Killing of Richard Lynam in Powell Valley

Killing of Richard Lynam in Powell Valley

By Emory L. Hamilton

From the unpublished manuscript, Indian Atrocities Along the Clinch, Powell and Holston Rivers, pages 66-67.

Richard Lynam, who lived on Thompson's Creek in New Garden, Russell Co., VA, was killed by the Indians in Powell Valley in the year 1777. Robert Sinclair, son of Charles Sinclair of Sinclair's Bottom, whose Revolutionary War pension claim was filed in Madison Co., MO, August 1, 1832, tells of this killing thusly:

Captain (Charles) Cox's company rendezvoused at the Wolf Hills (Abingdon), and marched to Powell's Valley. Sixteen days after marching to Powell's Valley, Solomon Kendrick, the Spy, was killed by the Indians, and this applicant, and Andrew Linam acted as Spys. Said applicant was at Powell's Valley about three months. At the end of this time myself and Andrew Linam (1) went to Blackmore's Station on Clinch River and acted together as Spys, for about twenty days, under the command of Captain Crump, at which time, Linam and myself were out as spys, and he, and myself, were sitting on a log when we were fired upon by a party of Indians, and Linam was killed. Three balls passed through the clothes of this applicant. After the death of Linam, William Richardson took his place. In another portion of the pension statement Sinclair says this happened in 1777.

At a court held for Washington Co., VA, May 19, 1778, James Anderson (of Clinch River) was appointed administrator of the estate of Richard Lynam, deceased, with John Lewis and Samuel Vanhook as he securities. Appraisers of the estate were Patrick Denny, William Ferrill, Ericus Smith and James Anderson, all of the New Garden section of Russell Co., VA.

Then at a court held for Washington Co., VA, on March 17, 1779: "On motion of Samuel Vanhook it is ordered that James Anderson, administrator of the estate of Richard Lynam, deceased, he summoned to next court to render an account how he transacts the estate." Then on May 20, 1779, this order: "Ordered that Arthur Campbell, Gent., as Sheriff be administrator of the estate of Richard Lynam in the 'room' of James Anderson, who of his own account resigned in court."

(1) Robert Sinclair's memory played him a trick here, for he really means Richard Lynam, instead of Andrew. Andrew Lynam, who was Richard's brother, and a veteran of the French and Indian War, was very much alive at this time and after. Andrew applied for a pension in Bath Co., KY, June 23, 1834, and died in that county on July 3, 1847, at the ripe old age of 88, having been born in Guilford Co., NC, January 5, 1759.

This file contributed by: Rhonda Robertson

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