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Notes On Floyd Fest And The Voyage To The Vineyard

Well…After The Whitaker Center we bopped on down the the Fur Peace Ranch for a two set show after the Christmas In July extravaganza. Here is our set list from that night:

Hot Tuna 38, 2013
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
The Fur Peace Station
Darwin, Ohio
Saturday, July 27, 2013

First Set:
1. Too Many Years
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Children Of Zion
4. The Terrible Operation
5. Things That Might Have Been
6. Candy Man
7. I See The Light
8. Barbeque King
9. 99 Year Blues
10. I Know You Rider
Second Set:
1. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
2. Prohibition Blues
3. Second Chances
4. Let Us Get Together
5. Come Back Baby
6. I’ll let You Know Before I Leave
7. How Long Blues
8. Good Shepherd
9. Parchman Farm
10. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning
11. Encore: Embryonic Journey

As soon as we finished that show, we hopped on the bus and beat feet on down to Floyd, Virginia for our three sets at Floyd Fest.

Myron Hart tunes us up for our first show in Floyd

Myron Hart tunes us up for our first show in Floyd

We were winging this one… so there is no set list. We got there fifteen minutes before this set time and finished a half an hour before the next set at the Main Stage…

Hot Tuna 39, 2013
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
Dreaming Creek Main Stage
Floyd Fest
Floyd, Virginia
Sunday, July 28, 2013

1. Hesitation Blues
2. True Religion
3. Serpent of Dreams
4. Children Of Zion
5. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
6. How Long Blues
7. Good Shepherd
8. Red River Blues
9. Nine Pound Hammer
10. Encore: Embryonic Journey

The at 1530 it was off to the Streamline Stage @ Hill Holler for our electric show:

Hot Tuna 39, 2013
The Electric Quartet
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
Barry Mitterhoff & Skoota Warner
Streamline Stage
@Hill Holler
Floyd Fest
Floyd, Virginia
Sunday, July 28, 2013

1. I See The Light
2. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
3. Can’t Get Satisfied
4. Ode To Billy Dean
5. Corners Without Exits
6. 99 Year Blues
7. Goodbye To The Blues
8. Mourning Interrupted
9. Rock Me Baby
10. Funky #7
11. Encore: Hit Single # 1

Barry, Skoota, Jack and I getting ready to head our different ways.

Barry, Skoota, Jack and I getting ready to head our different ways.

After this set, it was back to the hotel in Roanoke, up at 0330 to head for the airport at 0445… fly to Atlanta, change planes, fly to Kennedy, change planes, airlines and terminals and than to Martha’s Vineyard for Barry, Myron and myself for a private party for the folks who wone the event on our Kickstarter Program. Tomorrow is that gig which I shall report on and then finally home on the First.

Good times…

  1. RickM
    July 31st, 2013 at 07:07 | #1

    Thanks, fellows—for living a blast !

  2. John B
    July 31st, 2013 at 09:18 | #2

    What a set list for the Ranch show Jorma ! People love Hot Tuna and the great effort that you guys put into every show. Looking forward to more Hot Tuna in the coming months.

    John B

  3. Craig K.
    July 31st, 2013 at 09:34 | #3

    My eyes are not what they used to be, or much else for that matter, but do I spy a “Virginia is for Lovers” T shirt?

  4. Tom in St. Louis
    July 31st, 2013 at 09:50 | #4

    What a schedule!!
    Don’t know how you do it…must be the naps.
    Steady as she goes, men!

  5. Steve levenson
    July 31st, 2013 at 12:22 | #5

    …and I thought I had a tough commute…..

  6. Cat
    July 31st, 2013 at 12:35 | #6

    (((fpr)))

  7. Cyndy Consentino
    July 31st, 2013 at 12:42 | #7

    Dear Jorma,
    Wow! What a schedule is right! I’m tired for you!
    Get some rest once you are home on the first.
    Hope you guys will release Beacon show dates soon!

    Stay Well,
    Cyndy

  8. Webster
    July 31st, 2013 at 14:36 | #8

    Amazing Hot Tuna show at FPR. I have loved the Tuna sound for many (40!) years and heaven knows it’s been evolving steadily (punctuated equlibrium?) , but I have been struck lately that youse guys are morphing into something new, something that has become this thoroughly unique, immediately recognizable, but utterly authentic blues sound… I don’t know, as I write that, I realize that’s always been true. It is, perhaps, getting more refined and more authentic at the same time, which is some accomplishment. Anyway, Thanks so much for putting it out there with the energy and committment that you always do.

  9. Kathy
    July 31st, 2013 at 20:08 | #9

    Is the floyd fest related to the Floyds of Virginia? Just wondering. I have Floyd in my family tree from Virginia. One was a govenor. My descendancy from the powhaten comes partially from the Floyd family of Virgina, and Davis as well. I’ve never dared to ask a direct question on here just wondered. I skim articles but full go round is what came to mind when i checked in here today to see what is up in the Big country. I really do not know why either. I listened to it and still do not know why. Thanks.

  10. Cat
    July 31st, 2013 at 22:10 | #10

    The county website says “On January 15, 1831, the General Assembly of Virginia passed an act creating the present county of Floyd out of the county Montgomery. The new county was named for the then Governor of Virginia, John Floyd.” They say hippies went there during the “farm out” period in the 70s. Floyd is a music hub today.

  11. kathy
    August 1st, 2013 at 02:41 | #11

    John Floyd Is My 6th great grandfather. But he was born in 1751 pedlar river, Amherst Virginia. He married Abadiah Davis.1728-1823.

  12. kathy
    August 1st, 2013 at 03:11 | #12

    Abadiah Davis was his mother. She married Nathaniel R. Davis 1676- 1771. Sorry Not his wife but mother.

  13. kathy
    August 1st, 2013 at 03:47 | #13

    Nathaniel Davis Married Mary E. Hughes , Her mother was nekketi Powhatan.1625-1720.Her motehr was Cleopatra Powhatten 1600-1680 Henrico Co. She Married Ocecehenough.

  14. kathy
    August 1st, 2013 at 03:51 | #14

    Thanks Jorma. Over and out. Best I can do.

  15. Tim from Philly
    August 1st, 2013 at 18:36 | #15

    Jorma I was very happily there for all three sets @Floyd – that’s my back w/ Floyd sweatshirt and white hat in the front row of Myron’s pic – next to my buddy Steve’s son Pat. I remember 4 songs were played on the Porch – incredible venue, I have some great pics for any interested. Recall Death Don’t Have no Mercy and BBQ King – don’t remember the others other than lots of good talk and making it up as you went along.

    Peace out from Philly!

  16. Tim from Philly
    August 1st, 2013 at 18:44 | #16

    Oh and how could I forget – John Lohman who runs the stage and works for the VA state folklore society – asked about Airplane days and the quintessential bass line from White Rabbit – Hot Freaking Jack jumps in and Jorma and Barry followed for a one minute White Rabbit jam that was priceless!

  17. kathy
    August 3rd, 2013 at 04:22 | #17

    10″–These are my notes (or I credit others); please use them but credit me so others might check back–

    Colonel John Floyd is my 4th great grandfather. We do not know for certain what John Floyd looked like, but we do have this from BF Reinauer III, op. cit: Col. Floyd is described in 1774 (Draper Mss. 5B68) as being “…upwards of six feet high, somewhat slender, straight as an Indian, and almost as dark as one, indicative of his aboriginal descent; brilliant eyes, and very black straight hair, presenting altogether a handsome appearance … fine natural understanding, great integrity of character, and displayed on all occasions cool, undaunted courage, and a heart full of the milk of human kindness.”

    From the Waddell, Jos. A., “Annals of Augusta County, Virgnia,” 1871 and 1901 comes this very good summary of Floyd’s brief life:

    “It has been stated that John Floyd married Miss Burford. Ten months after marriage, his wife died leaving an infant girl which Mrs. Burford adopted and named Mourning. As soon as the young man mastered the poignancy of his grief he went to Fincastle County and applied to Colonel William Preston, a very prominent and influential citizen and general surveyor, for a position as deputy, to go to work in the wilds of Kentucky, then a county of Virginia. Colonel Preston, thinking him too young to take charge of a surveying party among the Indians of the Ohio Valley, prevailed on him to teach school and write in the surveyor’s office for a few years. In 1774, he took a party to Kentucky as Colonel Preston’s deputy. He worked as far down the Ohio River as the Falls where Louisville is now situated, and located many fine bodies of land for Colonel Preston and others; and near the Falls he located a body of several thousand acres for himself.

    “From the Falls he went to the Bluegrass region where his work was much impeded by troubles with the Indians. He there met a former associate and friend of the family, George Rogers Clark, also in charge of a surveying party. But their operations were brought to a sudden close by Daniel Boone who came as a special messenger from Governor Dunmore of Virginia to notify all parties along the Ohio River that the Indians of the upper Ohio region were on the warpath; and the whites were directed to concentrate at the mouth of the Kanawha River. It was there that John Floyd and George Rogers Clark– both born in the same year and in adjoining counties in Virginia–took their first serious lesson in Indian fighting, at the battle of Point Pleasant, October 10, 1774.

    “The young man returned to Virginia for the winter, and in the succeeding April, 1775, he took a party to central Kentucky where he formed an association with the Henderson Company, of which Daniel Boone was a leading member. He planned and supervised the building of the fort at Boonsborough, and he and Boone became great friends.

    “It was there that an incident occurred–an account of which, written by young Floyd to Colonel Preston, his friend and patron, found its way into the histories and story books of the period. Boone’s daughter, Jemima (ed.; born Oct 4, 1762; died Aug 30, 1834; Missouri), and two daughters of Colonel Calloway went to the forest to gather blossoms. They had not returned at noon and Boone and Floyd went out to search for them. Their trail was found and followed a mile or more to where another trail intersected it and there were scattered blossoms. This told them what had occurred, and fearing to lose time by returning to the fort for assistance, they pushed forward and on the next day came upon the party of Indians who had captured them about forty miles from the fort. Several of the Indians were killed and the captives brought back to the fort. As soon as young Floyd learned that the Colonies would certainly separate from the mother country he returned to Virginia and, aided by his stanch friend, Colonel Preston, and others, he fitted out a schooner which he named the Phoenix and on being commissioned, joined the naval force of the Colonies as a privateer. After some thrilling experiences in the West Indies he captured a merchantman so richly ladened that he determined to take her and the cargo to Virginia. But when almost within sight of the Virginia capes he was overhauled by a man-of-war, the prize retaken, the Phoenix sent to the bottom of the sea, and he and his crew sent in chains to England.

    “After languishing in prison for more than a year he was aided in making his escape by a little daughter of the commandant. Begging his way to Dover, a benevolent clergyman procured him a pass and a ticket across the English Channel. The vintage season had commenced in France, and the vineyardists did not let him suffer for grapes, and an occasional loaf of bread, on his way to Paris. He was received with great cordiality by Dr. Franklin, our Minister to France, who supplied his immediate needs and soon furnished him with money and such information and papers as were necessary to insure his safe and speedy return home. Dr. Franklin, in writing about the incident, spoke of him as: ‘An earnest patriot, and a well informed young gentleman.’

    “When the young man escaped from the English prison more than two years had elapsed since he had made an engagement to marry Miss Sallie Buchanan, the beautiful niece and ward of his friend, Col. William Preston, on her birthday. No news of the capture of the Phoenix having been received in America, he was believed to have gone to the bottom with his vessel and crew; and when he made his way to Fincastle County he found his lady-love about to be married to a distant cousin of hers. This agreement was immediately annulled and on November 2, 1778, the two lovers were united in marriage. Colonel Floyd, having made no arrangement for a permanent home, took his bride to spend the ensuing winter at his father’s home.”

    Editor: I have not seen this account except on the internet, where it is referenced to “The Annals….” as shown. It does not disagree with the accounts of Floyd in family stories, the work by N. J. Floyd, 1912, op. cit., the “Winning of the West,” by T. Roosevelt, or the account in the Cabell work, op. cit. Other accounts do add that he met Marie Antoinette in Paris, who gave him gold with which to pay his return. There may be some embellishment here– it is appropriate to recall that his son and grandson were governors of Va., as were nephews and cousins, and stories of their antecedents may be burnished.

    From “Colonel John Floyd: Reluctant Adventurer,” Anna M. Cartlidge, a great-great niece of Colonel Floyd, published in the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, October 1968, and kindly furnished to me by B. Franklin Reinauer III, op. cit. Excerpts (in quotes) and a summary, together with some notes of mine:

    Floyd was born in 1750 in Albemarle, which later became Amherst. (The name James John is from Letitia Preston Floyd’s Bible, in the VHS, and the date is from her letter to Benjamin Rush Floyd, op. cit.) We think his father probably migrated to Albemarle from the Tidewater before 1745; “…the court records show that on January 24 of that year, he was paid a bounty for one wolf’s head.” (Albemarle Court Order Book, 1745-48).

    “Nothing is known of John’s boyhood or his schooling…. he was educated far above the average… of his time. His penmanship was legible and his spelling almost flawless….”

    In 1768 he married the daughter of Daniel Burford in Amherst: “Among their wedding presents was a grant from John’s maternal uncle, Robert Davis, Jr., of twenty-six acres on the east side of Wilderness Creek in Amherst County. (Amherst Deed Book B, p. 372. Land surveyed on 2 December 1768 on the south branch of Maple Creek of Pedlar River)…. John was to develop this into a farm he called Arcadia.” By mid 1769, his wife was dead, dying in the birth of her daughter Mourning, and named in her memory. The little girl was raised by the Burfords, her grandparents.

    He left home ” in early March, 1770…” and “…set out on horseback across the Blue Ridge Mountains.” He carried a letter from Colonel William Cabell, Jr. to Colonel William Preston, who was the Surveyor of Botetourt County: “This will be delivered to you by Mr. John Floid (sic) who…. seems extremely desirous to serve you. I know him to be a very sober Industrious young man…. you will have no reason to complain. December 27, 1769.” (From the Preston Papers, Virginia Historical Society (VHS).)

    John reached the Prestons by April, 1770.

    “William Preston was much impressed with the young man and took an instant liking to him…. he questioned Jack at length….” The colonel told him that the job was his, but that for six months he would have to teach school. He apparently was successful, and “….on August 11, 1772, Colonel Preston secured for him a commission as Assistant Surveyor of Botetourt County from the President and Masters of the College of William and Mary at Williamsburg.” (Botetourt Co. Deed Book I, pp. 405, 2160)

    The county of Botetourt, Virginia, and later Fincastle cut from it, were immense, encompassing all the lands west of the mountains down to North Carolina and west to the Mississippi River, and northwards to its source. Fincastle, even after being cut away, included all of present Kentucky, West Virginia, and all the land above the Ohio (The Northwest Territory).

    By 1753, continuing French activities in the Mississippi watershed alarmed the British, and the King ordered Governor Dinwiddie “…to use your best endeavors to repel force by force.” Washington, then 22, was sent to warn the French to withdraw or expect war. “Thus began the French and Indian War, which was to last for nine bloody years and change John Floyd’s life completely.” Veterans of the war demanded land bounties, and the only source were lands “west of the Appalachians– forbidden territory,” as George III had forbidden settlement in the west as a part of the Treaty of Paris in 1763. But by late 1773, those wanting to settle or trade land over the mountains decided that since no surveys had been accomplished, this boundary was in dispute, and present Kentucky and West Virginia were indeed “open for grabs.”

    FIRST TRIP TO KENTUCKY 1774

    Floyd left Smithfield at “one o’clock in the afternoon on April 7 (1774) in charge of seven men.” (One of the party, Thomas Hanson kept a journal preserved in the Draper Manuscripts.)

    “Twenty miles below the mouth of the Elk, at Coal River, Floyd’s party made its first survey: two thousand acres for George Washington. It was here too, that they caught a catfish weighing forty pounds. A few days before they had landed a forty-three inch pike.”

    When they reached the Ohio, it was in flood, so they waited for a time, not reaching the mouth of the Kentucky until May 13. They stayed on the Ohio continuing the surveys.

    Indian troubles deepened. William Russell on the Holston hired Daniel Boone in July to warn the surveyors of their danger. But “they missed Floyd and his men, who were left in complete ignorance of the true state of affairs.” Finding Harrod’s Camp burned and unoccupied in July, they determined to recross the mountains directly, avoiding travel by the Kentucky River where the Shawnee Indians might wait. They came near death. By the 30th “they finally ran out of food and were forced to stop to hunt, a risky business when they were short of powder and had no idea where the savages might be.” After two weeks in this trackless wilderness, on… “August 13, a very tired and travel-worn young man was back at Smithfield.” (Preston’s place.) They had been gone almost half a year and surveyed “some fifty thousand acres.”

    SECOND TRIP TO KENTUCKY 1774

    There soon followed a Virginia campaign to eliminate the Shawnee threat. Governor Dunmore ordered elements of the Virginia militia to proceed over the mountains and take “the war to the Indian.” John was appointed a captain and given authority to raise a company; after much difficulty with clashing personalities, he was “able to put together a company of one Lieutenant, one Ensign, three Sergeants, and thirty-eight men.” (Newell’s Orderly Book, VMHB, XI, January 1904, p. 249)

    By the time Floyd and his men reached the battlefield at Point Pleasant, the battle was over. “Cornstalk and his braves had been defeated and had fled northward.”

    THIRD TRIP TO KENTUCKY 1775

    Raids ended for a time, and Floyd resumed surveying in the spring, 1775.

    Over the next months, Floyd worked with Judge Richard Henderson (ed.: this is my ancestor Samuel Henderson’s son, who appears elsewhere in these notes), who had negotiated a large tract of land in spite of dubious rights. A North Carolinian, he had challenged Virginia’s rights of settlement, and thus Floyd’s mission as a Virginia surveyor, but apparently the two settled whatever their differences were and worked together. By August, he cleared ten acres of land northeast of Boonesborough, “built a cabin, and was well started toward a large plantation he called Woodstock…. About this time… he became engaged to marry his former pupil, Jane Buchanan. Jane was the daughter of Colonel Preston’s first cousin…. She and her father had been visiting at Greenfield in the summer of 1769 when John Buchanan died suddenly, and William Preston became the little girl’s guardian. (Letitia Preston’s letter to Benjamin Rush Floyd.) She was… about nine or ten years John’s junior….” But the wedding was to be delayed.

    By 1776 there was further unrest; there was war in the east and new farmers were flooding in and growing dissatisfied with Henderson’s colony. And relations with the Indians were perilous. It was about this time that the Indians captured the Callaway girls, Betsey and Fanny, and Boone’s daughter Jemima (Mima) near Floyd’s place, Woodstock. The girls had been searching “on the Kentucky River in a dugout canoe to look for wild flowers along the banks.” Boone, Callaway, Floyd and others began the chase north of the Kentucky. The girls “surreptitiously left a clear trail for them to follow. Jemima tore off bits of her calico sunbonnet to drop along the way; and Betsey, the eldest, kept digging her high wooden heels into the ground… one of their captors was Chief Hanging Maw, who could speak good English. He was a powerful man, straight and tall, his upper arms encircled with wide silver bands, and a silver gorget, which he had taken from a British officer, suspended from his neck.” The party from the fort gained on them. Three days out, creeping up a hill over Little Flat Creek, Boone, Floyd, and Smith, passed by the Indian rear guard and saw the girls tied to a tree on the creek bank. The pursuers shot two of the Indians and the rest fled. One “turned snarling toward Betsey and hurled his tomahawk, which fortunately went whistling past her ear and buried its blade in the trunk of a tree.” (Reid in Draper and others.) Floyd’s bullet killed Hanging Maw, and he had the silver ornaments from Maw’s body made into spoons still prized by descendants.

    “When Captain Floyd had stopped at Smithfield on his way to Amherst, William Preston had asked him to attempt, on his next trip to Williamsburg, to rent a vessel for him and two other gentlemen, to be used as a privateer in West India waters.” This was a sometimes lucrative practice during the Revolution. Floyd could find none, or those available were too costly. But on December 16, 1776 he wrote Preston that he had found one, joining with “twenty partners at two hundred pounds each” to procure the Privateer Phoenix. Floyd wrote Preston he was reluctant to sail, and was worried for his future. “I must bear it with all the fortitude I can collect.”

    They sailed “about the first of January, 1777, bound for the Caribbean.” It is not certain what Floyd’s position in this venture was, but he was probably not the captain, as he had mentioned in a letter to Preston that “he had no confidence in the ‘person who is to have management of the ship.’ ” But they captured a prize cargo, including “a wedding gown John was bringing to his fiancee, when the ship was overhauled by a British cruiser at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay…. John was put in irons and transported with the crew to Forton Gaol in Portsmouth, England.”

    He was brought to trial for piracy. He represented that he was wholly innocent of that charge, but while disbelieving him, the Judge found no proof and released him, but without papers. In spite of press gangs operating throughout Britain, Floyd made his way to Dover, where “he found a friend. The landlady at the inn where he stopped had a brother fighting with the rebels in the colonies.” She had her husband get a forged passport, and helped smuggle him off to the continent in her husband’s boat.

    He made Paris after a trip through France subsisting “on grapes and bread.” The United States Commissioners in Paris– Franklin, Lee and Dean– issued him ten gold Louis d’Ores (sic) and he later repaid the sum to the Treasurer of the United States. (Silas Deane Papers, Library of Congress and Dr. Thomas Walker to Preston in the Draper papers.)

    In Paris, “Franklin took Floyd and young William Radford of Virginia to Versailles and presented them to Queen Marie Antoinette, who gave each a pair of silver and paste show buckles so fashionable at that time.” He returned through Charleston in December, 1777. At home his friends had given him up for dead. For a year he recuperated from malaria and an attack of smallpox in France, staying with his father in Amherst and at Smithfield.

    LAST AND FOURTH TRIP TO KENTUCKY

    He married Jane Buchanan of Botetourt on November 2, 1778. The wedding was at Smithfield, “and we have no details of the affair. But we do know that John was resplendant in a scarlet coat he had bought in Paris…. and we can imagine that Marie Antoinette’s brilliant buckles were twinkling prettily from beneath Jane’s long, black satin skirts….” They left for Arcadia in Amherst, where William Preston Floyd was born in the late summer of 1779. By September, they were bound to Kentucky, through the Cumberland Gap and up the Trace. They went to Harrodsburg where John claimed land due him by prior residence. He was granted Woodstock, his home, and 1400 acres. By November they were at the Falls. By his death he had four thousand acres at Woodstock. But the land at the Falls was marshy and malarial, and so they moved “five miles up Beargrass Creek where there was ‘first rate’ land and built on the right bank near a fine spring…. under the spreading branches of a black walnut tree with a trunk thirty-three feet in circumference and the first limb about sixty feet from the ground.” (Trabue’s Journal, Draper.)

    This was the beginning of the “hard winter, when the temperature dropped so low that… ice in the Chesapeake Bay at Annapolis was five to seven inches thick from bank to bank and the Mississippi was frozen nearly to New Orleans.” Animals and birds were freezing in Kentucky. Little Billy fell ill and nearly died. Hunting was impossible, and Floyd was earning nothing from surveys. Their clothes were practically gone, and none could be had.

    Then came the Spring, and with it, the Indians. “Hardly one week passes without someone being scalped between this place (Beargrass) and the Falls and I have got too cowardly to travel about the woods without company,” Floyd wrote Preston. Cartlidge notes that among the dead were “John Floyd’s uncle, Robert Davis, and one of his sons. That made four Davis brothers who had been killed and scalped within seven or eight weeks.” (editor: an actual quote from this letter is: “My uncle Davis and his son, I am told, were both killed near Cumberland Mountain about five weeks ago as they were going to the Settlement. There were four brothers of them who have been all murdered in the course of 7 or 8 years.” This is sent courtesy of Jay Lewis, and is from the Draper Mss.) But now, to make matters worse, the British were fomenting Indians to fight the settlers. By summer, 1779, Colonel Bird, his British force and Indian allies, had subdued two outposts on the Ohio, then turning north.

    On July 20, General George Rogers Clark led a force north across the Ohio, and Captain Floyd was under Colonel Slaughter. Burning the Indians’ supplies at Chillicothe on the Miami, Clark reduced the Indians to near famine and gave the settlers in Kentucky a “breathing spell.”

    In November, 1780, the “Kentucky County was split into three parts: Jefferson, Fayette, and Lincoln. Shortly thereafter, Captain Floyd was promoted to Colonel of the Militia of Jefferson County at the recommendation of Clark ‘as a gentle’n that I am convinced will do Honour to the appointment and known to be the most capable in the County. A Soldier, Gentleman, and a scholar whom the Inhabitants, from his actions have the greatest confidence in.” (Clark to the governor of Virginia, Calendar of Va. State Papers, I, 452.)

    “Next to Clark, Floyd was the best known man in Kentucky and probably the best loved. Such was his popularity that there is a very strong possibility that, had he lived, he would have been Kentucky’s first governor.”

    Indian and British troubles continued, however, and Floyd suffered a defeat in September 1781, where he lost several people to a party of raiding Miamis. (See his letter to Clark in these notes at Peter Sturgis, who was killed there.) He returned the next day, the 14th, to bury the dead but was ambushed and lost fourteen more. A military hearing was convened but found Floyd acted prudently. By October, 1781, the British had surrendered at Yorktown, but there was no end to the Indian troubles to the west. Colonel Crawford was burned at the stake in the Ohio country, and General Clark set forth again against the Shawnee towns. Floyd had spent months building boats and gathering artillery and provisions. “Once across the Ohio, ‘Colonel Floyd with 300 men was ordered to advance to bring an action or attack the towns.’ ” This seemed to end the attacks into Kentucky. The British in Canada had withdrawn their support, and the Indians were uneasy about Clark. Floyd turned to domestic matters: on March 28, 1783, “he wrote to Colonel Preston ‘I have recommended to Captain Breckinridge (ed.: his old friend Alexander, who had been a British prisoner in South Carolina) to dispose of his land on James River… and to join me in a little trade down the Ohio which can be carried on with little or no risk….”

    Two weeks later Floyd was dead by Indian ambush. Shot in the back on April 9, he died the next day. He was killed, it is thought, by Big Foot, an Indian who disliked him, since Floyd had killed Big Foot’s son. One early resident of Floyd’s Station said he was on his way to a duel with a certain Colonel Greene, who had sent a challenge. “Too much credence has never been given to this particular tale…. (but) it was an important occasion, for John was wearing his scarlet wedding coat…. a small party of Indians opened fire…. The Colonel was the first one hit, Sam Aikens was killed instantly, and Charles Floyd’s horse was shot out from under him. Seeing his brother falling, Charles jumped up behind him, turned the animal around, and holding John upright, galloped back the way they had come to Colonel Moore’s cabin at the Fishpools.” (ed.: Alex Luken, a Floyd researcher, notes that Fishpools is still in the hands of Moore descendants, although the property is in disrepair.) Floyd, now thirty-two, lingered through the night and into the next day. His body was borne home to his wife, where “twelve days after the Colonel’s death, a third son was born to Jane. She named him John for his father. He chose to make his home in Virginia; married Letitia, the daughter of Colonel William Preston; and was eventually elected Governor of his adopted state, the only Kentuckian ever so honored.”

    After his death Jane married Alexander Breckinridge and had four children. In 1831 she died and was buried beside her John, his red coat wrapped about her. Their graves are there still near Louisville, Kentucky. Mourning, John’s first child, married Brigadier General John Stewart of Virginia and Georgia. She lies today in Oglethorpe County, Ga., in the burial ground at Cherry Hill, remembered by her many descendants. I am honored to be one of them, and am a member of the Sons of the American Revolution by descent from Col. John Floyd of Va. and Ky.
    _______________________________________

    John Floyd’s will seems to be a subject of dispute; in any case, he wrote it apparently in 1783, but it was not finally probated until 1794. I do not know its authenticity or accuracy. Anna Cartlidge says the will was recorded 3 June 1783 in Jefferson Co., Ky., and it “was probably made during the two days he lingered.” Charles and Robert, his brothers, were witnesses. It is in Book A, p. 57. He gives “my wife Jenny Floyd all the land contained within the lines of the tract I now live on that lies on the North side of the Beargrass and to be laid off from the other part of the land by the meanders of Beargrass to her and her heirs forever.” To “my son William Preston Floyd the residue of the two thousand acres I live on lying on the South side of Beargrass including the stations at Hoglins and New Holland and to be divided from the tract last mentioned…. I give to my daughter Mourning Floyd and to my son baptized now called George Floyd all that tract of land lying in Fayette called Woodstock containing four thousand acres more or less to be equally divided between them… I give to the infant with which my wife is now pregnant fourteen hundred acres of land on the waters of Harrods Creek being the tract I purchased from Colo. Trigg to it and its heirs forever…. I give to the youngest son of Robert Davis, decd, twenty five acres of land in Amherst where I formally lived it being the land I had from his father, to him and his heirs forever. I give all my other lands in Amherst to my father to be disposed of as he shall think fit…. And for the assistance of my brother Isham in removing me to this country I give him a two hundred acre entry on Floyds Fork called the Horse Shoe Bottom. My other brothers Robert and Charles are desired to finish the surveying business which I’ve undertaken for others and to receive half the money due me….”

    “At a court held for Jefferson County the 4th day of March 1794 this last will and testament of John Floyd decd was produced in Court and proved by the oaths of Charles Floyd, Robert Floyd Robert Eakin the witnesses thereunto and ordered to be recorded. Step. Ormsby”

    Photostats made in the Virginia State Library, 28 Feb 1962: filed under “Dunmore’s War, 1774 62-1473″
    show several entries concerning Floyd:

    “Capt Jno Floyd………….94 days pay….@10/-, 47……………”
    below this entry are some of his officers and men, including Joseph Drake, Lieut, Alexander Vance, Ensign, William Meeks, Do, Samuel White, Sergt, and then a host of privates, no grade shown.

    Under a page of “F” are the following entries: (shown under “Fincastle”)

    “Capt John Floyd…………….225″
    “Capt John Floyd’s Company……………..260″

    For historical markers in Kentucky re John Floyd:
    John Floyd’s Grave (State Marker 146, Breckinridge Ln. at Hillsboro Ave., Louisville, Jefferson Co.)

    Floyd’s Station (State Marker 1060, Breckinridge Ln. at Hillsboro Ave., Louisville, Jefferson Co.)

    Of his death is written: “About a mile beyond Clears Cabins, the road dips down to cross a small branch of Brooks Run. Here Colonel John Floyd, of Jefferson County, was ambushed by Indians in 1783. With his brother, Charles, and several others, Floyd had ridden off from his station on Beargrass Creek for the Saltworks. He was wearing a bright scarlet cloak. It made him an excellent target and he was mortally wounded at the first fire. Charles, seeing him reel in the saddle, sprang up behind him and rode back the way they had come, holding his brother in his arms. They reached the Fishpools about five miles distant. There the wounded colonel was given shelter in the cabin of Colonel James Francis Moore, an old companion at arms. Floyd died two days later.”
    (In March 1960, Robert McDowell wrote an article for the Courier-Journal [Louisville, Ky.] concerning these routes. The above is from that article by Charles Hartley, Shepherdsville, KY, 1996. See Bullitt Co. History on the web.)

    BF Reinauer III, a descendant, op. cit., notes that: Thirty graves in the burying ground were opened in 1934 (with permission of authorities and of family) at the request of Hambleton Tapp. Two skeletons of unusual length (those who knew Col. Floyd stated that he was over six feet — perhaps as much as six feet four inches) were found close together. One is thought to be that of George Rogers Clark Floyd (son of the Col. whose fragmented headstone was nearby); the other skeleton (of an older burial) is thought to be that of Col. John Floyd. The skulls were examined by the School of Medicine, University of Louisville, and replaced in the graves. In 1948 The Filson Club (Louisville, KY) refurbished the burying ground and placed stone slabs over the graves. Jane Buchanan, second wife of Col. John Floyd, died on 14 May 1812 (of convulsions from an unknown cause) and is buried next to the Col. wrapped in the scarlet cloak he had bought in Paris in 1777 and worn on the day he was mortally wounded in 1783.

    His grave beside Jenny is in a small rock-walled plot behind the Jamestown of St. Matthews Apartments off Breckenridge Lane in St. Matthews, east of Louisville, Ky. I stood there in Sept 2003.”

  18. Barbara Jacobs
    August 10th, 2013 at 16:28 | #18

    Wow, Kathy!
    Thanks for posting the above.
    That’s what I love about Jorma’s blog comments section: we get a great mix of opinion and information here.

    Floyd Fest was in its infancy, back in 2002 when I met Kris Hodges and Ericka Johnson, up at the hotel in Albany where we were all staying for “The Gathering of The Vibes” festival. (It was held about a half-an-hour away, in Mariahville, back at that time.)

    I was there with Wavy Gravy and Kris was excited to meet him. I was happy to make the introductions.
    Kris and Ericka’s brand new baby was there with them.
    We were up in my hotel room, hanging out and marveling at their new infant who, in the words of Kris: “Has been alive here on this planet, for only one week (or was it one month?)

    I asked Kris to tell me about the town of Floyd. He described it as: “A one stop-light town.” @kathy

  19. KAthy
    August 11th, 2013 at 22:02 | #19

    OMg. thanks, Barbara, I was wondering about the reception. I love Kris and Wavy, , The Gathering of the vibes sounds cool , Being a geneologist i get lost sometimes in trying to put pieces of a puzzle together which does indeed exist, it’s frustrating at times to know I am at such a capacity to discover a true picture of the past, but need so much more wits about me to do so, I have evolved in this process in some ways, but the wind in my sails is so so gone. Maybey I should abandon ship and go try to be a hippee somewhere. I could never get into that flow either. Staying put seems to be on my agenda, it gets quite boring and lonely. Meanwhile, i am researching the relationship between John Floyd And Henderson, Which is my middle name and i am related to them on my mothers side. An amazing pair for the times. It is sad that BIg foot killed Floyd because if he had lived past the age of 32 no telling what he could have done to further peace among all people.

  20. J. Floyd
    September 28th, 2013 at 20:36 | #20

    Hi Kathy. I enjoyed your info. Over the yr or 2 this 5th grandfather s life has intrigued me. I never get enough of learning of him .his son Gov.John is my 4th papaw and his son George RC Floyd down to us. My 3 papaw GRC Floyds brother was a VA Gov. As well . I Just was at Monroe were papaw 25 Va Gov John and Mamaw are layed to rest I hope I can make it to Ky.soon to Floyds Station. Over the lst few months Alex Luken has shared so much im much thnk full for her kindness indeed. I always wondered why I was a Expert marksman and infantry grunt. Guess it was just in my dna. Ive read his son John the first Gov was a expert shot as well. Some things never die for sure my 3 boys all talk of the service and shoot at my level as well. He they were all grate Men for sure and im thankful to be of there decent as well and love finding other family like you with the same love for them. I hope one day to make it to that event there. I live not far from Burke Garden near the same rt 61 that heads that way. I also have just found out some new history of us that a lady has had in a private collection f4ome Nickitti Floyds first grandson a very interesting story to say the least . And know how most folks were unable to settle in Burke s our first line were allways ok and that speaks volumes. Well to me any way I really enjoyed your post many blessing … J Floyd