
even had the sympathy of thirty-six members, representing the minority 
of the Pennsylvania legislature, who presented a petition in favor of 
protecting the bridge. On July 8, the committee on roads made a favor- 
able report asking Congress to declare both bridges to be post-roads and 
military roads and to regulate the height and construction of chimneys 
of steamboats navigating the Ohio. On August 12, an adverse report 
was made on a resolution of the Pennsylvania legislature. In the 
debates which followed (from August 13 to August 18), the advocates 
of the bill included : those who felt that the entire proceeding against 
(he bridge originated in Pittsburg's jealousy of Wheeling; those who 
felt that the recent decision of the supreme court was a strike against 
state sovereignty; and those who (favoring the encouragement of bel- 
ter facilities for travel), asserted that within two years one could travel 
from New York to Cincinnati via Wheeling bridge as quickly as one 
could now pass from Cincinnati to Wheeling in either of the seven tall 
chimneyed Pittsburg packet boats, and with no danger of stoppage of 
transportation alternately by low water and frozen water. | John Ran- 
dolph once said that the Ohio was diy during one-half the year and 
frozen over during the other half.] 

Some of those who opposed the bill regarded the proposed legislation 
in favor of the bridge as giving a preference to boats bound to Wheel- 
ing over those bound to Pittsburg and as a strike at the prosperity of 
Pittsburg. Others in opposition directed attention to the fact that 
bridges adapted to railroad purposes could be erected near Wheeling 
without obstruction to navigation, and that the Ohio Central railway 
and the Baltimore and Ohio, which had recently intended to connect at 
Wheeling, had found a more convenient point four miles south at Boggs 


Ferry where a bridge could be constructed at sufficient height to avoid 
the objection taken by the supreme court to the bridge at Wheeling. 

The bill passed the Senate on August 28 by a vote of 33 to 10, and 
the House, on August 30, by a vote of 92 to 42. On August 31, before 
the time designated for the execution of the decree of May, 1852, it 
became an act of Congress legalizing in their existing conditions the 
bridges, both of the west and the east branch, abutting on Zane's Is- 
land. It declared them to be post roads for the passage of United States 
mail, at the same time requiring vessels navigating the river to regulate 
their pipes and chimneys so as not to interfere with the elevation and 
construction of the bridges. 

The Bridge Company relied upon this act as superseding the effect 
and operation of the decree of May, 1852 ; but Pennsylvania insisted 
that the act was unconstitutional. The captain of one of the Pittsburg 
Packets showed his displeasure by unnecessarily going through the form 
of lowering his chimneys and passing under the bridge with all the 
forms of detention and oppression. 

Meantime the rival railroads had been pushing westward to con- 
nect the rival cities of the Ohio with rival cities of the East. The original 
line of the Pennsylvania, whose construction began at Harrisburg in 
July, 1847, was opened to the junction with the Allegheny Portage rail- 
way at Hollidaysburg at the base of the mountains on September 16, 

1850. The Baltimore and Ohio, notwithstanding delays incident to the 
difficulties experienced in securing laborers, was opened for business 
from Cumberland to the foot of the mountains at Piedmont on July 5, 

1851. The western division of the Pennsylvania line from the western 
end of the Portage railroad at Johnstown to Pittsburg was opened on 
September 22, 1852 ; and a through train service via the inclined planes 
of the Portage railway was established on December 10 following. 

By the beginning of 1853, Wheeling seemed to have won new ad- 
vantages over Pittsburg through the strategy of prospective railway 
lines and new steamer lines which induced the belief that Pennsylvania, 
with her foot on the Ohio was but at the threshold of the promised 
land. The B. & O. won the race to the Ohio by a single continuous track 
over which through train service was established from Baltimore to 
Wheeling in January, 1853. 

On January 12, at a great "opening celebration," of the mar- 
riage of East to West, the city of Wheeling provided an elaborate ban- 
quet for nearly 1,000 guests who listened to many regular and irregular 
toasts of rejoicing, and to whom was dedicated a poem closing with these 
lines : 

"Poor Pittsburg is flung — for her steamboats no more 
Can whistle, in scorn, as they pass Wheeling 's shore 
No chimneys to lower — no action to bring — 
For a flat-boat, she'll find, will soon be the thing; 
She may war on all bridges — save one, for herself, 
But her trade on the river is laid on the shelf." 

To connect with the new railroad at Wheeling the Wheeling and 
Kanawha packet line was established by the Virginia legislature, and 
the Union line of steamboats was established between Wheeling and 
Louisville. At the same time, steps had been taken to construct several 
other prospective railways which would naturally converge at Wheeling. 
These included the Hempfield to connect with Philadelphia, a line from 
Columbus, a line from Marietta, and also a line from Cleveland, which 
w T as expected to become an important point in ease the proposed treaty 
of reciprocity with Canada should become a law. While the James 
river and Kanawha canal and the Covington and Ohio railway still 
hesitated to find a way westward across the mountains farther south, 
and before the construction of the Northwestern Virginia railroad from 
Grafton to Parkersburg, Wheeling especially expected to divert the trade 


of southern Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee and to center it at Wheeling. 
Wheeling was also favored by cheaper steamer rates to the west and by 
the danger of navigation between Wheeling and Pittsburg at certain 
periods of the year. Early in 1854, New York merchants shipped west- 
ern freight via Baltimore and Wheeling. Oysters too, because of the 
bad condition of the Pennsylvania line of travel were shipped via Wheel- 
ing to Cleveland and Chicago. 

Pittsburgh, however, undaunted by the chagrin of defeat, and with 
undiminished confidence in her ability to maintain her hegemony of 
the upper Ohio and the West, pi - epared to marshal and drill her forces 
for final victory by efforts to regain ground lost and to forestall the 
plans of her rival by new strategic movements. She declared that 
Wheeling was outside the travel line. She stationed an agent at Graves' 
creek below Wheeling to induce eastward-bound boat passengers to con- 
tinue their journey to Pittsburgh and thence eastward via the Pennsyl- 
vania line of travel in order to avoid the tunnels and zigzags, and the 
various kinds of delay on the B. & 0. — to which the Wheeling Intelli- 
gencer replied by uncomplimentary references to the slowness of travel 
over the inclined planes and flat rails of the Pennsylvania Central rail- 
way. Through her mayor and her newspapers she warned travelers 
against the danger of accidents on the B. & 0. — to which Wheeling re- 
plied that the frightful accidents on the Pennsylvania line hurled more 
people into eternity each month than had ever been injured on the 
B. & O. She also endeavored to prejudice travelers against the Union 
line of steamers, complaining of its fares and food, and also of the 
reckless racing encouraged by its captains who had bantered the boats 
of other lines for exhibitions of speed. She was also accused of using 
her influence to secure the location of the route of the Pittsburgh branch 
of the Cleveland road on the west shore of the Ohio from Wellsville 
to Wheeling, causing Brooke and Hancock counties to threaten secession 
from Virginia. 

As a strategic movement against the proposed Hempfield road by 
which Wheeling hoped to get not only direct connection with Phila- 
delphia but also a connection with the Marietta road, Pittsburg resus- 
citated a movement in favor of the Steubenville and Pittsburg railway 
and revived the project of the Connellsville route to Baltimore. She 
also strained every nerve to open connections with the New York and 
Erie line via the Allegheny valley. 

The proposed Steubenville and Pittsburgh railway, especially, was 
strongly opposed by Wheeling by whom it was regarded as a project to 
cripple her by diverting her trade. Largely through her influence, Pitts- 
burg's attempt to secure a charter from the Virginia legislature for the 
road for which she proposed a bonus on every passenger, was defeated in 
the lower house by a vote of 70 to 37 and later failed to secure the ap- 
proval of the house committee. When the promoters of the road tried the 
new plan of getting a route by securing the land in fee, with the idea of 
rushing the road through in order to get the next Congress to declare 
it a post road, the Wheeling Intelligencer declared that Congress would 
not dare thus to usurp the sovereignty of Virginia. An injunction 
against the road was proposed, and- in order to prevent the construc- 
tion of the railway bridge at Steubenville a plan to construct a road 
from the state line through Holliday's Cove and Wellsburg was con- 

From the consideration of plans to prevent the construction of the 
Steubenville bridge above her, Wheeling turned to grapple with a more 
immediate danger of ruin which threatened her by a proposed connec- 
tion of the B. and 0. and the Central Ohio railway at Benwood, four 
miles below her. This she claimed was in violation of the law of 1847, 
granting a charter to the B. and 0. ; and, to prevent it, she secured an 
injunction from Judge George W. Thompson of the circuit court — caus- 
ing the State Journal of Columbus to place her in the list with Erie, 
Pennsylvania (which had recently attempted to interrupt travel between 


east and west) and to assert that the Benwood track ease was similar 
to the Wheeling Bridge ease. An attempt was made to secure combina- 
tion and cooperation of the railroads to erect a union bridge in Wheeling 
to replace the old structure. 

Meantime, transportation facilities improved on the Pennsylvania 
line after the mountains were conquered by a grade for locomotives. 
The mountain division of the road and with it the whole line, was opened 
on February 15, 1854, and by its cheaper i - ates soon overcame the ad- 
vantages which New Orleans had held in attracting the commerce of 
the West. Pennsylvania promptly passed a bill (1854) authorizing 
the sale of her unproductive public works, and abandoned her portage 
railway across the mountains. Three years later (1857), she sold to 
the Pennsylvania railway the main line of the system of public works 
undertaken in 1826, including the Philadelphia and Columbia railway. 

Coincident with the determination of Pennsylvania to dispose of her 
unproductive public works, the old Wheeling bridge over the main 
branch of the stream was blown down by a gale of wind (in May, 1851) 
and was promptly removed to avoid obstruction. Some regarded the 
disaster as a just judgment for trespass upon the rights of others by 
Wheeling in order to make herself the head of navigation. The Pitts- 
burg Journal edited by the ex-mayor of the city, gloated over Wheel- 
ing's misfortune. The Pittsburg and Cincinnati packet "Pennsylvania" 
in derision lowered her chimneys at the place recently spanned by the 
bridge. Her second offense, a few days later, exasperated the indignant 
crowd on shore and induced the boys to resort to mob spirit and to 
throw stones resulting in a hasty departure of the vessel; but further 
trouble was avoided by an apology from the captain and the wise advice 
of older heads. 

Another and a final Wheeling Bridge case before the supreme court 
(arising in 1851 and decided in April, 1856) resulted from the decision 
of the company to rebuild the bridge. When the company pi-omptly 
began the preparations for rebuilding. Pennsylvania, stating that she 
desired to secure a suspension of expensive work until the force and effect 
of the act of Congress could be judicially determined, asked the United 
States Supreme Court for an injunction against the reconstruction of 
the bridge unless in conformity with the requirements of the previous 
decree in the ease. Without any appearance or formal opposition of 
the company, the injunction was granted (June 25, 1854) during vaca- 
tion of the court, by Justice Grier whom the Wheeling Intelligencer 
called "the Pittsburg judge of the supreme court." The Intelligencer 
regarded the question as a grave one, involving the sovereign authority 
of Virginia and a direct law of Congress, and illustrating the aggressions 
of the supreme court which it feared were becoming daily more alarm- 
ing. Charles Ellet, the engineer on whom the injunction was served 
promptly announced that he expected to have the bridge open for traffic 
in two weeks, and the Bridge Company asked Congress to investigate 
charges against Judge Grier to the effect that he had invited bribery. 
The new suspension bridge was opened as a temporary structure on 
duly 26 at an expense of only .f 8,000. 

The injunction having been disregarded, Pennsylvania asked for 
attachment and sequestration of the property of the company for con- 
tempt resulting from disobedience of the injunction of Justice Grier. 
At the same time, the company asked the court to dissolve the injunc- 
tion. Pennsylvania insisted that the act of Congress was unconstitu- 
tional and void because it annulled the judgment of the court already 
rendered, and because it was inconsistent with the clause in Article I, 
Section 9, of the Constitution against preference to the ports of one 
state over those of another. 

Justice Nelson in delivering the decision of the court on the latter 
point said: "It is urged that the interruption of the navigation of 
the steamboats engaged in commerce and conveyance of passengers 
upon the Ohio river at Wheeling from the erection of the bridge, and 


the delay and expense arising therefrom, virtually operate to give a 
preference to this port over that of Pittsburg ; that the vessels to and from 
Pittsburg navigating the Ohio and Mississippi rivers are not only 
subjected to this delay and expense in the course of the voyage, but 
that the obstruction will necessarily have the effect to stop the trade 
and business at Wheeling, or divert the same in some other direction 
or channel of commerce. Conceding all this to be true, a majority of 
the court are of the opinion that the act of Congress is not inconsistent 
with the clause in the constitution referred to — in other words, that 
it is not giving a preference to the ports of one state over those of 
another, within the true meaning of that provision. There are many 
acts of Congress passed in the exercise of this power to regulate com- 
merce, providing for a special advantage to the port or ports of one state 
(and which advantage may incidentally operate to the prejudice of the 
ports in a neighboring state) which have never been supposed to con- 
flict with this limitation upon its power. The improvement of rivers 
and harbors, the erection of lighthouses, and other facilities of com- 
merce, may be referred to as examples." 

The court decided that the decree for alteration or abatement of 
the bridge could not be carried into execution, since the act of Congress 
regulating the navigation of the river was consistent with the existence 
and continuance of the bridge — but that the decrees directing the costs 
to be paid by the Bridge Company must be executed. The majority 
of the court (six members), on the grounds that the act of Congress 
afforded full authority to reconstruct the bridge, directed that the 
motion for attachments against the president of the Bridge Company and 
others for disobedience and contempt should be denied and the injunc- 
tion dissolved ; but Nelson agreed with Wayne, Grier and Curtis in the 
opinion that an attachment should issue, since there was no power in 
Congress to interefere with the judgment of the court under the pre- 
tense of power to legalize the structure or by making it a post road. 

Justice McLean dissented, feeling that the principle involved was 
of the deepest interest to the growing commerce of the West which 
might be obstructed by bridges across the rivers. He opposed the idea 
that making the bridge a post road (under the purpose of the act of 
July 7, 1838) could exempt it from the consequences of being a nuisance. 
He regarded the act of Congress as unconstitutional and void ; and, 
although he admitted the act might excuse previous contempt, he de- 
clared that it could afford no excuse for further refusal to perform 
the decree. 

A sequel to the preceding case arose in the same term of court 
(December, 1855) on motion of the counsel for the Bridge Company 
for leave to file a bill of review of the court's order, of the December 
term of 1851, in regard to the costs. The court had already determined 
that the decree rendered for costs against the Bridge Company was 
unaffected by the act of Congress of August 1, 1852 ; but the court, 
declining to open the question for examination, declared "there must 
be an end of all litigation." 

The later history bearing upon the subject here treated, the regula- 
tion of the construction of bridges across the Ohio under acts of Congress, 
the opposition of both Wheeling and Pittsburg to the construction of 
bridges such as the railroad bridges at Parkersburg and between Ben- 
wood and Bellaire (which were completed in 1871), the decline of old 
local jealousies and prejudices, the rise of new problems of transporta- 
tion resulting from the extension of railways, cannot be considered 
within the scope and limits of this chapter. 

Vol. 1—14 



(Written by Dr. Charles H. Ambler) 

It was some thirty years ago that I came up behind a -tramp on a 
public highway in the hills of West Virginia. I was only a boy then 
on an errand to a blacksmith's shop for the repair of a part belonging 
to my father's mowing machine. He had requested haste, and the 
setting sun of a midsummer's evening kept his wish constantly before 
me. But the tramp moved leisurely and kept the middle of the road. 
The thought of passing him struck terror into my youthful bones, but 
there was no other alternative. Accordingly I pressed forward hoping 
that some favorable turn of fortune would save me from the frightful 
possibilities of the situation. Soon we were side by side, and a gentle 
voice had arrested my haste and quieted my fears. As we walked on 
together I learned that the supposed tramp was a profressor in a German 
university and that he was then on a tour of America, having already 
"tramped" most of Europe and Asia. His confiding manner soon won 
my complete confidence; the importance of my errand was temporarily 
forgotten ; and I found myself absorbed in a new and strange companion- 

Suddenly all was changed. A peculiar silence had come over my 
companion, and his strange manner recalled my former fears and sus 
picions. He stood still and motionless gazing into space over a land- 
scape that was then only commonplace to me. After a few awful minutes 
and to my immediate relief there came, however, these gentle and as- 
suring words: "This is the most beautiful river I have ever seen! It 
is more beautiful even than the Rhine!" Upon turning a sharp bend in 
the hills we had suddenly reached a high elevation overlooking the 
Ohio river which wound its way thence in matchless beauty through 
the distant hills to the southwest and gradually disappeared in the 
golden rays of the setting sun. 

Already the Ohio, or "the river" as it was affectionately called by 
those who lived near it and loved it, meant much to me. My earliest 
recollection, formed at the age of three, was that of crossing it in an 
open ferry with my parents when they moved from Ohio to West Vir- 
ginia, a part of that tide of settlers who sought homes in the latter state 
in the period following the Civil war. Meanwhile the Ohio had come to 
be familiar as a great thoroughfare of commerce. By means of it my 
paternal ancestors had made numerous trips from Wheeling to New 
Orleans in the early part of the century. Stories of their experiences 
yet lingered as family traditions. The mere mention of the lower 
Mississippi suggested my grandfather who had seen New Orleans eleven 
times and made as many return trips overland through the mountains 
of Tennessee and Kentucky. Then there was a great uncle who had lost 
his life in an encounter with a wild beast on that same perilous moun- 
tain route. But, fortunately my impressions were not all repelling. 
Through the river I had come to appreciate New Orleans as the source 
of Orleans molasses and sugar which were then to the boys and girls of 
the upper Ohio what chocolates and candies are to them today. 

But henceforth the Ohio had a new meaning for me. It became a 
thing of beauty and inspiration. I learned to love its boats and river- 
men, to revel in the beauty and grandeur of the hills that skirt its banks ; 



and to reflect with wonder and admiration upon the majesty of the stream 
itself as it wound its way to the sea. Stories of its rivermen were 
my first romances; the whistle of its boats came to possess a sweetness 
excelled only by that of the conch used to call us to dinner at my 
country home ; and the panorama of life that daily passed before me 
whetted my ambitions and temporarily shaped my plans for the future. 
Like many another boy living- ou or near it I cherished the ambition 
of becoming a steamboat captain or a steamboat pilot, one of the happiest 
days of my youth being that on which an indulgent and kind old pilot 
permitted me to stand at the wheel and, under his directions, guide a 
local packet between my home town and a neighboring town. For years 
I looked upon him as a real benefactor and upon myself as having 
mastered many of the essentials in the training of a steamboat pilot. 

In the same or similar ways the Ohio river has had a part all its 
own in shaping the lives and interests of those reared on or near it. The 
heart of one of the smaller potential nations out of which the greater 
nation has grown and the only river of importance in North America 
flowing from east to west, it seems to have been set apart by nature as a 
course of empire. It is significant that its mountains should shelter 
natural resources the use of which has changed the character of the 
lands through which it flows and of the nation of which these lands are 
a part. In all his travels Henry Clay had never seen "a section for which 
God had done so much and man so little." 

As first seen by the white man the Ohio was "a long shining aisle 
through a fair green world." Except for short spaces here and there, 
the site of Indian corn fields, the river was then lined on either side 
by one continuous forest, the trees of which dipped their branches into 
its waters and, at the narrowest places, almost spanned its course. 
The number and beauty of its islands were marvelous, the beauty of 
Blennerhassett being unsurpassed. Its waters and forests teemed with 
life. There was the agile pike, the fat groveling catfish, and the silver 
scaled perch ; bison and deer quenched their thirst ; and the Indian war- 
rior in his birch bark canoe pursued his enemy and wooed his dusky mate. 
Then, too, birds of many varieties, some permanent residents, others 
coming only in the spring and autumn, found homes or temporary rest- 
ing places on its banks, among them the turkey buzzard and the bald 
eagle which soar now as then in safe retreat above its lofty hills. 

But despite its natural beauties and the French interpretation of 
the meaning of the word Ohio, the river itself did not always appeal to 
those who first saw it as an object of beauty and admiration. To some 
it was indeed quite the opposite. The problem of its mastery inspired 
awe and challenged the genius of the most resourceful. Its whirling 
eddies; its treacherous shoals; its lurking logs and limbs; the havoc of 
its floods and ice gorges ; and its overhanging vines and trees had defied 
the Indian for ages. The absence of important native villages upon 
its banks was significant, as was also the advice of friendly red men 
that the white man build no forts or villages on or near its waters. 

Both the beauties and the horrors of nature have had their part, how- 
ever, in determining the character of the people who built homes in 
the Ohio valley. 

Even before the American Revolution the Ohio river had become a 
course of empire determining the confines and character of the society 
then establishing itself in what is now West Virginia. Two years fol- 
lowing the Treaty of 1763, that famous Indian trader, Captain George 
Croghan having paved the way, Captain Thomas Sterling with one 
hundred and twenty Scotch Highlanders descended the Ohio from Fort 
Pitt to the Illinois country, there to raise the flag of the British Empire 
in the heart of the continent. At once the Ohio became the most popular 
route between the East and the West, and home seekers began to carve 
out their tomahawk claims to lands on its upper waters and to rear their 
log huts by its banks. As early as 1770 George Washington observed 
that settlers from the East, chiefly Virginia, had preempted the best 


lands on its southern bank to the mouth of the Little Kanawha. He 
then predicted that another year would suffice to carry their land grab- 
bing activities to the mouth of the Great Kanawha. 

These pioneers and their immediate successors thus won a great ad- 
vantage in the work of empire building. Their initiative and fortitude 

made them 11 hief beneficiaries of the cosmopolitan influences and the 

economic opportunities of the greatest of American highways. The re- 
sults have never ceased to manifest themselves in the solution of ques- 
tions diplomatic and political and in urging our territorial expansion. 

The Revolution checked only temporarily the advance of the fron- 
tiersmen through Virginia towards the Ohio. Before it had ended a sec- 
ond tide of home seekers, larger than the first, had returned to the work 
■ if establishing tomahawk claims and killing Indians. By the Treaty of 
Fort Stanwix, 1764, the Iroquois relinquished their claims to the lands 
south of the Ohio. Six years later, at Lochaber, the southern Indians 
did likewise. But the tribes north of the Ohio, the Shawneese, Dela- 
wares, and Mingoes, lingered reluctant to leave the graves of their 
fathers and their choicest hunting grounds. Finally they were induced 
to retire to the northern, or "Indian side of the Ohio," whence, for 
years, they conducted pillaging and murdering expeditions into the 
land of the whites, the Ohio becoming an ineffective barrier between 
civilization and barbarism. 

Thus it was that western Virginia became a "dark and bloody land," 
second oidy to Kentucky. Such sources as Withers, "Chronicles of 
Border Warfare" and Doddridge, "Notes on the Settlement and Indian 
Wars" record the incidents of a border warfare that is without parallel 
in our national annals for persistency, treachery, and daring exploits. 
But the traditions of every normal boy and girl reared in the Ohio 
valley have been greatly enriched thereby. The names of Daniel Boone, 
Lewis Wetzel, Adam Poe, Samuel MeCullough, Simon Girty, Elizabeth 
Zane, Samuel Bardy, and Anne Bailey are commonplace with most boys 
and girls there, the deeds of their heroes being dramatized in their plays. 

The Indian dangers finally removed through the victoiy of Anthony 
Wayne at Fallen Timbers, 1794, the frontiersmen on the Ohio addressed 
themselves to the task of felling the forest and cultivating choice lands. 
The experiences of the blockhouse had already taught lessons of co- 
operation. Accordingly logrollings, houseraisings, and husking bees 
became the order of the day and with most gratifying results. By 1806 
Thomas Ashe, an English traveler and writer, noted that the forests 
along the Ohio were rapidly giving place to com fields and wheat fields, 
that fruits and vegetables of many varieties were contributing to the 
sustenance and the revenues of the inhabitants, and that from a thou- 
sand hills the voice of domestic animals broke the monotony of wood- 
land and wave. But the most important fact was the establishment of 
a new society strangely dynamic, individualistic yet cooperative, the 
very antithesis of the slaveholding society to the eastward, within the 
bounds of Virginia. 

Larger fields and larger families soon added to the ever increasing 
surplus of farm and other products. Thus markets became necessary 
to the continued growth of the new society. Because of the mountain 
barriers separating it from the East these could be had only in the 
French and Spanish settlements on the Mississippi or in the towns and 
cities simultaneously springing up on the lower Ohio. Keelboats, flat- 
boats, barges, and even rafts were then used to carry thousands of 
home seekers to the lower Ohio and even beyond. The natural thing 
•was to adapt their craft to the needs of trade. This was done, and in a 
few yeai's the upper Ohio valley was exporting annually goods worth 
thousands of dollars. 

The interests thus served and the broadened outlook thus secured 
together with the growing convictions regarding the future greatness 
of the United States, quickened interest in diplomacy and the possi- 
bilities of territorial expansion. Meanwhile the Spanish continued to 


be must selfish in the exercise of their control of the mouth of the 
Mississippi, and the British long continued to hold posts in American 
territory north of the Ohio. As a result good patriots of western Vir- 
ginia came to hate both Spaniards and Britishers. About the time of 
the Louisiana Purchase they would have attacked the former, and they 
coveted Canada. They rested only after we had acquired Louisiana 
and after the interior had waged a successful war for "free trade and 
sailors rights." Insistence and event threats from the upper Ohio had 
much to do with banishing the conscientious scruples of Jefferson and 
others regarding the constitutionality of the Louisiana Purchase. Thus 
exigencies of trade and hopes for the future, as they developed on the 
Ohio, were potent factors in converting a society naturally individual- 
istic to the ways of nationalism. 

In this connection the subsequent votes of western Virginia on the 
proposed nationalistic legislation of Clay's American System is signifi- 
cant. Proposed federal appropriations to works of internal improve- 
ment had its undivided support, and proposed tariffs received strong 
backing especially from the counties on the Ohio and the great Kanawha. 
After the steamboat began to carry salt inland from the West Indies by 
way of New Orleans, the inland salt producers were insistent in their 
demands for protection. What is now northern West Virginia cast the 
only vote from Virginia and one of the few from the whole South for 
the Tariff of 1824, and a part of Virginia suggestive of the present 
state of West Virginia in location, size, and shape voted solidly for the 
Tariff of Abominations, the farther South being almost equally unanimous 
in its opposition. The friendly attitude of western Virginia to the na- 
tional bank is also significant. 

Meanwhile the Ohio continued a course of empire many settlers find- 
ing homes on its banks. In fact one of its chief assets has always been 
its children who were then said to be as plentiful as the squirrels of the 
forest and as healthy as hard fare and exercise could make them. Inter- 
spersed among those of Virginia origin were many persons from New 
England and the Middle States. Thus the Ohio valley early became a 
melting pot for the nation. But it was to be more than that. Later 
Irish, Germans, and others came in large numbers direct from Europe. 
As early as 1820 Judge Hall, an English traveler, predicted that it would 
become the melting pot of Europe. For here he witnessed the novel 
spectacle of the coming together of the nations of the Old World, each 
bringing its own language, politics, and religion and all sitting quietly 
down together to erect states, make institutions, and enact laws without 
bloodshed and discord. It seemed that some mysterious force was at- 
tracting them to a common center and welding them into one great and 
powerful organism. The offspring has gone forth to practically every 
part of the far West and has always stood for the highest ideals of 

But main intercourse continued to be with the towns of the lower 
Ohio and the lower Mississippi. From the latter came sugar, molasses, 
tea, coffee, aud rice which were exchanged for the numerous farm ami 
other products of the interior. In the forties and the fifties Cincinnati 
and New Orleans were much better known to the average citizen of the 
Ohio valley than are Pittsburg and New York today. Many farmers 
and most merchants had made one or more trips to the lower Mississippi. 
Wives had frequently gone along to see the sights, help care for cargoes, 
and cook for the "hands" on the flatboats. Their departure was always 
a neighborhood affair, friends and relatives gathering from far and 
near to wish a departing company godspeed on their venture and good 
luck in a market noted for its vicissitudes. 

The uncertainties of these trading trips were indeed almost re- 
pelling. The only practicable time for such ventures was the spring. 
It was then that farmers and merchants could best determine the char- 
aeter and quantity of surpluses and rely upon a "boating stage" of 
water. These conditions combined to glut the lower markets, force 


low prices, and necessitate frequent and great losses. Besides no boat- 
man had any assurance of reaching his destination and returning home. 
Danger lurked in every bar and shoal and in the numerous snags and 
other obstructions with which the Ohio and the Mississippi were studded. 
Moreover, gangs of murderers and river pirates infested strategic points 
along stream between Louisville and New Orleans. Then, too, the re- 
turn trip which in the early days was usually overland through the 
mountains of Tennessee and Kentucky, was hazardous. 

This typical school of Americanism developed a product peculiarly 
its own and peculiarly American. These were the days of the self- 
styled "half-horse" and "half -alligator" men, some of whom actually 
bore the marks of the draft horse in the large callouses which appeared 
on their arms and shoulders from too frequent contact with the "setting- 
pole" and the "sockett" of the keelboat. Hatless, stripped' to the waist, 
and tanned by the combined effects of water and sun, they resembled 
Indians more than white men. Accustomed as they were to every sort 
of exposure and privation they despised ease and luxury. Armed in 
frontier style they were always ready for a fray. In fact fighting was 
a favorite pastime. Together with their prototypes on land they con- 
stituted a rough and ready element, resourceful beyond precedent, crude 
beyond description, and independent beyond comparison — the most 
typical American part of America. 

The hero of this frontier society was the notorious "Mike" Fink, 
"the last of the keelboatmen. " He was born in Allegheny county 
about 1781. As a mere lad he played a prominent part in the Indian 
wars of his time winning the enviable distinction of being the best shot 
in the Ohio valley. Like most of the young men of his time and place 
he answered the call of the river, but unlike most of them he soon be- 
came notorious for lawlessness and rowdyism. On the upper Ohio he 
was "Bang All," the superb marksman, but on the lower Ohio and 
the Mississippi, where his pilfering, drinking, and fighting had attracted 
chief attention, he was "The Snag" or the "Snapping Turtle." He 
seems to have been a veritable Rob Roy without a peer for deviltry and 
meanness, unless it was in ' ' Colonel Plug, ' ' the bad man of the lowlands 
below Louisville. Good people stood in awe of him; officers avoided 
him; and the lawless idolized him. For all, the numerous accounts of 
his exploits made interesting reading. He was accustomed to speak of 
himself as a "Salt River roarer" who loved the "wimin" and was "full 
of fight." 

Unfortunately for the society of the Ohio valley outlaws of the 
type of Fink were all too plentiful and were not confined to the river. 
Conditions on the land were almost as bad as on the water, tough times 
making tough men. Every town and village boasted its bully. Drink- 
ing, gambling, and horse-racing were favorite pastimes; the sacrifice of 
human life, of human energy, and the accumulated culture of the ages 
was appalling ; and vice and disease meanwhile made huge inroads. It 
was a day of tremendous effort and of supreme sacrifice. The marks 
of the struggle are visible even today. To those familiar with conditions 
it would be needless to specify. Mike Fink .was only a somewhat ex- 
aggerated prototype of the worst of a society in transition along the 
main course of empire to the westward. 

By 1820 Wheeling was an important and characteristic river town. 
Its location at the junction of the Cumberland Road, or the National 
Pike, with the Ohio river had early brought it into prominence. As an 
embarkation point to the West it was, for years, a formidable rival of 
Pittsburg. Writing in 1806 Thomas Ashe said: "The town of Wheel- 
ing is well known as one of the most considerable places of embarkation 
on the western waters. It is a port town, healthfully and pleasantly 
situated on a very high bank of the river, and is increasing rapidly. 
Here quantities of merchandise designed for the Ohio country and the 
upper Louisiana, are brought in wagons during the dry season ; as boats 
can frequently go from hence, when they can not from places higher up 


the river. Besides, as the navigation above Wheeling is more dangerous 
than all the remainder of the river, persons should undoubtedly give 
it the preference to Pittsburg." 

Like other river towns of these and later days, Wheeling's bless- 
ings were not without alloy. Cock fighting, horse racing, gambling, 
drinking, and other forms of frontier amusement held sway. 

The coming of the steamboat was the event of greatest importance 
in the history of the Ohio valley in the early part of the last century. 
By 1830 its practicability was assured, and the "Beautiful River" had 
taken on new importance as a course of empire. Every phase of life 
was quickened by the steamboat. At once the "boatmen:" flatboatmen, 
keelboatmen, and raftsmen, ceased to make the return trip from the 
lower Mississippi by long and dangerous overland routes. Henceforth 
they were "passengers." It mattered not that they usually rode on 
"deck" and sometimes paid transportation charges by serving as "deck- 
hands." The best among them soon became firemen, engineers, and 
pilots, and gave up the occupation of boatmen entirely. Some former 
rivermen even became steamboat captains, owning their own craft. In 
fact both capital and labor became more dependent upon the river 
than ever before. In western Virginia and southern Ohio many fam- 
ilies sent every son of a large family to answer its call. In some instances 
single families supplied as many as seven steamboat pilots. 

But the beneficent effects of the Ohio were not confined to the river 
itself nor to those who ' ' followed ' ' it for a living. Homes were erected 
from the salvage of lumber rafts, and the lands on which they stood was 
paid for from the proceeds of the sales of cordwood which, in the early 
days, was the only fuel used by steamboats. The use of rafts and flat- 
boats converted small streams into lateral lines for the transportation 
of farm products, timber, and labor. In fact the call of the river for 
labor came as a real boon to the small fanner and the squatter offering, 
in some instances, their only means of meeting taxes and store bills. 
Fortunately the labor demands of the small farm and the river sup- 
plemented each other admirably. As a rule the call of the latter came 
after crops had been harvested, the winter fuel provided, the children 
started to school, and the zest for squirrel and rabbit hunting had spent 
itself. It mattered not that wages were only $20 per month with meals 
and lodging, the former served on deck and in a tin pan and the latter 
on the soft side of a board placed near a warm boiler. The average small 
farmer of western Virginia and southern Ohio, where negroes were 
scarce and little used as deckhands, could not afford to be idle during 
a whole winter. His wife and family could usually be depended upon 
to keep the farm going even if their care was sometimes at a sacrifice 
of the education and the morals of the children. Many a father spent 
the whole winter "on the river" unable and sometimes unwilling to 
reach home even at Christmas and generally under conditions that made 
it impossible for him to return anything to his family except a few dol- 
lars. When drink and gambling entered, as they sometimes did, he 
failed to bring even money and was in time thrown back upon his family, 
a human derelict. 

The coming of the steamboat multipled the educational advantages 
of the river. Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and scores 
of others of almost equal prominence went by the Ohio to and from the 
national capital. Even at wayside landings their arrivals were heralded 
in advance and were usually occasions for addresses through which the 
people learned of the proceedings of Congress and of the political plans 
for the future. But interests were not wholly political. Music and 
literature received due attention. In the forties and fifties of the last 
century thousands living on and near the Ohio river had seen and heard 
Ole Bull, Jenny Lind, and Charles Dickens. Besides "Dan" Rice and 
his elephants were as popular then as Barnum and Bailey became at 
a later period. Then, too, the Ohio carried its practical lessons in po- 
litical economy. Its boys of the fifties knew the advantages of gold 


and uniform currency as mediums of exchange. Experience taught them 
to decline state bank notes as payment for cordwood. As men, these 
same boys voted for tbe gold standard in 189(i, although many of them 
refused to leave the democratic party. 

One of the most important results of the coming of the steamboat 
showed itself in increased land and other values. Records of river 
counties for the period immediately following 1810 disclose marked 
tendencies in the former direction. Savings and possible savings in 
transportation costs were simply capitalized, the results being added to 
values. It was thus that the Ohio valley became a real land of op- 
portunity and that the tide of immigrant home seekers thereto was 
greatly augmented. 

Family records and traditions of those who found homes on the 
Ohio in the early part of the last century are filled with references 
to the influence of the steamboat on land values. The story of "the coming 
of the Jenkins family may be taken as typical. It established itself 
at Round Bottom, a beautiful spot on the Ohio a short distance above 
what is now Huntington, West Virginia. The lands on which it set- 
tled formerly belonged to the Cabells of eastern Virginia, the county in 
which they are located later receiving its name from Governor Cabell. 
Before the coming of the steamboat these lands were for sale and at 
a low price even for that day. Mr. Jenkins, a merchant of Lynchburg, 
Virginia, and others had visited them with a view to purchasing, but 
all had returned refusing to buy and expressing disappointment in the 
difficulties incident to the navigation of the Ohio, especially the up- 
stream navigation which was then maintained by the keelboat. Luckily 
Mr. Jenkins happened to be in New York City at the time Fulton was 
making successful experiments with the Clermont. Jenkins grasped 
the possibilities of steam navigation for inland rivers and returned by 
way of Richmond to close a deal for the purchase of the Cabell lands on , 
the Ohio. Accompanied by his family and negroes he soon set out for 
the West. The manorial estate which he later carved out of the woods 
on the Ohio and the splendid establishment which he maintained there 
found counterparts in numerous other estates similarly conceived. 

Despite the beneficent effects of the Ohio and its early advantages 
as a thoroughfare of commerce the region along its upper course and 
south of Pittsburg was finally overtaken by an arrested development. 
After 1830 the Cumberland Road, as an artery of trade and travel, 
gradually gave way in importance to a system of canals to the north 
connecting New York City with the Great Lakes and Philadelphia with 
Pittsburg. The former of these routes was also supplemented by canals 
connecting northern and southwestern Ohio. Moreover, overland routes 
led directly from Wheeling into central Ohio and beyond. It is true 
that palatial steamers plied daily between Pittsburg and Cincinnati, 
but they made only hurried stops at midway landings even Wheeling. 
When the railroad finally reached Pittsburg it passed thence westward 
through central Ohio to Cincinnati. Thus the natural resources of west- 
ern Virginia and southern Ohio remained undeveloped ; river towns lan- 
guished; and comparative poverty grew apace, the small farm holding 
its own except on the Ohio and where lands fell into the hands of non- 
resident owners and squatter occupants. The more prosperous lands 
of "Yankeedom" to the farther north were regarded meanwhile with 
envy for having stolen the birthright of the Ohio valley which had less 
and less in common with the abolitionist Western Reserve. 

Under these conditions the completion of the Baltimore and Ohio 
railroad through western Virginia to Wheeling on the Ohio, in 1852, 
was, after the coming of the steamboat, the event of greatest import- 
ance in history of the upper Ohio valley in the first half of the last 
century. A large part of that section was thus given a fair opportunity 
to catch up with the march of civilization. The response was immediate, 
emanating of course from the river. A line of palatial steamers began 
to ply daily between Wheeling and Louisville. The names of the 


steamers themselves bear testimony to their dependence upon the rail- 
road. Among others there was the Thomas Swan, named i'or the presi- 
dent of the new railroad, and the Alvin Adams, named i'or the president 
of the Adams Express Company. From Louisville the lower South 
was reached direct by a railroad, the Louisville and Nashville of today. 
Thus the plans of John C. Calhoun and others for uniting the South 
by a transportation system embracing the Ohio river had been attained. 
Henceforth it was possible to defy the North, especially the agents of 
underground railways on the Ohio. 

Under these changed conditions Wheeling became an important out- 
post of the slaveholding South. This fact entered into the intense and 
even bitter rivalry that now grew up between her and Pittsburg. This 
rivalry attained its bitterest phases in a contest involving the right of 
the former to construct a suspension bridge across the Ohio river. De- 
spite the fact that Pittsburg had direct communication with Cincinnati 
by rail through central Ohio and that her large daily packets thence had 
almost ceased to operate, thus isolating the river towns to the 
South, she opposed the construction of the proposed suspension bridge 
at Wheeling. She insisted that it would be an obstruction preventing 
the free passage of her steamers, the stacks of which were more than 
sixty feet in height, and finding no sanction in maritime usages. Also, 
that the sole authority in the matter was the national government. 
Wheeling answered that she stood at the real head of navigation ; that 
the stacks of descending steamers were needlessly high, and that Vir- 
ginia was a sovereign state owning the bed of the Ohio river and thus 
possessed of authority to do as she pleased with her own. Wheeling 
finally constructed the proposed bridge but not until her rights and 
powers in the matter had been aired in Congress and the Federal Su- 
preme Court. Meanwhile the contest made its contributions to state and 
local pride and to the impending struggle between nationalism and 
particularism. Both in Congress and the Supreme Court, eastern Vir- 
ginia and the lower South were loyal to the interests of western Virginia. 
The service was not soon forgotten. 

Thus sectional rivalries, the timely construction of the Baltimore 
and Ohio railroad, and the fact that western Virginia was comparatively 
speaking an area of arrested development dependent mainly upon agri- 
culture and the Ohio river, operated to preserve the unity and strength 
of the slaveholding South. It mattered not that the Wheeling and 
Louisville daily packets ceased to operate after the Panic of 1857. Those 
were hard times for rivermen everywhere, except possibly on the upper 
Mississippi and the Missouri. In her struggle for better conditions 
experience had taught western Virginia to depend little upon Pittsburg 
and northern Ohio and to confide more and more in the South. Ac- 
cordingly her vote in the presidential election of 1860 was almost unani- 
mous for Bi-eckenridge and Lane, and she later sent more than ten thou- 
sand of her best men to aid the Confederacy. Economic interests thus 
operated to preserve a balance between nationalism and particularism. 
But for the old grievances on account of the former, the tariff, internal 
improvements, and even schools, together with the impossibilities of 
negro slavery in a land ill suited to agriculture, the account might have 
been more favorable to the South. 

However, the dependence of the upper Ohio valley upon the South, 
by means of the Ohio river, had only to be broken to be appreciated. 
Evidences of this fact were numerous and manifested themselves con- 
stantly during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods. The reception 
accorded the Kenton in 1867 is appropos. She was the first large packet 
to reach the upper Ohio direct from New Orleans after the Civil War. 
Meanwhile the inhabitants of that section had denied themselves sugar, 
molasses, and other articles of common consumption formerly received 
fi'om the South by way of the river or they had imported them by rail 
from the North at high prices and not always for patriotic reasons. The 
arrival of the Kenton seemed to herald a return to "normalcy." Her 


coming was advertised and eagerly awaited throughout the whole course 
of the upper Ohio. Crowds of men, women, and children greeted her at 
every landing. The inhabitants of Wheeling were especially enthusiastic. 
While her men and women crowded the wharf to greet old friends and 
to rejoice over the return of the good old days, her youths, paddles in 
hand, jostled each other in a wild scramble for the sugar that dripped 
from the cracks of the swollen hogsheads. As the Kenton passed on to 
that hated city of Pittsburg, the inhabitants of Wheeling continued to 
rejoice in the material proofs that the Union had been saved and in the 
assurance that old friends would be friends again. 


The early settlers of the region now embraced in West Virginia were 
of several nationalities, but chiefly English, German and Scotch-Irish. 
Many of the Scotch-Irish and Germans came into West Virginia by way 
of Pennsylvania and Maryland, and some of the English from that 
direction also; but most of the early English settlers moved westward 
from eastern Virginia. In the decade before 1800 and at subsequent 
periods, considerable New England blood was diffused through West 
Virginia. The larger migrations of the later period, however, passed 
on to Ohio, Kentucky, and farther west, whose lands, laws, and general 
opportunities were preferred to those of western Virginia. 

Many of the old pioneers expected to stop only temporarily in the 
region. They thought that a family could not be supported very long- 
on the product of the soil alone when the hunters had killed the wild 
game. They intended to load their pack horses and trek again in a 
few years, and leave what is now West Virginia an exhausted wilderness. 
One hunter who killed 2,000 deer in Harrison county doubtless imagined 
that he had almost exhausted the resources of the region. There were 
many among the pioneers who took a more hopeful view and who ex- 
pected to stay in the country, and to leave their children and their 
children's children in it; but the lightness of heart with which many 
a man left his cabin and the few stumpy acres where his corn crops 
grew, and moved on, is silent testimony to the fact that he saw no future 
for the country. The low price of wild land which continued until very 
recent years was proof that nobody was looking ahead. In many instances 
a thousand acres could be bought for less than what the mineral right 
in one acre is worth now. The men who foresaw and who were willing 
to wait as well as to labor, were the men who made fortunes among the 
West Virginia hills. 

Development was doubtless retarded by the liberal Virginia land 
policy under which much of the land fell into the hands of absentee 
speculators who purchased it at two cents per acre. The wholesale pur- 
chase of the large tracts by these speculators forced homeseekers to 
purchase from them at largely increased prices or to settle as squatters, 
or to migrate to cheaper lands beyond the Ohio. 

The early settler's trip across the Alleghenies, although it may have 
been interesting, was not easy. In striking contrast to a journey such 
as would be made across the Alleghenies in a modern Pullman was that 
made by Nathaniel Cochran and his wife in the eighteenth century. 
After Cochran had returned from his long captivity among the Indians 
he journeyed to Hagerstown, Maryland, where in 1789, he married 
Elizabeth Ford, bringing her and their scanty supply of household 
goods across the mountains in that same year. Cochran himself walked 
the entire distance, leading a cow that bore a burden of utensils, in- 
cluding a pot and a skillet ; but his wife rode a horse, carrying her spin- 
ning wheel in her lap, and having a feather tick hung on her saddle and 
a bundle of bed clothes fastened at the back. 

The earliest settlers were severely tested by many hardships and by 
hard work, and represented the survival of the fittest. They had experi- 
ences which required strength of body and mind, and large powers of 
initiative in adjusting themselves to their environment. 



Many phases of their life are illustrated in the experiences of Mrs. Ann Bailey, 
a noted pioneer woman of the New river and Kanawha valley. She was a native 
of Liverpool, England, was probably born about 1742 and had visited London in 
her childhood. She emigrated to A r irginia in 1761, sailed up the James river, ami 
undertook the passage through the wilderness overland to Augusta county. In the 
region of Staunton she married Richard Trotter in 1765. In Dunmore 's war her 
husband was killed in the battle of Point Pleasant. For eleven years she remained 
a widow, resolved to avenge her husband's death; and during the Revolutionary 
war she clad herself in the costume of the border (with buckskin trousers and man's 
coat and hat) and became prominent in her service in urging enlistments and was 
widely known for her heroic deeds. After the Revolution she redoubled her energies 
on foot and on horseback, she bore messages and dispatches from the eastern settle- 
ments to the remotest frontiers along the Kanawha — from Staunton and Lewisburg 
to Point Pleasant on the Ohio. She traveled the lonely defiles of the Alleghenies, 
crossed the Sewcll mountains, the Gauley and the Elk rivers and other streams. She 
traversed this region and the valley of the Kanawha, which became the scene of 
many an adventure by her. In 1785 she was married in GTeenbrier County to a 
brave scout named John Bailey who soon afterward became the commandant at 
Fort Clendonin (Charleston) and took his bride with him to his new post. The 
heroine of the Shenandoah became the heroine of the Kanawha. From Charleston 
she often carried messages to Point Pleasant, to Lewisburg or to Staunton. On one 
occasion as she journeyed from Charleston to Lewisburg, she slept in a hollow tree 
to save herself from freezing. At the mouth of Thirteen Mile creek she some- 
times slept in a cave long known as Ann Bailey's cave. Her famous ride from 
Charleston to Lewisburg in 1791 to secure a necessary supply of powder for the 
fort which was besieged by Indians has been preserved in song. It was a trip 
through an almost trackless wilderness beset with wild beasts. When men in the 
fort refused to undertake the perilous passage she mounted the fleetest horse, passed 
through the forest via Kanawha falls, Hawk's Nest and Sewell mountains, arrived 
safely at Lewisburg, secured a supply of powder, and refusing a return guard, reached 
Charleston in time to relieve the besieged fort. Few women at 49 could endure 
such hardships. After the treaty of 1795 which ended Indian depredations on the 
Kanawha, she spent the remainder of her days chiefly in the region of Point Pleasant 
and Gallipolis. She was known by the Shawnee women as the "White Squaw of 
the Kanawha. ' ' She was also known as a driver of hogs and cattle from the 
Shenandoah, and there is a tradition that she first introduced tame geese in the 
Kanawha Valley, driving them 150 miles. She made her last visit to Charleston in 
the summer of 1817, walking 75 miles when she was 75 years of age. Her son, 
William Trotter, the first Virginian who was married in Gallipolis, was a practical 
business man, and at one time (1814) bought 240 acres of land three miles from 
the mouth of the Kanawha river, but after residing upon it for three years he sold 
it and moved to Gallipolis, where his mother became a familiar figure. Ann died 
on November 22, 1825, and was buried in the "Trotter Graveyard" in an unmarked 
and nameless grave, but her spirit was long remembered on the Kanawha. 

In every valley community were many such early frontiersmen who 
exhibited a power of endurance which seemed remarkable to later gen- 
erations. Schooled in the struggle against frontier difficulties they were 
able to rear large families and to live long lives. 

Robert Lilly, who lies buried at the mouth of Bluestone in an old 
cemetery, begun by the burial of a child of emigrants passing through 
the country, was the founder of the great generations of Lillys in the 
counties of Summers, Raleigh, and Mercer, and lived to the age of 114 
years. His wife, who was a Moody, lived 111 years. William McKinley 
'later ("Squire" McKinley of Weston) and Uriah McKinley, both of 
whom located on Freeman's creek near the site of Preemansburg by 
1810, reared large families whose descendants constituted a large per- 
centage of the population of that community a century later. These 
cases simply illustrate the prolific tendency of the older families in 
every settlement. 

Concerning a resident on the present site of Sistersville, a Pitts- 
burgher, wrote as follows: "Mr. Charles Wells, Sen., resident on the 
Ohio, fifty miles below Wheeling, related to me while at his home in 
October, 1812, the following circumstances: 'That he has had two 
wives (the last of which still lives and is a hale, smart young-looking 
woman), and twenty-two children, sixteen of whom are living, healthy, 
and many of them married and have already pretty large families; that 
a tenant of his, a Mr. Scott, a Marylander, is also the father of twenty- 
two, the last being still an infant and its mother a lively and gay Irish 
woman, being Scott's second wife; that a Mr. Gordon, an American- 
German, formerly a neighbor of Mr. Wells, now residing on Little 


Muskingum, state of Ohio, lias by two wives twenty-eight children.' 
Thus these three worthy families have had born to them seventy-two 
children, a number unexampled, perhaps, in any other part of the 

The early life of the frontier settlements was very simple. The set- 
tlers who walked across the mountains, transporting all (heir goods on 
pack horses could bring only the simplest tools — only those which were 
indispensable or most important, including the axe, the mattock, the 
hoe, the frow, the auger, a few pots and pans, a skillet, a pair of wool 
cards and a spinning wheel. With them they also brought a bag of 
corn meal, some salt, some gun powder and lead, and some garden sceils, 
and a small supply of seed corn. 

After locating Ins claim the settler built a rude log cabin — usually 
on a site near a spring of water. Until the danger of Indian attack 
had passed he bui 1 the chimney on the inside of the log's and made the 
cabin door very strong. In the earliest period iron nails were seldom 
used. The windows, with greased paper instead of glass, were protected 
by heavy shutters. 

Even before his cabin was completed the settler began to clear a small 
tract of land upon which he raised some vegetables and a crop of corn 
to supplement and balance the supply of wild meat which he easily 
obtained by use of his gun in the woods. Usually his only plow was 
constructed by himself from a forked sapling to which he attached crude 
handles by wooden pins and to which he may have attached a small 
piece of iron for a point. The horse, provided with home-made harness, 
was often hitched to the plow by grape vine tugs. 

The early dress of the pioneers was simple and unadorned. The 
men, for convenience under conditions of life in the woods, adopted the 
most characteristic portions of the Indian di'ess. They discarded breeches 
for leggings which were extended far up the thigh and fastened to the 
belt by strings. The women wore linsey dresses with short skirts and 
numerous petticoats. 

House furniture was also simple. Blocks of wood were in common 
use for chairs. The floor or a platform in the corner served for a bed. 
Slabs inserted in cracks in the wall were used for tables. Lighting, be- 
yond that furnished by the fuel in the "fire place" was by "grease dip" 
or by tallow candle. The kitchen furniture of the early pioneers, consisted 
of only a few pots and pans and spoons, a skillet or two, and an oven. 
The earlier dishes were pewter or wooden but these were gradually 
replaced by china or ironstone and finally disappeared forever. Pewter 
was retained be.yond its proper period by prejudice and custom in its 
favor because the knife and fork slipped more easily upon the hard 
smooth surface of china plates. 

Every family had its washer-woman who operated without modern 
laundry appliances. Soap was made by boiling "soap grease" with lye 
extracted from ashes in the "ash hopper." One of the settlers in de- 
scribing frontier life said : 

"The houses were of logs; no nails to put on the roof with; we made our fur- 
niture in the woods we raised our flax and wool and made our own hunting shirts 
and short frocks; our shoos were moccasins; we had a big and a little kettle, an 
oven, a frying pan and a ]>ot; we had no talde ware that would break and but 
little of that; sharp sticks were used for forks and the butcher knife answered for 
all. We raised corn and hogs for these were the surest and most rapid producers 
of bread and meat. There wore no mills, no stoics, no doctors. Thrown upon our 
own resources, we learned to do without many things and to make others, and to 
carefully take care of such as we had to have and which was difficult to procure, 
some of which were powder and load and medicines." 

One of the first settlers of the. trans-Allegheny country was Adam 
O'Brien, if his roving disposition and movements would entitle him to 
the name of settler. He had a cabin on Elk river at the mouth of Holly 
river. For a long time he owned two tracts of land, held by patents, 
in Randolph county. He lived on the Little Kanawha for awhile, ami 


he also lived (in 1836) on the Big Sandy of Elk in Kanawha county, 
and at the latter place he died in 1836. He seems to have been engaged 
in making settlements on good lands for others. When asked how 
he came to seek the wilderness and encounter the perils and sufferings 
of frontier life, he answered that he "liked it and did not mind it a bit" 
and in further explanation said, "that he was a poor man and had got 
behind hand and when that's the case, there is no staying in the settle- 
ments for those varments, the sheriffs and constables, who were worse 
than Indians, because you could kill Indians, and you dare not kill the 
sheriffs. ' ' 

He said ' ' that they lived quite happy before the Eevolution, for then there was 
no law, no courts and no sheriffs and they all agreed pretty well, but after awhile 
the people began to come and make settlements and then there was need for law; 
and then came the lawyers and next the preachers and from that time they never 
had any peace any more, that the lawyers persuaded them to sue when they were 
not paid, and the preachers converted one half and they began to quarrel with the 
other half because they would not take care of their own souls, and from that time, 
they never had any peace for body or soul, and that the sheriffs were worse than 
the wild cats and painters and would take the last coverlit from your wife's straw 
liid or turn you out in a storm, and I tell you, mister, I would rather take my 
chances and live among savages than live among justices and lawyers and sheriffs, 
who with all their civility, have no natural feeling in them." 

Doubtless there were many homes which represented considerable 
improvement in conditions of living. Peddlers soon learned the way to 
the frontier settlements, and enterprising merchants soon followed. Ac- 
cording to an inventory of the Joseph Rinnan estate placed on record 
in Randolph county clerk's office, June 21, 1793, with Edward Hart 
as administrator, the personal property was valued at $517 and included 
the following : 

"9 horses, wheat and rye, two curtains, 2 pairs pillows and cases, 1 towel, 1 
fine shirt, 1 lawn apron, 1 black apron, 1 cambriek apron, fine trumpery, 1 silk- 
gause apron, 2 handkerchiefs, children 's clothing, 1 coat, 1 jacket, 5 long gowns, 
1 pair of shoes and silver buckles, 3 pettycoats, 2 check aprons, 4 short gowns, 2 
beds and bed-clothing, 1 pair of pockets, 4 platters, 6 basins, 2 plates, 2 kegs, 1 pail, 
1 pot tramble, 1 iron kettle, 2 scythes, 1 set of hangings, 1 gun, 1 pan, 2 bridles, 
36 hogs, 16 cattle, 3 sheep, 1 grubbing hoe, two pairs plow irons and devices, 2 pots, 
1 jug, 1 candlestick, 2 flat irons, 1 pair of shears, 9 spoons, steelyards, 1 brush, 2 
collars, 1 ax." 

In 1844 in most parts of western Virginia bread was still baked in 
Dutch ovens buried in embers in the large fireplace. Turkeys were 
cooked suspended by the legs above the open fire. There were few stoves. 
Furniture in most homes was still extremely simple. Pianos in the 
home were rare. The first piano in Weston arrived over the Staunton 
and Parkersburg turnpike from Parkersburg in the summer of 1844 
and was purchased by Mrs. Mary Wilson for her daughters who had 
studied music in a school at Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and who in 
1844 joined their mother in establishing at their home in Weston a 
school for young ladies and small boys. Most of the houses were still 
built of logs. 

Religious interests were not overlooked. Itinerant preachers — 
usually Baptist, Methodist or Presbyterian — followed the narrow trails 
to the infant settlements and braved the perils of the wilderness to 
carry the message of brotherly love to the frontiers. In some instances 
the establishment of church congregations preceded the organization of 
orderly government. Rev. Henry Smith, who preached on the Clarks- 
burg circuit in 1784, said of his congregation : ' ' The people came to 
the meeting in backwoods style, all on foot. I saw an old man who had 
shoes on his feet. The preacher wore moccasins. All others, men, 
women and children, were barefooted. The old women had on what 
we called then short gowns, and the rest had neither short nor long 
gowns. I soon found if there were no shoes and fine dresses in the con- 
gregation there were attentive hearers and feeling hearts." 

The old itinerant preachers and the untiring missionaries who in the 


pioneer times threaded the mountain paths, swam rivers, slept in the 
woods, fasted from necessity, preached in cabins or among the trees, 
baptized children, married the .young, and buried the dead, budded far 
greater than their critics expected. Their works lived after them. The 
churches which they planted in adversity grew — perhaps not in righteous- 
ness — but in power and influence. 

From primitive beginnings, a larger life slowly and gradually evolved 
by the processes of change and growth. The earlier farmers while 
farming in primitive fashion were stimulated by necessity to do many 
things now done by artisans. They were jacks-of-all-trades. Many, in 
addition to tilling their few acres, tanned leather for the winter shoes, 
learned to make and repair shoes, and even manufactured the shoe 
thread which they used for sewing. Men raised their own sheep, from 
which they sheared the wool. Their wives prepared the flaxen wool for 
the loom, and frequently wove the cloth. Many farmers did simple 
blacksmithing and rude carpentering. Although culture was limited, 
versatility in ordinary affairs was common. 

Horse rakes with teeth of stout hickory began to appear soon after 
the War of 1812. Perhaps the grape vine was used for transporting 
hayshoeks from the earliest times. The grain cradle appeared as early 
as 1818 and was not supplanted until long after the Civil war, although 
the reaper began to take its place in favored localities in the later 
forties or the early fifties. The old fashioned flail was the tool used for 
threshing wheat in many communities long after the appearance of the 
threshing machine elsewhere. Apparently brooms from broomcorn did 
not begin to replace the old spilt broom until after 1822. Every home 
had its spinning wheel, either small or large, and sometimes both. Every 
neighborhood had several looms, which were probably more common 
then than pianos and organs are now. The churn with perpendicular 
dash was in nearly universal use before 1860. It was made "Big at 
the bottom and little at the top" so that when it was set by the fire the 
hoops would not drop. 

Although apple trees were introduced in the eastern Panhandle 
quite early, and were probably introduced in the Monongahela valley 
before the Revolution, the fruit was usually poor. Cider mills appeared 
much later. 

In 1838, James Hall, in his Notes on Western States, wrote as fol- 
lows concerning changes in trans-Appalachian Virginia: "In western 
Pennsylvania and Virginia, the toils of the pioneers have in a great 
measure ceased, the log hut has disappeared, and commodious farm 
houses of framed w r ood, or stone, have been reared. Agriculture has 
assumed a permanent character, and is prosecuted with steadiness and 

While responsive to the new environment, the old settlers still clung 
to many old ideas which they had brought from the East. Old habits 
are hard to break in places isolated from large commercial centers. At 
Point Pleasant the old account books of fur traders show that the Eng- 
lish money system was still used in 1803. In Pendleton county and 
other interior counties the English system of pounds and shillings was 
used almost exclusively until 1800. It then began to yield, though very 
slowly. An appraisement at a sale would be reckoned by one method, 
and the result of the sale by another. By 1830 the word pound had 
fallen into disuse, but smaller sums were still reckoned in terms of 
shillings and pence. There were as .yet no nickels, dimes, and quarters 
of Federal coinage, but there were Spanish coins in general circulation. 
It was not until the upheaval of 1861 that the last vestiges of the old 
system were driven out of use. 

The problems of sheltering cabin and rude agricultural clearings 
were soon followed by larger problems of better communication through 
the almost fathomless depths of almost trackless regions and of im- 
provements in transportation. At first, following mere trails along 
the streams or across the bends of the streams or the divides, they opened 


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wider avenues of travel as thickening settlements and multiplying popu- 
lation dictated the formation of new counties and the incorporations 
of new towns. From 1800 to 1830 the number of counties increased from 
thirteen to twenty-three. 

In everything the frontier settlers were bound together by a com- 
munity interest — fasting, feasting, fighting, praying and cursing with 
one common mind. Although always influenced by traditions and cus- 
toms and laws of Anglo-Saxon civilization, they often became in their 
isolated communities a law unto themselves. Banded together by neigh- 
borly ties and co-operation, and isolated from the touch of orderly law 
and the refinements of culture, they forged a set of customs which 
were transmitted like law forming the basis of an unwritten law. 

By visits to the mill and by occasional attendance at the county court, 
or at militia musters, the people kept in touch with some of the larger 
life beyond their narrow horizon. The chief community interest of the 
early period found expression in warding off Indian attacks, and in 
co-operative neighborhood work such as house raisings and log roll- 
ings. Later there were other diversions, such as com huskings, which 
were occasions of neighborhood gayety, especially for the young. The 
occasional visit of a traveler from the older communities furnished an 
opportunity for hospitality which was gladly accepted. The greatest 
social occasions were the weddings, which always attracted general in- 
terest. The following description of early weddings in Berkeley county 
was probably largely applicable to many transmontane communities: 

For a long time after the first settlement of this locality, the inhabitants in 
general married very young. There was no distinction of rank and very little of 
fortune. On these accounts the first impressions of love resulted in marriage, and 
a family establishment cost nothing more than a little labor. The practice of 
celebrating the marriage at the house of the bride began at an early period, and 
it should seem with great propriety. She was also given the choice to make the 
selection as to who should perform the ceremony. In those days a wedding engaged 
the attention of a whole neighborhood, and both old and young engaged in the 
frolic with eager anticipation. This is not to be wondered at, when it is told that 
a wedding was almost the only gathering which was not accompanied with the labor 
of reaping, log rolling, building a cabin, or planning some scout or campaign. 

On the morning of the wedding day, the groom and his attendants assembled 
at the house of his father, for the purpose of reaching the mansion of his bride by 
noon, which was the usual time for celebrating the nuptials, and which for certain 
must take place before dinner. * * * The gentlemen dressed in shoepaeks, 
moccasins, leather breeches, leggins, and linsey hunting shirts, all homemade. The 
ladies dressed in linsey petticoats and linsey or linen bed gowns, coarse shoes, stock- 
ings, handkerchiefs, and buckskin gloves, if any; if there were any buckles, rings, 
buttons or ruffles, they were relics of old times, family pieces from parents or grand- 
parents. The horses were caparisoned with old saddles, bridles or halters, and pack- 
saddles, with a bag or blanket thrown over them — a rope or string as often consti- 
tuted the girth as a piece of leather. 

Another ceremony commonly took place before the party reached their destina- 
tion. When the party were within about a mile of the bride 's house, two young men 
would single out to run for the bottle. The worse the path, the more logs, bush 
and deep hollows, the better, as these obstacles afforded an opportunity for the 
greater display of intrepidity and horsemanship. * * * The bottle was always 
filled for the occasion and there was no need of judges. The first that reached the 
door was handed the prize, and returned in triumph announcing his victory over his 
rival by a shrill whoop. The bottle was given the groom and his attendants at the 
head of the troop, and then to each pair in succession, to the rear of the line. After 
giving each a dram, he placed the bottle in his bosom and took his station in the 
company. The ceremony preceded the dinner, which was a substantial backwoods 
feast of beef, pork, fowls and sometimes venison and bear meat, with plenty of 
cabbage, potatoes and other vegetables. 

After dinner dancing commenced with four handed reels or square sets and 
jigs, and generally lasted until the next morning. About 9 or 10 o'clock a deputa- 
tion of the young ladies stole off the bride and put her to bed. This would be 
unnoticed by the hilarious crowd, and as soon as discovered a deputation of young 
men in like manner would steal off the groom and place him snugly by the side of 
his bride. The dance still continued, and when seats happened to be scarce, which 
was often the case, every young man, when not engaged in the dance, was obliged 
to offer his lap as a seat for one of the girls, which was sure to be accepted. The 
younger guests usually danced until the following morning, keeping time to the 
music of the frontier fiddler and from time to time renewing their spirits from the 
bottle called "Black Betty." 
Vol. 1—15 


As late as 1822, after the passage of the act of 1819, to regulate 
marriages and to prevent forcible and stolen marriages, there were 
complaints that the inhabitants in some localities labored under great 
inconvenience from lack of persons duly authorized to officiate in per- 
forming the rites of matrimony. To remedy this condition in Cabell, 
Kanawha and Monongalia, the Assembly authorized the county courts 
to appoint persons who could legally officiate after they took the oath 
of allegiance 

In the earlier periods of settlement it was customary every autumn 
for each little neighborhood of a few families to send a caravan of pack 
horses heavily laden with peltries, ginseng and bears' grease, to the 
older settlements east of the mountains to barter for salt, iron, utensils 
and implements. The difficult journey by bridle paths required several 
days. Two men often managed a caravan of ten to fifteen- horses, each 
carrying about 200 pounds burden. At night they encamped and sank 
to sleep on wooden pack-saddle pillows, often amidst the sound of howl- 
ing wolves aud screaming panthers. For many parts of northwestern 
Virginia the place of exchange first by pack horse and later by pack 
horse and wagons was in succession, Baltimore, Frederick, Hagerstown, 
Oldtown and Fort Cumberland. For others the place of exchange was 
Winchester. One route to Winchester led via Clarksburg, Belington 
and Elkins. The trip by this route required from five to seven days in 
going and a longer time in returning. A camp in the Laurel Moun- 
tains near the site of Elkins became a regular stopping place on the 
journey. The trip was a dangerous one, full of adventures and hardships, 
and the men usually formed parties to go on the expedition, each man 
having two horses. The early trails were only wide enough for a horse 
to walk without danger of scraping off the packs against trees. There 
were no hotels on the way at which the pioneer could stop and procure 
food for himself and forage for his horses. The traveler was some- 
times at the mercy of storms or wild beasts. John Hacker was caught 
one night in a terrific snowstorm high in the Alleghenies. He tried to 
make a fire from the flint and tinder he carried, but could not on ac- 
count of the increasing numbness of his hands and arms. He probably 
would have perished but for the fact that he lashed his two horses to- 
gether so that he could lie between their backs. 

Ginseng was at first practically the only article of trade the settlers 
had to take to Winchester. * * * In order to keep from being 
molested by the thieves who infested the woods on the way to and from 
Virginia, the settlers posed as "sang diggers" long after they had other 
articles to barter. When these first traders appeared in Winchester the 
people there could hardly believe that the strangers were from the 
other side of the mountains. The first member of the Ice family who 
settled in Marion county has left an interesting account of his first 
eastern trip — a trip which he made with his father. During the trip 
they lost count of the days and at Winchester could only tell the curious 
people who crowded around them that they had "started in the 
morning. ' ' 

The difficulties of transportation across the mountains were so great 
that the western settlers usually purchased only the barest necessities 
of life, even if their stock of furs had been sufficient to purchase luxuries. 
When John Reger married Elizabeth West at West's fort in 1788, the 
bride attracted much attention by a store gown of calico which the 
groom had brought from Winchester on foot. 

The absohvte necessity of the eastern trade to secure salt and iron 
made imperative the construction of the first roads over the mountains. 
Some traders bought their salt at Pittsburgh, and after the settlement 
at Wheeling was well established the settlers eastward as far as Glover's 
Gap brought their supplies from that place. After the discovery of the 
Bulltown salt springs on the Little Kanawha, the manufacture of salt 
at that place for several years largely supplied the needs of that locality 
and eastward as far as Buckhannon. Farther south the manufacture 


of salt especially began to emancipate the West from the East. In 
1797 the first salt furnace on the Great Kanawha was set up. In 1807 
the method of manufacture improved by the Kuft'ner brothers increased 
the quantity of the product and soon made the "Kanawha Salines" 
widely known. The industry furnished an occupation for many people, 
some of whom built keel boats and distributed the manufactured prod- 
ucts along the Ohio and its tributaries. In 1814, 600,000 bushels were 
produced. The importance of the industry was increased by the appli- 
cation of steam to water navigation. When salt began to be made in 
quantities greater than the neighborhood demanded, it was shipped to 
the new settlements down the river by canoes. The first shipment on 
a more pretentious scale was in 1808, when a lograft was formed by 
fastening the log's together by hickory poles, when a lot of salt was 
packed in empty bacon hogsheads and barrels and placed on it and 
floated down to the new settlements. 

In 1838, James Hall in his "Notes on Western States" wrote: At a distance 
of about 00 miles from the mouth (of the Kanawha), by the meanders of the river, 
commences the richest salt region in the U. S. It extends about 10 miles along the 
river; and within that distance there are 80 or 90 separate establishments for the 
manufacture of salt, thickly scattered along the shore on either side of the stream. 
A large portion of the salt used in the West, has been furnished from these fur- 
naces, which have proved extremely lucrative to the proprietors. Altho they have 
been in operation for many years, the supply of brine remains undiminished, and 
the neighboring hills furnish an inexhaustible supply of bituminous coal, lying in 
thick, horizontal strata, in sight of the furnaces, and in positions elevated a few- 
feet above them. 

The salt industry led to the first discovery of natural gas in western 
Virginia. The first flow of gas was obtained from a well drilled for 
brine, by Capt. James Wilson, within the limits of Charleston, in 1815. 
Later it was found in great quantities in the salt wells of the Great 
Kanawha valley. In 1841, William Tompkins, in boring a salt well a 
short distance above the "Burning Spring" struck a large flow of gas, 
which he at once turned to account by using it as a fuel for "boiling 
his furnace" and thereby greatly reduced the cost of salt. 

In 1843, Dickinson and Shrewsbury, enterprising salt makers, while 
boring a well for brine a few rods distant from the Tompkins well, 
tapped, at a depth of 1,000 feet, nature's great gas reservoir in this 
region. "So great was the pressure of this gas and the force with 
which it was vented through this bore-hole that the auger, consisting 
of a heavy iron sinker weighing some 500 pounds, and several hundred 
feet more of auger poles, weighing in all perhaps 1,000 pounds, was shot 
up out of the well like an arrow out of a cross-bow. * * * For many 
years the natural flow of gas lifted the salt water 1,000 feet from the 
bottom of the well, forced it a mile or more through the pipes to a salt 
furnace, raised it into a reservoir, boiled it in a furnace, and lighted 
the premises all around at night." 

Thenceforth gas was the principal fuel used in the Kanawha Salines. 

The salt makers on the Kanawha river invented drilling tools for 
boring oil wells and they contributed to the later great development of 
the oil fields in West Virginia and adjoining states. The invention first 
spread from the Kanawha valley to Ohio, and later to distant regions 
in all parts of the world where oil wells have been bored. 

In the interior region in the earlier period, before there was much 
grass for cattle, hog raising was the chief live stock industry. The hogs 
were fattened on mast and corn and driven on foot to Richmond for 
slaughter there. This industry was later stimulated by the construe 
tion of the Staunton and Parkersburg pike. Later, after larger cleared 
acres had been "set to grass," the cattle industry became important. 
The cattle, before the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio railway, 
were usually driven to Baltimore or to Philadelphia, and sometimes to 
New York. 

After the construction of Hie Northwestern and the Staunton and 
Parkersburg turnpike considerable wagon trade of the interior region. 


as far as Buckkannon, was established with Parkersburg, from which 
salt, iron, steel and dry goods were obtained. Joseph S. Reger states 
that the round trip from Buekhannon required about two weeks. 

The treaty with Spain in 1795 and the later opening of steam navi- 
gation, stimulated the activity of commerce on the Ohio and encouraged 
many to plant on a larger scale and participate in a larger and more 
convenient commerce. Small farms on the Monongahela and upper 
Ohio early became the source of supply to the New Orleans markets for 
flour, potatoes, apples and pork. 

Cattle raising also became an important industry along the Ohio 
from whence they were driven to the Glades for a brief period of pasture 
• and then to the Baltimore and Philadelphia markets. 

Wool growing also became important in a few sections. Sheep rais- 
ing grew to a profitable industry in the counties on the upper Ohio and 
on the Monongahela. Wheeling became a town of woolen mills. Later 
the war of 1812 emphasized the need of internal improvements. The 
commercial restrictions of the period were a factor in causing trade 
and immigration across the Alleghenies by an overland route. In 1815, 
wheat and cotton were carried in wagons from Wheeling to the East, 
and after the opening of the Cumberland road to Wheeling in 1818 
there was a larger traffic across the mountains from the neighboring 

Finally, through the fertility of the soil and frugal industry, and 
the eastern demand for surplus products, the problems of the primitive 
life of frugal economy and mere subsistence were merged into the new 
problems of improved industry and better houses and new conditions 
and standards of life. The surplus product of energy and labor, through 
the law of supply and demand, found a sale in the older communities 
of the East — furnishing them a money commodity of exchange, the 
means to increase their wants and to improve their homes and farms, 
and the stimulus to facilitate communication between East and West. 
With these improvements came the accumulation of wealth and the 
increase of refinement and culture. 

New influences appeared with the arrival of a new class of settlers 
such as those who formed the German settlement in Preston near Mt. 
Carmel and the New Englanders who made their largest settlement at 
French creek in Upshur county and in Lewis. Several colonies of Ger- 
mans also found homes along the Little Kanawha in the upper pan- 
handle and in Doddridge and Randolph counties. 

The early wooden farm implements gradually gave way to iron 
implements which later were gradually improved or supplanted. The 
old hominy block with wooden pestle was succeeded by the handmill 
of stone, which later gave way to the water-propelled tub-mill which 
first utilized the water power along the rapid streams around the sources 
of the South Branch, the Cheat, the Monongahela, the Elk, the Gauley, 
the New and the Tug. The early sickle and flail gradually gave way 
to the reaping cradle and thresher by a natural process of evolution. 
About 1840 the first rude "chaff-piler" threshing machine made its 
appearance. In 1850 the Downs' "Separator" thresher was introduced, 
followed soon thereafter by its rival, Ralston 's "patent threshing and 
cleaning machine." Delanoe's "patent independent" horse rakes, and 
Ketcham's mowers, first introduced in the vicinity of Wheeling in 1854 
by R. H. Hubbard (the first dealer in agricultural implements in the 
western part of the state) were not generally used until about 1865. 
The cultivation of sorghum cane, introduced into the territory of west- 
ern Virginia in 1857, rapidly spread to almost every county. 

The first county fair in the territory of West Virginia was held 
at Mecklenburg (now Shepherdstown) by authority granted by the 
Virginia house of burgesses in 1766. The first encouragement or con- 
centrated action for the improvement of agriculture in western Vir- 
ginia, attempted in 1841 by the creation of a board of agriculture by 
an act which was repealed the following year, was accomplished through 



the Marshall County Agricultural Association, which was incorporated 
in 1850, and similar associations organized in Monongalia, Jefferson and 
Cabell counties. The Northwestern Virginia Agriculture Society, which 
purchased and equipped the Wheeling fairgrounds, was incorporated 
in 1858. 

Between 1830 and 1850 western Virginia increased rapidly in popu- 
lation and in wealth. This was due in part to the construction of turn- 
pikes which attracted emigrants and aroused the interest of speculators 
in the cheap lands and the rich natural resources. So intense was the 
land craze at times that associations were formed to prevent land buyers 
from overbidding each other and to treat those who offended to rail- 
rides and tar and feathers. At the same time many factories were 
established by capitalists from New England and the Middle States who 
brought emigrants with them. 

The material advance of the settlements before the era of railroads 
may oe measured by the evolution of mills, by the increase in the num- 
ber and size of stores and by the evolution and development of roads 

Old Mill at Grassy Creek, Over Lower Guyandot Sandstone, One 
Mile North op Leivasy, Nicholas County 

and ferries and methods of transportation — as well as by the changes 
in farm implements and machines and the general development of agi-i- 
culture. Before 1807 there was a greater demand for the construction 
of mill dams, ferries, and smelting furnaces than for internal communi- 
cation with the East. 

Quite early, the grist mill was introduced and became the social cen- 
ter of the neighborhood, or rather the news center to which men or 
their boys brought their grist on horseback. 

The earliest mills, the "tub mills," which were built in the oldest 
trans-Allegheny settlements about 1779 or 1780, began to be superseded 
between 1795 and 1800 by the better water grist mill (ecpiipped with 
country stones), which in time retreated before the steam mills. Before 
1807 the construction of dams across the Monongahela was first regulated 
by the Virginia legislature by an act of December 5, 1793, and later 
by act of February 3, 1806. Many such dams were found along the 
streams of the settled regions by 1820. When the first official examina- 
tion and partial survey of the Monongahela river was made in 1820, 
under the direction of the Virginia Board of Public Works, beginning 
a mile below the Lewis county court house and continuing to the Penn- 
sylvania line, there were between these points (nearly 107 miles) ten 
dams — usually mill dams. 

Forest industries were begun with the earliest settlements. The first 


saw mills in the present territory of West Virginia appeared (probably 
by 1755) on the Potomac and its tributaries. Probably there were a 
dozen crude water saw mills in that region (including the South Branch 
country) by 1775, and possibly five times that number by 1800. There 
were about fifty such mills in Berkeley county alone in 1810. 

The first saw mill west of the mountains is said to have been built near the 
town of St. George, in Tucker county by John Minear in the year 1 7 7 (5 . This was 
a sash saw mill anil stood on Mill run, a small tributary of ('hint river. Another 
was built by the MeNeals some years after their settlement in southern Pocahontas 
eounty in 17(55, and another by Valentine Cackley at Millpoint, in the same county, 
in 1778. The Gazetter of Virginia and the District of Columbia, written by Joseph 
Martin, contains one of the first available lists of saw mills in what is now West 
Virginia. According to this list there were forty or more water mills running in 
1835. Probably the most extensive water saw mill operations in- the state were 
conducted on Middle Island creek and its tributaries in Pleasants, Tyler, and Dodd- 
ridge counties. In Tyler county alone not fewer than twenty-four sash mills were 
running in this vicinity between the years 1840 and 1880. Some of the mills were 
in operation day and night in winter, and all sawed choice white and yellow pines 
for southern markets. 

As late as 1863, when West Virginia had its birth as a state, seven-eighths of 
the lumber consumed here and exported was manufactured by water power on the 
primitive types of saw mills. 

The next step in the evolution of sawing devices was the introduction of steam- 
propelled rotary saw mills that were capable of being hauled from place to place. 
This type of mill, which is still in use in the state, — numbering over fifteen hundred 
in present operation — is too familiar to require description. Little is known of the 
first years of the steam saw mill industry. It would bo impossible at this time to 
obtain full data as to their number and location. Local historians, with one or two 
exceptions, have remained silent regarding it, and all that can now be learned of the 
early stages of steam saw milling must be laboriously secured from a few imperfect 
records and from the older citizens of the state who were lumbermen many years 
ago. According to Martin 's list there were fifteen steam saw mills in operation in 
the counties that now constitute West Virginia, in 1835. The increase in number 
of portable mills was not rapid during the first thirty or forty years after their 
introduction. With the coming of the railroads, however, mills of this kind began to 
multiply rapidly. New towns that grew up along these roads required a large 
amount, of rough lumber for the hastily-built houses, and it was usually possible 
to locate mills near by. In 1870 J. H. Diss Bebar wrote: "Along both branches 
of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, from twenty to thirty first-class mills are cutting 
on an average 3,000 feet of lumber a day." And so it was along practically all 
other railroads as they were built from time to time. A few came at first and these 
were soon followed by many others, as mentioned in the quotation above. Just as 
the old water mills followed closely the first settlements, supplying lumber for floors 
and ceiling in the log houses and for the construction of the first frame dwellings, 
so the portable mills followed the later settlements as they were begun along the 
lines of the railroads. 

During the years when the more primitive types of saw mills were running and 
continuing in some cases to the present time, were other forest industries of con- 
siderable importance. The list of these industries includes the making and floating 
of flat-boats, the rafting of logs and other timber products, the manufacture of 
cooperage stock, the hoop pole industry, shingle-making, cross-tie industries, tanning, 
and others of less importance. 

Eafting has been conducted on all the principal rivers of the state except those 
that are too rough to admit of it. On the Ohio river rafts of lops could be seen 
as early as 1830; and not far from the same time flat-boats were being made on the 
Kanawha, the Coal and the Elk rivers. Most of the flat-boats were loaded with 
staves and taken to the salt works near Charleston where they were sold. For the 
past seventy-five years log rafts and single logs have been taken in large numbers 
from the forests that border the Ouyandotte, the Big Sandy, the Little Kanawha, 
and other rivers. The hoop pole industry was enormous during the years of the 
early life of the state. 

The forest and timber industries — beginning in a small way with the earliest 
settlements of the state, and increasing to their present large proportions — have 
meant more in the way of benefits to the citizens of West Virginia than any other 
industry except that of farming. All classes of people have been, and still con- 
tinue to be, the beneficiaries of these forest industries. The forest industries not 
only brought capital into the region, but also furnished employment for thousands 
of citizens and also was the means of establishing social centers and developing 
wholesome social customs. Hundreds of small villages and flourishing larger towns 
of today stand where lumber camps formerly stood, built long ago in dense woodeil 
regions. In these camps a rough but large-hearted, robust, and justice-loving com- 
pany of young lumbermen — some from the rural homes of the state and others from 
outside our borders — constituted the first temporary and shifting population of 
these centers, — a few lingering behind as the first permanent residents. 

In the pioneer era of West Virginia, following the earliest period of 



settlement, there were a number oi' iron furnaces which supplied iron 
for local needs. In Monongalia and Preston counties were several iron 
furnaces at an early date — possibly by 1790 or earlier. One on Decker's 
creek above Morgantown was working in 1798. Another, the old Cheat 
river furnace, seven miles from Morgantown, near Ice's Ferry, was 
standing in that year. More than a dozen furnaces were in operation 
in the vicinity in the half century before the Civil war. Some of them 
were operated ten or fifteen years after the war. The manufacture of 
iron on Cheat, near lee's Feriy, became an important industry by 
1849. Early in the nineteenth century, possibly by 1810, iron from 
Hampshire county was transported in boats down the Capon river, and 
thence down the Potomac to Georgetown. In Hardy county, near 
Wardensville and Moorefield were other furnaces, some of which oper- 
ated until after the Civil war. Near Greenland Gap in Grant county 
was another, the Fanny furnace, which was well known in its day for 

Cacapon Furnace Stack Near Wardensville, Hardy County 

(Courtesy of West Virginia Geological Survey) 

the fine quality of cook stoves manufactured. A furnace on Brushy- 
fork, Barbour county, which was built in 1848, made 9,000 pounds of 
iron a day. It was worked for six years. In the smelting, charcoal was 
used as fuel, although the furnace stood on a vein of coal. The iron 
was hauled by mule teams fifty miles to the Monongahela river near 
Fairmont for shipment by boat to the down-river market. The blast 
was operated first by water power and afterwards by an engine (be- 
lieved to have been the first, in Barbour county), about 1S50. It was 
thirty-nine feet high when built. The last furnace which was operated 
in West Virginia was the old Capon furnace, six miles south of Wardens- 
ville, Hardy county, which was built, in 1822 and was finally closed 
in 1880. It was worth about $15,000 in 1832, exclusive of real estate. 
In the later period of its operation the cost of hauling the iron across 
the mountains to the railroad was ten dollars a ton, which, added to the 
expense of production, made the cost of the iron at the railroad $25 a 
ton. During the prosperous years of the furnace, prices for the prod- 
uct ranged from $40 to $60 a ton. In 1855 the plant produced 220 
tons of iron. The doom of the old style furnaces resulted in part from 
the opening of the St. Mary canal in 1855, furnishing cheap transpor- 
tation for vast quantities of cheap iron ore on Lake Superior which 


began to move east