100 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
ing men from Washington County) for Clarke's expedition, about one hundred and ten strong, as before mentioned, and under the command of Col. Archibald Lochry, proceeded to the rendezvous at Fort Henry, where the commanding officer expected to join the main body under Gen. Clarke. But on arriving there he found that the general had gone down the river the day before, leaving a Maj. Craycroft with a few men and a boat for the transportation of the horses, but without either provisions or ammunition, of which they had but a very insufficient supply. Clarke had, however, promised to await their arrival at the mouth of the Kanawha ; but on reaching that point they found that he had been obliged, in order to prevent desertion (which his men were more than ever determined on), to proceed down the river, leaving only a letter affixed to a pole directing them to follow. Their provisions and forage were nearly exhausted ; there was no source of supply but the stores conveyed by Clarke ; the river was very low, and as they were unacquainted with the channel, they could not hope to overtake the main body. Under these embarrassing circumstances Col. Lochry dispatched Capt. Shearer with four men in a small boat, with the hope of overtaking Gen. Clarke and of securing supplies, leaving his (Shearer's) company under command of Lieut. Isaac Anderson. Before Shearer's party had proceeded far they were taken prisoners by Indians, who also took from them a letter to Gen. Clarke, informing him of the condition of Lochry's party.
About the same time Lochry captured a party of nineteen deserters from Clarke's force. These he afterwards released, and they immediately joined the Indians. The savages had before been apprised of the expedition, but they had supposed that the forces of Clarke and Lochry were together, and as they knew that Clarke had artillery, they had not attempted an attack. But now, by the capture of Shearer's party, with the letters, and by the intelligence brought to them by the deserters, they for the first time learned of the weakness and exposed situation of Lochry's command, and they at once determined on its destruction.
Collecting in force some miles below the mouth of the Great Miami River, they placed their prisoners (Shearer's party) in a conspicuous position on the north shore of the Ohio, near the head of Lochry's Island, with the promise to them that their lives should be spared if they would hail Lochry's men as they came down and induce them to land. But in the mean time, Col. Lochry, wearied by the slow progress made, and in despair of overtaking Clarke, landed on the 24th of August, at about ten o'clock in the morning, on the same shore, at an inlet which has since borne the name of Lochry's Creek,¹ a short
¹ This creek empties into the Ohio, nine or ten miles below the mouth of the Miami. Lochry's Island, near the head of which the prisoners were placed by the Indians to decoy their friends on shore, is three miles below the creek.
distance above the place where the Indians were awaiting them. At this point the horses were taken on shore and turned loose to feed. One of the men had killed a buffalo, and all, except a few set to guard the horses, were engaged around the fires which they had kindled in preparing a meal from it. Suddenly a volley blazed forth on them from a wooded bluff, and simultaneously a large force of Indians appeared and rushed to attack them. The men, thus surprised, seized their arms and bravely defended themselves u long as their ammunition lasted. Then they attempted to escape by their boats, but these Were unwieldy, the water was very low, and the party, too much weakened to avail themselves of this method of escape, and being wholly unable to make further resistance, surrendered to the savages, who at once proceeded to the work of massacre. They killed Col. Lochry and several others of the prisoners, but were restrained from further butchery by the timely arrival of their chief,² who declared that he disapproved of their conduct, but said he was unable wholly to control his men, who were eager to revenge the acts of Col. Brodhead against the Indians on the Muskingum a few months before.
The party which Col. Lochry surrendered to the Indians consisted of but sixty-four men, forty-two having been killed. The Indians engaged numbered over three hundred of various, tribes, but principally those of the Six Nations. They divided the plunder among them in proportion to the numbers of each tribe engaged.
On the next day the prisoners were marched to the Delaware towns, where they were met by a party of British and Indians, who said they were on their way to the Falls of the Ohio to attack Gen. Clarke. The prisoners were separated and taken to different places of captivity at the India, towns, and there they remained (excepting a few who escaped) until the close of the Revolutionary struggle. After the preliminary articles of peace had been signed (Nov. 30, 1782) they were ransomed by the British officers in command of the Northern posts and were sent to Canada, to be exchanged for British prisoners in the hands of the Americans.³ In the
² It has been stated that the chief in command of this Indian party was the famous Capt. Brant, and that he afterwards professed much regret for the massacre of Lochry and his men.
³ The following memorial of escaped prisoners belonging to Col. Lochry's command was presented to the Supreme Executive Council, addressed to President Moore, and indorsed July
3, 1782, viz.:
"SIR, - We, the subscribers, inhabitants of the County of Westmorland, beg leave to represent to your Excellency and Council that we had the misfortune to be made prisoners of by the Indians on the 24th of August last and carried to Montreal, and there kept in close confine. went till the 26th of May last, with we were so fortunate as to make our escape, and after a long and fatigueing march through the Wilderness we got to this city yesterday at three O'Clock. As we are at present destitute of both Money and Cloathes, without which we cannot go home, We pray your Exc'y and Council to take our case into Considerstion, and order us our pay from the time we were made prisoners to this. We were under the command of Colo. Loughery when taken, and have a list of all those, both officers and privates, who are now prisoners.
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spring of 1783 they sailed from Quebec to New York, and from there returned home by way of Philadelphia, having been absent twenty-two months. But more than one-half of those who went down the Ohio with Col. Lochry never again saw their homes.
Upon the abandonment of the expedition by Gen. Clarke at the Falls of the Ohio, the men composing the force made their way as best they could through the wilderness to their homes, encountering many perils and hardships, and being more than two months on the weary homeward journey. The arrival of a part of them, as also the terrible disaster to Col. Lochry's command, was announced by Gen. Irvine (who had in the mean time succeeded Col. Brodhead in the command of the Western Department) in a letter to Gen. Washington, dated Fort Pitt, Dec. 2, 1781, as follows :
"... Capt. Craig, with the detachment of artillery, returned here on the 26th inst. [ult ?] . . . A Col. Lochry, of Westmoreland County, Pa., with about one hundred men in all, composed of volunteers and a company raised by Pennsylvania for the defense of that county, started to join Gen. Clarke, who, it. is said, ordered him to unite with him (Clarke) at the mouth of the Miami, up which river it was previously designed to proceed ; but the general, having changed his plan, left a small party at the Miami, with directions to Lochry to follow him to the mouth of the Falls. Sundry accounts agree that this party, and all of Lochry's troops to a man, were waylaid by the Indians and British (for it is said they had artillery), and all killed or taken, not a man escaping, either to join Gen. Clarke or to return home. When Capt. Craig left the general he would not be persuaded but that Lochry with his party had returned home. These misfortunes throw the people of this county into the greatest consternation, and almost despair, particularly Westmoreland County, Lochry's party being all the best men of their frontier. At the present they talk
of that party, which, together with such information as is in our power, we are ready to give for the satisfaction of your Exc'y and Council. " We have the Honour to be
" Your Excellency's Hble Serves,
" ISAAC ANDERSON,
" Lieut. Capt. Sheerer's Company Rangers.
" RICHARD WALLACE,
" Late Quartermaster to Colonel Lochry."
A similar petition was presented to Council Jan. 6,1783, by prisoners from Lochry's command, then returning (not escaped) from Canada, as follow³:
"We, the Subscribers, would beg leave to represent the situation of Henry Dungan, Sergt of Captn John Boyd's Company, and Robert Watson, John Marrs, and Mich. Hare, of Capt. Thos. Stokely's Com'y of lingered this State, that they have been Captured by the Savages in &e Summer of Eighty-one, and are now on their return from Canada, being Destitute of Money, and allmost Cloathing, would beg that Council would take their Situation under Consideration, and grant them such supply's they in their wisdom shall think necessary.
" Captain of Rangers S. P.
" Capt. of Rangers S. P."
- Penn. Arch., 1781-83, pp. 738-34.
of flying early in the spring to the eastern side of the mountains, and are daily flocking to me to inquire what support they may expect."
While Gen. Clarke's expedition was in progress, and long before the intelligence had been received of its disastrous termination, another expedition was projected, its object being identical with a part of Clarke's plan, viz., the capture and destruction of the Indian towns on the Sandusky River. The enterprise was conceived and fostered by Cols. Brodhead and Gibson at Fort Pitt, and by Hays, Marshel, and other officials of the Pennsylvania counties on both sides of the Monongahela. Undoubtedly military jealousy had much to do with the advocacy of the plan by Col. Brodhead and other officers at Fort Pitt, but they, as well as Marshel, Hays, and other Pennsylvania officials, also believed, or affected to believe, that Clarke's campaign was prosecuted wholly in the interest of Virginia, and with the ulterior object of establishing the claims of that State to territory in the West.
As early as the 23d of August, Col. Brodhead mentioned the proposed enterprise in a letter of that date addressed to the president of the Council, viz.: " An Expedition against the Sanduskies is in Contemplation, and I wish to promote it, but what can be done with naked and starved men, unless the Country will afford a generous supply, you will easily Determine." The expedition was to be under the command of Col. Gibson, of the Seventh Virginia Regiment, and the rendezvous was ordered at Fort McIntosh on the 5th of September. A considerable number of volunteers were recruited, including many of the leading citizens of Washington County. But the same difficulties were encountered in the raising of supplies which Brodhead had previously met in the prosecution of his campaign against the Delaware towns, and he made little if any progress towards the desired result during the short time that he afterwards remained as commandant at Fort Pitt.
On the 24th of September, 1781, Brig.-Gen. William Irvine received orders to supersede Col. Brodhead in the command of Fort Pitt and, the Western Department. He at once repaired to his post of duty, and began the arduous task of. having the work put in a tolerable Condition for defense, and of bringing the troops under his command there up to as near a state of efficiency as was practicable. The Eighth Pennsylvania and Seventh Virginia Regiments at Fort Pitt had been reduced to a mere remnant, sufficient men remaining in each to form two full companies, but no more, and they were reorganized in that way, and the supernumerary officers sent elsewhere. Of the condition of the soldiers at the fort Irvine wrote Gen. Washington : " I never saw troops cut so truly deplorable a figure. No man would believe from their appearance that they were soldiers ; nay, it was difficult to determine whether they were white men."
102 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
Under such circumstances and in view of the almost impossibility of obtaining supplies, Gen. Irvine did not encourage the projected expedition to the Sandusky towns, and it was accordingly abandoned for that year. He ascertained that the post at Wheeling (Fort Henry) was occupied by a garrison of one Continental officer and fifteen privates, but he could not spare any of the soldiers from Fort Pitt for their relief, and he found some difficulty in obtaining elsewhere even the small number of men necessary. On the 14th of November he wrote James Marshel, county lieutenant of Washington, asking him to furnish vol-Unteers for the relieving party. Marshel replied, two days later, " I cannot comply with your requisition of engaging a number of men for the defense of Fort Wheeling, as I am heartily tired out with volunteer plans ;" but he added, " I shall order out, according to class, the number of militia you have demanded, add order the officer to wait on you for instructions." He did so, sending Lieut. John Hay in command of one sergeant and fifteen privates of the Washington County militia. The officer waited on Gen. Irvine as ordered, and on the 28th of November received his instructions " to proceed to Wheeling with the detachment under his command, there to relieve the garrison of Continental troops, taking upon himself the charge of the post." Lieut. Hay and his detachment occupied Fort Henry until the 2d of February following, when the officer and garrison were relieved by another lieutenant and a detachment of equal numbers from the Washington County militia, and these remained garrisoning the post until about the 1st of April following.
Williamson's Expeditions.—In November, 1781, after the proposed campaign against Sandusky had been given up for that year, a small expedition was sent against the Moravian towns on the Muskingum River. The reason for this movement against the peaceful Moravians was that many of the borderers believed, or professed to believe, that they (the Christian Indians) were secretly in league with the warlike savages who lived farther to the northwest, that even if they did not take active part in the frequent raids and butcheries, they did at least at their isolated towns—situated midway between the Ohio River frontier and the hostile villages on the Sandusky—give shelter, subsistence, and information to the Shawanese and Wyan-dot warriors when engaged in their bloody forays ; and some even believed that the Moravians themselves mingled with the war parties and wielded the knife and tomahawk. It was not intended, however, in this expedition to use fire and sword against the Indians of the Moravians towns, but to induce them, if possible,'to remove farther away from the Ohio, or, failing in this, to take them as prisoners to Fort Pitt.
The expedition numbered between seventy-five and one hundred men, and was made up of volunteers from the country west of the Monongahela River, principally from Washington County. The com manding officer (Col. David Williamson) was of the same county and one of its prominent citizens.
The organization of the expedition was effected with but little delay, for the enterprise was one involving little danger to deter volunteers, and it was not necessary for its probably short term of service to accumulate a large amount of provisions. Having no artillery, camp equipage, or supply trains to impede his progress, Col. Williamson moved his force rapidly to the Ohio, and thence to the towns on the Muskingum ; but in the mean time he had been forestalled in his projected work by a large force of hostile savages,¹ who charged the Moravians with being in league with the whites, and on this plea had visited their towns, broken them up, driven the people away to Sandusky, and carried the white Moravian missionaries residing among them prisoners to Detroit.
On his arrival at the towns, Williamson fount them deserted, except by a small party of the Moravians, who had been driven away, but who had been allowed by their captors to return for the purpose of gathering some corn which had been left standing in the fields near the villages. This party he took prisoners and marched them to Fort Pitt, where, however, they were soon after set at liberty by Gen. Irvine, the commandant.
During the winter of 1781-82 the people of. the frontier settlements looked forward with dread: and painful foreboding to the time of melting snows and springing grass, the time when the lifting of winter's embargo would permit the Western savages to come out from the shelter of their towns and carry devastation across the border from the Ohio to the Monongahela. The months of December and January were exceedingly and continuously cold, but at the beginning of February the weather became unusually mild ; and this sudden and remarkable change proved to be the opening of spring. In a few days the snow had disappeared, and the season seemed like April rather than February. The savages on the Sandusky at once availed themselves of the unusual circumstance, and took the war-path. A party of them en-
¹ The hostile Indians and British, being suspicious that the Mom awe had been secretely working in the interests of the Americans, resolved to drive them from their towns on the Muskingum. An Indian force was therefore gathered for this purpose, composed of Wyandot³, Delawares, and Shawanese, in all amounting to more than three hundred warriors. The first of the Indian parties—a body of one hundred forty Wyandots under their Half-King, and accompanied by Matthew Elliot, a Tory, holding a captain's commission in the British service- reached the Muskingum on the 10th of August, 1781. The Upper Sandusky Delawares, under Capt. Pipe and Wingenund, came in soon after and by the 14th the whole force was gathered at the Moravian towns, where they remained for nearly a month. On the 11th of September they left on their return to Sandusky, forcing the Moravian Indians to accompany them, abandoning their villages, cattle, and crops. The war parties also made prisoners of Heckewelder, Zeisberger, and other missionaries found at the villages, and sent them to the British at Detroit, where they were tried as spies, charged with holding correspondence with the Americans. They were soon afterwards Acquitted by the British court-martial at Detroit, and allowed to rejoin their Indian converts in the vicinity of Sandusky.
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tered Virginia as early as the 8th of the month, and murdered a young man named John Fink at the Buchanan settlement. This was the opening act of the Indian hostilities of the memorable year 1782.
On the 10th¹ of February a war parry of Shawanese attacked the house of Robert Wallace, on the waters of Raccoon Creek, in the present township of Hanover, Washington County. The husband and father was away from home at the time of the attack, and the Indians having killed his cattle and hogs, and committed all the depredations possible except that of burning the house, took Mrs. Wallace and her three children prisoners, and moved as rapidly as possible with them towards the Ohio, evidently anticipating a prompt pursuit. When Wallace returned in the evening and saw the desolation of his home he at once understood the cause, and during the night roused the neighboring settlers, and formed a party to start at dawn on the trail of the savages, and rescue the prisoners from their hands if possible. The party, determined on revenge, set out as proposed, but there came a light fall of snow which concealed the trail, and compelled them to return without having accomplished their object.
Within a few days of the time when the Shawanese attacked Wallace's house,² another party of Indians appeared in the west part of Washington County, and captured a man named John Carpenter, who lived on the waters of the Dutch Fork of Buffalo Creek.³ They also took his two horses, and with these and their prisoners they made their way to and across the Ohio, swimming the somewhat swollen river, and nearly losing the horses in doing so, and proceeded rapidly to the Muskingum. At the end of the first day's journey beyond that river the horses were hobbled and turned loose to feed. In the morning Carpenter was sent to bring them in, and finding them attempting to make their way back over the trail of the previous day, he suddenly resolved that he too would make the attempt, though he well knew that his fate would be a terrible one if he should fail. Freeing the horses from their hobbles he mounted one of them, and made his way as rapidly as possible to the Ohio, which he reached in safety near Fort McIntosh. Thence he went to Fort Pitt, reported the events of his captivity to Col. Gibson, and came back to his home in Washington County.
Upon his return Carpenter reported in the settlement that his savage captors were six in number, and that among them were two who called themselves Moravian Indians and spoke in good Dutch. These two, be said, had appeared particularly vindictive towards .the whites, and treated him much more severely than
¹ Butterfield’s and some other accounts erroneously give the 17th as the date of the attack on Wallace's house.
² It was an about the 15th of February that Carpenter was captured. hoe accounts have it "early in March," but this is a mistake. He had soaped and returned to the settlements before the 25th of February.
³ Doddridge in his "Notes" says Carpenter lived in Virginia, not far from Wellsburg.
did the others. The settlers had already become aroused, and were preparing to form an expedition to invade the Indian country as their only means of safety and peace. But when they received the intelligence brought by Carpenter, they at once concluded that the atrocities then recently committed were the work of the Moravians. Even before this they had been strongly inclined to hold the so-called Christian Indians responsible for the atrocities which had been committed, for it was known that some of the Moravians had returned from their enforced exile and were reoccupying their former homes ;4 and, as the frontiersmen said, it was not likely that the hostile savages from far-off Sandusky would have reached the border settlements so early in the season; or if in fact they were the perpetrators of the outrages, they must have made the Muskingum villages the base of their operations, and in such case the blame was chargeable on the Moravians. There were some who dissented from this view of the case, but when the story of Carpenter's capture and captivity was told, it was agreed by nearly all that the' Moravians had at least given aid to the murdering savages by furnishing them with a refuge and subsistence, if indeed they had not also actually accompanied the war parties and taken active part in their work of massacre and devastation. It was therefore the general sentiment of the people that an expedition should be sent at once to the Moravian towns to compel their final and permanent evacuation by the Moravians, to burn the houses so that the place could no longer be used as a shelter and base of operations for war parties, and to take bloody vengeance on all hostile savages who might be found there; but it sloes not appear that in the inception of the enterprise there was any intention (at least among the leading men) to kill any of the really peaceable Moravians, or to do them any violence beyond compelling them (by force if need be) to vacate the villages and remove either to a remote part of the Indian country or to the vicinity of Fort Pitt, where they could be kept under the surveillance of the military authorities.
So unanimous among the settlers was the sentiment in favor of such an expedition that its ranks could have been easily and quickly filled with volunteers, but Col. James Marshel, who as county lieutenant of Washington had entire control of the military of the county, was entirely opposed to that method of raising men, being—as he had previously expressed himself in an official letter to Gen, Irvine—".heartily tired out with volunteer plans." He had received authority from the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania (in' circular instructions to lieutenants of the western counties, dated Jan. 8, 1782) to
4 "Having received intflligence that the Indian towns on the Muskingum had not moved, as was supposed, a number of men, properly provided, collected and rendezvoused on the Ohio opposite the Mingo Bottom, with a design to surprise the above [Moravian] towns."—Pennsylvania Gazette, April 17, 1782.
104 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
call out the militia of his county at will on any emergency which in his opinion rendered it necessary, and he now promptly exercised that authority by calling out from the militia of the county the number of men which he thought necessary for the successful accomplishment of the object in view. The force, which consisted of about one hundred and sixty men,¹ all of Washington County, and all, or very nearly all, of whom were mounted, was placed under command of Col. David Williamson. It left the county on the 3d of March, and in the morning of the 4th crossed the Ohio River to the Mingo Bottom, which was on the western bank of the stream, about two and a half miles below the present town of Steubenville.
When the Shawanese war party who destroyed the home of Robert Wallace, on Raccoon Creek, made their rapid retreat to the Ohio with their prisoners, in the night of the 10th of February, they found Mrs. Wallace and her infant child to be serious impediments to the rapidity of their march, and so, soon after crossing the river, these two helpless ones were ruthlessly murdered,² the mother scalped, and her
¹ Butterfield, in his " Historical Account of the Expedition Against Sandusky under Col. William Crawford in 1782," gives the strength of this force as ninety men only; and Doddridge (page 248) places it at "between eighty and ninety men ;" but this is undoubtedly an error. Most of the accounts which bear the appearance of authenticity state the number to have been one hundred and sixty. One of the apparently most reliable of these accounts is the " Relation of Frederick Linebach," which is found in the Pennsylvania Archives of 1781-83, page 524, and is given farther on in this narrative. It embraces the account given of the expedition by two persons living near Easton, Pa., but who were present on the frontier at the time Williamson's party returned from the campaign. In a few days thereafter they left the frontier and returned to Eastern Pennsylvania, where they related the facts as given. The number of Williamson's men was stated by them as one hundred and sixty. The statement of men who were on the border at the time, who heard all the facts related, and very likely saw the forces of the expedition, is of more value than any account written years afterward from recollection or tradition. It is true that Tr. Doddridge was also living on the frontier at the time, but as he was then only about twelve years old, it is not to be supposed that he would of his own knowledge have any definite information as to the number of men composing the expedition.
Stone, in his "Life of Brant," ii. 220, says, " A band of between one and two hundred men from the settlements of the Monongahela turned out in quest of the marauders [those who had committed atrocities on the frontier east of the Ohio, and part of whom were supposed to be the Moravians], thirsting for vengeance, under the command of Col. David Williamson."
On page 143 of "Contributions to American History," published by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, is found the following: "In March, 1782, one hundred and sixty militiamen living upon the Monongahela set off on horseback to the Muskingum, in order to destroy three Moravian Indian settlements."
Col. Whittlesey, in the "American Pioneer," vol. ii. p. 428, says, " They were principally from the Monongahela region, and appointed Williamson to the command."
Gen. Irvine, who was in the East at the time the expedition set out, and who arrived back at Fort Pitt a few days after the forces came back from their bloody work on the Muskingum, wrote to Gen. Washington on the 20th of April following, in which letter he said that upon his arrival at Fort Pitt he found that "about three hundred men had just returned from the Moravian towns."
² The two other Wallace children—Robert, aged two and a half years, and his brother, ten years of age—were taken to Sandusky, where the elder one died. Robert was sold to the Wyandots, and remained with that tribe nearly three years. His father heard of his being there, and
body impaled on the sharpened trunk of a sapling standing directly on the path which led from the Mingo Bottom to the villages on the Muskingum. On their arrival at the Moravian town of Gnadenhutten they announced the bloody work on which they had been engaged and exhibited the plunder they had secured. The Christian Indians at once saw how their own safety might be endangered by this visit of the hostile party. They reproached the Shawanese for having compromised them by stopping at their town, and begged them to proceed on their homeward journey without delay. The warriors complied with this request, but not until they had cunningly induced the simple Moravians to purchase from them some of the household utensils they had brought from the ravaged home on Raccoon Creek, and had disposed of the blood-stained dress of Mrs. Wallace to some of the foolish young squaws of Gnadenhaten. These were dear purchases to the unsuspecting Moravians, for they soon after paid for them with their lives. It has been the opinion of many that the scheme was preconcerted on the part of the hostile Indians, who knew of the preparations which were being made in the white settlements for an expedition against the Muskingum towns,³ and left these articles at Gnadenhtitten, expecting that the white men would find them there, and regarding the fact as positive proof that the Moravians had committed the outrages on Raccoon and Buffalo Creeks, would murder them and destroy their towns in retaliation. The hostile Indians suspected that the Moravians were in secret alliance with the Americans,4 and therefore might have wished to have them destroyed, or at least permanently driven from their towns, that the war parties might pass to and fro between
after the close of the Revolution sent for him, and having succeeded obtaining his release from captivity brought him back to his hone Washington County.
³ The story was afterwards current among the inhabitants that the infamous renegade, Simon Girty, was present in the settlements in disguise when the expedition was being formed, and that he did all in his power to promote it. That the Indians wished to have the blame of their outrages thrown on the Christian Indians is evident from the fact that feet two of the most savage of the captors of John Carpenter pretended to the Moravians, though they were but warriors in that disguise.
4 "The peaceable Indians [Moravians] first fell under suspicion with the Indian warriors and the English commandant at Detroit, to whom itwas reported that their teachers [the missionaries] were in close confederacy with the American Congress for preventing not only their own people but also the Delawares and some other nations from their arms with those of the British for carrying on the war against the American colonies. The frequent failures of the war expeditions to the Indians was attributed to the Moravian, who often sent runners to Fort Pitt to give notice of their approach. This charge against them was certainly not without foundation. In the spring of 1781 the war chief of the Delawares fully apprised the missionaries and their followers of their danger both from the whites and Indians, and requested them to remove to a place of safety from both. This request was not compiled with. The almost prophetic predictions of this chief were literally fulfilled."—Doddridge's Early Settlement and Indian Wars, page 257.
The same advice which was given to the Moravian Indians by the Delaware chief, as mentioned by Doddridge, was also pressed on them by Col. Brodhead at the time he was marching with his expedition to the Delaware towns in April, 1781, but they persisted in their determination to remain, seeming to court their own destruction.
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the Sandusky and the Ohio without having their movements watched and reported to the frontiersmen. If such was their wish and intention it was natural that rather than do the bloodywork themselves they should prefer to have it done by the whites, because in that event it would be sure to rouse a universal spirit of revenge among the Northwestern savages, and to unite all the tribes and bands (some of which were still wavering and neutral) in a general Indian league against the Pennsylvania and Virginia settlers. If such was their plan it was a deep-laid one, which was adroitly executed, and only too successful in its results.
Col. Williamson's forces moved from the Mingo Bottom¹ and passed up the valley of Cross Creek, on the direct trail to the Moravian towns. Before they had advanced far from the river they passed the spot where the Indian murderers of Mrs. Robert Wallace had impaled her mutilated body. Naturally the rage of the volunteers was raised to the highest pitch by the ghastly sight, and many and deep were the imprecations launched against the Moravians as the perpetrators of the bloody deed. If they had reasoned more coolly they must have regarded the presence of the corpse at that place as evidence in favor of the innocence of the Christian Indians, for if they had done the murder,.they would hardly have advertised the fact by placing the body in that position on the direct path to their settlements ; but the men were too highly excited and incensed to reason in this way, and so they marched on, full of wrath and vengeful feelings against the peaceful inhabitants of the villages on the Muskingum.
Late in the evening of the 6th of March the expedition arrived within less than a mile of Gnadenhiitten, and the men bivouacked so near the village that their advanced scouts could faintly hear the shouting of the Indian children, yet none of the doomed people in the town knew of their approach. The place had not been permanently reoccupied by the Moravians since their expulsion by the hostile Indians in the preceding September; but a body of about one hundred and fifty of the exiles (including many women and children) had come back from the place to which they had been driven, and were then engaged at their old settlement,
¹ " Mingo Bottom is a rich platens. on the immediate bank of the Ohio, in the south half of section 27 of township two, range one, of the goverment survey, extending south to a small affluent of the Ohio known as Cross Creek. Opposite the upper portion of Mingo Bottom is Mingo Island, containing about ten acres, although much larger in 1782. It supports a scanty growth of willow bushes only, but within the recollection of many now living it was studded with trees of large size, particularly the soft maple. Cross Creek, on the Virginia side, flows into The Ohio about three-fourths of a mile below. Before the great flood of 1832 the Island contained not less than twenty acres. The usual place of crossing was directly from shore to shore, across the head of the island. At the landing on the west bank the vagrant Mingoes had once a village, deserted, however, as early as 1772. Their town gave name to the locality. The Ohio has been forded at this crossing in very low water. The bluffs of the river are below the island on the Virginia side, above the Ohio side. Mingo Bottom contains about two hundred and fifty acres."—Butterfield's Expedition against Sandusky, p. 63.
gathering corn of the previous year's crop to carry to their suffering brethren on the Sandusky. A part of them were at Gnadenbiitten and the remainder at the two other villages, engaged in the same work.
Early in the morning of the 7th the forces moved from their bivouac of the previous night, and advanced towards the town in two divisions. The left division was divided into three parties, one to move through the woods to the river-bank below the town, one to march in the same way to the stream at the upper end of the town, and the third to move at the proper time directly on the village. The right division was to move under cover to the river at a point about a mile above the town, and there to cross to the other shore for the purpose of capturing a body of the Indians who, as the commander bad learned from his scouts, were on the west side of the river.
When the right division reached the river above the town they found the stream filled with floating ice and too much swollen to ford. They had neither the time nor the means necessary to build rafts for crossing, and no canoes or other craft were to be seen along the east bank. On the west, however, they saw what appeared to be a canoe, and a young man named Sloughter volunteered to swim across and bring it over. This was done, but it proved to be, not a canoe, but a trough intended. for holding sugar-water. Though large for that use, it would only carry two men at a time, and in that manner they crossed the river, some of the men, however, stripping off their clothes, placing them in the trough, and then swimming by its side across the stream. When some fifteen or twenty of the party had gained the west bank of the river, one of the scouts; who had been posted a short distance in advance, discovered an Indian. Two shots were instantly fired at him, breaking his arm. He proved to be a young half-breed, named Joseph Shabosh, who had been' sent out to catch a horse. After breaking his arm the scouts rushed upon him, killed ² and scalped him, he the while begging piteously for his life, telling them that he was a Christian, and that his father was a white man and a minister. The firing of the shots at young Shabosh of course put an end to all hopes of further concealment, and word was at once sent to the parties of the left division to move instantly on Gnadenhiitten, while the men of the right division who had gained the west bank of the river—that is to say the party who had killed Shabosh—marched as rapidly as possible to the capture of the Moravians who were on that side of the stream. These were found in a field, gathering corn to take to Sandusky. The white men told them they had com4 to take them all to Fort Pitt for safety.
² The name of Charles Bilderback has been preserved as that of the man who killed and scalped young Shabosh, and who seven years afterwards was captured by an Indian party, taken to the very place where Shabosh was murdered, and there killed and scalped. This is the tradition. The most that can be said of it is that it may be true.
106 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
"The Indians surrendered,¹ delivered up their arms, advanced to the front, and stood there in hopeless and appeared highly delighted with the prospect of their removal, and began with all speed to prepare victuals for the white men, and Indians were immediately dispatched to Salem, a short distance from Gnadenhiitten, where the Indians were gathering in their corn, to bring them into Gnadenhutten. The party soon arrived with the whole number of Indians from Salem. In the mean time the Indians at Gnadenhutten were confined in two houses some distance apart and placed under guards, and when those from Salem arrived they were divided and placed in the same houses with their, brethren from Gnaden-hiitten."
While these scenes were being enacted Williamson's men in Gnadenhutten ransacked the village, and found there what they considered damning proof of the treachery and guilt of the Moravians. They seized the Indian horses and pointed to the brands on them as proof that they had been stolen from the settlements. The Indians in reply said they were in the habit of branding their horses for identification, and offered to produce the branding irons they used for the purpose. Tea-kettles, pots, basins, pewter plates, and a variety of other articles were found which the white men alleged to have been taken from the houses of settlers east of the Ohio. The Indians replied that nearly all these things had been brought by the missionaries from the missions on the Susquehanna, though some had been purchased by them from traders. But then came the fatal evidence that there were among these articles some household utensils which had been taken from the house of Robert Wallace, and that the dress which his wife wore when she received the death-blow was found upon the person of one of the young Moravian women, and these were fully identified by Wallace himself, who was present with the expedition. In the face of these facts all protestations of innocence on the part of the Indians were unavailing. Their doom was already fixed in the minds of the incensed borderers, w,ho at once demanded of Col. Williamson that they should be put to death.
Under the pressure of these demands the commander called a council of war to decide what should be done, but the officers composing it evaded the responsibility of making a decision, and in fact they knew they would be powerless to enforce it if made against the wishes of the men. Williamson thereupon ordered that the question be referred to a vote of the volunteers, which vote should be final. The men were then formed in line and the question formally put to them, " Shall the Moravian Indians be taken as prisoners to Fort Pitt, or put to death here?" All those in favor of sparing their lives were directed to advance three paces to the front. At the order all stood fast in the line save eighteen brave men who
¹ From the Rev. Joseph Doddridge's "Notes on thp Settlement and Indian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania."
minority until the commander announced the result, then withdrew, and, as tradition says, called on God to witness that they were guiltless of participation in the awful tragedy about to be enacted.
It was evening on the 7th of March when the dread decision was communicated to the unhappy Moravian prisoners. They had already abandoned all hope of mercy from man, and when asked if they were prepared to die answered that they were Christians, and had no fear of death. They were then told that they must make all preparations during the night, and die on the following morning.
The work of butchery was done in the forenoon of the 8th of March.² The victims were dragged by ropes placed about their necks, some singly and others in pairs, to the place of slaughter, where they were knocked down like beasts with a cooper's mallet, and then tomahawked and scalped. The particulars are too dreadful to dwell upon. The tale of Wyoming's massacre is less soul-sickening than the record of that day's work done by Christian white men.
" The prisoners," says the Rev. Dr. Doddridge, " from the time they were placed in the guard-house foresaw their fate, and began their devotions of singing hymns, praying, and exhorting each other to place a firm reliance in the mercy of the Saviour of men. When their fate was announced to them these devoted people embraced, kissed, and bedewing each others' faces and bosoms with their mutual tears, asked pardon of the brothers and sisters for any offense they might have given them through life. Thus at peace with God and with each other, on being asked by those who were impatient for the slaughter whether they were ready to die, they answered that they had commended their souls to God and were ready to die. The particulars of the dreadful catastrophe are too horrid to relate. Suffice it to say'that in a few minutes these two slaughter-houses, as they were then called, exhibited in their ghastly interior the mangled, bleeding remains of these poor unfortunate people of all ages and sexes, from the aged, gray-headed parents down to the helpless infant at its mother's breast, dishonored by the fatal wounds of the tomahawk, mallet, war-club, spear, and scalping-knife."
An account of the operations of Williamson's forces from the time of their setting out on the expedition to that of their return to the settlements, including
² The manner in which Dr. Doddridge and some others tell the story of the massacre would lead to the inference that the Moravian prisoner were slaughtered on the 7th of March, commencing immediately after their doom was decided by the vote of the volunteers. That such was not the case, but that the killing was postponed until the morning of the 8th, is shown by the Rev. David Zeisberger's narrative of the transaction, as also by the "Relation of Frederick Linebach," which is given these pages. Gen. Irvine, however, in a letter to Geo. Washington dated April 20,1782, said the report there was that Williamson’s men had killed the Moravians " after cool deliberation snd considering the matter for three days."
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the slaughter of the Moravians, is found in the Pennsylvania Archives of 1781-83, page 524, as follows :
"Relation of what Frederick Linebach was told by two of his Neighbours living near Delaviare River, above Easton, who were just returned from the Monongahela.
"That some time in February one hundred & sixty Men, living upon Monaungithela set off on Horseback to the Muskingum, in order to destroy Three Indian Settlements, of which they seemed to be sure of being the Touns of some Enemy Indians. After coming nigh to one of the Tonne they discovered some Indians on both sides of the River Muskingum. They then concluded to divide themselves in Two parties, the one to cross the River and the other to attack those Indians on this side. When the party got over the River they saw one of the Indians coming up towards them. They laid themselves flat on the ground waiting till the Indian was nigh enough, then one of them shot the Indian and broke his arm; then three of the Militia ran towards him with Tomahawks; when they were yet a little distance from him he ask'd them why they had fired at him ; he was Minister Sheboshch's [John Bull's] Son, but they took no notice of what he said, but killed him on the Spot. They then surrounded the field, and took all the other Indians Prisoners. The Indians told them that they were Christians and made no resistance, when the Militia gave them to understand that they must bring them as Prisoners to Fort Pitt they seemed to be very glad. They were ordered to prepare themselves for the Journey, and to take all their Effects along with them. Accordingly they did so. They were asked how it came they had no Cattle? They answered that the small Stock that was left them had been sent to Sandusky.
"In the Evening the Militia held a Council, when the Commander of the Militia told his men that he would leave it to their choice either to carry the Indians as Prisoners to Fort Pitt or to kill them; when they agreed that they should be killed. Of this Resolution of the Council they gave notice to the Indian³ by two Messengers, who told them that as they had said they were Christians they would give them time this sight to prepare themselves accordingly. Hereupon the Women met together and sung Hymns & Psalms all Night, and so likewise did the lien,and kept on singing as long as there were three left. In the morning the Militia chose Two houses, which they called the Slaughter Houses, and then fetched the Indians two or three at a time with Ropes about their Necks and dragged them into the Slaughter houses, where they knocked them down; then they set these Two houses on Fire, as likewise all the other houses. This done they went to the other Towns and set fire to the Houses, took their plunder, and returned to the Mo-mungahela, where they held a Vendue among themselves. Before these Informants came away it was agreed that 600 men should meet on the 18th of Mardi to go to Sandusky, which is about 100 Miles from the Muskingum."¹
¹ Linebach (or Leimbach) was an inhabitant of Northampton County, Pa.,firing not far from the Moravian headquarters at Bethlehem, in that county. On receipt of the intelligence of the massacre, he communicated it to the Moravian Bishop Seidel, who requested that he would slake the statement to Congress, which he did, carrying with him a letter from L. Weiss to Charles Thomson, secretary of Congress, as follows (ase Penn. Archives of 1781-83, p. 523):
"SIR,—I received this afternoon a letter of the Reverend Nathaniel [Udell Bishop of the United Churches of the Brethren, residing at Bethlehem, dated the 5th instant. He informs me that the [same day a melancholy report was brought to him by one Mr. Leimbach, relative to saurder committed by white Menlipon a number of Christian Indians at a place called Muskingum. He continues in his Letter that the same Mr. Leimbach is to proceed the next day to Philadelphia in order to give Congress information how he came to the knowledge of that Event, so that Congress, unless it had already a better account of the affair than Man give, might, upon his Report, take some measures, as well of the idsehief already done, as more which might be done, and thus prevent the total extirpation of a Congregation of Indians converted to the Nth of Jesus Christ, and the Judgments of Almighty God against our deter County, which stands much in need of his divine Protection. The Bkhopdes res me to give attention to Mr. Leimbach's Report (I have dose lt), and to direct him where lie should make his addresses. I make bold, Sir, to address him to you, and to begg the Favour that you intro-bee him, if possible this night, with the Delegates of the State of Virginia, from whence it is said the mischief originated, and to-morrow morning with Congress. Your Humanity, Sir, gives me Confidence to the Freedom to trouble you this day, the day set apart for the Ser.
Of the whole party of about one hundred and fifty Indians of all ages who were present at the three villages when Williamson's forces made their appearance, about one-third the number were at work at the upper village. These heard the shots that were fired at Young Shabosh, and one or two of them cautiously advancing down the river to ascertain the cause soon found the body scalped and mutilated. No further warning was necessary. The alarm was instantly given to the people at the upper town, who fled in terror to the woods, and thus made their escape, leaving their corn and implements behind them. Soon after their flight a party of Williamson's men came to the village, but finding it deserted made no attempt to pursue, though the horsemen could easily have overtaken the fugitives. The white men having set fire to the village, then returned to Guadenhtitten. After the massacre that town was also set on fire and entirely consumed, including the two slaughter-houses and the bodies of the slain Moravians.
The number of Indians slaughtered was reported as eighty-eight, but Heckewelder, the white Moravian missionary, in his account gave the number of the murdered ones ninety-six, —sixty-two adults, male and female, and thirty-four children. All these, he says, were killed in the two slaughter-houses except four, who being supposed to be warriors were taken some distance away on tile open ground, there to be totnahawked and scalped. One of them in being taken to the fatal spot escaped from his captors by cutting the rope which bound him and then dashing away towards the woods. He was, however, soon overtaken by the horsemen, who cut him down and scalped him.
vice of Men to their God, about a Cause which is most properly his own The Tragic scenes of erecting two Butcher-Houses or Sheds, and killing in cold blood 95 browne or tawny sheep of Jesus Christ, one by one, is. certainly taken notice of by the Shepherd, their Creator and Redeemer.
"I am, with particular respect, Sir,
" Your most obed. humble Servant,
" L. WEIRS.
"SUNDAY, 7 April, 1782."
It appears by the letter of Weiss that he supposed the outrage to have been committed by Virginians, and every effort was made at the time to. encourage that belief and make it general. It is not strange that the Moravian bishop at Bethlehem should have readily accepted this idea, for lie knew that the feeling of enmity was particularly bitter between the Virginians and Indians, and he knew of the kindness which had been shown by Gen. Irvine, a Pennsylvanian, to the Christian Indiana on the Muskingum, and of the services which the latter had rendered to the general in notifying him in advance of proposed irruptions by the hostile tribes. An attempt was also made to fasten the odium of the crime distinctively upon the Scotch settlers. Among the papers transmitted by Secretary Thomson to the Executive Council of Pennsylvania with a copy of Linebach's statement was a letter from George Nicer, dated York Town, April 4,1782, in which he said, "I have seen a Letter wrote by a Woman at Pittsburgh, dated the 21st March, which contains these particulars: "The Militia have killed 99 of the Moravian Indians, Viz., 33 Men and 66 Women and Children.' In another Letter from the same of the 5th April, `The Moravian Indian Congregation is butchered, as it is reported, by the Scotch. They came and told them they must prepare directly for Death. The Indians requested but an hour's Time for this Purpose, which was granted. They went to their Meeting-house to join in Prayers to the Lord. After an hour had passed they fell upon them and butchered all of them in cold Blood in the meeting-house, and then set fire to the House.'"—Pa. Archives, 1781-83, p. 525.
108 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
Only two of all those taken in the lower towns escaped the slaughter. These were two Indian boys of about fifteen years of age. One of them, who was called Thomas, was knocked down with a tomahawk and scalped, but being only stunned recovered after a time, and on looking round him saw another boy named Abel lying near, wounded and scalped but still alive. Thomas had the presence of mind to lie down again, feigning death, and it was well for him that he did so, for in a few minutes a white man came near, and seeing Abel still living dispatched him with his tomahawk. After a while Thomas crept slowly and painfully along over the dead bodies, succeeded in getting out of the house unobserved, and gained the shelter of the woods, afterwards making his way in safety to Sandusky. The other boy who escaped had managed to hide himself away in the cellar of the house where the women were imprisoned, and just before the building was fired crept out through a narrow window or hole in the foundation. Another boy had been concealed with him in the cellar, and attempted to follow his companion through the window, but being of larger size found it impossible to get through, and so was compelled to remain .and perish in the flames. It is stated in some accounts that another Indian boy, eight years of age, was brought away by one of the volunteers, who took him to his home in the settlements, where he remained until nearly grown to manhood, when he left his white master and rejoined the Delawares in the West.
When the work of massacre was finished, and the destruction of the Moravian towns made complete, the forces of Col. Williamson started on their return, taking with them more than eighty Indian horses, partly laden with plunder from the devastated villages on the Muskingum. On the 10th of March they reached and crossed the Ohio and marched thence to their homes, but they did not immediately disband. It does not appear that they had yet begun to feel any shame or compunction for the frightful crimes they had committed ; on the contrary, they were exultant, and (as is shown by Linebach's account) at once set on foot a plan for a new expedition to number six hundred men to invade the Indian country. If their only object was to proceed against the hostile savages, it was a legitimate and praiseworthy enterprise ; but it seems as if they had resolved on nothing less than the extermination of all Indians.
On a little island in the Allegheny, known as Smoky or Killbuck's Island, lying opposite Fort Pitt, there were encamped a small band of friendly Delawares, among whom were several who actually held commissions in the service of the United States. The name of the island—Killbuck's—was derived from Captain Killbuck,¹ who had more than once received
¹ Captain Killbuck had at that time a son in the college at Princeton, N. J., who was placed there by authority of Congress, and being educated at the expense of the government.
commendation from Gen. Brodhead in his official communications for bravery, efficiency, and steadfast fidelity to the American cause. This little island was visited with fire and sword on the 24th of March by a body of the men from Chartiers Creek, some of whom had accompanied Williamson on the Moravian expedition, though the colonel was not with them in this new raid, nor is it probable that he approved or knew of their intentions. They killed several of these friendly Indians, including two who held commissions in the service of the government, and would have killed all if they had been able to accomplish it; but the remainder succeeded in making their escape to the fort, except two, who swam to the other shore and took to the woods. One of the latter was a chief called the Big Cat, who narrowly escaped death at the hands of the assailants. He had always been found among the most steadfast of the Indian allies of the United States, but from this time his friendship ceased, and he never again trusted the Americans.
The marauding party, after killing all who came within their reach upon the island, crossed over with their plunder to the fort. They were enraged that the fugitives from the island had eluded their vengeance and found shelter within the work, and they were particularly incensed against Col. Gibson (the temporary commandant) for his known friendship for the murdered Moravians and his outspoken condemnation of their own villany. They sent a message to him saying that they would scalp him if he came in their way, but they could not gain admittance to the fort, and were compelled to return to their homes without the opportunity of committing any further outrages against the friendly Delawares or of scalping the commandant.
In some accounts of the Gnadenhutten massacre it is stated that Col. Gibson, being apprised in advance of the murderous intentions of Williamson's men, had sent a runner to the Moravian villages to inform the people of their danger, but that the runner did not reach the towns in time to make the information of any avail. Col. Gibson would undoubtedly have done this if he had had the opportunity, but the statement that he did actually send such a messenger is rendered improbable by a letter written by him to the Moravian bishop at Bethlehem,. Pa., dated May 9, 1781,² a copy of the material parts of which is here given, viz. :
" TO THE RIGHT REV. NATHANIEL SEIDEL :
" SIR,—Your letter by Mr. hebosh,³ of the 11th ult., came safe to hand. I am happy to find that the few small services I rendered to the gentlemen of your Society in this quarter meets with the approbation of you and every other worthy character. Mr. Shebosh will be able to give you a particular account
² Heckewelder's Indian Nations, p. 81.
³ The father of young Shebosh, the Bret victim of GnadenhtIttell.
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of the late horrid massacre perpetrated at the towns on Muskingum by a set of men, the most savage miscreants that ever degraded human nature. Had I have known of their intentions before it was too late I sould have prevented it by informing the poor sufferers of it. I am in hopes in a few days to be able to send a more particular account than any that has yet transpired, as I hope to obtain the deposition of a person who was an eye-witness of the whole transaction and disapproved of it. Should any accounts come to hand from Mr. Zeisberger, or other gentlemen of your Society, you may depend on my transmitting them to you. . . . Believe me, with esteem, your most obedient Servant,
" Col. 7th Virginia Regt."
Gen. Irvine, who had been for some time at Philadelphia and Carlisle, returned to Fort Pitt and resumed command on the day following the attack on the Delawares at Killbuck's Island. He found affairs in the department in a bad condition, the troops at the fort demoralized, and the country in general in a state bordering on anarchy. Some of the people applauded the dark deeds done on the Muskingum, while many were loud in their condemnation. The Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania having received from Congress Linebach's account of the massacre, addressed to Gen. Irvine the following letter of inquiry,¹ viz.:
"PHILADA., April 13, 1782.
"SIR,—The Council having received information thro’ various channels that a party of Militia have killed a number of Indians at or near Muskingham, and that a certain Mr. Bull [young Sheboshl was killed at the same time, the Council, being desirous receiving full information on a subject of so much dance, request you will obtain and transmit to the facts relative thereto, authenticated in the t manner."
Though Gen. Irvine had always been the fast friend of the Moravian Indian congregation, and of the missionaries who had them in charge, it is evident that he was induced by considerations of policy to prevent a thorough investigation and exposition of the facts connected with the massacre.² On the 9th of May, 1782, he wrote from Fort Pitt to the president of the Council, saying,—
“SIR,—Since my letter of the 3d instant to your Exellency, Mr. Penticost and Mr. Canon have been with me; they and every intelligent person whom I have conversed with on the subject are of the opinion
¹ Arch.,1781-83, p. 525.
² In a letter which Gen. Irvine wrote to his wife about that time concerning the Moravian butchery he said, " Whatever your private opinion matters may be, 1 conjure you, by all the ties of affection, and as you value my reputation, that you will keep your mind to yourself, and that you will not express any sentiment for or against these deeds."—Contributions to American History, p. 148.
that it will be almost impossible ever to obtain a just account of the conduct of the Militia at Muskingum. No man can give any account except some of the party themselves. If, therefore, an inquiry should appear serious, they are not obliged, nor will they give evidence. For this and other reasons, I am of opinion further inquiry into the matter will not only be fruitless, but in the end may be attended with disagreeable consequences."
On the 8th of May Dorsey Pentecost, of Washington County, wrote from Pittsburgh to William Moore, president of the Executive Council, on the same subject, as follows :
" Dr Sir,—I arrived home last Thursday without any particular accident ; yesterday I came to this place, have had a long conference with Gen. Irwin and Col. Gibson on the subject of public matters, Perticularly respecting the late excurtion to Kushacton,³ that affair is a subject of great speculation here, some condemning, others applauding the measure; but the accounts are so various that it is not only Difficult but almost Indeed Intirely Impossible to learn the real truth ; no person can give Intelligence but those that were along, and notwithstanding there seems to have been some difference amongst themselves about that business yet they will say nothing, but this far I believe may be depended on, that they killed the Innocent with the guilty, and its likely the majority was the former. I have heard it Insinuated that about thirty or forty only of the party gave their Consent or assisted in the Catastrofy. . . . It's said here, and I believe with truth, that Sundry articles were found amongst the Indians that was taken from the Inhabitants of Washington County, and that the Indians Confessed themselves that when they set out from St Duskie, Ten warriors came with them who had went into the Settlements, and that four of them were then in the Towns who had returned. If those Indians that were killed were really friends, they must have been very Imprudent to return & settle at a place they knew the white peop e had been at and would go to again, without giving notice & besides to bring warriors with them who had come into the Settlements & after murdering would return to their Towns and of course draw people after them filled with revenge, Indignation & Sorrow for the loss of their friends their wives & their Children. . . ."
On the following day, May 9th, Pentecost again wrote the president of the Council, viz.:
" Dr Sir,—Since writing the letter that accompanys this, I have had another and more particular conversation with Gen. Irwin on the subject of the late excurtion to Kushacton, and upon the whole I find that it will be Impossible to git an Impartial and fare account of that affair, for although sundry persons
³ Meaning the Moravian settlements, which were frequently called by that name among the settlers from the old Delaware town of Ku-sbacton or Coshocton, that was destroyed by Col. Brodhead, and which was also located on the Muskingum, in the same region.
110 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
that were in Compy may disapprove of the whole or every part of the Conduct, yet from their Connection they will not be willing, nor can they be forced to give Testimony, as it effects themselves, and the people here are greatly divided in Sentiment about it, and an Investigation may produce serious effects, and at least leave us as Ignorant as when we began, and instead of rendering a service may produce a Confusion and Ilwill amongst the people, yet I think it necessary that Council should take some Cognizance or notice of the matter, and in such a Time as may demonstrate their disapprobation of such parts of their conduct as are Censurable, otherwise it may be alleged that Govermt (Tacitly at least) have Incouraged the killing of women and children ; and in a proclamation of this kind it might be well not only to recommend but to forbid that in future Excursions that women, children, and Infirm persons should not be killed, so contrary to the Law of arms as well as Christianity. I hope a mode of proceeding something like this would produce some good effects, and perhaps soften the minds of the people, for it is really no wonder that those who have lost all that is near and Dear to them, go out with determined revenge and Exterpation of all Indians."
These letters disclose a determination on the part of Pentecost (though he was in no way implicated in the affair) and others to suppress the facts connected with the massacre and to prevent investigation ; and they were enabled to accomplish this result through the concurrence of Gen. Irvine, who, as is evident, took that course for policy's sake, though he was deeply mortified and grieved at the result of Williamson's expedition. By those who were engaged in the bloody work, and by their friends, it was vehemently asserted that their action was generally approved by the people of the frontier settlements, but it is certain that this assertion was unfounded. Col. Edward Cook, the county lieutenant of Westmoreland (who had succeeded the unfortunate Col. Lochry in that office in December, 1781), in a letter addressed by him to President Moore, dated Sept. 2, 1782, thus expressed his detestation of the murderous deeds of the Washington militiamen : " . . . I am informed that you have it Reported that. the massacre of the Moravian Indians Obtains the Approbation of Every man on this side of the Mountains, which I assure your Excellency is false ; that the better part of the Community are of Opinion the Perpetrators of that wicked Deed ought to be Brought to Condein Punishment; that without something is Done by Government in the Matter it will Disgrace the Annals of the United States, anon be an Everlasting Plea and Cover for British Cruelty." And the 'testimony of a man of the character and standing of Col. Edward Cook is above and beyond the possibility of impeachment.
As the expedition of Col. Williamson was hastily made up, and held together but a few days, it is not probable that there were ever any muster-rolls of its organization, if, indeed, it could have been termed an organization at all. It is known, however, that there is in existence a list (called a roll) of the names of the men who composed the expedition, made up, no doubt, soon after their return from the Muskingum, when the affair began to be one of wide-spread public notoriety. But this list is in hands from which it cannot be obtained, nor can any access be had to it, for obvious reasons. Probably there is no person now living, other than the custodian of this list, who knows the names of a dozen persons who were with Col. Williamson at Gnadenhtitten on the memorable 8th of March, 1782. Various accounts have been given, naming the person who first used the fatal mallet,¹ and of fiendish remarks said to have been made by the butchers while doing their work, but these accounts have not about them sufficient of proof or strong probability to entitle them to perpetuation. Nor does any one at the present day know the names of any of the humane eighteen who advanced to the front from the long line that stood fast for murder.
Whether Col. Williamson voted or not is not known. It is not likely that he did, knowing that his vote could not affect the dread result. It would be gratifying to be able to say with certainty that he did give his voice for mercy ; and it is a pleasant task to record the favorable opinion of him which is expressed by one who knew him, the Rev. Dr. Doddridge, who says,² " In justice to the memory of Col. Williamson I have to say that, although at that time very young, I was personallfacquainted with him,ind, from my recollection of his conversation, I saw with confidence that he was a brave man, but not cruel. He would meet an enemy in battle and fight like a soldier, but not murder a prisoner. Had he possessed the authority of a superior officer in a regular army, I do not believe that a single Moravian Indian would have lost his life, but he possessed no such authority. He was only a militia officer, who could advise but not command. His only fault was that of too easy a compliance with popular opinion and popular prejudice. On this account his memory has been loaded with unmerited reproach."
Crawford's Expedition against Sandusky—Proposed Second Expedition —Washington Militia in 1784.
IT has already been mentioned that even before Col. Williamson's forces disbanded themselves, after their return from the Moravian campaign, a project had been
¹ " Very few of our men imbrued their hands in the blood of the Mr raviane. Even those who had not voted for saving their lives nand from the scene of slaughter with horror and disgust."—Doddridge's
² Early Settlements and Indian Wars, page 261. .
2 Early Settlements and Indian Wars, page 260.
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formed to raise a new and more formidable expedition to march against the Indian towns at Sandusky, the headquarters of the hostile tribes that were so constantly and persistently depredating the frontier settlements east of the Ohio. Notice of such a project is found in the "Relation of Frederick Linebach" (before quoted), where he says, " It was agreed that six hundred men should meet on the 18th of March to go to Sandusky. . . ." The plan was not carried out at the time, nor in the manner then contemplated, but it was not abandoned, and it is certain that from the first the project against the hostile towns on the Sandusky found favor among the people of the settlements. It was only as to the manner in which it should be executed that they disagreed, the majority being of the opinion that it should be carried on under the direction of the commandant at Fort Pitt, and, if practicable, led by him in person.
The first step to be taken, then, was to secure the countenance and approbation of Gen. Irvine, and to that end, James Marshel, lieutenant of Washington County, wrote the commandant, advising him of the existence of the project, intimating a desire for his approval of it, and introducing as the bearer of the communication Col. David Williamson as a proper commanding officer of the expedition, unless the general should see fit to assume the command in person. In this letter, which was dated April 4, 1782, Col. Marshel said,—
"The bearer hereof, Colonel Williamson, is now prepared for a voyage down the river with about thirty thousand weight of flour. But from a real love to his country, he proposes not only to carry an expedition against Sandusky with the militia of this county, together with what volunteers might be raised in Westmoreland, but offers to advance such part of the flour as might be necessary for the occasion. . . . The people in general on the frontiers are waiting with anxious expectation to know whether an expedition can be carried against Sandusky early this spring or not. I could therefore wish that Colonel Williamson would be countenanced in this plan if with propriety it can be done." By this letter from. the proper authority, the county lieutenant, the project of the Sandusky expedition was first brought officially to the notice of the commander of the Western Department. The general was disinclined (as will hereafter be seen) to place Col. Williamson in command of such an expedition, for he abhorred the work done under command of that officer at Gnadenbuten, but he was favorably disposed towards the carrying on of an offensive campaign against the hostile Indians at Sandusky, and although he did not give an immediate answer to the proposition, he took the matter under consideration.
One week prior to the date of Marshel's letter Gen. Irvine had written to him and also to Col. Edward Cook, county lieutenant of Westmoreland, asking them to meet him at Fort Pitt for general consulta tion on the military matters of the department. In his letter to Col. Cook (which was in effect identical with that addressed to Col. Marshel) the general said, "You are already acquainted with the resolution of Congress and orders of the President and Council of Pennsylvania respecting my command in this quarter, in addition to which I have received instructions from his Excellency General Washington. As making arrangements to cover and protect the country is the main object, and as it is to be done by a combination of Regulars and Militia, the business will be complicated. And, further, as there will be a diversity of interests, I think it of the utmost Importance that, whatever plan may be adopted, it should be as generally understood as the nature of the Service will admit.. . . You will conceive that I shall stand in need of the Counsels and assistance on this occasion of some of the principal people of the country. . . . I wish, therefore, to see you and at least one field-officer of every Battalion in your County ; for which purpose I request you will be pleased to warn such as you may think proper to attend at this post on Friday, the 5th of April next. Punctuality to the Day will be necessary, as I have written to Col° Marshal and others in Washington county also to attend on that day. . ." Similar requests .to attend were sent to the lieutenants of the Virginia counties, which under the previous claims of that State covered the territory of Westmoreland and Washington.
The conference was held at Fort Pitt, agreeably to Irvine's appointment. Col. Marshel, of Washington County, was obliged to be absent, but in the letter which he wrote to the general, informing him of his probable non-attendance. He said, " I shall most heartily concur in any plan that may be adopted for the good of the country." In his place he sent Col. Vallandigham, sub-lieutenant, and there were also present from Washington County Judge James Edgar, Col. Williamson, Col. Thomas Crook, and Maj. . John Carmichael, the last three being officers of the county militia. From Westmoreland there were Cols. Cook and Campbell, respectively lieutenant and sub-lieutenant of the county ; and Ohio County, Va., was represented by Col. David Shepherd and Maj. McCulloch.
When Gen. Irvine was appointed by Congress to the command of the Western Department, in Septemt ber, 1781, he was empowered to call on the county lieutenants to furnish him from time to time, from the militia of their respective counties, such numbers of troops as he might consider necessary for the defense of the post of Fort Pitt, and for the general protection of the country, and at the same time the president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania and the Governor of Virginia were requested by Congress to direct the county lieutenants and militia officers of the counties in their respective States within the Western Department to obey orders given by Gem Irvine for that purpose, President Moore, of
112 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
Pennsylvania, thereupon promptly gave the necessary directions to the lieutenants of Washington and Westmoreland Counties to furnish troops from the militia of their counties upon the requisition of Gen. Irvine. But Governor Harrison, of Virginia, had not complied¹ with the request of Congress in that particular, and so that department commander could only depend on the troops under his immediate command, and such as could be furnished by Westmoreland and Washington Counties. But, after all, it made little difference that the lieutenants of the Virginia counties were not empowered to honor his requisition, for Col. David Shepherd, lieutenant of Ohio County, reported to the general at the conference that nearly all the men in his district liable to military duty were enrolled in Pennsylvania, and Col. John Evans, lieutenant of Monongalia County (who was not present at the meeting), wrote to Irvine, saying that he had in his district not more than three hundred effective men, with a frontier of eighty miles in extent, and instead of being able to furnish any troops for general defense (even if he had the authority), he implored that the case might be reversed, and men, arms, and ammunition be sent to him for purposes of defense.
At the conference at Fort Pitt the principal question discussed was that of the general defense of the frontier settlements. All present at the meeting pledged to the commander all the support and assistance in their power to give. The decision arrived at was to form parties of rangers, and to keep these constantly on duty (by tours) and in motion from point to point along the frontiers. For this purpose it was agreed that Washington County should keep a total force of one hundred and sixty men in actual service under two field-officers, constantly ranging along the frontier of the Ohio River " from Montour's Bottom to Wheeling, and thence some distance along the southern line," ² and that Westmoreland County should furnish two companies, aggregating sixty-five men, to be continually on duty, guarding the northern frontier from the Laurel Hill to the Allegheny River. Nothing definite was done or proposed at the conference with regard to the projected expedition against the Indians at Sandusky.
Meanwhile the savages in the Northwest had (as had been foreseen) grown still more fiercely hostile since the massacre of the Moravians, and more active than ever on the war-path. In the space of a few weeks, following the return of Williamson's expedition to the Muskingum, several Indian forays were made into Washington County. A Mrs. Walker, whose home was on Buffalo Creek, was taken prisoner on the 27th of March, ,but succeeded in escaping from her savage captors. On the 1st of April an entire family named
¹ He did, however, issue such directions in the following May, but it was then of no avail because of an existing law of Virginia prohibiting the sending of her militia troops outside the boundaries of the State.
² Butterfield's " Crawford's Campaign Against Sandusky."
Boice, consisting of eight persons, were captured by the savages ³ and taken away to the Indian towns west of the Ohio, and on the following day another party of marauders killed a man within the present limits of the borough of Washington.
A few days after the capture of the Boice family, Miller's block-house, situated on the Dutch Fork of Buffalo Creek, in the present township of Donegal, Washington County, was attacked on a Sabbath morning by a party of about twenty Shawanese warriors, who had arrived during the previous night, but remained hidden near by until early in the morning. Two men came out of the inclosure and started along the path to search for a colt which had strayed. When they had passed the ambushment, the savages fell upon and killed them, and having torn off their scalps the entire party leaped from their place of concealment and surrounded the block-house. The inmates were now only one old man and several women and children, but there were rifles and ammunition, and these were used by the women with so good effect that the savage assaulters were kept at bay until there came a relieving party of three white men, who rushed past the Indians, effected an entrance into the block-house, and defended it so effectively that the red-skinned besiegers finally withdrew and disappeared.4 A number of other attacks were made in this county and in Westmoreland during the month of April and in the early part of May. In a letter written on the 8th of the latter month by Dorsey Pentecost to President Moore 5 he said, " The Indians are murdering frequently. Last Friday night two men were killed on the frontiers of this County, and about a week before I got home fourteen persons were killed and Captured in Different tarts, and last week sonic mischief was done near Hannah Town,6 but have not learned the particulars."
It was evident that the ranging parties of Washington and Westmoreland County militia could not effectually guard the frontier against Indian incursions. It began to be seen more clearly than ever
³ One account erroneously places this event in the spring of 1783, one year too late.
4 The men killed were John Hupp, Sr., and Jacob Miller, Sr. The persons left in the block-house were old Mr. Matthias Ault, Ann Rupp, wife of the murdered John, their four children,—Margaret, Mary, Jobe, and Elizabeth Hupp,—the family of Edgar Gaither, Frederick Miller, an eleven-year-old son of Jacob, who was killed outside the fort, and two or three other members of the same family. The successful defense of the block-house until the arrival of help was principally dne to the heroism and undaunted courage of the widowed Ann Hupp. The boy, Frederick Miller, was started from the house to go to Rice's fort, two miles away, for aid, but the Indians saw him, and he was driven back wounded, narrowly escaping with his life. But the firing of the Indians when they killed Hupp and Miller had been heard at Rice’s and the rescuing party referred to, consisting of Jacob.Rowe, only about sixteen years of age, Jacob Miller, Jr., and Philip Hupp (all whom of belonged at the Miller block-house, but chanced to be absent at Rice’s at the time of the attack), came with all speed to the assistance of the besieged ones, and gained an entrance as stated. The Indians kept up the siege through the day, but disappeared during the following night.
5 Pa. Archives, 1781-83, p. 541.
6 Hanna's Town was the old county-seat of Westmoreland County.
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that a merely defensive line of operations could not afford security to the border settlements, and that this much-desired object could be accomplished only by a successful campaign against the Indian strongholds in the heart of their own country. This belief bad been expressed by Gen. Irvine five months before (Dec. 2, 1781), in a letter to Gen. Washington, in which he said, " It is, I believe, universally agreed that the only way to keep Indians from harassing the country is to visit them. But we find by experience that burning their empty towns has not the desired effect. They can soon build others. They must be followed up. and beaten, or the British whom they draw their support from totally driven out of their country."
The sentiment of the people (particularly those of Washington County) in favor of an invasion of the Indian country became more positive day by day. No such enterprise could have been carried forward without the aid of Washington County, but its people were especially earnest (it may be said clamorous) for the movement against the Indian towns. On the 1st of May Col. Marshel said in a letter to .Gen. Irvine, "Since I had the Honour of consulting with you on the expediency of an Expedition against Sandusky I have met with the Officers and principal People of this County, and find that in all probability we shall be able to carry forward the Enterprise." Six days later a delegation of the leading inhabitants, principally of Washington County, and among them Dorsey Pentecost, then a member of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, called on Gen. Irvine at Fort Pitt, and urged upon him the expediency of giving his consent and aid to the expedition, on which the minds of so large a number of the people west of the Laurel Hill (especially those living west of the Monongahela) were fixed in approval.
It seems that this pronounced expression of the popular feeling decided Gen. Irvine to consent to and promote the expedition. He had been suspicious that one of the objects of the enterprise was to establish a new and independent State or government of some kind west of the Ohio, but upon receiving full and satisfactory assurances that such was not the case, and upon mature consideration which resulted in the conviction that such an idea if really entertained could not be successfully executed, he finally gave a definite consent to, and a promise to support and carry out, the expedition. On the 9th of May he said in a letter to the president of the Executive Council, " A volunteer expedition is talked of against Sandusky, which, if well conducted, may be of great service to this country ; if they behave well on this occasion it may also in some measure atone for the barbarity they are charged with at Muskingum. They have consulted me, and shall have every countenance in my power if their numbers, arrangements, etc., promise a prospect of success." There appears in the tone of this letter an evident resolve on the part of Gen. Irvine that the new expedition should be very different in character from that which had so recently and so barbarously executed its bloody work at Gnadenhutten, and this was afterwards made still more apparent by his determined opposition to Col. Williamson as commander.
The plan of the expedition was made by Gen. Irvine, and of course the projected campaign was to be under his direction and control, as commander of the department. He decided that no force of less than three hundred men could march to attack the Indians on the Sandusky with any hope of success against the numbers that might be there concentrated; that to move a smaller body than that to the invasion of the Indian country would be but to invite disaster; therefore under no circumstances would he permit the advance of an expedition numbering less than the number mentioned, while he wished and hoped to be able to make it considerably above that strength.
To raise the necessary force the general had unquestioned authority to direct a draft from the militia of Washington and Westmoreland Counties, yet he resolved to not adopt that course, but to fill the ranks entirely with volunteers. They were not, however, to be irresponsible, but were to be in all respects subject to military rule and discipline, precisely as if they had been drafted from the militia for service in a regularly organized regiment or battalion. Rapidity of movement being indispensable to the success of such an expedition, it was decided that all the men must be mounted ; but no horses could be furnished by the department quartermaster, nor any supplies by the commissary, therefore each volunteer was required to provide himself with a hbrse, arms, and equipments (ammunition being furnished from Fort Pitt) ; and they or the people of Washington and Westmoreland were to provide supplies sufficient for a campaign of thirty days' duration.
The volunteers were to be allowed to elect their own officers, even to the commander of the expedition. Each man was, in consideration of services on this campaign, and of furnishing horse, arms, and supplies, to receive credit for two full tours of military duty; and in case he should find in the camps or villages of the enemy any articles which had been stolen by the Indians from his home in the settlements, he was to receive them back upon proving property. Gen. Irvine could not promise that the government would pay for horses or equipments lost in the service, but it was announced by Dorsey Pentecost, member of the Council from Washington County, and also by the member from Westmoreland, that the State of Pennsylvania would reimburse all who might sustain losses in the campaign. This semi-official promise was not doubted by the volunteers or the people of the two counties, and it was afterwards made good.
The time fixed for the assembling of the expeditionary forces was the 20th of May. The place designated for the rendezvous was the Mingo Bottom,
114 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
on the west bank of the Ohio River, a short distance below the present town of Steubenville.¹ Great exertions were made to induce men to volunteer, and the result was a rapid recruitment. Many who were willing to serve in the expedition were unable to equip themselves for a campaign in the Indian country, but in nearly all such cases some friend or neighbor was found who would loan a horse or furnish supplies. The dangerous and desperate nature of the enterprise Was fully understood, yet so much of enthusiasm was exhibited in all the settlements that as early as the 15th of May the number of volunteers obtained was regarded as sufficient for the successful accomplishment of the purposes of the campaign, and three days later a great proportion of them had made all their arrangements ² and were on their way to the place of meeting. But they did not all arrive at the time appointed, and it was not until the Morning of the 24th that the last of the volunteers had crossed from the Virginia side of the Ohio to the rendezvous. When, on the same day, the forces were mustered on the Mingo Bottom it was found that four hundred and eighty³ mounted men were present, ready and eager for duty.4 Of this number fully two-thirds were volunteers from Washington County,5 and the remainder from Westmore-
¹ In a letter written on the 8th of May by Dorsey Pentecost to President Moore (Pa. Arch., 1781-83, p. 540) he said, " I hoar there is great preparation making for a Desent on St. Duskie, to setout the 20th of this month (the former plan having failed), which will be conducted by Gentlemen of Experience I Verasity. I am Doubtful of the men's being raised, as those Kind of Expeditioos have generally failed for the want of Men, and I am further Doubtful on acct. of Provisions, as great numbers will not be able to furnish themselves, and no money in the
hands of any person Equal to that business."
² Butterfield, in his " Expedition against Sandusky," says, " It is a tradition—nay, an established fact—that many, aside from the ordinary arrangements necessary for a month's absence (not so much, however, from :a presentiment of disaster as from that prudence which careful and thoughtful men are prone to exercise), executed deeds ' in consideration of love and affection,' and many witnesses were called in to subscribe to `last wills and testaments"' The commander of the expedition, Col. Crawford, executed his will before departing on the fatal journey to the Wyandot towns.
³ Lieut. John Rose (usually mentioned in accounts of the expedition as Maj. Rose), an aide-de-camp of Gen. Irvine, who had been detailed for the same duty with the commander of this expedition, wrote to the general on the evening of the 24th from Mingo Bottom, and in the letter he said, "Our number is actually four hundred and eighty men." This was a more favorable result than had been anticipated, as is shown by a letter written three days before (May 21st) to Gen. Washington by Gen. Irvine, in which the latter said, "The volunteers are assembling this dsy at Mingo Bottom, all on horseback, with thirty days' provisions. . . . If their number exceeds three hundred I am of opinion they may succeed, as their march will be so rapid they will probably, in a great degree, effect a surprise."
4 All were in high spirits. Everywhere around there was a pleasurable excitement. Jokes were bandied and sorrows at parting with loved ones at home quite forgotten, at least could outward appearances be relied upon. Nev,ertheless furtive glances up the western hillsides into the deep woods kept alive in the minds of some the dangerous purpose of all this bustle and activity."—Butterfield'a Historical Account of the Expedition against Sandusky under Col. William Crawford.
5 Col. James Marshel, in a letter addressed to Gen. Irvine, dated May 29,1782, said that of the 480 men composing the forces of the expedition 320 were from Washington County, about 130 from Westmoreland, and 20 from Ohio County, Va.
land, excepting a very few from the Pan-Handle of Virginia.
It was in the afternoon of the 24th of May that the force was mustered and divided into eighteen companies, their average strength, of course, being about twenty-six men. They were made thus small on account of the peculiar nature of the service in which they were to engage,—skirmishing, firing from cover, and practicing the numberless artifices and stratagems belonging to Indian warfare. Another object gained in the formation of these unusually small companies was the gathering together of neighbors and acquaintances in the same command. For each company there were then elected a captain, a lieutenant, and an ensign. " Among those [captains] chosen," says Butterfield in his narrative of the expedition, were " McGeehan, Hoagland, Beeson, Munn, Ross, Ogle, John Biggs, Craig Ritchie, John Miller, Joseph Bean, and Andrew Hood." Two other captains not mentioned by Butterfield were John Hardin and Joseph Huston. These two, as well as Capt. John Beeson (of Uniontown), commanded companies raised in that part of Westmoreland County which afterwards became Fayette. A large part of the company commanded by Capt. John Biggs was also of the same county. Eleven or twelve of the companies were from Washington County, but their captains cannot be placed, except Craig Ritchie, of Canonsburg.
After the several companies had been duly formed and organized, the line-officers and men proceeded to elect field-officers and a commandant of the expedition. For the latter office there were two candidates. One of these was Col. David Williamson, and his chances of election seemed excellent, because he ifts a citizen of Washington County, which had furnished two-thirds of the men composing the forces, and also because he was still undeniably popular among the volunteers, notwithstanding the odium which had fallen on the acts of the then recent Moravian expedition, of which he was the commander. His competitor for the command of the new expedition was Col. William Crawford, whose home was at Stewart's Crossings of the Youghiogheny River, in Westmoreland (afterwards Fayette) County. He was a regular army officer of the Continental establishment, was well versed in Indian modes of fighting, and had already made an enviable military record. He, as well as Williamson, enjoyed much personal popularity, and was also the one whom Gen. Irvine wished to have selected for the command.6
Upon counting the votes it was found that four
6 Gen. Irvine wrote to Gen. Washington on the 21st of May, " I have taken some pains to get Col. Crawford appointed to command, and hope he will be." Irvine was evidently determined that Williamson ³hould not be elected, and there is little doubt that he had used such means as made him certain of the result beforehand. If Williamson had been elected, it is not likely that the general would have allowed him to as command.
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hundred and sixty-five had been cast, of which Williamson had received two hundred and thirty, against two hundred and thirty-five for Col. Crawford, who thereupon became commandant of the forces of the expedition.¹ Four majors were then elected, viz.: David Williamson,² of Washington County, Thomas Gaddis ³ and John McClelland, of Westmoreland (now Fayette), and Joseph Brinton, of what is now East Pike Run township, Washington County, their rank and seniority being in the order as above named. The brigade-major elected was Daniel Leet, whose residence was near the present borough of Washington. Jonathan Zane, John Slover, and Thomas Nicholson were designated as guides or pilots to the advancing column. Dr. John Knight,4 post surgeon at Fort Pitt, had been detailed by Gen. Irvine as surgeon to the expedition.
Instructions addressed " To the officer who will be appointed to command a detachment of volunteer militia on an expedition against the Indian town at or near Sandusky" had been forwarded by Gen. Irvine from Fort Pitt on the 21st of May. In these instructions the general expressed himself as follows :
¹ Doddridge, in his " Notes" (page 26.5), says of Crawford that " when notified of his appointment it is said that he accepted it with apparent reluctance." Concerning this Butterfield, in his narraoive of the expedition, says,—
"It has been extensively circulated that Crawford accepted the office of commander of the expedition with apparent reluctance, but Rose (Maj. Roee,of Gen. Irvine's staff) settles that question. His reluctance was not in takieg connuand of the troupe after the election, but in joining the expedition. He left his home with the full understanding that he was to lead the volunteers. Gen. Irvine, it is true, allowed the troops to choose their own commander, but he was not backward in letting it be known that he ''wired the election of Crawford."
² Williamson received the entire vote of the force for first major. "I cannot but give Col. Williamson," said Maj. Rose in a letter to Gen. Irvine, " the utmost credit for exhorting the whole to be unanimous after the election had been made known, and cheerfully submitting to be second in command. I think if it had been otherwise Crawford would have pushed home, and very likely we should have dispersed, which would likewise have been the case if Williamson had not behaved with on much prudence."
³ The opposing candidate for second field-major was Col. James Mar-shel, county lieutenant of Washington, who came within three or four votesof an election. He was an exceedingly popular man, and highly thought of by Gen. Irvine.
4 Dr. John Knight was a resident of Bullskin township, Westmoreland County. In 1776 he had enlisted in the West Augusta Regiment (Thirteenth Virginia) as a private soldier. Soon after enlisting he was made a sergeant by Col. Crawford, the commanding officer of the regiment. Os the 9th of August, 1778, he was appointed surgeon's mate in the Sloth Virginia. Afterwards he was promoted to surgeon of the Seventh Virginia (under command of Col. John Gibson), and held that position In the same regiment at the time the Sandusky expedition was fitted out. He was then detached by order of Gen. Irvine, and at the request of Col. Crawford, to act as surgeon of that expedition. Ou the 21st of May he left Fort Pitt to join the expeditionary forces, and reached tile rendezvous at Bingo Bottom on the 22d. After encountering all the dangers and hardships of the campaign, from which he narrowly escaped with his life, he returned to his regiment, and remained on duty as its surgeon at Fort Pitt till the close of the war, when he left military life. On the 14thof October,1784, he married Polly, daughter of Col. Richard Stevenson, why was "a half-brother of Col. Crawford. Subsequently Dr. Knight invited to Shelbyville, Ky., where he died March 12, 1838. His widow died July 31, 1839. They were the parents of ten children. One of their daughters married John, a son of Presley Carr Lane, a prominent public man of Fayette County. Dr. Knight was the recipient of a pension from government, under the act of May 15, 1828.
"The object of your command is to destroy with fire and sword, if practicable, the Indian town and settlement at Sandusky, by which we hope to give ease and safety to the inhabitants of this country; but if impracticable, then you will doubtless perform such other services in your power as will in their consequences have a tendency to answer this great end.
" Previous to taking up your line of march it will be highly expedient that all matters respecting rank or command should be well understood, as far at least as first, second, and third .5 This precaution, in cams of accident or misfortune, may be of great importance. Indeed, I think whatever grade or rank may be fixed on to have command, their relative rank should be determined. And it is indispensably necessary that subordination and discipline should be kept up ; the whole ought to understand that, notwithstanding they are volunteers, yet by this tour they are to get credit for it in their tours of military duty, and that for this and other good reaacons they must, while out on this duty, consider themselves, to all intent, subject to the military laws and regulations for the government of the militia when in actual service.
" Your best chance of success will be, if possible, to effect a surprise, and though this will be difficult, yet by forced and rapid marches it may, in a great degree, be accomplished. I am clearly of opinion that you should regulate your last day's march so as to reach the town about dawn of day, or a little before, and that the march of this day should be as long as can well be performed.
" I need scarcely mention to so virtuous and disinterested a set of men as you will have the honor to command that though the main object at present is for the purpose above set forth, viz., the protection of this country, yet you are to consider yourselves as acting in behalf of and for the United States, that of course it will be incumbent on you especially who will have the command to act in every instance in such a manner as will reflect honor on, and add reputation to, the American arms, of nations or independent States.6
5 These directions were observed, Col. Williamson being designated as second, and Maj. Gaddis as third in command.
6 Yet the Moravian historians and their imitators have heaped unmeasured abuse on the brave men who composed this expedition. Heckewelder, in his " History of the Indian Nations," calls them a "gang of banditti;" and Loskiel, writing in the same vein in history of Indian Missions," said, "The same gang of murderers who-sad committed the massacre on the Muskingum did not give up their bloody design upon the remnant of the Indian congregation, though it was delayed for a season. They marched in May, 1782, to Sandusky, where they found nothing but empty huts." The Rev. Joseph Doddridge, D.D., following the lead of these Moravian defamers, in his "Notes on the Settlement andjudian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania," says (page 264) of Crawford's expedition, "This, in one point of view at least, is to be considered as a second Moravian campaign, as one of its objects was that of finishing the work of murder and plunder with the Christian Indians at their oew establishment on the Sandusky. The next object was that of destroying the Wyandot towns on the same river. It was the resolution of all those concerned in this expedition not to spare the life of any Indians that might fall into their hands, whether friends or foes. . . . It would seem that the long continuance of the Indian war had debased a considerable portion of our population to the savage state of our nature. Having lost so many relatives by the Indians, and witnessed their horrid murders and other depredations on so extensive a scale, they became subjects of that indiscriminating thirst for revenge which is such a prominent feature in the savage character, and having had a taste of blood and plunder, without risk or loss on their part, they resolved to go on and kill every Indian they could find, whether friend or foe." Does not the tenor of Gen. Irvine's instructions to Col. Crawford completely disprove the allegations of Loskiel, Heckewelder, and Doddridge? If further testimony is necessary it is found in a " History of Centre Church," written by Robert A. Sherrard, of Ohio, whose father, John Sherrard, was a volunteer in Crawford's expedition, and present with it in its operations from the Ohio to the Sandusky' and back to the Ohio. Mr. Sherrard says, "In my young days I was acquainted with six or seven of the men who were out in Crawford's campaign. They were volunteers from the neighborhood where I was raised, within four or five miles of Connellville, close to which place Col. Crawford dwelt. John Sherrard, Col. James Paull, John Rodgers, Daniel Cannon, Alexander Carson, and several others of that neighborhood arrived safe home. I have heard nay father converse freely on that subject, and at a much later date I have conversed with Col. Paull and John Rodgers about Crawford's defeat,
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" Should any person, British, or in the service or pay of Britain or their allies, fall into your hands, if it should prove inconvenient for you to bring them off, you will, nevertheless, take special care to liberate them on parole, in such manner as to insure liberty for an equal number of people in their bands. There are individuals, however, who I think should be brought off at all events should the fortune of war throw them into your bands. I mean such as have deserted to the enemy since the Declaration of Independence."
The forces of Col. Crawford commenced their march from Mingo Bottom early in the morning of Saturday, the 25th of May. There was a path leading from the river into the wilderness, and known as " Wil-liamson's trail," because it was the route over which Col. Williamson had previously marched on his way to the Moravian towns. This trail, as far as it extended, offered the easiest and most practicable route, but Col. Crawford did not adopt it,¹ because it was a principal feature in his plan of the campaign to avoid all traveled trails or routes on which they would be likely to be discovered by lurking Indians or parties of them, who would make haste to carry intelligence of the movement to the villages which it was his purpose to surprise and destroy. So the column, divided into four detachments, each under immediate command of one of the four field-majors, moved up from the river-bottom into the higher country, and struck into the trackless wilderness, taking a course nearly due west. The advance was led by Capt. Biggs' company, and piloted by the guides Zane, Nicholson, and Slover.
On through the dark forest the troops moved rapidly but warily, preceded by scouts, and observing every precaution known to border warfare to guard against ambuscade or surprise, though no sign of an enemy appeared in the unbroken solitude of the woods. No incident of note occurred on the march until the night of the 27th of May, when, at their third camping-place, a few of the horses strayed and were lost, and in the following morning the men who had thus been dismounted, being unable to proceed on foot without embarrassing the movements of the column, were ordered to return to Mingo Bottom, which they did, but with great reluctance.
On the fourth day they reached and crossed the Muskingum River, and then, marching up the western side of the stream, came to the ruins of the upper Moravian village, where they made their camp for the night, and found plenty of corn remaining in the
and I can assert positively that 1 never heard from either of these three the least intimation that to kill off the remainder of the Christian Moravian Indians was at all the object of Crawford and his men ; but on the contrary I have frequently heard these men say the main object was to chastise the Wyandots by killing as many as they could, burn their towns, and destroy their corn. This, and this only, was the object of these men in undertaking this campaign, and by that means to check the Indians from murdering, scalping, and plundering the white inhabitants on the frontier settlements, as had been the case for two months before."
¹ Dr. Doddridge, in his "Notes," says, "The army marched along Williamson's trail, as it was then called, until they arrived at the upper Moravian town." In this, as in many other parte of his narrative, Doddridge was entirely mistaken.
ravaged fields of the Christian Indians. This encampment was only sixty miles from their starting-point on the Ohio, yet they had been four days in reaching it. During the latter part of their journey to this place they had taken a route more southerly than the one originally contemplated, for their horses had become jaded and worn out by climbing the hills and floundering through the swamps, and so the commander found himself compelled to deflect his line of march so as to pass through a more open and level country ; but he did this very unwillingly, for it led his army through a region in which they would be much more likely to be discovered by Indian scouts or hunting-parties.
Up to this time, however, no Indians had been seen ; but while the force was encamped at the ruined village, on the evening of the 28th of May, Maj. Brinton and Capt. Bean went out to reconnoitre the vicinity, and while so engaged, at a distance of about a quarter of a mile from the camp, they discovered two skulking savages and promptly fired on them. The shots did not take effect and the Indians fled, but the circumstance gave Col. Crawford great uneasiness, for, although he had previously supposed that his march had been undiscovered by the enemy, he now believed that these scouts had been hovering on their flanks, perhaps along the entire route from Mingo Bottom, and it was certain that the two savages who had been fired on would speedily carry intelligence of the hostile advance to the Indian towns on the Sandusky.
It was now necessary to press on with all practicable speed in order to give the enemy as little time as possible to prepare for defense. Early in the morning of the 29th the column resumed its march, moving rapidly, and with even greater caution than before. From the Muskingum the route was taken in a northwesterly course to the Killbuck, and thence up that stream to a point about ten miles south of the present town of Wooster, Ohio, where, in the evening of the 30th, the force encamped, and where one of the men died and was buried at a spot which was marked by the cutting of his name in the bark of the nearest tree.
From the lone grave in the forest they moved on in a westerly course, crossing an affluent of the Mohican, passing near the site of the present city of Mansfield, and arriving in the evening of the 1st of June at the place which is now known as Spring Mills Station, on the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad. There by the side of a fine spring they bivouacked for the night. In the march of the 2d they struck the Sandusky River at about two o'clock P.M., and halted that night in the woods very near the eastern edge of the Plains, not more than twenty miles from the Indian town, their point of destination. They had seen no Indian since their departure from the night camp at the Moravian Indian village on the Muskingum, though they had in this day's march unknow
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ingly passed very near the camp of the Delaware chief Wingenund.
On the morning of the 3d of June the horsemen entered the open country known as the Sandusky Plains, and moved rapidly on through waving grasses and bright flowers, between green belts of timber and island groves such as few of them had ever seen before. Such were the scenes which surrounded them during all of that day's march, and at night they made their fireless bivouac on or near the site of the present village of Wyandot, not more than ten miles from their objective-point, where (as they believed) the deadly and decisive blow was to be struck.
Two hours after sunrise on the 4th the men were again in the saddle, and the four squadrons began their march, moving with greater caution than ever. A march of six miles brought them to the mouth of the Little Sandusky ; thence, having crossed the stream, they proceeded in a direction a little west of north, past an Indian sugar-camp of the previous spring (which was all the sign that they had seen of Indian occupation), and passed rapidly on towards the Wyandot town,1 the objective-point of the expedition, which, as the guide Slover assured the commander, lay immediately before them within striking distance. Suddenly, at a little after noon, the site of the town came in full view through an opening in the timber, but to their utter amazement they found only a cluster of deserted huts without a single inhabitant! The village appeared to have been deserted for a considerable time, and the place was a ect solitude. This was a dilemma which Col. Crawford had not foreseen nor anticipated, and he at once ordered a halt to rest the horses and give time him to consider the strange situation of affairs, to decide on a new plan of operations.
The guides and some others in Crawford's command were well acquainted with the location of the Indian town. John Slover had previously been a prisoner with the Miamis, and during his captivity th that tribe had frequently visited the Wyandot village on the Sandusky. In guiding the expedition as he had, of course, expected to find the village he had before seen it, and was, like the rest, astonished to find it deserted. The fact, as afterwards learned, was that some time before Crawford's coming, but how long before has never been definitely ascertained, the Indians, believing that their upper village was peculiarly exposed to danger from the incursions of the whites, had abandoned it and retired the down river about eight miles, where they gathered nd the village of the Half-King, Pomoacan, and that was, their location when the columns of Col. Crawford descended the Sandusky.
¹ The location of the old Wyandot town was three miles southeast of the present town of Upper Sandusky, or five miles below by the course of the river, and on its opposite bank.
Contrary to the belief of the Pennsylvania and Virginia settlers that the mustering of their forces and the march of their expedition was unknown to the Indians, the latter had been apprised of it from the inception of the project. Prowling spies east of the Ohio had watched the volunteers as they left their homes in the Monongahela Valley and moved westward towards the rendezvous; they had seen the gathering of the borderers at Mingo Bottom, and had, shadowed the advancing column along all its line of march from the Ohio to the Sandusky. Swift runners has sped away to the northwest with every item of warlike news, and On its receipt the chiefs and warriors at the threatened villages lost not a moment in making the most energetic preparations to repel the invasion. Messengers were dispatched to all the Wy-andot, Delaware, and Shawanese bands, calling on them to send in all their braves to a general rendezvous near the Half-King's headquarters, and word was sent to De Peyster, the British commandant at Detroit, notifying him of the danger threatening his Indian allies, and begging that he would send them aid without delay. This request he at once acceded to, sending a considerable force of mounted men, with two or three small pieces of artillery. These, however, did not play a prominent part in the tragedy which followed.
The Indian scouts who had watched the little army of Crawford from the time it left Mingo Bottom sent forward reports of its progress day by day, and from these reports the chiefs at the lower towns on the Sandusky learned in the night of the 3d of June that the invading column was then in bivouac on the Plains, not more than eighteen milts distant. The war parties of the Miamis and Shawanese had not come in to the Indian rendezvous, nor had the expedted aid arrived from the British post at Detroit, but the chiefs resolved to take the war-path without them, to harass and hold the advancing enemy in check as much as possible until the savage forces should be augmented sufficiently to enable them to give battle with hope of success. Accordingly, in the morning of the 4th of June, at about the same time when Col. Crawford was leaving his camp-ground of the previous night to march on the deserted Indian town, the great Delaware chief, Capt. Pipe, set out from his town with about two hundred warriors, and marched to the rendezvous, where his force was joined by a larger party of Wyandots under their chief Ghaus-sho-toh. With them was the notorious white renegade, Simon Girty, mounted on a fine horse and decked out in full Indian costume. The combined Delaware and Wyandot forces numbered in all more than five hundred braves, —a screeching mass of barbarians, hideous in their war-paint and wild with excitement. After an orgie of whooping, yelling, and dancing such as savages were wont to indulge in before taking the war-path, the wild crowd relapsed into silence, filed out from the place of rendezvous, and glided. away like a huge ser-
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pent across the grassy plain towards the cover of the distant belt of forest.
In the brief halt afthe deserted village Col. Crawford consulted with his guides and some of the officers as to the most advisable course to be adopted under the strange circumstances in which he found himself placed. John Slover was firm in the opinion that the inhabitants of the village had removed to a town situated a few miles below. He also believed that other villages would be found not far away from the one which had been abandoned,.and that they might be surprised by a rapid forward movement. Zane was less confident, and not disposed to advise, though he did not strongly oppose a farther advance into the Indian country. The commander, after an hour's consideration of the embarrassing question, ordered the column to move forward towards the lower towns. Crawford's army and the. combined Indian forces under Pipe and Ghaus-sho-toh were now rapidly approaching each other.
Crossing the river just below the abandoned village, the Pennsylvania horsemen pressed rapidly on in a northerly direction to the place which afterwards became the site of Upper Sandusky. There wai no indication of the presence of the foe, but the very silence and solitude seemed ominous, and the faces of officers and men grew grave, as if the shadow of approaching disaster had begun to close around them. A mile farther on, a halt was ordered, for the gloom had deepened over the spirits of the volunteers, until, for the first time, it found expression in a demand from some of them that the advance should be abandoned and their faces turned back towards the Ohio River. At this juncture Col. Crawford called a council of war. It was composed of the commander, his aide-de-camp, Rose, the surgeon, Dr. Knight, the four majors, the captains of the companies, and the guides. Zane now gave his opinion promptly and decidedly against any farther advance, and in favor of an immediate return ; for to his mind the entire absence of all signs of Indians was almost a sure indication that they were concentrating in overwhelming numbers at some point not far off. His opinion had great weight, and the council decided that the riiarch should be continued until evening, and if no enemy should then have been discovered, the column should retire over the route by which it came.
During the halt Capt. Biggs' company, deployed as scouts, had been thrown out a considerable distance to the front for purposes of observation. Hardly had the council reached its decision when one of the scouts came in at headlong speed with the thrilling intelligence that a large body of Indians had been discovered on the plain, less than two miles away. Then, "in hot haste," the volunteers mounted, formed, and moved forward rapidly and in the best of spirits, the retiring scouts falling in with the main body of horsemen as they advanced. They had proceeded nearly a mile from the place where the council was. held when the Indians were discovered directly in their front. It was the war party of Delawares, under their chief, Capt. Pipe, the Wyandots being farther to the rear and not yet in sight.
When the Americans appeared in full view of the Delawares, the latter made a swift movement to Occupy an adjacent wood, so as to fight from cover, but Col. Crawford, observing the movement, instantly dismounted his men, and ordered them to charge into the grove, firing as they advanced. Before this vigorous assault the Delawares gave way and retreated to the open plain, while Crawford's men held the woods. The Indians then attempted to gain cover in another grove farther to the east, but were repulsed by Maj. Leet's men, who formed Crawford's right wing. At this time the Wyandot force came, up to reinforce the Delawares, and with them was Capt. William Caldwell, of the British army, dressed in the full uniform of an officer in the royal service.¹ He had come from Detroit, and arrived at the Indian rendezvous a little in advance of the main British force, but after Pipe and Ghaus-sho-toh had set out with their braves to meet Crawford. He now came up to the scene of conflict, and at once took command of both Indian parties. On his arrival he immediately ordered the Delaware chief to flank the Americans by passing to their left. The movement was successfully executed, and they held the position much to the discomfort of the frontiersmen, who, however, could not be dislodged from their cover. But they had no great advantage of position, for the Indians were scarcely less sheltered by the tall grass of the plains, which almost hid them from view and afforded a considerable protection against the deadly fire of the white marksmen.²
The fight commenced at about three o'clock, and was continued with unabated vigor, but with varying success, through the long hours of that sultry June. afternoon. Through it all the villanous Simon Girty was present with the Delawares, and was frequently seen by Crawford's men (for he was well known by many of them), riding on a white horse, giving orders and encouraging the savages, but never within range
¹ Capt. Caldwell was the commanding officer nf the entire force which De Peyster bad sent from Detroit in aid of their Indian allies, via, the mounted detachment known as Butler's Rangers and a company of infantry from the garrison at Detroit. Naturally, it would be supposed that the mounted Rangers would arrive first on the ground, and why they did not is not clearly explained, but tbey were yet several miles is the rear during the fight of the 4th of June. Capt. Matthew Elliott, of the British, was also present with the Indians in this battle, but he wu only a Tory officer iu the royal service, and could have no commsnd la presence of Caldwell, who was a captain in the regular British army.
² " Some of the borderers climbed trees, and from their bushy tops took deadly aim at the heads of the enemy as they arose above the g Daniel Canon (brother of Col. John Canon, of Canonsburg) was couple. uous in this novel mode of warfare. He was one of the dead shots of the army, and from his lofty hiding-place the reports of his unerring rifle gave unmistakable evidence of the killing of savages. 'I do not know how many Indians I killed,' said he, afterwards,' tint I never taw the same head again above the grass after I shot at it.' "—Butterfield.
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of the white men's rifles. The combined forces of the Wyandots and Delawares considerably outnumbered the command of Col. Crawford, but the latter held their own and could,not be dislodged by all the artifices and fury of their savage assailants.¹ When the shadows of twilight began to deepen over grove and glade the savage hordes ceased hostilities and retired to more distant points on the plains.
The losses in Col. Crawford's command during the afternoon were five killed and twenty-three wounded, as reported by the aide-de-camp, Rose, to Gen. Irvine. One of the killed was Capt. Ogle, and among the officers wounded were Maj. Brinton, Capt. Ross, Capt. Munn, Lieut. Ashley, and Ensign McMasters.
The losses of the Indians were never ascertained. Though doubtless greater than those of the whites, they were probably. not very heary, because the savage combatants were to a great extent hidden from view by the tall grass which grew everywhere in the openings. A number of Indian scalps were taken by Crawford's men, but no prisoners were captured on either side. The British captain, Caldwell, was wounded in both legs, and was carried back to Lower Sandusky in the night succeeding the battle. Upon this the command of the British force that was on the way seems to have passed to his lieutenant, John Turney, as a report of their subsequent operations in the campaign was made by him to De Peyster, the commandant at Detroit.
At the close of the conflict of the 4th of June the advantage seemed to be with the white men, for the foe had retired from their front and they still kept possession of the grove,² from which the red demons had tried persistently but in vain for more than four hours to dislodge them. The officers and men of Col. Crawford's command were in good spirits, and the commander himself felt confident of ultimate victory, for his volunteers had behaved admirably, exhibiting remarkable steadiness and bravery during the trying scenes of the afternoon. But the Indians were by no means dispirited, for they had suffered no
¹ Butterfield relates the following incident concerning Francis Dunlevy, one of the volunteers in the expedition, whose home at that time was on Chartiers Creek, in what is now Peters township, Washington County, vis.:" Francis Dunlevy, who belonged to Captain Craig Ritchie's
company, had during the fight been engaged with an Indian of huge proportions. The latter, as evening approached, crept carefully and cautiously towards Dunlevy through the top of a tree lately blown down, which was full of leaves, when getting near enough as he supposed be threw his tomahawk, but missed his aim and then escaped. This Indian was afterwards recognized by Dunlevy as he believed in 'Big Captain Johnny,' who, in the war of 1812, was with the friendly Shawanese at Wapakoneta."
² “The battle of Sandusky was fought in and around the grove since well known as 'Battle Island,' in what is now Crane township, Wyandot County, three milee north and half a mile east of the court-house in Upper Sandusky. The spot has always been readily identified by reason
of the scars upon the trunks of the trees, made by the hatchets of the Indians in getting out tlfe bullets after the action. But the ‘island' may low be said to have disappeared. Cultivated fields mark the site where the contest took place. Occasionally an interesting relic is turned up by the plow-share to be preserved by the curious as a memento of the battle."—Butterfield.
actual defeat, and they knew that their numbers would soon be augmented by the Shawanese and other war parties who were already on their way to join them, as was also the British detachment which had been sent from Detroit.³ The night bivouac of the Wyandots was made on the plains to the north of the battle-field, and that of the Delawares at about the same distance south. Far to the front of the Indian camps, lines of fires were kept burning through the night to prevent a surprise, and the same precautionary measure was taken by Col. Crawford. Outlying scouts from both forces watched each other with sleepless vigilance through the hours of darkness, and frontiersmen and savages slept on their arms.
It was the wish of Col. Crawford to make a vigorous attack on the Indians at daylight on the morning of the 5th, but he was prevented from doing so by the fact that the care of his sick 4 and wounded was very embarrassing, requiring the services of a number of mere, and so reducing the strength of his fighting force. It was determined, however, to make the best preparations possible under the circumstances, and to attack with every available man in the following night. The Indians had commenced firing early in the morning, and their fire was answered by the whites ; but it was merely a skirmish at long range and in no sense a battle. It was kept up during the greater part of the day, but little harm was done, only four of Crawford's men being wounded, and none killed. Col. Crawford, as we have seen, was not prepared for a close conflict, but he, as well as his officers and men, felt confident of their ability to defeat the enemy when the proper time should come, attributing the apparent unwillingness of the Indians to come to close quarters to their having been badly crippled in the fight of the 4th. But the fact was that the savages were content with making a show of fight suffix cient to hold their white enemies at bay while waiting for the arrival of their reinforcements, which they knew were approaching and near at hand.
The day wore on. The red warriors kept up their desultory firing, and the white skirmishers replied, while their comrades were busily and confidently
³ The British force from Detroit, including Butler's Rangers, had arrived on the evening of the 4th at a point only six miles north of the battle-ground, and there encamped for the night. The Indians knew of this, and as they had also begun to receive reinforcements by small parties of Shawanese, they knew that they had only to hold Crawford's force at bay until all their succors should arrive, when victory would be certain. Col. Crawford was entirely ignorant of the proximity of any body of white troops, though he bad no doubt that Indian reinforcements were on their way. Had he known all the facts his feeling of confidence must have been changed to the most gloomy forebodings of disaster.
4 A considerable number of his mon had been made sick by the great fatigue and excessive heat of the previous day, and by the very bad water which they had been compelled to drink, the only water which could be found in the vicinity of the battk-ground being a stagnant pool which had formed under the roots of a tree which bad been blown over. Maj. Rose, in his report to Gen. Irvine, said, " We were so much encumbered with our wounded and sick that the whole day was spent in their care and in preparing for a general attack the next night."
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making preparations for the intended night assault; but it was a delusive and fatal confidence. Suddenly, at a little past noon, an excited scout brought word to Col. Crawford that .a body of white horsemen were approaching from the north. This was most alarming intelligence, but it was true. The British detachment from Detroit—Butler's Rangers—had arrived, and were then forming a junction with the Wyandot forces.¹ But this was not all. Almost simultaneously with the arrival of the British horsemen, a large body of Shawanese warriors appeared in the south, in full view from Col. Crawford's position, and joined the Delawares. In this state of affairs the idea of an attack on the Indian camp could no longer be entertained. The commandant at once called a council of war of his officers to determine on the course to be pursued in this dire emergency. Their deliberations were very short, and the decision unanimously rendered was to retreat towards the Ohio. In pursuance of this= decision, preparations for the movement were at once commenced. The dead had already been buried, and fires were now built over them to prevent their discovery and desecration by the savages. Most of the wounded were able to ride, but for the few who were not, stretchers were prepared. These and other necessary preparations were completed before dark, and the volunteers were ready to move at the word of command. Meanwhile, war parties had been hourly arriving to reinforce the Indian forces, which had now become so overwhelming in numbers that any offensive attempt against them would have been madness.
As soon as the late twilight of June had deepened into darkness all scouts and outposts were called in, the column was formed in four divisions, each under command of one of the field-majors, as on the outward march,² and the retreat was commenced, the command of Maj. John McClelland leading, and Col. Crawford riding at the head of all. Usually in a retreat the post of honor, as of danger, is that of the rear-guard, but in this case the head of the column was as much or more exposed than the rear, as the line of march lay between the positions held by the Delawares and Shawanese. That the advance was here considered to be the post of danger is shown by the fact that orders were given to carry the badly wounded in the rear.
The Indians had discovered the movement almost as soon as the preparations for it commenced, and hardly had the head of the column begun to move when it was fiercely attacked by the Delawares and Shawanese. The volunteers pushed on, fighting as they went, but they suffered severely, and soon after Maj. McClelland was wounded, and, falling from his horse, was left, behind to the tender mercies of the savages. The division, however, fought its way clear
¹ Reported by the British lieutenant, Turney, at one hundred and forty warriors.
² Excepting that of Maj. Brinton, who was wounded. His division was now commanded by Brigade-Maj. Daniel Leet.
of the Indians, who did not then follow up the pursuit, probably for the reason that they felt doubtful as to the actual intent of the movement, thinking it might prove to be but a feint, covering the real design of a general assault; so, fearful of some unknown stratagem or trap, they remained within supporting distance of the Wyandots and Rangers, and by failing to pursue probably lost the opportunity of routing, perhaps annihilating, the head division.
When the advance-guard received the attack of the Delawares and Shawanese, the other three divisions, which, although not wholly demoralized, were undoubtedly to some extent panic-stricken, most unaccountably abandoned McClelland's command, and in disregard of the orders to follow the advance in a solid column, moved rapidly off on a line diverging to the right from the prescribed route. They had not proceeded far, however, before some of the companies became entangled in the mazes of a swamp, in which several of the horses were lost. During the delay caused by this mishap the rear battalion was attacked by the Indians, and a few of the men were wounded, but the enemy did not push his advantage, and the divisions pushed on as rapidly as possible, and deflecting to the left beyond the swamp, and striking the trail by which they came on the outward march, came about daybreak to the deserted Indian village on the Sandusky, where they found the men of Mc-Clelland's division, who had reached there an hour or two earlier, disorganized, panic-stricken, and leaderless, for Maj. McClelland had been left for dead on the field, as before narrated ; and during the hurried march, or more properly the flight, from the scene of the fight to the abandoned village, the commander, Col. Crawford, had disappeared, and no one was able to give any information concerning him, whether he had been wounded, killed, captured, or lost in the woods. John Slover, the guide, and Dr. Knight, the surgeon, were also missing. These facts, when known by the men, greatly increased their uneasiness and demoralization.
At this point (the deserted Wyandot village), Maj. Williamson, as Col: Crawford's second in command, assumed the leadership of the forces, and after a brief halt the entire command, now numbering something more than three hundred and fifty men, continued the retreat over the route by which they had come on the outward march.³ The new commander, never
² Soon after leaving the deserted vkllage they passed a sugar camp which the Indians had used the preceding spring. Butterfield relates that, in passing this place, "Isaac Vance, one of the volunteers from Washington County, espied a braes kettle that had been used by the In. dians in this camp to boil sap in, and which had apparently been left in the bush through an inadvertence. This kettle, in the eyes of a back. woodsman, was a prize of too much value to be left in the enemy's country ; so, dismounting and seizing a bowlder, he soon had the utens¹l fattened, ready for transportation. It was then securely fastened to his saddle, and notwithstanding the stirring Baines through which the finder soon after passed, was transported all the way to the home of the borderer."
Isaac Vance lived in the township of Somerset, Washington as did also his father, John Vance.
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doubting that the Indians would pursue him in force, hurried on his men with all possible speed, keeping out the most wary and trusty scouts on his rear and flanks. The command passed the mouth of the Little Sandusky without seeing any signs of an enemy, but while passing through the Plains, at about eleven o'clock in the forenoon, the scouts discovered far in their rear a pursuing party, apparently composed of both Indians and white men. They were afterwards found to be Wyandots and British Rangers, all mounted. It was now the purpose of Maj. Williamson to cross the Plain country and reach the shelter of the timber before being overtaken by the pursuers; andlthe latter were equally determined, if possible, to possess themselves of the woods in advance of the Americans. The race was an eager and exciting one on both sides, but at last Maj. Williamson found that the Indians were gaining on him so rapidly that he would be compelled to stand for battle before reaching the timber. Maj. Rose, in his report of these operations to Gen. Irvine, said, " Though it was our business studiously to avoid engaging on the Plains, on account of the enemy's superiority in light cavalry, yet they pressed our rear so hard that we concluded on a general and vigorous attack, whilst our light-horse¹ secured the entrance of the woods."
The place where Maj. Williamson found himself compelled to stand at bay before the pursuing horde of Wyandots and British Rangers, in the early afternoon of the 6th of June, was near the creek called Olentangy,³ a tributary of the Scioto, near the eastern edge of the Plains, where the column of Col. Crawford had first debouched from the shades of the forest into the open country on the morning of the 3d, when moving towards the Wyandot town, which they found deserted. But the aspect of affairs was materially changed since that time. Then they were advancing in high spirits and confident of victory over the savages; now, in headlong flight before the same barbarous foe, they were turning in sheer desperation to fight for their lives.
The battle-line of the borderers faced to the west, and in its rear, holding the edge of the woods, and ready to act as a reserve corps in case of emergency, was the company of light-horsemen. The pursuing force, close upon them, attacked unhesitatingly and with fierce energy, first striking the front, then quickly extending their battle-line around the left flank to the rear of Williamson's force, which was thus compelled to meet the savage assault in three directions. But the panic and demoralization of the volunteers had entirely disappeared,³ and they met
¹ Referring to one of the companies, which Col. Crawford had selected sad equipped for special duty as skirmishers and scouts.
² The battle of Olentangy was fought on a plain about five miles southeast of Bucyrus, Ohio.
³ Before the fight Maj. Williamson addressed his men, telling them bathe only possible chance they had of escaping death and probably torture was to stand solidly together and fight with the determination war to yield; that if they should break and endeavor to save them-
each successive onslaught with such cool bravery and steadiness, and fought with such desperation, that at the end of an hour from the commencement of the battle, the enemy withdrew discomfited, and apparently with heavy loss. Perhaps the sudden cessation of their firing was in some degree due to the fact that just then a furious thunder-storm, which had for some time been threatening, burst upon the combatants. The men were drenched and chilled to the bone, while much of their ammunition was rendered useless by the rain. This, however, operated quite as unfavorably to the Indians as to the whites.
As soon as the savages and Rangers withdrew, Maj. Williamson, without a moment's delay', caused the dead to be buried and the wounded 4 cared for, and then the retreat was resumed. Capt. Biggs' company, which seems to have always held the post of danger, leading the advance in the outward march, now formed the rear-guard, though its ranks were reduced to nine men and all its officers were missing. It was afterwards relieved, however, and from that time each of the companies in turn took position to guard the rear of the retreating column.
When Williamson commenced his retreat from the battle-field, the enemy, who had in the mean time scattered over the Plains, soon concentrated and renewed the pursuit, firing rapidly but at long range. Soon, however, they began to press the rear more closely, throwing the volunteers into some disorder, which must have grown into a panic but for the coolness and intrepidity of the commander and Maj. Rose. These officers were unceasing in their efforts, constantly moving along the line entreating the volunteers to keep solidly together and preserve unbroken the order of march, and warning them that if any should leave the column and attempt to escape singly or in squads they would certainly lose their scalps. Finally they became steady, and the order of march was preserved unbroken during the remainder of the day. The Indians kept up the pursuit, and occasionally attacked with much vigor, though, as William-son's force was now moving through the timbered country, the savages no longer held the relative advantage which they had possessed in fighting an the Plains.
The volunteers bivouacked that night (June 6th) on the Sandusky River, about six miles from the battle-field of the afternoon ; the enemy's force camped about a mile farther to the rear. Unusual
selves by flight there would be but faint hope that any of them would ever again see their homes. The aide-de-camp, Maj. Rose, rode along the line, cheering the men by his own coolness and apparent confidence. "Stand to your ranks," he cried, in clear, ringing tones, and with his slightly foreign accent; "take steady aim, fire low, and waste not a single shot ! Be steady, steady, for all our lives depend upon it!" These admonitions from their officers, and the evident hopelessness of escape by flight, caused them to stand firm, resolved to fight to the last, with no thought of surrender.
4 The loss of the volunteers in this fight was three killed and eight wounded; that of the enemy was not known, but must have been much I greater.
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precautions were taken by Maj. Williamson to guard against a surprise during the night, and at the first streakings of dawn on the 7th the men fell in to resume the march ; but hardly had the column been formed when the Indians came up and opened fire upon the rear. A lively skirmish followed, in which two of the men fell into the hands of the savages, but no disorder ensued. The retreat was continued steadily and in good order, and, much to Maj. Williamson's surprise, the Indians suddenly abandoned the pursuit. The last shot from the savages was fired at a point near the present town of Crestline. From there the column moved rapidly on in good order and without molestation, reaching the Muskingum on the 10th, crossing that stream between the ruined Moravian villages of Schoenbrunn and Gnadenhutten, and on the 13th reaching the Mingo Bottom, where they found some of the missing, who had arrived ahead of the column. They crossed the Ohio on the same day and camped for the night on the Virginia side of the river. On the 14th they were disbanded, and returned to their homes after an absence of a little less than four weeks. Maj. Williamson was indefatigable in his attention to the wounded and his efforts to alleviate their suffering. On their arrival on the east bank of the Ohio he took care that every wounded man able to ride should be furnished with a horse and an escort to take him to his home; while those who were too badly hurt to endure that method of removal were by his orders carried on litters to the nearest settlements, where they were nursed and cared for. Through all the trying scenes of the campaign Williamson proved himself a brave, efficient, humane, and prudent officer.¹
¹ On the day when the retreating forces recrossed the Ohio (June 13th), Williamson made an off¹cial report of the retreat from Battle Island (not of the entire campaign) to Gen. Irvine, as follows:
"I take this opportunity to make you acquainted with our retreat from Sandusky Plains, June 6th. We were reduced to the necessity of making a forced march through the enemy's lines in the night, much in disorder; but the main body marched round the Shawanese camp, and were lucky enough to escape their fire. They marched the whole night, and the next morning were reinforced by some companies, of which I cannot give a particular account, as they were so irregular and so confused. . . . I must acknowledge myself ever obliged to Maj. Rose for his assistance, both in the field of action and in the camp. His character in our camp is estimable, and his bravery cannot be outdone. Our country must ever be obliged to Gen. Irvine for his favor done on the late expedition. Maj. Rose will give you a particular account of our retreat. I hope your honor will do us the favor to call the officers together and consider the distress of our brave men in this expedition, and the distresses of our country in general. Our dependence is entirely upon you, and we are ready and willing to obey your commands when called upon."
Another and more minute report of the operations was made by Lieut. (otherwise called major) Rose to Gen. Irvine, who transmitted the two reports to Gen. Washington, with the following letter written by himself, and dated June 16th, viz.:
"The inclosed letters—one from Col. Williamson, second in command, and the other from Lieut. Rose, my aide-de-camp—contain all the particulars of this transaction which have yet come to my knowledge. I am of opinion had they reached the Plains in seven days (instead of ten), which might have been done, especially as they were chiefly mounted, they would have succeeded. They should also have pushed the advantage evidently gained at the commencement of the action. They failed
The fearful news of the disaster which had befallen the Sandusky expedition reached the settlements two days before the retreating force under Maj. Williamson arrived at Mingo Bottom. Col. James Marshel had it as early as the 11th of June, by a letter from a fugitive who had left the main body five days before. He (Marshel) at once communicated the intelligence to Gen. Irvine. " This moment," he said, " came to hand the inclosed letter, by which you will learn the unhappy fate of our little Army. What the consequences may be God only knows. I would fondly hope that matters are not quite so bad as they are represented." And he added, " I shall be as expeditious as possible in raising a party of men to secure the retreat across the river should the pursuit be continued so far." The same news which Marshel received came also to Dorsey Pentecost, who immediately rode to the Ohio to meet the retreating volunteers. There he found the main body under Williamson, but there was little of comfort in the tale they brought. On his return home he wrote the, president of the Council as follows : ²
" WASHINGTON COUNTY, June 17th, 1782.
"DR. SIR,—By a person who is now here on his way to the head of Elk, I have Just time to tell you that on the 25th of last month 478, some say 488 men, mounted on Horses, set out under the Command of Col. Crawford for St. Duskie ; they were discovered at the Muskingum, and from there, all the way out, Spies was kept on them ; the St. Duskie people collected the Shawanese & The Light dragoons from the British posts between St. Duskie and the post at De Trouit, they attacked our people in the plains of 8'. Duskie, near the St. Duskie River, on Tuesday was a week last. The battle continued two days, the first day was very close and hot work, the second day ype at long shot only. On the night of the 2d day our people retreated, & the Indians broke in on them in the retreat & routed them ; however, about two Hundred stuck together & brought off all the wounded except three, which was left on the ground. The next day the Indians attacked our people in the reare, but was repulsed with Considerable Loss on their side; they then pursued their retreat with Success & unmolested to the Ohio. I met the men at the Mingo Bottom last Wednesday, about thirty-five miles from my House, & Collected the Information I send you.
" There is about 20 wounded (few dangerous) and about half that Number killed; there is a good many missing, amongst which is Col. Crawford, and a num ber of other valuable men, but as the Scattered party's
in another point which they had my advice and, indeed, positive for, viz., to make the last day,'s march as long as possible and attack town in the night. But they halted in the evening within nine and fired their rifles at seven in the morning before they These people now seem convinced that they cannot perform as much by themselves as they some time since thought they could; perhaps right that they should put more dependence on regular troops. sorry I have not more to afford them assistance."
² Pa. Arch., 1781-83, p. 556.
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are coming in daily I have Hopes of them. As the people was much confused when I met them, I could not get that Information requisite ; what little I got was from Maj. Ross [Rose], Aid De Campt to Gen. Irwin [Irvine], & who went Aid to Crawford, & I hope the General will give you a particular account, as he will receive it from the Major. I am told that the Indians were much superior to our people and that in the engagement they Suffered greatly, and that Col. Crawford Strongly recommended to return before they got to the Town, alleging that our people were too weak, as the Indians had Early Intelligence of their Coming, but was overruled By the rest of the Officers. . . ."
Having seen how Maj. Williamson with the main body of the troops reached and crossed the Ohio River, let us return to trace the adventures and misfortunes of the brave Col. Crawford, his faithful friend Dr. Knight, and others who had become separated from the column and were struggling on through the wilderness, with dangers surrounding them on every side, in their endeavors to escape from the savages.
When the volunteers commenced their retreat from the battle-field of the 4th and 5th of June, at about nine o'clock in the evening of the last-mentioned day, Col. Crawford rode at the head of the leading division (McClelland's). A very short time afterwards they were attacked by the Delawares and Shawanese, and (as has already been mentioned) the rear divisions left their positions in the line of march and moved away to the right, leaving the front division to extricate itself from its perilous situation. They left in such haste that no little disorder ensued, in which some of the sick and wounded were left behind, though it is believed that all but two were finally saved from the enemy. While the Indian attack on the advance division was in progress, Col. Crawford became anxious concerning his son John, his nephew, William Crawford, and his son-in-law, William Harrison, and rode back to find them or assure himself of their safety, but in this he was unsuccessful. While engaged in the search he was joined by the surgeon, Dr. Knight, whom he requested to remain with and assist him. With this request the doctor readily complied. He thought the missing men were in the front, but as the colonel assured him they were not, the two remained behind a considerable time after the last of the troops had passed on, the commander in the meanwhile expressing himself in terms of indignation at the conduct of the three battalions in disobeying his orders by leaving the line of march and pressing on in their semi-panic, forgetting the care of the sick and wounded, and regardless of everything but their own safety.
After the last of the troops had passed on, and when Crawford and the surgeon found it useless to remain longer, they followed as nearly as they could in the track of the larger column, which, however, by this time was a considerable distance away and lost to view in the darkness. Proceeding rather slowly on (for the colonel's horse had become jaded and nearly worn out by the fatigues of the day), they were soon after overtaken by two stragglers who came up from the rear, one of them being an old man and the other a stripling. Neither of these had seen or knew anything about the two young Crawfords and Harrison.
The colonel and his three companions had not proceeded far when the sound of fire-arms was heard in front of them and not very far away. It was from the attack which the savages made on the rear of the retreating column at the time when a part of it became entangled in the swamp, as has been mentioned. The noise of the firing before them caused Crawford's party to turn their course in a more northerly direction, on which they continued for two or three miles, when, believing that they were clear of the enemy, they turned at nearly a right angle, now facing nearly east, and moving in single file, Indian fashion. At about midnight they reached and crossed the Sandusky River. Near that stream they lost the old man, who had lagged behind, and was probably killed by Indians.
From the Sandusky they continued in an easterly direction, but when morning came they turned more southerly. Early in the day the horses ridden by Col. Crawford and the boy gave out entirely and were left behind. Early in the afternoon they were joined by Capt. Biggs and Lieut. Ashley, the latter mounted on Biggs' horse, and suffering severely from the wounds received in the battle of the 4th. The captain had bravely and generously stood by the wounded lieutenant, and was now marching on foot by his side, resolved to save him if possible, even at the risk of his own life. And a fearful and fatal risk it proved to be.
At almost precisely the time when Biggs and Ashley were found by Col. Crawford's party (about two o'clock P.M. on the 6th of June), the main body of volunteers, under Williamson, were facing to the rear, forming line of battle to meet the attack of the pursuing Indians, as has already been noticed. The distance from the field where the battle was raging to the place where the party of fugitives were at that time was about six miles in a northwest direction. After being joined by Biggs and Ashley, the colonel and his companions moved on slowly (being encumbered by the care of the wounded officer) for about an hour, when their flight was interrupted by the same thunderstorm that burst over the battle-field of Olentangy at the close of the conflict. Being now drenched with the rain, and wearied by their eighteen hours' flight, the commander thought it best to halt, and accordingly they made their night bivouac here,¹ amid the most cheerless surroundings, wet, shivering, and in
¹ The place where they encamped that night is about two miles north of Bucyrus, Ohio.
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constant dread of being discovered by prowling savages.
Early in the morning of the 7th the party pushed on in nearly the same southeasterly direction, recrossing the Sandusky River. An hour or two after their start they came to a place where a deer had been killed. The best part of the carcass had been cut off and wrapped in the skin of the animal, as if the owner had intended to return and carry it away. This they took possession of and carried with them, as also a tomahawk which lay on the ground near by. A mile or so farther on they saw smoke rising through the trees. Leaving the wounded officer behind, in charge of th e boy, the others advanced cautiously towards the fire. They found no person there, but they judged, from the indications, that some of the volunteers had been there, and had left the place only a short time before. Lieut. Ashley was then brought up, and they proceeded to roast the venison which they had captured.' As they were about finishing their meal a white man was seen near by, who, on being called to, came up very cautiously, and was recognized by Col. Crawford as one of his own men. He said he was the slayer of the deer, and that he had been frightened away from the carcass by the approach of the colonel and his companions. Food was given him, and after eating he moved on with the party.
About the middle of the afternoon they struck the route of the army's outward march, at a bend in the Sandusky, less than two miles distant from the place where Williamson's force had bivouacked the night before, and where, in the morning of the same day, the pursuing Indians had made their last attack on the retreating column. They were still nearer to the camping-place occupied by the Indians during the previous night, and it is difficult to understand how the practiced eye of Col. Crawford could have failed to discover the proximity of Indians, but it is certain that such was the ease, for when Dr. Knight and Capt. Biggs advised him to avoid following the trace, for fear of encountering the enemy, he replied with confidence that there was little danger of it, for the savages would not follow the retreating column after it reached the timbered country, but would abandon the pursuit as soon as they reached the eastern verge of the Plains.
From the point where they struck the trail at the bend of the river, then, they moved on over the route which had been passed by the troops in their outward march. Col. Crawford and Dr. Knight, both on foot, led the way ; Capt. Biggs (now riding the doctor's horse) followed some fifteen or twenty rods behind, and in the rear marched the boy and the killer of the deer, both dismounted. In this manner they proceeded along the south side of the river until they came very near the place where Williamson had made his camp of the previous evening. It does not appear that they had yet detected the proximity of an enemy, or that they were using more than ordinary precaution as they traveled. Suddenly, directly in front of Crawford and Knight, and not more than fifty feet from them, three Indians started up in full view. Crawford stood his ground, not attempting to gain cover, but the surgeon instantly took to a tree and raised his piece to fire, but desisted from doing so at the peremptory command of the colonel. Immediately afterwards, however, Capt. Biggs saw the savages and fired, but without effect. One of the Indians came up to Crawford and took him by the hand, while another in like manner advanced and took the hand of the surgeon, at the same time calling him "doctor," for they had previously been acquainted with each other at Fort Pitt.
The Indians told Crawford to order Biggs and Ashley, with the two other men in the rear, to come up and surrender, otherwise they would go and kill them. The colonel complied, calling out to them to advance, but this was disregarded, and all four of them escaped, though Biggs and Ashley were afterwards taken and killed by the savages.
It was a party of the Delawares whb captured Col. Crawford and Dr. Knight, and they immediately took their captives to the camp of their chief, Winge-nund. The time this occurred was in the afternoon of the 7th of June (Friday), only five days after the army had passed by the same place in its outward march in the highest spirits, and with the brave Crawford riding at its head, happily unconscious of the awful doom which awaited him.
Crawford and Knight remained at the camp of the Delawares for three days. During their stay there (in the evening of Sunday, the 9th) a party of outlying scouts came in, bringing the scalps of Lieut. Ashley and Capt. Biggs, as also the horses which had been ridden by those unfortunate officers. Besides Crawford and Knight, there were nine other white prisoners at the Delaware camp, all half-starved and guarded with the utmost vigilance by the seventeen warriors who composed the war party at the camp. Several of these savages were personally known to Crawford and Knight.
On the morning of the 10th the camp was broken up, and the warriors set out with their prisoners for the Sandusky towns. All of them except Crawford were taken to the old town at Upper Sandusky; but the colonel was taken by a different route to the headquarters of Pomoacan, the great sachem of the Wyandots. There were two reasons for his being sent to that village, one of them being to have him guide his captors over the route by which he and Knight had come, so that they might possibly find the horses which had been left behind, and the other reason being to allow the colonel to see Simon Girty, who was known to be at the Half-King's town. Girty was an old acquaintance of Crawford's, as has been seen, and the latter had a faint hope that by a personal interview with the renegade he might be induced to
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use his influence with the Indians to save the prisoner's life, or at least to save him from the torture by fire. The hope was a vain and delusive one, as the event proved, but the doomed man in his extremity clung to it as drowning men catch at straws. His savage custodians well knew that he would gain nothing by the interview with Girty, but they granted his request, apparently for the demoniac satisfaction of witnessing the despair and agony of his certain disappointment.
The prisoners bound for the old town arrived there the same evening. Later in the night Crawford and his guards reached Pomoacan's village, where he had the desired interview with Girty, during which he offered the wretch one thousand dollars to interfere and save his life. Girty promised to do what he could, though he had not the slightest intention of keeping his word. He also told the colonel that his nephew, William Crawford, and his son-in-law, William Harrison, had been captured by Shawanese scouts, but that the chiefs of that tribe had decided to spare their lives, the latter portion of his statement being false, as he well knew. But the story, with the promise to intercede in his behalf, had the effect to allay for the time the colonel's worst fears.
On the following morning (June 11th) Crawford was informed that he must go to the old town, to join the other prisoners, so that all could be marched in a body to the village of the Half-King. Under this order he was taken to the upper village, where he arrived about the middle of the forenoon, and there found the main body of the white prisoners, including Dr. Knight, and the Delaware chiefs, Pipe and Wingenund, who had come there at an earlier hour in the morning. Here the hopes which had been raised in Crawford's mind by the promise of Girty were suddenly extinguished when Wingenund approached him and painted his face black. The hypocritical chief,¹ while he was performing the ominous operation, professed to be extremely glad to see the colonel, and assured him that he was to be adopted as an Indian ; but Crawford was not deceived by this dissimulation, for he well knew that when the Indians painted the face of a prisoner black it meant but one thing,—that the person so marked had been doomed to death. All the other prisoners, including Dr. Knight, had previously been painted black by the implacable Delaware, Capt. Pipe.
A little later in the day the whole party of prisoners, under their Indian guards, moved out from the old town and took the trail down the river. Col. Crawford and Dr. Knight (who were regarded by the Indians as their principal prizes) were marched some distance in the rear of the others, and were kept in charge by no. less personages than the chiefs Win-
¹ The treacherous Wingenund was well acquainted with Col. Crawford, had always professed great friendship for him, and had more than once been entertained by the colonel at his house on the Youghiogheny. Capt. Pipe was also acquainted with Crawford.
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genund and Pipe. They had not proceeded far from the village before they passed the corpse of one of the prisoners who preceded them. A little farther on they saw another, then another and another, four in all, killed by their guards only a few minutes before, and all bearing the bloody marks made by the scalping-knife.
They had supposed that their destination was the town of the Wyandot sachem, Pomoacan, but their hearts sank within them ² when, at the Big Springs, on the present site of Upper Sandusky, the Indians left the trail leading to the Wyandot headquarters and took that leading to the villages of the Delawares. On this trail they proceeded in a northwesterly course until they reached Little Tymochtee Creek, where Crawford and Knight, with their guards, overtook the other surviving prisoners, only five in number. Here several squaws and young Indians were met, and all the prisoners were halted and made to sit on the ground. The object of this movement became apparent when, a few minutes later, the five prisoners were set upon by the squaws and boys, who tomahawked and scalped them all. One of these five was John McKinley, of Washington County, whose scalped head they cut off and rolled about on the ground. The Indian boys took the warm and bloody scalps and repeatedly dashed them into the faces of Crawford and Knight, who had also been seated on the ground a short distance away from, but in fall view of, the butchery.
Of the prisoners who had set out from the old town only Crawford and Knight now remained. The march was resumed on the trail to Pipe's town, the two prisoners being now separated and made to walk a hundred yards or more apart. On their way' they were met by Simon Girty on horseback and accompanied by several Indians. Girty spoke to Crawford and also to Knight, heaping upon the latter the vilest epithets and abuse. As the party moved on they were met by many Indians, all of whom maltreated the prisoners, striking them with clubs and beating them with their fists. About the middle of the afternoon the party with their dejected captives arrived at a piece of bottom-land on the east bank of Ty-
² The Wyandots had advanced much farther on the road towards civilization than had the Delawares or Shawanese, and not only had they, long before that time, wholly abandoned the practice of burning their prisoners, but they discountenanced the horrid custom among the other tribes. The prisoners, knowing this, had consequently regarded it as a sign in their favor that they were to be taken to the home of the Wyandot sachem, but when they found that they had been deceived, and that their real destination was the towns of the cruel Delawares, they knew too well that mercy was not to be expected. The fact was that Pipe and Wingenund, being fully determined to inflict the fire torture on Crawford and Knight, had recourse to stratagem and deceit to obtain from the Half-King, Pomoacan, his consent to the commission of the barbarity, for, as the Wyandots were more powerful than they, and in fact masters of that section of the Indiapa country, they dared not do the dreadful deed without the consent of the Wyandot sagamore, and that consent they knew could never be obtained if their request was accompanied by a straightforward statement of their real intentions.
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mochtee Creek, where a halt was made, and it became at once apparent that with this halt, the journeying of one at least of the prisoners was ended. Crawford and Knight were„still separated, and were not again allowed to hold any conversation together. Knight was in charge of a peculiarly villanous looking Indian named Tutelu, who had been made his special guard, and who was to take him on the following day to the Shawanese towns, which had been decided on as the place where he was to be put to death.
The spot where the party halted on the banks of the Tymochtee was the place ¹ where Col. Crawford was to die. It had been fully and finally decided by the chiefs that he should suffer death by the torture of fire, and as all the barbarous preparations had been made there was but little delay before the commencement of the infernal orgie. The fatal stake had already been set, and fires of hickory sticks were burning in a circle around it. About forty Indian men and twice that number of squaws and young Indians were waiting to take part in the torturing of the unfortunate prisoners.
Immediately on his arrival the colonel was stripped naked and made to sit on the ground, with his hands firmly bound together and tied behind him. Then the yelling, screeching crowd fell upon him and beat him without mercy until he was exhausted and covered with blood. When they had tired of this the victim was dragged to the centre of the fiery circle preparatory to the last act in the hellish drama. A rope had previously been tied around the stake near its foot, and now the other end of it was made fast to the cord with which his wrists were bound together. The rope was some six or eight feet in length, allowing him to pass two or three times around the stake. He could also sit or lie down at will.
The infamous Simon Girty was present, and remained there during all the dreadful proceedings which followed. When Crawford was led to the stake he called out to the renegade (who stood among the foremost in the ring of savage spectators), asking him if they had determined to burn him to death, and upon Girty's unfeeling reply in the affirmative he replied that if so he would try to endure it with patience and die like a soldier and Christian. Then the vindictive Capt. Pipe addressed the savages with violent gesticulations, and at the close of his speech the assembled barbarians applauded with wild delight, whilst some of the crowd rushed in upon the prisoner and cut off both of his ears.²
¹ The spot where Col. Crawford met his horrible death is on a piece of slightly rising ground in the creek bottom, as above mentioned, a short distance northeast of the village of Crawfordsville, Wyandot Co., Ohio.
² This statement is made in the narrative of Dr. Knight, who, after witnessing the dreadful scenes of Col. Crawford's murder, made his escape (as will be mentioned in succeeding pages) and wrote an account of the events of the expedition. That narrative and the report of Maj. Rose, the aide-de-camp, furnish the facts on which this and other reliable accounts of Crawford's campaign are based.
As a prelude to the still more terrible tortures that were to follow, the Indians closed in on the miserable man and fired charges of powder into his unprotected body. More than fifty times was this repeated, and the pain thus inflicted could scarcely have been less than that produced by the flames. After this satanic procedure was concluded the fires (which up to this time had been burning but slowly) were replenished with fresh fuel, and as the heat grew more intense, and the sufferings of the victim became more and more excruciating, tile joy and shouting of the red devils rose higher and higher.
Burning at the stake is universally regarded as among the most terrible tortures that human cruelty can inflict. But the Delaware chiefs had prepared for the brave Crawford an agony more intense and protracted than that of the licking flames,—they roasted him alive I The fires were placed at a distance of some fifteen feet from the stake, and within that dreadful circle for three and a half hours he suffered an almost inconceivable physical torment, which death would have terminated in one-tenth part the time if the fagots had been piled close around him.
As the fires burned down the Indians seized burning brands and threw them at the victim, until all the space which his tether allowed him was thickly strewn with coals and burning embers, on which his naked feet must tread as he constantly moved around the stake and back in the delirium of his pain. To intensify and prolong the torture the savages applied every means that their infernal ingenuity could suggest, and which to describe or even to think of fine the mind with sickening horror.
To Simon Girty, who was in prominent view among the savage throng,³ Crawford called out in the extremity of his agony, begging the wretch to end his misery by sending a ball through his heart. To this appeal Girty replied, sneeringly, that he had no gun, at the same time uttering a brutal laugh of derision and pleasure at the hideous spectacle. If, as tradition has it, he had once been repelled in his attempted addresses to the colonel's beautiful daughter, Sally Crawford, he was now enjoying the satisfaction of a terrible revenge on her miserable father, for the indignity.
Through it all, the brave man bore up with as much fortitude as is possible to weak human nature, frequently praying to his Heavenly Father for the mercy which was denied him on earth. Towards the last, being evidently exhausted, he ceased to move around the stake and lay down, face downwards, upon the ground. The fires being now well burned down, the savages rushed in on him, beat him with the glowing brands, heaped coals upon his body, and scalped him.
³ It has been stated in some accounts of the death of Col. Crawford that the British captain, Matthew Elliott, was also present during the dreadful scenes of the torture. It may have been so, but the statement has never been fully substantiated, and there are serious doubts of its authenticity.
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Once more he arose, bloody, blinded, and crisped, and tottered once or twice around the stake, then fell to rise no more. Again the barbarians applied burning brands, and heaped live coals on his scalped head, but he was fast becoming insensible to pain, his end was near, and after a few more vain attempts by the savages to inflict further torments, death came to the rescue and the spirit of William Crawford was free.
It was on the 11th of June, at about four o'clock in the afternoon, that the torture commenced. The end came just as the sun was sinking behind the tops of the trees that bordered the bottom-lands of the Tymoch-teg. Then the savages heaped'the brands together on the charred and swollen body and burned it to a cinder, dancing around the spot for hours, yelling and whooping in a wild frenzy of demoniac exultation.
It will be recollected that Dr. Knight was brought from the Indian old town to the place of torture on the Tymochtee with Col. Crawford, though the two were kept apart and not allowed to converse together. The doctor remained a horrified spectator of the burning of his superior officer until near the time of his death. On his arrival at the place Knight was fallen upon by the Indians and cruelly beaten. While Crawford was in the midst of his greatest suffering Simon Girty came to where Knight was sitting and told him that he too must prepare for the same ordeal, and he need have no hope of escaping death by torture, though he would not suffer at the same place, but would be removed to the Shawanese towns to be burned. Soon after an Indian came to him and struck him repeatedly in the face with the bloody scalp which had just been torn from Crawford's head. Towards the end of the diabolical scene, but while Crawford was yet living, Knight was taken away and marched to Capt. Pipe's house, some three-fourths of a mile distant, where he remained during the night, securely bound, and closely guarded by the Indian Tutelu, who had him in his especial charge.
In the morning (June 12th) his guard unbound him, and having again painted him with black, started out on horseback, driving Knight before him on foot, bound for the Shawanese towns, where the doctor was to suffer the torture. Passing by the spot where Crawford had suffered on the previous day, they saw all that remained of the colonel, a few burned bones, when the Indian told his horrified prisoner that this was his "big captain." They moved on towards the southwest, on the trail to the Shawanese town of Wapatomica, nearly forty miles away.
Knight had not wholly abandoned the hope of escaping the torture, though his case looked wellnigh hopeless. He carried as cheerful a countenance as he coold, concealed from his guard his knowledge of the import of the black paint on his face, and con-ersed with him as well as he could, pretending that expected to be adopted into the Shawanese tribe arrival at their destination. Tutelu asked him if he knew how to build a wigwam, and Knight assured him that he was excellent at that business. All this pleased the Indian, and to some extent threw him off his guard. The journey of the first day was about twenty-five miles. At the night camp Tutelu again bound his captive, and watched him closely through the night, so that the doctor, although he tried hard to free himself, did not succeed.
At daybreak Tutelu rose, stretched his limbs, unbound his captive, and renewed the fire, but did not immediately prepare to resume the journey. They had been greatly tormented by gnats during the night, and the doctor asked him if he should make a smudge in their rear to drive the pests away. Tutelu told him to do so, whereupon Knight took two sticks (one of them about a foot and a half in length, which was the largest he could find), and holding a coal between them carried it behind the Indian as if to start the smudge, but as soon as he had got the right position suddenly turned and dealt the savage a blow over the head with all his strength, partially stunning him and knocking him forward head first into the fire. His hands were badly burned, but he immediately recovered himself, rose, and ran away, uttering a hideous yell.¹ The doctor seized the Indian's gun and followed him, determined to kill him ; but in his eagerness he broke or disarranged the lock of the piece, so that he could not fire. This being the case he followed only a short distance, and then returned to the place where they had passed the night.
Here the surgeon lost no time in making preparations for a desperate attempt to effect his escape_ from the Indian country. He possessed himself of TutFelu'e ammunition, his blanket, and an extra pair of moccasins, and without delay commenced his long journey taking a course about east by north. All day h( traveled without molestation or notable incident, and at night had emerged from the timbered country and entered the Plains, where he made his lonely bivouac. But he was too uneasy and anxious to remain long; and so after two or three hours' rest resumed his way. and traveling all night, guided by the stars, had crossed the open country and entered the forest to the east before daylight appeared. During this day (June 14th) he struck the track of the troops on their outward march, but having already received a severe lesson on the danger of following this he avoided it and took a north course, which he kept during the rest of the day. That night he camped in the forest and slept undisturbed.
The next morning he shaped his course due east, and moved on with greatly lightened spirits but ex-
¹ Tutelu fled to the village of the Delawares, and was seen on his arrival by John Slover, who was then a captive there. He (Tutelu) reported the loss of his prisoner, with whom he said he had a hard battle, and had given the doctor fearful and probable fatal knife-wounds in the back and stomach, although (as he said) Knight was a man of immense proportions and physical power. Slover told the Delawares that this was false, and that the doctor was a weak, puny man, whereat the Indians ridiculed Tutelu without mercy.
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ceedingly weak from lack of food. He could shoot no game, for his utmost endeavors failed to put the lock of his gun into working condition, and finding at last that it was useless to make further attempts, and that the piece could be only an encumbrance to him, he threw it away. He caught a small turtle, and occasionally succeeded in taking young birds, all of which he ate raw. In this way, and by making use of nourishing roots and herbs, he succeeded in sustaining life through all the weary days of his journey to civilization. As he traveled eastward he found heavier timber, and saw everywhere great quantities of game, which was very tantalizing, as he could not kill or catch any, although nearly famished.
For twenty days from the time of his escape from his guard Tutelu, Dr. Knight traveled on through the wilderness, unmolested by savages, but suffering terribly of hunger and cold,—for he had not the means of making a fire,—and on the evening of July 3d struck the Ohio River about five miles below the mouth of Beaver. On the 5th he arrived safely at Fort Pitt,¹ where he remained as surgeon of the Seventh Virginia Regiment until after the declaration of peace.
John Slover, one of the guides of the expedition, was one of those who were captured by the Indians and condemned to the torture, but almost miraculously escaped. On the evening of the 5th of June, when the forces of Col. Crawford commenced their retreat from Battle Island, and the combined Delawares and Shawanese attacked the advanced battalion under Maj. McClelland, it will be recollected that the three other divisions precipitately abandoned the line of march and moved away on a route diverging to the west, and that soon afterwards the head of the column marched by mistake into a bog or swamp, where a number of the volunteers lost their horses by reason of their becoming mired in the soft muddy soil. Among those who were thus dismounted were the guide, Slover, James Paull (afterwards sheriff of Fayette County), and five others, who then kept together in a party and attempted to make their escape through the woods. They traveled on in safety until the 8th, when, at about nine o'clock in the forenoon, they fell into an ambuscade of Shawanese Indians, who had followed their trail from the Plains. The savages
¹ In a letter from Gen. Irvine to President Moore, dated Fort Pitt, July 5,1782, he says, "This moment Doctor Knight has arrived, the surgeon I sent with the volunteers to Sandusky ; he was several days in the hands of the Indians, but fortunately made his escape from his keeper, who was conducting him to another settlement to be bound [burned]. He brings the disagreeable account that Col. Crawford and all the rest (about twelve, to the doctor's knowledge) who fell into his [their] hands were burned to death in a most shocking manner; the unfortunate colonel in particular was upwards of four hours burning. The reason they assign for this uncommon barbarity is retaliation for the Moravian affair. The doctor adds that he understood those people had laid aside their religious principles and have gone to war; that he saw two of them bring in scalps who he formerly knew."—Penn. Archives, 1781-83, p. 576.
fired on them, and two of the men fell. Paull ran for his life and made his escape, but Slover and two other men were taken prisoners and conducted back to the Shawanese towns on Mad River, which they reached on the 11th of June. On their arrival they were received by an Indian crowd such as always collected on such an occasion, and were made to " run the gauntlet" between two files of squaws and boys for a distance of some three hundred yards to the council-house. One of the men had been painted black (though why the Indians had thus discriminated against this man does not appear), and he was made a special target for the abuse and blows of the barbarous gang. He reached the door of the council-house barely alive, but was then pulled back and beaten and mangled to death, his body cut in pieces, and these stuck on poles about the village.
Slover and the other man ran the gauntlet without fatal or very serious injury, but the latter was sent away the same evening to another village, and no more was heard of him. As to Slover, he was kept at the village for two weeks, during which time councils were held daily and war-dances every night, to all of which he was invited and most of which he attended.² The Indians also assigned to him a squaw as a companion, with whom he lived in comparative freedom during his stay at the village.³ Finally a council was held, at which it was decided that he should be put to death by torture.
The next day " about forty warriors, accompanied by George Girty, an adopted Delaware, a brother of Simon and James Girty,4 came early in the morning round the house where Slover was. He was sitting before the door. The squaw gave him up. They put a rope around his neck, tied his arms behind liis! back, stripped him naked, and blacked him in the usual manner. Girty, as soon as he was tied, cursed him, telling him he would get what he had many years.' deserved. Slover was led to a town about five miles' away, to which a messenger had been dispatched to desire them to prepare to receive them. Arriving at the town, he was beaten with clubs and the pipe-ends of their tomahawks, and was kept for some time tied to a tree before a house-door. In the mean time the inhabitants set out for another town about two miles distant, where Slover was to be burnt, and where he arrived about three o'clock in the afternoon. They were now at Mac-a-chack, not far from the present sit of West Liberty, in Logan County. Here there why
² Having previously lived much among the Indians, Slover was well acquainted with their language, and spoke it, particularly the Miami and Shawaneee dialects, with great fluency.
³ "There was one council at which Slover was not present. The warriors had sent for him as usual, but the squaw with whom he lived would not suffer him to go, but hid him under a large quantity of skins. It may have been done that Slover might not hear the determination she feared would be arrived at, to burn him."—Butterfield.
4 James and George Girty, as well as Capt. Matthew Elllott, of the British service, were present at the Shawaneee town, and took part in the Indian councils before mentioned.
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a council-house also, as at Wapatomica,¹ but only a part of it was covered. In the part without a roof was a post about sixteen feet in height. Around this, at a distance of about four feet, were three piles of wood about three feet high. Slover was brought to the post, his arms again tied behind him, and the thong or cord with which they were bound was fastened to it. A rope was also put about his neck and tied to the post about four feet above his head. While they were tying him the wood was kindled and began to flame. Just then the wind began to blow, and in a very short time the rain fell violently. The fire, which by this time had begun to blaze considerably, was instantly extinguished. The rain lasted about a quarter of an hour."²
The savages were amazed at this result, and perhaps regarded it as an interposition of the Great Spirit on behalf of the prisoner. They finally decided to allow him to remain alive until morning, when, as they said, they would recommence the torture, and devote the whole day to it. He was then unbound, and made to sit on the ground, where he was beaten, kicked, and otherwise maltreated by the Indians, who continued dancing round him and yelling till nearly midnight. Three guards were then detailed to watch him during the rest of the night ; he was again bound and taken to a house, where a rope was fastened about his neck and tied to a beam of the house. His guards kept awake taunting him about the torture he was to endure until towards morning, when two of them fell asleep, and not long afterwards the other followed their example. Soon they were all asleep, and when he was entirely sure that they were so Slover commenced attempts to unbind himself. He had comparatively little difficulty in slipping the cords from one of his wrists, which left him at liberty to work at the rope around his neck. This he found much more securely tied, and he began to despair of loosening it, as the daylight had begun to appear'and the Indians would soon be on the alert. At last, however, he succeeded in untying the knots, and rose from his painful position, free, but still in the greatest danger of discovery.
Stepping softly over the sleeping warriors, he quickly left the house, and ran through the village into a corn-field. Near by he saw several Indian horses grazing, and having with no little difficulty caught one of these, using the rope with which he had been bound as a halter, he mounted and rode away, first slowly, then more rapidly, and finally with all the speed of which the animal was capable. No alarm had yet been given in the village, and he had therefore reason to believe that the Indians were still ignorant of his escape.
Slover forced the horse to his utmost speed for a long time, but gradually his pace slackened and grew
¹ The Indian village to which he had first been taken.
² Butterfield's " Expedition against Sandusky."
slower and slower until about two o'clock in the afternoon, when, finding it impossible to urge him beyond a walking gait, he dismounted, left the animal, and pushed on on foot. He had heard the distant hallooing of Indians behind him, showing him that he was pursued, but he kept on, using every precaution to cover his trail as he proceeded. No Indians appeared, and he traveled on without a moment's stop until ten o'clock at night, when, being very sick and vomiting, he halted to rest for two hours. At midnight the moon rose, and he proceeded on, striking a trail, which he kept till daylight, and then, as a measure. of precaution, left it, and struck through the woods along a ridge at a right angle from his previous course. This he continued for about fifteen miles, and then changed to what he judged to be his true course. From this point he met with no specially notable adventure. On the third day he reached the Muskingum, on the next he reached and crossed the Stillwater, and in the evening of the fifth day of his flight he camped within five miles of Wheeling. Up to this time he had not closed his eyes in sleep since he left his cabin and squaw companion at Wapatomica. Early on the following morning he came to the Ohio River opposite the island at Wheeling, and seeing a man on the other side, called to him, and finally induced him to come across and take him over in his canoe, though at first he was very suspicious and unwilling to cross to the west shore. On the 10th of July Slover reached Fort Pitt.
As the volunteers who marched with Col. Crawford to Sandusky were during the campaign regularly in the service under the orders of the general commanding the Western Department, there were of course muster-rolls of the several ,companies showing the names of all their members; but no such rolls are now known to be in existence. In the absence of these and of any unofficial list of those who composed the force under Crawford, very few names are now known of Washington County men who marched with the expedition to Sandusky. A few, known as residents of this county, have been incidentally mentioned in the preceding narrative of the campaign, and the names of some others (but not many) have been gathered from different sources. Among them are those of John Canon, of Canonsburg, David Steele, of Peters township, Isaac Cox, James and Hugh Workman, of Amwell township, and William Huston, of Washington, all of whom returned from Sandusky in safety. In bne account it is stated that William Huston never returned; but this is proved to be incorrect by an affidavit which is found, made by William Huston before Justice Samuel Shannon in 1798. John Campbell, William Nimmons, and William Johnson volunteered from this county, and marched with the expeditionary forces from the Mingo Bottom to the Sandusky Plains, but did not come back
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with the fugitives from the scene of disaster, and were never again heard of in the settlements. The names of these men, as volunteers from Washington County, were given by William Darby, whose statement has been published by De'llass, Butterfield,¹ and other writers upon the subject of Crawford's ill-starred enterprise.
The names of a few others who enrolled themselves with the volunteers who marched from Washington County in the memorable campaign of 1782 against the Wyandot towns are found in the minutes of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, referring to awards made some years afterwards in reimbursement for losses sustained by various persons in that campaign. Such of the entries in those minutes as have reference to residents of Washington County² are given below (names of such as are known to have been residents of Westmoreland being omitted), viz.:
" In Council.
"PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 7, 1785.
"The comptroller-general's reports upon the following accounts against the State for losses sustained, etc., upon the Indian expedition of 1782, under the direction of Colonel William Crawford, were read and approved, viz.:
" . . Twelve pounds to James Alexander; . . . six pounds four shillings and five pence to Noble Graham ; six pounds to Samuel Dualls; thirteen pounds to John Dean ; seven shillings and sixpence to Samuel
¹ Butterfield, in his " Historical Account of the Expedition Against Sandusky," quotes Darby's account, as follows:
"From the fort [the stockade inclosing the house of Jacob Wolfe, in what is now Buffalo township, Washington Countyl my parents removed to Catfish [Washington], and spent the residue of 1782, and to April, 1783, on the farm of Alexander Reynolds, recently owned by Dr. F. J. Lemoyne. On this farm we were living when . . . the militia army were defeated under Colonel William Crawford . . . James and Hugh Workman were both in that expedition, and I fancy I see the two women now when James Reynolds came running to my mother, exclaiming, 'James Workman is killed!' James Workman, who was a married man, was not killed, but returned to his family and lived many years afterwards. A like report came in regard to Hugh, and happily proved untrue, to the great joy of his betrothed wife, Peggy Bryson, living then with her brother-in-law, Thomas Nichol. John Campbell, of Pigeon Creek, was killed in the action." Butterfield then proceeds:
"The brothers Workman were in the same company when the army on its outward march left Mingo Bottom; but when Crawford selected his company of light-horse, Hugh joined it, leaving his brother James in the ranks of the mounted infantry. James was twenty-five and Hugh twenty-three years of age when they joined the Sandusky expedition. The former applied for a pension fifty years after, and was successful. Both were then living (1833) in Amwell township, Washington County." James Workman was one of those who became separated from the main body of Crawford's forces in the night of June 5, 1782, and while he and another man in the same condition were making their way through the woods in their attempt to escape, they met Nicholas Dawson, of Westmoreland County (one of the volunteers), who had mistaken his course and was heading towards Sandusky, thus running directly into danger instead of escaping from it. They tried to convince him that he was wrong, but he obstinately insisted that he was not. Finding it impossible to persuade him to change his course, they at last told him that as he would certainly be taken by the Indians if he kept on, and as it was better for him to die by the hands of white men than to be tortured by savages, they were determined to shoot him then and there unless he consented to turn his course and go with them. This was an unanswerable argument, and Dawson finally yielded to it, though with a very bad grace. He changed his route, joined company with the two men, and so succeeded in making his escape, and arrived in safety at his home beyond the Monongahela.
² The greater part of those named are known to have been inhabitants of the county of Washington. It is not unlikely that some are included who were not such, but they are certainly very few.
Cane; seven pounds to Richard Clark; . . . fifteen pounds to Louis Hen ing; . . . and sixteen pounds to Joseph Barker.
"January 10, 1785, . . . thirteen pounds to James Woods; eight pounds ten shillings to Jacob Van Kirk ; thirty pounds to James Nicholl; . . four pounds nineteen shillings and sixpence to Joseph Parish ; . . . sixteen pounds to Jacob South; ten pounds to Jacob Schwartz; . . . five pounds sixteen shillings and three pence to John Lucas; . five pounds to Alexander McDonald ; . . . four pounds ten shillings to Robert Jackson; fifteen pounds to William Case; fifteen pounds to Aaron Rollins; eleven pounds to Lewis Duvall; three pounds eight shillings to Charles Burdin; . . . six pounds ten shillings to Dennis Stevens.
"March 2, 1785.—Accounts approved of Craig Ritchie and Andrew Munro, for horses lost on the Sandusky expedition. Of the aforesaid Craig Ritchie, four rations due from the 20th of May to the 20th of June, 1782.
"August 30,1785.—The comptroller-general's report upon the accounts of William Shearer, of the county of Washington, for a horse lost on the Sandusky expedition, was read and approved.
"September 15, 1785.—Upon the account of James Scott, for a home, blanket, etc., lost on the Sandusky expedition.
"September 21, 1785.—Of Peter Peterson, for rations due on the Sandusky expedition. Of Henry Taylor, for thirty days' rations furnished John Blean upon the aforesaid expedition. Note.—All the (3) three persons above named are inhabitants of Washington County.
" December 31,1785.—Of Richard Graham, for a horse lost on the Sandusky expedition.
"April 19, 1786.—Of Hugh Sproule, of the county of Washington, for a horse lost on the Sandusky expedition.
"Of Joseph Brown, of said county, for rations furnished to the militia employed on the said expedition. Of Thomas Brown, of said county, for rations furnished as aforesaid.
"December 8, 1789.—Of George Tompoh, for his provisions, while employed as a militiaman on the frontiers of Washington County, and for a blanket, a pack-saddle, and two bags lost on the (said) expedioion under Colonel Crawford, in 1782, Amounting to two pounds seven shillings and sixpence.
" Of John Hill, for a saddle, blanket, two bags, and a wallet or pack lost on the said expedition, amounting to four pounds two shillings and sixpence.
" Of Robert Taylor, for thirty days' provisions due him while employed on said expedition, amounting to one pound two and sixpence. Of Richard Hopkins, for a horse lost on the said expedition, amounting to four pounds.
"Of John Turvey, for thirty days' provisions due to him while em ployed on said expedition, amounting to one pound two shillings and sixpence.
"December 17, 1789.—Of Robert Walker, Jr., of Washington County; for provisions furnished by him for the Sandusky expedition, under Colonel Crawford, in the year 1782, amounting to one pound two shillings, and sixpence.
" February 18, 1790.—Of Alexander Lashley, for a horse which taken into public service and lost on the Sandusky expedition against the Indians, under Colonel Crawford, in the year 1782, valued at twelve pounds, and allowed.
" August 28, 1790.—Of Moses Cook, for a horse which was lost on the Sandusky expedition against the Indians, in 1782, amounting to fifteen pounds.
" September 6, 1790.—Of the estate of James Guffee, for a home whi was lost on the Sandusky expedition against the Indians, in 1782, amounting to fourteen pounds."
Proposed Second Sandusky Expedition.—It has been mentioned that a number of fugitives from the disordered forces of Col. Crawford reached the Ohio River considerably in advance of the main body in its retreat under command of Williamson. These stragglers immediately returned to their homes, and spread through the frontier settlements the most alarming and exaggerated reports³ of the disaster
³ The earliest reports which obtained currency were to the effect that the army of Crawford was almost annihilated, and that the Indians were pursuing then to the Ohio, and would doubtless cross the river and carry rapine and desolation through tl e border settlements. The fact was
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which had befallen the expedition. These reports not only caused great grief and extreme anxiety for the fate of relatives and friends who were with Craw-ford's forces, but the wildest consternation also, for it was feared and believed that the victorious savages—red and white—would soon be across the Ohio, and would carry devastation and butchery eastward to the Monongahela, if not to the base of Laurel Hill. When the grief and anxiety of the people was to a great extent allayed by the return of the volunteers, and the consequent discovery that the disaster was by no means as overwhelming as had at first been reported, the dread of Indian invasion still remained, and the bold frontiersmen, discarding the idea of waiting for the coming of the foe, and then merely standing on the defensive, began at once to urge the forming of a new expedition to carry the war into the. heart of the Indian country, and to prosecute it to the point of extermination, or at least to the destruction of the Wyandot, Delaware, and Shawanese towns, for they believed that in no other way could security be had for the settlements along the border. It was the wish of the leading spirits—such men as Williamson, Marshel, and Col. Cook, of Westmoreland—that the proposed expedition should be made as strong numerically as possible, that it should include besides volunteers from the militia of Washington and Westmoreland Counties as many regular Continental troops as could be spared from Fort Pitt, and that it should be commanded by Gen. Irvine in person.
The first proposition communicated to the commandant at Fort Pitt for a new Indian campaign appears to have been that of two captains of Westmoreland militia (Robert Beall and Thomas Moore),¹ who joined in a letter to Gen. Irvine, dated June 23d, in which they said, "The unfortunate miscarriage of the late expedition, the common interest of our country, and the loss of our friends induce us to be thus forward in proposing another. . . We do not wish to be understood as giving our own private sentiments, but of those of the people generally in our quarter, for which purpose we are authorized to address you, and from accounts well authenticated we assure you it is the wish of the people on this side the Monongahela River" without a dissenting voice.
In his reply to Beall and Moore (dated June 26th) Gen. Irvine said, " Inclination as well as duty is a continual spur to me not only to acquiesce in but to encourage every measure adopted for the public good. Your proposals on this occasion are so truly patriotic and spirited that I should look on myself
that, including all those killed in battle, those who afterwards died of wounds, those who suffered death at the hands of their savage captors, and those who were missing and never heard from, the total loss sustained by Crawford's forces was less than seventy-five men.
¹ Beal and Moore were neighbors of the unfortunate Col. Crawford. This fact probably increased their zeal and desire for retaliation upon the Indians.
unpardonable were I to pass them unnoticed." In a letter of the same date, addressed to Col. Edward Cook, lieutenant of Westmoreland County, Irvine said, " Your people seem so much in earnest that I am led to think, if other parts of the country are so spirited and patriotic, something may probably be done, but as it will take some time to come to a proper knowledge of this matter, and that must be accurately done, there can be no harm in making the experiment. . . . I have no intimation of any plan being on foot in Washington County for this purpose, though it is said the people wish another expedition."
The manner in which it was proposed to form the new expedition and carry it to a successful issue is indicated in a letter written by Irvine to the Secretary of War, Gen. Lincoln, on the 1st of July, from which the following extracts are made :
"The disaster has not abated the ardor or desire for revenge (as they term it) of these people.² A number of the most respectable are urging me strenuously to take command of them, and add as many Continental officers and soldiers as can be spared, particularly officers, as they attribute the defeat to the want of experience in their officers. They cannot nor will not rest under any plan on the defensive, however well executed, and think their only safety depends on the total destruction of all the Indian settlements within,two hundred miles ; this, it is true, they are taught by dear-bought experience.
"They propose to raise by subscription six or seven hundred men, provisions for them for forty days, and horses to carry it, clear of expense to the public, unless government at its own time shall think proper to reimburse them. The 1st of August they talk of 'assembling, if I think proper to encourage them. I am by no means fond of such commands, nor am I sanguine in my expectations, but rather doubtful of the consequences; and yet absolutely to refuse having anything to do with them, when their proposals are so generous and seemingly spirited, I conceive would not do well either, especially as people too generally, particularly in this quarter, are subject to be clamorous and to charge Continental officers with want of zeal, activity, and inclination of doing the needful for their protection. I have declined giving them an immediate, direct answer, and have informed them that my going depends on circumstances, and in the mean time I have called for returns of the men who may be depended on to go, and the subscriptions of provisions and horses. The distance to headquarters is so great that it is uncertain whether an express could return in time with the commander-in-chiefs instructions.
² The general, it seems, bad somewhat changed his mind concerning the temper of the people since the 16th of June, when, in his report of the Crawford expedition to Gen. Washington, he said,—
" These people now seem convinced that they cannot perform as much by themselves as they some time since thought they could; perhaps it is right that they should put more dependence on regular troops. . . ."
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"As you must know whether any movements will take place in this quarter, or if you are of the opinion it would on any account be improper for me to leave the post, I request you„would please to write me by express. But if no answer arrives before or about the 1st of August, I shall take for granted you have no objections, and that I may act discretionally. Should it be judged expedient for me to go, the greatest number of troops fit to march will not exceed one hundred. The militia are pressing that I shall take all the Continentals along, and leave the defense of the fort to them ; but this I shall by no means do. If circumstances should seem to require it, I shall throw in a few militia with those regulars left, but under Continental officers."
On the same day, July 1st, Gen. Irvine wrote Gen. Washington, informing .him of the plan for a second expedition to Sandusky, but saying that he should not think of proceeding with the campaign without express orders from the commander-in-chief. "By the best information I can obtain," he added, " we may lay out our accounts to-have to fight the Shawanese, Delawares, Wyandots, Miugoes, and Monseys, in all about five hundred. They are all settled in a line from Lower Sandusky near Lake Erie to the head of the Miami, not more than seventy-five miles from the two extremes; Upper Sandusky lies near the centre. If all these could be beat at once, it would certainly nearly, if not entirely, put an end to the Indian war in this quarter."
There were good grounds for the alarm felt by the people west of the Monongahela, for a few days after the return of the volunteers from the Sandusky expedition the Indians appeared in large numbers along the west bank of the Ohio, their main force being concentrated at Mingo Bottom, with smaller parties at various points on both sides of the river, but closely and constantly watched by detachments of the militia of Washington County. The settlers between the Ohio and Monongahela Rivers were almost in a state of panic. On the 30th of June Col. John Evans (lieutenant of the Virginia county of Monongalia), whose home was in that part of Washington County which afterwards became Greene, wrote Gen. Irvine informing him of the presence of Indian war parties in his vicinity, and adding, " Without your assistance I much fear our settlements will break. The defeat of Col. Crawford occasions much dread."
On the 2d of July, Col. Marshel wrote Gen. Irvine, giving information of the alarming situation of affairs on the Ohio border, and reporting to the general that he had sent Col.¹ Williamson with a detachment to Cox's fort, about four miles below Mingo Bottom,
¹ In the preceding narrative of the march of the expeditionary force to and from Sandusky this officer was mentioned as Major Williamson, that being the grade to which he was elected for that campaign. After his return from the expedition his proper military title was (as it had been before) Colonel Williamson, of the Washington County militia.
on the Virginia side of the Ohio, and that Col. Thomas Crook had marched with another detachment to Wheeling, the latter having Marshel's orders to form a junction with Col. Williamson's force, in case he could do so without endangering the safety of the post at Wheeling. And Marshel continued, "Tomorrow I intend marching whatever men may rendezvous in this quarter to Richard Wells' fort, which is within five miles of Mingo Bottom, at which place I intend to stay, if circumstances will admit, until I hear from you ; and I shall expect, if you think it necessary, 11hat a number of your troops will march to our assistance as soon as possible." Again, on the following day, he wrote Gen. Irvine from Catfish (Washington County seat), informing him that the inhabitants were clamorous for assistance. "The people declare," he said, " they must abandon their habitations unless a few men are sent to them during harvest. They also declare their willingness to submit to and supply the men on the faith of the government."
On the 5th of July Gen. Irvine said, in a letter to the president of the Council,² "The people generally seem anxious to make another tryal, and urge me to take Command of them. Their proposals are to raise Volunteers, Provisions, and Horses by subscription, at their own Expense, without making any charge against the public, unless they should hereafter think proper to reimburse them ; they also promise to obey orders &c. The 1st of August is the time talked of to march. I have not yet determined whether to go or not, but am getting in Returns of Men, Horses, & Provisions subscribed."
Meanwhile the people continued in a state of mind bordering on panic. Many of them moved from their homes to the shelter of the forts and blockhouses. Nearly as much consternation prevailed in the settlements east of the Monongahela, and the general alarm was greatly increased by the sudden appearance of the savage enemy in Westmoreland County, where, on the 11th of July, they killed and scalped three sons of Mr. Chambers, and two days later attacked and burned Hannastown, the old county-seat of Westmoreland.³ The party which ac-
² Pa. Arch., 1781-83, p. 576.
³ An account of the destruction of Hannastown was given by Michael
Huffnagle in a letter to President Reed, as follows:
" FORT REED, July, 1782.
" SIR,—I am sorry to inform your Excellency that Last Saturday at two O'Clock in the afternoon, Hanna's Town was attacked by about one hundred Whites and Blacks. We found several Jackets, the buttons mark'd with the King's eighth Regiment. At the same Time this town was attacked another party attack'd Fort Miller, about four Miles from this Place. Hanna's Town & Fort Miller in a short Time were reduced to Ashes, about twenty of the Inhabitants killed and taken, about one hundred head of Cattle, a number of horses, and hogs killed. Such wanton destruction I never beheld, burning and destroying as they went. The People of this Place behaved brave, retired to the Fortt, left their all a prey to the Enemy, & with twenty Men only & nine guns in good order, we stood the attack till dark. At first some of the Enemy came close to the Pickets, but were soon oblidg'd to retire farther off. I can
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complished this destruction was composed of Indians and British Rangers, and came in from the north, by way of the valley of the Allegheny.
Intelligence of the attack on and destruction of Hannastown did not reach Gen. Irvine at Fort Pitt until three days after the occurrence, and of course it was then too late for the commandant to send a force in pursuit of the savages with any hope of success. The Indians who made the foray were from the north, mostly Mingoes. The surviving prisoners captured at Hannastown and Miller's were taken to Niagara and delivered to the British military authorities there. At the close of the war they were delivered up and returned to their homes.
A day or two after the destruction of Hannastown a party of seven or eight Wyandots made an incursion in Washington County, near its present northern border. They attacked a cabin, in which they found an old man alone, whom they murdered and scalped. Then they plundered the place and made off with their booty, without having taken the lives of any more victims. The news spread through the settlements, and a party of eight frontiersmen set out in pursuit a few hours later. In the party were the two brothers, Andrew and Adam Poe, both famous for their prowess in Indian warfare. It was while on this pursuit that the Poe brothers had the desperate hand-to-hand fight which resulted in the killing of the noted Wyandot chief; "Big Foot," the story of which is narrated more at length in the history of Hanover township. The other members of the pursuing party overtook the Indians and killed all but one, but lost three of their own number, including a young man named Cherry.
Before the events above narrated, Gen. Irvine wrote (July 11th) to Gen. Washington, saying that the people were constantly growing more determined in their efforts to raise a new force to operate against the Sandusky towns, that solicitations to him to assist in it and to assume the command were increasing daily, and that the militia officers had actually commenced preparations for the expedition. The news of the descent of the savages on Hannastown caused these preparations to be urged with greater energy by the bolder and more determined men, while it increased the general alarm and apprehension in a great degree.
Not inform you what Number of the Enemy were killed, as we see them from the Fort carrying off severals.
“The situation of the Inhabitants is deplorable, a number of them not having a Blanket to lye on, nor a Second Suit to put on their Backs. Affairs are strangely managed here; where the fault lies I will not presume to say. This Place being of the greatest consequence to the Frontiers, to be left destitute of Men, Arms, & ammunition is surprising to me, although frequent applications have been made. Your Excellency, I hope, will hot be offended my mentioning that I think it would not be amiss that mew inquiry should be made about the management of the public affairs in this County, and also to recommend to the Legislative Body to have some provision made for the Poor distress'd People here. Your known humanity convinces me that you will do everything in your power to assist us in our distress'd situation."—Penn. Archives, p. 598.
Gen. Irvine, in a letter written to President Moore, of the Executive Council, on the 16th of July, said, in reference to the probable results of this affair, " I fear this stroke will intimidate the inhabitants so much that it will not be possible to rally them or persuade them to make a stand.
Nothing in my power shall be left undone to countenance and encourage them."
Notwithstanding Gen. Irvine's fears to the contrary, the raising of the new expedition was strenuously. urged and pushed forward with all possible vigor by the principal officers of the militia in the two counties. Other than clearly established physical disability, or having served in the then recent campaign under Col. Crawford, very few pleas for exemption from service were deemed valid. Men were required to perform regular tours of duty at the several stations in anticipation of Indian attacks, but were excused from this duty if disposed to volunteer for the new expedition. But the continual alarms caused by Indian forays rendered it necessary to keep large numbers of the militiamen constantly on duty at the stations, and before long it became evident that the requisite number of volunteers could not be raised and equipped for the proposed new campaign by the time (August 1st) originally set for the general rendezvous.
"The incursions of the Indians on the frontier of this country," said Gen. Irvine, in a letter written on the 25th of July to the Secretary of War, " will unavoidably prevent the militia from assembling as soon as the 1st of August. Indeed, I begin to entertain doubts of their being able to raise and equip the proposed number this season." Under these circumstances the general thought it proper to extend the time of preparation for the expedition, and accordingly he directed that the forces should assemble on September 20th (instead of August 1st), at Fort McIntosh, as a general rendezvous, and march thence to the invasion of the Indian country.¹
On the 10th of August Col. Marshel received orders from Gen. Irvine to call out from the militia a party of twenty men and an officer to range the country lying on the waters of Ten-Mile and Buffalo Creeks, in Washington County, this order being made in response to an address to the commandant, signed by the principal inhabitants of that region, and asking him for a force to protect their homes against the savages. Gen. Irvine, in giving the desired order to Col. Marshel, said, " Though I do not think there is as much danger as they apprehend, yet if they run, the consequence is the same, and I do not wish any more breaks in the settlements."
The people of Washington County, even more than those of Westmoreland, were firm in their determination to prosecute the new campaign against the Indians at Sandusky. On Thursday, August 22d, the militia officers and principal citizens of the county
¹ Both the State and general government had approved the plan of the expedition, and Gen. Irvine had been appointed to the command of it.
134 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
met at Catfish Camp (the present borough of Washington) to consult together and take measures " for the purpose of carrying an expedition under the command of Brigadier, General Irvine against Sandusky or other Indian towns bordering on our frontier." This meeting resulted in a resolution that the county would furnish its full quota of men and material for the expedition,¹ and that for this purpose all delinquents should be assessed, each individual in proportion to his property, an amount sufficient to cover his share of the necessary expense of the outfit and equipment. It was also agreed that if any horses should be lost in the proposed campaign, and the government should fail or neglect to pay for them for one year after such loss, then the owner of the animal should receive payment from the other members of the company to which he belonged, each contributing in proportion to the assessed value of his estate. The quotas of wheat for the rations of the drafts from each battalion were to be delivered at some mill or mills within the respective districts of such battalions by September 6th next ensuing.
The chairman of this meeting was the county lieutenant, Col. James Marshel, who communicated its proceedings to Gen. Irvine, with the assurance on his part that he had no doubt his county would raise and equip a force of at least five hundred men, to be ready at the appointed rendezvous by the 15th of September, " which," as he said, " will be as soon as the people of the county can possibly be. in readiness." The general was pleased with the patriotism of the meeting, and of its resolutions, but he very plainly indicated in his reply that he doubted the ability of the people to execute what they had promised. He had, however, the grace to say to Col. Marshel, " I trust you will not be mistaken notwithstanding."
The Indians continued to grow bolder and more aggressive in their railings along the border. On the 11th of September, in the evening, an Indian force of two hundred and sixty warriors under the renegade George Girty (brother of the infamous Simon), accom-
¹ The meeting resolved that the county would furnish as its quota six hundred and seventy-one men from the several milit¹a battalions, two hundred and fifty-two horses, and 40,200 rations (to consist of one and one-fourth pounds of flour and the same weight of beef each); also that any person furnishing two hundred rations and delivering the same as directed by the commanding officer of the battalion of his district, or in lieu of such number of rations should furnish and deliver a good and serviceable pack-horse, with pack-saddle, halter, lashing rope, and two kegs (or in their stead one good bag), should receive therefor exemption from and credit fora two months' tour of military duty. The resolution of the meeting was " that each and every battalion of Washington County militia shall furnish the quota of men, provisions, and packhorses, equipped for transportation, hereunto annexed to each and every battalion respectively, namely :
panied by a force of about forty British Rangers from Detroit under Capt. Pratt, of the royal service, attacked the fort (Fort Henry) at Wheeling,² but were repulsed. Other attempts were made by them to carry the place by assault during the day and night of the 12th, but with no better success, and in the morning of the 13th they withdrew from Wheeling with the intention of carrying their depredations to the inland settlements. Their attack on Wheeling is described by Ebenezer Zane in the following letter to Gen. Irvine:³
WELING, 14th September, 1782.
" SIR,–On the evening of the eleventh instant a body of the enemy appeared in sight of our garrison. They immediately formed their lines around the garrison, paraded British colors, and demanded the Fort to be surrendered, which was refused. About 12 o'clock of night they rushed hard on the pickets in order to storm but was repulsed. They made two other attempts to storm before day but to no purpose. About 8 o'clock next morning there came a negro from them to us, and informed us that their force consisted of a British captain and 40 regular soldiers and 260 Indians. The enemy kept up a continual fire the whole day. About ten o'clock at night they made a fourth attempt to storm to no better purpose than the former. The enemy continued round the garrison till the morning of the 13th instant, when they disappeared. Our loss is none. Daniel Sullivan, who arrived here in the beginning of the action, is wounded in the foot.
" I believe they have drove the greater part of our stock away, and might, I think, be soon overtaken. " I am, with due respect, your ob't serv't,
" EBENEZER ZANE." '
When the Indian besiegers found themselves compelled to withdraw from Fort Henry4 without having effected its capture as they had expected to do, the larger part of their force, together with Capt. Pratt's British Rangers, crossed the Ohio with what plunder they had been able to secure, and took their way through the wilderness towards the Sandusky. The remainder of the Indian force, some sixty or seventy in number, took the opposite direction, striking east-
² John Slover, the guide in Crawford's expedition, who made his escape from the Indians after having been tied to the stake for torture, as before narrated, had given warning that the savages were meditating an attended series of operations against the frontier settlements, and that among these projected operations was an attack in force on the poet at Wheeling. This information he said he gained by being present st their councils for several days while in captivity, and fully understanding every word that was uttered by the chiefs on those occasions, as he was entirely familiar with the Delaware, Wyandot, and Shawaneee languages. The tale which Ile brought of theseiintended expeditions by the Indians against the white settlements was not believed by Co1. Cook, Col. Marshal, and Gen. Irvine, but the result proved that Slover had neither misundes. stood nor falsified the intentions of the savages as expressed by their chiefs in council.
³ Proceedings of West Virginia Historical Society, Vol. I., Part I., Appendix, page 102.
4 It is said, and with apparent truth, that the last shotfired by a British soldier in the war of the Revolution was fired in the last assault ol fort in the night of Sept. 12-13, 1782.
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ward towards the interior settlements, bent on massacre and devastation in revenge for their disappointment at Fort Henry. Their objective-point was Rice's fort, on the Dutch Fork of Buffalo Creek, in the present township of Donegal, Washington County.
Intelligence of the attack on Fort Henry was brought to Col. James Marshel at Catfish by Capt. Boggs immediately after the siege began, and while all the Indian and British forces were collected round the fort. On receipt of the information Marshel notified Gen. Irvine by letter as follows :
"THURSDAY, September 12, 1782.
"DEAR SIR,—By an express this moment arrived from Wheeling, I have received the following intelligence, namely : That a large trail, by supposition about two hundred Indians, was discovered yesterday about three o'clock near to that place. Capt. Boggs, who brought the account, says that when he had left the fort about one mile and a half he heard the swivel at Wheeling fired, and one rifle. He further says that Ebenezer McCulloch, from Van Meter's fort, on his way to Wheeling, got within one-half a mile of the place shortly after Boggs left it, where he was alarmed by hearing a heavy and constant fire about the forts, and makes no doubt the fort was then attacked. . . ."
Three days later Col. Marshel communicated to Gen. Irvine further information of the movements of the Indians in the following letter :
"SUNDAY MORNING, 15th September, 1782.
"DEAR SIR,—You may depend upon it, as a matter of fact, that a large body of Indians are now in our country. Last night I saw two prisoners who made their escape from Wheeling in time of the action, and say the enemy consists of 238 Indians and 40 Rangers, the latter commanded by a British officer; that they attacked Wheeling Fort on Wednesday night, and continued the attack until Thursday night, at which time the above deserters¹ left them. That Fort they say was the principal object of the enemy; but it appears, both from their account and the enemy's advancing into the country, that they have despaired of taking it. The deserters say shortly before they left the enemy that they had determined to give up the matter at Wheeling, and Other scatter into small parties in order to distress and plunder the inhabitants, or attack the first small fort they could come at. The latter, I'm this moment informed, is actually the case ; that they have attacked one Rice's Block-House, on what is called the Dutch rk of Bufl'aloe, and it's to be feared it will fall into their hands, as only those have been called upon who are not going upon the expedition. I'm afraid
¹ The two men whom Marshel refers to in this letter, first as " prisoners" and afterwards ss "deserters," were, so says Doddridge, "two white men who had been made prisoners when lads, raised among the Indians, and taken to war with them. These men deserted from them soon after their council at the close of the siege of Wheeling."
they will not turn out as well as they ought to do. If the enemy continues to advance in one body the matter will become serious, and perhaps require our whole strength to repel them. But if it can possibly be avoided I could wish not to call upon a man that's going upon the expedition against Sandusky. Besides, the battalion rendezvous is appointed as soon as the men could possibly be collected. Unless the officers have made their appointments, as you will see by Col. McCleery's ² letter they have done in the first battalion, no doubt ammunition will be wanted on this occasion. A small quantity, such as the bearer can carry, will do. Excuse haste.
“From, Sir, your most obt. humble serv't,
" JAMES MARSHEL."
The fact that the Indians were advancing eastward from Wheeling was known at Rice's fort about half an hour before the savages made their appearance, the intelligence having been brought by Jacob Miller, who learned the news at the house of Dr. Moore, near Catfish, and rode with all possible speed to notify the people at the threatened point, and to take part in the defense. Some of the men from the fort had gone to Hagerstown for supplies, and only five were left to defend it, viz.: George Lefler, Peter Fullenweider, Daniel Rice, George Felebaum, and Jacob Lefler, Jr. This force was increased to six by the arrival of Miller. The Indians soon made their appearance and surrounded the fort. The six defenders fired, and three savages fell. The Indians returned the fire without effect, but in their second volley they killed George Felebaum, who was standing at a port-hole. The ball struck him in the. forehead, and he expired instantly. The firing was kept up during the day, but without any further casualty to the white' men.
Abraham Rice, of the fort, was absent, having set out at once on receipt of the news brought by Miller to go to Lamb's fort, some four miles away, for assistance. He had not been gone long when he heard the firing at his own fort, and at once determined to return and assist in the defense; but he failed in his attempt, for he was discovered by the Indians, who fired a great number of shots and wounded him badly, but he made his escape, and was able to reach Lamb's, whence, after his wounds had been dressed, he set out on his return, having with him a party of twelve men. This was late in the evening. On approaching the besieged fort ten of the party became alarmed and retreated, but Rice and the other two went on. They were soon discovered by an Indian, who thereupon gave the usual alarm, which passed around the entire line encircling the, fort. The savages supposed that a large party of whites was approaching, and after one more fierce but ineffectual attempt to carry the fort they retreated from the place, having lost four warriors by the rifles of the defenders. On the fol-
² Col. William McCleery, sub-lieutenant of Washington County.
136 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
lowing morning a force of about sixty frontiersmen collected and started in pursuit of the Indians, but after proceeding two or three miles it was found that the savages had scattered in small parties, and the pursuit was abandoned. The Indians, however, in their retreat met another party of four white men, two of whom they killed, losing one of their warriors.
The Indian attacks at Wheeling and at Rice's fort. (showing that the savages could make incursions in force and almost at will in spite of the vigilance of the " ranging parties" of militia) materially dampened the ardor of the people with regard to the new Sandusky campaign, notwithstanding that the government had ordered a considerable body of Continental troops to accompany the expedition, in accordance with the wishes of Cols. Marshel and Cook and several of the more prominent among the militia officers of Washington and Westmoreland Counties.
On the 18th of September, two days before the time which had been appointed for the rendezvous at Fort McIntosh,¹ Gen. Irvine addressed communications to Col. Marshel and Col. Cook, saying, " I have this moment received dispatches from the Secretary at War informing me that some regular troops are ordered from below to assist us in our intended expedition. I am &herefore to beg you will immediately countermand the march of the volunteers and others of your counties until further orders. As soon as I am positively assured of the time the troops will be here I shall give you the earliest notice." The time for the assembling of the volunteers and other forces for the expedition was then postponed to the 6th of October ;² but before that time Gen. Irvine had received a letter from the Secretary of War as follows :
" WAR OFFICE, September 27,1782.
" DEAR SIR,—From late accounts forwarded by his Excellency General Washington, we learn that the Indians are all called in [by the British]. This has induced the resolution to lay aside the expedition I mentioned in my last.
" I am, dear sir, your obt. serv't,
" B. LINCOLN."
This caused the commandant at Fort Pitt to abandon all thoughts of the proposed campaign, though he did not immediately notify the county lieutenants to that effect. But on the 18th of October he said,
¹ The letter (before quoted) of Col. Marshal to Gen. Irvine, dated Sept. 15,1782, has the following postscript: "Should you think of joining the Militia, Catfish Camp appears at present to me to be the most suitable place to establish your headquarters, at which place I shall order one Battalion to rendezvous on Tuesday next. I mean those that's going on the Expedition, as Catfish will be in their way to Fort McIntosh."
² In a letter written by Christopher Hays to President Moore, dated "September ye 20th, 1782, he says, "There is a Campaign Proposed to Go against the Sanduskey Towns, to start by the 6th Day of Next Month, under the Command of General Erwine wherein these Counties Quoted themselves To find all Voluntiers and a Number of Regular Troops in Provision During said Campaign which is Nearly if not altogether Ready it Lies Prepared for that Purpose."—Penn. Arch., 1781-83, p. 637.
in a letter to Col. Edward Cook, of Westmoreland, " I received your letter by Sergt. Porter, and one last night from Col. Marshal, which is full of despondency. Indeed, by all accounts I can collect, it would be vain to insist on bringing the few willing people to the general rendezvous, as there is not the most distant prospect that half sufficient would assemble. Under the circumstances I think it will be most advisable to give up the matter at once, and direct the provisions and other articles to be restored to the owners."
About two weeks after Gen. Irvine wrote this letter he received official notification from the Secretary of War (dated October 30th) that the Indian expedition had been abandoned, and thereupon the fact was officially communicated to the lieutenants of Westmoreland and Washington Counties. This ended all thoughts of raising a force to invade the Indian country, and it also closed the military history of this section of country for the period of the war of the Revolution. After the official proclamation of peace, however, and as late as the end of the spring of 1783, Indian depredations were continued to some extent along the Western Pennsylvania and Virginia border, though none of these are found reported as having been committed within the territory which now forms the county of Washington.
Washington Militia in 1784.—The composition of the Washington County militia immediately after the close of the Revolution is shown in a return made by Col. James Marshel, county lieutenant, dated July 7, 1784,³ as follows :
Lieutenant-Colonel, David Phillips; Major, John Small.
First Company.—Number of men, 73.
Captain, James Munn.
Lieutenant, Henry Sawings.
Ensign, William Byars.
Second Company.—Number of men, 74.
Captain, Robert Ritchie.
Lieutenant, Jeremiah Wright.
Ensign, Thomas Sweet.
Third Company.—Number of men, 68.
Captain, William Conner.
Lieutenant, John Conner.
Ensign, Isaac Williams.
Fourth Company.—Number of men, 82.
Captain, Mabra Evans,
Lieutenant, James Wilson.
Ensign, William Goban.
Fifth Company.—Number of men, 60.
Captain, John Robinson.
Lieutenant, Samuel Heth.
Ensign, Thomas Gibson.
Sixth Company.—Number of men, 96.
Captain, Samuel Blackmore.
Lieutenant, George Welsh.
Ensign, Henry Morrison.
Seventh Company.—Number of men, 61.
Captain, William Armstrong.
Lieutenant, John Brackenridge.
Ensign, John Blackburn.
³ Penn. Archives, 1783-86, pp. 287-88.
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Eighth Company.-Number of men, 78.
Captain, William Phillips.
Lieutenant, John Lamb.
Ensign, Archibald Ralston.
Lieutenant-Colonel, Henry Enoch ; Major, James Carmichael.
First Company.-Number of men, 74.
Captain, John Guthrey.
Lieutenant. George Cilsur.
Ensign, Matthew Hannon.
Second Company.-Number of men, 64.
Captain, Andrew Ferley.
Lieutenant, James Blackburn.
Ensign, James Metheney.
Third Company.-Number of men, 80.
Captain, Charles Swan.
Lieutenant, Azariah Davis.
Ensign, William Shepherd.
Fourth Company.-Number of men, 84.
Captain, Thomas Extile.
Lieutenant, Henry Dickinson.
Ensign, John Lindeley.
Fifth Company.-Number of men, 56.
Captain, Elijah Mills.
Lieutenant, Jacob Mills.
Ensign, Elisha Perkins.
Sixth Company.-Number of men, 75.
Captain, James McClelland.
Lieutenant, John Hoit.
Ensign, Joseph Garret.
Seventh Company.-Number of men, 72.
Captain, Robert Sweney.
Lieutenant, Everhart Heel.
Ensign, Henry Hormil.
Eighth Company.-Number of men, 62.
Captain, James Archer.
Lieutenant, John Fee.
Ensign, David White.
John Marshal, lieutenant-colonel; Peter Kidd, major.
First Company.-Number of men, 70.
Captain, Henry Renkon.
Lieutenant, Alexander Kidd.
Ensign, Josiah Scott.
Second Company.-No return.
Third Company.-Number of men, 55.
Captain, Thomas Wells.
Lieutenant, Samuel Leiper.
Ensign, John Wells.
Forth Company.-Number of men, 77.
Captain, Samuel Smith.
Lieutenant, Thomas Marquis.
Ensign, William Wallace.
Fifth Company.-Number of men, 62.
Captain, James Stevenson.
Lieutenant, Arthur Scott.
Ensign, Jesse Renkon.
Sixth Company.-Number of men, 66.
Captain, Thomas Renkon [Rankin?].
Lieutenant, Charles Campbell.
Ensign, William Hays.
Seventh Company.-Number of men, 80.
Captain, John Reed.
Lieutenant, William Herron.
Ensign, James Howld.
Eighth Company.-No return.
Lieutenant-Colonel, David Williamson; Major, Daniel Leet.
First Company.-Number of men, 60.
Captain, Charles Bonner.
Lieutenant, Robert Walker.
Ensign, Philip Briscoe.
Second Company.-No return.
Third Company.-Number of men, 67.
Captain, Thomas Hambleton.
Lieutenant, James Brown.
Ensign, Samuel White.
Fourth Company.-Number of men, 74.
Captain, William Leet.
Lieutenant, Brice Virgin.
Ensign, Ofladiah Holmes.
Fifth Company.-Number of men, 60.
Captain, James Morrison,
Sixth Company.-Number of men, 66.
Captain, Eleazer Williamson.
Lieutenant, John McWilliams.
Ensign, Jacob Miller.
Seventh Company.-Number of men, 71.
Captain, John Cotton.
Lieutenant, Samuel Reddle.
Ensign, James Huston.
Eighth Company.-Number of men, 81.
Captain, Timothy Downing.
Lieutenant, - Anderson.
Ensign, John Williams.
Lieutenant-Colonel, John Guthredge; Major, James Craven.
First Company.-Number of men, 80.
Captain, Eleazer Jenkins.
Lieutenant, Thomas Richeson.
Ensign, Kinsey Davie.
Second Company.-Number of men, 76.
Captain, William Jackman.
Lieutenant, Henry Gregg.
Ensign, James Thomas.
Third Company.-Number of men, 65.
Captain, David Ruble.
Lieutenant, Darby Strahan.
Ensign, Valentine Kindor.
Fourth Company.-Number of men, 66.
Captain, Isaac Ross.
Lieutenant, Frederick Ault.
Ensign, John Huffman.
Fifth Company.-Number of men, 65.
Captain, Edward Seaburn.
Lieutenant, Richard Hogeland.
Ensign, Jeremiah Craven.
Sixth Company.-Number of men, 60.
Captain, George Myers.
Lieutenant, Luther Kerrey.
Ensign, Henry Conrod.
Seventh Company.-Number of men, 73.
Captain, John Worth.
Lieutenant, Thomas Ritchie.
Ensign, Nicholas Johnson, Jr.
Eighth Company.-Number of men, 68.
Captain, Robert Jackman.
Lieutenant, Joseph Brenton.
Ensign, Nathan Powell.
July 7, 1784.
138 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
THE CIVIL AND LEGAL HISTORY.
BY BOYD ORUMRINE.
The Wilderness—The First Settlements—Attempted Removal of Settlers —Council at Fort Pitt, April, 1768—The Treaty of Fort Stanwix—Settlers West of the Monongahela—Bedford County erected.
To write the civil and legal history of Washington County is first, in a general way, to discuss the origin and progress of the settlements within her borders, then the establishment of municipal government and the organization of courts of justice for the due and orderly administration of the law.
The Wilderness. (1750)—The cabins of white men were first built within the original limits of Washington County possibly in 1766, certainly in 1767. In the latter year, if not in the former, the Monongahela had been crossed and settlers had stopped on Dunk-ard Creek, in what is now Greene County, at the mouth of Ten-Mile Creek, and upon Raccoon Creek.
It is thought that, prior to 1750, the hills and 1750. valleys of this State west of the Alleghanies
were untrodden by the feet of white men, except of adventurous traders among the Indians, such as Peter Chartiers and others. Nor were our lands at this date occupied by the homes of the Indians. These prior possessors of the soil resided and had their homes or towns chiefly along and south of the great lakes, though smaller villages, temporary abiding-places, and hunting-camps were here and there . along the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela. There may have been many localities which were unknown to the Indians at the coming of the English. Within the lands lying between the Monongahela and the Ohio, as originally erected into Washington County, the red men had no permanent dwelling-places, although Catfish, a warrior, and Shingis, a king, of the Delawares, had hunting-lodges, the former where Washington now stands,¹ the latter at the mouth of Chartiers Creek.
Thomas Hutchins, the engineer of Bouquet's expedition against the Western Indians in 1764, in his topographical description of Virginia, Pennsylvania, etc., wrote of the country of which our county forms a part nearly a century ago :
"The whole country abounds in Bears, Elks, Buffaloe, Deer, Turkies, &c.,—an unquestionable proof of the extraordinary goodness of its soil.
"In the year 1760, a small town, called Pittsburgh, was built near Fort Pitt, and about 200 families resided in it; but upon the breaking out of the Indian war (in the month of May 1763) they abandoned their houses and retired into the fort.
"In the year 1765, the present town of Pittsburgh was laid out. It is built on the eastern bank of the River Monongahela, about 200 yards from Fort Pitt. . . .
¹ Judging from the point marked " Catfish's Camp" upon the original plot of the town, as laid out on Oct. 13, 1781, it must have been within the present Trinity Hall grounds. A later but a still ancient draft places the old warrior's camp in the same locality.
"The country on both sides of the Ohio, extending South-Easterly and South-Westerly from Fort Pitt to the Mississippi, and watered by the Ohio River and its branches, contains at least a million square miles, and it may, with truth, be affirmed, that no part of the globe is blessed with a more healthful air or climate ;—watered with more navigable rivers and branches communicating with the Atlantic Ocean, by the Rivers Potowmac, James, Rappahannock, Mississippi and St. Lawrence, or capable of producing with less labor or expense Wheat, Indian Corn, Buckwheat, Rye, Oats, Barley, Flax, Hemp, Tobacco, Rice, Silk, Potash, &c., than the country under consideration. And although there are also considerable quantities of high lauds for about 250 miles, (on both sides of the River Ohio,) Southwardly from Fort Pitt, yet even the summite of most of the hills are covered with a deep rich soil, fit for the culture of Flax and Hemp, and it may be also added, that no soil can possibly yield larger crops of Red and White clover, and other useful grasses, than this does."
In a foot-note Hutchins quotes from Gordon, a still earlier traveler :
"This country may, from a proper knowledge, be affirmed to be the most healthy, the most pleasant, the most commodious, and the most fertile spot of earth known to European people."
Francis Parkman, writing of the country west of the Alleghanies in 1760, during the time of the French and Indian war,² says,—
"One vast and continuous forest shadowed the fertile soil, covering the lands as the grass covers a garden lawn, sweepitig over hill and hot. low in 'endless undulation, burying mountains in verdure, and mantling brooks and rivers from the light of day. Green intervals dotted with browsing deer, and broad plains alive with buffalo, broke the sameness of the woodland scenery. Unnumbered rivers seamed the forest with their devious windings. Vast lakes washed its boundaries, where the Indian Voyager, in his birch canoe, could descry no lands beyond the world of waters. Yet this prolific wilderness, teeming with waste fertility, was but a hunting ground and a battle-field to a few fierce hordes of savages. Here and there in some rich meadow opened to the sun, the Indian squaws turned the black mould with their rude implements of bone and iron, and sowed their scanty stores of maize and beans. Human labor drew no other tribute from that exhaustless soil."
Fort Pitt was built by Gen. Stanwix in the year 1759, near the ruins of Fort Du Quesne, destroyed by Gen. Forbes the preceding year. The same writer just quoted says,³—
" Fort Pitt stood far aloof in the forest, and one might journey eastward full two hundred miles before the English settlements began to thicken. Behind it lay a broken and woody tract; then succeeded the great barrier of the Alleghenies, traversing the country in successive ridges, and beyond these lay vast woods extending to the Susquehanna . . . Two roads led from Fort Pitt to the sattlements, one of which was cut by General Braddock in his disastrous march across the mountains from Cumberland in the year 1755. The other, which was more frequented, passed by Carlisle and Bedford, and was made by General Forbes in 1758. Leaving the fort by this latter route, the traveler would find himself, after a journey of fifty-six miles, at the little post of Lign-nier, about a hundred miles from Fort Pitt. It was nestled among the mountains, and surrounded by clearings and log cabins. Awing several small posts and settlements be would arrive at Carlisle, nearly a hundred miles farther east, a place resembling Bedford in its general aspect, although of greater extent. After leaving Fort Bedford numerous houses of settlers were scattered here and there among the valleys, on each side of the road from Fort Pitt, so that the number of families beyond the Susquehanna amounted to several hundreds, thinly distributed over a great space."
What is known as the French and Indian war, the history of which will appear in another part of this work, terminated with the definitive treaty of peace signed between England and France on Feb. 10,
² I. Conspiracy of Pontiac, 147.
³ II. Conspiracy of Pontiac, 3.
CIVIL AND LEGAL—THE WILDERNESS - 139
1763. Then passed from France all her possessions east of the Mississippi, including Canada. Up to this time, says Bancroft, " not a fountain bubbled on the west of the Alleghanies but was claimed as being within the French empire. Louisiana stretched to the head springs of the Allegheny and the Monongahela, of the Kanawha and the Tennessee."
It is thus seen that the lands on which we live, until the period referred to, were claimed to be under the jurisdiction of France, and though when that jurisdiction was removed the territories now of Washington County were as yet unsettled by the white race, still a brief reference to that jurisdiction may be made the starting-point of` these chapters.
In the library of Washington and Jefferson College is a very rare and valuable atlas, with the title page, " Atlas Universel, par M. Robert de Vaugondy, Geographe Ordinaire du Roy et par M. Robert de Vaugondy, son fils, Geographe ord. du Roy, et de S. M. Polonoise Due de Loraine et de Bar, et Associe de L'Academie Royale des Sciences et belle Lettres de Nancy. Avec Privilege du Roy, 1757." The ninety-eighth map of the series is entitled " Partie de L'Amerique Sepentrionale, qui comprend Le Cours de L'Ohio, La Nlle Angleterre, La Nlle York, Le New Jersey, La Pennsylvania, Le Maryland, La Virginie, La Caroline. . . . Avec Privilege 1755." Upon this map, which, as will be observed, is from the French stand-point altogether, the boundary line between Pennsylvania and Louisiana is the western base of the Alleghany Mountains.
On the same map, as is seen from a portion copied to illustrate this chapter, is the Monongahela, " ou Mohongalo," receiving on its west bank three unnamed streams, and on its east one, before it has the waters of Pierre-Rouge (Redstone) on its east bank. Then one more unnamed stream enters it on the west before it receives the " Yauyaugany" from the east ; then flowing on it unites with the " Ohio ou Allegany," coming from the northeast, and with the latter forms the " Ohio ou Splawacipiki." Below the union the Chartiers Creek, running from the south, enters the Ohio; then, farther down, " Bever" Creek from the north. No settlements or villages, either of white men or of the Indians, are indicated upon any of the territory between the Monongahela and the Ohio.¹
France claimed all the lands west of the Alle-ghanies by right of prior discovery, and.the establishment of her power upon the coasts of North America was coeval with the first colonies from England² Samuel Champlain became the father of New France, upon the waters of the St. Lawrence, in 1603. In 1616, Le Caron, Champlain's companion,
¹ It is believed that this French map was made up, partly at least, from tbentap of Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson, published at London in 1754, of the " Most Inhabited Part of Virginia, &c.," which was constructed, as appears upon its face, from surveys of Christopher Gist, made in 1751.
² I. Bancroft, 17-18.
"had passed into the hunting-grounds of the Wyan-dots, and, bound by his vows to the life of it beggar, had, on foot or paddling a bark canoe, gone onward and still onward, taking alms of the savages, till he reached the rivers of Lake Huron." ³ Marquette and Joliette, in 1673, with five Frenchmen and two Algonquins, passed up the Fox River, across the portage and into the waters of the " Ouisconsin," thence to the Mississippi, down beyond the mouth of the Ohio as far as the mouth of the Arkansas, whence they returned.4 In 1682, the same year in which Wm. Penn first came to his new colony on the Delaware, Robert Cavalier de la Salle, having passed with his expedition from the lakes into the Mississippi, in April of that year proceeded to the mouths of that river, and in the name of Louis XIV. took possession of all the lands watered by the Mississippi and its tributaries and named it Louisiana.5 We have already seen how that Louisiana, upon the French map before referred to, extended to the base of the Alleghany Mountains.
History has not recorded when the Ohio was first explored-and made known to white men, but it does not do violence to the judgment to assume that the French, full of adventure, were the first Europeans to become acquainted with its beautiful shores.
" It is known that the French were particularly fond of pursuing discoveries in every direction in which their light boats might be rowed. And it has been supposed that the Ohio and its tributaries had been ascended to their spring-heads at a much earlier date than either history or tradition now informs us."
The first notice taken by Pennsylvania, so far as we are informed, of the claims of France as embracing any part of her western territory was at a meeting of the Provincial Council held on Aug. 4, 1731, Patrick Gordon, Esq., Governor. The Governor laid before the Council a message prepared for t)ste House of Representatives, then in session, which being read was approved. The first part related to the Sugar Islands. The Governor then proceeded to inform the board that the matter mentioned in the close of his intended message related to Indian affairs, and would be found to be of great consequence to the whole province, the details whereof he would leave to Mr. Logan, to whom the information had first been given, and who from his long experience and knowledge in those affairs could give the best account of it.
Mr. Logan "then producing the Map of Louisiana, as inserted in a Book called a New General Atlas, published at London, in the year 1721, first observed from thence how exorbitant the French Claims were on the Continent of America; that by the description in the said Map they claimed a great part of Carolina and Virginia, and laid down Susquehanna as a Boundary of Pennsylvania. Then he proceeded to observe that by virtue of some Treaty, as they allege, the French pretend a Right to all Lands lying on Rivers of the Mouths of which they are possessed; That the River Ohio (a brands of the Mississippi) comes close to those mountains which lye about 120 or 130 miles back of Susquehanna, within the Boundaries of this Province, as Granted by the King's Letters Patent; that adjoining thereto is a fine tract of land called Allegheny, on which several Shawnese Indians had seated themselves. And that by
4 Ibid.. 329.
5 Albach's Western Annals, 61; II. Bancroft, 338.
6 Patterson's History of the Backwoods, 10.
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the Advices lately brought to him by severabgraders in those parts, it appears that the French have been using Endeavors to gain over those Indians to their Interest,"¹ etc.
Whereupon recommendations were at once made to the House of Representatives to prepare for a treaty to be made with the Five Nations.
Pennsylvania was thus warned as early as 1731 that a powerful continental nation, with which the parent kingdom was then at peace, was threatening a foothold upon fertile lands within her own charter limits, yet, disturbed for many years by a controversy with Lord Baltimore concerning her southern boundary, and also by disagreements between the proprietary Governors and the provincial Assemblies, as well as by continually embarrassing relations in her Indian affairs in her undoubted possessions and settlements east of the mountains, for many years she made no effort to repel the French intrusion ; indeed, not until Virginia, in 1748 and 1749, had taken the initiative in the establishment of the Ohio Company in the vicinity of the Pittsburgh of to-day, for the purpose of displacing the French enlodgment, did Pennsylvania manifest an interest in the subject ; where her western boundary might lie she seemed to know little and care less. It was the Virginia occupation in 1748-49, resulting in the French and Indian war, the history whereof and of the French expulsion will be elsewhere related, which brought to Pennsylvania a suggestion of watchfulness to her western boundary.
The First Settlements. — The jurisdiction of France bad not yet been determined in the valley of the Ohio when Englishmen began to settle upon the waters of the Monongahela. In 1751, at a council with the Six Nations, Delawares, and Shawanese, held by George Croghan, then the deputy Indian agent, at Logstown,² an Indian village on the Ohio about eighteen miles below Pitts-
¹ III. Col. Records, 401.
² Where was Logstown ? On March 10, 1777, depositions were taken at the house of John Ormsby, in Pittsburgh, in relation to the claim of the Indiana Company to lands conveyed by the Six Nations at the treaty at Fort Stanwix in November, 1768. The deposition of Edward Ward was as follows:
"Major Edward Ward Deposeth and saith that at the beginning of the year 1754, William Trent, Esquire, was appointed by Governor Dinwid-die, of Virginia, Captain of a company to be raised, of which this deponent was appointed Ensign by the said Trent, who assembled the Chiefs & Deputies of the Six Nations, and requested of them permission to erect a Trading-House at the Junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, to carry on a Free and Open Trade with the Six Nations and their dependants, which was granted by the said Deputies, with this restriction that he was to found no Settlement or Improvements on the said Land, but un the Contrary to Evacuate the same when required by the Six Nations, after which the said Captain Trent inlisted a number of men not exceeding thirty-three, and proceeded to erect a Fort at the place before mentioned. That on the 17th of April following, and before the Fort was nearly completed, this Deponent, who commanded in the absence of Capt Tient, was put to the necessity of surrendering the possession to a Superior number of Troops, Commanded by a French off¹cer, who demanded it in the name of the King of France, at which time the Half-King and a number of the Six Nations in the English Interests were present. This deponent further saith that in the year 1752, and before his surrender to the French, there was a small Village Inhabited
burgh, a Dunkard came from Virginia and requested leave to settle on the " Yogh-yo-gaine River, a branch of the Ohio," when he was told that he must apply to the Onondaga Council, and be recommended by the Governor of Pennsylvania.³ But the first actual white settlers west of the Laurel Hill mountains were doubtless Wendell Brown and his two sons, Maunus and Adam, and perhaps another son, Thomas. They came in 1751, and settled below the mouth of Little Jacobs Creek, in Fayette County,4 not far from New Geneva. Then followed Christopher Gist, in 1753; William Jacobs, in 1761, at the mouth of Redstone Creek ; William Colvin, in 1764, where Brownsville now stands ; Lemuel Barrett, in 1763, where Bridgeport now is ;5 William Crawford, on the Youghiogheny, opposite Connellsville, in 1765.6 It is thus seen that the beginning of the settlements west of the Alleghanies was prior to the commencement of the French and Indian war in 1754, and they continued until that war terminated, and was followed by Pontiac's conspiracy in 1764; but not until the period of the peace which followed Bouquet's expedition in the year last named were there any settlements made west of the Monongahela River.
Books and papers heretofore printed upon the history of the country lying between the Monongahela and Ohio inform us that the settlements within our limits began about 1770, and increased very rapidly in 1771, 1772, and 1773. Dr. Doddridge states that the settlements on this side of the mountains commenced along the Monongahela, and between that river and the Laurel Ridge, in the year 1772, and that in the succeeding year they reached the Ohio River.' This is certainly incorrect.
Before it is shown, however, when our earliest 'set-
by the Delawares on the Southeast side of the Allegheny River, in the neighborhood of that place, and that old Kittaning, on the same side of the said river, was then Inhabited by the Delawares; that about one-third of the Shawaneee Inhabited Loggstown, on the west side of the Ohio, and tended corn on the East side of the River, and the other part of the Nation lived on the Scioto River. That the Deputies of the Six Nations, after the surrender, joined the Virginia Forces, Commanded by Colonel George Washington, who was then on his march, at the Little Meadows, and continued with him in the service of Virginia till after the defeat of Monsieur La Force and a party of French Troops under hie Command." See this affidavit in full in I. Calendar of Va. State Papers, 278. At the time it was made Edward Ward was a justice in the To-hogania County Court, of which more hereafter.
³ V. Col. Records, 531.
4 Veech's The Monongahela of Old, 79.
5 Ibid., 80, 81.
6 I. Cal. Va. State Papers, 280.
7 " Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania," by Dr. Joseph Doddridge, page 129. Dr. Doddridge was the eldest son of John Doddridge, of Maryland, who first immigrated to Friend's Cove, 4 few miles south of Bedford, but in 1773 removed with his family to a place a short distance from West Middletown in this county. The author of the work referred to was born at the settlement near Bedford in 1769, and was with his father when the removal referred to was made. A younger brother was Philip Dodd-ridge, who became celebrated in early times as an able and eloquent lawyer. The notes on the settlements were written in 1824, and the author died in 1826, at Wellsburg, where he is buried. The brother, Philip, died in 1832, at Washington, D. C., while a member of Congress.
CIVIL AND LEGAL—ATTEMPTED REMOVAL OF SETTLERS - 141
tlers began to arrive, it should be stated that all settlements made west of the Alleghanies within the present limits of Southwestern Pennsylvania prior to the treaty of Fort Stanwix, on Nov. 5, 1768, were without authority and illegal. The policy observed by both the province of Pennsylvania and the colony of Virginia was not to permit of improvements upon lands until they had been purchased from the Indians ; doubtless, if not in recognition of rightful ownership, at least to avoid hostilities on the part of the red men. Braddock's road, opened for the army of that ill-fated general in 1755, carried to Redstone (now Brownsville) by Col. Burd in 1759, was the gateway through the mountain barrier, first used and most generally by immigrants from Maryland and Virginia, and later by immigrants from the older counties of Pennsylvania in the east; and, though the boundary contest between the two governments had not begun actively for several years yet, still both governments had sought to prevent the occupation of white settlers until the Indian title had been extinguished. Capt. Alexander Mackay, with a party of the Forty-second Regiment of the king's forces, was sent from Fort Pitt to Redstone Creek, and on June 1, 1766, he issued a proclamation warning the settlers in that vicinity away. Soon afterward, in July of the same year, Governor Fauquier, of Virginia, issued a like proclamation. And so, in the following September, Governor Penn, by proclamation, prohibited " all his Majesty's subjects of this or any other province or colony from making any settlements, or taking any possession of lands, by marking trees or otherwise, beyond the limits of the last Indian purchase (that of 1754) within this province, upon pain of the severest penalties of the law, and of being excluded from the privilege of securing such settlements should the lands where they shall be made be hereafter purchased of the Indians."¹ These prohibitions were but following the proclamation of the king, of a like tenor, made at the termination of the French and English war in 1763, though they were of but little if any effect. The immigrants from "over the mountains" still came, singly, or with a few old neighbors or acquaintances. They made friends with the natives by their trade and intercourse, and, though no record has come down to us of their daily life and habits during this period, yet the nature and character of such an existence can be supplied by the imagination. And though there was still peace and a friendship with the individual hunters of the tribes, nevertheless there were threats and warnings from the chiefs of the nations, indicating that the intrusion upon their hunting-grounds was not accepted with equanimity. In the councils with the deputies of the ruling nation complaints were loud and frequent.
Attempted Removal of Settlers.—At length in
¹ see The Monongahela of Old, 86 ; IX. Col. Records, 327.
- 10 -
December, 1767, shortly after Mason and Dixon's line had been extended to the second crossing of Dunkard Creek, near what is now Mount Morris, in Greene County, where the distinguished surveying party was stopped by the watchful Indians, Gen. Gage, commanding at New York, wrote to Governor Penn :
"The accounts which I have lately received from all quarters are full of Intelligence of the dissatisfaction of the Indians, and of their ill Disposition towards us. I am now called upon by a letter I have received from Sir William Johnson,² expressive of his apprehensions of an immediate Rupture with the Indians unless some means are fallen upon to pacify them, to acquaint you that altho' several Causes for their present ill temper are suggested, yet the Insults they have received from the frontier people, chiefly from those of Virginia, and the obstinacy of the People who persist to settle on their lands, not only without their consent hut in contradiction to their warmest Remonstrances, and the endeavors that have been used to remove them, I perceive to be the most immediate cause of their discontent."
The letter recommended the adoption of effectual measures to remove " these Lawless Settlers," and a like letter was addressed to the authorities of the colony of Virginia.
The reply of Governor Penn, at an early date afterward, promised a reference of the subject to the Assembly to meet in the next month, and then proceeded :
" With respect to the Insufficiency of the Laws to secure the Indians in their Persons and Properties, I would beg leave to observe that the remote Situation of their Country, and the dispersed and Vagrant manner in which the People live, will generally render the best Laws that can be framed for those Ends in a great measure ineffectual. The Civil Officers whose Business it is to see that they are duly enforced, cannot exert their authority in so distant and extensive a wilderness. In the execution, therefore, of the present interesting matter, I am persuaded that notwithstanding all the Legislature can do I shall find it necessary to apply to the Military aid, which you have so readily offered me in support of the Civil Power. Yet I fear that while the Severity of the weather in the Winter Season continues, it will be found extremely difficult if not impracticable to oblige these Lawless people to abandon their present habitations, and to remove with their Families and Effects into the interior part of the Country, and I am of Opinion it would be unadvisable to make any attempts of that kind before Spring."
The Assembly met on the 4th of January, 1768, when the Governor at once laid before that body a
² Sir William Johnson was the agent for Indian affairs on the part of the crown, and resided in a splendid residence called Johnson Hall on the Mohawk River, about thirty miles from Albany, N. Y. He came to America in 1734; in 1755 he was in command of the provincial troops of New York in the expedition against Crown Point, and commanded the expedition against Niagara in 1759. In his capacity of Indian agent he had acquired a powerful influence over the Indians, and there is an anecdote related of him which shows that in his intercourse with them ho had not failed to learn their cunning. Having sent to England for a finely laced suit of clothes, on their arrival, Hendrick, the chief of the Mohawks. was dazzled with their splendor. His vanity could not be appeased, and he hit upon an expedient to gratify it. He went to Sir William one morning and demurely told him that in the preceding night he had dreamed that the baronet had generously presented him with a suit of his laced clothes. The hint could not be mistaken, and the chief went away happy with the result of his ingenuity. In a few days, however, Sir William made known to his Indian majesty a dream he had had, that the chief bad given him a tract of land containing several thousand acres. "The land is yours," said Hendrick, "but now, Sir William, I never dream with you again; you dream too hard for me." Sir William died on July 11, 1774, at his home. (See I. Olden Time, p. 520; Blake's Biog. Dict., p. 665.)
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message, accompanied with the correspondence referred to, and stating the causes of the impending Indian hostilities to the settlements made and being,made upon their unpurchased lands, and further stating,—
"And I must inform you that those Settlements upon the Indian Lands to the westward of the Allegheny Mountains, now appear by the Line lately Run between Pennsylvania and Maryland, to be within the bounds of this province. . . . I must earnestly recommend to you the framing of a Law not only to remedy the present Evil, but to punish future Delinquencies of the same kind, &c."
The Assembly, while preparing a bill intended to effect the purpose desired, responded to the Governor's message in a long address, showing a full appreciation of the necessity for cautious treatment of the tribes, and soon afterward an anxious letter was received by the Governor direct from Sir William Johnson, in which it was said,—
"There are doubtless amongst the Scattered Tribes living in back parts of that Country, several Idle Indians, who may, from motives of private Interest, be persuaded to give some encouragement to the Settlers; but these are private acts of Persons who would not presume to avow them to the Confederacy, whose sole Right it is, and whose Resentment may have a most fatal Tendency, &c."
The result of this correspondence, necessarily so interesting to the present residents of the Monongahela valley,¹ was that on Feb. 3, 1768, there was passed " a most terrifying law," the first one enacted at that session. This act, after reciting that " many disorderly people, in violation of his Majesty's proclamation, have presumed to settle upon lands not yet purchased from the Indians, to their damage and great dissatisfaction, which may be attended with dangerous and fatal consequences to the peace and safety of this province," enacted,—
"That if any Person or Persons, settled upon any Lands within the Boundaries of this Province, not purchased of the Indians by the Proprietaries thereof, shall neglect or refuse to remove themselves and Fam. ilies off and from the same Lands, within the Space of Thirty days after he or they shall be required so to do; . . .lor if any Person or Persons being so removed, shall afterwards return to his or their Settlements, or the Settlement of any other Person, with his or their Family, or without any Family, to remain and settle on such Lands; or if any Person shall, after the said Notice to be given as aforesaid, reside and settle on such Lands, every such Person and Persons, so neglecting or refusing to remove with his Family, or returning to settle as aforesaid, or that shall settle on such Lands after the Requisition or Notice aforesaid, being thereof legally convicted by their own confession or the Verdict of a Jury, shall suffer death without the Benefit of Clergy," ²
On Feb. 24, 1768, Governor John Penn issued his proclamation, embracing the provisions of the act quoted from, and warning all persons offending against it with the penalties therein provided. The same day Rev. John Steel, a fighting parson of Carlisle, Cumberland Co., John Allison and Christopher Lemes, Esqs., and Capt. James Potter, also of Cum-
¹ Published at length in IX. Col. Records, 403 to 412.
² IX. Col. Records, 481. The benefit of clergy was this: By the old English law the clergy, because they were supposed to have more of the good thing of learning than other persons, were exempted from the punishment of death imposed for the commission of certain crimes. Later statutes gave this exemption to all persons who could read and write. But the Stat. 7, Geo. IV., c. 28, s. 6, after our Revolution, abolished this exemption, and thereafter the learned and the unlearned suffered in the same way for the commission of crime.
berland County, were sent to the Monongahela valley with printed copies of the proclamation and with full instructions in writing.³
On March 15, 1768, George Croghan, a deputy superintendent of Indian affairs under Sir William Johnson, wrote the Governor that he was about to proceed to Fort Pitt, to hold a council with the Western Indians, whom he expected to meet there on the 25th of that month, and stating that if Pennsylvania was to be represented by commissioners at that council they should set off in a few days,4 whereupon John Allen and Joseph Shippen, the latter being the secretary of the Provincial Council, were duly appointed, though the council with the Indians was not held until a later date than that fixed.
The Rev. John Steel and his companions proceeded in due time to their destination, had several conferences with the settlers, and when they reached Fort Cumberland (now Cumberland, Md.) on their return they made the following report to the Governor, here printed entire, as throwing so much light upon the early history of the Monongahela valley :5
"FORT CUMBERLAND, April 2, 1788.
"May it please your Honour:
" Having in our return reached Fort Cumberland, and being here to part, We concluded it necessary to prepare an Extract from our Journal of what appeared to us most important, which We Ordered to be transmitted to your Honour by Mr. Steel.
" We arrived at the Settlement on Red Stone, on the twenty-third Day of March. The People having heard of our coming had appointed* Meeting among themselves on the twenty-fourth, to consult what maw ures they should take. We took the advantage of this Meeting,Read the Act of Assembly and Proclamation explaining the law, and giving the Reason of it as well as we could, and used our Endeavors to persuade them to comply, alleging to them that it was the most probable Method to entitle them to favour with the Honourable Proprietaries when the Land was purchased. After Lamenting their distressed Condition, they told us the People were not fully collected, but, as they expected, all would attend on the Sabbath following, and then they would give an answer.
"They, however, affirmed that the Indians were very Peaceable, and seemed sorry they were to be removed: and said they apprehended the English intended to make War upon the Indians, as they were moving off their People from their Neighborhood.
" We labored to persuade them that they were imposed on by a few straggling Indians; that Sir William Johnson, who had informed our Government, must be better acquainted with the mind of the Six Nations, and that they were displeased with the White People's settliugon their unpurchased Lands. On Sabbath, the twenty-seventh day of March, a considerable Number attended, (their Names are Subjoined,) and most of them told us they were resolved to move off, and would Petition your Honour for a Preference in obtaining their Improvement. when a Purchase was made.
" While We were conversing we were informed that a number of Indians were come to Indian Peter's ;6 We judging it might be subser-
³ IX. Col. Records, 483
4 Ibid., 491.
5 The writer is of the opinion that in the preparation of local the better method is, first, to observe as closely as possible a chronologik cal arrangement, and, second, to allow the actors to speak for themoolvii when letters, papers, or documents of any kind are used. To quote vet` batim from such sources enables the reader to form hie own judgmati not only as to the individuality of the person whose words are read,b4 also as to the subject matter, illuminated sometimes by the quaint curious speech. In this belief literal copying is observed, even spelling of proper names.
6Indian Peter, of whom but little is known save what appears mere reference to his name in ancient records, had lived just where Uniontown now stands, adjoining Philip Shiite, a German. wrote the Governor of Pennsylvania that be couldn't "get along with
CIVIL AND LEGAL—COUNCIL AT FORT PITT, 1768. - 143
vient to our main design, that the Indians should be present, while We advising the People to obey the Law, sent for them; They came; after Sermon delivered a speech, with a string of Wampum¹ to be tied to Your Honour. This Speech was: Ye are come, sent by Great Men, to tell these People to go away from the Land, Which By is ours; and we are sent, by our Great Men, and are glad We have here this day. We tell you the White People must Stop, and We them 'till the Treaty, and when George Croghan, and our great will talk together, we will tell them what to do.' The names of Indians are subjoined. The Indians were from Mingo Town, about ty Miles from Redstone. After this the People were more Confirmed there was no danger of War. They dropped the design of Petition-and said they would wait the issue of the Treaty ; some, however,
they would move off. We had sent a messenger to Cheat River, to Stewart's Crossings, on the Yougheoghenny, with Several Procne, requesting them to meet us at Guesse's place, as most Central both Settlements.
“On the thirtieth of March about thirty or fourty men met us there. We proceeded as at Red Stone, reading the Act of Assembly, and a Proclamation, and endeavored to convince them of the Necessity and Reasonableness of quitting the unpurchased Land, but to no purpose. They had heard what the Indians had said at Red Stone, and reasoned in same manner, declaring that they had no Apprehensions of a war that they would attend the Treaty, and take their Measures accordingly. Many severe things were said of Mr. Croghan, and one Lawrence Harrison treated the Law and Government, with too much disrespect. FOn the thirty-first of March, We came to the Great Crossings ougheoghenny, and being informed by one Speer, that eight or ten Families lived in a place called Turkey-Foot, We sent some Proclamations thither by said Speer, as We did to a few Families nigh the little judging it unnecessary to go amongst them. It is our opinion that some will move off in Obedience to the Law, that the greatest Part will wait the Treaty, and if they find that the Indians are indeed dissatisfied. We think that the whole will be persuaded to Remove. The Indians coming to Red Stone, and delivering their Speech, greatly obstructed our design. We are, your Honour's most obedient,
"most humble Servants,
"TO HONOURABLE JOHN PENN, ESQ., LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR, ETC.
"The Indians Names who came to Red Stone, viz.:
“ Captain Haven; Captain Hornets; Captain Mygog Wigo; Captain wach; Captain Strikebelt ; Captain Pouch; Captain Gilly ; Captain bells.
“ The Names of Inhabitants near Red Stone:
"John Wiseman; Henry Prisser ; William Linn; William Colvin; John Vervaleou; Abraham Tygard, (Teagarden ;) Thomas Brown; Richard Rodgers; John Delong ; Peter Young; Geo. Martin; Henry Swats; Jos McLeon; Jesse Martin; Adam Hatton; John Verval, Jun.; Jam's Waller; Thos. Douter, (Douthitt ;) Captain Coburn; Michael Hooter; w Linn; Gabriel Conn ; Thos. Down; Andrew Gudgeon, (Gudgel ;) Philip Sute, (Shute;) James Crawford; John Peters; John Martin; Hans Cack (Cock;) Daniel Meetly; Josias Crawford; One—Province.
“Names of some who met us at Guesses (Gist's) Place:
"James Lyne; . . . Bloinitield, (Brownfield;) Eze. Johnson, Thomas Guesse, (Gist,) Char. Lindsay ; Jatus Wallace, (Waller;) Richard Harrison; Phil. Site, (Shute,); Jet. Johnson; Henry Burkon, (Burkham ;) Lawrence Harrison, Ralph Hickenbotton.
“Names of the People at Turkey-foot:
“Henry Abrahams; Eze. Dew it ; Janis. Spence; Benj. Jennings; Jno. Cooper; Eze. Hickman ; Jno. Enslow ; Henry Enslow; Benj. Pursley."
the d—d Dutchman," and wished to give up his land for another tract. He then settled just opposite Redstone Old Fort, where 'West Brownsville now stands, and no doubt lived there at the time of Rev. Steel's visit. The tract was warranted to him on April 5, 1769, under the name of “Indian Hill."
¹ Wampum was an Iroquois word meaning a mussel. Such shells are made into beads, each a cylinder about three-eighths of an inch long, and about one-eighth of an inch thick, and strung upon a string, constituting a string of wampum. Such strings plaited together made a belt of wampum. Everything of moment transacted at solemn council, and every message delivered, was ratified by a string or belt of wampum.
When he had reached his home, the Rev. Mr. Steel wrote again to the Governor, by way of a supplement ary report :
"May it please your Honour: " CARLISLE, April 11, 1768.
"Upon my return to Carlisle, the 8th instant, I had the Pleasure to see your brother Allen, and Secretary Shippen, in their way to Fort Pitt. The Secretary requested a Copy of our Journal, believing it might be of some Use to them, with which they were immediately furnished, and further advised me to wait an Opportunity rather than hire an Express, to Transmit to your Honour our Papers, which I am favored with in the present Bearer. Sir, there is one thing which, in preparing the Extract of our Journal, happened to be overlooked, viz.: The People at Red Stone alleged that the removing of them from the unpurchased Lands, was a Contrivance of the Gentlemen and Merchants of Philadelphia, that they might take Rights for their improvements when a Purchase was made. In confirmation of this, they said that a Gentleman of the name of Harris, and another called Wallace, with one Friggs, a Pilot, spent a considerable time last August, in viewing the Lands and Creeks thereabouts. We promised to acquaint your Honour with this.
" I am of Opinion, from the appearance the People made,and the best intelligence We could obtain, that there are but about an hundred and fifty Families in the different Settlements of Redstone, Yougheoghenny and Cheat River. . . .”²
Council at Fort Pitt, 1768.—The council with the Indians was held at Fort Pitt, now Pittsburgh, beginning on April 26th, and ending on the 9th of May. There were, among others of the 1768. whites, George Croghan, deputy Indian , agent for Indian affairs, John Allen and Joseph Shippen, Jr., commissioners on the part of Pennsylvania, and the officers of the garrison. Of the Six Nations there were 12 chiefs, 6 chief warriors, with 293 warriors, besides women and children ; of the Delawares, 13 chiefs, 9 chief warriors, with 311 warriors, besides women and children ; of the Shawanese, 10 chiefs, 8 chief warriors, with 141 warriors, besides women and children ; Munsies, 5 chiefs, with 196 warriors, besides women and 'children ; Mohickons, 3 chiefs, with 90 warriors, besides women and children ; of Wyandots, 7 were sent; in all there were 1103 Indians, besides women and children.³
The conference, lasting for many days, was upon two principal matters : one, the pacification of the Indians as to murders of members of different tribes committed at a late date, particularly the killing of several Indians upon the Susquehanna by one Frederick Stump and John Ironcutter, his servant, on January 10th preceding; and the other, the arranging of difficulties which had arisen on account of the settlements already made and being made upon their lands. Many speeches were delivered, and much formality observed at this well-attended conclave. The passions aroused among the natives by the outrages admitted to have been committed upon them were rather easily arranged by shrewd management and a "condolence" in the shape of presents, amounting in value to upwards of fifteen hundred pounds, and towards the end of the council the matter of the removal of the settlers from the Monongahela was
² The foregoing correspondence is published in IX. Col. Records, 50610.
³ See for the parties present and the proceedings in full, IX. Col, Records, 516; I. Olden Time, 344.
144 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
brought forward. It will be remembered that Allen and Shippen had been supplied by Rev. Mr. Steel, at Carlisle, with a copy of the minutes of the conference had with the settlers at Redstone on the 27th of March. The whites seemed to await with some impatience an opportunity to open the debate upon this subject; and indeed it would appear, as shown by the result, that there was more anxiety on the part of the Pennsylvania authorities that the settlers should remove, than there were on the part of the Indians themselves, on whose account such furious legislation and proclamations had been made and issued.
At the session on the 2d of May, a week after the council began, Tohonissagarrawa, a chief of the Six Nations, by whom as the lords paramount all the lands in this western country were claimed to be owned, said through an interpreter to Brother Onas, as the Governor of Pennsylvania was called,—
" Brother : It is not without grief that we see our Country settled by You without our knowledge or Consent; and it is a long Time since we first complained to you of this Grievance, which we find has not yet been redressed, but settlements are still extending further into our Country. Some of them are made directly on our war Path, leading to our Enemies Country, and we do not like it.¹ You have laws amongst you to govern your People by, and it will be the Strongest Proof of the Sincerity of your Friendship to let us see that you remove the People from our Lands; as we look upon it, it will be Time enough for you to settle them, when you have purchased them and the Country becomes yours."²
The reply of the Pennsylvania commissioners was made on the 4th of May, in which they expressed their pleasure that they had so good an opportunity of acquainting the Indians of the endeavors which had been made to do them justice in this respect, and proceeded to recite the issuance by the Governor of the proclamation which had been unobserved. " As the people," said they, " who have settled on your Lands came chiefly from Virginia, the Governor of that Province, likewise, issued Proclamations and orders to the same Purpose. The King's General too [His Excellency General Gage] hath twice sent parties of Soldiers to the people living on Red-Stone Creek and the Monongahela to warn them off your Lands, and threatened them with seizing their persons and effects if they refused to move away." They then informed the Indians of the passage of the law inflicting the penalty of death on all persons who should continue on their lands after the first day
¹ That is, on Diinkard Creek.
² That the Indians, though wild and untamable, were nevertheless not devoid of reason and eloquence an extract is made from a speech on the land question at another council by Gachradodow to Asaragoa, the Indian name of the Governor of Virginia : "The world at the first was made on the other Side of the great Water, different from what is on this Side, as may be known from the different Colours of our Skin and of our flesh, and that which you call Justice may not be so amongst us; you have Laws and Customs and so have we. The Great King might send you over to conquer the Indians, but it looks to us That God did not approve of it. If he had he would not have placed the Sea where it is as the Limits between us and You." For an affecting scene, showing real eloquence on the part of the uncultivated Indian, see the proceedings of the council of condolence held at Shamokin (Sunbury), in 1769, to appease the Indians on account of the murder of Seneca George's son by a nephew of old Conrad Weiser, in IX. Col. Records, 618.
of the next June; that four prudent and honest men had been sent among the settlers to distribute copies of the act, and of the proclamation commanding strict obedience to it under the penalties provided ; that the messengers had returned home and reported to the Governor that they had executed his orders, but that they were told by the people settled at and near Redstone Creek that they had been encouraged by the Indians themselves to continue on those lands, but they would obey the law and move off without delay :
"But Brethren we are sorry to tell you that as soon as the Men sent by the Governor had prevailed on the settlers to consent to a compliance with the Law, there came among them eight Indians, who live at Mingo town, down this River, and desired the People not to leave their Settlements, but to sit quiet on them till the present Treaty at this place should be concluded. The People on receiving this advice and encouragement suddenly changed their minds, and determined not to quit their places till they should hear further from the Indians."
The commissioners then quoted the speech made at Redstone by the Mingo warriors,³ and expressed their great anxiety at this behavior of the Indians, as it had absolutely frustrated the efforts being made to remove the intruders from their lands. They then proposed that the Indians would send some of their wise and prudent men " to the people settled at Redstone, Youghogany, and Monongahela, to contradict the advice of the eight Indians from the Mingo Town," and the commissioners would send an "honest and discreet" white man to accompany them :
"And, Brethren, if after receiving such notice from you they shall refuse to remove by the time limited them, you may depend upon it the Government will not fail to put the Law into immediate Execution against them."
On the 6th of May, Beaver, a chief of the Delawares, said,—
"The Country lying between this River and the Allegheny Mountains has always been our Hunting Ground, but the White People who have scattered themselves over it have, by their hunting, deprived us of the Game, which we look upon ourselves to have the only right to, and we desire you will acquaint our Brother, the Governor, of this, and prevent their Hunting there for the future."
The proposition to send messengers to the settlers was assented to on the 9th of May, and White Mingo and the three deputies sent from the Six Nations were selected by the Indians, to be accompanied by John Frazer and John Thompson, appointed as the " honest and discreet" representatives of the province. The latter received written instructions, definite and imperative in terms, but when ready to depart up the river they sent several times for the Indian messengers, " who at last came to the fort and acquainted them that they had been seriously considering the business they were going to be sent on, and it now appeared to them. so disagreeable that they could by no means consent to undertake it, and immediately returned the wampum which had been given them." They at first set up a want of power from their superiors, being present only as deputies, and they further added " that the driving white
³ See page 143.
CIVIL AND LEGAL—SETTLERS WEST OF MONONGAHELA - 145
people away from their settlements was a matter which no Indians could with any satisfaction be concerned in, and they thought it most proper for the English themselves to compel their own people to remove from the Indians' lands."
The Indians appointed to carry the message having declined, the commissioners vainly endeavored to procure the appointment of others in their stead, and therefore concluded to abandon the attempt. But before they left for Philadelphia, Guyasutha came with Arroas, a principal warrior of the Six Nations, to the commissioners at their lodgings, where the former made the following statement, givilig most judicious reasons for their failure to send the niessengers, as they had engaged to do :
“... We were, all of us, much disposed to comply with your Request, and expected it would have been done without diff¹culty, but I now find that not only the Indians appointed by us, but all our other young Men are very unwilling to carry a Message from us to the White People, ordering them to remove from our Lands. They say they would not chime to incur the ill will of those People ; for if they should be now removed they will hereafter return to their Settlements when the English have purchased the Country from us. And we shall be very unhappy if, by our Conduct towards them at this time, we shall give them Reason to dislike us, and treat us in an unkind Manner when they again become our Neighbors. We therefore hope, Brethren, you will not be displeased at us for not performing our Agreement with you, for Yon may be assured that we have good Hearts toward all our Brethren, the English."
The result was that the settlers, " chiefly from Virginia," were not removed from the homes they,had established in the then wilderness of the Monongahela valley ; nor did any of them suffer the death penalty provided by a timid Assembly ; if such had been the case there might have been a less number of the Linns, the Colvins, the Teagardens, the Browns, the Rodgers, the Swartses, the Martins, the Harrisons, within and near the bounds of Washington County than we have at present.
The efforts to dispossess the early settlers are thought to have produced two very 'natural consequences: first, they tended to alienate the settlers from the Pennsylvania govermnent, and to turn them the more readily to Virginia in the boundary controversy which after a time followed ; and again, they contributed, as has been thought, with other influences to maintain a good feeling between the early pioneers and the Indians, by which means the filling up of the lands westward of the Alleghanies to the Ohio River was rapidly promoted.
Treaty at Fort Stanwix, 1768.—The speech of Guyasutha clearly foreshadowed an expected treaty by which the Indian title to this country was to be purchased. Accordingly in the fall of the same year, under the supervision of Sir William Johnson, the treaty was held at -Fort Stanwix, now Rome, Oneida Count , N. Y., for the important purpose of settling a general boundary line between them (the Indians) and the neighboring colonies.¹
¹ IX. Col. Records, p. 545.
Governor Penn intended to be present at this treaty on Sept. 7, 1768, but was obliged to return before it was opened. The Council was not begun till October 24th, and on November 5th was transacted the business which more immediately concerns us, to wit, the purchase by the proprietary government of Pennsylvania of the Indian title to a large part of the lands of the province. This purchase included all of the present counties of Washington, Greene, Fayette, Westmoreland ; all of Allegheny and Beaver south of the Ohio River, and then extended northeast to Susquehanna and Wayne.
The settlers were now no longer to be disturbed by the government on account of objections from the Indians, and on Feb. 26, 1769, notice was given by an advertisement from the land-office that on the 3d of April ensuing the land-office would be opened to receive applications for lands within the new purchase at the rate of five pounds sterling per one hundred acres, and one penny per acre quit-rent. No person was to be allowed more than three hundred acres. On the day when the office was opened numbers of applications for lands within the limits of Washington County were granted, as will soon appear by a reference to a few of them.
Settlers West of Monongahela.—But before the 3d of April, when lands west of the Alleghenies could lawfully be acquired,—indeed, before the council at Fort Pitt and the treaty at Fort Stanwix,—there were many settlements made west of the Monongahela River, and extending well towards the Ohio. It is now believed, indeed documentary evidence has made it clear, that in and prior to 1767 settlers had made improvements here and there all over the beautiful country extending from Fort Pitt southward to the boundary line and between the two rivers named. It is not purposed here to show these settlements in detail, but it is beyond doubt that as early as 1767 Everhart Hupp, Abraham Teagarden, and Jesse Baumgartner settled at or near the mouth of Ten-Mile Creek, and on April 3, 1769, the first day of the opening of the land-office, warrants were granted to William Preston, Robert Harrison, Paul Fooks, and David Evans for the four tracts which afterwards made up the Morganza property when purchased, a little before 1796, by Col. George Morgan. On April 5, 1769, Phineas Kellum,. or Killeum, obtained a warrant for a tract on the North Fork of Ten-Mile Creek.
The records of the land-office show that on June 15, 1769, applications were made by Abraham Hunter for three hundred acres "on a branch of Shirtees Creek [by the path leading] from Fort Bird to Mingo Town, joining land of Joseph Hunter, Jr., including Catfish, a Delaware Indian's improvement ;" by Joseph Hunter, for three hundred acres " on a branch of Shirtees Creek, joining land of Abraham Hunter ;" and by Martha Hunter,
146 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
for three hundred acres " on a branch of Shirtees Creek, joining land of Joseph Hunter, Jr." These lands when surveyed on Nov. 11, 1769, were named respectively, in the order above given and going from south to north, Catfi'Sh Camp, Grand Cairo, and Martha's Bottom. The borough of Washington, on Oct. 13, 1781, was laid out on parts of-the two tracts called Catfish Camp and Grand Cairo. Each one of the surveys was returned as containing over three hundred and thirty acres. Fort Bird, or more properly Fort Burd, was at Redstone, now Brownsville, and the Mingo town was on the west side of the Ohio, just below where Steubenville pow stands.
The same year, 1769, without more particularity as to dates, warrants were granted to Mary McDowell for a tract afterwards passed to Henry Taylor, just northeast of Washington ; to William Drummond and to John Allman, for tracts on Chartiers Creek ; to Michael Marshall, for a tract in what is North Strabane ; to Indian Peter, for the Indian Hill tract, between " Krepp's Knob" and the Monongahela, on part of which West Brownsville stands. In Joseph Parkinson had acquired property at 1770. Parkinson's Ferry, now Monongahela City ; Gabriel Cox, on Peters Creek ; John Grimes, on Buffalo Creek ; and in the fall of that year Henry Taylor, the grandfather of Matthew Taylor, came out from Cecil County, Md., and made his improvement on the lands known to this day as the Rich Hills, just northeast and in sight of Washington.¹
Henry Taylor, as shown by the note hereto, built his cabin in the fall of 1770, and returned to Cecil
¹ To illustrate by actual instance the method of acquiring titles by what was called " Tomahawk Improvements." as well as the manner of life of our early settlers, the reader will pardon the following extracts. In 1782 suits in ejectment were brought in our Common Pleas Court by Henry Taylor, claiming under his Pennsylvania rights; and the questions at issue were, which party had made the earliest settlements. Depositions were taken and filed, and from those on the part of Mr. Taylor are made the following extracts, relating as appears from them to the Taylor lands, a part of which are at this day owned by Matthew Taylor, a grandson of Henry Taylor.
Deposition of Alexander Bowling, July 3, 1783:
"That in the fall of the year 1770, he this Deponent saw Henry Taylor at Monongahela River, on his way out to Chartiers Creek ; he understood he was going out to take up land, and he applied to him to show him Land that was not yet Improved: in answer to which he told said Taylor he was about gathering his Corn and he could not go until he had it finished. Van Sweringen being present said he was going out that way to see some Land lie had got of Baltzer Shilling, & that he would be glad of his company, and that said Baltzer could show him Land plenty. Said Taylor went out in a few days with said Sweringen. This Deponent further says that some time after, he went out to work on a tract of land he had out on said Chartiers Creek, & on his way he saw Henry Taylor and Van Sweringen surveying and Marking a Line which said Taylor informed that he was marking off his Claim and said Taylor was marking this White Oak Tree which stands about north-west of where Mr. Yeates now lives, and that he then and there saw a plain marked line towards the south east; said Taylor asked this Deponent to stay with him all night, pointing over the ridge and that his Cabban was a little way from where they then stood."
Deposition of Isaac Williams, Jan. 30, 1784:
"That in the year 1770, that he saw Henry Taylor living in the forks of Chartiers Creek, that he understood he was Improving that Land that is now in Dispute, and to make a Settlement thereon; that he hired his Brother John Williams to strenthen the improvements then Claimed by said Taylor; that he new the work to be Done, as he bunted to get provision for the men while they were doing the work ; that he also knew Taylor to pay his brother a Riffle Gun and some Cash when he went away, and on his return paid the sum of Eight pounds: that when they were doing the work he found a new Cabban on the White Oak Ridge appearing to have been built that Winter; that on Taylor's finding that some person had been at work on his Land, he employed me to Enquire and if possible find out who it was, and to purchase their Claim, which I found it to be Hugh Sidwell, and purchased the said White Oak Cabban and all his claim, in Behalf of said Taylor, for the sum of twenty shillings."
"Question asked by Henry Taylor at Isaac Williams, if Baltzer Shilling did not make a practice of Running about Through the woods and Marking and Hazing trees and calling that his Improvements and that in a Great Number?
"Answered, he knew it well to be his constant practice."
Deposition of John Williams, Jan. 30, 1784:
"That in the Paul of the year 1770, that he seen Henry Taylor Living in a new Cabban on the Rich Hills which he understood was built by said Taylor, as he Frequently Lodged at his house at the Monongahela River, when going and returning from Chartiers; that he seen said Taylor having Surveying Instruments to Run out his Land; that when he was hunting there he saw New Marked lines which was Called Taylor's Lines; at that time he seen no Improvements on or within said lines but what was called Taylor's, and that Cabbau on the Rich Hill where Taylor was living in was the first he knew or ever seen on the forks of Chartiers Creek; That said Taylor Hired him that same faul to farther Improve the said Land, . . . that he Deadened some Timberand Cut and Split five hundred rails on the Rich Hill Tract, five hundred rails on the White Oak Ridge Tract, that he built a good Cabban and Split five hundred rails on another Tract, for which the said Taylor paid him before he left the Settlement a Riffle Gun and four Dollars Ca³h, and the next spring when the said Taylor Returned from Cecil County, Maryland, he paid me the Remainder Honorably, being Eight pounds pen nsylvania money."
Deposition of Hugh Sidwell, July 4, 1783:
"That he built a cabin about Christmat, 1770, and sold his claim to Isaac Williams for Henry Taylor for twenty shillings."
Deposition of Isaac Grier, Jan. 12, 1783.
That in ye year 1770, about the last of November or the beginning of December, he this Deponent did assist Henry Taylor to Build a Cabban on the Waters of Chartiers Creek, on a piece of Rich land, to y. southwest of the Cabban where the said Taylor now lives in, now known by the name of the burned Cabban & after Finishing the afsd Cabban ou Friday, spent the Next Day in same being Satirday and the next Day being Sunday set on our way towards the Monongahela River, where we met with Tan Sweringen, Baltser Shilling, James Hendricks & another young man to me unknown who I understood had been surveying Lands. We lodged that night at John Williams hunting Camp; said Sweringham, Shilling, Hendricks, and stranger Passed on towards afsaid River; the next day being Monday saw the afsd Swe¹inghain, Baltzer Shilling, Mr. Heed. ricks & stranger at Shillings Cabbau near Pigeon Creek, and we thee and there saw Joseph Alexander and his father on their way out to Chat . tiers to see some Land, and Farther this Deponent saith not."
Deposition of Frederick Lamb, Jan. 2, 1784 :
"That some time in the Month of April in the Year 1772, he came Polser Shilling where he was doing some work on a certain Tract Land where Richard Yates now dwells on, he had.seen on a Tree s distance from them, with H Ton it, which at the time he thought it been Henry Taylor's Claim and he asked the said Polser was not Henry Taylor's Land ; Polser answered, Yes, it is his Claim, and that was working theie on purpose to affront said Taylor; and he Taylor to come there on purpose to quarrel with him, and give Tqlfr Thrashing, and would Black his eyes well. He then told Pole Henry Taylor was a civil man and would not fight with him and twas better to let it alone. Then Polser said he would go up Van Sweringen have it, for Van was not ashamed of any mean and lie knew Van to be Roague enough to cheat Taylor out of Land."
CIVIL AND LEGAL—BEDFORD COUNTY ERECTED - 147
County, Md. On the 1st day of February, 1771, before his return in the spring following, he obtained orders of survey for his improvements, one of which recites :
"Whereas Henry Taylor of the County of Cecil in Maryland, hath requested that we would grant him to take up one hundred and fifty Acres of Land on the Middle Fork of Chartiers Creek, Bounded on the North-East by Robert Hamilton's Land and on the Path leading from Catfish Camp to Pittsburg, including his Improvements in the County of Cumberland: Provided the same Land does not interfere with any Manor or appropriated Tract in the said County of Cuinberland," etc. The warrant is signed, "John Penn."
In the month of October, 1770, George Washington made a journey by way of Braddock's road and Fort Pitt and down the Ohio River to the Kanawha, and kept a diary of his observations. As of date the 23d of the month he describes his approach to the two Cross Creeks, one emptying into the Ohio from the east and the other from the west, and proceeds : "About three miles or a little more below this, at the lower point of some islands which stand contiguous to each other, we were told by the Indians that three men from Virginia had marked the land from hence all the way to Redstone; . . . at this place we encamped."
It is indicated from what has already been written of our early settlements, and it plainly appears upon a full examination, that the lands lying between the Monongahela and the Ohio were settled from the outer limits to the central portion by approaches from the mouths and up the courses of the streams flowing into the rivers. The pioneers first stopped along the rivers themselves, then gradually followed up the branches into the upper lands. And accounts heretofore published have stated, and investigations made in the preparation of this work have confirmed the statement, that by the year 1774 there was scarcely a section of the lands lying between the two rivers which did not contain the cabin of the pioneer.
It has been seen that in February, 1771, when the warrant heretofore quoted was issued to Henry Taylor, the land the survey of which it authorized was described as in the county of Cumberland. Cumberland County, the sixth county of Pennsylvania established, was erected by the act of Assembly passed Jan. 27, 1750, just about the time when the earliest settlers reached the valley of the Monongahela. It embraced all the lands lying westward of the Susquehanna River and north and west of the county of York, extending by a shading of inhabitants growing lighter and lighter with the approach to this Western wilderness. The seat of justice being for a little while at Shippensburg, and afterwards where it is to-day, at Carlisle, it is apparent that its jurisdiction was not felt to any extent by the settlers of our county ; still
the inhabitants were not without the protection of the law, for Thomas Gist, son of Christopher Gist, settled at Mount Braddock, in Fayette County, was commissioned a justice of Cumberland² County in 1770,¹ and in the same year Col. William Crawford was also appointed a justice of that
county.² His home was opposite where Connellsville now is, on the Youghiogheny River.
Bedford County Erected. — It was not a long while, however, after our first settlers arrived until the seat of justice was brought a little nearer to their new homes, for on March 9, 1771, Bedford County was erected out of a part of Cumberland. Like the latter county, Bedford was originally of wide dimensions, and the reason assigned for its formation was "the great hardships the inhabitants of the western part of the county of Cumberland lie under from being so remote from the present seat of jurisdiction and the public offices." To indicate its great extent it may be stated that its boundaries were : " Beginning where the province line crosses the Tuscarora Mountain, and running along the summit of that mountain to the gap near the head of the Path Valley ; thence with a north line to the Juniata ; thence with the Juniata to the mouth of Shaver's Creek ; thence northeast to the line of Berks County ; thence along the Berks County line northwestward to the western boundaries of the province; thence southward, according to the western boundary of the province,³ to the southwest corner of the province ; and from thence eastward with the southern line of the province to the place of beginning."
An examination of the records shows that the settlers west of the mountains had much more to do in the administration of justice that when they were within the jurisdiction of Cumberland County with its seat of justice at Carlisle. Still, for the reason that it was not yet definitely established that that portion of the county lying between the Monongahela and the Ohio was within the boundaries of Zennsylvania, the then.inhabitants of that locality seem not to have received much notice from the county authorities.
The first court of Bedford County was held at Bedford, one hundred miles east from Pittsburgh, on April 16, 1771, and George Wilson, Esq., who lived near the mouth of Georges Creek, in what was afterwards Fayette County, was one of the justices. Among the first justices of the peace were Col. (then Captain) William Crawford and Thomas Gist, hereinbefore mentioned as justices of the county of Cumberland, and Dorsey Pentecost, then living on his " planta-
¹ The Monongahela of Old, 116.
² Butterfield's Crawford's Exp., 94.
³ Observe here that at this date, 1771, it is not indicated what the western boundary of the province was, whether it was a meridian line, or whether it corresponded with the sinuosities of the Delaware, which was the eastern boundary, nor is it, of course, indicated where that boundary lay. This will be explained in the chapters upop the Boundary Con troversy.
148 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
tion" called " Greenway," in the Youghiogheny settlement, but who came to the eastern branch of Chartiers Creek about 1777, and was afterwards the second president judge of Washington County.
Dorsey Pentecost was a member of the first board of county commissioners of Bedford County, as was also John Stephenson, a half-brother of William Crawford, and residing in the same locality, near what is now Connellsville. The third paper put on record by the first recorder of deeds is " a mortagage made this 14th January, 1771, between Francis Howard, now of Fort Pitt, Ensign in his Majesties 18th regiment of Foot, and Edward Hand,. Surgeon's Mate in said reg't, for 1636 acres of land lying on both sides of Chartiers Creek."¹ This land is referred to in an extract from the records of the Quarter Sessions of Westmoreland County, hereafter quoted. Upon the deed books of Bedford County is also a curious deed, dated February, 1770, from Anonquit, Enishera, and Connehracahecat, the first a chief and the others two deputies of the Six Nations, for " our full leave and liberty of us, and for and in behalf of the said Six Nations, to settle on a tract of land on the north side of the Alligania River opposite to Fort Pitt, in form of a Cemi Circle from said landing, &c." The deeds of the Indians to private persons, however, were of no validity.
The territory belonging to Washington County as originally erected, that is, lying between the Monongahela and the Ohio and extending from Pittsburgh to the southern boundary line (thus including Greene County), was embraced within two of the original Bedford County townships, to wit, Pitt and Springhill, the former embracing the northern part and the latter the southern.
At the first session of the court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, held at Bedford, for Bedford County, the 16th of April, 1771, the court proceeded to divide the county into townships. The limits of Pitt and Springhill townships were as follows :
"Pitt.—Beginning at the mouth of the Kiskeminetas and running down the Allegheny River to its junction with the Monongahela, then down the Ohio to the western limits of the Province, thence with the western boundary to the line of Spring Hill, thence with that line to the mouth of Red Stone Creek, thence down the Monongahela to the mouth of Youghioghena, thence with the line of Hempfield to the mouth of Brush Run, thence with the line of said township to the beginning.
"Spring Hill.—Beginning at the mouth of Red Stone Creek and running thence a due west course to the western boundary of the Province, thence south with the Province line to the southern boundary of the Province, then east with that line to where it crosses the Youghiogheny to Laurel Hill, thence with the line of Tyrone to Gists, and thence with that line to the beginning."
The official assessment rolls for these townships for 1772 show that Pitt township had fifty-two landholders, twenty tenants, and thirteen single freemen; Springhill, three hundred and eight landholders, eighty-nine tenants, and fifty-eight single freemen ; and we find many familiar names given as residing
¹ Dr. Egle's History of Pennsylvania, 365.
either at that date or soon afterward in the original Washington County.
The assessment roll for 1772 of Springhill township shows the following names among others: Thomas Brown (Ten-Mile), Jeremiah Beek (Beck), William Brashear, William Crawford (the Quaker, afterwards of East Bethlehem), Josiah Crawford, Oliver Crawford, John Casteel, Henry Enoch, John Garrard, John Garrard, Jr., Zachariah Goben (Gapen), James Harrod, William Harrod, Levi Harrod, Thomas Hughes (Muddy Creek), Andrew Link, Jacob Link, John Moore, David Morgan, John Masterson, Daniel Moredock, James Moredock, John Swan, Robert Sayre, Abraham Teagarden, George Teagarden, Henry Vanmetre, Gabriel Cox, Bernard Eckerly, James Carmichael, Samuel Eckerly, John Hupp, William Tea-garden, and John Williams. Among the names from the Pitt township list are Jacob Bausman, who settled this side of the Monongahela, at Pittsburgh, in the original Washington County, and was the grandfather of John Bausman, late of Washington, Pa.; John Barr, John Campbell, Samuel Heath, and John McDonald.² But few of the many familiar names have been copied, not only to avoid errors,—because Springhill and Pitt townships embraced territory east of the Monongahela as well as to the west of it,—but also for the reason that the purpose is merely to indicate with what great rapidity our western country was being filled with settlers as soon as it was possible to acquire lawful titles after the peace of 1764, the treaty of 1768, and the opening of the land-office in 1769.
THE CIVIL AND LEGAL HISTORY.—( Continued.)
Westmoreland County Erected—The Provincial System—Westmoreland County Records—The Revolution—The Revolutionary Judicial Sys-tem—Westmoreland Courts Reorganized.
Westmoreland County Erected.—And now, by the 1st of January, 1773, the pioneers west of the mountains had become stronger in numbers and so well established that they determined 1773. to possess, if possible, the machinery of courts of justice and of other offices created for the protection of property and preservation of rights for their own immediate use. So, on Jan. 26, 1773, there is found in the journal of the House of Representatives the following :
"A petition from a Number of the Freeholders and Inhabitants on the West-Side of Laurel-Hill, in the County of Bedford, was presented to the House and read, setting forth that they labor under very great Hardships and Inconveniences in being so remote from the Courts of Justice, and the public offices in the said County, many of the Petitioners living at the Distance of an Hundred Miles from the County Town, and the Roads so very bad at some Seasons as to be almost impassable;
2 The Monongahela of Old, 200.
CIVIL AND LEGAL—WESTMORELAND COUNTY ERECTED - 149
—that in consequence thereof, the Fees of the Sheriff and other Officers are much increased, and become a heavy Grievance to the Petitioners, who therefore most humbly pray the Honourable House, to erect the said Part of the County of Bedford, West of Laurel Hill, into a separate
Ordered to he on the Table."
Another petition of like tenor was presented to the House and read on January 30th, and on the same day the consideration of the petitions was resumed. On February 12th the Governor acquainted the House that he should be ready to pass the bill which had been prepared in accordance with the petitions referred to, when presented to him for that purpose. The act, as passed and approved by the Governor on the 26th of the month, provided :
"That all and singular the lands lying within the province of Pennsylvania, and being within the boundaries following, that is to say ; beginning in the province line, where the most westerly branch, commonly called the South or Great Branch of the Youghiogheny River crones the same; then down the easterly side of the said branch and river to the Laurel Hill; thence along the ridge of the said Hill, northeastward, so far as it can be traced, or till it runs into the Allegheny Hill [Mountains]; thence along the ridge dividing the waters of Susquehanna and the Allegheny River, to the purchase line, at the head of Sttsquehanna; thence due west to the limits of the province, and by the same to the place of beginning; shall be, and the same is hereby declared to be, erected into a county, henceforth to be called Westmoreland.²
Thus Westmoreland County, including, as it did when erected, all of Fayette, Greene, Washington, Allegheny west of the Allegheny River and south of the Monongahela River, and all of Beaver south of the Ohio, as well as all of Indiana and that part of Armstrong east of the Allegheny River, was of magnificent proportions. The Laurel Hill range of mountains divides the county from Somerset and Cambria. The next range west is the Chestnut Ridge, and between the latter and Laurel Hill is the beautiful valley of Ligonier, about ten miles wide. West of Chestnut Ridge the county assumes the character of " an original table-land or inclined plane, scooped out into hills and valleys by the action of the water. Near the larger streams the hills are higher and more precipitous ; between the sources of the smaller streams they rise in gentle undulation, nicely suited to the purposes of agriculture. From the summit of Chestnut Ridge the country seems to spread out into a vast verdant plain."³
This territory was destined to be for years the theatre of interstate strife, as well as of the worst forms of border warfare. The frontier line, dividing the settlements of the pioneers from the Indian country, had DOW moved to the west of the mountains, and while our early people were habituating themselves to the orderly recognition of the law, terror and outrage, as well as a conflict of jurisdiction, made their homes to be homes of unrest.
By the provisions of the organic act, the courts of
¹ 5 Votes of Assembly, 433
² The reader will observe that here again, as in the erection of Bedford County, there is no attempt to define the western boundary.
³ Day's Historical Collections. 680.
Westmoreland County were to be held at the house of Robert Hanna until the court-house should be built. Hanna's settlement was about three miles northeast of the present Greensburg. Having opened a house of public entertainment, a number of other dwellings had been established near Hanna's place, and here were held the courts of Westmoreland County until some time after the county of Washington was erected. At this place, called Hanna's Town, were the first courts of justice ever held by an English-speaking people west of the Alleghany Mountains ; and as the territory afterwards constituting our own county, and our own early settlers had, as will shortly appear, much to do with the courts and officials of Westmoreland County, it will be proper to give in some detail a sketch of the organization of that county, as the names cited will hereafter become .quite
The first justices of Westmoreland County were included in a general commission issued by the Supreme Executive Council on Feb. 27, 1773. It embraced the following well-known names : William Crawford, then living opposite the present Connells-vine, afterwards the colonel in command of the expedition against the Sandusky Indians; Arthur St. Clair, afterwards a major-general in the Revolution ; Thomas Gist; Alexander McKee, afterwards, with Simon Girty, a deserter to the British-Indians; Robert Hanna ; William Louchry ; George Wilson, living near the mouth of Georges Creek, opposite Greene County ; Eneas Mackay, Joseph Spear, Alexander McClean, James Caveat, and others. On Jan. 11, 1774, affairs at Pittsburgh assuming a threatening aspect by reason of the proceedings of Dr. John Connolly in the establishment of the Virginia jurisdiction, to be discussed at length hereafter, additional justices were added to the commission, among whom were Van Swearingen, then living east of the Monongahela, opposite Greenfield, afterwards becoming the first sheriff of Washington County ; Alexander Ross, a trader and speculator at Pittsburgh, and a Tory when the Revolution soon afterwards began ; Andrew McFarlane and Oliver Miller, both afterwards Washington County men. In 1777, Edward Cook, the proprietor of Cookstown, now of Fayette County, and James Marshall, thought to be the James Marshel afterwards the first county lieutenant, recorder, and register for Washington County, became justices for Westmoreland County. All these justices were " commissioned" by the Governor to be justices of the Court of General Quarter Sessions of the peace and of the County Court of Common Pleas for the said county, and William Crawford, being the first named in the commission, became by a well settled usage the presiding justice; in 1775, however, having accepted a commission from the Governor of Virginia during the boundary controversy, he was dismissed from his office as a Pennsylvania magistrate.
The record of the Provincial Council for Saturday, Feb. 27, 1773, reads as follows :