11th. Set out at half after 5 oclock from Tumbersons, & in about 1½ Miles came to what is called the little crossing of Yohiogany—the road not bad.1 This is a pretty considerable water and, as it is said to have no fall in it, may, I conceive, be improved into a valuable navigation; and from every Acct. I have yet been able to obtain, communicates nearest with the No. Branch of Potomack of any other. Breakfasted at one Mounts, or Mountains,2 11 Miles from Tumberson’s; the road being exceedingly bad, especially through what is called the shades of death.3 Bated at the great crossing [of the Youghiogheny], which is a large Water, distant from Mounts’s 9 Miles, and a better road than between that and Tumbersons. Lodged at one Daughertys, a Mile & half short of the Great Meadows—a tolerable good House.4 The Road between the [Great] Crossing and Daughertys is, in places, tolerable good, but upon the whole indifferent—distant from the crossing 12 Miles.
1. Little Crossing was a ford of the Little Youghiogheny (now Casselman) River about a mile east of present-day Grantsville, Md. This river flows north into Pennsylvania and then west to join the Youghiogheny at Confluence, Pa. (LACOCK description begins John Kennedy Lacock. “Braddock Road.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 38 (1914): 1–38. description ends , 19, n.44; VAUGHAN description begins Samuel Vaughan. “Minutes Made by S. V. from Stage to Stage on a Tour to Fort Pitt or Pittsburgh in Company with Mr. Michl. Morgan Obrian, from Thence by S. V. Only through Virginia, Maryland, & Pensylvania (18 June to 4 Sept. 1787).” Manuscript diary in the collection of the descendants of Samuel Vaughan. description ends , 28).
2. Joseph Mountain kept a tavern on the eastern slope of Negro Mountain in Washington (now Garrett) County, Md. (WESTERN MD. description begins “Journeys of George Washington thru Western Maryland.” Glades Star 1 (1941–49): 289–95. description ends , 291). “Mr. Mountain,” reported a traveler in November of this year, “has a Sufficiency of Liquors and Provisions but falls short in the Article of Bedding—he has but three one Occupied by himself and Wife one by the small Children and the Other by the Bar-Maid” (MATHEWS description begins Catharine Van Cortlandt Mathews. Andrew Ellicott: His Life and Letters. New York, 1908. description ends , 27). Another traveler ten years later referred to the place as “Mountain’s hovel” (WELLFORD description begins “A Diary Kept by Dr. Robert Wellford, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, during the March of the Virginia Troops to Fort Pitt (Pittsburg) to Suppress the Whiskey Insurrection in 1794.” William and Mary Quarterly, 1st ser., 11 (1902–3): 1–19. description ends , 11).
3. Along Braddock’s Road there were two Shades of Death, both areas of exceptionally dark and dense woods. The Little Shades of Death, the one most noticed by travelers, lay between Little Savage and Meadow mountains in the vicinity of Twomile Run. The Big Shades of Death, the one to which GW here refers, must have been near the confluence of Big and Little Shade Runs, about a mile west of present-day Grantsville, Md. (HULBERT  description begins Archer Butler Hulbert. Braddock’s Road and Three Relative Papers. Vol. 4, Historic Highways of America. Cleveland, 1903. description ends , 195; LACOCK description begins John Kennedy Lacock. “Braddock Road.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 38 (1914): 1–38. description ends , 17–18). The names apparently were unrelated to the events of the Braddock expedition, being merely descriptions of the natural gloom of the areas (Fitzpatrick, Diaries description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed. The Diaries of George Washington, 1748–1799. 4 vols. Boston and New York, 1925. description ends , 2:288, n.2). There were also Shades of Death in northeastern and south central Pennsylvania (DONEHOO description begins George P. Donehoo. A History of the Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania. Harrisburg, Pa., 1928. description ends , 184; W.P.A.  description begins W.P.A. Writers’ Project. Pennsylvania: A Guide to the Keystone State. American Guide Series. New York, 1940. description ends , 501).