Sunday, November 11, 2012

Journal Kept on the River Ohio 1774 - Thomas Hanson's Account

I found this little book among some others that I acquired from another Historical Society who was getting rid of some of their collection. I sat down and read it in a couple of days and it was very interesting. It is a diary of a Kentucky explorer/surveyor about a summer spent traveling down the Ohio River and in through Kentucky surveying out parcels of land to be settled by pioneers and military veterans. The diary was so small I was able to index names of individuals named in it. These individuals were men who were in the surveying party, or who would receive the land surveys, or those they met along the trip. As I read it many questions arose in my mind about my ancestors in this part of the wilderness. Read my previous post on this topic. Following I transcribed a few of the more interesting passages in the diary. The entries start April 7, 1774 and end August 9, 1774.

April 7: We left Col. Wm. Preston’s in Fincastle County at one o’clock in high spirits, escorted by him three miles; eight of us being in company, viz: Mr. John Floyd, assistant surveyor, Mr. [James] Douglas, Do. Mr. Hite, Mr. Dandridge, Thos. Hanson, James Nocks [Knox], Roderick McCra, & Mordecai Batson. We traveled fifteen miles to John McGuffin’s at Sinking Creek.

May 13: Mr. Douglass made a survey of 2000 acres on the upper side of the Creek [near Big Bone Lick] for William Christian, good land. At Mr. Douglas’s return we embarked & floated down the River to Kentucky, 47 miles & by daybreak landed. In our passage we came to an Indian Camp, landed & found two Delawares & a Squaw, we gave them some corn & salt.

July 6: Mr. Floyd, Nash, McCra, and Hanson left the rest of the company with an agreement to meet at Mr. Harrod’s cabin [Colonel Harrod of Harrodsburg fame] 20 miles off, higher on the Kentucky.

Present day Otter Creek - Wayne County, Kentucky

Names mentioned in the diary: Mr. Allen, Mr. Arbuckle, Mordecai Batson, Mr. Blackburn (of Rye Cove), Mr. Boyer, Matthew Bracken, Col. Bullitt, Robert Carlile, William Christian, George Rogers Clark, George Clendennin, Dr. Connelly, James Cowan, Mr. Croghan (Croghan's Fort), Mr. Dandridge, Lawrence Darnell, Dickerson (indian) Col. Donaldson, James Douglas, Lord Dunmore, Ephraim Fields, Maj. John Fields, John Floyd (surveyor) Mr. Glen, James Hamilton, James Hanson, John Hanson, Thomas Hanson, Mr. Hardy, Capt. Harrod, Patrick Henry, William Henry, Mr. Hite, Mr. Hogg (of Pokatalico River), Mr. Holloway, Mrs. Ingles, Walter Kelly (of New River), James Knox (or Nocks), Hancock Lee, Col. Andrew Lewis, Gen. Benjamin Logan, John May, Mr. McCorkle, Roderick McCra, Mr. McCulloch, John McGuffin (of Sinking Creek), Dr. Hugh Mercer, Mr. Nash, Col. William Preston (of Fincastle County), Hancock Taylor (asst. surveyor), Michael Tygert, Mr. Waggoner, Mr. Ware, and Colonel Washington.

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