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Canal Proposed for Greenbrier River

[Agreed to by both Houses, February 4th, 1811.]

WHEREAS it is a matter of the greatest importance, not only to the good, people of tills
state, but to our brethren of (he western states, that a better and more direct
communication with the Atlantic should he opened betwixt the eastern and western
waters—therefore that Wilson C. Nicholas, James Breckenridge, William Caruthers,
Andrew Donnelly, .junior, and William J. Lewis, gentlemen, be appointed
commissioners, whose duly it shall be to view accurately, and make report thereof to the
next general assembly of this state, James river from the upper end of the canal to the
highest point of navigation at the mouth of Dunlap's creek; to mark out the most
practicable way, if any, from the mouth of Ouolap's creek, for a canal to Greenbrier river :
and to view that river to it's mouth, as well the New river to the great fall of the Kanawha,
to take the difference of altitude of the mouth of Dunlap's creek, and that point on
Greenbrier river contemplated in this resolution.
Resolved also, That William J. Lewis, of Campbell, Isaac Otey, of Bedford, Matthew
Harvty, of fioteiourt, William Herbert, of Monroe, and Samuel Browne, of Greenbrier,
gentlemen, be, and they are hereby appointed cornmissioners to view and mark out the
nearest and most direct way for a turnpike road, from the road called the Buckingham
road, near Robert Hunter's, to Greenbrier courthouse, to pass through Lvnchhurg, the
Peaks of Otter, the Town of Monroe, and by the Sweet Springs. And it shall he the duty of
this commission, to report thereof to the next general assembly of this state.

" An Act to prevent the destruction of Oysters within this commonwealth.

[Passed January 6, 1804]
Preamble Whereas it is represented to this General Assembly that the quantity of
oysters in the rivers and creeks within this commonwealth is greatly diminished by a
practice which has for some time since prevailed, of collecting large quantities of oysters
and burning them for the purpose of obtaining lime from the shells.
Persons fined for BE i' therefore enacted, That if any person or persons shall hereafter
burn or cause to be burnt any oysters taken out of any rivers or creek within this
commonwealth for the purpose of obtaining lime therefrom, or for any other purpose by
which such quantity of oysters will be wasted or destroyed, he or they shall for every
such offence forfeit and pay ten dollars, recoverable before a single magistrate, one
money to the informer, the other money to the overseers of the poor for the use of the
county: Provided, That nothing; herein contained shall be so construed as to prevent any
person from burning oyster shells after the oysters have been used.
Commencement: This act shall commence and be in force from and after the passing
Greenbrier River
At Hinton, New River receives an enormous amount of pollution from Greenbrier
River, an important tributary, on which the conditions are very unfortunate. It is one of
the most beautiful streams in the State, the water almost always being very clear, but it is
poisoned at its very source by privy contamination.
Durbin, W. Va.—Above Durbin, on the headwaters of the stream, there are a great many
sawmills. Sanitation in these mill camps consists in building the privies directly over the
river and in throwing all waste and refuse either into the stream or on the ground near bv.
sr> that they can be washed into the water. At Durbin fecal pollution is nauseatingly
abundant on the banks. The railroad privy is so located as to discharge into the river, and
a number of the houses drain almost directly into a small run that enters the river at this
point. More heedless contamination of a pure and beautiful river could hardly he
imagined. Tb field assay (p. 95) shows a water of almost perfect purity, its high color
being the only objectionable feature. The water of the 84-foot well at this pla«> is of fair
quality, not too hard for laundry use.
Marlinton, W. Va.—Between Durhin und Marlinton the contamination from mill camps
is as bad as above Durbin. Marlinton, the largest hamlet in this section, is a pretty ami
rapidly growing lumber town of about 500 population. It has no public water supply.
Green brier River at this point shows an increase in hardness, but is still a very soft water.
The pollution at Marlinton from outhouses is considerable. The quasi public supply is
piped into the railroad tank, and thence into a few buildings, from Knapp Creek, a little
trout stream, comparatively clean and pure. The field assay shows the Knapp Creek water
to be of excellent quality for any purpose. Still better is the water of the large spring that
is piped to two banks and a boarding house in the town. There is practically no mineral
impurity in this water except the iron. The high color is probably due to the nature of the
drainage. It is the best supply in this section.
Ronceverte, W. Va.—Between Marlinton and Ronceverte (population about 1,000)
there is a scanty population and but little drainage from houses. It is unfortunate,
however, that at almost every place where there is a house a privy either overhangs the
stream or stands close to it. The Ronceverte water supply is pumped directly from
Greenbrier River into a reservoir, whence it flows by gravity into the mains, it is used
unpurified for all purposes, and the townspeople regard it as pure water, because there are
no houses directly above the intake. In the light of the above discussion of Allegheny and
Monongahela rivers it is plain that self-purification in this stream is a negligible factor.
While by no means an unusually rapid stream, it is too small for navigation, and its
occasional pools are separated by numerous stretches of swift water. It is so grossly
polluted from its very source to a point a mile or two above the pumping station as to
leave no doubt of its unhealthfulness when used raw as a public supply. Ronceverte is not
sewered, and its drainage and that of the railroad shops at this point form an important
contribution to the river.
The seceretary received from His Excellency, Governor Hatfield, the following letter
with an inclosure from Mr. C. E. Beman, of Ron- ceverte:
Charleston, "W. Va., June 5, 1914. Dear Dr. Jepson: —
Please note the enclosed letter. I will be very glad if you will communicate with Mr.
Beman and also investigate the conditions of tke water supply at Ronceverte, either
through your nearest member of the State Board of Health or yourself direct if you find
the time.
Very truly yours,
Mr. Beman's letter set forth that "there is one tannery at Marlinton and one at Durbin.
Here at Ronceverte, where we get our water supply from the river, the water is so sour it
is almost impossible to drink it. The banks are lined with dead fish from here to Durbin."
It is a matter of record that the State Board of Health had this subject under consideration
some years ago, and it was made the subject of a hearing on indictment in the circuit
court. The result of the trial was, that the tannery company at Marlinton was required to
construct settling ponds which it was supposed would remedy the offenses complained
of. The secretary has received from the assistant attorney general the oral opinion that the
State Board of Health under the law does not have sufficient authority to effect a remedy
of the conditions complained of. In view of this fact the secretary wrote a letter to the
Governor from which the following quotation is made; "During my last visit in
Charleston I had a consultation on this subject with Mr. Lively of the attorney general's
office, and he gave the opinion that the State Board of Health has not sufficient authority
to control the matter. This being the case, a visit by me or any member of the board to
Ronceverte seems unnecessary, since no good can be accomplished by it. I find, since
becoming secretary of the board, that we need much more authority than is now given to
us under the law. I have been summoned to different points on complaint of local
nuisances that should be abated by the local county or municipal authorities, and a careful
search through the law fails to discover authority whereby we may step in and compel an
abatement of such nuisances. There should be such authority."
The secretary has received communications from Cameron, Beckley, Holliday's Cove,
Keyser, Logan, Spencer, Cass and other points in the state. The complaints being
essentially the same, namely; the emptying of sewage into small local streams which
become almost dry in the summer constituting nuisances. The secretary has uniformly
attempted by correspondence to have such defects remedied, but generally he finds it
impossible to do so on account of the limited powers of the board, and because, in some
cases, nothing short of an extensive sewerage system involving the locality in a large
expenditure would be sufficient to bring about the desired change. Many complaints of a
less serious nature reach us, which refer to nuisances of a character that can and should
be removed by local, county or municipal authority. This suggestion the secretary has
repeatedly made in answer to letters received by him. As an example of nuisances of this
kind, may be cited the fact that the secretary made a special visit to Clarksburg in answer
to a complaint made of a local nuisance, which consisted of an offensive pond of sewage
caused by the projection of several sewers from private houses into a low piece ot ground
from which there was no drainage. Within ten feet of the end of these drain pipes was a
large sewer with which connection might have been made at trifling cost. The mayor of
the city was interviewed, the remedy pointed out, and His Honor gave promise that an
order would be immediately issued for the abatement of the nuisance. We have
information that the desired change has been effected.


Withers, in his Border Warfare, makes a statement, which is copied by many writers on
kindred topics, that when the settlements of the white man had reached the eastern slope
of the Blue Ridge, all of that part of Virginia which lies between the Blue Ridge and the
Alleghany Mountains was deserted by the Indians. Be that as it may, the country which
held such battlefields as that near Millborough Springs, and which had furnished such
sites for villages as that near Mountain Grove, on Back creek ; that at the McClintic
place, on Jackson's river; and that at Covington, was not left to the white man without
vigorous protest from the former owners. The visitor to the Flat Rock, just opposite the
Warm Springs, still has his attention turned to the prominent peak some miles to the east,
where, tradition says a young Indian maiden watched the terrible battle between two
hostile tribes of Indians, in which her lover was engaged ; and the flood of 1877 brought
to light on the banks of the Cowpasture river, below Millborough Springs, many
evidences of that battle. The memory of living man takes us back to the time when the
trees from which the Indians stripped bark for their huts, near Mountain Grove, still stood
scarred. Relics of the Indian town are still turned up by the plough on the McClintic place
; and Mr. Frank Lyman, the recent owner, has in his New York residence the many Indian
relics excavated while digging the foundation for the Covington Iron Furnace. Vacated by
the Indians, when the white man had reached the eastern base of the Blue Ridge, this
country may have been ; but visited by the savages it still was, and with a vengeance so
swift and terrible that Governor Dinwiddie, in his home at old Williamsburg, wrote his
vigorous letters in vain to the County Lieutenants, threatening to retake the lands in this
section in the name of the Crown unless the settlers would stay at home and beat back the
tide of Indian warfare.
As early as 1700 we find the House of Burgesses adopting provisions for planting a
colony in this region to serve as a barrier against Indian incursions. Special directions are
made for the erection of a fort on every two hundred acres of land, to be armed by " able,
warlike Christian men, equipped each with a well-fixt musquette or fuzee, a good pistoll,
sharp simeter, tomahauk, and five pounds of good clean pistoll powder and twenty
pounds of sizable leaden bulletts or swan or goose shott." This effort proved fruitless. It
was probably as late as 17491ha1 the first settlement in this county was made. This was
on the river, called by the Indians Wallawhatoola,but changed by the settlers to the less
musical name of the Cowpasture. Of necessity several families came together, in order to
afford mutual protection in case of attack. Whether they came with a Bible in one hand
and a rifle in the other we do not know; but that Dickerson's Fort was soon thereafter
built several miles from Millborough Springs, while a log church was erected near by, we
do know; and we also know'that in this church (now, in its new site, called Windy Cove
Presbyterian Church) the people worshipped with gun in hand, while a sentinel paced
before the church door. About this time a small fort was built at Green Valley, ten miles
above this point, and still another at what was called Fort Lewis, five miles above Green
Valley, the remains of which are still visible.
Burke, in his work on the Virginia Springs, states that the land upon which the Warm
Springs stands was patented to the Lewis Family in 1760. This date is certainly wrong.
As early as 1740 we see, from recitals in deeds recorded at Warm Springs, that Andrew
Lewis had laid claim to some lands along the Cowpasture river by virtue of grants from
the members of the Board or Council. As we have said, settlements were made along the
Cowpasture, only ten miles to the east of Warm Springs, as early as 1749. We have an
authentic statement that people fled from the Warm Springs in 1755, after Braddock's
defeat. It has even been asserted, but, as we think, without any authority, that there were
guests at these Springs in 1755. Be that as it may, there were certainly people living there
in 1755. We can well presume that the enterprising Lewis family did not wait until after
that event to lay patents on what is the best land in this valley.
But to return to the settlements along the Cowpasture: These settlements were not left
undisturbed. Soon after Braddock's defeat, in I755. a party of Indians made a raid through
this section and killed some persons at the Green Valley Fort. The bodies of the victims
were buried a short distance west of where the present Green Valley house (now occupied
by one of the descendants of Col. Chas. Lewis) stands, and the turnpike road leading
from the Warm Springs to Har- risonburg passes immediately over their graves. The
settlers fled lo Eastern Augusta for better protection. Several years later they returned,
thinking themselves secure. Again the Indians made a raid, and a family named Mayse
were attacked at their home on the Cow- pasture river. The mother and son and a white
woman, whose name I have been unable to learn, were carried oft". A party of pursuers,
headed by that Col. Chas. Lewis who rendered such eminent service in the French and
Indian wars, ending in his noble death at Point Pleasant, followed the party in their flight,
and overtook them near Marlin- ton, in what is now Pocahontas county. The boy was
recaptured, but the women were not, but were carried on to the banks of the Scioto river,
to pass through experiences scarcely surpassed by those which befell Mrs. Mary Ingles.
Through two hundred miles of unbroken forests, over rocks and streams, these women
were forced to walk. After being kept by the Indians for some months, and having gained
their confidence, they took advantage of permission to gather berries, and started to make
their way home. Avoiding the many dangers.
and after a weary trip, in which they passed through Pennsylvania, these two women
succeeded in reaching the Cowpasture river. Twenty years later, this same Mrs. Mayse,
upon learning that this son was wounded in the battle of Point Pleasant, journeyed alone
through the forests to that point and brought him home.
Such dangers as these could not deter such men as Lewis and Dick- enson. Having
built their forts, and left there their families they pushed westward, spying out the land
and laying patent rights to portions of the best land in this section and along the Kanawha
river. We have already stated that the Lewis family must have patented the lands on
which the Warm Springs is located .prior to 1755, and the records of a suit in Bath county
show what tracts of land this Dickenson, afterwards Colonel John Dickenson, laid claim
to in Bath, Greenbrier, and Kanawha counties.
A recent article in the Southern States Magazine has called attention to the historical
interest attaching to the Cowpasture river, " whose banks for miles and miles were the
scenes of heroism, American heroism," whose annals would well bear comparison with
those of the lower James. Interesting and important as are the personal items which hang
about the name of the Cowpasture and Jackson rivers, the writer must leave them for
another time, and present in this article only those personal incidents which have
heretofore remained unpublished. For the time would fail me to tell of Chas. Lewis, and
of John Dickenson, and of Charles Cameron, and of Jacob Warwick, and of Andrew
Lockridge, of George Poage, and Joseph Gwinn, and many others, both officers and men,
whose boyhood and manhood were but a constant struggle with an enemy who knew no
truce, and whose tenderest mercies were blows from their tomahawks ; they repelled
attacks upon their homes, led in the hot and dangerous pursuits after such foes, to rescue
mothers, wives and children; pushed through the gaps of the nearer mountains; forced
back the line of savage warfare in the decisive battle at Point Pleasant ^employed their
furloughs from the Revolutionary service of fighting the British on the sea coast, in
defending their homes against the dusky ally of the British in the mountains. Young
maidens assisted in the defence of the forts; women were dragged from their homes to
see their infants torn in pieces or dashed to death by a foe who knew no sex; forced to
march hundreds of miles to a captivity which lasted for years; their daughters married to
Indian chiefs; their children separated from them forever; their husbands murdered; and if
perchance at last they did escape, waited for the return of loved ones till death should end
their waiting. Are not all these things recorded ?
The exact date when a fort was built on Jackson's river, five miles west of the Warm
Springs, cannot be ascertained, but it was visited by General (then Colonel) George
Washington in the year 1755, who camfrom Fort Cumberland, through the mountains on
a tour of inspection. This fort was called at different times Dinwiddie's Fort, Warwick's
Fort, Hog's Fort, and Byrd's Fort, and it played a very considerable part in the French and
Indian wars. The editor of the Dinwiddie Letters, published by the Virginia Historical
Society, in a note, says that Fort Edward was situated on the Warm Springs mountain.
This is clearly a mistake. This fort is located by several writers as being on Capon river,
between Winchester and Romney. That these writers are correct will be seen by
examining the correspondence of Governor Dinwiddie and Col. George Washington in
the month of April, 1756. But to return to Fort Dinwiddie.
This fort was built in the early part of the administration of Governor Dinwiddie. It
was located, and remnants of the old site may still be seen, on the Erwin place on
Jackson's river, about one mile above where the Warm Springs and Huntersville turnpike
crosses Jackson's river, and opposite the gap through which said turnpike road passes
over Back Creek mountain. The records show that it was garrisoned during the open
months of the year from 1755 to 1789. Capt. Peter Hog, the great friend of Governor
Dinwiddie, was in command here in 1756. Afterwards Capt. Audley Paul commanded.
Later Captains John Lewis, Robert McCreary, Thos. Hicklin, Andrew Lockridge, George
Poage and others. It was nearly twenty miles west of Fort Dickenson, and only six miles
from the eastern foot of the Alleghany mountains. The structure of all these forts seem to
have been nearly the same—a stockade made of logs placed closely together endwise in
the ground. Within the enclosure thus made, there was a blockhouse. In Fort Dinwiddie
there was an underground passageway, covered with logs, from the blockhouse to a
spring within the stockade, sufficiently high to allow a man to walk within and carry
water without being fired upon by the Indians. This underground passageway was only
recently filled up.
Fort Dinwiddie was one of the chain of forts which Governor Dinwiddie sought to have
built as a protection to Virginia's frontiers, but which afterwards proved so annoying in
his efforts to wage war upon the Indians. Secured by such forts, the settlers preferred
staying at home and protecting their families to waging an aggressive warfare. Governor
Dinwiddie's heaviest criticisms fell on the shoulders of West Augusta's men for this and
other reasons fully set out in his letters to Peter Hog. These forts were garrisoned only
during the open months of the year. The account which the writer has recently found
spread on the records of Pocahontas county court, of like character to those published in
the April number of the Virginia Magazine of History, show the manner of services
rendered by the soldiers placed in these forts. Two men. provisioned for three or four
days, were sent out in each direction along the mountain. They were under strict orders
not to build a fire in any event, and to return to the fort within the three or four days,
unless they had reports to make earlier. They had to watch the gaps or low places in the
mountain chains, and in some cases had to cover a distance of thirty miles. As soon as
these parties returned other parties were sent in their places.
In their battles with Indians they seldom fought from the forts, but leaving in these the
women and weaker men, they fought their enemy in ways which they had learned from
them and had proved by experience; from behind logs and trees, lying in ambush when
necessary. It is said that, by lying in ambush, Jacob Warwick's company captured fifteen
of the party of Indians returning from one of the Kerr Creek massacres. To such men,
inured from childhood to dangers, and taught by experience and the instinct of self-
preservation the best modes of warfare, Governor Dinwiddie's letters of instructions as to
the best method of fighting their foes, written in his home at Williamsburg, must have
sounded most stupid He who will take notice of the successful warfare, of the personal
daring and the personal interest of such men, will be more disposed to bear patiently with
their shortcomings, and their independence of the "rules of war" than was that nominal
leader df the Virginia forces.
Frequent raids were made by the Indians through the section guarded by Fort
Dinwiddie. During one of these raids, in 1757, the families who usually sought protection
there, were warned of the approaching danger. The Byrds delayed their flight, and the
older members of that family were killed within sight of the fort—John Byrd, aged eight
years, and his sister were captured. Eight years later John Byrd was recaptured. His sister
was married to an Indian Chief and was never seen again. When John Byrd was
recaptured he wore a gold chain suspended from his nose and both ears. He twice tried to
return to the Indians, who had promised to make him a chief, but was prevented. He died
in 1836. This John Byrd was the grandfather of Hon. John T. Byrd. recently a member of
the Legislature from this district. At some later date, but prior to 1777, a small fort, called
Vance's Fort, was used at Back creek, at the point called Mountain Grove. This fort was
six miles west of Fort Dinwiddie, and just at the foot of the slopes of the Alleghany
Mountains. It was garrisoned for a few months during that year, but as to whether ever so
used again, the records are silent.
These are all the frontier forts within what is now the limits of Bath county. As originally
laid off (in 1790) it included a large part of what is now Alleghany, Pocahontas, and
Highland counties. In the first of these, at Covington, there was Fort Young, which was
built by Peter Hog in 1756, who was ordered by Col. George Washington to leave Lt.
Bullet in command of Fort Dinwiddie and build a line of forts to the southward from that
point, twenty or thirty miles apart, according to specification furnished by Col.
Washington. Fort Young was to be another of the line of forts so devoutly sought after by
Governor Din- widdie. In Pocahontas county, there was one fort at Clover Lick, another
at Greenbank, and still another in the Levels. These were all situated in Bath county in
1790. In Highland county, within the original limits of Bath, there was Wilson's Stockade.
In addition to these, there were such fortified houses as Carpenter's, near Covington, and
Moses Mann's Stockade, on Jackson's river.
J. T. MCALLISTER. Warm Springs, Virginiav April zjd,

The Presbyterians in Virginia

Chapter IV. "The Presbyterians" is much the longest chapter of the monograph. It opens
with an account of the settlement of the Valley of Virginia, and of the frontier territory of
the colony to the east of the Blue Ridge. This section was peopled mainly by Scotch-
Irish and Germans from Pennsylvania. The government, seeing in them a substantial
bulwark against the savages, welcomed them all. For the especially numerous Scotch-
Irish Presbyterians, the Synod of Philadelphia took care in 1738 to obtain from Governor
Gooch assurances of protection in their right of toleration. These promises were always
well kept. The Presbyterians of the " back posts " of Virginia had no cause to complain of
the governor. But very shortly matters became more complicated. The great revival
movement that spread over America about the year 1740 had the effect of splitting the
Presbyterian Church into two divisions, and of carrying Presbyterianism into Hanover
county and other counties, the inhabitants of which were originally Churchmen. Not only
was Presbyterianism carried into these counties, but also harsh criticisms of the
Establishment. Governor Gooch, himself a Scotchman, thoroughly understood the
theories of church government and order which at that time prevailed in his native land.
He recollected, also, his promises to the Presbyterians. But here were men come without
license of any kind to deliver inflammatory harangues in unlicensed houses. They were,
then, in his eyes, itinerants and schismatics whom it was his duty to suppress. Before this
time some of those who neglected the regular Church services for these revival meetings,
had been fined according to law. But now the fight against Dissent began in earnest. At
the April term of the General Court, 1745, the governor delivered an earnest charge to the
grand jury in reference to the matter. He was determined to carry out the law against the "
New Lights " as they were called, a resolve in which he was strengthened by an address
that he received from the old side Synod of Philadelphia, which was not slow in
disclaiming responsibility for the conduct that had incensed the governor. But the fight
was not by any means one-sided. The Presbyterians kept steadily increasing in numbers
and influence, and of the several test cases that were tried in the General Court only two
were won by the king's attorney. The reason for this small number of convictions seems
to be that the petit juries and the people at large uniformly sympathized with the
Dissenters. In the two cases which went against the defendants the juries were called
upon to decide simply the most evident matters of fact— whether or not people met at
certain times in certain houses. This having been determined, the court decided that the
meetfngs were unlawful, and fixed the penalty. The cases were not finally disposed of till
April, 1748. After this there were no more prosecutions in the General Court. This court,
made up of the governor and his council, now thought it best to prevent the further spread
of Dissent by strictly limiting the number of places at which a minister should be
allowed to preach. The court reasoned that damage done could not be cured, but that, by
putting its own construction upon the Toleration Act as a law of Virginia, it could confine
Dissent within the region to which it had already unhappily spread. In England, according
to the letter of the Toleration Act, Dissenting ministers were licensed to preach by the
county courts; and it will be recalled that Mackie & Makemie had been licensed by
county courts in Virginia. But the General Court now claimed entire jurisdiction in such
cases. Their reasoning seems to have been that in practice in Virginia ; the Toleration Act
must be brought into agreement with laws of the colony already existing, and that the law
of 1643 made the governor of the colony judge of the qualifications of ministers.
The Dissenters, on their part, claimed that the law should be executed in Virginia just
as it was executed in England, where not only did the licensing of ministers lie with local
courts, but any licensed minister was permitted to preach at any registered place of
meeting whatever. The answer to this was that the latter practice had grown up in
England under the Toleration Act as enlarged by the act of the toth of Queen Anne, which
act had not been incorporated into the laws of Virginia. The Toleration Act itself gave
Dissenting ministers permission to preach only in certain designated places.
Both parties soon applied for advice to England; the Church party to the Bishop of
London and the Lords Commissioners of Trade, and the Presbyterians to leading
Dissenting Divines in that country. It is noticeable that the advice which came from the
Lords Commissioners of Trade was entirely favorable to a large measure of toleration, the
ground being that "a free exercise of religion is so valuable a branch of true liberty, and
so essential to the enriching and improving of a trading nation." This sensible advice
came in the latter part of 1750 or early in 1751, but it did not have the effect of changing
the policy of the General Court. About this time, however, the Church party evidently
came to the conclusion that the Dissenters had the law on their side, if a reasonable
construction were put upon it; for a bill whose object was to put "due restraint" upon the
Dissenters was, in 1752, introduced in the Assembly. The internal dissension of the
Church party, however, growing out of a dispute between the vestry of the parish of
Lunenburg, in Richmond county, and their minister, Mr. Kay, and out of the candicacy of
the Rev. Messrs. Smith and Dawson for the position of commissary in 1752, did not
allow this bill to pass. If it had passed in Virginia, it would probably have been overruled
in England.
In November, 1753, the Rev. Samuel Davies, the leader of the Presbyterians in Virginia,
went to England in the interests of the College of New Jersey. While there he agreed with
leading Dissenters upon a plan which would eventually bring the cause of the Virginia
Presbyterians before the King in Council. Fortunately, however, it did not become
necessary to put this plan into execution. On Mr. Davies' return to Virginia in 1755, he
found the condition of affairs altogether changed. The French and Indian War had begun
in 1754, and in the common fear of the savages, and the common dread of the Roman
Catholicism which French victory threatened, Dissenters and Churchmen were drawn
closer together. At such a time as this the spirit in which the law in reference to Dissenters
was administered, was bound to become more liberal. The monograph, then, comes to the
following conclusion: " The statement, then, seems warranted that during the French and
Indian War, one phase of the struggle between the Dissenters and the Established Church
came to an end. After this, indeed, the General Court still insisted upon keeping the
matter of licensing ministers and meeting-houses under its own supervision, but the spirit
in which the law was executed was changed. Applicants for licenses could now go to the
General Court with reasonable assurance that their requests would be granted."
MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM NELSON PENDLETON, Rector of Latimer Parish, Lexington, Va.,
Brigadier General and Chief of Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia. By his daughter,
Susan P. Lee. Published by J. B. Lippincott, & Co., Philadelphia, 1893.
Contemporaneous evidence is the best evidence, and the testimony of those having the
fullest opportunity of knowing the questions in issue is the best testimony; provided, it be
characterized by clearness of vision and impartiality of judgment.
The life of this soldier-priest was no ordinary one. From his father and mother he
inherited, along with his name and gentle blood, those characteristics which had made
their names potent in the history of Virginia. The traits which found expression in his
handsome person were integrity of character, clearness of mind, and sweetness of
Reared on a Virginia plantation in " the olden days," he had the benefit of, and enjoyed
to the full, that sweet life which has been so satisfactorily described by his daughter.
Though to many readers the most interesting part of this book may be the war period,
there will be found in it much that will entertain and instruct the student of that ante-
bellum life in Virginia, all so different from the life of the present day.
After the experience of many another country boy in Virginia, young Pendleton
received the appointment to West Point, where he graduated with distinction, and made
the acquaintance of those men whose names have since been as household words in the
annals of the country. Upon some of these men such an impression was made by him as
remained ever afterwards, and enabled them to rely upon him in time of their country's
One of the most interesting things in this book is the paper written at the beginning of
the war by Dr. Pendleton, giving the reasons which impelled him to leave the charge of
his parish and enter the army as a soldier. No one who reads that paper can doubt its
author's sincerity; nor can one help feeling a satisfaction that the soldier should have been
spared to take his pulpit again after having encountered so many vicissitudes and dangers.
From First Manassas, where Captain Pendleton and the Rockbridge Artillery shared the
glory which attached to the name of a Stonewall Jackson, to Appomattox, when, as one of
the commissioners of surrender, General Pendleton helped to support his great
commander, this book describes, in detail, the life of the Army of Northern Virginia.
Original letters, written from the camp, on the march, at the front, are here published,
the Biographer, who is often rather the Editor, allowing these valuable papers to tell their
own story. Few Biographers have had such valuable material from which to draw, and
fewer still have had a truer appreciation of what was required, or a mind better equipped
for the undertaking. The sentence from Pascal, upon the title page, is justified throughout
the work.
The criticisms of battles made by the writer of this book are worthy of the best war
writers. Her opportunities were good for the study of military affairs. Her father, as we
have seen, was Chief of Artillery of Lee's Army. Her husband and only brother were both
on Stonewall Jackson's staff, the former leaving that staff to become the colonel of a
regiment, and rising to be a brigadier-general, and the latter remaining upon the staff of
the great soldier and his successor, to end his life upon the field of battle, at the age of
twenty-four, having well merited an inscription after that to Hoche at Versailles—student
at 19; soldier at 20; captain at 21; major at 22; lieutenant-colonel and adjutant of the
Second Corps at 23; dead at 24.
In this book will be found an account of many of the interesting personages and
important events connected with the most eventful period of our history, all detailed in so
pleasing a way as to attract and satisfy the attention of the reader. Il is worthy of note that
three of the best biographies of recent date have been written by Southern women, Mrs.
Jackson's life of her husband, Mrs. Corbin's life of Commodore Maury, and Mrs. Lee's
life of General Pendleton.
BIBLIOGRAPHY.—Aler, F. Vernon: History of Martinsburg and Berkeley County
(Hagerstown, Md., 1888); Atkinson, George W.: History of Kana- v>ha County
(Charleston, 1876); Bickley, George W. L.: History of the Settlement and Indian Wars of
Tazewett County (Cincinnati, 1852); Breckenridge, H. M.: Recollections of Persons and
Places in the West in 1792 (Philadelphia, 1868); Bruce, Thomas: Heritage of Trans-
Allegheny Pioneers (Baltimore, 1894); Cranmer, Gibson Lamb: History of the Upper
Ohio Valley (Madison, Wis., 1890), History of Wheeling City and Ohio County (Chicago,
1902); Outright, W. B.: History of Upshur County (1907); Doddridge, Joseph: Notes on
the Early Settlement and Indian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia from 1763 to 1783,
Inclusive (Wheel- Lag, 1824); DeHass, Wills: History of the Early Settlements and
Indian Wars in Northwestern Virginia (Wheeling, 1851); Dunnington, George A.: History
and Progress of the County of Marion (Fairmont, W. Va., 1880); Ely, William: History of
the Big Sandy Valley (Cattlattsburg, Ky., 1887); Fernow, Berthold; The Ohio Valley in
Colonial Days (Albany, N. Y., 1890); Garrison, Wendell Phillips: The Prelude to
Harper's Ferry (Andover, Mass., 1891); Gibbons, Alvaro F.: A Century of Progress; or, A
Historical Souvenir of Wood County (Morgantown, 1899); Hale, John P.: Trans-
AUeghany Pioneers (Cincinnati, 1887); Jacob, John G.: Brooke County: Being a Record
of Prominent Events in that County (Welkburg, W. Va., 1882); Kercheval, Samuel:
History of the Shenandoah Valley (Winchester, Va., 1833); Lewis, Virgil A.: History of
West Virginia (Philadelphia, 1889); Lewis, Hale and Hogg (joint authors): History of the
Great Kanawha Valley (Madison, Wis., 1891); Loudermilk, Will J.: History of
Cumberland and Braddock's Expedition (Washington, 1878); Marshall, O. S.: History of
De Celeron's Expedition to the Ohio in 1749 (Albany, 1887); Mayer, Brantz: Ta-gah-ju-
te: or Logan the Indian and Captain Michael Cresap (1867); Maxwell, Hu.: History of
Tucker County (Kingwood, 1884), History of Hampshire County (Morgantown, 1897),
History of Randolph County (Morgantown, 1899); Moore, James: The Captives of Abb's
Valley (Philadelphia, 1840); Norris, J. E.: History of the Lower Shenandoah Valley
(Chicago, 1890); Newton, J. H.: History of the Pan-Handle (Wheeling, 1879); Pritts, J.:
Mirror of the Olden Time Border Life (Chambersburg, Pa.); Panghorn, J. G.: History of
the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (Chicago, 1883); Peterkin, George W.: Records of the
Protestant Episcopal Church in West Virginia (Charleston, 1902); Price, William T.:
History of Pocahontas County (Marlinton, 1899); Rid- path, James: Echoes from
Harper's Ferry (Boston, 1860): Sparks, Jared: The Writings of Washington, Vol. II.
(Boston, 1846); Seabright, Thomas B.: The Old Pike, A History of the National Road
(Uniontown, Pa., 1894); Stuart, John: Memoirs of the Indian Wars and Other
Occurrences (Richmond, 1832); Safford, William H.: The Blennerhassett Papers
(Cincinnati, 1861); Thwaites, Reuben Gold, and Kellogg, Louise Phelps: Documentary
History of Dunmore's War (Madison, 1905), (eds.) The Revolution on the Upper Ohio,
1775-1777 (Madison, 1908); Withers, Alexander Scott: Chronicles of Border Warfare: or
A History of the Settlement by the Whites of Northwestern Virginia and the Indian Wars
and Massacres in that Section of the State (Clarksburg, 1831); Wiley, Samuel T.: History
of Preston County (Kingwood, W. Va., 1880), History of Monongalia County (Kingwood,
1883); Waddell, Joseph A.: Annals of Augusta County (Richmond, 1888); Calendar of
Virginia State Papers (11 vols., Richmond, 1875 et seq.); The Washington-Crawford
Letters Concerning Western Lands (Cincinnati, 1877); Miller, James H.: History of
Summers County (1908).

The South in the Building of the Nation

By Walter Lynwood Fleming

The Two Virginias Before Divorce.
An intelligent view of the events resulting in severing in twain the original state cannot
be obtained without understanding the relations existing between the two Virginias prior
to the war. It is a general impression that the separation was caused by questions growing
out of the war. But the war was not the cause but only the occasion for the separation.
The question of dividing the state of Virginia on the lines finally accomplished had been a
mooted question for fifty years prior to the war. It had agitated the legislatures and
conventions of the state. It had been a subject of discussion in political campaigns and in
party organizations. It had so embittered the population of the two territorial sections as
to threaten the public peace.
The causes which developed this situation between the two sections need only to be
enumerated to appear conclusive. In the first place we have the anomaly of a state
exercising sovereignty over a territory so geographically divided by a chain of mountains
as to effectually cut off communication between its population of the one side and the
other. The ranges of the Alleghany Mountains erected their lofty crests and stretched
themselves from one end to the other. They were impenetrable and impassable by any
ordinary means of transportation. The state government was administered from
Richmond, and its edicts carried around through the District of Columbia and the state of
Maryland to the western territory under its jurisdiction. It was facetiously said that when
a sheriff from one of the western counties had traveled to his state capital to settle his
accounts, he had just enough left of the revenues collected to pay his expenses back
home. There was not only no communication between the two peoples, but there was
little or no acquaintance, and absolutely no commercial relations. Western Virginia
belonged by nature, not to eastern Virginia, but to the valley of the Mississippi. Its natural
outlets to market were south and west, with Cincinnati and Chicago, with Pittsburg on the
north, and with Baltimore on the east.
Nature had divided Virginia. When the boundaries between the states of the Union were
being fixed—as far back as 1781—there was a controversy in the Federal Congress as to
the western boundary of Virginia. It was then claimed that the Alleghany Mountains
should constitute her real boundary, as it was her natural boundary. Pennsylvania,
Delaware, Maryland and, perhaps, other states, were in clined to confine Virginia to the
Alleghany boundary. Daniel Webster had, thirty years before the war, with prophetic
forecast, advised the South if it withdrew from the Union that the separation would leave
Virginia dissevered, for the natural line of division would leave western Virginia allied
with the states of the North rather than the South.
Moreover, the people of eastern and western Virginia were never homogeneous. They
were as far apart in tastes and temperament as by geographical conditions. Their peoples
were of a different ancestry, different habits, different tastes, different manners and modes
of life.
The bringing together, therefore, under one state government of two peoples so diverse
in their tastes and character as the eastern and western Virginians was like an attempt to
fuse an aristocracy and a democracy into one homogeneous whole. Naturally, they did
not mix. Geographically, they could not mix.
The situation was aggravated by the existing system of slavery. Slavery was a profitable
institution east of the mountains; it was of but little practical value west of the mountains.
That section of the state west of the Alleghanies was best adapted to stock-raising,
grazing, growth of the cereals, to manufacturing, and such industries as could not
profitably employ slave labor. Its people cared very little for the institution on economical
grounds, and were somewhat awry with it on moral considerations. They would not have
invited it as an original proposition. They accepted it like many other things that were
thrust upon them by the East. In the East it was interwoven with all their domestic and
political institutions, and was maintained without any moral compunctions. It had shaped
and moulded their laws and public policy, as well as their private interests and modes of
life. The western section was bordered its entire length by free soil, which made the
escape of the slave easy. He need but cross the Ohio River, or step across the invisible
line into Pennsylvania, to find freedom from his bonds.
Moreover, the preponderance of slave property in the East gave rise to a very
unsatisfactory basis of representation between the East and West that was a continual
source of irritation and dissatisfaction.
The simple enumeration of the foregoing facts and conditions establishes the statement
with which we introduced this subject, that the war was not the cause but only furnished
the opportunity for the severance of West Virginia from the mother state. The fruit was
already ripe, and needed only that the tree be shaken. There was no such unnatural and
incongruous alliance existing in the Union of states as that which existed between the two
Virginias. It is not strange that the two sections parted. It is strange that they remained
together as long as they did.
Steps Leading to the "Parting of the Ways."
The Virginia Secession Convention, so called, which assembled at Richmond on Feb.
13, 1861, was in continuous session from that date until the first of May, when it
adjourned to meet again on June 12.
When the convention reassembled, eighty-one delegates responded to the roll call. It
was not a "Secession Convention" when it first met in February, but it was now. An
ordinance of secession had been already adopted on April 17 by a vote of eighty-eight to
fifty-five, before the recess of the convention, and had been submitted to the people for
ratification and voted upon, but no official return of the vote appears in the journal of the
The business of the convention was now to put that ordinance into effect.
There are but two or three of the names of the delegates from western Virginia
appearing among those signed to that ordinance. Its passage had been the signal for their
withdrawal from the convention, and in some instances of hasty flight to more friendly
and safer environments west of the mountains. After the convention had looked itself
over it proceeded to pass the following resolution:
"Resolved, that Win. G. Brown, James Burley, John S. Burdette, John S. Carlile,
Marshall M. Dent, Ephraim B. Hall, Chester D. Hub- bard, John J. Jackson, James C.
McGrew, George Me. Porter, Chapman J. Stewart, Campbell Tarr, and Waitman T.
Willey, be, and are hereby expelled from this convention, and that their seats as members
of the convention be, and are hereby declared vacant."
The delegates named in the foregoing resolution were those representing western
Virginia, and who had voted nay on the adoption of the ordinance on its passage in April
previous. It does not appear from the resolution that they had been guilty of any other
offense that would deprive them of their seats, or that they had voluntarily resigned, or
were to be allowed to resign—the language of the resolution was that they "be expelled."
And the resolution was passed.
The fact was that after the passage of the ordinance of secession the delegates named
in that resolution, from western Virginia, realized that their influence and usefulness in
that body were ended. The bitterness, the malice, the suspicion, the vin- dictiveness and
the spirit of violence incident to the outbreak of a civil war were rife among the populace
of Richmond.
Under these conditions the western delegates determined that it was the part of prudence
for them to get away from Richmond as speedily and quickly as possible. But even this
was a difficult and dangerous undertaking. After procuring written passports from
Governor Letcher, this little party of "refugees," so to speak, made their journey to
Strasburg and thence down the valley by way of Winchester to Harper's Ferry, making
many narrow escapes from the mobs collected at different points along the way.
The arrival at their homes of the western delegates was the occasion of general
agitation of the whole population of western Virginia. They were quick to comprehend
the desperate character of the situation, but unable at once to unite on a common course
to meet it. As in all such crises, there was at first great confusion and diversity of opinion
in the public mind. Public meetings of the people in the various counties were the order
of the hour. The returned delegates were active in organising these meetings.
The first of these meetings was held at Morgan- town, the home of Hon. W. T. "Willey,
who had arrived fresh from the Richmond convention, and his constituents were eager to
learn from him the real situation and his views as to the most expedient course to be
taken by the people of western Virginia, who were not in accord with the action of the
Secession Convention. The temper of the citizens of this locality expressed at this first
meeting was representative of the prevailing sentiment throughout the western section.
They entered a solemn protest against the secession of Virginia; denounced such action as
treason against the government of the United States; declared their unalterable opposition
to such a course; that they would not follow Virginia, but would dissolve their civil and
political relations with the East, and commended the firmness of western delegates in
resisting secession from the Union.
Similar meetings were held in a number of counties. They served to give character and
direction to the forming opinions and judgment of the masses of the people. Notable
among these meetings was one held at Clarksburg on April 22, which was convened at
the instance of the delegate from that county, Hon. John S. Carlile, and which gave the
first practical turn to the course of affairs. This meeting adopted a series of resolutions
denouncing and repudiating the course of the Richmond convention, and recommended
to the people of each of the counties of western Virginia to appoint five delegates to meet
in convention at Wheeling on May 13 following, "to consult and determine on such
action as the people of northwestern Virginia should take in the present fearful
Out of this proposition came the convention at Wheeling known as the "Mass-
Meeting" or "Mass- Convention," which took the initiative step toward the
dismemberment of Virginia and the erection of a new state. Hither had come, in large
numbers, the representatives of the people of the western counties to confer and
determine upon a course of action that involved momentous results. These delegates, it is
true, had no very well denned idea of what they were there for. Their mission had not
been exactly defined or determined. It was an irregular kind of proceeding. No statute law
or constitution authorized or gave jurisdiction to the convention. No official authority
could be found for the calling of the convention or the appointment of delegates. It was
one of Jhe steps in a revolution.
The convention was formally opened and organized; officers were elected, committees
appointed, and all the machinery of a parliamentary body was soon in operation. The
ideas and plans of the individual delegates were soon disclosed by a torrent of
resolutions. But amidst conflicting views, one fact was developed beyond doubt, and that
was that if there was any approach to unanimity on any course, it was for a separation
from the old commonwealth and the formation of a new state out of the western counties.
This was the only specific scheme that had been agitated among the delegates. John S.
Carlile was the author and open advocate of this measure, and he had done no little
missionary work in its behalf. The idea of severing relations with the old state seemed
best to satisfy the vindictive spirit of the hour. It became the rallying cry of the
Thus it soon came to be not so much a question of what the convention desired to do,
as how to do it Here was a purpose and a proposition to erect a new state. It was a
movement without precedent in the history of the states. Other states had been formed,
but no state had been arbitrarily carved out of the territory of another state.
Mr. Carlile came forward as the leader of the scheme in the convention. His scheme for
the formation of a new state was purely revolutionary in its entire conception. The next
day after the convention opened he introduced the following resolution which became the
basis of the debate which ensued:
" Resolved, that the committee on state and federal relations be instructed to report an
ordinance declaring that the connection of the counties of this state composing the tenth
and eleventh congressional districts, to which shall be added the county of Wayne, with
the other portion of this state is hereby dissolved, and that the people of said counties are
in the possession and exerciseof all the rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain
to a free and independent state in the United States and subject to the constitution thereof;
and that said committee be instructed to report a constitution and form of government for
the said state, to be called the state of New Virginia; and also that they report a
declaration of causes which have impelled the people of said counties thus to dissolve
their connection with the rest of the
tate, together with an ordinance declaring that said constitution and form of government
shall take effect and be an act of this day when the consent of the Congress of the United
States and of the legislature of the state of Virginia are obtained as provided for by Sec. 3,
Article 4 of the Constitution of the United States."
As already noted, the above proposition was essentially and purely revolutionary in its
character. It ran counter to every principle and provision of our system of government for
the creation of a new state. But to the large majority of the members of this convention,
matters of constitutional law and government were new and unpalatable at this time. Yet
there were a few men among the delegates who looked beyond the present and who knew
that the scheme of Mr. Carlile, carried to its ultimate end, would only result in defeat and
failure of their cherished object.
In this exigency, Hon. W. T. Willey was put forward to stem the tide and undertake the
bold and seemingly hopeless task of getting the convention to think. Mr. Willey was the
opposite of Mr. Carlile in character and temperament. He was less optimistic, more
conservative, and as a lawyer he had a clear view of the issues involved, as well as a
natural bias for a legal and orderly proceeding. He and Mr. Carlile were fresh from the
Richmond convention, where they had together wrestled manfully to prevent the
secession of Virginia, and while they were now equally earnest in their desire to thwart
the secession movement in the East, they were to become the chief opponents in a
memorable debate.
Mr. Willey's appearance in the role of an opponent of the pending proposition was the
signal for an outburst of angry denunciation both from the convention and the crowds in
the lobby and in the streets. They called him a traitor and a secessionist. Mr. Willey threw
himself into the debate with all his native eloquence and clearness of statement, and
finally gained the ear of the convention. He declared that he would never lend himself to
a revolutionary or an insurrectionary means of accomplishing an object which he thought
could be accomplished according to law. He pointed out with great force the provisions
of the Federal constitution governing the formation of a new state. He cited Sec. 3 of Art.
4, which declares:
"New states may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new state shall
be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state formed by
the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the
legislatures of the states concerned, aa well as of the Congress."
He called attention to the fact that Mr. Carlile's plan proposed to call a new state into
existence by a simple edict of the convention. He argued that the convention there
assembled could not predicate any authority for such a precipitate proceeding upon the
call of the people they represented; that the delegates had not been appointed with that
view, or empowered to act with such extreme vigor; that this was but an informal meeting
of the people, not legally convened, and could not bind the people either in law or reason,
or by any known rule or precedent; and above all, that the Federal government would not
recognize a state created thus, because it was not after the mode prescribed by the
Constitution of the United States. He said the proceeding, if carried out, would be "triple
treason"— treason against the state of Virginia, treason against the United States, and
treason against the Confederate government if that should succeed in maintaining itself.
In other words, there was no existing government that did not assume a legal status,
except the one proposed for the new state.
This debate continued three days with great earnestness, and the result was marvelous as
an illos tration of how a body like that may be turned about from a fixed and resolute
purpose to accept and adopt that which it had almost unanimously and stubbornly
When the "Mass-Convention" had changed its mind on the Carlile plan, it turned about
to reach the same object in another way. Hon. F. H. Pier- point came forward with some
resolutions which were in the nature of a substitute for the Carlile plan, providing for
holding a convention on June 11 following, to which delegates should be regularly
chosen by all the loyal counties and which should devise such measures as the welfare of
the people of the northwestern counties should demand. This proposition left all
questions open as to what that subsequent convention should do. It was confidently
believed that any convention would favor a separation from the old state, but the
particular plan for accomplishing that object should be determined by the convention
This proposition met with the approval of the convention, and it made a call upon all
the western counties disposed to cooperate to send delegates to the convention appointed
for June 11. The whole matter was put in the hands of a well chosen executive committee
and amidst a blaze of enthusiasm, and the singing of the "Star Spangled Banner," this
remarkable and historic convention adjourned, after having set in motion events which
made the first chapter in the history of a new state.

Source: The South in the Building of the Nation: A History of the Southern States ... - Page 364
by Walter Lynwood Fleming

Vol. 1—24.


When in the remote parts you draw near to an Indian town, you must by your scouts
inform your self whether they hold any correspondence with the Sas- quesahanaughs: for
to such you must give notice of your approach by a gun; which amongst other Indians is
to be avoided, because being ignorant of their use, it would affright and dispose them to
some treacherous practice against you.
Being arrived at a town, enter no house until you are invited; and then seem not afraid
to be led in pinion'd like a prisoner: for that is a ceremony they use to friends and
enemies without distinction.
You must accept of an invitation from the seniors, before that of the young men; and
refuse nothing that is offered or set before you: for they are very jealous, and sensible of
the least slighting or neglect from strangers, and mindful of revenge.

Source: The First Explorations of the Trans-Allegheny

Region by the Virginians, 1650

Touching Trade with Indians

If you barely designe a home-trade with neighbour-Indians, for skins of deer, beaver,
otter, wildcat, fox, racoon, etc. your best truck is a sort of course trading cloth, of which a
yard and a half makes a matchcoat or mantle fit for their wear; as also axes,
hoes, knives, sizars, and all sorts of edg'd tools. Guns, powder and shot, etc. are
commodities they will greedily barter for: but to supply the Indians with arms and
ammunition, is prohibited in all English governments.
In dealing with the Indians, you must be positive and at a word: for if they perswade
you to fall any thing in your price, they will spend time in higgling for further
abatements, and seldom conclude any bargain. Sometimes you may with brandy or strong
liquor dispose them to an humour of giving you ten times the value of your commodity;
and at other times they are so hide-bound, that they will not offer half the market-price,
especially if they be aware that you have a designe to circumvent them with drink, or that
they think you have a desire to their goods, which you must seem to slight and disparage.
To the remoter Indians, you must carry other kinde of truck, as small looking-glasses,
pictures, beads and bracelets of glass, knives, sizars, and all manner of gaudy toys and
knacks for children, which are light and portable. For they are apt to admire such trinkets,
and will purchase them at any rate, either with their currant coyn of small shells, which
they call roanoack or peack, or perhaps with pearl, vermilion, pieces of christal; and
towards Ushery, with some odde pieces of plate or buillon, which they sometimes receive
in truck from the Oestacks.
Could I have foreseen when Lset out, the advantages to be made by a trade with those
remote Indians, I had gone better provided; though perhaps I might hare run a great
hazard of my life, had I purchased considerably amongst them, by carrying wealth
unguarded through so many different nations of barbarous people: therefore it is vain for
any man to propose to himself, or undertake a trade at that distance, unless he goes with
strength to defend, as well as an adventure to purchase such commodities: for in such a
design many ought to joyn and go in company.
Some pieces of silver unwrought I purchased my self of the Usheries, for no other end
than to justifie this account I give of my second expedition, which had not determined at
Ushery, were I accompanied with half a score resolute youths that would have stuck to
me in a further discovery towards the Spanish mines.

American History and Its Geographic Conditions

By Ellen Churchill Semple
THE trans-Allegheny settlements had been planted in the center of a country which
comprised five eighths of the territory of the young United States. Barred from the East
by the Appalachian Mountains, it sloped gently from the plateaus westward to the
Mississippi and southward to the Gulf of Mexico, its surface broken only by low hills or
undulating upland. A canoe could travel from Lake Erie to Mobile Bay through the heart
of the region, with only two portages, one at the sources of the Wabash, and the other
between the Tombigbee and the Tennessee; while on its western margin the Mississippi
furnished a waterway from its northern to its southern frontier. The Ohio and its
tributaries aggregate 12,000 miles of streams which in early times afforded transportation
routes and facilitated the movement of men and produce.
The abundance of land, the lack of barriers, and the easy river connection, all made for
expansion of western population. The vacant space between the Cumberland and the
Kentucky was soon filled up ; settlements were strung along the Ohio, like beads on a
cord, from the Big Sandy to western Pennsylvania, while in the Northwest Territory
scattered cabins up the course of the Muskingum, Scioto, Great and Little Miami rivers
indicated the lines population was following. In the frontier of a country is to be found
always the index of its growth or decay. A rapid advance of the boundary, whether of
settlement or political control, speaks of vigorous, abundant forces behind demanding an
enlarged field of activity : a retrogression or caving-in of the frontier points to declining
powers, inadequate strength.1 Along the western waters all was activity, eager advance,
yearning for a further beyond. Here appeared that uncramped, undiscouraged
development which has given the distinctive stamp to American life. The abundance of
land was reflected in the generous soil of the transmontane country. North of the Ohio,
the surface is underlaid by a thick mantle of glacial drift formed from rocks of a chemical
nature to supply food for plants. The timberless character of the country enabled
settlement to go on at a rapid rate, unre- tarded by the slow work of cutting down forests
and clearing out stumps. South of the Ohio and beyond the rim of the Cumberland
Plateau with its poor land, the blue limestone outcrops, furnishing to the subsoil an
inexhaustible supply of plant food. This has made the fame of the Bluegrass region of
Kentucky. It underlies also southwestern Ohio and Tennessee to the northern border of
Alabama; but owing to the covering of glacial drift in the north and the sandier character
of this rock in the south, the soil is less fertile than in Kentucky.2 The southwestern parts
of Kentucky and Tennessee are underlaid by Subcarbon- iferous limestone, which
enriches the soil almost as much as does the Silurian. The Gulf slope of this western
country is a fertile silt-made plain, built up from the debris of limy or clayey rocks, and
hence far richer than the crystalline detritus which covers the surface of the Atlantic
An abundant rainfall well distributed through the year, a temperate climate varied by
cold, dry winds which sweep down the great trough of the continent from the northwest,
and warm, moist winds from the Gulf, a long, warm summer for the growing crops, all
united to mitigate the hardships of pioneer life and to keep up the courage of the home-
maker in the wilderness.
The men who grew up in this westward facing country were the first genuine Americans.
The seaboard population were Europeans living on American soil under English control,
bred to English luxuries which were supplied by English manufactories. In time of danger
English armies had been in part their resource, and the English treasury paid in part the
costs of colonial wars. American soil and the barrier of the Atlantic had modified
European institutions and character in the hands and persons of the colonists somewhat ;3
but their gaze was seaward, towards the English palace and council hall where their
destiny was decided. Volney, a Frenchman traveling in this country in 1796, discerned the
difference of standpoint between the people of the tidewater and the over-mountain
region. " The inhabitants of the Atlantic coast call the whole of this the Back Country,
thus denoting their moral aspect, constantly turned towards Europe, the cradle and the
focus of their interests. It was a singular, though natural ircumstance, that I had scarcely
crossed the Alle- ghanies, before I heard the borderers of the great Kanhaway and the
Ohio give in their turn the name of Back Country to the Atlantic coast, which shows that
their geographical situation has given their views and interests a new direction,
conformable to that of the waters which afford them means of conveyance towards the
Gulf of Mexico."4
In the cabin clearings of the western wilderness, beyond the barrier of the mountains,
English institutions took on a new stamp of republicanism, society became more purely
democratic, and the new-born American looked only to his own strong arm for aid, to his
own strong intellect for ,counsel. Separation from old-world traditions, a return to close
contact with nature, the stripping off of non-essentials, growth under conditions of
uncramped development and untried possibilities — these made the sturdy, youthful
American of the western wilds. Old-world methods and ideas must be transformed to
survive in new-world conditions,6 and the conditions modify the man along with his
methods. The change may appear at first to be retrogression, but it is only the step
backward for the long running-jump.
The successful ending of the Revolutionary War had focused the eyes of the Americans
on their own country. Then the possibilities of the young West began to loom up,
especially in view of the economic depression of the tidewater region following the long
war. Warrants and military scrip for western lands guided thither the discharged soldier
from New England to South Carolina. The outbound population to the Kentucky and
Cumberland became more composite in its character than that of the old backwoods on
the Piedmont and Blue Ridge frontier. It included the same racial elements and in
addition more varied American constituents, which beyond the mountains forgot their
colonial allegiance, whether to the aristocratic capital of Charleston or the Puritan
township of Connecticut, lost their old sectional feelings, and instead substituted
allegiance to the national government and the sectionalism of the ovei- mountain men as
opposed to the seaboard states.
Upon these early western settlements isolation set its stamp. Range after range of
mountains, mile after mile of rugged plateau separated them from the seats of civilization
and government. Land and water routes were beset by Indians, and even the homeward-
leading rivers heat back with their increasing currents the pirogue of the eastbound
Westerner. The great streams of the Mississippi valley made the settlements more
accessible to their British neighbors to the north, and their Spanish neighbors to the west
and south ; but this accessibility was disadvantageous father than otherwise. Detroit and
the navigable waterway of the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes played the same part in
the history of the young West as did New Orleans and the Mississippi. Both cities were
the center of plots to incite the Indians — northwest and southwest — against the
backwoods frontier, to construct the intervening savage tribes into buffer states against
the expansion and aggression of the colonists, to invade American territory for illicit
trade, and finally to tempt the frontiersmen to defection by promises of the needed river
outlet for their produce to the sea. By the retention of the Lake posts for twelve years
after the peace of 1783, the British kept their hold on the fur trade in the Northwest
Territory. Moreover, they secured permission from the Spanish to trade on the western
bank of the upper Mississippi, and this necessitated their passing to and fro on American
soil by way of the Chicago portage or by the Wisconsin River to the post at Prairie du
Chien. In consequence of this trespassing the American trade at Vincennes was greatly
From the south, the Spanish traded up the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers from Mobile
across the thirty-first degree, north latitude, which had been agreed upon in the treaty of
1783 as the northern boundary of West Florida, and over the three-mile portage to the
basin of the Tennessee ; and traders from Pensacola were doing a thriving business with
the Creeks and Cherokees to the northeast. From New Orleans and other Spanish posts
along the Mississippi, traders were encroaching on American territory, especially up the
Illinois River where they shared the field with* Canadian rivals, while the officials on the
Gulf were obstructing or inhibiting the navigation of the Mississippi to the western
pioneers and hounding on the southern savages to attack.
On either side of the western wedge of settlement lay a broad zone of Indians, whom the
expansion and encroachments of the whites, as well as the incitement supplied by British
and Spanish, made the natural foe of the settler. They were as much a part of his
environment as the fertile soil and the far-reaching wilderness. They controlled in part his
social organization, taught him new modes of warfare, and modified his character. A
fron* tier is never a line but always a shifting zone of assimilation, wfiere an
amalgamation of races, manners, institutions, and morals, more or less complete, takes
place.7 The English pioneers in the wilderness retained their sedentary occupation of the
land, in contrast to the nomadic habits of the French traders; settled in more or less
strongly compacted groups, which were further consolidated locally and politically by the
danger of the all-surrounding savage ; and thus retained an inner environment which was
civilized. The line between them and the savage was therefore strictly drawn : half-
breeds were rare. But the outer environment was all of the wilderness and the Indian, and
to this the man of the Cumberland and Kentucky yielded himself. He lived in great part
by the chase, dressed in buckskin and furs, wore the moccasins of the redman, adopted
his scalping- knife and tomahawk, and waged against him a war of extermination, with
all its savage features of ambush and scalping, and all its brutalizing effects.8 In view of
the ever-present danger of Indian attack, the basal organization of pioneer communities
was military. The settlement was the stockade or station, — a fortified village ; militia
service in the common defense became the first duty of the citizen. Representation in the
early Kentucky conventions to consider separation from Virginia was made on the basis
of military companies.
The common remoteness and the conditions of wilderness life laid their equalizing
touch upon all. Equality of opportunity and resource, identity of tasks and of dangers, and
the simplicity imposed upon all precluded classes, and in the mass developed vigor,
enterprise, and independence. The backwoodsman had what the forests and clearings
could furnish, and little more. Wooden vessels of all kinds, whether turned or coopered,
were in common use. Owing to the great cost of transportation over the mountains,
hardware was rare. Houses were built without nails, and even shingles were put on with
oak pins.9 Linen was made from the lint of nettles, and buffalo wool was the raw material
for cloth. Furs became the medinm of exchange, though after the Revolution " there was
some paper money in the country which had not depreciated more than one half, as it had
at the seat of Government."10 This fact speaks eloquently for the isolation of the region.
At first salt was imported at almost prohibitive prices; but soon the pioneer began to boil
water from the saline springs which abounded, and later learned to bore for richer brine.
At Bullitt's Lick on Salt River in Kentucky, a regular industry was started, and supplied
the frontier communities from the Ohio to the Cumberland. The products of the country
which were bartered for eastern merchandise were primarily those of the wilderness —
hides, furs, ginseng, snakeroot and bear's- grease ; or of a frontier country with abundant
pasture land or forest range, such as horses, hogs, salted pork, lard, tallow, and dried beef.
Very soon the fertile soil began to yield abundant crops. Tobacco, corn, flour, whiskey,
flax, and rope from the hemp-fields, were ready for export. Before the treaty of 1783,
when Spain was friendly, much of this produce went down the Mississippi and found a
ready market in New Orleans.

Only the most valuable part would bear the cost of upstream and over-mountain
transportation to the eastern seaboard.
The high price of commodities imported by this route forced the backwoods
settlements to institute manufactures at a surprisingly early date, so that here in one small
area were to be seen all the stages of economic development, — savage, pastoral,
agricultural, and industrial. The line of manufactures was determined by the domestic
supply of raw materials and the most pressing need of the settlers. Retarded by the selfish
policy of England, manufactures along the seaboard scarcely antedated the appearance of
industries in this free western country. Iron was found' in great abundance on the
westward slope of the Allegheny Plateau along the Monongahela, Youghiogeny, and
Cheat rivers, and the big demand for it along the frontier caused the erection of furnaces
and iron works as early as 1788.11 Lexington, Kentucky, had a cut-nail factory in 1801,
and Georgetown a ropewalk and fulling-mill in 1789.9
The first spinning-jenny after the Hargreave type in America was operated at
Philadelphia in 1775 ; a cotton factory was established at Beverly, Massachusetts, in
1787, at Providence in 1788, and in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in 1790.12 A society for
the encouragement of manufactures was organized in Danville, Kentucky, in 1789, under
the auspices of Judge Harry Innes and other prominent men, who in 1790 started the first
cotton factory in the West. The carding, spinning, and weaving machines were purchased

Proceedings and Debates of the Virginia State

Convention of 1829-1830

It was his opinion that in the trans-Alleghany country, there ought, in a short time, to be a
farther division of counties, for the more convenient administration of justice .IIM! for the
purposes of internal police. He was willing to give them a Republican Government in
reality; so that the representative should be personally known by his constituents, and
they by him, and that he might truly represent their views and crease in population and
improvement, and the trans-Allegheny country also, to th« extent of their own most
sanguine hopes and calculations, or should they even attain to one-half of what was so
confidently predicted, he had provided that the Legislature should have power to assign
to any of them one additional representative, »o that it should thenceforth have two. Or
he had no objection to extend this to three, should the proportional increase of population
require it, and their representation might be equalized as far as practicable; and in this
case, he would allow one hundred and eighty, as the maximum number of the House of
Delegates. The Legislature, having respect to population and increase, might increase the
representation in all parts ol the State. He had not confined this provision to the West
Let gentlemen from that portion of the State say what they pleased, so long as he
looked at the face of the country, such as the hand of God had made it, he must ever be of
opinion, that the greatest increase of Virginian population must take place in the middle
country until it should become very dense; and then it would naturally seek the Tide-
water country, where the waters teemed with subsistence for man. Thin, however, was
looking forward to a remote period indeed. But the chief increase would, at all times,
happen in the Valley and in the midland district. Mr. L. said, he had no objection, that that
portion of the State should hold the balance of power. He told gentlemen from the West,
that he hoped they might increase in population to the utmost extent of their desires; and
he hod accordingly provided to meet that growth by a proportionate increase of power.
He was perfectly content with this. He had no objections in the world to their obtaining
power in this way; because they would then be compelled to pay their share of the taxes
of the Common wealth : an soon as they were compelled to tax themselves as well as us,
they might tax him and welcome. That was all he asked. That was all the safeguard he
should ever require.
Mr. L. observed, in conclusion, that these views were perfectly plain and simple. Had
such propositions come from Western members, he should" have hailed them with the
sincerest joy. And he was persuaded that nothing but the interminable contest about the "
white basis" had prevented such an event. Tet he made no complaint on that subject: he
uttered no censure on the course gentlemen had thought it right to pursue: they were
certainly the best judges of their own course. He hoped he should not be left alone in the
support of the scheme he had proposed ; but that it would receive the countenance of
those who possessed, in so large a degree, what he did not—he meant, weight of
MR. COOKE said, that the question under consideration was a question concerning the
relative merits of the schemes for apportioning representation offered by the gentleman
from Chesterfield, (Mr. Leigh), and the gentleman from Albemarle, (Gen. Gordon ;) and
the positive merits of the former. With the positire merits of the latter scheme, (said Mr.
C.) we have at present nothing to do. I learn from the gentleman from Chesterfield, that
his scheme is offered in the spirit of conciliation and compromise, and in that spirit I will
frankly consider it.
And I beg that gentleman i > be assured, that his schemes are not received by me, at
least, with jealousy and r! .<trust. For, however formidable his hostility to Western
interests, it has certainly I . merit of being open and manly. So far from considering his
various propositions as having any thing covert or insidious in them, I am rather inclined
to admire the nairetp and frankness with which he uniformly proposes to the people of
tlie West to surrender themselves, bound hand and foot, to those of the East. Such is,
invariably, the distinctive and peculiar feature of his plans. No, Sir, I do assure him that I
expect nothing insidious from Aim.
Let us briefly examine his new plan for organizing the Legislative bodies, and
apportioning representation among the people of Virginia, in comparison with that of the
gentleman from Albemarle. I heard him, I confess, with no small surprise, express his
astonishment that any member from the Valley should prefer the scheme of the gentleman
from Albemarle to that just offered by himself. I should suppose that a very slight
examination of the two plans would have disclosed very obvious reasons for such a
preference. In a House of Delegates, consisting of one hundred and twenty-seven, the
gentleman from Albemarle offers to the Valley twenty-four members. In a House of one
hundred and thirty-nine at least, the gentleman from Chesterfield allows to the Valley hut
twenty-four. He increases the numbers of the Homst, without increasing the number of
the Valley Delegates. If the House of one hundred and twenty-seven, proposed by the
gentleman from Albemarle were increased to one hundred and thirty-nine, his principle or
rule of distribution would allow to the country west of the Ridge fifty-eight members,
while the rival proposition of the gentleman from Chesterfield allows it but fifty-six. The
three additional member* which, out of his enlarged House of Delegates, he allows to the
whole country w««t of the Blue Ridge of Mountains, are all bestowed on the trans-
Alleghany country…..

He proposes a House of Delegates consisting of one hundred and thirty-nine members.

He authorises the Legislature, at its discretion, to create, from time to time, ten additional
Western counties, requiring it, should it exercise the power so given, to bestow on the "
country" West of the Ridge ten additional members. He moreover authorises the
Legislature, at its discretion, to increase the power by the addition of twenty-one
members in all, so as to swell the total number to one hundred and sixty. And then
twenty-one members may be given, at the discretion of the Legislature, to any twenty-one
counties having each, according to his Jirst distribution, but one representative. In other
words, the Legislature may, or may not, at its discretion, create new counties in the West,
and consequently may, or may not, as it pleases, give to the Western country any
additional representation. And it may, if it chooses, at ita~ very first session, add twenty-
one members to the House of Delegates, and distribute tlu-in all among the small
counties between the City of Richmond and the Capes of the Chesapeake. And the
Legislature, invested with these extraordinary powers, is divided between the two great
sections in the proportion of fifty-six to the West, and eighty-three to the East. An Eastern
majority tln-i. and the East enjoys under his scheme an overwhelming majority, may at
any ni":m>nt, at its uncontrolled will and pleasure, augment that majority to such a point
that the existing inequality of representation, the great grievance of the West, is absolutely
justice compared with that which he enables the Legislature to create. And this is a
scheme of conciliation and compromise offered to the grave consideration of the sober-
minded people of the West! I concede to this scheme fair and honest purposes, and that is
all that 1 can concede. I admit, that the proposed Legislature may add ten representatives
to the Western division of the State, if so disposed. Jt cannot add more than ten out of the
twenty-one additional members, no matter how liberal its views.
Now, Sir, I put it to the candour of the gentleman from Chesterfield to say, how far
sjffh a scheme of representation accords with his own views of human nature, and his
own estimate of human motives and conduct. How often and how emphatically has he
told us that selfishness is the great master-spring of human action. That no man of
common sense, would put his property, or his interests, in the keeping or under the
control of another, unless it was the interest of that other to discharge the trust to his
advantage ! If he be correct in his theory of human nature, and in his estimate of the
motives which commonly actuate men, how can he extect the people of the West to
accept of such a proposition ? How can he expect mat they will accept a scheme which
commences with giving them a weight in the Legislative bodies far below that which they
claim as their just and undoubted right, and believe to be their right, with a provision
annexed, enabling their fellow-citizens in the East, whenever they shall think proper, at
their arbitrary will and pleasure, to reduce the pittance of power at first granted to them,
to absolute insignificance. How can he for a moment believe that the Western people will
consent thus to tempt their fellow-citizens in the Ea£t to so gross an abuse of power ?
Has he not told us, in the most pointed and emphatical manner, that the Constitutional
provision, offered at the commencement of the session, by the people of the West, to
those of the East, prohibiting the Legislature from imposing undue burthens of taxation
on the slave-property of the Eastern people, was " a mere paper guarantee ?" Has he not
treated the idea of relying on such a guarantee with absolute contempt and derision ? And
does he still expect the people of the West to accept of a scheme, which contains not even
the poor security of a paper guarantee, against an abuse of power utterly subversive of
their interests and their rights. I am, T confess, Sir, utterly amazed at the haracter Of this
compromise plan for the security of Western rights. I hazard odious, and that the
universal voice of all the West would at once denounce it, were it to receive the sanction
of this honourable body.
One word, Sir, in regard to the resolution which I yesterday laid on the table,
authorising the Legislature, as organized and distributed by the scheme of the gentleman
from Albemarle, to re-apportion in 1841, the Representation of the people of Virginia in
the Legislative bodies. That was no scheme of mine, it was offered at the suggestion and
request, of a respectable member of this body from the Trans- Alleghany country. He
thought that even such a plan of re-apportionment would tw better than none, and
requested me to submit it to the consideration of this honorable body. It is not now under
consideration, and 1 am little solicitous about its fate.
I do not believe, however, with the gentleman from Chesterfield, that mich a provision
would necessarily produce a ten years' war of faction, if the Constitution, to which it
should be annexed, were accepted by the people of Virginia. ……

The resolution, which I have undertaken to sustain, alike exclude! a represents* tion of
counties. Such IB the present representation in the House of Delegates, and its glaring
inequality is one of the leading causes of this Convention. Although no voice has been
heard in this Committee to vindicate this inequality, and the proposed amendment is as
much at war with its continuance as the resolution itself, yet those who are opposed to
any change of the present Constitution must be regarded as disposed to tolerate, and
bound to defend it. It is equally incumbent on the advocates of the resolution, to advert to
its extent, and its operation on the principles for which the friends of a Convention have
There are at present in this Commonwealth, 105 counties, entitled each to two
Delegates, and four boroughs, having by law separate representation, entitled each to one
Delegate. The House of Delegates consists, at present, therefore, of 214 members, of
which 108 are a majority. Fifty-four of the counties of Virginia may, therefore, return
such a majority. Omitting with all the boroughs, Willmmsburp having a population of
only 536' white inhabitants, and the small counties of Logan, Allegha- ny,and Pocahontas,
which have been created since the last Census, tliis majority in«y be supplied by 180,000
of the 603,000 white inhabitants of the Commonwealth. It follows, therefore, that a
minority of much less than a third of the people of Virginia, may govern the other two-
Of the thirty-nine counties below the Blue Ridge, selected to make this proportion, five
have fewer than 2,000 white inhabitants, each.; one has but t>20, and another but 1,017.
Of the fifteen beyond that mountain, which I have added to the former, the smallest has
a white population of very near 1,800, and that is the only one whieh has a white
population below 2,000 in number.
In addition to the six counties having each less than 2,000 white inhabitants, there are
eleven counties, whose population is known, which have between ^ and 3,000 only, and
of these, there are but two West of the Blue Ridge.
On the other hand, there are thirteen counties, which have each more than 10,000 white
inhabitants, of which, all but one, lie either West, or on the Eastern face of that mountain;
and. of those, three, having each more than 16,000, lie connected together.
Similar inequalities, it has been urged by some of our opponents, exist without
complaint, in the neighbouring States of Maryland and North Carolina, which have, like
Virginia, equal county representation.
Neither position is true. Complaints of unequal representation, have been made in both
these States, without effect, because the foundation of them, bears no proportion to the
inequality for which we are assembled to provide.
Maryland has nineteen counties, the largest of which, Frederick, contains a few more
than 40,000 inhabitants, of every description; and the smallest, Calvert, a few more than
8,000. The proportion being of five to one, on the whole population, and rather more than
eight to one, if their white population alone, be computed.
North Carolina has sixty-two counties. Rowan, the largest, has 26,000 inhabitants, and
Washington, the least, very near ^,000: The proportion being about six and a half to one,
and it the wliite population be separately computed, 21,000 to 2,300, or about nine to one.
While we have seen that the total population of the largest county of Virginia, was, to the
least, as far back as 1820, in the ratio exceeding fifteen to one, and computing the white
population alone, of twenty-six to one.
There is not a man within the sound of my voice, said Mr. M. nor would there be one
who merited the appellation, could I be heard by the people of America, who would
consent to be degraded by tile application of such a scale of political power, to his own
rights in comparison with those of his neighbour.
In one branch of the Legislature, a similar inequality was redressed in 1817, by a new
arrangement of the Senatorial districts, on the basis of white population. At that time, four
members, of a body consisting of twenty-four, represented two-fifths of the entire
population of the State, and might have been outvoted by the representation of a twelfth.
The evil called aloud for redress, and it was redressed in the manner, in which we now
ask to have remedied a similar inequality in the other branch of the General Assembly. I
was one of those who retired from this Hall in 1817, prepared to await the developement
of the new distribution of the Senate, and acquiescing in the existing stale of affairs. Th»
arrival of a period of profound tranquillity among the parties which had divided, not
Virginia, but the Union, (for a mere contest for the Presidency, could give rise to but
transient excitement,)—a contest, in which for several years, he had felt scarcely interest
enough to carry him to tile polls, had prompted him to unite with his fellow-citizens, in
endeavouring to amend the defects of their common Government.
Having disposed of the mixed basis of taxation and white population, of slave and free
population, regarding, as he proceeded, tile claim of the former to consideration, both as
persons and as property; and exposed the inequality of county representation, he came
now to an examination of the only remaining basis, or Uiat which had txen adapted and
recommended to the Convention by the Legislative Committee—the numbers of the free
white population exclusively, and that, with a view to give to equal numbers, equal
portions of political power in the constitution of the popular branch of the
The inequality of Western representation in the House of Delegates has increased trince
1817. The whole white population is now 032,000 of which 319,000 are West of the
Ridge. Since 1817, the following counties have been erected in the West, viz: Morgan,
Preston, Alleghany, Pocahontas, Nicholas and Logan, making the Western counties forty,
and giving to the West eighty votes in our House of Delegates of two hundred and
fourteen members. By the above numbers, the West are entitled to something more than
one hundred members instead of eighty, and the deficiency of twenty being added to the
East, gives to that quarter an advantage of forty wotes…..
[The rest of the day, till near five o'clock, was occupied in discussing the
apportionment of representation among the counties in the southern part of the State.]
The debate, though very animated, was wholly local in its character, and for more
reasons than one, we abstain from giving any report of it. Only two votes were taken :
one for attaching the county of Pocahontas to the Botetourt Senatorial District: and the
other for taking a Delegate from the county of Brunswick, and giving it to the county of
[As soon as.the result of the vote was announced for transferring the double delegation
from Brunswick to Franklin, Mr. Brodnax rose to move, that one Delegate should be
taken from Loudoun, (she being allowed three,) and given to Brunswick; both these
counties being in the same section. Mr. Leigh of Chesterfield warmly supported tliia
proposition; but the Convention adjourned before taking the question on it.]

Influences of Geographic Environment, on the Basis of

Ratzel's System of .
Even when no alien elements are present to weaken the race bond, if natural barriers
intervene to obstruct and retard communications between center and periphery, the
frontier community is likely to develop the spirit of defection, especially if its local
geographic, and hence social, conditions are markedly different from those of the
governing center. This is the explanation of that demand for independent statehood which
was rife in our Trans-Allegheny settlements from 1785 to 1795, and of that separatist
movement which advocated political alliance with either the British colonies to the north
or the Spanish to the west, because these were nearer and offered easier access to the sea.
A frontier location and an intervening mountain barrier were important factors in the
Whisky Rebellion in western Pennsylvania, just as similar conditions later suggested the
secession of the Pacific States from the Union. Disaffection from the government was
manifested by the Trek Boers of early South Africa, "especially by those who dwelt in the
outlying districts where the Government had exerted and could exert little control." In
1795 the people of Graaf-Reinct, a frontier settlement of that time, revolted against the
Dutch South African Company and set up a miniature republic.64

Narrative and Critical History of America

By Justin Winsor
For several years after the close of the Dunmore War the Western Indians were again
quiet. They heard with satisfaction of the opening battles of the Revolution, and were not
in haste to take the war-path for either side. Except at the British post of Detroit, the
sentiments of the settlers west of the mountains were intensely anti-English. The Eastern
colonies were too much occupied in their own defence to give any attention to what was
happening at the West. The hardy pioneers, left to themselves, conducted their own
campaigns. They were not enrolled in the Continental army, and they knew little of, and
cared less for, the Continental Congress and the great commander-in-chief of the army.
They recognized only the authority of Virginia; and, as voluntary and patriotic rangers,
they achieved some of the most important and brilliant victories of the war, concerning
which the official proceedings of Congress, and the voluminous correspondence of
Washington and of other prominent actors in the war, make scarcely a mention.