Simpson History



Capt. Nathaniel Hart

Nathaniel Hart

Contributed by Wanda Snyder

1. Nathaniel1 Hart, son of Thomas Hart and Susanna Rice, was born in Hanover County, VA May 8, 1734. Nathaniel died July 22, 1782 in near Boonesborough, KY, at 48 years of age. His body was interred in family cemetery near Boonesborough.

He married Sarah Simpson in North Carolina, December 25, 1760. Sarah was born in Fairfax Co., VA February 24, 1744. Sarah was the daughter of Richard Simpson, Jr. And Mary Kincheloe. Sarah died March 1785 in Lincoln Co., KY, at 41 years of age. Her body was interred in family cemetery near Boonesborough.

At 18 years of age Sarah became the mother of Keziah Hart in Caswell Co., NC, March 18, 1762. At 19 years of age Sarah became the mother of Susannah Hart in Caswell Co., NC, February 18, 1764. At 24 years of age Sarah became the mother of Simpson Hart in Caswell Co., NC, April 30, 1768. At 26 years of age Sarah became the mother of Nathaniel Hart, Jr. In Caswell Co., NC, September 30, 1770. At 27 years of age Sarah became the mother of John Hart in Caswell Co., NC, February 5, 1772. At 31 years of age Sarah became the mother of Mary Ann Hart April 7, 1775. At 32 years of age Sarah became the mother of Cumberland Hart July 17, 1776. At 35 years of age Sarah became the mother of Chinoe Hart in Boonesborough, VA (now KY), October 25, 1779. At 38 years of age Sarah became the mother of Thomas Richard Green Hart in Boonesborough, VA (now KY), June 29, 1782.

At 27 years of age Nathaniel became the father of Keziah Hart in Caswell Co., NC, March 18, 1762. At 29 years of age Nathaniel became the father of Susannah Hart in Caswell Co., NC, February 18, 1764. At 33 years of age Nathaniel became the father of Simpson Hart in Caswell Co., NC, April 30, 1768. At 36 years of age Nathaniel became the father of Nathaniel Hart, Jr. In Caswell Co., NC, September 30, 1770. At 37 years of age Nathaniel became the father of John Hart in Caswell Co., NC, February 5, 1772. At 40 years of age Nathaniel became the father of Mary Ann Hart April 7, 1775. At 42 years of age Nathaniel became the father of Cumberland Hart July 17, 1776. At 45 years of age Nathaniel became the father of Chinoe Hart in Boonesborough, VA (now KY), October 25, 1779. At 48 years of age Nathaniel became the father of Thomas Richard Green Hart in Boonesborough, VA (now KY), June 29, 1782.

Nathaniel Hart was a member of the Transylvania Company and was one of the purchasers of some 20 million acres of land in Kentucky and Tennessee from the Indians in 1775. He was one of the original settlers at Boonesborough in 1775 and helped construct the fort there. His biography from Dictionary of North Carolina Biography edited by William S. Powell, Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1988, follows:

Hart, Nathaniel (1734-82), pioneer, Revolutionary officer, and proprietor in and chief negotiator for the Transylvania Company of Kentucky, was born in Hanover County, Va., the son of Thomas and Susannah Rice Hart. His grandfather, Thomas Hart, a merchant, emigrated from London, England, to Hanover County about 1690 and left an only son, Thomas (1632-1755), father of Nathanlel. His mother was an aunt of Daniel Rice, the renowned Presbyterian minister who, before moving to Kentucky in 1781, is said to have taken part in the establishment of one or more early Presbyterian churches in Orange County (now Caswell County), N.C., among which Hyco (now Red House) is one of the oldest in central North Carolina.

Shortly after Thomas Hart's death, his widow and children moved to Orange County and settled on Country Line Creek, where three of her sons--Thomas, Nathaniel, and David--in the late 1750s and early 1760s obtained land grants in the area that was cut off from Orange in 1777 to form Caswell County. Nathaniel Hart's estate, known as Red House, located at Nat's Fork on Country Line Creek, was of considerable proportions. Referred to as "Captain Hart," he was not only a polished member of society but also an "accomplished and complete gentleman." As one of the proprietors of the Transylvania Company, he was a leading spirit in opening the Kentucky territory and in establishing the town of Boonesborough.

At the Battle of Alamance, Hart led a company of infantrymen in Governor Tryon's army; after the battle, he was highly complimented by the governor and his officers for the gallant and spirited behavior of the detachment under his command. Following the efforts of Daniel Boone and his brother, Squire Boone, to settle Kentucky, Richard Henderson of Granville County in association with Nathaniel Hart, Thomas Hart, John Williams, William Johnson, and John Lutterell, on 27 Aug. 1774 organized the Louisa Company for the purpose of purchasing from the Cherokee Nation a large territory lying on the west side of the mountains on the Mississippi River. In the autumn of 1774, Nathaniel Hart, the chief negotiator, along with Richard Henderson, president of the company, visited the territory and met with the chiefs of the various tribes in the Cherokee country to discuss their interest in buying the land west of the Cumberland Mountains. Nathaniel Hart, Jr., wrote that his father returned to his home with six or eight of the principal men of the Cherokee Nation, who remained with him until the latter part of the year and assisted in the selection of a large supply of goods to be used in exchange for the land.

By 1775 the enterprise had outgrown the Articles of Agreement of the Louisa Company. After a reorganization, a new company, called the Transylvania Company, was formed and Daniel Boone was hired to explore the territory. Soon Nathaniel Hart and Richard Henderson brought vast quantities of goods from Cross Creek (now Fayetteville) to Sycamore on the Watauga River near what is now Elizabethton, Tenn. The Watauga meeting, arranged by Hart, lasted twenty days and was attended by 500 to 1,000 Cherokee Indians along with their chiefs. The Transylvania Company was represented by Hart and his brothers Thomas, Henderson, and John Williams. Negotiations broke down and the Indians left, but it is said that Nathaniel Hart overtook them the next day, persuaded them to return, and an agreement was reached.

On 17 Mar. 1775, the conveyance or treaty was signed, by which the Transylvania Company acquired all of the territory from the Kentucky to the Cumberland rivers. Title to the land was taken in the name of Richard Henderson, Nathaniel Hart, and the other seven proprietors of the company as tenants in common. This purchase was said to have been the largest private land deal ever undertaken in North America.  Nathaniel Hart and his associates invested much of their time and private fortunes in the venture; they succeeded in obtaining for the colonies peaceful possession of the land from the Indians, thus permitting the opening of the Kentucky territory for colonization. Nevertheless, they received very little for their efforts. Because of a proclamation by the royal governors of Virginia and North Carolina that prohibited treaties or purchases of land from Indians by individuals, the Crown refused to recognize the transaction and declared it null and void. The same proclamation, in substance, was reenacted by the Virginia assembly after the colonies gained independence from Great Britain. As a consequence, the Transylvania Company retained only that small area of the land lying on the Green River in Kentucky and that portion lying on the North Carolina side of the Virginia line, and its plan to establish an original fourteenth colony in America resulted in failure.

In 1760 Hart married Sarah Simpson, daughter of Captain Richard Simpson, a large plantation owner who was one of the earliest settlers in what is now Caswell County. Their daughter, Susanna, in 1783 married General Isaac Shelby, planner of the Battle of Cowpens and hero of the Battle of Kings Mountain, who became the first governor of the state of Kentucky and for whom the towns of Shelby, N.C., Shelbyville, Tenn., and Shelby County, Ky., were named. Nathaniel and Sarah Hart's grandson, Thomas Hart Shelby of Traveler's Rest, Ky., was said to have been the first importer of thoroughbred livestock, including racehorses, into the state of Kentucky. Hart was appointed a justice of the peace by the royal governor. He served as captain of militia before the outbreak of the Revolution and as captain in the army during the American Revolution. He was killed by Indians near Logan's Station in Lincoln, Ky., where he left his will. In 1783 his widow and their son Nathaniel, Jr., went to Logan's Station to prove the will.

SEE: John R. Alden, John Stuart and the Southern Colonial Frontier (1966); Walter Clark, ed., State Records of North Carolina, vols. 16, 19, 22, 24 (1899-1905); Lewis Collins, Historical Sketches of Kentucky (1850); Dartmouth Papers, 5, 127, 1353 (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh); Lyman C. Draper Papers (Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison); Genealogical Narrative, "The Hart Family in the United States" (North Carolina State Library, Raleigh); Archibald Henderson, The Transylvania Company and the Founding of Henderson, Kentucky (1929); Land grants of Caswell and Orange counties (Office of the Secretary of State, Raleigh); William S. Lester, The Transylvania Colony (1935); George N. MacKenzie, Colonial Families of the United States, vol. 2 (1966); W. E Palmer, ed., Calendar of Virginia State Papers, vol. 1 (1875); William L. Saunders, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina, vols. 6, 8-10 (1888-90); Tyler's Quarterly 31 (1949), 32 (1950); Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 7 (1899-1900); Frederick A. Virkus, The Abridged Compendium of American History, vol. 5 (1933). VANCE E. SWIFT

A web site about the Hart family may be found at

Nathaniel Hart and Sarah Simpson had the following children:

  + 2 i.   Keziah2 Hart was born March 18, 1762.

  + 3 ii.   Susannah Hart was born February 18, 1764.

    4 iii.   Simpson Hart was born in Caswell Co., NC April 30, 1768. Simpson died 1788 in Sumner Co., TN, at 20 years of age. Simpson Hart died unmarried.

  + 5 iv.   Nathaniel Hart, Jr. was born September 30, 1770.

  + 6 v.   John Hart was born February 5, 1772.

    7 vi.   Mary Ann Hart was born April 7, 1775. She married Richard Dallam.

  + 8 vii.   Cumberland Hart was born July 17, 1776.

  + 9 viii. Chinoe Hart was born October 25, 1779.

  +10 ix. Thomas Richard Green Hart was born June 29, 1782.

Nathaniel Hart

Nathaniel Hart, fifth son of Thomas Hart and Susannah Rice, was born in Hanover County, Virginia on May 08, 1734. In 1760, he married Sarah Simpson, daughter of Colonel Richard Simpson. Together, they had nine children.

On December 10, 1762, Lord Granville's agent issued a grant of 259 acres of land in Orange County, on Wat's Fork of County Line Creek to Nathaniel Hart. After Caswell County was cut out of Orange County in 1777, Nathaniel Hart obtained three grants of land in Caswell County, as follow: 640 acres on the north side of former line, 300 acres on the south side of former survey, and 500 acres on both sides of Herler's Creek, October 1, 1778. Nathaniel Hart built a large and handsome house, widely known throughout that region as the 'Red House', which served both as private residence and tavern.

Nathaniel engaged actively in agricultural pursuits; and also took a part, as representative citizen, in public affairs. In 1762 he was commissioned a coroner for Orange County, North Carolina and in 1769 he was added by the Governor's Council to the commission of peace dedimus. During the War of the Regulation, a wide spread revolt of the common people against unjust treatment and exploitation by court officials under the Crown, he and his two brothers, Thomas and David, served in the field under Governor Tryon. He commanded a company of the Orange County Regiment of Militia in the campaign against the insurgents which ended in the defeat of the Regulars and the end of the war, at the battle of Alamance.

For the next few years he was engaged in mercantile business at several points in the Chatham-Orange-Caswell County region. Associated in business with him, under the firm name of Hart & Luttrell, was John Luttrell, a prominent resident of Chatham County, who was married to Susanna, daughter of John Hart, Nathaniel's older brother.

"Of the three Hart Brothers (Thomas, David & Nathaniel) who were copartners in the Transylvania Company, the pioneer and way-breaker was Captain Nathaniel Hart. Guided by Daniel Boone, Thomas Price, Henderson and Hart visited the Cherokee chieftains at the Otari towns. As a result of the consultations, the old chieftain, Atta-Kulla-Kulla, a young buck, and a squaw, were appointed 'to attend said Henderson and Hart to North Carolina, and there examine the Goods and Merchandise which had been by them offered as the Consideration of the purchase.' In the records, in German, of the Moravians at Salem, North Carolina, occurs this interesting entry, as translated into English:

    'In November 1774 three Cherokee Indians -a Chief, another man, and a woman,

    -spent the night in Bethabara, attended the evening meeting, and seemed to desire

    our friendship. They were under the guidance of several white gentlemen. The most

    pleasant part of it was that it again looks as though there would be peace with the


In the conduct of the Great Treaty to use the peculiar term the negotiations leading to the vast purchase at the Sycamore Shoals of the Watauga River, March 15-17, 1775, Judge Henderson was assiduously and efficiently aided by his partners William, Thomas and Nathaniel Hart and John Luttrell, experienced business men." (Henderson)

Henderson, assisted by Richard Callaway and Daniel Boone, laid off 54 lots and the pioneers drew lots for them. Nathaniel took no part in these matters and in the location of the big fort. "He chose a spot for settlement a half mile away from the stockade; and he and his brother David, devoted almost their entire attention to building a cabin, as did also William Calk and his party, in April, 1775. Later in the year, Nathaniel Hart was assigned in the books of the Transylvania Company, 640 acres on the creek know as Hart's Fork in present Madison County.

During the next four years, Nathaniel Hart took the most intense interest in his Kentucky property and during the seasons for planting, cultivating, and harvesting of crops, he spent his time on improving the lands which had been allocated to him. His family continued to reside at the Hart home, the Red House, in Orange [later Caswell] County. During the period 1775-1780, he travelled back and forth between Boonesborough and North Carolina or Virginia, fourteen times. Every year, until his death in 1782, he raised a crop of corn." (Henderson)

It is believed that Nathaniel had sometime occupied cabin No. 14 at the southeast corner of the stockaded fort; for on Judge Henderson's design for it, cabin No. 14 is labelled, "Cabins for Hart and Williams".

When most of the men at Boonesborough were rescuing the Callaway girls and Daniel Boones daughter from the Indians, a party of fourteen Cherokees threatened the fort; but unable to accomplish anything against it, burned the cabin of Nathaniel and David Hart, located on a hill about a half mile from the fort, and destroyed some five hundred apple scions which had been brought out from the settlement. After his cabin was burned, Nathaniel lived with the family of Richard Callaway until he removed his family to Kentucky in 1780.

"Owing to the difficulties of cultivating the soil while exposed to the dangers of Indian attack, it became necessary to organize a little company or corporation at Boonesborough in the spring of 1779. Eighteen men, with Nathaniel Hart, George Madden, and Robert Cartwright as trustees, banded together on April 15, 1779, for the purpose of making a crop of corn. A set of rules, six in number, was drawn up; and among these rule were the following: that each member shall appear every morning at the beat of the drum or at other notice; that every morning two or more men shall reconnoiter the grounds under cultivation which shall remain constantly under armed guard; and that constant attention to the cultivation of the crop shall be obligatory.

The concerted action of this company produced beneficent results; for during the dreadful winter of bitter cold and severe hardship, known as the Hard Winter (1779-1780), corn was excessively scarce and the price rose to as much as $200 per bushel at Boonesborough."  (Henderson)

Following is one of few letters of Nathaniel Hart, written to his wife, who was wintering at the home of Colonel John Donelson of Beaver Creek.

                                                             Boonesborough 30th Decm. 1779

   My dear Salley

    You will I fear think how that I after all the promises made to return to you in six weeks, if possible, have already spent ten weeks and cannot possible leave this place in less than two weeks from this time. And yet my Dear you may believe me when I assure you that I have done all that was in the power of man to doe, the six weeks was run out before I could git to this place and when my horses was so poore and low that I had not one in the world able to travele. I have now got them in away to thrive a little, and if please God I can git in a situation to preform the journey, will be with you about the last of January. I had sot a resolution when Capt. Pain left me to return by the way of Cumberland, but the extream coldweather, together with nakedness of myself and people and the poverty of my horses has obliged me to decline that notion and intrust my affairs to Col. Moore and Col. Henderson who are to go down about the time I set of Inn...My people  tho allmost quight naked has had (I thank God) but few complaints among them. I have till now been very well myself and even now have no other complaint that a bad cold -I got no cattle all out except three, two of which dyed by eating Laurel and the other was lost I know not how -Altho I expect it will be very difficult wintering of them being reduced very low by their journey, as for our sheep I think we have but about one half of them to show and the wolf very severe on them. I expect to save very few or none of them and as for our horses Wm. Shearing I suppose told how they were situated when he left me and I expect (though am not sure) that I have lost my best mare and colt since -My cornfields I found in very bad order being near or quight half destroyed by the creatures and vermin and what remains is yet lying in heeps in the field exposed to weather and vermin yit I think we shall save enough to serve us here and spare some to go round to Cumberland which I shall indeavour to contrive there by the time we get down -I shall refer you to Majr. Shelby for the news of this place and I would recommend it to you to apply to him for his advise and assistance in the management of your affairs espetially that of procuring provisions which you I know must have been bad off for. I am in haste & much thronged with Company this morning which occasions me to cut my letter short, which I beg you'l excuse and believe me to be yours, Most Sincerely

                                           Natl. Hart

Nathaniel Hart appeared before the peripatetic land court set up by Virginia and showed his improvement of land and raising a crop of corn in the year 1775. A certificate was immediately issued by the court for 1,400 acres. Later, in 1780,  another certificate was issued by the court at Harrodsburg for an additional 1,400 acres. A 1,000 acre tract of land received by Richard Henderson was subsequently purchased by Nathaniel.

The move from the Red House to French Lick proved to be a wearisome and long-delayed undertaking. Nathaniel took his men servants, his 75 head of cattle, as many sheep, and 30 head of horses. Each head of this stock received a bell. He calculated that every animal that got into the cane without a bell would be lost. The bill for the bells alone amounted to 30 pounds. It is said that in passing through Wythe, the number of these bells attracted the attention of the people, for three miles from the road. A number of negroes and cattle belonging to brother Thomas were also taken by Nathaniel.

He remained only a few days at French Lick and then pressed on to Williamsburg to secure at the land office the warrants for his Kentucky lands. Deterred by the insecurity of the Transylvania Company's claim to the Cumberland Country and the imminent dangers from hostile Indians were determined to break up the feeble settlement at the French Lick, he determined not to settle there and in the autumn of 1780 brought his family to Boonesborough.


photo taken in 1987

Until burned by vandals in 1989, Harts log home, one mile from Boonesborough, was still standing but not occupied. It was reputedly the oldest remaining log house built outside the fort. It was composed of two square log pens separated by a frame dogtrot, with an ell at the rear. V-notches at the corners connect the logs beneath the weatherboards. (O'Malley)

"Hart's Station, at White Oak Spring, located in the Kentucky River bottom about one mile above Boonesborough, had been settled in 1779 by Nathaniel Hart and others, and here a small fort was built. The principal persons who lived at this fort were Nathaniel Hart's family, Lawrence Thompson's family, Henry Duree, Albert Voris, Daniel Duree, John Banta, Samuel Duree, Frederick Ripperdan, Peter Cosshort, and Paul Banta. Many of them were killed by Indians soon after coming to the country. Hart's Station in 1782, with perhaps one hundred souls in it, was reduced in August to three fighting men. This was the period when Bryant's Station was also besieged.

Nathaniel Hart was not to escape the Indian killings. Confirmation of his death, which actually took place on July 22, 1782, is given Jesse Benton in a letter to Thomas Hart:

      Your brother Nat. Hart, our worthy & respected friend; I doubt is cutt off by the savages, at the time, & in the manner, as first represented, to wit, that he went out to hunt his horses, in the Month of July or Augt. It is supposed the Indians in ambuscade, betwixt Boonsbo. & Knockuckle, intended to take him prison, but killd. His horse & at this same time broke his thigh, that the savages finding their prisoner with a thigh broken, was under necessity of puting him to death by shooting him through the heart, at so small a distance as to powder burn his flesh. He was Tom-Hawked, Scalped & lay two days before he was found & buried. This account has come by difrent hands, & confirmed to Col. Henderson by a letter from an intimate friend of his at Kenruck.


It is believed that the Lisle family graveyard, which lies north of the house and across the road from the Hart House, contains the burial sites of Nathaniel Hart and his family. (O'Malley)

Of all the proprietors of the Transylvania Company, Nathaniel Hart stands out as a resolute, determined settler of the wilderness, who each year left his secure home in Caswell County, NC, to develop his Kentucky lands, to raise a crop of corn, and to take part in the defense of the wonderful new country." (Henderson)

"Following the acquisition of a number of settlements and pre-emptions, granted by the Virginia Commissioners in 1779 and 1780, Daniel Boone was dispatched by a number of Kentuckians to Williamsburg to pay the fees at the Virginia land office for the warrants."(Henderson)

Fort Boonesborough


Fort Boonesborough - 1778

"Fort Boonesborough is associated with some of Kentucky's most famous pioneers - Daniel Boone, Simon Kenton, Richard Callaway, Nathaniel Hart and Richard Henderson. The legendary fort was the guardian of hundreds of settlers who ventured to the Wester frontier through the Cumberland Gap on the Wilderness Road. The key fortress withstood several major Indian sieges, was a bastion of civilization in an untamed wilderness, and a stronghold of the utmost importance to Kentucky history. Fort Boonesborough looms large in Kentucky history even though it was occupied for a period of less than 50 years"(Kentucky State Parks).


While the American Revolution brewed in the East, the time was right for migration to the West. The Transylvania Company in was founded in 1775 and soon purchased land from the Cherokees. "On March 19 Henderson and the chiefs set their signatures to the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals. By its terms the Indians, in return for trading goods valued at 10,000 pounds sterling, ceded to the Transylvania Company the territory between the Kentucky River and the highlands south of the Cumberland and a strip of land between the Holston River and the Cumberland Mountains" (Rice).

This purchase extended from the Ohio-Kentucky on the north to the most southwesterly branch of the Cumberland River. The American Revolution upset plans for the Transylvania Company and the purchase was declared void when Virginia established Kentucke County.

"Richard Henderson, head of the Transylvania Company named Fort Boonesborough in honor of the path-breaker, Daniel Boone."  (Henderson)  He sent Boone and several axmen ahead to begin building the fort. Henderson, Hart and the rest of the party arrived about three weeks later, on April 20, 1775. That summer, the new fort consisted of 26, one-story log cabins and four blockhouses, arranged in a hollow square approximately 260' X 180'.


                                            Plan of Fort Boonesborough

                                            Signature of Richard Henderson in center

                                           From the Original in the handwriting of Richard


                                            1.Henderson's Cabin


                                            3. Kitchen

                                            4. Luttrell's Cabin

                                            5. Kitchen

                                            9. Gates

                                            14. Hart & William Cabins

                                           Un-numbered spaces - Cabins

The back of the fort, comprised of the back row of cabins, ran parallel with the Kentucky River. The front faced the open space in the hollow below the fort where the lick and the two springs were located. There were two gates, one in the front and the other on the back wall facing the river (Kentucky State Parks).


The blockhouses, or corner cabins, had projecting second stories and formed the bastions of the fort. These blockhouses also served as cabins for Hart, Henderson, Luttrell and Williams.

A plan of government by popular representation was formed and an election to form a House of Delegates for the Colony of Transylvania was held under the "Divine Elm Tree". This monument celebrates this meeting. This location is also where the first church service in Kentucky took place.

From the very beginning, Boonesborough was the primary target of Indian hostilities in Kentucky. The fort was attacked in December 1775, and in April and July 1777 by large war parties that were more successful than killing a few settlers. The Calloway girls and Boones' daughter were captured in July 1776. A party of men tracked down the Indians, surprised them at their campsite, and rescued the girls.

No attack on the fort, though, rivaled that of the "Great Siege of Boonesborough" in the fall of 1778.  Earlier, in January, 30 men from the fort were led by Daniel Boone to the Lower Blue Licks to gather salt. Here they were captured by Shawnees, taken to Chillicothe in Ohio and eventually to Detroit. Boone made himself such an amiable companion to Chief Blackfish that the Shawnee chief refused to accept the large British reward for him. He adopted Boone and named him "Sheltowee" or Big Turtle.

In June, Boone slipped away and made it back to Boonesborough. Here, he was met with much suspicion, especially since his hair had been plucked and he had adopted other Indian customs. The residents of Boonesborough thought he was the forerunner of a savage attack and felt he had befriended the Indians. Later Boone was tried for treason but was acquitted (Kentucky State Parks).

On September 7, 1778, 400 Indians and 12 French companions appeared at the fort. After a couple days of talk, the attack finally came, and it was furious. The French and Indians attempted to set fire to the fort by shooting fireballs onto the roofs of the cabins. The plan failed because the women and children of the fort easily put out the fires and were aided by heavy rainfall. Next the attackers tried to burrow under the foundation of the stockade. The pioneers thwarted this scheme and the French and Indians retreated after a 13 day siege. "..we had two men killed, and four wounded, besides a number of cattle. We killed of the enemy thirty-seven, and wounded a great number" (Lofaro).

Picture   Picture

After the Transylvania Colony ceased to exist, the pioneers restructured the settlement with the Virginia Legislature's approval of a town charter in 1779. But the settlement became one ofthe West's first ghost towns in the early 19th century. The 1810 Federal Census listed only eight households containing 68 people. The population continued to decline and by 1830 Boonesborough virtually ceased to exist. The fort's chimneys were reportedly dismantled by 1850 and the stones used to build a water gap. Several landowners gained private title to the land and used it for farming until the early 20th century.

In 1963, 57 acres were deeded to the Department of Parks expressly for the purchase of establishing Fort Boonesborough State Park. In 1987, an archaeological dig was begun to locate the physical remains of the fort and town. The projects goals were fulfilled when the most likely site of the fort was identified and at least 12 other documented sites associated with the fort and town were located. In 1996, the original site of Fort Boonesborough was designated a National Historic Landmark (Kentucky State Parks).

Fort Boonesborough's First Residents

"The building of Fort Boonesborough began about the 20th of April, 1775, and on the authority of a letter from Colonel John Floyd, it is claimed that the fort was completed in the latter part of July, 1776. Many of the pioneers listed here were at the fort during the construction. Some came and stayed only a short while and then returned to their native lands. Others were killed by the Indians or died from illness.

Not all of these pioneers lived actually within the fort as there were only thirty cabins in the fort proper, but all lived within the general area of the fort. In 1789, there were 120 houses located in and around the fort." (Tudor)

Transylvania Company

The parent organization formed in 1763 was known as Richard Henderson and Company, employed Daniel Boone, Richard Galloway and Henry Skaggs to make a reconnaissance of the western lands of North Carolina (later Tennessee) and the valley of the Cumberland River.

"The Louisa Company was formed in August of 1774 by essentially the same people: Judge Richardson Henderson, Nathaniel Hart, Thomas Hart, John Williams and John Luttrell. The purpose was to acquire title from the Indian claimants to vast tracts of western lands. This company was re-organized, January 6, 1775, under the name of the Transylvania Company. There were a total of nine shareholders, adding David Hart, Leonard Henley Bullock, and two others." (Henderson)

The company journeyed to Cross Creek ( Fayetteville, NC) with the Cherokee chief Atta-Kulla-Kulla to display goods to be offered, in part payment, for lands in Tennessee and Kentucky claimed by the Cherokee tribe. At the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals, nearly twelve hundred Indians gathered in response to the invitation by the Transylvania Company. On March 19, chiefs of both sides set their signatures. By its terms the Indians, in return for trading goods valued at 10,000 pounds sterling, ceded to the Transylvania Company the territory between the Kentucky River and the highlands south of the Cumberland and a strip of land between the Holston River and the Cumberland Mountains (20 million acres). At the same time, the Watauga settlers, who had earlier leased their lands from the Cherokees, converted their lease into a purchase. At the conclusion of the agreements, Henderson brought out casks of rum for a celebration seldom equalled on the frontiers.(Rice)

The twenty million acres negotiated for with the Cherokee Indians includes "nearly all the states of Kentucky and Tennessee". (Lofaro)

"A week before the conclusion of the treaty, a party of thirty axmen, lead by Boone, set off along the Transylvania Trail and reached the settlement in Powell's Valley. Shortly thereafter, news came that five persons had been killed on the road to Kentucky by Indians. They pushed through Cumberland Gap and by May 18, were near Twitty's Fort, where Captain Twitty had lost his life when Boone's party was attacked. When Henderson's party finally arrived at Otter

Creek, they were warmly greeted with a salute of twenty-five guns. Boone and his axmen had thrown up a small fortification, which William Calk in his diary refers to as "Boon's Foart"; but as this was badly placed for defense, Henderson immediately drew up plans for a large stockaded fort, to be located in a commanding situation some 300 yards distant from Boone's fortification."(Henderson)

"During the absence from the Transylvania Fort of most of its defenders, a party of fourteen Cherokees threatened the fort; but unable to accomplish anything against it, burned the cabin of Nathaniel and David Hart, located on a hill about half a mile from the fort, and destroyed some five hundred apple scions which had been brought out from the settlement." (Henderson)

"Although the danger from Indians generally increased during the summer of 1776, occupation of Kentucky continued without serious disruption. William Whitley located on Cedar Creek, about two miles west of Crab Orchard, and his brother-in-law, George Clark, took up lands not far away. Joseph, George, Morgan, William, Samuel and James Bryan settled on the North Fork of the Elkhorn. Others who had established habitations included Jesse Benton on Silver Creek, John Todd on the West Branch of Hickman's Creek, John Strode near the headwaters of the South Fork of the Licking, and James Strode on Howard's Creek." (Rice)

"There were deep-seated antipathy to Transylvanias claims to ownership of Kentucky, which defense needs helped to sharpen. Frontiersmen generally rejected the two basic concepts in the Transylvania scheme - the establishment of a proprietary colony and a feudal land system."(Henderson)

In November, 1778, the Virginia House of Delegates declared the Transylvania Company's purchase of the Cherokee claim to Kentucky void; but granted the company 200,000 acres of land situated between the Ohio and Green rivers. This would be 1% of the 20 million acres purchased from the Cherokees.

"By an act of the Virginia Legislature in 1780, Kentucky was divided into the three counties of Lincoln, Jefferson and Fayette. Madison County thus became a part of Lincoln County. Benjamin Logan was the Lieutenant of Lincoln County; and he was assisted by the following officers: Major George Adams, Captains John Holder and James Estill and by Captain Nathaniel Hart in the Madison end of Lincoln."(Henderson)

"Of all the Proprietors of the Transylvania Company, Nathaniel Hart stands out as a resolute, determined settler of the wilderness, who each year left his secure home in Caswell County, NC to develop his Kentucky lands, to raise a crop of corn, and to take part in the defense of the wonderful new country."(Henderson)

Hart vs. Estill Lawsuit

June 18, 1805

Contributed by Rhoda Taylor Fone

Michael L. & Bettie Cummings Cook, Fayette County, Kentucky Records, Vol. I,

(Evansville, IN: Cook Publications, 1985), pp.254-262.

Reprinted with permission of Cook Publications,

p.650, June 24, 1805

Heirs of NATHANIEL HART, deceased


                                           SAMUEL ESTILL, et al.

        Subpoena to Sheriff of Madison County for SAMUEL ESTILL, JAMES DINWIDDIE, DANIEL MAUPIN, WILLIAM TERRILL, CHARLES BROWN, WILLIAM DELANEY, and DANIEL BOONE. Returned by WILLIAM WOODS, Deputy Sheriff, with notation "served on all excepting Samuel Estill, notice left, and Daniel Boone, no inhabitant."

Petition recites: Nathaniel Hart, LAURENCE THOMPSON and KEZIAH THOMPSON, his wife, ISAAC SHELBY and SUSANNAH SHELBY, his wife, JOHN SMITH and CHINA SMITH, his wife, JOHN HART, MARYANN HART, COMBERLAND HART and RICHARD HART, an infant, heirs and legal representatives of Nathaniel Hart, deceased, and RICHARD LAURENCE THOMPSON, SARAH FINNEY THOMPSON, NATHANIEL HART THOMPSON, CHINA BARTON THOMPSON and AZARIAH THOMAS THOMPSON, devisees of SIMPSON HART, another of the heirs of said Nathaniel Hart, deceased...on December 21, 1779 a certificate to a settlement and preemption... lying on a branch of Silver Creek, on Boone's old trace, adjoining SQUIRE BOONE'S stock field tract, in consequence of his improving the same and raising a crop of corn in the year 1775. That on the 19th day of February 1780 and the 24th of May 1782, the said Nathaniel Hart made entries with the surveyor. That on January 12, 1784, a certain Daniel Boone caused said entries to be surveyed in some manner contrary to locations in order to avoid an interference with a claim of his own. Said survey was made during their infancy and after death of their ancestor who departed this life sometime in the year 1782, having previously made his last will and testament leaving your orators and oratrix his heirs at law. That sometime after the arrival of your orators, Nathaniel Hart, the eldest living son of the said Nathaniel Hart the elder, and the only acting executor, to full age, he renounced the survey made by directions of said Daniel Boone and caused the entries to be surveyed agreeably to the location and law, and had the platt and certificate returned to the Register's office according to which grants have been issued as by the said last mentioned surveys. Further shew said commissioners on November 4, 1779, granted a certificate to a certain LEWIS CRAIG, assignee of JONATHAN JENNINGS, for settlement of 400 acres and a preemption of 1,000 acres of land adjoining. That on November 5, 1779, said Craig entered his said  settlement with the surveyor, and that he surveyed said settlement, which are inferior in dignity to your orator's and contrary to law and to location and so as to interfere, and having obtained a patent older than theirs sold and conveyed that part of his land which interfers to WILLIAM TERRILL, CHARLES BROWN and WILLIAM DELANEY, On December 20, 1779, said Commissioners granted to JOSEPH HUGHES, who claimed by said Daniel Boone a preemption for 1,000 acres of land lying on waters of Silver Creek, adjoining on north side of Nathaniel Hart's land, in consequence of marking and improving the same in 1776, that said Daniel Boone as assignee of the said Joseph Hughes on May 31, 1781 entered with surveyor... That said Daniel Boone afterwards caused said entry to be surveyed contrary to law and to location and included part of the survey which your orators have aforesaid right. Said Boone sold 1,000 acres of land...that after passing through several persons, it was conveyed to SAMUEL ESTILL, and said Samuel Estill has sold a part of said land to JAMES DINWIDDIE and DANIEL MAUPIN. H. CLAY for Complainants.


p.659, Answer of JAMES DINWIDDIE. Makes general denial, submits following interrogatories to plaintiff: Whether he does not know or has heard and believes that RICHARD HENDERSON and Company in the year 1776 did claim all the land in Kentucky south of the Kentucky River?  Has he not heard that his father Nathaniel Hart, deceased, was a partner of the firm of Richard Henderson & Company?  If he has the books the books of said firm and if not, where are they?  Does he know, or had he heard that Henderson & Company sold to Joseph Hughes 640 acres of land. Does he know that survey was made of land for Joseph Hughes in 1776?  Has he seen such a survey or copy of it?

p.662, General denial from other defendants denying any interference or illegal surverys.

Answer of SAMUEL ESTILL:  claims this land by virtue of certificate granted to JOHN WEBBER...

Answer of defendant DANIEL MAUPIN:  Has understood that said settlement and preemption was surveyed by a certain THOMAS ALLEN, deputy surveyor who was employed to make said survey by Mrs. Hart, the widow of Nathaniel Hart, who had the management of the business respecting his lands, but defendant does not admit that the said Daniel Boone caused said surveys to be made fraudently in order to avoid an interference with a claim of his own; claims land by virtue of his purchase of Samuel Estill.

p.686, Answer of NATHANIEL HART to interrogatories of JAMES DINWIDDIE. That he believes Richard Henderson & Company did, in the year 1775, claim all the Kentucky country by purchase from the Cherokee Indians, but he does not know at what period, afterwards, they abandoned the idea of obtaining it. He believes his father, Nathaniel Hart, deceased, was a partner of the firm of Richard Henderson & Company. That he has no books of Richard Henderson & Company except their books of accounts in which they furnished powder, ball, etc. To most of the people then in the country and received in payment hunting and other services performed by those who dealt with them. That he has never seen or heard of any other book belonging to the company. Does not know nor has he ever heard that Richard Henderson & Company sold to Joseph Hughes 640 acres of land, nor does he believe they did, but thinks it probable they would have done it had they obtained the country agreeable to their purchase. Heard a survey had been made for Joseph Hughes and can shew the lines of said survey as he has lately examined same, but, has never seen any record of the survey.

p.668,Deposition of JESSE OLDHAM, aged 72 years (taken at an improvement of NATHANIEL HART, deceased, in Madison County, on March 3, 1802, before ROBERT CALDWELL):  Deponent came to Kentucky from North Carolina in the year 1775 [Note by Staples: One of five brothers in Battle of Guilford Court House; he was also in Twitty's fort when Indians attacked same] at which time he passed by the blue licks and from thence near the improvement to TWITTY's fort and the trace he traveled was then called and known by the name of Boone's trace. In the year 1775 he together with Nathaniel Hart and others planted a crop of corn at Boonesborough. He came out to Kentucky again in the spring of 1779 at which time he together with Nathaniel Hart and others raised a crop of corn at Boonesborough and in the same year raised a crop of corn at this improvement and also at the deponent's improvement which lies near to this place on the creek. He has never known or heard this improvement called by any other name than Nathaniel Hart's improvement. Question by complainant: Have you not always understood that Nathaniel Hart obtained his settlement and improvement by virtue of this improvement? Answer: Yes I did; I was not here when the Commissioners sat and never saw the certificate until today. Question by defendant: Did Nathaniel Hart and you raise the crop of corn in partnership? Answer: No, his corn for himself and mine for myself. Question by same: Was not there a contract between you and Nathaniel Hart, that if you never came to the country he was to claim both claims? Answer: Yes, he was. Question by complainant: Was not Nathaniel Hart to clear out your claim on the halves and if you never came to Kentucky he was to have all of it? Answer: He was so. My claim and Nathaniel Hart's claim were two separate and distinct claims. I did not expect to get more than 400 acres of land and that for raising corn in 1779. Question by defendant: What do you suppose is the distance between Nathaniel Hart's improvement and yours? Answer: I suppose it may be about a mile. Question by same: Was there any improvements at this place when you first came to Kentucky in 1775?  Answer: Not as I know of. Question by plaintiff: Did not Nathaniel Hart leave his negroes at Boonesborough in 1775 to make his crop of corn? Answer: I cannot tell.

          p.669, Deposition of STEPHEN HANCOCK, aged 58 years (taken at the improvement of Nathaniel Hart in Madison County, on March 3, 1803, before ROBERT CALDWELL): He came to Kentucky in 1776 at which time he passed by the blue licks and from that to Twitty's fort and from that to Boonesborough, and that the trace he travelled was called and known by the name of Boone's trace. He thinks he passed near this place and be believes to be the race which he has shewn this day. That the creek which he has this day shewn was, as early as the year 1778, called and known by the name of Hart's fork of Silver Creek and that it has been known by that name ever since. That in the year 1776 Nathaniel Hart raised a crop of corn in Boonesborough and that he kept hands there for several years afterwards. That in fall of the year 1779 he understood from information that as the people were travelling out to this country, they got pumpkins from Hart's field upon Boone's trace and carried them on to the waters of Otter creek where they cooked them and from the seeds being scattered there they came up and the branch was afterwards called Pumpkin run and it has gone by that name ever since. In the year after Hart and Jesse Oldham had planted their corn at Boonesborough, they went out to a place and planted corn at their improvements and afterwards they returned to Boonesborough they informed him that they had planted corn at their improvements. Question by defendants: When you travelled from the blue lick to Boonesborough the improvement you saw - did you suppose it to be Hart's? Answer: I saw an improvement as I went to Boonesborough as I think, on the left hand side of creek, and I suppose it to be his, from my own idea, but saw no letters as I looked for none.

p.670, Deposition of SQUIRE BOONE (taken at a sassafras corner of survey made for Daniel Boone, assignee of Joseph Hughes, on the waters of Silver Creek, Madison County, October 2, 1802, before HUMPHREY JONES and JOHN KINCAID):  In April 1776 he was employed by Joseph Hughes to assist in laying off and surveying a piece of land for said Hughes which he, said Hughes, had purchased of Colonel RICHARD HENDERSON and Company, in a State then called Transylvania, and on waters of Silver creek where he attended as a marker and sometimes carried the chain to go round said land, and was present when the beginning corner was made, and this is the beginning corner we marked. [Deposition taking was then removed to Boone's old trace on a branch of Silver Creek leading by CHARLES BROWN'S towards TWITTY's fort.]  This is the trace he marked on his way from the old settlements to Boonesborough and was called Boone's trace, marked for Colonel Richard Henderson. [Deposition taking was then removed to northeast corner of the stockfield tract of 1,000 acres, marked April 1776, the lines running to the cardinal point. [Deposition taking then removed to where JOHN REED, JR. Now lives.] In the year 1775 deponent improved at this spring by cutting his name on a tree, cutting house logs, and raising part of a cabbin and marking other marks, by which improvement he obtained a certificate for settlement and preemption from the commissioners.

p 671, Deposition of DAVID GASS (taken at a sassafras corner of survey made for Daniel Boone, assignee of Joseph Hughes, on the waters of Silver creek, Madison County, October 2, 1802, before HUMPHREY JONES and JOHN KINCAID):  About 17 years ago he was brought to this place by Daniel Boone and SAMUEL GRANT was the surveyor. Daniel Boone said this sassafras tree was JOSEPH HUGHES' corner. Colonel Boone informed me that the black oak was corner to Hart's old line. The sassafras was marked for a corner and appeared old when I came to it.

        p.672, Deposition of THOMAS WARREN (taken at a corner made for Daniel Boone, on waters of Silver creek, Madison County, October 2, 1802, before HUMPHREY JONES and JOHN KINCAID): About 18 or 19 years ago he was acquainted with this place when it was all in woods, and saw the marks on trees for a corner which is now cut down, and a line from that tree to the west appeared old.

        p.672. Deposition of WILLIAM BUSH (taken at a corner of JENNING's survey on waters of Hart's fork of Silver creek in Madison County, March 23, 1803, before RICHARD GALLOWAY and JOHN KINCAID):  In the spring of the year 1775 when Capt. NATHANIEL HART and JONATHAN JENNINGS came to Boonesboro I heard them say that they had both taken their choice of lands as they came along. They was asked where, and they told us that Captain Hart made his choice at the mouth of the branch or near that leads up towards Twitty's fort and that Jennings choice was between him and said fort on the trace and it was ever known and called their land and that fork called Hart's fork. After the names was given the water courses and in 1782 I was applied to by BENJAMIN CRAIG for LEWIS CRAIG to shew Hart's improvement to survey Jennings settlement and improvement and I came to the camp at Hart's improvement and THOMAS ALLEN the surveyor. We came to this Elm the beginning corner of Jennings' survey and laid the survey. Question by plaintiff: Who did they contemplate holding this choice of land under, was it not the proprietors RICHARD HENDERSON & Company? Answer: Under the proprietors and a mile square each.

p.673, Deposition of JOHN HARPER (taken at the house of NICHOLAS ANDERSON in Montgomery County on May 14, 1804, before WILLIAM O'REAR and JEREMIAH DAVIS): Deponent set out from Boonesboro in the month of June 1779 to go to Virginia and encamped the first night on the waters of Silver creek in company with a number of others and Nathaniel Hart, deceased, and JESSE OLDHAM set out at the same time for the settlement but were obliged to go out of their way for a horse that was bit by a snake and did not join the company until that evening. That when Hart and Oldham set out from Boonesborough they appointed to meet  the company at the Jesse Oldham improvement, which is above Nathaniel Hart's improvement on the creek. They all set out the next morning and passed by the said Nathaniel Hart, deceased, improvement and the said Nathaniel Hart informed this deponent and the company that it was his improvement and there was a considerable field of corn then growing at said improvement. Has not seen said improvement since that time until the 5th inst., at which time he went to see it, and he is confident it is the improvement Nathaniel Hart shewed him in 1779. He was present at Boonesborough when Nathaniel Hart, deceased, laid in his claim before the Commissioners for his settlement and preemption and said Hart informed the deponent he had secured his certificate from the commissioners for a settlement and preemption on the waters of Silver creek and never heard Hart had any other settlement and preemption in Kentucky but the one on Silver creek.

        p.674, Deposition of EDWARD WILLIAMS (taken at the house of NICHOLAS ANDERSON in Montgomery County on May 14, 1804, before JEREMIAH DAVIS and WILLIAM O'REAR): He set out from Boonesborough in the month of June 1779 to go to Virginia and encamped the first night on the waters of Silver creek in company with a number of others and Nathaniel Hart, deceased, and Jesse Oldham set out at the same time for the settlement but were obliged to go out of their way for a horse that was bit by a snake and did not join the company until that evening. That when the said Hart and Oldham set out from Boonesborough they appointed to meet the company at the said Jesse Oldham's improvement which lies above Nathaniel Hart's improvement. That they all set out together from the said Oldham's improvement the next morning and passed by the said Hart, deceased, improvement. That the said Hart informed the deponent and company that it was his improvement and there was a considerable field of corn then growing at the said improvement. The deponent further said that he had not seen the said improvement since that time until the 5th inst, at which time he went to see it, and from the situation of the ground, the improvement, the water courses and Boone's old trace he is confident that it is the improvement which Nathaniel Hart, deceased, shewed him in the year 1779, and which this deponent shewed the surveyor of Madison County on the 5th inst. Deponent was present at Boonesborough when Nathaniel Hart laid in his claim before the commissioners for his settlement and preemption and he said Hart obtained his certificate for the improvement on Silver creek. Deponent never heard or knew of any other improvement Nathaniel Hart had in Kentucky but the one on Silver creek.

p.675, Deposition of SQUIRE BOONE (taken at his own house in Shelby County in May 18, 1804, before WILLIAM McCREERY):  That upon Nathaniel Hart, one of the complainant's aforesaid, informing this deponent that he had given the defendants notice to take this deponent's deposition at the Court House in the town or Shelbyville on this day, this deponent says he is principalled against going into the town of Shelbyville upon any business whatever but is willing to depose to any facts within his knowledge relative to said suit at his own house and deposes.   That he is well acquainted with the honey locust the beginning corner called for in GEORGE MERIWETHER's entry of 1,000 acres of land on a preemption warrant in Madison County, which this deponent sold to said Meriwether (known by the name of the Stockfield tract). This deponent says he had a survey made in the year 1776 for 1,000 acres of land which began at this said honey locust corner, which is the south east corner of the said Merriwether's preemption as surveyed under the State of Virginia.  This deponent says that when the said survey was made for Meriwether he went and shewed the beginning corner at the said Honey Locust.

p.676, Deposition of GREEN CLAY (taken at State House Frankfort, Kentucky, on December 17, 1804 before WILLIAM PAGE and JOHN RUNNILL): That Silver creek and Hart's fork of silver creek, Boone's old trace, I understand, was the road generally travelled from the old settlement to the upper settlements in Kentucky. Squire Boone's stockfield tract and Nathaniel Hart's improvement on Boone's old trace were places of great notoriety as early as the fall of 1780.

p.676, Deposition of JESSE OLDHAM (taken at his own house in Madison County on January 7, 1805, before JOHN WILKERSON, a single magistrate): That Silver creek and Hart's fork of Silver creek, Boone's old trace, Squire Boone's stockfield tract, and Nathaniel Hart's improvement on Boone's old trace were places of great notoriety and well known in Kentucky in the year 1779. That Boone's old trace was marked out in the year 1775 and was the road leading from Boonesborough and the upper parts of Kentucky through the Wilderness, which was generally travelled. That Nathaniel Hart's improvement was within sight of Boone's old trace and must have been well known to every person travelling or passing along that trace as there was a considerale quantity of corn made at it in the summer of 1779.

p.677, Deposition of THOMAS WARREN (taken on October 20, 1803, at a spring on the lands of BENJAMIN ESTILL, near an improvement made by JAMES ESTILL, deceased, before RICHARD CALLOWAY and JOHN KINCAID): Question by DANIEL MAUPIN: What do you know respecting James Estill's preemption of 1,000 acres of land, at this spring known by the name of the locust thicket? Answer: Early in January 1780 I came to this spring near to a cabbin which James Estill told me was his improvement of 1,000 acres which didn't at that time and has ever since, gone by name of the Locust thicket, which lies on Otter Creek, Muddy creek, and Silver creek. The cabbin stood about 20 or 30 feet from the spring.

p.677, Deposition of DAVID LYNCH, taken on October 20, 1803, at a spring on the lands of Benjamin Estill, in Madison County, near an improvement made by James Estill, deceased, before RICHARD CALLOWAY and JOHN KINCAID): Early in January 1780 I came to this spring and there was a cabbin standing about 20 or 30 feet from said spring which James Estill told me he made for his improvement, by which he obtained his certificate for a preemption of 1,000 acres of land, known by the name of Locust Thicket, lying on the waters of Otter Creek, Muddy creek and Silver creek. The said spring is on the waters of Otter creek and the spring made use of by the inhabitants which first settled in Estill's old station. The said spring is about 100 yards from the old station on a north course.

          p.678, Deposition of BENJAMIN VANCLEVE (taken on 28th of March at a locust thicket in Madison county on waters of Silver creek before JOHN HARRIS and JOHN KINCAID): Sometime during April 1776 deponent came to the corner where we have met and are taking this deposition, with JOHN KENNEDY, SQUIRE BOONE and others, and made this corner for the beginning of JOSEPH HUGHES survey...from thence we proceeded. Question by JAMES DINWIDDIE: What quantity was run in Hughes survey? Answer: Not less than 640 acres. I am certain that this corner was marked by John Kennedy in 1776. Question: Was it usual to pay Henderson & Company the money for entering of land before it was entered? Answer: I can only answer for myself. I paid to the best of my recollection $2.00.

p.679, Deposition of THOMAS ALLEN (taken at the Court House in Mercer County on July 28, 1803, before CHARLES HUMPHREY and

JOHN THOMPSON): Some time about the year 1783 or 1784 he was applied to by Mrs. SARAH HART, widow of Nathaniel Hart, deceased, to survey the settlement and preemption granted by the commissioners to the said decedant (the deponent being then a deputy surveyor of Lincoln County) and being at the house of Mrs. Hart at or in the vicinity of Boonesborough, had to wait for Colonel Daniel Boone, who Mrs. Hart had sent for to shew the said settlement and preemption and on the arrival of said Boone, he, the deponent went with him from Mrs. Hart's to the place shewed by said Boone, as the settlement and preemption of the decedent, Nathaniel Hart, which lies on the waters of Silver creek and agreeable to the  directions of said Boone, the deponent surveyed and returned platt to principal surveyor. Question by complainant: Was you not governed in making the said survey wholly by the direction of Daniel Boone and not by the entries? Answer; It has been so long since that I cannot now recall but I well know that Daniel Boone was the person who acted for Mrs. Hart and by whom I was directed and that I was a stranger to these claims, improvements, branches, etc., in that neighborhood and must necessarily have been governed by the direction of Boone. Question: Did not Sarah Hart, deceased, appear to have great confidence in the honesty and integrity of Daniel Boone in directing the said survey? Answer: From my recollection which I have now, she did. Question by defendant: Had not Mrs. Hart the management of the decedent's land business after his death? Answer: I do not know anything of her authority under decedent will or otherwise, but she appeared in the case of directing the survey alluded to, to manage as having a right to do so.

p.683. Survey by JOHN CROKE, Surveyor, Madison County, shows Daniel Boone's survey as assignee of Joseph Hughes, Nathaniel Hart's settlement and preemption. Squire Boone's stockfield tract, Lewis Craig's settlement and preemption, Hart's improvement shewn by JOHN HARPER and EDWARD WILLIAMS and proven by JESSE OLDHAM, DAVID GASS and STEPHEN HANCOCK, TWITTY's Fort, Boone's old trace, JAMES ESTILL's 1,000 acre tract.

It was agreed by the Attorneys that the surveys of Nathaniel Hart's preemption and settlement were executed by THOMAS ALLEN on January 12, 1784, were recorded in office of Surveyor of Lincoln County, returned to Register's office and registered in said office before the 2nd survey of said settlement and preemption, which were made June 2, 1798, were executed.

That at the time the said first survey and until after the last surveys were executed a part of the heirs of Nathaniel Hart, deceased, were infants under the age of 21 years.

That the preemption of 1,000 acres entered and surveyed in the name of GEORGE MERIWETHER is the preemption granted to SQUIRE BOONE at the stockfield tract.

That SIMPSON HART, the eldest son of Nathaniel Hart, deceased, died in 1786, having acquired a lawful age.

That NATHANIEL HART, JR., the oldest living son of the deceased, arrived at lawful age on September 30, 1791.

Verdict for complainants.


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