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Thomas Walker

Thomas Walker


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Thomas Walker was born in Manchester in 1749. Walker took a keen interest in politics and was a supporter of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, where he met other reformers such as Granville Sharp, Thomas Clarkson, William Dillwyn, William Allen, Josiah Wedgwood, James Ramsay, Charles Middleton, Henry Thornton and William Smith.

In April 1780 Major John Cartwright helped found the Society for Constitutional Information. Other members included John Horne Tooke, John Thelwall, Granville Sharp, Josiah Wedgwood, Joseph Gales and William Smith. It was an organisation of social reformers, many of whom were drawn from the rational dissenting community, dedicated to publishing political tracts aimed at educating fellow citizens on their lost ancient liberties. It promoted the work of Tom Paine and other campaigners for parliamentary reform. Walker joined the organisation and formed a branch in Manchester.

Walker was also a member of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society founded in 1781 to promote improvements in local health and sanitary issues. It was a great success and over the years John Dalton, James Prescott Joule; Peter Mark Roget, William Fairbairn, Henry Enfield Roscoe, Ernest Rutherford, Tom Kilburn and Joseph Whitworth. Walker led the campaign in the cotton industry for the repeal of the unpopular fustian tax in 1784.

Walker became the organiser of the Manchester anti-slavery group. He chaired the first Manchester committee of 31 people in December 1787. His wife, Hannah, was listed as one of the female subscribers to the committee. Walker helped organise the 1788 petition to parliament for the abolition of the slave trade, which contained 10,639 signatures.

Walker promoted the work of Tom Paine and other campaigners for parliamentary reform. This including the Rights of Man. In the summer of 1792 Paine wrote to Walker: "It must be kept going by cheap publications. This will embarrass the Court gentry more than anything else, because it is a ground they are not used to."

Edward Thompson, the author of The Making of the English Working Class (1963) has pointed out: "In December 1972, a drunken mob was deliberately directed against the premises of Thomas Walker in Manchester: he and his supporters defended themselves successfully by firing into the air." According to Walker: "The same contrivances were used as at a contested election. Parties were collected in different public houses, and from thence paraded the streets with a fiddler before them, and carrying a board, on which was painted CHURCH and KING."

Ellen Gibson Wilson has argued that "Walker's house was besieged by mobs four times, and on the last occasion, his friends had gathered there armed with guns to defend themselves." As a result Walker and six others, including William Paul, James Cheetham and Oliver Pearsall, were charged with attempting "with force of arms" to overthrow the government. His friend, Thomas Clarkson visited him in November 1793. Clarkson wrote Walker "I have no business in Manchester, but wishing to see you on... the impending trial, and to go over some points which it may be useful to the cause to ascertain."

Walker,'s trial was held at the Lancaster Assizes in June 1794. Walker was defended by Thomas Erskine. He was acquitted because the key witness, Thomas Dunn, was shown to have lied under oath. The trial cost Walker nearly £3,000 and nearly bankrupted him.

Soon afterwards, Thomas Hardy, John Horne Tooke and John Thelwall of the London Corresponding Society were arrested and committed to the Tower of London and charged with high treason. Although Hardy, Tooke and Thelwall were acquitted the government continued to persecute supporters of parliamentary reform. Thomas Clarkson said that had they been found guilty he would have moved to America. "For if it was looked upon to be treason to belong to such popular societies as the constitutional society or the society of the friends of the people... no one was safe."

Thomas Walker retired from public life, and lived the remainder of his life at Longford Hall, Stretford. He died in 1817 and is buried in Chorlton-cum-Hardy.

There are many reasons why I am glad (Wilberforce) has undertaken it rather than I, and I think as you do, that I can be very useful in preventing him from betraying the cause, if he should be so inclined, which I own I suspect. Nothing, I think but such a disposition, or a want of judgment scarcely credible, could induce him to throw cold water upon petitions. It is from them and other demonstrations of the opinion without doors that I look for success.

One of the Abolition Committee's first collaborators, Thomas Walker of Manchester, was an early victim of the new treason and sedition acts but Clarkson did not hesitate to call on him when he was in the area in November 1793. Walker had been charged with high treason. "I have no business in Manchester", Clarkson wrote him, "but wishing to see you on... the impending trial, and to go over some points which it may be useful to the Cause to ascertain, it is my Intention to visit you.... I am on horseback. I don't wish it to be known that I am at Manchester, and should therefore like to ride up to your house, and spend the day with you, and be off the next morning." Walker was a long-time advocate of parliamentary reform who had become president of the Manchester Constitutional Society formed in opposition to the local Church and King Club. The reformers were a tiny minority in a town where "No Jacobins Admitted Here" signs hung in the taverns. Walker's house was besieged by mobs four times, and on the last occasion, his friends had gathered there armed with guns to defend themselves. This brought charges against Walker and six others of attempting "with force of arms" to overthrow the government.

At the trial in Lancaster the following April, the seven, defended by Thomas Erskine, were acquitted to Clarkson's delight but the cost of nearly £3,000 almost bankrupted Walker. Six months later Erskine defended Thelwall, Hardy and Tooke with other members of the London Corresponding Society in the more celebrated treason trials in London. They, too, were acquitted. Had they been found guilty, Clarkson intended to settle in America, "for if it was looked upon to be treason to belong to such popular societies as the constitutional society or the society of the friends of the people ... no one was safe."


Thomas Walker (1715 - 1794)

U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 View Record NameThomas WalkerGenderMaleBirth PlaceVABirth Year1715Spouse NameMildred ThorntonSpouse Birth PlaceCASpouse Birth Year1721Marriage Year1741Number Pages1Household Members Name Age Name Thomas Walker Name Mildred Thornton

  • Mildred, married Joseph Hornsby
  • Mary, married Nicholas Lewis
  • Peachy, married Joshua Fry
  • Thomas, married Margaret Hoops
  • Elizabeth Simms, married Mathew Maury
  • Susan (Sukey, Susanna) T., married Henry Fry
  • Francis, married Jane Byrd Nelson
  • Lucy, married George Gilmer
  • Sarah, married Reuben Lindsay
  • John, married Elizabeth Moore

Virginia, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1607-1890 View Record NameThos Dr. WalkerStateVACountyCulpeper CountyTownshipRent RollsYear1764Record TypeRent RoleDatabaseVA Early Census Index


Joel Thomas Walker

As a historian of Late Antiquity, my interests range widely across western Eurasia from prehistory to the Mongol Empire. All of my courses combine texts, art and archaeology in order to bring the past to life and reveal the cultural fabric of now distant societies. In addition to my 100-level survey of the Ancient World, my course rotation includes smaller lecture courses on Ancient Iran, the World of Late Antiquity, and the Mongols, as well as seminars on Jerusalem (“From King David to the Dome of the Rock”) and animal-human relations in world history ("the cow course"). I enjoy teaching students at all levels.

My research focuses on the history of the late ancient Middle East, especially the Sasanian Empire (224-651) and its Christian communities. My first book, The Legend of Mar Qardagh: Narrative and Christian Heroism in Late Antique Iraq (University of CA Press, 2006), sought to elucidate Sasanian Christian culture and its dialogue with the social, political, and intellectual traditions of Iran, Syria, and the Greco-Roman world. Subsequent articles have examined East Syrian hagiography, book culture, shrine topography, and the general history of the Church of the East from its formation to the Mongol era.

My current book project explores the history of PEARLS in the arts, imagination, and economy of the Ancient and Late Antique World. Several pieces from this project are now in print or in press. I am also working on a study of animal-human relations from the Paleolithic to the late Roman period, tentatively entitled “Bull of Heaven and Earth: A History of Cattle in the Ancient World.”


Thomas Walker - History

From 1729 to 1749, the dividing line between Virginia and North Carolina was based on the 1728 survey "from the Sea to Peters Creek" by the Honorable William Byrd, William Dandridge and Richard Fitzwilliams, Commissioners, and Mr. Alexander Irvine and Mr. William Mayo, surveyors. During this period, white settlements on both sides of the line had already extended much further west than Peter's Creek as is shown in a map drawn by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson in 1751 which included Mulberry Fields on the Yadkin River in present-day Wilkes County, North Carolina, executed after "The Line between Virginia and North Carolina, from Peters Creek to Steep Rock Creek, being 90 Miles and 280 Poles, was Survey'd in 1749 By William Churton and Daniel Weldon of North Carolina and Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson of Virginia." Steep Rock Creek is present-day Laurel Creek in Johnson, Tennessee's northeasternmost county, and stopping there was clearly short-sighted given Colonel James Patton's 1,946 acre Virginia grant of 1744, which included the Sapling Grove tract that is today part of Bristol, Sullivan County, Tennessee. (See Squabble State)

Later in 1749, Peter Jefferson (father of future U.S. President Thomas Jefferson) and Joshua Fry, along with Dr. Thomas Walker of Albemarle County (1714-1794), James Maury, Thomas Meriwether (grandfather of Meriwether Lewis) and others, established the Loyal Company with the purpose of petitioning for a large grant of land west of the Allegheny Mountains. On 12 Jul 1749, the Council of the Province of Virginia authorized the Loyal Company to enter and survey 800,000 acres of the public domain on the "western waters" (located along the southern border of Virginia, now southeastern Kentucky), but with a provision that required settlement of the land within four years, during which time period the Company would be permitted to make surveys and returns.

Dr. Walker was employed by the Loyal Company to determine the locations of the settlements, not only because he was a member of the company, but also because he was an experienced surveyor and had already traversed the western country at least once, in 1748 in the company of Col. James Patton, Colonel Patton's son-in-law, John Buchanan, Charles Campbell and longhunter John Findlay, at which time they had explored the western country as far south as the "Fork Country of the Holston" (present-day Kingsport, Sullivan County, Tennessee).

Dr. Walker's journal of his 1750 travels was preserved by his family, and first published in 1888 by his descendant, William Cabell Rives, a limited edition according to Williams, who published the Tennessee portion of the Journal (21 Mar - 14 Apr) in his "Early Travels in the Tennessee Country" (The Watauga Press, Johnson City, Tennessee, 1928, pp. 165-174). The following year, Lewis Preston published the journal in his "Annals of Southwest Virginia, 1769-1800," (Vol. I, pp. 8-26, Abingdon, Virginia, 1928). Williams's edition included an introduction to the journal, and both Williams and Summers footnoted heavily.

Dr. Walker continued to represent the Loyal Company for many years to come, including in 1779 when he accepted a commission on behalf of Virginia to run the state line between Virginia and North Carolina west from Steep Rock Creek through the Cumberland Gap and, ultimately, to the Mississippi River. In his "Early Travels of the Tennessee Country," Samuel Cole Williams notes that Walker "met in contest of wits Judge Richard Henderson, North Carolina's leading commissioner, who was yet more interested in conserving the claims of his Transylvania Company to that rich country that is now middle Tennessee north of the Cumberland River divide," adding that "the difference and dispute of these two masterful men resulted in the marking of two boundary lines, four miles apart, dealt with by the Supreme Court of the United States in the celebrated case of Virginia v. Tennessee. " (ibid.)

This electronic edition of Dr. Walker's Journal, prepared from both Williams and Summers, includes both their footnotes and those of this editor.

Carole Hammett
Squabble State, Tennessee
August, 2000

Dr. Thomas Walker's Journal, 1750

Having, on the 12th of December last, been employed for a certain consideration to go to the Westward in order to discover a proper Place for a Settlement, I left my house on the Sixth day of March, at ten o'clock, 1749-50, (1) in the Company with Ambrose Powell, William Tomlinson, Colby Chew, Henry Lawless and John Hughs. Each man had a horse and we had two to carry the baggage. I lodged this night at Col. Joshua Fry's (2) in Albemarle, which County includes the Chief of the head branches of James River on the East side of the Blue Ridge.

March, 7. Wee set off about 8, but the day proving wet, we only went to Thomas Joplin's on Rockfish. This is a pretty River, which might at a small expense be made fit for transporting Tobacco but it has been lately stopped by a Mill Dam near the Mouth to the prejudice of the upper inhabitants who would at their own expense clear and make it navigable, were they permitted.

March, 8. We left Joplin's early. It began to rain about noon. I left my people at Thomas Jones's and went to the Reverend Mr. Robert Rose's on Tye River. This is about the size of Rockfish, as yet open, but how long the Avarice of Miller's will permit it to be so, I know not. At present, the Inhabitants enjoy plenty of fine fish, as Shad in their season, Carp, Rocks, Fat-Backs which I suppose to be Tench, Perch, Mullets etc.

9th. As the weather continues unlikely, I moved only to Baylor Walker's Quarters.

March 10th. The weather is still cloudy, and leaving my People at the Quarter, I rode to Mr. John Harvie's, where I dined and return'd to the Quarter in ye evening.

March 12th. We crossed the Fluvanna and lodged at Thomas Hunt's.

13th We went early to William Calloway's and supplied ourselves with Rum, Thread, and other necessaries and from thence took the main wagaon road leading to Wood's or the New River.(3) It is not well cleared or beaten yet, but will be a very good one with proper management. This night we lodged in Adam Beard's low grounds. Beard is an ignorant, impudent, brutish fellow, and would have taken us up, had it not been for a reason, easily to be suggested.

14th. We went from Beard's to Nicholas Welches, where we bought corn for our horses, and had some Victuals dress'd for Breakfast, afterwards we crossed the Blue Ridge. The Ascent and Descent is so easie that a Stranger would not know when he crossed the Ridge.(4) It began to rain about Noon and continued till night. We lodged at William Armstrong's. corn is very scarce in these parts.

March 15th. We went to the great Lick (5) on A Branch of the Staunton and bought Corn of Michael Campbell for our horses. This Lick has been one of the best places for Game in these parts and would have been of much greater advantage to the Inhabitants than it has been if the Hunters had not killed the Buffaloes (6) for diversion, and the Elks and Deer for their skins. This afternoon we got to the Staunton where the Houses of the Inhabitants had been carryed off with their grain and Fences by the Fresh last Summer, and lodged at James Robinson's, the only place I could hear of where they had corn to spare, notwithstanding the land is such that an industrious man might make 100 barrels a share in a Seasonable year.

16th March. We kept up the Staunton (7) to William Englishes. (8) He lives on a small Branch, and was not much hurt by the Fresh. He has a mill, which is the furtherest back except one lately built by the Sect of People who call themselves of the Brotherhood of Euphrates, and are commonly called the Duncards, who are the upper Inhabitants of the New River, which is about 400 yards wide at this place. They live on the west side, and we were obliged to swim our horses over.(9) The Duncards are an odd set of people, who make it a matter of Religion not to Shave their Beards, ly on beds, or eat flesh, though at present, in the last, they transgress, being constrained to it, they say, by the want of a sufficiency of Grain and Roots, they have not long been seated here. I doubt the plenty and deliciousness of the Venison and Turkeys has contributed not a little to this. The unmarried have no Property but live on a common Stock. They don't baptize either Young or Old, they keep their Sabbath on Saturday, and hold that all men shall be happy hereafter, but first must pass through punishment according to their Sins. They are very hospitable.

19th. We could not find our horses and spent the day in Looking for them. In the evening we found their track.

20th. We went very early to the track of our Horses and after following them six or seven miles, we found them all together. we returned to the Duncards about 10 O'clock, and having purchased half a Bussell of Meal and as much small Homony we set off and lodged on a small Run between Peak Creek and Reedy Creek.(10)

March 21st. We got to Reedy Creek and camped near James McCall's.(11) I went to his house and Lodged and bought some Bacon, I wanted.

22nd. I returned to my people early. We got to a large Spring about five miles below Davises Bottom on Holstons River and Camped. (12)

23rd. We kept down the Holston River about four miles and Camped and then Mr. Powell and I went to look for Samuel Stalnaker (13) who I had been inform'd was just moved out to settle. We found his camp, and returned to our own in the evening.

24th. We went to Stalnaker's, helped him to raise his house and camped about a quarter of a mile below him. In April, 1748, I met the above mentioned Stalnaker between Reedy Creek Settlement and Holstons River, on his way to the Cherokee Indians and expected him to pilate me as far as he knew but his affairs would not permit him to go with me. (14)

March 25th. The Sabbath. Grass is plenty in the low grounds.

26th. We left the Inhabitans (15), and kept nigh West to a large Spring on a Branch of the North Fork of the Holston. Thunder, Ligtning, and Rain before Day.

27th. It began to snow in the morning and continued till Noon. The Land is very Hilly from West to North. Some snow lies on the tops of the mountains N.W. from us.

28th. We travelled to the lower end of Giant's Ditch on Reedy Creek. (16)

29th. Our Dogs were very uneasie most of this night.

30th. We kept down Reedy Creek and discover'd the tracks of about 20 Indians, that had gone up the Creek between the time we camped last night, and set off this morning. We suppose they made our Dogs so restless last night. We camped on Reedy Creek. (17)

March 30th. We caught two young Buffaloes one of which we killed, and having cut and marked the other we turn'd him out.

31st. We kept down Reedy Creek to Holston where we measured an Elm 25 ft. round 3 ft. from the ground. we saw young Sheldrakes we went down the River to the north Fork and up the north fork about a quarter of a mile to a Ford, and then crossed it. In the Fork between the Holstons and the North River, are five Indian Houses built with loggs and covered with bark, and there were abundance of Bones, some whole Pots and pans some broken. and many pieces of mats and Cloth. On the west side of the North River, is four Indian Houses such as before mentioned. we went four miles below the North River and camped on the Bank of the Holstons, opposite to a large Indian Fort. (18)

April ye 1st. The Sabbath. we saw Perch, Mullets, and Carp in plenty, and caught one of the large Sort of Cat Fish. I marked my name, the day of the Month, and date of the year on Several Beech Trees.

2nd. we left Holston and travelled through Small Hills till about Noon, when one of our horses being choaked by eating Reeds too gredily, we stopped having traveled 7 miles. (19)

3rd. Our hourse being recover'd, we travelled to the Rocky Ridge. I went up to the top, to look for a pass but found it so rocky that I concluded not to attempt it there. This ridge may be known by Sight, at a distance. To the Eastward are many small mountains, and a Buffaloe Road between them & the Ridge. The growth is Pine on the top and the rocks look white at a distance. we went Seven miles this day. (20)

4th. We kept under the Rocky Ridge crossing several small Branches to the head of Holly Creek. we saw many small licks and plenty of Deer. (21)

5th. we went down Holly Creek. There is much Holly in the Low Grounds and some Laurel and Ivy. About three in the afternoon, the Ridge appeared less stony and we passed it, (22) and camped on a small Branch about a mile from the top. my riding Horse choaked himself this evening and I drenched him with water to wash down the Reeds, and it answered the End.

6th. It proving wet we did not move.

7th. We rode 8 miles over Broken ground. It snowed most of the day. In the evening our dogs caught a large He Bear, which before we could come up to shoot him had wounded a dog of mine, so that he could not travel, and we carried him on Horseback till he recovered.

8th. The Sabbath. Still Snow.

9th. We travelled to a river, which I suppose to be that which the Hunters call Clinches River from one Clinch a Hunter, who first found it. (23) we marked several Beeches on the East Side. we could not find a ford Shallow eneugh to carry our Baggage over on our Horses. Ambrose Powell Forded over on one horse and we drove the others after him. We then made a raft and carried over one load of Baggage, but when the raft was brought back, it was so heavy that it would not carry anything more dry.

April 10th. we waded and carried the remainder of our Baggage on our shoulders at two turns over the River, which is about one hundred and thirty yards wide, we went on about five miles and Camped on a Small Branch.

April 11th. Having travelled 5 miles to and over an High Mountain, Cumberland Gap, we came to Turkey Creek, which we kept down 4 miles. It lied between two Ridges of Mountains, that to the Eastward being the highest. (24)

12th. We kept down the creek 2 miles further, where it meets with a large Branch coming from the South West and thence runs through the East Ridge making a very good pass and a large Buffaloe Road goes from that Fork to the Creek over the west ridge, which we took and found the Ascent and Descent tollerably easie. From this Mountain we rode on four miles to Beargrass River. (25) Small Cedar Trees are very plenty on the flat ground nigh the River, and some Barberry trees on the East side of the River. on the Banks is some Beargrass. We kept up the River 2 miles. I found Small pieces of Coal (26) and a great plenty of very good yellow flint. The water is the most transparent I ever saw. It is about 70 yds. wide.

April 13th. We went four miles to large Creek which we called Cedar Creek being a Branch of Bear-Grass, and from thence Six miles to Cave Gap, (27) the land being Levil. On the North side of the Gap is a large Spring, which falls very fast, and just above the Spring is a small Entrance to a Large Cave, which the spring runs through, and there is a constant Stream of Cool air issueing out. The Spring is sufficient to turn a Mill. Just at the Foot of the Hill is a Laurel Thicket and the spring Water runs through it. On the South side is a Plain Indian Road. on the top of the Ridge are Laurel Trees marked with Crosses, others Blazed and several Figures on them. As I went down the other Side, I soon came to some Laurel in the head of the Branch. A Beech stands on the left hand, on which I cut my name. (28) This Gap may be seen at a considerable distance, and there is no other, that I know of, except one about two miles to the North of it which does not appear to be So low as the other. The Mountain on the North Side of the Gap is very Steep and Rocky, but on the South side it is not so. We Called it Steep Ridge. At the foot of the hill on the North West side we came to a Branch, that made a great deal of flat land. We kept down it 2 miles, several other Branches Coming in to make it a large Creek, and we called it Flat Creek. (29) We camped on the bank where we found very good coal. I did not Se any Lime Stone beyond this ridge. We rode 13 miles this day.

April 14th. We kept down the Creek 5 miles chiefly along the Indian Road. (30)

April 15th. Easter Sunday. Being in bad grounds for our Horses we moved 7 miles along the Indian Road, to Clover Creek. Clover and Hop vines are plenty here.

April 16th. Rai(n). I made a pair of Indian Shoes, those I brought out being bad.

17th. Still Rain. I went down the Creek (31) a hunting and found that it went into a River about a mile below our camp. this, which is Flat Creek and some others join'd I called Cumberland River.

18th. Still Cloudy. We kept down the Creek to the River along the Indians Road to where it crosses. Indians have lived about this Ford some years ago. We kept on down the South Side. After riding 5 miles from our Camp, we left the River, it being very crooked. In Rideing 3 miles we came on it again. It is about 60 or 70 yds. Wide. We rode 8 (?) miles this day.

19th. We left the River but in four miles we came on it again at the Mouth of Licking Creek, which we went up and down another. In the Fork of Licking Creek is a Lick much used by Buffaloes and many large Roads lead to it. This afternoon Ambrose Powell was bit by a Bear in his Knee. We rode 7 miles this day.

20th. we kept down the Creek (32) 2 miles to the River again. It appears not any wider here at the mouth of Clover Creek, but much deeper. I thought it proper to Cross the River and begin a bark Conoe.

April 21st. We finished the Conoe and tryed her. About Noon it began to Thunder, lighten, hail and rain prodigously and continued about 2 hours.

22d. The Sabbath. One of the Horses was found unable to walk this morning. I then propos'd that with two of the company I would proceed, and the other three should continue here till our return, which was agreed to, and lots were drawn to determine who should go, they all being desirous of it. Ambrose Powell, and Colby Chew were the fortunate Persons.

23rd. Having carried our Baggage over in the Bark Conoe, and Swam our Horses, we all crossed the River. Then Ambrose Powell, Colby Chew, and I departed Leaving the others to provide and salt some Bear, build an house, and plant some peach stones and Corn. We travelled about 12 miles and encamped on Crooked Creek. The Mountains hereabouts are very small and here is a great deal of flat Land. We got through the Coal today.

April 24th. We kept on Westerly 18 miles, got clear of the Mountains and found the Land poor and the Woods very thick beyond them, and Laurel and Ivy in and near the Branches. Our horses suffered very much here for want of food. This day we came on a fresh track of 7 or 8 Indians but could not overtake them.

25th. We kept on West 5 miles, the Land continuing much Same, the Laurel rather growing worse, and the food scarcer. I got up a tree on a Ridge and saw the Growth of the Land much the same as Far as my Sight could reach. I then concluded to return to the rest of my Company. I kept on my track 1 mile then turn'd southerly and went to Cumberland River at the mouth of a water Course, that I named Rocky Creek. (33)

April 27th. We crossed Indian Creek and went down Meadow Creek to the River. There comes in another from the Southward as big as this one we are on. Below the mouth of this Creek, and above the Mouth are the remains of several Indian Cabbins amongst them a round Hill made by Art about 20 feet high and 60 over the Top. we went up the River, and Camped on the Bank.

28th We kept up the River to our Company whom we found all well, but the lame horse was as bad as we left him, and another had been bit in the Nose by a Snake. I rub'd the wound with Bears oil, and gave him a drench of the same and another of the decoction of Rattle Snake root some time after. The People had built a house 12 by 8, clear'd and broken some ground, and planted some Corn and Peach Stones. They also had killed several Bears and cured the Meat. This day Colby Chew and his Horse fell down the Bank. I Bled and gave him Volatile drops, and he soon recovered.

April 29th. The Sabbath. The Bitten Horse is better. 3 Quarters of A mile below the house is a Pond in the Low ground of the River, a quarter of a mile in length and 200 yds. wide much frequented by Fowl.

30th. I blazed a way from our House to the River. On the other side of the River is a large Elm cut down and barked about 20 feet and another standing just by it with the Bark cut around at the root and about 15 feet above. About 200 yards below this is a white Hiccory Barked about 15 feet. The depth of the water here, when the lowest that I have seen it, is 7 or 8 feet, the Bottom of the River Sandy, ye Banks very high, and the Current very slow. The Bitten horse being much mended, we set off and left the lame one. He is white, branded on the near Buttock with a swivil Stirrup Iron, and is old. We left the River and having crossed several Hills and Branches, camped in a Valley North from the House.

May the 1st. Another Horse being Bitten, I applyed Bears Oil as before Mention'd. We got to Powell's River in the afternoon and went down it along an Indian Road, much frequented, to the mouth of a Creek on the West side of the River, where we camped. The Indian Road goes up the Creek, and I think it is that Which goes through Cave Gap.

2d. We kept down the River. At the Mouth of a Creek that comes in on the East side there is a Lick, and I believe there was a hundred Buffaloes at it. About 2 o'clock we had a shower of Rain. we Camped on the River which is very crooked.

May 3rd. We crosses a narrow Neck of Land, came on the River again and Kept down it to an Indian Camp, that had been built this Spring, and in it we took up our Quarters. It began to Rain about Noon and continued till Night.

4th. We crossed a narrow Neck of Land and came on the River again, which we kept down till it turn'd to the Westward, we then left it, and went up a Creek which we called Colby's Creek. The River is about 50 yards over where we left it.

5th We got to Tomlinson's River, which is about the size of Powell's River, and I cut my name on a Beech, that stands on the North side of the River. Here is plenty of Coal in the South Bank opposite to our Camp.

6th The Sabbath. I saw Goslings, which shows that Wild Geese stay here all the year. Ambrose Powell had the misfortune to sprain his well Knee.

7th. We went down Tomlinson's River the Land being very broken and our way being embarrassed by trees, that had been blown down about 2 years ago.

May 8th. We went up a creek on the North side of the River.

9th. We got to Lawless River, which is much like the others. The Mountains here are very Steep and on Some of them there is Laurel and Ivy. The tops of the mountains are very Rocky and some parts of the Rocks seem to be composed of Shells, Nuts and many other Substances petrified and cemented together with a kind of Flint. We left the River and after travelling some Miles we got among some Trees that had been blown down about 2 years, and we were obliged to go down a Creek to the River again, the Small Branches and Mountains being impassable.

10th. We staid on the River and dressed an Elk skin to make Indian Shoes--ours being quite worn out.

11th. We left the River, found the Mountains very bad, and got to a Rock by the side of a Creek Sufficient to shelter 200 men from Rain. Finding it so convenient, we concluded to stay and put our Elk skin in order for shoes and make them.

May 12th. Under the Rock is a Soft Kind of Stone almost like Allum in taste below it A Layer of Coal about 12 inches thick and a white Clay under that. I called the Run Allum Creek. I have observed several mornings past, that the Trees begin to drop just before day & continue dripping till almost Sunrise, as if it rain'd slowly. we had some rain this day.

14th. When our Elk's skin was prepared we had lost every awl that we brought out, and I made one with the shank of an old Fishing hook, the other People made two of Horse Shoe Nails, and with these we made our Shoes or Moccosons. We wrote several of our Names with Coal under the Rock, and I wrote our names, the time of our coming and leaving this place on paper and stuck it to the Rock with Morter, and then set off. We crossed Hughes's River and Lay on a large branch of it. There is no dew this morning but a shower of Rain about 6 o'Clock. The River is about 50 yards wide.

May 15th. Laurel and Ivy increase upon us as we go up the Branch. About noon it began to rain & we took up our quarters in a valley between very Steep Hills.

16th We crossed several Ridges and Branches. About two in the afternoon, I was taken with Violent Pains in my hip.

17th. Laurel and Ivy are very plenty and the Hills still very Steep. The Woods have been burnt some years past, and are not very thick, the Timber being almost all kill'd. We camped on a Branch of Naked Creek. The pain in my hip is somewhat asswaged.

18th. We went up Naked Creek to the head and had a plain Buffaloe Road most of the way. From thence we proceeded down Wolf Creek and on it we Camped.

19th. We kept down ye Hunting Creek (34) which we crossed and left. It rained most of the afternoon.

May 20th. The Sabbath. It began to Rain about noon and continued till next Day.

21st. It left off raining about 8. we crossed several Ridges and small Branches and Camped on a Branch of Hunting Creek in the Evening it rained very hard.

22d. We went down the Branch to Hunting Creek and kept it to Milley's River. (35)

23rd. We attempted to go down the River but could not. We then Crossed Hunting Creek and attempted to go up the River but could not. it being very deep we began a Bark Canoe. The River is about 90 or 100 yards wide. I blazed several Trees in the Fork and marked T.W. on a Sycomore Tree 40 feet around. It has a large hole on the N:W: side about 20 feet from the ground and is divided into 3 branches just by the hole, and it stands about 80 yards above the mouth of Hunting Creek.

May 24th. We finished the Canoe and crossed the River about noon, and I marked a Sycomore 30 feet round and several Beeches on the North side of the River opposite the mouth of the Creek. Game is very scarce hereabouts.

25th. It began to Rain before Day and continued till about Noon. We travelled about 4 miles on a Ridge and Camped on a Small Branch.

26th. We kept down the Branch almost to the River, and up a Creek, and then along a Ridge till our Dogs roused a Large Buck Elk, which we followed down to a Creek. He killed Ambrose Powell's Dog in the Chase, and we named the Run Tumbler's Creek, the Dog being of that name.

28th. Cloudy. We could not get our Horses till almost night, when we went down the Branch. We lay on to the Main Creek (36) and turn'd up it.

May 29th. We proceeded up the Creek 7 miles and then took a North Branch and went up it 5 miles and then encamped on it.

30th. We went to the head of the Branch we lay on 12 miles. A shower of Rain fell this day. The Woods are burnt fresh about here and are the only Fresh burnt Woods we have seen these six Weeks.

31st. We crossed 2 Mountains and camped just by a Wolf's Den. They were very impudent and after they had twice been shot at, they kept howling about the Camp. It rained till Noon this day.

June ye 1st. We found a Wolf's den and caught 4 of the young ones. It rained this morning. we went up a creek crossed a Mountain and went through a Gap, and then, camped on the head of A Branch.

2d. We went down the Branch to a River 70 yards wide, which I called Fredericks River. we kept up it a half mile to a Ford, where we crossed and proceeded up the North side 3 miles. It rained most of the afternoon. Elks are very plenty on this River.

June 3rd. Whit-Sunday. It rained most of the day.

4th. I blazed several trees four ways on the outside of the low Grounds by a Buffaloe Road, and marked my name on Several Beech Trees. Also I marked some by the River side just below a mossing place with an Island in it. We left the River about ten O'clock & got to Falling Creek, and went up it till 5 in the afternoon, when a very Black Cloud appearing we turn'd out our horses got tent Poles up and were just stretching a Tent, when it began to rain and hail and was succeeded by a violent Wind which blew down our Tent & a great many Trees about it, several large ones within 30 yds. of the Tent. we all left the place in confusion and ran different ways for shelter. After the Storm was over, we met at the Tent, and found that all was safe.

5th. There was a violent Shower of Rain before day. This morning we went up the Creek about 3 miles and then were obliged to leave it, the Timber being so blown down we could not get through. After we left the Creek we kept on a Ridge (1) 4 miles, then turned down the head of a branch and it began to rain and continued raining very hard till Night.

June 6th. We went down the Branch till it became a Large Creek. It runs very swift, falling more than any of the Branches we have been on of late. I called it Rapid Creek. After we had gone eight miles we could not ford, and we camped in the low Ground. There is a great sign of Indians on this Creek.

7th. The Creek being fordable, we crossed it and kept down 12 miles to a River about 100 yards over, which we called Louisa River. The creek is about 30 yds. wide and part of ye River breakes into ye Creek--making an Island on which we camped. (38)

8th. The River is so deep we cannot ford it and as it is falling we conclude to stay and hunt. In the afternoon Mr. Powell and my Self was a hunting about a mile and a half from the camp, and heard a gun just below us on the other side of the River, and as none of our People could cross, I was in hopes of getting some direction from him, but I could not find him.

June 9th. We crossed the River and went down it to the mouth of a Creek & up the Creek to the head and over a Ridge into a Steep Valley and Camped.

June 10th. Trinity Sunday. Being in very bad Ground for our Horses we concluded to move. we were very much hindered by the Trees, that were blown down on Monday last. We Camped on a Small Branch.

11th. It rained violently the Latter part of the night till 9 o'clock. The Branch is impassable at present. We lost a Tomohawk and a Cann by the Flood.

12th. The water being low we went down the Branch to a large Creek, and up the Creek. Many trees in the Branches are Wash'd up by the Roots and others barked by the old trees, that went down ye stream. The Roots in the Bottom of the Run are Barked by the Stones.

June 13th. We are much hindered by the Gust & a shower of Rain about Noon. Game is very scarce here, and the mountains very bad, the tops of the Ridges being so covered with ivy and the sides so steep and stony, that we were obliged to cut our way through with our Tomohawks.

14. The woods are still bad and game scarce. It rained today about Noon & we camped on the top of a Ridge. (39)

15th-16th. We got on a large creek where Turkey are plenty and some Elks. we went a hunting a killed 3 turkies. Hunted and killed 3 Bears and some Turkeys.

17th. The Sabbath. We killed a large Buck Elk.

18th. having prepared a good stock of meat we left the Creek crossing several Branches and Ridges. the woods still continue bad the weather hot and our horses so far spent, that we are all forced to walk.

June 19th. We got to Laurel Creek early this morning, and met with so impudent a Bull Buffaloe that we were obliged to shoot him, or he would have been amongst us. we then went up the Creek six miles, thence up a North Branch to its head, and attempted to cross a mountain, but it proved so high and difficult, that we were obliged to camp on the side of it. This ridge is nigh the eastern edg of the Coal Land. (40)

20th We got to the top of the Mountain and could discover a Flat to the South and South East. we went down from the Ridge to a Branch and down the Branch to Laurel Creek not far from where we left it yesterday and Camped. my riding horse ws bit by a Snake this day, and having no Bears Oil I rub'd the place with a piece of fat meat which had the desired effect.

21st. We found the Level nigh the Creek so full of Laurel that we were obliged to go up a Small Branch, and from the head of it to the Creek again, and found it good travelling a Small distance from the Creek. we camped on the Creek. Deer are very scarce on the Coal Land. I having seen but 4 since the 30th. of April.

June 22nd. We kept up to the head of the Creek, the Land being Leveller than we have lately seen, and here are some large Savanna's. Most of the Branches are full of Laurel and Ivy. Deer and Bears are plenty.

23rd. Land continues level with Laurel and Ivy and we got to a large Creek with very high and steep Banks full of rocks, which I call'd Clifty Creek, the Rocks are 100 feet perpendicular in some places.

25th. We crossed Clifty Creek. Here is a little Coal and the Land still flat.

26th. We crossed a Creek that we called Dismal Creek, the Banks being the worst and the Laurel the thickest I have ever seen. The Land is Mountainous on the East Side of the Dismal Creek, and the Laurels end in a few miles. We camped on a Small Branch.

27th. The Land is very High and we crossed several Ridges and camped on a small Branch. it rained about Noon and continued till the next day.

28th. It continued raining till Noon, and we set off as soon as it ceased and went down the Branch we lay on to the New River, just below the Mouth of the Green Bryer [Greenbriar]. Powell, Tomlinson and myself striped, and went into the New River to try if we could wade over at any point. After some time having found a place we return'd to the others and took such things as would take damage by water on our shoulders, and waded over Leading our Horses. The Bottom is very uneven, the Rocks very slippery and the Current strong most of the way. We camped in the low Ground opposite the mouth of the Green Bryer.

29th. We kept up Green Bryer. It being a wet day we went only 2 miles, and camped on the North side. (41)

June 30th. We went 7 miles up the River which is very Crooked.

July ye 1st. The Sabbath. Our Salt being almost spent, we travelled 10 miles sometimes on the River, and sometimes at a distance from it.

2nd. We kept up the River the chief part of this day and we travelled about 10 miles.

3rd. we went up the River 10 miles today.

4th. We went up the River 10 miles through very bad Woods.

5th. The way growing worse, we travelled 9 mile only.

6th. We left the River. The low Grounds on it are of Little value, but on the Branches are very good, and there is a great deal of it, and the high land is very good in many places. We got on a large Creek called Anthony's Creek which affords a great deal of Very good Land, and is chiefly Bought. we kept up the Creek 4 miles and Camped. This Creek took its name from an Indian, called John Anthony, that frequently hunts in these Woods. There are some inhabitants of the Branches of Green Bryer, but we missed their Plantations.

July 7. We kept up the Creek, and about Noon 5 men overtook us and inform'd that we were only 8 miles from the inhabitants on a Branch of James River called Jackson's River. We exchanged some Tallow for Metal and Parted. We camped on a Creek nigh the Top of the Alleghaney Ridge, which we named Ragged Creek.

8th. Having Shaved, Shifted and made New shoes we left our useless raggs at ye camp and got to Walker Johnston's about Noon. We moved over to Robert Armstrong's and staid there all night. The People here are very Hospitable and would be better able to support Travellers was it not for the great number of Indian Warriers that frequently take what they want from them, much to their prejudice.

July 9th. We went to the Hot Springs and found Six Invalids there. The Spring Water is very Clear and warmer than New Milk, and there is a Spring of cold Water within 20 feet of the warm one. I left one of my company this day.

10th. Having a Path we rode 20 miles and lodged at Captain Jemyson's below the Panther Gap. Two of my Company went to a Smith to get their Horses shod.

11th. Our way mending, we travelled 30 miles to Augusta Court House, where I found Mr. Andrew Johnston, the first of my acquaintance I had seen, since the 26th day of March.

12th. Mr. Johnston lent me a fresh horse and sent my horses to Mr. David Stewards who was so kind as to give them Pastureage. About 8 o'Clock I set off leaving all my Company. It began to Rain about 2 in the afternoon and I lodged at Captain David Lewis's about 34 miles from Augusta Court House.

13th. I got home about Noon.

We killed in the journey 13 Buffaloes, 8 Elks, 53 Bears, 20 Deer, 4 wild Geese, about 150 Turkeys, besides small game. We might have killed three times as much meat, if we had wanted it.

13 Summers states that "Samuel Stalnaker was probably, as his name indicates, one of the early pioneers from the Lower Shenandoah Valley or from Penn. of German descent, the family having numerous representatives in the Valley. He was doubtless a hunter and Indian trader who had visited the Cherokees and was acquainted with the route to Cumberland Gap, upon which Dr. Walker had never been or he would not have needed a guide. It was from him evidently that Dr. Walker received information as to certain localities he was about to visit, as Clinch River, Cave Gap, and other points of which as he advanced into Kentucky, he gave previous information. It was not improbable that the route from the Ohio River to the Cumberland Gap and the Cherokee country, which at that time was defined and known as "the Warriors Path" was travelled by hunters and traders, and that Stalnaker was acquainted with it personally or from others. On Fry and Jefferson's Map, 1751, Stalnaker's settlement is put down as the extreme western habitation." [not found]

Williams also discusses Stalnaker's, about which he states: "Stalnacker's was a noted place in colonial days. The command of Col. Wm. Byrd, III, of Westover, encamped there during the winter of 1760-1761 before proceeding to the Tennessee Country against the Cherokees. (Williams, Memoirs of Lt. Henry Timberlake, 36, 37). Stephen Holston's cabin was on the head-springs of the Middle Fork of Holston River about nine miles above Stalnacker's. Holston did not remain there long. Disposing of his "corn rights" -- to a hundred acres for each acre planted in corn -- to James Davis, Holston and a party of friends constructed canoes and passed down the river into the Tennessee, the Ohio and the Mississippi as far as Natchez. This notable adventure fixed his name to Holston River. No record of the journey exists Holston was not a journalizer. As Walker's Journal indicates[,] that stream was so called in 1750 (See Thwaites, Wither's Chronicles of Border Warfare, 50, note by Draper. Further as to Stalnacker: Smyth's Tour, I, 313)."

18 Williams notes that "At the mouth of Reedy Creek is Long Island of Holston, one of the most historic spots in the Old Southwest. Strangely enough, the Island is not mentioned by Dr. Walker. It was an ancient and revered treaty ground and rendezvous of the Cherokee Indians. The houses found opposite the Island evidenced its use by them, an, perhaps, by early white traders to their towns lower down the Valley of the Tennessee. Dr. Walker's entry is, however, the first glimpse of the spot in recorded history." Summers, too, makes mention of Long Island, stating that Reedy Creek "empties into the Holston at the Foot of Long Island, a noted locality in the early history of Tenn. Nearby a fort was erected by advice of Washington in 1758, by Col. William Byrd, which was later known as Fort Patrick Henry. Just below the mouth of Reedy Creek is the town of Kingsport, Sullivan County, and a short distance below the town the North Fork puts into the Holston. It was at this point the treaty of Watauga was held March, 1775, when the Cherokees sold to Richard Henderson And Company the land in Kentucky called Transylvania."

In respect to the Ford mentioned by Walker, Williams states: "This ford was in use as the crossing-place of one of the great highways from the Valley of Virginia to the Valley of the Tennessee until 1818 when a bridge was constructed by Rev. Dr. Frederick A. Ross across the North Fork immediately at its junction with the South Fork. Ross built his "Rotherwood" mansion on an eminence on the west bank of the North Fork, at the end of this bridge. The steel highway bridge now across the river is located just a few feet above the ruins of the old bridge. Ross, Rotherwood, 12-14. The "four Indian houses" mentioned by Walker probably stood on the site of "Rotherwood." The huge elm referred to in this entry yet stands, but is in a dying condition. Its trunk measures twenty-two feet in circumference and its branches have a spread of one hundred and fifty feet. The tree stands over a spring on the north bank of the North Fork of the river, just below an old mill, operated by Ross as a cotton mill and later known as Jordan's woolen mill, which is yet standing." (Ib., 22.) Williams adds that the Indian Fort is "At or near the present Solitude Ford of Holston."

23 The 1751- Fry-Jefferson map lists this river as the "Pelesippi or Clinches River," and Williams identifies the location as "Clinch River, crossed near Sneedville, the county seat of Hancock County, Tenn." Summers describes the Clinch as "A tributary of the Tenn. running paralell with the Clinch Mountain, rising in Tazewell and Bland Cos. Va. and interlocking with the Bluestone River and Wolf Creek, tributaries of New River."

Both Williams and Summers comment on the fact that Haywood's Civil History of Tennessee mistakenly states that the Clinch wasn't so named until 1761, Haywood having ascribed its naming to a tradition that the river was named by a party of hunters: "They named Clinch River and Clinch Mountain from the following circumstance. An Irishman was one of the company in crossing the river he fell from the raft into it, and cried out clinch me, clinch me meaning lay hold of me. The rest of the company unused to the phrase amused themselves at the expense of the Irishman and called the river Clinch."

Williams adds that "Notwithstanding the fact that Walker describes the river as being one hundred and thirty yards wide at the place of crossing, Justin Winsor has him crossing "to the head of Clinch River and entering Cumberland Gap." The Mississippi Basin, 277," and Summers notes that Walker's "correct nomenclature of the River indicates that he had received information concerning the route travelled from Stalnaker or other source."

41 Summers states that the "route of Dr. Walker from this point homeward needs but little comment. He followed substantially the present line of the Chespeake & Ohio R. R., crossing the Alleghaney divide on the 8th. of July, passing Hot Springs on the 9th, and reaching Augusta Court House (Staunton Va) on the 11th. Crossing the Shenandoah Valley and passing over the Blue Ridge at Rock Fish Gap, he completed the circle of his arduous expedition of four months and seven days by arriving at Castle hill on the 16th [sic] of July."

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History of Virginia - Thomas F. Walker

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Thomas F. Walker

THOMAS F. WALKER,. A lawyer by profession, Thomas F. Walker is an active practitioner at the bar of Wytheville. He was born at Greeneville, Tennessee, April 7, 1888, a son of Rev. John Randolph Walker, of Virginia, whose family line is traced back to Benjamin Walker (married Elizabeth Taylor, it is said, presumably of Orange County, who died in Monroe County at the home of her son, Thomas Walker, at the age of 70 years, six months and three days), the great-great-great-grandfather of Thomas F. Walker and a resident of both Orange and Rockingham counties and also for a time, it is thought, of North Carolina, and prominently connected in "Tuckahoe." He also left a large family of his own, among them: Sanders, John, Alexander, William, Benjamin, Samuel, Joseph, Thomas and possibly a James, Robert and Jerremiah, and one daughter, tradition not being clear as to this and family records having been burned in the ancestral home. His son, Thomas Walker, was born in Orange County, Virginia, December 18, 1764, and died at his home in Monroe County, Virginia (now West Virginia), in December of 1853, a large property owner, disposing of some ten or twelve thousand acres of land and many slaves by his will and deeds to his children prior to his death. He was a member of the Virginia Militia during the Revolution, having enlisted in December, 1780, in Rockingham County, four days before, or after, he was sixteen years old, and entered service in January, 1781, for a period of three months-captain, Michael Coger colonel, William Nalle and reenlisted in July, 1781, for three months more-captain, Richard Ragan colonel, record dark General Muhlenberg's army. He was discharged for disability-he was sick-at Yorktown three days before the surrender of General Cornwallis. He was at the battle of Great Bridge. The war record of his brothers, who settled in Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, and other Southern and Middle West States, is not known to the subject of this sketch.

Thomas Walker married Eleanor Stuart, about the year 1800. She was the daughter of Maj. Alexander Stuart, of Augusta, Monroe and Rockbridge counties, by his first wife, Mary Patterson, of Augusta, and a granddaughter of Maj. Archibald Stuart, the immigrant of the Stuart family, 1726-7, to this country, and a descendant of the House of Stuart (spelled Stewart until Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots, married the Dauphin of France and the French spelled it Stuart, having no W sound in the language), and his wife, Janet Brown, sister of the Rev. John Brown, ancestor of the Rockbridge Browns. Maj. Alexander Stuart, of Revolutionary fame, was also one of the two largest endowers of Liberty Hall Academy, now Washington and Lee University. Eleanor was his youngest daughter by his first marriage, and married Thomas Walker while Major Stuart lived on New River, in Monroe, owning large boundaries of land in several contiguous counties. She died in Monroe, about ninety years of age, prior to the Civil war.

Thomas and Eleanor Stuart Walker had three sons and two daughters: William Alexander, died or disappeared when about six years old Thomas Stuart Benjamin Alexander Stuart, who married a Byrnsides and left two children-Benjamin Alexander Stuart Walker, who married Rhoda J. Peters, and Louisa, who married a Kendall and Elizabeth, who married James Pomeroy, and Polly, who never married.

Thomas Stuart Walker, son of Thomas and Eleanor, and great-grandfather of Thomas F. Walker, was born near Lurich, Peterstown and Neponset, in Monroe, March 13 or 19, 1802, and died on Clear Fork, Bland County, Virginia, in 1879. Ile became exceptionally well educated, lie and his brothers and sisters having for seven years the private preceptorship of a tutor, named McDaniel, from Oxford University. He was a teacher, farmer and surveyor. Almost, if not entirely, at his own expense he built Nebo Methodist Church on the Clear Fork, and for many years was its Sunday school superintendent. Like his parents, he was a, man of large stature and fine character and mind. He married Christina (called Kitty) Waggoner, born, it is thought, in Tazewell (now Bland) County, daughter of Daniel Waggoner and his wife, Lucy Ann Day, to whom he was married before the year 1798, as evidenced by Deed Book No. 2, Wythe County Circuit Court clerk's office Deed-Book No. 1 and the prior Grant Books showing the Waggoners and Days settling on Clear Fork about 1790 previous records being at Christiansburg and Staunton. Daniel Waggoner was remembered on the Clear Fork as a pioneer and Indian scout. Thomas Stuart Walker and Kitty (Waggoner) Walker had a large family, Maj. Daniel Alexander Walker, born April 8, 1824, being the oldest child the others being Benjamin Stuart Walker, William Pierce Walker, Gerard, James, Robert, and Eleanor all four of whom died young of diphtheria Thomas Fowler Walker and Mary E. Walker (married John Lambert). Daniel, Benjamin, William and Thomas all served in the war between the states Thomas, first as lieutenant and later as captain of Company G, 36th Virginia Infantry. He died of fever when about forty years old and flowering into a, career of prominence.

Daniel Alexander Walker, the father of Rev. John Randolph Walker, was a successful farmer and practical physician in his community. He was a major of militia, commissioned by Governor Letcher, in Tazewell County, before the war between the states, and held his "musters" regularly. Disability prevented his entering service in 1861. As a member of the Home Guards he fought in the battle of Saltville. During the closing year of the war he served under the command of General Witcher in the cavalry. He was a man of fine character and intellect. He married Harriett Williams Neel, his first cousin, whose mother was Rebecca Waggoner, wife of Robert Neel, son of Thomas Neel and Ellen (McFarlane) Neel, who moved from Augusta County to the Wolf Creek, it is said, in 1757, and were the parents of six sons-Robert, Alexander, William, Duncan, Zachariah and James, and four daughters Kate, Jennie, Tillie and Betsy. One son was killed in the War of 1872. William Neel, a man of prominence and wealth in Tazewell County in the early part of the Nineteenth Century, lawyer, surveyor and land agent, was probably the son of Thomas and Ellen Neel, but this is not stated as a fact. It was in the home of Robert Neel that the wonderful William Elbert Muncy was converted and it has been said that the only school he ever attended was a three-months' term to Thomas Sturt Walker. Benjamin Stuart Walker, Thomas Fowler Walker, William Pierce Walker and Mary Walker Lambert till left families.

Rev. John Randolph Walker, born May 12, 1850, in Tazewell County (now Bland), and died at the home of his son in Charlottesville, Virginia, January 23, 1917, was the oldest child of Maj. Daniel Alexander Walker and Harriett (Noel) Walker, whose other children were: Charles Elgan Walker, of Clear Fork, deceased Dorothy Alice Walker Elswick, deceased Laura Ellen Walker, died unmarried Sally Ann Walker, died in infancy and James Robert McDaniel Walker, a Methodist minister and a member of the Holston Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church, South, who, like his brother, Rev. John Randolph Walker, the father of Thomas F. Walker, has served many churches in Virginia and Tennessee. Charles, Robert and Alice Walker have descendants. Ile was reared on the Clear Fork on the original Walker and Stuart tracts owned by Thomas Walker and Eleanor Stuart Walker, of Monroe. He attended school at Bland Court House, then called Seddon, taught several terms, and became a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, belonging to the Holston Conference, and becoming pastor of seventeen different charges in Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee, to which lie ministered for forty years, during that time, with the help of an untiring and loyal wife, rearing and educating a family of nine children, all of whom are still living. He was a man of good judgment and much native ability, convictions, sincerity, earnestness and courage, and was recognized as one of the ablest preachers of his conference. He was a man of fairly large stature, with finely-chiseled features, athletic ability and a distinguishing touch of genius. With his retirement from the ministry in 1916 he located in Wytheville, which he made his home until he died, and where his widow now resides. He was a democrat, and belonged to the Masonic fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. On December 1, 1875, be married Mary Jane Brown, who was teaching school on the Clear Fork, and who was the oldest child of John Wesley and Nancy (Gregory) Brown, a granddaughter of Robert and Sarah Johnson (Sanderson) Brown, of Tazewell and Cumberland counties, and a great-granddaughter of Robert Clement Brown (who married Julia Anne Turner), a soldier in the War of 1812, a son of Robert Brown, son of William Brown, son of Samuel Brown, as recalled, and a descendant of a Buckingham Brown. The Browns settled in Cumberland County in the Seventeenth Century.

Rev. John Randolph Walker and Mary (Brown) Walker had the following children: Alexander Philip, graduate of Emory and Henry College and of Richmond College Law School (now Richmond University), and is one of the practicing attorneys at the Charlottesville bar and well known throughout the state Rev. John K. Walker, who attended Emory and Henry College, is a clergyman of the same faith as his father, has filled charges in the Virginia Conference and is now located in the Upper South Carolina Conference, married and has one daughter Marvin N., a graduate of Emory and Henry College and a resident of Wytheville, a teacher by profession, having been principal of several high schools and filled chairs in academies and colleges, unmarried Harriett R., now Mrs. McNeil Robert Charles, who attended Emery and Henry College and graduated at the Richmond University Law School, winning distinctions, is a practicing attorney in Charlottesville, a partner of his brother, A. P. Walker, the two forming the partnership of Walker & Walker, both for some years previously having been employed by the Michie Law Publishing Company as law writers and editors, and he is married and has three children: Eleanor Stuart, Margaret Tyler and Robert Charles Louise L. A., now Mrs. Keller Thomas F., the subject of this sketch and the seventh child Mabelle Stuart, who resides at Wytheville, a graduate of Martha Washington College, Abingdon, Virginia, is a teacher and at present in the city schools of Petersburg, Virginia and Eleanor, known as "Nelle," also a graduate of Martha Washington College, being an honor graduate and the youngest member of her class, is a teacher and at present in the city schools of Richmond, Virginia.

Thomas F. Walker graduated at the Abingdon, Virginia, High School in 1900. In the fall of 1907 he entered the University of Virginia, his two brothers having located in Charlottesville, and graduated from that institution in 1910 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. During his three years' residence he contributed to the college magazine and played ml the baseball squad. For a year thereafter he was principal of the Norwood, Virginia, High School and in the fall of 1911 entered Washington and Lee University Law School, from which lie graduated ill 7 913. He was a member of tile Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity and was one of the most frequent contributors to the college magazine. He took the bar examination in June and was admitted to practice in September, 191.3. The following session lie was principal of the Lake Landing, North Carolina, High School. With the entry of this country into the World war Mr. Walker went to Camp Lee, but was rejected for disability several previous futile attempts to enlist inducing the local board to send him to Camp Lee by request as a member of Company H, Three Hundred and Seventeenth Virginia Infantry, Eightieth Division, but he was once more rejected after a few days for history of tuberculosis (contracted in North Carolina) from which he had entirely recovered. Leaving Camp Lee in September, 1917, he went immediately to Richmond and went to work for the Times-Dispatch, almost at once becoming capitol reporter and political writer, "covering" the Senate session of 1918. He maintained this connection until January, 1919, when his position was returned to Mr. Southhall, who resigned it to enter service and who on enlisting was promised it back on his return. During this period Mr. Walker made further efforts to get into service. The following session he was principal of the Alberta, Virginia, High School in Brunswick County, and during 1920-21 he taught mathematics in the Lymchburg, Virginia, High School, and coached the baseball team. Returning to Wytheville in July, 1927, to begin the practice of his profession, he found his distinguished townsman, E. Lee Trinkle, engaged in a great political campaign for the governorship, first in a primary with the Hon. Harry St. George Tucker and later at the general election against him. Henry W. Anderson, republican, of Richmond. He qualified at the July court, presided over by the Hon. A. A. Campbell, judge, and about tile last of August entered the offices of Governor Trinkle, who had won the democratic, nomination over the distinguished St. George Tucker, of Lexington, and was facing a contest with Mr. Anderson, whom he overwhelmed in November. Mr. Walker, who was been actively engaged it practice but two years, is judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for Wythe County. He is a democrat member of the Virginia Club, Chamber of Commerce, and associated with his community in various ways, and occasionally contributes to the columns of the press and periodicals.


Thomas Walker - History

Dr. Thomas Walker and the Loyal Company

Journal of Doctor Thomas Walker - 1749-1750 1

from
Annals of Southwest Virginia, 1769-1800, by Lewis Preston Summers, (Abingdon, Virginia: The Author, 1929)
pages 8-26

Journal of Doctor Thomas Walker - 1749-50 1. Having on the 12th of December last, been employed for a certain consideration 2 to go to the Westward in order to discover a proper Place for a Settlement, I left my house on the Sixth day of March, at ten o'clock, 1749-50, in the Company with Ambrose Powell, William Tomlinson, Colby Chew, Henry Lawless and John Hughs. Each man had a horse and we had two to carry the baggage. I lodges this night at Col. Joshua Fry's in Albemarle, which County includes the Chief of the head branches of James River on the East side of the Blue Ridge.

March 7. Wee set off about 8, but the day proving wet, we only went to Thomas Joplin's on Rockfish. This a pretty River, which might at a small expense be made fit for transporting Tobacco, but it has been lately stopped by a Mill Dam near the Mouth to the prejudice of the upper inhabitants who would at their own expense clear and make navigable, were they permitted.

March 8. We left Joplin's early. It began to rain about noon. I left my people at Thomas Jones's and went to the Reverend Mr. Robert Rose's on Tye River. This is about the size of Rockfish, as yet open, but how long the Avarice of Miller's will permit it to be so, I know not. At present, the Inhabitants enjoy plenty of fine fish, as Shad in their reason, Carp, Rocks, Fat-Backs which I suppose to be Tench, Perch, Mullets etc.

9th. As the weather continues unlikely, I moved only to Baylor Walker's Quarters.

March 10th. The weather is still cloudy, and leaving my People at the Quarter, I rode to Mr. John Harvie's, where I dined and return'd to the Quarter in ye evening.

March 12th. We crossed the Fluvanna and lodged at Thomas Hunt's.

13th. We went early to William Calloway's and supplied ourselves with Rum, Thread, and other necessaries and from thence took the main wagon road leading to Wood's or the New River. 3 It is not well cleared or beaten yet, but will be a very good one with proper management. This night we lodged in Adam Beard's low grounds. Beard is an ignorant, impudent, brutish fellow, and would have taken us up, had it not been for a reason, easily to be suggested.

14th. We went from Beard's to Nicholas Welches, where we brought corn for our horses, and had some Victuals dress'd for Breakfast, afterwards we crossed the Blue Ridge. The Ascent and Descent is so easie that a Stranger would not know when he crossed the Ridge. 4 It began to rain about Noon and continued till night. We lodged at William Armstrong's. Corn is very scarce in these parts.

March 15th. We went to the great Lick 5 on A Branch of the Staunton and brought Corn of Michael Campbell for our horses. This Lick has been one of the best places for Game in these parts and would have been of much greater advantage to the Inhabitants that it has been if the Hunters had not killed the Buffaloes 6 for diversion, and the Elks and Deer for their skins. This afternoon we got to the Staunton where the Houses of the Inhabitants has been carryed off with their grain and Fences by the Frest last Summer, and lodged at James Robinson's, the only place I could hear of where they had corn to spare, notwithstanding the land is such that an industrious man might make 100 barrels a share in a Seasonable year.

16th March. We kept up the Staunton 7 to William Englishs. 8 He lives on a small Branch, and was not much hurt by the Fresh. He has a mill, which is the furtherest back except one lately built by the Sect of People who call themselves of the Brotherhood of Euphrates, and are commonly called the Duncards, who are the upper Inhabitants of the New River, which is about 400 yards wide at this place. They live on the west side, and we were obliged to swim our horses over. 9 The Duncards are an odd set of people who make it a matter of Religion not to Shave their Beards, ly on beds, or eat flesh, though at the present, in the last, they transgress, being constrained to it, they say, by the want of a sufficiency of Grain and Roots, they have not long been seated here. I doubt the plenty and deliciousness of the Venison and Turkeys has contributed not a little to this. The unmarried have no Property but live on a common Stock. They don't baptize either Young or Old, they keep their Sabbath on Saturday, and hold that all men shall be happy hereafter, but first must pass through punishment according to their Sins. They are very hospitable.

19th. We could not find our horses and spent the day in Looking for them. In the evening we found their track.

20th. We went very early to the track of our Horses and after following them six or seven miles, we found them all together. we returned to the Duncards about 10 O'clock, and having purchased half a Bussell of Meal and as much small Homony we set off and lodged on a small Run between Peak Creek 10 and Reedy Creek. 11

March 21st. We got to Reedy Creek and camped near James McCall's. I went to his house and Lodged and bought some Bacon, I wanted.

22nd. I returned to my people early. We got to a large Spring about five miles below Davises Bottom on Holstons 12 River and Camped.

23rd. We kept down the Holston River about four miles and Camped and then Mr. Powell and I went to look for Samuel Stalnaker 13 who I had been inform'd was just moved out to settle. We found his camp, and returned to our own in the evening.

24th. We went to Stalnaker's, helped him to raise his house and camped about a quarter of a mile below him. In April, 1748, 14 I met the above mentioned Stalnaker between Reedy Creek Settlement and Holstons River, on his way to the Cherokee Indians 15 and expected him to pilate me as far as he knew but his affairs would not permit him to go with me.

March 25th. The Sabbath. Grass is plenty in the low grounds.

26th. We left the Inhabitans, 16 and kept nigh West to a large Spring on Branch of the North Fork of the Holston. Thunder, Lightning and Rain before Day.

27th. It began to snow in the morning and continued till Noon. The Land is very Hilly from West to North. Some snow lies on the tops of the mountains N.W. from us.

28th. We travelled to the lower end of Giant's Ditch on Reedy Creek. 17

29th. Our Dogs were very uneasie most of this night.

30th. We kept down Reedy Creek 18 and discover'd the tracks of about 20 Indians, that had gone up the Creek between the time we camped last night, and set off this morning. We suppose they made our Dogs so restless last night. We camped on Reedy Creek.

March 30th. We caought two young Buffaloes one of which we killed, and having cut and marked the other we turn'd him out.

31st. We kept down Reedy Creek to Holston where we measured an Elm 25ft. round 3 ft. from the ground. we saw young Sheldrakes we went down the River to the north Fork and up the north fork about a quarter of a mile to a Ford, and then crossed it. In the Fork between the Holstons and the North River, are five Indian Houses built with logs and covered with bark, and there were abundance of Bones, some whole Pots and Pans some broken. and many pieces of mats and Cloth. On the west side of the North River, is four Indian Houses such as before mentioned. we wend four miles below the North River and camped on the Bank of the Holstons, opposite to a large Indian Fort.

April ye 1st. The Sabbath. we saw Perch, Mullets, and Carp in plenty, and caught one of the large Sort of Cat Fish. I marked my name, the day of the Month, and date of the year on Several Beech Trees.

2nd. we left Holston 19 and travelled through Small Hills till about Noon, when one of our horses being choaked by eating Reeds too gredily, we stopped having travelled 7 miles.

3rd. Our horse being recover'd, we travelled to the Rocky Ridge, 20 I went up to the top, to look for a pass but found it so rocky that I concluded not to attempt it there. This ridge may be known by Sight, at a distance. To the Eastward are many small mountains, and a Buffalo Road between them & the Ridge. The growth is Pine on the top and the rocks look white at a distance. we went Seven miles this day.

4th. We kept under the Rocky Ridge crossing several small Branches to the head of Holly Creek. we saw many small licks and plenty of Deer.

5th. we went down Holly Creek. There is much Holly in the Low Grounds and some Laurel and Ivy. About three in the afternoon, the Ridge appeared less stony and we passed it, 21 and camped on a small Branch about a mile from the top. my riding Horse choaked himself this evening and I drenched him with water to wash down the Reeds, and it answered the End.

6th. It proving wet we did not move.

7th. We rode 8 miles over Broken ground. It snowed most of the day. In the evening our dogs caught a lard He Bear, which before we could come up to shoot him had wounded a dog of mine, so that he could not travel, and we carried him on Horseback till he recovered.

8th. The Sabbath. Still Snow.

9th. We travelled to a river, which I suppose to be that which the Hunters call Clinches River 22 from one Clinch a Hunter, who first found it. we marked several Beeches on the East Side. we could not find a ford Shallow eneugh to carry our Baggage over on our Horses. Ambrose Powell Forded over on one horse and we drove the other after him. We then made a raft and carried over one load of Baggage, but when the raft was brought back, it was so heavy that it would not carry anything more dry.

April 10th. we waded and carried the remainder of our Baggage on our shoulders at two turns over the River, which is about one hundred and thirty yards wide, we went on about five miles and Camped on a Small Branch.

April 11th. Having travelled 5 miles to and over an High Mountain, Cumberland Gap, we came to Turkey Creek, which we kept down 4 miles. It lies between two Ridges of Mountains, that to the Eastward being the highest. 23

12th. We kept down the creek 2 miles further, where it meets with a large Branch coming from the South West and thence runs through the East Ridge making a very good pass and a large Buffaloe Road goes from that Fork to the Creek over the west ridge, which we took and found the Ascent and Descent tollerably easie. From this Mountain we rode on four miles to Beargrass River. Small Cedar Trees are very plenty on the flat ground nigh the River, and some Barberry trees on the East side of the River. on the Banks in some Beargrass. We kept up the River 2 miles. I found Small pieces of Coal and a great plenty of very good yellow flint. The water is the most transparent I ever saw. It is about 70 yrds. wide.

April 13th. We went four miles to large Creek which we called Cedar Creek being a Branch of Bear-Grass, and from thence Six miles to Cave Gap, the land being Levil. On the North side of the Gap is a large Spring, which falls very fast, and just above the Spring is a small Entrance to a Large Cave, which the spring runs through, and there is a constant Stream of Cool are issueing out. The Spring is sufficient to turn a Mill. Just at the Foot of the Hill is a Laurel Thicket and the spring Water runs through it. On the South side is a Plain Indian Road. on the top of the Ridge are Laurel Trees marked with Crosses, other Blazed and several Figures on them. As I went down the other Side, I soon came to some Laurel in the head of the Branch. A Beech stands on the left hand, on which I cut my name. This Gap may be seen at a considerable distance, and there is no other, that I know of, except one about two miles to the North of it which does not appear to be So low as the other. The Mountain on the North Side of the Gap is very Steep and Rocky, but on the South side it is not so. We Called it Steep Ridge. At the foot of the hill on the North West side we came to a Branch, that made a great deal of flat land. We kept down it 2 miles, several other Branches Coming in to make it a large Creek, and we called Flat Creek. 24 Coal abounds in this vicinity. We camped on the bank where we found very good coal. I did not Se any Lime Stone beyond this ridge. We rode 13 miles this day.

April 14th. We kept down the Creek 5 miles chiefly along the Indian Road.

April 15th. Easter Sunday. Being in bad grounds for our Horses we moved 7 miles along the Indian Road, to Clover Creek. Clover and Hop vines are plenty here.

April 16th. Rai(n). I made a pair of Indian Shoes, those I brought out being bad.

17th. Still Rain. I went down the Creek 25 a hunting and found that it went into a River about a mile below our camp. This, which is Flat Creek and some others join'd I called Cumberland River.

18th. Still Cloudy. We kept down the Creek to the River along the Indians Road to where it crosses. Indians have lived about this Ford some years ago. We kept on down the South Side. After riding 5 miles from our Camp, we left the River, it being very crooked. In Rideing 3 miles we came on it again. It is about 60 or 70 yds. Wide. We rode 8 (?) miles this day.

19th. We left the River but in four miles we came on it again at the Mouth of Licking Creek, which we went up and down another. In the Fork of Licking Creek is a Lick much used by Buffaloes and many large Roads lead to it. This afternoon Ambrose Powell was bit by a Bear in his Knee. We rode 7 miles this day.

20th. we kept down the Creek 26 2 miles to the River again. It appears not any wider here at the mouth of Clover Creek, but much deeper. I thought it proper to Cross the River and begin a bark Conoe.

April 21st. We finished the Conoe and tryed her. About Noon it began to Thunder, lighten, hail and raid prodigously and continued about 2 hours.

22d. The Sabbath. One of the Horses was found unable to walk this morning. I then propos'd that with two of the company I would proceed, and the other three should continue here till our return, which was agreed to, and lots were drawn to determine who should go, they all being desirous of it. Ambrose Powell, and Colby Chew were the fortunate Persons.

23rd. Having carried our Baggage over the Bark Conoe, and Swam our Horses, we call crossed the River. Then Ambrose Powell, Colby Chew, and I departed Leaving the others to provide and salt some Bear, build an house, and plant some peach stones and Corn. We travelled about 12 miles and encamped on Crooked Creek. The Mountains hereabouts are very small and here is a great deal of flat Land. We got through the Coal today.

April 24th. We kept on Westerly 18 miles, got clear of the Mountains and found the Land poor and the Woods very thick beyond them, and Laurel and Ivy in and near the Branches. Our horses suffered very much here for want of food. This day we came on a fresh track of 7 or 8 Indians but could not overtake them.

25th. We kept on West 5 mils, the Land continuing much Same, the Laurel rather growing worse, and the food scarcer. I got up a tree on a Ridge and saw the Growth of the Land much the same as Far as my Sight could reach. I then concluded to return to the rest of my Company. I kept on my track 1 mile then turn'd southerly and went to Cumberland River at the mouth of a water Course, that I named Rock Creek. 27

April 27th. We crossed Indian Creek and went down Meadow Creek to the River. There comes in another from the Southward as big as this one we are on. Below the mouth of this Creek, and above the Mouth are the remains of several Indian Cabbins amongst them a round Hill made by Art about 20 feet high and 60 over the Top. we went up the River, and Camped on the Bank.

28th. We kept up the River to our Company whom we found all well, but the lame horse was as bad as we left him, and another had been hit in the Nose by a Snake. I rub'd the wound with Bears oil, and gave him a drench of the same and another of the decoction of Rattle Snake root some time after. The People had built a house 12 by 8, clear'd and broken some ground, and planted some Corn and Peach Stones. They also had killed several Bears and cured the Meat. This day Colby Chew and his Horse fell down the Bank. I Bled and gave him Volatile drops, and he soon recovered.

April 29th. The Sabbathe. The Bitten Horse is better. 3 Quarters of A mile below the house is a Pond in the Low ground of the River, a quarter of a mile in length and 200 yrds. wide much frequented by Fowl.

30th. I blazed a way from our House to the River. On the other side of the River is a large Elm cut down and barked about 20 feet and another standing just by it was the Bark cut around at the root and about 15 feet above. About 200 yards below this is a white Hiccory Barked about 15 feet. The depth of the water here, when the lowest that I have seen it, is 7 or 8 feet, the Bottom of the River Sandy, ye Banks very high, and the Current very slow. The Bitten horse being much mended, we set off and left the lame one. He is white, branded on the near Buttock with a swivel Stirrup Iron, and is old. We left the River and having crossed several Hills and Branches, camped in a Valley North from the House.

May the 1st. Another Horse being Bitten, I applyed Bears Oil as before Mention'd. We got to Powell's River in the afternoon and went down it along an Indian Road, much frequented, to the mouth of a Creek on the West side of the River, where we camped. The Indian Road goes up the Creek, and I think it is that Which goes through Cave Gap.

2d. We kept down the River. At the Mouth of a Creek that comes in on the East side there is a Lick, and I believe there was a hundred Buffaloes at it. About 2 o'clock we had a shower of Rain. we Camped on the River which is very crooked.

May 3rd. We crosses a narrow Neck of Land, came on the River again and Kept down it to an Indian Camp, that had been built this Spring, and in it we took up our Quarters. It began to Rain about Noon and continued till Night.

4th. We crossed a narrow Neck of Land and came on the River again, which we kept down till it turn'd to the Westward, we then left it, and went up a Creek which we called Colby's Creek. The River is about 50 yards over where we left it.

5th. We got to Tomlinson's River, which is about the size of Powell's River, and I cut my name on a Beech, that stands on the North side of the River. Here is plenty of Coal in the South Bank opposite to our Camp.

6th. The Sabbath. I saw Goslings, which shows that Wild Geese stay here all the year. Ambrose Powell had the misfortune to sprain his well Knee.

7th. We went down Tomlinson's River the Land being very broken and our way being embarrassed by trees, that had been blown down about 2 years ago.

May 8th. We went up a creek on the North side of the River.

9th. We got to Lawless River, which is much like the others. The Mountains here are very Steep and on Some of them there is Laurel and Ivy. The tops of the mountains are very Rocky and some parts of the Rocks seem to be composed of Shells, Nuts and many other Substances petrified and cemented together with a kind of Flint. We left the River and after travelling some Miles we got among some Trees that had been blown down about 2 years, and we were obliged to go down a Creek to the River again, the Small Branches and Mountains being impassable.

10th. We staid on the River and dressed an Elk skin to make Indian Shoes - ours being quite worn out.

11th. We left the River, found the Mountains very bad, and got to a Rock by the side of a Creek Sufficient to shelter 200 men from Rain. Finding it so convenient, we concluded to stay and put our Elk skin in order for shoes and make them.

May 12th. Under the Rock is a Soft Kind of Stone almost like Allum in taste below it A Layer of Coal about 12 inches thick and a white Clay under that. I called the Run Allum Creek. I have observed several mornings past, that the Trees begin to drop just before day & continue dripping till almost Sunrise, as if it rain'd slowly. we had some rain this day.

14th. When our Elk's skin was prepared we had lost every awl that we brought out, and I made one with the shank of an old Fishing hook, the other People made two of Horse Shoe Nails, and with these we made our Shoes or Moccosons. We wrote several of our Names with Coal under the Rock, and I wrote our names, the time of our coming and leaving this place on paper and stuck it to the Rock with Morter, and then set off. We crossed Hughes River and Lay on a large branch of it. There is no dew this morning but a shower of Rain about 6 o'Clock. The River is about 50 yards wide.

May 15th. Laurel and Ivy increase upon us as we go up the Branch. About noon it began to rain & we took up our quarters in a valley between very Steep Hills.

16th. We crossed several Ridges and Branches. About two in the afternoon, I was taken with Violent Pains in my hip.

17th. Laurel and Ivy are very plenty and the Hills stand very Steep. The Woods have been burnt some years past, and are not very thick, the Timber being almost all kill'd. We camped on a Branch of Naked Creek. The pain in my hip is somewhat asswaged.

18th. We went up Naked Creek to the head and had a plain Buffalo Road most of the way. From thence we proceeded down Wolf Creek and on it we Camped.

19th. We kept down ye Hunting Creek 28 which we crossed and left. It rained most of the afternoon.

May 20th. The Sabbath. It began to Rain about noon and continued till next Day.

21st. It left off raining about 8. we crossed several Ridges and small Branches and Camped on a Branch of Hunting Creek. in the Evening it rained very hard.

22d. We went down the Branch to Hunting Creek and kept it to Milley's River. 29

23rd. We attempted to go down the River but could not. We then Crossed Hunting Creek and attempted to go up the River but could not. it being very deep we began a Bark Canoe. The River is about 90 or 100 yards wide. I blazed several Trees in the Fork and marked T. W. on a Sycamore Tree 40 feet around. It has a large hole on the N:W: side about 20 feet from the ground and is divided into 3 branches just by the hole, and it stands about 80 yards above the mouth of Hunting Creek.

May 24th. We finished the Canoe and crossed the River about noon, and I marked a Sycomore 30 feet round and several Beeches on the North side of the River opposite the mouth of the Creek. Game is very scarce hereabouts.

25th. It began to Rain before Day and continued till about Noon. We travelled about 4 miles on a Ridge and Camped on a Small Branch.

26th. We kept down the Branch almost to the River, and up a Creek, and then along a Ridge till our Dogs roused a Large Buck Elk, which we followed down to a Creek. He killed Ambrose Powell's Dog in the Chase, and we named the Run Tumbler's Creek, the Dog being of that name.

28th. Cloudy. We could not get our Horses till almost night, when we went down the Branch. We lay on to the Main Creek 30 and turn'd up it.

May 29th. We proceeded up the Creek 7 miles and then took a North Branch and went up it 5 miles and then encamped on it.

30th. We went to the head of the Branch we lay on 12 miles. A shower of Rain fell this day. The Woods are burnt fresh about here and are the only Fresh burnt Woods we have seen these six Weeks.

31st. We crossed 2 Mountains and camped just by a Wolf's Den. They were very impudent and after they had twice been shot at, they kept bowling about the Camp. It rained till Noon this day.

June ye 1st. We found a Wolf's den and caught 4 of the young ones. It rained this morning. we went up a creek crossed a Mountain and went through a Gap, and then, camped on the head of a Branch.

2d. We went down the Branch to a River 70 yards wide, which I called Fredericks River. we kept up it a half mile to a Ford, where we crossed and proceeded up the North side 3 miles. It rained most of the afternoon. Elks are very plenty on this River.

June 3rd. Whit-Sunday. It rained most of the day.

4th. I blazed several trees four ways on the outside of the low Grounds by a Buffaloe Road, and marked my name one Several Beech Trees. I marked some by the River side just below a mossing place with an Island in it. We left the River about ten O'clock and got to Falling Creek, and went up it till 5 in the afternoon, when a very Black Cloud appearing we turn'd out our horses got tent Poles up and were just stretching a Tent, when it began to rain and hail and was succeeded by a violent Wind which blew down our Tent & a great many Trees about it, several large ones within 30 yrds. of the Tent. we all left the place in confusion and ran different ways for shelter. After the Storm was over, we met at the Tent, and found that all was safe.

5th. There was a violent Shower of Rain before day. This morning we went up the Creek about 3 miles and then were obliged to leave it, the Timber being so blown down we could not get through. After we left the Creek we kept on a Ridge 31 4 miles, they turned down the head of a branch and it began to rain and continued raining very hard till Night.

June 6th. We went down the Branch till it became a Large Creek. It runs very swift, falling more than any of the Branches we have been on of late. I called it Rapid Creek. After we had gone eight miles we could not ford, and we camped in the low Ground. There is a great sign of Indians on this Creek.

7th. The Creek being fordable, we crossed it and kept down 12 miles to a River about 100 yards over, which we called Louisa 32 River. 33 The creek is about 30 yds. wide and part of ye River breakes into ye Creek - making an Island on which we camped.

8th. The River is so deep we cannot ford it and as it is falling we conclude to stay and hunt. In the afternoon Mr. Powell and my Self was a hunting about a mile and a half from the camp, and heard a gun just below us on the other side of the River, and as none of our People could cross, I was in hopes of getting some direction from him, but I could not find him.

June 9th. We crossed the River and went down it to the mouth of a Creek & up the Creek to the head and over a Ridge into a Steep Valley and Camped.

June 10th. Trinity Sunday. Being in very bad Ground for our Horses we concluded to move. we were very much hindered by the Trees, that were blown down on Monday last. We Camped on a Small Branch.

11th. It rained violently the Latter part of the night till 9 o'clock. The Branch is impassable at present. We lost a Tomohawk and a Cann by the Flood.

12th. The water being low we went down the Branch to a large Creek, and up the Creek. many trees in the Branches are Wash'd up by the Roots and others barked by the old trees, that went down ye stream. The Roots in the Bottom of the Run are Barked by the Stones.

June 13th. We are much hindered by the Gust & a shower of Rain about Noon. Game is very scarce here, and the mountains very bad, the tops of the Ridges being so covered with ivy and the sides so steep and stony, that we were obliged to cut our way through with our Tomohawks.

14. The woods are still bad and game scarce. It rained today about Noon & we camped on the top of a Ridge. 34

15th-16th. We got on a large creek where Turkey are plenty and some Elks. we went hunting and killed 3 turkies. Hunted and killed 3 Bears and some Turkeys.

17th. The Sabbath. We killed a large Buck Elk.

18th. having prepared a good stock of meat we left the Creek crossing several Branches and Ridges. the woods still continue bad the weather hot and our horses so far spent, that we are all forced to walk.

June 19th. We got to Laurel Creek early this morning, and met with so impudent a Bull Buffaloe that were obliged to shoot him, or he would have been amongst us. we then went up the Creek six miles, thence up a North Branch to its head, and attempted to cross a mountain, but it proved so high and difficult, that we were obliged to camp to camp on the side of it. This ridge is nigh the eastern edg of the Coal Land. 35

20th. We got to the top of the Mountain and could discover a Flat to the South and South East. we went down from the Ridge to a Branch and down the Branch to Laurel Creek not far from where we left it yesterday and Camped. my riding horse was bit by a Snake this day, and having no Bears Oil I rub'd the place with a piece of fat meat which had the desired effect.

21st. We found the Level nigh the Creek so full of Laurel that we were obliged to go up a Small Branch, and from the head of it to the Creek again, and found it good travelling a Small distance from the Creek. we camped on the Creek. Deer are very scarce on the Coal Land, I having seen but 4 since the 30th of April.

June 22nd. We kept up to the head of the Creek, the Land being Leveller than we have lately seen, and here are some large Savanna's. Most of the Branches are full of Laurel and Ivy. Deer and Beers are plenty.

23rd. Land continues level with Laurel and Ivy and we got to a large Creek with very high and steep Banks full of rocks, which I call'd Clifty Creek, the Rocks are 100 fee perpendicular in some places.

25th. We crossed Clifty Creek. Here is a little Coal and the Land still flat.

26th. We crossed a Creek that we called Dismal Creek, the Banks being the worst and the Laurel the thickest I have ever seen. The Land is Mountainous on the East Side of the Dismal Creek, and the Laurels end in a few miles. We camped on a Small Branch.

27th. The Land is very High and we crossed several Ridges, and camped on a small Branch. it rained about Noon and continued till the next day.

28th. It continued raining till Noon, and we set off as soon as it ceased and went down the Branch we lay on to the New River, just below the Mouth of the Green Bryer. Powell, Tomlinson and myself striped, and went into the New River to try if we could wade over at any point. After some time having found a place we return'd to the others and took such things as would take damage by water on our shoulders, and waded over Leading our Horses. The Bottom is very uneven, the Rocks very slippery and the Current strong most of the way. We camped in the low Ground opposite the mouth of the Green Bryer.

29th. We kept up Green Bryer. 36 It being a wet day we went only 2 miles, and camped on the North side.

June 30th. We went 7 miles up the River which is very Crooked.

July ye 1st. The Sabbath. Our salt being almost spent, we travelled 10 miles sometimes on the River, and sometimes at a distance from it.

2nd. We kept up the River the chief part of this day and we travelled about 10 miles.

3rd. we went up the River 10 miles today.

4th. We went up the River 10 miles through very bad Woods.

5th. The way growing worse, we travelled 9 miles only.

6th. We left the River. The low Grounds on it are of Little value, but on the Branches are very good, and there is a great deal of it, and the high land is very good in many places. We got on a large Creek called Anthony's Creek which affords a great deal of Very good Land, and is chiefly Bought. we kept up the Creek 4 miles and Camped. This Creek took its name from an Indian, called John Anthony, that frequently hunts in these Woods. There are some inhabitants of the Branches of Green Bryer, but we missed their Plantations.

July 7. We kept up the Creek, and about Noon 5 men overtook us and inform'd that we were only 8 miles from the inhabitants on a Branch of James River called Jackson's River. We exchanged some Tallow for Metal and Parted. We camped on a Creek nigh the Top of the Allegheny Ridge, which we named Ragged Creek.

8th. Having Shaved, Shifted and made New shoes we left our useless rags at ye camp and got to Walker Johnston's about Noon. We moved over to Robert Armstrong's and staid there all night. The People here are very Hospitable and would be better able to support Travellers was it not for the great number of Indian Warriers that frequently take what they want from them, much to their prejudice.

July 9th. We went to the Hot Springs and found Six Invalids there. The Spring Water is very Clear and warmer than New Milk, and there is a Spring of cold Water within 20 feet of the warm one. I left one of my company this day.

10th. Having a Path we rode 20 miles and lodged at Captain Jemyson's below the Panther Gap. Two of my Company went to a Smith to get their Horses shod.

11th. Our way mending, we travelled 30 miles to Augusta Court House, where I found Mr. Andrew Johnston, the first of my acquaintance I had seen, since the 26th day of March.

12th. Mr. Johnston lent me a fresh horse and sent my horses to Mr. David Stewards who was so kind as to give them Pastureage. About 8 o'Clock I set off leaving all my Company. It began to Rain about 2 in the afternoon and I lodged at Captain David Lewis's about 34 miles from Augusta Court House.

13th. I got home about Noon.

We killed in the journey 13 Buffaloes, 8 Elks, 53 Bears, 20 Deer, 4 wild Geese, and about 150 Turkeys, besides small game. We might have killed three times as much meat, if we had wanted it.

Footnotes:
1 At this time the new year in England and its Colonies began on the 25th. of March, so that when this journal began it was still the year 1749. The change by which the first of January began the new year was made in 1752.

2 His contract was with the Loyal Land Company, which had a grant of eight thousand acres of land to be located north of the dividing line between Virginia and North Carolina, comprised in part the territory now embraced in Kentucky.

3 This river was first discovered in 1671 by Colonel Abraham Wood, who lived at the falls of the Appomatox now Petersburg Virginia. The line of his exploration was near and parallel to that of the boundary line between Va. and North Carolina as run in 1728-29 and described by Col. William Byrd one of the Va. Commissioners, in the "Westover Papers." He crossed the Alleghaney mountains by a gap called Wood's (now Flower) Gap, and passing down Little River not a great distance about Ingle's Ferry, mentioned later in these notes. It was long called both Wood's and New River but the latter name is now used exclusively.

4 The Kenawha River was in early days commonly supposed to signify in the Indian Tongue, "River of the Wood," but the name of Wood's River, as it was for some time called, evidently came from that of New River, its Main Branch.

5 This locality is now the thriving town of Roanoke, in the Co. of the same name.

6 It has been a generally received opinion that there were no buffalo east of the Blue Ridge, but while the locality here named is west of that mountain, it is not likely that the limit of their range was bounded by it. Col. Byrd killed buffalo in 1729 at points on the boundary line southeast of Roanoke between which and the coast there was no mountain. He states that it was not believed that they went any further north than the latitude of 40.

7 The north fork of the Roanoke River formed by the junction of the Staunton and the Dan rivers in Halifax Co. about ten miles north of the dividing line between Va. & N. Carolina. It rises in the Alleghaney mountains and flows S.E. The upper portion of the Staunton River is now called Roanoke, the lower portion Staunton, and after the junction with the Dan the Roanoke again.
8 Near the present village of Blacksburg, Montgomery Co. Virginia.

9 This crossing of the New River was near the present crossing of the turnpike which runs from Wytheville to Christiansburg and several miles above the crossing of the Norfolk and Western Railroad. It was afterward known as Ingles's Ferry. It is still owned and occupied by descendants of William and Mary Ingles.

10 Peak Creek enters the New River near the village of Newburn, in Pulaski Co.

11 Probably Reed Creek in Wythe County.

12 This was the Middle fork of the Holston, which joins the South Fork of Holston near Abingdon and forms the Tennessee. The Holston was called by the Indians first the Cat-Cloo, afterward the Watauga. It took its name, its present name, from and early hunter and explorer named Holston or Holstein.

13 Samuel Stalnaker was probably, as his name indicates, one of the early pioneers from the Lower Shenandoah Valley or from Penn. of German descent, the family having numerous representatives in the Valley. He was doubtless a hunter and Indian trader who had visited the Cherokees and was acquainted with the route to Cumberland Gap, upon which Dr. Walker has never been, or he would not have needed a guide. It was from him evidently that Dr. Walker received information as to certain localities he was about to visit, as Clinch River, Cave Gap, and other points of which as he advanced into Kentucky, he gave previous information. It was not improbable that the route from the Ohio River to the Cumberland Gap and the Cherokee country, which at that time was defined and known as the "the Warriors Path" was travelled by hunters and traders and that Stalnaker was acquainted with it personally or from others. On Fry and Jefferson's Map, 1751, Stalnaker's settlement is put down as the extreme western habitation.

14 From the fact that Dr. Walker was here in 1748, historians have fallen into the error of stating that it was in this year that he went to Cumberland Gap, in company with Col. James Patton, Major Charles Campbell and others, but there is nothing upon which the assertion remains except a misty tradition. It is doubtless based upon the fact that these gentlemen, in 1748 Dr. Walker being one of the number, made an exploration with a view of taking up lands, as some of them did, on the Holston. This region then began to excite attention for settlement and the following year the boundary line between Virginia and North Caroline was extended to a point beyond that at which Doctor Walker was this day.

15 The Cherokee Indians occupied East Tenn. and a part of Northwest Georgia adjacent. They were at times, and until 1759, friendly and very faithful to the Whites, furnishing volunteers in the early part of the French and Indian War. They were thus deadly enemies of the Shawnees and other tribes north of the Ohio, but in the Revolutionary War they united with them under British influence against the Americans.

16 Inhabitans-Inhabitants, settlers, meaning that he had past the frontier of civilization.

17 Enters the South Fork of the Holston River a short distance above its junction with the North Fork.

18 Reedy Creek empties into the Holston at the Foot of Long Island, a noted locality in the early history of Tenn. Nearby a fort was erected by advice of Washington in 1758, by Col William Byrd, which was later known as Fort Patrick Henry. Just below the mouth of Reedy Creek is the town of Kingsport, Sullivan County, and a short distance below the town the North Fork puts into the Holston. It was at this point the treaty of Watauga was held March, 1775, when the Cherokees sold to Richard Henderson And Company the land in Kentucky called Transylvania.

19 On leaving Holston River his route was northwest.

20 The Clinch Mountain which runs through part of East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia in a northeasterly direction, a very regular chain with gaps at long intervals. The small hills refered to are the paralell outliers of the Clinch Mountain.

21 He crossed Clinch Mountain most probably at Looney's Gap and reached the Clinch River above the present site of Sneedville, Hancock County Tenn Thence he went up Greasy Creek northwestward and entered the narrow valley between Newman's Ridge and Powell's Mountain, running paralell to the Clinch. The former, or Eastern Ridge, as Dr. Walker calls it, is twenty-five hundred feet high, and the latter, or Western Ridge two thousand feet high as shown by the excellent contour map of the U.S. Geological Survey, with the details of Dr. Walker's route as indicated by his journal agrees with striking accuracy. On the 11th Dr. Walker went down Big Sycamore Creek, which runs southwest between these ridges, to its junction with an unnamed creek coming into it from the southwest. He travelled up the latter by a buffalo road over several divides, and on the 12th reached Powell's River, ten Miles from Cumberland Gap.

22 A tributary of the Tenn. running paralell with the Clinch Mountain, rising in Tazewell and Bland Cos. Va. and interlocking with the Bluestone River and Wolf Creek, tributaries of New River. His correct nomenclature of the River indicates that he had received information concerning the route travelled from Stalnaker or other source. Haywood's History of Tennessee, in acounting for the name, ascribes it to an incident, which dates eleven years after Dr. Walker's visit, in which a man on the point of drowning called to his companions, "Clinch me.Clinch me!"

23 Now Big Sycamore Creek.

24 Present Yellow Creek, upon which, nearby, is now the site of Middleborough.

25 Clear (Clover) Creek empties into Cumberland River just above Pineville, where the River breaks through Pine Mountain, a range paralell to Cumberland Mountain, eight or ten miles distant. Yellow (Flat) Creek empties into it several miles above.

26 This creek now known at Swan Pond Creek, was named by Daniel Boone.

27 The point at which Dr. Walker here reached Cumberland River is about twenty miles below that at which he crossed it on the 23rd. the creek which he called Rocky Creek is now called Patterson's and the topography at its mouth conforms to his description.

28 This was Station Camp Creek which empties into the Kentucky River just above Irvine, county-seat of Estill Co. At the mouth of this creek Daniel Boone lived alone in 1770, while his brother, Squire Boone, returned to N. Carolina for ammunition, and there they spent the following winter. The Indian trace up Station Creek was known as "Ouasiota Pass,"and when they reached the summit they thought they were on top of Cumberland Mountains, the name "Ouasiota" Mountains being given to that range, together with all its elevated region eastwardly to the main chain. . . . "Ouasiota Pass" is laid down on Pownall's Map, 1776, with routes converging to it from Big Bone Lick, near the Ohio, the lower Shawnee town at the mouth of the Scioto, and from the mouth of the Big Sandy, called Totteroy.

29 This was the Kentucky River. No stream has been called by more names. The histories of Kentucky generally credited Dr. Walker with having given it the name of Louisa, but there is no foundation whatever for this assumption, as this journal fully shows. It is put down on Pownall's and other of the early Maps as Milley's River, and it was probably known to traders and hunters at the time of Dr. Walker's expedition, from the Miami Indian name, which was "Millewakame." Of the rivers named by Dr. Walker, he never leaves us in doubt always saying so in express terms when he names one. Other names by which the Kentucky River were known were Cuttawba, Catawba, Chenoka, and Chenoa.

30 This was the Red River, which in ordinary seasons is a small stream, but becomes very formidable after heavy rains on its headwaters.

31 This was the watershed between the Licking and Big Sandy Rivers.

32 This was evidently Paint Creek, near the mouth of which is Paintsville, the County seat of Johnson Co. The valley of the upper Licking is much more elevated than that of the Big Sandy, and the descent to the latter is quite abrupt.

33 This river was named Louisa, after the sister of the Duke of Cumberland for which solider Dr. Walker seems to have had a great partiality. It has always been said that it was named for the wife of the Duke, but he was never married. The stream is known as the Louisa or Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy, and is joined by the Tug Fork, the northeast boundary between Virginia and Kentucky, at Louisa, C.H. seat of Lawrence Co., 40 miles north of Paintsville. The Indian name of the Big Sandy was Chattaroi or Chattarawha. It was also called Totteroi.

34 This was the dividing ridge between the two forks of the Big Sandy. He was now travelling towards the southeast, having this day passed the divide between the waters of the Louisa and Tug Forks of the Big Sandy.

35 This was the outcrop of the Pocahontas coal field in W. Virginia, now extensively mined, the Norfolk and Western Railroad penetrating that region and having been extended down the Tug Fork to the Ohio at Kenova, just above the mouth of the Big Sandy.

36 The route of Dr. Walker from this point homeward needs but little comment. He followed substantially the present line of the Chespeake & Ohio R. R., crossing the Allegheny divide on the 8th of July, passing Hot Springs on the 9th, and reaching Augusta Court House (Staunton Va) on the 11th. Crossing the Shenandoah Valley and passing over the Blue Ridge at Rock Fish Gap. he completed the circle of his arduous expedition of four months and seven days by arriving at Castle Hill on the 18th of July.


I have an Excelsior IV, which I inherited from my father (I think he bought it around 1948!) and a spare spinner for it which I snaffled on E-bay!

For a yacht, you want either the Knotmaster or the Excelsior you do NOT want a Cherub, which is a "big ship" patent log, optimised for big ship speeds, say 9 to 18 knots. You also do not want a "Harpoon" log, an earlier model where the recording element is in the fish itself, so you have to haul it to read it. These do pop up on Ebay, surprisingly.

If possible, go for an "outrigger pattern" not a "sling pattern" instrument.

My advice is that you look for a nice clean Knotmaster on Ebay with one or two spare spinners (the Knotmaster, unlike the Excelsior, came with spare spinners in the box as part of the outfit).

The point about spare spinners is that sharks eat them - also you might drop one OB when un-attached.

A complete set for an "outrigger pattern" log should also have a pair of shoe plates in the box these you screw to the rail on the port and starboard quarters. Theoretically you should tow the log from the lee side, but I don't bother having an offset prop to port I always stream the log to starboard, for very obvious reasons!

You should also find a length of line and a weight for the line - a little bronze torpedo with a set screw in it, which you screw to the line three feet ahead of the fish. If the line is missing or rotten you can use any small diameter hard braided line - 100ft is the right length.

Keep the recording head swimming in oil.

The official way to hand the log is to grasp the line, unhook it, and pay out the end with the hook on as you haul in the fish, then haul in the hoo again this stops it kinking.

In a flat calm, haul the log fish on board, do so also when you heave to. Omitting these precautions will eventually lead to wrapping the log line round the prop - everybody does this once!

Stream the log when "taking your departure" at the start of a passage.


From Graces Guide

of 58 Oxford Street, Birmingham. Later of 'The Walker Building' 58 Oxford Street, Birmingham.

1861 Thomas Walker with his son Thomas Ferdinand Walker patented the first 'Walker Ship Log' Ώ]

1862 Maker of steam boilers, alarm water gauges, and other machinery - London Exhibition.

1863 Set up business making ship's logs.

1871 Thomas Walker died. The business also advertised its pressure gauges under the name T. Walker and Sons

1872 Thomas Walker and Son, patentees & manufacturers of the harpoon ship log & sounding machines & of the selffeeding stoves ΐ]

1873 Thomas Walker and Son, of Oxford St Α]

1892 Thomas Walker and Son, of 58 Oxford St, patentees & manufacturers of the self feeding Phoenix stove Β]

1896/7 Directory: Advertiser. More detail - ships' logs and nautical instruments.

1912 Thomas Ferdinand Walker and his son Thomas Sydney Walker completed new premises known as the Walker Building on Oxford Street. (*Note: Not to be confused with the 'Walker Art Gallery' by Andrew Barclay Walker). Γ]

The first Walker electric log was produced at Walker building. Δ]


Thomas Walker

Thomas Walker, a colonial Virginian, significantly marked Tennessee through his discovery and naming of the Cumberland River in 1750 and his establishment of the North Carolina-Virginia western line in 1780. He was born in Tidewater Virginia, probably in King and Queen County, on January 25, 1715. He trained as a physician and practiced that profession throughout his life, but he was also a major landowner, planter, merchant, manufacturer, land speculator, surveyor, parish leader, military man and public official. Related by marriage to George Washington, he served as a guardian of young Thomas Jefferson. He reared a large family, and his children married into families that continued to influence America’s westward development.

In 1750, as investor in and agent of the Loyal Company, a speculative land company, Walker led an exploration through Cave Gap, which he subsequently named Cumberland Gap. In his journal account of the expedition he reported his discovering and naming of the Cumberland River and the construction of a cabin to mark the first white settlement in the area. Within three years after that journey, plans were afoot for Walker to lead an expedition to find the way to the western sea by following the Missouri River to its sources and beyond. That trip, which would have predated the Lewis and Clark Expedition by fifty years, never materialized due to the French and Indian War. During that war Walker served as commissary general for Virginia’s troops and was present with Colonel George Washington and another young soldier, Daniel Boone, when General Edward Braddock met defeat in his attempt to capture Fort Duquesne in 1755.

When peace returned, Walker became officially involved in negotiations with several Native American tribes. He represented Virginia in the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768. The next year he held the same position in negotiations to adjust some errors in the Hard Labor Treaty with the Cherokee in Charleston, South Carolina, and he negotiated with the Ohio Indians at Pittsburgh in 1775. Walker served in a number of political positions in Virginia throughout his life, was instrumental in founding the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, and served on the Committee of Safety, one of the early independence initiatives.

As a young man Daniel Smith, who was to become a prominent figure in early Tennessee history, came to apprentice with Walker, initially planning to become a physician. When his interests turned toward surveying, Walker was his mentor in those activities as well. In 1780 Walker and Smith were Virginia’s commissioners appointed to work with Colonel Richard Henderson of North Carolina, one of the founders of the Transylvania Company, to survey the North Carolina-Virginia line. When Henderson became disenchanted with the survey, he abandoned the effort. Part of the survey team continued to run the line, while Walker floated down the Cumberland River to French Lick, now Nashville. After the line was completed to the Tennessee River, Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson charged Walker and Smith to proceed to the Falls of the Ohio, join General George Rogers Clark, and travel the Ohio River to its union with the Mississippi River to complete the survey by establishing the southwest corner of the state of Virginia at the Mississippi River. An error in the survey, recognized at the time but accepted by both North Carolina and Virginia, explains the offset in the resulting state line at its junction with the Tennessee River, still official today on maps of Tennessee and Kentucky.

After completing the survey, Walker served in political positions in the Virginia state government before retiring from public service to live out his days at Castle Hill, his Albemarle County home. He died there on November 9, 1794.


Dr. Thomas Walker (1714 - 1794)

Thomas Walker was born in King and Queen County, the son of Dr. Thomas Walker, Sr. and Susanna Peachy Walker. He studied medicine at William and Mary and was one of the most prominent physicians in Albemarle County. In 1741, he married Mildred Thornton Meriwether, the widow of Nicholas Meriwether, II, and through her, obtained the property known as &ldquoCastle Hill,&rdquo an estate of 15,000 acres. In the 1742 Personal Property Tax List of Albemarle County, Thomas Walker is listed as having 86 slaves, 93 cattle, 22 cattle, and two carriages. (Cappon) In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Walker explored portions of Southwest Virginia and into Kentucky, naming the Cumberland Mountains and River. He served as commissary of Virginia troops under General Braddock during the French and Indian War and later was asked to negotiate with Native Americans of New York and Pennsylvania. He was elected to the House of Burgesses for Hanover, Louisa, and Albemarle County (Albemarle and Louisa Counties were formed from parts of Hanover County) and surveyed the Virginia-North Carolina border. Dr. Walker was a trustee for Albemarle County in 1763, charged with the task of selling lots in the new county seat, Charlottesville. He was appointed guardian to the young Thomas Jefferson after the death of his father, Peter Jefferson. (Anderson, p. 222-223 The Magazine of Albemarle County History, Vol. 52, p. 40)

His wife, Mildred Thornton Meriwether (1721-1778), was the widow of Nicholas Meriwether (1699-1739), a man of great wealth and much older than she was. Upon his death, she inherited a large amount of land. Two years later, she married Dr. Thomas Walker. They had twelve children. Their eldest daughter, Mary, married Nicholas Lewis who had inherited &ldquoThe Farm&rdquo from his grandfather, Nicholas Meriwether II. Their eldest son, John, inherited &ldquoBelvoir&rdquo. John also was an aide to Gen. Washington during the Revolution, was a member of the House of Burgesses, and later was a U. S. Senator. Daughter Lucy, married Dr. George Gilmer, a prominent physician, of &ldquoPen Park&rdquo and daughter Elizabeth married Rev. Matthew Maury, a well-respected minister and educator.


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