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The vestry of the parish met August 21, 1753, and ordered the church-wardens "to pale in a church yard one hundred feet square,'' and also "to pale and clear out a garden of half an acre at the glebe." At the meeting on November 28th, Robert Campbell, of whom the glebe land was purchased, acknowledged payment of £60 in full. Colonel John Lewis acknowledged payment to him of ^148, the "full sum agreed on for building the glebe work according to bargain," and renewed his obligation to pay Mr. Jones £20 a year till the buildings should be finished, Mr. Jones consenting thereto.
The Colonial Assembly passed an act at their session which began in November, 1753, reciting that part of the county and parish of Augusta was within the bounds of the Northern Neck belonging to Lord Fairfax, and setting off this portion of Augusta and a part of Frederick to form the county of Hampshire.
The "returns" of the early sheriffs give .us an idea of the state of the country and the times in which these officers lived. In the year 1751 the sheriff, on an execution issued in the cause of Johnson vs. Brown, made return: "Not executed by reason, there is no road to the place where he lives." Other executions were returned as follows: '' Not executed by reason of excess of weather;" "Not executed by reason of an axx;" "Not executed by reason of a gun." In Emlen vs. Miller, 1753: "Kept off from Miller with a club, and Miller not found by Humphrey Marshal." In Bell vs. Warwick, 1754: "Executed on the within John Warwick, and he is not the man." In August, 1755, forty-nine executions were returned: "Not executed by reason of the disturbance of the Indians."
Major Andrew Hamilton was born in Augusta county in 1741. His parents were Archibald and Frances Calhoun Hamilton, who came to this country from Ireland. Archibald is said to have been a descendant of James Hamilton, Earl of Arran, who was regent of Scotland during the infancy of Mary Stuart.
The date of Archibald Hamilton's settlement in Augusta is not known. He was probably one of the first to come, and like other early settlers, located on the public domain, without legal title to his homestead. In 1747, however, he received from William Beverley, the patentee, a deed for three hundred and two acres of land on Christian's creek, in Beverley Manor, for the nominal consideration of five shillings. He also acquired lands by patent from the government. He survived till about the year 1794. His children were five sons, Audly, John, Andrew, William, and Archibald, and a daughter named Lettice.
Andrew Hamilton married, in Augusta, Jane Magill, a native of Pennsylvania, and in 1765 removed to South Carolina and settled at Abbeville, in the neighborhood of Andrew Pickens, afterwards the celebrated General Pickens, who had gone with his parents from Augusta some years previously. Both Hamilton and Pickens entered the military service at the beginning of the Revolutionary war. The former served through the whole war, first as captain and then as major under General Pickens, and took part in nearly all the important battles in South Carolina and Georgia. At one time he was imprisoned in a block-house on his own estate.
After the war, Major Hamilton was elected to the Legislature of South Carolina, and continued to serve in that capacity till he was unfitted for it by old age. Then he was requested to nominate his successor, who was immediately elected.
The life of Major Hamilton was long and eventful. He died January
19, 1835, in the ninety-fifth year of his age, his wife having died April
20, 1826, in her eighty-sixth year. The remains of this aged and distinguished couple lie in the cemetery of Upper Long Cane Church, of which General Pickens and Major Hamilton are said to have been the first elders.
Major Hamilton is described as a strict Presbyterian in his religious faith and a man of inflexible will, dauntless courage, and superb physical development. He left many descendants, and among them are the Simonds and Ravenels, of Charleston, Parkers and Waties, of Columbia, Calhouns, of South Carolina and Georgia, and Alstons and Cabells, of Virginia. Some time before the year 1830, Major Hamilton and one of his daughters, Mrs. Alston, made a trip on horseback from South Carolina to Augusta county, to visit the spot where he was born and reared. It was his first visit—one of tender remembrance—since he had left the county in his youth. A brother of his went to Kentucky and was the founder of a wealthy and distinguished family.
The Rev. Charles Cummings was born in Ireland and emigrated to Lancaster county, Virginia, where he taught school and studied theology with the Rev. James Waddell. He was licensed to preach by Hanover Presbytery at Tinkling Spring, April 17, 1766. As stated, he became pastor of Brown's meeting-house congregation in 1767. The elders present at his ordination were George Moffett, Alexander Walker, and John McFarland. In 1773 he was called to minister to two congregations on the Holston and settled near Abingdon. The call was signed by one hundred and twenty heads of families—Campbells, Blackburns, Edmondsons, Christians, Thompsons, Montgomerys, and others. The country on the Holston was then exposed to Indian inroads, and Mr. Cummings was in the habit of carrying his rifle with him into the pulpit. On one occasion he was engaged in a deadly conflict with the Indians. In 1776 he accompanied the troops under Colonel Christian in their expedition against the Cherokees, and was the first minister that ever preached in Tennessee. He died in 1812.
The Rev. James Madison, D. D., was born August 27,1749, near Port Republic, then in Augusta county. He was educated at William and Mary College, and first studied law, but soon abandoned that profession for the ministry. In 1773 he was chosen Professor of Mathematics in William and Mary, and going to England was there licensed as a minister by the Bishop of London. Returning to Virginia he resumed his place in the College, of which he became President in 1777. He presided as Bishop over the first Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Virginia in May, 1785. During the same year the degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon him by the University of Pennsylvania. He died in 1815. His children were a son, James C. Madison, of Roanoke county, and a daughter, Mrs. Robert G. Scott, of Richmond.
INDIAN WARS, ETC., FROM I753 TO I756.
From 1753, for more than ten years, war raged all along the frontier. We do not propose to give a history of the general war, and can only briefly sketch some of the principal events which immediately concerned the people of Augusta county.
Some account of the Indian tribes most frequently in contact with the white settlers of this region is appropriate here. Withers states, in his " Border Warfare" [p. 39], that when Virginia became known to the whites, the portion of the State lying northwest of the Blue Ridge and extending to the lakes was possessed by the Massawomees. These were a powerful confederacy, rarely in unity with the tribes east of that range of mountains; but generally harassing them by frequent hostile irruptions into their country. Of their subsequent history, nothing is now known. They are supposed by some to have been the ancestors of the Six Nations.
"As settlements were extended from the sea shore," says Withers, "the Massawomees gradually retired; and when the white population reached the Blue Ridge, the Valley between it and the Alleghany was entirely uninhabited. This delightful region of country was then only used as a hunting ground, and as a highway for belligerent parties of different nations, in their military expeditions against each other. In consequence of the almost continuous hostilities between the northern and southern Indians, these expeditions were very frequent, and tended somewhat to retard the settlement of the Valley, and render a residence in it, for some time, insecure and unpleasant. Between the Alleghany mountains and the Ohio river, within the present limits of Virginia, there were some villages interspersed, inhabited by small numbers of Indians; the most of whom retired northwest of that river as the tide of emigration rolled towards it. Some, however, remained in the interior after settlements began to be made in their vicinity.
"North of the present boundary of Virginia, and particularly near the junction of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers, and in the circumjacent country, the Indians were more numerous, and their villages larger. In 1753. when General Washington visited the French posts on the Ohio, the spot which had been selected by the Ohio Company as the site for a fort, was occupied by Shingess, King of the Delawares; and other parts of the proximate country were inhabited by Mingoes and Shawanees [Shawnees]. When the French were forced to abandon the position which they had taken at the forks of Ohio, the greater part of the adjacent tribes removed further west. So that when improvements were begun to be made in the wilderness of Northwestern Virginia it had been almost entirely deserted by the natives; and excepting a few straggling hunters and warriors, who occasionally traversed it in quest of game, or of human beings on whom to wreak their vengeance, almost its only tenants were beasts of the forest.''
We have no statistics of Indian population in 1753. A Captain Hutchins visited most of the tribes in 1768, and made the most accurate estimate he could of their numbers at that date. The Indian population was no doubt much greater in 1753 than in 1768; ten years of war having thinned their ranks considerably. In the latter year the statistics were as follows, as reported by Hutchins: The Cherokees, in the western part of North Carolina, now Tennessee, numbered about two thousand five hundred. The Chickasaws resided south of the Cherokees, and had a population of seven hundred and fifty. The Catawbas, on the Catawba river, in South Carolina, numbered only one hundred and fifty. These last, although so few, were remarkably enterprising. They are said to have frequently traversed the Valley of Virginia, and even penetrated the country on the Susquehanna and between the Ohio and Lake Erie, to wage war with the Delawares. The more northern tribes were the Delawares, Shawnees, Chippewas,