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A Letter From the Frontier - Part 2

Wilderness Road State Park prides itself on the authenticity in telling the story of the American frontier. The parks is along the Wilderness Road that Daniel Boone, along with many other frontiersmen, traveled to move this country west. 

On the frontier, danger was always a possibility.

On the frontier, danger was always a possibility

At Martin’s Station in Powell’s Valley

Friday the 30th day of April 1776   ANNO

To the honorable and most esteemed Col.William Preston,

I write this letter in haste, for there has been a large party of Shawnees spied by my scouts crossing the Cumberland near the narrows.  Mr. Redd has assured me that they are intent upon war for they are painted black which is there custom. I have been informed that Dragging Canoe spoke against the treaty made by Mr. Henderson, and has returned to the upper towns with his warriors, and has vowed to hold this property.  It is my suspicion that both parties may twine together and fall upon us within a fortnight.

I have called in every scout with exception of three, which I have dispatched to the north, west, and south of this valley. I now have thirty six men at this place, all with rifles and lead, however powder is short, and I do not know how long it will hold. Capt. Boone is in Kintuckee with a party of thirty good men, and I pray he will return here in short manner for he will be greatly needed if a battle ensues.

I have sent dispatches to Capt. Willyard of Culpeper County and Captain Moss of the Salisbury District and have informed them of my situation.  I have asked that they ride to my aide at this very instant and without hesitation call upon any man willing to fight.

The fort is now strong and will hold any attack that may come if men and powder arrive. Our provisions are well, as we have plenty of buffolar meat, and the men have began to move the cattle and horses near the fort. I have the women and children making bullits, and collecting bandages, which I pray we shall not need.

I sent a dispatch to Capt. Blackmore informing him o the depredation which may befall us, however, I am certain that misfortune has overtaken my runner, for I have had no communication from either party.   I beg good sir that you consider my request for want not as a sign of weakness, but of fortitude.  We must hold this valley at once, for to turn now would cause panic throughout the Clinch and Holston settlements, and I fear we would lose all we have suffered for.

I am sir your most humble servant

Jos Martin

On the frontier, the people had to always be prepared for attack.

On the frontier, the people had to always be prepared for attack

Each year Wilderness Road State Park hosts events to demonstrate the life style on the American Frontier. The largest event is The Raid at Martin Station will be held on May 11-13, 2012.  The park is located just 10 miles from Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. 

Wilderness Road State Park, 8051 Wilderness Road, Ewing, Va. 24248; Phone: (276) 445-3065; email wildernessroad. Learn more about park offerings by calling 1-800-933-PARK or email resvs.

Published: 05/03/2012

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