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Another survey of thirteen thousand acres was granted to another person, and lies immediately below and adjoining Carter's line, running a considerable distance into the county of Jefferson. This fine tract of land, it is said, was sold under the hammer at Williamsburg, some time previous to the war of the revolution. The owner had been sporting, lost money, and sold the land to pay his debt of honor. General Washington happened to be present, knew the land, and advised the late Ralph Wormley, Esq.* to purchase it. Wormley bid five hundred guineas for it, and it was struck off to him. It is also said that Mr. Wormley, just before or at the time of the sale, had been regaling himself with a social glass, and that when he cooled off, he became extremely dissatisfied with his purchase, considering it as money thrown away. Washington hearing of his uneasiness, immediately waited on him, and told him he would take the purchase off his hands, and pay him his money again, but advised him by all means to hold it, assuring him that it would one day or other be the foundation of an independent fortune for his children; upon which Wormley became better reconciled, and consented to hold on. And truly, as Washington predicted, it would have become a splendid estate in the hands of two orthree of his children, had they known how to preserve it. But it passed into other hands, and now constitutes the splendid farms of the late firm of Castleman & McCormick, Hierome L. Opie, Esq. the honorable judge Richard E. Parker, and several others. In truth, all the country about the larger water courses and mountains was settled before the fine country about Bullskin, Long marsh, Spot run, &c.

Much the greater part of the country between what is called the Little North mountain and the Shenandoah river, at the first settling of the valley was one vast prairie,† and like the rich prairies of the west, afforded the finest possible pasturage for wild animals. The country abounded in the larger kinds of gaine. The buffalo, elk, deer, bear, panther, wild-cat, wolf, fox, beaver, otter, and all other kinds of animals, wild fowl, &c., common to forest countries, were abundantly plenty. The country now the county of Shenandoah, between the Fort mountain and North mountain, was also settled at an early period. The counties of Rockingham and Augusta also were settled at an early time. The settlement of the upper part of our valley will be more particularly noticed, and form the subject of a second volume hereafter, should the public demand it.

From the best evidence the author has been able to collect, and for this purpose he has examined many ancient grants of lands, family records, &c., as well as the oral tradition of our ancient citizens, the settlement of our valley progressed without interruption from the native Indians for a period of about twenty-three years. In the year 1754, the Indians suddenly disappeared, and crossed the Allegany. The year preceding,

*Mr. Wormly, it is believed, resided at the time in the county of Mid


There are several aged individuals now living, who recollect when there were large bodies of land in the counties of Berkeley, Jefferson and Frederick, barren of timber. The barren land is now covered with the best of forest trees.

emissaries from the west of the Allegany came among the Valley Indians and invited them to move off.* This occurrence excited suspicion among the white people that a storm was brewing in the west, which it was essential to prepare to meet.

Tradition relates, that the Indians did not object to the Pennsylvanians settling the country. From the high character of William Penn, (the founder of Pennsylvania,) the poor simple natives believed that all Penn's men were honest, virtuous, humane and benevolent, and partook of the qualities of the illustrious founder of their government. But fatal experienee soon taught them a very different lesson. They soon found to their cost that Pennsylvanians were not much better than others.

Tradition also informs us that the natives held in utter abhorence the Virginians, whom they designated "Long Knife," and were warmly opposed to their settling in the valley.

The author will conclude this chapter with some general remarks in relation to the circumstances under which the first settlement of the valley commenced. Tradition informs us, and the oral statements of several aged individuals of respectable character confirm the fact that the Indians and white people resided in the same neighborhood for several years after the first settlement commenced, and that the Indians were entirely peaceable and friendly. This statement must in the nature of things be true; because if it had been otherwise, the white people could not have succeeded in effecting the settlement. Had the natives resisted the first attempts to settle, the whites could not have succeeded without the aid of a pretty considerable army to awe the Indians into submission. It was truly fortunate for our ancestors that this quiescent spirit of the Indians afforded them the opportunity of acquiring considerable strength as to numbers, and the accumulation of considerable property and improvemants, before Indian hostilities commenced.

It has already been stated that it was twenty-three years from the first settlement, before the Indians committed any acts of outrage on the white people. During this period many pretty good dwelling houses were erected. Joist Hite had built a stone house on Opequon, which house is now standing, and has a very ancient appearance; but there are no marks upon it by which to ascertain the time. In 1751, James Wilson erected a stone house which is still standing, and now the residence of Mr. Adam Kern, adjoining or near the village of Kernstown.

Jacob Chrisman also built a pretty large stone house in the year 1751, now the residence of Mr. Abraham Stickley, about two miles south of Stephensburg. Geo. Bowman and Paul Froman each of them built stone houses, about the same period. The late Col. John Hite, in the year 1753, built a stone house now the dwelling house of Mrs. Barton. This building was considered by far the finest dwelling house west of the Blue

*Mr. Thomas Barrett, an aged and respectable citizen of Frederick county, related this tradition to the author.

On the wall plate of a framed barn built by Hite, the figures 1747 are plainly marked, and now to be seen.

ridge. Lewis Stephens, in the year 1756, built a stone house, the ruins of which are now to be seen at the old iron works of the late Gen. Isaac Zane. It will hereafter be seen that these several stone buildings became of great importance to the people of the several neighborhoods, as places of protection and security against the attacks of the Indians.

The subject of the early settlement of the valley will be resumed in my next chapter.

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Tradition relates that a man by the name of John Vanmeter, from New York, some years previous to the first settlement of the valley, discovered the fine country on the Wappatomaka. This man was a kind of wandering Indian trader, became well acquainted with the Delawares, and once accompanied a war party who marched to the south for the purpose of invading the Catawbas. The Catawbas, however, anticipated them, met them very near the spot where Pendleton courthouse now stands, and encountered and defeated them with immense slaughter. Vanmeter was engaged on the side of the Delewares in this battle. When Vanmeter returned to New York, he advised his sons, that if they ever migrated to Virginia, by all means to secure a part of the South Branch bottom, and described the lands immediately above what is called "The Trough," as the finest body of land which he had ever discovered in all his travels.-One of his sons, Isaac Vanmeter, in conformity with his father's advice came to Virginia about the year 1736 or 1737, and made what was called a tomahawk improvement on the lands now owned by Isaac Vanmeter, Esq. immediately above the trough, where Fort Pleasant was afterwards erected. After this improvement, Mr. Vanmeter returned to New Jersey, came out again in 1740, and found a man by the name of Coburn settled on his land. Mr. Vanmeter bought out Coburn, and again returned to New Jersey; and in the year 1744 removed with his family and settled on the land. Previous to Vanmeter's final removal to Virginia, several immigrants from Pennsylvania, chiefly Irish, had settled on the South branch.

*There is a tradition in this neighborhood that Col. Hite quarried every stone in this building with his own hands.

Isaac Vanmaeter, Esq., of Hardy, detailed this tradition to the author.

Howard, Coburn, Walker and Rutledge, were the first settlers on the Wappatomaka.*

William Miller and Abraham Hite were also among the early settlers.. When the Indian wars broke out, Miller sold out his right to 500 acres of land, and all his stock of horses and cattle in the woods, for twenty-five pounds,† and removed to the South fork of the Shenandoah, a few miles above Front Royal. The 500 acres of land sold by Miller lie within about two miles of Moorefield, and one acre of it would now command more money than the whole tract, including his stock, was sold for.

Casey, Pancake, Forman, and a number of others, had settled on the Wappatomaka previous to Vanmeter's final removal.

In the year 1740, the late Isaac Hite, Esq. one of the sons of Joist Hite, settled on the North Branch of the Shenandoah, in the county of Frederick, on the beautiful farm called "Long meadows." This fine estate is now owned by Maj. Isaac Hite, the only son of Isaac Hite de ceased.

About the same year, John Lindsey and James Lindsey, brothers, removed and settled on the Long marsh, between Bullskin and Berryville, in the county of Frederick; Isaac Larue removed from New-Jersey in 1743, and settled on the same marsh. About the same period, Christopher Beeler removed and settled within two or three miles from Larue; and about the year 1744, Joseph Hampton and two sons came from the eastern shore of Maryland, settled on Buck marsh, near Berryville, and lived the greater part of the year in a hollow sycamore tree. They enclosed a piece of land and made a crop preparatory to the removal of the family.§

In 1743 Joseph Carter removed from Bucks county, Pennsylvania, and settled on Opequon, about five miles east of Winchester. Very near Mr. Carter's residence, on the west side of the creek, was a beautiful grove of forest timber, immediately opposite which a fine limestone spring issued from the east bank of the creek, This grove was, at the time of Mr. Carter's first settlement, a favorite camping ground of the Indians, where numerous collections, sometimes two or three hundred at a time, would assemble, and remain for several weeks together. Mr. Carter was a shoemaker, and on one occasion two Indians called at his shop just as he had finished and hung up a pair of shoes, which one of the Indians seeing secretly slipped under his blanket, and attempted to make off. Carter detected him, and took the shoes from him. His companion manifested the utmost indignation at the theft, and gave Carter to understand that the culprit would be severely dealt with. As soon as the Indians returned to the encampment, information was given to the chiefs, and the unfortunate thief was so severely chastised, that Mr. Carter, from motives

*Communicated by William Heath, Esq.

Isaac Vanmeter, Esq. stated this fact to the author.

Maj. Isaac Hite, of Frederick county, communicated this information › to the author.

$Col. John B. Larue and William Castlemen, Esq. gave the author this information.

of humanity, interposed, and begged that the punishment might cease. Maj. Isaac Hite informed the author that numerous parties of Indians, in passing and repassing, frequently called at his grandfather's house, on Opequon, and that but one instance of theft was ever committed. On that occasion a pretty considerable party had called, and on their leaving the house some article of inconsiderable value was missing. A messenger was sent after them, and information of the theft given to the chiefs. Search was immediately made, the article found in the possession of one of them, and restored to its owner. These facts go far to show their high sense of honesty and summary justice. It has indeed been stated to the author, that their travelling parties would, if they needed provisions and could not otherwise procure them, kill fat hogs or fat cattle in the woods, in order to supply themselves with food. This they did not consider stealing. Every animal running at large they considered lawful game.

The Indians charge the white people with teaching them the knowledge of theft and several other vices. In the winter of 1815-16, the author spent some weeks in the state of Georgia, where he fell in with Col. Barnett, one of the commissioners for running the boundary line of Indian lands which had shortly before been ceded to the United States. Some conversation took place on the subject of the Indians and Indian character, in which Col. B. remarked, that in one of his excursions through the Indian country, he met with a very aged Cherokee chief, who spoke and understood the English language pretty well. The colonel had several conversations with this aged man, in one of which he congratulated him upon the prospect of his people having their condition greatly improved, there being every reason to believe that in the course of a few years they would become acquainted with the arts of civil life-would be better clothed, better fed, and erect better and more comfortable habitations— and what was of still greater importance, they would become acquainted with the doctrines and principles of the Christian religion. This venerable old man listened with the most profound and respectful attention until the colonel had concluded, and then with a significant shake of his head and much emphasis replied,—That he doubted the benefits to the red people pointed out by the colonel; that before their fathers were acquainted with the whites, the red people needed but little, and that little the Great Spirit gave them, the forest supplying them with food and raiment that before their fathers were acquainted with the white people, the red people never got drunk, because they had nothing to make them drunk, and never committed theft, because they had no temptation to do so. It was true, that when parties were out hunting, and one party was unsuccessful and found the game of the more successful party hung up, if they needed provision they took it; and this was not stealing-it was the law and custom of the tribes. If they went to war they destroyed each other's property this was done to weaken their enemy. Red people never swore,

*The late Mr. James Carter gave the author this tradition, which he received from his father, who was a boy of 12 or 13 years old at the time, and an eye-witness of the fact. Opposite to this camping ground, on a high hill east of the creek, is a large Indian grave.

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