Saturday, September 21, 2013

Point Pleasant 1774

The summer of 1774 greeted a number of folks wandering about the wilderness of what was to become the town lands of Danville.  Those who made the surveys nearest the spot that contain the "town spring" have been presented in the previous posts titled 1774.  Little did these folks anticipate that only several months later the frontier would face the most decisive conflict that was to set the stage for this little area of the world.

The Ohio and the Great Kanawha Rivers joined on the southeastern shore at a place called "Point Pleasant".  For several Indian groups and a frontier militia, it became a defining point that was anything but pleasant.  On October 9th the battle took place that pitched the Shawnee and a Fincastle  militia that did not contain British regulars among the forces.  Those involved, and survived, were to become leading citizens of this new settlement area.

The figure above shows the location of Point Pleasant and its relationship to the waters that brought many folks to the area that was to become Danville.  It was the treaty of Camp Charlotte which contained the clause that the Shawnee acknowledged the white man's right to Kentucky.  These first settlers were now able to consider themselves the most western settlement of Virginia's Fincastle County.

A good discussion of this pivotal event can be found in: Forth to the Wilderness, The First American Frontier 1754 - 1774, by Dale Van Every.  [William Morrow and Co., NY, 1961.]