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


ANNALS
OF
Augusta County, Virginia.
_____
CHAPTER I.

_____

FROM THE FIRST SETTLEMENT TO FOUNDATION OF THE COUNTY.

 

As far as known, the county now embraced in Augusta county, was never entered by white men until the year 1716. Six years earlier, however, some portion of the Valley of Virginia had been seen from the top of the Blue Ridge by Europeans. Governor Spotswood, writing to the Council of Trade, London, December 15, 1710, says that a company of adventurers found the mountains “not above a hundred miles from our upper inhabitants, and went up to the top of the highest mountain with their horses, tho’ they had hitherto been thought to be unpassable, and they assured me that ye descent on the other side seemed to be as easy as that they had passed on this, and that they could have passed over the whole ledge (which is not large), if the season of the year had not been too far advanced before they set out on that expedition.”—[Spotwood Letters, Vol. I, page 40.] It would seem that the adventurers referred to looked into the Valley from the mountain in the neighborhood of Balcony Falls, but no description of the country seen by them is given.

This portion of the Valley was then entirely uninhabited. The Shawnee Indians had a settlement in the lower Valley, at or near Winchester, and parties of that tribe frequently traversed this section on hunting excursions, or on warlike expeditions against Southern tribes; but there was no Indian village or wigwam within the present limits of the county. At an early day, Indians, or people of some other race, had doubtless resided here, as would appear from several ancient mounds, or burial places, still existing in the county.


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