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.

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