23rd. We kept down the Holston River about four miles and Camped; and then Mr. Powell and I went to look for Samuel Stalnaker (13) who I had been inform'd was just moved out to settle. We found his camp, and returned to our own in the evening.
24th. We went to Stalnaker's, helped him to raise his house and camped about a quarter of a mile below him. In April, 1748, I met the above mentioned Stalnaker between Reedy Creek Settlement and Holstons River, on his way to the Cherokee Indians and expected him to pilate me as far as he knew but his affairs would not permit him to go with me. (14)
March 25th. The Sabbath. Grass is plenty in the low grounds.
26th. We left the Inhabitans (15), and kept nigh West to a large Spring on a Branch of the North Fork of the Holston. Thunder, Ligtning, and Rain before Day.
27th. It began to snow in the morning and continued till Noon. The Land is very Hilly from West to North. Some snow lies on the tops of the mountains N.W. from us.
28th. We travelled to the lower end of Giant's Ditch on Reedy Creek. (16)
29th. Our Dogs were very uneasie most of this night.
30th. We kept down Reedy Creek and discover'd the tracks of about 20 Indians, that had gone up the Creek between the time we camped last night, and set off this morning. We suppose they made our Dogs so restless last night. We camped on Reedy Creek. (17)
March 30th. We caught two young Buffaloes one of which we killed, and having cut and marked the other we turn'd him out.
31st. We kept down Reedy Creek to Holston where we measured an Elm 25 ft. round 3 ft. from the ground. we saw young Sheldrakes we went down the River to the north Fork and up the north fork about a quarter of a mile to a Ford, and then crossed it. In the Fork between the Holstons and the North River, are five Indian Houses built with loggs and covered with bark, and there were abundance of Bones, some whole Pots and pans some broken. and many pieces of mats and Cloth. On the west side of the North River, is four Indian Houses such as before mentioned. we went four miles below the North River and camped on the Bank of the Holstons, opposite to a large Indian Fort. (18)
April ye 1st. The Sabbath. we saw Perch, Mullets, and Carp in plenty, and caught one of the large Sort of Cat Fish. I marked my name, the day of the Month, and date of the year on Several Beech Trees.
2nd. we left Holston and travelled through Small Hills till about Noon, when one of our horses being choaked by eating Reeds too gredily, we stopped having traveled 7 miles. (19)
3rd. Our hourse being recover'd, we travelled to the Rocky Ridge. I went up to the top, to look for a pass but found it so rocky that I concluded not to attempt it there. This ridge may be known by Sight, at a distance. To the Eastward are many small mountains, and a Buffaloe Road between them & the Ridge. The growth is Pine on the top and the rocks look white at a distance. we went Seven miles this day. (20)
4th. We kept under the Rocky Ridge crossing several small Branches to the head of Holly Creek. we saw many small licks and plenty of Deer. (21)
5th. we went down Holly Creek. There is much Holly in the Low Grounds and some Laurel and Ivy. About three in the afternoon, the Ridge appeared less stony and we passed it, (22) and camped on a small Branch about a mile from the top. my riding Horse choaked himself this evening and I drenched him with water to wash down the Reeds, and it answered the End.
6th. It proving wet we did not move.
7th. We rode 8 miles over Broken ground. It snowed most of the day. In the evening our dogs caught a large He Bear, which before we could come up to shoot him had wounded a dog of mine, so that he could not travel, and we carried him on Horseback till he recovered.
8th. The Sabbath. Still Snow.
Doctor Thomas Walker's Journal (6 Mar 1749/50 - 13 Jul 1750)
A Record of His Travels in
Present-day Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky