Millennia of Indian history lie buried in the Bakerton area and throughout the rest of Jefferson County. Like the white men who followed them, the Indians tended to settle along riverbanks and runs and at the head of springs. The Bakerton area has an abundance of such sites, many of then virtually undisturbed. Artifacts dating back five thousand years have been found.
Archeological excavations east of Bakerton at Glen Haven have unearthed Indian remains estimated to have been buried about 1170 AD. (See Figures 2-1 through 2-9.) Almost all of the 13 bodies found were oriented to the east, and one of the bodies was found near a pot containing food. The site is believed to be part of an extensive, long-term habitation of the late Woodland Period. Areas for finishing or reshaping stone tools, sewing, cooking, and food processing have been identified. The human and animal remains at the site suggest that these Indians' lifestyle included hunting, fishing, and gathering. Other specimens collected north of the excavated site include Susquahanna Broadspear Points. Collectively, these findings suggest that the site was used during several periods and that some of the later inhabitants had become established as farmers. Although clay pipes and crockery shards from the colonial period were also found at the site, no evidence of contact between whites and Indians has been identified thus far at this location.1
Indian activities in the area between the 12th and 17th centuries are not known. Iroquois conquests during the mid-seventeenth century probably prevented the establishment of most new Indian settlements in the area before white settlers arrived.2 However, the land was hunted extensively during this period by Delawares and Shawnees.3
The Bakerton area lay south of Packhorse Ford, where the "Warrior Path" crossed the Potomac River. This path, as well as the Potomac River and its banks, served as part of a North-South Indian highway. Iroquois raiding parties frequently passed through the area to attack southern tribes and brought captives back along the same route. Similarly, southern tribes bent on retaliation used the same path to attack and retreat.
A few Indian villages appear to have been located in the Bakerton area when explorers and early settlers arrived. Louis Michel reported Indians in the area when he explored the west bank of the Potomac River in 1706.4
Local undocumented accounts of early settlement mention hostile Shawnee Indians attacking settlers in the area around 1707.5 According to tradition, several fierce battles between Seneca and Delaware war parties occurred at Packhorse Ford.6 Between 1710 and 1719, Tuscaroras used this route to flee to Pennsylvania after being defeated in the Carolinas.7 Armed Indians of unknown allegiance must have been frequent and frightening sights to early settlers in this region and throughout much of the Virginia and Maryland frontier.
The portion of the Shenandoah Valley lying in Jefferson and Berkeley counties was supposed to be reserved as a hunting grounds for Indians (probably Shawnees) allied with Virginia.8 In 1720, Pennsylvania's Governor Keith, with the urging of Virginia's Governor Spotswood, attempted to restrain the Five Nations9 and their allies from using the southern portion of the Warrior Path. The attempt was met by resistance. Conestoga Chief Civility warned Keith that abandoning the Warrior Path would not only leave the Five Nations open to attack by southern tribes but would also incite the Senecas to take vengeance upon back country settlers.10
On the Maryland bank of the Potomac River, the land was under the control of the Five Nations during the 1720's, although Maryland officials were attempting to open the area for settlement. The Indians firmly resisted the encroachment of Maryland settlers for several years, making only a single grant (1727) along the Potomac at the mouth of Antietam Creek.11 In 1731/32, Conestoga chief Civility complained to Lord Baltimore:
I am heartily sorry to hear as Maryland should deprive us of that Spot of Land as we have hitherto, for I certainly did hear as their Intention is to take it from us if possible. But I hear you intend to come and run land out above Andahetem, and I heartily desire you not to do it for You have already run Land out at Cohungarauto [for] your family to live there which we are very much disturbed. And I would have you not press too much upon us for we have give no body land yet but Israel Friend at the mouth of Andahetem. And I shall consider with the rest of my brothers what to do. For as we are but Indians You must not think to force us out of our own.12
After abandoning a secret plan to join with the Delawares and Shawnees to drive the English out of the area, the Six Nations decided to give up their claims to land in the area and focus their attentions further westward.13 Settlement of the east bank of the Potomac River officially began in 1738, when one of the first Maryland grants was issued to Charles Friend (Israel's brother) at Conococheague Creek, the present site of Williamsport, Maryland.
In Virginia, the Treaty of Albany with the Six Nations (1722) opened up the land south of the Potomac River and east of "the high ridge of mountains" to settlement and readjusted the Warrior Path.14 Although the treaty was to have separated warring tribes, this readjustment was the cause of further disagreement ¾ the Indians believing it allowed them to travel the west bank of the Potomac River and west of the Blue Ridge Mountains while the Virginians contended that the boundary of the Indians' route was further westward.15
The Indians' use of the Warrior Path and of the Potomac riverbank continued for decades ¾ Delawares and Catawbas fought at the mouth of Antietam Creek as late as 1736, and the riverbank between the Shepherdstown and Harpers Ferry areas was used as a path by large Catawba war parties during the first half of the eighteenth century.16 Settlers' fears for their own safety increased until, in the winter of 1743/44, Virginians attacked a party of Six Nations Indians returning from battle with the Catawbas. Several whites and Indians were killed during the conflict. The problem was solved temporarily when representatives from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the Six Nations met at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in June 1744 and signed a treaty in which the Indians gave up their right to occupy or travel through the Shenandoah Valley.17 Another decade of uneasy alliances and increasing tensions would pass before the Indian and French threat to the area became acute.
1. Ellis E. McDowell-Louden, "The Glen Haven Site: An Interim Report, 1980," West Virginia Archeologist, no. 32 (Fall, 1981), pp. 49-50; Ellis E. McDowell-Louden and Gary Louden, "Glen Haven Site, 46-JF-5: 1983 Interim Report," Proceedings of the 1983 Middle Atlantic Archeological Conference, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, pp. 28-35.
2. Otis K. Rice, The Allegheny Frontier: West Virginia Beginnings, 1730-1830 ( Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky), 1970, p. 2.
3. Herman Schuricht, History of the German Element in Virginia. 2 vols. (Baltimore: Theo. Kroh & Sons, 1898), vol. I, p. 85.
4. Charles E. Kemper (ed.), "Documents Relating to Early Projected Swiss Colonies in the Valley of Virginia, 1706-1709," Va. Mag. Hist. & Biog., XXIX (1921), pp. 3-4, 180-181; William J. Hinke (trans. and ed.), "Letters Regarding the Second Journey of Michel to America, February 14, 1703, to January 16, 1704 and His Stay in America till 1708," Va. Mag. Hist. & Biog., XXIV (July 1916), pp. 302-303; Thomas P. De Graffenreid, History of the DeGraffenreid Family (New York: Vail:Ballou Press, 1925), pp. 100-104.
5. Lodonzo C. Engle, "A Brief by L. C. Engle on the Origin of the Engle Name," typescript, no date, in the possession of Kenneth and Donna Kidwiler, Engle, W. Va.
6. Rice, p. 9.
7. Francis Jennings, The Ambiguous Iroquois Empire (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1984), pp. 258, 260, 262, and 278.
8. Charles E. Kemper (ed.), "Some Valley Notes," Va. Mag. Hist. & Biog., XIX (1921), pp. 415-416.
9. The Five Nations includes the Mohawks, Senecas, Cayugas, Oneidas, and Onodagas. Approximately 1720, they were joined by the Tuscaroras; the term Six Nations was used to describe this alliance.
10. Jennings, p. 280.
11. Indian Deed to Israel Friend, January 10, 1727. Recorded in the Courthouse of Prince George's County, Upper Marlboro, Md., 1730.
12. Letter of Captain Civility and Toyl Hangue to Lord Baltimore, January 12, 1731/32. In: William H. Brown (ed.), Archives of Maryland: Proceedings of the Council of Maryland 1732-1753 (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1908), pp. 10- 11.
13. Jennings, pp. 302-303.
14. Rice, p. 27. The Indians' interpretation of the treaty would have channeled much of their traffic through the Bakerton area.
15. Jennings, p. 296.
16. Samuel Kercheval, History of the Valley of Virginia, 4th ed. (Strasburg, Va.: Shenandoah Pub. House, 1925), p. 36. Kercheval reports (p. 39) that "Capt. Glenn informed the author that a Mrs. Mary Friend, who resided on or near the Potomac, stated to him that she once saw a body of four or five hundred Catawba Indians on their march to invade the Delawares; but from some cause they became alarmed, and returned without success." Mary Friend, one of Israel Friend's daughters or daughters-in-law, lived on part of Friend's land grant until her death.
17. Jennings, pp. 356-360. Colonel Thomas Lee, manager of Fairfax's estate, represented Virginia at the Treaty of Lancaster.
III. EARLY EXPLORERS AND SETTLERS (1700-1753)