Joseph and Ephraim Drake
The Drake brothers,
Ephraim and Joseph, were both long hunters, but Joseph more so than Ephraim.
Both had good family connections. Joseph was married to Margaret, the daughter
of Col. John Buchanan who lived at Anchor and Hope Plantation. Joseph was
killed by Indians near Boonesboro, Kentucky in August 1778, leaving his
widow and a known son, John Drake, who lived later in Nicholas County,
Ephraim Drake married
Anna Buchanan, a sister to the wife of Joseph. These Buchanan girls who
married the Drake brothers were first cousins of General William Campbell
(whose mother was a Buchanan), and of Captain James Thompson, whose mother
and the wife of Col. John Buchanan were sisters and the daughter of Col.
James Patton who was killed at Fort Vause in 1755. When Ephraim Drake went
from the Holston is unknown to this writer. He was one of four Indian Spys
serving on the Clinch frontier under Gen. Shelby in 1773.
Joseph Drake went
from his father's home on New River and near Anchor and Hope Plantation
(present Max Meadows) to Southwest Virginia by at least 1772, and perhaps
earlier, according to court records. He took up 336 acres of land on Carlock's
Creek. This is the creek that flows into the Holston just east of Chilhowie,
and along the road that leads from Chilhowie to Saltville today.
Joseph got a tract
of land from Col. John Buchanan's estate. The Hall's Bottom land (south
of Bristol's Howard Johnson's Restaurant) and went to live there, but there
was a German living there named Jacob Young, who had moved in on the land
and squatted and he came to Drake's home and fired a pistol across the
front porch and heckled Drake in general until he moved. James Dysart,
who was the first sheriff of Washington County, wanted to help Drake run
Young off, but Drake moved away nonetheless. Dysart wanted to help Drake
his attachment to him. He said he had been
hunting on three long hunts with Drake, one in 1769 for 7 months, another
in 1771 for 9 months, and the third in 1772 for 11 months.
Drake had moved
his family to the Hall's Bottom tract in 1775, and then with the outbreak
of the Cherokee War in 1776, moved them back up new river near his father's
home, and left the Hall's Bottom land for Kentucky in 1777.
It will be recalled
that a Drake boy was killed in Boone's party to Kentucky in 1773, and he
was probably the son of this same Joseph Drake, who was either in the party
of planning to join it later, as it is not likely that he would permit
a teenage son to go to Kentucky alone. After Isaac Crabtree, who was in
this party, witnessed the brutal slaying of his comrades from his hiding
place in the driftwood along Wallen's Creek, he became so embittered he
swore to kill every Indian he saw on sight. Joseph Drake must also have
felt like Crabtree, for he, along with Crabtree and others created much
dissension and danger on the frontier in their attempts on Indians. It
will be recalled that Col. Christian thought of sending Drake to warn the
surveyors but recalled that he had to be a witness at Crabtree's trial.
Later in 1774 when Captain William Russell was raising troops for the Point
Pleasant Campaign some eight or nine men refused to go unless Drake went
as their Captain, and others refused to follow him, saying they wanted
no part of the followers of Crabtree.
In 1773, Joseph
Drake was living on Carlock's Creek as stated, and it was probably here
that his young son joined Boone's son, James, and others who had left the
main party at Chilhowie to go across country to let Captains William Russell
and David Gass, know they were on their way, as both Russell and Gass,
as both Russell and Gass planned to go to Kentucky with Boone. Boone's
main party moved on down the Wilderness Road and was to await the Castlewood
party in Powell Valley.
James Boone, son
of Daniel, and two Mendenhall brothers from North Carolina are all that
we definitely know to be in the party Boone sent to Castlewood, and it
is very likely that these three were the party. Leaving the main party
near present Chilhowie they must have journeyed up Carlock's Creek where
they were joined by the Drake boy and as they proceeded on to Saltville
where they were joined by Isaac Crabtree, traveling across Hayter's Gap
and down through Elk Garden to Castlewood. All these young men, except
Isaac Crabtree who escaped were killed near the head of Wallen's Creek
in present Lee County by Indians on the morning of October 10, 1773, as
well as young Henry Russell, son of Captain William, and a Negro slave
of Russells'. The road from the Town House (now Chilhowie) across Hayter's
Gap had been ordered to be opened earlier this year by the Court of Fincastle