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Title: History of the Early Settlement of the Juniata Valley - Embracing an Account of the Early Pioneers, and the Trials and Privations Incident to the Settlement of the Valley
Author: Jones, U. J. (Uriah James)
Language: English
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Embracing an Account of the Early Pioneers,
and the Trials and Privations Incident to the
Settlement of the Valley,

Predatory Incursions, Massacres, and Abductions by the
Indians During the French and Indian Wars, and the War
of the Revolution, &c.



Published by Henry B. Ashmead,
George St., Above Eleventh.

Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1856, by
U. J. JONES, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of
the United States for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Stereotyped by L. Johnson and Co.




DEAR SIR:--I hope your well-known modesty will not be shocked when your
eyes encounter this notice. In dedicating to you the fruits of my first
historical labors in the field of literature, allow me to say that I am
governed by reasons that will justify me. In the first place, I may
cite your well-known and often-expressed veneration and esteem for the
memory of the brave old Pioneers of our Valley, their heroic deeds, and
their indomitable energy and perseverance, under the most discouraging
circumstances, in turning the unbroken wilderness into "a land flowing
with milk and honey." Secondly, you are the son of one of those
self-same old pioneers, (now in his grave,) who, if not a direct actor
in some of the scenes portrayed in the pages following, lived while
they were enacted, and trod upon the ground where many of them
occurred, while the actors in them were his friends and his neighbors.
Manifold, indeed, were the changes he witnessed during a long and
useful career; but the common lot of humanity was his, and he now
"sleeps the sleep that knows no waking," where once the lordly savage
roamed, and made the dim old woods echo with his whoop, many, many
years ago.

Lastly, it was through your encouragement that I undertook the task;
and it was through your kind and liberal spirit that I was enabled to
make it any thing more than an _unpublished_ history, unless I chose to
let others reap the benefit of my labors. These things, sir, you may
look upon as _private_, but I cannot refrain from giving them
publicity, since I acknowledge that your liberality has entailed upon
me a deeper debt of gratitude than I can repay by merely dedicating my
work to you.

Allow me, therefore, to dedicate to you, as a small token of my esteem
for you, the "History of the Early Settlement of the Juniata Valley."
If there is any thing in it to interest the present generation and
enlighten posterity, I am willing to divide the honor and glory of its
paternity with you, for I am neither afraid nor ashamed to confess
that, although I _wrote_ the _history_, it was through your generosity
that I was enabled to _publish_ the _book_.

A careful perusal of the work will, no doubt, convince you that I have
labored studiously to make it interesting, not only to the resident of
the Valley, but to the general reader, who must admit that, if I have
failed, it has not been for lack of the best exertions on my part.

In conclusion, should the book prove a failure, and not come up to the
expectations of my friends, you can console yourself with the
reflection that you made a mistake by inciting the wrong man to an
undertaking for which he was unqualified. A pleasant reflection! I
have said, that, as you were the _originator_ of the book, you should
share all the _honor_ that might arise from it. I will be more
magnanimous still; if the History proves a mere catchpenny swindle,
let the odium and execrations of a humbugged public fall upon


HOLLIDAYSBURG, PA., _Nov._ 1855.


The design, object, and aim of the following pages can be summed up
without any circumlocution. Some ten or twelve years ago, a large
volume of "Historical Collections of Pennsylvania" was published by
Sherman Day, which gave a brief history, among others, of the
counties composing the Valley of the Juniata. This work was followed
by a compilation, by I. D. Rupp, Esq., entitled "A History of
Northumberland, Huntingdon, Mifflin, Centre, Union, Clinton, Juniata,
and Columbia counties." The last, as far as our valley was concerned,
was almost a reprint of the first, with some few additions gleaned from
the Colonial Records and the Archives of the State. Both these works
were most liberally subscribed for; in fact, the compilation of the
counties had upwards of a _thousand_ subscribers in Huntingdon county
(Blair not then formed) alone! The inducements held out, in order to
gain such an extensive list, were, that the works would be graphic
histories of the _early_ settlement of this country. In this they
signally failed. True, here and there they gave an account of some
early occurrence; but they were exceedingly brief, lacked detail, and
in many instances were found grossly inaccurate. Of course, they gave
universal dissatisfaction, because the subscribers looked for a
faithful record of the stirring events which occurred when this portion
of the land of Penn was "the dark and bloody ground." The descendants
of many who figured in the trials incident to the settlement of the
valley are still living. The fireside recitals of these events made
them "as familiar as household words" among those who are now fast
passing away; but they search _all_ histories in vain to find a
faithful account of more than a moiety of the struggles, trials, and
personal adventures of the pioneers, as well as the many cold-blooded
Indian massacres and depredations which spread desolation through the
land, and laid waste the homes and firesides of so many who located in
what was then a wilderness. Let me not be understood as attempting to
deny the merits of the works of which I have spoken. As _modern_
histories, giving accounts, or rather descriptions, of the country as
it was at the time they were issued, they were faithful records.
Indeed, I will do Mr. Rupp the justice to say that I consider his
compilation all it professes to be, according to his preface, in which
he says: "A full and minute history of these counties can only be
expected after a greater accumulation of historical facts is extant for
that purpose."

The facts necessary to give a minute history of the early settlement of
the Juniata have been accessible, although it must be admitted that
those who could give them from reliable personal recollections have
nearly all passed into "the valley and the shadow of death."

Some ten or twelve years ago, Judge M'Cune, Judge Adams, Michael
Maguire, and Edward Bell, Esq., met at the mansion of the latter
gentleman, in Antes township, Blair county, by invitation. These were
all old settlers, whose memories dated back to the struggle of the
infant colonies for freedom; and most vividly did they recollect the
Indian butcheries when brave Old England paid a stipulated price for
rebel scalps. The reunion of these veterans was an epoch in their
lives, for they had been children together, had travelled the same
rugged path, and, with stalwart frames, sinewy arms, and willing
hearts, had earned for themselves names, reputation, and earthly
competence. Well may we conjecture that, in fighting the battle of life
over again in story, some interesting incidents were related. During
this reunion, a history of the early settlement of the upper end of the
valley was written, and the manuscript transmitted to the Historical
Society of Pennsylvania, in the expectation that it would be published
in some of their works. This, however, never was done; and when
application was made to the society for a return of the manuscript, it
was either lost or mislaid.

Since then, one by one, these old patriots have passed from time to
eternity, and the woods and valleys that knew them for three-quarters
of a century shall know them no more. With them would, in all
probability, have been buried many important facts, had not the author
of these pages called upon the last survivor, Michael Maguire, in
October last, and taken down, at length, all his early recollections.
The time was most opportune, for he was even then upon his deathbed.
The sands of a long life were evidently ebbing fast, and he knew it,
for he gave it as his solemn conviction that the proposed recital of
the past was the last he should ever make to mortal man. Although
enfeebled by age, and his body wasting away, his intellect was vigorous
and unclouded, and his memory fresh as it was fourscore years ago.
Indeed, I soon found that he had the most retentive memory of any man I
ever knew, because, in narrating incidents, he gave days, dates, and
names, with such ease as almost to stagger belief. Of course, to him I
am mainly indebted for the material of that part of the History
treating of the upper end of the valley, especially the occurrences
between 1776 and 1782. Mr. M. died on the 17th inst.

From a manuscript memoir of E. Bell, Esq., I have also been enabled to
glean some useful information. He commenced it a short time before his
death, and it is to be deeply regretted that a violent attack of
rheumatism in the hand compelled him to abandon the work after writing
some six or eight pages.

I am also indebted to a number of persons for information that has been
of value to me, whose names will be mentioned in another place in the

If this volume fails to meet the expectations of those kind friends who
have interested themselves in my behalf, it will not be for lack of
zeal or perseverance on my part. I am free to confess that the language
of the book is not clothed in that attractive garb which makes books
popular in the age we live in; but then it must be remembered that I am
not, worthy reader, submitting to your judgment a romance, but a
History, based upon immutable and undying TRUTHS.






The Aborigines of the Valley--Their Habits and Customs             17


History of the Early Settlers                                      39


Juniata Island--An Indian Paradise--Rev. David Brainerd--The Early
Settlers, Hulings, Watts, and Baskins--Indian Battles--Remarkable
Escape of Mrs. Hulings                                             56


Indian Towns along the Juniata--Lost Creek Valley discovered--Mexico
first settled by Capt. James Patterson, in 1751--Indian Attack upon
Settlers at the House of William White--Massacre of White--Capture
of John Riddle--His Release from Captivity, etc.                   68


Early Settlers at Licking Creek--Relics of an Indian Battle--House
of Robert Campbell attacked--James Campbell wounded and taken
prisoner--Scout sent from Sherman's Creek--Encounter with Indians
at Buffalo Creek--Five of the Scout killed, etc.                   76


Tuscarora Valley--Its Early Settlement--Its Mounds and its Forts,
Massacres, etc.                                                    83


Fort Granville--Old Indian Town--Early Settlers--Captain Jacobs--
Assault and Capture of the Fort, etc.                              91


Organization of Mifflin County--Dispute with Huntingdon County
about the Boundary Line--Riot at Lewistown, etc.                   98


Kishicoquillas Valley--The Shawnee Chief Kishicokelas--The Mingo
Chief Logan                                                       110


Colonel John Armstrong's Expedition against Kittaning--List of the
Killed and Wounded--Delaware Chiefs, Captain Jacobs and Shingas,
etc.                                                              121


Old Indian Town--Indian Paths--Aughwick--Murder of John Armstrong
and Party--Captain Jack, the Wild Hunter of the Juniata--George
Crogan, etc.                                                      133


Raystown Branch--Early Settlement of Raystown--General Forbes's
Expedition--Colonels Washington and Boquet--Colonel Armstrong's
Letter--Smith and his "Black Boys"--Bloody Run--Robbery--Indian
Massacres--Revolutionary Lieutenants of Bedford County, etc.      161


Raystown Branch, continued--Murder of Sanders and his Family--
Englishman and his Wife taken Prisoners--Felix Skelly and Mrs.
Elder taken Captives--Their Return, etc.                          175


Standing Stone, ancient and modern--Murder of Felix Donnelly and
his son Francis, etc.                                             183


Trials of the Early Settlers--Their Forts and other Means of
Defence, etc.                                                     193


The Early Settlers--Old Hart, the Indian Trader                   198


The Continental Mills of the Valley                               203


The Cove--Early Settlement by Dunkards--Indian Massacres and
Captivities--Massacre of Ullery and Hammond--A Resistant Dunkard,
etc.                                                              207


Tommy Coleman, the Indian-Fighter--Surprise of the Dunkard
Murderers, etc.                                                   218


Sinking Valley--The Lead Mines--Fort Roberdeau--Indian Murder and
Heroic Conduct of a Woman--Encounter with a Savage--Massacre of
Roller and Bebault, etc.                                          227


Tories of the Valley--Their unfortunate Expedition to join the
Indians at Kittaning--Captain John Weston, the Tory Leader--Captain
Thomas Blair--Capture of the Brothers Hicks--Hanging a Tory--Narrow
Escape of two of Weston's men, etc.                               248


The Tory Hare--Murder of Loudenslager--Abduction and Murder of Mrs.
Eaton and Children--Treatment of Hare by the Settlers, etc.       259


Moses Donaldson--Capture and Murder of his Wife and two Children  266


Depredations at the Mouth of Spruce Creek--Murder of Levi Hicks--
Scalping of his Child                                             270


Stone Valley--McCormick's Fort--Murder of Mrs. Houston and James
McClees--A Dealer in Grain of the Olden Time                      275


Tuckahoe--Murder of John Guilliford                               280


Early Settlement of Scotch Valley--The Moore Family--Massacre of
William Moore--Indian shot by a Boy, etc.                         283


Woodcock Valley--Massacre of Elder--The Breckenridge Family--Fight
with, and Destruction of, Captain Phillips's Scout by the Indians--
Cruel Massacre of ten Men                                         289


Water Street--The Beatty Family--Captain Simonton--Massacre of the
Dean Family--Captivity of John Simonton, etc.                     301


Hollidaysburg--The Holliday Family--Death of Lieutenant Holliday
at the Battle of Brandywine--Massacre of a portion of William
Holliday's Family--John Holliday, etc.                            310


Old Indian Town of Frankstown--Indian Burial-Places--Massacre of
the Bedford Scout, etc.                                           324


Shaver's Creek--Mysterious Death of old Shaver--Heroic Conduct of
two Children--Abduction of Miss Ewing and Miss McCormick--Peter
Crum, the last Victim of the Savages, etc.                        337


Warrior Ridge--Warrior's Mark--Job Chillaway, Shaney John, and
Captain Logan, the last Red Men in the Juniata Valley             347


Conclusion                                                        355


The Valley as it is                                               359




When the persevering and adventurous Anglo-Saxon first entered the
wilds of the Juniata, his eye, as far as it could reach, beheld
nothing but a dense forest; but his quick penetration observed its
natural beauties, its advantages, and the fertility of its soil. Hence
he did not long stand upon the crest of the Tuscarora Mountain,
debating the advantages to be derived from making it his home, or the
risk he was taking upon himself in doing so, but plunged boldly down
into the valley and called it his own. He found it peopled with dusky
warriors and their families, who received him with open arms; and the
golden hues of hope for the future lightened his cares, and made his
privations no longer a burden. On the banks of the beautiful river the
majestic stag trod, a very monarch; and the pellucid stream, from the
bubbling brooks that formed it, to its mouth, was filled with the
noble salmon and sportive trout, with little to molest them; for the
Indians did not possess the penchant for indiscriminate slaughter of
game which characterized their successors. They held that the land was
given to human beings by the good _Manitou_ for a dwelling-place, and
not for the purpose of being broken up and cultivated for game. The
fish and game were also a free gift from the same spirit, for the
support of his people. Hence hunting and fishing for more than what
would supply immediate and absolute wants were held in supreme
contempt by the red man.

The Indians found in the valley, when the whites first invaded it,
belonged to three or four tribes--the Delawares, Monseys, Shawnees,
and probably the Tuscaroras; all of whom, with the exception of the
latter, belonged to one of the eight great Indian confederations
scattered over the land, from the Rocky Mountains to what they called,
in their figurative language, the rising of the sun. These Indians
called themselves the _Lenni Lenape_, or "original people," of which
the Delawares and Monseys were by far the most numerous of the tribes
settled in the valley. The Shawnees, a restless, lawless, and
ferocious band, were threatened with extermination by a powerful foe
in Florida, when they came to Pennsylvania and craved the protection
of the _Lenapes_, which was granted to them, and they were permitted
to settle upon the lands of the Delawares. The Delaware Indians soon
discovered that the Shawnees were quarrelsome and treacherous
neighbors, and their company not desirable. Notice was given them to
quit, and they settled upon the flats of the Susquehanna, near
Wilkesbarre, and from thence they found their way to the Juniata; and
there is little doubt but that they were first and foremost in the
depredations committed during the French and Indian wars, as well as
during the American Revolution. The Tuscaroras did not claim to belong
to the _Lenape_ tribes, yet a large portion of them lived in their
territory. They came from the South, and joined the _Aquanuschioni_,
or "united people," known in history as the Six Nations. As they did
not speak the language of either the "united people" or the "original
people," it would appear that they were people on their own account,
enjoying a sort of roving commission to hunt the lands and fish the
streams of any of "their cousins," as they styled all other tribes.

The Conoy Indians settled in the valley in 1748. They left the
Delaware on the strength of a promise made them by the proprietary
government that they should be remunerated. The debt, however, we
presume, must have been repudiated, for we find that an Indian orator
named _Arruehquay_, of the Six Nations, made application to Governor
Hamilton, during a "talk" in Philadelphia on the 1st of July, 1749,
for something for them. The governor, quite as much of an adept at
wheedling the savages as the proprietors themselves, returned the
Conoy wampum, and "talked" the Seneca orator out of the belief that
they owed the Conoys a single farthing, in consequence of their having
left their land and settled among the nations of the Juniata of their
own free will and accord. He ruled out the Conoy claim, and confirmed
his opinion by sending them a string of government wampum. Whether
this satisfied the Conoys or not does not appear upon the record. We
think not--at least we should not suppose that they were half as well
satisfied as the Six Nation deputies, who carried away, among other
plunder, a quantity of tobacco and pipes, fifty ruffled shirts, and a
gross and a half of brass jewsharps!

The Nanticokes settled about the mouth of the Juniata in 1748 or 1749,
and in after years spread westward toward the Ohio. This portion of the
tribe, when it first came to the Juniata, was not very formidable; but
it increased and became powerful.

A number of Mengues, Mingoes, or Iroquois, of the Six Nations, settled
a few years afterward in Kishacoquillas Valley, now Mifflin county.

Of all the savages in the valley, the Mingoes were probably the most
peaceably disposed, although it is a well-attested fact that they were
a brave and warlike band. The fathers of the principal chiefs of the
Mingoes, settled in the Juniata Valley, had been _partially_ (if we
may use the term) Christianized by the teachings of the Moravian
missionaries, Heckwelder, Zinzendorf, and Loskiel; and this may account
for their desire to live on terms of amity and friendship with their
pale-faced brethren.

As the Delawares, or Lenapes, claimed to be the original people, we
must come to the conclusion that they came toward the east before the
Iroquois. They probably came from a northern direction, while the
united people worked their way from the northwest to the northeast. To
call these men original people, in the sense in which they applied it,
may have been right enough; but to apply the term to them of
_original_, as occupants of the country, is a misnomer, not only
according to their own oral traditions, but according to the most
indubitable evidence of antiquarians and geologists.

The traditions of the _Lenapes_ were, in effect, that their ancestors
were a mighty band of fierce warriors, who came from the setting of
the sun, part of the way by canoes, and the balance of the way over
land,--through dense forests, beautiful valleys, over lofty mountains.
In their triumphant march they met but one foe, whom they trampled
under their feet as the buffalo does the grass under his hoofs, and
that this weak and effeminate foe was entirely exterminated.

These traditions, vague as they are, and as all oral traditions forever
must be, have certainly a foundation in fact. Drake, whose Indian
history is regarded as the most reliable, gives it as his opinion,
formed only after all the facts could be collected and all the
traditions fully digested, that the Indians originally came from Asia,
by way of Behring's Straits.

The patient investigations made by antiquarians have long since settled
the fact, to the entire satisfaction of most people, that a race did
exist in this country prior to the advent and on the arrival of the
Indians. The relics of this race, consisting of vases, pipes,
earthenware, etc., found during the last century, indicate not only a
race entirely different from the Indians, but one much farther advanced
in civilization. The Indians, however, it would appear, either scorned
their handicraft, or never took time to examine thoroughly the habits
of these people before they exterminated them in order to possess their
country. These relics bear a marked resemblance to those dug from ruins
in Egypt, as well as those found in Peru. In fact, the vases, and some
of the earthenware, bear such a strong resemblance to the Peruvian
antiquities, that it is the settled conviction of some that the earlier
settlers of both North and South America were identical, and that the
original stock was a tribe of Egyptians.

Some writers have asserted that these early inhabitants were
non-resistants. This is most unquestionably an error. The traditions of
the Indians say that their ancestors fought many battles before they
conquered the country; but that they _always_ were victorious. Of
course, this might be mere vain boasting by the Indians of their
ancestors' prowess and skill in war, and such we would look upon it, if
their oral history was not strengthened by the fact that, on the banks
of the Miami, Muskingum, Kanawha, and Ohio Rivers, ancient
fortifications, or at least well-defined traces of them, have been
found. Nor is this all; tolerably well-executed implements, evidently
intended for warlike purposes, have been taken from mounds, as well as
many unmistakable stone arrow-heads.

Whether this anterior race existed to any considerable extent along the
Juniata we are not prepared to say; but that some of them once lived
here is more than probable, although antiquarians have failed to extend
their researches to the valley. Among the evidences to induce the
belief that these ancients once occupied our land, we shall refer to
the most prominent, leaving the reader to make his own deductions.

When the excavation for the Pennsylvania Canal was going on, a laborer
dug up, near Newport, a stone shaped like a Greek Cross. The formation
of the stone bore unmistakable evidence that it was not a mere freak of
nature. This attracted attention, and the stone was thoroughly
cleansed, when the transverse was found to contain hieroglyphics,
plainly marked with some sharp pointed instrument. Persons who saw it
supposed that the French might have given it to the Indians, and that
they used it for a purpose similar to that for which the Standing Stone
was used, and that they brought it from Canada to the Juniata. This
supposition was based upon the formation of the stone; but, strange to
say, the hieroglyphics bore no resemblance to any thing pertaining to
the modern Indians. It _may_, therefore, have belonged to the
anterior race, and the person who shaped it may have been utterly
ignorant of the fact that it was the symbol of the Christian religion.
The cross was sent to Philadelphia to be submitted to the inspection of
the _savans_ of the Historical Society, but was lost on the way;
at all events, it never reached its intended destination.

Speaking on the subject of antiquities with a physician some years
ago,--probably the late Dr. Coffey,--he informed us that a skeleton was
dug up near Frankstown, which he did not believe belonged to any of the
tribes of Indians whose mounds are scattered so profusely along the
Juniata. He arrived at this conclusion from numerous personal
observations he made. In the first place, the body retained a portion
of dried withered flesh, and portions of papyrus or bark-cloth
enveloped the body, so that it must have undergone some species of
embalming before sepulture. Embalming was unknown to the Indians.
Secondly, the body was in a horizontal position, north and south,
whereas the Indians always buried in a sitting posture, with the face
to the east. And, finally, the body was buried alone, while the Indian
method was to have one common grave for all who died for years. Some
articles were found when the skeleton was exhumed; but they were so
much corroded as to be useless even for scientific investigation.

In breaking up a piece of new ground in Kishacoquillas Valley some
twenty-five, or probably thirty, years ago, traces of a well-defined
wall were discovered, which was traced, and found to enclose about an
acre of ground. Although the stones that formed this wall were the
ordinary stones found along the stream, fashioned and shaped by the
great Architect of the world himself, it is certain that human hands
placed them in the position in which they were found. The whole thing
was destroyed before any mention was made of it.

In addition to these evidences, we have heard of arrow-heads and
pottery being dug up in other sections of the valley; but, taking it
for granted that they were all Indian relics, no effort was ever made
to have a thorough investigation of their origin.

How long this continent was occupied by the Indians found here on the
arrival of the Northmen is a mooted point, on which no two historians
can agree. The Indian method of computing time by moons is rather vague
to base a calculation upon. Those who contend that they originated from
one of the lost tribes of Israel, endeavor to prove that they have been
here for many centuries; while others, basing their calculations upon
the usual increase of the human family, think that the numbers found
here on the discovery of the continent would indicate that they had
been here but three or four centuries. This we think a reasonable
conclusion, for it is an undisputed fact that the Indians, previous to
the advent of the whites, multiplied quite as rapidly as their
civilized brethren; while the tender care and solicitude they evinced
for children and aged people induces the belief that the deaths among
them were not in proportion as one to six to the births.

We now come to the religious belief of the savages found in the
Juniata Valley. The general impression of persons who have not read
Indian history is that they were idolaters. Such, however, is not the
fact. They worshipped no "graven image." Their belief was based upon a
supreme good and an evil _Manitou_ or spirit, and their subordinates,--the
former of which they worshipped, while the anger of the latter was
appeased by propitiatory offerings or sacrifices. It is true they had
images, in the form of a head carved out of wood, which represented
the good _Manitou_, and which they wore around their necks as a
talisman against disease and to insure success in great undertakings;
but even Loskiel, who spent a long time among them as a missionary,
makes no mention of their worshipping their inanimate gods. Their
worship generally consisted of sacrificial feasts, sometimes by the
entire tribe, and at other times by single families. In the fall they
invariably had a sort of general harvest-home gathering, when
bear's-meat and venison were served up,--the universal custom being to
eat all prepared. When provisions were scarce, such an arrangement was
no doubt satisfactory; but we can well imagine that when there was an
undue proportion of meats to guests the custom must have proved
exceedingly irksome. After the meal, the monotonous drum and the
calabash with pebbles were brought out, and those who had not gorged
themselves to repletion joined in the dance. One of the chiefs usually
chanted a hymn, or rather song, of irregular measure, in praise of the
_Manitous_, and extolling the heroic deeds of the ancestors of the
tribes. A second religious performance consisted of a sacred dance, in
which the men alone appeared, in almost a state of nudity, with their
bodies covered with pipe-clay. This was probably a dance of humble
contrition. A third feast, or religious observance, consisted of some
ten or a dozen of the oldest men and women of a tribe enveloping
themselves in deer-skins, standing with their faces to the east, and
petitioning the good _Manitou_ to bless all their benefactors. There
were other religious rites and sacrifices, which can be of little
general interest to the reader, such as a sacrificial feast in honor
of fire, another to propitiate the _Manitou_ before going to war, &c.
We shall, therefore, conclude this part of the subject by giving the
story of an old trader who traded through the valley in 1750. Of
course we did not get it direct from his own lips, for he has been
dead and in his grave for many years; but, even if we did get it
second-hand, it is nevertheless true.

Some time in the spring of 1750, the old trader, whose name has now
escaped our memory, received a pressing invitation to visit Standing
Stone a day or two before the first full moon in September, as a grand
feast was to come off at that time, which would be attended by six or
eight tribes. The trader, foreseeing the chance of brisk barter,
brought a large quantity of goods from Lancaster, on pack-horses, and
arrived a day or two before the sports commenced. He found preparations
made for a large company; and he accordingly pitched his tent on the
hill, while the wigwams of the Indians stood upon the flat near the
mouth of Stone Creek. On the day on which the feast was to commence,
the trader was awakened at an early hour by the loud whoops of the
savages already arriving to take part in the ceremonies. The day wore
on; and when the sun reached the zenith a thousand warriors and their
squaws, in their best attire, had gathered upon the greensward. At the
hour of twelve o'clock precisely, a chief, whom the trader supposed to
be at least a hundred years of age, arose from the ground, while all
the rest retained a cross-legged, sitting posture. The trader
understood enough of the Delaware language to ascertain that the feast
was one which took place every hundred moons, to render thanks to the
_Manitou_ for preserving them a great people. After congratulating
the different tribes, and welcoming them to this friendly reunion, an
immense pipe was brought into the arena, which passed from mouth to
mouth, each man taking but a single whiff. Of course the women formed
the outer circle, and took no further part in the proceedings than
merely looking on. Two half-grown lads followed the big pipe with a
small bag of _Kinnikinique_, and ever and anon replenished the
bowl. This consumed an hour, during which time there was profound
silence. The old sachem then arose, and said the balance of the day
would be given up to festivities. The assemblage broke up into small
parties, and as each tribe had their medicine-men, musicians, and
prophets along, the tum tum of the drum and the wild chant were soon
heard, and the dusky sons and daughters of the forest went into the
dance of the gay and light-hearted with a thousand times more vigor
than the beau and belle of the modern ball-room.

Many of the Indians called upon the trader, and were anxious to barter
for "_lum_;" but, notwithstanding that he had five kegs of rum, and
the most friendly feeling existed between himself and the tribes, he
refused to deal. In fact, he was a prudent man, and did not consider it
altogether safe. The festivities of the day and part of the night were
kept up with dancing, singing, and howling. The, next day, religious
exercises followed; and on the third a very solemn and impressive
ceremony was to take place, to wind up the meeting, at which the trader
was urgently invited to be present, and in an evil moment gave his
consent to do so. Accordingly he sold all of his barrels or kegs of
rum, packed up the balance of his goods, and started his pack-horse
train to Aughwick, himself and horse alone remaining behind.

At the appointed time in the evening for the feast, a large fire of dry
wood was built, and the savages commenced dancing around it, howling,
and throwing their bodies into the most violent contortions, first
stepping three or four feet forward, with the body inclined in the same
direction; then, throwing the body backward, moved on, keeping time
with the drum and the chant. As one party got tired, or probably
roasted out, they danced away, and another set took their places. When
the fire burnt fiercest, and the lurid flame lit the surrounding hills,
a wild chorus was sung in unison that might have been heard for miles.
This, the trader was told, was the _loud_ hymn of adoration. He
did not dispute the assertion. The rum he had sold the Indians began to
work, and the old fox was enjoying some funny scenes not set down in
the bills of the day. Occasionally a chief, under the wild influence of
the _fire-water_, would make a misstep and tramp upon the burning
coals. To see him quitting in a hurry afforded the trader an infinite
deal of amusement. At length the pile was reduced to coals, when an
Indian brought forth from a wigwam a live dog, and threw him upon the
burning embers. Another and another followed, until ten dogs were
thrown upon the fire. Of course they tried to escape, but the Indians
hemmed them in so completely that this was a matter of impossibility.
They set up a dreadful howl, but the Indians drowned the canine noise
by another stave of their loud chorus. The odor of the roasting dogs
did not sit well upon the trader's stomach, and, bidding adieu to his
immediate acquaintances, he expressed a determination to leave for
Aughwick. This his friends would not permit, and insisted most
vehemently that he should see the end of it. As he had seen
considerable fun, he thought he might wait and see it out, as the
carcasses of the dogs would soon be consumed. In this, however, he was
mistaken, for the medicine-men drew them from the fire, placed them
upon wooden platters, and cut them into pieces. Five or six of them
carried them around among the auditory, offering to each chief a piece,
who not only took it, but eagerly ate it. The conclusion of this feast
we give in the trader's own words:--

    "At last they came where I was sitting, among the only sober chiefs
    in the party. The stench of the half-roasted dogs was awful. One of
    them came with his trencher to me, and offered me a piece,--a
    choice piece, too, as I was an invited guest, being a piece of the
    most unclean part of the entrails. 'Thank'ee,' said I; 'never dine
    on dog.' But this did not satisfy them. One of the prophets,
    laboring under the effects of about a quart of my rum, insisted on
    me eating what was offered to me. I again declined, when one of the
    chiefs informed me that it was a very sacred feast, and unless I
    partook of my allotted portion I would highly insult the Indians,
    and some of those intoxicated might deprive me of my scalp. The
    thing was no longer a joke, and I seized the piece of dog entrail
    and put it in my mouth, in hopes of spitting it out; but they
    watched me so close that by one mighty effort I managed to swallow
    it. I did not wait to see the end of the feast; I had my portion,
    and thought I might as well retire. I started in the direction of
    Aughwick, and every half mile the nauseous dog served every purpose
    of a powerful emetic. I was a much sicker man next day than if I
    had drank a gallon of my own rum; and, in all my dealings with the
    red men, I took particular care never again to be present at any
    dog feast!"

Of the social and general character of the savages we have many
contradictions. Heckwelder, the old Moravian Missionary, whose innate
goodness found

    "Tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
    Sermons in stones, and God in every thing,"

intimated that some of their social habits, such as their tender
solicitude for infants and the great deference and respect they paid to
the aged, were noble traits in their character. Loskiel says that "in
common life and conversation, the Indians observed great decency. They
usually treated one another, and strangers, with kindness and civility,
and without empty compliments. In the converse of both sexes, the
greatest decency and propriety were observed. They were sociable and
friendly. Difference of rank, with all its consequences, was not to be
found among the Indians. They were equally noble and free. The only
difference consisted in wealth, age, dexterity, courage, and office."

Their hospitality to strangers knew no bounds. In some instances it
was carried to extremes. An Indian who would not hospitably entertain
a stranger under his roof, and attend to all his wants as far as
lay within his power, was held in supreme contempt by all his
acquaintances. Indeed, the offence was deemed so grievous, that the
offender was not only detested and abhorred by all, but liable to
revenge from the person to whom the common and acknowledged rights of
hospitality were denied.

Lying, cheating, and stealing, as well as adultery and fornication,
were deemed scandalous offences, and were punished. They did not exist
to any great extent until the parent of them--drunkenness--was
introduced by the white man.

To these commendable traits in a savage people there were sad offsets.
The savage was cruel and exceedingly bloodthirsty. He never forgave a
premeditated injury; and if no opportunity offered to avenge himself,
he enjoined upon his descendants, "even to the third and fourth
generation," to revenge him. A hatred once formed against an enemy
could only be quenched with his blood. He would treasure up a wrong for
years, and it would rankle in his heart until he got his enemy into his
power, when flaying, roasting, or killing by inches, was not too cruel
a death to mete out to him. Nay, more than this,--in their wars neither
age, sex, nor condition, were taken into consideration; and the proud
warrior who sang the great and heroic deeds of his ancestors for a
thousand moons was not too proud to carry in his belt the scalp of an
innocent babe! But then the savage was untutored, and it unquestionably
was a part of his religion to put to death an enemy by the most cruel
torture; neither did he expect any other treatment if he fell into the
hands of a foe.

In ordinary life, there undoubtedly was some honor in the Indian,
but in war no trait of it was perceptible in his composition. To
slay an enemy while asleep, or destroy him by any stratagem, was
a feat to boast of, and claimed quite as much glory as if it had been
accomplished by the prowess of arms. To shoot an enemy from ambuscade,
or lure him to destruction by treachery that would be branded as most
infamous among civilized nations, were looked upon as exceedingly
cunning by the Indians.

As a general thing, they professed to abhor war among themselves,
and only declared it when aggravating circumstances absolutely
demanded;--that the question was deliberately debated by the tribe, and
if, after mature deliberation, a majority of the chiefs and captains
favored a war, speedy preparation was made for it; a red hatchet or
club was sent to the offending tribe, or one of them was caught,
scalped, and a war-club, painted red, laid by his side. Hostilities
were then commenced, and the war waged with the greatest fury until one
or the other party succumbed.


Now it happens that _professions_ do not always accord with _practice_,
and in this case we are quite sure they did not. The whole tenor and
bearing of the savages must lead us to believe that there was no avenue
open to the aspiring Indian to attain honor and distinction, except
through feats of arms and daring; and it is only too true that he
shared the common weakness of humanity in loving the "pride, pomp, and
circumstance of glorious warfare." The proof of this is that some of
their most bloody conflicts were caused by the most trivial

That they had many fierce and sanguinary struggles among themselves is
well authenticated. A battle almost of extermination was once fought
between two tribes at Juniata,--now known as Duncan's Island,--within
the memory of many Indians who were living when the whites settled
among them. This island must have been a famous battle-ground--a very
Waterloo--in its day. When the canal was in progress of construction,
hundreds of skeletons were exhumed; and to this day stone arrow-heads
can be found upon almost any part of the island.

The Indian traditions also chronicle a fierce battle between two tribes
near Millerstown; another in Tuscarora, and another at Standing Stone.
The truth on which these traditions are based is made evident by the
fact that at those places, for years, Indian war-relics have been

There existed for years the most intense and bitter feuds between the
Six Nations and the Lenape Indians, commonly called the Delawares. How
long the feud existed, or how many bloody conflicts they had to gain
the ascendency, cannot now, either by tradition or record, be made
reliable history. From the best information we can gather, it is highly
probable that these confederations had buried the hatchet a short time
previous to the landing of Penn. And we may also readily assume that
the final declaration of peace was sued for by the Delawares; for the
Iroquois always boasted that they had reduced them to the _condition of
women_ by their superior bravery and skill in war. This the Delawares
denied, and declared that "by treaty and voluntary consent they had
agreed to act as mediators and peacemakers among the other great
nations; and to this end they had consented to lay aside entirely the
implements of war, and to hold and to keep bright the chain of peace.
This, among individual tribes, was the usual province of women. The
Delawares, therefore, alleged that they were _figuratively_ termed
women on this account." This cunningly-devised story the Delawares
palmed upon the missionary Heckwelder while he labored among them, and
he was disposed to give them great credit. The Iroquois, having formed
an early alliance with the Dutch on the Hudson, received fire-arms, and
by the liberal use of them soon brought refractory tribes out of their
confederation to terms, and reduced others to vassalage, and exacted
from them an annual tribute or an acknowledgment of fealty, permitting
them, on such conditions, to occupy certain hunting-grounds; and there
must, therefore, have been at least _some_ truth in the allegation of
the Iroquois that the Delawares were "conquered by their arms, and were
compelled to this humiliating concession as the only means of averting
impending destruction." It is said, however, that the Delawares were
finally enabled to throw off this galling yoke, through the influence
of Zeedyusung, a powerful chief, who extorted from the Iroquois an
acknowledgment of their independence at a treaty held at Tioga in 1756.

    "The humiliation of tributary nations was, however, tempered with a
    paternal regard for their interests in all negotiations with the
    whites; and care was taken that no trespasses should be committed
    on their rights, and that they should be justly dealt with."

So says the record; and yet we find that the sachems of the Six
Nations, who had evidently learned from the whites both the use and
abuse of money, in July, 1754, at Albany, sold all the lands in the
State, not previously purchased, "lying southwest of a line beginning
one mile above the mouth of Penn's Creek, and running northwest-by-west
to the western boundary of the State." This sold the land from under
the feet of the Delawares, Shawnees, and Monseys, of the Juniata
Valley, notwithstanding the Six Nations had guaranteed it to them
forever as a sacred hunting-ground. This act of treachery on the part
of the Iroquois, and the insatiate appetite of the proprietors to add
broad acres to their extensive domain, caused many of these homeless
tribes to go over to the French, and, as a writer truly adds, "the
blood of Braddock's soldiers was added to the price of the land."

But to return to the original settlement of the valley. The Indians
unquestionably received the white adventurers with open arms, and
extended to them such a hearty welcome as must have banished all
fears for the future. The savages looked upon the death-dealing rifle
with superstitious awe; and the saw, the axe, the plane, and other
implements of handicraft in the possession of the whites, made them a
high order of beings, endowed with peculiar gifts by the Great Spirit,
in the eyes of the Indians, and their persons were regarded as sacred.
They shared with them their rude huts, and left nothing undone within
their power to render them comfortable.

And for this noble and magnanimous conduct on the part of the Indian,
what return did the white man make? Such a one only, we regret to say,
as makes no bright page in their history. They were taught all the
vices of civilization, but to teach them its virtues was deemed a work
of supererogation. The ignorant Indian and his primitive habits were
treated with disdain, and he was deemed a fit subject for robbery
whenever opportunity offered--this more especially by the lawless, who
considered themselves out of the reach of government and its officers.
A gradual encroachment upon the Indian's sacred hunting-grounds, and
the refusal of the white man to look upon him as any thing but a
degraded being or to associate with him on an equality, soon taught the
Indian that he had taken into fellowship the crafty white man only to
enable him to suck out his existence by his superior skill and his
subtle cunning. The keen penetration of the savage soon discovered the
position he occupied by the side of his white brother. Smarting under
the indignities offered, and foreseeing the degradation to which he
would be subjected in time, the red man and the white man did not long
dwell together in unity. While the latter commenced tilling the land
and surrounding himself with the comforts of civilization, the former
fled before him to the mountains and valleys where he was monarch of
the land,--where the council-fire could blaze, the green-corn dance and
song be heard, and the calumet of peace be smoked without the presence
of the white man.

Yet, with all the encroachments upon their rights by the settlers, the
Indians exercised great forbearance. They knew the warlike appliances
in the power of the proprietary government; hence they repeatedly
declared their wish to "keep bright the chain of friendship;"--in less
figurative language, they did not want to go to war. No depredations
were committed upon the whites, of any consequence, before the French
tampered with them and the Six Nations perfidiously sold the land they
had given "their cousins" as a sacred hunting-ground. Nor even then,
although the aggravation was great, did all the Indians leave the
valley to join the French. Many who were friendly toward the
proprietary government remained until war broke out between the
colonies and Great Britain; and some few peaceably-disposed fragments
of tribes even lingered in the valley until the close of the
Revolutionary war.

During the French and Indian war, and at its close, many of the Indians
returned, and lived for some years in the valley unmolested. But in
1761-62 the footprints of the white man were seen in their paths, and
civilization began to crowd them. The white adventurers crowded so
thick upon them, that, after the war of 1764, the greater portion of
them left; nor did they return again until 1777, when they appeared as
allies to the British crown, to massacre and scalp the unprotected
frontier-men. To stimulate them to this inhuman warfare, the British
not only impressed it upon them that they were redressing grievances,
but they actually paid them a stipulated price for every scalp, of
child as well as adult, brought to the Canadian frontier.

The Indians who figured in the predatory incursions from 1776 to 1781
were probably Delawares, Monseys, Nanticokes, Shawnees, and Tuscaroras;
but they were then only known as Delawares, all other titles having
been merged into that of the most powerful tribe. That these tribes
were the ones who committed most of the depredations, we judge from the
fact that the elder chiefs and captains emigrated to the Canadian
frontier from the Juniata Valley, and consequently knew every foot of
the valley, from the base of the Alleghany Mountains to the very mouth
of the river.



It appears from all authentic evidence that white traders ventured into
the valley as early as 1740, but always left again after transacting
their business. It was about the year 1741 that bold and daring men
pushed into the valley with the evident determination of making it
their home. They were nearly all Scotch-Irish,--a hardy race of devout
Christians, whose ancestors had been persecuted in the north of
Scotland, by Charles I., and driven to the north of Ireland, and who,
fearful of the provisions of the Schism Bill, in their turn fled from
Ireland to America, between the years 1714 and 1720. The first of them
located near or about the line (then in dispute) between Maryland and
Pennsylvania. Logan, the secretary of the province, who was probably an
adherent to the religion professed by the proprietors, was very much
annoyed at the Scotch-Irish assumption and maintenance of "squatter's
rights." In a letter to the Provincial Government, in 1724, he said,
"They (the Scotch-Irish and Scotch) have generally taken up the western
lands; and as they rarely approach me to propose to purchase, I look
upon them as bold and indigent strangers, giving as their excuse, when
challenged for titles, that we had solicited for colonists, and they
had come accordingly."

Notwithstanding this, they were not molested, for they were exempted
from the payment of rents by an ordinance passed in 1720, in
consequence of their being frontier-men, and forming a cordon of
defence to the colony.

Logan, it must be admitted, had no friendly feeling toward the new
comers. In 1725 he stated that they had taken possession of one
thousand acres of land, resolutely sat down and improved it without
having any right to it, and he expressed himself much at a loss to
determine how to dispossess them. On this occasion he admitted that
among them were a number of Germans.

In 1730, Logan wrote to the government, or probably the proprietors,
complaining of the Scotch-Irish, in an audacious and disorderly manner,
possessing themselves of the whole of Conestoga Manor, of fifteen
thousand acres, being the best land in the country. In doing this by
force, they alleged that it was against the laws of God and nature that
so much land should be idle while so many Christians wanted it to labor
on and raise their bread. They were finally dispossessed by the sheriff
and his posse, and their cabins, to the number of thirty, were burned.

These men apparently held in contempt the sham purchases of Penn from
the Indians; asserted that the treaties by which the lands were secured
to the proprietors were nothing more than downright farces; and they
justified their course by assuming that if the Penn family had a right
to "_fillibuster_" on an extensive scale, the same right to enjoy
enough land to support their families should not be denied them. If the
disciples of George Fox, by craft and cunning, could obtain from the
Indians thousands upon thousands of acres of land by a royal grant and
the presentation of baubles that shamed the idea of a purchase, the
disciples of John Calvin thought they had an equal right to possess
themselves of at least a portion of the acres wrested by stratagem
from the Indians. They considered the Penns usurpers and pretenders,
and despised their feudal prerogatives which gave them pomp and
circumstance, and refused to pay them the quit-rents, which enabled
them to rule by deputy, and riot in the luxury of aristocratic life in
England, rather than adopt the unostentatious manners of the new world.

Logan's successor was Richard Peters. He, too, was deeply devoted to
the proprietors, and used his utmost exertions to get quit-rents out of
the squatters. Failing to do so peaceably, he went to Marsh Creek, then
in Lancaster county, for the express purpose of dispossessing them, and
measuring the lands of the manor. This occurred in 1743. The squatters
assembled in great force, notwithstanding the secretary was accompanied
by the sheriff and a magistrate, and forbade Peters to proceed. On his
refusal, the chain was broken, and demonstrations of a riot made,
whereupon the surveying party retired. The settlers were afterward
indicted, but the matter was compromised by the secretary granting them
leases on very favorable terms.

From the counties of Chester and Lancaster, these settlers gradually
worked their way to the west, and about 1748 the Kittochtinny
Valley was tolerably well settled. The influx of emigrants from
Europe--embracing Irish, Scotch, Scotch-Irish, German, and a few
English--was so great, that it followed, as a matter of course, that
the Juniata Valley was in its turn soon invaded.

There, in all probability, the proprietors would have suffered them
to remain, as they knew little of, and cared less, about the land; but
the Indians made complaint of the aggressions. The Six Nations took
the matter in hand, and declared that usurping the lands they had
guaranteed to their cousins, the Delawares, as a sacred hunting-ground,
was a breach of faith, and that the settlers must be removed; or, if
the settlers persisted in their encroachments, the Delawares would take
up the hatchet against them. Only too glad to get rid of their settlers
in the lower counties, the government made little effort to remove them
from the Indian lands. True, to satisfy the Indians, they issued
proclamations warning squatters to keep off these lands, under certain
penalties which they knew could not be executed.

These usurpations of land, and the contumely with which the settlers
treated the Indians, at length threatened serious consequences. The
Delawares, as well as the Six Nations, made complaints such as could
not be misunderstood. The proprietors, at length alarmed at the
probable consequences of letting their squatters usurp the lands or
hunting-grounds of the Indians, sent Peters and others to dispossess
them. The following is Secretary Peters's report, sent to Governor
Hamilton in 1750:--


    May it please your honor, Mr. Weiser and I having received your
    honor's orders to give information to the proper magistrates
    against all such as had presumed to settle on the lands beyond the
    Kittochtinny Mountains not purchased of the Indians, in contempt of
    the laws repeatedly signified by proclamations, and particularly by
    your honor's last one, and to bring them to a legal conviction,
    lest for want of their removal a breach should ensue between the
    Six Nations of Indians and this Province, we set out on Tuesday,
    the 15th of May, 1750, for the new county of Cumberland, where the
    places on which the trespassers had settled lay.

    At Mr. Croghan's we met with five Indians,--three from Shamokin,
    two of which were sons of the late Shickcalamy, who transact the
    business of the Six Nations with this government; two were just
    arrived from Alleghany, viz., one of the Mohawk's nation, called
    Aaron, and Andrew Montour, the interpreter at Ohio. Mr. Montour
    telling us he had a message from the Ohio Indians and Twightwees to
    this government, and desiring a conference, one was held on the
    18th of May last, in the presence of James Galbreath, George
    Croghan, William Wilson, and Hermanus Alricks, Esqrs., justices of
    the county of Cumberland; and when Mr. Montour's business was done,
    we, with the advice of the other justices, imparted to the Indians
    the design we were assembled upon; at which they expressed great

    Another conference was held, at the instance of the Indians, in
    the presence of Mr. Galbreath and Mr. Croghan, before mentioned,
    wherein they expressed themselves as follows:--

    "Brethren,--We have thought a great deal of what you imparted to
    us, that ye were come to turn the people off who are settled over
    the hills; we are pleased to see you on this occasion; and, as the
    council of Onondago has this affair exceedingly at heart, and it
    was particularly recommended to us by the deputies of the Six
    Nations when they parted from us last summer, we desire to
    accompany you. But we are afraid, notwithstanding the care of the
    governor, that this may prove like many former attempts. The people
    will be put off now, and next year come again; and if so, the Six
    Nations will no longer bear it, but do themselves justice. To
    prevent this, therefore, when you shall have turned the people off,
    we recommend it to the governor to place two or three faithful
    persons over the mountains who may be agreeable to him and us, with
    commissions empowering them immediately to remove every one who may
    presume after this to settle themselves, until the Six Nations
    shall agree to make sale of their land."

    To enforce this they gave a string of wampum, and received one in
    return from the magistrates, with the strongest assurances that
    they would do their duty.

    On Tuesday, the twenty-second of May, Matthew Dill, George Croghan,
    Benjamin Chambers, Thomas Wilson, John Finley, and James Galbreath,
    Esqrs., justices of the said county of Cumberland, attended by the
    under-sheriff, came to Big Juniata, situate at the distance of
    twenty miles from the mouth thereof, and about ten miles north from
    the Blue Hills--a place much esteemed by the Indians for some of
    their best hunting-ground; and there they found five cabins or
    log-houses; one possessed by William White, another by George
    Cahoon, another not quite yet finished, in possession of David
    Hiddleston, another possessed by George and William Galloway, and
    another by Andrew Lycon. Of these persons, William White and George
    and William Galloway, David Hiddleston, and George Cahoon, appeared
    before the magistrates, and, being asked by what right or authority
    they had possessed themselves of those lands and erected cabins
    thereon, they replied, by no right or authority, but that the land
    belonged to the proprietaries of Pennsylvania. They then were asked
    whether they did not know that they were acting against the law,
    and in contempt of frequent notices given them by the governor's
    proclamation? They said they had seen one such proclamation, and
    had nothing to say for themselves, but craved mercy. Hereupon the
    said William White, George and William Galloway, David Hiddleston,
    and George Cahoon, being convicted by said justices on their view,
    the under-sheriff was charged with them, and he took William White,
    David Hiddleston, and George Cahoon into custody; but George and
    William Galloway resisted, and having got at some distance from the
    under-sheriff, they called to us, "You may take our lands and
    houses, and do what you please with them; we deliver them to you
    with all our hearts, but we will not be carried to jail!"

    The next morning, being Wednesday, the twenty-third of May, the
    said justices went to the log-house or cabin of Andrew Lycon, and
    finding none there but children, and hearing that the father and
    mother were expected soon, and William White and others offering to
    become security jointly and severally, and to enter into
    recognisance as well for Andrew's appearance at court and immediate
    removal as for their own, this proposal was accepted, and William
    White, David Hiddleston, and George Cahoon entered into a
    recognisance of one hundred pounds, and executed bonds to the
    proprietaries in the sum of five hundred pounds, reciting that they
    were trespassers, and had no manner of right, and had delivered
    possession to me for the proprietaries. When the magistrates went
    to the cabin or log-house of George and William Galloway, (which
    they had delivered up as aforesaid the day before, after they were
    convicted, and were flying from the sheriff,) all the goods
    belonging to the said George and William were taken out, and the
    cabin being quite empty, I took possession thereof for the
    proprietaries; and then a conference was held what should be done
    with the empty cabin; and after great deliberation, all agreed that
    if some cabins were not destroyed, they would tempt the trespassers
    to return again, or encourage others to come there should these
    trespassers go away; and so what was doing would signify nothing,
    since the possession of them was at such a distance from the
    inhabitants, could not be kept for the proprietaries; and Mr.
    Weiser also giving it as his opinion that, if all the cabins were
    left standing, the Indians would conceive such a contemptible
    opinion of the government that they would come themselves in the
    winter, murder the people, and set their houses on fire. On these
    considerations the cabin, by my order, was burnt by the
    under-sheriff and company.

    Then the company went to the house possessed by David Hiddleston,
    who had entered into bond as aforesaid; and he having voluntarily
    taken out all the things which were in the cabin, and left me in
    possession, that empty and unfurnished cabin was likewise set on
    fire by the under-sheriff, by my order.

    The next day, being the twenty-fourth of May, Mr. Weiser and Mr.
    Galbreath, with the under-sheriff and myself, on our way to the
    mouth of the Juniata called at Andrew Lycon's, with intent only to
    inform him that his neighbors were bound for his appearance and
    immediate removal, and to caution him not to bring him or them into
    trouble by a refusal; but he presented a loaded gun to the
    magistrates and sheriff; said he would shoot the first man that
    dared to come nigher. On this he was disarmed, convicted, and
    committed to the custody of the sheriff. This whole transaction
    happened in the sight of a tribe of Indians who had by accident in
    the night time fixed their tent on that plantation; and Lycon's
    behavior giving them great offence, the Shickcalamies insisted on
    our burning the cabin, or they would do it themselves. Whereupon
    every thing was taken out of it, (Andrew Lycon all the while
    assisting,) and, possession being delivered to me, the empty cabin
    was set on fire by the under-sheriff, and Lycon was carried to

    Mr. Benjamin Chambers and Mr. George Croghan had about an hour
    before separated from us; and on meeting them again in Cumberland
    county, they reported to me they had been at Sheerman's creek, or
    Little Juniata, situate about six miles over the Blue Mountain, and
    found there James Parker, Thomas Parker, Owen McKeib, John McClare,
    Richard Kirkpatrick, James Murray, John Scott, Henry Gass, John
    Cowan, Simon Girtee, and John Kilough, who had settled lands and
    erected cabins or log-houses thereon; and having convicted them of
    the trespass on their view, they had bound them, in recognisances
    of the penalty of one hundred pounds, to appear and answer for
    their trespasses on the first day of the next county court of
    Cumberland, to be held at Shippensburgh; and that the said
    trespassers had likewise entered into bonds to the proprietaries,
    in five hundred pounds penalty, to remove off immediately, with all
    their servants, cattle, and effects, and had delivered possession
    of their houses to Mr. George Stevenson for the proprietaries' use;
    and that Mr. Stevenson had ordered some of the meanest of those
    cabins to be set on fire, where the families were not large nor the
    improvements considerable.

    On Monday, the twenty-eighth of May, we were met at Shippensburgh
    by Samuel Smith, William Maxwell, George Croghan, Benjamin
    Chambers, William Allison, William Trent, John Finley, John Miller,
    Hermanus Alricks, and James Galbreath, Esquires, justices of
    Cumberland county, who informed us that the people in the Tuscarora
    Path, in Big Cove, and at Aucquick, would submit. Mr. Weiser most
    earnestly pressed that he might be excused any further attendance,
    having abundance of necessary business to do at home; and the other
    magistrates, though with much reluctance, at last consenting, he
    left us.

    On Wednesday, the thirtieth of May, the magistrates and company
    being detained two days by rain, proceeded over the Kittochtinny
    Mountains and entered into the Tuscarora Path or Path Valley,
    through which the road to Alleghany lies. Many settlements were
    formed in this valley, and all the people were sent for, and the
    following persons appeared, viz.: Abraham Slach, James Blair, Moses
    Moore, Arthur Dunlap, Alexander McCartie, David Lewis, Adam
    McCartie, Felix Doyle, Andrew Dunlap, Robert Wilson, Jacob Pyatt,
    Jr., William Ramage, Reynolds Alexander, Robert Baker, John
    Armstrong, and John Potts; who were all convicted by their own
    confession to the magistrates of the like trespasses with those at
    Sheerman's Creek, and were bound in the like recognisances to
    appear at court, and bonds to the proprietaries to remove with all
    their families, servants, cattle, and effects; and having
    voluntarily given possession of their houses to me, some ordinary
    log-houses, to the number of eleven, were burnt to the ground; the
    trespassers, most of them cheerfully, and a very few of them with
    reluctance, carrying out all their goods. Some had been deserted
    before, and lay waste.

    At Aucquick, Peter Falconer, Nicholas De Long, Samuel Perry, and
    John Charleton, were convicted on the view of the magistrates, and
    having entered into like recognisances and executed the like bonds,
    Charleton's cabin was burnt, and fire set to another that was just
    begun, consisting only of a few logs piled and fastened to one

    The like proceedings at Big Cove (now within Bedford county)
    against Andrew Donnaldson, John MacClelland, Charles Stewart, James
    Downy, John MacMean, Robert Kendell, Samuel Brown, William
    Shepperd, Roger Murphy, Robert Smith, William Dickey, William
    Millican, William MacConnell, James Campbell, William Carrell, John
    Martin, John Jamison, Hans Patter, John MacCollin, James Wilson,
    and John Wilson; who, coming before the magistrates, were convicted
    on their own confession of the like trespasses, as in former cases,
    and were all bound over in like recognisances and executed the like
    bond to the proprietaries. Three waste cabins of no value were
    burnt at the north end of the Cove by the persons who claimed a
    right to them.

    The Little Cove (in Franklin county) and the Big and Little
    Conolloways being the only places remaining to be visited, as this
    was on the borders of Maryland, the magistrates declined going
    there, and departed for their homes.

    About the year 1740 or 1741, one Frederick Star, a German, with two
    or three more of his countrymen, made some settlements at the place
    where we found William White, the Galloways, and Andrew Lycon, on
    Big Juniata, situate at the distance of twenty miles from the mouth
    thereof, and about ten miles north of the Blue Hills,--a place much
    esteemed by the Indians for some of their best hunting ground;
    which (German settlers) were discovered by the Delawares at
    Shamokin to the deputies of the Six Nations as they came down to
    Philadelphia in the year 1742, to hold a treaty with this
    government; and they were disturbed at, as to inquire with a
    peculiar warmth of Governor Thomas if these people had come there
    by the orders or with the privilege of the government; alleging
    that, if it was so, this was a breach of the treaties subsisting
    between the Six Nations and the proprietor, William Penn, who in
    the most solemn manner engaged to them not to suffer any of the
    people to settle lands till they had purchased from the Council of
    the Six Nations. The governor, as he might with great truth,
    disowned any knowledge of those persons' settlements; and on the
    Indians insisting that they should be immediately thrown over the
    mountains, he promised to issue his proclamation, and, if this had
    no effect, to put the laws in execution against them. The Indians,
    in the same treaty, publicly expressed very severe threats against
    the inhabitants of Maryland for settling lands for which they had
    received no satisfaction, and said that if they would not do them
    justice they would do justice to themselves, and would certainly
    have committed hostilities if a treaty had not been under foot
    between Maryland and the Six Nations, under the mediation of
    Governor Thomas; at which the Indians consented to sell lands and
    receive a valuable consideration for them, which put an end to the

    The proprietaries were then in England; but observing, on perusing
    the treaty, with what asperity they had expressed themselves
    against Maryland, and that the Indians had just cause to complain
    of the settlements at Juniata, so near Shamokin, they wrote to
    their governor, in very pressing terms, to cause those trespassers
    to be immediately removed; and both the proprietaries and governor
    laid these commands on me to see this done, which I accordingly did
    in June, 1743, the governor having first given them notice by a
    proclamation served on them.

    At that time none had presumed to settle at a place called the Big
    Cove--having this name from its being enclosed in the form of a
    basin by the southernmost range of the Kittochtinny Hills and
    Tuscarora Hills; which last end here, and lose themselves in other
    hills. This Big Cove is about five miles north of the temporary
    line, and not far west of the place where the line terminated.
    Between the Big Cove and the temporary line lies the Little
    Cove,--so called from being likewise encircled with hills; and to
    the west of the Little Cove, toward Potowmec, lie two other places,
    called the Big and Little Conollaways, all of them situate on the
    temporary line, and all of them extended toward the Potowmec.

    In the year 1741 or 1742 information was likewise given that people
    were beginning to settle in those places, some from Maryland and
    some from this province. But as the two governments were not then
    on very good terms, the governor did not think proper to take any
    other notice of these settlements than to send the sheriff to serve
    his proclamation on them, though they had ample occasion to lament
    the vast inconveniences which attend unsettled boundaries. After
    this the French war came on, and the people in those parts, taking
    advantage of the confusion of the times, by little and little stole
    into the Great Cove; so that at the end of the war it was said
    thirty families had settled there; not, however, without frequent
    prohibitions on the part of the government, and admonitions of the
    great danger they run of being cut off by the Indians, as these
    settlements were on lands not purchased of them. At the close of
    the war, Mr. Maxwell, one of the justices of Lancaster county,
    delivered a particular message from this government to them,
    ordering their removal, that they might not occasion a breach with
    the Indians, but it had no effect.

    These were, to the best of my remembrance, all the places settled
    by Pennsylvanians in the unpurchased part of the province, till
    about three years ago, when some persons had the presumption to go
    into Path Valley or Tuscarora Gap, lying to the east of the Big
    Cove, and into a place called Aucquick, lying to the northward of
    it; and likewise into a place called Sheerman's creek, lying along
    the waters of Juniata, and is situate east of the Path Valley,
    through which the present road goes from Harris's Ferry to
    Alleghany; and lastly, they extended their settlements to Big
    Juniata; the Indians all this while repeatedly complaining that
    their hunting-ground was every day more and more taken from them;
    and that there must infallibly arise quarrels between their
    warriors and these settlers, which would in the end break the chain
    of friendship, and pressing in the most importunate terms their
    speedy removal. The government in 1748 sent the sheriff and three
    magistrates, with Mr. Weiser, into these places to warn the people;
    but they, notwithstanding, continued their settlements in
    opposition to all this; and, as if those people were prompted by a
    desire to make mischief, settled lands no better, nay not so good,
    as many vacant lands within the purchased parts of the province.

    The bulk of these settlements were made during the administration
    of President Palmer; and it is well known to your honor, though
    then in England, that his attention to the safety of the city and
    the lower counties would not permit him to extend more care to
    places so remote.

    Finding such a general submission, except the two Galloways and
    Andrew Lycon, and vainly believing the evil would be effectually
    taken away, there was no kindness in my power which I did not do
    for the offenders. I gave them money where they were poor, and
    telling them they might go directly on any part of the two millions
    of acres lately purchased of the Indians; and where the families
    were large, as I happened to have several of my own plantations
    vacant, I offered them to stay on them rent free, till they could
    provide for themselves: then I told them that if after all this
    lenity and good usage they would dare to stay after the time
    limited for their departure, no mercy would be shown them, but that
    they would feel the rigor of the law.

    It may be proper to add that the cabins or log-houses which were
    burnt were of no considerable value; being such as the country
    people erect in a day or two, and cost only the charge of an


    July 2, 1750.

From this summary proceeding originated the name of the place called
the Burnt Cabins, the locality of which is pointed out to the traveller
to this day.

That these ejected tenants _at will_ did not remain permanently
ejected from the fertile valley of the Juniata is evident from the fact
that their descendants, or many of them, of the third and fourth
generations, are now occupying the very lands they were driven from.

In July, 1750, the government was thrown into alarm by the rumor that a
Mr. Delany had, while speaking of the removal of the trespassers on the
unpurchased lands northwest of the Kittochtinny Hills, said, "that if
the people of the Great and Little Coves would apply to Maryland they
might have warrants for their lands; and if those of the Tuscarora Path
Valley would apply to Virginia, he did not doubt but they might obtain
rights there."

Petitions were sent to the Council from the residents of the Coves, in
which it was set forth that they did not wish to be either in the
province of Maryland or Virginia, and prayed permission to remain,
until the boundary of the provinces was determined, on the lands
purchased from the Indians.

This proposition was not accepted, and was only followed up by
proclamations imposing severe penalties upon trespassers. This was
deemed absolutely necessary by Governor Hamilton, for the French were
assuming a menacing attitude along the frontier, and it was necessary,
at all hazards, to preserve the alliance of the Indians.

The Provincial Government was strong enough to drive the settlers out
of the valley, but immeasurably too weak to keep them out. This brought
about the treaty at Albany in 1754, to which we have previously
alluded. Thomas and Richard Penn, seeing the government unable to
remove the squatters permanently, in consequence of the feelings of the
people being with the latter, bought from the sachems the very
considerable slice of land in which was included the Valley of the
Juniata, for the trifling consideration of £400. This was supposed to
act as a healing balm for the trespasses upon their hunting-grounds,
and at the same time the Penns undoubtedly entertained the idea that
they could realize a handsome profit in re-selling the lands at an
advanced price to those who occupied them, as well as to European
emigrants constantly arriving and anxious to purchase.

The Indian chiefs and sachems who were not present at this treaty were
highly indignant, and pronounced the whole transaction a gross fraud;
and those who were present at the treaty declared they were outwitted
by misrepresentations, and grossly defrauded. Conrad Weiser, the Indian
interpreter, in his journal of a conference at Aughwick, stated that
the dissatisfaction with the purchase of 1754 was general. The Indians
said they did not understand the points of the compass, and if the line
was so run as to include the west branch of Susquehanna, they would
never agree to it. According to Smith's Laws, vol. xxi., p. 120, "the
land where the Shawnee and Ohio Indians lived, and the hunting-grounds
of the Delawares, the Nanticokes, and the Tutelos, were all included."

So decided and general was the dissatisfaction of the Indians, that, in
order to keep what few remained from being alienated, the proprietors
found it necessary to cede back to them, at a treaty held in Easton, in
October, 1758, all the land lying north and west of the Alleghany
Mountains within the province. The restoration, however, came too late
to effect much good.

But even the lands west of the Alleghany Mountains were not sacred to
the Indians, mountainous as they were and unfertile as they were
deemed; for westward the squatter went, gradually encroaching upon the
red men's last reserve, until he finally settled in their midst. These
aggressions were followed by the usual proclamations from the
government, but they had little or no effect in preventing the bold
adventurers from crossing the Alleghany Mountains and staking out farms
in the valley of the Conemaugh. This continued for a number of years,
until the government, wearied by unavailing efforts to keep settlers
from Indian lands, caused a stringent law to be passed by Council in
February, 1768, when it was enacted "that if any person settled upon
the unpurchased lands neglected or refused to remove from the same
within thirty days after they were required so to do by persons to be
appointed for that purpose by the governor or by his proclamation, or,
having so removed, should return to such settlement, or the settlement
of any other person, with or without a family, to remain and settle on
such lands, or if any person after such notice resided and settled on
such lands, every such person so neglecting or refusing to remove, or
returning to settle as aforesaid, or that should settle after the
requisition or notice aforesaid, being legally convicted, _was to be
punished with death without the benefit of clergy_."

There is no evidence on record that the provision of this act was ever
enforced, although it was openly violated. It was succeeded by laws a
little more lenient, making fine and imprisonment the punishment in
lieu of the death-penalty "without the benefit of clergy." Neither does
the record say that the coffers of the provincial treasury ever became
plethoric with the collection of fines paid by trespassers.

During the Indian wars of 1762-63, many of the inhabitants of the
valley fled to the more densely populated districts for safety. Up to
this time few forts were built for defence, and the settlers dreaded
the merciless warfare of the savages. The restoration of peace in the
latter year brought a considerable degree of repose to the long
harassed colonies. The turbulent Indians of the Ohio buried the hatchet
in October, 1764, on the plains of Muskingum, which enabled the
husbandman to reassume his labors and to extend his cultivation and
improvements. The prosperity of Pennsylvania increased rapidly; and
those who were compelled by Indian warfare to abandon their settlements
rapidly returned to them. The Juniata Valley, and especially the lower
part of it, gained a considerable accession of inhabitants in the shape
of sturdy tillers of the soil and well-disposed Christian people.

For a time the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians maintained rule in religion;
but, about 1767, German Lutherans, Irish Catholics, and some few
Dunkards and other denominations, found their way to the valley.
Meeting-houses were built, stockade forts erected, and communities of
neighbors formed for mutual protection, without regard to religious

The first settlements of the upper portion of the valley were not
effected until between 1765 and 1770. True, there was here and there an
isolated family, but the danger of being so near the Kittaning Path was
deemed too hazardous. It was in the upper part of the valley, too, that
most of the massacres took place between 1776 and 1782, as the lower
end of it was too thickly populated and too well prepared for the
marauders to permit them to make incursions or commit depredations.



Juniata Island--now called Duncan's Island, in consequence of the
Duncan family being the proprietors for many years--is formed by the
confluence of the Juniata and Susquehanna. Stretching northward, it
presents a lovely and fertile plain, surrounded by gorgeous and
romantic scenery, surpassed by few places in the State. This must have
been a very paradise for the sons of the forest. Facing to the west,
before them lay their beautiful hunting-grounds; facing to the south,
the eye rested upon the "long crooked river," over whose rippling bosom
danced the light bark canoe, and whose waters were filled with the
choicest of fish. With such blessings within their reach, the
inhabitants of the Juniata Island should have been superlatively happy,
and probably would, had it not been for the internal feuds which
existed among the tribes. Although the wigwams of two distinct tribes
dotted the island on the arrival of the white man, social intercourse
and the most friendly terms of intimacy existed between them. They were
the Shawnees and the Conoys. Then, too, it betokened a peaceable spot,
and yet it had been a famous Indian battle-ground in its day. The
traditions speak of a battle fought many years ago, between the
Delawares and the Cayugas, on this island, when the gullies ran red
with blood of mighty warriors, and the bones of a thousand of them were
entombed in one common grave upon the battle-field. Both tribes
suffered severely. The Delawares, although they lost the most braves,
and were ultimately driven from the field, fought with the most savage
desperation; but the Cayugas had the advantage in point of numbers, and
some of them used fire-arms, then totally unknown to the Delawares.

The first adventurers who went up the Susquehanna were Indian traders,
who took up articles for traffic in canoes. Fascinated by the beautiful
scenery of the country, and impressed with the idea that corn and
fruits grew upon the island spontaneously, these traders did not fail
to give it a name and reputation; and curiosity soon prompted others to
visit the "Big Island," as they called it. Some of them soon went so
far as to contemplate a settlement upon it. This, however, the Indians
would not permit; they were willing to trade at all times with them,
but the island was a kind of reservation, and on no condition would
they permit the pale-faces to share it with them. Even had they
suffered white men to settle among them, none would have repented the
act, as a rash step, more bitterly than the white men themselves; for
the Shawnees were a treacherous nation, and exceedingly jealous of any
innovations upon their rights or the customs of their fathers.

Still, the island became settled at an early day. The roving Shawnees
pushed their way westward, and the prejudices of those who took their
place were probably overcome by presents of guns, ammunition, tobacco,
and _fire-water_.

The Rev. David Brainerd, a devout and pious missionary, visited the
island in 1745, in the spring while going up the river, and in the fall
while returning. His object was to convert the Indians, which he found
quite as hopeless a task as did Heckwelder and Loskiel, who preceded
him with the same object in view. During his peregrinations Brainerd
kept a journal, which, together with his life, was published by the
American Tract Society. From this journal we extract the following, in
order to give his views of savage life, as well as an interesting
account of what he saw and heard at the island:--

    Sept. 20.--Visited the Indians again at Juneauta Island, and found
    them almost universally very busy in making preparations for a
    great sacrifice and dance. Had no opportunity to get them together
    in order to discourse with them about Christianity, by reason of
    their being so much engaged about their sacrifice. My spirits were
    much sunk with a prospect so very discouraging, and specially
    seeing I had this day no interpreter but a pagan, who was as much
    attached to idolatry as any of them, and who could neither speak
    nor understand the language of these Indians; so that I was under
    the greatest disadvantages imaginable. However, I attempted to
    discourse privately with some of them, but without any appearance
    of success; notwithstanding, I still tarried with them.

The valuable interpreter was probably a Delaware Indian, who was a
visitor to take part in the dance and sacrifice, while the inhabitants
of the island were Shawnees, who originally came from the south, and
their languages were entirely dissimilar. Brainerd calls them "pagans"
and "idolaters." This is a charge the Indians used to combat most
vehemently. They most unquestionably had small images carved out of
wood to represent the Deity; yet they repudiated the idea of
worshipping the wood, or the wooden image, merely using it as a symbol
through which to worship the Unseen Spirit. If such was the fact, they
could not well be called pagans in the common acceptation of the term.
The journal goes on to say:--

    In the evening they met together, nearly one hundred of them, and
    danced around a large fire, having prepared ten fat deer for the
    sacrifice. The fat of the inwards they burnt in the fire while they
    were dancing, which sometimes raised the flame to a prodigious
    height, at the same time yelling and shouting in such a manner that
    they might easily have been heard two miles or more. They continued
    their sacred dance nearly all night; after which they ate the flesh
    of the sacrifice, and so retired each one to his own lodging.

Making a burnt-offering of the deer-fat to illuminate the dance, and to
make a meat-offering to the insatiate Indian appetite, after undergoing
such fatigues, of the roasted venison, had not much idolatry in it.
Unconnected with any religious ceremony, such a proceeding might have
been considered rational, and coming altogether within the meaning of
the Masonic principle which recognises "refreshment after labor." Mr.
Brainerd continues:--

    Lord's-day, Sep. 21.--Spent the day with the Indians on the island.
    As soon as they were well up in the morning, I attempted to
    instruct them, and labored for that purpose to get them together,
    but soon found they had something else to do; for near noon they
    gathered together all their powaws, or conjurors, and set about
    half a dozen of them playing their juggling tricks and acting their
    frantic, distracted postures, in order to find out why they were
    then so sickly upon the island, numbers of them being at that time
    disordered with a fever and bloody flux. In this exercise they were
    engaged for several hours, making all the wild, ridiculous, and
    distracted motions imaginable; sometimes singing, sometimes
    howling, sometimes extending their hands to the utmost stretch and
    spreading all their fingers: they seemed to push with them as if
    they designed to push something away, or at least to keep it off at
    arm's-end; sometimes stroking their faces with their hands, then
    spouting water as fine as mist; sometimes sitting flat on the
    earth, then bowing down their faces to the ground; then wringing
    their sides as if in pain and anguish, twisting their faces,
    turning up their eyes, grunting, puffing, &c.

This looks more like idolatry than sacrificing ten fat deer and dancing
by the light of their burning fat. Yet, if curing disease by powwowing,
incantation, or the utterance of charms, can be considered idolatry, we
are not without it even at this late day. We need not go out of the
Juniata Valley to find professing Christians who believe as much in
cures wrought by charms as they do in Holy Writ itself.

    "Their monstrous actions tended to excite ideas of horror, and
    seemed to have something in them, as I thought, peculiarly suited
    to raise the devil, if he could be raised by any thing odd,
    ridiculous, and frightful. Some of them, I could observe, were much
    more fervent and devout in the business than others, and seemed to
    chant, whoop, and mutter, with a degree of warmth and vigor as if
    determined to awaken and engage the powers below. I sat at a small
    distance, not more than thirty feet from them, though undiscovered,
    with my Bible in my hand, resolving, if possible, to spoil their
    sport and prevent their receiving any answers from the infernal
    world, and there viewed the whole scene. They continued their
    hideous charms and incantations for more than three hours, until
    they had all wearied themselves out, although they had in that
    space of time taken several intervals of rest; and at length broke
    up, I apprehend, without receiving any answer at all."

Very likely they did not; but is it not most singular that a man with
the reputation for piety and learning that Brainerd left behind him
should arm himself with a Bible to spoil the spirit of the Indians, in
case their incantations should raise the demon of darkness, which, it
would really appear, he apprehended? In speaking of the Shawnee
Indians, or "Shawanose," as they were then called, he stigmatizes them
as "drunken, vicious, and profane." What their profanity consisted of
he does not say. According to all Indian historians, the Indians had
nothing in their language that represented an oath. Brainerd goes on to
say of the Shawnees:--

    Their customs, in various other respects, differ from those of the
    other Indians upon this river. They do not bury their dead in a
    common form, but let their flesh consume above the ground, in close
    cribs made for that purpose. At the end of a year, or sometimes a
    longer space of time, they take the bones, when the flesh is all
    consumed, and wash and scrape them, and afterward bury them with
    some ceremony. Their method of charming or conjuring over the sick
    seems somewhat different from that of the other Indians, though in
    substance the same. The whole of it, among these and others,
    perhaps, is an imitation of what seems, by Naaman's expression, (2
    Kings v. 11,) to have been the custom of the ancient heathen. It
    seems chiefly to consist of their "striking their hands over the
    deceased," repeatedly stroking them, "and calling upon their God,"
    except the spurting of water like a mist, and some other frantic
    ceremonies common to the other conjurations which I have already

In order to give Mr. Brainerd's impression of their customs, as well as
an interesting account of a "medicine-man" who possessed rather
singular religious opinions, we shall close with his journal, with
another paragraph:--

    When I was in this region in May last, I had an opportunity of
    learning many of the notions and customs of the Indians, as well
    as observing many of their practices. I then travelled more than
    one hundred and thirty miles upon the river, above the English
    settlements, and in that journey met with individuals of seven or
    eight distinct tribes, speaking as many different languages. But of
    all the sights I ever saw among them, or indeed anywhere else, none
    appeared so frightful or so near akin to what is usually imagined
    of _infernal powers_, none ever excited such images of terror in
    my mind, as the appearance of one who was a devout and zealous
    reformer, or rather restorer of what he supposed was the ancient
    religion of the Indians. He made his appearance in his _pontifical
    garb_, which was a coat of _bear-skins_, dried with the hair on,
    and hanging down to his toes; a pair of bear-skin stockings, and a
    great _wooden_ face, painted, the one half black, the other half
    tawny, about the color of an Indian's skin, with an extravagant
    mouth, but very much awry; the face fastened to a bear-skin cap,
    which was drawn over his head. He advanced toward me with the
    instrument in his hand which he used for music in his idolatrous
    worship, which was a dry tortoise-shell with some corn in it, and
    the neck of it drawn on to a piece of wood, which made a very
    convenient handle. As he came forward, he beat his tune with the
    rattle, and danced with all his might, but did not suffer any part
    of his body, not so much as his fingers, to be seen. No one would
    have imagined, from his appearance or actions, that he could have
    been a human creature, if they had not had some intimation of it
    otherwise. When he came near me, I could not but shrink away from
    him, although it was then noonday, and I knew who it was, his
    appearance and gestures were so prodigiously frightful. He had a
    house consecrated to religious uses, with divers images cut upon
    the several parts of it. I went in, and found the ground beaten
    almost as hard as a rock with their frequent dancing upon it. I
    discoursed with him about Christianity. Some of my discourse he
    seemed to like, but some of it he disliked extremely. He told me
    that God had taught him his religion, and that he never would turn
    from it, but wanted to find some who would join heartily with him
    in it; for the Indians, he said, were grown very degenerate and
    corrupt. He had thoughts, he said, of leaving all his friends, and
    travelling abroad, in order to find some who would join with him;
    for he believed that God had some good people somewhere, who felt
    as he did. He had not always, he said, felt as he now did; but had
    formerly been like the rest of the Indians, until about four or
    five years before that time. Then, he said, his heart was very much
    distressed, so that he could not live among the Indians, but got
    away into the woods, and lived alone for some months. At length, he
    said, God comforted his heart, and showed him what he should do;
    and since that time he had known God and tried to serve him, and
    loved all men, be they who they would, so as he never did before.
    He treated me with uncommon courtesy, and seemed to be hearty in
    it. I was told by the Indians that he opposed their drinking strong
    liquor with all his power; and that if at any time he could not
    dissuade them from it by all he could say, he would leave them, and
    go crying into the woods. It was manifest that he had a set of
    religious notions, which he had examined for himself and not taken
    for granted upon bare tradition; and he relished or disrelished
    whatever was spoken of a religious nature, as it either agreed or
    disagreed with _his standard_. While I was discoursing, he would
    sometimes say, "Now that I like; so God has taught me," &c.; and
    some of his sentiments seemed very just. Yet he utterly denied the
    existence of a devil, and declared there was no such creature known
    among the Indians of old times, whose religion he supposed he was
    attempting to revive. He likewise told me that departed souls went
    _southward_, and that the difference between the good and bad was
    this: that the former were admitted into a beautiful town with
    spiritual walls, and that the latter would forever hover around
    these walls in vain attempts to get in. He seemed to be sincere,
    honest, and conscientious, in his own way, and according to his own
    religious notions, which was more than ever I saw in any other
    pagan. I perceived that he was looked upon and derided among most
    of the Indians as a _precise zealot_, who made a needless noise
    about religious matters; but I must say that there was something in
    his temper and disposition which looked more like true religion
    than any thing I ever observed among other heathens.

If Brainerd was not grossly imposed upon, the Indian was a remarkable
man, and his code of ethics might be used with profit by a great many
persons now treading the paths of civilization and refinement. But it
is more than probable that he had based the groundwork of his religion
on what he had learned from the Moravian missionaries. In the ensuing
summer Brainerd again ascended the Susquehanna, where he contracted
disease by exposure, and died in the fall.

The earliest permanent white settler upon the island was a gentleman
named Hulings, who located near the mouth of the Juniata, over which,
in after years, he established a ferry; and, after travel increased and
the traders took their goods up the rivers on pack-horses, he built a
sort of causeway, or bridge, for the passage of horses, at the upper
end of the island. He settled on the island in 1746. He was followed by
another adventurer, named Watts, who staked out a small patch of land,
with the view of farming it. It was already cleared, and he purchased
it from the Indians. The children of these families intermarried, and
their descendants to this day own the greater portion of the island. A
few years after the settlement of Watts and Hulings, a gentleman named
Baskin came from below, and settled near the point of the island. He
was an enterprising man, and had no sooner erected himself a temporary
shelter than he established a ferry across the Susquehanna. The ferry
became profitable, and Baskin realized a fortune out of it. It was a
sort of heirloom in the family for several generations, until the State
improvements were built, when a bridge was erected. Baskin's Ferry was
known far and wide; and there are still some descendants of the name
residing, or who did reside a few years ago, where the ferry crossed.

Shortly after Braddock's defeat, the country was greatly alarmed by
rumors that the French and Indians were coming down the Susquehanna in
great numbers, with the avowed intention of slaughtering the British
colonists and laying waste all their habitations. Nor was this rumor
without foundation; for the massacres already committed up the
Susquehanna seemed fully to justify the apprehension. Travel along the
river was suspended, and a portion of the settlers fled to Paxton.
Hulings abandoned his ferry, and, with a convoy of friendly Delaware
Indians, he went to Fort Duquesne, where he immediately purchased land,
with the view of settling permanently. There, however, he found little
more peace and quiet than he enjoyed at the island. The country was
rife with alarms of Indian depredations, and the settlers were in
constant dread of an attack which they could not repel. Hulings became
dissatisfied, because the exchange had disappointed all his reasonable
expectations, and he determined to return. To this end he disposed of
his land for £200--land which now composes the heart of the city of
Pittsburg, and could not be purchased for £2,000,000. In company with
another party of friendly Indians on their way to the east, he returned
to the island, re-established his ferry, built himself a house at the
bridge, and for some years lived in security.

About 1761, accounts of Indian depredations above again alarmed the
lower settlements; but Mr. Hulings paid no attention to them, until a
large number of them were seen but a short distance above the island,
encamped upon a piece of table-land. In great haste he packed up a few
of his most valuable articles, and, putting his wife and child upon a
large black horse, took them to the Point, so as to be ready to fly the
moment the savages made their appearance. At this place there was a
half-fallen tree, from the branches of which an excellent view of his
house, as well as of the path beyond it, could be obtained. Here
Hulings watched for some time, hoping that if the Indians did come
down, and find his house abandoned, they would go up the Juniata.
Suddenly it occurred to Hulings that in his haste he had left some
valuable keepsakes, and he returned forthwith alone. After
reconnoitering for some time, he entered the house, and was somewhat
surprised to find an Indian tinkering at his gun-lock. The savage was
unable to shoot, and, as Hulings was a man of powerful frame, he feared
to make a personal attack upon him. Both appeared to be ready to act
upon the defensive, but neither was willing to risk an attack.

In the mean time, the reconnoitering and parleying of Hulings had taken
up so much time that Mrs. Hulings became alarmed, and concluded that
her husband had been murdered. Without a thought of the danger, she
took her child upon the horse before her, plunged him into the
Susquehanna, and the noble charger carried them safely to the other
shore--a distance of nearly a mile, and at a time, too, when the river
was unusually high! Such an achievement in modern times would make a
woman a heroine, whose daring would be extolled from one end of the
land to the other.

Soon after this extraordinary feat, Mr. Hulings arrived, and he, in
turn, became alarmed at the absence of his wife; but he soon saw her
making a signal on the other side, and, immediately unmooring a canoe
at the mouth of the Juniata, he got into it and paddled it over. It was
the only canoe in the neighborhood,--an old one left by Baskin when he
fled. Hulings had scarcely rejoined his wife before he saw the flames
shooting up from the old log ferry-house, and the savages dancing
around it, brandishing their weapons; but they were out of harm's way,
and succeeded in reaching Paxton the same day. In a year or so they
returned, and ended their days on the island.

Reference is made by historians to a battle fought between the whites
and Indians on the island in 1760. The old inhabitants, too, spoke of
one, but we could ascertain nothing definite on the subject. No mention
whatever is made of it in the Colonial Records.

After this period but few of the roving bands or war-parties ever came
down either the Susquehanna or the Juniata as far as the island. The
massacre of the Conestoga Indians inspired the up-country savages with
so much terror that they deemed it certain death to go near the
settlement of the Paxton boys.

By the time the Revolution commenced, the neighborhood of the mouth of
the Juniata was thickly populated, and the inhabitants had within their
reach ample means of defence; so that the savages in the employ of the
British prudently confined their operations to the thickly-settled



    [For the facts on which the two chapters following are based we are
    indebted to a gentleman named ANDREW BANKS, an old resident of Lost
    Creek Valley, Juniata county. He was born near York, and settled
    near his late place of residence in 1773, and was nearly
    eighty-nine years of age when we called upon him early in December,
    1855. We found him enjoying the evening of a long and well-spent
    life, with his sense of hearing somewhat impaired, but his
    intellect and memory both good. He was a man of considerable
    intelligence, and we found him quite willing to give all he knew of
    the past worthy of record. He died about the last of the same

The river, from the island to Newport, is hemmed in by mountains; and
while it afforded excellent territory for hunting, fishing, and
trapping, it held out no inducements for the Indians to erect their
lodges along it. The first Indian village above the mouth of the river
was located on the flat, a short distance above where the town of
Newport now is. Another was located at the mouth of a ravine a little
west of Millerstown. At the former place the Cahoons, Hiddlestons, and
others were settled, who were ejected, and had their cabins burnt by
Secretary Peters. After the purchase of these lands at Albany, in 1754,
both these towns were destroyed, and the Indians went to Ohio.

Lost Creek Valley, unquestionably one of the most beautiful valleys in
the Juniata region, was entered by some Indian traders as early as
1740. They found it occupied by two or three Indian settlements, and
they made a successful barter with the aborigines. The next year they
essayed to revisit the place, but were unable to find it. The following
summer they found it again; hence arose the name of the _lost_ creek.
There is no record of any massacres by the Indians in this valley, and
the impression is that they left it about 1754, some going toward the
frontier, and others to the head of Tuscarora Valley.

The first settlement on the river, in what now constitutes Juniata
county, was made in 1751, by an adventurous Scotch-Irishman known as
Captain James Patterson. He came across the country from Cumberland
county, accompanied by some five or six others, most of whom settled
very near to where Mexico now stands. Patterson was a bold and fearless
man; and he had not long resided in his new location before the Indians
of the neighborhood both hated and feared him. He and his companions
cleared the land on both sides of the river, built two large
log-houses, and pierced them with loopholes, so that they might defend
themselves from any attacks the savages might make. Patterson soon
became aware of the fact that his reckless daring, especially in
braving the proclamations of the proprietors in settling upon
unpurchased Indian lands, had inspired the Indians with fear; hence he
did not condescend to make an effort to purchase from the Indians, or
even build a fort for the protection of his little colony. In addition
to his recklessness, he possessed a good share of cunning, that on many
occasions served his purpose. For instance, he used to keep a target,
the centre of which was riddled with bullets, leaning against a tree.
Whenever he found a party of friendly Indians approaching, he used to
stand under his door and blaze away at the target, but always stop when
the Indians were near the house. The Indians would invariably examine
the target, measure the distance--about four hundred feet--with the
eye, and conclude among themselves that Patterson would be an
exceedingly tough customer in a fight! His reputation for shooting
obtained for him among the Delawares the name of "Big Shot."

Patterson was a very bold squatter, and staked off for himself a large
body of land, declaring that Providence had designed it for the use of
Christian people to raise food upon, and not for Indian war-dances.
But, with all his fancied security and his contemptuous opinion of the
"cowardly red-skins," they put him to his trumps at last. In the year
1755 they no longer visited his settlement on the friendly mission of
bartering furs and venison for rum and tobacco, but they commenced
prowling about in small parties, painted for war, armed with the
rifle--the use of which they had already acquired--and exceedingly
dangerous-looking knives and tomahawks. Patterson became alarmed, and,
actuated by a settled conviction that "discretion" was the better part
of valor, himself and his companions crossed the Tuscarora Mountain and
took refuge in Sherman's Valley. A few years after he returned, but he
found his land parcelled, and occupied by others, who held deeds of
purchase for it from the proprietory government. Nothing daunted,
however, he took possession of another piece of land, and commenced
cultivating it, without going through the land-office formula of
obtaining a legal title for it. He was a man of some intelligence, and
held in supreme contempt the Penn family and their treaties with the
Indians. He declared that the Albany treaty did not give them a shadow
of right to the land; and, as it was not considered morally wrong for
the Penns to wheedle the Indians out of millions of acres of land for
the paltry sum of £400, he did not see any wrong in his cheating the
Penn family out of a farm.

For some years peace and quiet reigned in the neighborhood; but in the
spring of 1763 the red man again lifted the hatchet, and the settlers
were thrown into awe and consternation. Constant rumors were afloat of
their depredations, and at length a scouting party returned with the
unwelcome intelligence that a body of Shawnees were encamped in
Tuscarora Valley. As speedily as possible, all the movable effects were
placed upon pack-horses, and the settlers, by extremely cautious
manoeuvering, succeeded in escaping safely, and again took up their
residence in Sherman's Valley.

The spring having been exceedingly favorable, the grain crop was ready
to cut early in July, and a party was formed by the settlers, and some
few others, to go back and assist each other in getting in their
harvest. On their arrival they set vigorously to work; and, no traces
of savages being perceptible, in their anxiety to get in the grain they
appeared to forget them, notwithstanding each man carried with him his
trusty rifle wheresoever he went. On Sunday, while resting from their
labors, some ten or twelve Shawnee Indians approached the house of
William White, where all the settlers were spending the Sabbath. They
crawled up to the house unperceived, and fired a volley through the
open door, killing Mr. White and wounding some of his family. The
wildest consternation seized upon the party within, and, in the great
confusion which followed, all escaped by the back-door except William
Riddle. Some swam the river; others escaped in different directions.
Riddle did not see a son of his, aged about twelve years, escape; and,
without probably being conscious of what he was doing, walked toward
the front-door, where a savage fired at him. The muzzle of the gun was
so near Riddle's face that the discharge literally filled it with
gunpowder. The ball grazed, but did not injure him. At the moment the
savage discharged his rifle, Riddle was tripped by something upon the
floor, and fell. The Indians took it for granted that both were killed,
and set up a loud shout of victory. While holding a consultation about
their future movements, Riddle jumped up suddenly and ran. Several
Indians fired, and for a short distance pursued him; but he soon
distanced the fleetest runner among them. The marauders then returned,
and, after scalping Mr. White, plundered the house of all the
ammunition they could find, some few other trifling articles, and then
set fire to it.

On taking their departure from the place, from a high bluff near the
house they discovered Riddle's son, who was trying to conceal himself
in a rye-field. They captured him and took him along with them. In
order to give an account of his captivity, we shall be compelled to
defer an account of the further depredations of the same band until the
next chapter.

Some years after peace was restored--the precise year not known, but
supposed to have been in 1767,--Riddle started for the frontier in
search of his son. This was a time of almost profound peace, which
followed the numerous massacres of the few preceding years, and a time,
too, when the Indians had been taught some severe lessons, and were
disposed to act friendly toward the whites. Riddle travelled on
horseback, and passed numerous Indian villages, but could hear no
tidings of his son until he came upon an encampment of Shawnee Indians
near Lake Erie. As he neared the village, he saw the warriors returning
from the chase, and among them a youthful-looking brave with an
eagle-feather waving on his cap, and all the paraphernalia of a young
chief decorating his person. His bearing erect, his step firm, he trod
the path with a proud and haughty air. But a single glance sufficed for
Riddle to recognise in the youthful warrior his son John. Dismounting
from his horse, he sprang forward and attempted to throw himself into
his arms; but, strange to say, his _advances were repulsed_! Even
when the lad was convinced that he was Riddle's offspring, he refused
to go with him, but declared his determination to remain with the

During the few years that he had been among the sons of the forest, he
had most thoroughly imbibed their habits and a strong love for their
wild and romantic life. The chase, the woods, the council-fires and the
wigwams, the canoe and the dance of the squaws, were enchantment to
him, in the enjoyment of which he lost all recollections of home or his
parents; and when his father declared that he would use a parent's
prerogative to force him to accompany him, young Riddle, almost frantic
with despair, called upon his warrior friends to interfere in his
behalf. But the Indians, fearful of the consequences that might result
from any interference of the kind, acknowledged Riddle's right to
reclaim his son, since the red man and the white man had smoked the
pipe of peace. It was, therefore, with great reluctance that John
Riddle prepared to depart immediately. He took a hasty farewell of his
warrior companions, and, mounting behind his father, they turned their
faces toward the valley of the Juniata. Mr. Riddle, with commendable
zeal and a great deal of prudence, put as much ground between him and
the Shawnee village, before nightfall, as possible. He pitched his tent
for the night on the edge of a thicket, and partook of some provisions
which he had in his saddle-bag; and, after talking for an hour or two,
they stretched themselves before the fire to sleep. Young Riddle
appeared resigned, and had even conversed gayly and cheerfully with his
father; but the old man had his misgivings, and he feared that
treachery was hidden beneath this semblance of cheerfulness. The
consequence was that he lay awake for hours; but at length the fatigues
of the day overcame him, and he sank into a deep sleep, from which he
did not awake until the sun was up, and then only to find that his son
had fled! The emotions of a father under such circumstances may be
imagined, but certainly they cannot well be described. A man of less
energy would have given up the object of his mission as hopeless, and
returned home.

Not so, however, with Riddle, for he hastened back to the Indian
village, and asked the Indians sternly for his son. Unused or unwilling
to dissemble, they frankly told him that he was in the council-house,
and demanded their protection; that he had eaten, drank, and smoked,
with the red man, and that he was unwilling to acknowledge a pale-face
as a father or a brother. This highly incensed Riddle, and he declared
that if his son were not delivered up to him, he would bring the forces
from the nearest fort and exterminate them; and, further, that, if any
injury befell him, his friends, who knew his mission, would follow and
avenge him. A council was immediately called, and the subject debated.
The young warriors of the village were determined that young Riddle
should remain among them at all hazards; but the counsel of the older
chiefs, who evidently foresaw what would follow, prevailed, and young
Riddle was again placed in charge of his father. The old man, profiting
by experience, took his son to a frontier fort, and from thence home,
reasoning with him all the way on the folly of adopting the life of a

Riddle grew to manhood, and reared a large family in Walker township,
all of whom many years ago went to the West. He is represented by Mr.
Banks as having been a quiet and inoffensive man, except when he
accidentally indulged in the too free use of "_fire-water_." It
was then that all the characteristics of the red man manifested
themselves. "On such occasions his eye flashed, and all his actions
betokened the wily savage."



The neighborhood of the mouth of Licking Creek was settled about 1750.
The first settler was Hugh Hardy, a Scotch-Irishman, who located about
a mile from the mouth of the creek. He was followed by families named
Castner, Wilson, Law, Scott, Grimes, and Sterrit, all Scotch-Irish, and
the last two traders in Indian goods.

At the time of their advent at Licking Creek, the Indians were
exceedingly friendly, and pointed out to them a famous battle-ground
near the creek. The oral tradition of the battle preserved by them was
as follows:--On the one side of the creek was a village of the
Delawares, on the other a village of the Tuscaroras. Both tribes lived
in harmony--hunted on the same grounds, seated themselves around the
same council-fires, and smoked in common the pipe of peace, and danced
the green-corn dance together beneath the pale rays of the mellow
harvest-moon. These amicable relations might have existed for years,
had not a trivial incident brought about a sad rupture. Some Indian
children at play on the bank of the creek commenced quarrelling about a
grasshopper. High words led to blows. The women of the respective
tribes took up their children's quarrel, and in turn the wives' quarrel
was taken up by the men. A bloody and most sanguinary battle was the
result. The struggle was long and fierce, and hundreds of warriors,
women, and children, fell beneath the deadly tomahawk or by the
unerring arrow. To this day, relics, such as arrow-heads, pipes, and
human bones, are found upon the spot where tradition says the battle
occurred. The "grasshopper war" was long held up by the sachems as a
terrible warning to any tribe about to embroil itself in a bootless

Some historians assert that there was once a fort at the mouth of
Licking Creek, called Fort Campbell, all traces of which are now
obliterated. Such was not the case. Robert Campbell owned the largest
house in the settlement, which was pierced with loopholes for defence
similar to that belonging to Patterson. The settlers had also been
driven away, and had returned to reap their harvest. On the Sabbath
referred to in the preceding chapter, while the harvesters were
gathered in the house of Campbell, and immediately after the massacre
at Patterson's, the same hand of Indians stealthily approached the
house of Campbell and fired a volley at the inmates. Several persons
were wounded, but there is no authentic record of any one being killed.

James Campbell was shot through the wrist, and taken prisoner. He was
taken to the frontier, probably to Lake Erie, and returned in a year or
eighteen months afterward. But the particulars attending his captivity
were never published, neither could we find any person who knew any
thing about the matter further than that he was captured, and returned
again to his home.

Immediately after the Indians had discharged their rifles, one of them
sprang into the house, and with uplifted tomahawk approached a bed on
which a man named George Dodds was resting. Fortunately for Dodds, his
rifle was within reach, which he immediately grasped and fired at the
savage, wounding him in the groin. The Indian retreated, and Dodds made
his way up-stairs, and through an opening in the roof he escaped, went
direct to Sherman's Valley, and spread the alarm.

This same band of marauders proceeded up Tuscarora Valley, laying waste
the country as they went. In the dusk of the evening, they came to the
house of William Anderson. They shot down the old man, who was seated
by the table with the open Bible upon his lap, and also killed and
scalped his son and a young woman--an adopted daughter of Mr. Anderson.
Two brothers named Christy, and a man named Graham, neighbors of Mr.
Anderson, hearing the guns firing, conjectured that the Indians had
attacked him; and, their own means of defence being inadequate, they
fled, and reached Sherman's Valley about midnight. Their arrival spread
new terror, and a volunteer force of twelve men was soon raised to go
over to the valley to succor the settlers. This force consisted of
three brothers named Robinson, John Graham, Charles Elliot, William and
James Christy, Daniel Miller, John Elliot, Edward McConnel, William
McCallister, and John Nicholson.

Fearing that the savages would murder men engaged in harvesting farther
up the valley, they endeavored to intercept them by crossing through
Bigham's Gap early on Monday morning. They had no sooner entered the
valley than they discovered traces of the enemy. Houses were pillaged,
and some razed to the ground. At one place they had killed four hogs
and a number of fowls, which they had roasted by a fire, fared
sumptuously and dined leisurely. At Graham's there were unmistakable
signs that they had been joined by another party, and that the entire
force must number at least twenty-five Indians. From their tracks, too,
it was evident that they had crossed the Tuscarora Mountain by way of
Run Gap. The dread to encounter such a force would have deterred almost
any small body of men; but the Robinsons, who appeared to be leaders of
the party, were bold, resolute back-woodsmen, inured to hardship, toil,
and danger, and, without taking time to reflect, or even debate, upon
the probability of being attacked by the enemy from ambuscade, they
pushed forward rapidly to overtake the savages.

At the cross-roads, near Buffalo Creek, the savages fired upon the
party from an ambuscade of brush, and killed five. William Robinson was
shot in the abdomen with buckshot; still he managed to follow Buffalo
Creek for half a mile. John Elliot, a mere lad of seventeen, discharged
his rifle at an Indian, and then ran. The Indian pursued him, but,
fearing the boy would get off, he dropped his rifle, and followed with
tomahawk alone. Elliot, perceiving this, threw some powder into his
rifle at random, inserted a ball in the muzzle, and pushed it in as far
as he could with his finger; then, suddenly turning around, he shot the
Indian in the breast. The Indian gave a prolonged scream, and returned
in the direction of his band. There is little doubt but that the Indian
was killed; but, agreeably to their custom, his companions either
concealed the body or took it with them.

Elliot went but a short distance before he overtook William Robinson,
who was weltering in his blood upon the ground, and evidently in the
agonies of death. He begged Elliot to carry him off, as he had a great
horror of being scalped. Elliot told him it was utterly impossible for
him to lift him off the ground, much less carry him. Robinson then

"Take my gun, and save yourself. And if ever you have an opportunity to
shoot an Indian with it, _in war or peace_, do so, for my sake."

There is no record of the fact that he obeyed the dying injunction of
his friend; but he did with the rifle what was more glorious than
killing ignorant savages; he carried it for five years in the
Continental army, and battled with it for the freedom of his country.
How many of his Majesty's red-coats it riddled before the flag of
freedom floated over the land, is only known to the God of battles. The
body of Robinson was not found by the Indians.

During the action Thomas Robinson stood still, sheltered by a tree,
until all his companions had fled. He fired a third time, in the act of
which two or three Indians fired, and a bullet shattered his right arm.
He then attempted to escape, but was hotly pursued by the Indians, one
of whom shot him through the side while in the act of stooping to pass
a log. He was found scalped and most shockingly mutilated. John Graham
died while sitting upon a log, a short distance from the scene of
action. Charles Elliot and McConnel escaped, and crossed Buffalo Creek,
but they were overtaken and shot just as they were in the act of
ascending the bank. Their bodies were found in the creek.

These bloody murders caused the greatest alarm in the neighborhood. The
Indians, flushed with success, manifested no disposition to leave; and
the inhabitants of the sparsely-settled country fled toward the lower
end of Sherman's Valley, leaving all behind them. A party of forty men,
armed and organized and well-disciplined, marched in the direction of
the Juniata for the purpose of burying the dead and slaying the
Indians; but when they came to Buffalo Creek, they were so terrified at
the sight of the slaughtered whites and probably exaggerated stories of
the strength of the enemy, that the commander ordered a return. He
called it _prudent_ to retire; some of his men called it _cowardly_.
The name of the valiant captain could not be ascertained.

Captain Dunning went up the valley from Carlisle with a posse,
determined to overtake and punish the savages if possible. Before his
arrival, however, some five or six men conceived the rash idea of
giving the Indians battle, and attacked them while in a barn. The
attack was an exceedingly ill-judged affair, for but few Indians were
wounded, and none killed. They bounded out with great fury, and shot
the entire party but one, who managed to escape. Those who were killed
were Alexander Logan and his son John, Charles Coyle, and William
Hamilton. Bartholomew Davis made his escape, and at Logan's house
overtook Captain Dunning and his command. Judging that the Indians
would visit Logan's for plunder, Captain Dunning ambuscaded his men,
and in a very short time the savages came, boldly, and entirely
unconscious of impending danger. They were greeted by a volley from
Dunning's men, and but a short engagement followed. Three or four
Indians fell at the first fire; and the rest, dismayed, fled in
consternation toward the mountain, and were not pursued.

Thus it will be perceived that a large number of most cruel and
cold-blooded murders were committed by these marauders before they were
checked, simply because in treachery and cunning the white men could
not cope with them.



Tuscarora Path Valley, as it was formerly called, is one of the most
fertile and beautiful within the Juniata range. It embraces an extent
of probably thirty miles in length, beginning in Franklin county, and
ending at the river at Perrysville, in Juniata county. The name of
"Path" was given to it in consequence of the old western Indian path
running through it nearly its entire length.

Tuscarora, in its day, must have been a famous place for the Indians.
Its great natural advantages, and the abundance of game it contained,
must alone have rendered it an attractive place, independent of the
fact that it was the regular highway between the East and the West,
where the warrior, the politician, and the loafer, could lie in the

    "Umbrageous grots and caves of cool recess,"

before the wigwam door, and hear from travellers all the news astir
worthy of their profound attention.

Tradition, however, speaks of battles among them; for they would fight
among themselves, and that, too, with all the relentless fury that
characterized their warfare with the whites. But of these battles said
to be fought in the valley the tradition is so vague and unsatisfactory
that we omit any further mention of them.

There are two mounds in the valley,--one of them near its head, the
other some twelve or fourteen miles from its mouth, at or near a place,
we believe, now called Academia. Some persons who examined this mound
about twenty years ago tried to make it appear that it had been
enclosed in a fortification, as they averred that they had discovered
fragments of a wall. This was probably a wrong conclusion, as a
burial-place would not likely be within a fortification. If the mound
was once enclosed within a wall for protection, it was an act that
stands without a parallel in Indian history.

Near the lower mound is an academy; and during the last ten years the
students used their leisure hours in exhuming the bones and searching
for relics, so that by this time, probably, but a mere visible trace of
it is left.

The first settlers in Tuscarora were Samuel Bigham, Robert Hagg, and
James and John Grey,--all Scotch. They came from Cumberland county
about the year 1749, or probably 1750. They were in search of a
location for permanent settlement. The valley pleased them so well that
they immediately staked out farms; and, notwithstanding the Indians of
the valley treated them with apparent hospitality, they took the
precaution to build themselves a fort for defence, which was named
Bigham's Fort. By the year 1754 several other persons had settled in
Tuscarora, among them George Woods and a man named Innis.

Some time in the spring of 1756, John Grey and Innis went to Carlisle
with pack-horses, for the purpose of procuring groceries. On their
return, while descending the mountain, in a very narrow defile, Grey's
horse, frightened at a bear which crossed the road, became unmanageable
and threw him off. Innis, anxious to see his wife and family, went on;
but Grey was detained for nearly two hours in righting his pack. As far
as his own personal safety was concerned, the detention was a
providential one, for he just reached the fort in time to see the last
of it consumed. Every person in it had either been massacred or taken
prisoners by the Indians. He examined the charred remains of the bodies
inside of the fort, but he could find none that he could bring himself
to believe were those of his family. It subsequently appeared that his
wife and his only daughter, three years of age, George Woods, Innis's
wife and three children, and a number of others, had been carried into
captivity. They were taken across the Alleghany to the old Indian town
of Kittaning, and from thence to Fort Duquesne, where they were
delivered over to the French.

Woods was a remarkable man, and lived to a good old age, and figured
somewhat extensively afterward in the history of both Bedford and
Alleghany counties. He took his captivity very little to heart, and
even went so far as to propose marriage to Mrs. Grey while they were
both prisoners in the fort.

The French commander, in apportioning out the prisoners, gave Woods to
an old Indian named John Hutson, who removed him to his own wigwam. But
George proving neither useful nor ornamental to Hutson's establishment,
and as there was no probability of any of his friends paying a ransom
for him--inasmuch as he had neither kith nor kin,--he opened
negotiations with George to let him off. The conditions made and
entered into between the two were that the aforesaid George Woods
should give to the aforesaid John Hutson an annuity of ten pounds of
tobacco, until death should terminate the existence of either of the
parties named. This contract was fulfilled until the massacre of the
Bedford scout, when Harry Woods, a lieutenant of the scout, and son of
George Woods, recognised among the most active of the savages the son
of John Hutson, who used to accompany his father to Bedford, where
Harry Woods had often seen him. It is hardly necessary to add that old
Hutson never called upon Woods after that for his ransom annuity.

Woods was a surveyor by profession, and assisted in laying out the city
of Pittsburg, one of the principal streets of which bears his name, or,
at least, was named after him, notwithstanding it is called "Wood"
instead of Woods street.

Mr. Woods, after he removed to Bedford, became a useful and influential
citizen. He followed his profession, and most of the original surveys
in the upper end of the Juniata Valley were made by him. He reared a
large family, and his descendants are still living. One of his
daughters was married to Ross, who was once a candidate for the office
of governor of the State. He lived to a good old age, and died amid the
deep regrets of a most extended circle of acquaintances.

Mrs. Grey and her daughter were given to some Indians, who took them to
Canada. In the ensuing fall John Grey joined Colonel Armstrong's
expedition against Kittaning, in hopes of recapturing, or at least
gaining some intelligence of, his family. Failing to do this, he
returned home, broken in health and spirits, made his will, and died.
The will divided the farm between his wife and daughter, in case they
returned from captivity. If the daughter did not return, a sister was
to have her half.

About a year after the fort was burnt, Mrs. Grey, through the
connivance of some traders, managed to escape from bondage, and reached
her home in safety, but, unfortunately, was compelled to leave her
daughter behind her. She proved her husband's will and took charge of
the property. The treaty of 1764 brought a large number of captive
children to Philadelphia to be recognised and claimed by their friends.
Mrs. Grey attended, in hopes of finding her child; but she was
unsuccessful. There remained one child unclaimed, about the same age as
Mrs. Grey's; and some person, who evidently knew the provisions of the
will, hinted to her the propriety of taking the child to save the
property. She did so, and in the year 1789, the heirs of the sister,
having received some information as to the identity of the child,
brought suit for the land. The trial was a novel one, and lasted from
1789 to 1834, a period of forty-five years, when it was decided in
favor of the heirs and against the captive.

Innis remained among the Indians until the treaty. His wife escaped a
short time previous. Two of her children she recovered in Philadelphia,
but a third had been drowned by the savages on their way to some place
in Canada. By the exposure it became sick and very weak, and, to rid
themselves of any further trouble with it, they put it under the ice.
When the captive children were at Philadelphia, some person had taken
one of Innis's, and he had considerable difficulty to recover it. Had
it not been for a private mark by which he proved it, the person who
had it in charge would probably never have surrendered it.

The Indians of Tuscarora, before the French war, were on terms of great
intimacy with the whites. They used to meet at the fort, and shoot
mark, and, when out of lead, would go to the mouth of the valley, and
return with lead ore, almost pure. Lead was a valuable article, and
difficult to transport; hence the settlers were anxious to discover the
location of the mine. Many a warrior was feasted and liquored until he
was blind drunk, under a promise of divulging the precise whereabouts
of the lead mine. Its discovery, if it contained any quantity of ore,
would have realized any man a speedy fortune in those days; but, in
spite of Indian promises and the most thorough search for years, the
lead mines of Tuscarora were never found, and probably never will be
until it is occupied by another race of cunning Indians.

The fort burnt down in 1756 was rebuilt some four years afterward,
through the exertions of Ralph Sterrit, an old Indian trader. His son
William was born in Bigham's Fort, and was the first white child born
in Tuscarora Valley. At the time of burning the first fort, Sterrit was
absent with his family.

It is related of Ralph Sterrit, that, one day, while sitting outside of
the second fort, a wayworn Indian came along, who was hungry, thirsty,
and fatigued. Sterrit was a humane man, and called the savage in, gave
him bread and meat, a drink of rum, and some tobacco, and sent him on
his way rejoicing.

The circumstance had entirely passed out of Sterrit's mind, when, one
night in the spring of 1763, when the Indians had again commenced
hostilities, the inmates of the fort were alarmed by a noise at the
gate. Sterrit looked out, and by the light of the moon discovered that
it was an Indian. The alarm was spread, and some of the more impetuous
were for shooting him down as a spy. Sterrit, more cool than the
others, demanded of the Indian his business. The Indian, in few words,
reminded him of the circumstance above narrated, and for the
hospitality extended to him he had come to warn the white man of
impending danger. He said that the Indians were as "plenty as pigeons
in the woods," and that even then they had entered the valley, and,
before another moon, would be at the fort, carrying with them the firm
determination to murder, scalp, and burn, all the whites in their path.
The alarm was sounded, and it was soon determined, in consequence of
the weakness of the fort, to abandon it. Nearly all the settlers of the
valley were in it; but the number stated by the savage completely
overawed them, so that they set to work immediately packing upon horses
their most valuable effects, and long before daylight were on their way
to Cumberland county.

The Indians came next night, and, after reconnoitering for a long time,
approached the fort, which, much to their astonishment, they found
evacuated. However, to show the settlers that they had been there, they
burnt down the fort, and, on a cleared piece of ground in front of it,
they laid across the path a war-club painted red--a declaration of war
to the death against the whites.

The benevolent act of Sterrit, in relieving the weary and hungry
Indian, was the means of saving the lives of eighty persons.



Previous to the settlement by the whites, the flat on which the eastern
part of Lewistown now stands was an Indian town of considerable
importance. It was the outlet of a large and fertile valley, through
which ran a north-western Indian path, and in which dwelt five or six
tribes, who found this the natural outlet to the Juniata. The
council-house stood upon the east side of the creek, near its mouth,
and the line of wigwams stretched toward the north.

The first white settlers in this neighborhood came from the
Conecocheague, by way of Aughwick. They consisted of Arthur Buchanan
and his two sons, and three other families, all Scotch-Irish. Buchanan
was a man of great energy, and very fond of roving in the woods, far
from the haunts of men. He was the master-spirit of the party, and with
great self-reliance pitched his tent opposite the Indian village, on
the west bank of the creek. He then called upon the Indians, and
signified his intention to purchase land. They were at first unwilling
to sell; but Captain Jacobs, (as Buchanan christened the chief, in
consequence of his close resemblance to a burly German in Cumberland
county,) who was the head chief, having been liberally plied with
liquor, decided that Buchanan should have the much-coveted land. What
was paid for it never transpired, but it is more than probable that the
remainder of the contents of Buchanan's rum-keg, a few trinkets, and
some tobacco, made him owner of the soil. This was in 1754.

Captain Jacobs had always professed great friendship toward the British
colonists; but he was among the very first won over by the French. He
became very much dissatisfied with Buchanan, more especially as the
latter had induced a number of his friends and acquaintances to come
there and settle. By this means the lands of Jacobs were encroached
upon, which greatly roused his temper; and one day, without deigning to
give an explanation of any kind, the Indians destroyed their town and
left. This was a movement the settlers did not understand; neither did
they like it, for it seemed to forebode no good. After a very brief
consultation among them, they resolved forthwith to build a fort for
protection. They had for a time noticed a growing coldness on the part
of Jacobs and his warriors, and, fearful that they might come down the
valley, joined by other bands, and massacre the people, Fort Granville
was erected with as much despatch as possible. It was located about a
mile above Lewistown, in order to be near a large spring. Contrary to
expectations, the Indians did not come, and things generally prospered
about Fort Granville settlement during the summer and winter of 1755.
In the spring of 1756 the Indians made their appearance in
Kishicoquillas Valley, in considerable numbers; and parties of roving
tribes in search of scalps and plunder, emboldened by the success of
the French and Indians the year previous, sometimes came down to the
mouth of the creek, but, unable to ascertain the power of resistance
concentrated within the fort, they never made an attack upon it. These
incursions, however, became so frequent, that in the summer of 1756 the
settlers only left the fort when necessity demanded it. Finally, succor
reached them in July. The government despatched Lieutenant Armstrong
from Cumberland county with a militia force to protect them while
engaged in taking in their harvest, and, directly after his arrival,
hearing of the exposed condition of the people in Tuscarora, Armstrong
sent a portion of his command, with Lieutenant Faulkner, in order to
guard them while reaping their grain.

In the absence of the latter, on or about the 22d of July, (the Indians
having ascertained the strength of the garrison,) some sixty or seventy
warriors, painted and equipped for battle, appeared before the fort and
insolently challenged the settlers to combat. The commander pretended
to treat the challenge with contempt, though in truth he was
considerably alarmed at the prospect of an attack. The Indians fired at
one man, and wounded him. He happened to be outside, but got into the
fort without sustaining any serious injury. The Indians divided
themselves into small parties and started off in different directions.
One of these parties killed a man named Baskins, a short distance from
the river, burnt his house, and carried his wife and children into
captivity. Another party took Hugh Carrol and his family prisoners.

On the 30th of July, Captain Edward Ward had command of Fort Granville,
with a company regularly enlisted and in the pay of the province. He
went, with all of his men but twenty-four, to Sherman's Valley, to
protect the settlers while harvesting. The enemy soon ascertained this,
and on the first of August, according to the affidavit of John Hogan,
then and there taken prisoner, (Colonial Records, vol. vii. p. 561,)
one hundred Indians and fifty Frenchmen made an attack upon the fort.
They assaulted the works during the entire afternoon and part of the
night without gaining any advantage. About midnight the enemy got below
the bank of the river, and by a deep ravine they approached close
enough to the fort to set fire to it before they were observed. The
fire soon spread, and through an aperture made the Indians shot
Lieutenant Armstrong, and wounded some two or three others who were
endeavoring to put out the fire. The French commander ordered a
suspension of hostilities, and offered quarter to all who would
surrender, on several occasions; but Armstrong would not surrender on
any condition. He was certainly a brave man, and held out nobly almost
against hope. Peter Walker, who was in the fort at the time and taken
prisoner, after his escape from Kittaning gave an account of the
capture of the fort to General John Armstrong. He said that "of the
enemy not less than one hundred and twenty returned, all in health,
except one Frenchman, shot through the shoulder by Lieutenant
Armstrong, a little before his death, as the Frenchman was erecting his
body out of the hollow to throw pine-knots on the fire made against the
fort; and of this number there were about a dozen of French, who had
for their interpreter one McDowell, a Scotchman."

There appears to be a discrepancy between the statements of Hogan and
Walker in regard to the number engaged in the assault, but it is quite
likely that the latter's estimate is correct.

General Armstrong, in his letter to Robert Hunter Morris, goes on to

    This McDowell told Walker they designed very soon to attack Fort
    Shirley with four hundred men. Captain Jacobs said he could take
    any fort that would catch fire, and would make peace with the
    English when they had learned him to make gunpowder. McDowell told
    Walker they had two Indians killed in the engagement; but Captains
    Armstrong and Ward, whom I ordered on their march to Fort Shirley
    to examine every thing at Granville and send a list of what
    remained among the ruins, assure me that they found some parts of
    eight of the enemy burnt, in two different places, the joints of
    them being scarcely separated; and part of their shirts found,
    through which there were bullet-holes. To secrete these from the
    prisoners was doubtless the reason why the French officer marched
    our people some distance from the fort before he gave orders to
    burn the barracks, &c. Walker says that some of the Germans flagged
    very much on the second day, and that the lieutenant behaved with
    the greatest bravery to the last, despising all the terrors and
    threats of the enemy whereby they often urged him to surrender.
    Though he had been near two days without water, but little
    ammunition left, the fort on fire, and the enemy situate within
    twelve or fourteen yards of the fort, under the natural bank, he
    was as far from yielding as when at first attacked. A Frenchman in
    our service, fearful of being burned up, asked leave of the
    lieutenant to treat with his countrymen in the French language. The
    lieutenant answered, "The first word of French you speak in this
    engagement, I'll blow your brains out!" telling his men to hold out
    bravely, for the flame was falling, and he would soon have it
    extinguished; but he soon after received the fatal ball. Col. Rec.,
    vol. vii. p. 232.

Directly after Armstrong fell, a man named Turner opened the gates and
admitted the enemy. A soldier named Brandon, who had been shot through
the knee, approached the French, told them he was a Roman Catholic, and
would go with them. His faith, however, availed him little; for, as
soon as it was discovered that he was not in marching condition, one of
the Indians clove his skull with a tomahawk.

The soldiers, who loved their lieutenant, asked permission to bury him;
but the inhuman French officer refused, although they offered to do it
in a very few minutes where they had raised clay to stay the progress
of the flames.

The Indians were under the command of Captain Jacobs and Shingas, but
the name of the gallant French officer has not been preserved.

The prisoners taken were twenty-two soldiers, three women, and several
children. For fear of being overtaken by the provincial forces, they
made forced marches to Kittaning. When they arrived there, they pitched
upon Turner to make a terrible example of. In front of the
council-house they planted a stake painted black, and to this they tied
him; and, after having heated several old gun-barrels red-hot, they
danced around him, and, every minute or two, seared and burned his
flesh. Without knowing but what such might be their own fate, the
prisoners were compelled to look at the heart-rending sight, and listen
to the shrieks and groans of the victim, without daring to utter a
word. After tormenting him almost to death, the Indians scalped him,
and then held up an Indian lad, who ended his sufferings by laying open
his skull with a hatchet.

Some of the prisoners made their escape, and others were restored to
their friends; but some few of the soldiers were never heard of again,
having probably shared the fate of Turner.

One of the prisoners, named Girty, returned in a wounded condition.
When he escaped, he was followed by two Indians to the head-waters of
Blacklick, where they attempted to re-capture him; but in the fight
that followed he slew one of the Indians, and the other ran. He scalped
the one he killed, and took his scalp to Aughwick. The women and
children were recovered, by the first exchange of prisoners that took
place, in 1757.



    [NOTE.--It was not the author's original intention to publish any
    thing of modern occurrence in the Juniata Valley, but to confine
    himself exclusively to its early history; but several friends in
    Lewistown made a particular request that we should insert an
    account of the dispute arising from the boundary question, and the
    riot of 1791. The latter has been repeatedly published. Still, as
    it occurred sixty-four years ago, and few, if any, living witnesses
    of the occurrence are to be found, it may be as well to preserve
    the record.]

Shortly after Mifflin county was formed, in 1789, an attempt was made
to run the boundary line,--a proceeding which gave rise to great
excitement and came very near ending in riot and bloodshed. The bone of
contention was a strip of disputed territory claimed by both Huntingdon
and Mifflin counties; and we are under the impression that a majority
of those residing in the territory in dispute favored the Mifflin
county cause. They were mostly Irish; and, since the wars were over and
no enemy to fight, were ever ready, with true Irish _hospitality_,
to take a brush with their neighbors. Accordingly, when the sheriff of
Huntingdon came into the disputed territory to serve a process upon a
man, a party congregated at an Irish tavern, and, lying in wait for the
sheriff, arrested and carried him to Lewistown and committed him to
jail. He sued out a _habeas corpus_, and the judge discharged him.
Filled with wrath, the sheriff went home swearing vengeance. He soon
summoned a posse in Huntingdon, for the avowed purpose of taking his
man at all hazards, and proceeded to the disputed territory. The
people, aware of his coming, fired signal guns, and soon met in great
numbers. The sheriff and his posse fortunately took a different route,
which alone prevented riot and bloodshed. The boundary question was
soon after settled amicably.


The riot of 1791, however, was a more serious affair. It will be
remembered that in those days the military spirit in the Juniata Valley
ran very high, though we are free to acknowledge that it has sadly
degenerated since then. A gentleman named Bryson had been appointed an
Associate Judge by the governor. Previous to his appointment, he held
the office of Brigade Inspector; and, in his official capacity, refused
to commission two colonels elected by their regiments, but in their
stead commissioned two men of his own selection. This he had a right to
do under the existing militia law; nevertheless, the men composing the
regiments looked upon it as a most unwarrantable assumption of power in
thus setting at defiance the expressed will of the majority, and they
resolved that Judge Bryson should not enjoy his office. The following
copy of a letter published in a paper in York, Pennsylvania, from the
district attorney, is a full history of the case:

    On Monday, the 12th of September, 1791, the Hon. W. Brown, James
    Bryson, and James Armstrong, Esquires, met in the fore-noon, in
    order to open the court and proceed to business; but Thomas Beale,
    Esq., one of the associate judges, not having arrived, their honors
    waited until three o'clock in the afternoon; at which time he
    arrived, and was requested to proceed with them and the officers of
    the court to the court-house. He declined going, and the procession
    moved on to the court-house, where the judges' commissions were
    read, the court opened, and the officers and the attorneys of the
    court sworn in, and the court adjourned till ten o'clock next

    About nine o'clock, while preparing business to lay before the
    grand-jury, I received information that a large body of men were
    assembled below the Long Narrows, at David Jordan's tavern, on the
    Juniata, and were armed with guns, swords, and pistols, with an
    avowed intention to proceed to Lewistown and seize Judge Bryson on
    the bench, and drag him from his seat, and march him off before
    them, and otherwise ill-treat him. This information was instantly
    communicated to Messrs. Brown, Bryson, and Armstrong, the judges,
    who agreed with me that Samuel Edminton, Esq., the prothonotary,
    Judge Beale, ---- Stewart, Esq., ---- Bell, Esq., should, with
    George Wilson, Esq., the sheriff of Mifflin county, proceed and
    meet the rioters. And the sheriff was commanded to inquire of them
    their object and intention; and, if hostile, to order them to
    disperse, and tell them that the court was not alarmed at their

    Two hours after this the court opened, and a grand-jury was
    impanelled. A fife was heard playing, and some guns fired, and
    immediately the mob appeared, marching toward the court-house, with
    three men on horseback in front, having the gentlemen that had been
    sent to meet them under guard in the rear; all of whom, on their
    arrival at Lewistown, they permitted to go at large, except the
    sheriff, whom four of their number kept a guard over. The court
    ordered me, as the representative of the commonwealth, to go and
    meet them, remonstrate against their proceedings, and warn them of
    their danger; which order was obeyed. But all endeavors were in
    vain, the mob crying out, "March on! march on! draw your sword on
    him! ride over him!" I seized the reins of the bridle that the
    principal commander held, viz., ---- Wilson, Esq., brother of the
    sheriff aforesaid, who was well mounted and well dressed, with a
    sword, and, I think, two pistols belted around him; a cocked-hat,
    and one or two feathers in it. He said he would not desist, but at
    all events proceed and take Judge Bryson off the bench, and march
    him down to the Narrows, to the judge's farm, and make him sign a
    written paper that he would never sit there as a judge again.

    The mob still crying out, "March on! march on!" he drew his sword,
    and told me he must hurt me unless I would let go the reins. The
    crowd pushed forward and nearly pressed me down; one of them, as I
    learned afterward, a nephew of Judge Beale, presented his pistol at
    my breast, with a full determination to shoot me. I let the reins
    go, and walked before them until I arrived at the stairs on the
    outside of the court-house, when Judge Armstrong met me, and said,
    "Since nothing else will do, let us defend the stairs." We
    instantly ascended, and Mr. Hamilton, and the gentlemen of the bar,
    and many citizens; and the rioters, headed by William Wilson,
    Colonel Walker, and Colonel Holt, came forward, and the general cry
    was, "March on, damn you; proceed and take him!" Judge Armstrong
    replied, "You damned rascals, come on; we will defend the court and
    ourselves; and before you shall take Judge Bryson you shall kill me
    and many others, which seems to be your intention, and which you
    may do!" At this awful moment, one Holt seized Judge Armstrong by
    the arm with intent to pull him down the stairs, but he extricated
    himself. Holt's brother then got a drawn sword and put it into his
    hands, and damned him to run the rascal through; and Wilson drew
    his sword on me with great rage, and young Beale his sword, and
    cocked his pistol, and presented it. I told them they might kill
    me, but the judge they could not, nor should they take him; and the
    words "fire away!" shouted through the mob. I put my hand on his
    shoulder, and begged him to consider where he was, who I was, and
    reflect but for a moment. I told him to withdraw the men, and
    appoint any two or three of the most respectable of his people to
    meet me in half an hour and try to settle the dispute. He agreed,
    and with difficulty got them away from the court-house. Mr.
    Hamilton then went with me to Mr. Alexander's tavern, and in Wilson
    and Walker came, and also Sterrett; who I soon discovered to be
    their chief counsellor.

    Proposals were made by me that they should return home, offer no
    insult to Judge Bryson or the court, and prefer to the governor a
    decent petition, stating their grievances, (if they had any,) that
    might be laid before the legislature; and that, in the mean time,
    the judge should not sit on the bench of this court. They seemed
    agreed, and our mutual honor to be pledged; but Sterrett, who
    pretended not to be concerned, stated that great delay would take
    place, that injuries had been received which demanded instant
    redress, and objected to the power of the governor as to certain
    points proposed. At this moment young Beale and Holt came up, the
    former with arms, and insisted on Wilson's joining them, and broke
    up the conference. I followed, and on the field, among the rioters,
    told Wilson, "Your object is that Judge Bryson leave the bench and
    not sit on it this court." He and Walker said "Yes." "Will you
    promise to disperse and go home, and offer him no insult?" He said,
    "Yes;" and our mutual honor was then pledged for the performance of
    this agreement.

    Mr. Hamilton proceeded to the court, told the judge, and he left
    his seat and retired. I scarce had arrived until the fife began to
    play, and the whole of the rioters came on to the court-house, then
    headed by Wilson. I met them at the foot of the stairs, and told
    them the judge was gone, in pursuance of the agreement, and charged
    them with a breach of the word and forfeiture of honor; and Walker
    said it was so, but he could not prevail on them. Wilson said he
    would have the judge, and attempted going up the stairs. I
    prevented him, and told him he should not, unless he took off his
    military accoutrements. He said he had an address to present, and
    complied with my request, and presented it, signed "The People."
    Young Beale, at the moment I was contending with Wilson, cocked and
    presented his pistol at my breast, and insisted that Wilson and all
    of them should go; but on my offering to decide it by combat with
    him, he declined it; and by this means they went off swearing, and
    said that they were out-generalled.

    The next day, Colonel M'Farland, with his regiment, came down and
    offered to defend the court, and addressed it; the court answered,
    and stated that there was no occasion, and thanked him.

    Judge Bryson read a paper, stating the ill-treatment he received,
    and mentioned that no fear of danger prevented him from taking and
    keeping his seat; but that he understood an engagement had been
    entered into by his friends that he should not, and on that account
    only he was prevented. The court adjourned until two o'clock that
    day, and were proceeding to open it, with the sheriff, coroner, and
    constable in front, when they observed that Judge Beale was at the
    house of one Con. They halted, and requested the sheriff to wait on
    him and request him to walk with them. He returned, and said the
    judge would not walk or sit with Bryson, and addressed Judge Bryson
    with warmth, who replied to it in a becoming manner. The sheriff
    struck at him, and kicked also. Judge Armstrong seized the sheriff,
    and commanded the peace, and took the sheriff's rod from him; the
    coroner took his place, and the sheriff was brought up before the
    court. I moved he might be committed to gaol; and his mittimus
    being written and signed, the court ordered the coroner and gaoler
    to take him, and he submitted. The court adjourned. After night the
    drum beat, and Holt collected about seventy men, who repeatedly
    huzzaed, crying out "liberty or death;" and he offered to rescue
    the sheriff, but the sheriff refused. At ten o'clock at night I was
    informed expresses were sent down the Narrows, to collect men to
    rescue the sheriff, and Major Edmiston informed me he was sorry for
    his conduct, and offered to beg the court's pardon and to enter
    into recognisance. I communicated this to the Judges Brown and
    Armstrong, and requested they would write to the gaoler to permit
    him to come down. They did, and the sheriff came with Major
    Edmiston, begged pardon of every member of the court but Judge
    Bryson, who was not present, and entered into recognisance to
    appear at next sessions.

    The next day near three hundred were assembled below the Narrows,
    and I prevailed on some gentlemen to go down and disperse them; and
    upon being assured the sheriff was out of gaol, they returned to
    their respective homes, and the court have finished all business.
    Nothing further requiring the attendance of the grand-jury, the
    court dismissed them and broke up. I must not omit to inform that
    Judge Beale had declared, during the riot, in court, that he would
    not sit on the bench with Judge Bryson, and that both he and said
    Stewart appeared to countenance the rioters, and are deeply

    I must now close the narrative with saying that, owing to the
    spirit and firmness of Judge Armstrong and the whole of the bar, I
    was enabled to avert the dreadful blow aimed at Judge Bryson, and
    to keep order and subordination in court; and unless the most
    vigorous measures are exerted soon, it will be impossible ever to
    support the laws of the State in that county, or punish those who
    dare transgress.

    The excise law is execrated by the banditti; and, from every
    information, I expect the collection of the revenue will be

    I am happy to add, the dispute, which originated by a mistake,
    between Huntingdon and Mifflin counties, is happily closed in the
    most amicable manner, without any prosecution in Mifflin.

    I am, sir, your most obedient,

    JOHN CLARK, Dy. St. Attorney.

    _To_ THOMAS SMITH, _Esq., President of the Court of Mifflin

The following is another account of the affair, and evidently written
by a friend of the offending judge:--

    _Carlisle, September 21._

    At a period when the general voice of the people proclaims the
    excellence of the Federal Government, and the State of Pennsylvania
    in particular is anticipating every blessing from a Constitution so
    conformable to it, an alarming sedition, together with a most
    daring turbulent temper, has unhappily manifested itself in the
    county of Mifflin.

    The Governor has lately appointed Samuel Bryson, Esquire, second
    Associate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of that county. This
    gentleman, having been Lieutenant of the county of Mifflin, had
    excited the determined enmity of two men who were ambitious of
    being colonels of militia, and against the commissioning of whom
    (as unfit persons) Mr. Bryson, as County Lieutenant, had made
    representations. Enraged at the promotion of Judge Bryson, and
    unhappily yielding to the impulse of the most unjustifiable
    passions, one William Wilson, brother to the sheriff of Mifflin
    county, and one David Walker, levied a considerable force, and
    marched at the head of about forty armed men, with a fife playing,
    to Lewistown, with the avowed determination to seize upon the
    person of Judge Bryson whilst on the bench, drag him from thence,
    oblige him to resign his commission, and compel him to march many
    miles along the rugged Narrows of Juniata River.

    Secresy marked this unexampled treasonable riot. It was not known
    at Lewistown until about an hour before the insurgents appeared.
    Justice Stuart, who had been lately commissioned, and who is a very
    worthy man, had been imprisoned in the morning by four men who
    belonged to the party of the rioters. They attempted to make him
    engage his word that he would not give information; but he refused.
    Ignorant of the private movers of this daring and turbulent
    procedure, it was agreed by Judges Brown and Armstrong, and other
    gentlemen, to request the sheriff of the county and Judge Beale,
    who were presumed to have influence over them, together with the
    prothonotary of the county, to represent the illegality and
    imprudence of their conduct, and prevail on them if possible, to
    return. No advantage has been derived from this step. Mr. Edmiston,
    the prothonotary, was insulted; the sheriff was taken into a mock
    imprisonment; and Judge Beale soon after adopted a part which
    evinced that little real exertion could have been expected from him
    in quieting this disturbance.

    The court was sitting when this armed force, levying war against
    the State, with a fife playing, marched resolutely forward. At this
    juncture Judge Bryson asked Judge Beale if it was not likely they
    would stop; to which the other replied that they never would whilst
    such a rascal sat upon the bench.

    Mr. Clark and Mr. Hamilton, two attorneys of the court, at the
    desire of some of the judges, remonstrated with Mr. Wilson, who was
    on horseback and within a few paces of the court-house, at the head
    of the troops, respecting his conduct. Mr. Wilson was dressed in a
    military style, with a cockade in his hat, and was armed with a
    horseman's sword and pistols. He declared his intention was to
    oblige Mr. Bryson to resign his commission and go down the Narrows
    with him and his men. He was warned by the gentlemen of the danger
    of the attempt; he observed that nothing would divert him from his
    purpose, and immediately drew his sword and marched to storm the
    court-room, where Judge Armstrong and others were stationed at the
    door. The two gentlemen who had addressed Wilson ran to the steps
    in front of the force, where they found a number of persons on the
    stairs. The rioters followed, with a cry of "Liberty or Death!" Mr.
    Armstrong halloed out repeatedly, "Villains, come on, but you shall
    first march over my dead body before you enter." This resolution,
    seconded by the circumstance of the gentlemen above mentioned, and
    a number of other persons, keeping their ground on the stairs,
    (although once or twice some called to the rioters to fire,) seemed
    to stagger the resolution of Wilson. At this moment a gentleman
    proposed to him that if he would disarm, he might have admittance
    into the court-room. To this he seemed immediately to accede. The
    troops were filed off to a short distance. It was then agreed that
    a meeting should take place in half an hour with the leaders of the
    party. Messrs. Clark and Hamilton, with the assent of some members
    of the court, met Messrs. William Wilson, David Walker, and William
    Sterrett, who appeared on behalf of the rioters. Entertaining hopes
    of preserving the person of Mr. Bryson from injury, it was thought
    prudent to promise, if the party would disperse, that Mr. Bryson
    would not sit during that week on the bench. During this
    conference, Mr. Wilson offered no other charge against Mr. Bryson
    but what respected the militia commissions for him and Mr. Walker;
    but it was not until after much discourse that the leaders of the
    troops could be convinced that an extorted resignation would not
    avail. When they saw the futility of this idea, it was long
    insisted that Mr. Bryson should go with them down the Narrows.

    Mr. Wilson, in contravention of the agreement, marched the troops
    to the court-house. In the meantime, Judge Bryson had sent for a
    horse and effected his escape. It was then Mr. William Sterrett
    exclaimed, with an oath, "We are out-generalled!"

    An address was presented by Mr. Wilson to the court, who went in
    unarmed, signed "The People." It was in the handwriting, as is
    supposed, of Mr. Sterrett. It congratulated the other judges upon
    their appointments, but mentioned and avowed their design in coming
    armed to the court to force the dismission of Judge Bryson. Mr.
    Beale, one of the most active of the rioters, armed with a sword
    and pistols slung around him, wished to force his way into the
    court-room, but was prevented by Mr. Clark. Four armed men
    surrounded the person of the sheriff. Under this delusive
    imprisonment, all intercourse of conversation with him was
    prohibited. In the evening, the rioters departed in a turbulent,
    straggling manner, generally intoxicated. At night, one Corran, who
    had been very active in raising men, was drowned, together with his
    horse, in a mill-dam, about one mile and a half from the town.

    About twelve or one o'clock the next day, Judge Bryson returned.
    Soon afterward, Col. James McFarland, with about seventy militia on
    horseback, appeared in support of the court and the laws. At three
    o'clock, Judges Brown, Bryson, and Armstrong, preceded by the
    sheriff, prepared to open the court. The sheriff was sent with a
    message to Judge Beale, informing him that the judges waited for
    him to join them in proceeding to the court-house. His reply was
    that he would not go whilst Mr. Bryson was with them. The judges
    had not walked more than a few paces, followed by the attorneys and
    citizens, when the sheriff, with his rod of office in his hand,
    suddenly stopped, and demanded of Mr. Bryson if he had said any
    thing injurious of him. Mr. Bryson made a very moderate reply;
    notwithstanding, he was immediately assaulted by the sheriff, and
    received a kick in the same leg which had been shattered by a ball
    at the battle of Germantown. The sheriff was immediately taken into
    custody. The coroner received the sheriff's rod, and undertook to
    go before the judges to court. There the sheriff refused to give
    any recognisance for his appearance at the next court, and was
    therefore committed to jail.

    Colonel McFarland presented an address to the judges on behalf of
    himself and the militia under his command, mentioning his
    abhorrence of the proceedings which had taken place, and offering,
    at the hazard of their lives, to protect the court. To which the
    following answer was returned:--

    "The judges of the Court of Common Pleas of the county of Mifflin
    are very sensible of the laudable zeal of Colonel McFarland and the
    militia now under arms, subject to his command, in support of the
    laws and government of Pennsylvania, and particularly for the
    purpose of protecting this court from injury and insult. They trust
    that the daring mob who, being armed, assembled yesterday and
    assaulted the court, threatening the lives of the members, are now
    too conscious of the magnitude of their offence and the spirit of
    the citizens of this county to repeat their attack. Measures are
    preparing to vindicate the dignity of our insulted laws, and to
    bring to a just punishment the atrocious offenders and their
    abettors, who have brought disgrace upon the county and trampled
    upon the most sacred rights of the community. The court, therefore,
    sir, return you thanks for the support which you and the militia
    under your command have with so much alacrity brought to the aid of
    the administration of justice in this county; but being of opinion
    that all danger from these infatuated men has ceased, we do not
    think it necessary that your attendance should be longer

    After which Judge Bryson, standing at the bar, spoke the following

    "Fellow-citizens:--It is not my intention to resume my seat on the
    bench during this term. I do not decline it from any apprehension
    of the mob who yesterday assaulted the court and marked me for
    their vengeance. Supported by my country, by every virtuous
    citizen, and a consciousness of my integrity, I have nothing to
    fear; but understanding that some gentlemen, anxious for my
    personal safety, entered into an engagement with the leaders of the
    banditti that I should not sit as judge during this court, my
    respect for these gentlemen is my sole and only motive for making
    this declaration."

    Colonel McFarland, after this, thanked the militia in the following

    "Colonel McFarland returns his thanks to the militia of his
    regiments who now attend in support of the laws of their country.
    He is particularly indebted to Captain Robert Johnston and Captain
    John Brown, for their extraordinary vigilance in collecting the men
    of their respective companies upon a notice given to them so late
    as last night after twelve o'clock. He has no doubt but that the
    same zeal which has distinguished the militia under his command
    upon this occasion will always be as honorably manifested, should
    this county ever be so unhappy as to be disgraced by a similar

    Soon after which, the militia, having been discharged by the court,
    returned home.

    The evening of the day was replete with alarms. One Holt, who
    thought he had cause of complaint respecting a militia commission,
    assembled a body of men to the amount of about forty. They paraded
    a considerable time with sound of drum. At length, at eight
    o'clock, they appeared before the prison-door, with an intention to
    break it and enlarge the sheriff. Mr. Sterrett then appeared, and
    informed them that the sheriff thanked his friends for their
    intention to serve him, but this is not a proper period; or words
    to that effect.

    About nine o'clock, several persons, having long applied to the
    sheriff without success, prevailed on him at length to give a
    recognisance to appear at the next court to answer for the assault
    and battery on Judge Bryson. Happily, the sheriff, in this
    instance, relinquished a system which was collecting new horrors
    and threatened to involve in new scenes of guilt a number of the
    inhabitants. Great numbers in Tuscarora Valley and its vicinity
    prepared the following day to march and liberate the sheriff, and
    probably to demolish the court-house and prison. The news of his
    release arrived in time to stop the progress of those infatuated
    men, who appear to have lost sight of the social compact, and whose
    felicity seems to lie in scenes of tumult, disorder, and
    licentiousness. It is to be hoped, however, that government, when
    it comes to enforce the laws, will contemplate the ignorance and
    delusion of these unfortunate men, and that mercy will so far
    temper the prosecution as that it will not be extended to a capital
    charge; yet it is indispensably necessary that they be taught that
    genuine liberty consists in the power of doing every thing which is
    not prohibited by the laws, and that the exercise of an unbounded
    licentiousness which threatens the dissolution of society itself
    must receive a punishment in some degree commensurate to the
    greatness of the offence.

    How far Mr. Bryson's representations to the governor against
    Messrs. Wilson, Walker, and Holt, have been founded in a just
    estimate of the characters of these men, cannot be elucidated here;
    but it would appear to afford the highest evidence of its propriety
    that they were the principals in this most unexampled riot.



Among the many valleys composing the Juniata Valley, or, indeed, among
all the fine and productive valleys of the State, few, if any, can
surpass Kishicoquillas. Its outlet is at Lewistown, from whence it
stretches west a distance of nearly thirty miles, varying in breadth
from two to four miles.

After the treaty of Fort Stanwix, the whites returned to the
neighborhood of Granville, and some of them commenced exploring the
valley. The land was then included in what was termed the new purchase,
and was in the market. The land-office was opened in 1769, and the
first actual settler in the valley was Judge Brown.

Old Kishicokelas was a Shawnee chief, on terms of friendship with the
whites. With the Buchanans he was very intimate, and gave them early
intimation of the impending danger, which enabled them to escape. While
the Delawares and most of his own tribe went over to the French in a
body, Kishicokelas remained loyal to the proprietary government; and,
although they made him splendid offers at the time they corrupted
Jacobs, he rejected them all, and declared that no earthly
consideration could induce him to lift the hatchet against the sons of

It is to be regretted that historians never made mention of
Kishicokelas, except incidentally. He was the fast friend of the old
chief Shickalemy, who resided at Fort Augusta, and it is probable that
he was converted by some of the Moravian missionaries. He died in 1756,
as appears by a letter directed to his sons, as follows:--

    "_Philadelphia, June 13, 1756._

    "I am obliged to you for your letter by our good friend, John
    Shickcalamy. Your father's letter and present were received by the
    late Governor Hamilton, who acquainted me with it; and I intended,
    at a time when less engaged by public business, to have sent you my
    acknowledgments and answer.

    "I heartily condole with you on the loss of your aged father, and
    mingle my tears with yours, which however I would now have you wipe
    away with the handkerchief herewith sent.

    "As a testimony of love the proprietors and this government retain
    for the family of Kishycoquillas, you will be pleased to accept of
    the present which is delivered to John Shickcalamy for your use.

    "May the Great Spirit confer on you health and every other
    blessing. Continue your affection for the English and the good
    people of this province, and you will always find them grateful.

    "I am your assured friend,


Soon after the treaty at Albany,--probably in 1755,--settlers, who had
heard of the beauty and fertility of Kishicoquillas Valley, flocked
thither for the purpose of locating lands. Few locations, however, were
effected, for the Indians of the valley, with the exception of the
chief Kishicokelas and his immediate followers, were opposed to it, and
threw every obstacle, short of downright murder, in the way of the
new-comers. There is no positive evidence that any murders were
committed in Kishicoquillas at that period, but the savages certainly
did every thing in their power to menace and harass the settlers, in
order to induce them to relinquish the design of settling upon what
they still considered their lands. The following letter from Colonel
Armstrong to Governor Morris gives some information of the trials these
early settlers were subjected to:--

    "_Carlisle, May 26, 1755._

    "This day I received a letter from my brother, who is laying out
    lands for the settlers in the new purchase, giving an account of
    three Indians, very much painted, who last week robbed and drove
    off several settlers from the Valley of Kishicoquillas. One of the
    Indians, by his skulking position, seemed as if he designed
    secretly to have shot, but, the white man discovering him, escaped.
    They took three horses, three or four guns, and some cash. 'Tis
    said they robbed another man up Juniata.

    "To-morrow I am to set out for Kishicoquillas, there to decide some
    controversies, and thence to proceed to Susquehanna, near Shamokin,
    where I expect to meet Conrad Weiser. If he is there, he may, by
    the assistance of the Shickcalamies, be of use in regard to those

    "I am, sir, yours, &c.,


Colonel Armstrong did go to Shamokin, where he met Shickalemy, and
induced him to use his influence in behalf of the settlers in the new
purchase; but Shickalemy's labors were lost, for he could effect
nothing among the savages of Kishicoquillas, and the settlers were
forced to fly for protection to Fort Granville; nor did they or any
other whites venture into the valley until some time in 1765.

Shickalemy, or Shickellimus, as he was sometimes called, was a Cayuga
chief, of the Six Nations, and for many years resided at Fort Augusta,
on the Susquehanna, where Sunbury now stands. He was converted to
Christianity by the Moravian missionaries about 1742, and was, to the
day of his death, the firm and steadfast friend of the English
colonists. To his exertions, in a great measure, may be traced the
cause why none of the Six Nations on the Susquehanna joined the French,
and why a portion of the Delawares spurned the most tempting offers of
the French agents and remained loyal to the colonists.

Shickalemy attended numerous treaties in Philadelphia, during which he
was kindly entertained by James Logan, the secretary of the province.
The chief esteemed him so highly that he named his second son after
him, on his return from one of these treaties, and immediately had him,
as well as two other sons, baptized with Christian rites by the

In 1755, Shickalemy paid a visit to the old chief Kishicokelas, for the
purpose of adopting some conciliatory measures to prevent the Indians
of the valley from committing depredations upon the settlers. On this
occasion he was accompanied by his sons, John and James Logan. The
latter, probably charmed with the beauty of the valley, soon after the
demise of Kishicokelas settled in the valley which bore the name of his
father's friend. He built himself a cabin (not a wigwam) by the side of
a fine limestone spring, whose pure waters gushed out of a small
hill-side in the very heart of the valley, where his sole pursuit was
hunting. This was Logan, the Mingo chief, whose name is perpetuated by
counties, towns, townships, valleys, paths, mountains, and even hotels,
and which will live in history, probably, to the end of time.

There is no evidence that he had a family at the time he resided in
Kishicoquillas; neither was he a chief at that time, for he lived away
from his tribe, and what little intercourse he held with his fellow-men
was with the whites, to whom he bartered venison and deer-skins for
such articles as he stood in need of. He maintained himself solely by
hunting, and was passionately fond of it. A gentleman who saw Logan at
Standing Stone, in 1771 or 1772, described him to Mr. Maguire as "a
fine-looking, muscular fellow, apparently about twenty-eight years of
age. He weighed about two hundred pounds, had a full chest, and
prominent and expansive features. His complexion was not so dark as
that of the Juniata Indians, and his whole actions showed that he had
had some intercourse with the whites." This noble specimen of the red
men, unfortunately, had the failing common to his kind: he would
indulge in intoxicating liquors to excess on nearly every occasion that
offered. When sober, he was dignified and reserved, but frank and
honest; when intoxicated, he was vain, boastful, and extremely foolish.

Judge Brown, a short time previous to his death, in the course of a
conversation with R. P. Maclay, Esq., about Logan, said:--

    "The first time I ever saw that spring, (Logan's,) my brother,
    James Reed, and myself, had wandered out of the valley in search of
    land, and, finding it very good, we were looking about for springs.
    About a mile from this we started a bear, and separated to get a
    shot at him. I was travelling along, looking about on the rising
    ground for the bear, when I came suddenly upon the spring; and,
    being dry, and more rejoiced to find so fine a spring than to have
    killed a dozen bears, I set my rifle against a bush, and rushed
    down the bank, and laid down to drink. Upon putting my head down, I
    saw reflected in the water, on the opposite side, the shadow of a
    tall Indian. I sprang to my rifle, when the Indian gave a yell,
    whether for peace or war I was not just then sufficiently master of
    my faculties to determine; but upon my seizing my rifle and facing
    him, he knocked up the pan of his gun, threw out the priming, and
    extended his open palm toward me in token of friendship. After
    putting down our guns, we again met at the spring, and shook hands.
    This was Logan--the best specimen of humanity I ever met with,
    either _white_ or _red_. He could speak a little English, and told
    me there was another white hunter a little way down the stream, and
    offered to guide me to his camp. There I first met your father,
    (Samuel Maclay.) We remained together in the valley for a week,
    looking for springs and selecting lands, and laid the foundation of
    a friendship which never has had the slightest interruption.

    "We visited Logan at his camp, at Logan's Spring, and your father
    and he shot at a mark, for a dollar a shot. Logan lost four or five
    rounds, and acknowledged himself beaten. When we were about to
    leave him, he went into his hut and brought out as many deer-skins
    as he had lost dollars, and handed them to Mr. Maclay, who refused
    to take them, alleging that he had been his guest, and did not come
    to rob him; that the shooting had only been a trial of skill, and
    the bet merely nominal. Logan drew himself up with great dignity,
    and said, 'Me bet to make you shoot your best; me gentleman, and me
    take your dollar if me beat.' So he was obliged to take the skins,
    or affront our friend, whose nice sense of honor would not permit
    him to receive even a horn of powder in return.

    "The next year," said Judge Brown, "I brought my wife up, and
    camped under a big walnut-tree on the bank of Tea Creek, until I
    had built a cabin near where the mill now stands, and I have lived
    in the valley ever since. Poor Logan" (and the tears chased each
    other down his cheeks) "soon after went into the Alleghany, and I
    never saw him again."

Many other characteristic anecdotes are given of Logan, the publication
of which in these pages would answer no very desirable end.

In looking over the few pages of manuscripts left by the late Edward
Bell, Esq., we find mention made of "Captain Logan, an Indian friendly
to the whites." This confirmed us in the belief that there were two
Logans. "Logan, the Mingo chief," left Kishicoquillas Valley in 1771;
while Captain Logan resided in the upper end of Huntingdon county at
that time, and a few years afterward in Logan's Valley, in Blair
county. When the Revolution broke out, he moved toward the mountain, in
the neighborhood of Chickalacamoose, near what is now Clearfield. He
served as a spy for the settlers, and rendered them valuable service.
He was an Iroquois or Mingo Indian, too, and a chief; whereas Logan,
the Mingo, was no chief until he removed to Ohio after his relatives
were murdered and he took up the hatchet against the whites. This
explanation is necessary, because many people of Huntingdon and Blair
counties are under the impression that the Captain Logan who resided in
Tuckahoe as late as 1785, and Logan, the Mingo chief, were one and the
same person.

Logan, in consequence of Kishicoquillas becoming too thickly populated,
and the game becoming proportionately scarce, emigrated to Ohio, where
he settled at the mouth of Yellow Creek, thirty miles above Wheeling.
There he was joined by his surviving relatives and some Cayugas from
Fort Augusta, and a small Indian village of log-huts was built up.

Heckwelder, who must have seen him previous to settling at Yellow
Creek, speaks of him as follows:--

    About the year 1772, Logan was introduced to me by an Indian
    friend, as son of the late reputable chief Shikelemus, and as a
    friend to the white people. In the course of conversation, I
    thought him a man of superior talents than Indians generally were.
    The subject turning on vice and immorality, he confessed his too
    great share of this, especially his fondness for liquor. He
    exclaimed against the white people for imposing liquors upon the
    Indians. He otherwise admired their ingenuity; spoke of gentlemen,
    but observed the Indians unfortunately had but few of these
    neighbors, &c. He spoke of his friendship to the white people,
    wished always to be a neighbor to them, intended to settle on the
    Ohio, below Big Beaver; was (to the best of my recollection) then
    encamped at the mouth of this river, (Beaver;) urged me to pay him
    a visit. I was then living at the Moravian town on this river, in
    the neighborhood of Cuskuskee. In April, 1773, while on my passage
    down the Ohio for Muskingum, I called at Logan's settlement, where
    I received every civility I could expect from such of the family as
    were at home.

    Indian reports concerning Logan, after the death of his family, ran
    to this: that he exerted himself during the Shawnees war (then so
    called) to take all the revenge he could, declaring he had lost all
    confidence in the white people. At the time of the negotiation, he
    declared his reluctance to lay down the hatchet, not having (in his
    opinion) yet taken ample satisfaction; yet, for the sake of the
    nation, he would do it. His expression, from time to time, denoted
    a deep melancholy. Life, said he, had become a torment to him; he
    knew no more what pleasure was; he thought it had been better if he
    had never existed. Report further states that he became in some
    measure delirious; declared he would kill himself; went to Detroit,
    and, on his way between that place and Miami, was murdered. In
    October, 1781, while a prisoner, on my way to Detroit, I was shown
    the spot where this was said to have happened.

That Logan's temper should have soured on the murder of his relatives
and friends, after the friendship he had always extended to the whites,
is not at all strange. These murders changed his nature from a
peaceable Indian to a most cruel and bloodthirsty savage. Revenge
stimulated him to the most daring deeds; and how many innocent white
men, women, and children, he ushered into eternity to appease his
wrath, is only known to Him "whose eye seeth all things."

His people--some say his family, but it never was ascertained that he
had any--were murdered in May, 1774. Some roving Indians had committed
depredations in the neighborhood, and the settlers, highly incensed,
determined to drive them out of the neighborhood. To this end, about
thirty men, completely armed, and under the command of Daniel
Greathouse, without knowing the character and disposition of Logan and
his friends, made a descent upon the village and destroyed it, and
killed twelve and wounded six or eight of the Indians. Among the former
was Logan's sister and a son of Kishicokelas. Logan was absent, at the
time of the occurrence, on a hunting expedition. On his return, as soon
as he saw the extent of the injury done him, he buried the dead, cared
for the wounded, and, with the remnant of his band, went into Ohio,
joined the Shawnees, and fought during their war against the whites
with the most bitter and relentless fury.

In the autumn of 1774, the Indians, getting some very rough usage, and
fearing that the powerful army of Lord Dunmore would march upon and
exterminate them, sued for peace. Lord Dunmore sent a belt of wampum to
all the principal chiefs, and, among the rest, one to Logan, inviting
them to a treaty. Logan refused to attend the council, but sent the
following speech by an interpreter, in a belt of wampum. The treaty was
held under an oak-tree, near Circleville, Ohio, and it was there that
the eloquent and purely Indian speech which rendered Logan's name
immortal was read, and brought tears to the eyes of many of the sturdy
pioneers assembled:--

    "I appeal," says Logan, "to any white man to say if he ever entered
    Logan's cabin hungry, and he gave him not meat; if he came naked
    and cold, and I clothed him not. During the last long and bloody
    war, Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate of peace. Such
    was my love for the whites that my countrymen, as they passed,
    said, 'Logan is the friend of the whites.' I had thought of living
    among you, but for the injuries of one man. Captain Cressap, last
    spring, in cold blood, and unprovoked, murdered all the relations
    of Logan, not sparing even my women and children. There runs not
    one drop of my blood in any living creature. This called on me for
    revenge. I have sought it; I have killed many; I have fully glutted
    my vengeance. For my country, I rejoice in the beams of peace. But
    do not harbor the thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never
    felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is
    there to mourn for Logan? Not one!"

The authorship of this speech was attributed to Thomas Jefferson, but
he most emphatically denied it, as did others who were present at the

With respect to Captain Cressap, Logan was doubtless misinformed. It is
true Captain Cressap was a daring frontier-man, who considered it an
obligation imposed upon him by the Creator to slay Indians, but he was
altogether innocent of the charge made against him by Logan. The
massacre in question, when the facts were known after Dunmore's treaty,
was deeply deplored, and the wanton butchery of Cressap execrated.
Cressap's friends, however, would not suffer the stigma of an inhuman
act, of which he was not guilty, to be fixed upon him; so they procured
all the evidence to be had in the case, and fixed the disreputable deed
upon Daniel Greathouse and his followers. A number of affidavits to
that effect were made by men who accompanied Greathouse, and published
a year or two after the treaty; others in 1799, when the subject was
revived and freely discussed.

Seeing the great disadvantages the Indians labored under in trying to
cope with well-armed and disciplined troops, and believing that his
revenge was far from being satiated, it is quite likely that Logan
became partially insane, as Heckwelder avers; but it is quite certain
that he became a misanthrope, and for a long time refused to mingle
with human beings. At length he plunged into deep excesses, and all he
could earn, by the most skilful use of the rifle, went to gratify his
inordinate thirst for strong drink. The once proud and noble Mingo
chief gradually descended the scale of dignified manhood, outlived his
greatness, and was killed in a drunken brawl. Sorry are we to say this,
in the face of the _romance_ of history; nevertheless it is true.
We had the statement from an old Ohio pioneer, nearly twenty years ago.



The following account of the famous expedition against the Indian town
of Kittaning we deem worthy of being recorded, not only because the
companies of Captains Potter and Steel belonged to the Juniata Valley,
but on account of its being an interesting detail of an important event
in the early settlement of the country.

The expedition was planned and carried out with great secresy, for the
sole purpose of punishing the Indians engaged in the Juniata Valley
massacres, and who it was known had their head-quarters at Kittaning,
where the chief instigators of all the mischief, Shingas and Captain
Jacobs, lived. The command was intrusted to Colonel John Armstrong, a
brave and prudent officer, and the forces consisted of seven companies.
He left Fort Shirley (Aughwick, Huntingdon county) on the 30th of
August, 1756, and on the 3d of September came up with the advanced
party at "Beaver Dams, a few miles from Frankstown, on the north branch
of the Juniata." This junction of the forces occurred on the flat where
Gaysport now stands, where the little army struck the celebrated trail
known as the Kittaning Path. In his official account of the expedition,
dated at Fort Littleton, September 14, 1756, Colonel Armstrong says:--

    We were there [at the Beaver Dams] informed that some of our men,
    having been out upon a scout, had discovered the tracks of two
    Indians about three miles this side of the Alleghany Mountain and
    but a few miles from the camp. From the freshness of the tracks,
    their killing of a cub bear, and the marks of their fires, it
    seemed evident they were not twenty-four hours before us, which
    might be looked upon as a particular providence in our favor that
    we were not discovered. Next morning we decamped, and in two days
    came within fifty miles of the Kittaning. It was then adjudged
    necessary to send some persons to reconnoitre the town, and to get
    the best intelligence they could concerning the situation and
    position of the enemy; whereupon an officer, with one of the pilots
    and two soldiers, were sent off for that purpose. The day following
    we met them on their return, and they informed us that the roads
    were entirely clear of the enemy, and that they had the greatest
    reason to believe they were not discovered; but from the rest of
    the intelligence they gave it appeared they had not been nigh
    enough the town, either to perceive the true situation of it, the
    number of the enemy, or in what way it might most advantageously be
    attacked. We continued our march, in order to get as near the town
    as possible that night, so as to be able to attack it next morning
    about daylight; but, to our great dissatisfaction, about nine or
    ten o'clock at night one of our guides came and told us that he
    perceived a fire by the road-side, at which he saw two or three
    Indians, a few perches distant from our front; whereupon, with all
    possible silence, I ordered the rear to retreat about one hundred
    perches, in order to make way for the front, that we might consult
    how we could best proceed without being discovered by the enemy.
    Soon after, the pilot returned a second time, and assured us, from
    the best observations he could make, there were not above three or
    four Indians at the fire, on which it was proposed that we should
    immediately surround and cut them off; but this was thought too
    hazardous, for, if but one of the enemy had escaped, it would have
    been the means of discovering the whole design; and the light of
    the moon, on which depended our advantageously posting our men and
    attacking the town, would not admit of our staying until the
    Indians fell asleep; on which it was agreed to leave Lieutenant
    Hogg, with twelve men and the person who first discovered the fire,
    with orders to watch the enemy, but not to attack them, till break
    of day, and then, if possible, to cut them off. It was also agreed
    (we believing ourselves to be but about six miles from the town) to
    leave the horses, many of them being tired, with what blankets and
    other baggage we then had, and to take a circuit off the road,
    which was very rough and incommodious on account of the stones and
    fallen timber, in order to prevent our being heard by the enemy at
    the fire place. This interruption much retarded our march, but a
    still greater loss arose from the ignorance of our pilot, who
    neither knew the true situation of the town nor the best paths that
    led thereto; by which means, after crossing a number of hills and
    valleys, our front reached the river Ohio [Alleghany] about one
    hundred perches below the main body of the town, a little before
    the setting of the moon, to which place, rather than by the pilot,
    we were guided by the beating of the drum and the whooping of the
    warriors at their dance. It then became us to make the best use of
    the remaining moonlight; but, ere we were aware, an Indian whistled
    in a very singular manner, about thirty perches from our front, in
    the foot of a corn-field; upon which we immediately sat down, and,
    after passing silence to the rear, I asked one Baker, a soldier,
    who was our best assistant, whether that was not a signal to the
    warriors of our approach. He answered "No," and said it was the
    manner of a young fellow's calling a squaw after he had done his
    dance, who accordingly kindled afire, cleaned his gun, and shot it
    off before he went to sleep. All this time we were obliged to lie
    quiet and lurk, till the moon was fairly set. Immediately after, a
    number of fires appeared in different places in the corn-field, by
    which Baker said the Indians lay, the night being warm, and that
    these fires would immediately be out, as they were only designed to
    disperse the gnats. By this time it was break of day, and the men,
    having marched thirty miles, were mostly asleep. The time being
    long, the three companies of the rear were not yet brought over the
    last precipice. For these some proper hands were immediately
    despatched; and the weary soldiers being roused to their feet, a
    proper number, under sundry officers, were ordered to take the end
    of the hill at which we then lay, and march along the top of the
    said hill at least one hundred perches, and so much farther (it
    then being daylight) as would carry them opposite the upper part,
    or at least the body, of the town. For the lower part thereof and
    the corn-field, presuming the warriors were there, I kept rather
    the larger number of men, promising to postpone the attack in that
    part for eighteen or twenty minutes, until the detachment along the
    hill should have time to advance to the place assigned them--in
    doing of which they were a little unfortunate. The time being
    elapsed, the attack was begun in the corn-field, and the men, with
    all expedition possible, despatched through the several parts
    thereof, a party being also despatched to the houses, which were
    then discovered by the light of the day. Captain Jacobs immediately
    then gave the war-whoop, and, with sundry other Indians, as the
    English prisoners afterward told, cried the white men were at last
    come, they would then have scalps enough; but, at the same time,
    ordered their squaws and children to flee to the woods. Our men,
    with great eagerness, passed through and fired in the corn-field,
    where they had several returns from the enemy, as they also had
    from the opposite side of the river. Presently after, a brisk fire
    began among the houses, which from the house of Captain Jacobs was
    returned with a great deal of resolution, to which place I
    immediately repaired, and found that from the advantage of the
    house and portholes sundry of our people were wounded and some
    killed; and, finding that returning the fire upon the house was
    ineffectual, I ordered the contiguous houses to be set on fire,
    which was performed by sundry of the officers and soldiers with a
    great deal of activity, the Indians always firing whenever an
    object presented itself, and seldom missing of wounding or killing
    some of our people--from which house, in moving about to give the
    necessary orders and directions, I received a wound with a large
    musket-ball in the shoulders. Sundry persons, during the action,
    were ordered to tell the Indians to surrender themselves prisoners,
    but one of the Indians in particular answered and said he was a
    man, and would not be a prisoner; upon which he was told, in
    Indian, he would be burnt. To this he answered he did not care, for
    he would kill four or five before he died; and, had we not desisted
    from exposing ourselves, they would have killed a great many more,
    they having a number of loaded guns by them. As the fire began to
    approach and the smoke grew thick, one of the Indian fellows, to
    show his manhood, began to sing. A squaw in the same house, and at
    the same time, was heard to cry and make a noise, but for so doing
    was severely rebuked by the man; but by-and-by, the fire being too
    hot for them, two Indian fellows and a squaw sprang out and made
    for the corn-field, who were immediately shot down by our people
    then surrounding the houses. It was thought Captain Jacobs tumbled
    himself out at a garret or cockloft window at which he was
    shot--our prisoners offering to be qualified to the powder-horn and
    pouch there taken off him, which they say he had lately got from a
    French officer in exchange for Lieutenant Armstrong's boots, which
    he carried from Fort Granville, where the lieutenant was killed.
    The same prisoners say they are perfectly assured of his scalp, as
    no other Indians there wore their hair in the same manner. They
    also say they know his squaw's scalp by a particular _bob_,
    and also know the scalp of a young Indian called the King's Son.
    Before this time, Captain Hugh Mercer, who, early in the action,
    was wounded in the arm, had been taken to the top of a hill above
    the town,--to whom a number of the men and some of the officers
    were gathered, from whence they had discovered some Indians pass
    the river and take the hill, with an intention, as they thought, to
    surround us and cut off our retreat, from whom I had sundry
    pressing messages to leave the houses and retreat to the hills, or
    we should all be cut off. But to this I would by no means consent
    until all the houses were set on fire. Though our spreading upon
    the hills appeared very necessary, yet did it prevent our
    researches of the corn-field and river-side, by which means sundry
    scalps were left behind, and doubtless some squaws, children, and
    English prisoners, that otherwise might have been got. During the
    burning of the houses, which were near thirty in number, we were
    agreeably entertained with a quick succession of charged guns
    gradually firing off as reached by the fire, but much more so with
    the vast explosion of sundry bags and large kegs of gunpowder,
    wherewith almost every house abounded; the prisoners afterward
    informing us that the Indians had frequently said they had a
    sufficient stock of ammunition for ten years' war with the English.
    With the roof of Captain Jacobs's house, when the powder blew up,
    was thrown the leg and thigh of an Indian, with a child of three or
    four years old, to such a height that they appeared as nothing, and
    fell in an adjoining corn-field. There was also a great quantity of
    goods burnt, which the Indians had received in a present but ten
    days before from the French. By this time I had proceeded to the
    hill, to have my wound tied up and the blood stopped, where the
    prisoners which in the morning had come to our people informed me
    that that very day two bateaux of Frenchmen, with a large party of
    Delaware and French Indians, were to join Captain Jacobs at the
    Kittaning, and to set out early the next morning to take Fort
    Shirley, or, as they called it, George Crogan's Fort; and that
    twenty-four warriors, who had lately come to the town, were set out
    the evening before, for what purpose they did not know,--whether to
    prepare meat, to spy the fort, or to make an attack on some of our
    back inhabitants. Soon after, upon a little reflection, we were
    convinced these warriors were all at the fire we had discovered but
    the night before, and began to doubt the fate of Lieutenant Hogg
    and his party. From this intelligence of the prisoners,--our
    provisions being scaffolded some thirty miles back, except what
    were in the men's haversacks, which were left, with the horses and
    blankets, with Lieutenant Hogg and his party,--and having a number
    of wounded people then on hand, by the advice of the officers it
    was thought imprudent then to wait for the cutting down the
    corn-field, (which was before designed,) but immediately to collect
    our wounded and force our march back in the best manner we could;
    which we did, by collecting a few Indian horses to carry off our
    wounded. From the apprehension of being waylaid and surrounded,
    (especially by some of the woodsmen,) it was difficult to keep the
    men together, our march, for sundry miles, not exceeding two miles
    an hour; which apprehensions were heightened by the attempt of a
    few Indians, who, for some time after the march, fired upon each
    wing and immediately ran off; from whom we received no other damage
    but one of our men being wounded through both legs. Captain
    Mercer--being wounded, was induced, as we have every reason to
    believe, by some of his men, to leave the main body, with his
    ensign, John Scott, and ten or twelve men, they being heard to tell
    him that we were in great danger, and that they could take him into
    the road a nigh way--is probably lost, there being yet no account
    of him, and the most of the men come in. A detachment was sent back
    to bring him, but could not find him; and upon the return of the
    detachment it was generally reported he was seen, with the above
    number of men, to take a different road. Upon our return to the
    place where the Indian fire had been discovered the night before,
    we met with a sergeant of Captain Mercer's company, and two or
    three other of his men, who had deserted us that morning,
    immediately after the action at the Kittaning. These men, on
    running away, had met with Lieutenant Hogg, who lay wounded in two
    different parts of his body by the road-side. He there told them of
    the fatal mistake of the pilot, who had assured us there were but
    three Indians, at the most, at the fire place; but when he came to
    attack them that morning, according to orders, he found a number
    considerably superior to his, and believes they killed or mortally
    wounded three of them the first fire, after which a warm engagement
    began, and continued for above an hour, when three of his best men
    were killed and himself twice wounded. The residue fleeing off, he
    was obliged to squat in a thicket, where he might have lain
    securely until the main body had come up, if this cowardly sergeant
    and others that fled with him had not taken him away.

    They had marched but a short space when four Indians appeared, on
    which these deserters began to flee. The lieutenant then,
    notwithstanding his wounds, as a brave soldier, urged and commanded
    them to stand and fight, which they all refused. The Indians
    pursued, killing one man and wounding the lieutenant a third time,
    through the belly, of which he died in a few hours, but, having
    some time before been put on horseback, rode some miles from the
    place of action. This last attack of the Indians upon Lieutenant
    Hogg and the deserters was by the before-mentioned sergeant
    represented to us quite in a different light, he telling us that
    there was a far larger number of the Indians there than appeared to
    them, and that he and the men with him had fought five rounds; that
    he had there seen the lieutenant and sundry others killed and
    scalped, and had also discovered a number of Indians throwing
    themselves before us, and insinuated a great deal of such stuff as
    threw us into much confusion; so that the officers had a great deal
    to do to keep the men together, but could not prevail upon them to
    collect what horses and other baggage the Indians had left after
    the conquest of Lieutenant Hogg and the party under his command in
    the morning, except a few of the horses, which some of the bravest
    of the men were prevailed on to collect; so that from the mistake
    of the pilot who spied the Indians at the fire, and the cowardice
    of the said sergeant and other deserters, we here sustained a
    considerable loss of our horses and baggage. It is impossible to
    ascertain the exact number of the enemy killed in the action, as
    some were destroyed by fire, and others in different parts of the
    corn-field; but, upon a moderate computation, it is generally
    believed there cannot be less than thirty or forty killed and
    mortally wounded, as much blood was found in sundry parts of the
    corn-field, and Indians seen in several places crawl into the woods
    on hands and feet,--whom the soldiers in pursuit of others then
    overlooked, expecting to find and scalp them afterward,--and also
    several killed and wounded in crossing the river. On beginning our
    march back, we had about a dozen of scalps and eleven English
    prisoners; but now we find that four or five of the scalps are
    missing, part of which were lost on the road, and part in
    possession of those men who, with Captain Mercer, separated from
    the main body, with whom went also four of the prisoners, the other
    seven being now at this place, where we arrived on Sunday night,
    not being separated or attacked through our whole march by the
    enemy, though we expected it every day. Upon the whole, had our
    pilots understood the true situation of the town and the paths
    leading to it, so as to have posted us at a convenient place where
    the disposition of the men and the duty assigned to them could have
    been performed with greater advantage, we had, by divine
    assistance, destroyed a much greater number of the enemy, recovered
    more prisoners, and sustained less damage, than what we at present
    have. But though the advantage gained over this our common enemy is
    far from being satisfactory to us, yet we must not despise the
    smallest degrees of success that God is pleased to give, especially
    at a time of such general calamity, when the attempts of our
    enemies have been so prevalent and successful. I am sure there was
    the greatest inclination to do more, had it been in our power, as
    the officers and most of the soldiers, throughout the whole action,
    exerted themselves with as much activity and resolution as could be
    expected. Our prisoners inform us the Indians have for some time
    past talked of fortifying at the Kittaning and other towns.

The following is a list of the killed and wounded, returned in Colonel
Armstrong's official report of the expedition:--

John M'Cormick. _Wounded_--Lieutenant-Colonel Armstrong, James
Caruthers, James Strickland, Thomas Foster.


CAPTAIN MERCER'S COMPANY.--_Killed_--John Baker, John McCartney,
Patrick Mullen, Cornelius McGinnis, Theophilus Thompson, Dennis
Kilpatrick, Bryan Carrigan. _Wounded_--Richard Fitzgibbons.
_Missing_--Captain Hugh Mercer, Ensign John Scott, Emanuel Minskey,
John Taylor, John Francis Phillips, Robert Morrow, Thomas Burk, Philip

CAPTAIN ARMSTRONG'S COMPANY.--_Killed_--Lieutenant James Hogg, James
Anderson, Holdcraft Stringer, Edward Obrians, James Higgins, John
Lasson. _Wounded_--William Findley, Robert Robinson, John Ferrol,
Thomas Camplin, Charles O'Neal. _Missing_--John Lewis, William Hunter,
William Barker, George Appleby, Anthony Grissy, Thomas Swan.

CAPTAIN WARD'S COMPANY.--_Killed_--William Welch. _Wounded_--Ephraim
Bratton. _Missing_--Patrick Myers, Lawrence Donnahow, Samuel Chambers.

CAPTAIN POTTER'S COMPANY.--_Wounded_--Ensign James Potter, Andrew

CAPTAIN STEEL'S COMPANY.--_Missing_--Terence Cannaherry.

Total killed, 17; wounded, 13; missing, 19. All the missing, with one
or two exceptions, reached their homes, and nearly all of the wounded

The loss on the part of the colonists was severe, when we consider
that they had three hundred and fifty men engaged in the action, while
the Indian force did not consist of over one hundred warriors. The
ignorance of the pilot, and the great error of some of the officers in
persisting in trying to dislodge the enemy from the houses by discharge
of fire-arms, was no doubt the direct cause of the death of many of the
brave men; for all must admit that the expedition was well planned, and
admirably carried out, as far as circumstances would permit.

In speaking of the horrible Indian massacres which followed the defeat
of Braddock, Drake, in his Indian history, says:--

    Shingas and Captain Jacobs were supposed to have been the principal
    instigators of them, and a reward of seven hundred dollars was
    offered for their heads. It was at this period that the dead bodies
    of some of the murdered and mangled were sent from the frontiers to
    Philadelphia, and hauled about the streets, to inflame the people
    against the Indians, and also against the Quakers, to whose mild
    forbearance was attributed a laxity in sending out troops. The mob
    surrounded the House of Assembly, having placed the dead bodies at
    its entrance, and demanded immediate succor. At this time, the
    above reward was offered.

King Shingas, as he was called by the whites, (who is noticed in the
preceding paragraph,) but whose proper name was _Shingask_, which
is interpreted _Bog-meadow_, was the greatest Delaware warrior at
that time. Heckwelder, who knew him personally, says, "Were his war
exploits all on record, they would form an interesting document, though
a shocking one." Conococheague, Big Cove, Sherman's Valley, and other
settlements along the frontier, felt his strong arm sufficiently to
attest that he was a "bloody warrior,"--cruel his treatment, relentless
his fury. His person was small, but in point of courage, activity, and
savage prowess, he was said to have never been exceeded by any one. In
1753, when Washington was on his expedition to fight the French on the
Ohio, (Alleghany,) Shingas had his house at Kittaning.

King Shingas was at Fort Duquesne when Lieutenant Armstrong destroyed
Kittaning; but there is no doubt whatever that Captain Jacobs fell in
the engagement, notwithstanding Hans Hamilton, in a letter to the
council, dated at Fort Lyttleton, April 4, 1756, said, "Indian Isaac
hath brought in the scalp of Captain Jacobs." This Indian Isaac
claimed, and we believe received, the reward offered for killing and
scalping Captain Jacobs, and yet Captain Jacobs lived to do a great
deal of mischief before his scalp fell into the hands of the English

Not only was Captain Jacobs a great warrior, but it would appear that
all his family connections were Indians of note. In a letter from
Colonel Stephen to Colonel Armstrong, it is stated, on the authority of
a returned captive from Muskingum, that

    A son of Captain Jacobs is killed, and a cousin of his, about seven
    foot high, called Young Jacob, at the destroying of Kittaning, and
    it is thought a noted warrior by the name of The Sunfish, as many
    of them were killed that we know nothing of.

There is no doubt that Armstrong's return did not embrace half the
actual loss of the enemy, including women and children; but it was a
mistake in Stephen or his informant to include the warrior Sunfish
among the slain, for he was a hale old chief in 1781.



As we ascend the river, the nearer we approach the base of the
Alleghany Mountains the fewer places we find even mentioned in quite
early history. On the flat eight or nine miles west of Lewistown, near
a large spring, stood an old Shawnee town. It is mentioned as early as
1731, in a report of the number of Indians accompanying the deposition
of some traders. The town was called _Ohesson_, on the "Choniata," and
supposed to be sixty miles distant from the Susquehanna. As this is
Indian computation, some allowance must be made, for in the same
connection we notice the Indian town of _Assunnepachla_ set down as
being distant one hundred miles from Ohesson by water and fifty miles
by land. Assunnepachla was the Indian name of Frankstown; and no
person, by following the most sinuous windings of the river, can make
the distance to Lewistown over eighty miles.

These places were probably never visited by any but Indian traders
previous to Braddock's defeat, and the consequence is that we are
without any record of Ohesson, which was evidently destroyed and
abandoned at an early day. Assunnepachla, however, stood for many
years, but it lost its name before it became a place of importance to
the whites.

Aughwick, it is said, had the honor of receiving the first white
settlers, in 1749, that came within the present limits of Huntingdon
county. Of course, they were in search of choice lands, and there is
reason to believe they found them, too, notwithstanding the proprietors
and their man Peters, in a year thereafter, ousted them by burning
their cabins over their heads. Aughwick Valley is in the extreme
southern part of Huntingdon county, and, if not a regular continuation
of the Tuscarora Valley, is at least one of the chain of valleys
through whose entire length ran the celebrated Indian path from
Kittaning to Philadelphia,--the great western highway for footmen and

This path, traces of which can yet be plainly seen in various places,
and especially in the wilds of the mountains, must have been a famous
road in its day. It commenced at Kittaning, on the Alleghany River, and
crossed the Alleghany Mountains in a southeastern direction, the
descent on the eastern slope being through a gorge, the mouth of which
is five or six miles west of Hollidaysburg, at what is well known as
Kittaning Point. From this it diverged in a southern direction until it
led to the flat immediately back of Hollidaysburg, from thence east,
wound round the gorge back of the Presbyterian graveyard, and led into
Frank's old town. From thence it went through what is now called Scotch
Valley, Canoe Valley, and struck the river at Water street. From thence
it led to Alexandria, crossed the river, and went into Hartsog Valley;
from thence to Woodcock Valley; from Woodcock Valley, across the
Broadtop Mountain, into Aughwick; from thence into the Tuscarora
Valley, and from thence into Sherman's Valley, by Sterritt's Gap.

At Kittaning Point, this path, although it is seldom that the foot of
any one but an occasional hunter or fisher treads it, is still the same
path it was when the last dusky warrior who visited the Juniata Valley
turned his face to the west, and traversed it for the last time. True,
it is filled up with weeds in summer-time, but the indentation made by
the feet of thousands upon thousands of warriors and pack-horses which
travelled it for an unknown number of years are still plainly visible.
We have gone up the Kittaning gorge two or three miles, repeatedly, and
looked upon the ruins of old huts, and the road, which evidently never
received the impression of a wagon-wheel, and were forcibly struck with
the idea that it must once have been traversed, without knowing at the
time that it was the famous Kittaning trail. In some places, where the
ground was marshy, close to the run, the path is at least twelve inches
deep, and the very stones along the road bear the marks of the
iron-shod horses of the Indian traders. Two years ago, we picked up, at
the edge of the run, a mile up the gorge, two gun-flints,--now rated as
relics of a past age. At the time we supposed that some modern Nimrod
lost them. Now, however, we incline to the belief that they fell from
the pocket of some weary soldier in Armstrong's battalion, who lay down
upon the bank of the brook to slake his thirst, nearly a hundred years
ago. The path can be traced in various other places, but nowhere so
plain as in the Kittaning gorge. This is owing to the fact that one or
two other paths led into it, and no improvement has been made in the
gorge east of "Hart's Sleeping Place," along the line of the path.

Aughwick was an Indian town, located probably near where Shirleysburg
now stands, and for a long time was an important frontier post. The
name of the place figures extensively in the Colonial Records, first as
a place where many conferences were held, and afterward as Fort

Previous to actual settlers coming into the Juniata Valley, every inch
of it was known to the traders--or, at least, every Indian town in it;
and how long they trafficked with the red men before actual settlers
came is unknown. Thus, for instance, six or seven years before the
settlement of Aughwick, a trader named John Armstrong, and his two
servant-men, were murdered at what is now Jack's Narrows, in Huntingdon
county. As there are several narrows along the Juniata, we should have
been at a loss to locate the scene of the murder, had we not
accidentally noticed in the Archives a calculation of distances by John
Harris, wherein he says--"From Aughwick to Jack Armstrong's Narrows--so
called from his being there murdered,--eight miles." At the time of the
massacre, the British colonists and the Indians were on the most
friendly terms of intimacy, and Armstrong was a man of some standing
and influence, so that the murder (the first one of so atrocious a
nature in that region) created the most intense excitement. Along with
Armstrong, his servant-men, James Smith and Woodward Arnold, were also
murdered. The charge was laid to a Delaware Indian, named Musemeelin,
and two companions. Seven white men and five Indians searched for the
bodies, found and buried them. The Indian was arrested and taken to
Lancaster, and from there removed to Philadelphia for trial, but
whether convicted or not the record does not say. _Allumoppies_,
King of the Delawares, Shickallemy, and a number of other Indians of
standing and influence, were brought before the council in
Philadelphia, when the friends of Armstrong produced the following
affidavit of those who searched for the bodies:--

    _Paxton, April 19, 1744._

    The deposition of the subscribers testifieth and saith, that the
    subscribers, having a suspicion that John Armstrong, trader,
    together with his men, James Smith and Woodward Arnold, were
    murdered by the Indians, they met at the house of Joseph Chambers,
    in Paxton, and there consulted to go to Shamokin, to consult with
    the Delaware king and Shickcalimy, and there council what they
    should do concerning the affair. Whereupon the king and council
    ordered eight of their men to go with the deponents to the house of
    James Berry, in order to go in quest of the murdered persons; but
    that night they came to the said Berry's house three of the eight
    Indians ran away; and the next morning these deponents, with the
    five Indians that remained, set out on their journey, peaceably, to
    the last supposed sleeping-place of the deceased; and upon their
    arrival, these deponents dispersed themselves, in order to find out
    the corpse of the deceased; and one of the deponents, named James
    Berry, a small distance from the aforesaid sleeping-place, came to
    a white-oak tree, which had three notches on it, and close by said
    tree he found a shoulder-bone, which the deponent does suppose to
    be John Armstrong's,--and that he himself was eaten by the
    Indians,--which he carried to the aforesaid sleeping-place, and
    showed it to his companions, one of whom handed it to the said five
    Indians to know what bone it was; and they, after passing different
    sentiments upon it, handed it to a Delaware Indian, who was
    suspected by the deponents; and they testify and say that as soon
    as the Indian took the bone in his hand his nose gushed out with
    blood, and he directly handed it to another. From whence these
    deponents steered along a path, about three or four miles, to the
    Narrows of Juniata, where they suspected the murder to have been
    committed; and where the Alleghany Road crosses the creek these
    deponents sat down, in order to consult on what measures to take to
    proceed on a discovery. Whereupon most of the white men, these
    deponents, crossed the creek again, and went down the creek, and
    crossed into an island, where these deponents had intelligence the
    corpse had been thrown; and there they met the rest of the white
    men and Indians who were in company, and there consulted to go
    farther down the creek in quest of the corpse. And these deponents
    further say, they ordered the Indians to go down the creek on the
    other side; but they all followed these deponents at a small
    distance, except one Indian, who crossed the creek again; and soon
    after these deponents, seeing some bald eagles and other fowls,
    suspected the corpse to be thereabouts, and then lost sight of the
    Indians, and immediately found one of the corpses, which these
    deponents say was the corpse of James Smith, one of said
    Armstrong's men; and directly upon finding the corpse these
    deponents heard three shots of guns, which they had great reason to
    think were the Indians their companions, who had deserted from
    them; and in order to let them know that they had found the corpse
    these deponents fired three guns, but to no purpose, for they never
    saw the Indians any more. And about a quarter of a mile down the
    creek they saw more bald eagles, whereupon they made down toward
    the place, where they found another corpse (being the corpse of
    Woodworth Arnold, the other servant of said Armstrong) lying on a
    rock, and then went to the former sleeping-place, where they had
    appointed to meet the Indians; but saw no Indians, only that the
    Indians had been there, and cooked some victuals for themselves and
    had gone off.

    And that night, the deponents further say, they had great reason to
    suspect that the Indians were then thereabouts, and intended to do
    them some damage; for a dog these deponents had with them barked
    that night, which was remarkable, for the said dog had not barked
    all the time they were out till that night, nor ever since, which
    occasioned these deponents to stand upon their guard behind the
    trees, with their guns cocked, that night. Next morning these
    deponents went back to the corpses, which they found to be
    barbarously and inhumanly murdered by very gashed, deep cuts on
    their hands with a tomahawk, or such like weapon, which had sunk
    into their skulls and brains; and in one of the corpses there
    appeared a hole in his skull near the cut, which was supposed to be
    with a tomahawk, which hole these deponents do believe to be a
    bullet-hole. And these deponents, after taking as particular view
    of the corpses as their melancholy condition would admit, they
    buried them as decently as their circumstances would allow, and
    returned home to Paxton,--the Alleghany Road to John Harris's,
    thinking it dangerous to return the same way they went. And further
    these deponents say not.

    These same deponents, being legally qualified before me, James
    Armstrong, one of his majesty's justices of the peace for the
    county of Lancaster, have hereunto set their hands in testimony


    Alexander Armstrong, Thomas McKee, Francis Ellis, John Florster,
    William Baskins, James Berry, John Watt, James Armstrong, David

After the foregoing facts had been elicited, a regular Indian talk was
had upon the matter, when Shickallemy gave the following as a true
version of every thing connected with the massacre:--


    We have been all misinformed on both sides about the unhappy
    accident. Musemeelin has certainly murdered the three white men
    himself, and, upon the bare accusation of Neshaleeny's son, was
    seized and made a prisoner. Our cousins, the Delaware Indians,
    being then drunk, in particular Allumoppies, never examined things,
    but made an innocent person prisoner, which gave a great deal of
    disturbance among us. However, the two prisoners were sent, and by
    the way, in going down the river, they stopped at the house of
    James Berry. James told the young man, "I am sorry to see you in
    such a condition; I have known you from a boy, and always loved
    you." Then the young man seemed to be very much struck to the
    heart, and said, "I have said nothing yet, but I will tell all; let
    all the Indians come up, and the white people also; they shall hear
    it;" and then told Musemeelin, in the presence of the people, "Now
    I am going to die for your wickedness; you have killed all the
    three white men. I never did intend to kill any of them." Then
    Musemeelin, in anger, said, "It is true, I have killed them. I am a
    man, you are a coward. It is a great satisfaction to me to have
    killed them; I will die for joy for having killed a great rogue and
    his companions." Upon which the young man was set at liberty by the

    We desire therefore our brother the governor will not insist to
    have either of the two young men in prison or condemned to die; it
    is not with Indians as with white people, to put people in prison
    on suspicion or trifles. Indians must first be found guilty of a
    cause; then judgment is given and immediately executed. We will
    give you faithfully all the particulars, and at the ensuing treaty
    entirely satisfy you; in the mean time, we desire that good
    friendship and harmony continue, and that we may live long together
    is the hearty desire of your brethren the Indians of the United Six
    Nations present at Shamokin.

    The following is what Shickcalamy declared to be the truth of the
    story concerning the murder of John Armstrong, Woodworth Arnold,
    and James Smith, from the beginning to the end, to wit:--

    That Musemeelin owing some skins to John Armstrong, the said
    Armstrong seized a horse of the said Musemeelin and a rifle-gun;
    the gun was taken by James Smith, deceased. Some time last winter
    Musemeelin met Armstrong on the river Juniata, and paid all but
    twenty shillings, for which he offered a neck-belt in pawn to
    Armstrong, and demanded his horse, and James Armstrong refused it,
    and would not deliver up the horse, but enlarged the debt, as his
    usual custom was; and after some quarrel the Indian went away in
    great anger, without his horse, to his hunting-cabin. Some time
    after this, Armstrong, with his two companions, on their way to
    Ohio, passed by the said Musemeelin's hunting-cabin; his wife only
    being at home, she demanded the horse of Armstrong, because he was
    her proper goods, but did not get him. Armstrong had by this time
    sold or lent the horse to James Berry. After Musemeelin came from
    hunting, his wife told him that Armstrong was gone by, and that she
    had demanded the horse of him, but did not get him; and, as is
    thought, pressed him to pursue and take revenge of Armstrong. The
    third day, in the morning, after James Armstrong was gone by,
    Musemeelin said to the two young men that hunted with him, "Come,
    let us go toward the Great Hills to hunt bears;" accordingly they
    went all three in company. After they had gone a good way,
    Musemeelin, who was foremost, was told by the two young men that
    they were out of their course. "Come you along," said Musemeelin;
    and they accordingly followed him till they came to the path that
    leads to the Ohio. Then Musemeelin told them he had a good mind to
    go and fetch his horse back from Armstrong, and desired the two
    young men to come along. Accordingly they went. It was then almost
    night, and they travelled till next morning. Musemeelin said, "Now
    they are not far off. We will make ourselves black; then they will
    be frightened, and will deliver up the horse immediately; and I
    will tell Jack that if he don't give me the horse I will kill him;"
    and when he said so, he laughed. The young men thought he joked, as
    he used to do. They did not blacken themselves, but he did. When
    the sun was above the trees, or about an hour high, they all came
    to the fire, where they found James Smith sitting; and they also
    sat down. Musemeelin asked where Jack was. Smith told him that he
    was gone to clear the road a little. Musemeelin said he wanted to
    speak with him, and went that way, and after he had gone a little
    distance from the fire, he said something, and looked back
    laughing, but, he having a thick throat, and his speech being very
    bad, and their talking with Smith hindering them from understanding
    what he said, they did not mind it. They being hungry, Smith told
    them to kill some turtles, of which there were plenty, and they
    would make some bread by-and-by, and would all eat together. While
    they were talking, they heard a gun go off not far off, at which
    time Woodworth Arnold was killed, as they learned afterward. Soon
    after, Musemeelin came back and said, "Why did you not kill that
    white man, according as I bid you? I have laid the other two down."
    At this they were surprised; and one of the young men, commonly
    called Jimmy, ran away to the river-side. Musemeelin said to the
    other, "How will you do to kill Catawbas, if you cannot kill white
    men? You cowards! I'll show you how you must do;" and then, taking
    up the English axe that lay there, he struck it three times into
    Smith's head before he died. Smith never stirred. Then he told the
    young Indian to call the other, but he was so terrified he could
    not call. Musemeelin then went and fetched him, and said that two
    of the white men were killed, he must now go and kill the third;
    then each of them would have killed one. But neither of them dared
    venture to talk any thing about it. Then he pressed them to go
    along with him; he went foremost. Then one of the young men told
    the other, as they went along, "My friend, don't you kill any of
    the white people, let him do what he will; I have not killed Smith;
    he has done it himself; we have no need to do such a barbarous
    thing." Musemeelin being then a good way before them, in a hurry,
    they soon saw John Armstrong sitting upon an old log. Musemeelin
    spoke to him and said, "Where is my horse?" Armstrong made answer
    and said, "He will come by-and-by; you shall have him." "I want him
    now," said Musemeelin. Armstrong answered, "You shall have him.
    Come, let us go to that fire," (which was at some distance from the
    place where Armstrong sat,) "and let us talk and smoke together."
    "Go along, then," said Musemeelin. "I am coming," said Armstrong,
    "do you go before, Musemeelin; do you go foremost." Armstrong
    looked then like a dead man, and went toward the fire, and was
    immediately shot in his back by Musemeelin, and fell. Musemeelin
    then took his hatchet and struck it into Armstrong's head, and
    said, "Give me my horse, I tell you." By this time one of the young
    men had fled again that had gone away before, but he returned in a
    short time. Musemeelin then told the young men they must not offer
    to discover or tell a word about what had been done, for their
    lives; but they must help him to bury Jack, and the other two were
    to be thrown into the river. After that was done, Musemeelin
    ordered them to load the horses and follow toward the hill, where
    they intended to hide the goods. Accordingly they did; and, as they
    were going, Musemeelin told them that, as there were a great many
    Indians hunting about that place, if they should happen to meet
    with any they must be killed to prevent betraying them. As they
    went along, Musemeelin going before, the two young men agreed to
    run away as soon as they could meet with any Indians, and not to
    hurt anybody. They came to the desired place; the horses were
    unloaded, and Musemeelin opened the bundles, and offered the two
    young men each a parcel of goods. They told him that as they had
    already sold their skins, and everybody knew they had nothing, they
    would certainly be charged with a black action were they to bring
    any goods to the town, and therefore would not accept of any, but
    promised nevertheless not to betray him. "Now," says Musemeelin, "I
    know what you were talking about when you stayed so far behind."

    The two young men being in great danger of losing their lives--of
    which they had been much afraid all that day--accepted of what he
    offered to them, and the rest of the goods they put in a heap and
    covered them from the rain, and then went to their hunting-cabin.
    Musemeelin, unexpectedly finding two or three more Indians there,
    laid down his goods, and said he had killed Jack Armstrong and
    taken pay for his horse, and should any of them discover it, that
    person he would likewise kill, but otherwise they might all take a
    part of the goods. The young man called Jimmy went to Shamokin,
    after Musemeelin was gone to bury the goods, with three more
    Indians, with whom he had prevailed; one of them was Neshaleeny's
    son, whom he had ordered to kill James Smith; but these Indians
    would not have any of the goods. Some time after the young Indian
    had been in Shamokin, it was whispered about that some of the
    Delaware Indians had killed Armstrong and his men. A drunken Indian
    came to one of the Tudolous houses at night and told the man of the
    house that he could tell him a piece of bad news. "What is that?"
    said the other. The drunken man said, "Some of our Delaware Indians
    have killed Armstrong and his men, which if our chiefs should not
    resent, and take them up, I will kill them myself, to prevent a
    disturbance between us and the white people, our brethren." Next
    morning Shickcalamy and some other Indians of the Delawares were
    called to assist Allumoppies in council; when Shickcalamy and
    Allumoppies got one of the Tudolous Indians to write a letter to
    me, to desire me to come to Shamokin in all haste--that the Indians
    were very much dissatisfied in mind. This letter was brought to my
    house by four Delaware Indians, sent express; but I was then in
    Philadelphia, and when I came home and found all particulars
    mentioned in this letter, and that none of the Indians of the Six
    Nations had been down, I did not care to meddle with Delaware
    Indian affairs, and stayed at home till I received the governor's
    orders to go, which was about two weeks after. Allumoppies was
    advised by his council to employ a _conjuror_, or prophet, as
    they call it, to find out the murderer. Accordingly he did, and
    the Indians met. The _seer_, being busy all night, told them in
    the morning to examine such and such a one that was present when
    Armstrong was killed, naming the two young men. Musemeelin was
    present. Accordingly, Allumoppies, Quitheyquent, and Thomas Green,
    an Indian, went to him that had fled first, and examined him. He
    told the whole story very freely. Then they went to the other, but
    he would not say a word, and they went away and left him. The three
    Indians returned to Shickcalamy and informed them of what discovery
    they had made, when it was agreed to secure the murderers and
    deliver them up to the white people. Then a great noise arose among
    the Delaware Indians, and some were afraid of their lives and went
    into the woods. Not one cared to meddle with Musemeelin and the
    other that could not be prevailed on to discover any thing, because
    of the resentment of their families; but they being pressed by
    Shickcalamy's son to secure the murderers, otherwise they would be
    cut off from the chain of friendship, four or five of the Delawares
    made Musemeelin and the other young man prisoners, and tied them
    both. They lay twenty-four hours, and none would venture to conduct
    them down, because of the great division among the Delaware
    Indians; and Allumoppies, in danger of being killed, fled to
    Shickcalamy and begged his protection. At last Shickcalamy's son,
    Jack, went to the Delawares,--most of them being drunk, as they had
    been for several days,--and told them to deliver the prisoners to
    Alexander Armstrong, and they were afraid to do it; they might
    separate their heads from their bodies and lay them in the canoe,
    and carry them to Alexander to roast and eat them; that would
    satisfy his revenge, as he wants to eat Indians. They prevailed
    with the said Jack to assist them; and accordingly he and his
    brother, and some of the Delawares, went with two canoes and
    carried them off.

    Conrad Weiser, in a letter to a friend, dated Heidelberg, 1746,
    adverts to an interesting incident which occurred at the conclusion
    of this interview at Shamokin. He says, "Two years ago I was sent
    by the governor to Shamokin, on account of the unhappy death of
    John Armstrong, the Indian trader, (1744.) After I had performed my
    errand, there was a feast prepared, to which the governor's
    messengers were invited. There were about one hundred persons
    present, to whom, after we had in great silence devoured a fat
    bear, the eldest of the chiefs made a speech, in which he said,
    that by a great misfortune three of the brethren, the white men,
    had been killed by an Indian; that, nevertheless, the sun was not
    set, (meaning there was no war;) it had only been somewhat darkened
    by a small cloud, which was now done away. He that had done evil
    was like to be punished, and the land remain in peace; therefore he
    exhorted his people to thankfulness to God; and thereupon he began
    to sing with an awful solemnity, but without expressing any words;
    the others accompanying him with great earnestness of fervor, spoke
    these words: 'Thanks, thanks be to thee, thou great Lord of the
    world, in that thou hast again caused the sun to shine, and hast
    dispersed the dark cloud! The Indians are thine.'"

Among the first settlers in Aughwick Valley was Captain Jack, certainly
one of the most noted characters of his day. He flourished about
Aughwick between 1750 and 1755, when, with two or three companions, he
went to the Juniata and built himself a cabin near a beautiful spring.
His sole pursuit, it would appear, was hunting and fishing; by which he
procured the means of subsistence for his family. There was a mystery
about him which no person ever succeeded in fathoming, and even his
companions never learned his history or his real name.

He was a man of almost Herculean proportions, with extremely swarthy
complexion. In fact, he was supposed by some to be a half-breed and by
others a quadroon. Colonel Armstrong, in a letter to the governor,
called him the "Half-Indian." The truth of it, however, is that he was
a white man, possessing a more than ordinary share of intelligence
for a backwoodsman, but his early history is altogether shrouded in
mystery. It appears that in the summer of 1752 Captain Jack and his
companions were on a fishing excursion. Returning late in the evening,
Jack found his cabin in ruins and his wife and two children murdered.
From that moment he became an altered man, quit the haunts of men,
and roamed the woods alone, sleeping in caves, hollow logs, or wherever
he could find a shelter. The loss of his family, no doubt, crazed him
for a time, as he did not appear among the settlers until the fall of
1753. In the interim, however, he was frequently seen, and, we may
add, frequently __, by the savages, but he studiously avoided all
intercourse with his fellow-men. If we may judge of his subsequent
career, there is every reason to believe that on the discovery of the
wrongs done him by the savages he made a vow to devote the balance of
his life to slaying Indians. If he did, right faithfully was his vow
kept, for his fame spread far and wide among the red-skins, and many a
one bit the dust by his trusty rifle and unerring aim. The settlers
about Aughwick, as well as those in Path Valley and along the river,
frequently found dead savages, some in a state of partial decay, and
others with their flesh stripped by the bald-eagles and their bones
bleaching in the sun on the spot where Jack's rifle had laid them low.

On one occasion Captain Jack had concealed himself in the woods by the
side of the Aughwick Path, where he lay in wait for a stray Indian.
Presently a painted warrior, with a red feather waving from his head
and his body bedizened with gewgaws recently purchased from a trader,
came down the path. A crack from Captain Jack's rifle, and the savage
bounded into the air and fell dead without a groan in the path. It
appears that three others were in company, but had tarried at a spring,
who, on hearing the discharge of the rifle, under the impression that
their companion had shot a deer or bear, gave a loud "whoop." Captain
Jack immediately loaded, and when the Indians came up to the dead body
Jack again shot, and killed a second one. The Indians then rushed into
the thicket, and one of them, getting a glimpse of Jack, shot at him,
but missed him. The wild hunter, seeing that the chances were
desperate, jumped out and engaged in a hand-to-hand encounter--the
fourth savage being only armed with a tomahawk. He soon despatched the
third one by beating his brains out with his rifle; but the fourth one,
an athletic fellow, grappled, and a long and bloody fight with knives
followed, and only ceased when both were exhausted by the loss of
blood. The Indian managed to get away, and left the Black Hunter the
victor on the field of battle. Weak and faint as Jack was, he scalped
the three savages, fixed their scalps upon bushes overhanging the path,
and then, without deigning to touch their gewgaws or their arms, he
managed to work his way to the settlement, where his wounds, consisting
of eight or ten stabs, were dressed. The settlers, then squatters,
cared little about the loss of the Indians, since they deemed it right
for Captain Jack to wreak his vengeance on any and every savage whom
chance should throw in his way; and so little did they care about the
proprietors knowing their whereabouts that no report of the case was
ever made to the government of this combat.

It is said that one night the family of an Irishman named Moore,
residing in Aughwick, was suddenly awakened by the report of a gun.
This unusual circumstance at such a late hour in the night caused them
to get up to discover the cause; and on opening the door they found a
dead Indian lying upon the very threshold. By the feeble light which
shone through the door they discovered the dim outline of the wild
hunter, who merely said "I have saved your lives," and then plunged
into the dark ravine and disappeared.

With an eye like the eagle, an aim that was unerring, daring intrepidity,
and a constitution that could brave the heat of summer as well as the
frosts of winter, he roamed the valley like an uncaged tiger, the most
formidable foe that ever crossed the red man's path. Various were the
plans and stratagems resorted to by the Indians to capture him, but
they all proved unavailing. He fought them upon their own ground, with
their own weapons, and against them adopted their own merciless and
savage mode of warfare. In stratagem he was an adept, and in the
skilful use of the rifle his superior probably did not exist in his
day and generation.

These qualifications not only made him a terror to the Indians, but
made him famous among the settlers, who for their own protection formed
a scout, or company of rangers, and tendered to Captain Jack the
command, which he accepted. This company was uniformed like Indians,
with hunting-shirts, leather leggings, and moccasins, and, as they were
not acting under sanction of government, styled themselves "Captain
Jack's Hunters." All the _hunting_ done, however, after securing
game to supply their wants, was probably confined to _hunting_
for scalps of Indians; and, as it was a penal offence then to occupy
the hunting-grounds of the Juniata Valley, much more so to shed the
blood of any of the savages, it is not likely that the _hunters_
ever furnished the Quaker proprietors with an official list of the
"killed and wounded." These exploits gave Captain Jack a number of
names or sobriquets in the absence of his real name; he was known as
the "Black Rifle," "Black Hunter," "Wild Hunter of the Juniata," &c. On
one occasion, with his band, he followed a party of marauding Indians
to the Conococheague, and put them to rout. This act reached the
authorities in Philadelphia, and Governor Hamilton granted him a sort
of irregular roving commission to hold in check the unfriendly Indians
of the frontier. With this authority he routed the savages from the
Cove and several other places, and the general fear he inspired among
them no doubt prevented a deal of mischief in the Juniata Valley.

Early in June, Captain Jack offered the services of himself and his
band of hunters to government to accompany Braddock on his expedition
against Fort Duquesne. His merits were explained to Braddock by George
Crogan, who said, "They are well armed, and are equally regardless of
heat or cold. They require no shelter for the night, _and ask no
pay_." This generous offer on the part of Captain Jack was not
accepted by Braddock, because, as he alleged, "the proffered services
were coupled with certain stipulations to which he could not consent."
What these stipulations were was not mentioned. It is presumed,
however, that Captain Jack wished his company to go as a volunteer
force, free from the restraints of a camp life which a rigid
disciplinarian like Braddock would be likely to adopt. Braddock had
already accepted the services of a company of Indians under George
Crogan, and, as he wished to gain laurels for himself and his troops by
achieving a victory over the French and Indians by open European
fighting, his own selfishness probably prompted him to refuse the
assistance of any more who adopted the skulking Indian mode of warfare.
He did not live, however, to discover his error. Hazzard, in his
Pennsylvania Register, in speaking of the non-acceptance of Captain
Jack's offer, says, "It was a great misfortune for Braddock that he
neglected to secure the services of such an auxiliary." Very true; for
such men as Jack's Hunters would never have suffered themselves to be
fired upon by an ambuscaded enemy or an enemy hid away in a ravine.
They would not have marched over the hill with drums beating and colors
flying, in pride and pomp, as if enjoying a victory not yet won; but
they would have had their scouts out, the enemy and his position known,
and the battle fought without any advantages on either side; and in
such an event it is more than probable that victory would have crowned
the expedition.

Of the final end of Captain Jack we have nothing definite. One account
says he went to the West; another that he died an old man in 1772,
having lived the life of a hermit after the end of the war of 1763. It
is said that his bones rest near the spring, at the base of the
mountain bearing his name; and this we are inclined to believe. The
early settlers of the neighborhood believed that Captain Jack came down
from the mountain every night at twelve o'clock to slake his thirst at
his favorite spring; and half a century ago we might readily have
produced the affidavits of twenty respectable men who had seen the
Black Hunter in the spirit roaming over the land that was his in the
flesh. The present generation, however, knows little about the wild
hunter. Still, though he sleeps the sleep that knows no waking, and no
human being who ever saw him is above the sod now, the towering
mountain, a hundred miles in length, bearing his name, will stand as an
indestructible monument to his memory until time shall be no more.

George Crogan figured extensively about Aughwick for many years, both
before and after Fort Shirley was built. He was an Irishman by birth,
and came to the colony probably as early as 1742, and soon after took
up the business of an Indian trader. At first he located at Harris's
trading-house, on the Susquehanna, and from thence moved over the river
into Cumberland county, some eight miles from his first place of abode.
From there he made excursions to Path Valley and Aughwick, and finally
to the Ohio River by way of the old Bedford trail. His long residence
among the Indians not only enabled him to study Indian character
thoroughly, but he acquired the language of both the Delaware and
Shawnee tribes, and was of great use to the proprietary government; but
we incline to the opinion that his services were illy requited.

His first letter, published in the Colonial Records, is dated "May y^e
26th, 1747," and is directed to Richard Peters. It was accompanied by a
letter from the Six Nations, some wampum, and a French scalp, taken
somewhere on Lake Erie.

In a letter from Governor Hamilton to Governor Hardy, dated 5th July,
1756, in speaking of Crogan, who was at one time suspected of being a
spy in the pay of the French, Hamilton says:--"There were many Indian
traders with Braddock--Crogan among others, who acted as a captain of
the Indians under a warrant from General Braddock, and I never heard of
any objections to his conduct in that capacity. For many years he had
been very largely concerned in the Ohio trade, was upon that river
frequently, and had a considerable influence among the Indians,
speaking the language of several nations, and being very liberal, or
rather profuse, in his gifts to them, which, with the losses he
sustained by the French, who seized great quantities of his goods, and
by not getting the debts due to him from the Indians, he became
bankrupt, and since has lived at a place called Aughwick, in the back
parts of this province, where he generally had a number of Indians with
him, for the maintenance of whom the province allowed him sums of money
from time to time, but not to his satisfaction. After this he went, by
my order, with these Indians, and joined General Braddock, who gave the
warrant I have mentioned. Since Braddock's defeat, he returned to
Aughwick, where he remained till an act of assembly was passed here
granting him a freedom from arrest for ten years. This was done that
the province might have the benefit of his knowledge of the woods and
his influence among the Indians; and immediately thereupon, while I was
last at York, a captain's commission was given to him, and he was
ordered to raise men for the defence of the western frontier, which
he did in a very expeditious manner, but not so frugally as the
commissioners for disposing of the public money thought he might have
done. He continued in the command of one of the companies he had
raised, and of Fort Shirley, on the western frontier, about three
months; during which time he sent, by my direction, Indian messengers
to the Ohio for intelligence, but never produced me any that was very
material; and, having a dispute with the commissioners about some
accounts between them, in which he thought himself ill-used, he
resigned his commission, and about a month ago informed me that he
had not received pay upon General Braddock's warrant, and desired my
recommendation to General Shirley; which I gave him, and he set off
directly for Albany; and I hear he is now at Onondago with Sir William

Crogan settled permanently in Aughwick in 1754, and built a stockade
fort, and must have been some kind of an agent among the Indians,
disbursing presents to them for the government. In December of that
year he wrote to Secretary Peters, stating the wants of his Indians,
and at the same time wrote to Governor Morris as follows:--

    "_May it please your honor_:--

    "I am Oblig^d to advertize the Inhabitance of Cumberland county in
    y^r honour's Name, nott to barter or Sell Spiretus Liquers to the
    Indians or any person to bring amongst them, to prevent y^e Indians
    from Spending there Cloase, tho' I am oblig^d to give them a kag
    Now and then my self for a frolick, but that is Atended with no
    Expence to y^e Government, nor no bad consequences to y^e Indians
    as I do itt butt onst a Month. I hope your honour will approve of
    this Proceeding, as I have Don itt to Prevent ill consequences
    atending y^e Indians if they should be Kept always Infleam^d with

In September, 1754, notwithstanding the precautions taken by the
government to conciliate the Indians by profuse presents, and
immediately after Conrad Weiser, the Indian interpreter, and Crogan,
had held a conference at Aughwick, which it was supposed had terminated
satisfactorily to all parties concerned, an Indian, named Israel, of
the Six Nations, after leaving the conference, perpetrated a brutal
murder in Tuscarora Valley. The following is Crogan's report of it to

    _Aughwick, September 17, 1754._

    _May it please Your Honor_:--

    Since Mr. Weiser left this, an Indian of the Six Nations, named
    Israel, killed one Joseph Cample, an Indian trader, at the house of
    one Anthony Thompson, at the foot of the Tuscarora Valley, near
    Parnall's Knob. As soon as I heard it I went down to Thompson's,
    and took several of the chiefs of the Indians with me, when I met
    William Maxwell, Esq. The Indian made his escape before I got
    there. I took the qualification of the persons who were present at
    the murder, and delivered them to Mr. Maxwell, to be sent to your
    honor, with the speech made by the chiefs of the Indians on that
    occasion, which I suppose your honor has received.

    I have heard many accounts from Ohio since Mr. Weiser left this,
    all of which agree that the French have received a reinforcement of
    men and provision from Canada to the fort. An Indian returned
    yesterday to this place whom I had sent to the fort for
    intelligence; he confirms the above accounts, and further says
    there were about sixty French Indians had come while he stayed
    there, and that they expected better than two hundred more every
    day. He says that the French design to send those Indians with some
    French, in several parties, to annoy the back settlements, which
    the French say will put a stop to any English forces marching out
    this fall to attack them. This Indian likewise says that the French
    will do their endeavor to have the half-king Scarrayooday, Captain
    Montour, and myself, killed this fall. This Indian, I think, is to
    be believed, if there can be any credit given to what an Indian
    says. He presses me strongly to leave this place, and not live in
    any of the back parts. The scheme of sending several parties to
    annoy the back settlements seems so much like French policy that I
    can't help thinking it true.

    I hear from Colonel Innes that there certainly have been some
    French Indians at the camp at Wills's Creek, who fired on the
    sentry in the dead of the night. If the French prosecute this
    scheme, I don't know what will become of the back parts of
    Cumberland county, which is much exposed. The back parts of
    Virginia and Maryland are covered by the English camp, so that most
    of the inhabitants are safe.

    I would have written to your honor before now on this head; I only
    waited the return of this Indian messenger, whose account I really
    think is to be depended on. The Indians here seem very uneasy at
    their long stay, as they have heard nothing from the Governor of
    Virginia nor of your honor since Mr. Weiser went away; nor do they
    see the English making any preparations to attack the French, which
    seems to give them a great deal of concern. I believe several of
    the Indians will soon go to the Six Nation country, and then, I
    suppose, the rest will be obliged to fall in with the French. If
    this happens, then all the back settlements will be left to the
    mercy of an outrageous enemy.

    I beg your honor's pardon for mentioning the consequences which
    must certainly attend the slow motion of the English government, as
    they are well known to your honor, and I am sensible your honor had
    done all in your power for the security of those parts. I hope as
    soon as his honor, Governor Morris, is arrived, I shall hear what
    is to be done with those Indians. I assure your honor it will not
    be in my power to keep them together much longer.

    I am your honor's most humble and most obedient servant,


The Indian Israel was arrested, taken to Philadelphia, and tried, but,
in consequence of the critical situation of affairs, the French having
tampered with the Six Nations until they were wavering, he was let off,
returned to his tribe, and the matter smoothed over as best it could
under the circumstances.

The number of Indians under Crogan at Braddock's defeat was thirty; but
what part they performed on that eventful day was not recorded. That
Crogan and his Indians were of some service would appear from the fact
that the Assembly passed a law exempting him from arrests--for debt, it
is supposed--for ten years, and commissioning him a captain in the
colonial service.

The supposition that Crogan was a spy in the pay of the French was
based upon the idea that he was a Roman Catholic, inasmuch as he was
born in Dublin. His loyalty was first brought into question by Governor
Sharpe, in December, 1753, who wrote to Governor Hamilton, informing
him that the French knew every move for defence made in the colonies,
and asked his opinion of Crogan. In answer, Governor Hamilton said:--

    I observe what you say of Mr. Crogan; and, though the several
    matters of which you have received information carry in them a good
    deal of suspicion, and it may be highly necessary to keep a
    watchful eye upon him, yet I hope they will not turn out to be any
    thing very material, or that will effect his faithfulness to the
    trust reposed in him, which, at this time, is of great importance
    and a very considerable one. At present I have no one to inquire of
    as to the truth of the particulars mentioned in yours but Mr.
    Peters, who assures me that Mr. Crogan has never been deemed a
    Roman Catholic, nor does he believe that he is one, though he knows
    not his education, which was in Dublin, nor his religious

Whatever Mr. Crogan's religious faith may have been, he paid much less
attention to it than he did to Indian affairs; and that he was deeply
devoted to the proprietary government is evident from his subsequent
career. To keep the Indians loyal, he advanced many presents to them,
as appears by Governor Morris's letter to Governor Hardy, for which he
never was reimbursed; and the company of Indians he commanded was
fitted out at his own expense; and it was the attempt to get what he
advanced on that occasion that led to his quarrel with the
commissioners and his resignation.

From Philadelphia he went to Onondago, in September, 1756, and soon
after was appointed deputy-agent of Indian affairs by Sir William
Johnston. On his arrival in Philadelphia, his appointment was announced
to the council by Governor Denny.

"The council, knowing Mr. Crogan's circumstances, was not a little
surprised at the appointment, and desired to see his credentials;"
which he produced, and again took an active part in Indian affairs.

After the French had evacuated Fort Duquesne, in 1758, Crogan resided
for a time in Fort Pitt. From there he went down the river, was taken
prisoner by the French, and taken to Detroit. From thence he returned
to New York, where he died in 1782.

On the 6th of October, 1754, the reigning chief of Aughwick, called
_Tanacharrisan_, or Half-King, died at Paxton. In communicating his
death to the governor, John Harris said:--

    Those Indians that are here blame the French for his death, by
    bewitching him, as they had a conjurer to inquire into the cause a
    few days before he died; and it is his opinion, together with his
    relations, that the French have been the cause of their great man's
    death, by reason of his striking them lately; for which they seem
    to threaten immediate revenge, and desire me to let it be known.

The loss of the Half-King must have been a severe affliction to his
tribe, for it appears by a letter of Crogan's that he was compelled to
"wipe away their tears to the amount of thirty pounds fourteen

Scarroyady[1] succeeded the Half-King in the administration of affairs
at Aughwick. He was a brave and powerful chief, and possessed the most
unbounded influence among the Indians. Governor Morris, in a speech,
previously approved by council, made to Scarroyady and some Indians
accompanying him, said:--

          [1] As the Indians could not pronounce the letter _r_, it is
          probable that the names having such letters in were bestowed
          by the whites, or corrupted by them.

    "Brethren:--For the encouragement of you and all who will join you
    in the destruction of our enemies, I propose to give the following
    bounties or rewards, viz.: for every male Indian prisoner above
    twelve years old that shall be delivered at any of the government's
    forts or towns, one hundred and fifty dollars.

    "For every female Indian prisoner or male prisoner of twelve years
    old and under, delivered as above, one hundred and thirty dollars.

    "For the scalp of every male Indian of above twelve years old, one
    hundred and thirty dollars.

    "For the scalp of every Indian woman, fifty dollars."

Let this fixed price for scalps not stand upon the pages of history as
a stigma against the peaceable and non-resistant Quakers of the
province; for, at the time these bounties were offered, John and Thomas
Penn had abjured the habits, customs, and religion of that people.

Fort Shirley was built in Aughwick Valley in the fall of 1755, and the
winter following Crogan resigned his commission, after which the
command was given to Captain Hugh Mercer.

Tradition says that one or two very serious battles were fought in
Aughwick, after Fort Shirley was erected; but the accounts of them are
so vague that we can give nothing like reliable information touching

In January, 1756, two Indians named Lackin, brothers, who professed to
be friendly, came to what was then still called Crogan's Fort. The
commander of the fort made them some few trifling presents, and plied
them well with rum, when they promised to bring in a large number of
prisoners and scalps. On leaving the fort, they fell in with a soldier,
whom they invited to accompany them a short distance and they would
give him some rum. To this the soldier assented, and, after getting out
of sight of the fort, one of them suddenly turned and stabbed the
soldier in the side with a scalping-knife. A man passing at the time of
the occurrence immediately alarmed the garrison, and a posse of
thirteen men sallied out; but when they came up near the Indians the
latter suddenly turned and fired upon the soldiers, wounding one of
them in the thigh. The savages were then surrounded, and one of them
shot; the other they attempted to take to the fort alive, but he acted
so outrageously that one of the soldiers beat his brains out with the
stock of his musket. The Lackins were rather worthless fellows, and it
required no wampum, or even coin, to dry up the tears of their friends.

Fort Shirley was abandoned for a while after the burning of Fort
Granville, by order of Governor Morris, but the importance of the point
prevented it from standing idle long. We hear of some few murders
committed near the Three Springs of the valley at a later day, but no
attack was made in the neighborhood during the second Indian war, as
the entire valley was well protected by the friendly Indians of the Six

The Delawares and Shawnees, or at least a great portion of them, left
the valley in 1754-55-56, and before 1761 all had disappeared. But to
the friendly Indian the beautiful Aughwick was a favorite haunt until
the Anglo-Saxon fairly ploughed and harrowed him out of his home and
his hunting-grounds. The last of the Six Nations left Aughwick for
Cattaraugus in 1771.



The earliest settlement on the _Raystown_ Branch of the Juniata was
made by a man named Ray, in 1751, who built three cabins near where
Bedford now stands. In 1755 the province agreed to open a wagon-road
from Fort Louden, in Cumberland county, to the forks of the
Youghiogheny River. For this purpose three hundred men were sent up,
but for some cause or other the project was abandoned.

This road was completed in 1758, when the allied forces of Virginia,
Maryland, and Pennsylvania marched against Fort Duquesne, under General
John Forbes. About the same year the fort was built at Raystown, and
called Fort Bedford. Colonels Boquet and Washington first marched to
Bedford with the advance, and were followed by General Forbes, who had
been detained by illness at Carlisle. The successful troops that put to
rout the French without striking a blow, amounting to 7850 men, were
reviewed, where Bedford now stands, a little over _ninety-seven_
years ago. Of the triumphant march and the bloodless victory of General
Forbes and Colonels Boquet and Washington there is little use in
speaking here, more than incidentally mentioning that, profiting by the
dear-bought experience at Braddock's defeat, the suggestion of
Washington to fight the savages after their own manner was adopted,
and, after defeating them in several skirmishes, the Indians fled
before them like chaff before the wind, and when they reached Fort
Duquesne the name and the fort alone remained. The latter was
preserved, but the former was speedily changed to Fort Pitt.

Colonel Armstrong, whose name has already frequently appeared, served
as a captain in the expedition under General Forbes against Fort
Duquesne. It may also be as well to remember that Colonel Washington,
as well as the Virginians generally, jealous of the Pennsylvanians
gaining a footing in the Monongahela country, violently opposed the
cutting of the road from Raystown to the mouth of the Yough, and urged
strongly upon Forbes the propriety of using the old Braddock trail. The
decision of General Forbes procured for the people of Pennsylvania a
wagon-road over the Alleghany at least twenty years before the
inhabitants would have entertained the idea of so formidable an
undertaking. Armstrong wrote to Richard Peters, under date of
"Raystown, October 3, 1758," from whose letter we extract the

    Since our Quixotic expedition you will, no doubt, be greatly
    perplexed about our fate. God knows what it may be; but, I assure
    you, the better part of the troops are not at all dismayed. The
    general came here at a critical and seasonable juncture; he is
    weak, but his spirit is good and his head clear, firmly determined
    to proceed as far as force and provisions will admit, which,
    through divine favor, will be far enough. The road to be opened
    from our advanced post is not yet fully determined, and must be
    further reconnoitered: 'tis yet a query whether the artillery will
    be carried forward with the army when within fifteen or twenty
    miles of the fort or not. The order of march and line of battle is
    under consideration, and there are many different opinions
    respecting it. Upon this the general will have a conference with
    the commanders of the sundry corps. About four thousand five
    hundred are yet fit for duty, five or six hundred of which may be
    laid to the account of keeping of different posts, sickness,
    accidents, &c. We know not the number of the enemy, but they are
    greatly magnified, by report of sundry of the people with Major
    Grant, to what we formerly expected. The Virginians are much
    chagrined at the opening of the road through this government, and
    Colonel Washington has been a good deal sanguine and obstinate upon
    the occasion; but the presence of the general has been of great use
    on this as well as other accounts. We hear that three hundred
    wagons are on the road. If this month happens to be dry weather, it
    will be greatly in our favor. My people are in general healthy, and
    are to be collected together immediately, except such as are posted
    on the communication and in the artillery. Many of them will be
    naked by the end of the campaign, but I dare not enter upon
    clothing them, not knowing who or how many of the troops may be
    continued. Colonel B----t is a very sensible and useful man;
    notwithstanding, had not the general come up, the consequences
    would have been dangerous. Please to make my compliments to Mr.
    Allen, and, if you please, show him this letter, as I have not a
    moment longer to write. About the last of this month will be the
    critical hour. Every thing is vastly dear with us, and the money
    goes like old boots. The enemy are beginning to kill and carry off
    horses, and every now and then scalp a wandering person.

    I leave this place to-day, as does Colonel Boquet and some pieces
    of the artillery.

In 1763, Fort Bedford was the principal depôt for military stores
between Carlisle and Fort Pitt. In order to strengthen it, the command
was given to Captain Ourry, and the small stockades at the Juniata
Crossing and Stony Creek were abandoned and the force concentrated at
Bedford. By this means two volunteer companies were formed to guard the
fort, which, besides being a refuge for the distressed families for ten
or fifteen miles around, contained vast quantities of ammunition and
other government stores.

In 1763, Colonel Boquet again passed up the Raystown Branch with two
regiments of regulars and a large convoy of military stores, to relieve
the beleaguered garrison at Fort Pitt. He found matters in a deplorable
condition at Fort Bedford. The Indians, although they had never made an
attack upon the fort, had for weeks been hovering around the frontier
settlements, and had killed, scalped, or taken prisoner, no less than
eighteen persons. This induced Colonel Boquet to leave two companies of
his army at Bedford.

The names of the persons killed or taken prisoners at that time are not
recorded, and, we regret to say, few of any of the particulars
connected therewith have been preserved.

The town of Bedford was laid out by John Lukens, the surveyor-general,
in 1766, and took its name (in honor of the Duke of Bedford) from the
fort. The town for many years was the most prominent point between
Carlisle and Pittsburg. The county was formed out of Cumberland, in
1771, and embraced a vast extent of territory, from which Huntingdon,
Mifflin, Cambria, Somerset, Westmoreland, Fulton, and Indiana, were
subsequently taken.

During the Revolutionary war, the town of Bedford proper, as well as
the surrounding country, was so well settled that the Indians kept a
respectful distance. On Yellow Creek, one of the tributaries of
Raystown Branch, settlements were made at an early day; also in the
Great Cove. During the Revolution, Colonel John Piper, of Yellow Creek,
was the lieutenant-colonel of the county, and George Ashman lieutenant,
and James Martin, Edward Combs, and Robert Culbertson, were

Colonel James Smith, whose narrative has been published in several
works, was taken by the Indians in 1755, near Bedford. He was taken to
Fort Duquesne, and was there when the victorious Frenchmen and savages
returned with the scalps and plunder taken from Braddock's vanquished
army. After undergoing some severe trials, such as running the
gauntlet, &c., Smith was taken to Ohio, and, after a ceremony of
baptizing, painting, and hair-pulling, he was adopted, as a warrior "in
good standing," into the Conowaga tribe. No other resort being left, as
a measure of self-defence he adopted the manners and customs of the
tribe, and wandered over the West with them until an opportunity
offered to escape; which did not occur until he reached Montreal, in
1760, when he obtained his freedom in the general exchange of prisoners
which took place.

In 1765, Smith figured conspicuously in Bedford county, as the leader
of the celebrated band of "_Black Boys_," whose singular and summary
administration of justice bore a marked affinity to the code sometimes
adopted by that worthy disseminator of criminal jurisprudence in the
West,--"Judge Lynch." Of the exploits of the famous Black Boys Smith
speaks as follows:--

    Shortly after this (1764) the Indians stole horses and killed some
    people on the frontiers. The king's proclamation was then
    circulating, and set up in various public places, prohibiting any
    person from trading with the Indians until further orders.

    Notwithstanding all this, about the 1st of March, 1765, a number of
    wagons, loaded with Indian goods and warlike stores, were sent from
    Philadelphia to Henry Pollens, Conococheague; and from thence
    seventy pack-horses were loaded with these goods, in order to carry
    them to Fort Pitt. This alarmed the country, and Mr. William
    Duffield raised about fifty armed men, and met the pack-horses at
    the place where Mercersburg now stands. Mr. Duffield desired the
    employers to store up their goods and not proceed until further
    orders. They made light of this, and went over the North Mountain,
    where they lodged in a small valley called the Great Cove. Mr.
    Duffield and his party followed after, and came to their lodging,
    and again urged them to store up their goods. He reasoned with them
    on the impropriety of their proceedings and the great danger the
    frontier inhabitants would be exposed to if the Indians should now
    get a supply. He said as it was well known that they had scarcely
    any ammunition, and were almost naked, to supply them now would be
    a kind of murder, and would be illegally trading at the expense of
    the blood and treasure of the frontiers. Notwithstanding his
    powerful reasoning, these traders made game of what he said, and
    would only answer him by ludicrous burlesque.

    When I beheld this, and found that Mr. Duffield could not compel
    them to store up their goods, I collected ten of my old warriors
    that I had formerly disciplined in the Indian way, went off
    privately after night, and encamped in the woods. The next day, as
    usual, we blacked and painted, and waylaid them near Sideling Hill.
    I scattered my men about forty rods along the side of the road, and
    ordered every two to take a tree, and about eight or ten rods
    between each couple, with orders to keep a reserved fire--one not
    to fire until his comrade had loaded his gun. By this means we kept
    a constant slow fire upon them, from front to rear. We then heard
    nothing of these traders' merriment or burlesque. When they saw
    their pack-horses falling close by them, they called out, "Pray,
    gentlemen, what would you have us to do?" The reply was, "Collect
    all your loads to the front, and unload them in one place; take
    your private property, and immediately retire." When they were
    gone, we burnt what they left, which consisted of blankets, shirts,
    vermilion, lead, beads, wampum, tomahawks, scalping-knives, &c.

    The traders went back to Fort Louden, and applied to the commanding
    officer there, and got a party of Highland soldiers, and went with
    them in quest of the robbers, as they called us; and, without
    applying to a magistrate or obtaining any civil authority, but
    purely upon suspicion, they took a number of creditable persons,
    (who were chiefly not anyway concerned in this action,) and
    confined them in the guard-house in Fort Louden. I then raised
    three hundred riflemen, marched to Fort Louden, and encamped on a
    hill in sight of the fort. We were not long there until we had more
    than double as many of the British troops prisoners in our camp as
    they had of our people in the guard-house. Captain Grant, a
    Highland officer who commanded Fort Louden, then sent a flag of
    truce to our camp, where we settled a cartel and gave them above
    two for one; which enabled us to redeem all our men from the
    guard-house without further difficulty.

This exploit of the _Black Boys_ is supposed to have given Bloody
Run its name. Soon after, some British officer wrote an account of the
affair and transmitted it to London, where it was published, and from
which the following is an extract. "The convoy of eighty horses, loaded
with goods, chiefly on His Majesty's account, as presents to the
Indians, and part on account of Indian traders, were surprised in a
narrow and dangerous defile in the mountains by a body of armed men. A
number of horses were killed, and the whole of the goods were carried
away by the plunderers. _The rivulet was dyed with blood, and ran
into the settlement below, carrying with it the stain of crime upon its

Notwithstanding Smith's narrative may have been read by a majority of
our readers, we cannot resist the temptation of transferring another
graphic picture of frontier life from his work. He says:--

    In the year 1769, the Indians again made incursions on the
    frontiers; yet the traders continued carrying goods and warlike
    stores to them. The frontiers took the alarm, and a number of
    persons collected, destroyed, and plundered, a quantity of their
    powder, lead, &c., in Bedford county. Shortly after this, some of
    these persons, with others, were apprehended and laid in irons in
    the guard-house in Fort Bedford, on suspicion of being the
    perpetrators of this crime.

    Though I did not altogether approve of the conduct of this new club
    of Black Boys, yet I concluded that they should not lie in irons in
    the guard-house or remain in confinement by arbitrary or military
    power. I resolved, therefore, if possible, to release them, if they
    even should be tried by the civil law afterward. I collected
    eighteen of my old Black Boys that I had seen tried in the Indian
    war, &c. I did not desire a large party, lest they should be too
    much alarmed at Bedford, and accordingly be prepared for us. We
    marched along the public road in daylight, and made no secret of
    our design. We told those whom we met that we were going to take
    Fort Bedford, which appeared to them a very unlikely story. Before
    this, I made it known to one William Thompson, a man whom I could
    trust, and who lived there. Him I employed as a spy, and sent him
    along on horseback before, with orders to meet me at a certain
    place near Bedford one hour before day. The next day, a little
    before sunset, we encamped near the Crossings of Juniata, about
    fourteen miles from Bedford, and erected tents, as though we
    intended staying all night; and not a man in my company knew to the
    contrary save myself. Knowing that they would hear this in Bedford,
    and wishing it to be the case, I thought to surprise them by
    stealing a march.

    As the moon rose about eleven o'clock, I ordered my boys to march,
    and we went on, at the rate of five miles an hour, until we met
    Thompson at the place appointed. He told us that the commanding
    officer had frequently heard of us by travellers, and had ordered
    thirty men upon guard. He said they knew our number, and only made
    game of the notion of eighteen men coming to rescue the prisoners;
    but they did not expect us until toward the middle of the day. I
    asked him if the gate was open. He said it was then shut, but he
    expected they would open it, as usual, at daylight, as they
    apprehended no danger. I then moved my men privately up under the
    banks of the Juniata, where we lay concealed about one hundred
    yards from the fort gate. I had ordered the men to keep a profound
    silence until we got into it. I then sent off Thompson again to
    spy. At daylight he returned and told us that the gate was open,
    and three sentinels were standing upon the wall; that the guards
    were taking a morning dram, and the arms standing together in one
    place. I then concluded to rush into the fort, and told Thompson to
    run before me to the arms. We ran with all our might; and, as it
    was a misty morning, the sentinels scarcely saw us until we were
    within the gate and took possession of the arms. Just as we were
    entering, two of them discharged their guns, though I do not
    believe they aimed at us. We then raised a shout, which surprised
    the town, though some of them were well pleased with the news. We
    compelled a blacksmith to take the irons off the prisoners, and
    then we left the place. This, I believe, was the first British fort
    in America that was taken by what they call American rebels.

For this exploit Smith was arrested, and, in the scuffle which attended
the arrest--for he made a powerful resistance,--one of his captors was
shot. He was taken to Carlisle and tried for murder; but, having the
sympathies of the people with him, he was triumphantly acquitted. He
afterward filled several important stations, and for a time served as a
colonel in the Revolutionary army in New Jersey. In 1778 he moved to
Kentucky, and joined McIntosh in his efforts against the savages. He
had evidently imbibed the habits of frontier life so thoroughly that
the strict routine of military discipline and its restraints were
totally unsuited to his ideas of fighting.

After the year 1769, numerous robberies were committed near Bedford.
The robbers taking the precaution to blacken their faces, all their
crimes, as well as many others, were charged upon Smith's Black Boys,
until they were looked upon as a band of outlaws. Under date of January
26, 1773, John Frazer and George Woods wrote from Bedford to Governor
Penn, as follows:--

    _May it please Your Honor_:--

    The many robberies that have lately been committed in the eastern
    parts of this county oblige us to trouble you with this letter.

    There are a number of people, who, we suspect, now reside at or
    near the Sideling Hill, that have been guilty of several
    highway-robberies, and have taken from different people--travelling
    on the public road between this place and Carlisle--considerable
    sums of money; in particular, a certain James McCashlan, of this
    place, hath made oath before us that he has been robbed of
    twenty-two pounds and a silver watch. We have already done our
    endeavor to apprehend the robbers, but have not succeeded, as there
    can be no positive proof made who they are, on account of their
    blacking themselves, which renders it impossible for any person
    robbed to discover or know who are the perpetrators.

    We, therefore, pray your honor would take this matter into
    consideration, and grant us such relief as your honor may seem most
    reasonable for the safety of the public in general, and in
    particular for the inhabitants of this county.

These magistrates labored under the conviction that the highwaymen were
none else than a portion of Smith's gang of Black Boys; or else why ask
government for aid to disperse a few robbers, when men, arms, and
ammunition, were plenty in Bedford?

The letter of Frazer and Woods was accompanied by an affidavit from
McCashlan, setting forth that he was robbed, and that he had cause to
suspect "a certain John Gibson and William Paxton" of committing the
robbery. These were two of Smith's Black Boys; but it subsequently
appeared that a couple of independent footpads had relieved Mr.
McCashlan of his pounds and watch, and not a party of the regular Black
Boys, who, no doubt, had sins enough of their own to answer for,
without having all the depredations committed in the county placed to
their account.

Although we spared no effort to get some account of the Indian
massacres near Bedford during the Revolution, we failed, and must
content ourself--if we do not our readers--by giving the two following,
which we copy from Mr. Day's "Historical Collections:"--

    About December, 1777, a number of families came into the fort from
    the neighborhood of Johnstown. Among them were Samuel Adams, one
    Thornton, and Bridges. After the alarm had somewhat subsided, they
    agreed to return to their property. A party started with
    pack-horses, reached the place, and, not seeing any Indians,
    collected their property and commenced their return. After
    proceeding some distance, a dog belonging to one of the party
    showed signs of uneasiness and ran back. Bridges and Thornton
    desired the others to wait while they would go back for him. They
    went back, and had proceeded but two or three hundred yards when a
    body of Indians, who had been lying in wait on each side of the
    way, but who had been afraid to fire on account of the number of
    the whites, suddenly rose up and took them prisoners. The others,
    not knowing what detained their companions, went back after them.
    When they arrived near the spot the Indians fired on them, but
    without doing any injury. The whites instantly turned and fled,
    excepting Samuel Adams, who took a tree, and began to fight in the
    Indian style. In a few minutes, however, he was killed, but not
    without doing the same fearful service for his adversary. He and
    one of the Indians shot at and killed each other at the same
    moment. When the news reached the fort a party volunteered to visit
    the ground. When they reached it, although the snow had fallen
    ankle-deep, they readily found the bodies of Adams and the Indian,
    the face of the latter having been covered by his companions with
    Adams's hunting-shirt.

    A singular circumstance also occurred about that time in the
    neighborhood of the Alleghany Mountain. A man named Wells had made
    a very considerable improvement, and was esteemed rather wealthy
    for that region. He, like others, had been forced with his family
    from his house, and had gone for protection to the fort. In the
    fall of the year, he concluded to return to his place and dig his
    crop of potatoes. For that purpose, he took with him six or seven
    men, an Irish servant girl to cook, and an old plough-horse. After
    they had finished their job, they made preparations to return to
    the fort the next day. During the night, Wells dreamed that on his
    way to his family he had been attacked and gored by a bull; and so
    strong an impression did the dream make that he mentioned it to his
    companions, and told them that he was sure some danger awaited
    them. He slept again, and dreamed that he was about to shoot a
    deer, and, when cocking his gun, the main-spring broke. In his
    dream he thought he heard distinctly the crack of the spring when
    it broke. He again awoke, and his fears were confirmed, and he
    immediately urged his friends to rise and get ready to start.
    Directly after he arose he went to his gun to examine it, and, in
    cocking it, the main-spring snapped off. This circumstance alarmed
    them, and they soon had breakfast, and were ready to leave. To
    prevent delay, the girl was put on the horse and started off, and,
    as soon as it was light enough, the rest followed. Before they had
    gone far, a young dog, belonging to Wells, manifested much alarm,
    and ran back to the house. Wells called him, but, after going a
    short distance, he invariably ran back.

    Not wishing to leave him, as he was valuable, he went after him,
    but had gone only a short distance toward the house, when five
    Indians rose from behind a large tree that had fallen, and
    approached him with extended hands. The men who were with him fled
    instantly, and he would have followed, but the Indians were so
    close that he thought it useless. As they approached him, however,
    he fancied the looks of a very powerful Indian, who was nearest
    him, boded no good, and being a swift runner, and thinking it "neck
    or nothing" at any rate, determined to attempt an escape. As the
    Indian approached, he threw at him his useless rifle, and dashed
    off toward the woods in the direction his companions had gone.
    Instead of firing, the Indians commenced a pursuit, for the purpose
    of making him a prisoner, but he outran them. After running some
    distance, and when they thought he would escape, they all stopped
    and fired at once, and every bullet struck him, but without doing
    him much injury or retarding his flight. Soon after this he saw
    where his companions concealed themselves, and, as he passed, he
    begged them to fire on the Indians, and save him; but they were
    afraid, and kept quiet. He continued his flight, and, after a short
    time, overtook the girl with the horse. She quickly understood his
    danger, and dismounted instantly, urging him to take her place,
    while she would save herself by concealment. He mounted, but
    without a whip, and for want of one could not get the old horse out
    of a trot. This delay brought the Indians upon him again directly,
    and as soon as they were near enough they fired--and this time with
    more effect, as one of the balls struck him in the hip and lodged
    in his groin. But this saved his life; it frightened the horse into
    a gallop, and he escaped, although he suffered severely for several
    months afterward.

    The Indians were afterward pursued, and surprised at their morning
    meal; and, when fired on, four of them were killed, but the other,
    though wounded, made his escape. Bridges, who was taken prisoner
    near Johnstown when Adams was murdered, saw him come to his people,
    and describes him as having been shot through the chest, with
    leaves stuffed in the bullet-holes to stop the bleeding.

The first white child born in Raystown was William Frazer. When the
Revolution broke out, Bedford county furnished two companies, a greater
portion of one of the companies being recruited in what now constitutes
Huntingdon and Blair counties. Among these were a man named McDonald,
another named Fee, from the mouth of Raystown Branch, and George
Weston, a brother of the tory shot at Kittaning, and a man named

The town of Bedford was for a long time the residence of General A. St.
Clair and a number of others who subsequently figured prominently in
the affairs of the nation. For pure patriotism and a willingness to
spend their blood and treasure for the cause of liberty, as well as the
defence of their brethren on the confines of the county, few towns
could excel Bedford, which reflected such credit upon them as will be
remembered by the grateful descendants of the frontier-men when history
fails to do them justice.



The country between the mouth of the Raystown Branch of the Juniata
and what is called the Crossings was thinly settled prior to the
Revolution. The land, and general appearance of things, did not strike
settlers very favorably; hence it may be assumed that it was only taken
up about 1772, when the new-comers from the eastern counties had
already taken up the choice tracts lying contiguous to the river.

The first depredation committed on the Branch, near its mouth, by the
savages, occurred in May, 1780. A band of roving Indians were known to
be in the country, as several robberies had occurred in Hartslog
Valley, at houses belonging to men who with their families were forted
either at Lytle's or at Huntingdon. A scout had ranged the entire
frontier in search of these depredators, but could not find them. They
were seen in Woodcock Valley, and information immediately conveyed to
the commander at the fort in Huntingdon. A scout was sent to Woodcock
Valley, but got upon the wrong trail, as the Indians had crossed the
Terrace Mountain, where, it appears, they divided into two parties. One
of them went to the house of one Sanders, on the Branch; and just as
the family were seating themselves at the table to eat dinner, five of
the savages bounded in, and killed Sanders, his wife, and three
children. An Englishman and his wife, whose names are not recollected,
were in the house at the time, both of whom begged for their lives,
declared they were loyal to the king, and would accompany them. The
Indians agreed to take them along as prisoners, notwithstanding at that
period scalps commanded nearly as high a price as prisoners. The
Englishman and his wife were taken to Montreal.

The day following the above massacre, the other party of savages, who
it appears had taken the country nearer the Juniata to range through,
made their appearance at the house of a Mrs. Skelly, who was sick in
bed at the time, and her nearest neighbor, Mrs. Elder, being there on a
visit. It was a beautiful May-day Sabbath afternoon, when Mrs. Elder
prepared to go home, and Felix Skelly, the son, agreed to accompany her
part of the way. They had gone probably a hundred rods through a
meadow, when Mrs. Elder noticed a savage, partly concealed behind some
elder-bushes. She stopped suddenly, and told Felix, who had got a
little in advance, to return, as there were Indians about. Skelly said
he thought not, and advised her to come on, or it would be night before
he could return. Mrs. Elder stood still, however, and soon saw the
figure of the Indian so plainly as not to be mistaken, when she
screamed to Felix to run, and, when in the act of turning around, a
savage sprang from behind an elder bush into the path, and seized her
by the hair. Another seized Skelly, and in a moment the shout of
victory went up, and three or four more Indians came from their places
of concealment. Finding themselves captives, and unable to remedy
matters, they submitted with a good grace.

Fortunately for them, the warrior who had command of the party could
speak a little English, and was a little more humane than the
generality of savages of the day. He gave Mrs. Elder positive assurance
that no harm should befall her. He would not, however, give the same
assurance to Skelly. They took up their line of march over the Terrace
Mountain, crossed over to the base of the Alleghany, avoiding as much
as possible the white settlements, and crossed the mountain by the
Kittaning Path.

Skelly, although but seventeen years of age, was an athletic fellow,
well built, and weighed in the neighborhood of one hundred and eighty
pounds. The Indians, noticing his apparent strength, and in order
probably to tire him so that he would make no effort to escape, loaded
him down with the plunder they had taken in Hartslog Valley. In
addition to this, they found on the Alleghany Mountains some excellent
wood for making bows and arrows, a quantity of which they cut and bound
together, and compelled Skelly to carry. Mrs. Elder was obliged to
carry a long-handled frying-pan, which had been brought all the way
from Germany by a Dunkard family, and had, in all probability, done
service to three or four generations. Of course, Mrs. Elder, burdened
with this alone, made no complaint.

At length the party reached an Indian town on the Alleghany River,
where it was determined that a halt should take place in order to
recruit. One of the Indians was sent forward to apprise the town of
their coming; and on their entering the town they found a large number
of savages drawn up in two lines about six feet apart, all armed with
clubs or paddles. Skelly was relieved of his load and informed that the
performance would open by his being compelled to run the gauntlet.
Skelly, like a man without money at one o'clock who has a note to meet
in the bank before three, felt the importance and value of _time_;
so, walking leisurely between the lines, he bounded off at a speed that
would have done credit to a greyhound, and reached the far end without
receiving more than one or two light blows. He was then exempt, as no
prisoner was compelled to undergo the same punishment twice.

The Indians, disappointed by the fleetness of Skelly, expected to more
than make up for it in pummelling Mrs. Elder; but in this they reckoned
without their host. The word was given for her to start, but the
warrior who had captured her demurred, and not from disinterested
motives, either, as will presently appear. His objections were
overruled, and it was plainly intimated that she must conform to the
custom. Seeing no method of avoiding it, Mrs. Elder, armed with the
long-handled pan, walked between the lines with a determined look. The
first savage stooped to strike her, and in doing so his scant dress
exposed his person, which Mrs. Elder saw, and anticipated his intention
by dealing him a blow on the exposed part which sent him sprawling upon
all-fours. The chiefs who were looking on laughed immoderately, and the
next four or five, intimidated by her heroism, did not attempt to raise
their clubs. Another of them, determined to have a little fun, raised
his club; but no sooner had he it fairly poised than she struck him
upon the head with the frying-pan in such a manner as in all likelihood
made him see more stars than ever lit the "welkin dome." The Indians
considered her an Amazon, and she passed through the lines without
further molestation; but, as she afterward said, she "did it in a

The squaws, as soon as she was released, commenced pelting her with
sand, pulling her hair, and offering her other indignities, which she
would not put up with, and again had recourse to her formidable
weapon--the long-handled pan. Lustily she plied it, right and left,
until the squaws were right glad to get out of her reach.

In a day or two the line of march for Detroit was resumed, and for many
weary days they plodded on their way. After the first day's journey,
the warrior who had captured Mrs. Elder commenced making love to her.
Her comely person had smitten him; her courage had absolutely
fascinated him, and he commenced wooing her in the most gentle manner.
She had good sense enough to appear to lend a willing ear to his
plaintive outpourings, and even went so far as to intimate that she
would become his squaw on their arrival at Detroit. This music was of
that kind which in reality had "charms to soothe the savage," and
matters progressed finely.

One night they encamped at a small Indian village on the bank of a
stream in Ohio. Near the town was an old deserted mill, in the upper
story of which Skelly and the rest of the male prisoners were placed
and the door bolted. That evening the Indians had a grand dance and a
drunken revel, which lasted until after midnight. When the revel ended,
Skelly said to his comrades in captivity that he meant to escape if
possible. He argued that if taken in the attempt he could only be
killed, and he thought a cruel death by the savages would be his fate,
at all events, at the end of the journey. They all commenced searching
for some means of egress, but none offered, save a window. The sash was
removed, when, on looking out into the clear moonlight, to their horror
they discovered that they were immediately over a large body of water,
which, formed the mill-dam, the distance to it being not less than
sixty feet. They all started back but Skelly. He, it appears, had set
his heart upon a determined effort to escape, and he stood for a while
gazing upon the water beneath him. Every thing was quiet; not a breath
of air was stirring. The sheet of water lay like a large mirror,
reflecting the pale rays of the moon. In a minute Skelly formed the
desperate determination of jumping out of the mill-window.

"Boys," whispered he, "I am going to jump. The chances are against me;
I may be killed by the fall, recaptured by the savages and killed, or
starve before I reach a human habitation; but then I _may escape_, and,
if I do, I will see my poor mother, if she is still alive, in less than
ten days. With me, it is freedom from this captivity _now_, or death."
So saying, he sprang from the window-sill, and, before the affrighted
prisoners had time to shrink, they heard the heavy plunge of Skelly
into the mill-dam. They hastened to the window, and in an instant saw
him emerge from the water unharmed, shake himself like a spaniel, and
disappear in the shadow of some tall trees. The wary savage sentinels,
a few minutes after the plunge, came down to ascertain the noise, but
Skelly had already escaped. They looked up at the window, concluded
that the prisoners had amused themselves by throwing something out, and
returned to their posts.

The sufferings of Skelly were probably among the most extraordinary
ever endured by any mortal man. He supposed that he must have walked at
least forty miles before he stopped to rest. He was in a dense forest,
and without food. The morning was hazy, and the sun did not make its
appearance until about ten o'clock, when, to his dismay, he found he
was bearing nearly due south, which would lead him right into the heart
of a hostile savage country. After resting a short time, he again
started on his way, shaping his course by the sun northeast, avoiding
all places which bore any resemblance to an Indian trail. That night
was one that he vividly remembered the balance of his life. As soon as
it was dark, the cowardly wolves that kept out of sight during the day
commenced howling, and soon got upon his track. The fearful proximity
of the ravenous beasts, and he without even so much as a knife to
defend himself, drove him almost to despair, when he discovered a sort
of cave formed by a projecting rock. This evidently was a wolf's den.
The hole was quite small, but he forced his body through it, and closed
the aperture by rolling a heavy stone against it. Soon the wolves came,
and the hungry pack, like a grand chorus of demons, kept up their
infernal noise all night. To add to the horrors of his situation, he
began to feel the pangs of both hunger and thirst. With the break of
day came relief, for his cowardly assailants fled at dawn. He ventured
out of the den, and soon resolved to keep on the lowlands. After
digging up some roots, which he ate, and refreshing himself at a
rivulet, he travelled on until after nightfall, when he came upon the
very edge of a precipice, took a step, and fell among five Indians
sitting around the embers of a fire. Uninjured by the fall, he sprang
to his feet, bounded off in the darkness before the Indians could
recover from their surprise, and made good his escape.

In this way he travelled on, enduring the most excruciating pains from
hunger and fatigue, until the fourth day, when he struck the Alleghany
River in sight of Fort Pitt; at which place he recruited for a week,
and then returned home by way of Bedford, in company with a body of
troops marching east.

His return created unusual gladness and great rejoicing, for his
immediate friends mourned him as one dead.

Mrs. Elder gave a very interesting narrative on her return, although
she did not share in the sufferings of Skelly. She was taken to
Detroit, where she lived in the British garrison in the capacity of a
cook. From there she was taken to Montreal and exchanged, and reached
home by way of Philadelphia.

Felix Skelly afterward moved to the neighborhood of Wilmore, in Cambria
county, where he lived a long time, and died full of years and honors.



As an Indian post of ancient date, none is more universally known than
"Standing Stone," where Huntingdon now stands. The very earliest
traders could never ascertain by Indian tradition how long it had been
a village, but that it dated back to a very remote period may be judged
from the fact that the land on the flat between Stone Creek and
Huntingdon was under cultivation one hundred and five years ago. It was
used as one extensive corn-field, with the exception of that portion
lying near the mouth of the creek, where the Indian town stood, and
where also was a public ground, used on great occasions for councils or

The Standing Stone--that is, the _original_ stone--was, according
to John Harris, fourteen feet high and six inches square. It stood on
the right bank of Stone Creek, near its mouth, and in such a position
as to enable persons to see it at a considerable distance, either from
up or down the river.

About this self-same Standing Stone there still exist contradictory
opinions. These we have endeavored to ascertain; and, after weighing
them carefully, we have come to the conclusion that no person now
living ever saw part or parcel of the _original_ stone, notwithstanding
Dr. Henderson delivered what some are disposed to believe a portion of
it to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

The original Standing Stone, we are induced to believe, in addition to
serving a similar capacity to that of a guide-board at a cross-road,
was the official record of the tribe. On it, no doubt, were engraved
all the important epochs in its history,--its wars, its mighty deeds,
its prowess in battle, and its skill in the chase. It might, too, have
served as a sacred tablet to the memory of many a noble chief who fell
by the arrow of an enemy. These things were, no doubt, in cabalistic
characters; and, although each inscription may have been small, its
meaning may have taken in almost an unbounded scope, as Indian brevity
generally does.

This stone was once the cause of a war. The Tuscaroras, residing some
thirty or forty miles down the river,--probably in Tuscarora
Valley,--wished to declare war against the tribe at Standing Stone, for
some real or fancied insult, and for this purpose sent them repeated
war-messages, which the tribe at the Stone refused to give ear to,
knowing as they did the strength and power of the enemy. Taking
advantage of the absence of a large part of the tribe on a hunt, the
Tuscaroras, in great force, came upon the village, captured the stone,
and carried it off. Immediately after the return of the warriors, the
entire available war-force was despatched after the depredators, who
were soon overtaken. A bloody conflict ensued, and the trophy was
recaptured and carried back in triumph.

Dr. Barton, it is said, discovered that the word _Oneida_ meant
"Standing Stone," in the language of the Southern Indians.[2] The
_Oneida_ tribe of the Iroquois had a tradition that their forefathers
came from the South; consequently, the tribe at Standing Stone may have
been part of the Oneida tribe instead of Delawares, as was generally
supposed. The Tuscaroras, according to history, came from the South and
became one of the Iroquois confederation in 1712. The language of the
two tribes in question, although not identical, bore a strong affinity
to each other. Hence we may surmise that the characters upon the stone
were understood by the Tuscaroras, and that it possessed, in their
eyes, sufficient value to move it some forty or fifty miles, under what
we should call disadvantageous circumstances, especially when it is
known that stones of a better finish could have been found anywhere
along the Juniata River.

          [2] Morgan, in his "League of the Iroquois," gives it a
          different interpretation.

There is no doubt at all but what the original stone was removed by the
Indians and taken with them in 1754 or 1755, for it is a
well-ascertained fact that the Indians in the valley, with some few
exceptions, (Aughwick, for instance,) joined the French in the above

The first survey of the land on which Huntingdon now stands was made by
Mr. Lukens, in behalf of a claimant named Crawford, in 1756. It is
therein named as "George Crogan's improvement." It is not improbable
that Crogan may have claimed the improved fields and site of the
deserted village, but that he ever made any improvement beyond probably
erecting a trading-post there is a matter of some doubt. His whole
history proves that he was no _improving_ man.

On the second stone erected were found the names of John and Charles
Lukens, Thomas Smith, and a number of others, with dates varying from
1768 to 1770, cut or chiselled. This stone was most unquestionably
erected, by some of the men whose names it bore, on the same spot where
the original stone stood, but was subsequently removed to or near where
the old court-house in Huntingdon formerly stood. This position it
occupied for many years, and might still stand as a monument of the
past, had not some Vandal taken it into his head to destroy it. One
piece of it still remains in a wall of the foundation of a house in

The old Indian graveyard (and an extensive one it must have been) was
on the high ground, near where the present Presbyterian church stands.
To the credit of the Huntingdon folks be it said, they have never
permitted a general exhumation of the bones of the Indians, to fill
scientific cabinets, gratify the morbid appetites of the curious, or
even to satisfy the less objectionable zeal of the antiquarian.

The few white settlers who lived at the Stone, in 1762, partially
erected a stockade fort; but before the spring of 1763 they were forced
to abandon it, as well as their houses, and fly to Carlisle for
protection. When the settlers returned, in 1770, the fort still stood,
though partially decayed. Immediately on the breaking out of the war of
the Revolution, the fort was rebuilt on a more extended scale by the
few inhabitants of the town and surrounding country. It was located
near where the court-house now stands, immediately on the bluff, and,
according to the traces of it discovered by the present generation,
must have covered ten acres of ground. It was strongly built; and, when
the savages were in the midst of their depredations, it was the only
reliable refuge--before the erection of the Lead Mine Fort, in Sinking
Valley--for all the people residing as far west as the base of the
Alleghany Mountains.

No actual attempt was ever made against Standing Stone Fort; neither
were there ever any Indians seen, except on two or three occasions,
very close to it. A party of lurking savages were once surprised and
shot at by a number of scouts on the hill where the graveyard now
stands; but they made good their escape without any injury being done.

At another time, by a display of cool courage, as well as shrewdness,
that would do any general credit, the commander of the fort
unquestionably saved the place from total annihilation. One morning a
large body of savages appeared upon the ridge on the opposite side of
the river, and, by theirmanoeuvering, it was clearly evident that
they meditated an attack, which, under the circumstances, must have
proved disastrous to the settlers, for not more than ten men able to
bear arms were in the fort at the time--the majority having left on a
scouting expedition. The commander, with judgment that did him infinite
credit, marshalled his men, and paraded them for half an hour in such a
manner as to enable the Indians to see a constant moving of the middle
of the column, but neither end of it, while the drums kept up a
constant clatter. In addition to this, he ordered all the women out,
armed them with frying-pans, brooms, or whatever he could lay his hands
upon, and marched them about the enclosure after the same manner in
which he did the men. The enemy could only make out the dim outlines of
the people and hear the noise. The stratagem succeeded, and, after a
very short council of war, the Indians disappeared.

Among those who figured about Standing Stone, at the beginning of the
Revolution, were the Bradys. Hugh Brady's name appears in some of the
old title-deeds; and the father of Sam. Brady (rendered famous by R. B.
McCabe, Esq.) lived at the mouth of the little run opposite Huntingdon.
Within the walls of Standing Stone Fort, General Hugh Brady and a
twin-sister were born. All the Bradys went to the West Branch of the
Susquehanna during the Revolution. Hugh entered the army at an early
age, and, step by step, rose from the ranks to the exalted position he
occupied at the time of his death. A characteristic anecdote is related
of him. At one time he was lying ill at Erie, and his physician told
him he could not survive. "Let the drums beat," said he; "my knapsack
is swung, and Hugh Brady is ready to march!" He recovered, however, and
died only a few years ago, at Sunbury.

The only massacre by Indians in the immediate vicinity of Standing
Stone occurred on the 19th of June, 1777, at what was then known as the
"Big Spring," two miles west of the fort. In consequence of hostile
bands of Indians having been seen at a number of places in the
neighborhood, and the general alarm which followed, people commenced
flocking to the forts from every direction.

On the day above named, Felix Donnelly and his son Francis, and
Bartholomew Maguire and his daughter, residing a short distance from
the mouth of Shaver's Creek, placed a number of their movable effects
upon horses, and, with a cow, went down the river, for the purpose of
forting at Standing Stone. Jane Maguire was in advance, driving the
cow, and the Donnellys and Maguire in the rear, on the horses. When
nearly opposite the Big Spring, an Indian fired from ambuscade and
killed young Donnelly. His father, who was close to him, caught him,
for the purpose of keeping him upon the horse. Maguire urged the old
man to fly, but he refused to leave his son. Maguire then rode to his
side, and the two held the dead body of Francis. While in this
position, three Indians rushed from their ambuscades with terrific
yells, and fired a volley, one bullet striking Felix Donnelly, and the
other grazing Maguire's ear, carrying away a portion of his hair. The
bodies of both the Donnellys fell to the ground, and Maguire rode
forward, passing (probably without noticing her) his daughter. The
Indians, after scalping the murdered men, followed Jane, evidently with
the intention of making a prisoner of her. The fleetest of them
overtook her, and grasped her by the dress, and with uplifted tomahawk
demanded her to surrender; but she struggled heroically. The strings of
her short-gown gave way, and by an extraordinary effort she freed
herself, leaving the garment in the hand of the savage; then, seizing
the cow's tail, she gave it a twist, which started the animal running,
and gave her an impetus which soon enabled her to pass her father. The
savage still followed, but in the mean time Maguire had recovered from
the consternation caused by the massacre, and immediately aimed his
rifle at the Indian, when the latter took shelter behind a tree. At
this juncture, a number of men who were pitching quoits at Cryder's
Mill, on the opposite side of the river, who had heard the firing and
the whoops of the savages, put off in a canoe to engage the Indians;
but they were soon discovered, and the Indian, shaking Jane Maguire's
short-gown derisively at them, disappeared. The men, doubtful as to the
number of the enemy, returned to the mill, to await the arrival of a
greater force.

Maguire and his daughter reached the fort in a state better imagined
than described. The garrison was soon alarmed, and a number of armed
men started in pursuit of the savages. At the mill they were joined by
the men previously mentioned; and, although every exertion was made in
their power, they could not get upon their trail, and the pursuit was

The dead bodies of the Donnellys were taken to Standing Stone, and
buried upon what was then vacant ground; but the spot where they now
rest is pointed out in a garden in the heart of the borough of

Jane Maguire, who certainly exhibited a very fair share of the heroism
of the day in her escape from the savage, afterward married a man named
Dowling, and moved to Raystown Branch, where she reared a family of
children, some of whom are still living.

Opposite the mouth of the Raystown Branch lived Colonel Fee, an active
and energetic man during the Revolution. He was in Captain Blair's
expedition against the tories, and for a while served as a private in
the army. His widow (a sister of the late Thomas Jackson, of Gaysport)
is still living, at the advanced age of eighty-seven years, and to her
we are indebted for much valuable information in the construction of
these pages.

The Cryders, too, are worthy of a special notice. They consisted of a
father, mother, and seven sons. They built a mill at the Big Spring,
which served for the people of Standing Stone and the surrounding
country. They were all men suitable for the times--rugged and daring. A
majority of them were constantly in service during the war of the
Revolution, either as frontier-men, scouts, or fort guards. Michael
Cryder, the father, used to spend his days at his mill and his nights
at the fort during the troublesome times, and it was himself and five
of his sons who accomplished the then extraordinary achievement of
running the first ark-load of flour down the Juniata River.

The Standing Stone is frequently mentioned in the Archives, but its
name is mostly coupled with rumors, grossly exaggerated, of attacks by
tories, &c. There is no doubt whatever but that great distress,
principally arising from a want of provisions, prevailed there during
the war.

When the alarms were most frequent, and Council had been importuned
time and again to send provisions to Standing Stone, as well as men for
its defence, and munitions, a circular was issued to the county
lieutenants, dated July 16, 1778, from which we extract the following:--

    It is proper to acquaint you that Colonel Broadhead's regiment, now
    on a march to Pittsburg, is ordered by the Board of War to the
    Standing Stone; and we have ordered three hundred militia from
    Cumberland, and two hundred from York, to join them.

This promise to the ear of the affrighted settlers was broken to the
hope. Only seventy of the Cumberland militia were taken to the Standing
Stone, and thirty of them soon after removed to garrison the Lead Mine

Huntingdon was laid out previous to the commencement of
hostilities--probably in 1775,--but it retained the name of Stone Town
for many years. With the exception of Frankstown, it is the oldest town
on the Juniata. On the formation of the county, in 1787, it took the
same name. The county, during the late war with Great Britain,
furnished three full companies; and, although it once was the
stronghold of tories, we can now safely say that it stands among the
most patriotic in the State.




The first outbreak of the war in 1775 found the frontier inhabitants
few in number and without arms. Living in a remote part of the State,
where no invading foe would be likely to come, many young and vigorous
men went forward and joined the army. This fancied security, however,
proved a sad delusion to the frontier-men; and the absence of any
regular means of defence was only severely felt when the savages came
down from the mountain, ripe for rapine, blood, and theft. The fact
that the northwestern savages had allied themselves to the English was
only fully realized by the residents of the Juniata Valley when the
painted warriors came down the Kittaning War Path, and commenced their
infernal and atrocious work by scalping women and innocent babes.

The first alarm and panic over, people collected together and consulted
about some means of defence. The more prudent were in favor of
abandoning their farms and retiring to some of the eastern settlements,
which many did, especially after it was discovered that so many of the
king's subjects were likely to remain loyal instead of joining the
cause of the patriots. The more daring would not agree to abandon their
homes, but at once pledged themselves to defend their firesides at the
risk of their lives.

To this end, in the fall of 1777, and in the spring of 1778, a number
of fortifications were commenced, the farms abandoned, or partially so,
and the inhabitants assumed an attitude of defence. These forts were
generally stockades, built of logs or puncheons, with loop-holes made
to flare on the outside, in order to bring rifles to bear in several

The first of these forts was built near where McCahen's Mill now
stands, which was called Fetter's or Frankstown, about a mile above
Hollidaysburg. A barn on the flat opposite the second lock, a mile
below Hollidaysburg, was turned into a fort and called Holliday's. It
was an old barn, but very large, and belonged to one Peter Titus.
Through the energy of Mr. Holliday and a few others, it was made
comfortable, but not deemed very secure. These forts served for the
families in what was termed the Frankstown district, comprising not
only Frankstown, but all the surrounding country. In Canoe Valley a
fort was built, called Lowry's Fort, but it was small and inconvenient;
and the house of Matthew Dean, a mile farther up, was also turned into
a temporary fortress in 1777. These served the people of Canoe Valley
and Water Street. The people of Hartslog Valley erected a fort south of
Alexandria, on Cannon's mill-run, called Lytle's. A large and
substantial garrison, called Hartsock's Fort, was built in Woodcock
Valley, which served for the people of that valley and also for the
residents of the middle of the Cove. The inhabitants of the lower end
of the Cove, and along Clover Creek, forted at the house of Captain
Phillips, some two or three miles above where Williamsburg now stands,
which was turned into a temporary fortress. Anderson's Fort was erected
where Petersburg now stands, while along Shaver's Creek there were two
others--one at General McElery's, and the other at Alexander
McCormick's, toward Stone Creek. The latter was merely a house
fortified without additional buildings, as was also the house of
Captain E. Rickets, in Warrior's Mark. Forts were also built at
Dunning's Creek, and on the Raystown Branch, while the forts at
Standing Stone and Bedford were enlarged and improved. The year
following, a very substantial fort was built at the residence of Jacob
Roller, in Sinking Valley, to accommodate the large influx of people
into the valley. In the fall of 1778, Fort Roberdeau, or as it was
better known, the Lead Mine Fort, in Sinking Valley, was completed. It
was the largest as well as the best-defended post on the frontier. It
was built under the superintendence of General Roberdeau, and occupied
by Major Cluggage, with a regular company from Cumberland county. On
the ramparts two cannon were mounted, and in the fortress there were
plenty of small-arms and ammunition. This fort was strengthened by
government. Lead was exceedingly scarce, and a high value was attached
to it; and, fearing that the mines might fall into the hands of the
enemy, the most vigilant watch was kept and the most rigid military
discipline enforced.

During the summer of 1776, very few depredations were committed; but in
the following year, as succeeding chapters will show, the incursions
and massacres of the Indians were so bold and cruel that the utmost
consternation prevailed, and business was in a great measure suspended.
The settlers managed to get their sowing done in both fall and spring,
but much was sowed that never was reaped. To add to their deplorable
condition, the horrors of starvation were constantly staring them in
the face.

In order to get in crops, it was necessary to have the reapers guarded
and sentinels posted at each corner of a field, while half-grown boys
followed in the very footsteps of the laborers, carrying their rifles
loaded and primed for defence. By such means they managed to get a
scant supply of grain.

The cattle were suffered to graze at large, for seldom, if ever, any of
them were molested. Hogs, too, were suffered to run at large in the
woods, feeding upon roots and acorns. When meat was wanted, a party ran
down a hog or heifer, butchered it, and took it to the fort. As for
such luxuries as coffee, tea, sugar, &c., they were among the missing,
and little cared for.

It is not, we hope, to the discredit of any of the best men in the
Juniata Valley now, to say that their fathers were born in forts and
rocked in sugar-troughs, and their grandfathers wore entire suits,
including shoes, made of buckskin, lived sometimes on poor fare, and
short allowance at that. They were the men whose sinewy arms hewed down
the monarchs of the forest, and, with shovel, hoe, plough, and pick,
that we might enjoy the bounties of mother earth when they were
mouldering in the bosom thereof, made "waste places glad" and the
wilderness to blossom like the rose. Hallowed be their names! But,
while we raise the tuneful lay to sing psalms of praise to the glorious
old pioneers who by hardship and toil have entailed such blessings upon
us, is it not a melancholy reflection to think that in but a few
succeeding generations the scanty pages of _ancient_ histories
alone will be the monuments to chronicle their deeds?



We have been unable to procure any thing like a full and complete list
of the early settlers of the entire valley; yet we deem it necessary to
give what we have procured, as a necessary adjunct to our work. It will
be perceived that many of the names are familiar, and the descendants
are still scattered profusely over this section of the country, as well
as the Union.

Mr. Bell, in his Memoir, states that, at the time of his earliest
recollection, between the Stone (Huntingdon) and the mountain, the
pioneers had principally settled along the streams. The prevailing
religion was the Presbyterian, although there were Lutherans and Roman
Catholics, "and probably as many who professed no religion at all as
all the other denominations put together."

In addition to those whose names have already appeared, or will appear
hereafter, we may incidentally mention, as early settlers about
Lewistown, the McClays, McNitts, and Millikin; west of Lewistown, along
the river, the Junkins, Wilsons, Bratton, and Stackpoles.

[Illustration: HART'S WATERING PLACE.]

At Huntingdon, Ludwig Sills, Benjamin Elliot, Abraham Haynes, Frank
Cluggage, Mr. Allabaugh, and Mr. McMurtrie; west of Huntingdon, in the
neighborhood of Shaver's Creek, Samuel Anderson, Bartholomew Maguire,
General McElevy, McCormick, and Donnelly. Of course, this place was
settled at a later day than the country farther east.

The first house erected where Alexandria now stands was located near a
spring, and was built and occupied by two young Scotchmen, named
Matthew Neal and Hugh Glover, as a kind of trading-post. They dealt in
goods generally, and in whiskey particularly. The natural consequences
of a free indulgence in the latter were fights innumerable, "even in
them days," and the place received the euphonious title of "Battle
Swamp," which clung to it for many years. Near that place, at what was
called "Charles's Fording of the Big Juniata," was the celebrated log
which gave rise to the name of the valley. Charles Caldwell lived in
the neighborhood--was the oldest settler, and the only one residing
within two miles of "Battle Swamp." In what then constituted the
valley--say in 1776--lived John Tussey, Robert Caldwell, and Edward
Rickets, on the banks of the Little Juniata. On the main stream, or
what was then termed the Frankstown Branch, on the northwest side,
resided John Bell, William Travis, James Dean, Moses Donaldson, and
Thomas Johnston. On the southwest bank resided John Mitchell and Peter
Grafius. George Jackson lived on the banks of the Little Juniata,
probably a mile from the mouth of Shaver's Creek; and a mile farther up
lived Jacob and Josiah Minor. In the neighborhood of Water Street and
Canoe Valley, John and Matthew Dean, Jacob Roller, John Bell, Lowry,
Beattys, Moreheads, Simonton, Vanzant, John Sanders, Samuel Davis,
Edward Milligan. Near Frankstown, and in it, Lazarus Lowry, the Moores,
Alexander McDowell. West of Frankstown, Joseph McCune, Mclntyre, John
McKillip, McRoberts, and John Crouse. Most of the latter lived along
where the Reservoir now is--the building of which destroyed the old
McCune and McRoberts farms. On the flat, west of Frankstown, lived
Peter Titus and John Carr; in the Loop, A. Robinson and W. Divinny;
John Long, near where Jackson's farm now is; Foster, where McCahen's
Mill now stands; and a little distance farther west, David Bard, a
Presbyterian preacher; Thomas and Michael Coleman, Michael Wallack,
James Hardin, a Mr. Hileman, and David Torrence, in the neighborhood of
where Altoona now stands. Of course, this list does not comprise all
the old settlers, nor probably even a majority of them, but we copy a
portion of the names from Mr. Bell's Memoir. A number of them were
given to us by Maguire, and some were found in an old ledger, belonging
to Lazarus Lowry when he kept store in Frankstown in 1790.

The man Hart, whose name is perpetuated, in connection with his log, by
the valley we have spoken of, was an old German, who followed the
occupation of trading among the Indians. He was probably the first
permanent white settler along the Juniata west of the Standing Stone;
and, long before he settled, he crossed and recrossed the Alleghany
Mountains, by the old war-path, with his pack-horses. "John Hart's
Sleeping Place" is mentioned, in 1756, by John Harris, in making an
estimate of the distance between the rivers Susquehanna and Alleghany.
Hart's Sleeping Place is about twelve miles from the junction of the
Burgoon and Kittaning Buns, and still retains its name. When he took up
his residence along the river, he hewed down an immense tree, and
turned it into a trough, out of which he fed his horses and cattle;
hence the name, "Hart's Log."

It is stated that upon one occasion, when Hart was an old man, some
savages came into his settlement on a pillaging excursion. They knew
Hart, and went to his cabin, but he happened to be from home. On his
log they left a tomahawk, painted red, and a small piece of slate upon
which rude hieroglyphics were drawn--one resembling an Indian with a
bundle upon his back, over whose head were seven strokes and whose belt
was filled with scalps. In front of this drawing was the sun rising,
and behind them a picture of the moon.

On Hart's return, he soon found that Indians had been about. The
meaning of the articles left he could readily decipher. The red hatchet
upon the log signified that Indians were about, but to him they laid
down the hatchet. The picture of the rising sun signified that they
were going to the east. The strokes indicated the number of warriors,
and the bundle and scalps intimated that they would both plunder and
murder. The moon signified that they would return at night.

Hart, although he felt safe under such an assurance, had no desire to
encounter the red-skins; so he scratched upon the reverse of the slate
the outline of a _heart_, and laid by the side of it a pipe--which,
interpreted, meant, "Hart smokes with you the pipe of peace," and left.

On his return next day he found the Indians had returned, and passed
the night at his log, where they had left a quantity of pewter
platters, mugs, &c. It afterward appeared that they had been at several
houses, but the inmates had fled. From one they stole a quantity of
silver money, and at the house of a Dunkard they stole the pewter-ware.
At the log they attempted to run the metal into bullets, but, finding
it a failure, they probably left the heavy load in disgust.




Among the vicissitudes incident to the settlement of the valley was a
very serious one, in the shape of sometimes an absolute want of
flour--not always owing to a lack of grain, but the want of mills.
Especially did this operate seriously during the Revolution. The few
mills at such great distances apart rendered it necessary for parties
of neighbors to join in company, arm themselves, and go to mill
together--all waiting until the grain was turned into flour. The want
of adequate machinery prevented the erection of mills, and those that
were built prior to the Revolution, and during the continuance of the
war, could scarcely do the requisite amount of work for the country,
sparsely as it was settled. To look at some of the old gearing and
machinery in use then would only confirm the adage that "necessity is
the mother of invention."

The late Edward Bell, of Blair county, who rose to competence by his
own indomitable energy and perseverance, and commanded the esteem and
respect of all who knew him, once boasted to us that the first shoes he
ever wore he made for himself in Fort Lowry.

"And," said he, "I made them so well that I soon became shoemaker
to the fort. There is no doubt but that I could have followed the
business to advantage; but I never liked it, so I served a regular
apprenticeship to the millwrighting."

It is to this circumstance, then, that we are indebted for the
following unique description of the old continental mill, which still
stands at J. Green & Company's (formerly Dorsey's) forge, on the Little
Juniata, in Huntingdon county. It was built before the Revolution,--as
near as can be ascertained, in 1774,--by Jacob and Josiah Minor. Mr.
Bell, in his manuscript, says:--

    It was a curious piece of machinery when I first saw it. The house
    was about twelve feet high, and about fourteen feet square, made of
    small poles and covered with clapboards. There was neither floor
    nor loft in it. The husk was made of round logs built into the
    wall; the water or tub wheel was some three feet in diameter, and
    split boards driven into the sides of the shaft made the buckets.
    The shaft had a gudgeon in the lower end and a thing they called a
    spindle in the upper end, and was not dressed in any way between
    the claws. The stones were about two feet four or six inches in
    diameter, and not thick, and in place of a hoop they had cut a
    buttonwood-tree that was hollow and large enough to admit the
    stones, and sawed or cut it off to make the hoop. The hopper was
    made of clapboards, and a hole near the eye of the stone answered
    for the dampsil, with a pin driven in it, which struck the shoe
    every time the stone revolved. The meal-trough, made out of part of
    a gun, completed the grinding fixtures. The bolting-chest was about
    six feet long, two and half feet wide, and four feet high, made of
    live-wood puncheons, split, hewed, and jointed to hold flour, with
    a pair of deer-skins sewed together to shut the door. There was not
    one ounce of iron about the chest or bolting-reel. It had a crank
    or handle on one end, made of wood--the shaft, ribs, and arms, of
    the same material; and the cloth was leona muslin, or lining that
    looked like it.

Rather a one-horse concern for our day and generation! and its capacity
must have been about as one to one thousand, when compared with the
mills of the present age. We should like to see how some of the people
of the valley _now_ would relish bread baked from flour bolted
through Leona muslin! It might do for dyspepsia; indeed, we doubt
whether such a disease was known in the valley at so early a day.

The mill of which Mr. Bell speaks, although it may have been the first
in his neighborhood, was by no means the first driven by the waters of
the Juniata. William Patterson erected a mill, where Millerstown now
stands, as early as 1758, which, however, was carried off by a flood a
year or so after it was in operation.

The first mill in the Upper Valley was built on Yellow Creek, by the
squatters, previous to the edict of the Penn family which destroyed the
cabins; but in what year, or by whom built, or what its ultimate fate
was, we are unable to say.

The second mill in the valley was built where Spang's Mill now stands,
in Blair county, then considered a part of the Cove. It was erected by
a man named Jacob Neff, a Dunkard. This mill was burned down during the
Revolution by the Indians, but speedily rebuilt, and stood for many
years thereafter.

The third was the "Tub" Mill, of which Mr. Bell gives a description.
The term _tub_ was applied to it in consequence of the peculiar
formation of the water-wheel. Nearly all the mills of those days were
worked with a tub-wheel.

Directly after, a mill was erected by a Mr. Fetter, near where
McCahen's Mill now stands, near Hollidaysburg. No traces whatever are
left of it.

About the same period, two brothers, named Beebault, built a mill,
almost the counterpart of the Minor Mill, at the mouth of Spruce Creek.
Relics of this mill stood until within a few years.

The next was a small mill built by a man named Armitage, at Mill Creek,
below Huntingdon.

Nathaniel Garrard built one in Woodcock Valley, about six miles from

Another was built in the vicinity of Frankstown; another near where
Martha Forge, in the Gap, now stands.

Cryder's Mill, above Huntingdon, was finished about 1776.

These were all the mills that existed in the upper end of the valley
prior to the Revolution. Although small, they were evidently of immense
value--people having sometimes been compelled to travel some forty
miles to obtain their services. The vestiges of _all_ are gone,
like shadows that have passed away, save the old Continentaller
described by Mr. Bell. It alone stands, a relic of the past.



"The Great Cove, Little Cove, and Canolloways," are mentioned
frequently in government papers as far back as 1749, Indian traders
having penetrated them at a much earlier date than that; yet they only
figure prominently from that period. The Great Cove, now known as
Morrison's, commences at Pattonsville, in Bedford county, and ends at
Williamsburg, on the Juniata--bounded by Dunning's and Lock Mountains
on the west, and Tussey Mountain on the east. For fertile limestone
land, beautiful scenery, and splendid farms, few valleys in the State
equal--none surpass--Morrison's Cove.

The earliest settlement of the cove was effected by Scotch-Irish, as
early as 1749; but they shared the fate of the burnt-cabin folks when
Secretary Peters answered the prayers of the Indians, and were
expelled. Nothing daunted, however, many of them returned, and
commenced improving; that, too, before the scions of "Father Onus" had
acquired the right, title, and interest, to all and singular these fine
lands, for the munificent sum of £400!

The greater portion of the beautiful valley, however, was almost
unexplored until the Penns made the new purchase. About 1755, a colony
of Dunkards took up the southern portion of the Cove, and their
descendants hold possession of it to this day. They have unquestionably
the finest farms, as well as the most fertile land, in the State; and
right glad should we be to end _their_ portion of the chapter by
saying so, or even by adding that for thrift and economy they stand
unsurpassed; but a sense of candor compels us to speak of them as they
are,--"nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice."

In the first place, let it be understood that we are in no particle
indebted to them for one iota of the blessings of government we enjoy.
They are strict non-resistants; and in the predatory incursions of the
French and Indians, in 1756-63, and, in fact, during all the savage
warfare, they not only refused to take up arms to repel the savage
marauders and prevent the inhuman slaughter of women and children, but
they refused in the most positive manner to pay a dollar to support
those who were willing to take up arms to defend their homes and their
firesides, until wrung from them by the stern mandates of the law, from
which there was no appeal.

They did the same thing when the Revolution broke out. There was a
scarcity of men. Sixty able-bodied ones among them might readily have
formed a cordon of frontier defence, which could have prevented many of
the Indian massacres which took place between 1777 and 1780, and more
especially among their own people in the Cove. But not a man would
shoulder his rifle; they were _non-resistants_! They might, at least,
have furnished money, for they always had an abundance of that, the
hoarding of which appeared to be the sole aim and object of life with
them. But, no; not a dollar! They occupied neutral ground, and wished
to make no resistance. Again; they might have furnished supplies. And
they _did_ furnish supplies to those who were risking their lives to
repel the invaders,--but it was only when the almighty dollar
accompanied the demand.

After the massacre of thirty of them, in less than forty-eight hours,
Colonel Piper, the lieutenant-colonel of Bedford county, made a
stirring appeal to them. But it was of no avail; they were
non-resistants, and evidently determined to remain such.

Of the peculiar religious tenets of these primitive people we do not
profess to know any thing; hence our remarks are unbiassed. We are
solely recording historical facts.

As a curious anomaly in the history of the present generation, it may
be stated that, although they perform that part of the compact between
government and a good citizen which relates to paying taxes, _they
never vote_, neither can the most seductive persuasions of politicians
bring them to the polls. Like their forefathers, they are
non-resistant--producers, but non-consumers.

During the Indian wars of 1762, quite a number of murders were
committed in the Cove, and many captives taken, but the particulars are
too vague for history. Although we made every effort to ascertain the
names of some of the massacred and the circumstances attending their
massacre, we signally failed. It may, therefore, be supposed that, in
the absence of any record, there is no other method of ascertaining
facts extant.

During the Great Cove massacre, among others carried into captivity was
the family of John Martin. This incursion was indeed a most formidable
one, led by the kings Shingas and Beaver in person. How many were
killed there is no living witness to tell; neither can we conjecture
the number of prisoners taken. The following petition was sent by John
Martin to council:--

    _August 13, 1762._

    The Humble Petition of Your Most Obedient Servant Sheweth, Sir, may
    it pleas Your Excellancy, Hearing me in Your Clemancy a few Words.
    I, One of the Bereaved of my Wife and five Children, by Savage War
    at the Captivity of the Great Cove, after Many & Long Journeys, I
    Lately went to an Indian Town, viz., Tuskaroways, 150 miles Beyond
    Fort Pitts, & Entrested in Co^l. Bucquits & Co^l. Croghan's favor,
    So as to bear their Letters to King Beaver & Cap^t. Shingas,
    Desiring them to Give up One of my Daughters to me, Whiles I have
    Yet two Sons & One Other Daughter, if Alive, Among them--and after
    Seeing my Daughter with Shingas he Refused to Give her up, and
    after some Expostulating with him, but all in vain, he promised to
    Deliver her up with the Other Captives to y^r Excellency.

    Sir, y^r Excellency's Most Humble Serv^t, Humbly & Passionately
    Beseeches Y^r Beningn Compassion to interpose Y^r Excellencies
    Beneficent influence in favor of Y^r Excellencies Most Obedient &
    Dutiful Serv^t.


After the march of General Forbes from Raystown, and immediately
preceding it, no Indian depredations were committed in the Cove up to
the commencement of hostilities between the Colonies and Great Britain.
The Indians in the French interest were constantly on the alert; and
their spies prowling on the outskirts did not fail to report at
head-quarters the arrival at Raystown of Colonel Boquet and his army,
the formidable bearing and arms of which convinced the savages that it
was prudent to keep within the bounds of the French power.

The first Indian depredations of the Revolution in the Juniata Valley
were committed in November, 1777. A large body of Indians--not less
than thirty--armed with British rifles, ammunition, tomahawks,
scalping-knives, and all other murderous appliances they were capable
of using, came into the settlement with the avowed intention of
gathering scalps for His Britannic Majesty's officers at Detroit. Their
coming was not unlooked-for, but the settlers were unprepared for them.
The constant rumors afloat that a large body of savages, British, and
tories, were coming, struck the people with so much panic that there
was no effort made to give any such force as might come a warlike
reception, but their energies were concentrated in measures of defence.

The first Indian depredators, or at least the greater portion of them,
were seen at a camp-fire by a party of hunters; and if the proper
exertions had been made to cut them off, few other outrages would have
followed. The supposition is that there were two parties of about
fifteen each, who met at or near Neff's Mill, in the Cove. On their way
thither, the one party killed a man named Hammond, who resided along
the Juniata, and the other party killed a man named Ullery, who was
returning from Neff's Mill on horseback. They also took two children
with them as prisoners.

The alarm was spread among the inhabitants, and they fled to the
nearest forts with all despatch; and on this first expedition they
would have had few scalps to grace their belts, had the Dunkards taken
the advice of more sagacious people, and fled too; this, however, they
would not do. They would follow but half of Cromwell's advice:--they
were willing to put their "trust in God," but they would not "keep
their powder dry." In short, it was a compound they did not use at all.

The savages swept down through the Cove with all the ferocity with
which a pack of wolves would descend from the mountain upon a flock of
sheep. Some few of the Dunkards, who evidently had a latent spark of
love of life, hid themselves away; but by far the most of them stood
by and witnessed the butchery of their wives and children, merely
saying, "_Gottes wille sei gethan_."[3] How many Dunkard scalps they
carried to Detroit cannot now be, and probably never has been, clearly
ascertained,--not less than thirty, according to the best authority.
In addition to this, they loaded themselves with plunder, stole a
number of horses, and under cover of night the triumphant warriors
marched bravely away.

          [3] "God's will be done." This sentence was so frequently
          repeated by the Dunkards during the massacre, that the
          Indians must have retained a vivid recollection of it. During
          the late war with Great Britain, some of the older Indians
          on the frontier were anxious to know of the Huntingdon
          volunteers whether the "_Gotswiltahns_" still resided in
          the Cove. Of course our people could not satisfy them on such
          a vague point.

Thomas Smith and George Woods, both, we believe, justices of the peace
at the time, wrote to President Wharton as follows:--

    _November 27, 1777._

    Gentlemen:--The present situation of this country is so truly
    deplorable that we should be inexcusable if we delayed a moment in
    acquainting you with it. An Indian war is now raging around us in
    its utmost fury. Before you went down they killed one man at Stony
    Creek; since that time they have killed five on the mountain, over
    against the heads of Dunning's Creek, killed or taken three at the
    Three Springs, wounded one, and killed some children by Frankstown;
    and had they not providentially been discovered in the night, and a
    party gone out and fired on them, they would, in all probability,
    have destroyed a great part of that settlement in a few hours. A
    small party went out into Morrison's Cove scouting, and
    unfortunately divided; the Indians discovered one division, and out
    of eight killed seven and wounded the other. In short, a day hardly
    passes without our hearing of some new murder; and if the people
    continue only a week longer to fly as they have done for a week
    past, Cumberland county will be a frontier. From Morrison's,
    Crayl's, and Friend's Coves, Dunning's Creek, and one-half of the
    Glades, they are fled or forted; and, for all the defence that can
    be made here, the Indians may do almost what they please. We keep
    out ranging-parties, in which we go out by turns; but all that we
    can do in that way is but weak and ineffectual for our defence,
    because one-half of the people are fled: those that remain are too
    busily employed in putting their families and the little of their
    effects that they can save and take into some place of safety, so
    that the whole burden falls upon a few of the frontier inhabitants,
    for those who are at a distance from danger have not as yet offered
    us any assistance. We are far from blaming the officers of the
    militia because they have not ordered them out, for if they had,
    they really can be of little or no service, not only for the
    foregoing reasons, but also for these:--Not one man in ten of them
    is armed. If they were armed, you are sensible, take the country
    through, there is not one fourth man that is fit to go against
    Indians, and it might often happen that in a whole class there
    might not be a single person who is acquainted with the Indians'
    ways of the woods; and if there should be a few good men, and the
    rest unfit for that service, those who are fit to take the Indians
    in their own way could not act with the same resolution and spirit
    as if they were sure of being properly supported by men like
    themselves. The consequence would be that the Indians, after
    gaining an advantage over them, would become much more daring and
    fearless, and drive all before them. A small number of select men
    would be of more real service to guard the frontiers than six times
    that number of people unused to arms or the woods. It is not for us
    to dictate what steps ought to be taken, but some steps ought to be
    taken without the loss of an hour. The safety of your country, of
    your families, of your property, will, we are convinced, urge you
    to do every thing in your power to put the frontiers in some state
    of defence. Suppose there were orders given to raise about one
    hundred rangers, under the command of spirited officers, who were
    well acquainted with the woods and the Indians and could take them
    in their own way. They could be raised instantly, and we are
    informed there are a great number of rifles lying in Carlisle
    useless, although the back country is suffering for the want of
    arms. It was a fatal step that was taken last winter in leaving so
    many guns when the militia came from camp; about this place,
    especially, and all the country near it, they are remarkably
    distressed for the want of guns, for when the men were raised for
    the army you know we procured every gun that we could for their
    use. The country reflect hard on us now for our assiduity on those
    occasions, as it now deprives them of the means of defence. But
    this is not the only instance in which we hear reflections which
    are not deserved. The safety of our country then loudly called on
    us to send all the arms to the camp that could be procured, and it
    now as loudly calls on us to entreat that we may be allowed some as
    soon as possible, as also some ammunition; as that which was
    intrusted to our care is now almost delivered out to the officers
    who are fortifying, and what remains of it is not fit for rifles.
    We need not repeat our entreaties that whatever is done may be done
    as soon as possible, as a day's delay may be the destruction of

    We are, in haste, gentlemen,

      Your most obedient, humble servants,



    BEDFORD, _November 27, 1777_.

The persons mentioned as having been killed belonged mostly to the
Cove; but the number was greatly exaggerated, as in fact but two were
killed and one wounded. The other five escaped, and did not return
until after the report of their death had gone abroad. The names of the
killed we could not ascertain.

The band of Indians, after the Dunkard massacre, worked their way
toward the Kittaning war-path, leaving behind them some few stragglers
of their party whose appetite for blood and treasure had not been
satiated. Among others, an old and a young Indian stopped at Neff's
Mill. Neff was a Dunkard; but he was a single exception so far as
resistance was concerned. He had constantly in his mill his loaded
rifle, and was ready for any emergency. He had gone to his mill in the
morning without any knowledge of Indians being in the neighborhood, and
had just set the water-wheel in motion, when he discovered the two
Indians lurking, within a hundred yards, in a small wood below the
mill. Without taking much time to deliberate how to act, he aimed
through the window, and deliberately shot the old Indian. In an instant
the young Indian came toward the mill, and Neff ran out of the back
door and up the hill. The quick eye of the savage detected him, and he
fired, but missed his aim. Nothing daunted by the mishap, the savage
followed up the cleared patch, when both, as if by instinct, commenced
reloading their rifles. They stood face to face, not forty yards apart,
on open ground, where there was no possible chance of concealment. The
chances were equal: he that loaded first would be victor in the strife,
the other was doomed to certain death. They both rammed home the bullet
at the same time--with what haste may well be conjectured. This was a
critical juncture, for, while loading, neither took his eye off the
other. They both drew their ramrods at the same instant, but the
intense excitement of the moment caused the Indian to balk in drawing
his, and the error or mishap proved fatal, because Neff took advantage
of it, and succeeded in priming and aiming before the Indian. The
latter, now finding the muzzle of Neff's rifle bearing upon him,
commenced a series of very cunning gyrations and contortions to destroy
his aim or confuse him, so that he might miss him or enable him to
prime. To this end, he first threw himself upon his face; then,
suddenly rising up again, he jumped first to the right, then to the
left, then fell down again. Neff, not the least put off his guard,
waited until the Indian arose again, when he shot him through the head.

Neff, fearing that others might be about, left the mill and started to
the nearest settlement. A force was raised and the mill revisited; but
it was found a heap of smouldering cinders and ashes, and the dead
bodies of the Indians had been removed. It is altogether likely that
the rear of the savage party came up shortly after Neff had left, fired
the mill, and carried away their slain companions.

For the part Neff took in the matter he was excommunicated from the
Dunkard society. Nevertheless, he rebuilt his mill; but the Dunkards,
who were his main support previously, refused any longer to patronize
him, and he was eventually compelled to abandon the business.

On the 4th of May, 1781, a band of marauding savages entered the Cove
and murdered a man, woman, and two children, and took one man prisoner,
within a mile of the fort of John Piper, who was then colonel of the
county. Names or particulars could not be ascertained.

At another time--period not remembered--several prisoners were taken.

The name of the Cove was changed from the "Great Cove" to "Morrison's
Cove," in honor of a Mr. Morris, as early as 1770.



Among all the early pioneers of the upper end of the Juniata Valley
none was better known to the Indians than Thomas Coleman. His very name
inspired them with terror; and, in all their marauding, they carefully
avoided his neighborhood. He was, emphatically, an Indian-hater,--the
great aim and object of whose life appeared to be centred in the
destruction of Indians. For this he had a reason--a deep-seated revenge
to gratify, a thirst that all the savage blood in the land could not
slake,--superinduced by one of the most cruel acts of savage atrocity
on record.

It appears that the Coleman family lived on the West Branch of the
Susquehanna at an early day. Their habitation, it would also appear,
was remote from the settlements; and their principal occupation was
hunting and trapping in winter, boiling sugar in spring, and tilling
some ground they held during the summer. Where they originally came
from was rather a mystery; but they were evidently tolerably well
educated, and had seen more refined life than the forest afforded.
Nevertheless, they led an apparently happy life in the woods. There
were three brothers of them, and, what is not very common nowadays,
they were passionately attached to each other.

Early in the spring,--probably in the year 1763,--while employed in
boiling sugar, one of the brothers discovered the tracks of a bear,
when it was resolved that the elder two should follow and the younger
remain to attend to the sugar-boiling. The brothers followed the tracks
of the bear for several hours, but, not overtaking him, agreed to
return to the sugar-camp. On their arrival, they found the remains of
their brother boiled to a jelly in the large iron kettle! A sad and
sickening sight, truly; but the authors of the black-hearted crime had
left their sign-manual behind them,--an old tomahawk, red with the gore
of their victim, sunk into one of the props which supported the kettle.
They buried the remains as best they could, repaired to their home,
broke up their camp, abandoned their place a short time after, and
moved to the Juniata Valley.

Their first location was near the mouth of the river; but gradually
they worked their way west, until they settled somewhere in the
neighborhood of the mouth of Spruce Creek, on the Little Juniata, about
the year 1770. A few years after, the two brothers, Thomas and Michael,
the survivors of the family, moved to the base of the mountain, in what
now constitutes Logan township, near where Altoona stands, which then
was included within the Frankstown district.

These men were fearless almost to a fault; and on the commencement of
hostilities, or after the first predatory incursion of the savages, it
appears that Thomas gave himself up solely to hunting Indians. He was
in all scouting parties that were projected, and always leading the van
when danger threatened; and it has very aptly, and no doubt truly, been
said of Coleman, that when no parties were willing to venture out he
shouldered his rifle and ranged the woods alone in hopes of
occasionally picking up a stray savage or two. That his trusty rifle
sent many a savage to eternity there is not a shadow of doubt.
_He_, however, never said so. He was never known to acknowledge to
any of his most intimate acquaintances that he had ever killed an
Indian; and yet, strange as it may seem, he came to the fort on several
occasions with rather ugly wounds upon his body, and his knife and
tomahawk looked as if they had been used to some purpose. Occasionally,
too, a dead savage was found in his tracks, but no one could tell who
killed him. For such reserve Mr. Coleman probably had his own motives;
but that his fights with the savages were many and bloody is
susceptible of proof even at this late day. We may incidentally mention
that both the Colemans accompanied Captain Blair's expedition to
overtake the tories, and Thomas was one of the unfortunate "Bedford

To show how well Thomas was known, and to demonstrate clearly that he
had on sundry occasions had dealings with some of the savages without
the knowledge of his friends, we may state that during the late war
with Great Britain, on the Canadian frontier, a great many Indians made
inquiries about "_Old Coley_;" and especially one, who represented
himself as being a son of Shingas, pointed out to some of Captain
Allison's men, who were from Huntingdon county, a severe gash on his
forehead, by which he said he should be likely to remember "Coley" for
the balance of his life.

In the fall of 1777, Fetter's Fort was occupied by some twenty-five men
capable of bearing arms, belonging to the Frankstown district. Among
these were both the Colemans, their own and a number of other settler's

The Indians who had murdered the Dunkards, it appears, met about a mile
east of Kittaning Point, where they encamped, (the horses and plunder
having probably been sent on across the mountain,) in order to await
the arrival of the scattered forces. Thomas and Michael Coleman and
Michael Wallack had left Fetter's Fort in the morning for the purpose
of hunting deer. During the day, snow fell to the depth of some three
or four inches; and in coming down the Gap, Coleman and his party
crossed the Indian trail, and discovered the moccasin tracks, which
they soon ascertained to be fresh. It was soon determined to follow
them, ascertain their force, and then repair to the fort and give the
alarm. They had followed the trail scarcely half a mile before they saw
the blaze of the fire and the dusky outlines of the savages seated
around it. Their number, of course, could not be made out, but they
conjectured that there must be in the neighborhood of thirty; but, in
order to get a crack at them, Thomas Coleman made his companions
promise not to reveal their actual strength to the men in the fort.
Accordingly they returned and made report--once, for a wonder, not
exaggerated, but rather underrated. The available force, amounting to
sixteen men, consisting of the three above named, Edward Milligan,
Samuel Jack, William Moore, George Fetter, John Fetter, William
Holliday, Richard Clausin, John McDonald, and others whose names are
not recollected, loaded their rifles and started in pursuit of the
savages. By the time they reached the encampment, it had grown quite
cold, and the night was considerably advanced; still some ten or twelve
Indians were seated around the fire. Cautiously the men approached, and
with such silence that the very word of command was given in a whisper.
When within sixty yards, a halt was called. One Indian appeared to be
engaged in mixing paint in a pot over the fire, while the remainder
were talking,--probably relating to each other the incidents attending
their late foray. Their rifles were all leaning against a large tree,
and Thomas Coleman conceived the bold design of approaching the tree,
although it stood but ten feet from the fire, and securing their arms
before attacking them. The achievement would have been a brilliant one,
but the undertaking was deemed so hazardous that not a man would agree
to second him in so reckless and daring an enterprise. It was then
agreed that they all should aim, and at the given word fire. Coleman
suggested that each man should single out a particular savage to fire
at; but his suggestion was lost upon men who were getting nervous by
beginning to think their situation somewhat critical. Aim--we will not
call it deliberate--was taken, the word "_fire_!" was given, and
the sharp report of the rifles made the dim old woods echo. Some three
or four of the savages fell, and those who were sitting around the
fire, as well as those who were lying upon the ground, instantly sprang
to their feet and ran to the tree where their rifles stood. In the mean
time, Coleman said--

"Quick! quick! boys, load again! we can give them another fire before
they know where we are!"

But, on looking around, he was surprised to find nobody but Wallack and
Holliday left to obey his order! The number proving unexpectedly large,
the majority became frightened, and ran for the fort.

The Indians, in doubt as to the number of their assailants, took an
early opportunity to get out of the light caused by the fire and
concealed themselves behind trees, to await the further operations of
this sudden and unexpected foe.

Coleman, Wallack, and Holliday, deeming themselves too few in number to
cope with the Indians, followed their friends to Fetter's Fort.

Early the next morning, all the available force of the fort started in
pursuit of the Indians. Of course, they did not expect to find them at
the encampment of the night previous; so they took provisions and
ammunition along for several days' scout, in order, if possible, to
overtake the savages before they reached their own country. To this
end, Coleman was appointed to the command, and the march was among
those denominated by military men as _forced_.

When they reached the scene of the previous night's work, the evidence
was plain that the savages had departed in the night. This the hunters
detected by signs not to be mistaken by woodsmen; there was not a
particle of fire left, and the coals retained no warmth. The tracks of
the savages west of the fire, too, showed that they conformed to those
east of the fire, in appearance, whereas, those made by the hunters in
the morning looked quite differently. It was then evident that the
Indians had a start of some six or eight hours.

On the spot where the fire had been the small earthen paint-pot was
found, and in it a portion of mixed paint. Near the fire, numerous
articles were picked up:--several scalping-knives, one of which the
owner was evidently in the act of sharpening when the volley was
fired, as the whetstone was lying by its side; several tomahawks, a
powder-horn, and a number of other trifling articles. The ground was
dyed with blood, leaving no doubt remaining in regard to their
execution the night previous. They had both _killed and wounded_,--but
what number was to remain to them forever a mystery, for they carried
both dead and wounded with them.

This was a singular trait in savage character. They never left the body
of a dead or wounded warrior behind them, if by any possible human
agency it could be taken with them. If impossible to move it far, they
usually buried it, and concealed the place of burial with leaves; if in
an enemy's country, they removed the remains, even if in a state of
partial decay, on the first opportunity that offered. To prevent the
dead body of a brave from falling into the hands of an enemy appeared
with them a religious duty paramount even to sepulture. As an evidence
of this, Sam Brady, the celebrated Indian-fighter, once waylaid and
shot an old Indian on the Susquehanna who was accompanied by his two
sons, aged respectively sixteen and eighteen years. The young Indians
ran when their father fell, and Brady left the body and returned home.
Next morning, having occasion to pass the place, he found the body
gone, and by the tracks he ascertained that it had been removed by the
lads. He followed them forty miles before he overtook them, bearing
their heavy burden with the will of sturdy work-horses. Brady had set
out with the determination of killing both, but the sight so affected
him that he left them to pursue their way unharmed; and he subsequently
learned that they had carried the dead body one hundred and sixty
miles. Brady said that was the only chance in his life to kill an
Indian which he did not improve. It may be that filial affection
prompted the young savages to carry home the remains of their parents;
nevertheless, it is known that the dead bodies of Indians--ordinary
fighting-men--were carried, without the aid of horses, from the Juniata
Valley to the Indian burial-ground at Kittaning, and that too in the
same time it occupied in making their rapid marches between the two

But to return to our party. After surveying the ground a few moments,
they followed the Indian trail--no difficult matter, seeing that it was
filled with blood--until they reached the summit of the mountain, some
six or eight miles from the mouth of the Gap. Here a consultation was
held, and a majority decided that there was no use in following them
farther. Coleman, however, was eager to continue the chase, and
declared his willingness to follow them to their stronghold, Kittaning.

This issue, successful though it was, did not fail to spread alarm
through the sparsely-settled country. People from the neighborhood
speedily gathered their families into the fort, under the firm
impression that they were to be harassed by savage warfare not only
during the winter, but as long as the Revolutionary struggle was to
continue. However, no more Indians appeared; this little cloud of war
was soon dispelled, and the people betook themselves to their homes
before the holidays of 1777, where they remained during the winter
without molestation.

It is said of old Tommy Coleman--but with what degree of truth we are
unable to say--that, about twenty years ago, hearing of a delegation of
Indians on their way to Washington, he shouldered his trusty old rifle,
and went to Hollidaysburg. There, hearing that they had gone east on
the canal packet, he followed them some three miles down the
towing-path, for the express purpose of having a crack at one of them.
This story--which obtained currency at the time, and is believed by
many to this day--was probably put into circulation by some one who
knew his inveterate hatred of Indians. An acquaintance of his informs
us that he had business in town on the day on which the Indians passed
through; hence his appearance there. His gun he always carried with
him, even on a visit to a near neighbor. That he inquired about the
Indians is true; but it was merely out of an anxiety to see whether
they looked as they did in days of yore. His business led him to
Frankstown, but that business was not to shoot Indians; for, if he
still cherished any hatred toward the race, he had better sense than to
show it on such an occasion.

He died at his residence, of old age, about fifteen years ago, beloved
and respected by all. Peace to his ashes!

[Illustration: ARCH SPRING.]



One of the most prominent points in Pennsylvania, during the
Revolution, was Sinking Valley, owing, in a great measure, to the fact
that it had a fort, under military discipline,--where the sentry
marched upon ramparts, where the reveille aroused the inmates at the
dawn of day, and where people felt secure in the immediate presence of
muskets with bristling bayonets, a pair of cannon, and an abundance of
ammunition, and where, for a long time, the greater part of the lead
used by the Continental army was procured.

There is every reason to believe that the lead mines of Sinking Valley
were known to the French as early as 1750. Although they searched
extensively for minerals, it is not probable that they ventured as far
into the Penn lands as Sinking Valley, unless the secret of the
existence of the mines had been imparted to them by the Indians.

The Indians of the Juniata, after they had acquired the use of
fire-arms, could always procure an abundance of lead. This, they said,
they procured--almost pure--on a ridge, near where Mifflintown now
stands, in Kishicoquillas Valley; and also at the foot, or in one of
the ravines, of the mountain. With true Indian craft, the warriors kept
the precise location of the lead mines a secret. The scarcity of lead,
in early days, made it a valuable commodity to the settlers; and many
an Indian's jug was filled with whiskey on promise of showing the lead
mines--promises that were always "kept to the ear, but broken to the
hope." It is, therefore, pretty evident that all the lead-ore the
savages displayed was procured in Sinking Valley;--if they obtained any
at other places along the Juniata, the mines have not yet been
discovered, and not for the lack of many thorough searches for them,

The supposition that the French had been prospecting extensively in
Sinking Valley many years ago is based upon the fact that, previous to
Roberdeau's erecting the fort, several old drifts or openings were
discovered, as well as an irregular trench, extending from the upper to
the lower lead mines,--a distance of nearly six miles. The vestiges of
this trench are still visible, and there is no question but what the
digging of it and the immense amount of labor necessary for its
construction was performed in the full confidence that they would be
rewarded by the discovery of a silver mine, or, at least, an
inexhaustible bed of pure lead-ore.

The fact that lead-ore existed in Sinking Valley was ascertained by the
settlers about 1763, and the consequence was that a number of persons
took up their residence there, but without purchasing lands. The
certainty of the existence of lead, and the fabulous stories of the
existence of various other precious metals, induced the proprietary
family to reserve it to themselves, and to that end George Woods
surveyed it for them a short time previous to the Revolution.

The earliest accounts we have of any permanent settlers in Sinking
Valley bears date of 1760. There is a well-authenticated story of an
occurrence that once took place in 1763, but neither names nor dates
have been transmitted. Mr. Maguire had frequently heard the woman's
name mentioned, who became quite a heroine, and lived in Sinking Valley
until some time during the Revolution; but it had slipped his memory.

The story was that a man occupied a cabin in the upper end of the
valley, and one day left it to go to the mouth of the Bald Eagle,
leaving his wife and child at home. No savages had been in the
neighborhood for some time, and, in fact, no friendly Indians either,
except some few who resided in what is now known as Tuckahoe Valley.
Fortunately, the man possessed two rifles, both of which he loaded,
placed one over the chimney-piece, the other upon his shoulder, and
departed on his errand. While the woman was busy attending to her
household affairs, she saw two Indians, partly concealed by some bushes
in front of the house. In an instant she took down the loaded gun, and
watched their motions through the window. In a few minutes both of them
stealthily approached the house, when she pointed the gun at the
foremost savage and fired; the bullet striking him in the breast, he
fell to rise no more. The other savage came directly toward the house,
when the woman, still retaining in her grasp the rifle, ascended a
ladder to the loft, where she stood with the gun in an attitude of
defiance. The quick eye of the Indian detected her movements, and he
followed, but with the usual caution of a savage; and when his head
reached the opening, he peered into the dark garret to see his intended
victim. Grasping one of the puncheons which composed the floor with one
hand, he attempted to draw up his rifle with the other, when a
discharge followed, and he fell lifeless to the floor. The woman, more
dead than alive with fear, remained for a time in the loft, but,
hearing no noise, she at length ventured down-stairs, and at the foot
of the ladder found the savage perfectly dead, lying in a pool of
blood. She took her child out of the cradle, and started for the mouth
of the Bald Eagle, but fortunately met her husband but a few rods from
the house.

All things taken into consideration, and especially the fact that the
woman had never pulled the trigger of a gun before, this was probably
one of the most heroic acts on record.

The nearest neighbors were summoned, and, on examining into the matter,
it was concluded that, after the first Indian had been shot, the second
one immediately cocked his rifle, and that while ascending the ladder
the trigger must have been touched by a twig on the hickory rung of the
ladder. The bullet had struck him under the chin, passed through his
tongue, and lodged in his brain. His death was certainly an
interposition of Providence in behalf of the woman and her infant


Sinking Valley proper never could have been much of a resort of the
Indians, for no traces of the existence of any villages in it have ever
been discovered, neither have any relics ever been found or exhumed in
it, that we can hear of, with the exception of some few arrow-heads and
a skull, found near the Arch Springs.

The attention of Council was called to the existence of lead in Sinking
Valley in a letter from Major-General John Armstrong to President
Wharton, dated Yorktown, 23d February, 1778. He says:--

    As at present there appears to be a scarcity of the important
    article of lead, and it is certain a Mr. Harman Husbands, now a
    member of Assembly for our State, has some knowledge of a lead mine
    situated in a certain tract of land not far from Frankstown,
    formerly surveyed for the use of the proprietary family.

    General Gates, President of the Board of War, having signified his
    earnest desire to see and converse with Mr. Husbands on the subject
    of the mine, and being greatly hurried with business, I have, at
    his instance, undertaken the present line, that you would please to
    use your influence with the House of Assembly and with Mr.
    Husbands, that he, as soon as possible, may be spared to concert
    with the Board of War on the best measures for making a trial of
    and deriving an early supply from that source.

    The general is of opinion with me, that the mine ought to--or may
    at least for the present--be seized by and belong to the State; and
    that private persons, who, without right, may have sat down on that
    reserved tract, should neither prevent the use of the lead nor be
    admitted to make a monopoly of the mine. I am of opinion that a few
    faithful laborers may be sufficient to make the experiment, and
    that the lieutenant of the county, or some other good man, may be
    serviceable in introducing the business.

    I cannot doubt the compliance of the honorable Assembly and

    P.S.--It may be proper that a summary consideration be first
    taken, whether the State will make the effort alone or leave it to
    the conduct of the Board of War; that, at any rate, the salutary
    effects, if any, may be gained to the public. The water-carriage
    is a great thing. _Query_--Whether the ore should be run into
    portable bars at the bank, or at Middleton?

At the writing of the above, some few persons had found their way to
the mines, raised small quantities of ore, and smelted it; but their
operations were contracted for want of tools and the proper appliances
for smelting. They confined themselves to such ore as was on or near
the surface, and made small oven furnaces, and smelted with charcoal.

The Council soon took the suggestion of General Armstrong in hand; and
it was resolved to give the general superintendence of the mining
operations to General Daniel Roberdeau, then a member of Congress, who
went forward to Carlisle to make the necessary arrangements. From that
place he wrote to President Wharton, on the 17th of April, 1778, as

    The confidence the honorable the representatives of our State have
    placed in me by a resolve, together with the pressing and
    indispensable necessity of a speedy supply of lead for the public
    service, induced me to ask leave of absence of Congress to proceed
    with workmen to put their business into a proper train, and have
    reached this place on that errand; and, having collected men and
    materials, and sent them forward this day, propose to follow them
    to-morrow. My views have been greatly enlarged since I left York on
    the importance of the undertaking and hazard in prosecuting it, for
    the public works here are not furnished with an ounce of lead but
    what is in fixed ammunition; on the other hand, the prevailing
    opinion of people, as I advance into the country, of Indian
    depredations shortly to commence, might not only deter the workmen
    I stand in need of, but affright the back settlers from their
    habitations, and leave the country exposed and naked. To give
    confidence to one and the other, I have drawn out of the public
    stores here twenty-five stand of arms and a quantity of gun-powder,
    and intended to proceed this morning, but was applied to by John
    Caruthers, Esq., Lieutenant of the County, and William Brown,
    Commissary of Provisions for the Militia, who advised me on the
    subject of their respective departments, and, by the account they
    gave of the orders from your honorable board to them as to calling
    out and supplying the militia, I find the State is guarding against
    the incursions of the savages. This confirmed me in a preconceived
    intention of erecting a stockade fort in the neighborhood of the
    mine I am about to work, if I could stir up the inhabitants to give
    their labor in furnishing an asylum for their families in case of
    imminent danger, and thus prevent the evacuation of the country.
    Mr. Caruthers, convinced of the necessity of the work for the above
    purposes, condescendingly offered one company of the militia, which
    he expected would consist of about forty men, under my command, to
    co-operate in so salutary a business,--as it consisted with the
    orders of Council respecting the station, being only a deviation of
    a very few miles,--and that one other company, of about the same
    number, should also join me, for the greater expedition, until the
    pleasure of Council was known, which he presumed might coincide
    with such dispositions, otherwise it might be deranged by an
    immediate express; and, that the pleasure of Council might be known
    without delay, I give this intelligence. If these measures are for
    the good of the public wheel, [weal,] I hope to be honored with a
    confirmation, and orders to the militia to exert themselves in
    carrying the design into immediate execution; if otherwise, I rely
    on the well-known candor of Council that I shall not be suspected
    of any sinister design in leaning to an offer freely made as above,
    from, I believe, the best motives, much less that I have presumed
    to interfere with the arrangements of Council, as this early notice
    is full proof to the contrary, as the whole is in their power as
    much as if nothing had passed between the lieutenant and myself. I
    have only to add, on this subject, that your design of
    patrolling-parties of good riflemen shall be encouraged by me. The
    commissary, Mr. Brown, being destitute of money, I would have
    spared it out of my small stock, but that, by my interference, 1200
    dollars--all he asked--was supplied by a public officer here; but
    further sums will, he said, be soon necessary, and he expressed
    much concern for the scarcity of provisions. I was advised very
    lately, by Judge McKean, of a quantity of salted beef in the
    neighborhood of Harris's Ferry; and before I left York, I applied
    to him by letter to advise me of the quantity and quality, with a
    design to purchase, as I intended to employ a much greater number
    of men than are already employed at the lead mine, to carry on the
    business with vigor. If Council should think proper to order a
    quantity of said provisions up the Juniata for the militia, I
    should be glad of being favored with what I want through the same
    channel. I intend to build such a fort as, with sufficient
    provisions, under the smile of Providence, would enable me to
    defend it against any number of Indians that might presume to
    invest it. If I am not prevented, by an opportunity of serving the
    State eminently by a longer stay in the wilderness, I purpose to
    return to my duty in Congress in about three weeks. Will Council
    favor me with the exemption of a number of men, not exceeding
    twenty,--if I cannot be supplied by the adjutant-general, who has
    orders co-extensive with my want of smelters and miners from
    deserters from the British army,--to suffer such to come to this
    part of the country, contrary to a preceding order? If Council
    should think such a measure of exemption for the public good, I
    should be glad to receive their orders on that head. I would not
    intrude my sentiments on Council, but am of opinion that, besides
    the supplying of provisions to the militia in Bedford, it is very
    important that the intended stockade should be seasonably furnished
    with that article; therefore, if it should not be thought advisable
    to improve the above hint, that the provisions already mentioned in
    the neighborhood of Harris's should be left unnoticed until I shall
    have an opportunity of furnishing my own supplies from that stock.
    If I shall be advised by Mr. McKean, it is in my offer. My landing
    is at Water Street, in [on the] Juniata; but I could, on notice,
    receive any supply from Standing Stone.

In the mean time, the persons employed went forward to the mines, and,
under the direction of a Scotch miner named Lowrie, commenced sinking
shafts and raising ore at the upper mine. General Roberdeau arrived at
Standing Stone after the tory expedition to Kittaning, being, as it
would appear, his second visit; the first was a mere tour of
observation. From this point he wrote as follows to John Carothers:--

    _Standing Stone, April 23, 1778._

    SIR:--The enclosed was put into my hands, to be forwarded
    to you by express. The intelligence it contains is abundantly
    confirmed by several persons I have examined, both fugitives from
    the frontiers and some volunteers that have returned for an
    immediate supply of ammunition and provisions, to be sent forward
    to Sinking Spring Valley, as the troops will be obliged to quit the
    service except they are supplied without delay. Want of arms
    prevents those who would turn out. I shall furnish what I brought
    from Carlisle as soon as they come forward; but it is very
    unfortunate that these arms, and the ammunition, which is coming by
    water, have been retarded by contrary wind, and probably the
    lowness of the water. To remedy this, I have despatched two canoes
    this morning to meet them on the way. I am giving Mr. Brown, who is
    here, every assistance in my power; but your aid is greatly wanted
    to stimulate the militia, and furnish arms, ammunition,
    pack-horses, and every thing necessary in your line of duty. The
    insurgents from this neighborhood, I am informed, are about thirty.
    One of them (Hess) has been taken, and confession extorted, from
    which it appears that this banditti expect to be joined by three
    hundred men from the other side the Alleghany; reports more vague
    mention one thousand whites and savages. The supply of provisions
    for so great a number renders it improbable; but, in answer to
    this, I have been informed by the most credible in this
    neighborhood, that strangers, supposed to be from Detroit, have
    been this winter among the disaffected inhabitants, and have
    removed with them. If you have authority to call out the militia,
    in proportion to the exigence of the times, I think it of great
    importance that a considerable number of men should be immediately
    embodied and sent forward to meet the enemy; for it cannot be
    expected that the volunteers will long continue in service, and I
    find that the recruiting the three companies goes on too slowly to
    expect a seasonable supply from them of any considerable number. If
    you have not authority to call the necessary aid of militia, you,
    no doubt, will apply to the honorable the Council, and may furnish
    them with my sentiments, and to the Board of War for arms and
    ammunition. With ten men here, under the command of Lieutenant
    Cluggage, in Continental service until the 1st of December next, I
    intend to move forward as soon as the arms, ammunition, and other
    things come forward, to afford an escort to Sinking Spring Valley,
    where I shall be glad to meet as great a number of militia as you
    will station there, to enable me to erect a stockade, to secure the
    works so necessary to the public service and give confidence to the
    frontier inhabitants, by affording an asylum for their women and
    children. These objects, I doubt not, you will think worthy your
    immediate attention and utmost exertion, which, I can assure
    you,--making the fullest allowance for the timidity of some and
    credulity of others,--is a very serious matter; for without
    immediate aid the frontiers will be evacuated, for all that I have
    been able to say has been of no avail with the fugitives I have met
    on the roads,--a most distressing sight, of men, women, and
    children, flying through fear of a cruel enemy.

    I am, respectfully, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,


The enclosure spoken of in Roberdeau's letter was a note from Robert
Smith to Robert Cluggage, of which the following is a copy:--

    SIR:--Be pleased to send expresses to Lieutenant Carothers by the
    first opportunity, to give him some account of insurrections on
    the South Mountain, and likewise to inspect very closely into who
    is abroad at this time and upon what occasion, as there is a
    suspicion, by information, of other insurrections rising in other
    parts of the county of Cumberland; and in so doing you will oblige
    your friend to serve,


    _April 23, 1778._

The letter of Gen. Roberdeau, as well as Smith's, were sent to
President Wharton by Lieutenant Carothers, enclosed in another of his
own dated at Carlisle, on the 27th of April.

Previous to this, however, he sent a letter to the Council, dated on
the 24th, in which he speaks of the deplorable condition of the
frontier and the constant alarms from the tories. He said:--

    The marching classes of the fifth battalion I have been obliged to
    send up to Sinking Valley and Bald Eagle, which will amount to near
    seventy privates. The frontiers in those parts have been greatly
    alarmed of late by a number of tories who have banded together,
    threatening vengeance to all who have taken the oath of allegiance
    to the States. This moment I have received an express from
    Kishicoquillas for a supply of arms, and that Colonel McElevy, of
    Bedford county, came there express himself, with an account that a
    body of tories, near three hundred and twenty, in and above
    Standing Stone, had collected themselves together and driven a
    number of the inhabitants from Standing Stone Town. Immediately
    Colonel Buchanan and Colonel Brown marched off with a few men who
    could be got equipped, and we are waiting with patience the issue.

General Roberdeau wrote to Council on the 27th of April, after Captain
Blair's return, as follows:--

    _Sinking Spring Valley, April 27, 1778._

    SIR:--I have little more time to refer you to the enclosed
    examination, taken in great haste, but correct as it respects the
    testimony. The confiscation of the effects of the disaffected in
    these parts is very irregular, and the brutality offered to the
    wives and children of some of them, as I have been informed, in
    taking from them even their wearing apparel, is shocking. I wish
    the magistrates were furnished with the late law respecting
    confiscation, and that they were more capable ministers of justice;
    the one I have seen is such a specimen of the popular election of
    these officers as I expected. I am happy to inform you that a very
    late discovery of a new vein promises the most ample supply; but I
    am very deficient in workmen. Mr. Glen is with me, to direct the
    making and burning of bricks, and is to come up to build a furnace,
    by which time I expect to be in such forwardness as to afford an
    ample supply to the army. The want of provision I dread
    notwithstanding the active endeavors of Mr. Brown, for it is
    scarcely to be got; therefore I beg leave to refer you to a hint on
    this subject in my letter from Carlisle. Of forty militia, I have,
    at most, seven with me, which retards building a stockade to give
    confidence to the inhabitants, who were all on the wing before I
    reached this. I send Richard Weston, under guard, to Carlisle jail,
    to wait your orders. He is conducted by Lieutenant John Means, of
    the militia. The inhabitants are hunting the other insurgents, and
    hope they will all be taken, but wish any other the trouble of
    examining them, as my hands are full. I am, with respectful
    salutations to Council, sir,

    Y^r most ob^t, humb^l serv^t,


The general speaks of the tory Hess (in his first letter) as if he had
been forced to confess. This is an error. Hess made a voluntary
confession after the return of Captain Blair, and after some of Blair's
men had partially hung him and let him off.

The statement that McElevy _reported_ at Kishicoquillas that three
hundred and twenty tories had driven off some of the inhabitants of
Standing Stone Town is no doubt true enough, but no such occurrence
ever took place. The fears of the people no doubt prompted McElevy to
exaggerate, in order to get aid forthwith. Shortly after the arrival of
Buchanan and Brown at Standing Stone, the Blair expedition returned, so
that their services were not required.

General Roberdeau complained of the manner in which confiscations were
conducted. He was grossly misinformed. The facts in the case are simply
these:--On the receipt of the news of the disasters met by the tories
at Kittaning, many of the tory families fled, leaving every thing
behind them. These articles, even if wearing apparel was included,
could not well escape confiscation unless they were pitched into the
street. There is no instance on record of the women and children of
tories having any thing like wearing-apparel taken from them. If such
acts were committed, they were without the sanction of the officers or
the people, by outlaws who lived by plunder, who may be found in any
community, and for whose acts most assuredly the patriots should not
have been held accountable.

General Roberdeau's stay at the mines must have been brief. The next we
hear of him is in a letter to Vice-President Bryan, dated at York, on
the 30th of May of the same year. The direction of affairs at the mines
was probably left in the hands of Lowrie and Cluggage.

It is altogether uncertain how long the mines were carried on by
government, but not longer, probably, than till the fall of 1779; and
what the total yield of lead was during that time we cannot ascertain.
In one place in the Records we find an order forwarded to one of the
sub-lieutenants of the county for five hundred pounds; and we also hear
that quantities were issued to the militia at sundry times. There must
have been some kind of a bargain existing between government and
Roberdeau for taking out the lead, for, in a letter to Vice-President
Bryan for some pay due him, he says, "My late engagement in the
lead-works has proved a moth to my circulating cash, and obliged me to
make free with a friend in borrowing." He also says, in a letter to
President Reed, bearing date November 10, 1779:--

    SIR:--Permit me to ask the favor of you to make my request known to
    the honorable Board of your Presidence that they would be pleased
    this day to order me payment for the ten hundred pounds of lead
    delivered to your order some months ago. The price of that article
    is so enormous that I should blush to make a demand, but my
    necessity keeps equal pace with the rapid depreciation of our
    money; and particularly as I purpose leaving the city to-morrow,
    dependence has been had on the money in question, for my advances
    are insupportably great, for my defected purpose of supplying lead
    to Continent, which, entirely through default of Congress in not
    furnishing the necessary defences, has been entirely stopped, as
    the honorable the Assembly have been informed. After the most
    diligent inquiry, I cannot find less than six dollars per pound
    demanded for lead by the quantity,--a price which, Mr. Peters just
    now informed me, the Board of War was willing to give.

This epistle near about fixes the time of the abandonment of the mines;
and it also shows that lead commanded rather an exorbitant price at
that time--payable, of course, in Continental funds.

In 1779, Sinking Spring Valley contained, according to an anonymous
writer, "sixty or seventy families, living in log-houses." The
principal portion of these were foreigners, who were taken there to
work the mines. After Roberdeau's project had fallen to the ground, in
consequence of the scarcity of the ore and the immense expense of
mining and melting it, these miners attempted for a while to carry on
operations for themselves. Their close proximity to the Indians, and
the fact that several incursions were made into the valley by the
savages in search of plunder and scalps, made those men, unused to
border life, quit, and seek refuge in the Atlantic cities. The fort was
evacuated by the government militia. Nevertheless it was still a place
of refuge, and was used by the settlers of Sinking Valley and Bald
Eagle up to the close of the war.

In 1781, Jacob Roller, Jr., and a man named Bebault, were massacred by
Indians in Sinking Valley. Few particulars of this massacre are known,
and many contradictory stories still exist in regard to it. We give Mr.
Maguire's version of it, but would at the same time state that he did
not vouch for the authenticity of it, as he gathered it from the
exaggerated rumors that in those days followed the recital of current

Roller, it appears was an active and energetic frontier-man, bold,
fearless, and daring; and the common belief was that his unerring rifle
had ended the days of many a red-skin. Be that as it may, however, it
is certain that the Indians knew him, and marked him out for a victim
long before they succeeded in despatching him. Several small roving
bands were in the habit of coming down into the valley after the mines
were abandoned; but no favorable opportunity offered for a long time to
kill Roller.

On one occasion, four of the settlers had met at Roller's house for the
purpose of going on a hunt for deer. Early in the morning, when just
ready to start, Roller heard the breaking of a twig near his cabin. He
peered out into the deep gloom of the misty morning, and discovered
three Indians crouching near an oak-tree. It was very evident that the
Indians had not been close enough to the house to ascertain the number
within, and the inmates were in a state of doubt as to the number of
savages. Profound silence was observed, and it was resolved to shoot
from the window as soon as the light was sufficiently strong to render
their aim certain. The Indians were evidently waiting for Roller to
come out of his house. At length, when they thought the proper time had
come, the settlers gathered at the window, and thrust out their rifles
as silently as possible. The quick eyes of the savages saw, even by the
hazy light, that there were too many muzzles to belong to one man, and
they took to the woods with all the speed they could command, leaving
behind them a quantity of venison and dried corn, and a British rifle.

On another occasion, Roller had an encounter with a single Indian in
the woods, which probably stands unparalleled in the history of
personal encounters between a savage and a white man. Roller left home
about seven o'clock in the morning, in search of deer. He had ranged
along the edge of the mountain an hour or two, when he heard a
rifle-shot but a short distance from him, and a minute had scarcely
elapsed before a wounded doe came in the direction where he stood. To
shoot it was but the work of an instant, because he supposed that one
of his neighbors had wounded it; for the thought of the presence of
Indians never entered his head. Yet it appears that it was an Indian
who fired. The Indian mistook the crack of Boiler's rifle for that of a
companion left at the base of the mountain. Under this impression, the
Indian, anxious to secure the doe, and Roller, intent on bleeding her,
both neglected one of the first precautions of the day,--viz.: to
reload their rifles. Roller was leaning over the doe, when he heard the
crust of the snow breaking in a thicket near him. He jumped to his
feet, and was confronted by the Indian,--a tall, muscular fellow, who
was quite as large as Roller. The savage, well aware of the fact that
neither of the rifles were loaded, and probably satisfied in meeting "a
foeman worthy of his steel," deliberately placed his gun against a tree
by the side of Roller's, and, drawing his tomahawk, he cast a glance of
savage delight at the white man before him, which seemed to imply that
he would soon show him who was the better man of the two. Roller,
anticipating his intentions, drew his tomahawk and stood on the
defensive. The savage made a spring, when Roller jumped aside, and the
Indian passed. The latter suddenly wheeled, when Roller struck him upon
the elbow of the uplifted hand, and the hatchet fell. Fearing to stoop
to regain it, the savage drew his knife, and turned upon Roller. They
clinched, and a fearful struggle ensued. Roller held the savage's right
arm, so as to render useless his knife, while the Indian grasped firmly
the hand in which Roller held his hatchet, and in this manner they
struggled until they were both tripped by the carcass of the doe; still
both retained their hold. Roller fortunately grasped his knife, lying
beside the doe, with his left hand, and thrust it into the side of the
Indian. The struggle now became terrible, and by one powerful effort
the savage loosened himself and sprang to his feet; but Roller was as
quick as he was. In attempting to close again, the savage stabbed
Roller in the shoulder and in the arm. Roller had dropped his hatchet
in regaining his feet, and the combat was now a deadly one with knives.
They cut and thrust at each other until their buckskin hunting-shirts
were literally cut into ribbons and the crusted snow was dyed with
their blood. At length, faint with the loss of blood, the combat
ceased, by mutual consent, as it were, and the Indian, loosening
himself from Roller's grasp, took his rifle and disappeared. Roller
stanched, with frozen snow and some tow, the only dangerous wound he
had, and managed to reach his home. He was stabbed in four or five
places, and it was some weeks before he fully recovered from his
wounds. The skeleton of the savage, with his rifle by his side, was
found the succeeding summer on the top of Warrior Ridge.

The time of Roller's death is not positively known. Mr. Maguire thought
it was in the fall of 1781. From subsequent evidences, three Indians
came down the mountain, avoiding the fort of Jacob Roller, Sr., which
was located at the head of Sinking Valley, and passed on down through
the valley to the house of Bebault, whom they tomahawked and scalped.

From thence they went to the house of Jacob Roller, Jr., who was alone
at the time, his family being at his father's fort. He was murdered and
scalped while at work in his corn-field. His absence from the fort at
night created alarm, and early next morning a party went down to his
house to see if any thing had befallen him. While searching for him,
one of the men discovered blood on the bars, which soon led to the
discovery of his body in the field. From the footprints in the ground,
it was plain that the murder had been committed by two men and a boy
between twelve and fourteen years of age. Roller had been shot and
scalped, his head shockingly mangled with a tomahawk, and the region of
his heart was gashed with a dozen cuts and stabs made by a sharp
scalping-knife. The inference was that, after shooting Roller, the men
induced the lad to tomahawk and stab him. In other words, they gave him
a lesson in butchery and courage.

Bebault was found shot and scalped, although still alive,--a shocking
spectacle to look upon. He was so much exhausted by the loss of blood
as to be unable to give any account of the transaction.

The bodies of both were taken to the fort and buried, and, as soon as
possible, a large party, consisting of the Rollers, Beattys, Rickets,
&c, started in pursuit. They followed the trail for nearly fifty miles,
but at last lost it, and were compelled to return without overtaking
the murderers.

Every settler knew Roller, and his death cast a universal gloom over
the valley. The manner of it alarmed the settlement to such an extent
that such fall crops as were still out were suffered to rot upon the
field, as no force could be spared from the forts, and people would no
longer risk their lives to the mercy of the marauders.

Jacob Roller, Jr., was the oldest of seven brothers, all powerful
fellows, and active frontier-men.

There are quite a number of the descendants of the seven brothers, who
reside in various places,--some in the West, but probably a majority of
them at Williamsburg, or in the neighborhood of Springfield Furnace, in
Blair county.

Richard B. McCabe, Esq., in a series of reminiscences of old times,
published in 1832, while speaking of the lead mines in Sinking Valley,

    The Upper Lead Mine, as it is called, on the lands now belonging to
    a German family of the name of Crissman, exhibits but the traces of
    former excavation, and trifling indications of ore. The lower one,
    about a mile in direct distance from the Little Juniata, was worked
    within my remembrance, under the superintendence of a Mr. Sinclair,
    a Scotch miner from the neighborhood of Carron Iron-works, in the
    "land o' cakes." The mine was then owned by two gentlemen named
    Musser and Wells. The former, I think, lived and died in Lancaster
    county. Mr. Wells was probably a Philadelphian. Three shafts were
    sunk to a great depth on the side of a limestone-hill. A drift was
    worked into the bowels of the hill, possibly a hundred yards, six
    feet high, and about the same width. This was expensive. No furnace
    or other device for melting the ore was ever erected at this mine.
    Considerable quantities of the mineral still lie about the pit's
    mouth. The late Mr. H----, of Montgomery county, who had read much
    and practised some in mining, (so far as to sink some thousand
    dollars,) visited this mine in 1821, in company with another
    gentleman and myself, and expressed an opinion that the indications
    were favorable for a good vein of the mineral. But the vast mines
    of lead in the West, such as Mine a Barton and the Galena, where
    the manufacture of lead can be so much more cheaply carried on,
    must forever prevent a resumption of the business in Sinking
    Valley, unless, indeed, some _disinterested patriot_ shall
    procure the adoption of a _tariff of protection_ for the
    lead-manufacturer of the happy valley.

Notwithstanding Mr. McCabe's prediction implied that the lead mines of
Sinking Valley would in all probability never be worked again, some
enterprising individuals from New York prospected at the upper mine so
late as 1852, and soon found, as they supposed, sufficient
encouragement to sink shafts. Accordingly, several were sunk, the
German heirs agreeing to take a certain percentage on all ore raised. A
regular company was organized, and, for a while, the "Sinking Valley
Lead Mining Company" stock figured among the bulls and bears of Wall
Street, in New York. Extensive furnaces for smelting, and other
operations on a large scale, were _talked_ of; but suddenly, one
very fine day, the ore, like the Yankee's horse, "_gin eout_;" the
superintendent left, the miners followed, and the stock depreciated so
rapidly that it could have been purchased for about one cent on the
dollar. Latterly, we have heard nothing whatever of the Lead Mining
Company. There is unquestionably lead-ore still left at the upper mine;
but, in order to make the mining operations pay, foreign wars must
create a demand at increased prices.

The people of Sinking Valley long entertained the idea that stores of
mineral wealth still existed in it; and a legend was current that a man
from the city of Philadelphia, on the strength of a letter from
Amsterdam, came there to seek for a portion of it in the shape of a
canoe-load of bullion, buried by two men many years ago. The person who
searched found some of the guide-marks pointed out to him, but he did
not reach the bullion. The treasure, it is generally believed to this
day by the older residents, was found by a Mr. Isett, while engaged in
digging a mill-race. This belief was based upon the fact that, previous
to digging the race, Mr. Isett was poor, but became wealthy and
abandoned the digging of the race before it was half completed.

We have incidentally mentioned the name of a Scotch miner taken to
Sinking Valley by General Roberdeau, named Lowrie. He was the head of
an illustrious line of descendants, some of whom have figured in
Congress, at the bar, on the bench, and in the pulpit. One of the
present Supreme Judges of Pennsylvania is a grandson of the old Scotch
miner, and nearly all of the name in the Union are his lineal

Truly may it be said that Sinking Valley was once a place of note.



A successful rebellion is a revolution; an unsuccessful attempt at
revolution is a rebellion. Hence, had the Canadians been successful in
their attempt to throw off the British yoke in 1837, the names of the
leaders would have embellished the pages of history as heroes and
patriots, instead of going down to posterity as convicts transported to
the penal colonies of England. Had the efforts of the Cubanos to
revolutionize the island of Cuba been crowned with success, the
cowardly "_fillibusteros_" would have rated as brave men, and,
instead of perishing ignominiously by the infamous garrote and starving
in the dismal dungeons of Spain, they would now administer the affairs
of state, and receive all the homage the world pays to great and
successful warriors. On the other hand, had the revolution in Texas
proved a failure, Burleson, Lamar, Houston, and others, who carved
their names upon the scroll of fame as generals, heroes, and statesmen,
would either have suffered the extreme penalty of the Mexican law, or
at least occupy the stations of obscure adventurers, with all the odium
which, like the poisoned shirt of Nessus, clings to those who are
unsuccessful in great enterprises.

The same may be said of the American Revolution. If those who pledged
their "lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor," to make the
colonies independent of all potentates and powers on earth, had lost
the stake, the infamy which now clings to the memory of the tories
would be attached to that of the rebels, notwithstanding the latter
fought in a glorious cause, endured the heats of summer and braved the
peltings of the winter's storms, exhausted their means, and shed their
blood, for the sacred cause in which they were engaged. For this
reason, we should not attach too much infamy to the tories _merely_
because they took sides with England; but their subsequent acts, or at
least a portion of them, were such as to leave a foul blot upon their
names, even had victory perched upon the cross of St. George. The
American people, after the Revolution, while reposing on the laurels
they had won, might readily have overlooked and forgiven weak and
timid men who favored the cause of the crown under the firm conviction
that the feeble colonies could never sever themselves from the iron
grasp of England; but when they remembered the savage barbarities of
the tories, they confiscated the lands of all who were attainted with
treason, drove them from the country, and attached black and undying
infamy to their names.

To some it may appear strange--nevertheless it is true--that, in 1777,
the upper end of the Juniata Valley contained nearly as many tories as
it did patriots. This is not a very agreeable admission to make by one
who has his home in the valley; nevertheless, some of the acts of these
tories form a part of the history of the time of which we write, and
must be given with the rest. Let it be understood, however, that, as
some of the descendants of those men, who unfortunately embraced the
wrong side, are still alive and in our midst, we suppress names,
because we not only believe it to be unprincipled in the extreme to
hold the son responsible for the sins and errors of the fathers, but we
think there is not a man in the valley now who has not patriotic blood
enough in his veins to march in his country's defence at a moment's
warning, if occasion required it.

The great number of tories in what now constitutes Huntingdon county
may, in a great measure, be attributed to the fact, that, living as
they did upon the frontier, they had no idea of the strength or numbers
composing the "rebel" army, as they called it. They knew the king's
name to be "a tower of strength;" and they knew, too, the power and
resources of England. Their leaders were shrewd men, who excited the
fears of the king's followers by assuring them that the rebels would
soon be worsted, and all of them gibbeted.

The most of these tories, according to Edward Bell, resided in
Aughwick, Hare's Valley, on the Raystown Branch, in Woodcock Valley, at
Standing Stone, Shaver's Creek, Warrior's Mark, and Canoe Creek. They
held secret meetings, generally at the house of John Weston, who
resided a mile and a half west of Water Street, in Canoe Valley. All
their business was transacted with the utmost secresy; and those who
participated in their meetings did so under an oath of "allegiance to
the king and death to the rebels."

These meetings were frequently attended by tory emissaries from
Detroit, who went there advised of all the movements of the British
about the lakes; and it is thought that one of these men at length gave
them a piece of intelligence that sealed the doom of a majority of

It appears that a general plan was formed to concentrate a large force
of Indians and tories at Kittaning, then cross the mountain by the
Indian Path, and at Burgoon's Gap divide,--one party march through the
Cove and Conococheague Valleys, the other to follow the Juniata Valley,
and form a junction at Lancaster, killing all the inhabitants on their
march. The tories were to have for their share in this general massacre
all the fine farms on the routes, and the movable property was to be
divided among the Indians. It would seem, however, that Providence
frustrated their plans. They elected John Weston their captain, and
marched away in the dead of night, without drums or colors, to join the
savages in a general massacre of their neighbors, early in the spring
of 1778--all being well armed with rifles furnished by the British
emissaries, and abundance of ammunition. They took up the line of
march--avoiding all settlements--around Brush Mountain, and travelled
through the Path to Kittaning. When near the fort, Weston sent forward
two men to announce their coming. The savages, to the number of ten or
twelve, accompanied the messengers; and when they met the tories,
Weston ordered his men to "present arms." The order proved a fatal one;
for the Indians, ever suspecting treachery, thought they had been
entrapped, and, without any orders, fired a volley among the tories,
and killed Weston and some eight, or probably ten, of his men, then
turned and ran toward the town. The disheartened tories fled in every
direction as soon as their leader fell.

Although these tories marched from the settlements under cover of
night, and with the greatest possible caution, all their movements were
watched by an Indian spy in the employ of Major Cluggage. This spy was
a Cayuga chief, known as Captain Logan, who resided in the valley at
the time,--subsequently at an Indian town called Chickalacamoose, where
the village of Clearfield now stands. He knew the mission of the
tories, and he soon reported their departure through the settlements.
Of course, the wildest and most exaggerated stories were soon set
afloat in regard to the number constituting Weston's company, as well
as those at Kittaning ready to march. Colonel Piper, of Yellow Creek,
George Woods, of Bedford, and others, wrote to Philadelphia, that two
hundred and fifty tories had left Standing Stone, to join the Indians,
for the purpose of making a descent upon the frontier,--a formidable
number to magnify out of thirty-four; yet such was the common rumor.

The greatest terror and alarm spread through the settlements, and all
the families, with their most valuable effects, were taken to the best
forts. General Roberdeau, who had the command of the forces in the
neighborhood, had left Standing Stone a short time previous, leaving
Major Cluggage in command. The latter was appealed to for a force to
march after Weston. This he could not do, because his command was
small, and he was engaged in superintending the construction of the
fort at Sinking Valley, the speedy completion of which was not only
demanded to afford protection to the people, but to guard the miners,
who were using their best exertions to fill the pressing orders of the
Revolutionary army for lead.

Cluggage was extremely anxious to have Weston and his command overtaken
and punished, and for this purpose he tendered to Captain Thomas Blair,
of Path Valley, the command of all who wished to volunteer to fight the
tories. The alarm was so general, that, in forty-eight hours after
Weston's departure, some thirty-five men were ready to march. Twenty of
them were from Path Valley, and the remainder were gathered up between
Huntingdon--or Standing Stone, as it was then still called--and
Frankstown.[4] At Canoe Valley the company was joined by Gersham and
Moses Hicks, who went to act in the double capacity of scouts and
interpreters. They were brothers, and had--together with the entire
family--been in captivity among the Indians for some six or seven
years. They were deemed a valuable acquisition.

          [4] It is to be regretted that Mr. Maguire was so feeble,
          when giving us an account of this expedition, that we feared
          to ask him for a repetition of the names of Captain Blair's
          command. He knew the names of all of them, but he mentioned
          them in such rapid succession that we only remember
          Brotherton, Jones, Moore, Smith, two brothers named Hicks,
          Nelson, Coleman, Wallack, Fee, Gano, Ricketts, Caldwell,
          Moore, Holliday, and one of the Rollers.

Captain Blair pushed on his men with great vigor over the mountain, by
way of the Kittaning trail; and when he arrived where the path crosses
the head-waters of Blacklick, they were suddenly confronted by two of
Captain Weston's tories, well known to some of Blair's men, who, on the
impulse of the moment, would have shot them down, had it not been for
the interference of Captain Blair, who evidently was a very humane man.
These men begged for their lives most piteously, and declared that they
had been grossly deceived by Weston, and then gave Captain Blair a true
statement of what had occurred.

Finding that Providence had anticipated the object of their mission, by
destroying and dispersing the tories, Captain Blair ordered his men to
retrace their steps for home. Night coming upon them, they halted and
encamped near where Loretto now stands. Here it was found that the
provisions had nearly run out. The men, on the strength of the reported
destruction of Weston, were in high spirits, built a large fire, and
passed the night in hilarity, although it was raining and exceedingly
disagreeable. At the dawn of day, Gersham and Moses Hicks started out
in search of game for breakfast, for some of the men were weak and
disheartened for the want of food. These wood-rangers travelled three
miles from the camp without anticipating any danger whatever, when
Gersham shot a fine elk, which, in order to make the load as light as
possible, the brothers skinned and disemboweled, shouldered the
hind-quarters, and were ready to return to the camp, when five Indians
suddenly came upon them and took them prisoners. They were again
captives, and taken to Detroit, from which place they did not return
until after peace was declared. These men unquestionably saw and
experienced enough of Indian life to fill an interesting volume.

In the mean time, the company becoming impatient at the continued
absence of the Hicks, several small parties were formed to go in search
of them. One of these parties fell in with three Indians, and several
shots were exchanged without injuring any person. The Indians took to
the woods, and the men returned to the camp. The other party found the
place where the elk had been skinned, and took the remains to the camp;
the meat was speedily roasted and divided among the men, and the line
of march again taken up. The certain capture of the guides, and the
Indians seen by the party in search of them, induced the belief that a
larger body of them than they wished to encounter in their
half-famished condition was in the neighborhood, considerably
accelerated their march.

The sufferings endured by these men, who were drenched by torrents of
rain and suffered the pangs of hunger until they reached the
settlements on the east side of the mountain, were such as can be more
readily imagined than described. But they all returned, and, though a
portion of them took sick, they all eventually recovered, and probably
would have been ready at any time to volunteer for another expedition,
even with the terrors of starvation or the scalping-knife staring them
in the face.

The tories who, through the clemency of Captain Blair, escaped shooting
or hanging, did not, it seems, fare much better; for they, too, reached
the settlements in an almost famished condition. Fearing to enter any
of the houses occupied, they passed the Brush Mountain into Canoe
Valley, where they came to an untenanted cabin, the former occupants
having fled to the nearest fort. They incautiously set their rifles
against the cabin, entered it, and searched for food, finding nothing,
however, but part of a pot of boiled mush and some lard. In their
condition, any thing bearing resemblance to food was a god-send, and
they fell vigorously to work at it. While engaged in appeasing their
appetite, Samuel Moore and a companion,--probably Jacob Roller, Sr., if
we mistake not,--who were on a hunting expedition, happening to pass
the cabin, saw the rifles, and immediately secured them, when Mr. Moore
walked in with his gun cocked, and called upon the tories to surrender;
which peremptory order they cheerfully complied with, and were marched
to Holliday's Fort. On the way thither, one of them became insolent,
and informed Moore and his companion that in a short time they would
repent arresting them. This incensed Roller, and, being an athletic
man, when they arrived at the fort he fixed a rope to the tory's neck,
rove it over a beam, and drew him up. Moore, fortunately, was a more
humane man, and persuaded his companion to desist. They were afterward
taken to Bedford; but whether ever tried or not, we have not been able
to ascertain.

Captain Blair's men, while passing through what is now known as
Pleasant Valley, or the upper end of Tuckahoe, on their return, paid a
visit to a tory named John Hess, who, it is said, was armed, and
waiting the return of Weston to join his company. They found Hess in
his house, from which they took him to a neighboring wood, bent down a
hickory sapling and fastened the branches of it around his neck, and,
at a given signal, let him swing. The sight was so shocking, and his
struggles so violent, that the men soon repented, and cut him down
before he was injured to any extent. It appears from that day he was a
tory no longer, joined the rangers, and did good service for his
country. His narrow escape must have wrought his conversion.

The tories who escaped the fatal error of the Indians at Kittaning
never returned to their former homes. It was probably as well that they
did not, for their coming was anxiously looked for, and their greeting
would unquestionably have been as _warm_ a one as powder and ball
could have been capable of giving. Most of them made their way to Fort
Pitt, and from thence toward the South. They eventually all sent for
their families; but "the land [of the Juniata Valley] that knew them
once knew them no more forever!"

Captain Blair, whom we have frequently mentioned, soon after or about
the close of the war moved to what is known as the mouth of Blair's
Gap, west of Hollidaysburg, where John Walker now lives. He was an
energetic man, and, by his untiring exertions, succeeded in getting a
pack-horse road cut through his gap at an early day.

His son, Captain John Blair, a prominent and useful citizen, flourished
for many years at the same place. His usefulness and standing in the
community made him probably the most conspicuous man of his day in this
section; and, when Huntingdon county was divided, his old friends paid
a tribute to his memory in giving the new county his name.

[Illustration: MILL CREEK.]



During the troubles which followed immediately after the declaration of
war, a great many depredations were committed by the tories, that were
invariably charged to the Indians. As we have stated in the preceding
chapter, the patriots and the tories, in point of numbers, were about
equally divided in many of the settlements of what now constitutes
Huntingdon county; yet the victims of tory wrongs could not for a long
time bring themselves to believe that they were inflicted by their
neighbors. Barns and their valuable contents were laid in ashes, cattle
were shot or poisoned, and all charged to the Indians, although scouts
were constantly out, but seldom, if ever, got upon their trail.

In a small isolated valley, about a mile south of Jack's Narrows, lived
a notorious tory named Jacob Hare. We could not ascertain what
countryman Hare was, nor any thing of his previous history. He owned a
large tract of land, which he was exceedingly fearful of losing. Hence
he remained loyal to the king, under the most solemn conviction, no
doubt, that the struggle would terminate in favor of the crown. He is
represented as having been a man of little intelligence, brutal and
savage, and cowardly in the extreme. Although he did not take up arms
positively against the Colonists, he certainly contributed largely to
aid the British in crushing them.

A short time previous to the Weston Tory Expedition, a young man named
Loudenslager, who resided in the upper end of Kishicoquillas, left his
home on horseback, to go to Huntingdon, where Major Cluggage was
enlisting men to guard the lead mines of Sinking Valley. It was young
Loudenslager's intention to see how things looked, and, if they suited,
he would join Cluggage's command and send his horse home. As he was
riding leisurely along near the head of the valley, some five or six
Indians, accompanied by a white man, appeared upon an eminence, and
three of them, including the white man, fired at him. Three buckshot
and a slug lodged in his thigh, and one bullet whistled past his ear,
while one of the buckshot struck the horse. The animal took fright, and
started off at a full gallop. Loudenslager, although his thigh-bone was
shattered and his wound bled so profusely that he left a trail of blood
in his wake, heroically clung to his horse until he carried him to the
Standing Stone fort.

Weak and faint from the loss of blood, when he got there he was unable
to move, and some of the people carried him in and cared for him as
well as they could; but he was too much exhausted to give any account
of the occurrence. After some restoratives were applied, he rallied,
and gave a statement of the affair. His description of the white man in
company with the Indians was so accurate, that the people knew at once
that Hare, if not the direct author, was the instigator, of this
diabolical outrage.

Loudenslager, for want of good medical attendance or an experienced
surgeon, grew worse, and the commander, to alleviate his sufferings if
possible, placed him in a canoe, and despatched him, accompanied by
some men, on his way to Middletown,--then the nearest point of any
importance; but he died after the canoe had descended the river but a
few miles.

The excitement occasioned by the shooting of young Loudenslager was
just at its height when more bad news was brought to Standing Stone

On the same day, the same party that shot Loudenslager went to the
house of Mr. Eaton, (though probably unaccompanied by Hare,) in the
upper end of the same valley; but, not finding any men about the
house,--Mr. Eaton being absent,--they took captives Mrs. Eaton and her
two children, and then set fire to all the buildings. The work of
devastation was on the point of being completed when Mr. Eaton reached
his home. He did not wait to see his house entirely reduced to ashes,
but rode to Standing Stone as fast as his horse could carry him, and
spread the alarm. The exasperated people could hardly muster sufficient
patience to hear the particulars before they started in pursuit of the
enemy. They travelled with all the speed that energetic and determined
men could command, scouring the country in every direction for a period
of nearly a week, but heard no tidings of Mrs. Eaton and her children,
and were forced to give her up as lost.

This aroused the wrath of the settlers, and many of them were for
dealing out summary punishment to Hare as the instigator; but, in the
absence of proof, he was not even brought to trial for the Loudenslager
murder, of which he was clearly guilty. The act, however, put people
upon their guard; the most notorious known tory in the county had
openly shown his hand, and they knew what to expect of him.

Mr. Eaton--broken-hearted, and almost distracted--hunted for years for
his wife and children; and, as no tidings could be had of them, he was
at last reluctantly forced to believe that the savages had murdered
them. Nor was he wrong in his conjecture. Some years afterward the
blanched skeletons of the three were found by some hunters in the
neighborhood of Warrior's Mark. The identity of the skeletons was
proved by some shreds of clothing--which were known to belong to
them--still clinging to their remains.

When Captain Blair's rangers, or that portion of them raised in Path
Valley, came across to the Juniata, they had an old drum, and--it is
fair to infer, inasmuch as the still-house then seemed to be a
necessary adjunct of civilization--sundry jugs of whiskey accompanying
them. At Jack's Narrows lived a burly old German, named Peter
Vandevender, who, hearing the noise, came to his door in his
shirt-sleeves, with a pipe in his mouth.

"Waas ter tuyfel ish ter meaning of all dish?" inquired old

"We are going to hunt John Weston and his tories," said one of the men.

"Hunt dories, eh? Well, Captin Plair, chust you go ant hunt Chack Hare.
He ish te tamtest dory in Bennsylvania. He dold Weshton ash he would
half a gompany to help him after he come mit ter Inchins."

What Vandevender told Blair was probably true to the letter; for one
of the inducements held out to the tories to accompany Weston was that
they would be reinforced by all the tories in the county as soon as
the first blow was struck; but he was _not_ raising a company. He was
too cowardly to expose himself to the danger attending such a

As soon as Vandevender had communicated the foregoing, the company,
with great unanimity, agreed to pay Hare a visit forthwith. The drum
was laid aside, and the volunteers marched silently to his house. A
portion of them went into the house, and found Hare, while Blair and
others searched the barn and outbuildings to find more of the tories.
On the arrival of Captain Blair at the house, some of his men, in a
high state of excitement, had a rope around Hare's neck, and the end of
it thrown over a beam, preparatory to hanging him. Blair interposed,
and with great difficulty prevented them from executing summary
vengeance upon the tory. In the mean time, one of the men sharpened his
scalping-knife upon an iron pot, walked deliberately up to Hare, and,
while two or three others held him, _cut both his ears off close to
his head_! The tory, during these proceedings, begged most piteously
for his life--made profuse promises to surrender every thing he had to
the cause of liberty; but the men regarded his pleadings as those of a
coward, and paid no attention to them, and, after cropping him, marched
back to Vandevender's on their route in search of Weston.

On their arrival at the Standing Stone, they communicated to the people
at the fort what they had done. The residents at the Stone only wanted
a piece of information like this to inflame them still more against
Hare, and, expressing regrets that he had not been killed, they
immediately formed a plot to go down and despatch him. But there were
tories at the Stone. Hare soon got wind of the affair, placed his most
valuable effects upon pack-horses, and left the country.

The failure of Weston's expedition, and the treatment and flight of
Hare, compelled many tories, who had openly avowed their sentiments, to
leave this section of the country, while those who were suspected were
forced into silence and inactivity, and many openly espoused the cause
of the colonies. Still, many remained who refused to renounce their
allegiance to the king, and claimed to stand upon neutral ground. Those
who had taken up arms against Great Britain, however, declared that
there were but two sides to the question, and no neutral ground;--that
those who were not for them were against them.

Hare was declared and proclaimed an "attainted traitor," and his
property was confiscated and sold. Who became the purchaser we could
not ascertain; but, after peace was declared and the treaty between the
United States and Great Britain ratified, Hare returned, and claimed
the benefit of that part of the treaty which restored their possessions
to all those of his Majesty's subjects that had not taken up arms
against the colonists. As there was no direct evidence that he killed
Loudenslager, Congress was compelled to purchase back and restore his
property to him.

He lived and died on his farm. The venerable Mrs. Armitage, the
mother-in-law of Senator Cresswell, of Hollidaysburg, remembers seeing
him when she was quite young and he an old man. She says he used to
conceal the loss of his ears by wearing his hair long.

During life he was shunned, and he died unregretted; but, we are sorry
to say, his name is perpetuated: the place in which he lived, was
cropped, and died, and is still called Hare's Valley. The people of
Huntingdon should long since have changed it, and blotted from their
memory a name linked to infamy and crime.



Moses Donaldson lived in Hartslog settlement, where Hatfield's
iron-works are now located, near Alexandria. In 1777, after the first
Indian outrages had been committed, the neighboring settlers met, and
resolved for their better protection to build a stockade fort somewhere
near the river. After the building was decided upon, the location
became a subject of contention--one party wanting the fort at Lytle's,
another at Donaldson's, and for a while party strife ran high. Lytle,
however, succeeded in out-generalling Donaldson,--not because his
location was the most eligible, but simply because he was the most
popular man. The fort was built at Lytle's, under Donaldson's protest,
who declared that he never would go into it,--that if danger threatened
he would fort at Standing Stone,--a vow he religiously kept, at the
expense of the loss of his wife and two children, we regret to say.

He continued living at his own house until the spring of 1778, when
Indian alarms became so frequent that he removed his family to
Huntingdon. In a short time the fears of the people were somewhat
lulled, and most of them returned to their homes again. Mr. Donaldson,
finding his farm-work pressing, returned to his home about the first of
June, and prepared to make hay.

On the 11th of the month, a girl who was after cows discovered in
Anderson's bottom, near the mouth of Shaver's Creek, an encampment of
some five or six Indians. Without their discovering her, she made her
way back and communicated the intelligence, and the news was soon
circulated among the settlers. The five Indians were considered the
advance of a large party; otherwise they might readily have been cut
off by a dozen resolute men. Instead of making the least effort to
ascertain the number of the savages, the people fled to the forts in
the utmost consternation.

On the same evening, a convoy of canoes landed at the mouth of Shaver's
Creek, and the soldiers stopped at an old inn on the bank of the creek.
They had taken a load of supplies to Water Street Landing for the Lead
Mine Fort, and were returning with lead-ore, consigned to Middletown
for smelting. The state of affairs was laid before the commander of the
convoy, and Mr. Anderson prevailed upon him to stay a day or two, until
the alarm had subsided.

On the afternoon of the 12th, Donaldson was warned that the Indians had
been seen a second time, and advised to fort at Lytle's without delay.
This he refused to do point-blank, but immediately packed up, put his
family into a canoe, and started for Huntingdon. When he reached the
mouth of Shaver's Creek, he tied the canoe to the root of a tree at the
bank of the creek, and went up to transact some business with Mr.
Anderson, accompanied by his oldest child--a lad nine or ten years of
age,--leaving his wife and two younger children in the canoe.

After an absence of half an hour, the boy returned to the canoe; but,
as he came in sight of it, he observed a number of Indians taking his
mother and the children out of it. He hastened back to the inn and told
the soldiers, but they considered it a fabrication, and paid no
attention to what he said. From thence he hastened to Anderson's and
told his father, who immediately followed him, and found it only too
true that his family had been abducted--that, too, within the hearing,
and almost within sight, of twelve soldiers. Donaldson went to the inn,
and appealed to the commandant to start his force in immediate pursuit.
This, however, was found totally impracticable, as they had been making
a sort of holiday by getting drunk, and were unfit for duty of any
kind; which was to be regretted, for the timely notice of the outrage
would easily have enabled them, had they been in condition, to overtake
the savages.

Early next morning the soldiers started in pursuit in one direction,
and the people of the settlement formed into a strong party and went in
another, and in this manner the entire country was scoured. Toward
evening a bonnet belonging to one of the children was found in a
rye-field, near where the Maguire farm now stands, which indicated the
direction the savages had taken.

Next day the search was resumed and continued until night; but no
tidings whatever could be obtained of the route the savages had taken,
and they were finally obliged to give them up as lost.

Several years elapsed before their fate was known. Thomas Johnston and
Peter Crum, while hunting up Spruce Creek, probably a mile and a half
from its mouth, came upon the camp of a friendly Indian family, near
whose wigwam an old woman was engaged in boiling sugar, and who
informed them that she had long been waiting for some white hunters to
come up, as she had something to show them. She then led the way, and,
half a mile off, showed them the skeletons of a grown person and two
children. This news was communicated to Mr. Donaldson, and he had the
skeletons taken to Shaver's Creek, with a view of interring them. But
here a new difficulty arose. Mr. Eaton had not yet recovered his
family, abducted from Kishicoquillas Valley, and there was no reason
why these skeletons might not be those of his family. The matter was
finally determined by a weaver, who testified to a piece of Mrs.
Donaldson's short-gown, found near her remains.

When we reflect over this act of savage atrocity, we are free to
confess that we look upon it as one of the most inhuman and revolting
on record. The woman, with her two children, taken to a neighboring
wood, and there, in all probability, tomahawked and scalped in
succession,--the children witnessing the agony of the dying mother, or
perhaps the mother a witness to the butchery of her helpless
offspring,--the very recital chills the blood.

The son, who accompanied his father to Anderson's, died at a very
advanced age, at or near Lock Haven, a year or two ago.

William Donaldson, of Hollidaysburg, is a son of Moses Donaldson by a
second wife.



We have already mentioned the Hicks family in a preceding chapter, and
incidentally mentioned their captivity for a number of years among the
Indians. We have made the most unremitting exertions, yet we have
failed to ascertain any thing like a satisfactory account of this
remarkable family. The name of Gersham Hicks figures in Miner's
"History of Wyoming" as an Indian guide, while in the Archives he is
noticed as an Indian interpreter, previous to the war of the
Revolution. Where they were taken, or when released, is not positively
known. One thing, however, is quite certain: that is, that they made
themselves masters of both the habits and language of many of the

Mrs. Fee thinks they came to Water Street immediately after their
release from captivity, and settled there. During their captivity they
imbibed the Indian habit to such a degree that they wore the Indian
costume, even to the colored eagle-feathers and little trinkets which
savages seem to take so much delight in. Gersham and Moses were
unmarried, but Levi, the elder, brought with him a half-breed as his
wife, by whom he had a number of children. They all settled at Water
Street, and commenced the occupation of farming. Subsequently, Levi
rented from the Bebaults the tub-mill at or near the mouth of Spruce


When the Indian troubles commenced in the spring of 1778, he was
repeatedly urged to go either to Lytle's or Lowry's Fort, and let the
mill stand until the alarm had subsided. Hicks, however, obstinately
refused, declaring that he was safe. It is thus apparent that he relied
upon his intimate knowledge of the Indian character and language for
safety, in case any of the marauders should find their way to what he
looked upon as a sort of an out-of-the-way place,--a fatal case of
misplaced confidence, notwithstanding it was asserted that the fall
previous a party had attacked his cabin, and that, on his addressing
them in their own language, they had desisted.

On the 12th of May, 1778, Hicks started his mill in the morning, as was
his usual custom, and then repaired to breakfast. While in the house he
procured a needle and thread, returned to the mill, replenished the
hopper, and then seated himself near the door and commenced mending a
moccasin. He had been occupied at this but a minute or two before he
heard a rustling in the bushes some ten or fifteen yards in front of
him. The idea of there being Indians in the vicinity never entered his
head; nobody had seen or heard of any in the settlement. Consequently,
in direct violation of an established custom, he walked forward to
ascertain the cause of the commotion in the bushes, leaving his rifle
leaning against the mill. He advanced but one or two steps before he
was shot through the heart.

His wife, who was in the house at the time, hearing the report, ran to
the door, and in an instant comprehended how matters stood. She opened
the back door, ran down the river to a fording, crossed over, and, with
all the speed she could command, hastened over the mountain to Lytle's
Fort. Near Alexandria she met a man on horseback, who, noticing her
distracted condition, demanded what the matter was. She explained as
best she could, when the man turned back and rode rapidly toward the
fort to apprise the people of what had occurred. It was then that the
woman fairly recovered her senses, and, on looking around for the first
time, she noticed her little son, about ten years old, who had followed
her. The sight of him reminded her of her family of children at home,
at the mercy of the savages, and all the mother's devotion was aroused
within her. She picked up her boy, and, exhausted as she was, hastened
toward the fort with him.

As it subsequently appeared, one of the children of Mrs. Hicks,--a girl
between three and four years of age,--directly after her escape, went
out to see her father, just while the savages were in the act of
scalping him. She was too young to comprehend the act clearly, but,
seeing the blood about his head, she commenced crying, and screamed,
"My pappy! my pappy! what are you doing to my poor pappy?"

One of the Indians drew his tomahawk from his belt and knocked the
child down, after which he scalped it; and, without venturing to the
house, the savages departed. Mrs. Hicks reached the fort, and the news
of the murder soon spread over the country, but the usual delays
occurred in getting up a scout to follow the marauders. Some declared
their unwillingness to go unless there was a large force, as the
depredators might only be some stragglers belonging to a large party;
others, that their rifles were out of order; and others again pleaded
sickness. In this way the day slipped around, and in the mean time the
savages got far beyond their reach, even in case the scout could have
been induced to follow them.

Next morning, however, a party mustered courage and went over to the
mill, where they found Hicks scalped on the spot where he fell, and his
rifle gone.

The inside of the house presented one of the saddest spectacles ever
witnessed in the annals of savage atrocities. Two of the children were
lying upon the floor crying, and the infant in the cradle, for the want
of nourishment had apparently cried until its crying had subsided into
the most pitiful moanings; while the little girl that had been scalped
sat crouched in a corner, gibbering like an idiot, her face and head
covered with dry clotted blood!

Of course, considering the start the Indians had, it was deemed useless
to follow them; so they buried Hicks near the mill, and removed the
family to the fort.

It may seem a little singular, nevertheless it is true, that the child,
in spite of its fractured skull and the loss of its scalp, actually
recovered, and lived for a number of years after the outrage, although
its wounds were never dressed by a physician. It was feeble-minded,
however, owing to the fracture.

As no other family resided near the mill, no person could be induced to
take it after Hicks was murdered, and it stood idle for years.

The murder of Hicks created the usual amount of alarm, but no
depredations followed in the immediate neighborhood for some time after
his death.



In consequence of the rumors so rife in 1778 of the country being
filled with Indians, the people of Stone Valley, north of Huntingdon,
determined to build a fort. While concerting the measures for its
erection, a Mr. McCormick stated that, inasmuch as the population of
the valley was not very large, and the labor and expense attending the
erection of a fortress very great, he would agree that his house should
be put into repair, pierced for defence, and that the people should
fort with him. This proposition was eagerly accepted by the people, who
went willingly to work; and in a very short time his house was
converted into Fort McCormick, into which nearly all the settlers of
Stone Valley fled at once.

Among others who took up their residence there was an old lady named
Houston, who had resided some seven miles up the valley. She was a
very amiable old lady, though somewhat garrulous, for which some of
the settlers were disposed to ridicule her. It appears she had a small
patch of flax out, which gave her more trouble than a hundred acres of
wheat would occasion some men. She was constantly lamenting the
certain loss of her flax, until the very word flax got to be a byword.
As the time for pulling the flax approached, the old woman importuned
every man in the fort to accompany her to her house only for a day,
but her appeals were all in vain; some declared they would not go so
far from the fort for a ten-acre field of flax, while an old soldier
intimated that he would be pretty sure to be _flaxed_ if he went. In
short, her request was treated as a jest. Nevertheless, the old woman
indulged some sort of a vague hope that somebody would help her out of
her difficulty, and she continued talking about the flax.

One morning, about the middle of August, a number of men were seated in
front of the fort, when some one started the ever laughable theme of
the old woman's flax-patch; and, while conversing with the usual levity
upon the old woman's trials, a young man, named James McClees, joined
the party. After listening to them some time, he got up and said--

"Boys, it is bad enough to be too cowardly to help the old woman gather
her flax; to ridicule her misfortune is a shame."

"If you think it is cowardly, why don't you go and help her pull it?"
said one of the men, who was evidently piqued at what had been said.

"That is just my intention," said he. "Mrs. Houston, get ready, and
I'll go with you to pull your flax."

The dream was at last to be realized, and the old woman's heart was
overflowing with gratitude. In a few moments she was ready. McClees
shouldered his rifle, and the two departed--alas! to return no more.

McClees was but eighteen years of age, but extremely well-proportioned,
and his vocabulary knew no such word as fear. Sad fate, that his noble
and generous impulses should have been the means of cutting him off in
the very flower of youth!

Of the manner of his death there was no living witness to speak; but on
and around his body, when found, there were unmistakable signs of such
actions as are supposed to speak as plain as words.

Both had promised to return to the fort in the evening, or the evening
following at farthest. The first evening passed, and they came not; the
second evening, and still no sign of them. This created alarm, and the
necessary arrangements were made to go in search of them.

As soon as the ordinary duty of the morning was performed, as many
armed men as it was deemed safe to spare were sent up the Valley. When
they arrived at Mrs. Houston's house they found all quiet, and no signs
of either Mrs. Houston or McClees having been there. They then started
up the hill-side, toward the flax-patch; but before they reached it
they found the dead body of Mrs. Houston. She had been killed
apparently by cuts from a hatchet on the forehead, and her scalp was
taken off. The flax was untouched, which rendered it probable that she
was attacked and killed while on her way to the patch.

A hundred yards farther on lay McClees, literally covered with blood,
and stabbed and cut in every part of his body. As there were no
bullet-wounds upon him, it was evident that the fight was a
hand-to-hand encounter, and the struggle must have been a long,
fearful, and bloody one. That McClees had sold his life dearly was also
very apparent. His rifle was gone; but by his side lay his knife,
bloody, and the point broken off. Near him lay a tomahawk, also bloody,
and the ground was clotted with blood for a circuit of twenty yards. In
addition to these, eagle-feathers, beads, and shreds of buckskin, were
found lying about where the struggle had taken place.

The nature of this fearful fight could only be guessed at by these
tokens; but the true state of it was revealed in a few years after; for
within a mile of where the struggle took place, on the bench of the
mountain, two hunters found the remains of three Indians covered with
bark. The supposition was that McClees had been attacked by five of
them, and killed two outright and mortally wounded a third before they
despatched him.

A hero such as this brave youth proved himself in that desperate
encounter certainly deserved a better fate.

In concluding our reminiscences of Stone Valley we cannot omit giving
an anecdote, characteristic of the times, told us by an old friend.

Far up Stone Creek lived an old gentleman named O'Burn. In 1777, being
a thrifty farmer, he raised nearly a thousand bushels of wheat. The
year following, times became very hard--wheat was high, and commanded a
price which placed it almost beyond the reach of poor men. The fact
that O'Burn had a large quantity of wheat attracted to his house
numerous customers; and the manner in which he dealt with them may be
inferred from the following:--

A man reputed to be rich rode up to his house, when Mr. O'Burn made his
appearance in the doorway.

"Mr. O'Burn, have you any wheat?"

"Plenty of it. Have you the money to pay for it?"


"A horse to carry it, and bags to put it in, I see."

"Oh, yes; every thing," said the stranger.

"Well, then," replied O'Burn, "you can go to Big Valley for your wheat;
mine is for people who have no money to pay, no bags to put it in, and
no horses to carry it off!"

We regret to say that the race of O'Burns became extinct some years



In the Valley of Tuckahoe, stretching from Altoona to the mouth of the
Bald Eagle, there were some depredations committed, but never any of a
very serious nature, except upon one occasion. The cause of this can be
traced, in a great measure, to the fact that Thomas and Michael Coleman
and Michael Wallack lived in the upper end of the valley. These men
were so well known and so much feared by the Indians, that, although
the Kittaning Path, leading to the Bald Eagle Valley, ran directly
through Tuckahoe, they always avoided it, for fear of finding those old
and experienced hunters ambuscaded along their route. Besides, Captain
Logan, a friendly chief, lived for some years in what is now known as
Logan's Valley. He was also known and feared, and he was constantly on
the watch to guard against the incursions of hostile savages. Add to
this the fact that the valley was thinly populated, and the risk
attending the hunting for scalps immeasurably great, small roving
parties, on but two or three occasions, made their appearance in

In the fall of 1777, two savages took captive two children while at
play, near a cabin located somewhere in the neighborhood of where Mr.
Hutchinson now lives. Thomas Coleman happened to be out hunting, and
saw them come up the path. Each one was carrying a child, but neither
of them had fire-arms, so that he felt quite at ease. From behind the
tree where he stood, he might easily have shot one of the savages, but
he would not run the risk for fear of hitting the child; so, waiting
until they had passed him, he jumped into the path, levelled his gun
at them, and shouted "_surrender_!" The affrighted savages dropped the
children and disappeared in the woods.

On another occasion they entered the valley, stole three horses, and
set fire to a stable. A number of pioneers tracked them through the old
war-path to the top of the mountain; which was quite as far as it was
prudent to venture, as that was considered the line dividing the white
settlements from the Indian country.

The only massacre in Tuckahoe ever committed by the savages took place
in the summer of 1778. A man named John Guilliford cleared a small
patch of land a short distance south of where Blair Furnace now stands,
and erected his cabin near where John Trout's house is. In the spring
of 1778, he abandoned his ground and cabin after the first alarm of
Indian depredations, and sought safety in Fetter's Fort. In the course
of the summer, after the alarm had somewhat subsided, Guilliford went
down to see how his crops were progressing. His body was found the same
day by Coleman and Milligan. It was lying at the threshold of his cabin
door; so that, in all probability, he was shot just as he was coming
out of his house. Coleman and Milligan dug a grave near the hut, and
buried him as he was, without a coffin. The most remarkable feature
about this murder was that Guilliford was not scalped. When we remember
that scalps were paid for at the British garrison at Detroit, the
omission to scalp Guilliford appears almost inexplicable. Coleman and
Milligan went in search of the Indians, but did not succeed in getting
upon their trail.



The Moore family, whose name is identified with Scotch Valley as the
original settlers, came to this country probably about the year 1768,
from Scotland. It consisted of Samuel Moore, his seven sons and two
daughters,--viz.: Daniel, William, John, Samuel, James, David, Joseph,
Elizabeth, and Jane. Their first stopping-place in the interior was in
Kishicoquillas Valley, where the hardy Scots commenced clearing land;
but the yield not being such as they were led to expect, the two elder
brothers, Daniel and William, were sent abroad by the old patriarch to
look for better land and more of it. Accordingly, they shaped their
course westward, prospecting as they went, until they reached what is
now known as Scotch Valley. How they found their way to that place, an
unbroken wilderness, five miles from the nearest human habitation, or
what the inducements were for stopping there, were puzzling questions
_then_. Let the reader _now_ look at the fine farms of Scotch Valley,
and he will see that, in selecting the spot, the Moores were actuated
by a sagacity that enabled them to see those fine lands blooming like
the rose in the future. They immediately occupied a large tract of
land, built a cabin, and commenced clearing. The year following they
went to Kishicoquillas, and brought on the father and the remainder of
the family.

Beneath their sturdy blows the giant oaks fell, and the wilderness was
turned into fields of waving grain, and they soon had a home that made
them even forget the Highlands of Scotland.

When the war broke out they were all stanch republicans, active and
energetic men, and were foremost in all measures of defence for the

William Moore, second son of Samuel, a useful man, loved and respected
by all who knew him, met his death at the hands of an Indian, in
August, 1778. It appears that one morning two of their horses were
missing, when William and a lad named George McCartney, about fourteen
years of age, started in pursuit of them--as a matter of course not
neglecting the caution of the day, to take their rifles with them. At
that time two paths led to Fetter's Fort from Scotch Valley,--one by
way of Frankstown, through Adam Holliday's farm, fording the river near
where the plank-road bridge now crosses south of Hollidaysburg; the
other led through the flat, back of the Presbyterian graveyard, and
north of Hollidaysburg. This was the most direct route; but, in order
to make a thorough research, they went by way of the river road, and
reached Fetter's Fort without obtaining any tidings of the missing
animals. After remaining at the fort a short time, they started on
their way home by the back or direct road. No Indians having been seen
in the country for some time, they travelled on with a feeling of
entire security, and never for a moment entertained the remotest idea
of coming in contact with savages. When they came to a pile of
drift-wood,--in what is now known as McCahen's Bottom, half a mile west
of Hollidaysburg,--while Moore was in the act of trying to get over the
drift, he was shot by an Indian from an ambuscade. The bullet entered
his back, passed through the left ventricle of the heart, and he fell
dead against the drift.

McCartney, who was some distance off, on the impulse of the moment
commenced running. In the mean time the Indian had come from his place
of concealment, and, seeing him, drew his tomahawk and followed.
McCartney soon finding that the savage was the fleetest, and must
overtake him, cocked his gun while running, suddenly wheeled, and aimed
at the Indian. This unexpected defence from a mere boy rather took the
Indian by surprise, and he jumped behind a tree, and McCartney did the
same, still keeping the aim ready to shoot in case the Indian moved
from the cover of the tree. While in this position, the Indian
commenced loading his rifle, and, after ramming home the powder, he
accidentally dropped his ramrod, which he stooped to pick up; in doing
which he exposed his posterior, which McCartney took advantage of, and
fired. The Indian gave a scream of mingled rage and pain, dropped his
rifle, and ran, picking up leaves on his way, which he endeavored to
thrust into the bullet-hole to stanch the blood.

Young McCartney, satisfied with the exploit, and thankful that his life
had been spared, did not pursue the savage. His first impulse was to do
so; but fearing that the chase might lead him into an encampment of the
enemy, since it invariably turned out that where there was one more
were not far off, he returned with all despatch to Fetter's Fort. The
men at the fort had heard both shots, but supposed that Moore and
McCartney had started game of some kind; consequently, they were
unprepared for any news of the kind. Fortunately, there happened to be
a very large force at Fetter's at the time, and, under the impression
that there must be more Indians in the neighborhood, a strong,
experienced force at once started out.

When they arrived at the drift, they found the body of Moore, stark in
death, leaning against it, with his rifle grasped in his uplifted
hands, as if in the very act of trying to climb over. His body was
removed to the fort by some of the men, while the remainder commenced
searching for the Indian. By his blood they tracked him nearly a mile
up the run, and even found a place where he had evidently stopped to
wash the blood off; but at length they lost all traces of his trail.
They continued their march, however, to Gap Run, in order to ascertain
whether there was any fresh Indian trail. In their conjectures that
there were other Indians near they were not mistaken. Half a mile west
of where Hutchinson's Mill now stands, they found traces of a fresh
encampment of a very large party, whose trail they followed several
miles up the Kittaning War-Path; but they soon abandoned all hope of
overtaking them, and returned to the fort.

The dead body of the Indian shot by McCartney was found, some time
afterward, by a Mr. Hileman, up Kittaning Run, where he had secreted
himself by the side of a log, under some bushes, and completely
covered himself with brush and leaves previous to giving up the ghost,
in order to prevent the whites from finding his body. The ruling
passion was strong even in death!

His rifle, which was kept at Fetter's, as a trophy, was a
brass-barrelled smooth-bore, with the British coat of arms stamped upon
it,--conclusive evidence that the entire savage band had been armed and
equipped by his Majesty's officers at Detroit, and were on a
scalp-hunting expedition.

During the troubles of 1779-80, when the frontier-men fled before the
assaults and merciless massacres of the Indians, the Moores returned to
their former residence in Kishicoquillas. But the restless Scots did
not remain away from their farm long. Some of them returned in a year;
but the old patriarch, Samuel, did not return until after the surrender
of Cornwallis. He was then accompanied by a colony of Scotchmen,
consisting of the Crawfords, Irwins, Fraziers, Stewarts, and
Macphersons, and others, constituting from twenty-five to thirty

The late Mr. Maguire, then quite a lad, was at Shaver's Creek when they
passed on their way west. They were all in full Highland costume, with
bonnet and kilt, armed with claymores and Queen Anne muskets. He had
seen Indians before, but never any Highlanders, and, while listening to
their Gaelic dialect, he wondered to himself what tribe they belonged

These men settled in the upper end of the valley; hence the
name--"Scotch Valley." By their sinewy arms and sturdy blows the oaks
of the forest fell, and by their unremitting toil to gain a home in the
New World they encountered and triumphed over the most formidable
obstacles, until the valley--its natural soil taken into
consideration--became one of the finest of its size in the country.

The Moore family were the first persons who conceived the idea of
running arks down the river from Frankstown. This they accomplished
successfully before the close of the last century, and afterward
engaged in running flat-boats between Frankstown and Middletown.

Of the third generation of the Moore family but three remain in this
vicinity,--viz.: T. B. Moore, in Hollidaysburg; Jesse Moore, at the old
homestead, in Scotch Valley; and Johnston Moore, in Ebensburg. Others,
however, live in the West; and the fourth generation, whose number we
are not able to compute, are scattered over the Union.

The descendants of the men who wound their way up the Juniata, in
Highland costume, nearly three-quarters of a century ago, with all
their worldly possessions upon pack-horses, are also numerous; and many
of them have risen to wealth and eminence by their own unaided



Woodcock Valley, located north of Huntingdon, is one of the
oldest-settled valleys in the county. In the days of Indian
depredations, it was a favorite haunt of the savage, whose great
war-path from the West to the East went through a part of it.

The first murder committed in it during the Revolutionary struggle
occurred at Coffey Run, near the present residence of Mr. Entriken. The
victim was a man named Elder, the husband of the woman mentioned in a
preceding chapter as having been carried a captive to Detroit by the
Indians. As there is no living witness who was present, the
circumstances connected with his massacre are merely traditionary. He
was on his way home in company with Richard Shirley, when he was shot
and scalped; in which condition he was found by a scouting party a day
or two after the occurrence. This was in 1778, and the same year a
number of captives were taken from the valley; but the accounts are so
vague that we can give no reliable data.

The Breckenridge family lived about three miles south-east of
McConnelstown, on the road which now leads from Huntingdon to Bedford,
on the farm at present occupied by Ludwig Hoover. The family consisted
of the father, mother, two sons,--John and Thomas, aged respectively
eighteen and sixteen years,--a girl aged fourteen, another aged three
years, and an infant at the breast. They had, during the alarms of
massacres, forted at Hartsock's Fort, which was almost in sight of
their farm; but in the spring of 1779, the alarm having in a great
measure subsided, they, as well as the rest of the settlers, went home,
and the fort was abandoned, under the full impression that they would
have no further use for it,--that Indian depredations were ended. In
this they were most signally mistaken.

In July--probably about the middle of the month,--one morning, directly
after breakfast, the sons, John and Thomas, started in search of a
horse that had broken from his enclosure the night previous. After they
had gone, the old lady occupied herself in her household duties, while
the oldest daughter repaired to the spring-house in the meadow,--a
distance of probably five hundred yards from the house,--for the
purpose of churning. While engaged in this occupation, she was suddenly
confronted by five Indians. Probably overcome by fright, she made no
effort to escape, but screamed at the top of her voice. The father,
without suspecting the real cause of the difficulty, started, unarmed,
in the direction of the spring-house, and when within twenty yards of
it a bullet from one of the Indian rifles struck him, and he fell dead
in the path. Mrs. Breckenridge was looking out of the window at the
time, and, fearing that their next move would be in the direction of
the house, she snatched the infant out of the cradle, and, taking in
her arms the other child, escaped. Instinctively she took the path
toward Standing Stone,--a direction in which the Indians were not
likely to follow. She pursued the path along Crooked Run for a few
miles, and then sank exhausted upon the ground. As soon as she rallied,
she endeavored to continue her way to the Stone; but to her dismay she
found that she had wandered from the path and was lost. In this
condition, she wandered about the woods with her children the whole day
and the entire night. Next day, the oldest child complained bitterly of
hunger, when the mother fortunately came to a rye-field. The rye was
just beginning to head, in spots, and she gathered a number of heads,
rubbed out the kernels, and gave them to the child. As the operation
was a tedious one, in consequence of the scarcity of the grain, she
took off her under-garment, wrapped up the infant and laid it down, and
went to work to procure sufficient to appease the appetite of the
child, and while so engaged she unconsciously wandered a considerable
distance from the infant.

John and Thomas returned to the house with the horses late in the
afternoon; and, seeing their father and sister murdered, believed that
the mother, with the other children, had either met the same fate or
been carried into captivity. They lost no time in making their way to
Standing Stone Fort, where they communicated the sad intelligence. By
that time it was nearly dark, and entirely too late to make any further
effort; but at the dawn of day, next morning, a posse of men went to
Breckenridge's house, where the murdered father and daughter lay, and,
while part of the people employed themselves in removing the bodies
preparatory to burial, another party scoured the country in search of
the mother, being encouraged to do so by seeing her tracks leading
toward Crooked Run. Late in the afternoon they found her, at the edge
of the rye-field, leading her child; but the anguish she had endured
had in a measure unsettled her mind, and she was unable to tell where
she had left the infant. It was deemed advisable to remove her to the
fort. By next day, she had so far recovered as to be able to state that
she left the infant in the field; whereupon a party set out, and
returned with it in the evening.

The infant had apparently not suffered a great deal, except from the
annoyance of flies. _Its entire face was fly-blown_; and yet, strange
to say, she recovered, grew to be a strong, healthy woman, got
married, and was the mother of Isaac B. Meek, Esq., formerly a member
of the legislature from Centre county, and, we are told, died but a
few years ago.

John Breckenridge became a distinguished Presbyterian preacher. Mr.
Maguire was under the impression that he located among his relatives in
Kentucky; but Dr. Junkin, of Hollidaysburg, whose knowledge of church
history cannot be questioned, informs us that he officiated for many
years in the first Presbyterian church ever built in Washington City.

Woodcock Valley was the scene of the massacre of Captain Phillips's
scout,--one of the most cruel and cold-blooded murders on record,--a
massacre which hurried into eternity ten as brave men as ever ranged
the woods of the Juniata Valley.

The following is Colonel Piper's official report of the massacre, made
to President Reed. It contains no particulars, and is also inaccurate;
nevertheless, we deem it worthy of a place, as it bears an official
stamp. We copy it from the Archives of 1780:--

    _Bedford County, August 6, 1780._

    SIR:--Your favor of the third of June, with the blank commissions,
    have been duly received; since which we have been anxiously
    employed in raising our quota of Pennsylvania volunteers, and at
    the same time defending our frontiers. But, in our present
    shattered situation, a full company cannot be expected from this
    county, when a number of our militia companies are entirely broken
    up and whole townships laid waste, so that the communication
    betwixt our upper and lower districts is entirely broken, and our
    apprehensions of immediate danger are not lessened, but greatly
    aggravated by a most alarming stroke. Captain Phillips, an
    experienced, good woodman, had engaged a company of rangers for the
    space of two months, for the defence of our frontiers, was
    surprised at his fort on Sunday, the 16th of July, when the
    captain, with eleven of his company, were all taken and killed.
    When I received the intelligence, which was the day following, I
    marched, with only ten men, directly to the place, where we found
    the house burnt to ashes, with sundry Indian tomahawks that had
    been lost in the action, but found no person killed at that place;
    but, upon taking the Indian tracks, within about one half-mile we
    found ten of Captain Phillips's company, with their hands tied, and
    murdered in the most cruel manner.

    This bold enterprise so alarmed the inhabitants that our whole
    frontiers were upon the point of giving way; but, upon application
    to the Lieutenant of Cumberland county, he hath sent to our
    assistance one company of the Pennsylvania volunteers, which, with
    the volunteers raised in our own county, hath so encouraged the
    inhabitants that they seem determined to stand it a little longer.
    We hope our conduct will receive your approbation; and you'll
    please to approve it by sending your special order to our county
    commissioner to furnish these men with provisions and other
    necessaries until such times as other provisions can be made for
    our defence. As Colonel Smith will deliver this, I beg leave to
    recommend you to him, as he is very capable to give full
    satisfaction to you, in every particular, of our present

    I have the honor to be,

      With all due respect,

        Your Excellency's most ob't

          And very humble servant,

            JOHN PIPER.

Overlooking the fact that Colonel Piper, in this semi-official
statement, did not even condescend to mention the name of a single one
of the brave men who fell by the hands of the ruthless savages, is it
not a little strange that the whole report should be filled with gross
inaccuracies, not the least of which is that Captain Phillips was
killed, when it is notorious that he returned after the war--having
been taken prisoner,--and people are still living in the valley who saw
him many years after the massacre of his scout?

Captain Phillips, previous to the disaster, resided near what is now
Williamsburg. He was a man of some energy, and a skilful and
experienced woodman. He had made a temporary fortress of his house, to
guard against savage incursions, and his usefulness in protecting the
frontier was duly appreciated by the settlers. Through the influence of
some of the most prominent men about Clover Creek, Colonel Piper was
induced to give Mr. Phillips a captain's commission, with authority to
raise a company of rangers to serve for two months, as it was known
that there was a large body of savages somewhere in the valley,
unmistakeable traces of their presence having been seen at many places
along the river.

Captain Phillips commenced recruiting men immediately on the reception
of his commission; but, owing to the fact that it was just the
beginning of harvest, he met with very little success. By the 15th of
July, 1780, he had but ten men collected; but with these he determined
to scout through Woodcock Valley and the Cove, in order to protect the
farmers in harvesting their grain. To this end he distributed
ammunition and provisions, and the party marched from the Cove across
the mountain. On entering the valley, they found most of the houses
abandoned, but no signs of Indians. Late on Saturday evening they
arrived at the house of one Frederick Heater, which had been abandoned
by its owner. The house had been pierced with loopholes, to serve as a
temporary fortress in case of necessity, but the proprietor, unable to
find sufficient men to garrison it, had fled to Hartsock's Fort. At
this house Captain Phillips determined to remain over Sunday. The
entire force consisted of Captain Phillips, his son Elijah, aged
fourteen years, Philip Skelly, Hugh Skelly, P. and T. Sanders, Richard
Shirley, M. Davis, Thomas Gaitrell, Daniel Kelly, and two men whose
names are no longer remembered. After partaking of their supper they
all stretched themselves out on the floor and slept soundly until
morning. While preparing their morning meal, one of the Skellys
happened to open the door, when he discovered that the house was
surrounded by Indians. A glance sufficed to show Captain Phillips how
matters stood. There were not less than sixty Indians, and among them
two white men, dressed, decorated, and painted, the same as the
savages. The captain at first supposed they were marauders, and would
probably not stop; but the hope was most delusive. A small shower of
rain having fallen the day previous, this savage war-party had tracked
Phillips and his men to the very door of Heater's house. Phillips
commanded the utmost silence, and awaited with breathless anxiety the
further movements of the enemy. Through the window he discovered the
savages grouped upon an eminence--some ten of them armed with rifles,
and the remainder with bows and arrows--in consultation. Directly one
of the savages fired his rifle, which was evidently a _ruse_ to draw
the men from the house; but it did not succeed. At last one of the
Indians ventured within rifle-range of the house, when Gaitrell,
unable to resist the temptation, thrust the muzzle of his rifle
through one of the loopholes, fired, and shot him through the left
shoulder. The war-whoop was then raised, and the savages ran to and
fro for a while, concealing themselves behind trees, some seventy
yards from the house, under the impression probably that an immediate
action would take place.

No further demonstrations being made by the rangers, the Indians waited
but a short time until, at a preconcerted signal, they fired a volley
at the door and window of the house, both of which were riddled by the
bullets, but no person was injured. The scout, in this agony of
suspense, surrounded by a large body of savages, with the greatest
bravery stood at the loopholes, and whenever a savage showed himself
within rifle-range he was shot at. In this manner two were killed and
two wounded. The Indians, in the mean time, continued firing at the
door and window; and in this way the fight continued until about the
middle of the afternoon, when Philip Skelly shot the chief through the
left cheek at a distance of nearly a hundred yards. This so exasperated
the Indians that they raised the war-whoop a second time, loud and
fierce, and appeared determined to have vengeance.

At this juncture an occurrence took place which seems almost incredible;
yet Captain Phillips, whose statement we are giving, vouched for the
truth of it, and he was unquestionably a man of veracity. Davis had
the muzzle of his rifle out of a loop-hole, and was intently watching
for a chance to shoot, when he felt a sudden jarring of the rifle. He
withdrew it, and found a sharp-pointed, tapering hickory arrow driven
into the muzzle so tight that it took the combined efforts of four men
to withdraw it. Whether this new method of spiking a gun was
intentional or not, it illustrated most forcibly the wonderful power
of the Indian over the bow--whether he fired at the rifle or the

The Indians, finding it impossible to dislodge the rangers from what
appeared a stronghold in every sense of the word, by all stratagems yet
used, affixed dry leaves and other combustible matter to arrows, set
fire to them, and lodged them upon the roof of the house, which soon
was on fire in two or three places. The men carried up all the water in
the house, and subdued the flames from the inside; but the water was
soon exhausted, and a fresh volley of the fire-arrows set the roof in a
blaze, and there were no longer means within their reach to quench the
destructive element. Still the rangers stood at the loopholes, even
when the upper part of the house was all on fire. Certain death stared
them in the face; they dared not go out of the house, for they would
expose the weakness of their force and meet instant destruction as soon
as they passed over the threshold; on the other hand, the fire above
them was raging, and they did not know what moment they would be buried
beneath the burning timbers. And yet the men never flinched. But, at
last, Captain Phillips, seeing the desperate strait to which they were
reduced, cried for quarter, and told the savages that he would
surrender, on condition that his men should be treated as prisoners and
not injured. To this the Indians assented, and the men escaped from the
house just in time to save their lives from fire, but only to meet a
death equally shocking.

The spokesman for the Indians--one of the white renegades--demanded, in
the first place, that all their arms should be delivered up. To this
the men readily agreed; and they handed their rifles and knives to the
savages. The next demand was that they should suffer themselves to be
pinioned, in order that none might escape. This degrading proposition
met no favor with the men; but they were compelled to submit, and their
hands were secured behind their backs by strong thongs. In this
condition they started--as the Indians said--for Kittaning; but, after
getting half a mile from the house, some five or six of the Indians,
who had Captain Phillips and his son in charge, continued on their
route, while the remainder ordered a halt. The ten men were then tied
to as many saplings, and two or three volleys of arrows were fired into

The fate of the scout was not known until Tuesday.

Some persons passing Heater's house on Monday morning, seeing it in
ruins, carried the news to Hartsock's Fort. An express was sent to
Colonel Piper, who arrived on the ground with a small force late on
Tuesday. About the house they found a number of tomahawks, knives, and
other articles, which indicated that an action had taken place; but the
fate of the men could not be conjectured.

Finally, some one discovered the tracks, and proposed following them,
which they did, and found the men at the place designated, each man
with from three to five arrows sticking in him. Some of them had not
been killed outright, and it was apparent that their struggles to get
loose must have been most desperate. Kelly was one of these, who, in
his efforts to free himself, had buried the thong in the flesh of his
arm. All of the men were scalped. They were buried on the spot where
they appeased the savage appetite for blood; and their mouldering bones
still repose there, without even the rudest of stones to commemorate
the sad event or perpetuate their memory.

Phillips, in consequence of his rank, was taken prisoner, as at that
time officers brought to the British garrison commanded an excellent
price. Himself and son were taken to Detroit, and from thence to
Montreal, and did not reach their home until peace was declared.

Some of the friends of the persons massacred were disposed to find
fault with Captain Phillips, especially as the massacre was so general
and yet he and his son had escaped. Of course, Phillips not being
present to defend himself, the talk was so much on one side that some
went so far as to stigmatize him as a traitor and a coward. On his
return, he gave the true version of the affair; and it must be admitted
by all that, under the circumstances, he did all that a brave officer
could do to save the lives of his men. Their fate weighed heavily on
his mind for the balance of his life; and in the thought of their
untimely end he forgot all the sufferings and privations he endured
while a prisoner in the camp of the enemy.



Water Street is an old place, and was settled prior to the Revolution.
A stream of water from the Canoe Mountain, supposed to be the Arch
Spring of Sinking Valley, passes down a ravine and empties into the
Juniata at this place. For some distance through a narrow defile, the
road passed directly through the bed of this stream,--a circumstance
which induced the settlers to call it Water Street when the original
settlement was made.

This for a long time was an important point, being the canoe-landing
for the interior country. Hence the name of Canoe Valley, applied to
the country now known as Catharine township, in Blair county. At this
place was General Roberdeau's landing, where he received his stores for
the lead mines, and where he shipped the lead-ore to be taken to
Middletown for smelting.

The number of persons living about Water Street and in the lower end of
Canoe Valley, during the Revolution, was fully as great as at the
present day.

Among the first settlers was Patrick Beatty. He was the father of seven
sons, regular flowers of the forest, who never would fort during all
the troubles, and who cared no more for an Indian than they did for a
bear. They lived in a cabin about a mile west of Water Street.

It is related of John, the oldest son, that, coming through the woods
one day, near his home, he met two Indians in his path. They both aimed
at him, but by successful dodging he prevented them from shooting, and
reached the house. He found one of his brothers at home; and the two,
seizing their rifles, started out after the Indians, and followed them
sixty miles, frequently getting sight of them, but never within
shooting distance. The Indians knew the Beattys, and feared them, for a
more daring and reckless party of young fellows never existed in the

It is a remarkable coincidence that of the Beattys there were seven
brothers, seven brothers of the Cryders, seven of the Ricketts, seven
of the Rollers, and seven of the Moores,--constituting the most
formidable force of active and daring frontier-men to be found between
Standing Stone and the base of the mountain.

In the winter of 1778 or the spring of 1779, Lowry's Fort was erected,
about two and a half or three miles west of Water Street, for the
protection of the settlers of Water Street and Canoe Valley. Although
built upon Lowry's farm, Captain Simonton was by unanimous consent
elected the commander. Thus, during the year 1779 and the greater part
of 1780, the people divided their time between the fort and their
farms, without any molestation from the savages. Occasionally an alarm
of Indian depredations sent the entire neighborhood to the fort in
great haste; but just so soon as the alarm had subsided they all went
to their farms again.

Some few of the neighbors, for some reason or other, would not fort at
Lowry's; whether because they apprehended no danger, or because they
felt quite as secure at home, we have no means of knowing. Among these
was Matthew Dean, Esq., one of the most influential men in Canoe
Valley, who lived but half a mile from the fort. His reason for not
forting there, however, arose from an old personal animosity existing
between himself and Lowry, and not from any fancied security at his own
house, for he had several times, during the alarms of 1779, made
preparations to remove his family to Huntingdon.

In the fall of 1780, on a Sunday evening, Captain Simonton and his
wife, and his son John, a lad eight years of age, paid a visit to
Dean's house. They spent the evening in conversation on the ordinary
topics of the day, in the course of which Captain Simonton told Dean
that he had heard of Indians having been seen in Sinking Valley, and
that if any thing more of them was heard it would be advisable for them
to fort. Dean gave it as his opinion that the rumor was false, and that
there was no cause for alarm, much less forting.

The family of Mr. Dean consisted of himself, his wife, and eight
children, with the prospect of another being added to the family in a
day or two. The last words Mrs. Dean spoke to Mrs. Simonton were to
have her shoes ready, as she might send for her before morning. When
the Simontons were ready to start, the lad John was reluctant to go;
and at the request of Mrs. Dean he was allowed to stay with their
children until morning, at which time Mrs. Simonton promised to visit
her neighbor.

In the morning, as soon as breakfast was over, Dean, with his two boys
and two oldest girls, went to a cornfield for the purpose of breaking
it up preparatory to sowing rye in it. The boys managed the plough,
while the girls made what was called "steps," or holes between the
corn-hills, where the plough could not be brought to bear. Mr. Dean had
taken his rifle with him, and, after directing the work for a while, he
saw large numbers of wild pigeons flying in the woods adjoining the
field, and he went to shoot some of them. He had been in the woods but
a short time when he happened to look in the direction of his house,
and saw smoke issuing from it, when he immediately went to his children
and informed them of it. By that time the volume of smoke had so
increased that they were satisfied the house was on fire, and they all
started for home at their utmost speed.

In the mean time Mrs. Simonton, according to promise, came over to
Dean's house. She, too, saw the smoke some distance off, and by the
time she reached the gate, which was simultaneously with the arrival of
the family from the corn-field, the house was in a sheet of flame. Up
to this time no one had supposed that the fire was the work of Indians.
Mrs. Simonton saw a little girl, about eight years of age, lying upon
the steps, scalped; but she did not notice its being scalped,--merely
supposing that the child had a red handkerchief tied around its head,
and had fallen asleep where it lay. But when she went into the gate to
get the child out, and the blood gushed up between the boards on which
she trod, the fearful reality burst upon her mind; then she thought
about her own little son, and for a while was almost frantic.

News of the disaster was conveyed to the fort, and in a few hours the
entire neighborhood was alarmed. A strong force, headed by the Beattys,
started in pursuit, and got upon the track of the savages, but could
not find them. They even waylaid the gap through which the war-path
ran; but all to no purpose, for they got clear of the settlements by
some other route.

Captain Simonton, at the time of the outrage, was at Minor's Mill,
getting a grist ground. On his return, he heard the news at Water
Street, when he threw the bag of flour from the horse, and rode as fast
as the animal could carry him to the scene of the disaster, where he
arrived in a state of mind bordering closely upon madness--for he
passionately loved his little boy--just as the neighbors were taking
the roasted and charred remains of Mrs. Dean and her three children out
of the ashes. One of the neighbors so engaged was a daughter of Mr.
Beatty, now Mrs. Adams, still living in Gaysport, at a very advanced
age, who gave us a graphic account of the occurrence.

The remains taken out were joined together, and the skeletons of Mrs.
Dean and her three children could be recognised; but no bones were
found to conform to the size of Simonton's son. The Dean girls then
recollected that, when last seen, he was playing near the front door
with the little girl. It was then suggested that he might be killed,
and that his body was perhaps lying somewhere near the house; but a
most thorough search revealed nothing of the kind, and it was only too
evident that the Indians had carried the child into captivity.

The murder of the Deans was the cause of universal regret, for they
were known and respected by every person in the upper end of the
Juniata Valley, and it did not fail to spread consternation into every
settlement, even where people thought themselves beyond the reach of
the merciless and bloodthirsty savages.

The reason why Simonton's child was carried into captivity, instead of
being murdered and scalped, was believed to be because the Indians knew
the child and expected that Simonton would follow them and pay
liberally for his ransom.

The remains of the Deans were buried, and the family bore up as well as
they could under the sad infliction; but it was some years before
Matthew Dean fairly recovered from the blow.

The descendants of the Dean family are numerous--a majority of them
living in the neighborhood of Williamsburg, Blair county. One of the
young girls in the cornfield at the time of the massacre married a Mr.
Caldwell, and was the mother of David Caldwell, at present one of the
associate judges of Blair county.

Captain Simonton never became reconciled to the loss of his son. He
made all the inquiries he could; wrote to government, and even went
from his home as far as to Chillicothe, Ohio, to attend a treaty; but
all to no purpose: he could obtain no tidings of him. While there, he
caused proclamation to be made to the Indians, offering a reward of £10
for any information as to his whereabouts, or £100 for his recovery.
This was a munificent sum for the ransom of a mere boy, considering the
financial condition of the country; and the Indians promised to find
him, if possible.

A year after his return home, the final treaty for the delivery of
prisoners was held in the Miami Valley. Again Captain Simonton
undertook the journey--then a more formidable undertaking than
traversing half the Union would be now.

But he was again doomed to bitter disappointment. The children were
brought forward, but none bore the slightest resemblance to his lost
boy. So the captain returned to his home, bereft of all hope. The last
feeble prop was gone, and Simonton was as near being a broken-hearted
man as any one could well be without giving way entirely to despair.

When the late war with Great Britain broke out, Huntingdon county,
notwithstanding it had more than its proportion of tories in the time
of the Revolution, furnished three companies to go to the Canadian
frontier. In Captain Moses Canan's company were two, probably three, of
Captain Simonton's sons. They knew they had a brother abducted by the
Indians, but it never occurred to either of them that they should ever
see him.

The companies of Captains Allison, Canan, and Vandevender, encamped in
Cattaraugus, New York,--a country then occupied by the Seneca Indians.

These Indians were neutral at that time, although they favored the
American cause and readily furnished supplies to the soldiers. Among
them was a white man, who appeared to hold a very prominent position.
He owned lands, cattle, horses, lived in a well-constructed house, and
was married to a squaw, by whom he had several children. This was the
long-lost John Simonton. After Captain Canan's company had left, two
men belonging to Vandevender's company, originally from Water Street,
commenced talking about this white man among the Indians; and both of
them agreed that he bore a most striking resemblance to the Simonton

Next day, happening to meet him in front of his own house, one of them
accosted him with the somewhat abrupt question of "What is your name?"

He answered, in broken English, "John Sims."

"Are you from the Juniata?" continued the man.

"I think I am," was Simonton's reply.

"Do you remember any thing of the country?"

"I remember my father, who used to have two big fires, and large
barrels, in which he stirred with a long pole."

This answer satisfied them. Old Captain Simonton had a small
distillery, and the man remembered the process of distilling very

"Wouldn't you like to go to your old house and see your relatives?"
inquired one of the men.

He answered that he should like very much to do so, but that he was so
much of an Indian that he doubted whether his presence would afford
much satisfaction to his friends.

On being told that some of his brothers were in one of the companies,
he was so much affected that he shed tears, and expressed great anxiety
to see them. He evidently felt himself degraded, and saw between
himself and his brothers an insurmountable barrier, built up by upward
of thirty years of life among the savages; and yet he longed to see

While talking to the men, his wife took him away, and he was not seen
again by them while they remained there. His wife had a powerful
influence over him, and she used it to the best advantage; for she
really began to suspect that the men had traced his origin.

Poor old Captain Simonton!--he never lived to learn the fate of the boy
he so much doated upon.

One of the sons of Captain Simonton--a very old man--still lives
several miles west of Hollidaysburg.



William and Adam Holliday, cousins, emigrated from the North of Ireland
about 1750, and settled in the neighborhood of the Manor, in Lancaster
county. The feuds which existed between the Irish and German emigrants,
as well as the unceasing efforts of the proprietary agents to keep
emigrants from settling upon their lands, induced the Hollidays to seek
a location farther west. Conococheague suggested itself to them as a
suitable place, because it was so far removed from Philadelphia that
the proprietors could not well dispossess them; and, the line never
having been established, it was altogether uncertain whether the
settlement was in Pennsylvania or Maryland. Besides, it possessed the
advantage of being tolerably well populated. Accordingly, they settled
on the banks of the Conococheague, and commenced clearing land, which
they purchased and paid for soon after the survey. During both the
French and Indian wars of 1755-56 and the war of 1762-63 the Hollidays
were in active service. At the destruction of Kittaning, William
Holliday was a lieutenant in Colonel Armstrong's company, and fought
with great bravery in that conflict with the savages. The Hollidays
were emphatically frontier-men; and on the restoration of peace in
1768, probably under the impression that the Conococheague Valley was
becoming too thickly populated, they disposed of their land, placed
their families and effects upon pack-horses, and again turned their
faces toward the west. They passed through Aughwick, but found no
unappropriated lands there worthy of their attention. From thence they
proceeded to the Standing Stone, but nothing offered there; nor even at
Frankstown could they find any inducement to stop; so they concluded to
cross the mountain by the Kittaning Path and settle on the Alleghany at
or near Kittaning. William knew the road, and had noticed fine lands in
that direction.


However, when they reached the place where Hollidaysburg now stands,
and were just on the point of descending the hill toward the river,
Adam halted, and declared his intention to pitch his tent and travel no
farther. He argued with his cousin that the Indian titles west of the
mountains were not extinguished; and if they bought from the Indians,
they would be forced, on the extinguishment of their titles, to
purchase a second time, or lose their lands and live in constant dread
of the savages. Although William had a covetous eye on the fine lands
of the Alleghany, the wise counsel of Adam prevailed, and they
dismounted and prepared to build a temporary shelter. When Adam drove
the first stake into the ground he casually remarked to William,
"Whoever is alive a hundred years after this will see a tolerable-sized
town here, and this will be near about the middle of it." This
prediction has been verified to the letter long before the expiration
of the allotted time.

In a day or two after a shelter had been erected for the families,
William crossed the river to where Gaysport now stands, for the purpose
of locating. The land, however, was too swampy, and he returned. Next
day he crossed again, and found a ravine, south of where he had been
prospecting, which appeared to possess the desired qualifications; and
there he staked out a farm,--the one now owned by Mr. J. R. Crawford.
Through this farm the old Frankstown and Johnstown Road ran for many
years,--the third road constructed in Pennsylvania crossing the
Alleghany Mountains.

These lands belonged to the new purchase, and were in the market at a
very low price, in order to encourage settlers on the frontier.
Accordingly, Adam Holliday took out a warrant for 1000 acres,
comprising all the land upon which Hollidaysburg now stands. The lower
or southern part was too marshy to work; so Mr. Holliday erected his
cabin near where the American House now stands, and made a clearing on
the high ground stretching toward the east.

In the mean time, William Holliday purchased of Mr. Peters 1000 acres
of land, which embraced the present Crawford and Jackson farms and a
greater part of Gaysport. Some years after, finding that he had more
land than he could conveniently cultivate, he disposed of nearly
one-half of his original purchase to his son-in-law, James Somerville.

Adam Holliday, too, having a large lot of land, disposed of a portion
of it to Lazarus Lowry. Thus matters progressed smoothly for a time,
until, unfortunately, a Scotchman, named Henry Gordon, in search of
lands, happened to see and admire his farm. Gordon was a keen, shrewd
fellow, and in looking over the records of the land-office he
discovered a flaw or informality in Adam's grant. He immediately took
advantage of his discovery, and took out a patent for the land.
Litigation followed, as a matter of course. Gordon possessed
considerable legal acumen, and had withal money and a determined
spirit. The case was tried in the courts below and the courts
above,--decided sometimes in favor of one party and sometimes in favor
of the other, but eventually resulted in Gordon wresting from Adam
Holliday and Lazarus Lowry all their land. This unfortunate
circumstance deeply afflicted Mr. Holliday, for he had undoubtedly been
grossly wronged by the adroitness and cunning of Gordon; but relief
came to him when he least expected it. When the war broke out, Gordon
was among the very first to sail for Europe; and soon after the Council
proclaimed him an attainted traitor, and his property was confiscated
and brought under the hammer. The circumstances under which he had
wrested the property from Holliday were known, so that no person would
bid, which enabled him to regain his land at a mere nominal price. He
then went on and improved, and built a house on the bank of the river,
near where the bridge connects the boroughs of Hollidaysburg and
Gaysport. The very locust-trees that he planted seventy-eight years
ago, in front of his door, are still standing.

During the alarms and troubles which followed in the course of the war,
Adam Holliday took a conspicuous part in defending the frontier. He
aided, first, in erecting Fetter's Fort, and afterward expended his
means in turning Titus's stable into a fort. This fort was located on
the flat, nearly opposite the second lock below Hollidaysburg, and the
two served as a place of refuge for all the settlers of what was then
merely called the Upper End of Frankstown District. He also, with his
own money, purchased provisions, and through his exertions arms and
ammunition were brought from the eastern counties. His courage and
energy inspired the settlers to make a stand at a time when they were
on the very point of flying to Cumberland county. In December, 1777,
Mr. Holliday visited Philadelphia for the purpose of securing a part of
the funds appropriated to the defence of the frontier. The following
letter to President Wharton was given to him by Colonel John Piper, of
Bedford county:--

    _Bedford County, December 19, 1777._

    SIR:--Permit me, sir, to recommend to you, for counsel and
    direction, the bearer, Mr. Holliday, an inhabitant of Frankstown,
    one of the frontier settlements of our county, who has, at his own
    risk, been extremely active in assembling the people of that
    settlement together and in purchasing provisions to serve the
    militia who came to their assistance. As there was no person
    appointed either to purchase provisions or to serve them out,
    necessity obliged the bearer, with the assistance of some
    neighbors, to purchase a considerable quantity of provisions for
    that purpose, by which the inhabitants have been enabled to make a
    stand. His request is that he may be supplied with cash not only to
    discharge the debts already contracted, but likewise to enable him
    to lay up a store for future demand. I beg leave, sir, to refer to
    the bearer for further information, in hopes you will provide for
    their further support. Their situation requires immediate

    I am, sir, with all due respect, your Excellency's most obedient
    humble servant,


Mr. Holliday's mission was successful; and he returned with means to
recruit the fort with provisions and ammunition, and continued to be an
active and energetic frontier-man during all the Indian troubles which

Notwithstanding the distracted state of society during the Revolution,
William Holliday devoted much time and attention to his farm. His
family, consisting of his wife, his sons John, William, Patrick, Adam,
and a lunatic whose name is not recollected, and his daughter Janet,
were forted at Holliday's Fort; and it was only when absolute necessity
demanded it that they ventured to the farm to attend to the crops,
after the savage marauders so boldly entered the settlements.

James, who we believe was next to the eldest of William Holliday's
children, joined the Continental army soon after the war broke out. He
is represented as having been a noble-looking fellow, filled with
enthusiasm, who sought for, and obtained without much difficulty, a
lieutenant's commission. He was engaged in several battles, and
conducted himself in such a manner as to merit the approbation of his
senior officers; but he fell gloriously at Brandywine, while the battle
was raging, pierced through the heart by a musket-ball. He was shot by
a Hessian, who was under cover, and who had, from the same place,
already dispatched a number of persons. But this was his last shot; for
a young Virginian, who stood by the side of Holliday when he fell,
rushed upon the Hessian, braving all danger, and hewed him to pieces
with his sword before any defence could be made.

The death of young Holliday was deeply lamented by his
companions-in-arms, for he was brave and generous, and had not a single
enemy in the line. His friends, after the battle, buried him near the
spot where he fell; and it is doubtful whether even now a hillock of
greensward is raised to his memory.

About the beginning of the year 1779, the Indians along the frontier,
emboldened by numerous successful depredations, came into Bedford
county--within the boundaries of which Holliday's Fort then was--in
such formidable bands that many of the inhabitants fled to the eastern
counties. The Hollidays, however, and some few others, tarried, in the
hope that the Executive Council would render them aid. The following
petition, signed by William Holliday and others, will give the reader
some idea of the distress suffered by the pioneers; it was drawn up on
the 29th of May, 1779:--

    _To the Honorable President and Council_:--

    The Indians being now in the county, the frontier inhabitants being
    generally fled, leaves the few that remains in such a distressed
    condition that pen can hardly describe, nor your honors can only
    have a faint idea of; nor can it be conceived properly by any but
    such as are the subjects thereof; but, while we suffer in the part
    of the county that is most frontier, the inhabitants of the
    interior part of this county live at ease and safety.

    And we humbly conceive that by some immediate instruction from
    Council, to call them that are less exposed to our relief, we shall
    be able, under God, to repulse our enemies, and put it in the power
    of the distressed inhabitants to reap the fruits of their industry.
    Therefore, we humbly pray you would grant us such relief in the
    premises as you in your wisdom see meet. And your petitioners shall
    pray, etc.

    N.B.--There is a quantity of lead at the mines (Sinking Valley) in
    this county Council may procure for the use of said county, which
    will save carriage, and supply our wants with that article, which
    we cannot exist without at this place; and our flints are
    altogether expended. Therefore, we beg Council would furnish us
    with those necessaries as they in their wisdom see cause.

    P.S.--Please to supply us with powder to answer lead.



    THOMAS COULTER, _Sheriff_.

    RICHARD J. DELAPT, _Captain_.


The prayer of these petitioners was not speedily answered, and
Holliday's Fort was evacuated soon after. The Council undoubtedly did
all in its power to give the frontiers support; but the tardy movements
of the militia gave the savages confidence, and drove the few settlers
that remained almost to despair. Eventually relief came, but not
sufficient to prevent Indian depredations. At length, when these
depredations and the delays of the Council in furnishing sufficient
force to repel these savage invasions had brought matters to such a
crisis that forbearance ceased to be a virtue, the people of the
neighborhood moved their families to Fort Roberdeau, in Sinking Valley,
and Fetter's Fort, and formed themselves into scouting parties, and by
these means protected the frontier and enabled the settlers to gather
in their crops in 1780; still, notwithstanding their vigilance, small
bands of scalp-hunters occasionally invaded the county, and, when no
scalps were to be found, compromised by stealing horses, or by laying
waste whatever fell in their way.

In 1781, when Continental money was so terribly depreciated that it
took, in the language of one of the old settlers, "seventeen dollars of
it to buy a quart of whiskey," government was in too straitened a
condition to furnish this frontier guard with ammunition and
provisions, so that the force was considerably reduced. Small scouting
parties were still kept up, however, to watch the savages, who again
made their appearance in the neighborhood in the summer, retarding the
harvest operations.

About the middle of July, the scouts reported every thing quiet and no
traces of Indians in the county. Accordingly, Mr. Holliday proceeded to
his farm, and, with the aid of his sons, succeeded in getting off and
housing his grain. Early in August, Mr. Holliday, accompanied by his
sons Patrick and Adam and his daughter Janet, then about fourteen years
of age, left Fort Roberdeau for the purpose of taking off a second crop
of hay. On their arrival at the farm they went leisurely to work, and
mowed the grass. The weather being extremely fine, in a few days they
began to haul it in on a rudely-constructed sled, for in those
primitive days few wagons were in use along the frontiers. They had
taken in one load, returned, and filled the sled again, when an
acquaintance named McDonald, a Scotchman, came along on horseback. He
stopped, and they commenced a conversation on the war. William Holliday
was seated upon one of the horses that were hitched to the sled, his
two sons were on one side of him, and his daughter on the opposite
side. All of the men, as was customary then, were armed with rifles.
While this conversation was going on, and without the slightest
previous intimation, a volley was suddenly fired from a thicket some
sixty or seventy yards off, by which Patrick and Adam were instantly
killed and the horse shot from under Mr. Holliday. The attack was so
sudden and unexpected that a flash of lightning and a peal of thunder
from a cloudless sky could not have astonished him more. The echoes of
the Indian rifles had scarcely died away before the Indians themselves,
to the number of eight or ten, with a loud "_whoop_!" jumped from
their place of concealment, some brandishing their knives and hatchets
and others reloading their rifles.

Appalled at the shocking tragedy, and undecided for a moment what
course to pursue, Holliday was surprised to see McDonald leap from his
horse, throw away his rifle, run toward the Indians, and, with
outstretched arms, cry "Brother! Brother!" which it appears was a cry
for quarter which the savages respected. Holliday, however, knew too
much of the savage character to trust to their mercy--more especially
as rebel scalps commanded nearly as good a price in British gold in
Canada as prisoners; so on the impulse of the moment he sprang upon
McDonald's horse and made an effort to get his daughter up behind him.
But he was too late. The Indians were upon him, and he turned into the
path which led down the ravine. The yells of the savages frightened the
horse, and he galloped down the path; but even the clattering of his
hoofs did not drown the dying shrieks of his daughter, who was most
barbarously butchered with a hatchet.

In a state of mind bordering on distraction, Holliday wandered about
until nearly dark, when he got upon the Brush Mountain trail, on his
way to Sinking Valley. His mind, however, was so deeply affected that
he seemed to care little whither he went; and, the night being
exceedingly dark, the horse lost the trail and wandered about the
mountain for hours. Just at daybreak Mr. Holliday reached the fort,
haggard and careworn, without hat or shoes, his clothes in tatters and
his body lacerated and bleeding. He did not recognise either the fort
or the sentinel on duty. He was taken in, and the fort alarmed, but it
was some time before he could make any thing like an intelligible
statement of what had occurred the day previous. Without waiting for
the particulars in detail, a command of fifteen men was despatched to
Holliday's farm. They found the bodies of Patrick and Adam precisely
where they fell, and that of Janet but a short distance from the sled,
and all scalped. As soon as the necessary arrangements could be made,
the bodies of the slain were interred on the farm; and a rude tombstone
still marks the spot where the victims of savage cruelty repose.

This was a sad blow to Mr. Holliday; and it was long before he
recovered from it effectually. But the times steeled men to bear
misfortunes that would now crush and annihilate the bravest.

The Scotchman McDonald, whom we have mentioned as being present at the
Holliday massacre, accompanied the savages, as he afterward stated, to
the Miami Valley, where he adopted their manners and customs, and
remained with them until the restoration of peace enabled him to
escape. He returned to the Valley of the Juniata; but he soon found
that Holliday had prejudiced the public mind against him by declaring
the part he took at the time of the massacre to have been cowardly in
the extreme, notwithstanding that the cowardice of McDonald actually
saved Holliday's life, by affording him means to escape. The people
generally shunned McDonald, and he led rather an unenviable life; yet
we might suppose, taking all the circumstances into consideration,
that, in illustrating the axiom that "self-preservation is the first
law of nature," he did nothing more than any man, with even less
prudence than a canny Scotchman, would have done. But any thing having
the least squinting toward cowardice was deemed a deadly sin by the
pioneers, and McDonald soon found it necessary to seek a home somewhere

After the declaration of peace, or, rather, after the ratification of
the treaty, Gordon came back to Pennsylvania and claimed his land under
its stipulation. He had no difficulty in proving that he had never
taken up arms against the colonies, and Congress agreed to purchase
back his lands.

The Commissioners to adjust claims, after examining the lands, reported
them worth sixteen dollars an acre; and this amount was paid to Adam
Holliday, who suddenly found himself the greatest monied man in this
county--having in his possession sixteen or seventeen thousand dollars.

Adam Holliday lived to a good old age, and died at his residence on the
bank of the river, in 1801. He left two heirs--his son John, and a
daughter married to William Reynolds.

After the estate was settled up, it was found that John Holliday was
the richest man in this county. He married the daughter of Lazarus
Lowry, of Frankstown, in 1803, and in 1807 he left for Johnstown, where
he purchased the farm, and all the land upon which Johnstown now
stands, from a Dr. Anderson, of Bedford. Fearing the place would never
be one of any importance, John Holliday, in a few years, sold out to
Peter Livergood for eight dollars an acre, returned to Hollidaysburg,
and entered into mercantile pursuits.

William Holliday, too, died at a good old age, and lies buried on his
farm by the side of his children, who were massacred by the Indians.

In the ordinary transmutation of worldly affairs, the lands of both the
old pioneers passed out of the hands of their descendants; yet a
beautiful town stands as a lasting monument to the name, and the
descendants have multiplied until the name of Holliday is known not
only in Pennsylvania, but over the whole Union.

    [NOTE.--There are several contradictory accounts in existence
    touching the massacre of the Holliday children. Our account of
    it is evidently the true version, for it was given to us by Mr.
    Maguire, who received it from Mr. Holliday shortly after the
    occurrence of the tragedy.

    It may be as well here to state that the original Hollidays were
    Irish-men and Presbyterians. It is necessary to state this, because
    we have heard arguments about their religious faith. Some avow that
    they were Catholics, and as an evidence refer to the fact that
    William called one of his offspring "Patrick." Without being able
    to account for the name of a saint so prominent in the calendar as
    Patrick being found in a Presbyterian family, we can only give the
    words of Mr. Maguire, who said:--

    "I was a Catholic, and old Billy and Adam Holliday were
    Presbyterians; but in those days we found matters of more
    importance to attend to than quarrelling about religion. We all
    worshipped the same God, and some of the forms and ceremonies
    attending church were very much alike, especially in 1778, when the
    men of all denominations, in place of hymn-books, prayer-books, and
    Bibles, carried to church with them loaded rifles!"

    It may be as well to state here also that the McDonald mentioned
    had two brothers--one a daring frontier-man, the other in the
    army,--so that the reader will please not confound them.]



Frankstown is probably the oldest place on the Juniata River--traders
having mentioned it as early as 1750. The Indian town was located at
the mouth of a small run, near where McCune's Mill now stands, and at
one time contained a considerable number of inhabitants. The Indian
name of the place was _Assunepachla_, which signifies a meeting of
many waters, or the place where the waters join. This would seem to be
an appropriate name, since, within a short distance of the place, the
river is formed by what was then known as the Frankstown Branch, the
Beaver Dam Branch, the Brush Run, and the small run near McCune's Mill.

The name of Frankstown was given it by the traders. Harris, in his
report of the distances between the Susquehanna and the Alleghany,
called it "Frank (Stephen's) Town." The general impression is that the
town was named by the traders in honor of an old chief named Frank.
This, however, is an error. It was named after an old German Indian
trader named Stephen Franks, who lived cotemporaneously with old Hart,
and whose post was at this old Indian town. The truth of this becomes
apparent when we remember that the Indians could not pronounce the
_r_ in their language; hence no chief was likely to bear the name
of Frank at that early day. Old Franks, being a great friend of the
Indians, lived and died among them, and it was after his death that one
of the chiefs took his name; hence arose the erroneous impression that
the name was given to the town in honor of the chief.


How long Assunepachla was an Indian settlement cannot be conjectured,
but, unquestionably, long before the Indians of the valley had any
intercourse with the whites. This is evidenced by the fact that where
the town stood, as well as on the flat west of the town, relics of
rudely-constructed pottery, stone arrow-heads, stone hatchets, &c.,
have repeatedly been found until within the last few years.

The use of stone edge-tools was abandoned as soon as the savages
obtained a sight of a superior article,--probably as early as 1730. The
first were brought to the valley by Indians, who had received them as
presents from the proprietary family.

It is stated that the first brought to Assunepachla cost a special trip
to Philadelphia. Three chiefs, having seen hatchets and knives at
Standing Stone, were so fascinated with their utility that they
resolved to have some. Accordingly they went to work at trapping; and
in the fall, each with an immense load of skins, started on foot for
Philadelphia, where they arrived after a long and fatiguing march. They
soon found what they wanted at the shop of an Englishman; but, being
unable to talk English, they merely deposited their furs upon the
counter and pointed to the tomahawks and knives. This indicated trade;
and the Englishman, after a critical examination of their skins, which
he found would yield him not less than £100, threw them carelessly
under the counter, and gave them a hatchet and a knife each. With these
the savages were about to depart, well satisfied; but the trader
suddenly bethinking himself of the possibility of their falling in with
the interpreters, and their ascertaining the manner in which they had
been swindled, called them back, and very generously added three
clasp-knives and a quantity of brass jewelry.

With these they wended their way back, proud as emperors of their
newly-acquired weapons. Never did chiefs enter a place with more pomp
and importance than our warriors. The very dogs barked a welcome, and
the Indians came forth from their wigwams to greet the great eastern
travellers. Their hatchets, knives, and trinkets passed from hand to
hand, and savage encomiums were lavished unsparingly upon them; but
when their practicability was tested, the climax of savage enthusiasm
was reached. The envied possessors were lions: they cut, hewed, and
scored, just because they could.

But--alas for all things mutable!--their glory was not destined to last
long. The traders soon appeared with the same kind of articles, and
readily exchanged for half a dozen skins what the warriors had spent a
season in trapping and a long journey to procure.

On the point of Chimney Ridge, near Wert's farm, below Hollidaysburg,
was an Indian burial-place, and another on the small piece of
table-land near the mouth of Brush Run. At both places skeletons of
mighty chiefs and all-powerful warriors have been ruthlessly torn from
their places of sepulture by the plough, and many other relics have
been exhumed.

The greater portion of the warriors residing at Frankstown went to
Ohio in 1755, and took up the hatchet for their "brothers," the
French, and against _Onus_, or their Father Penn. This act, the
colonial government persuaded itself to believe, was altogether
mercenary on the part of the savages. The real cause, as we have
already stated, was the dissatisfaction which followed the purchase of
the Juniata Valley by the Penns, for a few paltry pounds, from the
Iroquois, at Albany, in 1754.

The town of Frankstown still continued to be a prominent Indian
settlement until the army of General Forbes passed up the Raystown
Branch, when the spies sent out brought such exaggerated reports of the
warlike appearance and strength of the army that the settlement was
entirely broken up, and the warriors, with their squaws, pappooses, and
movable effects, crossed the Alleghany by the Kittaning War-Path, and
bade adieu to the valley which they were only too well convinced was no
longer their own.

The remains of their bark huts, their old corn-fields, and other
indications of their presence, were in existence until after the
beginning of the present century.

On the flat, several white settlers erected their cabins at an early
day, and a few near the old town, and others where the town of
Frankstown now stands.

During the Revolution, as we have stated, a stable erected by Peter
Titus was turned into a fortress. In summer, the location of the fort
can still be traced by the luxuriant growth of vegetation upon it. This
fort was called Holliday's Fort. The fort at Fetter's, a mile west of
Hollidaysburg, was known as the Frankstown garrison. In those days
there was no such place as Hollidaysburg, and the Frankstown district
took in a scope of country which now serves for five or six very large
townships; in short, every place was Frankstown within a radius of at
least ten miles.

Holliday's Fort was a mere temporary affair; while the Frankstown
garrison was a substantial stockade, manned and provisioned in such a
manner that a thousand savages could by no possible means have taken
it. It never was assaulted except upon one occasion, and then the
red-skins were right glad to beat a retreat before they were able to
fire a gun.

Near this fort occurred the massacre of the Bedford scout. This was
unquestionably the most successful savage sortie made upon the whites
in the valley during the Revolution; and, as some of the bravest and
best men of Bedford county fell in this massacre, it did not fail to
create an excitement compared to which all other excitements that ever
occurred in the valley were perfect calms.

We shall, in the first place, proceed to give the first report of the
occurrence, sent by George Ashman, one of the sub-lieutenants of the
county, to Arthur Buchanan, at Kishicoquillas. Ashman says:--

    SIR:--By an express this moment from Frankstown, we have the
    bad news. As a party of volunteers from Bedford was going to
    Frankstown, a party of Indians fell in with them this morning and
    killed thirty of them. Only seven made their escape to the garrison
    of Frankstown. I hope that you'll exert yourself in getting men to
    go up to the Stone; and pray let the river-people know, as they may
    turn out. I am, in health,


Of course Colonel Ashman was not near the place, and his despatch to
Buchanan is, as a natural consequence, made up from the exaggerated
reports that were carried to him at the instance of the affrighted
people residing in the vicinity where the massacre occurred. The
following is the official report, transmitted by Ashman to President

    _Bedford County, June 12, 1781._

    SIR:--I have to inform you that on Sunday, the third of this
    instant, a party of the rangers under Captain Boyd, eight in
    number, with twenty-five volunteers under Captain Moore and
    Lieutenant Smith, of the militia of this county, had an engagement
    with a party of Indians (said to be numerous) within three miles of
    Frankstown, where seventy-five of the Cumberland militia were
    stationed, commanded by Captain James Young. Some of the party
    running into the garrison, acquainting Captain Young of what had
    happened, he issued out a party immediately, and brought in seven
    more, five of whom are wounded, and two made their escape to
    Bedford,--eight killed and scalped,--Captain Boyd, Captain Moore,
    and Captain Dunlap missing. Captain Young, expecting from the
    enemy's numbers that his garrison would be surrounded, sent express
    to me immediately; but, before I could collect as many volunteers
    as was sufficient to march to Frankstown with, the enemy had
    returned over the Alleghany Hill. The waters being high, occasioned
    by heavy rains, they could not be pursued. This county, at this
    time, is in a deplorable situation. A number of families are flying
    away daily ever since the late damage was done. I can assure your
    Excellency that if immediate assistance is not sent to this county
    that the whole of the frontier inhabitants will move off in a few
    days. Colonel Abraham Smith, of Cumberland, has just informed me
    that he has no orders to send us any more militia from Cumberland
    county to our assistance, which I am much surprised to hear. I
    shall move my family to Maryland in a few days, as I am convinced
    that not any one settlement is able to make any stand against such
    numbers of the enemy. If your Excellency should please to order us
    any assistance, less than three hundred will be of but little
    relief to this county. Ammunition we have not any; and the
    Cumberland militia will be discharged in two days. It is dreadful
    to think what the consequence of leaving such a number of helpless
    inhabitants may be to the cruelties of a savage enemy.

    Please to send me by the first opportunity three hundred pounds, as
    I cannot possibly do the business without money. You may depend
    that nothing shall be wanting in me to serve my country as far as
    my abilities.

    I have the honor to be

    Your Excellency's most obedient, humble servant,

    GEORGE ASHMAN, _Lieut. Bedford County_.

It would appear that even a man holding an official station is liable
to gross mistakes. In this instance, Ashman, who lived remote from the
scene of the disaster, was evidently misled by the current rumors, and
such he transmitted; for there are still persons alive, who lived at
the time of the occurrence in the immediate vicinity, who pronounce
Ashman's statement as erroneous, and who give an entirely different
version of the affair.

The seventy Cumberland county militia, under strict military
discipline, were sent first to Standing Stone, and afterward to
Frankstown, early in the spring of 1781. They were under the command of
Colonel Albright and Captain Young, and were sent with a view to
waylaying the gaps of the Alleghany Mountains, and preventing any
savages from coming into the valley. Instead of doing so, however, they
proved themselves an inefficient body of men, with dilatory officers,
who chose rather the idle life of the fort than scouting to intercept
the savages. In fact, these men, in the service and pay of the Supreme
Executive Council of the State to protect the frontier, were never one
solitary cent's worth of advantage to the inhabitants. Such a force,
one would suppose, would have inspired the people with confidence, and
been fully able to cope with or repel the largest war-party of savages
that ever trod the Kittaning War-Path during the Revolutionary

Notwithstanding the presence of this large body of men, stationed as it
were almost at the mouth of the gap through which the Indians entered
the valley, the depredations of the savages were almost of daily
occurrence. The inefficiency of the Cumberland militia, who either
could not or would not check the marauders, at length exasperated the
settlers to such an extent that they resolved to form themselves into a
scouting party, and range through the county for two months.

This project was favored by Colonel Ashman, and he agreed to furnish a
company of rangers to join them. The enrolment of volunteers by Captain
Moore, of Scotch Valley, assisted by his lieutenant, a Mr. Smith, from
the vicinity of Frankstown, proceeded; and on the second of June, 1781,
these men met at Holliday's Fort, then abandoned for want of
provisions. There they were joined by the rangers, under command of
Captain Boyd and Lieutenant Harry Woods, of Bedford, but, instead of
there being a company, as the volunteers were led to expect, there were
but eight men and the two officers above named.

From Holliday's Fort they marched to Fetter's, where they contemplated
spending the Sabbath. It was their intention to march through the
Kittaning Gap to an old State road, (long since abandoned,) from thence
to Pittsburg, and home by way of Bedford.

While debating the matter and making the necessary arrangements, two
spies came in and reported that they had come upon an Indian encampment
near Hart's Sleeping Place, which had apparently been just abandoned,
as the fire was still burning; that, from the number of bark huts, the
savages must number from twenty-five to thirty.

This raised quite a stir in the camp, as the scouts evidently were
eager for the fray. The officers, who were regular woodsmen, and knew
that the Indians would not venture into the settlement until the day
following, were confident of meeting them near the mouth of the gap and
giving them battle. They at once tendered to Colonel Albright the
command of the expedition; but he refused to accept it. They then
importuned him to let a portion of his men, who were both anxious and
willing, accompany them; but this, too, he refused.

Nothing daunted, however, the rangers and the volunteers arose by
daybreak on Sunday morning, put their rifles in condition, eat their
breakfast, and, with five days' provisions in their knapsacks, started
for the mountain.

We sincerely regret that the most strenuous effort on our part to
procure a list of this scout proved futile. Here and there we picked up
the names of a few who were in it; but nothing would have given us
greater pleasure than to insert a full and correct list of these brave
men. In addition to the officers named, we may mention the following
privates:--James Somerville, the two Colemans, two Hollidays, two
brothers named Jones, a man named Grey, one of the Beattys, Michael
Wallack, and Edward Milligan.

The path led close along the river, and the men marched in Indian file,
as the path was narrow. When they reached the flat above where
Temperance Mill now stands, and within thirty rods of the mouth of
Sugar Run, the loud warwhoop rang upon the stillness of the Sabbath
morning; a band of savages rose from the bushes on the left-hand side
of the road, firing a volley at the same time, by which fifteen of the
brave scout were stretched dead in the path. The remainder fled, in
consternation, in every direction,--some over the river in the
direction of Frankstown, others toward Fetter's Fort. A man named
Jones, one of the fleetest runners, reached the fort first. To screen
the scout from the odium of running, he reported the number of the
enemy so large that Albright refused to let any of his command go to
the relief of the unfortunate men.

As the Colemans were coming to the fort, they found the other Jones
lying behind a log for the purpose of resting, as he said. Coleman
advised him to push on to the fort, which he promised to do.

Captain Young at length started out with a party to bring in the
wounded. The man Jones was found resting behind the log, but the rest
was a lasting one; he was killed and scalped. Another man, who had been
wounded, was also followed a short distance and killed and
scalped,--making, in all, seventeen persons who fell by this sad and
unlooked-for event. In addition to the seventeen killed, five were
wounded, who were found concealed in various places in the woods and
removed to the fort. Some reached the fort in safety, others were
missing,--among the latter, Harry Woods, James Somerville, and Michael

It appears that these three men started over the river, and ran up what
is now known as O'Friel's Ridge, hotly pursued by a single savage.
Woods and Wallack were in front, and Somerville behind, when the
moccasin of the latter became untied. He stooped down to fix it, as it
was impossible to ascend the steep hill with the loose moccasin
retarding his progress. While in this position, the Indian, with
uplifted tomahawk, was rapidly approaching him, when Woods turned
suddenly and aimed with his empty rifle[5] at the Indian. This caused
the savage to jump behind a tree scarcely large enough to cover his
body, from which he peered, and recognised Woods.

          [5] Woods shot an Indian. His rifle was the only one
          discharged in what Colonel Ashman termed an "engagement."

"No hurt Woods!" yelled the Indian; "no hurt Woods!"

This Indian happened to be the son of the old Indian Hutson, to whom
George Woods of Bedford paid a small annual stipend in tobacco, for
delivering him from bondage. Hutson had frequently taken his son to
Bedford, and it was by this means that he had become acquainted with
Harry and readily recognised him. Woods, although he recognised Hutson,
had been quite as close to Indians as he cared about getting; so the
three continued their route over the ridge, and by a circuitous tramp
reached the fort in the afternoon.

Many years afterward, long after the war, when Woods lived in
Pittsburg, he went down to the Alleghany River to see several
canoe-loads of Indians that had just arrived from above. He had
scarcely reached the landing when one of the chiefs jumped out, shook
him warmly by the hand, and said--

"Woods, you run like debble up Juniata Hill."

It was Hutson--by this time a distinguished chief in his tribe.

The fate of the unfortunate scout was soon known all over the country,
expresses having been sent in every direction.

On Monday morning Captain Young again went out with a small party to
bury the dead, and many of them were interred near the spot where they
fell; while others, after the men got tired of digging graves, were
merely covered with bark and leaves, and left on the spot to be food
for the wolves, which some of the bodies unquestionably became, as
Jones sought for that of his brother on Tuesday, and found nothing but
the crushed remains of some bones.

In 1852, a young man in the employ of Mr. Burns exhumed one of these
skeletons with the plough. It was found near the surface of the earth,
on the bank of the river. The skull was perforated with a bullet-hole,
and was in a remarkable state of preservation, although it had been in
the ground uncoffined for a period of _seventy-one years_! It was
placed in the earth again.

Immediately after the news of the massacre was spread, the people from
Standing Stone and other places gathered at Fetter's; and on the
Tuesday following a party of nearly one hundred men started in pursuit
of the Indians. Colonel Albright was solicited to accompany this force
with his command and march until they overtook the enemy; but he
refused. The men went as far as Hart's Sleeping Place, but they might
just as well have remained at home; for the savages, with the scalps of
the scout dangling from their belts, were then far on their way to

When the firing took place, it was plainly heard at the fort; and some
of the men, fully convinced that the scout had been attacked, asked
Colonel Albright to go out with his command to their relief. He merely
answered by saying that he "knew his own business."

For his part in the matter, he gained the ill-will of the settlers, and
it was very fortunate that his time expired when it did. The settlers
were not much divided in opinion as to whether he was a rigid
disciplinarian or a _coward_.

Men, arms, and ammunition, in abundance followed this last outrage; but
it was the last formidable and warlike incursion into the Juniata




The original settlement at Shaver's Creek was made in 1770, by an old
gentleman named Shaver. He was followed by Anderson, Maguire, the
Donnelleys, and some few others. Old Shaver met his death in a most
singular manner. One evening he left his home just at twilight, for the
purpose of putting his horse into a pasture-field. He did not return;
but his absence created no special alarm, as this was before the war,
and before any savages had appeared in the valley with murderous
intent. Next morning, however, his family not finding him, a search was
instituted, and his body, minus the head, was found in a lane near the
pasture-field. This was regarded as a most mysterious murder, and would
have been charged to the Indians at once, had they ever been known to
take a man's head off on any previous occasion. But as they always
found the scalp to answer their purpose, and never encumbered
themselves with the head, people shrewdly suspected that the Indians
had nothing to do with the murder. The family offered a reward of £50
for the head; and, although the country was searched in every
direction, it never was found.

The most active and energetic man in the Shaver's Creek settlement
during the Revolutionary war was Samuel Anderson. He succeeded, mainly
by his own exertions and the aid of a few neighbors on the creek and
the Little Juniata, in erecting a block-house fort on the flat near the
mouth of the creek, which was more or less occupied while the war
continued; and it is but a few years since the last vestiges of this
old fort were swept away by a freshet.

The fort itself never was assailed; and it just happens to strike us
forcibly at this time as a singular fact that the Indians, during the
Revolutionary war, always kept clear of the forts. Whether they did not
understand the nature of them, or feared the numbers usually
congregated in them, we do not pretend to say; but they always kept at
a respectful distance from them. Anderson's Fort, like the others, was
frequently disturbed by alarms--sometimes real and sometimes false.

An amusing instance of a false alarm at Anderson's Fort was given the
writer. In 1779, all manner of rumors and reports were afloat.
Everybody was forted, and the Indians formed the entire subject of
conversation. One afternoon, a half-witted, cowardly fellow was sent up
the path to bring the cows to the fort. He had been out about fifteen
minutes when he returned, looking wild and haggard, and almost out of
breath, declaring that the Indians were coming down the creek in full
force. In an instant the whole fort was in commotion: men seized their
rifles, dogs barked, children screamed, and everybody swore that the
audacious savages should have a warm reception. The entire force of the
garrison rallied out to a hill, and, with cocked rifles, awaited the
appearance of the enemy on the brow. Lo! he came; but, instead of
Indians, the alarm was suddenly quieted by the appearance of _three
cows_! A mock court-martial was ordered to try the half-witted chap
for raising a false alarm, and the jokers of the fort convicted him and
passed sentence of death upon him. The joke came near proving fatal to
the poor fellow, who for a long time could not be divested of the idea
that he was to be shot.

In 1779, one of the most remarkable cases on record occurred up
Shaver's Creek. The particulars are vague; but of the actual occurrence
of what we are about to relate there is no doubt whatever--the
circumstance having been mentioned to us by two or three persons.

Late in the fall of that year, two boys, aged respectively eight and
ten years, while engaged at play near a house in the neighborhood of
Manor Hill, were taken captive by two lurking savages, who came
suddenly upon them, and immediately started in the direction of the
mountain. After travelling some eight miles, they halted, built a fire
in the woods, leaned their rifles against a tree, and cooked some dried
venison, of which they all partook. After the meal, one of them drew
from his pouch a canteen filled with whiskey, which they drank at short
intervals until it was entirely drained of its contents. By that time
they had become very garrulous and very brave. They told war-stories,
sang war-songs, danced war-dances, and challenged the whole settlement
to mortal combat. The other Indian then pulled out his canteen, also
filled with fire-water, which was consumed in like manner; but, by the
time it was drank, their mirth and boasting gave way to the stupor of
inordinate intoxication, and, wrapping their blankets around them, they
stretched themselves before the fire, and were soon in a deep sleep.

The eldest boy, who had feigned sleep some time previous, now got up
and shook the younger, who also got upon his feet. He then took one of
the rifles, cocked it, and rested it on a log, with the muzzle within a
few inches of the head of one of the savages, and then motioned the
younger boy to hold it. He then got the other rifle, and in like manner
placed its muzzle near the head of the other savage. So far, the whole
proceeding had been carried on by pantomimic action, and not a word
spoken; but, every thing being now in readiness, the boy whispered
"_Now!_" and both rifles went off at the same time. The elder boy
killed his man outright; but the weight of the butt of the rifle in the
hands of the younger threw the muzzle up, and he merely tore his face
very badly. The wounded savage attempted to rise, but, before he could
do so, the boys commenced running for home; nor did they stop until
they reached it, which was at two o'clock in the morning and just as a
party had assembled to go in search of them.

Their story was soon told; but so incredible did it appear that no
person believed them. Instead of giving credit to their narrative of
improbabilities, the parents were inclined to whip them and send them
to bed, for getting lost in the woods and then lying about it. Next
day, however, they persisted so strongly in their statement, and told
such a straightforward story, that at length a party of some six or
eight persons agreed to go to the place, providing the children
accompanied them. To this they readily assented; and the anxiety they
manifested to go soon removed all doubt as to the truth of their

In due time they reached the spot, where they found a dead Indian, the
two rifles and canteens; but the wounded savage was missing. Where he
had lain there was a pool of blood; and, as it was probable that he had
not gone far, a proposition was made to search for him, which was about
being acted upon, when one of the men noticed blood upon the trunk of
the tree under which they stood, which caused him to look up, and among
its top branches he saw the wounded savage. The frightful wound upon
his face awakened the pity of some of the men, and they proposed
getting him down; but an old ranger, who was in the party, swore that
he had never had a chance at an Indian in his life, especially a treed
one; that he would rather lose his life than miss the opportunity of
shooting him; and, before an effort could be made to prevent it, the
savage received a ball through his brain, came crashing down through
the limbs of the tree, and fell by the side of his dead companion.
Their bodies were not disturbed; but their rifles were carried home,
and given to the boys, who kept them as trophies of the event.

This daring and heroic act on the part of children so young illustrates
most forcibly the kind of material people were made of who flourished
in "the days that tried men's souls."

In 1782, Miss Elizabeth Ewing and Miss McCormick were abducted by the
Indians, between Shaver's Creek and Stone Valley. They had been to the
former place, and were returning home by a path, when they were
surprised and taken prisoners by a small band of roving Indians. It was
late in October, at a time when no suspicion was entertained that the
Indians would ever again enter the valley. None had been seen or heard
of for months, and all the alarms and fears of savages had subsided;
hence their absence was little thought of until they had been several
days gone. It was then deemed entirely too late to send a force to
recapture them.

When captured, they had some bread with them, which they scattered
along the path they took, in hopes that if their friends followed it
would give them a clue to the route they took. The wily savages
detected the stratagem, and took the bread from them. They next broke
the bushes along the path; but the Indians saw the object of this, too,
and compelled them to desist. They then travelled for seven days,
through sleet, rain, and snow, until they reached the lake, where Miss
McCormick was given as a present to an old Indian woman who happened to
take a fancy to her.

Miss Ewing was taken to Montreal, where, fortunately for her, an
exchange of prisoners took place soon after, and she was sent to
Philadelphia, and from thence made her way home. From her Mr. McCormick
learned the fate of his daughter--her communication being the first
word of intelligence he had received concerning her. He soon made his
arrangements to go after her. The journey was a long one, especially by
the route he proposed to take,--by way of Philadelphia and New York;
nevertheless, the love he bore his daughter prompted him to undertake
it cheerfully.

After many days' travelling he arrived at the place where Miss Ewing
and Miss McCormick parted; but, alas! it was only to realize painfully
the restless and migratory character of the Indians, who had abandoned
the settlement and gone into the interior of Canada. Again he journeyed
on, until he finally reached the place where the tribe was located, and
found his daughter in an Indian family, treated as one of the family,
and subject to no more menial employment than Indian women generally.
The meeting of father and daughter, which neither expected, must have
been an affecting one--a scene that may strike the imagination more
vividly than pen can depict it.

Mr. McCormick made immediate arrangements to take his daughter with
him; but, to his surprise, the Indians objected. Alone, and, as it
were, in their power, he was at a loss what course to pursue, when he
bethought himself of the power of money. That was the proper chord to
touch; but the ransom-money asked was exorbitantly large. The matter
was finally compromised by Mr. McCormick paying nearly all the money in
his possession, retaining barely enough to defray their expenses; after
which they went on their way rejoicing, and, after a weary journey,
reached their home in safety.

It may be as well to mention that Miss McCormick was a sister to Robert
McCormick, Sr., long a resident of Hollidaysburg, who died a year or
two ago in Altoona, and the aunt of William, Robert, and Alexander
McCormick, now residents of Altoona.

And now we come to the last Indian massacre in the Valley of the
Juniata. It occurred on the left bank of the Little Juniata, near the
farm of George Jackson, in the latter part of August, 1781.

At that time there was a regular force of militia in the garrison at
Huntingdon, another at Shaver's Creek, and another at Fetter's. The
Indians were well aware of this, for they constantly kept themselves
advised by spies of the progress of affairs in the valley. The
settlers, feeling secure in the presence of the militia, abandoned the
forts and went to their farms. During the summer of 1781, the alarms
were so few that people began to consider the days of their trials and
tribulations as passed away; but it appears that it was ordained that
another black crime should be added to the long catalogue of Indian

One evening George Jackson, hearing a noise in a corn-field adjoining
his house, went to the door to ascertain the cause. Dark as the night
was, he made out the figures of two men, who he thought were stealing
corn, or at least about no good; so he let loose his dogs--a hound and
a bull-dog--upon them. The hound gave tongue, and both started directly
into the field, where they bayed for some time; but the men did not
quit the field. In ten minutes the dogs returned, and Mr. Jackson found
that the skull of the bull-dog had been wounded with a tomahawk. This
circumstance led him to suspect the real character of the intruders,
and he went into his house, took down his rifle, and returned to the
porch. The light which shone out of the door when Jackson opened it
revealed the position of affairs to the Indians, and they ran to the
other end of the corn-field, closely pursued by the hound.

Peter Crum, a worthy man, well known and highly respected by all the
settlers in the neighborhood, was a near neighbor of Jackson's. He had
rented the Minor Tub Mill, and on the morning after the above
occurrence he went to the mill a little before daylight and set it
going, then raised a net he had placed in the stream the night before;
after which he started leisurely on his way home to get his breakfast.
In his left hand he carried a string of fish, and over his right
shoulder his rifle; for, notwithstanding the great security people
felt, they were so much in the habit of constantly having a rifle for a
travelling companion, that many of the old pioneers carried it on all
occasions during the remainder of their lives.

When Crum reached the bend of the river, a mile below his mill, at a
time when an attack from Indians would probably have been the last
thing he would have thought of, he heard the sharp crack of a rifle,
and on looking around saw two Indians on the hill-side. He dropped his
fish, and opened the pan of his rifle to look at the priming, when he
noticed that he was shot through the right thumb--at least it was so
conjectured. Catching a glimpse of one of the Indians, he attempted to
fire, but the blood of his wound had saturated the priming. The Indians
noticed his unavailing effort to shoot, and, probably thinking that he
was trying to intimidate them with an empty gun, jumped into the road.
One of them, it appeared, was armed with a rifle, the other with a
heavy war-club. The latter, it is supposed, approached him from behind,
and dealt him a blow upon the skull, which felled him, and the blow was
evidently followed up until the entire back part of his head was
crushed in the most shocking manner, after which they scalped him, and

When found, (which was supposed to be within two hours after the
murder,) Crum was lying with his face to the ground, his rifle by his
side, and the Indian war-club, clotted with blood and brains, lying
across his body,--a sad sight for his wife, who was among the first on
the spot after the tragedy.

This murder, committed in open daylight on a frequented road, in the
very heart of a thickly-populated country, did not fail to produce the
most intense excitement, and a party of rangers started at once after
the marauders. They soon got upon their trail, and followed them to the
top of the mountain, getting sight of them several times; but they were
always out of rifle-range. They knew they were pursued, and took such a
route as the rangers could not follow, and so eluded them, and carried
in triumph to the British garrison at Detroit the last scalp taken by
the red men in the Juniata Valley.




Warrior Ridge, between Alexandria and Huntingdon, derives its name from
an Indian path which ran along the summit of it. The Pulpit Rocks, not
unlike the altars of the Druids, shaped into fantastic forms by the
hand of nature, as well as the wild romantic scenery around them, at
once suggest the idea of a place of meeting of the warriors,--a spot
where the councils of the brave were held, with the greensward of the
mountain for a carpet and the blue vault of heaven for a canopy. Were
we not so well aware of the fact that the Indians preferred the
lowlands of the valleys for places of abode, we could almost fancy the
neighborhood of Pulpit Rocks to have been a glorious abiding-place; but
of the occurrences and events that took place on the ridge we are in
hopeless ignorance. Had some Indian historian of an early day
transmitted to posterity, either by written or oral tradition, one-half
the events of Warrior Ridge, we might add considerable interest to
these pages; but as it is, we must content ourself, if not our readers,
with this brief notice of the famous Warrior Ridge.

Warrior's Mark was another celebrated place for the Indians. It lies
upon a flat piece of table-land, and is just the kind of a place where
savages would be likely to meet to debate measures of great importance
and to concoct schemes for their future movements. The name of the
place originated from the fact of certain oak-trees in the vicinity
having a crescent or half-moon cut upon them with hatchets, so deep
that traces can still be seen of them, or, at least, could be some
years ago. The signification of them was known to the Indians alone;
but it is evident that some meaning was attached to them, for, during
the Revolution, every time a band of savages came into the valley one
or more fresh warrior marks were put upon the trees. The Indian town
stood upon the highway or path leading from Kittaning, through Penn's
Valley, to the Susquehanna. It was still considerable of a village when
the white men first settled in the neighborhood, but immediately on the
breaking out of the Revolution the Indians destroyed it, and moved to
Ohio, and at this day there is not a trace of its existence left.

The first white settlers in Warrior's Mark were the Ricketts family.
They were all wild, roving fellows, who loved the woods better than
civilization; and their whole occupation, over and above tilling a very
small patch of land, appeared to be hunting for wild game. Their
arrival was followed by two or three other families; and when the
Indian troubles commenced, the house of Ricketts was converted into a
fortress, and the men turned their attention to protecting the
frontier. One of them--Captain Elijah Ricketts--became quite an active
and prominent man.

We have no record of any murder ever having been committed in the
immediate vicinity of Warrior's Mark. Several captives were taken from
thence, either in 1777 or 1778, but were exchanged and found their way
back; we are, however, without particulars, either as to their names,
capture, or release.

The three last Indians in the valley were Job Chillaway, a Delaware,
Shaney John, a Mingo, and Captain Logan, a Cayuga. They were all
friendly to the whites, and served the cause of liberty in the capacity
of spies.

Job Chillaway is represented by the late E. Bell, Esq., in his MS., as
a tall, muscular man, with his ears cut so as to hang pendant like a
pair of ear-rings. He was employed as early as 1759 by the Colonial
Government as a spy, and his name is frequently mentioned in the
archives. Levi Trump, in writing to Governor Denny, from Fort Augusta,
on April 8, 1759, when the French were using their most powerful
exertions to swerve the Six Nations from their fealty to the colony,

    Job Chillaway, a Delaware Indian, arrived here on the 5th inst.,
    and brought with him a message from a grand council of the Six
    Nations held near Onondaga, to King Teedyuscung, informing him that
    deputies from said council would soon be at Wyoming. On what errand
    they did not say; but Job says he thinks it his duty to inform his
    brothers what he knows of the affair:--that he was present at the
    opening of this council; which was by four chiefs, of different
    nations, singing the war-song and handing round an uncommonly large
    war-belt; that one of them, after some time, said: "What shall we
    do? Here is a hatchet from our fathers, to strike our brothers; and
    here is another from our brothers, to strike our fathers. I believe
    'twill be best for us to do as we have done heretofore; that is,
    cast them both away."

In 1763, Chillaway still remained loyal to the colony, although nearly
all of his tribe had taken up the hatchet against the English. Colonel
James Irvine, under date of November 23, 1763, writes from "Ensign
Kerns," near Fort Allen, to John Penn, as follows:--

    SIR:--On the 16th instant Job Chillaway arrived here, being sent by
    Papunchay[6] to inform us that he and about twenty-five Indians
    (women and children included) were on their way from Weyalusing.
    The day after Job's arrival he delivered a string of wampum, and
    the following message in behalf of himself, Papunchay, John Curtis,
    &c., which he desired might be transmitted to your honor, viz.:

          [6] Papunchay was the chief of the last of the Delaware
          warriors who remained loyal,--the great body having, by 1763,
          gone over to the French.


    "We are very glad that you have taken pity on us, according to the
    promises you made us since we had any correspondence together.

    "Brother,--We are glad to hear you have pointed out two ways to
    us,--one to our brother, Sir William Johnson, the other to you. Our
    hearts incline toward you, the Governor of Philadelphia.

    "Brother,--Take pity on us, and keep the road open, that we may
    pass without being hurt by your young men.

    "Brother,--Point out the place where you intend to settle us, and
    we shall be glad, let that be where it will."

    Job informed us that there were fifteen Muncy warriors, who, for
    three nights before he left Papunchay, encamped close by their
    encampment. How far they intended to proceed, or what were their
    intentions, he could not find out. As it was expected that
    Papunchay was near the frontiers, Colonel Clayton marched with
    fifty men, (mostly volunteers,) on the 20th inst., with Job
    Chillaway, in hopes of surprising the warriors. We were out three
    days without discovering either them or Papunchay. What hath
    detained the latter we know not. Job hath desired me to wait for
    them at this place a few days longer. On their arrival here, I
    purpose to conduct them to Philadelphia, unless I receive orders to
    the contrary from your honor.

Whether Papunchay continued loyal after 1763 is not known; but
Chillaway was a spy, in the employ of Asher Clayton, at Lehigh Gap, as
late as May, 1764.

About 1768, he made his way to the Juniata Valley. He first located
near the mouth of the Little Juniata; but as soon as settlements were
made by the whites he went up Spruce Creek; but there, too, the
footprints of the white invader were soon seen, and he removed to the
mountain, where hunting was good. He continued for many years after the
Revolution to bring venison down into the settlements to trade off for
flour and bread. In his old age he exhibited a passion for strong
drink, and by the white man's baneful _fire-water_ he fell. He was
found dead in his cabin, by some hunters, about the close of the last

Of Shaney John not much is known. He came to the valley probably about
the same time Chillaway did, and the two were boon-companions for many
years. Shaney John moved to the Indian town called the Bald Eagle's
Nest, nearly opposite Milesburg, Centre county, where he died.

The most prominent friendly Indian that ever resided in the valley,
however, was Captain Logan. This, of course, was not his proper name,
but a title bestowed upon him by the settlers. He is represented as
having been a noble and honorable Indian, warm in his attachment to a
friend, but, like all Indians, revengeful in his character. A kindness
and an insult alike remained indelibly stamped upon the book and page
of his memory; and to make a suitable return for the former he would
have laid down his life--shed the last drop of his heart's blood. He
was a man of medium height and heavy frame; notwithstanding which he
was fleet of foot and ever on the move.

He came to the valley before Chillaway did, and settled with his family
in the little valley east of Martin Bell's Furnace, which is still
known as Logan's Valley. He had previously resided on the Susquehanna,
where he was the captain of a brave band of warriors; but,
unfortunately, in some engagement with another tribe, he had an eye
destroyed by an arrow from the enemy. This was considered a mark of
disgrace, and he was deposed; and it was owing to that cause that he
abandoned his tribe and took up his residence in the Juniata Valley.

One day, while hunting, he happened to pass the beautiful spring near
the mouth of the Bald Eagle--now in the heart of Tyrone City. The
favorable location for both hunting and fishing, as well as the
charming scenery, fascinated Logan; and he built himself a wigwam,
immediately above the spring, to which he removed his family.

Here he lived during the Revolutionary war, not altogether inactive,
for his sympathies were on the side of liberty. During that time he
formed a strong attachment to Captain Ricketts, of Warrior's Mark, and
they became fast friends. It was to Ricketts that Captain Logan first
disclosed the plot of the tories under John Weston; and Edward Bell
gave it as his firm conviction that Logan was among the Indians who
shot down Weston and his men on their arrival at Kittaning.

Although Logan had learned to read from the Moravian missionaries when
quite a lad, he knew very little of the formula of land purchases; so
he failed to make a regular purchase of the spot on which his cabin
stood, the consequence of which was that, after the war, some envious
white man bought the land and warned the friendly savage off. Logan was
too proud and haughty to contest the matter, or even bandy words with
the intruder; so he left, and located at Chickalacamoose, where
Clearfield now stands, on the West Branch of the Susquehanna.

Captain Logan continued visiting the valley, and especially when any of
his friends among the pioneers died. On such occasions he generally
discarded his red and blue eagle-feathers, and appeared in a plain suit
of citizens' clothes.

But at length Logan came no more. The Great Spirit called him to a
happier hunting-ground; and all that is mortal of him--unless his
remains have been ruthlessly torn from the bosom of mother earth--lies
beneath the sod, near the mouth of Chickalacamoose Creek.

It is to be regretted that more of his history has not been preserved,
for, according to all accounts of him, he possessed many noble traits
of character. Unlike Logan the Mingo chief, Captain Logan the Cayuga
chief had no biographer like Thomas Jefferson to embellish the pages of
history with his eloquence. Well may we say, "The evil that men do
lives after them, while the good is oft interred with their bones."



Pushing the light canoe on the lagoons in search of fish and lassoing
the wild horse on the pampas of the South, chasing the buffalo on the
boundless prairies and hunting the antlered stag in the dense forests
of the West, is now the Indian's occupation; and there he may be found,
ever shunning the haunts of civilization.

The Delaware Indians have been exterminated, and their very name
(_Lenni Lenape_) blotted from existence, save where it appears
upon the pages of history.

Of the Shawnees, once the powerful warlike tribe that was known and
feared from the seaboard to the lakes, but a few degenerate families
reside in the Far West.

Of the Great Confederation of the Iroquois but a remnant exists to
remind us of its former greatness, its councils, its wars, and its
"talks." They reside in Western New York, in a semi-civilized but
degraded state, and are but sorry representatives of the once proud and
stately warriors the crack of whose sharp and unerring rifles made the
woods ring, and whose canoes danced upon the waves of the blue Juniata
more than a hundred years ago.

But they are all gone, and the bones of their ancestors are the only
relics which they have left behind them. The hand of the same
inscrutable Providence that suffered them to march as mighty conquerors
from the West to the East, crushing out the existence of a weaker
people in their triumphant march, stayed them, blighted them in the
noonday of their glory, and, like the receding waves of the sea, drove
them back in the direction whence they came, where they scattered, and
the ties which bound them together as tribes dissolved even as would
ice beneath the rays of a tropical sun.

The reader of the foregoing pages may sometimes think it strange that
the savages committed so many depredations with impunity, killed,
scalped, or carried so many into captivity, while but comparatively few
of the marauders were destroyed. The cause of this can be easily
explained. The savages always made covert attacks. As will be
remembered, very few massacres occurred in the valley by open
attack,--nearly all their depredations being committed while in
ambuscade or when they had a foe completely in their power. Their
incursions were always conducted with great caution, and no sooner did
they strike a decisive blow than they disappeared. To guard against
their ferocity was impossible; to follow them was equally futile. The
settlers were too few in number to leave one force at home to guard
against them and to send another in pursuit of them; for, during the
Revolution, the belief was prevalent that a large force was ever ready
to descend into the valley, and that the incursions of a few were only
stratagems to lure the settlers to destruction by following them to
where a large number were concealed. It was frequently proposed to send
a strong force to waylay the gaps of the mountain; but the settlers
refused to trust the protection of their families to the raw militia
sent by government to defend the frontier.

In extremely aggravating cases, men, driven to desperation, followed
the savages to the verge of the Indian settlements; but they never got
beyond the summit of the Alleghany Mountains without feeling as if they
were walking directly into the jaws of death, for no one could
otherwise than momentarily expect a shower of rifle-balls from the
enemy in ambuscade. The want of men, ammunition, and other things, were
known to and taken advantage of by the Indians; but when an abundance
of these things was brought to the frontier they prudently kept out of
the way, for their sagacity instinctively taught them what they might
expect if they fell into the hands of the settlers. But it may here be
remarked that the savage mode of warfare, which by them was deemed fair
and honorable,--such as scalping or maiming women and children,--was
held in the utmost horror and detestation by people who professed to be
Christians; and they equally detested shooting from ambuscade as an act
fit for savages alone to be guilty of. It was only the more reckless
and desperate of the community that would consent to fight the savages
after their own mode of warfare.

It is, therefore, but a simple act of justice to the memory of the
pioneers to say that the savages did not go unpunished through any fear
or lack of zeal on their part. Their concentrated energies were used to
check the frequent invasions, and many of them spent their last dollar
to protect the defenceless frontier; yet it is to be deeply regretted
that in those primitive days they lacked the knowledge of properly
applying the power within their reach.

But they, too, are all gone! "Each forever in his narrow cell is laid."
Beneath their kindred dust the rude forefathers of the valley sleep. We
have endeavored to give a succinct account of the trials and sufferings
of many of them; but, doubtless, much remains untold, which the
recording angel alone has possession of. While we reflect upon the fact
that it was through the privations and hardships _they_ endured
that _we_ enjoy the rich blessings of the beautiful and teeming
valley, let us hope that they are enjoying a peace they knew not on
earth, in that valley "where the wicked cease from troubling and the
weary are at rest."



The preceding pages fulfil the original intention of presenting to the
public, as far as possible, a "History of the _Early_ Settlement of
the Juniata Valley." Its modern history, fraught with rare incidents,
is left to the pen of some future enterprising historian, who may
collect the incidents necessary to construct it when but a moiety of
the generation (still numerous) who know the valley and its
multifarious changes for half a century past shall be dwellers in our
midst. Still, such prospect shall not deter us from giving a synopsis
of the history of the valley as it is, not promising, however, to make
the record complete, or even notice in detail the growth and progress
of the valley during the last thirty years.

When the early settlers were apprised of the fact that some of the more
enterprising contemplated cutting a pack-horse road over the Alleghany
Mountains, through Blair's Gap, they shook their heads ominously, and
declared that the task was one which could not be accomplished. But it
_was_ accomplished; and, after its completion, it was not many years
until the pack-horse track was transformed into a wagon-road. People
were well satisfied with this arrangement; for no sooner was there a
good road along the river than some daring men commenced taking produce
to the East, by the use of arks, from the Frankstown Branch, the
Raystown Branch, and the Little Juniata. With these advantages, a
majority of the inhabitants labored under the impression that they were
keeping pace with the age; but others, endowed with a fair share of
that progressive spirit which characterizes the American people,
commenced agitating the project of making a turnpike between Huntingdon
and Blairsville. The old fogies of the day gave this innovation the
cold shoulder, spoke of the immense cost, and did not fail to count
the expense of travelling upon such a road. But little were their
murmurings heeded by the enterprising men of the valley. The fast
friend of the turnpike was Mr. Blair, of Blair's Gap, west of
Hollidaysburg. His influence was used in the halls of the Legislature
until he injured his political standing; nevertheless, he persevered
until the company was chartered, and he soon had the satisfaction of
seeing the turnpike road completed. Once built, it was found to be
rather a desirable institution, and its value soon removed all
opposition to it.

Anon came the startling proposition of building a canal along the
Juniata, and a railroad over the Alleghany Mountains, to connect the
waters of the Juniata and the Conemaugh. To men of limited information
the project seemed vague and ill-defined; while knowing old fogies
shook their heads, and declared that a canal and a turnpike both could
not be sustained, and that, if the former could accomplish the wonders
claimed for it, the teams that carried goods between Philadelphia and
Pittsburg in the short space of from fifteen to twenty days would be
compelled to suspend operations! But the opposition to the canal was
too insignificant to claim notice; and when the building of it was once
commenced an improvement mania raged. The stately and learned engineer,
Moncure Robinson, was brought all the way from England to survey the
route for the Portage Road. Like a very colossus of _roads_, he
strode about the mountain, and his nod and beck, like that of imperial
Cæsar upon his throne, was the law, from which there was no appeal. By
dint of long labor, and at a vast expense to the commonwealth, he
demonstrated clearly that a road could be built across the mountain,
and rendered practicable by the use of ten inclined planes. Alas! for
the perishable nature of glory! Moncure Robinson had hardly time to
reach his home, and boast of the honor and fame he achieved in the New
World, before a Yankee engineer discovered that a railroad could be
built across the Alleghany Mountain without the use of a single plane!
Of course, then he was thought a visionary, and that not a quarter of a
century ago; yet now we have two railroads crossing the mountain
without the use of a plane, and the circumstance appears to attract no
other remark than that of ineffable disgust at the old fogies who could
not make a road to cross the Apalachian chain without the tedious
operation of being hoisted up and lowered down by stationary engines.

The era of "flush times" in the valley must have been when the canal
was building. Splendid fortunes were made, and vast sums of money sunk,
by the wild speculations which followed the advent of the contractors
and the sudden rise of property lying along the river. As an instance
of the briskness of the times in the valley when the canal was
building, an old settler informs us that Frankstown at that time
contained fourteen stores, five taverns, and four roulette tables. At
present, we believe, it contains but two or three stores, one tavern,
and no gambling apparatus to relieve the reckless of their surplus

The completion of the canal was the great event of the day, and the
enthusiasm of the people could scarcely be kept within bounds when the
ponderous boats commenced ploughing the ditch. This will be readily
believed by any one who will read the papers published at the time.
From a paper printed in Lewistown on the 5th of November, 1829, we
learn that a packet-boat arrived at that place from Mifflin on the
Thursday previous, and departed again next day, having on board a
number of members of the Legislature, as well as citizens and
strangers. The editor, in speaking of the departure, enthusiastically
says:--"The boat was drawn by two white horses, when she set off in
fine style, with the 'star-spangled banner' flying at her head, and
amid the roar of cannon, the shouts of the populace, and the cheering
music of the band which was on board." Reader, this was a little over
twenty-six years ago; and the jubilee was over a packet capable of
accomplishing the mighty task of carrying some forty or fifty
passengers at the rate of about four miles an hour.

The climax of joy, however, appears to have been reached by the editor
of the _Huntingdon Gazette_, on the 15th of July, 1831, when he
became jubilant over the launch of a canal-boat, and gave vent to the
following outburst:--"What! a canal-boat launched in the vicinity of
Huntingdon! Had any one predicted an event of this kind some years
back, he, in all probability, would have been yclept a wizard, or set
down as _beside himself_!"

These gushings of intensified joy, although they serve to amuse now, do
not fail to convey a useful lesson. Let us not glory too much over the
demon scream of the locomotive as it comes rattling through the valley,
belching forth fire and smoke, or the miraculous telegraph which
conveys messages from one end of the Union to the other with the
rapidity with which a lover's sigh would be wafted from the Indies to
the Pole; for who knows but that the succeeding generation, following
in the footsteps made by the universal law of progress, will astonish
the world with inventions not dreamed of in our philosophy, which will
throw our electric-telegraphs and railroads forever in the shade?

For eighteen years, with the exception of the winter months, the canal
packet held sway in the Juniata Valley, carrying its average of about
thirty passengers a day from the East to the West, and _vice versâ_.
When hoar old winter placed an embargo upon the canal craft, travel
used to dwindle down to such a mere circumstance that a rickety old
two-horse coach could easily carry all the passengers that offered.
Who among us that has arrived at the age of manhood does not recollect
the packet-boat, with its motley group of passengers, its snail pace,
its consequential captain, and its non-communicative steersman, who
used to wake the echoes with the "to-to-to-to-toit" of his everlasting
horn and his hoarse cry of "lock ready?" The canal-packet was
unquestionably a great institution in its day and generation, and we
remember it with emotions almost akin to veneration. Right well do we
remember, too, how contentedly people sat beneath the scorching rays
of a broiling sun upon the packet, as it dragged its slow length along
the sinuous windings of the canal at an average speed of three and a
half or four miles an hour; and yet the echo of the last packet-horn
has scarcely died away when we see the self-same people standing upon
a station-house platform, on the verge of despair because the cars
happen to be ten minutes behind time, or hear them calling down
maledictions dire upon the head of some offending conductor who
refuses to jeopardize the lives of his passengers by running faster
than thirty miles an hour!

At length, after the canal had enjoyed a sixteen years' triumph, people
began to consider it a "slow coach;" and, without much debate, the
business-men of Philadelphia resolved upon a railroad between
Harrisburg and Pittsburg. The project had hardly been fairly determined
upon before the picks and shovels of the "Corkonians" and "Fardowns"
were brought into requisition; but, strange to say, this giant
undertaking struck no one as being any thing extraordinary. It was
looked upon as a matter of course, and the most frequent remarks it
gave rise to were complaints that the making of the road did not
progress rapidly enough to keep pace with the progress of the age. And,
at length, when it was completed, the citizens of Lewistown did not
greet the arrival of the first train with drums, trumpets, and the roar
of cannon; neither did any Huntingdon editor exclaim, in a burst of
enthusiasm, on the arrival of the train there, "What! nine railroad
cars, with six hundred passengers, drawn through Huntingdon by a
locomotive! If any person had predicted such a result some years ago,
he would have been yclept a wizard, or set down as one _beside

The Pennsylvania Railroad once finished, although it failed to create
the surprise and enthusiasm excited by the canal, did not fail to open
up the valley and its vast resources. Independent of the great
advantage of the road itself, let us see what followed in the wake of
this laudable enterprise. The railroad created the towns of Altoona,
Fostoria, Tipton, and Tyrone; its presence caused the building of three
plank roads, and the opening of extensive coal and lumber operations in
the valley, and kindred enterprises that might never have been thought
of. Nor is this all. A rage for travel by railroad has been produced by
the Pennsylvania Company; and there is good reason to believe that it
will increase until at least three more roads tap the main artery in
the Juniata Valley,--the railroad from Tyrone to Clearfield, from the
same place to Lock Haven, and from Spruce Creek to Lewisburg. These
roads will unquestionably be built, and at no remote period. The
Pennsylvania Road has now facilities for doing business equal to those
of any road of the same length in the world; and, when a second track
is completed, it is destined, for some years at least, to enjoy a
monopoly of the carrying trade between Pittsburg and Philadelphia. Much
as we regret it, for the sake of the Commonwealth which expended her
millions without any thing like an adequate return, the canal is
rapidly falling into disuse, and we see, with deep regret, that it has
become entirely too slow for the age in which we live. With all the
vitality forced into it that can be, we confess we can see no
opposition in it to the road but such as is of the most feeble kind;
yet all will agree that this opposition, trifling as it is, should
continue to exist until such a time as other routes shall be opened
between these points, and healthy competition established. But let us
not dwell too much upon our modes of transit through the valley, lest
the historian of a hundred years hence will find our remarks a fitting
theme for ridicule, and laugh at us because we speak in glowing terms
of a single railroad, and that road with but a single track for more
than half its distance!

In order to give the reader a little insight into the progress which
has been made in the valley, let us turn statistician for a time, with
the understanding, however, that we shall not be held responsible for
the accuracy of dates.

Less than twenty-six years ago, George Law sat upon the left bank of
the Juniata, two miles west of Williamsburg, cutting stones for
building two locks at that place. Now the aforesaid Law is supposed to
be worth the snug little sum of six millions of dollars, and not long
since was an aspirant for the presidential chair!

Thirty years ago, when Frankstown was a place of some note,
Hollidaysburg contained but a few scattered cabins. In fact, twenty
years ago it was "to fortune and to fame unknown;" yet it now contains
a population (including that of Gaysport) that will not fall much short
of four thousand.

Less than twenty-five years ago, Dr. P. Shoenberger, while returning
from Baltimore with $15,000 in cash, fell in with the celebrated robber
Lewis on the Broad Top Mountain. The intention of Lewis, as he
afterward acknowledged, was to rob him; but the doctor, although he was
unacquainted with his fellow-traveller, had his suspicions awakened,
and, by shrewd manoeuvering, succeeded in giving him the slip. Had
the $15,000 in question fallen into the hands of the robber, Dr.
Shoenberger would have been bankrupt, and the probability is that he
would have lived and died an obscure individual. Instead of that,
however, the money freed him from his embarrassments, and he died, but
a few years ago, worth between four and five millions of dollars--more
than one-half of which he accumulated by manufacturing iron in the
Valley of the Juniata.

Less than sixteen years ago, a gentleman named Zimmerman was a
bar-keeper at the hotel of Walter Graham, Esq., at Yellow Springs, in
Blair county, afterward a "mud-boss" on the Pennsylvania Canal, and
subsequently a teamster at Alleghany Furnace. At the present day the
said Samuel Zimmerman owns hotels, palaces, a bank of issue, farms,
stocks, and other property, at Niagara Falls, in Canada, which swell
his income to $150,000 per annum. He is but thirty-eight years of age.
Should he live the length of time allotted to man, and his wealth
steadily increase, at the end of threescore-and-ten years he can look
upon ordinary capitalists, who have only a few millions at command, as
men of limited means.

Let it not he presumed, however, that we notice these capitalists from
any adoration of their wealth or homage to the men, but merely because
their history is partially identified with the valley, and to show in
what a singular manner the blind goddess will sometimes lavish her
favors; for hundreds of men without money, but with brighter intellects
and nobler impulses than ever were possessed by Zimmerman, Law, or
Shoenberger, have gone down to the grave "unwept, unhonored, and
unsung," in the Juniata Valley. Neither will the soughing of the west
wind, as it sweeps through the valley, disturb their repose any more
than it will that of the _millionaires_ when resting from "life's
fitful fever" in their splendid mausoleums.

Less than ten years ago a railroad from Huntingdon to Broad Top was
deemed impracticable. Since then, or, we may say, within the last four
years, a substantial railroad has been built, reaching from the borough
of Huntingdon to Hopewell, in Bedford county, a distance of thirty-one
miles; and the cars are now engaged in bringing coal from a region
which, but a few years ago, was unexplored. In addition to the main
track, there is a branch, six miles in length, extending to Shoup's
Run. The coal-field contains eighty square miles of territory; and from
the openings made at Shoup's Run and Six Mile Run semi-bituminous coal
has been taken the quality of which cannot be surpassed by any
coal-fields in the world. Along the line of the road quite a number of
villages have sprung up. The first is Worthington, some thirteen miles
from Huntingdon. The next is Saxton, twenty-six miles from Huntingdon.
Coalmont is the name of a flourishing village growing up on Shoup's
Run, about a mile below the lowest coal-veins yet opened. Barret is
located about two miles farther up; and Broad Top City is located upon
the summit of the mountain, at the terminus of the Shoup's Run Branch,
at which place a large three-story stone hotel has been built, and a
number of lots disposed of, on which purchasers are bound to build
during the summer of 1856.

Less than eight years ago the author of these pages, while on a gunning
expedition, travelled over the ground where Altoona now stands. It was
then almost a barren waste. A few fields, a solitary log farm-house and
its out-buildings, and a school-house, alone relieved the monotony of
the scene; yet now upon this ground stands a town with between three
and four thousand inhabitants, where the scream of the engine is heard
at all hours of the day and night,--where the roar of fires, the clang
of machinery, and the busy hum of industry, never cease from the rising
to the setting of the sun, and where real estate commands a price that
would almost seem fabulous to those not acquainted with the facts. But
of this enough.

Let us now proceed to examine the products of the valley. The lower end
of it is a grain-growing region, the upper an iron-producing country;
and it is owing to the mineral resources alone that the valley
maintains the position it does and boasts of the wealth and population
it now possesses. The Juniata iron has almost a worldwide reputation;
yet we venture to say that many of our own neighbors know little about
the immense amount of capital and labor employed in its manufacture.
The following is a list of the iron establishments in the valley:--


      Name.                           Location.        Owner.

  Bloomfield Furnace              Middle Woodbury  John W. Duncan.
  Lemnos Furnace                  Hopewell         John King & Co.
  Lemnos Forge                    Hopewell         John King & Co.
  Bedford Forge                   Hopewell         John King & Co.
  Bedford Foundry
    and Machine-shop.             Bedford          Michael Bannon.
  Keagy's Foundry                 Woodbury         Snowden & Blake.
  West Providence Foundry         Bloody Run       George Baughman.


      Name.                    Location.          Owner.

  Alleghany Furnace        Logan township       Elias Baker.
  Blair Furnace            Logan township       H.N. Burroughs.
  Elizabeth Furnace        Antes township       Martin Bell.
  Bald Eagle Furnace       Snyder township      Lyon, Shorb & Co.
  Etna Furnace and Forge   Catharine township   Isett, Keller & Co.
  Springfield Furnace      Woodberry township   D. Good & Co.
  Rebecca Furnace          Houston township     E.H. Lytle.
  Sarah Furnace            Greenfield township  D. McCormick.
  Gap Furnace              Juniata township     E.F. Shoenberger.
  Frankstown Furnace       Frankstown           A. & D. Moore.
  Harriet Furnace          Alleghany township   Blair Co. Coal & Iron Co.
  Hollidaysburg Furnace    Gaysport             Watson, White & Co.
  Chimney Rock Furnace     Hollidaysburg        Gardener, Osterloh & Co.
  Gaysport Furnace         Gaysport             Smith & Caldwell.
  Portage Works
    (rolling-mill, &c.)    Duncansville         J. Higgins & Co.
  Maria Forges (two)       Juniata township     J.W. Duncan.
  Lower Maria Forge        Juniata township     D. McCormick.
  Gap Forge                Juniata township     Musselman & Co.
  Elizabeth Forge          Antes township       John Bell.
  Tyrone Forges (two)      Snyder township      Lyon, Shorb & Co.
  Cove Forge               Woodberry township   J. Royer.
  Franklin Forge           Woodberry township   D.H. Royer.
  Cold Spring Forge        Antes township       Isett & Co.
  Alleghany Forge          Alleghany township   E.H. Lytle.
  Hollidaysburg Foundry
    and Machine-shop       Hollidaysburg        J.R. McFarlane & Co.
  Gaysport Foundry and     Gaysport             McLanahan, Watson & Co.
  Tyrone Foundry           Tyrone City          J.W. Mattern & Co.
  Williamsburg Foundry     Williamsburg         Loncer & Hileman.
  Martinsburg Foundry      Martinsburg          Crawford & Morrow.
  Penn'a Railroad Foundry  Altoona              Penna. Railroad Co.
  Duncansville Foundry     Duncansville         Mr. Gibboney.
  Axe and Pick Factory     Alleghany township   J. Colclesser.


      Name.                   Location.             Owner.

  Huntingdon Furnace      Franklin township     G.K. & J.H. Shoenberger.
  Monroe Furnace          Jackson township      George W. Johnston & Co.
  Greenwood Furnace       Jackson township      A. & J. Wright.
  Rough and
    Ready Furnace         Hopewell township     Wood, Watson & Co.
  Paradise Furnace        Tod township          Trexler & Co.
  Mill Creek Furnace      Brady township        Irvin, Green & Co.
  Edward Furnace          Shirley township      Beltzhoover & Co.
  Rockhill Furnace        Cromwell township     Isett, Wigton & Co.
  Matilda Furnace
    and Forge             Springfield township  Shiffler & Son.
  Coleraine Forges (two)  Franklin township     Lyon, Shorb & Co.
  Stockdale Forge         Franklin township     John S. Isett.
  ---- Forge              Franklin township     G.K. & J.H. Shoenberger
  Elizabeth Forge         Franklin township     Martin Gates's heirs.
  Rolling Mill and
    Puddling Forge        Porter township       S. Hatfield & Son.
  Juniata Rolling Mill
    and Forge             West township         B. Lorenz, (Lessee.)
  Barre Forge             Porter township       Joseph Green & Co.
  Alexandria Foundry                            J. Grafius.
  Water Street Foundry                          Job Plympton.
  Spruce Creek Foundry                          H.L. Trawly.
  Petersburg Foundry                            H. Orlady.
  Huntingdon Foundry                            J.M. Cunningham & Co.
  Shirleysburg Foundry                          John Lutz.
  Eagle Foundry           Tod township          J. & D. Hamilton.


      Name.                     Location.            Owner.

  Lewistown Furnace         Lewistown           Etting, Graff & Co.
  Hope Furnace              Granville township  W.W. Happer & Co.
  Matilda Furnace           Wayne township      W. Righter.
  Brookland Furnace         McVeytown           Huntingdon, Robison & Co.
  Brookland Rolling Mill    McVeytown           Huntingdon, Robison & Co.
  Freedom Forge             Derry township      J.A. Wright & Co.
  Juniata Foundry
    and Machine-shop        Lewistown           Zeigler & Willis.
  Logan Foundry             Lewistown           A. Marks & Co.
  McVeytown Foundry         McVeytown           Faxon & Co.
  Axe Factory               Near Reedsville     A. Mann.
  Plough Foundry            Near Reedsville     J. & M. Taylor.

In addition to these, there may be some few foundries in Juniata and
Perry counties, but no furnaces or forges in that portion of them which
lies in the valley proper.

It may be as well here to mention that the furnace of Watson, White &
Co. is just completed; the Chimney Rock Furnace will be completed
during the summer of 1856, as well as the furnace of Messrs. Smith &
Caldwell, in Gaysport. These three furnaces follow the discovery of
immense fossil ore-veins immediately back of Hollidaysburg, which are
supposed to extend, in irregular strata, from the river east as far as
the basin extends. In addition to this, in the Loop,--a basin lying
between points of the Cove Mountain, south of Frankstown,--mines
capable of the most prolific yield have also been opened. The ore,
smelted with coke, is said to produce the best iron in market, and
commands a ready sale at excellent prices. From the discoveries
of ore-deposits already made, and those that will follow future
explorations, it is but reasonable to infer that, during the next four
or five years, the number of furnaces will be considerably augmented;
and at this time there is a project on foot for building an extensive
rolling-mill and nail-factory at Hollidaysburg.

The foregoing list of iron establishments numbers seventy-three, (and
we are by no means certain that we have enumerated all,) and employ
some six or seven thousand men, directly or indirectly, and the capital
invested cannot possibly fall far short of five millions of dollars.
And all this vast source of wealth and happiness is drawn from the
bosom of mother earth in a valley a little over a hundred miles in
length. We say it boldly, and challenge contradiction, that the
iron-mines of the Juniata Valley have yielded more clear profit, and
entailed more blessings upon the human family, than ever the same
extent of territory did in the richest diggings of California.

But, great as the valley is, unquestionably half its resources have not
yet been developed. Along the base of the mountain are vast seams of
coal that have never been opened, and forests of the finest timber,
which only await capital and enterprise to show the real extent of our
coal and lumber region. Of the extent of the ore-fields of the valley
no man can form any conception. Time alone can tell. Yet we are not
without hope that ore will be found in such quantities, before the
present generation shall have passed away, as shall make the valley a
second Wales in its iron operations.

From De Bow's Census Compendium of 1850 we copy the following, set down
as an accurate statement of the amount of capital, hands employed, and
amount produced, in all the counties of the valley, by manufactures, in
that year:--

  Counties.      Capital.    Hands employed.    Amount produced.

  Bedford      $  212,500          427            $  561,339
  Blair         1,065,730         1383             1,385,526
  Huntingdon    1,335,525         1218             1,029,860
  Mifflin         129,235          300               310,452
  Juniata         309,300          182               467,550
  Perry           336,992          609               845,360
               ----------         ----            ----------
  Total        $3,389,282         4119            $4,600,087

This is manifestly an error; for we are satisfied that more capital and
hands were employed in the iron business alone in 1850, leaving out
Perry county, only a portion of which belongs to the valley proper. The
gatherers of the statistics evidently did not enumerate the
wood-choppers, charcoal-burners, teamsters, ore-diggers, and others,
who labor for furnaces. Yet, granting that the statistics of the
manufactures of the valley, as given in the census report, are correct,
and we deduct a tenth for manufactures other than iron, we are still
correct; for since then new furnaces, forges, and foundries have been
built, the capacity of old ones greatly enlarged, and many that were
standing idle in 1850 are now in successful operation. In Altoona
alone, since then, 600 hands find steady employment in working up the
Juniata iron at the extensive machine-shops and foundries of the
Pennsylvania Railroad Company.

The following shows the population in 1840, and in 1850, together with
the number of dwellings:--

  Counties.     Pop. in 1840.    Pop. in 1850.   Dwellings.

  Bedford          29,335          23,052          3,896
  Blair, (formed out of Huntingdon and Bedford,
    1846)            --            21,777          3,718
  Huntingdon       35,484          24,786          4,298
  Mifflin          13,092          14,980          2,591
  Juniata          11,080          13,029          2,168
  Perry            17,096          20,088          3,412
                  -------         -------         ------
  Total           106,085         117,712         20,083

If we add to Bedford the 7567 inhabitants taken from it to form Fulton
county, we shall find that the population increased 19,192 in the
valley, between 1840 and 1850. This may be rated as an ordinary
increase. To the same increase, between 1850 and 1860, we may add the
extraordinary increase caused by the building of the Pennsylvania and
the Broad Top Railroads, which, we think, will increase the population
to double what it was in 1840 by the time the next census is taken.

The number of dwellings in the valley, it will be observed, amounted,
in 1850, to 20,083. Since then, five hundred buildings have been
erected in Altoona, one hundred and fifty in Tyrone, five hundred in
the towns and villages along the line of the Broad Top Road, a hundred
along the line of the Pennsylvania Road, while the towns of
Hollidaysburg, Huntingdon, McVeytown, Lewistown, Mifflin, and Newport,
and, in fact, all the villages in the valley, have had more or less
buildings erected during the past five years. A corresponding number
erected during the next five years will, we venture to predict, bring
the census return of buildings up to 40,000.

Let it also be remembered that the increase of population between 1840
and 1850 was made when the mania for moving to the West was at its
height; when more people from the Juniata located in Iowa, Wisconsin,
Illinois, and Indiana, than will leave us during the next twenty years,
unless some unforeseen cause should transpire that would start a fresh
tide of western emigration. The fact that many who have taken up their
residences in the Far West would most willingly return, if they could,
has opened the eyes of the people, in a measure; and many have become
convinced that a man who cannot live and enjoy all the comforts of life
on a fine Pennsylvania farm can do little better upon the prairies of
Iowa or the ague-shaking swamps of Indiana. As an evidence that money
may be made at home here by almost any pursuit, attended with
perseverance, we may incidentally mention that a gentleman near
Frankstown, who owns a small farm,--probably one hundred and sixty
acres,--not only kept his family comfortable during the last year, but
netted $1400 clear profit, being half the amount of the original
purchase. Is there a farm of the same size in Iowa that produced to its
owner so large a sum over and above all expenses? But, more than this,
we can safely say, without fear of contradiction, that every acre of
cultivated land in the Juniata Valley has, during the last two years,
netted as much as the same amount of land in the most fertile and
productive Western State in the Union. A large proportion of the people
who have located in the West, actuated by that ruling passion of the
human family--the accumulation of money, (mostly for dissipated heirs
to squander,)--are engaged in speculating in lands. Now, we venture to
say that the increase in the price of some of the lands in the Juniata
Valley will vie with the rapid rise in the value of Western lands; and
we are prepared to maintain our assertions with the proof. Some years
ago a gentleman in Huntingdon county took a tract of timber-land, lying
at the base of the mountain in Blair county, for a debt of some four or
five hundred dollars. The debt was deemed hopelessly bad, and the land
little better than the debt itself. Right willingly would the new owner
have disposed of it for a trifle, but no purchaser could be found. Anon
the railroad was built, and a number of steam saw-mills were erected on
lands adjoining the tract in question, when the owner found a ready
purchaser at $2500 cash. A gentleman in Gaysport, in the summer of
1854, purchased twelve acres of ground back of Hollidaysburg for seven
hundred dollars. This sum he netted by the sale of the timber taken off
it preparatory to breaking it up for cultivation. After owning it just
one year, he disposed of it for $3000! A gentleman in Hollidaysburg, in
the fall of 1854, bought three hundred and eighty acres of ground,
adjoining the Frankstown Ore Bank, for three hundred and eighty
dollars. The undivided half of this land was sold on the 22d of
February, 1856, for $2900, showing an increase in value of about 1400
per cent. in fifteen months; and yet the other half could not be
purchased for $5000. By this the land speculator will see that it is
not necessary for him to go to the Far West to pursue his calling while
real estate rises so rapidly in value at home.

Within a few years past, the Juniata country has been made a summer
resort by a portion of the denizens of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and
Pittsburg. From either city it is reached after but a few hours'
travel. The romantic scenery, the invigorating air, and the pure water
of the mountains, are attractions that must eventually outweigh those
of fashionable watering-places, with their customary conventional
restraints. The hotels erected along the line of the Pennsylvania
Railroad are admirably adapted, and have been built with a view to
accommodate city-folks who wish to ruralize during the summer months.
Prominent among them we may mention the Patterson House, kept by
General Bell; the House, kept by Mrs. C. C. Hemphill, at the Lewistown
station; the Keystone Hotel, at Spruce Creek, kept by Colonel R. F.
Haslett; the City Hotel, Tyrone City; the large hotel at Tipton; the
Logan House, in Altoona; the two large hotels lately erected at
Cresson, by Dr. Jackson, (capable of accommodating five hundred
guests;) and Riffle's Mansion House at the Summit. In addition to
these, all the larger towns contain excellent hotels. In short, we may
say that the hotels of the valley, collectively, cannot be surpassed by
country hotels anywhere.

The valley is not without its natural curiosities to attract the
attention of the man of leisure. The Arch Spring and the Cave in
Sinking Valley are probably among the greatest curiosities to be found
in any country. The spring gushes from an opening arched by nature in
such force as to drive a mill, and then sinks into the earth again. The
subterranean passage of the water can be traced for some distance by
pits or openings, when it again emerges, runs along the surface among
rocky hills, until it enters a large cave, having the appearance of an
immense tunnel. This cave has been explored as far as it will
admit--some four hundred feet,--where there is a large room, and where
the water falls into a chasm or vortex, and finds a subterranean
passage through Canoe Mountain, and emerges again at its southern base,
along which it winds down to Water Street and empties into the river.

Another of these subterranean wonders is a run back of Tyrone City,
where it sinks into the base of a limestone ridge, passes beneath a
hill, and makes its appearance again at the edge of the town.

The most remarkable spring, however, is one located on the right bank
of the river, some seven miles below Hollidaysburg. The peculiar
feature about this spring is the fact that it ebbs and flows with the
same regularity the tides do. The admirer of natural curiosities may
arrive at it when it is brimming full or running over with the purest
of limestone water; yet in a short time the water will commence
receding, and within an hour or two the hole in the ground alone
remains. Then a rumbling noise is heard up the hill-side, and soon the
water pours down until the spring is again overflowed.

In the town of Williamsburg, on the property of John K. Neff, Esq.,
there is a remarkable spring. It throws out a volume of water capable
of operating a first-class mill, together with other machinery,
although the distance from the spring to the river does not exceed the
eighth of a mile.

At Spang's Mill, in Blair county, is by far the largest spring in the
upper end of the valley. It has more the appearance of a small
subterranean river breaking out at the hill-side than that of a spring.
It is about three hundred yards long, varying in width from one hundred
to one hundred and fifty feet. The water has a bluish-green tinge, and
is so exceedingly pure that a drop of it placed under a microscope
would show fewer animalculæ than a drop of river-water would after
being filtered. Formerly it contained thousands upon thousands of the
finest brook trout; but of late years the number has been considerably
diminished by the sportsmen who could obtain permission from Mr. Spang
to entice them from their element with the tempting fly. A hundred feet
from what is considered the end of the spring, there is a large
grist-mill driven by its waters, which empty into the eastern reservoir
of the Pennsylvania Canal, after traversing a distance of about three
miles. Within two miles from the head of the spring, its waters furnish
motive-power to two grist-mills, a saw-mill, and four forges.

As a singular circumstance in connection with this subject, we may
mention that, within the memory of some of the older inhabitants, a
considerable stream of water ran through the upper end of Middle
Woodbury township, Bedford county; but the spring at the head of it
gave out, as well as several other springs which fed it, and now
scarcely any traces of it remain.

In facilities for teaching the rising generation the counties composing
the valley are not behind any of their sister counties in the State, as
the Common School Report for 1855 proves.

Ever mindful of the Giver of all good and his manifold mercies to
mankind, the people of the Juniata region have reared fully as many
temples to the worship of Almighty God as the same number of
inhabitants have done in any land where the light of the gospel shines.
The following table, compiled from the census statistics, shows the
number of churches in 1850:--

   SECTS.       |Bedford|Blair|Huntingdon|Mifflin|Juniata|Perry|Total
  Baptist       |    5  |   5 |     6    |     1 |       |   4 |  21
  Christian     |       |     |          |       |       |   1 |   1
  Congregational|       |     |          |     1 |       |     |   1
  Episcopal     |       |     |      1   |     2 |       |     |   3
  Free          |       |     |      3   |       |       |     |   3
  Friends       |    2  |     |          |       |       |     |   2
  German        |       |     |          |       |       |     |
    Reformed    |    7  |   5 |      5   |       |       |  10 |  27
  Lutheran      |   14  |  10 |      5   |     5 |     9 |   8 |  51
  Mennonite     |       |   3 |          |       |       |     |   3
  Methodist     |   10  |   6 |     22   |     8 |     7 |  14 |  67
  Moravian      |    2  |   2 |      1   |     1 |       |   1 |   7
  Presbyterian  |    6  |   6 |     13   |    11 |    10 |   8 |  54
  Roman         |       |     |          |       |       |     |
    Catholic    |    1  |   3 |      1   |     1 |       |     |   6
  Tunker        |       |   1 |      1   |       |       |     |   2
  Union         |    5  |     |      2   |       |     1 |   1 |   9
  Minor Sects   |       |   1 |          |     2 |       |     |   3
      Total     |   52  |  42 |     60   |    32 |    27 |  47 | 260

During the six years that have elapsed since the above statistics were
taken, quite a number of new churches have been erected--probably not
less than twenty. Of this number four have been erected in Altoona and
three in Tyrone City alone.

And now, worthy reader, our voluntarily-assumed task is ended. As we
glance over the pages of our work, we are made painfully aware of the
fact that many of the narratives given are too brief to be very
interesting. This is owing altogether to the fact that we chose to give
unvarnished accounts as we received them, broken and unconnected,
rather than a connected history garnished with drafts from the
imagination. In thus steering clear of the shoals of fiction,--on which
so many historians have wrecked,--we conceive that we have only done
our duty to those who suggested to us this undertaking.

We are strongly impressed with the idea that a history of the early
settlement of the valley should have been written a quarter of a
century ago. Then it might have made a volume replete with all the
stirring incidents of the times, for at that period many of the actors
in the trials and struggles endured were still among us, and could have
given details; while we were compelled to glean our information from
persons on the brink of the grave, whose thoughts dwelt more upon the
future than on the past.

The modern history of the valley will be a subject for the pen of the
historian a quarter of a century hence. We have given him a hint of
some occurrences during the last half century; and for further
particulars, during the next twenty-five years, we would refer him to
the twenty newspapers published in the seven counties, from whose
columns alone he will be able to compile an interesting history,
sparing himself the trouble of searching among books, papers, and old
inhabitants, for incidents that, unfortunately, never were recorded.

The future of the valley no man knoweth. We even tax the Yankee
characteristic in vain when we attempt to guess its future. Many yet
unborn may live to see the fires of forges and furnaces without number
illuminating the rugged mountains, and hear the screams of a thousand
steam-engines. They may live, too, to see the day when population shall
have so increased that the noble stag dare no longer venture down from
the mountain to slake his thirst at the babbling brook, and when the
golden-hued trout, now sporting in every mountain-stream, shall be
extinct. But, before that time, there is reason to believe that the
present generation, including your historian, will have strutted upon
the stage the brief hour allotted to them, performed life's pilgrimage,
and, finally, arrived at


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