Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Surveys of 1774

Folks got busy doing their survey work the summer of 1774.  An "official" survey office was finally organized and accepted under the colony of Virginia [Fincastle County].  Page 1, Plot Book A, states :

 "Warrants to Officers & Soldiers from the Earl of  Dunmore directed to the Surveyor of Fincastle County and by him recorded with the several assignments thereon".

The official directions were included in the very first survey recorded "28th day of February 1774".  In effect, having served as an officer or soldier in the years prior to 1763, you were "entitled" to land "...agreeable to His Majesty's proclamation in the year 1763...".  It went on to say, "...being desirous to locate the same in Fincastle County on any of the western waters if he can lay it on any vacant lands that have not been surveyed by order of council or patented since the above Proclamation...".  The surveyors were "...strictly authorised and required to survey the same."

So there you have it.  Lands were to be in Fincastle County.  They were to be on water courses (western waters) were the land had not already been surveyed.  [Some land had already been surveyed in 1773, but the patents had been denied official recognition. ]  It was this summer, the summer of 1774, that the first surveys were made on the lands that were to become Danville, KY.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Summer of 1773

On December 12, 1771, John Murray (The Earl of Dunmore) arrive in Virginia.  One of his first activities was to create a new political jurisdiction west of the Alleghenies and south of the Ohio River.  His hand was being forced by the folks from Pennsylvania who had already opened a land patent office in this new territory.  Fincastle County it was called. (Some called it the District of West Augusta)  William Preston was appointed "surveyor".  Land warrants were being provided to those who had served during the French and Indian War.  Thomas Bullitt (Fauquier Co.), William Christian, John Floyd, Arthur Campbell, William Russell, and Evan Shelby were added to the list of individuals who were to aid in the survey of this new administrative jurisdiction. (At least from Virginia's point of view.)

Announcements of the plans to make surveys in this new territory were placed in papers being published in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.  Any folks who felt they had a right (or desire) to join the "official" survey crew were to join up at the mouth of the Kanawha River on May 29, 1773.  Thomas Bullitt with a survey party of some 30 men [including James Harrod and Hancock Taylor ] jumped the gun and started down the Ohio May 11, 1773.  These men were joined by James Robert, George McAfee, Samuel Adams, and James McCoun.

Following these guys down the Ohio about a month later (17 June 1773), a 20 year old named Isaac Hite and his crew had the idea (plans) to establish several towns along the Ohio River at regular intervals.  In his diary dated the 5th and 6th of August he writes:

                                              "Aug. 5th & 6th at the Town at the Falls".

By the end of the month of August he writes:

              "Friday 27th went & marked out lots in the Town & went up to the 1st Island".

It was this Issac Hite that was to become the business partner of one Walker Daniel.  In the summer of 1773, he began to open the doors to Danville.