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Title: Captives Among the Indians
Author: Bressani, Francesco Giuseppe, Harbison, Mercy, Smith, James, 1775-1839, Rowlandson, Mary White, 1635?-1711
Language: English
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First-hand Narratives of Indian Wars, Customs,
Tortures, and Habits of Life in Colonial Times






All rights reserved




    MASSACHUSETTS, 1676                                           143

 IV CAPTURE AND ESCAPE OF MERCY HARBISON, 1792                    210




    James Smith, pioneer, was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, in
    1737. When he was eighteen years of age he was captured by the
    Indians, was adopted into one of their tribes, and lived with them
    as one of themselves until his escape in 1759.

    He became a lieutenant under General Bouquet during the expedition
    against the Ohio Indians in 1764, and was captain of a company of
    rangers in Lord Dunmore's War. In 1775 he was promoted to major of
    militia. He served in the Pennsylvania convention in 1776, and in
    the assembly in 1776-77. In the latter year he was commissioned
    colonel in command on the frontiers, and performed distinguished

    Smith moved to Kentucky in 1788. He was a member of the Danville
    convention, and represented Bourbon county for many years in the
    legislature. He died in Washington county, Kentucky, in 1812.

    The following narrative of his experience as member of an Indian
    tribe is from his own book entitled "Remarkable Adventures in the
    Life and Travels of Colonel James Smith," printed at Lexington,
    Kentucky, in 1799. It affords a striking contrast to the terrible
    experiences of the other captives whose stories are republished in
    this book; for he was well treated, and stayed so long with his red
    captors that he acquired expert knowledge of their arts and
    customs, and deep insight into their character. (_Editor._)

In May, 1755, the province of Pennsylvania agreed to send out three
hundred men, in order to cut a wagon-road from Fort Loudon, to join
Braddock's road, near the Turkey Foot, or three forks of Youghiogheny.
My brother-in-law, William Smith, Esq., of Conococheague, was appointed
commissioner, to have the oversight of these road-cutters.

Though I was at that time only eighteen years of age, I had fallen
violently in love with a young lady, whom I apprehended was possessed
of a large share of both beauty and virtue; but being born between
Venus and Mars, I concluded I must also leave my dear fair one, and go
out with this company of road-cutters to see the event of this
campaign; but still expecting that some time in the course of this
summer I should again return to the arms of my beloved.

We went on with the road, without interruption, until near the
Alleghany mountain; when I was sent back in order to hurry up some
provision-wagons that were on the way after us. I proceeded down the
road as far as the crossings of Juniata, where, finding the wagons were
coming on as fast as possible, I returned up the road again towards the
Alleghany mountain, in company with one Arnold Vigoras. About four or
five miles above Bedford, three Indians had made a blind of bushes,
stuck in the ground as though they grew naturally, where they concealed
themselves, about fifteen yards from the road. When we came opposite to
them they fired upon us, at this short distance, and killed my
fellow-traveller, yet their bullets did not touch me; but my horse,
making a violent start, threw me, and the Indians immediately ran up
and took me prisoner. The one who laid hold on me was a Canasatauga,
the other two were Delawares. One of them could speak English, and
asked me if there were any more white men coming after. I told them not
any near that I knew of. Two of these Indians stood by me, while the
other scalped my comrade; they then set off and ran at a smart rate
through the woods, for about fifteen miles, and that night we slept on
the Alleghany mountain without fire.

The next morning they divided the last of their provisions which they
had brought from Fort Du Quesne, and gave me an equal share, which was
about two or three ounces of mouldy biscuit; this and a young
ground-hog, about as large as a rabbit, roasted, and also equally
divided, was all the provision we had until we came to the Loyal
Hannan, which was about fifty miles; and a great part of the way we
came through exceeding rocky laurel-thickets without any path. When we
came to the west side of Laurel hill, they gave the scalp halloo, as
usual, which is a long yell or halloo for every scalp or prisoner they
have in possession; the last of these scalp halloos were followed with
quick and sudden shrill shouts of joy and triumph. On their performing
this, we were answered by the firing of a number of guns on the Loyal
Hannan, one after another, quicker than one could count, by another
party of Indians who were encamped near where Ligonier now stands. As
we advanced near this party, they increased with repeated shouts of joy
and triumph; but I did not share with them in their excessive mirth.
When we came to this camp we found they had plenty of turkeys and other
meat there; and though I never before ate venison without bread or
salt, yet as I was hungry it relished very well. There we lay that
night, and the next morning the whole of us marched on our way for Fort
Du Quesne. The night after we joined another camp of Indians, with
nearly the same ceremony, attended with great noise, and apparent joy,
among all except one. The next morning we continued our march, and in
the afternoon we came in full view of the fort, which stood on the
point, near where Fort Pitt[1] now stands. We then made a halt on the
bank of the Alleghany, and repeated the scalp halloo, which was
answered by the firing of all the firelocks in the hands of both
Indians and French who were in and about the fort, in the aforesaid
manner, and also the great guns, which were followed by the continued
shouts and yells of the different savage tribes who were then collected

          [1] Pittsburgh.

As I was at this time unacquainted with this mode of firing and yelling
of the savages, I concluded that there were thousands of Indians there
ready to receive General Braddock; but what added to my surprise, I saw
numbers running towards me, stripped naked, excepting breech-clouts,
and painted in the most hideous manner, of various colors, though the
principal color was vermilion, or a bright red; yet there was annexed
to this black, brown, blue, etc. As they approached, they formed
themselves into two long ranks, about two or three rods apart. I was
told by an Indian that could speak English that I must run betwixt
these ranks, and that they would flog me all the way as I ran; and if I
ran quick, it would be so much the better, as they would quit when I
got to the end of the ranks. There appeared to be a general rejoicing
around me, yet I could find nothing like joy in my breast; but I
started to the race with all the resolution and vigor I was capable of
exerting, and found that it was as I had been told, for I was flogged
the whole way. When I had got near the end of the lines I was struck
with something that appeared to me to be a stick, or the handle of a
tomahawk, which caused me to fall to the ground. On my recovering my
senses I endeavored to renew my race; but, as I arose, some one cast
sand in my eyes, which blinded me so that I could not see where to run.
They continued beating me most intolerably, until I was at length
insensible; but before I lost my senses I remember my wishing them to
strike the fatal blow, for I thought they intended killing me, but
apprehended they were too long about it.

The first thing I remember was my being in the fort amidst the French
and Indians, and a French doctor standing by me, who had opened a vein
in my left arm: after which the interpreter asked me how I did. I told
him I felt much pain. The doctor then washed my wounds, and the bruised
places of my body with French brandy. As I felt faint, and the brandy
smelt well, I asked for some inwardly, but the doctor told me, by the
interpreter, that it did not suit my case.

When they found I could speak, a number of Indians came around me, and
examined me, with threats of cruel death if I did not tell the truth.
The first question they asked me was how many men were there in the
party that were coming from Pennsylvania to join Braddock? I told them
the truth, that there were three hundred. The next question was, were
they well armed? I told them they were all well armed (meaning the arm
of flesh), for they had only about thirty guns among the whole of them;
which if the Indians had known they would certainly have gone and cut
them all off; therefore I could not in conscience let them know the
defenceless situation of these road-cutters. I was then sent to the
hospital, and carefully attended by the doctors, and recovered quicker
than what I expected.

Some time after I was there, I was visited by the Delaware Indian
already mentioned, who was at the taking of me, and could speak some
English. Though he spoke but bad English, yet I found him to be a man
of considerable understanding. I asked him if I had done anything that
had offended the Indians which caused them to treat me so unmercifully.
He said no; it was only an old custom the Indians had, and it was like
"how do you do"; after that, he said, I would be well used. I asked him
if I should be admitted to remain with the French. He said no; and told
me that as soon as I recovered, I must not only go with the Indians,
but must be made an Indian myself. I asked him what news from
Braddock's army. He said the Indians spied them every day, and he
showed me, by making marks on the ground with a stick, that Braddock's
army was advancing in very close order, and that the Indians would
surround them, take trees, and (as he expressed it) _shoot um down
all one pigeon_.

Shortly after this, on the 9th day of July, 1755, in the morning, I
heard a great stir in the fort. As I could then walk with a staff in my
hand, I went out of the door, which was just by the wall of the fort,
and stood upon the wall, and viewed the Indians in a huddle before the
gate, where were barrels of powder, bullets, flints, etc., and every
one taking what suited. I saw the Indians also march off in rank
entire; likewise the French Canadians, and some regulars. After viewing
the Indians and French in different positions, I computed them to be
about four hundred, and wondered that they attempted to go out against
Braddock with so small a party. I was then in high hopes that I would
soon see them fly before the British troops, and that General Braddock
would take the fort and rescue me.

I remained anxious to know the event of this day; and, in the
afternoon, I again observed a great noise and commotion in the fort,
and though at that time I could not understand French, yet I found that
it was the voice of joy and triumph, and feared that they had received
what I called bad news.

I had observed some of the old-country soldiers speak Dutch: as I spoke
Dutch, I went to one of them, and asked him what was the news. He told
me that a runner had just arrived, who said that Braddock would
certainly be defeated; that the Indians and French had surrounded him,
and were concealed behind trees and in gullies, and kept a constant
fire upon the English, and that they saw the English falling in heaps,
and if they did not take the river, which was the only gap, and make
their escape, there would not be one man left alive before sundown. The
morning after the battle I saw Braddock's artillery brought into the
fort; the same day I also saw several Indians in British officers'
dress, with sash, half-moon, laced hats, etc., which the British then

A few days after this the Indians demanded me, and I was obliged to go
with them. I was not yet well able to march, but they took me in a
canoe up the Alleghany River to an Indian town that was on the north
side of the river, about forty miles above Fort Du Quesne. Here I
remained about three weeks, and was then taken to an Indian town on the
west branch of Muskingum, about twenty miles above the forks, which was
called Tullihas, inhabited by Delawares, Caughnewagas, and Mohicans.

The day after my arrival at the aforesaid town a number of Indians
collected about me, and one of them began to pull the hair out of my
head. He had some ashes on a piece of bark, in which he frequently
dipped his fingers in order to take the firmer hold, and so he went on,
as if he had been plucking a turkey, until he had all the hair clean
out of my head except a small spot about three or four inches square on
my crown; this they cut off with a pair of scissors, excepting three
locks, which they dressed up in their own mode. Two of these they
wrapped round with a narrow beaded garter made by themselves for that
purpose, and the other they plaited at full length, and then stuck it
full of silver brooches. After this they bored my nose and ears, and
fixed me off with earrings and nose jewels; then they ordered me to
strip off my clothes and put on a breech-clout, which I did; they then
painted my head, face, and body in various colors. They put a large
belt of wampum on my neck, and silver bands on my hands and right arm;
and so an old chief led me out in the street, and gave the alarm
halloo, _coo-wigh_, several times repeated quick; and on this, all
that were in the town came running and stood round the old chief, who
held me by the hand in the midst. As I at that time knew nothing of
their mode of adoption, and had seen them put to death all they had
taken, and as I never could find that they saved a man alive at
Braddock's defeat, I made no doubt but they were about putting me to
death in some cruel manner. The old chief, holding me by the hand, made
a long speech, very loud, and when he had done, he handed me to three
young squaws, who led me by the hand down the bank, into the river,
until the water was up to our middle. The squaws then made signs to me
to plunge myself into the water, but I did not understand them; I
thought that the result of the council was that I should be drowned,
and that these young ladies were to be the executioners. They all three
laid violent hold of me, and I for some time opposed them with all my
might, which occasioned loud laughter by the multitude that were on the
bank of the river. At length one of the squaws made out to speak a
little English (for I believe they began to be afraid of me), and said
_no hurt you_. On this I gave myself up to their ladyships, who were as
good as their word; for though they plunged me under water, and washed
and rubbed me severely, yet I could not say they hurt me much.

These young women then led me up to the council-house, where some of
the tribe were ready with new clothes for me. They gave me a new
ruffled shirt, which I put on, also a pair of leggings done off with
ribbons and beads, likewise a pair of moccasons and garters dressed
with beads, porcupine quills, and red hair--also a tinsel-laced cappo.
They again painted my head and face with various colors, and tied a
bunch of red feathers to one of those locks they had left on the crown
of my head, which stood up five or six inches. They seated me on a
bearskin, and gave me a pipe, tomahawk, and pole-cat skin pouch, which
had been skinned pocket fashion, and contained tobacco, killegenico, or
dry sumach leaves, which they mix with their tobacco; also spunk,
flint, and steel. When I was thus seated, the Indians came in dressed
and painted in their grandest manner. As they came in they took their
seats, and for a considerable time there was a profound silence--every
one was smoking; but not a word was spoken among them. At length one of
the chiefs made a speech, which was delivered to me by an interpreter,
and was as followeth: "My son, you are now flesh of our flesh, and bone
of our bone. By the ceremony which was performed this day every drop of
white blood was washed out of your veins; you are taken into the
Caughnewaga nation, and initiated into a warlike tribe; you are adopted
into a great family, and now received with great seriousness and
solemnity in the room and place of a great man. After what has passed
this day, you are now one of us by an old strong law and custom. My
son, you have now nothing to fear--we are now under the same
obligations to love, support, and defend you that we are to love and to
defend one another; therefore, you are to consider yourself as one of
our people." At this time I did not believe this fine speech,
especially that of the white blood being washed out of me; but since
that time I have found out that there was much sincerity in said
speech; for, from that day, I never knew them to make any distinction
between me and themselves in any respect whatever until I left them. If
they had plenty of clothing, I had plenty; if we were scarce, we all
shared one fate.

After this ceremony was over I was introduced to my new kin, and told
that I was to attend a feast that evening, which I did. And as the
custom was, they gave me also a bowl and a wooden spoon, which I
carried with me to the place where there was a number of large brass
kettles full of boiled venison and green corn; every one advanced with
his bowl and spoon, and had his share given him. After this, one of the
chiefs made a short speech, and then we began to eat.

Shortly after this I went out to hunt in company with Mohawk Solomon,
some of the Caughnewagas, and a Delaware Indian that was married to a
Caughnewaga squaw. We travelled about south from this town, and the
first night we killed nothing, but we had with us green corn, which we
roasted and ate that night. The next day we encamped about twelve
o'clock, and the hunters turned out to hunt, and I went down the run
that we encamped on, in company with some squaws and boys, to hunt
plums, which we found in great plenty. On my return to camp I observed
a large piece of fat meat; the Delaware Indian, that could talk some
English, observed me looking earnestly at this meat, and asked me,
"What meat you think that is?" I said I supposed it was bear meat; he
laughed, and said, "Ho, all one fool you, beal now elly pool," and
pointing to the other side of the camp, he said, "Look at that skin,
you think that beal skin?" I went and lifted the skin, which appeared
like an ox-hide; he then said, "What skin you think that?" I replied,
that I thought it was a buffalo-hide; he laughed, and said, "You fool
again, you know nothing, you think buffalo that colo'?" I acknowledged
I did not know much about these things, and told him I never saw a
buffalo, and that I had not heard what color they were. He replied, "By
and by you shall see gleat many buffalo; he now go to gleat lick. That
skin no buffalo-skin, that skin buck-elk-skin." They went out with
horses, and brought in the remainder of this buck-elk, which was the
fattest creature I ever saw of the tallow kind.

We remained at this camp about eight or ten days, and killed a number
of deer. Though we had neither bread nor salt at this time, yet we had
both roast and boiled meat in great plenty, and they were frequently
inviting me to eat when I had no appetite.

We then moved to the buffalo lick, where we killed several buffalo, and
in their small brass kettles they made about half a bushel of salt. I
suppose this lick was about thirty or forty miles from the aforesaid
town, and somewhere between the Muskingum, Ohio, and Sciota. About the
lick was clear, open woods, and thin white-oak land, and at that time
there were large roads leading to the lick, like wagon-roads. We moved
from this lick about six or seven miles, and encamped on a creek.

Some time after this, I was told to take the dogs with me, and go down
the creek, perhaps I might kill a turkey; it being in the afternoon, I
was also told not to go far from the creek, and to come up the creek
again to the camp, and to take care not to get lost. When I had gone
some distance down the creek, I came upon fresh buffalo tracks, and as
I had a number of dogs with me to stop the buffalo, I concluded I would
follow after and kill one; and as the grass and weeds were rank, I
could readily follow the track. A little before sundown I despaired of
coming up with them. I was then thinking how I might get to camp before
night. I concluded, as the buffalo had made several turns, if I took
the track back to the creek it would be dark before I could get to
camp; therefore I thought I would take a near way through the hills,
and strike the creek a little below the camp; but as it was cloudy
weather, and I a very young woodsman, I could find neither creek nor
camp. When night came on I fired my gun several times, and hallooed,
but could have no answer. The next morning, early, the Indians were out
after me, and as I had with me ten or a dozen dogs, and the grass and
weeds rank, they could readily follow my track. When they came up with
me they appeared to be in very good-humor. I asked Solomon if he
thought I was running away; he said, "No, no, you go too much clooked."
On my return to camp they took my gun from me, and for this rash step I
was reduced to a bow and arrows for near two years. We were out on this
tour for about six weeks.

This country is generally hilly, though intermixed with considerable
quantities of rich upland and some good bottoms.

When we returned to the town, Pluggy and his party had arrived, and
brought with them a considerable number of scalps and prisoners from
the south branch of the Potomac; they also brought with them an English
Bible, which they gave to a Dutch woman who was a prisoner; but as she
could not read English, she made a present of it to me, which was very

I remained in this town until some time in October, when my adopted
brother, called Tontileaugo, who had married a Wyandot squaw, took me
with him to Lake Erie. On this route we had no horses with us, and when
we started from the town all the pack I carried was a pouch containing
my books, a little dried venison, and my blanket. I had then no gun,
but Tontileaugo, who was a first-rate hunter, carried a rifle gun, and
every day killed deer, raccoons, or bears. We left the meat, excepting
a little for present use, and carried the skins with us until we
encamped, and then stretched them with elm bark, in a frame made with
poles stuck in the ground, and tied together with lynn or elm bark; and
when the skins were dried by the fire, we packed them up and carried
them with us the next day.

As Tontileaugo could not speak English, I had to make use of all the
Caughnewaga I had learned, even to talk very imperfectly with him; but
I found I learned to talk Indian faster this way than when I had those
with me who could speak English.

As we proceeded down the Canesadooharie waters, our packs increased by
the skins that were daily killed, and became so very heavy that we
could not march more than eight or ten miles per day. We came to Lake
Erie about six miles west of the mouth of Canesadooharie. As the wind
was very high the evening we came to the lake, I was surprised to hear
the roaring of the water, and see the high waves that dashed against
the shore, like the ocean. We encamped on a run near the lake, and, as
the wind fell that night, the next morning the lake was only in a
moderate motion, and we marched on the sand along the side of the
water, frequently resting ourselves, as we were heavily laden. I saw on
the sand a number of large fish, that had been left in flat or hollow
places; as the wind fell and the waves abated they were left without
water, or only a small quantity; and numbers of bald and gray eagles,
etc., were along the shore devouring them.

Some time in the afternoon we came to a large camp of Wyandots, at the
mouth of Canesadooharie, where Tontileaugo's wife was. Here we were
kindly received; they gave us a kind of rough, brown potatoes, which
grew spontaneously, and were called by the Caughnewagas _ohnenata_.
These potatoes, peeled and dipped in raccoon's fat, taste nearly like
our sweet potatoes. They also gave us what they call _canaheanta_,
which is a kind of hominy, made of green corn, dried, and beans, mixed

We continued our camp at the mouth of Canesadooharie for some time,
where we killed some deer and a great many raccoons; the raccoons here
were remarkably large and fat. At length we all embarked in a large
birch-bark canoe. This vessel was about four feet wide and three feet
deep, and about five-and-thirty feet long; and though it could carry a
heavy burden, it was so artfully and curiously constructed that four
men could carry it several miles, or from one landing-place to another,
or from the waters of the lake to the waters of the Ohio. We proceeded
up Canesadooharie a few miles, and went on shore to hunt; but, to my
great surprise, they carried the vessel we all came in up the bank, and
inverted it, or turned the bottom up, and converted it to a
dwelling-house, and kindled a fire before us to warm ourselves by and
cook. With our baggage and ourselves in this house we were very much
crowded, yet our little house turned off the rain very well.

While we remained here I left my pouch with my books in camp, wrapped
up in my blanket, and went out to hunt chestnuts. On my return to camp
my books were missing. I inquired after them, and asked the Indians if
they knew where they were; they told me that they supposed the puppies
had carried them off. I did not believe them, but thought they were
displeased at my poring over my books, and concluded that they had
destroyed them, or put them out of my way.

After this I was again out after nuts, and on my return beheld a new
erection, composed of two white-oak saplings, that were forked about
twelve feet high, and stood about fifteen feet apart. They had cut
these saplings at the forks, and laid a strong pole across, which
appeared in the form of a gallows; and the poles they had shaved very
smooth, and painted in places with vermilion. I could not conceive the
use of this piece of work, and at length concluded it was a gallows. I
thought that I had displeased them by reading my books, and that they
were about putting me to death. The next morning I observed them
bringing their skins all to this place, and hanging them over this
pole, so as to preserve them from being injured by the weather. This
removed my fears. They also buried their large canoe in the ground,
which is the way they took to preserve this sort of a canoe in the
winter season.

As we had at this time no horse, every one got a pack on his back, and
we steered an east course about twelve miles and encamped. The next
morning we proceeded on the same course about ten miles to a large
creek that empties into Lake Erie, betwixt Canesadooharie and Cayahoga.
Here they made their winter cabin in the following form: they cut logs
about fifteen feet long, and laid these logs upon each other, and drove
posts in the ground at each end to keep them together; the posts they
tied together at the top with bark, and by this means raised a wall
fifteen feet long and about four feet high, and in the same manner they
raised another wall opposite to this, at about twelve feet distance;
then they drove forks in the ground in the centre of each end, and laid
a strong pole from end to end on these forks; and from these walls to
the poles they set up poles instead of rafters, and on these they tied
small poles in place of laths; and a cover was made of lynn-bark, which
will run[2] even in the winter season.

          [2] Peel.

It was some time in December when we finished this winter-cabin; but
when we had got into this comparatively fine lodging another difficulty
arose--we had nothing to eat. While I was travelling with Tontileaugo,
as was before mentioned, and had plenty of fat venison, bear's meat,
and raccoons, I then thought it was hard living without bread or salt;
but now I began to conclude that, if I had anything that would banish
pinching hunger, and keep soul and body together, I would be content.

While the hunters were all out, exerting themselves to the utmost of
their ability, the squaws and boys (in which class I was) were
scattered out in the bottoms, hunting red haws, black haws, and hickory
nuts. As it was too late in the year we did not succeed in gathering
haws, but we had tolerable success in scratching up hickory-nuts from
under a light snow, and these we carried with us lest the hunters
should not succeed. After our return the hunters came in, who had
killed only two small turkeys, which were but little among eight
hunters and thirteen squaws, boys, and children; but they were divided
with the greatest equity and justice; every one got their equal share.

The next day the hunters turned out again, and killed one deer and
three bears. One of the bears was very large and remarkably fat. The
hunters carried in meat sufficient to give us all a hearty supper and
breakfast. The squaws and all that could carry turned out to bring in
meat; every one had their share assigned them, and my load was among
the least; yet, not being accustomed to carrying in this way, I got
exceedingly weary, and told them my load was too heavy; I must leave
part of it and come for it again. They made a halt, and only laughed at
me, and took part of my load, and added it to a young squaw's, who had
as much before as I carried.

This kind of reproof had a greater tendency to excite me to exert
myself in carrying without complaining than if they had whipped me for
laziness. After this the hunters held a council, and concluded that
they must have horses to carry their loads; and that they would go to
war, even in this inclement season, in order to bring in horses.

Tontileaugo wished to be one of those who should go to war; but the
votes went against him, as he was one of our best hunters; it was
thought necessary to leave him at this winter-camp to provide for the
squaws and children. It was agreed upon that Tontileaugo and three
others should stay and hunt, and the other four go to war.

They then began to go through their common ceremony. They sung their
war-songs, danced their war-dances, etc. And when they were equipped
they went off singing their marching-song and firing their guns. Our
camp appeared to be rejoicing; but I was grieved to think that some
innocent persons would be murdered, not thinking of danger.

After the departure of these warriors we had hard times; and though we
were not altogether out of provisions, we were brought to short
allowance. At length Tontileaugo had considerable success, and we had
meat brought into camp sufficient to last ten days. Tontileaugo then
took me with him in order to encamp some distance from this
winter-cabin, to try his luck there. We carried no provisions with us;
he said he would leave what was there for the squaws and children, and
that we could shift for ourselves. We steered about a south course up
the waters of this creek, and encamped about ten or twelve miles from
the winter-cabin. As it was still cold weather, and a crust upon the
snow, which made a noise as we walked, and alarmed the deer, we could
kill nothing, and consequently went to sleep without supper. The only
chance we had, under these circumstances, was to hunt bear-holes; as
the bears, about Christmas, search out a winter lodging-place, where
they lie about three or four months without eating or drinking. This
may appear to some incredible, but it is well known to be the case by
those who live in the remote western parts of North America.

The next morning early we proceeded on, and when we found a tree
scratched by the bears climbing up, and the hole in the tree
sufficiently large for the reception of the bear, we then felled a
sapling or small tree against or near the hole, and it was my business
to climb up and drive out the bear, while Tontileaugo stood ready with
his gun and bow. We went on in this manner until evening without
success. At length we found a large elm scratched, and a hole in it
about forty feet up, but no tree nigh suitable to lodge against the
hole. Tontileaugo got a long pole and some dry rotten wood, which he
tied in bunches with bark; and as there was a tree that grew near the
elm, and extended up near the hole, but leaned the wrong way, so that
we could not lodge it to advantage, to remedy this inconvenience he
climbed up this tree and carried with him his rotten wood, fire, and
pole. The rotten wood he tied to his belt, and to one end of the pole
he tied a hook and a piece of rotten wood, which he set fire to, as it
would retain fire almost like punk, and reached this hook from limb to
limb as he went up. When he got up with his pole he put dry wood on
fire into the hole; after he put in the fire he heard the bear snuff,
and he came speedily down, took his gun in his hand, and waited until
the bear would come out; but it was some time before it appeared, and
when it did appear he attempted taking sight with his rifle; but it
being then too dark to see the sights, he set it down by a tree, and
instantly bent his bow, took hold of an arrow, and shot the bear a
little behind the shoulder. I was preparing also to shoot an arrow, but
he called to me to stop, there was no occasion; and with that the bear
fell to the ground.

Being very hungry, we kindled a fire, opened the bear, took out the
liver, and wrapped some of the caul-fat round, and put it on a wooden
spit, which we stuck in the ground by the fire to roast; then we
skinned the bear, got on our kettle, and had both roast and boiled, and
also sauce to our meat, which appeared to me to be delicate fare. After
I was fully satisfied I went to sleep; Tontileaugo awoke me, saying,
"Come, eat hearty, we have got meat plenty now."

The next morning we cut down a lynn-tree, peeled bark and made a snug
little shelter, facing the southeast, with a large log betwixt us and
the northwest; we made a good fire before us, and scaffolded up our
meat at one side. When we had finished our camp we went out to hunt;
searched two trees for bears, but to no purpose. As the snow thawed a
little in the afternoon, Tontileaugo killed a deer, which we carried
with us to camp.

Some time in February the four warriors returned, who had taken two
scalps and six horses from the frontiers of Pennsylvania. The hunters
could then scatter out a considerable distance from the winter-cabin
and encamp, kill meat, and bring it in upon horses; so that we
commonly, after this, had plenty of provision.

In this month we began to make sugar. As some of the elm-bark will
strip at this season, the squaws, after finding a tree that would do,
cut it down, and with a crooked stick, broad and sharp at the end, took
the bark off the tree, and of this bark made vessels, in a curious
manner, that would hold about two gallons each; they made above one
hundred of these kind of vessels. In the sugar-tree they cut a notch,
sloping down, and at the end of the notch stuck in a tomahawk; in the
place where they stuck the tomahawk they drove a long chip, in order to
carry the water out from the tree, and under this they set their vessel
to receive it. As sugar-trees were plenty and large here, they seldom
or never notched a tree that was not two or three feet over. They also
made bark vessels for carrying the water that would hold about four
gallons each. They had two brass kettles that held about fifteen
gallons each, and other smaller kettles in which they boiled the water.
But as they could not at times boil away the water as fast as it was
collected, they made vessels of bark that would hold about one hundred
gallons each for retaining the water; and though the sugar-trees did
not run every day, they had always a sufficient quantity of water to
keep them boiling during the whole sugar-season.

About the latter end of March we began to prepare for moving into town
in order to plant corn. The squaws were then frying the last of their
bear's fat and making vessels to hold it; the vessels were made of
deer-skins, which were skinned by pulling the skin off the neck without
ripping. After they had taken off the hair they gathered it in small
plaits round the neck, and, with a string, drew it together like a
purse; in the centre a pin was put, below which they tied a string, and
while it was wet they blew it up like a bladder, and let it remain in
this manner until it was dry, when it appeared nearly in the shape of a
sugar-loaf, but more rounding at the lower end. One of these vessels
would hold about four or five gallons. In these vessels it was they
carried their bear's oil.

When all things were ready we moved back to the falls of
Canesadooharie. On our arrival at the falls (as we had brought with us
on horseback about two hundred weight of sugar, a large quantity of
bear's oil, skins, etc.) the canoe we had buried was not sufficient to
carry all; therefore we were obliged to make another one of elm-bark.
While we lay here a young Wyandot found my books. On this they
collected together. I was a little way from the camp, and saw the
collection, but did not know what it meant. They called me by my Indian
name, which was Scoouwa, repeatedly. I ran to see what was the matter;
they showed me my books, and said they were glad they had been found,
for they knew I was grieved at the loss of them, and that they now
rejoiced with me because they were found. As I could then speak some
Indian, especially Caughnewaga (for both that and the Wyandot tongue
were spoken in this camp), I told them that I thanked them for the
kindness they had always shown to me, and also for finding my books.
They asked if the books were damaged. I told them not much. They then
showed how they lay, which was in the best manner to turn off the
water. In a deer-skin pouch they lay all winter. The print was not much
injured, though the binding was. This was the first time that I felt my
heart warm towards the Indians. Though they had been exceedingly kind
to me, I still before detested them on account of the barbarity I
beheld after Braddock's defeat. Neither had I ever before pretended
kindness, or expressed myself in a friendly manner; but I began now to
excuse the Indians on account of their want of information.

We staid at this camp about two weeks, and killed a number of bears,
raccoons, and some beavers. We made a canoe of elm-bark, and
Tontileaugo embarked in it. He arrived at the falls that night; while
I, mounted on horseback, with a bear-skin saddle and bark stirrups,
proceeded by land to the falls. I came there the next morning, and we
carried our canoe and loading past the falls.

We again proceeded towards the lakes; I on horseback and Tontileaugo by
water. Here the land is generally good, but I found some difficulty in
getting round swamps and ponds. When we came to the lake I proceeded
along the strand and Tontileaugo near the shore, sometimes paddling and
sometimes poling his canoe along.

After some time the wind arose, and he went into the mouth of a small
creek and encamped. Here we staid several days on account of high wind,
which raised the lake in great billows. While we were here Tontileaugo
went out to hunt, and when he was gone a Wyandot came to our camp. I
gave him a shoulder of venison which I had by the fire well roasted,
and he received it gladly; told me he was hungry, and thanked me for my
kindness. When Tontileaugo came home I told him that a Wyandot had been
at camp, and that I gave him a shoulder of roasted venison. He said
that was very well, "and I suppose you gave him also sugar and bear's
oil to eat with his venison." I told him I did not, as the sugar and
bear's oil were down in the canoe, I did not go for it. He replied,
"You have behaved just like a Dutchman.[3] Do you not know that when
strangers come to our camp we ought always to give them the best that
we have?" I acknowledged that I was wrong. He said that he could excuse
this, as I was but young; but I must learn to behave like a warrior,
and do great things, and never be found in any such little actions.

          [3] The Dutch he called Skoharehaugo, which took its
          derivation from a Dutch settlement called Skoharey.

The lake being again calm, we proceeded, and arrived safe at
Sunyendeand, which was a Wyandot town that lay upon a small creek which
empties into the little lake below the mouth of Sandusky.

The town was about eighty rood above the mouth of the creek, on the
south side of a large plain, on which timber grew, and nothing more but
grass or nettles. In some places there were large flats where nothing
but grass grew, about three feet high when grown, and in other places
nothing but nettles, very rank, where the soil is extremely rich and
loose; here they planted corn. In this town there were also French
traders, who purchased our skins and fur, and we all got new clothes,
paint, tobacco, etc.

After I had got my new clothes, and my head done off like a red-headed
woodpecker, I, in company with a number of young Indians, went down to
the corn-field to see the squaws at work. When we came there they asked
me to take a hoe, which I did, and hoed for some time. The squaws
applauded me as a good hand at the business; but when I returned to the
town the old men, hearing of what I had done, chid me, and said that I
was adopted in the place of a great man, and must not hoe corn like a
squaw. They never had occasion to reprove me for anything like this
again; as I never was extremely fond of work, I readily complied with
their orders.

As the Indians, on their return from their winter hunt, bring in with
them large quantities of bear's oil, sugar, dried venison, etc., at
this time they have plenty, and do not spare eating or giving; thus
they make way with their provision as quick as possible. They have no
such thing as regular meals, breakfast, dinner, or supper; but if any
one, even the town-folks, would go to the same house several times in
one day, he would be invited to eat of the best; and with them it is
bad manners to refuse to eat when it is offered. If they will not eat
it is interpreted as a symptom of displeasure, or that the persons
refusing to eat were angry with those who had invited them.

At this time hominy, plentifully mixed with bear's oil and sugar, or
dried venison, bear's oil, and sugar, is what they offer to every one
who comes in any time of the day; and so they go on until their sugar,
bear's oil, and venison are all gone, and then they have to eat hominy
by itself, without bread, salt, or anything else; yet still they invite
every one that comes in to eat while they have anything to give. It is
thought a shame not to invite people to eat while they have anything;
but if they can in truth only say we have got nothing to eat, this is
accepted as an honorable apology. All the hunters and warriors
continued in town about six weeks after we came in; they spent this
time in painting, going from house to house, eating, smoking, and
playing at a game resembling dice, or hustle-cap. They put a number of
plum-stones in a small bowl; one side of each stone is black, and the
other white; they then shake or hustle the bowl, calling, "_Hits,
hits, hits, honesey, honesey, rago, rago_;" which signifies calling
for white or black, or what they wish to turn up; they then turn the
bowl, and count the whites and blacks. Some were beating their kind of
drum and singing; others were employed in playing on a sort of flute
made of hollow cane; and others playing on the jew's-harp. Some part of
this time was also taken up in attending the council-house, where the
chiefs, and as many others as chose, attended; and at night they were
frequently employed in singing and dancing. Towards the last of this
time, which was in June, 1756, they were all engaged in preparing to go
to war against the frontiers of Virginia. When they were equipped they
went through their ceremonies, sung their war-songs, etc. They all
marched off, from fifteen to sixty years of age; and some boys, only
twelve years of age, were equipped with their bows and arrows, and went
to war; so that none were left in town but squaws and children, except
myself, one very old man, and another, about fifty years of age, who
was lame.

The Indians were then in great hopes that they would drive all the
Virginians over the lake, which is all the name they know for the sea.
When the warriors left this town we had neither meat, sugar, or bear's
oil left. All that we had then to live on was corn pounded into coarse
meal or small hominy; this they boiled in water, which appeared like
well-thickened soup, without salt or anything else. For some time we
had plenty of this kind of hominy; at length we were brought to very
short allowance, and as the warriors did not return as soon as they
expected, we were soon in a starving condition, and but one gun in the
town, and very little ammunition. The old lame Wyandot concluded that
he would go a-hunting in a canoe, and take me with him, and try to kill
deer in the water, as it was then watering time. We went up Sandusky a
few miles, then turned up a creek and encamped. We had lights prepared,
as we were to hunt in the night, and also a piece of bark and some
bushes set up in the canoe, in order to conceal ourselves from the
deer. A little boy that was with us held the light; I worked the canoe,
and the old man, who had his gun loaded with large shot, when we came
near the deer, fired, and in this manner killed three deer in part of
one night. We went to our fire, ate heartily, and in the morning
returned to town in order to relieve the hungry and distressed.

When we came to town the children were crying bitterly on account of
pinching hunger. We delivered what we had taken, and though it was but
little among so many, it was divided according to the strictest rules
of justice. We immediately set out for another hunt, but before we
returned a part of the warriors had come in, and brought with them on
horseback a quantity of meat. These warriors had divided into different
parties, and all struck at different places in Augusta County. They
brought in with them a considerable number of scalps, prisoners,
horses, and other plunder. One of the parties brought in with them one
Arthur Campbell, that is now Colonel Campbell, who lives on Holston
River, near the Royal Oak. As the Wyandots at Sunyendeand and those at
Detroit were connected, Mr. Campbell was taken to Detroit; but he
remained some time with me in this town. His company was very
agreeable, and I was sorry when he left me. During his stay at
Sunyendeand he borrowed my Bible, and made some pertinent remarks on
what he had read. One passage was where it is said, "It is good for a
man that he bear the yoke in his youth." He said we ought to be
resigned to the will of Providence, as we were now bearing the yoke in
our youth. Mr. Campbell appeared to be then about sixteen or seventeen
years of age.

About the time that these warriors came in the green corn was beginning
to be of use, so that we had either green corn or venison, and
sometimes both, which was, comparatively, high living. When we could
have plenty of green corn, or roasting ears, the hunters became lazy,
and spent their time, as already mentioned, in singing and dancing,
etc. They appeared to be fulfilling the Scriptures beyond those who
profess to believe in them, in that of taking no thought of to-morrow;
and also in living in love, peace, and friendship together, without
disputes. In this respect they shame those who profess Christianity.

In this manner we lived until October; then the geese, swans, ducks,
cranes, etc., came from the north, and alighted on this little lake,
without number, or innumerable. Sunyendeand is a remarkable place for
fish in the spring, and fowl both in the fall and spring.

As our hunters were now tired with indolence, and fond of their own
kind of exercise, they all turned out to fowling, and in this could
scarce miss of success; so that we had now plenty of hominy and the
best of fowls; and sometimes, as a rarity, we had a little bread, which
was made of Indian-corn meal, pounded in a hominy block, mixed with
boiled beans, and baked in cakes under the ashes.

This with us was called good living, though not equal to our fat,
roasted, and boiled venison, when we went to the woods in the fall; or
bear's meat and beaver in the winter; or sugar, bear's oil, and dry
venison in the spring.

Some time in October, another adopted brother, older than Tontileaugo
came to pay us a visit at Sunyendeand, and he asked me to take a hunt
with him on Cayahoga. As they always used me as a free man, and gave me
the liberty of choosing, I told him that I was attached to Tontileaugo,
had never seen him before, and therefore asked some time to consider of
this. He told me that the party he was going with would not be along,
or at the mouth of this little lake, in less than six days, and I could
in this time be acquainted with him, and judge for myself. I consulted
with Tontileaugo on this occasion, and he told me that our old brother
Tecaughretanego (which was his name) was a chief, and a better man than
he was, and if I went with him I might expect to be well used; but he
said I might do as I pleased, and if I staid he would use me as he had
done. I told him that he had acted in every respect as a brother to me;
yet I was much pleased with my old brother's conduct and conversation;
and as he was going to a part of the country I had never been in, I
wished to go with him. He said that he was perfectly willing.

I then went with Tecaughretanego to the mouth of the little lake, where
he met with the company he intended going with, which was composed of
Caughnewagas and Ottawas. As the wind was high and we could not proceed
on our voyage, we remained here several days, and killed abundance of
wild fowl, and a number of raccoons.

When a company of Indians are moving together on the lake, as it is at
this time of the year often dangerous sailing, the old men hold a
council; and when they agree to embark, every one is engaged
immediately in making ready, without offering one word against the
measure, though the lake may be boisterous and horrid. One morning,
though the wind appeared to me to be as high as in days past, and the
billows raging, yet the call was given "_yohoh-yohoh_," which was
quickly answered by all--"_ooh-ooh_," which signifies agreed. We were
all instantly engaged in preparing to start, and had considerable
difficulties in embarking.

As soon as we got into our canoes we fell to paddling with all our
might, making out from the shore. Though these sort of canoes ride
waves beyond what could be expected, yet the water several times dashed
into them. When we got out about half a mile from shore we hoisted
sail, and as it was nearly a west wind, we then seemed to ride the
waves with ease, and went on at a rapid rate. We then all laid down our
paddles, excepting one that steered, and there was no water dashed into
our canoes until we came near the shore again. We sailed about sixty
miles that day, and encamped some time before night.

The next day we again embarked, and went on very well for some time;
but the lake being boisterous, and the wind not fair, we were obliged
to make to shore, which we accomplished with hard work and some
difficulty in landing. The next morning a council was held by the old

As we had this day to pass by a long precipice of rocks on the shore,
about nine miles, which rendered it impossible for us to land, though
the wind was high and the lake rough, yet, as it was fair, we were all
ordered to embark. We wrought ourselves out from the shore and hoisted
sail (what we used in place of sail-cloth were our tent-mats, which
answered the purpose very well), and went on for some time with a fair
wind, until we were opposite to the precipice, and then it turned
towards the shore, and we began to fear we should be cast upon the
rocks. Two of the canoes were considerably farther out from the rocks
than the canoe I was in. Those who were farthest out in the lake did
not let down their sails until they had passed the precipice; but as we
were nearer the rock, we were obliged to lower our sails, and paddle
with all our might. With much difficulty we cleared ourselves of the
rock, and landed. As the other canoes had landed before us, there were
immediately runners sent off to see if we were all safely landed.

About the first of December, 1756, we were preparing for leaving the
river: we buried our canoes, and as usual hung up our skins, and every
one had a pack to carry. The squaws also packed up their tents, which
they carried in large rolls that extended up above their heads, and
though a great bulk, yet not heavy. We steered about a southeast
course, and could not march over ten miles per day. At night we lodged
in our flag tents, which, when erected, were nearly in the shape of a
sugar-loaf, and about fifteen feet diameter at the ground.

In this manner we proceeded about forty miles, and wintered in these
tents, on the waters of Beaver Creek, near a little lake or large pond,
which is about two miles long and one broad, and a remarkable place for

It is a received opinion among Indians that the geese turn to beavers,
and the snakes to raccoons; and though Tecaughretanego, who was a wise
man, was not fully persuaded that this was true, yet he seemed in some
measure to be carried away with this whimsical notion. He said that
this pond had been always a great place for beaver. Though he said he
knew them to be frequently all killed (as he thought), yet the next
winter they would be as plenty as ever. And as the beaver was an animal
that did not travel by land, and there being no water communication to
or from this pond, how could such a number of beavers get there year
after year? But as this pond was also a considerable place for geese,
when they came in the fall from the north, and alighted in this pond,
they turned beavers, all but the feet, which remained nearly the same.

In conversation with Tecaughretanego I happened to be talking of the
beavers catching fish. He asked me why I thought that the beaver caught
fish. I told him that I had read of the beaver making dams for the
conveniency of fishing. He laughed, and made game of me and my book. He
said the man that wrote that book knew nothing about the beaver. The
beaver never did eat flesh of any kind, but lived on the bark of trees,
roots, and other vegetables.

In order to know certainly how this was, when we killed a beaver I
carefully examined the intestines, but found no appearance of fish; I
afterwards made an experiment on a pet beaver which we had, and found
that it would neither eat fish nor flesh; therefore I acknowledged that
the book I had read was wrong.

Near this pond beaver was the principal game. Before the water froze up
we caught a great many with wooden and steel traps; but after that we
hunted the beaver on the ice. Some places here the beavers build large
houses to live in; and in other places they have subterraneous lodgings
in the banks. Where they lodge in the ground we have no chance of
hunting them on the ice; but where they have houses, we go with mauls
and handspikes, and break all the hollow ice, to prevent them from
getting their heads above the water under it. Then we break a hole in
the house, and they make their escape into the water; but as they
cannot live long under water, they are obliged to go to some of those
broken places to breathe, and the Indians commonly put in their hands,
catch them by the hind-leg, haul them on the ice, and tomahawk them.
Sometimes they shoot them in the head when they raise it above the
water. I asked the Indians if they were not afraid to catch the beavers
with their hands. They said no: they were not much of a biting
creature; yet if they would catch them by the fore-foot they would

I went out with Tecaughretanego and some others a beaver hunting; but
we did not succeed, and on our return we saw where several raccoons had
passed while the snow was soft, though there was now a crust upon it;
we all made a halt, looking at the raccoon tracks. As they saw a tree
with a hole in it, they told me to go and see if they had gone in
thereat; and if they had to halloo, and they would come and take them
out. When I went to that tree, I found they had gone past; but I saw
another the way they had gone, and proceeded to examine that, and found
they had gone up it. I then began to halloo, but could have no answer.

As it began to snow and blow most violently, I returned and proceeded
after my company, and for some time could see their tracks; but the old
snow being only about three inches deep, and a crust upon it, the
present driving snow soon filled up the tracks. As I had only a bow,
arrows, and tomahawk with me, and no way to strike fire, I appeared to
be in a dismal situation; and as the air was dark with snow, I had
little more prospect of steering my course than I would in the night.
At length I came to a hollow tree, with a hole at one side that I could
go in at. I went in, and found that it was a dry place, and the hollow
about three feet diameter, and high enough for me to stand in. I found
that there was also a considerable quantity of soft, dry rotten wood
around this hollow; I therefore concluded that I would lodge here, and
that I would go to work, and stop up the door of my house. I stripped
off my blanket (which was all the clothes that I had, excepting a
breech-clout, leggings, and moccasons), and with my tomahawk fell to
chopping at the top of a fallen tree that lay near, and carried wood,
and set it up on end against the door, until I had it three or four
feet thick all around, excepting a hole I had left to creep in at. I
had a block prepared that I could haul after me to stop this hole; and
before I went in I put in a number of small sticks that I might more
effectually stop it on the inside. When I went in, I took my tomahawk
and cut down all the dry rotten wood I could get, and beat it small.
With it I made a bed like a goose-nest or hog-bed, and with the small
sticks stopped every hole, until my house was almost dark. I stripped
off my moccasons, and danced in the centre of my bed, for half an hour,
in order to warm myself. In this time my feet and whole body were
agreeably warmed. The snow, in the meanwhile, had stopped all the
holes, so that my house was as dark as a dungeon, though I knew it
could not yet be dark out of doors. I then coiled myself up in my
blanket, lay down in my little round bed, and had a tolerable night's
lodging. When I awoke all was dark--not the least glimmering of light
was to be seen. Immediately I recollected that I was not to expect
light in this new habitation, as there was neither door nor window in
it. As I could hear the storm raging, and did not suffer much cold as I
was then situated, I concluded I would stay in my nest until I was
certain it was day. When I had reason to conclude that it surely was
day, I arose and put on my moccasons, which I had laid under my head to
keep from freezing. I then endeavored to find the door, and had to do
all by the sense of feeling, which took me some time. At length I found
the block, but it being heavy, and a large quantity of snow having
fallen on it, at the first attempt I did not move it. I then felt
terrified--among all the hardships I had sustained, I never knew before
what it was to be thus deprived of light. This, with the other
circumstances attending it, appeared grievous. I went straightway to
bed again, wrapped my blanket round me, and lay and mused awhile, and
then prayed to Almighty God to direct and protect me as he had done
heretofore. I once again attempted to move away the block, which proved
successful; it moved about nine inches. With this a considerable
quantity of snow fell in from above, and I immediately received light;
so that I found a very great snow had fallen, above what I had ever
seen in one night. I then knew why I could not easily move the block,
and I was so rejoiced at obtaining the light that all my other
difficulties seemed to vanish. I then turned into my cell, and returned
God thanks for having once more received the light of heaven. At length
I belted my blanket about me, got my tomahawk, bow and arrows, and went
out of my den.

I was now in tolerable high spirits, though the snow had fallen above
three feet deep, in addition to what was on the ground before; and the
only imperfect guide I had in order to steer my course to camp was the
trees, as the moss generally grows on the northwest side of them, if
they are straight. I proceeded on, wading through the snow, and about
twelve o'clock (as it appeared afterwards, from that time to night, for
it was yet cloudy) I came upon the creek that our camp was on, about
half a mile below the camp; and when I came in sight of the camp I
found that there was great joy, by the shouts and yelling of the boys,

When I arrived they all came round me, and received me gladly; but at
this time no questions were asked, and I was taken into a tent, where
they gave me plenty of fat beaver meat, and then asked me to smoke.
When I had done, Tecaughretanego desired me to walk out to a fire they
had made. I went out, and they all collected round me, both men, women,
and boys. Tecaughretanego asked me to give them a particular account of
what had happened from the time they left me yesterday until now. I
told them the whole of the story, and they never interrupted me; but
when I made a stop, the intervals were filled with loud exclamations of
joy. As I could not at this time talk Ottawa or Jibewa well (which is
nearly the same), I delivered my story in Caughnewaga. As my sister
Molly's husband was a Jibewa, and could understand Caughnewaga, he
acted as interpreter, and delivered my story to the Jibewas and
Ottawas, which they received with pleasure.

One day, as I was looking after my traps, I got benighted, by beaver
ponds intercepting my way to camp; and as I had neglected to take
fireworks with me, and the weather very cold, I could find no suitable
lodging-place; therefore the only expedient I could think of to keep
myself from freezing was exercise. I danced and hallooed the whole
night with all my might, and the next day came to camp. Though I
suffered much more this time than the other night I lay out, yet the
Indians were not so much concerned, as they thought I had fireworks
with me; but when they knew how it was, they did not blame me. They
said that old hunters were frequently involved in this place, as the
beaver dams were one above another on every creek and run, so that it
is hard to find a fording-place. They applauded me for my fortitude,
and said, as they had now plenty of beaver skins, they would purchase
me a new gun at Detroit, as we were to go there the next spring; and
then if I should chance to be lost in dark weather, I could make a
fire, kill provision, and return to camp when the sun shone. By being
bewildered on the waters of Muskingum, I lost repute, and was reduced
to the bow and arrow, and by lying out two nights here I regained my

After some time the waters all froze again, and then, as formerly, we
hunted beavers on the ice. Though beaver meat, without salt or bread,
was the chief of our food this winter, yet we had always plenty, and I
was well contented with my diet, as it appeared delicious fare after
the way we had lived the winter before.

Some time in February we scaffolded up our fur and skins, and moved
about ten miles in quest of a sugar-camp, or a suitable place to make
sugar, and encamped in a large bottom on the head-waters of Big Beaver
Creek. We had some difficulty in moving, as we had a blind Caughnewaga
boy, about fifteen years of age, to lead; and as this country is very
brushy, we frequently had him to carry. We had also my Jibewa
brother-in-law's father with us, who was thought by the Indians to be a
great conjuror; his name was Manetohcoa. This old man was so decrepit
that we had to carry him this route upon a bier, and all our baggage to
pack on our backs.

Some time in March, 1757, we began to move back to the forks of
Cayahoga, which was about forty or fifty miles. And as we had no
horses, we had all our baggage and several hundred weight of beaver
skins, and some deer and bear skins, all to pack on our backs. The
method we took to accomplish this was by making short days' journeys.
In the morning we would move on with as much as we were able to carry,
about five miles, and encamp, and then run back for more. We commonly
made three such trips in the day. When we came to the great pond, we
staid there one day to rest ourselves, and to kill ducks and geese.

When we came to the forks, we found that the skins we had scaffolded
were all safe. Though this was a public place, and Indians frequently
passing, and our skins hanging up in view, yet there were none stolen.
And it is seldom that Indians do steal anything from one another. And
they say they never did, until the white people came among them, and
taught some of them to lie, cheat, and steal; but be that as it may,
they never did curse or swear until the whites taught them. Some think
their language will not admit of it, but I am not of that opinion. If I
was so disposed, I could find language to curse or swear in the Indian

We took up our birch-bark canoes which we had buried, and found that
they were not damaged by the winter; but they not being sufficient to
carry all that we now had, we made a large chestnut-bark canoe, as
elm-bark was not to be found at this place.

We all embarked, and had a very agreeable passage down the Cayahoga,
and along the south side of Lake Erie, until we passed the mouth of
Sandusky; then the wind arose, and we put in at the mouth of the Miami
of the Lake, at Cedar Point, where we remained several days, and killed
a number of turkeys, geese, ducks, and swans. The wind being fair, and
the lake not extremely rough, we again embarked, hoisted up sails, and
arrived safe at the Wyandot town, nearly opposite to Fort Detroit, on
the north side of the river. Here we found a number of French traders,
every one very willing to deal with us for our beaver.

We bought ourselves fine clothes, ammunition, paint, tobacco, etc.,
and, according to promise, they purchased me a new gun; yet we had
parted with only about one third of our beaver. At length a trader came
to town with French brandy; we purchased a keg of it, and held a
council about who was to get drunk and who was to keep sober. I was
invited to get drunk, but I refused the proposal; then they told me
that I must be one of those who were to take care of the drunken
people. I did not like this; but of two evils I chose that which I
thought was the least--and fell in with those who were to conceal the
arms, and keep every dangerous weapon we could out of their way, and
endeavor, if possible, to keep the drinking-club from killing each
other, which was a very hard task. Several times we hazarded our own
lives, and got ourselves hurt in preventing them from slaying each
other. Before they had finished this keg, near one third of the town
was introduced to this drinking-club; they could not pay their part, as
they had already disposed of all their skins; but that made no
odds--all were welcome to drink. When they were done with this keg,
they applied to the traders, and procured a kettle full of brandy at a
time, which they divided out with a large wooden spoon; and so they
went on, and never quit while they had a single beaver skin. When the
trader had got all our beaver, he moved off to the Ottawa town, about a
mile above the Wyandot town.

When the brandy was gone, and the drinking-club sober, they appeared
much dejected. Some of them were crippled, others badly wounded, a
number of their fine new shirts torn, and several blankets were burned.
A number of squaws were also in this club, and neglected their
corn-planting. We could now hear the effects of the brandy in the
Ottawa town. They were singing and yelling in the most hideous manner,
both night and day; but their frolic ended worse than ours: five
Ottawas were killed and a great many wounded.

After this a number of young Indians were getting their ears cut, and
they urged me to have mine cut likewise, but they did not attempt to
compel me, though they endeavored to persuade me. The principal
arguments they used were, its being a very great ornament, and also the
common fashion. The former I did not believe, and the latter I could
not deny. The way they performed this operation was by cutting the
fleshy part of the circle of the ear, close to the gristle, quite
through. When this was done they wrapped rags round this fleshy part
until it was entirely healed; they then hung lead to it, and stretched
it to a wonderful length: when it was sufficiently stretched, they
wrapped the fleshy part round with brass wire, which formed it into a
semicircle about four inches in diameter.

Many of the young men were now exercising themselves in a game
resembling football, though they commonly struck the ball with a
crooked stick made for that purpose; also a game something like this,
wherein they used a wooden ball, about three inches in diameter, and
the instrument they moved it with was a strong staff, about five feet
long, with a hoop net on the end of it large enough to contain the
ball. Before they begin the play, they lay off about half a mile
distance in a clear plain, and the opposite parties all attend at the
centre, where a disinterested person casts up the ball, then the
opposite parties all contend for it. If any one gets it into his net,
he runs with it the way he wishes it to go, and they all pursue him. If
one of the opposite party overtakes the person with the ball, he gives
the staff a stroke, which causes the ball to fly out of the net; then
they have another debate for it, and if the one that gets it can outrun
all the opposite party, and can carry it quite out, or over the line at
the end, the game is won; but this seldom happens. When any one is
running away with the ball, and is likely to be overtaken, he commonly
throws it, and with this instrument can cast it fifty or sixty yards.
Sometimes when the ball is almost at the one end, matters will take a
sudden turn, and the opposite party may quickly carry it out at the
other end. Oftentimes they will work a long while back and forward
before they can get the ball over the line, or win the game.

About the 1st of June, 1757, the warriors were preparing to go to war,
in the Wyandot, Pottowatomy, and Ottawa towns; also a great many
Jibewas came down from the upper lakes; and after singing their
war-songs and going through their common ceremonies, they marched off
against the frontiers of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, in their
usual manner, singing the travelling song, slow firing, etc.

About the middle of June the Indians were almost all gone to war, from
sixteen to sixty; yet Tecaughretanego remained in town with me. Though
he had formerly, when they were at war with the southern nations, been
a great warrior and an eminent counsellor, and I think as clear and
able a reasoner upon any subject that he had an opportunity of being
acquainted with as I ever knew, yet he had all along been against this
war, and had strenuously opposed it in council. He said, if the English
and French had a quarrel, let them fight their own battles themselves;
it is not our business to intermeddle therewith.

Before the warriors returned we were very scarce of provision; and
though we did not commonly steal from one another, yet we stole during
this time anything that we could eat from the French, under the notion
that it was just for us to do so, because they supported their
soldiers; and our squaws, old men, and children were suffering on
account of the war, as our hunters were all gone.

Some time in August the warriors returned, and brought in with them a
great many scalps, prisoners, horses, and plunder; and the common
report among the young warriors was that they would entirely subdue
Tulhasaga, that is the English, or it might be literally rendered the
Morning Light Inhabitants.

About the first of November a number of families were preparing to go
on their winter hunt, and all agreed to cross the lake together. We
encamped at the mouth of the river the first night, and a council was
held, whether we should cross through by the three islands, or coast it
round the lake. These islands lie in a line across the lake, and are
just in sight of each other. Some of the Wyandots, or Ottawas,
frequently make their winter hunt on these islands; though, excepting
wild fowl and fish, there is scarcely any game here but raccoons, which
are amazingly plenty, and exceedingly large and fat, as they feed upon
the wild rice, which grows in abundance in wet places round these
islands. It is said that each hunter, in one winter, will catch one
thousand raccoons.

It is a received opinion among the Indians that the snakes and raccoons
are transmigratory, and that a great many of the snakes turn into
raccoons every fall, and raccoons into snakes every spring. This notion
is founded on observations made on the snakes and raccoons in this

We concluded to coast it round the lake, and in two days we came to the
mouth of the Miami of the Lake, and landed on Cedar Point, where we
remained several days. Here we held a council, and concluded we would
take a driving hunt in concert and in partnership.

The river in this place is about a mile broad, and as it and the lake
form a kind of neck, which terminates in a point, all the hunters
(which were fifty-three) went up the river, and we scattered ourselves
from the river to the lake. When we first began to move we were not in
sight of each other, but as we all raised the yell, we could move
regularly together by the noise. At length we came in sight of each
other, and appeared to be marching in good order; before we came to the
point, both the squaws and boys in the canoes were scattered up the
river and along the lake, to prevent the deer from making their escape
by water. As we advanced near the point the guns began to crack slowly,
and after some time the firing was like a little engagement. The squaws
and boys were busy tomahawking the deer in the water, and we shooting
them down on the land. We killed in all about thirty deer, though a
great many made their escape by water.

Here our company separated. The chief part of them went up the Miami
River,[4] which empties into Lake Erie at Cedar Point, while we
proceeded on our journey in company with Tecaughretanego, Tontileaugo,
and two families of the Wyandots.

          [4] The Miami of the Lakes, now called Maumee.

As cold weather was now approaching, we began to feel the doleful
effects of extravagantly and foolishly spending the large quantity of
beaver we had taken in our last winter's hunt. We were all nearly in
the same circumstances; scarcely one had a shirt to his back; but each
of us had an old blanket which we belted round us in the day, and slept
in at night, with a deer or bear skin under us for our bed.

When we came to the Falls of Sandusky we buried our birch-bark canoes,
as usual, at a large burying-place for that purpose, a little below the
falls. At this place the river falls about eight feet over a rock, but
not perpendicularly. With much difficulty we pushed up our wooden
canoes; some of us went up the river, and the rest by land with the
horses, until we came to the great meadows or prairies that lie between
Sandusky and Sciota.

When we came to this place, we met with some Ottawa hunters, and agreed
with them to take what they call a ring hunt, in partnership. We waited
until we expected rain was near falling to extinguish the fire, and
then we kindled a large circle in the prairie. At this time, or before
the bucks began to run, a great number of deer lay concealed in the
grass in the day, and moved about in the night; but as the fire burned
in towards the centre of the circle, the deer fled before the fire; the
Indians were scattered also at some distance before the fire, and shot
them down every opportunity, which was very frequent, especially as the
circle became small. When we came to divide the deer, there were about
ten to each hunter, which were all killed in a few hours. The rain did
not come on that night to put out the outside circle of the fire, and
as the wind arose, it extended through the whole prairie, which was
about fifty miles in length, and in some places nearly twenty in
breadth. This put an end to our ring hunting this season, and was in
other respects an injury to us in the hunting business; so that upon
the whole we received more harm than benefit by our rapid hunting
frolic. We then moved from the north end of the glades, and encamped at
the carrying-place.

About the time the bucks quit running, Tontileaugo, his wife and
children, Tecaughretanego, his son Nunganey, and myself, left the
Wyandot camps at the carrying-place, and crossed the Sciota River at
the south end of the glades, and proceeded on about a southwest course
to a large creek called Ollentangy, which I believe interlocks with the
waters of the Miami, and empties into Sciota on the west side thereof.
From the south end of the prairie to Ollentangy there is a large
quantity of beech land, intermixed with first-rate land. Here we made
our winter hut, and had considerable success in hunting.

After some time one of Tontileaugo's stepsons (a lad about eight years
of age) offended him, and he gave the boy a moderate whipping, which
much displeased his Wyandot wife. She acknowledged that the boy was
guilty of a fault, but thought that he ought to have been ducked, which
is their usual mode of chastisement. She said she could not bear to
have her son whipped like a servant or slave; and she was so
displeased, that when Tontileaugo went out to hunt, she got her two
horses, and all her effects (as in this country the husband and wife
have separate interests), and moved back to the Wyandot camp that we
had left.

When Tontileaugo returned he was much disturbed on hearing of his
wife's elopement, and said that he would never go after her, were it
not that he was afraid that she would get bewildered, and that his
children that she had taken with her might suffer. Tontileaugo went
after his wife, and when they met they made up the quarrel; and he
never returned, but left Tecaughretanego and his son (a boy about ten
years of age), and myself, who remained here in our hut all winter.

Tecaughretanego had been a first-rate warrior, statesman, and hunter,
and though he was now near sixty years of age, was yet equal to the
common run of hunters, but subject to the rheumatism, which deprived
him of the use of his legs.

Shortly after Tontileaugo left us, Tecaughretanego became lame, and
could scarcely walk out of our hut for two months. I had considerable
success in hunting and trapping. Though Tecaughretanego endured much
pain and misery, yet he bore it all with wonderful patience, and would
often endeavor to entertain me with cheerful conversation. Sometimes he
would applaud me for my diligence, skill, and activity; and at other
times he would take great care in giving me instructions concerning the
hunting and trapping business. He would also tell me that if I failed
of success we would suffer very much, as we were about forty miles from
any one living, that we knew of; yet he would not intimate that he
apprehended we were in any danger, but still supposed that I was fully
adequate to the task.

Tontileaugo left us a little before Christmas, and from that until some
time in February we had always plenty of bear meat, venison, etc.
During this time I killed much more than we could use; but having no
horses to carry in what I killed, I left part of it in the woods. In
February there came a snow, with a crust, which made a great noise when
walking on it, and frightened away the deer; and as bear and beaver
were scarce here, we got entirely out of provision. After I had hunted
two days without eating anything, and had very short allowance for some
days before, I returned late in the evening, faint and weary. When I
came into our hut, Tecaughretanego asked what success. I told him not
any. He asked me if I was not very hungry. I replied that the keen
appetite seemed to be in some measure removed, but I was both faint and
weary. He commanded Nunganey, his little son, to bring me something to
eat, and he brought me a kettle with some bones and broth. After eating
a few mouthfuls, my appetite violently returned, and I thought the
victuals had a most agreeable relish, though it was only fox and
wildcat bones, which lay about the camp, which the ravens and
turkey-buzzards had picked; these Nunganey had collected and boiled,
until the sinews that remained on the bones would strip off. I speedily
finished my allowance, such as it was, and when I had ended my _sweet_
repast, Tecaughretanego asked me how I felt. I told him that I was much
refreshed. He then handed me his pipe and pouch, and told me to take a
smoke. I did so. He then said he had something of importance to tell
me, if I was now composed and ready to hear it. I told him that I was
ready to hear him. He said the reason why he deferred his speech till
now was because few men are in a right humor to hear good talk when
they are extremely hungry, as they are then generally fretful and
discomposed; "But as you appear now to enjoy calmness and serenity of
mind, I will now communicate to you the thoughts of my heart, and those
things that I know to be true.

"_Brother_,--As you have lived with the white people, you have not
had the same advantage of knowing that the great Being above feeds his
people, and gives them their meat in due season, as we Indians have,
who are frequently out of provisions, and yet are wonderfully supplied,
and that so frequently, that it is evidently the hand of the great
Owaneeyo[5] that doth this. Whereas the white people have commonly
large stocks of tame cattle, that they can kill when they please, and
also their barns and cribs filled with grain, and therefore have not
the same opportunity of seeing and knowing that they are supported by
the Ruler of heaven and earth.

          [5] This is the name of God, in their tongue, and signifies
          the owner and ruler of all things.

"_Brother_,--I know that you are now afraid that we will all perish
with hunger, but you have no just reason to fear this.

"_Brother_,--I have been young, but now am old; I have been frequently
under the like circumstances that we now are, and that some time or
other in almost every year of my life; yet I have hitherto been
supported, and my wants supplied in time of need.

"_Brother_,--Owaneeyo sometimes suffers us to be in want, in order to
teach us our dependence upon him, and to let us know that we are to
love and serve him; and likewise to know the worth of the favors that
we receive, and to make us more thankful.

"_Brother_,--Be assured that you will be supplied with food, and that
just in the right time; but you must continue diligent in the use of
means. Go to sleep, and rise early in the morning and go a-hunting; be
strong, and exert yourself like a man, and the Great Spirit will direct
your way."

The next morning I went out, and steered about an east course. I
proceeded on slowly for about five miles, and saw deer frequently; but
as the crust on the snow made a great noise, they were always running
before I spied them, so that I could not get a shot. A violent appetite
returned, and I became intolerably hungry. It was now that I concluded
I would run off to Pennsylvania, my native country. As the snow was on
the ground, and Indian hunters almost the whole of the way before me, I
had but a poor prospect of making my escape, but my case appeared
desperate. If I staid here, I thought I would perish with hunger, and
if I met with Indians they could but kill me.

I then proceeded on as fast as I could walk, and when I got about ten
or twelve miles from our hut I came upon fresh buffalo tracks; I
pursued after, and in a short time came in sight of them as they were
passing through a small glade. I ran with all my might and headed them,
where I lay in ambush, and killed a very large cow. I immediately
kindled a fire and began to roast meat, but could not wait till it was
done; I ate it almost raw. When hunger was abated I began to be
tenderly concerned for my old Indian brother and the little boy I had
left in a perishing condition. I made haste and packed up what meat I
could carry, secured what I left from the wolves, and returned

I scarcely thought on the old man's speech while I was almost
distracted with hunger, but on my return was much affected with it,
reflected on myself for my hard-heartedness and ingratitude, in
attempting to run off and leave the venerable old man and little boy to
perish with hunger. I also considered how remarkably the old man's
speech had been verified in our providentially obtaining a supply. I
thought also of that part of his speech which treated of the fractious
dispositions of hungry people, which was the only excuse I had for my
base inhumanity, in attempting to leave them in the most deplorable

As it was moonlight, I got home to our hut, and found the old man in
his usual good-humor. He thanked me for my exertion, and bid me sit
down, as I must certainly be fatigued, and he commanded Nunganey to
make haste and cook. I told him I would cook for him, and let the boy
lay some meat on the coals for himself; which he did, but ate it almost
raw, as I had done. I immediately hung on the kettle with some water,
and cut the beef in thin slices, and put them in. When it had boiled
awhile, I proposed taking it off the fire, but the old man replied,
"Let it be done enough." This he said in as patient and unconcerned a
manner as if he had not wanted one single meal. He commanded Nunganey
to eat no more beef at that time, lest he might hurt himself, but told
him to sit down, and after some time he might sup some broth; this
command he reluctantly obeyed.

When we were all refreshed, Tecaughretanego delivered a speech upon the
necessity and pleasure of receiving the necessary supports of life with
thankfulness, knowing that Owaneeyo is the great giver. Such speeches
from an Indian may be thought by those who are unacquainted with them
altogether incredible; but when we reflect on the Indian war, we may
readily conclude that they are not an ignorant or stupid sort of
people, or they would not have been such fatal enemies. When they came
into our country they outwitted us; and when we sent armies into their
country, they outgeneralled and beat us with inferior force. Let us
also take into consideration that Tecaughretanego was no common person,
but was among the Indians as Socrates in the ancient heathen world;
and, it may be, equal to him, if not in wisdom and in learning, yet
perhaps in patience and fortitude. Notwithstanding Tecaughretanego's
uncommon natural abilities, yet in the sequel of this history you will
see the deficiency of the light of nature, unaided by revelation, in
this truly great man.

The next morning Tecaughretanego desired me to go back and bring
another load of buffalo beef. As I proceeded to do so, about five miles
from our hut I found a bear tree. As a sapling grew near the tree, and
reached near the hole that the bear went in at, I got dry dozed or
rotten wood, that would catch and hold fire almost as well as spunk.
This wood I tied up in bunches, fixed them on my back, and then climbed
up the sapling, and with a pole I put them, touched with fire, into the
hole, and then came down and took my gun in my hand. After some time
the bear came out, and I killed and skinned it, packed up a load of the
meat (after securing the remainder from the wolves), and returned home
before night. On my return my old brother and his son were much
rejoiced at my success. After this we had plenty of provisions.

We remained here until some time in April, 1758. At this time
Tecaughretanego had recovered so that he could walk about. We made a
bark canoe, embarked, and went down Ollentangy some distance, but, the
water being low, we were in danger of splitting our canoe upon the
rocks; therefore Tecaughretanego concluded we would encamp on shore,
and pray for rain.

When we encamped Tecaughretanego made himself a sweat-house, which he
did by sticking a number of hoops in the ground, each hoop forming a
semicircle; this he covered all round with blankets and skins. He then
prepared hot stones, which he rolled into this hut, and then went into
it himself with a little kettle of water in his hand, mixed with a
variety of herbs, which he had formerly cured, and had now with him in
his pack; they afforded an odoriferous perfume. When he was in, he told
me to pull down the blankets behind him, and cover all up close, which
I did, and then he began to pour water upon the hot stones, and to sing
aloud. He continued in this vehement hot place about fifteen minutes.
All this he did in order to purify himself before he would address
the Supreme Being. When he came out of his sweat-house he began to
burn tobacco and pray. He began each petition with "_Oh, ho, ho, ho_"
which is a kind of aspiration, and signifies an ardent wish. I observed
that all his petitions were only for immediate or present temporal
blessings. He began his address by thanksgiving in the following

"O Great Being! I thank thee that I have obtained the use of my legs
again; that I am now able to walk about and kill turkeys, etc., without
feeling exquisite pain and misery. I know that thou art a hearer and a
helper, and therefore I will call upon thee.

"_Oh, ho, ho, ho,_

"Grant that my knees and ankles may be right well, and that I may be
able, not only to walk, but to run and to jump logs, as I did last

"_Oh, ho, ho, ho,_

"Grant that on this voyage we may frequently kill bears, as they may be
crossing the Scioto and Sandusky.

"_Oh, ho, ho, ho,_

"Grant that we may kill plenty of turkeys along the banks, to stew with
our fat bear meat.

"_Oh, ho, ho, ho,_

"Grant that rain may come to raise the Ollentangy about two or three
feet, that we may cross in safety down to Scioto, without danger of our
canoe being wrecked on the rocks. And now, O Great Being, thou knowest
how matters stand; thou knowest that I am a great lover of tobacco, and
though I know not when I may get any more, I now make a present of the
last I have unto thee, as a free burnt-offering; therefore I expect
thou wilt hear and grant these requests, and I, thy servant, will
return thee thanks and love thee for thy gifts."

During the whole of this scene I sat by Tecaughretanego, and as he went
through it with the greatest solemnity I was seriously affected with
his prayers. I remained duly composed until he came to the burning of
the tobacco; and as I knew he was a great lover of it, and saw him cast
the last of it into the fire, it excited in me a kind of merriment, and
I insensibly smiled. Tecaughretanego observed me laughing, which
displeased him, and occasioned him to address me in the following

"_Brother_,--I have somewhat to say to you, and I hope you will not be
offended when I tell you of your faults. You know that when you were
reading your books in town I would not let the boys or any one disturb
you; but now, when I was praying, I saw you laughing. I do not think
that you look upon praying as a foolish thing; I believe you pray
yourself. But perhaps you may think my mode or manner of praying
foolish; if so, you ought in a friendly manner to instruct me, and not
make sport of sacred things."

I acknowledged my error, and on this he handed me his pipe to smoke, in
token of friendship and reconciliation, though at this time he had
nothing to smoke but red-willow bark. I told him something of the
method of reconciliation with an offended God, as revealed in my Bible,
which I had then in possession. He said that he liked my story better
than that of the French priests, but he thought that he was now too old
to begin to learn a new religion, therefore he should continue to
worship God in the way that he had been taught, and that if salvation
or future happiness was to be had in his way of worship, he expected he
would obtain it, and if it was inconsistent with the honor of the Great
Spirit to accept of him in his own way of worship, he hoped that
Owaneeyo would accept of him in the way I had mentioned, or in some
other way, though he might now be ignorant of the channel through which
favor or mercy might be conveyed. He said that he believed that
Owaneeyo would hear and help every one that sincerely waited upon him.

A few days after Tecaughretanego had gone through his ceremonies and
finished his prayers, the rain came and raised the creek a sufficient
height, so that we passed in safety down to Scioto, and proceeded up to
the carrying-place. We proceeded from this place down Sandusky, and in
our passage we killed four bears and a number of turkeys.
Tecaughretanego appeared now fully persuaded that all this came in
answer to his prayers, and who can say with any degree of certainty
that it was not so?

When we came to the little lake at the mouth of Sandusky, we called at
a Wyandot town that was then there, called Sunyendeand. Here we
diverted ourselves several days by catching rock-fish in a small creek,
the name of which is also Sunyendeand, which signifies rock-fish. They
fished in the night with lights, and struck the fish with gigs or
spears. The rock-fish here, when they begin first to run up the creek
to spawn, are exceedingly fat, sufficiently so to fry themselves. The
first night we scarcely caught fish enough for present use for all that
were in the town.

The next morning I met with a prisoner at this place by the name of
Thompson, who had been taken from Virginia. He told me, if the Indians
would only omit disturbing the fish for one night, he could catch more
fish than the whole town could make use of. I told Mr. Thompson that if
he was certain he could do this, that I would use my influence with the
Indians to let the fish alone for one night. I applied to the chiefs,
who agreed to my proposal, and said they were anxious to see what the
Great Knife (as they called the Virginian) could do. Mr. Thompson, with
the assistance of some other prisoners, set to work, and made a
hoop-net of elm-bark; they then cut down a tree across the creek, and
stuck in stakes at the lower side of it to prevent the fish from
passing up, leaving only a gap at the one side of the creek; here he
sat with his net, and when he felt the fish touch the net he drew it
up, and frequently would haul out two or three rock-fish that would
weigh about five or six pounds each. He continued at this until he had
hauled out about a wagon-load, and then left the gap open in order to
let them pass up, for they could not go far on account of the shallow
water. Before day Mr. Thompson shut it up, to prevent them from passing
down, in order to let the Indians have some diversion in killing them
in daylight.

When the news of the fish came to town the Indians all collected, and
with surprise beheld the large heap of fish, and applauded the
ingenuity of the Virginian. When they saw the number of them that were
confined in the water above the tree, the young Indians ran back to the
town, and in a short time returned with their spears, gigs, bows and
arrows, etc., and were the chief part of that day engaged in killing
rock-fish, insomuch that we had more than we could use or preserve. As
we had no salt, or any way to keep them, they lay upon the banks, and
after some time great numbers of turkey-buzzards and eagles collected
together and devoured them.

Shortly after this we left Sunyendeand, and in three days arrived at
Detroit, where we remained this summer.

Some time in May we heard that General Forbes, with seven thousand men,
was preparing to carry on a campaign against Fort Du Quesne, which then
stood near where Fort Pitt was afterwards erected. Upon receiving this
news, a number of runners were sent off by the French commander at
Detroit to urge the different tribes of Indian warriors to repair to
Fort Du Quesne.

Some time in July, 1758, the Ottawas, Jibewas, Potowatomies, and
Wyandots rendezvoused at Detroit, and marched off to Fort Du Quesne, to
prepare for the encounter of General Forbes. The common report was that
they would serve him as they did General Braddock, and obtain much
plunder. From this time until fall we had frequent accounts of Forbes's
army, by Indian runners that were sent out to watch their motion. They
espied them frequently from the mountains even after they left Fort
Loudon. Notwithstanding their vigilance, Colonel Grant, with his
Highlanders, stole a march upon them, and in the night took possession
of a hill about eighty rods from Fort Du Quesne; this hill is on that
account called Grant's Hill to this day. The French and Indians knew
not that Grant and his men were there, until they beat the drum and
played upon the bagpipes just at daylight. They then flew to arms, and
the Indians ran up under cover of the banks of the Alleghany and
Monongahela for some distance, and then sallied out from the banks of
the rivers, and took possession of the hill above Grant; and as he was
on the point of it, in sight of the fort, they immediately surrounded
him; and as he had his Highlanders in ranks, and in very close order,
and the Indians scattered and concealed behind trees, they defeated him
with the loss only of a few warriors; most of the Highlanders were
killed or taken prisoners.

After this defeat the Indians held a council, but were divided in their
opinions. Some said that General Forbes would now turn back, and go
home the way that he came, as Dunbar had done when General Braddock was
defeated; others supposed he would come on. The French urged the
Indians to stay and see the event; but as it was hard for the Indians
to be absent from their squaws and children at this season of the year,
a great many of them returned home to their hunting. After this the
remainder of the Indians, some French regulars, and a number of
Canadians, marched off in quest of General Forbes. They met his army
near Fort Ligonier, and attacked them, but were frustrated in their
design. They said that Forbes's men were beginning to learn the art of
war, and that there were a great number of American riflemen along with
the redcoats, who scattered out, took trees, and were good marksmen;
therefore they found they could not accomplish their design, and were
obliged to retreat. When they returned from the battle to Fort Du
Quesne, the Indians concluded that they would go to their hunting. The
French endeavored to persuade them to stay and try another battle. The
Indians said if it was only the redcoats they had to do with they could
soon subdue them, but they could not withstand _Ashalecoa_, or the
Great Knife, which was the name they gave the Virginians. They then
returned home to their hunting, and the French evacuated the fort,
which General Forbes came and took possession of, without further
opposition, late in the year 1758, and at this time began to build Fort

When Tecaughretanego had heard the particulars of Grant's defeat he
said that he could not well account for his contradictory and
inconsistent conduct. He said, as the art of war consists in ambushing
and surprising our enemies, and in preventing them from ambushing and
surprising us, Grant, in the first place, acted like a wise and
experienced warrior in artfully approaching in the night without being
discovered; but when he came to the place, and the Indians were lying
asleep outside of the fort, between him and the Alleghany River, in
place of slipping up quietly, and falling upon them with their
broadswords, they beat the drums and played upon the bagpipes. He said
he could account for this inconsistent conduct in no other way than by
supposing that he had made too free with spirituous liquors during the
night, and became intoxicated about daylight. But to return.

This year we hunted up Sandusky and down Scioto, and took nearly the
same route that we had done the last hunting season. We had
considerable success, and returned to Detroit some time in April, 1759.

Shortly after this Tecaughretanego, his son Nunganey, and myself went
from Detroit (in an elm-bark canoe) to Caughnewaga, a very ancient
Indian town, about nine miles above Montreal, where I remained until
about the first of July. I then heard of a French ship at Montreal that
had English prisoners on board, in order to carry them over sea and
exchange them. I went privately off from the Indians, and got also on
board; but as General Wolfe had stopped the river St. Lawrence, we were
all sent to prison in Montreal, where I remained four months. Some time
in November we were all sent off from this place to Crown Point, and

Early in the year 1760 I came home to Conococheague, and found that my
people could never ascertain whether I was killed or taken until my
return. They received me with great joy, but were surprised to see me
so much like an Indian, both in my gait and gesture.

Upon inquiry, I found that my sweetheart was married a few days before
I arrived. My feelings I must leave, on this occasion, for those of my
readers to judge who have felt the pangs of disappointed love, as it is
impossible now for me to describe the emotion of soul I felt at that

In the year 1788 I settled in Bourbon County, Kentucky, seven miles
above Paris, and in the same year was elected a member of the
convention that sat at Danville to confer about a separation from the
State of Virginia; and from that year until the year 1799 I represented
Bourbon County either in convention or as a member of the General
Assembly, except two years that I was left a few votes behind.



    The Italian Jesuit missionary Father Bressani was born in Rome, 6
    May, 1612. At the age of fourteen he entered the novitiate of the
    Society of Jesus. Becoming zealous to serve as missionary among the
    American Indians, he went to Quebec in the summer of 1642, and the
    following year he was sent among the Algonquins at Three Rivers.

    In April, 1644, while on his way to the Huron country, where a
    mission had been established, he was captured by the Iroquois, who
    at that time were an exceedingly fierce and even cannibal nation,
    perpetually at war with nearly the whole known continent. By them
    he was subjected to tortures, but finally was made over to an old
    squaw to take the place of a deceased relative. From her he was
    ransomed by the Dutch at Fort Orange (the modern Albany), and by
    them he was sent to France, where he arrived in November, 1644.

    Despite his terrible experiences among the savages, and his maimed
    condition, the indomitable missionary returned to Canada the next
    spring, and labored with the Hurons until their mission was
    destroyed by the Iroquois four years later.

    In November, 1650, Bressani, in broken health, went back to his
    native land. Here he spent many years as a preacher and home
    missionary. He died at Florence, 9 September, 1672.

    The following account of Father Bressani's sufferings among the
    Indians is translated from two of his own letters in his book
    _Breve Relatione d'alcune Missioni nella Nuova Francia_, published
    at Macerata in 1653. (_Editor._)


Dated "From the Iroquois, the 15th of July, 1644."


_PAX CHRISTI_--I know not whether Your Paternity will recognize the
handwriting of a poor cripple, who formerly, when in perfect health,
was well known to you. The letter is badly written, and quite soiled,
because, among other inconveniences, the writer has but one whole
finger on his right hand, and can scarcely prevent the paper's being
stained by the blood which flows from his yet unhealed wounds. His ink
is arquebuse powder [gunpowder rubbed up with water], and his table the
bare earth. He writes to you from the land of the Iroquois, where he is
now a captive, and would briefly relate what Divine Providence has at
last ordained for him.

I set out from Three Rivers, by order of the Superior, the 27th of last
April, in company with six Christian Indians and a young Frenchman,
with three canoes, to go to the country of the Hurons.

On the evening of the first day, the Huron who steered our canoe, when
firing at an eagle, upset us into Lake St. Pierre. I did not know how
to swim, but two Hurons caught me and drew me to the shore, where we
spent the night, all drenched. The Hurons took this accident for an
ill-omen, and advised me to return to our starting point, which was
only eight or ten miles off. "Certainly," they cried, "this voyage will
not prove fortunate." As I feared that there might be some superstition
in this discourse, I preferred to push on to another French fort
[Richelieu], thirty miles higher up, where we might recruit a little.
They obeyed me, and we started quite early the next morning, but the
snow and bad weather greatly retarded our speed, and compelled us to
stop at midday.

On the third day, when twenty-two or twenty-four miles from Three
Rivers, and seven or eight from Fort Richelieu, we fell into an
ambuscade of twenty-seven Iroquois, who killed one of our Indians, and
took the rest and myself prisoners. We might have fled, or killed some
Iroquois; but I, for my part, seeing my companions taken, judged it
better to remain with them, accepting it as a sign of the will of

Those who had captured us made horrible cries, and after profuse thanks
to the Sun for having in their hands, among the others, a "Black Robe,"
as they call the Jesuits, they changed the canoes. Then they took from
us everything; that is, provisions for all of ours residing among the
Hurons, who were in extreme want, inasmuch as they had for several
years received no aid from Europe.

Having commanded us to sing, they led us to a little river hard by,
where they divided the booty, and scalped the Huron whom they had
killed. The scalp was to be carried in triumph on a pole. They also cut
off the feet, hands, and most fleshy parts of the body to eat, as well
as the heart.

Then they made us cross the lake to pass the night in a retired but
very damp spot. We there began to take our sleep bound and in the open
air, as we continued to do during the rest of the voyage....

The following day we embarked on a river, and after some miles they
ordered me to throw overboard my papers, which they had left me till
then. They superstitiously imagined that these had caused the wreck of
our canoe. They were surprised to see me grieve at this loss, who had
never shown any regret for all else. We were two days in ascending this
river to the rapids [of Chambly], which compelled us to land, and we
marched six days in the woods.

The next day, which was Friday, the sixth of May, we met other Iroquois
going out to war. They added some blows to the many threats they had
made; and having related to us the death of one of their party, killed
by a Frenchman, was the cause of their commencing to treat me with
greater cruelty than before.

At the moment of our capture the Iroquois were dying of hunger; so
that, in two or three days, they consumed all our provisions, and we
had no food during the rest of the way but from hunting, fishing, or
some wild roots, if any were found. Their want was so great that they
picked up on the shore a dead beaver already putrefying. They gave it
to me in the evening to wash in the river; but, its stench leading me
to believe that they did not want it, I threw it into the water. I was
paid for that by a severe penance.

I will not here relate all I had to suffer in that voyage. It is enough
to say that we had to carry our loads in the woods where there were no
roads, but only stones, shoots, holes, water, and snow, which had not
yet everywhere melted. We were barefooted, and were left fasting
sometimes till three or four o'clock in the afternoon, and often during
the whole day, exposed to the rain, and drenched with the waters of the
torrents and rivers which we had to cross.

When evening was come I was ordered to go for wood, to bring water, and
to cook when they had any provisions. When I did not succeed, or
misunderstood the orders which I received, blows were not spared; still
less when we met other barbarians going to fish or hunt. It was not
easy for me to rest at night, because they tied me to a tree, leaving
me exposed to the keen night air, which was still quite cold.

We at last arrived at their lake [Champlain]. We had to make other
canoes, in which I too had to do my part. After five or six days'
sailing we landed, and marched for three more.

The fourth day, which was the fifteenth of May, we arrived about the
twentieth hour [3 P.M.], and before having as yet taken any food, at a
river where some four hundred barbarians were gathered fishing. Hearing
of our approach, they came out to meet us. When about two hundred paces
from their cabins, they stripped off all my clothes, and made me march
ahead. The young men formed a line on each side, armed with sticks,
except the first one, who held a knife in his hand.

When I began my march this one stopped my passage, and, seizing my left
hand, cleft it open with his knife between the little finger and the
ring finger, with such force and violence that I thought he would lay
open my whole hand. The others then began to load me with blows till I
reached the stage which they had erected for our torture. Then I had to
mount on great pieces of bark, raised about nine palms high so as to
give the crowd an opportunity to see and insult us. I was all drenched
and covered with blood that streamed from every part of my body, and
exposed to a very cold wind that made it congeal immediately on my
skin. But I consoled myself, seeing that God granted me the favor of
suffering in this world some pain in place of what I was under
obligation, on account of my sins, to pay in the other with torments
incomparably greater.

The warriors came next, and were received by the people with great
ceremony, and regaled with the best of all that their fishing supplied.
They bade us sing. Judge whether we could do so, fasting, worn down by
marching, broken by their blows, and shivering from head to foot with

Shortly after, a Huron slave brought me a little Indian corn, and a
captain, who saw me all trembling with cold, at last, at my entreaty,
gave me back the half of an old summer cassock, all in tatters, which
served to cover rather than warm me.

We had to sing till the warriors went away, and were then left at the
mercy of the youths, who made us come down from the scaffold, where we
had been about two hours, to make us dance in their fashion; and,
because I did not succeed, nor indeed knew how, they beat me, pricked
me, plucked out my hair, my beard, etc.

They kept us five or six days in this place for their pastime, leaving
us at the discretion or indiscretion of every one. We were obliged to
obey even the children, and that in things unreasonable, and often
contradictory. "Sing!" cries one. "Hold your tongue!" says another. If
I obeyed the first, the latter tormented me. "Stretch out your hand; I
want to burn it." Another burned it because I did not extend it to
_him_. They commanded me to take fire between the fingers to put
in their pipes, full of tobacco, and then let it fall on the ground
purposely four or five times, one after another, to make me burn myself
picking it up each time.

These scenes usually took place at night. Towards evening the captains
cried in fearful voices around the cabins, "Gather, ye young men; come
and caress our prisoners!"

On this they flocked together, and assembled in some large cabin. There
the remnant of dress which had been given me was torn off, leaving me
naked. Then some goaded me with pointed sticks; some burned me with
firebrands or red-hot stones, while others used burning ashes or hot
coals. They made me walk around the fire on hot ashes, under which they
had stuck sharp sticks in the ground. Some plucked out my hair, others
my beard.

Every night, after making me sing, and tormenting me as above, they
spent eight or ten minutes in burning one of my nails or a finger. Of
the ten that I had I have now but one left whole, and even of that they
have torn out the nail with their teeth. One evening they burned a
nail; the next day the first joint; the day after, the second. By the
sixth time they burned almost six. To the hands they applied fire and
iron more than eighteen times; and during this torment I was obliged to
sing. They ceased torturing me only at one or two o'clock at night.
Then they usually left me tied to the ground in some spot exposed to
the rain, with no bed or blanket, but a small skin which did not cover
half my body, and often even without any covering; for they had already
torn up the piece of a cassock which had been given me. Yet, out of
compassion, they left me enough to cover what decency, even among them,
requires to be concealed. They kept the rest.

For a whole month I had to undergo these cruelties, and greater still,
but we remained only eight days in the first place. I never would have
believed that man could endure so hard a life.

One night that they were as usual torturing me, a Huron, taken prisoner
with me, seeing one of his companions escape torments by siding against
me, suddenly cried out, in the middle of the assembled throng, that I
was a person of rank, and a captain among the French. This they heard
with great attention; then, raising a loud shout in sign of joy, they
resolved to treat me still worse, and the next morning I was condemned
to be burnt alive, and to be eaten. They then began to guard me more
narrowly. The men and children never left me alone, even in the
necessities of nature, but came tormenting me to force me to return to
the cabin with all speed, fearing that I might take flight.

We left there the 26th of May, and four days after reached the first
village of this nation. In this march on foot, what with rain and other
hardships, I suffered more than I had yet done. The barbarian then my
keeper was more cruel than the first. I was wounded, weak, ill-fed,
half naked, and slept in the open air, bound to a stake or a tree,
shivering all night with cold and from the pain caused by my bonds.

At difficult places in the road my weakness called for help, but it was
refused; and even when I fell, renewing my wounds, they showered blows
on me again, to force me to march; for they believed that I did it
purposely to lag behind, and so escape.

One time, among others, I fell into a river, and was like to have
drowned. However, I got out, I know not how, and in this plight had to
march nearly six miles more till evening, with a very heavy burden on
my shoulders. They jeered at me and at my awkwardness in falling into
the water, and they did not omit, at night, to burn off one of my

We at last reached the first village of this nation, and here our
reception resembled the first, but was still more cruel. Besides blows
from their fists, and other blows, which I received in the most
sensitive parts of my body, they a second time slit open my left hand,
between the middle finger and the fore finger, and the bastinade was
such that I fell half dead on the ground. I thought I would lose my
right eye forever. As I did not rise, because I was unable to do so,
they continued to beat me, especially on the breast and head. I should
surely have expired beneath their blows had not a captain caused me to
be dragged by main strength upon a stage made, like the former one, of
bark. There they soon after cut off the thumb and mangled the fore
finger of my left hand. Meanwhile a great rain came, with thunder and
lightning, and they went away, leaving us exposed naked to the storm,
till some one, I know not who, took pity on us, and in the evening took
us into his cabin.

Here we were tormented with more cruelty and impudence than ever,
without leaving a moment's rest. They forced me to eat filth, and
burned some of my fingers and the rest of my nails. They dislocated my
toes, and ran a firebrand through one of them. I know not what they did
not do to me another time, when I pretended to faint, so as to seem not
to see an indecent action.

After glutting their cruelty here, they sent us into another village,
nine or ten miles further. Here they added to the torments of which I
have spoken that of hanging me up by my feet, either with cords or with
chains, which they had taken from the Dutch. By night I lay stretched
on the ground, naked and bound, according to their custom, to several
stakes, by the feet, hands, and neck. The torments which I had to
suffer in this state, for six or seven nights, were in such places, and
of such nature, that it is not lawful to describe them, nor could they
be read without blushing. I seldom closed my eyes those nights, which,
though the shortest of the year, seemed to me most long. "My God, what
will purgatory be?" This thought lightened my pains not a little.

In this way of living I had become so fetid and horrible that every one
drove me away like a thing of carrion, and they never came near me save
to torment me. Scarcely anyone would feed me, although I had not the
use of my hands, as they were extraordinarily swollen and putrid. Thus
I was still further tormented by hunger, which led me to eat Indian
corn raw, not without concern for my health, and made me find a relish
in chewing clay, although I could not easily swallow it.

I was covered with loathsome vermin, and could neither get rid of them
nor defend myself from them. In my wounds worms were born; more than
four fell out of one finger in one day....

I had an abscess in the right thigh, caused by blows and frequent
falls, which hindered me from all repose, and especially as I had only
skin and bone, and the earth, for bed. Several times the barbarians had
tried, but failed, to open it with sharp stones--not without great pain
to me. I was forced to employ as surgeon the renegade Huron who had
been taken with us. He, on what was supposed to be the eve of my death,
opened it for me with four knife-thrusts, and caused blood and matter
to issue from it in so great abundance, and with such stench, that all
the barbarians of the cabin were constrained to abandon it.

I desired and was awaiting death, though not without some horror of the
fire. Still I was preparing for it as best I could, and was commending
myself to the Mother of Mercy, who was, after God, the sole refuge of a
poor sinner forsaken by all creatures in a strange land, without a
language to make himself understood, without friends to console him,
without sacraments to strengthen him, and without any human remedy to
sweeten his ills.

The Huron and Algonquin prisoners (these are our barbarians), instead
of consoling me, were the first to torment me, in order to please the

I did not see the good Guillaume [Cousture], except afterward, when my
life was spared me, and the boy who had been taken in my company was no
more with me. They had noticed that I had him say his prayers, and that
they did not favor. But they did not let him escape torments, for,
although he was no more than twelve or thirteen years old, they tore
out five of his nails with their teeth; and, on his arrival in the
country, they bound his wrists tightly with thongs, causing him the
severest pain--and all before me, to afflict me the more....

My days being thus filled up with sufferings, and my nights being spent
without repose, I counted in the month five days more than there were;
but, seeing the moon one night, I corrected my error. I was ignorant
why the savages so long deferred my death. They told me that it was to
fatten me before eating me; though they took no means to do so.

One day, at last, they assembled to despatch me. It was the nineteenth
of June, which I deemed the last of my life, and I begged a captain to
put me to death, if possible, otherwise than by fire; but another man
exhorted him to stand firm in the resolution already taken. The first
then told me that I was to die neither by fire nor by any other death.
I could not believe it, nor do I know whether he spoke in earnest; yet
finally it was as he said, because such was the will of God and of the
Virgin Mother....

The barbarians themselves marveled at this result, so contrary was it
to their intentions, as the Dutch have written to me. I was therefore
given, with all the usual ceremonies, to an old woman, to replace her
grandfather, formerly killed by the Hurons, but instead of having me
burned, as all desired, and had already resolved, she redeemed me from
their hands at the expense of some beads, which the French call
"porcelain" [wampum].

I live here in the midst of the shadows of death, hearing nothing
spoken of but murder and assassination. They have recently murdered one
of their own countrymen in his cabin, as useless and unworthy to live.

I have still something to suffer; my wounds are yet open, and many of
the barbarians look upon me with no kindly eye. But we cannot live
without crosses, and this is like sugar in comparison with the past.

The Dutch gave me hopes of my ransom, and that of the boy taken
prisoner with me. God's will be done in time and in eternity! My hope
will be still more confirmed, if you grant me a share in your holy
sacrifices and prayers, and those of our fathers and brethren,
especially of those who knew me in other days.


Dated "From New Amsterdam, the 31st of August, 1644."

I have found no one to carry the enclosed, so that you will receive it
at the same time as the present one, which will give you the news of my
deliverance from the hands of the barbarians, whose captive I was. I am
indebted for it to the Dutch, and they obtained it with no great
difficulty, for a moderate ransom, on account of the little value which
the Indians attached to me, from my unhandiness at everything, and
because they believed that I would never get well of my ailments.

I have been twice sold: first to the old woman who was to have me
burned, and next to the Dutch, dear enough, that is, for about fifteen
or twenty doppias [sixty to eighty dollars in gold].

I chanted my "exodus from Egypt" the nineteenth of August, a day that
is in the octave of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, who was my

I was a prisoner among the Iroquois for four months; but small is that
compared to what my sins deserve. I was unable, during my captivity, to
render to any of those wretched beings, in return for the evil they did
me, the good which was the object of my desires; that is, impart to
them a knowledge of the true God. Not knowing the language, I tried to
instruct, through a captive interpreter, an old man who was dying; but
he was too proud to listen to me, answering that a man of his age and
standing should teach, and not be taught. I asked him if he knew
whither he would go after death. He answered me: "To the Sunset." Then
he began to relate their fables and delusions, which those wretched
people, blinded by the Demon, esteem as the most solid truths.

I baptized none but a Huron. They had brought him where I was, to burn
him, and those who guarded me told me to go and see him. I did so with
reluctance; for they had told me falsely that he was not one of our
Indians, and that I could not understand him. I advanced towards the
crowd, which opened and let me approach this man, even then all
disfigured by the tortures. He was stretched upon the bare ground, with
nothing to rest his head upon. Seeing a stone near me, I pushed it with
my foot towards his head, to serve him as a pillow. He then looked up
at me, and either some wisp of beard that I had left, or some other
mark, made him suppose I was a foreigner.

"Is not this man," said he to his keeper, "the European whom you hold

Being answered "Yes," he again cast towards me a piteous look. "Sit
down, my brother, by me," said he; "I would speak with thee."

I sat down, though not without horror, such was the stench that exhaled
from his already half-roasted body. Happy to be able to understand him
a little, because he spoke Huron, I asked him what he desired, hoping
to be able to profit by the occasion to instruct and baptize him. To my
great consolation I was anticipated by the answer:

"What do I ask?" he said; "I ask but one thing, baptism. Make haste,
for the time is short."

I wished to question him as to the faith, so as not to administer a
sacrament with precipitation; but I found him perfectly instructed,
having been already received among the catechumens in the Huron
country. I therefore baptized him, to his and my own great
satisfaction. Though I had done so by a kind of stratagem, using the
water which I had brought for him to drink, the Iroquois nevertheless
perceived it. The captains were at once informed, and, with angry
threats, drove me from the hut, and then began to torture him as

The following morning they roasted him alive. Then, because I had
baptized him, they brought all his members, one by one, into the cabin
where I was. Before my eyes they skinned and ate the feet and hands.
The husband of the mistress of the lodge threw at my feet the dead
man's head, and left it there a long while, reproaching me with what I
had done, alluding to the baptism and prayers which I had offered with
him, and saying: "And what indeed have thy enchantments helped him?
Have they perhaps delivered him from death?"





    Mary Rowlandson was the wife of the Reverend Joseph Rowlandson, the
    first minister of Lancaster, Massachusetts. On the tenth of
    February, 1676, during King Philip's War, the Indians destroyed
    Lancaster, and took her captive. She was treated with gross
    cruelty, and was sold by her Narragansett captor to a sagamore
    named Quannopin. After nearly three months of starving and
    wretchedness she was ransomed for about eighty dollars which was
    contributed by some women of Boston.

    Her own account of her captivity, originally published in 1682, is
    here given with the omission of nothing but certain reflections
    that are not essential to the narrative. (_Editor._)

On the 10th of February, 1676, came the Indians with great numbers[6]
upon Lancaster. Their first coming was about sun-rising. Hearing the
noise of some guns, we looked out; several houses were burning, and the
smoke ascending to heaven.

          [6] Fifteen hundred Wamponoags, led by King Philip, and
          accompanied by the Narragansetts, his allies, and by the
          Nipmucks and Nashaways.

There were five persons taken in one house. The father and mother, and
a sucking child, they knocked on the head; the other two they took and
carried away alive. There were two others, who, being out of their
garrison upon occasion, were set upon; one was knocked on the head, the
other escaped. Another there was, who, running along, was shot and
wounded, and fell down; he begged of them his life, promising them
money, as they told me, but they would not hearken to him, but knocked
him on the head, stripped him naked, and split open his bowels.
Another, seeing many of the Indians about his barn, ventured and went
out, but was quickly shot down. There were three others belonging to
the same garrison who were killed. The Indians getting up on the roof
of the barn, had advantage to shoot down upon them over their
fortification. Thus these murderous wretches went on burning and
destroying all before them.

At length they came and beset our house, and quickly it was the
dolefulest day that ever mine eyes saw. The house stood upon the edge
of a hill; some of the Indians got behind the hill, others into the
barn, and others behind anything that would shelter them; from all
which places they shot against the house, so that the bullets seemed to
fly like hail, and quickly they wounded one man among us, then another,
and then a third.

About two hours, according to my observation in that amazing time, they
had been about the house before they prevailed to fire it, which they
did with flax and hemp which they brought out of the barn, and there
being no defence about the house, only two flankers at two opposite
corners, and one of them not finished; they fired it once, and one
ventured out and quenched it, but they quickly fired it again, and that

Now is the dreadful hour come that I have often heard of in time of the
war, as it was the case of others, but now mine eyes see it. Some in
our house were fighting for their lives, others wallowing in blood, the
house on fire over our heads, and the bloody heathen ready to knock us
on the head if we stirred out. Now might we hear mothers and children
crying out for themselves and one another, "Lord, what shall we do?"
Then I took my children, and one of my sisters (Mrs. Drew), hers to go
forth and leave the house, but as soon as we came to the door and
appeared, the Indians shot so thick that the bullets rattled against
the house as if one had taken a handful of stones and threw them, so
that we were forced to give back. We had six stout dogs belonging to
our garrison, but none of them would stir, though at another time if an
Indian had come to the door, they were ready to fly upon him and tear
him down. The Lord hereby would make us the more to acknowledge his
hand, and to see that our help is always in him. But out we must go,
the fire increasing, and coming along behind us roaring, and the
Indians gaping before us with their guns, spears and hatchets, to
devour us.

No sooner were we out of the house, but my brother-in-law[7] (being
before wounded in defending the house, in or near the throat) fell down
dead, whereat the Indians scornfully shouted and hallooed, and were
presently upon him, stripping off his clothes. The bullets flying
thick, one went through my side, and the same, as would seem, through
the bowels and hand of my poor child in my arms. One of my elder
sister's children, named William, had then his leg broke, which the
Indians perceiving, they knocked him on the head. Thus were we
butchered by those merciless heathens, standing amazed, with the blood
running down to our heels.

          [7] Thomas Rowlandson, brother to the clergyman.

My eldest sister being yet in the house, and seeing those woful sights,
the infidels hauling mothers one way and children another, and some
wallowing in their blood; and her eldest son telling her that her son
William was dead, and myself was wounded, she said, "Lord, let me die
with them:" which was no sooner said but she was struck with a bullet,
and fell down dead over the threshold. The Indians laid hold of us,
pulling me one way and the children another, and said, "Come, go along
with us." I told them they would kill me; they answered, if I were
willing to go along with them they would not hurt me....

There were twelve killed, some shot, some stabbed with their spears,
some knocked down with their hatchets. When we are in prosperity, oh,
the little that we think of such dreadful sights, to see our dear
friends and relations lie bleeding out their heart's-blood upon the
ground. There was one who was chopped in the head with a hatchet, and
stripped naked, and yet was crawling up and down.

I had often before this said, that if the Indians should come, I should
choose rather to be killed by them than taken alive, but when it came
to the trial my mind changed; their glittering weapons so daunted my
spirit that I chose rather to go along with those (as I may say)
ravenous bears, than that moment to end my days. And that I may the
better declare what happened to me during that grievous captivity, I
shall particularly speak of the several removes we had up and down the

THE FIRST REMOVE.--Now away we must go with those barbarous creatures,
with our bodies wounded and bleeding, and our hearts no less than our
bodies. About a mile we went that night, up on a hill within sight of
the town where we intended to lodge. There was hard by a vacant house,
deserted by the English before, for fear of the Indians. I asked them
whether I might not lodge in the house that night; to which they
answered, "What, will you love Englishmen still?" This was the
dolefulest night that ever my eyes saw. Oh, the roaring and singing and
dancing and yelling of those black creatures in the night, which made
the place a lively resemblance of hell! And miserable was the waste
that was there made of horses, cattle, sheep, swine, calves, lambs,
roasting pigs, and fowls (which they had plundered in the town), some
roasting, some lying and burning, and some boiling, to feed our
merciless enemies; who were joyful enough, though we were disconsolate.

To add to the dolefulness of the former day, and the dismalness of the
present night, my thoughts ran upon my losses and sad, bereaved
condition. All was gone, my husband gone (at least separated from me,
he being in the Bay;[8] and, to add to my grief, the Indians told me
they would kill him as he came homeward); my children gone, my
relations and friends gone,[9] our house and home, and all our comforts
within door and without--all was gone except my life, and I knew not
but the next moment that might go too.

          [8] Boston.

          [9] Seventeen of her family were put to death or captured.

There remained nothing to me but one poor, wounded babe; and it seemed
at present worse than death, that it was in such a pitiful condition,
bespeaking compassion, and I had no refreshing for it, nor suitable
things to revive it. Little do many think what is the savageness and
brutishness of this barbarous enemy, those even that seem to profess
more than others among them, when the English have fallen into their

THE SECOND REMOVE.--But now (the next morning) I must turn my back upon
the town, and travel with them into the vast and desolate wilderness, I
know not whither. It is not my tongue or pen can express the sorrows of
my heart, and bitterness of my spirit, that I had at this departure;
but God was with me in a wonderful manner, carrying me along and
bearing up my spirit, that it did not quite fail. One of the Indians
carried my poor wounded babe upon a horse. It went moaning all along,
"I shall die, I shall die!" I went on foot after it with sorrow that
cannot be expressed. At length I took it off the horse, and carried it
in my arms, till my strength failed and I fell down with it. Then they
set me upon a horse with my wounded child in my lap, and there being no
furniture on the horse's back, as we were going down a steep hill we
both fell over the horse's head, at which they, like inhuman creatures,
laughed, and rejoiced to see it, though I thought we should there have
ended our days, overcome with so many difficulties....

After this it quickly began to snow, and when night came on they
stopped. And now down I must sit in the snow, by a little fire, and a
few boughs behind me, with my sick child in my lap, and calling much
for water, being now, through the wound, fallen into a violent fever;
my own wound also growing so stiff that I could scarce sit down or rise

THE THIRD REMOVE.--The morning being come, they prepared to go on their
way. One of the Indians got upon a horse, and they sat me up behind
him, with my poor sick babe in my lap. A very wearisome and tedious day
I had of it; what with my own wound, and my child being so exceeding
sick, and in a lamentable condition with her wound, it may easily be
judged what a poor, feeble condition we were in, there being not the
least crumb of refreshing that came within either of our mouths from
Wednesday night to Saturday night, except only a little cold water.
This day in the afternoon, about an hour by sun, we came to the place
where they intended, viz., an Indian town called Wenimesset (New
Braintree), northward of Quabaug (Brookfield).

This day there came to me one Robert Pepper, a man belonging to
Roxbury, who was taken at Captain Beers's fight, and had been now a
considerable time with the Indians, and up with them almost as far as
Albany, to see King Philip, as he told me, and was now very lately come
into these parts. Hearing, I say, that I was in this Indian town, he
obtained leave to come and see me. He told me he himself was wounded in
the leg at Captain Beers's fight, and was not able some time to go, but
as they carried him, and that he took oak leaves and laid to his wound,
and by the blessing of God he was able to travel again. Then took I oak
leaves and laid to my side, and with the blessing of God it cured me

I sat much alone with my poor wounded child in my lap, which moaned
night and day, having nothing to revive the body or cheer the spirits
of her; but instead of that, one Indian would come and tell me one
hour, "Your master will knock your child on the head," and then a
second, and then a third, "Your master will quickly knock your child on
the head."

This was the comfort I had from them; miserable comforters were they
all. Thus nine days I sat upon my knees, with my babe in my lap, till
my flesh was raw again. My child being even ready to depart this
sorrowful world, they bid me carry it out to another wigwam, I suppose
because they would not be troubled with such spectacles; whither I went
with a very heavy heart, and down I sat with the picture of death in my
lap. About two hours in the night, my sweet babe, like a lamb, departed
this life, on Feb. 18, 1676, it being about six years and five months

In the morning when they understood that my child was dead, they sent
me home to my master's wigwam. By my master in this writing must be
understood Quannopin, who was a sagamore, and married King Philip's
wife's sister; not that he first took me, but I was sold to him by a
Narragansett Indian, who took me when I first came out of the garrison.

I went to take up my dead child in my arms to carry it with me, but
they bid me let it alone. There was no resisting, but go I must, and
leave it. When I had been a while at my master's wigwam, I took the
first opportunity I could get to look after my dead child. When I came
I asked them what they had done with it. They told me it was on the
hill. Then they went and showed me where it was, where I saw the ground
was newly digged, and where they told me they had buried it. There I
left that child in the wilderness, and must commit it and myself also
in this wilderness condition to Him who is above all.

God having taken away this dear child, I went to see my daughter Mary,
who was at the same Indian town, at a wigwam not very far off, though
we had little liberty or opportunity to see one another. She was about
ten years old, and taken from the door at first by a praying Indian,[10]
and afterwards sold for a gun. When I came in sight she would fall
a-weeping, at which they were provoked, and would not let me come near
her, but bid me begone, which was a heart-cutting word to me. I could
not sit still in this condition, but kept walking from one place to
another; and as I was going along, my heart was even overwhelmed with
the thoughts of my condition, and that I should have children, and a
nation that I knew not ruled over them. Whereupon I earnestly entreated
the Lord that he would consider my low estate, and show me a token for
good, and if it were his blessed will, some sign and hope of some

          [10] Convert to Christianity.

And, indeed, quickly the Lord answered in some measure my poor prayer;
for as I was going up and down mourning and lamenting my condition, my
son (Joseph) came to me and asked me how I did. I had not seen him
before since the destruction of the town; and I knew not where he was,
till I was informed by himself that he was among a smaller parcel of
Indians, whose place was about six miles off. With tears in his eyes he
asked me whether his sister Sarah was dead, and told me he had seen his
sister Mary, and prayed me that I would not be troubled in reference to
himself. The occasion of his coming to see me at this time was this:
there was, as I said, about six miles from us, a small plantation of
Indians, where it seems he had been during his captivity; and at this
time there were some forces of the Indians gathered out of our company,
and some also from them, among whom was my son's master, to go to
assault and burn Medfield. In this time of his master's absence his
dame brought him to see me.

Now the Indians began to talk of removing from this place, some one way
and some another. There were now, besides myself, nine English captives
in this place, all of them children except one woman. I got an
opportunity to go and take my leave of them, they being to go one way
and I another. I asked them whether they were earnest with God for
deliverance. They told me they did as they were able, and it was some
comfort to me that the Lord stirred up children to look to Him. The
woman, viz., good-wife Joslin, told me she should never see me again,
and that she could not find it in her heart to run away by any means,
for we were near thirty miles from any English town, and she with a
child two years old; and bad rivers there were to go over, and we were
feeble with our poor and coarse entertainment....

THE FOURTH REMOVE.--And now must I part with the little company I had.
Here I parted with my daughter Mary, whom I never saw again till I saw
her in Dorchester, returned from captivity; and from four little
cousins and neighbors, some of which I never saw afterwards; the Lord
only knows the end of them. We travelled about a half a day or a little
more, and came to a desolate place in the wilderness, where there were
no wigwams or inhabitants before. We came about the middle of the
afternoon to this place, cold, wet, and snowy, and hungry and weary,
and no refreshing for man, but the cold ground to sit on, and our poor
Indian cheer.

THE FIFTH REMOVE.--The occasion, as I thought, of their removing at
this time was the English army's being near and following them; for
they went as if they had gone for their lives for some considerable
way. Then they made a stop, and chose out some of their stoutest men,
and sent them back to hold the English army in play while the rest
escaped; and then, like Jehu, they marched on furiously with their old
and young. Some carried their old, decrepit mothers; some carried one,
and some another. Four of them carried a great Indian upon a bier; but,
going through a thick wood with him, they were hindered, and could make
no haste; whereupon they took him upon their backs, and carried him,
one at a time, till we came to Baquaug River.

Upon Friday, a little after noon, we came to this river. When all the
company was come up and were gathered together I thought to count the
number of them, but they were so many, and being somewhat in motion, it
was beyond my skill. In this travel, because of my wound, I was
somewhat favored in my load. I carried only my knitting-work and two
quarts of parched meal. Being very faint, I asked my mistress to give
me one spoonful of the meal, but she would not give me a taste. They
quickly fell to cutting dry trees to make rafts to carry them over the
river, and soon my turn came to go over. By the advantage of some brush
which they had laid upon the raft to sit on, I did not wet my foot,
while many of themselves, at the other end, were mid-leg deep, which
cannot but be acknowledged as a favor of God to my weakened body, it
being a very cold time. I was not before acquainted with such kind of
doings or dangers. A certain number of us got over the river that
night, but it was the night after the Sabbath before all the company
was got over. On the Saturday they boiled an old horse's leg which they
had got, and so we drank of the broth as soon as they thought it was
ready, and when it was almost all gone they filled it up again.

The first week of my being among them I hardly eat anything; the second
week I found my stomach grow very faint for want of something, and yet
it was very hard to get down their filthy trash; but the third week,
though I could think how formerly my stomach would turn against this or
that, and I could starve and die before I could eat such things, yet
they were pleasant and savory to my taste.

I was at this time knitting a pair of cotton stockings for my mistress,
and I had not yet wrought upon the Sabbath day. When the Sabbath came
they bid me go to work. I told them it was Sabbath day, and desired
them to let me rest, and told them I would do as much more work
to-morrow; to which they answered me they would break my face.

And here I cannot but take notice of the strange providence of God in
preserving the heathen. They were many hundreds, old and young, some
sick, and some lame; many had papooses at their backs; the greatest
number at this time with us were squaws, and yet they travelled with
all they had, bag and baggage, and they got over this river aforesaid;
and on Monday they set their wigwams on fire, and away they went. On
that very day came the English army after them to this river, and saw
the smoke of their wigwams, and yet this river put a stop to them. God
did not give them courage or activity to go over after us. We were not
ready for so great a mercy as victory and deliverance; if we had been,
God would have found out a way for the English to have passed this
river as well as for the Indians, with their squaws and children and
all their luggage.

THE SIXTH REMOVE.--On Monday, as I said, they set their wigwams on fire
and went away. It was a cold morning, and before us there was a great
brook with ice on it. Some waded through it up to the knees and higher,
but others went till they came to a beaver-dam, and I among them,
where, through the good providence of God, I did not wet my foot. I
went along that day mourning and lamenting, leaving farther my own
country, and travelling farther into the vast and howling wilderness,
and I understood something of Lot's wife's temptation when she looked
back. We came that day to a great swamp, by the side of which we took
up our lodging that night. When we came to the brow of the hill that
looked towards the swamp I thought we had been come to a great Indian
town, though there were none but our own company; the Indians were as
thick as the trees; it seemed as if there had been a thousand hatchets
going at once.

THE SEVENTH REMOVE.--After a restless and hungry night there we had a
wearisome time of it the next day. The swamp by which we lay was, as it
were, a deep dungeon, and an exceeding high and steep hill before it.
Before I got to the top of the hill I thought my heart and legs and all
would have broken and failed me. What with faintness and soreness of
body, it was a grievous day of travel to me. As we went along, I saw a
place where English cattle had been. That was a comfort to me, such as
it was. Quickly after that we came to an English path, which so took me
that I thought I could there have freely lain down and died.

That day, a little after noon, we came to Squaheag,[11] where the
Indians quickly spread themselves over the deserted English fields,
gleaning what they could find. Some picked up ears of wheat that
were crickled down, some found ears of Indian corn, some found
ground-nuts,[12] and others sheaves of wheat that were frozen together
in the shock, and went to threshing of them out. Myself got two ears of
Indian corn, and, whilst I did but turn my back, one of them was stole
from me, which much troubled me.

          [11] Or Squakeag, now Northfield.

          [12] _Apios tuberosa._ The Pilgrims, during their first
          winter, lived chiefly on these roots. The tubers vary from
          the size of a cherry to that of a hen's egg, and grow in
          strings of perhaps forty together.

There came an Indian to them at that time with a basket of horse-liver.
I asked him to give me a piece. "What," says he, "can you eat
horse-liver?" I told him I would try, if he would give me a piece,
which he did; and I laid it on the coals to roast; but, before it was
half ready, they got half of it away from me; so that I was forced to
take the rest and eat it as it was, with the blood about my mouth, and
yet a savory bit it was to me; for to the hungry soul every bitter
thing was sweet. A solemn sight methought it was to see whole fields of
wheat and Indian corn forsaken and spoiled, and the remainder of them
to be food for our merciless enemies. That night we had a mess of wheat
for our supper.

THE EIGHTH REMOVE.--On the morrow morning we must go over Connecticut
River to meet with King Philip. Two canoes full they had carried over.
The next turn myself was to go; but, as my foot was upon the canoe to
step in, there was a sudden outcry among them, and I must step back;
and instead of going over the river, I must go four or five miles up
the river farther northward. Some of the Indians ran one way, and some
another. The cause of this route was, as I thought, their espying some
English scouts, who were thereabouts. In this travel up the river,
about noon the company made a stop and sat down, some to eat and others
to rest them. As I sat amongst them, musing on things past, my son
Joseph unexpectedly came to me....

We travelled on till night, and in the morning we must go over the
river to Philip's crew. When I was in the canoe I could not but be
amazed at the numerous crew of pagans that were on the bank on the
other side. When I came ashore they gathered all about me, I sitting
alone in the midst. I observed they asked one another questions, and
laughed, and rejoiced over their gains and victories.

Then my heart began to fail, and I fell a-weeping; which was the first
time, to my remembrance, that I wept before them. There one of them
asked me why I wept. I could hardly tell what to say; yet I answered,
they would kill me. "No," said he, "none will hurt you." Then came one
of them and gave me two spoonfuls of meal to comfort me, and another
gave me half a pint of peas, which was worth more than many bushels at
another time.

Then I went to see King Philip. He bade me come in and sit down, and
asked me whether I would smoke--a usual compliment nowadays among the
saints and sinners; but this noway suited me; for though I had formerly
used tobacco, yet I had left it ever since I was first taken. It seems
to be a bait the devil lays to make men lose their precious time. I
remember with shame how, formerly, when I had taken two or three pipes,
I was presently ready for another, such a bewitching thing it is; but I
thank God He has now given me power over it. Surely there are many who
may be better employed than to sit sucking a stinking tobacco pipe.

Now the Indians gathered their forces to go against Northampton. Over
night one went about yelling and hooting to give notice of the design.
Whereupon they went to boiling of ground-nuts and parching corn--as
many as had it--for their provision; and in the morning away they went.
During my abode in this place Philip spake to me to make a shirt for
his boy, which I did; for which he gave me a shilling. I offered the
money to my mistress, but she bid me keep it, and with it I bought a
piece of horse-flesh.

Afterwards he asked me to make a cap for his boy, for which he invited
me to dinner. I went, and he gave me a pancake about as big as two
fingers; it was made of parched wheat, beaten and fried in bear's
grease, but I thought I never tasted pleasanter meat in my life. There
was a squaw who spake to me to make a shirt for her sannup; for which
she gave me a piece of beef. Another asked me to knit a pair of
stockings, for which she gave me a quart of peas. I boiled my peas and
beef together, and invited my master and mistress to dinner; but the
proud gossip, because I served them both in one dish, would eat
nothing, except one bit that he gave her upon the point of his knife.

Hearing that my son was come to this place, I went to see him, and
found him lying flat on the ground. I asked him how he could sleep so.
He answered me that he was not asleep, but at prayer, and that he lay
so that they might not observe what he was doing. I pray God he may
remember these things now he is returned in safety.

At this place, the sun now getting higher, what with the beams and heat
of the sun and smoke of the wigwams, I thought I should have been
blinded. I could scarce discern one wigwam from another. There was one
Mary Thurston, of Medfield, who, seeing how it was with me, lent me a
hat to wear; but as soon as I was gone the squaw that owned that Mary
Thurston came running after me and got it away again. Here was a squaw
who gave me a spoonful of meal; I put it in my pocket to keep it safe,
yet notwithstanding somebody stole it, but put five Indian corns in the
room of it; which corns were the greatest provision I had in my travel
for one day.

The Indians, returning from Northampton,[13] brought with them some
horses and sheep and other things which they had taken. I desired them
that they would carry me to Albany upon one of those horses, and sell
me for powder; for so they had sometimes discoursed. I was utterly
helpless of getting home on foot, the way that I came. I could hardly
bear to think of the many weary steps I had taken to this place.

          [13] Northampton was attacked March 14, 1676.

THE NINTH REMOVE.--But, instead of either going to Albany or homeward,
we must go five miles up the river, and then go over it. Here we abode
awhile. Here lived a sorry Indian, who spake to me to make him a shirt.
When I had done it he would pay me nothing for it. But he, living by
the river-side, where I often went to fetch water, I would often be
putting him in mind, and calling for my pay; at last he told me if I
would make another shirt for a papoose not yet born he would give me a
knife, which he did when I had done it. I carried the knife in, and my
master asked me to give it him, and I was not a little glad that I had
anything that they would accept of and be pleased with.

My son being now about a mile from me, I asked liberty to go and see
him. They bid me go, and away I went; but quickly lost myself,
travelling over hills and through swamps, and could not find the way to
him. And I cannot but admire at the wonderful power and goodness of God
to me, in that though I was gone from home and met with all sorts of
Indians, and those I had no knowledge of, and there being no Christian
soul near me, yet not one of them offered the least imaginable
miscarriage to me. I turned homeward again, and met with my master, and
he showed me the way to my son. When I came to him I found him not
well; and withal he had a boil on his side, which much troubled him. We
bemoaned one another awhile, as the Lord helped us, and then I returned
again. When I was returned I found myself as unsatisfied as I was

But I was fain to go look after something to satisfy my hunger; and,
going among the wigwams, I went into one, and there found a squaw who
showed herself very kind to me, and gave me a piece of bear. I put it
into my pocket, and came home, but could not find an opportunity to
broil it for fear they should get it from me. And there it lay all the
day and night in my pocket. In the morning I went again to the same
squaw, who had a kettle of ground-nuts boiling. I asked her to let me
boil my piece of bear in the kettle, which she did, and gave me some
ground-nuts to eat with it; and I cannot but think how pleasant it was
to me. I have sometimes seen bear baked handsomely amongst the English,
and some liked it, but the thoughts that it was bear made me tremble.
But now that was savory to me that one would think was enough to turn
the stomach of a brute creature.

One bitter cold day I could find no room to sit down before the fire. I
went out, and could not tell what to do, but I went into another
wigwam, where they were also sitting round the fire; but the squaw laid
a skin for me, and bid me sit down, and gave me some ground-nuts, and
bid me come again, and told me they would buy me if they were able. And
yet these were strangers to me that I never knew before.

THE TENTH REMOVE.--That day a small part of the company removed about
three quarters of a mile, intending farther the next day. When they
came to the place they intended to lodge, and had pitched their
wigwams, being hungry, I went again back to the place we were before at
to get something to eat; being encouraged by the squaw's kindness, who
bid me come again. When I was there, there came an Indian to look after
me; who, when he had found me, kicked me all along. I went home and
found venison roasting that night, but they would not give me one bit
of it. Sometimes I met with favor, and sometimes with nothing but

THE ELEVENTH REMOVE.--The next day, in the morning, they took their
travel, intending a day's journey up the river; I took my load at
my back, and quickly we came to wade over a river, and passed over
tiresome and wearisome hills. One hill was so steep that I was fain to
creep up upon my knees, and to hold by the twigs and bushes to keep
myself from falling backwards. My head, also, was so light that I
usually reeled as I went.

THE TWELFTH REMOVE.--It was upon a Sabbath-day morning that they
prepared for their travel. This morning I asked my master whether he
would sell me to my husband; he answered, _nux_; which did much
rejoice my spirits. My mistress, before we went, was gone to the burial
of a papoose, and returning she found me sitting and reading in my
Bible. She snatched it hastily out of my hand and threw it out of
doors. I ran out and caught it up, and put it in my pocket, and never
let her see it afterwards. Then they packed up their things to be gone,
and gave me my load; I complained it was too heavy, whereupon she gave
me a slap on the face and bid me be gone. I lifted up my heart to God,
hoping that redemption was not far off; and the rather because their
insolence grew worse and worse.

But thoughts of my going homeward, for so we bent our course, much
cheered my spirit, and made my burden seem light, and almost nothing at
all. But, to my amazement and great perplexity, the scale was soon
turned; for when we had got a little way, on a sudden my mistress gave
out she would go no farther, but turn back again, and said I must go
back again with her; and she called her sannup, and would have had him
go back also, but he would not, but said he would go on, and come to us
again in three days. My spirit was upon this, I confess, very
impatient, and almost outrageous. I thought I could as well have died
as went back. Down I sat, with my heart as full as it could hold, and
yet so hungry that I could not sit neither. But going out to see what I
could find, and walking among the trees, I found six acorns and two
chestnuts, which were some refreshment to me.

Towards night I gathered me some sticks for my own comfort, that I
might not lie cold; but when we came to lie down, they bid me go out
and lie somewhere else, for they had company they said come in more
than their own. I told them I could not tell where to go; they bid me
go look; I told them if I went to another wigwam they would be angry
and send me home again. Then one of the company drew his sword and told
me he would run me through if I did not go presently. Then was I fain
to stoop to this rude fellow, and go out in the night I knew not
whither. Mine eyes hath seen that fellow afterwards walking up and down
in Boston, under the appearance of a friendly Indian, and several
others of the like cut.

I went to one wigwam, and they told me they had no room. Then I went to
another, and they said the same. At last, an old Indian bid me come to
him, and his squaw gave me some ground-nuts; she gave me also something
to lay under my head, and a good fire we had. Through the good
providence of God, I had a comfortable lodging that night. In the
morning, another Indian bid me come at night and he would give me six
ground-nuts, which I did. We were at this place and time about two
miles from Connecticut River.

THE THIRTEENTH REMOVE.--Instead of going towards the Bay, which was
what I desired, I must go with them five or six miles down the river,
into a mighty thicket of brush, where we abode almost a fortnight. Here
one asked me to make a shirt for her papoose, for which she gave me a
mess of broth which was thickened with meal made of the bark of a tree;
and to make it better she had put into it about a handful of peas and a
few roasted ground-nuts.

I had not seen my son a pretty while, and here was an Indian of whom I
made inquiry after him, and asked him when he saw him. He answered me,
that such a time his master roasted him, and that himself did eat a
piece of him as big as his two fingers, and that he was very good meat.
But the Lord upheld my spirit under this discouragement; and I
considered their horrible addictedness to lying, and that there is not
one of them that makes the least conscience of speaking the truth.

In this place, one cold night, as I lay by the fire, I removed a stick
which kept the heat from me; a squaw moved it down again, at which I
looked up, and she threw a handful of ashes in my eyes. I thought I
should have been quite blinded and never have seen more; but, lying
down, the water ran out of my eyes, and carried the dirt with it, that
by the morning I recovered my sight again.

About this time they came yelping from Hadley, having there killed
three Englishmen, and brought one captive with them, viz., Thomas Reed.
They all gathered about the poor man, asking him many questions. I
desired also to go and see him; and when I came, he was crying
bitterly, supposing they would quickly kill him. Whereupon I asked one
of them whether they intended to kill him; he answered me they would
not. He being a little cheered with that, I asked him about the welfare
of my husband; he told me he saw him such a time in the Bay, and he was
well, but very melancholy. By which I certainly understood, though I
suspected it before, that whatsoever the Indians told me respecting him
was vanity and lies. Some of them told me he was dead, and they had
killed him; some said he was married again, and that the governor
wished him to marry, and told him that he should have his choice; and
that all persuaded him that I was dead. So like were these barbarous
creatures to him who was a liar from the beginning.

As I was sitting once in the wigwam here, Philip's maid came with the
child in her arms, and asked me to give her a piece of my apron to make
a flap for it. I told her I would not; then my mistress bid me give it,
but I still said no. The maid told me if I would not give her a piece,
she would tear a piece off it. I told her I would tear her coat then.
With that my mistress rises up, and takes up a stick big enough to have
killed me, and struck at me with it, but I stepped out, and she struck
the stick into the mat of the wigwam. But while she was pulling it out,
I ran to the maid, and gave her all my apron, and so that storm went

Hearing that my son was come to this place, I went to see him, and told
him his father was well, but very melancholy. He told me he was as much
grieved for his father as for himself. I wondered at his speech, for I
thought I had enough upon my spirit, in reference to myself, to make me
mindless of my husband and every one else, they being safe among their
friends. He told me also, that a while before, his master, together
with other Indians, were going to the French for powder; but by the way
the Mohawks met with them, and killed four of their company, which made
the rest turn back again. For which I desire that myself and he may
ever bless the Lord; for it might have been worse with him had he been
sold to the French, than it proved to be in his remaining with the

I asked his master to let him stay awhile with me, that I might comb
his head and look over him, for he was almost overcome with lice. He
told me when I had done that he was very hungry, but I had nothing to
relieve him, but bid him go into the wigwams as he went along, and see
if he could get anything among them; which he did, and, it seems,
tarried a little too long, for his master was angry with him, and beat
him, and then sold him. Then he came running to tell me he had a new
master, and that he had given him some ground-nuts already. Then I went
along with him to his new master, who told me he loved him, and he
should not want. So his master carried him away, and I never saw him
afterwards till I saw him at Piscataqua, in Portsmouth.

That night they bid me go out of the wigwam again; my mistress's
papoose was sick, and it died that night; and there was one benefit in
it, that there was more room. I went to a wigwam and they bid me come
in, and gave me a skin to lie upon, and a mess of venison and
ground-nuts, which was a choice dish among them. On the morrow they
buried the papoose; and afterwards, both morning and evening, there
came a company to mourn and howl with her; though I confess I could not
much condole with them.

THE FOURTEENTH REMOVE.--Now must we pack up and be gone from this
thicket, bending our course towards the Bay towns; I having nothing to
eat by the way this day but a few crumbs of cake that an Indian gave my
girl the same day we were taken. She gave it me, and I put it in my
pocket. There it lay till it was so mouldy, for want of good baking,
that one could not tell what it was made of. It fell all into crumbs,
and grew so dry and hard that it was like little flints; and this
refreshed me many times when I was ready to faint. It was in my
thoughts when I put it to my mouth that, if ever I returned, I would
tell the world what a blessing the Lord gave to such mean food.

As we went along, they killed a deer, with a young one in her. They
gave me a piece of the fawn, and it was so young and tender that one
might eat the bones as well as the flesh, and yet I thought it very
good. When night came on we sat down. It rained, but they quickly got
up a bark wigwam, where I lay dry that night. I looked out in the
morning, and many of them had lain in the rain all night, I knew by
their reeking. Thus the Lord dealt mercifully with me many times, and I
fared better than many of them.

In the morning they took the blood of the deer, and put it into the
paunch, and so boiled it. I could eat nothing of that, though they eat
it sweetly. And yet they were so nice in other things, that when I had
fetched water, and had put the dish I dipped the water with into the
kettle of water which I brought, they would say they would knock me
down, for they said it was a sluttish trick.

THE FIFTEENTH REMOVE.--We went on our travel. I having got a handful of
ground-nuts for my support that day, they gave me my load, and I went
on cheerfully, with the thoughts of going homeward, having my burthen
more upon my back than my spirit. We came to Baquaug River again that
day, near which we abode a few days. Sometimes one of them would give
me a pipe, another a little tobacco, another a little salt, which I
would change for victuals. I cannot but think what a wolfish appetite
persons have in a starving condition; for many times, when they gave me
that which was hot, I was so greedy, that I should burn my mouth, that
it would trouble me many hours after, and yet I should quickly do the
like again. And after I was thoroughly hungry, I was never again
satisfied; for though it sometimes fell out that I had got enough, and
did eat till I could eat no more, yet I was as unsatisfied as I was
when I began.

THE SIXTEENTH REMOVE.--We began this remove with wading over Baquaug
River. The water was up to our knees, and the stream very swift, and
so cold that I thought it would have cut me in sunder. I was so weak
and feeble that I reeled as I went along, and thought there I must
end my days at last, after my bearing and getting through so many
difficulties. The Indians stood laughing to see me staggering along,
but in my distress the Lord gave me experience of the truth and
goodness of that promise, Isa. xliii., 2--"When thou passeth through
the waters I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not
overflow thee." Then I sat down to put on my stockings and shoes, with
the tears running down my eyes, and many sorrowful thoughts in my
heart. But I got up to go along with them.

Quickly there came up to us an Indian who informed them that I must go
to Wachusett[14] to my master, for there was a letter come from the
council to the sagamores about redeeming the captives, and that there
would be another in fourteen days, and that I must be there ready. My
heart was so heavy before that I could scarce speak or go in the path,
and yet now so light that I could run. My strength seemed to come
again, and to recruit my feeble knees and aching heart; yet it pleased
them to go but one mile that night, and there we staid two days.

          [14] Princeton. The mountain in this town still retains the
          name of Wachusett.

In that time came a company of Indians to us, near thirty, all on
horseback. My heart skipped within me, thinking they had been
Englishmen, at the first sight of them; for they were dressed in
English apparel, with hats, white neckcloths, and sashes about their
waists, and ribbons upon their shoulders. But when they came near there
was a vast difference between the lovely faces of Christians and the
foul looks of those heathen, which much damped my spirits again.

THE SEVENTEENTH REMOVE.--A comfortable remove it was to me, because
of my hopes. They gave me my pack and along we went cheerfully. But
quickly my will proved more than my strength; having little or no
refreshment my strength failed, and my spirits were almost quite gone.
At night we came to an Indian town, and the Indians sat down by a
wigwam discoursing, but I was almost spent and could scarce speak. I
laid down my load and went into the wigwam, and there sat an Indian
boiling of horse-feet, they being wont to eat the flesh first, and when
the feet were old and dried, and they had nothing else, they would cut
off the feet and use them. I asked him to give me a little of his
broth, or water they were boiling it in. He took a dish and gave me one
spoonful of samp, and bid me take as much of the broth as I would. Then
I put some of the hot water to the samp, and drank it up, and my
spirits came again.

THE EIGHTEENTH REMOVE.--We took up our packs, and along we went; but
a wearisome day I had of it. As we went along I saw an Englishman
stripped naked and lying dead upon the ground, but knew not who he was.
Then we came to another Indian town where we staid all night. In this
town there were four English children captives, and one of them my own
sister's. I went to see how she did, and she was well, considering her
captive condition. I would have tarried that night with her, but they
that owned her would not suffer it. Then I went to another wigwam,
where they were boiling corn and beans, which was a lovely sight to
see, but I could not get a taste thereof. Then I went home to my
mistress's wigwam, and they told me I disgraced my master with begging,
and if I did so any more they would knock me on the head. I told them
they had as good do that as starve me to death.

THE NINETEENTH REMOVE.--They said when we went out that we must travel
to Wachusett this day. But a bitter weary day I had of it, travelling
now three days together, without resting any day between. Going along,
having indeed my life, but little spirit, Philip, who was in the
company, came up, and took me by the hand, and said, "Two weeks more
and you shall be mistress again." I asked him if he spoke true. He
said, "Yes, and quickly you shall come to your master again;" who had
been gone from us three weeks.

My master had three squaws, living sometimes with one and sometimes
with another: Onux, this old squaw at whose wigwam I was, and with whom
my master had been these three weeks. Another was Wettimore, with whom
I had lived and served all this while. A severe and proud dame she was,
bestowing every day in dressing herself near as much time as any of the
gentry of the land; powdering her hair and painting her face, going
with her necklaces, with jewels in her ears, and bracelets upon her
hands. When she had dressed herself, her work was to make girdles of
wampum and beads. The third squaw was a younger one, by whom he had two

By that time I was refreshed by the old squaw, Wettimore's maid came to
call me home, at which I fell a-weeping. Then the old squaw told me, to
encourage me, that when I wanted victuals I should come to her, and
that I should lie in her wigwam. Then I went with the maid, and quickly
I came back and lodged there. The squaw laid a mat under me, and a good
rug over me; the first time that I had any such kindness showed me. I
understood that Wettimore thought that if she should let me go and
serve with the old squaw she should be in danger to lose not only my
service, but the redemption-pay also. And I was not a little glad to
hear this; being by it raised in my hopes that in God's due time there
would be an end of this sorrowful hour. Then came an Indian and asked
me to knit him three pair of stockings, for which I had a hat and a
silk handkerchief. Then another asked me to make her a shift, for which
she gave me an apron.

Then came Tom and Peter with the second letter from the council, about
the captives. Though they were Indians, I gat them by the hand, and
burst out into tears; my heart was so full that I could not speak to
them; but recovering myself, I asked them how my husband did, and all
my friends and acquaintance. They said they were well, but very
melancholy. They brought me two biscuits and a pound of tobacco. The
tobacco I soon gave away. When it was all gone one asked me to give him
a pipe of tobacco. I told him it was all gone. Then he began to rant
and threaten. I told him when my husband came I would give him some.
"Hang him, rogue," says he; "I will knock out his brains if he comes
here." And then again at the same breath they would say that if there
should come an hundred without guns they would do them no hurt; so
unstable and like madmen they were. So that, fearing the worst, I durst
not send to my husband, though there were some thoughts of his coming
to redeem and fetch me, not knowing what might follow; for there was
little more trust to them than to the master they served.

When the letter was come, the sagamores met to consult about the
captives, and called me to them to inquire how much my husband would
give to redeem me. When I came I sat down among them, as I was wont to
do, as their manner is. Then they bid me stand up, and said they were
the general court. They bid me speak what I thought he would give. Now
knowing that all we had was destroyed by the Indians, I was in a great
strait. I thought if I should speak of but a little, it would be
slighted and hinder the matter; if of a great sum, I knew not where it
would be procured. Yet at a venture I said twenty pounds, yet desired
them to take less; but they would not hear of that, but sent the
message to Boston, that for twenty pounds I should be redeemed. It was
a praying Indian that wrote their letters for them.

About that time there came an Indian to me, and bid me come to his
wigwam at night, and he would give me some pork and groundnuts, which I
did; and as I was eating, another Indian said to me, "He seems to be
your good friend, but he killed two Englishmen at Sudbury,[15] and there
lie the clothes behind you." I looked behind me, and there I saw bloody
clothes, with bullet-holes in them. Yet the Lord suffered not this
wretch to do me any hurt; yea, instead of that, he many times refreshed
me: five or six times did he and his squaw refresh my feeble carcass.
If I went to their wigwam at any time they would always give me
something, and yet they were strangers that I never saw before. Another
squaw gave me a piece of fresh pork, and a little salt with it, and
lent me her frying-pan to fry it; and I cannot but remember what a
sweet, pleasant, and delightful relish that bit had to me, to this day.
So little do we prize common mercies when we have them to the full.

          [15] Sudbury was attacked 21st April.

THE TWENTIETH REMOVE.--It was their usual manner to remove when they
had done any mischief, lest they should be found out; and so they did
at this time. We went about three or four miles, and there they built
a great wigwam, big enough to hold an hundred Indians, which they did
in preparation to a great day of dancing. They would now say among
themselves that the governor would be so angry for his loss at Sudbury
that he would send no more about the captives, which made me grieve and

My sister being not far from this place, and hearing that I was here,
desired her master to let her come and see me, and he was willing to
it, and would come with her, but she, being ready first, told him she
would go before, and was come within a mile or two of the place. Then
he overtook her, and began to rant as if he had been mad, and made her
go back again in the rain; so that I never saw her till I saw her in
Charlestown. But the Lord requited many of their ill doings, for this
Indian, her master, was hanged afterwards at Boston.

They began now to come from all quarters, against their merry dancing
day. Among some of them came one good-wife Kettle. I told her my heart
was so heavy that it was ready to break. "So is mine too," said she,
"but yet I hope we shall hear some good news shortly." I could hear how
earnestly my sister desired to see me, and I earnestly desired to see
her; yet neither of us could get an opportunity. My daughter was now
but a mile off, and I had not seen her for nine or ten weeks, as I had
not seen my sister since our first taking. I desired them to let me go
and see them; yea, I entreated, begged, and persuaded them to let me
see my daughter, and yet so hard-hearted were they that they would not
suffer it. They made use of their tyrannical power while they had it,
but through the Lord's wonderful mercy their time was now but short.

On a Sabbath day, the sun being about an hour high in the afternoon,
came Mr. John Hoar (the council permitting him, and his own forward
spirit inclining him), together with the two forementioned Indians, Tom
and Peter, with the third letter from the council. When they came near
I was abroad. They presently called me in, and bid me sit down and not
stir. Then they catched up their guns and away they ran as if an enemy
had been at hand, and the guns went off apace. I manifested some great
trouble, and asked them what was the matter. I told them I thought they
had killed the Englishman (for they had in the meantime told me that an
Englishman was come). They said no; they shot over his horse, and
under, and before his horse, and they pushed him this way and that way,
at their pleasure, showing him what they could do. Then they let him
come to their wigwams.

I begged of them to let me see the Englishman, but they would not; but
there was I fain to sit their pleasure. When they had talked their fill
with him, they suffered me to go to him. We asked each other of our
welfare, and how my husband did, and all my friends. He told me they
were all well, and would be glad to see me. Among other things which my
husband sent me, there came a pound of tobacco, which I sold for nine
shillings in money; for many of them for want of tobacco smoked hemlock
and ground-ivy. It was a great mistake in any who thought I sent for
tobacco, for through the favor of God that desire was overcome.

I now asked them whether I should go home with Mr. Hoar. They answered
no, one and another of them, and it being late, we lay down with that
answer. In the morning Mr. Hoar invited the sagamores to dinner; but
when we went to get it ready, we found they had stolen the greatest
part of the provisions Mr. Hoar had brought. And we may see the
wonderful power of God in that one passage, in that when there was such
a number of them together, and so greedy of a little good food, and no
English there but Mr. Hoar and myself, that there they did not knock us
on the head and take what we had; there being not only some provision,
but also trading cloth, a part of the twenty pounds agreed upon. But
instead of doing us any mischief, they seemed to be ashamed of the
fact, and said it was the _matchit_[16] Indians that did it. Oh,
that we could believe that there was nothing too hard for God. God
showed His power over the heathen in this, as He did over the hungry
lions when Daniel was cast into the den.

          [16] Wicked.

Mr. Hoar called them betime to dinner, but they ate but little, they
being so busy in dressing themselves and getting ready for their dance,
which was carried on by eight of them, four men and four squaws, my
master and mistress being two. He was dressed in his Holland shirt,
with great stockings, his garters hung round with shillings, and had
girdles of wampom upon his head and shoulders. She had a kersey coat,
covered with girdles of wampom from the loins upward. Her arms from her
elbows to her hands were covered with bracelets; there were handfuls of
necklaces about her neck, and several sorts of jewels in her ears. She
had fine red stockings, and white shoes, her hair powdered, and her
face painted red, that was always before black. And all the dancers
were after the same manner.

There were two others singing and knocking on a kettle for their music.
They kept hopping up and down one after another, with a kettle of water
in the midst, standing warm upon some embers, to drink of when they
were dry. They held on till almost night, throwing out their wampom to
the standers-by. At night I asked them again if I should go home. They
all as one said no, except my husband would come for me. When we were
lain down, my master went out of the wigwam, and by and by sent in an
Indian called James the printer, who told Mr. Hoar that my master would
let me go home to-morrow if he would let him have one pint of liquor.
Then Mr. Hoar called his own Indians, Tom and Peter, and bid them all
go and see if he would promise it before them three, and if he would he
should have it; which he did and had it.

Philip, smelling the business, called me to him, and asked me what I
would give him to tell me some good news, and to speak a good word for
me, that I might go home to-morrow. I told him I could not tell what to
give him, I would anything I had, and asked him what he would have. He
said two coats, and twenty shillings in money, half a bushel of seed
corn, and some tobacco. I thanked him for his love, but I knew that
good news as well as that crafty fox.

On Tuesday morning they called their General Court, as they styled it,
to consult and determine whether I should go home or no. And they all
seemingly consented that I should go, except Philip, who would not come
among them.

At first they were all against it, except my husband would come for me;
but afterwards they assented to it, and seeming to rejoice in it; some
asking me to send them some bread, others some tobacco, others shaking
me by the hand, offering me a hood and scarf to ride in; not one moving
hand or tongue against it. Thus hath the Lord answered my poor desires,
and the many earnest requests of others put up unto God for me.

In my travels an Indian came to me and told me, if I were willing, he
and his squaw would run away, and go home along with me. I told them
no, I was not willing to run away, but desired to wait God's time, that
I might go home quietly and without fear. And now God hath granted me
my desire. Oh, the wonderful power of God that I have seen, and the
experiences that I have had! I have been in the midst of those roaring
lions and savage bears that feared neither God nor man nor the devil,
by night and day, alone and in company, sleeping all sorts together,
and yet not one of them ever offered the least abuse of unchastity to
me in word or action; though some are ready to say I speak it for my
own credit; but I speak it in the presence of God, and to His glory.
God's power is as great now as it was to save Daniel in the lions' den
or the three children in the fiery furnace. Especially that I should
come away in the midst of so many hundreds of enemies, and not a dog
move his tongue.

So I took my leave of them, and in coming along my heart melted into
tears more than all the while I was with them, and I was almost
swallowed up with the thoughts that ever I should go home again. About
the sun's going down Mr. Hoar, myself, and the two Indians came to
Lancaster; and a solemn sight it was to me. There had I lived many
comfortable years among my relations and neighbors, and now not one
Christian to be seen, or one house left standing. We went on to a
farmhouse that was yet standing, where we lay all night; and a
comfortable lodging we had, though nothing but straw to lie on. The
Lord preserved us in safety that night, raised us up again in the
morning, and carried us along, that before noon we came to Concord. Now
was I full of joy, and yet not without sorrow; joy to see such a lovely
sight, so many Christians together, and some of them my neighbors.

Being recruited with food and raiment, we went to Boston that day,
where I met with my dear husband; but the thoughts of our dear
children--one being dead and the other we could not tell where--abated
our comfort in each other. I was not before so much hemmed in by the
merciless and cruel heathen, but now as much with pitiful,
tender-hearted, and compassionate Christians. In that poor and beggarly
condition I was received in I was kindly entertained in several
houses.... The twenty pounds, the price of my redemption, was raised by
some Boston gentlewomen, and Mr. Usher, whose bounty and charity I
would not forget to make mention of. Then Mr. Thomas Shepard, of
Charlestown, received us into his house, where we continued eleven
weeks; and a father and mother they were unto us. And many more
tender-hearted friends we met with in that place. We were now in the
midst of love, yet not without much and frequent heaviness of heart for
our poor children and other relations who were still in affliction.

The week following, after my coming in, the governor and council sent
to the Indians again, and that not without success; for they brought in
my sister and good-wife Kettle. About this time the council had ordered
a day of public thanksgiving, though I had still cause of mourning; and
being unsettled in our minds, we thought we would ride eastward, to see
if we could hear anything concerning our children. As we were riding
along between Ipswich and Rowley we met with William Hubbard, who told
us our son Joseph and my sister's son were come into Major Waldren's. I
asked him how he knew it. He said the major himself told him so. So
along we went till we came to Newbury; and their minister being absent,
they desired my husband to preach the thanksgiving for them; but he was
not willing to stay there that night, but he would go over to Salisbury
to hear farther, and come again in the morning, which he did, and
preached there that day.

At night, when he had done, one came and told him that his daughter was
come into Providence. Here was mercy on both hands. Now we were between
them, the one on the east, and the other on the west. Our son being
nearest, we went to him first, to Portsmouth, where we met with him,
and with the major also, who told us he had done what he could, but
could not redeem him under seven pounds, which the good people
thereabouts were pleased to pay. On Monday we came to Charlestown,
where we heard that the Governor of Rhode Island had sent over for our
daughter, to take care of her, being now within his jurisdiction; which
should not pass without our acknowledgments. But she being nearer
Rehoboth than Rhode Island, Mr. Newman went over and took care of her,
and brought her to his own house. And the goodness of God was admirable
to us in our low estate, in that he raised up compassionate friends on
every side, when we had nothing to recompense any for their love. Our
family being now gathered together, the South Church in Boston hired a
house for us. Then we removed from Mr. Shepard's (those cordial
friends) and went to Boston, where we continued about three quarters of
a year....



    On the 4th of November, 1791, a force of Americans under General
    Arthur St. Clair was attacked, near the present Ohio-Indiana
    boundary line, by about the same number of Indians led by Blue
    Jacket, Little Turtle, and the white renegade Simon Girty. Their
    defeat was the most disastrous that ever has been suffered by our
    arms when engaged against a savage foe on anything like even terms.
    Out of 86 officers and about 1400 regular and militia soldiers, St.
    Clair lost 70 officers killed or wounded, and 845 men killed,
    wounded, or missing. The survivors fled in panic, throwing away
    their weapons and accoutrements. Such was "St. Clair's defeat."

    The utter incompetency of the officers commanding this expedition
    may be judged from the single fact that a great number of women
    were allowed to accompany the troops into a wilderness known to be
    infested with the worst kind of savages. There were about 250 of
    these women with the "army" on the day of the battle. Of these, 56
    were killed on the spot, many being pinned to the earth by stakes
    driven through their bodies. Few of the others escaped captivity.

    After this unprecedented victory, the Indians became more
    troublesome than ever along the frontier. No settler's home was
    safe, and many were destroyed in the year of terror that followed.
    The awful fate of one of those households is told in the following
    touching narrative of Mercy Harbison, wife of one of the survivors
    of St. Clair's defeat. How two of her little children were
    slaughtered before her eyes, how she was dragged through the
    wilderness with a babe at her breast, how cruelly maltreated, and
    how she finally escaped, barefooted and carrying her infant through
    days and nights of almost superhuman exertion, she has left record
    in a deposition before the magistrates at Pittsburgh and in the
    statement here reprinted. (_Editor._)

On the return of my husband from General St. Clair's defeat, and on his
recovery from the wound he received in the battle, he was made a spy,
and ordered to the woods on duty, about the 23d of March, 1792. The
appointment of spies to watch the movements of the savages was so
consonant with the desires and interests of the inhabitants that the
frontiers now resumed the appearance of quiet and confidence. Those who
had for nearly a year been huddled together in the blockhouses were
scattered to their own habitations, and began the cultivation of their
farms. The spies saw nothing to alarm them, or to induce them to
apprehend danger, until the fatal morning of my captivity. They
repeatedly came to our house to receive refreshments and to lodge.

On the 15th of May my husband, with Captain Guthrie and other spies,
came home about dark and wanted supper; to procure which I requested
one of the spies to accompany me to the spring and spring-house, and
William Maxwell complied with my request. While at the spring and
spring-house we both distinctly heard a sound like the bleating of a
lamb or fawn. This greatly alarmed us and induced us to make a hasty
retreat into the house. Whether this was an Indian decoy, or a warning
of what I was to pass through, I am unable to determine. But from this
time and circumstance I became considerably alarmed, and entreated my
husband to remove me to some place more secure from Indian cruelties.
But Providence had designed that I should become a victim to their
rage, and that mercy should be made manifest in my deliverance.

On the night of the 21st of May two of the spies, Mr. James Davis and
Mr. Sutton, came to lodge at our house, and on the morning of the 22d,
at daybreak, when the horn blew at the blockhouse, which was within
sight of our house and distant about two hundred yards, the two men got
up and went out. I was also awake, and saw the door open, and thought,
after I was taken prisoner, that the scouts had left it open. I
intended to rise immediately, but having a child at the breast, and it
being awakened, I lay with it at the breast to get it to sleep again,
and accidentally fell asleep myself. The spies have since informed me
that they returned to the house again, and found that I was sleeping;
that they softly fastened the door and went immediately to the
blockhouse, and those who examined the house after the scene was over
say that both doors had the appearance of being broken open.

The first thing I knew from falling asleep was the Indians pulling me
out of bed by my feet. I then looked up and saw the house full of
Indians, every one having his gun in his left hand and tomahawk in his
right. Beholding the danger in which I was, I immediately jumped to the
floor on my feet, with the young child in my arms. I then took a
petticoat to put on, having on only the one in which I slept; but the
Indians took it from me, and as many as I attempted to put on they
succeeded in taking from me, so that I had to go just as I had been in
bed. While I was struggling with some of the savages for clothing,
others of them went and took the children out of another bed, and
immediately took the two feather beds to the door and emptied them.

The savages immediately began their work of plunder and devastation.
What they were unable to carry with them they destroyed. While they
were at their work, I made to the door, and succeeded in getting out
with one child in my arms and another by my side; but the other little
boy was so much displeased by being so early disturbed in the morning
that he would not come to the door.

When I got out I saw Mr. Wolf, one of the soldiers, going to the spring
for water, and beheld two or three of the savages attempting to get
between him and the blockhouse; but Mr. Wolf was unconscious of his
danger, for the savages had not yet been discovered. I then gave a
terrific scream, by which means Mr. Wolf discovered his danger and
started to run for the blockhouse. Seven or eight of the Indians fired
at him, but the only injury he received was a bullet in his arm, which
broke it. He succeeded in making his escape to the blockhouse. When I
raised the alarm, one of the Indians came up to me with his tomahawk as
though about to take my life; a second came and placed his hand before
my mouth and told me to hush, when a third came with a lifted tomahawk
and attempted to give me a blow; but the first that came raised his
tomahawk and averted the blow, and claimed me as his squaw.

The commissary, with his waiter, slept in the storehouse near the
blockhouse; and, upon hearing the report of the guns, came to the door
to see what was the matter; and, beholding the danger he was in, made
his escape to the blockhouse; but not without being discovered by the
Indians, several of whom fired at him, and one of the bullets went
through his handkerchief, which was tied about his head, and took off
some of his hair. The handkerchief, with several bullet-holes in it, he
afterwards gave to me.

The waiter, on coming to the door, was met by the Indians, who fired
upon him, and he received two bullets through the body and fell dead by
the door. The savages then set up one of their tremendous and
terrifying yells, and pushed forward and attempted to scalp the man
they had killed; but they were prevented from executing their
diabolical purpose by the heavy fire which was kept up through the
portholes from the blockhouse.

In this scene of horror and alarm I began to meditate an escape, and
for that purpose I attempted to direct the attention of the Indians
from me and to fix it on the blockhouse, and thought if I could succeed
in this I would retreat to a subterranean cave with which I was
acquainted, which was in the run near where we were. For this purpose I
began to converse with some of those who were near me respecting the
strength of the blockhouse, the number of men in it, etc., and being
informed that there were forty men there, and that they were excellent
marksmen, the savages immediately came to the determination to retreat,
and for this purpose they ran to those who were besieging the
blockhouse and brought them away.

They then began to flog me with their wiping sticks, and to order me
along. Thus what I intended as the means of my escape was the means of
accelerating my departure in the hands of the savages. But it was no
doubt ordered by a kind Providence for the preservation of the fort and
the inhabitants in it; for when the savages gave up the attack and
retreated, some of the men in the fort had the last load of ammunition
in their guns, and there was no possibility of procuring more, for it
was all fastened up in the storehouse, which was inaccessible.

The Indians, when they had flogged me away with them, took my oldest
boy, a lad about five years of age, along with them, for he was still
at the door by my side. My middle little boy, who was about three years
of age, had by this time obtained a situation by the fire in the house,
and was crying bitterly to me not to go, and making sore complaints of
the depredations of the savages. But these monsters were not willing to
let the child remain behind them; they took him by the hand to drag him
along with them, but he was so very unwilling to go, and made such a
noise by crying, that they took him up by his feet and dashed his
brains out against the threshold of the door. They then scalped and
stabbed him, and left him for dead. When I witnessed this inhuman
butchery of my own child I gave a most indescribable and terrific
scream, and felt a dimness come over my eyes, next to blindness, and my
senses were nearly gone. The savages then gave me a blow across my head
and face and brought me to my sight and recollection again. During the
whole of this agonizing scene I kept my infant in my arms.

As soon as the murder was effected they marched me along to the top of
the bank, about forty or sixty rods, and there they stopped and divided
the plunder which they had taken from our house, and here I counted
their number and found them to be thirty-two, two of whom were white
men painted as Indians. Several of the Indians could speak English
well. I knew several of them well, having seen them going up and down
the Alleghany River. I knew two of them to be from the Seneca tribe of
Indians, and two of them Munsees; for they had called at the shop to
get their guns repaired, and I saw them there.

We went from this place about forty rods, and they then caught my uncle
John Currie's horses, and two of them, into whose custody I was put,
started with me on the horses towards the mouth of the Kiskiminetas,
and the rest of them went off towards Puckety. When they came to the
bank that descended towards the Alleghany it was so very steep, and
there appeared so much danger in descending it on horseback that I
threw myself off the horse, in opposition to the will and command of
the savages.

My horse descended without falling, but the one on which the Indian
rode who had my little boy, in descending, fell and rolled over
repeatedly; and my little boy fell back over the horse, but was not
materially injured; he was taken up by one of the Indians, and we got
to the bank of the river, where they had secreted some bark canoes
under the rocks, opposite the island that lies between the Kiskiminetas
and Buffalo. They attempted, in vain, to make the horses take the
river, and had to leave the horses behind them, and took us in one of
the canoes to the point of the island, and there left the canoe.

Here I beheld another hard scene, for as soon as we landed, my little
boy, who was still mourning and lamenting about his little brother, and
who complained that he was injured by the fall in descending the bank,
_was murdered_. One of the Indians ordered me along, probably that
I should not see the horrid deed about to be perpetrated. The other
then took his tomahawk from his side, and with this instrument of death
killed and scalped him. When I beheld this second scene of inhuman
butchery I fell to the ground senseless, with my infant in my arms, it
being under and its little hands in the hair of my head. How long I
remained in this state of insensibility I know not.

The first thing I remember was my raising my head from the ground and
feeling myself exceedingly overcome with sleep. I cast my eyes around
and saw the scalp of my dear little boy, fresh bleeding from his head,
in the hand of one of the savages, and sank down to the earth again
upon my infant child. The first thing I remember, after witnessing this
spectacle of woe, was the severe blows I was receiving from the hands
of the savages, though at that time I was unconscious of the injury I
was sustaining. After a severe castigation, they assisted me in getting
up, and supported me when up. The scalp of my little boy was hid from
my view, and in order to bring me to my senses again they took me back
to the river and led me in knee-deep; this had its intended effect.
But, "the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel."

We now proceeded on our journey by crossing the island, and coming to a
shallow place where we could wade out, and so arrive at the Indian side
of the country. Here they pushed me in the river before them, and had
to conduct me through it. The water was up to my breast, but I
suspended my child above the water, and, with the assistance of the
savages, got safely out. Thence we rapidly proceeded forward, and came
to Big Buffalo; here the stream was very rapid and the Indians had
again to assist me. When we had crossed this creek, we made a straight
course to the Connoquenessing Creek, the very place where Butler, Pa.,
now stands; and thence we travelled five or six miles to Little
Buffalo, which we crossed.

I now felt weary of my life, and had a full determination to make the
savages kill me, thinking that death would be exceedingly welcome when
compared to the fatigue, cruelties, and miseries I had the prospect of
enduring. To have my purpose effected I stood still, one of the savages
being before me, and the other walking behind me, and I took from off
my shoulder a large powder-horn they made me carry, in addition to my
child, who was one year and four days old. I threw the horn on the
ground, closed my eyes, and expected every moment to feel the deadly
tomahawk. But to my surprise the Indian took it up, cursed me bitterly,
and put it on my shoulder again. I took it off the second time, and
threw it on the ground, and again closed my eyes, with the assurance I
should meet death; but instead of this, the Indian again took up the
horn, and with an indignant, frightful countenance, came and placed it
on again. I took it off the third time, and was determined to effect
it, and, therefore, threw it as far as I was able from me, over the
rocks. The savage immediately went after it, while the one who had
claimed me as his squaw, and who had stood and witnessed the
transaction, came up to me and said: "Well done; you did right and are
a good squaw, and the other is a lazy son-of-a-gun; he may carry it

The savages now changed their position, and the one who claimed me as
his squaw went behind. This movement, I believe, was to prevent the
other from doing me any injury; and we went on till we struck the
Connoquenessing at the Salt Lick, about two miles above Butler, where
was an Indian camp, where we arrived a little before dark, having no
refreshment during the day. The camp was made of stakes driven into the
ground, sloping, and covered with chestnut bark, and appeared
sufficiently long for fifty men. The camp appeared to have been
occupied for some time; it was very much trodden, and large beaten
paths went out from it in different directions.

That night they took me about three hundred yards from the camp, up a
run, into a large, dark bottom, where they cut the brush in a thicket
and placed a blanket on the ground and permitted me to sit down with my
child. They then pinioned my arms back, only with a little liberty, so
that it was with difficulty that I managed my child. Here, in this
dreary situation, without fire or refreshment, having an infant to take
care of, and my arms bound behind me, and having a savage on each side
of me who had killed two of my dear children that day, I had to pass
the first night of my captivity.

But the trials and tribulations of the day I had passed had so
completely exhausted nature that, notwithstanding my unpleasant
situation, and my determination to escape, if possible, I insensibly
fell asleep, and repeatedly dreamed of my escape and safe arrival in
Pittsburgh, and several things relating to the town, of which I knew
nothing at the time, but found to be true when I arrived there. The
first night passed away and I found no means of escape, for the savages
kept watch the whole of the night without any sleep.

In the morning one of them left us to watch the trail we had come, to
see if any white people were pursuing us. During the absence of the
Indian, the one that claimed and remained with me, and who was the
murderer of my last boy, took from his bosom his scalp, and prepared a
hoop and stretched the scalp upon it. Those mothers who have not seen
the like done to one of the scalps of their own children will be able
to form but faint ideas of the feelings which then harrowed up my soul.
I meditated revenge! While he was in the very act I attempted to take
his tomahawk, which hung by his side and rested on the ground, and had
nearly succeeded, and was, as I thought, about to give the fatal blow,
when, alas! I was detected.

The savage felt at his tomahawk handle, turned upon me, cursed me and
told me I was a Yankee; thus insinuating he understood my intention,
and to prevent me from doing so again, faced me. My excuse to him for
handling his tomahawk was, that my child wanted to play with the handle
of it. The savage who went upon the lookout in the morning came back
about twelve o'clock, and had discovered no pursuers. Then the one who
had been guarding me went out on the same errand. The savage who was
now my guard began to examine me about the white people, the strength
of the armies going against the Indians, etc., and boasted largely of
their achievements in the preceding fall, at the defeat of General St.

He then examined the plunder which he had brought from our house the
day before. He found my pocket-book and money among his plunder. There
were ten dollars in silver and a half-guinea in gold in the book.
During this day they gave me a piece of dried venison, about the bulk
of an egg, and a piece about the same size the day we were marching,
for my support and that of my child; but, owing to the blows I had
received from them on the jaws, I was unable to eat a bit of it. I
broke it up and gave it to the child.

The savage on the lookout returned about dark. This evening (Monday,
the 23d) they moved me to another station in the same valley, and
secured me as they did the preceding night. Thus I found myself the
second night between two Indians, without fire and refreshment. During
this night I was frequently asleep, notwithstanding my unpleasant
situation, and as often dreamed of my arrival in Pittsburgh.

Early on the morning of the 24th a flock of mocking-birds and robins
hovered over us as we lay in our uncomfortable bed; and sang and said,
at least to my imagination, that I was to get up and go off. As soon as
day broke, one of the Indians went off again to watch the trail, as on
the preceding day, and he who was left to take care of me appeared to
be sleeping. When I perceived this I lay still and began to snore, as
though asleep, and he also fell asleep. Then I concluded it was time to
escape. I found it impossible to injure him for my child at the breast,
as I could not effect anything without putting the child down, and then
it would cry and give the alarm; so I contented myself with taking,
from a pillow-case of plunder stolen from our house, a short gown,
handkerchief, and child's frock, and so made my escape; the sun then
being about half an hour high.

I struck the Connoquenessing, and went down stream until about two
o'clock in the afternoon, over rocks, precipices, thorns, briers, etc.,
with my bare feet and legs. I then discovered I was on the wrong
course, and waited till the North Star appeared. Marking out the
direction for the next day, I collected a bed of leaves, laid down and
slept, though my feet, being full of thorns, began to be exceedingly
painful, and I had nothing for self or babe to eat. The next morning I
started early, nothing material occurring. Towards evening a gentle
rain came on, and I began to prepare my leaf bed, setting the child
down the while, who began to cry. Fearful of the consequences, I put
him to the breast and he became quiet. I then listened and distinctly
heard footsteps. The ground over which I had travelled was soft and my
foot traces had been followed.

Greatly alarmed, I looked about for a place of safety, and
providentially discovered a large tree which had fallen, into the top
of which I crept. The darkness greatly assisted me and prevented
detection. The savage who followed me had heard the cry of the child
and came to the very spot where it had cried, and there he halted, put
down his gun, and was at this time so near that I heard the wiping
stick strike against his gun distinctly. My getting in under the tree
and sheltering myself from the rain, and pressing my boy to my bosom,
got him warm, and, most providentially, he fell asleep, and lay very
still during that time of extreme danger. All was still and quiet; the
savage was listening to hear again the cry. My own heart was the only
thing I feared, and that beat so loud that I was apprehensive it would
betray me. It is almost impossible to conceive the wonderful effect my
situation produced upon my whole system.

After the savage had stood and listened with nearly the stillness of
death for two hours, the sound of a bell and a cry like that of a night
owl, signals which were given to him by his companions, induced him to
answer, and after he had given a most horrid yell, which was calculated
to harrow up my soul, he started and went off to join them. After his
retreat, I concluded it unsafe to remain there till morning.

But by this time nature was so nearly exhausted that I found some
difficulty in moving; yet, compelled by necessity, I threw my coat
about my child and placed the end between my teeth, and with one arm
and my teeth I carried him, and with the other groped my way between
the trees and travelled on, as I supposed, a mile or two, and there sat
down at the root of a tree till morning. The night was cold and wet,
and thus terminated the fourth day-and-night's difficulties, trials,
and dangers!

The fifth day, wet, exhausted, hungry, and wretched, I started from my
resting-place as soon as I could see my way, and on that morning struck
the head-waters of Pine Creek, which falls into the Alleghany about
four miles above Pittsburgh; though I knew not then what waters they
were; I crossed them, and on the opposite bank I found a path, and on
it two moccason tracks, fresh indented. This alarmed me; but as they
were before me, and travelling in the same direction as I was, I
concluded I could see them as soon as they could see me, and,
therefore, I pressed on in that path for about three miles, when I came
to where another branch emptied into the creek, where was a hunter's
camp, where the two men, whose tracks I had before discovered and
followed, had breakfasted and left the fire burning.

I became more alarmed, and determined to leave the path. I then crossed
a ridge towards Squaw Run, and came upon a trail. Here I stopped and
meditated what to do; and while I was thus musing I saw three deer
coming towards me at full speed; they turned to look at their pursuers;
I looked too, with all attention, and saw the flash and heard the
report of a gun. I saw some dogs start after them, and began to look
about for shelter, and immediately made for a large log to hide myself.
Providentially I did not go clear to the log; for as I put my hand to
the ground, to raise myself so that I might see who and where the
hunters were, I saw a large heap of rattlesnakes, the top one being
very large, and coiled up very near my face, and quite ready to bite

I again left my course, bearing to the left, and came upon the
head-waters of Squaw Run, and kept down the run the remainder of that
day. It rained, and I was in a very deplorable situation; so cold and
shivering were my limbs, that frequently, in opposition to all my
struggles, I gave an involuntary groan. I suffered intensely from
hunger, though my jaws were so far recovered that, wherever I could, I
procured grape-vines, and chewed them for a little sustenance. In the
evening I came within one mile of the Alleghany River, though I was
ignorant of it at the time; and there, at the root of a tree, through a
most tremendous rain, I took up my fifth night's lodgings. In order to
shelter my infant as much as possible, I placed him in my lap, and then
leaned my head against the tree, and thus let the rain fall upon me.

On the sixth (that was the Sabbath) morning from my captivity, I found
myself unable, for a very considerable time, to raise myself from the
ground; and when I had once more, by hard struggling, got myself upon
my feet and started, nature was so nearly exhausted and my spirits were
so completely depressed that my progress was amazingly slow and
discouraging. In this almost helpless condition I had not gone far
before I came to a path where there had been cattle travelling; I took
it, under the impression that it would lead me to the abode of some
white people, and in about a mile I came to an uninhabited cabin, and
though I was in a river bottom, yet I knew not where I was nor yet on
what river bank I had come.

Here I was seized with feelings of despair, went to the threshold of
the cabin and concluded that I would enter and lie down and die, since
death would have been an angel of mercy to me in such a miserable
situation. Had it not been for the sufferings which my infant, who
would survive me some time, must endure, I would have carried my
determination into execution. Here I heard the sound of a cow-bell,
which imparted a gleam of hope to my desponding mind. I followed the
sound till I came opposite the fort at the Six Mile Island, where I saw
three men on the opposite bank of the river.

My feelings then can be better imagined than described. I called to
them, but they seemed unwilling to risk the danger of coming after me,
and asked who I was. I told them, and they requested me to walk up the
bank awhile that they might see if Indians were making a decoy of me;
but I replied my feet were so sore I could not walk. Then one of them,
James Closier, got into a canoe to fetch me over, while the other two
stood with cocked rifles ready to fire on the Indians, provided they
were using me as a decoy. When Mr. Closier came near and saw my haggard
and dejected appearance, he exclaimed, "Who in the name of God are
you?" This man was one of my nearest neighbors, yet in six days I was
so much altered that he did not know me, either by my voice or

When I landed on the inhabited side of the river the people from the
fort came running out to see me. They took the child from me, and now
that I felt safe from all danger, I found myself unable to move or to
assist myself in any degree, whereupon the people took me and carried
me out of the boat to the house of Mr. Cortus.

Now that I felt secure from the cruelties of the barbarians, for the
first time since my captivity, my feelings returned in all their
poignancy and the tears flowed freely, imparting a happiness beyond
what I ever experienced. When I was taken into the house the heat of
the fire and the smell of victuals, of both of which I had so long been
deprived, caused me to faint. Some of the people attempted to restore
me and some to put clothes on me, but their kindness would have killed
me had it not been for the arrival of Major McCully, who then commanded
along the river. When he understood my situation, and saw the
provisions they were preparing for me, he was greatly alarmed; ordered
me out of the house, away from the heat and smell; prohibited me from
taking anything but a very little whey of buttermilk, which he
administered with his own hands. Through this judicious management I
was mercifully restored to my senses and gradually to health and

Two of the females, Sarah Carter and Mary Ann Crozier, then began to
take out the thorns from my feet and legs, which Mr. Felix Negley stood
by and counted to the number of one hundred and fifty, though they were
not all extracted at that time, for the next evening, at Pittsburgh,
there were many more taken out. The flesh was mangled dreadfully, and
the skin and flesh were hanging in pieces on my feet and legs. The
wounds were not healed for a considerable time. Some of the thorns went
through my feet and came out at the top. For two weeks I was unable to
put my feet to the ground to walk. The next morning a young man
employed by the magistrates of Pittsburgh came for me to go immediately
to town to give in my deposition, that it might be published to the
American people. Some of the men carried me into a canoe, and when I
arrived I gave my deposition. As the intelligence spread, Pittsburgh,
and the country for twenty miles around, was all in a state of
commotion. The same evening my husband came to see me, and soon after I
was taken back to Coe's Station. In the evening I gave an account of
the murder of my boy on the island, and the next morning a scout went
out and found the body and buried it, nine days after the murder.



_Edited by Horace Kephart_

¶ Here are brought together for the first time the great stories of
adventure of all ages and countries. These are the personal records of
the men who climbed the mountains and penetrated the jungles; who
explored the seas and crossed the deserts; who knew the chances and
took them, and lived to write their own tales of hardship and endurance
and achievement. The series will consist of an indeterminate number of
volumes--for the stories are myriad. The whole will be edited by Horace
Kephart. Each volume answers the test of these two questions: Is it
true? Is it interesting?

¶ The entire series is uniform in style and binding. Among the titles
now ready or in preparation are those described on the following pages.



1. IN THE OLD WEST, by George Frederick Ruxton. The men who blazed the
trail across the Rockies to the Pacific were the independent trappers
and hunters in the days before the Mexican war. They left no records of
their adventures and most of them linger now only as shadowy names. But
a young Englishman lived among them for a time, saw life from their
point of view, trapped with them and fought with them against the
Indians. That was George Frederick Ruxton. His story is our only
complete picture of the Old West in the days of the real Pioneers, of
Kit Carson, Jim Bridger, Bill Williams, the Sublettes, and all the rest
of that glorious company of the forgotten who opened the West.

2. CASTAWAYS AND CRUSOES. Since the beginnings of navigation men have
faced the dangers of shipwreck and starvation. Scattered through the
annals of the sea are the stories of those to whom disaster came and
the personal records of the way they met it. Some of them are given in
this volume, narratives of men who lived by their hands among savages
and on forlorn coasts, or drifted helpless in open boats. They range
from the South Seas to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, from the iron coast of
Patagonia to the shores of Cuba. They are echoes from the days when the
best that could be hoped by the man who went to sea was hardship and
man's-sized work.

3. CAPTIVES AMONG THE INDIANS. First of all is the story of Captain
James Smith, who was captured by the Delawares at the time of
Braddock's defeat, was adopted into the tribe, and for four years lived
as an Indian, hunting with them, studying their habits, and learning
their point of view. Then there is the story of Father Bressani who
felt the tortures of the Iroquois, of Mary Rowlandson who was among the
human spoils of King Philip's war, and of Mercy Harbison who suffered
in the red flood that followed St. Clair's defeat. All are personal
records made by the actors themselves in those days when the Indian was
constantly at our forefathers's doors.

4. FIRST THROUGH THE GRAND CANYON, by Major John Wesley Powell. Major
Powell was an officer in the Union Army who lost an arm at Shiloh. In
spite of this four years after the war he organized an expedition which
explored the Grand Canyon of the Colorado in boats--the first to make
this journey. His story has been lost for years in the oblivion of a
scientific report. It is here rescued and presented as a record of one
of the great personal exploring feats, fitted to rank with the exploits
of Pike, Lewis and Clark, and Mackenzie.

5. ADRIFT IN THE ARCTIC ICE-PACK, By Elisha Kent Kane, M.D. Out of the
many expeditions that went north in search of Sir John Franklin over
fifty years ago, it fell to the lot of one, financed by a New York
merchant, to spend an Arctic winter drifting aimlessly in the grip of
the Polar ice in Lancaster Sound. The surgeon of the expedition kept a
careful diary and out of that record told the first complete story of a
Far Northern winter. That story is here presented, shorn of the purely
scientific data and stripped to the personal exploits and adventures of
the author and the other members of the crew.

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