MySource:Quolla6/Waddell's Discussion of Borden's Grant

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MySource Waddell's Discussion of Borden's Grant
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Place Borden's Grant
Rockbridge, Virginia, United States
Year range -
Surname Borden
Citation
Waddell's Discussion of Borden's Grant.


From: Source:Waddell, 1902:30-32

Benjamin Borden, a native of New Jersey, and agent of Lord Fairfax in the lower Valley, obtained from Governor Gooch a patent dated October 3, 1734, for a tract of land in Frederick county, which was called "Borden's Manor." At the same time he was promised 100,000 acres on the waters of James River, west of the Blue Ridge, as soon as he should locate a hundred settlers on the tract. The story of his visit to John Lewis in the spring of 1736, taking with him to Williamsburg a buffalo calf which he presented to the Governor, and thus received his grant, often repeated, is now generally discredited. Beverley and Borden were indefatigable in introducing settlers from Europe. James Patton was a very efficient agent in this enterprise. He was a native of Ireland, was bred to the sea, and had served in the royal navy. Afterward he became the owner of "a passenger ship," and traded to Hobbes' Hole, Virginia, on the Rappahannock river. He is said to have crossed the Atlantic twenty-five times, bringing Irish immigrants, and returning with cargoes of peltries and tobacco.— [R. A. Brock, "Dinwiddie Papers," Vol. I, page 8.] Most of the people introduced by Patton were the class known as " Redemptioners," or "indentured servants," who served a stipulated time to pay the cost of their transportation…

Borden's tract was South of Beverley's Manor, and in the present county of Rockbridge. The first settlers on the tract were Ephraim McDowell and his family. His daughter, Mary Greenlee, related in a deposition taken in 1806, and still extant, the circumstances under which her father went there. Her brother, James McDowell, had come into Beverley's Manor during the spring of 1737, and planted a crop of corn, near Woods' Gap; and in the fall her father, her brother John, and her husband and herself came to occupy the settlement. Before they reached their destination, and after they had arranged their camp on a certain evening at Linnville Creek, (now Rockingham,) Borden arrived and asked permission to spend the night with them, being doubtless on his way to his tract from his home in the lower Valley. He informed them of his grant, and offered them inducements to go there. The next day they came on to the house of John Lewis, and there it was finally arranged that the party should settle in Borden's tract. Ephraim McDowell was then a very aged man, and lived to be over one hundred years old. When a youth of 16 he was one of the defenders of Londonderry. He and his family located on Timber Ridge, originally called "Timber Grove," being attracted by the forest trees on the ridge, which were scarce elsewhere in the region. Borden offered a tract of one hundred acres to any one who should build a cabin on it, with the privilege of purchasing more at fifty shillings per hundred acres. Each cabin secured to him one thousand acres. Mrs. Mary Greenlee related in her deposition, referred t0, that an Irish girl, named Peggy Millhollan, a servant of James Bell, dressed herself in men's clothes and secured five or six cabin rights. John Patterson, who was employed to count the cabins, was surprised to find so many people named Millhollan, but the trick was not discovered till after the return was made. Among the settlers in "Borden's grant" were William McCausland, William Sawyers, Robert Campbell, Samuel Woods, John Mathews (father of Sampson and George), Richard Woods, John Hays and his son, Charles and Samuel Walker. Borden obtained his patent November 8, 1739.


…Borden's tract was South of Beverley's Manor, and in the present county of Rockbridge. The first settlers on the tract were Ephraim McDowell and his family. His daughter, Mary Greenlee, related in a deposition taken in 1806, and still extant, the circumstances under which her father went there. Her brother, James McDowell, had come into Beverley's Manor during the spring of 1737, and planted a crop of corn, near Woods' Gap; and in the fall her father, her brother John, and her husband and herself came to occupy the settlement. Before they reached their destination, and after they had arranged their camp on a certain evening at Linnville Creek, (now Rockingham,) Borden arrived and asked permission to spend the night with them, being doubtless on his way to his tract from his home in the lower Valley. He informed them of his grant, and offered them inducements to go there. The next day they came on to the house of John Lewis, and there it was finally arranged that the party should settle in Borden's tract. Ephraim McDowell was then a very aged man, and lived to be over one hundred years old. When a youth of 16 he was one of the defenders of Londonderry. He and his family located on Timber Ridge, originally called "Timber Grove," being attracted by the forest trees on the ridge, which were scarce elsewhere in the region. Borden offered a tract of one hundred acres to any one who should build a cabin on it, with the privilege of purchasing more at fifty shillings per hundred acres. Each cabin secured to him one thousand acres. Mrs. Mary Greenlee related in her deposition, referred t0, that an Irish girl, named Peggy Millhollan, a servant of James Bell, dressed herself in men's clothes and secured five or six cabin rights. John Patterson, who was employed to count the cabins, was surprised to find so many people named Millhollan, but the trick was not discovered till after the return was made. Among the settlers in "Borden's grant" were William McCausland, William Sawyers, Robert Campbell, Samuel Woods, John Mathews (father of Sampson and George), Richard Woods, John Hays and his son, Charles and Samuel Walker. Borden obtained his patent November 8, 1739.



...On October 22, 1737, "Zachary Lewis, Gent., attorney for our Sovereign Lord, the King, informed the Court that, at the houses of Louis Stilfy and John Smith, certain persons, viz : the said John Smith, John Pitts, Benjamin Borden" and others "do keep unlawful and tumultuous meetings tending to rebellion," and it was ordered that the sheriff take said persons into custody. At November Court, "Benjamin Borden, Gent.," and his roistering and rebellious companions appeared, were examined, and, "acknowledging their error," were dismissed with costs. Whether the Benjamin Borden referred to was the father, or his son of the same name, we do not know.

He died in the latter part of 1743, in Frederick, leaving three sons, Benjamin, John and Joseph, and several daughters. The next spring his son Benjamin appeared in Rockbridge (as it is now) with authority under his father's will to adjust all matters with the settlers on the grant. He had, however, been in the settlement before his father's death. Mrs. Greenlee says Benjamin Borden, Jr., was "altogether illiterate," and did not make a good impression on his first arrival, but be proved to be an upright man, and won the confidence of the people. The saying: "As good as Ben. Burden's bill," passed into a proverb. He married Mrs. Magdalene McDowell, (originally a Miss Woods, of Rockfish), widow of John McDowell, who was killed by Indians in December, 1742, and by her had two daughters, Martha and Hannah. The former became the wife of Robert Harvey, the latter never married. Benjamin Borden, Jr., died of small-pox in 1753. His will was admitted to record by the County Court of Augusta, November 21, 1758. The executors appointed were John Lyle, Archibald Alexander and testator's wife, but the first named declined to serve. His personal estate was large for the time. During her second widowhood Mrs. Magdalene Borden contracted a third marriage with Colonel John Bowyer. Joseph Borden, brother of Benjamin, Jr., was frequently in the settlement after the latter's death. In course of time he instituted the chancery suit of Bor den vs. Bowyer, &c., out of which grew the cause of Peck vs. Borden, both of which have been pending in the courts of Augusta county for a hundred years, more or less.

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