The West Virginia. Cyclopedia
In 1750, Dr. Thomas Walker embarked upon an expedition into the central Appalachian Mountains during which he explored the valleys of the New, Greenbrier, Tug Fork, Big Sandy, and Guyandotte rivers. Enacted on behalf of the Loyal Company of Virginia, which had been established to lay claim to the Trans-Allegheny wilderness, the Walker Expedition was the first recorded exploration by white explorers into the area of present-day West Virginia south of the Kanawha River. Walker is also credited with being the first European to record the existence of the Cumberland Gap. Leaving the Kentucky wilderness on March 6, 1750, the Walker party journeyed northward, crossing the Big Sandy River, and on June 28 reached the mouth of the Greenbrier River above present-day Hinton in Summers County.