Monday, September 24, 2012

Setting The Table

Explorers, hunters, trappers, and traders traversed and prospected this land that was to become Kentucky.  Prior to 1770, there was no permanent settlement, or surveys, either private or official made of this land.  It was under the direction of Col. George Washington that the first survey was made along the Big Sandy River.  Col. Joshua Fry was credited with 2,084 acres and 1,525 acres along the boarder of what is now Kentucky and West Virginia in 1770.  However, this was not to be since Virginia took control, forming Fincastle County in 1772.  Thus the "authentic" records of the settlement of Kentucky began. 

The College of William and Mary had control of this process.  First, to become a surveyor, you had to obtain a "commission" from the Master of William and Mary.  Next, you had to qualify as a deputy surveyor under the watchful eye of the "Chief Surveyor".  Then you would receive an "order" or "mandate" from the chief surveyor to go to work.

Of course this did not stop private, "unofficial" surveys from occurring.  All sorts of folks from other colonies want to get their hands in the pie.  Who was this Virginia anyway, who want to take control of this unsettled land...first come...first served...and the table is large...dive right in.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Before Kentucky

On February 10, 1763, the western most boundary of Virginia was finally set to the Mississippi River.  This Treaty of Paris gave to Britain  all claim to lands in "Louisiana" eastward of this clear landmark.  Virginia had already made claim to all land extending to the "Pacific", so this would certainly cut things a little short. 

Since 1643, Virginia had made settlement of this western land a priority.  Jurisdiction depended upon occupation, and Virginia had a plan.  Settle an area;  then establish a church, parish, and vestry; build a courthouse and jail; then elected representatives to the legislature; and then name a new county extending westward as far as one could go.  Henrico Co., #1(1643); Orange Co. #2(1734); Augusta Co., #3 (1738); Botetourt Co. #4(1770); and Fincastle Co. #5(1770); all before King George was fired July 4, 1776.  It was not until December 31, 1776 that the name "Kentucky" came into public records.  On this date, Virginia established its jurisdiction on this land that was to become Danville.  Kentucky County, Virginia it became.  For more than 15 years this was Virginia before it ever became Kentucky.