Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Naming of Danville, KY


Beyond the Allegheny Mountains, the colony of Virginia had laid formal claim to the "dark and bloody ground" with the establishment of Fincastle County, VA in 1772. Under the British government, this claim followed the existing land laws. All this was to change at the start of the Revolutionary War. The Virginia legislature change the name to Kentucky Co., VA. A bill was signed by Patrick Henry [1st governor of VA] on December 7, 1776, to become law effective December 31, 1776. A new beginning it was.

As the war for independence was moving towards its final days, the Virginia assembly was attempting to exert its "controlling power" for the better management of the civil and military affairs of the "District of Kentucky". [May 6, 1782] A supreme court of "...judicature of original jurisdiction..." was organized for the new defined district with a man name Walker Daniel appointed as the first Attorney General. This Walker Daniel presented his commission to this newly organized court on March 4, 1783. It was here that he and John May were "...to make choice of proper and safe place for holding their terms, somewhere in the neighborhood of John Crow's Station...".

On June 18, 1784, Walker Daniel obtained an "Indenture"[deed] from John Crow for 76 acres of land. It is here that the DANVILLE is first used in the pages of history, as the "town lands of Danville". Unfortunately , on August 12, 1784, Walker Daniel was killed. His business partner Issac Hite, took responsibility for building the first courthouse, and jail for this new district court.

Several years later, a petition sent to the General Assembly of Virginia, date November 19, 1787 reads:

"Petition of inhabitants of Danville and others, proprietors of the lots therein, that Walker Daniel, late deceased, in his lifetime purchased of John Crow 76 acres for the purpose of erecting a town. Walker proceeded to lay off a part of the land into lots and streets and disposed of some of the lots. Since his death Robert Daniel the elder brother and heir at law of Walker Daniel laid the remainder of the land off into lots and streets and disposed of them."

In response to this petition, the General Assembly on December 4, 1787, approved the town of Danville.

"... Be it therefore enacted, That the lots and streets so as aforesaid laid off, shall be, and they are hereby established a town, by the name of Danville...".

Wow, there you have it, the naming of the town of Danville, Kentucky.

The cover of "KEN - TAH - THE "..., is shown above. It is from this text that the information for this post is taken. Detailed references are given in the text. This text was written after several years of research into the naming of Danville, KY.

Copies are available at cost, soft bound, at $28 + tax and S.H. To order a copy call  859-583-1895.

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