These "Long Hunters" were a social group of men connected together both during the hunt and afterwards. They shared many struggles and hardships together and developed a common bond among them. "The association of these hunting groups extended to everyday life in the period between hunting seasons. The Peter Perkin's List shows that Joseph Martin, later to become a General and to have the County seat of Henry County (Virginia) named for him, lived with the brother of Elizabeth Strong and next to Samuel Crowley's place on the Sandy River..... Thomas Strong, one of the brothers of Elizabeth and Sarah Crowley had a stream named after him in the hunting region, and it is almost certain that he was numbered among the Long Hunters along with James and John Strong. The relationship and marriage connections of the Strongs with the Hardemans and the Crowleys make it very likely that the Strong boys were some of those whose names never were recorded in this clandestine activity of hunting beyond the treaty line, but who were there nevertheless."29
      "Both Samuel and Benjamin Crowley were recorded as among those who were called Long Hunters, but their companions probably included brothers of the two Strong sisters they had married. Their companions certainly included Tom Hardeman and William Fallon (or Faulin). Members of the Callaway family were also known to have been Long Hunters, and it is difficult to believe that the Callaway and the Crowley were not linked in the hunts as they had been linked in so many other endeavors over two generations."30
      Grantham States that Richard Callaway accompanied Daniel Boone on these hunts into the Tennessee and Kentucky wilderness which is important because Richard Callaway, Benjamin Crowley, John Strong (a2b), Thomas Strong (a2d) and James Strong (a2g) were all living near the Sandy River in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. "We know of a few of these men because of the survival of some obscure documents, but there are many whose name we shall never prove up to have been hunters with the Crowley brothers. The Strongs come easily to mind for many reasons, one of which is their closeness to the Crowley and to other resident hunters of the Sandy River Basin."31
      Grantham states that the men on the Peter Perkin's Tax List were know Long Hunters such as Bean, Cox, Callaway and Blevins. He also lists the source, "Early Adventures On the Western Water", Kegley, pp. 81-84., which lists a Long Hunter named Colley. Some Colley families intermarried into the Strong family and were also in Georgia with John Crowley and Benjamin Crowley after the American Revolution.
      "The first group actually known to have been on the Cumberland did not go out until 1761. These, chiefly from southwestern Virginia, had as their leader Elisha Walden ...... He had grown up on Smith River in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and there on the frontier he had mastered a hunter's education.... Jack Blevins, father-in-law of Walden, was along, as was his brother-in-law, William Blevins."32 Around 1763 Blevins had been hunting around the mouth of the Obey's River where the son and grandson of Thomas Strong (a2d) would settle in the early 1800's.
      In 1769 Thomas Strong (a2d) was being sued in court by Isiah Watkins in Pittsylvania County and Thomas Strong appears to be absent from court, possibly because of being away on the hunt. This is the same year that Isaac, Abraham and Anthony Bledsoe spent the year exploring the Cumberland Valley in Kentucky and Tennessee. It is interesting that Anthony Bledsoe supplied beef for the troops on the Point Pleasant Campaign of which included Samuel Crowley. The hunt of 1769 very likely involved the Strong and Crowley families. The men took the "hunters trail" in Southwestern Virginia (now Lee, Scott and Russell Counties) and they met at Flat Lick near Pineville in Eastern Kentucky. One hunting group met near the site of the Mt. Gilead Meeting House in present day Monroe County, Kentucky. This is the same area that Thomas Strong's son, Samuel Strong (a2d5), would settle in 1812. These hunting parties then moved into Middle Tennessee by the end of the year.
      Why Thomas Strong (a2d) is believed to have been a "Long Hunter" cannot be answered easily and no real proof exists that he was, other than what circumstantial evidence that was given by Mr. Grantham and Rolff. One of the first points made by Grantham and Rolff was that Pittsylvania County, Virginia seemed to be home to a vast majority of known "Long Hunters" of which included Richard Callaway, Elisha Walden, William Blevins and the Crowley and Hardeman families. John Hardeman confirmed that his grandfather, Captain Tom Hardeman, and the Crowley's had in fact went on one of these "Long Hunts" together in 1768. John Hardeman confirmed this fact to Ferdinand Stith, M.D. in a letter date June 27, 1834.38 It should be noted that members of the Stith family moved to Jackson County, Tennessee and married into the Joseph Strong family. Joseph Strong was the grandson of Thomas Strong (a2d).
      We know both the Crowley and Hardeman families were intermarried to the Strong family and were listed on the same tax list in 1767. This would seem to indicate that they were neighbors and that Thomas Strong was living on Samuel Crowley's land in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Grantham and Rolff believe that it is significant that Thomas Strong owned no land and was believed to be living on Crowley's land, because they say this was very common among long hunters. And because of this closeness in proximity and in kinship it would only seem natural that Thomas Strong and his brothers would accompany their "in-laws" on these hunts.
      One of the last points made by Grantham and Rolff was that in 1769, 1770 and 1773 Thomas Strong (a2d) was being sued in a Pittsylvania County Court. On each of these occasions Thomas Strong (a2d) was no where to be found and failed to appear after being "duly summoned" by the Sheriff. A reasonable explanation could be that Thomas Strong (a2d) was away on the hunt with the other known long hunters.

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