Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 20, 1976 · Page 67
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June 20, 1976

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 67

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Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 20, 1976
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Page 67
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6F --June 20,1976 SundavKax? tie-Mail _ Charleston. Weil Virginia Spotswood, Party Return From Trip to River By John G. Morgan Staff K'riter WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Sept. 17,1716- Gov. Alexander Spotswood and 50 mounted gentlemen returned today from a ri- proaring trip to a strange river on the other side of high western mountains. She named tne deep, wide river "Euphrates," and took possession of the stream and its environs by burying a bottle with appropriate papers in it. Possession was claimed Sept. 6 in the name of King George I. A good dinner and many toasts followed. Ensign John Fontaine, diarist for the trip, described the toasts: " . . . we drank the King's health in champagne and fired a volley, the Princess' health in burgundy and fired a volley, and all the rest of the family in claret, and a volley. "We drank the Governor's health and fired another volley. We had several sorts of liquors, namely Virginia red wine and white wine, Irish usquebaugh, brandy, shrub, two sorts of rum, champagne, ca- nary, cherry, punch water, cider, etc..." On the previous day, Spotswood and his men crossed the high mountains. They named the highest peak Mount George and another one Mount Spotswood. "We drank King George's health and all the royal family's at the very top of the Appalachian Mountains," Fontaine said. The flamboyant, 30-year-old Governor Mountain Road To Independence -- 4 believed that the trip opened a door for westward travel and possible trading with distant Indian tribes. Upon his return here, Spotswood presented each of the men with a tiny golden horseshoe as a symbol to encourage fur- L . . . And Our Economy UPSHUR COALS IS PROUD OF WEST VIRGINIA AND THE UNITED STATES AND THE PART WE PLAY IN THEIR ECONOMIES. WE WISH WEST VIRGINIA A HAPPY 113TH BIRTHDAY AND THE UNITED STATES A HAPPY 200TH BIRTHDAY. UPSHUR COALS CORPORATION BOX 578, BUCKHAHNOH, WEST VIRGINIA 26201 · 304-472-2400 four Indians who apparently served as guides. Two companies of rangers, totaling 14 men, joined the group for the trip over the mountains and did some exploring on their own. Several dogs joined the Spotswood caravan. They were helpful at least once. The ensign reported: " . . . we saw several bears and killed three. One of them attacked one of our men thrit was riding after him, and narrowly missed. The bear tore the man's things that he had behind him from off the horse, and would have destroyed him had he not had immediate help from the other men and our dogs." , On Sept. 16, near the end of the journey, some members of the expedition went to church in King William County. Fontaine, upon arrival here, "went to my lodgings and to bed. being well tired, as well as my horses." Next: Lead Plate at the Foot of Elm. -Virginia State Library Photo Splendidly Dressed, Gov. Spotswood Led Expedition He, His Men Became 'Knights of Golden Horseshoe' ther exploration and as proof that the owner has drunk to his Majesty's health on Mount George. The idea to present the little horseshoes grew out of a demand for full-sized shoes on 74 horses during the trip. The Governor was splendidly dressed for the expedition. He wore flowing green velvet garments, Russian leather boots and a large hat with a long plume. During the first two days of the trip, he traveled in a light carriage. He left the vehicle at the house of historian Robert Bev- ·erly, who joined the expedition. On the way to the mountains, the party stopped several days at the town of Ger- manna, then moved up the Rapidan River almost to its source before ascending the mountains. Fontaine, a young Huguenot with previous service in the British Army, kept a detailed record of the entire journey. He estimated the total round trip at 438 miles for the expedition that began here Aug. 20. He reported on the sixth day that a hornet stung one of the gentlemen in the face, which "swelled prodigiously." The young man experienced some troubles of his own on the seventh day. "I was taken with a violent headache and pains in all my bones, so I was obliged to lie down and was very bad that day," he said. He had confining pain for the next two days, but apparently improved after taking an ounce of "Jesuit's bark" in eight doses. He told of this hunting incident: "I saw a deer and shot him from my horse, but the horse threw me a terrible fall and ran away. We ran after and with a great deal of. difficulty got him again. "But we could not find the deer I had shot, and we lost ourselves, and it was two hours before we could come upon the track of our company." Fontaine reported Sept. 4: "We had two of our men sick with the measles, and one of our horses poisoned with a rattlesnake." 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