28th. Remained at Colo. Hite’s all day to refresh myself and rest my Horses, having had a very fatieguing journey thro’ the Mountains, occasioned not more from the want of accomodation & the real necessaries of life than the showers of Rain which were continually falling & wetting the bushes—the passing of which, under these circumstances was very little better than swimming of rivulets.
From Colo. Hite, Colo. Josh. Neville 1 & others, I understood that the navigation of the South Branch in its present State, is made use of from Fort pleasant to its Mouth—that the most difficult part in it, and that would not take £100 to remove the obstruction (it being only a single rift of rocks across in one place) is 2 Miles below the old Fort. That this [distance to the mouth of the river], as the road goes, is 40 Miles; by water more and that, from any thing they knew, or believe to the contrary, it might at this moment be used 50 Miles higher, if any benefits were to result from it.2
1. Joseph Neville (1740–1819) of Hampshire County became a justice of the county in 1772, served as one of its burgesses 1773–75, and represented it in the Virginia Convention that met 1 Dec. 1775. A military contractor and recruiter for the state during the early part of the War of Independence, he was appointed county lieutenant for Hampshire in 1781. In the fall of 1782 he acted for Virginia in running the temporary boundary line between western Pennsylvania and western Virginia, a line that he helped to establish permanently nearly three years later (JOHNSTON description begins Ross B. Johnston, ed. “West Virginians in the American Revolution.” West Virginia History 7 (1945–46): 54–64. description ends , 5:220; VSP description begins William P. Palmer et al., eds. Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts. 11 vols. Richmond, 1875–93. description ends , 2:625, 3:283; VA. COUNCIL JLS. description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds. Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia. 5 vols. Richmond, 1931–82. description ends , 2:419, 3:228, 421, 474).
2. GW traveled part of the South Branch both above and below the site of Fort Pleasant 27 Mar.—10 April 1748 as a young surveyor for Lord Fairfax.