Waddell's Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, from 1726 to 1871


CHAPTER IV.

THE INDIAN WARS, ETC., FROM 1753 TO 1756.

From 1753, for more than ten years, war raged all along the frontier. We do not propose to give a history of the general war and can only briefly sketch some of the principal events which immediately concerned the people of Augusta county.

Some account of the Indian tribes most frequently in contact with the white settlers of this region is appropriate here. Withers states, in his “Border Warfare” [p. 39], that when Virginia became known to the whites, the portion of the State lying northwest of the Blue Ridge and extending to the lakes was possessed by the Massawomees. These were a powerful confederacy, rarely in unity with the tribes east of that range of mountains; but generally harassing them by frequent hostile irruptions into their country. Of their subsequent history, nothing is now known. They are supposed by some to have been the ancestors of the Six Nations.

“As settlements were extended from the sea shore,” says Withers, “the Masswomees gradually retired, and when the white population reached the Blue Ridge, the Valley between it and the Alleghany was entirely uninhabited. This delightful region of country was then only used as a hunting ground, and as a highway for belligerent parties of different nations, in their military expeditions against each other. In consequence of the almost continuous hostilities between the northern and southern Indians, these expeditions were very frequent, and tended somewhat to retard the settlement of the Valley, and render a residence in it, for some time, insecure and unpleasant. Between the Alleghany mountains and the Ohio river, within the present limits of Virginia, there were some villages interspersed, inhabited by small numbers of Indians, the most of whom retired northwest of that river as the tide of immigration rolled towards it. Some, however, remained in the interior after settlements began to be made in their vicinity.

“North of the present boundary of Virginia, and particularly near the junction of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers, and in the circumjacent country, the Indians were more numerous and their villages larger. In 1753, when General Washington visited the French posts on the Ohio, the spot which had been selected by the Ohio Company as the site for a fort, was occupied by Shingess, King


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