Tazewell County, Virginia


Tazewell County was created on December 20, 1799 from portions of Wythe and Russell Counties.

Prior to 1748, this area was home to the Cherokee. A few white hunters had come to that territory earlier in quest of furs to send to Europe. One of these hunters was William Clinch. His name is attached to the great valley and beautiful river that has its resource in Tazewell County.

In 1748, James Patton, a retired officer in the British navy, and John Buchanan, Patton's son-in-law and a skilled surveyor, led an expedition into western Virginia to identify and lay out tracts of land for settlements. By the time they reached the Clinch Valley, it was late fall, so they decided to suspend surveying and return the following year. After cooking their breakfast, a man named James Burke, who was with the party as an axman or chain-carrier, cleared away the place where the fire had been made and planted a lot of potato peelings, covering them lightly with brush. The following year, Patton and Buchanan returned and found a large bed of potatoes. They called the place Burke's Garden.
Source: "History of Tazewell County," by William Pendleton as published in "Family Newsletter," by and for the descendants of Jefferson Davis Jamison and Nancy Loucinda Peery, Vol. 1, No. 4, Summer 1995, p. 17.
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