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American Revolution History by ColonialAmerica.com
American Revolution History by ColonialAmerica.com
Legend: Selected Site Area Merchant Site Historic Site Historic Marker Historic Shipwreck
Marker data courtesy of hmdb.org   Some map icons courtesy of Map Icons Collection



1776 Mayflower : A Story of Courage, Community, and War
The Federalist Papers Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution
Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West John Adams
Benjamin Franklin : An American Life The Bloody & Brave History of Native American Warriors & the Women Who Supported Them
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We the Kids : The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States The New Americans : Colonial Times: 1620-1689 (The American Story)
The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery A History of US: Vol 3, From Colonies to Country (A History of Us)
Let It Begin Here!: Lexington & Concord: First Battles of the American Revolution George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War
They Called Her Molly Pitcher Now &  Ben : The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin


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Dedaloop (Kindle Fire Edition) Word Treasure
Treasure Island, The Experience Robinson Crusoe
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Selected Site

"Braddock's Road"


Ridgeley, WV, 21502




Near this point on June 10, 1755, after nearly a month's delay at Fort Cumberland, Braddock's troops started toward Fort Duquesne to wrest it from the French. On July 9, 1755, he met his terrible death at the Monongahela.

Click on heading to visit the website (excludes markers).

Nearby Historical Markers

"Caudy’s Castle"



Largent, WV, 25434

Named for James Caudy, pioneer and Indian fighter, who took refuge from the Indians on a mass of rocks overlooking Cacapon River during the French and Indian War (1754 - 1763). From his position on the Castle of Rocks, he defended himself by pushing the Indians, one by one with the butt of his rifle, over the precipice as they came single file along the narrow crevice of rocks. They fell 450 - 500 ft. to the base along the edge of the Cacapon.

"Spendelow Camp"



Winchester, MD, 21502

General Braddock’s 1st camp on the march from Fort Cumberland to Fort Duquesne, June 11th to 13th, 1855. After building a road over Wills Mountain, Spendelow, an engineer, discovered a route by "The Narrows" and Braddock’s Run and a second road was opened.

"The Warrior’s Path"



Flintstone, MD, 21530

War path of the five nations from central New York to the Carolinas. One of the longest Indian trails in America, crossed this highway about this point.

Bear Camp



Strawn, MD, 21536

General Braddock's 6th camp on the march to Fort Duquesne Saturday and Sunday June 20th and 21st, 1755. Washington was forced to remain behind with a guard on account of 'violent fevers' until cured by 'Dr. James's Powders (one of the most excellent medicines in the world),' he wrote his brother Augustine.

Col. Thomas Cresap



Cumberland, MD, 21502

In Memory of
Col. Thomas Cresap

Pathfinder - Pioneer
- Patriot -
Built the first home and
fort in this county at
Oldtown, about 1740
Surveyed the first trail
to the west, starting
near this spot in 1751
His Sons - - -
Daniel Cresap
for whom Dan's Mountain
is named
Thomas Cresap, Jr.
killed in battle with the
Indians on Savage Mountain
Michael Cresap
Captain in Dunmore's War,
first captain in rifle battalions,
Revolutionary War,
whose grave is in
Trinity Churchyard
New York City
His Grandsons - -
Sons of Daniel Cresap
Capt. Michael Cresap, Jr.
Lieut. Daniel Cresap, Jr.
Lieut Joseph Cresap,

of Dunmore's and
Revolutionary Wars


Fort Ashby



Fort Ashby, WV, 26719

Fort Ashby, one in the chain of Indian forts built by George Washington, 1755. sharp fighting here 1756. in 1794, troops under Gen. Daniel Morgan camped here on their way to suppress Whiskey Rebellion. Fort restored by W.P.A., 1939.

Fort Ashby



Keyser, WV, 26726

Erected in 1755 by Lieut. John Bacon under orders from George Washington and garrisoned with twenty-one men. Lieut. Robert Rutherford, with company of Rangers, was defeated here, August, 1756, by the French and Indians. Fort was named for Col. John Ashby who arrived there after remarkable escape from the Indians. Ashby commanded the fort until after the Revolutionary War. The W.P.A. restored fort in 1939.

Fort Forman



Romney, WV, 26757

Frontier outpost, Capt. William Forman (Foreman), in 1777, led a company from this county to the relief of Fort Henry at Wheeling. He, two sons, and others were killed in an ambush by Native Americans at the 'Narrows' near Moundsville.

General Braddock’s 5th Camp



Grantsville, MD, 21536

On the march to Fort Duquesne June 19th, 1755. By Washington’s advice, Braddock pushed forward from Little Meadows to this camp with 1200 chosen men and officers leaving the heavy artillery and baggage behind to follow by easy stages under Colonel Dunbar.

Little Meadows



High Point, MD, 21536

General Braddock's 4th camp on the march to Fort Duquesne June 17, 1755. Washington arrived here after Braddock's defeat July 15th, 1755. Washington also stopped here May 9th, 1754, July 7th or 8th, 1754, October 1st, 1770, November 26th, 1770 and September 10, 1784.

Martin’s Plantation



Frostburg, MD, 21532

General Braddock's 2nd camp on the march to Fort Duquesne June 14th, 15th, 1755. The old Braddock Road passed to the southeast of the National Road from Clarysville to the 'Shades of Death' near 'Two Mile Run.' The National Road was begun by the Government in 1811.

Michael Cresap



Oldtown, MD, 21555

He built his house, which can be seen nearby, about 1764. A trader, he cleared wilderness and fought Indians in "Cresap’s War" in Ohio, 1774. As a Captain he led riflemen, some painted Indian-style, to Boston at the start of the Revolution. Because of failing health he attempted to return home but died on the way and is buried in Trinity Churchyard, New York City. A brick addition to the house was built about 1781.

Old Town



Oldtown, MD, 21555

Fording place for "Great Warriors Path" from New York to the South. Thomas Cresap built stockade fort here in 1741 used as a refuge during French and Indian War after Braddock’s defeat. George Washington was here on his first visit to Maryland 1748 and often thereafter.

Savage River Camp



Finzel, MD, 21532

General Braddock's 3rd camp on his march to Fort Duquesne June 16, 1755. The route, later known as the Old Braddock Road, passes to the southeast of the National Road. Captain Orme's diary says 'we entirely demolished three wagons and shattered several' descending Savage Mountain.

Site of Fort Cumberland



Cumberland, MD, 21502

The store houses of The Ohio Company were first located near this point. In 1754 the first fort (called Mt. Pleasant) was built. Gen'l Edward Braddock enlarged the fort in 1755 and renamed it after his friend the Duke of Cumberland.

The Little Crossings



Grantsville, MD, 21536

The 'Little Crossings' (of the Little Youghiogeny River, now called Castleman's River). So called by George Washington when he crossed on June 19, 1755, with General Edward Braddock on the ill-fated expedition to Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh).

The Parade Ground of Fort Cumberland



Cumberland, MD, 21502

Here the Indian envoys were received before Braddock left for his defeat. In 1756-58 the garrison under Col. Washington was still reviewed here.

This Tablet Marks the Site of Old Fort Cumberland



Cumberland, MD, 21502

Which was built in 1755 by order of the British Government and named in honor of the Duke of Cumberland, Captain General of the British Army. It was the base of military operations of General Edward Braddock and Colonel George Washington in the French and Indian War.

Washington's Road



Dickens, MD, 21502

By order of Colonel Bouquet, George Washington's Troops opened this road from Fort Cumberland to Reastown (Bedford PA) during July 1758. Bouquet and Washington conferred half way between these places July 30, 1758.

Community Histories


Cumberland
Fort Ashby
Frostburg
Oldtown
Paw Paw

Cumberland

Cumberland is named after the son of King George II, Prince William, the Duke of Cumberland. It is built on the site of the old Fort Cumberland, the starting point for British General Edward Braddock's ill-fated attack on the French strong-hold of Fort Duquesne (located on the site of present-day Pittsburgh) during the French and Indian War. (See Braddock expedition.)

Cumberland was also an outpost of Colonel George Washington during the French and Indian War and his first military headquarters was built here. Washington later returned to Cumberland as President in 1794 to review troops that had been assembled to thwart the Whiskey Rebellion.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumberland,_Maryland ", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0


Fort Ashby

Native Americans were known to have made many incursions into the Patterson Creek Valley in which nestles the quiet village of Fort Ashby. Shawnee warriors claimed sections of the lower valley as choice camping grounds on which they stopped and rested in going to and from their great hunts.

There are at least two distinctly well defined Native American trails leading into the community. One, from the North Branch Potomac River, across the mountain into Short Gap, also used later by George Washington when crossing the mountains, and the other coming in from Dan's Run over Valley Ridge.

There are many Native American graves around Fort Ashby in different places where small skirmishes are supposed to have taken place. Native Americans first interred in what is now the Fort Ashby Community Cemetery, or somewhere near. There is scarcely a spot in the community outside the immediate village where some visible trace of the Native American has not been found, and in several places within the limits of the community, darts and arrowheads can be picked up in small quantities.

Native American activities in Fort Ashby seem to have been centered against the early white settlers. Tribal differences of various natures seem to have been few and easily settled so that the combined efforts of all was directed toward keeping out the 'pale face' who was ruining the hunting ground.

All during the period of agitation between the French and Indian and American Revolutionary Wars the families of Frankfort, as it was then referred, seem to have been jeopardized by the French and Native Americans from the Ohio River Valley.

The first fort at the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers was built by men from Hampshire County, West Virginia. Part of these men came from the Frankfort District along Patterson Creek, likely Frankfort, as it was more thickly settled than any other section at that time. Captain William Trent was in command of the company. He did not finish the fort, however, as the French captured it before completion and named it Fort Duquesne.

Colonel Joshua Fry took command of part of Trent's men and came back with them east of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, where they started to build Fort Necessity. After Frye died during the construction, George Washington finished the fort.

About the year 1755 or 1756, the old Native American Chief Killbuck with his warriors from Muskingum River Valley, Ohio, came across the Allegheny Mountains and attacked the settlers in Patterson Creek Valley. It was on this expedition that Killbuck became prominent by his bloody murder of Mr. Williams and Wendell Miller. The carrying away of John Casey also occurred at the same time.

In 1755, Colonel George Washington gave orders to build a stockade and fort (Fort Ashby) on the eastern side of Patterson Creek. This was built at the present site of Fort Ashby village and is still in use as a dwelling, being owned and occupied by Mr. Thomas F. Pyles.

On Christmas Day 1755, Captain Charles Lewis of Fredericksburg took command of the fort and a garrison of twenty-one men. He had orders from Colonel Washington to remain quiet as long as he could and to hold the fort as long as possible, but if necessary rather than surrender it to burn it and try to get to Fort Sellars, located on the east side of the mouth of Patterson Creek, or to Fort Cumberland.

In 1756, Washington ordered Colonel Adam Stephen at Fort Cumberland to keep forts Ashby and Sellars completely supplied with food and ammunition. The only really important battle at Fort Ashby occurred in 1756 when Lieutenant Robert Rutherford and his company of rangers was defeated there by a band of French and Native Americans. After the French had gone from the vicinity the Native Americans remained watching for the inmates of the fort. It was during this siege that Colonel John Ashby while out of the fort on what is now Cemetery Hill was attacked by the Native Americans and made a most remarkable escape to the fort. It is from this incident that the name of "Ashby's Fort" was applied. Colonel Ashby was later put in command of the fort and seems to have remained there until the Revolutionary War or after.

On April 22, 1756, Washington wrote to Ashby that if he was attacked by Native Americans to wait for the cover of darkness then blow up the fort and retreat to Fort Cumberland, taking what ammunition they could.

In the same year he wrote to Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie of Virginia as follows: "The people are all leaving the section around Frankfort in fear of the Indians and fear that in a short time it will be as desolate as all Hampshire County." Since there is a lapse of about two years for which no records of any kind have been found it is presumed that practically all settlers were driven out of what is now Mineral County except those who were protected by forts Ashby and Sellars.

In a later letter to Lieutenant Governor Dinwiddie, Washington said: "The men I hired to bring intelligence from the South Branch returned last night with letters from Captain Ashby and other parties there. The Indians have gone. It is believed their numbers were, about one hundred and fifty, that about seventy men are killed or missing and that several houses and plantations were destroyed. I shall proceed by quick marches to Fort Cumberland to strengthen the garrison there. Besides this I think it is absolutely necessary to have two or three companies of rangers to guard the Potomac waters. Captain Wagner informs me that it was with difficulty that he passed the Blue Ridge as crowds of people were fleeing as if a lost moment would mean death. He endeavored to stop them, but in vain, as they believed that all homes were in flames." Captain Wagner was a citizen of Frankfort.

It is really a question as to whether or not the first settlers of Frankfort community may have laid claim to the land of that immediate vicinity even before the Native Americans became much interested in it. It is known that white settlers came into the Patterson Creek Valley around Frankfort between the years 1732 and 1736. The names of Casey, Pancake, Foreman, and Van Meter were familiar before the prominence of George Washington. Following the grant of land, from the British Crown to Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron known as the Northern Neck of Virginia, some settlers may have come to Frankfort as renters. Before Washington's survey, however, the immediate land around the village had been taken by people on the grounds of the Tomahawk Claim.

In his journals of "My Journeys Across the Mountain," Washington said that he stayed all night on March 28, 1748, with Abram Johnson on Patterson Creek, and on the following day, marched fifteen miles (24 km) to one Solomon Hedges, and when he came to supper, on the table was neither cloth, nor knife, nor fork. Abram Johnson lived a short distance south of Frankfort village.

Up until the time of the American Revolutionary War there does not seem to have been very many new families moving into the lower part of the Valley. The Johnsons and Van Meters seem to have been the leading citizens and largest land owners. Just about the beginning of the War, however, new names became prominent in the community; among them are Tay-lor, Lynn, Williams, and Powell.

We find that history records very little about Frankfort with regard to the American Revolutionary War. That entire section of country bordering on the Potomac and Monongahela rivers was known as the back door of the Revolution. Frankfort was right in the heart of this section. The reason why we see so little mentioned from this section of Virginia in the story of the Revolution is that the men were kept busy watching the Indians.

In 1777, Captain William Foreman gathered together from Hampshire County a company of men to keep down the Native Americans who had been agitated by the British. He marched with them to Wheeling and there met the Native Americans at the McMechen Narrows where he was defeated. A monument now marks the spot where Foreman's defeat occurred on WV 28 between Springfield and Romney. Men from Frankfort who were in Foreman's Company were Samuel Johnson, John Willison, and William Lynn.

Captain Michael Cresap who lived in Oldtown, Maryland across from Green Spring, came over into Hampshire County during the early part of the Revolution and organized a company of riflemen. They marched to Boston and featured in several small skirmishes there. Cressap returned with them as far as New York where he died and was buried. The men in this company from Frankfort include the names of Johnson, Ashby, Wagoner, Williams, Powell, Pew, Harris, and Miller. Cresaptown, Maryland is named for him.

Immediately after the close of the war, Frankfort seems to have developed rapidly. Many new settlers came, including the names of Keller, Richards, Brockhart, and Daniels. It was about this time that the brick house now occupied by Mrs. Blanche Welker and also the old stone hotel were built. Both buildings were used as hotels, replacing the old roadhouse which was located near where Charles Pyles now lives, and the tavern at Short Gap, to some extent.

Through the influence of several men of the village, particularly Dennis Daniels, one hundred and thirty-nine acres of land belonging to John Kellar was surveyed into town lots with streets and alleys running between. A charter was passed through the Virginia General Assembly on December 5, 1787, a copy of which follows:

1. Be it enacted by the general assembly, that one hundred and thirty-nine acres of land, in the county of Hampshire, the property of John Kellar, and laid off by him into in and out lots, with convenient streets, shall be, and the same is hereby established, a town by the name of Frankfort, and that John Mitchell, Andrew Cooper, Ralph Humphries, John Williams, Sen. James Clark, Richard Stafford, Hezekiah Whiteman, and Jacob Brookhart, gentlemen, be trustees thereof, who, 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 establish such rules and regulations for the regular building of houses thereon, as to them shall seem best. In case of the death, resignation, removal out of the county, or other legal disability of one or more of the said trustees, it shall be lawful for the remaining trustees, to supply such vacancy, and the person so chosen shall have the same power as if he had been particularly named in this act.

2. And be it further enacted, that so many of the lots in the said town as are not sold by the said John Kellar are hereby vested in the said trustees, and they, or a majority of them, shall within six months after the passing of this act, sell the lots at public auction, having previously advertised the time and place of such sale at the court house of said county, on three successive court days, and convey the same to the purchaser in fee, subject to the conditions of building a house on each, sixteen feet square, with a brick or stone chimney, to be finished fit for habitation within three years from the date of sale, and pay the money arising from such sale to the said John Kellar, or his legal representatives. So soon as the purchaser of said lots shall have built thereon according to their respective deeds of conveyance, they shall then be entitled to, and have and enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities, which the freeholder and inhabitants of other towns in this state, not incorporated, hold and enjoy. If the purchaser of any lot sold by the said trustees shall fail to build thereon within the time limited, it shall be lawful for the said trustees, or a majority of them, to enter into such lot, sell the same again, and apply the money for the benefit of the inhabitants of the said town.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Ashby,_West_Virginia", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0


Frostburg

Frostburg had its beginnings back in 1811 when surveying began for the National Pike, a road used to transport crops and raw materials to East Coast markets. President Thomas Jefferson had authorized construction of the road in 1806. Meshach Frost built the first house in present-day Frostburg in 1812 and named it Highland Hall. This building was a popular stopping point for celebrities and dignitaries who traveled the National Pike. This would be followed by the Franklin Hotel and other hotels.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frostburg,_Maryland", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0


Oldtown

The trading post was established in 1741 by Thomas Cresap, who'd figured prominently in the Conejohela War, (also called Cresap's War). Shortly after the war, he moved west to the sparsely settled frontier from the more populated regions of York County, Pennsylvania and the Conejohela Flats. Cressap may have been acting, in moving to the frontier, as an agent of Lord Baltimore. The move positioned him to play a role in opening the as yet unchartered Ohio Country. Cresap opened a road westward under the auspices of the Ohio Company once a charter was granted for Ohio.

Cresap's son Michael Cresap was born at Oldtown, the first white male born in Allegany County, Maryland.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldtown,_Maryland", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0


Paw Paw

On George Washington's many trips west, he usually took the Winchester-Cumberland Road which closely parallels today's CR 29/51 through Paw Paw. The Potomac River, which embraces the old town in one of its bends, was navigated as early as 1750. Travelers heading west often crossed the gap in the mountains here, some settling to farm land along the river.

The town is the namesake of the Paw Paw Tunnel, an important part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The tunnel and the nearby abandoned canal is now part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paw_Paw,_West_Virginia", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0