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History of Western North Carolina - Chapter IV - Daniel Boone
By John Preston Arthur, 1914
HTML by Jeffrey C. Weaver, October 1998


Just as seven cities contended for the honor of having been the birthplace of Homer; so, too, many states are proud to boast that Boone once lived within their borders. But North Carolina was the home of his boyhood, his young manhood and the State in which he chose his wife. From his home at Holman's Ford he passed to his cabin in the village of Boone on frequent occasions, making hunting trips from that point into the surrounding mountains. From there, too, he started on his trips into Kentucky.

From an address read by Miss Esther Ransom, daughter of the late U. S. Senator Matt. W. Ransom, to Thomas Polk Chapter, D. A. R., the following is copied:

"It has been argued that Boone did not fight in the Revolutionary war. This is true. He was ~ busy fighting Indians in Kentucky, the 'dark and bloody ground.' Let me impress it upon you that but for Booue and Clark and Denton and the other Indian fighters there wouldn't have been any Revolutionary war; no Kings Mountain, no Guilford Court House, no Yorktown. The Indians were natural allies of the British. British money supplied them with arms and ammunition and King George III was constantly inciting them through his officers, to murder and destroy the Patriots.

"Just suppose for a moment if, at Kings Mountain where the mountain men surrendered Ferguson they, in their turn, had been surrounded by five hundred or a thousand Indians. The day would have ended in dire disaster and it would have taken another Caesar to have rescued the Patriots from that terrible predicament.

"Daniel Boone did as much or more service for our country in fighting Indians and keeping them back as if he had served in the war with Washington and Green.

"Like Washington, Boone was a surveyor. He surveyed nearly all the' land in Kentucky. He was a law maker. He passed a law for the protection of game in Kentucky and also one for keeping up the breed of fine horses.

"Roosevelt in his vigorous English calls him 'Road-Builder, town-maker and Commonwealth founder,' and when Kentucky had representation in Virginia, Boone sat in the house of commons as a Burgess.

"He might be styled the 'Nimrod' of the United States, fbr truly 'He was a mighty hunter before the Lord."'

JOHN FINLEY. Finley was the Scotch-Irishman who had descended the Ohio river as far an Louisville in 1752; and who, after Boone's return from his trip to the Big Sandy in 1767, turned up at Boone's cabin at Holman's Ford in the winter of 1768-69[1]. He had suggested when on the Braddock expedition that Boone might reach Kentucky "by following the trail of the buffaloes and the Shawnese, northwestward through Cumberland gap."[2] "Scaling the lofty Blue Ridge, the explorers passed over Stone and Iron mountains and reached Holston Valley, whence they proceeded through Moccasin gap of Clinch mountain and crossed over intervening rivers and densely wooded hills until they came to Powell's Valley, then the furthest limits of white settlement. Here they found a hunters' trail which led them through Cumberland gap."[3] If they did this by the easiest and shortest route, they passed up the Shawnee trail on the ridge between Elk and Stony forks through Cooks gap, down by Three Forks of New river, through what is now Boone village and Hodges gap, across the Grave Yard gap down to Dog Skin creek, following the base of Rich mountain to State Line gap between Zionville and Trade to the hea4 of Roan creek to the crossing of the two Indian trails at what is now Shoun's Cross Roads, and thence over the Iron mountain~. Any other route would have been deliberately to go wrong for the sake of doing so. From any eminence that route seemed to have been marked out by nature.

BENJAMIN CUTBIRTH. This name was pronounced Cutbaird according to the recollection of Cyrus Grubb, a prominent citizen of Watauga, and Benjamin Cuthbirth's name appears on the records of Ashe county as having conveyed 100 acres of land on the South Fork of New river to Andrew Ferguson in 1800. This is the same "Scotch-Irishman" who had married Elizabeth Wilcoxen, a neice of Daniel Boone, at the close of the French and Indian war, and when he was about twenty-three years old. In 1767 he and John Stuart, John Baker and John Ward, crossed the mountains and went to the Mississippi river, where they spent a year or two, going even to New Orleans. [4]

HOLMAN'S FORD. About this time Daniel Boone moved sixty-five miles west from the Yadkin settlement near Dutchman's creek, "choosing his final home on the upper Yadkin just above the mouth of Beaver creek.[5] Col. James M. Isbell's grantfather, Martin, told him that Daniel Boone used to live six miles below James M. Isbell's present home near the bank of the Yadkin river, on a little creek now known as Beaver creek, one mile from where it flows into the Yadkin river, near Holman's ford. The Boone house was in a little swamp and canebrake surrounding the point of a ridge, with but one approach-that by the ridge. The swamp was in the shape of a horse-shoe, with the point of the ridge projecting into it. The foundations of the chimney are still there, and the cabin itself has not been gone more than 52 years. Alfred Foster who owned the land showed Col. Isbell the cabin, which was still there during his boyhood, and he remembered how it looked. His grandmother, the wife of Benjamin Howard, knew Boone well as he often stayed with her father, Benjamin Howard, at the mouth of Elk creek, now Elkville.[6]

BOONE'S TRIP TO KENTUCKY. There is no evidence except the inscription on the leaning beech at Boone's Creek nine miles north of Jonesboro, Tenn., that Boone was at that spot in 1760. Thwaite's life of Boone, compiled from the Draper manuscript in the Wisconsin State library, says that in the spring of 1759, Boone and two of his sons went to Culpepper [sic] county, Virginia, where he was employed in hauling tobacco to Fredericksburg, and that he was again a member of Hugh Waddell's regiment of 500 North Carolinians, when, in 1761, they fought and defeated the Cherokees at Long Island on the Hoiston. He cites the inscription but gives no other facts. 7 As 1769 is generally considered the date of his first trip across the mountains, it becomes important to state that Thwaite (p.69) says that, in 1767, Boone's brother-in-law, John Stewart, and Benjamin Cutbirth, who had married Boone's niece, and several others, went west as far as the Mississippi, crossing the mountains and returning before 1769; and that Boone himself, and William Hall, his friend, and, possibly, Squire Boone, Daniel's brother, in the fall of 1767, still desiring to get to Kentucky-of which he had been told by John Finley, whom he had met in the Braddock expedition-crossed the mountains into the valleys of the Holston and the Clinch, and reached the headwaters of the west fork of the Big Sandy, returning to Holman's Ford in the spring of 1768.

COLONEL JAMES M. ISBELL. According to the statement made by this gentleman, in May, 1909, Benjamin Howard, his grandfather, owned land near the village of Boone, and used to range his stock in the mountains surrounding that picturesque village. He built a cabin of logs in front of what is now the Boys' Dormitory of the Appalachian Training School for the accommodation of himself and his herders whenever he or they should come from his home on the head waters of the Yadkin, at Elkville. Among the herders was an African slave named Burrell. When Col. Isbell was a boy, say, about 1845, Burrell was still alive, but was said to have been over one hundred years of age. He told Col. Isbell that he had piloted Daniel Boone across the Blue Ridge to the Howard cabin the first trip Boone ever took across the mountains.

BOONE'S TRAIL. [8] They went up the ridge between Elk creek and Stony Fork creek, following a well-known Indian trail, passed through what is now called Cook's gap, and on by Three Forks church to what is now Boone. There is some claim that Boone passed through Deep gap; but that is six miles further north than Cook's gap, and that much out of a direct course. If Boone wanted to go to Kentucky he knew his general course was northwest; and having reached the town of Boone or Howard's cabin, his most direct route would have been through Hodge's gap, down Brushy Fork creek two miles, and then crossing the Grave Yard gap to Dog Skin creek; then along the base of Rich mountain, crossing what was then Sharp's creek (now Silverstone) to the gap between what is now Zionville in North Carolina and Trade in Tennessee. He would then have been at the head of Roan's that creek, down which he is known to have passed as far as what is now known as Shoun's Cross Roads. There, on a farm once owned by a Wagner and now by Wiley Jenkins, he camped. His course from there in a northwesterly direction cabin would have led him across the Iron and Hoiston mountains to the Holston river and Powell's Valley. There is also atradition that he followed the Brushy Fork creek from Hodge's gap to Cove creek; thence down Cove creek to Rock House branch at Dr. Jordan B. Phillips'-also a descendant of Benjamin Howard-across Ward gap to the Beaver Dams; then across Baker's gap to Roan's creek; thence down it to its mouth in the Watauga at what is now Butler, Tenn. Also, that when he got to the mouth of the Brushy fork he crossed over to the Beaver-Dams through what has for many years been called George's gap; and thence over Baker's gap.[9] If he took either of these routes he preferred to cross two high mountains and to follow an almost due southwest course to following a well-worn and well-known Indian trail which was almost level and that led directly in the direction he wished to go. A road now leaves the wagon road nearly opposite the Brushy Fork Baptist church, about three miles from Boone, and crosses a ridge over to Dog Skin creek, and thence over the Grave Yard gap to Silverstone, Zionville, and Trade, thus cutting off the angle made by following Brushy Fork to its mouth.[10] Tradition says the Indian trail also crossed Dog Skin and the Grave Yard gap. Yet, while this seems to be the most feasible and natural trail, the venerable Levi Morphew, now well up in ninety, thinks Boone had a camp on Boone's branch of Hog Elk, two miles east of the Winding Stairs trail, by which he probably crossed the Blue Ridge, which would have taken him four miles northeast of Cook's gap, and Col. Bryan states that there is a tradition that Boone passed through Deep gap, crossed the Bald mountain and Long Hope creek, through the Ambrose gap and so into Tennessee. No doubt all these routes were followed by Boone during his hunting trips through these mountains prior to his first great treck into Kentucky; but on that important occasion it is more than probable that, as his horses were heavily laden with camp equipage, salt, ammunition and supplies, he followed the easiest, most direct, and most feasible route, and that was via Cook's gap, Three Forks, Hodges' gap, across Dog Skin, over the Grave Yard gap, to Zionville and Trade and thence to what is now known as Shoun's Cross Roads.

BOONE'S CABIN MONUMENT. The chimney stones of the cabin in which it is said that Boone camped while hunting in New river valley are still visible at the site of that cabin where it is said Boone was found one snowy night seated by a roaring fire when the young couple who had occupied it the night before and had allowed their fire to go entirely out, returned from a trip to the Yadkin for a "live chunk" with which to rekindle it; but which they had dropped in the snow when almost at Boone's cabin, thus putting it out, and leaving them as badly off as when they had set out that morning. Boone had struck fire from his flint and steel rifle and caught the spark in tow, from which he had kindled his blaze. Upon this site, that public-spirited citizen, the venerable and well4nformed Col. W. L. Bryan, now in his 76th year, has erected an imposing stone and concrete monument, whose base is seven by seven feet, with a shaft 26 feet in height. On the side facing the road is the following inscription, chiseled in white marble: "Daniel Boone, Pioneer and Hunter; Born Feb. 11, 1735; Died Sep.26, 1820." On the opposite side of the monument on a similar stone is the following: "W. L. Bryan, Son of Battle and Rebecca Miller Bryan; Born Nov.19, 1837; Built Daniel Boone Monument, Oct. 1912. Cost $203.27."

BOONE'S WATAUGA RELATIVES. William Coffey married Anna Boone, a sister of Jesse Boone and a niece of Daniel Boone. She had another brother called Israel Boone. Jesse Boone undoubtedly lived in a cabin which used to stand in a field four miles from Shull's mills and two miles from Kelsey post office, where he had cleared a field. The chimney foundation is still shown as his. On the 8th of July, 1823, Jesse Boone conveyed to William and Alexander Elrod for $600 350 acres of land on Flannery's fork of New River and on Roaring branch, about two miles southeast of Boone village; adjoining land then being owned by John Agers, Jesse Council and Russell Sams, and now owned in part by J. W. Farthing. This deed was registered in Book M, page 391, of Ashe county records, July 2, 1841. When Jesse Boone's sister, Anna Coffey, was nearly one hundred years old she talked with Mr. J. W. Farthing while he was building a house for her grandson Patrick Coffey, on Mulberry creek, Caldwell county, in 1871. Mr. Mack Cook of Lenoir is a direct descendant of Daniel Boone's brother, Israel, Boone and has a rifle and powder horn that used to belong to him. Arthur B. Boone of Jacksonville, Fla., claims dfrect descent from Daniel Boone, and his son Robbie E. Boone, has a razor said to have been the property of Daniel Boone.. There are many others who are related to the Boone family. Col. W. L. Bryan thinks that Thwaites is mistaken in stating that Rebecca Boone was the daughter of Joseph Bryan, as her father's name was Morgan, from whom he himself and William Jennings Bryan are directly descended.[11] Smith Coffey was born in 1832 in Caldwell county, and says that Jesse was a brother of Daniel Boone, and had three daughters; Anna, who married William Coffey, Hannah, who married Smith Coffey, arid Celie, who married Buck Craig. The Smith Coffey who married Hannah Boone was the present Smith Coffey's grandfather. Smith Coffey's father moved to Cherokee in 1838 and settled on Hiwassee river four miles above Murphy, after which he moved to Peach Tree creek where he died a year later, his family returning to Caldwell. In 1858 Smith returned to Cherokee and lived on a place adjoining the farm of George Hayes on Valley river, and had a fight with that gentleman concerning a sow just before the Civil War. Nevertheless he joined Hayes' company, when the war began, which became Company A in the Second N. C. Cavalry. After the battle before New Bern, Hayes resigned and returned to Cherokee, and William B. Tidwell of Tusquitte, now Clay county, was elected captain from the ranks, and retained that place till the close of the war.

THE HENDERSON PURCHASE. Although the purchase of Indian lands by white men had been prohibited by royal proclamation[12] as early as October 7, 1763, and although much of the territory was in the actual possession of the Indians, Richard Henderson and eight other private citizens determined to buy a large tract of land in Kentucky and the northern part of Middle Tennessee. To anticipate somewhat, it may be here stated that this intention was carried out but afterwards repudiated by both Virginia, which claimed the Kentucky portion, and North Carolina, which claimed the Tennessee tract, and Henderson and his associates were partially compensated by grants of much smaller bodies of land;[13] nevertheless, at the treaty of Hopewell, S. C., on the Keowee river, fifteen miles above its junction with the Tugabo, on the 18th of December, 1785, Benjamin Hawkins, Andrew Pickens, Joseph Martin and Lachlan Campbell, commissioners representing the United States, had the face to deny the claim of the Indians to this identical territory- contending that they had already sold it to Henderson and associates.[14]

BOONE'S SPLIT-BULLET. About 1890 John K. Perry and another were felling trees in Ward's gap on Beaver Dams, Watauga county, when Perry's companion cut a bullet in two while trimming a young poplar. He remarked that it might have been fired there by Daniel Boone, as it was on his old trail. Perry said that whether Boone fired it or not it should be a Boone bullet thereafter. So, he filed two corners off a shingle nail and pressing the point of the nail thus filed on to the clean surface of the split bullet made the first part of a B. Then he finished the second part by pressing the nail below the first impression, and found he had a perfect B. Filing a larger nail in the same way he made the impression of a D, which completed Boone's initials. This was shown around the neighborhood for a number of years, and most people contended that the bullet really had been fired from Boone's rifle. But in June, 1909, Mr. Perry disclosed the joke rather than have the deception get into serious history.

DANIEL BOONE, THE PATH FINDER. From Chief Justice Walter Clark's "The Colony of Transylvania," (N. C. Booklet, Vol. iii, No.9) we learn that Boone was a wagoner under Hugh Waddell in Braddock's campaign of 1755, when Boone was 21 years old; and that "in the following years he made the acquaintance of Col. Richard Henderson, who, struck with Boone's intelligence, and the opportunity for fortune offered by the new lands south of the Ohio, since known as Kentucky, organized a company, and employed Boone in 1763 to spy out the country[15] . . . Years passed before it took final shape. Boone is known to have made one of his visits to Kentucky in 1769, and was probably there earlier.[16] In 1773 he again attempted to enter Kentucky, carrying his family, but was driven back with the loss of six men killed by the Indians, among them his eldest son at Wallen's gap." But in 1768 Henderson had been appointed a judge; which position he held till 1773 and which probably delayed his land scheme; but in 1774 Nathaniel Hart, one of Henderson's partners, journeyed to the Otari towns to open negotiations with the Cherokees for the grant of suitable territory for a colony of whites. On March 17, 1775, the Overhill Cherokees assembled at the Sycamore Shoals of the Watauga, pursuant to an order of their chief, Oconostata, where a treaty was made and signed by him and two other chiefs, Savanookoo and Little Carpenter (Atta. Culla Culla), by which, in consideration of ?12,000 in goods, the Cherokees granted the lands between the Kentucky and Cumberland rivers, embracing one-half of what is now Kentucky and a part of Tennessee. But Dragging Canoe, a chief, had opposed a treaty for four days, and never consented to it. The share of one brave was only one shirt. But, the Cherokees had no title to convey, as this land was a battle-ground where the hostile tribes met and fought out their differences. Besides, this conveyance of the land by Indians was unlawful under both the British and colonial laws. Henderson called this grant Transylvania.

As soon as Henderson thought this treaty would be signed he started Boone ahead on March 10, 1775, with 30 men, to clear a trail from the Holston to Kentucky--the first regular path opened in the wilderness.

THE BOONE FAMILY. Many people of the mountains claim descent or collateral relationship with Daniel Boone. His father was Squire Boone, who was born in Devonshire, England and came to Pennsylvania, between 1712 and 1714, when he was about 21 years old. He married Sarah Morgan July 23, 1720. Their children were Sarah, Israel, Samuel, Jonathan, Elizabeth, Mary, Daniel, George, Edward, Squire and Hannah, all born at Otey, Penn. Daniel was the sixth child and was born November 2, 1734. Edward was killed by Indians when 36 years old, and Squire died at the age of 76. Daniel married Rebecca Bryan, daughter of Joseph, in the spring of 1756. Daniel's children were James, Israel, Susannah, Jemima, Lavinia, Rebecca, Daniel Morgan, John B. and Nathan. The four daughters married. The two eldest sons were killed by Indians, and the three younger emigrated to Missouri.[17] None of Daniel's children was named Jesse, but there was a Jesse Boone who lived just west of the Blue Ridge, about four miles east of Shull's Mills and one mile west of Kelsey post office in Watauga county, N. C. This was on what has been called "Boone's Fork" of Watauga river.

THE CALLOWAYS. Among the Kentucky pioneers was Col. Richard Calloway[18]. Two of his daughters, Betsy and Fanny, were captured with Jemima, Boone's second daughter, in a boat at Boonesborough, Ky., on the 17th of July, 1776. They were recovered unharmed soon afterwards;[19] and in the following August Betsy was married to Samuel Henderson, one of the rescuing party. [20] Jemima Boone afterwards married Flanders Calloway, a son of Colonel Calloway. [21] It was this Colonel Calloway who accused Boone of having voluntarily surrendered 26 of his men at the Salt Licks; that when a prisoner at Detroit he had engaged with Gov. Hamilton to surrender Boonesborough, and that he had attempted to weaken the garrison at Boonesborough before its attack by the Indians by withdrawing men and officers, etc.;[22] but Boone was not only honorably acquitted, but promoted from a captaincy to that of major. Related to this Colonel Calloway was Elijah Calloway, son of Thomas Calloway of Virginia, who "did much for the good of society and was a soldier at Norfolk, Va., in the War of 1812."[23] John Calloway represented Ashe county in the House in 1800, and in the Senate in 1807, 1808,1809; and Elijah Calloway was in the House from 1813 to 1817, and in the Senate in 1818 and 1818, and 1819. One of these men is said to have walked to Raleigh, supporting himself on the way by shooting game, and in this way saved enough to build a brick house with glass windows, the first in Ashe, near what is now Obid. He was turned out of the Bear creek Baptist church because he had thus proven himself to be a rich man; and the Bible said no rich man could enter the kingdom of heaven. The ehureh in which he was tried was of logs, but the accused sat defiantly during the 'trial in a splint-bottomed chair, which he gave to Mrs. Sarah Miller of that locality. This may have been Thomas Calloway, whose grave is at Obid, marked with a long, slender stone which had marked one of the camping places of Daniel Boone.[24]

AN IMPORTANT HISTORICAL CONTRIBUTION. Dr. Archibald Henderson, a descendant of Richard Henderson, published in the Charlotte (Sunday) Observer, between the 16th of March and the 1st of June, 1913, a series of articles entitled "Life and Times of Richard Henderson," in which much absolutely new matter is introduced, and numerous mistakes have been corrected in what has hitherto been accepted as history. It is especially valuable regarding the Regulators' agitation and the part therein borne by Richard Henderson. Dr. Henderson is a member of the faculty of the University of North Carolina, of the State Library and Historical Association, and of the American Historical Association, and in the forthcoming volume, soon to appear, he will put the result of years of study and research into permanent form. He may be relied on to give adequate authority for every statement of importance concerning his remarkable kinsman and the times in which he lived.

HENDERSON'S SHARE IN BOONE'S EXPLORATIONS. Roosevelt, Ramsey and other historians have related the bare fact that Boone went on his first trip into Kentucky in 1764 at the instance of Richard Henderson; but in these papers the details of the association of the two men are set forth. Certainly as early as 1763, Boone and Henderson, then a lawyer, met, and discussed the territory lying to the west of the mountains. Henderson was seated as a Superior Court judge at Salisbury, March 5, 1868, and ceased to represent Boone as attorney in litigation then pending before the Superior Court of Rowan county; but in March, 1769, when the distinguished Waightstill Avery, then fresh from his birthplace, 'Norwich, Conn., and from Princeton College, where he had graduated in 1766, made his first appearance before the bar of that county, we are told that he might have seen also "the skilled scout and hunter, garbed in hunting shirt, fringed leggings and moccasins, the then little known Daniel Boone," who attended that term of court in defence of a lawsuit, and must have (as shown by the sequel) conferred with Judge Henderson at this time about his contemplated trip into Tennessee and Kentucky in the interest of himself, John Williams and Thomas Hart, Henderson's first associates in the colonization enterprize he contemplated even at that early date, and while holding a commission as judge of the colony. [25]

THE SIX NATIONS' CLAIMS TO "CHEROKEE." Before Richard Henderson's appointment as judge by Governor Tryon in 1768, he and Hart and Williams had engaged Boone to spy out the western lands for them as early as 1764, though the proclamation of George IV, in 1763, forbidding the Eastern Colonists to settle on lands west of the Blue Ridge, may have retarded their plans for "securing title to vast tracts of western lands, and no move was made by Henderson to that end until after the treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768, by which Great Britain had acquired by purchase from the Six Nations their unwarranted claim to all the territory east and southeast of the Ohio and north of the Tennessee rivers, which territory had always been claimed by the Cherokees, and that country was then known as "Cherokee."[26]

TITLE OF THE CHEROKEES. "The ownership of; all the Kentucky region, with the exception of the extreme northeastern section, remained vested absolutely in the tribe of Cherokee Indians. Their title to the territory had been acknowledged by Great Britain through her Southern agent of Indian Affairs, John Stuart, at the Treaty of Lochaber in 1770."[27]

KING GEORGE'S PROCLAMATION MADE TO BE BROKEN? Dr. Henderson insists that the King's proclamation forbidding the acquisition of Indian lands by the settlers was universally disregarded by the settlers of the east. And while he points out that Richard Henderson obtained an "opinion, handed down by the Lord Chancellor and the Attorney General," which "cleared away the legal difficulties" in the way of securing "an indisputable title from the Indian owners and...to surmount the far more serious obstacle of Royal edict against the purchase of lands from the Indians by private individuals, he would doutbless have been justified in his purchase by the popular sentiment of the day in view of the universal disregard of the Royal Proclamation of 1763." Dr. Henderson points out that "George Washington expressed the secret belief of the period when he hazarded the judgment that the Royal Proclamation of 1763 was a mere temporary expedient to quiet the Indians, and was not intended as a permanent bar to Western Civilization. . . . George Washington, acquiring vast tracts of western land by secret purchase, indirectly stimulated the powerful army that was carrying the broadax westward. . . . It is no reflection upon the fame of George Washington to point out that, of the two, the service to the nation of Richard Henderson in promoting western civilization was vastly more generous in its nature and far-reaching in its results than the more selfish and prudent aims of Washington."[28]

HENDERSON'S TITLE. "The valid ownership of the territory being [now] actually vested in the Cherokees, Henderson foresaw that the lands could be acquired only by lease or by purchase from that tribe, and he forthwith set about acquiring an accurate knowledge of the territory in question. To get this information the services of Daniel Boone were secured, and the latter must have "conferred with Judge Henderson at Salisbury where he was presiding over the Superior Court, and plans were 500fl outlined for Boone's journey and expedition. At this time Boone was very poor and his desire to pay off his indebtedness to Henderson [lawyer's fees] made him all the more ready to undertake the exhaustive tour of exploration in company with Finley and others"; but "at the time of Boone's return to North Carolina Judge Henderson was embroiled in the exciting issues of the Regulation. His plan to inaugurate his great western venture was thus temporarily frustrated; but the dissolution of the Superior Court (under the judiciary act of 1767) took place in 1773," and left Richard Henderson free to act as he saw fit.[29]

HENDERSON AND DANIEL BOONE. "In the meantime, Daniel Boone grew impatient over the delay . . and on September 25,1773, started from the Yadkin Valley for Kentucky, with a colony numbering eighteen men, besides women and children;" but, being attacked by Indians, and some of Boone's party, including his own son, having been killed, "the whole party scattered and returned to the settlements. This incident is significant evidence that Boone was deficient in executive ability, the power to originate and execute schemes of colonization on a grand scale . . . Boone lacked constructive leadership and executive genius. He was a perfect instrument for executing the designs of others. It was not until the creative and executive brain of Richard Henderson was applied to the vast and daring project of Western colonization that it was carried through to a successful termination."[30]

HENDERSON'S SCHEME DENOUNCED. "When, on Christmas Day, 1774, there was spread broadcast throughout the colony of North Carolina 'Proposals for the encouragement of settling the lands purchased by Messrs. Riehard Henderson & Co., on the branches of the Mississippi river from the Cherokee tribe of Indians,' a genuine sensation was created." Archibald Neilson, deputy auditor of the colony, asked "Is Richard Henderson out of his head?" and Governor Josiah Martin issued "a forcible-feeble proclamation against Richard Henderson and his confederates in their daring, unjust and unwarrantable proceeding. In letters to the Earl of Dartmouth, Martin speaks scathingly of 'Henderson, the famous invader,' and of 'the infamous Henderson and his associates' whom he dubs 'an infamous company of land Pyrates.' He denounced their project as a 'lawless undertaking,' and 'an infraction of the royal prerogative.' But these 'fulminations' were unheeded and 'the goods already purchased were transported over the mountains in wagons to the Sycamore Shoals.' "[31]

FAILURE OF THE TRANSYLVANIA COLONY. "Serious dangers from without began to threaten the safety and integrity of the colony. While the Transylvania legislature was in session, Governor Josiah Martin of North Carolina ingloriously fled from his 'palace', and on the very day that his emissary, a British spy, arrived at Boonesborough, Lord Dunmore, the royal governor of Virginia, escaped to the protection of the British vessel, the 'Fowey' . . . At Oxford, N. C., on September 25, 1775, the proprietors of the Transylvania company drew up a memoria{ to the Continental Congress, then in session at Philadelphia, for the recognition of the Transylvania company as the fourteenth American colony; but this was refused "until it had been properly acknowledged by Virginia." Application was then made to the Virginia convention at Williamsburg for recognition, but the effort of Henderson, assisted by Thomas Burke, was "defeated chiefly through the opposition of two remarkable men George Rogers Clark, who represented the rival settlement of Harrodsburg in Kentucky, and Patrick Henry, who sought to extend in all directions the power and extent of the 'Ancient Dominion of Virginia.' Under pressure of Henderson's representations, Virginia finally acknowledged the validity of the Transylvanians' claims against the Indians; but boldly confiscated the purchase, and made of Transylvania a county of Virginia. Instead of the 20,000,000 acres obtained by the treaty of Sycamore Shoals, Virginia grant~d the company 200,000 acres between the Ohio and Green rivers, and North Carolina later granted to the company a like amount on Powell and Clinch rivers in Tennessee."[32]

HENDERSON AND JAMES ROBERTSON. Dr. Archibald Henderson claims for his kinsman the honor of "having accomplished for Tennessee, ill the same constructive way as he had done for Kentucky [at Boonesborough], the pioneer task of establishing a colony in the midst of the Tennessee wilderness, devising a system of laws and convening a legislature for the passage of those laws." This was nothing less than the settlement of Nasliborough (now Nashville) and the country surrounding it; for he claims that "under Henderson's direction Robertson made a long and extended examination of the region in the neighborhood of the French Lick, just as Boone in 1769-1771 had made a detailed examination under Henderson's direction of the Kentucky area. Upon his return to the Watauga settlements on the Holston, Robertson found many settlers ready and eager to take the great step towards colonization of the new lands, inspired by the promise of Henderson and the enthusiastic reports of Robertson and his companions." It was while Henderson was engaged in surveying the line between Virginia and North Carolina-"the famous line of latitude of 360 30' "-"that the Watauga settlers set out for the wilderness of the Cumberiand. Part of these settlers went by water~own the Tennessee and up the Cumberland rivers-under the leadership of Col. John Donelson, father of Mrs. Andrew Jackson, and the others, under Robertson, overland. Donelson's diary records the meeting of Richard Henderson on Friday, March 31, 1780. Henderson not only supplied the party with all needed information but informed them that "he had purchased a quantity of corn in Kentucky to be shipped at the Falls of Ohio (Lousville) for the Cumberland settlement. . . . James Robertson's party had already arrived and built a few log cabins on a cedar bluff above the 'Lick', when Donelson's party arrived by boat, April 24,1780. Henderson himself arrived soon afterwards, and, assisted by James Robertson, drew up and adopted a plan of civil government for the colony. A land office was established; the power to appoint the entry-taker was vested in Henderson, as president of the Transylvania company, and the Transylvania company was to be paid for the lands at the rate of 26 lbs., 13 shillings and 4 pence, current money, a hundred acres, as soon as the company could assure the settlers a satisfactory and indisputable title. This resulted in perpetual non-payment, since in 1783, North Carolina, following Virginia's lead, expropriated the lands of the Transylvania company, granting them in compensation a tract of 200,000 acres in Powell's Valley." Henderson returned to North Carolina, and died in 1785, aged fifty; and although memorials in his honor have been erected in Tennessee and Kentucky, his grave at Nutbush creek in North Carolina is unmarked; "and North Carolina has erected no monument as yet to the man who may justly be termed the founder of Kentucky and Tennessee." [33]

THE SHADOW OF COMING EVENTS.[34] "One sentence of this backwoods constitution [of Nashborough], remarkable in its political anticipation, is nothing less than that establishing for the first time in America the progressive doctrine of which so much is heard today, the recall of judges . . . and must forever be associated in American history with the names of Henderson and his coadjutor, Robertson 'As often as the people in general are dissatisfied with the doings of the judges or triers so to be chosen, they may call a new election in any of the said stations, and elect others in their stead, having due respect to the number now agreed to be elected at each station, which persons so to be chosen shall haye the same power with those in whose room they shall or may be chosen to act.'"

BOONE'S TRAIL. The North Carolina Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution marked Boone's trail in North Carolina by planting iron tablets bolted to large boulders at Cook's Gap, Three Forks' Churcb, Boone Village, Hodge's Gap, Graveyard or Straddle Gap, and at Zionville, in October, 1913. Addresses were made at Boone courthouse October 23, 1913, by Mrs. W. N. Reynolds, State Regent, Mrs. Lindsay Patterson, chairman of committee on Boone's trail, and Mrs. Theo. S. Morrison, Regent of Edward Buncombe Chapter.

RECORD EVIDENCE OF THE RESIDENCE OF THE BOONES. Jonathan Boone sold to John Hardin (Deed Book No.5, p.509, Asbe county) 245 acres on the 15th of September, 1821, for $600- -on the North side of New river and on both sides of Lynches' Mill creek, adjoining Jesse Councill's line, and running to Shearer's Knob This was near the town of Boone. The John Hardin mentioned above was the father of John and Joseph Hardin of Boone, and his wife was Lottie, the daughter of Jordan Councill, Sr., and the daughter of Benjamin Howard. On the 7th of November, 1814, Jesse Boone entered 100 acres on the head waters of Watauga river, beginning on a maple, Jesse Coffey's corner, and obtained a grant therefor on the 29th of November, 1817. (Deed Book "F," Ashe county p. 170)

 

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