The expedition of the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe was supposed to open the frontier to settlement. It was symbolic in its achievement, however, did it really do the job? In 1730, Jost Hite, a land prospector, said that:
" 'the Countrey was unsettled, & a Wilderness was to be explored whose Surface was Rocks & Mountains, & it's [its] inhabitants Wildbesasts or Hostile Indians, without any necessary, but what were carried with them at great expence, nothing but a prefference to the choice lands, would tempt men to become adventurers'"(1).
The governor and the council of Virginia sought to encourage the settlement of the frontier with the help of land speculators; however, land speculators, like Hite, did not seem to think that it could be done.
Therefore, the land speculators "deferred to the interests of the multitude" (2). Rather than speculators acting as the intemediaries between the surveyors and the settlers, the settlers interacted directly with the surveyors to negotiate for land grants. In Spotsylvania County, the appointed surveyor refused to survey the land west of the Shenandoah that had been claimed by Spotswood, therefore, a Knight of the Golden Horseshoe, Robert Brooke, would be assigned the task. In 1734, the legislature created Orange County to put an end to the expansion of Spotsylvania County (3).
(1)Transcript of the Record, Hite and McCoy v Fairfax, fol. 717, folower 100 C-HP, and Hite v Fairfax, transcript by McKay, 1588-89, in Warren R. Hofstra, The Planting of New Virginia: Settlement and Landscape in the Shenandoah Valley(Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2004), 114.