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Rockingham County, Virginia
VAGenWeb Project

Court Minutes
Page 3
(From "History of Rockingham County" by John W. Wayland)


A HISTORY OF ROCKINGHAM COUNTY VIRGINIA

John W. Wayland, Ph.D.

CHAPTER V. (Pages 65 - 111)

THE NEW COUNTY AND THE NEW NATION.
1777-1820.


March 28, 1782.

Justices present:

John Fitzwater Reuben Harrison
William Nawl Wm. Herring
Michael Couger

Claims allowed:

Leonard Herring, for 30 bus. corn, July 3, 1781.

Frederick Armentrout, for 1 bag, and 2 bus. "Spotts," Nov. 15, 1780; for 1 bag, April 24, 1779; etc.

Henry Miller, for 50 gals. whiskey, at 3s. a gallon, and casks, 6s., Sept. 14, 1781; 39 horses 1 night at hay, Jan. 14, 1781; and 1 bu. "Spels," 1s. 8d.; for 30 morning snacks and 30 gills whiskey, Jan. 15, 1781. (Footnote: "Spels" was doubtless spelt, a grain related to wheat and barley, much used for food in Germany and Switzerland. It is also called "German wheat." This is a circumstantial touch reminding us that most of the early settlers of Rockingham came from Germany and Switzerland. The "Spotts" sold by Fred. Armentrout were likely some grain or vegetable, also.)

"This under the same Circumstances wt. harnets."

Henry Miller, for 1 ax, 5s., Jan. 19, 1781; for 437 lbs. beef, June 6, 1781.

Jere Besselly, for 1 bu. corn and hay for 27 horses 1 night, Jan. 13, 1781.

"Sam at harnet."

Jere Beazle, for pasturing 5 horses 4 days, Sept. 22, 1781;

Jere Beezly, for 1 gal. salt, 7s.6d., Jan. 13, 1781.

George Kessle, for hay and oats, Jan. 1, 1782.

George Kelsle, for 6 days with team, March 1, 1781.

Gorge Kessle, for 8 days rations for 2 men, Feb. 23, 1778.

Georg Kezle, for 2 days with team, Feb. 12, 1781. (Footnote: Kessle, Kelsle, and Kezle were obviously one and the same man, to-wit, George Keezell, for whom Keezletown is named.)

James Laird, for 99 days public service with his team, acct. dated April 11, 1781.

Alexander Miller, for 725 lbs. beef, Nov. 15, 1780.

Frances Stewart, for pasturing 10 cattle 7 days, Nov. 2, 1781; etc.

Jas. Rutherford, for 6 bus. rye, Nov. 17, 1780.

Sam. Hamphill, for 22 1/2 lbs. bacon, at 9d., and 97 lbs. pork, at 3d., Feb. 4, 1781.

Peter Nicholas, for 10 soldiers' diets, Febr. 25, 1781; to the same, for hay, diets, forage, oats, corn, &c., at various times.

Jacob Nicholas, for 200 lbs. hay, and for pasturing 14 head of cattle, Nov. 12, 1780.

Reuben Harrison, for 99 days public service with his team, acct. dated Dec. 12, 1781.

Banabas Carpenter, for 1 beef weighing 287 lbs., at 2d. a pound, Sept. 16, 1781; and for 1350 lbs. hay, at 1s.6d. per cwt., Jan. 1, 1782.

Barnabas Simmerman, for public service with his team, Jan. 20, 1781; to the same, for hay, corn, diets, lodging, etc., at various times; and "for Damage Done by Continental troops to the possessions of sd. Simmerm., 8 shillings," Dec. 4, 1780.

John Brown, for 2 bus. rye, at 2s.6d. a bushel, Nov. 17, 1780.

John Frazor, for 2 bus. rye and 10 bus. corn, Nov. 26, 1780.

Nana Simerman, for 66 lbs. mutton, at 3d. a pound, Febr. 21, 1781.

Pat. Guin, for 3 bus. corn, Dec. 7, 1781.

Daniel Smith, for pasturing 34 troop horses 20 days, for beef, corn, and whiskey, July 21, 1781; for public service with his team, &c., Nov. 30, 1781.

Michael Couger, for making 2 tents, at 6s.3d., Jan. 18, 1781.

March 29, 1782.

Accounts were allowed for military supplies furnished, for public service with teams, for horses lost in public service, etc., to the following:

Reuben Harrison   Adam Sellers
John Weir   Robt. Slaughter
Peter Miller, Sr.   John Branum
Ester Stephenson   Jacob Peters
John Burk   Woolry Hershman
Peter Miller, Jr.   Ben. White
Leonard Miller   Henry Long
Robt. Hook   Lawrence Slaughter
Jacob Bear   Ann Field
Henry Miller   Jacob Kiblinger
James Bruster   And. Hudlow
Coonrod Hulvah   Joseph Hannah
Gabriel Jones   Paul Lingal
Peachy Gilmore   Hans Magart
George Mallow   George Boswell

March 30, 1782.

Accounts were allowed for linen, making tents, for flour, beef, pasturage, rations, etc., to the following:

William Snoding
Henry Stone
Sebaston Hoover
Henry Dove
Henry Harter
Daniel Smith
William Nall
Edward Williams
Jacob Baer
Woolry Hershman
Jacob Moyers
Darby Ragon
Felex Gilbert (For putting in a new axletree, and otherwise
                     repairing a public wagon, 5s.)
To the same, for corn, horse shoes, &c.
John Perky
George Pence
Henry Pence (For 8 flour barrels.)
John Smith (For 7 days wagoning, in assisting with the
                  British prisoners from the south, to
                  Shenandoah, March, 1781.)
William Marshall
Lewis Circle
Zeb Harrison (For one "Brown Mare, 14 1/2 hands High
                     Stout made 15 years Old 10L.")
To the same, "By a dutch Clark, ye hand not known, for
                     40 head of Bullocks at Pasture one Night at
                     3 per Head."
Adam Argabright
Martin Argabright
Danl. Guin (For "1 Bay Mare 14 hands & 1 Inch High 5
                 years Old Well Made Lost in Publick Service
                 twenty Pounds.")
Brewer Reeves
Isaac Wood
Alex. Miller
William Fitzwater
Sarah Bags
Jeremiah Ragon
John Page
John Ewin
Wm. Stephenson
Frances Erwin
Gawin Hamilton
Jacob Fowland
Johnston Neilson (For "1 Riffel Gun Powder Horn and Shot bag
                            Lost in ye Continental Service In ye year
                            76 In ye Expedition to Georgia L5 10s.")
Jeremiah Harrison (By assignment from Conrad Smith, for 1
                            roan mare, with bell and pack saddle, lost
                            in the State service in 1774, "In the Exp.
                            to ye point Under Dunmore," L10.)
Daniel Smith
Handel Vance
Nicholas Curry
Michael Baker
John Fitzwater
Wm. Marshal
Danl. Polser
Wat. Crow
James Elliot
William Magill
John Guin
John Hemphill
James Baird
George Carpenter (For "1 Gun Lost In the year 81 In the
                            Battle at Jas. Town gun Shot poutch
                            and powder horn," L5 5s.)
Wm. Smith (For acting as packhorse master in carrying
                  provisions to "Tyger Valey," 40 days, at 6s.
                  per day, "Who then Acted under the Direction
                  of Wm. Boon accordg appt By Col. Abram Smith
                  C L. sd Boon having someTime ago Retd his
                  Papers By Col. Nawl," etc.)
Jonathan Shipman
Abijiah Warrin
Jno. McGlahing
Lind. Wade
Jno. Armstrong
Thomas Collick
Jacob Glaspie
William Rice
James Bletcher
John Rice
Jeremiah Harrison
Robt. Craveors
John Deniston
Abram Smith
George Peirce
William Young

April 1, 1782

Benjamin Harrison took the oath prescribed by law for County Lieutenant of the militia.

April 22, 1782

Will of Peter Hog, first clerk of the court, written in his own hand, proved by Richard Madison, one of the subscribing witnesses. Gabriel Jones and George Matthews gave bond as executors. Elizabeth Hog is mentioned as surviving widow.

April 23, 1782.

Accounts were allowed for service in the Revolution, as follows:

Sept. 27, 1780. - "To Jas. Carrel for one Waggon, 3 Horses and Geers for four horses All lost in Publick Service Under Comd. of Genl. Stevans In Carolina Being first 52 Days in ye service 7 Day Retg home at 5s. 6d. Day and 10s. 6d. Day for sd. 52 Days in service."

Carrel was allowed for his horses L25, L30, and L15, respectively; for the wagon, gears, &c., L18.

To Wm. Magill, for 15 days serving as quarter master with the militia from this county, to "Head Qt. Mopin Hills," at 6s. a day. No date.

To Wm. Hook, for 1 horse, lost in public service in 1779, L10.

April 24, 1782.

Accounts were allowed for service, supplies furnished, etc., during the Revolution, to the following persons:

George Spears
Sol. Mathews
John Henton
John Hopkins
George Baxter
Jeremiah Ragon
Richard Mathews
Archibald Hopkins
Isiah Shipman
Jonathan Shipman
Archibald Henderson
Silas Hart
James Devier
Hugh Devier
Fred. Armentrout
Mathias Kersh (For 3 beeves weighing nett 1750 lbs.,
                       at 2 1/2d. a pound.)
George Weaver
John Weaver
Jacob Perkey
Thos. Care
Henry Monger
Adam Sellers
Col. Wm. Nawl
Robt. Elliot
Henry Armentrout
Wm. White
Martin Petro
Wm. Davis
Wm. Mills
Jacob Nicholas
David Laird
George Mallow
Ann Carpenter
George Carpenter
Adam Fought
William Hook
Thomas Harrison
Frances Stewart
John Miller
George Huston ("For paying for Keeping 1 Horse His
                        Own Property But Lost In the Ctry
                        Service in Mcintosh Expd. Taken Up and
                        Again Rd. to Him For Sixty Days 4 Dollars
                        And pay 1s. 6d. for 106 Days Being ye
                        Time of sd. Expt." Dated Feb. 18, 1779.)

The sheriff was ordered to collect the window glass tax, agreeable to Act of Assembly passed in May, 1780, "Which Should Have Been Collected In Augt. 81."

May 27, 1782.

Frances Kees [?] took the oath of an attorney "in this Court."

May 28, 1782.

It was ordered that James Montgomery, son of Sam. Montgomery, deceased, be bound according to law, by the church wardens, "To Mr. Jno. Hicks To Learn ye silver smith Trade untill he Comes of ye Age of 21 years he Being 14 year Spt Ensuing and the sd. Hicks Learn him read Wright and Cypher."

Accounts for services rendered, supplies furnished, etc., during the Revolution, were allowed to the following persons:

James Grace   Handel Vance
John Davis   Mary Cravens
Henry Stone   Margaret Cravens
Frances Beaverly   John Craig
Henry Whisler   Wm. Hook
Fred. Keiler   Abram Peters
George Ruddle   Nehemiah Harrison
James Magill

May 29, 1782.

Accounts for services rendered, supplies furnished, etc., during the Revolution, were allowed to the following persons:

John Shipman   Jacob Coofman
Reuben Harrison   John Pence
Thomas Harrison   John Robison
Robt. Harrison   David Robison
Robt. Hook   John Thomas
Walter Crow   George Mallow
Mathew Patton   Augustine Price
Robt. Davis   Jacob Harmon
James Dyer   Jno. Bear
Frederick Kester

May 30, 1782.

Revolutionary claims were allowed to

Bethuell Herring   Michael Stump
France Irvine   John Bullet
David Ralston   Charles Rush
Robt. Slaughter   Pasley Hover
Jacob Moyer   John Sellers
Lewis Runckle   Stephen Coonrod
Henry Price   Pet. Kize
John Sword   George Coonrod
Hugh Dunahoe   Pet. Coonrod
Michael Carns   Philip Long
Thomas Hewitt   William Pence
Alex. Herring   Lewis Rhinehart
Frances Stewart   John Fye
Pet. Runckle   Joseph Smith
David Laird   Thomas Harrison
John Eddy

June 7, 1782.

Revolutionary claims were allowed to

John Herdman   Jacob Bear
John Hinton   Robt. Elliot
John McWilliams   James Dier
John Ewins   Easther Stephenson
Chrisly Painter   John Blain
John Hopkins   Jacob Warick
Archibald Hopkins   Joseph Strickler
Robt. Dunlap   Alex. Samples
Ephraim Love   John McDugal
Brewer Reeves   Henry Ewins
Godfrey Bowman   Wm. Hook
Wm. Pettejohn   Ezekiel Harrison

August 28, 1782.

"Came into Court Benj Crow & made oath that there was a Rifel gun powder horn shot pouch and knife taken from Him When a continental soldier In the year 1777 and put Into the Magn. for which he Recd a certificate Which he Lodged with Walter Crow who also came into Court and Made oath that He Has Lost the sd. Cera. and never Recd any value for ye same the Court Is therefore of the oppinion that ye sd. Benj Crow Be allowed L7 10s for sd gun powder horn shot Pouch and knife and the Same Is ord. to Be Cert."

"Came into Court Walter Crow And Made oath that He Delivered 280 lbs. of Bacon To Mr. Tate Comg. at Albamarle Barricks In April 1779 for Which he has Never Rd. any Valy or Satisfan. the Court Is therefore of ye oppinion that He Be allowed 7 1/2 per lb. and ye same Is ord. To Be Cerd."

"Came into Court Robt. Davis Gent. and Made oath the Hemshire Cty Mal When in this Cty supressing The Tories Red. of Him 30 Diets for Which he Red. no-----the Court Is therefore of ye oppn. that he Be allowed 6d. per Diet & S ord. To Cert."

September 24, 1782.

"To John Donaphan 1 Gun Lost in Hot water Battle a smooth Rhifle about 3 feet 7 Inches Long Brass mounted with Amidling Lock Vallued To L3 O & C.

"The Sd. Donaphan was wounded in the Action." - Account dated July 26, 1781.

October 29, 1782.

"To James Reeves for One Rifle Gun Lost in Crossing James River at Sandy Point upon the March Against Genl. Arnold Valued at L5.0.0 Specie."

November 27, 1782.

James Devier was appointed to procure weights and measures for a standard in the county, according to law, "upon the best Terms he can as far as 40L Will Extend Having Regard To ye Purchassing of the sd. Measures In ye first Place."

March 25, 1783.

"Gawin Hamilton Gent. having advertised the Court of his intentions of removing from this State to the State of Georgia and as he is informed it is necessary for Strangers to carry with them a Certificate of their Character and Conduct from the place where they remove from prayed the Court would Certifie their Knowledge of him, The Court therefore taking the same under consideration and willing to do Justice as well to the said Mr. Hamilton as to their Fellow Citizens in the State where he is about to remove to, Ordered that the Clerk of this Court do Certifie that the said Gawin Hamilton hath been for many years past an Inhabitant of this County that he hath Acted therein in the public Character of an Assistant Surveyor of the aforesaid County, A Magistrate and a Lieutenant Colonel of the Militia, in all which said Capacities he hath demeaned himself with uprightness, integrity Spirit and Resolution, and Show'd by his Actions through the long Contest with Great Brittain that he possessed true Whiggish principles and upon all occasions exerted them for the Advantage of the United States."

On April 29, 1783, certificates were granted to Ezekiel Harrison, Reuben Harrison, and Josiah Harrison, stating that they had been born and brought up in the county, and had behaved themselves as good, faithful citizens and soldiers in the contest with Great Britain, etc. They also were removing to Georgia.

April 29, 1783.

William Dunaphans was allowed L2 for a smooth bore gun lost "in Serving a Tour of Militia Duty under Colo. Naul, sd. gun was lost at Stomen [?] Mill Near Portsmouth in the Year 1781." (Footnote: The Dunaphan family seems to have had a persistent misfortune with guns. This makes three lost by William and John. It is possible, however, that the above item refers to the same gun mentioned in the record of March 27, 1782.)

May 27, 1783.

"On Application of John Brown Senr. on behalf of James Brown that he is Eldest Brother and heir at Law of John Brown deceased a Soldier in the 8th Virginia Regiment was in the Continental Service at the time of his Death - which is Ordered to be Certified." (Footnote: The 8th Virginia was the famous "German Regiment," commanded first by Muhlenberg, later by Abram Bowman. See Wayland's "German Element," pp. 143, 144.)

June 23, 1783.

"Capt. Stephen Coonrod came into Court and proved that he lost or mislaid a Certain Certificate granted by Col. Wm. Nall to John Fie so that it cannot be found for one old Wolfs Scalp and that the same is Ordered to be Certified."

June 24, 1783.

Agreeable to an order of the court in March preceding, for the sheriff to let the paving "of that part of the Court House from the Lawyers Barr to the Chimney Ordered that Andrew Shanklin Let the said work with an Addition of two Windows one of each side of the Chair containing Twelve lights each Eight by Ten to be finished in a workmanlike manner with Suitable Shutters &c. by August Court next." On September 23 this work was reported satisfactorily completed.

"O That William Herring and Andrew Shanklin Gent. do lay off the Prison bounds."

Pursuant to the above, Herring and Shanklin made report that the said prison bounds "do begin at a Walnut tree In the Corner of Reeves Lott, from thence to a Stone set up below the South East end of Deviers House, from thence to two black Oak saplins growing from one Root, in the North Side of Lanahans Lott, from thence to a Stone Set up at the West side of Rutherfords Kitchen and from thence to the Beginning."

September 22, 1783.

Daniel McKenley was granted a certificate, stating that he had been a resident of the county for "some years past," had been a person of sober conduct, had manifested true Whiggish principles in the long contest with Great Britain, and had been a good soldier, in the capacity of sergeant, in a long and tedious campaign. Mr. McKenley, like others already mentioned, was going to Georgia.

October 28, 1783.

Henry Ewin, William Herring, and Benj. Harrison, appointed by a former court, reported that they had viewed the work done by James Henton on the "Jayl, Pillory and Stocks," and had found it done according to contract. An order was entered directing the sheriff to pay the said Henton L35 15s. for the said work. Henton was allowed 20s. for a stock lock "now on the inside Door of Jail upon his furnishing a Lock for the Iron Door agreeable to Article."

September 27, 1784.

Gawin Hamilton and Ralph Loftus, having been appointed by a former court to examine Mr. John Lincoln in regard to his abilities as deputy surveyor of the county, reported that they had found nothing to hinder his being admitted to the office.

----------------------

After the successful close of the Revolution in 1783, Virginia bestowed a northwestern empire upon the new nation in 1784. In 1787 the famous ordinance for the government of the northwest and the new constitution for the nation were both drawn up. Two years later Washington was inaugurated first President, and the "tall young Adam of the West" began to stand erect. In 1793 Whitney invented the cotton gin; in 1798 Virginia and Kentucky passed their fateful resolutions in protest against the Alien and Sedition Acts; in 1803 Jefferson purchased Louisiana; and in 1807 came a trilogy of great events: The passage of the Embargo, the proof of Fulton's steamboat, and the birth of Robert E. Lee. During all this time progress was rapid in Rockingham, notwithstanding the fact that she surrendered a large part of her territory in 1787 in the formation of Pendleton County. The people were subduing the earth and replenishing it; they were clearing forests, building houses, laying out roads, and establishing schools, churches, and towns: they were marrying and giving in marriage. If any on doubts the last, he may abundantly satisfy himself by referring to the list of marriages in the Appendix. At the end of the century Rev. John Walsh, of the Methodist Church, seems to have been best man to Hymen. For the year ending in April, 1798 he reported 30 marriages to the county clerk, and for the next year, ending May 13, 1799, he reported 45.

In 1781 there were about 1500 tithables in the county. Accordingly, there total population was probably about 5000. In 1790 there were about 2100 tithables, and a total population of nearly 7500. By 1810 the figures were about 3000 and 12,500 respectively. There was a variety of race elements: German, Scotch, Irish, English, Dutch, and Negro: but the negroes were remarkably few, compared witht the number to be found in the adjacent counties east of the Blue Ridge. The number of negro slaves reported for 1790 was only about 10 per cent. of the total population; the number in 1810 being about 11 per cent. of the total. Most of the taxpayers had horses, while but a few of them had slaves. In 1775 Felix Gilbert reported 12 tithables, and John Craig nine,- more than any one else in their district. The largest slave-holders in the county in 1788 were Peachey Ridgeway, John Mackalls, Thomas Lewis, and William Nall, with 12, 10, 8 and 7 slaves, respectively. At the same time James Dyer had 19 horses and one slave; George Crisman, 17 horses and 4 slaves; Gawin Hamilton, 16 horses and 3 slaves; and Jacob Coonrod, 16 horses and no slaves. Usually, however, those who had a large number of horses also had a considerable number of slaves, and vice versa. Another fact of special significance presents itself in this connection. In 1790 all the negroes in the county were reported as slaves: there were apparently no free negroes; but in 1810 there were 200 or more free negroes. This change was probably the result, in large measure at least, of the work done within this period by the Methodists and other religious bodies in behalf of emancipation.

Particular instances of emigration, about the close of the Revolution, have been recorded. Many other instances might be found. Through the kindness of Mr. H.H. Strickler I am enabled to present the following paragraphs in point from two letters written by Mrs. Ryland Todhunter of Lexington, Mo. Under date of August 26, 1911, she says:

Almost the entire settlement of Madison County, Kentucky, was made up by a concourse of people who left Augusta, Albemarle, and Rockingham County in a body for that new country about 1785-91.

Again, under date of September 12, 1911, she writes:

In 1810 there were 100 families who came at one time from Madison County, Ky., to settle in the new Missouri Territory. They were almost without exception the same names and children of the men who left Augusta and Rockingham County, Va. With them cam my Elliott family and the allied families of Glasgow, Wallace, Estill, Trigg, Rodes, Lewis, Turner, Kavanaugh, Oldham, and others. It is possible that Elliott's Knob was named for my family.

August 11, 1911, Maj. W.P. Pence, of Fort Monroe, Va., who has spent much time searching records in the effort to get a complete history of the Pence family, told me that about 1805-1815 there was a notable exodus from Rockingham westward, specially into the northwest territories.

In 1780 Harrisonburg was established as a town; in 1791, Keezletown; from 1801 to 1804 McGaheysville, Port Republic, and New Haven were laid out and named. The first Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery for Rockingham County was held in April 1809, Judge Hugh Holmes presiding. In April 1811, this court was put in charge of Judge Daniel Smith, to continue under his able direction till his death in 1850. Much of the work done in the magistrates' court during the later part of the 18th and the early part of the 19th century had for its purpose the improvement of facilities for travel and transportation: the laying out of roads, the clearing of fords, etc. Many details concerning this work may be found in Capter XII. Educational and religious work was not by any means neglected. The Lutherans, the Reformed, the Mennonites, and the Episcopalians had been in the field from the beginning; the Dunkers, the Presbyterians, the Methodists, and the United Brethren were becoming well established. There were perhaps a few Catholics, Quakers, and Moravians in the county. Particulars regarding these various churches are given in Capter XIV, while the subject of education receives special attention in Chapter XV.

About 1809 George Rockingham Gilmer, later Governor of Georgia, visited Virginia, the home of his ancestors, and in particular the birthplace of his father in Rockingham County. He came up through East Virginia, stopping in Amelia, Cumberland, Albemarle, and other counties. He was in Charlottesville on the day of the election of members of the State legislature and Congress.

Crossing the Blue Ridge, probably by Brown's Gap, he came into the beautiful Valley. Here I quote from his own account:

I passed that evening the birthplace of my mother - then the residence of my uncle, Charles Lewis - and arrived at Lethe, the birthplace of my father - the residence of my uncle, George Gilmer.

I remained two months at this beautiful place, with the best and kindest people whom I have ever known. The house was of brick, situated upon the descent of a hill, about three hundred yards from the Shenandoah River, which was seen over a beautiful meadow, and through thinly scattered sycamore trees, flowing away with a strong current. From the top of the hill, back of the house, might be seen exceedingly fertile fields, enclosed in a semicircle, formed by the river, and mountains extending in every direction.

In the middle of the valley, between the North Mountain and the Blue Ridge, rose up almost perpendicularly, and to a great height, the Peaked Mountain. In a clear day, many excavations were visible on its side. Upon inquiring about them, I was informed that they had been made by the neighboring Dutch people in search of hidden treasure. A young fellow of he neighborhood, whose father was a man of some wealth and consequence, had a club-foot and was made a tailor of, as fit for nothing else. In following his trade, he went to many places, and became wise in the ways and some of the tricks of the world. After a while he returned to the neighborhood of the Peaked Mountain. The Dutch had heard, and were credulous enough to believe, that a wealthy lord was one of the first settlers of the Shenandoah Valley, had quitted the country a long time before, and returned to Germany, leaving his money behind, hid in the Peaked Mountain. There had been some effort to discover the treasure by digging several places in the mountain side. The tailor told them that, in his travels through Ohio, hehad been in a factory of spyglasses, which so added to the power of sight, that he could see several feet into the earth with one of them. Having excited great interest about these glasses and the hidden treasure by his tales, he proposed to the money-hunters that, if they would make up a sufficient sum, he would go with it to this factory, and buy them a glass, by which they could find the concealed gold.

The required sum was collected, and the tailor went to Ohio. Upon his return, he informed his employers that he had purchased a glass better than he had ever seen before; that he had no doubt but that they could have seen through the Peaked Mountain, if he could have got it to them; but unfortunately, as he was traveling home with it, he was obliged to cross a rapid run, which proved more swollen than he supposed. He was washed down by the strong current, lost his saddlebags, with the glass in it, and came very near losing his life. Another sum of money was made up with which the Irish club-footed tailor left the neighborhood of the Peaked Mountain, never again to be seen there. He laid out the money in the purchase of a tract of land, whilst some had theirs sold to repay the money which they had borrowed to supply the tailor with the means to buy the wonderful glass.

Whilst at Lethe, I witnessed an electioneering scene, equally interesting with the one I had been present at in Charlottesville. David Holmes, who had for twenty years immediately preceding, represented in Congress the district of which Rockingham County made a part, had been appointed Governor of the Mississippi Territory by Mr. Jefferson. A new member had to be elected. The republicans and federalists were very equally divided in the district. Mr. Smith (now Judge Smith) became the candidate of the republicans, and Jacob Swope the candidate of the federalists. The Virginians vote viva voce. The candidates seat themselves during the day of the election on the judge's bench, in the courthouse, and as each voter names the person for whom he votes, he is bowed to, and thanked by the candidate voted for. I was in Harrisonburg, the court-house town of Rockingham, on the day of this election, and saw Mr. Smith and Swope, thus seated and occupied. Smith was of an old Virginia family; Swope was German, and could speak the German language. The farmers of the county were mostly Germans; the lawyers, doctors, merchants, sheriffs, clerks, &c., were Virginians. Mr. Smith and Swope addressed the people on the party topics of the day, British orders in council, Napoleon's edict restricting commerce, the embargo, and anticommercial system of Mr. Jefferson.

After both candidates had spoken, Mr. Swope commenced addressing the people in German, in reply to Mr. Smith. A huge old German rose, and in broken English, said Mr. Swope should not talk German, because Mr. Smith could not talk German, and stopped Swope. Mr. Swope was a merchant, a handsome man, and usually well dressed. He resided in Staunton, Augusta County. He came to Rockingham dressed in German fashion. The German succeeded, though the Smith party had the majority in the district; and Mr. Smith was equal, if not superior to Mr. Swope in qualifications for Congressional service.

(Footnote: From Gov. George Rockingham Gilmer's book on Georgians and Virginians, pp. 243-246)

The new nation won political independence in the war from 1775 to 1783, but another hard struggle was necessary to secure commercial independence. The conspicuous part taken in the Revolution by the new county of Rockingham has already been indicated, and it may be shown that in the war from 1812 to 1815 it was not found wanting. In 1813 and 1814 no less than five companies, aggregating nearly 400 men, went into the military service of the nation from Rockingham County. The captains of these companies were Robert Magill, Thomas Hopkins, William Harrison, Robert Hooke, and Daniel Matthews; the names of their men may be found in the muster rolls in the Appendix. It is quite probable that other soldiers from Rockingham, not listed in these rolls, also took part in the second war for independence. For example, Col. Joseph Mauzy (1779-1863), who was for many years a prominent citizen of the county, was in command of a company at Norfolk; and under date of January 11, 1861, the editor of the Rockingham Register made this statement:

In 1812 we furnished more than enough men to form a regiment, yet our men served under strangers.

But peace marks progress while war wins victory. During the war of 1812-15, as well as in the years preceding and following, progress in the new county was steady and substantial. Things intellectual and spiritual were not lost sight of in the growth of things material. As early as 1813 Davidson & Bourne had a printing establishment in Harrisonburg; two or three years later Lawrence Wartmann, whose publications were to become famous, had opened his press in the same town. Daniel Bryan was writing poetry; Joseph Funk was publishing music; John Brown was advocating missions; the Methodists and others were trying to get rid of slavery; the palaces underground were being explored, and the fountains among the hills were being sought for health and pleasure; the day was at the morn in Rockingham.


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