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In 1772, Thomas Jefferson called James Byrnside an obnoxious villain

I stumbled upon some interesting entries in the personal papers of Thomas Jefferson. In his 1772 Memorandum Book, he discusses the real estate ventures of then Colonial, later General, Andrew Lewis’ claims throughout the Greenbrier Valley. And in these paragraphs, he mentions James Burnsides (Byrnside), four separate times, and calls him “obnoxious,” among other things.

Epic NY History Find: 1768 Anthony Van Schaick document, to go with the Anthony Van Schaick Flintlock Fowler

Another epic, at least to me, document find during this period of near-apoloclypse. The scavenging must go on. This is a 1768 deed from Anthony Van Schaick, his wife, Christina Van Schaick, and what seems to me to be Anthony’s elderly father, Goosen Van Schaick, for a whole lot of land in the area of upstate New York known as the “Half Moon” which was deeded to the Van Schaick family in the 17th century. It’s roughly located in the area known as the “Sprouts of the Mohawk River.” This is where the Mohawk goes over a large falls, and sprouts into separate channels, going around several islands, at the confluence with the Hudson River.

William Ward Signature from the War of 1812: Founder and Frontiersman

I was able to find this original document signed by William Ward, from Champaign County, Ohio, dated October 8, 1813. I didn’t immediately recognize the name, but then I realized who this was, and what his connection was to our Greenbrier Valley, and some famous 18th century frontier exploits involving the famous frontiersman, Simon Kenton. …

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Double-Blade Belt Axe Found at the site of Solomon’s Town – HQ of Simon Girty

Solomon Town was a small 18th century Indian village named after an old chief named Solomon. During the Revolutionary War, the notorious Simon Girty lived here, and even brought famous frontiersman Simon Kenton here after saving his life in 1778. This rare double-bladed belt axe was found here. It’s blacksmith forged. The haft is a contemporary replacement.

The First American Revolution, 100 years before 1776, as told by an eyewitness in 1705: Bacon’s Rebellion

Bacon’s Rebellion was the first major armed insurrection by American colonists against Britain and their colonial government – and it occurred a century before the American Revolution. It’s namesake was Nathaniel Bacon, a cousin of the colonial governor of Virginia, William Berkeley. Like many of our historic events, historians at different times placed different levels …

Read moreThe First American Revolution, 100 years before 1776, as told by an eyewitness in 1705: Bacon’s Rebellion

Late 18th Century West Virginia: Indian Attacks, Daniel Boone, and the Coal River – or is it Cole?

It’s important for us – especially Kentuckians – to remember that Daniel Boone moved to (what is now) West Virginia in the later part of the 18th century, I believe around 1788, from Kentucky, staying there until around 1797, at which point he reluctantly returned to Kentucky, before remembering why he didn’t like Kentucky anymore. And then he moved to Missouri around 1799. West Virginia gets no credit for its period of Boone residence. In the words of Rodney Dangerfield, “we get no respect – no respect at all.”