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Mr. Billing's post, re: HUNTING CREEK
Posted by: Dave Graham (ID *****4525) Date: March 12, 2007 at 14:12:39
  of 23

Particularly for Mr. Dennis Billings, but anyone may comment:

This post is a reply in response to Mr. Dennis Billings who wrote a wonderful, eclectic piece in the Chester County PA forum regarding the Colonial Grahams/Grimes/Grayhams.
Dennis, I prepared this for you to see if it is something you have already considered, or have never seen before. I present this with caution knowing that you have studied this subject widely and perhaps I am only repeating something you have already published or studied yourself. In any case, I wish to put this out there so you can let me know if you can use this information. Yours, sincerely, Dave Graham. please rsvp!!

Some of what Dennis wrote concerning 'Hunting Creek, VA'

"In the French- Indian War GW was under orders to recruit 50 men from Augusta Co, VA and 50 from Winchester of Frederick Co, VA in Western VA to fight the Indians at Ft Pitt. In his diary notes before and during the Revolutionary war GW often mentioned the Tobacco warehouses on Hunting Creek, unidentified who owned them, but then Hunting Creek, VA? This Hunting Creek was also home to a Furnace @ Hunters' Forge which made ammo for the Patriots. Grahams were noted Tobacco merchants and operators of furnaces and mines. This may now be Huntersville, NC."

Here is what I found, Dennis, re: Hunting Creek:

John Graham established himself on Quantico as a representative of another such house (perhaps of kinsmen, for another John Graham was Provost of old Dumfries in 1750); but while maintaining that residence to the end of a long life, he soon abandoned commerce; probably by reason of a disaster suffered by his Scottish principals." In any event, Graham himself had the good fortune to marry two Virginia women and under that influennce embarked on a new career as a local office holder. In doing so, he kept, however, a footing in the councils of the merchants, and so was in a position to be of service to both the potent forces in the community life. Thus it befell to John Graham to take the lead in the estabishment of the first town of old Prince William.
In the act of 1732 it is recited that the original Public store house build on Quantico upon Robert Brent's land, was burned and another was substituted on the land of Richard Brit. These were both at the head of navigation of the creek where it was crossed by the original Potomac Path (as it still is by the state highway) and where John Graham subsequently acquired his lands. As early as May, 1740, the Scots had begun to agitate for a town here. They met determined opposition from Valentine Peyton, who insisted that if any town was to be established in Prince William, it must be at the Court House on the lower side of Occoquan where he, himself, had interests. Although the confident Scots adroitly amended their petition, in the light of this opposition, to provide for towns on both Quantico and Occoquan, Peyton was irreconcilable, and was able to persuade the county court to refuse to certify the proposal to the Assembly. This was a breach of privilege, and resulted in discipline by the Assembly of the Prince William justices who had been guilty of it; but in the end Peyton succeeded in having the petition rejected, not only in 1740, but again in 1742 and 1744. The Scots would not, however, be denied. They now joined hands with those who proposed to establish a similar town on HUNTING CREEK and at last, in May 1749, secured the passage of 'an act for erecting a town in the County of Prince William. Herin it was recited that:

The inhabitants of the county of Prince Wiliam have made humble application to this general assembly that a town may be laid out upon the land of John Graham, gentleman near the public wareohouses on the upper side of Quantico Creek in the said county for the Cohabitation of such as are minded to settle there, whereby trade and navigation may be greatly increased to the advantage of the inhabitants of that part of the county; and it was enacted that sixty acres of land belonging to the said John Graham situate, lying and being upon the head of quantico creek might be vested in John Graham, Peter Hedgman, William Fitzhugh, George Mason, Joseph Blackwell, Richard Blackburn and Thomas Harrison, Gentlemen...as Directors and Trustees for designing, building carrying on and maintaining a town...to be called by the name of DUMFRIES." "...The Assembly was advised in 1753, and again in 1759, that the trade of Dumfries had greatly increased, making necessary enlarged warehouses. In the latter year, and again in 1761, the area of the town itself was expanded with the recital by the Assembly that it "daily increased. " ...Although a public warehouse was established at HUNTING CREEK contemporaneously with that at Quantico and Alexandria was laid off at the same time as Dumfries, the greater part of the tobacco trade in Northern Virginia was drawn to the latter. Thus in 1776, as evidenced by the definition of the territory in which the tobacco notes of the several warehouses were authorized to circulate, the two warehouses then on the Quantico drew not only on Fairfax, Loudoun and the Valley, to which the Fairfax warehouses were confined, but also upon Fauquier and Culpepper in competition with Falmouth, maintaining meanwhile a monopoly of Prince William. A further evidence of this preponderance of trade is that the aggregate salaries then paid the public warehouse keepers at Dumfries (130 pounds) exceeded the aggregate of those paid at the three disparate warehouses contemporaneously operating in Fairfax (which was only 110 pounds). During this Period, Richard Graham built three large warehouses for his individual use.....
Sources:
1.) Landmarks of Old Prince William and the Scots Merchants at Dumfries. p. 386-8
2.) Mr. Dennis Billing



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