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Subject: [HODGES-L] Early Settlement Along Pigg River (part 3)
Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 22:25:08 -0400

The land entries I cited in part 2 describe claims in two areas. I will try
to describe the geography but a map will be a lot of help. In Franklin Co.,
Va., east of Rocky Mount, is a large plateau called the Coaling Ground,
because it was the site of charcoaling operations to support the iron works
near Rocky Mount. At the eastern edge is the valley of Chestnut Creek,
cutting steep ridges and hollows along Chestnut Mountain. Pigg River runs
along the north side of the Coaling Ground, turns the head of Chestnut
Mountain, where Chestnut Creek joins it, then flows east . To the south, on
the east side of Chestnut Mountain, is the valley drained by Snow Creek.
Snow Creek flows southwest to northeast, until it is turned north by
Turkeycock Mountain. Snow Creek enters Pittsylvania County, turns the head
of Turkeycockand is joined by Turkeycock Creek, which drains the area on the
east side of Turkeycock Mountain. A short distance later, Snow Creek joins
Pigg River. Just to the east is a long unnamed ridge that forms the
watershed between Pigg River and the Banister River watershed. Several
shorter creeks flow from this ridge into Pigg River below its confluence
with Snow Creek, including Harping Creek and Pie Creek. Tributaries on the
opposite side of Pigg River include Reddies Creek and Jonakin Creek. Owens
Creek also flows into the Pigg River on the north side, but further west in
Franklin County, near the end of a long lowground that extends along Pigg
River between Chestnut Mountain and Turkeycock Mountain.
In the 1730's raiding by northern Indians, particularly the Seneca,
drove out the local Indians along both sides of the Warrior's Path, later
called the Carolina Road, and approximately the route of present day U.S.
220. Early settlers arriving found old Indian cornfields inthe low grounds.
This area is hilly and rocky, but the low grounds or "corn bottoms" are
fertile. William Grey and Ashford Hughes were land speculators who obtained
"orders in council" for a grant of 10,000 acres. The entry for the grant is
found in the Land Entry Book on page 11:

(Jan.9.1743 Surv.d R.W.) W.m Grey and Ashford Hughs enter by Order of
Council for 10.000 Acres on both sides of Pig River beginning at the lower
End of the first G.t lo grounds extending on both sides up the s.d River for

The other land entires that I have mentioned are clustered around either end
of this huge grant. Typically, these orders in council grants were
conditioned on the grantee settling a certain number of families on the land
within a certain period. My supposition is that the men that I am
interested in may have come to the area as "settlers" on the Grey-Hughes
grant, but, while nominally tenants of Grey and Hughes, were developing
their own properties along the borders of the Grey-Hughes tract.

Bob Hodges

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