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Part 15



MARTINSBURG, the now beautiful and thriving little city, was laid out, or at least had considerable of a nucleus many years before the Revolution, and was at first called Martinstown or Martinsville. The proprietor, Adam Stephen, proposed naming it after himself, but as there was already a Stephensburg farther up the valley, that name had to be abandoned.  He consequently named the town in honor of his friend, Col. Thomas Bryan Martin, one of the justices of the peace of Fredrick County, and a relative of Lord Fairfax.  Martin was a justice of the peace when the Revolution broke out, and was reappointed upon the new commission by Gov. Patrick Henry under the new regime, but he refused to serve, evidently thinking that a set of half-civilized and poorly armed inhabitants of a wild country would not give more than pastime to England's powerful armies and fleets, and it must, indeed, have appeared so to many.  Col. Martin, however, must have been a man of prominence, for he ran for the House of Burgesses in 1758, at the same time that Washington, Thomas Swearingen and Hugh West ran, and, with the immortal George was elected, the vote being: Washington, 310; Martin, 240; Hugh West, 199; Swearingen, 45.  The first two were elected.
 At the creation of the county in 1772 the town possibly had twenty or thirty houses in it, most of which were situated along the Tuscarora and about the "spring."  Stephen had in operation a mill and there were two or three, at least, ordinaries, or taverns, and two stores, a blacksmith shop and a shoemaker.  This was five or six years before the town was established by act of the General Assembly.  Martinsburg, after Winchester and Shepherdstown, and possibly Charlestown was the most important settlement in the lower valley.  It was on the great road from up the valley to the Warm Springs, now Berkeley Springs, a locality spoken of as early as 1760, or before.  The Indians had used those springs long before the whites discovered them, and it is possible that even the ancient Mound Builders laved their bodies in them.
 During the height of the Revolutionary struggle Adam Stephen applied to the General Assembly of the commonwealth to have his town established by enactment, which was accordingly granted in October, 1778.  Following is the act of assembly:
An act for establishing the town of Martinsburg, in the County of Berkeley, and for other purposed.
 WHEREAS, It hath been represented to this present General Assembly, that Adam Stephen, Esq., hath lately laid off one hundred and thirty acres of land in the County of Berkeley, where the Court House of said county now stands, in lots and streets for a town, and hath made sale of several of the said lots to divers persons, some of whom have since settled and built thereon, and whereas it would tend to the more speedy improvement and settling the same if the freeholders and inhabitants thereof should be entitled to the like privileges enjoyed by the freeholders and inhabitants of other towns in this State:
 Be it therefore enacted by this present General Assembly, That the said one hundred and thirty acres of land laid out in lots and streets, agreeable to a plan and survey, relation thereunto being had, may more fully appear, be, and the same is hereby vested in James McAllister, Anthony Noble, Joseph Mitchell, James Strode, Robert Carter Willis, William Patterson, and Philip Pendleton, gentlemen, trustees, and shall be established a town by the name of Martinsburg.
 And be it further enacted, That the said trustees, or any four of them, shall proceed to sell such of the said lots as have not been already sold by the said Adam Stephen, at public auction, for the best price that can be had, the time and place of sale being previously advertised in the Virginia Gazette, the purchasers respectively to hold the said lots subject to the condition of building on each a dwelling house at least twenty feet long and sixteen feet wide, with a brick or stone chimney, to be finished within two years from the day of sale; and the said trustees, or any four of them, shall, and they are hereby empowered to convey the said lots to the purchasers thereof in fee simple, subject to the condition aforesaid, and pay the money arising from such sale to the said Adam Stephen, his executors, administrators, or assigns.
 And be it further enacted, That the said trustees, or the major part of them, shall have power from time to time to settle and determine all disputes concerning the bounds of said lots, and to settle such rules and orders for the regular and orderly building of houses thereon as to them shall seem best and most convenient.  And in case of the death, removal out of the country, or other legal disability of any of the said trustees, it shall and may be lawful for the freeholders of the said town to elect and choose so many other persons in the room of those dead, removed or disabled, as shall make the number; which trustees so chosen shall be to all intents and purposes individually vested with the same power and authority as any one in this act particularly mentioned.
 And be it further enacted, That the purchasers of the lots in the said town, so soon as they shall have built upon and saved the same according to the condition of their respective deeds of conveyance, shall be entitled to and have and enjoy all the rights, privileges and immunities, which the freeholders and inhabitants of other towns in this State, not incorporated by charter, have, hold and enjoy.
 And be it further enacted, That if the purchaser of any lot sold either by the said Adam Stephen, or the said trustees, shall fail to build thereon within the time before limited, the said trustees, or the major part of them, may thereupon enter into such lot, and may either sell the same again, and apply the money toward repairing the streets, or in any other way for the benefit of the said town, or they may appropriate the said lot, or part of it, to any public use for the benefit of the inhabitants of the said town.
 And be it further enacted, That the said trustees shall cause the survey and plot of the said town to be recorded in the court of the said county of Berkeley.
 And for preventing hogs going at large in the said town of Martinsburg, be it enacted, That if any swine belonging to the inhabitants of the said town shall be found running or going at large within the limits thereof, it shall and may be lawful for any person whatever to kill or destroy every such swine so running at large.
 Provided always, That such person shall not convert any such swine to his or her use, but shall leave the same where it shall be so killed, and give immediate notice to the owner thereof, if known, if not, then such person shall immediately inform the next justice of the peace thereof, who may order the same to the use of any poor person he shall think fit.
 Provided also, That nothing herein contained shall be deemed or taken to hinder any person or persons from driving any swine to or through the said town or limits thereof in order to sell the same, or in their removal from one plantation to another.
 And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That the trustees for the said town, and their successors for the time being, shall, and they are hereby authorized and empowered by that name, to sue and implead either in the court of said county, or the general court, any person or persons who shall commit a trespass on the streets of the said town or lands which may have been appropriated for the use of the inhabitants thereof.  All sums of money to be recovered by virtue hereof shall be applied by the said trustees toward repairing the streets of the said town.
 The reason why Adam Stephen, who was and had been a soldier nearly all his life, chose such turbulent times for the establishment of his town instead of being at the front with his compatriots, will appear further along.
 When quite a young man Adam Stephen came to the portion of Frederick County now known as Berkeley, but where he came from is not now known.  It is altogether probable that he came in with the Scotch-Irish emigrants from the Cumberland Valley, as the name of Stephen and Stephens, two entirely different families, appear at a very early date.  Those having the letter s as the terminal letter of their name all went above Winchester, whilst those without the s remained nearer the Potomac, or Cohongorooton, as it was originally called, and until Lord Fairfax made his immense steal.  In early life Adam was frequently engaged in Indian fighting, and was with the provincials under Washington at Great Meadows, Fort Necessity and at Braddock's defeat.  He continued in the Colonial service until 1768, when he returned to his estate in Berkeley County, but not then called Berkeley.  He had rendered great service in keeping back many Indian incursions and in punishing the savages.  He was a major as early as 1754, and at the termination of hostilities against the French and Indians he was a major-general of the colony. 
 In 1761 Gen. Stephen was a candidate for the House of Burgesses, the poll-list of which election, as has heretofore been stated, the writer has had in his possession.  At this election, which occurred on May 18, 1761, the candidates were three, two only being elected.  G. Washington was one, and received 505 votes; George Mercer, a colonial captain and one of the leading justices of Frederick County, was another, and received 394 votes; Maj. Adam Stephen was the other, and received 294 votes, being defeated.  What the politics of the time was in Frederick County is unknown, but there was doubtless differences of opinion.  It was too early for the colonists to differ much in regard to England's treatment of her Western subjects.  Whether or not this defeat of Stephen had anything to do afterward with his relations to Washington is impossible to divine now, but human nature is about the same in all ages, and politicians had their schemes and wires to work as well in the days of 1761 as in 1861.
 Turning his attention to civil affairs he inaugurated the movement for the creation of a new county out of the lower third of Frederick, which was accomplished as had been shown, he being one of the justices named in the first commission of the peace, and the first sheriff.  At the breaking out of the Revolutionary war he was commissioned colonel of one of the Virginia regiments.  In 1776 he was transferred to the Continental line and received the appointment of brigadier-general from Congress, and in February, 1777, he was promoted to the rank of major-general.  He did service everywhere.  He was at Trenton, Princeton and Brandywine, gaining praise from his commander-in-chief, but at Germantown Washington was defeated, and Gen. Stephen, who was in command of a division, was charged with being intoxicated, whereupon he was court-martialed and dismissed from the army.  It seems to have been a summary affair, and although the charge may have been entirely true, yet there is no evidence that his conduct contributed in the slightest degree to the defeat of the forces engaged.  Not a single writer upon the subject has ever intimated that the intoxication of Gen. Stephen was anything more than a breach of army regulations.  The sentence at this late day is looked upon as having been extremely harsh, in consideration of the well known soldierly qualities of the unfortunate general, and the services he had rendered.  Although there seems to be no evidence that anything besides "being drunk" was the actuating cause of his discharge, yet it is possible there may have been something else in connection with the affair.  It is hardly possible to think of Washington as other than a just man.  He certainly was a patriot who would dislike to lose the services of a good officer, and he had known Gen. Stephen for nearly twenty-five years.  It is more just to the Father of his Country, more in accordance with the character of that great man, to suppose that he may have hidden something in the conduct of Gen. Stephen at the battle of Germantown and covered it up by a simple dismissal on the charge of drunkenness, than to suppose that Washington sought a pretext for the displacement of his subordinate for the purpose of advancing a friend.
 That was not in consonance with the character of the immortal patriot of the Revolution.  That Stephen himself thought the sentence just, or at least not extraordinarily harsh, is borne out by the fact that he neither made an appeal, nor spoke of it in any other way than as a matter of course.
 In 1788 Gen. Stephen and Gen. Darke, who also resided in Berkeley County, were elected to the convention called to take action upon the Federal constitution, and to his honor be it said, he voted for it, having warmly advocated its adoption before and during the convention.  He died in Martinsburg in 1791 and lies buried under an apparently unfinished monument on the Faulkner place in the southern portion of the town.
 The following poll-list, copied from an old paper published in Berkeley County many years ago, may, and in all probability does, refer to the election spoken of above, as Gen. Darke is one of the candidates running at the time, 1788-89.  This election occurred, of course, before Jefferson and Morgan were created out of Berkeley, and the vote, therefore, shows the whole number cast from the three counties, all of whom had to come to Martinsburg to exercise their right of suffrage.  All persons, however, did not then vote, only "freeholders," which accounts for the small number of voters.  One of the wards of Martinsburg now casts as many votes as the entire three counties one hundred, years ago.  The list is published as a matter of interest to the descendants of, doubtless, many whose names appear below.  Many of those named were descended from the first settlers of this portion of the Valley, men who left their mark, and almost a majority of them will be  recognized as having descendants in this county and in Jefferson and Morgan, as well, at the present time.  A number of them became men of note, being exalted to the highest stations within the gift of their fellow citizens, and not a few of them to-day stand in the front ranks for intelligence and ability in the various walks of life.  There was no heading of any kind to the poll-list, which numbers 239 names:
G. Swift,   
John Briscoe,  
J. Darnhaver,
J. Wilson,   
D. Hunter,   
H. Yager,
J. Morrow,   
W. Cherry,   
J. Jackson,
J. Kearsley,  
Jas. Maxwell,  
J. Dominie,
C. Morrow,   
Magnus Tate,  
Jno. Mathews,
Thos. Robinson,  
Rich. Willis,  
Henry Lieveny,
Dan'l Bedinger,  
J. Bridgeham,  
Jos. Mitchel,
Wm. Little,   
H. Frank,   
M. Riser,
Rich'd Morgan,  
E. Gaither,   
Geo. Cunningham,
Adam Bishop,  
Jas. McCallister,  
Jno. Baker,
Thos. Thornburg,  
P. Daugherty,  
Wm. Lucas,
John Derry,   
Jas. Cowan,   
James Glenn,
P. Wilshimer,  
W. Merrit,   
R. Cockburn,
G. Shome,   
Jno. Smith,   
Raleigh Morgan,
Abr. Morgan,  
Wm. Douglas,  
Jos. Swearingen,
M. Haskinson,  
Jno. Brand,   
J. Banks,
Thos. Swearingen,  
J. Angel,   
Math. Porterfield,
Wm. Morgan,   
M. Fouke,   
David Horn,
Jacob Isler,  
J. Chapline,  
Isaac Evans,
Jno. Daniels,  
George Ropp,  
W. McConnel,
M. Hout,   
M. Eckhart,   
Jno. Turner,
Jno. Barns,   
N. Pucktol,   
David Bell,
Robt. Lowry,  
Wm. Hall,   
Thos. Hart,
S. Hyatt,   
P. Fisher,   
A. Nichols,
M. Entler,   
Robt. Wilson,  
W. Kerr,
N. McIntyre,  
N. Strayer,   
Geo. Horn,
H. Sheets,   
N. Young,   
Jas, Buckles,
J. Sharkle,   
J. Vanmetre,  
T. Osborn,
Dan. Vanmetre,  
J. Fink,   
Wm. Blue,
Robt. Snodgrass,  
W. Spalding,  
M. Bryarley,
Thos. Philips,  
H. Fisher,   
J. Tramway,
Geo. Tabler,  
Jno. Hanes,   
D. Davis,
S. Harlen,   
H. Nase,   
Jno. Fishel,
Wm. Maxwell,  
C. Cookers,   
Chris. Chase,
J. Hendricks,  
Jno. Miller,  
L. Lee,
J. Bull,   
J. Staley,   
C. Claycomb,
Cato Moore,   
Jno. Line,   
L. Hansil,
Jno. McLane,  
F. Polk,   
Sam'l Wilson,
K. Stubbs,   
Jno. Fryatt,  
H. Ross,
Jno. Tilden,  
Thos. Crow,   
Jno. Clawson,
H. Bedinger,  
T. Laferty,   
P. Coons,
Wm. Henshaw,  
Thos. Johnson,  
C. Hollinger,
Ed. Beeson,   
Jacob Miller,  
Jas. Bird,
J. Graham,   
H. Boyle,   
G. S. Coffinberry,
Jos. McCoy,   
Jacob Coons,  
Ed. Lucas,
Sam'l Harrison,  
Jacob Pulse,  
Jonas Hedge,
Aaron Hedges,  
P. Burr,   
A. Goosman,
Abra. Shepperd,  
C. Myers,   
Jas. Kerr,
Ed. Tabb,   
A. Rodgers,   
Jno. Moore,
M. McKown,   
J. Painter,   
P. Poisal,
Jas. Strode,  
G. Custard,   
Z. Morgan,
David Gray,   
P. Sinn,   
Robt. Lucas,
P. Martin,   
J. Renock,   
A. Burnett,
Jos. Foreman,  
G. Smallwood,  
Jeptha Martin,
D. Vulgamott,  
M. Houseman,  
E. Mercer,
H. Bowers,   
Jos. Hedges,  
Jno. Hess,
Bazil Lucas,  
Jos. Grantham,  
R. Dunn,
John Gray,   
H. Black,   
Geo. Mykle,
David Lewis,  
Dan'l Cameron,  
G. Ox,
Jno. Eaton,   
Peter Light,  
Van Swearingen,
D. Collette,  
J. Brown,   
T. Jewell,
A. Mallette,  
G. Reynolds,  
R. Crayton,
G. Tilly,   
J. Hart,   
H. Vance,
Jas. Robinson,  
J. Shierly,   
J. Aikman,
J. Meloin,   
Thos. White,  
Geo. Tabb,
W. Gorrell,   
W. Hannah,

Berkeley County, Sct.
 I do hereby certify that Henry Bedinger, made oath on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God, that the above is a true statement of the poll and impartially taken. 
 Given under my hand this 7th day of January, 1789.
      John Kearsley, J. P.

 The J. Kearsley, justice of the peace, before whom Henry Bedinger, one of the judges of the election, made affidavit to the correctness of the poll, was afterward postmaster of Martinsburg, and in 1802 ran for Congress in the district that included Berkeley County.  In this connection the evidence is furnished to show that the ways of the politician were as tortuous nearly one hundred years ago as at the present highly improved epoch, for Mr. Kearsley published the following card in a Martinsburg paper, the only one in the district, by the way, of June 8, 1802:
To the Freeholders of Berkeley, Jefferson, and Hampshire Counties.
 GENTLEMEN:?A report has been put in circulation that I have declined from the offer I made of my services on the 22d of March last to represent this district in the Congress of the United States.  As I am now made acquainted with the design, it may be necessary for me to observe, that this report has no foundation in fact; nor do I propose to decline (unless the delicate state of my health should impel the measure) until the will of a majority of the people in the district is known by the event of an election.
Shepherdstown, May 8, 1802.
 After the Revolutionary war, when victory and peace had blessed the happy citizens of the united colonies, prosperity came as naturally as the plant after sunshine and shower.  Many of the heroes of the struggle made their way back to their homes and began business, whilst many were left upon the battle-field to enrich by their noble deaths the generations to come.  Fortunately the ravages of war had not reached the valley, as it did nearly one hundred years later; and there was not from this cause any rebuilding of destroyed homes.  Building took a start in Martinsburg and a number of stores and taverns, the facts in regard to which have been gleaned from a file of Winchester newspapers printed in 1786-88.  In November, 1787, Joseph Butler, from the Warm Springs (Berkeley Springs), begged "leave to inform his friends and the public generally" that he had "taken the noted tavern called the General Washington, in Martinsburg, lately occupied by Mr. Rogers, where gentlemen travelers may be sure of meeting every accommodation."  He also had on hand the "greatest assortment of all foreign and home-made liquors; his French, Italian and Spanish wines, and his Jamaica and New England rums" were the best, and all "gentlemen with fine tastes should patronize his stock," as Mr. Butler felt sure that he could please the most fastidious tastes.  N. B.?He had good stabling, etc.
 Those old worthies back there, one hundred years ago, knew good liquor when they tasted it, and they would have had little patience with the decoctions palmed off to-day as "imported."  When they got drunk they did it on respectable stuff, and not tangle-foot, grape-vine, or forty-rod.  Everybody drank at that primitive day, clergymen as well as common folk, and the flagrant offense of poor old Gen. Stephen would not have been much out of place in a parlor.  It was not for getting drunk that he was dismissed from the army, but in consequence of the circumstances and time.  The great and good G. W., as has been shown, electioneered with whisky.
 There was considerable activity in real estate for many years succeeding the war, and large bodies of land were thrown on the market.  Among those who advertised to sell was Robert Rutherford, whose notice of sale appears in an Alexandria paper of July 6, 1786.  He and Charles Yates offered for sale 1,000 acres in Berkeley County.  Yates is the gentleman from whom the famous "Yates Gardens," in Alexandria, took its name, and Robert Rutherford was the son of Thomas Rutherford, the first sheriff, appointed in 1743, who ever held office west of the Blue Ridge, being commissioned by the governor at the date named as high sheriff for Frederick County.  Rutherford was elected to Congress several times.  In 1797 he ran against Gen. Daniel Morgan and defeated him, but in 1799 Morgan defeated Rutherford.  In connection with these two competitors there are two anecdotes worth preserving: Gen. Morgan went to a prominent gentleman whom he knew to be a warm friend of his, and asked him to not only vote for him, but to use his influence for him and against Mr. Rutherford.  The gentleman took the old war-scarred hero by the hand, and looking into those eyes that never quailed before an enemy, said with much feeling: "General Morgan, you know me, and know that I never have and never will, deceive any man.  Should a war break out and were I to have the selection of a commander-in-chief, there is no man in this wide world to whom I would give the place in preference to yourself; but sir, when I am to select a member of Congress, then I must vote for Mr. Rutherford."
 Rutherford was a plain, unassuming man, who dressed in the simplest garb, and very few would suspect the intelligence and ability that lurked beneath his homely clothing, whilst his integrity and kindness of heart were known to all.  During one of the sessions of Congress, he was invited to dine with a prominent gentleman of Philadelphia, and at the appointed time repaired to the house of his friend and inquired whether he was in, not mentioning his own name, however.  The lady of the house did not invite him in, thinking he was some poor wanderer in search of alms from her husband, so the old gentleman took a seat on the door steps.  In a little while the lady came to him and told him to come into the kitchen, and that if he would cut a little wood and bring some water she would give him his dinner.  Mr. Rutherford, who had a keen sense of the ridiculous, complied with the lady's request, after which she told him to take a seat on a box near the fire.  In the meantime the gentleman of the house arrived and, his wife meeting him in the parlor, they conferred together as to why their guest had not arrived.  The wife said that no one had called with the exception of a poor old fellow who was out in the kitchen waiting for his dinner.  The host and hostess sauntering in the direction of where the sly old member of Congress was comfortably seated, soon made the discovery, much to their chagrin, but to the intense amusement of Rutherford.
 The Lower Shenandoah Valley is noted for the number of men who became prominent in the struggle of the colonies for independence.  Two other generals, in addition to Gens. Stephen and Lee, resided in Berkeley County, besides a number of other officers, colonels, majors, captains and lieutenants, whom history has placed upon its pages and whose names will go down the ages with honor to the Valley of Virginia.
 Gen. William Darke, from whom the village of Darkesville took its name and in whose honor Darke County, Ohio, was christened, was born in Pennsylvania about 1736, and with his parents came to Virginia at the age of six years.  They settled not far from Shepherdstown, at that time called New Mecklenburg, and by which title it was known for over half a century.  It is asserted that young Drake was with Braddock, being then only nineteen years of age, and it is probable that he was?in fact, it could not have been otherwise?for everybody else, who lived west of the Blue Ridge whose name has come down to the present day, and who was not actually an infant at that time, was "with Braddock."  Being "with Braddock" is very much like "Braddock's road."  There is not a square mile of land from Mason and Dixon's line southward for a hundred miles that has not a portion of Braddock's road" upon it.   If all the men were with Braddock that is now claimed for them, they ought to have swept the entire French and Indian forces clear across the Mississippi.  At the Breaking out of the Revolution Darke entered the service as a captain and was taken prisoner at Germantown.  Upon his release he returned to his home in Berkeley, in 1780, but in the following spring he assisted in recruiting a regiment in Berkeley and Frederick, and was given the command of the regiment.  After the cessation of hostilities he returned to his fields in Berkeley, and in 1788 was elected as a representative from Berkeley to the convention held for the purpose of ratifying the Federal Constitution.  He afterward represented his county in the General Assembly of the Commonwealth.  At the breaking out of the Indian war in 1791 Col. Darke offered his services and was placed in command of the Second Virginia Regiment.  He was with Gen. Arthur St. Clair in his memorable campaign.  He did splendid service in that series of disastrous events, ending in much loss and suffering to the brave soldiers, the victims of a stupendous "folly."  Col. Darke was afterward promoted to the rank of brigadier-general.  He ran for Congress but was defeated, in conjunction with the gallant Gen. James Wood, by that most brilliant lawyer and gentleman, Hon. Alexander White.  Darke died November 20, 1801. 
 Another Revolutionary worthy, who was a citizen of Berkeley County, was Gen. Horatio Gates.  He also was "with Braddock," for it is claimed that he was an Englishman, an officer in one of the two regiments of regulars sent over by His Majesty George the King, and was, consequently, with the unfortunate general who not only was defeated, but lost his life, in the wilds of Pennsylvania in 1755.  Gates was seriously wounded in the same engagement and resigned his commission.  Being a man of wealth he purchased an estate in Berkeley County and became an American.  His name occurs frequently in the old records of the county, and in 1773 was appointed a justice of the peace.  In 1775 he espoused the cause of the patriots, and was honored by the American Congress by being appointed adjutant-general with the rank of brigadier-general.  He was, undoubtedly, a skillful and gallant solider, and as long as he kept his inordinate ambition under subjection he seemed to be successful.  At Saratoga his operations resulted in one of the most decisive victories of the war, the capture of Burgoyne and his army.  But, like Gen. Charles Lee, he desired to be at the head of the army, and did not hesitate to plot against the commander-in-chief to accomplish his ends.  This brought him into trouble and he was relieved of command, being superseded by Gen. Greene.  Gates was re-instated to his rank in 1782, after hostilities had ceased.  Peace being declared he retired to his plantation, where he continued to reside till 1790, when he removed to New York City, and was elected in 1800 to a seat in the Legislature of New York.  Several years before his death he manumitted all his slaves and made provision for their maintenance.  He died April 10, 1806.
 One of the very first settlers of the lower valley was Morgan Morgan, or as he signed his name, to be seen in hundreds of instances in the Frederick County records running from 1743 onward for many years, "Morgan ap"?the ap invariably having a line running through it, and being placed just above the an in the name?and meaning "Morgan son of Morgan."  He was a Welshman, and a man of considerable wealth when he came here, which he very materially increased by large grants of land from Gov. Gooch.  Bishop Meade and Hawks, the historian, give Morgan great credit for extreme piety, evidenced, as they surmise, by his building, in conjunction with Dr. John Briscoe and a Mr. Hite, a log chapel, claimed to be the first church edifice in the valley.  The historian named sets the of this chapel at 1726, but as the earliest claims set up for Morgan's arrival here is 1732, which is probably correct, it is difficult to reconcile the two facts.  Besides, the Presbyterians had a little church not far from Martinsburg; there was a Calvinist Church above Winchester; a Lutheran, or Reformed, house of worship at the settlement of the German mechanics at Mecklenburg; all of which have claims to being the "first church."  Morgan Morgan, however, was undoubtedly one of the leading spirits, if not the most prominent man in all this lower valley, for he is the first person named in the first commission of justices of the peace of Frederick, and to whom the dedimus for administering the oaths to his brother justices was addressed.  He died in the year 1766, at the age of seventy-eight years, after an extremely useful and adventurous life.  His son, Morgan Morgan, Jr., was one of the justices named in the commission issued by Lord Dunmore in 1773.  He was educated as a clergyman in the Episcopal Church, and preached in the chapel erected by his father for many years, but when the Revolution broke out he entered the Continental army and served gallantly throughout the war.
 In addition to those named Berkeley County was the birthplace or home of many distinguished men in various walks of life.  Alexander Wilson, the famous naturalist, ornithology being his special study, was born in Scotland, and was a weaver by trade.  He came to the United States in 1794, and for a time lived in this country, conducting his trade, but not meeting with much success removed to Philadelphia, where he died in 1813.  He is said to have commenced the first volume of his celebrated treatise on his favorite subject whilst living in this section.  Raleigh Colston, who figured as one of the purchasers of the Fairfax estate, owned a fine plantation in Berkeley County near the Potomac.  Colston, in conjunction with his brother-in-law, Chief Justice Marshall and Gen. Henry Lee purchased the manor of Leeds, comprising 150,000 acres of land lying in Culpeper, Fauquier and Frederick Counties; the South Branch manor, Patterson's Creek manor and other large tracts of land from the legatees in England, but came near losing their valuable purchase, as Fairfax was an alien when he died, and the property just escaped confiscation by the stipulations of the treaty with England.  For many years persons paid to the heirs of these purchasers "quit-rents," an outrageous exaction, as the General Assembly of Virginia in 1785 passed a law specially and forever abolishing the collection of quit-rents on this property.  Mr. Colston was a man who took great interest in all religious movements, and his name appears in the Martinsburg Gazette in 1814 in connection with a bible society being organized at that time.  He died in 1823.
 Four ministers of the Gospel, who became exceedingly prominent not only in Virginia but throughout the country, were either born in Berkeley County or had their residence here for many years.
 Rev. Moses Hoge, D. D., a Presbyterian divine of much eminence, who was made president of Hampton Sidney College in 1807, resided in this county for abut thirteen years.  He was a son of George Hoge, one of the first justices of Frederick County, and was born not far from the little village of Kernstown in Frederick County, a locality made famous by Stonewall Jackson in his battle with Gen. Shields, and afterward noted as the point where the gallant Col. Mulligan of Illinois was killed.  The Hoge family contributed the funds to build the church known as the "Opequon Church," three miles from Winchester, in the graveyard attached to which is a tombstone bearing date 1742.
 Rev. William Hill, D. D., born in 1769, in Virginia, after his admission to the ministry, settled in Berkeley County, but after several years residence here took charge in 1800 of the Presbyterian Church in Winchester, where he continued to reside the balance of his life, and where he died in 1852.  Dr. Hill was one of the most prominent ministers of his denomination in his day, and was one of the leaders in the "new school" movement and other questions that came up at different times in his church.  He was a great personal friend of Gen. Daniel Morgan, who became a member of Dr. Hill's church shortly before the death of the old Revolutionary hero.  Many of the published reminiscences of Gen. Morgan are due to conversations held with the General by Dr. Hill, and the one wherein Morgan acknowledged that he had fear?not of man, but of God?is authentic.
 Rev. Bernard C. Wolfe, was born in Martinsburg, in 1795, and learned the trade of a saddle and harness-maker with John Helferstay, who conducted that business in the thriving little village named from 1810 for many years afterward, as his advertisement shows in the old Gazette.  Rev. Wolfe was a son of George Wolfe, a most respectable gentleman, who was appointed a magistrate in 1810, at the same time that Joel Ward, who was for many years a member of the house of delegates of the commonwealth, was appointed.  Michael Rooney, who had the reputation of having been a "Sea Rover," before settling in Berkeley, also was appointed, and a year or two afterward Maj. James Faulkner sat with Mr. Wolfe.  The young saddler, however, left his shop and studied for the ministry under the auspices of the German Reformed Church.  After his admission to the ministry he was stationed in Easton, Penn., and from there he was called to Baltimore, from which city he was summoned as a professor in Mercersburg College, but ill health necessitated a resignation.  He then settled in Lancaster, Penn., where he died in 1870.

Source: History of the Lower Shenandoah Valley, Counties of Frederick, Berkeley, Jefferson and Clarke, by J. E. Norris, 1890.

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