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Feb
11

Sandy Creek Expedition Burkes Garden

By
When:
February 15, 2019 @ 12:40 pm – 1:40 pm
2019-02-15T12:40:00-05:00
2019-02-15T13:40:00-05:00

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See this link on the Sandy Creek Expedition for an overview.

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The Journal

We are still following the journal kept by Capt William Preston’s journal of the Sandy Creek Expedition

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Burkes Garden

demands attention.

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It sure got the attention of this Sandy Creek Expedition.

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And it got our attention.

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See what this group

hiked up the mountain

and down into?

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What is this place?

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Compiled by Jim Moyer first in 2016, updated 2/9/2020, 2/15/2020

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TazExit

And Tues Feb 5 2020  it attracts the attention of West Virginia who invited the modern county of Tazewell  in which Burkes Garden sits  to secede Virginia and to join West Virginia.

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Trail

The modern Appalachian Trail marches on the south and east rim.

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Hitler

In 1940, Hitler was truly a Bear.

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Hanging on the wall is the skin of an adult black bear nicknamed Old Hitler. This bear was about 30 years old and weighed almost 600 lbs. when it was killed. He terrorized the livestock of Burke’s Garden, Virginia, killing hogs, cows, and sheep during the 1940s, at the same time as World War II. The residents of Burke’s Garden named him “Old Hitler” after Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, who was ruling over Europe just as Old Hitler was ruling over Burke’s Garden.

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Source

https://www.vamonde.com/posts/wildlife/4371

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How Burkes Garden Formed

6500 foot Mountain collapsed.

But now the rim is high as 3500 to 4000 feet roughly, with the basin 3200 feet.

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“Geologists get the last word, and they’ve apparently said, according to Tazewell historian and author Louise Leslie, that this bowl was once a 6,500-foot-high mountain largely composed of limestone, but with a sandstone cap. Slowly, that sandstone cap eroded, and the peak of Garden Mountain collapsed into itself. That’s the “common wisdom,” says Whitted. “And the limestone shifts all the time, so that’s a pretty believable story.””

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Source

http://www.virginialiving.com/culture/a-different-world/

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But back to Burkes Garden and the Sandy Creek Expedition

Major Andrew Lewis

was picked by Lt Gov Dinwiddie to lead this expedition.

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Colonel George Washington thought it would fail.

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And it did fail.

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Short term positive benefit?

The Virginia Regiment formed a personal connection to the Cherokee and other first nations accompanying them.

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That didn’t last long.

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Jacob Dean, front and center, can tell a story. If ever you see him, introduce yourself. I always learn something new when he speaks. There’s also something of a warm spirit, but don’t let that box him in. This is an Independent Indian. Here he is with the Virginia Regiment George Mercer Company at Fort Loudoun Winchester VA.

By 1757 the promises on presents were not kept at Fort Loudoun Winchester VA.

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By 1758, on their way back home, the Cherokee fulfilled their promise they warned at Fort Loudoun Winchester VA.

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They would take a few horses.

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As they went back home they did take horses.

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They also travelled unaccompanied by White escort.

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Then it got really bad. 

The White settlers went after them.  Retribution follows retribution, until erupts the full blown Anglo Cherokee War.

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Profanity

Even during the 1756 Sandy Creek Expedition, the Cherokee just couldn’t stand how the Whites whipped one of their own for profanity. See Feb 20, 1756 journal entry.

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And the hunting?

No game found when they hit the Clinton River Valley after leaving Burkes Garden. See journal entry Thursday 26 FEB 1756.

 

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The Journal

From Capt William Preston’s journal of the Sandy Creek Expedition –

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Tazewell County is the modern county that was once of Orange Co 1735 and then of Augusta Co 1738 as were many counties.  See changing historical country maps.  Tazewell County is to have open discussion about exiting Virginia an joining WV 

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Sunday 15 FEB 1756

James Burk (of Burke’s Garden) brot word that Robert Looney was killed nigh Alex Sawyers, and he had himself one horse shot and five taken away by the Shawnee Indians.

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Note on Robert Looney:

See 20 Feb 1756 diary entry where Lieutenant Ingles informed the expedition  5 days later of Robert Looney’s burial.

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Note – story on James Burke (bottom of page 30):

Burke moved with his family into the Garden in 1754,

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More on this sign, see link. Touch or click to Enlarge.

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Potatoes

cleared up some land, and planted a crop, including potatoes,  and in the fall of 1755 was driven out on account of fear of Indians, and left his crop of potatoes in the ground which Lewis’ men found the next spring and appropriated. 

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See the Tuesday Feb 24, 1756 entry on Captain Preston’s Journal.

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Tanned Hides

Burke had killed a large number of deer, elk and bear, and had tanned a number of the hides, which he took with him when he left in the fall of 1755. On his way out with his family he camped one night in an old hunter’s cabin near what is now Sharon Springs in the now County of Bland, Virginia.

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Indian Attack

The Indians followed him, and on their way killed two hunters in their camp. On approaching Burke’s cabin and seeing several horses, and the tanned hides rolled up in the cabin, they came to the conclusion that there were too many people for them to attack, and contented themselves with the cutting of the throat of one of Burke’s horses.

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Burke was not killed in the Garden

One of the evidences adduced that Burke had removed with his family to this Garden, and lived there in 1755, is, that no mention of him or of his family is made in the history of the destruction of the Drapers Meadows settlers by the Indians on the 8th day of July, 1755, while all the other settlers are accounted for. 

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Burke was not killed in the Garden. He was living and seen by Captain Preston and his men on the 15th day of February, 1756, when he reported to Major Lewis the killing by the Indians of a man by the name of Robert Looney near Alexander Sawyer’s.

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Another link to see on this historical marker. This is the hmdb (historical marker data base) website.

Burke never went back

Burke with his family never returned to the Garden to live, first, because the Loyal Company claimed the land and had Ingles and Patton to survey it. Second, Burke got not one foot of it, and, third; he removed South where he died.

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Descendants, relatives

Many of his descendants, among them the Snidows, of Giles County, still reside in the New River Valley, and they seem never to have heard of the story that Burke was killed in the Garden. Again Morris Griffith, the step son of Burke, who is reputed to have first seen the Garden, was captured at Vaux’s Fort in the Summer of 1756, but escaped.

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Source:

bottom of page 30, A history of middle New River settlements and contiguous territory by Johnston, David E. (David Emmons), 1845-1917  Publication date  1906, Publisher  Huntington, W. Va. : Standard Ptg. & Pub. Co.

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Link:

https://archive.org/details/historyofmiddlen00john/page/30/mode/2up

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More on James Burke.

“Ctrl F ” to find all references to Burke:

History of Tazewell county and southwest Virginia, 1748-1920 by Pendleton, William C. (William Cecil), 1847-1941  Publication date 1920 Publisher Richmond, Va., W. C. Hill printing company

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Monday 16 FEB 1756

40 Indians and 60 white men under command of Capt. Smith and Woodston marched from fort in order to range the woods about Reed Creek; they are to march to Burke’s Garden.

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Burke Garden. Bottom of Picture is North. Left Side is East.

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Tuesday 17 FEB 1756

Mr. Paul returned from the horse guard (This guard had been left to protect the crossing of New River.)

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See topo map of Burkes Garden.

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Wednesday 18 FEB 1756

Capt. Hog’s company and Major Lewis march in afternoon.

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Tazewell County. Back in 1756 it was part of August Country 1738 created out of Orange Co 1735.

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Thursday 19 FEB 1756

Left Fort Frederick (AT Dunkard’s Bottom – now Claytor Lake south of Radford VA)  at 10 o’clock: 27 loaded pack horses, got to William Sawyer’s: Camped on his barn floor.

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See Map of Fort Frederick location on Claytor Lake.

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Friday 20 FEB 1756

Switched one of the soldiers for swearing, which very much incensed the Indian chiefs then present. Advanced to Alex Sawyers, met the Indians who went out with the first division, and Lieutenant Ingles who informed us of the burial of Robt. Looney. Some of our Indians deserted…

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Note: Page 25 is this entry.

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Sat. 21 FEB 1756

Major Lewis, Capt. Pearis and the interpreter went to Col. Buchanan’s place, where they met the Indians who had deserted us, and induced them to return, which they did…

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Sunday 22 FEB 1756

Marched to John McFarland’s.  

See location on map.

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John McFarland

(1): born 1706-1708 in Ireland.  Married ca. 1728 in Lancaster Co. Penn. to Mary Montgomery (by tradition, no record known). Mary was born in 1712, daughter of John Montgomery (tradition).They moved to Virginia around 1747 to Augusta County to land on Reed Creek which is now near present-day Wytheville.  Grandson’s historical sign in Tennessee mentions this John McFarland patriarch

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Source:

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM55K8_Colonel_Robert_McFarland_1b_65

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Monday 23 FEB 1756

Marched over the mountain to Bear Garden , on North Fork of Holston’s river. Lost sundry horses .

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See topo map of where they might have crossed the North Fork Holton River.

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Arriving at Burkes Garden

Burkes Garden

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Finally the majority of the expeditionary force arrives at Burke’s  Garden

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Tuesday 24 FEB 1756

Crossed two mountains and arrived at Burke’s Garden. Had plenty of potatoes which the soldiers gathered in the deserted plantations .

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Wednesday 25 FEB 1756

 

Remained in Camp.”Burke’s Garden is a tract of land of 5000 or 6000 acres, as rich and fertile as any I ever saw, as well watered with many beautiful streams, and is surrounded with mountains almost impassible. 

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Clinch River.

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Thursday 26 FEB 1756

Marched early,

crossed three large mountains,

arrived at head of Clinch.

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Our hunters found no game.

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See topo map of

South Fork Clinch River.

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This South Fork Clinton River becomes the main Clinch River flowing south into today’s state of Tennessee, ending at South West Point where a Fort Loudoun (one of 3 forts named Fort Loudoun) was built to satisfy a treaty with the Cherokee.

 

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Source:

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There’s more to this journal and to the story. We just wanted to pick this one area they saw to highlight.

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Some Links


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Sandy Creek Expedition Begins

All the troops are gathered at this point.

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Brief overview –

http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/175

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Excellent trace map of the expedition.

Shows the route in West Virginia area only:

http://www.sandycreekexpedition.info/index-3.html

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Captain William Preston tells the story as written down by him at the time. .

http://www.kinyon.com/westvirginia/midnewriver/chapter2a.htm

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the following seems to be a partial reprint of Preston’s journal

http://www.as.wvu.edu/WVHistory/documents/003.pdf

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Reenactors retracing trek

http://www.virginiaregiment.org/Trek.html

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18 February -13 March 1756

The Officers involved


 

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After her return from captivity, in November of 1755, Mary Ingles provided her husband, CPT William Ingles, with intelligence about Shawnee villages along the Ohio.

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In December of 1755,

Captain Ingles

approached Lt Governor Dinwiddie about conducting a raid against two of these villages near present day Portsmouth, OH.

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Major Andrew Lewis

was designated to lead the expedition of approximately 200-300 men from the Virginia Regiment and Militia Rangers along with approximately 80-130 Cherokees.

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Captain Hogg

was ordered to provide and lead forty men from his Company.

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A draft of sixty men from Captain William Preston’s and Captain John Smith’s Company, to be commanded by Captain Smith was ordered to participate.

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Captain Overton and Captain Obadiah Woodson were to provide forty men each and serve as Company Commanders.

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Captain Pearis commanded the Cherokees.

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Captain Robert Breckinridge, was ordered to take his companies as well.

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Captain’s Archibald Alexander, John Montgomery and Dunlap commanded volunteer companies of indeterminate size.

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Captain David Stuart served as commissary.

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Captain William Ingles,

the instigator if not, perhaps, the planner of the mission, joined the expedition as well.

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The main body of the expedition departed Fort Frederick (vicinity Salem, VA) on 18 February 1756.

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The expedition with the exception of CPT Hogg’s men who were behind the main body, reached the north Fork of the Holston River by 23 February.

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By 26 February the expedition was at the head of the Clinch River and at the head of Sandy Creek by the 28th which they followed towards the Ohio River until desertion and insubordination caused the expedition to turn around on 13 March.

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http://historyreconsidered.net/VirginiaRangers1754-1763.html

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NOTES

for followup


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How Burkes Garden Formed

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Geologists get the last word, and they’ve apparently said, according to Tazewell historian and author Louise Leslie, that this bowl was once a 6,500-foot-high mountain largely composed of limestone, but with a sandstone cap. Slowly, that sandstone cap eroded, and the peak of Garden Mountain collapsed into itself. That’s the “common wisdom,” says Whitted. “And the limestone shifts all the time, so that’s a pretty believable story.”

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Source

http://www.virginialiving.com/culture/a-different-world/

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Old Hitler in Burkes Garden

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White-haired Marvin Meek recalls tales of Tazewell County and how the residents of his unincorporated hometown banded together in 1940, at the onset of World War II, to stop a sheep-killing bear they called “Old Hitler” because he was so beastly.

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burkes garden

alec meeks wife–berty, was my mothers sister!!! i remember jack, tom and lillian!!!, I spent many a day there on the old home place and when I was only four years old I pulled the tongue out of OLD HITLER, who was laying inside on a couch!!!, and there was a stone house down below the smokehouse, where uncle alex kept an animal!!! and I wandered there, and said daddy, come see the doggy!!! well guess what ?? it was not a dog, it was a bear!!!

john M johnston more than 7 years ago

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Source

http://www.virginialiving.com/culture/a-different-world/

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4. The two most notorious animals in The Garden’s history are “Old Hitler,” a 500-pound black bear that killed dozens of cattle and sheep in the 1940s, and “The Varmint,” a coyote that terrorized the community in 1952, killing more than 400 sheep. Big-game hunters were brought in from Arizona to track and kill “The Varmint,” so named because local residents didn’t know what they were dealing with at first, coyotes having been absent from the valley for many years. The remains of both infamous creatures reside these days at the Crab Orchard Museum & Pioneer Park in Tazewell.

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https://www.richmond.com/travel/five-facts-you-should-know-about-burke-s-garden/article_8d6233c0-c01d-581d-9ece-0489074ae15e.html

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Picture of the skinned 500 lb Bear at that museum

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https://books.google.com/books?id=tr7WhpsqcXwC&pg=PA108&lpg=PA108&dq=a+bear+named+hitler+in+Burkes+Garden&source=bl&ots=mW1N_KXjDn&sig=ACfU3U35zjWuwDAfpNxR_c_eNhnHucm7ew&hl=en&ppis=_c&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjJvOWvw8TnAhWMknIEHbOBD5EQ6AEwA3oECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=a%20bear%20named%20hitler%20in%20Burkes%20Garden&f=false

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Hanging on the wall is the skin of an adult black bear nicknamed Old Hitler. This bear was about 30 years old and weighed almost 600 lbs. when it was killed. He terrorized the livestock of Burke’s Garden, Virginia, killing hogs, cows, and sheep during the 1940s, at the same time as World War II. The residents of Burke’s Garden named him “Old Hitler” after Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, who was ruling over Europe just as Old Hitler was ruling over Burke’s Garden.

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Source

https://www.vamonde.com/posts/wildlife/4371

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The Coyote

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The one animal not native to our region is the western coyote. In the early 1950s, this particular coyote was purchased by a man who lived on Jewell Ridge and brought from the Western United States to train his dogs. He bought two coyote puppies, but they both escaped. One was hit and killed by a car, and this one made its way to Burke’s Garden. Over 11 months, this coyote killed 410 sheep, valued at $23,000 in 1953 – the equivalent of almost $210,000 in modern money. The coyote became known as “The Varmint” because coyotes were unknown then to Southwestern Virginia and no one knew what sort of creature was killing the sheep. After many months of trying to catch the Varmint, a professional hunter named Clell Lee was brought in from Arizona along with his dogs, Lightning Lee, Gypsy, Runt, and Freckles, to track and drive the animal. Lee was paid $2,500 plus expenses to come to Burke’s Garden, but there was no guarantee for success. On February 22nd, 1953 Lee and his dogs drove the Varmint into the Brown Family graveyard where it was shot and killed by Alfred Jones & Hugh E. Cox, both of Tazewell County. The outlaw was strung up in the middle of Burke’s Garden and hundreds drove in to see the mysterious predator. A cast of his teeth was verified by a veterinarian and only then was it confirmed that the terror of Burke’s Garden was a western coyote. The arrival of the Varmint changed farming in the region, with several farmers either adding fencing and guard animals or giving up sheep farming altogether.

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Source

https://www.vamonde.com/posts/wildlife/4371

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https://archive.org/stream/historyoftazewel00pend/historyoftazewel00pend_djvu.txt

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In the summer of 1755, just about the time of the attack upon 
Draper's Meadows, a scalping party of Shawnees made an incursion 
into the Middle Holston Valley. They attacked the more exposed 
settlements, killed several settlers and captured others. Captain 
Samuel Stalnaker, who then had his cabin home some four or five 
miles west of the present town of Marion, Smyth County, Virginia, 
was made a captive, and Mrs. Stalnaker and Adam Stalnaker were 
killed. The presumption is that they were the wife and son of 
Samuel Stalnaker. He was the man whose house Dr. Walker and 
party helped to "raise" in March, 1750, while they were en route 
to Cumberland Gap and Kentucky. Stalnaker and the other pris- 
oners were taken through or across the Clinch Valley by the Indians 
on their return to their towns in Ohio. This is evidenced by the 
journal of Colonel William Preston who commanded a company in 
the expedition of Colonel Andrew Lewis, known in history as the 
"Sandy Expedition," and which was made in the months of February 
and March, 1756. While traveling down the stream that Colonel 
Preston called "Sandy Creek," on Sundy the 29th of February, 
1756, he noted in his journal: "This creek has been much fre- 
quented by Indians both traveling and hunting on it, and from late 
signs I am apprehensive that Stalnaker and the prisoners taken with 
him were carried this way." Captain Stalnaker made his escape 
from the Indians, but when, where, or how is not recorded in any 
history, nor is there any record showing what was the fate of the 
other prisoners. 

There were a number of persons killed, wounded, and captured 
on New River and Reed Creek by the Shawnees who persisted in 
sending scalping parties to those sections in the summer and fall 
of 1755, and in February and March 1756. It was to avenge the 
outrages inflicted upon the settlers in the New River and Holston 
valleys, as well as the massacre at Draper's Meadows, that the 
"Sandy Expedition" was projected. The purpose of this expedi- 
tion was to march to the Ohio River and punish the Shawnees, by 
killing as many of them as possible, and to destroy their towns. 

Colonel Andrew Lewis was commander of the expedition, and 
his forces consisted of about four hundred men, including one bun- 



and Southwest Virginia 219 

dred, or more, Cherokee and Chickasaw Indians, who had been 
induced to become allies of the Virginians in the French and Indian 
War. This small army was composed of Augusta County militia 
and four companies of volunteers. The several military companies 
were commanded by Captains Peter Hogg, William Preston, John 
Smith, Samuel Overton, and Obediah Woodson ; and the four volun- 
teer companies were under the command of Captains Robert Breck- 

enridge, Archibald Alexander, John Montgomery, and Dunlap. 

The Indians had been recruited by Captain Richard Pearis and 
were commanded by him. 

This expedition was assembled at Fort Prince George, after- 
wards called Fort Lewis, four miles west of where Salem, Roanoke 
County, is now located. Captain William Preston was placed in 
charge of the vanguard, and began the march on "Monday ye, 9th 
day of February, 1756;" and in his journal says: 

"In persuance to ye orders of Major Lewis, dated the 9th inst., 
I marched from Fort Prince George, with my two Lieutenants, 2 
Sergeants, 3 Corporals, and 25 Privates." On Wednesday, the 1 1th, 
they arrived at New River, at Ingles' Ferry, where they found the 
Indian allies in camp; and Captain Preston says: "As we marched 
by the Cherokee Camp we saluted them by firing off guns, which 
they returned in seeming great joy and afterwards honored us with 
a war dance." 

Major Lewis with the main body of his white force, arrived at 
New River and reviewed all the troops on Friday, the 13th; and on 
Saturday, the 14th, Captain Dunlap joined them with a company 
of twenty-five volunteers. This completed the military force that 
was encamped at Fort Frederick, which was the name then held 
by the fort at Dunkard's Bottom. On Sunday, the 15th inst., James 
Burke, who had fled from Burke's Garden, arrived at the camp and 
gave information that Robert Looney had been killed by the Shaw- 
nee Indians near the home of Alex Sawyers, on Reed Creek. 

The expedition had been organized to go to Ohio to look for 
the Shawnees and destroy their towns; but Major Lewis and his 
little army were about to come in contact with small bands of these 
Indians at a point only some sixty miles distant from Fort Prince 
George, the starting place, and right in the settlements on Reed 
Creek. As a matter of precaution, on Monday, the 16th, forty 
Indians and sixty white men were sent out to range the woods about 
Reed Creek; and on Thursday, the 19th, the army broke camp and 



220 History of Tazewell County 

started on its perilous and disastrous journey. As this was the first 
military expedition of white men that entered and passed over the 
territory now embraced in Tazewell County, it is an event of special 
interest in connection with the history of the county. Therefore, I 
will reproduce that part of Captain Preston's journal which shows 
the route pursued and what transpired while Lewis and his men 
were marching through this particular region. The following are 
the entries made by Captain Preston. 

"Thursday 19, Left Fort Frederick at 10 o'clock: 27 loaded 
pack horses, got to William Sawyers: camped on his barn floor. 

"Friday 20, Switched one of the soldiers for swearing, which 
very much incensed the Indian chiefs then present. Advanced to 
Alex Sawyers, met the Indians who went out with the first division, 
and Lieutenant Ingles, who informed us of the burial of Robert 
Looney. Some of our Indians deserted. 

"Sat. 21, Major Lewis, Capt. Pearis and the interpreter went to 
Col. Buchanan's place (Anchor and Hope), where they met the 
Indians who had deserted us, and induced them to return, which 
they did. 

"Sunday, 22, marched to John McFarlands." (McFarland lived 
in Black Lick on the head of Reed Creek.) 

"Monday, 23, marched over the mountain to Bear Garden, on 
North Fork of Holston's river. Lost sundry horses. 

"Tuesday 24, Crossed two mountains and arrived at Burkes 
Garden. Had plenty of potatoes, which the soldiers gathered in 
the deserted plantations. 

"Wednesday 25, Remained in Camp. 

"Burke's Garden is a tract of land of 5,000 or 6,000 acres as 
rich and fertile as any I ever saw, as well watered with many 
beautiful streams and is surrounded with mountains almost impas- 
sible. 

"Thursday 26, Marched early, crossed three large mountains, 
arrived at head of Clinch. Our hunters found no game. 

"Friday 27, Lay by on account of rain. Hunters killed three 
or four bears. 

"Saturday 28, passed several branches of Clinch and at length 
got to the head of Sandy Creek where we met with great trouble and 
fatigue, occasioned by heavy rain, and driving our baggage horses 
down said creek, which we crossed 20 times that evening. Killed 
three buffaloes and some deer. 



and Southwest Virginia 221 

There were no settlers in the territory which now constitutes 
Tazewell County when the Sandy Expedition passed through 
Burke's Garden and the Clinch Valley. If James Burke had formed 
an intention to become a permanent settler, he abandoned such 
intention when he fled from the Indians, never to enter Burke's 
Garden again as a resident. 

I am at a loss to understand what Captain William Preston 
meant by the entry made in his journal on the 24th of February, 
1756, stating that they: "Had plenty of potatoes which the soldiers 
gathered in the deserted plantations." This entry would justify 
the conclusion that there was more cleared and cultivated land there 
at that time than tradition has placed to the account of James Burke's 
industry. It might also warrant the belief that other persons had 
been living there besides Burke. The plantations, however, men- 
tioned by Captain Preston may have been what the first settlers 
called "patches." 

Another very peculiar entry in the Preston journal is one which 
tells that when the expedition left Burke's Garden it crossed three 
movmtains to reach the head of Clinch River. If this statement is 
corre(;t, tlie army did not make its exit through the gap at the west 
end of the Garden. In the mountain wliich encircles the Garden 
there is a low place between the gap and the Bear Town peak. 
Colonel Lewis evidently took his men through this low place over 
to Little Creek, then crossed Rich Mountain to a point just west of 
the divide between Clear Fork and the Clinch Valley. Not being 
familiar with the country, instead of turning westward, down the 
valley, the expedition crossed Buckhorn Mountain and came into 
the valley just west of Dial Rock. Thence the march was con- 
tinued until the head of "Sandy Creek" was reached. 

I>ocal historians have expressed different views as to which 
branch of the stream was reached and followed. This, Tiowever, 
is unimportant, as Tug River was the main stream followed, and 
received its name from an incident which occurred during the jour-- 
ney. At one time the provisions were so completely exhausted that 
the men were threatened with starvation. Johnston, in his History 
of the New River Settlements, thus relates what occurred: "The 
weather was extremely cold, snow having fallen the march was a 
difficult one, and the men stopping at Burning Spring (Warfield) 
took strips of the hides of the buffaloes and broiled them in the 
burning gas. They cut them into strips or thugs, hence the name of 
Tug River. On leaving the spring they scattered through the 



222 History of Tazewell County 

mountains and many of them perished, either frozen to death, 
starved, or killed by the Indians. They left, however, some marks 
by the way, cutting their names on trees on the route pursued by 
them, notably at the forks of Big Coal and Clear Fork of that 
river, but these trees have been destroyed in recent years." 

The remnant of the little army was then returning from its 
unsuccessful and disastrous expedition. It did not get as far as the 
mouth of Sandy River, the point where it was expected to reach the 
Ohio. On the 12th of March the men were so discouraged that they 
began to desert; and on the 13th Montgomery's and Dunlap's volun- 
teers left with a view of getting back to their homes, if they could. 
It is probable that it was then that the return march was begun. 

Colonel George Washington was ill command of all the Virginia 
military forces in 1756, with his headquarters at Winchester, as 
previously related, and he vigorously opposed the Sandy Expedition. 
He knew the wild and rugged character of the region through which 
Lewis and his men had to travel, and was confident the enterprise 
would prove unsuccessful, especially as it was undertaken in the 
winter season. Governor Dinwiddie was so provoked at the Shaw- 
nees for their repeated savage attacks upon the frontier settlements 
that he insisted that the expedition should go forward, and upon 
him rested the responsibility for its failure. 

The failure of the Sandy Expedition was not only a seriously 
alarming blow to the English settlements west of New River, but 
was a great incentive to the Shawnees and the other hostile tribes in 
Ohio to continue their savage attacks upon the border settlements, 
extending from the Holston Valley to the Potomac River. These 
incursions of the Indians were encouraged and supported by the 
French, who were then engaged in a general war with Great Britain, 
and were vigorously prosecuting the French and Indian War against 
the English colonies in America. The French were not only furnish- 
ing the Indians with arms, ammunition, and other supplies, but 
were paying them liberally for the scalps of tlie English settlers, 
and also for the prisoners they captured. These conditions con- 
tinued until the close of the French and Indian War in 1761, and 
the Pontiac War in 1763; and resulted in driving out nearly all 
the settlers who had located west of New River. Colonel William 
Preston, who, after the death of liis uncle. Colonel James Patton, 
became the guiding spirit of the Trans-Alleghany Pioneers, in a 
letter written from his home at Greenfield, in the present Botetourt 



I 



and Southwest Virginia 223 

County, on the 27th of July, 1763, thus related the unhappy condi- 
tion of the settlements along and west of New River : 

"Our situation at present is very different from what it was 
when we had the pleasure of your company in this country. All 
the valleys of Roanoke river and along the waters of the Mississippi 
are depopulated, except Captain English (Ingles) with a few 
families on New river, who have built a fort, among whom are Mr. 
Thompson and his family, alone remaining. They intend to make 
a stand until some assistance be sent them. Seventy-five of the 
Bedford militia went out in order to pursue the enemy, but I hear 
the officers and part of the men are gone home, and the rest gone 
to Reed Creek to help in the family of James Davis and in two or 
three other families there that dare not venture to travel. 

"I have built a little fort in which are eighty-seven persons, 
twenty of whom bear arms. We are in a pretty good posture of 
defence, and with the aid of God are determined to make a stand. 
In five or six other places in this part of the country they have 
fallen into the same method and with the same resolution. How 
long we may keep them is uncertain. No enemy have appeared here 
as yet. Their guns are frequently heard and their footing observed, 
which makes us believe they will pay us a visit. My two sisters and 
their families are here and all in good health. We bear our misfor- 
tunes so far with fortitude and are in hopes of being relieved." 



224 History of Tazewell County 

CHAPTER VI. 

WHY SETTLEMENTS DELAYED IN CLINCH VALLEY. 

No settlers came to the Clinch Valley until nearly twenty years 
after surveying parties had come in and located tracts of land here. 
John Buchanan, deputy surveyor of Augusta County, had made 
surveys on the waters of Clinch River, in 1750; and Colonel Patton 
and William Ingles had surveyed a number of boundaries in Burke's 
Garden, Abb's Valley, and on the headwaters of Clinch River in 
1753. The inquiry has frequently been made why the settlements 
were so delayed in the Clinch Valley, especially as a number of 
persons had located with their families on New River and its tribu- 
taries, and even in the Holston Valley, as early as 1750. 

When Dr. Thomas Walker made his famous expedition to Cum- 
berland Gap in 1750, he found settlers scattered along the route 
he pursued from the "Great Lick," the site of Roanoke City, to the 
present Seven Mile Ford, on the Middle Fork of Holston River. 
These settlers, when they came in, had followed the Buffalo Trail, 
which the Cherokees had been using for years in making their hunt- 
ing excursions that were extended as far east as the Great Lick, 
and even to the Peaks of Otter. It was also the same trail that the 
traders from Eastern Virginia had traveled when they went on 
trading expeditions to the Cherokee towns in Tennessee, then North 
Carolina. The Clinch Valley was then used by the Indians, the 
Cherokees and the Shawnees, as a hunting ground; and had never 
been entered by white men, except a few hunting parties, who were, 
possibly, as anxious to preserve it for a game park as were the 
Indians. 

But for certain causes, which I will mention, settlements would 
have been made in what is now Tazewell County immediately fol- 
lowing the surveying of land here by the Loyal Company, of which 
company. Dr. Thomas Walker was the active agent. This company 
had, by an order of the Virginia Council, obtained leave to take up 
and survey 800,000 acres of land, in one or more surveys, to be 
located on the north of the North Carolina line, and running west- 
ward and northward for quantity; and the company was given four 
years to complete its surveys and purchase riglits for the same. 
The company began its work of surveying in 1750, and sold a num- 
ber of tracts west of New River, to purchasers at the rate of three 



and Southwest Virginia 225 

pounds per hundred acres. Some of the purchasers settled on the 
lands they bought, while others failed to make settlements. The 
Loyal ComiDany was then interrupted by caveats entered by the 
Ohio Company and other conflicting claimants, which prevented the 
completion of the surveying within the term of four years pre- 
scribed by the order of council. An application was made for a 
renewal of the grant and on the 14th of June, 1753, an order was 
made by the council, giving the company four years more to comr 
plete the surveys. By this last order the lands granted are described 
as lands lying on the branches of the Mississippi in the county of 
Augusta. The company began as soon as possible to locate and 
sell lands under the renewed grant, but the P'rench and Indian War 
then came on in 1754, and put an end to the surveying. The 
Indians commenced their hostile incursions into the settlements west 
of the Alleghanies; and this not only prevented, for a period of 
nine years, the making of any settlements in the Clinch Valley, 
but drove out nearly all the settlers in the New River and Holston 
valleys. 

The Greenbrier Company, organized by Andrew Lewis and 
other prominent Virginians, obtained a grant from the Virginia 
Council for 100,000 acres of land, which was to be located west of 
the Alleghanies, and south of the Ohio. The execution of the sur- 
veying of this company had also been hindered by the same causes 
that had affected the Loyal Company. As soon as the war was 
terminated these two companies presented a joint petition to the 
governor and council, representing that they had made a number of 
actual surveys of lands within their respective grants and made sales 
of tracts to divers persons. The petition also set forth the fact that 
the companies had been prevented from completing their surveys and 
making settlements thereon only by the war; and pi'aying the 
renewal of their grants for another four years. 

In the meantime King George II. had sent instructions to the 
colonial government to make no more grants upon the western 
waters. P'ollowing this instruction, the governor and council, on the 
25th of May, 1763, declared that they were restrained by the royal 
instructions from granting the prayer of the two companies. On 
the 7th of October, 1763, the king issued a proclamation prohibit- 
ing all persons from settling in that tract of country west of the 
Alleghanies, which included the territory west of New River; and 
the proclamation of the king even required those persons who had 
settled in this region under patents to remove therefrom and take 

T.H.— 15 



226 History of Tazewell County 

up their residence in the interior. This course was adopted by the 
royal government to pacify the Indians^ who, after the French and 
Indian War was terminated, remained bitterly hostile to the Eng- 
lish, because of their manifest purpose to rob the natives of their 
lands and hunting grounds. 

The proclamation of the king not only destroyed every possible 
hope that the Loyal Company could ever again secure from the 
royal government a renewal of its grants, but, seemingly, invali- 
dated the titles to all the lands it had sold to settlers or prospec- 
tive settlers. This latter conclusion was based upon the conviction 
that the Virginia Council had made a grant to the Loyal Company 
of lands that did not belong to the English Crown, but were still 
owned by the Indians. And the order of the king for the removal of 
all persons who had settled in the forbidden territory placed another 
obstruction to the settlement of the Clinch Valley which lasted for 
a period of years. 

The Iroquois, or Six Nations, of New York, who had been allies 
of the British in the war just closed, claimed by right of conquest 
all the Virginia territory west of the Blue Ridge and south of the 
Ohio River; and the Cherokees, who were also allies of the British 
in the war, demanded the withdrawal of all the white settlers from 
the territory west of New River and south of the Ohio. These 
demands were recognized by the British Government as just; but 
gave great concern to the Loyal Company and all persons to whom 
the company had sold lands west of New River, either for homes 
or speculative purposes. And the company and its vendees went 
earnestly to work to secure relief by the negotiation of treaties with 
the two Indian nations. Quite a number of would-be settlers had 
congregated in the Upper James River Valley and the Roanoke 
Valley, eagerly awaiting opportunity to move beyond New River. 
In response to their appeals, and through the very effective work of 
Dr. Walker and other members of the Loyal Company, treaties were 
made with the Indians by which the section west of New River was 
opened up for settlement. 

In the spring of 17(58 the British Government instructed Sir 
William Johnson, of New York, to negotiate a treaty with the Six 
Nations, and procure from them the relinquishment of their asserted 
claim of certain territory in the provinces of New York, New Jersey, 
Pennsylvania and Virginia. He called a congress of the chiefs of 
the Iroquois Confederacy, which assembled at Fort Stanwix, near 
Oswego, New York, on the 24th of October, 1768; and four days 



and Southwest Virginia 227 

thereafter, on the 28th of the same month, a treaty was concluded. 
Dr. Thomas Walker was present, as commissioner from Virginia, 
and witnessed the signing of the treaty by the six representative 
chiefs of the Indian confederacy. No doubt the skillful management 
of the accomplished agent of the Loyal Company had much to do 
with securing the desired treaty with the Indians. The treaty con- 
veyed to King George Third, Sovereign Lord of Great Britain, 
France and Ireland, all the Virginia territory claimed by the Iro- 
quois, south of the Ohio River, beginning at the mouth of the 
Cherokee (Holston) River, where it empties into the River Ohio, 
and following along the southern side of said River to Kittanning, 
which is above Fort Pitt. This eliminated for all time the claim of 
ownership of Virginia territory by the Iroquois. 

The British Government had also directed John Stuart, Southern 
Superintendent of Indian Affairs, to negotiate a treaty with the 
Cherokees. He met the chiefs of the Upper and Lower Cherokee 
Nations at Hard Labor, South Carolina, and negotiated a treaty 
with these Indians on the 14th of October, 1768, just two weeks 
before the treaty at Fort Stanwix was concluded. This treaty was 
entirely unsatisfactory, as it failed to secure the very purpose for 
which it was sought. It left in the possession of the Cherokees all 
the territory they claimed west of New River, which they had held 
for many years as their most cherished hunting grounds, the Clinch 
and the Holston valleys particularly. 

Dr. Walker had been appointed commissioner from Virginia to 
be present when the treaty was made with the Cherokees, but did 
not attend the meeting. No reasonable explanation was ever given by 
John Stuart for the negotiation of a treaty whose terms were the 
very opposite of those sought and intended by the government he 
represented. Lord Botetourt was then governor of Virginia, and 
he was induced to appoint Colonel Andrew Lewis and Dr. Thomas 
Walker commissioners to visit the Cherokees and procure from them 
another treaty on the desired lines. They proceeded promptly to 
South Carolina, where they had conferences with some of the Chero- 
kee chiefs, and obtained from them a pledge that the settlers west 
of New River should not be disturbed in the possession of their 
homes, pending the negotiations for rearranging the boundary lines 
of the hunting grounds of the tribe. It was also arranged by the 
commissioners that a new treaty should be made with the Indians. 
John Stuart, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, met the principle 
chiefs and about a thousand of the warriors of the Cherokees at 

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https://archive.org/stream/historyoftazewel00pend/historyoftazewel00pend_djvu.txt

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Illinois Tazewell county

 

Lincoln

Tazewell County deed clerks found an Abraham Lincoln mortgage and deed.  “The document is a mortgage recorded on Sept. 10, 1844, for 234 acres of farmland located at what is now the southwest corner of the intersection of Allentown and Springfield Road in rural Tremont. The owners of the property in 1844, John H. and Isabella W. Morrison, presented the mortgage to Lincoln as collateral until they paid off a debt of $284.94 owed for legal services Lincoln and his legal partner Stephen T. Logan provided. John H. Morrison was Tazewell County Clerk at the time, serving from 1836-1847.”   Source is By Mike Kramer, Pekin Daily Times

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