Negotiating Peace with the Indians Virginia Historic Society


Indians Galore!

Swiss immigrant Louis Michel traveled along the west bank of the Potomac River searching for land for a Swiss colony. He reported that Indians covered the area.


Potomoke Church

Near present day Shepherdstown, Presbyterians founded "West" Virginia's very first church at the site of Potomoke, Virginia. However, it should be noted that the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church refutes this claim, and there is no indisputable evidence either way that I have been able to uncover to date. A small discussion on the Potomoke Church as viewed by Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church (and the history of their own church) can be read here.


Spottsylvania County

Jefferson County, as it sits today, is considered part of Spottsylvania County in Virginia.

2e 1714 Virginia MD NC Indians


Indians Surrender!

The Iriquios Nation surrenders all of their claims to land in the Eastern Panhandle, including present day Jefferson County, by signing the Treaty of Albany with Virginia. This treaty allowed whites to settle both to the south of the Potomac River and between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. The Iriquios tribes used the area often as a prime hunting ground. Tuscarora Indians were also present in the area and were admitted to the Iriquios Nation, creating the sixth nation.


New Mecklenburg Settled

The site of present day Shepherdstown, coined New Mecklenburg, is settled and founded by Germans from Pennsylvania. It was probably named after Mecklenburg, a region in northern Germany.

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The Valley of Western Virginia is Settled

Beginning around 1730, the Virginia government began to encourage people to settle in the valleys of "Western" Virgina. By 1832, the valley is settled mostly by German, Scotch-Irish, and Welsh pioneers.

Peters Hole Harpers FerryNHP

Circa 1732

Peters Hole

Peter Stephens, a trader from Germany, settles on the “point” of present day Harpers Ferry, gaining “squatters rights” to the property. The property is nicknamed “the hole” and “Peter’s hole” due to the low elevation of the area, which is only 247 feet above sea level. Stephens builds a log cabin home. Other pioneers begin to arrive and settle in the surrounding areas as well.

Further Reading


Orange County, Virginia

Jefferson County, as it is today, is very briefly considered part of Orange County, Virginia. Previously, the lands were considered a part of Spottsylvania County.

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October 3 1734

Thomas Shepherd’s Land Grant

Thomas Shepherd receives a land grant of 222 acres. He selected 50 acres of his original 222 and laid out a town, naming it Mecklenburg, and petitioned the Virginia General Assembly for charter. You can view the original land grant online here.

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Frederick County

Jefferson County, as we know it today, is considered part of Frederick County, Virginia.

Timeline Help

A chronological listing of historical events which may have affected the lives of residents in eastern Jefferson County and surrounding areas.
1Where is this information from?
The vast majority of these accounts are taken from newspaper articles of local papers of the time period.
2How can I apply this information to my own research?

We use this timeline to help us understand the events that may have affected or shaped a person's life. Here are some ideas as to how this timeline may help your further your own research:

  • View events that may have affected a particular ancestor or their family members.
  • Uncover events which an ancestor may have participated in, leading to more sources of information.
  • Discover more about the history and culture of the area in which an ancestor lived.
  • Evaluate possible concerns and popular pastimes of an ancestor.
3I want to view a timeline of events in a specific area.
Click on "Location" in the "Filter by" bar. This will drop down a list of locations which currently have happenings in the timeline. Clicking on a location will show only events related to that specific area. Note that clicking on a county or state will show all happenings related to any location within that county (and any county within a state).
4I want to see timeline items between two years.
Click on "Years" in the "Filter by" bar. This will drop down a form which accepts a starting year and an ending year. Filling out both fields will display timeline items which took place in and between the two years. Filling out only one field will display all timeline items beginning at or ending on the years inputted.