About a year ago, my husband and I set out to see the frontier land where John and Lucy first settled. We stayed in Culpeper Virginia and traveled to surrounding county seats. I can't explain it really, but I loved the aura of being where they lived. The area has changed, but not all of it. In Stanardsville, there is a Lafayette Inn which opened in 1840 and served as a hospital during the civil war, a stagecoach stop and still today houses a restaurant. Nearby is Dicey's cottage which housed the slaves for the Inn. The town has a very historical feel. What impressed me the most was that the Sampson pioneers settled at the foot of the mountains. And the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains are still there! This was especially impressive to me because I live in flat Indiana. I kept thinking while I was there--did they see the mountains as beautiful or as a barrier to the lands beyond?
It was hard to pinpoint where they lived exactly because the deed of the land they purchased gave this description of the land: "One hundred and fifty three acres more or less situate in Orange County and bounded; Beginning at two Gums & two white Oaks East side of Swamp on BENJA(MIN) POWELLs line. North eighty six degrees West one hundred and forty one pole to a Beach, Sycamore and Dogwood South side of the River, South seventy six degrees one hundred and fourteen poles to a parcel of Oaks N.E. side of the Road, North forty nine degrees one hundred and twenty pole two white and Spanish Oaks on a Ridge in WINSLOWs and PICKETTs lines.North forty degrees West one hundred and forty one pole to 2 white Oaks and 2 Dogwoods on West side of above mentioned Swamp to the beginning, containing One hundred and fifty three acres and all houses orchards Profits and appurtenances to the land belonging."
Afterthoughts--was it a crime to cut down a tree that was a boundary? Also, evidently surveyors were the ones who knew their tree names the best :)
Visiting the frontier--so glad I went.