Sunday, December 13, 2015

An Act of Separation 1785 (5)

The words continue:

"Our application may exhibit a new spectacle, in the History & Politicks of Mankind- A Soverign Power; soley intent to bless its People agreeing to a dismemberment of its parts, in order to secure the Happiness of the whole- and we fondly flatter ourselves from motives not purely Local, it is to give Birth, to that catalogue of great events, which we pursuade ourselves, is to diffuse throughout the World. the inestimable blessings, which mankind may derive from the American Revolution.-"

Wow..."the inestimable blessings, which mankind may derive from the American Revolution" written and dated 23 Septerber 1785.  Words that some would believe have come to pass.

Take from: Petitions of The Early Inhabitants of Kentucky To The General Assembly of Virginia 1769 to 1792, by James Rood Robertson, 1914.

Friday, November 13, 2015

An Act of Separation 1785 (4)

The words continue:

"We therefore with the consent and by the authority of our Constituents, after the most Solemn deliberation being warned of every consequence, which can ensure, for them, for ourselves and for Posterity unborn - do Pray - That an act may pass at the ensuing session of Assembly, declaring and acknowledging the Sovereignty & Independence of this district. -

Having no objective in view, but the acquisition of that Security and happiness, which may be attained by a Scrupulous adherence to principles of private justice and public Honor, we should most willingly at this time, enter into the adjustment of the concessions, which are to be the condition of our Seperation, did not our relative situation forbid such negotiation, anxious however to bring this interesting part of the transaction, to a Speedy Issue, we have appointed the Honble George Muter & Harry Innes Esquires to present this Address, and in our behalf to enter into & ratify such engagements, as may ascertain the general Principles, on which the final adjustment of the conditions of Separation is to be established. -"

From: Petitions of The Early Inhabitants of Kentucky To The General Assembly of Virginia 1769 - 1792, by James Robertson. p. 81

Friday, October 16, 2015

An Act of Separation 1785 (3)

The petition from the folks at Danville, KY continues from the last post:

"Tis not the ill directed or inconsiderate Zeal of a few, 'tis not that impatience of Power to which ambitious minds are prone, nor yet the baser consideration of Personal Interest, which influence the people of Kentucky; directed by superior motives, they are incapable of cherishing a wish unfounded in justice, and are now impelled by expanding evils, and irremediable grievances, universally seen, felt and acknowledged, to obey the irresistible dictates of self preservation, and seek for Happiness, by means honourable to themselves, honourable to you, and injurious to neither -"

More to come!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

An Act of Separation 1785 (2)

The petition of 1785 from Danville continues:

"To recite minutely the causes and reasoning, which directed, and will justify this Address, would we conceive be a matter of impropriety at this Juncture; It would be preposterous for us, to enter upon the support of facts and consequences, which we presume are incontestible; our sequestered situation, from the seat of Government, with the intervention of a mountainous desart of two hundred miles, always dangerous, and passable only at particular seasons, precludes every Idea of a connexion, on Republican principles; The Patriots who framed our Constitution Sensible of the impracticability of connecting permanently, in a free Government, the extensive Limits of the Commonwealth, most wisely made provision for the Act which we now Solicit-, To that Sacred Record we Appeal.-"

The spellings are typed as given.  The last post begins this record.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

An Act of Seperation 1785

August 8, 1785 was the third pre-state convention to be held in Danville.  On the 23rd September, 1785 a petition was addressed :

                                    "To The Honorable The General Assembly of Virginia".

It is a fairly lengthy petition, but since it presents the rationale for a separate state, I thought it would be of interest to give this document full coverage.  The next several post will give the petition which of course was signed by Samuel McDowel, and Levi Todd [not Thomas Todd].

"The Subscribers resident, in the Counties of Jefferson, Fayette, Lincoln, and Nelson, composing the district of Kentucky, being chosen at free Elections, held in these Counties respectively, by the Freemen of the same, for the purpose of constituting a Convention to take into Consideration the General State of the District, and espressly to decide on the expediency of making application to your Honorable Body, for an Act of Seperation -: deeply impressed with the importance of the measure, and breathing the purest filial affection, - Beg leave to Address you on the momentous Occasion. -
     The Settlers of this distant region, taught by the arrangements of Providence, and encouraged by the conditions of that Solemn Compact, for which they paid the price of Blood, to look forward to a Seperation, from the Eastern parts of the Commonwealth, have viewed the subject leisurely, at a distance and examined it with caution on its near approach; irreconcileable as has been their situation to a connexion with any Community beyond the Apulachian Mountains, other than the Federal Union Manifold as have been grievances flowing with their Population; They have patiently waited the hour of Address nor ever ventured to raise their voices in their own cause.  Untill Youth quickening into manhood, had given them vigor and Stability. -"

Spellings are given as recorded in Petitions of the Early Inhabitants of Kentucky, by James Robertson, starting p. 79 to p. 80.  In 1785 there were four counties formed.  Interesting reading it is.  More to come.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ten Pre-State Conventions (III.)

The third pre-state convention was held in Danville on Monday, August 8, 1775.  The same two folks were elected [Samuel McDowell as President and Thomas Todd as Clerk].  This would have only been about 4 months from the May meeting.  Following this meeting, a letter was sent to the Virginia "General Assembly" dated 23 September 1785.  According to James Robertson, the first action looking toward the creating of Kentucky into a separate State is found in an act entitled, "An Act concerning the erection of the district of Kentucky into an independent state". [Henings Statutes, Vol. 12, 37.]

Robertson records:

"Whereas it is represented to be the desire of the good people inhabiting the district known by the name of the Kentucky District that the same should be separated from this Commonwealth whereof it is a part and be formed into an independent member of the American Confederacy..." it is.  The first "...desire of the good people inhabiting the district..." which was part of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Must be how we came to be called the "Commonwealth of Kentucky". 

Reference is taken from: "Petitions of The Early Inhabitants of Kentucky To The General Assembly of Virginia 1769 to 1792", by James Rood Robertson, John P. Morton & Co., 1914. [p 82]

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ten Pre-State Conventions (II.)

"II.  The Second Convention was begun to be held on Monday, May 23, 1785.  Judge Samuel McDowell was elected President, and Thomas Todd, Clerk."

By 1785, the McDowel and Todd family had started their rolls in the settlement of Danville and the future state of Kentucky.

The Todd family had established Toddsbury, VA, 1653. [a namesake Thomas Todd was the founder.]

 It was 1737 when the McDowell family arrived to the colonies among the 100 families joining the "Burden Grant" of 500,000 acres.  [Scotch and Irish immigration of course.]  It was 1772 that Samuel McDowell appears as a member of the Burgesses of Augusta County, VA.  He became actively involved in the conventions of 1775 and 1776 prior the Revolutionary War.  His first land grant in what was to become Kentucky is found July 11, 1775 for 2000 acres surveyed by John Floyd on the waters of Elk Horn.

References are:

"Twelve Virginia Counties, Where the Western Migration Began" by John H. Gwathmey which was first published 1937.  Discussion of Augusta County starts p. 361.  [Samuel McDowell p. 374]

"Historic Families of Kentucky", by Thomas Marshall Green, first published 1889.  The McDowell family begins the book starting p. 1 to p. 116!

"Kentucky Land Warrants, for the French, Indian, & Revolutionary Wars", by Samuel M. Wilson, first published 1913.  [Samuel McDowell served as a private in the French and Indian War.]

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ten Pre-State Conventions ( I.)

At Danville, from page x [Journal of the First Constitutional Convention of Kentucky] is listed:

"I. The First Convention was begun to be held on Monday, December 27, 1784.  Colonel William Fleming was elected President, and Thomas Perkins, Clerk.  Delegates to this convention were chosen from the several Militia Companies of the District."

A partial list of officers and men at the battle of Point Pleasant, Oct. 10, 1774 can be found in the reference titled Virginia Colonial Militia 1651 - 1776, edited by William Armstrong Crozier.  On page 89 it list William Fleming as one of the "Colonels" wounded at this battle.  [The commanding officer Brig-General Andrew Lewis was killed.]  A general listing of these troops can be found on pages 79 -94.  I suspect that many of these men were involved in the first few meetings surrounding the formation of the State of Kentucky.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Ten Pre-State Conventions

Between November 1784 and April 1792, there were ten pre-state conventions all held in Danville.

 The above shows the title page of the "Journal of the First Constitutional Convention of Kentucky" held in Danville, April 2 to April 19, 1792. [The final meeting of the prior conventions where the separation from Virginia was finally arranged.]

On page x of the pamphlet is outlined the dates and the names of some of the folks involved.  The next several posts will give this information.  The process to become a State took also ten years in the lives of those living in Danville.

Item 1:

     "An informal meeting of 'the principal men of the District' which resulted in the calling of the First Kentucky Convention was held on November 7 and 8, 1784.  Colonel William Fleming presided on the first day of the meeting and Colonel Isaac Shelby presided on the second day.  Christopher Greenup was chosen Clerk."

The participants of the battle of "Point Pleasant" made up many of the folks recorded among these pages.  Colonel William Fleming was seriously wounded in the battle which became a legend among the settlers of this area.  He also secured as many as 30,000 acres with some being in all three counties. [Jefferson, Fayette, Lincoln]

Isaac Shelby was considered the "hero" of "Point Pleasant" who lead a flanking attack to save the day. [He was to become the first Governor of the State.]

Christopher Greenup was one of the first Trustees of the town lots of Danville, and purchased lot #57 with George Nicholas and Thomas Barbie.  The year 1784 was to start things off.

The reference(s):

Journal of the First Constitutional Convention of Kentucky - Held in Danville, Kentucky, April 2 to 19, 1792.  Published in Commemoration of Kentucky's Sesquicentennial Anniversary, June 1, 1942, By the State Bar Association of Kentucky.  Lexington, Kentucky, 1942.

Certificate Book of  The Virginia Land Commission 1779-1780. By The Kentucky Historical Society, 1923. [Southern Historical Press, Inc., SC., 1981]

Jones, J.E., "KEN-TAH-THE", The Life and Times of Walker Daniel, Founder of the Town Lands of Danville, Kentucky, 18th Day of June 1784,  2009.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Town Lots Prior to 1792

Prior to 1792, the town lots of Danville were under the care of Trustees.  [See post 4 Mar. 2015 "In Trust"].  The figure which follows show the lots as "sold" up to the time Kentucky became a State of the Union.

Town Lots Occupied Prior to 1792

The 10 lots held by Harry Innes remains in blue. [14,20,35,43,44,45,46,47,55,56]

The lots which include the remaining Trustees are shown in green.  They are as follows:

Peter Tardeveau had six lots. [4,8,12,25,62,63]
George Muter had four lots. [52,53,54,55]
Thomas Perkins had four lots. [28,29,50,51]
Andrew McCalla had two lots. [1,21]

The Trustees held 26 lots between them which is 41% of the town prior to 1792.

The remaining lots were occupied by the following folks:

James Edwards had two lots. [5,6]
Issac Hite had two lots.[38,39] A business partner to Walker Daniel.
John Cohurn had two lots. [7,11]
George Slaughter had two lots. [25,26] Old George was a relative of mine!

A total of eight lots which is 13 % of the town.

The lots shown in white are those that did not seem to be sold to others, and were the remaining lots opened after 1792.  [16/63 = 13%] It would appear that at least three lots per block remained unoccupied except for the block on the north side of "Broad Street" = Main Street.

This was the town lots prior to 1792!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Town Lots of Harry Innes

What was to become the "Town Lots of Danville" were sold by the estate of Walker Daniel starting 1785.  The first name to sign the petition for the founding of Danville was Harry Innes.  He became the next Attorney General for this new area of Virginia, and a leading individual in the future of the town.  The following figure shows the "lots" purchased by him from 1785 - 1791.  He came to own 10 lots as shown in blue.

From the "Public Square" [Now Constitution Square] his lots spread to the southwest.  This represents almost 18 % of the town. 

Harry Innes was to play a significant role in the formation of the state of Kentucky.  Any folks related out there?

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Petitioners

Those who singed the letter to the Virginia Legislature dated 19 November 1787 are listed below.  The request begins:

"Petition of inhabitants of Danville and others...".  They would be the first citizens of Danville!

1)  Harry Innes
2)  Martin Daniel [brother to Walker Daniel]
3)  P. Tardiveau [first name was Peter]  He was a friend of Walker Daniel.
4)  Robert Corbi
5)  Robert Daniel [brother to Walker Daniel and heir at law to the estates of Walker]
6)  James Lawrence
7)  David Furguson
8)  J. Brown [believe his first name was James]
9)  Jon. Belli
10) Stepn. Ormsby
11) John Crow [sold the 76 acres to Walker Daniel]
12) Andw. McCall
13) Thos. Barbee
14) M. Nagle
15) Samuel Irwin
16) Christo. Greenup
17) Ben Grayson [ believe "Grayson's Tavern" named after]
18) John Irvin
19) George Muter
20) Ro. Craddock [ Robert was the first name]
21) Jas. Dunlap
22)Thomas Lodg[?] unable to read name from document
23) Willis Green [business partner to Walker Daniel]

Say hello to the petitioners and first citizens of Danville!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

In Trust

A petition was sent to the General Assembly of Virginia on November 19, 1787 stating:

            "They pray for an Act to establish the land into a town called Danville"

The petition reads that Walker Daniel

      "...proceeded to lay off a part of the land into lots and streets and disposed of some of the lots".

Walker was killed by Indians the 12th of August 1784.  After his death Robert Daniel [the oldest remaining brother] laid the remainder of the land off into lots and streets.  The petition continues

      "For the safety of purchases Robert has conveyed in fee simple the streets and springs within the tract of George Muter, Harry Innes, Peter Tardiveau, Thomas Perkins, and Andrew McCalla in trust for the benefit of the inhabitants."

This is first listing of the folks who resided in Danville prior to it becoming an "official" city.  The town lands were placed "in trust" to these folks for the first three years of the life of Danville.  Thank you for keeping this trust.

Taken from "KEN-TAH-THE" , The Life and Times of Walker Daniel... p.34.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Town Lot #34

The town lots that were to become the city of Danville came under the control of  Robert Daniel, the "Heir at Law" to our Walker Daniel.  One of the first acts of business was to sell the town lots.  Lots were sold beginning February 22, 1785 through June 2, 1792. [Kentucky became a State on June 1, 1792.]   The first lot to be sold was "lot #34".  Its position is shown on the figure below.  North is to the top of the page.

John Hunter was the first to own a lot in Danville!  His purchase is dated 22 February, 1785.  Lot #34 is colored blue and lies on the corner of  "Second Street" [now Market Street] and "Cross Street" [now Third Street].  The parking garage is now located on lot #21, the old Methodist Church now stands on lot #22, and the educational wing of the hospital begins on lot #33.  The center of town in 1785 this town lot #34.

[This information is taken from my book titled: "KEN - TAH - THE" The Life and Times of Walker Daniel Founder of the Town Lands of Danville, Kentucky 18th Day of June 1784".]  Whew...a picture of the cover is shown below.  It was published 2009.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Present Day Placement

Where the 63 lots of the "town lands of Danville" were exactly located has been a point of discussion.  The main problem in this discussion, is that the plan of Danville most often used is from the book by Calvin Morgan Fackler, titled "Early Days In Danville".  The names of the streets on this plan are usually assumed to be the same names, and in the same locations, that are used today.  This is not the case.

The following figure is my attempt to place these 63 lots in their positions as they would have been located in 1784.  Please note the names of the streets are different as they are in present day Danville.

The "Public Square" is in the same location as it is today.  The name "1st Street" is still in the same location. It extended on the eastern side southward along the "Public Square".  The present "Main Street" was called "Broad Street".  Now "Second Street" is present day "Walnut Street" which is not the location of "Second Street" of today.  "Third Street" is today called "Martin Luther King Jr." and is not the location that "Third Street" is today.  "Main Cross Street" is the name that was given to the center of town. [Third Street today.]  "West Street" is now "4th Street", and the end of the town lands would come to what is called "Church Street" today.  The courthouse now stands in Lot #6.  Whew...lets try and review:

                        Main Street (of today) = Broad Street in 1784

                        1st Street (of today) = 1st Street in 1784 (extended down the Public Square)

                        2nd Street (of today) = Market Street in 1784

                        3rd Street (of today) =  Main Cross Street in 1784

                        4th Street (of today) =  West Street in 1784

                        Walnut Street (of today) = 2nd Street of 1784

                        Martin Luther King (of today) = 3rd Street of 1784

The west end of town would end where Church Street stands today.  What a deal... the present day placement of the town lots of 1784.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Town Lot

The 76 acres for the town lands of Danville were organized into 63 equal size lots.  A public square was also planned and outline as shown in the figure below.

To orient you, north is at the top of the page.  Constitution Square is shown as "Public Square" with Main Street called "Broad Street".  [It was to be 90 feet wide whereas the other streets were to be 60 feet wide, thus "Broad Street".]  The public square was to be "20 poles 6' 3" in length [north to south] and "14 poles 10' 6" wide. [east to west]  One pole equals 16'5" square.  The next figure zeros in on "No 1" which begins the numbering system for the lots of Danville.

It is on the corner of "Broad Street" and "Market Street". [The present Main and Second Street.]  Each of the 62 lots were to be of equal size with the dimensions shown above.  They were to be "8 poles 2'6" north to south, and  "10 poles 3'1/2" east to west.  This would be 134ft. 6 inches by 168ft. 1/2 inch east to west.  It takes a bit to get organized to the plat since the names are different then we call them today.  Here you go, town lot #1 in Danville, 1784!  More to come.