The First Whites on the Upper Potomac
by Corinne Hanna Diller
[transcribed from Western Maryland Genealogy, 16 (2000): 146-64. Again I have put all of the footnote citations inline under icons. The Mayo map shown in the narrative is a good copy of the Winslow map discussed below.]
One of the "rules" of genealogy is that you should always try to verify a piece of information from other sources. In 1736 Benjamin Winslow surveyed and drew a map of the upper Potomac River, above the Shenandoah River. As early maps go, this one is very good. This map has been widely-accepted, but there may be problems with it.
It is not enough to know who are ancestors were, or what they did - we also need to know why. In many cases, the "why" determines the what and where. Therefore, it is important to look at how people interacted.
First, a look at the 1736 map, and what has been published about it Mapping of the Potomac discussed in: Carl N. Everstine, "Potomac River & Maryland's Boundaries", Maryland Historical Magazine, (Summer, 1985) 80: 355-370; Farifax Harrison, "The Northern Neck Maps 1737 - 1747", William & Mary Quarterly, 2nd series, (Jan, 1924) 4: 1-15; James W. Foster, "Potomac River & Maryland's Boundaries", William & Mary Quarterly, 2nd series (1938) 18: 149 - 157, 406-18. Winslow's 1736 map (with names) is a foldout preceding page 149. There is no discussion of residents in this article. Also see Charles A. Hanna, The Wilderness Trail, (2 Volumes, orig. pub. 1911, only 1000 printed), 157; Mayo's 1737 map of Northern Neck; and line drawing of Winslow map reproduced in Western Maryland Genealogy 2: 86-7. Winslow had titled it: "A Plan of the upper Part of Patomack River called Cohongorooto Surveyed in the Year 1736." He shows men living on the Maryland side (going upstream, beginning above Antietam Creek):
Spurgeon, William Shepherd, William Chaplin, Jr. York, Henry Roan, Will. Moore, George Moore, Charles Friend, Jr. Jack, Saml. Owen, Tho. Florry, Ja. Cole, Ja. Matson (Licking Creek), then at Little Tonoloway creek: Cha. Poke, Capt. John, Thos. Hargess, Thos. Wiggon, and opposite the Wappocomiccio (South Branch): John Nicholas, Cha. Anderson. And men on the Virginia side (going upstream, beginning near the Shenandoah): Bernd Petterson, Israel Friend, Samuel Taylor, Spurgeon, William Chaplin, Richard Paulson, Jo,. Williams, Jno. Williams Ferry (above Opeckon River), Major Brooke, Robert Lusey (?), Newkirk, John Hood, Capt. Freeland, Thomas Cherry. (ending before Licking Creek, present Indian Springs, Maryland.)
The Cohongoruta River was the Potomac above the Great Falls. The word means River of Swans. It soon fell out of usage, and all of the river became known as the Potomac, even what we call the South Branch, which was originally the Wappatomaka.
According to the Winslow map, there were seventeen men on the north side of the river, and thirteen men on the south (Virginia) side. A few men were on both sides, but it is a total of twenty-nine men. One of the first things that I noticed was that my ancestor was missing in Maryland, even though he had a deed in 1727. As I dug deeper into records, I discovered others missing. There is a story about why my ancestor was not included, and I imagine there is a reason why the others were "ignored", too.
I have not researched the people on the Virginia side of the river as thoroughly as those on the Maryland side, since my primary interest was in Maryland. In only a few of the cases have I done a complete genealogy (Friend, Michel), but I have tried to do enough research to see who was where and when. A few men's names appeared once on records, and that was all. It was common for men to be on both sides of the river. As far as I can tell, all the following men were on or near the Potomac River by about 1735. Note that many appear on a tax list, or as witnesses, but do not patent land till a few years after they first show up in the area. The following men are probably not the only ones to trade and/or settle on the upper Potomac before the Winslow map of 1736. This does show that there were people there that his map does not acknowledge.
It would be desirable to go into depth about the Shawnee, and other tribes, of this time and place. However, that is beyond the scope of this article. Quotations from earlier histories are also not being used, as they tend to copy each other, and it is the purpose of this article to make the findings from new primary source materials available.
A Few Early Traders
Possibly the first Europeans to spend time on the upper Potomac River (above Shenandoah) were Frans Louis Michel and Martin Chartier C. E. Schildknecht, Monocacy & Catoctin: Some Early Settlers of Frederick and Carroll Counties, Maryland, and Adams County, Pennsylvania, Also Descendants, ca. 1725 - 1985, 3 volumes (Beidel Printing House, author, 1985) I: 46-7, 50, along with Peter Bezallion, James LeTort, "a boy from Philadelphia", Frank from Canada, and a Frenchman from Virginia. In 1708 they had been living two years in a cabin near the mouth of Conococheague Creek Virginia Magazine of History & Biography 29: 3 - 4; Pennsylvania Archives, 1st series, 2: 240, gives the same list of traders, and adds that only Bezalion was licensed to trade. This was forbidden by treaty at this time, and the Natives protested. The government made the white men leave. There was a great deal of mistrust of the French at this time, long before the French & Indian War. Sources differ on whether the cabin was at Conococheague creek C. E. Schildknecht, Monocacy & Catoctin: Some Early Settlers of Frederick and Carroll Counties, Maryland, and Adams County, Pennsylvania, Also Descendants, ca. 1725 - 1985, 3 volumes (Beidel Printing House, author, 1985), I, 50; Charles A. Hanna, The Wilderness Trail (1911), 1: 170-1 says Conecocheague; Virginia Magazine of History & Biography, 29: 3-4 says Harper's Ferry, or at present Harper's Ferry.
Frans Louis Michel was a well-known Swiss cartographer, who had come to the colonies looking for a site for a proposed Swiss settlement. He was associated with Christopher de Graffenreid Virginia Magazine of History & Biography, (1916) 24: 1-43, 113-41, 275-303 (journal 1701 - 02); Letters and maps, (1921) 29: 1-17, 180-90, 287-91; Pa. Archives, 1st series, 2: 420 - 421. He carried trade goods, and sold them to the natives. During his 1701 - 1702 trip, he kept a detailed journal. Later trips are described in letters. His sons later came to Frederick Co. and used the surname Michael. Michel's colony was set up in North Carolina, where they slaughtered the Tuscarawa. Remnants of that tribe fled, and lived at the mouth of the Monocacy River 1712 - 1725, before moving north to join the Iroquois League C. E. Schildknecht, Monocacy & Catoctin: Some Early Settlers of Frederick and Carroll Counties, Maryland, and Adams County, Pennsylvania, Also Descendants, ca. 1725 - 1985, 3 volumes (Beidel Printing House, author, 1985), I: 27; Through Indian Eyes (Reader's Digest, 1995),59; Peck Everts & Richards, History of Susquehanna & Juniata Valleys, (1886), 34-45.
Martin Chartier was a trader who traveled extensively. By 1692 he was at the head of Chesapeake Bay, with a band of Shawnee he'd brought with him. De Graffenried places him at the mouth of the Monocacy 1708 - 1712 Virginia Magazine of History & Biography, 24: 302f, and 29: 3-4. He died about 1718 in Pennsylvania, but his son Pierre (Peter) Chartier, was even more well-known. Both father and son had married Shawnee women Charles A. Hanna, The Wilderness Trail, 1: 17, 43, 126-37, 170-72, 190; 2: 328. They are also mentioned often in the Pennsylvania Provincial Council records, and Archives of Maryland. Peter Bezallion had been licensed as a trader in 1704. He had been active as early as 1696 when he was accused of "secret correspondence with French Canadians". He was quite active as a trader in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania in 1701 Louis Michel & Peter Basailion were engaged in "dangerous traffic with Indians", and were to be restrained from inhabiting with Indians Charles A. Hanna, The Wilderness Trai, 2: 327; 1: 165, 1: 169.
During the 1720's a number of men were licensed in Pennsylvania as Indian traders Gary T. Hawbaker, Lancaster Co. Quarter Session Abstracts 1729 - 1742, Book 1 (1986), 3, 8. Among them were James Pattison, Edmond Cartlidge, Peter Chartiere, Thomas Perrin, and James LeTort, who are known to have spent at least part of their time in western Maryland. In The Wilderness Trail Hanna discusses the Indian trade in Pennsylvania at great length. One point he makes is that in Pennsylvania the trade was sponsored by companies. In Maryland it was carried out by individuals. While trade along the Chesapeake has been studied, little has been researched about trade on the upper Potomac before white settlers came. Hanna did us a great service with his tome about early Pennsylvania, and Cecil O'Dell has likewise blessed us with his work on the Virginia side of the Potomac Cecil O'Dell, Pioneers of Old Frederick County, Virginia, (Marceline, Mo.: Walsworth Publishing Co., 1995). Western Maryland deserves more research.
Andrew Friend (alias Nils, Neils) was a trader as early as 1712, as evidenced by a lawsuit Cecil County, Maryland Judgments, Book E, 204. Andrew Friend and his partner Charles Mounts Anderson (also a Swedish trader) brought suit against Anne LeTort (widow of Jacques, mother of James) as executrix of Nicholas Godin (another trader) Nicholas Godin had been licensed as trader in 1704. Charles A. Hanna, The Wilderness Trail, 2: 333. Andrew (Neils) Friend was a Swede who had been raised near Chester, Pennsylvania Peter S. Craig, The Family of Nils Larsson Friend/Frande, (1988); Peter S. Craig, The 1693 Census of the Swedes on the Delaware (Winter Park, Fla., SAG Publications, 1993); Peter S. Craig, "The Odyssey of Andrew Friend's Swedish Bible," Swedish American Genealogist, (March, 1996) 16: 1-12 and (June, 1999) 19: 113-24; Swedish Colonial News, (Swedish Colonial Society, Philadelphia) Fall, 1997. By 1710 he was living in Cecil Co., Md., and by the 1730's he had moved permanently to present Williamsport, Md., on the Potomac, with his younger son.
On 24 October 1720, in the Upper House of Assembly of Maryland, is recorded: "the Shaw-wan Indians have carried away three Negro slaves belonging to the petitioner; the Indians have been told by Andrew Neal [Friend], and other traders that they would be given a reward for returning the slaves..." Calendar of Maryland State Papers, No. 1 the Black Books, (Annapolis, Hall of Records Commission publications, 1943), 27. Runaway slaves had been a problem for sometime in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. If they could make their way to the Shawnee settlements in the interior, they would find safe haven. The Assemblymen tried various means to convince the Natives to return their "property" but were never successful.
A 1721 map of the area mentions a "trader's cabin" at the southeast confluence of Conococheague creek and the Potomac William B. Marye, "Potowmeck Above Ye inhabitants", Maryland Historical Magazine, (March & June, 1935), 30: 1-11, 114-37, "Calvert Papers", Number 1, Peabody Publ. Fund, #28 (1889), 55-6. Letters written by Lloyd in 1722 mention "meeting with Susquehanock... who being beat out of their fort upon the head of Potowmack...the Showans who are a Considerable nation of the Southward Indians; and have a Large Town at the Dividing of the Main Branches of Potowmack, as you will see upon my mapp..." states that no settlers will go beyond Monocacy. This map, drawn by Philemon Lloyd (1672 - 1732), gives few details, and no residents. It was his opinion that no one would ever find a reason to settle any further west than the Monocacy River. Is it possible that this is the same cabin protested by the Natives in 1708? Had it been maintained by the traders that continued to pass through?
On 10 January 1727 a deed was made out for the first tract of land on the upper Potomac The 1727 deed was recorded on November 27, 1730 in the Prince George County, Maryland courthouse, at the request of Dr. Charles Carroll, in Liber Q, page 169. I have photocopies of the "signatures" (pictographs) of the chiefs who signed the deed provided by the Friend Family Assn., of Friendsville, Md. See also, Maryland Historical Magazine 30: 8-9, and 47: 316; MGSB 30: 243. Though the bounds of the deed are vague, descendants claimed it covered 72 square miles. This deed is also recorded in the Clay Co., W. Va. deed book 1, page 1. Arthur Friend tells me that his father was the first clerk of Clay Co., and recorded this deed as his first act, simply because he had a copy of it. It reads: "from Cunnawehala, Taw-wenaw, Capt. Sivilite, toile Hangee, Show Hays, Callakahahatt, Kings of the Five Nations, for love, to brother Israel Friend, land on Potomac River and Antietam Creek, being 200 shoots of an arrow, then 100 shoots up the creek...witnesses, Humbernton Lyon, Gile Margalith." (between Antietam and Conococheague Creeks, now Washington Co., Md.)
The Susquehannock chief known as Captain Civility is found mentioned often in Pennsylvania and Maryland records between 1700 and 1736. He seems to have served as an interpreter for several tribes in their dealings with the whites. "Captain Civility" was a name given him by the whites, but they also sometimes recorded his true name, Tagotolessa. In January 1731/2, his letter is recorded in the Maryland Assembly records. "I Captain Civility make bold with these few lines, for I certainly did hear as their Intention to take the land from Us if possible...above Andahetem (Antietam) and I heartily desire you not to do it...for we are very much disturbed and I would have you not to press to much upon Us for We haven given no body of Land yet but Israel Friend at the mouth of Andahetem..." marks of Captain Civility and Toyl Hangue Archives of Maryland, Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1732 - 1753, (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1908) 28: 10 - 11. Several histories quote this letter, ending the excerpt with: "we have given no body of land yet". Ending it that way implies the 1727 deed didn't exist. Perhaps earlier authors didn't want to deal with the 1727 deed [ed.: from the Kings of the Five Nations - not the provincial government] since they couldn't figure out what happened to the land, so they ignored it. For more about Captain Civility, see: Charles A. Hanna, The Wilderness Trail, 1: 80-1, 156; Minutes of Provincial Council of Pennsylvania 3: 36-40, 73, 96-9, 172-5, 287, 328; Pennsylvania Archives, 1st series, 1: 240 - 241, 271 - 272. This establishes that there were no other permanent settlers on the upper Potomac before this date. Given that more than two dozen men were living there by 1736, we can assume that Civility's plea was ignored.
Most of the chiefs in the 1727 deed can be identified. All except Cunnawehala are mentioned various times in the Maryland Assembly records, and the Pennsylvania Colonial Assembly records. The deed calls them "Kings of Five Nations" which seems to refer to the Iroquois League, who had dominion over the tribes of this region. The actual chiefs, though, were Susquehannocks, from Conestoga, Pa The Shawnee had come to Md./Pa. in 1692, establishing villages next to the Susquehannocks in Pa. in 1697 the Shawnee agreed to submit themselves and pay tribute to their neighbors. Archives of Maryland, Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly of Maryland, September 1693 - June 1697, (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1899) 19: 520.
Despite the 1732 plea to prevent settlement further west, that year marked the beginning of white migration into the upper Potomac area. The first tax record I found that covered Maryland this far west was in 1733. It has The Black Book, 42. Also listed is Humberston Lyon, one of the witnesses of the 1727 deed. Indisputable is the presence of Edmund Cartledge, and his son-in-law Charles Polk, at the mouth of Little Tonoloway Creek on the Potomac in 1733 and later a total of 103 names, including the following who can be shown to be living on the upper Potomac: Edmund Cartledge, Thomas Cherry, Charles Friend, Thomas Hargys, Jerom. Jacks, Capt. John, James Matson, John Moore, William Moore, George Moore, John Nicholls, Edward Nicholls, Richard Polson, William Sheppard Jr., Mr. Spriggs, William Spurgeon John G. Kester, "Charles Polke: Indian Trader of the Potomac, 1703 - 1753", Maryland Historical Magazine, 90: 447-65. George Washington's journal also mentions the Polk cabin as a very "dirty" place in 1747/8. (Washington Journal 1747/8, p. 30) Maryland Historical Magazine 9: 21. Journal of Brother Gottschalk describes Polk's "disorderly" trading post/cabin in Virginia Magazine of History & Biography, 12: 65, 79 (Moravian Diaries). Edmund Cartledge, and his brother John, had murdered a Seneca man on the Monocacy River in 1721, which is covered extensively in the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania; featured prominently is Captain Civility, of the 1727 deed. Cartledge is mentioned in most histories because of his notoriety. They carried on trade with the Natives at this location. The 1736 map by Winslow shows four houses there, including Capt. John, Thos. Hargess, and Thos. Wiggon. A Thomas Hargiss had a survey October 23, 1739 of 225 acres called Darling's Delight www.rootsweb.com/~mdwashin/plats/platmap.html "Washington Co., Md., Plat Maps". This site says that the dates given are for patents, but comparing with other records indicates the dates they give are for surveys. Thomas Hargest had a patent dated August 27, 1743 for 140 acres in Prince George County called Darling's Delight. The same tract was resurveyed June 28, 1748 as 225 acres for Thomas Hargriss Peter Wilson Coldham, Settlers of Maryland, 1731 - 1750 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996), 101; Maryland & Delaware Genealogist, 2: 58; Washington Co., Md., patents.
The frontier was a rough place. A letter written by the Shawnee dated May 1, 1734, to the Pennsylvania Governor, complains that Charles Polk is "pernicious" and complains about a list of traders who have abused and quarreled with them Charles A. Hanna, The Wilderness Trail I: 309. They say they "only desire James LeTort, James Patterson, Ed. Cartlidge, and Peter Chartier who we reckon one of us", and ask that rum be limited.
Charles Anderson was one of the men sent to speak to the Shawnee on the upper Potomac in 1722 about runaway slaves. He had a trading post at the mouth of the Monocacy in 1725, when he and John Powell were sent to speak to the Shawnee again. His brother, Christopher Mounts alias Anderson, had been an Interpreter to the Shavanolls (Shawnee) tribe as early as 1700 Archives of Maryland, Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1698 - 1731 (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society), 25: 394-5, 442-4, 450-1, 104-6; see also 24: 24, 72, 77, 107. Joseph Mounts was the son of Charles Anderson Swedish American Genealogist, 16: 81-2; Cecil O'Dell, Pioneers of Old Frederick County, Virginia (Marceline, Mo.: Walsworth Publishing Co., 1995), 42, 43, 500-1. Charles Anderson is on the Winslow map at the site of Opessa's Town/Old Town Maryland Historical Magazine, 34: 325-33.
Though Thomas Cresap is widely-reported to be the first white settler at Old Town (the Shawnee Opessa's Town) in 1741 on the Potomac, opposite the mouth of the South Branch, it appears that he was the third white there. Charles Anderson lived there as early as 1736, as documented in the article cited in this footnote. O'Dell says that in 1734, Richard Paulson, Charles Anderson, Josiah Jones, and Joseph Mounts jointly patented land adjoining Shepherd's Island, on the Virginia side of the Potomac. (Surveyed by Robert Brooke.) When I looked up the original patents on microfilm, however, I did not find Charles Anderson listed as part of that partnership October 3, 1734 recorded patent for Orange Co., Va., to Josiah Jones, 164 acres, begin at ash tree on south side of Cohongoluta River, granted 12 June 1734, recorded 3 October 1734, on west of Shanando River (though not ON that river) part of 40,000 acres purchased by Josh Hite from Isaac & John Vanmeter; (Va. Land Patent Book 15, p. 326). And October 3, 1734 recorded patent for Orange Co., Va., to Richard Paulson, Josiah Jones, Joseph Mounts, 834 acres, begin at a walnut on south side of Cohongoluta River, then south to said Jones Mill Branch, white oak against Island a little below the Ford, granted 12 June 1734, recorded 3 October 1734, on west of Shanando River (though not ON that river) part of 40,000 acres purchased by Jost Hite from Isaac & John Vanmater; (Va. Land Patent Book 15: 339).
In July 1734 there was a petition signed by 40 men styled "Inhabitants of the Great Marsh where Edmund Cartledge lives declare intentions to get grants from Pa. Government of Conococheegoe and Andiatom Creeks." Pa. Archives, 3rd Series, 1: 39 These men were not sure if they were in Maryland or Pennsylvania, and petitioned in Pennsylvania for warrants just to be on the safe side. Among the signers were: Edmund Cartledge Junr., Thomas Cherry, Charles Friend, John Nicholas, Edward Nicholas (brothers), Thomas Owen, Samuel Owen, William Sheppard Jr., William Sheppard Jr. (twice), Mr. Spriggs, James Spurgeon, William Spurgeon, John Williams, James Williams.
List also includes Humbelston Lyon. In August 1734 there is a list of "those in Monoccosea Hundred who had no tobacco burnt" Prince George Co., Md., Court, Volume V, 98, cited in Grace Tracey & John Dern, Pioneers of Old Monocacy, 368-9. This list shows people already engaged in agriculture in this area, and includes the names of Thomas Cherry, John & Will. Moore, William Senr. and William Junr. Shepherd; Sprigg's quarter, Capt. Ed., two slaves; James & William Spurgin, Isaac Vanmater, Joseph Williams.
In 1735/6 in Orange Co., Va., a petition was circulated for a Presbyterian Church, including: Tunas Newkirk, Davene Newkirk, Thos. Cherry, William Sheppard, and 22 others. Newkirk, Cherry, and Shephard can be shown to be Potomac residents William Brockman, Orange County, Virginia, Families. Volume 3: 8. List also includes Robert Turner, probably living on Antietam Creek, a brother-in-law of Israel Friend. In his book, O'Dell has done an excellent job of mapping out specific tracts. According to him, the following had land on the Virginia side of the Potomac by 1736 Patent lists: Cecil O'Dell, Pioneers of Old Frederick County, Virginia, (Marceline, Mo.: Walsworth Publishing Co., 1995), 30, 60, 95, 554, 555:
- Tract 123, (just above Harper's Ferry), Israel & Sarah Friend, 3 October 1734, 300 acres.
- Tract 15, (opposite mouth of Antietam), Samuel Taylor, 3 April 1734, 250 acres.
- Tract 16, Isaac Garrison, 4 April 1734, 200 acres.
- Tract 21, Thomas Shepherd, 11 April 1734, 222 acres.
- Tract 29, (between Shepherdstown and Opequon), Charles Anderson, Josiah Jones & Joseph Mount (partners), 30 May 1734, for 834 acres.
- Tract 28, Josiah Jones, 28 May 1734, 164 acres.
- Tract 78, C. & Elizabeth Cokerine, 12 November 1735, 172 acres.
- Tract 44, Robert Luna, 12 November 1735, 294 acres (Looney/Lusey).
- Tract 45, James & Abagail Brown, 12 November 1735, 121 acres.
- Tract 152, (just below Williamsport), to John Vanmeter, 3 October 1734, for 1785 acres; to Robert Brooke, 9 February 1735, 657 acres; and to John Browning 6 November 1736, 1200 acres.
- Tract 43, (above Williamsport), to Robert Luna, 18 December 1734, for 294 acres.
- Tract 52, to George Boon, 27 December 1734, 1020 acres, and to Thomas & Mary Curtis, 30 December 1734, 418 acres.
- Tract 53, John & Rachel Hood, 31 December 1734, 1175 acres.
- Tract 36, (at Cherry Run), to Luke Emlen, 28 October 1734, for 125 acres, and then to Thomas Sr. and Rachel Cherry, 25 October 1737, 125 acres Emlen: Virginia Patent Book 16, p. 353, patented November 12, 1735. Also, Orange Co., Va., Deed Book 2, 25, sold October 25, 1737.
This list shows several names not on Winslow's 1736 map. Note that Thomas Cherry was on the map, but according to the above, the land was not his till the year after.
I did not look up all the patents listed above, but a brief foray into the microfilm was interesting. A series of patents for Orange Co., Va. were recorded together, all with the same "boilerplate" language (except recipient and description of tract), all granted 12 June 1734, recorded 3 October 1734, on west of Shanando River (though not ON that river) part of 40,000 acres purchased by Jost Hite from Isaac & John Vanmeter Virginia Land Patent Book 15, 306 - 339. (microfilm, Clayton Library, Houston, TX.) Also patentees, Oct 3, 1734, in Josiah L. Dickson, Fairfax Proprietary (1959), p. lv. Among that group of patents, of interest to us, we find Thomas Shepherd, described as 222 acres, beginning at white oak marked TS on Hill on south side of Cohongoluta and on east side of a branch called the Falling Sprig, below a falls in the said river Virginia Land Patent Book 15, Shepherd, 306. Samuel Taylor's 200 acres was on south side of Cohongoluta River. Taylor had a second parcel, 125 acres "across the Waggon Road." Virginia Land Patent Book 15, Taylor, 308, 311. John Walton had 442 acres on Falling Spring Run. Israel Friend's 300 acres is described as on the south side of Cohongoluta River. The best description is for Isaac Garrison's 200 acres beginning at a walnut tree on south side of Cohongoluta River, upper end of Island bearing from there south east; adjoining William Shepherd's plantation, 20 poles above old wagon road, to a hickory in Samuel Taylor's line Virginia Land Patent Book 15, Walton, 315; Friend, 316; Garrison, 335-6. A more thorough search of Virginia patents would probably reveal others along the Potomac before 1736. Maryland land records were easier for me to search, and that is why I have found more of them.
Looking at some individuals there are other names that show up along the Potomac before 1736. John Shepherd is claimed to have ben there as early as 1717 Danske Dandridge, Historic Shepherdstown (1910), 24. He had a brother Thomas, sons Thomas and William; and John died in 1765. I have not found any back-up documentation of the presence of the Shepherd family on the upper Potomac before 1733. Thomas Shepherd had 222 acres surveyed (by Robert Brooke) on Falling Spring Branch (Town Run) on the south west side of the Potomac in April 1734. He is not on the Winslow map Cecil O'Dell, Pioneers of Old Frederick County, Virginia (Marceline, Mo.: Walsworth Publishing Co., 1995), tract 21, map 1, pages 30 & 554.
William Chaplin is found on both sides of the river. William Sr. was born 1690, died 1745, and had sons William Jr. (b. 1709) and Joseph (1710 - 1769). William had purchased land in Prince George Co., Md., in 1721, which he sold in 1739 Cecil O'Dell, Pioneers of Old Frederick County, Virginia (Marceline, Mo.: Walsworth Publishing Co., 1995), 39-40. In 1736 O'Dell says that his house was on William Garrison's patent adjacent the wagon road crossing, upstream from Antietam Creek. Garrison is another name not found on Winslow's map.
Mr. Spriggs was taxed in 1733 in Monocacy Hundred. In 1734 Richard Spriggs obtained a land warrant for 724 acres called "Piles Delight". (not on 1736 map) The survey dated 13 April 1734 says it is near Israel Friend's mill road, where is crosses Catoctin Mountain Survey discussed in Maryland Historical Magazine 15: 383. He had other patents in 1735 and 1736 Peter Wilson Coldham, Settlers of Maryland, 1731 - 1750 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996), 1731 - 1750, 211: Oct. 6, 1735, Pile Hall, 366 ac., Oct. 17, 1735, Three Partners, 75 ac., Aug. 14, 1736, Pile Grove, 560 ac., Dec 17, 1742, Piles Delight, 724 ac. The argument could be made that perhaps the land did not lie along the river, but was inland. However, on 19 December 1750 is found an advertisement for sale of tracts formerly belonging to Richard Sprigg, described as "Piles Delight" 500 acres on Potowmack River, 3 miles above mouth of Antietam Creek, and "Piles Hall", 300 acres near Israel Friend's Mill Road and near where Road crosses Ketawkin Hill, by widow Rachel R. Lee Van Horn, Out of the Past, Prince Georgeans and their Land, (Pr. Geo. Co. Hist. Soc., 1976), 91. "Piles Hall" is described again on March 19, 1767, when Joseph Sprigg sells part of it, "beginning at bounded white oak near Israel Friend's Mill Road, where said road crosses a hill called Kittocton..." Frederick County, Maryland, Deeds, K: 1086-88. Why tracts of this size were overlooked by Winslow has not been answered.
George Moore, had a survey dated July 1,1734 in Md., for 84 acres called "Snowden's Friendship" www,rootsweb.com/~mdwashin/plats/platmap.html "Washington Co., Md., Plat Maps". Survey. It was patented on May 23, 1739 Peter Wilson Coldham, Settlers of Maryland, 1731 - 1750, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996), 157. Samuel Chew Jr., had a survey in 1734, in Md., for 5000 acres called "Chew's Farm". The patent was dated June 23, 1736 www,rootsweb.com/~mdwashin/plats/platmap.html for Survey; Peter Wilson Coldham, Settlers of Maryland, 1731 - 1750, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996), Vol. 3, 40 for Samuel Chew Jr. of Queen Anne Co., Md. According to the map I studied, this is on the Potomac about halfway between Antietam and Conococheague. This is another large tract "overlooked" by Winslow. In 1753 Samuel Chew's heirs are taxed on a tract designated "No Name" of 5000 acres Frederick Co., Md., debt books, 1753, 23, on Maryland State Archives film #SR 7994.
Samuel Taylor Cecil O'Dell, Pioneers of Old Frederick County, Virginia, (Marceline, Mo.: Walsworth Publishing Co., 1995), 118-20 is marked on the 1736 map. There are a number of persons that mention his ferry, at the mouth of Antietam Creek, which hauled ore to Israel Friend's enterprise on Antietam. His ferry is not on the map. Winslow's map does not show industry on Antietam, leading to the "assumption" that it had ceased operation - hence the ferry would have been there before that date if it served the Antietam furnace. The ferry was operating in 1730, when an August survey for John Moore says "begins at a bounded hickory near Samuel Taylor's ferry by the side of Potomac." Maryland Historical Magazine, 15: 384 A much later mention of his ferry is in 1765 when John Semple makes an agreement with his partners to supply 300 tons of pig iron annually to the forge at Antietam (Md.), to be smelted at Keep Triste Furnace (Va.), to be delivered below Vandever's falls, above Taylor's ferry at lower end of Island opposite mouth of Antietam...Frederick Co., Md., Deed Book J, 811-15. Note that "Keep Tryst" is what Israel Friend named is Va. tract
A question arises about what Israel Friend built at Antietam, and why he abandoned it (if he did). Surveys and deeds in the 1730's and onward mention Taylor's Ferry, Friend's Mill, the Mill Road, and his iron ore enterprise. According to "official" records, the land along the Potomac at Antietam was vacant till at least 1739. In that year John Moore surveyed 300 acres he called "Antietam Bottom", beginning at a bounded hickory near Samuel Taylor's ferry by the side of Potomac Maryland Historical Magazine 15: 384. Patent 1740: Peter Wilson Coldham, Settlers of Maryland, 1731 - 1750, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996), 157. He sold most of it in 1742, in five 50-acre lots, including one to Israel Friend, which he soon re-sold to John House Prince George Co. deeds, Y: 305 & BB: 195. Western Maryland Genealogy 8: 56. In 1747 John House patented 25 acres called "Mill Place" described as at "Antyeaten" Creek, 1 1/4 mile above said creek, on west side thereof, held of Calverton or Conegechoog Manor Peter Wilson Coldham, Settlers of Maryland, 1731 - 1750 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996), Vol. 3, 116. Ardis P. Rasperger, The House Family & Some of Its Branches (1990), 9-10.
Note the descriptions of the Sprigg land, above, referring to Israel Friend's Mill road in 1734, 1750 and 1757. It continued to be referred to as a landmark, implying it continued operation. I believe there were activities on the land not reflected in the records -- first ignored by Winslow, then by subsequent surveyors. Had the government acknowledged a mill on the land, it would have constituted a right of improvement, entitling Israel Friend to patent the land. Putting Taylor's ferry on the map would have also acknowledged industry there. According to O'Dell, in 1736 William Spurgeon Sr., had a house on William Garrison's patent adjoining the wagon road crossing in Maryland Cecil O'Dell, Pioneers of Old Frederick County, Virginia (Marceline, Mo.: Walsworth Publishing Co., 1995), 33 and 123, Isaac Garrison adj. Waggon Road. I did not find any Garrison patents in Maryland. A Spurgeon deed gives further evidence of another early Virginia landowner. On May 1, 1758, in Frederick Co., Virginia, William Spurgin and wife Jane, sell to William Stroop, 200 acres on the Potomac River, described as part of 442 acres granted to John Walton by patent dated October 3, 1734, and conveyed on June 22, 1737 to William Spurgin. This was where the wagon road crossed the river, above Antietam Creek Frederick Co., Va., Deeds, Book 4, 341-3.
Major Robert Brooke was a surveyor and speculator, from a Tidewater Virginia family. He was gentleman Justice in Essex Co., Va. His land is shown on the Winslow map. In 1737 he surveyed the Potomac River from the Shenandoah down to Chesapeake Bay Cecil O'Dell, Pioneers of Old Frederick County, Virginia (Marceline, Mo.: Walsworth Publishing Co., 1995), 56, tract 152, map 1; and 30, 554. I have not found any land patents for Robert Brooke in Md.; William & Mary Quarterly, 2nd series, vol. 18: 406 - 418. Brooke dated his will in 1736, stating that he was setting out to survey the Potomac. His will mentions 657 acres on Cohongorooto River, on ye west side of Opeckon. Essex Co., Va., will book 7, 265 - 271. He is named as surveyor on many patents in the area. He died in 1744 in Essex Co., Va., and in 1746 his son Robert Brooke Jr. was one of the surveyors when yet another measurement was made of the upper Potomac, along with Winslow. Brooke is not taxed in this area of Maryland, and not found on deeds or other documents that might show that he lived there.
Deeds [from the Indian Chiefs] weren't the only thing the Maryland governor refused to recognize. In 1753 he claimed no knowledge of the Fairfax Stone erected during the 1746 survey. Thomas Cresap was sent to survey, and reported in 1754 that the South Branch was the longest Maryland Historical Magazine, 80: 364. Maryland had claimed the South Branch of the Potomac as their boundary since 1712, and did not yield claims till 1909 Virginia Magazine of History & Biography 29: 184.
John Nicholls is named at the present site of Old Town, Md., in 1736. He and his brother Edward were cousins of Israel Friend. His father was Amos Nicholas, married to Susanna Friend, a silversmith of Philadelphia, who had traded with Natives from 1695 through at least 1721 Peter S. Craig, "Descendants of Nils Larson Friend", 19-20, 37-9; Charles A. Hanna, The Wilderness Trai 1: 160, 2: 337; Archives of Maryland, 20: 339, 391, 405, 470; Archives of Maryland, 23: 98 - 99, 260 - 263, 303 - 305, 410 - 411; New Jersey Archives, 23: 125 - 126. Not all of Amos Nicholas's trading was legal, as the above sources tell. Nicholls was taxed on 80 acres called "Butter & Cheese" in Linton Hundred/Old Town Hundred, from 1753 through 1773 Frederick CO., Md., debt books, Maryland State Archives microfilm, #SR 7994 through #SR 7998.
There were apparent squatters marked on the 1736 map, who have not been found in other records of the area. Undoubtedly there were more who moved through and left no trace at all. Henry Roan (a descendant says he went to N.C.) Thomas Flory, later Flora (a descendant says he had a mill in present Morgan Co., W. V.A.) James Cole, Thomas Wiggon, Bernard Patterson. A James Patterson had been licensed as a trader in 1717 in Pennsylvania Charles A. Hanna, The Wilderness Trail 2: 1717. James Patterson of Paxtang, Pa., is referred to as trading as far south as the Potomac in 1721 C. E. Schildknecht, Monocacy & Catoctin: Some Early Settlers of Frederick and Carroll Counties, Maryland, and Adams County, Pennsylvania, Also Descendants, ca. 1725 - 1985, 3 volumes (Beidel Printing House, author, 1985), Vol. 1: 51.
Jeremiah York was on the 1736 Winslow map, however I do not find this name in records till 1751, when on June 7 he received a grant in Frederick Co., Va., for 323 acres beginning on the edge of the Potomac River. On July 4, 1753, in Frederick Co., Va., Jeremiah York Sen. (no wife) sold to William Chaplain, 320 acres on the Potomac River Virginia grants, Book G, 541. Frederick Co., Va., Deed Book 3, 90-2.
Capt. Freeland, in 1736 is on the map at mouth of Back Creek. He is given a title (though no first name); however, the Freeland name has not been found in records of the area to date. Was he another non-resident like Brooke, who was interested in speculating here, but perhaps did not follow through? Likewise "Capt. John" is on the 1736 map, but I found practically nothing to identify him.
According to the list I've compiled, land in the area that became Washington and Allegany Cos., Maryland, was taken out by patent dates at the following rate: 1734 - seven; 1736 - two; 1737 - seven; 1738 - fourteen; 1739 - eighty; 1740 - thirteen; 1741 - three; 1742 - six; 1743 - eight. Most of those who got warrants in the 1738 - 1739 rush had already been living there for four or five years. This seems to be a common pattern in this time and place. In 1754, Frederick Co., Virginia was created from Orange Co., Va. The first tax list is dated 1744. Across the river, residents had petitioned in 1739 because the sheriff of Prince George Co., Md. absented himself. Horses and other goods were being stolen, tax collection was erratic, but if a person appeared at the courthouse, he was arrested for non-payment; and it took far too long for law enforcement to respond, if at all "The Black Book", 60-1, petition by "various inhabitants of the back parts" of Prince George Co., Md., to the Governor and Assembly; signed by 88 men (further evidence of rapid population growth.) All this implies many omissions from official records. Residents of western Maryland petitioned again in 1742 to erect a new county of their own Grace Tracey & John Dern, Pioneers of Old Monocacy & Dern, 370 - 371. It was not till 1748 that Frederick County, Maryland, was created from Prince George Co. We see from the above that several men were residents along the upper Potomac, but were not included on the 1736 map drawn by Benjamin Winslow. Most were frontiersmen, trappers and traders, perhaps too independent or wayward to be given credence by being included on an official map.
The 1736 Winslow map was drawn at the behest of Lord Fairfax. He had inherited as much as five million acres in Virginia. He had no idea where his lands lay, though. The Potomac river was supposed to be one of the boundaries. Jost Heydt had moved in with his own little colony in 1732 on Opecan and Cedar Creeks, Va. -- Fairfax brought suit, but it was not settled till after the death of both men Josiah L. Dickinson, The Fairfax Proprietary (1959); Millard K. Bushong, A History of Jefferson Co., West Virginia, (1941), 11. On June 17, 1730, John Van Metre got 10,000 acres at fork of Shenandoah; sold part in 1731 to Hite. T. K. Cartmell, Shenandoah Valley Pioneers & Descendants (1963), Mabel H. Gardiner & Ann H. Gardnier, Chronicles of Old Berkeley (1938), 8; Fairfax - Hite suit settled in 1786. Winslow was a Gentleman Justice in Essex Co., Va., who died leaving a will in 1751, leaving a sizeable estate. He is also found on Orange Co., Va., tax lists, as a slave owner who did all right for himself. Did he care who was on his map, or only want to please Lord Fairfax and the authorities? Witnesses who testified later regarding the Royal Charter to Fairfax were vague about the rivers Darwin Lambert, The Undying Past of Shenandoah National Park, (1989), 37. Why would local residents be unsure of their waterways? Was there pressure to say what the Proprietor wanted?
The first recorded deed for the area was the 1727 deed from the Natives to Israel Friend. It was legally recorded, but no further evidence of his ownership can be found in Maryland records. What happened? The family legend says that by 1736 the Maryland governor was fed up and frustrated by the issue of the runaway slaves being harbored by the Shawnee. Many men had been sent with messages, and offers of rewards, to try and gain the return of the slaves. Israel Friend and his father Andrew had been among the messengers. However, no slaves were returned.
The legend says that the governor declared that Natives were not persons, and therefore could not make binding contracts. The deed was null and void, and the land was confiscated. Not too long after Winslow's map was drawn, "Concococheague Manor", of over 10,000 acres, was laid out in the name of the Proprietor, in much of the area that supposedly had been covered by the 1727 deed The Proprietor's patent, Oct 23, 1736, was recorded as 10,594 acres.
How did they get such an exact number? Surveys in the 1740's say "in Conococheague or Calverton Manor"... the land had not been previously surveyed and buyers weren't sure where they were. Apparently, neither were the surveyors. In 1736 the Maryland Governor was Samuel Ogle. He was an Englishman who had only been in the colony a couple of years, and was known to have favored the gentry. He devoted most of his time to horse racing Biographical Dictionary of the Md. Legislature, 618-9; Maryland Historical Magazine 65: 207-38, "horse racing in colonial Md." 211, picture of Gov. Ogle. Profiles of Doctor Charles Carroll of Baltimore Co., state that he was unusual among his class in promoting development of the frontier MGSB 40 (1999): 184, 216; Maryland Historical Magazine 46: 93-107; Biographical Dictionary of the Md. Legislature (1979), 193-5. Apparently the frontier was not worth the notice of those of prestige.
Circa 1736, Israel Friend moved across the river to land he owned in Virginia. He had obtained that land by a grant from the government, not from the Natives Virginia warrant October 3, 1734, to Israel Friend, 300 acres on south side of Potomac River, patent November 12, 1735; then part of Orange Co., Va., between Harper's Ferry & Antietam (later Frederick Co., then Berkeley Co., now Jefferson Co., W. Va.). Va. Land Patents, 15, 316; Deeds, Vol. III: 372. Josiah L. Dickinson, The Fairfax Proprietary (1959), Cecil O'Dell, Pioneers of Old Frederick County, Virginia (Marceline, Mo.: Walsworth Publishing Co., 1995), map 3, a three mile-long narrow strip on western/southern bank. This land is referred to in subsequent documents as "Keep Tryst". Circa 1737 he built a stone house there, which I am told still stands. He had definitely lived along Antietam creek, on the land granted in 1727. Contemporary and later records refer to "Israel Friend's Mill" on Antietam creek, to "Israel Friend's Mill Road" and to his iron ore smelting enterprise at that location. While Winslow marks his Virginia land, and even records washing done by Friend's wife in his journal On October 12, 1736, Potomac River Notebook of surveyor Benjamin Winslow, Israel Friend house 10 poles (165 feet) from river... paid Israel Friend's wife for wash, etc....Va. Historical Society Lib.; quoted by Cecil O'Dell, Pioneers of Old Frederick County, Virginia (Marceline, Mo.: Walsworth Publishing Co., 1995), 117, none of Friend's holdings on the Maryland side are marked. Winslow stayed at their house -- how could he not know about the land, furnace, mill, and ferry at Antietam Creek?
Israel Friend had lived on the upper Potomac for a long time, perhaps since the early 1720's, and by 1727 he had definitely earned the trust of the Natives. The presumption was that he (and his father before him) held great influence with the Shawnee. They were hired to carry messages encouraging the Shawnee to act against their own principles, and return the slaves. When this did not happen, the people in power in the east did not understand. Someone had to pay. Israel Friend seemed easy to target. Family legend adds another detail: by 1725 Israel Friend had married a Shawnee girl For more about Israel Friend: MGSB, (Summer 1999) 40: 411-28. Did this make him a further target of the wrath of planters who were losing slaves?
Garrison lived at the wagon crossing, the only road -- the road is on the map, but he is not. Jones had a mill nearby. Polk and Cartledge had a "disorderly" trading post at Little Tonoloway Creek. Other residents were rough frontiersmen, too. Harper's Ferry was omitted, but since Winslow's mandate was to survey above the Shenandoah, he may have thought that ferry was outside his area. We have an idea of why some people might have been omitted from the map. What's the story behind the others? Though Winslow was a member of the gentry, he had a mind of his own, too. In December of 1738, he is accused in the Virginia House of Burgess, of having "uttered several contemptuous and scandalous Speeches, reflecting upon some particular Members and this House in general..." Journals of House of Burgess, 1702 - 1740 (vol. 2) p. 365. Perhaps he would only play the politics game up to a certain point; subsequently Robert Brooke is the official surveyor of Virginia Journals of House of Burgess, 1702 - 1740 (vol. 2): 379, 404 (1740).
The upper Potomac was rugged frontier for many years. During the French & Indian war, the area saw attacks, armies marching, and settlers fleeing. Braddock's doomed army marched through on their way to massacre in Pennsylvania. All of the above is a brief overview. Records at this early date are few and spotty. This essay asks many questions -- and does not answer all of them. This does demonstrate that there is often more than meets the eye. Going beyond the obvious, and digging deeper, can pay off.