Genesis of the McKinney Odyssey
Born on April 17, 1766 as a subject of King George in New Jersey, Collin McKinney died in 1861 as a reluctant citizen of the Confederacy. His entire life was buffeted by a world at war, his fortunes directly tied to those of the British, French and Spanish empires, wrestling for supremacy in Europe and territory throughout their distant colonies. A citizen of six different governments, he witnessed nearly a century of tectonic events that determined both his life and the future of the United States.
As a surveyor, he must have marveled at the sheer land mass acquired by the Original Thirteen Colonies during his lifetime. Moreover, as a pioneer and landowner himself, he was one of the many intrepid Americans who personally contributed to the Western Expansion which determined the borders of the continental United States as we know it today.
Original Thirteen Colonies
New Jersey to the Virginia Valley
His odyssey began when his father moved the family from New Jersey to the Virginia Valley before the Revolutionary War and ended over 58 years later and 1,000 miles away on the Red River in Texas
Only twelve years before Collin was born, a 22 year old Virginia Militiaman named George Washington ambushed a French patrol and ignited the French Indian Wars. Seven years later, the British rightly calculated that France’s concentration of military resources in Europe left a vacuum in North America and pressed for victory. In 1760, the French were expelled from the continent, the British gained Canada and all of the land east of the Mississippi River and Spain held all of the territory west of the same river.