Major General Abraham Wood

Major General Abraham Wood came to Virginia in 1620 in the Margarett and John, and was among those living in the Mathews' plantation across the river from Jamestown. In 1638, he was patented 400 acres in Charles City on the Appomattox River. Fort Henry was built as protection against the Indians, probably on Flea Island and near Abraham Wood's plantation.

Then-Captain Wood was granted the 600 acres in 1653 and for many years remained in possession of his heirs. He served as Justice of Charles City, commanding officer of the "trained bands" of Charles City and Henrico, member of the House of Burgesses from Henrico 1644-1646, and from Charles City 1652-1656, and member of the Council in 1657.

With Edward Bland, Sacheverell Brewster, and Elias Pennant, he undertook in 1650 a voyage of discovery along the Chowan and Nottaway Rivers, which was documented by Bland in "The Discovery of New Brittaine."

Major General Abraham Wood, sent out Thomas Batts and Robert Fallam in 1671 to discover something of the west for King Charles II and for the trade. Those emissaries proclaimed King Charles at New or Wood River, but dreading the Salt Indians of the misty beyond, they returned to the Appomattox, having contributed little to knowledge. At the Totero town, on the upper Roanoke, near the mountains, they learned that Captain William Byrd of James River Falls was in the neighborhood with a company of explorers. Captain Byrd and General Wood were in 1671 competitors in the Indian Trade to the South.
The Indian trade was, of course, a sphere-of-influence affair. General Wood was convinced of that. His statement regarding his extraordinary attempts of 1673 was - "That I have been at the charge to the value of two hundred pounds starling in the discovery to the South or West Sea declaro." His men, Needham and Arthur, in the summer of 1673, went all the way, indisputably, all the long way from Appomattox Falls to the Little Tennessee River.
Three years after Lederer turned back before the sight of the Appalachian Mountains and the Spaniards he feared inhabited them, Major General Abraham Wood left an account in a letter to his benefactor in London. The British were still searching for a passage from their settlements to the Indian Ocean. This expedition reached the very heart of the Appalachian Summit. The natives they encountered and called the Tomahittans are believed to have been Cherokees.

Click Here to read Major General Abraham Wood's letter containing his account of the 1673 expedition.


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