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Chronicles of Border Warfare 

OR, A 

History of the Settlement by the Whites, of North- 

Western Virginia, and of the Indian Wars and Massacres 

in that section of the State 







Secretary of the Wisconsion Historical Society, editor of "Wisconsin Historical Collec- 
tions," and author of "The Colonies, 1492-1750," "Historic 
Waterways," "Story of Wisconsin," etc. 

With the addition of a Memoir of the Author, and several Illustrative Notes 



Author of "King's Mountain and Its Heroes," "Autograph Collections 
of the Signers," etc. 




524* 8 

Copyright, 1895 

All rights reserved 

First Impression, 
Second Impression, 
Third Impression, 
Fourth Impression, 
Fifth Impression, 
Sixth Impression, 
Seventh Impression, 





Editor's Preface ,.., v 

Memoir of the Author, by Lyman C. Draper viii 

Original Title-page (photographic fac-simile) xiii 

Original Copyright Notice xiv 

v Original Advertisement xv 

Original Table of Contents (with pagination revised) xvii 

^ Author's Text (with editorial notes) 1 

Index, by the Editor 431 

> (iii) 


It is sixty-four years since the original edition of 
Withers's Chronicles of Border Warfare was given to the 
public. The author was a faithful recorder of local tra- 
dition. Among his neighbors were sons and grandsons of 
the earlier border heroes, and not a few actual participants 
in the later wars. He had access, however, to few con- 
temporary documents. He does not appear to have 
searched for them, for there existed among the pioneer 
historians of the West a respect for tradition as the prime 
source of information, which does not now obtain ; to-day, 
we desire first to see the documents of a period, and care 
little for reminiscence, save when it fills a gap in or illu- 
mines the formal record. The weakness of the traditional 
method is well exemplified in Withers's work. His treat- 
ment of many of the larger events on the border may now 
be regarded as little else than a thread on which to hang 
annotations; but in most of the local happenings which 
are here recorded he will always, doubtless, remain a lead- 
ing authority for his informants possessed full knowl- 
edge of what occurred within their own horizon, although 
having distorted notions regarding affairs beyond it. 

The Chronicles had been about seven years upon the 
market, when a New York youth, inspired by the pages 
of Doddridge, Flint, and Withers, with a fervid love for 
border history, entered upon the task of collecting doc- 
uments and traditions with which to correct and amplify 
the lurid story which these authors had outlined. In the 
prosecution of this undertaking, Lyman C. Draper became 
so absorbed with the passion of collecting that he found 
little opportunity for literary effort, and in time his early 
facility in this direction became dulled. He was the most 
successful of collectors of materials for Western history, 
and as such did a work which must earn for him the last- 
ing gratitude of American historical students; but un- 


vi Editor s Preface. 

fortunately he did little more than collect and investigate, 
and the idea which to the last strongly possessed him, of 
writing a series of biographies of trans- Alleghany pioneers, 
was never realized. He died August 26, 1891, having ac- 
complished wondrous deeds for the Wisconsin Historical 
Society, of which he was practically the founder, and for 
thirty-three years the main stay; in the broader domain of 
historical scholarship, however, he had failed to reach his 
goal. His great collection of manuscripts and notes, he 
willed to his Society, which has had them carefully classi- 
fied and conveniently bound a lasting treasure for histo- 
rians of the West and Southwest, for the important frontier 
period between about 1740 and 1816. 

Dr. Draper had exhibited much ability as an editor, 
in the first ten volumes of the Wisconsin Historical Collec- 
tions. In 1890, the Robert Clarke Company engaged him, 
as the best living authority on the details of Western border 
history, to prepare and edit a new edition of Withers. He 
set about the task with interest, and was engaged in the 
active preparation of "copy" during his last months on 
earth; indeed, his note upon page 123 of this edition is 
thought to have been his final literary work. He had at 
that time prepared notes for about one-fourth of the book, 
and had written his "Memoir of the Author." 

The matter here rested until the autumn of 1894, 
when the publishers requested the present writer to take 
up the work where his revered friend had left it, and see 
the edition through the press. He has done this with 
some reluctance, conscious that he approached the task 
with a less intimate knowledge of the subject than his 
predecessor; nevertheless he was unwilling that Dr. Dra- 
per's notes on the early pages should be lost, and has 
deemed it a labor of love to complete the undertaking upon 
which the last thoughts of the latter fondly dwelt. 

In the preparation of his own notes, the editor has 
had the great advantage of free access to the Draper Man- 
uscripts; without their help, it would have been impossi- 
ble to throw further light on many of the episodes treated 
by the author. The text of Withers has been preserved 
intact, save that where errors have obviously been typo- 

Editor's Preface. vii 

graphical, and not intended by the author, the editor has 
corrected them perhaps in a dozen instances only, for the 
original proof-reading appears to have been rather care- 
fully done. The pagination of the original edition has in 
this been indicated by brackets, as [54]. In the original, 
the publisher's "Advertisement" and the " Table of Con- 
tents" were bound in at the end of the work, see colla- 
tion in Field's Indian Bibliography, but evidently this was 
a make-shift of rustic binders in a hurry to get out the 
long-delayed edition, and the editor has taken the liberty 
to transfer them to theirproper place; also, while preserving- 
typographical peculiarities therein, to change the pagina- 
tion in the "Contents" to accord with the present edition. 
In order clearly to indicate the authorship of notes, those 
by Withers himself are unsigned; those by Dr. Draper 
are signed " L. C. D."; and those by the present writer, 

"R. G. T." 


Madison, Wis., 

February, 1895. 



In 1831, an interesting volume appeared from the press 
of Joseph Israel, of Clarksburg, in North Western Vir- 
ginia, prepared by Alexander Scott Withers, on the bor- 
der wars of the West. It was well received at the time 
of its publication, when works on that subject were few, 
and read with avidity by the surviving remnant of the 
participators in the times and events so graphically de- 
scribed, and by their worthy descendants. 

Historians and antiquarians also received it cordially, 
universally according it high praise. Mann Butler, the 
faithful historian of Kentucky, declared that it was " a 
work to which the public was deeply indebted," composed, 
as it was, with " so much care and interest." The late 
Samuel G. Drake, the especial historian of the Red Man, 
pronounced it "a work written with candor and judg- 
ment." The late Thomas W. Field, the discriminating 
writer on Indian Bibliography, says : " Of this scarce book, 
very few copies are complete or in good condition. Hav- 
ing been issued in a remote corner of North- Western Vir- 
ginia, and designed principally for a local circulation, al- 
most every copy was read by a country fireside until 
scarcely legible. Most of the copies lack the table of con- 
tents. The author took much pains to be authentic, and 
his chronicles are considered by Western antiquarians, to 
form the best collection of frontier life and Indian war- 
fare, that has been printed." 

Of such a work, now difficult to procure at any price, 
a new edition is presented to the public. In 1845, the 
writer of this notice visited the Virginia Valley, collecting 
materials on the same general subject, going over much 
the same field of investigation, and quite naturally, at that 
early period, indentifyiug very large the sources of Mr. 
Withers's information, thus making it possible to repro- 

Memoir of the Author. ix 

duce his work with new lights and explanations, such as 
generally give pleasure and interest to the intelligent 
reader of border history. 1 

In 1829, a local antiquary, of Covington, a beautiful 
little village nestling in a high mountain valley near the 
head of James River, in Alleghany County, Virginia, 
gathered from the aged pioneers still lingering on the 
shores of time, the story of the primitive settlement and 
border wars of the Virginia Valley. Hugh Paul Taylor, 
for such was his name, was the precursor, in all that re- 
gion, of the school of historic gleaners, and published in 
the nearest village paper, The Fincastle Mirror, some twenty 
miles away, a series of articles, over the signature of " Son of 
Cornstalk," extending over a period of some forty stirring 
years, from about 1740 to the close of the Revolutionary 
War. These articles formed at least the chief authority 
for several of the earlier chapters of Mr. Withers's work. 
Mr. Taylor had scarcely molded his materials into shape, 
and put them into print, when he was called hence at an 
early age, without having an opportunity to revise and 
publish the results of his labors under more favorable 

Soon after Mr. Taylor's publication, Judge Edwin S. 
Duncan, of Peel Tree, in then Harrison, now Barbour 
County, West Virginia, a gentleman of education, and well 
fitted for such a work, residing in the heart of a region 
rife with the story of Indian wars and hair-breadth es- 
capes, made a collection of materials, probably including 
Mr. Taylor's sketches, with a view to a similar work ; but 
his professional pursuits and judicial services interposed 
to preclude the faithful prosecution of the work, so he 
turned over to Mr. Withers his historic gatherings, with 

1 The venerable Mark L. Spotts, an intelligent and long-time resident 
of Lewisburg, West Virginia, writes, in December, 1890: " I had an old 
and particular friend, Mr. Thomas Matthews, of this place, who, many 
years ago, conceived the idea of preparing and publishing a revised 
edition of Withers's Border Warfare, and no doubt had collected many 
facts looking to such a publication ; but the old man's health gave way, 
he died, and his widow moved away, and what became of his notes, I 
can not say perhaps destroyed." L. C. "D. 

x Memoir of the Author. 

euch suggestions, especially upon the Indian race, as by 
his studies aud reflections he was enabled to offer. 

Other local gleaners in the field of Western history, par- 
ticularly Noah Zane, of Wheeling, John Hacker, of the 
Hackers Creek settlement, and others, freely furnished 
their notes and statements for the work. Mr. Withers, 
under these favorable circumstances, became quite well 
equipped with materials regarding especially the first set- 
tlement and Indian wars of the region now comprising 
West Virginia ; and, to a considerable extent, the region 
of Staunton and farther southwest, of the French aud In- 
dian War period, together with Dunmore's War, and the 
several campaigns from the western borders of Virginia 
and Pennsylvania into the Ohio region, during the Revo- 
lutionary War. 

Alexander Scott Withers, for his good services in the 
field of Western history, well deserves to have his name 
and memory perpetuated as a public benefactor. Descend- 
ing, on his father's side, from English ancestry, he was the 
fourth child of nine, in the family of Enoch K. and Jennet 
Chinn Withers, who resided at a fine Virginia homestead, 
called Green Meadows, half a dozen miles from Warren - 
ton, Fauquier county, Virginia, where the subject of this 
sketch was born on the 12th of October, 1792 on the 
third centennial anniversary of the discovery of America 
by Columbus. His mother was the daughter of Thomas 
Chinn and Jennet Scott the latter a native of Scotland, 
and a first cousin of Sir Walter Scott. 

Passing his early years in home and private schools, 
he became from childhood a lover of books and knowl- 
edge. He read Virgil at the early age of ten ; and, in 
due time, entered Washington College, and thence en- 
tered the law department of the venerable institution of 
William and Mary, where Jefferson, Monroe, Wythe, and 
other Virginia notables, received their education. 

Procuring a license to practice, he was admitted to 
the bar in Warrenton, where for two or three years he 
practiced his profession. His father dying in 1813, he 
abandoned his law practice, which he did not like, be- 
cause he could not overcome his diflidence in public 

Memoir of the Author. xi 

speaking; and, for quite a period, he had the manage- 
ment of his mother's plantation. 

In August, 1815, he was united in marriage with Miss 
Melinda Fisher, a most estimable lady, a few months his 
junior; and about 1827, having a growing family, he 
looked to the Great West for his future home and field 
of labor, and moved to West Virginia, first locating tem- 
porarily in Bridgeport, in Harrison County, and subse- 
quently settling near Clarksburg in. the same county, 
where he devoted much time in collecting materials for 
and writing his Chronicles of Border Warfare. 

The publisher, Joseph Israel, who took a deep inter- 
est in the work, as his "Advertisement" of it suggests, 
must have realized ample recompense for the work, as he 
had subscribers for the full edition issued ; yet, from some 
cause, he failed pecuniarily, and Mr. Withers got nothing 
whatever for his diligence and labor in producing it, save 
two or three copies of the work itself. He used to sav, 
that had he published the volume himself, he would have 
made it much more complete, and better in everyway; 
for he was hampered, limited, and hurried often correct- 
ing proof of the early, while writing the later chapters. 
Mr. Israel, the publisher, died several years ago. 

After this worthy but uuremunerative labor, Mr. 
Withers turned his attention to Missouri for a suitable 
home for his old age. He was disappointed in his visit to 
that new state, as the richer portions of the country, 
where he would have located, were more or less unhealthy. 
So he returned to West Virginia, and settled near Westou, 
u fine, healthful region of hills and valleys, where he en- 
gaged in agricultural pursuits, in which he always took a 
deep interest. He also served several years as a magis- 
trate, the only public position he ever filled. 

The death of his wife in September, 1853, broke sadly 
into his domestic enjoyments ; his family were now scat- 
tered, and his home was henceforward made with his eld- 
est daughter, Mrs. Jennet S. Tavenner, and her husband, 
Thomas Tavenner, who in 1861 removed to a home ad- 
joining Parkersburg, in West Virginia. Here our author 
lived a retired, studious life, until his death, which oc- 

xii Memoir of the Author. 

curred, after a few days' illness, January 23, 1865, in the 
seventy-third year of his age. 

Mr. Withers had no talent for the acquisition of 
wealth; but he met with marked success in acquiring 
knowledge. He was an admirer of ancient literature, and 
to his last days read the Greek classics in the original. A 
rare scholar, a lover of books, his tastes were eminently 
domestic ; he was, from his nature, much secluded from the 
busy world around him. Nearly six feet high, rather 
portly and dignified, as is shown by his portrait, taken 
when he was about sixty years of age he was kind and 
obliging to all, and emphatically a true Virginia gentle- 
man of the old school. His sympathies during the War 
of Secession, were strongly in favor of the Union cause, 
the happy termination of which he did not live to witness. 
His son, Henry W. Withers, served with credit during 
the war in the Union service in the Twelfth Virginia 

Mr. Withers was blessed with two sons and three 
daughters one of the sons has passed away ; the other, 
Major Henry W. Withers, resides in Troy, Gilmer county, 
West Virginia; Mrs. Tavenner still lives at Parkersburg; 
Mrs. Mary T. Owen, at Galveston, Texas, and Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Ann Thoruhill, in New Orleans. 














Be it remembered, That on the twenty-sixth day of Janu- 
ary, in the Fifty-fifth year of the Independence of the 
United States of America, JOSEPH ISRAEL, of the said Dis- 
trict, hath deposited in this Office, the title of a Book, the right 
whereof he claims as Proprietor, in the words following, To wit: 

"Chronicles of Border Warfare, or a history of the settlement, by 
the whites, of North- Western Virginia: and of the Indian wars and 
massacres, in that section of the State; with reflections, anecdotes, 
&c By ALEXANDER S. WITHERS, 1831," in conformity to the act of Cong- 
ress of the United States, entitled "An act for the encouragement 
of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the 
Authors and Proprietors of such copies, during the times therein men- 
tioned; and also to an act, entitled "An act for the encouragement 
of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the 
Authors and Proprietors of such copies, during tho times therein 
mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of De- 
signing, Engraving and Etching historical and other prints." 

Clerk of the Western District of Virginia. 


The " Chronicles of Border Warfare" are now completed and 
presented to the public. Circumstances, over which the publisher 
had no control, have operated to delay their appearance beyond the 
anticipated period ; and an apprehension that such might be the 
case, induced him, when issuing proposals for their publication, not 
positively to name a time at which the work would be completed 
and ready for delivery. 

This delay, although unavoidable, has been the source of regret 
to the publisher, and has added considerably to the expenditure 
otherwise necessarily made, in attempting to rescue from oblivion 
the many interesting incidents, now, for the first time recorded. 
To preserve them from falling into the gulph of forgetfulness, was 
the chief motive which the publisher had in view ; and should the 
profits of the work be sufficient to defray the expenses, actually in- 
curred in its preparation and completion, he will be abundantly 
satisfied. That he will be thus far remunerated, is not for an in- 
stant doubted, the subscription papers having attached to them, as 
many names as there are copies published. 

In regard to the manner of its execution, it does not perhaps 
become him to speak. He was attentive to his duties, and watched 
narrowly the press ; and if typographical errors are to be found, it 
must be attributed to the great difficulty of preventing them, even 
when the author is at hand to correct each proof sheet. They are 
however, certainly few, and such as would be likely to escape ob- 

JOSEPH ISRAEL, Publisher. 


INTRODUCTION. General view of the discovery of North America, by 
England, France and Spain 1 to 11. Aborigines of America Their 
origin 12-27. Their persons and character Indian antiquities 

CHAPTEU 1. Of the country west of Blue ridge, difficulties attending 
its first settlement; Indians in neighborhood their tribes and num- 
bers. Various parties explore the Valley ; their adventures. Benja- 
min Burden receives a grant of land; settles 100 families, their gen- 
eral character, West of Blue ridge divided into two counties; its 
present population, &c. Discovery of Greenbrier, explored by Martin 
and Seal; by the Lewis's, Greenbrier Company, settlement of Muddy 
Creek and Big Levels, of New river and Holstein ; of Gallipolis by 
French. ...44.. ..62. 

2nd. North Western Virginia, divisions and population. Import- 
ance of Ohio river to the French, and the English; Ohio Company ; 
"English traders made prisoners by French, attempt to establish 
fort frustrated, French erect Fort du Quesne; War; Braddock'a ^de- 
fea^L. Andrew Lewis, character and services; Grant's defeat, capture of 
Tnrt_d Qy^sne and erection of Fort Pjt_t: TygarTatnTFiles settle on 
East Fork of Monongaheia, file's tamily killed by Indians, Dunkards 
visit the country, settle on Cheat, their fate; settlement under Decker 
on the Monongaheia, destroyed by Indians, pursuit by Gibson, origin 
of Long knives 63-80. 

CHAP. 3rd. Expedition to the mouth of Big_J3ady, ordered back 
by governor, their extreme sufferings: Dreadful catastrophe at Leyit's 
Fort, Shawnees visit James river settlements, their depredations and 
defeat, fortunate escape of Hannah Dennis, destruction at Muddy 
creek and Big Levels, Mrs. Clendennin, Indians visit Jackson and Ca- 
tawba rivers, discovered, pursued, overtaken and dispersed, Mrs. Gunn 

('HAP. 4th. Indians commit depredations in Pennsylvania, burn 
three prisoners, excesses of Paxton Boys, Black Boys ot great service 
to frontier, engagement at Turtle creek, Tr 

Indians, affair at Sidelong hill, Fort Bedford taken by Blackboys, 
(3apt. "James Smith, his character and services 100-116. 

CHAP. 5th. Deserters from Fort Pitt visit head of Monongaheia, The 
Pringles, Settlements of Buckhannon, of Hacker's creek, Mononga- 
heia and other places, Of Wheeling by Zane's, Their Character, Char- 
acter of Win. Lowther, Objects and character of the first settlers 
generally 117-133. 

CHAP. 6th. War of 1774, Inquiry into its cause, Boone and others 
visit Kentucky, Emigrants attacked by Indians, Surveyors begin 
operations there, Affair at Captina, and opposite Yellow creek, Ex- 
cesses of Indians, Preparations for [ii] war, Expedition against Wappa- 
tomica, Incursion of Logan and others, Of Indians on West Fork... 

CHAP. 7th. Indians come on Big Kenhawa, Lewis and Jacob Whit- 
sel taken prisoners, Their adventurous conduct, Plan of Dunmore's 


xviii Contents. 

campaign, Battle at Point Pleasant, Dunmore enters Indian country 
and makes peace, Reflections on the motives of Dunmore's conduct... 

CHAP. 8th. General view of the relative situation of Great Britain 
and the colonies, British emissaries and American Tories stimulate 
the Savages to war, Progress of settlements in Kentucky, Character 
of Harrod, Boone and Logan, Attack on Harrod's fort, on Boone's 
and on Logan's, Bowman arrives to its relief, Cornstock visits Point 
Pleasant, Projected campaign against the Indians abortive. jCorn- 
stock'a son visite him, Gilmore killed, Murder oF Uornstock. Of El- 
linipsico and others, Character of Cornstock... 1^7-21 47 

CHAP. 9. General alarm on the frontier, SavagAa nnmmit. Hop r o. 
dations. Intelligence of contemplated invasion, Condition of Wheel- 
ing, Indians seen near it, Two parties under captain Mason and cap- 
tain Ogal decoyed within the Indian lines and cut to pieces, Girty 
demands the surrender of Wheeling, Col. Zane's reply, Indians at- 
tacks the fort and retire, Arrival of col. Swearingen with a reinforce- 
ment, of captain Foreman, Ambuscade at Grave creek narrows, con- 
spiracy of Tories discovered and defeated, Petro and White taken 
prisoners, Irruption intoTygarts Valley, Murder at Conoly's and at 
Stewarts. ..215-235. 

CHAP. 10. Measures of defence. Fort M'Intosh erected, exposed 
situation, commencement of hostilities. Attack on Harbert's block- 
house, Murder at Morgan's on Cheat, Of Lowther and Hughes, In- 
dians appear before Fort at the point, Decoy Lieut. Moore into an am- 
buscade, a larger army visits Fort, stratagem to draw out the gar- 
rison, Prudence and precaution of capt. M'Kee. Fort closely be- 
sieged, Siege raised, Heroic adventure of Prior and Hammond to 
save Greenbrier, Attack on Donnelly's Fort, Dick Pointer, Affair at 
West's Fort, Successful artifice of Hustead, Affair at Cobern's fort, 
at Strader's, Murder of Stephen Washburn, captivity, <&c. of James, 
Projected invasion of Indian country, Col. Clarke takes Kaskaskias 
and other towns, Fort Lawrens erected by Gen. M'Intosh and gar- 
risoned.. .236-256. 

CHAP. 11. Gov. Hamilton marches to St. Vincent critical situa- 
tion of col. Clarke, his daring expedition against Hamilton, condition 
of Fort Lawren's, Successful stratagem of Indians there, Gen. M'In- 
tosh arrives with an army, Fort evacuated, Transactions in Ken- 
tucky, captivity of Boone, his escape and expedition against Paint 
creek town, Indian [iii] army under Du Quesne appear before Boone's 
fort, politic conduct of Boone, Fort assaulted, Assailants repulsed, 
Expedition against Chilicothe towns under Bowman, Its failure, Ken- 
tucky increases rapidly in population. ..257-274. 

CHAP. 12. Hacker's creek settlement breaks up Alarm of Indians 
near Pricket's fort, Stephen and Sarah Morgan sent to farm, Dream 
and anxiety of their father, His fearful encounter with two Indians, 
Kills both, Heroism of Mrs. Bozarth, Murders on Snow creek, cap- 
tivity of Leonard Schoolcraft, Indians surprize Martin's fort, destruc- 
tion there,, Irruptions into Tygart's valley, Indians attack the house 
of Samuel Cottrail, Murder of John Schoolcrafts family, Projected 
campaign of British and Indians, Indians again in Tygart's Valley, 
mischief there, West's fort invested, Hazardous adventure of Jesse 
Hughs to obtain assistance, Skirmish between whites and savages, 
coolness and intrepidity of Jerry Curl, Austin Schoolcraft killed and 
his niece taken prisoner, Murder of Owens and Judkins, of Sims. 
Small Pox terrifies Indians, Transactions in Greenbrier, Murder of 
Baker and others, last outrage in that country. ..275.. 293. 

Contents. xix 

CHAP. 13. Operations of combined army of British and Indians, 
Surrender of Huddle's Station, Outrages of savages there, Col. Byrd 
enabled to restrain them, Martin's station surrenders, Byrd returns 
to the Indian towns, Escape of Hinkstone, Invasion of North West- 
ern Virginia, Plan of campaign, Indians discovered near Wheeling, 
Take prisoners, Alarmed for their own safety, kill their prisoners and 
retire, Expedition under Col. Broadhead, against the Munsies, against 
Coshocton, excesses of the whites there, Expedition under Gen. 
Clarke against Chilicothe and Piqua, Battle at Piqua, Indian depre- 
dations in Virginia, murder of capt. Thomas and family, of School- 
craft, Manear, and others, Destruction of Leading creek settlement, 
aggressors overtaken by a party under Col. Lowther, Affair of Indian 
creek, murder of Mrs. Furrenash, Williamson's first expedition against 
Moravian Indians, Prisoners taken sent to Fort Pitt, Set at liberty, 
Their settlements broken up by Wyandotts...294..317. 

CHAP. 14. The murder of Monteur and his family, others taken 
prisoners, Second expedition of Williamson against Moravians, its suc- 
cess and the savage conduct of the whites, Expedition under Craw 
ford, his defeat Is taken prisoner and burned ; captivity and escapa 
of Doctor Knight, of Slover ; Death of Mills Signal achievement of 
Lewis Whitsel 318...339. 

CHAP. 15. Murder of White, Dorman and wife taken prisoners; 
Inhabitants on Buckhannon evacuate the fort, attacked by Indians 
on their way to the Valley; Whites visiting [iv] Buckhannon settle* 
ment discovered and watched by Indians conduct of George Jackson 
to obtain aid, Stalnaker killed, Indians cross Alleghany miss Gregg 
killed by Dorman, murder of mrs. Pindall, of Charles Washburn, of 
Arnold and Richards Daring conduct of Elias Hughes murder of 
Corbly's family... Grand council of Indians at Chillicothe, Its deter- 
minations; Indian army enters Kentucky ; Affair at Bryants station; 
Battle of Blue Licks Expedition under Gen. Clarke, Attack on Wheel- 
ing, Attempt to demolish the fort with a wooden cannon, Signal ex- 
ploit of Elizabeth Zane, Noble conduct of Francis Duke, Indians 
withdraw, Attack on Eives [Rice's] Fort, Encounter of Poe with two 
Indians. ..340-364. 

CHAP. 16. Peace with G. Britain, War continued by Indians' 
Operations in N. W. Virginia... murder of Daniel Radcliff, Attack on 
Cunninghams upon Bingamon, murders there; murders in Tazewell. 
of Davison, of Moore, mrs. Moore and seven children taken prison- 
ers, their fate murder of Ice, &c. Levi Morgan encounters two In* 
dians, Indians steal horses on West Fork, pursued and punished by 
col. Lowther murder of the Wests on Hacker's creek, Remarkable 
recovery of J. Hacker's daughter murder of the Johnsons on Ten- 
mile creek, At Macks, Artifice of John Sims. ..365. ..383. 

CHAP. 17. Rapid increase of population of Kentucky, opera- 
tions there... Preparations of the general Government to carry on the 
war in the Indian country, Settlement of Marietta, Of Cincinatti, 
Fort Washington erected, Settlement of Duck creek, Big Bottom and 
Wolf creeks... Harmar's campaign, murder of whites on Big Bottom, 
murder of John Bush Affair at Hansucker's on Dunkard... murder of 
Carpenter and others and escape of Jesse Hughes... campaign under 
Gen. St. Clair... Attack at Merrill's, Heroic conduct of mrs. Merrill, 
Signal success of expedition under Gen. Scott... 384-407. 

CHAP. 18. Indians visit Hacker's creek... murder of the Waggon- 
ers and captivity of others murder of Neal and Triplet, major Tru- 
man and col. Hardin killed, Greater preparations made by General 
Government, John and Henry Johnson, Attack on the hunting camp 

ix Contents. 

of Isaac Zane, Noble conduct of Zane...Treatmp"t ^f T ndia.n prjsr>n. 
era, Fort Recovery erected, Escape of Joseph Cox. ..murder of miss 
"TTuhyan and attack on Carder's, Indians kill and make prisoners the 
Cozads, Affair at Joseph Kanaan's, Progress of army under Gen. 
Wayne, Indians attack and defeat detachment under M'Mahon, bat- 
tle of Au Glaize and victory of General Wayne, Affair at Bozarth's on 
Buckhannon... Treaty of Greenville 408. ..430. 



It is highly probable that the continent of America 
was known to the Ancient Carthaginians, and that it was 
the great island Atalantis, of which mention is made by 
Plato, who represents it as larger than Asia and Africa. 
The Carthaginians were a maritime people, and it is 
known that they extended their \discoveries beyond the 
narrow sphere which had hitherto limited the enterprise 
of the mariner. And although Plato represents Atalantis 
as having been swallowed by an earthquake, and all 
knowledge of the new continent, if any such ever existed, 
was entirely lost, still it is by no means improbable, that 
it had been visited by some of the inhabitants of the old 
world, prior to its discovery by Columbus in 1492. The 
manner of this discovery is well known, as is also the fact 
that Americo Vespucci, a Florentine, under the authority 
of Emmanuel king of Portugal, in sailing as far as Brazil 
discovered the main land and gave name to America. 

These discoveries gave additional excitement to the 
adventurous spirit which distinguished those times, and 
the flattering reports made of the country which they had 
visited, inspired the different nations of Europe, with the 
desire of reaping the rich harvest, which the enlightened 
and enterprising mind of Columbus, had unfolded to their 
view. Accordingly, as early as March 1496, (less than two 
years after the discovery by Columbus) a commission was 
granted by Henry VII king of England, to John Cabot 
and his three sons, empowering them to sail under the 
English banner in quest of new discoveries, and in the 
event of their success to take possession, in the name of 


2 Withers's Chronicles 

the king of England, of the countries thus discovered and 
not inhabited by Christian people. 

The expedition contemplated in this commission was 
never carried into effect. But in May 1498 Cabot with his 
son Sebastian, embarked on a voyage to attain the desired 
object, and succeeded in his design so far as to effect a dis- 
covery of [4] North America, and although he sailed along 
the coast from Labrador to Virginia, yet it does not now 
appear that he made any attempt either at settlement or 

This is said to have been the first discovery ever made 
of that portion of our continent which extends from the 
Gulph of Mexico to the North pole ; and to this discovery 
the English trace their title to that part of it, subsequently 
reduced into possession by them. 1 

As many of the evils endured by the inhabitants of the 
western part of Virginia, resulted from a contest between 
England and France, as to the validity of their respective 
claims to portions of the newly discovered country, it 
may not be amiss to take a general view of the dis- 
coveries and settlements effected by each of those powers. 

After the expedition of Cabot, no attempt on the part 
of England, to acquire territory in America, seems to have 
been made until the year 1558. In this year letters patent 
were issued by Queen Elizabeth, empowering Sir Hum- 
phrey Gilbert to " discover and take possession of such re- 
mote, heathen, and barbarous lands, as were not actually 
possessed by any Christian prince or people" Two expedi- 
tions, conducted by this gentleman terminated unfavor- 
ably. Nothing was done by him towards the accomplish- 
ment of the objects in view, more than the taking pos- 
session of the island of New Poundland in the name of the 
English Queen. 

In 1584 a similar patent was granted to Sir Walter 

1 The author errs somewhat in his review of the voyages of the 
Cabots. In 1497, John set out to reach Asia by way of the north-west, 
and sighted Cape Breton, for which the generous king gave him 10 
and blessed him with " great honours." In 1408, Sebastian's voyage was 
intended to supplement his father's; his exploration of the coast ex- 
tended down to the vicinity of Chesapeake Bay. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 3 

Raleigh, under whose auspices was discovered the country 
south of Virginia. In April of that year he dispatched 
two vessels under the command of Amidas and Barlow, 
for the purpose of visiting, and obtaining such a knowl- 
edge of the country which he proposed to colonize, as 
would facilitate the attainment of his object. In their 
voyage they approached the North American continent 
towards the Gulph of Florida, and sailing northwardly 
touched at an island situate on the inlet into Pamlico 
sound, in the state of North Carolina. To this island they 
gave the name of Wocoken, and proceeding from thence 
reached Roanoke near the mouth of Albemarle sound. 
After having remained here some weeks, and obtained 
from the natives the best information which they could 
impart concerning the country, Amidas and Barlow re- 
turned to England. 

In the succeeding year Sir Walter had fitted out a 
squadron of seven ships, the command of which he gave 
to Sir Richard [5] Grenville. On board of this squadron 
were passengers, arms, ammunition and provisions for a 
settlement. He touched at the islands of Wocoken and 
Roanoke, which had been visited by Amidas and Barlow, 
and leaving a colony of one hundred and eight per- 
sons in the island of Roanoke, he returned to England. 
These colonists, after having remained about twelve 
months and explored the adjacent country, became so dis- 
couraged and exhausted by fatigue and famine, that they 
abandoned the country. Sir Richard Grenville returning 
shortly afterwards to America, and not being able to find 
them, and at a loss to conjecture their fate, left in the 
island another small party of settlers and again set sail 
for England. 

The flattering description which was given of the 
country, by those who had visited it, so pleased Queen 
Elizabeth, that she gave to it the name of Virginia, as a 
memorial that it had been discovered in the reign of a Vir- 
gin Queen. 

Other inefficient attempts were afterwards made to 
colonize North America during the reign of Elizabeth, but 
it was not 'till the year 1607, that a colony was perma- 

4 Withers's Chronicles 

nently planted there. In December of the preceding year 
a small vessel and two barks, under the command of cap- 
tain Newport, and having on board one hundred and five 
men, destined to remain, left England. In April they 
were driven by a storm into Chesapeak bay, and after a 
fruitless attempt to land at Cape Henry, sailed up the 
Powhatan (since called James) River, and on the 13th of 
May 1607, debarked on the north side of the river at a 
place to which they gave the name of Jamestown. From 
this period the country continued in the occupancy of 
the whites, and remained subject to the crown of Great 
Britain until the war of the revolution. 

A new charter which was issued in 1609 grants to 
"the treasurer and company of the adventurers, of the 
city of London for the first colony of Virginia, in absolute 
property the lands extending from Point Comfort along 
the sea coast two hundred miles to the northward, and 
from the same point, along the sea coast two hundred 
miles to the southward, and up into the land throughout 
from sea to sea, west and north-west ; and also all islands 
lying within one hundred miles of the coast of both seas 
of the precinct aforesaid." Conflicting charters, granted 
to other corporations, afterwards narrowed her limits ; 
that she has been since reduced to her present compara- 
tively small extent of territory, is attributable exclusively 
[6] to the almost suicidal liberality of Virginia herself. 

On the part of France, voyages for the discovery and 
colonization of North America were nearly contempo- 
raneous with those made by England for like objects. As 
early as the year 1540, a commission was issued by Francis 
1st for the establishment of Canada. 1 In 1608, a French 
fleet, under the command of Admiral Champlaine, arrived 

1 This refers to the explorations of Jacques Cartier. But as early aa 
1534 Cartier sailed up the estuary of the St. Lawrence "until land could 
be seen on either side ;" the following year he ascended the river as 
far as the La Chine rapids, and wintered upon the island mountain there 
which he named Mont Real. It was in 1541 that he made his third 
voyage, and built a fort at Quebec. The author's reference, a few lines 
below, to a " Spanish sailor " in the St. Lawrence, is the result of con- 
fusion over Cartier's first voyages ; Cortereal was at Newfoundland for 
the Portuguese in 1500 ; and Gomez for Spain in 1525. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 5 

in the St. Lawrence and founded the city of Quebec. So 
successful were her attempts to colonize that province, 
that, notwithstanding its proximity to the English colo- 
nies, and the fact that a Spanish sailor had previously en- 
tered the St. Lawrence and established a port at the mouth 
of Grand river neither of those powers seriously con- 
tested the right of France to its possession. Yet it was 
frequently the theatre of war ; and as early as 1629 was 
subdued by England. By the treaty of St. Germains in 
1632 it was restored to France, as was also the then prov- 
ince of Acadie, now known as Nova Scotia. There is no 
doubt but that this latter province was, by priority of 
settlement, the property of France, but its principal town 
having been repeatedly reduced to possession by the Eng- 
lish, it was ceded to them by the treaty of Utrecht in 

To the country bordering the Mississippi river, and its 
tributary streams, a claim was made by England, France 
and Spain. The claim of England (based on the discovery 
by the Cabots of the eastern shore of the United States,) 
included all the country between the parallels of latitude 
within which the Atlantic shore was explored, extending 
westwardly to the Pacific ocean a zone athwart the con- 
tinent between the thirtieth and forty-eighth degrees of 
North latitude. 

[From the facility with which the French gained the 
good will and friendly alliance of the Natives in Canada, 
by intermarrying with, and assimilating themselves to the 
habits and inclinations of, these children of the forest, an 
intimacy arose which induced the Indians to impart freely 
to the French their knowledge of the interior country. 
Among other things information was communicated to 
them, of the fact that farther on there was a river of great 
size and immense length, which pursued a course opposite 
to that of the St. Lawrence, and emptied itself into an 
unknown sea.J^It was conjectured that it must necessarily 
flow either into the Gulph of Mexico, or the South Sea ; 
and in 1673 Marquette and Joliet, French missionaries, 
together with five other men, commenced -a journey 

6 Withers's Chronicles 

[7] from Quebec to ascertain the fact and examine the 
country bordering its shores. 

From lake Michigan they proceeded up the Fox river 
nearly to its source; thence to Ouisconsin ; down it to the 
Mississippi, in which river they sailed as far as to about 
the thirty-third degree of north latitude. From this point 
they returned through the Illinois country to Canada. 

At the period of this discovery M. de La Salle, a 
Frenchman of enterprise, courage and talents but without 
fortune, was commandant of fort Frontignac. Pleased 
with the description given by Marquette and Joliet, of the 
country which they had visited, he formed the determina- 
tion of examining it himself, and for this purpose left Can- 
ada in the close of the summer of 1679, in company with 
father Louis Hennepin and some others. 1 On the Illinois 
he erected fort Crevecoeur, where he remained during the 
winter, and instructing father Hennepin, in his absence to 
ascend the Mississippi to its sources, returned to Canada. 
M. de La Salle subsequently visited this country, and estab- 
lishing the villages of Cahokia and Kaskaskia, left them 
under the command of M. de Tonti, and going back to 
Canada, proceeded from thence to France to procure the 
co-operation of the Ministry in effecting a settlement of 
the valley of the Mississippi. He succeeded in impressing 
on the minds of the French Ministry, the great benefits 
which would result from its colonization, and was the first 
to suggest the propriety of connecting the settlements on 
the Mississippi with those in Canada by a cordon of forts; 
a measure which was subsequently attempted to be carried 
into effect. 

With the aid afforded him by the government of 
France, he was enabled to prepare an expedition to accom- 
plish his object, and sailing in 1684 for the mouth of the 
Mississippi, steered too far westward and landed in the 
province of Texas, and on the banks of the river Guada- 
loupe. Every exertion which a brave and prudent man 

1 The author wrote at too early a date to have the benefit of Park- 
man's researches. La Salle had probably discovered the Ohio River 
four years before the voyage of Joliet and Marquette. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 7 

could make to effect the security of his little colony, and 
conduct them to the settlement in Illinois, was fruitlessly 
made by him. In reward for all his toil and care he was 
basely assassinated ; the remnant of the party whom he 
was conducting through the wilderness, finally reached the 
Arkansas, where was a settlement of French emigrants 
from Canada. The colonists left by him at the bay of St. 
Bernard were mostly murdered by the natives, the remain- 
der were carried away by the Spaniards in 1689. 
[8] Other attempts made by the French to colonize the 
Mississippi near the Gulph of Mexico, were for some time 
unavailing. In an expedition for that purpose, conducted 
by M. Ibberville, a suit of armor on which was inscribed 
Ferdinand de Soto, was found in the possession of some 
Indians. In the year 1717 the spot, on which New Orleans 
now stands, was selected as the centre of the settlements, 
then first made in Louisiana, and the country continued in 
the possession of France until 1763. By the treaty of Paris 
in that year, she ceded to Great Britain, together with 
Canada her possessions east of the Mississippi, excepting 
only the island of New Orleans this and her territory on 
the west bank of that river were transferred to Spain. 

The title of Spain to the valley of the Mississippi, if 
made to depend on priority of discovery, would perhaps, 
to say the least, be as good as that of either of the other 
powers. Ferdinand de Soto, governor of Cuba, was most 
probably the first white man who saw that majestic 

The Spaniards had early visited and given name to 
Florida. In 1528 Pamphilo de Narvaez obtained a grant 
of it, and fitting out an armament, proceeded with four or 
five hundred men to explore and settle the country. He 
marched to the Indian village of Appalachas, when he was 
attacked and defeated by the natives. The most of those 
who escaped death from the hands of the savages, perished 
in a storm, by which they were overtaken on their voyage 
home. Narvaez himself perished in the wreck, and was 
succeeded in his attempt at colonization by de Soto. 

Ferdinand de Soto, then governor of Cuba, was a man 
of chivalrous and enterprising spirit, and of cool, deliber- 

8 Withers's Chronicles 

ate courage. In his expedition to Florida, although at- 
tacked by the Indians, immediately on his landiug, yet, 
rather seeking than shunning danger, he penetrated the 
interior, and crossing the Mississippi, sickened and died on 
Red river. So frequent and signal had been the victories 
which he had obtained over the Indians, that his name 
alone had become an object of terror to them ; and his fol- 
lowers, at once to preserve his remains from violation, and 
prevent the natives from acquiring a knowledge of his 
death, enclosed his body in a hollow tree, sunk it in the 
Red river and returned to Florida. 

Thus, it is said, were different parts of this continent 
discovered; and by virtue of the settlements thus effected, 
by [9] those three great powers of Europe, the greater por- 
tion of it was claimed as belonging to them respectively, in 
utter disregard of the rights of the Aborigines. And 
while the historian records the colonization of America as 
an event tending to meliorate the condition of Europe, and 
as having extended the blessings of civil and religious lib- 
erty, humanity must drop the tear of regret, that it has 
likewise forced the natives of the new, and the inhabitants 
of a portion of the old world, to drink so deeply from the 
cup of bitterness. 

The cruelties which have been exercised on the Abo- 
rigines of America, the wrong and outrage heaped on 
them from the days of Montezuma and Guatimozin, to the 
present period, while they excite sympathy for their suf- 
ferings, should extenuate, if not justify the bloody deeds, 
which revenge prompted the untutored savages to com- 
mit. Driven as they were from the lands of which they 
were the rightful proprietors Yielding to encroachment 
after encroachment 'till forced to apprehend their utter 
annihilation Witnessing the destruction of their villages, 
the prostration of their towns and the sacking of cities 
adorned with spendid magnificence, who can feel surprised 
at any attempt which they might make to rid the country 
of its invaders. Who, but must applaud the spirit which 
prompted them, when they beheld their prince a captive, 
the blood of their nobles staining the earth with its crim- 
son dye, and the Gods of their adoration scoffed and de- 

Of Border Warfare. 9 

rided, to aim at the destruction of their oppressors. 
When Mexico, " with her tiara of proud towers," became 
the theatre in which foreigners were to revel in rapine and 
in murder, who can be astonished that the valley of 
Otumba resounded with the cry of " Victory or Death ? " 
And yet, resistance on their part, served but as a pretext 
for a war of extermination ; waged too, with a ferocity, 
from the recollection of which the human mind involun- 
tarily revolts, and with a success which has forever blotted 
from the book of national existence, once powerful and 
happy tribes. 

But they did not suffer alone. As if to fill the cup of 
oppression to the brim, another portion of the human 
family were reduced to abject bondage, and made the un- 
willing cultivators of those lands, of which the Indians 
had been dispossessed. Soon after the settlement of North 
America was commenced, the negroes of Africa became 
an article of commerce, and from subsequent importations 
and natural [10] increase have become so numerous as to 
excite the liveliest apprehensions in the bosom of every 
friend to this country. Heretofore they have had consid- 
erable influence on the affairs of our government; and 
recently the diversity of interest, occasioned in Virginia, 
by the possession of large numbers of them in the 
country east of the blue ridge of mountains, seemed 
for a while to threaten the integrity of the state. Happily 
this is now passing away, but how far they may effect the 
future destines of America, the most prophetic ken cannot 
foresee. Yet, although the philanthopist must weep over 
their unfortunate situation, and the patriot shudder 
in anticipation of a calamity which it may defy human 
wisdom to avert; still it would be unfair to charge the ex- 
istence of slavery among us to the policy of the United 
States, or to brand their present owners as the instruments 
of an evil which they cannot remove. And while others 
boast that they are free from this dark spot, let them re- 
member, that but for them our national escutcheon might 
have been as pure and unsullied as their own. 1 

1 It is said, that Georgia, at an early period of her colonial exist- 

10 Withers's Chronicles 

We are indebted to the Dutch for their introduction 
into Virginia, and to the ships of other than slave holding 
communities, for their subsequent unhallowed transporta- 
tion to our shores. Yet those who were mainly instru- 
mental in forging the chains of bondage, have since ren- 
dered the condition of the negro slave more intolerable 
by fomenting discontent among them, and by " scattering 
fire brands and torches," which are often not to be extin- 
guished but in blood. 

Notwithstanding those two great evils which have 
resulted from the discovery and colonization of America, 
yet to these the world is indebted for the enjoyment of 
many and great blessings. They enlarged the theatre of 
agricultural enterprise, and thus added to the facilities of 
procuring the necessaries of life. They encouraged the 
industry of Europeans, by a dependence on them for al- 
most every species of manufacture, and thus added con- 
siderably to their population, wealth and happiness ; while 
the extensive tracts of fertile land, covering the face of 
this country and inviting to its bosom the enterprising [11] 
foreigner, has removed a far off any apprehension of the 
ill effects arising from a too dense population. 

In a moral and political point of view much good has 
likewise resulted from the settlement of America. Relig- 
ion, freed from the fetters which enthralled her in Europe, 
has shed her benign influence on every portion of our coun- 
try. Divorced from an adulterous alliance with state, she 
has here stalked forth in the simplicity of her founder; 
and with " healing on her wings, spread the glad tidings 
of salvation to all men." It is true that religious intoler- 
ance and blind bigotry, for some time clouded our horizon, 
but they were soon dissipated ; and when the sun arose 
which ushered in the dawn of our national existence scarce 
a speck could be seen to dim its lustre. Here too was 

ence, endeavored by legislative enactment to prevent the importation 
of slaves into her territory, but that the King of England invariably 
negatived those laws, and ultimately Oglethorpe was dismissed from 
office, for persevering in the endeavor to accomplish so desirable an ob- 
ject. It is an historical fact that slaves were not permitted to be taken 
into Georgia, for some time after a colony was established there. 

Of Border Warfare. 11 

reared the standard of civil liberty, and an example set, 
which may teach to the nations of the old world, that as 
people are really the source of power, government should 
be confided to them. Already have the beneficial effects 
of this example been manifested, and the present condition 
of Europe clearly shows, that the lamp of liberty, which 
was lighted here, has burned with a brilliancy so steady as 
to have reflected its light across the Atlantic. "Whether it 
will be there permitted to shine, is somewhat problemati- 
cal. But should a " holy alliance of legitimates " extin- 
guish it, it will be but for a season. Kings, Emperors and 
Priests cannot succeed much longer in staying the march 
of freedom. The people are sensibly alive to the oppres- 
sion of their rulers they have groaned beneath the bur- 
den 'till it has become too intolerable to be borne ; and 
they are now speaking in a voice which will make tyrants 
tremble on their throne. 

12 Withers's Chronicles 



When America was first visited by Europeans, it was 
found that its inhabitants were altogether ignorant of the 
country from which their ancestors had migrated, and of 
the period at which they had been transplanted to the new 
world. And although there were among them traditions 
seeming to cast a light upon these subjects, yet when thor- 
oughly investigated, they tended rather to bewilder than 
lead to any certain conclusion. The origin of the natives 
has ever since been a matter of curious speculation with 
the learned; conjecture has succeeded conjecture, hypoth- 
esis has yielded to hypothesis, as wave recedes before wave, 
still it remains involved in a labyrinth of inexplicable dif- 
ficulties, from which the most ingenious mind will perhaps 
never be able to free it. 

In this respect the situation of the aborigines of Amer- 
ica does not differ from that of the inhabitants of other 
portions of the globe. An impenetrable cloud hangs over 
the early history of other nations, and defies the researches 
of the learned in any attempt to trace them to their origin. 
The attempt has nevertheless been repeatedly made ; and 
philosophers, arguing from a real or supposed' conformity 
of one people to another, have vainly imagined that they 
had attained to certainty on these subjects. And while 
one has in this manner, undertaken to prove China to have 
been an Egyptian colony, another, pursuing the same course 
of reasoning, has, by way of ridicule, shewn how easily a 
learned man of Tobolski or Pekin might as satisfactorily 
prove France to have been a Trojan, a Greek or even an 
Arabian colony; thus making manifest the utter futility 
of endeavoring to arrive at certainty in this way. 1 

1 " If a learned man of Tobolski or Pekin were to read some of our 
books, be might in this way demonstrate, that the French are descended 

Of Border Warfare. 13 

[13] Nor is this to be at all wondered at, when we reflect 
on the barbarous state of those nations in their infancy, 
the imperfection of traditionary accounts of what had 
transpired centuries before, and in many instances the en- 
tire absence of a written language, by which, either to per- 
petuate events, or enable the philosopher by analogy of 
.language to ascertain their affinity with other nations. 
Conjectural then as must be every disquisition as to the 
manner in which this continent was first peopled, still 
however, as many men eminent for learning and piety 
have devoted much labor and time to the investigation of 
the subject, it may afford satisfaction to the curious to see 
some of those speculations recorded. Discordant as they 
are 'in many respects, there is nevertheless one fact as to 
the truth of which they are nearly all agreed ; Mr. Jeffer- 
son is perhaps the only one, of those who have written on 
the subject, who seems to discredit the assertion that 

from the Trojans. The most ancient writings, he might say, and those 
in most esteem in France, are romances : these were written in a pure 
language, derived from the ancient Romans, who were famous for never 
advancing a falsehood. Now upwards of twenty of these authentic 
books, affirm that Francis, the founder of the monarchy of the Franks, 
was son to Hector. The name of Hector has ever since been preserved 
by this nation ; and even in the present century one of the greatest gen- 
erals was called Hector de Villars. 

" The neighboring nations (he would continue,) are so unanimous in 
acknowledging this truth, that Ariosto, one of the most learned of the 
Italians, owns in his Orlando, that Charlemagne's knights fought for 
Hector's helmet. Lastly, there is one proof which admits of no reply ; 
namely, that the ancient Franks to perpetuate the memory of the 
Trojans, their ancestors, built a new city called Troye, in the province 
of Champagne; and these modern Trojans have always retained so 
strong an aversion to their enemies, the Greeks, that there is not at 
present four persons in the whole province of Champagne, who will 
learn their language ; nay, they would never admit any Jesuits among 
them ; probably because they had heard it said, that some of that body 
used formerly to explain Homer in their public schools." 

Proceeding in this manner, M. de Voltaire shows how easily this 
hypothesis might be overturned; and while one might thus demon- 
strate that the Parisians are descended from the Greeks, other profound 
antiquarians might in like manner prove them to be of Egyptian, or 
even of Arabian extraction ; and although the learned world might 
much puzzle themselves to decide the question, yet would it remain un- 
decided and in uncertainty . Preface to the Life of Peter the Great. 

14 Withers's Chronicles 

America was peopled by emigrants from the .old world. 
How well the conjecture, that the eastern inhabitants of 
Asia were descendants of the Indians of America can be 
supported by any knowledge which is possessed of the 
different languages spoken by the Aborigines, will be for 
others to determine. " Neque confirmare argumentis, 
neque refellere, in animo est; ex ingenio suo, quisque 
demat vel addat fidem." 

Among those who have given to the world their opin- 
ions on the origin of the natives of America, is Father 
Jos. Acosta, a Jesuit who was for some time engaged as a 
missionary among them. From the fact that no ancient 
author has made mention of the [14] compass, he discredits 
the supposition that the first inhabitants of this coun- 
try found their way here by sea. His conclusion is that 
they must have found a passage by the North of Asia and 
Europe which he supposes to join each other; or by those 
regions which lie southward of the straits of Magellan. 

Gregorio Garcia, who was likewise a missionary 
among the Mexicans and Peruvians, from the traditions 
of those nations, and from the variety of characters, cus- 
toms, languages and religion, observable in the new world, 
has formed the opinion that it was peopled by several dif- 
ferent nations. 

John de Laet, a Flemish writer, maintains that Amer- 
ica received its first inhabitants from Scythia or Tartary, 
and soon after the dispersion of Noah's grand-sons. The 
resemblance of the northern Indians, in feature, complex- 
ion and manner of living, to the Scythians, Tartars, and 
Samojedes, being greater than to any other nations. 

Emanuel de Moraez, in his history of Brazil, says 
that this continent was wholly peopled by the Carthagi- 
nians and Israelites. In confirmation of this opinion, he 
mentions the discoveries which the Carthaginians are 
known to have made beyond the coast of Africa. The 
progress of these discoveries being stopped by the Senate 
of Carthage, those who happened to be in the newly dis- 
covered countries, cut off from all communication with 
their countrymen, and being destitute of many of the 
necessaries of life, easily fell into a state of barbarism. 

Of Border Warfare. 15 

George de Huron, a Dutch writer on this subject, con- 
sidering the short space of time which elapsed between the 
creation of the world and the deluge, maintains that 
America could not have been peopled before the flood. 
He likewise supposes that its first inhabitants were located 
in the north; and that the primitive colonies extended 
themselves over the whole extent of the continent, by 
means of the Isthmus of Panama. It is his opinion that 
the first founders of these Indian colonies were Scythians ; 
that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians subsequently got 
to America across the Atlantic, and the Chinese across the 
Pacific ocean, and that other nations might have landed 
there by one of these means, or been thrown on the coast 
by tempest: since through the whole extent of 'the conti- 
nent, both in its northern and southern parts there are 
evident marks of a mixture of the northern nations with 
those who have come from other places. 

[15] He also supposes that another migration of the 
Phoenicians took place during a three years voyage made 
by the Tyrian fleet in the service of king Solomon. He 
asserts, on the authority of Josephus, that the port at which 
this embarkation was made, lay in the Mediterranean. The 
fleet, he adds, went in quest of Elephants' teeth and Pea- 
cocks, to the western coast of Africa, which is Tarshish, 
then for gold to Ophir, which is Haite or the Island of 
Hispaniola. In the latter opinion he is supported by Co- 
lumbus, who, when he discovered that Island, thought he 
could trace the furnaces in which the gold had been re- 

Monsieur Charlevoix, who travelled through North 
America, is of opinion that it received its first inhabitants 
from Tartary and Hyrcania. In support of this impression 
he says that some of the animals which are to be found 
here, must have come from those countries : a fact which 
would go to prove that the two hemispheres join to the 
northward of Asia. And in order to strengthen this con- 
jecture, he relates the following story, which he says was 
told to him by Father Grollon, a French Jesuit, as matter 
of fact. 

Father Grollon said, that after having labored some 

16 Wither s's Chronicles 

time in the missions of New France, he passed over to 
China. One day as he was travelling in Tartary he met a 
Huron woman whom he had known in Canada. He asked 
her by what adventure she had been carried into a country 
so very remote from her own ; she replied that having been 
taken in war, she was conducted from nation to nation, 
until she reached the place where she then was. 

Monsieur Charlevoix narrates another circumstance of 
a similar kind. He says that he had been assured, another 
Jesuit had met with a Floridian woman in China. She 
also had been made captive by certain Indians, who gave 
her to those of a more distant country, and by these again 
she was given to those of another nation, 'till having been 
successively passed from country to country, and after hav- 
ing travelled through regions extremely cold, she at length 
found herself in Tartary. Here she had married a Tartar, 
who had attended the conquerors in China, and with whom 
she then was. 

Arguing from these facts and from the similarity of 
several kinds of wild beasts which are found in America, 
with those of Hyrcania and Tartary, he arrives at what he 
deems, a [16] rational conclusion, that more than one na- 
tion in America had Scythian or Tartarian extraction. 

Charlevoix possessed a good opportunity of becoming 
acquainted with the character and habits of the American 
Indians. His theory however has been controverted by 
some, possessing equal advantages of observation. Mr. 
Adair, an intelligent gentleman who resided among the 
nations during the space of forty years, and who became 
well acquainted with their manners, customs, religion, tra- 
ditions and language, has given to them a very different 
origin. But perfect soever as may have been his knowl- 
edge of their manners, customs, religion and traditions, 
yet it must be admitted that any inquiry into these, with 
a view to discover their origin, would most probably prove 
fallacious. A knowledge of the primitive language, alone 
can cast much light on the subject. Whether this knowl- 
edge can ever be attained, is, to say the least, very ques- 
tionable Being an unwritten language, and subject to 
change for so many centuries, it can scarcely be supposed 

Of Border Warfare. II 

now to bear much, if any affinity, to what it was in its 

Mr. Adair says, that from the most exact observation 
he could make during the long time which he traded 
among the Indians, he was forced to believe them lineally 
descended from the Israelites, either when they were a 
maritime power, or soon after the general captivity ; most 
probably the latter. 

He thinks that had the nine tribes and a half, which 
were carried off by Shalmanezer, king of Assyria, and 
which settled in Media, remained there long, they would, 
by intermarrying with the nations of that country, from a 
natural fickleness and proneness to idolatry, and from the 
force of example, have adopted and bowed before the Gods 
of the Medes and Assyrians ; and have carried them along 
with them. But he affirms that there is not the least trace 
of this idolatry to be discovered among the Indians : and 
hence he argues that those of the ten tribes who were the 
forefathers of the natives, soon advanced eastward from 
Assyria and reached their settlements in the new conti- 
nent, before the destruction of the first Temple. 

In support of the position that the American Indians 
are thus descended, Mr. Adair adduces among others the 
following arguments : 

1st, Their division into tribes. 

"As each nation has its particular symbol, so each tribe 
has [17] the badge from which it is denominated. The 
Sachem is a necessary party in conveyances and treaties, 
to which he affixes the mark of his tribe. If we go from 
nation to nation among them, we shall not find one, who 
does not distinguish himself by his respective family. 
The genealogical names which they assume, are derived 
either from the names of those animals whereof the cher- 
ubim is said in revelation to be compounded ; or from such 
creatures as are most similar to them. The Indians bear 
no religious respect to the animals from which they derive 
their names ; on the contrary they kill them whenever an 
opportunity serves. 

" When we consider that these savages have been up- 
wards of twenty centuries without the aid of letters to 

18 Withers' 's Chronicles 

carry down their traditions, it can not be reasonably ex- 
pected, that they should still retain the identical names of 
their primogenial tribes : their main customs correspond- 
ing with those of the Israelites, sufficiently clear the sub- 
ject. Moreover they call some of their tribes by the 
names of the cherubinical figures, which were carried on 
the four principal standards of Israel." 

2nd, Their worship of Jehovah. 

" By a strict, permanent, divine precept, the Hebrew 
nation was ordered to worship at Jerusalem, Jehovah the 
true and living God, who by the Indians is styled ' Yohe- 
wah.' The seventy-two interpreters have translated this 
word so as to signify, Sir, Lord, Master, applying to mere 
earthly potentates, without the least signification or rela- 
tion to that great and awful name, which describes the 
divine presence." 

3rd, Their notions of a theocracy. 

"Agreeably to the theocracy or divine government of 
Israel, the Indians think the deity to be the immediate 
head of the state. All the nations of Indians have a great 
deal of religious pride, and an inexpressible contempt for 
the white people. In their war orations they used to call 
us the accursed people, but flatter themselves with the name 
of the beloved people, because their supposed ancestors 
were, as they affirm, under the immediate government of 
the Deity, who was present with them in a peculiar man- 
ner, and directed them by Prophets, while the rest of the 
world were aliens to the covenant. 1 When the old Archi- 

1 In a small work entitled "Ancient History of the Six Nations," 
written by David Cusick, an educated Indian of the Tuscarora village, 
frequent mention is made of the actual presence among them, of 
Tarenyawagua, or Holder of the Heavens, who guided and directed 
them when present, and left rules for their government, during his 
absence. Several miracles performed by him are particularly men- 
tioned. It likewise speaks of the occasional visits of Angels or ' agents 
of the Superior power' as they are called by Cusick ; and tells of a vis- 
itor who came among the Tuscaroras long anterior to the discovery of 
America by Columbus. " He appeared to be a very old man, taught 
them many things, and informed them that the people beyond the great 
water had killed their Maker, but that he rose again. The old man died 
among them and they buried him soon after some person went to the 
grave and found that he had risen ; he was never heard of afterwards." 

Of Border Warfare. 19 

magus, or any of their Magi, is [18] persuading the people at 
their religious solemnities, to a strict observance of the old 
beloved or divine speech, he always calls them the beloved or 
holy people, agreeably to the Hebrew epithet, Ammi, (my 
people) during the theocracy of Israel. It is this opinion, 
that God has chosen them out of the rest of mankind, as 
his peculiar people, which inspires the white Jew, and the 
red American, with that steady hatred against all the 
world except themselves, and renders them hated and de- 
spised by all." 

bth, Their language and dialects. 

" The Indian language and dialects appear to have the 
very idiom and genius of the Hebrew. Their words and 
sentences are expressive, concise, emphatical, sonorous 
and bold ; and often both the letters and signification are 
synonymous with the Hebrew language." Of these Mr. 
Adair cites a number of examples. 

6th, Their manner of counting time. 

" The Indians count time after the manner of the He- 
brews. They divide the year into spring, summer, autumn 
and winter. They number their year from any of these 
four periods, for they have no name for a year ; and they 
subdivide these and count the year by lunar months, like 
the Israelites who counted time by moons, as their name 
sufficiently testifies. 

" The number and regular periods of the religious feasts 
among the Indians, is a good historical proof that they 
counted time by and observed a weekly Sabbath, long 
after their arrival in America. They began the year at 
the appearance of the first new moon of the vernal equi- 
nox, according to the ecclesiastical year of Moses. 'Till 
the seventy years captivity [19] commenced, the Israelites 
had only numeral names for their months, except Abib 
and Ethanim ; the former signifying a green ear of corn, 
the latter robust or valiant; by the first name the Indian? 
as an explicative, term their passover, which the trading 
people call the green corn dance" 

7th, Their prophets or high priests. 

"In conformity to, or after the manner of the Jews, the 
Indians have their prophets, high priests, and others of a 

20 Withers's Chronicles 

religious order. As the Jews have a Sanctum Sanctorum, 
so have all the Indian nations. There they deposit their con- 
secrated vessels none of the laity daring to approach that 
sacred place. The Indian tradition says, that their fore- 
fathers were possessed of an extraordinary divine spirit by 
which they foretold future events ; and that this was trans- 
mitted to their offspring, provided they obeyed the sacred 
laws annexed to it. 1 [20] Ishtoallo is the name of all their 

1 In confirmation of this tradition among the Indians, the following 
somewhat singular circumstance related by Mr. Carver, may with pro- 
priety be adduced : 

While at Grand Portage, from the number of those who were 
there and the fact that the traders did not arrive as soon as was ex- 
pected, there was a great scarcity of provisions, and much consequent 
anxiety as to the period of their arrival. One day, Mr. Carver says, 
that while expressing their wishes for the event, and looking anxiously 
to ascertain if they could be seen on the Lake, the chief Priest of the 
Kilistines told them that he would endeavor in a conference with the 
GREAT SPIRIT, to learn at what time the traders would arrive : and the 
following evening was fixed upon for the spiritual conference. 

When every preparation had been made, the king conducted Mr. 
Carver to a spacious tent, the covering of which was so drawn up as to 
render visible to those without, every thing which passed within. Mr. 
Carver being seated beside the king within the tent, observed in the 
centre a place of an oblong shape, composed of stakes stuck at intervals in 
the ground, forming something like a coffin, and large enough to contain 
the body of a man. The sticks were far enough from each other to ad- 
mit a distinct view by the spectators, of what ever passed within them ; 
while the tent was perfectly illuminated. 

When the Priest entered, a large Elk-skin being spread on the 
ground, he divested himself of all his clothing, except that around his 
middle, and laying down on the skin enveloped himself (save only his 
head) in it. The skin was then bound round with about forty yards 
of cord, and in that situation he was placed within the ballustrade of 

In a few seconds he was heard to mutter, but his voice, gradually 
assuming a higher tone, was at length extended to its utmost pitch, 
and sometimes praying, he worked himself into such an agitation as 
to produce a foaming at the mouth. To this succeeded a speechless 
state of exhaustion, of short duration; when suddenly springing on 
his feet, and shaking off the skin, as easily as if the bands with 
which it had been lashed around him, were burned asunder, he ad- 
dressed the company in a firm and audible voice : " My Brothers, 
said he, the Great Spirit has deigned to hold a talk with his servant. 
He has not indeed told me when the traders will be here ; but to- 
morrow when the sun reaches the highest point in the heavens, a canoe 

Of Border Warfare. 21 

priestly order and their pontifical office descends by in- 
heritance to the eldest. There are traces of agreement, 
though chiefly lost, in their pontifical dress. Before the 
Indian Archimagus officiates in making the supposed 
holy fire for the yearly atonement of sin, the Sagan 
clothes him with a white ephod, which is a waistcoat with- 
out sleeves. In resemblance of the Urim and Thummim 
the American Archimagus wears a breastplate made of a 
white conch-shell, with two holes bored in the middle of it, 
through which he puts the ends of an otter-skin strap ; 
and fastens a buck-horn white button to the outside of 
each ; as if in imitation of the precious stones of the 

In remarking upon this statement of Mr. Adair, Faber, 
a learned divine of the church of England, has said, that 
Ishtoallo (the name according to Adair of the Indian 
priests) is most probably a corruption of Ish-da-Eloah, a man 
of God, (the term used by the Shunemitish woman in 
speaking of Elisha ;) and that Sagan is the very name by 
which the Hebrews called the deputy of the High Priest, 
who supplied his office and who performed the functions of 
it in the absence of the high priest, or when any accident 
had disabled him from officiating in person. 

8th, Their festivals, fasts and religious rites. 

" The ceremonies of the Indians in their religious wor- 
ship, [21] are more after the Mosaic institution, than of 
Pagan imitation. This could not be the fact if a majority 
of the old nations were of heathenish descent. They are 
utter strangers to all the gestures practiced by Pagans in 
their religious rites. They have likewise an appellative, 
which with them is the mysterious, essential name of 
God ; the tetragrammaton, which they never use in common 

will arrive, the people in that canoe will inform us when the traders 
will arrive." 

Mr. Carver adds that on the next day at noon a canoe was descried 
on the lake at the distance of about three miles, completely verifying 
the prediction of the High Priest, in point of time. From the people 
on board this canoe they learned that the traders would be at the por- 
tage on the second day thereafter, at which time they actually did 

22 Withers's Chronicles 

speech. They are very particular of the time and place, 
when and where they mention it, and this is always done 
in a very solemn manner. It is known that the Jews had 
so great and sacred regard for the four lettered, divine 
name, as scarcely ever to mention it, except when the High 
Priest went into the sanctuary for the expiation of sins." 

Mr. Adair likewise says that the American Indians, 
like the Hebrews, have an ark in which are kept various 
holy vessels, and which is never suffered to rest on the bare 
ground. " On hilly ground, where stones are plenty, they 
always place it on them, but on level land it is made to 
rest on short legs. They have also a faith, in the power 
and holiness of their ark, as strong as the Israelites had in 
theirs. It is too sacred and dangerous to be touched by 
any one, except the chieftain and his waiter. The leader 
virtually acts the part of a priest of war protempore, in 
imitation of the Israelites fighting under the divine mili- 
tary banner." 

Among their other religious rites the Indians, accord- 
ing to Adair, cut out the sinewy part of the thigh ; in 
commemoration, as he says, of the Angel wrestling with 

12th, Their abstinence from unclean things. 

" Eagles of every kind are esteemed by the Indians to 
be unclean food ; as also ravens, crows, bats, buzzards and 
every species of owl. They believe that swallowing gnats, 
flies and the like, always breed sickness. To this that di- 
vine sarcasm alludes ' swallowing a camel and straining at 
a gnat.' " Their purifications for their Priests, and for hav- 
ing touched a dead body or other unclean thing, according 
to Mr. Adair, are quite Levitical. He acknowledges how- 
ever, that they have no traces of circumcision ; but he 
supposes that they lost this rite in their wanderings, as it 
ceased among the Hebrews, during the forty years in the 

15A, Their cities of refuge. 

" The Israelites had cities of refuge for those who 
killed persons unawares. According to the same particu- 
lar divine [22] law of mercy, each of the Indian nations has 
a house or town of refuge, which is a sure asylum to protect 

Of Border Warfare. 23 

a man-slayer, or the unfortunate captive, if they can but 
once enter into it. In almost every nation they have 
peaceable towns, called ancient holy, or white towns. 
These seem to have been towns of refuge ; for it is not in 
the memory of man, that ever human blood was shed in 
them, although they often force persons from thence and 
put them to death elsewhere." 

~L6th, Their purifications and ceremonies preparatory. 

" Before the Indians go to war they have many pre- 
paratory ceremonies of purification and fasting like what 
is recorded of the Israelites." 

21s, Their raising seed to a deceased brother. 

' The surviving brother, by the Mosaic law, was to 
raise seed to a deceased brother, who left a widow child- 
less. The Indian custom looks the very same way ; but 
in this as in their law of blood, the eldest brother can re- 

With these and many arguments of a like kind, has 
Mr. Adair endeavored to support the conjecture, that the 
American Indians are lineally descended from the Israel- 
ites; and gravely asks of those who may dissent from his 
opinion of their origin and descent, to inform him how 
they came here, and by what means they formed the long 
chain of rites and customs so similar to those of the He- 
brews, and dissimilar to the rites and customs of the pagan 

Major Carver, a provincial officer who sojourned some 
time with the Indians and visited twelve different nations 
of them, instead of observing the great similarity, men- 
tioned by Adair as existing between the natives and He- 
brews, thought he could trace features of resemblance be- 
tween them and the Chinese and Tartars ; and has under- 
taken to shew how they might have got here. He says, 

"Although it is not ascertained certainly, that the con- 
tinents of Asia and America join each other, yet it is proven 
that the sea which is supposed to divide them, is full of 
islands the distance from which to either continent, is com- 
paratively trifling. From these islands a communication 
with the main land could be more readily effected than 
from any other point." " It is very evident that the man- 

24 Withers' s Chronicles 

ners and customs of the American Indians, resemble that 
of the Tartars; and I have no doubt that in some future 
era, it will be reduced to a certainty that in some of the 
wars between the Chinese and Tartars, a part [23] of the 
inhabitants of the northern provinces were driven from 
their country and took refuge in some of these islands, 
and from thence found their way to America. At differ- 
ent periods each nation might prove victorious, and the 
conquered by turns fly before the conquerors ; and hence 
might arise the similitude of the Indians to all these peo- 
ple, and that animosity which exists among so many of 
their tribes." 

After remarking on the similarity which exists be- 
tween the Chinese and Indians, in the singular custom of 
shaving or plucking out the hair leaving only a small spot 
on the crown of the head ; and the resemblance in sound 
and signification which many of the Chinese and Indian 
words bear to each other, he proceeds, "After the most 
critical inquiry and mature deliberation, I am of opinion 
that America received its first inhabitants from the north- 
east, by way of the islands mentioned as lying between 
Asia and America. This might have been effected at dif- 
ferent times and from different parts: from Tartary, 
China, Japan or Kamschatka, the inhabitants of these 
countries resembling each other, in color, feature and 

Other writers on this subject, coinciding in opinion 
with Carver, mention a tradition which the Indians in 
Canada have, that foreign merchants clothed in silk 
formerly visited them in great ships : these are supposed 
to have been Chinese, the ruins of Chinese ships having 
been found on the American coast. The names of many 
of the American kings, are said to be Tartar ; and Tar- 
tarax, who reigned formerly in Quivira, means the Tartar. 
Manew, the founder of the Peruvian empire, most prob- 
ably came from the Manchew Tartars. Montezuma, the 
title of the emperors of Mexico, is of Japanese extrac- 
tion ; for according to some authors it is likewise the ap- 
pellation of the Japanese Monarch. The plant Ginseng, 
4nce found in America, where the natives termed it 

Of Border Warfare. 25 

Garentoguen, a word of the same import in their lan- 
guage, with Ginseng in the Tartar, both meaning THE 


Dr. Robertson is decidedly of opinion, that the differ- 
ent tribes of American Indians, excepting the Esquimaux, 
are of Asiatic extraction. He refers to a tradition among 
the Mexicans of the migration of their ancestors from a 
remote country, situated to the north-west of Mexico, and 
says they point out their various stations as they advanced 
into the interior provinces, which is precisely the route 
they must have held, if they had been emigrants from 

Mr. Jefferson, in his notes on Virginia, says, that the 
passage from Europe to America was always practicable, 
even to the imperfect [24] navigation of the ancient times ; 
and that, from recent discoveries, it is proven, that if Asia and 
America be separated at all it is only by a narrow streight. 
" Judging from the resemblance between the Indians of 
America and the eastern inhaoitants of Asia, we should 
say that the former are descendants of the latter, or the 
latter of the former, except indeed the Esquimaux, who, 
from the same circumstance of resemblance, and from 
identity of language, must be derived from the Green- 
landers. A knowledge of their several languages would 
be the most certain evidence of their derivation which 
could be produced. In fact it is the best proof of the 
affinity of nations, which ever can be referred to." 

After regretting that so many of the Indian tribes 
have been suffered to perish, without our having collected 
and preserved the general rudiments of their language, he 

" Imperfect as is our knowledge of the tongues spoken 
in America, it suffices to discover the following remark- 
able fact. Arranging them under the radical ones to 
which they may be palpably traced, and doing the same 
by those of the red men of Asia, there will be found prob- 
ably twenty in America, for one in Asia, of those radical 
languages ; so called because if ever they were the same, 
they have lost all resemblance to one another. A separa- 
tion into dialects may be the work of a few agea only, but 

26 Withers's Chronicles 

for two dialects to recede from one another, 'till they have 
lost all vestiges of their common origin, must require an 
immense course of time ; perhaps not less than many peo- 
ple give to the age of the earth. A greater number of 
those radical changes of language having taken place 
among the red men of America proves them of greater an- 
tiquity than those of Asia. 

Indian traditions say, that " in ancient days the Great 
Island appeared upon the big waters, the earth brought 
forth trees, herbs and fruits: that there were in the world 
a good and a bad spirit, the good spirit formed creeks and 
rivers on the great island, and created numerous species 
of animals to inhabit the forests, and fishes of all kinds to 
inhabit the water. He also made two beings to whom he 
gave living souls and named them Ea-gwe-howe, (real 
people). Subsequently some of the people became giants 
and committed outrages upon the others. After many 
years a body of Ea-gwe-howe people encamped on the 
bank of a majestic stream, which they named, Kanawaga 
(St. Lawrence.) After a long time a number of foreign 
people sailed from a part unknown, but unfortunately the 
winds drove them off and they ultimately landed on the 
southern part of the great island and many of the crew 
perished. Those who survived, selected a place for resi- 
dence, erected fortifications, became a numerous people 
and extended their settlements." * 

Thus various and discordant are the conjectures re- 
specting the manner in which this continent was first 
peopled. Although some [25] of them appear more 
rational and others, yet are they at best but hypothetical 
disquisitions on a subject which will not now admit of 
certainty. All agree that America was inhabited long an- 
terior to its discovery by Columbus, and by a race of hu- 
man beings, who, however numerous they once were, are 
fast hastening to extinction; some centuries hence and 
they will be no more known. The few memorials, which 
the ravages of time have suffered to remain of them, in 
those portions of the country from which they have been 

1 Indian traditions by Cusick. 

Of Border Warfare. 5i7 

long expelled ; have destruction dealt them by the ruthless 
hand of man. History may transmit to after ages, the 
fact that they once were, and give their " local habitation 
and their name." These will probably be received as the 
tales of fiction, and posterity be at as much loss to deter- 
mine, whether they ever had an existence, as we now are 
to say from whence they sprang. 

" I have stood upon Achilles' tomb 

And heard Troy doubted. Time will doubt of Rome." 

Withers' s Chronicles 



The aborigines of America, although divided into 
many different tribes, inhabiting various climates, and with- 
out a community of language, are yet assimilated to each 
other in stature and complexion, more strikingly than are 
the inhabitants of the different countries of Europe. The 
manners and customs of one nation, are very much the 
manners and customs of all ; and although there be pecu- 
liarities observable among all, yet are they fewer and less 
manifest than those which mark the nations of the old 
world, and distinguish them so palpably from each other. 
A traveller might have traversed the country, when occu- 
pied exclusively by the natives, without remarking among 
them, the diversity which exists in Europe; or being im- 
pressed with the contrast which a visit across the Pyrennes 
would exhibit, between the affability and vivacity of a 
Frenchman at a theatre or in the Elysian fields, and the 
hauteur and reserve of a Spaniard at their bloody circus, 
when "bounds with one lashing spring the mighty brute." 

[26] Nor is there much in savage life, calculated to 
inspire the mind of civilized man, with pleasurable sensa- 
tions. Many of the virtues practised by them, proceed 
rather from necessity or ignorance than from any ethical 
principle existing among them. The calm composure with 
which they meet death and their stoical indifference to 
bodily pain, are perhaps more attributable to recklessness 
of life and physical insensibility, 1 than to fortitude or 
magnanimity; consequently they do not much heighten 
the zest of reflection, in contemplating their character. 
The Christian and the philanthropist, with the benevolent 

1 It is said that the nerves of an Indian do not shrink as much, nof 
shew the same tendency to spasm, under the knife of the surgeon, as 
the nerves of a white man in a similar situation. 

Of Border Warfare. 29 

design of improving their morals and meliorating their 
condition, may profitably study every peculiarity and trait 
of character observable among them ; it will facilitate their 
object and enable them the more readily to reclaim them 
from a life of heathenish barbarity, and to extend to them 
the high boons of civilization and Christianity. 

It has been observed that the different tribes of natives 
of North America, resemble each other very much in stat- 
ure and complexion, in manners and customs ; a general 
description of these will therefor be sufficient. 

The stature of an Indian, is generally that of the me- 
dial stature of the Anglo Americans ; the Osages are said 
to form an exception to this rule, being somewhat taller. 
They are almost universally straight and well proportioned; 
their limbs are clean, but less muscular than those of the 
whites, and their whole appearance strongly indicative of 
effeminacy. In walking, they invariable place one foot di- 
rectly before the other the toes never verging from a 
right line with the heel. When traveling in companies, 
their manner of marching is so peculiar as to have given 
rise to the expression, " Indian file ;" and while proceeding 
in this way, each carefully places his foot in the vestige of 
the foremost of the party, so as to leave the impression 
of the footsteps of but one. They have likewise in their 
gait and carriage something so entirely different from the 
gait and carriage of the whites, as to enable a person to 
pronounce on one at a considerable distance. The hair of 
an Indian is also strikingly different from that of the 
whites. It is always black and straight, hangs loose and 
looks as if it were [27] oiled. There is a considerable re- 
semblance in appearance, between it and the glossy black 
mane of a thoroughbred horse ; though its texture is finer. 

In the squaws there exist, the same delicacy of pro- 
portion, the same effeminacy of person, the same slender- 
ness of hand and foot, which characterise the female of 
refined society; in despite too of the fact, that every 
laborious duty and every species of drudgery, are imposed 
on them from childhood. Their faces are broad, and be- 
tween the eyes they are exceedingly wide; their cheek 
bones are high and the eyes black in both sexes the noses 

30 Withers's Chronicles 


of the women inclining generally to the flat nose of the 
African ; while those of the men are more frequently aqui- 
line than otherwise. 

Instances of decrepitude and deformity, are rarely 
known to exist among them : this is probably owing to 
the manner in which they are tended and nursed in infancy. 
It is not necessary that the mother should, as has been 
supposed, be guilty of the unnatural crime of murdering 
her decrepid or deformed offspring the hardships they 
encounter are too great to be endured by infants not pos- 
sessed of natural vigor, and they sink beneath them. 

Their countenances are for the most inflexible, stern 
and immovable. The passions which agitate or distract 
the mind, never alter its expression, nor do the highest 
ecstacies of which their nature is susceptible, ever relax its 
rigidity. "With the same imperturbability of feature, they 
encounter death from the hand of an enemy, and receive 
the greetings of a friend. 

In their intercourse with others, they seem alike in- 
sensible to emotions of pleasure and of pain ; and rarely 
give vent to feelings of either. The most ludicrous scenes 
scarcely ever cause them to laugh, or the most interesting 
recitals draw from them more than their peculiar monosyl- 
labic expression of admiration. 

In conversation they are modest and unassuming ; in- 
deed taciturnity is as much a distinguishing trait of Indian 
character, as it ever was of the Roman. In their councils 
and public meetings, they never manifest an impatience to 
be heard, or a restlessness under observations, either grat- 
ing to personal feeling or opposite to their individual ideas 
of propriety : on the contrary they are still, silent and at- 
tentive; and each is heard with the respect due to his 
years, his wisdom, his experience, or the fame which his 
exploits may have acquired him. [28] A loud ana garru- 
lous Indian is received by the others with contempt, and a 
cowardly disposition invariably attributed to him 

" Bold at the council board, 

But in the field he shuns the sword," 

is as much and truly an apothegm with them as with us. 

Of Border Warfare. 31 

Their taciturnity and irrisibility however, are confined 
to their sober hours. When indulging their insatiate thirst 
for spirit, they are boisterous and rude, and by their ob- 
streperous laughter, their demoniacal shrieks and turbu- 
lent vociferations, produce an appalling discord, such as 
might well be expected to proceed from a company of in- 
fernal spirits at their fiendish revels ; and exhibit a strik- 
ing contrast to the low, monotonous tones used by them 
at other times. 

There can be no doubt that the Indians are the most 
lazy, indolent race of human beings. No attempt which 
has ever been made to convert them into slaves, has 
availed much. The rigid discipline of a Spanish master, 
has failed to overcome that inertness, from which an In- 
dian is roused only by war and the chase Engaged in 
these, he exhibits as much activity and perseverance, as 
could be displayed by any one ; and to gratify his fondness 
for them, will encounter toils and privations, from which 
others would shrink. His very form indicates at once, an 
aptitude for that species of exercise which war and hunting 
call into action, and an unfitness for the laborious drudg- 
ery of husbandry and many of the mechanic arts. Could 
they have been converted into profitable slaves, it is more 
than probable we should never have been told, that " the 
hand of providence was visible in the surprising instances 
of mortality among the Indians, to make room for the 

In their moral character many things appear of a na- 
ture, either so monstrous as to shock humanity, or so 
absurd as to excite derision ; yet they have some redeem- 
ing qualities which must elicit commendation. And while 
we view with satisfaction those bright spots, shining more 
brilliantly from the gloom which surrounds them, their 
want of learning and the absence of every opportunity for 
refinement, should plead in extenuation of their failings 
and their vices. Some of the most flagrant of these, if 
not encouraged, have at least been sanctioned by the 
whites. In the war between the New England colonies 
and the Narragan setts, it was the misfortune of the brave 
Philip, after having witnessed the destruction of the 

32 Withers' s Chronicles 

[29] greater part of his nation, to be himself slain by a Mo- 
hican. After his head had been taken off, Oneco, chief of 
the Mohicans, then in alliance with the colonists, claimed 
that he had a right to feast himself on the body of his 
fallen adversary. The whites did not object to this, but 
composedly looked on Oneco, broiling and eating the flesh 
of Philip and yet cannibalism was one of their most sav- 
age traits of character. 

This was a general, if not an universal custom among 
the Indians, when America became known to the whites. 
Whether it has yet entirely ceased is really to be doubted : 
some of those who have been long intimate with them, 
affirm that it has not ; though it is far from being prev- 

The Indians are now said to be irritable ; but when Eu- 
ropeans first settled among them, they were not more iras- 
cible than their new neighbors. In their anger however, 
they differ very much from the whites. They are not talk- 
ative and boisterous as these are, but silent, sullen and re- 
vengeful. If an injury be done them, they never forget, 
they never forgive it. Nothing can be more implacable 
than their resentment no time can allay it no change 
of circumstances unfix its purpose. Revenge is to them 
as exhilarating, as the cool draught from the fountain, to 
the parched and fevered lips of a dying man. 

When taking vengeance of an enemy, there is no 
cruelty which can be exercised, no species of torture, 
which their ingenuity can devise, too severe to be inflicted. 
To those who have excited a spirit of resentment in the 
bosom of an Indian, the tomahawk and scalping knife 
are instruments of mercy. Death by the faggot by 
splinters of the most combustible wood, stuck in the flesh 
and fired maiming and disemboweling, tortures on which 
the soul sickens but to reflect, are frequently practiced. 
To an enemy of their own color, they are perhaps more 
cruel and severe, than to the whites. In requiting upon 
him, every refinement of torture is put in requisition, to 
draw forth a sigh or -a groan, or cause him to betray 
some symptom of human sensibility. This they never 
effect. An Indian neither shrinks from a knife, nor 

Of Border Warfare. 33 

winces at the stake ; on the contrary he seems to exult 
in his agony, and will mock his tormentors for the leniency 
and mildness of their torture. 1 

[30] Drinking and gambling are vices, to which the 
Indians, as well as the whites, are much addicted. Such 
is their fondness for spirit of any kind that they are rarely 
known to be sober, when they have it in their power to 
be otherwise. Neither a sense of honor or of shame has 
been able to overcome their propensity for its use ; and 
when drunk, the ties of race, of friendship and of kindred 
are too weak, to bind their ferocious tempers. 

In gambling they- manifest the same anxiety, which 
we see displayed at the card table of the whites. The 
great difference seems to be, that we depend too frequently 
on sleight and dexterity; whereas while they are shaking 
their gourd neck of half whited plumbstones, they only 
use certain tricks of conjuration, which in their simplicity 
they believe will ensure them success. To this method of 
attaining an object, they have frequent recourse. Super- 
stition is the concomitant of ignorance. The most en- 
lightened, are rarely altogether exempt from its influ- 
ence with the uninformed it is a master passion, swaying 
and directing the mind in all its operations. 

In their domestic economy, Indians are, in some re- 
spects, like the rude of all countries. They manifest but 
little respect for the female ; imposing on her not only the 

1 A Narraganset, made prisoner by Maj. Talcott in 1679, begged to 
be delivered to the Mohicans that he might be put to death in their 
own way. The New Englanders complying with his request, prepa- 
rations were made for the tragical event. " The Mohicans, formed a 
circle, and admitting within it as many of the whites as chose to witness 
their proceedings, placed the prisoner in the centre. One of the Mohicans, 
who had lost a son in the late engagement, with a knife cut off the 
PRISONER'S EARS ! then his NOSE ! and then the FINGERS off each hand ! 
after the lapse of a few moments, his EYES WERE DUO OUT, AND THEIR 
SOCKETS PILLED WITH HOT EMBERS ! ! All this time the prisoner instead 
of bewailing his fate, seemed to surpass his tormentors in expressions of 
joy. At length when exhausted with loss of blood and unable to stand, 
his executioner closed the tragic scene by beating out his brains with a 
tomahawk." Indian Wars, by Trumbull.. 


34 Withcrs's Chronicles 

duties of the hut, but also the more laborious operations 
of husbandry; and observing towards them the hauteur 
and distance of superior beings. 

There are few things, indeed, which mark with equal 
precision, the state of civilization existing in any com- 
munity, as the rank assigned in it to females. In the 
rude and barbarous stages of society, they are invariably 
regarded as inferior beings, [31] instruments of sensual 
gratification, and unworthy the attention and respect of 
men. As mankind advance to refinement, females grad- 
ually attain an elevation of rank, and acquire an influence 
in society, which smoothes the asperities of life and pro- 
duces the highest polish, of which human nature is sus- 

Among the Indians there is, however rude they may 
be in other respects, a great respect always paid to fe- 
male chastity. Instances in which it has been violated by 
them, if to be found at all, are extremely few. However 
much the passion of revenge may stimulate to acts of 
cruelty, the propensities of nature never lead them to in- 
fringe the virtue of women in their power. 

The general character of the Indians, was more es- 
timable, when they first became known to Europeans, than 
it is at present. This has been ascribed to the introduc- 
tion of ardent spirits among them other causes however, 
have conspired to produce the result. 

(The cupidity of those who were engaged in com- 
merce with the natives, too frequently prompted them to 
take every advantage, for self aggrandizement, which they 
could obtain over the Indians. In the lucrative traffic car- 
ried on with them, the influence of honesty was not pre- 
dominant the real value of the commodity procured, was 
never allowed ; while upon every article given in ex- 
change, extortion alone affixed the price. These examples 
could not fail to have a deteriorating effect upon their un- 
tutored minds ; and we find them accordingly losing their 
former regard for truth, honesty and fidelity ; and becom- 
ing instead deceitful, dishonest and treacherous. Many 
of their ancient virtues however, are still practised by 

Of Border Warfare. 35 

The rights of hospitality are accorded to those who 
go among them, with a liberality and sincerit} 7 which 
would reflect credit on civilized man. And although it 
has been justly said that they rarely forgive an enemy, 
yet is it equally true that they never forsake their friends ; 
to them they are always kind, generous and beneficent. 

After the ceremony of introduction is over, 1 a captive 
enemy, [32] who is adopted by them, is also treated with 
the utmost humanity and attention. An Indian cheerfully 
divides his last morsel with an adopted son or brother ; 
and will readily risk life in his defence. Such indeed, is 
the kindness which captives thus situated invariably re- 
ceive, that they frequently regret the hour of their redemp- 
tion, and refuse to leave their red brethren, to return and 
mingle with the whites. 

As members of a community, they are at all times 
willing to devote their every faculty, for the good of the 
whole. The honor and welfare of their respective tribes, 
are primary considerations with them. To promote these, 
they cheerfully encounter every privation, endure every 
hardship, and face every danger. Their patriotism is of 
the most pure and disinterested character ; and of those 
who have made us feel so sensibly, the horrors of savage 
warfare, many were actuated by motives which would re- 
flect honor on the citizens of any country. The unfortu- 
nate Tecumseh was a remarkable example of the most ar- 
dent and patriotic devotion to his country. 

Possessed of an acute and discerning mind, he wit- 
nessed the extending influence of the whites, with painful 
solicitude. Listening with melancholy rapture, to the tra- 
ditionary accounts of the former greatness of his nation, 
and viewing in anticipation the exile or extinction of his 
race, his noble soul became fired with the hope that he 
might retrieve the fallen fortune of his country, and restore 
it to its pristine dignity and grandeur. His attachment 
to his tribe impelled him to exertion and every nerve was 
strained in its cause. 

1 Indians consider the running of the guantlet, as but the ceremony 
of an introduction ; and say that it is " like the shake hands and howde 
do, of the whites." 

36 Withers's Chronicles 

Determined if possible to achieve the independence of 
his nation, and to rid her of those whom he considered 
her oppressors, he formed the scheme of uniting in hos- 
tility against the United States, all the tribes dwelling 
east of the Mississippi river. In the prosecution of this 
purpose, he travelled from Mackinaw to Georgia, 1 and with 
wonderful adroitness practised on the different feelings of 
his red brethren. Assuming at times the character of a 
prophet, he wrought powerfully on their credulity and su- 
perstition. Again, depending on the force of oratory, the 
witchery of his eloquence drew many [33] to his standard. 
But all was in vain His plans were entirely frustrated. 
He had brought none of his auxiliaries into the field ; and 
was totally unprepared for hostilities, when his brother, 
the celebrated Shawanese prophet, by a premature attack 
on the army under Gen. Harrison, at an inauspicious mo- 
ment, precipitated him into a war with the United States. 

Foiled by this means, Tecumseh joined the standard 
of Great Britain in the war of 1812 ; and as a Brigadier 
General in her army, lost his life, bravely supporting the 
cause which he had espoused. He deserved a better fate ; 
and but for prejudice which is so apt to dim the eye and 
distort the object, Tecumseh would, most probably, be 
deemed a martyr for his country, and associated in the 
mind with the heroes of Marathon and Thermopylae. 

To contemplate the Indian character, in a religious 
point of view, is less gratifying than to consider it in re- 
gard to the lesser morals. At the period of the settlement 
of "Western Virginia, excepting the Moravians, and a few 
others who had been induced by the zeal and exertions of 
Roman catholic missionaries to wear the cross, the Indiana 
north west of the Ohio river, were truly heathens. They 
believed indeed in a First Cause, and worshiped the Good 
Spirit; but they were ignorant of the great truths of 
Christianity, and their devotions were but superstitious 
acts of blind reverence. In this situation they remain 

1 While performing this tour, Tecumseh carried a RED STICK, the 
acceptance of which was considered a joining of his party Hence those 
Indians who were hostile to the United States, were denominated RED 

Of Border Warfare. 37 

generally at the present day, notwithstanding the many 
laudable endeavors which have been made to christianize 

Perhaps there was never a tribe in America, but be- 
lieved in the existence of a Deity ; yet were their ideas 
of the nature and attributes of God, not only obscure, but 
preposterous and absurd. They believe also in the exist- 
ence of many inferior deities, whom they suppose to be 
employed as assistants in managing the affairs of the world, 
and in inspecting the actions of men. Eagles and Owls are 
thought by some to have been placed here as observers of 
the actions of men ; and accordingly, when an eagle is seen 
to soar about them by day, or an owl to perch near them 
at night, they immediately offer sacrifice, that a good re- 
port may be made of them to the Great Spirit. 

They are likewise believers in the immortality of the 
soul ; and have such an idea of a future state of existence, 
as accords with their character and condition here. 
Strangers to [34] intellectual pleasures, they suppose that 
their happiness hereafter will consist of mere sensual 
gratifications ; and that when they die, they will be trans- 
lated to a delightful region, where the flowers never fade, 
nor the leaves fall from the trees ; where the forests abound 
in game, and the lakes in fish, and where they expect to 
remain forever, enjoying all the pleasures which delighted 
them here. 1 

1 Pope has very finely expressed the leading articles of religion among 
the Indians in the following lines. 

Lo, the poor Indian ! whose untutor'd mind 
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind ; 
His soul proud science never taught to stray 
Far as the Solar Walk or Milky Way ; 
Yet simple nature to his hope has giv'n, 
Behind the cloud-topt hill an humbler heav'n ; 
Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd, 
Some happier island in the wat'ry waste ; 
Where slaves once more their native land behold, 
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold. 
To BE, contents his natural desire, 
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire : 
But thinks admitted to that equal sky, 
Kis faithful dog shall bear him company. 

38 Withers's Chronicles 

In consequence of this belief, when an Indian dies, 
and is buried, they place in the grave with him, his bow 
and arrows and such weapons as they use in war, that he 
may be enabled to procure game and overcome an enemy. 
And it has been said, that they grieve more for the death 
of an infant unable to provide for itself in the world of 
spirits, than for one who had attained manhood and was 
capable, of taking care of himself. An interesting in- 
stance of this is given by Major Carver, and furnishes at 
once, affecting evidence of their incongruous creed and of 
their parental tenderness. Maj. Carver says: 

" Whilst I remained with them, a couple whose tent 
was near to mine, lost a son about four years old. The 
parents were so inconsolable for its loss, and so much 
affected by its death, that they pursued the usual testi- 
monies of grief with such uncommon vigor, as through 
the weight of sorrow and loss of blood, to occasion the 
death of the father. The mother, who had been hitherto 
absorbed in grief, no sooner beheld her husband expire, 
than she dried up her tears, and appeared cheerful and re- 

"As I knew not how to account for so extraordinary 
a transition, I took an opportunity to ask her the reason 
of it. She replied, that as the child was so young when 
it died, and unable to support itself in the country of 
spirits, both she and her husband had been apprehensive 
that its situation would be far from pleasant ; but no sooner 
did she behold its father depart for the same place, and 
who not only loved the child with the tenderest affection, 
but was a good hunter and [35] able to provide plentifully 
for its support, than she ceased to mourn. She added that 
she saw no reason to continue her tears, as the child was 
now happy under the protection of a fond father ; and that 
she had only one wish remaining to be gratified, and that 
was a wish to be herself with them." 1 

In relation to the Indian antiquities so frequently met 

1 The author's summary of Indian character is for the most part ex- 
cellent, and in accord with more recent conclusions. See Chap. I. of 
The Colonies, in "Epochs of American History " (Longmans, 1892.) R. 
G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 39 

with in America, much doubt still exists. When and for 
what purpose many of those vast mounds of earth, so 
common in the western country, were heaped up, is mat- 
ter of uncertainty. Mr. Jefferson has pronounced them to 
be repositories of the dead ; and many of them certainly 
were designed for that purpose ; perhaps all with which 
he had become acquainted previous to the writing of his 
notes of Virginia. Mr. Jefferson did not deem them 
worthy the name of monuments. Since the country has 
been better explored, many have been discovered justly 
entitled to that appellation, some of which seem to have 
been constructed for purposes other than inhumation. 1 
These are frequently met with in the valley of the Missis- 
sippi, and are said to extend into Mexico. The most cele- 
brated works of this class, are believed to be those at Cir- 
cleville in Ohio, which have so frequently been described, 
and are justly considered memorials of the labor and per- 
severance of those by whom they were erected. 

There is a tradition among the Indians of the north, 
which if true would furnish a very rational solution to the 
question, "for what purpose were they constructed?" 
According to this tradition about "two thousand two 
hundred years, before Columbus discovered America, the 
northern nations appointed a prince, and immediately after, 
repaired to the south and visited the GOLDEN CITY, the cap- 
ital of a vast empire. After a time the emperor of the 
south built many forts throughout his dominions, and ex- 
tending them northwardly almost penetrated the lake 
Erie. This produced much excitement. The people of 
the north, afraid that they would be deprived of the coun- 
try on the south side of the great lakes, determined to 
defend it against the infringement of any foreign people; 
long and bloody wars ensued which lasted about one hun- 

1 Gen. George Rogers Clark, an early and careful observer, scouted 
the idea advanced by Noah Webster, in Carey's American Museum, 
in 1789, that these extraordinary Western military defenses were the 
work of De Soto. "As for his being the author of these fortifications," 
says Clark, "it is quite out of the question; they are more numerous 
than he had men, and many of them would have required fifty thou- 
sand men for their occupancy." L. C. Dr 

40 Withers's Chronicles 

dred years. The people of the north, being more skillful 
in the use of bows and arrows, and capable of enduring 
hardships which proved fatal to those of the south, gained 
the conquest ; and all the towns and forts, which had been 
erected by their> enemy, were totally destroyed and left in 
a heap of ruins." * 

The most considerable of those tumuli or sepulchral 
mounds, which are found in Virginia, is that on the bot- 
toms of Grave creek, near its entrance into the Ohio, about 
twelve miles below "Wheeling, and is the only large one in 
this section of the country. Its diameter at the base, is 
said to be one hundred yards, its perpendicular height 
about eighty feet, and the diameter at its summit, forty- 
five feet. Trees, of all sizes and of various kinds, are 
growing on its sides ; and fallen [36] and decayed timber, 
is interspersed among them; a single white oak rises out 
of a concavity in the centre of its summit. 2 

Near tc Cahokia there is a group (of about two hun- 
dred) of these mounds, of various dimensions. 3 The largest 
of these is said to have a base of eight hundred yards cir- 
cumference, and an altitude of ninety feet. These and the 
one mentioned as being on Grave creek and many smaller 
ones in various parts of the country, were no doubt places 
of inhumation. 4 Many have been opened, and found to 
contain human bones promiscuously thrown together. Mr. 

1 Indian traditions, by Cusick. 

3 This description, written by Withers in 1831, still holds good in 
the main. The mound, which proves to have been a burial tumulus, is 
now surrounded by the little city of Moundsville, \V. Va., and is kept 
inclosed by the owner as one of the sights of the place. The writer 
visited it in May, 1894. R. G. T. 

* George Rogers Clark, who was repeatedly at Cahokia during the 
period 1778-80, says : "We easily and evidently traced the town for 
upwards of five miles in the beautiful plain below the present town of 
Kahokia. There could be no deception here, because the remains of 
ancient works were thick the whole were mounds, etc." Clark's MS. 
statement; Schoolcraft's Indian Tribes, IV., p. 135. L. C. D. 

* This mound was used, at least in part, for burial purposes. Nearly 
fifty years ago, when the writer of this note explored this remarkable 
artificial elevation of eighty feet in height, he found in the excavation 
numerous beads of shell or bone, or both, ornaments of the dead buried 
there. L. C. D. 

Of Border Warfare. 41 

Jefferson supposed the one examined by him, (the diame- 
ter of whose base was only forty feet and height twelve) to 
contain the bones of perhaps a thousand human beings, 
of each sex and of every age. Others have been exam- 
ined, in which were the skeletons of men of much greater 
stature, than that of any of the Indians in America, at the 
time of it's discovery, or of those with whom we have since 
become acquainted. 

It is a well known fact, that since the whites became 
settled in the country, the Indians were in the habit of 
collecting the bones of their dead and of depositing them 
in one general cemetery; but the earth and stone used by 
them, were taken from the adjacent land. This was not 
invariably the case, with those ancient heaps of earth 
found in the west. In regard to many of them, this sin- 
gular circumstance is said to be a fact, that the earth, of 
which they are composed, is of an altogether different na- 
ture, from that around them ; and must, in some instances, 
have been carried a considerable distance. The tellurine 
structures at Circleville are of this sort ; and the material 
of which they were constructed, is said to be distinctly 
different, from the earth any where near to them. 

The immensity of the size of these and many others, 
would induce the supposition that they could not have 
been raised by a race of people as indolent as the Indians 
have been, ever since a knowledge was had of them. 
Works, the construction of which would now require the 
concentrated exertions of at least one thousand men, aided 
by the mechanical inventions of later days, for several 
months, could hardly have been erected by persons, so 
subject to lassitude under labor as they are : unless indeed 
their population was infinitely greater than we now con- 
ceive it to have been. Admitting however, this density 
of population to have existed, other circumstances would 
corroborate the belief, that the country once had other in- 
habitants, than the progenitors of those who have been 
called, the aborigines of America : one of these circum- 
stances is the uncommon size of many of the skeletons 
found in the smaller mounds upon the hills. 

If the fact be, as it is represented, that the larger 

42 Withers's Chronicles 

tons are invariably found on elevated situations, remote 
from the larger water courses, it would tend to show that 
there was a diversity of habit, and admitting their cotem- 
poraneous existence, perhaps no alliance or intercourse 
between those, whose remains they are, and the persons 
by whom those large mounds and fortifications were 
erected, [37] these being found only on plains in the con- 
tiguity of large streams or inland lakes ; and containing 
only the bones of individuals of ordinary stature. 

Another and stronger evidence that America was oc- 
cupied by others than the ancestors of the present Indians, 
is to be found in those antiquities, which demonstrate that 
iron was once known here, and converted to some of the 
uses ordinarily made of it. 

In graduating a street in Cincinnati, there was found, 
twenty-five feet below the surface of the earth, a small 
horse shoe, in which were several nails. It is said to pre- 
sent the appearance of such erosion as would result from 
the oxidation of some centuries. It was smaller than 
would be required for a common mule. 1 

Many are the instances of pieces of timber found, 
various depths below the surface of the earth, with the 
marks of the axe palpably visible on them. 2 A sword too, 
said to have been enclosed in the wood of the roots of a 
tree not less than five hundred years old, is preserved in 
Ohio as a curiosity. Many other instances might, if neces- 
sary, be adduced to prove, that implements of iron were in 
use in this country, prior to its occupation by the whites. 
Now if a people once have the use of that metal, it is far 

1 This proves nothing. A silver medal of John Quincy Adams's ad- 
ministration, evidently presented to some Indian chief was, in 1894, 
found in Wisconsin, twelve feet below the surface. Iron and silver tools 
and ornaments, evidently made in Paris for the Indian trade, have been 
found in Ohio and Wisconsin mounds. It is now sufficiently demon- 
strated that the mound-builders were the ancestors of the aborigines 
found in the country by the first white settlers, and that the mounds are 
of various ages, ranging perhaps from three hundred to a thousand years. 
Various Reports of the Bureau of Ethnology go into the matter with con- 
vincing detail. R. G. T. 

1 Jacob Wolf, in digging a well on Hacker's creek, found a piece of 
timber which had been evidently cut off at one end, twelve or thirteen 
feet in the ground marks of the axe were plainly distinguishable on it. 

Of Border Warfare. 43 

from probable that it will ever after be lost to them : the 
essential purposes to which it may be applied, would pre- 
serve it to them. The Indians however, 'till taught by the 
Europeans, had no knowledge of it. 

Many of the antiquities discovered in other parts of the 
country, show that the arts once nourished to an extent be- 
yond what they have ever been known to do among the In- 
dians. The body found in the saltpetre cave of Kentucky, 
was wrapped in blankets made of linen and interwoven with 
feathers of the wild turkey, tastefully arranged. It was much 
smaller than persons of equal age at the present day, and 
had yellowish hair. In Tennessee many walls of faced 
stone, and even walled wells have been found in so many 
places, at such depths and under such circumstances, 
as to preclude the idea of their having been made by the 
whites since the discovery by Columbus. 

[38] In this state too, have been found burying grounds, 
in which the skeletons seem all to have been those of pig- 
mies : the graves, in which the bodies had been deposited, 
were seldom three feet in length ; yet the teeth in the skulls 
prove that they were the bodies of persons of mature age. 

Upon the whole there cannot be much doubt, that 
America was once inhabited by a people, not otherwise 
allied to the Indians of the present day, than that they 
were descendants of him, from whom has sprung the whole 
human family. 




At the time when Virginia became known to the whites, 
it was occupied by many different tribes of Indians, at- 
tached to different nations. That portion of the state 
lying north west of the Blue ridge, and extending to the 
lakes was possessed by the Massawomees. These were a 
powerful confederacy, rarely in amity with the tribes east 
of that range of mountains; but generally harrassing 
them by frequent hostile irruptions into their country. 
Of their subsequent history, nothing is now known. 
They are supposed by some to have been the ancestors of 
the Six Nations. It is however more probable, that they 
afterwards became incorporated with these, as did several 
other tribes of Indians, who used a language so essentially 
different from that spoken by the Six Nations, as to ren- 
der the intervention of interpreters necessary between 

As settlements were extended from the sea shore, the 
Massawomees gradually retired ; and when the white pop- 
ulation reached the Blue ridge of mountains, the valley 
between it and the Alleghany, was entirely uninhabited. 
This delightful region of country was then only used as 
a hunting ground, and as a highway for belligerant parties 
of different nations, in their military expeditions against 
each other. In consequence of the almost continued hos- 
tilities between the northern and southern Indians, these 
expeditions were very frequent, and tended somewhat to 
retard the settlement of the valley, and render a residence 

Of Border Warfare. 45 

in it, for some time, insecure and unpleasant. Between 
the Alleghany mountains and the Ohio river, within the 
present limits of Virginia, there were some villages inter- 
spersed, inhabited by small numbers of Indians ; the most 
[40] of whom retired north west of that river, as the tide 
of emigration rolled towards it. Some however remained 
in the interior, after settlements began to be made in their 

North of the present boundary of Virginia, and par- 
ticularly near the junction of the Alleghany and Monon- 
gahela rivers, and in the circumjacent country the Indians 
were more numerous, and their villages larger. In 1753, 
when Gen. Washington visited the French posts on the 
Ohio, the spot which had been selected by the Ohio com- 
pany, as the site for a fort, was occupied by Shingess, king 
of the Delawares ; and other parts of the proximate 
country, were inhabited by Miugoes and Shawanees. 1 
When the French were forced ~to~~aDandon th"e position^ 
which they had taken at the forks of Ohio, the greater 
part of the adjacent tribes removed farther west. So that 
when improvements were begun to be made in the wilder- 
ness of North Western Virginia, it had been almost en- 
tirely deserted by the natives ; and excepting a few strag- 
gling hunters and warriors, who occasionally traversed it 
in quest of game, or of human beings on whom to wreak 
their vengeance, almost its only tenants were beasts of 
the forest. 

In the country north west of the Ohio river, there 
were many warlike tribes of Indians, strongly imbued with 
feelings of rancorous hostility to the neighboring colonists. 
Among the more powerful of these were the Delawares, 
who resided on branches of Beaver Creek, Cayahoga, and 

1 King Shingiss was a famous village chief, " a terror to the frontier 
settlements of Pennsylvania." A brother, and later the successor of 
King Beaver, his camp was at the mouth of Beaver Creek, which 
empties into the Ohio twenty-six miles below "the forks" (site 
of Pittsburg). Christopher Gist visited him November 24, 1750. In 
1759, when Fort Pitt was built, Shingiss moved up Beaver Creek to 
Kuskuskis on the Mahoning, and finally to the Muskingum. The land 
about the mouth of Beaver Creek is called " Shingis Old Town " in the 
Ft. Stanwix treaty, 1784. R. G. T. 

4ti Withers's Chronicles 

Muskingum ; and whose towns contained about six hun- 
dred inhabitants The Shascajaees, who to the number of 
300, dwelt upon the Scioto and Muskingum The Chippe- 
was, near Mackinaw, of 400 Cohiiniiewagos, of 300, and 
who inhabited near Sandusky The Wya4ots, whose 
villages were near fort St. Joseph, and embraced a popula- 
tion of 250 The Twightees, near fort Miami, with a like 
population The Miami s, on the river Miami, near the fort 
of that name, reckoning 300 persons The Potioseatamies 
of 300, and the Ottawas of 550, in their villages near to 
forts St. Joseph ancTDetroit, 1 and of 250, in the towns 
near Mackinaw. Besides these, there were in the same 
district of country, others of less note, yet equally inimi- 
cal to the whites ; and who contributed much to the an- 
noyance [41] of the first settlers on the Ohio, and its trib- 

There were likewise the Munsies, dwelling on the 
north branch of the Susquehanna, and on the Allegheny 
river The Senecas, on the waters of the Susquehanna, 
Ontario and the heads of the Allegheny The Cayugas, 
on Cayuga lake, and the Sapoonies, who resided in the 
neighborhood of the Munsies. In these tribes was an ag- 
gregate population of 1,380 souls, and they likewise aided 
in committing depredations on our frontiers. 

Those who ventured to explore and occupy the south 
western portion of Virginia, found also in its vicinity some 
powerful and warlike tribes. The Cherokees possessed 
what was then, the western part of North Carolina and 
numbered 2,500 The Chicasaws, residing south of the 
Cherokees, had a population of 750 and the Catawbas, 
on the Catawba river in South Carolina with only 150 per- 
sons. These latter were remarkably adventurous, enter- 
prising and courageous ; and notwithstanding their re- 
mote situation, and the paucity of their numbers, fre- 
quently traversed the valley of Virginia, and even pene- 
trated the country on the north branch of the Susque- 

1 The numbers here set down and those given below, are as they 
were ascertained hy Capt. Hutchins, who visited the most of the tribes 
for purpose of learning their population in 1768. 

Of Border Warfare. 47 

hanna, and between the Ohio river and lake Erie, to wage 
war upon the Delawares. Their success in many of these 
expeditions, is preserved in tne traditions of the Dela- 
wares, who continue to regard them as having used in 
these wars, a degree of cunning aud stratagem, to which 
other tribes have never approached. 1 

Such were the numbers and positions of many of the 
proximate Indians about the time settlements were begun 
to be [42] made on the Monongahela river and its branches. 
Anterior to this period, adventurers had explored, and 
established themselves, in various parts of the valley be- 
tween the Blue ridge and the Alleghany mountain. That 
section of it, which was included within the limits of the 
Northern-Neck, was the first to become occupied by the 
whites. The facilities afforded by the proprietor for ob- 
taining land within his grant, the greater salubrity of 
climate and fertility of soil near to the Blue ridge, caused 
the tide of emigration to flow rapidly towards the upper 
country, and roll even to the base of that mountain. Set- 
tlements were soon after extended westwardly across the 
Shenandoah, and early in the eighteenth century Win- 
chester became a trading post, with sparse improvements 
in its vicinity. 

About this time Thomas Morlin, a pedlar trading 
from Williamsburg to Winchester, resolved, in conjunc- 
tion with John Sailing a weaver also from Williamsburg, 
to prosecute an examination of the country, beyond the 

1 A tradition among the Delawares says that formerly the Catawbas 
came near one of their hunting camps and remaining in ambush at night 
sent two or three of their party round the camp with Buffalo hoofs 
fixed to their feet, to make artificial buffalo tracks and thus decoy the 
hunters from their camp. In the morning the Delawares, discovering 
the tracks and supposing them to have been made by buffaloes, fol- 
lowed them some time ; when suddenly the Catawbas rose from their 
covert, fired at and killed several of the hunters ; the others fled, col- 
lected a party and went in pursuit of the Catawbas. These had brought 
with them, rattle snake poison corked up in a piece of cane stalk ; into 
which they dipped small reed splinters, which they set up along their 
path. The Delawares in pursuit were much injured by those poisoned 
splinters, and commenced retreating to their camp. The Catawbas dis- 
covering this, turned upon their pursuers, and killed and scalped many 
of them. 

48 Withers's Chronicles 

limits which had hitherto bounded the exploratory excur- 
sions of other adventurers. With this view, they travelleo 
up the valley of the Shenandoah, and crossing James river 
and some of its branches, proceeded as far as the Roanoke, 
when Sailing was taken captive by a party of Cherokees. 
Morlin was fortunate enough to elude their pursuit, and 
effect a safe retreat to Winchester. 

Upon the return of the party by whom Sailing had 
been captivated, he was taken to Tennessee where he re- 
mained for some years. When on a hunting expedition 
to the Salt licks of Kentucky, in company with some 
Cherokees to kill buffalo, they were surprised by a party 
of Illinois Indians, with whom the Cherokees were then 
at war, and by them Sailing was again taken prisoner. 
He was then carried to Kaskaskia, when he was adopted 
into the family of a squaw whose son had been killed in 
the wars. 

While with this nation of Indians, Sailing frequently 
accompanied parties of them on hunting excursions, a con- 
siderable distance to the south. On several occasions he 
went with them below the mouth of the Arkansas, and 
once to the Gulph of Mexico. In one of those expeditions 
they met with a party of Spaniards, exploring the coun- 
try and who needed an interpreter. For this purpose they 
purchased Sailing of his Indian mother for three strands 
of beads and a Calumet. Sailing attended them to the 
post at Crevecceur; from which [43] place he was conveyed 
to fort Frontignac : here he was redeemed by the Governor 
of Canada, who sent him to the Dutch settlement in New 
York, whence he made his way home after an absence of 
six years. 1 

1 John Peter Sailing, sometimes spoken of as Peter Adam Sailing, was, 
if not of German birth, of German descent. With his brother Henry, 
he early settled in the forks of James River and North Branch, in the 
southern part of what is now Rockbridge county, Va. The details of 
his early explorations in the West are involved in doubt, but that he 
had such adventures there seems no good reason to doubt. It will be 
noticed that Withers omits the date ; some writers have placed it at 
about 1724, but the probable time was 1738-40. His descendants told 
Draper (about 1850) that the family tradition was, that Sailing and a 
son were employed by the governor of Virginia to explore the country 

Of Border Warfare. 49 

The emigration from Great Britain to Virginia was then 
very great, and at the period of Sailing's return to Will- 
iamsburg, there were then many adventurers, who had but 
recently arrived from Scotland and the north of England. 
Among these adventurers were John Lewis l and John 

to the southwest ; and when near the present Salem, Roanoke county, 
they were captured by Cherokees and carried to the Ohio River one 
account says by way of the Tennessee, another by the New (Great 
Kanawha), their boat being made of buffalo skins. They appear by 
this tradition to have escaped, and in descending the Mississippi to 
have fallen into the hands of Spaniards. The son died, and the 
father was sent in a vessel bound for Spain, there to be tried as a British 
spy ; but the Spaniard being captured by an English vessel, our hero 
was landed at Charleston, whence he reached his frontier home after 
an absence of over three years. This story differs in many details from 
the one in Kercheval's History of the Valley of Virginia, and also that in 
Withers's text, above. Sailing kept a journal which was extant in 
1745, for in the Wisconsin Historical Society's library is a diary kept 
by Capt. John Buchanan, who notes that in that year he spent two days 
in copying a part of it. In Du Pratz' History of Louisiana (London, 1774), 
Sailing and one John Howard are said to have made this trip in 1742, 
and the authority is said to be a Report of the Government of Virginia. 
But Sailing must have returned home by 1742, for his name is in the 
roll of Capt. John McDowell's militia company, and he was probably in 
the fight with the Indians (Dec. 14) that year, in which McDowell lost 
his life. In 1746, we found Sailing himself a militia captain in the 
Rockbridge district of Augusta county. In September, 1747, he was 
cited to appear at court martial for not turning out to muster and this 
is the last record we have of him. Descendants, named Sallee, now live 
iii Kentucky and Tennessee. R. G. T. 

1 John Lewis, the father of Gen. Andrew Lewis, was probably of 
Welsh descent, and born in 1678 in County Donegal, Ireland. About 
1716 he married Margaret Lynn, of the famous Lynns of Loch Lynn, 
Scotland. In a dispute over his tenancy (1729), he killed a man of high 
station, some say, his Catholic landlord, and fled to Portugal, whence 
in 1731, after strange adventures, he emigrated to America, and was 
joined there by his family. Fearing to live near a sea-port he established 
himself on the frontier, in the Valley of Virginia, two miles east of the 
present site of Staunton. His house was of stone, built for defense, and 
in 1754 it successfully stood an Indian siege. Lewis was colonel of the 
Augusta county militia as early as 1743, presiding justice in 1745, and 
high sheriff in 1748. In 1751, then 73 years of age, he assisted his son 
Andrew, then agent of the Loyal Company, to explore and survey the lat- 
ter's grant on Greenbrier River. It was because the old man became en- 
tangled in the thicket of greenbriers, that he gave this name to the 
Btream. He died at his old fort homestead, February 1, 1762, aged 84 

50 Withers's Chronicles 

Mackey. Sailing's return excited a considerable and very 
general interest, and drew around him many, particularly 
of those who had but lately come to America, and to whom 
the narrative of one, who had been nearly six years a 
captive among the Indians, was highly gratifying. Lewis 
and Mackey listened attentively to the description given 
of the country in the valley, and pleased with its beauty 
and fertility as represented by Sailing, they prevailed on 
him to accompany them on a visit to examine it more 
minutely, and if found correspondent with his description 
to select in it situations for their future residence. 

Lewis made choice of, and improved, a spot a few miles 
below Staunton, on a creek which bears his name Mac- 
key on the middle branch of the Shenandoah near Buffalo- 
gap ; and Sailing in the forks of James river, below the 
Natural Bridge, where some of his descendants still reside. 
Thus was effected the first white settlement ever made on 
the James river, west of the Blue ridge. 1 

In the year 1736, Lewis, being in Williamsburg, met 
with Benjamin Burden (who had then just come to the coun- 
try as agent of Lord Fairfax, proprietor of the Northern 
Neck,) and on whom he prevailed to accompany him home. 
Burden remained at Lewis's the greater part of the sum- 
mer, and on his return to Williamsburg, took with him a 
buffalo calf, which while hunting with Samuel 2 and Andrew 
Lewis (elder sons of John) they had caught and afterwards 
tamed. He presented this calf to Gov. Gooch, who there- 
upon entered on his journal, [44] an order, authorizing 
Burden to locate conditionally, any quantity of land not 
exceeding 500,000 acres on any of the waters of the Shen- 

years. Some accounts state that he was a Presbyterian ; he was, how- 
ever, an Episcopalian. R. G.T. 

1 Lewis soon afterwards obtained leave from Governor Gooch to locate 
100,000 acres of land in separate parcels on the waters of the Shenan- 
doah and James rivers ; and when he would go out in search of good 
land to locate, Mackey would accompany him to hunt buffalo. The 
former amassed a large estate, while the latter lived and died in com- 
parative poverty. 

1 As Col. John Lewis had no son Samuel, probably Thomas Lewis, the 
elder brother of Andrew, though near-sighted, may have engaged in 
buffalo hunting. L. C. D. 

Of Border Warfare. 51 

andoah, or of James river west of the Blue ridge. The 
conditions of this grant were, that he should interfere 
with no previous grants that he should settle 100 families, 
in ten years, within its limits ; and should have 1000 acres 
adjoining each cabin which he should cause to be built, 
with liberty to purchase any greater quantity adjoining, at 
the rate of fifty pounds per thousand acres. In order to 
effect a compliance with one of these conditions, Burden 
visited Great Britian in 1737 ; and on his return to Vir- 
ginia brought with him upwards of one hundred families 
of adventurers, to settle on his grant. 1 Amongst these 
adventurers were, John Patton, son-in-law to Benjamin 
Burden, who settled on Catawba, above Pattonsburg 2 

1 Of the origin of Benjamin Borden, Sr. (the name was mispro- 
nounced Burden, on the frontier), little is known. He was probably from 
New Jersey, and early became a fur trader on the Virginia frontier ; later 
he was in Lord Fairfax's employ as a land agent. As such, he visited 
Governor Gooch and obtained from him several valuable tracts one of 
them (October 3, 1 734), Borden Manor, on Sprout run, Frederick county ; 
another, 100,000 acres at the head of the James, on condition of locating 
thereon a hundred families. At the Bnd of two years he had erected 
92 cabins with as many families, and a patent was granted him Novem- 
ber 8, 1739, for 92,100 acres. He died in 1742, before further develop- 
ment of his enterprise. His son Benjamin succeeded to his vast estate ) 
but died of small-pox in 1753. In 1744, he married the widow of John 
McDowell, mentioned on the next page, who had been killed in the 
Indian fight of December 14, 1742. R. G. T. 

2 The daughter of John Patton subsequently became the wife of 
Col. W. Preston, and the mother of James Patton Preston, late a gov- 
ernor of Virginia. 

Comment by L. C. D. This note of Mr. Withers, derived from Taylor's 
sketches (mentioned below), is erroneous both as to Patton and Preston. 
Col. Patton's first name was not John, but James, as both the records and 
his own autograph sufficiently attest. Neither did John Preston, nor his 
son Col. Wm. Preston, marry Col. Patton's daughter, but John Preston 
married his sister. Miss Elizabeth Patton, while crossing the Shannon 
in a boat, met the handsome John Preston, then a young ship carpenter, 
and an attachment grew out of their accidental meeting. But as Miss 
Patton belonged to the upper class of society, there was a wide gulf be- 
tween their conditions, and a runaway match was the only way out of 
the difficulty. Gov. James Patton Preston was named after his grand- 
uncle. James Patton was born in County Londonderry, Ireland, in 1692. 
For many years he was a prosperous navigator, and crossed the Atlantic 
twenty-five times with " redemptioners " for Virginia ; he was also an 

52 Withers 's Chronicles 

Ephraim McDowell, who settled at Phoebe's falls John, 
the son of Ephraim, 1 who settled at Fairfield, where Col. 
James McDowell now lives Hugh Telford, who settled at 
the Falling spring, in the forks of James river Paul 
Whitley, who settled on Cedar creek, where the Red Mill 
now is Archibald Alexander, who settled on the North 
river, opposite Lexington Andrew Moore, who settled 
adjoining Alexander Sampson Archer, who settled at 
Gilmore's spring, east of the Bridge tavern, and Capt. 
John Matthews, who married Betsy Archer, (the daughter 
of Sampson) settled where Major Matthews lives, below 
the Natural bridge. 

Among others who came to Virginia at this time, 
was an Irish girl named Polly Mulhollin. On her arrival 
she was hired to James Bell to pay her passage ; and with 
whom she remained during the period her servitude was 
to continue. At its expiration she attired herself in the 
habit of a man ; and with hunting shirt and mocasons, 
went into Burden's grant, for the purpose of making im- 
provements and acquiring a title to land. Here she erected 
thirty cabins, by virtue of which she held one hundred 
acres adjoining each. When Benjamin Burden the 
younger, came on to make deeds to those who held cabin 
rights, he was astonished to see so many in the name of 

officer in the royal navy in the wars with the Netherlands. Having ob- 
tained a grant of 120,000 acres above the Blue Ridge, he himself settled 
in Virginia in 1735. A man of wealth, enterprise and influence, he was 
a justice, sheriff, Indian treaty commissioner, and finally county lieu- 
tenant of Augusta. In 1755, he was killed by Indians while conveying 
ammunition to the borderers. 

1 Capt. John McDowell was of Scotch descent, and born in Ulster, 
Ireland, but in early manhood came to America, settling first in Penn- 
sylvania, and then the Virginia Valley (autumn of 1737). He at once 
became one of Benjamin Borden's surveyors, and for five years made 
surveys on Borden's Manor. Becoming a captain in the Augusta militia, 
he was ordered to go out against a party of Northern Indians who, on 
the war-path against the Catawbas, had taken in the Virginia Valley on 
their way, and annoyed and plundered the white settlers. The savages 
were overtaken on the North Branch of James River, some fifteen 
miles from McDowell's place, and an engagement ensued (Dec. 14, 1742), 
in which McDowell and seven others lost their lives. The Indians 
escaped with small losses. This was the first battle between whites and 
Indians, in the Virginia Valley. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 53 

Mulhollin, Investigation led to a discovery of the mys- 
tery, to the great mirth of the other claimants. She re- 
sumed her Christian name and feminine dress, and many of 
[45] her respectable descendants still reside within' the limits 
of Burden's grant. 1 

When in 1752 Robert Dinwiddie came over as gov- 
ernor of Virginia, he was accompanied by many adventur- 
ers; among whom was John Stuart, 2 an intimate friend 
of Dinwiddie, who had married the widow of John Paul 
(son of Hugh, bishop of Nottingham.) John Paul, a par- 
tizan of the house of Stuart, had perished in the siege of 
Dalrymple castle in 1745, leaving three children John, 
who became a Roman catholic priest and died on the east- 
ern shore of Maryland Audley, who was for ten years an 
officer in the British colonial forces, and Polly, who 
married Geo* Matthews, afterwards governor of Georgia. 
Mrs. Paul (formerly Jane Lynn, of the Lynns of Loch- 
Lynn, a sister to the wife of John Lewis) had issue, by 

1 This incident is well authenticated. See the deposition of Mrs. 
Mary Greenlee, preserved in the famous Borden land suit, among the 
court records of Augusta county, Va. Mrs. Greenlee was the sister of 
Capt. John McDowell, and among the very earliest settlers of that part 
of Augusta, now Rockbridge county. Mrs Greenlee's deposition is pub- 
lished in full in Peyton's History of Augusta County, Va. (Staunton, Va., 
1882), pp. 69-74. L. C. D. 

* The late Charles A. Stuart, of Greenbrier, son of Col. John Stuart, 
after the appearance of Hugh Paul Taylor's sketches over the signature 
of " Son of Cornstalk," published in the Staunton Spectator of August 21, 
1829, over the signature of " Son of Blue Jacket," a brief criticism, in the 
nature of some corrections regarding his own family, to this effect : That 
Mrs. Jane Paul was no relative of Mrs. Margaret Lewis, wife of Col. John 
Lewis ; that her first husband, Mr. Paul not John, but probably Hugh 
Paul was apparently from the north of Ireland their son Audley Paul 
was born before the migration of the family to Pennsylvania ; Mr. Paul, 
Sr., it is said, became the pastor of the Presbyterian congregation of Ches- 
ter, in that province ; but as Chester was a Quaker settlement, it is 
more likely that he located in some Presbyterian community in that re- 
gion, and there must have died. Mrs. Paul, for her second husband, 
married Col. David Stuart, also from Ireland, by whom she had John 
Stuart and two daughters. Mrs. Stuart's grandchild, Charles A. Stuart, 
resided many years in Augusta, representing that county in the State 
senate, subsequently removed back to Greenbrier county, where he 
died about 1850, at the age of about sixty-five years. He was a man oJ 
sterling qualities. L. C. D. 

54 Withers's Chronicles 

Stuart, John, since known as Col. Stuart of Greenbrier, 
and Betsy, who became the wife of Col. Richard Woods 
of Albemarle. 

The greater part of those, who thus ventured " on the 
untried being" of a wilderness life, were Scottish presby- 
terian dissenters; a class of religionists, of all others per- 
haps, the most remarkable for rigid morality. They 
brought with them, their religious principles, and sectional 
prepossessions ; and acting upon those principles acquired 
for their infant colony a moral and devotional character 
rarely possessed by similar establishments. While these 
sectional prepossessions, imbibed by their descendants, 
gave to their religious persuasions, an ascendency in that 
section of country, which it still retains. 

They were also men of industry and enterprise. Hunt- 
ing, which too frequently occupies the time, of those who 
make the forest their dwelling place, and abstracts the 
attention from more important pursuits, was to them a 
recreation not the business of life. To improve their 
condition, by converting the woods into fertile plains, and 
the wilderness into productive meadows, was their chief 
object. In the attainment of this, they were eminently 
successful. Their individual circumstances became pros- 
perous, and the country flourishing. 

The habits and manners of the primeval inhabitants 
of any country, generally give to it a distinctive character, 
which marks it through after ages. Notwithstanding the 
influx of strangers, bringing with them prejudices and 
prepossessions, at variance with those of the community 
in which they come ; [46] yet such is the influence of ex- 
ample, and such the facility with which the mind imbibes 
the feelings and sentiments of those with whom it associ- 
ates, that former habits are gradually lost and those 
which prevail in society, imperceptibly adopted by its new 

In like manner, the moral and religious habits of those 
who accompanied Burden to Virginia, were impressed on 
the country which they settled, and entailed on it that 
high character for industry, morality and piety, which it 
st*ll possesses, in an eminent degree. 

Of Border Warfare. 


At the time of the establishment of this settlement, all 
that part of Virginia lying west of the Blue ridge mount- 
ains, was included in the county of Orange. At the fall 
session, of the colonial legislature, in 1738, the counties of 
Frederick and Augusta were formed out of Orange The 
country included within the boundaries of the Potomac 
river, on the north, the Blue ridge, on the east, and a line, 
to be run from the head spring of Hedgman, to the head 
spring of Potomac, on the south and west, to be the county 
of Frederick ; the remainder of the state west of the Blue 
ridge, to the utmost limits of Virginia to constitute Au- 
gusta. Within its limits were included, not only a con- 
siderable portion of Virginia as she now is, but an extent 
of territory out of which has been already carved four 
states, possessing great natural advantages, and the ex- 
treme fertility of whose soil, will enable them to support 
perhaps a more dense population, than any other portion 
of North America of equal dimensions. As the settlements 
were extended, subdivisions were made, 'till what was once 
Augusta county south east of the Ohio river, has been 
chequered on the map of Virginia, into thirty-three coun- 
ties with an aggregate population ef 289,362.* 

1 The following table exhibits a list of the several counties west of the 
Blue ridge the counties from which each was taken when estab- 
lished their area in square miles population in 1830, and amount of 
taxation for the same year. 

Counties. \ 



[47] Brooke, 







Gray son, 

From what \ 

Bath, Botetourt and 

Augusta, Botetourt 

and Greenbrier, 

Botet't & Montg'ry, 
Montgomery, Monroe 

and Tazewell, 

When | Area, 
1738 948 

1822 521 

| Popula- 









































Withers's Chronicles 

[48] About the year 1749 there was in the county of 
Frederick, a man subject to lunacy, and who, when labor- 
ing under the influence of this disease, would ramble a 
considerable distance into the neighboring wilderness. In 
one of these wanderings he came on some of the waters 
of Greenbrier river. Surprised to see them flowing in a 
westwardly direction, on his return to Winchester he 
made known the fact, and that the country abounded very 

Counties. \ 




























From what \ 


Augusta & Fred'k, 

Greenb'r & M'tg'ry, 
Giles, Kanawha, Ca- 

bell & Tazewell, 

District of W. A'g'ta, 
Berkeley and 

Kanawha, Greenbrier 

and Randolph, 
District of W. A'g'ta, 
Augusta, Hardy and 

Bath, Pendleton and 


Augusta & Botetourt, 
Lee, Russell and 


Russell & Wythe, 

When \ 


| Popula- | 


f ormed. 



































































1788 999 

1821 794 

1787 2061 

1786 1370 

1778 833 

1778 680 









































Total, 378,293 76,848 

Of Border Warfare. 57 

much with different kinds of Game. In consequence of 
this information two men, recently from New England, 
visited the country and took up their residence on the 
Greenbrier river. 

Having erected a cabin and being engaged in making 
some other improvements, an altercation arose, which 
caused Stephen Suel, 1 one of them, to forsake the cabin 
and abide for some time in a hollow tree not far from the 
improvement, which was still occupied by his old com- 
panion. They were thus situated in 1751, when John 
Lewis, of Augusta and his son Andrew were exploring 
the country ; to whom Suel made known the cause of their 
living apart, and the great pleasure which he experienced* 
now in their morning salutations, when issuing from their 
respective habitations ; whereas when they slept under the 
same roof, none of those kindly greetings passed between 
them. Suel however did not long remain in the vicinity 
of Martin, the other of the two adventurers ; he moved 
forty miles west of his first improvement, and soon after 
fell a prey to Indian ferocity. Martin is said to have re- 
turned to the settlements. 

There was no other attempt made by the whites, to 
improve the Greenbrier country for several years. Lewis 
and his son thoroughly examined it ; and when permission 

1 Little and Big Sewell mountains, dividing Fayette and Greenbrier 
counties, seem to perpetuate the name and memory of this early and 
adventurous pioneer. Col. John Stuart states, that SewelPs final settle- 
ment was forty miles west of his primitive one, and on a creek bear- 
ing his name originating in Sewell mountain, and flowing into Gauley. 
Col. Preston, in his Register, gives September, 1756, as the date of Stephen 
Sewell's death by the Indians, and Jackson's River as the locality. 

Mrs. Anne Royall, in SketcJies of the History, Life and Manners of the 
United States, (l$rew Haven, 1826), p. 60, who visited the Greenbrier 
country in 1824, gives the name of Carver as Sewell's companion. 
" These two men," says Mrs. Royall, " lived in a cave for several years, 
but at length they disagreed on the score of religion, and occupied dif- 
ferent camps. They took care, however, not to stay far from each other, 
their camps being in sight. Sewell used to relate that he and his friend 
used to sit up all night without sleep, with their guns cocked, ready to 
fire at each other. 'And what could that be for ? ' ' Why, because we 
couldn't agree.' ' Only two of you, and could you not agree what did 
you quarrel about?' 'Why, about re-la-gin.' One of them, it seems, 
was a Presbyterian, and the other an Episcopalian." L. C. D. 

58 Withers's Chronicles % 

was given to the Greenbrier company (of which John 
Lewis was a member) to locate 100,000 acres, on the waters 
of this river, they became agents to make the surveys and 
locations. The war between France and England in 1754 
checked their proceedings; and when they, on the restora- 
tion of peace, would have resumed them, they were inter- 
dicted by a royal proclamation, issued in 1761, command- 
ing all those who had made settlements on the western 
waters to remove from them ; and those who were engaged 
in making surveys to desist. Sound policy requiring, that 
a good understanding should be maintained with the In- 
dians (who claimed the country) to prevent a further co- 
operation on their part with France. 1 

Previous to the issuing of this proclamation, some 
families had moved to Greenbrier and made two settle- 
ments the one on Muddy creek, the other in the Big- 
Levels. These, disregarding the command of his royal 
majesty and rather regardless of their own safety, re- 
mained until they were destroyed by the Indians, in 1763. 2 
From this time 'till 1769 Greenbrier was altogether unin- 
habited. Capt. John Stuart and a few other young men, 
then began to settle and improve the country ; and al- 

1 An error as to date. King George's proclamation was dated Oct. 
7, 1763. For full text, see Wisconsin Historical Collections, XL, pp. 46 et 
seq. K. G. T. 

* Thomas King, one of the ablest of the Iroquois chiefs, related an 
incident at an Indian conference held at Easton, Pa., Oct. 18, 1758, 
which may explain why the Indians evinced so much hostility against 
the Greenbrier settlements. "About three years ago," said Chief King, 
" eight Seneca warriors were returning from war, with seven prisoners 
and scalps with them ; and, at a place called Greenbrier, they met with 
a party of soldiers, not less than one hundred and fifty, who kindly 
invited them to come to a certain store, saying they would supply them 
with provisions. Accordingly they travelled two days with them, in a 
friendly manner, and when they came to the house, they took their 
arms from the Senecas. The head men cried out, ' here is death ; de- 
fend yourselves as well as you can,' which they did, and two of them 
were killed on the spot, and one, a young boy, was taken prisoner. 
This gave great offense ; and the more so, as it was upon the warrior's 
road, and we were in perfect peace with our brethren. It provoked us 
to such a degree that we could not get over it. He wished the boy re- 
turned, if alive ; and told his name, Squissatego." See Hazard's Penna. 
Register, V., p. 373; and Penna. Records, VIII., pp. 197-98. L. C. D. 

Of Border Warfare. 59 

though attempts were subsequently made by the Indians 
to exterminate them, yet they ever after continued in pos- 
session of it. 

[49] In the year 1756 settlements were also made on New 
river and on Holstein. 1 Among the daring adventurers 
who effected them, were Evan Shelby, "William Campbell, 
William Preston and Daniel Boone, all of whom became 
distinguished characters in subsequent history. Thomas 
"Walden, 2 who was afterwards killed on Clinch river and 

1 There were settlers on both New and Holston rivers prior to 1756 
Vause, Stalnacker and others on New River ; and Stephen Holston, at 
least, on the river bearing his name, which was known as such anterior 
to April, 1748, when Dr. Walker, in his Journal of 1750, refers to it by 
that designation. But William Campbell did not settle on Holston un- 
til 1767; Wm. Preston settled in 1769; Evan Shelby and family in 1771; 
and, while Daniel Boone passed through that country as early, it is be- 
lieved, as 1760, he never " settled " there. 

A further notice of Stephen Holston, or Holstein, seems fitting in 
this connection. He was of an adventurous turn, and prior to 1748 had, 
during a hunt, discovered the river named after him. It was after this 
discovery that he settled on the Little Saluda, near Saluda Old Town, in 
South Carolina, where, in the summer of 1753, a party of Cherokees re- 
turning from a visit to Gov. Glen, at Charleston, behaved so rudely to 
Mrs. Holston, in her husband's absence, as to frighten her and her do- 
mestics away, fleeing several miles to the nearest settlement, when the 
house was robbed of utensils and corn, and two valuable horses were 
also taken. Holston and some of his neighbors settled on Holston's 
River, in what subsequently became Botetourt county : soon after this, 
they constructed canoes, and passed down the Holston into the Tennes- 
see River, through the Muscle Shoals, and down the Ohio and Missis- 
sippi as far as Natchez. Returning from this notable adventure, his 
name became fixed to the noble stream which he discovered, and upon 
which he made the primitive settlement. His location on Holston was 
at the head spring of the Middle Fork ; his log cabin was on the hill 
side some thirty rods from the spring. In 1774, one Davis occupied the 
place, and related that Holston had left several years before that date. 
On the breaking out of the Indian war in 1754, he seems to have retired 
with his family to Culpeper county, which was then not exempt from 
Indian forays ; and Holston, about 1757, was captured by the Indians. 
But in due time he returned to the Holston country, served in the bat- 
tle of Point Pleasant in 1774, on Christian's campaign against the Cher- 
okees in 1776, and was reported in service in 1776 or 1777. As we hear 
no more of him, he probably did not long survive after this period. 
L. C. D. 

2 The first name of Walden was not Thomas Elisha Walden was 
his proper name. He was a son-in-law of William Blevins, and both 

60 Withers' a Chronicles 

from whom the mountain dividing Clinch and Powel 
rivers derived its name, was likewise one of them. The 
lands taken up by them, were held as " corn rights " each 
acquiring a title to an hundred acres of the adjoining land, 
for every acre planted in corn. 

Nearly cotemporaneous with these establishments, was 
that at Galliopolis, on the north western bank of the Ohio, 
and below Point Pleasant, at the mouth of the Great Keu- 
liawa. This was made by a party of French Jesuits, by 
whom the Indians were incited to make incursions, and 
commit the most enormous barbarities on the then front- 
iers. 1 This place and the mouth of Great Sandy were the 
chief points of rendezvous for the Ohio Indians. From 

Walden and Blevins lived, in 1774, at the " Round-About" on Smith's 
River, two miles east of what is now Martinsville, Henry county, Vir- 
ginia. He was then ahout forty years of age nearly six feet in height, 
a rough frontiersman, and a noted hunter. He and several others, in 
1761, penetrated into Powell's Valley, naminp Walden's Mountain and 
Walden's Creek, and proceeded on through Cumberland Gap to Cum- 
berland River, and a few miles beyond to the Laurel Mountain, where 
meeting a party of Indians, they returned. In subsequent years, Wal- 
den settled on Holston, about eighteen miles above Knoxville, where 
he was residing in 1796 ; a few years later, he removed to Powell's Val- 
ley, but soon after migrated to Missouri, where he lived hunting up to 
extreme old age. Save what is related from Haywood's Hist, of Tennes- 
see about the trip of 1761, this information was communicated to the 
writer in 1849, by Maj. John Redd, of Henry county, Va., who person- 
ally knew the old hunter very well. L. C. D. 

1 A curious misconception, this. Some of the founders of Marietta 
acquired in 1788 a large tract west and north of their own, and as a pri- 
vate speculation organized the Scioto Company. Joel Barlow, the poet, 
was sent to Paris to negotiate the sale of the lands. To the " Society of 
the Scioto," formed by him there, he sold three million acres, and France 
was deluged with rose-colored immigration pamphlets written by Bar- 
low. In Febiuary, 1790, six hundred Frenchmen chiefly professional 
men and small artisans from the large towns, with not an agriculturist 
among them arrived in Alexandria, Va., en route for the Scioto. They 
found that the Society, not having paid for its lands, had forfeited 
its rights, and deeds granted to the intending settlers were void. 
Five hundred finally went west, and founded Gallipolis. Poor, not 
knowing how to work the soil, and simple folk with no notions of 
independence, they suffered from famine, Indians, and yellow fever. 
They finally repurchased their lands, and upon the cessation of the bor- 
der war gained some strength ; but Gallipolis was never more than a 
weakling until Americans and Germans came in and put it on its feet. 
R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 61 

the former of these places they would ascend the Kenhawa 
and Greenbrier rivers, and from thence crossing the mount- 
ains enten into Augusta; or after having ascended the 
Kenhawa, go up the New river, from which they would 
pass over to the James and Roanoke. From the mouth 
of Great Sandy they would ascend that river, and by the 
way of Bluestone fall over on the Roanoke and New river. 
From those two points, expeditions were frequently made 
by the Indians, which brought desolation and death into 
the infant settlements of the south west, and retarded their 
growth very much. In the spring of 1757 nearly the whole 
Roanoke settlement was destroyed by a party of Shaw- 
auees, who had thus made their way to it. 

That portion of the valley of Virginia in which estab- 
lishments were thus begun to be made, was at that time 
one continued forest; overspreading a limestone soil of 
great fertility ; and intersected by rivers affording exten- 
sive bottoms of the most productive alluvial laud. Indeed 
few rivers of equal size, are bordered with as wide and 
fertile levels of this formation of earth, as those which 
water that section of country : the Roanoke particularly 
affords large bodies of it, capable of producing in great 
abundance hemp, tobacco and the different kinds of grain 
usually grown. In the country generally, every species of 
vegetable, to which the climate was congenial, grew with 
great luxuriancy; while the calcareous nature of the soil, 
adapted it finely to the production of that kind of grain, to 
which European emigrants were mostly used. 

The natural advantages of the country were highly 
improved by the persevering industry of its inhabitants. 
Its forests, felled by untiring labor, were quickly reduced 
to profitable cultivation, and the weeds which spontane- 
ously sprang from the earth, were soon succeeded by the 
various grasses calculated to furnish the most nutritious 
food, for the lowing herds with which their farmers were 
early stocked; these yielded a present profit, and laid the 
sure foundation [50] of future wealth. Some of the most 
extensive and successful graziers of Virginia, now inhabit 
that country ; and reap the rich reward of their manage- 

62 Withers' s Chronicles 

ment and industry, in the improved and more contiguous 
market of Richmond. 

In the infancy of these establishments, their only 
market was at Williamsburg. Thither the early settlers 
packed their butter and poultry, and received in exchange 
salt, iron, and some of the luxuries of life ; their beef and 
other stock was taken to the same place. In the process 
of time, as the country east of the Blue ridge became 
more improved, other markets were opened to them ; and 
the facilities of communication were gradually increased. 
Their successors have already derived great advantage 
from those improvements ; and the present generation will 
not only witness their farther extension, but most prob- 
ably see the country first tenanted by Lewis and his co- 
temporaries, a great thoroughfare for the produce of sev- 
eral of the western states a link of communication 
between the Chesapeak bay and the Gulph of Mexico. 

Of Border Warfare. 63 


The tract of country usually denominated North 
Western Virginia, includes the counties of Brook, Ohio, 
Tyler, Wood, Lewis, Randolph, Preston, Harrison and 
Monongalia, covering an area of 8,887 square miles, and 
having a population, according to the census of 1830, of 
78,510 souls. These counties, with a portion of Pennsyl- 
vania then deemed to be within the limits of Virginia, 
constituted the district of West Augusta; and was the 
last grand division of the state, to become occupied by the 
whites. This was perhaps owing to natural causes, as well 
as to the more immediate proximity of hostile Indians. 

The general surface of this district of country is very 
broken, its hills, though rich, are yet steep and precipitous, 
and the various streams which flow along their bases, af- 
ford but few bottoms ; and these of too narrow and con- 
tracted dimensions to have attacted the adventurer, when 
more invited portions of the country, were alike open to 
his enterprise. The Alleghany ridge of mountains, over 
which the eastern emigrant had to pass, presented too, no 
inconsiderable barrier to its earlier location ; while the 
cold, bleak, inhospitable region, extending from the North 
Branch to the Cheat and Valley rivers, seemed to threaten 
an entire seclusion from the eastern settlements, and to 
render it an isolated spot, not easily connected with any 
other section of the state. 

The first attempt on the part of the English to occupy 
the country contiguous to the Ohio river, was made in 
consequence of the measures adopted by the French to 
possess themselves of it. France had early become ac- 
quainted with the country, so far as to perceive the facility 
with which her possessions in the north, might, by means 
of a free communication down, the valley of the Missis- 
sippi, be connected witn those in the south. To preserve 
this communication uninterrupted, to acquire influence 

64 Withers's Chronicles 

over the neighboring Indians and to prevent the occupancy 
and settlement by England of the country west [52] of 
the Alleghany mountains, the French were early induced 
to establish trading posts among the Indians on the Ohio, 
and to obtain and preserve possession of the country by 
the erection of a chain of forts to extend from Canada to 
Louisiana. 1 

To counteract those operations of the French, to pos- 
sess herself of the country, to which she deemed her title 
to be good, and to enjoy the lucrative traffic which was 
then to be carried on with the Indians, England gave to 
an association of gentlemen in Great Britain and Vir- 
ginia, (under the title of the Ohio Company,) liberty to 
locate and hold in their own right, 600,000 acres of land 
within the country then claimed by both England and 
France. In pursuance of this grant, steps were directly 
taken to effect those objects, by establishing trading 
houses among the Indians near the Ohio, and by engaging 
persons to make such a survey of the country, as would 
enable the grantees to effect a location of the quantity al- 
lowed them, out of the most valuable lands. The com- 

1 This is misleading. The author has told us, in the preceding 
chapter, of several attempts of English coast colonists to make trans- 
montane settlements, quite apart from thought of ousting the French. 
Englishmen had no sooner landed in America than they attempted to 
cross the western mountain barrier. Ralph Lane made the attempt in 
1586, Christopher Newport and John Smith in 1606, and Newport him- 
self in 1607. John Lederer, a German surgeon exploring for Governor 
Berkeley, of Virginia, reached the top of Blue Ridge in 1669, but did 
not descend the western slope. Two years later, Abraham Wood dis- 
covered the Great Kanawha. It is possible that the French Jesuit Le 
Moyne was on the Alleghany River as early as 1656. La Salle was 
probably at the Falls of the Ohio (Louisville) in 1669. But it was not 
until about 1700 that French and English fur-traders met in open 
rivalry on the Ohio. It was with no thought of the French that Gov- 
ernor Spottswood, of Virginia, passed over the Blue Ridge in 1714. The 
situation in short, was this: The English colonists early wanted the 
over-mountain country watered by the Ohio, but were too weak at first 
to hold for agricultural settlement lands so far from home, in the face 
of a savage foe. The French wanted the valley solely for the fur trade, 
but Iroquois opposition long kept them from entering; when at last 
they were able to do so, the English colonists had also grown strong 
enough to move in, and then ensued the long and bloody struggle 
in which New France fell. -R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 65 

pany endeavored to complete their survey with all possi- 
ble secrecy, and by inducing the Indians to believe their 
object to be purely commercial, to allay any apprehen- 
sions, which might otherwise arise, of an attempt to gain 
possession of the country. 

The attempt to accomplish their purpose of terri- 
torial aggrandizement, with secrecy, was fruitless and un- 
availing. The Pennsylvania traders, fearful that they 
would lose the profitable commerce carried on with the 
Indians, excited their jealousy by acquainting them with 
the real motive of the company; while the French actu- 
ally seized, and made prisoners, of their traders, and 
opened and secured, by detachments of troops stationed 
at convenient situations, a communication from Presq' 
Isle to the Ohio river. 

The Ohio company sent a party of men to erect a 
stockade fort at the confluence of the Monongahela and 
Alleghany rivers, which had been recommended by Gen- 
eral Washington as a suitable position for the erection 
of fortifications. 1 This party of men was accompanied 
by a detachment of militia, which had been ordered out 
by the governor; but before they could effect their object, 
they were driven off by the French, [53] who immedi- 
ately took possession of the place, and erected thereon 
Fort du Quesne. These transactions were immediately 
succeeded by the war, usually called Braddock's war, which 
put an end to the contemplated settlement, and the events 
of which are, for the most part, matter of general history. 
It may not however be amiss to relate some incidents 
connected with this war, which though of minor import- 
ance, may yet be interesting to some ; and which have 
escaped the pen of the historian. 

In Braddock's army there were two regiments of vol- 
unteer militia from Virginia. 3 One of these was com- 

1 In the journal (drawn up for the inspection of Gov. Dinwiddie) of 
the events of his mission to the commander of the French forces on the 
Ohio ; this was the first of those splendid acts of a public nature, per- 
formed by Gen. Washington. 

1 Only five companies of the first Virginia regiment served on Brad- 


66 Withers's Chronicles 

manded by Col. Russel of Fairfax ; the other by Col. Fry, 
and was from Shenandoah and James rivers. In this 
latter regiment there was a company from Culpep- 
per, commanded by Capt. Grant, (afterwards known as 
a considerable laud holder in Kentucky) and of which 
John Field (who was killed in the battle at Point Pleas- 
ant) was a lieutenant. There was likewise in this regi- 
ment, a company of riflemen, from Augusta, commanded 
by Capt. Samuel Lewis, (the eldest son of John Lewis, 
who, with Mackey and Sailing, had been foremost in 
settling that country) who was afterwards known as Col. 
Samuel Lewis of Rockiugham. 1 In this company was 
also contained the five brothers of Capt. Lewis. Andrew, 
afterwards Gen. Lewis of Botetourt Charles, afterwards 
Col. Lewis, who was likewise killed at Point Pleasant 
William, John and Thomas. Among their compatri- 
ots in arms, were the five sons of Capt. John Matthews, 
(who had accompanied Burden to Virginia) Elihu Bark- 
ley, John McDowell, 2 Paul Whitly, James Bell, Patrick 
Lockard, and a number of others of the first settlers of 
Augusta, Rockbridge and Rockingham. 

From the time the army crossed the Alleghany moun- 
tain, its movements were constantly watched by Indian 

dock's campaign hence there was no second regiment, nor any Colonel 
Russell engaged in that service ; there was, however, at this period, a 
Colonel or Lieut.-Colonel William Russell, who emigrated from England 
when a young lawyer, to Virginia, about 1710, and settled in Culpeper, 
and by the readjustment of county lines he was thrown into the new 
county of Orange. He was a man of much prominence, and at one 
time was high sheriff of Orange ; and apparently lieutenant-colonel of 
militia, and as such, in the early part of the French and Indian War, 
did some frontier service, though rather advanced in years at the time. 
In 1753, he was sent as a commissioner to pacify the Indians in the re- 
gion where Pittsburg was subsequently located. He died October 18, 
1757, aged about seventy-two years. His son of the same name served 
with reputation at the battle of Point Pleasant, and during the Revolu- 
tionary War, retiring at its close with the brevet rank of brigadier- 
general. L. C. D. 

1 It has already been stated that Col. John Lewis's eldest son was 
Thomas, not Samuel. L. C. D. 

* Capt. John McDowell was killed in an engagement with the In- 
dians, in December, 1742, and of course could not have served under 
either Andrew or Charles Lewis. L. C. D. 

Of Border Warfare. 67 

spies, from Fort du Quesne ; and as it approached nearer 
the point of destination, runners were regularly des- 
patched, to acquaint the garrison with its progress, and 
manner of marching. When intelligence was received 
that Braddock still moved in close order, the Indians laid 
the plan for surprising him, and carried it into most 
effectual execution with but little assistance from the 
French. 1 

[54] At the place where the English crossed the Mo- 
nongahela river, there are about two acres of bottom land, 
bounded by the river on the east, and by a ledge of high 
cliffs on the west. Through these cliffs there is a con- 
siderable ravine, formed by the flowing of a small rivu- 
let On the summit, a wide prospect opens to the west, 
of a country whose base is level, but surface uneven. On 
this summit lay the French and Indians concealed by the 
prairie grass and timber, and from this situation, in al- 
most perfect security, they fired down upon Braddock's men. 
The only exposure of the French and Indians, resulted 
from the circumstance of their having to raise their heads 
to peep over the verge of the cliff, in order to shoot with 
more deadly precision. In consequence, all of them who 
were killed in the early part of the action, Were shot 
through the head. 2 

1 James Smith, afterwards Col. Smith of Bourbon county in Ken- 
tucky, was then a prisoner at du Quesne. He says that the Indians 
in council planned the attack on Braddock's army and selected the 
ground from which to make it that the assailants did not number more 
than 400 men, of whom but a small proportion were French. One of 
the Indians laughed when he heard the order of march in Braddock's 
army, and said " we'll shoot them down all as one pigeon." Washing- 
ton beheld the event in fearful anticipation, and exerted himself in vain 
with Gen. Braddock, to alter the order of march. 

* It is evident that the author never saw the site of Braddock's de- 
feat, just below the mouth of Turtle Creek, for his description is quite 
inaccurate. June 30, 1755, the army, which had been following the Ohio 
Company's road from Will's Creek, via East Meadows, crossed the 
Youghiogbeny and proceeding in a devious course struck the head of 
Turtle Creek, which was followed nearly to its mouth, whence a south- 
ern course was taken to avoid the steep hills. Reaching the Mononga- 
hela just below the mouth of the Youghiogheny, they crossed (July 9) to 
the west side, where there is a long, narrow bottom. Nearly opposite the 
mouth of Turtle Creek, and about four miles below the first crossing, 

68 Withers's Chronicles 

The companies, commanded by Capt. Grant and Lewis, 1 
were the first to cross the river. As fast as they landed 
they formed, and proceeding up the ravine, arrived at the 
plain on the head of the rivulet, without having discovered 
the concealed enemy which they had just passed. So soon 
as the rear of Braddock's army had crossed the river, the 
enemy raised a heart rending yell, and poured down a con- 
stant and most deadly fire. Before General Braddock re- 
ceived his wound, he gave orders for the whole line to 
countermarch and form a phalanx on the bottom, so as to 
cover their retreat across the river. When the main col- 
umn was wheeled, Grant's and Lewis' companies had pro- 
ceeded so far in advance, that a large body of the enemy 
rushed down from both sides of the ravine, and intercepted 

hills again closely approach the west bank, and the east side becomes 
the more favorable for marching. Here, only eight miles across country 
from Fort Duquesne, Braddock forded the second time, and in angling 
up the rather easy slope upon which is now built the busy iron-making 
town of Braddock, Pa., was obliged to pass through a heavily-wooded 
ravine. This was the place of the ambuscade, where his army was cut to 
pieces. Indians from the Upper Lakes, under the leadership of Charles 
Langlade, a Wisconsin fur-crader, were the chief participants in this af- 
fair, on the French side. R. G. T. 

1 This statement about Capts. Grant and Lewis having taken part 
in the battle of the Monongahela, is altogether a mistake. It must have 
originated in some traditional account, and become confused in some 
way with Grant's defeat, three years later, in which Maj. James Grant and 
Maj. Andrew Lewis both took a prominent part. There is no record of 
any Capt. Grant in Braddock's army. Andrew Lewis, though a major, was 
still in command of his company, and at the time of Braddock's defeat 
was on detached service. Gov. Dinwiddie, writing to Maj. Lewis, July 
8, 1755, says : " You were ordered to Augusta with your company to pro- 
tect the frontier of that county ;" and, in a letter of the same date, to 
Col. Patton, the Governor adds : " Enclosed you have a letter to Capt. 
Lewis, which please forward to him : / think he is at Greenbrier. Capt. 
Robt. Orme, aide-de-camp to Gen. Braddock, in his Journal appended 
to Sargent's History of Braddock's Expedition, states under date of April, 
1755, that the Virginia troops having been clothed, were ordered to 
march to Winchester, for arming and drilling, and then adds: "Capt. 
Lewis was ordered with his company of Rangers to Greenbrier river, 
there to build two stockade forts, in one of which he was to remain him- 
self and to detach to the other a subaltern and fifteen men. These forts 
were to cover the western settlers of Virginia from any inroads of In- 
dians." L. C. D. 

Of Border Warfare. 69 

them. A most deadly contest ensued. Those who inter- 
cepted Grant and Lewis, could not pass down the defile, 
as the main body of Braddock's army was there, and it 
would have been rushing into the midst of it, to inevita- 
ble destruction the sides of the ravine were too steep and 
rocky to admit of a retreat up them, and their only hope of 
escape lay in cutting down those two companies and passing 
[55] out at the head of the ravine. A dreadful slaughter 
was the consequence. Opposed in close fight, and with 
no prospect of security, but by joining the main army in 
the bottom, the companies of Grant and Lewis literally 
cut their way through to the mouth of the ravine. Many 
of Lewis's men were killed and wounded, and not more 
than half of Grant's lived to reach the river bank. Al- 
most the only loss the enemy sustained was in this con- 

The unfortunate result of the campaign of 1755, gave 
to the French a complete ascendency over the Indians on 
the Ohio. In consequence of this there was a general dis- 
tress on the frontier settlements of Virginia. The incur- 
sions of the Indians became more frequent and were ex- 
tended so far, that apprehensions existed of an irruption 
into the country east of the Blue ridge. 1 This state of 
things continued until the capture of Fort du Quesne in 
1758, by Gen. Forbes. 

In the regiment commanded by Washington in the 
army of 1758, Andrew Lewis was a Major. With this 
gentleman, Gen. Washington had become acquainted dur- 
ing the campaign of 1754, and had formed of him, as a 
military man, the highest expectations; his conduct at the 
defeat of Major Grant, realized those expectations, and 
acquired for him a reputation for prudence and courage 
which he sustained unimpaired, during a long life of pub- 
lic service. 2 

1 The MS. Journal of Col. Charles Lewis, in possession of the Wis- 
consin Historical Society, covering the period from October 10 to Decem- 
ber 27, 1755, is an unconsciously eloquent picture of the hardships of 
life on the Virginia frontier, at this time. R. G. T. 

J After the capitulation of Fort Necessity, and while some of the 
soldiers of each army were intermixed, an Irishman, exasperated with 

70 Withers's Chronicles 

Gen. Lewis was in person upwards of six feet high, 
finely proportioned, of uncommon strength and great 
activity. His countenance was stern and rather forbid- 
ding his deportment distant and reserved ; this rendered 
his person more awful than engaging. When he was at 
Fort Stanwich in 1768, as one of the commissioners from 
the colony of Virginia, to treat, in conjunction with com- 
missioners from the eastern colonies, with the Six 
Nations, the Governor of New York remarked " that the 
earth seemed to tremble under his tread." 

When the war of the revolution commenced, and 
General [56] Washington was commissioned commander 
in chief, he is said to have expressed a wish, that the ap- 
pointment had been given to Gen. Lewis. Be this as it 
may, it is certain that he accepted the commission of 
Brigadier General at the solicitation of Washington ; and 
when, from wounded pride ! and a shattered constitution, 
he was induced to express an intention of resigning, Gen. 
Washington wrote him, entreating that he would not do 
so, and assuring him that justice should be done, as re- 
garded his rank. Gen. Lewis, however, had become much 
reduced by disease, and did not think himself able, longer 
to endure the hardships of a soldier's life he resigned his 
commission in 1780, and died in the county of Bedford, on 
the way to his home in Botetourt on Roanoke river. 

When Major Grant, (who had been sent with a de- 
tachment for the purpose of reconnoitering the country 
about Fort du Quesne,) arrived in view of it, he resolved 
on attempting its reduction. Major Lewis remonstrated 
with him, on the propriety of that course, and endeavored 
to dissuade him from the attempt. Grant deemed it 
practicable to surprise the garrison and effect an easy con- 

an Indian near him, " cursed the copper-coloured scoundrel " and 
raised his musket to shoot him. Gen. Lewis who had been twice 
wounded in the engagement, and was then hobbling on a staff, raised 
the Irishman's gun, as he was in the act of firing, and thus not only 
saved the life of the Indian, but probably prevented a general massacre 
of the Virginia troops. 

1 Congress had given to Gen. Stephens, and some others (whose 
senior Lewis had been in former services) commissions as Major Gen- 

Of Border Warfare. 71 

quest, and was unwilling that the provincial troops should 
divide with his Highland regulars the glory of the achiev- 
ment he therefore ordered Major Lewis two miles into 
the rear, with that part of the Virginia regiment then 
under his command. 

Soon after the action had commenced, Lewis dis- 
covered by the retreating fire, that Grant was in an un- 
pleasant situation, and leaving Capt. Bullet with fifty 
men to guard the baggage, hastened to his relief. On 
arriving at the battle ground, and finding Grant and his 
detachment surrounded by the Indians, who had passed 
his rear under covert of the banks of the Alleghany and 
Monongahela rivers, Major Lewis commenced a brisk fire 
and made so vigorous an attack on the Indians as to open 
a passage through which Grant and some few of his men 
effected an escape. Lewis and his brave provincials be- 
came enclosed within the Indian lines and suffered dread- 
fully. Out of eight officers five were killed, a sixth 
wounded and a seventh taken prisoner. Capt. Bullet, 
[57] who defended the baggage with great bravery and 
contributed much to save the remnant of the detachment, 
was the only officer who escaped unhurt. 1 Out of one 

1 Thomas Bullitt was a native of Prince William county, Virginia. 
He was appointed an ensign in Washington's first Virginia regiment, 
July 20, 1754, and promoted to a lieutenancy on October 30th following. 
It is said that he served in Braddock's defeat ; but the records of the 
Virginia officers present do not include Lieut. Bullitt's name. He was, 
perhaps, with Capt. Lewis in the Greenbrier country, or on some other 
detached service. In May, 1756, he was stationed at Winchester; in 
July following, in command of Fort Frederick, on Jackson's River, and 
in November of that year, in command of Fort Cumberland. He was 
in active service in 1757, and early the next year we find him a captain; 
as such, he distinguished himself in checking the enemy and saving 
many of the fugitives at Grant's defeat, and shared in Gen. Forbes's 
successful expedition in the capture of Fort Du Quesne. In May, 1759, 
while guarding with one hundred men, fifteen wagons loaded with pro- 
visions for the westward, he was attacked and defeated by a strong party 
of French and Indians, losing thirty-five of his party killed and prison- 
ers and all his wagons. In 1760, he was appointed a surveyor of a dis- 
trict bordering on the Ohio, and had much to do in early Kentucky ex- 
ploration and surveys, making an early location and survey at the Falls 
of Ohio in 1773. In September, 1775, he was appointed adjutant-gen- 
eral of all the Virginia forces; and on the 9th of December following, 

72 Withers 's Chronicles 

hundred and sixty-six men, sixty-two were killed on the 
spot and two were wounded. 

Major Lewis was himself made prisoner ; and al- 
though stripped by the Indians of every article of his 
clothing, and reduced to perfect nudity, he was protected 
from bodily injury by a French officer, who took him to 
his tent and supplied him with clothes. Grant who had 
wandered all night with five or six of his men, came in, on 
the morning after the engagement, and surrendered him- 
self a prisoner of war. 

While Grant and Lewis were prisoners, the former 
addressed a letter to Gen. Forbes giving a detailed account 
of the engagement and attributing the defeat to the ill 
conduct of the latter. This letter, (being inspected by the 
French who knew the falsehood of the charge it contained) 
was handed to Maj. Lewis. Exasperated at this charge, 
Lewis waited on Major Grant and in the interview be- 
tween them, after having bestowed on him some abusive 
epithets, challenged him to the field. Grant declined to 
accept the invitation ; and Lewis, after spitting in his face 
in the presence of several of the French officers, left him 
to reflect on his baseness. 

After this defeat a council was held by the Indians 
to determine on the course proper for them to pursue. 
The most of them had come from about Detroit at the in- 
stance of the French commandant there, to fortify Fort 
du Quesne against an attack by Forbes the hunting sea- 
son had arrived and many of them were anxious to return 
to their town. The question which attracted their atten- 
tion most seriously was, whether Gen. Forbes would then 
retreat or advance. As Grant had been most signally de- 
feated, many supposed that the main arm would retire into 
winter quarters, as Dunbar had, after the battle on the 
Monongahela. The French expressed a different opinion, 
and endeavored to prevail on the Indians to remain and 

he aided Colonel Woodford in defeating Capt. Fordyce and party at the 
Great Bridge. In March, 1776, Congress appointed him deputy adju- 
tant-general of the Southern Department with the rank of lieutenant- 
colonel, and advanced him in May following to the full rank of col- 
onel. He died while yet in service, in 1778. L. C. D. 

Of Border Warfare. 73 

witness the result. This however they refused to do, and 
the greater part of them left du Quesne. Upon this the 
commandant of the fort, in order to learn the course 
which Gen. Forbes would pursue, and to impress upon the 
English, an idea that the French were in return preparing 
to attack them, ordered the remainder of the Indians, a 
number of Canadians and some French regulars to recon- 
noitre the route [58] along which Gen. Forbes would be 
most likely to march his army, to watch their motions and 
harrass them as much as possible; determining if they 
could not thus force him to abandon the idea of attacking 
Du Quesne during that campaign, they would evacuate the 
fort and retire into Canada. 

When Major Grant with his men had been ordered on 
to Du Quesne, the main army had been left at Raystown, 
where it continued for some time ; an advance was how- 
ever posted at fort Ligonier. Between this vanguard and 
the detachment from Du Quesne there was a partial en- 
gagement, which resulted in the loss of some of the Mary- 
land troops. Fort Ligonier was then closely watched by 
the French and Indians, and several of the sentinels were 
killed, before the point from which the fires were directed, 
was discovered ; it was at length ascertained that parties 
of the enemy would creep under the bank of the Loyal 
Hanna till they could obtain a position from which to do 
execution. Some soldiers were then stationed to guard 
this point, who succeeded in killing two Indians, and in 
wounding and making prisoner of one Frenchman. From 
him the English obtained information that the greater 
part of the Indians had left Du Quesne, and that the fort 
was defenceless : the army then moved forward and taking 
possession of its ruins established thereon Fort Pitt. 1 The 

1 The French destroyed Fort Duquesne in November, 1758. During 
the winter following, Fort Pitt was erected by the English troops. In 
his Journal of a Tour to the Ohio River (1770), Washington says of it: 
" The fort is built on the point between the rivers Alleghany and Monon- 
gahela, but not so near the pitch of it as Fort Duquesne stood. It is five- 
sided and regular, two of which next the land are of brick ; the others 
stockade. A moat encompasses it." Fort Pitt was invested by the In- 
dians during Pontiac's War (1763). It was fully garrisoned until 1772, 
when a corporal and a few men were left as care-takers. In October of 

74 Withers's Chronicles 

country around began immediately to be settled, and sev- 
eral other forts were erected to protect emigrants, and to 
keep the Indians in awe. 

Previous to this an attempt had been made by David 
Tygart and a Mr. Files to establish themselves on an up- 
per branch of the Monongahela river. 1 They had been for 
some time frontier's men, and were familiar with the scenes 
usually exhibited on remote and unprotected borders ; and 
nothing daunted by the cruel murders and savage enormi- 
ties, which they had previously witnessed, were induced 
by some cause, most probably the uninterrupted enjoyment 
of the forest in the pursuit of game, to venture still farther 
into the wilderness. About the year 1754 these two men 
with their families arrived on the east fork of the Monon- 
gahela, and after examining the country, selected posi- 
tions for their future residence. Files chose a spot on the 
river, at the mouth of a creek which still bears his name, 
where Beverly, the county seat of Randolph has been 
since established. Tygart settled a few miles farther up 
and also on the river. The valley in which they had thus 
taken up their abode, has been since called Tygart's 
[59] valley, and the east fork of the Monongahela, Ty- 
gart's- valley river. 

that year, the property was sold, and several houses were built out of the 
material. In the course of the boundary dispute between Pennsylvania 
and Virginia, the latter colony took possession of the ruins, through 
Lord Dunmore's agent there, John Conolly. R. G. T. 

1 The author overlooks the settlement made by Christopher Gist, 
the summer of 1753, in the town of Dunbar, Fayette county, Pa., two or 
three miles west of the Youghiogheny and some seventy miles north- 
west of Will's Creek ; the site was doubtless selected by him in his trip 
of 1751-52. Washington, who visited him there in November, 1753, on 
the way to Fort Le Boeuf, calls it " Gist's new settlement," but the own- 
er's name for his place was " Monongahela." It was the first settlement 
of which there is record, upon the Ohio Company's lands. Gist induced 
eleven families to settle near him ; and on his journey home, in January, 
1754, Washington met them going out to the new lands. The victory of 
the French over Washington, at Fort Necessity, in July, led to the ex- 
pulsiqn from the region of all English-speaking settlers. The French 
commander, De Villiers, reports that he " burnt down all the settle- 
ments" on the Monongahela (from Redstone down), and in the vicinity 
of Gist's. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 75 

The difficulty of procuring bread stuffs for their fami- 
lies, their contiguity to an Indian village, and the fact that 
an Indian war path passed near their dwellings, soon de- 
termined them to retrace their steps. 1 Before they carried 
this determination into effect, the family of Files became 
the victims of savage cruelty. At a time when all the 
family were at their cabin, except an elder son, they were 
discovered by a party of Indians, supposed to be returning 
from the South Branch, who inhumanly butchered them 
all. 2 Young Files being not far from the house and hear- 
ing the uproar, approached until he saw, too distinctly, the 
deeds of death which were doing; and feeling the utter 
impossibility of affording relief to his own, resolved if he 
could, to effect the safety of Tygart's family. This was 
done and the country abandoned by them. 

Not long after this, Doctor Thomas Eckarly and his 
two brothers came from Pennsylvania and camped at the 
mouth of a creek, emptying into the Monongahela, 8 or 10 
miles below Morgantown; they were Dunkards, and from 
that circumstance, the watercourse on which they fixed 
themselves for a while, has been called Dunkard's creek. 
While their camp continued at this place, these men were 
engaged in exploring the country; and ultimately settled 
on Cheat river, at the Dunkard bottom. Here they erected 
a cabin for their dwelling, and made such improvements 
as enabled them to raise the first year, a crop of corn suf- 
ficient for their use, and some culinary vegetables : their 
guns supplied them with an abundance of meat, of a flavor 

1 This trail was a continuation of the famous " Warrior Branch,' 
which coming up from Tennessee passed through Kentucky and South- 
ern Ohio, and threading the valley of Fish Creek crossed over to 
Dunkard's Creek and so on to the mouth of Redstone Creek. R. G. T. 

2 In Col. Preston's MS. Register of Indian Depredations, in the Wis- 
consin Historical Society's library, it is stated that Robert Foyle, wife 
and five children, were killed on the Monongahela in 1754. Gov. Din- 
widdie, in his speech to the Virginia house of burgesses ih February, 
1754, refers to this barbarous affair, giving the same number of the 
family destroyed; and the gazettes of that period state that Robert 
Foyle, together with his wife and five children, the youngest about ten 
years of age, were killed at the head of the Monongahela ; their bodies, 
scalped, were discovered February 4th. and were supposed to have been 
killed about two months before. L. C. D. 

76 Withers's Chronicles 

as delicious as the refined palate of a modern epicure could 
well wish. Their clothes were made chiefly of the skins 
of animals, and were easily procured: and although calcu- 
lated to give a grotesque appearance to a fine gentleman in 
a city drawing room; yet were they particularly suited to 
their situation, and afforded them comfort. 

Here they spent some years entirely unmolested by the 
Indians, although a destructive war was then raging, and 
prosecuted with cruelty, along the whole extent of our 
frontier. At length to obtain an additional supply of am- 
munition, salt and shirting, Doctor Eckarly left Cheat, 
with a pack of furs and skins, to visit a trading post on 
the Shenandoah. On his return, he stopped at Fort Pleas- 
ant, on the South Branch; and having communicated to 
its inhabitants the place of his residence, and the length 
of time he had been living there, he was charged with 
being in confederacy with the Indians, and probably at 
that instant a spy, examining the condition of the fort. 
In vain the Doctor protested his innocence and the fact 
that he had not even seen an Indian in the country; the 
suffering condition [59] of the border settlements, rendered 
his account, in their opinion improbable, and he was put 
in confinement. 

The society, of which Doctor Eckarly was a member, 
was rather obnoxious to a number of the frontier inhabit- 
ants. Their intimacy with the Indians, although cultivated 
with the most laudable motives, and for noble purposes, yet 
made them objects at least of distrust to many. Laboring 
under these disadvantages, it was with difficulty that Doctor 
Eckarly prevailed on the officer of the fort to release him ; 
and when this was done he was only permitted to go home 
under certain conditions he was to be escorted by a guard 
of armed men, who were to carry him back if any discov- 
ery were made prejudicial to him. Upon their arrival at 
Cheat, the truth of his statement was awfully confirmed. 
The first spectacle which presented itself to their view, 
when the party came within sight of where the cabin had 
been, was a heap of ashes. On approaching the ruins, the 
half decayed, and mutilated bodies of the poor Dunkards, 
were seen in the yard; the hoops, on which their scalps 

Of Border Warfare. 77 

had been dried, were there, and the ruthless hand of deso- 
lation had waved over their little fields. Doctor Eckarly 
aided in burying the remains of his unfortunate brothers, 
and returned to the fort on the South Branch. 

In the fall of 1758, Thomas Decker and some others 
commenced a settlement on the Monongahela river, at the 
mouth of what is now, Decker's creek. In the ensuing 
spring it was entirely broken up by a party of Delawares 
and Mingoes ; and the greater part of its inhabitants mur- 

There was at this time at Brownsville a fort, then known 
as Redstone fort, under the command of Capt. Paul. 1 One 

1 In 1750, the Ohio Company, as a base of operations and supplies, 
built a fortified warehouse at Will's Creek (now Cumberland, Md.), on 
the upper waters of the Potomac. Col. Thomas Cresap, an energetic 
frontiersman, and one of the principal agents of the Company, was di- 
rected to blaze a pack-horse trail over the Laurel Hills to the Monon- 
gahela. He employed as his guide an Indian named Nemacolin, whose 
camp \\ us at the mouth of Dunlap Creek (site of the present Browns- 
ville, Pa,), an affluent of the Monongahela. Nemacolin pointed out an 
old Indian trace which had its origin, doubtless, in an over-mountain 
buffalo trail ; and this, widened a little by Cresap, was at first known as 
Nemacolin's Path. It led through Little Meadows and Great Meadows 
open marshes grown to grass, and useful for feeding traders' and ex- 
plorers' horses. Washington traveled this path in 1753, when he went 
to warn the French at Fort Le Boeuf. Again, but widened somewhat, 
it was his highway in 1754, as far north as Gist's plantation ; and at Great 
Meadows he built Fort Necessity, where he was defeated. Braddock 
followed it in great part, in 1755, and henceforth it became known as 
" Braddock's Road." The present National Eoad from Cumberland to 
Brownsville, via IFniontown, differs in direction but little from Nemaco- 
lin's Path. For a map of Braddock's Road, see Lowdermilk's History of 
Cumberland, Md., p. 140. with description on pages 51, 52, 140-148. Ellis's 
History of Fayette Co., Pa., also has valuable data. 

The terminus of Nemacolin's Path was Dunlap's Creek (Browns- 
ville). A mile-and-a-quarter below Dunlap's, enters Redstone Creek, and 
the name "Redstone" became affixed to the entire region hereabout, 
although " Monongahela " was sometimes used to indicate the pan- 
handle between the Monongahela and the Youghiogheny. In 1752, the 
Ohio Company built a temporary warehouse at the mouth of Dunlap's 
Creek, at the end of the over-mountain trail. In 1754, Washington's ad- 
vance party (Capt. Trent) built a log fort, called " The Hangard," at 
the mouth of the Redstone, but this was, later in the year, destroyed by 
the French officer De Villiers. In 1759, Colonel Burd, as one of the fea- 
tures of Forbes's campaign against Fort Duquesne, erected Fort Burd at 
the mouth of Dunlap's, which was a better site. This fort was gar- 

78 Withers' s Chronicles 

of Decker's party escaped from the Indians who destroyed 
the settlement, and making his way to Fort Redstone, 
gave to its commander the melancholy intelligence. The 
garrison being too weak to admit of sending a detachment 
in pursuit, Capt. Paul despatched a runner with the in- 
formation to Capt. John Gibson, then stationed at Fort 
Pitt. Leaving the fort under the command of Lieut. "Will- 
iamson, Capt. Gibson set out with thirty men to intercept 
the Indians, on their return to their towns. 

In consequence of the distance which the pursuers had 
to go, and the haste with which the Indians had retreated, 
the expedition failed in its object; they however accidentally 
came on a party of six or seven Mingoes, on the head of 
Cross Creek in Ohio (near Steubenville) these had been 
prowling about the river, below Fort Pitt, seeking an op- 
portunity of committing depredations. 1 As Capt. Gibson 
passed the point of a small knoll, just after day break, he 
came unexpectedly upon them some of them were lying 
down; the others were sitting round afire, making thongs 
of green hides. Kiskepila or Little Eagle, a Mingo chief, 
headed the party. So soon as he discovered Capt. Gibson, 
he raised the war whoop and fired [61] his rifle the ball 
passed through Gibson's hunting shirt and wounded a sol- 
dier just behind him. Gibson sprang forward, and swinging 
his sword with herculean force, severed the head of the 
Little Eagle from his body two other Indians were shot 
down, and the remainder escaped to their towns on Mus- 

When the captives, who were restored under the treaty 
of 1763, came in, those who were at the Mingo towns when 
the remnant of Kiskepila's party returned, stated that the 
Indians represented Gibson as having cut off the Little 

risoned as late as the Dunmore War (1774), but was probably abandoned 
soon after the Revolutionary War. The name " Redstone Old Fort " be- 
came attached to the place, because within the present limits of Browns- 
ville were found by the earliest comers, and can still be traced, ex- 
tensive earthworks of the mound-building era. R. G. T. 

1 Cross Creek empties into the Ohio through Mingo Bottom (site of 
Mingo Junction, O.). On this bottom was, for many years, a consider- 
able Mingo village. R. G T. 

Of Border Warfare. 79 

Eagle's head with a long knife. Several of the white per- 
sons were then sacrificed to appease the manes of Kis- 
kepila; and a war dance ensued, accompanied with terrific 
shouts and bitter denunciations of revenge on "the Big knife 
warrior." This name was soon after applied to the Vir- 
ginia militia generally ; and to this day they are known 
among the north western Indians as the "Long knives" or 
"Big knife nation" l 

1 This statement, that Capt. Audley Paul commanded at Redstone, 
and of his attempting to intercept a foraging Indian party, can not possi- 
bly be true. There was no fort, and consequently no garrison, at Red- 
stone in 1758. It was not built 'till 1759, and then by Col. James Burd, of 
the Pennsylvania forces. James L. Bowman, a native of Brownsville, 
the locality of Redstone Old Fort, wrote a sketch of the history of that 
place, which appeared in the American Pioneer in February, 1843, in which 
he says : " We have seen it stated in a creditable work, that the fort was 
built by Capt. Paul doubtless an error, as the Journal of Col. Burd is 
ample evidence to settle that matter." Col. Burd records in his Journal : 
" Ordered, in Aug. 1759, to march with two hundred of my battalion to 
the mouth of Redstone Creek, to cut a road to that place, and to erect 
a fort." He adds: " When I had cut the road, and finished the fort," etc. 

The other part of the story, about Capt. John Gibson commanding 
at Fort Pitt in " the fall of 1758," is equally erroneous, as Gen. Forbes 
did not possess himself of Fort Duquesne till Nov. 25th, 1758, within 
five days of the conclusion of " fall " in that year ; and Gen. Forbes com- 
manded there in person until he left for Philadelphia, Dec. 3d following. 
There is, moreover, no evidence that Gibson was then in service. The 
story of his decapitating Kis-ke-pi-la, or the Little Eagle, if there was such 
a person, or of his beheading any other Indian, is not at all probable. 
He was an Indian trader for many years, and was made prisoner by the 
Indians in 1763, and detained a long time in captivity. 

Gibson could not by any such decapitating exploit, have originated 
the designation of " Big Knife," or " Big Knife warrior," for this appella- 
tion had long before been applied to the Virginians. Gist says in his 
Journal, Dec. 7th, 1750, in speaking of crossing Elk's Eye Creek the 
Muskingum and reaching an Indian hamlet, that the Indians were all 
out hunting; that " the old Frenchman, Mark Coonce, living there, was 
civil to me ; but after I was gone to my camp, upon his understanding I 
came from Virginia, he called me Big Knife." Col. James Smith, then a 
prisoner with the Indians, says the Indians assigned as a reason why 
they did not oppose Gen. Forbes in 1758, that if they had been only red 
coats they could have subdued them ; " but they could not withstand 
Ash-a-le-co-a, or the Great Knife, which was the name they gave the 
Virginians." L. C. D. 

Comment by R. G. T. See note on p. 77, regarding erection of early 
forte at Redstone. James Veech, in Monongahela of Old, says, "We know 

80 Withers' s Chronicles 

These are believed to have been the only attempts to 
effect a settlement of North Western Virginia, prior to the 
close of the French war. The capture of Fort du Quesne 
and the erection and garrisoning of Fort Pitt, although 
they gave to the English an ascendency in that quarter; 
yet they did not so far check the hostile irruptions of the 
Indians, as to render a residence in this portion of Vir- 
ginia, by any means secure. It was consequently not at- 
tempted 'till some years after the restoration of peace in 

that the late Col. James Paull served a month's duty in a drafted militia 
company in guarding Continental stores here [Fort Burd] in 1778." The 
term "Big Knives" or "Long Knives" may have had reference either 
to the long knives carried by early white hunters, or the swords worn by 
backwoods militia officers. See Roosevelt's Winning of the West, I., p. 197. 

Of Border Warfare. 81 


The destruction of the Roanoke settlement in the 
spring of 1757, by a party of Shawanees, gave rise to the 
campaign, which was called by the old settlers the " Sandy 
creek voyage." To avenge this outrage, Governor Din- 
widdie ordered out a company of regulars (taken chiefly 
from the garrison at Fort Dinwiddie, on Jackson's river) 
under the command of Capt. Audley Paul ; a company of 
minute-men from Boutetourt, under the command of Capt. 
William Preston ; and two companies from Augusta, un- 
der Captains John Alexander 1 and William Hogg. In 
Capt. Alexander's company, John M'Nutt, afterwards 
governor of Nova Scotia, was a subaltern. The whole 
were placed under the command of Andrew Lewis. 2 

1 Father of Dr. Archibald Alexander, sometime president of Hamp- 
den Sydney College in Virginia, and afterwards a professor at Princeton 
in New Jersey. 

Comment by L. C. D. He was the grandfather of Dr. Alexander. 

* The attacks on the Roanoke settlement, mentioned by Withers, oc- 
curred in June and July, 1755 (not the spring of 1757, as he states); that 
on Greenbrier, in September following; and the expedition against the 
Shawnees did not take place in 1757, but in February and March, 1756. 
Diaries and other documents in the Wisconsin Historical Society's library 
prove this. Dr. Draper estimated that Lewis's force was about 263 whites 
and 130 Cherokees 418 in all. The several companies were officered 
by Peter Hogg, John Smith, William Preston, -Archibald Alexander, 
Robert Breckenridge, Obadiah Woodson, John Montgomery, and one 
Dunlap. Two of Dr. Thomas Walker's companions in his Kentucky 
exploration of 1750, were in the expedition Henry Lawless and Colby 
Chew. Governor Dinwiddie had stipulated in his note to Washington, 
in December, 1755, that either Col. Adam Stephen or Maj. Andrew 
Lewis was to command. Washington having selected the latter, dis- 
spatched him from Winchester about the middle of January, 1756, with 
orders to hurry on the expedition. To the mismanagement of the 
guides is attributed much of the blame for its failure. The interesting 
Journals of Capt. William Preston and Lieut. Thomas Norton are in 
the possession of the Wisconsin Historical Society. R. G. T. 

82 Withers' s Chronicles, 

Beside the chastisement of the Indians, the expedition 
had for its object, the establishment of a military post at 
the mouth of the Great Sandy. This would have enabled 
them, not only to maintain a constant watch over maraud- 
ing parties of Indians from that quarter ; but to check the 
communication between them and the post at Galliopolis ; 
and thus counteract the influence which the French there 
had obtained over them. 1 

The different companies detailed upon the Shawanee 
expedition, were required to rendezvous on the lioanoke, 
near to the present town of Salem in Bottetourt, where 
Col. Lewis was then posted. The company commanded 
by Capt. Hogg failed to attend at the appointed time; 
and Col. Lewis after delaying a week for its arrival, 
marched forward, expecting to be speedily overtaken by it. 

To avoid an early discovery by the Indians, which 
would have been the consequence of their taking the more 
public route by the Great Kenhawa ; and that they might 
fall upon the Indians towns in the valley of the Scioto, 
without being interrupted or seen by the French at Galli- 
opolis, they took the route by the way of New river and 
Sandy. Crossing New river below the Horse-shoe, they 
descended it to the mouth of "Wolf creek ; and ascending 
this to its source, passed over to the head of Bluestone 
river; where they delayed another week awaiting the ar- 
rival of Capt. Hogg and his company. 2 They then 
marched to the head of the north fork of Sandy, and con- 
tinued down it to the great Burning Spring, where they 

1 But Gallipolis was not settled until 1790, as has been previously 
shown. Withers confounds the modern French town of Gallipolis, 
whose residents were the sad victims of Indian outrages rather than the 
abettors of them, with the old Shawnee town just below the mouth 
of the Scioto (site of Alexandria. O.). This fur-trading center was a 
village of log huts built by the French for the accommodation of their 
Shawnee allies, and was a center of frontier disturbances. R. G. T. 

2 Preston's Journal does not lay much stress on Hogg's delay. Nor- 
ton's Journal, speaking of Hogg, says, " common soldiers were by him 
scarcely treated with humanity," and he seems to have regularly over- 
ruled and disobeyed Lewis. There was much rancor in camp, and Nor- 
ton writes of the Cherokee allies, "The conduct and concord that was 
kept up among the Indians might shame us for they were in general 
quite unanimous and brotherly." R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 83 

also remained a day. Here the salt and provisions, which 
had been conveyed [63] on pack horses, were entirely ex- 
hausted. Two buffaloes, killed just above the spring, were 
also eaten while the army continued here; and their hides 
were hung upon a beech tree. After this their subsist- 
ence was procured exclusively by hunting. 

The army then resumed their march ; and in a few 
days after, it was overtaken by a runner with the intelli- 
gence that Capt. Hogg and his company were only a 
day's march in the rear. Col. Lewis again halted; and 
the day after he was overtaken by Hogg, he was like- 
wise overtaken by an express from Francis Fauquier 1 
with orders for the army to return home ; and for the dis- 
banding of all the troops except Capt. Paul's regulars, 2 
who were to return to Fort Dinwiddie. 

This was one of the first of Gov. Fauquier's official acts ; 
and it was far from endearing him to the inhabitants west 
of the Blue ridge. They had the utmost confidence in 
'the courage and good conduct of Col. Lewis, and of the 
officers and men under his command they did not for an 
instant doubt the success of the expedition, and looked 
forward with much satisfaction, to their consequent ex- 
emption in a great degree, from future attacks from the 
Indians. It was not therefore without considerable re- 
gret, that they heard of their countermanding orders. 

Nor were they received by Lewis and his men with 
very different feelings. They had endured much during 
their march, from the inclemency of the weather ; more 
from the want of provisions They had borne these hard- 
ships without repining ; anticipating a chastisement of the 
Indians, and the deriving of an abundant supply of pro- 
visions from their conquered towns They had arrived 
within ten miles of the Ohio river, and could not witness 
the blasting of their expectations, without murmuring. 
A council of war was held disappointment and indigna- 

1 This expedition was sent out under the auspices of Gov. Dinwid- 
die Fauquier did not become governor until 1758. No countermand- 
ing orders were sent. L. C. D. 

2 Audley Paul was first lieutenant in Preston's company. L. C. D. 

84 Withers's Chronicles 

tion were expressed in every feature. A majority of the 
officers were in favor of proceeding to the Ohio river, un- 
der the expectation that they might fall in with some 
of the enemy they marched to the river and encamped 
two nights on its banks. Discovering nothing of an 
enemy, they then turned to retrace their steps through 
pathless mountains, a distance of three hundred miles, in 
the midst of winter and without provisions. 

The reasons assigned by the friends of Gov. Fauquier, 
for the issuing of those orders were, that the force detailed 
by Gov. Dinwiddie, was not sufficient to render secure 
an establishment at the contemplated point near the In- 
dian towns on the Scioto within a few days journey of 
several thousand warriors on the Miami in the vicinity 
of the hostile post at Galliopolis and so remote from the 
settled part of Virginia, that they could not be furnished 
with assistance, and supplied with provisions and military 
stores, without incurring an expenditure, both of blood 
and money, beyond what the colony could spare, for the 
accomplishment of that object. 

Had Capt. Hogg with his company, been at the place 
of rendezvousat the appointed time, the countermanding or- 
ders of the governor [64] could not have reached the army, 
until it had penetrated the enemy's country. What might 
have been its fate, it is impossible to say the bravery of 
the troops their familiar acquaintance with the Indian 
mode of warfare their confidence in the officers and the 
experience of many of them, seemed to give every assur- 
ance of success While the unfortunate result of many 
subsequent expeditions of a similar nature, would induce 
the opinion that the governor's apprehensions were per- 
haps prudent and well founded. That the army would 
soon have had to encounter the enemy, there can be no 
doubt ; for although not an Indian had been seen, yet it 
seems probable from after circumstances, that it had been 
discovered and watched by them previous to its return. 

On the second night of their march homeward, while 
encamped at the Great falls, some of Hogg's men went 
out on the hills to hunt turkeys, and fell in with a party 
of' Indians, painted as for war. As soon as they saw that 

Of Border Warfare. 85 

they were discovered, they fired, and two of Hogg's men 
were killed the fire was returned and a Shawanee warrior 
Nvas wounded and taken prisoner. The remaining Indians, 
yelling their war whoop, fled down the river. 

Many of the whites, thinking that so small a party of 
Indians would not have pursued the army alone, were of 
opinion that it was only an advanced scout of a large body 
of the enemy, who were following them : the wounded In- 
dian refused to give any information of their number or 
object. A council of war was convoked ; and much diver- 
sity of opinion prevailed at the board. It was proposed 
by Capt. Paul to cross the Ohio river, invade the towns on 
the Scioto, and burn them, or perish in the attempt. 1 The 
proposition was supported by Lieut. M'Nutt, but over- 
ruled; and the officers, deeming it right to act in con- 
formity with the governor's orders, determined on pur- 
suing their way home. Orders were then given that no 
more guns should be fired, and no fires kindled in camp, 
as their safe return depended very much on silence and 

An obedience to this order, produced a very consider- 
able degree of suffering, as well from extreme cold as from 
hunger. The pack horses, which were no longer service- 
able (having no provisions to transport) and some of which 
had given out for want of provender, were killed and 
eaten. When the army arrived at the Burning spring, 
the buffalo hides, which had been left there on their way 
down, were cut into tuggs, or long thongs, and eaten by 
the troops, after having been exposed to the heat produced 
by the flame from the spring. Hence they called it Tugg 
river a name by which it is still known. After this the 
army subsisted for a while on beachnuts ; but a deep snow 

1 Withers, deriving his information from Taylor's sketches, was mis- 
led as to any intention of establishing a fort at the month of the 
Kanawha ; and also as to Paul's, or any one else's proposition to cross 
the Ohio, and invade the Shawnee towns. The only aim was, to reach 
the Upper Shawnee town. L. C. D. 

Comment by R. G. T. " Upper Shawnee town " was an Indian vil- 
lage at the mouth of Old Town Creek, emptying into the Ohio from the 
north, 39 miles above the mouth of the Great Kanawha. 

86 Withers's Chronicles 

falling these could no longer be obtained, and the re- 
strictions were removed. 

About thirty men then detached themselves from the 
main body, to hunt their way home. Several of them 
were known to have perished from cold and hunger 
others were lost and never afterwards [65] heard of; as 
they had separated into small parties, the more certainly 
to find game on which to live. The main body of the 
army was conducted home by Col. Lewis, after much suf- 
fering the strings of their mocasons, the belts of their 
hunting shirts, and the flaps of their shot pouches, hav- 
ing been all the food which they had eaten for some days. 1 

A journal of this campaign was kept by Lieut. M'Nutt, 
a gentleman of liberal education and fine mind. On his re- 
turn to Williamsburg he presented it to Governor Fauquier 
by whom it was deposited in the executive archives. In 
this journal Col. Lewis was censured for not having pro- 
ceeded directly to the Scioto towns ; and for imposing on 
the army the restrictions, as to fire and shooting, which 
have been mentioned. This produced an altercation be- 
tween Lewis and M'Nutt, which was terminated by a per- 
sonal encounter. 2 

During the continuance of this war, many depreda- 
tions were committed by hostile Indians, along the whole 
extent of the Virginia frontier. Individuals, leaving the 
forts on any occasion, scarcely ever returned; but were, 
almost always, intercepted by Indians, who were constantly 
prowling along the border settlements, for purposes of 

1 If such a journal ever existed, it passed into the hands of Gov. 
Dinwiddie, or possibly to Gov. Fauquier ; but no reference to it is found 
among the Dinwiddie Papers, as published by the Virginia Historical So- 
ciety ; nor in the Calendar of State Papers, published by the State of Vir- 
ginia. It is to be remarked, however, that few of the records of that 
period have been preserved by that State. L. C. D. 

s Shortly after, M'Nutt was appointed governor of Nova Scotia, where 
he remained until the commencement of the American revolution. In 
this, contest he adhered to the cause of liberty, and joined his country- 
men in arms under Gen. Gates at Saratoga. He was afterwards known 
as a meritorious officer in the brigade of Baron de Kalb, in the south 
he died in 1811, and was buried in the Falling Spring church yard, in 
the forks of James river. 

Of Border Warfare. 87 

rapine and murder. The particulars of occurrences of this 
kind, and indeed of many of a more important character, 
no longer exist in the memory of man they died with 
them who were contemporaneous with the happening of 
them. 1 On one occasion however, such was the extent of 
savage duplicity, and such, and so full of horror, the 
catastrophe resulting from misplaced confidence, that the 
events which marked it, still live in the recollection of the 
descendants of some of those, who suffered on the theatre 
of treachery and blood. 

On the south fork of the South Branch of Potomac, in, 
what is now, the county of Pendleton, was the fort of 
Capt. Sivert. 2 In this fort, the inhabitants of what was 

1 Preston's MS. Register of the persons of Augusta county, Va., 
killed, wounded, captured by the Indians, and of those who escaped, from 
1754 to May, 1758, is in the Wisconsin Historical Society's library. It is 
to be regretted that Col. Preston, whose opportunities were so good, did 
not continue the Register till the end of the Indian wars. It is a most 
valuable document as far as it goes, and supplies many dates and facts 
hitherto involved in doubt and obscurity. L. C. D. 

J Seybert's Fort was situated on the South Fork, twelve miles north- 
east of Franklin, in Pendleton County. At the time of this invasion, 
there was a fort located on the South Branch, garrisoned by Capt. 
James Dunlap and a company of rangers from Augusta county. Pres- 
ton's Register states, that on the 27th of April, 1758, the fort at which 
Capt. Dunlap was stationed, was attacked and captured, the captain 
and twenty-two others killed ; and, the next day, the same party, no 
doubt, attacked Seybert's Fort, killing Capt. Seybert and sixteen others, 
while twenty-four others were missing. Washington, at the time, placed 
the number as "about sixty persons killed and missing." 

A gazette account, published at Williamsburg, May 5th ensuing, 
says : " The Indians lately took and burnt two forts, where were stationed 
one of our ranging companies, forty of whom were killed and scalped, 
and Lieut. Dunlap and nineteen missing." 

Kercheval's History of the Valley gives some further particulars : That 
Seybert's Fort was taken by surprise ; that ten of the thirty persons 
occupying it, were bound, taken outside ; the others were placed on a 
log and tomahawked. James Dyer, aJad of fourteen, was spared, taken 
first to Logstown, and then to Chillicothe, and retained a year and ten 
months, when as one of an Indian party he visited Fort Pitt, and man- 
aged to evade his associates while there, and finally reached the settle- 
ments in Pennsylvania, and two years later returned to the South Fork. 
It is added by the same historian, as another tradition, that after the 
fort had been invested two days, and two of the Indians had been killed, 
the garrison agreed to surrender on condition of their lives being spared, 

88 Withers's Chronicles 

then called the " Upper Tract," all sought shelter from 
the tempest of savage ferocity ; and at the time the 
Indians appeared before [66] it, there were contained 
within its walls between thirty and forty persons of both 
sexes and of different ages. Among them was Mr. Dyer, 
(the father of Col. Dyer now of Pendleton) and his family. 
On the morning of the fatal day, Col. Dyer and his sister 
left the fort for the accomplishment of some object, and 
although no Indians had been seen there for some time, 
yet did they not proceed far, before they came in view of 
a party of forty or fifty Shawanees, going directly towards 
the fort. Alarmed for their own safety, as well as for the 
safety of their friends, the brother and sister endeavored 
by a hasty flight to reach the gate and gain admittance into 
the garrison ; but before they could effect this, they were 
overtaken and made captives. 

The Indians rushed immediately to the fort and com- 
menced a furious assault on it. Capt. Sivert prevailed, 
(not without much opposition,) on the besieged, to forbear 
firing 'till he should endeavor to negotiate with, and buy 
off the enemy. With this view, and under the protection 
of a flag he went out, and soon succeeded in making the 
wished for arrangement. When he returned, the gates 
were thrown open, and the enemy admitted. 

No sooner had the money and other articles, stipulated 

which was solemnly promised. That when the gate was opened, the 
Indians rushed in with demoniac yells, the whites fled, but were re- 
taken, except one person ; the massacre then took place, and ten were 
carried off into captivity. 

Still another tradition preserved by Kercheval, says the noted Del- 
aware chief, Killbuck, led the Indians. Seybert's son, a lad of fifteen, 
exhibited great bravery in the defense of the fort. Killbuck called out 
to Capt. Seybert, in English, to surrender, and their lives should be 
spared ; when young Seybert at this instant, aimed his loaded gun at 
the chief, and the father seized it, and took it from him, saying they 
could not successfully defend the place, and to save their lives should 
surrender, confiding in Killbuck's assurances. Capt. Seybert was among 
the first of those sacrificed. Young Seybert was among the prisoners, 
and told the chief how near he came to killing him. " You young 
rascal," laughingly replied Killbuck, " if you had killed me, you would 
have saved the fort, for had I fallen, my warriors would have immedi- 
ately fled, and given up the siege in despair." L. C. D. 

Of Border Warfare. 89 

to be given, been handed over to the Indians, than a most 
bloody tragedy was begun to be acted. Arranging the 
inmates of the fort, in two rows, with a space of about 
ten feet between them, two Indians were selected ; who 
taking each his station at the head of a row, with their 
tomahawks most cruelly murdered almost every white 
person in the fort ; some few, whom caprice or some other 
cause, induced them to spare, were carried into captivity, 
such articles as could be well carried away were taken 
off' by the Indians ; the remainder was consumed, with the 
fort, by fire. 

The course pursued by Capt. Sivert, has been supposed 
to have been dictated by timidity and an ill founded ap- 
prehension of danger from the attack. It is certain that 
strong opposition was made to it by many; and it has 
been said that his own sou raised his rifle to shoot him, 
when he ordered the gates to be thrown open ; and was 
only prevented from executing his purpose, by the inter 
ference of some near to him. Capt. Sivert was also sup- 
ported by many, in the plan which he proposed to rid the 
fort of its assailants : it was known to be weak, and 
incapable of withstanding a vigorous onset; and [67] its 
garrison was illy supplied with the munitions of war. 
Experience might have taught them, however, the futility 
of any measure of security, founded in a reliance on In- 
dian faith, in time of hostility; and in deep and bitter 
anguish, they were made to feel its realization in the pres- 
ent instance. 

In the summer of 1761, about sixty Shawanee war- 
riors penetrated the settlements on James river. To avoid 
the fort at the mouth of Looney's creek, on this river, 
they passed through Bowen's gap in Purgatory mount- 
ain, in the night; and ascending Purgatory creek, killed 
Thomas Perry, Joseph Dennis and his child and made 
prisoner his wife, Hannah Dennis. They then proceeded 
to the house of Robert Renix, where they captured Mrs. 
Renix, (a daughter of Sampson Archer) and her five chil- 
dren, William, Robert, Thomas, Joshua and Betsy Mr. 
Renix not being at home. They then went to the house 
of Thomas Smith, where Renix was ; and shot and scalped 

90 Withers's Chronicles 

him and Smith ; and took with them, Mrs. Smith and Sally 
Jew, a white servant girl. 1 

William and Audley Maxwell, and George Matthews, 
(afterwards governor of Georgia,) were then going to 
Smith's house; and hearing the report of the guns, sup- 
posed that there was a shooting match. But when they 
rode to the front of the house and saw the dead bodies of 
Smith and Renix lying in the yard, they discovered their 
mistake; and contemplating for a moment the awful spec- 
tacle, wheeled to ride back. At this instant several guns 
were fired at them ; fortunately without doing any execu- 
tion, except the cutting off the club of Mr. Matthews' cue. 
The door of the house was then suddenly opened ; the 
Indians rushed out and raising the war cry, several of 
them fired Audley Maxwell was slightly wounded in 
the arm. 

It appeared afterwards, that the Indians had seen 
Matthews and the Maxwells coming; and that some of 
them had crowded into the house, while the others with 
the prisoners went to the north side of it, and concealed 
themselves behind some fallen timber. Mrs. Renix, after 
she was restored to her friends in 1766, stated that she 
was sitting tied, in the midst of four Indians, who laying 
their guns on a log, took deliberate aim at Matthews ; the 
others firing at the Maxwells The sudden wheeling of 
their horses no doubt saved the lives of all three. 

The Indians then divided, and twenty of them taking 
the [68] prisoners, the plunder and some horses which 
they had stolen, set off by the way of Jackson's river, for 

1 The name is Renick. Robert Renick, who was killed on the occa- 
sion referred to, was a man of character and influence in his day. His 
name appears on Capt. John Smith's company roll of Augusta militia as 
early as 1742 ; and four years later, he was lieutenant of a mounted 
company of Augusta militia. Instead of 1761, the captivity of the Ren- 
ick family occurred July 25, 1757, as shown by the Preston Register, 
which states that Renick and another were killed on that day Mrs. 
Renick and seven children, and a Mrs. Dennis, captured ; and the same 
day, at Craig's Creek, one man was killed and two wounded. The 
Renick traditions state that Mrs. Renick had only five children when 
taken ; and one born after reaching the Indian towns ; and corrects 
some other statements not properly related in Withers's narrative of 
the affair. L. C. D. 

Of Border Warfare. 91 

the Ohio ; the remainder started towards Cedar creek, 
with the ostensible view of committing farther depreda- 
tions. But Matthews and the Maxwells had sounded the 
alarm, and the whole settlement were soon collected at 
Paul's stockade fort, at the Big spring near to Springfield. 
Here the women and children were left to be defended by 
Audley Maxwell and five other men ; while the others, 
forming a party of twenty-two, with George Matthews at 
their head, set out in quest of the enemy. 

The Indians were soon overtaken, and after a severe 
engagement, were forced to give ground. Matthews and 
his party followed in pursuit, as far as Purgatory creek ; 
but the night being very dark in consequence of a con- 
tinued rain, the fugitives effected an escape ; and overtak- 
ing their comrades with the prisoners and plunder, on 
the next evening, at the forks of the James and Cow- 
pasture rivers, proceeded to Ohio without further moles- 

When Matthews and his men, on the morning suc- 
ceeding the engagement, returned to the field of battle, 
they found nine Indians dead ; whom they buried on the 
spot. Benjamin Smith, Thomas Maury and the father of 
Sally Jew, were the only persons of Matthews' party, 
who were killed these, together with those who had been 
murdered on the preceding day, were buried near the fork 
of a branch, in (what is now) the meadow of Thomas 
Cross sr. 

In Boquet's treaty with the Ohio Indians, it was stip- 
ulated that the whites detained by them in captivity were 
to be brought in and redeemed. In compliance with this 
stipulation, Mrs. Renix was brought to Staunton in 1767 
and ransomed, together with two* of her sons, William, 
the late Col. Renix of Greenbrier, and Robert, also of 
Greenbrier Betsy, her daughter, had died on the Miami. 
Thomas returned in 1783, but soon after removed and set- 
tled, on the Scioto, near Chilicothe. Joshua never came 
back ; he took an Indian wife and became a Chief among 
the Miamies he amassed a considerable fortune and died 
near Detroit in 1810. 

Hannah Dennis was separated from the other captives, 

92 Withers' s Chronicles 

and allotted to live at the Chilicothe towns. 1 She learned 
their language ; painted herself as they do ; and in many 
respects conformed to their manners and customs. She 
was attentive to sick persons and was highly esteemed by 
the Indians, as [69] one well skilled in the art of curing 
diseases. Finding them very superstitious and believers 
in necromancy ; she professed witchcraft, and affected to 
be a prophetess. In this manner she conducted herself, 
'till she became so great a favorite with them, that they 
gave her full liberty and honored her as a queen. Not- 
withstanding this, Mrs. Dennis was always determined to 
effect her escape, when a favorable opportunity should 
occur; and having remained so long with them, appar- 
ently well satisfied, they ceased to entertain any suspicions 
of such a design. 

In June 1763, she left the Chilicothe towns, ostensibly 
to procure herbs for medicinal purposes, (as she had be- 
fore frequently done,) but really to attempt an escape. As 
she. did not return that night, her intention became sus- 
pected ; and in the morning, some warriors were sent in 
pursuit of her. In order to leave as little trail as possible, 
she had crossed the Scioto river three times, and was just 
getting over the fourth time 40 miles below the towns, 
when she was discovered by her pursuers. They fired at 
her across the river without effect; but in endeavoring to 
make a rapid flight, she had one of her feet severely cut 
by a sharp stone. 

The Indians then rushed across the river to overtake 
and catch her, but she eluded them by crawling into the 
hollow limb, of a large fallen sycamore. They searched 
around for her some time, frequently stepping on the log 
which concealed her; and encamped near it that night. 
On the next day they went on to the Ohio river, but find- 
ing no trace of her, they returned home. 

Mrs. Dennis remained at that place three days, doc- 

1 In 1763-65, the great Shawnee village just below the mouth of th 
Scioto (site of Alexandria, O.), was destroyed by floods. Some of the 
tribesmen rebuilt their town on a higher bottom just above the mouth 
(site of Portsmouth, O.), while others ascended the Scioto and built 
successively Old and New Chillicothe. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 93 

toring her wound, and then set off for home. She crossed 
the Ohio river, at the mouth of Great Kenhawa, on a log 
of driftwood, travelling only during the night, for fear of 
discovery She subsisted on roots, herbs, green grapes, 
wild cherries and river muscles and entirely exhausted 
by fatigue and hunger, sat down by the side of Green- 
brier river, with no expectation of ever proceeding farther. 
In this situation she was found by Thomas Athol and 
three others from Clendennin's settlement, which she had 
passed without knowing it. She had been then upwards 
of twenty days on her disconsolate journey, alone, on 
foot but 'till then, cheered with the hope of again being 
with her friends. 

She was taken back to Clendennin's, where they 
kindly [70] ministered to her, 'till she became so far invig- 
orated, as to travel on horseback with an escort, to Fort 
Young on Jackson's river; from whence she was carried 
home to her relations. 

In the course of a few days after Hannah Dennis had 
gone from Clendennins, a party of about sixty warriors 
came to the settlement on Muddy creek, in the county of 
Greeubrier. That region of country then contained no 
inhabitants, but those on Muddy creek, and in the Levels ; 
and these are believed to have consisted of at least one 
hundred souls. The Indians came apparently as friends, 
and the French war having been terminated by the treaty 
of the preceding spring, the whites did not for an in- 
stant doubt their sincerity. They were entertained in 
small parties at different houses, and every civility and act 
of kindness, which the new settlers could proffer, were ex- 
tended to them. In a moment of the most perfect confi- 
dence in the innocense of their intentions, the Indians 
rose on them and tomahawked and scalped all, save a few 
women and children of whom they made prisoners. 

After the perpetration of this most barbarous and 
bloody outrage, the Indians (excepting some few who took 
charge of the prisoners) proceeded to the settlement in 
the Levels. Here, as at Muddy creek, they disguised 
their horrid purpose, and wearing the mask of friendship, 

94 Wit hers' s Chronicles 

were kindly received at the house of Mr. Clendennin.^ 
This gentleman had just returned from a successful hunt, 
and brought home three fine elks these and the novelty 
of being with friendly Indians, soon drew the whole set- 
tlement to his house. Here too the Indians were well 
entertained and feasted on the fruit of Clendetmin's hunt, 
and every other article of provision which was there, and 
could minister to their gratification. An old woman, who 
was of the party, having a very sore leg and having un- 
derstood that Indians could perform a cure of any ulcer, 
shewed it to one near her; and asked if he could heal it 
The inhuman monster raised his tomahawk and buried 
it in her head. This seemed to be the signal of a general 
massacre and promptly was it obeyed nearly every man of 
the settlement was killed and the women and children 
taken captive. 

While this tragedy was acting, a negro woman, who 
was [71] endeavoring to escape, was followed by her cry- 
ing child. To save it from savage butchery, she turned 
round and murdered it herself. 

Mrs. Clendennin, driven to despair by the cruel and 
unprovoked murder of her husband and friends, and the 
spoilation and destruction of all their property, boldly 
charged the Indians with perfidy and treachery ; and al- 
leged that cowards only could act with such duplicity. 
The bloody scalp of her husband was thrown in her face 
the tomahawk was raised over her head ; but she did 
not cease to revile them. In going over Keeny's knot on 
the next day, the prisoners being in the centre, and the 
Indians in the front and rear, she gave her infant child to 
one of the women to hold for a while. She then stepped 
into the thicket unperceived, and made her escape. The 
crying of the infant soon lead to a discovery of her flight 
one of the Indians observed that he could " bring the 
cow to her calf," and taking the child by the heels, beat 
out its brains against a tree. 

Mrs. Clendennin returned that night to her home, a 
distance of ten miles; and covering the body of her hus- 

Where Ballard Smith now resides. 

Of Border Warfare. 95 

baud with rails and trash, retired' into an adjoining corn 
field, lest she might be pursued and again taken prisoner. 
While in the corn field, her mind was much agitated by 
contending emotions ; and the prospect of effecting an es- 
cape to the settlements, seemed to her dreary and hopeless. 
In a moment of despondency, she thought she beheld a 
man, with the aspect of a murderer, standing near her ; 
and she became overwhelmed with fear. It was but the 
creature of a sickly and terrified imagination ; and when 
her mind regained its proper tone, she resumed her flight 
and reached the settlement in safety. 1 

These melancholy events occurring so immediately 
after the escape of Hannah Dennis ; and the unwillingness 
of the Indians that she should be separated from them, 
has induced the supposition that the party committing 
those dreadful outrages were in pursuit of her. If such 
were the fact, dearly were others made to pay the penalty 
of her deliverance. 

This and other incidents, similar in their result, satis- 
fied the whites that although the war had been terminated 
on the part of the French ; yet it was likely to be contin- 
ued with all its horrors, by their savage allies. This was 
then, and has since been, attributed to the smothered hos- 
tility of the French in [72] Canada and on the Ohio river; 
and to the influence which they had acquired over the 
Indians. This may have had its bearing on the event; 
but from the known jealousy entertained by the Indians, 
of the English Colonists ; their apprehensions that they 
would be dispossessed of the country, which they then held 
(England claiming jurisdiction over it by virtue of the 
treaty of Paris ;) and their dissatisfaction at the terms on 
which France had negotiated a peace, were in themselves 
sufficient to induce hostilities on the part of the Indians. 
Charity would incline to the belief that the continuance 
of the war was rightly attributable to these causes the 
other reason assigned for it, supposing the existence of a 

1 Further particulars of this captivity are in Royall's Sketches of His- 
tory, Life, and Manners in U. S. (New Haven, 1826), pp. 60-66. R. G. T. 

96 Withers' s Chronicles 

depravity, so deep and damning, as almost to stagger cre- 
dulity itself. 

In October, 1764, about fifty Delaware and Mingo 
warriors ascended the Great Sandy and came over on New 
river, where they separated ; and forming two parties, di- 
rected their steps toward different settlements one party 
going toward Roanoke and Catawba the other in the di- 
rection of Jackson's river. They had not long passed, 
when their trail was discovered by three men, (Swope, 
Pack and Pitman) who were trapping on New river. 
These men followed the trail till they came to where the 
Indian party had divided; and judging from the routes 
which had been taken, that their object was to visit the 
Roanoke and Jackson's river settlements, they determined 
on apprizing the inhabitants of their danger. Swope and 
Pack set out for Roanoke and Pitman for Jackson's river. 
But before they could accomplish their object, the Indians 
had reached the settlements on the latter river, and on 

The Party which came to Jackson's river, travelled 
down Dunlap's creek and crossed James river, above Fort 
Young, in the night and unnoticed; and going down this 
river to William Carpenter's, where was a stockade fort 
under the care of a Mr. Brown, they met Carpenter just 
above his house and killed him. They immediately pro- 
ceeded to the house, and made prisoners of a son of Mr. 
Carpenter, two sons of Mr. Brown 1 [73] (all small children) 

1 Carpenter's son (since Doctor Carpenter of Nicholas) came home 
about fifteen years afterwards Brown's youngest son, (the late Col. 
Samuel Brown of Greenbrier) was brought home in 1769 the elder son 
never returned. He took an Indian wife, became wealthy and lived at 
Brown's town in Michigan. He acted a conspicuous part in the late war 
and died in 1815. 

Comment by L. C. D. Adam Brown, who was captured as mentioned 
in the above text and note, was thought by his last surviving son, Adam 
Brown, Jr., whom I visited in Kansas in 1868, to have been about six years 
old when taken ; and he died, he thought, about 1817, at about seventy- 
five years of age. But these dates, and his probable age, do not agree ; he 
was either older when taken, or not so old at his death. The mother 
was killed when the sons were captured, and the father and some others 
of the family escaped. The late William Walker, an educated Wyandott, 

Of Border Warfare. 97 

and one woman the others belonging to the house, were 
in the field at work. The Indians then dispoiled the house 
and taking off some horses, commenced a precipitate re- 
treat fearing discovery and pursuit. 

"When Carpenter was shot, the report of the gun was 
heard by those at work in the field; and Brown carried 
the alarm to Fort Young. In consequence of the weak- 
ness of this fort, a messenger was despatched to Fort 
Dinwiddie, with the intelligence. Capt. Paul (who still 
commanded there,) immediately commenced a pursuit with 
twenty of his men ; and passing out at the head of Dun- 
lap's creek, descended Indian creek and New river to Piney 
creek ; without making any discovery of the enemy. On 
Indian creek they met Pitman, who had been running all 
the day and night before, to apprise the garrison at Fort 
Young of the approach of the Indians. Pitman joined in 
pursuit of the party who had killed Carpenter ; but they, 
apprehending that they would be followed, had escaped to 
Ohio, by the way of Greenbrier and Kenhawa rivers. 1 

As Capt. Paul and his men were returning, they acci- 
dently met with the other party of Indians, who had been 

and at one time territorial governor of Kansas, stated to me, that the 
Wyandotts never made chiefs of white captives, but that they often at- 
tained, by their merits, considerable consequence. It is, however, certain 
that Abraham Kuhn, a white prisoner, grew up among the Wyandotts, 
and, according to Heckewelder, became a war chief among them, and 
signed the treaty at Big Beaver in 1785 ; and Adam Brown himself signed 
the treaties of 1805 and 1808, and doubtless would have signed later ones 
had he not sided with the British Wyandotts, and retired to Canada, 
near Maiden, where he died. 

1 It is highly probable that this foray took place in 1763. During 
this year, as features of the Pontiac uprising, bloody forays were made 
on the more advanced settlements on Jackson, Greenbrier, and Calf Pas- 
ture rivers, and several severe contests ensued between whites and 
Indians. Captains Moffett and Phillips, with sixty rangers, were am- 
buscaded with the loss of fifteen men. Col. Charles Lewis pursued the 
savages with 150 volunteers raised in a single night, and on October 3rd 
surprised them at the head of the South Fork of the Potomac, killing 
twenty-one, with no white losses. The spoils of this victory, beside the 
" five horses with all their trappings," sold for 250. This was the most 
notable of the several skirmishes which took place on the Virginia fron- 
tier, that year. R. G. T. 


98 Wit hers' s Chronicles 

to Catawba, and committed some depredations and murders 
there. They were discovered, about midnight, encamped 
on the north bank of New river, opposite an island at the 
mouth of Indian creek. Excepting some few who were 
watching three prisoners, (whom they had taken on Ca- 
tawba, and who were sitting in the midst of them,) they 
were lying around a small fire, wrapped in skins and blan- 
kets. Paul's men not knowing that there were captives 
among them, fired in the midst, killed three Indians, and 
wounded several others, one of whom drowned himself to 
preserve his scalp the rest of the party fled hastily down 
the river and escaped. 

In an instant after the firing, Capt. Paul and his men 
rushed forward to secure the wounded and prevent further 
escapes. One of the foremost of his party seeing, as he 
supposed, a squaw sitting composedly awaiting the result, 
raised his tomahawk and just as it was descending, Capt. 
Paul threw himself between the assailant and his victim ; 
and receiving the blow on his arm, exclaimed, " It is a 
shame to hurt a woman, even a squaw." Recognising the 
voice of Paul, the woman named him. She was Mrs. 
Catharine Gunn, an English lady, who had come to the 
country some years before; and who, previously to her 
marriage, had lived in the family of Capt. Paul's father-in- 
law, where she became acquainted with that gentleman 
She had been taken captive by the Indians, on the Cataw- 
ba, a few days before, when her husband and two only chil- 
dren were killed by them. When questioned why she had 
not cried out, or otherwise made known that she was a 
white prisoner, she replied, " I had as soon be killed as not 
my husband is murdered my children are slain my 
parents are dead. I have not a relation in America every 
thing dear to me here is gone I have no wishes no hopes 
no fears 1 would not have risen to my feet to save my 

[74] When Capt. Paul came on the enemy's camp, he 
silently posted his men in an advantageous situation for 
doing execution, and made arrangements for a simultane- 
ous fire. To render this the more deadly and efficient, 
they dropped on one knee, and were preparing to take de- 

Of Border Warfare. 99 

liberate aim, when one of them (John M'Collum) called 
to his comrades, " Pull steady and send them all to hell." 
This ill timed expression of anxious caution, gave the 
enemy a moment's warning of their danger ; and is the 
reason why greater execution was not done. 

The Indians had left all their guns, blankets and 
plunder these together with the three white captives, 
were taken by Capt. Paul to Fort Dinwiddie. 1 

1 Perhaps this affair is that related by Capt. William Christian, in 
a letter dated Roanoke, Oct. 19th, 1763, as published in the gazettes of 
that day there are, at least, some suggestive similarities: "Being 
joined by Capt. Hickenbotham, with twenty-five of the Amherst militia, 
we marched on Tuesday last, to Winston's Meadows, where our scouts 
informed us, that they had discovered a party of Indians about three 
miles off. Night coming on, prevented our meeting them ; and next 
day, being rainy, made it difficult to follow their tracks. As they were 
on their return, Capt. Hickenbotham marched to join Capt. Ingles down 
New River. I, with nineteen men and my ensign, took a different 
route in quest of them. We marched next day on their tracks until 
two hours before sunset, when we heard some guns, and soon afterwards 
discovered three large fires, which appeared to be on the bank of Turkey 
Creek, where it empties into New river. Upon this we immediately ad- 
vanced, and found they were on an island. Being within gun-shot, we 
fired on them, and loading again, forded the creek. The Indians, after 
killing Jacob Kimberlain, a prisoner they had with them, made but a 
slight resistence, and ran off. We found one Indian killed on the spot, 
and, at a little distance, four blankets shot through, and very bloody. 
We took all their bundles, four guns, eight tomahawks, and two mares. 
They had several other horses, which being frightened by the firing, 
ran off and were lost. The party consisted of upwards of twenty In- 
dians. By the tracks of blood, we imagined several of them were 
wounded." This affair occurred Oct. 12th. L. C. D. 

100 Withers' s Chronicles 


Daring the continuance of the French war, and of 
that with the Indians which immediately succeeded it, the 
entire frontier from New York to Georgia was exposed to 
the merciless fury of the savages, ' n no instance were the 
measures of defence adopted by the different colonies, ade- 
quate to their object. From some unaccountable fatuity 
in those who had the direction of this matter, a defensive 
war, which alone could have checked aggression and pre- 
vented the effusion of blood, was delayed 'till the whole 
population, of the country west of the Blue ridge, had re- 
tired east of those mountains; or were cooped up in forts. 

The chief means of defence employed, were the 
militia of the adjoining counties, and the establishment of 
a line of forts and block-houses, dispersed along a con- 
siderable extent of country, and occupied by detachments 
of British colonial troops, or by militiamen. All these 
were utterly incompetent to effect security ; partly from 
the circumstances of the case, and somewhat from the en- 
tire want of discipline, and the absence of that subordina- 
tion which is absolutely necessary to render an army 

So great and apparent were the insubordination and 
remissness of duty, on the part of the various garrisons, 
that Gen. Washington, declared them " utterly inefficient 
and useless ; " and the inhabitants themselves, could place 
no reliance whatever on them, for protection. In a par- 
ticular instance, such were the inattention and carelessness 
of the garrison that several children playing under the 
walls of the fort, were run down and caught by the In- 
dians, who were not discovered 'till they arrived at the 
very gate. 1 

In Virginia the error of confiding on the militia, soon 

1 At Dickenson's fort in 1755. 

Of Border Warfare. 101 

became apparent. 1 Upen the earnest remonstrance and en- 
treaty of General Washington, the colonial legislature 
substituted a force of regulars, 2 [76] which at once effected 
the partial security of her frontier, and gave confidence to 
the inhabitants. 

In Pennsylvania, from the pacific disposition of her 
rulers and their abhorrence of war of any kind, her border 
settlements suffered most severely. The whole extent of 
her frontier was desolated by the Indians, and irruptions 
were frequently made by them into the interior. The es- 
tablishments, which had been made in the Conococheague 
valley, were altogether broken up and scenes of the great- 
est barbarity, on one side, and of the utmost suffering on 
the other, were constantly exhibiting. A few instances 
of this suffering and of that barbarity, may not be im- 
properly adduced here. They will serve to illustrate the 
condition of those who were within reach of the savage 
enemy ; and perhaps, to palliate the enormities practiced 
on the Christian Indians. 

In the fall of 1754 about forty or fifty Indians entered 
that province, and dividing themselves into two parties, 
sought the unprotected settlements, for purposes of mur- 
der and devastation : the smaller party went about the 
forks of Delaware the other directing their steps along 
the Susquehanua. On the 2nd of October, twelve of the 
former appeared before the house of Peter Williamson, (a 
Scotchman, with no family but his wife,) who had made 
considerable improvement near the Delaware river. Mrs. 
Williamson being from home, he sat up later than usual, 
and about 11 o'clock was astounded at the savage war 
whoop, resounding from various directions, near to the 
house. Going to the window, he perceived several Indians 
standing in the yard, one of whom, in broken English, 
promised that if he would come out and surrender he 

1 When the Indians were most troublesome, and threatening even 
the destruction of Winchester, Lord Fairfax who was commandant of 
the militia of Frederick and Hampshire, ordered them out. Three days 
active exertion on his part, brought only 20 in the field. 

2 Rather rangers, who seem to have been enlisted to serve a year, 
and were re-engaged when necessary. L. C. D. 

102 Withers' s Chronicles 

should not be killed; threatening at the same time that 
if he did not, they would burn him up in his house. Un- 
able to offer an effectual resistance, and preferring the 
chance of safety by surrendering, to the certainty of a 
horrid death if he attempted an opposition, he yielded 
himself up a prisoner. 

So soon as he was in their power they plundered the 
house of such articles as they could conveniently take with 
them, and set fire to it, and to the barn, in which was a 
quantity of wheat, some horses and other cattle. After 
inflicting some severe tortures on Williamson, and forcing 
him to carry a heavy weight of the plunder, which they 
had taken from him, they went to a neighboring house, 
occupied by Jacob Snyder, his wife, five children and a 
servant. The piercing cries, and [77] agonizing shrieks 
of these poor creatures, made no impression on the sav- 
ages. The father, mother, and children were tomahawked 
and scalped, and their bodies consumed by fire together 
with the house. The servant was spared that he might 
aid in carrying their plunder; but manifesting deep dis- 
tress at his situation as prisoner, he was tomahawked be- 
fore they proceeded far. 

Before they could accomplish farther mischief a fall 
of snow, making them apprehensive that they would be 
pursued by the united force of the settlement, induced 
them to return to Alamingo taking Williamson with 

On their way back, they met with the party of 
Indians, which had separated from them, as they ap- 
proached the settlements. These had been lower down 
on the Susquehanna, and had succeeded in making greater 
havoc, and committing more depredations, than it had 
fallen to the lot of those who had taken Williamson, to 
commit. They had with them three prisoners and twenty 
scalps. According to the account of their transactions as 
detailed by the prisoners, they had on one day killed and 
scalped John Lewis, his wife and three children, and in a 
few days after had murdered, with almost every circum- 
stance of cruelty, Jacob Miller, his wife and six children, 
and George Folke, his wife and nine children, cutting up 

Of Border Warfare. 103 

the bodies of the latter family and giving them piece-meal 
to the hogs in the pen. Wherever they had been, de- 
struction marked their course. In every instance the 
houses, barns and grain stacks were consumed by fire ; 
and the stock killed. 

The three prisoners who had been brought in by the 
last party, endeavored soon after to effect an escape ; but 
their ignorance of the country, and the persevering ac- 
tivity and vigilance of the Indians, prevented the accom- 
plishment of their attempt. They were overtaken, and 
brought back ; and then commenced a series of cruelties, 
tortures and death, sufficient to shock the sensibilities of 
the most obdurate heart, if unaccustomed to the perpetra- 
tion of such enormities. 

Two of them were tied to trees, around which large 
fires were kindled, and they suffered to remain for some 
time, in the gradual but horrible state of being scorched 
to death. After the Indians had enjoyed awhile the 
writhings of agony and the tears of anguish, which were 
drawn from these suffering victims, one, stepping within 
the circle, ripped open their bodies and threw their bowels 
into the flames. Others, to emulate [78] this most shock- 
ing deed, approached, and with knives, burning sticks, 
and heated irons, continued to lacerate, pierce and tear 
the flesh from their breasts, arms and legs, 'till death 
closed the scene of horrors and rendered its victims in- 
sensible to its pains. 

The third was reserved a few hours, that he might be 
sacrificed under circumstances of peculiar enormity. A 
hole being dug in the ground of a depth sufficient to en- 
able him to stand upright, with his head only exposed, 
his arms were pinioned to his body, he placed in it, and 
the loose earth thrown in and rammed closely around him. 
He was then scalped and permitted to remain in that sit- 
uation for several hours. A fire was next kindled near 
his head. In vain did the poor suffering victim of hellish 
barbarity exclaim, that his brains were boiling in his 
head ; and entreat the mercy of instant death. Deaf to 
his cries, and inexorable to his entreaties, they continued 

104 Withers' s Chronicles 

the fire 'till his eye balls burst and gushed from their sock- 
ets, and death put a period to his sufferings. 

Of all these horrid spectacles, Williamson was an un- 
willing spectator ; and supposing that he was reserved for 
some still more cruel and barbarous fate, determined on 
escaping. This he was soon enabled to do ; and returned 
to the settlements. 1 

The frequent infliction of such enormities as these 
upon the helpless and unoffending women and children, 
as well as upon those who were more able to resist and 
better qualified to endure them ; together with the desola- 
tion of herds, the devastation of crops, and the conflagration 
of houses which invariably characterized those incursions, 
engendered a general feeling of resentment, that sought 
in some instances, to wreak itself on those who were 
guiltless of any participation in those bloody deeds. That 
vindictive spirit led to the perpetration of offences against 
humanity, not less atrocious than those which they were 
intended to requite ; and which obliterated every discrim- 
inative feature between the perpetrators of them, and 
their savage enemies. 

The Canestoga Indians, to the number of forty, lived 
in a village, in the vicinity of Lancaster ; they were in 
amity with the whites, and had been in peace and quiet 
for a considerable length of time. An association of men, 
denominated the " Paxton boys," broke into their little 
town and murdered all who were found at home four- 
teen men, women and children fell a prey to the savage 
brutality of those sons of civilization [79]. The safety of 
the others was sought to be effected, by confining them in 
the jail at Lancaster. It was in vain. The walls of a 
prison could afford no protection, from the relentless fury 
of these exasperated men. The jail doors were broken 

1 Peter Williamson had singular adventures. When a boy he was 
kidnapped at Aberdeen, and sent to America, for which he afterwards 
recovered damages. It is said that he passed a considerable period 
among the Cherokees. He instituted the first penny post at Edinburgh, 
for which, when the government assumed it, he received a pension. 
His Memoirs, and French and Indian Cruelty xamplified, were works of 
interest. He died in Edinburgh in 1 799. L. C. D. 

Of Border Warfare. 105 

open, and its wretched inmates cruelly murdered. And, 
as if their deaths could not satiate their infuriate murder- 
ers, their bodies were brutally mangled, the hands and 
feet lopped off, and scalps torn from the bleeding heads 
of innocent infants. 

A similar fate impended the Christian Indians of 
Nequetank and Nam ; and was only averted, by the timely 
interposition of the government of Pennsylvania. They 
were removed to Philadelphia, where they remained from 
November 1763 'till after the close of the war in December 
1764 ; during which time the Paxton boys twice assembled 
in the neighborhood of the city, for the purpose of assault- 
ing tne barracks and murdering the Indians, but were 
deterred by the military preparations made to oppose 
them; and ultimately, but reluctantly, desisted. 

Had the feelings excited in the minds of these mis- 
guided men, by the cruelties of the Indians, been properly 
directed, it would have produced a quite different result. 
If, instead of avenging the outrages of others, upon those 
who were no otherwise guilty than in the complexion of their 
skin, they had directed their exertions to the repressing 
of invasion, and the punishment of its authors, much good 
might have been achieved ; and they, instead of being 
stigmatized as murderers of the innocent, would have 
been hailed as benefactors of the border settlements. As- 
sociations of this kind were formed in that province, and 
contributed no little to lessen the frequency of Indian 
massacres, and to prevent the effusion of blood, and the 
destruction of property. At the time the Paxton boys 
were meditating and endeavoring to effect the destruction 
of the peaceable Christian Indians, another company, formed 
by voluntary league, was actively engaged in checking 
the intrusions, of those who were enemies, and in punish- 
ing their aggressions. A company of riflemen, called the 
Black boys (from the fact of their painting themselves red 
and black, after the Indian fashion,) under the command of 
Capt. James Smith, contributed to preserve the Cono- 
cocheague valley, during the years 1763 and 1764, from 
the devastation [80] which had overspread it early after 
the commencement of Braddock's war. 

106 Withers' & Chronicles 

Capt. Smith had been captured by the Indians in the 
spring of 1755, and remained with them until the spring of 
1759, when he left them at Montreal, and after some time 
arrived at home in Pennsylvania. He was in Fort du Quesne, 
when the Indians and French went out to surprise Gen. 
Braddock; and witnessed the burnings and other dread- 
ful tortures inflicted upon those who were so unfortunate 
as to have been made prisoners ; and the orgies and de- 
moniacal revels with which the victory was celebrated. He 
was subsequently adopted into a family, by which he was 
kindly treated; and became well acquainted with their 
manner of warfare, and the various arts practised by them, 
to ensure success in their predatory incursions, and after- 
wards to elude pursuit. He became satisfied from ob- 
servation, that to combat Indians successfully, they must 
be encountered in their own way ; and he accordingly 
instructed his men in the Indian mode of warfare, dressed 
them after the Indian fashion, and fought after the Indian 
manner.- 1 

An instance of the good effect resulting from prac- 
ticing the arts and stratagems of the Indians, occurred 
during this war; and to its success the garrison of Fort 
Pitt were indebted for their preservation. 

After the ratification of the treaty of peace which had 
been concluded between England and France, war con- 

1 Col. James Smith was born in Franklin county, Pa., in 1737 ; was 
captured by Indians in 1755, remaining in captivity until his escape 
in 1759. He served as ensign in 1763, and lieutenant under Bouquet 
in 1764; he was a leader, for several years, of the Black Boys a sort of 
regulators of the traders who, the Black Boys thought, supplied the In- 
dians with the munitions of war. As the troubles with the mother 
country began, Smith was selected for frontier service, and held civil and 
military positions captain in the Pennsylvania line ; then in 1777 as 
major under Washington ; in 1778, he was promoted to the rank of 
colonel of militia, and led an expedition against the Indian town on 
French Creek. In 1788, he removed to Kentucky ; served in the early 
Kentucky conventions, preparatory to State organization, and also in 
the legislature. He did missionary work in Kentucky and Tennessee, 
and preached among the Indians. He wrote a valuable account of his 
Indian captivity, republished a few years since by Robert Clarke & 
Co., Cincinnati, and a treatise on Indian warfare, besides two contro- 
versial pamphlets against the Shakers. He died in Washington count'- 
Ky., in 1812, aged about seventy-five years. L. C. D. 

Of Border Warfare. 107 

tinued to be waged by the Indians on the whole western 
frontier. A large body of them had collected and marched 
to Fort Pitt, with a view to its reduction by famine. It 
had been invested for some time and the garrison being 
too weak to sally out and give battle to the, besiegers, 
Capt. Ecuyer dispatched messengers with the intelligence 
of his situation and a request for aid and provisions : 
these were either compelled to return or be killed, as the 
country for some distance east of Fort Pitt was in the 
possession of the savages. 1 

At length a quantity of provisions were ordered by 
Gov. Amherst for the relief of the fort, and forwarded 
under a strong guard commanded by Colonel Boquet. 
The Indians were soon apprized of this and determined 
on intercepting the provisions, and if practicable, to pre- 
vent their reaching the place of their destination. With 
this object in view, a considerable force was detached, to 
watch the motions of Col. Boquet and [81] upon a fa- 
vorable opportunity to give him battle. In a narrow defile 
on Turtle creek an attack was made by the Indians, and 
a severe engagement ensued. Both armies fought with 
the most obstinate bravery, from one o'clock 'till night, 
and in the morning it was resumed, and continued with 
unabated fury for several hours. At length Col. Boquet, 
having placed four companies of infantry and grenadiers 
in ambush, ordered a retreat. So soon as this was com- 
menced, the Indians, confident of victory, pressed forward 
with considerable impetuosity, and fell into the ambus- 
cade. This decided the contest the Indians were repulsed 
with great slaughter and dispersed. 

The loss of the British, in killed and wounded, ex- 
ceeded one hundred. That they were not entirely cut off, 
was attributable to the stratagem of the retreat (a favorite 
one of the Indians ;) the success of which not only saved 

1 Captain Simeon Ecuyer, like Bouquet, was a native of Switzerland ; 
he did good service on the frontiers, especially in the gallant defense of 
Fort Pitt in 1763. He became disgusted with the bad conduct of his 
Boldiers, especially the grenadiers, and begged leave to resign. " For 
God's sake," he implored Bouquet, "let me go, and raise cabbages." 
L. C. D. 

108 Withers' s Chronicles 

the detachment under Col. Boquet, but likewise preserved 
Fort Pitt, from falling into the hands of the savage foe. 

The loss sustained by the enemy, must have equaled 
that of the British; several of their most distinguished 
chiefs and warriors, were of the number of the slain : and 
so decisive was the victory obtained over them, that in the 
succeeding campaign against the Indians on the Mus- 
kingum, Boquet found not much difficulty in bringing 
them to terms. A cessation of hostilities was agreed to, 
upon condition that they would give up all the whites 
then detained by them in captivity. Upwards of three 
hundred prisoners were then redeemed; but the season 
being far advanced and the others scattered in different 
parts of the country, it was stipulated, that they should 
be brought into Fort Pitt early in the ensuing spring ; and 
as a security that they would comply with this condition 
of the armistice, six of their chiefs were delivered up as 
hostages these however succeeded in making their escape 
before the army arrived at Fort Pitt. 1 

The ill success which had attended the combined op- 
erations of the Indians, during this war, the difficulty of 
procuring ammunition to support it, and the fact that it 
had begun to be carried into their own country, disposed 
them to make peace. A treaty was accordingly concluded 
with them by Sir William Johnson in 1765. Previous to 
this however, some few depredations were committed by 

1 Henry Bouquet was born at Rolle, in the canton of Berne, Switzer- 
land, in 1721, and at the age of seventeen he entered into the service of 
the states general of Holland ; subsequently engaged under the banner 
of Sardinia, and distinguished himself at the battle of Cony. In 1748, he 
was a lieutenant-colonel in the Swiss guards, in the service of Holland. 
At length, in 1756, he entered the English army, serving in the Royal 
Americans, and co-operated with Gen. Forbes on the campaign against 
Fort Du Quesne, repulsing an attack of French and Indians on Loyal 
Hanna. He afterwards served in Canada, and was sent for the relief of 
Fort Pitt, when beleagured in 1763. While marching on this service/ 
he signally defeated the Indians at Bushy Run, after a two days' en- 
gagement, in August of that year, and relieved Fort Pitt. In 1764, he 
led an expedition against the Ohio Indians, compelling them to sue for 
peace. He died at Pensacola, September 2, 1765, of a prevailing fever. 
in the prime of life, at the age of forty-four years. He had attained the 
rank of general. L. C. D. 

Of Border Warfare. 109 

the Indians, in contravention of the agreement made with 
them by Col. Boquet; and which induced a belief that 
the want of clothes and ammunition, [82] was the real 
cause of 'their partial forbearance. It was therefore of 
great consequence, to prevent their obtaining a supply of 
these necessaries, until there could be some stronger as- 
surance, than hacjflbeen given, of their pacific disposition. 

Notwithstanding the prevalence of this impression, 
and the fact, that a royal proclamation had been issued, for- 
bidding any person trading with the Indians, yet in March 
1765 a number of wagons, laden with goods and warlike 
stores for the Indians, was sent from Philadelphia to 
Henry Pollens of Conococheague, to be thence transported 
on pack horses to Fort Pitt. This very much alarmed the 
country; and many individuals remonstrated against the 
propriety of supplying the Indians at that particular junct- 
ure; alleging the well known fact, that they were then 
destitute of ammunition and clothing, and that to furnish 
them with those articles, would be to aid in bringing on 
another frontier war, and to lend themselves to the com- 
mission of those horrid murders, by which those wars 
were always distinguished. Remonstrance was fruitless. 
The gainful traffick which could be then carried on with 
the Indians, banished every other consideration ; and sev- 
enty horses, packed with goods, were directed on to Fort 

In this situation of things, Capt. James Smith, (who 
had been with Boquet during the campaign of 1764, and 
was well convinced that a supply at that time of clothing 
and ammunition, would be the signal for the recommence- 
ment of hostilities) collected ten of his " Black boys," 
painted and dressed as Indians ; and waylaid the caravan, 
near a place called the " Side long Hill." He disposed his 
men in pairs, behind trees along the road, at intervals of 
about 60 yards, with orders for the second not to fire 'till 
the first had reloaded, so that a regular, slow fire might be 
maintained at once, from front to rear. 

As soon as the cavalcade approached, the firing com- 
menced, and the pack horses beginning to fall by the side 
of their conductors, excited the fear of the latter, and in- 

110 Wit hers' s Chronicles 

duced them to cry out " Geiitlemen what would you have 
us to do." Captain Smith replied, " collect all your loads 
to the front, deposit them in one place; take your private 
property and retire." These things were accordingly 
done ; and the goods left (consisting of blankets, shirts, 
beads, vermillion, powder, lead, tomahawks, scalping 
knives, &c.) were immediately burnec^ or otherwise de- 

[83] The traders then went to Fort London, and ob- 
taining of the commanding officer a party of Higland 
soldiers, proceeded in quest of the Robbers (as they termed 
them ;) some of whom were taken and carried into the Fort. 
Capt. Smith then raised about 300 riflemen, and marching 
to Fort London, occupied a position on an eminence near 
it. He had not been long there before he had more than 
twice as many of the garrison, prisoners in his camp, as 
there were of his men in the guard house. Under a flag 
of truce proceeding from the Fort, a convention for the ex- 
change of prisoners was entered into between Capt. Grant, 
the commander of the garrison, and Capt. Smith, and the 
latter with his men, immediately returned to their homes. 1 

1 The following song was soon after composed by Mr. George Camp- 
bell (an Irish gentleman who had been educated in Dublin,) and was 
frequently sung in the neighborhood to the tune of the Black Joke, 
Ye patriot souls who love to sing, 
What serves your country and your king, 

In wealth, peace, and royal estate ; 
Attention give whilst I rehearse, 
A modern fact, in jingling verse, 
How party interest strove what it cou'd, 
To profit itself by public blood, 
But justly met its merited fate. 

Let all those Indian traders claim, 
Their just reward, in glorious fame, 

For vile, base and treacherous ends, 
To Pollins in the spring they sent 
Much warlike stores, with an intent, 
To carry them to our barbarous foes, 
Expecting that nobody dare oppose 

A present to their Indian friends. 

Astonished at the wild design 
Frontier inhabitants combin'd, 

Of Border Warfare. Ill 

Occurrences such as this, were afterwards of too fre- 
quent [84] recurrence. The people had been taught by 
experience, that the fort afforded very little, if any pro- 
tection to those who were not confined within its walls 
they were jealous of the easy, and yet secure life led by 
the garrison, and apprehensive of the worst consequences 


With brave souls to stop their career, 
Although some men apostatized 
Who first the grand attempt advis'd, 
The bold frontiers they bravely stood, 
To act for their king, and their country's good 

In joint league, and strangers to fear. 

On March the fifth, in sixty-five, 
Their Indian presents did arrive, 

In long pomp and cavalcade, 
Near Sidelong-hill, where in disguise, 
Some patriots did their train surprise, 
And quick as lightning tumbled their loads 
And kindled them bonfires in the woods; 

And mostly burnt their whole brigade. 

At Loudon when they heard the news, 
They scarcely knew which way to choose, 

For blind rage and discontent ; 
At length some soldiers they sent out, 
With guides for to conduct the route, 
And seized some men that were travelling there 
And hurried them into Loudon, where 

They laid them fast with one consent. 

But men of resolution thought 

Too much to see their neighbors caught 

For no crime but false surmise ; 
Forthwith they join'd a warlike band, 
And march'd to Loudon out of hand, 
And kept the jailors pris'ners there, 
Until our friends enlarged were, 

Without fraud or any disguise. 

Let mankind censure or commend, 
This rash performance in the end, 

Then both sides will find their account. 
'Tis true no law can justify 
To burn our neighbors property, 
But when this property is design'd 
To serve the enemies of mankind, 

Its high treason in the amount. 

112 Wit hers's . Chronicles 

from the intercourse of traders with the Indians. Under 
those feelings, they did not scruple to intercept the pussage 
of goods to the trading posts, and commit similar outrages 
to those above described, if there were any interference 
on the part of the neighboring forts. On one occasion, 
Capt. Grant was himself taken prisoner, and [85] detained 
'till restitution was made the inhabitants of some guns, 
which had been taken from them, by soldiers from the 
garrison ; and in 1769, a quantity of powder, lead and 
other articles was taken from some traders passing through 
Bedford county, and destroyed. Several persons, sup- 
posed to have been of the party who committed this out- 
rage, were apprehended, and laid in irons in the guard 
house at Fort Bedford. 

Capt. Smith, although in no wise engaged in this trans- 
action, nor yet approving it, was nevertheless so indignant 
that an offence against the civil authorities, should be at- 
tempted to be punished by a military tribunal, that he re- 
solved on effecting their release. To accomplish this, he 
collected eighteen of his ' Black boys," in whom he knew 
he could confide ; and marched along the main road in the 
direction of Fort Bedford. On his way to that place, he 
did not attempt to conceal his object, but freely told to 
every one who enquired, that he was going to take Fort 
Bedford. On the evening of the second day of their march, 
they arrived at the crossings of Juniata, (14 miles from 
Bedford) and erected tents as if they intended encamping 
there all night. 

Previous to this, Capt. Smith had communicated his 
intention to Mr. "William Thompson (who lived in Bedford 
and on whom he could rely,) and prevailed on him to ob- 
tain what information he could as to the effect produced in 
the garrison by the preparations which he was making for 
its attack; and acquaint him with it. That he might be 
enabled to do this with greater certainty, a place and hour 
were appointed at which Capt. Smith would meet him. 

About 11 o'clock at night the march was resumed, 
and moving briskly they arrived near to Bedford, where 
they met Thompson ; who communicated to them the fact, 
that the garrison had been apprized of their object that in 

Of Border Warfare. 113 

consequence of having heard from them on the preceding 
evening, at the Crossings of Juuiata, it was not expected 
they would arrive before mid-day, that their number 
was known, and the enterprise ridiculed. Thompson then 
returned to Bedford, and the party moved silently under 
covert of the banks of the river, 'till they approached near 
to the Fort, where they lay concealed, awaiting the open- 
ing of the gate. About day light Thompson apprised them 
that the guard had thrown open the gate, and were taking 
their morning's dram ; that the arms were stacked not far 
from the entrace into the Fort, and three centinels on the 

Upon hearing these things, Capt. Smith with his men 
rushed rapidly to the Fort, and the morning being misty, 
were not discovered 'till they had reached the gate. At 
that instant the centinels fired their guns and gave the 
alarm ; but Capt. Smith and his men took possession of the 
arms, and raised a loud shout, before the soldiers of the 
garrison could learn the cause of the alarm, or get to the 
scene of action. 

[86] Having thus obtained possession of the Fort, 
Capt. Smith had the prisoners released from the guard- 
house, and compelling a blacksmith to knock off their 
irons, left the Fort with them and returned to Conoco- 
cheaque. " This, Capt. Smith says, was the first British 
fort in America, taken by what they called American 

Some time after this, an attempt was made to appre- 
hend Capt. Smith, as he was proceeding to survey and lo- 
cate land on the Youghogany river. In the encounter which 
succeeded, a man (by the name of Johnson) was killed ; 
and the murder being charged on Smith, he was confined 
for a time in Bedford jail; but fearing a release, the civil 
authority sent him privately through the wilderness to Car- 
lisle, to await a trial for the alledged offence. On hearing 
this, upwards of three hundred persons (among whom 
were his old " Black boys,") proceeded to Carlisle to effect 
a rescue ; and were only prevented the accomplishment of 
their object, by the solicitation of Smith himself. He 

114 Withers' s Chronicles 

knew his iiinocence, and preferred awaiting a trial ; and 
bow willing soever he might have been to oppose any 
encroachments of the military, he held in just abhorrence, 
an opposition to the civil authority of his country. He 
was put on his trial and acquitted. 1 

1 The following extract from the Pennsylvania Gazette of November 
2d, 1769, details the circumstances of this transaction. 

"James Smith, his brother and brother in law, were going out to 
survey and improve their land, on the waters of the Youghogany. Ex- 
pecting to be gone some time, they took with them their arms, and 
horses loaded with necessaries ; and as Smith's brother in law was an 
artist in surveying, he had also with him the instruments for that busi- 
ness. Travelling on their way and within nine miles of Bedford, they 
overtook and joined in company with one Johnson and Moorhead, who 
had likewise horses packed with liquor and seed wheat their inten- 
tions being also to make improvements on their lands. Arrived at the 
parting of the road near Bedford, they separated, one party going 
through town for the purpose of having a horse shod ; these were ap- 
prehended and put under confinement. James Smith, Johnson and 
Moorhead taking the other road, met John Holmes of Bedford, to whom 
Smith spoke in a friendly manner but received no answer. Smith and 
his companions proceeded to where the two roads again united ; and 
waited there the arrival of the others. 

"At this time a number of men came riding up, and asked Smith his 
name. On his telling them who he was, they immediately presented 
their pistols, and commanded him to surrenderor he was a dead man. 
Smith stepped back and asking if they were highwaymen, charged them 
to keep off; when immediately Robert George (one of the assailants) 
snapped a pistol at Smith's head ; and that (as George acknowledged 
under oath ) before Smith had offered to [87] shoot. Smith then presented 
his gun at another of the assailants, who was holding Johnson with one 
hand, while with the other he held a pistol, which he was preparing to 
discharge. Two shots were fired, one by Smith's gun, the other by the 
pistol, so quick as to be just distinguishable, and Johnson fell. Smith 
was then taken and carried to Bedford, where John Holmes (who had 
met him on the road, and hastened to Bedford with the intelligence) 
held an inquest over the dead body of Johnson. One of the assailants 
being the only witness examined, it was found that "Johnson had 
been murdered by Smith," who was thereupon committed for trial. 
But jealousy arising in the breasts of many, that the inquest was not so 
fair as it should have been, William Deny, (the coroner of Bedford 
county) thought proper to re-examine the matter ; and summoning a 
jury of unexceptionable men, out of three townships men whose can- 
dour, probity, and honesty are unquestionable, and having raised the 
corpse, held a solemn inquest over it for three days. 

" In the course of their scrutiny, they found the shirt of Johnson, 
around the bullet hole, blackened by the powder of the charge with 

Of Border Warfare. 115 

[87] Events such as those which have been narrated, 
serve to shew the state of things which existed at that day; 
and to point out the evils necessarily resulting, from an 
absence of municipal regulations. Man, in every station 
and condition of life/fequires the controlling hand of civil 
power, to confine him in his proper sphere, and to check 
every advance of invasion, on the rights of others. Unre- 
strained liberty speedily degenerates into licentiousness. 
Without the necessary curbs and restraints of law, men 
would relapse into a state of nature ; [88] and although 
the obligations of justice (the basis of society) be natural 
obligations ; yet such are the depravity and corruption of 
human nature, that without some superintending and co- 
ercive power, they would be wholly disregarded ; and hu- 

which he had been killed. One of the assailants being examined, swore 
to the respective spots of ground on which they stood at the time of 
firing, which being measured, was found to be 23 feet distance from each 
other. The experiment was then made of shooting at the shirt an 
equal distance both with and against the wind, to ascertain if the pow- 
der produced the stain ; but it did not. Upon the whole the jury, after 
the most accurate examination and mature deliberation, brought in 
their verdict that one of the assailants must necessarily have done the 

Captain Smith was a brave and enterprising man. In 1766, he, in 
company with Joshua Horton, Uriah Stone, William Baker and James 
Smith, by the way of Holstein, explored the country south of Kentucky 
at a time when it was entirely uninhabited ; and the country between 
the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, to their entrance into the Ohio. 
Stone's river, a branch of the Cumberland and emptying into it not far 
above Nashville, was named by them in this expedition. 

After his acquittal from the charge of having murdered Johnson, 
he was elected and served as one of the board of commissioners, for 
regulating taxes and laying the county levy, in the county of Bedford. 
[88] He was for several years a delegate from the county of Westmoreland, 
to the General Assembly of Pennsylvania ; and in the war of the revo- 
lution was an officer of merit and distinction. In 1781 he removed to 
Kentucky and settled in Bourbon county not far from Paris ; was a 
member of the convention which set at Danville, to confer about a 
separation from the state of Virginia, in 1788, from which time until 
1799, with the exception of two years, he was either a delegate of the 
convention or of the General Assembly of Kentucky. 

Comment by L. C. D. It would seem from Col. Smith's own state- 
ment, that his removal to, and settlement in, Bourbon county, Ky., was 
in 1788. 

116 Withers' s Chronicles 

man society, would become the field of oppression and 
outrage instead of a theatre for the interchange of good 
offices. Civil institutions and judicial establishments; the 
comminations of punishment and the denunciations of law, 
are barely sufficient to repress the evil propensities of man. 
Left to themselves, they spurn all natural restrictions, and 
riot in the unrestrained indulgence of every passion. 

Of Border Warfare. 117 

[89] CHAPTER V. 

The comparative security and quiet, which succeeded 
the treaty of 1765, contributed to advance the prosperity 
of the Virginia frontiers. The necessity of congregating 
in forts and blockhouses, no longer existing, each family 
enjoyed the felicities of its own fireside, undisturbed by 
fearful apprehensions of danger from the prowling savage, 
and free from the bustle and confusion consequent on being 
crowded together. No longer forced to cultivate their lit- 
tle fields in common, and by the united exertions of a whole 
neighborhood, with tomahawks suspended from their belts 
and rifles attached to their plow beams, their original spirit 
of enterprise was revived : and while a certainty of reaping 
in unmolested safety, the harvest for which they had toiled, 
gave to industry, a stimulus which increased their pros- 
perity, it also excited others to come and reside among 
them a considerable addition to their population, and a 
rapid extension of settlements, were the necessary conse- 

It was during the continuation of this exemption from 
Indian aggression, that several establishments were made 
on the Monongahela and its branches, and on the Ohio 
river. These were nearly cotemporaneous; the first how- 
ever, in order of time, was that made on the Buchannon 
a fork of the Tygart's valley river, and was induced by a 
flattering account of the country as given by two brothers; 
who had spent some years in various parts of it, under 
rather unpleasant circumstances. 

Among the soldiers who garrisoned Fort Pitt, were 
William Childers, John and Samuel Pringle and Joseph 
Linsey. In 1761, these four men deserted from the fort, 
and ascended the Monongahela as far as to the mouth of 
George's creek (the site afterwards selected by Albert 
Gallatin, for the town of Geneva.) Here they remained 
awhile ; but not liking the [90] situation crossed over to the 

118 Wit hers' s Chronicles 

head of the Youghogany ; and encamping in the glades, 
continued there about twelve months. 

In one of their hunting rambles, Samuel Pringle came 
on a path, which he supposed would lead to the inhabited 
part of Virginia. On his return he mentioned the discov- 
ery and his supposition, to his comrades, and they re- 
solved on tracing it. This they accordingly did, and it 
conducted them to Loony's creek, then the most remote 
western settlement. While among the inhabitants on 
Loony's creek, they were recognized and some of the 
party apprehended as deserters. John and Samuel Pringle 
succeeded in making an escape to their camp in the 
glades, where they remained 'till some time in the year 

During this year, and while in the employ of John 
Simpson (a trapper, who had come there in quest of furs,) 
they determined on removing farther west. Simpson was 
induced to this, by the prospect of enjoying the woods 
free from the intrusion of other hunters (the glades hav- 
ing begun to be a common hunting ground for the inhab- 
itants of the South Branch ;) while a regard for their per- 
sonal safety, caused the Pringles to avoid a situation, in 
which they might be exposed to the observation of other 

In journeying through the wilderness, and after hav- 
ing crossed Cheat river at the Horse shoe, a quarrel arose 
between Simpson and one of the Pringles ; and notwith- 
standing that peace and harmony were so necessary to 
their mutual safety and comfort ; yet each so far indulged 
the angry passions which had been excited, as at length 
to produce a separation. 

Simpson crossed over the Valley river, near the mouth 
of Pleasant creek, and passing on to the head of another 
water course, gave to it the name of Simpson's creek. 
Thence he went westwardly, and fell over on a stream 
which he called Elk: at the mouth of this he erected 
a camp, and continued to reside for more than twelve 
months. During this time he neither saw the Pringles 
nor any other human being ; and at the expiration of it 
went to the South Branch, where he disposed of his furs and 

Of Border Warfare. 119 

skins and then returned to, and continued at, his encamp- 
ment at the mouth of Elk, until permanent settlements 
were made in its vicinity. 

The Pringles kept up the Valley river 'till they ob- 
served a large right hand fork, (now Buchannon), 1 which 
they ascended [91] some miles ; and at the mouth of a 
small branch (afterward called Turkey run) they took up 
their abode in the cavity of a large Sycamore tree. 2 The 
stump of this is still to be seen, and is an object of no 
little veneration with the immediate descendants of the 
first settlers. 

The situation of these men, during a residence here of 
several years, although rendered somewhat necessary by 
their previous conduct, could not have been very enviable. 
Deserters from the army, a constant fear of discovery 
filled their minds with inquietude. In the vicinity of a 
savage foe, the tomahawk and scalping knife were ever 
present to their imaginations. Remote from civilized 
man, their solitude was hourly interrupted by the fright- 
ful shrieks of the panther, or the hideous bowlings of the 
wolf. And though the herds of Buffalo, Elk and Deer, 
which gamboled sportively around, enabled them easily to 
supply their larder ; yet the want of salt, of bread, and of 
every species of kitchen vegetable, must have abated their 

1 Now spelled Buckhannon. R. G. T. 

* Sycamores, which attain gigantic proportions, are given to rotting 
in the lower portions of the trunk, and chambers eight feet in diameter 
are not uncommon. In the course of a canoe voyage down the Ohio, in 
the summer of 1894, I frequently saw such cavities, with the openings 
stopped by pickets or rails, utilized by small bottom farmers as hog- 
pens, chicken-coops, and calf stalls. 

L. V. McWhorter, of Berlin, W. Va., who has kindly sent me sev- 
eral MS. notes on Withers's Chronicles (all of which will be duly cred- 
ited where used in this edition), writes: "The aged sycamore now 
(1894) occupying the site, is the third generation the grand-child of 
that which housed the Pringles. It stands on the farm of Webster Dix, 
who assures me that it shall not be destroyed. A tradition held by his 
descendants has it, that when John Pringle went back to the South 
Branch for ammunition, Charity, the wife of Samuel, who was left be- 
hind, started immediately for the wilderness home of her husband, and 
found him by the path which John had blazed for his own return." R. 
G. T. 

120 Withers's Chronicles 

relish for the, otherwise, delicious loin of the one, and 
hauch of the others. The low state of their little maga- 
zine too, while it limited their hunting, to the bare pro- 
curation of articles of subsistence, caused them, from a 
fear of discovery, to shrink at the idea of being driven to 
the settlements, for a supply of ammunition. And not 
until they were actually reduced to two loads of powder, 
could they be induced to venture again into the vicinity of 
their fellow men. In the latter part of the year 1767, 
John left his brother, and intending to make for a trad- 
ing post on the Sbenandoah, appointed the period of his 

Samuel Pringle, in the absence of John, suffered a 
good deal. The stock of provisions left him became en- 
tirely exhausted one of his loads of powder, was ex- 
pended in a fruitless attempt to shoot a buck his brother 
had already delayed his return several days longer than 
was intended, and he was apprehensive that he had been 
recognized, taken to Fort Pitt and would probably never 
get back. With his remaining load of powder, however 
he was fortunate enough to kill a fine buffalo ; and John 
soon after returned with the news of peace, both with the 
Indians and French. The two brothers agreed to leave 
their retirement. 

Their wilderness habitation was not left without some 
regret. Every object around, had become more or less en- 
deared to them. The tree, in whose hollow they had been 
so [92] frequently sheltered from storm and tempest, was 
regarded by them with so great reverence, that they re- 
solved, so soon as they could prevail on a few others to 
accompany them, again to return to this asylum of their 

In a population such as then composed the chief part 
of the South Branch settlement, this was no difficult mat- 
ter. All of them were used to the frontier manner of liv- 
ing; the most of them had gone thither to acquire land; 
many had failed entirely in this object, while others were 
obliged to occupy poor and broken situations off the river; 
the fertile bottoms having been previously located. Add 
to this the passion for hunting (which was a ruling one 

Of Border Warfare. 121 

with many,) and the comparative scarcity of game in their 
neighborhood, and it need not excite surprise that the 
proposition of the Pringles to form a settlement, in such a 
country as they represented that on Buchannon to be, was 
eagerly embraced by many. 

In the fall of the ensuing year (1768) Samuel Pringle, 
and several others who wished first to examine for them- 
selves, visited the country which had been so long occu- 
pied by the Pringles alone. Being pleased with it, they, 
in the following spring, with a few others, repaired thither, 
with the view of cultivating as much corn, as would serve 
their families the first year after their emigration. And 
having examined the country, for the purpose of selecting 
the most desirable situations ; some of them proceeded to 
improve the spots of their choice. John Jackson (who 
was accompanied by his sons, George and Edward) set- 
tled at the mouth of Turkey run, where his daughter, 
Mrs. Davis, now lives John Hacker l higher up on the 
Buchannon river, where Bush's fort was afterwards estab- 
lished, and Nicholas Heavener now lives Alexander and 
Thomas Sleeth, near to Jackson's, on what is now known 
as the Forenash plantation. The others of the party 
(William Hacker, Thomas and Jesse Hughes, John and 
William RadclifF and John Brown) appear to have em- 
ployed their time exclusively in hunting; neither of them 
making any improvement of land for his own benefit. 
Yet were they of very considerable service to the new set- 
tlement. Those who had commenced clearing land, were 
supplied by them with abundance of meat, while in their 
hunting excursions through the country, a better knowl- 
edge of it was obtained, than could have been acquired, 
had they been engaged in making improvements. 

[93] In one of these expeditions they discovered, and 
gave name to Stone coal creek ; which flowing westward!}', 
induced the supposition that it discharged itself directly 
into the Ohio. Descending this creek, to ascertain the 

1 This early and meritorious pioneer was born near Winchester, 
Va., Jan. 1, 1743, figured prominently in the Indian wars of his region, 
and served on Col. G. R. Clark's Illinois campaign of 1778; he died at 
his home on Hacker's Creek, April 20, 1821, in his 82d year. L. C. D. 

122 Withers's Chronicles 

fact, they came to its confluence with a river, which they 
then called, and has since been known as, the West Fork. 
After having gone some distance down the river, they re- 
turned by a different route to the settlement, better pleased 
with the land on it and some of its tributaries, than with 
that on Buchannon. 

Soon after this, other emigrants arrived under the 
guidance of Samuel Pringle. Among them were, John 
and Benjamin Outright, who settled on Buchannon, where 
John Outright the younger, now lives ; and Henry Rule 
who improved just above the mouth of Fink's run. Be- 
fore the arrival of Samuel Pringle, John Hacker had be- 
gun to improve the spot which Pringle had chosen for 
himself. To prevent any unpleasant result, Hacker agreed 
that if Pringle would clear as much land, on a creek which 
had been recently discovered by the hunters, as he had on 
Buchannon, they could then exchange places. Complying 
with this condition Pringle took possession of the farm on 
Buchannon, and Hacker of the land improved by Pringle 
on the creek, which was hence called Hacker's creek. 1 
John and William Radcliff, then likewise settled on this 
stream the former on the farm, where the Rev. John 
Mitchel now lives ; the latter at the place now owned by 
William Powers Esq. These comprise all the improve- 
ments which were made on the upper branches of the 
Monongahela in the years 1769 and 1770. 

At the close of the working season of 1769 some of 
these adventurers, went to their families on the South 
Branch ; and when they returned to gather their crops in 
the fall, found them entirely destroyed. In their absence 
the buffaloes, no longer awed by the presence of man, had 
trespassed on their enclosures, and eaten their corn to the 
ground this delayed the removal of their families 'till the 
winter of 1770. 

Soon after the happening of this event, other settle- 
ments were made on the upper branches of the Monon- 
gahela river. Capt. James Booth .and John Thomas es- 
tablished themselves on what has been since called Booth's 

1 Its Indian name signified " Muddy Water." R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 123 

creek The former at the place now owned by Jesse Mar- 
tin; and the latter where William Martin at present re- 
sides, and which is perhaps the [94] most valuable landed 
estate in North "Western Virginia, off the Ohio river. 

Previous however to the actual settlement of the 
country above the forks of the Monongahela, some few 
families (in 1767) had established themselves in the vicinity 
of Fort Redstone, now Brownsville, in Pennsylvania. 1 At 
the head of these were Abraham Tegard, James Craw- 
ford, John Province, and John Harden. The latter of 
these gentlemen afterwards removed to Kentucky and be- 
came distinguished in the early history of that state, as 
well for the many excellencies of his private and public 
life, as for the untimely and perfidious manner of his 

In the succeeding year Jacob Yanmeter, John Swan, 
Thomas Hughes and some others settled on the west side 
of the Monongahela, near the mouth of Muddy creek, 
where Carmichaelstown now stands. 2 

In this year too, the place which had been occupied 
for a while by Thomas Decker and his unfortunate asso- 
ciates, and where Morgantown is now situated, was settled 
by a party of emigrants ; one of which was David Morgan, 
who became so conspicuous for personal prowess, and for 
the daring, yet deliberate courage displayed by him, dur- 
ing the subsequent hostilities with the Indians. 

1 We have already seen (p. 74, note), that Gist settled at Mount 
Braddock, Fayette county, in 1753, and that eleven families joined him 
in January, 1754. There is a tradition that settlers were in the district 
even before Gist. It has been shown that the Gist settlements, and 
others in the lower Monongahela, were burned by the French in July, 
1754. The English borderers fled upon the outbreak of disturbances, 
and did not return until about 1760-61, when confidence had been re- 
stored. R. G. T. 

* Both Van Meter and Swan afterwards served under Col. G. R. 
Clark at least, on the Kaskaskia campaign ; Swan commanded a com- 
pany on Clark's Shawnee campaign of 1780, and Van Meter on that 
of 1782. The latter moved to Kentucky in 1780; settled in Hardin 
county, Ky., Nov. 16th, 1798, in his seventy-sixth year. L. C. D. 

Comment by R. G. T. This note, written by Dr. Draper a few days 
before his death (Aug. 26, 1891), was probably his last stroke of literary 

124 Withers' s Chronicles 

In 1769, Col. Ebenezer Zane, his brothers Silas and 
Jonathan, with some others from the south Branch, visited 
the Ohio river for the purpose of commencing improve- 
ments ; * [95] and severally proceeded to select positions 
for their future residence. Col. Zane chose for his, an 
eminence above the mouth of Wheeling creek, near 
to the Ohio, and opposite a beautiful and considerable 
island in that river. The spot thus selected by him, is 
now occupied by his son Noah Zane, Esq. and is nearly 
the centre of the present flourishing town of Wheeling. 
Silas Zane commenced improving on Wheeling creek 
where Col. Moses Shephard now lives, and Jonathan re- 
sided with his brother Ebenezer. Several of those who 

1 These gentlemen were descendants of a Mr. Zane who accompanied 
William Penn, to his province of Pennsylvania, and from whom, one of 
the principal streets in Philadelphia, derived its name. Their father 
was possessed of a bold and daring spirit of adventure, which was dis- 
played on many occasions, in the earlier part of his life. Having ren- 
dered himself obnoxious to the Society of Friends (of which he was a 
member,) by marrying without the pale of that society, he moved to 
Virginia and settled on the South Branch, where the town of Moorfield 
has been since erected. One of his sons (Isaac) was taken by the In- 
dians, when he was only nine years old, and carried in captivity, to 
Mad river, in Ohio. Here he continued 'till habit reconciled him to his 
situation, when he married a squaw, became a chief and spent the re- 
mainder of his life with them. He was never known to wage war 
against the whites; but was, on several occasions, of infinite service, 
by apprising them of meditated attacks of the Indians. His descend- 
ants still reside in Ohio. 

The brothers, Ebenezer, Silas and Jonathan, who settled Wheeling, 
[95] were also men of enterprise, tempered with prudence, and directed 
by sound judgment. Ready at all times, to resist and punish the aggres- 
sion of the Indians, they were scrupulously careful not to provoke them 
by acts of wanton outrage, such as were then, too frequently committed 
along the frontier. Col. Ebenezer Zane had been among the first, to 
explore the country from the South Branch, through the Alleghany 
glades, and west of them. He was accompanied in that excursion by 
Isaac Williams, two gentlemen of the name of Robinson and some 
others; but setting off rather late in the season, and the weather being 
very severe, they were compelled to return, without having penetrated 
to the Ohio river. On their way home, such was the extremity of cold, 
that one of the Robinsons died of its effects. Williams was much frost 
bitten, and the whole patrty suffered exceedingly. To the bravery and 
good conduct of those three brothers, the Wheeling settlement was 
mainly indebted for its security and preservation, during the war of the 

Of Border Warfare. 125 

accompanied the adventurers, likewise remained with 
Colonel Zane, in the capacity of laborers. 

After having made those preparations which were im- 
mediately requisite for the reception of their respective 
families, they returned to their former homes. In the en- 
suing year they finally left the South Branch, and accom- 
panied by Col. David Shephard, (the father of Col. Moses 
Shepherd,) John Wetzel (the father of Lewis) and the 
McCulloughs men whose names are identified with the 
early history of that country repaired again to the 
wilderness, and took up their permanent abode in it. 

Soon after this, other settlements were made at differ- 
ent points, both above and below Wheeling; and the 
country on Buffalo, Short, and Grave creeks, 1 and on the 
Ohio river, became the abode of civilized man. Among 
those who were first to occupy above Wheeling, were 
George Lefler, John Doddridge, Benjamin Biggs, Daniel 
Greathouse, Joshua Baker and Andrew Swearingen.* 

[96] The settlement thus made constituting a kind of 
advance guard, through which an Indian enemy would 
have to penetrate, before they could reach the interior, 
others were less reluctant to occupy the country between 
them and the Alleghany mountains. Accordingly various 
establishments were soon made in it by adventurers from 
different parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia; 
and those places in which settlements had been previously 
effected, received considerable accessions to their popula- 

In 1772, that comparatively beautiful region of coun- 
try, lying on the east fork of the Monongahela river, be- 

1 Joseph Tomlinson surveyed a claim at the mouth of Grave Creek, 
about 1770, but did not settle there until 1772. His cabin was the 
nucleus of the present Moundsville, W. Va. R. G. T. 

2 John Doddridge settled in Washington county, Pa., on the Ohio 
River a few miles east of the Pennsylvania- Virginia state line, in 1773 ; 
his son, Joseph Doddridge, was the author of Notes on the Settlements and 
Indian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania, 1763-83, 
a valuable antiquarian work. The names of Greathouse and Baker 
became execrable through their connection with the massacre of Chief 
Logan's family, in 1774. Leffler and Biggs attained prominence in bor- 
der warfare. R. G. T. 

126 Withers's Chronicles 

tween the Alleghany mountains, on its south eastern, and 
the Laurel Hill, or as it is there called the Rich mountain, 
on its north western side, and which had received the de- 
nomination of Tygart's valley, again attracted the atten- 
tion of emigrants. In the course of that year, the greater 
part of this valley was located, by persons said to have 
been enticed thither by the description given of it, by 
some hunters from Greenbrier who had previously ex- 
plored it. Game, though a principal, was not however 
their sole object. They possessed themselves at once of 
nearly all the level land lying between those mountains 
a plain of 25 or 30 miles in length and varying from three 
fourths to two miles in width, and of fine soil. Among 
those who were first to occupy that section of country, we 
find the names of Hadden, Connelly, Whiteman, Warwick, 
Nelson, Stalnaker, Riffle and Westfall : the latter of these 
found and interred the bones of Files' family, which had 
lain, bleeching in the sun, after their murder by the In- 
dians, in 1754. 

Cheat river too, on which no attempt at settlement 
had been made, but by the unfortunate Eckarly's, became 
an object of attention, The Horse Shoe bottom was lo- 
cated by Capt. James Parsons, of the South Branch ; and 
in his neighborhood settled Robert Cunningham, Henry 
Fink, John Goff and John Minear. Robert Butler, Will- 
iam Morgan and some others settled on the Dunkard 

In this year too, settlements were made on Simpson's 
creek, the West Fork river and on Elk creek. Those who 
made the former, were John Powers, who purchased Simp- 
son's right (a tomahawk improvement) * to the land on 
which Benjamin [97] Stout now resides; and James Ander- 
son and Jonas Webb who located themselves farther up 
the creek. 

1 "At an early period of our settlements, there was an inferior kind of 
land title, denominated a tomahawk right. This was made by [97] dead- 
ening a few trees near a spring, and marking on one or more of them, 
the initials of the name of the person, by whom the improvement was 
made. Rights, acquired in this way, were frequently bought and sold." 
Doddridge's Notes on Western Virginia. 

Of Border Warfare. 127 

On Elk, and in the vicinity of Clarksburg there set- 
tled Thomas Nutter, near to the Forge-mills Samuel Cot- 
trial, on the east side of the creek and nearly opposite to 
Clarksburg Sotha Hickman, on the west side of the same 
creek, and above Cottrial Samuel Beard at the mouth of 
Nanny's run Andrew Cottrial above Beard, and at the 
farm now owned by John W. Patton Daniel Davisson, 
where Clarksburg is now situated, and Obadiah Davisson 
and John Nutter on the West Fork ; the former near to 
the old Salt works, and the latter at the place now owned 
by Adam Hickman, jr. 

There was likewise, at this time, a considerable acces- 
sion to the settlements on Buchannon and Hacker's creek. 
So great was the increase of population in this latter 
neighborhood, that the crops of the preceding season did 
not afford more than one third of the breadstuff, which 
would be ordinarily consumed in the same time, by an 
equal number of persons. Such indeed was the state of suf- 
fering among the inhabitants, consequent on this scarcity, 
that the year 1773 is called in the traditionary legends of 
that day, the starving year; and such were the exertions 
of William Lowther to mitigate that suffering, and so 
great the success with which they were crowned, that his 
name has been transmitted to their descendants, hallowed 
by the blessings of those, whose wants he contributed so 
largely to relieve. 1 

1 William Lowther was the son of Robert, and came with his father 
to the Hacker creek settlement in 1772. He soon became one of the 
most conspicuous men in that section of country ; while his private 
virtues and public actions endeared him to every individual of the com- 
munity. During the war of 1774 and subsequently, he was the most 
active and efficient defender of that vicinity, against the insidious at- 
tacks of the savage foe ; and there were very few if any scouting parties 
proceeding from thence, by which the Indians were killed or otherwise 
much annoyed, but those which were commanded by him. 

He was the first justice of the peace in the district of West Augusta 
the first sheriff in the county of Harrison and Wood, and [98] once a dele- 
gate to the General Assembly of the States. His military merits carried 
him through the subordinate grades to the rank of Colonel. Despising 
the pomp and pageantry of office, he accepted it for the good of the 
community, and was truly an effective man. Esteemed, beloved by all, 
he might have exerted his influence, over others, to the advancement 

128 Withers' s Chronicles 

[98] These were the principal settlements begun in North 
Western Virginia, prior to the year 1774. Few and scat- 
tered as they were, no sooner was it known that they were 
commenced, than hundreds flocked to them from different 
parts; and sought there the gratifications of their respec- 
tive predilections. That spirit of adventurous emigration, 
which has since peopled, with such unprecedented rapid- 
ity, the south western and western states, and which was 
then beginning to develope itself, overcame the fond at- 
tachments of youth, and impelled its possessors, to the 
dreary wilderness. Former homes, encircled by the com- 
forts of civilization, endeared by the grateful recollections 
of by-gone days, and not unfrequently, consecrated as the 
spots where their tenants had first inhaled the vital fluid, 
were readily exchanged for "the variety of untried being, 
the new scenes and changes," which were to be passed^ 
before the trees of the forest could be supplanted, by the 
fruits of the field, or society be reared in the solitude of 
the desert. With a capability to sustain fatigue, not to be 
subdued by toil; and with a cheerfulness, not easily to be 
depressed; a patience which could mock at suffering and 
a daring which nothing could daunt, every difficulty which 
intervened, every obstacle which was interposed between 
them and the accomplishment of the objects of their pur- 
suit, was surmounted or removed ; and in a comparatively 
brief space of time, they rose to the enjoyment of many 
of those gratifications, which are experienced in earlier 
and more populous settlements. That their morals should, 
for a while, have suffered deterioration, and their manners 
and habits, instead of [99] approximating those of refined 
society, should have become perhaps, more barbarous and 
uncouth, was the inevitable consequence of their situation, 

of his individual interest; but he sought the advancement of the gen- 
eral weal, not a personal or family aggrandizement. His example might 
teach others, that offices were created for the public good, not for pri- 
vate emolument. If aspirants for office at the present day, were to re- 
gard its perquisites less, and their fitness for the discharge of its duties 
more, the country would enjoy a greater portion of happiness and pros- 
perity, and a sure foundation for the permanence of these be laid, in 
the more disinterested character of her counsellors, and their conse- 
quently, increased devotion to her interests: 

Of Border Warfare. 129 

and the certain result of circumstances, which they could 
not control. When that situation was changed, and these 
circumstances ceased to exist, a rapid progress was made 
in the advancement of many sections of the country, to 
the refinements of civilized society. 

The infantile state of all countries exhibits, in a 
greater or less degree, a prevalence of barbarism. The 
planting of colonies, or the formation of establishments in 
new countries, is ever attended with circumstances unpro- 
pitious to refinement. The force with which these circum- 
stances act, will be increased or diminished in proportion 
to the remoteness or proximity of those new establish- 
ments, to older societies, in which the arts and sciences 
are cultivated ; and to the facility of communication be- 
tween them. Man is, at all times, the creature of circum- 
stances. Cut off from an intercourse with his fellow men, 
and divested of the conveniences of life, he will readily 
relapse into a state of nature. Placed in contiguity 
the barbarous and the vicious; his manners will become 
rude, his morals perverted. Brought into collision with 
the sanguinary and revengeful ; and his own conduct will 
eventually be distinguished, by bloody and vindictive 

Such was really the situation of those who made the 
first establishments in North Western Virginia. And 
when it is considered, that they were, mostly, men from 
the humble walks of life; comparatively illiterate and un- 
refined ; without civil or religious institutions, and with 
a love of liberty, bordering on its extreme ; their more 
enlightened descendants can not but feel surprise, that 
their dereliction from propriety had not been greater ; 
their virtue less. 

The objects, for the attainment of which they volun- 
tarily placed themselves in this situation, and tempted the 
dangers inseparable from a residence in the contiguity of 
Indians, jealous of territorial encroachment, were almost 
as various as their individual character. Generally speak- 
ing, they were men in indigent circumstances, unable to 
purchase land in the neigborhoods from which they came, 

130 Withers's Chronicles 

and unwilling longer to remain the tenants of others. 
These were induced to [100] emigrate, with the laudable 
ambition of acquiring homes, from which they would not 
be liable to expulsion, at the whim and caprice of some 
haughty lordling. Upon the attainment of this object, 
they were generally content ; and made but feeble exertions 
to acquire more land, than that to which they obtained 
title, by virtue of their settlements. Some few, however, 
availed themselves of the right of pre-emption, and be- 
coming possessed of the more desirable portions of the 
country, added considerably to their individual wealth. 

Those who settled on the Ohio, were of a more enter- 
prising and ambitious spirit, and looked more to the ad- 
vancement of their condition in a pecuniary point of view. 
The fertile bottoms of that river, and the facility with which, 
by means of it, their surplus produce might be transported to 
a ready market, 1 were considerations which influenced many. 
Others, again, looking forward to the time when the Indians 
would be divested of the country north west of the Ohio river, 
and it be open to location in the same manner its south east- 
ern shores were, selected this as a situation, from which 
they might more readily obtain possession of the fertile 

1 The Spaniards at New Orleans, from the first settlement of the 
country west of the Alleghany Mountains, sought to attach it to the 
province of Louisiana. Knowing the powerful efficacy of gold, in pro- 
ducing such results, they dispensed it with a liberal hand, to such as 
made New Orleans their market. The attachment of the first settlers, 
to the free institutions of our country, baffled every attempt to detach 
them from it. 

Comment by R. O. T. The Spanish conspiracy was, in the main, 
" baffled " by the prompt action of our general government. George 
Rogers Clark and several other leading Kentuckians were quite willing to 
be " detached," for a consideration. The fact is, that at first the sense 
of national patriotism was weak, west of the Alleghanies; the eighteenth 
century had closed before efforts at separation from the East were com- 
monly regarded as treason. The interests of the Western people ap- 
parently were centered in the south-flowing Mississippi ; they seemed to 
have at the time little in common with the East. So long as Spain held 
the mouth of the river, many Western leaders thought it not improper 
that the West should ally itself with that power ; when our government 
finally purchased the Spanish claim, the Western men had no further 
complaint. See Roosevelt's treatment of the Spanish conspiracy, in his 
Winning of the West, III., ch. iii. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 131 

land, with which its ample plains were known to abound. 
In anticipation of this period, there were some who em- 
braced every opportunity, afforded by intervals of peace 
with the Indians, to explore that country and select in it 
what they deemed, its most valuable parts. Around these 
they would generally mark trees, or otherwise define 
boundaries, by which they could be afterwards identified. 
The cession by Virginia to the United States, of the North 
Western Territory, and the manner in which its lands were 
subsequently brought into market, prevented the realiza- 
tion of those flattering, and apparently, well founded ex- 

There were also, in every settlement, individuals, who 
had been drawn to them solely by their love of hunting, 
and an attachment to the wild, unshackled scenes of a 
wilderness life. These were perhaps, totally regardless of 
all the inconveniencies, [101] resulting from their new sit- 
uation ; except that of being occasionally pent up in forts ; 
and thus debarred the enjoyment of their favorite pastimes. 

Although hunting was not the object of most of the 
old settlers, yet it was for a good part of the year, the 
chief employment of their time. And of all those, who 
thus made their abode in the dense forest, and tempted ag- 
gression from the neighboring Indians, none were so well 
qualified to resist this aggression, and to retaliate upon 
its authors, as those who were mostly engaged in this 
pursuit. Of all their avocations, this " mimickry of war" 
best fitted them to thwart the savages in their purpose, 
and to mitigate the horrors of their peculiar mode of war- 
fare. Those arts which enabled them, unperceived to ap- 
proach the watchful deer in his lair, enabled them like- 
wise to circumvent the Indian in his ambush ; and if not 
always punish, yet frequently defeat him in his object. 
Add to this the perfect knowledge which 4 they acquired 
of the woods, and the ease and certainty with which 
they consequently, when occasion required, could make 
their way to any point of the settlements and apprize the 
inhabitants of approaching danger ; and it will be readily 
admitted that the more expert and successful the hunts- 
man, the more skillful and effective the warrior. 

132 Withers' s Chronicles 

But various soever, as may have been their objects in 
emigrating, no sooner had they come together, than there 
existed in each settlement, a perfect unison of feeling. 
Similitude of situation and community of danger, operat- 
ing as a magic charm, stifled in their birth those little 
bickerings, which are so apt to disturb the quiet of so- 
ciety. Ambition of preferment and the pride of place, 
too often lets and hindrances to social intercourse, were 
unknown among them. Equality of condition rendered 
them strangers alike, to the baneful distinctions created by 
wealth and other adventitious circumstances ; and to envy, 
which gives additional virus to their venom. A sense of 
mutual dependence for their common security linked 
them in amity; and conducting their several purposes in 
harmonious concert, together they toiled and together suf- 

Not all the " pomp and pride and pageantry " of life, 
could vie with the Arcadian scenes which -encircled the 
rude cottages of those men. Their hnmble dwellings were 
the abode of virtues, rarely found in the " cloud capt towers 
and [102] gorgeous palaces" of splendid ambition. And 
when peace reigned around them, neither the gaudy trap- 
pings of wealth, nor the insignia of office, nor the slaked 
thirst for distinction, could have added to the happiness 
which they enjoyed. 

In their intercourse with others they were kind, 
beneficent and disinterested; extending to all, the most 
generous hospitality which their circumstances could af- 
ford. That selfishness, which prompts to liberality for the 
sake of remuneration, and proffers the civilities of life 
with an eye to individual interest, was unknown to them. 
They were kind for kindness sake ; and sought no other 
recompense, than the never failing concomitant of good 
deeds the reward of an approving conscience. 

It is usual for men in the decline of life, to contrast 
the scenes which are then being exhibited, with those 
through which they passed in the days of youth ; and not 
unfrequently, to moralize on the decay of those virtues, 
which enhance the enjoyment of life and give to pleasure 
its highest relish. The mind is then apt to revert to 

Of Border Warfare. 133 

earlier times, and to dwell with satisfaction on the man- 
ners and customs which prevailed in the hey-day of youth. 
Every change which may have been wrought in them is 
deemed a deteriorating innovation, and the sentence of 
their condemnation unhesitatingly pronounced. This is 
not always, the result of impartial and discriminating 
judgment. It is perhaps, more frequently founded in 
prepossession; and based on the prejudices of education 
and habit. 

On the other hand those who are just entering on the 
vestibule of life, are prone to give preference to the habits 
of the present generation ; viewing, too often, with con- 
temptuous derision, those of the past. Mankind certainly 
advance in intelligence and refinement; but virtue and 
happiness do not at all times keep pace with this progress. 
" To inform the understanding," is not always " to correct 
and enlarge the heart ;" nor do the blandishments of life 
invariably add to the sum of moral excellence ; they are 
often " as dead sea fruit that tempts the eye, but turns to 
ashes on the lips." While a rough exterior as frequently 
covers a temper of the utmost benignity, happy in itself 
and giving happiness to all around. 

Such were the pioneers of this country; and the 
greater part of mankind might now derive advantage from 
the [103] contemplation of " their humble virtues, hospita- 
ble homes and spirits patient, noble, proud and free their 
self respect, grafted on innocent thoughts ; their days of 
health and nights of sleep their toils, by danger digni- 
fied, yet guiltless their hopes of cheerful old age and 
a quiet grave, with cross and garland over its green turf, 
and their grand children's love for epitaph." 

134 Withers's Chronicles 

[104] CHAPTER VI. 

In the year 1774, the peace, which had subsisted with 
but little violation since the treaty of 1765, received an in- 
terruption, which checked for a while the emigration to 
the North "Western frontier; and involved its infant settle- 
ments in a war with the Indians. This result has been at- 
tributed to various causes. Some have asserted that it 
had its origin in the murder of some Indians on the Ohio 
river both above and below Wheeling, in the spring of 
that year. Others suppose it to have been produced by 
the instigation of British emissaries, and the influence of 
Canadian traders. 

That it was not caused by the murders at Captina, 
and opposite the mouth of Yellow creek, 1 is fairly infer- 
rible from the fact, that several Indians had been pre- 
viously murdered by the whites in a period of the most 
profound tranquillity, without having led to a similar is- 

1 Mr. Jefferson, in his Notes on Virginia, represents this as happen- 
ing at Grave creek, which empties into the Ohio from the south eastern, 
or Virginia side of this river, twelve miles below Wheeling. Those who 
lived near at the time and are supposed to have had the best oppor- 
tunity of ascertaining the fact, say that it happened near the mouth of 
Captina, a creek sixteen miles below Wheeling, and on the Ohio side. 

Comment by R. G. T. What is called the " Captina affair " happened 
April 27th, at Pipe Creek, emptying into the Ohio from the west, four- 
teen miles below Wheeling, and six above Captina Creek. Two friendly 
Shawnees were killed here by a party commanded by Michael Cresap, 
of Redstone, who at the time was in the neighborhood of Wheeling, 
surveying and clearing farms for new settlers. Cresap and his men, 
among whom was George Rogers Clark, then a young surveyor who had 
a claim at the mouth of Fish Creek, thereupon started out to destroy 
Chief Logan's camp, at Baker's Bottom, opposite the mouth of Yellow 
Creek, fifty-three miles up the Ohio, and forty miles west of Pittsburg 
by land ; but as Logan was a well-known friend of the whites, they be- 
came ashamed of their project, and marched on across country to Fort 
Redstone. Meanwhile, as will be seen in due course, others were pre- 
paring to destroy Logan's band, and on April 30th occurred that infa- 
mous massacre which Logan wrongly believed to be Cresap's work. 

Of Border Warfare. 135 

sue ; or even given rise to any act of retaliation, on the 
part of the friends or countrymen of those, who had been 
thus murdered. 

At different periods of time, between the peace of 
1765, and the renewal of hostilities in 1774, three Indians 
were unprovokedly killed by John Ryan, on the Ohio, 
Monongahela and Cheat rivers. The first who suffered 
from the unrestrained licentiousness of this man, was an 
Indian of distinction in his tribe, and known by the name 
of Capt. Peter ; the other two were private warriors. And 
but that Governor Dunmore, from the representations 
made to him, was induced [105] to offer a reward for his 
apprehension, which caused him to leave the country, 
Ryan would probably have continued to murder every 
Indian, with whom he should chance to meet, wandering 
through the settlements. 

Several Indians were likewise killed on the South 
Branch, while on a friendly visit to that country, in the 
interval of peace. This deed is said to have been done 
by Henry Judah, Nicholas Harpold and their associates ; 
and when Judah was arrested for the offence, so great was 
the excitement among those who had suffered from sav- 
age enmity, that he was rescued from confinement by 
upwards of two hundred men, collected for that especial 

The Bald Eagle was an Indian of notoriety, not only 
among his own nation, but also with the inhabitants of 
the North "Western frontier; with whom he was in the 
habit of associating and hunting. In one of his visits 
among them, he was discovered alone, by Jacob Scott, 
William Hacker and Elijah Runner, who, reckless of the 
consequences, murdered him, solely to gratify a most wan- 
ton thirst for Indian blood. After the commission of this 
most outrageous enormity, they seated him in the stern 
of a canoe, and with a piece of journey-cake thrust into 
his mouth, set him afloat in the Monongahela. In this 
situation he was seen descending the river, by several, who 
supposed him to be as usual, returning from a friendly 
hunt with the whites in the upper settlements, and who 
expressed some astonishment that he did not stop to see 

136 Withers' s Chronicles 

them. The canoe floating near to the shore, below the 
mouth of George's creek, was observed by a Mrs. Prov- 
ince, who had it brought to the bank, and the friendly, 
but unfortunate old Indian decently buried. 

Not long after the murder of the Bald Eagle, another 
outrage of a similar nature was committed on a peaceable 
Indian, by William White ; and for which he was appre- 
hended and taken to Winchester for trial. But the fury 
of the populace did not suffer him to remain there await- 
ing that event. The prison doors were forced, the irons 
knocked off him and he again set at liberty. 

But a still more atrocious act is said to have been soon 
after perpetrated. Until then the murders committed, 
were only on such as were found within the limits of white 
settlements, and on men & warriors. In 1772, there is 
every reason to believe, that women and children like- 
wise became victims to the exasperated feelings of our 
[106] own citizens ; and this too, while quietly enjoying 
the comforts of their own huts, in their own village. 

There was at that time an Indian town on the Little 
Kenhawa, (called Bulltown) inhabited by five families, who 
were in habits of social and friendly intercourse with the 
whites on Buchannon and on Hacker's creek ; frequently 
visiting and hunting with them. 1 There was likewise re- 
siding on Gauley river, the family of a German by the 
name of Stroud. 2 In the summer of that year, Mr. Stroud 

1 Capt. Bull was a Delaware chief whose original village of Oghkwaga 
was on Unadilla River, an eastern branch of the Susquehanna, in what 
is now Boone county, N. Y. He had been the prime mover in an at- 
tempt to interest the Delawares in Pontiac's conspiracy (1763). In 
March, 1764, a strong party of whites and friendly Indians were sent 
out to capture him, by Sir William Johnson, English Indian superin- 
tendent in New York. After a sharp struggle, Bull and a number of 
his adherents were captured and conveyed in irons to New York City, 
where they were imprisoned for a time, but finally discharged. The 
Delaware towns on the Unadilla having been burned, Bull and five 
families of his relatives settled what the whites called Bulltown, on 
the Little Kanawha. This was at a salt spring about a mile and a 
quarter below the present Bulltown P. O., Braxton county, Va. Capt. 
Bull and his people were inoffensive, and very friendly to their white 
neighbors, as our author says. R. G. T. 

1 Adam Stroud lived on Elk River, a few miles south of Indian 

Of Border Warfare. 137 

being from home, his family were all murdered, his house 
plundered, and his cattle driven off. The trail made by 
these leading in the direction of Bulltown, induced the 
supposition that the Indians of that village had been the 
authors of the outrage, and caused several to resolve on 
avenging it upon them. 

A party of five men, (two of whom were "William 
White and William Hacker, 1 who had been concerned in 
previous murders) expressed a determination to proceed 
immediately to Bulltown. The remonstrance of the set- 
tlement generally, could not operate to effect a change in 
that determination. They went; and on their return, cir- 
cumstances justified the belief that the pre-apprehension 
of those who knew the temper and feelings of White and 
Hacker, had been well founded; and that there had been 
some fighting between them and the Indians. And not- 
withstanding that they denied ever having seen an Indian 
in their absence, yet it was the prevailing opinion, that 
they had destroyed all the men, women and children at 
Bulltown, and threw their bodies into the river. Indeed, 

Bulltown. The massacre of his family his wife and seven children 
occurred in June, 1772. Shawnees were the murderers, and not Bull's 
people. K. G. T. 

1 Mr. McWhorter writes me that two others were Jesse Hughes and 
John Outright (corruption of Cartwright?), both of them settlers on 
Hacker's Creek. Hughes was a noted border scout, but a man of 
fierce, unbridled passions, and so confirmed an Indian hater that 
no tribesman, however peaceful his record, was safe in his presence. 
Some of the most cruel acts on the frontier are by tradition at- 
tributed to this man. The massacre of the Bulltown Indians was 
accompanied by atrocities as repulsive as any reported by captives 
in Indian camps ; of these there had long been traditions, but details 
were not fully known until revealed by Outright upon his death-bed 
in 1852, when he had reached the age of 105 years. Want of space 
alone prevents me from giving Mr. McWhorter's narrative of Hughes's 
long and bloody career. " Hughes died," he says, " in Jackson county, 
W. Va., at a date unknown to me, but in very old age. While he was 
a great scout aud Indian trader, he never headed an expedition of note. 
This no doubt was because of his fierce temperament, and bad reputa- 
tion among his own countrymen." In studying the annals of the bor- 
der, we must not fail to note that here and there were many savage- 
hearted men among the white settlers, whose deeds were quite as atro- 
cious as any attributed to the red-skins. Current histories of Indian 
warfare seldom recognize this fact. R. G. T. 

138 Withers' s Chronicles 

one of the party is said to have, inadvertently, used ex- 
pressions, confirmatory of this opinion ; and to have then 
justified the deed, by saying that the clothes and other 
things known to have belonged to Stroud's family, were 
found in the possession of the Indians. The village was 
soon after visited, and found to be entirely desolated, and 
nothing being ever after heard of its former inhabitants, 
there can remain no doubt but that the murder of Stroud's 
family, was requited on them. 

Here then was a fit time for the Indians to commence 
a system of retaliation and war, if they were disposed to 
engage in hostilities, for offences of this kind alone. Yet 
no such event was the consequence of the killing of the 
Bulltown Indians, or of those other murders which pre- 
ceded that outrage ; and it may be hence rationally con- 
cluded, that the murders on the Ohio river did not lead to 
such an event. If however, a doubt should still remain, 
that doubt is surely removed by the declaration of Logan 
himself. It was his family that was killed opposite Yel- 
low creek, about the last of April ; and in the following 
July (after the expedition against the Wappatomica towns, 
under Col. McDonald) he says, " the Indiens are not angry 
on account of those murders, but only myself." The fact 
is, that hostilities had commenced before the happening 
of the affair at Captina, or that near Yellow creek ; and 
these, instead of having produced that event, were the 
consequence of the previous hostile movements of the In- 

1 107] Those who lived more immediately in the neigh- 
borhood of the scene of action at that time, were generally 
of opinion, that the Indians were urged to war by the in- 
stigation of emissaries from Great Britain, and of the 
Canadian traders; and, independently of any knowledge 
which they may have had of the conduct of these, cir- 
cumstances of a general nature would seem to justify that 

Tfro' relative situation of the American colonies and 
the mother country, is matter of general history, and too 
well known to require being repeated here. It is equally 
well known too, that from the first establishment of a 

Of Border Warfare. 139 

colony in Canada, the Canadians obtained an influence 
over the Natives, greater than the Anglo-Americans were 
ever able to acquire ; and that this influence was frequently 
exercised by them, to the great annoyance, and manifest 
injury of the latter. France and England have been long 
considered as natural enemies ; and the inhabitants of their 
respective plantations in America, entertained strong feel- 
ings of jealousy towards each other. When by the treaty 
of Paris, the French possessions in North America (which 
had not been ceded to Spain,) were transferred to Great 
Britain, those feelings were not subdued. The Canadians 
still regarded themselves as a different people. Their na- 
tional prejudices were too great to be extinguished by an 
union under the same prince. Under the influence of 
these prejudices, and the apprehension, that the lucrative 
commerce of the natives might, by the competition of the 
English traders, be diverted from its accustomed channels, 
they may have exerted themselves to excite the Indians to 
war ; but that alone would hardly have produced this re- 
sult. There is in man an inherent partiality for self, which 
leads him to search for the causes of any evil, elsewhere 
than in his own conduct ; and under the operation of this 
propensity to assign the burden of wrong to be borne by 
others, the Jesuits from Canada and Louisiana were cen- 
sured for the continuation of the war on the part of the 
Indians, after it had been terminated with their allies by 
the treaty of 1763. Zet that event was, no doubt, justly 
attributable to the erection of forts, and the location of 
land, in the district of country claimed by the natives, in 
the province of Pennsylvania. And in like manner, the 
origin of the war of 1774 may fairly be charged to the en- 
croachments which were then being blade on the Indian 
territory. To be convinced of this, it is necessary to ad- 
vert to the promptitude of resistance on the part of the 
Natives, by which those encroachments were invariably 
met ; and to recur to events happening in other sections 
of the country. Events, perhaps no otherwise connected 
with the history of North Western Virginia, than as they 
are believed to have been the proximate causes of an hos- 
tility, eventuating in the effusion of much of its blood; 

140 Wit hers 1 s Chronicles 

and pregnant with other circumstances, having an im- 
portant bearing on its prosperity and advancement. 

In the whole history of America, from the time when 
it first [108] became apparent that the occupancy of the 
country was the object of the whites, up to the present 
period, is there perhaps to be found a solitary instance, in 
which an attempt, made by the English to effect a settle- 
ment in a wilderness claimed by the Natives, was not suc- 
ceeded by immediate acts of hostility on the part of the 
latter. Every advance of the kind was regarded by them, 
as tending to effect their expulsion from a country, which 
they had long considered as their own, and as leading, 
most probably, to their entire extinction as a people. This 
excited in them feelings of the most dire resentment; 
stimulating to deeds of cruelty and murder, at once to 
repel the encroachment and to punish its authors. Expe- 
rience of the utter futility of those means to accomplish 
these purposes, has never availed to repress their use, or 
to produce an acquiesence in the wrong. Even attempts 
to extend jurisdiction over a country, the right of soil in 
which was never denied them, have ever given rise to the 
most lively apprehensions of their fatal consequences, and 
prompted to the employment of means to thwart that aim. 
An Indian sees no difference between the right of empire 
and the right of domain ; and just as little can he discrim- 
inate between the right of property, acquired by the actual 
cultivation of the earth, and that which arises from its ap- 
propriation to other uses. 

Among themselves they have lines of demarkation, 
which distinguish the territory of one nation from that of 
another; and these are of such binding authority, that a 
transgression of them by neighboring Indians, leads inva- 
riably to war. In treaties of purchase, and other conven- 
tional arrangements, made with them by the whites, the 
validity of their rights to land, have been repeatedly 
recognized ; and an infraction of those rights by the 
Anglo-Americans, encounters opposition at its threshold. 
The history of every attempt to settle a wilderness, to 
which the Indian title was not previously extinguished. 

Of Border Warfare. 141 

has consequently been a history of plunder, conflagration 
and massacre. 

That the extension of white settlements into the In- 
dian country, was the cause of the war of 1774, will be 
abundantly manifested by a recurrence to the early history 
of Kentucky; and a brief review of the circumstances con- 
nected with the first attempts to explore and make estab- 
lishments in it. For several reasons, these circumstances 
merit a passing notice in this place. Redstone and Fort 
Pitt (now Brownsville and Pittsburgh) were for some time, 
the principal points of embarkation for emigrants to that 
country; many of whom were from the establishments 
which had been then not long made, on the Monongahela. 
The Indians, regarding the settlements in North Western 
Virginia as the line from which swarmed the adventurers 
to Kentucky, directed their operations to prevent the suc- 
cess of these adventurers, as well against the inhabitants 
of the upper country, as against them. While at the same 
time, in the efforts which were made to compel the Indians 
to desist from farther opposition, the North Western Vir- 
ginians frequently combined [109] their forces, and acted 
in conjunction, the more certainly to accomplish that ob- 
ject. In truth the war, which was then commenced, and 
carried on with but little intermission up to the treaty of 
Fort Greenville in 1795 was a war in which they were 
equally interested, having for its aim the indiscriminate 
destruction of the inhabitants of both those sections of 
country, as the means of preventing the farther extension 
of settlements by the whites. 1 

1 Lord Dunmore's War (1774) was a natural outgrowth of the 
strained relations which had long existed between the savages and the 
white colonists in their midst. As our author has made clear, minor 
hostilities had broken out here and there ever since the Pontiac upris- 
ing, but there had been no general campaign since Bouquet's treaty in 
1764. Affairs had come to that pass by the early spring of 1774, that 
diplomacy was no longer possible, and an Indian war was inevitable. 
It was merely a question of detail, as to how and when. The immediate 
cause of precipitation not the cause of the war, for that lay deeper 
was the territorial dispute over the Ft. Pitt region, between Virginia 
and Pennsylvania. Dunmore, as royal governor of Virginia, had sev- 
eral reasons for bringing matters to a head he was largely interested 

142 Withers's Chronicles 

When Kentucky was first begun to be explored, it is 
said not to have been claimed in individual property by 
any nation of Indians. Its extensive forests, grassy 
plains and thick cane brakes, abounding with every variety 
of game common to such latitudes, were used as common 
hunting grounds, and considered by them, as open for all 
who chose to resort to them. The Cherokees, the Chick- 
asaws, the Cataubas, and the Chicamaugas, from the south 
east; and the Illinois, the Peorias, the Delawares, the 
Mingoes and Shawanees from the west, claimed and 
exercised equal rights and privileges within its limits. 
When the tribes of those different nations would however 
meet there, frequent collisions would arise between them ; 
and so deadly were the conflicts ensuing upon these, that, 
in conjunction with the gloom of its dense forests, they 
acquired for it the impressive appellation of " the dark 
and bloody ground." But frequent and deadly as may 
have been those conflicts, they sprang from some other 
cause, than a claim to exclusive property in it. 

In the summer of 1769, Daniel Boone, in company 
with John Finley (who had previously hunted through 
the country) and a few other men, entered Kentucky, and 
travelled over much of its surface, without meeting with 

in land speculations under Virginia patents that would be vitiated if 
Pennsylvania, now becoming aggressive, should succeed in planting her 
official machinery at Ft. Pitt, which was garrisoned by Virginia ; again, 
his colonists were in a revolutionary frame of mind, and he favored a 
distraction in the shape of a popular Indian war; finally, it seemed as 
though a successful raid by Virginia militia would clinch Virginia's hold 
on the country and the treaty of peace that must follow would widen 
the area of provincial lands and encourage Western settlements. April 
25, 1774, he issued a proclamation in which, after reference to Penn- 
sylvania's claims, it was asserted that Ft. Pitt was " in danger of some 
annoyance from the Indians," and he called on his local military com- 
mandant, the fire-eating Dr. John Connolly, " to embody a sufficient 
number of men to repel any insult." Connolly, evidently as part of 
a preconcerted plan, at once (April 26) issued a circular letter to the ex- 
cited borderers, which was well calculated to arouse them, being in ef- 
fect a declaration of war against the Indians. The very next day 
occurred the Pipe Creek affair, then came the Logan tragedy at Baker's 
Bottom, three days later, and at once the war was on at full-head. 
B. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 143 

an Indian, until the December following. 1 At this time 
Booiie and John Steward (one of his companions,) while 
on a hunting excursion, were discovered by a party of 
Indians, who succeeded in making them prisoners. After 

1 Of John Findlay (so he signed his name), " the precursor and 
pilot of Daniel Boone to Kentucky," but little is known and less has 
been published. Apparently he was a native of the north of Ireland. 
In early life he emigrated to the neighborhood of Carlisle, Cumberland 
county, Pa., a district almost wholly settled by Scotch-Irish Protestants. 
In February, 1752, we find him a trader among the Shawnees ; the 
following year, he was robbed and driven off. It is probable that he 
served in the Pennsylvania frontier militia from the opening of the 
French and Indian War (1754). Boone met him on the Braddock cam- 
paign (1755), and they became fast friends. Findlay had already (1752) 
been in Kentucky as far as the Falls of the Ohio, in the course of his ramb- 
lings as a trader, and inspired Boone with an intense desire to seek this El 
Dorado of the West. It was in 1767, when settled near the head of the Yad- 
kin River, that Boone first tried to reach Kentucky by way of the Sandy, 
but failed. In the winter of 1768-69, Findlay, now a peddler, with a horse 
to carry his traps, appeared at Boone's cabin on the Yadkin, and the 
two old comrades had a happy time rehearsing their various adventures 
during the thirteen years of separation. An expedition to Kentucky 
was agreed upon, and the party set out from Boone's cabin, May 1, 1769 ; 
it was composed of Findlay, now advanced in years, Daniel Boone, the 
latter's brother-in-law, John Stuart, and three Yadkin neighbors, Jo- 
seph Holden, James Mooney, and William Cooley. The story of their 
expedition through Cumberland Gap, and their long hunt, is now famil- 
iar to readers of Western history. Their principal camp was probably on 
Red Lick Fork of Station Camp Creek. In December, Stuart and Boone 
were captured by Indians, but escaped early in January (1770), and on re- 
joining their comrades on Rockcastle River found that Daniel's brother, 
Squire, had arrived with fresh horses and traps from the North Carolina 
home ; and with him was Alexander Neely, whom Squire had found on 
New (Great Kanawha) River. Findlay, Holden, Mooney, and Cooley 
now elected to return home, leaving the others to spend a longer period 
in Kentucky ; Findlay took the left-hand road through the West Vir- 
ginia settlements, to Pennsylvania, and the others, turning to the right, 
wended their way to North Carolina through Cumberland Gap. Not 
long after this, Stuart was killed by Indians, while alone in the woods, 
and Neely, discouraged by his fate, returned home. The story, often 
copied from Withers, that Neely was killed by a wolf, is erroneous. As 
for Findlay, he appears to have again become an Indian trader in West- 
ern Pennsylvania ; for late in 1771 he is reported to have been robbed 
of $500 worth of goods, by a Seneca war party raiding the Youghiogheny 
district. There is a tradition that not long after this he " was lost in the 
wilds of the West." Holden and Cooley spent the rest of their days on 
the Upper Yadkin. Mooney was killed at the battle of Point Pleasant 
(1774). R. G. T. 

144 Withers' s Chronicles 

a detention of but few days, these men effected their es- 
cape; & returning to their old camp, found that it had 
been plundered, and their associates, either killed or taken 
into captivity. They were shortly after joined by a brother 
of Daniel Boone and another man, from North Carolina, 
who were so fortunate in wandering through the wilder- 
ness, as to discover the only, though temporary residence 
of civilized man within several hundred miles. But the 
Indians had become alarmed for the possession of that 
country ; and fearing that if Boone and Steward should be 
suffered to escape to the settlements, they might induce 
others to attempt its permanent occupancy, they sought 
with vigilance to discover and murder them. They suc- 
ceeded in killing Steward ; but Daniel Boone and his 
brother, then the only persons left (the man who came out 
with the younger Boone having been killed by a wolf,) es- 
caped from them, and soon after returned to North Caro- 

The Indians were not disappointed in their expecta- 
tions. The description given of the country by the 
Boones, soon led others to attempt its settlement ; and in 
1773, six families and about forty men, all under the 
guidance of Daniel Boone, commenced their journey [110] 
to Kentucky with a view of remaining there. Before 
they proceeded far, they were attacked in the rear by a 
party of Indians, who had been observing their move- 
ments ; and who in the first fire killed six of the emi- 
grants and dispersed their cattle. Notwithstanding that, 
in the engagement which ensued upon this attack, the 
assailants were repulsed, yet the adventurers were so 
afflicted at the loss of their friends, and dispirited by such 
serious and early opposition, that they abandoned their 
purpose for a time, and returned to the inhabited parts of 
Tennessee. 1 

1 The Boones and five other families set out from their homes on the 
Yadkin, Sept. 25, 1773. In Powell's Valley they were joined by forty 
people under Boone's brother-in-law, William Bryan. While the main 
party were slowly advancing through the valley, a small squad, under 
Boone's oldest son, James, went on a side expedition for flour, cattle, 
and other supplies. With these they had nearly caught up to the advance, 

Of Border Warfare. 145 

The Indians elated with their success in defeating this 
first attempt at the settlement of Kentucky, and supposing 
that the route pursued by the party which they had driven 
back, would be the pass for future adventurers, determined 
on guarding it closely, and checking, if possible, every 
similar enterprise. But while their attention was directed 
to this point, others found their way into the country by 
a different route and from a different direction. 

The Virginia troops, who had served in the Canadian 
war, had been promised a bounty in "Western lands. Many 
of them being anxious to ascertain their value, and deem- 
ing this a favorable period for the making of surveys, col- 
lected at Fort Pitt in the fall of 1773 ; and descending the 
Ohio river to its falls, at Louisville, proceeded from thence 
to explore the country preparatory to a perfection of their 
grants. 1 

when, not knowing they were so near, they camped on the evening of 
October 9 a few miles in the rear. Earl} 1 in the morning of the 10th, 
a small band of Shawnees and Cherokees, who were nominally at peace 
with the whites, fell upon and, after cruel tortures, slaughtered them. 
In Dunmore's speech at Fort Pitt, this tragedy in Powell's Valley was 
alluded to as one of the chief causes of the Indian war of 1774. At the 
Camp Charlotte treaty (October, 1774), some of the plunder from this 
massacre was delivered up by the savages. After the tragedy, the greater 
part of the Kentucky caravan returned to their homes, but the Boones 
spent the winter of 1773-74 at a settlement some forty miles distant, on 
Clinch River. During the Dunmore War, Boone was active as an In- 
dian fighter. R. G. T. 

1 The leader of this party was Capt. Thomas Bullitt. He was born in 
Fauquier county, Va., in 1730 ; was one of Washington's captains at the 
Great Meadows (1754), and fought gallantly with Braddock (1755) and 
Forbes (1758) ; in 1763, was made adjutant-general of Virginia; during 
the early part of the Revolution he held the same office in the South- 
ern Department of the United States, but resigned in 1776 because not 
promoted ; he died in Fauquier county, in 1778. The project of Frank- 
lin, Walpole, and others to found the Colony of Pittsylvania, with its 
seat at the mouth of the Great Kanawha, greatly stimulated Western 
land speculation, and there was a rush of those holding military land 
warrants to locate claims. Lord Dunmore's agent at Fort Pitt, Dr. John 
Connolly with whom his lordship was doubtless in partnership had 
large interests of this character, and Bullitt went to the Falls of the 
Ohio (1773) to survey lands for him. Bullitt had a surveyor's commission 
from Williams and Mary College, but Col. William Preston, county sur- 

146 Withers' s Chronicles 

About the same time too, General Thompson of Penn- 
sylvania, commenced an extensive course of surveys, of 
the rich land on the North Fork of Licking ; and other 
individuals following his example, in the ensuing winter 
the country swarmed with land adventurers and survey- 
ors. So sensible were they all, that these attempts to 
appropriate those lands to their own use, would produce 
acts of hostility, that they went prepared to resist those 
acts ; and the first party who took up their abode in Ken- 
tucky, no sooner selected a situation for their residence, 
than they proceeded to erect a fort for their security. 1 
The conduct of the Indians soon convinced them that 
their apprehensions were not ill founded ; and many of 
them, in consequence of the hostile movements which 
were being made, and the robberies which were com- 
mitted, ascended the Ohio river to Wheeling. 

It is not known that any murders were done pre- 
viously to this, and subsequently to the attack and repulse 
of the emigrants who were led on by Boone in 1773. This 
event happened on the tenth day of October ; and it was 
in April the ensuing year, that the land adventurers re- 
tired to Wheeling. In this interval of time, nothing 
could, perhaps, be done by the Indians, but make prepara- 
tion [111] for hostilities in the spring. Indeed it very 
rarely happens, that the Indians engage in active war dur- 

veyor for Fincastle county in which Kentucky was then included 
declined to recognize any but his own deputies. Preston carried his 
point, and the lands were re-surveyed the following year (1774) by his 
deputies. Bullitt had laid off a town on this Connolly survey ; but the 
Revolution soon broke out, Bullitt was otherwise engaged, Dunmore was 
deposed, Connolly was imprisoned, and the scheme fell through. In 1778, 
George Rogers Clark camped at the Falls on his way to the Illinois, and 
the garrison he established there grew into the town of Louisville. 
With Bullitt's surveying party in 1773, were James Douglas, James Har- 
rod, James Sodousky, Isaac Kite, Abraham Haptonstall, Ebenezer 
Severns, John Fitzpatrick, John Cowan, prominent names in later Ken- 
tucky history, and possibly others. George Rogers Clark was probably 
with the party during a part of its canoe voyage down the Ohio, but 
seems to have gone no farther than Big Bone Creek. R. G. T. 

1 This was done by a party of men from the Monongahela, under 
the guidance of James Harrod ; by whom was built the first cabin for 
human habitancy ever erected in Kentucky. This was on the present 
site of Harrodsburg. 

Of Border Warfare. 147 

ing the winter ; and there is, moreover, a strong presump- 
tion, that they were for some time ignorant of the fact 
that there were adventurers in the country; and conse- 
quently, they knew of no object there, on which their hos- 
tile intentions could operate. Be this as it may, it is cer- 
tain that, from the movements of the Indians at the close 
of the winter, the belief was general, that they were as- 
suming a warlike attitude, and meditating a continuance 
of hostilities. War was certainly begun on their part, 
when Boone and his associates, were attacked and driven 
back to the settlement ; and if it abated for a season, that 
abatement was attributable to other causes, than a disposi- 
tion to remain quiet and peaceable, while the country was 
being occupied by the w hites. 

If other evidence were wanting, to prove the fact that 
the war of 1774 had its origin in a determination of the 
Indians to repress the extension of white settlements, it 
could be found in the circumstance, that although it was 
terminated by the treaty with Lord Dunmore, yet it re- 
vived as soon as attempts were again made to occupy 
Kentucky, and was continued with increased ardour, 'till 
the victory obtained over them by General Wayne. For, 
notwithstanding that in the struggle for American liberty, 
those Indians became the allies of Great Britain, yet when 
independence was acknowledged, and the English forces 
withdrawn from the colonies, hostilities were still carried 
on by them ; and, as was then well understood, because of 
the continued operation of those causes, which produced 
the war of 1774. That the Canadian traders and British 
emissaries, prompted, the Indians to aggression, and ex- 
tended to them every aid which they could, to render that 
aggression more effectually oppressive and overwhelming, 
is readily admitted. Yet this would not have led to a 
war, but for the encroachments which have been men- 
tioned. French influence, united to the known jealousy 
of the Natives, would have been unavailingly exerted to 
array the Indians against Virginia, at the commencement 
of Braddock's war, but for the proceedings of the Ohio 
company, and the fact that the Pennsylvania traders rep- 
resented the object of that association to be purely terri- 

148 Withers's Chronicles 

torial. And equally fruitless would have been their en- 
deavor to involve them in a contest [112] with Virginians 
at a later period, but for a like manifestation of an inten- 
tion to encroach on their domain. 

In the latter end of April 1774, a party of land advent- 
urers, who had fled from the dangers which threatened 
them below, came in collision with some Indians, near the 
mouth of Captina, sixteen miles below Wheeling. A slight 
skirmish ensued, which terminated in the discomfiture of 
the whites, notwithstanding they had only one man 
wounded, and one or two of the enemy were killed. 
About the same time, happened the affair opposite the 
mouth of Yellow creek ; a stream emptying into the Ohio 
river from the northwest, nearly midway between Pitts- 
burg and Wheeling. 1 

In consequence of advices received of the menacing 
conduct of the Indians, Joshua Baker (who lived at this 
place) was preparing, together with his neighbors, to re- 
tire for safety, into some of the nearer forts, or to go to 
the older and more populous settlements, remote from 
danger. There was at that time a large party of Indians, 
encamped on both sides of Yellow creek, at its entrance 
into the river; and although in their intercourse at 
Baker's, they had not manifested an intention of speedily 
commencing depredations, yet he deemed his situation in 
the immediate contiguity of them, as being far from se- 
cure, and was on the eve of abandoning it, when a party 
of whites, who had just collected at his house, n'red upon 
and killed some Indians, who were likewise there. Among 
them were the brother and daughter of the celebrated 
chief, Logan. 2 

1 These are the Pipe Creek and Baker's Bottom affairs, respectively 
mentioned on pp. 134, 149, notes. Yellow Creek, opposite Baker's Bot- 
tom, empties into the Ohio 51 miles below Pittsburg; Wheeling is 91 
miles below Pittsburg, and Pipe Creek 104. R. G. T. 

"There is some difficulty in fixing on the precise time when these 
occurrences happened. Col. Ebenezer Zane says that they took place 
in the latter part of April, and that the affair at Captina preceded the 
one at Yellow creek a few days. John Sappington, who was of the party 
at Baker's, and is said to be the one who killed Logan's brother, says, 
the murders at that place occurred on the 24th of May, and that the 

Of Border Warfare. 149 

In justification of this conduct it has been said, that 
on the preceding evening a squaw came over from the en- 
campment and informed Mrs. Baker that the Indians 
meditated the murder of her family on the next day ; and 
that before the firing [113] at Baker's, two canoes, con- 
skirmish at Captina was on the day before (23rd May.) Col. Andrew 
Swearingen, a presbyterian gentleman of much respectability, one of 
the early settlers near the Ohio above Wheeling, and afterwards inti- 
mate with those engaged at both places, says that the disturbance oppo- 
site Yellow creek preceded the engagement [113] at Captina, and that the 
latter, as was then generally understood, was caused by the conduct of 
the Indians, who had been at Yellow creek and were descending the 
river, exasperated at the murder of their friends at Baker's. Mr. Ben- 
jamin Tomlinson, who was the brother-in-law of Baker and living with 
him at the time, says that this circumstance happened in May, but is 
silent as to the one at Captina. These gentlemen all agree in the fact 
that Logan's people were murdered at Baker's. Indeed Logan himself 
charges it as having been done there. The statement of Sappington, 
that the murders were caused by the abusive epithets of Logan's 
brother and his taking the hat and coat of Baker's brother in law is 
confirmed by Col. Swearingen and others ; who also say that for some 
days previous, the neighborhood generally had been engaged in prepar- 
ing to leave the country, in consequence of the menacing conduct of 
the Indians. 

Comment by R. G. T. The date is now well established April 30. 
Withers is altogether too lenient, in his treatment of the whites en- 
gaged in this wretched massacre. Logan, encamped at the mouth of 
Yellow River, on the Ohio side, was a peaceful, inoffensive Indian, 
against whom no man harbored a suspicion ; he was made a victim of 
race hatred, in a time of great popular excitement. Joshua Baker, who 
was settled opposite him on Baker's Bottom, in Virginia, kept a low 
grog-shop tavern, and had recently been warned not to sell more liquor 
to Indians. Daniel Greathouse lived in the vicinity a cruel, blood- 
thirsty fellow, who served Connolly as a local agent in fomenting hatred 
of Indians. It will be remembered (p. 134, note) that Cresap's party were 
intending to strike the camp of Logan, but that they abandoned the 
project. In the meantime, probably without knowledge of Cresap's in- 
tent, Greathouse had collected a party of 32 borderers to accomplish the 
same end. Logan's camp seemed too strong for them to attack openly ; 
so they secreted themselves in Baker's house, and when Logan's family, 
men and women, came over to get their daily grog, and were quite 
drunk, set upon them and slew and tomahawked nine or ten. The 
chief, standing on the Ohio bank, heard the uproar and witnessed the 
massacre ; he naturally supposed that the murderers were led by Cresap. 
From a friend of the whites, Logan became their implacable enemy, 
and during the ensuing war his forays were the bloodiest on the bor- 
der. We shall hear of him and his famous speech, later on. 

150 Withers 's Chronicles 

taining Indians painted and armed for war, were seen to 
leave the opposite shore. Under these circumstances, an 
apparently slight provocation, and one, which would not 
perhaps have been, otherwise heeded, produced the fatal 
result. As the canoes approached the shore, the party 
from Baker's commenced firing on them, and notwith- 
standing the opposition made by the Indians, forced them 
to retire. 

An interval of quiet succeeded the happening of these 
events; but it was as the solemn stillness which precedes 
the eruption of an earthquake, when a volcanic explosion 
has given notice of its approach; rendered more awful 
by the uncertainty where its desolating influence would 
be felt. It was however, a stillness of but short duration. 
The gathering storm .soon burst over the devoted heads 
of those, who had neglected to seek a shelter from its 
wrath. The traders in the Indian country were the first 
victims sacrificed on the altar of savage ferocity ; and a 
general massacre of all the whites found among them, 
quickly followed. A young man, discovered near the falls 
of Muskingum and within sight of White Eyes town, was 
murdered, scalped ; literally cut to pieces, and the man- 
gled members of his body, hung up on trees. White Eyes, 
a chief of the friendly Delawares, hearing the scalp halloo, 
went out with a party of his men ; and seeing what had 
been done, collected the scattered limbs of the young man, 
and buried them. On the next day, they were torn from 
the ground, severed into smaller pieces, and thrown dis- 
persedly at greater distances from each other. 

[114] Apprized of impending danger, many of the 
inhabitants on the frontiers of North Western Virginia, 
retired into the interior, before any depredations were 
committed, in the upper country ; some took refuge in 
forts which had been previously built ; while others, col- 
lecting together at particular houses, converted them into 
temporary fortresses, answering well the purposes of pro- 
tection, to those who sought shelter in them. Fort Red- 
stone, which had been erected after the successful expedi- 
tion of General Forbes ; and Fort Pitt, at the confluence of 
the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers, afforded an asylum 

Of Border Warfare. 151 

to many. Several private forts were likewise established 
in various parts of the country ; l and every thing which 
individual exertion could effect, to ensure protection to the 
border inhabitants, was done. 

Nor did the colonial government of Virginia neglect 
the security of her frontier citizens. When intelligence 
of the hostile disposition of the Natives, reached Williams- 
burg, the house of Burgesses was in session ; and measures 
were immediately adopted, to prevent massacres, and to 
restore tranquillity. That these objects might be the 
more certainly accomplished, it was proposed by General 
Andrew Lewis (then a delegate from Bottetourt,) to or- 
ganize a force, sufficient to overcome all intermediate op- 
position, and to carry the war into the enemy's country. 
In accordance to this proposition, orders were issued by 
Governor Dunmore for raising the requisite number of 
troops, and for making other necessary preparations for 
the contemplated campaign ; the plan of which was con- 
certed by the Governor, Gen. Lewis and Colonel Charles 
Lewis (then a delegate from Augusta.) But as some time 
must necessarily have elapsed before the consummation of 
the preparations which were being made ; and as much 
individual suffering might result from the delays unavoid- 
ably incident to the raising, equipping and [115] organizing 
a large body of troops, it was deemed advisable to take 
some previous and immediate step to prevent the invasion 
of exposed and defenceless portions of the country. The 
best plan for the accomplishment of this object was believed 
to be, the sending of an advance army into the Indian 
country, of sufficient strength to act offensively, before a 
confederacy could be formed of the different tribes, and 
their combined forces be brought into the field. A sense 

1 It was then that "Westfall's and Casinoe's forts were erected in 
Tygart's valley, Pricket's, on Pricket's creek, Jackson's on Ten Mile, 
and Shepherd's on Wheeling creek, a few miles above its mouth. There 
were also others established in various parts of the country and on the 
Monongahela and Ohio rivers. Nutter's fort, near to Clarksburg, 
afforded protection to the inhabitants on the West Fork, from its source, 
to its confluence with the Valley river; and to those who lived on 
Buchannon and on Hacker's creek, as well as to the residents of its im- 
mediate vicinity. 

152 Withers' s Chronicles 

of the exposed situation of their towns in the presence of 
an hostile army, requiring the entire strength of every 
village for its defence, would, it was supposed, call home 
those straggling parties of warriors, by which destruction 
is so certainly dealt to the helpless and unprotected. In 
conformity with this part of the plan of operations, four 
hundred men, to be detailed from the militia west of the 
mountains, were ordered to assemble at Wheeling as soon 
as practicable. And in the mean time, lest the surveyors 
and land adventurers, who were then in Kentucky, might 
be discovered and fall a prey to the savages, Daniel Boone 
was sent by the Governor to the falls of Ohio, to conduct 
them home from thence, through the wilderness; the only 
practicable road to safety, the Ohio river being so effectu- 
ally guarded as to preclude the hope of escaping up it. 1 

1 June 20, Col. William Preston, having charge of the defenses of 
Fincastle county, authorized Capt. William Russell to employ two faith- 
ful woodsmen to go to Kentucky and inform the several surveying parties 
at work there, of their danger. June 26, Russell replied, " I have en- 
gaged to start immediately on the occasion, two of the best hands I 
could think of Daniel Boone and Michael Stoner; who have engaged 
to reach the country as low as the Falls, and to return by way of Gas- 
per's Lick on Cumberland, and through Cumberland Gap ; so that, by 
the assiduity of these men, if it is not too late, I hope the gentlemen 
will be apprized of the imminent danger they are daily in." 

Boone and Stoner journeyed overland to Harrodsburg, where Col. 
James Harrod and thirty men were making improvements and laying 
out the town. The thrifty Boone secured a good lot, hastily built a 
claim cabin, and proceeded on his tour. At Fontaine Blue, three miles 
below Harrodsburg, the two scouts found another party of surveyors, 
whom they warned ; and in going down the Kentucky River came across 
Capt. John Floyd's surveying party, eight men, who had left Preston's 
house for Kentucky, April 9, who agreed to meet, them farther down 
the river. But circumstances prevented a reunion, and Floyd's band 
penetrated through the wilderness on their own account, and had a 
painful journey of sixteen days' duration before reaching Russell's Fort 
on Clinch River. Meanwhile, Boone and Stoner descended to the mouth 
of the Kentucky, and thence to the Falls of the Ohio, and found more 
surveyors at Mann's Lick, four miles southeast. Indians were making 
bloody forays through the district, and the scouts had frequent thrilling 
adventures. Finally, after having been absent sixty-one days and trav- 
elled 800 miles, they reached Russell's on the Clinch, in safety. Russell 
was absent on the Point Pleasant campaign, and Boone set out with a 
party of recruits to reinforce him, but was ordered back to defend the 
Clinch settlements. He was busy at this task until the close of the war. 

Of Border Warfare. 153 

Early in June, the troops destined to make an incur- 
sion into the Indian country, assembled at Wheeling, and 
being placed under the command of Colonel Angus Mc- 
Donald, descended the Ohio to the mouth of Captina. 
Debarking, at this place, from their boats and canoes, they 
took up their march to Wappatomica, an Indian town 
on the Muskingum. The country through which the army 
had to pass, was one unbroken forest, presenting many ob- 
stacles to its speedy advance, not the least of which was 
the difficulty of proceeding directly to the point proposed. 1 
To obviate this, however, they were accompanied by three 
persons in the capacity of guides; 2 whose knowledge of 
the woods, and familiarity with those natural indices, which 
so unerringly mark the direction of the principal points, 
enabled them to pursue the direct course. When they had 
approached within six miles of the town, the [116] army 
encountered an opposition from a party of fifty or sixty 
Indians lying in ambush; and before these could be dis- 
lodged, two whites were killed, and eight orten wounded ; 
one Indian was killed, and several wounded. They then 
proceeded to Wappatomica without further molestation.* 

When the army arrived at the town, it was found to 
be entirely deserted. Supposing that it would cross the 
river, the Indians had retreated to the opposite bank, and 
concealing themselves behind trees and fallen timber, were 
awaiting that movement in joyful anticipation of a suc- 

He was present at the Watauga treaty, March 17, 1775 ; later that year, he 
led another band to Kentucky, and early in April built Fort Boone, on 
Kentucky River, "a little below Big Lick," the nucleus of the Henderson 
colony. R. G. T. 

1 The party numbered about four hundred men. The line of march 
was about ninety miles in length, as estimated by the zig-zag course 
pursued. R. G. T. 

2 They were Jonathan Zane, Thomas Nicholson and Tady Kelly. A 
better woodsman than the first named of these three, perhaps never 

3 Doddridge locates Wapatomica " about sixteen miles below the 
present Coshocton." Butterfield (History of the Girtys) places it "just 
below the present Zanesville, in Logan county, Ohio, not a great distance 
from Mac-a-cheek." For localities of Indian towns on the Muskingum, 
see map in St. John de Creve Coeur's Lettres d'un Cultivateur Americain 
(Paris, 1787), III., p. 413. R. G. T. 

154 Withers's Chronicles 

cessful surprise. Their own anxiety and the prudence 
of the commanding officer, however, frustrated that ex- 
pectation. Several were discovered peeping from their 
covert, watching the motion of the army ; and Colonel 
McDonald, suspecting their object, and apprehensive that 
they would recross the river and attack him in the rear, 
stationed videttes above and below, to detect any such 
purpose, and to apprise him of the first movement to- 
wards effecting it. Foiled by these prudent and precau- 
tionary measures and seeing their town in possession of 
the enemy, with no prospect of wresting it from them, 
'till destruction would have done its work, the Indians 
sued for peace ; and the commander of the expedition 
consenting to negotiate with them, if he could be assured 
of their sincerity, five chiefs were sent over as hostages, 
and the army then crossed the river, with these in front. 

When a negotiation was begun, the Indians asked, 
that one of the hostages might be permitted to go and 
convoke the other chiefs, whose presence, it was alleged, 
would be necessary to the ratification of a peace. One 
was accordingly released ; and not returning at the time 
specified, another was then sent, who in like manner failed 
to return. Colonel McDonald, suspecting some treachery, 
marched forward to the next town, above Wappatomica, 
where another slight engagement took place, in which 
one Indian was killed and one white man wounded. It 
was then ascertained, that the time which should have 
been spent in collecting the other chiefs, preparatory to 
negotiation, had been employed in removing their old 
men, their women and children, together with what prop- 
erty could be readily taken off, and for making prepara- 
tions for a combined attack on the Virginia troops. To 
punish this duplicity and to render peace really desirable, 
Col. McDonald burned their towns and destroyed their 
crops; [117] and being then in want of provisions, retraced 
his steps to Wheeling, taking with him the three remain- 
ing hostages, who were then sent on to Williamsburg. 1 

1 John Hargus, a private in Capt. Cresap's company, while stationed 
as a videttc below the main army, observed an Indian several times 
raising his head above his blind, and looking over the river. Charging 

Of Border Warfare. 155 

The inconvenience of supplying provisions to an army 
in the wilderness, was a serious obstacle to the success of 
expeditions undertaken against the Indians. The want 
of roads, at that early period, which would admit of trans- 
portation in wagons, rendered it necessary to resort to 
pack horses; and such was at times the difficulty of pro- 
curing these, that, not unfrequently, each soldier had to 
be the bearer of his entire stock of subsistence for the 
whole campaign. When this was exhausted, a degree 
of suffering ensued, often attended with consequences 
fatal to individuals, and destructive to the objects of the 
expedition. In the present case, the army being without 
provisions before they left the Indian towns, their only 
sustenance consisted of weeds, an ear of corn each day, 
and occasionally, a small quantity of venison : it being im- 
practicable to hunt game in small parties, because of the 
vigilance and success of the Indians, in watching and cut- 
ting off detachments of this kind, before they could ac- 
complish their purpose and regain the -main army. 

No sooner had the troops retired from the Indian 
country, than the savages, in small parties, invaded the 
settlements in different directions, seeking opportunities 
of gratifying their insatiable thirst for blood. And al- 
though the precautions which had been taken, lessened the 
frequency of their success, yet they did not always prevent 
it. Persons leaving the forts on any occasion, were almost 
always either murdered or carried into captivity, a lot 
sometimes worse than death itself. 

Perhaps the first of these incursions into North West- 
ern Virginia, after the destruction of the towns on the 
Muskingum, was that made by a party of eight Indians, 
at the head of which was the Cayuga chief Logan. 1 This 

his rifle with a second ball, he fired, and both bullets passed through 
the neck of the Indian, who was found next day and scalped by 

1 Logan was the son of Shikellemus, a celebrated chief of the Cayuga 
nation, who dwelt at Shamokin, and always attached to the [118] English, 
was of much service to them on many occasions. After the close of 
Dunmore's war, Logan became gloomy and melancholy, drank freely 
and manifested symptoms of mental derangement. He remained some 
time at Detroit, and while there, his conduct and expressions evinced a 

156 Withers s Chronicles 

very celebrated [118] Indian is represented as having 
hitherto, observed towards the whites, a course of conduct 
by no means in accordance with the malignity and stead- 
fast implacability which influenced his red brethren gen- 
erally ; but was, on the contrary, distinguished by a sense 
of humanity, and a just abhorrence of those cruelties so fre- 
quently inflicted on the innocent and unoffending, as well 
as upon those who were really obnoxious to savage enmity. 
Such indeed were the acts of beneficence which characterized 
him, and so great his partiality for the English, that the 
finger of his brethren would point to his cabin as the res- 
idence of Logan, " the friend of white men." " In the 
course of the French war, he remained at home, idle and 
inactive;" opposed to the interference of his nation, "an 
advocate for peace." When his family fell before the fury 
of exasperated men, he felt himself impelled to avenge their 
deaths ; and exchanging the pipe of peace, for the toma- 
hawk of war, became active in seeking opportunities to 
glut his vengeance. 1 With this object in view, at 
the head of the party which has been mentioned, he 
traversed the county from the Ohio to the West Fork, 
before an opportunity was presented him of achieving any 
mischief. Their distance from what was supposed would 
be the theatre of war, had rendered the inhabitants of that 
section of country, comparatively inattentive to their 
safety. Relying on the expectation that the first blow 
would be struck on the Ohio, and that they would have 
sufficient notice of this to prepare for their own security, 
before danger could reach them, many had continued to 
perform the ordinary business of their farms. 

On the 12th day of July, as William Robinson, Thomas 
Hellen and Coleman Brown were pulling flax in a field op- 
posite the mouth of Simpson's creek, Logan and his party 
approached unperceived and fired at them. Brown fell 

weariness of the world. Life he said had become a burden to him, 
he knew no more what pleasure was, and thought it had been better 
if he had never existed. In this disponding and disconsolate condition 
he left Detroit, and on his way between that place and Miami, is said 
to have been murdered. 

1 See p. 149, note, for account of the massacre. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 157 

instantly; his body perforated by several balls; and Hellen 
and Robinson [119] unscathed, sought safety in flight. 
Hellen being then an old man, was soon overtaken and 
made captive; but Robinson, with the elasticity of youth, 
ran a considerable distance before he was taken ; and but 
for an untoward accident might have effected an escape. 
Believing that he was outstripping his pursuers, and 
anxious to ascertain the fact, he looked over his shoulder, 
but before he discovered the Indian giving chase, he ran 
with such violence against a tree, that he fell, stunned by 
the shock and lay powerless and insensible. In this situ- 
ation he was secured with a cord; and when he revived, 
was taken back to the place where the Indians had Hellen 
in confinement, and where lay the lifeless body of Brown. 
They then set off to their towns, taking with them a horse 
which belonged to Hellen. 

When they had approached near enough to be dis- 
tinctly heard, Logan (as is usual with them after a suc- 
cessful scout,) gave the scalp halloo, and several warriors 
came out to meet them, and conducted the prisoners into 
the village. Here they passed through the accustomed 
ceremony of running the guantlet ; but with far different 
fortunes. Robinson, having been previously instructed by 
Logan (who from the time he made him his prisoner, mani- 
fested a kindly feeling towards him,) made his way, with 
but little interruption, to the council house; but poor Hel- 
len, from the decrepitude of age, and his ignorance of 
the fact that it was a place of refuge, was sadly beaten 
before he arrived at it ; and when he at length came near 
enough, he was knocked down with a war club, before he 
could enter. After he had fallen, they continued to beat 
and strike him with such unmerciful severity, that he 
would assuredly have fallen a victim to their barbarous 
usage, but that Robinson (at some peril for the interference) 
reached forth his hand and drew him within the sanctuary. 
When he had however, recovered from the effects of the 
violent beating which he had received, he was relieved 
from the apprehension of farther suffering, by being 
adopted into an Indian family. 

A council was next convoked to resolve on the fate 

158 Withers 1 s Chronicles 

of Robinson ; and then arose in his breast, feelings of the 
most anxious inquietude. Logan assured him, that he 
should not be killed; but the council appeared determined 
that he should die, and he was tied to the stake. Logan 
then addressed them, and with much vehemence, insisted 
that Robinson too should be spared; and had the elo- 
quence displayed on that occasion been less than Logan is 
believed to have possessed, [120] it is by no means won- 
derful that he appeared to Robinson (as he afterwards 
said) the most powerful orator he ever heard. But com- 
manding as his eloquence might have been, it seems not 
to have prevailed with the council ; for Logan had to in- 
terpose otherwise than by argument or entreaty, to succeed 
in the attainment of his object. Enraged at the perti- 
nacity with which the life of Robinson was sought to be 
taken, and reckless of the consequences, he drew the tom- 
ahawk from his belt, and severing the cords which bound 
the devoted victim to the stake, led him in triumph, to 
the cabin of an old squaw, by whom he was immediately 

After this, so long as Logan remained in the town 
where Robinson was, he was kind and attentive to him ; 
and when preparing to go again to war, got him to write 
the letter which was afterwards found on Holstein at the 
house of a Mr. Robertson, whose family were all mur- 
dered by the Indians. Robinson remained with his adopted 
mother, until he was redeemed under the treaty concluded 
at the close of the Dunmore campaign. 

Of Border Warfare. 159 


When information of the hostile deportment of the 
Indians was carried to Williamsburg, Col. Charles Lewis 
sent a messenger with the intelligence to Capt. John 
Stuart, and requesting of him, to apprize the inhabitants 
on the Greenbrier river that an immediate war was an- 
ticipated, and to send out scouts to watch the warrior's 
paths beyond the settlements. The vigilance and activity 
of Capt. Stuart, were exerted with some success, to pre- 
vent the re-exhibition of those scenes which had been 
previously witnessed on Muddy creek and in the Big 
Levels : but they could not avail to repress them alto- 

In the course of the preceding spring, some few indi- 
viduals had begun to make improvements on the Kenhawa 
river below the Great Falls ; and some land adventurers, 
to examine and survey portions of the adjoining country. 
To these men Capt. Stuart despatched an express, to in- 
form them that apprehensions were entertained of im- 
mediate irruptions being made upon the frontiers by the 
Indians, and advising them to remove from the position 
which they then occupied ; as from its exposed situation, 
without great vigilance and alertness, they must necessarily 
fall a prey to the savages. 

When the express arrived at the cabin of Walter 
Kelly, twelve miles below the falls, Capt. John Field of 
Culpepper (who had been in active service during the 
French war, and was then engaged in making surveys,) 
was there with a young Scotchman and a negro woman. 
Kelly with great prudence, directly sent his family to 
Greenbrier, under the care of a younger brother. But 
Capt. Field, considering the apprehension as groundless, 
determined on remaining with Kelly, who from prudential 
motives did not wish to subject himself to observation by 

160 Withers's Chronicles 

mingling with others. 1 Left with no persons but the 
Scotchman and negro, they were not long permitted to 
doubt the reality of those dangers, of which they had been 
forewarned by Capt Stuart. 

[122] Very soon after Kelly's family had left the cabin, 
and while yet within hearing of it, a party of Indians ap- 
proached, unperceived, near to Kelly and Field, who were 
engaged in drawing leather from a tan trough in the yard. 
The first intimation which Field had of their approach 
was the discharge of several guns and the fall of Kelly. 
He then ran briskly towards the house to get possession 
of a gun, but recollecting that it was unloaded, he changed 
his course, and sprang into a cornfield which screened him 
from the observation of the Indians; who, supposing that 
he had taken shelter in the cabin, rushed immediately into 
it. Here they found the Scotchman and the negro woman, 
the latter of whom they killed; and making prisoner of 
the young man, returned and scalped Kelly. 

When Kelly's family reached the Greenbrier settle- 
ment, they mentioned their fears for the fate of those 
whom they had left on the Kenhawa, not doubting but 
that the guns which they heard soon after leaving the 
house, had been dischaaged at them by Indians. Capt. 
Stuart, with a promptitude which must ever command ad- 
miration, exerted himself effectually to raise a volunteer 
corps, and proceed to the scene of action, with the view 
of ascertaining whether the Indians had been there ; and 
if they had, and he could meet with them, to endeavor to 
punish them for the outrage, and thus prevent the repeti- 
tion of similar deeds of violence. 

They had not however gone far, before they were met 
by Capt. Field, whose appearance of itself fully told the 
tale of woe. He had ran upwards of eighty miles, naked 
except his shirt, and without food ; his body nearly ex- 
hausted by fatigue, anxiety and hunger, and his limbs 
greviously lacerated with briers and brush. Captain 

1 He is said to have committed some offence, in the upper part of 
South Carolina, which rendered him obnoxious to the laws of that 
colony, and to evade the punishment for which, he had fled to the 
wilderness and taken up his abode in it. 

Of Border Warfare. 161 

Stuart, fearing lest the success of the Indians might in- 
duce them to push immediately for the settlements, 
thought proper to return and prepare for that event. 

In a few weeks after this another party of Indians 
came to the settlement on Muddy creek, and as if a cer- 
tain fatality attended the Kelly's, they alone fell victims 
to the incursion. As the daughter of "Walter Kelly was 
walking with her uncle (who had conducted the family 
from the Kenhawa) some distance from the house, which 
had been converted into a temporary fort, and in which 
they lived, they were discovered and fired upon ; the latter 
was killed and scalped, and the former being overtaken in 
her flight, was carried into captivity. 

After the murder of Brown, and the taking of Hellen 
and Robinson, the inhabitants on the Monongahela and 
its upper branches, alarmed for their safety, retired into 
forts. But in the ensuing September, as Josiah Pricket 
and Mrs. Susan Ox, who had left Pricket's fort for the 
purpose of driving up their cows, were returning in the 
evening they were way laid by a party of Indians, who 
had been drawn to the path by the tinkling of the cow- 
bell. Pricket was killed and scalped, and Mrs. Ox taken 

[123] It was in the course of this season, that Lewis 
Wetsel 1 first gave promise of that daring and discretion, 
which were so full}* developed in his maturer years, and 
which rendered him among the most fortunate and suc- 
cessful of Indian combatants. When about fourteen years 
old, he and his brother Jacob, (still younger) were discov- 

1 Lewis Wetzel, the son of a German settler on Wheeling Creek, some 
fourteen miles above its mouth, was born about 1764. He and his broth- 
ers Martin, Jacob, John, and George became famous in border warfare 
after the close of the Revolution ; the annals of the frontier abound in 
tales of their hardy achievements. Martin and Lewis were the heroes 
of most remarkable escapes from Indian captivity; John was also famous 
as an Indian fighter ; and Jacob's name will ever be connected with the 
exploits of that other great border scout, Simon Kenton. But of all the 
brothers, Lewis achieved the widest celebrity, and two biographies of 
him have been published: by Cecil B. Hartley (Phila., 1860), and by 
R. C. V. Meyers (Phila., 1883). R. G. T. 

162 Withers 1 's Chronicles 

ered some distance from the house, by a party of Indians, 
who had been prowling through the settlements on the 
Ohio river, with the expectation of fortunately meeting 
with some opportunity of taking scalps or making prison- 
ers. As the boys were at some distance from them, and in 
a situation too open to admit of their being approached 
without perceiving those who should advance towards 
them, the Indians determined on shooting the larger one, 
lest his greater activity might enable him to escape. A 
shot was accordingly discharged at him, which, partially 
taking effect and removing a portion of his breast bone, so 
far deprived him of his wonted powers, that he was easily 
overtaken ; and both he and his brother were made pris- 
oners. The Indians immediately directed their steps 
towards their towns, and having travelled about twenty 
miles beyond the Ohio river, encamped at the Big Lick, 
on the waters of McMahon's creek, on the second night 
after they had set off. When they had finished eating, 
the Indians laid down, without confining the boys as on 
the preceding night, and soon fell to sleep. After making 
some little movements to test the soundness of their repose, 
Lewis whispered to his brother that he must get up and go 
home with him ; and after some hesitation on the part of 
Jacob, they arose and set off. Upon getting about 100 
yards from the camp, Lewis stopped, and telling his 
brother to await there, returned to the camp and brought 
from thence a pair of mocasons for each of them. He then 
observed, that he would again go back and get his father's 
gun ; this he soon effected, and they then commenced their 
journey home. The moon shining brightly, they were 
easily able to distinguish the trail which they had made in 
going out ; but had not however pursued it far, before they 
heard the Indians coming in pursuit of them. So soon as 
Lewis perceived by the sound of their voices that they 
were approaching tolerably near to them, he led his brother 
aside from the path, and squatting down, concealed them- 
selves 'till their pursuers had passed them; when they 
again commenced travelling and in the rear of the Indians. 
Not overtaking the boys as soon aa was expected, those 
who had been sent after them, began to retrace their steps. 

Of Border Warfare. 163 

Expecting this, the boys were watchful of every noise or 
object before them, and when they heard the Indians re- 
turning, again secreted themselves in the bushes, and 
escaped observation. They were then followed by two, of 
the party who had made them prisoners, on horseback ; 
but by practising the same stratagem, they eluded them 
also ; and on the next day reached the Ohio river opposite 
to Wheeling. Apprehensive that it would be dangerous 
to apprize those on the opposite side of the river of their 
situation, by hallooing, Lewis set himself to work as 
silently, and yet as expeditiously [124] as possible, and with 
the aid of his little brother, soon completed a raft on which 
they safely crossed the Ohio ; and made their way home. 
That persons, should, by going out from the forts, 
when the Indians were so generally watching around them, 
expose themselves to captivity or death, may at first appear 
strange and astonishing. But when the mind reflects on 
the tedious and irksome confinement, which they were 
compelled to undergo; the absence of the comforts, and 
frequently, of the necessaries of life, coupled with an 
overweening attachment to the enjoyment of forest 
scenes and forest pastimes, it will perhaps be matter 
of greater astonishment that they did not more fre- 
quently forego the security of a fortress, for the uncer- 
tain enjoyment of those comforts and necessaries, and 
the doubtful gratification of this attachment. Accus- 
tomed as they had been " free to come and free to go," 
they could not brook the restraint under which they 
were placed; and rather than chafe and pine in unwilling 
confinement, would put themselves at hazard, that they 
might revel at large and wanton in the wilderness. De- 
riving their sustenance chiefly from the woods, the strong 
arm of necessity led many to tempt the perils which envi- 
roned them ; while to the more chivalric and adventurous 
" the danger's self were lure alone." The quiet and still- 
ness which reigned around, even when the enemy werq 
lurking nearest and in greater numbers, inspired many 
too, with the delusive hope of exemption from risk, not 
unfrequently the harbinger of fatal consequences. It 
seemed indeed, impracticable at first to realize the exist- 

164 Withers s Chronicles 

ence of a danger, which could not be perceived. And not 
until taught by reiterated suffering did they properly ap- 
preciate the perilous situation of those, who ventured 
beyond the walls of their forts. But this state of things 
was of short duration. The preparations, which were nec- 
essary to be made for the projected campaign into the In- 
dian country, were completed ; and to resist this threatened 
invasion, required the concentrated exertions of all their 

The army destined for this expedition, was composed 
of volunteers and militia, chiefly from the counties west 
of the Blue ridge, and consisted of two divisions. The 
northern division, comprehending the troops, collected in 
Frederick, Dunmore, 1 and the adjacent counties, was to be 
commanded by Lord Dunmore, in person; 2 and the south- 
ern, comprising the different companies raised in Bote- 
tourt, Augusta and the adjoining counties east of the Blue 
ridge, was to be led on by Gen. Andrew Lewis. These 
two divisions, proceeding by different routes, were to form 
a junction at the mouth of the Big Kenhawa, and from 
thence penetrate the country north west of the Ohio river, 
as far as the season would admit of their going; and de- 
stroy all the Indian towns and villages which they could 

About the first of September, the troops placed under 
the command [125] of Gen. Lewis rendezvoused at Camp 
Union (now Lewisburg) and consisted of two regiments, 
commanded by Col. William Fleming of Botetourt and 
Col. Charles Lewis of Augusta, and containing about four 
hundred men each. At Camp Union they were joined by 
an independent volunteer company under Col. John Field 
of Culpepper ; a company from Bedford under Capt. Bu- 

1 Now Shenandoah. 

* The northern wing was composed of men from Frederick, Berke- 
ley, and Dunmore (afterwards Shenandoah) counties, and Col. Adam 
Stephen was placed in command. With this wing went Lord Dunmore 
and Major John Connolly. Counting the forces already in the field un- 
der Maj. Angus McDonald and Capt. William Crawford, this levy num- 
bered some twelve hundred men. Among them, as scouts, were George 
Roger Clark, Simon Kenton, and Michael Cresap. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 165 

ford and two from the Holstein settlement (now Wash- 
ington county) under Capts. Evan Shelby and Harbert. 
These three latter companies were part of the forces to 
be led on by Col. Christian, who was likewise to join the 
two main divisions of the army at Point Pleasant, so soon 
as the other companies of his regiment could be assembled. 
The force under Gen. Lewis, having been thus augmented 
to eleven hundred men, commenced its march for the 
mouth of Kenhawa on the llth of September 1774. 1 

From Camp Union to the point proposed for the junc- 
tion of the northern and southern divisions of the army, 
a distance of one hundred and sixty miles, the intermedi- 
ate country was a trackless forest, so rugged and moun- 
tainous as to render the progress of the army, at once, 
tedious and laborious. Under the guidance of Capt. Mat- 
thew Arbuckle, they however, succeeded in reaching the 
Ohio river after a march of nineteen days ; and fixed their 
encampment on the point of land immediately between 
that river and the Big Kenhawa. 2 The provisions and 
ammunition, transported on packhorses, and the beeves in 
droves, arrived soon after. 

When the army was preparing to leave Camp Union, 
there was for a while some reluctance manifested on the 

1 Lewis was colonel of the militia of Botetourt county. Camp 
Union (so called because several bodies of troops met there) was on the 
Big Savannah or Great Levels of Greenbrier River ; the town of Lewis- 
burg now occupies the site. 

In Dunmore's letter to Andrew Lewis, dated July 12, he directed 
him to raise a sufficient body of men, and proceeding to the mouth of the 
Great Kanawha there erect a fort ; if he deemed best he was to cross 
the Ohio, proceed directly to the Indian towns, and destroy their crops 
and supplies ; in any event he was to keep communication open between 
Fort Wheeling and Fort Dunmore (Pittsburg). It is evident that his 
lordship then contemplated no separate expedition of his own, for he 
talks of sending Major Angus McDonald's party and a new levy to Lewis's 
assistance. But he changed his mind, and August 30 wrote to Lewis 
directing that the latter meet him at the mouth of the Little Kanawha. 
Lewis replied through Col. William Preston that it was now too late to 
change his plans ; he should proceed at once with the levy just sum- 
moned, to the mouth of the Great Kanawha, and there await further 
orders. R. G. T. 

2 This cape was called Point Pleasant, and is now occupied by the 
West Virginia town of that name. R. G. T. 

166 Wit hers' s Chronicles 

part of Col. Field to submit to the commaud of Gen. Lewis. 
This proceeded from the fact, that in a former military 
service, he had been the senior of Gen. Lewis ; and from 
the circumstance that the company led on by him were In- 
dependent Volunteers, not raised in pursuance of the or- 
ders of Governor Dunmore, but brought into the field by 
his own exertions, after his escape from the Indians at 
Kelly's. These circumstances induced him to separate 
his men from the main body of the army on its march, and 
to take a different way from the one pursued by it, de- 
pending on his own knowledge of the country to lead 
them a practicable route to the river. 1 

While thus detached from the forces under Gen. 
Lewis, two of his men (Clay and Coward) who were out 
hunting and at some little distance from each other, came 
near to where two Indians were concealed. Seeing Clay 
only, and supposing him to be alone, one of them fired at 
him ; and running up to scalp him as he fell, was himself 
shot by Coward, who was then about 100 yards off. The 
other Indian ran off unarmed, and made his escape. A 
bundle of ropes found where Clay was killed, induced the 
belief that it was the object of these Indians to steal 
horses ; it is not however improbable, that they had been 
observing the progress of the army, and endeavoring to 
ascertain its numbers. Col. Field, fearing that he might 
[126] encounter a party of the enemy in ambush, re- 
doubled his vigilance 'till he again joined General Lewis ; 
and the utmost concert and harmony then prevailed in the 
whole army. 1 

When the Southern division arrived at Point Pleas- 
ant, Governor Dunmore with the forces under his com- 

1 This is misleading. On September 6, Col. Charles Lewis, with his 
Augusta troops, numbering about six hundred, were detached to proceed 
to the mouth of the Elk, and there make canoes for transporting the 
supplies to the mouth of the Great Kanawha. This body had in charge 
a drove of 108 beef cattle, and 400 pack-horses laden with 54,000 Ibs. of 
flour. Field's company soon followed this advance. R. G. T. 

1 Saturday, the 10th, Clay and Coward were sent out to hunt deer 
for Field's company, on the banks of the Little Meadow. Then occurred 
the incident related by Withers. The Indian who escaped, hurried on 
to the Shawnee towns and gave them their first notice of the approach of 

Of Border Warfare. 167 

mand, had not reached there ; and unable to account for 
his failure to form the preconcerted junction at that place, 
it was deemed advisable to await that event; as by so 
doing, a better opportunity would be afforded to Col. 
Christian of coming up, with that portion of the army, 
which was then with him. 1 Meanwhile General Lewis, to 
learn the cause of the delay of the Northern division, de- 
spatched runners by land, in the direction of Fort Pitt, to 
obtain tidings of Lord Dunmore, and to communicate 
them to him immediately. In their absence, however, ad- 
vices were received from his Lordship, that he had deter- 
mined on proceeding across the country, directly to the 
Shawanee towns; and ordering General Lewis to cross the 
river, march, forward and form a junction with him, near 
to them. These advices were received on the 9th of Octo- 
ber, and preparations were immediately begun to be made 
for the transportation of the troops over the Ohio river. 2 

the army. Alarmed at this incident, Field hurried and caught up with 
the advance under Charles Lewis. The text reads as though he had 
hastened back to Andrew Lewis, who had not yet left Camp Union. 
R. G.T. 

1 Col. Andrew Lewis marched out of Camp Union the 12th, with 
about 450 men. These consisted of Fleming's Botetourt troops, three 
companies of Fincastle men under Capts. Evan Shelby, William Her- 
bert, and William Russell, the Bedford men under Thomas Buford, and 
Dunmore men under Slaughter. They had with them 200 pack-horses 
laden with flour, and the remainder of the beeves. Col. William 
Christian, who arrived at Camp Union the day Andrew Lewis left, was 
ordered, with the rest of the Fincastle men, to remain there, to guard 
the residue of the provisions, and when the brigade of horses sent to 
the mouth of the Elk had returned, to hurry every thing forward to 
the mouth of the Great Kanawha. Five weeks were thus consumed 
in transporting the troops and the supplies a distance of 160 miles 
through the tangled forest, to Point Pleasant, where the main army, 
upwards of 1,100 strong, had arrived, quite spent with exertions, on the 
6th of October. 

When Christian left Camp Union for the front, Anthony Bledsoe^ 
with a company of Fincastle men, was detailed to remain behind with 
the sick, while the base of supplies at the mouth of the Elk was placed 
in charge of Slaughter. As will be seen, Christian arrived too late to 
engage in the battle of Point Pleasant. R. G. T. 

1 When Lewis arrived at Point Pleasant (October 6th), he found 
awaiting him in a hollow tree dispatches from Dunmore, brought by 
Simon Kenton and two companions, directing him to join his lordship 

168 Withers's Chronicles 

Early on the morning of Monday the tenth of that 
month, two soldiers 1 left the camp, and proceeded up the 
Ohio river, in quest of deer. When they had progressed 
about two miles, they unexpectedly came in sight of a 
large number of Indians, rising from their encampment, 
and who discovering the two hunters fired upon them and 
killed one; the other escaped unhurt, and running briskly 
to the camp, communicated the intelligence, " that he had 
seen a body of the enemy, covering four acres of ground 
as closely as they could stand by the side of each other." 
The main part of the army was immediately ordered out 
under Colonels Charles Lewis, 1 and William Fleming; and 
having formed into two lines, [127] they proceeded about 
four hundred yards, when they met the Indians, and the 
action commenced. 

at the mouth of the Big Hockhocking, where the governor's northern 
wing, under Major Crawford, was building a stockade. But Lewis's 
men were spent, and pens had to be built for the cattle, and shelter for 
the stores, so no move was made. On Saturday, the 8th, came a further 
message from the governor, who was still at the Big Hockhocking. 
Lewis replied that he would join him there as soon as the troops, food 
supply, and powder had all reached Point Pleasant. His men were 
angry at Dunmore's interference, and argued with Lewis that it was 
sixty miles by river and over half that by land, to Dunmore's camp, 
whereas it was less than either to the hostile towns which they had 
started out to attack ; and to turn aside from this purpose was to leave 
open for the hostiles the back-door to the frontier settlements of Vir- 
ginia. The 9th was Sunday, and these sturdy Scotch-Irish Presbyteri- 
ans spent the day in religious exercises, listening to a stout sermon from 
their chaplain. On the morrow, they were surprised by the Indians, as 
the sequel relates. R. G. T. 

1 James Mooney, of Russell's company, and Joseph Hughey, of 
Shelby's. They were surprised at the mouth of Old Town Creek, three 
miles distant. Hughey was killed by a shot fired by Tavenor Ross, a 
white renegade in Cornstalk's party. R. G. T. 

* Few officers were ever more, or more deservedly, endeared to 
those under their command than Col. Charles Lewis. In the many 
skirmishes, which it was his fortune to have, with the Indians he was 
uncommonly successful ; and in the various scenes of life, thro' which 
he passed, his conduct was invariably marked by the distinguishing 
characteristicks of a mind, of no ordinary stamp. His early fall on this 
bloody field, was severely felt during the whole engagement ; and to it 
has been attributed the partial advantages gained by the Indian army 
near the commencement of the action. When the [127] fatal ball struck 
him, he fell at the root of a tree ; from whence he was carried to his 

Of Border Warfare. 169 

At the first onset, Colonel Charles Lewis having fallen, 
and Colonel Fleming being wounded, both lines gave way 
and were retreating briskly towards the camp, when they 
were met by a reinforcement under Colonel Field, 1 and 
rallied. The engagement then became general, and was 
sustained with the most obstinate fury on both sides. The 
Indians perceiving that the " tug of war " had come, and 
determined on affording the Colonial army no chance of 
escape, if victory should declare for them, formed a line 
extending across the point, from the Ohio to the Kenhawa, 
and protected in front, by logs and fallen timber. In this 
situation they maintained the contest with unabated vigor, 
from sunrise 'till towards the close of evening; bravely 
and successfully resisting every charge which was made 
on them ; and withstanding the impetuosity of every onset, 
with the most invincible firmness, until a fortunate move- 
ment on the part of the Virginia troops, decided the day. 

Some short distance above the entrance of the Kenhawa 
river into Ohio, there is a stream, called Crooked creek, 
emptying into the former of these, from the North east, 2 
whose banks are tolerably high, and were then covered 
with a thick and luxuriant growth of weeds. Seeing the 
impracticability of dislodging the Indians, by the most 
vigorous attack, and sensible of the great danger, which 
must arise to his army, if the contest were not decided be- 
fore night, General Lewis detached the three companies 
which were commanded by Captains Isaac Shelby, George 
Matthews, and John Stuart, with orders to proceed up the 
Kenhawa river, and Crooked creek under cover of the 
banks and weeds, 'till they should [128] pass some dis- 
tance beyond the enemy ; when they were to emerge from 

tent, against his wish, by Capt. Wm. Morrow and a Mr. Bailey, of Cap- 
tain Paul's company, and died in a few hours afterwards. In remem- 
brance of his great worth, the legislature named the county of Lewis 
after him. 

1 An active, enterprising and meritorious officer, who had been in serv- 
ice in Braddock's war, and profited by his experience of the Indian mode 
of fighting. His death checked for a time the ardor of his troops, and 
spread a gloom over the countenances of those, who had accompanied 
him on this campaign. 

2 A half-mile up the Big Kanawha. B. G. T. 

170 Withers' s Chronicles 

their covert, march downward towards the point and at- 
tack the Indians in their rear. 1 The manoauvre thus 
planned, was promptly executed, and gav a decided vic- 
tory to the Colonial army. The Indians finding them- 
selves suddenly and unexpectedly encompassed between 
two armies, & not doubting but that in their rear, was the 
looked for reinforcement under Colonel Christian, soon 
gave way, and about sun down, commenced a precipitate 
retreat across the Ohio, to their towns on the Scioto. 

Some short time v after the battle had ended, Colonel 
Christian arrived with the troops which he had collected 
in the settlements on the Holstein, and relieved the anxiety 
of many who were disposed to believe the retreat of the 

1 From MS. journals and letters in possession of the Wisconsin His- 
torical Society, it appears that the conduct of the battle was as follows : 
Andrew Lewis, who as yet thought the enemy to be but a scouting 
party, and not an army equal in size to his own, had the drums beat to 
arms, for many of his men were asleep in their tents ; and while still 
smoking his pipe, ordered a detachment from each of the Augusta com- 
panies, to form 150 strong under Col. Charles Lewis, with John Dickin- 
son, Benjamin Harrison, and John Skidmore as the captains. Another 
party of like size was formed under Col. Fleming, with Captains Shelby, 
Russell, Buford, and Philip Love. Lewis's party marched to the right, 
near the foot of the hills skirting the east side of Crooked Creek. Flem- 
ing's party marched to the left, 200 yards apart from the other. A quar- 
ter of a mile from camp, and half a mile from the point of the cape, the 
right-going party met the enemy lurking behind trees and fallen logs at 
the base of the hill, and there Charles Lewis was mortally wounded. 
Fleming marched to a pond three-quarters of a mile from camp, and fifty 
rods inland from the Ohio this pond being one of the sources of 
Crooked Creek. The hostile line was found to extend from this pond 
along Crooked Creek, half way to its mouth. The Indians, under 
Cornstalk, thought by rushes to drive the whites into the two rivers, 
" like so many bullocks," as the chief later explained ; and indeed both 
lines had frequently to fall back, but they were skillfully reinforced each 
time, and by dusk the savages placed Old Town Creek between them and 
the whites. This movement was hastened, a half hour before sunset, 
by a movement which Withers confounds with the main tactics. Cap- 
tains Matthews, Arbuckle, Shelby, and Stuart were sent with a detach- 
ment up Crooked creek under cover of the bank, with a view to secur- 
ing a ridge in the rear of the enemy, from which their line could be en. 
fi laded. They were discovered in the act, but Cornstalk supposed that 
this party was Christian's advance, and in alarm hurried his people to 
the other side of Old Town Creek. The battle was, by dark, really a 
drawn game; but Cornstalk had had enough, and fled during the 
night. B. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 171 

Indians to be only a feint; 1 and that an attack would be 
again speedily majle by them, strengthened and reinforced 
by those of the enemy who had been observed during the 
engagement, on the opposite side of the Ohio and Kenhawa 
rivers. But these had been most probably stationed there, 
in anticipation of victory, to prevent the Virginia troops 
from effecting a retreat across those rivers, (the only possible 
chance of escape, had they been overpowered by the enemy 
in their front ;) and the loss sustained by the Indians was 
too great, and the prospect of a better fortune, too gloomy 
and unpromising, for them to enter again into an engage- 
ment. Dispirited by the bloody repulse with which they 
had met, they hastened to their towns, better disposed to 
purchase security from farther hostilities by negotiation, 
than risk another battle with an army whose strength and 
prowess, they had already tested ; and found superior to 
their own. The victory indeed, was decisive, and many 
advantages were obtained by it ; but they were not cheaply 
bought. The Virginia army sustained, in this engage- 
ment, a loss of seventy-five killed, and one hundred and 
forty wounded. About one fifth of the entire number of 
the troops. 

Among the slain were Colonels Lewis and Field ; Cap- 
tains Buford, Morrow, Wood, CundifF, Wilson, and Robert 
McClannahan ; and Lieutenants Allen, Goldsby and Dil- 
lon, with some other subalterns. The loss of the enemy 
could not be ascertained. On the morning after the action, 
Colonel Christian marched his men over the battle ground 
and found twenty-one of the Indians lying dead ; and 
twelve others [129] were afterwards discovered, where 
they had been attempted to be concealed under some old 
logs and brush. 2 

1 During the day, a messenger had been dispatched to harry on 
Christian, who with 250 men was convoying cattle and powder. In the 
early evening, fifteen miles from Point Pleasant, this rear party was 
found, toiling painfully over the wilderness trail. Christian at once left 
his property in charge of a small party, and arrived in camp by mid- 
night. R. G. T. 

J Most of the killed and wounded, on both sides, were shot in the 
head or breast, which indicates good marksmanship'. The Indians, 

172 Wit hers' s Chronicles 

From the great facility with which the Indians either 
carry off or conceal their dead, it is always difficult to as- 
certain the number of their slain ; and hence arises, in 
some measure, the disparity between their known loss and 
that sustained by their opponents in battle. Other reasons 
for this disparity, are to be found in their peculiar mode 
of warfare, and in the fact, that they rarely continue a 
contest, when it has to be maintained with the loss of their 
warriors. It would not be easy otherwise to account for 
the circumstance, that even when signally vanquished, the 
list of their slain does not, frequently, appear more than 
half as great, as that of the victors. In this particular 
instance, many of the dead were certainly thrown into 
the river. 

NOT could the number of the enemy engaged, be ever 
ascertained. Their army is known to have been composed 
of warriors from the different nations, north of the Ohio ; 
and to have comprised the flower of the Shawanee, Dela- 
ware, Mingo, Wyandotte and Cayuga tribes; led on by 
men, whose names were not unknown to fame, 1 and at the 
head of whom was Cornstalk, Sachem of the Shawanees, 
and King of the Northern Confederacy. 2 

though skillful marksmen, did not exhibit sufficient mechanical knowl- 
edge to enable them properly to clean their guns, and thus were at some 

The statistician was at work in those days, as now, for we learn from 
an old diary that at Old Town Creek were found by the white victors, 
78 rafts with which the Indians had crossed the Ohio to the attack, the 
night of October 9-10; and on the battlefield during the 10th and 12th, 
were collected 23 guns, 27 tomahawks, 80 blankets, and great numbers 
of war-clubs, shot-pouches, powder-horns, match-coats, deer-skins, " and 
other articles," all of which were put up at auction by the careful com- 
missary, and brought nearly 100 to the army chest. R. G. T. 

1 Such were Redhawk, a Delaware chief, Scoppathus, a Mingo, 
Ellinipsico, a Shawanee, and son to Cornstalk, Chiyawee, a Wyan- 
dotte, and Logan, a Cayuga. 

'The first recorded foray of Cornstalk was on October 10, 1759, against 
the Gilmore family and others, on Carr's Creek, in what is now Rock- 
bridge county, Va. "The Carr's Creek massacre " was long remembered 
on the border as one of the most daring and cruel on record. He was 
again heard of during the Pontiac conspiracy, in 1763, when he led a 
large war-party from the Scioto towns against the Virginia frontier. 
Both at Muddy Creek, and the Clendenning farm near Lewisburg, on the 

Of Bordex Warfare. 173 

This distinguished chief and consummate warrior, 
proved himself on that day, to be justly entitled to the 
prominent station which he occupied. His plan of alter- 
nate retreat & attack, was well conceived, and occasioned 
the principal loss sustained by the writes. If at any time 
his warriors were believed to waver, his voice could be 
heard above the din of arms, exclaiming in his native 
tongue, " Be strong! Be strong;" and when one near him, 
by trepidation and reluctance to proceed to the charge, 
evinced a dastardly disposition, fearing the example might 
have a pernicious influence, with one blow of the toma- 
hawk he severed his skull. It was perhaps a solitary in- 
stance in which terror predominated. Never did men 
exhibit a more conclusive evidence of bravery, in making 
a charge, and fortitude in withstanding an onset, than did 
these undisciplined soldiers of the forest, in the [130] field 
at Point Pleasant. Such too was the good conduct of 
those who composed the army of Virginia, on that occa- 
sion ; and such the noble bravery of many, that high ex- 
Levels of the Greenbrier, the marauders pretended to be friendly with 
the settlers, and in an unguarded moment fell upon and slew them. 
Other massacres, in connection with the same foray, were at Carr's 
Creek, Keeney's Knob, and Jackson's River. The story of the captivity 
of Mrs. Clendenning and her children, who were taken to the Shawnee 
towns on the Scioto, is one of the most heartrendering in Western his- 
tory. In 1764, Bouquet raided these towns, and Cornstalk was one of 
the hostages sent to Fort Pitt in fulfillment of the terms of the treaty, 
but later he effected his escape. Nothing more is heard of this warrior 
until 1774, when he became famous as leader of the Indians at the bat- 
tle of Point Pleasant. Cornstalk's intelligence was far above that of 
the average Shawnee. He had, before the Dunmore War, strongly 
counseled his people to observe the peace, as their only salvation ; but 
when defeated in council, he with great valor led the tribesmen to war. 
After the treaty of Fort Charlotte, he renewed his peace policy, and 
was almost alone in refusing to join the Shawnee uprising in 1777. Late 
in September, that year, he visited his white friends at Fort Randolph 
(Point Pleasant), and was retained as one of several hostages for the tribe- 
Infuriated at some murders in the vicinity, the private soldiers in the 
fort turned upon the Indian prisoners and basely killed them, Cornstalk 
among the number. Governor Patrick Henry and General Hand the 
latter then organizing his futile expedition against the Shawnees 
wished to punish the murderers; but in the prevalent state of public 
opinion on the border, it was easy for them to escape prosecution. 
R. G. T. 

174 Withers's Chronicles 

pectatious were entertained of their future distinction. 
Nor were those expectations disappointed. In the various 
scenes through which they subsequently passed, the pledge 
of after eminence then given, was fully redeemed ; and the 
names of Shelby, Campbell, Matthews, Fleming, Moore, 
and others, their compatriots in arms on the memorable 
tenth of October, 1774, have been inscribed in brilliant 
characters on the roll of fame. 1 

Having buried the dead, and made every arrangement 
of which their situation admitted, for the comfort of the 
wounded, entrenchments were thrown up, and the army 
commenced its march to form a junction with the north- 
ern division, under Lord Dunmore. Proceeding by the 
way of the Salt Licks, General Lewis pressed forward 
with astonishing rapidity (considering that the march was 
through a trackless desert); but before he had gone far, an 
express arrived from Dunmore, with orders to return im- 
mediately to the mouth of the Big Kenhawa. Suspecting 
the integrity of his Lordship's motives, and urged by the 
advice of his officers generally, General [131] Lewis re- 
fused to obey these orders ; and continued to advance 'till 
he was met, (at Kilkenny creek, and in sight of an Indian 
village, which its inhabitants had just fired and deserted,) 

1 The following gentlemen, with others of high reputation in private 
life, were officers in the battle at Point Pleasant. Gen. Isaac Shelby, 
the first governor of Kentucky, and afterwards, secretary of war ; Gen. 
William Campbell and Col. John Campbell, heroes of King's mountain 
and Long Island ; Gen. Evan Shelby, one of the most favored citizens 
of Tennessee, often honored with the confidence of that state; Col. 
William Fleming, an active governor of Virginia during the revolution- 
ary war ; Gen. Andrew Moore of Rockbridge, the only man ever elected 
by Virginia, from the country west of the Blue ridge, to the senate of 
the United States; Col. John Stuart, of Greenbrier; Gen. Tate, of 
Washington county, Virginia ; Col. William McKee, of Lincoln county, 
Kentucky ; Col. John Steele, since a governor of Mississippi territory ; 
Col. Charles Cameron, of Bath ; Gen. Bazaleel Wells, of Ohio ; and 
Gen. George Matthews, a distinguished officer in the war of the revolu- 
tion, the hero of Brandywine, Germantown, and of Guilford ; a gov- 
ernor of Georgia, and a senator from that state in the congress of the 
United States. The salvation of the American army at Germantown, 
is ascribed, in Johnston's life of Gen. Green, to the bravery and good 
conduct of two regiments, one of which was commanded by General, 
then Col. Matthews. 

Of Border Warfare. 175 

by the Governor, (accompanied by White Eyes,) who in- 
formed him, that he was negotiating a treaty of peace 
which would supersede the necessity of the further move- 
ment of the Southern division, and repeating the order for 
its retreat. 

The army under General Lewis had endured many 
privations and suffered many hardships. They had en- 
countered a savage enemy in great force, and purchased a 
victory with the blood of their friends. When arrived 
near to the goal of their anxious wishes, and with noth- 
ing to prevent the accomplishment of the object of the 
campaign ; they received those orders with evident cha- 
grin ; and did not obey them without murmuring. Hav- 
ing, at his own request, been introduced severally to the 
officers of that division; complimenting them for their 
gallantry and good conduct in the late engagement, and 
assuring them of his high esteem, Lord Dunmore re- 
turned to his camp ; and General Lewis commenced his 
retreat. 1 

1 In order to get a clearer view of the situation, a few more details 
are essential here. For several days after the battle of Point Pleasant, 
Lewis was busy in burying the dead, caring for the wounded, collecting 
the scattered cattle, and building a store-house and small stockade fort. 
Early on the morning of October 13th, messengers who had been sent 
on to Dunmore, advising him of the battle, returned with orders to Lewis 
to march at once with all his available force, against the Shawaee 
towns, and when within twenty-five miles of Chillicothe to write to his 
lordship. The next day, the last rear guard, with the remaining beeves, 
arrived from the mouth of the Elk, and while work on the defenses at 
the Point was hurried, preparations were made for the march. By 
evening of the 17th, Lewis, with 1,150 men in good condition, had 
crossed the Ohio and gone into camp on the north side. Each man 
had ten days' supply of flour, a half pound of powder, and a pound and 
a half of bullets ; while to each company was assigned a pack-horse for 
the tents. Point Pleasant was left in command of Col. Fleming, who 
had been severely wounded in the battle, Captains Dickinson, Lock- 
ridge, Herbert, and Slaughter, and 278 men, few of whom were fit for 
service. On the 18th, Lewis, with Captain Arbuckle as guide, advanced 
towards the Shawnee towns, eighty miles distant in a straight line, and 
probably a hundred and twenty-five by the circuitous Indian trails. 
The army marched about eleven miles a day, frequently seeing hostile 
parties but engaging none. Reaching the salt licks near the head of 
the south branch of Salt Creek (in the present Lick township, Jackson 
county, O.), they descended that valley to the Scioto, and thence to a 

176 Withers' s Chronicles 

If before the opening of this campaign, the belief was 
prevalent, that to the conduct of emissaries from Great 
Britain, because of the contest then waging between her 
and her American colonies, the Indian depredations of 
that year, were mainly attributable ; that belief had be- 
come more general, and had received strong confirmation, 
from the more portentous aspect which that contest had 
assumed, prior to the battle at Point Pleasant. The de- 
struction of the tea at Boston had taken place in the 
March preceding. The Boston Port Bill, the signal for 
actual conflict between the colonies and mother country, 
had been received early in May. The house of Bur- 
gesses in Virginia, being in session at the time, recom- 
mended that the first of June, the day on which that 

prairie on Kinnikinnick (not Kilkenny) Creek, where was the freshly- 
deserted Indian village referred to above, by Withers. This was thir- 
teen miles south of Chillicothe (now Westfall). Here they were met, 
early on the 24th, by a messenger from his lordship, ordering them to 
halt, as a treaty was nearly concluded at Camp Charlotte. But Lewis's 
army had been fired on that morning, and the place was untenable for 
a camp in a hostile country, so he concluded to seek better ground. A 
few hours later another messenger came, again peremptorily ordering a 
halt, as the Shawnees had practically come to terms. Lewis now con- 
cluded to join the northern division in force, at Camp Charlotte, not 
liking to have the two armies separated in the face of a treacherous 
enemy ; but his guide mistook the trail, and took one leading directly 
to the Grenadier Squaw's Town. Lewis camped that night on the 
west bank of Congo Creek, two miles above its mouth, and five and a 
quarter miles from Chillicothe, with the Indian town half- way between. 
The Shawnees were now greatly alarmed and angered, and Dunmore 
himself, accompanied by the Delaware chief White Eyes, a trader, John 
Gibson, and fifty volunteers, rode over in hot haste that evening to stop 
Lewis, and reprimand him. His lordship was mollified by Lewis's ex- 
planations, but the latter's men, and indeed Dunmore's, were furious 
over being stopped when within sight of their hated quarry, and tradi- 
tion has it that it was necessary to treble the guards during the night 
to prevent Dunmore and White Eyes from being killed. The following 
morning (the 25th), his lordship met and courteously thanked Lewis's 
officers for their valiant service ; but said that now the Shawnees had 
acceded to his wishes, the further presence of the southern division 
might engender bad blood. Thus dismissed, Lewis led his army 
back to Point Pleasant, which was reached on the 28th. He left there 
a garrison of fifty men under Captain Russell, and then by companies 
the volunteers marched through the wilderness to their respective 
homes, where they disbanded early in November. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 177 

bill was to go into operation, be observed throughout 
the colony " as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, 
imploring the divine interposition to avert the heavy 
calamity which threatened destruction to their civil 
rights, and the evils of a civil war." In consequence 
of this recommendation and its accompanying resolutions, 
the Governor had dissolved the Assembly. The Legis- 
lature of Massachusetts had likewise passed declaratory 
resolutions, expressive of their sense of the state of pub- 
lic affairs and the designs of Parliament; and which led 
[132] to their dissolution also. The committee of corre- 
spondence at Boston, had framed and promulgated an 
agreement, which induced Governor Gage, to issue a 
proclamation, denouncing it as " an unlawful, hostile and 
traitorous combination, contrary to the allegiance due to 
the King, destructive of the legal authority of Parliament, 
and of the peace, good order, and safety of the com- 
munity ;" and requiring of the magistrates, to apprehend 
and bring to trial, all such as should be in any wise guilty 
of them. A congress, composed of delegates from the 
different colonies, and convened for the purpose " of unit- 
ing and guiding the councils, and directing the efforts of 
North America," had opened its session on the 4th of Sep- 
tember. In fine, the various elements of that tempest, 
which soon after overspread the thirteen united colonies, 
had been already developed, and were rapidly concentrating, 
before the orders for the retreat of the Southern division of 
the army, were issued by Lord Dunmore. How far these 
were dictated by a spirit of hostility to the cause of the 
colonies, and of subservience to the interests of Great 
Britain, in the approaching contest, may be inferred from 
his conduct during the whole campaign ; and the course 
pursued by him, on his return to the seat of government. 
If indeed there existed (as has been supposed,) between 
the Indians and the Governor from the time of his arrival 
with the Northern Division of the army at Fort Pitt, a 
secret and friendly understanding, looking to the almost 
certain result of the commotions which were agitating 
America, then was the battle at Point Pleasant, virtually 

178 Withers' s Chronicles 

the first in the series of those brilliant achievements 
which burst the bonds of British tyranny ; and the blood 
of Virginia, there nobly shed, was the first blood spilled 
in the sacred cause of American liberty. 1 

It has been already seen that Lord Dunmore failed to 
form a junction with General Lewis, at the mouth of the 
Great Kenhawa, agreeably to the plan for the campaign, 
as concerted at Williamsburg by the commanding officer 
of each division. No reason for changing the direction of 
his march, appears to have been assigned by him ; and 
others were left to infer his motives, altogether from cir- 

While at Fort Pitt Lord Dunmore was joined by the 
notorious Simon Girty, 2 who accompanied him from thence 
'till the close of the expedition. The subsequent conduct 
of this man, his attachment to the side of Great Britain, 
in her [133] attempts to fasten the yoke of slavery upon 
the necks of the American people, his withdrawal from 
the garrison at Fort Pitt while commissioners were there 
for the purpose of concluding a treaty with the Indians, 
as was stipulated in the agreement made with them by 
Dunmore, the exerting of his influence over them, to 
prevent the chiefs from attending there, and to win them 
to the cause of England, his ultimate joining the savages 
in the war which (very much from his instigation,) they 
waged against the border settlements, soon after, the 
horrid cruelties, and fiendish tortures inflicted on unfor- 

1 This is not the view of students in our own day, coolly looking at 
the affair from the distance of a hundred and twenty years. There now 
seems no room to doubt that Dunmore was thoroughly in earnest, that 
he prosecuted the war with vigor, and knew when to stop in order to 
secure the best possible terms. Our author wrote at a time when many 
heroes of Point Pleasant were still alive, and his neighbors; he re- 
flected their views, and the passions of the day. That it was, in view of 
the events then transpiring, the best policy to turn back the southern 
army, after the great battle, and not insist too closely on following up 
the advantage gained, seems now incontrovertible. R. G. T. 

* Butterfield's History of the Girtys (Cincinnati, 1890) is a valuable con- 
tribution to Western history. Simon, James, and George Girty were 
notorious renegade whites, who aided the Indians against the b orderers 
from 1778 to 1783; Simon and George were similarly active in the In- 
dian war of 1790-95 R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 179 

tunate white captives by his orders and connivance ; all 
combined to form an exact counterpart to the subsequent 
conduct of Lord Dunmore when exciting the negroes to 
join the British standard ; plundering the property of 
those who were attached to the cause of liberty, and ap- 
plying the brand of conflagration to the most flourishing 
town in Virginia. 

At Wheeling, as they were descending the river, the 
army delayed some days ; and while proceeding from 
thence to form a junction with the division under general 
Lewis, was joined, near the mouth of the Little Kenhawa, 
by the noted John Connoly, of great fame as a tory. 

Of this man, Lor^ Dunmore thence forward became 
an intimate associate ; and while encamped at the mouth 
of Hock Hocking seemed to make him his confidential 
adviser. It was here too, only seventy miles distant from 
the head quarters of General Lewis, that it was determined 
to leave the boats and canoes and proceed by land to the 
Chilicothe towns. 1 

The messengers, despatched by Lord Dunmore to ap- 
prize the lower army of this change of determination, were 
Indian traders ; one of whom being asked, if he supposed 
the Indians would venture to give battle to the superior 
force of the whites, replied that they certainly would, and 

1 Upon leaving Pittsburg, where the governor held a council with 
several Delaware and Mingo chiefs, to whom he recited the outrages 
perpetrated by the Shawnees since Bouquet's treaty of 1764 the north- 
ern division divided into two wings. One, 700 strong, under Dunmore, 
descended the river in boats ; the other 500 went across the " pan-han- 
dle" by land, with the cattle, and both rendezvoused, September 30th, 
at Wheeling, 91 miles below Pittsburg. Next day, Crawford resumed 
his march along the south bank of the Ohio, to a point opposite the 
mouth of Big Hockhocking, 107 miles farther down. Here the men, 
the 200 bullocks, and the 50 pack-horses swam the Ohio, and just above 
the Big Hockhocking (the site of the present Hockingport) erected 
a blockhouse and stockade, which they called Fort Gower, in honor of 
the English earl of that name. A part of the earthwork can still (1894) 
be seen in the garden of a Hockingport residence. Dunmore's party, in 
100 canoes and pirogues, arrived a few days later. While at Fort Gower, 
he was joined by the Delaware chiefs, White Eyes and John Montour, 
the former of whom was utilized as an agent to negotiate with the 
Shawnees R. G. T. 

180 Witkers's Chronicles 

that Lewis' division would soon see his prediction verified. 1 
This was on the day previous to the engagement. On the 
return of these men, on the evening of the same day, they 
must have seen the Indian army which made the attack on 
the next morning; and the belief was general on the day 
of battle, that they had communicated to the Indians, the 
present strength and expected reinforcement of the south- 
ern division. It has also been said that on the evening of 
the 10th of October, while [134] Dunmore, Connoly and 
one or two others were walking together, his Lordship 
remarked "by this time General Lewis has warm work." 2 

The acquaintance formed by the Governor with Con- 
noly, in the ensuing summer was further continued, and at 
length ripened into one of the most iniquitous conspira- 
cies, that ever disgraced civilized man. 

In July, 1775, Counoly presented himself to Lord 
Duumore with proposals, well calculated to gain the favor 
of the exasperated Governor, and between them a plan 
was soon formed, which seemed to promise the most cer- 
tain success. Assurances of ample rewards from Lord 
Dunmore, were transmitted to such officers of the militia 
on the frontiers of Virginia, as were believed to be friendly 
to the royal cause, on putting themselves under the com- 
mand of Connoly; whose influence with the Indians, was 

1 This was William McCulloch. R. G. T. 

1 The authority for this is Stuart's Indian Wars, p. 56. Abraham 
Thomas, in his Sketches, relates that the governor, placing his ear at the 
surface of the river, said he thought he heard the firing of guus ; and 
Thomas, then a young militiaman, was asked to do likewise, and re- 
ported that it was the rattle of musketry. The distance across country 
to Point Pleasant was but twenty-eight miles, but by the river windings 
was sixty-six. These anecdotes have been related as proof that Dunmore 
desired Lewis beaten. White Eyes had notified the governor that a con- 
flict was expected, though he had reported a much smaller Indian army 
than Lewis's ; hence his lordship had no fear of the result. Had he known 
that the opposing forces were equal in number, and that the whites had 
been surprised, he doubtless would have sent relief. Knowing the 
Shawnee warriors were away from home, fighting Lewis, whom he 
had reason to suppose was very well able to handle them, he determined 
to advance inland to the deserted towns on the Soioto and destroy their 
houses and crops. He was upon this errand when met and stopped by 
the messengers of peace. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 181 

to ensure their co-operation against the friends of America. 
To perfect this scheme, it was necessary to communicate 
with General Gage ; and about the middle of September, 
Connoly, with despatches from Dunmore, set off for Bos- 
ton, and in the course of a few weeks returned, with in- 
structions from the Governor of Massachusetts, which de- 
veloped their whole plan. Connoly was invested with the 
rank of Colonel of a regiment, (to be raised among those 
on the frontiers, who favored the cause of Great Britain,) 
with which he was to proceed forthwith to Detroit, where 
he was to receive a considerable reinforcement, and be sup- 
plied with cannon, muskets and ammunition. He was 
then to visit the different Indian nations, enlist them in 
the projected enterprise, and rendezvous his whole force 
at Fort Pitt. From thence he was to cross the Alleghany 
mountain, and marching through Virginia join Lord Dun- 
more, on the 20th of the ensuing April, at Alexandria. 

This scheme, (the execution of which would at once, 
have laid waste a considerable portion of Virginia, and 
ultimately perhaps, nearly the whole state,) was frustrated 
by the taking of Connoly, and all the particulars of it, 
made known. This development, served to shew the vil- 
lainous connexion existing between Dunmore and Connoly, 
and to corroborate the suspicion of General Lewis and 
many of his officers, that the conduct of the former, dur- 
ing the campaign of 1774, was [135] dictated by any thing 
else than the interest and well being of the colony of 

This suspicion was farther strengthened by the readi- 
ness with which Lord Dunmore embraced the overturea 
of peace, and the terms on which a treaty was concluded 
with them; while the encamping of his army, without en- 
trenchments, in the heart of the Indian country, and in 
the immediate adjacency of the combined forces of the 
Indian nations of Ohio, would indicate, that there must 
have been a friendly understanding between him and 
them. To have relied solely on the bravery and good 
conduct of his troops, would have been the height of im- 
prudence. His army was less than that, which had been 
scarcely delivered from the fury of a body of savages in- 

182 Withers s Chronicles 

ferior in number, to the one with which he would have 
had to contend ; and it would have been folly in him to 
suppose, that he could achieve with a smaller force, what 
required the utmost exertions of General Lewis and his 
brave officers, to effect with a greater one. 1 

When the Northern division of the army resumed its 
march for Chilicothe, it left the greater part of its pro- 
visions in a block house which had been erected during its 
stay at the mouth of the Hockhocking, under the care of 
Captain Froman with a small party of troops to garrison 
it. On the third day after it left Fort Gore (the block 
house at the mouth of Hockhocking) a white man by the 
name of Elliott came to Governor Dunmore, with a re- 
quest from the Indians that he would withdraw the army 
from their country, and appoint commissioners to meet 
their chiefs at Pittsburg to confer about the terms of a 
treaty. To this request a reply was given, that the Gov- 
ernor was well inclined to make peace, and was willing 
that hostilities should cease ; but as he was then so near 
their towns, and all the chiefs of the different nations 
were at that time with the army, it would be more con- 
convenient to negotiate then, than at a future period. He 
then named a place at which he would encamp, and listen 
to their proposals ; and immediately despatched a courier 
to General Lewis with orders for his return. 2 

1 The two wings of the white army had about the same strength 
1100 under Duninore, and 1150 (after leaving Point Pleasant) under 
Lewis. The fighting quality was also the same, in both. It is to be re- 
membered that in the army under Dunmore there was very little dis- 
content at the issue, and at the close of the campaign the men heartily 
thanked his lordship for his valuable services in behalf of the people. 
They did this, too, at a time when they knew from Eastern news re- 
ceived in camp, that the Revolution was near at hand, and Dunmore 
must soon be fighting against them in behalf of his royal master. 
R. G. T. 

* Dunmore had, through White Eyes, summoned the Shawnee chiefs 
to treat with him at Fort Gower (not Gore), but they had declined to 
come in. He then set out, October llth, to waste their towns on the 
Scioto, as previously noted, leaving the fort in charge of Captain Kuy- 
kendall (not Froman), with whom remained the disabled and the 
beeves. Each man on the expedition carried flour for sixteen days. 
Just after the Point Pleasant battle, Lewis had dispatched a messenger 

Of Border Warfare. 183 

The Indian spies reporting that General Lewis had 
disregarded these orders, and was still marching rapidly 
towards their towns, the Indians became apprehensive of 
the result; and one of their chiefs (the White Eves) 
waited on Lord Dunmore in person, and complained that 
the "Long Knives" [136] were coming upon them and 
would destroy all their towns. Dunmore then, in com- 
pany with White Eyes, visited the camp of General Lewis, 
and prevailed with him, as we have seen, to return across 
the Ohio. 

In a few days after this, the Northern division of the 
army approached within eight miles of Chilicothe, and en- 
camped on the plain, at the place appointed for the chiefs 
to meet without entrenchments or breast works, or any 
protection, save the vigilance of the sentinels and the 
bravery of the troops. 1 On the third day from the halting 
of the army eight chiefs, with Cornstalk at their head, 
came into camp ; and when the interpreters made known 
who Cornstalk was, Lord Dunmore addressed them, and 
from a written memorandum, recited the various infrac- 
tions, on the part of the Indians, of former treaties, and 
different murders, unprovokedly committed by them. To 
all this Cornstalk replied, mixing a good deal of recrimi- 
nation with the defence of his red brethren ; and when he 

to his lordship with news of the affair ; Dunmore's messenger to Lewis, 
with instructions to the latter to join him en route, crossed Lewis's ex- 
press on the way. The messenger from Lewis found that his lordship 
had marched up the Big Hockhocking valley for the Scioto, and hurried 
after him. The governor was overtaken at the third camp out (west 
of the present Nelsonville, Athens county, O.), and the good news 
caused great joy among the soldiers. October 17th, Dunmore arrived 
at what he styled Camp Charlotte (on the northern bank of Sippo 
Creek, Pickaway county, eight miles east of Chillicothe, in view of 
Pickaway Plains), and here the treaty of peace was concluded. R. G. T. 
1 Doddridge's Notes says that the camp was surrounded by a breast- 
work of fallen trees, and an entrenchment, and Roosevelt's Winning of 
the West follows him. But Dr. Draper was distinctly told (in 1846-51) by 
two survivors of the campaign, Samuel Murphy and John Grim, that 
Withers's account is correct ; and this is confirmed in Whittlesey's Fugi- 
tive Essays. In the center of the field, a building of poles was erected, 
in which to hold the council ; around this, the army encamped. A large 
white oak having been peeled, Dunmore wrote upon it in red chalk, 
" Camp Charlotte,-" thus honoring the then English queen. R. G. T. 

184 Withers' s Chronicles 

had concluded, a time was specified when the chiefs of the 
different nations should come in, and proceed to the nego- 
tiation of a treaty. 

Before the arrival of that period, Cornstalk came 
alone to the camp, and acquainted the Governor that none 
of the Mingoes would attend ; and that he was apprehen- 
sive there could not a full council be convened. Duumore 
then requested that he would convoke as many chiefs of 
the other nations as he could, and bring them to the coun- 
cil fire without delay, as he was anxious to close the war 
at once ; and that if this could not be effected peaceably, 
he should be forced to resume hostilities. Meantime two 
interpreters were despatched to Logan, 1 by Lord Dunmore, 
requesting his attendance ; but Logan replied, that " he 
was a warrior, not a councillor, and would not come."* 

On the night after the return of the interpreters to 
camp [137] Charlotte (the name of Dunmore's encamp- 

1 Logan was the Mingo chief, the massacre of whose family at Ba- 
ker's Bottom, the previous April, has already been described. He had 
just returned (October 21) from a foray on the Holston border, bringing 
several scalps and three prisoners, when the trader Gibson and the 
scout Simon Girty were sent to him by his lordship. R. G. T. 

* Colonel Benjamin Wilson, Sen. (then an officer in Dunmore's 
army, and whose narrative of the campaign furnished the facts which 
are here detailed) says that he conversed freely with one of the inter- 
preters (Nicholson) in regard to the mission to Logan, and that neither 
from the interpreter, nor any other one during the campaign, did he 
hear of the charge preferred in Logan's speech against Captain Cresap, 
as being engaged in the affair at Yellow creek. Captain Cresap was an 
officer in the division of the army under Lord Dunmore ; and it would 
seem strange indeed, if Logan's speech had been made public, at camp 
Charlotte, and neither he, (who was so materially interested in it, and 
could at once have proved the falsehood of the allegation which it con- 
tained,) nor Colonel Wilson, (who was present during the whole confer- 
ence between Lord Dunmore and the Indian chiefs, and at the time 
when the speeches were delivered sat immediately behind and close to 
Dunmore,) should have heard nothing of it until years after. 

Comment by R. G. T. Withers thus shortly disposes of the famous 
speech by Logan, which schoolboys have been reciting for nearly a 
hundred years as one of the best specimens extant, of Indian eloquence. 
The evidence in regard to the speech, which was undoubtedly recited 
to Gibson, and by him written out for Lord Dunmore's perusal, and 
later " improved " by Jefferson, is clearly stated in Roosevelt's Winning 
of the West, I., app. iii. 

Of Border Warfare. 185 

ment,) Major William Crawford, with three hundred men, 
left the main army about midnight, on an excursion 
against a small Mingo village, not far off. Arriving there 
before day, the detachment surrounded the town ; and on 
the first coming out of the Indians from their huts, there 
was some little firing on the part of the whites, by which 
one squaw and a man were killed the others about 20 in 
number were all made prisoners and taken to the camp; 
where they remained until the conclusion of a treaty. 
Every thing about the village, indicated an intention of 
their speedily deserting it. 1 

Shortly after Cornstalk and two other chiefs, made 
their appearance at camp Charlotte, and entered into a ne- 
gotiation which soon terminated in an agreement to for- 
bear all farther hostilities against each other, to give up 
the prisoners then held by them, and to attend at Pitts- 
burgh, with as many of the Indian chiefs as could be pre- 
vailed on to meet the commissioners from Virginia, in the 
ensuing summer, where a treaty was to be concluded and 
ratified Dunmore requiring hostages, to guarantee the 
performance of those stipulations, on the part of the In- 

If in the battle at Point Pleasant, Cornstalk mani- 
fested the bravery and generalship of a mighty captain ; 
in the negotiations at camp Charlotte, he displayed the 
skill of a statesman, joined to powers of oratory, rarely, 
if ever surpassed. With the most patriotic devotion to 
his country, and in a strain of most commanding elo- 
quence, he recapitulated the accumulated wrongs, which 
had oppressed their fathers, and which were oppressing 
them. Sketching in lively colours, the once happy and 
powerful condition of the Indians, he placed in striking 

1 The reason for the attack was, that the Mingoee were implacable, 
and Dunmore had learned that instead of coming into the treaty they 
purposed retreating to the Great Lakes with their prisoners and stolen 
horses. This Mingo village was Seekonk (sometimes called the Hill Town), 
30 or 40 miles up the Scioto. Crawford left Camp Charlotte the night 
of the 25th, and surprised the town early in the morning of the 27th. 
Six were killed, several wounded, and fourteen captured ; the rest 
escaping into the forest. Crawford burned several Mingo towns in the 
neighborhood. R. G. T. 

186 Wit hers' s Chronicles 

contrast, their present fallen fortunes and unhappy destiny. 
Exclaiming against the perfidiousness of the whites, and 
the dishonesty of the traders, he proposed as the basis of 
a treaty, that no persons should be permitted to carry on a 
commerce with the Natives, for individual profit; but that 
[138] their white brother should send them such articles 
as they needed, by the hands of honest men, who were 
to exchange them at a fair price, for their skins and furs ; 
and that no spirit of any kind should be sent among them, 
as from the "fire water" of the whites, proceeded evil to 
the Indians. 1 

This truly great man, is said to have been opposed to 
the war from its commencement ; and to have proposed 
on the eve of the battle at Point Pleasant, to send in a 
flag, and make overtures for peace ; but this proposal was 
overruled by the general voice of the chiefs. When a 
council was first held after the defeat of the Indians, Corn- 
stalk, reminding them of their late ill success, and that 
the Long Knives were still pressing on them, asked what 
should be then done. But no one answered. Rising 
again, he proposed that the women and children should 
be all killed; and that the warriors should go out and 
fight, until they too were slain. Still no one answered. 
Then, said he, striking his tomahawk into the council 
post, " I will go and make peace." This was done, and 
the war of 1774 concluded. 

1 In remarking on the appearance and manner of Cornstalk while 
speaking, Colonel Wilson says, " When he arose, he was in no wise con- 
fused or daunted, but spoke in a distinct, and audible voice, without 
stammering or repetition, and with peculiar emphasis. His looks while 
addressing Dunmore, were truly grand and majestic ; yet graceful and 
attractive. I have heard the first orators in Virginia, Patrick Henry 
and Richard Henry Lee, but never have I heard one whose powers of 
delivery surpassed those of Cornstalk on that occasion." 

Of Border Warfare. 187 


Upon the close of the campaign of 1774, there suc- 
ceeded a short period of perfect quiet, and of undisturbed 
repose from savage invasion, along the borders of North 
Western Virginia. The decisive battle of the 10th of 
October, repressed incursion for a time, and taught those 
implacable enemies of her citizens, their utter inability, 
alone and unaided, to maintain a contest of arms, against 
the superior power of Virginia. They saw that in any 
future conflict with this colony, her belligerent operations 
would no longer be confined to the mere purposes of de- 
fence ; but that war would be waged in their own country, 
and their own towns become the theatre of its action. Had 
the leading objects of the Dunmore campaign, been fully 
accomplished, had the contemplated junction of the dif- 
ferent divisions of the army taken place ; had its com- 
bined forces extended their march into the Indian terri- 
tory, and effected the proposed reduction of the Chilicothe, 
and other towns on the Scioto and Sandusky, it would 
have been long indeed, before the frontier settlements, be- 
came exposed to savage inroad. A failure to effect these 
things however, left the Indians comparatively at liberty, 
and prepared to renew invasion, and revive their cruel and 
bloody deeds, whenever a savage thirst for vengeance 
should incite them to action, and the prospect of achieving 
them with impunity, be open before them. In the then 
situation of our country, this prospect was soon presented 
to them. 

The contest between Great Britain and her American 
colonies, which had been for some time carried on with in- 
creasing warmth, was ripening rapidly into war. The 
events of every day, more and more confirmed the belief, 
that the " unconditional submission " of the colonies, was 
the object of the parent state; and that to accomplish this, 
she was [140] prepared to desolate the country by a civil 

188 Wit hers' s Chronicles 

war, and imbrue her hands in the blood of its citizens. 
This state of things the Indians knew, would favor the 
consummation of their hopes. Virginia, having to apply 
her physical strength to the repulsion of other enemies, 
could not be expected to extend her protecting aegis over 
the remote and isolated settlements on her borders. These 
would have to depend on themselves alone, for resistance 
to ruthless irruption, and exemption from total annihila- 
tion. The Indians well knew the weakness of those settle- 
ments, and their consequent incapacity to vie in open con- 
flict with the overwhelming force of their savage foes; and 
their heriditary resentment to the whites prompted them 
to take advantage of that weakness, to wreak this resent- 
ment, and involve them once more in hostilities. 

Other circumstances too, combined in their operation, 
to produce this result. The plan of Lord Dunmore and 
others, to induce the Indians to co-operate with the En- 
glish in reducing Virginia to subjection, and defeated by 
the detection and apprehension of Connoly, was soon after 
resumed on a more extensive scale. British agents were 
busily engaged from Canada to the Gulph of Mexico, in en- 
deavoring by immediate presents and the promise of future 
reward, to excite the savages to a war upon the western 
frontiers. To accomplish this object, no means which were 
likely to be of any avail, were neglected to be used. Grat- 
ified resentment and the certainty of plunder, were held up 
to view as present consequences of this measure ; and the 
expulsion of the whites, and the repossession, by the Na- 
tives, of the country from which their fathers had been 
ejected, as its ultimate result. Less cogent motives might 
have enlisted them on the side of Great Britain. These 
were too strong to be resisted by them, and too powerful 
to be counteracted by any course of conduct, which the 
colonies could observe towards them ; and they became en- 
snared by the delusive bait, and the insidious promises 
which accompanied it. 

There were in the colonies too, many persons, who 
from principle or fear, were still attached to the cause of 
Great Britain ; and who not only, did not sanction the op- 
position of their country to the supremacy of Parliament, 

Of Border Warfare. 189 

but were willing in any wise to lend their aid to the royal 
cause. Some of those disaffected Americans, (as they were 
at first denominated) who resided on the frontiers, foresee- 
ing the [141] attachment of the Indians to the side of 
Britain, and apprehensive that in their inroads, the friends 
as well as the enemies of that country, might, from the 
difficulty of discriminating, be exposed to savage fury ; and 
at the same time, sensible that they had become obnoxious 
to a majority of their neighbors, who were perhaps, too 
much inclined to practice summary modes of punishment, 
sought a refuge among the Indians, from those impending 
evils. In some instances, these persons were under the 
influence of the most rancorous and vindictive passions, 
and when once with the savages, strove to infuse those 
passions into their breasts, and stimulate them to the repe- 
tition of those enormities, which had previously, so ter- 
ribly annoyed the inhabitants of the different frontiers. 1 
Thus wrought upon, their inculcated enmity to the Anglo- 
Americans generally, roused them to action, and the dis- 
sonant notes of the war song, resounded in their villages. 
For a while indeed, they refrained from hostilities against 
North Western Virginia. It was however, but to observe 
the progress of passing events, that they might act against 
the mountain borders, simultaneously with the British on 
the Atlantic coast; as a premature movement on their 
part, might, while Virginia was yet at liberty to bear 
down upon them with concentrated forces, bring upon 
their towns the destruction which had so appallingly 
threatened them after the battle at Point Pleasant. 

But though the inhabitants on the Virginia frontiers, 
enjoyed a momentary respite from savage warfare; yet 
were the Indians not wholly unemployed in deeds of ag- 
gression. The first attempt to occupy Kentucky, had been 
the signal of hostilities in 1774; and the renewed endeav- 
ors to form establishments in it, in 1775, induced their 

1 Chief among the fomenters of disorder were the renegades Simon 
Girty, Matthew Elliott, and Alexander McKee. The dastardly deeds of 
this trio are fully set forth in Butterfield's History of the Girtys, an im- 
portant work to all students of the annals of the West during the Revo- 
lutionary War. R. G. T. 

190 Withers' s Chronicles 

continuance, and brought on those who were engaged in 
effecting them, all the horrors of savage warfare. 

Upon the close of the campaign under Lord Dun- 
more, Kentucky became more generally known. James 
Harrod, with those who had associated themselves with 
him in making a settlement in that country and aided in 
the erection of the fort at Harrodsburg, joined the army 
of General Lewis at Point Pleasant ; and when, after the 
treaty of Camp Charlotte, the army was disbanded, many 
of the soldiers and some of the officers, enticed by the 
description given of it by Harrod, returned to south West- 
ern Virginia, through that country. 1 The result of their 

1 James Hatred's father emigrated from England to Virginia, about 
1734, and was one of the first settlers on the Shenandoah, in the Valley 
of Virginia. One of his sons, Samuel, accompanied Michael Stoner on 
his famous Western hunting and exploring trip, in 1767 ; another, 
William, born at the new family seat, at Big Cove, in what is now Bed- 
ford County, Pa., served with distinction under George Rogers Clark. 
James, born in 1742, was twelve years old when his father died, leaving 
a large family on an exposed frontier, at the opening of the French and 
Indian War. In November, 1755, a raid was made on the Big Cove set- 
tlement, by the Delaware chief Shingiss (p. 45, note), but the Harrods 
were among the few families who escaped unharmed to Fort Littleton. 
When James was sixteen years of age he served with his brother Will- 
iam on Forbes's campaign, and very likely saw further service during 
that war. In 1772, when he had attained wide celebrity on the bor- 
der as an adept in woodcraft, he helped William settle on Ten Mile 
Creek, a tributary of the Monongahela; and in 1773 he and several 
other explored Kentucky, returning home by way of Greenbrier River. 
We have seen (p. 152, note) that he was surveying the site of Harrods- 
burg in 1774, when warned by Boone and Stoner. Retiring with his 
men to the Holston, he and they joined Col. Christian's regiment, but 
arrived at Point Pleasant a few hours after the battle of October 10. 
Returning to his abandoned Kentucky settlement March 18, 1775, a 
fortnight before Boonesborough was founded, he was chosen a delegate 
to the Transylvania convention, and became a man of great prominence 
in the Kentucky colony. In 1779 he commanded a company on Bow- 
man's campaign, and the year following was a captain on Clark's Indian 
campaign ; declining a majorehip, he served as a private on Clark's 
campaign of 1782. He was a member of the Kentucky convention (at 
Danville) of December, 1784, and at one time represented Kentucky in 
the Virginia legislature. In February, 1792, having made his will, he 
set out from Washington, Ky., with two men, in search of a silver 
mine reported to be at the Three Forks of the Kentucky. No more was 
heard of him or his companions, and it is still the belief of the family 

Of Border Warfare. 191 

examination of it, induced many to migrate thither im- 
mediately ; and in 1775, families began to take up their 
residence in it. 

At that time, the only white persons residing in Ken- 
tucky, were those at Harrod's fort ; and for a while, emi- 
grants to that country [142] established themselves in its 
immediate vicinity, that they might derive protection from 
its walls, from the marauding irruptions of Indians. Two 
other establishments were, however, soon made, and be- 
came, as well as Harrod's, rallying points for land advent- 
urers, and for many of those, whose enterprising spirits 
led them, to make their home in that wilderness. The 
first of these was that at Boonesborongh, and which was 
made, under the superintendence of Daniel Boone. 

The prospect of amassing great wealth, by the pur- 
chase of a large body of land from the Indians, for a 
comparatively trifling consideration, induced some gentle- 
men in North Carolina, to form a company, and endeavor 
by negotiation to effect such purpose. This association 
was known under the title of Henderson and company ; 
and its object was, the acquisition of a considerable por- 
tion of Kentucky. 1 The first step, necessary towards the 

that the latter murdered him. He was survived by his wife and a 
daughter, and left a large landed estate. Harrod, although unlettered, 
was a man of fine presence and many sterling qualities, and made a 
strong impress on his generation. He is still remembered in Kentucky 
as one of the worthiest pioneers of that state. R. G. T. 

1 -The company successively called The Louisa Company, Hender- 
son & Co., and The Transylvania Company was composed of Col. 
Richard Henderson, Col. John Williams, Thomas Hart, Col. David 
Hart, Capt. Nathaniel Hart, Col. John Luttsell, James Hogg, William 
Johnston, and Leonard Henley Bullock. 

Henderson's paternal great-grandfather was a Scottish immigrant, 
and one of his grandmothers was Welsh. The family settled in Han- 
over County, Va., where Richard, son of Samuel Henderson, was born 
April 20, 1735. Samuel moved with his family to North Carolina, in 
1745, and became sheriff of Granville County. Richard had the educa- 
tion of a rural youth of good station, and became a lawyer. In 1767 he 
was appointed one of the two associate justices of the superior court of 
the colony, and served with great credit for six years, when the court 
was abolished. During professional visits to Salisbury, Henderson heard 
frequently chiefly through the brothers Hart of the exploits of Boone, 
and the latter's glowing reports of the beauty and fertility of Kentucky. 

19'2 Withers' 's Chronicles 

accomplishment of this object, was, to convene a council 
of the Indians ; and as the territory sought to be acquired, 
did not belong, in individual property to any one nation 

Relying implicitly on Boone's statements, these four men energetically 
resolved to settle the country. In the autumn of 1774, Henderson and 
Nathaniel Hart visited the Cherokees to ascertain if they would sell 
their claims to Kentucky, and receiving a favorable reply agreed to 
meet the Indians in treaty council at the Sycamore Shoals, on Watauga 
River. On their return home, they were accompanied by a wise old 
Indian (Little Carpenter), and a young buck and his squaw, delegates 
to see that proper goods were purchased for the proposed barter. These 
goods were bought in December at Cross Creek, now Fayetteville, N. C., 
and forwarded by wagons to Watauga. 

Boone was then sent out to collect the Indians, and when the coun- 
cil opened (March 14, 1775) had twelve hundred assembled at the Syca- 
more Shoals half of them warriors. The council proceeded slowly, 
with much characteristic vacillating on the part of the Indians ; but on 
the third day (March 17) the deed of sale was signed to what came to 
be known as "the great grant:" The tract from the mouth of the Ken- 
tucky (or Louisa) River to the head spring of its most northerly fork ; 
thence northeasterly to the top of Powell's Mountain ; thence westerly 
and then northwesterly to the head spring of the most southerly 
branch of the Cumberland; thence down that stream, including all its 
waters, to the Ohio, and thence up the Ohio to the mouth of the Ken- 
tucky. The Indians were conscious that they had sold what did not 
belong to them ; and Dragging Canoe and other chiefs were outspoken in 
their opinion that the whites would have difficulty in settling the tract. 
The Indians were much dissatisfied with the division of the goods. 
These " filled a house " and cost 10,000 sterling, yet when distributed 
among so many greedy savages each had but a small share. One war- 
rior, who received but a shirt for his portion, said he " could have shot 
more game in one day on the land ceded, than would pay for so slight 
a garment." 

Governors Martin, of North Carolina, and Dunmore, of Virginia, 
issued proclamations against the purchase, as contrary to the royal 
proclamation of 1763. But those who were present at the treaty 
among them such prominent borderers as Daniel Boone, James Robert- 
son, John Sevier, Isaac Shelby, Felix Walker, the Bledsoes, Richard 
Callaway, William Twitty, William Cocke, and Nathaniel Henderson- 
were heedless of such proclamations, and eager to become settlers un- 
der the company's liberal offer made to them on the spot : for each man 
who assisted in the first settlement, and went out and raised a crop of 
corn that year, a grant of 500 acres for 5 sterling, clear of all charges. 

Boone, as the company's agent, started out at once (March 10) -with 
twenty men, soon reinforced to thirty ; with their hatchets they blazed 
a bridle path over Cumberland Gap, and across Cumberland, Laurel, 
and Rockcastle rivers, to the banks of the Kentucky, where, after a 
running fieht with the Indians, they arrived April 1, and founded 

Of Border Warfare. 193 

of them, it was deemed advisable to convoke the chiefs of 
the different nations south of the Ohio river. A time was 
then appointed at which these were to assemble ; and it 
became necessary to engage an agent, possessing the re- 
quisite qualifications, to attend the council, on behalf of 
Henderson and company, and to transact the business for 
them. The fame of Daniel Boone which had reached 
them, recommended him, as one eminently qualified to 
discharge the duties devolving on an agent; and he was 
employed in that capacity. At the appointed period, the 
council was held, and a negotiation commenced, which re- 
sulted in the transfer, to Henderson and company, of the 
title of the southern Indians to the land lying south of the 
Kentucky river, and north of the Tennessee. 1 

Boonesborough. Henderson, at the head of thirty men conveying the 
wagons and supplies, arrived at Boonesborough April 20 ; with him 
were Luttsell and Nathaniel Hart. May 23, there met at Boonesbor- 
ough the Legislature of Transylvania, in which sat eighteen delegates 
from the little group of four frontier forts, all established at about this 
time Harrodsburg, Boiling Springs, and St. Asaph's (or Logan's Sta- 
tion), lying some thirty or more miles southwest of Boonesborough, the 
capital of this little western colony. Withers does not mention this 
first legislative assembly held in the Mississippi Valley. It is an inter- 
esting and suggestive episode in American commonwealth-building, and 
deserves careful study. Roosevelt gives it admirable treatment, in his 
Winning of the West. The journal of the convention is given at length 
in the appendix to the second edition of Butler's Kentucky; Hall's 
Sketches of the West, L, pp. 264, 265; Louisville Literary News- Letter, June 
6, 1840 ; and Hazard's U. S. Register, iii., pp. 25-28. Henderson's MS. 
Journal is in the possession of the Wisconsin Historical Society, and has 
never yet been published. 

Virginia and North Carolina did not favor an independent gov- 
ernment in Kentucky, and annulled the title of the Henderson com- 
pany but Virginia (1795) granted the proprietors in recompense 200,- 
000 acres on Powell's and Clinch rivers. 

We hear little more of Richard Henderson, in pioneer history. In 
1779, he was one of the North Carolina commissioners to extend the 
western boundary between that State and Virginia. During the winter 
of 1789-90 he was at the French Lick on Cumberland, where he opened 
A land office. His last public service was in 1781, when a member of 
the North Carolina house of commons. He died at his country seat in 
Granville County, N. C., January 30, 1785, in his fiftieth year. Two of 
his sons, Archibald and Leonard, attained eminence at the bar of their 
native State. R. G. T. 

1 Among Dr. Draper's manuscripts I find this succinct review of the 

194 Withers' s Chronicles 

Boone was then placed at the head of a party of en- 
terprising men, sent to open a road from the Holstein set- 
tlement, through the wilderness, to the Kentucky river, 

aboriginal claims to Kentucky : " There is some reason to suppose that 
the Catawbas may once have dwelt upon the Kentucky River ; that 
stream, on some of the ancient maps published a hundred years ago, 
was called the ' Cuttawa or Cawtaba River.' But that tribe of Indians, 
so far as we know, never laid any claim to the territory. 

" It would appear from the historical evidences extant, that the 
Shawanoes were the earliest occupants of Kentucky of whom we have 
any certain knowledge. Golden, the primitive historian of the Iroquois 
Confederacy, informs us, that when the French commenced the first 
settlement of Canada in 1603, the Five Nations, who then resided near 
the present locality of Montreal, were at war with the powerful Adi- 
rondacks, who at that time lived three hundred miles above the Three 
Rivers, in Canada. The Iroquois found it difficult to withstand the 
vigorous attacks of their enemies, whose superior hardihood was to be 
attributed to their constant devotion to the chase, while the Iroquois 
had been chiefly engaged in the more peaceful occupation of planting 
corn. Compelled to give way before their haughty foes, the confeder- 
ates had recourse to the exercise of arms, in order, if possible, to re- 
trieve their martial character and prowess. To raise the spirits of their 
people, the Iroquois leaders turned their warriors against the Satanas 
or Shawanoes, 'who then,' says Golden, 'lived on the banks of the 
lakes,' or, as other historians assert, in Western New York, and south 
of Lake Erie, and soon subdued and drove them out of the country. 
The Shawanoes then retired to the Ohio, along which and its tributa- 
ries they planted numerous settlements. Some of them, however, when 
driven from Western New York, seem to have located somewhere on 
the Delaware, for De Laet, in 1624, speaks of Sawanoos residing on that 

" The Jesuit Relations of 1661-62, allude to their residence in the 
West under the name of Ontouagannha or Chaouanons ; they seem to 
have been the same as were called Tongorias, Erighecks, Erieehonons, 
Eries, or Gats, by the early missionaries and historians ; and the same, 
moreover, known in the traditions of the Senecas as Gah-kwahs, who 
resided on Eighteen Mile Creek, a few miles southwest of Buffalo, in 
Western New York, which the Senecas still call Gah-kwah-gig-a-ah 
Creek, which means the place where the Gah-kwahs lived. In 1672, the 
Shawanoes and their confederates in the Ohio Valley me.t with a disas- 
trous overthrow by the Five Nations at Sandy Island, just below the 
Falls of Ohio, where large numbers of human bones were still to be 
seen at the first settlement of the country. The surviving Shawanoes 
must then have retired still farther down the Ohio, and settled probably 
in the western part of Kentucky ; and Marquette, in 1673, speaks of 
their having twenty-three villages in one district, and fifteen in another, 
all lying quite near each other. At length the Shawanoes departed 
from Kentucky, and seem to have gone to the upper part of the Caro- 

Of Border Warfare. 195 

and to take possession of the company's purchase. When 
within fifteen miles of the termination of their journey, 
they were attacked by a body of northern Indians, who 
killed two of Boone's comrades, and wounded two others. 

linas, and to the coast of Florida, and ever after proved a migratory 
people. They were evidently ' subdued,' as Golden, Evans, and Pow- 
nall inform us, and the decisive battle was fought at Sandy Island, where 
a vital blow was given to the balance of power on the Ohio, which de- 
cided finally the fall of Kentucky with its ancient inhabitants. 

" It was this conquest that gave to the powerful Iroquois all the 
title they ever acquired to Kentucky. At the peace of Ryswick, in 
1697, their right to their western conquests was fully acknowledged ; 
and at the treaty of Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, in 1744, they ceded to 
Virginia all their lands west of that colony. In 1752, the Shawanoes 
and other western tribes, at Logstown on the Ohio, confirmed the Lan- 
caster treaty, and sold their claim to the country south of the Ohio ; 
and, at the treaty of Fort Stanwix, in 1768, the Six Nations made a new 
cession of their claim to Kentucky as low as the Cherokee or Tennessee 
River. Up to this period, the Cherokees never so much as thought of 
contesting with the Iroquois their claim to the Kentucky country ; for 
some of the visiting Cherokees, while on their route to attend the Fort 
Stanwix treaty, killed game for their subsistence, and on their arrival 
at Fort Stanwix, tendered the skins to the Six Nations, saying, ' They 
are yours, we killed them after passing the Big River,' the name by 
which they had always designated the Tennessee. But probably dis- 
covering that other Indian nations were driving a good business by 
disposing of their distant land rights, the Cherokees managed to hatch 
up some sort of claim, which they, in part, relinquished to Virginia, at 
the treaty of Lochaber in 1770 ; and when Col. Donelson ran the line 
the following year, the boundary was fixed, at the suggestion of the 
Cherokee deputies, on the Kentucky River as the south-western line, as 
they delighted, hey said, in natural landmarks. This considerably en- 
larged the cession, for which they received an additional compensation. 

"In 1772, the Shawanoes made no claim to Kentucky; and at the 
treaty of Camp Charlotte, in October, 1774, they tacitly confirmed their 
old sale of that country in 1752, by agreeing not even to hunt south of 
the Ohio. Thus, then, we see that the Iroquois had twice ceded their 
right to Kentucky as low as the Tennessee River, and twice received 
their pay ; the Shawanoes had disposed of their claim, such as it was, 
and received for it a valuable consideration ; and the Cherokees, find- 
ing it profitable to lay claim to some valuable unoccupied region, sold 
their newly assumed right to the country south and east of Kentucky 
River. Their claim, if indeed it rises to the dignity of a claim, south 
and west of the Kentucky, was fairly purchased by Henderson and 
Company, and thus with the subsequent purchase by treaty, of the 
Chickasaws, of the strip between the Tennessee and Mississippi, the 
Indian title to the whole Kentucky country was fully and fairly ex- 
tinguished." R. G. T. 

196 Withers' s Chronicles 

Two days after, they were again attacked by them, and 
had two more of their party killed and three wounded. 1 
From this time they experienced no farther molestation 
until they had arrived within the limits of the purchase, 
and erected a fort, at a lick near the southern bank of the 
Kentucky river the site of the present town of Boones- 
borough. Enfeebled by the loss sustained in the attacks 
made on them by the Indians ; and worn down by the con- 
tinued labor of opening a road through an almost imper- 
vious wilderness, it was some time before they could so far 
complete the fort, so as to render it secure against antici- 
pated assaults of the savages, and justify a detachment be- 
ing sent from the garrison, to escort the family of Boone 
to his new situation. When it was thus far completed, an 
office [143] was opened for the sale of the company's 
land ; 2 and Boone and some others returned to Holstein, 
and from thence, guarded the family of Boone, through 
the wilderness, to the newly erected fort. Mrs. Boone 
and her daughter, are believed to be the first white females 
who ever stood on the banks of the Kentucky river. 3 

1 The first attack occurred the morning of March 25, when the party 
were encamped near the head of Taylor's Fork of Silver Creek. Capt. 
Twitty and Felix Walker were severely wounded, and a negro servant 
killed; Twitty subsequently died from his wound. The other attack 
was on an outlying company, probably on Tate's Creek ; this occurred 
the 27th, and " Thomas McDowell and Jeremiah McFeeters were," 
Boone wrote to Henderson, " killed and sculped." R. G. T. 

[143] * The purchase of Henderson and company, was subsequently 
declared by the legislature of Virginia, to be null and void, so far as the 
purchasers were concerned ; but effectual as to the extinguishment of 
the Indian title, to the territory thus bought of them. To indemnify 
the purchasers for any advancement of money or other things which 
they had made to the Indians, the assembly granted to them 200,000 
acres of land, lying at the mouth of Green river, and known generally 
as Henderson's grant. 

3 Boone set out from Boonesborough, June 13, 1775. He left the set- 
tlement in a state approaching anarchy ; there were several good men in 
the district, but the majority were shiftless wanderers who would brook no 
exercise of authority. The buffalo were fast moving westward, and all game 
was now getting scarce " hunt or starve '' was the motto of the hour. A 
diarist (Capt. Floyd) estimated that there were then a total of 300 peo- 
ple in all the Kentucky settlements not reckoning ''a great many land- 
jobbers from towards Pittsburg, who go about on the north side of Ken- 
tucky, in companies, and build forty or fifty cabins a piece on lands 

Of Border Warfare. 197 

In 1775 Benjamin Logan, who had been with Lord 
Dunmore at Camp Charlotte, visited Kentucky and se- 
lected a spot for his future residence, near to the present 
village of Stamford, erected thereon a fort ; and in the fol- 
lowing year moved his family thither. 

These were the only settlements then begun to be 
made within the limits of the now state of Kentucky. As 
the tide of emigration flowed into the country, those three 
forts afforded an asylum, from the Indian hostility to which 
the whites were incessantly subjected; and never perhaps 
lived three men better qualified by nature and habit, to 
resist that hostility, and preserve the settlers from cap- 
tivity and death, than James Harrod, Daniel Boone, and 
Benjamin Logan. Reared in the lap of danger, and early 
inured to the hardships and sufferings of a wilderness life, 
they were habitually acquainted with those arts which 
were necessary to detect and defeat the one, and to lessen 
and alleviate the others. Intrepid and fearless, yet cau- 
tious and prudent, there was united in each of them, the 
sly, circumventive powers of the Indian, with the bold de- 
fiance, and open daring of the whites. Quick, almost to 
intuition, in the perception of impending dangers, instant 
in determining, and prompt in action ; to see, to resolve, 
and to execute, were with them the work of the same mo- 
ment. Rife in expedients, the most perplexing difficulties 
rarely found them at a loss. Possessed of these qualities, 
they were placed at the head of the little colonies planted 
around them ; not by ambition, but by the universal voice 
of the people ; from a deep and thorough conviction, that 
they only were adequate to the exigencies of their situa- 

where no surveying has yet been done." Among the best of the nu- 
merous arrivals, were George Rogers Clark, Simon Kenton, Benjamin 
Logan, and Whitley, who came to be very prominent characters in Ken- 
tucky history. Boone, with his wife and daughters, and twenty-one 
men, arrived at Boonesborough September 6 or 7. " My wife and 
daughters,' writes Boone, " were the first women that ever stood on the 
banks oi Kentucky river." Mrs. McGary, Mrs. Hogan, and Mrs. Den- 
ton arrived at Harrodsburg the 8th of September, and were the first 
white women in that settlement. With the arrival of these families, 
and fresh fighting men, the Kentucky colony began to take on a per- 
manent air, aud thenceforward there was better order. R. G. T. 

198 Withers's Chronicles 

tiori. The conviction was not ill founded. Their intel- 
lectual and physical resources were powerfully and con- 
stantly exerted for the preservation and security of the 
settlements ; and frequently, with astonishing success, un- 
der the most inauspicious circumstances. Had they in- 
deed, by nature, been supine and passive, their isolated 
situation, and the constantly repeated attempts of the In- 
dians, at their extermination, would have aroused them, as 
it did others, to activity and energy, and brought their 
every [144] nerve into action. For them, there were no 
" weak, piping times of peace," no respite from danger. 
The indefatigable vigilance and persevering hostility of 
an unrelenting foe, required countervailing exertions on 
their part; and kept alive the life, which they delighted to 

From the instant those establishments were made, and 
emigrants placed themselves in their vicinity, the Savages 
commenced their usual mode of warfare ; and marauding 
parties were ever in readiness, to seize upon, those, whose 
misfortune it was to become exposed to their vigilance. In 
the prosecution of these hostilities, incidents of the most 
lively and harrowing interest, though limited in their con- 
sequences, were constantly recurring ; before a systematic 
course of operations, was undertaken for the destruction 
of the settlers. 

The Indians, seeing that they had to contend with 
persons, as well skilled in their peculiar mode of warfare, 
as themselves, and as likely to detect them, while lying in 
wait for an opportunity to strike the deadly blow, as they 
were to strike it with impunity, they entirely changed 
their plans of annoyance. Instead of longer endeavoring 
to cut off the whites in detail, they brought into the coun- 
try a force, sufficiently numerous and powerful to act sim- 
ultaneously against all the settlements. The consequence 
of this was, much individual suffering and several horrid 
massacres. Husbandmen, toiling to secure the product of 
the summer's labor, for their sustenance another season, 
were frequently attacked, and murdered. Hunters, en- 
gaged in procuring meat for immediate and pressing use, 

Of Border Warfare. 199 

were obliged to practise the utmost wariness to evade the 
ambushed Indian, and make sure their return to the fort. 
Springs and other watering places, and the paths leading 
to them, were constantly guarded by the savages ; who 
would lie near them day and night, until forced to leave 
their covert, in quest of food to satisfy their extreme 
hunger ; and who, when this end was attained, would re- 
turn to their hiding places, with renovated strength, and 
increased watchfulness. The cattle belonging to the gar- 
risons were either driven off, or killed, so that no supplies 
could be derived from them. This state of things con- 
tinued, without intermission, 'till the severity of winter 
forced the Indians to depart for their towns ; and then suc- 
ceeded, of necessity, a truce, which had become extremely 
desirable to the different settlements. 

When we reflect on the dangers, the difficulties, the 
complicated distresses, to which the inhabitants were then 
exposed, it is really matter of astonishment that they did 
not abandon the country, and seek elsewhere an exemp- 
tion from those evils. How women, with all the feminine 
weakness of the sex, could be prevailed upon to remain 
during the winter, and encounter with the returning 
spring, the returning horrors of savage warfare, is truly 
surprising. The frequent recurrence of danger, does in- 
deed, produce a comparative insensibility and indifference 
to it ; but it is difficult to conceive, [145] that familiarity 
with the tragic scenes which were daily exhibited there, 
could reconcile persons to a life of constant exposure 
to them. Yet such was the fact; and not only did the 
few, who were first to venture on them, continue in the 
country, but others, equally adventurous, moved to it; en- 
countering many hardships and braving every danger, to 
aid in maintaining possession of the modern Canaan, and 
to obtain a home in that land of milk and honey. If for 
a while, they flattered themselves with the hope, that the 
ravages which had been checked by winter, would not be 
repeated on the return of spring, they were sadly disap- 
pointed. Hostilities were resumed, as soon as the abate- 
ment of cold, suffered the Indians to take the field ; and 

200 Withers's Chronicles 

were carried on with renovated ardor, and on an enlarged 
scale. 1 

Feeling the hopelessness of extirpating the settle- 
ments, so long as the forts remained to afford a safe retreat 
to the inhabitants ; and having learned, by the experience of 
the preceding season, that the whites were but little, if at 
all, inferior to them in their own arts, and were competent 
to combat them, in their own mode of warfare, the In- 
dians resolved on bringing into the country a larger force, 
and to direct their united energies to the demolition of the 
different forts. To prevent any aid being afforded by the 
other garrisons, while operations were leveled against one, 
they resolved on detaching from their main body, such a 
number of men as was deemed sufficient to keep watch 
around the other forts, and awe their inmates from attempt- 
ing to leave them, on any occasion. This was a course of 
excellent policy. It was calculated not only to prevent the 
marching of any auxiliary forces from one to the other of 
the fortresses, but at the same time by preventing hunting 
parties from ranging the woods, cut off the principal source, 
from which their supplies were derived; and thus tended 
to render their fall, the more certain and easy. 

Accordingly in March 1777, they entered Kentucky 
with a force of upwards of two hundred warriors ; and 
sending some of their most expert and active men to 
watch around Boone's and Logan's forts, marched with 

1 In the winter of 1776-77, McClelland's Station and Logan's Station, 
(indifferently styled Fort or Station) were abandoned because of Indian 
attacks, and the settlers huddled into Boonesborough and Harrodsburg 
although possibly Price's settlement, on the Cumberland, maintained a 
separate existence throughout the winter. There were at this time not to 
exceed a hundred and fifty white men in the country, available for 
active militia duty. As during January and February, 1777, the Indians 
were quiet, confidence was restored in some degree, and during the latter 
month, Logan, with his own and some half dozen other families, left Har- 
rodsburg and re-occupied Logan's Station. Thus far, each settlement had 
chosen its own military leader, and discipline was practically unknown. 
March 5, under order and commissions from Virginia, the militia of 
Kentucky county were assembled and organized at Boonesborough, 
Harrodsburg, and Logan's Station, with George Rogers Clark as major, 
and Daniel Boone, James Harrod, John Todd, and Benjamin Logan as 
captains. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 201 

the chief part of their army to attack Harrodsburg. On 
the 14th of March three persons (who were engaged in 
clearing some land) not far from Harrod's fort, discovered 
the Indians proceeding through the woods, and sought to 
escape observation and convey the intelligence to the gar- 
rison. But they too, were discovered and pursued ; and 
one of them was killed, another taken prisoner, and the 
third (James, afterwards Gen. Ray, then a mere youth) 
reached Harrodsburg alone in safety. 1 Aware that the 
place had become alarmed, and that they had then no 
chance of operating on it, by surprise, they encamped near 
to it on that evening ; and early on the morning of the 
15th commenced a furious and animated attack. 

Apprized of the near approach of the enemy, the gar- 
rison had made every preparation for defense, of which 
their situation admitted; and when the assailants rushed 
to the assault, not intimidated by their horrible and un- 
natural yells, nor yet dispirited by the [146] presence of a 
force so far superior to their own, they received them with 
a fire so steady and well directed, as forced them to recoil ; 
leaving one of their slain on the field of attack. This 
alone, argued a great discomfiture of the Indians; as it is 
well known to be their invariable custom, to remove, if 
practicable, those of their warriors who fall in battle. 
Their subsequent movements, satisfied the inmates of the 
fort, that there had been indeed a discomfiture ; and that 
they had but little to apprehend from a renewed assault 
on their little fortress. After reconnoitering for a while, 
at a prudent distance from the garrison, the Indians kin- 
dled their fires for the night; and in the following day, 
leaving a small party for the purpose of annoyance, de- 
camped with the main body of their army, and marched 

1 This foray took place March 6 not the 14th, as in the text at 
Shawnee Springs, four miles north-east of Harrodsburg. The whites 
James Ray, William Ray, Thomas Shores, and William Coomes were 
sugar-making, when attacked by about seventy Shawnees, under Black 
Fish. William Ray was killed, and Shores taken prisoner. James Ray 
outran his pursuers and gave the alarm. The unsuccessful attack on 
the incomplete fort of Harrodsburg occurred early the following morn- 
ing, the 7th. Other brief attacks on Harrodsburg, were on March 18 
and 28. R. G. T. 

202 Withers's Chronicles 

towards Boonesborough. 1 In consequence however, of a 
severe spell of March weather, they were forced to remain 
inactive for a time ; and did not make their appearance 
there, until the middle of April. 

In the assault on Boone's fort, the Indians soon be- 
came satisfied that it was impregnable against them ; and 
although their repulse was not as signal here, as it had 
been at Harrodsburg, yet they soon withdrew from the 
contest, and marched towards Logan's fort, having killed 
one and wounded four, of the whites. 2 

Several causes combined to render an attack on the 
fort at Logan's station, an event of most fearful conse- 
quence. 3 Its inmates had been but a short time in the 
country, and were not provided with an ample supply 
either of provisions or ammunition. They were few in 
number ; and though of determined spirit and undaunted 
fortitude, yet such was the disparity between thirteen and 
two hundred the force of the garrison and the force of 
the assailants, joined to their otherwise destitute situation, 
that hope itself, could scarcely live in so perilous a situ- 
ation. Had this been the first point, against which the 
enemy levelled their operations when they arrived in the 
country, it must have fallen before them. But by deferring 
the attack on it, 'till they had been repulsed at the two 
other forts, the garrison was allowed time ; and availing 
themselves of it, to fortify their position more strongly, 
the issue was truly, most fortunate, though unexpected. 

On the night preceding the commencement of the at- 
tack on the fort, the Indians had approached near to it 
unperceived, and secreted themselves in a cane brake, 
which had been suffered to remain around the cabins. 

1 A small detachment from Black Fish's party made a dash on 
workers in the Boonesborough fields, the day after the Harrodsburg 
fight killing a negro, and wounding several whites. R. G. T. 

* This assault on Boonesborough occurred the morning of Thursday, 
April 24. The Indians numbered about one hundred. Boone was 
wounded, and very nearly lost his life, in a sortie. The story of the 
fight abounds with instances of heroism on the part of both women and 
men. R. G. T. 

s It occurred throughout Friday, May 30. The Indians are re- 
ported to have numbered fifty-seven. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 203 

Early in the morning the women, went out to milk, 
guarded by most of the garrison ; and before they were 
aware of impending danger, the concealed Indians opened 
a general fire, which killed three of the men, and drove 
the others, hastily within the fort. 1 A most affecting 
spectacle was then presented to view, well calculated to 
excite the sympathies of human nature, and arouse to 
action a man possessed of the generous sensibility and no- 
ble daring, which animated the bosom of Logan. 

One of the men who had fallen on the first fire of 
the Indians and had been supposed by his comrades to be 
dead, was in truth though [147] badly wounded, yet still 
alive ; and was observed feebly struggling to crawl to- 
wards the fort. The fear of laceration and mangling from 
the horrid scalping knife, and of tortures from more bar- 
barous instruments, seemed to abate his exertions in drag- 
ing his wounded body along, lest he should be discovered 
and borne oft' by some infuriated and unfeeling savage. 
It was doubtful too, whether his strength would endure 
long enough to enable him to reach the gate, even if un- 
molested by any apprehension of danger. The magnani- 
mous arid intrepid Logan resolved on making an effort to 
save hnh. He endeavored to raise volunteers, to accom- 
pany him without the fort, and bring in their poor 
wounded companion. It seemed as if courting the quick 
embrace of death, and even his adventurous associates 
for an instant, shrunk from the danger. At length a man 

1 Those who went out early in the morning to milk the cows, were 
Mrs. Ann Logan, Mrs. Whitley, and a negro woman. They were guarded 
only by William Hudson, Burr Harrison, John Kennedy, and James 
Craig. The women and Craig escaped into the fort unharmed ; Ken- 
nedy, with four balls in his body, contrived also to escape ; Hudson 
was killed outright, and Harrison fell wounded. He was supposed by 
friend and foe to have been killed. The story of his final rescue by 
Logan, is related by Withers below. As told to Dr. Draper, by Capt. 
Benjamin Biggs, and as recorded in Whitley's MS. Narrative, in pos- 
session of the Wisconsin Historical Society, the story in Withers is 
substantially correct. It is said that Logan rolled a bag of wool before 
him, and thus approached Harrison under cover ; then making a rush 
towards the latter, he picked him up in his arms and dashed success- 
fully into the fort. These accounts make no mention of Martin's inter- 
vention. Harrison died of his wounds, June 13. R. G. T. 

204 Withers'* Chronicles 

by the name of Martin, who plumed himself on rash and 
daring deeds, consented to aid in the enterprise; and the 
two proceeded towards the gate. Here the spirit of Mar- 
tin forsook him, and he recoiled from the hazardous ad- 
venture. Logan was then alone. He beheld the feeble, 
but wary exertions of his unfortunate comrade, entirely 
subside; and he could not hesitate. He rushed quickly 
through the gate, caught the unhappy victim in his arms, 
and bore him triumphantly into the fort, amid a shower 
of bullets aimed at him ; and some of which buried them- 
selves in the pallisades close by his head. A most noble 
and disinterested achievement, and worthy of all com- 
mendation. 1 

[148] The siege being maintained by the Indians, the 
animation of the garrison was nearly exhausted, in re- 
pelling the frequent assaults made on the fort; and it was 
apparent, that the enemy did not intend speedily to with- 
draw their forces. Parties of Indians were frequently 
detached from the main body, as well to obtain a supply 
of provisions by hunting, as to intercept and cut off any 

[147] ' Benjamin Logan was by birth a Virginian ; and at the age of 
fourteen was left by the death of his father, to provide for his mother 
and her other children, and with the other cares of a family upon his 
infant hands. He discharged the duties thus devolving on him, with 
the utmost fidelity ; and having provided amply for the support of his 
mother, and placed the other members of her household in eligible 
situations, he removed to the Holstein, married, purchased land, and 
commenced making improvements. From thence he went to Kentucky, 
where he spent the balance of his life, in the discharge of every social 
and relative duty, with credit to himself and advantage to the com- 
munity. He was a delegate to the Virginia legislature from the county 
of Kentucky in 1780; was soon after commissioned county Lieutenant, 
(then the highest military title in the militia of a county) and in the 
various battles, as well as in the many skirmishes, which he fought with 
the Indians, his conduct and bearing were such, as fully established for 
him the reputation of a brave, skilful, prudent and meritorious officer. 
In .private life, and in his intercourse with his fellow men, his whole 
course was distinguished by the most uncompromising honor, and ex- 
panded philanthrophy. The heroic adventure, by which he saved his 
wounded comrade, from the tomahawk, the scalping knife, and from 
fire, was but one of many such exploits, whereby he achieved good to 
others, at the most imminent hazard of his own life. 

Of Border Warfare. 205 

aid, which might be sent to St. Asaph's 1 from the other 
forts. In this posture of affairs, it was impossible that the 
garrison could long hold out, unless its military stores 
could be replenished ; and to effect this, under existing 
circumstances, appeared to be almost impossible. Har- 
rodsburg and Boonesborough were not themselves amply 
provided with stores ; and had it been otherwise, so closely 
was the intermediate country between them and St. Asaph's, 
guarded by the savages, that no communication could be 
carried from one to the other of them. The settlement on 
the Holstein was the nearest point, from which it could be 
practicable to derive a supply of ammunition, and the 
distance to that neighborhood, was considerable. 

Logan knew the danger which must result to the gar- 
rison, from being weakened as much as it must be, by 
sending a portion of it on this hazardous enterprise ; but 
he also knew, that the fort could not be preserved from 
falling, unless its magazine was soon replenished. Prefer- 
ing the doubtful prospect of succeeding in its relief, by 
adopting the plan of sending to Holstein, he proposed the 
measure to his companions, and they eagerly embraced it. 
It remained then to select the party, which was to venture 
on this high enterprise. Important as the presence of 
Logan, was known to be, in the fort, yet as the lives of all 
within, depended on the success of the expedition and as 
to effect this, required the exercise of qualities rarely pos- 
sessed in so great degree by any other individual, he was 
unanimously chosen to conduct the enterprise. 

Accompanied by four of the garrison, Logan, as slyly 
as possible, slipped from the fort, and commenced his tedi- 
ous journey. 2 To lessen the chance of coming in contact 

[148] l This was the name given to the station of Logan. 

* Whitley's MS. Narrative and Cowan's MS. Diary, in the Wisconsin 
Historical Society's library, say that Logan left alone during the night 
of June 6. Logan returned to his fort on the 23d, having travelled 
almost incessantly, and brought news that relief would soon come. 
Soon after Logan's expedition to the Holston, other messengers were 
sent to the East, clamoring for help McGary and Hoggin to Fort Pitt, 
and Smith to the Yadkin ; and twice Harrod vainly went forth to meet 
expected troops. But the Continental army was hard pressed in those 
days, and despite the rumor on the coast that Kentucky was in a sad 
way, it was long before relief could be sent. R. G. T. 

206 Withers' s Chronicles 

with straggling bands of Indians, he avoided the pack 
road which had been opened by Boone ; and pursuing an 
untrodden route, reached the settlement in safety. The 
requisite supplies were soon engaged ; and while they were 
being prepared for transportation, Logan was actively en- 
gaged in endeavoring to prevail on the inhabitants, to form 
a company as expeditiously as possible and march to their 
relief. With a faint promise of assistance, and with the 
assurance that their situation should be immediately made 
known to the executive authority of the state, he set off 
on his return. Confiding the ammunition which he had 
obtained, to the care of his companions, and prudently ad- 
vising and instructing them in the course best to be pur- 
sued, he left them, and hastened to make his way alone, 
back to St. Asaph. In ten days after his departure from 
the fort, he returned to it again ; and his [149] presence 
contributed much to revive and encourage the garrison ; 
'till then in almost utter despair of obtaining relief. In a 
few days after, the party arrived with the ammunition, and 
succeeded in entering the fort unperceived ; though it was 
still surrounded by the Indians. With so much secrecy 
and caution had the enterprise been conducted, that the 
enemy never knew it had been undertaken, until it was 
happily accomplished. 

For some time after this the garrison continued in 
high expectation of seeing the besiegers depart, despairing 
of making any impression on the fort. But they were 
mistaken in this expectation. Each returning day shewed 
the continued investiture of the fort, and exhibited the 
Indians as pertinaciously intent on its reduction by assault 
or famine, as they were on the day of their arrival before 
it. Weeks elapsed, and there was no appearance of the 
succours which had been promised to Logan, when in the 
settlement on Holstein. And although the besieged were 
still successful in repelling every assault on the garrison, 
yet their stock of provisions was almost entirely exhausted ; 
and there was no chance of obtaining a farther supply, but 
from the woods around them. To depend on the success 
of hunting parties, to relieve their necessities and prevent 
their actual starvation or surrender, seemed indeed, but a 

Of Border Warfare. 207 

slender reed on which to rely ; and the gloom of despond- 
ency overshadowed their hitherto sanguine countenances. 
But as they were resigning themselves to despair, and yield- 
ing up the last hope of being able to escape from savage fury 
and savage vengeance, Colonel Bowman arrived to their re- 
lief, and forced the Indians to raise the siege. It was not 
however, without some loss on his part. A detachment 
of his men, which had preceded the advance of the main 
army, was unfortunately unable to reach the fort, undis- 
covered by the besiegers ; who attacked and killed them 
before they could enter the garrison. On the body of one 
of these men, was left a proclamation, issued by the Gov- 
ernor of Detroit promising protection and reward to those 
who would renounce the cause of the American colonies, 
and espouse that of Great Britain ; and denouncing those 
who would not. When this proclamation was carried to 
Logan, he carefully kept secret its contents, lest it might 
produce an unfavorable effect on the minds of some of his 
men ; worn down, exhausted, and discouraged as they then 
were. 1 

[150] After the arrival of Colonel Bowman in the 
country, there was for a time, a good deal of skirmishing 
between his forces, aided by individuals from the different 
forts, and those Indians. In all of them, the superiority 
of the whites in the use of the rifle, became apparent to 
the savages ; and as the feat of Captain Gibson with the 
sword, had previously acquired for the Virginians, the 
appellation of the Long Knives, 2 the fatal certainty, with 
which Bowman's men and the inhabitants of the various 
settlements in Kentucky, then aimed their shots, might 
have added to that title, the forcible epithet of sharp- 

1 Bowman arrived at Boonesborough the first of August, with two 
companies from Virginia, under Capts. Henry Pauling and John Dun- 
kin the latter heing soon succeeded by Isaac Ruddell. The force num- 
bered 100 men. August 25, while six of Bowman's men were on 
their way to Logan's, they were attacked by Indians, two being killed 
and one wounded. Before escaping, the Indians left on the body of 
one of the men, several copies of a proclamation addressed to Clark and 
Logan in person, by Lieut.-Gov. Henry Hamilton, at the head of the 
British forces at Detroit, offering immunity to repentant rebels. R. G.T. 

2 See pp. 79, 80, note, for origin of the term " Long Knives." R. G. T. 

208 Withers's Chronicles 

shooters. They were as skilful and successful, too, in the 
practice of those arts, by which one is enabled to steal un- 
aware upon his enemy, as the Natives themselves ; and 
were equally as sure to execute the purposes, for which 
those arts were put in requisition, as these were. The 
consequence was, that the Indians were not only more shy 
in approaching the garrison, than they had been; but 
they likewise became, more cautious and circumspect, in 
their woods operations, than formerly. 

The frequent success of Colonel Bowman's men, in 
scouring the surrounding country, gave to the inhabitants 
of all the settlements, an opportunity of cultivating their 
little fields, and of laying in such a stock of provisions 
and military stores, as would suffice in the hour of need ; 
when that force should be withdrawn from the country, 
and the Indians consequently be again enabled to overrun 
it. All that the inhabitants, by reason of the paucity of 
their numbers, could yet do, was to shut themselves iiv 
forts, and preserve these from falling into the hands of the 
enemy. When the term of those, who had so opportunely 
came to their relief, expired, and they returned to their 
homes, there were at Boonsborough only twenty-two, at 
Harrodsburg sixty-five, and at St. Asaph's fifteen men. 
Emigrants however, flocked to the country during the en- 
suing season, in great numbers ; and their united strength 
enabled them the better to resist aggression, and conduct 
the various operations of husbandry and hunting then 
the only occupations of the men. 

While these things were transacting in Kentucky, 
North Western Virginia enjoyed a repose undisturbed, 
save by the conviction of the moral certainty, that it 
would be again involved in all the horrors of savage war- 
fare; and that too, at no distant period. The machina- 
tions of British agents, to [151] produce this result, were 
well known to be gaining advocates daily, among the sav- 
ages ; and the hereditary resentments of these, were known 
to be too deeply seated, for the victory of Point Pleasant 
to have produced their eradication, and to have created in 
their stead, a void, to become the future receptacle of 
kindlier feelings, towards their Virginia neighbors. A 

Of Border Warfare. 209 

coalition of the many tribes north west of the Ohio river, 
had been some time forming, and the assent of the Shaw- 
anees, alone, was wanting to its perfection. The distin- 
guished Sachem at the head of that nation, was opposed 
to an alliance with the British, and anxious to preserve a 
friendly intercourse with the colonists. All his influence, 
with all his energy, was exerted, to prevent his brethren 
from again involving themselves, in a war with the whites. 
But it was likely to be in vain. Many of his warriors had 
fallen at the mouth of the Kenhawa, and his people had 
suffered severely during the continuance of that war; they 
were therefore, too intent on retaliation, to listen to the 
sage counsel of their chief. In this posture of affairs, 
Cornstalk, in the spring of 1777, visited the fort, which 
had been erected at Point Pleasant after the campaign of 
1774, in company with the Red Hawk, and another In- 
dian. Captain Matthew Arbuckle was then commandant 
of the garrison ; and when Cornstalk communicated to 
him the hostile preparations of the Indians, that the 
Shawanees alone were wanting to render a confederacy 
'jomplete, that, as the " current set so strongly against 
the colonies, even they would float with the stream in de- 
spite of his endeavors to stem it," and that hostilities 
would commence immediately, he deemed it prudent to 
detain him and his companions as hostages, for the peace 
and neutrality of the different tribes of Indians in Ohio. 
He at the same time acquainted the newly organized gov- 
ernment of Virginia, with the information which he had 
received from Cornstalk, and the course which he had 
taken with that chief, and the others who accompanied 
him to the garrison. 

Upon the receipt of this intelligence, it was resolved, 
if volunteers could be had for this purpose, to march an 
army into the Indian country and effectually accomplish 
the objects, which had been proposed to be achieved in the 
campaign of Lord Dunmore in 1774. The volunteers in 
Augusta and Bottetourt, were to rendezvous as early as 
possible, at the mouth of the Big Kenhawa, where they 
would be joined by [152] other troops under General 

210 Withers' s Chronicles 

Hand, ' who would then assume the command of the whole 

In pursuance of this resolve, three or four companies 
only, were raised in the counties of Bottetourt and Au- 
gusta; and these immediately commenced their march, to 
the place of general rendezvous, under the command of 
Colonel George Skillern. In the Greenbrier country, great 
exertions were made by the militia officers there, to obtain 
volunteers, but with little effect. One company only was 
formed, consisting of thirty men, and the officers, laying 
aside all distinctions of rank, placed themselves in the line 
as common soldiers, and proceeded to Point Pleasant with 
the troops led on by Colonel Skillern. Upon their arrival 
at that place, nothing had been heard of General Hand, 
or of the forces which it was expected would accompany 
him from Fort Pitt ; and the volunteers halted, to await 
some intelligence from him. 

1 Edward Hand was born in Ireland. He came to America in 1774 
as a Burgeon's mate in the Eighth (Royal Irish) Regiment, and soon set- 
tled in Pennsylvania as a physician. When the Revolution broke out 
he joined a Pennsylvania regiment as lieutenant colonel, and served in 
the siege of Boston. In April, 1777, he was appointed brigadier-general 
in the Continental army, and the first of June assumed command of 
Fort Pitt. Lieut.-Gov. Henry Hamilton, of Detroit, under orders from 
London, was actively engaged in stirring up the Northwest Indians to 
forays on the Virginia and Pennsylvania borders, thus harrying the 
Americans in the rear. Hand, in whose charge was the frontier from 
Kittanning to the Great Kanawha, determined on an aggressive policy, 
and in February, 1778, undertook a campaign against the savages. An 
open winter, with heavy rains, prevented the force of about 500 men 
chiefly from Westmoreland county making satisfactory headway. Fi- 
nally, the expedition was abandoned when it had proceeded no 
farther than Mahoning Creek. From the fact that this first American 
movement against the savages, during the Revolution, resulted only in 
the capture of non-combatants, in the almost deserted villages, it was 
long known as " the squaw campaign." Hand was a competent offi- 
cer, but was much pestered, at Fort Pitt, with the machinations of 
tories, who were numerous among the borderers. Succeeded at Fort 
Pitt in 1778, by Brig.-Gen. Lachlan Mclntosh, Hand in turn succeeded 
Stark in command at Albany. We find him, in 1779, actively engaged 
on Sullivan's campaign against the New York Indians, and in 1780 he 
became adjutant general. A member of congress in 1784r-85, he was in 
1790 a member of the constitutional convention of Pennsylvania, and 
died at Rockford, Lancaster County, Pa., September 3, 1802 R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 211 

The provisions, for the support of the army in its pro- 
jected invasion of the Indian country, were expected to be 
brought down the river, from Fort Pitt ; and the troops 
under Colonel Skillern had only taken with them, what 
was deemed sufficient for their subsistence on their march 
to the place of rendezvous. This stock was nearly ex- 
haused, and the garrison was too illy supplied, to admit of 
their drawing on its stores. While thus situated, and 
anxiously awaiting the arrival of General Hand with his 
army and provisions, the officers held frequent conversa- 
tions with Cornstalk, who seemed to take pleasure in ac- 
quainting them with the geography of the country west of 
the Ohio river generally, and more particularly with that 
section of it lying between the Mississippi and Missouri 
rivers. One afternoon while he was engaged in delineat- 
ing on the floor a map of that territory, with the various 
water courses emptying into those two mighty streams, 
and describing the face of the country, its soil and climate, 
a voice was heard hallooing from the opposite shore of the 
Ohio, which he immediately recognised to be that of his 
son Ellinipsico, and who coming over at the instance of 
Cornstalk, embraced him most affectionately. Uneasy at 
the long absence of his father, and fearing that some un- 
forseen evil might have befallen him, he had come to learn 
some tidings of him here; knowing that it was the place, 
to go to which he had left the nation. His visit was 
prompted by feelings [153] which do honor to human na- 
ture anxious solicitude for a father, but it was closed by 
a most terrible catastrophe. 

On the day after the arrival of Ellinipsico, and while 
he was yet in the garrison, two men, from Captain Hall's 
company of Rockbridge volunteers, crossed the Kenhawa 
river on a hunting excursion. As they were returning to 
the canoe for the purpose of recrossing to the Fort, after 
the termination of' the hunt, Gilmore was espied by two 
Indians, concealed near the bank, who fired at, killed and 
scalped him. At that instant, Captains Arbuckle and 
Stuart (the latter having accompanied the Greenbrier vol- 
unteers as a private soldier) were standing on the point 
opposite to where lay the canoe in which Hamilton and 

212 Withers' s Chronicles 

Gilraore had crossed the river; and expressed some aston- 
ishment that the men should be so indiscreet as to be 
shooting near to the encampment, contrary to commands. 
They had scarcely time to express their disapprobation at 
the supposed violation of orders, when Hamilton was seen 
running down the bank of the river, and heard to exclaim, 
that Gilmore was killed. A party of Captain Hall's men 
immediately sprang into a canoe and went over to relieve 
Hamilton from danger, and to bring the body of Gilmore 
to the encampment. Before they relanded with the bloody 
corpse of Gilmore, a cry arose, "let us go and kill the In- 
dians in the fort;" and pale with rage they ascended the 
bank, with captain Hall at their head, to execute their 
horrid purpose. It was vain to remonstrate. To the in- 
terference of Captains Arbuckle and Stuart to prevent the 
fulfilling of this determination, they responded, by cocking 
their guns, and threatening instant death to any one who 
should dare to oppose them. 

The interpreter's wife, (who had lately returned from 
Indian captivity, and seemed to entertain a feeling of affec- 
tion for Cornstalk and his companions) seeing their danger, 
ran to their cabin to apprise them of it, and told them that 
Ellinipsico was charged with having brought with him the 
Indians who had killed Gilmore. This however he posi 
tively denied, averring that he came alone, and with the 
sole object of learning something of his father. In this 
time Captain Hall and his men had arrived within hearing, 
and Ellinipsico appeared much agitated. Cornstalk how- 
ever, encouraged him to meet his fate composedly, saying, 
" my son, the Great Spirit has seen fit that we should die 
together, and has sent you here to that [154] end. It is 
his will and let us submit; it. is all for the best;" and 
turning to meet his murderers at the door, received seven 
bullets in his body and fell without a groan. 

Thus perished the mighty Cornstalk, Sachem of the 
Shawanees, and king of the northern confederacy in 1774: 
A chief remarkable for many great and good qualities. 
He was disposed to be at all times the friend of white men ; 
as he ever was, the advocate of honorable peace. But 
when his country's wrongs " called aloud to battle," he be- 

Of Border Warfare. 213 

came the thunderbolt of war; and made her oppressors feel 
the weight of his uplifted arm. He sought not to pluck 
the scalp from the head of the innocent, nor to war against 
the unprotected and defenceless; choosing rather to en- 
counter his enemies, girded for battle, and in open conflict. 
His noble bearing, his generous and disinterested attach- 
ment to the colonies, when the thunder of British cannon 
was reverberating through the land his anxiety to pre- 
serve the frontier of Virginia from desolation and death, 
(the object of his visit to Point Pleasant) all conspired to 
win for him the esteem and respect of others ; while the 
untimely, and perfidious manner of his death, caused a 
deep and lasting regret to pervade the bosoms, even of 
those who were enemies to his nation ; and excited the 
just indignation of all, towards his inhuman and barbarous 

When the father fell, Ellinipsico continued still and 
passive ; not even raising himself from the seat, which he 
had occupied before they received notice, that some infuri- 
ated whites were loudly demanding their immolation. He 
met death in that position, with the utmost composure 
and calmness. The trepidation which first seized upon 
him, was of but momentary duration, and was succeeded 
by a most dignified sedateness and stoical apathy. It was 
not so with the young Red Hawk. He endeavored to 
conceal himself up the chimney of the cabin, in which 
they were ; but without success. He was soon discovered 
and killed. The remaining Indian was murdered by 
piece-meal; and with almost all those circumstances of 
cruelty and horror, which characterize the savage, in 
wreaking vengeance upon an enemy. 

Cornstalk is said to have had a presentiment of his 
approaching fate. On the day preceding his death, a 
council of officers was convoked, in consequence of the 
continued absence of General Hand, and their entire ig- 
norance of his [155] force or movements, to consult and 
determine on what would be the course for them to pur- 
sue under existing circumstances. Cornstalk was admit- 
ted to the council ; and in the course of some remarks, 
with which he, said, "When I was young 1 and 

214 Withers' s Chronicles 

went to war, I often thought, each might be my last ad- 
venture, and I should return no more. I still lived. Now 
I am in the midst of you, and if you choose, may kill me. 
I can die but once. It is alike to me, whether now or 
hereafter." Little did those who were listening with de- 
light to the eloquence of his address, and deriving knowl- 
edge from his instruction, think to see him so quickly and 
inhumanly, driven from the theatre of life. It was a fear- 
ful deed ; and dearly was it expiated by others. The 
Shawanees were a warlike people, and became hencefor- 
ward the most deadly foe, to the inhabitants on the 

In a few days after the perpetration of this diabolical 
outrage upon all propriety, General Hand arrived from 
Pittsburg without an army, and without provisions for 
those who had been awaiting his coming. It was then 
determined to abandon the expedition ; and the volunteers 
returned to their homes. 1 

1 See p. 172, note 2, for sketch of life and death of Cornstalk. 
R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 215 

[156] CHAPTER IX. 

While Cornstalk was detained at Point Pleasant, as 
surety for the peace and neutrality of the Shawanees, In- 
dians, of the tribes already attached to the side of Great 
Britain, were invading the more defenceless and unpro- 
tected settlements. Emerging, as Virginia then was, from 
a state of vassalage and subjection, to independence and 
self-government contending in fearful inferiority of 
strength and the munitions of war with a mighty and 
warlike nation limited in resources, and wanting in 
means, essential for supporting the unequal conflict, she 
could not be expected to afibrd protection and security 
from savage inroad, to a frontier so extensive as hers; and 
still less was she able to spare from the contest which she 
was waging with that colossal power, a force sufficient to 
maintain a war in the Indian country and awe the savages 
into quiet. It had not entered into the policy of this state 
to enlist the tomahawk and scalping knife in her behalf; 
or to make allies of savages, in a war with Christians and 
civilized men. She sought by the force of reason and the 
conviction of propriety, to prevail on them to observe 
neutrality not to become her auxiliaries. "To send 
forth the merciless cannibal, thirsting for blood, against 
protestant brethren," was a refinement in war to which 
she had not attained. That the enemy, with whom she 
was struggling for liberty and life as a nation, with all the 
lights of religion and philosophy to illumine her course, 
should have made of them allies, and " let loose those hor- 
rible hell-hounds of war against their countrymen in 
America, endeared to them by every tie which should 
sanctify human nature," was a most lamentable circum- 
stance in its consequences, blighting and desolating the 
fairest portions of the country, and covering the face of 
[157] its border settlements, with the gloomy mantle of 
sorrow and woe. 

216 Withers's Chronicles 

There is in the Indian bosom an hereditary sense of 
injury, which naturally enough prompts to deeds of re- 
vangeful cruelty towards the whites, without the aid of ad- 
ventitious stimulants. When these are superadded, they 
become indeed, the most ruthless and infuriated enemy 
"thirsting for blood," and causing it literally to flow, alike 
from the hearts of helpless infancy and hoary age from 
the timorous breast of weak woman, and the undaunted 
bosom of the stout warrior. Leagued with Great Britain, 
the Indians were enabled more fully and effectually, to 
glut their vengeance on our citizens, and gratify their en 
tailed resentment towards them. 

In the commencement of Indian depredations on 
North Western Virginia, during this war, the only places 
of refuge for the inhabitants, besides private forts and 
block-houses, were at Pittsburg, Redstone, Wheeling and 
Point Pleasant. Garrisons had been maintained at Fort 
Pitt and Redstone, ever after their establishment; and 
fortresses were erected at the two latter places in 1774. 
They all seemed to afford an asylum to many, when the 
Indians were known to be in the country ; but none of 
them had garrisons, strong enough to admit of detach- 
ments being sent, to act offensively against the invaders. 
All that they could effect, was the repulsion of assaults 
made on them, and the expulsion from their immediate 
neighborhoods, of small marauding parties of the savage 
enemy. When Captain Arbuckle communicated to the 
Governor the information derived from Cornstalk, that 
extensive preparations were making by the Indians, for 
war, and the probability of its early commencement, such 
measures were immediately adopted, to prevent its success, 
as the then situation of the country would justify. A 
proclamation was issued, advising the inhabitants of the 
frontier, to retire into the interior as soon as practicable ; 
and that they might be enabled the better to protect them- 
selves from savage fury, some ammunition was forwarded 
to settlements on the Ohio river, remote from the state 
forts, and more immediately exposed to danger from in- 
cursion. General Hand too, then stationed at Fort Pitt, 
sent an express to the different settlements, recommending 

Of Border Warfare. 217 

that they should be immediately abandoned, and the indi- 
viduals composing them, should forthwith seek shelter in 
some contiguous fortress, or retire east of the [158] moun- 
tain. All were apprized of the impending danger, and 
that it was impracticable in the pressing condition of af- 
fairs, for the newly organized government to extend to 
them any effective protection. 

Thus situated, the greater part of those who had taken 
up their abode on the western waters, continued to reside 
in the country. Others, deeming the means of defence 
inadequate to security, and unwilling to encounter the 
horrors of an Indian war, no better provided than they 
were, pursued the advice of government, and withdrew 
from the presence of danger. Those who remained, sen- 
sible of dependence on their individual resources, com- 
menced making preparations for the approaching crisis. 
The positions which had been selected as places of security 
and defence in the war of 1774, were fortified anew, and 
other block-houses and forts were erected by their unaided 
exertion, into which they would retire on the approach of 
danger. Nor was it long before this state of things was 
brought about. 

In June 1777, 1 a party of Indians came to the house 
of Charles Grigsby on Rooting creek, a branch of the 
West Fork, and in the county of Harrison. Mr. Grigsby 
being from home, the Indians plundered the house of 
every thing considered valuable by them, and which they 
could readily carry with them ; and destroying many 
other articles, departed, taking with them Mrs. Grigsby 
and her two children as prisoners. Returning home soon 
after, seeing the desolation which had been done in his 
short absence, and unable to find his wife and children, 
Mr. Grigsby collected some of his neighbors and set out 
in pursuit of those, by whom the mischief had been ef- 
fected, hoping that he might overtake and reclaim from 
them the partner of his bosom, and the pledges of her 
affection. His hopes were of but momentary existence. 

1 This " year of the three sevens," as it was called, was long known 
as "the bloody year" of border history. R. G. T. 

218 Withers 1 s Chronicles 

Following in the trail of the fugitives, when they had ar- 
rived near to Loss creek, a distance of but six miles, they 
found the body of Mrs. Grigsby and of her younger child, 
where they had recently been killed and scalped. The 
situation of this unfortunate woman (being near the hour 
of confinement,) and the entire helplessness of the child, 
were hindrances to a rapid retreat; and fearing pursuit, 
the Indians thus inhumanly rid themselves of those in- 
cumbrances to their flight and left them to accidental dis- 
covery, or to become food for the beasts of the forest. 

[159] Stimulated to more ardent exertions by the dis- 
tressing scene just witnessed, the pursuers pushed forward, 
with increased expectation of speedily overtaking and 
punishing, the authors of this bloody deed ; leaving two 
of their party to perform the sepulture of the unfortunate 
mother, and her murdered infant. But before the whites 
were aware of their nearness to the Indians, these had be- 
come apprized of their approach, and separated, so as to 
leave no trail by which they could be farther traced. They 
had of course to give over the pursuit; and returned 
home, to provide more effectually against the perpetration 
of similar acts of atrocity and darkness. 

A short time after this, two Indians came on the West 
Fork, and concealed themselves near to Coon's fort, await- 
ing an opportunity of effecting some mischief. While 
thus lying in ambush, a daughter of Mr. Coon came out 
for the purpose of lifting some hemp in a field near to the 
fort, and by the side of the road. Being engaged in per- 
forming this business, Thomas Cunningham and Enoch 
James passing along, and seeing her, entered into con^- 
versation with her, and after a while proceeded on their 
road. But before they had gone far, alarmed by the re- 
port of a gun, they looked back and saw an Indian ran 
up to the girl, tomahawk and scalp her. The people of 
the fort were quickly apprised of what had been done, 
and immediately turned out in pursuit; but could not 
trace the course taken by the savages. It afterwards ap- 
peared that the Indians had been for some time waiting 
for the girl to come near enough for them to catch and 
make her prisoner, before she could alarm the fort, or get 

Of Border Warfare. 219 

within reach of its guns ; but when one of them crossed 
the fence for this purpose, she espied him and ran directly 
towards the fort. Fearing that he would not be able to 
overtake her, without approaching the fort so as to in- 
volve himself in some danger, he shot her as she ran ; and 
going up to her he tomahawked and scalped her. In en- 
deavoring then to secure himself by flight, he was shot at 
by James, but at so great distance as to prevent the doing 
of execution. 

In the neighborhood of Wheeling, some mischief of 
this kind was done about the same time, and by Indians 
who acted so warily, as to avoid being discovered and 
punished. A man by the name of Thomas Ryan was 
killed in a field some distance from the house, and a negro 
fellow at work with him, [160] taken prisoner and carried 
off. No invasion however, of that country, had been as 
yet, of sufficient importance to induce the people to for- 
sake their homes and go into the forts. Scouting parties 
were constantly traversing the woods in every direction, 
and so successfully did they observe every avenue to the 
settlements, that the approach of Indians was generally 
discovered and made known, before any evil resulted from 
it. But in August the whole country bordering on the 
Ohio, from Fort Pitt to Wheeling, became justly alarmed 
for its fate ; and the most serious apprehensions for the 
safety of its inhabitants, were excited in the bosoms of all. 
Intelligence was conveyed to General Hand at Fort Pitt, 1 
by some friendly Indians from the Moravian towns, that 
a large army of the north western confederacy, had come 
as far as those villages, and might soon be expected to 
strike an awful blow on some part of the Ohio settlements. 
The Indian force was represented as being so great, as to 
preclude all idea of purchasing safety, by open conflict ; 

1 General Hand was commandant, and George Morgan Indian agent, 
at Fort Pitt. Runners from the Moravian towns on the Tuscarawas and 
Muskingum rivers, in Ohio, frequently came into the fort during the 
summer, with dispatches for either of these officials. The Delawares, 
as a nation, were friendly throughout the year. The hostiles were 
chiefly composed of Wyandots and Mingoes, but with them were a few 
Shawnees and Delawares. R. G. T. 

220 Withers's Chronicles 

and the inhabitants along the river, generally retired into 
forts, as soon as they received information of their danger, 
and made every preparation to repel an assault on them. 
They did not however, remain long in suspense, as to the 
point against which the enemy would direct its operations. 
Wheeling Fort, although it had been erected by the 
proper authorities of the government, and was supplied 
with arms and ammunition from the public arsenal, was 
not at this time garrisoned, as were the other state forts on 
the Ohio, by a regular soldiery ; but was left to be de- 
fended solely by the heroism and bravery of those, who 
might seek shelter within its walls. 1 The settlement 
around it was flourishing, and had grown with a rapidity 
truly astonishing, when its situation, and the circumstances 
of the border country generally, are taken into considera- 
tion. A little village, of twenty-five or thirty houses, had 
sprung up, where but a few years before, the foot of civil- 
ized man had never trod ; and where the beasts of the 
forest had lately ranged undisturbedly, were to be seen 
lowing herds and bleating flocks, at once, the means of 
sustenance, and the promise of future wealth to their 
owners. In the enjoyment of this, comparatively, pros- 
perous condition of things, the inhabitants little dreamed, 
how quickly those smiling prospects were to be blighted, 
their future hopes blasted, and they deprived of almost 
every necessary of life. They [161] were not insensible to 
the danger which in tinie of war was ever impending over 

1 The first fort at Wheeling was built in the summer of 1774. by 
order of Lord Dunmore, under direction of Majors William Crawford 
and Angus McDonald. It stood upon the Ohio bank about a quarter of 
a mile above the entrance of Wheeling Creek. Standing in open ground, 
it was a parallelogram of square pickets pointed at top, with bastions 
and sentry boxes at the angles, and enclosed over half an acre. It 
ranked in strength and importance, next to Fort Pitt. Within the fort 
were log barracks, an officers' house, a storehouse, a well, and cabins 
for families. A steep hill rises not far inland ; between the fort and the 
base of this hill the forest had been leveled, and a few log cabins were 
nestled in the open. Such was Wheeling in 1777. At first the fort had 
been called Fincastle, for the Ohio Valley settlements were then in 
Fincastle County, Va.; but upon the opening of the Revolution the post, 
now in Ohio County, was named Fort Henry, in honor of the first state 
governor of Virginia. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 221 

them; but relying on the vigilance of their scouts, to as- 
certain and apprize them of its approach, and on the prox- 
imity of a fort into which they could retire upon a minute's 
warning, they did not shut themselves up within its walls, 
until advised of the immediate necessity of doing so, from 
the actual presence of the enemy. 

On the night of the first of September, Captain Ogal, 
who with a party of twelve men, had been for some days 
engaged in watching the paths to the settlement and en- 
deavoring to ascertain the approach of danger, 1 came into 
Wheeling with the assurance that the enemy were not at 
hand. In the course of that night, however, the Indian 
army, consisting of three hundred and eighty-nine war- 
riors, 2 came near to the village, and believing from the 
lights in the fort, that the inhabitants were on their 
guard, and that more might be effected by an ambuscade 
in the morning, than by an immediate and direct attack, 
posted themselves advantageously for that purpose. Two 
lines were formed, at some distance from each, extending 
from the river across the point to the creek, with a corn- 
field to afford them concealment. In the centre between 
these lines, near a road leading through the field to the 
fort, and in a situation easily exposing them to observa- 
tion, six Indians were stationed, for the purpose of decoy- 

1 News came to Fort Pitt, early in August, that an Indian attack in 
force, on Wheeling, might be expected at ^ny time. Says the Shane 
MSS., " White Eyes came to Fort Pitt and told them the Indians were 
going to take Wheeling home." August 2d, Gen. Hand wrote to David 
Shepherd, lieutenant of Ohio County, warning him of the perilous situ- 
ation, and ordering him to leave his own fort, six miles from Fort 
Henry, and to rally at the latter all the militia between the Ohio and 
Monongahela, the " pan-handle." Shepherd did this, and by the close 
of the month Fort Henry was, as he said, "Indian proof." But the 
non-arrival of the foe caused a relaxation of vigilance. Nine companies 
were allowed to go home, and by the last day of August only two com- 
panies remained in the fort, those of Capts. Joseph Ogle and Samuel 
Mason. R. G. T. 

1 Shepherd to Hand, Sept. 15, 1777: "By the best judges here 
it is thought their numbers must have been not less than be- 
tween two and three hundred." The Shepherd, Hand, Shane, and 
Doddridge MSS., in the library of the Wisconsin Historical Society, 
throw much light on this episode. R. G. T. 

222 Withers's Chronicles 

ing within the lines, any force which might discover, and 
come out to molest them. 

Early in the morning of the second, two men, going 
to a field for horses, passed the first line, and came near to 
the Indians in the centre, before they were aware of dan- 
ger. 1 Perceiving the six savages near them, they endeav- 
ored to escape by flight. A single shot brought one of 
them to the ground : the other was permitted to escape 
that he might give the alarm. Captain Mason (who, with 
Captain Ogal and his party, and a few other men had oc- 
cupied the fort the preceding night) hearing that there 
were but six of the enemy, marched with fourteen men, 
to the place where they had been seen. He had not pro- 
ceeded far from the fort, before he came in view of them ; 
and leading his men briskly towards where they were, 
soon found themselves enclosed by a body of Indians, 
who 'till then had remained concealed. Seeing the im- 
possibility of maintaining a conflict with them, he en- 
deavored to retreat with his men, to the fort ; but in 
[162] vain. They were intercepted by the Indians, and 
nearly all literally, cut to pieces. 2 Captain Mason however, 
and his sergeant succeeded in passing the front line, but 
being observed by some of the enemy, were pursued, and 
fired at, as they began to rise the hill. The sergeant was 
so wounded by the ball aimed at him, that he fell, unable 
again to get up ; but seeing his Captain pass near without 
a gun and so crippled that he moved but slowly in advance 

1 The Indians made their appearance on the night of August 31st 
not September 1st, as in the text. The incident here related occurred 
at about sunrise of September 1st. Andrew Zane, young John Boyd, 
Samuel Tomlinson, and a negro, set out to hunt for the horses of Dr. 
James McMechen, because the latter wished that day to return to the 
older settlements, either on the Monongahela, or east of the mountains. 
Boyd was killed, but his companions escaped Zane, by leaping from 
a cliff, the height of which local tradition places at seventy feet. 
R. G. T. 

* De Hass, in his History of the Early Settlement and Indian Wars of 
West Virginia, a conscientious work, which depends, however, too 
closely on traditions, says (p. 225), " out of the fourteen, but two es- 
caped." R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 223 

of his pursuers, he handed him his, and calmly surrendered 
himself to his fate. 

Captain Mason had been twice wounded, and was 
then so enfeebled by the loss of blood, and faint from 
fatigue that he almost despaired of ever reaching the fort; 
yet he pressed forward with all his powers. He was sensible 
that the Indian was near him, and expecting every instant, 
that the tomahawk would sever his skull, he for a while 
forgot that his gun was yet charged. The recollection of 
this, inspiring him with fresh hopes, he wheeled to fire at 
his pursuer, but found him so close that he could not bring 
his gun to bear on him. Having greatly the advantage of 
ground, he thrust him back with his hand. The uplifted 
tomahawk descended to the earth with force ; and before 
the Indian could so far regain his footing as to hurl the 
fatal weapon from his grasp, or rush forward to close in 
deadly struggle with his antagonist, the ball from Captain 
Mason's gun had done its errand, and the savage fell life- 
less to the earth. Captain Mason was able to proceed only 
a few paces farther; but concealing himself by the side of 
a large fallen tree, he remained unobserved while the 
Indians continued about the fort. 

The shrieks of Captain Mason's men, and the dis- 
charge of the guns, induced Capt. Ogal to advance with 
his twelve scouts, to their relief. Being some distance in 
the rear of his men, the Indians, in closing round them, 
fortunately left him without the circle, and he concealed 
himself amid some briers in the corner of the fence ; where 
he lay until the next day. The same fate awaited his 
men, which had befallen Capt. Mason's. Of the twenty 
six who were led out by these two officers, only three es- 
caped death, and two of these were badly wounded : a 
striking evidence of the fact, that the ambuscade was 
judiciously planned, and the expectations of its success, 
well founded. 1 

While these things were doing, the inhabitants of the 
village were busily employed in removing to the fort and 

1 Among the survivors was Ogle who, like Mason, hid himself in the 
bushes until nightfall enabled him to return to the fort. R. G. T. 

224 Wit hers' s Chronicles 

preparing for it8 defense. A single glance at the situation 
of the parties led on by Mason and Ogal, convinced them 
of the overwhelming force of the [163] Indians, and the 
impossibility of maintaining an open contest with them. 
And so quick had been the happening of the events which 
have been narrated, that the gates of the fort were scarcely 
closed, before the Indian army appeared under its walls, 
with a view to its reduction by storm. 1 But before the as- 
sault was begun to be made, the attention of the garrison 
was directed to a summons for its surrender, made by that 
infamous renegado, Simon Girty. 2 

This worse than savage wretch, appeared at the end 
window of a house not far from the fort, and told them, 
that he had come with a large s^rmy to escort to Detroit, 
such of the Inhabitants along the frontier, as were willing 
to accept the terms offered by Governor Hamilton, to 
those who would renounce the cause of the colonies and 
attach themselves to the interest of Great Britain ; calling 
upon them to remember their fealty to their sovereign ; 
assuring them of protection, if they would join his stand- 
ard, and denouncing upon them, all the woes which spring 
from the uncurbed indulgence of savage vengeance, if 
they dared to resist, or fire one gun to the annoyance of 

1 As a matter of fact, the Indians made no attack on the fort at this 
time, being content with the success of their ambuscade. After throwing 
up some rude earth-works and blinds, scalping the dead whites, killing 
all the live stock within reach, and setting fire to the outlying cabins, 
they retired across the Ohio in the night, and dispersed. Their loss was 
one killed and nine wounded; the whites lost fifteen killed and five 
wounded. The next day (September 2), the whites buried their dead, 
and unavailingly scoured the CQuntry for Indians. 

Tradition has made sad havoc with the records, in regard to this 
first " siege " of Wheeling. Some of the deeds of heroism related below, 
by Withers, were incidents of the second siege September 11, 1782, 
seven years later; but most of them are purely mythical, or. belong 
to other localities. Perhaps no events in Western history have been 
so badly mutilated by tradition, as these two sieges. R. G. T. 

a This statement of Withers, that Simon Girty was at the siege of 
Wheeling, was long accepted as fact by Western historians. But it is 
now established beyond doubt, that neither Simon nor his brothers 
were present at that affair, being at the time in the employ of Indian 
Agent Morgan, at Fort Pitt. For details of the evidence, consult But- 
terfield's History of the Girtys, passim. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 225 

his men. He then read to them, Gov. Hamilton's procla- 
mation ; and told them, he could allow only fifteen min- 
utes to consider of his proposition. It was enough. In 
love with liberty, attached to their country, and without 
faith in his proffered protection, they required but little 
time to "deliberate, which of the two to choose, slavery 
or death." Col. Zane replied to him, " that they had con- 
sulted their wives and children, and that all were resolved 
to perish, sooner than place themselves under the protec- 
tion of a savage army with him at its head, or abjure the 
cause of liberty and of the colonies." Girty then repre- 
sented to them the great force of the Indians, the impos- 
sibility that the fort could withstand the assault, the cer- 
tainty of protection if they acceded to his propositions, 
and the difficulty of restraining the assailants, if enraged 
and roused to vengeance by opposition and resistance. A 
shot discharged at him from the fort, caused him to with- 
draw from the window and the Indians commenced the 

There were then in the fort but thirty-three men, to 
defend it against the attack of upwards of three hun- 
dred and eighty Indians ; and bravely did they maintain 
their situation against the superior force of the enemy, 
and all that art and fury could effect to accomplish their 
destruction. For twenty-three hours, all was life, and 
energy, and activity within the walls. Every individual 
had particular duties to perform; and promptly and faith- 
fully were they discharged. The more expert of the 
women, took stations by the side of the men ; and hand- 
ling their guns with soldier like readiness, aided in the re- 
pulse, with fearless intrepidity. 1 Some were engaged in 
moulding bullets; others in loading and supplying the 
[164] men with guns already charged ; while the less ro- 

1 [163] The notes furnished the compiler, mention particularly a 
Mrs. Glum and Betsy Wheat, as performing all the duties of soldiers 
with firmness and alacrity. 

Comment by R. G. T. Withers derived his information from tradi- 
tional notes in the possession of Noah Zane, son of Ebenezer. 

226 Withers' s Chronicles 

bust were employed in cooking, and in furnishing to the 
combatants, provisions and water, during the continuance 
of the attack. It seemed indeed, as if each individual 
were sensible, that the safety of all depended on his lone 
exertions; and that the slightest relaxation of these, would 
involve them all in one common ruin. 

Finding that they could make no impression on the 
fort, and fearing to remain longer before it, lest their re- 
treat might be cut oft', by reinforcements from the sur- 
rounding country, the assailants fired all the houses with- 
out the walls; killed all the stock, which could be found . 

7 > 

and destroying every thing on which they could lay their 
hands, retired about day light, and left the garrison in 
possession of the fortress, but deprived of almost every 
thing else. The alarm of the presence of Indians having 
been given after day light, and the attack on the fort com- 
mencing before sun rise, but little time was afforded them, 
for securing their moveable property. The greater part 
had taken with them nothing but their clothes, while 
some had left their homes with their night apparel only. 
Few were left the enjoyment of a bed, or the humble 
gratification of the coarse repast of bread and milk. Their 
distress was consequently great; and their situation for 
some time, not much more enviable, than when pent 
within the fort, and straining every nerve to repel its sav- 
age assailants. 

Before this, the Governor had sent to Col. Andrew 
Swearingen, a quantity of ammunition for the defence of 
those who remained in the country above Wheeling. By 
his exertions, and under his superintendence, Boiling's and 
Holliday's old forts were repaired, and the latter made 
strong enough to serve as a magazine. In it was collected, 
all the inhabitants from its neighborhood; and it was 
generally regarded, as a strong position, and able, occa- 
sionally, to detach part of its garrison, for the aid of other 
portions of the country. Soon after the attack was begun 
to be made on Wheeling, the alarm reached Shepherd's 
fort, and a runner was despatched from thence to Holli- 
day's fort with the intelligence, and the apprehension that 
if speedy relief were not afforded, the garrison at Wheel- 

Of Border Warfare. 227 

ing must fall. No expectation, of being able to collect a 
force sufficient to cope with the assailants, was entertained. 
All that was expected was, to throw succours into the 
fort, and thus enable the garrison the more successfully to 
repel assaults, and preserve it from the violence of the In- 
dian onsets. For this purpose, Col. Swearingen left Holli- 
day's with fourteen men, who nobly volunteered to accom- 
pany him in this hazardous enterprise, to the regret of 
those who remained, from an apprehension that thus 
weakened, if Holliday's fort were attacked it must fall 
easily into the hands of the enemy. These men got into 
a large continental canoe, and plied their paddles industri- 
ously, to arrive in time to be of service to the besieged. 
But the night being dark, and a dense fog hanging over 
the river, they toiled to great disadvantage, frequently 
coming in contact with the banks; until [165] at length 
it was thought advisable to cease rowing and float with 
the current, lest they might, unknowingly, pass Wheel- 
ing, and at the appearance of day be obliged to contend 
with the force of the stream, to regain that point. Float- 
ing slowly, they at length descried the light which pro- 
ceeded from the burning of the houses at Wheeling, and 
with all their exertion could not then attain their destina- 
tion before the return of day. Could they have realized 
their expectation of arriving before day, they might from 
the river bank, in the darkness of the night, have gained 
admission into the fort ; but being frustrated in this, they 
landed some of the men near above Wheeling, to recon- 
noiter and ascertain the situation of things: it being 
doubtful to them, from the smoke and fog, whether the 
fort and all, were not a heap of ruins. Col. Swearingen, 
Cap. Bilderbock and William Boshears, volunteered for 
this service, and proceeding cautiously soon reached the 

When arrived there, it was still questionable whether 
the Indians had abandoned the attack, or were only lying 
concealed in the cornfield, in order to fall on any, who 
might come out from the fort, under the impression that 
danger was removed from them. Fearing that the latter 
was the case, it was thought prudent, not to give the pre- 

228 Withers's Chronicles 

concerted signal for the remainder of Col. Swearingen's 
party to come on, lest it might excite the Indians to 
greater vigilance and they intercept the men on their way 
to the fort. To obviate the difficulty arising from this ap- 
prehension, Col. Swearingen, Capt. Bilderbock and William 
Boshears, taking a circuitous route to avoid passing near the 
cornfield, returned to their companions, and escorted them 
to Wheeling. It then remained to ascertain whether the 
Indians had really withdrawn, or were only lying in am- 
bush. A council, consisting of Col. Zane, Col. Shepherd, 
Doctor McMahon and Col. Swearingen, being requested 
to devise some expedient by which to be assured of the 
fact, recommended that two of their most active and vigil- 
ant men, should go out openly from the fort, and care- 
lessly, but surely, examine the cornfield near to the 
palisade. Upon their return, twenty others, under the 
guidance of Col. Zane, marched round at some distance 
from the field, and approaching it more nearly on their re- 
turn, became assured that the Indians had indeed despaired 
of success, and were withdrawn from the field. About 
this time Major M'Cullough arrived with forty-five men, 
and they all proceeded to view the battle ground. 

Here was indeed a pitiable sight. Twenty-three of the 
men who had accompanied Capts. Mason and Ogal in the 
preceding morning, were lying dead; few of them had 
been shot, but the greater part, most inhumanly and bar- 
barously butchered with the tomahawk and scalping 
knife. Upwards of three hundred head of cattle, horses, 
and hogs, wantonly killed by the savages, were seen lying 
about the field, and all the houses, with every thing which 
they contained, and which could not be conveniently 
taken oft' by the enemy, were but heaps of ashes. It was 
long indeed, before the [166] inhabitants of that neigh- 
borhood regained the comforts, of which that night's deso- 
lation had deprived them. 

Soon after the happening of these events a company 
of militia under the command of Capt. Foreman, arrived 
from east of the Alleghany, to afford protection to the 
settlements around Wheeling, and occupy the fort at this 
place. While stationed in it, it was known that parties of 

Of Border Warfare. 229 

Indians were still lurking about, seeking opportunities of 
doing mischief, and to prevent which, detachments were 
frequently sent on scouting expeditions. On the 26th of 
September, Capt. Foreman with forty five men, went 
about twelve miles below Wheeling and encamped for the 
night. He was ignorant of the practices of the Indians, 
and seemed rather indisposed to take council of those, 
who were conversant with them. After building fires for 
the night, he remained with his men close around them, 
contrary to the advice of one of the settlers, by the name 
of Lynn, who had accompanied him as a spy. Lynn how- 
ever, would not consent to remain there himself, but tak- 
ing with him those of the frontiers men who were in com- 
pany, retired some distance from the fires, and spent the 
night. Before it was yet light, Lynn, being awake, 
thought he heard such a noise, as would be probably pro- 
duced by the launching of rafts on the river, above the 
position occupied by Capt. Foreman. In the morning he 
communicated his suspicion that an Indian force was near 
them, and advised the Captain to return to Wheeling 
along the hill sides and avoid the bottoms. His advice 
was rejected; but Lynn, with the caution of one used to 
such a condition of things, prudently kept on the hill side 
with four others, while they, who belonged to the com- 
mand of Capt. Foreman, continued along the level at the 
base of the hill. 

In marching along the Grave creek narrows, one of 
the soldiers saw a parcel of Indian ornaments lying in the 
path ; and picking them up, soon drew around him the 
greater part of the company. While thus crowded together 
inspecting the trinkets, a galling fire was opened on them 
by a party of Indians who lay in ambush, and which threw 
them into great confusion. The fire was continued with 
deadly effect, for some minutes; and must eventually have 
caused the loss of the whole party, but that Lynn, with 
his few comrades rushed from the hill discharging their 
guns, and shouting so boisterously, as induced the Indians 
to believe that a reinforcement was at hand, and they pre- 
cipitately retreated. 

In this fatal ambuscade there were twenty-one of Cap- 

230 Withers's Chronicles 

tain Foreman's party killed, and several much wounded ; 
among the slain were the Captain and his two sons. 

It appeared that the Indians had dropped their orna- 
ments, purposely to attract the attention of the whites ; 
while they themselves were lying concealed in two parties; 
the one to the right of the path, in a sink-hole on the bot- 
tom, and the other to the left, under covert of the river 
hank. From these advantageous positions, they [167] fired 
securely on our men ; while they were altogether exempt 
from danger 'till the party in the sink hole was descried 
by Lynn. His firing was not known to have taken effect; 
but to his good conduct is justly attributable the saving 
of the remnant of the detachment. The Indian force was 
never ascertained. It was supposed to have been small ; 
not exceeding twenty warriors. 

On the ensuing day, the inhabitants of the neighbor- 
hood of Wheeling under the direction and guidance of 
Colonel Zane, proceeded to Grave Creek and buried those 
who had fallen. 1 

1 After the affair at Wheeling, September 1, the Indians returned 
home. But soon thereafter, Half King, head chief of the Wyandots, set 
out with forty of that tribe to again harry the Wheeling country. On 
the morning of the 26th, Capts. William Foreman with twenty-four 
men, Ogle with ten men, and William Linn with nine, started from 
Fort Henry on a scout. Linn was ranking officer, although there was 
little discipline. Foreman was a new arrival from Hampshire County, 
enlisted to go on Hand's intended expedition. They intended crossing 
the Ohio at Grave Creek, 12 miles below, and proceeding 8 miles farther 
down to Captina. At Grave, however, they found that the Tomlinson 
settlement (nucleus of the present Mound City, W. Va.) had been 
abandoned, and sacked by Indians, and no canoes were to be had. 
They camped for the night, and the next morning (the 27th) started to 
return along the river bank, to Wheeling. Linn, apprehensive of In- 
dians, marched along the hill crest, but Ogle and Foreman kept to the 
trail along the bottom. At a point where the bottom narrows because of 
the close approach of the hills to the river a defile then known as Me- 
Mechen's (or McMahon's) Narrows they were set upon by Half King's 
party, awaiting them in ambush. Foreman and twenty others were 
killed, and one captured. The story about Linn's gallant attack on the 
Indians from his vantage point on the hilltop, is without foundation. 
His party helped to secrete a wounded man who escaped in the melee, 
and then put off in hot haste for home. It was not until four days later, 
when reinforcements had arrived from Fort Pitt, that Colonel Shepherd 
ventured from the fort to bury the dead. In 1835, an inscribed stone 
was set up at the Narrows, to commemorate the slain. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 231 

At the time of the happening of those occurrences 
the belief was general, that the army which had been led 
to Wheeling by Girty, had been ordered on, for the pur- 
pose of conducting the tories from the settlements to De- 
troit; and that detachments from that army continued to 
hover about the frontiers for some time, to effect that 
object. There was then, unfortunately for the repose and 
tranquility of many neighborhoods, a considerable number 
of those misguided and deluded wretches, who, disaffected 
to the cause of the colonies, were willing to advance the 
interest of Britain, by the sacrifice of every social relation, 
and the abandonment of every consideration, save that of 
loyalty to the king. So far did their opposition, to those 
who espoused the cause of American liberty, blunt every 
finer and more noble feeling, that many of them were 
willing to imbrue their hands in the blood of their neigh- 
bors, in the most sly and secret manner, and in the hour 
of midnight darkness, for no offence but attachment to 
the independence of the colonies. A conspiracy for the 
murder of the whigs and for accepting the terms, offered 
by the Governor of Canada to those who would renounce 
their allegiance to the United States and repair to Detroit, 
by the relenting of one individual, was prevented being 
carried into effect ; and many were consequently saved 
from horrors, equalling, if not transcending in enormity, 
the outrages of the savages themselves. Scenes of licen- 
tiousness and fury, followed upon the discovery of the 
plot. Exasperated at its heinousness, and under the influ- 
ence of resentful feelings, the whigs retaliated upon the 
tories, some of the evils which these had conspired to in- 
flict upon them. In the then infuriated state of their 
minds, and the little restraint at that time imposed on the 
passions by the operation of the laws, it is really matter of 
admiration that they did not proceed farther, and requite 
upon those deluded wretches, the full measure of their 
premeditated wrongs. The head only of this fiendish 
league, lost his life; but many depredations were commit- 
ted, on the property of its members. 

A court, for the trial of the conspirants, was held at 
Redstone Fort; and many of them were arraigned at its 

232 Withers's Chronicles 

bar. But as their object had been defeated by its discov- 
ery, and as no farther danger was apprehended from them, 
they were released, after having been required to take the 
oath of allegiance to the United States and to bear with the 
injuries which had [168] been done their property. Those 
who were suspected for the murder of the chief conspira- 
tor, were likewise arraigned for that offence, but were ac- 

Hitherto the inhabitants of Tygart's Valley had es- 
caped the ill effects of savage enmity ; Indian hostility not 
having prompted an incursion into that country, since its 
permanent settlement was effected previous to the war of 
1774. This however had not the effect to lull them into 
confident security. Ascribing their fortunate exemption 
from irruptions of the enemy, to other causes than a 
willingness on the part of the Indians, to leave them in 
quiet and repose, they exercised the utmost vigilance to 
discover their approach, and used every precaution to en- 
sure them safety, if the enemy should appear among them. 
Spies were regularly employed in watching the warriors 
paths beyond the settlements, to detect their advance and 
to apprize the inhabitants of it. 

In September of this year (1777) Leonard Petro and 
Wm. White, being engaged in watching the path leading 
up the Little Kenhawa, killed an Elk late in the evening ; 
and taking part of it with them, withdrew a short dis- 
tance for the purpose of eating their suppers and spending^ 
the night. About midnight, White, awaking from sleep, 
discovered by the light of the moon, that there were sev- 
eral Indians near, who had been drawn in quest of them 
by the report of the gun in the evening. He saw at a 
glance, the impossibility of escaping by flight; and pre- 
ferring captivity to death, he whispered to Petro to lie 
still, lest any movement of his, might lead to this result. 
In a few minutes the Indians sprang on them; and White 
raising himself as one lay hold on him, aimed a furious 
blow, with his tomahawk, hoping to wound the Indian by 
whom he was beset, and then make his escape. Missing 
his aim he affected to have been ignorant of the fact that 
he was encountered by Indians, professed great joy at 

Of Border Warfare. 233 

meeting with them, and declared that he was then on his 
way to their towns. They were not deceived by the arti- 
fice ; for although he assumed an air of pleasantness and 
gaity, calculated to win upon their confidence, yet the 
woful countenance and rueful expression of poor Petro, 
convinced them that "White's conduct was feigned, that he 
might lull them into inattention, and they be enabled to 
effect an escape. They were both tied for the night ; and 
in the morning White being painted red, and Petro black, 
they were forced to proceed to the Indian towns. When 
approaching a [169] village, the whoop of success brought 
several to meet them; and on their arrival at it, they found 
that every preparation was made for their running the 
gauntlet; in going through which ceremony both were 
much bruised. White did not however remain long in 
captivity. Eluding their vigilance, he took one of their 
guns and began his flight homeward. Before he had 
travelled far, he met an Indian on horseback, whom he 
succeeded in shooting; and mounting the horse from 
which he fell, his return to the Valley was much facili- 
tated. Petro was never heard of afterwards. The paint- 
ing of him black, had indicated their intention of killing 

O ' O 

him; and the escape of White probably hastened his 

During this time, and after the return of White among 
them, the inhabitants of Tygart's Valley practiced their 
accustomed watchfulness 'till about the twentieth of No- 
vember ; when there was a considerable fall of snow. This 
circumstance induced them to believe, that the savages 
would not attempt an irruption among them until the re- 
turn of spring ; and they became consequently, inattentive 
to their safety. 

Generally, the settlements enjoyed perfect quiet from 
the first appearance of winter, until the return of spring. In 
this interval of time, the Indians are usually deterred from 
penetrating into them, as well because of their great ex- 
posure to discovery and observation in consequence of the 
nakedness of the woods and the increased facility of pur- 
suing their trail in the snows which then usually covered 
the earth, as of the suffering produced by their lying in 

234 Withers's Chronicles 

wait and travelling, in their partially unclothed condition, 
in this season of intense cold. Instances of their being 
troublesome during the winter were rare indeed ; and never 
occurred, but under very peculiar circumstances : the in- 
habitants, were therefore, not culpably remiss, when they 
relaxed in their vigilance, and became exposed to savage 

A party of twenty Indians, designing to commit some 
depredations during the fall, had nearly reached the upper 
end of Tygart's Valley, when the snow, which had in- 
spired the inhabitants with confidence in their security, 
eommenced falling. Fearful of laying themselves open to 
detection, if they ventured to proceed farther at that time, 
and anxious to effect some mischief before they returned 
home, they remained concealed about ten miles from the 
settlements, until the snow disappeared. On the 15th of 
December, they came to the [170] house of Darby Connoly, 
at the upper extremity of the Valley, and killed him, his 
wife and several of the children, and took three others 
prisoners. Proceeding to the next house, killed John 
Stewart, his wife and child, and took Miss Hamilton (sis- 
ter-in-law to Stewart) into captivity. They then immedi- 
ately changed their direction, and with great dispatch, 
entered upon their journey home; with the captives and 
plunder, taken at those two places. 

In the course of the evening after these outrages were 
committed, John Hadden passing by the House of Connoly 
saw a tame elk belonging there, lying dead in the yard. 
This, and the death-like silence which reigned around, ex- 
cited his fears that all was not right ; and entering into 
the house, he saw the awful desolation which had been 
committed. Seeing that the work of blood had been but 
recently done, he hastened to alarm the neighborhood, and 
sent an express to Capt. Benjamin Wilson, living about 
twenty miles lower in the Valley, with the melancholy in- 
telligence. With great promptitude, Capt. Wilson went 
through the settlement, exerting himself to procure as 
many volunteers, as would justify going in pursuit of the 
aggressors ; and so indefatigable was he in accomplishing 
his purpose, that, on the day after the murders were per- 

Of Border Warfare. 235 

petrated, lie appeared on the theatre of their exhibition 
with thirty men, prepared to take the trail and push for- 
ward in pursuit of the savages. For five days they fol- 
lowed through cold and wet, without perceiving that they 
had gained upon them. At this time many of the men 
expressed a determination to return. They had suffered 
much, travelled far, and yet saw no prospect of overtaking 
the enemy. It is not wonderful that they became dispir- 
ited. In order to expedite their progress, the numerous 
water courses which lay across their path, swollen to an 
unusual height and width, were passed without any prep- 
aration to avoid getting wet ; the consequence was that 
after wading one of them, they would have to travel with 
icicles hanging from their clothes the greater part of a day, 
before an opportunity could be allowed of drying them. 
They suffered much too for the want of provisions. The 
short time afforded for preparation, had not admitted of 
their taking with them as much as they expected would 
be required, as they had already been on the chase longer 
than was anticipated. Under these circumstances it was 
with great difficulty, Captain Wilson could prevail [171] 
on them to continue the pursuit one day longer ; hoping 
the Indians would have to halt, in order to hunt for food. 
Not yet being sensible that they gained upon them, the 
men positively refused going farther ; and they returned 
to their several homes. 

This was the last outrage committed by the savages 
on North Western Virginia, in this year. And although 
there was not as much mischief effected by them in this 
season, as had been in others, yet the year 1777, has be- 
come memorable in the annals of Border Warfare. The 
murder of Cornstalk and his companions, the attack on 
Wheeling Fort, the loss of lives and destruction of prop- 
erty which then took place, together with the fatal ambus- 
cade at Grave Creek Narrows, all conspired to render it a 
period of much interest, and to impress its incidents deeply 
on the minds of those who were actors in these scenes. 

236 ' Withers Chronicles 

[172] CHAPTER X. 

After the winter became so severe as to prevent the 
Indians from penetrating the country and committing far- 
ther aggression, the inhabitants became assured of safety, 
and devoted much of their time to the erection of new 
forts, the strengthening of those which had been formerly 
established, and the making of other preparations, deemed 
necessary to prevent the repetition of those distressing oc- 
currences, which had spread gloom and sorrow over almost 
every part of North Western Virginia. That the savages 
would early renew their exertions to destroy the frontier 
settlements, and harrass their citizens, could not for au 
instant be doubted. Revenge for the murder of Cornstalk, 
and the other chiefs killed in the fort by the whites, had 
operated to unite the warlike nation of the Shawanees in 
a league with the other Indians, against them ; and every 
circumstance seemed to promise increased exertions on 
their part, to accomplish their purposes of blood and 

Notwithstanding all which had been suffered during- 
the preceding season; and all, which it was confidently 
anticipated, would have to be undergone after the return 
of spring, yet did the whole frontier increase in popula- 
tion, and in capacity to defend itself against the encroach- 
ments of a savage enemy, aided by British emissaries, and 
led on by American tories. The accession to its strength, 
caused by the number of emigrants, who came into the 
different settlements, was indeed considerable ; yet it was 
insufficient, to enable the inhabitants to purchase by offen- 
sive operations, exemption from [173] invasion, or security 
from the tomahawk and scalping knife. Assured of this, 
Virginia extended to them farther assistance ; and a small 
body of regular troops, under the command of General 
Mclntosh, was appropriated to their defence. 

Of Border Warfare. 297 

In the spring of 1778, General Mclntosh, 1 with the 
regulars and some militiamen, attached to his command, 
descended the Ohio river from Fort Pitt, to the mouth of 
Big Beaver a creek discharging itself into that river from 
the north-west. 2 This was a favorable position, at which 
to station his troops to effect the partial security of the 
frontier, by intercepting parties of Indians on their way to 
the settlements on the opposite side of the river, and by 
pursuing and punishing them while engaged, either in 
committing havoc, or in retreating to their towns, after 
the consummation of their horrid purposes. Fort Mcln- 
tosh was accordingly erected here, and garrisoned; a six 
pounder mounted for its defence. 

From Wheeling to Point Pleasant, a distance of one 
hundred and eighty-six miles, 3 there was then no obstacle 
whatever, presented to the advance of Indian war parties, 
into the settlements on the East and West Forks of the 
Monongahela, and their branches. The consequences of 
this exposure had been always severely felt ; and never 
more so than after the establishment of Fort Mclntosh. 
Every impediment to their invasion of one part of the 
country, caused more frequent irruptions into others, 
where no difficulties were interposed to check their prog- 
ress, and brought heavier woes on them. This had been 
already experienced, in the settlements on the upper 
branches of the Monongahela, and as they were the last 

1 Lachlan Mclntosh was born near Inverness, Scotland, March 17, 
1725. With his father, and 100 others of the Clan Mclntosh, he emi- 
grated to Georgia in 1736, in the train of Oglethorpe. The party 
founded New Inverness, in Mclntosh County. Lachlan entered the 
Colonial army at the opening of the Revolution, and rose to be briga- 
dier-general. In a duel with Button Gwinnett, a signer of the Declara- 
tion of Independence, he killed the latter. General Mclntosh was at 
the siege of Savannah in 1779, was a prisoner of war in 1780, a member 
congress in 1784, and in 1785 a commissioner to treat with the Southern 
Indians. He died at Savannah, February 20, 1806. R. G. T. 

1 The distance below Pittsburg is 26 miles. See p. 45, note, for notice 
of Shingiss Old Town, at this point. R. G. T. 

3 The distance, according to the shore meanderings of the U. S. 
Corps of Engineers, is 263 miles ; the mileage of the channel would be 
somewhat greater. R. G. T. 

238 Withers's Chronicles 

to feel the effects of savage enmity in 1777, so were they 
first to become sacrificed to its fury in 1778. 

Anticipating the commencement of hostilities at an 
earlier period of the season, than usual, several families 
retired into Harbert's block-house, on Ten Mile (a branch 
of the West Fork,) in the month of February. And not- 
withstanding the prudent caution manifested by them in 
the step thus taken ; yet, the state of the weather lulling 
them into false security, they did not afterwards exercise 
the vigilance and provident care, which were necessary to 
ensure their future safety. On the third of March, some 
children, playing with a crippled crow, at a short distance 
from the yard, espied a number of Indians proceeding to- 
wards them ; and running briskly to the house, told " that 
a number of red men were close by." [174] John Murphey 
stepped to the door to see if danger had really approached, 
when one of the Indians, turning the corner of the house, 
fired at him. The ball took effect, and Murphey fell back 
into the house. The Indian springing directly in, was 
grappled by Harbert, and thrown on the floor. A shot 
from without, wounded Harbert, yet he continued to main- 
tain his advantage over the prostrate savage, striking him 
as effectually as he could with his tomahawk, when an- 
other gun was fired at him from without the house. The 
ball passed through his head, and he fell lifeless. His an- 
tagonist then slipped out at the door, sorely wounded in 
the encounter. 

Just after the first Indian had entered, an active 
young warrior, holding in his hand a tomahawk with a 
long spike at the end, also came in. Edward Cunning- 
ham instantly drew up his gun to shoot him ; but it 
flashed, and they closed in doubtful strife. Both were 
active and athletic ; and sensible of the high prize for 
which they were contending, each put forth his utmost 
strength, and strained his every nerve, to gain the ascend- 
e"ncy. For a while, the issue seemed doubtful. At length, 
by great exertion, Cunningham wrenched the tomahawk 
from the hand of the Indian, and buried the spike end to 
the handle, in his back. Mrs. Cunningham closed the 
contest. Seeing her husband struggling closely with the 

Of Border Warfare. 239 

savage, she struck at him with an axe. The edge wound- 
ing his face severely, he loosened his hold, and made his 
way out of the house. 

The third Indian, which had entered before the door 
was closed, presented an appearance almost as frightful as 
the object which he had in view. He wore a cap made 
of the unshorn front of a buffalo, with the ears and horns 
still attached to it, and which hanging loosely about his 
head, gave to him a most hideous aspect. On entering 
the room, this infernal monster, aimed a blow with his 
tomahawk at a Miss lieece, which alighting on her head, 
wounded her severely. The mother of this girl, seeing 
the uplifted arm about to descend on her daughter, seized 
the monster by the horns ; but his false head coming read- 
ily off, she did not succeed in changing the direction of 
the weapon. The father then caught hold of him ; but 
far inferior in strength and agility, he was soon thrown 
on the floor, and must have been killed, but for the timely 
interference of Cunningham. Having [175] succeeded in 
ridding the room of one Indian, he wheeled, and sunk a 
tomahawk into the head of the other. 

During all this time the door was kept by the women, 
tho' not without great exertion. The Indians from with- 
out endeavored several times to force it open and gain 
admittance ; and would at one time have succeeded, but 
that, as it was yielding to their effort to open it, the In- 
dian, who had been wounded by Cunningham and his 
wife, squeezing out at the aperture which had been made, 
caused a momentary relaxation of the exertions of those 
without, and enabled the women again to close it, and 
prevent the entrance of others. These were not however, 
unemployed. They were engaged in securing such of the 
children in the yard, as were capable of being carried 
away as prisoners, and in killing and scalping the others ; 
and when they had effected this, despairing of being able 
to do farther mischief, they retreated to their towns. 

Of the whites in the house, one only was killed and 
four were wounded ; and seven or eight children in the 
yard, were killed or taken prisoners. One Indian was 
killed, and two badly wounded. Had Reece engaged 

240 Wit hers' s Chronicles 

sooner in the conflict, the other two who had entered the 
house, would no doubt have been likewise killed ; but be- 
ing a quaker, he looked on, without participating in the 
conflict, until his daughter was wounded. Having then 
to contend singly, with superior prowess, he was indebted 
for the preservation of his life, to the assistance of those 
whom he refused to aid in pressing need. 

On the eleventh of April, some Indians visited the 
house of Wm. Morgan, at the Dunkard bottom of Cheat 
river. They there killed a young man by the name of 
Brain, Mrs. Morgan, (the mother of William) and her 
grand daughter, and Mrs. Dillon and her two children ; 
and took Mrs. Morgan (the wife) and her child prisoners. 
When, on their way home, they came near to Pricket's 
fort, they bound Mrs. Morgan to a bush, and went in 
quest of a horse for her to ride, leaving her child with 
her. She succeeded in untying with her teeth, the bands 
which confined her, and wandered the balance of that day 
and part of the next before she came in sight of the fort. 
Here she was kindly treated and in a few days sent home. 
Some men going out from Pricket's fort some short time 
after, found at the spot where Mrs. Morgan had [176] been 
left by the Indians, a fine mare stabbed to the heart. Ex- 
asperated at the escape of Mrs. Morgan, they had no doubt 
vented their rage on the animal which they had destined 
to bear her weight. 

In the last of April, a party of about twenty Indians 
came to the neighborhoods of Hacker's creek and the 
West Fork. At this time the inhabitants of those neigh- 
borhoods had removed to West's fort, on the creek, and to 
Richards' fort on the river ; and leaving the women and 
children in them during the day, under the protection of a 
few men, the others were in the habit of performing the 
usual labors of their farms in companies, so as to preserve 
them from attacks of the Indians. A company of men, 
being thus engaged, the first week of May, in a field, now 
owned by Minter Bailey, on Hacker's creek, and being a 
good deal dispersed in various occupations, some fencing, 
others clearing, and a few ploughing, they were unexpect- 
edly fired upon by the Indians, and Thomas Hughes and 

Of Border Warfare. 241 

Jonathan Lowther shot down : the others being incau- 
tiously without arms fled for safety. Two of the company, 
having the Indians rather between them and West's fort, 
ran directly to Richards', as well for their own security as 
to give the alarm there. But they had been already ap- 
prized that the enemy was at hand. Isaac Washburn, who 
had been to mill on Hacker's creek the day before, on his 
return to Richards' fort and near to where Clement's mill 
now stands, was shot from his horse, tomahawked and 
scalped. The Ending of his body, thus cruelly mangled, 
had given them the alarm, and they were already on their 
guard, before the two men from Hacker's creek arrived 
with the intelligence of what had been done there. The 
Indians then left the neighborhood without effecting more 
havoc; and the whites were too weak to go in pursuit, 
and molest them. 

The determination of the Shawanees to revenge the 
death of their Sachem, had hitherto been productive of no 
very serious consequences. A while after his murder, a 
small band of them made their appearance near the fort 
at Point Pleasant ; and Lieutenant Moore was dispatched 
from the garrison, with some men, to drive them off. 
Upon his advance, they commenced retreating; and" the 
officer commanding the detachment, fearing they would 
escape, ordered a quick pursuit. He did not proceed far 
before he fell into an ambuscade. He and three of his 
men were killed at the first [177] fire ; the rest of the 
party saved themselves by a precipitate flight to the fort. 

In the May following this transaction, a few Indians 
again came in sight of the fort. But as the garrison had 
been very much reduced by the removal of Captain Ar- 
buckle's company, and the experience of the last season 
had taught them prudence, Captain McKee forbore to 
detach any of his men in pursuit of them. Disappointed, 
in their expectations of enticing others to destruction, as 
they had Lieutenant Moore in the winter, the Indians sud- 
denly rose from their covert, and presented an unbroken 
line, extending from the Ohio to the Kanawha river in 
front of the fort. A demand for the surrender of the gar- 

242 Withers's Chronicles 

rison, was then made ; and Captain McKee asked 'till the 
next morning to consider of it. In the course of the night, 
the men were busily employed in bringing water from the 
river, expecting that the Indians would continue before 
the fort for some time. 

In the morning, Captain McKee sent his answer by 
the grenadier squaw, (sister to Cornstalk, and who, not- 
withstanding the murder of her brother and nephew, was 
still attached to the whites, and was remaining at the fort 
in the capacity of interpreter) 1 that he could not comply 
with their demand. The Indians immediately began the 
attack, and for one week kept the garrison closely besieged. 
Finding however, that they made no impression on the 
fort, they collected the cattle about it and instead of re- 
turning towards their own country with the plunder, pro- 
ceeded up the Kanawha river towards the Greenbrier 

Believing their object to be the destruction of that 
settlement, and knowing from their great force that they 
would certainly accomplish it, if the inhabitants were un- 
advised of their approach, Captain McKee despatched two 
men to Col. Andrew Donnelly's, (then the frontier 
house,) with the intelligence. These men soon came in 
view of the Indians ; but finding that they were advancing 
in detached groups, and dispersed in hunting parties, 
through the woods, they despaired of being able to pass 
them, and returned to the fort. Captain McKee then 
made an appeal to the chivalry of the garrison, and asked, 
" who would risk his life to save the people of Greenbrier." 
John Pryor and Philip Hammond, at once stepped for- 
ward, and replied "WE WILL." They were then habited 
after the Indian manner, and painted in Indian style by 
the Grenadier Squaw, and departed on their hazardous, 
but noble and generous undertaking. Travelling, night 
and day, with great rapidity, they [178] passed the Indians 
at Meadow river, and arrived, about sunset of that day 
at Donnelly's fort, twenty miles farther on. 

1 See p. 176, note, for notice of Grenadier Squaw's Town, near Chilli- 
cothe. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 242 

As soon as the intelligence of the approach of the In- 
dians, was communicated by these men, Col. Donnelly had 
the neighbors all advised of it ; and in the course of the 
night, they collected at his house. He also dispatched a 
messenger to Capt. John Stuart, to acquaint him with the 
fact; and made every preparation to resist attack and en- 
sure their safety, of which his situation admitted. Pryor 
and Hammond told them how, by the precaution of Cap- 
tain McKee, the garrison at Point Pleasant had been saved 
from suffering by the want of water ; and advised them to 
lay in a plentiful supply, of that necessary article. A hogs- 
head was accordingly filled and rolled behind the door of 
the kitchen, which adjoined the dwelling house. 

Early next morning, John Pritchet (a servant to Col. 
Donnelly) went out for some firewood, and while thus en- 
gaged, was fired at and killed. The Indians then ran into 
the yard, and endeavored to force open the kitchen door ; 
but Hammond and Dick Pointer (a negro belonging to Col. 
Donnelly) who were the only persons within, aided by the 
hogshead of water, prevented their accomplishing this ob- 
ject. They next proceeded to cut it in pieces, with their 
tomahawks. Hammond seeing that they would soon suc- 
ceed in this way, with the assistance of Dick, rolled the 
hogshead to one side, and letting the door suddenly fly 
open, killed the Indian at the threshold, and the others 
who were near gave way. Dick then fired among them, 
with a musket heavily charged with swan shot, and no 
doubt with eiFect, as the yard was crowded with the en- 
emy ; a war club with a swan shot in it, was afterwards 
picked up near the door. 

The men in the house, who were asleep at the com- 
mencement of the attack, being awakened at the firing of 
Hammond and Dick, now opened a galling fire upon the 
Indians. Being chiefly up stairs they were enabled to do 
greater execution, and fired with such effect that, about 
one o'clock, the enemy retired a small distance from the 
house. Before they retired however, some of them suc- 
ceeded in getting under the floor, when they were aided 
by the whites below in raising some of the puncheons of 
which it was made. It was to their advantage to do this; 

244 Withers's Chronicles 

arid well did they profit by it. Several of the Indians were 
killed in this attempt to gain admittance, while only one 
of the whites received a wound, which but slightly in- 
jured his hand. 

When intelligence was conveyed to Capt. Stuart of 
the approach of so large a body of savages, Col. Samuel 
Lewis was with him ; and they both exerted themselves to 
save the settlement from destruction, by collecting the in- 
habitants at a fort where Lewisburg now stands. Having 
succeeded in this, they sent two men to Donnelly's to learn 
whether the Indians had advanced that far. As they ap- 
proached, the firing became distinctly audible, and they 
returned [179] with the tidings. Capt. Stuart and Col. 
Lewis proposed marching to the relief of Donnelly's fort, 
with as many men as were willing to accompany them; 
and in a brief space of time, commenced their march at 
the head of sixty-six men. Pursuing the most direct route 
without regarding the road, they approached the house on 
the back side; and thus escaped an ambuscade of Indians 
placed near the road to intercept and cut off" any assist- 
ance which might be sent from the upper settlements. 

Adjoining the yard, there was a field of well grown 
rye, into which the relief from Lewisburg, entered about 
two o'clock ; but as the Indians had withdrawn to a dis- 
tance from the house, there was no firing heard. They 
soon however, discovered the savages in the field, looking 
intently towards Donnoly's ; and it was resolved to pass 
them. Capt. Stuart and Charles Gatliff fired at them, and 
the whole party rushed forward into the yard, amid a 
heavy discharge of balls from the savage forces. The peo- 
ple in the fort hearing the firing in the rear of the house, ' 
soon presented themselves at the port holes, to resist, what 
they supposed, was a fresh attack on them ; but quickly 
discovering the real cause, they opened the gates, and all 
the party led on by Stuart and Lewis, safely entered. 

The Indians then resumed the attack, and maintained 
a constant fire at the house, until near dark, when one 
of them approached, and in broken English called out, " we 
want peace." He was told to come in and he should have 
it; but he declined the invitation to enter, and they all re- 

Of Border Warfare. 245 

treated, dragging off those of their slain, who lay not too 
near the fort. 

Of the whites, four only were killed by the enemy. 
Pritchet, before the attack commenced, James Burns and 
Alexander Ochiltree, as they were coming to the house 
.early in the morning, and James Graham while in the 
fort. It was impossible to ascertain the entire loss of the 
Indians. Seventeen lay dead in the yard ; and they were 
known to carry off others of their slain. Perhaps the dis- 
parity of the killed, equalled, if it did not exceed the dis- 
parity of the number engaged. There were twenty-one 
men at Donnoly's fort, before the arrival of the reinforce- 
ment under Stuart and Lewis ; and the brunt of the bat- 
tle was over before they came. The Indian force exceeded 
two hundred men. 

It was believed, that the invasion of the Greenbrier 
country had been projected, some time before it actually 
was made. During the preceding season, an Indian call- 
ing himself John Hollis, had been very much through the 
settlement ; and was known to take particular notice of 
the different forts, which he entered under the garb of 
friendship. He was with the Indians in the attack on 
Donnoly's fort; and was recognized as one of those who 
were left dead in the yard. 

On the morning after the Indians departed, Capt. 
Hamilton went in pursuit of them with seventy men ; but 
following two days, without [180] perceiving that he gained 
on them, he abandoned the chase and returned. 

About the middle of June, three women went out 
from West's fort, to gather greens in a field adjoining; 
and while thus engaged were attacked by four Indians, 
lying in wait. One gun only was fired, and the ball from 
it, passed through the bonnet of Mrs. Hackor, who screamed 
aloud and ran with the others towards the fort. An In- 
dian, having in his hand a long staff, with a spear in one 
end, pursuing closely after them, thrust it at Mrs. Free- 
man with such violence that, entering her back just below 
the shoulder, it came out at her left breast. With his 
tomahawk, he cleft the upper part of her head, and carried 
it off to save the scalp. 

246 Withers's Chronicles 

The screams of the women alarmed the men in the 
fort; and seizing their guns, they ran out, just as Mrs. 
Freeman fell. Several guns were fired at the Indian while 
he was getting her scalp, but with no effect. They served 
however, to warn the men who went out, that danger was 
at hand; and they quickly came in. 

Jesse Hughs' and John Schoolcraft (who were out) 
in making their way to the fort, came very near two In- 
dians standing by the fence looking towards the men at 
West's, so intently, that they did not perceive any one 
near them. They however, were observed by Hughs and 
Schoolcraft, who, avoiding them, made their way in, safely, 
Hughs immediately took up his gun, and learning the fate 
of Mrs. Freeman, went with some others to bring in the 
corpse. While there, he proposed to go and shew them, 
how near he had approached the Indians after the alarm 
had been given, before he saw them. Charles and Alex- 
ander West, Chas. Hughs, James Brown and John Steeth, 
went with him. Before they had arrived at the place, one 
of the Indians was heard to howl like a wolf; and the men 
with Hughs moved on in the direction from which the 
sound proceeded. Supposing that they were then near 
the spot, Jesse Hughs howled in like manner, and being 
instantly answered, they ran to a point of the hill and 
looking over it, saw two Indians coming towards them. 
Hughs fired and one of them fell. The other took to 
flight. Being pursued by the whites, he sought shelter in 
a thicket of brush ; and while they were proceeding to in- 
tercept him at his coming out, he returned by the way he 
had entered, and made his escape. The wounded Indian 
likewise got off. When the whites were in pursuit of the 
one who took to flight, they passed near to him who had 
fallen, and one of the men was for stopping and finishing 
him ; but Hughs called to him, " he is safe let us have 
the other," and they all pressed forward. On their return, 
however, he was gone; and although his free bleeding en- 
abled them to pursue his track readily for a while, yet a 

1 See p. 137, note, for notice of Jesse Hughes ; also, Peyton's History 
Of Augusta County, p. 353. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 247 

heavy shower of rain soon falling, all trace of him was 
quickly lost and could not be afterwards regained. 

On the 16th of June as Capt. James Booth and 
Nathaniel Cochran, were at work in a field on Booth's 
creek, they were fired at by [181] the Indians. Booth fell, 
but Cochran, being very slightly wounded, took to flight. 
He was however, overtaken, and carried into captivity to 
their towus. From thence he was taken to Detroit, where 
he remained some time ; and endeavoring to escape from 
that place, unfortunately took a path which led him im- 
mediately to the Maumee old towns. Here he was de- 
tained a while, & then sent back to Detroit, where he was 
exchanged, and from whence he made his way home, after 
having had to endure much suffering and many hardships. 
The loss of Booth was severely felt by the inhabitants in 
that settlement. He was not only an active and enter- 
prising man, but was endowed with superior talents, and 
a better education than most of those who had settled 
in the country ; and on these accounts was very much 

In a few days after this transaction, Benjamin Shinn, 
Wm. Grundy, and Benjamin Washburn, returning from a 
lick on the head of Booth's creek, were fired on by the 
Indians, when near to Baxter's run. Washburn and Shinn 
escaped unhurt, but Grundy was killed : he was brother 
to Felix Grundy of Tennessee, whose father was then re- 
siding at Simpson's creek, at a farm afterwards owned by 
Colonel Benjamin Wilson, senior. 

This party of Indians continued for some days, to 
prowl about the neighborhood, seeking opportunities of 
committing murder on the inhabitants ; fortunately how- 
ever, with but little success. James Owens, a youth of six- 
teen years of age, was the only one whom they succeeded 
in killing after the murder of Grundy. Going from Pow- 
ers' fort on Simpson's creek, to Booth's creek, his saddle 
girth gave way, and while he was down mending it, a ball 
was discharged at him, which killed both him and the 

Seeing that the whites, in that neighborhood, had all 
retired to the fort; and being too weak, openly to attack 

248 Withers's Chronicles 

it, they crossed over to Bartlett's run, and came to the 
house of Gilbert Hustead, who was then alone, and en- 
gaged in fixing his gun lock. Hearing a noise in the yard, 
for which he was unable to account, he slipped to the door, 
to ascertain from whence it proceeded. The Indians were 
immediately round it, and there was no chance for his 
escape. Walking out with an air of the utmost pleas- 
antry, he held forth his hand to the one nearest him, and 
asked them all to walk in. While in the house he affected 
great cheerfulness, and by his tale [182] won their confi- 
dence and friendship. He told them that he was a King's 
man and unwilling to live among the rebels ; for which 
reason, when others retired into the fort, he preferred 
staying at his own house, anxiously hoping for the arrival 
of some of the British Indians, to afford him an opportu- 
nity of getting among English friends. Learning upon 
enquiry, that they would be glad to have something to eat, 
he asked one of them to shoot a fat hog which was in the 
yard, that they might regale on it that night, and have 
some on which to subsist while travelling to their towns. 
In the morning, still farther to maintain the deception he 
was practising, he broke his furniture to pieces, saying 
"the rebels shall never have the good of you." He then 
accompanied them to their towns, acting in the same, ap- 
parently, contented and cheerful manner, 'till his sincerity 
was believed by all, and he obtained leave to return for 
his family. He succeeded in making his way home, where 
he remained, sore at the destruction of his property, but 
exulting in the success of his artifice. 

While this party of Indians were thus engaged, on 
Booth's creek and in the circumjacent country, a more 
numerous body had invaded the settlements lower down, 
and were employed in the work of destruction there. 
They penetrated to Coburn's creek unperceived, and were 
making their way (as was generally supposed) to a fort 
not far from Morgantown, when they fell in with a party 
of whites, returning from the labors of the cornfield, and 
then about a mile from Coburn's fort. The Indians had 
placed themselves on each side of the road leading to the 
fort, and from their covert fired on the whites, before they 

Of Border Warfare. 249 

were aware of danger. John Woodfin being on horse- 
back, had his thigh broken by a ball ; which killed his 
horse and enabled them to catch him easily. Jacob Mil- 
ler was shot through the abdomen, and soon overtaken, 
tomahawked and scalped. The others escaped to the fort. 

Woodfin was afterwards found on a considerable emi- 
nence overlooking the fort, tomahawked and scalped. 
The Indians had, most probably, taken him there, that he 
might point out to them the least impregnable part of the 
fortress, and in other respects give them such informa- 
tion, as would tend to ensure success to their meditated 
attack on it ; but when they heard its strength and the 
force with which it was garrisoned, despairing of being 
able to reduce it, in a fit of disappointed fury, they mur- 
dered him on the spot. 

[183] They next made their appearance on Dunkard 
creek, and near to Stradler's fort. Here, as on Coburn's 
creek, they lay in ambush on the road side, awaiting the 
return of the men who were engaged at work, in some of 
the neighboring fields. Towards evening the men came 
on, carrying with them some hogs which they had killed 
for the use of the fort people, and on approaching where 
the Indians lay concealed, were fired on and several fell. 
Those who escaped injury from the first fire, returned the 
shot, and a severe action ensued. But so many of the 
whites had been killed before the savages exposed them- 
selves to view, that the remainder were unable long to 
sustain the unequal contest. Overpowered by numbers, 
the few, who were still unhurt, fled precipitately to the 
fort, leaving eighteen of their companions dead in the 
road. These were scalped and mangled by the Indians in 
a most shocking manner, and lay some time, before the 
men in the fort, assured of the departure of the enemy, 
went out and buried them. 

Weakened by the severe loss sustained in this bloody 
skirmish, had the Indians pushed forward to attack the 
fort, in all human probability, it would have fallen before 
them. There were at that day very few settlements which 
could have maintained possession of a garrison for any 
length of time, after having suffered so great a diminu- 

250 Withers' s Chronicles 

tion of the number of their inhabitants, against the on- 
sets of one hundred savages, exercising their wonted 
energy: and still less would they be able to leave their 
strong holds, and cope with such superior force, in open 
battle. Nor were the settlements, as yet, sufficiently con- 
tiguous to each other, to admit of their acting in concert, 
and combining their strength, to operate effectively against 
their invaders. When alarmed by the approach of the 
foe, all that they could generally do, was, retire to a fort, 
and endeavor to defend it from assault. If the savages, 
coming in numbers, succeeded in committing any outrage, 
it usually went unpunished. Sensible of their want of 
strength, the inhabitants rarely ventured in pursuit, to 
harrass or molest the retiring foe. When, however, they 
would hazard to hang on their retreat, the many precau- 
tions which they were compelled to exercise, to prevent 
falling into ambuscades and to escape the entangling arti- 
fices of their wily enemies, frequently rendered their en- 
terprises abortive, and their exertions inefficient. 

[184] The frequent visits paid by the Indians to the 
country on the West Fork, and the mischief which they 
would effect at these times, led several of the inhabitants 
to resolve on leaving a place so full of dangers, as soon as 
they could make the necessary preparations. A family 
of Washburns particularly, having several times very nar- 
rowly escaped destruction, commenced making arrange- 
ments and fitting up for their departure. But while two 
of them were engaged in procuring pine knots, from which 
to make wax for shoemaking, they were discovered, and 
shot at by the Indians. Stephen fell dead, and James was 
taken prisoner and carried to their towns. He was there 
forced to undergo repeated and intense suffering before 
death closed the scene of his miseries. 

According to the account given by Nathaniel Cochran 
on his return from captivity, Washburn was most severely 
beaten, on the first evening of his arrival at their village, 
while running the gauntlet; and although he succeeded in 
getting into the council house, where Cochran was, yet 
he was so disfigured and mutilated, that he could not be 
recognised by his old acquaintance; and so stunned and 

Of Border Warfare. 251 

stupified, that he remained nearly all night in a state of 
insensibility. Being somewhat revived in the morning, 
he walked to where Cochran sat by the fire, and being 
asked if he were not James Washburn, replied with a 
smile as if a period had been put to his sufferings by the 
sympathetic tone in which the question was proposed 
that he was. The gleam of hope which flashed over his 
countenance, was transient and momentary. In a few 
minutes he was again led forth, that the barbarities which 
had been suspended by the interposition of night, might 
be revived ; and he made to endure a repetition of their 
cruelties. He was now feeble and too much exhausted to 
save himself from the clubs and sticks, even of the aged 
of both sexes. The old men and the old women, who fol- 
lowed him, had strength and activity enough to keep pace 
with his fleetest .progress, and inflict on him their severest 
blows. Frequently he was beaten to the ground, and as 
frequently, as if invigorated by the extremity of anguish, 
he rose to his feet. Hobbling before his tormentors, with 
no hope but in death, an old savage passed a knife across 
his ham, which cutting the tendons, disabled him from 
proceeding farther. Still they repeated their unmerciful 
blows with all their energy. He was next scalped, though 
alive, and struggling to regain his feet. [185] Even this 
did not operate to suppress their cruelty. They continued 
to beat him, until in the height of suffering he again ex- 
hibited symptoms of life and exerted himself to move. 
His head was then severed from his shoulders, attached 
to a pole, and placed in the most public situation in the 

After the attack on the Washburns, there were but 
two other outrages committed in the upper country dur- 
ing that season. The cessation on the part of the savages, 
of hostile incursions, induced an abandonment of the 
forts, and the people returned to their several homes, and 
respective occupations. But aggression was only sus- 
pended for a time. In October, two Indians appeared 
near the house of Conrad Richards, and finding in the 
yard a little girl at play, with an infant in her arms, they 
scalped her and rushed to the door. For some time they 

252 Withers's Chronicles 

endeavored to force it open ; but it was BO securely fast- 
ened within, that Richards was at liberty to use his gun 
for its defence. A fortunate aim wounded one of the as- 
sailants severely, and the other retreated, helping off his 
companion. The girl who had been scalped in the yard, 
as soon as she observed the Indians going away, ran, 
with the infant still in her arms and uninjured, and en- 
tered the house a spectacle of most heart-rending wretch- 

Soon after, David Edwards, returning from Winches- 
ter with salt, was shot near the Valley river, tomahawked 
and scalped; in which situation he lay for some time be- 
fore he was discovered. He was the last person who fell 
a victim to savage vengeance, in North Western Virginia 
in the year 1778. 

The repeated irruptions of the Indians during the 
summer of the year; ' and the frequent murders and great 
devastation committed by them, induced Government to 
undertake two expeditions into the Indian country. One 
thousand men were placed under the command of General 
Mclntosh, some time in the fall, and he received orders to 
proceed forthwith against the Sandusky towns. Between 
two and three hundred soldiers were likewise placed un- 
der Colonel Clarke, to operate against the Canadian settle- 
ments in Illinois. It was well known that the Governor 
of those settlements was an indefatigable agent of British 
cruelty, stimulating the savages to aggression, and paying 
them well for scalps, torn alike from the heads of the 
aged matron and the helpless infant. 2 [186] The settle- 
ments in Kentucky, were constantly the theatre of outrage 
and murder ; and to preserve these from entire destruc- 
tion, it was necessary that a blow should be aimed, at the 

1 These war parties largely emanated from the Detroit region. 
Lieutenant-Governor Hamilton, the British commander at Detroit, 
writing to his superior, General Haldimand, September 16, 1778, men- 
tions incidentally that he sent out small parties of Miamis and Chippe- 
was, August 5, and September 5 and 9 ; these were but three of dozens 
of such forays which he incited against the Virginia and Pennsylvania 
borders, during that year. R. G. T. 

1 This reference is to Lieut.-Governor Hamilton, whom George 
Rogers Clark called " the hair-buying general." R^G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 253 

hives from which the savages swarmed, and if possible, 
that those holds, into which they would retire to reap the 
rewards of their cruelties and receive the price of blood, 
should be utterly broken up. The success of those two 
expeditions could not fail to check savage encroachments, 
and give quiet and security to the frontier ; and although 
the armies destined to achieve it, were not altogether ade- 
quate to the service required, yet the known activity and 
enterprize of the commanding officers, joined to their 
prudence and good conduct, and the bravery and indefat- 
igable perseverance and hardiness of the troops, gave 
promise of a happy result. 

The success of the expedition under Colonel Clarke, 1 

1 Gen. George Rogers Clark was born November 19, 1752, near 
Monticello, Albemarle County, Va. At the age of twenty he was prac- 
ticing his profession as a surveyor on the upper Ohio, and took up a 
claim at the mouth of Fish Creek. In 1 774, he participated as a captain 
in Dunmore's campaign against the Shawnees and Mingoes. Early in 
1775, Clark went as a surveyor to Kentucky, where he acquired marked 
popularity, and in 1776 was elected as " a delegate to the Virginia con- 
vention, to urge upon the state authorities the claims of the colony for 
government and defense." He secured the formation of the new 
county of Kentucky, and a supply of ammunition for the defense of the 
border. In 1777, Clark, now a major of militia, repelled the Indian 
attacks on Harrodsburg, and proceeded on foot to Virginia to lay before 
the state authorities his plan for capturing the Illinois country and re- 
pressing the Indian forays from that quarter. His scheme being ap- 
proved, he was made a lieutenant-colonel, and at once set out to raise 
for the expedition a small force of hardy frontiersmen. He rendez- 
voused and drilled his little army of a hundred and fifty on Corn Island 
in the Ohio river, at the head of the Falls (or rapids), opposite the 
present city of Louisville. June 24, 1778, he started in boats down 
the Ohio, and landed near the deserted Fort Massac, which was on the 
north bank, ten miles below the mouth of the Tennessee; thence 
marching across country, much pressed for food, he reached Kaskaskia 
in six days. The inhabitants there were surprised and coerced during 
the night of July 4-5, without the firing of a gun. Cahokia and Vin- 
cennes soon quietly succumbed to his influence. Lieut.-Governor Ham- 
ilton, on hearing of this loss of the Illinois country and the partial 
defection to the Americans of the tribes west and southwest of Lake 
Michigan, at once set out to organize an army, chiefly composed of In- 
dians, to retake the Illinois. He proceeded via the Wabash and 
Maumee, with eight hundred men, and recaptured Vincennes, Decem- 
ber 17. 

The intelligence of this movement of Hamilton was not long in 
reaching Clark at Kaskaskia, and he at once set out for Vincennes to 

254 Withers'* Chronicles 

fully realized the most sanguine expectations of those, 
who were acquainted with the adventurous and enterpris- 
ing spirit of its commander; and was productive of essen- 
tial benefit to the state, as well as of comparative security to 
the border settlements. Descending the Ohio river, from 
Fort Pitt to the Falls, he there landed his troops, and con- 
cealing his boats, marched directly towards Kaskaskias. 
Their provisions, which were carried on their backs, were 
soon exhausted ; and for two days, the army subsisted en- 
tirely on roots. This was the only circumstance, which 

recapture it. The march thither was one of the most heroic in Ameri- 
can military annals. Hamilton surrendered to him, February 25, and 
was forwarded to Virginia as a prisoner. Early in 1780 he established 
Fort Jefferson, just below the mouth of the Ohio, and later in the sea- 
son aided in repelling a body of British and Indians who had come to 
regain the Illinois country and attack the Spaniards at St. Louis. Leav- 
ing Colonel Montgomery to pursue the enemy up the Mississippi, 
Clark, with what force could be spared, hastened to Kentucky, where 
he quickly raised a thousand men, and invaded and laid waste the 
Shawnee villages, in retaliation for Capt. Henry Bird's invasion (see 
p. 262, note). 

Later, he was engaged in some minor forays, and was appointed a 
brigadier-general; but his favorite scheme of an expedition to conquer 
Detroit miscarried, owing to the poverty of Virginia and the activity of 
the enemy under Brant, McKee, Girty, and other border leaders. In 
1782 Clark led a thousand men in a successful campaign against the In- 
dians on the Great Miami. This was his last important service, his 
subsequent expeditions proving failures. His later years were spent in 
poverty and seclusion, and his social habits became none of the best. 
In 1793 he imprudently accepted a commission as major-general from 
Genet, the French diplomatic agent, and essayed to raise a French revo- 
lutionary legion in the West to overcome the Spanish settlements on the 
Mississippi; upon Genet's recall, Clark's commission was canceled. 
Later, he sought to secure employment under the Spanish (see p. 130, 
note.) He died February 18, 1818, at Locust Grove, near Louisville, and 
lies buried at Cave Hill, in the Louisville suburbs. In his article on 
Clark, in Appleton's Cyclop, of Amer. Biog., i., pp. 626, 627, Dr. Draper 
says: "Clark was tall and commanding, brave and full of resources, 
possessing the affection and confidence of his men. All that rich 
domain northwest of the Ohio was secured to the republic, at the peace 
of 1783, in consequence of his prowess." Cf. William F. Poole, in 
Winsor's Narr. and Crit. Hist. Amer., vi., pp. 710-742. While due credit 
should be given to Clark for his daring and successful undertaking, we 
must not forget that England's jealousy of Spain, and shrewd diplomacy 
on the part of America's peace plenipotentiaries, were factors even more 
potent in winning the Northwest for the United States. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 255 

occurred during their march, calculated to damp the 
ardor of the troops. No band of savage warriors, had 
interposed to check their progress, no straggling Indian, 
had discovered their approach. These fortunate omens 
inspired them with flattering hopes; and they pushed for- 
ward, with augmented energy. Arriving before Kaskaskias 
in the night, they entered it, unseen and unheard, and 
took possession of the town and fort, without opposition. 
Relying on the thick and wide extended forests which in- 
terposed between them and the American settlements, the 
inhabitants had been lulled to repose by fancied security, 
and were unconscious of danger until it had become too 
late to be avoided. Not a single individual escaped, to 
spread the alarm in the adjacent settlements. 

But there still remained other towns, higher up the 
Mississippi, which, if unconquered, would still afford 
shelter to the savages and furnish them the means of an- 
noyance and of ravage. Against these, Colonel Clarke 
immediately directed [187] operations. Mounting a de- 
tachment of men, on horses found at Kaskaskias, and 
sending them forward, three other towns were reduced 
with equal success. The obnoxious governor at Kaskas- 
kias was sent directly to Virginia, with the written in- 
structions which he had received from Quebec, Detroit 
and Michillimacinac, for exciting the Indians to war, and 
remunerating them for the blood which they might shed. 

Although the country within which Colonel Clarke 
had so successfully carried on operations, was considered 
to be within the limits of Virginia; yet as it was occupied 
by savages and those who were but little, if any, less hos- 
tile than they; and being so remote from her settlements, 
Virginia had as yet exercised no act of jurisdiction over 
it. But as it now belonged to her, by conquest as well as 
charter, the General Assembly created it into a distinct 
county, to be called Illinois; a temporary government was 
likewise established in it, and a regiment of infantry and 
a troop of cavalry, ordered to be enlisted for its defence, 
and placed under the command of its intrepid and enter- 
prising conqueror. 

The expedition directed under General Mclntosh, was 

256 Withers's Chronicles 

not equally successful. The difficulty of raising, equip- 
ping, and organizing, so large a force as was placed under 
his command, at so great a distance from the populous 
district of the state, caused the consumption of so much 
time, that the season for carrying on effective operations 
had well nigh passed before he was prepared to commence 
his march. Anxious however, to achieve as much as could 
then be effected for the security of the frontier, he pene- 
trated the enemy's country, as far as Tuscarawa, when it 
was resolved to build and garrison a fort, and delay farther 
operations 'till the ensuing spring. Fort Laurens was ac- 
cordingly erected on the banks of the Tuscarawa, a garri- 
son of one hundred and fifty men, under the command of 
ColonelJohn Gibson, left for its preservation, and the main 
army returned to Fort Pitt. 

Of Border Warfare. 257 

[188] CHAPTER XI. 

No sooner had the adventurous advance of Col. Clarke, 
and the success with which it was crowned, become known 
at Detroit, than preparations were made to expel him 
from Kaskaskias, or capture his little army, and thus rid 
the country of this obstacle to the unmolested passage of 
the savages, to the frontier of Virginia. An army of six 
hundred men, principally Indians, led on by Hamilton, the 
governor of Detroit a man at once bold and active, yet 
blood-thirsty and cruel, and well known as a chief insti- 
gator of the savages to war, and as a stay and prop of to- 
ries left Detroit and proceeded towards the theatre of 
Clarke's renown. With this force, he calculated on being 
able to effect his purpose as regarded Col. Clarke and his 
little band of bold and daring adventurers, and to spread 
devastation and death along the frontier, from Kentucky 
to Pennsylvania. Arriving at Fort St. Vincent, 1 on the 
Wabash, about the middle of December, and deeming it 
too late to advance towards Kaskaskias, he repaired its 
battlements and converting it into a repository for war- 
like implements of every description, he detached the 
greater part of his force in marauding parties to operate 
against .the settlements on the Ohio river, reserving for 
the security of his head quarters only one company of 

"While these alarming preparations were being made, 
Col. Clarke was actively engaged in acquiring an ascend- 
ency over the neighboring tribes of Indians; and in en- 
deavors to attach them to the cause of the United States, 
from principle or fear. The aid which had been voted 
him, fell far short of [189] the contemplated assistance, 
and had not yet arrived ; but his genius and activity am- 
ply compensated for the deficiency. In the heart of an 

1 Called by the English, Fort Sackville. R. G. T. 

258 Withers's Chronicles 

Indian country, remote from every succour, and in the 
vicinity of powerful and hostile tribes, he yet not only 
maintained his conquest and averted injury, but carried 
terror and dismay into the very strongholds of the sav- 
ages. Intelligence of the movement of Hamilton at length 
reached him, and hostile parties of Indians soon hovered 
around Kaskaskias. Undismayed by the tempest which 
was gathering over him, he concentrated his forces, with- 
drawing garrisons from the other towns to strengthen 
this, and made every preparation to enable him to endure 
a siege, and withstand the assault of a powerful army. 
The idea of abandoning the country never occurred to 
him. He did not despair of being able to maintain his 
position, and he and his gallant band resolved that they 
would do it, or perish in the attempt. In this fearful 
juncture, all was activity and industry, when the arrival 
of a Spanish merchant who had been at St. Vincents 
brought information of the reduced state of Hamilton's 
army. 1 Convinced that a crisis had now arrived, Clarke 
resolved by one bold stroke to change the aspect of affairs, 
and instead of farther preparing to resist attack, himself 
to become the assailant. For this purpose, a galley, 
mounting two four pounders and four swivels, and having 
on board a company of men, was despatched, with orders 
to the commanding officer, to ascend the Wabash and sta- 
tion himself a few miles below St. Vincents, allowing no 
one to pass him until the arrival of the main army. Gar- 
risoning Kaskaskias, with militia, and embodying the in- 
habitants for the protection of the other towns, Colonel 
Clarke set forward on his march across the country, on 
the 7th of February, 1779, at the head of one hundred 
and thirty brave and intrepid men. 2 

1 From Clark's Journal: "January 29. M. Vigo, a Spanish sub- 
ject who had been at Post St. Vincents on his lawful business, arrived 
and gave us intelligence that Governor Hamilton, with thirty regulars 
and fifty volunteers and about 400 Indians, had arrived in November 
and taken that post with Capt. Helms and such other Americans who 
were there with arms, and disarmed the settlers and inhabitants."- 
R. G. T. 

1 Forty-six men, under Lieut. John Rogers, went with the artillery 

Of Border Warfare. 259 

Such was the inclemency of the weather, and so many 
and great the obstacles which interposed, that in despite 
of the ardor, perseverance and energy of the troops, they 
could yet advance very slowly towards the point of desti- 
nation. They were five days in crossing the drowned 
lands of the Wabash, and for five miles had to wade 
through water and ice, frequently up to their breasts. 
They overcame every difficulty and arrived before St. Vin- 
cents on the evening of the twenty-third of February and 
almost simultaneously with the galley. 

Thus far fortune seemed to favor the expedition. The 
army had not been discovered on its march, and the gar- 
rison was totally ignorant of its approach. Much how- 
ever yet remained to be done. They had arrived within 
view of the enemy, but the battle was yet to be fought. 

Sensible of the advantage to be derived from com- 
mencing the attack, while the enemy was ignorant of his 
approach, at seven o'clock he marched to the assault. The 
inhabitants instead of offering opposition, received the 
troops with gladness, and surrendering [190] the town, en- 
gaged with alacrity in the siege of the fort. For eight- 
een hours the garrison resisted the repeated onsets of the 
assailants; but during the night succeeding the com- 
mencement of the attack, Colonel Clarke had an entrench- 
ment thrown up within rifle shot of the enemy's strongest 
battery, and in the morning, from this position, poured 
upon it such a well-directed shower of balls, that in fifteen 
minutes he silenced two pieces of cannon without sustain- 
ing any loss whatever. The advantages thus gained, in- 
duced Hamilton to demand a parley, intimating an inten- 
tion of surrendering. The terms were soon arranged. 
The governor and garrison became prisoners of war, and 
a considerable quantity of military stores fell into the 
hands of the conqueror. 1 

and stores, in a large galley or batteau, called the " Willing." The dis- 
tance to Vincennes by land, was a hundred and fifty miles. R. G. T. 

1 The originals of the correspondence between Clark and Hamilton 
are, with much other MS. material relative to the movements of Clark, 
111 possession of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Hamilton's letter, in 
a neat, scholarly hand, ran : 

" Lieutenant Governor Hamilton proposes to Colonel Clark a Truce 

260 Withers's Chronicles 

During the continuance of the siege, Colonel Clarke 
received information that a party of Indians which had 
been detached by Hamilton to harrass the frontiers, was 
returning and then near to St. Vincents with two prison- 
ers. He immediately ordered a detachment of his men to 
march out and give them battle nine Indians were taken 
and the two prisoners released. 

History records but few enterprises, which display as 
strikingly the prominent features of military greatness, 
and evince so much of the genius and daring which are 
necessary to their successful termination, as this; while 
the motives which led to its delineation, were such, as 
must excite universal admiration. Bold and daring, yet 
generous and disinterested, Colonel Clarke sought not his 
individual advancement in the projection or execution of 
this campaign. It was not to gratify the longings of am- 
bition, or an inordinate love of fame, that prompted him 
to penetrate the Indian country to the Kaskaskias, nor 
that tempted him forth from thence, to war with the gar- 
rison at St. Vincent. He was not one of 

for three days, during which time he promises, there shall not be any 
defensive work carried on in the Garrison, on Condition Colo! Clark 
shall observe on his part a like cessation from any offensive Work 

" He further proposes that whatever may pass between them two 
and any persons (mutually agreed upon to be) present, shall remain se- 
cret, till matters be finally concluded 

" As he wishes that whatever the result of their conference may be 
the honor and credit of each party may be considered, so he wishes to 
confer with Colo! Clark as soon as may be 

" As Colo! Clark makes a difficulty of coming into the Garrison, 
U. G. Hamilton will speak with him before the Gate 


" FebT 24* 1779 Fort Sackville ' 

Clark's gruff reply, in rugged, but not unclerical chirography, was 
as follows : 

"Colonel Clark's Compliments to MF Hamilton and begs leave to 
inform him that Co! Clark will not agree to any Other Terms than that 
of M! Hamilton's Surrendering himself and Garrison, Prisoners at 

"If Mf Hamilton is Desirous of a Conferance with Co! Clark he 
will meet him at the Church with Capt? Helms 

" Feb? 24*, 1779. G. R. CLARK." R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 261 

" Those worshippers of glory, 

Who bathe the earth in blood, 
And launch proud names for an after age, 
Upon the crimson flood." 

The distress and sufferings of the frontier of Vir- 
ginia required that a period should speedily be put to them, 
to preserve the country from ravage and its inhabitants 
from butchery. Clarke had seen and participated in that 
distress and those sufferings, and put in requisition every 
faculty of his mind and all the energies of his body, to al- 
leviate and prevent them. Providence smiled on his un- 
dertaking, and his exertions were crowned with complete 
success. The plan which had been concerted for the en- 
suing campaign against the frontier of Virginia, threat- 
ening to involve the whole country west of the Alleghany 
mountains in destruction and death, was thus happily 
frustrated; and he, who had been mainly instrumental in 
impelling the savages to war, and in permitting, if not in- 
stigating them to the commission of the most atrocious 
barbarities, was a prisoner in the hands of the enemy. So 
justly obnoxious had he [191] rendered himself by his 
conduct, that a more than ordinary rigor was practised 
upon him; and by the orders of the governor of Virginia, 
the governor of Detroit was manacled with irons, and con- 
fined in jail. 1 

Far different was the termination of the enterprise 
entrusted to the conduct of General Mclntosh. It has 
been already seen that the approach of winter forced the 
main army to retire to the settlements into winter quar- 
ters, before they were able to accomplish any thing, but 
the erection of Fort Laurens. 2 Colonel Gibson, the com- 
mandant of the garrison, though a brave and enterprising 
officer, was so situated, that the preservation of the fort, 

1 Hamilton, in a letter of July 6, 1781, contained in the Haldimand 
Papers, in the British Museum, gives what he calls " a brief account" of 
his ill-starred expedition. See Roosevelt's Winning of the West, passim. 
R. G. T. 

* On the Tuscarawas River, about ten miles north of the present 
New Philadelphia, O., and a mile south of what is now Bolivar, Tus- 
carawas County. At the time Withers alludes to, it was garrisoned by 
150 men under Col. John Gibson. R. G. T, 

262 Withers' s Chronicles 

was all which he could accomplish ; and this was no little 
hazard of failure, from the very superior force of the 
enemy, and the scarcity of provisions for the subsistance 
of the garrison. So soon as the Indians became acquainted 
with the existence of a fort so far in their country, they put 
in practice those arts which enable them, so successfully to 
annoy their enemies. 

Early in January, a considerable body of savages ap- 
proached Fort Laurens unperceived and before the garri- 
son was apprised that an Indian knew of its erection. 1 In 
the course of the night they succeeded in catching the 
horses outside of the fort; and taking off their bells, car- 
ried them into the woods, some distance off. They then 
concealed themselves in the prairie grass, along a path 
leading from the fort, and in the morning commenced 
rattling the bells, at the farther extremity of the line of 
ambushment, so as to induce the belief that the horses was 
there to be found. The stratagem succeeded. Sixteen 
men were sent out to bring in the horses. Allured by the 
sound of the bells, they kept the path, along which the 
Indians lay concealed, until they found themselves unex- 
pectedly in the presence of an enemy, who opened upon 
them a destructive fire from front and rear. Fourteen 
were killed on the spot, and the remaining two were taken 

1 Simon Girty and seventeen Indians, mostly Mingoes. Withers 
confounds this raid with the more formidable siege in February and 
March. In the January assault, Girty's band ambushed Capt. John 
Clark, a sergeant, and fourteen men, returning to Fort Pitt from con- 
voying provisions to Fort Laurens. Two whites were killed, four 
wounded, and one taken prisoner. In February, came an attacking 
party of a hundred and twenty Indians (mostly Wyandots and Min- 
goes), led by Capt. Henry Bird, of the Eighth (or King's) Regiment; 
with him were Simon Girty and ten soldiers. The enemy arrived Feb- 
ruary 22, but remained in hiding. The next day Gibson sent out a 
guard of eighteen men, despite warnings of the enemy's presence, to 
assist the wagoner in collecting the horses of the fort. All the party 
were killed and scalped, within sight of the fort, save two, who were 
made prisoners. The fort was then openly invested until March L'O, 
when the besiegers withdrew, torn with dissensions and short of sup- 
plies. See Butterfield's Washington- Irvine Correspondence for further de- 
tails. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 263 

On the evening of the day on which this unfortunate 
surprise took place, the Indian arm}", consisting of eight 
hundred and forty-seven warriors, painted and equipped 
for war, marched in single file through a prairie near the 
fort and in full view of the garrison, and encamped on an 
adjacent elevation on the opposite side of the river. From 
this situation, frequent conversations were held by them 
with the whites, in which they deprecated the longer con- 
tinuance of hostilities, but yet protested against the en- 
croachment made upon their territory by the whites, the 
erection of a fort and the garrisoning soldiers within their 
country, not only unpermitted by them, but for some time 
before they knew anything of it. For these infringements 
on their rights, they were determined on prosecuting the 
war, and continued the investure of the fort, for six weeks. 
In this time they became straitened for provisions, and 
aware that without a fresh supply of them, they would be 
forced to abandon the siege, they sent word to the com- 
mander of the garrison, by a Delaware [192] Indian, calling 
himself John Thompson, (who, though with the whites in 
the fort, was permitted by both parties to go in and out, as 
he choose) that they were desirous of peace, and were willing 
to enter into a negotiation, if he would send them a bar- 
rel of flour and some tobacco. Scarce as these articles had 
actually become in the garrison, yet Col. Gibson complied 
with their request, hoping that they might be induced to 
make peace, or withdraw from the fort, and hopeless of 
timely succours from the settlements. Upon the receipt of 
those presents, the Indians raised the siege and marched 
their army off, much to the relief of the garrison, although 
they did not fulfil their promise of entering into a treaty. 

During the time the Indians remained about the fort, 
there was much sickness in the garrison ; and when they 
were believed to have retired, the commandant detached 
Col. Clarke, of the Pennsylvania line, 1 with a party of 
fifteen men, to escort the invalids to Fort Mclutosh. They 
proceeded but a small distance from the gate, where they 

1 Not to be confounded with George Rogers Clark, of Kentucky. 
R. G. T. 

264 Withers' s Chronicles 

were attacked by some Indians, who had been left con- 
cealed near the fort, for the purpose of effecting farther 
mischief. A skirmish ensued ; but overpowered by num- 
bers and much galled by the first fire, Col. Clarke could 
not maintain the conflict. With much difficulty, he and 
three others reached the fort in safety: the rest of the 
party were all killed. 

Col. Gibson immediately marched out at the head of 
the greater part of the garrison, but the Indians had re- 
treated as soon as they succeeded in cutting off the de- 
tachment under Col. Clarke, and prudence forbade to pro- 
ceed in pursuit of them, as the main army was believed to 
be yet in the neighborhood. The dead were however 
brought in, and buried with the honors of war, in front of 
the fort gate. 

In a few days after this, Gen. Mclntosh arrived with 
a considerable body of troops and a supply of provisions 
for the garrison. "While the savages were continuing the 
siege, a friendly Indian, had been despatched by Col. Gib- 
son to acquaint Gen. Mclntosh with the situation at Fort 
Laurens, and that without the speedy arrival of a rein- 
forcement of men and an accession to their stock of pro- 
visions, the garrison would have to surrender; or seek a 
doubtful safety, by evacuating the fort and endeavoring to 
regain the Ohio river, in the presence of an overwhelming 
body of the enemy. With great promptitude the settlers 
flocked to the standard of Gen. Mclntosh, and loading 
pack horses, with abundance of provisions for the supply 
of the garrison at Fort Laurens, commenced a rapid march 
to their relief. Before their arrival, they had been re- 
lieved from the most pressing danger, by the withdrawal 
of the Indian army ; and were only suffering from the 
want of flour and meat. A manifestation of the great joy 
felt upon the arrival of Gen. Mclntosh, had well nigh de- 
prived them of the benefit to be derived from the pro- 
visions brought for them. "When the relief army ap- 
proached the fort, a salute was fired by the garrison, 
which, alarming the pack horses, caused them [193] to 
break loose and scatter the greater part of the flour in 

Of Border Warfare. 265 

every direction through the woods, so that it was impos- 
sible to be again collected. 

The remains of those, who had unfortunately fallen 
into the ambuscade in January, and which had lain out 
until then, were gathered together and buried; 1 and a 
fresh detachment, under Major Vernon, being left to gar- 
rison the fort, in the room of that which had been sta- 
tioned there during winter, Gen. Mclntosh, withdrew from 
the country and returned to Fort Mclntosh. In the ensu- 
ing fall, Fort Laurens was entirely evacuated ; the garrison 
having been almost reduced to starvation, and it being 
found very difficult to supply them with provisions at so 
great a distance from the settlements and in the heart of 
the Indian country. 

During the year 1778, Kentucky was the theatre of 
many outrages. In January, a party of thirty men, among 
whom was Daniel Booue, repaired to the " Lower Blue 
Licks " for the purpose of making salt ; and on the 7th of 
February, while Boone was alone in the woods, on a hunt 
to supply the salt makers with meat, he was encountered 
by a party of one hundred and two Indians and two Can- 
adians, and made prisoner. The savages advanced to the 
Licks, and made prisoners of twenty-seven of those en- 
gaged in making salt. 2 Their object in this incursion, was 

[193] l The bodies of these men were found to have been much de- 
voured by the wolves, and bearing the appearance of having been 
recently torn by them. With a view of taking revenge on these animals 
for devouring their companions, the fatigue party sent to bury their re- 
mains, after digging a grave sufficiently capacious to contain all, and 
having deposited them in it, they covered the pit with slender sticks, 
bark and rotten wood, too weak to bear the weight of a wolf, and placed 
a piece of meat on the top and near the center of this covering, as a bait. 
In the morning seven wolves were found in the pit, and killed and the 
grave then filled up. 

J Boone had left Boonesborough January 8, in charge of thirty men, 
to make salt at the Lower Blue Licks, on Licking River. They carried 
with them, on horses, several large boiling pans, given to the settlement 
by the government of Virginia. So weak was the water there, that 840 
gallons were necessary to make a bushel of salt, against ninety at the 
Kanawha salines, and forty at Onondaga. While the salt-makers were 
at work, two or three others of the party served as scouts and hunters; 
generally, Boone was one of these. This day (Saturday, February 7) 
Boone started out alone with his pack-horse for a supply of game, which 

266 Withers's Chronicles 

the destruction of Boonesborough ; and had they con- 
tinued their march thither, there is no doubt but that 
place, weakened as it was by the loss of so many of its 
men and not expecting an attack at that inclement season, 
would have fallen into their hands; but elated with their 
success, the Indians marched directly back with their 
prisoners to Chillicothe. The extreme suffering of the 

usually was plenty in the neighborhood of the salt licks ; Thomas 
Brooks and Flanders Callaway, his fellow scouts, were taking another 
circuit. Having killed a buffalo, Boone was on his way home in the 
afternoon, with the choicest of the meat packed upon his horse. Snow 
was falling fast, and he was ten miles from camp, when discovered by 
four Indians, outlying members of a large party of Shawnees under 
Munseka and Black Fish, who had taken the war-path to avenge the mur- 
der of Cornstalk (see p. 172, note. 2). Benumbed by cold, and unabK* 
easily to untie or cut the frozen thongs which bound on the pack, Boone 
could not unload and mount the horse, and after a sharp skirmish 
was captured, and led to the main Indian encampment, a few miles 
away. Boone induced his fellow salt-makers to surrender peaceably the 
following day (February 8); the number of prisoners was, including 
Boone, twenty-seven two scouts and two salt-packers being absent. 
After a ten days' "uncomfortable journey, in very severe weather," 
says Boone, in which they " received as good treatment as prisoners 
could expect from savages," the party arrived at Little Chillicothe, on 
Little Miami so called in contradistinction to Old Chillicothe, on the 
Scioto. Boone's strong, compact build caused the Indians to call him 
Big Turtle, and under that name he was adopted as the son of Black 
Fish, who took a fancy to him ; sixteen of his companions were also 
adopted by other warriors. The ten who were not adopted were, with 
Boone, taken on a trip to Detroit (starting March 10), guarded by forty 
Indians under Black Fish. The ten were sold to Lieut. Governor Ham- 
ilton and citizens of Detroit, for 20 each, the usual price for American 
prisoners. Boone remained in Detroit until April 10, during which he 
was treated with great courtesy by Hamilton, who offered Black Fish 
100 for him, but the latter declined and took the great pioneer home 
with him ; but Boone himself was given by Hamilton a horse and trap- 
pings, with silver trinkets to give to the Indians. At Little Chillicothe, 
Boone was kindly treated by Black Fish, and little by little hfs liberty 
was extended. June 16, while the family were making salt on the 
Scioto, preparatory to another expedition against Boonesborough, Boone 
escaped on the horse given him by Hamilton. After many curious 
adventures, in the course of which he swam the Ohio, he safely reached 
Boonesborough, June 20, having traveled, he estimated, a hundred and 
sixty miles in four days. Boone's wife and family, supposing him dead, 
had returned to their old home in North Carolina, but Boone himself 
remained to assist in the defense of Boonesborough against the impend- 
ing attack, of which he had brought intelligence. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 267 

prisoners, during this march, inspired the savages with 
pity, and induced them to exercise an unusual lenity 
towards their captives. In March, Boone was carried to 
Detroit, where the Indians refused to liberate him, though 
an hundred pounds were offered for his ransom, and from 
which place he accompanied them back to Chillicothe in 
the latter part of April. In the first of June, he went with 
them to the Scioto salt springs, and on his return found 
one hundred and fifty choice warriors of the Shawanee 
nation, painting, arming, and otherwise equipping them- 
selves to proceed again to the attack of Boonesborough. 

[194] Hitherto Boone had enjoyed as much satisfac- 
tion, as was consistent with his situation, and more than 
would have been experienced by the most of men, in 
captivity to the Indians ; but when he found such great 
preparations making for an attack on the place which 
contained all that he held most dear, his love of family, 
his attachment to the village reared under his superin- 
tending hand, and to its inhabitants protected by his fos- 
tering care, determined him to attempt an immediate 
escape. Early on the morning of the 16th of June, he 
went forth as usual to hunt. He had secreted as much 
food as would serve him for one meal, and with this 
scanty supply, he resolved on finding his way home. On 
the 20th, having travelled a distance of one hundred and 
sixty miles, crossed the Ohio and other rivers, and with 
no sustenance, save what he had taken with him from 
Chillicothe, he arrived at Boonesborough. The fort was 
quickly repaired, and every preparation made to enable it 
to withstand a siege. 

In a few days after, another, of those who had been 
taken prisoners at the Blue Licks, escaped, and brought 
intelligence that in consequence of the flight of Boone, 
the Indians had agreed to postpone their meditated irrup- 
tion, for three weeks. 1 This intelligence determined Boone 

1 This was William Hancock, who had, like Boone, been adopted 
into an Indian family. Not so expert a woodsman as Boone, he had 
consumed twelve days in the journey from Chillicothe to Boonesbor- 
ough, and suffered great hardships. He arrived at the fort July 17. In 
consequence of Boone's escape, he reported, the Indians had postponed 

268 Withers 's Chronicles 

to invade the Indian country, and at the head of only ten 
men he went forth on an expedition against Paint creek 
town. Near to this place, he met with a party of Indians 
going to join the main array, then on its march to Boones- 
borough, whom he attacked and dispersed without sus- 
taining any loss on his part. The enemy had one killed 
and two severely wounded in this skirmish ; and lost their 
horses and baggage. On their return, they passed the In- 
dian army on the 6th of August, and on the next day 
entered Boonesborough. 1 

On the 8th of August, the Indian army, consisting of 
four hundred and fifty men, and commanded by Capt. Du 
Quesne, eleven other Frenchmen, and their own chiefs, 
appeared before the Fort and demanded its surrender. 2 
In order to gain time, Boone requested two days' consid- 
eration, and at the expiration of that period, returned for 
answer, that the garrison had resolved on defending it, 
while one individual remained alive within its walls. 

Capt. Du Quesne then made known, that he was 
charged by Gov. Hamilton, to make prisoners of the gar- 

their intended attack for three weeks. The next day (July 18), Boone 
wrote to Arthur Campbell, lieutenant of Washington County, Va. (the 
Holston settlements, 200 miles away), that he expected the enemy in 
twelve days, and that the fort was prepared for a siege of three or four 
weeks ; but relief would then be of infinite service. R. G. T. 

1 At the close of six weeks after Hancock's arrival, Boone had be- 
come weary of waiting for the enemy, hence his expedition with nine- 
teen men not ten, as in the text against the Shawnee town on Paint 
Creek, during the last week of August. It was the 5th of September 
when, undiscovered, he passed the Indian force encamped at Lower 
Blue Licks, and the next day arrived at Boonesborough. R. G. T. 

2 About 10 A. M. of Monday, September 7, Withers places it a 
month, less a day, too early, the hostiles crossed the Kentucky a mile 
and a half above Boonesborough, at a point since known as Black Fish's 
Ford, and soon made their appearance marching single file, some of them 
mounted, along the ridge south of the fort. They numbered about 400, 
and displayed English and French flags. The strength of the force has 
been variously estimated, from 330 Indians and 8 Frenchmen (Col. John 
Bowman), to 444 Indians and 12 Frenchmen (Boone's Narrative, by 
Filson). The English Indian department was represented' by Capt. 
Isidore Chene, who had with him several other French-Canadians; 
there was also a negro named Pompey, who had long lived with the In- 
dians, and served them as interpreter ; the principal chiefs were, Black 
Fish, Moluntha, Black Hoof, and Black Beard. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 269 

rison, but not to treat them harshly ; and that if nine of 
their principal men would come out, and negotiate a 
treaty, based on a renunciation of allegiance to the United 
States, and on a renewal of their fealty to the king, the 
Indian army should be instantly withdrawn. Boone did 
not confide in the sincerity of the Frenchman, but he de- 
termined to gain the advantage of farther preparation for 
resistance, by delaying the attack. He consented to nego- 
tiate on the terms proposed ; but suspecting treachery, in- 
sisted that the conference should be held near the fort 
walls. The garrison were on the alert, while the negoti- 
ation continued, and did not fail to remark that many of 
the Indians, not [195] concerned in making the treaty, 
were stalking about, under very suspicious circumstances. 
The terms on which the savage army was to retire were at 
length agreed upon, and the articles signed, when the 
whites were told that it was an Indian custom, in ratifi- 
cation of compacts, that two of their chiefs should shake 
hands with one white man. Boone and his associates, 
consenting to conform to this custom, not without suspi- 
cion of a sinister design, were endeavored to be dragged 
off as prisoners by the savages; but strong and active, 
they bounded from their grasp, and entered the gate, amid 
a heavy shower of balls one only of the nine, was slightly 
wounded. The Indians then commenced a furious assault 
on the fort, but were repulsed with some loss on their 
part; and every renewed attempt to carry it by storm, 
was in like manner, frustrated by the intrepidity and gal- 
lantry of its inmates. 1 

Disappointed in their expectation of succeeding in 
this way, the savages next attempted to undermine the 
fort, commencing at the water mark of the Kentucky 
river, only sixty yards from the walls. This course was 
no doubt dictated to them by their French commanders, 
as they are ignorant of the practice of war, farther than 

'The garrison numbered, old and young, white and black, sixty 
persons capable of bearing arms ; only forty, however, were really ef- 
fective. Women and children, dressed and armed as men, frequently ap- 
peared upon the walls, to give an appearance of greater strength. 
R. G. T. 

270 Wit hers' s Chronicles 

depends on the use of the gun, and tomahawk, and th 
exercise of stratagem and cunning. The vigilance of the 
besieged however, soon led to a discovery of the attempt 
the water below, was colored by the clay thrown out 
from the excavation, while above it retained its usual 
transparency ; and here again they were foiled by the act- 
ive exertion of the garrison. A countermine was begun 
by them, the earth from which being thrown over the 
wall, manifested the nature of their operations, and led 
the enemy to raise the siege, and retire from the country. 1 

In the various assaults made on the fort by this sav- 
age army, two only, of the garrison, were killed, and four 
wounded. The loss of the enemy, as usual, could not be 
properly ascertained : thirty-seven were left dead on the 
field, and many, were no doubt wounded. 2 

So signally was the savage army repulsed, in their re- 
peated attacks on Boonesborough, that they never after- 
wards made any great effort to effect its reduction. The 
heroism and intrepidity of Boone and his assistants ren- 
dered it impregnable to their combined exertions to de- 
molish it ; while the vigilance and caution of the inhabit- 
ants, convinced them, that it would be fruitless and una- 
vailing to devise plans for gaining admission into the fort, 
by stratagem or wile. Still however, they kept up a wai of 
ravage and murder, against such as were unfortunately 
found defenceless and unprotected ; and levelled combined 
operations against other and weaker positions. 

[196] The success of the expedition under Col. Clarke, 
though productive of many and great advantages to the 

'This ruse of the Indians was discovered on Friday, the llth. The 
garrison commenced its countermine immediately, and prosecuted the 
work for several days. The rival parties could hear each other at work 
underground. When the Indians had proceeded about forty yards, 
two-thirds of the distance from the river bank, successive rainstorms 
had so saturated the earth that sections of their tunnel caved in, and 
this it was that frustrated their scheme. R. G. T. 

[195] 2 When the Indians retired from before Boonesboro, one hun- 
dred and twenty-five pounds weight of bullets were picked up by the 
garrison, besides many that stuck in the logs of the fort. A conclu- 
sive proof that the Indians were not idle, during the continuance of 
the siege. 

Of Border Warfare. 271 

frontier inhabitants, did not achieve for them, an unmo- 
lested security. Their property was still liable to plunder, 
and families newly arrived among them, to be murdered 
or taken prisoners. Combined efforts were required, to 
put a period to savage aggression ; and a meeting of the 
settlers was held at Harrodsburg, to concert measures to 
effect that object. Their consultation resulted in a deter- 
mination, to carry the war into the enemy's country ; and 
as the Shawanees had been most efficient in waging hos- 
tilities, it was resolved to commence operations, against 
their most considerable town. Two hundred volunteers 
were accordingly raised, and when rendezvoused at Har- 
rodsburg, were placed under the command of Col. Bow- 
man, and proceeded against Chillicothe. 1 

The expedition thus fitted out, arrived, by forced 
marches, near to Chillicothe in the evening towards the 
latter end of July, 1779 ; and on deliberation, it was agreed 
to defer the attack 'till next morning. Before dawn the 
army was drawn up and arranged in order of battle. The 
right wing led on by Col. Bowman, was to assume a posi- 

1 John Bowman, of Harrodsburgh, was lieutenant of Kentucky 
County, and colonel of its militia. During the spring of 1779, there 
was a general desire to raid the unsuspecting Sbawnees, in retaliation 
for their invasions of Kentucky, and Bowman decided to command in 
person this " first regular enterprise to attack, in force, the Indians be- 
yond the Ohio, ever planned in Kentucky." The company of volun- 
teers of the interior rendezvoused in May at Harrodsburgh, and under 
Capts. Benjamin Logan and Silas Harlan marched to Lexington, where 
they met the Boonesborough company under Capt. John Holder, and 
another party under Capt. Levi Todd. At the mouth of the Licking 
(site of Covington, Ky.), the general rendezvous agreed on, they found 
a company from the Falls of the Ohio (site of Louisville), under Capt. 
William Harrod. Also in the little army, which finally mustered 297 
men, including officers, were frontiersmen from Redstone Old Fort, and 
other settlements in the valleys of the Ohio and Monongahela. The 
Redstone men were on their way home, when they heard of the expe- 
dition, and joined it at the Licking; they had been on a visit to Big 
Bone Lick, and had a canoe-load of relics therefrom, which they were 
transporting up river. The force crossed the Ohio, May 28, just below the 
mouth of the Licking ; 32 men remained behind in charge of the boats, 
leaving 265 to set out for the Shawnee town of Little Chillicothe, on the 
Little Miami, distant about sixty-five miles northeast. George Clark 
and William Whitley were pilots, and George M. Bedinger adjutant and 
quartermaster. R. G. T. 

272 Withers's Chronicles 

tion on one side of the town, and the left, under Capt. 
Logan, was to occupy the ground on the opposite side; 
and at a given signal, both were to develope to the right 
and left, so as to encircle and attack it in concert. 1 The 
party, led on by Logan, repaired to the point assigned, and 
was waiting in anxious, but vain expectation for the sig- 
nal of attack to be given, when the attention of the Indians 
was directed towards him by the barking of their dogs. 
At this instant a gun was discharged by one of Bowman's 
men, and the whole village alarmed. The squaws and 
children were hurried into the woods, along a path not 
yet occupied by the assailants, and the warriors collected 
in a strong cabin. 2 Logan, being near enough to perceive 
every movement of the enemy, ordered his men quietly to 
occupy the deserted huts, as a momentary shelter from the 
Indian fires, until Col. Bowman should march forward. 
It was now light ; and the savages began a regular dis- 
charge of shot at his men, as they advanced to the deserted 
cabins. This determined him to move directly to the at- 
tack of the cabin, in which the warriors were assembled ; 
and ordering his men to tear off the doors and hold them 
in front, as a shield, while advancing to the assault, he was 
already marching on the foe, when he was overtaken by an 
order from Col. Bowman, to retreat. 

Confounded by this command, Capt. Logan was for a 
time reluctant to obey it ; a retreat was however, directed ; 
and each individual, sensible of his great exposure while 
retiring from the towns, sought to escape from danger, in 
the manner directed by his own judgment ; and fled to the 
woods at his utmost speed. There they rallied, and resumed 

1 Without having seen an Indian, the expedition arrived in eight of 
Little Chillicothe, at dusk of May 29 Withers places the date two 
months ahead of the actual time. Capt. Logan had charge of the left 
wing, Harrod of the right, and Holder of the center. The white force 
now numbered 263 two men having returned to the boats, disabled ; 
the Indians numbered about 100 warriors and 200 squaws and children. 
Black Fish was the principal village chief, and subordinate to him were 
Black Hoof and Black Beard. R. G. T. 

1 This was the council house, which was so stoutly defended that 
the white assailants were glad to take refuge in a neighboring hut, from 
which they escaped with difficulty. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 273 

more of order, though still too much terrified to stand a 
contest, when the Indians sallied out to give battle. In- 
timidated by the apprehension of danger, which they had 
not seen, [197] but supposed to be great from the retreat- 
ing order of Col. Bowman, they continued to fly before 
the savages, led on by their chief, the Black Fish. At 
length they were brought to a halt, and opened a brisk, 
though inefficient fire, upon their pursuers. Protected by 
bushes, the Indians maintained their ground, 'till Capts. 
Logan and Harrod, with some of the men under their 
immediate command, mounted on pack horses, charged 
them with great spirit, and dislodged them from their 
covert. Exposed in turn to the fire of the whites, and see- 
ing their chief fall, the savages took to flight, and Col. 
Bowman continued his retreat homeward, free from farther 
interruption. 1 

In this illy conducted expedition, Col. Bowman had 
nine of his men killed and one wounded. The Indian loss 
was no doubt less: only two or three were known to be 
killed. Had the commanding officer, instead of ordering 
a retreat when Logan's men were rushing bravely to the 
conflict, marched with the right wing of the army to their 
aid, far different would have been the result. The enemy, 
only thirty strong, could not long have held out, against 

1 The chief cause of alarm, and the consequent disorder, was a false 
report started among the whites, that Simon Girty and a hundred Shaw- 
nees from the Indian village of Piqua, twelve miles distant, were march- 
ing to the relief of Black Fish. Order was soon restored, and when, 
fourteen miles out upon the homeward trail, Indians were discovered 
upon their rear, the enemy were met with vigor, and thereafter the re- 
treat was unhampered. The force reached the Ohio, just ahove the 
mouth of the Little Miami, early on June 1. The "pack-horses " alluded 
to by Withers, were 163 Indian ponies captured in the Chillicothe 
woods ; the other plunder was considerable, being chiefly silver orna- 
ments and clothing. After crossing the Ohio in boats the horses swim- 
ming there was an auction of the booty, which was appraised at 
32,000, continental money, each man getting goods or horses to the value 
of about 110. The Indian loss was five killed at the town, and many 
wounded; the whites had seven men killed. Little Chillicothe had 
been for the most part destroyed by fire, and its crops destroyed. The 
newspapers of the day regarded the expedition as an undoubted suc- 
cess. E. G. T. 

274 Wit hers' s Chronicles 

the bravery and impetuosity of two hundred backwoods- 
men, stimulated to exertion by repeated suffering, and 
nerved by the reflection, that they were requiting it upon 
its principal authors, Col. Bowman doubtless believed 
that he was pursuing a proper course. The gallantry and 
intrepidity, displayed by him on many occasions, forbid 
the supposition that he was under the influence of any un- 
military feeling, and prompted to that course by a disposi- 
tion to shrink from ordinary dangers. His motives were 
certainly pure, and his subsequent exertions to rally his 
men and bring them to face the foe, were as great as could 
have been made by any one ; but disheartened by the fear 
of unreal danger, and in the trepidation of a flight, deemed 
to be absolutely necessary for their safety, they could not 
be readily brought to bear the brunt of battle. The efforts 
of a few cool and collected individuals, drove back the 
pursuers, and thus prevented an harrassed retreat. 

Notwithstanding the frequent irruptions of the In- 
dians, and the constant exposure of the settlers to suffer- 
ing and danger, Kentucky increased rapidly in population. 
From the influx of emigrants during the fall and winter 
months, the number of its inhabitants were annually 
doubled for some years; and new establishments were 
made in various parts of the country. In April 1779, a 
block house was erected on the present site of Lexington, 1 
and several stations were selected in its vicinity, and in the 
neighborhood of the present town of Danville. Settle- 
ments were also made, in that year, on the waters of Bear 
Grass, Green and Licking rivers, and parts of the country 
began to be distinguished by their interior and frontier 

1 George W. Ranck : "April 1. Robert Patterson, at the head of 
twenty-five men, commenced a block house where Lexington now 
stands. " R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 275 


In North Western Virginia, the frequent inroads of 
small parties of savages in 1778, led to greater prepara- 
tions for security, from renewed hostilities after the winter 
should have passed away ; and many settlements received 
a considerable accession to their strength, from the num- 
ber of persons emigrating to them. In some neighbor- 
hoods, the sufferings of the preceding season and the 
inability of the inhabitants, from the paucity of their 
numbers, to protect themselves from invasion, led to a 
total abandonment of their homes. The settlement on 
Hacker's creek was entirely broken up in the spring of 
1779, some of its inhabitants forsaking the country and 
retiring east of the mountains ; while the others went to 
the fort on Buchannon, and to Nutter's fort, near Clarks- 
burg, to aid in resisting the foe and in maintaining pos- 
session of the country. When the campaign of that year 
opened, the whole frontier was better prepared to protect 
itself from invasion and to shield its occupants from the 
wrath of the savage enemy, than it had ever been, since it 
became the abode of white men. There were forts in 
every settlement, into which the people could retire when 
danger threatened, and which were capable of withstand- 
ing the assaults of savages, however furious they might 
be, if having to depend for success, on the use of small 
arms only. It was fortunate for the country, that this was 
their dependence. A few well directed shots even from 
small cannon, would have demolished [199] their strong- 
est fortress, and left them no hope from death, but cap- 

In the neighborhood of Pricket's fort, the inhabitants 
were early alarmed, by circumstances which induced a be- 
lief that the Indians were near, and they accordingly en- 
tered that garrison. It was soon evident that their fears 
were groundless, but as the season was fast approaching, 
when the savages might be expected to commence depre- 

276 Wit hers 1 s Chronicles 

dations, they determined on remaining in the fort, of a 
night, and yet prosecute the business of their farms as 
usual during the day. Among those who were at this 
time in the fort, was David Morgan, (a relation of General 
Daniel Morgan,) then upwards of sixty years of age. 
Early in April, being himself unwell, he sent his two 
children Stephen, a youth of sixteen, and Sarah, a girl 
of fourteen to feed the cattle at his farm, about a mile 
off.' The children, thinking to remain all day and spend 
the time in preparing ground for water melons, unknown 
to their father took with them some bread and meat. 
Having fed the stock, Stephen set himself to work, and 
while he was engaged in grubbing, his sister would re- 
move the brush, and otherwise aid him in the labor of 
clearing the ground; occasionally going to the house to 
wet some linen which she had spread out to bleach. Mor- 
gan, after the children had been gone some time, betook 
himself to bed, and soon falling asleep, dreamed that he 
saw Stephen and Sarah walking about the fort yard, 
scalped. Aroused from slumber by the harrowing specta- 
cle presented to his sleeping view, he enquired if the 
children had returned, and upon learning they had not, he 
set out to see what detained them, taking with him his 
gun. As he approached the house, still impressed with 
the horrible fear that he should find his dream realized, he 
ascended an eminence, from which he could distinctly see 
over his plantation, and descrying from thence the objects 
of his anxious solicitude, he proceeded directly to them, 
and seated himself on an. old log, near at hand. He had 
been here but a few minutes, before he saw two Indians 
come out from the house and make toward the children. 
Fearing to alarm them too much, and thus deprive 
them of the powe"r of exerting themselves ably to make 
an escape, he apprized them in a careless manner, of 
their danger, and told them to run towards the fort him- 
self still maintaining his seat on the log. The Indians 
then raised a hideous yell and ran in pursuit ; but the old 
[200] gentleman shewing himself at that instant, caused 
them to forbear the chase, and shelter themselves behind 
trees. He then endeavored to effect an escape, l>y flight, 

Of Border Warfare. 'Ill 

and the Indians followed after him. Age and consequent 
infirmity, rendered him unable long to continue out of 
their reach ; and aware that they were gaining considera- 
bly on him, he wheeled to shoot. Both instantly sprang 
behind trees, and Morgan seeking shelter in the same 
manner, got behind a sugar, which was so small as to 
leave part of his body exposed. Looking round, he saw a 
large oak about twenty yards farther, and he made to it. 
Just as he reached it, the foremost Indian sought security 
behind the sugar sapling, which he had found insufficient 
for his protection. The Indian, sensible that it would not 
shelter him, threw himself down by the side of a log 
which lay at the root of the sapling. But this did not af- 
ford him sufficient cover, and Morgan, seeing him exposed 
to a shot, fired at him. The ball took effect, and the sav- 
age, rolling over on his back, stabbed himself twice in the 

Having thus succeeded in killing one of his pursuers, 
Morgan again took to flight, and the remaining Indian 
after him. It was now that trees could afford him no 
security His gun was unloaded, and his pursuer could 
approach him safely. The unequal race was continued 
about sixty yards, when looking over his shoulder, he saw 
the savage within a few paces of him, and with his gun 
raised. Morgan sprang to one side, and the ball whizzed 
harmlessly by him. The odds was now not great, and 
both advanced to closer combat, sensible of the prize for 
which they had to contend, and each determined, to deal 
death to his adversary. Morgan aimed a blow with his 
gun ; but the Indian hurled a tomahawk at him, which 
cutting the little finger of his left hand entirely off, and 
injuring the one next it very much, knocked the gun out 
of his grasp, and they closed. Being a good wrestler, 
Morgan succeeded in throwing the Indian; but soon found 
himself overturned, and the savage upon him,lfeeling for 
his knife and sending forth a most horrifick yell, as is their 
custom when they consider victory as secure. A woman's 
apron, which he had taken from the house and fastened 
round him above his knife, so hindered him in getting at 
it quickly, that Morgan, getting one of his fingers in his 

278 Withers' s Chronicles 

mouth, deprived him of the use of that hand, and discon- 
certed him very much by continuing to grind it between 
his teeth. At length the [201] Indian got hold of his 
knife, but so far towards the blade, that Morgan too got a 
small hold on the extremity of the handle; and as the In- 
dian drew it from the scabbard, Morgan, biting his finger 
with all his might, and thus causing him somewhat to re- 
lax his grasp, drew it through his hand, gashing it most 

By this time both had gained their feet, and the In- 
dian, sensible of the great advantage gained over him, 
endeavored to disengage himself; but Morgan held fast to 
the finger, until he succeeded in giving him a fatal stab, 
and felt the almost lifeless body sinking in his arms. He 
then loosened his hold and departed for the fort. 

On his way he met with his daughter, who not being 
able to keep pace with her brother, had followed his foot- 
steps to the river bank where he had plunged in, and was 
then making her way to the canoe. Assured thus far of 
the safety of his children, he accompanied his daughter to 
the fort, and then, in company with a party of the men, 
returned to his farm, to see if there were any appearance 
of other Indians being about there. On arriving at the 
spot where the desperate struggle had been, the wounded 
Indian was not to be seen ; but trailing him by the blood 
which flowed profusely from his side, they found him con- 
cealed in the branches of a fallen tree. He had taken the 
knife from his body, bound up the wound with the apron, 
and on their approaching him, accosted them familiarly, 
with the salutation " How do do broder, how do broder." 
Alas ! poor fellow ! their brotherhood extended no farther 
than to the gratification of a vengeful feeling. He was 
tomahawked and scalped; and, as if this would not fill 
the measure of their vindictive passions, both he and his 
companion were flayed, their skins tanned and converted 
into saddle seats, shot pouches and belts A striking in- 
stance of the barbarities, which a revengeful spirit will 
lead its possessors to perpetrate. 1 

1 L. V. McWhorter, of Berlin, W. Va., writes me: "A few years 
ago, the descendants of David Morgan erected a monument on the spot 

Of Border Warfare. 279 

The alarm which had caused the people in the neigh- 
borhood of Pricket's fort, to move into it for safety, in- 
duced two or three families on Dunkard creek to collect at 
the house of Mr. Bozarth, thinking they would be more 
exempt from danger when together, than if remaining at 
their several homes. About the first of April, when only 
Mr. Bozarth and two men were in the house, the children, 
who had been out at play, came running into the yard, ex- 
claiming that there were [202] " ugly red men coming" 
Upon hearing this, one of the two men in the house, going 
to the door to see if Indians really were approaching, re- 
ceived a glancing shot on his breast, which caused him to 
fall back. The Indian who had shot him, sprang in imme- 
diately after, and grappling with the other white man, was 
quickly thrown on the bed. His antagonist having no 
weapon with which to do him any injury called to Mrs. 
Bozarth for a knife. Not finding one at hand, she siezed 
an axe, and at one blow, let out the brains of the prostrate 
savage. At that instant a second Indian entering the 
door, shot dead the man engaged with his companion on 
the bed. Mrs. Bozarth turned on him, and with a well 
directed blow, let out his entrails and caused him to bawl 
out for help. Upon this, others of his party, who had 
been engaged with the children in the yard, came to his 
relief. The first who thrust his head in at the door, had 
it cleft by the axe of Mrs. Bozarth and fell lifeless on the 
ground. Another, catching hold of his wounded, bawling 
companion, drew him out of the house, when Mrs. Bozarth, 
with the aid of the white man who had been first shot and 
was then somewhat recovered, succeeded in closing and 
making fast the door. The children in the yard were all 
killed, but the heroism and exertions of Mrs. Bozarth and 
the wounded white man, enabled them to resist the re- 

where fell one of the Indians. On the day of the unveiling of the 
monument, there was on exhibition at the spot, a shot-pouch and sad- 
dle skirt made from the skins of the Indians. Greenwood S. Morgan, a 
great-grandson of the Indian slayer, informs me that the shot-pouch is 
now in the possession of a distant relative, living in Wetzel County, W. 
Va. The knife with which the Indian was killed, is owned by Morgan's 
descendants in Marion County, W. Va." R. G. T. 

280 Withers' s Chronicles 

peated attempts of the Indians, to force open the door, 
and to maintain possession of the house, until they were 
relieved by a party from the neighboring settlement. 
The time occupied in this bloody affair, from the first 
alarm by the children to the shutting of the door, did not 
exceed three minutes. And in this brief space, Mrs. Bo- 
zarth, with infinite self possession, coolness and intrepidity, 
succeeded in killing three Indians. 

On the eleventh of the same month, five Indians came 
to a house on Snowy creek, (in the, now, county of Pres- 
ton,) in which lived James Brain and Richard Powell, and 
remained in ambush during the night, close around it. In 
the morning early, the appearance of some ten or twelve 
men, issuing from the house with guns, for the purpose of 
amusing themselves in shooting at a mark, deterred the In- 
dians from making their meditated attack. The men seen 
by them, were travellers, who had associated for mutual 
security, and who, after partaking of a morning's repast, 
resumed their journey, unknown to the savages ; when 
Mr. Brain and the sons of Mr. Powell [203] went to their 
day's work. Being engaged in carrying clap-boards for 
covering a cabin, at some distance from the house, they 
were soon heard by the Indians, who, despairing of suc- 
ceeding in an attack on the house, changed their position, 
& concealed themselves by the side of the path, along 
which those engaged at work had to go. Mr. Brain and 
one of his sons being at a little distance in front of them, 
they fired and Brain fell. He was then tomahawked and 
scalped, while another of the party followed and caught 
the son as he was attempting to escape by flight. 

Three other boys were then some distance behind and 
out of sight, and hearing the report of the gun which 
killed Brain, for an instant supposed that it proceeded 
from the rifle of some hunter in quest of deer. They were 
soon satisfied that this supposition was unfounded. Three 
Indians came running towards them, bearing their guns in 
one hand, and tomahawks in the other. One of the boys 
stupefied by terror, and unable to stir from the spot, was 
immediately made prisoner. Another, the son of Powell, 
was also soon caught; but the third, finding himself out 

Of Border Warfare. 281 

of sight of his pursuer, ran to one side and concealed him- 
self in a bunch of alders, where he remained until the In- 
dian passed the spot where he lay, when he arose, and 
taking a different direction, ran with all his speed, and ef- 
fected an escape. The little prisoners were then brought 
together; and one of Mr. Powell's sons, being discovered 
to have but one eye, was stripped naked, had a tomahawk 
sunk into his head, a spear ran through his body, and the 
scalp then removed from from his bleeding head. 

The little Powell who had escaped from the savages, 
being forced to go a direction opposite to the house, pro- 
ceeded to a station about eight miles off, & communicated 
intelligence of what had been done at Brain's. A party 
of men equipped themselves and went immediately to the 
scene of action ; but the Indians had hastened homeward, 
as soon as they perpetrated their horrid cruelties. One 
of their little captives, (Benjamin Brain) being asked by 
them, " how many men were at the house," replied 
" twelve." To the question, " how far from thence was 
the nearest fort," he answered "two miles." Yet he well 
knew that there was no fort, nearer than eight miles, and 
that there was not a man at the house, Mr. Powell being 
from home, and the twelve travellers having departed, be- 
fore his father and he had gone out to [204] work. His 
object was to save his mother and the other women and 
children, from captivity or death, by inducing them to 
believe that it would be extremely dangerous to venture 
near the house. He succeeded in the attainment of his 
object. Deterred by the prospect of being discovered, and 
perhaps defeated by the superior force of the white men, 
represented to be at Mr. Brain's, they departed in the 
greatest hurry, taking with them their two little prisoners, 
Benjamin and Isaac Brain. 

So stilly had the whole affair been conducted (the re- 
port of a gun being too commonly heard to excite any sus- 
picion of what was doing,) and so expeditiously had the 
little boy who escaped, and the men who accompanied 
him back, moved in their course, that the first intimation 
given Mrs. Brain of the fate of her husband, was given by 
the men who came in pursuit. 

282 Withers's Chronicles 

Soon after the happening of this affair, a party of In- 
dians came into the Buchannon settlement, and made 
prisoner Leonard Schoolcraft, a youth of about sixteen, 
who had been sent from the fort on sonde business. When 
arrived at their towns and arrangements being made for 
his running the gauntlet, he was told that he might defend 
himself against the blows of the young Indians who were 
to pursue him to the council house. Being active and 
athletic, he availed himself of this privilege, so as to save 
himself from the beating which he would otherwise have 
received, arid laying about him with well timed blows, fre- 
quently knocked down those who came near to him 
much to the amusement of the warriors, according to the 
account given by others, who were then prisoners and 
present. This was the last certain information which was 
ever had concerning him. He was believed however, to 
have been afterwards in his old neighborhood in the ca- 
pacity of guide to the Indians, and aiding them, by his 
knowledge of the country, in making successful incursions 
into it. 

In the month of June, at Martin's fort on Crooked 
Run, another murderous scene was exhibited by the sav- 
ages. The greater part of the men having gone forth 
early to their farms, and those who remained, being unap- 
prehensive of immediate danger, and consequently supine 
and careless, the fort was necessarily, easily accessible, and 
the vigilance of the savages who were lying hid around 
it, discovering its exposed and [205] weakened situation, 
seized the favorable moment to attack those who were 
without. The women were engaged in milking the cows 
outside the gate, and the men who had been left behind 
were loitering around. The Indians rushed forward, and 
killed and made prisoners of ten of them. James Stuart, 
James Smally and Peter Grouse, were the only persons 
who fell, and John Shiver and his wife, two sons of Stu- 
art, two sons of Smally and a son of Grouse, were carried 
into captivity. According to their statement upon their 
return, there were thirteen Indians in the party which 
surprised them, and emboldened by success, instead of re- 
treating with their prisoners, remained at a little distance 

Of Border Warfare. 283 

from the fort 'till night, when they put the captives .in a 
waste house near, under custody of two of the savages, 
while the remaining eleven, went to see if they could not 
succeed in forcing an entrance at the gate. But the dis- 
aster of the morning had taught the inhabitants the ne- 
cessity of greater watchfulness. The dogs were shut out 
at night, and the approach of the Indians exciting them 
to bark freely, gave notice of impending danger, in time 
for them to avert it. The attempt to take the fort being 
thus frustrated, the savages returned to the house in which 
the prisoners were confined, and moved off with them to 
their towns. 

In August, two daughters of Captain David Scott 
living at the mouth of Pike run, going to the meadow with 
dinner for the mowers, were taken by some Indians who 
were watching the path. The younger was killed on the 
spot ; but the latter being taken some distance farther, and 
every search for her proving unavailing, her father fondly 
hoped that she had been carried into captivity, and that 
he might redeem her. For this purpose he visited Pitts- 
burg and engaged the service of a friendly Indian to as- 
certain where she was and endeavour to prevail on them 
to ransom her. Before his return from Fort Pitt, some 
of his neighbors directed to the spot by the buzzards hov- 
ering over it, found her half eaten and mutilated body. 

In September, Nathaniel Davisson and his brother, 
being on a hunting expedition up Ten Mile, left their camp 
early on the morning of the day on which they intended 
to return home ; and naming an hour at which they would 
be back, proceeded through the woods in different direc- 
tions. At the appointed time, Josiah went to the camp, 
and after waiting there in vain for the arrival of his 
brother, and becoming uneasy lest [206] some unlucky 
accident had befallen him, he set out in search of him. 
Unable to see or hear anything of him he returned home, 
and prevailed on several of his neighbors to aid in en- 
deavouring to ascertain his fate. Their search was like- 
wise unavailing ; but in the following March, he was found 
by John Read, while hunting in that neighborhood. He 
had been shot and scalped; and notwithstanding he had 

284 Wit hers' s Chronicles 

lain out nearly six months, yet he was but little torn by 
wild beasts, and was easily recognized. 

During this year too, Tygarts Valley, which had es- 
caped being visited by the Indians in 1778 again heard 
their harrowing yells ; and although but little mischief was 
done by them while there, yet its inhabitants were awhile, 
kept in fearful apprehension that greater ills would betide 
them. In October of this year, a party of them lying in 
ambush near the road, fired several shots at Lieut. John 
White, riding by, but with no other effect than by wound- 
ing the horse to cause him to throw his rider. This was 
fatal to White. Being left on foot and on open ground, he 
was soon shot, tomahawked and scalped. 

As soon as this event was made known, Capt. Benja- 
min "Wilson, with his wonted promptitude and energy, 
raised a company of volunteers, and proceeding by forced 
marches to the Indian crossing at the mouth of the Sandy 
fork of Little Kenhawa, he remained there nearly three 
days with a view to intercept the retreat of the savages. 
They however, returned by another way and his scheme, 
of cutting them off while crossing the river, consequently 

Some time after this several families in the Buchan- 
non settlement, left the fort and returned to their homes, 
under the belief that the season had advanced too far, for 
the Indians again to come among them. But they were 
sorely disappointed. The men being all assembled at the 
fort for the purpose of electing a Captain, some Indians 
fell upon the family of John Schoolcraft, and killed the 
women and eight children, two little boys only were 
taken prisoners. A small girl, who had been scalped and 
tomahawked 'till a portion of her brains was forced from 
her head, was found the next day yet alive, and continued 
to live for several days, the brains still oozing from the 
fracture of her skull. 

The last mischief that was done this fall, was perpe 
trated at the house of Samuel Cottrail near to the present 
town of Clarksburg. During the night considerable fear 
was excited, both at Cottrial's and at Sotha Hickman's on 
the opposite side of Elk creek, by the continued barking 

Of Border Warfare. 285 

of the dogs, that Indians were lurking near, and in conse- 
quence of this apprehension Cottrial, on going to bed, se- 
cured well the doors and directed that no one should stir 
out in the morning until it was ascertained that there was 
no danger threatening. A while before day, Cottrial be- 
ing fast asleep, Moses Coleman, who lived with him, got 
up, shelled some corn, and giving a few ears to Cottrial's 
nephew with directions to feed the pigs around [207] the 
yard, went to the hand mill in an out house, and com- 
menced grinding. The little boy, being squatted down 
shelling the corn to the pigs, found himself suddenly 
drawn on his back and an Indian standing over him, order- 
ing him to lie there. The savage then turned toward the 
house in which Coleman was, fired, and as Coleman fell 
ran up to scalp him. Thinking this a favorable time for 
him to reach the dwelling house, the little boy sprang to 
his feet, and running to the door, it was opened and he 
admitted. Scarcely was it closed after him, when one of 
the Indians with his tomahawk endeavored to break it 
open. Cottrail fired through the door at him, and he went 
off. In order to see if others were about, and to have a 
better opportunity of shooting with effect, Cottrail as- 
cended the loft, and looking through a crevice saw them 
hastening away through the field and at too great distance 
for him to shoot with the expectation of injuring them. 
Yet he continued to fire and halloo ; to give notice of 
danger to those who lived near him. 

The severity of the following winter put a momentary 
stop to savage inroad, and gave to the inhabitants on the 
frontier an interval of quiet and repose extremely desir- 
able to them, after the dangers and confinement of the 
preceding season. Hostilities were however, resumed upon 
the first appearance of spring, and acts of murder and de- 
vastation, which had, of necessity, been suspended for a 
time, were begun to be committed, with a firm determina- 
tion on the part of the savages, utterly to exterminate the 
inhabitants of the western country. To effect this object, 
an expedition was concerted between the British com- 
mandant at Detroit and the Indian Chiefs north west of 
the Ohio to be carried on by their united forces against 

Withers's Chronicles . 

Kentucky, while an Indian army alone, was to penetrate 
North Western Virginia, and spread desolation over its 
surface. No means which could avail to ensure success 
and which lay within their reach, were left unemployed. 
The army destined to operate against Kentucky, was to 
consist of six hundred Indians and Canadians, to be com- 
manded by Gol. Byrd (a British officer) and furnished with 
every implement of destruction, from the war club of the 
savages, to the cannon of their allies. 1 Happily for North 
Western Virginia, its situation exempted its inhabitants 
from having to contend against these instruments of war; 
the want of roads prevented the transportation of cannon 
through the intermediate forests, and the difficulty and 
labor of propelling them up the Ohio river, forbade the 
attempt in that way. 

While the troops were collecting for these expeditions, 
and other preparations were making for carrying them on, 
the settlements of North Western Virginia were not free 
from invasion. Small parties of Indians would enter them 
at unguarded moments, and kill and plunder, whenever 
opportunities occurred of their being done with impunity, 
and then retreat to their villages. Early in March (1780) 
Thomas Lackey discovered some mocason tracks near the 
upper extremity of Tygarts Valley, and thought he heard 
a voice saying in [208] an under tone, " let him alone, he will 
go and bring more." Alarmed by these circumstances, he 
proceeded to Hadden's fort and told there what he had 
seen, and what he believed, he had heard. Being so early 
in the season and the weather yet far from mild, none 
heeded his tale, and but few believed it. On the next day 
however, as Jacob Warwick, William Warwick and some 
others from Greenbrier were about leaving the fort on 
theii return home, it was agreed that a company of men 
should accompany them some distance on the road. Un- 
apprehensive of danger, in spite of the warning of Lackey, 
they were proceeding carelessly on their vvay, when they 
were suddenly attacked by some Indians lying in ambush, 

1 See p. 262, note, for account of Capt. Henry Bird's attack on Fort 
Laurens. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 287 

near to the place, where the mocasou tracks had beeii seen 
on the preceding day. The men on horse back, all got 
safely off; but those on foot were less fortunate. The In- 
dians having occupied the pass both above and below, the 
footmen had no chance of escape but in crossing the river 
and ascending a steep bluff, on its opposite side. In at- 
tempting this several lost their lives. John McLain was 
killed about thirty yards from the brow of the hill. 
James Ralston, when a little farther up it, and James 
Crouch was wounded after having nearly reached its sum- 
mit, yet he got safely off and returned to the fort on the 
next day. John Nelson, after crossing over, endeavored 
to escape down the river; but being there met by a stout 
warrior, he too was killed, after a severe struggle. His 
shattered gun breech, the uptorn earth, and the locks of 
Indian hair in his yet clenched hands, showed that the 
victory over him had not been easily won. 

Soon after this, the family of John Gibson were sur- 
prised at their sugar camp, on a branch of the Valley 
river, and made prisoners. Mrs. Gibson, being incapable 
of supporting the fatigue of walking so far and fast, was 
tomahawked and scalped in the presence of her children. 

West's fort on Hacker's creek, was also visited by the 
savages, early in this year. 1 The frequent incursions of 

1 Mr. McWhorter says that this fort stood on an eminence, where is 
now the residence of Minor C. Hall. Upon the fort being abandoned by 
the settlers, the Indians burned it. When the whites again returned to 
their clearings, a new fort was erected, locally called Beech Fort, " be- 
cause built entirely of beech logs beech trees standing very thick in 
this locality." Beech Fort was not over 500 yards from the old West 
Fort; it was " in a marshy flat, some 75 yards east of the house built by 
the pioneer Henry McWhorter, and still extant as the residence of Ned 
J. Jackson." In the same field where Beech Fort was, "Alexander West 
discovered an Indian one evening ; he fired and wounded him in the 
shoulder. The Indian made off, and fearing an ambuscade West would 
not venture in pursuit. Two weeks later, he ventured to hunt for the 
red man. Two miles distant, on what is now known as Life's Run, a 
branch of Hacker's Creek, the dead savage was found in a cleft of rocks, 
into which he had crawled and miserably perished. His shoulder was 
badly crushed by West's bullet." 

Henry McWhorter, born in Orange County, N. Y., November 13, 
1760, was a soldier in the Revolution, from 1777 to the close. In 1784, 
he settled about two miles from West's Fort; three years later, he 

288 Withers' s Chronicles 

the Indians into this settlement, in the year 1778, had 
caused the inhabitants to desert their homes the next 
year, and shelter themselves in places of greater security ; 
but being unwilling to give up the improvements which 
they had already made and commence anew in the woods, 
some few families returned to it during the winter, & on 
the approach of spring, moved into the fort. They had 
not been long here, before the savages made their appear- 
ance, and continued to invest the fort for some time. Too 
weak to sally out and give them battle, and not knowing 
when to expect relief, the inhabitants were almost reducer! 
to despair, when Jesse Hughs resolved at his own hazard, 
to try to obtain assistance to drive off the enemy. Leav- 
ing the fort at night, he broke by their sentinels and ran 
with speed to the Buchannon fort. Here he prevailed on a 
party of the men to accompany him to West's, and relieve 
those who had been so long confined there. They arrived 
before day, and it was thought advisable to abandon the 
place once more, and remove to Buchannon. On their 
way, the [209] Indians used every artifice to separate the 
party, so as to gain an advantageous opportunity of attack- 
ing them ; but in vain. They exercised so much caution, 
and kept so well together, that every stratagem was frus- 
trated, arid they all reached the fort in safety. 

Two days after this, as Jeremiah Curl, Henry Fink 
and Edmund West, who were old men, and Alexan- 
der West, 1 Peter Outright, and Simon Schoolcraft, were 
returning to the fort with some of their neighbor's 
property, they were fired at by the Indians who were 

moved nearer to the fort, and there built the house of hewn logs, men- 
tioned above, which " is to-day in a good state of preservation." Mc- 
Whorter died February 4, 1848. R. G. T. 

1 Alexander West was prominent as a frontier scout. Rev. J. M. 
McWhorter, who saw him frequently, gives this description of him : "A 
tall, spare-built man, very erect, strong, lithe, and active ; dark-skinned, 
prominent Roman nose, black hair, very keen eyes; not handsome, 
rather raw-boned, but with an air and mien that commanded the atten- 
tion and respect of those with whom he associated. Never aggressive, 
he lifted his arm against the Indians only in time of war." West died in 
1834. His house of hewed logs is, with its large barn, still standing 
and occupied by his relatives, about a mile east of the site of West's 
Fort. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 289 

lying concealed along a run bank. Curl was slightly 
wounded under the chin, but disdaining to fly without 
making a stand he called to his companions, "stand your 
ground, for we are able to whip them" At this instant a 
lusty warrior drew a tomahawk from his belt and rushed 
towards him. Nothing daunted by the danger which 
seemed to threaten him, Curl raised his gun ; but the pow- 
der being damped by the blood from his wound, it did not 
fire. He instantly picked up West's gun (which he had 
been carrying to relieve "West of part of his burden) and 
discharging it at his assailant, brought him to the ground. 
The whites being by this time rid of their encum- 
brances, the Indians retreated in two parties and pursued 
different routes, not however without being pursued. 
Alexander "West being swift of foot, soon came near 
enough to fire, and brought down a second, but having 
only wounded him, and seeing the Indians spring be- 
hind trees, he could not advance to finish him ; nor could 
he again shoot at him, the flint having fallen out when he 
first fired. Jackson (who was hunting sheep not far off) 
hearing the report of the guns, ran towards the spot, and 
being in sight of the Indian when West shot, saw him 
fall and afterwards recover and hobble off. Simon School- 
craft, following after "West, came to him just after Jack- 
son, with his gun cocked; and asking where the Indians 
were, was advised by Jackson to get behind a tree, or 
they would soon let him know where they were. In- 
stantly the report of a gun was heard, and Schoolcraft let 
fall his arm. The ball had passed through it, and striking 
a steel tobacco box in his waistcoat pocket, did him no 
farther injury. Cutright, when West fired at one of the 
Indians, saw another of them drop behind a log, and 
changing his position, espied him, where the log was a 
little raised from the earth. With steady nerves, he drew 
upon him. The moaning cry of the savage, as he sprang 
from the ground and moved haltingly away, convinced 
them that the shot had taken effect. The rest of the In- 
dians continued behind trees, until they observed a rein- 
forcement coming up to the aid of the whites, and they 

290 Withers's Chronicles 

fled with the utmost precipitancy. Night soon coming 
on, those who followed them, had to give over the pursuit. 

A company of fifteen men went early next morning to 
the battle ground, and taking the trail of the Indians and 
pursuing it some distance, came to where they had some 
horses (which they had stolen after the skirmish) hobbled 
out on a fork of Hacker's creek. They [210] then found 
the plunder which the savages had taken from neighbor- 
ing houses, and supposing that their wounded warriors 
were near, the whites commenced looking for them, when 
a gun was fired at them by an Indian concealed in a laurel 
thicket, which wounded John Outright. 1 The whites then 
caught the stolen horses and returned with them and the 
plunder to the fort. 

For some time after this, there was nothing occurring 
to indicate the presence of Indians in the Buchannon set- 
tlement, and some of those who were in the fort, hoping 
that they should not be again visited by them this season, 
determined on returning to their homes. Austin School- 
craft was one of these, and being engaged in removing 
some of his property from the fort, as he and his niece 
were passing through a swamp in their way to his house, 
they were shot at by some Indians. Mr. Schoolcraft was 
killed and his niece taken prisoner. 

In June, John Owens, John Juggins and Owen Owens, 
were attacked by some Indians, as they were going to their 
cornfield on Booth's creek ; and the two former were killed 
and scalped. Owen Owens being some distance behind 
them, made his escape to the fort. John Owens the 
younger, who had been to the pasture field for the plough 
horses, heard the guns, but not suspecting any danger to 
be near, rode forward towards the cornfield. As he was 
proceeding along the path by a fence side, riding one and 
leading another horse, he was fired at by several Indians, 
some of whom afterwards rushed forward and caught at 
the bridle reins; yet he escaped unhurt from them all. 

1 L. V. McWhorter says: " The branch of Hacker's creek on which 
John Outright was wounded, is now known as Laurel Lick, near Berlin, 
W. Va." For notice of Outright, see p. 137, note. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 291 

The savages likewise visited Cheat river, during the 
spring, and coming to the house of John Sims, were dis- 
covered by a negro woman, who ran immediately to the 
door and alarmed the family. Bernard Sims (just recov- 
ering from the small pox) taking down his gun, and going 
to the door, was shot. The Indians, perceiving that he 
was affected with a disease, of all others the most terrify- 
ing to them, not only did not perform the accustomed 
operation of scalping, but retreated with as much rapidity, 
as if they had been pursued by an overwhelming force of 
armed men, exclaiming as they ran "small pox, small 

After the attack on Donnelly's fort in May 1778, the 
Indians made no attempt to effect farther mischiefs in the 
Greenbrier country, until this year. The fort at Point 
Pleasant guarded the principal pass to the settlements on 
the Kenhawa, in the Levels, and on Greenbrier river, and 
the reception with which they had met at Col. Donnelly's, 
convinced them that not much was to be gained by incur- 
sions into that section of the frontiers. But as they were 
now making great preparations for effectual operations 
against the whole border country, a party of them was 
despatched to this portion of it, at once for the purpose 
of rapine and murder, and to ascertain the state of the 
country and its capacity to resist invasion. 

The party then sent into Greenbrier consisted of 
twenty-two [211] warriors, and committed their first act 
of atrocity near the house of Lawrence Drinnan, a few 
miles above the Little Levels. Henry Baker and Richard 
Hill, who were then staying there, going early in the 
morning to the river to wash, were shot at by them: 
Baker was killed, but Hill escaped back to the house. 
When the Indians fired at Baker, he was near a fence be- 
tween the river and Drinnan's and within gunshot of the 
latter place. Fearing to cross the fence for the purpose of 
scalping him, they prized it up, and with a pole fastening 
a noose around his neck, drew him down the river bank 
& scalped and left him there. 

Apprehensive of an attack on the house, Mr. Drinnan 
made such preparations as were in his power to repel 

292 Withers'* Chronicles 

them, and despatched a servant to the Little Levels, with 
the intelligence and to procure assistance. He presently 
returned with twenty men, who remained there during the 
night, but in the morning, seeing nothing to contradict 
the belief that the Indians had departed, they buried 
Baker, and set out on their return to the Levels, taking 
with them all who were at Drinnan's and the most of his 
property. Arrived at the fork of the road, a question 
arose whether they should take the main route, leading 
through a gap which was deemed a favorable situation for 
an ambuscade, or continue on the farther but more open 
and secure way. A majority preferred the latter; but two 
young men, by the name of Bridger, separated from the 
others, and travelling on the nearer path, were both killed 
at the place, where it was feared danger might be lurking. 

The Indians next proceeded to the house of Hugh 
Mclver, where they succeeded in killing its owner, and in 
making prisoner his wife ; and in going from thence, met 
with John Prior, who with his wife and infant were on 
their way to the country on the south side of the Big 
Kenawha. Prior was shot through the breast, but anxious 
for the fate of his wife and child, stood still, 'till one of 
the Indians came up and laid hold on him. Notwith- 
standing the severe wound which he had received, Prior 
proved too strong for his opponent, and the other Indians 
not interfering, forced him at length to disengage himself 
from the struggle. Prior, then seeing that no violence 
was offered to Mrs. Prior or the infant, walked off without 
any attempt being made to stop, or otherwise molest him : 
the Indians no doubt suffering him to depart under the 
expectation that he would obtain assistance and endeavor 
to regain his wife and child, and that an opportunity of 
waylaying any party coming with this view, would be 
[212] then afforded them. Prior returned to the settle- 
ment, related the above incidents and died that night. 
His wife and child were never after heard of, and it is 
highly probable they were murdered on their way, as 
being unable to travel as expeditiously as the Indians 

They next went to a house, occupied by Thomas 

Of Border Warfare. 293 

Drinnon and a Mr. Smith with their families, where they 
made prisoners of Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Drinnon and a child ; 
and going then towards their towns, killed, on their way, 
an old gentleman hy the name of Monday and his wife. 
This was the last outrage committed by the Indians in the 
Greenbrier settlements. And although the war was car- 
ried on by them against the frontier settlements, with en- 
ergy for years after, yet did they not again attempt an 
incursion into it. Its earlier days had been days of tribu- 
lation and wo, and those who were foremost in occupying 
and forming settlements in it, had to endure all that sav- 
age fury could inflict. Their term of probation, was in- 
deed of comparatively short duration, but their sufferings 
for a time, were many and great. The scenes of murder 
and blood, exhibited on Muddy creek and the Big Levels 
in 1776, will not soon be effaced from the memory ; and 
the lively interest excited in the bosoms of many, for the 
fate of those who there treacherously perished, unabated 
by time, still gleams in the countenance, when tradition 
recounts the tale of their unhappy lot. 

294 Withers's Chronicles 


Early in June 1780, every necessary preparation hav- 
ing been previously made, the Indian and Canadian forces 
destined to invade Kentucky, moved from their pla<Je of 
rendezvous, to fulfil the objects of the expedition. In 
their general plan of the campaign, Louisville was the 
point against which operations were first to be directed. 
The hero of Kaskaskias and St. Vincent had been for 
some time stationed there, with a small body of troops, to 
intercept the passage of war parties into the interior, and 
the force thus placed under his command, having been 
considerably augmented by the arrival of one hundred and 
fifty Virginia soldiers under Colonel Slaughter, that place 
had assumed the appearence of a regular fortification, ca- 
pable of withstanding a severe shock j 1 while detachments 
from it gave promise of security to the settlements remote 
from the river, as well by detecting and checking every 
attempt at invasion, as by acting offensively against the 
main Indian towns, from which hostile parties would sally, 
spreading desolation along their path. The reduction of 
this establishment, would at once give wider scope to sav- 
age hostilities and gratify the wounded pride of the Cana- 
dians. Stung by the boldness and success of Colonel 
Clarke's adventure, and fearing the effect which it might 
have on their Indian allies, they seemed determined to 
achieve a victory over him, and strike a retributive blow 
against the position which he then held. 

[214] It is highly probable however, that the reputa- 

1 Col. Reuben T. Durrett, in his Centenary of Louisville, p. 47, says that 
Louisville at this time consisted of Clark's original block house, with 
eighteen cabins, on Corn Island, at the head of the rapids; a small fort 
at the foot of Third street, erected by Col. John Floyd in 1779 ; " a large 
fort on the east side of a ravine that entered the Ohio at Twelfth street, 
and a few rude log cabins scattered through the woods near the Twelfth 
street fort, all occupied by one hundred inhabitants, who had cleared 
and cultivated garden-spots around their humble cabins." R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 295 

tion which, the gallant exploits of Colonel Clarke had ac- 
quired for him, induced some doubts, in the minds of the 
commanding officers, of the ultimate success of a move- 
ment against that post. 1 They changed their destination ; 
and when their army arrived in their boats at the Ohio, 
instead of floating with its rapid current to the point pro- 
posed, they chose to stem the stream ; and availing them- 
selves of an uncommon swell of the waters, ascended the 
river Licking to its forks, where they landed their men 
and munitions of war. 2 

Not far from the place of debarkation, there was a 
station, 3 reared under the superintendence of Captain Rud- 
dle, and occupied by several families and many adven- 
turers. Thither Colonel Byrd, with his combined army 
of Canadians and Indians then amounting to one thou- 
sand men, directed his march; and arriving before it on 
the 22d of June, gave the first notice, which the inhab- 
itants had of the presence of an enemy, by a discharge of 
his cannon. He then sent in a flag, demanding the imme- 
diate surrender of the place. Knowing that it was im- 
possible to defend the station against artillery, Captain 
Ruddle consented to surrender it, provided the inhabitants 
should be considered prisoners to the British, and not to 
the Indians. To this proposition Colonel Byrd assented, 
and the gates were thrown open. The savages instantly 
rushed in, each laying his hands on the first person with 
whom he chanced to meet. Parents and children, hus- 
bands and wives, were thus torn from each other ; and the 

1 The expedition was sent out by Maj. A. S. De Peyster, then British 
commandant at Detroit. It was headed by Capt. Bird, with whom were 
Simon, James, and George Girty. The force, as rendezvoused at De- 
troit, consisted of 150 whites, and 100 Indians from the Upper Lakes ; 
they carried two cannon. They were joined on the Miami by Capt. 
McKee, deputy Indian agent, and a large party of Indians, making the 
force of savages amount to 700. R. G. T. 

2 The original destination was Louisville, but en route the Indian 
chiefs compelled Bird to first proceed against the forts on the Licking. 
R. G. T. 

[214] 3 A station was a parallelogram of cabins, united by palisades 
so as to present a continued wall on the outer side, the cabin doors open- 
ing into a common square, on the inner side. They were the strong 
holds of the early settlers. 

296 Withers's Chronicles 

air was rent with sighs of wailing, and shrieks of agony. 
In vain did Captain Ruddle exclaim, against the enormi- 
ties which were perpetrated in contravention to the terms 
of capitulation. To his remonstrances, Colonel Byrd re- 
plied that he was unable to control them, and affirmed, 
that he too was in their power. 

That Colonel Byrd was really unable to check the 
enormities of the savages, will be readily admitted, when 
the great disparity of the Canadian and Indian troops, 
and the lawless and uncontrolable temper of the latter, are 
taken into consideration. That he had the inclination to 
stop them, cannot be [215] doubted his subsequent con- 
duct furnished the most convincing evidence, that the 
power to effect it, was alone wanting in him. 1 

After Ruddle's station had been completely sacked, 
and the prisoners disposed of, the Indians clamoured to be 
led against Martin's station, then only five miles distant. 
Affected with the barbarities which he had just witnessed, 
Colonel Byrd peremptorily refused, unless the chiefs would 
guaranty that the prisoners, which might be there taken, 
should be entirely at his disposal. For awhile the Indians 
refused to accede to these terms, but finding Colonel Byrd, 
inflexible in his determination, they at length consented, 
that the prisoners should be his, provided the plunder were 
allowed to them. Upon this agreement, they marched for- 
ward. Martin's station, like Ruddle's, was incapable of 
offering any available opposition. It was surrendered on 
the first summons, and the prisoners and plunder divided, 
in conformity with the compact between Colonel Byrd and 
the savages. 

The facility, with which these conquests were made, 
excited the thirst of the Indians for more. Not satisfied 
with the plundering of Ruddle's and Martin's stations, 
their rapacity prompted them to insist on going against 
Bryant's and Lexington. Prudence forbade it. The waters 

1 There seems to be abundant evidence that Bird, a competent 
officer, was humanely inclined; but he was quite in the power of his 
savage allies, who would brook little control of their passions. The 
number of prisoners taken at Isaac Ruddell's was nearly 300 ; about fifty 
more were taken at Martin's. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 297 

were rapidly subsiding, and the fall of the Licking river, 
would have rendered it impracticable to convey their artil- 
lery to the Ohio. Their success too, was somewhat doubt- 
ful ; and it was even then difficult to procure provisions, 
for the subsistence of the prisoners already taken. 1 Un- 
der the influence of these considerations, Colonel Byrd 
determined to return to the boats, and embarking on these 
his artillery and the Canadian troops, descended the river; 
while the Indians, with their plunder, and the prisoners 
taken at Ruddle's, moved across the country. 

Among those who were taken captive at Ruddle's 
station, was a man of the name of Hinkstoue, remarkable 
for activity and daring, and for uncommon tact and skill 
as a woodsman. On the second night of their march, the 
Indians encamped on the bank of the river, and in conse- 
quence of a sudden shower of rain, postponed kindling 
their fires until dark, when part of the savages engaged in 
this business, while the remainder guarded the prisoners. 
Hinkstone thought the darkness favorable to escape, and 
inviting its attempt. He resolved on trying it, and spring- 
ing suddenly from them, ran a small [216] distance and 
concealed himself behind a large log, under the shade of a 
wide spreading tree. The alarm was quickly given, and 
the Indians, pursuing, searched for him in every direction. 
It was fruitless and unavailing. Hid in thick obscurity, 
no eye could distinguish his prostrate body. Perceiving 
at length, by the subsiding of the noise without the camp, 
that the Indians had abandoned the search, he resumed 
his flight, with the stillness of death. The heavens af- 
forded him no sign, by which he could direct his steps. 
Not a star twinkled through the dark clouds which envel- 
oped the earth, to point out his course. Still he moved 
on, as he supposed, in the direction of Lexington. He had 

1 The Indians had, contrary to Bird's expostulations, wantonly 
slaughtered all the cattle at Ruddell's Station, and this it was that caused 
the famine. With an abundance of food to sustain both prisoners and 
warriors, Bird might readily have carried out his purpose of uprooting 
nearly every settlement in Kentucky. There is nothing in his official 
report of the expedition, to warrant the statement that high water had 
any thing to do with the matter. R. G. T. 

29h Withers' s Chronicles 

mistaken the way, and a short space of time, served to 
convince him that he was in error. After wandering 
about for two hours, he came in sight of the Indian fires 
again. Perplexed by his devious ramble, he was more at 
fault than ever. The sky was still all darkness, and he 
had recourse to the trees in vain, to learn the points of 
the compass by the feeling of the moss. He remembered 
that at nightfall, the wind blew a gentle breeze from the 
west; but it had now, become so stilled, that it no longer 
made any impression on him. The hunter's expedient, to 
ascertain the direction of the air, occurred to him. Ho 
dipped his finger in water, and, knowing that evaporation 
and coolness would be first felt on the side from which 
the wind came, he raised it high in the air. It was 
enough. Guided by this unerring indication, and acting 
on the supposition that the current of air still flowed from 
the point from which it had proceeded at night, he again 
resumed his flight. After groping in the wilderness for 
some time, faint and enfeebled, he sat down to rest his 
wearied limbs, and sought their invigoration in refreshing 
sleep. When he awoke, fresh dangers encircled him, but 
he was better prepared to elude, or encounter them. 

At the first dawn of day, his ears were assailed by the 
tremulous bleating of the fawn, the hoarse gobbling of 
the turkey, and the peculiar sounds of other wild animals. 
Familiar with the deceptive artifices, practised to allure 
game to the hunter, he was quickly alive to the fact, that 
they were the imitative cries of savages in quest of pro- 
visions. Sensible of his situation, he became vigilant to 
discover the approach of danger, and active in avoiding it. 
Several times however, with all his wariness, he found him- 
self within a few paces of [217] some one of the Indians; 
but fortunately escaping their observation, made good his 
escape, and reached Lexington in safety, gave there the 
harrowing intelligence of what had befallen the inhabit- 
ants of Ruddle's and Martin's stations. 

The Indians after the escape of Hinkstone, crossed 
the Ohio river at the mouth of Licking, and, separating 
into small parties, proceeded to their several villages. The 
Canadian troops descended Licking to the Ohio, and this 

Of Border Warfare. 299 

river to the mouth of the Great Miami, up which they as- 
cended as far as it was navigable for their boats, and made 
their way thence by land to Detroit. 

The Indian army destined to operate against North 
Western Virginia, was to enter the country in two divi- 
sions of one hundred and fifty warriors each; the one 
crossing the Ohio near below Wheeling, the other, at the 
mouth of Racoon creek, about sixty miles farther up. 
Both were, avoiding the stronger forts, to proceed directly 
to Washington, then known as Catfishtown, between 
which place and the Ohio, the whole country was to be 
laid waste. 

The division crossing below Wheeling, was soon discov- 
ered by scouts, who giving the alarm, caused most of the 
inhabitants of the more proximate settlements, to fly im- 
mediately to that place, supposing that an attack was 
meditated on it. The Indians however, proceeded on the 
way to Washington making prisoners of many, who, 
although apprized that an enemy was in the country, yet 
feeling secure in their distance from what was expected to 
be the theatre of operations, neglected to use the precau- 
tion necessary to guard them against becoming captives 
to the savages. From all the prisoners, they learned the 
same thing, that the inhabitants had gone to Wheeling 
with a view of concentrating the force of the settlements 
to effect their repulsion. This intelligence alarmed them. 
The chiefs held a council, in which it was determined, in- 
stead of proceeding to Washington, to retrace their steps 
across the Ohio, lest their retreat, if delayed 'till the whites 
had an opportunity of organizing themselves for battle, 
should be entirely cut off. Infuriate at the blasting of 
their hopes of blood and spoil, they resolved to murder 
all their male prisoners exhausting on their devoted 
heads, the 'fury of disappointed expectation. Preparations 
to carry this resolution into effect, were immediately begun 
to be made. 

The unfortunate victims to their savage wrath, were 
led [218] forth from among their friends and their fam- 
ilies, their hands were pinioned behind them, a rope 
was fastened about the neck of each and that bound around 

300 Withers's Chronicles 

a tree, so as to prevent any motion of the head. The tom- 
ahawk and scalping knife were next drawn from their 
belts, and the horrid purpose of these preparations, fully 

" Imagination's utmost stretch " can hardly fancy a 
more heart-rending scene than was there exhibited. Par- 
ents, in the bloom of life and glow of health, mercilessly 
mangled to death, in the presence of children, whose sob- 
bing cries served but to heighten the torments of the 
dying. Husbands, cruelly lacerated, and by piece-meal 
deprived of life, in view of the tender partners of their 
bosoms, whose agonizing shrieks, increasing the anguish 
of torture, sharpened the sting of death. It is indeed 

-"A fearful thing, 

To see the human soul, take wing, 
In any shape, in any mood ;" 

but that wives and children should be forced to behold the 
last ebb of life, and to witness the struggle of the depart- 
ing spirit of husbands and fathers, under such horrific 
circumstances, is shocking to humanity, and appalling, 
even in contemplation. 

Barbarities such as these, had considerable influence 
on the temper and disposition of the inhabitants of the 
country. They gave birth to a vindictive feeling in many, 
which led to the perpetration of similar enormities and 
sunk civilized man, to the degraded level of the barbarian. 
They served too, to arouse them to greater exertion, to 
subdue the savage foe in justifiable warfare, and thus pre- 
vent their unpleasant recurrence. 

So soon as the Indian forces effected a precipitate re- 
treat across the Ohio, preparations were begun to be made 
for acting offensively against them. An expedition was 
concerted, to be carried on against the towns at the forks 
of the Muskingum ; and through the instrumentality of 
Col's Zane and Shepard, Col. Broadhead, commander of 
the forces at Fort Pitt, was prevailed upon to co-operate 
in it. 1 Before however, it could be carried into effect, it 

"<yOl. Daniel Brodhead was in command of the Eighth Pennsylvania 
Regiment. He succeeded McJntosh at Fort Pitt, in April, 1779. B. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 301 

was deemed advisable to proceed against the Mnnsie towns, 
up the north branch of the Alleghany river ; the inhab- 
itants of which, had been long engaged in active [219] hos- 
tilities, and committed frequent depredations on the fron- 
tiers of Pennsylvania. In the campaign against them, as 
many of those, who resided in the settlements around 
"Wheeling, as could be spared from the immediate defence 
of their own neighborhoods, were consociated with the 
Pennsylvania troops, and the regulars under Col. Broad- 
head. It eventuated in the entire destruction of all their 
corn, (upwards of 200 acres,) and in the cutting off a party 
of forty warriors, on their way to the settlements in West- 
moreland county. 

Very soon after the return of the army, from the 
Alleghany, the troops, with which it was intended to ope- 
rate against the Indian villages up the Muskingum and 
amounting to eight hundred, rendezvoused at Wheeling. 
From thence, they proceeded directly for the place of des- 
tination, under the command of Col. Broadhead. 1 

When the army arrived near to Salem (a Moravian 
town,) 2 many of the militia expressed a determination to 
go forward and destroy it, but as the Indians residing 
there, had ever been in amity with the whites, and were 
not known to have ever participated in the murderous 
deeds of their more savage red brethren, the officers ex- 
erted themselves effectually, to repress that determination. 
Col. Broadhead sent forward an express to the Rev'd Mr. 
Heckewelder (the missionary of that place,) 3 acquainting 

1 Brodhead set out from Fort Pitt, April 7, 1781, with 150 regulars; 
at Wheeling he picked up David Shepherd, lieutenant of Ohio County, 
Va., with 134 militia, including officers ; besides these were five friendly 
Indians, eager for Delaware scalps. R. G. T. 

2 Salem, established by Heckewelder for his Indian converts, was 
on the west bank of the Tuscarawas, a mile and a half south-west of 
the present Port Washington. R. G. T. 

3 John Gottlieb Ernestus Heckewelder was born at Bedford, Eng- 
land, March 12, 1743. Coming to Pennsylvania in 1754, he was at first a 
cooper, but later became an assistant to Charles Frederick Post, the 
Moravian missionary. In 1771, he first became an evangelist to the In- 
dians, on his own account, and spent fifteen years in Ohio, where he as- 
sisted in the work of David Zeisberger. He was a man of learning, and 
made important contributions to the study of American archaeology and. 

302 Withers' s Chronicles 

him with the object of the expedition, & requesting a small 
supply of provisions, and that he would accompany the 
messenger to camp. When Mr. Heckewelder came, the 
commander enquired of him, if any Christian Indians were 
engaged in hunting or other business, in the direction of 
their march, stating, that if they were, they might be 
exposed to danger, as it would be impracticable to dis- 
tinguish between them and other Indians, and that he 
should greatly regret the happening to them, of any un- 
pleasant occurrence, through ignorance or mistake. On 
hearing there were not, the army was ordered to resume 
its march, and proceeded towards the forks of the river. 

At White Eyes plain, near to the place of destination, 
an Indian was discovered and made prisoner. Two others 
were seen near there, and fired at; and notwithstand- 
ing one of them was wounded, yet both succeeded in 
effecting their escape. Apprehensive that they would 
hasten to the Indian towns, and communicate the fact 
that an army of whites was near at hand, Col. Broad- 
head moved rapidly forward with the [220] troops, 
notwithstanding a heavy fall of rain, to reach Cos- 
hocton, (the nearest village,) 1 and take it by surprise. 
His expectations were not disappointed. Approaching 
the town, the right wing of the army was directed to oc- 
cupy a position above it, on the river ; the left to assume 
a stand below, while the centre marched directly upon it. 
The Indian villages, ignorant of the fact that an enemy 
was in their country, were all made prisoners without the 
firing of a single gun. So rapid, and yet so secret, had 
been the advance of the army, that every part of the town 
was occupied by the troops, before the Indians knew of its 

Successful as they thus far were, yet the expedition 
accomplished but a portion of what had been, contempla- 
ted. The other towns were situated on the opposite side 
of the river, and this was so swollen by the excessive rains 

ethnology. The last thirteen years of his life were spent in literary 
work. He died at Bethlehem, Pa., January 21, 1823. R. G. T. 

1 Called in some of the contemporary chronicles, Goschocking. R. 
G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 303 

which had fallen and continued yet to deluge the earth, 
that it was impracticable to cross over to them ; and Col. 
Broadhead, seeing the impossibility of achieving any 
thing farther, commenced laying waste the crops about 
Coshocton. This measure was not dictated by a spirit of 
revenge, naturally enkindled by the exterminating war- 
fare, waged against the whites by the savages, but was a 
politic expedient, to prevent the accomplishment of their 
horrid purposes and to lessen the frequency of their in- 
cursions. When they fail to derive sustenance from their 
crops of corn and other edible vegetables, the Indians are 
forced to have recourse to hunting, to obtain provisions, 
and consequently, to suspend their hostile operations for a 
season. To produce this desirable result, was the object 
sought to be obtained by the destruction which was made 
of every article of subsistence, found here and at the Mun- 
sie towns, and subsequently at other places. 

It remained then to dispose of the prisoners. Sixteen 
warriors, particularly obnoxious for their diabolical deeds, 
were pointed out by Pekillon (a friendly Delaware chief 
who accompanied the .army of Col. Broadhead) as fit sub- 
jects of retributive justice; and taken into close custody. 
A council of war was then held, to determine on their 
fate, and which doomed them to death. They were taken 
some distance from town, despatched with tomahawks and 
spears, and then scalped. The other captives were com- 
mitted to the care of the militia, to be conducted to Fort 

On the morning after the taking of Coshocton, an In- 
dian, [221] making his appearance on the opposite bank 
of the river, called out for the " Big Captain." Col. 
Broadhead demanded what he wished. I want peace re- 
plied the savage. Then send over some of your chiefs, 
said the Colonel. May be you kill, responded the Indian. 
No, said Broadhead, they shall not be killed. One of their 
chiefs, a fine looking fellow, then come over; and while 
he and Col. Broadhead were engaged in conversation, a 
militiaman came up, and with a tomahawk which he had 
concealed in the bosom of his hunting shirt, struck him a 

304 Withers's Chronicles 

severe blow on the hinder part of his head. The poor In- 
dian fell, and immediately expired. 

This savage like deed was the precursor of other, and 
perhaps equally attrocious enormities. The army on its 
return, had not proceeded more than half a mile from 
Coshocton, when the militia guarding the prisoners, com- 
menced murdering them. In a short space of time, a few 
women and children alone remained alive. These were 
taken to Fort Pitt, and after a while exchanged for an 
equal number of white captives. 

The putting to death the sixteen prisoners designated 
by Pekillon, can be considered in no other light, than as a 
punishment inflicted for their great offences ; and was 
certainly right and proper. Not so with the deliberate 
murder of the chief, engaged in negotiation with Col. 
Broadhead. He had come over under the implied assur- 
ance of the security, due to a messenger for peace, and 
after a positive promise of protection had been given him 
by the commander of the army. His death can, conse- 
quently, only be considered as an unwarrantable murder; 
provoked indeed, by the barbarous. and bloody conduct of 
the savages. These, though they do not justify, should 
certainly extenuate the offence. 

The fact, that the enemy, with whom they were con- 
tending, did not observe the rules of war, and was occa- 
sionally, guilty of the crime, of putting their prisoners to 
death, would certainly authorize the practice of greater 
rigor, than should be exercised towards those who do not 
commit such excesses. This extraordinary severity, of it- 
self, tends to beget a greater regard for what is allowable 
among civilized men, and to produce conformity with those 
usages of war, which were suggested by humanity, and 
are sanctioned by all. But the attainment of this object, 
if it were the motive which prompted to the deed, can not 
justify the murder of the prisoners, placed [222] under 
the safe keeping of the militia. It evinced a total disre- 
gard of the authority of their superior officer. He had 
assured them they should only be detained as prisoners, 
and remain free from farther molestation ; and nothing, 
but the commission of some fresh offence, could sanction 

Of Border Warfare. 305 

the enormity. But, however sober reflection may con- 
demn those acts as outrages of propriety, yet so many and 
so great, were the barbarous excesses committed by the 
savages upon the whites in their power, that the minds of 
those who were actors in those scenes, were deprived of 
the faculty of discriminating between what was right or 
wrong to be practised towards them. And if acts, savour- 
ing of sheer revenge, were done by them, they should be 
regarded as but the ebullitions of men, under the excite- 
ment of great and damning wrongs, and which, in their 
dispassionate moments, they would condemn, even in 

When, upon the arrival of Hinkston at Lexington, 
the people became acquainted with the mischief which had 
been wrought by the Canadian and Indian army, 1 every 
bosom burned with a desire to avenge those outrages, and 
to retort them on their authors. Runners were despatched 
in every direction, with the intelligence, and the cry for 
retribution, arose in all the settlements. In this state of 
feeling, every eye was involuntarily turned towards Gen. 
Clarke as the one who should lead them forth to battle ; 
and every ear was opened, to receive his counsel. He ad- 
vised a levy of four-fifths of the male inhabitants, capable 
of bearing arms, and that they should speedily assemble 
at the mouth of Licking, and proceed from thence to Chil- 
icothe. He ordered the building of a number of trans- 
port boats, and directed such other preparations to be 
made, as would facilitate the expedition, and ensure suc- 
cess to its object. When all was ready, the boats with the 
provisions and stores on board, were ordered up the Ohio, 
under the command of Col. Slaughter. 

In ascending the river, such was the rapidity of the 
current, that the boats were compelled to keep near to the 
banks, and were worked up, in two divisions one near 
each shore. While thus forcing their way slowly up the 

1 Withers here reverts to the Bird invasion in the summer of 1780. 
and the escape of Hinkstone from his British captors, related ante, pp. 
295-98. Clark's retaliatory expedition was made during August, 1780. 
R G.T. 


306 Withers' s Chronicles 

stream, one of the boats, being some distance in advance 
of the others and close under the north western bank, was 
fired into by a party of Indians. The fire was promptly 
returned ; but before the other boats could draw nigh to 
her aid, a number of those on [223] board of her, was 
killed and wounded. As soon however, as they approached 
and opened a fire upon the assailants, the savages with- 
drew, and the boats proceeded to the place of rendezvous, 
without farther interruption. 

On the second of August, General Clarke took up the 
line of march from the place where Cincinnati now stands, 
at the head of nine hundred and seventy men. They pro- 
ceeded without any delay, to the point of destination, 
where they arrived on the sixth of the month. The town 
was abandoned, and many of the houses were yet burning, 
having been fired on the preceding day. There were how- 
ever, several hundred acres of luxuriant corn growing 
about it, every stalk of which was cut down and de- 

The army then moved in the direction of the Piqua 
Towns, twelve miles farther, and with a view to lay waste 
every thing around it, and with the hope of meeting there 
an enemy, with whom to engage in battle ; but before they 
had got far, a heavy shower of rain, accompanied with 
loud thunder and high winds, forced them to encamp. 
Every care which could be taken to keep the guns dry, 
was found to be of no avail, and General Clarke, with 
prudent precaution, had them all fired and re-loaded 
continuing to pursue this plan, to preserve them fit for 
use, whenever occasion required, and keeping the troops 
on the alert and prepared to repel any attack which might 
be made on them during the night. 

In the afternoon of the next day, they arrived in sight 
of Piqua, and as they advanced upon the town, were at- 
tacked by the Indians concealed in the high weeds which 
grew around. Colonel Logan, with four hundred men, 
was ordered to file off", march up the river to the east, 
and occupy a position from which to intercept the sav- 
ages, should they attempt to fly in that direction. Another 
division of the army was in like manner posted on the 

Of Border Warfare. 307 

opposite side of the river, while General Clarke with the 
troops under Colonel Slaughter and those attached to 
the artillery, was to advance directly upon the town. The 
Indians seemed to comprehend every motion of the army, 
and evinced the skill of tacticians in endeavoring to thwart 
its purpose. To prevent being surrounded by the advance 
of the detachment from the west, they made a powerful 
effort to turn the left wing. Colonel Floyd extended his 
line some distance west of the town, and the engagement 
became general. Both armies fought with determined 
[224] resolution, and the contest was warm and animated 
for some time. The Indians, finding that their enemy was 
gaining on them retired unperceived, through the prairie, 
a few only remaining in the town. The piece of cannon 
was then bro't to bear upon the houses, into which some 
of the savages had retired to annoy the army as it inarched 
upon the village. They were soon dislodged and fled. 

On reaching the houses, a Frenchman was discovered 
concealed in one of them. From him it was learned, that 
the Indians had been apprized of the intention of Gen. 
Clarke to march against Chilicothe and other towns in 
its vicinity, by one of Col. Logan's men, who had deserted 
from the army while at the mouth of Licking, and was 
supposed to have fled to Carolina, as he took with him the 
horse furnished him for the expedition. Instead of this 
however, he went over to the enemy, and his treason, 

" Like a deadly blight, 

Came o'er the councils of the brave, 

And damped them in their hour of might." 

Thus forwarued of the danger which threatened them, 
they were enabled in a considerable degree to avoid it, and 
watching all the movements of the army, were on the eve 
of attacking it silently, with tomahawks and knives, on 
the night of its encamping between Chilicothe and Piqua. 
The shooting of the guns, convincing them that they had 
not been rendered useless by the rain, alone deterred them 
from executing this determination. 

Notwithstanding that the victory obtained by Gen. 
Clarke, was complete and decided, yet the army under his 

308 Withcrs's Chronicles 

command sustained a loss in killed and wounded, as 
great as was occasioned to the enemy. This circum- 
stance was attributable to the sudden and unexpected at- 
tack made on it, by the Indians, while entirely concealed, 
and partially sheltered. No men could have evinced more 
dauntless intrepidity and determined fortitude than was 
displayed by them, when fired upon by a hidden foe, and 
their comrades were falling around them. When the 
" combat thickened," such was their noble daring, that 
Girty, (who had been made chief among the Mingoes,) re- 
marking the desperation with which they exposed them- 
selves to the hottest of the fire, drew off his three hundred 
warriors; observing, that it was useless to fight with 
fools and madmen. The loss in killed under the peculiar 
[225] circumstances, attending the commencement of the 
action, was less than would perhaps be expected to befall 
an army similarly situated ; amounting in all to only 
twenty men. 

Here, as at Chilicothe, the crops of corn and every 
article of subsistence on which the troops could lay their 
hands, were entirely laid waste. At the two places, it was 
estimated that not less than five hundred acres of that in- 
dispensable article, were entirely destroyed. 1 

An unfortunate circumstance, occurring towards the 
close of the engagement, damped considerably the joy 
which would otherwise have pervaded the army. A 
nephew of Gen. Clarke, who had been taken, and for 
some time detained, a prisoner \>y the savages, was at 
Piqua during the action. While the battle continued, he 
was too closely guarded to escape to the whites ; but upon 
the dispersion of the savages which ensued upon the can- 
nonading of the houses into which some of them had re- 
treated, he was left more at liberty. Availing himself of 
this change of situation, he sought to join his friends. He 
was quickly discovered by some of them, and mistaken for 

1 Butterfield, in History of the Girtys, p. 121, places the white loss at 
seventeen killed, and " a number wounded ;" and the Indian loss at six 
killed and three wounded. Clark's nephew, Joseph Rogers, was killed 
on August 8, the day of the general engagement. Clark left Piqua, 
the 10th, R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 309 

an Indian. The mistake was fatal. He received a shot 
discharged at him, and died in a few hours. 

Notwithstanding the success of the expeditions com- 
manded by Col. Broadhead and Gen. Clarke, and the de- 
struction which took place on the Alleghany, at Coshocton, 
Chilicothe and Piqua, yet the savages continued to commit 
depredations on the frontiers of Virginia. The winter, as 
usual, checked them for awhile, but the return of spring, 
brought with it, the horrors which mark the progress of 
an Indian enemy. In Kentucky and in North Western 
Virginia, it is true that the inhabitants did not suffer much 
by their hostilities in 1781, as in the preceding years; yet 
were they not exempt from aggression. 

Early in March a party of Indians invaded the settle- 
ments on the upper branches of Monongahela river; and 
on the night of the 5th of that month, came to the house 
of Capt. John Thomas, near Booth's creek. Unapprehen- 
sive of danger, with his wife and seven children around 
him, and with thoughts devotedly turned upon the reali- 
ties of another world, this gentleman was engaging in his 
accustomed devotions when the savages approached his 
door; and as he was repeating the first lines of the hymn, 
" Go worship at Emanuel's feet," a gun was fired at him, 
and he fell. The Indians [226] immediately forced open 
the door, and, entering the house, commenced the dread- 
ful work of death. Mrs. Thomas raised her hands and 
implored their mercy for herself and her dear children. It 
was in vain. The tomahawk was uplifted, and stoke fol- 
lowed stroke in quick succession, till the mother and six 
children lay weltering in blood, by the side of her husband 
and their father a soul-chilling spectacle to any but heart- 
less savages. When all were down, they proceeded to 
scalp the fallen, and plundering the house of what they 
could readily remove, threw the other things into the fire 
and departed taking with them one little boy a prisoner. 

Elizabeth Juggins, (the daughter of John Juggins who 
had been murdered in that neighborhood, the preceding 
year) was at the house of Capt. Thomas, when the Indians 
came to it; but as soon as she heard the report of the gun 
and saw Capt. Thomas fall, she threw herself under the 

310 Withers's Chronicles 

bed, and escaped the observation of the savages. After 
they had completed the work of blood and left the house, 
fearing that they might be lingering near, she remained in 
that situation until she observed the house to be in flames. 
When she crawled forth from her asylum, Mrs. Thomas 
was still alive, though unable to move ; and casting a pity- 
ing glance towards her murdered infant, asked that it 
might be handed to her. Upon seeing Miss Juggins 
ubout to leave the house, she exclaimed, " Oh Betsy ! do 
not leave us." Still anxious for her own safety, the girl 
rushed out, and taking refuge for the night between two 
logs, in the morning early spread the alarm. 

When the scene of those enormities was visited, Mrs. 
Thomas was found in the yard, much mangled by the 
tomahawk and considerably torn by hogs she had, per- 
haps in the struggle of death, thrown herself out at the 
door. The house, together with Capt. Thomas and the 
children, was a heap of ashes. 1 

In April, Matthias, Simon and Michael Schoolcraft 
left Buchaunon fort, and went to the head of Stone coal 
creek for the purpose of catching pigeons. On their re- 
turn, they were fired upon by Indians, and Matthias killed 
the other two were taken captive. These were the last 
of the Schoolcraft family, fifteen of them were killed or 
taken prisoners in the space of a few years. Of those who 
were carried into captivity, none ever returned. They 
were believed to have consociated with the savages, and 
from the report of others [227] who were prisoners to the 
Indians, three of them used to accompany war parties, in 
their incursions into the settlements. 

In the same mouth, as some men were returning to 
Cheat river from Clarksburg, (where they had been to ob- 

1 I am informed by S. R. Harrison, of Clarksburg, W. Va., that the 
bodies of the victims were buried about five rods from the house, and 
" the graves are yet marked by the original rude stones." Mr. Harrison 
continues, " This burial ground, and also where the house stood, had 
never been disturbed until March, 1888 a hundred and seven years 
after the massacre when the ground about the site of the house was 
plowed ; many interesting relics were turned up, among them a com- 
pass and sun-dial in a copper case. I myself found a number of relics 
among the charred ruins of the house." R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 311 

tain certificates of settlement-rights to their lands, from 
the commissioners appointed to adjust land claims in the 
counties of Ohio, Youghiogany and Monongalia) they, 
after having crossed the Valley river, were encountered by 
a large party of Indians, and John Manear, Daniel Cam- 
eron and a Mr. Cooper were killed, the others effected 
their escape with difficulty. 

The savages then moved on towards Cheat, but meet- 
ing with James Brown and Stephen Radcliff, and not being 
able to kill or take them, they changed their course, and 
passing over Leading creek, (in Tygarts Valley) nearly 
destroyed the whole settlement. They there killed Alex- 
ander Roney, Mrs. Dougherty, Mrs. Hornbeck and her 
children, Mrs. Buffington and her children, and many 
others ; and made prisoners, Mrs. Honey and her son, and 
Daniel Dougherty. Jonathan Buffington and Benjamin 
ITornbeck succeeded in making their escape and carried 
the doleful tidings to Friend's and Wilson's forts. Col. 
"Wilson immediately raised a company of men and pro- 
ceeding to Leading creek, found the settlement without 
inhabitants, and the houses nearly all burned. He then 
pursued after the savages, but not coming up with them as 
soon as was expected, the men became fearful of the con- 
sequences which might result to their own families, by 
reason of this abstraction of their defence, provided other 
Indians were to attack them, and insisted on their return- 
ing. On the second day of the pursuit, it was agreed that 
a majority of the company should decide whether they 
were to proceeded farther or not. Joseph Friend, Richard 
Kettle, Alexander West and Col. Wilson, were the only 
persons in favor of going on, and they consequently had 
to return. 

But though the pursuit was thus abandoned, yet did 
not the savages get off with their wonted impunity. When 
the land claimants, who had been the first to encounter 
this party of Indians escaped from them, they fled back 
to Clarksburg, and gave the alarm. This was quickly 
communicated to the other settlements, and spies were 
sent out, to watch for the enemy. By some of these, the 
savages were discovered on the West Fork, near the mouth 

312 Withers' s Chronicles 

of Isaac's creek, and intelligence of it immediately carried 
to the forts. Col. Lowther [228] collected a company of 
men, and going in pursuit, came in view of their en- 
campment, awhile before night, on a branch of Hughes' 
river, ever since known as Indian creek. Jesse and Elias 
Hughs active, intrepid and vigilant men were left to 
watch the movements of the savages, while the remainder 
retired a small distance to refresh themselves, and prepare 
to attack them in the morning. 

Before day Col. Lowther arranged his men in order 
of attack, and when it became light, on the preconcerted 
signal being given, a general fire was poured in upon them. 
Five of the savages fell dead and the others fled leaving 
at their fires, all their shot bags and plunder, and all their 
guns, except one. Upon going to their camp, it was found 
that one of the prisoners (a son of Alexander Rony who 
had been killed in the Leading creek massacre) was among 
the slain. Every care had been taken to guard against 
such an occurrence, and he was the only one of the cap- 
tives who sustained any injury from the fire of the whites. 1 

In consequence of information received from the 
prisoners who were retaken (that a larger party of In- 
dians was expected hourly to come up,) Col. Lowther 

[228] *As soon as the fire was opened upon the Indians, Mrs. Rony 
(one of the prisoners) ran towards the whites rejoicing at the prospect 
of deliverance, and exclaiming, " I ain Ellick Rony's wife, of the Valley, 
I am Ellick Rony's wife, of the Valley, and a pretty little woman too, 
if I was well dressed." The poor woman, ignorant of the fact that 
her son was weltering in his own gore, and forgetting for an instant that 
her husband had been so recently killed, seemed intent only on her own 
deliverance from the savage captors. 

Another of the captives, Daniel Dougherty, being tied down, and 
unable to move, was discovered by the whites as they rushed towards 
the camp. Fearing that he might be one of the enemy and do them 
some injury if they advanced, one of the men, stopping, demanded who 
he was. Benumbed with cold, and discomposed by the sudden firing 
of the whites, he could not render his Irish dialect intelligible to them. 
The white man raised his gun and directed it towards him, calling 
aloud, that if he did not make known who he was, he should blow a 
ball through him, let him be white man or Indian. Fear supplying him 
with energy, Dougherty exclaimed, " Loord Jasus ! and am I too be 
killed by white people at last !" He was heard by Col. Lowther and his 
life saved. 

Of Border Warfare. 313 

deemed it prudent not to go in pursuit of those who had 
fled, and collecting the plunder which the savages had left, 
catching the horses which [229] they had stolen, and hav- 
ing buried young Rony, the party set out on its return 
and marched home highly gratified at the success which 
had crowned their exertions to punish their untiring foe. 

Some short time after this, John Jackson and his son 
George, returning to Buchannon fort, were fired at by 
some Indians, but fortunately missed. George Jackson 
having his gun in his hand, discharged it at a savage peep- 
ing from behind a tree, without effect; and they then rode 
off with the utmost speed. 

At the usual period of leaving the forts and returning 
to their farms, the inhabitants withdrew from Buchannon 
and went to their respective homes. Soon after, a party 
of savages came to the house of Charles Furrenash, and 
made prisoners of Mrs, Furrenash and her four children, 
and despoiled their dwelling. Mrs. Furrenash, being a 
delicate and weakly woman, and unable to endure the 
fatigue of travelling far on foot, was murdered on 
Hughes' river. Three of the children were afterwards 
redeemed and came back, the fourth was never more 
heard of. In a few days after, the husband and father 
returned from Winchester (where he had been for salt) 
and instead of the welcome greeting of an affectionate 
wife, and the pleasing prattle of his innocent children, was 
saluted with the melancholy intelligence of their fate. It 
was enough to make him curse the authors of the outrage, 
and swear eternal enmity to the savage race. 

The early period in spring at which irruptions were 
frequently made by the savages upon the frontier, had in- 
duced a belief, that if the Moravian Indians did not par- 
ticipate in the bloody deeds of their red brethern, yet that 
they afforded to them shelter and protection from the in- 
clemency of winter, and thus enabled them, by their 
greater proximity to the white settlements, to commence 
depredations earlier than they otherwise could. The con- 
sequence of this belief was, the engendering in the minds 
of many, a spirit of hostility towards those Indians; occa- 
sionally threatening a serious result to them. Reports 

314 Withers' s Chronicles 

too, were in circulation, proceeding from restored captives, 
at war with the general pacific profession of the Moravi- 
ans, and which, whether true or false, served to heighten 
the acrimony of feeling towards them, until the militia of 
a portion of the frontier came to the determination of 
breaking up the villages on the Muskingum. 1 To [230] 
carry this determination into effect, a body of troops, com- 
manded by Col. David Williamson, set out for those towns, 

1 The Moravian Indians were originally from the Susquehanna 
River. They moved to the Tuscarawas River in 1772, under the mis- 
sionaries Zeisberger and Heckewelder, who built two villages on the east- 
ern bank of that river, on land set apart for them by the Delawares : Schon- 
brunn, about three miles south-east of the present New Philadelphia, in 
what is now Goshen township, Tuscarawas County, O., and Gnaden- 
hiitten, lower down, in the outskirts of the present town of that name, 
in Clay township. The principal Delaware town, at that time, was some 
distance below, near the site of the present Newcoinerstown ; this was 
later moved to what is now Coshocton, at the confluence of the Tusca- 
rawas and Walholding, which unite to form the Muskingum. At this 
time there was a Moravian village called Friedensstadt, on Beaver 
River, in what is now Lawrence County, Pa. In 1776 a new village for 
the accommodation of converts was established on the east bank of the 
Muskingum, two and a half miles below Coshocton, and called Lich- 
tenau ; William Edwards was the missionary in charge. In consequence 
ot the disturbances on the border, Schonbrunn and Gnadenhutten were 
deserted in 1777, and all the teachers returned to Pennsylvania save 
Zeisberger and Edwards, who gathered the Indians together at Lich- 
tenau ; but in the spring of 1778, Gnadenhutten was re-occupied, with 
Edwards in charge. This was not for a long time, however, for in July 
we find Zeisberger, Heckewelder, and Edwards in charge of the union 
station at Lichtenau, the others being deserted. The spring of 1779 finds 
Edwards again at the resuscitated Gnadenhutten, Zeisberger re-occupying 
Schonbrunn with a small party, and Heckewelder at Lichtenau. Later 
in the season Zeisberger began New 'Schonbrunn on the west bank of 
the Tuscarawas, in what is now Goshen township, a quarter of a mile 
from the present Lockport, and a mile and a quarter south of New 
Philadelphia ; thither he removed his flock in December. In the spring 
of 1780, Heckewelder abandoned Lichtenau, and took his converts to 
the west bank of the Tuscarawas, where he established Salem, in the 
present Salem township, a mile and a half north-west of Port Washing- 
ton. In the autumn the Moravian villages were in general charge of 
Zeisberger, who traveled from one to the other ; Gottlob Senseman being 
in charge of New Schonbrunn, Edwards of Gnadenhutten, and Hecke- 
welder of Salem. It will thus be seen that at the time of the massacre, 
the Moravian villages were wholly in the valley of the Tuscarawas. 
R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 315 

in the latter part of the year 1781. Not deeming it nec- 
essary to use the fire and sword, to accomplish the desired 
object, Col. "Williamson resolved on endeavoring to prevail 
on them to move farther off; and if he failed in this, to 
make prisoners of them all, and take them to Fort Pitt. 
Upon his arrival at their towns, they were found to be 
nearly deserted, a few Indians only, remaining in them. 
These were made prisoners and taken to Fort Pitt ; but 
were soon liberated. 

It is a remarkable fact, that at the time the whites 
were planning the destruction of the Moravian villages, 
because of their supposed co-operation with the hostile 
savages, the inhabitants of those villages were suffering 
severely from the ill treatment of those very savages, be- 
cause of their supposed attachment to the whites. By the 
one party, they were charged with affording to Indian war 
parties, a resting place and shelter, and furnishing them 
with provisions. By the other, they were accused of ap- 
prizing the whites of meditated incursions into the coun- 
try, and thus defeating their purpose, or lessening the 
chance of success; and of being instrumental in prevent- 
ing the Delawares from entering in the war which they 
were waging. Both charges were probably, well founded, 
and the Moravian Indians yet culpable in neither. 1 

Their villages were situated nearly midway between 
the frontier establishments of the whites, and the towns 
of the belligerent Indians, and were consequently, con- 
venient resting places for warriors proceeding to and from 
the settlements. That they should have permitted war 
parties after ravages to refresh themselves there, or even 
have supplied them with provisions, does not argue a dis- 
position to aid or encourage their hostile operations. It 
was at any time in the power of those warring savages, to 

1 Zeisberger and Heckewelder kept Brodhead continually informed, 
by letters, of Jhe movements and councils of the hostiles. The posi- 
tion of the missionaries was one of exceeding delicacy, but the volumi- 
nous correspondence between them and Brodhead proves that the 
former were steadfast friends of the American colonies, and did effective 
service throughout the several years of disturbance on the frontier. 
R. G. T. 

316 Withers' s Chronicles 

exact by force whatever was required of the Moravian In- 
dians, and the inclination was not wanting, to do this or 
other acts of still greater enormity. That the warriors 
were the better enabled to make incursions into the set- 
tlements, and effect their dreadful objects by reason of 
those accommodations, can not be questioned ; the fault 
however, lay not in any inimical feeling of the Christian 
Indians towards the whites, but in their physical inability 
to withhold whatever might be demanded of them. 

And although they exerted themselves to prevail on 
other [231] tribes to forbear from hostilities against the 
whites, and apprised the latter of enterprizes projected 
against them, yet did not these things proceed from an 
unfriendly disposition towards their red brethren. They 
were considerate and reflecting, and saw that the savages 
must ultimately suffer, by engaging in a war against the 
settlements; while their pacific and Christian principles, 
influenced them to forewarn the whites of impending 
danger, that it might be avoided, and the effusion of blood 
be prevented. But pure and commendable as were, no 
doubt, the motives which governed them, in their inter- 
course with either party, yet they were so unfortunate as 
to excite the enmity and incur the resentment of both, 
and eventually were made to suffer, though in different 
degrees, by both. 

In the fall of 1781, the settlements of the Moravians 
were almost entirely broken up by upwards of three hun- 
dred warriors, and the missionaries, residing among them, 
after having been robbed of almost every thing, were taken 
prisoners and carried to Detroit. Here they were detained 
until the governor became satisfied that they were guilt- 
less of any offence meriting a longer confinement; when 
they were released & permitted to return to their beloved 
people. The Indians were left to shift for themselves in 
the Sandusky plains where most of their horses and cattle 
perished from famine. 1 

1 Brodhead's successful expedition against the Coshocton Indians, 
in April, 1781, led to preparations for a retaliatory foray. Headed by 
the renegade Capt. Matthew Elliott, a party of about 250 Indians, 
mostly Wyandots, with chiefs Half King, Pipe, Snip, John and Thomas 

Of Border Warfare. 317 

Snake, and others assembled at Gnadenhiitten, for a talk with the 
Moravian teachers, preparatory to an expedition against Wheeling. 
They arrived August 17, and Zeisberger at once secretly sent a message 
of warning to Ft. Pitt, which threw the frontier into alarm, and caused 
the garrison at Wheeling to be fully prepared when the enemy ap- 
peared. A boy whom the Wyandots captured outside of Wheeling told 
them of Zeisberger's warning, and when the unsuccessful war party 
returned to Gnadenhiitten (Sept. 2), vengeance was wreaked on the 
Moravians. The town was sacked that day, and the missionaries were 
kept as prisoners for several days. Finally they were released (Sept. 6), 
on promise that they remove their converts from the line of the war- 
paths. September 11, the Moravians and their teachers left Salem in a 
body, with but few worldly goods, for most of their property had been 
destroyed by the Wyandots. They proceeded down the Tuscarawas to 
the mouth of the Walhonding, thence up the latter stream and Vernon 
River, and across country to the Sandusky, where they arrived October 
1, and erected a few huts on the east bank of the river, about two and 
a-half miles above the present Upper Sandusky. Fourteen days later, 
the missionaries were summoned to appear before the British com- 
mandant at Detroit, Major De Peyster. Zeisberger, Heckewelder, Ed- 
wards, and Senseman left for Detroit, October 25. De Peyster questioned 
them closely, and finally released them with the statement that -he 
would confer with them later, relative to their final abode. They 
reached the Sandusky, on their return, November 22. Meanwhile, the 
winter had set in early ; and in danger of starving, a party of the Mora- 
vians had returned to the Tuscarawas to gather corn in the abandoned 
fields ; while there, a party of border rangers took them prisoners and 
carried them to Fort Pitt. Brig.-Gen. William Irvine, then in com- 
mand, treated the poor converts kindly, and allowed them to go in 
peace, many returning to their old villages on the Tuscarawas, to com- 
plete their dismal harvesting. R. G. T. 

318 Withers s Chronicles 


The revengeful feelings which had been engendered, 
by inevitable circumstances, towards the Moravian In- 
dians, and which had given rise to the expedition of 1781, 
under Col. Williamson, were yet more deeply radicated by 
subsequent events. On the night after their liberation 
from Fort Pitt, the family of a Mr. Monteur were all 
killed or taken captive; and the outrage, occurring so im- 
mediately after they were set at liberty and in the vicinity 
of where they were, was very generally attributed to them. 
An irruption was made too, in the fall of 1781, into the 
settlement on Buffalo creek, and some murders committed 
and prisoners taken. One of these, escaping from cap- 
tivity and returning soon after, declared that the party 
committing the aggression, was headed by a Moravian war- 

These circumstances operated to confirm many in the 
belief, that those Indians were secretly inimical to the 
whites, and not only furnished the savages with provisions 
and a temporary home, but likewise engaged personally in 
the war of extermination, which they were waging against 
the frontier. Events occurring towards the close of winter, 
dispelled all doubt, from the minds of those who had 
fondly cherished every suggestion which militated against 
the professed, and generally accredited, neutrality and pa- 
cific disposition of the Moravians. 

On the 8th of February 1782, while Henry Fink and 
his son John, were engaged in sledding rails, on their farm 
in the Buchannon settlement, several guns were simultane- 
ously discharged at them; and before John had time to 
reply to his father's inquiry, whether he were hurt, another 
gun was fired and he fell lifeless. Having unlinked the 
chain which fastened the horse to the sled, the old man 
[233] galloped briskly away. He reached his home in 
safety, and immediately moved his family to the fort. On 

Of Border Warfare. 319 

the next day the lifeless body of John, was brought into 
the fort. The first shot had wounded his arm ; the ball 
from the second passed through his heart, & he was after- 
wards scalped. 

Near the latter part of the same month, some Indians 
invaded the country above Wheeling, and succeeded in 
killing a Mr. Wallace, and his family, consisting of his wife 
and five children, & in taking John Carpenter a prisoner. 
The early period of the year at which those enormities 
were perpetrated, the inclemency of the winter of 1781 2 V 
and the distance of the towns of hostile Indians from the 
theatre of these outrages, caused many to exclaim, "the 
Moravians have certainly done this deed." The destruction 
of their villages was immediately resolved, and prepara- 
tions were made to carry this determination into effect. 

There were then in the North Western wilderness, be- 
tween three and four hundred of the Christian Indians, 
and who, until removed by the Wyandots and whites in 
1781, as before mentioned, had resided on the Mtiskingum 
in the villages of the Guadenhutten, Salem and Shoenbrun. 
The society of which they were members, had been estab- 
lished in the province of Pennsylvania about the year 
1752, and in a short time became distinguished for 
the good order and deportment of its members, both as 
men and as Christians. During the continuance of the 
French war, they nobly withstood every allurement which 
was practised to draw them within its vortex, tfnd ex- 
pressed their strong disapprobation of war in general ; say- 
ing, " that it must be displeasing to that Great Being, who 
made men, not to destroy men, but to love and assist each 
other." In 1769 emigrants from their villages of Frieden- 
shutten, Wyalusing and Shesheequon in Pennsylvania, be- 
gan to make an establishment in the North Western wilder- 
ness, and in a few years, attained a considerable degree of 
prosperity, their towns increased rapidly in population, 
and themselves, under the teaching of pious and beneficent 
missionaries, in civilization and Christianity. In the war 
of 1774, their tranquil and happy hours were interrupted, 
by reports of the ill intention of the whites along the 

320 Withers' s Chronicles 

frontier, towards them, and by frequent acts of annoyance, 
committed by war parties of the savages. 

This state of things continued with but little, if any, 
intermission, occasionally assuming a more gloomy and 
portentious aspect, until the final destruction of their 
villages. In the spring of 1781, the principal war chief of 
the Delawares apprised the missionaries and them, of the 
danger which threatened them, as well from the whites as 
the savages, and advised them to remove to some situation, 
where they would be exempt from molestation by either. 
Conscious of the rectitude of their conduct as regarded 
both, and unwilling to forsake the comforts which their 
industry had procured for them, and the fields rendered 
productive by their labor, they disregarded the [234] 
friendly monition, and continued in their villages, progress- 
ing in the knowledge and love of the Redeemer of men, 
and practising the virtues inculcated by his word. 

This was their situation, at the time they were re- 
moved to Sandusky, early in the fall of 1781. When their 
missionaries and principal men were liberated by the gov- 
ernor of Detroit, they obtained leave of the Wyandot 
chiefs to return to the Muskingurn to get the corn which 
had been left there, to prevent the actual starvation of 
their families. About one hundred and fifty of them, 
principally women and children went thither for this pur- 
pose, and were thus engaged when the second expedition 
under Col. Williamson proceeded against them. 

In March 1782, between eighty and ninety men as- 
sembled themselves for the purpose of effecting the de- 
struction of the Moravian towns. 1 If they then had in 

1 One hundred and eighty-six men, mounted, from the Monon- 
gahela settlements. Early in March, 1782, they assembled under David 
Williamson, colonel of one of the militia battalions of Washington 
County, Pa., on the east bank of the Ohio, a few miles below Steuben- 
ville. The water was high, the weather cold and stormy, and there 
were no boats for crossing over to Mingo Bottom. Many turned back, 
but about two hundred succeeded in crossing. The expedition was not 
a " private " affair, but was regularly authorized by the military authority 
of Washington County ; its destination was not the Moravian settle- 
ments, but the hostile force, then supposed to be on the Tuscarawas 
river. It seems to have generally been understood on the border that 
the Moravian towns were now deserted. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 321 

contemplation the achieving of any other injury to those 
people, it was not promulgated in the settlements. They 
avowed their object to be the destruction of the houses 
and the laying waste the crops, in order to deprive the 
hostile savages of the advantage of obtaining shelter and 
provisions, so near to the frontier ; and the removal of the 
Moravians to Fort Pitt, to preserve them from the personal 
injury which, it was feared, would be inflicted on them by 
the warriors. Being merely a private expedition, each of 
the men took with him, his own arms, ammunition and 
provisions ; and many of them, their horses. They took 
up the line of march from the Mingo Bottom, and on the 
second night thereafter, encamped within one mile of the 
village of Gnadenhutten ; and in the morning proceeded 
towards it, in the order of attack prescribed by a council 
of the officers. 

The village being built upon both sides of the river, 
and the scouts having discovered and reported that it was 
occupied on both sides, one-half the men were ordered to 
cross over and bear down upon the town on the western 
bank, while the other half would possess themselves of 
that part of it which lay on the eastern shore. Upon the 
arrival of the first division at the river, no boat or other 
small craft was seen in which they could be transported 
across ; and they were for a time, in some difficulty how 
they should proceed. What appeared to be a canoe was 
at length discovered on the opposite bank, and a young 
man by the name of Slaughter, plunging in swam to it. It 
proved to be a trough for containing sugar water, and 
capable of bearing only two persons at a time. To obviate 
the delay which must have resulted from this tedious 
method of conveying themselves over, many of the men 
unclothed themselves, and placing their garments, arms 
and ammunition in the trough, swam by its sides, not- 
withstanding that ice was floating in the current and the 
water, consequently, cold and chilling. 

When nearly half this division had thus reached the 
western bank, two sentinels, who on the first landing had 
been stationed a short distance in advance, discovered and 

322 Withers 1 s Chronicles 

fired at, one of the Indians. [235] The shot of one broke 
his arm, the other killed him. Directions were then sent 
to the division which was to operate on the eastern side of 
the river, to move directly to the attack, lest the firing 
should alarm the inhabitants and they defeat the object 
which seemed now to be had in view. The few who had 
crossed without awaiting for the others, marched imme- 
diately into the town on the western shore. 

Arrived among the Indians, they offered no violence, 
but on the contrary, professing peace and good will, as- 
sured them, they had come for the purpose of escorting 
them safely to Fort Pitt, that they might no longer be ex- 
posed to molestation from the militia of the whites, or the 
warriors of the savages. Sick of the sufferings which they 
had so recently endured, and rejoicing at the prospect of 
being delivered from farther annoyance they gave up their 
arms, and with alacrity commenced making preparations 
for the journey, providing food as well for the whites, as 
for themselves. A party of whites and Indians was next 
despatched to Salem, to bring in those who were there. 
They then shut up the Moravians left at Gnadenhutten, in 
two houses some distance apart, and had them well guarded, 
When the others arrived from Salem, they were treated in 
like manner, and shut up in the same houses with their 
brethren of Gnadenhutten. 

The division which was to move into the town on the 
eastern side of the river, coming unexpectedly upon one 
of the Indian women, she endeavored to conceal herself in 
a bunch of bushes at the water edge, but being discovered, 
by some of the men, was quickly killed. She was the 
wife of Shabosh, who had been shot by the sentinels 
of the other division. Others, alarmed at the appear- 
ance of a party of armed men, and ignorant that a like 
force was on the opposite side of the river, attempted to 
escape thither. They did not live to effect their object. 
Three were killed in the attempt; and the men then 
crossed over, with such as they had made prisoners, to 
join their comrades, in the western and main part of the 

A council of war was then held to determine on the 

Of Border Warfare. 323 

fate of the prisoners. Col. Williamson having been much 
censured for the lenity of his conduct towards those In- 
dians in the expedition of the preceding year, the officers 
were unwilling to take upon themseves the entire responsi- 
bility of deciding upon their fate now, and agreed that it 
should be left to the men. The line was soon formed, and 
they were told it remained with them to say, whether the 
Moravian prisoners should be taken to Fort Pitt or mur- 
dered ; and Col. Williamson requested that those who were 
inclined to mercy, should advance and form a second link, 
that it might be seen on which side was the majority. 
Alas ! it required no scrutiny to determine. Only sixteen, 
or at most eighteen men, stepped forward to save the lives 
of this unfortunate people, and their doom became sealed. 1 
From the moment those ill fated beings were im- 
mured in houses they seemed to anticipate the horrid des- 
tiny which awaited them ; [236] and spent their time in 
holy and heartfelt devotion, to prepare them for the awful 
realities of another world. They sang, they prayed, they 
exhorted each other to a firm reliance on the Saviour of 
men, and soothed those in affliction with the comfortable 
assurance, that although men might kill the body, they 
had no power over the soul, and that they might again 
meet in a better and happier world, " where the wicked 
cease from troubling and the weary find rest." When 
told that they were doomed to die, they all affectionately 
embraced, and bedewing their bosoms with mutual tears, 
reciprocally sought, and obtained forgiveness for any of- 
fences which they might have given each other through 
life. Thus at peace with God, and reconciled with one 
another, they replied to those, who impatient for the 
slaughter had asked if they were not yet prepared, " Yes ! 
We have commended our souls to God, and are ready 
to die." 

1 Contemporary accounts speak of a council of war, held in the 
evening, at which this question was decided. But a small majority 
voted for the butchery ; Williamson himself was in the minority. Dor- 
sey Pentecost, writing from Pittsburg, May 8, 1782 (see Perm. Arch., ix., 
p. 540), says : " I have heard it intimated that about thirty or forty only 
of the party gave their consent or assisted in the catastrophe. "R. Gr.T. 

"324 Withers's Chronicles 

What must have been the obduracy of those, who 
could remain inflexible in their doom of death, amid such 
scenes as these? How ruthless & unrelenting their hearts, 
who unmoved by the awful spectacle of so many fellow 
creatures, preparing for the sudden and violent destruction 
of life and asking of their God, mercy for themselves and 
forgiveness for their enemies could yet thirst for blood, 
and manifest impatience that its shedding was delayed for 
an instant? Did not the possibility of that innocence, 
which has been ever since so universally accorded to their 
victims, once occur to them ; or were their minds so under 
the influence of exasperation and resentment, that they 
ceased to think of any thing, but the gratification of those 
feelings? Had they been about to avenge the murder of 
friends on its known authors, somewhat might have been 
pardoned to retaliation and to vengeance; but involving 
all in one common ruin, for the supposed offences of a few, 
there can be no apology for their conduct, no excuse for 
their crime. 

It were well, if all memory of the tragedy at Gnad- 
enhutten, were effaced from the mind ; but it yet lives in 
the recollection of many and stands recorded on the pol- 
luted page of history. Impartial truth requires, that it 
should be here set down. 

A few of the prisoners, supposed to have been act- 
ively engaged in war, were the first to experience their 
doom. They were tied and taken some distance from the 
houses in which [237] they had been confined ; despatched 
with spears and tomahawks, and scalped. The remainder 
of both sexes, from the hoary head of decrepitude, incap- 
able of wrong, to helpless infancy, pillowed on its mother's 
breast, were cruelly & shockingly murdered; and the 
different apartments of those houses of blood, exhibited 
their bleeding bodies, mangled by the tomahawk, scalping 
knife and spear, and disfigured by the war-club and the 
mallet. 1 

1 Lineback's Relation (Penn. Arch., ix., p. 525) says: " In the morn- 
ing, the militia chose two houses, which they called the ' slaughter 
houses,' and then brought the Indians two or three at a time, with ropes 
about their necks, and dragged them into the slaughter houses where 

Of Border Warfare. 325 

Thus perished ninety-six of the Moravian Indians. 
Of these, sixty-two were grown persons, one-third of whom 
were women; the remaining thirty-four were children. 1 
Two youth alone, made their escape. One of them had 
been knocked down and scalped, but was not killed. He 
had the presence of mind to lie still among the dead, until 
nightfall, when he crept silently forth and escaped. The 
other, in the confusion of the shocking scene, slipped 
through a trap door into the cellar, and passing out at a 
small window, got off unnoticed and uninjured. 

In the whole of this transaction the Moravians were 
passive and unresisting. They confided in the assurances 
of protection given them by the whites, and until pent up 
in the houses, continued cheerful and happy. If when 
convinced of the murderous intent of their visitors, they 
had been disposed to violence and opposition, it would have 
availed them nothing. They had surrendered their arms 
(being requested to do so, as a guarantee for the security 
of the whites,) and were no longer capable of offering any 
effectual or available resistance, and while the dreadful 
work of death was doing, "they were as lambs led to the 
slaughter; & as sheep before the shearers are dumb, so 
opened they not their mouths." There was but a solitary 
exception to this passiveness, and it was well nigh termin- 
ating in the escape of its author, and in the death of some 
of the whites. 

As two of the men were leading forth one of the sup- 
posed warriors to death, a dispute arose between them, 
who should have the scalp of this victim to their barbarity. 
He was progressing after them with a silent dancing mo- 
tion, and singing his death song. Seeing them occupied 
so closely with each other, he became emboldened to try 
an escape. Drawing a knife from its scabbard, he cut the 

they knocked them down." This accords with Heckewelder's Narrative, 
p. 320, which says they were knocked down with a cooper's mallet. 
The victims included those converts living at Salem, who had peaceably 
come in to Gnadenhiitten with their captors ; but those at New Schon- 
brunn had taken the alarm and fled. R. G. T. 

1 Later authorities put the total number at ninety twenty-nine 
men, twenty-seven women, and thirty-four children. R. G. T. 

326 Withers's Chronicles 

cord which bound him; and springing forward, aimed a 
thrust at one of his conductors. The cutting of the rope 
had, however, drawn it so [238] tightly that he who held 
it became sensible that it was wrought upon in some way ; 
and turning quickly round to ascertain the cause, scarcely 
avoided the stab. The Indian then bounded from them, 
and as he fled towards the woods, dexterously removed 
the cord from his wrists. Several shots were discharged 
at him without effect, when the firing was stopped, lest in 
the hurry and confusion of the pursuit, some of their own 
party might suffer from it. A young man, mounting his 
horse, was soon by the side of the Indian, and springing 
off, his life had well nigh been sacrificed by his rashness. 
He was quickly thrown to the ground, and the uplifted 
tomahawk about to descend on his head, when a timely 
shot, directed with fatal precision, took effect on the In- 
dian and saved him. 

Had the Moravians been disposed for war, they could 
easily have ensured their own safety, and dealt destruction 
to the whites. If, when their town was entered by a party 
of only sixteen, their thirty men, aided by the youths of 
the village, armed and equipped as all were, had gone 
forth in battle array, they could have soon cut off those 
few; and by stationing some gunners on the bank of the 
river, have prevented the landing of the others of the ex- 
pedition. But their faith in the sincerity of the whites 
their love of peace and abhorrence of war, forbade it; and 
the confidence of those who first rushed into the town, in 
these feelings and dispositions of the Indians, no doubt 
prompted them to that act of temerity, while an un- 
fordable stream was flowing between them and their only 

During the massacre at Gnadenhutten, a detachment 
of the whites was ordered to Shoenbrun to secure the Mo- 
ravians who were there. Fortunately however, two of the 
inhabitants of this village had discovered the dead body 
of Shabosh in time to warn their brethren of danger, and 
they all moved rapidly off. When the detachment arrived, 
nothing was left for them but plunder. This was secured, 
and they returned to their comrades. Gnadenhutten was 

Of Border Warfare. 327 

then pillaged of every article of value which could be easily 
removed; its houses even those which contained the 
dead bodies of the Moravians were burned to ashes, and 
the men set out on their return to the settlements. 1 

The expedition against the Moravian towns on the 
Muskingum, was projected and carried on by inhabitants 
of the [239] western counties of Pennsylvania, a district 
of country which had long been the theatre of Indian 
hostilities. Its result (strange as it may now appear) was 
highly gratifying to many; and the ease with which so 
much Indian blood had been made to flow, coupled with 
an ardent desire to avenge the injuries which had been 
done them by the savages, led to immediate preparations 
for another, to be conducted on a more extensive scale, 
and requiring the co-operation of more men. And al- 
though the completion of the work of destruction, which 
had been so successfully begun, of the Moravian Indians, 
was the principal inducement of some, yet many attached 
themselves to the expedition, from more noble and com- 
mendable motives. 

The residence of the Moravians ever since they were 
removed to the plains of Sandusky, was in the immediate 
vicinity of the Wyandot villages, and the warriors from 
these had been particularly active and untiring in their 
hostility to the frontier settlements of Pennsylvania. The 
contemplated campaign against the Moravians, was viewed 
by many as affording a fit opportunity to punish those 
savages for their many aggressions, as it would require 
that they should proceed but a short distance beyond the 
point proposed, in order to arrive at their towns ; and they 
accordingly engaged in it for that purpose. 

Other causes too, conspired to fill the ranks and form 
an army for the accomplishment of the contemplated ob- 
jects. The commandants of the militia of Washington 
and Westmoreland counties ''Cols. Williamson and Mar- 

1 Salem, New Schonbrunn and Gnadenhiitten were all destroyed by 
fire. The whites returned home the following day, with ninety-six 
scalps ninety Moravians and six outlying Indians. It seems certain 
that a few hostiles were with the Moravians at the time of the mas- 
sacre. R. G. T. 

328 Withers's Chronicles 

shall) 1 encouraged the inhabitants to volunteer on this 
expedition, and made known, that every militia man who 
accompanied it, finding his own horse and gun, and pro- 
visions for a month, should be exempt from two tours of 
militia duty ; and that all horses unavoidably lost in the 
service, should be replaced from those taken in the Indian 
country. From the operation of these different causes, an 
army of nearly five hundred men was soon raised, who 
being supplied with ammunition by the Lieutenant Col- 
onel of Washington county, proceeded to the Old Mingo 
towns, the place of general rendezvous where an election 
was held to fill the oifice of commander of the expedition. 2 
The candidates were Colonel Williamson and Colonel 
Crawford; and the latter gentleman being chosen imme- 
diately organized the troops, and prepared to march. 

[240] On the 25th of May, the army left the Mingo 
towns, and pursuing " Williamson's trail," arrived at the 
upper Moravian town on the Muskingum (Shoenbrun,) 
where (finding plenty of corn of the preceding year's crop, 
yet on the stalk) they halted to refresh their horses. 
While here, Captains Brenton and Bean, discovered and 
fired upon two Indians; and the report of the guns being 
heard in camp, the men, in despite of the exertions of their 
officers, rushed towards the source of alarm, in the most 
tumultuous and disorderly manner. Colonel Crawford, 
used to the discipline of continental soldiers, saw in the 
impetuosity and insubordination of the troops under his 
command, enough to excite the liveliest apprehensions for 

1 David Williamson, as previously seen, was a colonel of militia in 
Washington County, Pa.; James Marshal, as county lieutenant of Wash- 
ington, was his superior officer. R. G. T. 

2 The place of rendezvous was Mingo Bottom (the present Mingo 
Junction, O.), and the date May 20. It was the 24th before all were 
present. The volunteers numbered 480, of whom two-thirds were from 
Washington County; most of the others were from Fayette County, 
Pa., and a few from Ohio County, Va. In the vote for commander, 
William Crawford received 235, and Williamson 230. Four field majors 
were elected to rank in the order named : Williamson, Thomas Gaddis, 
John McClelland, and one Brinton. The standard modern authority 
for the details of this expedition, is Butterfield's Crawford's Expedition 
Against Sandusky (Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co., 1873). R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 329 

the event of the expedition. He had volunteered to go on 
the campaign, only in compliance with the general wish 
of the troops that he should head them, and when chosen 
commander in chief of the forces assembled at the Mingo 
towns, he is said to have accepted the office with reluct- 
ance, not only sensible of the impracticability of control- 
ling men unused to restraint, but opposed to some of the 
objects of the expedition, and the frequently expressed de- 
termination of the troops, to spare no Indian whom acci- 
dent or the fortune of war should place in their power. 

From Shoeubrun the army proceeded as expeditiously 
as was practicable to the site of the Moravian village, near 
the Upper Sandusky ; but instead of meeting with this 
oppressed and persecuted tribe, or having gained an op- 
portunity of plundering their property, they saw nothing 
which manifested that it had been the residence of man, 
save a few desolate and deserted huts, the people, whom 
it was their intention to destroy, had some time before, 
most fortunately for themselves, moved to the Scioto. 

Discontent and dissatisfaction ensued upon the disap- 
pointment. The guides were ignorant of there being any 
Indian towns nearer than those on Lower Sandusky, and 
the men became impatient to return home. In this pos- 
ture of affairs, a council of war, consisting of the field 
officers and captains, was held, and it was resolved to move 
forward, and if no enemy appeared that day, to retrace 
their steps. Just after this determination was made 
known, an express arrived, from a detachment of mounted 
men, which had been sent forward to reconnoitre, with in- 
formation that about three miles in advance a large body 
of Indians had been discovered hastening [241] rapidly to 
meet them. The fact was, that Indian spies had watched 
and reported the progress of the expedition, ever after it 
left the Mingo towns ; and when satisfied of its destina- 
tion, every arrangement which they could make to defeat 
its object, and involve the troops in the destruction to 
which it was their purpose to consign others, was begun 
by the savages. Having perfected these, they were march- 
ing on to give battle to the whites. 

Immediately upon the reception of this intelligence, 

330 Withers' s Chronicles 

the army moved forward, and meeting the reconnoitre! ng 
party coming in, had proceeded but a short distance farther, 
when they came in view of the Indians hastening to oc- 
cupy a small body of woods, in the midst of an extensive 
plain. The battle was then begun by a heavy tire from 
both sides, and the savages prevented gaining possession 
of the woods. A party of them having however, taken 
post in them before the whites came up, continued much 
to annoy the troops, until some of them, alighting from 
their horses, bravely rushed forward and dislodged them. 
The Indians then attempted to gain a small skirt of 
wood on Colonel Crawford's right ; but the vigilance of 
the commanding officer of the right wing, (Major Leet) 
detected the movement, and the bravery of his men de- 
feated it. The action now became general and severe and 
was warmly contested until dark, when it ceased for a 
time without having been productive of much advantage 
to either side. During the night, both armies lay on their 
arms; adopting the wise policy of kindling large fires 
along the line of battle, and retreating some distance be- 
hind them, to prevent being surprised by a night attack. 

Early in the morning a few shots were fired, but at 
too great distance for execution. The Indians were hourly 
receiving reinforcements, and seemed busily engaged in 
active preparations for a decisive conflict. The whites be- 
came uneasy at their increasing strength ; and a council 
of the officers deemed it expedient to retreat. As it would 
be difficult to effect this in open day, in the presence of an 
enemy of superior force, it was resolved to postpone it 
until night, making in the mean time every arrangement 
to ensure its success. The killed were buried, and fires 
burned over the graves to prevent discovery, litters were 
made for bearing the wounded, and the army was formed 
into three lines with them in the centre. 

[242] The day passed, without an attack being made 
by the Indians. They were still seen to traverse the plains 
in every direction, and in large bodies ; and not until the 
troops were about forming the line of retreat, did they 
seem to have any idea that such a movement was intended. 
They then commenced firing a few shots, and in a little 

Of Border Warfare. 331 

while it became apparent that they had occupied every 
pass, leaving open only that which led to Sandusky. 
Along this way, the guides conducted the main army, 
until they had passed the Indian lines about a mile ; when 
wheeling to the left, they marched round and gained the 
trail of their outward march. Continuing in this they 
proceeded to the settlements without any interruption. > 
The savage warriors thinking it better to follow detached 
parties than the main army. 

The few shots which were fired by the Indians as the 
whites were forming the line of retreat, were viewed by 
many as evidence that their purpose had been discovered, 
and that these were signal guns preceding a general at- 
tack. Under these impressions, the men in front hurried 
off and others following the example, at least one third of 
the army were to be seen flying in detached parties, and 
in different directions from that taken by the main body, 
supposing that the attention of the Indians would be 
wholly turned to this point. They were not permitted to 
proceed far under this delusive supposition. Instead of 
following the main army, the Indians pursued those small 
parties with such activity, that not many of those compos- 
ing them were able to escape; one company of forty men 
under a Captain Williamson, 1 was the only party detached 
from the principal body of the troops, fortunate enough 
to get with the main army on its retreat. Late in the 
night, they broke through the Indian lines under a heavy 
fire and with some loss, and on the morning of the second 
day of the retreat, again joined their comrades in the ex- 
pedition, who had marched off in a body ; in compliance 
with the orders of the commander-in-chief. 

Colonel Crawford himself proceeded at the head of 
the army for some short distance, when missing his son, his 
son-in-law (Major Harrison) arrd two nephews, 2 he stopped 
to enquire for them. Receiving no satisfactory informa- 
tion respecting either of them, he was induced through 

1 Col. David Williamson. R. G. T. 

1 His ^son John, his son-in-law Major William Harrison, and one of 
his nephews, not two, William Crawford. They were captured by 
the Indians and killed. R. G. T. 

332 Withers' s Chronicles 

anxiety for their fate to continue still, until all had passed 
on, when he resumed his flight, in company with doctor 
Knight 1 and two [243] others. For their greater security, 
they travelled some distance apart, but from the jaded and 
exhausted condition of their horses could proceed but 
slowly. One of the two men in company with the Colonel 
and doctor Knight, would frequently fall some distance 
behind the others, and as frequently call aloud for them 
to wait for him. Near the Sandusky creek he hallooed to 
them to halt, but the yell of a savage being heard near 
him, they went on and never again was he heard of. 
About day, Colonel Crawford's horse gave out and he 
was forced to proceed on foot, as was also the other of 
the two who had left the field with him and Knight. 
They continued however to travel together, and soon over- 
took Captain Biggs, endeavoring to secured the safety of 
himself and Lieutenant Ashly, who had been so badly 
wounded that he was unable to ride alone. A heavy fall 
of rain induced them to halt, and stripping the bark from 
some trees, they formed a tolerable shelter from the storm, 
and remained there all night. In the morning they were 
joined by another of the troops, when their company con- 
sisted of six Colonel Crawford and Doctor Knight, who 
kept about an hundred yards in front Captain Biggs and 
Lieutenant Ashly, in the center; and the other two men 
in the rear., They proceeded in this way about two miles, 
when a party of Delawares suddenly sprang from their 
hiding places into the road, and making prisoners of 
Colonel Crawford and Doctor Knight, carried them to the 
Indian camp near to where they then were. On the next 
day the scalps of Captain Biggs and Lieutenant Ashly, 
were brought in by another party of Indians who had been 
likewise watching the road. From the encampment, they 
were led, in company with nine other prisoners, to the old 
Wyandot town, from which place they were told they 
would be taken to the new town, not far off. Before set- 

1 Dr. John Knight, surgeon to the expedition. He was captured, 
and sentenced to death, but after thrilling adventures finally escaped. 
R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 333 

ting out from this place, Colonel Crawford and Doctor 
Knight were painted black by Captain Pipe, a Delaware 
chief, who told the former, that he intended to have him 
shaved when he arrived among his friends, and the latter 
that he was to be carried to the Shawnee town, to see 
some of his old acquaintance. The nine prisoners were 
then marched off in front of Colonel Crawford and Doctor 
Knight, who were brought on by Pipe and Wingenim, 1 
another of the Delaware chiefs. As they went on, they 
passed the bodies of four of the captives, who had been 
tomahawked and scalped on the way, and came [244] to 
where the remaining five were, in time to see them suffer 
the same fate from the hands of squaws and boys. The 
head of one of them (John McKinley, formerly an officer 
in one of the Virginia regiments) was cut off, and for some 
time kicked about .on the ground. A while afterwards 
they met Simon Girty and several Indians on horseback ; 
when Col. Crawford was stripped naked, severely beaten 
with clubs and sticks, and made to sit down near a post 
which had been planted for the purpose, and around which 
a fire of poles was burning briskly. His hands were then 
pinioned behind him, and a rope attached to the band 
around his wrist and fastened to the foot of a post about 
fifteen feet high, allowing him liberty only to sit down, or 
walk once or twice round it, and return the same way. 
Apprehensive that he was doomed to be burned to death, 
he asked Girty if it were possible that he had been spared 
from the milder instruments of the tomahawk and scalp- 
ing knife, only to suffer the more cruel death by fire. 
" Yes, said Girty, composedly, you must be burned Colonel." 
" It is dreadful, replied Crawford, but I will endeavor to 
bear it patiently." Captain Pipe then addressed the sav- 
ages in an animated speech, at the close of which, they 
rent the air with hideous yells, and immediately discharged 
a number of loads of powder at the naked body of their 
victim. His ears were then cut off, and while the men 
would apply the burning ends of the poles to his flesh, the 
squaws threw coals and hot embers upon him, so that in a 

1 Wingenund R. G. T. 

334 Withers's Chronicles 

little time he had too, to walk on fire. In the midst of 
these sufferings, he begged of the infamous Girty to shoot 
him. That worse than savage monster, tauntingly re- 
plied, "how can I? you see I have no gun," and laughed 
heartily at the scene. 

For three hours Colonel Crawford endured the most 
excruciating agonies with the utmost fortitude, when faint 
and almost exhausted, he commended his soul to God, and 
laid down on his face. He was then scalped, and burning 
coals being laid on his head and back, by one of the squaws, 
he again arose and attempted to walk ; but strength failed 
him and he sank into the welcome arms of death. His 
body was then thrown into the fire and consumed to ashes. 1 

Of the whole of this shocking scene, Doctor Knight 
was [245] an unwilling spectator; and in the midst of it 
was told by Girty, that it should be his fate too, when he 
arrived at the Shawanee towns. These were about forty 
miles distant; and he was committed to the care of a 
young warrior to be taken there. On the first day they 
travelled about twenty-five miles, and when they stopped 
for the night, the Doctor was securely fastened. In vain 
did he anxiously watch for an opportunity to endeavor to 

[244] J Colonel Crawford was then about fifty years of age, and had 
been an active warrior against the savages for a great while. During 
[245] the French war, he distinguished himself by his bravery and good 
conduct, and was much noticed by General Washington, who obtained for 
him an ensigncy. At the commencement of the revolution, he raised 
a regiment by his own exertions, and at the period of this unfortunate 
expedition, bore the commission of Colonel in the Continental army. 
He possessed a sound judgment, was a man of singular good nature and 
great humanity, and remarkable for his hospitality. His melancholy 
sufferings and death spread a gloom over the countenances of all who 
knew him. His son, John Crawford, and his son-in-law, Major Harri- 
son, were taken prisoners, carried to the Shawanee towns and murdered. 

Comment by R. G. T. Crawford was born in 1732, in Orange County, 
Va., of Scotch-Irish parentage. He made the friendship of Washington 
while the latter was surveying for Lord Fairfax, in the Shenandoah 
Valley, in 1749. Washington taught him his art, but in 1755 he 
abandoned it for a military life, and thenceforward was a prominent 
character on the frontier, often serving under Washington. From 1767 
forward, his home was on the banks of the Youghiogheny, on Braddock's 
Road. Crawford fought in Dunmore's War, and throughout the Revo- 
lution did notable service on the Virginia border. 

Of Border Warfare. 335 

release himself from the cords which bound him. The In- 
dian was vigilant and slept none. About day light they 
arose, and while the Indian was kindling a fire, the gnats 
were so troublesome that he untied his prisoner, and set 
him likewise to making a fire to relieve them from the an- 
noyance. The doctor took a burning coal between two 
sticks, and going behind the Indian towards the spot at 
which he was directed to excite a smoke, turned suddenly 
around, and struck the savage with all his force. The In- 
dian fell forward, but quickly recovering and seeing his 
gun in the hands of his assailant, ran off, howling hide- 
ously. The anxiety of Doctor Knight, saved the life of 
the savage. When he seized the gun, he drew back the 
cock in such haste and with so much violence as to break 
the main spring and render it useless to him ; but as the 
Indian was ignorant of this circumstance, he continued 
his flight and the doctor was then enabled to escape. After 
a toilsome travel of twenty-one days, during which time 
he subsisted altogether on wild gooseberries, young nettles, 
a raw terrapin and two young birds, he arrived safely at 
Fort Mclntosh meagre, emaciated and almost famished. 
Another instance of great good-fortune occurred in the 
person of John Slover, 1 who was also made prisoner after 
having travelled more than half the distance from the fatal 
scene of [246] action to Fort Pitt. "When only eight 
years of age he had been taken by some Indians on New 
river, and detained in captivity for twelve years. In this 
time he became well acquainted with their manners and 
customs, and attached to their mode of living so strongly, 
that when ransomed by his friends, he left his Indian com- 
panions with regret. He had become too, while with them, 
familiar with the country north west of the Ohio, and an 
excellent woodsman ; and in consequence of these attain- 
ments was selected a principal guide to the army on its 
outward march. When a retreat was prematurely began 
to be made by detached parties, he was some distance from 

1 John Slover, one of the guides to the expedition, was among the 
best known scouts of his day, on the Upper Ohio. His published Narrative 
is a prime source of information relative to the events of the campaign. 
R. G. T. 

336 Withers's Chronicles 

camp, and having to equip himself for flight, was left a 
good way in the rear. It was not long however, before he 
came up with a party, whose horses were unable to extri- 
cate themselves from a deep morass, over which they had 
attempted to pass. Slover's was soon placed in the same 
unpleasant situation, and they all, alighting from them, 
proceeded on foot. In this manner they traveled on until 
they had nearly reached the Tuscarawa, when a party oj 
savages from the way side, fired upon them. One of the 
men was killed, Slover and two others made prisoners, & 
the fifth escaped to Wheeling. 

Those taken captive were carried first to Wacha- 
tomakah (a small town of the Mingoes and Shawanees,) 
from whence after having been severely beaten, they were 
conducted to a larger town two miles farther. On their 
arrival here, they had all to pass through the usual cere- 
monies of running the gauntlet; and one of them who 
had been stripped of his clothes and painted black, was 
most severely beaten, mangled, and killed, and his body 
cut in pieces and placed on poles outside the town. "Here 
too, Slover saw the dead bodies of Col. McClelland, Major 
Harrison and John Crawford ; and learned that they had 
all been put to death but a little while before his arrival 
there; and although he was spared for some time, yet 
every thing which he saw acted towards other prisoners, 
led him to fear that he was reserved for a more cruel fate, 
whenever the whim of the instant should suggest its con- 
summation. At length an express arrived from Detroit 
with a speech for the warriors, which decided his doom. 
Being decyphered from the belt of wampum which con- 
tained it, the speech began by enquiring why they con- 
tinued to take prisoners, and said, " Provisions are scarce 
and when you send in [247] prisoners, we have them to 
feed, and still some of them are getting off, and carrying 
tidings of our affairs. When any of your people are taken 
bv the rebels, they shew no mercy. Why then should 
you? My children take no more prisoners of any sort, 
men, women, or children." Two days after the arrival of 
the express with this speech, a council of the different 
tribes of Indians near, was held, and it was determined to 

Of Border Warfare. 337 

act in conformity with the advice of the Governor of De- 
troit. Slover was then the only white prisoner at this 
town ; and on the morning after the council was dissolved, 
about forty warriors came to the house where he was, and 
tying a rope around his neck, led him off to another vil- 
lage, five miles distant. Here again he was severely beaten 
with clubs & the pipe end of the tomahawk, & then tied to 
a post, around which were piles of wood. These were 
soon kindled, but a violent rain falling unexpectedly, ex- 
tinguished the flames, before they had effected him. It 
was then agreed to postpone his execution, until the next 
day, and being again beaten and much wounded by their 
blows, he was taken to a block house, his hands tied, the 
rope about his neck fastened to a beam of the building^ 
and three warriors left to guard him for the night. 

If the feelings of Slover would have permitted him 
to enjoy sleep, the conduct of the guard would have pre- 
vented it. They delighted in keeping alive in his mind 
the shocking idea of the suffering which he would have to 
endure, & frequently asking him " how he would like to 
eat fire," tormented him nearly all night. Awhile before 
day however, they fell asleep, and Slover commenced un- 
tying himself. Without much difficulty he loosened the 
cord from his arms, but the ligature around his neck, of 
undressed buffalo-hide, seemed to defy his exertions to re- 
move it ; and while he was endeavoring to gnaw it in vain, 
one of the sleeping Indians, rose up and going near to him, 
eat and smoked his pipe for some time. Slover lay per- 
fectly still, apprehensive that all chance of escape was now 
lost to him. But no the Indian again composed himselt 
to sleep, and the first effort afterwards made, to loose the 
band from his neck by slipping it over his head, resulted 
in leaving Slover entirely unbound. He then crept softly 
from the house and leaping a fence, gained the cornfield. 
Passing on, as he approached a tree, he espied a squaw with 
several children lying at its root ; and fearing that some 
of them might discover him and give the alarm of his 
[248] escape, he changed his course. He soon after reached 
a glade, in which were several horses, one of which he 

338 Withers' s Chronicles 

caught; and also found a piece of an old rug, which af- 
forded him his only covering until he reached Wheeling. 
This he was enabled to do in a few days, bejng perfectly 
acquainted with the country. 

The town, from which Slover escaped, was the one to 
which Dr. Knight was to have been taken. The Indian 
who had him in charge, came in while Slover was there, 
and reported his escape magnifying the Doctor's stature 
to gigantic size and attributing to him herculean strength. 
"When Slover acquainted the warriors with the fact, that 
Doctor Knight was diminutive and effeminate, they 
laughed heartily at this Indian, and mocked at him for 
suffering the escape. He however bore a mark which 
showed that, weak afod enfeebled as he was, the Doctor 
had not played booty when he aimed the blow at his con- 
ductor. It had penetrated to the skull and made a gash 
of full four inches length. 

These are but few of the many incidents which no 
doubt occurred, to individuals who endeavored to effect an 
escape by detaching themselves from the main army. The 
number of those, thus separated from the troops, who had 
the good fortune to reach the settlements, was small in- 
deed ; and of the many of them who fell into the hands 
of the savages, Knight and Slover are believed to be the 
only persons, who were so fortunate as to make an escape. 
The precise loss sustained in the expedition, was never 
ascertained, and is variously represented from ninety to 
one hundred and twenty. 

Among those of the troops who went out under Col. 
Crawford, that came into Wheeling, was a man by the 
name of Mills. 1 Having rode very fast, and kept his horse 
almost continually travelling, he was forced to leave him, 
near to the present town of St. Clairsville in Ohio. Not 
liking the idea of loosing him altogether, upon his arrival 
at Wheeling he prevailed on Lewis Wetsel 2 to go with 
him to the place where his horse gave out, to see if they 
could not find him. Apprehensive that the savages would 

Thomas Mills. R. G. T. 

'Lewis Wetzel, a noted Indian fighter. See p. 161, note. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 

pursue the fugitives to the border of the settlements, 
Wetsel advised Mills that their path would not be free 
from dangers, and counselled him to " prepare for fight- 

When they came near to the place where the horse had 
been left, they met a party of about forty Indians going to- 
wards [249] the Ohio river and who discovered Mills and 
Wetsel as soon as these saw them. Upon the first fire 
from the Indians Mills was wounded in the heel, and soon 
overtaken and killed. Wetzel singled out his mark, shot, 
and seeing an Indian fall, wheeled and ran. He was im- 
mediately followed by four of the savages, who laid aside 
their guns that they might, the more certainly overtake 
him. Having by practice, acquired the art of loading his 
gun as he ran, Wetsel was indifferent how near the savages 
approached him, if he were out of reach of the rifles of 
the others. Accordingly, keeping some distance ahead of 
his pursuers whilst re-loading his gun, he relaxed his speed 
until the foremost Indian had got within ten or twelve 
steps of him. He then wheeled, shot him dead, and again 
took to flight. He had now to exert his speed to keep in 
advance of the savages 'till he should again load, & when 
this was accomplished and he turned to fire, the second 
Indian was near enough to catch hold of the gun, when as 
Wetsel expressed it, " they had a severe wring." At length 
he succeed in raising the muzzle to the breast of his an- 
tagonist, and killed him also. 

In this time both the pursuers and pursued had be- 
come much jaded, and although Wetsel had consequently 
a better opportunity of loading quickly, yet taught wari- 
ness by the fate of their companions, the two remaining 
savages would spring behind trees whenever he made a 
movement like turning towards them. Taking advantage 
of a more open piece of ground, he was enabled to fire on 
one of them who had sought protection behind a sapling 
too small to screen his body. The ball fractured his thigh, 
and produced death. The other, instead of pressing upon 
Wetsel, uttered a shrill yell, and exclaiming, " no catch 
him, gun always loaded," returned to his party. 

340 Withers^ Chronicles 

[250] CHAPTER XV. 

While expeditions were carrying on by the whites, 
against the Moravian and other Indians, the savages were 
prosecuting their accustomed predatory and exterminating 
war, against several of the settlements. Parties of Indi- 
ans, leaving the towns to be defended by the united ex- 
ertions of contiguous tribes, would still penetrate to the 
abode of the whites, and with various success, strive to 
avenge on them their real and fancied wrongs. 

On the 8th of March as William White, Timothy 
Dorman and his wife, were going to, and in site of Bu- 
channon fort, some guns were discharged at them, and 
White being shot through the hip soon fell from his horse, 
and was tomahawked, scalped and lacerated in the most 
frightful manner. 1 Dorman and his wife were taken 
prisoners. The people in the fort heard the firing and 
flew to arms ; but the river being between, the savages 
cleared themselves, while the whites were crossing over. 

After the killing of White (one of their most active 

1 L. V. McWhorter informs me that White, who was a prominent 
settler, was once with others on a hunting expedition, when they sur- 
prised a small party of Indians. They killed several, but one active 
young brave ran off, with White close at his heels. The Indian leaped 
from a precipice, alighting in a quagmire in which he sank to his waist. 
White, with tomahawk in hand, jumped after him. In the struggle 
which ensued, White buried his weapon in the red man's skull. The 
victim's father was among those who escaped, and for a long time Mc- 
Whorter says " several years " he lurked about the settlements trailing 
White. Finally, he succeeded in shooting his man, within sight of the 
fort. Mrs. White was an eye-witness of the tragedy. McWhorter 
claims that Withers is mistaken in saying that White was "tomahawked, 
scalped and lacerated in the most frightful manner." The avenging In- 
dian tried to get his scalp, but an attacking party from the fort were so 
close upon him that ne fled before accomplishing his object. Mc- 
Whorter reports another case, not mentioned in Withers. One Fink 
was " killed by Indians in ambush, while letting down a pair of bars one 
evening, just in front of where the Buckhannon court-house now 
stands." R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 341 

and vigilant warriors and spies) and the capture of Dor- 
man, it was resolved to abandon the fort, and seek else- 
where, security from the greater ills which it was found 
would befall them if they remained. This apprehension 
arose from the fact, that Dorman was then with the sav- 
ages, and that to gratify his enmity to particular indi- 
viduals in the settlement, he would unite with the Indians, 
and from his knowledge of the [251] country, be enabled to 
conduct them the more securely to blood and plunder. He 
was a man of sanguinary and revengeful disposition, 
prone to quarrelling, and had been known to say, that if 
he caught particular individuals with whom he was at va- 
riance, in the woods alone, he would murder them and at- 
tribute it to the savages. He had led, when in England, a 
most abandoned life, and after he was transported to this 
country, was so reckless of reputation and devoid of shame 
for his villainies, that he would often recount tales of theft 
and robbery in which he had been a conspicuous actor. 
The fearful apprehensions of increased and aggravated in- 
juries after the taking of him prisoner, were well-founded ; 
and subsequent events fully proved, that, but for the evac- 
uation of the fort, and the removal of the inhabitants, all 
would have fallen before the fury of savage warriors, with 
this abandoned miscreant at their head. 

While some of the inhabitants of that settlement 
were engaged in moving their property to a fort in Ty- 
gart's Valley (the others removing to Nutter's fort and 
Clarksburg,) they were fired upon by a party of savages, 
and two of them, Michael Hagle and Elias Paynter, fell. 
The horse on which John Bush was riding, was shot 
through,; yet Bush succeeded in extricating himself from 
the falling animal, and escaped though closely pursued by 
one of the savages. Several times the Indian following 
him, would cry out to him, " Stop, and you shall not be 
hurt If you do not, I will shoot you," and once Bush, 
nearly exhausted, and in despair of getting off, actually 
relaxed his pace for the purpose of yielding himself a 
prisoner, when turning round he saw the savage stop also, 
and commence loading his gun. This inspired Bush with 
fear for the consequences, and renewing his flight he made 

342 Withers' s Chronicles 

his escape. Edward Tanner, a mere youth, was soon 
taken prisoner, and as he was being carried to their towns, 
met between twenty and thirty savages, headed by Timothy 
Dorman, proceeding to attack Buchanuon fort. Learning 
from him that the inhabitants were moving from it, and 
that it would be abandoned in a few days, the Indians 
pursued their journey with so much haste, that Dorman 
had well nigh failed from fatigue. They arrived however, 
too late, for the accomplishment of their bloody purpose; 
the settlement was deserted, and the inhabitants safe 
within the walls of other fortresses. 

[252] A few days after the evacuation of the fort, some 
of its former inmates went from Clarksburg to Buchannon 
for grain which had been left there. When they came in 
sight, they beheld a heap of ashes where the fort had 
been ; and proceeding on, became convinced that the sav- 
ages were yet lurking about. They however, continued 
to go from farm to farm collecting the grain, but with the 
utmost vigilance and caution, and at night went to an out 
house, near where the fort had stood. Here they found a 
paper, with the name of Timothy Dorman attached to it, 
dated at the Indian towns, and containing information of 
those who had been taken captive in that district of 

In the morning early, as some of the men went from 
the house to the mill, they saw the savages crossing the 
river, Dorman being with them. Thinking it best to im- 
press them with a belief that they were able to encounter 
them in open conflict, the men advanced towards them, 
calling to their companions in the house, to come on. The 
Indians fled hastily to the woods, and the whites, not so 
rash as to pursue them, returned to the house, and secured 
themselves in it, as well as they could. At night, Captain 
George Jackson went privately forth from the house, and 
at great hazzard of being discovered by the waylaying 
savages, proceeded to Clarksburg, where he obtained such 
a reinforcement as enabled him to return openly and es- 
cort his former companions in danger, from the place of 
its existence. 

Disappointed in their hopes of involving the inhabit- 

Of Border Warfare. 343 

ants of the Buchannon settlements in destruction, the sav- 
ages went on to the Valley. Here, between Westfall's and 
Wilson's forts, they came upon John Bush and his wife, 
Jacob Stalnaker and his son Adam. The two latter being 
on horse back and riding behind Bush and his wife, were 
fired at, and Adam fell. The old gentleman, rode briskly 
on, but some of the savages were before him and endeavored 
to catch the reins of his bridle, and thus stop his flight. 
He however, escaped them all. The horse from which 
Adam Stalnaker had fallen, was caught by Bush, and both 
he and Mrs. Bush got safely away on him. 

The Indians then crossed the Alleghany mountains, 
and coming to the house of Mrs. Gregg, (Dorman's former 
master) made an attack on it. A daughter of that gen- 
tleman, alone fell a victim to their thirst for blood. When 
taken prisoner, [253] she refused to go with them, and 
Dorman sunk his tomahawk into her head and then 
scalped her. She however, lived several days and related 
the circumstances above detailed. 

After the murder of John Thomas and his family in 
1781, the settlement on Booth's creek was forsaken, and 
its inhabitants went to Simpson's creek, for greater secu- 
rity. In the Spring John Owens procured the assistance 
of some young men about Simpson's creek, and proceeded 
to Booth's creek for the purpose of threshing some wheat 
at his farm there. While on a stack throwing down 
sheaves, several guns were fired at him by a party of twelve 
Indians, concealed not far. off. Owens leapt from the 
stack, and the men caught up their guns. They could 
not, however, discover any one of the savages in their 
covert and thought it best to retreat to Simpson's creek 
and strengthen their force before they ventured in pursuit 
of their enemy. They accordingly did so, and when they 
came again to Booth's creek, the Indians had decamped, 
taking with them the horses left at Owens'. The men 
however found their trail and followed it until night. 
Early next morning, crossing the West Fork at Shinns- 
ton, they went on in pursuit and came within sight of 
the Indian camp, and seeing some of the savages lying 
near their fires, fired at them, but, as was believed without 

344 Withers's Chronicles 

effect. The Indians again took to flight; and as they 
were hastening on, one of them suddenly wheeled and 
fired upon his pursuers. The ball passed through the 
hunting-shirt of one of the men, & Benjamin Coplin 
(then an active, enterprising young man) returning the 
shot, an Indian was seen suddenly to spring into a laurel 
thicket. Not supposing that Coplin's ball had taken effect, 
they followed the other savages some distance farther, and 
as they returned got the horses and plunder left at the 
camp. Some time afterwards a gun was found in the 
thicket, into which the Indian sprang, and it was then 
believed that Coplin's shot had done execution. 

In the same spring the Indians made their appearance 
on Crooked run, in Monongalia county. Mr. Thomas 
Pindall, having been one day at Harrison's fort, at a time 
when a greater part of the neighbourhood had gone 
thither for safety, prevailed on three young men, (Harri- 
son, Crawford and Wright, to return and spend the night 
with him.) Some time after they had been abed, the fe- 
males waked Mr. Pindall, and telling him that they had 
heard several times a noise very much [254] resembling 
the whistling on a charger, insisted on going directly to 
the fort. The men heard nothing, and being inclined to 
believe that the fears of the females had given to the 
blowing of the wind, that peculiar sound, insisted that 
there was no danger and that it would be unpleasant to 
turn out then, as the night was very dark. Hearing 
nothing after this, for which they could not readily account, 
the men rose in the morning unapprehensive of interrup- 
tion; and the females, relieved of their fears of being mo- 
lested by savages during the night, continued in bed. 
Mr. Pindall walked forth to the woods to catch a horse, 
and the young men went to the spring hard by, for the 
the purpose of washing. While thus engaged three guns 
were fired at them, and Crawford and Wright were killed. 
Harrison fled and got safely to the fort. 

The females alarmed at the report of the guns, sprang 
out of bed and hastened towards the fort, pursued by the 
Indians. Mrs. Pindall was overtaken and killed, but Ra- 
chael Pindall, her sister-in-law, escaped safely to the fort. 

Of Border Warfare. 345 

In June some Indians came into the neighborhood of 
Clarksburg, and not meeting with an opportunity of kill- 
ing or making prisoners any of the inhabitants without 
the town, one of them, more venturous than the rest, 
came so near as to shoot Charles Wash burn as he was 
chopping a log of wood in the lot, and then running up, 
with the axe, severed his skull, scalped him, and fled 
safely away. Three of Washburn's brothers had been 
previously murdered by the savages. 

In August as Arnold and Paul Richards were return- 
ing to Richard's fort, they were shot at by some Indians, 
lying hid in a cornfield adjoining the fort, and both fell 
from their horses. The Indians leaped over the fence im- 
mediately and tomahawked and scalped them. 

These two men were murdered in full view of the 
fort, and the firing drew its inmates to the gate to ascer- 
tain its cause. When they saw that the two Richards' were 
down, they rightly judged that Indians had done the 
deed ; and Elias Hughes, ever bold and daring, taking 
down his gun, went out alone at the back gate, and entered 
the cornfield, into which the savages had again retired, to 
see if he could not avenge on one of them the murder of 
his friends. Creeping softly along, he came in view of 
them standing near the fence, reloading their guns, and 
looking intently at the people at the fort gate. Taking 
[255] a deliberate aim at one of them, he touched the 
trigger. His gun flashed, and the Indians alarmed ran 
speedily away. 

A most schocking scene was exhibited some time be- 
fore this, on Muddy creek in Pennsylvania. On the 10th 
of May as the Reverend John Corbly, his wife and five 
children were going to meeting, (Mr. Corbly being a short 
distance behind) they were attacked by a party of sav- 
ages waylaying the road. The shrieks of Mrs. Corbly 
and the children, drew the husband and father to the fatal 
spot. As he was approaching, his wife called to him, " to 
fly/' He knew that it was impossible for him to contend 
successfully against the fearful odds opposed to him, and 
supposing that his family would be carried away as pris- 
oners, and that he would be enabled either to recover 

346 Withers's Chronicles 

them by raising a company and pursuing the savages, or 
to ransom them, if conducted to the Indian towns, he com- 
plied with her wish, and got safely off, though pursued by 
one of the savages. But it was not their intention to 
carry them into captivity. They delighted too much, to 
look upon the lifeblood flowing from the heart ; and ac- 
cordingly shed it most profusely. The infant in its 
mother's arms was the first on whom their savage fury 
fell, it was tomahawked and scalped. The mother then 
received several severe blows, but not falling, was shot 
through the body, by the savage who chased her husband ; 
and then scalped. Into the brains of a little son, six years 
old, their hatchets were sunk to the heft. Two little girls, 
of two and four years of age, were tomahawked and 
scalped. The eldest child, also a daughter, had attempted to 
escape by concealing herself in a hollow log, a few rods from 
the scene of action. From her hiding place, she beheld all 
that was done, and when the bleeding scalp was torn from 
the head of her last little sister, & she beheld the sav- 
ages retiring from the desolation which they had wrought, 
she crawled forth from concealment. It was too soon. 
One of the savages yet lingered near, to feast to satiety on 
the horrid spectacle. His eyes caught a glimpse of her as 
she crept from the log, and his tomahawk and scalping 
knife became red with her blood. 

When Mr. Corbly returned, all his hopes vanished. 
Which ever way he turned, the mangled body of some one 
of his family was presented to his view. His soul sickened 
at the contemplation of the scene, and he fainted and fell. 
When he had revived, he was cheered with the hope that 
some of [256] them might yet survive. Two of his 
daughters had manifested symptoms of returning life, and 
with care and attention were restored to him. 

Thus far in the year 1782, the settlements only suffered 
from the accustomed desultory warfare of the savages. No 
numerous collection of Indians had crossed their border, 
no powerful army of warriors, threatening destruction to 
the forts, those asylums of their safety, had appeared 
among them. But the scene was soon to change. 

In August, there was a grand council convened at Chil- 

Of Border Warfare. 347 

icothe, in which the Wyandots, the Shawanees, the Min- 
goes, the Tawas, Pottowatomies, and various other tribes 
were represented. 1 Girty and McKee disgraces to human 
nature aided in their deliberations. The surrender of 
Cornwallis, which had been studiously kept secret from 
the Indians, was now known to them, and the war between 
Great Britain and the United States, seemed to them to 
be verging to a close. Should a peace ensue, they feared 
that the concentrated strength of Virginia, would bear 
down upon them and crush them at once. In anticipation 
of this state of things, they had met to deliberate, what 
course it best became them to pursue. Girty addressed 
the council. He reminded them of the gradual encroach- 
ments of the whites ; of the beauty of Kentucky and its 
value to them as a hunting ground. He pointed out to 
them the necessity of greater efforts to regain possession 
of that country, and warned them that if they did not 
combine their strength to change the present state of things, 
the whites would soon leave them no hunting grounds; 
and they would consequently, have no means of procuring 
rum to cheer their hearts, or blankets to warm their 
bodies. His advice was well received and they determined 
to continue the war. 2 

"When the council was adjourned, the warriors pro- 
ceeded to execute its determinations. Two armies, the 
one of six hundred, and the other three hundred and fifty 
men, prepared to march, each to it assigned station The 
larger was destined to operate against Kentucky, while 
the smaller, was to press upon North Western Virginia; 
and each was abundantly supplied with the munitions of 
war. 3 Towards the last of August the warriors who were 

1 The council was held at Wapatomica, in June. There were pres- 
ent representatives of the Ottawas, Chippewas, Wyandots, Delawares, 
Shawnees, Munsees, and Cherokees. Simon Girty came with the Wy- 
andots ; Captain McKee was then a trader at Wapatomica. R. G. T. 

* See the alleged speech in Butterfield's History of the Girtys, pp. 190. 
191. R. G. T. 

3 The Kentucky party was under Capt. William Caldwell, who wrote, 
" I crossed the Ohio with three hundred Indians and rangers." Capts. 
McKee and Elliott, and the three Girtys were with the expedition. 

348 Withers's Chronicles 

to act in Kentucky, appeared before Bryant's station, south 
of Licking river, and placed themselves under covert 
during night, 1 and in advantageous [257] situations for 
firing upon the station, so soon as its doors should be 
thrown open. 

There were at that time but few inhabitants occupying 
that station. "William Bryant, its founder, and one in 
whose judgment, skill and courage, many confidently re- 
posed for security from savage enormity, had been un- 
fortunately discovered by some Indians near the mouth of 
Cane run, and killed. His death caused most of those 
who had come to that place from North Carolina, to for- 
sake the station, and return to their own country. Emi- 
grants from Virginia, arriving some short time before, and 
among whom was Robert Johnson, (the father of Richard 
M. Johnson) to a certain extent supplied this desertion ; 
yet it was in respect to numbers so far inferior to the sav- 
age forces, that the most resolute shuddered in apprehen- 
sion of the result. 

The station too, was at that time, careless and inat- 
tentive to its own defence ; not anticipating the appear- 
ance of a savage army before its gates. Indeed had the 
Indians delayed their attack a few hours, it would have 
been in almost an entirely defenceless condition ; as the 
men were on that morning to have left it, for the purpose 
of aiding in the defence of another station, which was 
then understood to be assailed by an army of Indians. 
Fortunately however, for the inhabitants, as soon as the 
doors of some of the cabins were opened in the morning, 
the savages commenced the fire, and thus admonished 
them of danger, while it was not yet too late to provide 
against it. 

The Indians in the attack on Bryant's station prac- 
tised their usual stratagem, to ensure their success. It was 
begun on the south-east angle of the station, by one hun- 
dred warriors, while the remaining five hundred were 

Caldwell crossed the river early in July, not far below the mouth of 
Limestone creek site of the present Maysville, Ky. R. G. T. 
1 They arrived on the night of August 15. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 349 

concealed in the woods on the opposite side, ready to take 
advantage of its unprotected situation when, as they an- 
ticipated, the garrison would concentrate its strength, to 
resist the assault on the south-east. But their purpose 
was fully comprehended by the garrison, and instead of 
returning the fire of the one hundred, they secretly sent 
an express to Lexington for assistance, and commenced 
repairing the pallisades, and putting themselves in the best 
possible condition to withstand the fury of the assailants. 
Aware that the Indians were posted near the spring, and 
believing that they would not fire unless some of the men 
should be seen going thither, the women [258] were sent 
to bring in water for the use of the garrison. The event 
justified their expectations The concealed Indians, still 
farther to strengthen the belief, that their whole force were 
engaged in the attack on the south-east, forbore to fire, 
or otherwise contradict the impression which they had 
studiously sought to make on the minds of its inmates. 

When a sufficiency of water had been provided, and 
the station placed in a condition of defence, thirteen men 
were sent out in the direction from which the assault was 
made. They were fired upon by the assailing party of one 
hundred, but without receiving any injury; and retired 
again within the pallisades. Instantly the savages rushed 
to the assault of, what they deemed, the unprotected side 
of the station, little doubting their success. A steady, well 
directed fire, put them quickly to flight. Some of the 
more desperate and daring however, approached near 
enough to fire the houses, some of which were consumed ; 
but a favorable wind drove the flames from the mass of 
the buildings and the station escaped conflagration. 

Disappointed of the expected success of their first 
stratagem, the assailants withdrew a short distance, and 
concealed themselves under the bank of the creek, to await 
the arrival of the assistance, which was generally sent to 
a besieged fort or station, arranging themselves in am- 
bush ment to intercept its approach. 

When the express from Bryant's station reached Lex- 
ington, the male inhabitants had left there to aid in the 
defence of Holder's station, which was reported to be at- 

350 Withers' s Chronicles 

tacked. Following on their route, they overtook them at 
Boonesborough, and sixteen mounted, and thirty footmen 
were immediately detached to aid the inhabitants of Bry- 
ant's station. When this reinforcement came near, the 
firing had entirely ceased, no enemy was visible, and they 
approached in the confidence that all was well. A sudden 
discharge of shot from the savages in ambush, dispelled that 
hope. The horsemen however, passed safely by. The cloud 
of dust produced by the galloping of their horses, obscured 
the view and hindered the otherwise deadly aim of the In- 
dians. The footmen were less fortunate. Two of them 
were killed, and four wounded ; and but for the luxuriant 
growth of corn in the field through which they passed, 
nearly all must have fallen, before the overwhelming force 
of the enemy. 

[259] Thus reinforced, the garrison did not for an in- 
stant doubt of safety ; while the savages became hopeless 
of success by force of arms, and resorted to another ex- 
pedient to gain possession of the station. In the twilight 
of evening, Simon Girty covertly drew near, and mount- 
ing on a stump from which he could be distinctly heard, 
demanded the surrender of the place. He told the garri- 
son, that a reinforcement, with cannon, would arrive that 
night, and that this demand was suggested by his humanity, 
as the station must ultimately fall, and he could assure 
them of protection if they surrendered, but could not if 
the Indians succeeded by storm ; and then demanded, if 
" they knew who was addressing them." A young man 
by the name of Reynolds, (fearing the effect which the 
threat of cannon might have upon the garrison, as the fate 
of Ruddle's and Martin's stations was yet fresh in their 
recollections,) replied, that he " knew him well, and held 
him in such contempt, that he had named a worthless dog 
which he had SIMON GIRTY; that his reinforcements and 
threats, were not heeded by the garrison, who expected to 
receive before morning such an auxiliary force as would en- 
able them to give a good account of the cowardly wretches 
that followed him, whom he held in such contempt 
that he had prepared a number of switches with which to 

Of Border Warfare. 351 

drive them out of the country if they remained there 
'till day." 1 

Affecting to deplore their obstinacy, Girty retired, 
and during the night, the main body of the Indian army 
marched off, leaving a few warriors to keep up an occa- 
sional firing and the semblance of a siege. 2 

Shortly after the retreat of the savages, one hundred 
and sixty men, from Lexington, Harrodsburg and Boones- 
borough, assembled at Bryant's station, and determined 
to pursue them. 3 Prudence should have prevailed with 
them to await the arrival of Colonel Logan, who was 
known to be collecting additional forces from the other 
station ; but brave and fearless, well equipped, and bnrn- 
ing with ardent desire to chastise their savage invaders, 
they rather indiscreetly chose to march on, unaided, 
sooner than risk suffering the enemy to retire, by delay- 
ing for other troops. But the Indians had no wish to 
retire, to avoid the whites. The trail left by them, to the 
experienced eye of Daniel Boone, furnished convincing 
evidence, that they were only solicitous to conceal their 
numbers, in reality to tempt pursuit. 

[260] When the troops arrived at the Lower Blue 
Licks, they saw the only Indians, which had met their 
eye on the route. These were slowly ascending the ridge 
on the opposite side of the river. The party was halted, 
and Boone consulted as to what course it would be best 
to pursue. He was of opinion that the savage force 
was much greater, than most had been led to believe by 
the appearance of the trail, and anticipating pursuit, were 
then in ambush in the ravines ; and he advised that the 
force be divided into two equal parts, the one, marching 
up the river, to cross it at the mouth of Elk creek, above 

J The above incident is mentioned in none of the contemporary 
chronicles, and is probably fiction. R. G. T. 

J The attack was begun early in the morning of the 16th, and con- 
tinued with more or less vigor until about 10 A. M. of the 17th. Cald- 
well then withdrew his force " in a leisurely manner." The attacking 
party lost five killed and two wounded, all Indians ; the garrison lost 
four killed and three wounded. R. G. T. 

3 A hundred and eighty-two, under Col. John Todd. Pursuit was 
commenced on the 18th. R. G. T. 

352 Withers'* Chronicles 

the upper ravine, while the other party should take a po- 
sition below for the purpose of co-operating whenever oc- 
casion might require; but that neither party should by 
any means cross the river, until spies were sent out to 
learn the position and strength of the enemy. 1 The offi- 
cers generally were inclined to follow the counsel of Boone, 
but Major McGary, remarkable for impetuosity, exclaim- 
ing, "Let all who are not cowards, follow me," spurred 
his horse into the river. The whole party caught the con- 
tagious rashness, all rushed across the river. There was 
no order, no arrangement no unity or concert. None 
" paused in their march of terror," lest " we should hover 
o'er the path," but each, following his own counsel, moved 
madly towards the sheltered ravines and wooded ground, 
where Boone had predicted the savages lay hid. The 
event justified the prediction, and showed the wisdom of 
his counsel. 

At the head of a chosen band of warriors, Girty * ad- 
vanced with fierceness upon the whites, from the advan- 
tageous position which he covertly occupied, and " mad- 
ness, despair and death succeed, the conflict's gathering 
wrath." The Indians had greatly the advantage in num- 
bers, as well as position, and the disorderly front of the 
whites, gave them still greater superiority. The bravery 
of the troops fora while withstood the onset, and the con- 
test was fierce and sanguinary 'till their right wing being 
turned, a retreat became inevitable. All pressed towards 
the ford, but a division of the savage army, foreseeing this, 
had been placed so as to interpose between them and it ; 
and they were driven to a point on the river, where it 
could only be crossed by swimming. Here was indeed a 
scene of blood and carnage. Many were killed on the 

*The battle occurred at 8 A. M. of August 19, a short distance north 
of the Lower Blue Licks, on the Licking river, in what is now Nicholas 
County. R. G. T. 

2 The tendency among early Western chroniclers has been greatly 
to magnify the importance of Simon Girty. He was merely an inter- 
preter on this, as on most other expeditions. Caldwell was in command. 
The British force now consisted of 200 Indians and 30 rangers. Some 
of the Indians had already left for their villages. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 353 

bank; others in swimming over, and some were toma- 
hawked in the edge of the water. Some of those who had 
been foremost in getting across the river, wheeled and 
opened a steady fire upon the pursuers. Others, animated 
by the example, as soon as they reached the bank dis- 
charged their guns upon the savages, and checking them 
for a while enabled many to escape death. But for this 
stand, the footmen would have been much harrassed, and 
very many of them entirely cut off. As it was, the loss in 
slain was great. Of one hundred and seventy-six (the 
number of whites,) sixty-one were killed, and eight taken 
prisoners. Cols. Todd and Trigg, Majors Harland and 
Bulger, Capts. Gordon, McBride, and a son of Daniel 
Boone, were among those who fell. The loss of the sav- 
ages was never known ; they [261] were left in possession 
of the battle ground, and at leisure to conceal or carry off 
their dead, and when it was next visited by the whites, 
none were found. 1 

A most noble and generous act, performed by one of 
the whites, deserves to be forever remembered. While 
they were flying before the closely pursuing savages, 
Reynolds (who at Bryant's station bad so cavalierly re- 
plied to Girty's demand of its surrender) seeing Col. Rob- 
ert Patterson, unhorsed and considerably disabled by his 
wounds, painfully struggling to reach the river, sprang 
from his saddle, and assisting him to occupy the relin- 
quished seat, enabled that veteran officer to escape, and 
fell himself into the hands of the savages. He was not 
long however, detained a prisoner by them. He was taken 
by a party of only three Indians; and two whites passing 
hurriedly on towards the river, just after, two of his cap- 
tors hastened in pursuit of them, and he was left guarded 
by only one. Reynolds was cool and collected, and only 

1 The British rangers lost one of their number by death ; of their 
Indian allies, ten were killed and fourteen wounded. Of the Kentuck- 
ians, about seventy were killed, several badly wounded, and seven made 
prisoners. Caldwell continued his leisurely retreat to Upper Sandusky, 
which he reached September 24, the Indians meanwhile dispersing to 
their several homes. R. G. T. 

354 Withers's Chronicles 

awaited the semblance of an opportunity, to attempt an 
escape. Presently the savage in whose custody he was, 
stooped to tie his moccason. Suddenly he sprang to one 
side, and being fleet of foot, got safely off. 

The battle of the Blue Licks was fought on the 19th 
of August. On the next day Col. Logan, with three hun- 
dred men, met the remnant of the troops retreating to 
Bryant's station ; and learning the fatal result of the con- 
test, hurried on to the scene of action to bury the dead, 
and avenge their fall if the enemy should be found yet 
hovering near. On his arrival not a savage was to be seen. 
Flushed with victory, and exulting in their revenge, they 
had retired to their towns, to feast the eyes of their breth- 
ren, with the scalps of the slain. The field of battle pre- 
sented a miserable spectacle. All was stillness, where so 
lately had arisen the shout of the impetuous, but intrepid 
whites, and the whoop and yell of the savages, as they 
closed in deadly conflict ; not a sound was to be heard but 
the hoarse cry of the vulture, flapping her wings and 
mounting into the air, alarmed at the intrusion of man. 
Those countenances, which had so lately beamed with 
daring and defiance, were unmeaning and inexpressive, 
and what with the effect produced on the dead bodies, by 
the excessive heat and the mangling and disfiguration of 
the tomahawk and scalping knife, scarcely one could be 
distinguished from another. Friends tortured themselves 
in vain, to find friends, in the huge mass of slain, fathers 
to recognize their sons. The mournful gratification of 
bending over the lifeless bodies of dear relations and gaz- 
ing with intense anxiety on their pallid features, was de- 
nied them. Undistinguished, though not unmarked, all 
were alike consigned to the silent grave, amid sighs of 
sorrow and denunciations of revenge. 

An expedition against the Indian towns was immedi- 
ately resolved upon, and in September, Gen. Clarke 
marched towards them, at the head of nearly one thousand 
men. Being discovered on their route and the intelligence 
soon spreading that an army from [262] Kentucky was 
penetrating the country, the savages deserted their villages 
and fled; and the expedition was thus hindered of its 

Of Border Warfare. 355 

purpose of chastising them. The towns however were 
burned, and in a skirmish with a party of Indians, five of 
them were killed, and seven made prisoners, with the loss 
of only one man. 1 < 

The Indian forces which were to operate against North 
Western Virginia, for some time delayed their purpose, 
and did not set out on their march, until a while before the 

1 Gen. George Rogers Clark gave this official report of his expedition 
against the Shawnees, in a letter dated Lincoln, November 27, 1782: 
" We left the Ohio the 4th instant, with 1050 men, surprised the princi- 
pal Shawanese Town in the evening of the 10th, and immediately 
detached strong parties to different quarters; and in a few hours 
afterwards two thirds of th towns were laid in ashes, and every 
thing they were possessed of destroyed, except such as were most 
useful to tne troops, the enemy not having time to secrete any part 
oi their property. The British trading post at the head of the Miami 
and Carrying Place to the waters of the Lakes, shared the same by a 
party of 150 horse, commanded by Col. Logan, and property to a great 
amount was also destroyed: the quantity of provisions burnt far sur- 
passed any idea we had of their stores. The loss of the enemy was ten 
scalps, seven prisoners, and two whites retaken ; ours, one killed and one 

" After laying part of four days in their towns, and finding all 
attempts to bring them to a general action fruitless, we retired, as the 
season was far advanced and the weather threatening. I could not learn 
by the prisoners that they had the least idea of General Irvin's design 
of penetrating into their country. Should he have given them another 
stroke at Sandusky, it will more than double the advantages already 

" We might probably have got many more scalps and prisoners- 
could we have known in time whether or not we were discovered, which 
we took for granted until getting within three miles when some circum, 
stances occurred that gave us reason to think otherwise, though uncer- 
tain. Col. Floyd, with 300 men, was ordered to advance and bring on 
an, action or attack the town, Major Wells with a party of horse being 
previously detached by a different route as a party of observation : al- 
though Col. Floyd's motion was so quick as to get to the town but a few 
minutes later than those who discovered his approach, the inhabitants 
had sufficient notice to effect their escape to the woods by the alarm 
cry being given, and which was repeated by all that heard it; of course 
our party only fell in with the rear of the enemy. 

" I must beg leave to recommend the militia of Kentucky whose 
behaviour on the occasion does them honour, particularly their desire 
of saving prisoners." 

The document is here given as found in Almon's Remembrancer, 
xvi., pp. 93, 94; but it has of course been edited, after the fashion of 
that day, for Clark's original letters abound in misspellings. R. G. T. 

3<>6 Withers'* Chronicles 

return of those who had been sent into Kentucky. On 
their way, a question arose among them against what 
part of the country they should direct their movements 
and their division on this subject, rising by degrees 'till 
it assumed a serious aspect, led many of the chiefs to de- 
termine on abandoning the expedition ; but a runner ar- 
riving with intelligence of the great success which had 
crowned the exertion of the army in Kentucky, they 
changed that determination, and proceeded hastily towards 

In the first of September, John Lynn (a celebrated 
spy and the same who had been with Capt. Foreman at 
the time of the fatal ambuscade at Grave creek) being en- 
gaged in watching the warriors paths, northwest of the 
Ohio, discovered the Indians marching with great expe- 
dition for Wheeling, and hastening to warn the inhabit- 
ants of the danger which was threatening them, swam the 
river, and reached the village, but a little while before the 
savage army made its appearance. The fort was at this 
time without any regular garrison, and depended for de- 
fence exclusively, on the exertions of those who sought 
security within its walls. The brief space of time which 
elapsed between the alarm by Lynn, and the arrival of 
the Indians, permitted only those who were immediately 
present to retire into it, and when the attack was begun 
to be made, there were not within its paliisades, twenty 
effective men to oppose the assault. The dwelling house 
of Col. Ebenezer Zane, standing about forty yards from 
the fort, contained the military stores which had been 
furnished by the government of Virginia; and as it was 
admirably situated as an out post from which to annoy the 
savages in their onsets, he resolved on maintaining pos 
session of it, as well to aid in the defence of the fort, a^ 
for the preservation of the ammunition. Andrew Scott, 
George Green, Mrs. Zane, Molly Scott and Miss McCul- 
lough, were all who remained with him. The kitchen 
(adjoining) was occupied by Sam (a negro belonging to 
Col. Zaiie) and Kate, his wife. Col. Silas Zane commanded 
in the fort. 

When the savage army approached, the British colors 

Of Border Warfare. 357 

were waving over them ; and before a shot was discharged 
at the fort, they demanded the surrender of the garrison. 
No answer was deigned to this demand, but the firing of 
several shot (by order of Silas Zane) at the standard 
which they bore ; and the savages rushed to the assault. 
A well directed and brisk fire opened upon them from 
Col. Zane's house and the fort, soon drove them back. 
Again they rushed forward; and again were they repulsed. 
The number of [263] arms in the house and fort, and the 
great exertions of the women in moulding bullets, loading 
guns and handing them to the men, enabled them to fire 
so briskly, yet so effectively, as to cause the savages to 
recoil from every charge. The darkness of night soon 
suspended their attacks, and afforded a temporary repose 
to the besieged. Yet were the assailants not wholly in- 
active. Having suffered severely by the galling fire poured 
upon them from the house, they determined on reducing 
it to ashes. For this purpose, when all was quietness and 
silence, a savage, with a fire brand in his hand crawled to 
the kitchen, and raising himself from the ground, waving 
the torch to and fro to rekindle its flame, and about to ap- 
ply it to the building, received a shot which forced him to 
let fall the engine of destruction and hobble howling away. 
The vigilance of Sam had detected him, in time to thwart 
his purpose. 

On the return of light, the savages were seen yet en- 
vironing the fort, and although for some time they delayed 
to renew their suspended assault, yet it was evident they 
had not given over its contemplated reduction. They 
were engaged in making such preparations, as they were 
confident would ensure success to their exertions. 

Soon after the firing of the preceding day had sub- 
sided, a small boat, proceeding from Fort Pitt to the Falls 
of Ohio with cannon balls for the use of the troops there, 
put to shore at Wheeling ; and the man who had charge of 
her, although discovered and slightly wounded by the 
savages, reached the postern and was admitted to the fort. 
The boat of course fell into the hands of the enemy, and 
they resolved on using the balls aboard, for the demolition 
of the fortress. To this end they procured a log, with 

358 Withers's Chronicles 

a cavity as nearly corresponding with the size of the ball, 
as they could; and binding it closely with some chains 
taken from a shop hard by, charged it heavily, and point- 
ing it towards the fort, in imagination beheld its walls 
tumbling into ruin, and the garrison bleeding under the 
strokes and gashes of their tomahawks and scalping knives. 
All things being ready, the match was applied. A dread- 
ful explosion ensued. Their cannon burst; its slivers 
flew in every direction ; and instead of being the cause of 
ruin to the fort, was the source of injury only to them- 
selves. Several were killed, many wounded, and all, dis- 
mayed by the event. Recovering from the shock, they 
presently returned with redoubled animation to the charge. 
Furious from disappointment, exasperated with the unfor- 
seen yet fatal result, they pressed to the assault with the 
blindness of phrensy. Still they were received with a fire 
so constant and deadly, that they were again forced to re- 
tire ; and most opportunely for the garrison. 

When Lynn gave the alarm that an Indian army 
was approaching, the fort having been for some time un- 
occupied by a garrison, and Col. Zane's house being used 
as a magazine, those who retired into the fortress had to 
take with them a supply of ammunition for its defence. 
The supply of powder, deemed ample at the time, by reason 
of the long continuance of the savages, and the repeated 
[264] endeavors made by them, to storm the fort was now 
almost entirely exhausted, a few loads only, remaining. 
In this emergency, it became necessary to replenish their 
stock, from the abundance of that article in Col. Zane's 
house. During the continuance of the last assault, ap- 
prized of its security, and aware of the danger which 
would inevitably ensue, should the savages after -being 
again driven backj return to the assault before a fresh sup- 
ply could be obtained, it was proposed that one of their 
fleetest men should endeavor to reach the house, obtain a 
keg and return with it to the fort. It was an enterprise 
full of danger; but many of the chivalric spirits, then 
pent up within the fortress, were willing to encounter 
them all. 

Among those who volunteered to go on this emprise, 

Of Border Warfare. 359 

was Elizabeth, the younger sister of Colonel Zane. She 
was then young active and athletic ; with precipitancy to 
dare danger, and fortitude to sustain her in the midst of it. 
Disdaining to weigh the hazard of her own life, against 
the risk of that of others, when told that a man would en- 
counter less danger by reason of his greater fleetness, she 
replied " and should he fall, his loss will be more severely 
felt. You have not one man to spare; a woman will not 
be missed in the defence of the fort." Her services were 
accepted. Divesting herself of some of her garments, as 
tending to impede her progress, she stood prepared for the 
hazzardous adventure; and when the gate was opened, 
she bounded forth with the buoyancy of hope, and in the 
confidence of success. Wrapt in amazement, the Indians 
beheld her spring forward; and only exclaiming, "a squaw, 
a squaw," no attempt was made to interrupt her progress. 
Arrived at the door, she proclaimed her embassy. Col. 
Zane fastened a table cloth around her waist, and empty- 
ing into it a keg of powder, again she ventured forth. 
The Indians were no longer passive. Ball after ball passed 
whizzing and innocuous by. She reached the gate and 
entered the fort in safety. 1 

Another instance of heroic daring, deserves to be re- 
corded [265] here. When intelligence of the investiture 
of Wheeling by the savages, reached Shepherd's fort, a 
party was immediately detached from it, to try and gain 
admission into the besieged fortress, and aid in its defence. 
Upon arriving in view, it was found that the attempt 
would be hopeless and unavailing, and the detachment 
consequently prepared to return. Francis Duke, (son-in- 
law to Colonel Shepherd) was unwilling to turn his back 
on a people, straitened as he knew the besieged must be, 
and declared his intention of endeavori'ng to reach the 
fort, thut^he might contribute to its defence. It was use- 
less to disuade him from the attempt ; he knew its danger, 

1 [264] This heroine had but recently returned from Philadelphia, 
where she had received her education, and was totally unused to such 
scenes as were daily exhibiting on the frontier. She afterwards be- 
came the wife of Mr. McGlanlin; and he dying, she married a Mr. 
Clarke, and is yet living in Ohio. 

360 Withers' s Chronicles 

but he also knew their weakness, and putting spurs to his 
horse, rode briskly forward, calling aloud, " open the gate, 
open the gate." He was seen from the fort, and the gate 
was loosed for his admission ; but he did not live to reach 
it. Pierced by the bullets of the savages, he fell, to the 
regret of all. Such noble daring, deserved a better fate. 

During that night and the next day, the Indians still 
maintained the seige, and made frequent attempts to take 
the fort by storm ; but they were invareiably repulsed by 
the deadly fire of the garrison and the few brave men in 
Colonel Zane's house. On the third night, despairing of 
success, they resolved on raising the siege; and leaving 
one hundred chosen warriors to scour and lay waste the 
country, the remainder of their army retreated across the 
Ohio, and encamped at the Indian Spring, five miles from 
the river. Their loss in the various assaults upon the fort, 
could not be ascertained; but was doubtless very consider- 
able. Of the garrison, none were killed and only two 
wounded, the heroic Francis Duke was the only white 
who fell during the siege. The gallantry displayed by all, 
both men and women, in the defence of the fort, can not 
be too highly commended ; but to the caution and good con- 
duct of those few brave individuals who occupied Colonel 
Zane's house, its preservation has been mainly attributed. 

In the evening preceding the departure of the savages 
from before Wheeling, two white men, who had been 
among them for several years, and then held commands in 
the army, deserted from them, and on the next morning 
early were taken prisoners by Colonel Swearingen, who, 
with ninety-five men, was on his way to aid in the defence 
of Wheeling fort, and the chastisement of its assailants. 
Learning from them [266] the determination of the savages 
to withdraw from Wheeling, and detach a portion of their 
force to operate in the country, he despatched runners in 
every direction to alarm the country and apprize the in- 
habitants of danger. 1 The intelligence was received by 

1 See p. 224, note 1 , for reference to confusion between the two 
sieges of Wheeling, and the over-statement of early border historians. 
R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 361 

Jacob Miller when some distance from home, but appre- 
hensive that the meditated blow would be aimed at the 
fort where he resided, he hastened thither, and arrived in 
time to aid in preparing for its defence. 

The place against which the savages directed their 
operations, was situated on Buffaloe creek, twelve or fifteen 
miles from its enterance into the Ohio, and was known as 
Rice's fort. Until Miller's return there were in it only five 
men ; the others having gone to Hagerstown to exchange 
their peltries, for salt, iron and ammunition. They im- 
mediately set about making preparations to withstand an 
assault; and in a little while, seeing the savages approach- 
ing from every direction, forsook the cabins and repaired 
to the blockhouse. The Indians perceived that they were 
discovered, and thinking to take the station by storm, 
shouted forth the war whoop and rushed to the assault. 
They were answered by the fire of the six brave and skilful 
riflemen in tbe house, and forced to take refuge behind 
trees and fallen timber. Still they continued the firing; 
occasionally calling on the whites to "give up, give up. In- 
dian too many. Indian too big. Give up. Indian no kill." 
The men had more faith in the efficacy of their guns to pur- 
chase their safety, than in the preferred mercy of the sav- 
ages ; and instead of complying with their demand, called 
on them, " as cowards skulking behind logs to leave their 
coverts, and shew but their yellow hides, and they would 
make holes in them." 

The firing was kept up by the savages from their pro- 
tected situation, until night, and whenever even a remote 
prospect of galling them was presented to the whites, they 
did not fail to avail themselves of it. The Indian shots in 
the evening > were directed principally against the stock as 
it came up as usual to the station, and the field was strewed 
with its dead carcases. About ten o'clock of the night 
they fired a large barn (thirty or forty yards from the 
blockhouse) filled with grain and hay, and the flames from 
which seemed for awhile to endanger the fort; but being 
situated on higher ground, and the current of air flowing 
in a contrary direction, it escaped conflagration. Collect- 
ing on the side of the fort opposite [267] to the fire, the 

362 Withers' s Chronicles 

Indians took advantage of the light it afforded them to 
renew the attack; and kept it up until about two o'clock, 
when they departed. Their ascertained loss was four war- 
riors, three of whom were killed by the first firing of 
the whites, the other about sundown. George Fole- 
baura was the only white who suffered. Early in the at- 
tack, he was shot in the forehead, through a port-hole, and 
instantly expired; leaving Jacob Miller, George Leffler, 
Peter Fullenwieder, Daniel Rice and Jacob Leffler, junior, 
sole defenders of the fort; and bravely and effectually did 
they preserve it, from the furious assaults of one hundred 
chosen savage warriors. 

Soon after the Indians left Rice's fort, they moved 
across the hills in different directions and in detached 
parties. One of these observing four men proceeding to- 
wards the fort which they had lately left, waylaid the 
path and killed two of them on the first fire. The re- 
maining two fled hastily ; and one of them swift of foot, 
soon made his escape. The other, closely pursued by one 
of the savages, and in danger of being overtaken, wheeled 
to fire. His gun snapped, and he again took to flight. 
Yet more closely pressed by his pursuer, he once more at- 
tempted to shoot. Again his gun snapped, and the savage 
being now near enough, hurled a tomahawk at his head. 
It missed its object and both strained every nerve for the 
chase. The Indian gained rapidly upon him ; and reach- 
ing forth his arm, caught hold of the end of his belt. It 
had been tied in a bow-knot, and came loose. Sensible 
that the race must soon terminate to his disadvantage un- 
less he could kill his pursuer, the white man once more 
tried his gun. It fired; and the savage fell dead at his 

Some time in the summer of this year, a party of Wy- 
andots, consisting of seven warriors, (five of whom were, 
one of the most distinguished chiefs of that nation and his 
four brothers) came into one of the intermediate settle- 
ments between Fort Pitt and Wheeling, killed an old man 
whom they found alone, robbed his cabin, and commenced 
retreating with the plunder. They were soon discovered 
by spies ; and eight men, two of whom were Adam and 

Of Border Warfare. 363 

Andrew Poe, (brothers, remarkable for uncommon size, 
great activity, and undaunted bravery) went in pursuit of 
them. Coming on their trail not far from the Ohio, Adam 
Poe, fearing an ambuscade, left his companions [268] to 
follow it, while he moved across to the river under cover 
of the high weeds and bushes, with the view to attack 
them in the rear should he find them situated as he ex- 
pected. Presently he espied an Indian raft at the water's 
edge, but seeing nothing of the savages, moved cautiously 
down the bank ; and when near the foot, discovered the 
large Wyandot chief and a small Indian standing near 
and looking intently towards the party of whites, then 
some distance lower down the bottom. Poe raised his 
gun, and aiming surely at the chief, pulled trigger. It 
missed fire, and the snap betrayed his presence. Too near 
to retreat, he sprang forward ; and seizing the large Indian 
by the breast, and at the same instant encircling his arms 
around the neck of the smaller one, threw them both to 
the ground. Extricating himself from the grasp of Poe, 
the small savage raised his tomahawk ; but as he aimed 
the blow, a vigorous and well directed kick, staggered 
him back, and he let fall the hatchet. Recovering quickly, 
he aimed several blows in defiance and exultation, the 
vigilance of Poe distinguished the real from the feigned 
stroke, and suddenly throwing up his arm, averted it from 
his head, but received a wound in his wrist. By a violent 
effort, he freed himself from the grip of the chief, and 
snatching up a gun, shot his companion through the 
breast, as he advanced the third time with the tomahawk. 
In this time the large chief had regained his feet ; and 
seizing Poe by the shoulder and leg threw him to the 
ground. Poe however, soon got up, and engaged with 
the savage in a close struggle, which terminated in the fall 
of both into the water. Now it became the object of each 
to drown his antagonist, and the efforts to accomplish this 
%vere continued for some time with alternate success; 
first one and then the other, being under water. At length, 
catching hold of the long tuft of hair which had been 
suffered to grow on the head of the chief, Poe held him 
under water, until he supposed him dead ; but relaxing 

364 Withers' s Chronicles 

his hold too soon, the gigantic savage was again on his 
feet and ready for another grapple. In this both were 
carried beyond their depth, and had to swim for safety. 
Both sought the shore, and each, with all his might, 
strained every nerve to reach it first that he might end 
the conflict with one of the guns lying on the beach. The 
Indian was the more expert swimmer, and Poe, out- 
stripped by him, turned and swam farther into the river, 
in the hope of avoiding being [269] shot by diving. 
Fortunately his antagonist laid hold on the gun which had 
been discharged at the little Indian, and he was enabled 
to get some distance into the river. 

At this juncture, two others of the whites came up ; 
and one of them mistaking Poe for a wounded savage at- 
tempting to escape, shot and wounded him in the shoulder. 
He then turned to make for shore, and seeing his brother 
Andrew on the bank, called to him to " shoot the big In- 
dian." Having done this, Andrew plunged into the river 
to assist Adam in getting out; and the wounded savage, 
to preserve his scalp, rolled himself into the water, and 
struggling onward, sunk and could not be found. 

During the continuance of this contest, the whites 
had overtaken the other five Indians, and after a desperate 
conflict, succeeded in killing all but one ; with the loss of 
three of their companions. A great loss, when the num- 
ber engaged is taken into consideration. 

Of Border Warfare. 365 


The treaty of peace between the United States and 
Great Britain, which terminated so gloriously the war of 
the revolution, did not put a period to Indian hostilities. 1 
The aid which had been extended to the savages, and 
which enabled them so successfully to gratify their im- 
placable resentment against the border country, being 
withdrawn, they were less able to cope with the whites 
than they had been, and were less a hindrance to the pop- 
ulation and improvement of those sections of country 
which had been the theatre of their many outrages. In 
North Western Virginia, indeed, although the war con- 
tinued to be waged against its inhabitants, yet it assumed 
a different aspect. It became a war rather of plunder, 
than of blood ; and although in the predatory incursions 
of the Indians, individuals some times fell a sacrifice to 
savage passion ; yet this was of such rare occurrence, that 
the chronicles of those days are divested of much of the 
interest, which attaches to a detail of Indian hostilities. 
For several years, scarce an incident occurred worthy of 
being rescued from oblivion. 

In Kentucky it was far otherwise. The war continued 
to be prosecuted there, with the wonted vigor of the sav- 
ages. The General Assembly of Virginia having, at the 
close of the revolution, passed an act for surveying the 
land set apart for her officers and soldiers, south of Green 
river, the surveyors descended to the Ohio, to explore the 
country and perform the duties assigned them. On their 
arrival they found it occupied by the savages, and acts of 

1 News of the preliminary articles of peace, which had been signed 
at Paris, November 30, 1782, did not reach Fort Pitt until May, 1783. In 
July following, De Peyster, British commandant at Detroit, gathered at 
that post the chiefs of eleven tribes as far south as the Great Miami and 
the Wabash, and informed them of the event. R. G. T. 

366 Withers's Chronicles 

hostilities immediately [271] ensued. In December, 1788, 
the Legislature likewise passed an act, appropriating the 
country between the Scioto and Miami rivers, for the pur- 
pose of satisfying the claims of the officers and soldiers, if 
the land previously allotted, in Kentucky, should prove 
insufficient for that object. This led to a confederacy of 
the many tribes of Indians, interested in those sections of 
country, and produced such feelings and gave rise to such 
acts of hostility on their part, as induced Benjamin Harri- 
son the Governor of Virginia, in November, 1784, to recom- 
mend the postponement of the surveys ; and in January, 
1785, a proclamation was issued, by Patrick Henry, (suc- 
cessor of Gov. Harrison) commanding the surveyors to de- 
sist and leave the country. A treaty was soon after con- 
cluded, by which the country on the Scioto, Miami, and 
Muskingum, was ceded to the United States. 1 In this in- 
terval of time, North "Western Virginia enjoyed almost 
uninterrupted repose. There was indeed an alarm of In- 
dians, on Simpson's creek in 1783, but it soon subsided ; 
and the circumstance which gave rise to it (the discharge 
of a gun at Major Power) was generally attributed to a 
white man. 

In 1784, the settlement towards the head of West Fork, 
suffered somewhat from savage invasion. A party of In- 
dians came to the house of Henry Flesher, (where the town 
of Weston now is) and fired at the old gentleman, as he 
was returning from the labors of the field. The gun dis- 
charged at him, had been loaded with two balls, and both 
taking effect, crippled his arm a good deal. Two savages 
immediately ran towards him ; and he, towards the door ; 
and just as he was in the act of entering it, one of them 
had approached so closely as to strike at him with the butt 
end of his gun. The breech came first in contact with the 
facing of the door, and descending on his head, seemed 
to throw him forward into the house, and his wife closing 

1 The treaty was held at Fort Mclntosh, at the mouth of the Beaver, 
early in January, 1785. The tribes represented were the Wyandots, 
Chippewas, Delawares, and Ottawas. The commissioners were Arthur 
Lee, Richard Butler, and George Rogers Clark. Col. Josiah Harmar was 
in charge of the troops. R. G. T. 

Of .Border Warfare. 367 

the door, no attempt was made by the savages to force it 
open. Still, however, they did not feel secure; and as 
soon as they became assured that the savages were with- 
drawn, they left the house and sought security elsewhere. 
Most of the family lay in the woods during the night, 
one young woman succeeded in finding the way to Hack- 
er's creek, from whence Thomas Hughes immediately de- 
parted to find the others. This was effected early next 
morning, and all were safely escorted to that settlement. 

[272] The foregoing event happened in September, and 
in a few days after, as Daniel RadclifF was proceeding to 
the Brushy Fork of Elk creek on a hunting expedition, 
he was shot (probably by the Indians who had been at 
Flesher's,) tomahawked and scalped in a shocking manner. 

In 1785, six Indians came to Bingamon creek, (a branch 
of the West Fork) and made their appearance upon a farm 
occupied by Thomas and Edward Cunningham. At this 
time the two brothers were dwelling with their families 
in separate houses, but nearly adjoining, though not in a 
direct line with each other. Thomas was then on a trad- 
ing visit east of the mountain, and his wife and four chil- 
dren were collected in their room for the purpose of eat- 
ing dinner, as was Edward with his family, in their house. 
Suddenly a lusty savage entered where were Mrs. Thomas 
Cunningham and her children, but seeing that he would 
be exposed to a fire from the other house, and apprehend- 
ing no danger from the woman and children, he closed 
the door and seemed for a time only intent on the means 
of escaping. 

Edward Cunningham had seen the savage enter his 
brother's house, and fastened his own door, seized his gun 
and stepping to a small aperture in the wall next the 
house in which was the Indian, and which served as well 
for a port hole as for the admission of light, was ready to 
fire whenever the savage should make his appearance. 
But in the other house was a like aperture, and through it 
the Indian fired at Edward, and shouted the yell of vic- 
tory. It was answered by Edward. He had seen the aim 
of the savage only in time to avoid it, the bark from the 
log close to his head, was knocked off" by the ball and flew 

368 Withers's Chronicles 

into his face. The Indian seeing that he had missed his 
object, and observing an adze in the room, deliberately 
commenced cutting an aperture in the back wall through 
which he might pass out without being exposed to a shot 
from the other building. 1 

Another of the Indians came into the yard just after the 
firing of his companion, but observing Edward's gun point- 
ing through the port hole, he endeavored to retreat out of 
its range. He failed of his purpose. Just as he was about 
to spring over the fence, the gun was fired and he fell for- 
ward. The ball however only fractured his thigh bone, 
and he was yet able to hobble over the fence and take 
shelter behind a [273] coverlet suspended on it, before Ed- 
ward could again load his gun. 

While the Indian was engaged in cutting a hole in the 
wall, Mrs. Cunningham made no attempt to get out. She 
was well aware that it would draw down upon her head 
the fury of the savage; and that if she escaped this, she 
would most probably be killed by some of those who were 
watching around, before the other door could be opened 
for her admission. She knew too, that it was impossible 
for her to take the children with her, and could not brook 
the idea of leaving them in the hands of the savage mon- 
ster. She even trusted to the hope that he would with- 
draw, as soon as he could, without molesting any of them. 
A few minutes served to convince her of the fallacy of this 
expectation. When the opening had been made suffi- 
ciently large, he raised his tomahawk, sunk it deep into 
the brains of one of the children, and throwing the scarcely 
lifeless body into the back yard, ordered the mother to 
follow after. There was no alternative but death, and she 
obeyed his order, stepping over the dead body of one of 
her children, 2 with an infant in her arms and two others 

1 L. V. McWhorter, well informed in the local traditions, writes : 
" When the Indian sprang into the house, with drawn tomahawk, he 
closed and for a few moments stood with his back to the door. Then, . 
while cutting an opening through the wall, he asked Mrs Cunningham 
how many men there were in the other house. She answered by hold- 
ing up the extended fingers of both hands, indicating 10." R. G. T. 
'McWhorter: "Mrs. Cunningham related that the last she 

Of Border Warfare. 369 

screaming from horror at the sight, and clinging to her. 
When all were out he scalped the murdered boy, and set- 
ting fire to the house, retired to an eminence in the field, 
where two of the savages were, with their wounded com- 
panion. leaving the other two to watch the opening of 
Edward Cunningham's door, when the burning of the 
house should force the family from their shelter. They 
were disappointed in their expectation of that event by 
the exertions of Cunningham and his son. When the 
flame from the one house communicated to the roof of the 
other, they ascended to the loft, threw off the loose boards 
which covered it, and extinguished the fire ; the savages 
shooting at them all the while, and their balls frequently 
striking close by. 

Despairing of accomplishing farther havoc, and fearful 
of detection and pursuit, the Indians collected together 
and prepared to retreat. Mrs. Cunningham's eldest son 
was first tomahawked and scalped ; the fatal hatchet sunk 
into the head of her little daughter, whom they then took 
by the arms and legs, and slinging it repeatedly against a 
tree, ended its sufferings with its life. Mrs. Cunningham 
stood motionless with grief, and in momentary expectation 
of having the same dealt to her and her innocent infant. 
But no! She was [274] doomed to captivity; and with her 
helpless babe in her arms, was led off from this scene of 
horror and of wo. The wounded savage was carried on a 
rough litter, and they all departed, crossing the ridge to 
Bingamon creek, near which they found a cave that af- 
forded them shelter and concealment. 1 After night, they 
returned to Edward Cunningham's, and finding no one, 
plundered and fired the house. 

When the savages withdrew in the evening, Cunning- 
saw of her little daughter, was one quivering little foot sticking up ove* 
^ log behind which she had been thrown." R. G. T. 

1 McWhorter : " The cave in which Mrs. Cunningham was 
concealed is on Little Indian Run, a branch of Big Bingamon Creek, ou 
which stream the tragedy took place. The cave is about two miles north- 
west of the site of the capture, and in Harrison County, W. Va." 
R. G. T. 


370 Wit hers' s Chronicles 

ham went with his family into the woods, where they re- 
mained all night, there being no settlement nearer than 
eight or ten miles. In the morning, proceeding to the 
nearest house, they gave the alarm and a company of men 
was soon collected to go in pursuit of the Indians. When 
they came to Cunningham's and found both houses heaps 
of ashes, they buried the bones which remained of the boy 
who was murdered in the house, with the bodies of his 
brother and little sister, who were killed in the field; but 
so cautiously had the savages conducted their retreat that 
no traces of them could be discovered, and the men re- 
turned to their homes. 

Some days after, circumstances induced the belief that 
the Indians were yet in the neighborhood, and men were 
again assembled for the purpose of tracing them. They 
were now enabled to distinguish the trail, and pursued it 
near to the cave, where from the number of rocks on the 
ground and the care which had been taken by the Indians 
to leave no vestige, they could no longer discover it. They 
however examined for it in every direction until night 
forced them to desist. In thinking over the incidents of 
the day ; the cave occurred to the mind of Major Robin- 
son, who was well acquainted with the woods, and he con- 
cluded that the savages must be concealed in it. It was 
examined early next morning, but they had left it the pre- 
ceding night and departed for their towns. After her re- 
turn from captivity, Mrs. Cunningham stated, that in time 
of the search on the day before, the Indians were in the 
cave, and that several times the whites approached so near, 
that she could distinctly hear their voices ; the savages 
standing with their guns ready to fire, in the event of their 
being discovered, and forcing her to keep the infant to her 
breast, lest its crying might point to the place of their con- 
cealment. 1 

In consequence of their stay at this place on account 
of their wounded companion, it was some time before they 

1 McWhorter: " Mrs. Cunningham stated that an Indian stood over 
her with an uplifted tomahawk, to prevent her from crying out. At 
times, the whites were upon the very rock above their heads." R. G. T- 

Of Border Warfare. 371 

arrived [275] in their own country ;* and Mrs. Cunning- 
ham's sufferings, of body as well as mind were truly great. 
Fatigue and hunger oppressed her sorely, the infant in 
her arms, wanting the nourishment derived from the due 
sustenance of the mother, plied at the breast for milk, in 
vain blood came in stead ; and the Indians perceiving 
this, put a period to its sufferings, with the tomahawk, 
even while clinging to its mother's bosom. It was cast a 
little distance from the path, and left without a leaf or 
bush to hide it from beasts of prey. 

The anguish of this woman during the journey to the 
towns, can only be properly estimated by a parent; her 
bodily sufferings may be inferred from the fact, that for 
ten days her only sustenance consisted of the head of a 
wild turkey and three papaws, and from the circumstance 
that the skin and nails of her feet, scalded by frequent 
wading of the water, came with her stockings, when upon 
their arrival at a village of the Delawares, she was per- 
mitted to draw them off. Yet was she forced to continue 
on with them the next day. One of the Indians belong- 
ing to the village where they were, by an application of 
some sanative herbs, very much relieved the pain which 
she endured. 

"When she came to the town of those by whom she 
had been made prisoner, although receiving no barbarous 
or cruel usage, yet everything indicated to her, that she 
was reserved for some painful torture. The wounded In- 
dian had been left behind, and she was delivered to his 
father. Her clothes were not changed, as is the case when 
a prisoner is adopted by them ; but she was compelled to 
wear them, dirty as they were, a bad omen for a captive. 
She was however, not long in apprehension of a wretched 
fate. A conference was soon to take place between the 
Indians and whites, preparatory to a treaty of peace ; and 

1 McWhorter says local tradition has it that the Indians remained in 
the cave a night and a day ; they departed before daylight, during the 
second night. Mrs. Cunningham related that just before leaving, the 
wounded brave was borne from the cave by his fellows, and she never 
again saw him ; her opinion was, that he was then dead, and his body 
was sunk in a neighboring pool. R. G. T. 

372 Withers 1 s Chronicles 

witnessing an uncommon excitement in the village one 
evening, upon inquiring, learned that the Great captain 
Simon Girty had arrived. She determined to prevail with 
him, if she could, to intercede for her liberation, and seeing 
him next day passing near on horseback, she laid hold on 
his stirrup, and implored his interference. For a while he 
made light of her petition, telling her that she would be 
as well there as in her own country, and that if he were dis- 
posed to do her a kindness he could not as his saddle bags 
were too small to conceal her; but her importunity at length 
prevailed, and he whose heart had been so long steeled 
[276] against every kindly feeling, every sympathetic im- 
pression, was at length induced to perform an act of gen- 
erous, disinterested benevolence. He paid her ransom, 
had her conveyed to the commissioners for negotiating 
with the Indians, and by them she was taken to a station 
on the south side of the Ohio. 1 Here she met with two 
gentlemen (Long and Deiiton) who had been at the treaty 
to obtain intelligence of their children taken captive 
some time before, but not being able to gain any informa- 
tion respecting them, they were then returning to the in- 
terior of Kentucky and kindly furnished her a horse. 

In consequence of the great danger attending a jour- 
ney through the wilderness which lay between the settle- 
ments in Kentucky and those on the Holstein, persons 
scarcely ever performed it but at particular periods of the 
year, and in caravans, the better to defend themselves 
against attacks of savages. Notice of the time and place 
of the assembling of one of these parties being given, Mrs. 
Cunningham prepared to accompany it; but before that time 
arrived, they were deterred from the undertaking by the 
report that a company of travellers, stronger than theirs 
would be, had been encountered by the Indians, and all 
either killed or made prisoners. Soon after another party 

1 Mrs. Cunningham had been over three years with the savages, 
when she was taken to a great Indian conference held at the foot of 
the Maumee rapids, " at or near the site of the present Perrysburgh, 
Ohio." in the autumn of 1788. Girty brought the attention of McKee, 
then a British Indian agent, to the matter, and McKee furnished the 
trinkets which constituted the ransom. R. G. T, 

Of Border Warfare. 373 

resolved on a visit to Virginia, and Mrs. Cunningham was 
furnished a horse belonging to a gentleman on Holstein 
(which had escaped from him while on a buffalo hunt in 
Kentucky and was found after his return,) to carry her 
that far on her way home. Experiencing the many un- 
pleasant circumstances incident to such a jaunt, she reached 
Holstein, and from thence, after a repose of a few days, 
keeping up the Valley of Virginia, she proceeded by the 
way of Shenandoah, to the county of Harrison. 1 Here 
she was sadly disappointed in not meeting with her hus- 
band. Having understood that she had been ransomed 
and taken to Kentucky, he had, some time before, gone on 
in quest of her. Anxiety for his fate, alone and on a journey 
which she well knew to be fraught with many dangers, 
she could not cheerily partake of the general joy excited 
by her return. In a few days however, he came back. He 
had heard on Holstein of her having passed there and he 
retraced his steps. Arriving at his brother Edward's, he 
again enjoyed the satisfaction of being with all that was 
then dear to him on earth. It was a delightful satisfac- 
tion, but presently damped by the recollection of [277] the 
fate of his luckless children Time assuaged the bitterness 
of the recollection and blessed him with other and more 
fortunate children. 2 

In October 1784, a party of Indians ascended Sandy 
river and passing over to the head of Clynch, came to the 
settlement near where Tazewell court house is now located. 
Going first to the house of a Mr. Davisson, they killed him 
and his wife; and setting fire to their dwelling, proceeded 
towards the residence of James Moore, sr. On their way 
they met Moore salting his horses at a lick trough in the 
woods, and killed him. They then went to the house and 
captured Mrs. Moore and her seven children, and Sally 

1 See McKnight's Our Western Border, pp. 714, 716. R. G. T. 

2 Superstition was rife among the Scotch-Irish borderers. McWhorter 
writes : " On the day before the capture, a little bird came into Mrs. Cun- 
ningham's cabin and fluttered around the room. Ever afterwards, she 
grew frightened whenever a bird would enter her house. The fear that 
euch an occurrence would bring bad luck to a household, was an old and 
widely-spread superstition." R. G. T. 

374 Withers's Chronicles 

Ivens, a young lady who was there on a visit. Fearing 
detection, they immediately departed for Ohio with the 
prisoners; and in order to expedite their retreat, killed 
John Moore, jr. and the three younger children. 

Upon their arrival at the Shawanee town on the Scioto 
(near the mouth of Paint creek) a council was held, and it 
was resolved that two of the captives should be burned 
alive, to avenge the death of some of their warriors who 
had been killed on the Kentucky river. This dreadful 
doom was allotted to Mrs. Moore and her daughter Jane, 
an interesting girl about sixteen years of age. They were 
tied to a post and tortured to death with burning splinters 
of pine, in the presence of the remaining members of the 

After the death of his mother and sister, James Moore 
was sent to the Maumee towns in Michigan, where he re- 
mained until December 1785, his sister Mary and Sally 
Ivins remaining with the Shawanees. In December 1786, 
they were all brought to Augusta county in conformity 
with the stipulations of the treaty of Miami, and ransomed 
by their friends. 1 

In the fall of 1796, John Ice and James Snodgrass were 
killed by the Indians when looking for their horses which 
they [278] had lost on a buffalo hunt on Fishing creek. 
Their remains were afterwards found the flesh torn from 
the bones by the wolves and buried. 

In a few days after Ice and Snodgrass left home in 
quest of their horses, a party of Indians came to Buffalo 
creek in Monongalia, and meeting with Mrs. Dragoo and 
her son in a corn field gathering beans, took them pris- 
oners, and supposing that their detention would induce 
others to look for them, they waylaid the path leading 

[277] 1 Mary Moore afterwards became the wife of Mr. Brown, a pres- 
byterian preacher in Augusta. Her brother James Moore, jr., still resides 
in Taze well county; and notwithstanding that he witnessed the cruel 
murder of his mother and five brothers and sisters by the hands of the 
savages, he is said to have formed and still retain a strong attachment to 
the Indians. The anniversary of the burning of Mrs. Moore & her 
daughter, is kept by many in Tazewell as a day of fasting and -prayer , 
and that tragical event gave rise to some affecting verses, generally 
called " Moore's Lamentation." 

Of Border Warfare. 375 

from the house. According to their expectation, uneasy 
at their continued absence, Jacob Strait and Nicholas 
Wood went to ascertain its cause. As they approached 
the Indians fired from their covert, and Wood fell ; Strait 
taking to flight was soon overtaken. Mrs. Strait and her 
daughter, hearing the firing and seeing the savages in 
pursuit of Mr. Strait, betook themselves also to flight, but 
were discovered by some of the Indians who immediately 
ran after them. The daughter concealed herself in a 
thicket of bushes and escaped observation. Her mother 
sought concealment under a large shelving rock, and was 
not afterwards discovered by the savages, although those 
in pursuit of her husband, passed near and overtook him 
not far off. Indeed she was at that time so close, as to 
hear Mr. Strait say, when overtaken, " don't kill me and I 
will go with you ;" and the savage replying " will you go 
with me," she heard the fatal blow which deprived her 
husband of life. 

Mrs. Dragoo being infirm and unable to travel to their 
towns, was murdered on the way. Her son (a lad of seven) 
remained with the Indians upwards of twenty years, he 
married a squaw, by whom he had four children, two of 
whom he brought home with him, when he forsook the 

In 1787 the Indians again visited the settlement on 
Bufialoe, and as Levi Morgan was engaged in skining a 
wolf which he had just taken from his trap, he saw three 
of them one riding a horse which he well knew, the other 
two walking near behind coming towards him. On first 
looking in the direction they were coming, he recognized 
the horse, and supposed the rider to be its owner one of 
his near neighbors. A second glance discovered the mis- 
take, and he siezed his gun and sprang behind a large 
rock, the Indians at the same instant taking shelter by 
the side of a large tree. As soon as his body was obscured 
from their view, he turned, and seeing the Indians looking 
towards the farther end of the [279] rocks as if expecting 
him to make his appearance there, he fired and one of 
tiu.-m fell. Instantly he had recourse to his powder horn 
to reload, but while engaged in skinning the wolf the stop- 

37G Withers^ Chronicles 

per had fallen out and his powder was wasted. He then 
fled, and one of the savages took after him. For some 
time he held to his gun; but finding his pursuer sensibly 
gaining on him, he dropped it under the hope that it would 
attract the attention of the Indian and give him a better 
chance of escape. The savage passed heedlessly by it. 
Morgan then threw his shot pouch and coat in the way, to 
tempt the Indian to a momentary delay. It was equally 
vain, his pursuer did not falter for an instant. He now 
had recourse to another expedient to save himself from 
captivity or death. Arriving at the summit of the hill up 
which he had directed his steps, he halted; and, as if some 
men were approaching from the other side, called aloud, 
" come on, come on ; here is one, make haste." The In- 
dian not doubting that he was really calling to some men 
at hand, turned and retreated as precipitately as he had 
advanced ; and when he heard Morgan exclaim, " shoot 
quick, or he will be out of reach," he seemed to redouble 
his exertion to gain that desirable distance. Pleased with 
the success of the artifice, Morgan hastened home ; leav- 
ing his coat and gun to reward the savage for the decep- 
tion practised on him. 1 

In September of this year, a party of Indians were 
discovered in the act of catching some horses on the West 
Fork above Clarksburg ; and a company of men led on by 
Col. Lowther, went immediately in pursuit of them. 2 On 
the third night the Indians and whites, unknown to each 
other, encamped not far apart; and in the morning the 
fires of the latter being discovered by Elias Hughes, the 
detachment which was accompanying him fired upon the 
camp, and one of the savages fell. The remainder taking 

[279] ' At the treaty of Au Glaize, Morgan met with the Indian who 
had given him this chase, and who still had his gun. After talking over 
the circumstance, rather more composedly than they had acted it, they 
agreed to test each other's speed in a friendly race. The Indian being 
beaten, rubbed his hams and said, " stiff", stiff; too old, too old." " Well, 
said Morgan, you got the gun by outrunning me then, and I should have 
it now for outrunning you;" and accordingly took it. 

2 McWhorter: "Alexander West was with Col. William Lowther on 
this expedition. They followed the Indians to the Little Kanawha 
River."-R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 377 

to flight, one of them passed near to where Col. Lowther 
and the other men were, and the Colonel firing at him as 
he ran, the ball entering at his shoulder, perforated him, 
and he fell. The horses and plunder which had been taken 
by the savages, were then collected by the whites, and they 
commenced their return home, in the confidence of false 
security. They had not proceeded far, when two guns 
were unexpectedly fired at them, and John Bonnet fell, 
pierced through the body. He died before he reached 
home. 1 

[280] The Indians never thought the whites justifiable 
in flying to arms to punish them for acts merely of rapine. 
They felt authorized to levy contributions of this sort, when- 
ever an occasion served, viewing property thus acquired as 
(to use their own expression) the " only rent which they re- 
ceived for their lands ;" and if when detected in secretly 
exacting them, their blood paid the penalty, they were 
sure to retaliate with tenfold fury, on the first favorable 
opportunity. The murder of these two Indians by Hughes 
and Lowther was soon followed by acts of retribution, 
which are believed to have been, at least mediately, pro- 
duced by them. 

On the 5th of December, a party of Indians and one 
white man (Leonard Schoolcraft) came into the settlement 
on Hacker's creek, and meeting with a daughter of Jesse 
Hughes, took her prisoner. Passing on, they came upon 
E. West, Senr. carrying some fodder to the stable, and 
taking him likewise captive, carried him to where Hughes' 
daughter had been left in charge of some of their party. 
Here the old gentleman fell upon his knees and expressed 
a fervent wish that they would not deal harshly by him. 

1 Another case of border superstition is related to me by McWhorter. 
Alexander West had been doing sentry duty most of the night before, 
and on being relieved early in the morning, sat with his back to a tree 
and, rifle across his lap, fell to sleep. On awakening he sprang to his 
feet and cried, " Boys, look out! Some of us will be killed to-day ! I 
saw the red doe in my dream ; that is the sign of death ; I never knew it 
to fail ! " When Bonnett fell, it was considered in camp to be a verifica- 
tion of the " red sign." Bonnett was carried by his comrades on a rude 
stretcher, but in four days died. His body was placed in a cleft of rock 
and the entrance securely chinked. R. G. T. 

37s Withers's Chronicles 

His petition was answered by a stroke of the tomahawk, 
and he fell dead. 

They then went to the house of Edmund West, Jun. 
where were Mrs. West and her sister (a girl of eleven 
years old, daughter of John Hacker) and a lad of twelve, 
a brother of West. Forcing open the door, Schoolcraft 
and two of the savages entered; and one of them im- 
mediately tomahawked Mrs. West. The boy was taking 
some corn from under the bed, he was drawn out by the 
feet and the tomahawk sank twice in his forehead, directly 
above each eye. The girl was standing behind the door. 
One of the savages approached and aimed at her a blow. 
She tried to evade it ; but it struck on the side of her neck, 
though not with sufficient force to knock her down. She 
fell however, and lay as if killed. Thinking their work of 
death accomplished here, they took from a press some 
milk, butter and bread, placed it on the table, and delib- 
erately sat down to eat, the little girl observing all that 
passed, in silent stillness. When they had satisfied their 
hunger, they arose, scalped the woman and boy, plundered 
the house even emptying the feathers to carry off the tick- 
ing and departed, dragging the little girl by the hair, forty 
or fifty yards from the house. They then threw her over the 
fence, and scalped her ; but as she evinced symptoms of 
life, Schoolcraft observed " that is not enough," when im- 
mediately one of the savages thrust a knife into her side, 
and they left her. Fortunately the point of the knife 
came in contact with a rib and did not injure her much. 

Old Mrs. West and her two daughters, who were alone 
when the otd gentleman was taken, became uneasy that he 
did not return; and fearing that he had fallen into the 
hands of savages (as they could not otherwise account for 
his absence) they left the house and went to Alexander 
West's, who was then on a hunting expedition with his 
brother Edmund. They told of the absence of old Mr. 
West and [281] their fears for his fate ; and as there was 
no man here, they went over to Jesse Hughes' who was 
himself uneasy that his daughter did not come home. 
Upon hearing that West too was missing, he did not 
doubt but that both had fallen into the hands of Indians; 

Of Border Warfare. 379 

and knowing of the absence from home of Edmund "West, 
Jun. he deemed it advisable to apprize his wife of danger, 
and remove her to his house. For this purpose and ac- 
companied by Mrs. West's two daughters, he went on. 
On entering the door, the tale of destruction which had 
been done there was soon told in part. Mrs. West and the 
lad lay weltering in their blood, but not yet dead. The 
sight overpowered the girls, and Hughes had to carry 
them off. Seeing that the savages had but just left them; 
and aware of the danger which would attend any attempt 
to move out and give the alarm that night, Hughes guarded 
his own house until day, when he spread the sorrowful in- 
telligence, and a company were collected to ascertain the 
extent of the mischief and try to find those who were 
known to be missing. 

Young West was found standing in the creek about 
a mile from where he had been tomahawked. The brains 
were oozing from his head ; yet he survived in extreme 
suffering for three days. Old Mr. West was found in the 
field where he had been tomahawked. Mrs. West was in 
the house; she had probably lived but a few minutes after 
Hughes and her sisters-in-law had left there. The little 
girl (Hacker's daughter) was in bed at the house of old 
Mr. West. She related the history of the transactions at 
Edmund West's, Juu. and said that she went to sleep when 
thrown over the fence and was awaked by the scalping. 
After she had been stabbed at the suggestion of School- 
craft and left, she tried to re-cross the fence to the house, 
but as she was climbing up she again went to sleep and 
fell back. She then walked into the woods, sheltered her- 
self as well as she could in the top of a fallen tree, and re- 
mained there until the cocks crew in the morning. 

Remembering that there was no person left alive at 
the house of her sister, awhile before day she proceeded 
to old Mr. West's. She found no person at home, the fire 
nearly out, but the hearth warm and she laid down on it. 
The heat produced a sickly feeling, which caused her to 
get up and go to the bed, in which she was found. She 
recovered, grew up, was married, gave birth to ten chil- 
dren, and died, as was believed, of an affection of the 

380 Withers' s Chronicles 

head, occasioned by the wound she received that night. 
Hughes' daughter was ransomed by her father the next 
year, and is yet living in sight of the theatre of those sav- 
age enormities. 

In March 1789, two Indians came to the house of Mr. 
Glass in the upper end of Ohio (now Brooke) county. They 
were discovered by a negro woman, who immediately ex- 
claimed, " here are Indians." Mrs. Glass rose up from 
her spinning wheel, ran to the door, and was met by an 
Indian with his gun presented. She laid hold on the muz- 
zle and turning it aside, begged that he would not kill, 
[282] but take her prisoner. He walked into the house 
and when joined by another Indian with the negro woman 
and her boy, about four years old, they opened a chest, 
took out a small box and some articles of clothing, and 
without doing farther mischief, departed with the prison- 
ers, Mrs. Glass and her child, two years of age, the negro 
woman and boy and her infant child. They had pro- 
ceeded but a short distance when a consultation was held, 
and Mrs. Glass supposing from their gestures and frequent 
pointing towards the children they were the subject of de- 
liberation, held forth her little boy to one of the savages 
and begged that he might be spared adding, "he will 
make a fine little Indian after awhile." He signed to her 
to go on. The other savage then struck the negro boy 
with the pipe end of his tomahawk, and with the edge 
gave him a blow across the back of the neck, and scalped 
and left him. 

In the evening they came to the Ohio river just above 
Wellsburg, and descended it in a canoe about five miles, 
to the mouth of Rush run. They drew the canoe some 
distance up the run and proceeding between one and two 
miles farther encamped for the night. Next morning they 
resumed their march and about two o'clock halted on In- 
dian Short creek, twenty miles farther. 

When the savages came to the house of Mr. Glass he 
was at work in a field some few hundred yards off, and 
was ignorant that any thing extraordinary had occurred 
there, until in the afternoon. Searching in vain for his 
wife, he became satisfied that she had been taken by the 

Of Border Warfare. 381 

Indians; and proceeding to Well's fort prevailed on ten 
men to accompany him in quest of them. Early next 
morning they discovered the place where the Indians em- 
barked in the canoe; and as Mr. Glass readily distin- 
guished the impression made by Mrs. Glass' shoe on the 
sand, they crossed the river with great expectation of being 
able to overtake them. They then went down the river 
to the mouth of Rush run, where the canoe was found 
and identified by some of Mr. Glass' papers, purposely 
left there by Mrs. Glass. From this place the trail of the 
Indians and their prisoners was plainly visible, and pur- 
suing it, the party arrived in view of the smoke from 
their fire on Short creek, about an hour after the Indians 
had halted. Crossing slyly forward, when rather more 
than one hundred yards off they beheld the two savages 
attentively inspecting a red jacket which one of them 
held, and Mrs. Glass and her little boy and the negro 
woman and her child a few paces from them. Suddenly 
the Indians let fall the jacket, and looked towards the 
men. Supposing they were discovered, they discharged 
their guns and rushed towards the fire. One of the Indi- 
ans fell and dropped his gun, but recovering, ran about 
one hundred yards when a shot aimed at him by Major 
McGuire brought him to his hands and knees. Mrs. Glass 
informing them that there was another encampment of 
Indians close by, instead of following the wounded savage, 
they returned home with all speed. 

[283] In August five Indians on their way to the set- 
tlements on the waters of the Monongahela, met with two 
men on Middle Island creek, and killed them. Taking 
their horses they continued on their route until they came 
to the house of William Johnson on Ten Mile, and made 
prisoner of Mrs. Johnson and some children ; plundered 
the house, killed part of the stock, and taking with them 
one of Johnson's horses, returned towards the Ohio. 
When the Indians came to the house, Johnson had gone 
to a lick not far off, and on his return in the morning, see- 
what had been done, and searching until he found the trail 
of the savages and their prisoners, ran to Clarksburg for 
assistance. A company of men repaired with him imme- 

382 Withers' s Chronicles 

diately to where he had discovered the trail, and keeping 
it about a mile, found four of the children lying dead in 
the woods. The savages had tomahawked and scalped 
them, and placing their heads close together, turned their 
bodies and feet straight out so as to represent a cross. The 
dead were buried and farther pursuit given over. 

Other Indians, about the same time, came to the house 
of John Mack on a branch of Hacker's creek. He being 
from home, they killed all who were at the house. Two 
of the children, who had been sent into the woods to hunt 
the cattle, returning, saw a little sister lying in the yard 
scalped, and directly fled, and gave the alarm. In the 
morning some men assembled and went to ascertain the 
extent of the mischief. The house was no longer to be 
seen, a heap of ashes was all that remained of it. The 
little girl who had been scalped in the yard, was much 
burned, and those who had been murdered in the house, 
were consumed with it. Mrs. Mack had been taken some 
distance from the house, tomahawked, scalped, and stripped 
naked. She was yet alive ; and as the men approached, a 
sense of her situation induced her to exert her feeble 
strength in drawing leaves around her so as to conceal 
her nakedness. The men wrapped their hunting: shirts 
about her, and carried her to a neighboring house. She 
lived a few days, gave birth to a child and died. 

Some time after the murder of Mack's family, John 
Sims, living on a branch of Gnatty creek, seeing his horses 
come running up much affrighted, was led to believe that 
the Indians had been trying to catch them. In a few min- 
utes, the dogs began to bark furiously in the corn field ad- 
joining, and he became satisfied the savages were approach- 
ing. Knowing [284] that he could offer no effectual resist- 
ance, if they should attack his house, he contrived an arti- 
fice to deter them from approaching. Taking down his 
gun, he walked around the house backward and forward, 
and as if speaking to men in it, called out, "Be watchful. 
They will soon be here, and as soon as you see them, draw 
H fine bead;" Mrs. Sims in a coarse tone of voice and with 
feigned resolution, answering as she had been advised, 
"Never fear! let them once shew their yellow hides, and 

Of Border Warfare. 383 

we'll pepper them." He would then retire into the house, 
change his garments, the better to support the deception, 
and again go forth to watch and give directions to those 
within. He pursued this plan until night, when he with- 
drew with his family to a place of safety. The Indians had 
actually been in the cornfield, and near enough to have 
shot Sims, the place where they had been sitting being 
plainly discernible next morning. Sims' artifice no doubt 
drove them off, and as they were retreating they fired 
the house of Jethro Thompson on Lost creek. 

In the spring of 1790, the neighborhood of Clarks- 
burg was again visited by Indians in quest of plunder, and 
who stole and carried off several horses. They were dis- 
covered and pursued to the Ohio river, when the pursuers, 
being reinforced, determined to follow on over into the In- 
dian country. Crossing the river and ascending the Hock- 
hocking, near to the falls, they came upon the camp of the 
savages. The whites opened an unexpected fire, which 
killing one and wounding another of the Indians, caused 
the remainder to fly, leaving their horses about their 
camp. These were caught, brought back and restored to 
their owners. 

In April as Samuel Hull was engaged in ploughing a 
field for Major Benjamin Robinson, he was discovered by 
some Indians, shot, tomahawked, and scalped. The mur- 
der was first ascertained by Mrs. Robinson. Surprised 
that Hull did not come to the house as usual, to feed the 
horses and get his own dinner, she went to the field to see 
what detained him She found the horses some distance 
from where they had been recently at work ; and going on, 
presently saw Hull lying where he had been shot. 

384 Withers's Chronicles 


Upon the close of the war of the revolution, many 
circumstances conspired to add considerably to the popu- 
lation of Kentucky ; and her strength and ability to cope 
with the savages and repel invasion, were consequently 
much increased. Conscious of this, and sensible of their 
own condition, weakened by the withdrawal of their al- 
lies, the Indians did not venture upon expeditions against 
its inhabitants, requiring to be conducted by the co-opera- 
tion of many warriors. They preferred to wage war in 
small parties, against detached settlements and unprotected 
families; and guarding the Ohio river and the " wilderness 
trace" 1 to cut off parties of emigrants removing to that 
country. In all of those they were eminently successful. 
In the interval of time, between the peace of 1783 and the 
defeat of General Harmar, in 1790, it is inferred from evi- 
dence laid before Congress, that in Kentucky, not less than 
one thousand human beings were killed and taken prison- 
ers. And although the whites were enabled to carry the 
war into the heart of the Indian country, and frequently 
with success, yet did not this put a stop to their enormities. 
When pressed by the presence of a conquering army, they 
would sue for peace, and enter into treaties, which they 
scarcely observed inviolate 'till those armies were with- 
drawn from among them. 

In April 1785, some Indians hovering about Bear 

'The "Wilderness Road" (or "trace") was the overland highway 
through Cumberland Gap. It was sometimes called " Boone's trace." 
From North Carolina and Southern Virginia, it was the nearest road to 
Kentucky; to those living farther north, the Ohio was the favorite 
highway. While the river was an easier path, it was more dangerous 
on account of Indians : but travelers of the early period who had come 
down the Ohio, preferred returning east by the Wilderness Road to 
poling up stream. See Thomas Speed's Wilderness Road, in the Filson 
Club publications (Louisville, 1886.) R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 385 

Grass, met with Colonel Christian and killed him. His 
loss was severely felt thoughout the whole country. 1 

In October of the same year, several families moving 
to the [286] country were attacked and defeated on Skegg's 
creek. Six of the whites were killed, and a number of the 
others made prisoners, among whom were Mrs. McClure 
and her infant. When the attack was begun, she secreted 
herself with four children in some bushes, which together 
with the darkness of the night, protected her from ob- 
servation ; and could she have overcome the feelings of a 
mother for her child, she might have ensured her own 
safety and that of her three other children by leaving her 
infant at some distance from them. She was aware of 
the danger to which its cries would expose her, and sought 
to prevent them by giving it the breast. For awhile it 
had that effect, but its shrieks at length arose and drew 
the savages to the spot. Three of her children were slain 
by her side. 

On hearing of this disastrous event, Capt. Whitley 
collected twenty-one men from the nearer stations, and 
went in pursuit of the aggressors, He presently overtook 
them, killed two of their party, and retook the prisoners 
and the scalps of those whom they had slain. So signal 
was his success over them. 

In ten days afterwards, another company ot movers, led 
on by Mr. Moore, was attacked, and in the skirmish which 
ensued, nine of their party were killed. Again Capt. 
Whitley went in pursuit of the savage perpetrators of this 
outrage, having thirty men to accompany him. On the 
sixth day of the pursuit, they overtook twenty mounted 

1 Col. William Christian, who served in Lord Dunmore's War. He 
was killed in April, 1786. John May, writing to Governor Henry from 
Crab Orchard, Ky., April 19, says: ["The Indians about the Wabash] 
had frequently been on Bear Grass, and Col. Christian, in order to in- 
duce others to go in pursuit of them, has upon every occasion gone him- 
self. And last week he with about twenty men crossed the Ohio, and 
overtook three Indians, whom they killed ; but his men not obeying his 
orders, which were to rush altogether on them, he with three others 
only overtook the Indians, and was so unfortunate as to receive a mor- 
tal wound himseli and Capt. Isaac Kellar received another." R. G. T. 

386 Withers' s Chronicles 

Indians, some of whom were clad in the clothes of those 
they had slain ; and who dismounted and fled upon the first 
fire. Three of them however were killed, and eight scalps 
and all the plunder were recovered. 

In consequence of the many repeated aggressions of 
the savages, an expedition was this fall concerted against 
their towns on the Wabash, to be carried into immediate 
execution. Through the exertions of the county lieuten- 
ants an army of one thousand men, was soon assembled 
at Louisville * and placed under the command of Gen. 
Clarke, who marched directly for the theatre of contem- 
plated operations leaving the provisions and much of 
their munitions to be transported in boats. The army 
.irrived near the towns, before the boats; the men became 
dissatisfied and mutinous, and Gen. Clarke was in conse- 
quence, reluctantly forced to return without striking a 
blow. 2 

[287] When the army under Gen. Clarke marched from 
Louisville, Col. Logan knowing that the attention of the 
Indians would be drawn almost exclusively towards it, & 
other towns be left exposed and defenceless, raised a body 
of troops and proceeded against the villages on the Great 
Miami, and on the head waters of Mad river. In this 
campaign he burned eight large towns, killed twenty war- 
riors and took between seventy and eighty prisoners. 3 

1 The time for rendezvous was September 10, 1786 (letter of Col. Levi 
Todd to Governor Henry, August 29). R. G. T. 

2 Clark was roundly scored in contemporary accounts, for being much 
of the time under the influence of liquor. His futile expedition was 
against the Indians around Vincennes, while Logan's party, which ap- 
pears practically to have revolted from Clark, had a successful cam- 
paign against the towns on Mad River. See Green's Spanish Conspiracy, 
ch. v., and Roosevelt's Winning of the West, iii., passim. R. G. T. 

3 Col. Benjamin Logan to Governor Randolph, Dec. 17, 1786: " Sept. 
14, 1786, I received orders [from Clark] to collect a sufficient number of 
men in the District of Kentucky to march against the Shawnee's Towns. 
Agreeable to said orders I collected 790 men, and on the 6th of Octo- 
ber I attacked the above mentioned Towns, killed ten of the chiefs of 
that nation, captured thirty-two prisoners, burnt upwards of two hun- 
dred dwelling houses and supposed to have burnt fifteen thousand 
bushels of corn, took some horses and cattle, killed a number of hogs, 
and took near one thousand pounds value of Indian furniture, and the 

Of Border Warfare. 387 

Among the troops led on by Col. Logan, was the 
late Gen. Lyttle (since of Cincinnati) then a youth of six- 
teen. 1 At the head of a party of volunteers, when the first 
towns on the Mad river were reduced, he charged on some 
of the savages whom he saw endeavoring to reach a close 
thicket of hazel and plum bushes. Being some distance 
in front of his companions, when within fifty yards of the 
retreating enemy, he dismounted, and raising his gun to 
fire, saw the warrior at whom he was aiming, hold out his 
hand in token of surrendering. In this time the other 
men had come up and were making ready to fire, when 
young Lyttle called to them, " they have surrendered ; 
and remember the Colonel's orders to kill none who ask 
for quarters." The warrior advanced towards him with 
his hand extended, and ordering the others to follow him. 
As he approached, Lyttle gave him his hand, but with 
difficulty restrained the men from tomahawking him. It 
was the head chief with this three wives and children, 
two or three of whom were fine looking lads, and one of 
them a youth of Lyttle's age. Observing the conduct of 
Lyttle in preventing the murder of the chief, this youth 
drew close to him. When they returned to the town, a 
crowd of men rushed around to see the chief, and Lyttle 
stepped out of the crowd to fasten his horse. The lad 
accompanied him. A young man who had been to the 
spring to drink, seeing Lyttle with the Indian lad, came 
running towards him. The youth supposed that he was 
advancing to kill him, and in the twinkling of an eye let 
fly an arrow. It passed through Curner's dress, and 
grazed his side ; and but for the timely twitch which Lyttle 
gave the lad's arm, would have killed him. His other ar- 
rows were then taken away, and he sternly reprimanded. 

Upon the return of Lyttle to where the chief stood, 

quantity ot furniture we burnt I can not account for." The force was 
on duty " not above twenty-seven days . . . and I would venture 
to say the expenses will be found to be very moderate." R. G. T. 

1 William Lytle, born in Carlisle, Pa., September 1, 1770. He came 
to Ohio with his father, at the age of ten, and subsequently became 
surveyor-general of the Northwest Territory. His father served as a 
captain in the French and Indian War, and as a colonel in the Revolu- 
tion, and headed a large colony to Ohio in 1780. R. G. T. 

388 Withers' s Chronicles 

he heard Col. Logan give orders that the prisoners must 
not be molested, but taken to a house and placed under 
guard for their [288] security; and seeing Major McGary 1 
riding up and knowing his disposition, he called to him 
saying, " Major McGary, you must not molest those pris- 
oners " and rode off. McGary mutteringly replied, " I'll 
see to that;" and dismounting, entered the circle around 
the prisoners. He demanded of the chief, if he were at 
the battle of the Blue Licks. The chief probably not un- 
derstanding the purport of the question, replied affirma- 
tively. McGary instantly seized an axe from the Grena- 
dier Squaw, standing by and sunk it into his head. Lyttle 
saw the descending stroke and interposed his arm to prevent 
it or break its force. The handle came in contact with his 
wrist and had well nigh broke it. Indignant at the bar- 
barous deed, with the impetuosity of youth he drew his 
knife to avenge it. His arm was arrested, or the steel 
would have been plunged into the heart of McGary. The 
bloody act of this man caused deep regret, humiliation and 
shame to pervade the greater part of the army, and none 
were more affected by it, than the brave and generous 
Logan. When the prisoners were conducted to the house, 
it was with much difficulty the Indian lad could be pre- 
vailed upon to quit the side of Lyttle. 

The commencement of the year 1786 witnessed treaties 
of peace with all the neighboring tribes ; 2 but its progress 
was marked by acts of general hostility. Many individual 
massacres were committed and in the fall, a company of 
movers were attacked, and twenty-one of them killed. 
This state of things continuing, in 1787 the secretary of 
war ordered detachments of troops to be stationed at dif- 

[288] l This name is sometimes written Magery. It is the same in- 
dividual who caused the disaster at the Blue Licks in August 1782. 

* The treaty with the Shawnees was negotiated January 30, 1786, at 
Fort Finney, near the mouth of the Great Miami, by George Rogers 
Clark, Richard Butler, and Samuel H. Parsons, commissioners. The 
treaty with the Wyandots, Delawares, Chippewas, and Ottawas was ne- 
gotiated at Fort Mclntosh, January 21, 1785, by Clark, Butler, and 
Arthur Lee. These treaties were of little avail, so long as British agents 
like McKee, Elliott, and Simon Girty lived among the Indians and kept 
them in a constant ferment against the Americans. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 389 

fereiit points for the protection of the frontier. Still the 
Indians kept up such an incessant war against it, as after 
the adoption of the federal constitution, led the general 
government to interpose more effectually for the security 
of its inhabitants, by sending a body of troops to operate 
against them in their own country. 

While these things were doing, a portion of the coun- 
try north west of the river Ohio, began to be occupied by 
the whites. One million and a half acres of land in that 
country, having been appropriated as military land, a com- 
pany, composed of officers and soldiers in the war of the 
revolution, was formed in Boston in March 1786 under the 
title of the [289] " Ohio Company," and Gen. Rufus Put- 
nam, was appointed its agent. In the spring of 1788, he 
with forty-seven other persons, from Massachusetts, Rhode 
Island and Connecticut, repaired to Marietta, erected a 
stockade fort for security against the attacks of Indians, 
and effected a permanent settlement there. 1 In the au- 

1 The several states which, under their colonial charters had claims 
to territory beyond the Ohio River, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, 
and Massachusetts, had (1781-84) relinquished their several claims to 
the newly-formed United States, and the Ordinance of 1787 had provided 
for this Northwest Territory an enlightened form of government which 
was to be the model of the constitutions of the five states into which it 
was ultimately to be divided. There was formed in Boston, in March, 
1786, the Ohio Company of Associates, and October 17, 1787, it purchased 
from Congress a million and a half acres in the new territory, about the 
mouth of the Muskingum. Many of the shareholders were Revolu- 
tionary soldiers, and great care was taken to select only good men as col- 
onists oftentimes these were the best and most prosperous men of their 
several localities. Gen. Rufus Putnam, a cousin of Israel, and a near 
friend of Washington, was chosen as superintendent of the pioneers. 
Two parties one rendezvousing at Danvers, Mass., and the other at 
Hartford, Conn. arrived after a difficult passage through the moun- 
tains at Simrall's Ferry (now West Newton), on the Youghiogheny, the 
middle of February, 1788. A company of boat-builders and other me- 
chanics had preceded them a month, yet it was still six weeks more be- 
fore the little flotilla could leave : " The Union Gaily of 45 tons bur- 
den; the Adelphia ferry boat, 3 tons; & three log canoes of different 
sizes. No. ol pioneers, 48." The winter had been one of the severest 
known on the Upper Ohio, and the spring was cold, wet, and backward ; 
so that amid many hardships it was the seventh of April before they ar- 
rived at the Muskingum and founded Marietta, named for the unfortu- 
nate Marie Antoinette, for the love of France was still strong in the 
breasts of Revolutionary veterans. R. G. T. 

390 Withers's Chronicles 

tnmn of the same year, twenty families, chiefly from Essex 
and Middlesex counties in Massachusetts, likewise moved 
there, and the forests of lofty timber fell before their un- 
tiring and laborious exertions. Many of those who thus 
took up their abodes in that, then distant country had been 
actively engaged in the late war, and were used, not only 
to face danger with firmness when it came upon them ; 
but also to devise and practice, means to avert it. Know- 
ing the implacable resentment of the savages to the whites 
generally, they were at once careful not to provoke it into 
action, and to prepare to ward off its effects. In conse- 
quence of this course of conduct, and their assiduity and 
attention to the improvement of their lands, but few mas- 
sacres were committed in their neighborhoods, although 
the savages were waging a general war against the fron- 
tier, and carrying destruction into settlements, compara- 
tively in the interior. 

In the winter of 1786, Mr. Stites of Redstone visited 
New York with the view of purchasing (congress being 
then in session there) for settlement, a tract of country 
between the two Miamies. The better to insure success 
to his project, he cultivated the acquaintance of many 
members of congress and endeavored to impress upon 
their minds its propriety and utility. John Cleves 
Symmes, then a representative from New Jersey, and 
whose aid Stites solicited to enable him to effect the pur- 
chase, becoming impressed with the great pecuniary ad- 
vantage which must result from the speculation, if the 
country were such as it was represented to be, determined 
to ascertain this fact by personal inspection. He did so ; 
and on his return a purchase of one million of acres, lying 
on the Ohio and between the Great and Little Miami, was 
made in his name. Soon after, he sold to Matthias Den- 
man and others, that part of his purchase which forms the 
present site of the city of Cincinnati; and in the fall of 
1789, some families from New York, New Jersey, and Red- 
stone, descended the Ohio river to the mouth of the Little 
Miami. As the Indians were now more than ordinarily 
troublesome, forty soldiers under Lieut. Kersey, were or- 
dered to join them for the [290] defence of the settlement. 

Of Border Warfare. 391 

They erected at first a single blockhouse, and soon after 
adding to it three others, a stockade fort was formed on a 
position now included within the town of Columbia. 

In June 1789, Major Doughty with one hundred and 
forty regulars, arrived opposite the mouth of Licking, and 
put up four block houses on the purchase made by Den- 
man of Symmes, and directly after, erected Fort Washing- 
ton. Towards the close of the year, Gen. Harmar arrived 
with three hundred other regulars, and occupied the fort. 
Thus assured of safety, Israel Ludlow, (jointly interested 
with Denman and Patterson) with twenty other persons, 
moved and commenced building some cabins along the 
river and near to the fort. During the winter Mr. Ludlow 
surveyed and laid out the town of Losantiville, 1 but when 
Gen. St. Clair came there as governor of the North "West- 
ern Territory, he changed its name to Cincinnati. 2 

[290] l Perhaps there never was a more strange compound deriva- 
tive term than this. Being situated opposite to the mouth of Licking, 
the name was made expressive of its locality, by uniting the Latin word 
os, (the mouth) with the Greek, anti (opposite) and the French, ville, (a 
town,) and prefixing to this union from such different sources, the in- 
itial (L) of the river. The author of this word, must have been good at 
invention, and in these days of town making could find ample employ- 
ment for his talent. 

3 In 1788, John Cleves Symmes uncle of he of " Symmes's Hole " 
the first United States judge of the Northwest Territory, purchased from 
congress a million acres of land on the Ohio, lying between the two 
Miami Rivers. Matthias Denman bought from him a square mile at the 
eastern end of the grant, " on a most delightful high bank " opposite 
the Licking, and on a cash valuation for the land of two hundred dol- 
lars took in with him as partners Robert Patterson and John Filson. 
Filson was a schoolmaster, had written the first history of Kentucky, 
and seems to have enjoyed much local distinction. To him was en- 
trusted the task of inventing a name for the settlement which the part- 
ners proposed to plant here. The outcome was " Losantiville," a peda- 
gogical hash of Greek, Latin, and French: L, for Licking; os, Greek for 
mouth ; anti, Latin for opposite ; ville, French for city Licking-opposite- 
City, or City-opposite-Licking, whichever is preferred. This was in 
August; the Fates work quickly, for in October poor Filson was scalped 
by the Indians in the neighborhood of the Big Miami, before a settler 
had yet been enticed to Losantiville. But the survivors knew how to 
"boom" a town; lots were given away by lottery to intending actual 
settlers, who moved thither late in December or early in January, and 

392 Withers's Chronicles 

In 1790, a settlement was made at the forks of Duck 
creek, twenty miles up the Muskingum at the site of the 
present town ofWaterford ; another fifteen miles farther 
up the river at Big Bottom, and a third at Wolf creek near 
the falls. These settlements were made on a tract of one 
hundred thousand acres, laid off into " donation " lots of 
one hundred acres, and gratuitously assigned to actual 
settlers; and at the close of the year they contained nearly 
five hundred men, of whom one hundred and seven had 

Thus was the present flourishing State of Ohio begun 
to be occupied by the whites; and the mind cannot but be 
struck with astonishment in contemplating the wonderful 
changes which have been wrought there, in such brief space 
of time, by industry and enterprise. Where then stood 
mighty and unbroken forests, through which the savage 
passed on his mission of blood; or stalked the majestic 
buffaloe, gamboled the sportive deer, or trotted the shaggy 
bear, are now to [291] be seen productive farms, covered 
with lowing herds and bleating flocks, and teeming with 

in a few months Judge Symmes was able to write that " it populates 

A few weeks previous to the planting of Losantiville, a party of 
men from Redstone had settled at the mouth of the Little Miami, about 
where the suburb of California now is ; and a few weeks later, a third 
colony was started by Symmes himself at North Bend, near the Big 
Miami, at the western extremity of his grant, and this the judge wished 
to make the capital of the new Northwest Territory. At first it was a 
race between these three colonies. A few miles below North Bend, 
Fort Finney had been built in 1785-86, hence the Bend had at first the 
start; but a high flood dampened its prospects, the troops were with- 
drawn from this neighborhood to Louisville, and in the winter of 1789- 
90 Fort Washington was built at Losantiville by General Harmar. The 
neighborhood of the new fortress became in the ensuing Indian war 
the center of the district. To Losantiville, with its fort, came Arthur 
St. Glair, the new governor of the Northwest Territory (January, 1790), 
and making his headquarters here, laid violent hands on Filson's inven- 
tion, at once changing the name to Cincinnati, in honor of the Society 
of the Cincinnati, of which the new official was a prominent member 
" so that," Judge Symmes sorrowfully writes, " Losantiville will become 
extinct." It was a winter of suffering for the Western Cincinnati. The 
troops were in danger of starvation, and three professional hunters were 
contracted with to supply them with game, till corn could come in from 
Columbia and other older settlements on the river. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 393 

all the comforts of life. And where then stood the town 
of Losantiville with its three or four little cabins and their 
twenty inmates, is now to be seen a flourishing city with 
its splendid edifices, and a population of 26,513 souls. 
Continuing thus progressively to improve, the mind of 
man, " pervading and far darting " as it is, can scarcely 
picture the state which may be there exhibited in the lapse 
of a few centuries. 

The formations of those establishments north west of 
the Ohio river, incited the savages to the commission of 
such and so frequent enormities that measures .were 
taken by the general government to reduce them to 
quiet and render peace truly desirable to them. While 
preparations were making to carry those measures into 
operation, detachments from the regular troops at Fort 
Washington were stationed at Duck creek, the Big Bot- 
tom and Wolf creek, for the security of the settlers at 
those places ; and when every thing was prepared, Gen. 
Harmar, at the head of three hundred and twenty regulars, 
moved from his head quarters at Fort Washington, to the 
Little Miami, where the militia detailed for the expedition, 
were then assembled. The object was to bring the In- 
dians, if posssible, to a general engagement ; and if this 
could not be effected, to destroy their towns and crops on 
the Scioto and Miami. 

On the last day of September 1790, the army then con- 
sisting of fourteen hundred and forty-three men, (of whom 
only three hundred and twenty were regulars) marched 
forward, and on the 17th of October reached the Great 
Miami village. 1 It was found to be entirely deserted and 
all the valuable buildings in flames having been fired by 

1 Col. Josiah Harmar's militia were from Virginia, Kentucky, and 
Pennsylvania. He left Fort Washington (Cincinnati), October 3. At 
this time the Miami Indians had seven villages in the neighborhood 
of the junction of St. Joseph and St. Mary's, which streams unite to 
form the Maumee. The village which lay in the forks of the St. Joseph 
and the Maumee, was the principal ; one in the forks of the St. Mary's 
and the Maumee, which was called Kekionga, had 30 houses ; at Chil- 
licothe, on the north bank of the Maumee, were 58 houses, and oppo- 
site these 18 houses. The Delawares had two villages on the St. Mary's, 
45 houses in all, and a town on the St. Joseph of 36 houses. R. G. T. 

394 Withers' s Chronicles 

the Indians. As it was apparent that the savages had but 
recently left there, Col. Hardin was detached with two hun- 
dred and ten men, sixty of whom were regulars to over- 
take them. Having marched about six miles, he was sud- 
denly attacked by a body of Indians who were concealed 
in thickets on every side of an open plain. On the first 
onset, the militia made a most precipitrate retreat, leaving 
the few, but brave regulars to stand the charge. The con- 
flict was short but bloody. The regular troops, over pow- 
ered by numbers, were literally cut to pieces ; and only 
seven of them made their escape and rejoined the main 
army at the Great Miami town. 1 

[292] Among those who were so fortunate as to escape 
after the shameful flight of the militia, was Capt. Arm- 
strong of the regulars. He reached a pond of water 
about two hundred yards from the field of action ; and 
plunging himself up to the neck in it, remained there all 
night, a spectator of the horrid scene of a savage war 
dance, performed over the dead and wounded bodies of his 
brave soldiers. The escape of ensign Hartshorn was per- 
haps owing entirely to a lucky accident. As he was fly- 
ing at his best speed he faltered over a log, which lay in 
his path, and by the side of which he concealed himself 
from the view of the savages. 

Notwithstanding the disastrous termination of this 
engagement, the detachment succeeded in reducing the 
other towns to ashes, and in destroying their crops of corn 
and other provisions; and rejoining the main army under 
Gen. Harmar, commenced their return to Fort Washing- 
ton. Anxious to wipe off in another action, the disgrace 
which he felt would attach to the defeat, when within 
eight miles of Chilicothe, Gen. Harmar halted his men, 
and again detached Col. Hardin and Major Wylleys, with 
five hundred militia and sixty regulars, to find the enemy 
and bring them to an engagement. 

Early next morning, a small body of the enemy was 

1 A third expedition, under Maj. J. F. Hamtramck, went against the 
Wabash Indians, successfully destroyed several deserted villages, and 
reached Vincennes without loss. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 395 

discovered, and being attacked, fled in different direc- 
tions. The militia pursued them as they ran in despite of 
orders; and when by this means the regulars were left 
alone, they were attacked by the whole force of the Indi- 
ans, excepting the small parties whose flight had drawn 
oft the militia. A severe engagement ensued. The sav- 
ages fought with desperation ; & when the troops which 
had gone in pursuit of those who fled upon the first onset, 
returned to take part in the engagement, they threw down 
their guns and rushed upon the regulars tomahawk in 
hand. Many of them fell, but being so very far superior 
in numbers, the regulars were at last overpowered. Their 
firmness and bravery could not avail much, against so over- 
whelming a force ; for though one of them might thrust his 
bayonet into the side of an Indian, two other savages were 
at hand to sink their tomahawks into his head. In his offi- 
cial account of this battle, Gen. Harmar claimed the victory; 
but the thinned ranks of his troops shewed that they had 
been severely worsted. Fifty of the regulars and one hun- 
dred of the militia were killed in the contest, and many 
wounded. The loss of the Indians was no doubt considera- 
ble, [293] or they would not have suffered the army to re- 
tire to Fort Washington unmolested. 1 

Instead of the security from savage hostilities, which 
it was expected would result from Harmar's campaign, 
the inhabitants of the frontier suffered from them, more 
than they had been made to endure since the close of the 
war with Great Britain. Flushed with the success which 
had crowned their exertions to repel the invasion which 

1 In his report to the Secretary of War, October 29, 1790, Governor 
St. Clair said : " I have the pleasure to inform you of the entire suc- 
cess of Gen. Harmar at the Indian towns on the Miami and St. Joseph 
Rivers, of which he has destroyed five in number, and a very great 
quantity of corn and other vegetable provisions. It is supposed that about 
two hundred of the Indians have likewise fallen in the different en- 
counters that have happened between them and the detachment, for 
there has been no general action ; but it has not been without consid- 
erable loss on our part. ... Of the Federal troops, Major Wyllys 
and Lieutenant Frothingham and seventy-seven men ; of the militia, 
Major Fontaine, Captain McMurtry, and Captain Scott, a son of Gen- 
eral Scott, and seventy -three men, are among the slain." R. G. T. 

396 Withers's Chronicles 

had been made into their country, and infuriated at the 
destruction of their crops and the conflagration of their 
villages, they became more active and zealous in the prose- 
cution of hostilities. 

The settlements which had been recently made in 
Ohio up the Muskingum, had ever after their first estab- 
lishment, continued apparently on the most friendly terms 
with the Indians ; but on the part of the savages, friend- 
ship had only been feigned, to lull the whites into a ruin- 
ous security. When this end was attained, they too 
were made to feel the bitterness of savage enmity. On the 
2d of January 1791, a party of Indians came to the Big 
Bottom, and commenced an indiscriminate murder of the 
inhabitants; fourteen of whom were killed and five taken 
prisoners. The settlement at Wolf's creek escaped a sim- 
ilar fate, by being apprized of the destruction of Big Bot- 
tom by two men who got safely off in time of the mas- 
sacre. When the Indians arrived there the next morn- 
ing, finding the place prepared to receive them, they with- 
drew without making any serious attempt to take it. 

On the 24th of April, John Bush (living on Freeman's 
creek,) having very early sent two of his children to drive 
up the cattle, became alarmed by their screams, and taking 
down his gun, was proceeding to learn the cause of it, 
when he was met at the door by an Indian, who caught 
hold of the gun, forced it from his grasp, and shot him 
with it. Bush fell across the threshold, and the savage 
drew his knife to scalp him. Mrs. Bush ran to the as- 
sistance of her husband, and with an axe, aimed a blow 
at the Indian with such force that it fastened itself in his 
shoulder, and when he jumped back his exertion pulled 
the handle from her hand. She then drew her husband 
into the house and secured the door. 

In this time other of the savages had come up, and 
after endeavoring in vain to force open the door, they com- 
menced shooting through it. Fortunately Mrs. Bush re- 
mained unhurt, although eleven bullets passed through 
her frock and some of [294] them just grazing the skin. 
One of the savages observing an aperture between the logs, 
thrust the muzzle of his gun thro' it. With another axe 

Of Border Warfare. 397 

Mrs. Bush struck on the barrel so as to make it ring, and, 
the savage on drawing it back, exclaimed "Dern you." 
Still they were endeavoring to force an entrance into the 
house, until they heard what they believed to be a party 
of whites coming to its relief. It was Adam Bush, who 
living close by and hearing the screams of the children 
and the firing of the gun, had set off to learn what had 
given rise to them, and taking with him his dogs, the 
noise made by them in crossing the creek alarmed the sav- 
ages, and caused them to retreat, taking off the two chil- 
dren as prisoners. A company of men were soon collected 
and went in pursuit of the Indians; but were unable to 
surprise them and regain the prisoners. They however, 
came so nearly upon them, on the Little Kenhawa, 1 that 
they were forced to fly precipitately, leaving the plunder 
and seven horses which they had taken from the settlement : 
these were retaken and brought back. 

In May, as John Mclntire and his wife were returning 
from a visit, they passed through the yard of Uriah Ash- 
craft ; and in a small space of time after, Mr. Ashcraft, 
startled by the sudden growling and springing up of one 
of his dogs, stepped quickly to the door to see what had 
aroused him. He had hardly reached the door, when he 
espied an Indian on the outside with his gun presented. 
Closing and making fast the door, he ascended the stairs 
that he might the better fire upon the unwelcome intruder; 
and after snapping three several times, and having discov- 
ered that there were other Indians in the yard, he raised 
a loud shout to apprize those who were within the sound 
of his voice, that he was surrounded by danger. Upon 
this the Indians moved off; and three brothers of Mclntire 
coming to his relief, they all pursued the trail of the sav- 
ages. About a mile from Ashcraft's, they found the body 
of John Mclntire, tomahawked, scalped, and stripped; 
and concluding that Mrs. Mclntire, was taken prisoner, 
they sent intelligence to Clarksburg of what had happened, 
and requested assistance to follow the Indians and recover 
the prisoner from captivity. The desired assistance was 

1 Thirteen miles below Marietta. R. G. T. 

398 Withers's Chronicles 

immediately afforded; and a company of men, led on by 
Col. John Haymond and Col. George Jackson, went in 
pursuit. On Middle Island creek, 1 before they were aware 
of their proximity to the savages, they were fired upon by 
them, and [295] two of the party very narrowly escaped 
being shot. A ball passed through the hankerchief on the 
head of Col. Haymond, and another through the sleeve 
of Col. Jackson's shirt. The fire was promptly returned, 
and the men rushed forward. The Indians however, 
made good their retreat, though not without having ex- 
perienced some injury; as was discovered by the blood, 
and the throwing down some of the plunder which they 
had taken. It was here first ascertained that Mrs. Mcln- 
tire had been killed, her scalp being among the things 
left and on the return of the party, her body was found 
some small distance from where that of her husband had 
been previously discovered. 

Towards the last of June, another party of Indians in- 
vaded the settlement on Dunkard creek, in the county of 
Monongalia. Early in the morning, as .Mr. Clegg, Mr. 
Handsucker, and two of Handsucker's sons were engaged 
at work in a cornfield near the house, they were shot at by 
some concealed savages, and Handsucker was wounded and 
soon overtaken. Clegg and Handsucker's sons ran towards 
the house, and the former entering it, defended it for 
a while ; but confident that he would soon be driven out by 
fire, he surrendered on condition that they would spare his 
life and that of his little daughter with him. The boys 
passed the house, but were taken by some of the savages 
who were also concealed in the direction which they ran, 
and who had just made captive Mrs. Handsucker and her 
infant. They then plundered and set fire to the house, 
caught the horses and made off with the prisoners, leav- 
ing one of their company, as usual, to watch after their 

When the firing was first heard, Mrs. Clegg being some 
distance from the house, concealed herself in the creek, 

1 Eighteen miles above Marietta, and one above St. Mary's, W.Va. 
R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 399 

under some projecting bushes, until every thing became 
quiet. She then crept out, but perceiving the Indian who 
had remained near the burning house, she took to flight; and 
he having at the same time discovered her, ran in pursuit. 
She was so far in advance, and ran so well, that the sav- 
age, despairing of overtaking her, raised his gun and fired 
as she ran. The ball just grazed the top of her shoulder, 
but not impeding her flight, she got safely ofF. Mr. Hand- 
sucker, his wife and child, were murdered on the dividing 
ridge between Dunkard and Fish creeks. 1 Mr. Clegg after 
some time got back, and upon the close of the Indian war, 
ransomed his two daughters. 

[296] In the month of September Nicholas Carpenter 
set off to Marietta with a drove of cattle to sell to those 
who had established themselves there ; and when within 
some miles from the Ohio river, encamped for the night. 2 
In the morning early, and while he and the drovers were 
yet dressing, they were alarmed by a discharge of guns, 
which killed one and wounded another of his party. The 
others endeavored to save themselves by flight ; but Car- 
penter being a cripple (because of a wound received some 
years before) did not run far, when finding himself becom- 
ing faint, he entered a pond of water where he fondly 
hoped he should escape observation. But no! -both he 
and a son who had likewise sought security there, were 
discovered, tomahawked and scalped. George Legget, 
one of the drovers, was never after heard of; but Jesse 
Hughes succeeded in getting off though under disadvan- 
tageous circumstances. He wore long leggins, and when 
the firing commenced at the camp, they were fastened at 
top to his belt, but hanging loose below. Although an 
active runner, yet he found that the pursuers were gain- 

1 Dunkard Creek flows eastward into the Monongahela. Fish Creek 
flows southwestward into the Ohio, emptying 113 miles below Pitteburg, 
and 58 above Marietta. A famous Indian war-trail ran up Fish and 
down Dunkard a short-cut from Ohio to the western borders of Penn- 
sylvania and Virginia. R. G. T. 

2 Soon after the establishment of Marietta, a rude wagon road was 
opened through the forest between that colony and Redstone (Browns- 
ville, Pa.) This was the road Carpenter was following. R. G. T. 

400 Withers's Chronicles 

ing and must ultimately overtake him if he did not rid 
himself of this incumbrance. For this purpose he halted 
somewhat and stepping on the lower part of his legging, 
broke the strings which tied them to his belt ; but before 
he accomplished this, one of the savages approached and 
hurled a tomahawk at him. It merely grazed his head, 
and he then again took to flight and soon got off'. 

It was afterwards ascertained that the Indians by 
whom this mischief was effected, had crossed the Ohio 
river near the mouth of Little Kenhawa, where they 
took a negro belonging to Captain James N"eal, and con- 
tinued on towards the settlements on West Fork, until 
they came upon the trail made by Carpenter's cattle. 
Supposing that they belonged to families moving, they 
followed on until they came upon the drovers; and tying 
the negro to a sapling made an attack on them. The 
negro availed himself of their employment elsewhere, 
and loosing the bands which fastened him, returned to his 

After the defeat of General Harmer, the terrors and 
the annoyance proceeding from Indian hostilities, still con- 
tinued to harrass Kentucky, and to spread destruction 
over its unprotected portions. Seeing that the expeditions 
of the savages were yet conducted on a small scale, the 
better to effect their purposes, the inhabitants had recourse 
to other measures [297] of defence ; and established many 
posts on the frontier, garrisoned by a few men, to watch 
the motions of the enemy, and intercept them in their pro- 
gress, or spread the alarm of their approach. It was pro- 
ductive of but little benefit, and all were convinced, that 
successful offensive war could alone give security from In- 
dian aggression. Convinced of this, preparations were 
made by the General Government for another campaign 
to be carried on against them ; the objects of which were 
the destruction of the Indian villages between the Miamies; 
the expulsion of their inhabitants from the country, and 
the establishment of a chain of forts to prevent their re- 
turn, until a general peace should give promise of a cessa- 
tion of hostilities on their part. Means, deemed adequate 
to the accomplishment of those objects, were placed by 

Of Border Warfare. 401 

Congress at the disposal of the executive, and of the army 
destined to effect them, he directed General Arthur St. 
Clair to take the command. 1 

It was some time before the troops detailed for this 
campaign, could be assembled at Fort Washington; but as 
soon as they rendezvoused there, the line of march was 
taken up. 2 Proceeding immediately for the principal es- 
tablishments of the Indians on the Miami, General St. 
Clair had erected the Forts Hamilton and Jefferson, 3 and 
placing sufficient garrisons in each, continued his march. 
The opening of a road for the passage of the troops and 
artillery, necessarily consumed much time; and while it 
was in progress, small parties of the enemy were often 
seen hovering near, and some unimportant skirmishes took 
place; and as the army approached the Indian villages, 
sixty of the militia deserted in a body. To prevent the 
evil influence of this example, General St. Clair despatched 
Major Hamtrack at the head of a regiment, to overtake 
and bring them back ; and the rest of the army moved 

On the night of the third of November, General St. 
Clair encamped near the Great Miami village, and not- 
withstanding the reduced state of the forces under his com- 
mand, (by reason of the detachment of so large a body in 
pursuit of the deserters,) he proposed to march in the 
morning directly to its attack. 4 Having understood that 
the Indians were collected in great force, and apprehensive 
of a night attack, his men were drawn up in a square, and 

1 With Gen. Richard Butler, who was killed in the final battle, 
second in command. R. G. T. 

1 Early in September, 1791. St. Clair had 2,000 men, fifty per cent 
less than had been promised him by the war department. R. G. T. 

3 Fort Hamilton, a stockade with four bastions, was on the Big 
Miami, 24 miles from Fort Washington (Cincinnati), on the site of the 
present Hamilton, O. Fort Jefferson, built of logs laid horizontally, 
was six miles south of the present Greenville, O. The army left Fort 
Jefferson, October 24. R. G. T. 

4 The army then numbered 1,400 men, and was encamped at the 
site of the present Fort Recovery, O., 55 miles away, as the crow flies, 
from the head of the Maumee, the objective point of the expedition. 
R. G. T. 


402 Withers'^ Chronicles 

kept under arms uirtil the return of day, when they were 
dismissed from parade for [298] the purpose of refresh- 
ment. Directly after, and about half an hour before Run 
rise, an attack was begun by the Indians on the rear line, 
and the militia there immediately gave way, and retreated, 
rushing through a battalion of regulars, to the very centre 
of the camp. The confusion was great. Thrown into 
disorder by the tumultuous flight of the militia, the ut- 
most exertion of the officers could not entirely compose 
the regulars, so as to render them as effective as they 
would otherwise have been. 

After the first fire, the Indians rushed forward, toma- 
hawk in hand, until they were checked by the well di- 
rected aim of the front line ; which being almost simul- 
taneously attacked by another body of the enemy, had to 
direct their attention to their own assailants, and the ac- 
tion became general. The weight of the enemy being 
brought to bear on the centre of each line where the 
artillery had been placed, the men were driven with great 
slaughter from the guns and these rendered useless by the 
killing of the matrosses. The enemy taking advantage 
of this state of things, pushed forward upon the lines, and 
confusion began to spread itself in every quarter. A 
charge was ordered, and Lieutenant Colonel Drake suc- 
ceeded in driving back the Indians three or four hundred 
yards at the point of the bayonet ; but rallying, they re- 
turned to the attack, and the troops in turn gave way. 
At this moment the camp was entered by the left flank : 
and, another charge was directed. This was made by 
Butler and Clark's battalions with great effect, and re- 
peated several times with success ; but in each of these 
charges, many being killed, and particularly the officers, 
it was impossible longer to sustain the conflict, and a re- 
treat was directed. 

To enable the troops to effect this they were again 
formed into line, as well as could be under such circum- 
stances, and another charge was made, as if to turn the 
right flank of the enemy, but in reality to gain the road. 
This object was effected; and a precipitate flight com- 
menced which continued until they reached Fort Jeffer- 

Of Border Warfare. 403 

son, a distance of thirty miles, the men throwing away 
their guns and accoutrements as they ran. 

Great w r as the havoc done by the Indians in this en- 
gagement. Of the twelve hundred men engaged under 
General St. Clair, nearly six hundred were left dead on 
the field, and many were wounded. Every officer of the 
second regiment [299] was killed in the various charges 
made by it to retrieve the day, except three, and one of 
these was shot through the body. Major General Butler 
having been wounded, and carried to a convenient place to 
have his wounds dressed, an Indian desperately adventur- 
ous, broke through the guard in attendance, rushed up, 
tomahawked and scalped him, before his own life paid the 
forfeit of his rashness. General St. Clair had many nar- 
row escapes. 1 Early in the action, a number of savages 
surrounded his tent and seemed resolved on entering it 
and sacrificing him. They were with difficulty restrained 
by some regular soldiers at the point of- the bayonet. 
During the engagement eight balls passed through his 
clothes, and while the troops were retreating, having had 
his own horse killed, and being mounted on a sorry beast, 
"which could not be pricked out of a walk," he had to 
make his way to Fort Jefferson as he could, considerably 
in the rear of the men. During the action Adjutant Bul- 
gess received a severe wound, but yet continued to fight 
with distinguished gallantry. Presently a second shot 
took effect and he fell. A woman who was particularly 
attached to him had accompanied him in the campaign, 
raised him up, and while supporting him in her arms, re- 
ceived a ball in the breast which killed her instantly. 

The Chicasaws were then in amity with the whites, 
and some of their warriors were to have co operated with 
Gen. St. Clair, but did not arrive in time. There was 

1 He lay sick in his tent, when the action opened, but arose and 
acted with remarkable courage throughout the fight. General Butler 
was acting commandant while St. Clair was ill, and was credibly in- 
formed by his scouts, the night before the battle, of the proximity of the 
enemy. But he took no precautions against surprise, neither did he 
communicate his news to his superior. Upon Butler's head appears to 
rest much of the blame for the disaster. R. G. T. 

404 Withers's Chronicles 

however one of that nation in the engagement, and he 
killed and scalped eleven of the enemy with his own 
hands, and while engaged with the twelfth was himself 
killed, to the regret of those who witnessed his deeds of 
daring and of courage. 

According to the statement of the Indians, they 
killed six hundred and twenty of the American troops, 
and took seven pieces of cannon, two hundred head of 
oxen, many horses, but no prisoners. 1 They gave their 
own loss in killed at only sixty-five ; but it was no doubt 
much greater. Their force consisted of four thousand 
warriors, and was led on by a Missasago chief who had 
served with the British in the late war ; and who planned 
and conducted the attack contrary to the opinion of a 
majority of the chiefs, who yet, having such confidence 
in his skill and judgment, yielded their individual plans 
and gave to him the entire control of their movements. 
He is reported to have caused the savages to forbear the 
pursuit of the retreating troops ; telling them that they 
had killed enough, and it was time to enjoy the booty 
they had gained with the victory. He was then about 
forty-five years of age, six feet in height, and of a 
[300] sour, morose countenance. His dress was Indian 
leggins and moccasons, a blue petticoat coming half way 
down his thighs, and European waistcoat and surtout. 
His head was bound with an Indian cap, reaching midway 
his back, and adorned with upwards of two hundred silver 
ornaments. In each ear he had two ear rings, the upper 
part of each of which was formed of three silver meddles 
of the size of a dollar; the lower part consisted of quar- 
ters of dollars, and more than a foot in length ; one from 
each ear hanging down his breast, the others over his 
back. In his nose he wore ornaments of silver curiously 
wrought and painted. 

Two days after the action the warriors from the Chic- 

2 The Americans lost 37 officers and 593 men, killed and missing, and 
31 officers and 252 men, wounded. See St. Clair Papers, edited by Will- 
iam Henry Smith (Cincinnati : Robert Clarke & Co., 1882), for official de- 
tails of the disaster. For Simon Girty's part, consult Butterfield's His- 
tory of the Girtys, passim. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 405 

asaw nation arrived at Fort Jefferson, under the command 
of Piomingo, or the " Mountain Leader." On their march 
they heard of the fatal battle, and saw one of the enemy; 
who mistaking Piomingo's party for some of his own com- 
rades, made up to them. He discovered the mistake when 
it was too late to rectify it. Piomingo accosted him in harsh 
tones, saying " Rascal, you have been killing the whites,'* 
and immediately ordered two of his warriors to expand 
his arms, and a third to shoot him. This was done and his 
scalp taken. 

After the disastrous termination of this campaign, 1 
the inhabitants of Kentucky were as much as, or perhaps 
more than ever, exposed to savage enmity and those in- 
cursions which mark the bitterness of Indian resentment. 
Soon after the retreat of the army under Gen. Sinclair, 
a party of them came upon Salt river, where two men 
and some boys were fishing; and falling suddenly upon 
them killed the men and made prisoners of the boys. 
They then liberated one of the boys, and giving him a 
tomahawk, directed him to go home; shew it to his 
friends ; inform them what had been the fate of his com- 
panions, and what they were to expect for their own. The 
threat was fearfully executed. Many families were en- 
tirely cut off and many individuals sacrificed to their fury. 
Companies of Indians were constantly traversing the 
country in secret, and committing depredations, wherever 
they supposed it could be done with impunity. A re- 
markable instance of their failure and suffering in at- 
tempting to form an entrance into a house where was an 
almost unprotected family, deserves to be particularly 

On the 24th of December 1791, a party of savages at- 
tacked the house of John Merril, in Nelson county. Mr. 
Merril, alarmed by the barking of the dogs, hastened to 
the door to learn the cause. On opening it, he was fired 
at by two Indians and his leg and arm were both broken. 
The savages then ran forward to enter the house, but be- 

1 St. Clair arrived at Fort Washington, on his return, November 8 
R. G. T. 

406 Withers's Chronicles 

fore they could do this, the door was closed and secured by 
Mrs. Merril and her daughter. After a fruitless attempt to 
force it open, they commenced hewing off a part of it with 
thei r tomahawks, and when a passage was thus opened, one of 
them attempted to enter through it. The heroic Mrs. Merril, 
in the midst of her screaming and affrighted children, and 
her groaning suffering husband, seized an axe, gave the ruf- 
fian a fatal blow, and [301] instantly drew him into the house. 
Supposing that their end was now nearly attained, the others 
pressed forward to gain admittance through the same aper- 
ture. Four of them were in like manner despatched by 
Mrs. Merril, before their comrades were aware that any 
opposition was making in the house. Discovering their 
mistake the survivors retired for awhile, and returning, 
two of them endeavored to gain admittance by climbing 
to the top of the house, and descending in the chimney, 
while the third was to exert himself at the door. Satisfied 
from the noise on the top of the house, of the object of the 
Indians, Mr. Merril directed his little son to rip open a 
bed and cast its contents on the fire. This produced the 
desired effect. The smoke and heat occasioned by the 
burning of the feathers brought the two Indians down, 
rather unpleasantly; and Mr. Merril somewhat recovered, 
exerted every faculty, and with a billet of wood soon de- 
spatched those half smothered devils. Mrs. Merril was all 
this while busily engaged in defending the door against 
the efforts of the only remaining savage, whom she at 
length wounded so severely with the axe, that he was glad 
to get off alive. 

A prisoner, who escaped from the Indians soon after 
the happening of this transaction, reported that the 
wounded savage was -the only one, of a party of eight, 
who returned to their towns; that on being asked by some 
one, " what news," he replied, " bad news for poor In- 
dian, me lose a son, me lose a brother, the squaws have 
taken the breech clout, and fight worse than the Long 

The frequent commission of the most enormous out- 
rages, led to an expedition against the Indians, carried 
on by the inhabitants of Kentucky alone. An army of 

Of Border Warfare. 407 

one thousand mounted volunteers was raised, and the 
command of it being given to Gen. Scott, he marched imme- 
diately for their towns. 1 When near them, he sent out two 
spies to learn the state of the enemy ; who reported that 
they had seen a large body of Indians, not far from the 
fatal spot where St. Glair's bloody battle had been fought, 
enjoying themselves with the plunder there taken, riding 
the oxen, and acting in every respect as if drunk. Gen. 
Scott immediately gave orders to move forward briskly ; 
and arranging his men into three divisions, soon came upon 
and attacked the savages. The contest was short but de- 
cisive. Two hundred of the enemy were killed on the 
spot, the cannon and such of the other stores as were in 
their possession, retaken, and the savage forces completely 
routed. The loss of the Kentuckians was inconsider- 
able, only six men were killed and but few wounded. 

Gen. Scott on his return, gave an affecting account of 
the appearance of the field, where Gen. St. Clair had been 
encountered by the savages. "The plain," said he, "had 
a very melancholy appearance. In the space of three hun- 
dred and fifty yards, lay three hundred skull bones, which 
were buried by my men while on the ground ; from thence 
for miles on, and the road was strewed with skeletons, 
muskets, &c." A striking picture of the desolation wrought 
there on the bloody fourth of November. 

1 This expedition under Gen. Charles Scott, one of the Kentucky 
committee of safety, was made in June, 1791, against the Miami and 
Wabash Indians. It was followed in August by a second expedition 
under Gen. James "Wilkinson. In the course of the second campaign, at 
the head of 500 Kentuckians, Wilkinson laid waste the Miami village of 
L'Anguille, killing and capturing 42 of the savages. K. G. T. 

408 Withers's Chronicles 


Neither the signal success of the expedition under 
General Scott, nor the preparations which were being 
made by the general government, for the more rigorous 
prosecution of the war against them, caused the Indians 
to relax their exertions to harrass the frontier inhabitants. 
The ease with which they had overcome the two armies 
sent against them under Harmar and St. Clair, inspired 
them with contempt for our troops, and induced a belief 
of their own invincibility, if practising the vigilance 
necessary to guard against a surprise. To the want of 
this vigilance, they ascribed the success of Gen. Scott; 
and deeming it necessary only to exercise greater pre- 
caution to avoid similar results, they guarded more dili- 
gently the passes into their country, while discursive 
parties of their warriors would perpetrate their accus- 
tomed acts of aggression upon the persons and property 
of the whites. 

About the middle of May, 1792, a party of savages 
came upon a branch of Hacker's creek, and approaching 
late in the evening a field recently cleared by John Wag- 
goner, found him seated on a log, resting himself after the 
labors of the day. In this company of Indians was the 
since justly celebrated General Tecumseh, who leaving 
his companions to make sure of those in the house, placed 
his gun on the fence and fired deliberately at Waggoner. 
The leaden messenger of death failed of its errand, and 
passing through the sleeve of his shirt, left Waggoner un- 
injured, to try his speed with the Indian. Taking a di- 
rection opposite the house, to avoid coming in contact 
with the savages there, he outstripped his pursuer, and got 
safely off. 

[303] In the mean time, those who had been left to 
operate against those of the family who were at the house, 
finding a small boy in the yard, killed and scalped him ; 

Of Border Warfare. 409 

and proceeding on, made prisoners of Mrs. Waggoner and 
her six children, and departed immediately with them, lest 
the escape of her husband, should lead to their instant 
pursuit. They were disappointed in this expectation. A 
company of men was soon collected, who repaired to the 
then desolate mansion, and from thence followed on the 
trail of the savages. About a mile from the house, one of 
the children was found where its brains had been beaten 
out with a club, and the scalp torn from its head. A small 
distance farther, lay Mrs. Waggoner and two others of her 
children, their lifeless bodies mangled in the most bar- 
barous and shocking manner. Having thus freed them- 
selves from the principal impediments to a rapid retreat, 
the savages hastened on ; and the pursuit was unavailing. 
They reached their towns with the remaining prisoners 
two girls and a boy and avoided chastisement for the out- 
rage. The elder of the two girls did not long remain with 
them ; but escaping to the neighborhood of Detroit with 
another female prisoner, continued there until after the 
treaty of 1795. Her sister abided with her captors 'till the 
close of the war; and the boy until during the war of 
1812. He was then seen among some friendly Indians, 
and bearing a strong resemblance in features to his father, 
was recognized as Waggoner's captive son. He had mar- 
ried a squaw, by whom he had several children, was at- 
tached to his manner of life, and for a time resisted every 
importunity, to withdraw himself from among them. 
When his father visited him, it was with difficulty he was 
enticed to return to the haunts of his childhood, and the 
associates of his younger days, even on a temporary visit. 
When however he did return to them, the attention and 
kindly conduct of his friends, prevailed with him to re- 
main, until he married and took up his permanent abode 
amid the habitations of civilized men. Still with the feel- 
ings natural to a father, his heart yearns towards his chil- 
dren in the forest ; and at times he seems to lament that 
he ever forsook them. 1 

1 Drake, in Aboriginal Races of North America (15th ed.), p. 616, cites 
the Waggoner massacre as "the first exploit in which we findTecumseh 
engaged." L. V. McWhorter sends me this interesting note, giving the 

410 Withers'? Chronicles 

In the summer of this year, a parcel of horses were 
taken from the West Fork, and the Indians who had 
stolen them, being discovered as they were retiring, they 
were pursued by Captain Coburn, who was stationed at 

local tradition regarding the affair: "John Waggoner lived on Jesse's 
Run, more than two miles above its junction with Hacker's Creek. 
While engaged in burning logs in his clearing, he was sitting upon a 
log, with a handspike lying across his lap. It was thought that Tecuni- 
seh mistook this tool for a gun, and was nervous. But three in number, 
the Indians had entered the district with some trepidation. Over Sun- 
day, while the settlers were holding religious services in West's Fort, 
the savages lay in a neighboring ravine. The dogs of the settlement 
barked furiously at them, and ran toward their hiding place, trying to 
lead their masters ; but the latter supposed that the animals had merely 
scented wolves, hence paid no attention to them. Tecumseh was but 
thirty paces from Waggoner when he fired, and it is singular that he 
missed, for the latter was a large man and in fair view. Waggoner 
sprang up and started for his cabin, a short distance only, but when 
about fifteen yards away saw an Indian chasing one of the children 
around the house. Waggoner was unarmed ; his gun was in the house, 
but he feared to* enter, so ran for help to the cabin of Hardrnan, a 
neighbor. But Hardman wag out hunting, and there was no gun left 
there. The screams of his family were now plainly heard by Wag- 
goner, and he was with difficulty restrained from rushing back to help 
them, unarmed. Jesse Hughes carried the news into the fort, and a 
rescue party at once set out. Mrs. Waggoner and her three youngest 
children had been carried across the ridge to where ia now Rev. Mans- 
field McWhorter's farm, on McKenley's Run, and here they were toma- 
hawked and scalped. Henry McWhorter helped to carry the bodies to 
the fort, but made no mention of their being ' mangled in the most bar- 
barous and shocking manner.' " 

The boy Peter, then eight years old, remained with the Indians 
for twenty years. The manner of his return, as related to me by Mr. 
McWhorter, was singular, and furnishes an interesting and instructive 
romance of the border. One Baker, one of John Waggoner's neighbors, 
went to Ohio to " squat," and on Paint Creek saw Peter with a band of 
Indians, recognizing him by the strong family resemblance. Baker at 
once wrote to the elder Waggoner, telling him of his discovery, and the 
latter soon visited the Paint Creek band, with a view to inducing his 
son to return home. But Peter was loth to go. He was united to a 
squaw, and by her had two children. In tears, she bitterly opposed 
his going. When finally he yielded to parental appeals, he promised her 
he would soon be back again. When the time for his return to the 
forest came, his relatives kept him under guard; when it had passed, 
he was afraid to return to his Indian relatives, having broken his word. 
Gradually he became reconciled in a measure to his new surroundings, 
but was ever melancholy, frequently lamenting that he had left his 
jjavage family. " Some time after his return to civilization," continues 

Of Border Warfare. 411 

the mouth of Little [304] Kenhawa with a party of men 
as scouts. Following them across the Ohio river, he 
overtook them some distance in the Indian country, and 
retaking the horses, returned to his station. Hitherto 
property recovered from the savages, had been invariably 
restored to those from whom it had been stolen ; but on 
the present occasion a different course was pursued. Con- 
tending that they received compensation for services ren- 
dered by them in Virginia, and were not bound to treat 
without its limits in pursuit of the savages or to retake 
the property of which they had divested its rightful own- 
ers, they claimed the horses as plunder taken from the 
Indians, sold them, and divided the proceeds of sale 
among themselves much to the dissatisfaction of those 
from whom the savages had taken them. 1 

In the course of the ensuing fall, Henry Neal, William 
Triplett and Daniel Rowell, from Neal's station ascended 
the Little Kenhawa in canoes to the mouth of the Burn- 
ing Spring run, from whence they proceeded on a Buffoloe 
hunt in the adjoining woods. But they had been seen as 
they plied their canoes up the river, by a party of Indians, 
who no sooner saw them placed in a situation favoring the 
bloody purposes of their hearts, than they fired upon them. 
Neal and Triplett were killed, and fell into the river. 
Rowell was missed and escaped by swimming the Kenhawa, 
the Indians shooting at him as he swam. In a few days 

McWhorter, " an Indian woman, supposed to be his wife, passed 
through the Hacker Creek settlements, inquiring for Peter, and going 
on toward the East. She appeared to be demented, and sang snatches 
of savage songs. Peter never knew of he'r presence, nor would any 
one inform her of his whereabouts. He was reticent about his life 
among the Indians, and no details of that feature of his career became 
known to his white friends." 

Tecumseh, who is said to have been born on Hacker's Creek, possi- 
bly at a village near the mouth of Jesse's Run, visited the white settle- 
ments there, after the peace, and told the whites of his experiences 
in connection with the Waggoner massacre. R. G. T. 

1 It must be acknowledged that many of these militia forays against 
the Indians partook of the nature of buccaneering. The spoils were 
often considerable. Clark, in his Kaskaskia campaign (1778), captured 
so much booty, in property and slaves, that he declares his men were 
made "almost rich." R. G. T. 

412 Wit hers' s Chronicles 

after the dead were found in a ripple and buried. The 
Indians had not been able to draw them from their watery 
grave, and obtain their scalps. 

During this year unsuccessful attempts were made by 
the general government, to terminate Indian hostilities by 
negotiation. They were too much elated with their recent 
success, to think of burying their resentments in a treaty 
of peace; and so little did they fear the operation of the 
governmental forces, and such was their confidence in 
their own strength, that they not only refused to nego- 
tiate at all, but put to death two of those who were sent 
to them as messengers of peace. Major Truman and Col. 
Hardin, severally sent upon this mission, were murdered 
by them ; and when commissioners to treat with them, 
were received by them, their only answer was, a positive 
refusal to enter into a treaty. 1 

When this determination was made known to the 
President, every precaution which could be used, was taken 
by him to prevent the recurrence of these enormities 
which were daily committed on the [305J frontier, and 
particularly in the new state of Kentucky. Gen. St. Clair, 
after having asked that a court of enquiry should be held, 
to consider of his conduct in the campaign of 1791, and 
finding that his request could not be granted, resigned the 
command of the army, and was succeeded by Gen. Anthony 
"Wayne. That the operations of the army might not be 

1 In the spring of 1792, Major Trueman, Colonel Hardin, and Mr. 
Freeman were dispatched from Fort Washington by different routes, to 
open peace negotiations, but they were murdered by the savages. Gen. 
Rufus Putnam, aided by Hekewelder, the Moravian, succeeded in bind- 
ing the Wabash and Illinois Indians to keep the peace. Later, Benja- 
min Lincoln, Timothy Pickering, and Beverly Randolph were ordered 
by the president to go to the Maumee to conclude a general treaty which 
Indians had declared their willingness to enter into. But the commis- 
sioners were detained at Niagara by sham conferences with Gov. John 
Graves Simcoe, of Canada, until the middle of July, when the Indians 
sent them word that unless they would in advance " agree that the 
Ohio shall remain the boundary between us," the proposed " meeting 
would be altogether unnecessary." The commissioners declined to ac- 
cept this ultimatum, and returned home. Meanwhile, General Wayne 
was prosecuting preparations for an active campaign against the hos- 
tiles. R. G. T. 

Of Border Warfare. 413 

defeated as heretofore, by a too great reliance on undisci- 
plined militia, it was recommended to Congress to author- 
ize the raising of three additional regiments of regular 
soldiers; and the bill for complying with this recommen- 
dation, notwithstanding it was strenuously opposed by a 
stong party hostile to the then administration, was finally 
passed. 1 

The forts Hamilton and Jefferson, erected by Gen. 
St. Clair, continued to be well garrisoned; but there was 
some difficulty in supplying them with provisions the In- 
dians being always in readiness to intercept them on their 
way. /(As early as April 1792, they taught us the necessity 
of having a strong guard to escort supplies with safety, 
by a successful attack on Major Adair; who with one 
hundred and twenty volunteers from Kentucky, had 
charge of a number of pack horses laden with provisions. 
He was engaged by a body of savages, not much superior 
in number, and although he was under cover of Fort St. 
Clair, yet did they drive him into the fort, and carry off 
the provisions and pack horses. The courage and bold 
daring of the Indians, was eminently conspicuous on this 
occasion. They fought with nearly equal numbers, 
against a body of troops, better tutored in the science of 
open warfare, well mounted and equipped, armed with 
every necessary weapon, and almost under the guns of the 
fort. And they fought successfully, killing one captain 
and ten privates, wounding several, and taking property 
estimated to be worth fifteen thousand dollars. Nothing 
seemed to abate their ardor for war. Neither the strong 
garrisons placed in the forts erected so far in advance of 
the settlements, nor the great preparations which were 
making for striking an effectual blow at them, caused them 

'On a plain near the old French-Indian-English trading village, 
called Logstown (just below the present Economy, Pa., on the north 
side of the Ohio, 18 miles below Pittsburg), Wayne's army lay en- 
camped from November, 1792, to Aprfl 30, 1793. The army was fanci- 
fully called the "Legion of the United States," and the camp was known 
as Legionville. From here, Wayne proceeded to Cincinnati, and took 
up his headquarters in Fort Washington. R. G. T. 

414 Wither^s Chronicles 

for an instant to slacken in hostilities, or check their 
movements against the frontier^/ 

In the spring of 1793, a party of warriors proceeding 
towards the head waters of the Monongahela river, dis- 
covered a marked way, leading a direction which they did 
not know to be inhabited by whites. It led to a settle- 
ment which had been recently made on Elk river, by Jere- 
miah and Benjamin Carpenter and a few others from Bath 
county, and who had been particularly careful to make 
nor leave any path which might lead to a discovery of their 
situation, but Adam O'Brien moving into the same section 
of country in the spring of 1792, and being rather an in- 
difterent woodsman, incautiously blazed the trees in 
several directions so as to enable him readily to find his 
home, when business or pleasure should have drawn him 
from it. It was upon one of these marked traces that the 
Indians chanced to fall ; and pursuing it, came to the de- 
serted cabin of [306] O'Brien : he having returned to the 
interior, because of his not making a sufficiency of 
grain for the subsistence of his family. Proceeding from 
O'Brien's, they came to the House of Benjamin Carpen- 
ter, whom they found alone and killed. Mrs. Carpenter 
being discovered by them, before she was aware of their 
presence, was tomahawked and scalped, a small distance 
from the yard. 

The burning of Benjamin Carpenter's house, led to a 
discovery of these outrages; and the remaining inhabit- 
ants of that neighborhood, remote from any fort or popu- 
lous settlement to which they could fly for security, retired 
to the mountains and remained for several days concealed 
in a cave. They then caught their horses and moved their 
families to the West Fork ; and when they visited the 
places of their former habitancy for the purpose of collect- 
ing their stock and carrying it oft' with their other prop- 
erty, scarce a vestige of them was to be seen, the Indians 
had been there after they left the cave, and burned the 
houses, pillaged their movable property, and destroyed the 
cattle and hogs. 

Among the few interesting incidents which occurred 
in the upper country, during this year, was the captivity 

Of Border Warfare. 415 

and remarkable escape of two brothers, John and Henry 
Johnson : the former thirteen, the latter eleven years of 
age. They lived at a station on the west side of the Ohio 
river near above Indian Short creek ; and being at some 
distance from the house, engaged in the sportive amuse- 
ments of youth, became fatigued and seated themselves on 
an old log for the purpose of resting. They presently 
observed two men coming towards them, whom they 
believed to be white men from the station until they ap- 
proached so close as to leave no prospect of escape by 
flight, when to their great grief they saw that two Indians 
were beside them. They were made prisoners, and taken 
about four miles, when after partaking of some roasted 
meat and parched corn given them by their captors, they 
were arranged for the night, by being placed between the 
two Indians and each encircled in the arms of the one 
next him. 

Henry, the younger of the brothers, had grieved much 
at the idea of being carried off by the Indians, and during 
his short but sorrowful journey across the hills, had wept 
immoderately. John had in vain endeavored to comfort 
him with the hope that they should be enabled to elude 
the vigilence of the savages, and to return to the hearth of 
their parents and brethren. He refused to be comforted. 
The ugly red man, with his tomahawk and scalping knife, 
which had been often called in to quiet the cries of his in- 
fancy, was now actually before him ; and every scene of 
torture and of torment which had been depicted, by nar- 
ration, to his youthful eye, was now present to his terri- 
fied imagination, hightened by the thought that they were 
about to be re-enacted on himself. In anticipation of this 
horrid doom for some time he wept in bitterness and afflic- 
tion ; but 

[307] " The tear down childhood's cheek that flows, 
Is like the dew drop on the rose ; 
When next the summer breeze comes by 
And waves the bush, the flower is dry." 

When the fire was kindled at night, the supper prepared 
and offered to him, all idea of his future fate was merged 

416 Withers' s Chronicles 

in their present kindness ; and Henry soon sunk to sleep, 
though enclosed in horrid hug, by savage arms. 

It was different with John. He felt the reality of 
their situation. He was alive to the anguish which he 
knew would agitate the bosom of his mother, and he 
thought over the means of allaying it so intensely, that 
sleep was banished from his eyes. Finding the others all 
locked in deep repose, he disengaged himself from the em- 
brace of the savage at his side, and walked to the fire. To 
test the soundness of their sleep, he rekindled the dying 
blaze, and moved freely about it. All remained still and 
motionless, no suppressed breathing, betrayed a feigned 
repose. He gently twitched the sleeping Henry, and 
whispering softly in his ear, bade him get up. Henry 
obeyed, and they both stood by the fire. " I think, said 
John, we had better go home now." " Oh ! replied Henry, 
they will follow and catch us again." " Never fear that, 
rejoined John, we'll kill them before we go." The idea 
was for some time opposed by Henry ; but when he beheld 
the savages so soundly asleep, and listened to his brother's 
plan of executing his wish, he finally consented to act the 
part prescribed him. 

The only gun which the Indians had, was resting 
against a tree, at the foot of which lay their tomahawks. 
John placed it on a log, with the muzzle near to the head of 
one of the savages ; cocked it, and leaving Henry with his 
finger to the trigger, ready to pull upon the signal being 
given, he repaired to his own station. Holding in his 
hand one of their tomahawks, he stood astride of the other 
Indian, and as he raised his arm to deal death to the sleep- 
ing savage, Henry fired, and shooting oft* the lower part of 
the Indian's jaw, called to his brother, "lay on, for I've done 
for this one," seized up the gun and ran off. The first blow 
of the tomahawk took effect on the back of the neck, and 
was not fatal. The Indian attempted to spring up ; but 
John repeated his strokes with such force and so quickly, 
that he soon brought him again to the ground ; and leav- 
ing him dead proceeded on after his brother. 

They presently came to a path which they recollected 
to have travelled, the preceding evening, and keeping 

Of Border Warfare. 417 

along it, arrived at the station awhile before day. The in- 
habitants were however, all up and in much uneasiness for 
the fate of the boys ; and when they came near and heard 
a well known voice exclaim in accents of deep distress, 
"Poor little fellows, they are killed or taken prisoners" John 
replied aloud, " No mother, we are here again." 

When the tale of their captivity, and the means by 
which their deliverance was effected, were told, they did 
not obtain full credence. [308] Piqued at the doubts ex- 
pressed by some, John observed, " you had better go and 
see." " But, can you again find the spot," said one. 
" Yes, replied he, I hung my hat up at the turning out 
place and can soon shew you the spot." Accompanied by 
several of the men, John returned to the theatre of his dar- 
ing exploits; and the truth of his statement received am- 
ple confirmation. The savage who had been tomahawked 
was lying dead by the fire the other had crawled some 
distance ; but was tracked by his blood until found, when 
it was agreed to leave him, " as he must die at any rate." 

Companies of rangers had been for several seasons 
stationed on the Ohio river, for the greater security of the 
persons and property of those who resided, on and near the 
frontier. During this year a company which had been sta- 
stationed at the mouth of Fishing creek, 1 and had re- 
mained there until its term of service had expired, de- 
termined then on a scout into the Indian country ; and 
crossing the river, marched on for some days before they 
saw a