The Governor of Virginia, as well as the young military commander George Washington , met in the town with their Iroquois allies called the " Half-Kings " , to coordinate maneuvers against the French and their Native American allies during the French and Indian War. The explorers Batts and Fallam in reported the Shawnee were contesting with the Iroquoians for control of the valley and were losing. Winchester became a gateway to Quaker settlements further west; by the midth century, the Quaker population was a small minority here. Morgan, Wood, and others also performed duties in holding captured prisoners of war , particularly Hessian soldiers. John Casper Stoever , Jr.
Founding[ edit ] By these settlements became known as Frederick Town. Tradition holds that the Quakers purchased several tracts on Apple-pie Ridge from the natives, who did not disturb those settlements. As a result, the Winchester area became home to some of the oldest Presbyterian , Quaker , Lutheran and Anglican churches in the valley. Native Americans[ edit ] Indigenous peoples lived along the waterways of present-day Virginia for thousands of years before European contact. George Washington spent a good portion of his young life in Winchester helping survey the Fairfax land grant for Thomas Fairfax, Sixth Lord Fairfax, as well as performing surveying work for Colonel Wood. Colonel James Wood, an immigrant from Winchester , England, was the first court clerk and had been a surveyor for Orange County, Virginia. It took some time for land titles to be cleared among early settlers. The ridge became affectionately known as Apple Pie Ridge. Daniel Morgan later served as a ranger protecting the borderlands of Virginia against Indian raids, returning to Winchester in European exploration[ edit ] French Jesuit expeditions may have first entered the valley as early as , as the explorer Samuel de Champlain made a crude map of the area in During this era, a jail was built in Winchester. In , on the eve of the French and Indian War Seven Years' War , messengers came to the Shawnee from tribes further west, inviting them to leave the Valley and cross the Alleghenies , which they did the following year. The local farmers found booming business in feeding the Virginia Militia and fledgling volunteer American army. He led the 96 men of "Morgan's Sharpshooters" from Winchester on July 14, and marched to Boston in 21 days. The explorers Batts and Fallam in reported the Shawnee were contesting with the Iroquoians for control of the valley and were losing. The county of Frederick was carved out of Orange County. In , on land granted by James Wood, Colonel George Washington designed and began constructing Fort Loudoun, which ultimately covered 0. Knowing the area well from work as a surveyor, George Washington accompanied General Braddock as his aide-de-camp. In the late s, Governor William Gooch promoted settlement by issuing large land grants. It occasionally held Quakers from many parts of Virginia who protested the French and Indian War and refused to pay taxes to the Anglican parish. It included "all the land in Virginia between the Rappahannock and the Potomac rivers", an old grant from King Charles II which overlapped and included Frederick County. By the time European settlers arrived in the Shenandoah Valley around , the Shawnee were the principal occupants in the area around Winchester. The first confirmed exploration of the northern valley was by the explorer John Lederer , who viewed the it from the current Fauquier and Warren County line on August 26, He and others began to homestead on old Shawnee campgrounds. The first government was created, consisting of a County Court as well as the Anglican Frederick Parish for purposes of tax collection.
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