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Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Fantastic Description of Our Thomas Hutchins Map (1730-1789)

Thomas Hutchins (1730 –  1789)

New Map of the Western Parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and
North Carolina; Comprehending the River Ohio, and all the rivers,
which fall into it; Part of the River Mississippi, the whole of the
Illinois River, Lake Erie, part of the Lakes Huron, Michigan, & c. And
the country bordering on these lakes and rivers.
Published in A Topographical Description of Virginia, Pennsylvania,
Maryland, and North Carolina.

Engraving on muslin-backed paper with original hand-color and
additional markings; margin with notes attached to left edge.
Paper size: 36 1/4” x 43 1/2”
Framed size: 45 1/4” x 52”
London: 1778

Hutchins’ celebrated map of the Western territory of the United States
is the seminal work of the man who grew to be a faithful civil
servant, a military officer, an engineer and mapmaker.

He had a long and checkered career, first in the armed forces of His
Majesty George III and later under the command of the President of the
United States as first geographer to the new nation.

Hutchins’ map of the newly acquired Western territory of the United
is considered to be the finest map of the region of the time.

Designed to accompany his book, “A Topographical Description of
Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina”, the map, which
encompassed the region between the Allegheny and Mississippi Rivers,
provided the most accurate and detailed overall view of the midwest
available at the time of the American Revolution. Hutchins explored
much of the area on the map in his early career.

The original marbled paper boards slipcase is present, with a paper
label on the front cover with the title “Course of theOhio” written in
a contemporary hand.

According to Lloyd Brown, this is a map which "should be included in
any work dealing with the cartography of the Ohio River. . . it
furnished the reader not only a broad panorama of a little known
region of his world, but a fascinating series of notes or "legends"
interspersed between geographical details."  The engraved notes within
the map provide information on coal deposits, petroleum, salt, and
lead; they describe natural landmarks and soil quality, and varieties
of flora and fauna.   "With these interesting notes," says Brown, "the
Hutchins map could not fail" to attract the interest of settlers.

Hutchins began his career as a topographical engineer for the British
Army during the French and Indian War. From 1758 to 1777 he served in
the newly acquired Ohio Valley, designing the fortifications at Fort
in 1763. In the following year he accompanied Bouquet on his

expedition against the western Indians.  He was a member of the
exploring party sent down the Ohio Valley in 1766 to investigate the
territory recently acquired from France, and on this occasion he
conducted the first survey of the Ohio River. Hutchins was stationed
atFort Chartres on the Illinois bank of the Mississippi from 1768 to

Hutchins subsequently went to England, where he compiled the ‘New Map
of the Western Parts of Virginia’ from his exhaustive personal
surveys, and those of others.  The depiction of the Ohio immediately
below Fort Pitt, for example, seems to be based on a manuscript by
John Montresor. Brown notes that its publication in 1778 represented
"the culmination of a long career as an engineer and mapmaker in the
wilderness of North America."

Hutchins returned to America in 1781, and was appointed "Geographer to
the United States" by Congress. In 1783 he was a member of the
commission that surveyed the Mason- Dixon Line, and in 1785 was
appointed by Congress to the commission that surveyed the New
York-Massachusetts boundary. Under the Ordinance of 1785 he was placed
in charge of the surveying of the public lands in theNorthwest
. He died in 1789, shortly after completing the survey of the

"Seven Ranges" in Ohio, marked on the map here.

Hutchins's knowledge of the Western Country and his experience in the
Indian department made him a valuable asset of the army and he was
frequently called upon to serve as guide, interpreter, engineer, and
mapmaker.  His reputation grew and his services as mapmaker were much
in demand. Acting in the capacity of an engineer he inspected nearly
all the British posts in North America from Michillimacinac to
Pensacola; he also helped to choose sites for new ones and design
their fortifications.

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787

The additional manuscript notes in the left-hand margin of the map
correspond with areas drawn in ink, delineating regions of land
purchased by land-holding companies in the late eighteenth-century,
and five forts: Knoxville, founded in 1791; an unnamed fort where the
boundaries of “H” and “K” meet at the source of the Great Miami River;
an unnamed fort where Lake Erie empties into the Miami; Fort Detroit;
and Fort Sandusky.

Such information would have been vital to any other Land Company, or
settler wishing to acquire land, and to the Continental Congress who
must juggle the interests of the Land Companies, the settlers, and the
Native Americans, while trying to effectively govern the vast area.
Much of the annotated area of the map corresponds lies within the area
governed by the

Northwest Ordinance, which was a measure adopted by the Continental
Congress, actingunder the Articles of Confederation, to provide an
orderly system of government leading to statehood for the territory
north and west of the Ohio River.

When the Revolutionary War began, “seven states claimed lands in the
Transappalachian west on the basis of their colonial charters or
treaties with Native Americans. As the war grew more protracted and
costly, these states faced growing pressure to cede the lands to
Congress to provide funds (through land sales) to pay war debts and
soldiers' pensions. By 1786, Congress controlled most of the

“Congress faced three problems: governing the region, selling the
land, and dealing with the numerous Native American inhabitants of the
region. Congress was committed to establishing republican governments
in the territory and to the formation of states that would join the
union on an equal basis with the existing states. Some in Congress
also feared that unruly westerners might try to form states
independent of the nascent United States. Addressing these concerns, a
committee chaired by Thomas Jefferson produced a general statement of
principles (often called the "Ordinance of 1784") that recommended
moving the western territory toward statehood in stages of increasing

Congress addressed the land-sale issue in the Ordinance of 1785. It
directed that land be surveyed in six-mile-square townships, each
containing thirty-six one-mile-square (640 acre) "sections" to be
auctioned off for a dollar an acre. One section in each township would
be set aside to support education. Most settlers, unable to afford the
$640 minimum price, bought farms from land companies and speculators.
With land now for sale, Manasseh Cutler, an agent for the Ohio Company
(a group of speculators), and others pressured Congress to provide a
more specific plan of governance.

“The 1787 Ordinance set forth this plan. It called for the eventual
establishment of three to five states in the region. Congress would
initially appoint a governor and other officials for each future
state. When the free adult male population reached five thousand, an
elected assembly and an appointed legislative council would jointly
elect a nonvoting delegate to Congress. When the territory's
population reached sixty thousand free inhabitants, the residents
could frame a constitution and apply for statehood. The ordinance also
included a bill of rights, a pledge that Indian lands would not be
taken without Indian consent, encouragement for the development of
schools, and a prohibition on slavery. (In fact, slavery persisted in
the region, becoming a political issue in Indiana and Illinois

“Early settlement clustered along the Ohio River. Native American
groups resisted further incursions, encouraged by the British, who
retained troops and fur-trading posts in the region. By 1789, white
settlement on lands of the Shawnee, Miami, and other Indian groups led
to war. In 1795, an army led by Anthony Wayne (1745-1796) defeated the
Algonquian-speaking peoples of the region at the Battle of Fallen
Timbers, forcing them in the Treaty of Greenville to surrender their
land claims north of the Ohio. Meanwhile the British agreed, in Jay's
Treaty, to remove their troops. As settlers poured in, Ohio became a
state in 1803, Indiana in 1816, Illinois in 1818, Michigan in 1837,
and Wisconsin in 1848.

“The Northwest Ordinance left an ambiguous legacy. It established the
principle that with territorial expansion would come republican
government, while simultaneously reflecting an assumption that Native
Americans would make way for new settlers. Though the ordinance
prohibited slavery, its persistence in the region underscored Abraham
Lincoln's claim, in the Lincoln-Douglas debates, that "not only law,
but the enforcement of law" was necessary to prevent slavery's
expansion” (Paul G.E. Clemens for ANB).

The manuscript annotations in the margins (marked 'A' to 'P' as listed
below) and the regions marked on the map take account of government
and Land Company holdings created in the late 1780s. The latest
annotation refers to the founding of Knoxville in 1791. The effects of
the Treaty of Greenville in 1795 are not referred to on the map. It is
therefore the view of this bibliographer that the annotations were
made in about 1792 by either a government official, or a speculative
land company.

The Holland Land Company

Conspicuous by its absence is the giant Holland Land Company.

The Holland Land Company was an unincorporated syndicate of thirteen
Dutch investors from Amsterdam who in 1792 and 1793 purchased the
western two-thirds of the Phelps and Gorham Purchase, an area that
afterward was known as the Holland Purchase. Aliens were forbidden
from owning land within the United States, so the investors placed
their funds in the hands of certain trustees who bought the land in
central and western New York State and western Pennsylvania. The
syndicate hoped to sell the land rapidly at a great profit. Instead,
for many years they were forced to make further investments in their
purchase; surveying it, building roads, digging canals, to make it
more attractive to settlers. They sold the last of their land
interests in 1840, when the syndicate was dissolved.

As the interest of the Holland Land Company was in the land marked on
the Hutchins map as part of Genesee Country, which is not shown in
full here, then this cataloguer does not think the annotations were
made by them or for them.

A: “Part of Genesee Country”

Appearing on the map in the top right-hand corner this is an area
bounded to the north by the southern shores of Lake Erie and
LakeOntario, and on all other sides by Pennsylvania. Genesee Country
is a small portion of a much larger tract of land in Western New
Yorkbitterly fought over by several interested parties, including
Native Americans, colonists, and land companies.

During the American Revolutionary War, colonists sympathetic to the
rebels suffered tremendously under the attacks of Indians loyal to the
Tory cause. On July 31, 1779, Gen. George Washington ordered Gen.
James Clinton and Gen. John Sullivan to march from Wyoming, near
present-day Wilkes-Barre, to the Finger Lakes area of New York.

Their orders were to "destroy all Indian villages and crops belonging
to the six nations, to engage the Indian and Tory marauders under
Brandt and Butler whenever possible, and to drive them so far west
that future raids would be impossible.” The raids devastated the
Cayuga and Iroquois homelands, destroying 40 villages, including major
Cayuga villages such as Cayuga Castle and Chonodote(Peachtown), in the
area from Albany to Niagara.

Following the American Revolution, there remained a confusing
collection of contradictory royal charters from James I, Charles I,
and Charles II, mixed with a succession of treaties with the Dutch and
with the Indians, which made the legal situation intractable.

Western New York was eligible for settlement as soon as New York and
Massachusetts reached a compromise settling their competing claims for
the region. This occurred in December 1786 with the signing of the
Treaty of Hartford.

With the treaty, Massachusetts ceded its claim to the government,
sovereignty, and jurisdiction of the region to New York, but retained
thepre-emptive right to obtain title from the native Americans. Any
purchaser of those rights from the Indians would have to
obtainMassachusetts' approval.

After the adoption of the United States Constitution in 1787, the
federal government ratified their compact, and in April 1788, Phelps
and Gorham bought the preemptive rights from Massachusetts, but this
didn't get them the right to develop or re-sell the land.

B: “Western Boundary of the Cession of the Six Nations according to
the Treaty held at Fort Stanwix 22nd Oct 1784”

The boundary line extends from the north by the southern shore of Lake
Ontario, to nearly as far south as the Alleghany River.

The Second Treaty of Fort Stanwix, also called the Treaty with the Six
Nations, was created after the conclusion of the American Revolution.
The campaign, and particularly the march ordered by Washington in July
of 1779, decimated the once powerful Iroquois. As a result they agreed
to redraw their eastern boundaries established as part of the earlier
treaty of 1768. At Fort Stanwix they yielded a small section of
western New York, a vast region in western Pennsylvania, representing
one-fourth of the total area of the modern state.

The western boundary, noted on this map, to additional territory west
of the Ohio was disputed by other tribes in the area, especially
theShawnee, leading to continued conflict and bloodshed in that area
for years to come, making the area less attractive to potential

C: Cession to Congress of the State of New York now part of Pennsylvania

A triangular area bounded by the southern shore of Lake Erie in the
north, Pennsylvania to the south, and in the east by Genesee Counrty.

In October of 1782 New York ceded its claims west of Lake Ontario,
sold the Erie Triangle to Pennsylvania, and gave up its dispute
withNew Hampshire and the residents of the New Hampshire Grants area
over what would become Vermont. There are three manuscript ‘X’s marked
in the lake which may indicate access.

As most of the British colonies on the east coast of North America
were established by proprietorships in the 17th and early 18th
centuries, when geographical knowledge of North America was
incomplete, particularly land to the west of settled areas, many of
these colonies were established by royal proclamation or charter that
defined their boundaries as stretching "from sea to sea", or did not
have western boundaries established at all.

Many colonies therefore could in theory extend indefinitely and
overlap each other, causing conflict over claims and settlements
established, initially, by other European powers, and after the
American Revolution continued between settlers of different states.
New York, New Hampshire, and independent Vermonters, continued to be
divided over the land that would eventually become Vermont for years.

In 1782, the Commonwealth secured its northeastern boundary and lands
originally claimed by Connecticut. In 1786 the southwestern boundary,
including lands originally part of Virginia was established.
Pennsylvania's northwestern border, however, continued to be a point
of contention with neighboring New York. This region was of special
economic importance, for it contained “the so-called "Erie Triangle,"
a large parcel of land with frontage on Lake Erie. During the American
Revolution, the Pennsylvania legislature sent General William Irvine
to explore the area and offer recommendations on how the state could
best use the region to raise revenue. While on this tour Irvinelooked
for a harbor where Pennsylvania could build a trading post on Lake
, and on his return to the East, interested a number of investors

in purchasing the Triangle... In 1785, commissioners appointed by both
state legislatures agreed to survey the disputed lands and purchase
those required from the Seneca who inhabited them. The charter of New
set the state's western boundary along the southshore of Lake

Erie to the forty-second degree of latitude, on a line drawn from the
western extremity of Lake Ontario.

“To determine this line Pennsylvania and New York had to agree whether
the "western extremity of Lake Ontario" included BurlingtonBay, or
began at the peninsula that divided the latter from the lake. Andrew
Ellicott of Pennsylvania and Frederick Saxton of New York, the
surveyors sent out to establish the boundary, decided upon the
peninsula as the proper point from which to draw the line, and the
western boundary of New York

was fixed at twenty miles east of Presque Isle. This left a triangular
tract, not included in the charter of either state, which became
federal lands. On September 4, 1788, Congress

ratified the contract for the sale of the triangle to Pennsylvania
(Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission online).

D: ‘Connecticut Lands’

An area bounded in the north by the southern shore of Lake Erie,
extending as far as Sandusky in the west, to Pennsylvania in the east,
and as far as Beaver’s Town in the south.

In May of 1786 Connecticut ceded land from its western border to the
Mississippi River, notably including the Wyoming Valley disputed in
the Pennamite-Yankee War, but Connecticut retained the Connecticut
Western Reserve in Ohio Country until 1800.

The Connecticut Western Reserve, or later, the Firelands were
originally called "the Fire Sufferers Land", and is the tract given by
the Connecticut Legislature in 1792 to citizens of Norwalk, New Haven,
East Haven, Greenwich, Danbury, Ridgefield, Groton, New London, and
Fairfield in Connecticut, which were invaded and damaged by British
troops during the American Revolution. The British were attempting to
destroy manufacturing and shipping which aided the Continental Army.
However, as the land wasn't secured by treaty until 1805, and the
original surveying by 1808, few of the original 'sufferers' alive or
young enough to resettle. As a result most of the land was bought up
by speculators who sold it on at presumably a vast profit to
completely unrelated settlers.

E & M: ‘Military Lands’

The United States Military District (‘E’) was a tract of land reserved
by Congress to compensate veterans of the American Revolutionary War
for their service. American soldiers were issued land warrants as
compensation which varied according to their rank. In 1796, Congress
established the United States Military District to pay off the
government's remaining land debts. The eastern boundary was theSeven
. To the south were the Refugee Tract and Congress lands.  The

western boundary was the Scioto River, and the northern boundary was
the line established by the Treaty of Greeneville.

However veterans did not often choose to move to the Military
District, preferring to sell their lands without ever seeing them.

Military Tract “M” is bounded in the south by the confluence of the
Mississippi and Wabash Rivers.

F: ‘The Seven Ranges

The Seven Ranges, or the Old Seven Ranges was a land tract in eastern
Ohio that was the first tract to be surveyed in what became the Public
Survey System. Bounded on the south and east sides along the Ohio
. It consists of all of Monroe, Harrison, Belmontand Jefferson,

and portions of Carroll, Columbiana, Tuscarawas, Guernsey, Noble, and
Washington County.

The United States claimed the region after the 1783 Treaty of Paris
that ended the American Revolutionary War. Hutchins, as chief
Geographer of the United States, began surveying the area in September
1785 and completed most of it, after a troublesome time, in July of
1788. However Hutchins fell ill shortly thereafter and died before the
final survey was completed in April of 1789. Public sales of theSeven
Ranges began in 1787 in New York, and were continued in Philadelphia,
Pittsburgh, and Steubenville, Ohio. Difficulties with Indians
continued in the area until the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, and
settlement was slow. Steubenville (not marked on the map) was founded
in 1797, and the land office there opened in 1801.

G: ‘The Ohio & Scioto Company’s’

The Scioto Company was involved in land investment and development in
the Ohio Country beginning in 1789. Among the company's stockholders
were Winthrop Sargent and Manasseh Cutler. William Duer was one of its
officers. Although the company had reserved 4.5 million acres from
Congress, the company began selling land to French immigrants before
actually paying for and obtaining title to the lands in Ohio. Land
agent William Playfair kept the company's money for himself, and the
investors were not able to pay Congress for the land.

When the French immigrants arrived in Ohio, they discovered that the
company's representatives had cheated them. The land that they had
purchased actually belonged to the Ohio Company of Associates rather
than to the Scioto Company. Many of the immigrants returned to the
East. The people who chose to stay either had to pay the Ohio Company
for their land or move to the area set aside for them by the American
government known as the French Grant.

Some of those who stayed settled in Gallipolis, where life was
extremely difficult in the early years. The Scioto Company opened a
store in the community and promised the

settlers additional resources, but did not have sufficient funds to
follow through on its promises. In the end, the French had to rely on
themselves rather than the Scioto Company in order to survive life on
the frontier (Ohio History Central online).

H: ‘Treaty between the U.S. & the Wyandots. Delaware etc. Nations acc.
To the Cession at Fort McIntosh 21st Jan. 1785. East.n bound.y’

The boundary line extends from near Miami Fort in the northwest to
Delaware Town in the southeast.

The Treaty at Fort McIntosh between the United States government and
representatives of the Wyandotte, Delaware, Chippewa andOttawa nations
of Native Americans was a follow up to the 1784 Treaty of Fort
Stanwix, where the Seneca nation had given up claims to the Ohio
Country. In this new treaty the American government sought to convince
the remaining tribes to give up their claims in the Ohio Country.
However fighting continued between the tribes and the US until the
Treaty of Greenville in 1795.

The boundary line between the United States and the Wiandot and
Delaware nations, began at the mouth of the river Cayahoga, and ran to
the Tuscarawas branch of Meskingum, then down to the forks at the
crossing place above Fort Lawrence, then westerly to the Big Miami,
which runs into the Ohio, then along to the Great Miami or Ome river,
and down the south-east side of the river to its mouth, then along the
south shore of lake Erie, to the mouth of Cayahoga where it began.

I:  ‘Symmes & Comp.y’

This area encompasses land between the two Miami rivers, Great Miami,
and Little Miami. The Symmes Purchase was an early land division in
the region of what would become Ohio.

John Cleves Symmes was Congressman and judge from New Jersey, who
created a company with several of his friends to buy land in
theNorthwest Territory between the Great Miami and Little Miami
Rivers. In 1788, Symmes and his associates requested one million acres
of land from Congress. In the end, they were only allowed to purchase
about 330,000 acres. President George Washington approved the land
patent in 1794. Symmes ignored Government requirements for the
purchase and investors chose not to follow the government survey
system. “This resulted in some confusion over property boundaries and
land ownership. Symmes and his associates also founded the community
of Dayton on land that was not part of the Miami Purchase. Numerous
settlers in the Symmes Purchase had to pay for their property more
than once. They initially purchased it from Symmes, and then, they had
to buy it from the actual owner. The failure of Symmes to honor the
United States Congress's provisions resulted in the federal government
refusing to sell such large parcels of land to other private real
estate speculators. Instead, the government surveyed the land and
arranged the sale of the property directly to potential settlers”
(Ohio History Central online).

K:  ‘East.n bound.y of the Shawanoese according to the Treaty of the
Great Miami held 31st Jan. 1786’

The boundary line extends from Riviere a la Panse to the Great Miami
at its conjunction with the eastern boundary line of the Treaty
between the U.S. & the Wyandots of 1785.

The Shawnee tribe had refused to accept the terms of the Treaty of
Fort McIntosh of January 1785, and so negotiations took place at
FortFinney, near modern day Cincinnati, Ohio in January 1786. “The
Shawnees refused to accept the land set aside for them in the Treaty
of Fort McIntosh. They gave the American negotiators a belt of black
wampum, a sign of war. Butler and Parsons threatened the Shawneeswith
attack if they refused to the Americans' demands. Shawnee leaders,
fearing the power of the American military, agreed to the Treaty of
Fort Finney, also known as the Treaty at the Mouth of the Great Miami,
on January 31, 1786. The Shawnee leaders in attendance agreed to
relinquish all claims to their land in southwestern Ohio and southern
Indiana. They promised to move to the land set aside for them in the
Treaty of Fort McIntosh. The Americans also promised to keep white
squatters from settling on land reserved exclusively for the Native
Americans” (Ohio History Central online). Needless to say, fighting

L: ‘Wabash Comp.y’

A Royal Proclamation of 1763 forbade private purchase of Native
American lands to individuals. In 1768 a group of prominent merchants
from Philadelphia began doing business in the Illinois Country,
selling provisions to American Indians and British troops. In 1773,
William Murray, the merchants' agent in Illinois, learned of a British
legal opinion known as the Camden-Yorke Opinion, which was interpreted
by some to

suggest that private purchases of land from American Indians would now
be recognized by the British Crown. So Murray and hisPhiladelphia
employers organized the Illinois Company and, on 5 July 1773,
purchased two tracts of land from the Kaskaskia, Peoria, andCahokia
tribes. William Murray then formed the Wabash Company with Lord
Dunmore as a member. On October 18, 1775, an agent for the Wabash

purchased two tracts of land along the Wabash River from the
Piankashaw tribe. However British authorities refused to recognise the
legality of the purchase.

This particular issue became part of a wider debate in Congress about
the western boundaries of states, with the states without western
lands demanding that Virginia and other states with large land claims
cede these lands to the national government. Virginia ceded her
western land claims to the United States in 1784.

N: ‘New Jersey Comp.y’

This valuable area of land is bounded on the west, south and eastern
edges by the Mississippi River. It may be a reference to a concern
upheld by the state of New Jersey, and other states without western
lands, wanting to limit the western claims of states like Virginia.
Their position was prompted by, amongst other issues, the presence in
the legislature of men who had invested in speculative land companies
based on Indian deeds that they had purchased. One of the most
prominent of these speculative companies was the Indiana Company. When
Virginia ceded its western lands to the United States New Jersey
opposed the cession, continuing argue the point until 1786.

O: Illinois Comp.y

A Royal Proclamation of 1763 forbade private purchase of Native
American lands to individuals. In 1768 a group of prominent merchants
from Philadelphia began doing business in the Illinois Country,
selling provisions to American Indians and British troops. In 1773,
William Murray, the merchants' agent in Illinois, learned of a British
legal opinion known as the Camden-Yorke Opinion, which was interpreted
by some to suggest that private purchases of land from American
Indians would now be recognized by the British Crown. So Murray and
hisPhiladelphia employers organized the Illinois Company and, on 5
July 1773, purchased two tracts of land from the Kaskaskia, Peoria,
andCahokia tribes. William Murray then formed the Wabash Company with
Lord Dunmore as a member. On October 18, 1775, an agent for the Wabash
Company purchased two tracts of land along the Wabash River from the
Piankashaw tribe. However British authorities refused to recognise the
legality of the purchase.

This particular issue became part of a wider debate in Congress about
the western boundaries of states, with the states without western
lands demanding that Virginia and other states with large land claims
cede these lands to the national government. Virginia ceded her
western land claims to the United States in 1784.

P: Knoxville.

Represented on the map as a manuscript dot and a small rectangle,
Knoxville was founded in 1791.

White's revolutionary war service entitled him to receive land in
Tennessee, which was a part of North Carolina when the land grant act
was passed in 1783. “In August of that year White set out on an
exploratory trip along the French Broad and Holston rivers seeking the
most attractive land on which to settle. Accompanied by Francis
Ramsey, who was a land surveyor, Robert Love, and others, White's
party journeyed down the French Broad to its confluence with the
Holston, forming the Tennessee River. There they first beheld the
beautiful spot on which White later founded the city of Knoxville.

“White's cabin, which stood on White's Creek near its junction with
the Holston, constituted one corner of White's Fort, which protected
the settlement from marauding American Indians. It became a rendezvous
for new settlers and other travelers since it was easily accessible by
water and trails along the rivers, and it occupied a strategic
position between settlements on the upper reaches of the Holston
andCumberland. Meanwhile, William Blount, another North Carolina
native who was governor of the Territory Southwest of the Ohio River
(which included present-day Kentucky and Tennessee) and a good friend
of White's, appointed him a justice of the peace and major of militia.
In 1791 Blount made White's Fort the territorial capital and named it
Knoxville in honor of General Henry Knox, who was then secretary of
war. The town developed into a city, which was twice Tennessee's
capital (1796-1812 and 1817-1818). When Knox Countywas created, White
was made lieutenant colonel and commander of the county militia. As
such, he directed the defense of Knoxville when Cherokee and Creek
Indians were on the warpath in 1793” (Noel Yancey for ANB).


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