HISTORY AND HERITAGE MADE ACCESSIBLE: THE LEE COUNTY, VIRGINIA STORY HISTORY AND HERITAGE MADE A CC ESSIBLE: THE LEE COUNTY, VIRGINIA STORY by Martha Grace Lowry Mize
HISTORY AND HERITAGE MADE ACCESSIBLE:
THE LEE COUNTY, VIRGINIA STORY
Martha Grace Lowry Mize
A thesis submitted to the faculty of The University of Mississippi in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.
Advisor: Professor Maureen Meyers
Reader: Professor Jodi Skipper
Reader: Associate Dean Debra Young
Martha Grace Lowry Mize
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
This thesis is dedicated to the people of Lee County, Virginia.
The largest thanks belongs to Dr. Meyers for being an unbelievable advisor and making the entire thesis possible from the very beginning. Thanks also to Dr. Skipper and Dr. Young who were patient saints waiting for this thesis. Thank you to Douglass Sullivan-Gonzalez, Bruce Levingston, and Mrs. Penny who have and continue to encourage me to pursue the highest level of inquiry with my best smile. A billion and one thanks to Lindsay Hopper for all the proof reading genius. Friends and Family thank you for understanding that ‘I have to work on my thesis’ was not an excuse. I’d also like to thank my Mom and Dad who have supported me my whole life and are usually right 95% of the time.
Allen Crockett, Sue Crockett, Patsy Houck, Lois Appleby, Scott Bowen, Jodie Bowen, the Lee County School System, Wilderness Road State Park, Lee County Tourism, J. R. Hoe and Sons, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the staff and reenactors at Wilderness Road State Park, Donna Lock, and everyone in Lee County without whom this thesis would be nothing.
I would also like to thank the Council of Virginia Archaeologists and The University of Mississippi’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College for awarding me funds to help make this thesis and research possible.
This thesis creates a digital space to preserve the heritage of Lee County, Virginia through community input of stories, values, and beliefs, loosely based on the concept of an eco-museum as described by Corsane, Davis, and Murtas (2009). The virtual museum space includes a history of Lee County, Virginia, and the community’s heritage ideals, as identified through local interviews, research, and stories. The results of the research created www.theleecountystory.com, a community-based website centered on heritage preservation that incorporates regional values identified through ethnographic research and educational information from local organizations and the University of Mississippi. The digital community space includes community input, local archaeology, and regional organizations, and acts to connect academics, community members, area groups, and government entities through a virtual platform. The creation of www.theleecountystory.com is meant to highlight the importance of academic work engages and incorporates the communities in which research occurs.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………… 1
Chapter 2: History and Context of Lee County Virginia ………………………………………. 3
Prehistory of Southwestern Virginia ……………………………………………………………………………….. 5
History of Lee County, Virginia …………………………………………………………………………………….. 7
Discovery and Settlement of Lee County, Virginia ……………………………………………………….. 7
Growth in the Nineteenth Century Lee County, Virginia ……………………………………………… 20
Civil War in Southwestern Virginia…………………………………………………………………………… 29
Coal and Rail in the County ……………………………………………………………………………………… 33
Twentieth Century Lee County, Virginia …………………………………………………………………… 38
Present Day ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 46
Chapter 3: Heritage Theory ………………………………………………………………………………. 48
Chapter 4: Methodology……………………………………………………………………………………. 55
Chapter 5: Results…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 58
Survey Results …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 59
Survey Questions Results ………………………………………………………………………………………… 61
Overall Survey Results ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 67
Participant Observation and Informal Interviews ……………………………………………………………. 68
www.theleecountystory.com ………………………………………………………………………………………… 72
Chapter 6: Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………………. 77
References Cited……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 80
APPENDIX A …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 88
History Supplement ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 89
APPENDIX B …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 91
IRB approval Form …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 92
APPENDIX C …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 95
Community Member Survey ………………………………………………………………………………………… 96
APPENDIX D …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 98
Community Organization Survey …………………………………………………………………………………. 99
APPENDIX E …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 100
Community Educator Survey ……………………………………………………………………………………… 101
List of Figures
Figure 1 Sketch of Lee County, Virginia …………………………………………………………………. 4
Figure 2 1755 North America from the French of Mr. D’Anville Map, (Adapted with scale from Jeffery 1755) ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
Figure 3 1776 General Map of British colonies, in America and adapted from Governor Pownall’s late map 1776 (Pownall 1776) ……………………………………………………………….. 10
Figure 4 A new map of the state of Virginia: exhibiting its internal improvements, roads, distances, &c (Young 1857) ………………………………………………………………………………… 28
Figure 5 Postal Route Legend for Figures 5-8 (Adapted from Roeser 1891) ………………. 36
Figure 6 1891 Post route Map of Lee County, Virginia (Roeser 1891) ……………………… 36
Figure 7 1891 Lee County: Post Route Map (Adapted from Roeser 1891) ………………… 37
Figure 8 1895 Lee County: Post Route Map (Adapted from Von Haake 1895) ………….. 37
List of Tables
Table 1. Cultural Stages of Southeastern Indians Lee County …………………………………… 6
Table 2 1891-1895 Lee County Communities ………………………………………………………… 35
Table 3 Box and Whisker Plot ……………………………………………………………………………… 60
Table 4 Local Knowledge Compared to Years in County ………………………………………… 61
Table 5 Ranking of Importance: Local History, Archaeology, Artifacts ……………………. 63
Chapter 1: Introduction Lee County, Virginia is a small, quiet area with a rich history and heritage that unsuspecting visitors rarely experience beyond the occasional highway sign. The need for a space that could connect, share, and educate the community, visitors, and academics about Lee County, one that is based on community-identified values and heritage, resulted in the creation of this thesis. The county, which currently has less than 25,000 residents, was present when Daniel Boone led settlers west, contained Union and Confederates forces alike, saw the rise and fall of coal mining, and was home to pre-historic aboriginal populations’ trade routes prior to the arrival of groups like the Cherokee and the Shawnee. The history of this geographic region, however, is only a part of what defines Lee County. The heritage, values, and culture of the community, in addition to its historical context, are important to understanding the culture of the county. This thesis presents the results of an attempt to create a digital space to preserve the heritage of Lee County, Virginia through community input of stories, values, and beliefs, and is loosely based on the concept of an eco-museum as described by Corsane, Davis, and Murtas (2009: 52). Traditional museums are composed of the buildings, heritage, collections, expert staff, and public visitors which are usually found in areas with large population densities and can be cut off from presenting current local distinctiveness (Corsane 2009:52). An ecomuseum is defined as a “dynamic way in which communities preserve, interpret, and manage their heritage for sustainable
development…based on a community agreement” (Corsane 2009:52). Rural areas, however, are less capable of supporting a traditional museum, but are the perfect setting for an ecomuseum. An online digital space created by working with key participants in the community removes the resource barriers of a traditional museum, while still providing a place for heritage preservation. The creation of www.theleecountystory.com utilizes community input gathered during field research and combines these community-identified needs with archived historical documents, local organizations, and archeological research completed in Lee County to provide a solid base for a flexible digital museum. In order to create such a space a detailed historic context of the county was necessary. An analysis of the heritage of the region was also essential using ethnographic and field research completed in May and June of 2015. A heritage theory chapter presents several viewpoints of heritage through a dialogical model and as a continually evolving community-determined method. The methodologies used during field research are first presented, and then are followed by the results of this research, including a description of the created virtual space. The creation of www.theleecountystory.com is meant to highlight the importance of combining community needs and voices with academic work that engages and incorporates the communities and spaces in which research occurs.
Chapter 2: History and Context of Lee County Virginia
No comprehensive history of Southwestern Virginia has ever been written, and a seeker after historical information concerning that region must, of a necessity, consult much source material, and check and recheck his findings before he tries to write or to talk about the section. (Brown 1937:501)
To better understand the inhabitants of the Southeast, and examine the context in which Lee County, Virginia came into being, it is necessary to conduct a thorough examination of the history of Lee County beginning with the original aboriginal inhabitants of the area and concluding with present day demographics. The history of the area is important to the community and residents of Lee County, which is evident today in the form of state parks and tourism offices as well as in community organizations such as the Lee County Historical and Genealogical Society. A broad history of the county has not previously been written for the region despite the wealth of knowledge and emphasis placed on history in the county, making this chapter particularly important to the area. The virtual museum created for the county is a community space based on regional heritage and community values; thus the history of Lee County provides the contextual information needed to process the geographic region known as Lee County. This chapter attempts to provide a brief overview of the history of Lee County, Virginia which will serve as a context for the virtual museum. Newly available sources will be utilized and provide a foundation for future research done by Lee County residents.
The history chapter is subdivided into Prehistory, Discovery and Settlement (eighteenth-century), the Growth of the County (nineteenth-century), Civil War in
Southwestern Virginia, and the Twentieth-century, and concludes with a section entitled Present-Day Lee County. Figure 1 is a map of the modern boundaries of Lee County noting the original location of Martin’s Station, and shows the location of several major communities and towns, as well as the Cumberland Gap and Boone’s trail, which are referenced in this chapter. This history is by no means all-encompassing, but provides significant background on a specific region of Virginia and the people of Lee County.
Figure 1 Sketch of Lee County, Virginia
Prehistory of Southwestern Virginia
Southwestern Virginia is commonly included as part of the Southeastern culture area and was the location of prehistoric aboriginal groups’ settlements, sharing “many broad cultural and social similarities” (Hudson 1976:10) with other groups located in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Florida and Alabama. The archaeological evidence collected from southwestern Virginia, including Lee County, suggests a diverse and complicated prehistory estimated to begin around 13,000 B.C (Bense 1994:8). The prehistory of the southeastern United States has been divided into four main periods prior to European contact. Table 1 lists these cultural stages and attributes and cites specific information related directly to Lee County.
The Paleoindian period (Table 1) (13,000 – 8,000 B.C.), was inhabited by mobile bands that used distinctive points to hunt large game which are now extinct (Hudson 1976:39). During the Archaic period (8,000 – 1,000 B.C.) native groups, still organized as bands, transitioned from hunting large game to a more generalized foraging economy. This new economy was slow to develop, and focused on deer, small mammals and wild plants (Hudson 1976:51-52). Increasingly efficient hunting techniques and a plentiful environment led to increased population and eventually plant domestication which ultimately led to a changed economy during the Woodland period (Hudson 1976:54).
Table 1. Cultural Stages of Southeastern Indians Lee County
(adapted from Bense 1994) Cultural Periods Chronology Sociopolitical/ Subsistence Material Culture/ Technology Lee County Context
13,000 – 8,000 B.C.
? Mobile bands
? Hunting and gathering
? points Lanceolate
? Occupation of lower Cumberland Floodplains
8,000 – 1,000 B.C.
? Expansion of settlements and base camps
? Notched and stemmed triangular stone points
? Containers of stone and pottery
? Ground and polished stone artifacts
1,000 B.C. – A.D. 1,000
? Rise of social inequality and status changes
? Horticulture and Hunting/Gathering
? Spread of pottery production
? Northern Pottery Tradition: Fine and heavy cord-marked pottery
A.D. 1,000 -1,500
? Intensive agriculture
? Long distance trade
? Shell-tempered pottery
? Major socio-political change
? Maize agriculture
? Riverine Settlements
? Closest chiefdoms were Pisgah and Dallas
? Carter Robinson Mound
? Ely Mound
During the Woodland period (1,000 B.C. – A.D. 1,000) native populations increased. Tribal societies emerged, and with them came the development of sedentary village life. During this period, pottery became widespread, horticulture developed, and elaborate mortuary rituals were practiced (Hudson 1976:56). Trade networks also developed and became an important part of the Woodland period. The following Mississippian period (A.D. 1,000 – 1,500) saw a sharp increase in population size and the emergence of chiefdoms. Large sites such as Cahokia in St. Louis, Missouri and Moundville, Alabama became areas of complex ceremonial and cultural centers. The Mississippian period is defined by its development of centralized political structure, agriculture with hierarchical leadership, and large-scale hunting and gathering supplemented by extensive trade (Hudson 1976:95-96).
Starting with the 1539 expedition of Hernando De Soto, the culture of the Southeastern Indians greatly changed with the advent of European contact. Over the following 300 years of contact and systematic colonization, native groups were negatively affected by disease and native slavery and were displaced from their lands (Hudson 1976:10). By the time Lee County was first explored in the mid-1700s, native groups like the Cherokee and Shawnee could claim the area as ancestral land but few groups appear to have inhabited the county at that time (Brown 1937:507).
History of Lee County, Virginia
Discovery and Settlement of Lee County, Virginia
In the latter half of the seventeenth century, few explorers in Virginia ventured beyond the New River (Digital Commonwealth Anville: 1771 Map). According to Johnston (1906:9), “Captin Henry Batte in 1666, Thomas Batte and party in 1671, John
Sailing…. in 1730, Salley, the Howards and St. Clair in 1742, Dr. Thomas Walker, and his parties in 1748-1750 are the only white men to have seen or crossed New River… prior to 1748.” The D’Anville 1755 map (Figure 2) shows the approximate location of the New River and Walker’s Settlement. In 1671, Major General Abraham Wood commissioned Thomas Batts and Robert Fallom’s journey which became known as the Batts-Fallom expedition. Wood was a trader in Richmond, and was looking for further economic ventures to open up trade with natives. The expedition traveled as far as present-day West Virginia (Brown 1937:503). Travel beyond this point was sporadic for the next few years.
Figure 2 1755 North America from the French of Mr. D’Anville Map, (Adapted with scale from Jeffery 1755)
According to Brown (1937:506), southwestern Virginia was first designated as a county in 1716. At that time, Governor Spotswood claimed the discovered land for the British Crown, joining it with Essex County and leaving the western border undefined (Brown 1937:506). In 1721 the land was divided in two. The western county was named Spotsylvania County while the eastern county remained Essex County. Spotsylvania was divided in 1734 into Orange County (Brown 1937:506). The Orange County boundaries as recounted by Brown, detail the amount of land considered to be a part of western Virginia at the time. As Brown describes it:
“Orange County included ‘all the territory of land adjoining to, and above said line, bounded southerly, by the line of Hanover County, northerly, by the grant of the Lord Fairfax, and westerly by the utmost limits of Virginia (and that included all the land north and west to the Great Lakes, and the Pacific Ocean)” (Brown 1937:506-7).
The land was divided again in 1738 from Orange County into Augusta and Fredrick Counties, with Augusta County encompassing the western region including the southwest border of Virginia (Brown 1937:507). The large expanse of land considered to be part of the Virginia Colony is outlined in black in Figure 3, on a 1776 British colonel map, and as Brown (1937:506-507) states the colony continued west to the Pacific Ocean.
Figure 3 1776 General Map of British colonies, in America and adapted from Governor Pownall’s late map 1776 (Pownall 1776)
Despite these divisions there were still large land grants and parcels awarded to high-ranking state officials. As Brown notes (1937:507) “in 1745 Colonel James Patton, county lieutenant and commander of militia for Augusta County, was granted by the governor and Council of Virginia one hundred and twenty thousand acres of land to the west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.” In order to survey and map out the land, Colonel Patton put together an exploration and surveying party. The group of explorers on this expedition included Dr. Thomas Walker, Colonel James Patton, Colonel Jon Buchanan, Colonel James Wood, and Major Charles Campbell (Brown 1937:507). It began in 1748 and its task was “locating and surveying valuable tracts of land, included in Colonel Patton’s land grant” (Brown1937:507). The first written records of exploration into southwestern Virginia territory were by Dr. Thomas Walker in 1748 as a part of this expedition (Brown 1937:507). The trip to survey Colonel Patton’s 120,000 acres allowed Walker to make important connections he would use later to bring settlers and development to the region as a part of a land company he helped to establish in 1749.
During 1749, two major land companies, the Ohio Land Company and the Loyal Land Company, were established and awarded large tracts of land by the Governor and Council of Virginia (Brown 1937:508). The Loyal Land Company was awarded 800,000 acres of land in Southwestern Virginia region and “was composed of 46 gentlemen, among whose members were John Lewis and Thomas Walker” (Brown 1937:508). Walker led an expedition with five companions “to locate a boundary for 800,000 acres in the western reaches of Virginia suitable for settlement” (Kincaid 2005:43). This expedition for the “Loyal Company” began at Walker’s home in Albemarle County, Virginia and continued through parts of West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and to the
Cumberland Gap (Brown 1937:509). Dr. Walker made several written entries on his trip describing the numerous places through which his expedition passed. On April 13, 1750, Walker penned the first written record of Cave Gap, later renamed Cumberland Gap (Kincaid 2005:47):
“On the North side of the Gap is a large Spring, which falls very fast, and just above the Spring is a small Entrance to a large Cave, which the Spring Runs through, and there is a constant stream of Cool air issuing out….On the South side is a plain Indian Road.”(Kincaid 2005:47-48)
Future use of the Gap would allow for expansion west and access across the Appalachian Mountains. Robert Kincaid, in his book The Wilderness Road, describes Walker’s find further: “the sharp break in the high mountain wall on the western rim of the Appalachians was the gateway through which hundreds of thousands of people would pass on their way to the limitless west” (Kincaid 2005:48).The Indian road mentioned by Walker was later known as Wilderness Road and in time would be expanded, retraced, and widened.
According to Ralph Brown, “by the end of 1754, Dr. Walker and his associates had surveyed and sold 224 tracts of land, at three pounds per hundred acres, in Southwest Virginia, containing more than 45,000 acres, many of which tracts were occupied by settlers” (Brown 1937:509). While some settlers had already migrated into the Shenandoah Valley, Walker’s exploration to find a suitable place for westward expansion did not immediately result in a rapid increase in settlement. According to Kincaid, “The French and Indian War, soon to engulf the border, would halt for more than a decade the settlements advancing over the Appalachian divide from the Great Valley” (Kincaid 2005:52). A 1755 map titled “North America from the French of Mr D’Anville:
Improved with the back settlements of Virginia Course of Ohio” (Figure 2) from the Boston Public Library Digital Commonwealth collection corroborates these written accounts through the clearly defined “Walkers Settlement 1750” marked along the “Cumberland or Shannomen’s River” as highlighted by the yellow star.
During the French and Indian War, Robert Dinwiddie was succeeded by Jeffery Amherst as the Governor of Virginia in 1759 (McAnear 1950:196). Jeffery Amherst’s governing duties were carried out by his appointed Lieutenant Governor Francis Fauquier because Amherst was serving as general in the war. This left Lord Amherst free of obligation to the colonies (McAnear 1950:197). Following his death in 1768, Fauquier was succeeded as Lieutenant Governor by Norborne Berkeley (William and Mary Quarterly 1900). Governor Berkeley died in 1770, leading to the appointment of John Murray, the fourth Earl of Dunmore, as Governor of Virginia (Horne 1975:176). These rapid political changes made consistent regulation of the hundreds of westbound settlers difficult and allowed more settlers to move beyond the 1763 boundaries.
The French and Indian War (1754-1763) resulted in Great Britain’s control of all land located east of the Mississippi River (Brown 1937:510). Following the end of the war, the British, who were unwilling to antagonize hostile Indians occupying the land surrounding the Ohio River, issued The Royal Proclamation of 1763 (Morgan 2007:131). This proclamation forbade settlement west of the Blue Ridge and according to Hagy (1967:410) was ignored by settlers’ eager to survey land tracts sold by the Loyal Land Company. Despite the changes in political administration in the Commonwealth of Virginia that occurred between 1759 and 1770, more settlers were pushing westward far beyond the Blue Ridge Mountain boundary.
In late April or early May of 1769, Joseph Martin of Albemarle County, Virginia, acting as an agent for Dr. Thomas Walker, began an expedition to Powell’s Valley, in what was then Russell County, Virginia (later to become Lee County) in return for a land grant from the Loyal Land Company (Kincaid 2005:74). Determined to build a fort farther west, Martin’s group built Martin’s Station near present-day Rose Hill, Virginia. The 1769 settlement of Martin’s Station was the first attempt of a permanent settlement and was the westernmost settlement at that time (Morgan 2007:96). The fort was named after its leader Joseph Martin and was inhabited for only a few months because of attacks by Cherokee Indians (Brown 1937:506). The area was already the center of Cherokee and Shawnee disputes and the creation of Martin’s Fort only escalated the situation (Brown 1937:506). The fort was attacked, as a result of poor relations and its location, shortly after completion and this forced Martin to return to Albemarle County. Martin suffered heavy financial losses as a result of deserting the fort and did not return to the Gap until six years later.
Daniel Boone arrived sometime around late May of 1769; this was only a short time after Martin had started to build Martin’s Station and only weeks before the Indian attacks that would force Martin to retreat (Draper 1998:210). Boone’s small party was a part of a two-year hunting and exploration trip which did not expect Martin’s small fort so far west of other settlements (Kincaid 2005:74). After leaving Martin’s Station, Morgan (2007:95) states “Daniel Boone, John Findley, and John Stewart with three assistants crossing the Clinch and then Powell’s River then turned north through Ouasiota or Cave Gap which Dr. Thomas Walker or others had named Cumberland Gap.” Boone traveled through the area on several occasions both as a guide and on hunting trips.
Boone was an important figure in the development of Lee County because of his involvement in establishing western settlements and clearing Wilderness Road for travel during the 1770s.
He departed on his next trip into present-day Lee County on September 25, 1773 leading a group of potential settlers to Kentucky (Draper 1998:285). On October 9, 1773 James Boone, Daniel Boone’s oldest son, James Boone, and a small group attempted to meet Daniel Boone’s larger party of settlers on their way to establish a settlement beyond the Appalachian Mountains (Draper 1998:287). James Boone decided to camp along the trail near the junction of Wallen’s Creek and the Powell River and (unknown to James) about three miles from his father’s camp (Draper 1998:287). During the night Boone’s son was killed by a group of Shawnee Indians who ambushed and tortured the small party. Only a few escaped (Draper 1998:288). The bodies were discovered the next morning by Captain Russell, whose son Henry was among the dead, and Captain David Gass, both of whom were going to join Boone’s group of settlers (Draper 1998:288). The expedition was halted and a general council of Daniel Boone’s party was held after the discovery of the Shawnee attack (Draper 1998:288). Boone wished to continue on to Kentucky; however, the other settlers voted against him, fearing more encounters with other native groups (Draper 1998:290). Boone accepted Captain David Gass’ offer of a temporary residence for him and his family on Gass’ farm in Castle-Wood in a neighboring Virginia county (Draper 1998:290). According to Draper (1998:290) “Boone was, most likely, induced to this step by the hope of being joined the ensuing spring by Captain Gass and Captain Russell in another attempt to permanently occupy Kentucky.” However, that did not happen and it was not until 1775 that Boone was able to organize a
large group to settle in what was named Kentucky County in 1776 (Morgan 2007:136-138).
The attack on Boone’s son and his party had wider national repercussions. Other native groups particularly in the Ohio Valley had been attacking settlers (Morgan 2007:139). News of these attacks sparked unrest appearing in the colonial newspapers in December of 1773 (Morgan 2007:140). The news of the Boone party attack the following spring heightened these fears. In response to these attacks, the Governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, secured funds for what would become known as Lord Dunmore’s War. According to Draper’ (1998:291), “in his speech at Fort Pitt, Dunmore charged the murder of young Russell and his companions as having been chiefly perpetuated by the perfidious Shawnees and enumerated it among the chief causes that led to the Indian War of 1774.” The war resulted in the movement of the Shawnee border past the Appalachian Mountains and onto the banks of the Ohio River (Calloway 2007:51). Lord Dunmore’s War decreased the settlement and exploration in southwestern Virginia until 1775 because many of the noted explorers, such as Boone, were fighting in the war. On October 10, 1774, after the conclusion of the battle at Point Pleasant, the eastern Indian border was redefined and set at the edge of the Ohio River (Calloway 2007:51). The clearing of land from Virginia to the Ohio River allowed settlers to further their westward migration and initiated the establishment of more permanent settlements (Calloway 2007:51).
In addition to the concerns with native attacks, Virginia colonists had growing concerns with the increasingly invasive British policies (Badertscher 2015:2). In September of 1774 a group of Virginia statesmen met to discuss the issues and this
discussion became known as the First Continental Congress, which began the establishment of an American governing body separate from British rule (Badertscher 2015:2). As the year progressed, events in eastern Virginia and the other colonies slowly escalated into the American Revolution. Once again, high political tensions resulted in an increased focus on westward expansion in Lee County and this expansion was marked by several key events.
The first few months of 1775 brought new settlements to the Cumberland Gap area (Morgan 2007:159). Joseph Martin made his second attempt to settle near present-day Rose Hill, Virginia during the first months of 1775 (Kincaid 2005:101) reestablishing Martin’s station in Powell Valley and building relationships with local native groups. March of 1775 brought the official sale of land from the Cherokee nation to the Transylvania Company’s main mediator, Richard Henderson (Morgan 2007:160) which occurred at Martin’s Station. On March 17, 1775 native representatives and leaders Chief Oconostota and Dragging Canoe, sold Henderson “the additional land between the Holston River and Cumberland Gap as a ‘path deed’ to reach the lands he had already purchased” ( Morgan 2007:162). The agreement reached by Henderson and the Cherokee was meant to help secure the safety of settlers in the area; however, the land was controlled by several native groups that were not included in the sale agreement and therefore the agreement did not guarantee safe passage. As Brown (1937:506) states:
If the settlers of Southwestern Virginia had been deliberately looking for Indian trouble, they could not have done better than they did, grouping together on centuries-old Indian trails, in a region disputed as a hunting ground by the Cherokee and Shaw- nee Indians, and over-lorded by the Five Nations (the Iroquois), the fiercest and most powerful of the tribes of North America. (Brown 1937:506)
Also in March of 1775 Martin and Daniel Boone met again when Boone, (Draper 1998: xvii) who had been hired by the Transylvania Company, arrived in the region to lead a company of men with the purpose of widening the warrior’s path through the Gap to increase the settlement in Kentucky County, Virginia. The path, little more than old Indian trails, was cleared for settlers and renamed the Wilderness Road. Boone led subsequent groups of settlers through the Cumberland Gap and founded Boonesborough, Kentucky in May 1775 returning to the Clinch River in June to bring his family through the Gap (Draper 1998: xvii). Martin and Boone’s historic settlement advances in 1775 were crucial to the development of southwest Virginia and Kentucky. Also during this time of significant settler expansion in southwestern Virginia the American Revolution began in April of 1775 less than a month after Daniel Boone arrived to widen the Warrior Path into the Wilderness Road (Draper 1998: xvii). July 4, 1776 marked the official separation of American colonies from Great Britain with the Declaration of Independence (Badertscher 2015: 3). The American Revolution created a shifting government and ever-changing land regulations for the western edge of the colonies. After the end of the war, the official adoption of the Articles of Confederation did not take place until 1787 at which point public records, requests, and notices begin appearing before the newly established Virginia General Assembly (Brown 1937:507). In 1786 in southwest Virginia, Russell County was formed out of Augusta County, which had been slowly breaking up into numerous smaller counties as state lines were formed and decided (Brown 1937:507).The newly-organized nation proceeded to induct states into the Union and the tenth state to be inducted was Virginia in 1788. Not long after
Virginia’s incorporation Kentucky was added to the union, in 1792 becoming the fifteenth state (Draper 1998: xix). A new western county was carved out of Russell County in 1793 (Brown 1937:507) and was named Lee County in honor of Henry “Light Horse” Harry Lee (Gannett 1905:184). Lee was from a prominent Virginia family and had served in the Revolution as a cavalry officer in the Continental Army and then as a Major General in the U.S. Army (Royster 1981: 41,139). Lee also later played a major role in the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 (Royster 1981:137). Lee retired from military service and became the ninth Governor of Virginia in 1791 after a successful term of office in the Virginia Assembly (Royster 1981:14). During his tenure as governor, Lee dealt with many Indian conflicts in western Virginia (Royster 1981:125-126) Lee’s work to secure settlers’ safety in the western corner of Virginia was acknowledged when the westernmost county of Virginia was named after him (Royster 1981:126). The new county lacked a location to conduct court business and in 1794 put forth a petition to the General Assembly which asked that Fredrick Jones’ land be used for court proceedings (Appendix A). Jonesville, the first official township, was named the county seat in 1794 after the approval of the petition. The petition also included signatures of many of the 1794 residents (Appendix A). At that time, the county also included the geographical areas of present-day Scott and Wise Counties. These counties were not yet separated from Lee, Russell and Washington Counties and wouldn’t be until the nineteenth century. After Jonesville was named the county seat, Governor Shelby of Kentucky hired Joseph Crockett and James Knox in 1796 to widen and improve the Wilderness Road
marked by Boone in 1775 (Kincaid 2005:189-191). Crockett and Knox redefined the exact path and officially named the road “Wilderness Road,” separating it from Boone’s original path which was then known as Boone’s Road (Kincaid 2005:189-191). Although the path served as a main road through Lee County it was not the only road in existence. Petitions from the 1790s brought by inhabitants of Lee County to the General Assembly of Virginia requested funds and the appropriation of taxes to build or maintain roads throughout the county. As the nineteenth century began in Lee County, more and more people called Powell’s Valley home and even more people passed through, moving westward on Crockett and Knox’s new Wilderness Road.
Growth in the Nineteenth Century Lee County, Virginia
The establishment of Lee County in 1793 began a period of expansion and progress in southwestern Virginia. The nineteenth century brought increased growth; however, information on this period of development is sparse. There are two important factors to consider about nineteenth-century Lee County. First, in 1800 Lee County included the majority of both present-day Scott and Wise Counties, which means that the early Lee County eighteenth- and nineteenth-century histories include a larger geographic region than present-day Lee County. The records still in existence from the time before, 1814 for Scott County and 1837 for Wise County, can be found in all, any, or none, of the Lee, Russell, Washington, Scott and Wise Counties’ courthouse records as a result of the years in which the new counties were created. Second, the Lee County Courthouse was burned during the Civil War and while the records did survive they were severely damaged in a later fire (McKnight 2006:180).
The growth of southwest Virginia, east Tennessee and Kentucky was a direct result of the Wilderness Road. As home to one of the main western thoroughfares, Lee County experienced a large number of migrant settlers throughout the nineteenth century. As discussed above, at the turn of the century Crockett and Knox were hired to redefine the Wilderness Road in 1796. During this visit they recorded staying with a Mr. Ewing on their way to clear the Wilderness Road from Crab Orchard to the Cumberland Gap (Kincaid 2005:192). The improvements made by Knox and Crockett opened the area for further westward expansion and in twenty years the population had grown to record numbers. As Williams (2002:117) states “the 1820 census recorded only 24,000 people in the core of Appalachian portion of the state [Kentucky], compared to 154,000 in western Virginia and 131,000 in east Tennessee.” During the first part of the nineteenth century the Wilderness Road area grew around more established houses like that of Mr. Ewing. Although no maps mention small communities besides Jonesville, Stone Gap, or Rose Hill until 1891, written records of these small communities are more numerous and include petitions from the county to the General Assembly of Virginia. The high growth rates recorded on the post route in addition to original documents such as the original voting petition for the creation of Scott County, list the places where votes were taken and provide information on the population of Lee County during the early 1800s.
The majority of the first documents of the nineteenth century deal with practical needs and improvements to the county. An 1802 petition from the inhabitants of the town of Jonesville to the General Assembly of Virginia asks for an additional two year extension to make improvements previously agreed upon (Appendix A). The inhabitants
list three primary reasons for the delay, which speaks to the current challenges facing residents in 1800 southwestern Virginia:
1st because from the sequestered situation of this county it is exherently difficult and sameliness impractical to procure the material we employ for building– which the county does not produce 2nd because …. And others we employ tradesmen cannot be at all times be had …and 3rd because machines for preparing timber and other materials are very scarce. (Appendix A)
Though the population was “sequestered” in 1802 it quickly grew and by 1806 the first petition for the creation of a new county was brought to the General Assembly from the residents of Lee, Washington, and Russell Counties. The new county petition stated the main reason for the request was that the “nearest courthouse is from Thirty-five miles, to forty… difficult water courses and in a place so divided by mountains….” (Appendix A: Page 30-1). The petition includes four pages of signatures from inhabitants requesting the addition of a new county. This request was not granted, and the inhabitants of Lee, Russell, and Washington Counties petitioned the General Assembly again on October 17th 1814 (Appendix A: Page 30-2). In 1813 a counter-petition was sent to the General Assembly of Virginia listed under the Russell County records, though with significantly fewer signatures than the earlier petitions for a new county (Appendix A: Page 30-3). An 1814 petition contained full provisions of boundaries, court dates, and justices, along with several more pages of signatures, and was passed on November 24, 1814. It resulted in the creation of Scott County (Addington 1992:4) which reduced the size of Lee County.
Lee County’s growth was impacted by two national events that took place between 1800 and 1814. The first event was the Louisiana Purchase on December 20,
1803 (Deutsch 1967:50). French General Laussat passed the territory to two generals appointed by President Jefferson, General Wilkinson and General Claiborne from the Mississippi territory, who took possession of the land for the United States. This opened the Louisiana Purchase for westward expansion (Deutsch 1967:50). The addition of such vast quantities of western land only increased the migration through Lee County as western expansion continued. As more people passed through the Cumberland Gap many of them settled in Lee County and the population of the area continued to increase, as evidenced in the 1820 census (Williams 2002:117).
The second event was the War of 1812 which lasted three years. A proclamation appeared in the Richmond papers on June 25, 1812 with a presidential announcement, “…that WAR exists between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the dependencies thereof, and the United States of America and their territories…” (Virginia Argus, 25 June 1812: pg. 2 col. 4). The end of the War of 1812 in February of 1815, and the recent addition of Scott County in November of 1814, further encouraged the development of southwestern Virginia and affected not only the population but the economic resources of the residents. Records for the collection of pensions from service during the War of 1812 are common documents from this time period. These pensions were an important source of income for the agricultural families in the region and provided a steady source of income in the early years of the county’s development.
Increasing settlement in the region resulted in more boundary changes in the county during the first half of the nineteenth century. On December 11, 1822 a petition from the inhabitants of Scott County requested a change in the boundary line between Scott and Lee Counties (Appendix A). The change was granted, and caused all lands west
of Powell’s Mountain to be included in Lee County because of the inconvenience of crossing the mountains for court or business (Appendix A). Other petitions sent to the General Assembly of Virginia after 1822 related to surveying, building, or improvements of roads through Lee County; indicative of the growth occurring in the region. As growth continued, Lee, Russell and Scott Counties petitioned for the addition of a new county in 1837 and again in 1852. This county, approved in 1858, was known as Wise County (named after Henry Alexander Wise, the Virginia Governor at the time). The separation of Wise County from Lee County decreased the size of Lee County to its present-day geographic boundaries. Residents within Wise, Scott, and Lee Counties continued to struggle with the issue of transportation until almost the turn of the century.
The majority of residents in southwestern Virginia during the time from 1800-1870 were listed on census records as farmers (United States Census Bureau Federal Census 1820, 1840, 1865). Agriculture was an important economy of Appalachia, and due to the lack of mass transportation, subsistence was a primary lifestyle for the majority of residents during this time. According to Williams (2002:118), “the crop known as Indian corn unified the diverse agriculture of the Appalachian region during the period between the Indian conquests and the Civil War”. Corn was easily grown and accessible and the distilled whiskey was a product that could be transported to local markets without the need for railway lines. Appalachia at this time provided timber and agriculture market goods. In Lee County, timber was exported from the more mountainous northern part of the county while the southern region relied more heavily on agriculture.
Slavery was a major national issue during the first half of the nineteenth century, although the majority of southwestern Virginia residents did not own slaves. According
to Williams (2002:125), “Appalachia differed significantly from both of its parent regions, Pennsylvania and the plantation south.” An emphasis on cotton industries set the region apart from its slowly commercializing northern neighbors, while a general lack of reliance on slavery placed Appalachia in a separate category from the South (Williams 2002:126). Although not as prevalent as in other parts of the south, slavery was present in Appalachia as a part of its economy, which primarily included, “…ironmaking, salt making, and mountain resorts” (Williams 2002:126-127). This differed from the rest of the South, where slaves were the major source of labor for plantation economies. In the Appalachian South iron-making required large quantities of timber, cut and moved by mostly slave labor, to support the massive furnaces required to convert the resources into valuable metals (Williams 2002:127). Salt-making was a mining practice that involved difficult labor done by slaves (Williams 2002:129). While mountain resorts and tourism were a part of the Appalachia economy due to the picturesque scenery, this was less of an economic factor in southwest Virginia (Williams 2002:132-133).
Online searches for slaves within the Lee County 1840 (National Archives and Records Administration 1840) United States Federal Census shows approximately 398 slaves in Lee County, Virginia; however, the burning of the courthouse records makes obtaining more definitive data difficult. McKnight (2006:17) estimates the slave population of Lee County at 787 or 7.67% of the county’s total population in 1850 (McKnight 2006:17). By 1860, total slave population increased, but percentages of Lee County slave population decreased only slightly (7.47%) (McKnight 2006:18). The change in slave versus total population during the period from 1850-1860, according to McKnight, is actually a downward trend as compared to other slave-holding states.
Unlike other surrounding Appalachian counties whose slave populations fluctuated, Lee County consistently had the fifth-highest percentage of slaves (McKnight 2006:18).
Following the national election in November 1860, discontent about the slavery issue resulted in a string of state secessions. South Carolina left the Union first before Christmas soon followed by Alabama and Georgia in January. In Appalachia, William notes (2002:158) that it was, “delegates from the mountain districts of each state casting most of the votes recorded against secession.” Virginia seceded in April. Kentucky adopted a policy of armed neutrality to protect the peace within her own borders (Williams 2002:159). The areas of Northwestern Virginia and East Tennessee met separate of their states to propose state division should secession be approved (Williams (2002:159) and this resulted in the creation of West Virginia later in the war (Williams 2002:159). The Appalachian region had large portions of people with Union or apathetic sentiments from the non-plantation communities of the mountains. William’s suggests “that the greater the stake an individual had in the existing order of things, the greater his propensity to “go with his state” into the Confederate service, whether as solider or citizen” (Williams 2002:165). The counties of northwest Virginia stood as the model for such Unionist sentiments.
As expected, the Civil War had an impact on the people of Appalachia. The subsistence lifestyle common in Appalachia relied on male household members as primary breadwinners. Most did not own slaves. Conscription attempted to remove men from the home to fight the war, but it caused hardships at home and desertion in the field. As Williams (2002:175) states, “Their willingness to fight locally carried no weight with the service” and resulted in mass desertion and draft evasion throughout Appalachia.
Men in one area could easily end up fighting the war on both sides, according to Williams. As he (2002:163) states, “in east Tennessee and southwest Virginia, there were men who returned home either as Confederate deserters or as veterans whose enlistment had expired, and who then fled over the mountains into Kentucky and the federal army rather than surrender to the Confederate draft. ”
In Appalachia, the lack of a railway system greatly affected the war’s effects on the region. The railway system was built in a patchwork pattern in the mid-nineteenth century and often bypassed older communities and traditional trade routes, such as the Wilderness Road and southwest Virginia, because of its emphasis on the transportation of goods to coastal areas (Williams 2002:152). In addition, completing the rail lines resulted in a patchwork of lines across the South, particularly in Virginia (Williams 2002:152). In Lee County, the entire county was bypassed by rail lines until after the Civil War as evident in the 1857 map (Figure 4). Williams’ argues (2002:152) that because of the lack of continuity in Southern railroads, troop movements during the Civil War, which mainly followed railway supply lines, resulted in guerrilla warfare in the form of skirmishes and ambushes throughout the Appalachian region (Williams 2002:152).
Figure 4 A new map of the state of Virginia: exhibiting its internal improvements, roads, distances, &c (Young 1857)
Civil War in Southwestern Virginia
The 64th Virginia Mounted Infantry Regiment fought at many of the skirmishes in East Tennessee as well as at the 1863 battle for Cumberland Gap and the1864 battle of Jonesville; however, the regiment was far from the most efficient unit (Weaver 1992):
From a military point of view, the history of the entire regiment hinged on the first nine days of September 1863. The capture of two-thirds of the regiment’s effective force at Cumberland Gap was never overcome. The 64th’s first regimental commander, Campbell Slemp, was cashiered from service for disobeying orders. Auburn Pridemore and the other field and staff officers, however, were apparently no better at military discipline than Slemp was. In-fighting among the 64th Virginia Mounted Infantry’s regimental and brigade officers destroyed a potentially valuable group of soldiers for the Confederacy. (Weaver 1992)
Despite having one of the lowest battle casualty rates of the Confederacy, the death rate was “horrendous” in no small part because the majority of soldiers were Union prisoners-of-war at Camp Douglas (Weaver 1992). Lieutenant Colonel Pridemore lost the majority of his men to Union ambushes set up by “some Union man in the country” (McKnight 2006:181). In addition to losses suffered in battle, the regiment’s size was adversely affected by illness; the 64th Virginia Mounted Infantry Regiment was reduced to less than 50 soldiers mainly because of disease (National Park Service 2016).
Few records survive on the initial volunteers or those that were conscripted from Lee County; however, the September 1st, 1862 roster of the 64th Virginia Mounted Infantry Regiment Company I lists a total of 68 men from Lee County registered in service to the Confederacy (Appendix A). The roster includes names, age, and physical description, county of origin, occupation, and enlistment information. The men who served in Company I were composed largely of farmers whose ages ranged from 18-44.
They served under William Collier and were one of eleven companies in the 64th Mounted Infantry. According to Weaver (1992) “the 64th Virginia Mounted Infantry Regiment and its precursor unit, the 21st Virginia Infantry Battalion, were recruited in the autumn of 1861 in Lee, Scott, Wise and Buchanan counties.” The regiment was first officially organized in December, and then reorganized in September of 1863; it saw action shortly thereafter in the county.
Despite the lack of rail lines in the county, the war placed Lee County in both a significant and dangerous position. Lee County bordered both Union (neutral) Kentucky and Union-leaning east Tennessee, and was geographically close to the new Union state of West Virginia. This situation made southwest Virginia a skirmish and raiding locale. The Cumberland Gap was a significant investment as a gateway to Tennessee and Kentucky for both sides.
The first attempt to take Cumberland Gap was by Union troops led by General George W. Morgan in June 1862 (Luckett 1964:314). Luckett (1964:314) states that “Morgan who had already pushed through Rogers’ and Big Creek gaps occupied Cumberland Gap June 18, 1862, reporting that, ‘after two weeks of maneuvering we have taken the American Gibraltar without the loss of a single man.” Union control did not last, and the Confederacy regained control in September after General Morgan disregarded Union orders and retreated (Luckett 1964:315). General Morgan’s retreat allowed for the easy reoccupation of Cumberland Gap by Confederate troops (Luckett 1964:315).
The second battle of Cumberland Gap can be described as a bloodless fiasco for the Confederacy. The Virginia 64th , under the leadership of Colonel Campbell Slemp,
fought under General John W. Frazer with the 5th Tennessee Brigade (Weaver 1992) (Luckett 1964:316). Union Major General Ambrose E. Burnside, surrounded the Gap and outnumbered Confederate forces three to one between September 7-9, 1863 which allowed him to capture the Gap in a bloodless surrender. According to Luckett (1965:316) Frazer surrendered “approximately 2,200 men and twelve pieces of field artillery.” Union forces maintained control of the Cumberland Gap for the remainder of the war.
Union occupation in Lee County did not necessarily preclude total control of the county. Cumberland Gap geographically resides a few hundred yards east, in Tennessee with the closest resources available located in Lee County (Middlesboro, Kentucky was not established until 1890). Incursions into Lee County were common and Union raiding parties often replenished supplies from Lee County residents, which included willing and unwilling supporters of the Union. One such incursion resulted in the burning of the Lee County courthouse. In late October 1863 a Union force pushed west from the Gap to Jonesville. The county clerk at the time had removed the records to an isolated farm house (McKnight 2006:180). The Union occupation of Jonesville triggered events that led to the Battle of Jonesville. Pridemore, a resident of Scott County, had lost too many men to protect the county from raiding parties and reported his lack of supplies, men, and resources faced with the occupation of Jonesville to Colonel Giltner (McKnight 2006:181). The loss of Pridemore’s men was in no small part due to ambushes of Union soldiers arranged by various county residents with Union sentiments (McKnight 2006:181). Giltner, Slemp, and Pridemore’s combined forces at Jonesville with Slemp’s, and “the Confederates succeeded in capturing an estimated 450 Union Soldiers near
Jonesville during the first week of 1864” (McKnight 2006:181). The Confederate victory in Jonesville secured Confederate control in Lee County for the remainder of the war. Tensions were high in the area as Union forces controlled Cumberland Gap and Confederate forces controlled Jonesville. The proximity of these two areas likely made life in Lee County difficult for the remainder of the war (Figure 1).
Richard G. Lowe’s article Virginia’s Reconstruction Convention. General Schofield Rates the Delegates, describes the southwestern representatives and corroborates John Williams thoughts on the sentiments of ‘mountain folk’:
…the handful from Southwest Virginia, had begun the war as Confederate soldiers and supporters. As time passed and victory eluded the South, these small farmers and hundreds of others from the southwestern hills had simply tired of the drudgery and pain of war, walked away from their campfires, and returned to their homes. For the remainder of the war they had had to dodge Confederate troops sent to fetch them back to camp. At times, the contest between the deserters and the regular troops had flared into open battle. By 1865 many of the deserters had become bitter enemies of the Confederacy and everything connected with it. The Republican Party was a natural receptacle for these mountain folk.(Lowe 1972:344)
The southern states were ordered to adopt the Fourteenth Amendment and ratify their state constitutions, which the assembled delegates did in 1867, although tensions between both sides lingered (Lowe 1972:341; Williams 2002:187). After the war, new delegates were elected to the State Legislature. Representatives at the reconstruction convention in Richmond representing Lee, Scott and Wise Counties were listed as, “Andrew Milbourn. Farmer. Native and always loyal [to the Union]. Wealthy. Republican ….Charles Duncan. Merchant. Original Secessionist. Was a Lieutenant in Rebel Army. Unreconstructed” (Lowe 1972:356).
Coal and Rail in the County
The biggest post-Civil War change for the county was the installation of the railroad and the development of mining at the turn of the century. An 1881 book by civil engineer C.R. Boyd (1881) described the resources in the region. Boyd’s aim was to attract mining companies to take advantage of these resources which included “iron ores and splendid areas of almost unparalleled coal veins, with matchless timber.” The only thing lacking was accessibility to markets (Boyd 1881:213).
Boyd’s description of Lee County highlighted the lack of transportation in and out of the county. Boyd considered all of Lee County valuable to the state not only because of its boundaries but also because of the abundant resources and picturesque landscape (Boyd 1881:212). The 1860 Virginia Tennessee Rail Road bypassed Lee County, choosing to cross into Virginia at Bristol (Williams 2002: Map 3 pg. 150). Lee County was not connected by train until 1886 when the Knoxville Louisville Cumberland Railroad was built. The railroad became an essential part of the coal mining industry that began fully developing in the early twentieth century in the northern part of the county at towns like Crab Orchard (later known as KeoKee), St. Charles, and Pennington Gap, whose economy was based on mining (Figure 1).
Overall, the development of non-agricultural industries in the 1890s and early 1900s was concentrated in the northern half of Lee County. The southern region, close to the Cumberland Gap, continued to focus on and further develop agriculture. Maps from this time (Digital Commonwealth: Massachusetts Collections Online) catalog the development of Lee County’s many towns. Table 2 reveals the rapid changes between 1891 and 1895 of the communities mapped within the county. Postal route maps of
Virginia and surrounding states are the key to understanding the population of Lee County at the turn of the century (Figures 5-8). An 1891 map of Lee County postal routes (Figures 5, 6 and 7) (similar in geographic region to present-day) included six mail routes that received mail two or three times a week while Jonesville and lines along the railroad and between Pattonsville in Scott County and Rose Hill received mail six times a week. The number of deliveries marked on the postal routes indicates the population growth during this time from the 1891 map (Table 2) (Figures 5, 6, and 7) (Roeser 1891) and the 1895 map. Also noted on the 1891 Post Route map is the distance between each stop was never more than thirteen miles; usually the small communities were only five or six miles apart. Only four years later in 1895 the communities marked on the post routes display no communities receiving mail less than three times a week (Table 2) (Figures 6 and 7). Additionally, the distance between towns also decreased with the largest mileage listed (10 miles) between Towell to Jonesville and from Jonesville to Milt. The presence of these small towns also marks the development of town and country mercantile stores.
Table 2 1891-1895 Lee County Communities
(Adapted from Postal Route Maps Roeser 1891 and Von Haake 1895) 1891Communities 1895 Additional Communities
Figure 5 Postal Route Legend for Figures 5-8 (Adapted from Roeser 1891)
Figure 6 1891 Post route Map of Lee County, Virginia (Roeser 1891)
Figure 7 1891 Lee County: Post Route Map (Adapted from Roeser 1891)
Figure 8 1895 Lee County: Post Route Map (Adapted from Von Haake 1895)
Twentieth Century Lee County, Virginia
Southwestern Virginia’s industrial developments in the twentieth century are marked by the sharp growth and decline of the coal mining industry, the World Wars, and the development of state and national parks. The completion of the L&N railway line through Lee County around the year 1886 hastened the development of industry in the area (Lee County History Book 1992). Post-Civil War economies of both the North and South sharply diverged, and Appalachia straddled the line between them (Williams 2002:251). The Appalachian industrial movement merged northern industrial opportunities, creating coal mines, and southern agricultural labor practices (Williams 2002:252). Appalachian industry was concentrated on three resources: iron, timber and coal. The rapid development of all three industries was essential to the advancement of Lee County. The mountainous northeastern part of the county was heavily involved in coal mining and exploiting the mineral resources first noted by Dr. Thomas Walker in 1749. William (2002:242) notes, “These resources — especially wood and coal– were essential to the expansion of American cities and industry that took place between 1880 and 1930.” By contrast, the southwestern part of the county remained an agricultural center and by the end of the twentieth century included recreational tourism with the development of both national and state parks. Most information from this time is found in newspaper archives. The Big Stone Gap Post in Wise County began printing news in 1890, another indicator of growth in the region.
Timber, coal’s predecessor as an economic giant, fueled the local iron foundries. Middlesboro, Kentucky was a primary location for many foundries that developed at the turn of the century, providing a high demand for initially timber and later coal and coke.
Timber was a simple and consistent resource for much of Appalachia’s subsistence economy (Williams 2002:247). Foundries used huge amounts of timber which resulted in the creation of sawmill towns. These were a precursor to later company towns (Williams 2002:247). In 1901 a sawmill opened in Big Stone Gap by R. L. Brown and is noted as being only the second of its kind in the region (Cox 2007:18). Williams (2002:252) notes “one mill was at Appalachia and the other in the Valley below the town. It took about fifty men to supply the mills with logs. When running at full capacity, the two mills could cut about 30,000 feet of lumber per day” (Cox 2007:18). However, the subsequent consequences of deforestation on the landscape were devastating. In nearby West Virginia, “as late as 1870, two-thirds of West Virginia was covered by old-growth forest, amounting to at least 10,000,000 acres. By 1900 this figure was reduced by half; in 1910 by more than four-fifths” (Williams 2002:250). Sawmills and the timber industry were significant precursors to coal mines.
Coal mining was the primary energy source and economic industry for Appalachia throughout the Iron Age (Williams 2002:252). Coal and coke fueled the American industries’ ever-expanding desire for iron and eventually steel (Williams 2002: 253). The production of these important resources built the skyscrapers and the ships in large cities, placing the bedrock of such technological advances in the hands of Appalachian miners and loggers. Investment companies, and other businesses flocked to places such as Big Stone Gap, where rich deposits were quickly found and development plans implemented in a few short years (Southwestern Virginia Museum 2015). This growth was spurred by the late nineteenth-century development of the railroad. As Williams states (2002:257), “the ease with which Appalachia coal could be mined once
rail connections were established, along with the region’s lower wage scales, compensated for the operators’ greater distance from northern and Midwestern industry” (Williams 2002:257). Lee County, located on the southern edge of what was known as the Southwest Virginia coal fields, was in an ideal location to service this industry (Cox 2007:18). Coal investors and land speculators arrived in Big Stone Gap in 1882-1883, starting a variety of coal and coke companies that would eventually spread into Lee County (Williams 2002:256). Lee County however, as noted in the previous section, did not gain the appropriate rail and transportation accommodations until relatively late in the 1880s and early 1890s. This lack of development prevented many of the investors from further developing mining interests until after 1900 and even then company owners had already bought land (Cox 2007:22). Though the Louisville and Nashville railway had been completed and passed through the heart of Lee County, the rail line did not reach the coal-rich settlements. Development plans therefore, especially for Lee County, were made with the understanding that railway lines would have to be developed (Cox 2007:22).
The small mountain community of Crab Orchard came to the forefront of this development in Lee County through the surveys and purchases of mineral-rich lands by the Inter-State Investment Company in 1894 (Cox 2007:16). The lands purchased by the Inter-State Investment Company were leased after years of negotiations with and to Charles Page Perin, a New York investor, for the purposes of coal mining and coke making (Cox 2007:22). Perin’s development plans according to Cox came to fruition in 1907 (Cox 2007:22).
This agreement resulted in the further development of rail lines in Lee County. The new line arranged by Perin were built by Black Mountain Railroad and later became a part of the Virginia and Southwestern Railroad Company completion in October 1907 (Cox 2007:31). Crab Orchard was renamed Keokee, after the name of Perin’s new Lee County Coal and Coke Company (Cox 2007:29). The two main mining operations in Lee County were centered out of Keokee and St. Charles.
In 1914, the Southern Rail Road Company presented a committee report of the transportation of coal in Southwestern Virginia; this included Lee County. Coal production for Lee County in 1910 was, according to a congressional report, 797,096 tons but by 1913 this had decreased to 763,315 tons, a decrease of 4.4% over the three-year period (United States Congress Senate Committee on Naval Affairs 1914:665). A special note was made in the year 1910, stating that the “Virginia and Southwestern Railway (Southern Railway) advanced its coal rates from Lee County to the southeast in 1910” (United States Congress Senate Committee on Naval Affairs 1914:665). Such large amounts of coal from Lee County were produced by the many mines in the area; however, mines like Keokee would eventually slow in output and the mines closed in the following decades. Keokee was a part of what is commonly known as the Big Stone Gap Coalfield. The coal company that has been the most successful in the Lee County area coalfields was the Stonega Coke and Coal Company. The company was absorbed into Westmoreland Coal Company in the 1960s; however, Westmoreland removed themselves from the Southwestern Coalfield in 1995 after relocating to Colorado (Westmoreland Coal Company 2016).
For Lee County-specific mines, such as Keokee, Cox notes that, “defining a closing date for the Keokee mines is not easy. The last date a large tonnage of coal was profitably produced was in 1927, but through 1932 the company mined “domestic coal” for heating the homes of the Keokee residents. No coal was mined after 1933” (Cox 2007:48). Despite the decrease in coal production by the 1930s, a culture associated with coal mining developed and flourished. Learned through familial traditions, it “…inspired an extraordinary volume of occupational lore and music, a culture that continues to flourish and adapt, even though the technology and the formalized system of training for new miners have changed drastically over the last fifty years” (Williams 2002:259).
The remote nature of these work forces continued the Appalachian tradition of autonomy; however, it was also open to exploitation by outside investors. Labor reforms grew to be the industry’s biggest problem, brought about by the determination of the inhabitants of the small settlements through the issue of unionization, which, “in central Appalachia, lasted from the 1890s to the 1940s, to be revived anew in 1978 and 1999” (Williams 2002:259). In particular, 1912 was a year filled with mining strikes, especially in West Virginia. Mining companies used local media to combat stories of unfair labor practices. The Wise County newspaper The Big Stone Gap Post, records a different story for the mines around Big Stone Gap in May of 1912. An article on the front page of the May 8, 1912 edition entitled Miners and Operators Are Always Together in Southwestern Virginia by W. D. Roberts reported no such problems. As it states “after studying labor conditions in many mining districts in this county, and with strikes prevailing in many sections it is refreshing to find as I have here, perfect agreement and concord between the operators and the men” (The Big Stone Gap Post [TBSGP], May 8,1912: page 1). The
article quotes the Vice-President and General Manager of the Stonega Coke and Coal Company that the company currently employed about four thousand people and wanted to take on more. The reliability of W. D. Roberts in his assessment of happy mountain folk may not have been fully credible and is evidence of the bias local newspapers showed towards the mining operations during the early twentieth century. Entire communities were company towns and the remote nature of these communities allowed the companies to, “lower overhead costs at the mines by exploiting these captive communities” (Williams 2002:259). Company towns were places where the majority of resources and assets were owned by the company. Designed to keep individuals continually in the low-paid workforce, company towns worked as a system of perpetual debt (Southwest Virginia Museum 2015). The poor living conditions and wages resulted in strikes, the most successful and arduous of which were organized by labor unions. Union strikes across Appalachia were most strongly felt in the four coal wars in West Virginia (Williams 2002:270). The raising of wages, living conditions, and other important community needs were advocated for across the region by union workers; however, the results were always mixed and often negative for workers (Williams 2002:270).
National events were also affecting the mountain communities during this time. In 1902 a new constitution was adopted by the newly-elected majority Democratic Virginia government, ensuring public and private segregation, which lasted until the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s (Holt 1968:904). As the country entered World War I, a military company was established in Big Stone Gap. The local paper suggested that locals who wished to serve with friends should seriously consider the remaining forty open spots in
Company H (TBSGP, June 13, 1917:1). A highlight of joining listed in the article was the “increased pay from $15.00 to $30.00 per month…with room board and clothing free, amounts to practically $75.00 per month…” (TBSGP, June 13, 1917:1). The financial benefits both of payment and potential pensions were positive incentives that provided opportunities beyond coal mining for workers in the area. These incentives in southwestern Virginia encouraged many to join; as a result, many people from Lee County served in both the first and second world wars (Lee County Pictorial History).
By the 1930s, the Great Depression was nationwide. So-called “work-make” programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) were started to stimulate the economy. Of these programs, the CCC had the largest direct effect on Lee County. People from Lee County area were organized through Jonesville into a CCC work group and were used throughout the country.
Similarly, the National Park Service (NPS), the U.S. Forestry Service (USFS), and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) have had a large impact on the region (Williams 2002:289). In Lee County the creation of the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, approved by Congress in 1940, is probably the best example of the impact such programs have had on the region (Luckett 1964:317). The approval stipulated that park lands would come from Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky, and would encompass no more than 50,000 acres (Luckett 1964:318). As Luckett (1964:318) states, “accordingly, the three states began purchasing lands which at the time of acceptance by the Federal Government, September 14, 1955, amounted to 20,184 acres. Of this acreage, Kentucky had contributed 10,679; Virginia, 7,478; and Tennessee, 2,027.” In Lee County
this land was located just west of Ewing, Virginia to Middlesboro, Kentucky and parts of Harrogate, Tennessee (Luckett 1964:318).
The landscape that Thomas Walker had first written about was almost nonexistent by 1920 as a result of the logging and coal industries (Williams 2002:250). Large tracts of land were bought from residents to create the national parks and forests of today. The people who occupied the land slated for the national park were multigenerational landowners who were using the land to provide for their families. The acquisition of land, albeit with the intention of landscape conservation and preservation, did not adequately account for those living on the land (Williams 2002:289). The lands were sold willingly and unwillingly at low prices, putting families at an economic disadvantage and incurring deep resentments that continued for a long time. Landowners who opposed the sale of land to the state “faced the condemnation of their property in the courts” (Wiley 2014:29). Despite this resistance, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park was officially dedicated on July 4, 1959 and was the largest unit of its kind at the time (Luckett 1964:318). The feelings surrounding the acquisition of park lands in Lee County were not adequately resolved; it wasn’t until the 50th anniversary of the park that it began interviewing surrounding communities about their history and ties to the land (Wiley 2014:29).
Later developments by the park system would prove less traumatic and were welcomed and supported by the community in the 1990s. Wilderness Road State Park located in Ewing, VA was purchased in 1993 by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and included the purchase of the Karlan estate (1870s antebellum home) and two hundred additional acres (Friends of Wilderness Road State
Park 2015). Grants and public support help boost the tourism industry in the county providing reenactments of Martin Station and retelling the history of the area to locals and visitors alike (Tennis 2014:238).
Population and income in present-day Lee County are similar to surrounding counties (United States Census Bureau 2017). According to the United States Census Bureau the 2015 population of Lee County was 24,742, a decrease of 3.3% since 2010 (United States Census Bureau 2017). The racial make-up of the county is 94.1% white, 4.3% African-American, .4% Native American and .3% Asian (United States Census Bureau 2017) According to the United States Census Bureau, the median household income for 2011-2015 was $31,086. The median national household income in the United States during this same period was $53,889 (United States Census Bureau 2017).
In terms of education, the 2015 data shows that 74.5% of Lee County residents over the age of 25 have a high school diploma but only 12.0% of persons have a Bachelor’s degree or higher (United States Census Bureau 2017). Primary elementary schools in Lee County are located in Dryden, Elydale, Elknob, Flatwoods, Rose Hill and St. Charles communities. Primary middle schools are located in Jonesville and Pennington Gap. Primary education on the high school level includes Lee High School, Thomas Walker High School, and the Lee County Career and Technical Center. A veterinary school serving as part of the Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN opened in 2015 in Lee County near Rose Hill.
Political affiliations in Lee County during the 2016 Presidential election according to the New York Times Virginia Results showed an overwhelming majority of
residents (80.6%) voted for Donald Trump, while only 17.4% voted for Hilary Clinton (1.1% voted for Gary Johnson) (The New York Times 2017). Lee County also voted primarily Republican in the U.S. House election, with 68.7% of Virginia District 9 voting for Republican representative Morgan Griffith (The New York Times 2017).
Present-day Lee County also includes many historical organizations such as The Lee County Historical and Genealogical Society, Wilderness Road State Park, Cumberland Gap National Park, and the Lee County Department of Tourism that operate to preserve the history of the area.
Chapter 3: Heritage Theory
Heritage is a complex topic that has many definitions. Heritage can be classified as tangible or intangible and official or unofficial (Anico and Paralta 2009:2). The growing number of heritage definitions in recent research has created a diverse platform for the discussion and expansion of heritage (Anico and Paralta 2009:2). Heritage, defined by groups of individuals within communities, is a term that uses objects to connect and explain a communal past as it is shaped and changed by the present. History has an important effect on heritage, usually as a part of heritage that binds the past to the present. Because heritage is both universal and local, it incorporates many facets. Universally, this includes history, but because all history is local, different aspects of heritage are emphasized by different communities. This chapter presents an overview of heritage theory and then examines specific aspects of heritage that are important to the local Lee County community.
One important aspect of heritage is its ability to be shaped and changed by the present society (Harrison 2012:3). Heritage is not contained only with physical objects or in the past. Harrison (2012) views heritage in an ever-evolving context:
Heritage is not a passive process of simply preserving things from the past that remain, but an active process of assembling a series of objects, places and practices that we choose to hold up as a mirror to the present, associated with a particular set of values we wish to take with us to the future.(Harrison 2012:4)
Harrison argues that heritage serves as a link between people and objects, both of the past and present, in a ‘dialogical model’ (Harrison 2012:5). By dialogical, he means that a main aspect of heritage, including its intangible nature, is the interaction of the past and the present which occurs with material objects. This active connection to the past is also suggested by Smith (2006:44) who describes heritage as, “a cultural process that engages with acts of remembering that work to create ways to understand and engage with the present.” Although Smith sees material objects, like sites, as less important than Harrison, such places of cultural significance are the physical manifestations of a community’s heritage which suggests they are important (Smith 2006:44; Ballard 2008:76). The term ‘heritage’ therefore denotes agency and should be seen as active. Heritage is continually evolving because it includes values and beliefs unique to any particular culture.
A second aspect of heritage that both Harrison and Smith discuss is its constant association with memory (Smith 2006:57; Harrison 2012:166). Heritage is a communally owned resource that, along with identity, is self-sufficient in both its creation and definition. As Smith (2006:59) states, “the forms of memory work most often associated with heritage are collective or social memory and habitual memory.” Memory is the defining factor of heritage, separating it from both the static material objects and history. As Smith shows, this is embodied in collective memory:
Collective memory is passed on and shaped in the present by commemorative events, and reshaped daily through transmission between members of the collective social or cultural group and the language they employ to frame and define those memories.(Smith 2006:59)
A third aspect of heritage is the expression of it through oral traditions. Oral traditions are a part of an intangible heritage; as such, they are more elastic by nature
(Harrison 2012:167). Communities, such as those in Lee County, are often bound together through shared history, which includes memories passed on through oral traditions. Conventionally, oral traditions could not be recorded and, therefore, were intangible and flexible. Beginning with historic times, written and now video recordings can limit the flexibility of oral traditions.
Oral traditions create common stories and practices that become part of a community’s heritage; therefore, logically, when a group determines their heritage above the individual level, those choices include or exclude which places, members, or parts of society are important to the community’s heritage. Harrison (2002:14) defines official heritage as “a set of professional practices that are authorized by the state and motivated by some form of legislation or written charter” and unofficial heritage as, “broad ranges of practices that are represented using the language of heritage, but are not recognized by official forms of legislation.” The values, beliefs, practices, and places are all still present in both types of official and unofficial heritage, but are based upon a communal validation of importance. The results of heritage, whether official or unofficial, cause certain cultural items to be assigned a higher importance. Power plays an important role in the determination of heritage, as stated by Harrison’s (2002:14) official and unofficial heritage. Therefore, the individuals in a community that determine an area’s collective heritage are most likely to be groups of individuals in power (Anico and Peralta 2009:1).
Communities that create communal heritage do so based upon, “credible memory collectively sanctioned and approved,” particularly determined by memories tied to specific historical events made manifest through material objects (Anico and Peralta 2009:2). Many parts of local culture within a community are not considered heritage until
such practices or traditions are perceived to be in danger, either from change or extinction (Anico and Peralta 2009:2). Heritage considered to be at risk often includes material objects such as older homes and sites within a community. Additionally, local accents and dialects are usually a form of unofficial heritage that are not captured through written documents, but can become a heritage marker of a region as local dialects become scarce (Harrison 2002:14).
Heritage, as discussed above, is influenced through communal traditions. Preserving these traditions is done both from inside and outside of a local community group. Recognition of heritage preservation often begins from an external source, including academic studies of a particular region like those completed at Berea College that record oral histories; however, in order to be successful such projects must actively recognize heritage as a constantly evolving community method rather than a historical narrative (Berea College 1973 Appalachian Oral History Project Collection). Smith (2006:13) further expands on the active nature of heritage by describing “the practice of heritage.” Smith (2006:13) states “the practice of heritage may be defined as the management and conservation protocols, techniques and procedures that heritage managers, archaeologists, architects, museum curators and other experts undertake.” Smith’s summation of the practice of heritage is based on primarily external heritage preservation; however, experts can be found within the local community and participate in actively preserving local heritage. Examples of internal preservation come from groups within the community or even individual families that undertake preservation of local history or traditions, such as oral histories and local historic or heritage societies.
As a result of the actively evolving nature of heritage, the majority of material heritage can only serve as a snapshot into the historical context of the time in which a local community determined a particular object important. The preservation of the object, which can sometimes include architectural structures, archaeological sites, and large-scale objects, for public consumption, usually due to financial upkeep and economic practicality, quickly becomes a part of area industry in the form of heritage tourism (Maeer 2014:60).
Tourism and travel are ways in which heritage is consumed economically in society. The exportation of heritage through tourism comes with its own particular challenges. Heritage tourism is defined by Wells (2006:10) as “the selective use and interpretation of the past (heritage) or aspects of the present (culture) and the trans-formation of these selected elements into products for tourist consumption.” The profiteering side of the tourism industry can prove problematic and dramatically shift a group’s portrayal sometimes to the point of fabrication; however, this is not always the case. Heritage projects, buildings, or sites can provide community value beyond usual market considerations and the internal valuation is often a powerful factor in tightknit communities. Maeer (2014) discusses the relationship between heritage and the economy and how community development causes the two to interact both directly and indirectly. The community benefits, which Maeer (2014:57-60) argues are the basis for economic significance, especially for heritage projects, include public valuation of the projects as well as the jobs, income, and monetary benefits. Maeer discusses the social community and individual volunteer benefits from heritage exploration; however, in small or underprivileged communities, economic factors are a larger concern (Maeer 2014:60).
The immediate economic concerns which often trump heritage exploration agree with Maeer’s theory (Maeer 2014:59) of the importance of public valuation on heritage projects.
The accessibility of heritage is a related issue. In an increasingly digital age, tourism may not be enough to support the financial needs of a community. The ability for people to access knowledge digitally must be balanced with physical resources in order to preserve and maintain heritage that is being shared externally from a local community. As Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (1995:375) states, “the most ambitious pilgrim can follow a circuit through the entire Indian subcontinent. Alternatively he can walk the circuit within a region, or within a town, or in a temple, or on a miniature map of India or contemplatively within his own mind.” The internet and digital access have opened heritage knowledge and material culture that previously had to be acquired through leisure travel. The monetary concerns, particularly for rural communities, have the ability to supersede authenticity and preservation and can become a primary concern in industries such as tourism where the communication of local heritage to outsiders is based on economic feasibility.
Traditional museums are composed of the buildings, heritage, collections, expert staff, and public visitors which can mostly be found in areas of larger population density and can be cut off from presenting current, local distinctiveness (Corsane 2009:52). Rural areas, however, are less capable of supporting a traditional museum, but are the perfect setting for an ecomuseum (Corsane 2009:52). An ecomuseum is defined as a “dynamic way in which communities preserve, interpret, and manage their heritage for sustainable development…based on a community agreement” (Corsane 2009:52). Ecomuseums,
which are not always digital, provide self-sustaining benefits because a community-run management in conversation with academia and others will be more likely to succeed due to the community’s integral involvement. Through working with community participants, heritage can be digitized to create a community space that combines what the community values and connects the already strong local resources without requiring the same financial demands. The emphasis on economic use of heritage is why digitization is often ideal for smaller regions where the community feels that sharing heritage is important, but lacks the physical and economic resources to support a traditional museum.
Heritage consists of multiple aspects and originates in a community’s relationship with its history. The concomitance of heritage, history, and culture in relation to objects or physical places always occurs within communities’ that are continually evolving and developing their own heritage. Tangible or intangible, official or unofficial, the social nature of human beings revolves around the nature of sharing significant events through honored traditions. Material culture, spoken and written word, and historical sites are the basis for how heritage is communicated. Heritage maintenance and communication often results in the development of new practices such as heritage tourism. So what is heritage? While inextricably tied to history, heritage is an actively evolving method of tradition preservation in relation to tangible objects; and its ability to be communally determined creates unique group identities. Prown (1982:1) defines material culture as, the “artifacts of the beliefs-values, ideas, attitudes, and assumptions-of a particular community or society at a given time.” Material culture therefore, refers to the artifacts that connect a community to its beliefs, values, ideas, attitudes and assumptions at a specific window of time (Prown 1982:1).
Chapter 4: Methodology
The ethnographic methods used in this thesis were approved through the International Review Board (IRB) certifications and committee at the University of Mississippi (Appendix B). In April 2015 a total of six documents were approved for distribution in Lee County, Virginia. These documents included community member surveys, community organization surveys, and educator surveys, (Appendices B-E). A total of three weeks of ethnographic field research were spent in May and June of 2015 building rapport, surveying, interviewing and spending time as a participant-observer within the community (Marvasti 2004).
While conducting research within Lee County I was able to spend time with several community organizations responsible for heritage and history management in the area. These included the staff of the Wilderness Road State Park, the Lee County Tourism Department, the Cumberland Gap National Park, and members of the Lee County Historical and Genealogical Society and the Lee County Quilters. I also visited with primary and secondary school office staff and principals at Dryden, Elk Knob, Flatwoods, Elydale, Rose Hill, St. Charles, Jonesville Middle School, Pennington Gap Middle School, Lee High School and Thomas Walker High School. Communication and research within the county was enabled by several primary informants already established by Dr. Maureen Meyers. A snowball sampling method (Biernacki and Waldorf 1981:144) was used to increase contacts, particularly with the Lee County Quilters and the
Wilderness Road State Park staff members, where the majority of survey responses were obtained. Family histories and material heritage were the primary materials gathered during informal interviews; in addition, oral histories were collected from informants.
Research conducted within the county included attending two community meetings. The first was an infrastructure and water development meeting at the Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine. The second was an open house with the Lee County Historical and Genealogical Society where members discussed past memories and the impact of small country stores on the community. The Southwestern Virginia Museum in Big Stone Gap located in Wise County, Virginia, was also helpful in establishing a formal background of local history that would later be expanded upon to compose a contextual basis for the website. Two trips to the local museums as well as to the Cumberland Gap National Park resulted in the identification of additional resources and individuals, some of whom were already conducting historical research in the area.
In addition to this ethnographic research, an online heritage website was created using WordPress to help the local historical and heritage organizations connect online. A separate page was created for the Lee County Quilters, with two main informants, along with a social media page to better connect the existing members. The creation of both quilting pages resulted in many more interactions with the community and it also resulted in the collection of several additional family stories about Lee County and quilting. Due to time constraints only a few surveys were completed by the end of my time in the field (June 2015) so a second survey was sent in September 2015. The second survey sent through email was less successful; however, personal interaction with community members via email and social media increased over time.
Later historical and heritage research was completed using information found through a variety of academic and public libraries in Virginia, Mississippi, and Alabama. Original documents and records were located in the Virginia digital archives (http://www.virginiamemory.com/collections/) as well as in the Lee County Courthouse and Lee County Historical Society’s collection. Digital collections were also used from Berea College, the University of Kentucky, and Lincoln Memorial University, all of which have significant information about Lee County through their Appalachian Studies programs.
Creating a virtual space for heritage and history for and by Lee County was the original stated purpose of research for this thesis. This changed and developed as the project continued. One change was the use of the website to discuss and address archaeological excavations and concerns in the community. The public interest created by the online resources further helped the heritage interviews conducted with residents as well as later contributions in the form of follow-up emails and surveys. The final stage, part of my appreciation for the community’s cooperation with my research, was to present the history and heritage sections of this thesis, as well as the website to the community in September 2016 and allow the information to be maintained and added to by Lee County beginning in May of 2017.
Chapter 5: Results
The primary data collected during this research was the ethnographic and survey information gathered in the field in Lee County during June 2015. The result of this research was the creation of a website dedicated to the history and heritage of the county: www.theleecountystory.com. This website was developed to provide the community with a heritage museum space without requiring the economic resources consumed by a physical museum building. Additionally, the website was created with community input and brings together organizations from Lee County in a virtual location.
The results of both the field and web research indicate a correlation between the importance of material culture from the past, such as quilting, and the values placed on heritage in the community. Family and kinship were the primary themes of almost all of the interactions that took place during research for this thesis. Multi-generational knowledge, both shared among community members and taught to younger members, was listed as an important factor in Lee County heritage. The incorporation of local history, including family history, with community input, was revealed to be important to the county residents. Lack of time was a major factor in the low number of responses and interviews gathered during field research, but through follow-up communications, more information was collected. The creation of the website serves as an example of the willingness of local organizations to work towards a common community goal of preservation and heritage management with academics, businesses, and individuals.
A total of nine community member surveys (Appendix C) were successfully collected from Lee County residents. Additionally, two local organizations, Wilderness Road State Park and Lee County Tourism, filled out organization-based surveys (Appendix D). Both surveys have an unfortunately small sample size. Although over 100 surveys were distributed in the county few were returned. Time constraints on field research heavily impacted the rapport built with the community and the time for community responses to be collected during June 2015.
The community respondents were 89% female and 11% male. This was a heavily female sample due to the fact that the primary group willing to be surveyed was the Lee County Quilters. The local quilting group is female-dominated, as is the hobby of quilting in the region. Some characteristics of these women are representative of the wider area; however, the data recorded via the surveys only includes six quilters and three other community members. Based on the small number of surveys that were returned, the responses cannot be representative of Lee County as a whole. Age was not asked on the surveys; however, length of time living in the area was collected and is shown in Table 2 as a box and whisker plot. Table 3 illustrates that the majority of the residents that responded had been in the area for at least 40 years and the skew of the plot below indicates that the majority of the participants had lived in Lee County much longer than 40 years. The years respondents listed as having resided in Lee County also means that the majority of those surveyed were over the age of 35. The time spent within the county also corroborates the United States Census Bureau Data in that only 84% had moved in the last year, according to the 2015 estimate of the population (United States Census
Bureau 2017). Because the survey was intentionally targeted at Lee County residents, no space was provided to record non-Lee County residents. The organization surveys, which were completed by the respective organization heads, indicated that in 2015, Wilderness Road State Park had been active for 21 years and Lee County Tourism had been active for 5 years. The organizational information was not included in Table 1 because the answers for organizations did not reflect individual residents.
Table 3 Box and Whisker Plot
How long have you lived in the Lee County area?
Sample size: 9
First quartile: 26.5
Third quartile: 55
Interquartile Range: 28.5
Survey Questions Results
Participants were asked on a Likert’s scale their assessment of “How knowledgeable do you feel about the history of your area (Including Pre-History)?” (Appendix C). Six participants identified themselves as being ‘Semi-Knowledgeable’ about the history of the area. Three of the respondents selected, ‘Not Very Knowledgeable’. Table 4 displays a pivot table comparing years lived in the county to knowledge of local history. Gender was also compared with the data in Table 4, but revealed no patterns since only one of the nine individuals was male. Local organizations were not asked how knowledgeable they felt due to their establishment being directly connected to the local distinctiveness or history of the area.
Table 4 Local Knowledge Compared to Years in County
Years Living in Lee County:
Sum of ‘Semi-knowledgeable’ Individuals
Sum of ‘Not Very Knowledgeable’ Individuals
There were no patterns found between years lived in the county and the residents’ knowledge of local history. Twice the number of people felt ‘Semi-Knowledgeable’ about area history and everyone who had lived in the county more than 60 years felt ‘Semi-Knowledgeable’ about local history. The lack of a pattern could indicate that historical knowledge is a matter of personal interest and, within this small sample, the
majority of individuals surveyed felt history to be interesting. A larger sample size would likely reveal clearer patterns; this small group of nine individuals was not enough to reveal any definitive statements between residential years and knowledge.
Part of my initial purpose in conducting this research was to discover if archaeology and artifacts were important to the community and to what degree they were important. Both the community residents and the organizations were asked to rank on a scale of 1 to 5 how important local history, archaeology, and artifacts were to them using the Likert’s scale (Table 5). It is important to note that the organizations were asked to identify how important the three categories were to the community rather than to directors personally (as individuals). Four of the nine community members ranked local history, archaeology, and artifacts as equally important with scores of either all 4s or all 5s. One organization also ranked all three to be equally important giving each category a score of 5. Some participants ranked archaeology below local history and artifacts in importance. One community member did not rank the importance of archaeology and, therefore, archaeology values were not comparable to the categories of local history and artifacts.
Table 5 Ranking of Importance: Local History, Archaeology, Artifacts
Answer Choice: (1)Not at all_______(2)________(3)_________(4)_________(5) Very
How important do you think local history is to your community on a scale of 1-5?
3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5
Community Member Average Ranking:
Mode: 4, 5
Overall Average Ranking:
How important do you think artifacts are to your community on a scale of 1-5?
2, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5
Community Member Average Ranking:
Overall Average Ranking:
****Not Comparable only 8 responses***
How important do you think archaeology is to your community on a scale of 1-5?
2, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5
Overall Average Ranking:
The averages of the community responses to the local history and artifacts categories show that individuals ranked the artifacts to be equally as important as the local history. This is significant because there is a clear correlation between the importance of past material objects (artifacts) and the importance of local history. Local history is a category very much subjective to individual bias and can be thought of as a sub-category of heritage because of the lack of specificity in the question. The ties between heritage and material objects, as discussed in Chapter 3, are based on an interaction of the past (history) and the present through the material objects (artifacts) ranked in Table 5. This became even more apparent through participant observation and the importance of other artifacts, particularly the quilts, when discussing the past. When the community member data and the organizational data are combined from Table 5, local history is ranked slightly above artifacts, which, if the sample size was larger, could indicate that the organizations perceive local history to be more important to the community than artifacts. The community members that were surveyed actually felt that local history and artifacts had equal importance based on the averages.
Another significant finding was that all nine community members (100%) agreed that community involvement in local history was important. Participant observation within the community and research on heritage theory both suggested that community involvement was a significant factor in defining communal heritage and an individual’s identification with local history narratives. The importance of community involvement combined with the emphasis placed on local history and artifacts establishes the community’s use of kinship to define the heritage and history of Lee County in addition to the material objects, most of which are maintained by individuals within the county.
The survey included an open-ended question asking participants to be more specific about which parts of community history were the most important and then to provide information about historical or heritage resources community members and organizations believed were needed in the county. Not all participants chose to answer the open-ended questions; however, the participants that did usually provided more than one answer. The answers to these questions were unique to individuals, but could be placed into several broad categories. The first open-ended question was “What is most important to you about the history of your community?” This particular question was asked only to the community members and not to the organizations, but yielded important information used to coordinate different aspects of the website.
In response to what was most important about the history of their community, the first historical category that stood out was that of preservation, recording, teaching, and learning. Almost every response included some variation of learning about the area’s past, listening to stories about the area and what it used to be like in Lee County, or keeping records about the history of the area in order to pass it on to the next generation. The residents of the county (over varying time periods) was a common theme of the preservation, stories, and records thought to be important and this was expanded usually by the qualifier ‘how the people lived in the county’. Additionally, area distinctiveness closely followed the responses about past residents. This included statements as broad as, “Preserving the history that shaped this region” and as specific as “Indian heritage”. Specific histories were also mentioned, such as, “churches, and schools”.
The second open-ended survey question was, “What historical resources do you think would be useful to others in your community?” and it was asked to both the organizations and the community members that participated in the survey. A complementary pattern between the first open-ended question and the second question was common. The history responses that listed preservation and then some part of local history expanded more specifically into what kind of resources could best preserve the history. For example, one participant in response to the first question stated, “The bridge from the past generation to the future generations” and then listed under resources, “genealogy resources”. Other common responses included “Books, Old records, Pictures”. One participant wrote, “Videos or films that could be loaned out to schools in this county and area citizens”.
Genealogy and family histories were the only cross-over category that was listed both as important parts of history and as resources that would be useful to the area. In particular, genealogy when combined with the data about community involvement and length of time in the county, in addition to interactions that took place in the community, clearly showed a communal value of kinship and the importance of those connections in Lee County. Specific answers that were counted under genealogy included: family, generations of people in Lee County, storytelling, and personal heritage.
Two of the answers that most encompassed the open-ended responses were specifically in response to “What historical resources do you think would be useful to others in your community?” The first wrote, “Website specifically for the Rose Hill, Ewing areas” and the second wrote, “Museums that provide information about several different time periods that influenced the region and shaped it into what we see today.”
These responses included both preservation and local distinctiveness themes, in addition to providing significant evidence that the website resource I was suggesting was important to the needs of those that I surveyed. Further evidence that a website could serve the county as a useful resource to preserve local history and artifacts and serve as a unique community museum came from the last question listed on the survey. Listed as a yes or no question on the both the community and organization surveys, “Do you think an online resource concerning local archaeology, history, and preservation would be helpful?” 11 ‘Yes’ responses and 0 ‘No’ responses were recorded. Additionally, though it was not an open-ended question one participant added, “Absolutely!” in response to this question. The unanimous response to the development of an online resource combined with the results from the other questions allowed for a basic outline of thing to include in the development of the website that would become www.theleecountystory.com.
Overall Survey Results
The small number of survey results greatly limits the overall implications of these data for the Lee County community. A lack of time to build the rapport necessary within the community was a major barrier to the improvement of the sample size, both during and after the survey process in the area. Survey results did provide important information leading to the development of online historical and heritage resources for the county. Preservation of information relating to the county’s distinctiveness, both shared among community members and taught to younger members, was listed as an important part of the local history and needed resources in Lee County. The incorporation of local history, including family history, with community input, was revealed to be important to the county residents and directly ties into the connections between artifacts, history, and
communities discussed in Chapter 3. When paired with the participant observation that took place in June 2015, many of the important survey points became even more relevant to the compilation of the research and information for the online heritage resource that was developed.
Participant Observation and Informal Interviews
From a total of three weeks of field research, from the end of May through mid-June, I was able to speak with and visit a variety of individuals and organizations within the county. The majority of my methods in the county utilized basic participant observation and occasionally conducting informal interviews with one or two individuals about particular topics. The main component to the development of a new online resource in Lee County was to become acquainted with the people and organizations in Lee County. My familiarity with the county, gained through my interactions and rapport-building activities, greatly enabled me to determine community priorities and build a better frame for the digital space. This meant field research beyond surveys, particularly because of low survey success, but also because of the goal that the community would be directly involved with the website’s creation and future. There were many organizations during the three-week field research that were able to speak with me and a small group of individuals that also helped in the site’s creation. Following the field research in the county, I was able to reach out to both my Lee County contacts and other Virginia organizations to further develop the digital space and my knowledge of the community.
Wilderness Road State Park was the primary organization that helped to connect me with the Lee County community during and after my field research. My primary location throughout my time in the county was at the state park where many community
members and local history buffs passed through during my field research in 2015. The park, established in the early 1990s, is located in the western portion of the county in Ewing. The park is home to an 1870s estate, known as the Karlan Mansion, and a reconstruction of Martin’s Station Fort with reenactors depicting 1775 frontier life seven days a week. The park staff was able to provide me with information about the school system, introduced me to local historians, and pointed me towards residents that were interested in contributing to the project. The state park, in many ways, was the beginning of my snowball sampling, mostly as the result of a few key individuals both at the park and in the community. Participant observation at the park showed me how important the organization believed preservation is within the community. This was particularly evident in the park’s priorities on the acquisition of important property and the educational outreach that took place at regular intervals during my stay.
The Lee County Tourism office was also a primary resource, and I was able to informally interview its director. Tourism is an important part of the community industry, especially for the state park, and information gathered from the tourism office showed that a need for genealogical resource development and local heritage were important to patrons of the tourism office. According to the tourism office, the majority of tourists chose to go to Lee County as a day trip and many were searching for genealogical records. This information was particularly important as, by this point in my field research, it was clear how important genealogy and family ties were in the area.
Family history, particularly an emphasis on the role family plays in the daily lives of Lee County residents, was a popular topic during all of the discussions with local community members; this theme was also evident in the later stories collected via email
from quilters in the county quilting society. Family is an important part of Lee County life and is a major theme that I identified in the heritage of Lee County. My family came to visit me during my last weekend in Lee County, which was a significant turning point of my research, particularly with rapport-building within the community. Following the introduction of my family, the community was far more open to my research in that I received invitations to lunch and residents who wanted me to record their family history. The key catalyst to building my rapport within the community was based on their trust of not just me, but also my parents. The transformation of their trust level in me, in turn, boosted the amount of participant observation and informal interview opportunities available to me during my field research.
Further evidence of the importance of kinship bonds and the core group that influenced the digital space’s development was the Lee County Quilters group. The quilters held a quilt exposition at one of the park events and, during that time, I was able to interact with many of the quilters and view their families’ work. In addition to the tables of quilts, the quilt show had a special exhibit where each quilter had brought their mothers’ or grandmothers’ quilts as a memorial and remembrance of their talents. This exhibit in particular stirred lots of memories for many of the visiting community members, even those that did not quilt, and allowed participants to further elaborate on both the tradition of quilting in the area and the importance placed on kinship. Kinship networks became even more significant in my interaction with the quilters following a three-hour joint informal oral history collection from three of the quilters. Memories were easily spoken of by individuals, and where one individual’s story finished, another’s
picked up, creating not only a communal storytelling method, but also a communal determination of value-placed relations and memory heritage in particular.
The Lee County Virginia Historical and Genealogical Society, a group whose building and museum collection are curated entirely through self-organized volunteers, was more difficult to establish contact with, but was a primary repository for the communal knowledge and history of the region, particularly genealogy trees and family genealogical books. The Historical and Genealogical Society has produced a bicentennial history of Lee County and a pictorial history of Lee County with a second volume scheduled for upcoming release. I attended an open house as a participant observer during my time in Lee County and this was very informative. The president treated me and my mother to a tour of their collections, which included antique dental equipment, and showed me their extensive volumes on genealogical research. During my visit, a past resident of the community that had grown up in Lee County spoke about country stores and their importance in the area. This sparked many of the individuals in the room to further recount their own stories of the country stores that used to exist throughout the county. This was further evidence of how communal history and heritage is passed orally through group storytelling. Many of the residents at the meeting were also prominent community members and were interested in my research and the research of Dr. Meyers in Lee County, especially relating to archaeology.
Following my time in Lee County, I was able to contact the Virginia Department of Historic Resources which had extensive information for residents on archaeological sites and site preservation in the region and they were more than happy to contribute to the development of the online resources in the county. The Lee County Quilters were also
very active after I completed my field research and sent me pictures of family quilts and the stories that they had typed for posting on the website. These stories were further evidence of the importance of family to community residents, but also of a desire for preservation of the community’s history and heritage, especially through material markers like quilts. One local quilter in particular had taken numerous photos to form a collection called, ‘The Hands that Quilt’ capturing friends and loved ones’ hands with the quilts that they made.
Lee County, Virginia is filled with historical organizations and the community is very concerned with the preservation and communication of the history and heritage of the area to the next generation. My time in the county, doing both participant observation and informal interviews, became increasingly important as I set about the creation of such a digital space.
Traditional museums are composed of the buildings, heritage, collections, expert staff, and public visitors which can be found in areas of larger population density and can be cut off from presenting modern local distinctiveness (Corsane 2009:52). Rural areas, however, are less capable of supporting a traditional museum, but are the perfect setting for an ecomuseum. An ecomuseum is defined as the “dynamic way in which communities preserve, interpret, and manage their heritage for sustainable development…based on a community agreement” (Corsane 2009:52). Lee County in particular is both rural and abundant with historical organization, all working towards differing goals of preservation and education to serve their region. The lack of resources available for a traditional museum space and the need for a unifier between academics,
community members, and the organizations makes an ecomuseum an ideal solution to gather and curate historical information deemed important by community members. This digital space allows communities to claim ownership of artifacts and share the artifacts with both professionals and the public. In so doing, this serves to strengthen community commitment to local history by showcasing individual ties to historic objects and educating the public about the depth and breadth of local history and heritage.
In addition to working with individuals, the virtual museum space also works with local organizations that have a stake in historic preservation. These include: Wilderness Road State Park, Lee County Quilters, and Lee County government offices, including tourism, as well as the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the Council of Virginia Archaeologists. These organizations were incorporated into the virtual space through an about page on the website and asked to contribute a paragraph describing their organization’s role in the community. Many of these organizations, such as the Lee Historical and Genealogical Society, had active programs in 2015 already dedicated to collecting historic information, such as area photographs and regional histories. Such collections can be added to the website over time by both individuals and local organizations, further making area history more apparent to and through the community.
The passing on of historical information, as listed in the surveys and in the field research conducted in 2015, is incredibly important to the Lee County community and there are multiple categories of information that are deemed important. Genealogy is the first category, not only because of the local emphasis on family and kinship networks, but also due to the ever present dedication of local organizations and external curiosity of tourists into the family histories in the region. This was incorporated into the website
through the history section that will be added upon the approval of this thesis, and this will further contribute references to newly digitized sources from the Virginia Digital Archives, as well as the collection of organizational resources compiled as discussed previously on the about page of the website.
The second category is oral storytelling; this was primarily witnessed through the informal interviews and participant observations that took place during my field research, particularly in the times spent with the quilters and the Historical and Genealogical Society. The storytelling traditions and communal memories that are shared and kept within the people of Lee County is an aspect that has been left for the community to develop, as it is the most personal of the categories and is easily the hardest for an outsider to capture. The website currently contains a heritage tab with only minimal geographic markers and is the most logical space for this information to be added in the future, as most of the communal memories observed in this research were place specific.
Preservation is the final and most obvious category under the theme of passing on information and deals primarily with the education and outreach within the Lee County community. Wilderness Road State Park, as noted under participant observation, holds many events within the community educating the community about the past and attracting new opportunities to the area for outreach. The University of Mississippi Virginia Field School, directed by Dr. Maureen Meyers during the summers, further exposes the community to the prehistory of the region in the form of public lectures on the local archaeological findings and students participate in some of the park’s public events to educate the community on the field school findings. This was incorporated into the website in several different ways. Field school students in 2015 all completed a blog
post describing, in laymen’s terms, their archaeological experience in the area. Groups of artifacts are also presented on the site, under the Artifacts tab, and provide an example of results of the research done in the region; they also provide educational information on the artifacts discovered in the area. The material aspect of preservation, particularly for the less well-known prehistory of Lee County, was incorporated based both on academic research and on community curiosity. A Resources tab also incorporates community information on the Virginia Department of Historic Resources recommendations for private archaeological site preservation. Both of these examples are designed to help build positive and open relationships between the community and outside entities, such as archaeologists and historic preservationists. Additionally, the website serves as a method of preservation for the community by providing the community with the ability add to and change the website as needed to suit current community needs. This has the added benefit of minimal resource commitment.
The website also serves as a heritage preservation tool and, because heritage directly ties the past to the present through material objects, the site also includes several aspects specifically for the preservation of material objects. Place association, which is a geographic material primarily associated with collective memory, is incorporated online via the material aspect of heritage into the digital space. Several of the towns within the county were given specific pages with pictures that include a short description of the town, but were mostly left open for future expansion. Places were also something brought up specifically within the surveys and this particular aspect of the website will enable the community to customize focus areas for the different geographic regions in Lee County. Storytelling, which is an integral part of local heritage, contains a particular material
emphasis on the website through the Lee County Quilters. The more tangible and accessible version of this experience can be seen in the stories sent in for website publication by the Lee County Quilters. The two stories posted under ‘The Hands that Quilt’ are examples of the strong quilting tradition that has been passed through the maternal family lines. This communal history and heritage is shared across generations and brought together through the material object, i.e. the quilts, and the hands that made them.
The interwoven nature of heritage and history in Lee County, as described in the history, surveys, field research, and interviews, is combined to form an online platform that works with the community to create a more complete picture of this geographic region. The themes of family and preservation are also the underlying digital themes for the virtual museum. This research created www.theleecountystory.com and the website will be kept by the Wilderness Road State Park, available to any community member that wishes to develop or add to the digital space in the future.
Chapter 6: Conclusion
The creation of an online heritage museum for a specific region could only be accomplished by identifying the needs, context, and values of the community in which it functions. The use of community input to identify county needs provided the necessary connection between academics and the Lee County society. Utilizing newly available digital documents through various archives provided the context in which Lee County exists. Discovering the importance of family, history, heritage and preservation to the people provided a basis for the values and importance placed on resources by the community.
Future work in Lee County should take into account the time necessary to build rapport within such a small community. Additionally, community involvement in academic projects, research, or organizations is the key to accessing the multitude of resources that can be found within the county. Lee County is not an easy place to begin community work, but persistence and consistency is the best advice I can give based on my experience in the region.
Control of the website is being ceded to the Wilderness Road State Park and its staff where the community can easily access, add, change, and develop the online content as they see fit. Maintenance of the site is minimal and requires a small fee in order to maintain rights to the name of the site each year. The website connects and provides a link between academics, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the community, and local organization, as well as individual residents. By leaving this website with the
community it becomes a wholly community-determined space. The website could be used to collect and communicate information as it is currently designed or it could be changed to suit community needs as they change and develop over time. The Wilderness Road State Park is also a likely place for younger community members to intern or work and the website would be an ideal summer project to further develop this heritage resource. Future impact of the site is completely dependent upon the community; however, even with only the present information being made accessible the website has the ability to grow and inform individuals well beyond the boundaries of Lee County.
Future work could include adding the survey to the website. This would garner more knowledge about community needs, and the website can be further adapted as more information is collected. This might include a focus on the bluegrass music tradition of the area, and could be easily linked to the state’s Crooked Road Music Trail. Second, over time, interested educators could adapt information on the website to the state education standards, creating specific lesson plans that incorporate Lee County’s rich history. Likewise, this website could serve as a way for community members such as the quilters to connect with local schools to pass on the county’s heritage of quilting. Third, the continuing archaeological excavations by Dr. Meyers can be recorded on the website through additional blog posts and artifact pictures. Finally, there should be a way to curate or capture the website as it changes, to preserve the information recorded there.
The virtual space provided by www.theleecountystory.com is a method of sharing the heritage of a region with a wider audience and connecting the members of a community in a new way. The methods used to collect information helped inform the website; that is, the community determined what it deemed important and what to them
was heritage. Heritage, which is determined by the present population, should not be drastically changed by a virtual component; rather, the site is designed only as tool to share the rich culture of a group with the public. The continually evolutionary nature of heritage is still a community determined factor which is why leaving the digital space to the people of Lee County is such an important part of this thesis’ conclusion. Lee County is a rich place with opportunities for future work, but only if the research is able to fully engage and enrich the already strong community.
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Transcription of original historical document titled: Inhabitants: Petition, Lee County, Virginia, 11-18-1794 The Inhabitants petition reads:
“To the honorable, the speaker and gentlemen of the General Assembly The petition of the inhabitants of Lee County humbly represents That the court have thought of place to establish pfree of holding court for this County, on the Lands of Mr. Fredrick Jones. That in consequence thereof the said Frederick Jones has unofficially given up fiftyfive acres of Land to be disposed of for the use of the County; That your petitioners think it would conduce much to their advantage and interest and to the case and accommodation of traveler if a town was established thereon. Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that your Honorable Bgdy in their wisdom and justice would establish a town on the said land to be known by the name of Jonesville and your petitioners as in duty bound will conplay” (Inhabitants: Petition, Lee County, Virginia, 11-18-1794, Legislative Petitions Digital Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va.)
? Inhabitants: Petition, Lee County, Virginia, 11-18-1794, Legislative Petitions Digital Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. Original source: Legislative Petitions of the General Assembly, 1776-1865, Accession Number 36121, Box 137, Folder 2. Biographical/Historical Note: Formed from Russell and Scott Counties, and named to honor Henry Lee, governor of Virginia from 1791-1794.
? Page 27- (Inhabitants: Petition, Lee County, Virginia, 11-18-1794, Legislative Petitions Digital Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. Original source: Legislative Petitions of the General Assembly, 1776-1865, Accession Number 36121, Box 137, Folder 2. Biographical/Historical Note: Formed from Russell and Scott Counties, and named to honor Henry Lee, governor of Virginia from 1791-1794.)
? Page 29- (Inhabitants: Petition, Jonesville, Lee County, Virginia, 12-15-1802, Legislative Petitions Digital Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. Legislative Petitions of the General Assembly, 1776-1865, Accession Number 36121, Box 137, Folder 10.)
? Page 30 Quote- ( Inhabitants: Petition, Jonesville, Lee County, Virginia, 12-15-1802, Legislative Petitions Digital Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. Legislative Petitions of the General Assembly, 1776-1865, Accession Number 36121, Box 137, Folder 10)
? Page 30-1- (Citizens of Lee, Russell, & Washington: Petition, Lee County, December 9, 1806, Legislative Petitions Digital Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. Legislative Petitions of the General Assembly, 1776-1865, Accession Number 36121, Box 331, Folder 20)
? Page 30-2- (Inhabitants of Washington, Russell, & Lee: Petition, Washington County, October 17, 1814, Legislative Petitions Digital Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. Legislative Petitions of the General Assembly, 1776-1865, Accession Number 36121, Box 249, Folder 91.)
? Page 30-3- (Citizens: Counter-Petition Subject: Division of County/New County, Russell County, XX 28, 1813, Legislative Petitions Digital Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. Legislative Petitions of the General Assembly, 1776-1865, Accession Number 36121, Box 347, Folder 6)
? Page 31- (Inhabitants: Petition Division of County/New County, Scott County, 1822-12-11, Legislative Petitions Digital Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. Legislative Petitions of the General Assembly, 1776-1865, Accession Number 36121, Box 228, Folder 7)
? Page 32- (Inhabitants: Petition Division of County/New County, Scott County, 1822-12-11, Legislative Petitions Digital Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. Legislative Petitions of the General Assembly, 1776-1865, Accession Number 36121, Box 228, Folder 7)
? Page 37- (Roster of the 64th Virginia Mounted Infantry Regiment Company I, undated, Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War and the Tazewell County Local Sesquicentennial Committee. Roster, undated, of the 64th Virginia Mounted Infantry Regiment, Company I, Captain William J. Collier)
IRB approval Form
Permission and Consent Form
Title: Local Community Historical Resource Development Study
(Virtual Ecomuseum in Lee County, VA)
Martha Grace L. Mize
Department of Anthropology and Sociology
2014 Glendale Gardens
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Advisor Maureen E. Meyers, Ph.D. Department of Anthropology and Sociology P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677-1848
By checking this box I certify that I am 18 years of age or older.
Description This study will be done to look for connections (stories etc.) that people have with their artifacts as well as community value towards archaeology and local history. We would like to know why your artifacts are important to you and share with you its academic importance. In addition this study will help to develop a community resource in which local information is used to create an online presence to inform and educate the local community about local history, archaeology, and historic preservation.
What you will do for this study
You will be asked questions, which will be recorded, about your artifact(s) or collections to determine the value you place on these items and your previous knowledge both as an individual and as a community. You will be recorded for this study and with your permission a written account may be added to an online public collection to further information about archaeology, preservation, and historic resources in and for the Lee County community. An accompanying photograph or questionnaire may be asked of you but will only be used with your permission for educational and public use. Questions that may be asked of you include but are not limited to things such as how long you have lived in the community, how you acquired you artifact, and why it is important to you. Other questions may include information about distance traveled for the interview or how likely you would be to use online resources concerning local history, preservation, or archaeology.
You will be recorded during the discussions so that we may more accurately quote your interview answers and take better notes.
Time required for this study The study will only last as long as the discussion continues, at your discretion, at most 45 minutes and any associated questionnaires will take less than 10 minutes.
Risks and Benefits You should not expect benefits from participating in this study. However, you might experience satisfaction from contributing to scientific knowledge. This study will also help in the awareness of local history, archaeology and historic preservation for the Lee County, VA area.
Please see the Confidentiality section for information on how we minimize the risk of a breach of confidentiality, which is the only risk anticipated with this study.
a. Research team members will have access to your records. We will protect confidentiality by coding and then physically separating information that identifies you from your responses (which is even safer than how medical records are stored today).
b. Members of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) – the committee responsible for reviewing the ethics of, approving, and monitoring all research with humans – have authority to access all records. However, the IRB will request identifiers only when necessary. We will not release identifiable results of the study to anyone else without your written consent unless required by law.
Confidentiality and Use of Audio Tapes
You will be recorded during the discussions so that we may more accurately quote your interview answers and take better notes. The notes will be used to help in the creation of an online resource for the community as well as assessing connections between you and your artifacts.
? Only research team members identified above will have access to the recordings.
? After the initial interview and transcription the recordings will be destroyed 24 months later. (May 2017)
? Recordings will be stored in an external hard drive that is pass code protected.
Right to Withdraw You do not have to participate in this study, and there is no penalty if you refuse. If you start the study and decide that you do not want to finish, just tell the experimenter. Whether or not you participate or withdraw will not affect your current or future relationship with the University of Mississippi, and it will not cause you to lose any benefits to which you are entitled. You are not required to share any information that you do not wish to and may stop the recording process at any time.
IRB Approval This study has been reviewed by The University of Mississippi’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB has determined that this study fulfills the human research subject protections obligations required by state and federal law and University policies. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your rights as a research participant, please contact the IRB at (662) 915-7482 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please ask the researcher if there is anything that is not clear or if you need more information. When all your questions have been answered, then decide if you want to be in the study or not.
Statement of Consent I have read the above information. I have been given an unsigned copy of this form. I have had an opportunity to ask questions, and I have received answers. I consent to participate in the study.
Furthermore, I also affirm that the experimenter explained the study to me and told me about the study’s risks as well as my right to refuse to participate and to withdraw.
Community Member Survey
Local Community Historical Resource Development Survey
(Virtual Ecomuseum in Lee County, VA)
Name: ________________________ Email: ___________________
By checking this box I certify that I am 18 years of age or older.
1. How long have you lived in the Lee County area? _____________
2. How knowledgeable do you feel about the history of your area (Including Pre-History)?
a. Very Knowledgeable c. Semi Knowledgeable
b. Not Very Knowledgeable d. I know nothing about local history
3. What is most important to you about the history of your community?
4. Is community involvement in local history important to you? Yes No
5. How important do you think local history is to your community on a scale of 1-5?
(1)Not at all_______(2)________(3)_________(4)_________(5) Very
6. How important do you think archaeology is to your community on a scale of 1-5?
(1)Not at all_______(2)________(3)_________(4)_________(5) Very
7. How important do you think artifacts are to your community on a scale of 1-5?
(1)Not at all_______(2)________(3)_________(4)_________(5) Very
8. What historical resources do you think would be useful to others in your community?
9. Do you think an online resource concerning local archaeology, history, and preservation would be helpful? Yes No
Community Organization Survey
Local Community Historical Resource Development Questionnaire
(Virtual Ecomuseum in Lee County, VA)
Community Organization: __________________________________
Phone: _______________ Email: __________________
By checking this box I certify that I am 18 years of age or older.
1. How long has your organization been active in the Lee County community?___________
2. How important do you think local history is to the community on a scale of 1-5?
(1)Not at all_______(2)________(3)_________(4)_________(5) Very
3. How important do you think archaeology is to the community on a scale of 1-5?
(1)Not at all_______(2)________(3)_________(4)_________(5) Very
4. How important do you think artifacts are to the community on a scale of 1-5?
(1)Not at all_______(2)________(3)_________(4)_________(5) Very
5. What historical resources do you think would be useful to others in your community?
6. Do you think an online resource concerning local archaeology, history, and preservation would be helpful? Yes No
7. Would your organization be willing to contribute and help establish an online virtual historical resource with credit to your organization? Yes No
8. What records would you be willing to contribute to such a resource (oral histories, contacts, local history files) for online educational purposes?
Community Educator Survey
Local Community Historical Resource Development Questionnaire
(Virtual Ecomuseum in Lee County, VA)
By checking this box I certify that I am 18 years of age or older.
10. How knowledgeable do you feel about the history of your area (Including Pre-History)?
a. Very Knowledgeable c. Semi Knowledgeable
b. Not Very Knowledgeable d. I know nothing about local history
11. Do you think an online resource concerning local archaeology, history, and preservation would be helpful? Yes No
12. Do you believe that more online resources about archaeology, historic preservation and local history will better help you as a meet the History and Social Science Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools curriculum? Yes No Why or Why not? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
13. How do you think the local community could help you achieve these curricular goals?
14. What resources do you currently use to teach about social sciences?
Text History and Heritage Made Accessible The Story of Lee County Final Draft MGM.docx Download (9MB)