Col Abraham Wood Exploration of the Ohio, 1654

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Index to Articles
An Overview
Summers Summary
Early Exploration Routes
Abraham Wood, 1654
Batts and Fallam 1671
Knights of the Golden Horseshoe, 1716
William Byrd 1736
Dr. Thomas Walker 1749-1750
Gist's Journal, 1750-1751

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From: Source:Brown, 1937

...cropping out in all the literature of the Mississippi Valley exploration from the eighteenth century to the monographs of contemporary scholars, is the bare statement, now calmly presented as a fact, now contemptuously mentioned as a lie, that in the year 1654 or at various times in the decade following that year Abraham Wood (who commissioned the Batts and Fallam expedition) gained the banks of the Ohio, or of the Mississippi, or both. It can probably never be either proved or disproved with absolute certainty, but long and patient search has yielded the facts about to be recited, and only these . . . Dr. Daniel Coxe was the first to mention the episode. His account appears in a memorial to King William, presented to the Board of Trade November 16, 1699, and, in the younger Coxe's book 'Carolina'. Coxe states that at several times during the decade 1654‑1664 Wood discovered several branches of the great rivers Ohio and Meschabe (Mississippi). In confirmation, Coxe alleges that he was at one time in possession of a journal of a Mr. Needham, one of the agents Wood employed in his exploring expeditions. Now Wood's men did discover branches of the Ohio and Mississippi, in the years 1671‑74; and the Needham referred to was employed in the most brilliant of these discoveries (that of the Tennessee River, in 1673). Since Coxe states incorrectly both Wood's title and place of residence, it is most probable that his information about the date was also incorrect. It would seem that subsequent writers have simply followed Coxe, either at first or second hand . . . The whole tone of Fallam's journal and of Wood's letter regarding the explorations of 1673‑74, and especially Wood's references in that letter to the discoveries of Batts and Fallam, in 1671, make it reasonably certain that Wood had not been on the western waters at any prior time." [1]
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