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Full text of "A true story of the extraordinary feats, adventures and sufferings of Matthew Calkins, Chenango Co., N.Y., in the war of the revolution--never before published. Also, the deeply interesting story of the captivity of General Patchin, of Schoharie Co., N. Y., when a lad: by Brant and his Indians. In the same war: written from the lips of the respective heroes above-named. The spirit of evil and the spirit of good: a Saginaw tale; from Schoolcraft's researches. And the story of Conrad Mayer, the hunter .."



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' A 

TRUE STORY 

OF THE 

fTRAORDINARY FEATS, ADVENTURES AND SUFFERINGS Ci 

OF 






ENANGO q04 N. Y., IN "IIE WAR OF TfJE REVOLUTION— NEV£R}4^ 
BEFORE PUBLISHED. "i) 

ALSO, THE . . \£^ 

DEEPLY INTERESTING STORY OF THE 

G-APTIVITY OF GENERAL PATCHIN, g 

• SCHOI^ARID CO.. N. Y., WHEN A LAD : BY BRAN-I^aND HiS' 
I INDIANS. 

a'KE SAME WAR: WRITTEN FROM THE LIPS OF THE RESPECTiVE u^ 

HEROES ABOVE-NAMED. 

). 

^'THE SPIRIT OF E¥IIi A^S> THE SFIKIT OF G005> : 



li 



A SAGINAW TALE ; FROM SCHOOLCRAFT'S RESEARCHES. 
j» AND THE STORY OF . 

COr^'KA® MASTER, TWB MSJNTE'fsi 



Who will spurn a story of that savage war, 
Wiiich pour'd out blood from many a horrid scar, 
And won for millions, a hiding place — a home — 
A refuge for the race — ages yet to come 1 

BY PllIEST, 

AUTHOR OF SHJ^ERAh W0KK3, PAMPHLr.TS, &C. 



Capyriofht secured according to law. 



LANSINGBURGH: 

PKINTED BY W. IIARKNESS 



1§40. 






i<^ 



price 18 'S--i ceuls. 



n .' -^ X 



C 



ALLUSIONS TO THE MAIN POINTS OF THE FOLLOWING ACCOUNTS. 



Calkin's enlistment in the war of the Revolution — when — and where. 

First rendezvous at the city of Albany, under Colonel VVilJett. 

Marched on an expedition to Johnstown— Stone Robie, and Fort Plain; all on the Mohawk, 
of bloody memory. 

Secret expedition in the night, but the destination unknown to the men. 

The rescue of Fort Plant, an inland place, near the Mohawk, from a large force of Indians 
who menaced its capture. 

Death of two young men by the Indians, who had gone from the Fort, before day light, to a 
distant pasture for some liorses. 

Appearance of many Indians on the skirts of the forest, surrounding Fort Plant at sun-rise. 

The effect of chain shot when thrown among them from the gims of the Fort. 

Perilous rescue of the cattle of the neighborhood, from an old pasture, situate some distance 
from Fort Plant, in the wood?, by Calkins and a fellow soldier. 

Seeming terror of the cattle,while in the pasture, on account of scenting the Indians, as was 
believed, and their race to the fort when let out. 

Pursued by the Indians before reaching the Fort, but met with chain shot, thrown over the 
heads of the drove and the men behind them. 

Willctt's pursuit of these Indians, with fifteen hundred men — overtook them while cooking- 
their breakfast — their flight, c'j-c. 

The Stockbridge and Oneida Indians sent in chase, under an^ Indian Colonel, called Leivey, 
with an hundred wiiite men, Calkins being one of tlie number. 

Caution of this Indian Colonel, and his refusal to continue the chase, on account of the signs 
of an ambush. 

Property retaken which was abandoned by the enemy from the heat of the chase, through the 
wilderness, near Clark's Ville, Otsego Co., N. Y. 

Famous attempt of Colonel VViHeTt to capture Fort Oswego, in the heart of winter. 

Great fatigue in making and breaking a road through deep snow to Oneida lake. 

Failure of the enterprise on account of the v/ant of provision — treachery of an Indian guide — 
loss of the right way, &c. 

Sufferings of the troops for vrant of food — devouring .of dogs, &c. on their way back. 

The sufferings of four men in particular from hunger and fatigue, one of whom was Matthew 
Calkins. 

Great numbers of the troops frozen in the e.xpedition, and crippled for life. 

Fortunate escape. of Calkins and three men, from being captured, having travelled a whole 
day betv>-een two detachments of the enemy, without being discovered. 

A scouting party of Indians and v.hite men. Calkins beingone of theoi— Powwow of the [ndians, 
leir improvidence in relation to food--catch fish with their hands— quantity which they dc- 
oured at once. 

Story of Carr, the tor3% and the Carr-Mount farm, Otsego Co., N. Y. 

Daath of a scout by treachey, by the means of this Carr — the wonderful escape of one of 
their number by running when pursued by Indians. 

Expedition against C7irr, discovery of property tied in parcels in the tops of the trees, in the 
woods round his premises. 

The interesting story of the captivity of Gen. Patchin of Schoharie Co., N. Y., with tiic 
capture of thirteen others at the same time by Brant and his Indians. 

'J'he Spirit of Evil and Spirit of Good : an Indian Tale. 

Conrad Mayer and Susan Grey, a hunting story of the west. 



We hope the public will excuse the reprinting of Gen. Patchin's narrative, when we state, 
tliat many who purchased of the first edition, desire to see a second, as they had losl or worn 
out the first ; aud besides, there v\ere of the first edition but a few prjnted. 



A TRUE HISTORY OF THE FEATS, ADVENTURES AND SUFFER- 

INGS OF MATTHEW CALKINS IN THE TIME 

OF THE REVOLUTION. 

'Tvvould make one weep to see the troubled face 

Of tlie worn out soldier on an Indian trail, * 

Tracking the stealthy foot from place to place, 

To hear the sudden scream and the infant's wail. 

Such sights were often seen, along Olsego's hills ; — 

Such sounds, Chenango's forests oflC7i knew. 

Along the vales of Delaware— its brooks and rills — 

And Old Schoharie's woods of bloody hue. 

That memorable event, the Revolution in America, had progressed with all its 
mighty deeds, nearly live years, — painting on the canvass of nations, the story of 
her wrongs imposed by tyranny, — when Matthew Calkins, the man above allud- 
ed to, became, though young, a Volunteer m that war, with thousands of others 
of similar ages and principles. At this time, he lived at the residence of his 
father, in Columbia Co., N. Y., in a place called Austerlilz ; and knowing that 
Colonel VVilleit of intrepid memory, was at Albany, enlisting recruits for the 
Continental service, Calkins became determined to make one of the number, 
though blood and perils should mark his steps. He now repaired to that ren- 
dezvous, being but eighteen years old. On coming to that city, he entered a- 
mong the nine-months men; but in a short time saw fit to enlist for two years, 
in what was called the three years"* Regiment : — cue year of t':e existence of 
i\mt peculiar Regiment — having at the time of Calkin's enlistment, passed by. 
The first service, except the drilling, training and exercise incidental to the ed- 
ucation of a soldier under arms — wa& a march to Johnstown, Stone Robie and 
Fort Plain — places on the Mohawk, where had been committed, in the earlie 
times of the Revolution, many a deed of horror, under the eye and auspices of 
the bloody .Johnstons, Brant and Coajutors. The detachment Calkins belong- 
ed to, v/as commanded by Major Benscoughton, and consisted of three hundred 
men. 

Nov/, while lying at Fort Plain, Calkins and the company of which he was a 
member, who were about thirty in number, and commanded by one Captain 
Tierce, were called upon secretly, by Lieutenant Thornton, long before day- 
light, or the time of the revelee, to turn out instantly, as they were to go on an 
expedition ; but where, he knew not. Jn a tv.inkiing, all were ready, when it 
was perceived, that they were destined on a most dangerous route, as they were 
directed to penetrate through a four-mile v/oods, to a place where there was a 
block-house called Fort Plant. This place of security had been built by the 
people, for the mutual safety of the neighborhoods situated round about, which 
they had callod Fort Plant, as it was to protect the planters or farmers of that 
part of the country. 

At Fort Plant, it had been ascertained duiingthe night, that on the morrow, 
the place would be besieged, by a force of seven or eight hundred Indians and 
tories, vvhose operations were to be directed by British oiliccrs. It was a iViend- 
ly Indian, who had, at the peril of his life, discovered this party and their de- 
signs, and made haste to communicate the same to Fort Plant. On this account 
there was found a man, who carried the news to Fort Plain, and requested ini- 



5 

mediate succor, as that they were in constant expectation of an onset. In Fort 
Plant there were but thirty men, and unless they could be reinforced, it was ex* 
tremely probable the place would be taken, which was filled with the families, 
women and children of the settlement round about, and would become the prey 
of the ladians' bloody knife, unless successfully resisted. The troop now call- 
ed out for its assistance, the hifantry, who arrived safely at the place, 
just as the day was dawning. It appeared on their arrival that the enemy had 
been encamped within a short distance of the Fort during the niglU, but did 
not seem inclined to commence the onset till they should have day-light to do it 
by. They, no doubt knew well its weakness, and therefore, had no fear as to 
the result, and besides this, no doubt, wished to capture it as warily, and as ea- 
sily as possible, in order to save the lives of their own men. Now the silent 
arrival of the Infantry from Fort Plain, had some how made a tremendous im- 
pression upon the minds of the enemy in the woods, as they had evidently seen 
the troops by means of their spies lurking in the dark about the Fort, when 
they made their entry, just as day-light was streaking the east. On seeing this 
body of m.en entering from the way of Fort Plain the spies fled into the svoods, 
with, in all probability, an exaggerated account of their numbers, as it was not 
light enough to compute them. In what direction from Fort Plant tlie camp of 
the Indians was situated, there was no one knew ; not even the friendly 
Indian, who gave the alarm, as he had only seen them within a few miles of Fort 
Plant the day previous, and some time before it was time to camp down for the 
;]ight, and therefore could not tell that particular. 

Now, some time before day-light, there had been sent out from tb.e Fort, two 
young men, for the purpose of bringing in a pair of horses, that had been put 
in a back-wood pasture, to feed, as it was then in September. By this time, 
day-light had proi:;ressed, so that it was quite easy to see a considerable dis- 
tance from the Fort, which stood in an open space, the trees having been cut 
down in all directions, to the amount of many acres. On account of the new 
acquisition of Infantry, to the Fort, the force of which now amounted to a 
company of sixty men, all well armed, and as it was now light enough, they sallied 
forth to look about, and make-such discoveries as they could. At this very junc- 
ture, the sallying out of the troops, the two young men, who had been sent for 
the horses, were seen just emerging from the woods, riding upon a full jump, 
having found the horses, and were almost safely arrived within the fort. These 
two young men were the sons of ditj'erent families, then in the Fort",' who, with 
many others, had fled thither for safety. But at the moment, when tliey sup- 
posed all was well, and that they should reach that depot of safety, the Fort, there 
was heard behirid them, from the direction of the woods, the shots of two guns, 
when both the young men were seen to fall from their horses. In a moment af- 
ter, there were also seen the forms of two Indians, running with great speed to- 
ward the fallen young men ; who, on coming up to them, sunk each IVis 
hatchet deep into their Iieads ; then took off their scalps, and fled to the wilder- 
ness ; — all of which was done so far from the Fort and tlic troops, and in so short 
a lime, that no rescue could be sent, or shot reach them. 

In a moment or two after, there were seen on the verge of the wiluerrvess, a 
great many Indians ; at whom the cannon of (he Fort were letofl'; — loaded with 
chain shot; when they disappeared, as they did not seem to like the sound, nor 
the whizzing of cold iron among the trees about (heir heads. Even prior to 
(his demonstration on the verge of the woods, and before the arrival of the In- 
fantry, there had been seen b) the sentinels, in several uir'ections the dark forms 
of human beings, peering about, at whom the guns had been discharged, when 
they had fled ; but it was not known that any had been killed. 

The direction the Indians disappeared in, was that of the west. Now, in a 



6 

southerly course, from the Fort, there was at a distance of a mile or more, ^ 
place cleared, of considerable extent ; and was used as a bush pasture. Into 
this old field, the people, who had fled to the Fort, had driven all their cattle, a^ 
well as horses, amounting in number to more that sixty. 

It was, therefore, a desirable thing to get these cattle within the Fort, as itf 
was now certain that the Indians would fall upon, and destroy them, so sure a^ 
they should make the discovery. A great many of them were cows, and the! 
children especially kneeded the milk, as well as the rest. Now, in ordei* 
to this, the whole sixty infantry, in the full blaze of martial glory, the sun jusli 
then rising, shone brightly upon the burnished barrels and bayonets of theii' 
guns, while the thunder of the bass drums, the rattle of the tenor, and the 
shrill fife, with a terrible clangor shook the wilderness with their harmony, 
deceiving by this display, the ambushed enemy, who, no doubt, believed the 
Fort to be full offerees, and the infantry then in display, but a mere detach- 
ment sent out to reconnoiter. The course the troops took, was along the path 
through the clearing leading off toward the old pasture, where the cattle were 
secreted. Now, as soon as they came to the verge of the woods, the path con- 
tinuing on — which lead to the field through a dense forest of a full mile in ex-., 
tent, the troops came to a halt. This was done in order to consult as to the bes'E 
method of recovering the cattle, as it could not be long before the enemy wojld 
know of them ; then it would be too late for the rescue. Here they came to 
the conclusion, that it was not best for the whole company to go, but rather thai 
two or three should be selected, only who could do the service as well, and fai' 
better, than to expose the whole force to an attack in the woods, and besides, wer(j 
tlie Indians then near, watching their motions, they would not be as likely to 
discover the operation of the sending of these men after the cattle as the}" 
would be more likely to watch the main body. 

Here they selected from among the troops, two men, who were deemed the 
swiftest on foot of any in the army, one of whom was the hero of this account, 
Matthew Calkins. Now, when the two stood out from the ranks, destined for this 
dangerous undertaking, Calkins was objected to on account of his youth, by the 
conunandant. But the sergeant of his company, who knew his courage as well as 
speed in the race, replied, that Calkins could run to the pasture and back again, 
sooner than any other man on the ground, when the comm.andant replied, "/Acn 
let him go.'''' The two adventurers now took their guns, setting oti'on a full run, 
having the secret sympathies, as well as the prayers of the whole company, anc', 
were soon through the woods, to the dreaded pasture containing the cattle. Iif 
a moment they had let the barrs down, when the animals of themselves rushed ir, 
a mass to get out. for they appeared to be aware of danger, having no doubl 
smelt the Indians, as they were looking towards the woods, blowing and snort- 
ing in terror. As soon as they were out of the field, they lied as if chased by a 
hundred wolves, directly along the path toward the Fort, as if they knew thera 
was safety, the two men following after close behind. It was not long ere the}* 
came out of the woods, when the men from among whom the two had been sef 
lected, parted to the right and left, the drove passing through the midst; wher^ 
they closed again and followed after. This being atlected. and as they were ii^ 
progress toward the Fort, being highly gratified in saving the cattle ; there wa: 
heard the fearful roar of several cannon shots, the balls of which passed ovcit 
the drove, into tlie woods beyond. This was imexpected, as well as the cause 
unknown, till on looking back they saw in the very path which they had followed 
behind the cattle, a great many Indians, as well as that the skirtof the forest vi-as 
full of them, in the same direction, but weie not near enough to reach the Arae-j 
ricans with their rifles. Here it was evident, that, had they not rescued the catt 
tie, as they did, they would have been lost, as the two men had barely freed thq 



7 
drove from their pasture, before the Indians were on their track. Bat as the 
balls and chain-shot of the Fort, fell rather plentifully in the woods where the 
Indians were dodging about, they soon disappeared. * Now, all this was done ■ 
before breakfast, which gave the troops as well as the families in the Fort a good 
appetite and great joy, there having been none killed, except the two young 
men, over whose remains, there was the weeping of parents and friends, who 
had ventured to the spot, and brought their bodies in. The tiiirtv men now re- 
turned to Fort Plain, which was but four miles distant, by which time Willett 
had raised a force of fifteen hundred men, and that very night pursued the ene- 
my, who, it was discovered had gone the way of Boman's Creek, which has its rise 
somewhere near Cherry Valley. About day-light, it was ascertained, they were 
near the enemy, and that ihey were engaged in cooking their brealcfast, at the 
place where they had encamped during the night. But before they had got 
iirough with the desirable othce of getting their breakfast, by some means or 
^her, they had made the discovery, that they were pursued by a pow- 
erful force. In a moment each man seized his arms and fled, leaving their 
cookery as it was. Directly, Willett's forces arrived at the spot, where he found 
their tires in order, and great quantities of pork, with the hair on, roasting around 
them. But he made no halt, passing directly on in pursuit, the soldiers snatch- 
ing the meat from the wooden spits, as they went, which they crammed into their 
packs, against some hour of need, or till time could be afforded to tinish its 
fjooking, and to use it. Soon after thif, Willett came to a halt, and selecting a 
lundred men of the whites, among whom was Calkins, and a hundred Indians of 
he Stockbridge and Oneida tribes, sent them on in pursuit of the fleeing enemy, 
while himself and the residue of the troops returned. This was a most singular 
transaction, as the two hundred who were now selected to pursue the enemv, 
were vastiiy inferior in numbers, while the whole torce of Willett was double 
that of the i'oe; and had he pursued them, as he was, would no doubt have soon 
overtaken and destroyed them; this u'as a strange transaction for a brave general 
as Willett was reputed to be. 

The hundred Indians selected, were commanded by an, aboriginal Colonel, 
named Lewey, who was an Oneida chief; these, v.ith the hundred white men, set 
olfin chase of the enemy. On the route there were a considerable number of 
horses retaken, laden with plunder, as well as a number of cattle, the fugitive 
foe having left them all along in the woods as they lied. Among these, "there 
was one horse found, having a side ot' leather tied round his body, on which 
there was a hog which they had shot and split length wise,with its legs tied toi'ether 
over the horse's back, in this way forming a balance, to keep it from falling off. 
The two hundred continued the cliase, till some time in the afternoon of that 
day, and had got over the high ground east of Cherry Valley, where they began 
to descend into a well known gloomy range of hesnlock wilderness, lying along 
in the directioit of Ciarksville, when Lewey, the Oneida chief, and commander 
of the Indians retused to go any further, as that from appearances which he well 
understood, the enemy were preparing an amlnisli, into which he had no notion 
of beiiig entangled. Here, as the Indians would go no further, the whites, as was 
right came to a stand, when the whole party returned to Fort Plain. Thus the 
enemy weie allowed to escape ; a most singular aiiair indeed, which we know 
not how 10 excuse. 

Now, in the winter following this affair, in the month of February, there tell a 
snow full four feet deep ; this w^as in 1783, the last year of the war, v/hen orders 
were issued .'or the troops at Fort Plain, to repair to Fort Herkimer up the Mo- 
hawk, under (he command of the same Colonel Willett ; Calkins being one in the 
company commanded by Captain Ihnrnton, and were but thirty men in number. 
From Fort Hei-kimer, the coaipiiny of Thornton was sent forward with axes and 



8 

snow shoes to open a road, bj stamping a track, and by cutting away trees which 
might be fallen across the path, such as it was at a time when there was not a 
house at the place now called Utica, and is likewise a noted city. The road to 
be thus opened, was to reach tVom Fort Herkimer to the head of Oneida lake, 
which took them four days to perform, a Job of the most fatiguing and laborious 
nature ; being obliged to camp down in the deep snow every night, and to rest 
on hemlock boughs around a tire, which, however, vyas as large as they had a 
mind to build, as dry dead trees and brush were abundant. The way they 
broke the road was by two walking side by side, taking the lead for a certain 
distance, the residue following in their track, in like manner, there being fifteen 
couple, who in this way made a very good road. The object of opening this route 
was for the transporting of a body of troops in sleighs to the head of Oneida 
lake, and from thence to its foot on the ice, with the view of going from this 
place down to tiic out-let, which is caiied Oswego river, to capture the Fort at its 
confluence with Ontario, named Fort Oswego, then occupied by the British, a 
most dangerous undertaking. There were in this ex{>edition, nearly a thousand 
men, for the transportation of whom, Willett haa pressed a hundred and twenty 
sleiglis from among the farmers on the Mohawk. From the foot of the lake, 
where they left the sleighs, and their owners, they went down the river chiefly 
on the ice. They had travelled nearly two days toward the place of destination 
when they came to a place, where, it then appeared, that Willett had caused the 
construction of a great number of ladders for the purpose of scaling the wails of 
Fort Oswe2;o. Here it became necessary to carry these ladders by hand, the re- 
sidue of the way, requiring sixteen men to a ladder, a job of the most fatiguing 
description ; aniong whom was the lad, Calkins, who it appears, was ever found 
in places most clithci'lt to he overcon\e, as well as dangerous; for let it be ob- 
served the men who carried tiiefe ladders, were also to ascend them, when they 
should be set up against the walls of the Fort, wheie death was almost sure to 
be met with. At this place, Willett ordered that every dog found among the 
troops should be killed, as they might, by barking, or some such occurrence, be- 
tray them ; for it v/as his intention on the night of the following day to storm and 
captuie Fort Oswego; on wjiich account the dogs, a dozen in number or so, 
were immediately shot and laid up in a heap there on the snow, which was 
rath.er grievous lo the owners. From this place to the Fort, it was supposed to 
be about twelve miles, which they intended to approach under cover of (he next 
night, in a slow, secret and leisurely manner, reserving the strength and activity 
of tl;e men, as much as possible, for the coming fray. Here, they took up the 
ladders, and proceeded till night came on, which was now near by. During the 
next day they hastened forward as rapidly as was convenient, intending to get 
near enough to can)p down, a little while, and then by the hour of midnight to 
reach and capture the Fort. On the tb.ird day from the loot of the lake, tow^ard 
night, Willett, as he did not knov/ tlie most direct way, nor any of his men, set 
an Indian, who was an.ong them, to be his guide. 

Now they set out with good hearts, knowing themselves to be in the neigh- 
borhood of the contemplated battle, and that before morning, all would be over, 
as they would be either the victors, or sleep in death around its walls. The 
snow was deep, hut they wallowed on — the Indian hading the way. Afier a 
few hours' travel with great labor, they found that the hour of midnight had pas- 
sed, and yet the Fort was not in sight ; still hour after hour passed away, and yet 
the the Fort was invisible. Soon, there was seen in the east, the light flush of 
day, and yet there was no Fort Oswego in view. Here now was trouble enough, 
as it was impossible for them to remain so near the enemy a whole day, without 
imminent dai^^cv, and besides it was found that there were no provisions \n the 
army ; — they had consumed the last morsel ; believing, it is presumed, they 



9 

should breakfast in the captured Fort. As to the Indian guide, he was either ig- 
norant of the way, or was treacherous ; however that was, the men were in- 
stantly for putting him to death, to which end he was placed under guard, and 
sent ahead, as the whole force immediately took their backtrack as fast as possible, 
knowing they should have nothing to eat till they could reachFoit Herkimer again. 
And to add to their very great trouble, it was extremely cold, and growing cold- 
er continually : on which account the men who had the Indian in keeping, let 
him go, as they had trouble enough of their own, who was never after seen or 
heard of, as it is likely he then went to the British, or among his fellows to the 
west. The time consumed in going from Fort Herkimer to the spot where the 
Indian gave up finding old Oswego, was six days, for which length of time 
they had drawn provisions, and for no more, making it evident that Willett had 
calculated to feed his troops in the premises of the enemy; a very poor calcu- 
lation indeed, as it would have been much safer to carry more than enough, 
even had they taken the place, than too little, as it might be a failure. There was, 
therefore, in prospect, a fearful expectation of starving to death, even before 
they could reach the place where the sleighs were left, and certainly before 
they could get back to Fort Herkimer, as it would take them at least five days, 
if not six, which it actually did. At the spot where they gave up taking Fort 
Oswego, there they left the ladders, as a monument of the failure of the enter- 
prise, and fled back as fast as they could. Now, by the time they had returned 
as far as to where the dogs were killed, which was nearly two days, so great 
was their hunger and desire of food, that in a tv/inkling they were cut 
to pieces and devoured nearly raw, as they could not wait to build tires and then 
till it was cooked ; so that they snatched the flesh half burnt as it was, from each 
other, devouring it like so many Hyenas ; and yet there were several who went 
without, as it was impossible for them lo get any ; among whom. Calking was 
one. One man was seen, who had procured no better piece than a part of a 
hind leg, to be tugging and gnawing away at the bone, for half a day or so, as 
they were travelling along, deriving therefrom much support as well as happi- 
ness, as 'he said to his fellov/s, vvho v. ere eyeing and coveting the possession of 
his treasure, the dog's hind leg. 

On the way down the river Oswego, Calkins being one of the number, who 
assisted in carrying the ladders, fell and hurt his leg, whicli lamed him consider- 
ably, so that in returning, he requested not to be compelled to keep the rank 
and file order of march ; but to be allowed to get along by himself as well as he 
could, which privilege was granted to him, and three others in a similar condi- 
tion. V/e wish the reader to notice that in the river Oswego, there is, in a cer- 
tain place of its course, a great bend, being all of twenty-four miles round, while 
across the country, it is not more than twelve; which distance, the army, in 
coming down the river on the ice, took the advantage of, by leaving the river 
and travelling across the country, till they came to the river again. Now, Calk- 
ins and his fellows, being separated from the main body, managed to get ahead, 
picking their way frequently to considerable advantage, so that they soon were 
out of sight of tlie irieh behind them. 

They were following in this way on up the river on the ice, but as they were 
busy in making all the speed they could, and being faint from hunger, they mis- 
sed and went 6^ the place, where the army, in coming down the river, came on to 
the ice again, after having ciossed the land as above noticed, for the sake of its 
being nearer, and instead of going otFthe ice at this place, as they should have 
done, they continued on up the river, and greatly out of their way. But on they 
went not knowing the mistake, till night overtook them ; when they came to a 
place of thick woods, on the shore, and it being too dark to travel, they came 
lo a halt, being weary as well as hungry, for it was then three days since Calk- 



^0 
in«, especially, had taken a morsel of food, as it was his lot not to be able to get 
a particle of dog meat. Here they went up the bank into the woods and hav- 
ing gone a little way, they struck a light with some Pv7ik as it is called, 
which they had with them, and built a fire of such dry wood as came to hand, 
there being abundance in the place ; wrapped themselVes in their blanket and 
fell asleep there on the snow. In the morning they Ibund themselves nearly on 
the ground, having sunk several feet, by the thawing of the snow, occasioned 
from the heat of (he fire and their own bodies, so that they were in quite a deep 
hole, being nearly four feet, as that was the depth of the snow. 

As soon as it was light, they arose from their beds and went down the bank, 
m order to pursue their course, when they became almost sure they had missed 
their way, and the place where they should have left the ice ; but as they now 
found a great many tracks going on up the river, they became re-assured, suppos- 
ing the army, to which they belonged, had gone by i^i the night. Believing this, 
they took courage and pushed on after them. They, however had not 
travelled more than an hour, when, as they came to a jet of land putting out in- 
to tlie river, in the form of a point ; across which they happened to look in a 
direction up the river, saw to their astonishment, not more than twenty rods 
above them, there on the ice as many as thirty men, part white and part In- 
dians, dressed in the British and Canadian costumes, occupied in taking their 
breakflist. 

This was an awful discovery, and frightened them so, that they forgot their 
hunger, and tied back, up the bank and into the woods. Here they now saw, 
that Ihey had indeed missed their way, and were near being taken by the Indians, 
ihey now knew where they were, and immediately addressed themselves to 
leave the river and travel inland (ill they should fuidthe road made by their own 
party when they went down, and in crossing the great bend. They had gone in 
this direction but a little way however, when they found from weakness 
and the great depth of the snow, that it was impossible for them to proceed. 
There was left them now no hope between dying where they were, and giving 
themselves up to the enemy on the ice. They remembered that they had seeS 
the party on the river in the boundless enjoyment of food ; which overcoming 
«// other considerations, brought them to the determination of surrendering. 
Having concluded thus, they were even eager, as the hope of immediate relief 
from the wolf that gnawed at their stomachs quickened them to be with the ene- 
my. So efliectOally will the pain of hunger, humble the proudest heart. But 
as horrible as was the source of this hope, even in this they were doomed to dis- 
appointment ; for in getting on to the ice again and going round the point of land 
we have mentioned, behold the enemy u'erc gone, and quite out of sight. 

But not ai)andoning their purpose, they followed on, in their track, not know- 
ing what the event might be. On coniing to the spot where the party had tak- 
en their meal, one ot the m.en found the rine of a piece of cheese, which he 
eat, saying he had no doubt but that it was a part of a real Cheshire, it 
tasted so good and rich. On pursuring this cource till nearly night, the suffer- 
ers found, thattlieir enemy had left the river, putting on their snow-shoes, and 
had made off across the country to reach the road the troops of Willett had 
travelled, on their ictreat from their attempt to capture Fort Oswego, and from 
thence they went home again, no doubt as ihey saw them no more. 

Now, soon after being relieved from the presence, or neighborhood of the par- 
ty, they came to the place v.here ihey had verged off from the river, in going 
down a few days before, in order to cross the bend by a nearer route. It was near 
8un setat this juncture and the distance from where they then were, was all of 
twelve miles, to the foot of Oneida lake, where the sleighs were left, when 
V'Viilett came down — and which sleighs were to carry them back again. Here, 



11 

two of the men gave out •, namely, Robison and Buckley, saying, it was impossi- 
ble for them to proceed, and that they must lie down and rest where they tten 
were. 

The two bavins; made this resolution, they all went into the woods, a littte 
way from the bank of the river, and gathering some hemlock boughs, made them 
a bed, on which they actually lay down, there on the snow. But Calkins remon- 
strated, and endeavored to exhort them to hold out; but no, they must rest, they 
could go no farther. Here the two others, namely, Calkins and Wilkinson, took 
them by the hand, bidding them an everlasting farewell, saying " as for us we 
s'nall try as long as there is breath in our bodies, to reach the place where 
the sleighs were left," which, if they failed to do before they were gone, then that 
would be tb.eir end. It was now growing dark, when Calkins and his fellow left 
them, believing firmly that the two who had lain down to rest, as they said, would 
never rise from that bed. It was not the meaning of those men to die there, 
but only to rest awhile, not seeming to knov/ that the risk of a little sleep at 
stick a time as that, might place them beyond the time of arriving at the place 
where the sleighs were, in which case, all would be over with them forever, in- 
deed. But they had taken their resolve, and their companions expected to see 
them no more as they left them to pursue their way. In a few moments, how- 
ever, there was heard behind them (he hallooing of somebody, and looking round, 
they saw the two poor fellows coming on again, seeming unwilling to be left 
there alone, when they halted till they came up. Here the whole four renewed 
their courage, being determined to reach the place in time to be carried with 
the rest in the sleighs to Fort Herkimer, even if they were carried dead, and 
not to be left in the woods, to be devoured by the wolves. That was a dreadful 
night to the sullerers, as the faintness of death was upon them, their eyes were 
unsteady, the trees nor the snow kept their places, but seemed moving like the 
unsteady waiers, while ever and anon, the thoughts of food fell upon tlieir me- 
mory like salvation lo.st, which still lingered about the visions of the n^ind to 
mock the unsatisfied appetite, and desire of happiness. In this starved condi- 
tion they were doubly exposed to be frozen, so that their progress along the way 
was more like the sick and stooping forms of emaciated mad men just escaped 
from their chains, v/retciied, horror-stricken and in pain, objects of pity, even 
to the well-fed eye of persecution itself. In this condition, they had worn the 
night away, till nearly the lonesome hour of two o'clock in the morning, vtdien 
they could hear the Joyf.il noise of the neighing of horses and the sound of 
voices in getting ready to start; a few minutes longer, and the sleighs would 
been gone, the men's destiny would have been sealed forever. 

On coming to this place, Calkin's first inquiry of his captain, who be hap- 
pened to meet immediately, was, whether he had any tiling toeat, for they were 
nearly famished, who said »o; but, there is possibly some whiskey hi my 
canteen: go and diink. The canteen v/as examined, when there was found 
suQicient for the four men, who drank heartily, and were amazingly strengthen- 
ed, verifying a remark 0* scripture, which is, ^^give strong drink to him that is- 
read^' to perish.'''' This w;.s all they were to expect till they should arrive at 
Fort Herkimer, which was full sixty miles; and proved true, except that Cal- 
kins took from the mtiss of one of the horses a handful of raw oats and peas^ 
at the head of til,: I.'.ke where they halted to bait, the owners carrying their 
provender with thcin, these he ate greedily, being delicious to the taste, as hun- 
ger makes ai! tiungs welccm 3. The reader here, may suppose that a horse might 
have been killed for food, is that there were on the spot a hundren and twenty 
pair.*, making two hundred and forty of those animals. Now, had this been 
done, eight men rnu?L '.ave died, for a horse, as a span, would have been dis- 
solved, and the men left behi.-.c'. the sleighs beiiig already laden beyond Ihs 



12 

strength of the horses. All being ready, away they went, the starved army feel- 
ing individually happy, that they could ride, when they had not strength to walk; 
and, besides, they knew, that by the going down of tlie sun of that same day, 
they should be fed and comforted, by the (ires and in the rooms of Fort Herki- 
mer. This proved true, the sleighs arriving there but a little after dark, where 
immediate nnd proper refreshments were administered to the dying multitude ; 
having been without food {ov five entire days and nights, except ihe meat of the 
slaughtered dogs; and even of this, many of them did not taste, loi l!ic want of 
a chance to do so. 

On getting out of the sleighs and coming where it was warm, it was found 
from examination, that full two-thirds of the one thousand men or therea- 
bouts, were badly frozen, and chiefly in their feet, so that many of them were 
crippled for life ; and yet Calkins remained unhurt by the frost, though he was 
so young, owing, no doubt, to the strength of his constitution, and to the care he 
took to keep himself in motion as much as he could, especially while in the 
sliegh, on the last day of their sufferings, when it is likely the chief of the mis- 
chief of that description was done. 

Now, notwithstanding the entire failure of this expedition, the treachery of 
the Indian, &c., it was afterwards ascertained, by means of a desei'ter, one Mor- 
timer, that at the very time the perfidious guide was wandering about with them 
in the snow and darkness of the night, that the British were in full strength in 
Fort Oswego, a thing Willett had no apprehensions of Some how, by the 
means of spies, the tories, or the Indian runners, or in some way, the British 
were apprized of Willett's intentions, on which account they had in the Fort 
four hundred Indians with several hundred regular soldiers, besides the cannon 
of the place ; so that if Willett had persevered in his attempt, he must have 
been cut to pieces; and, besides, it was found that the very ladders they had 
made to scale the walls with, were too short by all of six feet, which would have 
ensured the death of every one who might have manned those ladders ; 
Calkins with the rest. From this same deserter Calkins afterwards learned 
that himself and three companions on the ice, travelled all that day between 
two bands of the enemy, without being seen by either, this Mortimer being one 
of the front guard, and remembered eating a breakfast on the ice of the river 
Oswego at the very time. 

Thus ended the famous enterprise of the capture of Oswego, in misfortune and 
the crippling of nearly all the army, which was certainly but poorly planned, as 
it was done in ignorance oftlieeriemie's slrcngt!), as well as at a time of the year 
when amazing suffering from the cold, the depth of the snow, coui^ but be ex- 
pected, besides the whole distance was a wild wilderness, with but small excep- 
tion, and those exceptions of no use to the army, as in the places on that route, 
where settlements had been commenced, they had deserted them long before, 
on account of the Indians. 

But this adventure of Calkins, in the time of that war, was by no means the 
only one, although it was the one in which he suiliu'ed the most, and came near- 
est loosing his life, not only from exposedness to the enemy being so near them 
nt Fort Oswego — and on the ice, but from the most horrid of all deaths, that of 
strvation. In the course of the authors conversation with this venerable relick 
of the '■'■old zoar,'"' as it is now sometimes called, it appeared that on a certain time, 
a scouting party was sent out from Fort Plain on the Mohawk, in the direction 
of the Unadilla country, which is south from Fort Plain — and the whole range 
of the Mohawk. It was in this direction that most of the tragical events of that 
war, on the borders ol^ the western parts of New-York took place, and was 
therefore at that time, the region of danger — its wilderness — its caverns and 
dark forests, being the scene of many an untold atrocity, perpetrated by 



IS 

tlve savages and tories. Of this scouting party, Calkins was one, whicli 
consisted of nine vvhite men, and ciiijht Indian^. It xa^ kaovvn, that alon<4 
the range of country, running through the towu'^ of iJslion, Butternut, &c. 
in Otsego county, N. Y., were Hving several suspected faniihtis of considen-able 
importance on account of their wealth and connections, as well as their educa- 
tion and abilities ; it was necessary, therefore, that their movements should be 
watched. 

The party took with them food enough to sustain them two weeks, trusting ix) 
what the}' might shoot of the wild game of the woods, which at the time was 
alive with deer, bears, patriges, and other creatures of the forest, so that they 
needed only bread, and salt, getting the rest in the woods, such as 
leeks and herbs, as it was in the Spring of the year, carrying with them, 
however, each a pretty heavy piece of salted pork, to season such dainties with. 
They had travelled several days in the direction of their intended route; when the 
provisions (hey had with them began to grow rather scarce, especially with the 
Indians, v/ho, for some reason or other, found it convient, on camping down of a 
certain night to have a Pozvzooro, on which occasion, they not only devoured all 
they had in their knapsacks of the provision kind, but to entirely empty their can- 
teens of the Jamaica spirits, there was in them, as a certain portion was allowed 
to each at the outset. 

The spot where this encampment of the party took place, was not far from one 
of the lilile streams, which runs out of the numerous small lalces lying west of lake 
Otsego, the extreme headwaters oftlie north branch of the Susquehaniiah river. 
At the place there were the remains of a logcabhin, which had been erected by 
some earlier settler, or some hunter in those dreary hills; but was then con- 
siderably dilapidated. It was in tl'.is old hutthat the Indians had taken up their 
nights lodging, while the whites chose theirs under some boughs they had cut 
from the trees, out of which they formed a kind of brush enclosure, to screen 
them a little from the air. It was a noisy niglit with ihe Indians, and not a little 
dangerous, for, if there had been within hearing a party of the enemj, there 
laight have been lives lost, on the wrong side of the question, as the out-cry, 
and whoopings they made resounded far and near; and beside, they somehow 
set the old house in which they were camping on fire, arid away it went in smoke 
and flames, making it a line smooth spot to sow tobacco seed on by the time 
morning had come. On account of this carouse of (lie Indians, the whites had 
to part their own allowance of food with the improvident fools, by which means 
the whole parly, Indians and. all. were soon reduced to a state of absolute hun- 
ger and sutfering, as they had not, for some time, killed any thing in the woods 
of the game kind, either from a fear of tiring their guns, or because they had seen 
nothing to shoot at. Be this as it may, they were soon reduced to hunger and 
sulFering. This happened on their way toward home, on the Mohawk, the place 
from whf^nce they set out. But as they were making the best of their way in 
that direction, the Indians sad and sulky, they came to one of the streams 
we have above spoken of, which, as about to ci-oss by wading, they saw 
was alive with(i'>hes of a considerable size, being large enough to weigh a pound 
or two. Immediately they set about trying to catch them with their hands, as 
they had no other means,.the Indians being wonderful expert at this operation — 
and threw them out almost as fast as they would, the water being quite shallow 
where they found them in such plenty. The fish proved to be the Pike, a fish, 
of all olhers the very best, whether caught in the ocean, or the fresh waters of 
the globe. 1'hey had scon enough for the whole party, when they set about 
cooking them, a lire being kindled in a hurry. There was no dilhcuily in their 
making an excellent ruea!, so far as the fish was concerned, as they had a large 
brass camp kittic with liiem, and' salt enou^ih to season them with. The nine 



14 

white men dressed for Ihernsclve?, a kettle full of the beautiful Pike, and \uti 
short period had (hem ready, of which they partook, and were satisfied. In the 
mean time (he Indians had dressed a great many more lishes than the white men 
had done, though their num.bers were less, which as soon as the kettle was at 
liberty, they began to cook, filling it to the brim. When they were 
cooked, they fell to like so many cannibals, devouring kettle full after kettle full, 
till they actually eat nine kettles full, a little over a kettJe ,to each Indian, 
which so crammed the almost carniverous creatures, that they were wholly unable 
to walk, for a day or so — when it was with difficulty that they got them along at 
last. Of these fishes they dressed a quantity, salted them a little, and dried them 
the smoke, partially, which sustained them the residue of the journey to the Mo- 
hawk. 

The reader may possibly enquire how so many fish of that particular kind,, 
which it is wcW known, are remarkably difficult to catch, and resort to the deepest 
waters of the rivers came there. This enquiry is easily satisfied", when we come to 
know, that it was the tinre of the year, when the various fishes of the waters seek 
a place of safety, where to deposite their spawn, eggs or roes, for the bringing 
forward of other generations of their respective kinds. Such as great .Salmon trout, 
the Bass, the Shad, the Pickeral, the Pike, as well as the Herrin and many 
others. But in this particular case, the Pike were seeking the resort of 
the small but deep lakes, that lie among the hills of that country, where 
to deposite their roes, and occasioned them to run up these small streams, 
urged on by the irresistable, as well as mysterious instinct of their natures, 
which is but the voice of their Creator, in his government of their tribes. 

During this very trip of the scouting party, Matthew Calkins, traversed the 
ridge of highlands which runs along the Unadilla river on the east side, and 
overlooked the very fiats of beautiful alluvial land covered with one continued 
forest of the majestic rock-maple: ^'hich, though he was then but a wandering 
lad and poor, he afterwards bought to the amount of several hundred acres 
Vt'hich, at the present hour, he is the owner of, and the cultivator of the same^ 

It is but a little way above the lands of Mr. Calkins, Esq., the subject of the 
foregoing, where is situated a place, that is called to this day the " Ca/v Mount 
Farm,'''' the owner of which was a most ferocious and bloody tory. This Carr, was 
an Englishman, who had been sent to this country by one Edmonson, to settle on 
and t;>ke the agency of a tract of wild land, which had been granted to him by 
the King of England along the Unadilla. 

He had, by the means of the Indians, knowing that tiie king patronised 
him, gained an uncontrolable influence over the natives of the Unadilla region, 
and was confederate with Brant, sending them on excursions of murder and 
plunder as to him seemed good. At this man's liouse, which was then in the 
midst of a howling wilderness, the Indians, as well as tories, and the English 
emissaries, used to resort, where news of the operations of tlie Coininillcc men of 
'i ryon county was to be had, and w!)ere plans of marauding, were concocted, 
and where much of the plunder of the murdered inhabitants was deposited. 

Now, on a certain time, there was sent out a small scouting party consistirrg 
only of four men, from (he Moliawk, from one of the Forts in the same direction, 
and on a similar errand, that Calkins and his fellows were sent, namely, to see 
what they could liisd of tbc enemy and their doings in (hat quarter. They had 
journeyed on several days and nights, and had passed down the valley of the vvild 
Unadilla, in a silent but observing manner, when they came unexpectedly upon a 
cultivated farm, though of but small extent, with a log house of a very good des- 
cription, in the midst of the clearing. To this house they made their way not 
knowing the character of the owner, being hungry, and much fatigued. They 
knocked at the door for admitfancej v.hen they were met, as the door was, 



15 

cfpened by a rough repulsive looking middle aged man of a large and muscular 
frame, who demanded in a half angry tone of voice, to know what their business 
was. To this enquiry they replied that they were tired and hungry, and wished 
something to eat. He said, walk in gentlemen and take seats, and he would see 
if he had any thing for them. 

They accordingly went in as invited, but saw no one there beside the man 
who had met them at tlie door and a woman, who was not his wife, but was liv- 
ing there with him m the woods. Now, as the men did not like the demeanor 
of their host, who appeared to be somewhat churlish, and besides, he asked no 
questions indicative of friendship, either respecting themselves or the Revolution, 
they became uneasy and suspicious. On this account, they had gone out and 
were walking in the door-yard, while the man of the house appeared to be busy- 
ing himself in getting somelhing for them to eat. In the meantime, they had 
seen that the woman had disappeared in a certain direction of the woods, which 
they thought was quite strange, as it was winter, and the Unadilia froze:, over. 
Her errand to the woods therefore, they could not well make out, there being no 
apparent cause. 

But on this subject, their suspense was soon cleared up, as in a minute or two, 
they saw no less than six Indians on a full run coming toward the house, with guns 
in their hands. They had no doubts as to the woman's business, that they were in 
the hands of a cruel and treacherous tory, and their lives were in danger. In an 
instant they fled, instead of commencing an attack upon the Indiasis and the man 
of the house, although less in number it would have been the safest way. How- 
ever, it may have been, that the four men imagined, that a large force of Indians 
was near, and that directly they might be surrounded, and that their on!y safety 
was in flight. But as they fled in dilFerent directions, each man for himHcif, the 
shots of the Indians overtook two of them, who fell dead, and wounded a third. 
This man though mortally v/oundcd, manage^ to get across the river on the ice in a 
dark woody place, v.'here he died, and was stripped and scalped by the liidians, 
as was the olhcrs. The fourth man made his escape unhurt, by difit of flight, 
being exceedingly swift of foot, and fairly outran the Indians, plunging into 
the depths of the dark wilderness, faster than they could follow, althougli 
there was snow on the ground, by which they could track him. 

This man arrived safe at Johnstown, tlie place of rendezvous at that time, 
where he related the fate of his companions, instantly there v/as sent out a 
stdiicicr.t force to compete mith liic Indians, and to bring in the tory alive, if 
possible, but if not, to kill him. The party were guided by the man who had made 
his escape. But on their arrival at the place, there was no Carr, or other i»u- 
man being. He with the woman and Indians had made their escape; knowing 
full well that the man who had evaded the shots of the Indians, would 
cause a force to be brought against him : he therefore fled to Canada, and was 
never heard of afterward, 'ihey found the thiee men where they had died, — 
stripped naked — scalps taken oiij and otherwise mutilated; whom they buried 
thei'e on the " Car r Mount larrn^V as it is called to this day. They now exam- 
ined the forest in ail directions about the premises of the tory, when in the ve- 
ry course the woman W£s seen to go. there was found, not half a mile from Carr''s 
house the remains of an Indian wigwam, where the Indians lay, who were sent 
for by means of the woman living with Carr. In then- search about the 
woods they found many things, which Carr had hid, by tying them in small par- 
cels in the tops of the thick hemlock trees, such as kettles, chauT, pails and articles 
of wood and iron ; from which it appeared he expected to return again, when 
his king should have conquered the country, and hung all the rebbels. The par- 
ty havmg buried with the honors of war, the three murdered men, and burnt to 
ashes, the horrid den of the infernal tory, as well as the hut of the savages ad- 



16 

jacent, (hey returned, having done \vhat ihey could to revenge the death of their t 
comrades and to punish the murderer Carr. 

This ''Carr Mount Fann''^ is but a brief space north of the exceedingly beau- 
tiful town of North Newberlin in Chenango Co , N. Y., on the east bank of the 
Indian Unadiiia, and but a little further from the rich possessions of the Cal- 
kins family, whose narrative we have given in the foregoing, from his own lips as 
we do ail accounts of the kind, adding' thereby trait after trait, of the unpublish- 
ed history of those '■'•ti7nes zohich tried /yieii's sonby 

Gather the fragments that nothing be lost, 
And teJl the next ages what liberty cost. 

^ «^ l^ .^ | ^l ' ^^ull^ly. ■■l i iiik i i«t).»i^piuu-«j ii uui. 'i »a i i.i» i! !.«t,.i.i> p m^jij)AJi. « jwiMi;«j«Mllsw»l l l^'M 



CONK AD MAYER. AND SUSAN GREY, A HUNTING STORY OF TFIE 

WEST, RELATED BY AN EARLIEP. SETLER OF THE OHIO, 

KIXGSLEY HALE, BY NAME, TO HIS GRAND CHILDREN. 



In 1775, the Zane family built a fort amidst the plain on which that city now 
stands, for a city it is, in all the moral and social, and in every commercial attri- 
bute of a city. Wheeling Fort was the outpost of civilization. The plainer 
bottom, narrow and darkened by trees and underwood, was overshadowed by thar 
hill, steep and impending also with a forest of poplar, oak, and other massy 
trunks, against whose colunmsthe axe had never made its attacks. That creek 
now ppnnned by yonder bridge, wound its shaded stream behind that sharp and 
rocky ridge, gliding silently into the bosom of its mighty recipient, the Ohio. — 
The great Oiiio itself, the present channel of active life and commerce, was it- 
self tiien an emblem of savage majesty. Tlie stream was then, and perhaps in 
all former forgoiteii ages, as it is now, tranquil ; but it was then solitary, and the 
view along its shores and current inspired feelings of sadness. Yonder western 
hills, beyond vVheeling Island, then rose buld, and blackened with an intermina- 
ble forest. They were the eastern abutments of a boundless regioii, then with 
fearful import called "The Western Country ;" or v.-ith still more awful import, 
"The Indian Country." It was a country indeed, at the very aspect of which, 
the bravest heast felt a shudder; for, from its endless recesses, the ruthless and 
stealthy savage issued on his errand of death. It was a frontier, along which 
the Indian and white, the red and the pale warriors met, and oi\en met in single 
aiid unwitncs.sed combat. 

' in the days of your grandfilhers, we now sit on a spot they dared not visit 
wr.hout Iheir terrible weapon, the rille ; nor did their rifie always save them 
Irom a foe who seemed to issue from the earth. But if the motion of the white 
hunter-warrmr was slow, his march was steady and he sustained his post or fell ; 
the white wave never flowfd backwards towards its native ocean. 

" You have all heard of the Mayer and Wetzel families, for who on this side 
of the nioimtains hits not, heard of Conrad Mayer and Lewis Wetzel 1 But you 
may not all luive heard how old Fred Mayer found his way to the banks of 'the 
Slonongaheln. Fred was a stubborn German, who, not liking the religion of his 
county, made otte for himself, v/ith a Miry short creed, and fonnd it necessary to 
H-,ome to America to put his faith in practice. Fred brouglvi with him some good 
share of Dutch scholarship, and a little gold, and what was far better than eith- 
er, he brouglu with him a sweetly innocent and devoted wife. A few poor iami- 
lies came with Fred Mayer. They were peasants, stern, robust, and muscular. 



17 

Amid them, well clo I remember the tear-eyed Maria Mayer ; she was born to 
grace a court; — she became a flower of our wilderness. The little colony 
found a resting place on the banlcs of the Monongahela, and Fred and his Maria 
arrived just in time, for on the very next night afterwards was born their only 
son — their only child, Conrad. 

"The morn which tirst dawned on Conrad, was a fine October Sabbath. 
Their church was the Monongahela woods, in which the new born boy received 
his baptismal name, and from which, thankful orisons rose to heaven for their 
safe arrival. Hardships had met tiiem on their v/ay, but sickness and death they 
had escaped, and now a son was born to share tlieir future hopes. 

"We need not follow the infancy and youth of Conrad. In despite of his fa- 
ther's attempt to teach him high German learning, this first born son of Fair- 
stone rose to manhood, the active and untiring hunter, and the intrepid warrior. 
Thus he rose, or was rising, when the Revolutionary war burst in distant and 
lengthened blasts, resounding from hamlet to hamlet, and from town to town, 
until its echoes were heard in the dales of the far distant west. There was lit- 
tle need of repeated shouts of war to rouse young (Jonrad. From his father, 
he inherited a frame light and airy, but most powerfully strong and active. His 
soft blue eye bespoke the German, though his appearance and motions were 
French. His natural temper was wild atid irrascible, but his heart was tender. 
If he excited a tear from the eye of his mother, or of his foster sister, Susan 
Grey, his kindness soon wiped that tear and its remembrance away. 

"That heart must have been steel indeed which could have withstood the tears 
of cither Maria Pdayer, or her beautifiil orphan foster child, Susan Grey. Very 
different hearts from steel animated the bosoms of Fred Mayer, and his son 
Conrad, and they were a family of love. 

"Susan Grey was the child of love and sorrow. HeT father, Thomas Grey, 
the son of an opulent family near , married a lovely but poor girl, and in- 
dignant at the taunts of his family, sought the wilds of the west. The parents were 
unequal to meet the hardships of their new situation : they fell early victims, 
and the yet hardly lisping Susan, became the child of Fred and Maria and the 
sister of Conrad. The orphan shared the all of her protectors, and was vexed 
and loved by the untoward but generous Conrad, who maintained at every 
shooting match that he had the prettiest sister in all America, and heaven-pro- 
tected must needs have been the man who would have dared a contradiction : 
and another claim he had at the shooting match, of being the best shot over all 
Ten Mile and Wheeling woods ; excepting, as some dared to whisper, Lewis 
Wetzel. 

"Would I not give all my hunt this fall if I could ever meet this Lewis Wet- 
zel" — grumbled Conrad, at a Redstone shooting match, as he overhear(i some' 
one in a smothered voice say, "I wish Lewis Wetzel was here." Conrad bore 
away every prize, and sv/oro he wo'.dd "never shoot against another man until 
he met and beat the famed Wetzel." 

The forest, hills, dales, and rocks, with the shooting matches, were, the fields 
of fame of Conrad, from his boyhood, and before he had reached fifteen, ho 
i)egan to complain that bears and deers were becoming scarce; and at about six- 
teen his father removed to a valley on the head of Wheeling near Ryerson's 
>tat!on. Accompanied by his faithful dog, several nights would sometimes in- 
tervene whilst tliis daring young prowler would sleep in the untenanted woods:. 
His mother and Susan had always much chiding in reserve, vv'hich they always 
K)rgot between the return of his dog and himself, for Brawler always arrived 
first to announce his master. 

"On preparing for one o^ those expeditior.!'; Co;;rad seemed to linger more 



18 

than usual. He was uncommonly long in preparing his rifle and other accoutre- 
menta. He laughed, tcazed Susan, and vexed his mother; but, as he often told 
me, an anxiety hung over him, he dreaded to leave home. The whole family 
shared the feeling and knew not why. The habitations were few, and far se- 
parated from each other; but as Indian war had not for many years reached 
those dells, no apparent danger seemed to impend, and yet the steady, tirm, and 
every thing but superstitious mind of Fred Mayer shrunk with dread. Fred 
Mayer had been many years a soldier, and felt ashamed of his own fears, laugh- 
ed at himself and Conrad, and Conrad himself forced a playful catch, kissed 
his mother and Susan and darted olf for the woods. 

The lingering form was not yet lost, for Conrad once or twice paused and 
looked back upon the paternal cottage, when his mother saw the ramrod of his 
rifle lying on their breakfast table. She seized the rod with an exclamation 

she had time for no more — the rod and the light footed Susan were gone on 

the footsteps of Comad. 

The young hunter had disappeared from the cottage, and being at variance 
w^ith his own thoughts, now hurried in the opposite extreme, and extended his 
pace to almost a run. His speed Vi'as soon checked as he heard his name anx- 
iously pronounced, and turning, saw the airy form of Susan. 

"You are a fine hunter," exclaimed the panting girl, holding up the rod. Con- 
rad lowered his rifle hastily, saw his remissness, and forcing a gaiety he felt not, 
and patting the flushed check of the messenger, replied, "Poh ! Susan, may be 
I left the ramrod behind to see if my sister would think it worth while to fol- 
low me with it." 

"Conrad," rather solemnly replied Susan, "do not call your poor little sister a 
fool — but — but come home with me; do not go hunting to-day." 
"Ha ! ha ! Sukey, go hom.e because I forgot my ramrod, ha ! ha !" 
"Conrad, I never saw you linger and turn back before, and the starting tear 
stood in her timid eye. 

This appeal was always elTeclual in finding the heart ot the otherwise way- 
ward hunter, and setting his rifle against a tree, he seized the almost fainting girl 
in his arms, exclaiming in the most pathetic tone — 

"Susan, if vou were indeed my sister, I ought to return ; but my heart tells 
me you are a'thousand sisters in one, and ought 1 not to fly to the farthest woods, 
for 1 am only to thee a brother." 

It was the moment they had found that there was a feeling between them in- 
finitely more awakening, more anxious for ench other, than that of brother and 
sister ; but their looks spoke what their words dare not. 

Susan gently extricating herself, exclaiming— "My, only brother, if I stand 
here listening to such — 1 — believe I must be" — and away she tripped, with sen- 
sations in which delight of heart greatly prevailed, and thus tnpped to the sum- 
mit of a small eminence, when tisrning round, she saw Conrad standing where 
she left him, intently gazing after her. They waved a farewell and parted. 

All that day did Conrad, with steady steps and anxious feelings wind his way 
towards the Ohio. As the departing rays of day were leaving the earth in gloom, 
he reached the place where in two days his father had appointed to meet him 
with horses. . . ^ 

It was late in autumn; the morning was clear and bracing, and the limbs oi 
iJonrad invigorated by rest on new fallen k aves, sallied forth, his ride well pois- 
ed on his shoulder, and Brawler, well trained, m.arching behind his feet, with 
the watchful eye and weary tread of a tyger. Thus prepared, Conrad was 
treading slowly along the mountain-like hills, when spring a deer at a distance, 
fee advanced with hunter caution, until within reach. The piece was pointed 
s.s»d the unerring ball sped through the heart of the animal. But at the ver/ 



19 

moment when Conrad discharged his rifle, another prowler of the woods pe • 
formed the same office, and the innocent back fell by a double shot. Bothhui 
ter dogs preceded their masters, and commenced a furious battle over the pre' 
which was rapidly followed by a more serious contest between the two men. 

The passions of Conrad, always excessively violent when roused, was raise 
to madness on seeing the stranger strike Brawler. "You cowardly villain, strikt, 
my dog, take that,'' — but active and athletic as he was, Conrad soon found him- 
self engaged with an antagonist, who maintained the utmost coolness, and also r. 
powerful man, demanding every exertion. For perhaps a minute the contest 
was doubtful, and entirely blinded by excessive rage, Conrad made repeated at- 
tempts to draw his knife. This, with the perhaps superior strength, and the 
perfect presence of mind he preserved, decided the contest in favor of the 
stranger, who at length, by a skilful muscular exertion, laid the frothing Conrad 
prostrate, wrenched his knife frotn its scabbard and threw it to some distance, 
and then securing his arms, sat triumphant on his body. Pausing a moment for 
breath, and with most provoking coolness viewing his still writhing enemy, very 
calmly observed — 

'•Young man, whoever you are, your jerks can do yourself as little use as me 
harm, nor do 1 intend to do you harm." 

"Do me harm!" vociferated the prostrate hunter, in accents of as much 
wrathful defiance as his exhausted frame would admit. "Let me up and on my 
feet, give me a chance; and we'll see who is to be harmed." 

''As matters have thus far went," replied the collected and even smiling 
stranger, "I am accountable for my own acts; but as I have found you in a scrape 
and have never inju.fed : why, l'!i try to get you off safe." 

"Insulting scoundrel, let up" — 

"Wait, my good boy, until your'fever cools." 

"Villain," roare4 the now absolutely infuriated Conrad. "You dare not take 
your rifle and give me a fair shot." 

"The poor young man is raving; bleeding will cool his fever," deliberately 
drawing his own knife. 

The flashing blade no sooner met the eye of Conrad, who expected to meet 
its edge, than his rage was calmed in a moment. His eyes changed from an ex- 
pression of rage to that of stern and even contemptuous defiance. Not a tibre 
of his frame trembled ; on the contrary, he steadily eyeing the victorious stran- 
ger, observed, "Murderer you may make yourself; but let me advise in my turn. 
] fear you not, but if you have a father and mother, can you return to them and 
leave the body of an only son in the woods." 

"I have [)areats and friends, au-o," replied the stranger; "I never intended to 
injure a hair of your head, and as I see you are coming to your senses, you may 
rise, if your promise is given to act correctly. You are no coward, and 1 am 
no murderer : 1 cannot accept your challenge." 

"It would be cowardice to betray such manly confidence," observed Conrad, 
as himself and competitor rose to their feet. The two CjUadrupeds were, in the 
mean time, lying [)anting from their own share of the fi'ay. 

Having eyed each other a moment, after both had resumed their arms, the 
stranger very good naturedly observed — 

"My good friend, we have made a very lucky escape, and have much reason 
to remember each other; and as ! haveas much reason as yourself to be asham- 
ed of so rash an act, we may excljange forgiveness." 

Conrad felt as many others have felt who has been doubly vanquished, and 
with all his really strong feeling? of generosity, a lurking mortification gave a 
sulky moroseness to his manner, as he rather ungraciously replied, "I suppose I 
am to be thankful for not having my throat cut." 



20 

"Have a care your fever does not return and affect your brain again, young 
man ;" very slowly and provokingly replied the stranger. 

This was too much for the chafed spirit of Conrad, who commenced reload- 
ing his rifle with violent gestures and feelings of anger. His opponent also, but 
with tiie utmost coolness commenced a similar operation, and long before the 
enraged Conrad had his weapon prepared, the stranger with a half suppressed 
smile, was very composedly eyeing the rash young hunter, whilst standing grasp- 
ing in his left hand his well loaded and primed rifle, and patting the head of his 
wounded dog with his right. When Conrad had put his weapon in order, the 
stranger then observed : 

'•You say, friend, that you are an only son : I am a little inclined to hink 
your father and mother would soon be childless if your life depended on which 
of us could load our rifles tirst. Be calm and hear me," continued the stran- 
ger, "before you attempt again to grapple with a stranger who has given no 
good cause : permit me to give you a lesson. Do you see a white spot on that 
hickory tree yonder?" 

"1 am not blind," sulkily replied Conrad. 

"Except with useless passion," replied the stranger, as he raised his piece to 
his face, and in a moment the white spot was gone, and the intrepid and manly 
hunter stood with his empty rifle smiling in the face of his now abashed com- 
panion, who remained an instant absorbed in silent wonder, at length ejaculated 
with great warmth — 

"Well ! well ! this is too much, I am conquered." 

"But alive yet," replied the stranger, as he walked swiftly towards the tree 
into which his bullet was lodged, which having reached, he held up his left hand, 
shouting, "you see she is empty." 

"I do," replied Conrad. 

"Now then come here," continued the stranger, "and fill up this bullet hole, 
and then stand on one side." Conrad silently obeyed the order, when the stran- 
ger drawing his tomahawk, made a blaze, in the centre of which he made a 
small black spot with powder, and then laughingly observed — "young man you 
will now see what, may be, you never saw before;" placing his back to the mark- 
ed sapling and grasping his rifle, with the muzzle forward in his left hand,bound- 
ed from the tree with the speed of an elk. 

The wonder-stricken Conrad stood immoveable, until he was roused to ex- 
claim with extreme astonishment, "who can he be?" on seeingthe stranger sud- 
denly stop, wheel and tire. The report of the rifle and disappearance of the 
mark, began to excite feelings of almost superstitious dread in the bosom of 
Conrad ; feelings which weie wound to their height as (he terrible stranger re- 
turned, running with uncommon speed, and coming up, handed Conrad a com- 
pletely loaded rifle. 

Eyeing the rifle and the owner alternately, Conrad at length found breath to 
exclaim. " 

''^li^ you had not the look of a fine young man, I should suppose" — 

"1 was something worse ;" replied the stranger, "but it is time we knew each , 
other." 

"My name," with some hesitation, replied Conrad, is Mayer. I am the — I 
am sorry to s.-.y, undutiful son Conrad, of Frederick and Maria Mayer." 

"And I am not not worth the name, perhaps," said the stranger, "but 1 am 
Lewis Wetzel." 

The arms of Conrad were instantly round his preserver ; for it was the wind 
beaten and sun embrowned hunter-warrior, Lewis Wetzel, with whom he had 
been contending. 

Their mutual embarrassment having a little subsided, Lewis observed — 



SI 

"Conrad, as you have found I am a man just like yourself, suppose we have 
our breakfast; we have earned it. Let us skin this chap, and carry his car* 
case to my camp. We have been playing the fool long enough to be hungry." 

On the bank of a clear stream, the trees for a roof, the two hunters feasted ; 
gave each to the other a short account of their lives, laughed and spent the day, 
for that day they did not resume the chase ; and when evening closed upon 
them, (hey slept on their leafy couch as if nothing of consequence had passed 
between them ; and while they sleep and hunt, let us wander up Wheeling- and 
visit the cottage of Fred Mayer. 

The two days after the departure of Conrad, were cool, .and until towards 
the evening of the second, clear. For the next morning Fred had prepared 
every thing necessary to set out to meet his son. Towards sunset, the wind set 
in from the northeast; the whole heaven became overcast, and night set in raw 
and cold, and that most dismal of all domestic sounds, tlie howl of the house 
dog mingled with the night blast. The family had, in some measure, conquered 
the sense of lonesomencss, which is so painful when a few human beings gaze 
upon each other for the (irst time, and feel that they are a defenceless few alone 
in a wilderness. Over the hilly and variegated peninsula, between theMonon- 
gahela and Ohio rivers, at the early day of our tale, the tields were small; they 
were few, and they were ftr distant from each other. The cabins v/ere rude 
and often constructed as blockhouses, for defence. The almost imperceptible 
paths wound through interminable forests, where almost every sound which 
broke the silence, was of the appalling kind. It was these lone habitations 
w^hich became so often the scenes of savage murder. This is not the product 
of imagination; it is the bitter remembrance of real life and death, the remem- 
brance of the worst features of human strife. Fifty years have passed and snow- 
ed upon this head, yet it seems only yesterday, the dark and dreadf^il night,when 
Fred Mayer and his wife and child, far removed from every ather eye, but that 
Eye which never sleeps. The night passed slowly away, sleep they could not; 
each tried to convince the other, and say to their own hearts, "it is the absence 
of Conrad. But their champion had often been absent before, their heaviness 
of heart had now something of distressing beyond all former anxiety for their 
Conrad." Towards midnight the wind entirely ceased, rain began to patter on 
the roof, and the darkness, "heavy before, became still more dense. The howl 
of the watch dog became more loud, and anxious in its tones. Thus passed the 
night until the faint grey light of morning began to dawn. 

"God be praised," sighed Frederick, "jt is brenk of day." 

At that moment the faithful sentinel at the door, by a lierce and rapid bark- 
ing, announced the approach of some living olrject. The warning voice was as 
rapidly followed by a scream, a few groans, and all again was silent. 

Frederick Mayer, like all truly brave men, lost the sense of undeiined fear at 
the aspect of real danger, sprung from the bed vvith intent to seize his rifle, in 
the use of which he was no bungler ; was it accident, he did grasp the rifle, !)at 
his foot struck a log of wood and he fell to his knees as the thin clapboard door 
was dashed from its hinges, and three rifles discharged into tlie cabin in rapid 
succession. The most heart-rending screams roused Frederick to iVenzy. The 
great muscular force of his youth seemed to be redoubled. The Indians were 
deceived by his fail, and naturally concluded their victim safe. They were 
soon undeceived as uttering the names of his wife and child in a voice of abso- 
lute fury, he rose to his feet.and tiring into thcgrouj), allLMnpted to turn the but of 
his rifle. The shot took effect on one enemy, but the stock of the piece flew 
to shivers against a joist as the owner was grappled with aivd thrown on the floor. 
His presence of mind never for an instant forsook him, and feeling that though 
one against such fearful odds of numbers, that his enemies were exposed to the 



22 
clanger of wounding each other, which in effect took place. Firmly grasping 
his formidable weapon, the naked rifle barrel, and turning himself by main 
strength on his face, once more regained his feet, and by a sweep of the iron 
bar carried away (he entire upper part of the skull of another Indian. 

The cabin was now become indeed a scene of indescribable horror. The 
whole events I have mentioned did not occupy more, if as much, as half a mi- 
nute. The screaching Susan was dragged by the hair at the very moment that 
her protector fell in the tirst instance. The maddening sight was the last that 
Fred Mayer got of any part of family until the tragedy closed. The groans of his 
wounded wife he heard amid the combat,but he saw her not: the bed on whiv,hshe 
lay had been broken dawn, and her pure blood mingled with that of her savage 
enemy. T!ie very best safeguard of a single man against many was thrown 
round Fred ; that is, he lost all sense of self-preservation, and bent the whole 
force of his body and resources of his mind on the destruction of the destroy- 
ers of his family — and how the contest would have terminated we can never 
know, as the shouts of other voices now mingled in the maddening fray. 

You may remember, my young friends, we left Conrad and his new made 
friend, Lewis, sleeping on a rivulet of Ohio. Let us return to them and watch 
their motions. Next moriiing after the scuffle and happy reconciliation, the sun 
shone clear upon the heads of the two children of the woods. Conrad attempted 
to make amends for the sallies of the day before — it was an effort understood by 
the keen-eyed Lewis. 

"My dreams hang hravi/ on me this morning, Conrad," said his companion," 
and with all your laughing, your brow is heavy. liave you ever sought the trail 
of the Indian ?" 

" I have not," replied Conrad. 

" Then walk backwards, and carefully put yourself into that tree top," point- 
ing to a very large oak which had fallen with its leaves on the previous summer 
— " and remain there with vour rifle prepared until I return. 

Conrad eyed the speaker, but found an air of command which he felt he ought 
to obey, and he did obey. Lewis then left their camp with a tread that gave no 
noise from the early fallen leaf His course was northwardly and towar-ds Shep- 
herd's Fort. Flour followed hour until after mid-day, as the impatient Conrad 
watched the return of his companion in the direction of his departure. He was 
intently looking at a waving bush on a distant hill, doubtful whether it was a man 
or not, Vi'hcn he felt his shoulder struck, and "Ingens are not deer" came from . 
Wetzel, who had thus given a lesson of vigilance. 

" Prepare, Conrad, seven or eight of those black rascals are gone ir. the direc- 
tion of your father's house." 

" Good God !" excfaimed Conrad, "poor Susan, why did I not go home with 
you ? My sister, my father and mother." 

"Standing there making speeches will do no good to either your sister, your 
father or molhe!-." Then pausing a moment and with his compressed mouth and 
{■xpression of features which no man, liowevertlrm might be his nerves, ever be- 
held without feelirig a somethitigsaying, "Let that man never be my enemy" — 
muttered with, appalling em})hasis, "If the whole of these cut-throats ever again 

cross the Ohio, — why, they'll conclude that the D 1 and Lewis Wetzel have 

had a quarrel lately ; but I'll try to show them that myself and old friend are not 
separated }et. 

Little more v.-as said : a few slices of half roasted vension was cut from the 
residue of the deer slain the day before, and the two hunters were with careful 
but rather rapid steps measuring their way to the northeastward, with a view, as 
Le?fis whispered, " to fall in the rear of the IngcnsV With all their untiring 
speed it was evening when, reaching the head of a hollow overspread with the 



rank growth of the past summer, that Lewis stopt suddenly, and pointing with 
his ram-rod to marks Conrad could scarcely perceive, observed in an under 
tone, "Here, here ! are their trail !" They had been scveial hours far within 
the range where every stream and ridge was known to Conrad, whose inward 
agony of mind increased at every moment, as in following the steps of his wary 
leader, and saw him advancing in the direct course towards the honie of his pai'- 
ents and sister. He was almost provoked at the cool and undisturbed behaviour 
of Lewis, but the dreadful appearances made him e9&jjipletely submissive to the 
orders which were given with a confidence which inspired hope in the very face 
of despair. 

I have already told you, my children, that the evening was heavy, and the 
night unusually dark. That darkness closed upon the — 1 might say, angels of 
deliverance, some miles short of Mayer's cabin. It was on the closing of light 
that any expression of impatience was shown by Lewis. 

"Must these villains escape?" The expression was lofty, and calculated to 
alarm Conrad; but the long tried warrior repaired his mistake with admirable 
quickness by adding, ''till to-morrow morning," whispering at the same time, 
that " It is not the custom of the Ingens to attack only at break of day." 

Still they advanced slow, silent, and listening at every few steps. For some 
hours the wind enabled Lewis to keep his course, but when that guide failed, and 
the black and covered sky hid every star, the bark of the trees were felt. 

" In any common case," again whispered Lewis, "maybe I could tind my way, 
we must be near your father's and we may pass it, we must stop." 

A sigh and shudder was all the answer Conrad could make, and they crouched 
down beside two trees. 1 need not say hours were weeks, as both their faces 
WevQ. turned to wjiat they thought the east. It was an opening amongst the trees, 
which at last began to widen, the trunks and large branches began to appear. 
Lewis was just ready to say, " Break of day," but was prevented by Conrad 
springing to his feet exclaiming, "By heavens !" His loud expression was prompt- 
ly and eifectually arrested by the powerful hand of Wetzel, who almost jerked 
him off his feet. 

Conrad, brought to himself, in a hurried but suppressed tone informed Lewis, 
that they were between two and three miles from his father's house, that the 
opening they saw was an abandoned settlement. They were on theirway before 
Conrad had finished. Avoiding the open old field, they were soon on a cattle 
path, and in a {evj minutes, on rising a hill, the long drawn howl of the house dog 
was on the point of being answered by the two brute sharers of their march, but 
a touch of the ramrod reduced to complete silence the well-trained mastitis. 
Their speed was every moment increased as the cry of the watchdog became 
more and more distinct. 

Suddenly Lev/is stopt, and, listening a second or two to the change of note of 
the dog, then most earnestly observed to Conrad — 

"Now, my brave young man, follow my directions. Your house is surround- 
ed by these savages; advance cautiously and do not tire unless sure of your 
mark. When you do fire, instantly retreat and reload ; but of all things do not 
for any cause rush towards the house unless you see me." 

The orders were here cut short ; the death-scream of the dog, the equally ter- 
rible silence which followed, and then the rapid firing, and the screams of the 
females, put all farther delay out of question, and yet the never-disturbed peace 
of mind of Wetzel, as Conrad afterwards told me, had more the appearance of 
a man advancing on a wounded bear than on he knew not how many armed men. 
It was at the moment when a blow from a tomahawk sunk the brave old Mayer, 
that the voice of Lewis Wetzel was no longer heard in whispers, but echoed to 
the surrounding forest. "Conrad, your family is murdered. Revenge! revenge!" 



24 

and shouted his own name with a force almost beyond human. If an earth- 
quake had burst beneath their feet, the efTect would not have been more terrific 
on the minds of the Ingens, as he called them. They who yet survived rushed 
from the cabin, at the tiireshold of which two fell to their sleep of death, and the 
astonished Lewis saw only one (lying savage. " You shall follow," as he gritted 
his teeth in rage, and darted after bi.s, to him, certain prey. For once even the 
consumate skill of yVetztd w^s within a hair breadth of failing. The Indian's 
piece had not been'disch^rg^d, and'knowing that both white men had discharg- 
ed their rifles, and finding' tmnself pursued by only a single man, who was every 
step gaining upon him, the savage sprang to a tree. Lewis saw his error,andas 
the piece was raised he fell prostrate, at the instant the ball passed through his 
hunting shirt above his shoulder. The Indian was now in his power, but with- 
out discharging his piece he grasped it in his left hand, and in a few hundred 
yards the Indian was a corpse under his hatchet. 

The sun had not yet risen when Lewis returned with wary steps towards the 
cabin. To the name of "Conrad," called in a voice louder and louder, no an- 
swer was given, and he finally reached the dreadful spot stained with the blood 
of six human beings. With his back to the fireplace stood Conrad, his eyes fixed 
in horror on the slill breathinf^^nd weltering forms of his parents. To the friend- 
ly and now toucldng voice of Lewis no answer was given, and even Lewis him- 
self, accustomed as he was to the dread horrors of savage war, could not avoid 
exclaiming, "Is all this real." 

" Yes, real," replied Conrad, with a bursting sigh, " and my fault." A vast 
passionate Hood of tears followed, but that flood v/as salutary. Conrad was re- 
stored to himself, if a man inflamed to almost the madness of rage could be sai'l 
to be lestored. "To the woods I fly with you, Lewis, the Indians' blood sh .d 
pay for this — but oh! Lewis — can I ask" — 

"Fop the body of yotsr sister," interrupted Lewis, "she is not dead, but a pris- 
oner, in my opinion. Your horses are gone, for in returning to the house I had 
the caution to examine the stable, where the tracks of men and horses are plen- 
ty. It is all stiange — very strange. There were more men on this murdering 
party than we have found. It is strange — very strange." 
" They may be lurking near," replied Conrad. 

" They are making their way to the Ohio," bitterly interrupted Lewis, "If I 
did not know these wolves I wouHf not stand here. ^ * ^ ;¥ 
Here Kingsley paused as his young auditory awaited the finishing of his story. 
" 1 am talking about events in a diiferent-age from tho present," at length he 
resumed. 

Before the parley I have related, short as it was, was closed, Conrad Mayer 
had no living parent. 

" 1 am alone! I am alone! Susan, my Susan, I follow (hce." 
" And I am with thee to the Siiawnee towns," replied Wetsrel, who commenc- 
ed to place the dead bodies of Mayer and his wife side by side, covering them 
with the bed clothes, and after swallowing a few hasty morsels the tvv'o persever- 
ing warriors were again on their way in pursuit, 

Lewis traced the horse tracks, which for several miles were found along a 
path towards where VVaynesburg now stands, and then bent to the southwestward 
over the southern heads of Wheeling into the valley of Fish Creek. The tracks 
proved haste and the small puddles left where watercourses were passed enabled 
Lewis to determine, as he vehemently expressed himself, that — 
"These painted scoundrels are gaining from us." 

In our days, vviieii our ^/Z?(e 3'oung men must ntZe along good road?, and would shrink « a 
walk from Wheeling to Washingtoji in Pennsylvania, yon may v.-ell feel astonished when I tell 
you that vvith all the fatigue of the day and night before, Conrad Ma3Trand Lewis Wetzel were 



25 

atrain on the Ohio before night closed on their path ; but they arrived only in time to find their 
objects of pursuit had crossed that gr-^it stream. 

Arrived on the bank, Lewis, tuniir)\r to his companion, observed — 

Conrad, we must sleep, if we do s;. oj), oa yonder bank. 

"I'll be on that bank this night if ! -vinr'Trepiied Conrad. , ,. ._; 

"And swim you mu&t, but \vc mi',--l <V;.r' carevBfct Cjtt r » un^^ ;\?!iii|''yA'"'''^ y°^ °^ ^"^ ^^ ^°^^ 
family ever a wortiiless, cowardly encisy who liod Trom ^ i^^^™^^ 

The question was a volume at unro to Coiirad, who, clajH^TO^rand to his forehead, re- 
flected in silence for several minutes, nud at len^'th answeroo^ 

" Yes, there was one fellow, Ned 'i 'ra<h, from whom I won a hunt of deer skins at a shooting 
match, and afterwards knocked down tor s lying he intended to court Susan. He has been gone 
up'vards of two years." 

" And is the worst Sljawnee in the tu.vns. .^nd has got your Susan without pourting. The 
moment i sa.w the stable this moniiriL;' I set (lovvn in my mmd that the cowards who left .their 
companions were not Inqens. Look at yon fi;e.'' And a tire was now distinctly seen amongst 
the trees on the opposite shore. 

"Blood painted mongers," muttered Lsv/is, "you left a home flowing with blood this morn- 
ing, and to-morrow morning your binod shall tirv.v. My friend, Conrad, we'll cross the river, 
and do j'ou take care of your rifle and your girl, your sister, or what you chose to call her, and 
I'll lead those new made Ingens a dance — never mmd if I dont."' — — 

Though Conrad felt very muAi dispoi'ed to lead them a dance himself, his increasing confi- 
dence ai his commandL-r kept him siloM andsLibmis-sive. The nver was passed, and as Lewis 
intended, they made land far enough below the savage camp to secure ihemselyes from dis- 
covery. Short as was the distance, however, it was far in tiiu night before the dying embers of 
their fire and the sleeping bodies of the enemy were seen by the two c^liti •us hunters, who in 
their approach kept a deathlike silence. There was indeed but one "sound of human voice 
v/hich broke upon the dreary scene, 'j'hat sound was the heart-broken and despairing aspira- 
tions of the captive girl. Though bnd in a forest Susan Gray was reared tenderly. The first 
riide shock tbat marked her young days from the deaUi of her parents, was one of utter destruc- 
tion. The gray dawn of morning vi'as tlie messenger of horror. The faint i ight broke over the 
eastern hills ofOhio, — broke over those nntive hiWs she dared not hope ever again to behold. 

The greatest danger and no dang;n- pr. 'duces the same efFrCts, says Zimmerman, quoting 
Count Lippe. Many are the instance's I have known where that truth was shewn by Indian 
c;iptives, and mor.-^ than one when it proved their last defence. 

With the dawn the savages arose; ope sal gloomy and with a visage of more than Indian 
ferocity opposite to where the slightly bound captive vvas lying. Her eye caught the glance of 
the villain, and tiie eflect was an ex("l:.mation of indignant contempt rather than that ot what 
might in common cases be expected. 

" You are Edward Trash — where are my father and mother'?"' 

Though steeped in blood, Trash cowered under the glance cf an angll and the voice of God, 
for what was she at this awful moment buL the messenger of lum whose eye pierces the thick- 
est dnrkness. 

" Yes !'■ — rdie reiterated. But her voice was lost in sounds equally the voice of Heaven. — 
Trasli, like all cowards who shrink f.-om the moral power, soon gain confidence when assured 
of the personal weakness of their opponents, sprang to his feet with an expression oi rage and 
hatred which only a renegado ever can assume. 'A'hat would have been h:s next act we can 
now never know. The whole scene was rapid as the fiash and report ol an impending thunder 
cloud, and followed by the report of a rdle and the dreadful name of Lewis Wetzel resounding 
along tlie Ohio. 

Trash fell under the ball of Conrad, Vvdio with burning impatience awaited the signal to lire, 
a punishment he so wickedly won, and a served. It may seertf strange that Lewis did not also 
fire, but he was too good a warrior to give his enemies an advanta§:e. His name, terrible to the 
real Indians, was te^nfold more so to "the Girtys and other whites, who, though never equal to 
the Indians in ther mode of war, proved that the Shawnee could be far outdone in brutal cruel- 
ty. Urged as they were to flight by the avenger, the two unwounded captors of Susan gave to 
the pursuers an advantage, v/hich on another occasion as well as on the present, was most et- 
fectually used by Lewis W^ctzel. Tlie two fugitives separated, or more distinctly, one outran 
the other, and left each to contend singlehanded with a man, that, perhaps, if in the woods ot 
Ohio, and armed only with rifles, there was not then on the face of the earth, another who could 
have contended with the least probability of success. The wary Lewis in the outset did not 
exert his utmost powers of speed, but awaited the very effect I have noticed, but that effect 
once produced, every muscle was strained, and every moment the hindmost savage heard, or 
thought he heard, nearer and nearer the rapid tread of his pursuer. 

Amongst the unequalled combination of qualities as a warrior, possessed by Lewis Wetzel, 

4 



26 

one of the most remarkable was the skill with which he drew his enemy's fire— an advantage 
he scarce ever failed to obtain, and almost certain death was the consequence to his opponent, 
for an empty rifle in his hand was most dangerous to those thrown ofFtheir guard, and liis ability 
of reloading in full retreat or advance, enabled him to deceive his adversary by actually throwing 
away his own fire, a stratagem he put in practice in the present pursuit. Before he could se- 
cure an unerring aim he halted and discharged his piece. Tiie discharge and wheeling of the 
nearest savage was the work of a moment. Affecting to retreat in turn, the triuuij.hant shouts 
of one enemy and sound 6i the rifle deceived the other, and both rushed on to expected victory 
— but certain destruction. The moments were few until Lewis was again ready to "/'/te Iree," 
but as he sprung behind one, the foremost Ingen contemptously shouted ''Ingen not a fool." 

"A doe skin would be too high a price for your wisdom," muttered Lewis, his eyes flashing 
like a tyger's, as he awaited the approaching monster. 

"Empty gun, wiiite man." 

"Empty through your heart, murderer, once white man," passed through the gritting teeth of 
Lewis, and one frightful groan, the last of the renegado, seemed an echo to the sharp crack of 
the rifle. 

'J'he remaining monster in human (orm was now too far advanced to retreat with any safety, 
and, rendered desperate, it became now a real struggle for life and death, and had the enemy 
been truly an Indian, even the skill and activity of Wetzel might have failed. Both feeling that 
their blood depended on the issue, put every nerve and sinew to the strain. The disadvantage 
was fearfully on the side of Wetzel, and mast have been fatal had his pursuer not been deter- 
mined to make security more secure, reserved ins fire awaiting a chance of discharging with 
certain aim Thus proceeded the race for a few hundred yaids, when Lewis once more ''t'ree'd." 

" You're a dead man," roared a thundering voice. 

"H — 1 shall have one tenant more," seemed to come hoarsely from the bowels of the earth, 
as Leu'is lay like a crouching lion. Not conceiving the possibility of encountering a loaded rifle 
discharged not three minutes before, with dreadful caths expressed in good or had English as 
you choose, his adversary advanced. 

" I'll know who this scoundrel is before I finish him," muttered Lewis, as he deliberately sent 
a ball through his left arm and shoulder, and dropping his rifle seized his tomahawk and rushetl 
upon the fallen. "Never carelessly approach a wounded enemy,"' was a maxim Lewis, had 
guod reason to remember, as he learned its wisdom from seeing a rifle muzzle raised and 
pointed to his breast. The rifle ball and his tomahawk passed each other in mid air. The ball 
passed harmless, but the hatchet lodged in the brain, and forever concealed the last of the cap- 
tors of Susan Grey." 

Here Kingsley stopped as if his tale was ended. Every hearer felt burning to know what be- 
came of Conrad and JSusan, and at length finding the old historian silent, more than one voice 
rather impatiently breathed," and Conrad and Susan"- - 

" Reared a fine family of young Conrads and Susans," resumed Kingsley. They returned to 
see the fresh graves of their parents which had been laid in earth by a party of men the very day 
of their return. It was long before their hearts could again feel the gayiiy of former days, biit 
time softened the memory of the past, and when the name of their eldest son, Wetzel Mayer, 
was pronounced, they remembered the v/arriorof the west, and many is the time the young 
Mayer ran to meet the coming warrior, and many is the time that Susan Mayer sent to heaven 
the breathings of innocence mingled with like aspirations from other mothers, for the preserva- 
tion of the brown warrior sleeping in the far distant woods of Ohio or Muskingum. 

The reader migiit view some of the incidents of the preceding tale as so far bordering on the 
marvellous as to be out of nature: — But there is not one incident- but in some case or other 
really happened within forty miles of Wheeling between 1770 and 1795. The power of loading 
a rifle whilst running in Vvoods was really possessed as represented in the person of Lewis Wet- 
zel, and actually exercised not very materially different from the incidents related in the tale. 
My object has been to represent a Hunter Warrior as they were in fact, without putting slang 
and vulgar j)«/f«s in his mouth, never used by him. I was bred among the hunter warriors, and 
have seen and heard them in al) situations, except that of war. I have seen them serious and 
pad, and have seen them in their hours of revelry, and when shoulderino- their rifle for chace 
and war. • MARK BANCROFT. 



THE FAIMOUS CAPTIVITY AND SUFFERINGS OF FREEGIFT PATCHIN, 
AMONG THE INDIANS, AS RELATED BY HIMSELF. 

In the year 1780, myself as well as the whole population about the region of old .Schoharie, 
were held in readiness by Col. Peter Vi-ooman, as minute-men, to be ready at a moment's 
warning, as the tories and Indians were a watchful and cruel enemy. Around the region of 
the head of the Delaware river, it was suspected there were persons who favored the cause of 
the British ; a small company of men, therefore, were seat out as spies upon them ; and also, 



27 

if possible, to make a quantity of maple su^dr, as an abunJoiicc of maple grew there. 

Of this little company, Captain Alexander Harper had the command Fourteen persons 
were all that were sent out, amon^ whom was myself, Isaac Patchin, my brother, Ezra Thorp. 
Lieutenant Henry Thorp and Major Henry. 

It was early in the month of April — the second day of the month—when wo <-■;■' ' ik 
place of rendezvous, a distance from the Forts of Schoharie of about thirty mil ivy 

snow storm came on, during- which about three feet of snow fell, in addition to tl, was 

on the ground before. 

'We were not in the least apprehensive of dano;er, as the nearest Fort of the en . ; . :;; at 
Niagara ; knowing also that .Sullivan, the year before, had sroured the Chemung and Genesee 
countries, killed or driven the Indians to Canada ; also as it was winter, and the snow very 
deep, we supposed were circumstances of sufficient magnitude to prevent marauding parties 
effjctually from approaching from that quarter, at that peculiar time. 

We had tapped, as the sugar making phrase is, a great number of trees, finding the proper 
utensils at hand, as they had been before occupied in the same way, by the inhabitants, who 
were fled to other places for safety. A few hundred pounds of maple sugar, would have been 
a groat acquisition, as the inmates of the Forts were in want of all things ; having been com- 
pelled to floe from their homos to Schoharie and other places of safety. 

We had proceeded in our enterprise of sugar making, as merrily as the fatiguing nature of 
the business would permit, a few days, when, on the 7th of Ajinl, 1780, at about two o'clock in 
the afternoon, we were suddenly beset and surrounded by forty-three Indians and seven tories. 
The names of the tories 1 forbear to mention, except two or three, of whom the reader will 
hear in the course of the narrative, the rest I have thought; proper not to name, as their de- 
scendants are not chargeable with the misguided acts of their fathers ; and it is not my wish 
afthis time of day to cast reflections and grieve the innocent. 

So silent had been the approach of the enemy, that tlu'ee of our number lay weltering in 
their bloo 1, before I, or any of the rest knew they were among us, as we were scattered here 
and there, busy with our work. I was not far from our captain, when I saw the Indians firsr, 
who was accosted by Brant, their leader, as follows : — "Harper, I am sorry to find you hero.'' 
Why, said Harper, Captain Brant, are you sorry? "Because, he rejoined, I must kill you, 
though we were school mates in youth." When he lifted and flourished his tomahawk over 
his head, ready to execute the deed, but suddenly, as if paralyzed by a stroke of magic, stop- 
ped this act of murder, as if some new and important thouglit had crossed his mind — when ho 
gazed at. Harper with an eye as keen and deadly as a serpent, saying, "Are there any troops at 
the Forts in Schoharie']" iiarper perceived in a moment, that the answer to this question 
would either save their lives or procure their instant death ; for if he should say iYo, which 
would have been the truth, the Indians would have instantly killed them all, and then proceed- 
ed to Old Schoharie, massacreing as they went, and cut off the whole inhabitants before help 
could have been had from any quarter, and the enemy, as a v»'olf, whf^n the morning appears 
flees with the shades of night. 

Accordingly, he answered, "There are throe hundred continental troops now at the Forts, 
uho arrived there about three days since."' But the whole of this statement was untrue ; yet 
who will condemn the captain, aud say the act would need much repentance, ere it should have 
Oiitaincd forgiveness. 

On hearing tins, the countenance of Hrant fell, when he waved his hand, a signal tc the 
chiefs; stopped the massicre, and called a council of war; all of weich, from the time Brant 
had brandished his hatchet over the head of Harper, had been but the work of a moment. 

The eleven survivors were seized, pinioned, and turned altogether into a hogpen, where they 
were kept till morning. A guard of tories, with one Becraft by name, at their head, was set 
over them in the pen, a bloody villain, as will appear in the course of this account. 

All night Brant and his warriors, with the tories, were in fi':^ice consultation whether the 
prisoners should be put to death, or taken alive to iS'iagara. The chiefs appeared swayed by 
Brant, whose influence prevailed over the whole opposition of the murderous crew; there Wcs 
a reason for tliis, as will appear by and by. 

While this question was pending, we could see plainly their every act through the chinks of 
the pen, as a monstrous fire was in their midst, and hear every word, though none of us under- 
stood their language but our captain, wljose countenance we could perceive, by the light of the 
fire, from time tot:rae changing with the alternate passions of hope and fear, u'hiie ihe sweat 
ran copiously down his face, from the mere labor of his mind, although it was a cold night. 
And added to this, the sentry, the bloody Becraft, who was set as a guard, would every novi' 
nnd then cry out to us, "You will all be iu h'dl before morning.'' But there we were, tied neck 
and heels, or we would have beat t!ie pen about his head ; our captain wliispered to us that his 
word was doubted by the Ls^hans and' tories, who were for killing us, and proceeding without 
delay to Schoharie. 

At length the morning came, when Brant and his associate cliiefs, five in number, ordered 
t'.'at Harper be bronglit before them. Here the queation was renewed by Brant, wlio saidjVVa 



28 

are suspicious that you have lied to us; at the same time he sternly looked Harper in the face, 
to see if a muscle moved with fear or prevarication, 'i'o v,'hich our captain answered with a 
smile, expressive of confidence and scorn, and at the s:i>ne time desGrip«:ive of the most sin- 
cere and unvarying honesty, that every word which he had spoken, respecting th"^ arrival of 
troops at Schoharie, Vv/as wholly true.. His answer w:.r believed; at which moment not onlv 
their own lives were saved, but also tiiose of hundreds ,f men, with helpless women and chil". 
dren, who have not known to this day. except to the few ro whom the storv has been told, that so 
great a Providence stepped in between tliem and servitu le, tortures and dc:ith. 

It was extremely mortifying to Brant to be compelle.l to relinquish, at the very moment when 
he was ready to grasp the utmost of his v/'sh, in the gloi v and riches he v^^ould have acquired in 
the completion of his enterprise. Ho had fed th^- he; -s and wishes of his associate chiefs, 
warriors and tories with the same prospect^;; h;ivu!g calculated, from information long before 
received, that Sehoh^.rie was ;n a defenceless state, an 1 dreaded no evil, which rendered it ex- 
tremely difficult to restram them from killing the prisor.ars, out of mere fury st the disappoint- 
ment. A few moments of consultation ensued, when the rest were ordered out of the pen. 
Brant now disclosed the whole plan of tho expeditioi; 'n EngHsh, expressing his regret at its 
failure, stating that he and the other chiefs had with f= lenity saved them from hoing scalped. 
And that lie did not wish to kill them in cold blood now, they had been together a day and a 
night, and if they chose to go Vvuth him to Niagara as captives of war, they^might, but if they 
failed on the way through fatigue or the want of food, they must not expect to live, as their 
scalps v^ero as good for him as their bodies. 

They had no provisions with them, neither had they eat any thing as yet while we had 
been their prisoners, except what tiiey had found in our" sap-bush, which they had at first de- 
voured with the rapacity of cannibals. We now took up our line of march, with our arms 
strongly pinioried, our shoulders sorely pressed with enormous packs, our hearts bleeding at 
the dreadful journey before us, and the servitude we were exposed to undergo among the Indi- 
ans; ovU bought by tlie British, imprisonment by sea or land, was our certain fate, at least till 
the end of the war, if we even survived the journey. 

Tiie snov/ was then more than three feet deep, and being soft, rendered it impossible for u.s 
prisoners to travel, as we had no snow shoes, but th. Indians had: a part, therefore, went before 
us, and a part behind, all in Indian file : so by keeping their tracks we were enabled to go on, 
bui if we happened to fall down the Indians behind would cry out, "waugh Bostona." We had 
travelled about ten or twelve miles, when we came to a gristmill, situated on the Delaware, 
the owner of which welcomed this band of infernals, and gave them such refreshment as was 
iuliis power ; but to us poor prisoners, he gave nothing, while we Vv-ere made to sit apart on a 
Jog by the side of the road. 

I shall never forget the cruelty of three or four d^iughtera of this man, whose name I forbear 
to mention, out of pity to his descendants. These girls insisted thjat they had beUer kill us 
tlmi, for if, by any means, we should ever get back, their own lives would be taken by tlie 
wbigs ; their father also observpd to Brant that he had better have taken more scalps and less 
prisoners. When we were ready to proceed again, the miller gave Ihant i^bout three bushels 
of shelled corn, which wos divided into eleven equal parts, and put upon our backs, already 
too heavily burdened. This corn was all the whole body of Indians and ourselves had to sub- 
sist upon from there to Niagara, except that which accidentally might fall in our way, a dis- 
tance of more than three hundred miles, entirely a wilderness. 

FroLi this mill we travelled directly down tlse river; we had not, however, gone many miles, 
when we met a man v.'ho v.'as a tory, well knouii to Brant, by name Samuel Clockstone ;. who 
seeing us the prisoners, was surprised, as he knew us, when Brant related to him his adven- 
ture, and how iie had been defeated by the account captain Harper had given of the troop.s 
lately arrived at Schoharie. Troops! "said Clockstone ; there are no troops at that place, you 
may rely upon it captain Brant. I have heard of none. In a moment the snalce eyes of Brant 
ilashed murder, and running to Harper, said in a voice of unrestrained fourj'. his hatchet vi- 
brating about his head like the tongue of a viper; how came you to lie to me so? When Har- 
per, turning round to the tory, said, you know, Mr. Clockstone, I have been there but four days 
biuce ; you know since our party Vv-aa stationed at the head of the river, at the sap-bush, that [ 
have been once to the Forts alone, and there v.'lto troops, a3 I have stated, and if Capt. Brant 
disbelieves it he does it at his peril. 

That Harper had been tliere, as iie stated, Iiappened to be true, wJiich the tory also happen- 
ed to knovv' ; when he replied, yes, I know it. All the while Br.^nt had glared intensely on tho 
countenance of Harper, if possible to discover some misgiving there, but all svas firm and fair; 
when he again believed him, and resumed his march. 

There was a very aged man by tlie name of Brown, who had not gone off with the rest of 
the families who had iled the country. This miserable old man, with two grand sons, mero 
lads, were taken by Brant's party, and compelled to go prisoners with us. The day after our 
raeeting with the tory, as above noticed, this old old man, who v/as entirely bald from age, be- 
came too weary to keep up with the rest, and requested that he might be permitted to return, 



29 

and alleg-ed as a reason, that he was too old to take part in the war, and therefore could do the 
kini:'s cause no harm. 

At this request, instead of answering him, a Jialt was made, and tlio man's pack was taken 
from i;iui, — wiicii he spoke in a low voice to h;:i "-rand sons, saying, that Jie should sea tiiem 
no more, for tiipy arc going to kill rn-^; this he knew, b'jirio- acpua:.>!tet! with the 'manners of 
the Indians. He was now taken to the rear of th« party, and left m the care of an Indian, 
whose face was painted entirely black, as a token of his office, which was kill and scalp any 
of tlie prisoners who might give out on the way. In a short time the Indian came on again 
with the bald scalp of the old man, dandling at the end of his gun, hitched in bstween the 
ramrod and muzzle, 'i'his he often fiappod in the boys' faces on the journey. The place at 
which this was done, was just on the point of a mountain not far from where Judge Fojtused 
to live, on the Delaware, below Delhi. 'I'here he was left, and doubtless devoured by wild 
animals; human boness were afterwards found on that part of the mountain. 

We pursued our way down the Delaware, till wa came to the Cook-house, suffering very 
much night and day, from the tightness of the cords with which our arms were bound. From 
this place we crossed through the wilderness, over hills and mountains, the most dismal and 
difficult to be conceived of, till we came to a place called Ochquigo, on the Susquehannah ri- 
ver, which had been an Indian settlement before the war. Here they constructed several 
rafts out of logs, which thoy fastened together by withes and poles passing crosswise, on 
which, after untieing us. we were placed, themselves managing to steer, 'i'hese soon floated 
1J3 down as far as the mouth of the Chemung river, where we disembarked and were again tied, 
taking up our line of march for the Genesee country. 

The Indians we found, Vv'ere more capable of sustaining fatigue than we were, and easily out 

travelled us, Vv'hich circumstance would have led to the loss of our lives, had not a sino-ular 

ProvidonL:e interfered to save us ; this was the indisposition of Urant, who, every other da}', 

,for a considerable time, fell sick, so that the party were compelled to wait for him, this gave 

opportunity for to rest ourselves. 

Brant's sickness was an attack of the fever and ague, which he checked by the Uoe of a 
preparation from the rattlesnake, 'J'he rattlesnake he caught on the side of a hill facing the 
south, on which the sun shone, and had melted away the snow from the mouth of their dens; 
when, it appears, one had crawled out, being mvited by the Vv-armth. The reader will 
also observe that about a fortnight had nO'V elapsed from the time of their captivity, so that the 
season was farther advanced ; and added, to this, the snov/ is sooner melted on the Chemung, 
in Peunsylvania, being farther south, by about three degrees, than the head of the Delavvare, 
yet in places even then, there was snow on the ground, and in the woods it vv'as still deep. Of 
this snake he made a soup, which operated as ;> cure to the attack of the ague. 

The reader v/ill remember the three bushels of corn given at the mill ; this they fairly and 
equally divided among us all, which amounted to two handfuls a day, and that none should have 
more or less than another, '.vhile it lasted, the corns were counted as we leceived them ; in this 
respect Brant w^is just and kind. This corn we were allowed to boil in their kettles, when the 
Indians had finished theirs ; we generally contrived to pound it before we boiled it, as we had 
found a mortar at a deserted wigv^am left by the Indians the year before, who had been driven 
away by Gen. Sullivan. VVhile in the neighborhood of what is now called Tioga Point, we but 
narrowly escaped every man of us being butchered on the spot ; a miracle, as it were, saved us. 
The cause was as follows:— At this place, when Brant was on his wny down the Chemung, on 
tliis same expedition, but a few days before, ho had detached eleven Indians from his company, 
lopa.ss through the v;oods from Tioga Point to a place called the J^Imisink. It was known to 
^">ant that at this place were a few families, where it was supposed several prisoners might be 

ide, or scalps taken, which at Niagara would fetch them t- ight dollars apiece. Tiiis was the 
great stimulus by vyhich the Indians m the Hevolution were incited by BiUler, the British agent, 
to perpetrate so many horrid murders' upon women, children, and helpless old age, in this re- 
gion of country. 

f nis pu-ty made good their way to the Minisink, when lying concealed in the woods, they 
managed to get into their possession o lo after another, nve lusty men, and hid brought them 
as far as to tlip east side of the Husquehannah. opposite Tioga Point. Here they encamped 
for the nigiit, intending in the morning to construct a raft , in order to float themselves over 
the river, as they had done on Iheir way toward the Minisink, a few days before, and so pursue 
their way up the Chemung, which course was the great thoroughfare of the Indians from the 
Snsquahani ah country to that of ths Genesee. 

Here, while the eleven Indians, lay fast asleep, being greatly fatigued, and apprehendini? no 
danger, as the prisoners were securely bound, and also sleeping soundly, as the Indians sup- 
posed, before they laid themselves down ; but as the soul of one man, the prisoners were ever 
watchaig. '^oine opportunity to escape. 

Butth !s was not possible, even if they could have made their escape, unless they s!;ould 
first iiiv3'ei!'bcted4he death of the whole of the party of Indians, ihis object tiserefure was 
their constant aim. This night, by some means unknown, one of the prisoners got loose,doubtr. 



S3 

less, either by knawlng off his cord, or by chafing it in two as he lay on it, or during the day had 
managed to hitch it as often as he could against the snags of the trees, till it had 
bcconrie freltcd and weak, in some place, so tliat at last he got it in two. When 
this was ciiected, he silently cut the cords of his follows, the Indians sleeping 
exceedingly sound ; when each man took a hatchet, and in a moment nine of 
them received their blades, to their handles, in their brains; but the sound of 
the blows, in cutting tiirough the bone of their heads, awaked the other two', 
who sprung upon their feet as quick as thought, when one of them, as they fled, 
received the blade of a hatcbet between his shoulders, which, however, did not 
kill him, nor prevent his escape — yet he vv'as tei'ribly wounded. These men, 
who had so heroically made their escape, returned, as was supposed, to their 
homes to relate to their families and posterity (he perils of that dreadful night. 

After they had gone, the two Indians relunicd to the spot, where lay their 
ruthless but unfortunate companions, fast locked not only in the sleep of the 
night, but that of death, never moie to torment the ear of civilized life with 
the death yells of their sepulchral throats. They took from the feet of their 
slaughtered friends, their mocasins. nine pair in number, and then constructed 
a float of logs, on which they crossed the I'iver, and had proceeded a little way 
up the Chemung, where they had built a hut, and the well Indian was endea- 
voring to cure his wounded companion. 

When the whooping of the party of Indians to v.hom we were prisoners, struck 
his ear, he gave the death yell, which rung on (he dull air as the scream of a 
demon, reverberating, in doleful echoes, up and down the stream; at which the 
whole body made a halt, and stood in mute astonishment, not knowing what 
this could mean ; when directly the two Indians made their appearance, exhibit- 
ing the nine pair of mocasins, and relating in the Indian tongue, v/hich Harper 
understood, the death of (heir companions. In a monsent, as if transformed to 
devils, they threw themselves into a great circle ar£)und-us, exhibiting the most 
horrid gestures, gnashing their teeth like a gang. of wolves ready to de»'our, 
brandishing their tom.ahawks over us, as so many arrows of death. But here 
let it be spoken to the praise of a Divine Providence, — at the moment when we 
had given ourselves up as lost — the very Indian, who was a chief, and had been 
the only one of the eleven who had escaped unhurt, threw himself into the midst 
of the ring, and with a shake of his hand gave the signal of silence, when he 
plead our cause, by simply saying, these arc not the men who killed our friends, 
and to take the hfe of (he innocent in cold blood, cannol be right. 

As it happened, (his Indian knew us all, for he had lived about Schoharie be- 
fore the war, and was known as an inotfensive and kind hearted native, but 
when (he war can>e on, had seen (it to join the British hidians ; his words had 
the desired euect, arrested the mind of Brant, and soothed to composure the 
terrific storm, that a moment before had threatened to destroy us. 

Again we resumed our course, bearing with considerably more patience and 
fortitude the anguish of our suiferings, than it is likely we should have done, bad 
our lives not been preserved from a ijreater calamity, just described. We soon 
came to Newtown, where we were nearly at the point of starvation, Indians and 
all, as we had nothing to eat, except a handful or two of corn a day ; and what 
the end woald have been is not hard lo foresee, had not the amazing number of 
wolf tracks remaining, directed us to (lie carcass of a dead horse. The poor 
brute had been left to (ake care of itself, the summer before, by Sullivan, in his 
march to the Indian country, being unfit for further service as a pack horse. — 
Here, on the commons of nature, which during the summer and fall, it is likely, 
produced an abundance of pasturage, but when winter came on, aiui rendered 
it impossible for the poor worn out animal, to take care of itself^ — death came to 
its relief. That it had lived till the winter had become severe, was evident*. 



31 

from its not being in the least degree putrescent, but was complelely frozen, it 
having been buried in the snow during the winter. 

The wolves had torn and gnawed the upper side quite away, but not being 
able to turn the carcass over, it was sound and entire on the under side. This 
we seized upon, rejoicing as at the (inding of hidden treasures ; it was instantly 
cut to pieces, bones, head and hoofs, and equally divided among the whole. — 
Fires were built, at which we roasted and eat, without salt, each his own share, 
with the highest degree of satisfaction. 

Near this place wc found the famous Painted Post, which is now known over 
the whole continent, to those conversant with the early history of our country ; 
the origin of whicii was as follows. Whether it was in the revolution, or in the 
Dunmore battles with the Indians, which commenced in Virginia, or in tlie 
French war, I do not know; an Indian chief, on this spot, had been victorious in 
battle, killed and took prisoners to the number of about sixty. This event he 
celebrated by causing a tree to be taken from the forest and hewed four square, 
painted red, and the number he killed, which was twenty-eight, represented 
across the post in black paint, without any heads, but those he took prisoners, 
which was thirty, were represented with heads on, in bla^k paint, as the others. 
This post he erected, and thus handed down to posterity, an account that here a 
batfle was fought, but by whom, and who the suherers were, is covered in dark- 
ness, except that it was between the whites and Indians. 

This post will probably continue as long as the country shall remiain inhabi- 
ted, as the citizens heretofore have uniformly replaced it with a new one, exact- 
ly like the original, whenever it has become decayed. 

Nothing more of note happened to us, till we came to the Genesee river, ex- 
cept a continued state of sulfering. We passed along between the Chemung and 
the heads of the lakes Cayuga and vSeneca, leaving the route of Sullivan, and 
went over the mountains farther north, These mountains, as they were very 
steep and high, being covered with brush, our bodies weak and emaciated, v/ere 
almost in^jrmountable ; but at lensjth we reached the top of the last and highest, 
which overlooks immeasurable wilds, the ancient abode of men and nations un- 
known, whose history is written only in the dust. 

Here v.'e h.alted to rest, when the tory Becraft, took it in his head to boast of 
what he had done in the way of muider, since the war began. lie said that he 
and others had killed some of ihe inhabitants of Schoharie, and that among them 
was the family of one Vrooman. The?e, he said, they soon despatched, except 
a boy of about fourteen yeai's of age, who lied across the ilat, toward the Scho- 
harie river. I took alter the lad, said the tory, and ailhough he ran like a spirit, 
I soon overtook him, and putting my hand under his chin, iaid him back on my 
thigh, though he struggled hard, cut his throat, scalped him, and hung the body 
across the tence. This made my blood run cold ; vengeance boiled through 
every vein, but we dare not say a word to provoke our enemies, as it would be 
useless. This man, however, got his due, in a measure, after the war was over : 
wliich will be related at the end of this account. 

Another of them, by the name o{ Barney Cane, boasted that he had killed one 
Major Hopkins, on [)imon I-land, in lake Geoi-ge. A party of pleasure, as he 
stated, had gone to this island on a sailing excursion, and having spent more time 
than they were aware of, before they were ready to return, concluded to en- 
camp, and remain aU'night, as it would be impossible for them to return to the 
fort. 

From the shore where we lay hid, it was easy to watch their motions ; and 

perceiving their defenceless situation, as soon as it was dark, we set otffor the 

island, where we found them asleep by their hre, and discharged our guns among 

'leoa. Several were killed, among whom was one woman, who had a suckiq^ 



32 

child, which was not hurt. This we put to the hreast of its dead mother, and 
so we left it. But Major Hopkins was only wounded, his thiijh bone being brok- 
en ; he started from his sleep to a rising posture, wlien 1 struck him, said Bar- 
ney Cane, witii the but of my gun, on the side of his head, he fell over, but 
caught on one hand; I then knocked him the other way, when he caught with 
the other hand ; a third blow, and 1 laid him dead. These were all scalped ex- 
cept the infant. In the morning, a party from the fort went and brought away 
fhe dead, together with one they found alive, aithough he was scalped, and the 
babe, which was hanging and sobbing at the bosom of its lifeless niotlier. 

Having rested ourselves and our tantalizing companions having linished the 
stories of their in farm/, we descended the mountains toward the Genesee which 
we cnnic in sight of the next day about two oVJock. Here we wcie met by a 
small company of natives, who had come*to the flats of the Genesee, for the pur- 
pose ot^ corn planting, as soon as the v>^atcrs of the river should fall suthciently to 
drain the ground of its water. These Indians had with them a very beautiful 
horse, which Brant directed to be cut to pieces in a moment, and divided equally, 
without dressing, or any such fashionable delay, which was done ; no part of the 
animal whatever, being suffered to be lost. There fell to each man of the com- 
pany but a small piece, which we roasted, using the zohite ashes of our lires as 
salt, which gave it a delicious relish; this Brant him?elf showed us how to do. 

On these flats werf found iniinite quantities of ground nuts, a root in form and 
size about equal to a musket ball; which, being roasied, became exceedingly 
mealy and sweet. These, together with our new acquisition of horse flesh, form- 
ed a delicious lepast. 

Fronr: this place Brant sent a runner to Niagara, a distance of about eighty 
miles, i:i order to inform the garrison of his approach, and of the number of pri- 
soners lie had, their name and quality. This was-a most Iiumane act of Brant, 
as by this means he cilecied the removal of all the hidian warriors in the two 
camps contiguous to tlie fort. 

Brant was in possessioii of a secret respecting Harper, v/hich he had careful- 
ly concealed in his own breast during the whole journey, and, probably, m the 
very first instance, at the time when he discovered that Harper was his prisoner, 
operated by influencing him, if possible, to save his life. This secret consisted 
in a knowledge that there was then in the fort a British oflker who had married 
a niece of Harper, Jane More, whose m.olher was the sister of Captain Harper. 
This girl, togelher with her mother and a sister, had been captured at ihe mas- 
sacre of Cherry V;dley, and taken to Niagara. This information was conveyed 
hy the means of tlie runsier, to the husband of Jane iUore, Captain Powe!, who. 
when the girl was first brou,u,ht by Butler and his Indians, a prisoner to the fort, 
loved, courted, and b.onorably n)arried the girl. 

Now, if Powell wished to s';ive the life of his wife's uncle, he had the oppor- 
tunity, by doing as Brant had suggested — that was, to send the warriors of both 
camps down the lake to the Nine Mile Landing, with the expectation of meeting 
Brant iherc, wlsose prisoners would be given into their hands, to be dealt wilrt 
aS the genius of their natures and customs might suggest. Accordingly, Fowel 
told his wife that. her mscSe was among the prisoners of Brant, who had sent him 
word. a:Ki that (he warriors must be sent away ; to whom he gave a quantity of 
j-nm. as (hey thouglit, to aid in the celebration of their infernal pov,'\vows, at the 
Nine Mile Landing, haviiig obtained the consent of his superior, Col. Butler, to 
do so. 

Brant had concealed, from bo!h his Indian? and torics, as well as from the 
•prisoners, tliat Powel, at the fort, was H.irper's rehilive, or that h.e had made the 
above arrangement. The reader may probably wish to know zvhj/ the warriors 
in those twp camps ^i».s.' be sent away, in order to save the lives of the prisoners. 



83 

All ptirsoiis acquainted with Indian customs, in time of war, know very well lliat 
the unhappy wretch, vvho falls into their hands at such a time, is compelled to 
nui what is cniled the gauntlet, between two rows of Indians, composed of war- 
riors, old men, women and children, who, as the prisoner flics between, if pos- 
sible, to reach a certain point assigned, called a council house, or a fort, receives 
from every one who can reach him, a blow with the list, club, hatchet, or knifcj 
and even waddint^ iired into their bodies, so that they generally die with their 
wounds before they reach the appointed place, though they struggle with all 
the violence of hope and despair. 

We had now, on the fourth day after the runner had been sent, arrived with- 
in about two miles of Niagara, when tlie tories began to tell us the danger we 
soon were to be exposed to, in passing; those two Indian encampments, which, 
till then, we knew nothinrj; of; this difficulty they were careful to describe in the 
most critical manner; so that every step, although so near our journey's end, 
when we hoped at last to have our hunger satisfied, was as the steps of the 
wretch condemned to die. But on coming to the first encampment, what was 
•our suiprise and joy at tindin;^ nothing tiiere capable of injuring us, but a few old 
women and children, who had indeed formed themselves as before described.-^ 
However, one old squaw coming, up in a very friendly manner, saluted me, by 
■saying, poor shild, poor shild, when she gave me a blow, which, as I was tired, 
could not be parried, that nearly split my head in two. 

But now the desired fort, although it was to be our prison house, was seen 
through the opening woods. I had come to within about five rods of the gate- 
way, still agonizing under the effects of the otd squaw's blow, when a young 
savage, about twelve years old, came running with a hatchet in his hand, directly 
up to me, and seizing hold of the;;e/Mm6 lie. or cord, by which I was tied, twitch- 
ed me round, so that v/e faced each other, when he gave me a blow exactly be- 
tvireen my eyes on the forehead, thc.t nearly dropped me dead, as I was weak and 
faint, the blood spouted out at a dreadful rate, when a soldier snatched the little 
■demon's hatchet, and flung it into the lake. Whether Brant was rewarded over 
and above the eight dollars, (which was the stipulated price per head,) for Har- 
per, or not. I cannot tell ; but as was most natural to suppose, there was on the 
part of himself and neice, great joy on so unexpectedly falling in with friends 
and relations, in the midst of enemies, and on the part of Powell, respect and 
kindness was shown to Harper, on account of the lovely Jane, who had become 
a talisman of peace between them. 

We had scarcely arrived, when we were brought to the presence of a number 
of British oflicers of the crown, who blazed in all the glory of military habili- 
ments ; and among them, as chief, was the bloated, insolent, unprincipled, cruel, 
infamous Butler^ whose name will stink in the recollections of men, to be the la- 
test page of American history ; because it was him who directed, rewarded, and 
encouraged the operation of the Indians and tories all along from Canada to the 
state of Delaware. This man commenced, in a very abusive manner, to ques- 
tion us respecting the American affairs ; and addressing me in particular, proba- 
bly because nearer me than any of the rest whether I did not think that, by and 
by, his Indians would compel a general surrender of the Yankees ? I replied to 
him in as modest a manner as possible, not feeling in a mood of repartee, as the 
blood from the wound in my forehead still continued to trickle down my face, 
covering my vest and bosom with blood, that I did not wish to say any thing 
about it, nor to give offence to any one. But he would not excuse me ; still 
insisting that I should say whether 1 did not think so ; to which I firmly replied 
-T-feeling what blood and spirit there were yet remaining in me, to rouse a little — 
that if I must answer him, it was to say no ; and that he might as well think to 

5 



34 

empty the lake of its waters at a bucket full a time, as to conquer the Yankee in 
that way. At which he burst out in a violent manner, calling nne a dain?d rebel, 
forgiving him such an insolent answer, and ordered me out of his sight ; but 
here, when readv to sink to the floor, (not from any thing the huge bulk of flesh 
had said to me,"^ but from hunger, weariness, and the loss of blood.) a noble 
hearted officer interposed, saying to Butler, '-The lad !>> not to blame, as you 
have compelled him to answer your questior., which no doubt he has done, ac- 
cording to the best of his judgment. Here, poor fellow, take this glass of wine 
and drink." Thus the matter ended. [Here the old General wept, at the re- 
collection of so much kindness, where he expected none.] 

We were now given over to the care of a woman, JSancy Bundy by name, 
who had been ordered to prepare us a soup, made of proper materials, who was 
not slow to relieve our distress as far as she dare, as she was also a prisoner. But 
taking off the belt which I had worn around my body, as the manner of the In- 
diams is to keep the wind out of the stomach, it appeared that 1 was ready to dis- 
own my own body, had 1 not been convinced by my other sense that there was 
no mistake. 

I will just give the reader a short account of this woman, as I received it from 
herself. She stated that herself, her husband and two children, were captured at 
the massacre of Wyoming, by the Butlers, Indians, and tories, and brought to the 
Genesee country, then entirely inhabited by the natives. There she had been 
parted from her husband, the Indians carrying him she knew not where, but to 
■some other and distant tribe. She had not been long in the possession of the tribe, 
with whom she had been left, after her husband was taken from her, when the 
Indian who had taken her prisoner, addressed her,and was desirous of makng her 
■his wife ; but she repulsed him, saying very imprudently, she had one husband, 
and it would be unlawful to have more than one. This seemed to satisfy him, 
and I saw him no more for a long time ; but after a wlvilc he came again, and re- 
.lewed his suit, alleging that now there was no objection to her marrying him, as 
her husband was dead, for, said the Indian, I found where he was, and have killed 
him. I then told him if he had killed my husband he might kill me also, for 1 
would not marry a murderer. When he saw I v/as resolute, and that his person 
was hateful in my sight, he took and tied me, and brought me to this place, and 
sold me for eight dollars. But where my husband is buried, or whether he is 
buried at all, or where my children are, I cannot tell 5 but whether she ever re- 
turned to the states again, is beyond my knowledge. 

From this prison, after being sold to the British garrison for eight dollars a head, 
we were sent across the lake to Carlton Island, from this place down to the 
Cedars, from the Cedars we vvere transported from place to place, till at length 
were permanently lodged in the prison at Chambiec. Here we were put in irons, 
and remained two years, suffering every thing but death, for want of clothes, fire, 
food, medicine, exercise and pure air. At length, from the weight and incon- 
venience of my irons, I became so weak that I could not rise from the floor, when 
my fellow sufferer, Thorp, who was not as badly off as myself, used to help me up. 
The physician appointed to have the care of the prisoners, whose name was 
Penderorass, paid but little attention to his charge, seldom visiting us, but never 
examining closely into our situation ; consequently a description of my horrid 
•condition would afflict the reader, on which account 1 forbear it. At length, 
however, this physician was removed, and another put in his place, of an entire- 
ly contrary character; he was humane, inquisitive, industrious, and skilful. 

When he came first to that part of the prison where myself and about twenty 
others were confined, the captain of the fort came with him, when the doctor 
proceeded, one by one, to examine us, instead of giving us a general look only, 
as the other ha<l done. The place where 1 sat was quite in one corner. I had 



35 
chosen rt, because it was the darkest, iuid served (o hide me from observation 
more than other parts of the room, I had contrived to get into my possession an 
old rug of some sort, which partly hid my naked limbs 5 this I kept over my lap, 
in the best possible manner. 

After a while, it became my turn to be examined ; when he said. Well, my lad^ 
what is the matter with you ? From shame and fear lest he would witness the 
loathsome predicament which 1 was in, I said, Nothing, sir. Well, then, said 
he, get up. I cannot, sir, said 1. He then took the end of his cane, and putting 
it under the blanket that was partly over me, and served to hide me from my 
waist downward, and threw it quite from me. When a spectacle of human suf- 
fering presented itself, sucli as he had not dreamed of seeing. I had fixed my 
eyes steadily on his face, to see if aught of pity moved his breast; which I knew 
I could trace in his countenance, if any appeared. He turned pale ; a frowrt 
gathered on his brow, the curl of his lip denoted wrath ; when he turned round 
to the captain of the fort, whose name was Steel, and, looking sternly at him, 
said, in a voice of thunder, "You infamous villain, in the name of God, are you 
murdering people alive here ; send for your j)rovost sergeant in a moment, and 
knock ofTthat jt?oor/e//or«V span shackles, or 1 will smash you in a moment!" 

O, this language was balm to my wound ; was oil to my bleeding heart ; it was 
the voice of sympathy, of determined mercy, and immediate relief. I had a sol- 
dier's heart, which shrunk not; a fountain of tears; I had none in the hour of 
battle; but now they rushed out amain, as if anxious to behold the man who, by 
his goodness, had drawn them from their deep seclusion. 

An entire change of situation now took place; our health was recovered, 
which rendered my imprisonment quite tolerable. From this place, after a 
while, we were sent to Rebel Island, or Cutodelack, or Cutthroat Island, where 
we remained a year, when peace was declared. We weie now sent to Mon- 
treal ; then to Quebec ; and then put on board a cartel ship, and sent round to 
Boston; though before we reached that place, we were driven out to sea in a 
storm, and nearly shipwrecked, suffering exceedingly ; but at last arrived at the 
desired haven ; where I once more set foot on my native land, and rejoiced 
that it was a land of liberty and Independence. 

As fast as possible we made the best of our way to Old Schoharie, which was 
our home, after an absence of three years, during which I suffered much, as 
well as my companions, for the love of my country ; which, under the blessing 
of heaven, I have enjoyed these many years. 

The reader will recollect Becraft, the tory, who stood sentry over us during 
the first night of our captivity, in the sap bush, who boasted he had cut the 
threat of a boy of the Vrooman family — this man had the audacity to return 
after the war to Old Schoharie, the scene of his villanies. 

As soon as it was known, a number of persons properly qualified to judge his 
case; having, during their captivity, tasted a little of his ability to distress and 
tantalize unnecessarily; and remembering his deeds, which he had confessed 
boastingly on the mountains of the Genesee — hastened there and surrounde«i 
the house where he was. Two or three of the number, who were deeply in- 
debted to his philanthropy, as need be, knocked at the door, and were bidden to 
come in ; when the redoubtable gentleman arose, respectfully inquiring after 
their health, and offering his hand ; the compliment was returned by a hearty 
and determined clench of his shoulders, by which he had the opportunity of mak- 
ing progress without the use of hydraulic or locomotive power, as far as to a 
very ominous staddle, which stood not far off, in a beautiful grove of hickory. 
There were ten persons in number, who composed this jury, and though they 
lacked two of the legal quantum, understoqd the c^se equally well neverthelesjji 
and as five of them happened to be left handed, and five who could swing the 



36 

right honorable arm full as adroitly, were an assortment of kintl and character. 

Becraft was stripped of the habiliments that covered a .skin which shrouded 
a heart in which dwelt a spirit as bad as the devil's worst, and tied him to this 
clean smooth staddle, as fair an one as grew in the forrest. Ten tJne excoria- 
tors, (gads,) were taken from the generous redundancy of the axc-handle tree, 
(hickory) and given to each of those light and left-handed gentlemen ; who, af- 
ter binding the culprit, to save him the trouble of running away from the said 
staddle, began, after dividing themselves in due form, so that a circle was formed 
quite around him, to do as the spirit of the occasion migiU lead their minds. 

Fifty lashes were declared by them a suitable expiation, to be placed upon 
the bare back, in such a manner as strength, and the exigency of the case, most 
rigorously demanded. Now, in the hour of judgment, a tenfold apparatus, that 
had the pliancy of examining the subject qin'te around, endeavored to awake into 
life a conscience that had died an unnatural death, some years before. 

A very commendable care, in resuscitating this invaluable principle, was tak- 
en, at the dawn of its opening into life, to inculcate what;7ori?a//ar ciime itwas 
that had operated with such deleterious influence; and now, through the smart- 
ing medium of what is esteemed a corrective, as v/ell as a coercive — an attempt 
was making not only to enliven the conscience, but to fix the atirighted memory 
on the horrible points mos/ prominent in his life of depravity. 

Now commenced the work of retribution. The first fen lashes played around 
him like the fiery serpents of the Great Saharah. hissing horror, when they said, 
♦'Becraft, it is for being a tory, when your country claimed the services of those 
it had nurtured on its bosom, you, like a traitor, stabbed it to the heart, as far as 
your arm had power." The second ten lashes came with augmented violence, 
as if the arrows of vengeance were drinking deep of life's keenest sensations ; 
Becraft ! it is for aiding in the ma>sacre of those who were your neighbors, the 
Vrooman family. A third series of /e?i lashes at a time, lapped their doleful his- 
sing around his infamous body, as if Vulcan, from the infernal regions, had sup- 
planted the hickory rods with tissues of red hot iron ; Becraft, it for the murder 
of that helpless boy, the son oif Vrooman, whom you scalped and hung on the 
fence. 

A fourth quantum of ten lashes at once, played around him as if the light- 
nings of some frowning cloud, streaming its direful fury at one selected victim, 
tearing anew, and entering deep into the quivering flesh; Becraft, it is for taunts 
jeers, and insults, when certain persons well known to you were captives among 
a savage enemy, which marked you as a dastardly wretch, fit only for contempt 
and torture, such as is nozo bestowed on your infamous body. 

Fifth and last series, of ten lashes at a time, as if the keen sword, hot from 
the armory of an independent and indignant people had sundered the wretched 
body, one part to the zenith, the other to the nadir : Becraft, it is for coming 
again to the bosom of that country upon which you have spit the venom of hate, 
and thus added insult to injury, never to be forgotten. 

Here they untied him, with this injunction — to flee the country, and never 
more return, to blast, with his presence, so pure an atmosphere as that where 
liberty and independence breathe and triumph. With which, it was supposed, 
he complied, as he has never been known in these parts since. He expressed 
his gratitude that he had been so gently dealt with, acknowledging his conduct 
to have been worthy of capital punishment. 

It is proper to state that General Patchin, whose narrative the reader is now 
acquainted with, is no more, having died at his estate in Blenheim, Schoharie 
county, a very short time after this account was written, 1830. He was a man 
of amiable manners, beloved and respected by his neighbors and a numerous 
acquaintance. He had acquired, in a fair and laudable manner, a genteel corn- 



d 37 

kipctencv of this worliPs goods; and also son\G pinnil porlion ofWn horvors. n^ he 
\ had been sent a representative of the county o(' Sc.ttohiuie to the Stnte [.eiii^- 
'' latiire; which phcc, it if- said, lie tilled with propriety, and n^ofiilne'"' to his <;on- 
} stitiients, when Dewit Clinton was Governor of the State of New YorL 



MUDJEE MONEDO AND MINNO MONEDO, OR THE SPIRIT OF 
EVIL AND THE SPIRIT OF GOOD.— a saginaw tale. 

In a beautiful portion of the country, uliicii was part forest and part prairie, there lived a. 
bloodythirsty M-diiito in the guise of an Indian, who niado nsc of ail iiis arts to decoy men into, 
his power for the purpose of killing thtMn. Although the country yielded -^n abundance of 
^amc, and every other production to satisfy his wants, yet it was tiio study of his hfe to de- 
stroy human beings, and subsist upon their blood. The country had once been th.ckly popiv- 
lated, but he had thinned it off by his wickedness, and his lodge was surrounded by the bleach- 
ed bones of his victims. 

The secret of ius success lay in his great speed. He had the power to assume ihe shapo of 
any quadruped, and it was liis custom to challenge persons lo run with him. He had a beaten 
path on which he ran, leading around a large lake, and he ahvaj-s ran around this circle, »<> 
that the starting and winning point were the same. At this point stood a post, having a sharp 
and shining knife tied to it, and whoever lost the race lost his life. Tbe winner immediate! y 
took up the knife and cut offhis competitor's head. IN'o roan was ever known to beat this evil 
Manito in the race, although he ran every day ; for whenever he was pressed hard, he changed 
himself into a fox, wolf, or deer, or other swift-footed animal, and thu-s left his competitor be- 
hind. 

The whole country was in dread of him, and yet, such was the fully and raslmess of the 
young men, that they were continually running with him ; for if they refused, he called them 
cowards, which was a taunt they could not bear. They would rather die than be called cow- 
ards. In other respects, the Manito had pleasing manners, and visited the lodges around thw. 
country, like others ; but his secret object in these visits was to see whether the young boys, 
were getting to be old enough to run with him, and he was careful to keep a watch upon their 
growth, and never failed to challenge them to run on his race ground. There was no family 
which had not lost some of its most active members in this way, and the Manito was execrated 
by all the Indian mothers in the country. 

There lived near him a widow, whose husband and ten sons he bad killed in tJiis way, and 
slie was now left with an only daughter and a son of ten or twelve years old, named Monedowa... 
She was very poor and feeble, and suffered so much for the want of food, that she would have 
been glad to die, had it not been for her daughter and her little son, who was not yet able to 
hunt. The Manito had already visited her lodge to see whether the boy was not sufficiently 
grown to challenge him. And the mother saw there was a great probability that he would be 
decoyed and killed as his father and brothers had been. StUl, she hoped a better fate wouW 
attend him, and strove, in the best way she could, to instruct him in the ma.\ims of a hunter's 
and a warrior's life. To the daughter she also taught all that could make her useful as a wife, 
and instructed her in the arts of working with porcupine quills on leather, and various other 
things, which the Indian females regard as accomplishments. She was also neat and tasteful 
in arranging her dress according to their customs, artd possessing a tall and graceful persoih 
she displayed her national costume to great advantage. She was kind and obedient. to her" 
raother, and never neglected to perform her appropriate dotnestic'duties. Her mother's lodge, 
stood on an elevaiion on the banks of a lake, which gave them a fine prospect of the conntry for. 
many miles around, the interior of which was diversified with groves and prairies. It was in. 
this quarter that they daily procured their fuel. One day the daughter had gone out lo these 
open groves to pick up dry limbs for their fire, and while admiring the scenery, she strolled, 
farther than usual, and was suddenly startled by the appearance of a young man near her. She, 
would have fled, but was arrested by his pleasing smile, and by hearing herself addressed in, 
her own language. The questions he asked were trivial, relating to her place of residence^ 
and family, and were answered with timidity. It could not be concealed, however, that they- 
were mutually pleased with each other, and before parting, be asked her to get her mother's 
consent to their marriage. She returned home later than usual, but was too timid to say any- 
thing to her mother on the subject. The meetings, however, with her admirer on the borders 
of the prairie, were frequent, and he every time requested her to speak to her mother on the 
subject of their marriage, which, however, she could not muster the resolution to do. At last 
the widow suspected something of the kind, from the tardiness of her daughter in coming in» 
aind from the scjinty quantity of fuel she sometimea brought. In answer to inquiries, she re-' 



38 

voalcd tliG clrcuniriUnco rf hor meetin.^ tb.c youn;^ man, and of his request. At^er reflecting 
iipon lipr lonely ami cK-stitnte situation, tlie mother gave her consent. The daughter went 
with a lio"liL step to coniniunicato the Jinswcr, which her Jover heard with delight, and after say- 
jiic that lie would come to the lodge at sunset, they separated. He wag punctual to his en- 
irao-ouieut. and came at the {)!-eci.se lime, dressed out as a warrior with every customary de- 
coration, and approached the lodp;e with a mild and pleasing, yet manly air and commanding 
step. On entering it, he sDoke atiectionately to his mother-in-law, whom he called (contrary 
to the usa^e,) i\Ei-:.TEE, ov frieiid. She directed him to sit down beside her daughter, and from 
this moine^it they were regirded as man and wite. 

Early the followin<i' moriung, he asked for the bow and arrows of those who had been slain 
by the ivlanito, and went out a hunting. As soon as he had got out of sight of the lodge, he 
transformed hanselt into a Pke.n'a, or patridge, and took his flight in the air. Where or how 
he procured his food, is unknown; but he returned at evening with the carcasses of two deer. 
This continued to be h;s daily practice, and it 'vas not long before the scaffolds near the lodge 
were loaded with meat. It was observed, however, that he ate but little himself, and that of a 
peculiar kind of meat, which added to some other particulars, convinced the family of his mys- 
terioue character, in a few days his moLher-ia-law told him that the Manito would come to 
i)ay them a visit, to see how the young man prospered. He told her that he should be away 
that day purposely, but would return the moment the visiter left them. On the day named he 
flew upon a tall troe, overlooking the lodge, and took his stand there to observe the movement 
of the Manito. 'i'his wicked spirit soon appeared, and as he passed the scaffolds of meat, cast 
Huspicious glances tov.'ard them. He hr'd no soonin- entered tlie lodge, stopping first to look, 
before he went in, than he said — " Why, woman, who is it that is furnishing you meat so 
plentifullvr' "i^o one,'' she answered, ''but my son— he is just beginning to kill deer." '-No, 
no," said'he. "some one is living with you." ' Kaween," said the old woman, (which means 
jio indeed,) dissembling again, "You are only jesting on my destitute situation. Who do you 
think would come and trouble themselves about me ?" "Very well," replied the Manito, " I 
will fo ; but on such a day, I v.iil again visit you, and see who it is that furnishes the meat, 
and whether it is your son or not." He had no sooner left the lodge and got out of sight, than 
the son-in-law made his ajipearance witli two more deer. On being told of the particulars of 
the yisit, " Verv well," sa'd he, "I will be at home next time and see him." They remon- 
i^tratfcd ai^ainst this, telling him of his cruelties, and the barbarous murders he had committed. 
"No matter," said he, "if he invites me to the race ground, I will not be backward. The re- 
sult will teach him to show pity on the vanquished, and not to trample on the widow, and those 
who are without fathers." When the day of the expected visit arrived, he told his wife to 
prepare certain pieces of meat, which he pointed out and handed to her, together wit'h two or 
three buds cf the birch-trec which he requested her to put in the pot; and he directed that no- 
thiutT should bo wanting to show the usual liospitality to their guest, although he knew that 
his only object was to kill him. He then dressed himself as a warrior, putting tints of red on 
his visao-e and dress, to show that he was prepared for either war or peace. 

As soon as the Manito arrived, he eyed this, to him, strange warrior, but dissembled his feel- 
ing's, and spoke laughingly to the old woman, saying, " Did I not tell you that some one was 
staying with von, for I knew your son was too young to hunf?"' Sha turned it off by saying 
that she did not think it necessary to tell him, as he was a Manito and knew before asking. He 
then conversed with the son-in-law on different topics, and finished by inviting him to the race 
ground, saying it was a manly amuse.ment — that it would give him an opportunity of seeing 
other men, and he should himself be pleased to run with him." "Why, he replied,. 
*'don't you see how old I look, while you are young and active. We must at least run to 
amuse others." " Be it so, then," replied the youn^ man, "I will go in the morning." Pleas- 
ed with his success, the Manito now wished to return, but he was pressed to remain and par- 
take of the customary hospitalities, although he endeavoured to excuse himself. The meal 
was immediately spread. But one dish was used. The young man partook of it first, to show 
his guest that he need not fear to partake, and saying at the same time to him, " It is a feast, 
and as we seldom meet, we must eat all that is placed on the dish, as a mark of gratitude to 
the Great Spirit for permitting me to kill the animals, and for the pleasure of seeing you, and 
partaking of it with you.'' They ate and conversed until they had eaten nearly all, when the 
Manito took up the dish and drank the broth. On setting it down, he immediately turned his 
head and commenced coughing violently, having, as the young man expected, swallowed a 

fraiu of the birch tops, which had lodged in his windpipe. He coughed incessantly, andfonud 
is situation so unpleasant, that he had to leave, saying, as he quit the lodge, that he shonld 
expect the young man at the race ground in the morning. 

Monedowa prepared himself early in the morning by oiling his limbs, and decorating hira- 
gelf so as to appear to advantage, and having procured leave for his brother to attend him, they 
repaired to the Manito's race ground. The Manito's lodge stood on an eminence, and a row 
of other lodges stood neP itllLnd a^ soO arilie young and his companion came near it, the 
jnmates cried out, "We are vi5ited.'''*-»ywhis'try he came out, and descended with them to 













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