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History of  Watauga

History of Watauga County”

by John Preston Arthu

 Part 2

To navigate the history section please click on a section number
1   2   3   4   5  6   7   8)


Patrick Coffey, in Caldwell County. Hannah Boone, another siste of Jesse's, married Smith Doffey, the grandfather of the present Smith Coffey, of Kelsey post office. Accoding to the family history of the Bryan family in the possession of Col. W. L. Bryan, of Boone, it was Morgan Bryan, and not Joseph, as all histories have it, who was the father of Rebecca Bryan, the wife of Daniel Boone. Bishop Spangenberg mentions the fact that Morgan Bryant had taken up land near the Mulberry Fields in 1752. (Col. Rec. Vol. V, p. 13.) According to the same family history, Morgan Bryan was the ancestor of Hon. W. J. Bryan, of Nebraska. Jesse, Anna and Hannah Boone were the children of Israel, a brother of Daniel Boone, not his own children. The same is true of Jonathan Boone, who sold to John Hardin, the grandfather of the presend John and Joseph Hardin, of Boone, 245 acres on the 15th of September, 1821, for $600.00, the land being on what was then called Lynch's and Mill Creeks on the north side of New River, and adjoining the lands of Jesse Council, and running to Shearer's Knob, near the town of Boone. (Ashe County deed book S, p. 509.)

Jesse and Jonathan Boone. -- These were members of Three Forks Baptist Church, which speaks well for these relatives of the great Daniel, for he was a religious man himself, his simple creed being: "For my part I am as ignorant as a Child all the Relegan I have to love and feer god believe in Jesus Christ Do all the good to my neighbors and my Self that I can and Do as Little harm as I can help and trust God's mercy for the rest and I believe god never made a man of principel to be Lost . . . " What was the creed of Jesse and Jonathan does not appear beyond that implied by their membership of this church. But that each overstepped the rules of that orginization is apparent, the minutes revealing the following facts: That in March, 1818, there was a report that Jonathan Boone was drinking too much, but that at the next meeting he came forward and made excuses and was forgiven. However, in May, 1819, there was another report against him for drinking and getting drunk and not attending at church meetings, the result of which was: "We consider him no more a member with us at

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this time." Before that, however, Jesse and his wife, "Saly," joined this church by letter, as did lso his negro girl, Dina, and his brother, Jonathan. In November, 1815, Jonathan was chosen as elder, and in February, 1816, he was ordained by Reuben Coffey and Elijaah Chambers. Jesse seems to have kept out of trouble for a long tiem, but in February, 1820, there was a report that he had requested Brother Jeremiah Green to remove a land-mark ---laid over ---not proved. But, in "Aprile, 1820, a grievance" took place between Jesse Boone, of this church, and Brother Jesse Coffey, of the Globe church, and James Gilbert and Elisha Chambers, from the Globe church, and Anthany Reese and Robert Shearer, from this church, were appointed to meet at Ben Green's on the second Saturday next ensuing "to set on the business." In June following this committe reported that Jesse Boone had given Brother Jesse Coffey Boone and Jonathan Wilson said "the church wa not in order," and withdrew therefrom. This did not increase Jesse's popularity with the membes, and he was excluded by a committee consisting of John Holtsclaw, Abijah Fairchild, Vanentine Reese and Jacob Baker; but, in October, 1821, the terms were fixed upon which he might return, these terms being that he should make acknowledgment for having withdrawn and sying that the cchurch was out of order. At this meeting the church also took up the charges of Brother Wilson and Brother Boone against Brother Shearer, who acknowledged all that had any "wate' (weight) in them; but the church found that Brother Boone was at fault because he said he could "not see his range, and we put him under suspense till he can give satisfaction." Jesse Boone having been excluded "from amonks us," his loyal wife began to bsent herself from the meetings, and, accordingly, in January, 1823, she wa sent for to cometo meetings; but as she refused from time to time to do so, "Sister Poly Green," the messenger sent to secure her attendance, reported that sister Boone had said that the church would have to "cut her off" for the reason that when she (Sister Boone) had joined the church there were many members in it with whom "she

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could not fellowship," but that as he husband had joined, she had followed him into the fold. She was excommunicated as a "disorderly member and declared to the world our unfellowship to her." In November following a letter of dismission was given "old Sister Boone," who may have been Jesse's mother, as it was probably not his wife, who wrote from McMinn County, Tennessee, asking for a letter dismission. But this the church decided to withhold till it got "satisfaction," meanwhile writing "a friendly letter to her." This concludes the residence of the Boones in that part of Ashe which is now Watauga.

Marking the Trail. -- On the 23d day of October, 1913, the tablet which had been placed at Boone village as one of the markers on the trail of Daniel Boone through these mountains was unveiled. This is one of six similar markers of iron-bolted-to-stone boulders erected in Watauga County in October, 1913, by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The most eastern of these markers was placed at what is now clled Cook's Gap, six miles east of the town of Boone; the next is at Three Forks Baptist Church, three miles from Boone; the third is in front of the court house at Boone; the fourth is in Hodges; Gap, two miles west of Boone; the fifth is at Grave Yard or Straddle Gap, four miles west of Boone, and the sixth and last is at Zionville, near the Tennessee line. The Edward Buncombe Chapter, D.A.R., of Asheville, was in charge of the unveiling of the marker at Boone. The excrcises consisted of reading of the ritual of the D.A.R. society by the State Regent, Mrs. W. N. Reynolds, and responses by the audience, introductory remarks by Col. Edward F. Lovill, prayer by Rev. J. M. Downum, and addresses by John P. Arthur, Prof. B. B. Dougherty and E.S. Coffey, Esq., and songs by a choir, led by Prof. I. G. Greer. The county court house wa filled. The veil was withdrawn from the marker, at the conclusion of these exercises, by the following little girls: Misses Margaret Beaufort Miller, a niece of Mrs. Lindsay Patterson; Margaret Linney, Alice Councill, Lucy Moretz and Nellie Coffey, all having Revolutionary ancestors: Short ddresses were made in the open air to the people who had gthered around the marker by Mrs. W. N. Reynolds,

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State Regent; Mrs. Lindsay Patterson, chairman of the Committee on Boone's Trail, and Mrs. Theodore S. Morrison, Regent of the Edward Buncombe Charter.

Boone's Cabin Monument. –In October, 1912, just one year previous to the unveiling of the markers along the Boone trail through Watauga, A monument of stone and concrete, far more imposing and substantial than any erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution, had been built on the idntical spot on which stood the log cabin in which Daniel Boone and his companions used to sleep when on their hunting trips through this section. This cabin has long since disappeared, but the stones of the chimney remained in their original bed or foundation till 1911, and were well known by all in the vicinity as having been a part of the old Boone cabin or hunting camp. It was open to all who cared to ;use it in the old days before the country was settled. Whether Boone actually built it is immaterial. He used it, as did all hunters and and herders who found themselves in this locality near nightfall. Just south of it stands the Boys' Dormitory of the Appalachian Training School, a State-supported institution for the education of teachers. In this cabin Benjamin Howard and his herders used to keep their salt and cooking utensils when they visited this section to look after Howard's cattle, which he ranged in the upper valley of the New River. What I now the village or town of Boone stands near by, while over this picturesque little community looms Howard's Knob, 4,451 feet above the level of the sea. Tradition has identified this spot with Boone and Howard s fully as tradition can identify ny fact or place. The mountain was named for Howard and the cabin site for Boone. When Watauga was formed, the legislature called the county-seat Boone because of he location of Boone's cabin within a few hundred feet of its court house. It is, therefore, as certin as anything can be that this is the identical site of Boone's old hunting cabin or camp. (Arthur's note: While excavating for the foundation of the monument a pair of rusted bullet-molds was found.)

Thanks to Its Builder. -- In 1911 Col. Willialm Lewis Bryan began work on this monument, alone and unaided by anyone.

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He was determined to mark the spot and to have Boone's trail through this county marked also before he died, for he was then well on past his seventieth birthday. The monument was completed in the fall of 1912, but there was no unveiling and no ceremony attending the consummation of Colonel Bryan's dream. When its erection was assured, several people contributed to its cost. When the trail was marked at Boone court house in October, 1913, E. S. Coffey, Esq., a distinguished member of the Boone Bar, presented a sesolution of thanks to Colonel Bryan for his services in having this spot so appropritely and permanently marked. The resolution was adopted by a rising vote of the large audience which packed the court house to the dome. The monument contains the folling inscriptions, chiseled in white marble tablets let it on the western and eastern faces: On the west front: "Daniel Boone, Pioneer and Hunter; Born Feb. 11, 1735; Died Sept. 26, 1820." On the eastern face is the following: "W.L. Bryan, son of Battle and Rebecca Miller Bryan; Born Nov. 19, 1837; Built Daniel Boone Monument, Oct. 1912. Cost $203.37." Thwait gives these dates as follows (p. 6): Born November 2, 1734; died September 21, 1820 (p. 338).

Information About the Trail. –This same gentleman, Colonel Bryan, supplied the information which led to the location of the trail through Watauga County. He is a direct lineal descendant of a brother of Rebecca Bryan, the wife of Daniel Boone, and has all his life preserved all the traditions he has heard concerning Boone, his wife, his trail and hunting experiences in this section. He originated and inspired the idea of making the trail through this county, and it is not too much to say that if the Daughters of the American Revolution had not marked it, he would have done it himself. He did, in fact, help place every marker in the county. But, after all the statements of the people living along the trail had been takendown and deposited with the North Carolina Historical Commission, there was never any doubt that these patriotic ladies would see to it that the trail was suitably marked. They took those statements and placed them with Mrs. Lindsey Patterson, as chairman of the Daniel Boone

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Trail Committee, and she, as in duty bound, collected all the other evidence available from all sources, and finally agreed to place the markers exactly where Colonel Bryan had recommended that they should be placed. It is not too much to say that but for Mrs. Patterson the trail would not have been marked till it was too late to locate it with any degree of certainty, and posterity will give both Colonel Bryan and Mrs. Patterson their full measure of gratitude for their patriotic work.

The Cumberland Gap Pedestal. – To Mrs. Patterson is also due much of the credit of interesting the chapters of her order to mark the trail in Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky, till today the entire trail is permanently marked by the Daughters of the American Revolution of those several States. The whole work was crowned on the 30th of June, 1915, by unveiling at Cumberland Gap a substantial stone and concrete pedestal, bearing on its four faces tablets of the Daughters of the American Revolution of these several States. The North Carolina tablet was unveiled by Mill Elizabeth Cowles Finley, of Wilkesborough, N. C., a direct lineal descendant of John Finley; little Margaret Beaufort Miller, Wm. Hamilton Patterson, of Winston-Salem; Elinor Morrison Williamson, of Asheville, Elizabeth Sharp, of New Youk City, and Elizabeth Shelton, all with Revolutionary ancestors.

Boone's Trail in Other States. -- The Tennessee part of the trail traverses the four eastern counties, Johnson, Carter, Washington and Sullivan . . . The first marker on Tennessee soil in at Trade, one mile from Zionville, N. C.; the second is at Shoun's, nine miles due north, through a wild and picturesque gorge along Roan Creek. The third is at Butler, southwest fourteen miles from Shouns and at the junction of Roan Creek and Watauga River; the fourth is about nineteen miles due north at Elizabethton; the fifth, at Watauga, Carter County; the sixth is places at Austin Springs, Washington County; the ninth is at Kingsport, opposite the center of Long Island, where Boone gatheredhis men while the treaty of Sycamore Shoals was being negotiated, two miles from the Virginia Line.

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The Virginia markers are at Gate City, the county seat of Scott County, one mile from Moccasin Gap; the second marker in Virginia is a Clinchport; the third is at the Natural Tunnel; the fourth is a Duffield; the fifth is at Fort Scott; the sixth is at Jonesville, the county seat of Lee County; the eventh is at Boone Path postoffice. A marker hs been placed at two graves between Ewing and Wheeler's Station in Lee County, as probaly the place where James Boone, son of Daniel, was massacred by Indians. The eighth tablet was erected to mark the site of Fort Blackmore, where a colonial fort stood in Scott County, and where the Boone Party rested in Octover, 1773, until March, 1775. Mrs. Robert Gray was in charge of marking the trail in Virginia, while Miss Mary Temple had charge of that in Tennessee. The first marker in Kentucky is at Indian Rock, a few miles from Cumberland Gap; the second is at the ford of the Cumberland River at Pineville; the third is at Flat Lick, in Knox County; the fourth is on the farm of C. V. Wilson, near Jarvis's Store; the fifth is on the Knox and Laurel County line, near Tuttle; the sixth is at Fairston; the seventh is a boulder with Boone's name on it, three miles and a half from East Bernstadt. This stone was placed in a churchyard and the marker placed on the stone. The eighth marker is in Rockcastle County near Livingston; the next is at Boone's Hollow, near Bruch Creek, then Roundstone Station and lastly Boone Gap. In Madison County, Berea is the first marker; then Estell Station, the site of Fort Estell, and the place where Boone's party was attacked by Indians and Captain Twitty killed. The last marker is at Boonesboro, there being fourteen markers in Kentucky, all placed under the direction of the State Chairmn, Miss Erna Watson.

A National Spot and a National Hero. –Upon this pedestal in Cumberland Gap the Congress of these United States should soon erect a bronze statue of Daniel Boone, clad in hunting shirt, fringed leggins, moccaasins, shot pouch, powder horn, hunting knife, tomahawk, etc., with the figure leaning slightly forward while peering from underneath the left hand toward the west, the right hand grasping the barrel of his long flint-lock Kentucky

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rifle, whose butt should be resting on the ground. The figure should have a coon-skin cap; for, although Thwaites says hat Boone scorned the coon-skin cap of his time, it was none the less typical of the head-gear of all the pioneers of the time. Such a statue would identify this historic spot with this historic character and fix forever the costume, accoutrements and arms of the pioneers of America. It is the most significant and suggestive place in America; for, while Plymouth Rock was the landing place of the Puritans, Jamestown of the Cavaliers, Philadelphia of the Quakers and Charleston of the Huguenots, it was through Cumberland Gap that both Roundhead and Huguenots, Puritan and Cavalier passed with the sober Quaker on their way to the Golden West. Boone was their greatest and most typical leader and exemplar. He was colonel and private, physician and nurse, leader and follower, hunter and hunted, as occasion demanded, but he was never a self-seeker or a swindler. His fame is now monumental, for he had no land to sell, no private fortune to make, and his record is one of unsullied patriotism. He was simply a plain man, but a MAN all through. He was neither northerner nor southerner, easterner nor westerner, but all combined, and the men, womenand children who followed the glowing footsteps of this backwoods lictor were the ancestors of those who people these United States today and make it the most enlightened, the most progressive and the most democratic nation in the world. That there should be no national monument to this man and on this spot seems incredible. The women and the States immediately concerned have done enough. They have marked every trail leading to this historic gateway. Let the nation act and place there a monument which shall be worthy of the place, the man, and the colossal events which they typify.

History Itself Had Lost the Trail. -- For years it had been supposed that Boone's trail from Holman's Ford to Cumberland Gap, especially that part which led through the North Carolina mountains, had been lost beyond recovery. It was known in a vague way that the county-seat of Watauga County, North Carolina, had been named in honor of this pioneer, but the impression prevailed that the little town had no other claims to its name

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than the empty compliment implied. Bruce (p. 53) records the fact that, after setting out from Holman's Ford, Boone and his companions were "compelled to turn from the beaten road and follow winding, scarcely discernable Indian paths along the ridges and through the valleys of the North Carolina mountains. And history itself soon loses sight of them." All that Boone himself told his biographer, the grandiloquent John Filson, was that "after a long and fatiguing journey through a mountainous wilderness, in a westward direction," they came to the Red River in Kentucky. (Id. P. 54.) Bruce adds, what all historians agree upon, that "their route lay across the Blue Ridge and Stone and Iron Mountains, and through the valleys of the Holston and the Clinch into Powell's Valley, where they discovered Finley's promised trail through Cumberland Gap, and following it, came at last into Kentucky." And this writer tells us something else that is not generally known, which is that each manof Boone's party on that first trip of 1769 rode a horse and let another, which was loaded down with supplies, camp equipment, ammunition, salt, etc. (p. 52). From wich it is plain that they never touched the Watauga River or its waters, thus eliminating the Beaver Dams route completely.

Boone Was a Hunter, Not a Farmer.--Boone came to Hollman's Ford about 1761. Bruce says he brought his wife back from Virginia at the conclusion of the Cherokee campaign--to use his exact words, "as soon as peace had been made sure"--which could not have been till after the tri-State campaign against the Cherokees of 1761 (p.43). Now, Holman's Ford is scarcely thirty miles from Cook's Gap on the Blue Ridge, and we are told that Boone's Cherokee campaign "had reawakened all his latent passion for adventure, and, although he brought his family back to the Yadkin as soon as peace had been made sure, he found it impossible to resume the humdrum life of a stay-at-home farmer. More than ever he relied on the products of the chase to supply him with a livelihood, and, since game had become scarce in the Yadkin Valley, he of necessity, as well as choice, embarked on long and perilous hunting trips" (p. 46), sometimes taking with him his oldest son, James, then a boy of eight, though more

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frequently he journeyed in absolute solitude, pressing restlessly forward on the trail of the retreating beasts of prey. Always, he noted, this led him towards the west, and ere long there recurred to his mind the glowing tales he had heard from the trader Finley in the sad days of Braddock's campaign. It must be to Kentucky, the hunter's paradise, that the wild animals were fleeing. He had vowed to visit Kentucky. Now, if ever, while the Indians were at peace with the whites, was the time to fulfil that vow. But he soon discovered that it was no easy matter to reach Kentucky. In the autum of 1767 he made his first start, accompained by a friend named Hill, and, it is thought, by his brother, Squire Boone, named after their brave old father who had died two years before. The route followed was from the Yadkin to the valleys of the Holston and Clinch, and thence to the head waters of the wet fork of the Big Sandy. Boone's plan was to strike the Ohio and follow it to the falls of which Finley had told him. But they had only touched the edge of eastern Kentucky when they were snow-bound and compelled to go into camp for the winter. Attempting to renew their jouney in the spring, they found the country so impenetrable that they returned to the Yadkin. (P;.47, 48.)

Probability of the Re-location of the Trail.-- From the foregoing, taken from Boone's latest biography, it seems most probable that local tradition is correct, to the effect that Boone hunted all through the mountains of what is now Watauga County during several years preceding 1769, and knew the country thoroughly. In Foote's Notes we learn that what is now Watauga, with Alleghany County and that part of the territory still known as Ashe, was settled as early as 1755. Wheeler (p. 27, Vol. II) adopts this statement as true. Cook's Gap and Deep Gap

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thence via Mountain City and down the Laurel fork of the Holston River. If the country was already settled when he passed through in May, 1769, the people who lived near his trail must ahve remembered it and told their children where it lay. There is great unanimity among their descendants that it followed the route chosen, except that some contend that it went through the Beaver Dams and across the Stair Gap(1) to Roan Creek in Tennessee. It may have done so, but the route over the moutains between Zionville, N. C., and Trade, Tenn., was much easier, as a buffalo trail led across it, and it was far more direct and practicable than that across Wark's Gap and the Stair Gap. When he got to Shoun's Cross Roads, he probably followed Laurel Creek, just as the little narrow gage railroad does, over the divide to the Laurel fork of the Holston. He knew this route, having followed it twice before, once in 1761 to the Wolf Hills, and again in 1767 to the west fork of the Big Sandy. But he did not go by Butler, Tenn., wherever else he may have gone, unless he deliberately went many miles out of his westward way.

The Boone Tree Inscription,-- The inscription on what is called the Boone Tree, nine miles north of Jonesboro, Tenn., and near Boone Creek, grows more and more apocryphal with time. It never had any sponsor, at best, except the statement of Chancellor John Allison's letter in Rosevelt's "Winning of the West." The picture of it in Thwaits; "Daniel Boone," opposite page 56, shows that the letters were then legilble, which could not have been the case if they had been put there in 1760. Bruce, in a foot-note on page 46, says that such a tree stood there until recently, but he gives facts which show it could not have been put there by Boone, for he shows, on page 39, that in April, 1759, the Cherokees forced an entrance into the fertile Yadkin and Catawbe valleys, destroyed crops, burned cabins, murdered settlers, and dragged their wives and children into a cruel captivity.(2) So sudden and severe was the blow that the stricken people had no opportunity to rally for an organized resistance,
Note: (1) This is called Star Gap by some from particles of mica seen in the bottom of ta spring at the base of the mountain, which shine "like stars." But others claim it is really the Stair gap, because a series of stair-like ledges of rock lead down from the gap on the western side. Bishop Asbury confirms this later view. (Asbury's Journal, Vol. II, p. 189.
(2) The tree, a large leaning beech, was there in June, 1909, and is probably still flourishing, as is many another false witness.

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much less undertake an offensive campaign. Abandoning their farms, they hastened for shelter to the strong stockade of Fort Dobbs, or to hurriedly constructed "homes of refuge," or else, if they cold possibly find the means to do so, fled with all their belongings to the settlement in the tidewater country. This was the course followed by the Boones, or, at least, by Squire Boone, his son Daniel and their respective families. Squire, it is said, went to Maryland. Daniel took Rebecca and their infant children to eastern Virginia, where he found employment at his old occupation of wagoner.

Boone's First Trip Across the Mountains.-- Although Bruce, following the phantom of the Boone Tree legend, states that "as early ad 1760 (at the very time when he says elsewhere, page 41, that Boone was with Waddell at Fort Prince George or in Virginia) he (Boone) was threading his way through the Watauga wilds where the first settlement in Tennessee was afterwards established," he cites no supporting facts and is clearly contradicted by every known fact and circumstance of this period. But there is evidence that "in 1761, at the head of a hunting party which crossed the Alleghanies that year, came Daniel Boone from the Yadkin, in North Carolina, and traveled with them as low as the place where Abingdon now stands, and there left them." (Pp. 46, 47.) This visit to the site of the present Abingdon, Va., is still preserved there in a tradition which claims that wolves attacked Boone's party while in that vicinity, which fact gave rise to the first name of that locality, "The Wolf Hills." This trip of 1761 was probalby Boone's first visit beyond the Blue Ridge. Bruce says (p. 47) that Boone was again in the Tennessee country three years later, or in 1764, and that in 1765 he went as far south as Florida, and would have settled there but for the influence of his wife, Rebecca Bryan, of the Yadkin Valley. If he had remained in Florida, Bruce adds "assuredly he would never have won fame as the great pilot of the early West." So that, after all, the world owes as muvh to Rebecca Bryan as to Boone himself!

At Fort Prince George in 1760.-- Instead of being on Boone's Creek, carving his name and hunting experiences on trees in

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1760, Daniel Boone was with Colonel Montggomery in June of that year, driving the Cherokees from the vicinity of Fort Prince George at the head of Savannah; while, between themn and 1759, he had been in eastern Virginia or about Fort Dobbs, for Bruce tells us (p.40) that "so soon as he had satisfied himself that that his little family would not be exposed to want [in eastern Virginia] he returned to the border, where he found thrilling events in progress. The Cherokees had laid desperate siege to Fort Dobbs, but had been gallantly beaten off by its garrison under command of Colonel Hugh Waddell, one of the foremost Indian fighters of his day. They had then renewed their depredations in small war-parties, ultimately gathering in force to attack Fort Prince George . . ." After driving the Cherokees away from that fort, Montgomery marched his force of 1,200 men, among whom was Daniel Boone, still under command of Waddell, across the mountains to the Little Tennessee, where they were ambushed and forced to retreat to Fort Prince George. From this place Montgomery marched his regulars back to Charleston S. C., where he embarked with them for New Your. "Once more the frontier of Georgia and the Carolinas lay at the mercy of the copper-colored foe (p.42)." The garrison at Fort Loudon on the Little Tennessee having surrendered, they were allowed to start back for Fort Prince George, but were attacked and many killed, the others being taken prisoners. This forced the three Sttes of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina to agree on a joint invasion of the Cherokee country, and by June, 1761, which shows that he could not have "cilled a bar" on that or any other tree near there in 1760. It is, however, very discouraging to note the persistence of falsehoods, if only they bear a flavor of romance about them.

Richard Henderson.--In a series of brilliant articles entitled, "Life and Times of Richard Henderson," which appeared in the Charlotte Observer in the spring of 1913, Dr. Archibald Henderson, then the president of the North Carolina Historical Commision,

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makes the following claims for his ancestor: "Richard Henderson was recognized everywhere throughout the colony as a fair and just judge," but, notwithstanding that, the Regulators, who fought the battle of Alamance, unjustifiably prevented him from holding court at Hillsboro, visited their "cowardly incediary vengence upon" him, and maliciously burnt his home and barn. Also, that but for his illness, Richard Henderson, who was a colonel as well as a judge, would have fought against these Regulators at the battle of Alamance.(1) That the reason Judge Henderson would not comply with the demands of the Regulators at Hillsborough in 1770 was because he would not "yield to the dictates of lawless and incensed anarchists." Also, that "the sentiment which animated the mob at Hillsboro was not one of animosity against Judge Henderson personally," their objection to him having been, seemingly, to the system and that he had been appointed by Governor Tryon and not by the king himself. This, however, was not the case with Judge Maurice Moore, who, according to Dr. Henderson, "was roundly denounced by the Regulators as 'rascal, rogue, villain, scoundrel; and other unprintable terms . . ." We are also told that "the demands made upon Judge Henderson by the treasonable mob at Hillsborough, had he attempted to accede to them, which is inconceivable, would have resulted in a travesty of justice." But, even before this, and notwithstanding the proclamation of King George in 1763, forbidding the purchase or lease of lands by individuals from the Indians, Judge Henderson was contemplating the purchase of the very lands the six nations of northern Indians had, by treaty at Fort Stanwix, in 1768, sold to Great Britain. Washington himself was engaged in a like scheme in Virginia, we are told, but Dr. Henderson says; "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 colonization was vastly mor generous in its nature and far-reaching in its results than the more selfish and personal aims of Washington."
Note: (1) The real leaders of the western expansion were James Robertson and the fourteen families from the present county of Wake, who, in 1770 or 1771, had been driven to seek new homes beyond the reach of the exactions of the British tax collectors.

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In order to carry out this plan, Judge Henderson in 1769 employed Daniel Boone at Salisbury, while Henderson was actually presiding over the court, to explore these western lands, Boone being "very poor and his desire to pay off his indebtedness to Henderson made him all the more willing to undertake the exhaustive tour of exploration in company with Finley and others."

The Patrick Henry of North Carolina.-- Dr. Henderson continues: "From this time forward [the expiration of is term as judge] Richardson Henderson, described as the 'Patrick Henry of North Carolina,' sheds the glamor of local fame and enters into national history as one of the most remarkable figures of his day, and indubitably the most remarkable constructive pioneer in the early history of the American people." Elsewhere Dr. Henderson speaks of his ancestor as the "Cecil Rhodes of America." Meantime, however, having returned frfom his two years;stay in Kentucky, we are told that Boone, grown impatient over the delay caused by Henderson's inability, for whatever reason, to further prosecute his plans at that time, recruited a body of settlers, and, on the 25th day of September, 1773, set out from Holman's Ford with eighteen men and some women and children, his own among the number, but his party was attacked by Indians and were forced to return. From which facts Dr. Henderson draws the following conclusions: "Boone lacked constructive leadership and executive genius.(1) 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."

The English Spy.-- From Judge Clark's article (N. C. Booklet, January, 1904) it appears that Richard Henderon's mother was a Miss Williams, and that he studied law under his cousin, John Williams, who, according to Wheeler (Vol. I, p. 58), was whipped by the Regulators, and was, presumably, the son of his mother's brother, and afterwards married his step-daughter,
Note: (1) Richard Henderson's "constructive" genius seems to have resulted in the destruction both of himself and all who put their trust in him especially Daniel Boone, whom Henderson left penniless in the wilderness of Kentucky.

Elizabeth Keeling. Also, that "the British spy, Captain J. F. D. Smyth, in his 'Tour of America' (Vol. I, p. 124), [states that he] visited John Williams at his home in Granville about December, 1774, where he met Judge Henderson, whom he lauds as a genius, and says he did not know how to read and write till after he was grown. As Henderson became judge at the age of thirty-three, and as, besides, Smyth styles him Nathaniel Henderson and adds that Williams was said to be a mulatto and looked like one, no faith is to be given to any of his statements. He, however, says, probably with truth (p. 126), that Judge Henderson had made a secret purchase of territory from the Indians before his public treaty later on." This Captain Smyth might, therefore, be dismissed without notice if we did not find in Roosevelt (Vol. II, p. 46) that, while Henderson was at Boonesborough in 1775, "a British friend of his" (whom a foot-note shows to have been Smyth) visited him there, indicating his knowledge of Henderson's enterprise, and the further fact that Dr. Henderson himself, in his Observer articles of 1913, says: "It is interesting to note that just prior to the public announcement throughout the colony of this vast scheme of promotion[selling the Transylvania lands to unsuspecting frontiersmen], Dr. J. F. D. Smyth, the British emissary, met Richard Henderson at the home of Col. John Williams." But for the facts stated in Dr. Henderson's next succeeding article in the Observer on Richard Henderson, one might be tempted to connect this visit with the secret purchase of these lands above referred to, and to guess that it may have been a part of the policy of Great Britain at that time to get Americans interested in these Transylvania lands by low prices, etc., to such an extent that they would, rather than lose their holdings in them, adhere to the mother country in the impending struggle for independence, and thus form a rear-rank which should co-operate with the front rank of soldiers and loyalists in the Atlantic States. It would have been a most powerful and, possibly, successful bar to the achievement of our independence; for, then, Sevier and his Watauga men would hve fought against and not for us. But this, probably, was not the scheme that British emmisary or scout, as Dr. Henderson also

Page 46

terms him, had in mind, for Dr. Henderson continues; "Though not the first settlement in point of time, for Henderson found several temporarily occupied camps nearby on his arrival, Boonesborough was the first settlement of permanent vitality in the heart of the Kentucky country. No Henderson and there would have been no Boonesborough. No Boonesborough and the American colonies, now convulsed in a titanic struggle, might well have lost to Great Britain, at the close of the Revolution, the vast and fertile possessions of the transmontane wilderness."

Was Even the Treaty a Sham?-- Assuming that Dr. Smyth, Richard Henderson's friend and guest, spoke ex cathedra when he declared that a secret treaty had been already affected before the 25th of March, 1775, which is the one that was published to the world as the real thing, what shall be thought of the following from Judge Clark's "Colony of Transylvania," before quoted?

"The treaty was debated, sentence by sentence, the Indians choosing their own interpreter. It was only signed after four days; minute discussion and after fierce opposition from a chief known as Dragging Canoe. The goods must have been put at a high valuation, for one brave, who received as his share only a shirt, contemptuously said he could secure more with his rifle in one day's hunting. On the other hand, the Indians received full value, for they had in trugh no title to convey, and they plainly told Henderson he would have great trouble to obtain or hold possession on account of other tribes. The territory was not occupied and owned by the Cherokees, nor, indeed, by any tribe, but was a battle-field, where hostile bands met to fight out their quarrels." No wonder then that Dr. Henderson says that these fifty thousand dollars worth of goods were transported across the mountains of North Carolina in six wagons two years before, as other historians agree, any road was opened across them!

The Romantic Side of Boone.--Most of us love to think of him in the light of Kipling's "Explorer," animated by the "something-hidden-go-and-find-it" spirit, rather than as the servant of any man or set of men on his 1769 trip to Kentucky; and while it

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is no reflection on his character if he was actually employed to spy out the western lands, is it not a reflection upon Richard Henderson to say at this late day that he was actually scheming while a judge on the bench to violate the law?(1) As well as can be gathered from the Charlotte Observer's articles (Life and Times of Richard Henderson), it appears that when in 1773 Henderson's term as judge expired by limitation of the judiciary act of 1767, he learned "through the highest English legal authorities . . . according to the most recent legal decision rendered in England on the subject, purchases by individuals from Indian owners were legally valid. Without royal grant, Patrick Henry in Virginia, in 1774, was negotiating for the purchase of part of the very territory Henderson desired. Two years earlier the Watauga settlers leased from the Cherokees the lands upon which they resided--a preliminary to subsequent purchase . . . The opinion handed down by the Lord Chancellor and the attorney general cleared away the legal difficulties."(2) This, apparently, was Henderson's justification for proceeding to violate the Royal Proclamation against purchasing lands from the Indians. His plea that the Cherokees really owned the land seems to be based on the sole claim that "their title to the territory had been acknowledged by Great Britain through her Southern agent of Indian affairs, John Stuart, at the Treaty of Lochaben in 1770." Dr. Henderson told H. Addington Bruce that Judge Henderson, "in developing his Transylvania project and purchasing Kentucky from the Cherokees, acted under the advice of an eminent English jurist, 'in the closest confidence of the King.; and that he, therefore, regarded the enterprise as having the royal sanction," which view of the case Mr. Bruce understood Professor Henderson would soon set forth in a biography of Richard Henderson. That promise was
Note (1) There can be no doubt that Doctor Henderson claims that it was Judge Henderson's purpose to carry out this plan at the time he is said to have employed Boone in 1769: for he says Judge Henderson saw the significance of the Fort Stanwix treaty, and realized that the lands could be acquired only from the Indians, and that his plan was temporarily "frustrated by the exciting issues of the Regulation."
(2) How Richard Henderson, then a private citizen, could have had knowledge of these facts when the Governors of Virginia and North Carolina, the accredited representatives of Great Britain, wher ignorant of them, is not explained. They were ignorant, for both denounced Henderson and his associates as land pirates, engaged in an unlawful undertaking.

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evidently made during or prior to 1910, when Bruce's "Daniel Boone and the Wilderness Road" was first published. The proof is still not forthcoming because Dr. Henderson's book is not yet printed. When it is published to the world it will undoubtedly surprise many historians and others who consider themselves well informed about the history of these times and events. It is a great pity that it could not have been presented to the world a hundred years ago, before such erroneous idear of Richard Henderson became prevalent. Ir is also hoped that it will then be shown that Richard Henderson and his associates devoted the 400,000 acres of land which they obtained from Virginia and North Carolina to the making whole of all those who bought land from them, including the 2,000 acres which Boone received as compensation for his sevices, but to which he got no valid title. What Virginia did for Boone is not pertinent. What did Richard Henderson do? When these matters shall have been cleared up, North Carolina, no doubt, will be proud to erect a monument to his memory.

Forehanded "for Once."--It seems that it was Boone's business to recruit a party of roadmakers before he started from Sycamore Shoals, with the understanding that they were to meet a Long Island, in the upper Holston, just south of the Virginia line. "Thirty guns" or riflemen were secured, who, according to Felix Walker, afterwards congressman from this State, explicitly agreed to put themselves "under the management and control of Colonel Boone, who was to be their pilot through the wilderness." Then, March 10, 1775, began the making of the Wilderness Road, by way of Clinch and Powell's Rivers and Cumberland Gap and Rock Castle River to the mouth of Beaver Creek whee it empties into the Kentucky River.(1) This spot had been selected years before by Boone as an ideal place for the settlement, and there he began the choice of locations for him-self and his companions. When Henderson and his larger party
Note: (1)As the Sycamore Shoals Treaty was not ratified till the 25th of March, Boone's departure on the 10th for he purpose of cutting the Wilderness Road, shows a degree of cock-sureness on the part of Henderson & Co., which gives additional force to the suggestion of the spy, Smyth, that a secret treaty had been already concluded; which, if true, merely makes the public treaty a farce and fraud, and lends a still more sinister aspect to this affair.

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arrived three weeks later he made the "distinctly embarrassing discovery that Boone and his companions had preempted the choicest locations for themselves. Rather than have trouble, the tactful proprietor decided to leave them in undisturbed possession and appease the rest by locating the site of the capital of Transylvania, not in the sheltered level chosen by Boone, but some little distance from it, on a commanding elevation overlooking the Kentucky." (Bruce, p. 117.)

Henderson's and Washington's "Continental Vision."-- Dr. Henderson does not hesitate to give Richard Henderson what he considers his true place in the westward movement: "Washington expressed the secret belief of the period when he hazarded the judgment that the royal proclamation of 1763 [forbidding individuals to buy or lease lands from the Indians] was a mere temporary expedient to quiet the minds of the Indians, and was not intended as a permanent bar to the Western civilization. Some years earlier, Richard Henderson, with the continental vision of Washington, had come to the conclusion that the unchartered West offered unlimited possibilities in the shape of reward to pioneering spirits, with a genuine constructive policy, willing to venture their all in vindication of their faith. George Washington, acquiring vast tracts of Western land by secret purchase, indirectly stimulated the powerful army that was carrying the broad-axe westward; Richard Henderson, with a large-visioned constructive policy of public promotion, colonization and settlement for the virgin West, conferred untold benefits upon the nation at large by his sesolution, aggressiveness and daring. Washington and Henderson were factors of crucial importance in the settlement of the West and the advance of the pioneer army into the winderness of Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio." Elsewhere (Neale's Monthly, p. 211) Dr. Henderson says: "George Washington and Richard Henderson, as landlords, were vital factors in the development of the West."

Dr. Henderson's Original Discoveries.-- Dr. Henderson promises to furnish not only documentary evidence to support all these statements, but photographic fac-similes in proof of the claim that Boone was indebted to Richard Henderson for legal

services(1) for a number of years prior to 1769, which had not been paid off prior to that date. Also, that the merchandise which was to be paid for the title of the Cherokees to the Transylvania lands was transported by Richard Henderson, not accompanied by Boone, "in six wagon loads of goods from Hillsboro, N. C. (really from Fayetteville--then Cross Creek), to Sycamore Shoals, by wagon over the mnorth Carolina mountains" by a route "discovered through researches made for me among old maps, showing wagon roads of North Carolina, dating as far back as 1770. The stages of the route I hope to give in my published book when it appears. Henderson also carried the goods from Sycamore Shoals to Martin's Station in powell's valley by wagon also, from there to the future site of Boonesboro the goods were transported by pack-horses."(2) Dr. Henderson very properly "scrupulously omitted citation in my 'Life and Times of Richard Henderson' to authorities other than known or accessible books, such as the North Carolina Colonial Records, etc.," as upon these new authorities rests his "claim to original research and discovery."



Misconceptions About Colonel Henderson.--Assuming that Dr. Henderson shall be able to establish these facts, which is not questioned, there is no one who had suffered more at the hands of historians than his ancestor, Richard Henderson. For the general impression of him is that he nd his father had been part and parcel of the office-holding oligarchy or "ring" that dominated county government under Governor Tryon, Henderson's father having been sheriff and himself under-sheriff; also, that, as a judge, Richard ZHenderson was personally obnoxious to the Regulators because he at least had not prevented "the legal tyrannies and alleged injustices of county officials,: and was :so terrorized that during the night he mounted a fast horse and galloped out of town,"(3)
Note: (1) This must have been a large fee that required Boone to go in debt to get supplies for his journey (Bruce, p. 62) and to spend two years of his life in the wilderness.
(2) From Doctor Henderson's letter to J. P. A., June 11, 1913. The new material, discovered by Doctor Henderson, after laborious investigation extending over years, "was not accessible to or even known to R. G. Thwaites, biographer of Daniel Boone, or to H. Addington Bruce, author of "Daniel Boone and the Wilderness Road."
(3) Bruce, p. 97.

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when in the fall of 1770, while hearing cased at Hillsborough, his court room was invaded by a mob and minor officials were beaten. People generally believe that the grievances of the Regulators were genuine wrongs from which they, at great risk, were seeking to escape; that these Regulators were not anarchists,(1) but American patriots making the first stand for American liberty, bravely and openly and against great odds. They do not believe that Judge Henderson refused the demands of these oppressed people out of any high regard for the law, but because he wished to carry out the mandates of Tryon, by whom he had been appointed to the bench. Nevertheless, they were willing to believe that he was incapbble of deliberately planning to violate the proclamation of 1763 against the purchase of lands from the Indians by individuals while he himself was presiding over a court of justice and drawing the pay of the colony or of the Crown of England for discharging the duties of a judge of the Superior Court of the colony of North Carolina. They supposed that Daniel Boone went to Kentucky in May, 1769, not because he had been paid to aid Henderson to violate the law he was sworn to uphold, but because John Finley had spent the winter before at Holman's Ford and had persuaded Boone that he could guide him to Kentucky by crossing the mountains to the westward. It was the general belief, also, that it was not in consequence of the Treaty of Fort Stanwix of 1768, but of the victory over the northwestern Indians at the Great Kanawha, September 10, 1774, which prompted Henderson and Hart to visit the Otari towns the following October for the purpoe of getting from the Cherokees what was a worthless paper title to the Transylvania lands, and that Henderson especially, who was a lawyer, knew that "neither the British government nor the authorities of Virginia or North Carolina would recognize the authority" of the Cherokees to convey title thereto, and that instead of being a worthy scheme of national expansion, it was really a "bold, audacious dash for fortune." (Walter Clark in North Carolina Booklet, January, 1904, p. 7.) And, unfortunately, it is also the
Note:(1) It seems strange to have a North Carolinian write in such terms of the Regulators, whom we have been taught to revere as heroes and patriots.

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general belief that Henderson at least cared little for the ruin that he must have known would follow the failure of his title to the lands which he was trying to sell to the untaught pioneers.(1) For he speaks of them in his journal as "a set of scoundrels who scarcely belived in God or feared the devil." Certain it is that when all hope of profit disappeared, so did also Henderson and his associated, leaving Daniel Boone, with his helpless family, in the wilderness with a worthless title to two thousand acres of land, which had been his sole compensation for risking his life and cutting out the Wilderness Road for Henderson and his followers to travel over. And the claim upon which so much stress is laid, that Henderson shared "with Washington the vision of Western expansion," is made ridicculous when the Watauga Settlement of 1769 is remembered and it is recalled that Harrodsburg, only thirty miles southwest from Boonesboro, have been settled in 1774; also, that two weeks before Boone's arrival at Boonesborough (April 1, 1775) this same Harrodsburg, after having been abandoned in 1774, had been re-occupied by as hardy pioneers as any who came with Boone, and that about the same time two other settlements nearby were made at Boiling Springs and Logan's Station. Rosevelt says that with the failure of his title in both Virginia and North Carolina, "Henderson, after the collapse of his colony, drifts out of history." (Winning of the West, Vol. II, p. 64.) To some people of simple minds it might almost seem that it would have been better that Richard Henderson should be allowed to remain out of history, unless, indeed, it can be shown that he restored to poor, deluded Daniel Boone the 2,000 acres he had ben duped into accepting as his share of the enterprise, for both Virginia and North Carolina together donated outright to Henderson and company 400,000 acres of land, out of which it does seem that Boone should have been made whole. Daniel Boone, penniless, remained in the wilderness and was the real leader of the great western expansion.
Note:(1) A largely signed memorial was sent to the Virginia Convention in 1776 by these settlers, from which it appears that the price of the land had been advanced from twenty to fifty shillings a hundred acres, all of which was to be paid down: that 700,000 acres at the Falls of the Ohio (Louisville) had been reserved to the proprietors and their friends. It implored His Majesty, the King, to vindicate his title from the Six Nations; and asked to be taken under the protection of Virginia.

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Chapter V. During the Revolution.

Backwoods Tories.-- Roosevelt (Vol. II, p.70) says: "The backwoodsmen, the men of the up-country, were, as a whole, ardent adherents of the patriotic or American side. Yet there were among them many loyalists or Tories, and these Tories included in their ranks much the greatest portion of the vicious and disorderly elements. This was the direct reverse of what obtained along portions of the seaboard, where large numbers of the peaceable and well-to-do people stood loyally by the king. In the up-country, however, the Presbyterian Irish, with their fellow of Calvinistic stock and faith, formed the back-bone of the moral and order-loving element, and the Presbyterian Irish were almost to a man staunch and furious upholders of the Continental Congress . . . The Tories were obnoxious under two heads (pp. 72, 73); they were allies of a tyrant who lived beyond the sea, and they were the friends of anarchy at home. They were felt by the frontiersmen to be criminals rather than ordinary foes. They included in their ranks the mass of men who had been guilty of the two worst frontier crimes--horse-stealing and murder . . . and the courts sometimes executed summary justice on Tory, desperado and stock-thief, holding each as having forfeited his life."

Samuel Bright, Loyalist.-- We should not be surprised, therefore, to learn that there is a tradition still preserved at Ingalls and Altamont post offices, in what is now Avery County, but which formerly was a part of Watauga, that Samuel Bright, along whose "trace," according to Draper (p. 177), Sevier's men passed on their way to king's Mountain, September 27-28, 1780, was a Tory of the Tories, and while he might have claimed the Crab Orchard,(1) a mile below the confluence of the Roaring Creek
Note: (1)Owing to the several counties in which this land has been it is impossible to get record evidence of Bright's ownership, if he ever held title. Local tradition claims that the Crab Orchard was embraced in both the Cathcart and Waightstill Avery grants, and that the representatives of these two claimants compromised the matter by Avery paying John Brown, Cathcart's representative, 12 1/2 cts. per acre for the tract, and taking possession. John Ollis, father of W. H. Ollis, helped to clear it "back in the Forties."

Page 54

with the North Toe River, his home was two miles northeast of Alta Pass, where the C. C. & O. R. R. crosses the Blue Ridge, and stood near what is now a tram-road for lumber hauling. Joe Lovin now lives one-fourth of a mile southwest from the old Bright chimney mounds, which are still distinguishable. Indeed, Robert Lee Wiseman, a direct descendant of William Wiseman, the first settler of that loclity, has the original grant and knows the location of the old Bright place not only from tradition, but from having surveyed the lands originally grnted to Samuel Bright. One of these grants is nummbered 172 and calls for 360 acres in Burke County. The grant is dated March 5, 1780, though the land was processioned June 28, 1774, by Will Davenport, who owned "the noted spring on the Davenport place, since Tate's, and now known as the Childs place," spoken of by Dr. Draper (p. 178). The grant is registered in book No. 3 of Burke County, and was signed by J. C. Caswell, Governor, and countersigned by "In Frank, Pri. Sec." The land was surveyed by C. W. Beekman, county surveyor of Burke, August 10, 1778, while the chain carries were Thomas White, afterwards Major White, of McDowell's regiment, and James Taylor White. The land granted lies on both sides of Toe River, and a part of it is now owned by W. H. Ollis as part of his home tract, and the balnace by J. L. Wiseman. The seal attached is of chalk or plaster of Paris and bees was, one-quarter of an inch thick and three inches in diameter. One one side is a female figure with staff and liberty cap in one hand and an open scroll in the other. The obverse face containes a female figure, a cow and a tree, while beneath these figures are "Independence MDCCLXXVI." This seal is not impressed upon the paper, but is detatched from it, being connected with it by a double tap ribbon. Around the border is what appears to be E Pluribus Unum and Sua Si Bona, though a defacement of the wax renders some of the letters uncertain. Tradition is here borne out by the State and Colonial Records in Volume XXII (p. 506), which records that Samuel

Page 55

Bright, after having witnessed the trial and conviction at Salisbury before Judge Samuel Spencer, March 6, 1777, of one William Anderson, of having stolen from one Jowe, and the branding of the said Anderson on the ball of the thumb of his left hand with the letter T, signifying thief, was brought before the same stern judge to answer the charge of having committed sundry misdemeanors aginst the State by encouraging the enemies of said State. But Samuel evidently knew on which side fo his bread was buttered, and took the benefit of the governor's proclamation, promising amnesty to all who would come in and take the oath of loyalty to the patriot cause, and got off scott-free.

Thirty-Nine Lashes on the Bare Back.--Now William Wiseman, who had been born in London, England, on St. James Street, Clarkville or Clarkwell Park, February 2, 1741, and apprenticed to a joiner, fearing sevice in the British army, stowed himself away on a merchant vessel in 1761, and, after lying concealed three days and nights, revealed himself to the captain, and upon arrival at a port in Connecticut was sold to pay his passage money; was bid in by a master joiner, who gave him his liberty and a box of tools upon proof that Wiseman could make as good a chest as he could himself. "What those old fellows were after," said an old citizen in speaking of Wiseman, "was freedom;" and as there was much religious persecution in the northern colonies about that time, William Wiseman took his tools aboard a sailing vessel and finally settled at the place at which W. H. Ollis now lives. Here he married a Davenport, sister, no doubt, to the Davenport of Davenport Place spoken of by Dr. Draper. He was the very first settler in that locality, and became a justice of the peace. To him was brought one day the wife of Samuel Bright, charged with having stolen a bolt of cloth from a traveling peddler. She was convicted by him, and as the peddler insisted that he should pass sentence upon her, he did so, and as there was no sheriff to inflice it, he enforced it himself--"thirty-nine lashes, well laid on."

Patriots Feared the Indians.-- Now, the Cherokees had ceded the lands on the Watauga and its waters to the Watatga settlers,

Page 56

but, Roosevelt tells us (Vol. II, p. 74) that they "still continued jealous of them." and that the Cherokees "promptly took up the tomahawk at the bidding of the British" (p. 75). As Bright and Wiseman lived south of the ridge which divided the Toe from the Watauga, their homew were within Indian territory at this time. Therefore, Magistrate Wiseman had been afraid to lay the lash on Mrs. Bright's bare back during the absence of her husband, who was on a hunting expedition at that time, lest upon his return he should incite the Indians to burn his cabin and scalp him in the bargain. But he was worse afraid of the peddler, who threatened to report him to the great judge, Samuel Spencer, at Salisbury, if he did not carry out the scntence he had himself imposed. He was, therefore, much perturbed till Bright and a family named Grand left the country, passing over the Bright Trace and by the Bright Spring on the Bald place of the Yellow into Tennessee. Aunt Jemima English, who was born Wiseman, daughter of the original William, justice of the peace, etc., May 6, 1804, but lived to a great old ge, not only preserved these traditions, which she had at first had from her father, but she believed that the Grant family which left with the Brights were the family from whom Gen. U. S. Grrant, of the U. S. army, sprang.

Bright's Spring and the Shelving Rock.-- We must not forget that "the gap between the Yellow Mountain on the north and the Roan Mountain on the south" (Draper, p. 177) was once a part of Watauga County (see chapter X on Boundary Lines). It was here that two of Sevier's men, James Crawford and Samuel Chambers, deserted and went ahead to tell Ferguson of Sevier's approach. It was here also, according to local tradition in the mouth of everyone in May, 1915, that one of Sevier's men froze to death and was buried in the edge of the bald of the Yellow. Draper, however, says nothing of such an occurrence, though he does say (p. 177) that the "sides and top of the mountain were covered with snow, shoe-mouth deep, and on the summit there were about one hundred acres of beautiful table-land, in whichh a spring issued [Bright's], ran though it and over into the Watauga." This latter fact, not generally known, coupled with the still more important fact that all of Watauga County on the

Page 57

waters of Watauga River was once a part of Washington County--formerly Washington District--of the famous and imortal Old Watauga Settlement of Sevier, Robertson and Tipton, may well "stir a fever in the blood of age and make the infant's sinews strong as steel." For Col. Henry H. Farthing, of Timbered Ridge of the Beaver Dams, and Col. Joseph C. Shull, of Shull's Mills, have each a grant from the State to lands in their neighborhood, described as being the Washington County, North Carolina. Shull's grant is numbered 841 to Charles Asher for 300 acres in the county of Washington on both sides of Watauga River, and dated 11th July, 1788. It is signed by Samuel Johnston, Governor, and countersigned by Jas. Glascow, Secretary of State. On it is a certificate from the county register, Samuel Greer, dated May 28, 1819, that is a true copy from the records. The Farthing grant is to John Carter for 300 acres in the county of Washington, beginning on two white oaks standing near the path that leads across Stone Mountain to Cove Creek and on the west side of the Beaver Dam Creek. It is dated November 17, 1790, and is numbered 947, and recorded in the office of the Secretary's office, page 234. For, when the Watauga settlers set up house-keeping on their own hook, they had named the territory they had acquired from the Indians by lease and purchase Washington District, and in 1777, before they tried to secede, calling the new State Franklin, North Carolina converted Washington District into Washington County. (Laws 1777, ch. 126.) Dr. Draper cnontinues: "Thence from Talbot's Mill to its head, where they bore somewhat to the left, crossing Little Doe River, reaching the noted 'Resting Place,' at the Shelving Rock, about a mile beyond the Crab Orchard, where, after a march of about twenty miles that day, they took up their cmp for the night. Big Doe River, a bold and limpid mountain stream, flowing hard by, afforded the campers, their horses and beef cattle abundance of pure and refreshing water. Here a man of the name of Miller resided who shod several of the horsed of the party."

Even Homer and Dr. Draper Sometimes Nod.-- Notwithstanding all the pains Dr. Draper took to get the facts for his excellent "Kings Mountain and its Heroes," his failure to visit

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the actual scenes along the route of the King's Mountain men is responsible for the error in the statement that the Big Doe River, flowing hard by, afforded the campers, etd., abundance of pure and refreshing water." The nearest point from the Shelving Rock to the Big Doe River is at least one mile and a half where that stream flows through the rab Orchard, and route to it is over a rather high ridge and by a rough trail. But the Little Doe, with enough pure and refreshing water for all the men and stock then in what is now Tennessee, flows within one hundred yards of the Shelving Rock, on which there has been placed a bronze tablet about two feet square with the following inscription:

First Night's
Encampment of
SEPTEMBER 26, 1780.
They Trusted in God and
kept Their Powder Dry.
Placed by John Sevier Chapter, D. A. R.,

A Busy Forge.-- But he was right in stating that a man of the name of Miller resided at the Shelving Rock and shod their horses, for Squire W. H. Ollis, of Ingalls, N. C., furnished this identical information to the Historical Society of New Jersey in 1872, saying that "Absalom Miller told me that his father lived at Shelving Rock in September, 1780, and shod the horses of some of the King' Mountain men while they camped under the Shelving Rock." As most of Sevier's men were practical blacksmiths, we may well imagine that Johnson's forge was a busy place early on the morning of September 27, 1780, and well up into that day, and that, while some were shoeing the horses,

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others were busy at bellows and anvil, hammering out houseshoes and nails, thus leaving none of the available tools idle for a moment. For the way up what is now called Hampton's Creek to the gap of the Yellow was even steeper in those days that it is now, with rocks galore to wrench the shoes from the best shod horses. Dr. Draper tells us that on this day the men, weary of driving the herd of cattle with which they had started, killed such as were necessary for a temporary supply of meat and abandoned the rest, thus considerably delaying the march of the day, "following the well-known Bright's Trace, through a gap between the Yellow Mountain on the north and the Roan Mountain on the south. The ascent was not very difficult along a common foot-path." But, for three miles at least, it was very steep and rocky, as the same old Trace, now used as a "near cut." still bears witness most eloquently. Arrived at the gap, now grown up with trees, they had a parade on the Yellow and fired off their short Deckard rifles "for fun." This was but a short day's march--seven miles--making twenty-seven miles from Sycamore Shoals in two days. Here, at a conference of the officers, Colonel Campbell was appointed to the chief command. (note on page 178.) On the 28th they descended Roaring Creek by Bright's Trace, then following the bank of the stream very much as does the rude and rough wagon road of today, to its mouth in North Toe River, one mile from the North Carolina Crab Orchard, or Avery's Quarter, as it is now known. Here, at the mouth of Roaring Creek, lives Tilmon McCurry, who thiks that the Samuel Chambers who had deserted the night before, finally settled in Buncombe County, North Carolina, but what became of James Crawford seems not to be known. Only a short distance from the mouth of Roaring Creek is that of Powder Mill Creek, a short distance up which later stream Dorry and Loddy Oaks made enouth powder in the dim and distance past with which to buy a negro man, and, no doubt, obtained the bounty referred to in Wheeler's History of North Carolina (Vol. II, p. 52). From the mouth of Roaring Creek, however, Bright's Trace is now no longer followed, the Cranberry and Spruce Pine Road having usurped its usefulness, but it can be traced still as it takes its almost straight course to the crossing of Toe River, almost a mile above Spruce Pine, at which place a small monument mards Sevier's route.

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