Friday, October 3, 2014

Journal of William Calk, Surveyor of Caintuck: 1775

Compass, Jacob's staff, gunter line (33 ft vice the standard 66)
and surveyor's notes of William Calk, Kentucky Historical Society


  William Calk (1740-1823) was recently mentioned by a friend on another page.  There is a great deal of information about his travels to "Caintuck" and "Knew Orlands" available in PDF format in various historical societies' archives.  He hailed from Prince William County Virginia was the surveyor of Boonsboro, Kentucky in 1775.  He traveled there with one Abraham Hank, the grandfather of a fellow with the last name of Lincoln and fell in with the company of a Captain Boone, as reads his journal below:

              "1775 March 13th mond I set out from prince wm. to travel to Cain- tuck on tuesday Night our company all Got together at Mr Prizes at Rapadan Which was ABraham hanks philip Drake Eanock Smith Robert Whitledge & my Self thear abrams Dogs leg got broke By Drake's Dog -

wedns 15th we started Early from prises made a good Days travel & lodge this Night at mr cars on North fork James River.

Entries of April from Calk's Journal, Kentucky Historical Society


thurs 16th we started Early it Raind Chief part of the Day Snowd in the Eavening very hard & was very coald we travld all Day & Got to Mr Blacks at the foot of the Blue Ridge


fryd 17th we Start Early cross the Ridge the wind Blows very hard & cold and lodge at James loyls

Satrd 18th we git this Day to William andersons at Crows ferrey & there we Stay till monday morning

mond 20th we Start early cross the fery and lodge this night at Wm adamses on the head of catauby

tuesd 21st we Start early and git over pepers ferey on new River & lidge at pepers this night.

 wedns 22d we Start early and git to foart chissel whear we git some good loaf Bread & good Whiskey

thurs 23d we Start early & travel till a good while in the Night and git to major cammels on holston River.

fryday ye 24th we Start early & turn out of the wagon Road to go across the mountains to go by Danil Smiths we lose Drive [Calk's black servant, presumably a slave] Come to a turabel mountain that tried us all almost to death to git over it & we lodge this night on the Lawrel fork of holston under a grait mountain & Roast a fine fat turkey for our Sup- pers & Eat it without aney Bread

Satrd 25 we Start Early travel over Some more very Bad mountains one that is caled Clinch mountain & we git this night to Danil Smiths on clinch and there we Staid till thursday morning on tuesday night & wednesday morning it Snowed Very hard and was very colad & we hunted a good deal there while we Staid in Rough mountains & Kild three Deer & one turkey Eanock ABram & I got lost tuesday night & it asnowing & Should a lain in the mountains had not I had a pocket Compas By which I Got in a littel in the night and fired guns and they heard them and caim in By the Repoart

thursd 30th we Set out again & went down to Elk gardin and there Suplid our Selves With Seed Corn & irish tators then we went on alittel way I turnd my hors to drive afore me & he got Scard Ran away t.hrew Down the Saddel Bags & Broke three of our powder goards & ABrams flask Burst open a walet of corn & lost a good Deal & made aturrabel flustration amongst the Reast of the horses Drakes mair ran against a sapling & noct it down we cacht them all agin & went on & lodgd at John Duncan

fryd 31st we suplayd our Selves at Dunkans with a 108 pounds of Bacon & went on again to Brileys mill & suployd our Selves with meal & lodged this night at clinch By a large cainbrake & cuckt our Suppers.

April satd first this morning there is ice at our camp half inch thick we Start Early & travel this Day along a verey Bad hilley way cross one creek whear the horses almost got Mired Some fell in & all wet their loads we cross Clinch River & travell till late in the Night & camp on cove creek having two men with us that wair pilates

Sund 2d this morning is avery hard frost we Start Early travel over powels mountain and camp on the head of Powels valey whear there is verey good food

mond 3d we Start Early travel down the valey cross powels River go some throw the woods with out aney track cross some Bad hils Git into hendersons Road camp on a creek in powels valey;

tuesday 4th Raney we Start about 10 oclock and git down to capt martins in the valey where we over take Coln. henderson & his companey Bound for Caintuck & there we camp this Night there they were Broiling & Eat- ing Beef without Bread;

Wednesday ye 5th Breaks away fair & we go on down the valey & camp on indian Creek we had this creek to cross maney times & very Bad Banks ABrams Saddel turned & the load all fell in we go out this Eavening & Kill two Deer

thurd 6th this morning is ahard frost & we wait at camp for Coln. henderson & companey to come up they come up about 12 oclock & we Join with them and camp there Still this night waiting for Some part of the companey that had their horses Ran away with their packs;

fryday ye 7th this morning is avery hard Snowey morning & we Still continue at camp Being in number about 40 men & Some Neagros this Eavening Comes aletter from Capt Boon at caintuck of the indians doing mischief and Some turns back

Satrd 8th We all pact up & Started Crost Cumberland gap about one oclock this Day we Met a great maney peopel turnd Back for fear of the indians but our Company goes on Still with good courage we come to a very ugly Creek With Steep Banks & have it to Cross Several times on this Creek we camp this night

Sunday 9th this morning We wait at camp for the cattel to Be drove up to Kill a Beef tis late Before they come & peopel makes out alittel snack & agree to go on till till Night we git to cumberland River & there we camp meet 2 more men turn Back

Monday 10th this is alowry morning & very like for Rain & we keep at camp this day and Some goes out ahunting I & two more goes up avery large mountain Near the top we Saw the track of two Indians whear they had lain unter Some Rocks Some of the companey went over the River a bofelo hunting But found None at night Capt. hart comes up with his packs & there they hide Some of thier lead to lighten thier packs that they may travel faster (Were they carrying lead ingots to Boonsboro for the casting of ball?)

tuesday 11th this is a very loury morning & like for Rain But we all agree to Start Early we Cross Cumberland River & travel Down it about 10 miles through Some turrabel Cainbrakes as we went down abrams mair Ran into the River with Her load & Swam over he followd her & got on her & ma.de her Swim Back agin it is a very Raney Eave- ning we take up camp near Richland Creek they Kill a Beef Mr Drake Bakes Bread with out Washing his hands we Keep Sentry this Night for fear of the indians-

Wednesday 12th this is a Raney morning But we pack up & go on we come to Richland creek it is high we toat our packs over on a tree & swim our horses over & there We meet another Companey going Back they tell Such News ABram & Drake is afraid to go aney further there we camp this night-

thursday 13th this morning the weather Seems to Brake & Be fair ABram & Drake turn Back we go on & git to loral River we come to a creek before wheare we are obliged to unload & to toate our packs over on alog this day we meet about 20 more turning Back we are obligd to toat our packs over loral River & Swim our Horses one hors Ran in with his pack and lost it in the River & they got it [back]

fryday 14th this is a clear morning with a Smart frost we go on & have avery mirey Road and camp this Night on a creek of loral River & are Surprisd at camp By a wolf-

Satterday 15th clear with a Small frost we Start Early we meet Some men that turns & goes With us we travel this Day through the plais Cald the Bressh & cross Rockease River & camp ther this Night & have fine food for our horses-

Sunday 16th cloudy & warm we Start Early & go on about 2 mile down the River and then turn up a creek that we crost about 50 times Some very Bad foards with a great Deal of very good land on it the Eavening we git over to the Waters of Caintuck & go alittel Down the creek & there we camp keep Sentry the forepart of the night it Rains very har[d] all night-

monday 17th this is a very Rany morning But Breaks about 11 oclock & we go on and Camp this Night in Several companeys on Some of the creeks of caintuck

tuesday 18th fair & cool and we go on about 11 oclock we meet 4 men from Boons Camp that Caim to cunduck us on we camp this night Just on the Beginning of the Good land near the Bluie lick they kill 2 Bofelos this Eavening-

This Wednesd 19th Smart frost this mornling they kill 3 Bofelos about 11 oclock we come to where the indialns fired on Boons Companey & Kild 2 men & a dog & wounded one man in the thigh we campt this night on oter creek-

thursday 20th this morning is Clear & cool We Start Early & git Down to Caintuck to Boons foart about 12 oclock wheare we stop they Come out to meet us & welcom us in with a voley of guns

fryday 21st Warnm this Day they Begin laying off lots in the town and prearing for peopel to go to worek to make corn- [Calk begins his Survey]

Satterday 22d they finish laying out lots this Eaveninlg I went afishing and Cacht 3 cats they meet in the night to Draw for choise of lots But Refer it till morning-

April Sunday 23d this morniing the peopel meets & Draws for Chais of loots this is avery warm day monday

24th We all view our loots & Some Dont like them about 12 oclock the Combsses come to town & Next morning they make them abark canew and Set off down the River to meet thier Companey-

tuesday 25th in the Eavening we git us a plaise at the mouth of the creek & Begin clearing this day we Begin to live with out Bread

Wednesday 26th We Begin Building us a house & a plaise of Defenee to keep the indians off

thursday 27th Raniey all Day But We Still keep about our house-

Satterday 29th We git our house kivered with Bark & move our things into it at Night and Begin houskeeping Eanock Smith Robert Whitledge & my Self

monday May ye first I go out to look for my mair and Saw 4 Bofelos the Being the first Ever I Saw & I shot one of them but did not git him when I caim home Eanek & Robin had found the mair & was gone out ahunting & did Not Come in for Days and kild only one Deer-

tuesday 2d I Went out in the morning & kild aturkey and come in & got Some on for my Breakfast ancd then went & Sot in to Clearing for Corn-"Mississippi Historical Review

 

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