Who lead a group to the Blue Ridge Mountain in WV in 1716?

In 1716 Alexander Spotswood, lieutenant governor of Virginia from 1710-1722, led an expedition westward through the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Spotswood took with him a group of about 50 gentlemen and several servants, Indians, and rangers. They crossed over the Blue Ridge by way of Swift Run Gap into the Shenandoah Valley and claimed the land for King George I.

To commemorate the event, Governor Spotswood gave each of his companions a small golden horseshoe, inscribed ''Sic juvat transcendere montes'' (Thus, let him swear to cross the mountains).

And they are remembered as ''Knights of the Golden Horseshoe.''

The golden horseshoe tradition continues today to spur the study of West Virginia State history, geography, industry, and natural resources. West Virginia students achieving the highest scores in their county on a test prepared by the West Virginia Department of Education are each presented with a golden horseshoe.