John Kincaid’s Rev War Narrative, Frontier Forts, Lead Mines, Scandal, and Forensic Pathology

I came across this interesting Rev War pension application, signed by one John Kincaid, with some cool local details, pertaining to the harshness of the winter of 1778-1779 in what is now Lewisburg, (West) Virginia, and as always, one thing leads to another, including a doppleganger John Kincaid, references to our fort, other forts, scandal, …

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The “Singing Cave” of Indian Creek and the making of gunpowder by frontier settlers

A local historian friend sent me this scan of an original 1777 document, signed by early frontiersmen of the Greenbrier Valley, where they are leasing the mineral rights of property belonging to one Jacob Mann, containing a cave with valuable saltpeter, which was used to make gunpowder. From the best that I can read it, …

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Our awesome two-part TV segment on the “Traveling West Virginia” series by Brad Rice

If you haven’t seen our sweet TV debut yet, it’s now on YouTube. This originally aired a few weeks back on Eyewitness News in WCHS and WVAH on Charleston and Huntington, West Virginia during their weekly “Traveling West Virginia” segment by photojournalist Brad Rice. Part 1 is about “Scavengeology” as a new field of science, …

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Felix Renick’s Drawings, his interesting family, and his life as a scavengeologist on the Ohio Frontier

When I first came across this map, I immediately recognized the name, “Renick,” though I didn’t recall seeing it associated with the name Felix. In the Greenbrier Valley, there is still a “town” named Renick (though it’s mostly just an unincorporated neighborhood at this point, or even you could call it a “ghost town”), and …

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Grandma’s Story About Being Captured by Indians in 1779

One of the most important historical narratives from 18th century Indian captives, came from a woman buried in the cemetery overlooking Union, West Virginia. There are no historical markers to identify her grave, but the story is an amazing one . . . . In the early 1840’s, a little-old-lady living in Lewisburg, (West) Virginia, …

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James McBride: his actual musket, and his epic life as a frontiersman and soldier

Family tradition has it that this French and Indian War era American musket was used by James McBride (1726-1812) to fight in the Battle of Point Pleasant on October 10, 1774. It was previously on display at the Augusta County Historical Society Museum in Staunton, Virginia, as part of their year-long exhibit on Lord Dunmore’s …

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John Bradshaw: Greenbrier Indian Spy and Vet of the Battle of Yorktown

In Frontier Defense: Colonizing Contested Areas in West Virginia, archaeologists Kim and Stephen McBride, who specialize in the frontier forts of Kentucky and the Virginias, explained that: The use of “Indian spies” or scouts was another crucial element of the frontier defensive strategy. During the French and Indian War, spies functioned in an offensive capacity, …

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James Christy of Byrnside’s Fort: “Indian Spy” and Frontier Minister

Here is the original handwritten and signed Revolutionary War pension application of “Indian Spy” James Christy, who was garrisoned at Byrnside’s Fort in the 1770’s and 1780’s. Not only that, but he was the first pastor of the oldest standing protestant church West of the mountains, built of logs, and still standing. And we found …

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