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A History of The Middle
New River Settlements
and Contiguous Territory.

By David E. Johnston (1906).

  
 

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Title Page and Introduction.


 

A HISTORY OF

 

MIDDLE  NEW  RIVER

 

SETTLEMENTS

 

AND CONTIGUOUS TERRITORIES

 

By
DAVID E. JOHNSTON
Author of
"FOUR YEARS A SOLDIER"

 

 

1906
Standard PTG. & Pub. Co.
Huntington, W. Va.

 

 

Copyright 1906
by
David E. Johnston

 

 



 

INTRODUCTION

I have had in mind for several years to write and publish a history of Mercer County and its people, but finding on research and investigation that the settlement of the territory thereof and incidents connected with the life of its people are so interwoven with that of the people who first crowned and crossed the Alleghanies and made settlements on and along  the upper waters of the Clinch, Sandy, Guyandotte, Coal, and other rivers and streams, that it will be necessary to broaden the scope of the work beyond what was at first intended.

Mercer County as originally created, and as it now exists, embraces territory which was formerly a part of that vast domain known as Augusta, later and in succession, Botetourt, Fincastle, Montgomery, Greenbrier, Wythe, Monroe, Tazewell, and Giles Counties.

The early history of the County, and that of its settlers and people, is largely common to all those who occupy the territory referred to.

Their long sufferings, dangerous encounters with the wild beasts and the savages, their patient endurance, their history during and after the close of the war between the States, their manly and heroic efforts to restore and reestablish their rights as citizens of a free Republic, not less renowned than their chivalric deeds in war, deserve a place in the annals of history to be handed down to succeeding generations, as examples of valor, heroism and fortitude worthy of emulation.

The desire usually possessed by civilized men to learn the history and character of their ancestors, who they were, and whence they came, excites regret that this history is the more often involved in obscurity; no one has thought it necessary to keep a correct record of the family.

Tradition alone, depended upon to supply the place of recorded facts, is often so obscured by the efflux of time and other causes, that it cannot always be relied upon as a safe guide to truth.  Yet when tradition and known facts are closely coupled together, the former is greatly strengthened and becomes much more reliable.

Our ancestors who came across the mountains from the East and settled upon the Western waters were not, as a rule, college bred people; in fact, most of them had had few advantages along this line.  They came bringing with them all their world's goods of which they were possessed, consisting usually of a horse or two, a cow, rifle gun, a dog, and such an amount of household furniture as could be carried on horses.

It is important as well as a matter of interest, that the deeds of    heroism, and the dangers to which they were exposed, as well as the sufferings of those who won and redeemed this great wilderness country from the Savages and the wild beast, should be truthfully written.  Already the time is here when the names of many of our ancestors who felled the forests, stood on the frontier, risked their lives, and endured untold hardships, have been forgotten.  Their names should, as far as possible, be rescued from the obliteration of time and their illustrious deeds recorded upon the pages of history, lest they be forgotten or left to be preserved only in the indistinct memorials of tradition.

With this view and to this end, the author has undertaken, with the best lights and information obtainable by him, gathered from the most reliable sources attainable, to record the history of these people.  It cannot and will not of necessity be full and accurate, and much that would be of great interest to those of the later generation has been lost and cannot be produced.

No attempt will be made to give a particular history of all the settlers of the New River Valley, or of the territory referred to, but will be confined to that portion of the said territory in which the first settlements were made along the Middle New River and contiguous territory, and to record local incidents, coupling therewith biographical sketches of families. 

DAVID E  JOHNSTON

Bluefield, W. Va., 1905.

 

 

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Kinyon Digital Library,
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