Friday, August 24, 2012

Name It and Claim It

It is extremely difficult to put together an understanding of all the forces that came together to make this Danville, KY.  There was first, the central British government [The Crown] that resided some 3,000 miles away.  They were busy making their own plans about this Ohio Valley that had come under their control after this thing called the French and Indian War.

Prior to this, there were a number of separate colonies [PA, MD, VA, NC, SC]  and special interest groups [Ohio Company, Loyal Land Company, Transylvania Company] that had laid claim to a vast area of this Ohio Valley.

           [This shows a copy of the history, Ohio Co., written in the Kentucky Law Journal, 1926.]

 Also, there were the local ethic groups that were actually living on this land, and making it their battle ground.  Then there was the government of Virginia that took control, to organize Fincastle County, Virginia. [1772]    Although other folks had already sent their traders, land speculators, and hunters to this Ohio Valley, this colony [VA] was  the first to claim "official" surveys to this Ohio Valley.  You can begin to see the confusion there must have been when all these folks ended up around the same time,  in the same area, making their own surveys...the perfect storm some may say.  In the middle of this storm stood was what to become Danville, VA before it was to become Danville, KY.    Name it, and claim it...not as easy as it sounds.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Keep Off The Grass

A sure fired way to get people to walk on your grass is to put a sign that says "Keep Off The Grass".  It is sort of like that "Wet Paint" have just got to touch it...just to it dry yet?  Such was the British government's issue of the October Proclamation of 1763.  It prohibited migration and settlement beyond the crest of the Appalachians.  This was done as a way to help establish boundaries between the Indians and English who were fighting over this territory [with the French], and give clear title to the Indians for a hunting ground in this Vally of Ohio.

A problem to this proclamation was the fact that Virginia had already promised land to those who had fought in the French and Indian War [1754-1763].  Gov. Dinwiddie in his own proclamation of February 19, 1754, had promised land to the military who would help Virginia maintain their claims to the western lands.  Several private groups had already planned their own use of this territory once the dust of war had settled.  [George Washington was one.]  Likewise, other colonies had their own ideas how this western land should be taken advantage of, for their settlements.

What was to become Kentucky, was right in the middle of it.

"Keep Off The Grass"...well right...not!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Trying to Sort Things Out

Over the river and through the the river and through the woods would be more like it.  They were the only ways to get to this new, western settlement area that was to become Kentucky.

Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina all wanted to get their fur traders and land speculators into this western territory.  These colonies' geographic relationship to "the river" (Ohio), and "the woods" (mountains) are shown in the drawing to the right. 

Pennsylvania was essentially located at the head waters of the Ohio.  Virginia and North Carolina competed for the land access (gaps) to this territory, and were soon to run into folks from Pennsylvania coming down that Shenandoah Valley.  Virginia also had some of the earliest explorers to find this "New River" that was to open the door to western expansion.  Each colony was determined to settle this area to the advantage of the merchants and money backers who on the most part were living the good life back along the coast.

Who would have known that this little place that was to become Danvillle would find all these folks in 63 acres of land in a small square trying to sort things out.