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cern for your welfare and prosperity, both now and hereafter, and also the prosperity of your children, I had a desire to see you; but being in years, and heavy, and much spent and fatigued with my long journeyings in Virginia and Carolina, makes it seem too hard for me to perform a visit in person to you, wherefore I take this way of writing to discharge my mind of what lies weighty thereon; and

"First. I desire that you be very careful (being far and back inhabitants) to keep a friendly correspondence with the native Indians, giving them no occasion of offense; they being a cruel and merciless enemy, where they think they are wronged or defrauded of their rights; as woful experience hath taught in Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, and especially in New England, &c.; and

"Secondly. As nature hath given them and their forefathers the possession of this continent of America (or this wilderness), they had a natural right thereto in justice and equity; and no people, according to the law of nature and justice and our own principle, which is according to the glorious gospel of our dear and holy Jesus Christ, ought to take away or settle on other men's lands or rights without consent, or purchasing the same by agreement of parties concerned; which I suppose in your case is not yet done.

"Thirdly. Therefore my counsel and christian advice to you is, my dear friends, that the most reputable among you do with speed endeavor to agree with and purchase your lands of the native Indians or inhabitants. Take example of our worthy and honorable late proprietor William Penn; who by the wise and religious care in that relation, hath settled a lasting peace and commerce with the natives, and through his prudent management therein hath been instrumental to plant in peace one of the most flourishing provinces in the world.

"Fourthly. Who would run the risk of the lives of their wives and children for the sparing a little cost and pains? I am concerned to lay these things before you, under an uncommon exercise of mind, that your new and flourishing little settlement may not be laid waste, and (if the providence of the Almighty doth not intervene,) some of the blood of yourselves, wives or children, be shed or spilt on the ground.

"Fifthly. Consider you are in the province of Virginia, holding what rights you have under that government; and the Virginians have made an agreement with the natives to go as far as the mountains and no farther; and you are over and beyond the mountains, therefore out of that agreement; by which you lie open to the insults and incursions of the Southern Indians, who have destroyed many of the inhabitants of Carolina and Virginia, and even now destroyed more on the like occasion. The English going beyond the bounds of their agreement, eleven of them were killed by the Indians while we were travelling in Virginia.

"Sixthly. If you believe yourselves to be within the bounds of William Penn's patent from King Charles the second, which will be hard for you to prove, you being far southward of his line, yet if done, that will be no consideration with the Indians without a purchase from them, except you will go about to convince them by fire and sword, contrary to our princi

ples; and if that were done, they would ever be implacable enemies, and the land could never be enjoyed in peace.

"Seventhly. Please to note that in Pennsylvania no new settlements are made without an agreement with the natives; as witness Lancaster county, lately settled, though that is far within the grant of William Penn's patent from king Charles the second; wherefore you lieopen to the insurrections of the Northern as well as Southern Indians; and

"Lastly. Thus having shewn my good will to you and to your new little settlement, that you might sit every one under your own shady tree, where none might make you afraid, and that you might prosper naturally and spiritually, you and your children; and having a little eased my mind of that weight and concern (in some measure) that lay upon me, I at present desist, and subscribe myself, in the love of our holy Lord Jesus Christ, your real friend, T. C."

This excellent letter from this good man proves that the Quakers were among our earliest settlers, and that this class of people were early disposed to do justice to the natives of the country.

Had this humane and just policy of purchasing the Indian lands been first adopted and adhered to, it is highly probable the white people might have gradually obtained possession without the loss of so much blood and


The ancestors of the Neills, Walkers, Bransons, McKays, Hackneys, Beesons, Luptons, Barretts, Dillons, &c. were among the earliest Quaker immigrants to our valley. Three Quakers by the name of Fawcett settled at an early period about 8 or 9 miles south of Winchester, near Zane's old iron works, from whom a pretty numerous progeny has descended.— They have, however, chiefly migrated to the west.

Mr. Jefferson, in his notes on Virginia, says, "That the lands of this country were taken from them (the Indians,) by conquest, is not so general a truth as is supposed. I find in our historians and records, repeated proofs of purchase, which cover a considerable part of the lower country; and many more would doubtless be found on further search. The upper country we know has been acquired altogether by purchase in the most unexceptionable form."

Tradition relates, that several tracts of land were purchased by Quakers from the Indians on Apple-pie ridge, and that the Indians never were known to disturb the people residing on the land so purchased.



In the year 1732, Joist Hite, with his family, and his sons-in-law, viz. George Bowman, Jacob Chrisman and Paul Froman, with their families, Robert McKay, Robert Green, William Duff, Peter Stephens, and several others, amounting in the whole to sixteen families, removed from Pennsylvania, cutting their road from York, and crossing the Cohongoruton about two miles above Harpers-Ferry. Hite settled on Opequon, about five miles south of Winchester, on the great highway from Winchester to Staunton, now the residence of the highly respectable widow of the late Richard Peters Barton, Esq. and also the residence of Richard W. Barton, Esq. Peter Stephens and several others settled at Stephensburg, and founded the town; Jacob Chrisman at what is now called Chrisman's spring, about two miles south of Stephensburg; Bowman on Cedar creek about six miles farther south; and Froman on the same creek, 8 or 9 miles north west of Bowman. Robert McKay settled on Crooked run, 8 or 9 miles south east of Stephensburg. The several other families settled in the same neighborhood, wherever they could find wood and water most convenient. From the most authentic information which the author has been able to obtain, Hite and his party were the first immigrants who settled west of the Blue ridge. They were, however, very soon followed by numerous others.

In 1734,* Benjamin Allen, Riley Moore, and William White, removed from Monoccacy, in Maryland, and settled on the North branch of the Shenandoah, now in the county of Shenandoah, about 12 miles south of Woodstock.

In 1733, Jacob Stover, an enterprising German, obtained from the then governor of Virginia, a grant for five thousand acres of land on the South fork of the Gerandof river, on what was called Mesinetto creek.‡ Tradition relates a singular and amusing account of Stover and his

*Mr. Steenbergen informed the author that the traditionary account of the first settlement of his farm, together with Allen's and Moore's, made it about 106 years; but Mr. Aaron Moore, grandson of Riley Moore, by referring to the family records, fixes the period pretty correctly. According to Mr. Moore's account, Moore, Allen and White, removed from Maryland in 1734.

This water course was first written Gerando, then Sherandoah, now Shenandoah.

Mesinetto is now called Masinutton. There is a considerable settlement of highly improved farms, now called "the Masinutton settlement," in the new county of Page, on the west side of the South river, on Stover's ancient grant.


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grant.* On his application to the executive for his grant, he was refused unless he could give satisfactory assurance that he would have the land settled with the requisite number of families within a given time. Being unable to do this, he forthwith passed over to England, petitioned the king to direct his grant to issue, and in order to insure success, had given human names to every horse, cow, hog and dog he owned, and which he represented as heads of families, ready to migrate and settle the land. By this disingenuous trick he succeeded in obtaining directions from the king and council for securing his grant; on obtaining which he immediately sold out his land in small divisions, at three pounds (equal to ten dollars) per hundred, and went off with the money.

Two men, John and Isaac Vanmeter, obtained a warrant from governor Gooch for locating forty thousand acres of land. This warrant was, obtained in the year 1730. They sold or transferred part of their warrant to Joist Hite; and from this warrant emanated several of Hite's grants, which the author has seen.. Of the titles to the land on which Hite settled, with several other tracts in the neighborhood of Stephensburg, the originals are founded on this warrant.

In the year 1734, Richard Morgan obtained a grant for a tract of land in the immediate neighborhood of Shepherdstown, on or near the Cohongoruton. Among the first settlers on this water course and its vicinity, were Robert Harper (Harpers-Ferry), William Stroop, Thomas and William Forester, Israel Friend, Thomas Shephard, Thomas Swearengen, Van Swearengen, James Forman, Edward Lucas, Jacob Hite,† John Le mon, Richard Mercer, Edward Mercer, Jacob Vanmeter and brothers, Robert Stockton, Robert Buckles, John Taylor, Samuel Taylor, Richard Morgan, John Wright, and others.

The first settlers on the Wappatomaka (South Branch) were Coburn, Howard, Walker and Rutledge. This settlement commenced about the year 1734 or 1735. It does not appear that the first immigrants to this fine section of country had the precaution to secure titles to their lands, until Lord Fairfax migrated to Virginia, and opened his office for granting warrants in the Northern Neck. The earliest grant which the author could find in this settlement bears date in 1747. The most of the grants are dated in 1749. This was a most unfortunate omission on the part of these people. It left Fairfax at the discretion of exercising his insatiable disposition for the monopoly of wealth; and instead of granting these lands upon the usual terms allowed to other settlers, he availed himself of the opportunity of laying off in manors, fifty-five thousand acres, in what he called his South Branch manor, and nine thousand acres on Patterson's creek..

This was considered by the settlers an odious and oppressive act on the part of his lordship, and many of them left the country. These two great

*Stover's grant is described as being in the county of Spottsylvania, St. Mark's Parish. Of course, Spottsylvania at that period, i. e. 1733, crossed the Blue Ridge.

One of Joist Hite's sons.

William Heath, Esq. of Hardy, gave the author this information.

surveys were made in the year 1747. To such tenants as remained, his lordship granted leases for ninety-nine years, reserving an annual rent of twenty shillings sterling per hundred acres; whereas to all other immigrants only two shillings sterling rent per hundred was reserved, with a fee simple title to the tenant. Some further notice of Lord Fairfax and his immense grant will be taken in a future chapter.

Tradition relates that a man by the name of John Howard, and his son, previous to the first settlement of our valley, explored the country, and discovered the charming valley of the South Branch, crossed the Allegany mountains, and on the Ohio killed a very large buffalo bull, skinned him, stretched his hide over ribs of wood, made a kind of boat, and in this frail bark descended the Ohio and Mississippi to New Orleans, where they were apprehended by the French as suspicious characters, and sent to France; but nothing criminal appearing against them, they were discharged. From hence they crossed over to England, where Fairfax by some means got to hear of Mr. Howard, sought an interview with him, and obtained from him a description of the fertility and immense value of the South Branch, which determined his lordship at once to secure it in manors. Notwithstanding this selfish monopoly on the part of Fairfax, the great fertility and value of the country induced numerous tenants to take leases, settle, and improve the lands.

At an early period many immigrants settled on Capon, (anciently called Cacaphon, which is said to be the Indian name,) also on Lost river.---Along Back creck, Cedar creek, and Opequon, pretty numerous settlements were made. The two great branches of the Shenandoah, from its forks upwards, were among our earliest settlements.

An enterprising Quaker, by the name of Ross, obtained a warrant for surveying forty thousand acres of land. The surveys on this warrant were made along Opequon, north of Winchester, and up to Apple-pie ridge. Pretty numerous immigrants of the Quaker profession removed from Pennsylvania, and settled on Ross's surveys. The reader will have observed in my preceding chapter, that as early as 1738, this people had regular monthly meetings established on Opequon.†

The lands on the west side of the Shenandoah, from a little below the forks, were first settled by overseers and slaves, nearly down to the mouth of the Bullskin. A Col. Carter, of the lower country, had obtained grants for about sixty-three thousand acres of land on this river. His surveys commenced a short distance below the forks of the river, and ran down a little below Snicker's ferry, upwards of 20 miles. This fine body of land is now subdivided into a great many most valuable farms, a considerable part of which are now owned by the highly respectable families of Burwells and Pages. But little of it now remains in the hands of Carter's heirs.

*Also related by Mr. Heath.

See Chaukley's letter to the mouthly meeting on Opequon, 21st May, 1738, page 39.

Col. Robert Carter obtained grants in September, 1730, for sixty-three thousand acres.

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