Presbyterians in Virginia

Most Presbyterians entered Virginia initially by way of Philadelphia and then the Shenandoah Valley, though some immigrants (such as those who established the Caldwell settlement in what is today Charlotte County) probably travelled south using paths east of the Blue Ridge.1

Virginia's Anglican governors encouraged "dissenters" to move to Virginia. The lands west of the Blue Ridge required hauling agricultural crops up and down the mountains, and the lands along the Roanoke River lacked a direct water route to the ports on the Chesapeake - so those areas were particularly suitable for settling dissenters. Some Scotch-Irish moved from the Shenandoah Valley to Southside, and then kept moving to more-distant frontiers as English settlement streched westward. For example, William Bean was in Augusta County in 1742, but four years later he was in Lunenburg... and in 1768, he may have been the first Englishman to settle in Tennessee. 2



1. Abernethy, Thomas Perkins, Three Virginia Frontiers, Peter Smith, Gloucester Massachusetts, 1962, p.51-52
2. Abernethy, p. 52

Population of Virginia
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