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Zackquill MORGAN

Male 1735 - 1795  (59 years)

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  • Name Zackquill MORGAN 
    Born 8 Sep 1735  Orange [now Berkeley] County, VA [now WV] Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 1 Jan 1795  Morgantown, Monongalia County, VA [now WV] Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • (1) State of West Virginia, Report of the Col. Morgan Morgan Monument Commission, Charleston, WV: Jarrett Print. Co., 1924, pp. 35-99:


      Colonel Zackquill Morgan, next to the youngest child of Col. Morgan Morgan, was the founder of Morgantown. The exact date of his birth and death is not known. We know that he was born prior to 1737, probably 1735, and a court record shows he was dead in 1802. One record states that he died January 1, 1795, but we have no proof of its correctness.

      Shortly after the settlement of the Decker's had been wiped out by the Indians, Zackquill Morgan appeared on the scene and built the first cabin in what, in later years (1785), became known and was incorporated as Morgan's Town. Just when Zackquill came to this locality is not known, and investigation has not added to our knowledge, but has simply lead to greater complication and mystery.

      When George Morgan, Indian agent, was holding an investigation at Pittsburgh in 1777, to determine whether the whites had unlawfully taken possession of the Indian's lands, Colonel William Crawford appeared before him and testified that, "Zachel Morgan, James Chew and Jacob Prickett came out in that year (1766), and he was informed by them that they had settled up the Monongahela; that he has since seen Zachel Morgan's plantation which is on the south side of the line run by Mason and Dixon; and that he believes that to be the first settlement made in that country."

      This would seem to settle the matter, but a deed is on record at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, showing that Zackquill was a resident in Bedford County in 1771. In that year Zackquill, a resident there, and his brother Morgan, of Berkeley County, sold their farm on Braddock's road near Fort Necessity, and Zackquill is presumed to have moved to the site of Morgantown. The records further show that Zackquill never took up land in Monongalia county in his own name, but that on April 29, 1781, "Surveyed for Zackquill Morgan, assignee of Isaac Lemaster, 220 acres of land in Monongalia County, on Decker's Creek and the Monongalia River, including his settlement thereon in the year 1772, agreeable to and in part of a certificate for 400 acres from the commissioners of adjusting claims to unpatented lands in Monongalia?James Chew, asst. to John Madison, Surveyor." This certificate was issued to Lemasters, February 26, 1780. Morgan, as assignee of James Stockwell, also received 400 acres more. Another statement is, that Zackquill came from Berkeley County, settled for a time on George's Creek, in Pennsylvania, and then came to the site of Morgantown.
      Did Zackquill settle at the site of Morgantown before going to Pennsylvania? Then why did he not put in his own claim instead of getting the land through Lemaster's claim? Was Lemaster here as a tenant for Morgan in 1772, while Morgan may have been elsewhere, or in Pennsylvania, and then did Morgan, to prevent any claim of Lemaster, have Lemaster assign the land to him (Morgan)? No one knows. Morgan is not the only instance of this kind, as numerous such cases are found in the county.

      In October, 1785, Morgantown was established by an act reading as follows:

      "Be it enacted by the General Assembly that 50 acres of land, the property of Zackquill Morgan, lying in the county of Monongalia, shall be?laid out in lots of half an acre each, with convenient streets, which shall be?established as a town by the name of Morgan's Town."

      The lots were to be sold out at public auction, which was to be advertised two months previously in the "Virginia Gazette"; the purchaser of each lot was required to build upon it within four years a house eighteen feet square, with a brick or stone chimney. In 1789, the General Assembly, in view of representation "that Indian hostilities and other causes" prevented house building, extended the time three years; and in 1792, five years longer time was granted the lot holders to build, "from the difficulties in pro-curing materials." The difficulties that beset the hardy pioneers are thus graphically depicted.

      Zackquill Morgan's very unusual christian name is spelled in many different ways in old records, which is not surprising when we consider that educational advantages in Virginia at that period, were not of the best, and many of the backwoodsmen could barely read and write, and generally spelled by sound. Accordingly we find: Zacquil, Zacquill, Zackquillian, Zacwell, and Zackll, but rarely Zackquill, which according to the old Episcopal Church record book at Bunker Hill, is the way Colonel Morgan Morgan originally spelled his son's name.

      History has not followed the footsteps of Zackquill Morgan so closely as it has his brother David, the Indian fighter. Previous to the Revolution his block house stood on the north-west corner of Main and Walnut Streets, Morgantown. In the Revolution he was in command of the Virginia minutemen, a regiment raised in Monongalia, and what is now Marion county. He, with about 600 troops, was with General Gates at the battle of Saratoga, in October, 1777, and in that battle lost nearly half his men. He served all through the war with distinction, and died several years after peace was declared. It is said he lived in the old Morgan homestead, occupied by his grand-daughter, Drusilla Morgan, now owned by Max Mathers, in which is found some of his furniture, as well as an oil painting of himself.

      In 1783 Zackquill Morgan was returned on the assessors list for that year, as having license to keep an ordinary or tavern; so it seems he was the first hotel proprietor in Morgantown, as well as the first settler. His residence was used as a court house until such time as a suitable building was constructed.

      Colonel Zackquill Morgan married, first, Nancy Paxton, and had three daughters; Nancy Anne, who married John Pierpont, Temperance, who married James Cochran, and Catherine, who married Jacob Scott. His second wife was Drusilla Springer, a sister to Col Zadoc Springer of Pennsylvania, whose line leads back to the Springers who founded Wilmington, Delaware. Their children were.:

      Levi, born June 26, 1766.

      Morgan ("Spy Mod") born November 7, 1767.

      James, born November 24, 1771.

      Uriah, born July 22, 1774.

      Zadock, born July 24, 1776, died young.

      Horatio, born April 9, 1778.

      Captain Zackquill, born August 8, 1782.

      Sarah, born Feb. 11, 1784, married James Clelland.

      Hannah, born September 9, 1786, married David Barker.

      Drusilla, born October ___ 1788, married Jacob Swisher.

      Rachel, born June ___, 1790, not married.

      The above dates are not vouched for, but have been given out, as we understand, by the D. A. R., so are given here. Observation shows some irregularities, such as all the sons heading the list, and all the daughters coming at the bottom of the list, etc. It will also be noted that Zackquill's sons were all too young to have been in the Revolution.

      Levi, Spy Mod, and James were all noted Indian scouts, and their names, especially that of Levi, are frequently found in border history. They built a fort on the Ohio, where New Martinsville now stands, and their watchfulness prevented many an Indian surprise and attack on the defenseless settlers in the Monongahela valley. After the Indian wars were over, Levi and Spy Mod settled with their families in what is now Wetzel county. Levi later went to Kentucky where he died, and Mod is buried not far from Pine Grove, Wetzel county.

      Mr. F. F. Morgan, of Pine Grove, owns the farm on which Spy Mod lived at the time of his death, and was a "buddie" to the old man for a few years before his death in 1853. Mr. Morgan tells many interesting stories of Indian encounters David, Levi and Spy Mod had in their earlier days, which he got first hand from Spy Mod himself. Some of these stories have been recorded in the pages of history, but the larger number, by far, are preserved only in the minds of those who heard them recounted. They are all interesting, and one or two of the shorter will be recorded here.

      James Morgan, a boy ten years old, and Levi his brother, aged fifteen, set out from the site of Morgantown to visit their uncle David at Prickett's Fort. Their father, Col. Zackquill Morgan, accompanied them a part of the way. Tying his horse near Booth's Creek, he helped the boys across the stream. Looking back he saw an Indian standing by his horse. Levi shot the Indian but the discharge of the gun frightened the horse, which broke loose and ran home. Knowing the return of the riderless horse would cause the greatest alarm at home, he made a raft and descended the Monongahela river as the quickest way of getting home. He was fired on by an Indian while on his way, but was not struck. The boys pushed on till near the site of Smithtown, where they came on the body of Thomas Stone, who had been shot and scalped that day. He had come from Redstone Old Fort with Robert Ferrel and James West, to look out lands. On White Day Creek Levi shot a Wyandotte Indian who was in the act of crossing that stream on a log. The boys were now afraid to cross the stream, and worked their way down to the mouth of the creek, where they discovered a canoe with three Indians and two white women and a child in it. They would have fired on the Indians, but their guns had gotten wet in the rainstorm which had been raging for two hours, and would not go off. The Indians afterward took shelter under the cliffs on the creek on the Marion county side, and after inhumanly abusing their prisoners, lay down to sleep. In the night a large rock over them gave way and fell, crushing into a shapeless mass all alike,?the red demons and their tortured victims.

      In 1791, General St. Clair organized the expedition which met with such signal defeat on the 4th of November, 1791. In this expedition as scouts were Levi Morgan and James Pindell, while in the ranks as regular soldiers, were James and "Mod" Morgan. Levi shot an Indian who was in the act of shooting "Mod," and in the retreat, when his brother James gave out, "Mod" declared that no Indian should ever kill a brother of his, and drew his tomahawk over James as though he would kill him, which had the desired effect of rousing James to another effort to flee. The next day after the retreat, when all the men were stiff and sore, Levi engaged in various feats of dexterity to show how little effect the terrible retreat had had on him. The reader is referred to Wither's Chronicles of Border Warfare for other encounters of Levi with the Indians.

      Some of the children and grand-children of James, the third son of Zackquill, crossed the plains in covered wagons, as did the descendants of James, the son of David.
    Person ID I9899  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 21 Apr 2021 

    Father Col. Morgan MORGAN, Sr.,   b. 1 Nov 1688, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Nov 1766, Frederick [now Berkeley] County, VA [now WV] Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years) 
    Mother Catherine GARRETSON,   b. 16 May 1692, New Castle County, DE Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 May 1773, Berkeley County, VA [now WV] Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years) 
    Married Abt 1713 
    Family ID F4656  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Nancy PAXTON 
    Married 1755 
    Last Modified 21 Apr 2021 
    Family ID F4661  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Drusilla SPRINGER 
    Married 1765 
    Last Modified 21 Apr 2021 
    Family ID F4662  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart