Sunday, January 13, 2008

1799 Tennessee Boundary Survey (part 2)

From Western North Carolina: A History (1730-1913), by John Preston Arthur, published 1914, Edwards & Broughton Printing Co., North Carolina, pp. 40-41:

    RATTLEBUGS. On Saturday, June 1st, they came upon "a very large rattlebug," which they "attempted to kill, but it was too souple in the heels for us." On the night of May 31st they had had "severe lightning and some hard slaps of thunder."

    LAUREL AND IVY. There are some who, nowadays, contend that ivy and laurel did not grow in these mountains while the Indians occupied them, and cite as proof that it is almost impossible to find a laurel log with rings indicating more than a hundred years of growth. But Bishop Spangenburg mentions having encountered laurel on what is supposed to have been the Grandfather mountain in 1752, and John Strother, in his diary of the survey between Virginia and North Carolina in 1799, repeatedly mentions it, both before and after crossing the ridge which divides the waters of Nollechucky from those of the French Broad. What are now known as the "Ivory Slicks," is a tunnel cut through the otherwise impenetrable ivy on the slope between the Hang Over and Dave Orr's cabins on Slick Rock, south of the Little Tennessee.

    TWO WAGON ROADS ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS. Even at that early date there seem to have been two roads crossing the mountains into Tennessee, for the very next call of the statute is "thence along the ridge of said mountain between the waters of Doe river and the waters of Rock creek to the place where the road crosses the Iron mountain." Bright used to live at the Crab Orchard, long known as Avery's Quarters, about a mile above Plum Tree, and where W. W. Avery now lives. On the 5th of June Major Neely "turned off the line today and went to Doe river settlements for a fresh supply of provisions," and was to meet them at the Yellow mountain, where on that day the trees were "just creeping out of their winter garb," and where "the lightning and thunder were so severe that they were truly alarming." From "the yellow spot" on the Yellow, whither they had gone to take observations, but were prevented by the storm, "we went back and continued the line on to a low gap at the head of Roaring or Sugar creek of Towe river and a creek of Doe river at the road leading from Morganton to Jonesborough, where we encamped as wet as we could be." This fixes the main road between North Carolina and the Watauga settlement, which had been finished in 1772, and over which Andrew Jackson was to pass in the spring of 1788. Robert Henry mentions a Gideon Lewis as one of the guides from White Top mountain, and it is remarkable that a direct descendant of his and having his name is now living at Taylor's Valley, near Konarok, Va., and that several others now live near Solitude or Ashland, N.C.