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Greathouse Point > Greathouse County > VA > Augusta

Greathouse of Augusta County, VA

Do you have any Greathouse kith and kin who resided in Augusta County, VA? If so, please join us in our efforts to better document the Greathouse kith and kin who lived in this county, by sending your additions and corrections to Greathouse Point.

1774, May 8 - Letter: No. 24. William Crawford To Washington.

May 8, 1774. Sir:— Inclosed you have the drafts of the Round Bottom and your Chartier's land, finished agreeable to Mr. Lewis's direction. [1] I should have sent them from Stanton, but Mr. Lewis had set out for Cheat river before I got there, and I wanted him to see the returns before I sent them to you. I was still disappointed, as before I could return back again Mr. Lewis started for home, and I understand he will be in "Williamsburgh soon. If the returns do not answer, you can have them changed. If you should not choose to enter those names in the return now made for the Round Bottom, I have sent you a blank to fill up, which you may do yourself.

I suppose by this time various reports have reached you. I have given myself some trouble to acquaint myself with the truth of matters; but there are some doubts remaining as to certain facts; however, I will give you the best account I can.

The surveyors that went down the Kanawha [2] as report goes, were stopped by the Shawanese Indians, [3] upon which some of the white people attacked some Indians and killed several, took thirty horse-loads of skins near the mouth of Scioto; on which news, and expecting an Indian war, Mr. Cresap [4] and some other people fell on some other Indians at the mouth of Pipe creek, killed three, and scalped them. Daniel Greathouse and some others fell on some at the mouth of Yellow creek [5] and killed and scalped ten, and took one child about two months old, which is now at my house. I have taken the child from a woman that it had been given to. [6] Our inhabitants are much alarmed, many hundreds having gone over the mountain,and the whole country evacuated as far as the Monongahela; and many on this side of the river are gone over the mountain. In short, a war is every moment expected. We have a council now with the Indians. What will be the event I do not know. [7]

I am now setting out for Fort Pitt at the head of one hundred men. Many others are to meet me there and at Wheeling, where we shall wait the motions of the Indians, and shall act accordingly. [8] We are in great want of some proper person to direct us, who may have command,—Mr. Connolly, who now commands, having incurred the displeasure of the people. He is unable to take command for two reasons : one is, the contradiction between us and the Pennsylvanians ; and the other that he carries matters too much in a military way, and is not able to go through with it. I have some hopes that we may still have matters settled with the Indians upon a method properly adopted for that purpose.

It seems that they say they have not been paid anything for their land—I mean the Shawanese and Delawares. The Six Nations say they have no right to any of the money, the land not being their property. I do not mean to say anything against Mr. Connolly's conduct, only he can not carry things on as he could wish, as he is not well acquainted with the nature of the people he has to deal with. Fair means would do better, and he could get anything he wanted more readily.

In case of a war, much dependence from this place lies on you, Sir, as being well acquainted with our circumstances. Should matters be settled with the Indians soon, I suppose you will proceed on with the improvement of your lands; if not, you will discharge your people, and of course your servants will be sold. In that case, I should be glad to take two of them, if you are willing. In a few days you will be better advised, and then you will be more able to determine on matters. I am, &c.


1) Thomas Lewis, surveyor of Augusta county, Virginia. During the year 1774, Crawford surveyed and returned to his office 4,153 acres for different persons.

2) [From the Maryland Gazette, March 10, 1774.]

" Fincastle County, Virginia, January 27, 1774.

" Notice is hereby given to the gentlemen, officers, and soldiers, who claim land under his Majesty's proclamation of the 7th of October, 1763, who have obtained warrants from his Excellency the right honorable the Earl of Dunniore, directed to the surveyor of Fincastle county, and intend to locate their land on or near the Ohio, below the mouth of the Great Kanawha or New river, that several assistant surveyors will attend at the mouth of the New river on Thursday, the 14th of April next, to survey, for such only as have or may obtain his lordship's warrant for that purpose.

" I would therefore request that the claimants or their agents will be very punctual in meeting at the time and place above mentioned, properly provided with chain-carriers and other necessaries, to proceed on the business without delay. Several gentlemen acquainted with that part of the country are of the opinion that to prevent insults from strolling parties of Indians, there ought to be at least fifty men on the river below the Great Kanawha to attend to the business as the gentlemen present may judge most proper until it is done, or the season prevent them from surveying any more. Should the gentlemen concerned be of the same opinion, they will, doubtless, furnish that or any less number they may believe necessary. It is hoped the officers or their agents who may have land surveyed, particularly such as do not reside in the colonies, will be careful to send the surveying fee when the certificates are demanded. " William Preston,

" Surveyor of Fincastle County."

3) This first overt act was one of the proximate causes only which brought on, in a short time thereafter, a bloody conflict—a contest known in history as Lord Dunmore's War. A remote cause was the general antagonism of the red and white races, now being brought continually nearer to each other, as the tide of emigration broke through the Alleghanies and rolled down in a continuous flow upon the valley of the Ohio.

4) Michael Cresap, a native of Maryland, and a resident of Old Town, which was, at that date, generally known as " Cresap's," and is so marked on some of the old maps;—"Mr. Cresap and some other people" were looking out for themselves locations of land upon the Ohio at the time.

5) Yellow creek, a tributary of the Ohio, flowing into that stream on the right, fifty-five miles by course of the river below Pittsburgh. The words of Crawford should have been, " opposite the mouth of Yellow creek."

6) This occurrence took place on the 30th of April, 1774. It was then that Logan, the Mingo chief, lost his relatives—mother, brother, and sister; not, however, by "Colonel Cresap," as, in his immortal speech, he pathetically charges, but at the hands of the party of Daniel Greathouse, as stated by Crawford.

7) This council was held at Pittsburgh, at the advice of Mr. Croghan. On the side of the Indians were several chiefs of the Delawares and the Deputy of the Six Nations (Gayasutha), with eight others of the Seneca tribe. These gave the Pennsylvanians the strongest assurances that they wished for nothing more than to continue in peace with Pennsylvania. But the wrath of Logan, the Mingo chief, was kindled against the Virginians, and could not be assuaged with words. He must "glut his vengeance upon the Long Knives."

8) Pennsylvania was exceedingly solicitous for peace; but Virginia determined to punish the Mingoes and Shawanese. Now that Crawford's ardent love of adventure, and sympathy with his native province got the better of his Pennsylvania loyalty, he accepted a captain's commission from Dunmore, and, at the head of one hundred men, proceeded down the Ohio, to watch " the motions of the Indians "— the Mingoes and Shawnese.


1) Greathouse kith and kin implicated in massacre at Yellow Creek: Daniel Greathouse.


Consul Willshire Butterfield, Editor, The Washington-Crawford letters: Being the correspondence between George Washington and William Crawford, from 1767 to 1781, concerning western lands, Authors: George Washington, William Crawford, Valentine Crawford, R. Clarke & co., 1877. Original from: Harvard University, Digitized Jul 28, 2006. Page 46-50, 1774, May 8 - Letter: No. 24. William Crawford To Washington. View @ Google Books.


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