Tag Archives: Low Dutch Petition

John Thickston, Signer of Low Dutch Petition

john-pryor-low-dutch

John Thickston is another signer of the Low Dutch Petition of 1783 that also ties the other signers to Jefferson County, near Louisville. Thickston is identified in THE LOW DUTCH COMPANYA History of the Holland Dutch Settlements of the Kentucky Frontier” by Vincent Akers, published in 1980. Pulling information from this book and from “Early Kentucky Settlers: The Records of Jefferson County, Kentucky, from the Filson Club History Quarterly”

  • “In the summer of 1780 John and Christopher Westerfield decided to move their families to Harrodstown. They hired JOHN THICKSTON, one of Floyd’s scouts, to guide the party and help carry the baggage on his two horses.” This is the John Floyd who built Floyd’s station on Beargrass Creek. Also mentioned is Bullett’s Lick.
  • 1782 John Thixton (sic) with John Pryor in Jefferson County, KY cast their votes for John May as a delegate to the Virginia Assembly
  • 1783 John Thickston signed the Low Dutch Petition a few lines above John Prior. (Other signers who also were polled in 1782 are Cornelius Bryan, William Cummins, William Goodwin, James Hoagland/Houghland, and Samuel Westerfield).

John Pryor, Brother of William Pryor of Amherst County

log houseI’ve been digging around the frontier, comparing Pryor neighbors.  I’m getting swayed that there was one John Pryor who was recorded at key points in frontier history.

1774 Battle of Point Pleasant

1774 was before the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord (MA) in 1775 or the Declaration of Independence in 1776, however this battle in Lord Dunmore’s War is referred to as a battle that ushered in the Revolutionary War. Point Pleasant was the location in Virginia frontier where Fort Randolph was located– it’s now a town in Mason County, WV.  John Pryor served in Col. Andrew Lewis’s brigade, as well as Philip Hammond, Simon Kenton, Thomas Posey, Charles and Robert Clendinin, John and Peter Van Bibber (Virginia County Records, Volume 2. Edited by William Armstrong Crozier. Published by Genealogical Association, 1905. pp. 89-90).

1778 John Pryor Saved Greenbrier

The account of John Pryor and Philip Hammond (or spelled Hamman) warning the residents of Greenbrier of an impending Indian attack is most notably recounted in William Pryor’s (his brother in Amherst Co., VA) Revolutionary War pension in 1832. William stated that John served under General Clark. In 1784 Hammond and Pryor petitioned the Virginia House of Delegates for land as reward for their service in the Greenbrier area in 1778 (see Wikipedia).

1782 Jefferson Co., VA, now KY

I did a nifty comparison of names. First, I took the list of men polled in Jefferson county in 1782 (Early Kentucky Settlers: The Records of Jefferson County, Kentucky, from the Filson Club History Quarterly. Kentucky Adjutant Generals Office, Kentucky Adjutant-General’s Office Genealogical Publishing Co, 1988. pp.40-43). Second, I compared it to men in VA Troops under the command of General George Rogers Clark. This was a very interesting exercise.  The men polled in Jefferson county was a very short list when compared with the longer list of who served under Clark, yet there were several of them who appear on BOTH lists: Aquilla Whitacre, John Martin, George Wilson, John Voress (Vorhies?), Robert George, Isham Floyd, John Campbell (same as Johnson Campbell?).

Initial review of the 1782 poll looks like there may have been a John PRYOR and a John PRIOR in Jefferson County. One who voted for John May and the other who voted for Isaac Morrison. I wish there was greater clarity on how the polling took place. To me, it looks like there were several men running in the Delegates election: John May, Squire Boone, William Shannon, Isaac Morrison. The winners were John May and Squire Boone (A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia. p. 15. see online). My best guess is that there was one John Pryor and he was able to vote for multiple candidates to fill two seats.

jefferson-county-KY

CLICK to view larger

And a quick aside about Jefferson county. Jefferson county covered a lot of territory when KY was the frontier. Present-day Jefferson county is the small area in the center of the gold boundaries in the map above.

A name conspicuously on the poll, but not on the Clark’s rolls is John Pryor. I think this fits nicely with the John Pryor who was paid by Gen. George Rogers Clark for his service as a spy in 1783 (see post).

pryor-mckee

And John Pryor After 1780?

I know many people have asserted this, but I now feel that I’ve made my way through all the available information to possibly agree that the John Pryor who fought at Point Pleasant, spied for Gen. Clark, polled in Jefferson County in 1782, and signed the Low Dutch Petition in 1783 was likely the same man– the brother of William Pryor of Amherst Co., VA. There are accounts of John’s death at the hands of the Indians; some say in 1780, however two of the earliest mentions of his death don’t say when. His compatriot, Philip Hamman, was celebrated in 1830 when it was mentioned that John Pryor was killed by Indians (this was two years before William Pryor made his application for a pension) — see post. The next mention of John Pryor’s death I found was in Mirror of Olden Time Border Life, Joseph Pritts, Alexander Scott Withers S. S. Miles, pub. 1849:

… John Prior, who with his wife and infant were on their way to the country on the south side of the Big Kenhawa. Prior was shot through the breast, but anxious for the fate of his wife and child, stood still till one of the Indians came up and laid hold on her. Notwithstanding the severe wound which he had received, Prior proved too strong for his opponent, and the other Indians not interfering, forced him at length to disengage himself from the struggle. Prior, then seeing that no violence was offered to Mrs. Prior or the infant, walked off without any attempt being made to stop or otherwise molest him… Prior returned to the settlement, related the above incidents and died that night. His wife and child were never after heard of …

I’m not ready to wrap this up yet.

KY Pioneers Who Signed the Low Dutch Petition in 1783

john-pryor-bearcreekI looked at the KY pioneers who were signers of the Low Dutch petition for land in 1783 (see post), hoping to see if there were clues to where these men were living when they signed the document. One signer was John Galloway. I have a man by that name in my Pryor database, but is it the same man?

1780 Court Record – On 9 Mar 1780, “This court doth recommend John Robinson as Captain, John Galloway Lieut, and Thomas Carper for Ensign to a Company of Militia in this County. Also Joseph PRYOR Capt., John Crawford Lieut, and Hugh Allen Ensign to Militia Company in this County (Note: George Skillern was present, serving as a justice). — A Botetourt County, VA court record from ANNALS OF SOUTH WEST VIRGINIA

There were 2 John Galloways– each one served on the Virginia frontier.

#1 is the Lieut. John Galloway who is the man mentioned in the 1780 Botetourt County court record. He states in his Revolutionary War pension application that he joined Capt. Matthew Arbuckle’s company in 1776 and served at Point Pleasant or Fort Randolph. When his term of service was up he received a commission (the Botetourt court record) in the Milita that took him to the Battle of Guilford Court House, NC (March 1781) and later that year the capture of Cornwallis’ arm at Yorktown. There’s  no mention in his application of when and how he arrived in KY. He was living in Garrard County, KY in 1818.

My gut tells me that #2 John Galloway is the one who signed the petition of the Low Dutch Inhabitants in 1783.

  • He went to KY in 1781.
  • In 1782 he served under General George Rogers Clark in battling Indians into Ohio.
  • “1783 under Col Isaac Cox to he marched to Floyd fork & crossed it, ascended to Bullskin and marched to the Burnt station…, which had been Burnt by the indians two days previous who killy [killed] Neel Davis.” [John Galloway #R3877, transcribed by C. Leon Harris on revwarapps.org]. I did some Googling and found that Floyd fork was near Louisville and Bullskin may be Bullskin creek in southwest OH, today in Clermont County.

While it’s not 100% proof, it’s sounding like Galloway #2 and perhaps John Prior were both in Jefferson County in 1783. So I looked at other names. Amos Goodwin is a signer on the same page. He filed for a Revolutionary War pension (Pension Application #W2096) in 1832 in Jefferson County, KY.  He recounts joining  his unit at “the Falls of the Ohio” in 1780. Amos was 83 years old on the 1850 Census and was counted in Jefferson County.

KY Pryor Frontier Signatures

jefferson-county-KYI was looking for one of my other lines that traveled through Kentucky and it looks like I’ve stumbled upon the signature of John Pryor and maybe another KY Pryor. Continue reading