Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

meant what they said, said what they meant

Walking the Bog…

leave a comment »

Early colonists of Virginia styled small rivers and creeks as “swamps”.  I get a chuckle at that because I live in SW Florida and have worked in the south side of Alligator Alley in my younger days as an oilfield “Driller”.  That’s not to deride Virginians or Carolinians of their choice of terminology for I know all too well what all those crosshatches are about on topographic maps. (They are about ‘skeeters).

I ran across this deed (patent, grant) of 1648 and it caused me to pause and consider what I was looking at…


The old boys didn’t have much of a clue what was on the other side of the Blackwater River. There were Indians sure… the colonists had their asses handed to them in 1622 and again in 1644. They just did not know what was “beyond”. Some gutsy folks those pre Americans. Here is the actual patent of John Seward…


Note that his land was located “on a branch”… “of a branch”… of the “Roynoak river”. Of course now we actually know where the Roanoke is. They. did. not. I’ve tried to locate that piece of property if you are interested… see my Surry County map “page”. At about that same time period (nearing 1650), and a couple mile away, Robert Flacke (Flake) patented a couple hundred acres near “the Second Swamp” and near “John a. Poughs” “Indian Quarter”. That was a trading post to trade with, well, Indians. If you look carefully at the base map (which is old itself) note the name of the swamp where I have (guessed at) Robert Flake’s patent… Pouches Creek. Coincidence?
Fascinating stuff to me. In 1650…

“The earliest exploration, of which we have a record, by white men into this section of Virginia, was by members of Edward Bland’s and Captain (later, General) Abraham Wood’s party. The purpose was presumably to contact the Tuscarora Indians in Carolina in order to establish trade relations. Wood had come to Virginia about 1620 at the age of ten, as an indentured servant. He was a factor and explorer rather than a planter, and soon had caravans making periodic visits southward. He was the foremost explorer of British America, often being compared to La Salle. In 1644 he was given command of Fort Henry (the present Petersburg) where he lived. He and Edward Bland, an English merchant, who came to Virginia in 1643, left Fort Henry August 27, 1650, on horseback and travelled about a hundred miles between the James and Roanoke Rivers, crossing the Meherrin River, it is thought, near the present site of Emporia, and ending somewhere near Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. Becoming aware that they were being viewed with suspicion by the Indians, the party retraced its journey and arrived safely at Fort Henry.” Sketches of Greensville County, Virginia, 1650-1967 pg 42

I can’t resist this bit of nostalgia from the now maligned youngster Henry Ford…

“Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him had better take a closer look at the American Indian.”


Written by anderson1951

December 28, 2012 at 4:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: