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Clinton County History

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May 12, 2011

CHAPTER XIV.
CLINTON COUNTY.

Clinton county erected—Geological features and streams—Public improvements…Towns; Lock Haven, Farrandsville, Dunnstown, Lock. Port, Mill Hall, New Liberty, Young Womanstown, Salona—Education—Religious denominations—Indians visited by Count Zinzendorff, 1742; by David Brainerd, 1746; by Conrad Weiser, 1755–Weiser’s letters to Gov. Morris and Richard Peters, touching the Indians here, and his visit to them–Moses Van Camp.

Clinton county was organized by an act of the Assembly passed in 1839; and was separated from Centre and Lycoming. The townships of Bald Eagle, Lamar and Logan, from Centre; and part of Lycoming, were taken to form this county. It is bounded on the north by Potter, on the west by Clearfield and Elk counties; the latter also a recently organized county, having been erected in 1843. The county is of an irregular form; about 20 miles wide and 50 miles long; not much unlike, in this respect, to its northern county, (Lycoming,) which was in 1835, 92 miles long, but now reduced to about 60 in length. It is estimated that this portion of Centre and Lycoming, now constituting Clinton, con tamed a population in 1820 of about 4,000; in 1840, the population was 8,323, when it was divided into the following townships, viz:

Allison, with a population of 643; Dunstable 841; Wayne 307; Limestone 200; Grove 239; Chapman 622; Lumber 105; Coal Brook 546; Pine Creek 572; Bald Eagle 1,178; Lamar 1,813; Logan 1,187.

The following Table exhibits the population of the different sexes and ages, of each township.

This county is generally mountainous and very uneven; in consequence of which, some portions are but sparsely inhabited. The geological character of course, owing to the mountains, is various. 11 Passing northwestward from, the limestone of Nittany valley, we observe in a regular succession the several formations of slate, sandstone, shale, and limestone, which intervene between the lower limestone and the coal formation west of the main Allegheny ridge. Bituminous coal is found on Queen’s run near the Susquehanna, and at several other places further westward.” Owing to the different variety of rock formations, the soil is various. The alluvial bottoms and limestone valleys are very fertile; and under proper culture very productive. The slate lands, however, are not so productive, yet they yield good crops, and pay the husbandman abundantly for his labor and care bestowed upon them. That portion abounding with sandstone is rough, and difficult to cultivate; and does not so amply repay the labor of the farmer as the others just named.

Timber is very abundant, and affords a fine supply to the lower counties, along the Susquehanna. Some townships, as appears from the foregoing Table, are thinly settled, and perhaps never will be -able to support a dense population. The principal settlements in these townships, exist along the banks of the river and smaller streams ; where, in passing along, the traveler meets, at intervals, scattered settlements of farmers, miners and lumber-men, whose manners and habits are, like the country, “being settled and improved.” No where do we meet with a more hospitable people than among the lumber-men of these pine forests.

This county is well watered. The principal streams are the West Branch of the Susquehanna, Bald Eagle, Sinnemahoning and Kettle creeks, and numerous smaller streams.

The West Branch rises in Cambria county, with the Appalachian valley, and pursues a northeast course, receiving a number of tributaries, flows through this county from west to east, and affords ample water power in its course for manufacturing, and other purposes.

The Bald Eagle rises in Centre county. It is navigable for boats above Milesboro, and affords excellent mill seats. Sinnemahoning rises in Clearfield county, flowing a northeastern direction, receives several tributaries, and after a course of about 50 miles, unites with the West Branch. Kettle creek rises in Potter county, and empties also into the West Branch. These streams, says a traveler, as they meander along, tumbling down as they do, along the ravines of the mountains, furnish an abundance of water power for all the purposes to which streams of the kind are usually applied.

According to the census of 1840, there were in this county, two furnaces that produced 663 tons of bar iron; capital employed in the manufacture of iron $80,000. Bituminous coal raised 400,000 bushels. The live stock of the county was as follows : horses and mules 1,803, neat cattle 5,867, sheep 6,806, swine 9,316; value of poultry of all kinds $3,:330; wheat 150,354 bushels, barley 700, oats 223,373, rye 44,975, buckwheat 11,603, corn 66,552, pounds of wool 11,314, potatoes 60,464 bushels, hay 4,576 tons. Value of the products of the dairy $2,905, of the orchard $3,468, of family goods $3,046. Stores 20; capital 91,100 dollars. Six tanneries, tanned 775 sides of sole, and 655 of upper leather. One distillery produced 4000 gallons: mills 11; saw mills 28. Total amount of capital invested in all kinds of manufacture $47,405. Aggregate amount of property taxable in 1845, $1,588,628.

The West Branch Division of the Pennsylvania Canal, which commences at the termination of the Susquehanna Division, at Northumberland, in following the course of the river, passes into this county, affording facilities for the transportation of produce of all- kinds to the eastern markets, and for carrying merchandise into this county.

The Bald Eagle and Spring Creek Navigation, affords transporting facilities to that portion of the county through which it passes, to carry the surplus produce to an eastern or more southern market.

Common roads are generally in good order, and some of the streams have bridges, at convenient places, across them.

LOCK HAVEN,

The county town, is a new place, situated at the junction of the Bald Eagle Navigation with the West Branch Division. In 1.833, the site of the town was a cornfield. In 1834 Jeremiah Church laid out the town, which is now flourishing and in a rapidly growing condition, numbering at present about 100 good dwelling houses, besides the county buildings, and an academy, endowed by the state with two thousand dollars; a large steam flouring and saw mill, 2 churches-Presbyterian and Methodist-and several stores and taverns.

This place bids fair to become one of more than ordinary importance. The town and country have the elements to cause this town to flourish and become a central point of trade. Men of enterprise and liberality, like Mr. Church, who made a liberal donation of land for the public buildings, can do much towards, and will contribute essentially to the prosperity of any town or neighborhood.

The scenery around Lock Haven is romantic, and inviting to the weary worn, and those who delight in Nature, as she is.

FAARRANDSVILLE,

Is situated on the left bank of the Susquehanna, at the mouth of Licking creek. This place originated from a settlement commenced here in 1831, ’32, by a company of Boston capitalists. It was named after W. P. Farrand, a gentleman from Philadelphia, acting agent for the Bostonian company.

A visitor to this place in 1835 (J. Holbrook) has described it thus:

“The Lycoming Coal Company-the proprietors of Farrandsville–have a good farm of 200 acres, a short distance above the village; and progressing up the river, the bottoms are extensive, and settlements closer.

Lick run is a strong, steady stream. On it is erected a large nail establishment, capable of manufacturing from the pig metal 10 tons of nails per day: an air and cupola furnace, which in the last six months have turned out nearly 300 tons of castings; mills for sawing different descriptions of lumber, shingles, lath, &c. ; an establishment for manufacturing railroad cars on a large scale. There are now three veins of coal opening, and the shutes in; 50 coal cars finished, and in the best manner, and two miles of railroad, communicating with the different mines and the basin, finished. One track of the road leads to the nail works, which are calculated to consume 5,000 tons of coal per year. An extensive rolling- mill is in progress, and a furnace for smelting iron ore with coke will be erected in a short time, immediately below the nail-works. Farrandsville proper is situated on the Susquehanna ; on the mountain where the coal mines have been opened, there are a number of buildings, where the miners and their families reside, with a street running between them town-fashion ; and at the foot of this mountain, at Lick run, there are also large boarding-houses and habitations for artisans and their families. These three separate towns, however, all belong to the community of Farrandsville, which contains a large hotel, far advanced in the erection, two reputable taverns, three large boardinghouses, and upwards of 90 tenements, each calculated to render a family entirely comfortable. Here are inexhaustible mines of iron, with the bituminous coal for smelting it, and all the elements for building up a manufacturing establishment capable of supplying iron in all its forms to our widely-extended and populous country.”

DUNNSTOWN,

Was laid out by William Dunn, in 1794. The proprietor had strong hopes that it would become the county seat of Lycoming county, which was erected in 1795. It contains about 30 dwellings, stores, taverns, &c.

LOCK PORT,

Near Lock Haven, consists of several large houses and stores, on the opposite side of the river.

MILL HALL,

A post village, situated on Fishing creek, immediately below a romantic gorge through which it steals, and tumbles through Bald Eagle mountain. The town was laid out by Nathan Harvey, who erected a saw mill here more than forty years ago. It contains several stores and taverns, a Methodist church, &c. It is a brisk manufacturing village; and contains also a forge and furnace.

NEW LIBERTY, YOUNG WOMANSTOWN, AND SALONA,

Are small villages. The most important among them is SaIona, near Mill Hall, on the road to Bellefonte.

EDUCATION AND RELIGION.

Most of the townships have adopted the common school system. The number of school districts is 16, 11 of which have reported 41 schools in operation. Tax levied for school purposes in 1845, was $1,732 50. The State appropriation amounted to $955,43. The number of scholars taught was 1,803, during four months.

The religious denominations are Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, German Reformed, and Baptist.

Prior to 1768, the date of the “new purchase,” this region of country was occupied by Delawares, Shawanese, and some Muncy, Nanticoke and Conoy Indians. Some of the Shawanese, who had for some time straggled along the Ohio, returned again to the West Branch, as will be seen by the sequel. It appears, according to Loskiel, “that this region of country was not only inhabited by Indians of different tribes, but also by Europeans, who had adopted the Indian manger of living.” When Count Zinzendorff visited Ostonwackin, (or Frenchtown,) he was met (July 30, 1742,) by an Indian who understood French and English.

The Revd. David Brainerd, a missionary to the Indians, visited this region of country in 1746. August 23d, he arrived at Shamokin, where he remained a few days.
In his journal, he says :

“September 1st. Set out on my journey towards a place called ‘The Great Island,’ about fifty miles distant from Shamokin, in the northwestern branch of the Susquehanna.

Travelled some part of the way, and at night lodged in the woods. Was exceedingly feeble this day, and sweat much the night following.

“September 2d. Rode forward ; but no faster than my people went on foot. N% as very weak, on this as well as preceding days. I was so feeble and faint, that I feared it would kill me to lie out in the open air; and some of the company being parted from us, so that we had now no axe with us, I had no way but to climb into a young pine tree, and with my knife to lop branches, and so made a shelter from the dew. But the evening being cloudy, and very likely for rain, I was still under fears of being extremely exposed : sweat much in the night, so that my linen was almost wringing wet all night. I scarcely ever was more weak and weary than this evening, when I was able to sit up at all. This was a melancholy situation I was in; but I endeavored to quiet myself with considerations of the possibility of my being in much worse circumstances, amongst enemies, &c.

“September 3d. Rode to the Delaware town; found divers drinking and drunken. Discoursed with some of the Indians about christianity; observed my Interpreter much engaged and assisted in his work ; some few persons seemed to hear with great earnestness and engagement of soul.

“About noon, rode to a small town of Shawanese, about 8 miles distant; spent an hour or two there. Was scarce ever more confounded with a sense of my own unfruitfulness and unfitness for my work, than now. 0 what a dead, heartless, barren, unprofitable wretch, did I now see myself to be! My spirits were so low, and my bodily strength so wasted, that I could do nothing at all. At length, being much overdone, lay down on a buffalo skin; but sweat much the whole night.

“September 4. Discoursed with the Indians, in the morning, about christianity; my Interpreter, afterwards, carrying on the discourse to a considerable length. Some few appeared well-disposed and somewhat affected. Left this place, and returned towards Shamokin; and at night lodged in the place where I lodged the Monday night before. [Brainerd’s Memoirs].

In 1755, Conrad Weiser, Indian Agent, then residing in Heidelberg township, near Womelsdorf, Berks county, was visited by some Shawanese from this region. He soon afterwards visited them at Ostonwackin. The following gives, among other things, all the particulars in relation to this matter.

The Indians alluded to, had left the Susquehanna for the Ohio, about the year 1727 or 1728. These, or others of the same tribe, had been induced to go south, towards the mouth of the Ohio, about the year 1744, by Peter Chartier, who had accepted of a captain’s commission from the French.

Heidelberg, in the co. of Berks, March 1st, 1755.
To Gov. R. H. Morris.
Honored Sir:
I must inform you that I have been visited this winter by a good number of Indians, chiefly of those that came away last year from Ohio, because of the invasion of the French, whom they hate, and will not live in their neighborhood. The first company that came consisted of 19 persons, all of the Six Nation Indians; one Jonathan Cayienquily-quoah at their head : they arrived on the 27th and 28th of January last. The second company that came, consisting chiefly of Shawanos, 12 in number; they arrived on the 26th and 27th, this instant. They jointly intend to make a town next spring on the West branch of Susquehanna, commonly called Otzinzachson, at a place called Otstuagy, or Frenchtown, about 40 miles above Shamokin; and they gave me the enclosed string of wampum, to send it to Philadelphia, with a short speech, to the following purport:
Brother:
The Governor of Pennsylvania–We, your brethren, have been obliged to come away from Ohio, because we would not live so nigh the French; but rather nigher our brethren, the English, in these critical times; but we deprived ourselves, by that means, of a good hunting ground, and our little corn fields. We intend to build a town at Otstuagy, on Otzinachson river, and pray you will be so good, considering our poverty, as to send some of your industrious people up, next spring, to fence in a small piece of ground for a corn-field for us, and we will thankfully acknowledge your favors.

Jonathan Cayienquily-quoah, the speaker, gave a string of wampum.

I received the string of wampum, and promised to send it to the governor of Pennsylvania, by the first safe opportunity, and transmit his answer to them, according to direction.

Before these Indians left me, they made me a present of some skins, to the value of about four pounds, ten shillings, as a satisfaction for expense and trouble I have been at during their stay. I received it and thanked them; but I must bring in an account against the Province next August, and your Honor, after perusing it, will recommend it to the house of tht general Assembly for better satisfaction.

I take this opportunity of informing your Honor that when Tachnachdorus, the Chief of Shamokin of the Cayuker Nation, was down here in the beginning of the winter; he told me that the Indians about Shamokin and Otzinachson, had been informed that a set of people from New England had formed themselves into a body to settle the lands on Susquehanna, and especially Scahantowano, and that against the advice of their superiors; and asked me whether it was true what they heard. I told him it was true, as to their intention to settle that land ; but whether with, or without the advice of their superiors, I could not tell ; but that I was persuaded by some letters I saw last fall in Philadelphia, it was against the advice of the superiors of that country. The said chief then desired me to make it known, that whosoever of the white people shou]d venture to settle on any land on Woyennock, or thereabouts, belonging hitherto to the Indians, will have his creatures killed first, and then if they did not desist, they themselves would be killed, without distinction, let the consequence be what it would.

I found he had intelligence from the Indians up the river, that some of the New England people had been there spying the lands. I found this a difficult matter, and was no ways inclined to make it known, to keep off trouble from myself; but the last viriters insinuated the same thing; so I resolved to acquaint your Honor with it, who is best able to judge what must be done to prevent bloodshed among us by the Indians, who would then certainly (if they should do such a thing, as I fear they will,) out of a guilty conscience submit themselves to the protection of the French: the consequence of that would be very disagreeable to the English in general in this and neighboring colonies.
I have nothing else to trouble you with at present ; but, with a great deal of pleasure, subscribe myself,
Honored Sir,
Your most obedient and
Humble servant,
CONRAD WEISER.

Heidelberg, May 19, 1755.
To Richard Peters.
Sir
My son Sammy is coming to you with two Indian boys, the sons of Jonathan Gayienquiligoa, a noted Mohawk, that can read and write in his language, well known to you. He is poor, and prays that you, with the gentlemen managers of the Academy, will teach them to read and write English, and to provide necessaries of life for them, during their stay in Philadelphia, which will be as long as it will require time to teach them. The biggest of them is a very intelligent boy, and good natured ; the other is not so, but more of an Indian, as something cross, as his father says. If you could prevail with Mr. Heintzelman, my son-in-law, for a few weeks to board with him, it would be agreeable to the lads; because my daughter is somewhat used to the Indians, and understands here and there a word : then, afterwards, you can put them where you please. The name of the biggest is Jonathan, and the other Philip. I believe their father will let them stay long enough to learn English to perfection, provided proper care is taken of them, which I hope won’t be wanting.

Jonathan wanted me to go to Philadelphia with the boys, but I thought Sammy could do as well.

The Indians on Susquehanna are starving, and have almost nothing to eat, because deer are scarce. He thought to have had an answer before now, concerning their petition to the governor for some provision and the fencing in of a cornfield.

French Margaret, with some of her family, has gone to the English camp in Virginia, and her son Nicklaus has gone to Ohio, to the French fort. I suppose they want to join the strongest party, and are gone for information. The Indians that are with the French on Ohio are chiefly .flnakunIcis, neighbors to New England; and, neither they nor the rest (I cannot learn their number) will be true to the French, as they give out to our Indians. The other Indians on Ohio thinks our troops much too slowly. They say, they will be glad to see the. French driven away from the Ohio. This report was brought by one of Jonathan’s sons from Ohio: he was not in the French fort-he was afraid of going nigh it; but the Indians thereabout have told him so.

I wrote to the Governor last week about the Indians’ petition. I hope he has received my letter. The Indians should have an answer. What can I say to them without having it from the Governor or Assembly? They are continually plaguing me for an answer, which I hope you will send, if you can, by this opportunity.
I have nothing to add, but am,
Sir,
Your most humble servant,
CONRAD WEISER.
P. S. Tachnachdorus sent word by Jonathan for me to come up to Shamokin, that the Indians had something of importance to lay before me.
I understood since that several messages had arrived at Otstuacky from the English army or Virginia, (as was said) with strings of wampum to forewarn the Indians on Susquehanna not to come nigh the army, for fear of being taken for French Indians, and to stay where they are.

Heidelberg, in the co. of Berks, June 12, 1755,
Honored Sir :
Last night I arrived safe at my house from Otstuacky, an Indian town about 45 miles above Shamokin, on the Northwest Branch of Susquehanna river, where I have been with ten hired men to fence in a cornfield, for the Indians, according to your Honor’s order : but when I came there, I found the Indians that petitioned the governor for that purpose, had mostly deserted the place for want of provision, and chiefly for having lost all their corn by that great frost in the night between the 29th and 30th of May last past, which was the second frost they had on that river since their corn was up, and entirely killed it. There was only Jonathan, and one of the Cayugas, named Canadies, upon the spot, with their families. They thanked your Honor very sincerely for the kindness you had shown them in sending hands to fence in their cornfield ; but said, that as they could have no hopes of getting one grain of corn this year, from what they have planted, they thought it needless to have a fence made about their field ; but should be extremely glad if the government would help them with some provision in their present necessity; which I promised to use my endeavor, or to write to your Honor to get it for them. I left one sack of flour with them: the same I did to the Indians at Canasoragy, about 10 miles on this side of Otstuacky, and two sacks at Shamokin, with the rest of the provision I took up with me for the hands, and could now spare.

I have bought of Christian Lower, a miller of Tulpehocken, 120 bushels of good wheat, and 60 bushels of Jacob Fisher, his neighbor, to be distributed among the Indians, as your Honor will be pleased to direct.

I gave them hopes that the meal should be delivered at John Harris’s Ferry, where they could fetch it by water-and, I believe it will be the cheapest way. There is a good wagon road from Christian Lower’s mill to Harris’s. The distance is about 40 miles, and wagons may be had reasonably.

In my going up, I took John Shickallamy with me, and as we passed by Canasoragy, where an Indian town now is, John told me that it would be very unmannerly or unbecoming me, not to say something to those Indians (chiefly Shawanese and Chickasaws,) as I was a public person, and trusted with the Indian affairs; and that the Indians longed to hear from the governor of Pennsylvania, how things are, concerning the war.

I therefore told the Indians, who were then met in council, that I was sent by the governor of Pennsylvania to Otstuaky, to fence in a cornfield for the Indians, according to their petitions sent down last winter to the governor and his council, by Cayenquiligoa and others; and that the governor took this opportunity to send his salutation to them, and had ordered me to acquaint them-1st. That the King of Great Britain had sent a great number of men and ammunition, who are now on their march to drive away the French from Ohio by force.

2dly. That no war was yet proclaimed between the English and French, but that it was daily expected : that, in the meantime, the governor desired them to stop their ears to every thing that the French could say to them, and to listen altogether to the English, and to depend upon, that their brethren, the English, will strictly observe the treaties of friendship, subsisting between them, and their brethren, the Indians.

3dly. That as soon as the governor would receive the news of war being proclaimed between the English and the French, the governor would let them know, and whatever else should pass, worthy their notice.
Gave a string of wampum.
There are about 20 men in this town, when they are all at home: five or six of them are Chickasaws, that lived many years among the Shawanese. There happened then to be two messengers from the Chickasaw Nation, in the town, with some particular message to them. I could not then learn what it was. One of these messengers told me, that his Nation would be mighty glad to see the English in earnest to fight the French-that they, the Chickasaws, had observed, that wherever the French came, they did mischief; and, that they are more generally hated among the southern Indian
The Indians of this town informed me, that a few days ago, some Shawanese Indians came from Ohio, and reported that the French are in a very poor condition at Ohio: their provisions being half rotten ; and that there are not one hundred and fifty men there ; and that all their Indians had left them; but a very few French praying Indians are yet with them. I have nothing else to trouble your Honor with at present, but am,
Sir,
Your obedient servant,
CONRAD WEISER.

To Governor Morris.
Among those, as an early pioneer, whose name is familiar to many of the inhabitants of this county, was Moses Van Campen.
Though a brief sketch of his adventures has already been given; a passage touching his heroism in this region, is here repeated, as it is believed it will not be out of place.
” My first service,” says Van Campen, “was in the year 1777, when I served three months under Col. John Kelly, who stationed us at Big Island, on the West Branch of the Susquehanna. Nothing particular transpired during that time; and in March, 1778, I was appointed lieutenant of a company of six months’ men. Shortly afterwards I was ordered by Col. Samuel Hunter to proceed, with about twenty men, to Fishing creek, on the North Branch, to build a Fort.
In February, 1781, I was promoted to a lieutenancy, and entered upon the active duty of an officer by heading scouts, and as Capt. Robison was no woodsman nor marksman, he preferred that I should encounter the danger and head the scouts; we kept up a constant chain of scouts around the frontier settlements, from the North to the West Branch of the Susquehanna, by way of the head waters of Little Fishing creek, Chilisquaqua, Muncy, &c.
In the spring of 1781 we built a fort on the widow McClure’s plantation, called McClure’s Fort, where our provisions were stored.
In the summer of 1781 a man was taken prisoner in Buffalo Valley, but made his escape; he came in and reported there were about three hundred Indians on Sinnemahoning, hunting and laying in a store of provisions, and would make a descent on the frontiers; that they would divide into small parties, and attack the whole chain of the frontier at the same time on the same day.
Colonel Samuel Hunter selected a company of five to reconnoitre, viz: Capt. Campbell, Peter and Michael Groves, Lieut. Cramer and myself; the party was called the Grove Party. We carried with us three weeks’ provisions, and proceeded up the West Branch with much caution and care; we reached the Sinnemahoning, but made no discovery, except old tracks; we marched up the Sinnemahoning so far, that we were satisfied it was a false report. We returned, and a little below the Sinnemahoning, near night, we discovered a smoke; we were confident it was a party of Indians, which we must have passed by, or they got there some other way; we discovered there was a large party, how many we could not tell, but prepared for the attack.
As soon as it was dark we new primed our rifles, sharpened our flints, examined our tomahawk handles, and all being ready, we waited with great impatience, until they all laid down: the time -came, and with the utmost silence we advanced, trailed our rifles in one hand, and the tomahawk in the other. The night was warm; we found some of them rolled in their blankets a rod or two from their fires. Having got amongst them, we first handled our tomahawks; they rose like a dark cloud; we now fired our shots, and raised the war yell ; they took flight in the utmost confusion, but few taking time to pick up their rifles. We remained masters of the ground and all their plunder, and took several scalps. It was a party of twenty-five or thirty, which had been down as low as Penn’s creek, and had killed and scalped two or three families; we found several scalps of different ages which they had taken, and alarge quantity of domestic cloth, which was carried to Northumberland and given to the distressed who had escaped the tomahawk and knife.
In December, 1781, our company was ordered to Lancaster; we descended the river in boats to Middletown, where our orders were countermanded, and we were-ordered to Reading, Berks county, where we were joined by a party of the third and fifth Pennsylvania regiments, and a company of the Congress regiment. We took charge of the Hessians taken prisoner by Gen. Burgoyne.
In the latter part of March, at the opening of the campaign of 1782, we were ordered by Congress to our respective stations. I marched Robison’s company to Northumberland, where Mr. Thomas Chambers joined us, who had been recently commissioned as an ensign of our company. We halted at Northumberland two or three days for our men to wash and rest; from thence ensign Chambers and myself were ordered to Muncy, Samuel Wallace’s plantation, there to make a stand and rebuild Fort Muncy, which had been destroyed by the enemy.
We reached that station, and built a small block-house for the storage of our provisions. About the 10th or 11th of April: Captain Robison came on with Esquire Culbertson, James Dougherty, William McGrady, and Mr. Barkley. I was ordered to select twenty or twenty-five men, with these proceed up the West Branch to the Big Island, and thence to Bald Eagle creek, to the place where Mr. Culbertson had been killed. On the 15th of April, at night, we reached the place, and encamped for the night ; on the night of the 16th we were attacked by eighty-five Indians; it was a hard fought battle; Esquire Culbertson and two others made their escape. I think we had nine killed, and the rest of us were made prisoners. We were stripped of all our clothing, excepting our pantaloons. When they took off my shift they discovered my commission; our commissions were written one parchment, and carried in a silk case, hung with a ribbon, in our bosom; several got hold of it, and one fellow cut the ribbon with his knife, and succeeded in obtaining it.
They took us a little distance from the battle ground, and made the prisoners sit down in a small ring, the Indians forming around us in close order, each with his rifle and tomahawk in his hand. They brought up five Indians we had killed, and laid them within their circle. Each one reflected for himself; our time would probably be short; and respecting myself, looking back upon the year 1780, at the party I had killed, if I was discovered to be the person, my case would be a hard one.
Their prophet, or chief warrior, made a speech, as I was informed afterwards by the British Lieutenant, who belonged to the party, lie was consulting the Great Spirit what to do with the prisoners, whether to kill us on the spot or spare our lives: he came to the conclusion that there had been blood enough shed, and as to the men they had lost, it was the fate of war, and we must be taken and adopted into the families of those whom we had killed. We were then divided amongst them according to the number of fires. Packs were prepared for us, and they returned across the river at the Big Island, in hark canoes.
They then made their way across hills, and came to Pine creek, above the first for/cs, which they followed up to the third fork, and pursued the most northerly branch to the head of it, and thence to the waters of the Genesee river.

SOURCE: Page(s) 354-370, History and topography of Northumberland, Huntingdon, Mifflin, Centre, Union, Columbia, Juniata and Clinton Counties, Pa. : embracing local and general events, leading incidents, descriptions of the principal boroughs, towns, villages, etc., etc. : with a copious appendix, embellished by engravings, by I. Daniel Rupp, Lancaster, Pa.: G. Hills, 1846, 570 pgs.

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