I. IMPERIAL DIPLOMACY AND WESTERN LANDS
Settlers and speculators who expected the
British occupation of the forks of the Ohio river in 1758 to open up the lands were to be
A. The British:
1. At the beginning of the French and Indian
War, the British government had set up the machinery for the supervision of Indian
affairs, an served notice that in the future, there would be no unregulated
a) The British were surprised to lose the Indians to the French so
b) The increasing restiveness of friendly tribes also convinced the
British that future
alienation must not come from the
expansion of white settlement.
2. British efforts to control western
a) Treaty of Easton (1758) As early as 1758, Sir
William Johnson entered into a treaty
with the Six Nations that
stipulated that Pennsylvania, west of the Alleghenies would
remain Indian hunting ground.
b) In 1761, Colony Henry Bouquet, commander of Fort Pitt, upheld
the line, and extended
it to include Trans-Allegheny Maryland
c) Proclamation of 1763
With the Indian confederation far from broken at the end of the
French and Indian War, the British
government issued a sweeping order, forbidding
settlement west of the Alleghenies.
-British attempt to keep settlers away from
-Whites didn't pay much attention to it
-Indians ceded these lands, but animosities
grew on border
B. The Colonial Response:
1. Squatters took up lands illegally in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio. Troops from
Fort Pitt were sent to drive them out.
2. West Virginia , however, did not lure many illegal squatters, whether out of respect
for the law or fear of Indian retribution. But those who did defy the government paid
C. Indian Response:
Not all the tribes agreed to peace with the
either the French or British. In the summer of 1763, western Indians under Pontiac
launched a major effort to rid the Trans-Allegheny of whites. Only massive relief efforts
saved Detroit and Fort Pitt for the British. The Full Weight of
Pontiac's War fell on West Virginia' Settlers.
Raids-- In 1763, a band of 60 Shawnees under Cornstalk invaded
the Greenbrier area and killed or captured scores of settlers while posing as friends.
2. An earlier settlement, illegally established by Thomas Decker and others near
Morgantown in 1758, had been wiped out a year later in 1759.
II. FURTHER FRONTIER CONFLICT
A. DUNMORE'S WAR, 1774 an attempt to "pacify" Indians
As might be expected, ignoring the Proclamation Line by settlers angered the
Indians. Although they had ceded the lands in West Virginia by treaty, they were never
comfortable with permanent white settlements always further west.
1. By 1773 raids were being made against the trans-Allegheny settlements, and by 1774 they
2. Indians were particularly inhospitable to surveyors, correctly associating them with
settlers to come.
a) One such incident was "Cresap's
War" which resulted when a surveying party including Michael Cresap and George Rogers
Clark were attacked at the mouth of Kanawha. Cresap lead several attacks of reprisal.
3. Without question the most despicable act
committed by whites that led to renewed border hostilities was that involving the brutal murder of Logan's family.
Logan, (John Shikellamy) a half French/half Indian Mingo chief, was camped at the
mouth of Yellow Creek on Ohio side, across
from present Weirton.
b) On April 30, 1774: episode went something like this:
i). Previous day 2 Mingos killed near
ii). 4 Indians, including brother of Logan, crossed Ohio to residence of Joshua Baker.
iii). A group of whites led by Daniel Greathouse arrived, plied the Indians with whiskey.
iv). Greathouse challenged them to marksmanship contest, and killed them while their guns
v). Indians had been joined by women and others, and all were shot in cold blood including
the brother and sister of Logan.
vi). Episode turned Logan into an implacable enemy (he took 13 scalps before he lay down
4. In order to allay the fears of the
Dunmore attempted to build a defensive line along the south shore of the Ohio River:
Fort Fincastle at Wheeling
Fort Blair at mouth of Kanawha R.
Fort Dunmore--he had previously seized Ft.
Pitt from Penna. and renamed it for himself.
5. Dunmore also determined to undertake
a) Dunmore led an army of 1,200 men recruited from panhandle
counties to Ft. Pitt via the
b) Another army of equal strength led by Gen.
Andrew Lewis gathered at Camp Union
(Lewisburg) and marched down the Kanawha to
the Ohio R.
c) Dunmore and Lewis were to meet at the mouth of the Hocking River in
proceed to the Indian towns at
d) Dunmore arrived early, but impatient, decided to go on ahead. He had
not gone far
when he heard the news that Lewis
defeated the Indians in a battle at Point Pleasant.
6. BATTLE OF POINT PLEASANT, Oct. 10, 1774.
a) Lewis's men camped at Point
Pleasant and became aware of Indians.
the Shawnee chief, was well aware of the advance of Dunmore and Lewis. He attacked Lewis
before he could join Dunmore. If successful he planned to attack Dunmore in the Hocking
c) Cornstalk led 800 or 1,100 men, crossed
the Ohio after dark to cross the river. From dawn to dusk the battle raged, hand to hand.
Cornstalk retreated across the river: whites=46 dead, 80 wounded; Indians=?
d) Unable to defeat one army he had no hope
to defeat two. He returned to the villages on the Pickaway Plains and placed the question
before the people--peace or war.
e)Treaty of Camp Charlotte
was signed with Dunmore:
- Indians agreed to return prisoners/property
- to recognize the Ohio River as boundary
- not to interfere with river traffic
7. Battle of Point Pleasant more than
of passing significance:
a) By defeating Indians they were forced to respect Va. Ability to make
war, and this
delayed Indians' alliance with British
during the Am. Rev until 1877.
b) The Treaty of Camp Charlotte also produced Logan's
- Although not a participant at Pt. Pleasant,
it was known that he was seeking revenge.
- Dunmore sent his interpreter to bring him to the treaty meeting.
- Logan refused but sent what is now a famous letter, reproduced many times since for its
eloquence, and as symbol of tragic relations.
LOGAN'S SPEECH [Doc.
8. Fort Gower ">Resolves, Nov. 5, 1774
a) Before they returned to their homes from
"Dunmore's War" the officers and soldiers issued a set of resolves affirming
their sympathy for Americans in Boston and Philadelphia protesting "tyranny."
b) Rumblings of Revolution heard back east at the time:
- May 26, 1777 Gov. Dissolved House of
Burgesses because they set aside a day of fasting to protest Boston Port Act.
- Following day Burgesses met at Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg and set up local committee
to correspond with other colonies about calling a general congress.
- First Continental Congress met, Philadelphia Sept. 1777 and adopted resolves not to
import, consume, or export with Britain.
- Militia officers on way back from Dunmore's campaign
held meeting at Fort Gower and adopted this resolution supporting "patriots."
FORT GOWER RESOLVES
B. REVOLUTIONARY WAR came and Indians now sided with British.
Despite their own pressing immediate concerns, westerners had followed closely the
political conflicts with Britain, and there is no question about where their loyalties
lay. People on the border were intensely American, and this overriding characteristic
under girds their actions during the period of the American Revolution.
1. Western support led to military preparation and participation in trans-Allegheny
a) Western support prompted Richard Henry Lee to promise to raise 6,000
from western Virginia--years of fighting
had prepared them for war.
b) Daniel Morgan of Frederick Co. And Hugh Stephenson of Berkeley Co.
companies of expert riflemen in 1775 to
assist Mass. At Bunker Hill--the first troops to
join Washington from south of the
c) Thereafter, western Virginians played a role in nearly every major
battle of the
2. The Indians joined the British against the
Americans, but there was a relative quiet for 2 years on the frontier before the Indian
frontier wars resumed.
a) Western Virginians appealed to Cont. Congress to negotiate a treaty
with Indians to
keep them neutral which resulted in the
Treaty of Pittsburgh, October 1775.
Remembering Dunmore's War, they agreed.
Relative peace for first 2 yeas of war.
b) There were a few pockets of loyalist sympathies, such as on the
western Penna. and
northwestern Va. line where they
prompted Col. Zackwell Morgan of Monongalia Co. to
form a company of 500 militia to quell
3. There was a danger that the British & Indians would besiege the frontier from
Detroit so Virginia bolstered frontier defenses.
a) Fort Randolph (Blair) - Pt. Pleasant
Henry (Fincastle) - Wheeling
Pitt (Dunmore) - Pittsburgh
Other forts on Kanawha (Fort
Lee), Monongahela (Kern),
and on the Greenbrier (Donnally)
are few examples. (Also
Westfall's Fort- Tygart's Valley)
b) Frontier scouts assigned positions at head of Gauley River,
Mouth of Greenbrier, and
head of Paint Creek to protect
Greenbrier and Va. Valley settlements.
c) Gen. Edward Hand sent
to coordinate frontierer defenses from Fort Pitt. Even before he
arrived, British commandant at
Detroit had enlisted Indians to help with war.
d) Nonhelema, sister of Cornstalk, trusted friend of whites, informed
militia on July 25,
1777 that Indians-British signed treaty,
and planned to reduce Forts Randolph and
Henry and kill all inhabitants. This
would open up passage to Greenbrier settlements.
e) Militia companies awaited attacks, but by August reports seemed
unfounded and men
went home. Left only 60 men at Ft.Henry.
f) Hardly had they departed when Indians fell on Ft. Henry and
laid sedge to the fort for 3
days, and pillaged the countryside, but
failed to storm the fort.
g) The attack on Ft. Henry was a prelude to an autumn and winter of
on the western Virginia frontier.
"Forting" became a way of life, countless died or taken
C. EPISODES OF FRONTIER WARFARE
1. In Nov. 1777, Chief Cornstalk
came to Ft. Randolph to warn commander Matthew Arbuckle that Indians planned an offensive.
a) Cornstalk had not openly sided with British. He came to tell
Arbuckle that he could not
hold Shawnee braves.
b) Arbuckle believed
Cornstalk, but detained him until got advice from General Hand.
Meanwhile Cornstalk's son came to see what
detained his father. He was held too.
c) Two hunters killed nearby convinced militia that Cornstalk was
involved in a plot, and
against Arbuckle's will, killed
Cornstalk, his son, and two other Indians with them.
d) Excesses such as this was not uncommon in frontier warfare.
2. Legend of Ann
Bailey's ">Ride: [Doc. 9]
a) Shortly after Cornstalk warned the Americans at Pt. Pleasant about a
Indian attacks in 1777, the offensive
b) Ft. Lee, near present Charleston, was threatened by attack when
short of gunpowder.
c) Ann Bailey volunteered to go for supplies. Her first husband had
been killed by Indians,
and like so many frontier settlers who lived
through Indian wars, she had an enduring
hatred for Indians.
d) She rode 140 miles to Ft. Union (Lewisburg) and returned with
3. The Betty Zane Episode, Sept. 1782
1. In early Sept. 1782 a scout came to Fort
Henry to warn that a war party was on its way. At this time the fort was without a
regular garrison and depended on local people for defense.
2. The attack came so quickly that only 20 men were inside the fort. The house of Col.
Ebenezer Zane stood about 40 yards from the fort and contained the ammunition. An
excellent block house, Ebenezer decided to stay with wife, 2 other women, 2 other men, and
Sam a slave. Col. Silas Zane commanded the fort.
a) When Indians arrived they carried British flag. The demanded
surrender; defenders shot through
the flag and battle began.
b) Indians charged time and again; women molded bullets and loaded
guns, men fired,
repulsed each charge.
c) On morning of second day, a boat of white men from Ft. Pitt arrived
with cannon balls,
but got into fort with lives only.
d) Indians decided to use cannon balls for home-made cannon made of
wrapped in chains. When they lit the
fuse the cannon exploded killing several Indians
and wounding others.
e) During the lull, garrison had to replenish its ammo from Col. Zane's
Elizabeth Zane, younger sister of Col.
Ebenezer Zane volunteered to make the
f) All is known about this legendary episode comes from Whithers' Chronicles
Warfare (pub. In 1831), based on interviews
[Doc. 10 describes the dash of Betty Zane]
3. Out of such stuff frontier legends were made, and this single paragraph has inspired
one of the most popular. But what do we know about Betty Zane?
a) She was 16 and Ebenezer Zanes younger sister.
b) She had completed her schooling in Philadelphia where her family
came from, and
where Zane Ave. still commorates the
c) Later Ebenezer moved on to Ohio where he founded the present city of
must have stayed behind, for we know
that she had 2 husbands, and 7 children, and
lived in the area.
d) Her final residence was a farm at Martins Ferry, Ohio just across
the river from
Wheeling, living there in 1831 as Mrs.
Jacob Clarke. Date of her death is unknown.
4. Although little is known about her, Betty
Zane's heroic dash captured the American imagination.
a) There are numerous
b) Zane Grey, her great-great nephew wrote
his first novel Betty Zane (1903).
c) Poet Thomas Dunn English published poem in
her honor sometime prior to 1880.
d) As late as 1976 a novella was published
e) During WW II a liberty ship was named
f) Her image was deemed of commercial value,
or she was selected by Kimberly-Clarke as one of 8 women to be illustrated on their boxes
of facial tissue in the 1970s.
5. During the "forting" period of
frontier history there were countless women who helped to hold some fort or another, but
none of these heroines have approximated the appeal of Betty Zane in American popular
6. The sedge of Fort Henry in 1782 might have been part of the final large scale attacks
on the western Virginia frontier during the Am. Revolution, but Indian strife would not
end for settlers until 1794.
7. In 1794 Pres.Washington sent Gen. Anthony Wayne against the Indians in Ohio. At Fallen
Timbers (near Lake Erie in western Ohio), Wayne met 2,000 Indians and defeated
8. At the Treaty of Greenville the Indians gave up claims to most Ohio,
thereby ending the threat to western Virginia settlements, and led to their removal
9. Largely because of this victory, the new federal government won three additional
diplomatic victories which had important effects on western Virginia.
a) Jay's Treaty (Nov. 1794)
whereby Britain agreed to vacate the northwest by June 1, 1796. This removed a foreign
nation from our immediate west who stirred up the Indians.
b) Pinckney's Treaty (Oct. 1795) which opened Mississippi River for
American navigation and New Orleans as a port.
c) Louisiana Purchase
(1803). Although not a direct result of the Indian defeat at Fallen timbers, the purchase
came about as one step in a series of steps toward gaining access to the west for America.
III. WESTERN VIRGINIA & THE NEW
1. Undergirding this unrelenting drive to
possess the continent, of which frontier West Virginia was a key stepping stone, was the
surge of migrating people from the east which did not stop until they reached the Great
Plains where they encountered not just hostile Indians, but also a new geographic barrier
of the "Great American Desert."
2. Pushing this migration west was the desire
for land, but also the emerging belief of pre-Civil War America that it was America's
"mission," our "manifest destiny" to control the
continent. This was the expression of a nationalism of self-interest, and West Virginians'
political attitude on key issues confronting the New Nation reflect the perspective of
3. The most important issue confronting the
New Nation was the role of the federal government. This issue became the organizing issue
for the two opposing political parties. Fed/Anti-Feds not the same men as organized the
Fed/Republican parties. These emerged out of factions in Washington's
a) Federalists. Led by
Washington, Adams, and Hamilton.
-favored a strong central government (Bank;
-emphasized the need for order and stability
-liberal construction of Constitution on
issues such as a national bank and power of fed. govt. taxation.
-elitist; worried over ability of ordinary
people to govern themselves; they the people as "the mob"--denounced the French
-favored Britain over France in foreign
-tended to be most popular in urbanized east
b) Republicans (Anti-Feds).
Led by Jefferson and Madison,
-favored a weak central government (no
-ideal society was one composed of
-strict constructionists of constitution;
-human nature= "rights of man"
inherently good/do right.
-They cheered the French Revolution as a
liberation from tyranny (Republicans dressed like "Jacobins" referred to
themselves as "citizen")
-naturally they favored France over Britain
in foreign policy.
-most popular in rural areas of south and
4. The "nationalism of
self-interest" among westerners is evident in how they aligned themselves on an issue
basis with Federalists and Republicans.
a) At Constitutional convention in Richmond,
June 1788, only 16 of 170 delegates were from western Virginia, and they aligned less out
of ideology than whether their interests would be served.
b) West Virginia sided with Federalist
because they believed they were more likely to (1) deal with Indian threat, (2) open the
Mississippi and Ohio rivers to transportation.
c) They were correct; Washington sent Gen.
Wayne against the Indians in 1794.
5. Western Virginia's support for the
centralizing policies of the Federalists cracked under the strain against frontier
a) Alien & Sedition Acts
(1798), which were aimed at curbing political agitations from Republicans, alienated many.
b) Opponents, led by the Virginians, argued
the "compact theory" of government again, and claimed that the federal govt.
Overstepped powers granted by the states ("Va. Resolves").
6. West Virginians showed that they would
support a strong central government when it served western interests. So did the
Republicans. For example, western Virginians strongly supported Jefferson's Louisiana
Purchase in 1803.
IV. LAND SPECULATION AND WESTERN
A. LAND SPECULATORS AND THE
PROCLAMATION OF 1863
A complex set of reasons for anger among land speculators, and a more complex set of
responses were expressed in intrigue and political maneuvering.
1. To the speculators, the Proclamation's only redeeming feature was that it could be
legally moved westward, and immediately began pressuring for this.
2. A powerful group of Pennsylvania
speculators with Ben Franklin as their spokesman, exerted heavy political pressure on Lord
Shelburne, who was responsible for American colonial affairs. Their pressure tactics
resulted in Shelburne's authorization of a new line being drawn in 1768.
3. In March 1768 the British Cabinet was
reorganized and Lord Hillsborough became the head of the American Department. Hillsborough
directed a new line be drawn and was precise in his orders as to negotiations with the
a) Hillsborough appointed John Stuart and Sir
William Johnson to negotiate new lines of demarcation, Stuart was assigned the southern
part, and Johnson the northern.
b) Although speculators and Stuart tried to
influence the negotiations, the southern part of the line of demarcation followed
4. The Treaty of Hard Labour (1768)
opened up West Virginia, east of the Kanawha river to settlers, and the Cherokees agreed.
a) In 1770 the Treaty of Lockbar, with the
Cherokees, extended the southern line into eastern Kentucky.
b) Speculators found a more dependable friend
in Sir William Johnson, who was in charge of negotiating the northern part of the
line.Samuel Wharton, William Trent, and George Croghan were very prominent Indian traders
who lost large amounts of money during the war and wanted land in compensation-- therefore
they became known as the "suffering traders."
c) The "suffering traders" got
Johnson to push the line westward from the mouth of the Kanwha to the Tennessee, this
would include all of West Virginia, north of the Kanawha, and most of Kentucky.
d) Johnson's treaty with the Iroquois, The
Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1768), far exceeded his instructions and was condemned by
the Board of Trade. Thus the treaty of Fort Stanwix was condemned by the Crown.
B. THE IMPACT OF THE 1768 TREATIES:
A great rush of settlers (a, b, c, d)
into the region, beginning in the Spring of 1769. Early Settlements: Thousands poured into
the forks of the Ohio river, found their way into the Greenbrier tributaries, The
Monongahela Valley, floated down the Ohio to the Kanawha river, and many other points in
1. Monongahela Valley: John
Morgan of Drunkard Bottom on the Cheat River (1766) and John Simpson of Clarksburg (1764)
were probably hunters who paid little attention to the treaty line. But after 1769,
Monongahela Valley settlements advanced rapidly.
2. Tygart Valley: Similar to
Mon Valley, John and Samuel Pringle trapped in the Tygart Valley since 1761, but after the
treaties were settled quickly.
3. Upper Ohio Valley:
Settled more slowly. Tradition credits Ebenezer, Silas, and Jonathan Zane with laying out
Wheeling in 1769, but there is reason to believe that there were no settlers there at that
time. Settlers came after 1772. (Wetzel)
C. GEORGE WASHINGTON'S WESTERN LANDS:
1. Washington acquired the land allotments of
numerous veterans of the French and Indian War.
2. In 1770, Washington spent several weeks selecting choice sites along the Ohio and
Washington's Western Lands
10,990 acres (a few miles above Pt.Pleasant)
7,726 acres (at mouth of Pocatalico river)
2,00 acres (at mouth of Coal river)
2,950 acres (on Tyler Creek)
418 acres (at Burning Spring--10 miles east
1,293 acres (at Round Bottom, Marshall
2,314 acres (at Washington Bottom, below
mouth of Little Kanawha)
2,448 acres (near Ravenswood)
4,394 acres (at Millwood in Jackson County)
34,533 West Virginia acres
3. Washington intended to place settlers on
his lands near the mouth of the Kanawha river at Pt. Pleasant. He sought to attract
immigrants from British Isles and Germany by promising: passage, no rent for several
years, and religious freedom.
4. Washington's plans were interrupted: in
1774 and 1775 by Indian trouble. Before attempts could again be mounted, the Revolution
5. Others were settling in the Kanawha Valley
but life was treacherous.
D. VANDALIA COMPANY (1769)
Although the British did not like it, in the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the Indians had ceded
to the "suffering traders," (Pennsylvania traders), a tract of 2,862
square miles which included all of present northern West Virginia, north of the
Kanawha and west of the Monongahela.
1. When the content of the treaty's land cession became known, Virginia immediately
challenged it, claiming the land as part of its 1609 Charter.
2. Samuel Wharton of Philadelphia went to London to represent the traders' interests. To
his surprise, Wharton discovered that the Indian grant's validity did not require royal
confirmation, whereupon he began promoting the creation of a colony in the area.
3. For this purpose, in 1769 the Vandalia Company, known
in England as the Walpole Company, was established.
a) Its shareholders included some of the most
influential men of the day: Richard Walpole, George Grenville,
Ben Franklin, Sir William Johnson, and George Crogan.
Thus, the Company had powerful friends in very high places.
b) When the company petitioned to purchase 2.4 million acres, the proposal was enlarged to
include a formidable fourteenth colony called Vandalia-- in honor of Queen
Charlotte who claimed descent from the Vandals.
c) Highly placed friends in England moved on the proposal as if it were completely
legitimate. In 1774, The King and Council gave orders to draw up papers to create
the 14th colony of Vandalia.
d) However, the great disturbances in the colonies that led to the American Revolution
quickly ended the plan.
7. During the Revolution another group of
speculators proposed a fourteenth state within the northwestern Virginia lands claimed by
the Vandalia Company to be called Westsylvania. Virginia and Pennsylvania
both opposed the scheme and nothing came of it.
8. After the Revolution the Vandalia scheme was revived under a new name, the Indiana
Company. This time they did not seek a separate government, but to force Virginia
to grant them 2 million acres in northwestern Virginia between the Monongahela and Ohio
Rivers, from the Pennsylvania border south to the Little Kanawha River. Virginia and
legislators from western Virginia fought the scheme.
9. The struggle between the Indian Company
and Virginia over these lands, which comprised much of present West Virginia, went on all
through the American Revolution, and was involved in the formulating of the Articles of
Confederation, and continued into the 1790s.
10. Thwarted at every turn by Virginia, the
Indiana claimants took their case before the Continental Congress, which was then
discussing the disposition of western lands. Both sides would plead their case before
a) In 1780, the western land
issue locked the Continental Congress into a year long debate. Using an early version of states'
rights, Virginia argued that Congress could not strip any state of its territory
for the benefit of the nation. Eventually however, Virginia ceded its rights to the land
b) In March 1781, following
Virginia's land cessions, the case was taken up by Congress under the new Articles of
Confederation. To Virginia's surprise, the committee recommended recognition of
the Indiana claims, and the right of the company to a colony and petition for
recognition of the "State of Vandalia."
c) Virginia presented the states' right
again, this claiming under Article 9 of the Articles of Confederation,
that "no state shall be deprived of territory for the benefit of the United
States." Virginia again stymied the company's effort by gaining a postponement.
George Mason representing Virginia, declared that "the Federal Compact would
be dissolved if Virginia were stripped of lands."
d) Thus confronted with danger to the
existence of Congress, a compromise was implemented. In 1784 the Northwest
territory was created. (Ohio and the land above the Ohio river went under the
control of the national government, and Virginia was allowed to retain her West Virginia
11. Following the ratification of the Federal
Constitution, the company, through its agent, carried the case before the Supreme Court in
August 1792 in "William Graspon et al. v. Commonwealth of
Virginia-- a Bill in Equity"
a) Virginia Attorney General
refused to appear before the Court and the Virginia Assembly denied the Court's
jurisdiction. In accordance with a states' rights agenda.
b) Virginia and Georgia allied to get the 11th
Amendment passed -- no person can sue a state without permission. With the
ratification of the amendment, the Grasp on case was dismissed, ending the Indiana
The new state of Vandalia idea
became dormant only to resurface years later in new clothes as the State of West