History of southwest Virginia, 1746-1786, Washington County, 1777-1870

The writer is a native-born son of Southwest Virginia, and has always felt a groat pride in his country, and since reaching maturity has been interested in the history of this section.

In the schools but little has been taught in regard to the history of this portion of Virginia, as but a small part of its history has been preserved. Our historians have been citizens of Eastern Virginia or of other States; and while our people have been making history from the earliest settlement, scarcely any effort has been made to preserve it, and as a result other parts of our country whose history has been preserved have in many instances received credit that properly belongs to the people of this section of Virginia, and being impressed with this fact, and prompted by a desire to preserve the past history if our people, he determined, a few years since, to collect the history of Southwest Virginia, in so far as it was possible, and to rescue the same from oblivion, and in doing this work he has given such time only as he could spare from his professional duties.

If an apology is needed for his effort in thus attempting to preserve this history it will be found in the remark of Lord Macaulay, wherein ho justly observed: "A people which takes no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy to be remembered with pride; by remote descendants."

There can be no question that this section of Virginia has been robbed of much of the honor due her for the early settlement of the vast extent of country to the west and south thereof, and that the noble deeds of her sons have been ascribed to others; and a knowledge of this fact has rendered necessary the preservation of the deeds of the worthy citizens that this section has produced, not only to gratify the pride of our citizens, but to remind them of the obligations they are under, and to supply them with examples of patriotism which they may seek to emulate.


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The history of Virginia, from the earliest times until the date of the formation of Washington county by the General Assembly of Virginia, is interesting and instructive, and is necessary to a thorough comprehension of thai part of our history subsequent thereto.

In the year 1001, the American Continent was discovered by Leif Erickson, a Northman, who sailed west from Greenland, and landed on the coast of America in 41 1/4 north latitude. He named the land of his discovery Vineland. This discovery was made in the spring of the year, and the luxuriant growth of vegetation that adorned the land suggested the name Vineland.

This continent was visited by the Northmen at intervals from the time of the discovery of Erickson until as late as 1347. The visits of the Northmen to America have often been questioned and were generally doubted, until discoveries made in recent times.