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Pettit   Petit

Pettitt   Pettiet

CHAPTER 2 - Section One

CAPTAIN BENJAMIN PETTIT (b. 1750 - d. 1827)


Battle of Point Pleasant - Benjamin Pettit - Volunteer in Wm. Nalle's Company

The Battle of Point Pleasant, fought between the Long Knives of Virginia and the Shawnee Indians and their allies on October 10, 1774, was the final battle of Lord Dunmore's War and is considered by many to be the first battle of the American Revolution.

Prior to the Battle, the Shawnees had been attacking settlements in Kentucky, and western Pennsylvania and Virginia. Particularly in southwest Virginia, there was concern that the Shawnees would unite with the Cherokees to the south. In the months before the Battle, the Shawnee had attacked settlements in southwest Virginia, including Fort Blackmore, in what is now Scott County, Virginia. As a result, the militia in southwest Virginia were mobilized.

The Quebec Act emboldened Indian tribes along the Ohio River to attack the European settlements on the frontier (which was part of Virginia at the time). John Murray (Lord Dunmore), the royal governor of Virginia, sent two military columns to the frontier. Colonel Andrew Lewis -- with 1,122 Virginia militiamen from Augusta, Botetourt, and Fincastle counties -- marched overland and on October 6 arrived at Point Pleasant (40 miles northeast of what is now Huntington WV). Murray's army went by way of Pittsburgh and was to join Lewis's militia at Point Pleasant, but Murray delayed his troops, hoping that Chief Cornstalk would annihilate Lewis's militia units. A Shawnee chief, Blue Jacket, visited Murray's camp on Oct. 9th.

The next day, October 10, 1774, Chief Cornstalk, with an Indian force of over a thousand Shawnees and Mingos, launched a surprise attack on the colionial militia at Point Pleasant - - - but the attack was repulsed.

If Colonel Lewis's men had not defeated the Indian force, the outcome of the Revolution might have been different, since Virginia would have been too busy protecting the frontier to participate in the Revolution. For this reason the Battle of Point Pleasant was recognized by the U.S. Congress in 1908 as the first battle of the American Revolution.

BENJAMIN PETIT crossed the Wilderness Trail in 1776 with his family and Benjamin Logan and family in to what is now the state of Kentucky.

The American Revolution was steadily progressing on the eastern seaboard. By October 1778, the plans had been made for the formation of Louisville, followed by Lexington in April 1779.

The first settlers on the frontier burned off the forest and cleared the land then built their cabin homes to form a fort, to resist the Indian attacks. All the neighbors helped each other. They adopted a type of military training and organized a militia. The militia was a group of citizens within a fort trained for military service in the case of an attack by the Indians. They were on active duty only in times of emergency. The militia drilled regularly, and in times of danger would take their turns standing guard.
To be in the milita, each man had to be eighteen or older, keep a matchlock musket "not under three foot nine inches in length, a pound of gun powder, twenty bullets, and two fathom of match." (a fathom =6 1/2 feet)

Kentucky History - Land and Militia

The Virginia Land Commission held its first court in Kentucky inside Logan’s Fort at St. Asaphs near Stanford, KY, October 13, 1779 where they administered the Oath of a Commissioner to William Fleming, Edmond Lyne and James Barbour. They selected John Williams, Jr. the Clerk and the Court was attended by the Sheriff. They adjourned to the next day to hear proof and quiet the titles by issuing certificates to rightful claimants.

Benj. Pettit is listed on page 14 - October 20, 1779 with John Logan, Joseph Combs and Cuthburt Combs.
Ref: The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society Vol. 21, 1923, Frankfort, Kentucky, Southern Historical Press, 1981

The winter of 1779 was known as the "Hard Winter." The unmelting snows lay deep over the land. Horses and cattle perished and even the wild animals shrunk to the bone. Life in the roughly built cabins was trying, during the mildest winters, but it was torturing during the winter of 1779. Because of the increased population at the fort, the supply of corn gave out. The only food was lean game.

HISTORY of KENTUCKY Vol. 2 by Collins; pg 21

"Pettit's Station" located in Lincoln County, 2½ miles from Montgomery’s Station, on headwaters of Green River, and 16 miles S.E. from Logan's Fort." Logan's Fort

A 'station' or 'fort' consisted of crude cabins, a blockhouse and other outbuildings surrounded by a fence constructed of timbers - hand cut and bound to provide protection from Indians and wild animals. Blockhouses were constructed at three corners of a rectangle, which were 150 feet long and 90 feet wide. At the four corners, a cabin was built. Seven cabins were constructed; three on one side of the fort and four on the other side. The stockade itself was built of logs with sharpened upper points and set in the ground vertically. Gates at either end were raised by leather thongs. A ditch about three feet wide and four feet deep ran from one of the blockhouses to the spring. Puncheons were placed over the top and then covered with dirt. A person could crawl through this tunnel to get water in event of a siege.

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Vol. 15 pg 103

"In May of 1777 Boonesborough was under attack ...Logan's Fort warned just before the Indians arrived there ...At the beginning of the siege there were only 15 men at Logan's and the only white women were Mrs. Pettit and 4 others..."


"October 1779. Benjamin Pettit this day claimed a right of settlement and preemption to a tract of land lying on the dividing ridge of the Waters of Hanging Fork, a branch of Dicks River and Green River by making corn in this Country in the year 1775 and residing in this Country 12 months. Certificate issued for 1400 acres."

Click on map to the left to see a larger image of Lincoln Cty., KY

COLONIAL MEN and TIMES ed. by Harper ppg 36, 147
"... In about an hour Captain Logan came back badly wounded... he said 9 or 10 Indians fired on him ...We had no Surgeon but Benjamin Pettit and he knew nothing about it, only from necessity. Mr. Pettit applyd Slippery Elm bark."

"The Montgomery's and Russell's had built 4 cabins at Montgomery's Station ...On the 27th February 1781 the Indians paid them a visit ...some were killed and others taken captive young girl escaped and ran the 2½ miles to Pettit’s Station. From there a messenger was dispatched to Logan's Fort ...the Indians were overtaken - prisoners all recovered except young Flora Russell who was murdered as the rescuers arrived."

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August 19, 1783 - pg 78
Appointed by court to view the way for a road from John Carpenter's to the Courthouse.
September 16, 1783 - pg 102
Those appointed made their recommendations, marking the way mostly on the westwardly side of the Hanging Fork down to Joseph Martin's, thence crossing the same to the southwardly side, which they judged to be most convenient, coming through part of Captain Barnett's cleared land and passing Hugh Logan's fence on the south side, thence to the Little Flat Lick, thence to the courthouse. Signed Ben Pettit, Joseph Martin, William Casey and William Patton. Ordered that the road be established. John Carpenter appointed overseer from his house to the crossing of the Hanging Fork below Captain Barnett's. James McKinney appointed overseer from the crossing of the Hanging Fork to the Courthouse.

Order Books - 1783 to 1792
Volume 28 of Kentucky Records Series by Michael L. Cook, C. G.

June 9, 1785
Present the same judges as yesterday
page 85, Dedimus awarded Joseph Davis to take the depositions of Alexander Collier, John Wilkinson, Samuel Davis, Benjamin Pettit, Joseph Kennedy and Thomas Kennedy as witnesses for him in chancery.


Surveyed for Benjamin Pettit 400 acres of land in the County of Lincoln by virtue of a Certificate for Settlement [certificate of settlement - document allowing settlers in Kentucky County, VA, prior to January 1, 1778, to purchase 400 acres if they had made improvements or planted a crop on the land they intended to patent. Authorized many of the patents in the Virginia & Old Kentucky Series. ] - lying on a branch of the Green River beginning at a poplar & ash a corner of Wm Montgomery Junr's preemption and a line of his settlement running with the same north 220 poles (pole = 16.5 ft.) to two sugar trees a corner of said Montgomery Settlement thence west 292 poles to an ash tree thence south 220 poles to two sugar trees thence ease 292 poles to the beginning cropping three branches.

Also 500 acres adjoining the north side of his settlement by virtue of a Preemption Warrant #615 [preemption warrant (400 acres) - authorized by Land Law of 1779. May be purchased by settlers proving residency in Kentucky Co., VA between January 1, 1778, and May 1779. Authorized many of the patents in the Virginia & Old Kentucky Series.] beginning at an Ash tree the NW corner of his settlement running from thence North 150 poles thence East 112 poles to an Elm tree thence North 113 1/2 poles to a Honey Locust tree thence East 240 poles crossing a branch to a Sugar tree and Elm tree thence South 263 1/2 poles to a Poplar on Wm Montgomery's line thence West 352 poles to the beginning.
Variation 3 degrees East
Wm. Montgomery AST
James Thompson SSE

Surveyed for Benjamin Pettit assignee [assignee (abb. "afs'ee") - individual purchasing (or acquiring) all or part of a warrant or survey from another individual during the land patent process.} of Wm. Montgomery, assignee of William Edmiston 200 acres of land in the County of Lincoln by virtue of a Treasury Warrrant No. 8154 [treasury warrant - purchased from Virginia or Kentucky Land Office; no military service or residency requirement necessary to purchase treasury warrants] lying on 200 survey for Benjamin Pettitthe waters of Green River; north corner of Wm. Morris survey of 400 acres at 'A' (see diagram), turning thence north 40 poles to 'B', thence northwest 130 poles to 'C', thence northeast 65 poles striking a line Willm Montgomery's Preemption measuring with his line 10 poles to 'D'; thence southeast 140 poles to 'E'; thence south 162 poles to 'F'; thence southwest 112 poles to 'G'; at Willm Morris line; then with same northwest 200 poles back to 'A'. April 7, 1784
Variation 3 degrees East
Wm. Montgomery AST
James Thompson SSE

Surveyed for Benjamin Pettit assignee of Abram Stephens 80 acres of land in the County of Lincoln by virtue of a certificate from ye Court of Lincoln lying on 80 acre survey on Carpenter Creek ...Carpenter's Creek, a branch of Green River beginning at maple & white oak at 'A" (see diagram) the SW corner of John Fry's lower survey of 150 acres; then south 100 poles to 'B' on James Robertson's line; then with Robertson's line northeast 55 poles to 'C'; thence with same southeast 80 poles to 'D' northeast corner of Robertson's survey; then north 110 poles to southeast corner of John Fry's survey at 'E'; then with the same west 120 poles to beginning at 'A'. April 7, 1784
Variation 3 degrees East
Wm. Montgomery AST
James Thompson SSE
Note the balance of the above taken by Junior Clavins


Lieutenant Benjamin Pettit appears on a pay roll of Capt. Robt. Barnett's Co. of Militia, ordered into actual service on an expedition against Indians under command of Brig. Gen. George Rogers Clark. Roll dated Nov. 3 to Nov. 23 1782.

Captain Benjamin Pettit appears on a pay roll of Co. of Lincoln Militia, Clark's Illinois Reg. Va. State Troops. Roll not dated.

History of the County Court of Lincoln County Va. (Ky)

January 16, 1781. Benjamin Pettit appointed Lieutenant in County Militia.
Benjamin served as a Captain in the Revolutionary War - Clark Illinois Regiment - Virginia State Troops

January Court - 1781 Lincoln County - page 3
At a Court of quarter sessions held for Lincoln County January 1781
The following persons recommended to His Excellency the Governor to serve as Militia Officers in the County towit: James Estill, George Adams, John Dougherty, Samuel McAfee as Captains; Jno. Smith, Jr., Wm. Moore, Benjamin Petitt, Joseph Kinkaid, James. Harlan, John Gorden and Stephen Arnold as Lieutenants; and John Montgomery, James Brown, James Polly, David Adams, Isaac Hoglin, John Jackson as Ensigns.

May 4th 1781

August Court 1786 - Lincoln County Court
At a Court of quarter sessions held for Lincoln County the fifteenth day of August 1786
Present John Logan, Hugh Logan, William Montgomery and Isaac Shelby, Gent.

The court proceeded to recommend the following persons to his Excellency the Governor of Virginia as proper persons to be appointed Officers of the Militia in the county, Towit: James Downing, Benjamin Pettit, Marvel Nash, Nathan Faris, Baker Ewing, William Price and Jeremiah Parker - Captains.

William Young Lieutenant and Jonathan Owsley Ensign in Captain Kincaid's Company.

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HISTORY OF KENTUCKY by Collins Vol. 1 pg 20

November 1782. "Gen. George Rogers Clark, with 1,050 men, one division under Col. John Floyd, and another under Col. Benjamin Logan, marches rapidly up the Miami river, 130 miles, destroys, Nov. 10th, the principal Shawnee town, Loramies (Lorimer) store, and other towns, the property and provisions burned being very valuable, and surpassing all idea of Indian stores. No large body of Indians thenceforth invade Kentucky."

INDIAN MASSACRE at Ruddle's and Martin's Fort - these websites examine the history of the two frontier forts and the capture of inhabitants by the British and Indians in 1780 emulating life and times much as Benjamin and family lived. Ruddlesforter and

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TAX LISTS - 1789
A list of taxable Property within the District of Jos. Bledsoe, Commissioner in the County of Lincoln for the Year A.D. 1789

page 112 - Pettett, Benj - 1 white male above 21 - 1 black above 16 - 6 horses, colts and mules

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Genealogical and Historical Abstracts by Karen Mauer Green

pg 72 - Benjamin Pettit, 19 March 1793, found a mare in Lincoln County.

"SECOND CENSUS" of Kentucky - 1800
by G. Glenn Clift, Assistant Secretary, Kentucky Historical Society - Frankfort, Kentucky - 1954
Petit, Amos Pendleton - 8/21/1800
Pettet, William Scott - 1800
Pettit, Benjamin, Jr. Lincoln - 8/23/1800
Pettit, Benjamin, Sr. Lincoln - 8/23/1800

Pettit, James Lincoln - 8/23/1800
Pettit, Jeremiah Lincoln - 8/23/1800
Pettit, Nathaniel Fayette - 8/19/1800
Pettit, Samuel Scott
Pettit, Thomas Shelby - 8/25/1800

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Garrard County Court
September Court. ”Benjamin Pettit testified that late in 1775 or early 1776, I and my brother Thomas was in the woods together and made some improvements by marking a hard tree and cutting some saplings." (known as a tomahawk improvement)

Kentucky Counties

Settled by Colonel Benjamin Logan, 1773, one mile west of Stanford, Lincoln County, William Hudson was killed by Indians at Logan's; John Kennedy wounded; Burr Harrison killed; David Logan thought killed on way to station; Ambrose Grissom killed; Jonas Menefee and Samuel Ingram wounded. John Logan in 1778 set out from Logan's in company with John Kennedy, Alexander Barnet, Alexander Montgomery, Jared Menefee to explore Indian country, joined Boone's Party at Blue Licks to number of eighteen. Simon Kenton was guide. Wm. Ryburn, Hugh Ross, Benj. Pettit, Joseph Kennedy, George Clarke, Wm. Miller, John McKinney, Archibald McKinney, David Logan (nephew of Benjamin) and probably Samuel Hite and Wm. Paton.
Circuit Court Records Fayette County, by Staples, Kentucky Historical Register and Draper mss

The total population of Kentucky at this time (1775) was estimated at three hundred. James Harrod had returned with forty-two men to the Salt River tributary on which he had started a settlement the year before. There were four settlements or camps which were looked upon by Richard Henderson as towns, Boonesborough, St. Asaph's, Boiling Spring, which Harrod had just established, and Harrodstown, now beginning to be known as Harrodsburg, where the current leader was a North Carolinian, Thomas Slaughter. Scattered over a wide area other men were planting corn and building cabins. Some of these were associated with one or another of the four settlements, while others were operating alone. Isaac Campbell and Benjamin Pettit were near St. Asaph's, Richard Calloway, his nephew Flanders Calloway, and James Estill were on Otter Creek, John Hinkston and John Martin were on the South Fork of Licking River, William Gillespie was on Boone's Creek, and James Knox was on Beargrass Creek. Squire Boone, Daniel's brother, left Harrodsburg long enough to mark a claim in what is today Shelby County.
[Draper MSS. I CC 203. Floyd to Preston, May 30, 1775, Draper MSS. 17 CC 180-81. "Preemption Books of Virginia Land Commission of 1779;" Draper MSS. 60 J 379-89. Deposition of Squire Boone in Shelby County Court Depositions, p. 5. "Certificate Book," 27.]
Source: Talbert, Charles Gano. Benjamin Logan: Kentucky Frontiersman. University of Kentucky Press, 1962, p. 18
Reference - Logan and Kentucky Settlements

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Statistics on the number of residents in Kentucky in the summer of 1775 are at best sensible estimates. Counting the forty-two men who had returned to Kentucky with James Harrod, there were probably about three hundred persons residing in the Bluegrass region, most of them at the four stations which had been established. Other pioneers apparently ventured out on their own. Isaac Campbell and BENJAMIN PETTIT located near St. Asaph's; Richard Calloway, Flanders Calloway, and James Estill were on Otter Creek; and John Hinkston and John Martin were on the South Fork of the Licking River. William Gillespie had taken up a claim on Boone's Creek, and James Knox, a former Long Hunter, had built a cabin on Beargrass Creek. Squire Boone had left Harrodsburg for a time in order to stake out a claim in present Shelby County. During the summer a number of pioneers, among them Daniel Boone and Benjamin Logan, returned to older settlements for their families. Many of the men actually in Kentucky, therefore, were probably members of surveying and land-seeking parties, such as those of John Floyd on the Kentucky and Elkhorn Creek and Thomas Slaughter on the Green River.

Although the danger from Indians generally increased during the summer of 1776, occupation of Kentucky continued without serious disruption. William Whitley located on Cedar Creek, about two miles west of Crab Orchard, and his brother-in-law, George Clark, took up lands not far away. Joseph, George, Morgan, William, Samuel, and James Bryan settled on the North Fork of the Elkhorn. Others who had established habitations included Jesse Benton on Silver Creek, John Todd on the West Branch of Hickman's Creek, John Strode near the headwaters of the South Fork of the Licking, and James Strode on Howard's Creek. John Floyd, John Bowman, and Leonard Helm had also made settlements in central Kentucky.

On July 14, 1776, a narrow escape from tragedy drew attention to the need for more adequate protection for the Kentucky settlements. That afternoon Betsey and Frances Calloway, the daughters of Richard Calloway, and Jemima, the second daughter of Daniel Boone, went for a boat ride on the Kentucky River in the only canoe at Boonesborough. At a bend in the river below the station the current carried them to the opposite shore and they were captured by six Indians.

A pursuit party was delayed for lack of a boat with which to cross the river, and when night came on it had traveled only five miles. At daybreak it resumed the chase and after great difficulty overtook the Indians before they reached the Licking River. The pursuers killed three of the Indians, all Shawnees, but the other three, Cherokees, escaped. Nevertheless, they succeeded in rescuing the three girls, all of whom were unharmed.

News of the incident accelerated defense measures at all the Kentucky stations. Work on the fort at Boonesborough, begun soon after the arrival of Henderson the previous year, had languished, but it was now speeded to completion. The defenses at Harrodsburg and Royal Spring on Elkhorn Creek were also strengthened. Yet, even these measures were insufficient for the security of Kentuckians caught between angry Shawnees on the north and disgruntled Cherokees on the south. Within a week after the capture of the girls at Boonesborough, John Hinkston's settlement on the South Fork of the Licking River broke up as families sought safety elsewhere. Benjamin Logan temporarily gave up the idea of building a fort at St. Asaph's and moved, with several families, to Harrodsburg. Also seeking security at Harrodsburg were William Whitley, George Clark, and a few families from Crab Orchard. Numerous other pioneers who had boldly established solitary residences remote from more densely settled centers also abandoned their homes for the safety of greater numbers.
Source: Rice, Otis K. Frontier Kentucky. The University Press of Kentucky, 1993, pp. 78-80
Reference - Kentucky

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Nathan Huston was already busy in Lincoln County. He was no stranger to those at the court sessions, including Benjamin Logan, John Logan, Hugh McGary, and Stephen Trigg, who had been named as Justices of the Peace.

The first county court was formed in January of 1781, and the following month Benjamin Logan donated ten acres that could serve as a location for a courthouse. The Justices began including Nathan Huston among those could appraise the estates mentioned in probated wills.

One of the men with whom Nathan Huston worked as an appraiser was William Montgomery, who had settled with his father and brothers on land very near the Hustons at the headwaters of Green River, about twelve miles from Benjamin Logan's fort. William, the elder, was Benjamin Logan's father in law, and four cabins were built in the same area for family members, including the families of William Sr. and William Montgomery Jr. -- the grandson of William the elder, John Montgomery, Thomas Montgomery, and Joseph Russell.

Nathan Huston had occasion to ride his horse over to the Montgomerys often, even when there was no court business that needed tending. He was seeing Anne Montgomery, a daughter of Thomas Montgomery who had served with Nathan Huston under Captain Joseph Kinkead. Anne was fortunate to be alive.

Just after the Hard Winter had broken -- in March of 1780 -- a band of Indian warriors surrounded all four of the cabins at Montgomery's settlement during the night. The next morning, when William the elder and one of the slave children stepped outside the front door, they were both shot and killed. While one of William's daughters closed the door and called for a rifle, another daughter scampered out of the cabin through the short chimney and ran to PETTIT's STATION - just over two miles away -- where a messenger was sent to Benjamin Logan. By the time Logan and his men arrived, John Montgomery had also been killed, and -- except for Joseph Russell, who escaped -- the remaining family members had all been taken captive. Logan discovered their trail and as his men drew near, the Indians abandoned their captives in order to move more quickly in getting away.

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CHAPTER 2 - Section Two
More information about Benjamin Pettit

CHAPTER 2 - Section Three
Descendants of Benjamin Pettit

CHAPTER 3 - Brevard - Pettit Lineage Connection Proof Pending

CHAPTER 4 - Larrimore - Pettit Lineage Connection Proof Pending

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Changes last made on: Monday, October 6, 2008