In 1699 two men went to visit the Piscataway and I retraced their steps on how they got there. Their names were Giles Vandercastel and Burr Harrison, they became the first people to have an encounter with Loudoun’s Native Americans. These Native Americans lived on Harrison Island, which is why my journey included a boat.
Their daring journey not only marked the first significant exploration of the area but also brought them into a historic encounter with the native Indians who inhabited the land. Harrison and Vandercastel, armed with curiosity and a need for discovery, documented their meeting with the indigenous people of Loudoun. This encounter proved a significant turning point, shedding light on the great cultural diversity of the Native Americans and setting the stage for further contact between settlers and the area’s first residents. Harrison and Vandercastel embodied the spirit of exploration and cross-cultural contact that defined the early days of Loudoun County’s settlement with their boldness and openness in their exploration and involvement with the native Indians.