Dammit! This is confusing…
Bennetts Creek is in Nansemond… or so I thought… well it is of course … but…
In the year 1643 a military expedition was launched from Virginia to subdue the natives of Carolina. The expedition met the Chowan at Weynock Creek where battle was made. We know of no details of this battle except that one white man was killed, an unknown number of Chowanoke. After this, the Chowans gave up title to all their land west of the Chowan River, though it wasn’t until much later it was settled by whites.
Settlers trickled into Carolina and a tenuous government was established. In the early years, the Chowanoke were protected by the fact that they lived in disputed territory, a tug of war between Virginia and Carolina that would last into the next century. The result was that settlements on the Chowan didn’t spring up (except individual settlers) until the 1660s.
The next turning point was the year 1675, when the Chowans attacked the surrounding settlements. We know of few details, only that several whites were murdered and property destroyed. while enjoying initial success due to the disorganization and lack of arms of the settlers, eventually a militia was formed and the Chowanoc were defeated. They gave up all title to land and lived upon the very first Indian Reservation in North Carolina, at Bennett’s Creek.
I think the Bennett’s Creek they are talking about is not where everyone thinks it is… I think it is at the mouth of Meherrin River… 1663:
This is what got me on this track…
Benjamin Hill bought 640 acres of land on the south side of the Meherrin
River in 1727 from Anthony Lewis. The price was 30 barrells of pitch. Lewis
had received a patent for the land in 1721. At the same time, Hill bought
cattle, hogs and household furniture from John Smith and David Vincent.
Included in the deal was a parcel of land for which Smith had received
patent in 1717.
…note that pesky Anthony Lewis… he is “supposed” to be in Southampton County, VA… and he WAS!… and died there; perhaps it was his son who sold to Hill in 1727. And that irritating Benjamin Hill guy (according to the historian Dr. Parramore) became wealthy “from the Indian Trade”. All of which leads me to Tracking The Traders once again… So was Henry Hill the daddy of Benjamin Hill?
Seems to me traders were thick as flies around Meherrin for 50 years before Benjamin Hill… they would carry a musket in one hand and money in the other to trade or fight…whichever the case called for. Such is the history.
See the lower map here:
And not to forget my old buddy Arthur Kavanaugh…
11 Apr 1709 Chowan County, NC. Jacob COLSON witnesses a deed from Robert Hicks to Arthur Kavanaugh of Meherrin River, 1280 acres (Note from Doug Tucker – Kavanaugh and Jacob COLSON were Indian Traders. Kavanaugh lived among the Meherrin Indians at a site near the mouth of the Meherrin River and Jacob COLSON was his close neighbor. This was before Jacob COLSON moved his family, including son John, south to the Roanoke River – then called the Marrotock River.)
I have yet to actually track Kavanaugh with a deed to the area at the mouth of the Meherrin… but it all adds up that he would “visit”there… Kavanaugh had property near Robert Hicks* on the Meherrin River at modern Emporia, VA. It seems apparent that they would send their hides down the Maherrin to the mouth and Chowan River and thence to ports unknown. ‘Course Kavanaugh was also active around the Roanoke (Morattock) River area (had some property there also). Traders thick as flies around Occoneechee Neck…
*there were 2 Robert Hicks… one the trader in Emporia, the other a clerk in Chowan/Bertie