Abraham Wood established his trading center at the falls on the Appomattox River, the edge of colonial settlement after William Berkeley was restored as the colonial governor in 1660. Wood was a fur trader whose sent agents to negotiate for deerskins and other furs from as far away as the Cherokees on the Tennessee River.
Fur trading was not a routine business operation. Doing business with the tribes required an understanding of what each society valued and, in case of a contract dispute, what each society feared.
To obtain intelligence about the tribes and the territories in which they hunted, and perhaps to identify the location of valuable minerals and other natural resources, Abraham Wood sent Thomas Batte and Robert Hallom to explore inland in 1671. The surviving copies of Hallom's journal mis-spelled their last names at Batts and Fallam.1