History of Beaver County, Chapter 3

Created: Sunday, 17 February 2013 Last Updated: Sunday, 17 February 2013 Written by Nathan Zipfel Print Email

Chapter III


Origin of Revolutionary Spirit - Causes of the Conflict - Training of Colonists for it - Part of Western Settlers in Revolution - General Clark's Expedition - General Hand's Expedition - Girty and Other Renegades - Conduct of British at Detroit - General McIntosh's Expedition - Building of Fort McIntosh - "Brodhead's Road" - Fort Laurens - Distress of its Garrison - Relations of McIntosh and Brodhead - Descriptions of Fort McIntosh - Brodhead in Command - Indian Troubles - Irvine in Command - Mutinous Troops - Their Hardships - Military Executions at Fort McIntosh - Decay of that Post - Indian Treaty there - Surrender of Prisoners - Visit to Fort McIntosh of Boundary Commissioners - Evacuation - Demolition - Blockhouse at New Brighton - Sam. Brady - Defeats of Harmar and St. Clair - Wayne's Camp at Legionville - His Victory at Maumee - Its Results - Boundary Controversy between Penna. and Virginia: Its Origins, Progress and Settlement - The "New State" Movement.

What heroes from the woodland sprung,
When through the fresh awakened land,
The thrilling cry of freedom rung,
And to the work of warfare strung
The Yeoman's iron hand!

Bryant, Seventy-six.

The echoes of Dunmore's War had hardly died away, when there was fired at Lexington the shot heard round the world. All preceeding local struggles were dwarfed in importance by the mighty conflict which now began, - a conflict which was to dye the blood-stained soil of America a yet deeper crimson, to give to the history of human heroism and nobility another glorious chapter, and to issue in the creation of a new form of government, a new order of civilation, and a new opportunity for liberty, fraternity and equality to be transformed from what had been the dream of political philosophers and the hope of patriots into



solid reality. This splendid epoch-making conflict was the American Revolution.

Science no longer accepts the theory of catastrophes in the geological development of the globe: all is seen to have gone forward under law, with close connection of cause and consequence.Nor has history any place for it. There are epochs, but no catastrophes in the progress of men in their political and social life. With the eye of the poet we may see the scenes of this vast drama moving before us as in a theatre; but the student of history finds the seeds of every action in the event which had gone before. The spirit and principles of American patriots were their inheritance from the sturdy burghers of Holland, who, under William of Orange, the prototype of our own Washington, had overthrown the tyranny of Spain in the Netherlands; from the brave Huguenots of France, from Cromwellians of England, and from the followers of Knox in Scotland. Lexington and Bunker Hill, Trenton and Valley Forge were prophesied in Leyden and LaRochelle, in Marston Moor and the Battle of the Boyne. Planted in the soil of the New World, the offshoots of the sturdy stock of these old liberty-loving, tyrant-hating men toughened their fibre in the winds of adversity, and grew into trees that would no longer bear the "rule of the bramble." For a hundred years the causes had been at work that were to create the revolt against the authority of the mother country, viz.: political and religious tyranny and commercial greed, extending their baleful influence more and more from the home government against the colonies, and in those colonies, a growing sense of strength and self-sufficiency, and of independent interests.1

1 In the manuscript letter-book of Colonel George Morgan (purchased from Mr. George Woodbridge of Marietta, Ohio, by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburg, and preserved by that Institution), we came upon a letter which we may give here as showing the feeling among the people of the colonies toward the mother country.
The letter is from a Philadelphia firm of which Colonel Morgan was a member, to a Mister Edward Farmer Taylor, of London, Eng., and bears date Philadelphia, June 12, 1775.
It reads as follows:

"Sir: -

Last week Mrs. Falconer, Wife of the worthy Captain Nathan Falconer put in our hands for Sale a Variety of Pontipool and Plated Ware with some Pistols, and a small sword, as it was very inconvenient for her to dispose of them.
"The Articles sold by her she will give you an Acct. of - they do not we believe exceed 30 Pounds Sterling - and these were principally in the Military Way. Indeed had your Adventure been to ever so great an Amount in Guns, Swords, Hangers, etc., they would command a very ready sale and instant pay. But from the very cruel and unjust Oppressions of our Mother Country, we are endeavoring to act like wise Children by cutting off all superfluities and to live within Ourselves. The Military Spirit with which our Lord North's Proceedings have inspired our Peaceable Inhabitants will scarcely be believed on your side the water. Whilst this lasts, or until our Liberties are secured to Us, you must expect to
Vol. 1-5.


So long as the colonists were unable to cope with the strength of the native tribes and the French in the West they leaned for help upon the home country, but with the defeat of France they no longer felt themselves blocked in their efforts to extend their trade and emigration westward, and the desire for independence at once received a mighty impetus. England's victory over France in the defence of the colonies was thus for herself in reality a defeat. The lion had conquered, but the lion's whelps had learned their strength and soon were eager to try it against their dam. Fourteen years after the Treaty of Paris had assured the withdrawal of France from the New World, the Declaration of Independence was signed at Philadelphia, and the old Liberty Bell rang the death-knell of British Rule in America. 1

The builders of empire must always be disciplined into hardness. This is the truth at the bottom of the fable of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. For all her strong ones Nature seems to issue this command:

Cast the bantling on the rocks,
Suckle him with the she-wolf's teat,
Wintered with the hawk and fox,
Power and speed be hands and feet.

The pioneer settlers of this region had had, as we have seen, such a discipline. In subduing the mighty forests and the savage foes who lurked within them, these men had supped full of horrors, but the hardship they endured only made them the hardier; the strength of the enemies they conquered entered into them and augmented their own. Their knowledge of war-

hear of little progress in the Sales of your Tea Wares, etc. Indeed, anything which relates to Tea, we now begin to dislike as much as ever we were fond of them. You may, however, rely on our doing everything in our Power to serve you in the speedy Sale of every article committed to our Charge. And the Remittances shall be made agreeable to your desire as possible, though, as America will never submit to the Tyrannical Acts of the British Parliament, the only Channel will soon be by the King's Ships or Packets.
"We are Sir Respectfully Sir
"Your most Obt. Servts.
B. & M." *

1This result of England's triumph over France was forseen by many in Europe and America, and was predicted by several eminent Frenchmen immediately upon the cession of Canada. "We have caught them at last," were the words of Choiseul, and when Vergennes heard of it he said:

"The consequences of the entire cession of Canada are obvious. I am persuaded England will erelong repent of having removed the only check that could keep her colonies in awe. They stand no longer in need of her protection; she will call upon them to contribute toward supporting the burdens they have helped to bring on her, and they will answer by striking off all dependence."

*This firm was Baynton & Morgan, formerly Wharton, Baynton & Morgan.


fare was greatly increased in the struggle against the French, and now, when the campfires of the Revolution were lighted throughout the land, they were not found wanting. And as of old Fort Duquesne had been a storm-center during the French wars, so now its successor, Fort Pitt, looms up in the annuls of patriotism.

Relation of Western Settlers to the Revolution

The tide of war during the Revolutionary struggles did not, indeed, break over the barriers of the Alleghenies, but west at Fort Pitt, at Detroit and in Illinois, were the English forces, and in the territory between were the hostile tribes under English pay. And here in the Ohio valley the settlers stood as heroically as did the embattled farmers of New England, and against still greater odds. For the latter had to deal with the red-coats, a civilized foe; but the former faced one that was merciless, the ruthless redskins, who made repeated raids on the western frontier, laying waste the scattered settlements with the torch, the tomahawk, and the scalping-knife. The pioneers in this region stood, too, almost alone in these struggles. Barely able to cope with their own difficulties, the colonists on the seaboard were in no position to send succor to the western frontiers. The people there had to provide for themselves supplies and munitions of war, to appoint their own officers, build their own forts, and maintain single-handed a struggle against the combined forces of the British and the savages, their allies.
Immediately upon the commencement of hostilities with Great Britain the western country was filled with alarms of Indian incursions, while at the same time the efforts of such men as Captain John Neville, commanding at Fort Pitt, and Col. George Morgan, Indian Agent in the Middle Department, 1 to cultivate friendly relations with the Delawares, Shawanese, and

1 Colonel George Morgan fills so large a place in the early history of this region that some account of his life will not be foreign to the scope of this work. He was born in Philadelphia in 1742, the son of Evan and Johanna (Byles) Morgan, and was a first lieutenant in the first company that volunteered for service in the Revolutionary War. Subsequently he was promoted to the rank of colonel, served through the Valley Forge campaign, a was at the siege of Yorktown. But his active life began long before the Revolutionary struggle. In 1760 he became the junior partner of the trading firm of Wharton, Baynton & Morgan, by whom he was sent west to establish trading-posts among the Indians of the Ohio valley. In the French and Indian wars the firm lost heavily through the depridations committed by the savages, and in the treaty at Fort Stanwix, in 1768, they were compensated by the grant from the Six Nations of a vast tract of land in the west. Out of

other western tribes were being constantly frustrated by the violence shown by the latter by the whites, who frequently attacked the most peaceable Indians, and even messengers sent to the post to confer with the commanders. The correspondence of Morgan is full of illusions to this mad conduct of the settlers,

this grant arose the famous Indian Company, whose claim was afterwards successfully disputed by Virginia.
Colonel Morgan was, by appointment of Congress, Indian Agent for the Middle Department, with headquarters at Pittsburg, from 1776 to 1779. He was the constant friend of the Indians, and did everything in his power to prevent them from being abused by designing speculators. The Indians called him Taimenend (pronounced Tammany) after a noted chief of the Delawares, who was esteemed for his virtues, indicating thus that Morgan was a man like-minded. (See Heckewelder's Indian Nations, pages 300-301, for a very interesting account of this chief, and of the origin of the Tammany Societiesof the United States; also reference to Morgan's receiving the name as above stated.) On May 12, 1779, the Delaware chiefs in council at Princeton, N. J., made him an offer of a large tract of land as a present in acknowledgment of his kindness to them. The speaker was Kezlezlement, and the address reads in part as follows:

"The Delaware Nation have experienced great advantages from your wise Councils and from your Truth and Justice in representing their real sentiments and dispositions to the Congress of the United States. You have at all times studied the good of our Nation and done all in your Power to promote the Happiness of our women and children and of our posterity. You have now entertained a considerable number of us for some time, and you have kindly undertaken the care of some of our children who we have brought here to be educated (see page 32 ante.) We see your own children and we look on them with pleasure as on our own.
"For these considerations and in order to show our love for you and for your family we now give you a tract of Land in our country that you may call your own and which you and your children may possess and enjoy forever. The Delaware Nation give you this land Brother Taimenend, to show their love for you and your children. We will now describe it. It begins at the mouth of the Run opposite the Foot of Montour's Island (we mean the lower end of the Island) and extending down the River Ohio to the Run next to Logs Town. - bounded by the said two Runs and the River Ohio and extending back from the River Ohio to the tops of the highest hills. Being, we suppose, about three miles in general in a direct line from the River to the tops of the said hills and about six miles from Run to Run. This tract contains the whole of Shewickley Bottom which is very good land and we desire that you and your children may accept and possess it forever."-From Colonel George Morgan's book of the Morgan family - M.S.

Part of this land, it will be seen, is within the present limits of Beaver County. The offer was firmly refused by Colonel Morgan, and twice repeated despite his refusal, but Morgan would not take the advantage of it. Colonel Morgan later inherited a large body of land in the valley of the Chartiers in Washington County, Pa., where he settled in the fall of 1796. The estate was named by him "Morganza" and it still bears this name. At his house there Aaron Burr paid him a visit in the autumn of 1806, and during his stay adroitly sounded Morgan upon the subject of his (Burr's) scheme for the dismemberment of the Union, an attack upon Mexico or whatever may have been his real design. Morgan was instrumental in bringing about the discovery of Burr's intended treachery, and with two of his sons, John and Thomas, was called during his trial at Richmond as a witness against him.
In 1776, Morgan made a journey from the mouth of Kaskaskia to the mouth of the Mississippi, being the first American to perform the journey. He also founded, at New Madrid, the first English colony in the province of Louisiana.
Colonel Morgan was the quartermaster of McIntosh's expedition when the fort bearing the name of the latter was built at the mouth of the Big Beaver. He and McIntosh quarreled about the delay and wastage of stores, and nearly fought a duel in consequence.
On the 24th of October, 1764, Colonel George Morgan was married by the Rev. George Whitefield at Philadelphia, to Miss Mary Baynton, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Chevalier) Baynton. Their children were John, Ann, George, Thomas and Maria. Ann married General Presley Neville. The well-known attorneys, David T. and William Morgan Watson, of Pittsburg, are great-grandchildren of Colonel Geore Morgan. Colonel Morgan died in 1810; his wife in 1825. Both are buried in the family ground at Morganza.


and shows also his conviction that the much-dreaded general Indian war might be averted by a different spirit on the part of the people and by a pacific policy of government. As illistrating Morgan's wise and humane spirit, we copy from his letter-book the folowing communication to the then President of Congress:

Fort Pitt, March 15th, 1777.
To the Hon'ble John Hancock, Esq.
Since my last letter which was by Mr. William Wilson, I have received the within Message from the Chiefs of the Shawnese - this and what I transmitted by Mr. Wilson is the only material news from the Indian Country since my letter by Mr. Boreman. -
I shall shortly receive more perfect intelligence from the different Nations & I flatter myself that I shall not be obliged to alter my opinion as delivered to Congress in my letter of the __ of January, etc. notwithstanding which, I thought it my duty to mention in my letter by Mr. Wilson the general uneasiness of the Inhabitants here, who (by means of those who take it upon them to give Intelligence & and to alarm the Country with every piece of Indian news true or false,) have Imbibed the Idea of a general War being inevitable. - It is much easier to create those Alarms than to remove them when raised, even from the most idle and ridiculous tales of drunken or dissatisfied Individuals, & I apprehend the most fatal consequences from them -
Parties have even been assembled to massacre our known Friends at their hunting Camps as well Messengers on Business to me, & I have esteemed it necessary to let those messengers to sleep in my own Chamber for their security.
It is truly distressing to submit to the injuries we have and are frequently receiving along the Frontier settlements & Out Posts from the Mingo Banditti & their Associates, but it must be extremely injurious to the interest of the United States at this critical time, to involve ourselves into a general Indian War which I still believe may be warded off by pursuing the wise measures intended by Congress - It is not uncommon to hear even those who ought to know better, express an ardent desire for an Indian War, on account of the fine Lands these poor people possess.
During the Alarms last Spring and Summer several of the principal people here wrote Intelligence down the Country that large armies of Indians were assembled and advancing to attack this place... I fear the consequences of a general Indian War & I believe it is more necessary to restrain our own people & promote good order among them than to think of awing the different Nations by expeditions into the Country which may involve us in a general & unequal Quarrel with all the Nations who are at present quiet but extremely jealous of the least encroachment on their Lands.
I am sir
Your Most Obedt Servt
George Morgan


It was probably this disapproval of the general unreasoning and undiscriminating hatred of the Indians which Morgan always manifested, and his reluctance to see their country invaded, which later, as we shall see, occasioned his loyalty to be called in question. 1

1 The following letter shows the zeal which Morgan was early manifesting in the cause of the American Colonies:
Pittsburgh May 31st, 1776.
"To the Gov't & Commandant at Detroit

I am informed that several letters from you for this place have been destroyed on the Way. What were their contents I have not been able to learn, or I would do myself the pleasure to answer them. But perhaps an Exchange of Sentiments between us may be mutually advantageous.
"You, Sir, have been frequently inform'd that an Army were on their March from the United Colonies against your Post. This has been altogether without Foundation, though we are indeed prepared, should the Savages be induced to strike our Frontier Settlements on the Ohio - but if they remain quiet you will never be disturbed, unless by a general Surrender of Canada - for this, notwithstanding we have hitherto been unsuccessful before Quebec, we still flatter ourselves with unless by the late arrival of Commissioners from England to treat with Congress, our Grievances shall be redress'd & all our Differences happily settled, which all good men must ardently wish for.
"Our Frontier Settlements though sufficiently numerous not only to defend themselves but to drive all the Indian Nations before them, in Case of a War, have been alarm'd with repeated acc'ts of your endeavoring to engage the Savages against them. This information has often been handed to Congress, but as all the Indians still remain quiet, no Force is allowed to cross the Ohio; nor will any be permitted to do so, unless in our own Defiance after being first Attack'd. As I am station'd here to observe what passes in this Quarter, and to treat with the Indians I shall be happy to have it in my Power to contribute toward a general Peace, good Understanding and happy Reconciliation - As such I shall be glad to hear from you & any Messenger you send to me may rely on being permitted to return at any time.
I am etc, Etc.

"Moravian Town June 10th
"To Mr. F.Vraiment
"Sir (Secret)
"Your Letter of the 15th of April last from lower Sandusky, came of course to my Hands, but it was not till the 8th Instant - had it arrived sooner it might have been of Service. I understand you have return'd from Detroit to Cayahoga - If this reaches you there, be pleased to write to me very particularly and I must especially beg the favour of your Answers to the following Queries.
1st How many regular soldiers are there at Detroit?
2d Have they been reinforced, or from whence do they expect any Reinforcements?
3d Of what number do their Militia consist - Fr. or English?
4th What arm'd vessels have they - their names, force, Compliment of men to each & by whom commanded?
5th The number of Families settled at & near Detroit -
6th The number of black cattle - do. Horses - do. Hogs?
7th From whence do they get other Supplies of Provisions?
8th How have they strengthened the Fort, What new Works erected & how many cannon have they?
9th What Tribes of Indians have been collected at Detroit? - how many? have they gone away satisfied? - or do they remain?
10th Have the Indians been desired to strike the Settlements of the Colonies - In what manner have they been so requested? What Instances have come to your Knowledge & what answers have the diff't Tribes given? On this our forming an Expedition depends - for it is determined never to send an Army over the Ohio until we have certain Intelligence that the Governor or Commandant at Detroit have instigated the Savages to strike us.
11th What News have you of what pass'd at the Treaty at Niagara?
12th Who commands there - & how many men are there in that Fort - and of what Regiment?
13th At what Prices are Flour, Beef, Pork etc at Detroit?
14th How is the Garrison at Niagara supplied with Provisions and from whence - What Indians went there to the Treaty?
15th What Garrison is at Michilamackinac - are there many goods there do you hear - are they plenty or scarce at Detroit - Do they get fresh supplies or frequent Intelligence from Montreal?
16th What is the latest news from Quebec Etc.?
17th What do you hear of the Garrison at the Illinois?
I shall send this to you by Express as you desire but it will be necessary to keep the


In the autumn preceeding Morgan had called to account one of the "principal people," of whom he speaks above, as shown in the following letter from his manuscript letter-book:

Pittsburgh November 17th, 1776.
To Dorsey Penticoast, Esq'r
Colonel & Lieut. of Wt. Augusta
I understand that a Letter you wrote from hence the 9th inst., of which many Copies are handed about, has alarmed the country very much, & and that the like Accounts have also gone down to Williamsburgh & Philadelphia relating to several Expeditions being formed and attacks to be made this Fall from Detroit and Niagara against the Kenhawa, Wheeling and this place. In your Letter you write that your Intelligence is from undoubted Authority; you will therefore oblige if you will inform me from whom you obtained it.
Any Person the least acquainted with the Country, or who will take the least pains to inform himself, will pronounce these Expeditions to be not only improbable, but impracticable, yet the Promoters of such reports, cannot take more effectual steps to injure the Frontier Inhabitants.

(Signed) George Morgan

The following is Mr. Penticost's answer to the above letter:

Catfish Camp1 Nov. 19th, 1776.
To George Morgan, Esq.
Dear Sir
Your favor of the 17th was handed to me yesterday - The Letter you mention must, I suppose, be a Letter I wrote to Capt. Brenton at Logs Town to be forwarded to different Stations on the Ohio. I make no doubt that the Intelligence is gone to Philadelphia & Williamsburgh, as the Intelligence I mentioned was given me by Dr. Walker, & that Letter I showed to the Commissioners before I sent it away who approved of it.

nature of it secret - & for that purpose I shall enclose you a letter on pretended Business - tho' in Reality I shall be glad to purchase the whole of your goods for the public Use if we can agree for them - I am on my Way to the Shawnese Towns - perhaps you may meet me there or here.
"Your Letter came open'd - This is indeed your whole Correspondence should be kept Secret - Trading business must be pretended. I wish to see you - you shall destroy this letter after answering it.
"I think you would do well to inclose my Letter which covers this, to Detroit with the one for the Governor as a Blind - and write to me as a Person from Philadelphia unknown to you - Or if you will go to Detroit with the enclosed Letter which I leave open for your Perusal & bring me an answer so as to meet me here the 10th of July or sooner. I will pay you for your Trouble and Expense - but you should destroy this letter after charging your memory with the different Questions, so as to bring me answers to them & every other necessary Information. Seal the Governor's Letter & take no copy or you will be discovered thereby.

I Am Etc G. M."*
1 The site of Catfish Camp, as formerly said, was within the limits of what is now the borough of Washington, Pa.

*From the Ferdinand J. Dreer collection of manuscript letters owned by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.


The Powder Mark Harding got from you is worth nothing - please to exchange such quantities of it as may be brought back.
I am Etc.
Dorsey Pentecost
P. S. On Monday morning last within four hundred yards of the Garrison at Grave Creek, was killed and scalped the eldest son of Adam Rowe, & the youngest who was with him is missing. D. P. 1

The efforts of Morgan and Neville to hold the friendship of the Indians were seconded by Congress, which appointed commissioners to treat with them at several places. The commissioners mentioned in the letter of Dorsey Pentecost, just quoted, were those who, in July, 1776, had met at Pittsburg, and had remained there for some time carrying on negotiations with the chiefs of the western tribes, who were very slow in gathering. The efforts of the commissioners and of the others were, however, finally crowned with apparent success, and on the 8th of November Colonel Morgan wrote to Hancock as follows:

I have the happiness to inform you that the cloud which threatened to break over us is likely to disperse. The Six Nations, with the Munsies, Delawares, Shawnese, and Mohikons, who have been assembled here with their principal chiefs and warriors, to the number of six hundred and fourty-four have given the strongest assurance of their neutrality with the United States. 2

The confidence herein expressed was justified in so far that the much dreaded general war was averted, but small bands of savages were nevertheless constantly marauding along the settlements on the Ohio, and the Frontiers of Virginia were so frequently harassed by the Indians on the Scioto belonging to the gang of the Mohawk Pluggy that, upon the recommendation of Congress, it was decided by the Virginia Council at Williamsburg, March 12, 1777, to send a punitive expedition against them. Colonel George Morgan, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and Colonel John Neville (or in his absence, Robert Campbell, Esq.) were instructed to confer with reliable chiefs of the Delawares

1Dorsey Pentecost was a very prominent man in what became Washington County, Pa., being its second president judge (the first specially commissioned for that office). His great-grandson, Joseph H. Pentecost, was mortally wounded at Petersburg, Va., March 25, 1865, while as its lieutenant-colonel, he was commanding the famous "Roundhead" regiment (100th P. V. I.). a great-grandson, Thomas M. Pentecost, is still living in Middletown, Washington Co., Pa. - (See Bench and Bar of Washington County, by Boyd Crumrine, pp. 36-37.)
American Archives, Fifth Series, vol. iii, p. 599.


and Shawanese, to ascertain if they would consent to such an expedition passing through their country, and in case no opposition from this source was to be apprehended, the expedition was to be at once set on foot. It was proposed to organize the party with three hundred militiamen, commanded by a colonel, major, six captains, six lieutenants and six ensigns, and a proper number of non-commissioned officers. Colonel David Shepherd of Ohio County was designated as commander-in-chief, and Major Henry Taylor 1 of Yohogania County as major, and those gentlemen were to nominate the captains and subaltern officers out of those commissioned in the counties of Monongalia and Ohio, or either of them.
The correspondence in connection with this affair is so interesting in itself and from the prominence of history of the writers that we give space to the letter of instructions written by Patrick Henry, then Governor of Virginia, to Colonel Morgan and Neville, and the reply of the latter, evidently from the pen of Morgan.2 Governor Henry wrote as follows:

Williamsburgh, March 12, 1777.

To George Morgan, Esq., & Colo. John Nevill
(or in the obsence (absence) of the latter to Robert Campbell, Esq.)

You will perceive by the Papers which accompany this that the Indians a Pluggy's Town are to be punished in an exemplary manner. When you apply to the Shawnese & Delawares on the subject, it may not be amiss to observe to them, that the villainous Indians by their frequent mischiefs, may breed suspicion against innocent friends and Allies; for it is often difficult to tell what Nation are the offenders. Willing to cultivate that good understanding that subsists between Virginia & their Nations, the Shawnese and Delawares cannot take umbrage at the march against Pluggy's people, more especially as the latter march through the country of the former when they attack us. You will readily understand the delicacy of the Business in opening this matter to the Chiefs. Many if trusted may not keep it a secret. If the enemy have warning the expedition will produce but little good compared to what may be expected if they are attacked by surprise. You will please communicate to the Allies of this State, the strict orders given to the Officers and Soldiers not to molest or offend any but the Enemy of

1 The Major Henry Taylor named above was the great-grandfather of Hon. James Franklin Taylor, additional law judge of Washington County, Pa. He was also known as Colonel Henry Taylor from his connection with the militia, and was the first president judge of Washington County, by virtue of his being the first named in the general commission. - See Bench and Bar, Crumrine, p. 35.
2 From Morgan's letter-book (MS).


Pluggy's Town & that orders are given to spare the Women and Children & and such of the men as submit.
I take the liberty to remind you that the success of the Enterprise depends upon the address & propriety which will I hope distinguish your conduct in communicating this affair to the Shawnese and Delawares.
I trust, Gentlemen, that you will leave nothing in your power undone, that may tend to give success to a measure so necessary for the well being of your country: And that you will not confine yourselves to the strict Line of Duty with respect to what falls into the business of each Officer respectively, but act on the most liberal plan for promoting the Enterprise. I have the honor to be

Your most Obdt. Servt
Signed P. Henry, Jr.

P. S. You will communicate everything necessary to the Officer who is to command in Chief.
P. S. It is judged best to go part of the way to Pluggy's Town by Water, let it be so - this may avoid perhaps all offence to other Indians.
P. H.

This communication reached Morgan and Neville about noon of the 1st of April following, and on the same day they replied as follows:

Fort Pitt April 1, 1777.
To His Execellency
Patrick Henry, Esq.
We had not the honor to receive your Orders & the Minutes of Council of the 12th ulto. until this day. - We immediately wrote to Colonel Shepherd and Major Taylor to meet us here the 8th inst., to confer thereon and determine the most effectual steps to carry the same into execution - And your Excellency may be assured that we will leave nothing in our power undone that may tend to promote the Interest of our Country in general or the success of this Enterprise in particular - not regarding the strict Line of Duty in our respective Departments, but the promotion of the service on the most liberal Plan - We nevertheless wish we were left more at liberty to exercise our Judgements or to take advice on the expediency and practicability of the Undertaking at this crucial time, - For although we are persuaded from what has already passed between Colo. Morgan and our Allies the Delawares and Shawnese that they would wish us success therein, yet we apprehend the inevitable Consequences of this Expedition will be a general Indian War, which we are persuaded it is the interest of the State at this time to avoid even by the mortifying means of liberal donations to certain leading Men among the Nations as well as by calling them again to a general Treaty - And if the State of Pennsylvania should judge it prudent to take some steps to


gratify the Six Nations in regard to Encroachments mad on their lands in the North Western Frontier of that State, of which they have so repeatedly complained, we hope & believe it would have a vert salutary effect - The settlement of the Lands on the Ohio below the Kenhawa & at Kentucky gives the Western Nations great uneasiness.
How far the State of Virginia may judge it wise to withdraw or confine those Settlements for a certain term of years, or during the British War, is too delicate a matter for us to give our opinion on, but we have reason to think that the Measures we have (tho' perhaps out of the Line of Strict Duty) presumed to hint at, would not only tend greatly to the happiness of this Country, but to the interest of the whole State; more especially if care be taken to treat the different Nations in all respects with Justice, Humanity & Hospitality; for which purpose & and to punish Robberies and Murders committed on any of our Allies, some wholesome Orders or Acts of Government may possibly be necessary - for Parties have been formed to massacre some who have come to visit us in a Friendly manner & and others who have been hunting on their own Lands, the known Friends to the Commonwealth.
These Steps if continued will deprive us of all our Indian Allies, and multiply our Enemies. Even the Spies who have been employed by the County Lieutenants of Monongahela and Ohio seem to have gone on with this Plan with a premeditated design to involve us in a general Indian War - for on the 15th inst. at daybreak five or six of these spies fired on three Delaware Indians at their hunting Camp, which they afterward plundered of Peltries to a considerable value and brought them off - this was committed about 20 Miles on this side of the Delaware Town between that & Wheeling & out of the Country or Track of our Enemies: Luckily all the Indians escaped, only one of whom was wounded, & that slightly in the Wrist.
We enclose to your Excellency the copy of a speech or Message found near the body of a dead Man who had been kill'd & scalp'd two days before near the Kittanning on the Northwestern Frontier of Pennsylvania, when another Man was taken Prisoner.
We suppose the party of Indians who left the Message and perpetrated the Murder to have been hired for that purpose by the British Officers at Niagara, in order an open Rupture between the Six Nations and the United States, as we had Intelligence of such a Party being out, & having come from thence.

Your Excellency cannot but be already informed that many Persons among ourselves wish to promote a War with the Savages, not considering the distresses of our Country on the Sea Coast.
This disposition with the conduct of a Banditti consisting of 60 or 80 Savages at the Heads of Scioto may possibly create a general Quarrel - Yet we flatter ourselves that by prudent measures it is possible to avoid it. But if as seems the inclination of some, all Indians without distinction who may be found are to be massacred, and even when visiting us as


friends, a general War cannot be avoided; and we fear the consequences would be fatal at this critical time - but should it please God to bless us with Victory to overcome our British Enemies on the Sea Coast, we shall have it in our power to take ample satisfaction of our Indian Enemy - In the Interim, we are humbly of opinion, that the most pacific measures with liberal Presents if in our power to make them will be attended with much happier consequences with the Savages than an armed force can produce.
Nevertheless we beg leave again to assure your Excellency that nothing in our power shall be wanting to promote & insure Success to the Expedition now ordered to be executed. But as it will be impossible to have the Men raised and armed before the first day of June next we shall have sufficient time to receive your Excellency's further instructions on that head & we shall in the Interim take every possible precaution to prevent Intelligence reaching the Enemy so as to defeat the wise intentions of Government.
We are with the greatest Respect
Your Excellency's most Obed't & most Humble Serv'ts
George Morgan
signed John Neville

After considerable preparation for this expedition had been made, it was abandoned on the representations of Colonels Morgan and Neville in the foregoing letter of the danger that its passage through their country would alienate the Delawares and Shawanese.

Arrival of Brigadier-General Hand In The Western Department

On the 1st of June, 1777, Brigadier-General Hand of the Continental Army arrived at Fort Pitt and assumed command of the Western Department, superseding Col. John Neville, who, with his Virginia Militia, had held the old and dilapidated fortress from the beginning of the war. In 1777, up to the last of July, fifteen parties of Indians, consisting of two hundred and eighty-nine warriors, with thirty white officers and rangers, had been sent out from the British stronghold at Detroit against the western settlements. The Indians of Pluggy's-town were still among the most troublesome of these miscreants, and when we consider their small number it seems surprising that they could have been so long permitted to harass the country. In general, the attacks of the savages were made by small parties, however, and their success in inflicting so much distress upon the frontiers


was mainly due to the scattered character of the settlements, and the impossibility of the small force of scouts and militiamen guarding the whole line of those settlements effectually. Their descent was so sudden and stealthy that it was seldom that any warning of their presence was received, and after their bloody work was done their flight was usually taken before sufficient force could be summoned to seize or destroy them.
Soon after his arrival General Hand determined to organize an expedition against the Wyandots at Sandusky, and perhaps also against the Mingoes at Pluggy's-town, 1 and for this purpose he made a demand upon the western counties of Pennsylvania and Virginia, but although eight hundred men were embodied, including regulars at Fort Pitt and Randolph, he met with so many unexpected difficulties that late in the fall he abandoned the enterprise.
An attack upon Fort Henry on the 1st of September (1777) by about two hundred savages, with fifteen Americans killed and five wounded, and another on the 27th of the same month, when forty-six white men were waylaid by forty Wyandots, about eight miles below Wheeling, on the Virginia side of the Ohio, and lost twenty-one killed, several wounded, and one captured, created a general panic which threatened to depopulate the whole region between the Ohio and the Monongahela. Up to this time the Shawanese had hung back from the British, but the dastardly murder of one of their chiefs, the noble Cornstalk, and his son Ellinipsico, with the young Delaware chief, Red Hawk, and another Indian, who had come to Fort Randolph on a mission of peace (referred to in George Morgan's letter cited on page 80), turned this formidable nation into the relentless enemies of the Americans. From autumn of 1777 the majority of them were joined with the Wyandots and Mingoes in most of the attacks upon the border.

Clark's Expedition

The summer of the following year witnessed the brilliant exploits of Colonel (afterwards General) George Rogers Clark, who at "Redstone-old-fort" (now Brownsville, Fayette County, Pa.) prepared his expedition against the British posts in the Illinois
1 Wash. - Irvine Cor., p. 11.


country, receiving from General Hand at Pittsburg material aid for his enterprise, which was undertaken under the authority of Virginia. After incredible hardships suffered during a march of one hundred and thirty miles through a country almost impassable on account of its swamps and streams, he surprised one after another of the enemy posts, - Kaskaskia, St. Philips, Cahokia, Prairie du Rocher, and Vincennes, - and won the whole country along the Wabash and the upper Mississippi to the Americans. After organizing a civil government, Colonel Clark directed his attention to the subjugation of the warlike tribes, and exhibited great skill and fearlessness in bringing them to terms. No figure in the Revolutionary period is more striking than that of this large-brained and courageous leader, and an admiring people gave him the well-earned sobriquet of " The Heroic." 1

"The Squaw Campaign"

In February of 1778, Gen. Edward Hand, commanding the Western Department, marched from Fort Pitt with five hundred men for an Indian town on the Cuyahoga River, which flows into Lake Erie near Cleveland, where was a large quantity of stores deposited by the British, which he meant to destroy. Heavy rains and snows compelled him to abandon his undertaking after he had reached a point some distance above the mouth of the Beaver, on the Mahoning Creek.The outcome of this expedition was the killing of one Indian warrior and one squaw taken prisoner, and it was afterward called in derision "the Squaw Campaign." 2
General Hand was nor deficient in military ability, but he was constantly hampered by circumstances beyond his control, and met with but little success in his Department. One difficulty with which he had to contend was the suspicion that arose during the summer of 1777 as to the loyalty of some of the inhabitants of western Pennsylvania and Virginia. Some of the best men in Pittsburg were arrested, among whom was Colonel

2 General Clark was at Fort McIntosh in January, 1785, as one of the United States Commissioners, to make the treaty with the Delawares and Wyandots.
3 History of Allegheny County, 1889, p. 83; Wash. -Irvine Cor., p. 16. This affair took place, according to some writers, within the former limits of Beaver County, about where Edenburg, Lawrence County, now is. See Old Westmoreland, p. 42. But Butterfield says that it was in the present Mahoning County, Ohio (Wash. -Irvine Cor., p.15)


George Morgan, 1 the United States Agent. Even General Hand himself was suspected. But if in some cases this suspicion was proved to be unfounded, in several it was shown to be terribly true. Alexander McKee was one of the suspected persons, and in April, 1776, he had been put on his parole not to give any aid to the British. Violating his parole he was arrested, confined to his own house for a time, and then paroled again. General Hand then ordered him to report to the Continental Board of War at York. But in March of 1778, he, with Matthew Elliott, Simon Girty, and others, fled from Fort Pitt to the wilderness and the Indians. The following contemporary notice of this incident we copy from the manuscript letter-book of Col. George Morgan:

1 Morga easily proved his innocence and was acquitted. His indignant repudiation of the charge of disloyalty is expressed in the following letter:

"Gentlemen, "York Town, Nov'r 11, 1777.
"The 9th instant at Lancaster I was fav'd with your Letter of the 10th inclosing a Copy of the Resolve of Congress on the 22dUlto., suspending me from my employments in consequence of certain Reports injurious to my Character, representing me as unfriendly to the Cause of America - As those reports originated from one who murdered his own Wife and Children & were spread by Men of low & infamous Characters - And as those Member of Congress with whom I conversed during my late visit of ten days at York appeared satisfied therein & I was not even called on by Congress in the matter, tho' I transacted Business with them & received fourteen thousand dollars from them to compleat certain contracts, I flatter'd myself that no Suspicion against me remained in their Minds, arising from such groundless and infamous Charges & of the Falsehood whereof nothing could have prevented General Hand from informing Congress, but his thorough Contempt of them. I am however happy in having the Opportunity generously allowed me by Congress to answer the Charges which may be brought against me & to face my Accuser, if any has or may appear.
"If (with the assistance of the Delaware Council) my having prevented a general Indian War on the Western Fromtiers contrary to the Expectations and Prophecies of those who pretended to know most - If my having prevented the total Evacuation of the Posts on the Ohio for want of Provisions, through the Neglect or Inability of those instructed to supply them - If my having procured constant & the most exact Intelligence of the Enemies number and Inability to injure us from Detroit and Niagara whilst that Country was alarmed from the false Reports of Ignorant and designing Men - If my having pointed out to Congress many things to promote the public Service - If my having put a Stop to the Encroachments on Indian Lands, the fine quality whereof tempted some Men in Authority to transgress the Orders of Congress - If my having in every Instance most faithfully performed my Duty (which is or ought to be well known in Congress) can be construed as unfriendly to the cause of America I confess the charge - But if these things can be allowed as Tests of my Attachment to the Cause I was among the earliest in stepping forth to defend on Principles which I have never varied from in a Single Instance, I doubt not but Congress will do my Character ample Justice by the fullest testimony in my Favour - Should anything contrary to this Declaration be proved against me - May I be punished with Infamy.
"The favours I beg of Congress are a speedy Hearing, an Examination of Witnesses in my Presence & that I may know my Accuser if any.
"As my character must suffer deeplyby an accusation, which however despicable as to its Author, is magnified into a Matter of so much consequence as to have claimed the Attention of Congress I must beg the favor of the Hon'ble Committee to give me a speedy Hearing to furnish me with the Charges against me in writing, if they shall think proper.
I am Etc, Etc.
George Morgan

"To the Hon'ble
Richard H. Lee
Daniel Roberdean
& Richard Law, Esqs. Committee of Congress
York Town."*
*From Ferdinand J. Dreer collection of manuscripts owned by the Historical Society of Penna.


Fort Pitt, March 31, 1778
To the Hon'ble Henry Laurens, Esq'r
As the Commissioners and General Hand are possessed of every information respecting the situation of affairs in this Quarter, I beg leave to refer you to their Letters & and to the enclosed Message from the Delawares & Governor Hamilton's new Proclamation with two of his old ones which accompany this.
I only wait here in hopes of being assistant to the Commissioners during their stay at this place. As they are fully acquainted with my sentiments respecting Indian Affairs I need not repeat them to Congress.
The elopement of Mr. McKee, late Crown Agent at Pittsburgh who most dishonorably broke his parole on the 28th inst. has somewhat checked the pleasing expectation I entertained respecting the Delawares and Shawanese, tho' I think the former will not be altogether influenced by him. Four persons accompanied him, viz. Matthew Elliott, Simon Girty, Robin Surplis & Higgins ___.
Elliott had but a few weeks ago returned from Detroit via New York on his Parole & I am told had possessed McKee's mind with the persuasion of his being assassinated on his Road to York. Indeed several persons had expressed the like apprehensions and perjhaps had also mentioned their fears to him which I am of opinion has occasioned his inexcusable Flight. It is also very probsble that Elliott might have been employed to bring Letters from Canada, which may have influenced Mr. McKee's conduct. 1
Girty has served as interpreter of the Six Nation Tongue at all the public Treaties here & I apprehend will influence his Brother who is now on a Message from the Commissioners to the Shawanese to join him.
The Parties of Wyandots mentioned in the Letter from Capt. White Eyes have committed several Murders in Monongahela County. Last wek, two soldiers who had crossed into the Indian Country 4 or 5 miles from this Post to hunt discovered five Indians, one of whom they shot before the Indians perceived them - the Fire was returned, one of our Men was killed & the other escaped back to the Fort.
The Massacre of the Indians who were invited to a friendly Conference at Fort Randolph 2 & the unlucky mustake at Beaver Creek I doubt not Congress are fully informed of by General Hand to whose letters I beg leave to refer & remain with the greatest respect
Your hbl Obedt. Servt.
George Morgan.

The flight of these men, especially of Girty, 3 McKee, and

1 He had in his pocket a captain's commission from the British. - Wash. Irvine Cor., p. 17.
2 The massacre at Fort Randolph referred to in this letter was that of Cornstalk and other Indians, which we mentioned in the text on page 77.
3 There were four Girtys, Thomas, Simon, George and James, brothers; all of whom, with their mother and stepfather, were taken captive by the Indians, the stepfather being burned at the stake before the eyes of his family. Of these brothers Thomas alone returned to civilized life. The others led lawless and savage careers, Simon becoming the most infamous. But he had, perhaps, more humanity than is supposed. It is


Elliott, was fraught with dire results for the borderers, for they were soon heard from as organizing revolt among the tribes friendly to the Americans, and stimulating the hostile savages to further depredations along the frontiers. The record of their deeds fully justifies the strong language which Hugh H. Brackenridge used a few years later, when he called them "that horrid brood of refugees whom the devil has long since marked as his own." They finally made their way to Detroit - the notorious Gevernor Hamilton - encouraged them and their Indian Banditti in the commission of every atrocity against the Americans. Hamilton offered liberal bounties for scalps, but would pay nothing for prisoners, and was on this account nicknamed "the hair-buyer." 1 This conduct of the commandant induced the Indians, after making their captives carry their baggage into the vicinity of Detroit, there

said that through his opportunities many prisoners were saved from torture and death and that in business transactions he was scrupulously exact and honest. It was when he was under the influence of rum, of which he was very fond, that he had no conpassion. His cruel indiffernce to the agonies of Col. Crawford's death at the stake, of which he was a witness, and his mocking refusal to end them by shooting Crawford, as the latter entreated him to do, showed him to be at times a monster. It is hard to believe that this is the same man who could at other times show fondness for little children. For an instance of this fondness , see account of James Lyon's captivity in a note to our chapter on Beaver borough.

1 Wash. - Irvine Cor., p.7. The following graphic account of British brutality is given by an eye-witness, viz., John Leith, who was taken prisoner by the Indians and remained among them eighteen years. On his return from captivity, and on a later occasion, he was for several days at Fort McIntosh (Beaver). His narrative says:

When we arrived there (on the bank of the Detroit Rover) we found Governor Hamilton and several other British officers, who were standing and sitting around. Immediately the Indians produced a large quantity of scalps; the cannon fired; the Indians raised a shout; and the soldiers waved their hats, with huzzas and tremendous shrieks, which lasted some time. This ceremony being ended, the Indians brought forth a parcel of American prisoners, as a trophy of their victories, among whom were eighteen women and children, poor creatures, dreadfully mangled and emaciated , with their clothes tattered and torn to pieces in such a manner as not to hide their nakedness; their legs bare and streaming with blood, the effects of being torn with thorns, briars and brush. To see these poor creatures dragged like sheep to the slaughter, along the British lines, caused my heart to shrink with throbbings and my hair to rise with rage; and if ever I committed murder in my heart it was then, for if I had had an opportunity, I should certainly have killed the Governor, who seemed to take great delight in the exhibition." Biography of John Leith, by Ewel Jeffries, Robert Clarke & Co.'s Reprint, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1883, p. 29.

Some of the British commanders were worse than the Indians. The old Moravian missionary, Heckewelder, relates the following incident:

"A veteran chief of the Wyandot nation, who resided near Detroit, observed to one of the British commanders that surely it was meant that they should kill men only, and not women and children. 'No, no' was the answer, 'kill all, destroy all, nits breed lice!' The brave Indian veteran was so disgusted with this reply, that he refused to go out at all." An account of the History, Manners, and Customs of the Indian Nations, by Rev. John Heckewelder, Reprint by Hist. Soc. of Penna., 1876, p. 338.

In each of these accounts the Governor alluded to was Hamilton. For another version of his conduct, see the following chapter.
vol. 1.-6.


to put them to death. It is a pleasure to know, however, that there were British officers who were opposed to this barbarous policy. De Peyster, who succeeded Hamilton in the command at Detroit, was very humane, and sought to check the cruelties of the savages. To the Delawares he said in one of his speeches: "Bring me prisoners. I am pleased ehen I get to see what you call 'live meat,' because I can speak to it and get information; scalps serve to show that you have seen the enemy, but they are no use to me , I cannot speak with them." In a letter from John Hackenwelder 1 to Colonel Brodhead, dated Coochocking, June 30, 1779, an account is given of the spirited and humane conduct of a Captain Bird, a British officer, who was swnt with some warriors against Fort Lawrence (Laurens), and while at Sandusky interposed to save the life of an American prisoner of the Wyandots. We give the following extract from this letter, which is almost entirely unpunctuated, but which tells its story with a good deal of force and directness.

Simon Girty after coming into Detroit went Immediately to the Commandant informing him that he had 800 Warriors ready at his Command who had determined to attack and take Fort Lawrence that all their request was that an English Captain might be sent with them to see how they would behave this then was immediately agreed to and Captain Bird sent off to go with them likewise to take 4,000 Pounds worth of goods with him for these Warriors after all had been done according to Orders and the goods given to the Indians he was told that none of the Wyandots would go with him against Fort Lawrence but that they were about to Murder a poor prisoner which they had in their possession, the Captian on hearing this did all that was in his power to save the poor man, begging and praying their head men to save his life, and frequently offering 400 Dollars for him on the spot, and indeed was about to offer 1,000 Dollars of which the above mentioned Gentleman [a traderpresent] agreed to pay down 400 out of his store Immediately, but after finding all to no purpose went to the man told him that he could do nothing that if he (Capt.) was in his place he would pick up a gun and defend himself as long as he could, but the Prisoner seeming Pretty easy only told them that the time would come that they would pay dear for all their committed Murders, and then was taken away by the women and

1 Hackenwelder, usually spelled Heckewelder, was the well-known Moravian missionary, who was David Zeisberger's assistant at Friedenstadt, on the Big Beaver, and who went with the mission to the Tuscarawas River, Ohio, in 1773. Like Zeisberger, he was very useful to the American commanders, frequently giving them notice of intended incursions of the savages. Coochocking, from which his letter quoted above was written, is the present Coshocton, Ohio.


Murdered at a most horrid rate after the Capt took the Body buried it but they (the Wyandots) diging (sic) it out again and sticking the head upon a pole, had to bury it a second time - after allwas the Capt went up to themthey were all assembled and spoke to them in the following manner - You damned Rascals - if it was in my power as it is in the power of the Americans not one of you should live, Nothing would satisfy me more than to see such D___ls as you are all killed, you Cowards is that all you can do is to kill a poor Innocent prisoner, you dare not show your face where an army is, but there you are busy when you have nothing to fear get away from me never will I have to do with such - as you are, and be Guilty in such a horrid murder as you have Committed at. This and the Capts behavior towards them so long as he was at Sandusky brought the ill will of the Indians upon him, he would not suffer an Indian to come near him for a long time and would never forget it.---I am informed that the Capt was determined that should he meet with the good luck of having the Fort at Tuscarawas surrendered uo to him, to tell all the men there to march under arms to Detroit and that any Indians should offer to touch any one of the prisoners to fier (sic) upon them and kill all who should come in their way. 1

The fall of 1777 saw a fearful increase of Indian hostilities along the western borders, and, under a resolution of Congress of November 20, 1777, Commissioners of the United States were sent to Fort Pitt to inquire into border affairs and to provide for carrying the war into the enemy's country. These Commissioners recommended to General Hand the protection , by the militia alone, of the frontiers, until they could secure some action of Congress for that purpose. Accordingly, in May, 1778, that body determined upon raising for the Western Department two regiments in Pennsylvania and Virginia, and as General Hand had requested to be recalled, Washington was asked to nominate his successor in that Department. To this office he appointed Brig.-Gen. Lachlan McIntosh an officer in whom he had a great confidence, and whom he spared from the eastern army with great reluctance, writing of him at the time: "His firm disposition and equal justice, his assiduity and good understanding, added to his being a stranger to