History From America's Most Famous Valleys
Life and Times of
Sir William Johnson, Bart.,
by William L. Stone
Albany: J. Munsell, 78 State Street, 1865.
Detroit was, at this period, the most strongly fortified of any of the more remote western posts. It consisted of a stockade twenty-five feet high, in the form of a square, and contained about one hundred houses, many of which were occupied by the French and English fur-traders. The garrison, which numbered one hundred and twenty men and eight officers, was composed of Gage's light infantry, under the command of Major Gladwin, who, it will be remembered, had accompanied Sir William Johnson on his journey to Detroit, to succeed Captain Cambell in the command. In artillery the fort boasted of but five small pieces, and of these, three were mortars, and so badly mounted as to be of no service. Both banks of the river were lined, for the distance of eight miles, with the white cottages of the Canadian farmers who had been attracted hither by the mildness of the climate, the richness of the land, and the abundance of the game. About a mile below the fort, on the same bank of the river, was the Pottawatamy village; almost directly opposite, that of the Wyandots; and four miles above stood the wigwams of the Ottawas. Such was the situation of affairs, when, toward the close of April, Pontiac quietly invested the fort with upward of six hundred Indians.
It was the intention of Pontiac to gain admittance into the fort with three hundred of his warriors, and at a given signal, fall upon the unsuspecting garrison, and massacre them to a man. Happily, however, the plot was revealed to Major Gladwin on the sixth of May, by his mistress, a pretty Ojibwa girl, and steps were immediately taken for the safety of the garrison. Accordingly, when Pontiac and his warriors made their visit the next day, instead of straggling groups of soldiers at the corners of the streets, they saw the glitter of bayonets, and heard the roll of drums. Perceiving at a glance that his plot was discovered, the great Ottawa chieftain made a few hollow professions of friendship, and without giving the signal, withdrew with his followers, gnashing his teeth in impotent fury.
On the morning of the ninth, as the Canadians were returning from mass, Pontiac appeared on the green before the fort with three hundred warriors, but found the gate barred against him. To his question, why he was refused admittance, Gladwin curtly replied, that he might enter if he wished, but that it must be without the rabble at his heels. At this answer, the Indians threw off all farther dissimulation. Uttering horrid yells, they rushed into several English dwellings, built outside the palisades, and having tomahawked their wretched inmates, bore the reeking scalps to their camp, and spent the entire night in dancing and carousing. In the early dawn of the following morning, the rattling of bullets against the stockades told the garrison that the siege had begun.
There might yet be hope. Moored in the stream, close under the fort, lay two lightly armed schooners; the Beaver and the Gladwin. The latter vessel was now dispatched to Niagara for aid; and while she sped on her mission, Pontiac, with his hosts of warriors, calmly sat down before the fort in expectation of starving the garrison into a surrender. Of this, there at first seemed some danger. At the commencement of the siege, there was not in the fort provisions for more than three weeks; and had it not been for the supplies which a few friendly Canadians carried in under cover of the night, the garrison must eventually either have abandoned the post, or have died of starvation. Still, although the officers and men endeavored to keep up good courage, many weary weeks passed with no sight of the looked for succors. Each evening saw the savages watching with undiminished patience every movement of the garrison, and the morning sun found them still at their posts. A reinforcement of ninety-six men, under Lieutenant Cuyler, which had left Niagara on the thirteenth of May, was attacked by a party of Wyandots, near the mouth of the Detroit river, when about to encamp for the night. So sudden was the onset, that the detachment was completely routed. About forty of the English were taken prisoners, only to suffer death in its most horrible form--that of being roasted alive-and the remainder, among whom was Lieutenant Cuyler, having succeeded in escaping in two boats, reached Niagara on the sixth of June, bringing with them the tidings of the burning of Sandusky, the ruins of which they had passed on their return.
The condition of the garrison was now extremely critical. The besiegers had recently been reinforced by several bands of Ojibwas, thus increasing their force to more than eight hundred men.l The troops were worn out with want of sleep, and their daily allowance of food was reduced to the smallest pittance. Added to all this, their cheerful spirits, which had hitherto sustained them, began now to give way under the news that reached them of the fall, one after another of the western posts, until it was soon evident to them that they stood alone in the heart of the wilderness, a mere handful of men, surrounded by hundreds of implacable and relentless foes. Fortunately, however, on the twenty-third of June, a schooner arrived from Niagara, bringing Lieutenant Cuyler and sixty men, together with ample -supplies of provisions and ammunition. This opportune reinforcement renewed the fainting hopes of the garrison; and now no one spoke of abandoning the fort, but on the contrary, resolved to await patiently the relief which, as their situation was known, could not be far distant. Nor were they mistaken ; for while they yet waited, a strong reinforcement was on its way to their relief. The first intelligence of the rout of Lieutenant Cuyler's
1 These were Ottawas, Wyandots, Ojibwas and Pottawatamies.
party was communicated to General Amherst by Sir William Johnson, who received, it by an express from Niagara on the sixth of June. The general at once detached his favorite aid-de-camp, Captain Dalyell, to Niagara, with orders to proceed to Detroit with reinforcements, should he consider them necessary. Upon the latter's arrival at Niagara, and learning the situation of Detroit, he immediately embarked for that post, taking with him, in twenty-two bateaux, two hundred and eighty men,-among whom were twenty independent rangers under Rogers-several small cannon and a plentiful supply of provisions. Halting a day at Sandusky, to destroy the neighboring village of the Wyandots, Dalyell proceeded on his voyage, and appeared, like a beneficent avatar, before the eyes of the garrison, at sunrise on the twenty-ninth of July.
Dalyell, who had shared with Israel Putnam many a danger, partook of that officer's wild and daring spirit. No sooner, therefore, were his troops fairly disembarked, than he hastened to Gladwin's quarters, and begged to be allowed to lead his detachment against the besiegers that very night. The enemy, he urged, "may be surprised in their camp and driven out of the settlement." His superior officer at first shrunk from such a proceeding as rash and dangerous, but finally, overcome by the vehement persuasions of the impulsive captain, he reluctantly gave his consent. At half past two o'clock, on the morning of the thirty-first, two hundred and forty-eight picked men marched forth into the night. Two bateaux, each carrying a small cannon, followed up the river to render assistance if necessary. It was the intention of Dalyell to rush suddenly upon Pontiac and his Indians when asleep; but that chieftain, having been informed of his design through the treachery of a Canadian, broke up his camp, and with his warriors waited breathlessly for the English to come within his ambuscade. The party had advanced up the river road some two miles, and were just entering upon a bridge over a little stream that flowed into the river, when suddenly terrific yells filled the air, and the flashes of musketry revealed the dusky forms of the savages, hovering in clouds upon their rear and flanks. Nearly all of the advanced guard fell at the first fire, and the survivors, after vainly attempting to rally, retreated into the fort, under the cover of Major Rogers and his rangers, who, familiar with Indian tactics, took possession of a house on the roadside, and thus kept the pursuers at bay. In this night sortie, sixty-nine of the English were either killed or wounded. The brave Dalyell, himself, "marked by the enemy for his extreme bravery" received a mortal wound while endeavoring to rescue a sergeant of the fifty-fifth; and in the confusion of the: moment his body was left on the field.
A populous city has since grown up near the spot where Dalyell fell, and the busy hum of business has succeeded the din of savage warfare; but the scenes of this night will ever be commemorated by the purling stream which still retains the name of The Bloody Run.
For the relief of Fort Pitt, now closely besieged by the Delawares, Shawanese, and Wyandots, Colonel Bouquet was dispatched from Philadelphia by General Amherst, with a force of five hundred regulars. The latter were in no condition to undertake the journey. They were composed chiefly of Highlanders from the forty-second and seventy-seventh regiments, and were debilitated by their expedition to Havana, whence they had but recently returned. The exigency of the case, however, admitted of no delay, and Amherst had no alternative but to send
1 Parkman's Pontiac. "A [Manuscript] Journal of the siege of Detroit taken from the officers who were then in the fort, and wrote in their words in the following manner." This Manuscript Journal is signed by Major Robert Rogers, and dated at Detroit, 8 August, 1763, and was sent by the ranger to Sir William Johnson. Manuscript letter; De Couagne to Johnson. Also correspondence between Gladwin and Amherst.
The body of Capt. Dalyell, was recovered a few days after the fight in a shockingly mangled condition and buried inside of the fort. -- Manuscript Journal above quoted.
those troops that were immediately under his control, The legislature of Pennsylvania, involved in disputes with the Proprietaries, had voted for the defence of the frontier but seven hundred men, and instead of placing them under the control of the commander-in-chief, it had insisted upon constituting them a force merely for the protection of the farmers in gathering their harvests. Since the commencement of Indian hostilities, moreover, no news had been received from the garrison of Fort Pitt; nor was the solicitude thus occasioned, lessened by the knowledge that the spring floods of 1762 had washed away a large portion of the defences of that fort; and although at the time, the damage had been partially repaired by Lieutenant Colonel Eyre, who had been detailed for that purpose,1 yet the early floods of the present year, might, for all that was known to the contrary have again caused the same catastrophe. Its fate was therefore a matter of painful uncertainty.
Leaving Philadelphia the middle of July, and passing the deserted posts of Littleton and the Juniata, Colonel Bouquet arrived at Fort Bedford on the twenty-fifth, of July. Here he found the inhabitants in the wildest terror, occasioned by a recent incursion of the Indians into the Tuscarora valley, which had resulted in the massacre of some twenty-five of the settlers. Sick at heart at the desolation that every where met him, Bouquet crossed the Alleghenies with his little army, and reached Fort Ligonier, a small stockade just over the mountains, on the second of August. His arrival at this post was opportune. For many weeks it had been beleaguered by Indians, who with sleepless vigilance, had watched the garrison, and, cutting off all messengers to and from the fort, had nearly forced them to succumb. At the approach of the army, the savages raised the siege, and fled into the forest. Colonel Bouquet, having the fate of Braddock in those
1 Manuscript letter; Lieutenant Colonel Eyre to Sir William Johnson.
same mountain passes vividly before him, resolved to march the rest of the way as lightly equipped as possible. Leaving therefore at Fort Ligonier, most of the wagons and oxen, and such of his baggage as might prevent a successful resistance in case of an attack, he pushed forward with renewed alacrity. The result showed the wisdom of his precautions. Aware of the approach of the English, the Indians withdrew from before Fort Pitt on the last day of July, and having laid an ambuscade in a thickly wooded hollow near Bushy Run,1 anticipated an easy victory. But it was not Braddock or whom they now lay in wait.
At one o'clock, on the afternoon of the second day after leaving Port Ligonier, the crack of rifles in front of the column, followed by the dreaded war-whoop, announced the presence of the foe. Two companies of Highlanders immediately hastened to the support of the advanced guard, but they were unable to dislodge the enemy, until the whole column, having formed into line, charged with the bayonet, and trampling down the underbrush compelled them to retire. But their retreat was only momentary. Encouraging each other with their unearthly yells, they returned to the combat, and scattering in all directions they poured a deadly fire not only upon the flanks of the English, but also upon the convoy, which was some distance behind. And now to the rattling of musketry, yells of the savages, and the shouts of officers, was added the neighing of three hundred and fifty horses, as, frantic with terror, they attempted to break away from their drivers. A portion of the troops formed a circle around the horses and cattle to prevent a stampede, and the remainder, forming still another circle around their companions, fought manfully with the foe, hand to hand, and from tree to tree. For seven hours the battle was
1 A branch of turtle creek, falling into the Monongahela, ten miles above Fort Pitt.
thus hotly contested, until the shades of night fell upon the combatants.
The savages, confident of an easy victory on the morrow, waited impatiently for the dawn; while the troops weary and faint sank upon their arms to snatch a little repose. In the gray twilight of the following morning, the attack was renewed. The Indians fought with a fury only renndered the more intense, from the sight of their victims, as it were, in their very grasp. They now grew more bold in their approaches, and contrary to their usual manner of fighting, advanced from behind the trees, and delivered their fire in sight of the English. Observing their temerity Bouquet gave orders for a feigned retreat, hoping by this maneuver to bring the enemy together in a body. The ruse succeeded to perfection. The Indians seeing the English retreating, and impatient to secure their scalps, rushed from their coverts, only to be attacked on their flanks and rear by four companies of Highlanders who had made a detour through the forest for this purpose. As they turned to meet this attack in their rear, the retreating columns wheeled and pressed them so vigorously with the bayonet in front, that they gave way and fled in all directions, leaving sixty of their number dead on the field. The loss of the English, however, was not small, for in the two engagements not less than one hundred and fifteen men and eight officers were either killed, wounded or missing. Halting a day to prepare ambulances for the wounded, the party hastened forward and on the tenth of August, the garrison at the fort was gladdened by the waving plumes of the Highlanders emerging from the neighboring forest.
The battle of Bushy Run forever wiped away the stain which British prowess had received in the defeat of General Braddock. The assembly of Pennsylvania acknowledged the services of the gallant colonel in a formal vote; Sir Jeffery Amherst complimented highly his generalship; and the king thanked him in terms of high consideration.
While the wild flowers of the forest were drinking the blood of Bouquet's little band, the chiefs of the Five Nations were engaged in a pacific mission to the Senecas. Their efforts were only partially successful. The principal portion of that nation turned a deaf ear to the solicitations of their brethren, and refused to lay down the hatchet. A few of their castles, however, that had not yet gone upon the war path, were more placable, and seemingly ashamed of the behavior of their kindred, requested the intercession of the friendly ambassadors with Sir William Johnson, that, in consideration of their good conduct hitherto, he would make them an exception in the punishment, which, they were confident, would be visited upon their rebellious nation. To this request, the chiefs willingly assented, and accompanied by six of the friendly Senecas, they visited Johnson Hall to the number of three hundred and twenty-six, and held a conference with the Baronet on the seventh of September.
It has been intimated by a recent historian, that one of the main objects of this treaty was, to secure the "friendship and alliance of the Six Nations;" and that the whole assembly, at the opening of the council, " wore a sour and sullen look."1 Neither statement is quite correct. The task of conciliating the Five Nations-if indeed their warm attachment from the beginning of hostilities rendered conciliation necessary-had been accomplished by the meeting at the German Flats, two months previously, and also by numerous informal councils since held at Johnson
1 Parkman's Conspiracy of Pontiac, chap. xxi-It is but justice to this elegant and accurate writer to state, that when his work was written, the colonial documents of the State of New York,-whence my information in this matter is chiefly derived-had not been published. The truthfulness and diligence which stamp every page of Mr. Parkman's work show, that could that writer have had access to these documents his statement would doubtless have been modified.
Hall; and so far from coming to this council,-which, by the way, had been of their own soliciting,-in an angry mood, they came expressing the warmest attachment to their English brethren.1
In his treatment and reception of the deputies, the Baronet made a broad distinction between those representing the loyal nations of the Confederacy, and the Senecas Although he appears not to have doubted the sincerity of those Senecas who were present, yet he justly wished them to feel, that, coming from a nation who were in open rebellion, they were regarded with suspicion, and that they had, therefore, not the same claim to his confidence as the others. Still, out of respect to the loyal deputations, he thought it best, as he writes, "to treat them as a people who owed their protection entirely to the other nations." The Onondaga speaker opened the meeting by giving an account of the present proceedings of the Confederacy with the recreant Senecas. In answer to this, he was told by Sir William, that although their endeavors to bring that unhappy people to their senses, had been entirely unauthorized by him, yet it was doubtless well meant; and they must now perceive that the indifference with which their efforts and his admonition had been received, was a sufficient proof that the Senecas could only be brought to reason by a thorough chastisement. They must also be convinced, he added, that their deluded brethren were not only enemies to the English but traitors to the Confederacy, inasmuch as they disturbed the trade and general harmony of all the Six Nations. For this latter reason, it would be no more than just if they should themselves join General Amherst in putting down the rebellion; but they were not required to do that, but merely to sit still and observe, that while the English could punish those
1 Sir William Johnson to Sir Jeffrey Amherst, 20 August, 1763. Sir William Johnson to Sir Jeffrey Amherst, 25 August, 1763. Sir William Johnson to Sir Jeffrey Amherst, 14 September, 1763.
who had provoked the war, they could also reward those who kept the peace. In this latter class, he was glad that they were to be found. This had been fully proved by their recent message to the Canada Indians, inviting them to join in a peaceful alliance, and for which he now sincerely thanked them.
It happened at this time that a deputation of Caughnawagas-a people originally Mohawks hut now residing at the Sault St. Louis near Montreal-were at Johnson Hall. The object of their visit was to complain of wrongs done them by the Jesuits, in the purchase of a large tract of land, by virtue of a patent from Louis XIV. General Gage, who was still governor of Montreal, had given his opinion in their favor, but being unable to render a decision in the case, they now desired Sir William to lay this grievance before the king. Ever since the commencement of Indian hostilities, the Baronet had wished to persuade these Indians to take an active part in the war, as from the number of warriors they could bring into the field-more than three hundred-they would prove to the army a powerful auxiliary in forest warfare. It was therefore with pleasure that he found them willing and even desirous to go upon the war path. This, however, they dared not do until the ban that had been laid upon them at the close of the late war, had been removed. "When you took the war axe from us," said they, "you directed us to pursue our hunting, so that we must now be still, having no axe." Their military enthusiasm, however, was no longer to be restrained by the want of permission; for the Baronet, at the close of the council, presented them with a "good English axe, made of the best stuff," with a request that they should deliver it to all their warriors to be used in "cutting off all the bad links which had sullied the chain of friendship."l
Hardly had the last Indian, wrapping his blanket about
l " Proceedings [manuscript] of Sir Wm. Johnson with the Six Nations at Johnson Hall, Sept. 7th, 1763."
hin, departed, from Johnson Hall, when an event occurred which fully proved the justice of the Baronet's reply to the Onondaga orator. On the fourteenth of September, a party of five hundred Senecas, chiefly from Chenuasio,1 lay in wait for a convoy, which, having discharged its cargo at Fort Schlosser, a small post just above the Falls, was slowly returning to the lower landing of the Niagara carrying-place, escorted by a sergeant and twenty-four soldiers. The party had advanced to that portion of the road which forms the brink of the precipice now known as the Devil's Hole, when suddenly the Indians rising from their ambush, poured in a rapid discharge of musketry, and rushing forward with their glittering scalping knives, began the work of butchery. Those who escaped the tomahawk, were driven over the precipice, and with the horses went crashing down among the trees and crags into the yawning chasm. Three only escaped. One, a drummer boy, was caught as he fell, in the friendly branch of a free, and gliding down the trunk lay hidden at its foot. Another, a wounded driver, concealed in the thick evergreens, also escaped observation ; and the third, the officer in command of the convoy, being on horseback, forced his horse through the Indians, and bore the news to Fort Schlosser.
In the meantime, two companies of Colonel Wilmot's regiment, entrenched at the lower landing, and attracted by the firing, hastened to the aid of their comrades. For this movement, the savages were prepared; and as the troops in blind eagerness marched at a double quick step up the road, suddenly every bush, tree, and rock seemed instinct with life, and too late, the detachment saw itself surrounded by the relentless foe. Its compact body found a too easy mark for the unerring rifle, and at the enemy's first volley more than half of the troops bit the dust. The tomahawk and knife again finished the bloody work; and out of the two companies, only eight wounded men escaped with the sad tidings to Fort Niagara. From these two butcheries,
1 The principal village of the Senecas, about seventy miles east of Niagara.
for they can scarcely be called engagements,-the Senecas carried, to their wigwams eighty English scalps, including those of six officers. Upon hearing of the massacre, Major Wilkins, the officer in command at Niagara, hastened to the spot with almost his entire garrison, but nothing was to he seen except mangled corpses and bodies impaled upon the tree forks in the chasm below.1 Notwithstanding the fate of these two detachments, it does not appear that Major Wilkins took any measures to guard his own troops against a surprise; and numerous as the Indians were, had they chosen to have laid another ambush, it is by no means certain that the Major and his command would not have been likewise entirely cut off.
Past experience, however, availed little. On the fifth of November, as a small party of soldiers were cutting wood near the lower landing, they were attacked within sight of that post, and two of their number killed.2
Painted warriors yet sang the war song before Detroit, but not with their former confidence. Shortly after the battle of Bloody Run, the schooner Gladwin succeeded in reaching the fort with a supply of provisions. The garrison were, therefore, in no immediate danger of starvation, and as month after month passed away, the Indians began to despair of success. Indeed had it not been for a few Canadians, who encouraged them with assurances that the king of France was even then on his way to their aid with a large army, they would doubtless have raised the siege early in the fall. But the hopes which had been thus created in the breast of Pontiac were soon blasted. On the thirtieth of October, he received a letter from M. Neyon, the officer yet in command of the Illinois country, telling
1 Sir William Johnson to the lords of trade, 25th Sept.,1763. Manuscript letter ; Sir William Johnson to Lt. Col. Eyre, 13th Oct., 1762.-Parkman's Pontiac. The statement given of this massacre by Mary Jemison, is full of gross and glaring errors) another instance of the danger of following tradition as a guide.
2 Manuscript letter ; De Couagne to Sir William Johnson, 11th Nov., 1763.
him that he could expect no aid from the French, and advising him to bury the hatchet and smoke the pipe of peace with the English. To Pontiac, this was a terrible disappointment. Nor can any one look upon the desolation of the noble chieftain without deep commiseration. All his hopes for the independence of his race were now suddenly extinguished; while forsaken by those from whom he had confidently expected aid, how could he alone successfully retard the advance of a race, whose contact with his people had produced nothing but disease, vileness, ignominy, and death! Upon the reception of the message from M. Neyon, the Ojibwas, Wyandots, and Pottawatamies came to Major Gladwin with a peace pipe, humbly begging that he would conclude with them a lasting treaty. Pontiac, however, with his Ottawa chiefs, too proud to sue for peace, sullenly stood aloof, until finding himself deserted by his allies, he raised the siege the middle of November, and departed with the design of forming a new league against the English, between the tribes of the Maumee.
The withdrawal of the savages at this time was exceedingly fortunate. A detachment of six hundred regulars, under Major Wilkins, on their way to the relief of Detroit, were overtaken by a terrific gale when within ninety miles of their destination. Many of the bateaux were sunk; three officers and seventy men drowned, all the artillery and ammunition lost, and the survivors having turned back, reached Niagara only after much labor and hardship. The departure of Pontiac, however, had enabled the garrison to lay in a plentiful supply of food for the winter; otherwise the disastrous termination of Major Wilkins's expedition would have been productive of very serious consequences.1
The close of this year was marked by an event, the record of which forms one of tile darkest pages of Pennslyvanian
l Sir William Johnson to the lords of trade, 20th January, 1764.
history. The massacre of the Wyoming settlers by the Delaware Indians, although it occurred in October of this year, has already been related at length in a previous chapter in connection with the death of Teedeyuscung. This massacre, however, put an end to the residence of the Indians in Wyoming. On the reception of the tidings at Philadelphia, Governor Hamilton directed Colonel Boyd, of Harrisburg, to march at the head of a detachment of militia and disperse the authors of the massacre. The savages, however, had anticipated the arrival of the troops, -those of them at least who had participated in the murderous transaction,-and withdrawn themselves farther up the river, to the Indian settlements in the vicinity of Tioga. The Moravian Indians resident there, who had taken no part in the massacre, removed toward the Delaware, to Gnaddenhutten. But their residence at this missionary station was short; for they were soon compelled to repair to Philadelphia for protection ; and as will presently appear, were only with great difficulty saved from the hatchets of a lawless band of white men, far more savage than themselves.
The transaction here referred to, took place in December. Although the fragments of the Six Nations still residing in the colony of Pennsylvania did not join in the war of Pontiac, yet either from ignorance or malice, suspicions were excited against one of the Moravian communities. Availing themselves of this pretext, a number of religionists in the towns of Paxtang and Donnegal, excited to a pitch of the wildest enthusiasm by their spiritual teachers, banded together for the purpose of exterminating the whole Indian race. Their pretext was the duty, of extirpating the heathen from the earth, as Joshua had done of old, that the saints might possess the land.1 The Canestogoes were the remains of a small clan of the Six
1 "And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them up before thee, thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shall make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them,"- Deuteronomy vii, 2.
Nations, residing upon their own reservation in the most inoffensive manner, having always been friendly to the English. The maddened zealots, sixty in number, fell upon their little hamlet in the night, when, as it happened, the greater portion of them were absent from their homes, selling their little wares among the white people. Only three men, two women, and a boy were found in their village. These were dragged from their beds, and stabbed and hatcheted to death. Among them was a good old chief named Shehaes, who was cut to pieces in his bed. The dead were scalped, and their houses burnt. This infamous procedure took place on the fourteenth of the month.1
Hearing of the deplorable act, the magistrates of Lancaster collected the residue of the helpless clan, men, women and children, and placed them in one of the public buildings of the town for their protection. But on the twenty-seventh, a band of fifty of the fanatics went openly into the borough, and proceeding to the work house where the Indians had been placed, broke open the doors, and with fury in their countenances recommenced the work of death.2 Nor did the people of Lancaster lift a finger, or the magistrates interfere for their defence. "When the poor -wretches saw they had no protection, and that they could not escape, and being without the least weapon of defence, they divided their little families, the children clinging to their parents ; they fell on their faces, protested their innocence, declared their love to the English, and that, in their whole lives, they had never done them any injury; and in this posture they all received the hatchet. Men, women and children-infants clinging to the breast -were all inhumanly butchered in cold blood."3
But the vengeance of the fanatics was not satiated. Like the tigers of the forest, having tasted blood, they became hungry for more; and having heard that the fugitives from
1 Manuscript letter; John Penn to Sir William Johnson, 31st Dec., 1763.
2 Idem. Stone's Wyoming, 154.
3 Proud. See also Gordon.
Wyoming, feeling themselves unsafe at Gnaddenhutten, h ad repaired, to Philadelphia, the zealots set their faces in that direction, and marched upon the capital for the avowed purpose of putting those Indians to death also. Their numbers increased to an insurgent army. Great consternation prevailed in Philadelphia on their approach. Governor Penn wrote to General Gage, who had succeeded. General Amherst in November as commander-in-chief, for a body of regulars to protect the city. The poor Indians themselves prayed that they might be sent to England for safety; but this could not he done. An attempt was then made by the government in February, 1764, to send them to the Mohawk country via New York, for the protection of Sir William Johnson. The latter cordially approved of the plan, l and they had advanced on their way as far as Amboy, when Lieutenant Governor Colden and his council objecting, the fugitives were marched back to Philadelphia. Whereupon the insurgents embodied themselves again, and marched once more upon that city in greater numbers than before. Another season of peril and alarm ensued, and the governor hid himself away in the house of Dr. Franklin; but the legislature being in session, and the people, the Quakers even not excepted, evincing a proper spirit for the occasion, the insurgents were in the end persuaded to listen to the voice of reason, and disband. It is a singular fact, that the actors in this strange and tragic affair were not of the lower orders of the people. They were Presbyterians, comprising in their ranks men of intelligence, and of so much consideration that the press dared not disclose their names, nor the government attempt their punishment.2
After these disorders were quieted, and the Indian Moravians had had time to look about for a place of retreat, they removed to a place called Mahackloosing-Wyalusing,
l Manuscript letter; Sir Wm. Johnson to Governor
Penn, 27th Feb., 1764.
Manuscript letter; Sir Wm. Johnson to Governor Colden, 28th Feb., 1764.
2 Proud. Gordon.
in later times--situated upon the Susquehanna, several miles above the Wyoming valley. Here "they built a considerable village, containing at one period more than thirty good log houses, with shingled roofs and glazed windows, a church and a school house, not inferior to many erected by wealthy farmers." They also turned their attention earnestly to agricultural pursuits, clearing and enclosing large tracts of upland and meadow. They resided at this place several years very happily; but were ultimately induced to join the Moravian Indians beyond the Ohio.1
1. Proud. Gordon
to James F. Morrison for loaning his book for the purpose of putting it on
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