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ingly hilly and broken, but the soil is of a fair quality, and on the creek and river bottoms, excellent. About 50,000 pounds of maple sugar are annually produced. Pop. in 1840, whites 6,854, slaves 85, free colored 5; total, 6,954.

Middlebourn, the county-seat, is 307 miles northwesterly from Richmond, 52 miles s. of Wheeling, near the centre of the county, on Middle Island creek. It contains 3 mercantile stores, a Methodist church, and about 50 dwellings. Sistersville, 48 miles below Wheeling, is one of the best landings on the Ohio. This town was laid out in 1814 as the county-seat; but in 1816 it was removed to Middlebourn, 9 miles east of here. It is a flourishing village, containing 4 mercantile stores and about 80 dwellings. Martinsville, at the mouth of Fishing creek, 40 miles below Wheeling, contains 1 store and about 40 dwellings. Centreville, situated on the west bank of Middle Island creek, 7 miles E. of the C. H., contains from 30 to 40 dwellings.

This county, being upon the Ohio River, has, in common with those counties situated upon this great artery, a facility in transporting its produce to market not possessed by the country further inland. The introduction of steamboats has greatly increased these facilities. In the infancy of the country every species of water-craft was employed in navigating this beautiful river; and that unique and hardy race that once spent their lives upon its waters have vanished. The graphic and lively picture given below from Flint's Recollections of the lives of the boatmen, is now a part of the history of our country:

The way of life which the boatmen lead, is in turn extremely indolent and extremely laborious; for days together requiring little or no effort, and attended with no danger, and then, on a sudden, laborious and hazardous beyond Atlantic navigation. The boats float by the dwellings of the inhabitants on beautiful spring mornings, when the verdant forests, the mild and delicious temperature of the air, the delightful azure of the sky, the fine bottom on one hand and the romantic bluff on the other, the broad and smooth stream rolling calmly down the forest and floating the boat gently onward—all combine to inspire the youthful imagination. The boatmen are dancing to the violin on the deck of their boat. They scatter their wit among the girls on the shore, who come down to the water's edge to see the pageant pass. The boat glides on until it disappears behind a 'point of wood. At this moment, perhaps, the bugle, with which all the boats are provided, strikes up its notes in the distance over the water. These scenes and these notes, echoing from the bluffs of the beautiful Ohio, have a charm for the imagination, which, although I have heard a thousand times repeated, and at all hours, is, even to me, always new and always delightful.


Warren was formed in 1836, from Frederick and Shenandoah: it is 20 miles long and 12 wide. The Shenandoah River runs through it at the base of the Blue Ridge, and receives in its passage the waters of its North Fork, which enters it from the west. There is considerable mountain land in the sw. part of the county, and the surface is generally hilly, yet there is much excellent soil. Pop. in 1840, whites 3,851, slaves 1,434, free colored 342; total, 5,627.

Front Royal, the county-seat, is 139 miles Nw. of Richmond and 20 Se. of Winchester, between the Shenandoah and the Blue Ridge, about a mile from the former. It was established in 1788, on 50 acres of land, the property of Solomon Vanmeter, James Moore, Robert Haines, William Cunningham, Peter Halley, John Smith, Allen Wiley, Original Wroe, George Chick, William Morris, and Henry Trout; was laid into lots and streets, and Thomas Allen, Robert Russell, William Headly, William Jennings, John Hickman, Thomas Hand, and Thomas Buck, appointed trustees. The town is neatly built, and is surrounded by beautiful scenery. It contains 1 Presbyterian, 1 Baptist, and 1 Episcopal church, 5 mercantile stores, and about 400 inhabitants. About 7 miles south of this village is a copper-mine, which has recently been opened. It is conducted with spirit, and promises to be valuable.

About three miles southwest of Front Royal is Allen's Cave. In beauty and magnificence it is said to equal Weyer's Cave. It extends about 1200 feet. The sparry incrustations and concretions of "Sarah's Saloon," one of its principal apartments, presents a gorgeous scene. Its innumerable cells and grottoes form a complete labyrinth.


Warwick was one of the eight original shires into which Virginia was divided in 1634: its extreme length is 20, and greatest breadth 5 miles. It occupies a portion of the narrow peninsula between York and James Rivers, the latter of which forms its southwestern boundary. Pop. in 1840, whites 604, slaves 831, free colored 21; total, 1,456.

The C. H. lies about 3 miles N. of the James, and 77 miles southeasterly from Richmond.


Washington was formed in 1776, from Fincastle county: it is 40 miles long, and 18 broad. This county occupies part of the valley between the Blue Ridge and Clinch mountains, and is watered by the North, Middle, and South Forks of Holston, which rise in Wythe and flow through this county, dividing it into three fertile valleys. Gypsum of a superior quality abounds, and over 60,000 pounds of maple sugar are annually produced. Pop. in 1840, whites 11,731, slaves 2,058, free colored 212; total, 13,001.

On the bank of the Middle Fork of Holston, about 15 miles Se.


of Abingdon, is an ebbing and flowing spring. At irregular intervals of from 3 to 4 hours, this spring, with a rushing noise, sends forth a volume of water in two or three successive waves, when it suddenly subsides until again agitated by this irregular tide.

Westerly from Abingdon, between Three Springs and the North Fork of Holston, on Abram's creek, in a narrow, gloomy ravine, bounded by a high perpendicular ledge, is a waterfall, which in one single leap descends perpendicularly 60 feet, and then falls about 40 feet more ere it reaches the bottom ; the stream is about 20 feet wide.


Emory and Henry College.

Emory and Henry College is 10 miles from Abingdon, in a beautiful and secluded situation. It was founded in 1838, under the patronage of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal church. It is yet in its infancy, but is efficiently organized, and is already exerting a salutary influence upon the cause of education in sw. Virginia. The faculty consists of a president, Rev. Charles Collins, A. M., who is the professor of moral and mental science, two other professors, and a tutor; number of pupils about 125, including those in the preparatory department. The name, Emory and Henry, was given in honor of Patrick Henry, and the Rev. Bishop Emory of the M. E. church. The post-office of the college is Glade Spring.

Abingdon, the county-spat, is 304 miles sw. of Richmond, 8 N. of the Tennessee line, 56 from Wytheville, and 130 from Knoxville, Tenn. This, by far the most considerable and flourishing town in sw. Virginia, was established by law in Oct. 1778, on 120 acres of land given for the purpose by Thomas Walker, Joseph Black, and Samuel Briggs, Esqs., and the following gentlemen were appointed trustees: Evan Shelby, William Campbell, Daniel Smith, William Edmondson, Robert Craig, and Andrew Willoughby. The town stands on an elevation; it is substantially built, with many brick buildings; the principal street is macadamized, and the town is surrounded by a fertile, flourishing, and thickly-settled agricultural



country. It contains several large mercantile stores, 2 newspaper printing offices, 1 Presbyterian, 2 Methodist, and I Swedenborgian church, a variety of mechanical and manufacturing establishments, and a population of over 1000.

In regafa1 to the early settlement of the tract of Virginia west of New River, it is said, that in 1754, six families only were residing on it—two on Back creek, in (now) Pulaski county; two on Cripple creek, in Wythe county ; one at the Town house, now in Smyth county; and Burke's family, in Burke's Garden, Tazewell county. On the breaking out of the French war, the Indians in alliance with the French made an irruption into this valley, and massacred Burke and his family. The other families, finding their situation too perilous to be maintained, returned to the eastern side of New River. The renewal of the attempt to settle this part of the country was not made until after the close of that war. A small fort, called Black's Fort, was erected when the country around Abingdon was settled, at a point about 100 yards south of that village, on the western bank of a small creek. It was one of those rude structures which the pioneers were accustomed to make for defence against the Indians, consisting of a few log cabins surrounded by a stockade, to which they always fled whenever Indian signs appeared.

Southwestern Virginia, at that day, had ceased to be the permanent residence of the aborigines, but was the thoroughfare through which those tribes inhabiting the Rockcastle hills, in the wilderness of Kentucky, passed to the old settlements of Virginia. About two and a half miles northwest of the village, an old gentleman, by the name of Cummings—familiarly known as Parson Cummings—resided. It frequently happened, during times of excitement, when the whole population had repaired to the fort, that provisions grew scarce, and it became necessary for some of the most fearless and athletic to go out to the clearings and bring in supplies. On one occasion, several started with a wagon to the clearing of Parson Cummings, and among the rest, the parson accompanied them. About half a mile from the fort, upon what is called Piper's hill, the company was surprised by a party of Indians, and one of their number killed. The others, unprepared for such a reception, took to the bushes. The parson being somewhat portly, and wearing one of those large powdered wigs deemed an essential accompaniment of the gown in those days, rendered him conspicuous, and, of course, an object of more particular pursuit Accordingly, in his precipitate retreat, he was closely followed by an active savage, with upraised tomahawk. The parson, in dodging under the undergrowth, left the aforesaid wig suspended upon a bramble, seeing which, the Indian, taking it for the person's head, made a bound or two and grasped it, but, on finding the head was not there, with a violent gesture, and all the lineaments of disappointment drawn upon his face, he threw it upon the ground, exclaiming, "d d lie .'"

and doggedly gave up the chase. The parson, in the mean time, was concealed in the bushes, within a few feet of the spot. The man who was killed was buried at a place since comprising the village burial-place, and the spot where his ashes repose, is marked with a rude, unhewn stone, with the inscription, " William Creswell, July 4, 1776."

As an evidence of the superstition even now occasionally existing among the lower class of the country, there resided, in 1838, in the hills, a few miles from Abingdon, a man by the name of Marsh, who was deemed by his neighbors not only honest and industrious, but possessed of as much intelligence as most people in the lower walks of life. This man was severely afflicted with scrofula, and imagined bis disease to be the effects of a spell, or pow-icow, practised upon him by a conjurer, or wizard, in the neighborhood, by the name of Yates. This impression taking firm hold of Marsh's mind, he was thoroughly convinced that Yates could, if he chose, remove the malady. The latter, being termed an Indian doctor, was sent for, and administered his nostrums. The patient, growing worse, determined to try another remedy, which was to take the life of Yates. To accomplish this, he sketched a rude likeness of Yates upon a tree, and shot at it repeatedly with bullets containing a portion of silver. Yates, contrary to his expectations, still survived. Marsh then determined to draw a head upon the original, and, accordingly, charged an old musket with two balls, an admixture of silver and lead, watched an opportunity, and shot his victim as he was quietly passing along the road, both balls entering the back of the neck. Yates, however, survived, and Marsh was sent to the penitentiary.

The annexed historical sketch of Washington county is abridged from the Ms. memoirs of Southwestern Virginia by Col. - John Campbell, Esq. Treasurer of the United States in the administration of President Jackson:

About one hundred years ago—viz., in 1738—the counties of Frederick arlB Augusta were formed out of Orange. These two western counties then embraced within their jurisdiction the whole colony of Virginia west of the Blue Ridge. With the exception of the few first settlers of Augusta and Frederick, it was all a howling and savage wilderness. . . . As late as the year 1756, eighteen years after Frederick and Augusta were formed into counties, the Blue Ridge was regarded, as Judge Marshall says, as the northwestern frontier of Virginia, and she found an immense difficulty in completing a single regiment to protect the inhabitants from the horrors of the scalping-knife, and the still greater horrors of being led into captivity by those who added terrors to death by the manner of inflicting it. Carlisle in Pennsylvania, Frederick in Maryland, and Winchester in Virginia, were then frontier posts.

This division of the territory west of the Blue Ridge into counties, continued for 31 years, up to the year 1769, when the county of Botetourt was formed out of Augusta. Botetourt then embraced all southwestern Virginia, south and west of Augusta. Three years afterwards—viz., in 1772—the county of Fincastle was formed out of Botetourt. The county of Fincastle then embraced all sw. Va. south and west of the Botetourt line, which was near New River. In 1776, four years afterwards, the county of Fincastle was divided into three counties, and called Kentucky, Washington, and Montgomery counties, and the name of Fincastle became extinct.

Washington county, during the whole of the revolution and up to 1786, embraced within its limits all southwestern Va., sw. of the Montgomery line. It included parts of Grayson, Wythe, and Tazewell, all of Smyth, Scott, Russell, and Lee, with its present limits.

The act establishing the county of Washington passed in October, 1776, but it was not to go into operation until January, 1777. It received its military and civil organization on the 28th of January, 1777. It is the oldest county of Washington in the U. S., being the first that was called after the father of his country. The act establishing

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