The word, “Rickohocken,” appeared suddenly in the discussions of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1644, and was frequently mentioned thereafter until 1684. No word similar to Rickohocken appeared on Virginia maps before 1644, while such southwestern Virginia tribes as the Tomahitan, Saponi and Occaneechi did. The Rickohockens were shown on British maps to control southwestern Virginia, southeastern Kentucky, northeastern Tennessee and northwestern North Carolina until the early 1700s.
In 1673 the Virginia pioneer Abraham Wood sent two white men, James Needham and Gabriel Arthur, the latter probably an indentured servant, in company with eight Indians, to explore western Virginia up to and beyond the mountains. They were turned back at first “by misfortune and unwillingness of ye Indians before the mountaines that they