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he attempted to pull himself to the fissure. He had nearly succeeded, when the hook slipped, and he swung out into the middle of the ravine, pendulum-like, on a rope of perhaps 150 feet in length. Returning on his fearful vibration, he but managed to ward himself off with his pole from being dashed against the rock.

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when away he swung again. One of his companions, stationed on the opposite side of the ravine to give directions, instinctively drew back, for it appeared to him that he was slung at him across the abyss. At length the vibrations ceased. At that juncture Dotson heard something crack above his head: he looked, and saw that a strand of his bark rope had parted. Grasping, with both hands, the rope immediately above the spot, he cried out hastily,

"Pull! for sake pull!" On reaching the top he fainted. On

another occasion, the bark rope being replaced by a hempen one, he went down again and explored the cave. His only reward was the satisfaction of his curiosity. The hole extended only a few feet.


Shenandoah was established in 1772, from Frederick, under the name of Dunmore; but in October, 1777, after Lord Dunmore had taken a decided stand against the colonists, one of the delegates from the county stated, "that his constituents no longer wished to live in, or he to represent, a county bearing the name of such a tory ; he therefore moved to call it Shenandoah, after the beautiful stream which passes through it;" and it was accordingly done. It is 32 miles long, with a mean width of 15 miles. The eastern and western portions are mountainous. The central part of the county is watered by the north fork of the Shenandoah, and the soil is extremely fertile. Population in 1840, whites 10,320, slaves 1,033, free colored 265; total, 11,618.

Woodstock, the county-seat, is 150 miles Nw. of Richmond, and 32 ssvv. of Winchester, on the Staunton and Winchester macadamized turnpike, and about a mile from the N. fork of the Shenandoah. The town was established in March, 1761. It contains several mercantile stores, 1 newspaper printing-office, an academy, a masonic hall, 1 German Reformed, 1 Lutheran, and 1 Methodist church, and a population of over 1,000. New Market was established in 1784. It is situated on the main turnpike through the valley of Virginia, about 20 miles south of Woodstock, and 18 N. of Harrisonburg: it contains six mercantile stores, 1 Lutheran, 1 Baptist, and 1 Methodist church, an academy, and a population of about 700. The Massanutten Fall, a beautiful cataract of nearly 50 feet perpendicular descent, is situated on a mountain of the same name, about three miles east of this village. The north fork of the Shenandoah runs within a mile on the west of the town, and is navigable, at high water, for large boats, to the Plain Mills. Strasburg is on the main turnpike, and on the N. branch of the Shenandoah, 12 miles N. of Woodstock: it contains 1 free, 1 Presbyterian, and 1 Lutheran church, and 85 dwellings. Edin burgh, formerly called Stony Creek, is 5 miles saw. of Woodstock: it is nourishing, and contains about 30 dwellings. Stony Creek, on which it is situated, is a bold stream, containing excellent sites for manufactories.

The Orkney or Yellow Springs, are about 18 miles southwest of Woodstock. "The waters are composed of several lively springs, and are strongly chalybeate. Every thing the water passes through, or over, is beautifully lined with a bright yellow fringe or moss. The use of this water is found beneficial for the cure of several complaints. A free use of this water acts as a most powerful cathartic, as does also a small quantity of the fringe, or moss, mixed with common water.'' There is, high up on Cedar creek, an ebbing and flowing spring. It is " It's beautiful spring of clear mountain water, issuing from the western side of the Little North mountain, in a glen. It ebbs and flows twice in every twenty-four hours; and if care is not particularly taken at every flow, its current is so strong as to oversee the vessels of milk placed in the water."

This county was settled by Germans from Pennsylvania, a plain, frugal, and industrious people. Within the memory of those living, the German language was universally spoken among them, and is now, to a considerable extent. A traveller in this section during the French and Indian war, draws a glowing description of their condition. He says:

The low grounds upon the banks of the Shenandoah are very rich and fertile. They are chiefly settled by Germans, who gain a sufficient livelihood by raising stock for the troops, and sending butter down into the lower parts of the country. I could not but reflect with pleasure on the situation of these people; and think, if there is such > thing as happiness in this life, they enjoy it. Far from the bustle of the world, they live in the most delightful climate and richest soil imaginable. They are everywhere surrounded with beautiful prospects and sylvan scenes—lofty mountains, transparent streams, falls of water, rich valleys, and majestic woods; the whole interspersed with an infinite variety of flowering shrubs, constitute the landscape surrounding them. They are subject to few diseases, are generally robust, and live in perfect liberty. They are ignorant of want, and are acquainted with but few vices. Their inexperience of the elegances of life, precludes any regret that they have not the means of enjoying them; but they possess what many princes would give half their dominions for—health, content, and tranquillity of mind

The Historian of the Valley has given the particulars of several incursions of the Indians into this region, from which we select the following:

In the year 1758, a party of about fifty Indians and four Frenchmen penetrated into the Mill Creek neighborhood, about nine miles south of Woodstock, and committed some murders, and carried off forty-eight prisoners. Among them was a young lad of the name of Fisher, about thirteen years of age.

After six days' travel they reached their villages west of the Alleghany mountains, where they held a council, and determined to sacrifice their helpless prisoner, Jacob Fisher. They first ordered him to collect a quantity of dry wood. The poor little fellow shuddered, burst into tears, and told his father they intended to burn him. His father replied, " I hope not;" and advised him to obey. When he had collected a sufficient quantity of wood to answer their purpose, they cleared and smoothed a ring around a sapling, to which they tied him by one hand, then formed a trail of wood around the tree, and set it on fire. The poor boy was then compelled to run round in this ring of fire until his rope wound him up to the sapling, and then back, until he came in contact with the flame, while his infernal tormentors were drinking, singing, and dancing around him, with "horrid joy." This was continued for several hours; during which time the savage men became beastly drunk, and as they fell prostrate to the ground, the squaws would keep up the fire. With long sharp poles, prepared for the purpose, they would pierce the body of their victim whenever he flagged, until the poor and helpless boy fell, and expired with the most excruciating torments, while his father and brothers, who were also prisoners, were compelled to be witnesses of the heart-rending tragedy.

In 1766, two men by the name of Shcetz and Taylor, had taken their wives «nd children in a wagon, and were on their way to the fort at Woodstock. At the Harrow Passage, three miles south of Woodstock, five Indians attacked them. The two men were killed at the first onset, and the Indians rushed to seize the women and children. The women, instead of swooning at the sight of their bleeding, expiring husbaniUi seized their axes, and with Amazonian firmness, and strength almost superhuman, defended themselves and children. One of the Indians had succeeded in getting hold of one of Mrs Shcctz's children, and attempted to drag it out of the wagon ; but with the quickness of lightning she caught her child in one hand, and with the other made a blow at the head of the fellow, which caused him to quit his hold to save his life. Several of the Indians received pretty sore wounds in this desperate conflict, and all at last ran off, leaving the two women with their children to pursue their way to the fort.

Gen. Peter Mum-enburo was a native of Pennsylvania, and by profession a clergy man of the Lutheran order. At the breaking out of the revolution, he was a young

man about 30 years of age, and pastor of a Lutheran church at Woodstock. In 1776, he received the commission of colonel, and was requested to raise his regiment among the Germans of the valley. Having in his pulpit inculcated the principles of liberty, he found no difficulty in enlisting a regiment. He entered the pulpit with his sword and cockade, preached his farewell sermon, and the next day marched at the head of his regiment to join the'army. His regiment was the 8th Virginia, or, as it was commonly called, the German regiment. This corps behaved with honor throughout the war. They were at Brandywine, Monmouth, and Germantown, and in the southern campaigns. In 1777, Mr. Muhlenburg was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general. After the war he returned to Pennsylvania, and was appointed treasurer of that state, where he ended his days. In person, Gen. Muhlenburg was tall and well-proportioned, and in his address, remarkably courteous. He was a fine disciplinarian, an excellent officer, and esteemed and beloved by both officers and soldiers.

Human bones of extraordinary size—thigh bones three feet in length, and skeletons seven feet in length—have been discovered on Flint run, in this county, on Hawksbiil creek, Tuscarora creek, and in Hardy county. (See p. 300.) Capt. Smith's " Generall Historic,'' vol. I., p. 120, gives an account of a prodigious giant tribe of Indians, the Sasquesahanocks, whom he met with at the head of Chesapeake Bay. This relation has been rejected as incredible, and considered as on a footing with the stories of Baron Munchausen, or Sinbad the Sailor; but these evidences would seem to confirm it*


Smyth was formed in 1831, from Washington and Wythe, and named from Gen. Alexander Smyth, an officer of the late war, and a M. C. from 1817 to 1825, and 1827 to 1830. It is 30 miles long, with a mean width of 22 miles. It has three valleys; the north, south, and middle forks of the Holston running parallel with each. The mountains are lofty, the bottom lands rich and productive. There are three quarries of gypsum, of the best quality, on the N. fork of the Holston, and several other quarries on Cove creek. It is now extensively and advantageously used in agriculture. About 60,000 pounds of maple sugar are annually produced. Pop., whites 5,539, slaves 838, free colored 145; total, 6,522.

Marion, the county-seat, is a recently established village, near the centre of the county; 275 miles sw. of Richmond, 29 Ne. of Abingdon, and 26 sw. of Wytheville, on the great turnpike from Baltimore to Nashville, Tenn. It is a small, but neat town, containing 3 mercantile stores, and about 30 dwellings. The Chilhowee Sulphur Springs are on, or near the great turnpike, within 18 miles of Abingdon. The settlement called Saltville, derives its name from the justly celebrated salt-works of Preston and King, which are on the line of this and Washington counties, in a narrow plain between the Rich Valley and the north fork of the Holston. There are two wells here, and the salt manufactured from them is of an excellent quality. About 100 persons are employed at these works. The only fossil salt yet discovered in the Union, is found at this place.

* Southern Literary Messenger, Dec. 1839


Southampton was formed in 1748, from Isle of Wight. Its length is 40, mean width 15 miles. The rail-road from Portsmouth to Welden, N. C, runs across the county. It is watered by the Meherrin, Nottoway, and Blackwater Rivers. The Nottoway is navigable for vessels of 70 tons, as far as Monroe, from which place produce and lumber are shipped to Norfolk. The Blackwater is navigable for large vessels to South Quay, in Nansemond. There were in 1810, whites 5,171, slaves 6,555, free colored 1,799; total. 14,525. Jerusalem, the county-seat, is on Nottoway River, 70 miles Sse. of Richmond, and contains about 30 dwellings.

In this county are the relics of the once powerful tribe of Nottoway Indians. They have a reservation of good land, about 15 miles square, on the Nottoway River, near Jerusalem. These, with the relics of the Pamunkey* tribe at Indian Town, in King William county, are the last remains of the Indians of eastern Virginia, Col. Byrd, in 1728, thus speaks of the Nottoways in his journal:

In the morning we dispatched a runner to the Nottoway Town, to let the Indians know we intended them a visit that evening, and our honest landlord was so kind a.« to be our pilot thither, being about four miles from his house. Accordingly, in the afternoon we marched in good order to the town, where the female scouts, stationed on an eminence for that purpose, had no sooner spied us, but they gave notice of our approach to their fellow-citizens by continual whoops and cries, which could not possibly have been more dismal at the sight of their most implacable enemies. This signal assembled all their great men, who received us in a body, and conducted us into the fort. This fort was a square piece of ground, enclosed with substantial puncheons, or strong palisades, about ten feet high, and leaning a little outwards, to make a scalade more difficult. Each side of the square might be about a hundred yards long, with loop-holes at proper distances, through which they might fire upon the enemy. Within this enclosure we found bark cabins sufficient to lodge all their people, in case they should be obliged to retire thither. These cabins are no other but close arbors made of saplings, arched at the top, and covered so well with bark as to be proof against all weather. The fire is made in the middle, according to the Hibernian fashion, the smoke whereof finds no other vent but at the door, and so keeps the whole family warm, at the expense both of their eyes and complexion. The Indians have no standing furniture in their cabins but hurdles to reprise their persons upon, which they cover with mats and deer-skins. We were conducted to the best apartments in the fort, which just before had been made ready for our reception, and adorned with new mats that <vcre very sweet and clean. The young men had painted themselves in a hideous manner, not so much for ornament as terror. In that frightful equipage they entertained us with sundry war-dances, wherein they endeavored

• Since the account of the Pamunkey Indians was printed (see p. 349) we have accidentally met, in the Family Magazine for 1838, a description of an Indian ornament, accompanied by ah engraved representation. The description, signed " J. M ," and dated at Fredericksburg, here follows: *

"There is now before me a silver frontlet, obviously, I think, part of a crown. The engraving upon it is, first, the crest, a crown surmounted by a lion pissanl. The escutcheon, ns dolinCRted. field argent. Beneath this is a scroll containing the words, 'THE QUEENEJJF PAMUNKEY." Those nonde*-ript things in the dexter, chief, and sinister base quarters are lions passant, and the whole is bordered with a wreath. Just within the wreath you will see inscribed, 'charles The Second, Kino or England. Scotland, France, Ireland, And Virginia.' and within that the words, 'HO.M SOIT UVI MAL Y PENSE,' \EVIL TO HIM WHO EVIL THINKS.] The ornament was purchased of some Indians many years ago by Alexander Morson, of Falmouth, the grandfather of the present proprietor.

"You know that the Pamunkey tribe still occupies its old ground in King William county, exercising to a certain extent its own laws, an ' imparium in imprric.'"

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