REPORT OF THE COMMISSION TO LOCATE THE SITE OF THE FRONTIER FORTS OF PENNSYLVANIA.
CLARENCE M. BUSCH.
STATE PRINTER OF PENNSYLVANIA.
THE FRONTIER FORTS OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA.
THE CATAWBA TRAIL.
Mention has been made of the Catawba Trail. The following is Hon. James Veech's account and description of it as given in The Monongahela of Old:
"The most prominent, and perhaps the most ancient of these old pathways across our county, was the old Catawba or Cherokee Trail, leading from the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, &c., through Virginia and Western Pennsylvania, on to Western New York and Canada. We will trace it within our limits as well as we can. After crossing and uniting with numerous other trails, the principal one entered Fayette territory, at the State line, at the mouth of Grassy run. A tributary trail, called the Warrior Branch, coming from Tennessee, through Kentucky and Southern Ohio, came up Fish creek and down Dunkard, crossing Cheat river at McFarland's. It run out a junction with the chief trail, intersecting it in William Gans' sugar camp, but it kept on by Crow's mill, James Robinson's, and the old gun factory, and thence toward the mouth of Redstone, intersecting the old Redstone trail from the top of Laurel Hill, afterward Burd's road, near Jackson's, or Grace Church, on the National Road. The main Catawba trail pursued the even tenor of its way, regardless of minor points, which, like a modern grand railroad, it served by branches and turn-outs. After receiving the Warrior Branch junction, it kept on through land late of Charles Griffin, by Long's Mill, Ashcraft's Fort, Phillip Rogers' (now Alfred Stewart's), the Diamond Spring (now William James'); thence nearly on the route of the present Morgantown road, until it came to the Misses Hadden's; thence across Hellen's fields, passing near the Rev. William Brownfield's mansion, and about five rods west of the old Henry Beeson brick house; thence through Uniontown, over the old Bank house lot, crossing the creek where the bridge now is, back of the Sheriff's house; thence along the northern side of the public grave-yard on the hill, through the eastern edge of John Gallagher's land, about six rods south of John F. Foster's (formerly Samuel Clarke's) house, it crossed Shute's Run where the fording now is, between the two meadows, keeping the high land through Col. Evans' plantation, and passed between William and John Jones' to the site of Pearse's Fort; thence by the Murphy school-house, and bearing about thirty rods westward of the Mount Braddock mansion, it passed a few rods to the east of the old Conrad Strickler house, where it is still visible. Keeping on through land formerly of John Hamilton (now Freeman), it crossed the old Connellsville road immediately on the summit of the Limestone hill, a few rods west of the old Strickler distillery; thence through the old Lawrence Harrison land (James Blackiston's) to Robinson's falls on Mill Run, and thence down it to the Yough river, crossing it just below the run's mouth, where Braddock's army crossed, at Stewart's Crossings. The trail thence kept through the Narrows, by Rist's, near the Baptist meeting-house, beyond Pennsville, passing by the old Saltwell on Green Lick run, to the mouth of Bushy run, at Tinsman's or Welshouse's mill. Thence it bore across Westmoreland county, up the Allegheny, to the heads of the Susquehanna, and into Western New York, then the empire of the Iroquois. A branch left the main trail at Robinson's mill, on Mill or Opossum run, which crossed the Yough at the Broad ford, bearing down across Jacobs creek, Sewickley and Turtle creeks, to the forks of the Ohio, at Pittsburgh, by the highland route. This branch, and the northern part within our county [Fayette], of the main route, will be found to possess much interest in connection with Braddock's line of march to his disastrous destiny.
"This Cherokee or Catawba Indian trail, including its Warrior branch, is the only one of note which traversed our county northward and southward. Generally, they passed eastward and westward, from the river, to and across the mountains.
"Decidedly the most important of all these [trails passing eastward and westward] is Nemacolin's Trail, afterward adopted and improved by Washington and Braddock, the latter of whom, by a not unusual freak of fame, has given to the road its name, while its shrewd old Indian engineer, like him who traced for Napoleon the great road across the Simplon, has been buried in forgetfulness."
For mention of Nemacolin's Trail, see notes to Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt.
FORTS IN WASHINGTON COUNTY.
Doddridge in his "Notes on the Early Settlements and Indian Wars," says the "settlers' fort" of those days was "not only a place of defense but the residence of a small number of families belonging to the same neighborhood. As the Indian mode of warfare was an indiscriminate slaughter of all ages and both sexes, it was as requisite to provide for the safety of the women and children as for that of the men. The fort consisted of cabins, blockhouses, and stockades. A range of cabins commonly formed one side at least of the fort. Divisions or partitions of logs separated the cabins from each other. The walls on the outside were ten to twelve feet high, the slope of the roof being turned wholly inward. A very few of these cabins had puncheon floors, the greater part were earthen. The blockhouses were built at the angles of the fort. They projected about two feet beyond the outer walls of the cabins and stockades. Their upper stories were about eighteen inches every way larger in dimension than the under one, leaving an opening at the commencement of the second story to prevent the enemy from making a lodgment under the walls. In some forts the angles of the fort were furnished with bastions instead of blockhouses. A large folding gate, made of thick slabs, nearest the spring, closed the fort. The stockades, bastions, cabins, and blockhouse walls were furnished with port-holes at proper heights and distances. The whole of the outside was made completely bullet-proof. It may be truly said that necessity is the mother of invention, for the whole of this work was made without the aid of a single nail or spike of iron, and for the reason that such things were not to be had. In some places less exposed a single blockhouse, with a cabin or two, constituted the whole fort. Such places of refuge may appear very trifling to those who have been in the habit of seeing the formidable military garrisons of Europe and America, but they answered the purpose, as the Indians had no artillery. They seldom attacked, and scarcely ever took one of them."
The foregoing description of the different kinds of forts and blockhouses is peculiarly applicable to this region. Later and after the Revolution there were many so-called stations along the Ohio river and in Kentucky and the western country then being settled. "A station was a parallelogram of cabins, untied by palisades so as to present a continued wall on the outer side, the cabin doors opening into a common square, on the inner side. These were the strongholds of the early settlers." (Note to Border Warfare, p. 235.) Further this description might possibly answer for some of the stations in the Panhandle or the western border of Washington county.
In speaking of the condition of the settlements in the Washington county region towards the close of the Revolutionary War, Mr. Butterfield in his Crawford Expedition against Sandusky, p. 39, says:
"The people of the border were forced into forts which dotted the country in every direction. These were in the highest degree uncomfortable. They consisted of cabins, blockhouses, and stockades. In some places, where the exposure was not great, a single blockhouse, with a cabin outside, constituted the whole fort. For a space around, the forest was usually cleared away, so that an enemy could neither find a lurking place nor conceal his approach.
"Near these forts the borderers worked their fields in parties guarded by sentinels. Their necessary labors, therefore, were performed with every danger and difficulty imaginable. Their work had to be carried on with their arms and all things belonging to their war-dress deposited in some central place in the field. Sentinels were stationed on the outside of the fence; so that, on the least alarm, the whole company repaired to their arms, and were ready for the combat in a moment.
"From Pittsburgh south, including the Valleys of the Monongahela and Youghiogheny, and the territory west of these to the Ohio, was a scope of country having, at this time, considerable population; nevertheless, there were few families who had lived therein any considerable length of time that had not lost some of their number by the merciless Indians."
"Beyond the story of old Catfish, alias Tingooqua, an Indian chief who lived betimes on what is the site of Washington, Pa., and the doubtful traditions of the existence of a few Indian settlements within the present limit of Washington county, there is, says the Hon. Boyd Crumrine in his History of Washington County, "with reference to that territory, no Indian History to be given for the years prior to the opening of Dunmore's War, in 1774. From that time on through the border warfare that raged until after the chose of the Revolution the annals of this region are full of stirring eventsIndian incursions, massacres, and alarmscovering the period from 1774 to 1783."
"This fort is situated on Buffalo creek, about twelve miles from its junction with the Ohio river." It appears, says Mr. Alfred Creigh in his History of Washington county, that Rice's Fort furnishes the most satisfactory history of those times, which I have been able to procure.
The Indians, being defeated at Wheeling, resolved to strike a severe blow in the country, and hence about one hundred warriors marched to Rice's Fort, but the inhabitants being made aware of their approach, each ran to his cabin for his gun, and all took refuge in the blockhouse or fort. Although they intended to take it by assault, yet they failed, as the sequel will show, and they continued their depredations, destroying barns, fences, cattle, &c., but finally retreated. Rev. Dr. Doddridge, in his account of this fort, says:
"This place was defended by a Spartan band of men, against one hundred chosen warriors, exasperated to madness by their failure at Wheeling Fort. Their names shall be inscribed in the lists of the heroes of our early times. They were Jacob Miller, George Leffer[Leffler], Peter Fullenweider, Daniel Rice, George Felebaum, and Jacob Leffer, Jr. George Felebaum was shot in the forehead through a port-hole at the second fire of the Indians, and instantly expired, so that in reality the defense of the place was made by only five men. Four of the Indians were killed. The next morning sixty men collected and pursued the Indians, but discovered they had separated into small parties, and the pursuit was given up."
More particulars of this attack are given below which are taken from Crumrine's History of Washington county, and the letters in part from the Washington-Irvine Correspondence:
On the 11th of Sept., 1782, in the evening, an Indian force of 260 warriors under the renegade George Girty (brother of the infamous Simon), accompanied by a force of about forty British rangers from Detroit under Capt. Pratt, of the royal service, attacked the fort (Fort Henry) at Wheeling, but were repulsed. Other attempts were made by them to carry the place by assault during the day and night of the 12th, but with no better success, and in the morning of the 13th they withdrew from Wheeling with the intention of carrying their depredations to the inland settlements. Their attack on Wheeling is described by Ebenezer Zane in the following letter to Gen. Irvine. [Washington-Irvine Cor., p. 397.]
"Wheeling, 17th September, 1782.
"Sir: On the evening of the eleventh instant a body of the enemy appeared in sight of our garrison. They immediately formed into lines around the garrison, paraded British colors, and demanded the Fort to be surrendered, which was refused. About 12 o'clock of night they rushed hard on the pickets in order to storm but was repulsed. They made two other attempts to storm before day but to no purpose. About 8 o'clock next morning there came a negro from them to us, and informed us that their force consisted of a British captain and 40 regular soldiers and 260 Indians. The enemy kept up a continual fire the whole day. About 10 o'clock at night they made a fourth attempt to storm to no better purpose than the former. The enemy continued around the garrison till the morning of the 13th instant, when they disappeared. Our loss is none. Daniel Sullivan, who arrived here in the beginning of the action, is wounded in the foot.
"I believe they have driven the greatest part of our stock away, and might, I think, be soon overtaken."
When the Indian besiegers found themselves compelled to withdraw from Fort Henry without having effected its capture as they had expected to do, the larger part of their force, together with Capt. Pratt's British Rangers, crossed the Ohio with what plunder they had been able to secure, and took their way through the wilderness towards the Sandusky. The remainder of the Indian force, some sixty or seventy in number, took the opposite direction, striking eastward towards the interior settlements, bent on massacre and devastation in revenge for their disappointment at Fort Henry. Their objective point was Rice's fort, on the Dutch Fork of Buffalo creek, in the present township of Donegal, Washington county.
Intelligence of the attack on Fort Henry was brought to Col. James Marshel at Catfish by Capt. Boggs immediately after the siege began, and while all the Indian and British forces were collected round the fort. On the receipt of the information Marshel notified Gen. Irvine by letter as follows [Wash.-Irvine Cor., p. 312]:
"Thursday, September 12, 1782.
"Dear Sir: By an express this moment arrived from Wheeling, I have received the following intelligence, namely: That a large trail, by supposition about two hundred Indians, was discovered yesterday about three o'clock near to that place. Capt. Boggs, who brought the account, says that when he had left the fort about nine miles and a half he heard the swivel at Wheeling fired, and one rifle. He further says that Ebenezer McCulloch, from Van Meter's fort, on his way to Wheeling, got within one-half a mile of the place shortly after Boggs left it, where he was alarmed by hearing a heavy and constant fire about the forts, and makes no doubt the fort was then attacked. * * *"
Three days later Col. Marshel communicated to Gen. Irvine further information of the movements of the Indians in the following letter:
"Sunday Morning, 15th September, 1782.
"Dear Sir: You may depend upon it, as a matter of fact, that a large body of Indians are now in our country. Last night I saw two prisoners who made their escape from Wheeling in time of the action, and say the enemy consists of 238 Indians and 40 Rangers, the latter commanded by a British officer; that they attacked Wheeling Fort on Wednesday night, and continued the attack, at which time the above deserters left them. This Fort they say was the principal object of the enemy; but it appears, both from their account and the enemy's advancing into the country, that they have despaired of taking it. The deserters say that shortly before they left the enemy that they had determined to give up the matter at Wheeling, and either scatter into small parties in order to distress and plunder the inhabitants, or attack the first small fort they could come at. The latter I'm this moment informed is actually the case; that they have attacked one Rice's Blockhouse, on what is called the Dutch fork of Buffalo, and its to be feared it will fall into their hands, as only those have been called upon who are not going upon the expedition. I m afraid they will not turn out as well as they ought to do. If the enemy continues to advance in one body the matter will become serious, and perhaps require our whole strength to repel them. But if it can possibly be avoided I could wish not to call upon a man that's going upon the expedition against Sandusky. Besides, the battalion rendezvous is appointed as soon as the men could possibly be collected. Unless the officers have made their appointments, as you will see by Col. McCleery's letter they have done in the first battalion, no doubt ammunition will be wanted on this occasion. A small quantity, such as the bearer can carry, will do. Excuse haste."
The following account of the attack on Rice's Fort is from "Chronicles of Border Warfare, or a history of the settlement of northwestern Virginia." By A. S. Withers, 1831.
"The place against which the savages directed their operations was situated on Buffaloe creek, twelve or fifteen miles from its entrance into the Ohio, and was known as Rice's fort. Until Miller's return, there was in it only five men, the others having gone to Hagerstown to exchange their peltries for salt, iron and ammunition. They immediately set about making preparations to withstand an assault, and in a little while, seeing the savages approaching from every direction, forsook the cabins and repaired to the blockhouse. The Indians perceived that they were discovered, and thinking to take the station by storm, shouted forth the war-whoop and rushed to the assault. They were answered by the fire of the six brave and skillful riflemen in the house, and forced to take refuge behind trees and fallen timber. Still they continued the firing, occasionally calling on the whites to "Give up, give upIndian too manyIndian too bigGive up, Indian no kill." The men had more faith in the efficacy of their guns to purchase their safety than in the proffered mercy of the savages; and instead of complying with their demand, called on them, "as cowards, skulking behind logs, to leave their coverts, and show but their yellow hides, and they would make holes in them."
"The firing was kept up by the savages from their protected situation until night, and whenever even a remote prospect of galling them was presented to the whites, they did not fail to avail themselves of it. The Indian shots in the evening were directed principally against the stock as it came up as usual to the station, and the field was strewed with dead carcasses. About ten o'clock of the night they fired a large barn (thirty or forty yards from the blockhouse) filled with grain and hay, and the flames from which seemed for a while to endanger the fort; but being situated on higher ground, and the current of air flowing in a contrary direction, it escaped conflagration. Collecting on the side of the fort opposite to the fire, the Indians took advantage of the light it afforded them to renew the attack, and kept it up until about two o'clock, when they departed. Their ascertained loss was four warriorsthree of whom were killed by the first firing of the whitesthe other about sundown. George Felebaum was the only white who suffered. Early in the attack he was shot in the forehead, through a porthole, and expired instantly, leaving Jacob Miller, George Leffler, Jr., Peter Fullenweider, Daniel Rice and Jacob Leffler, sole defenders of the fort, and bravely and effectually did they preserve it from the furious assaults of one hundred chosen savage warriors.
"Soon after the Indians left Rice s fort, they moved across the hills in different directions and in detached parties. One of these observing four men proceeding towards the fort which they had lately left, waylaid the path and killed two of them on the first fire. The remaining two fled hastily, and one of them, swift of foot, soon made his escape. The other, closely pursued by one of the savages and in danger of being overtaken, wheeled to fire. His gun snapped, and he again took to flight. Yet more closely pressed by his pursuer, he once attempted to shoot. Again his gun snapped, and the savage being now near enough, hurled a tomahawk at his head. It missed its object and both strained every nerve for the chase. The Indian gained rapidly upon him, and reaching forth his arm, caught hold of his belt. It had been tied in a bow-knot, and came loose. Sensible that the race must soon terminate to his disadvantage unless he could kill his pursuer, the white man once more tried his gun. It fired, and the savage fell dead at his feet."
The fact that the Indians were advancing eastward from Wheeling was known at Rice's fort about half an hour before the savages made their appearance, the intelligence having been brought by Jacob Miller, who learned the news at the house of Dr. Moore, near Catfish, and rode with all possible speed to notify the people at the threatened point, and to take part in the defense. Some of the men from the fort had gone to Hagerstown for supplies, and only five were left to defend it, viz: George Leffler, Peter Fullenweider, Daniel Rice, George Felebaum, and Jacob Leffler, Jr. This force was increased to six by the arrival of Miller. The Indians soon made their appearance and surrounded the fort. The six defenders fired, and three savages fell. The Indians returned the fire without effect, but in their second volley they killed George Felebaum, who was standing at a porthole The ball struck him in the forehead, and he expired instantly. The firing was kept up during the day, but without any casualty to the white men.
Abraham Rice, of the fort, was absent, having set out at once on receipt of the news brought by Miller to go to Lamb's fort, some four miles away, for assistance. He had not been gone long when he heard the firing at his own fort, and at once determined to return and assist in the defense; but he failed in his attempt, for he was discovered by the Indians, who fired a great number of shots and wounded him badly, but he made his escape, and was able to reach Lamb's, whence, after his wounds had been dressed, he set out on his return, having with him a party of twelve men. This was late in the evening. On approaching the besieged fort, ten of the party became alarmed and retreated, but Rice and the other two went on. They were soon discovered by an Indian, who thereupon gave the usual alarm, which passed around the entire line encircling the fort. The savages supposed that a large party of whites was approaching, and after one more fierce and ineffectual attempt to carry the fort they retreated from the place, having lost four warriors by the rifles of the defenders. On the following morning a force of about 60 frontiersmen collected and started in pursuit of the Indians, but after proceeding two or three miles it was found that the savages had scattered in small parties, and the pursuit was abandoned. The Indians, however, in their retreat met another party of four white men, two of whom they killed, losing one of their warriors.
The Indian attacks at Wheeling and at Rice's fort (showing that the savages could make incursions in force and almost at will in spite of the vigilance of the "ranging parties" of militia) materially dampened the ardor of the people with regard to the new Sandusky campaign, notwithstanding that the government had ordered a considerable body of Continental troops to accompany the expedition, in accordance with the wishes of Cols. Marshel and Cook and several of the more prominent among the militia officers of Washington and Westmoreland counties. [Crumrine's Hist. Washington county, page 134.]
This fort was on the farm now owned by Charles Burrick, in Donegal township, Washington county.
Demas Lindley with his family came in 1773 to settle west of the Monongahela, in the section of country which afterward became Washington county, and with him came about twenty other families, all from New Jersey, and nearly all from the county of Morris which had been Mr. Lindley's home before his emigration. Four of the families settled on the south fork of Ten-Mile creek, near Jefferson, Greene county. The others settled at different points on the north and middle forks of the same creeks. Demas Lindley located on 400 acres of land situated on the middle fork of Ten-Mile creek adjacent to the lands of Caleb and John Lindley, James Draper and J. McVaugh. This property was warranted to him Feb. 5, 1785, and surveyed Dec. 6th, of the same year, receiving the title of "Mill Place," its location being very near the present village of Prosperity. Mr. Lindley became the owner of another tract called Headquarters, which was warranted to him April 18th, 1796, as containing 368 acres.
Demas Lindley and Jack Cook were two of the most prominent and influential men among the early settlers along Ten-Mile creek. They were very active in the frontier movements against the Indians, and a fort was early established upon the property of Mr. Lindley, called Lindley's Fort, and was the rendezvous for the residents in this part of the county.
"Lindley's Fort, near the present village of Prosperity, was one of the strongest forts in the western country, because it was the most exposed to the hostile incursions of the savage inhabitants." [Creigh's Hist. of Wash. Co., p. 55.]
Judge Veech thus alludes to this fort: "Sometimes, as at Lindley's, and many of the other forts in the adjacent country west of the Monongahela, additional cabins were erected outside the fort, for temporary abode in times of danger, from which the sojourners could, in case of attack, retreat within the fort. [Mon. of Old, 21.]
Among the many forts or blockhouses which dotted the wilderness in those uncertain times, Wolf's Fort was one of the first built. It stood about five miles west of the present borough of Washington, and enclosed the cabin of Jacob Wolf. To this fort Priscilla Peak or Peck crawled upon her hands and knees after being scalped. She was confined to her bed with a fever when the Indians broke in upon the family, and seeing the hopelessness of escaping, some one threw a quilt around her and told her to fly. She only had strength sufficient to reach a pigsty, where she stopped for breath. While leaning over the fence an Indian discovered her and scalped her. Being hotly pursued by the whites he did not tomahawk her, and in this condition she reached Wolf's Fort. She recovered, her head healed, but she always wore a black cap to conceal her loss. A Miss Christianna Clemmens and Lydia Boggs were chased into this fort, and only escaped capture by outrunning their pursuers. Miss Boggs was afterwards captured and carried over the Ohio river, but effected her escape and returned to her friends, having forced her horse to swim the river. Another incident relating to the history of this fort was recounted, in later years, by William Darby, who, when a child, came with his parents to this vicinity in December, 1781, the elder Darby evidently intending permanent settlement here, but being driven away by Indian alarms. Mr. Darby in his narrative says, "We remained in Mr. Wolf's house until February, 1782, while my father was preparing his cabin, into which we finally entered, but not to rest. In fifteen or twenty days after entering into our log cabin, Martin Jolly came running breathless to tell us that a savage murder had been committed but ten miles distant. In two hours we were in Wolf's Fort. From the Fort my parents removed to Catfish, Washington, and spent the remainder of 1782, and to April, 1783, on the farm of Alexander Reynolds, recently owned by Dr. F. J. LeMoyne." [Hist. Wash. County, 678. See Darby's Acct. in "Historical Acct. Expdn. Agst. Sand. Butterfield.]
The fort was said to be a stockade inclosing the house of Jacob Wolf, in what is now Buffalo township, Washington county. [His. Wash. County, 130, n.]
Meanwhile the savages in the northwest had (as had been foreseen) grown still more fiercely hostile since the massacre of the Moravians, and more active than ever on the war-path. In the space of a few weeks, following the return of Williamson's expedition to the Muskingum, in Ohio, several Indian forays were made into Washington county. A Mrs. Walker, whose home was on Buffalo creek, was taken prisoner on the 27th of March, but succeeded in escaping from her savage captors. On the first of April, an entire family named Boice, consisting of eight persons, were captured by the savages and taken away to the Indian towns west of the Ohio, and on the following day another party of marauders killed a man within the present limits of the borough of Washington.
A few days after the capture of the Boice family, Miller's blockhouse, situated on the Dutch Fork of Buffalo creek, in the present county of Donegal, Washington county, was attacked on a Sabbath morning by a party of about twenty Shawanese warriors, who had arrived during the previous night, but remained hidden nearby until early in the morning. Two men came out of the enclosure, and started along the path to search for a colt which had strayed. When they had passed the ambushment, the savages fell upon and killed them, and having torn off their scalps the entire party leaped from their place of concealment and surrounded the block-house. The inmates were now only one old man and several women and children, but there were rifles and ammunition, and these were used by the women to so good effect that the savage assaulters were kept at bay until there came a relieving party of three white men, who rushed past the Indians, effected an entrance into the blockhouse and defended it so effectively that the red-skinned besiegers finally withdrew and disappeared.
The men killed were John Hupp, Sr., Jacob Miller, Sr. The persons left in the blockhouse were old Mr. Mathias Ault, Ann Hupp, wife of the murdered John, their four children,Margaret, Mary, John and Elizabeth Hupp,the family of Edgar Gaither, Frederick Miller, an eleven year-old son of Jacob, who was killed outside the fort, and two or three other members of the same family. The successful defense of the blockhouse until the arrival of help was principally due to the heroism and undaunted courage of the widowed Ann Hupp. The boy, Frederick Miller, was started from the house to go to Rice's Fort, about two miles away, for aid, but the Indians saw him, and he was driven back, wounded, narrowly escaping with his life. But the firing of the Indians when they killed Hupp and Miller had been heard at Rice's, and the rescuing party referred to, consisting of Jacob Rowe, only about 16 years of age, Jacob Miller, Jr., Phillip Hupp (all of whom belonged at the Miller blockhouse, but chanced to be absent at Rice's at the time of the attack), came with all speed to the assistance of the besieged ones, and gained an entrance as stated. The Indians kept up the siege through the day, but disappeared during the following night.
A number of other attacks were made in this county and in Westmoreland, during the month of April and early part of May (1782). In a letter written on the 8th of the latter month by Dorsey Pentecost to President Moore (Pa. Arch. ix, 541), he said, "The Indians are murdering frequently. Last Friday night two men were killed on the frontiers of this county, and about a week before I got home 14 people were killed and captured in different parts, and last week some mischief was done near Hannas Town, but have not learned the particulars."
The blockhouse mentioned stood on the farm now owned by Clinton Miller. [Hist. Of Wash. County, 112.]
Captain Samuel Beelor and his son Samuel were settled in 1774 upon land where the village of Candor now stands, in Robinson township, Washington countyas is recited in a Virginia certificate granted in February, 1780. An additional tract of land of 400 acres adjoining this was granted to Samuel Beelor, July 17th, 1782. On the survey accompanying this statement is shown a house two stories high and situated on a road from Dillow's Fort to Turner's Fort.
What was known as Beelor's Fort was his own house, two stories high, made large and strong. The survey of 1782 shows no other. Captain Samuel Beelor and his family, and Samuel Beelor, Jr., and his family lived on the place till 1789, when they sold and removed. The lands are now owned by J. M. Clark, trustee John O. Smith, Mrs. Cully, Samuel Neill, of the Raccoon church, and embrace the site of the village of Candor, (1882.)
The fort is said to have been erected about a hundred yards southwest of the Raccoon church. It must have been some years after Mr. Beelor's settlement, before the Baileys, the McCandless, Sherers, and others came to this section. Beelor's house was the rendezvous for all the people of the vicinity in the time of danger.
Dillow's Fort was in Hanover township, Washington county, on the farm of Matthew Dillow on Fort Dillow run. The road from there ran southeasterly to Beelor's, and from thence east to Turner's Fort. A large yellow poplar stands near the site of the old fort.
Michael Dillow located a tract of land on Pillow's creek, a branch of Raccoon creek. He settled before 1780, and in that year received a Virginia certificate for the land on which he had located. It was adjoining the land of Thomas Armour and James Crawford, and a short distance from Thomas Bigger. A survey of Samuel Beelor, made in 1782, shows a road from Fort Pillow to Fort Beelor, and east from there to Turner's mill. The tract of land was surveyed June 8th, 1788, and named "Dillow's Fort," containing 399 acres. A warrant of the Board of Property, dated March 24, 1798, was returned to Abraham Kirkpatrick. The land warranted by Matthew Dillow is now owned by Robert R. Coventry. Soon after, in 1782, Matthew Dillow and his son, John, were at work in the clearing when Indians in ambush shot the father and took the son a prisoner. He saw them secrete the body of his father near a large log before starting on their march. The boy was kept a prisoner for several years, and upon his return was questioned as to what became of the body of his father. He recalled and narrated the incidents of his capture. A number of friends gathered together, and after a search found the skeleton of the elder Dillow. It was brought to near the old fort and buried. [Hist. of Wash. Co., 804.]
Grace Fuller, a female slave, who was the property of Thomas Armour remembered being in Pillow's Fort when about 17 years of age, at the time of an attack of the Indians, about the year 1778. She was later owned by a man by the name of Pierce. [Ib., 804.]
Col. Brodhead to Ensign John Beck from Pittsburgh, Aug. 1st, 1779, (Brodhead's Letter Book, No. 39), says: "I have received yours of the 30th of last month, by express. Altho it is not plainly expressed I conceive two of the boys you mention must have fallen into the hands of the Indians, and I have just now received information that one Anderson, who lived about two miles from Dillar's (Dillow's) Fort, was slightly wounded, and two of his little boys carried off by the savages on the same day the mischief was done on Wheeling."
Col. David Redick to Gov. Mifflin on the 13th of Feb., 1792, (2d Arch. iv, 700) writes as follows:
"I have read your letter of information and instructions to the County Lieutenants, on the subject of protection. I find that a considerable gap is left open to the enemy on the northwesterly part of the county, and that a place where, in former wars the enemy perpetually made their approach on that quarterthe settlements on Raccoon, especially about Dilloe's constantly experienced in former times the repeated attacks of the enemy." See the sketch accompanying this communication, and the plan suggested by Col. Redick for the protection of that exposed frontier, where his letter may be found, as referred to above.
Joseph Vance came to Smith township, Washington county, from Winchester, Va., in 1774, and took up the land now occupied in part by James L. Vance, a great-grandson of the original proprietor. He was prominent in all the various expeditions, against the Indians, and built the stockade fort known for many years as Vance's Fort by the early settlers. The site of the fort is about one mile north of Cross Creek village, on the headwaters of a branch emptying into Raccoon creek. The exact spot is still shown.
The region of country called Cross Creek, began to be settled about the year 1770 or 71. The first settlers were mostly Scotch-Irish. Some came directly from the north of Ireland and west of Scotland, some from York county, Pa., and from Winchester, Va., and a few from Mecklenburg. N. C. Meetings for worship were held as early as 1776 and 77. Two such societies were organized without the bounds of the Cross Creek settlements. For several years the settlers were greatly harassed by incursions of hostile Indians. Not a few of those who fell under their murderous tomahawks lie in the burying-ground of this congregation. From these incursions the people fled into Vance's and Wells' Forts; the former one mile north, and the latter five miles west of this church. In these forts social and afterward public worship was kept up for about seven years, especially in summer and autumn, the seasons when the Indians were wont to make their raids. * * * * The Rev. James Powers, from the Forks of Youghiogheny, visited this region and preached the first gospel sermon ever heard in it, on the 14th of Sept., 1778. This was under an oak tree just outside the gate of Vance's Fort.
Tradition has it that here was planned the expedition of 1782, under Col. Williamson, against the Moravian Indians at Gnaddenhutten, which resulted in the massacre of those Indians. Although the removal of the Indians from that place was the intention of the force when it started it was entirely changed from a circumstance which intervened. For on the arrival of the force at the villages of the Indians, finding the Indians possessed of some of the clothes of a Mrs. Wallace, who had been murdered in the vicinity of Vance's Fort, by Indians a few months previously, the men became enraged, and instead of moving them to Fort Pitt, or farther west, they massacred them in cold blood. [Hist. Wash., 914-736-103-722. Messrs. J. M. K. Reed and Jas. Simpson MS.].
Crawford's campaign against Sandusky. [Hist. Wash. Co., p. 103, 722.]
It was at Vance's Fort that Wm. Parks, a brother-in-law of Rev. Thomas Marquis, was killed by the Indians in 1782.
Hoagland's Fort was near Leech's old mill on the north branch of Raccoon creek, in Smith township, Washington county. On land now owned by Joseph Keys, are some stones which are said to be on the site of Henry Hoagland's Fort. It is said the land belonged to Lund Washington and that Henry Hoagland never had legal title to the land. In 1786 the land was patented by James Leech as "Litchfield." Among others James Leech, Matthew Rankin, William Rankin and Thomas Rankin forted here. * * * * There is a tradition that at one time the women of this fort repulsed the Indians who were attacking it with scalding water. [MS-Messrs. Reed and Simpson.]
Title to this tract of land is mentioned in the History of Washington county, by Mr. Boyd Crumrine, page 915. It would thus appear that this tract was part of the land granted by Virginia patent to Lund Washington, Nov. 24, 1779, who sold to Geo. McCormick, Jan. 20, 1792, and who Feb. 27th, of the same year, sold to Gabriel Blakeney, who sold, on the 19th of May, 1795, to John Wishart, from whom it descended to his daughter who was married to James Leech.
"On this tract had been an old fort, known as Hoagland's Fort which the Rankins, Buxtons and others used as place of protection."
A fort known as Allen's Fort was located near the line between Smith and Robinson townships, Washington county, in Smith township (?), which the Baileys, Shearers, and others used as a place of security before the Beelor Fort was erected. It is possible that John Allen settled there prior to that time, but his name does not appear on a Virginia certificate as having lands under that title. He took a Pennsylvania warrant November 5, 1784, which was surveyed to him by the name of "Derry," Feb. 25, 1785. He lived to an old age and died there; married, but childless. The farm was left to a nephew, Moses Allen, who was not a thrifty man, and the farm passed to other hands. [Hist. Wash. Co., 916.]
A fort or blockhouse was on the place which later became known as the Dinsmore's Fort. This fort was on the farm where James Dinsmore lived and died at an advanced age. James Dinsmore emigrated to this country from Ireland, and settled first in Fayette township, Allegheny county, Pa., and on the 21st of July, 1795, purchased 276 acres of land in Canton township, Washington county, of Joshua Anderson, adjoining lands of Francis Cunningham, Samuel Agnew, James Taggart, and William Shearer, it being part of a tract called "Huntington" which was patented to Joshua Anderson, Sept. 26th, 1787. The farm was divided between his two sons, John and James. The former remained on the homestead until his death. William his son is the present owner of the homestead, where he was born. [Hist. Wash. Co., 689.]
Hercules Roney and James Roney were of Scotch-Irish birth, and emigrated to America about 1775. They were early settlers in this county, and were both chain-men with Col. Wm. Crawford, as surveyor of Yohogania county, Va., and assisted in many of the surveys of land granted on Virginia certificates. They settled in Findley township upon the land which they afterward obtained on Virginia certificates. Hercules Roney's certificate bears date Sept. 21, 1779.
Hercules Roney built upon his land a large and strong blockhouse, which was known as "Roney's Blockhouse," or "Roney's Fort." To this place the neighbors repaired in times of danger.
The McIntosh family, who were of Scotch birth or descent, located in this township at an early but not precisely known date. During the harvest season of 1789 or 1790, the entire family, with the exception of one daughter, were massacred by Indians. They were out at some distance from their house engaged in stacking hay or grain, when the Indians fired on them, killing the father on the stack. The mother and six children fled toward the house, but were overtaken, tomahawked and scalped. The daughter above mentioned had been sent to a distant pasture with a horse, and hearing the firing, and realizing the danger, fled to Roney's Blockhouse and gave the alarm. Hercules Roney and a party of men started at once for the scene of the butchery. The Indians had gone, but the eight dead and mutilated bodies told the bloody tale. Roney and his party buried them on the farm that is now owned by Mr. Blaney. [Hist. Wash. Co., 982.]
William Reynolds came into what is now Cross Creek township, Washington county, as early as 1755, and upon a Virginia certificate took up 399 acres of land next to lands of James Jackson, Samuel Patterson, and Thomas Marquis. This tract was surveyed Dec. 4, 1785, and given the name of "Reynoldsville." The farm is now owned and occupied by Mr. Wm. M. Dunbar, and is located about one and a half miles southwest from Cross Creek village. On this place Mr. Reynolds built a blockhouse, the site of which is indicated by the present barn. This fort was the refuge of the families of James Jackson, James Colwell, widow Mary Patterson, Ephraim Hart, and all other neighbors near enough to avail themselves of its protection against the Indians. In the summer of 1779, the Indians attacked Reynolds house during his absence, carried off his wife and child, and while on their way to their towns west of the Ohio, being hotly pursued and attacked by Reynolds and a small party of whites, they murdered Mrs. Reynolds and the child. * * * * The whites who were in this encounter were the Rev. Thomas Marquis, John Marquis, his brother, and Robert McCreedy. [Hist. Wash. Co., 724. Reed and Simpson MS.]
Wells' Fort was built on the land of Alexander Wells, called"Mayfield" (1780), on the waters of Cross Creek, near the junction of North and south Forks, in Cross Creek township Washington county. The fort stood a little east of the stone house now owned by Wm. Knox (Brenemen, P. O. Wash. Co. Pa.). * * * * Besides being a refuge for the families of the settlement it was also a defense for the mill which stood a few rods west of it and was one of the earliest mills built is that part of the county, Mr. Wells having settled there in 1773.
In April and May, 1782, the inhabitants in the vicinity of Wells Mill petitioned Gen. Wm. Irvine, commander of the Western Department, at Fort Pitt, to send a few men to help garrison this fort and defend the mill, as there were eight to ten forts and blockhouses and posts dependent on the mill for their supplies of flour:
"Sir: The dangerous situation that our frontiers at present seem to be in obliges us, your humble petitioners, to beg for your assistance at such a difficult time as it now is. Our case is such as follows, namely: We, the inhabitants near Mr. Alexander Wells' mill, are very unhandy to any other mill and daily open to the rage of a savage and merciless enemy notwithstanding the great care that hath already been taken for our safety by placing guards on the river. The inhabitants that live near enough the mill to fort there look upon themselves not of sufficient force to guard the mill and carry on any labor to support their families. They will, therefore, undoubtedy break off, unless your excellency will please to grant them a few men to guard the mill. Unless this is done we must also break ground, as the mill is not only our main support in regard to bread for our families, but likewise in furnishing us with flour for every expedition that we are called to go upon. Their going off will expose us to another front side open. Therefore, we, your humble petitioners, pray that, if it is in your power to help us at such a difficult time, you will not be negligent in doing as much as possible. [Signed] Samuel Peter, Henry Nelson, James Scott, Phillip Doddridge, Charles Stuart, John Comley, Walter Hill, Benjamin Pursle, Morris West, Thomas Shannon, John Marical, Michael Hough, Sen. John Carpenter, James Newell, William McClimans, Aaron Sackett."
[On the same day a like petition was sent in from the following persons living near Wells' fortGeorge Brown, John Baxter, Matthew Fouke, Samuel Naylor, John Sappington, George Naylor, and, on the next day, a similar one from the following persons of Hoagland's near Alexander Wells Mill: George McColloch, William Logan, John Biggs, Benj. Biggs, Charles Hedges, James Andrews, Wm. Harrison, Sen., Nicholas Rodgers, Soloman Hedges, Joseph Hedges, Silas Hedges, Joseph Hedges, Jr., Isaac Meek, Wm. Bonar, D. Hoghland.]
The following exhibit also relates to this time. It belongs to the same correspondence.
"To his excellency, General Irvine, commander-in-chief of the western department:
"Dear Sir: We, the inhabitants, who live near Mr. Alex. Wells' mill, being very unhandy to any other mill, and daily open and exposed to the rage of a savage and merciless enemy, notwithstanding the great attention paid by the general to our frontiers, and ordering men to be placed on the riveryet those inhabitants who live near enough the mill to fort there, find ourselves, unable to guard the mill and carry on labor for the support of our families; and so, of consequence, cannot continue to make a stand without some assistance. And it is clear that if this mill is evacuated many of the adjacent forts, at least seven or eight, that now hope to make a stand, must give up; as their whole dependence is on said mill for bread as well as every expedition from these parts. And scouting parties that turn out on alarms are supplied from here. Therefore, we, your humble petitioners, pray you would order us a few men to guard the millso valuable to many in these parts in particular and the country in general. May 2. 1782. [Signed] James Edgar, Henry Graham, David Vance, Arthur Campbell, Joseph Vance."
Nine days after, another and similar petition was sent in from the inhabitants of Charles Wells' and other stations lying near Mr. Alex. Wells' mill:
"Washington county, Cross Creek Settlement, May 18, 1782.
"We, your petitioners, have been several weeks in actual service on these waters and on the waters of Buffalo creek and finding the distressed situation of the frontier inhabitants by the daily incursions of the savages which we are fully of the opinion the river guards cannot prevent, and as there are nine or ten forts that are constantly depending on Alexander Wells' mill for grinding where they are served and their work with speed despatched, we are entirely sensible that it is necessary and requisite that your excellency send a guard of seven, eight or nine men, to be stationed at said mill for their safety and to the satisfaction and encouragement of the forts adjacent. We, your petitioners, do reside in the interior parts of the country, though at present in the service of your excellency with all possible punctuality. [Signed] Benjamin White, captain; Albert Ramsey, captain; Nathan Powel, lieutenant. To his excellency, Brig. General Irvine."
There was another Wells' (Richard) Fort, about six miles northwest from this, in West Virginia, a short distance from the Penn'a line. Col. Marshall in a letter to Gen. Irvine of the 2d of July, 1782, informs him of the movements of Col. Williamson, then making ready for the expedition in movement against the Indians at that time. He says: "To-morrow I intend marching whatever men may rendezvous in this quarter, to Richard Wells' Fort, which is within five miles of Mingo Bottom; at which place I intend to stay, if circumstances will admit until I hear from you." [Butterfield's Crawford's Expedition, page 265.]
This fort was built by John Doddridge on a tract of land called "Extravagance" situated on the waters of Buffalo creek in Independence township, Washington county, about three miles west of West Middletown, and two miles east of Independence town, and about three-fourths of a mile southwest from Teeter's Fort. The farm has long been a tenant farm and is now owned by Rev. W. F. Brown, D. D., Canonsburg, Pa.
When this fort was built it probably took the place of Teeters' Fort which had become indefensible. It stood where the present dwelling stands, and the stockade enclosed probably about one-half an acre of land. There is an excellent spring still in existence which was either enclosed or so close as to be within the protection of the fort.
Soon after the attack and repulse of the Indians at Wheeling an attack was made upon Rice's Fort on Buffalo creek, about 12 miles from its junction with the Ohio river, and about four miles from Doddridge's Fort, which was also repulsed. It was supposed that an, attack would then be made on Doddridge's Fort. Capt. Samuel Teeters, a relative of Doddridge, took command and prepared the fort for defense; but it was not attacked although the Indians passed near it. (Reed and Simpson MS.)
This fort took its name from its builder, Capt. Samuel Teeters, who had participated in Braddock's and Grant's defeats, and who located on a tract of land called "Plenty" on the waters of Cross creek, in Independence township, Washington county. The premises are now owned and occupied by Col. Asa Manchester, (aged about 82 years); and had been in the Manchester family since 1797, Isaac Manchester having purchased the farm in that year from Capt. Saml. Teeters and from him it has descended to the present owner. Samuel Teeters settled on it in 1773.
The dimensions of this fort cannot be given, but it was supposed to contain within its area about the one-eighth of an acre. Part of the site is probably covered by the owner's present residence, which was erected in 181.5. There are some stones in the house-yard which were probably foundation stones of the blockhouse or of some of the cabins. Some of the logs of the fort, or stockade, are still in use in Col. Manchester's woodhouse. The Colonel showed where he remembered a long depression caused by the decaying of the stockades, which were spilt logs standing about 16 feet high, set in the ground with other logs set in the interstices, and which had been erected around his house and buildings. * * * * This was probably one of the first forts erected in this vicinity. It was abandoned as indefensible on the erection of Doddridge's Fort about three-fourths of a mile southwest therefrom, [Reed and Simpson MS., Hist. Wash. Co., 825.]
Beeman's Blockhouse was situated on Beeman's rim, which empties into the north fork of Wheeling creek. In front of this blockhouse was a long, narrow field, on which horses were pastured. At the extremity of the field the fence was down, and two boys passed through into the woods in search of the horses that had strayed off. The Indians had, thrown down the fence as a ruse, and taken the horses into the woods, and thither the boys ignorantly went. That night the boys were tomahawked, scalped, and left for dead. In the morning, on awakening, one of the boys found the Indians had left, and his brother dead, went to the river and pursued its course until evening, when he arrived at Wheeling. [Creigh's Hist. of Wash. Co., p. 55.]
Marshall's Blockhouse built by Col. James Marshall stood on a tract of land called"Marshall's Delight," Cross Creek township, Washington county. This was an important place of refuge but was never attacked, so far as known. It was built near a spring still in use. The land is now owned and occupied by Mrs. Margaret W. McCorkle.
Col. James Marshel and his son John always spelled their surname in this peculiar wayMarshel. The cousins of Col. Marshel, though of the Same family, spelled their name in the usual wayMarshall.
Abraham Enlow was among the first of the settlers in what is now East Finley township, Washington county. There is little doubt that he was here as early as 1775. He settled on Wheeling creek, where he built a blockhouse for the protection of himself and family from the Indians. * * * Of this branch of the Enlow family, Elliott, Jr., is the only one now living. He still owns a part of the old homestead, and another portion is the property of William McCleary." [Crumrine's Hist Wash. Co., p. 775.]
The land on which Burgettstown is situated was located by Sebastian Burgett, a native of Germany, who emigrated to this country with his wife and three children, and settled in Berks county, Pa. While living there his wife died, and left to his care two sons and a daughter. He removed to near Robbstown (West Newton) Westmoreland county, before 1773 where he soon after married Roxana Markle. He came to this part of the country and located upon a large tract of land, which later was secured to his heirs. His name is mentioned as early as 1780 in connection with the Virginia certificate of George McCormick, Henry Rankin, and others whose lands he joined.
The Burgett house stood near the Robert Scott house, and the old fort, as it was called was near it. This last stood many years, and later was partially covered with clapboards. Several years ago, when Mr. Boston Burgett built a new house, the old log structure was removed across the street, and was used as a cow-house. The tomahawk and bullet-marks were visible. It was finally struck by lightning and destroyed. [Hist. Wash Co., 916, Crumrine.]
The first settlement in Finley township in the western part of Washington county was about 1785. In this a man by the name of McIntosh, with his wife and eight children, settled on what is now the Blockhouse Run (from the fact that Campbell's Blockhouse was erected there). See Roney's Blockhouse. * * * * * * * * * * *
"The lands in West Finley township were chiefly owned by Messrs. Shields and Hollingworth, of Phila., part of which was taken in 1790 by Scotch Presbyterian emigrants direct from Scotlandhence it was often known by the name of the"Scotch settlement." On this land they built Campbell's Block-house in the summer of that year. It was situate about one mile and a half west of the village of Good Intent. These settlers had exceedingly hard times. During part of the summer months they were shut up in the blockhouse, and it was with the greatest difficulty and peril they could raise corn sufficient for their families and their stock." [Creigh's Hist. Wash. Co., p. 57.]
Froman's Fort.Col. Aeneas Mackay and others to Jos. Shippen, Secretary of the Governor, from Pittsburgh, July 8th 1774, Arch., iv, 540), says: "Since our memorial to his honor the governor, of the 25th of June, accompanied by some notes, there has several occurances of so extraordinary a nature happened, that we hope no apology is necessary for giving you this trouble. The traders who were coming by land are all come in safe. Capt. Whiteyes is returned with the strongest assurrances of friendship from the Shawanese, Delawares, Wyandots and Cherokees, with whom he had been treating on our behalf. Upon his return he found his house broken open by the Virginians, and about thirty pounds worth of his property taken, which was divided and sold by the robbers at one Fr man's Fort on Chartiers creek" * * * * Col. Mackay here reflects on the partisans of Lord Dunmore.
Froman's Fort, on Chartiers creek is classed with Vance's Fort, Lindley's Fort and others that were erected in Washington county, by Mr. Crumrine in his History of that county, page 73. On the Historical Map of the State it is set down opposite Canonsburg.
"Col. David Williamson was colonel of the third battalion of Washington County militia, and second in command upon the Sandusky Expedition. He was a son of John Williamson, and was born in 1752, near Carlisle, Penna. He came to the western country when a boy; he afterwards returned home and persuaded his parents to emigrate beyond the Allegheny. They settled upon Buffalo creek, in what was Washington county, about twelve miles from the Ohio. At that point, David had a 'station' during the Revolution, which, though often alarmed, was never attacked." [C. W. Butterfield, in note, p. 306, Wash.-Irvine Cor.]
An old cabin, sometimes used as a place of refuge, was built by Thomas Bayon. It stood on a farm now owned by J. D. Braden, Esq., and others in Cross Creek township.
Another fort was Taylor's Fort, near the site of Taylorstown. It stood on a knoll on the bank of Buffalo creek, (Buffalo township), the property being now owned by James Hodgens.
"Col. James Allison, of Cecil county, Maryland, came in the spring of 1774 to what is now Washington county, and settled on Chartiers. He and his family were of the twenty families who came to this section in that year, among whom were the Scotts, McDowells, Parks, Morrisons, Stuthers, Norris and others. For the first year after these families arrived in the valley they were accustomed to rendezvous in time of danger from the Indians at a fort that was built on the land of William Norris, in the rear of the old quail place, Chartiers Township." [Hist. Wash. Co., 707. Crumrine.]
"The Cherry Fort was situated on the farm commonly known as the Cherry farm from having remained in the family name until a recent period, in Mount Pleasant township, Washington county, and stood a few yards northeast of William P. Cherry's present (1882) residence. It consisted of three log buildings, one twenty-five feet square, the others smaller. They were arranged in a triangular form and enclosed with a stockade. The fort was built in the summer and fall of 1774, and was the residence of the Cherrys, and where in times of danger the McCartys, Rankins, and others fled. The large building was two stories in height, with a half-story above, and was built to withstand a formidable attack." [Hist. Wash. Co., Crumrine, p. 855.] It is on land now owned by Mr. Martin Raab.
Lamb's Fort is said to have been four miles from Rice's Fort and is mentioned in the account of the attack on Fort Rice as given in Withers' Chronicles. "When Rice's fort was attacked Abraham Rice was absent, having set out at once on receipt of the news brought by Jacob Miller to go to Lamb's fort for assistance." A place locally known as "the Fort" on the farm of Mr. Luther Davis, in Hopewell township, Washington county, is probably the site. On authority of Messrs. J. M. K. Reed and James Simpson.
Dr. Creigh in his History of Washington County says there was a fort called Becket's Fort near the Monongahela river (page 56).
"When the Court for Monongalia County, Va. [under the jurisdiction of Virginia], met at Fort Dunmore, (originally and afterward Fort Pitt), on the 21st of Feb., 1775, viewers were appointed to report roads from and to various points. One of these was from Fort Dunmore (Pittsburgh) to Becket's Fort and the points were from Becket's Fort to James Wilson's, thence to the Monongahela river; thence to the head of Sawmill run; thence to Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh)." Ib. 20.
Dr. Alfred Creigh makes mention of the following forts and blockhouses in his History of Washington County of which nothing further can be learned. The location where given is the only further information to be added.
"There was a blockhouse on the farm owned by William M. Lee, Esq., called Reynolds' Fort from the owner of the land William Reynolds, Esq." Page 233. * * * * This farm is now owned by Mr. William M. Dunbar, and is near Cross creek village, Cross Creek township, Washington county.
"There was a blockhouse in Mount Pleasant township, Washington county, on Wilson's farm which is now (1870) owned by Andrew Russel, Esq." This is on the farm now owned by Mr. ____ Miller.
"There was also a fort in West Bethlehem township, Washington county, at the village of Zollarsville, and directly in the rear of the dwelling house and store of Edward B. Smith, Esq., on the high bluff which overlooks the fort." Zollarsville is on the North Branch of Ten Mile creek, sixteen miles from Washington.
FORTS MILLIKEN AND McFARLAND.
Dr. Alfred Creigh in his history of Washington county, in speaking of Amwell township, which borders on Greene county, observes that "the early settlers of this part of the county as well as the adjoining county of Greene, were squatters who purchased the land from the native Indians for a gun, trinket, or gewgaw, of whom were John Rutman and Dennis Smith, the former dying at the age of ninety-nine and the latter at one hundred and four; these two, with William Gordon, Russel Reese, John Lorrison, and John James constituted the principal original settlers. From the year 1770 to 1790, they were followed by a different kind of men, who patented their lands and obtained them legally; these early pioneers were Nathaniel McGriffen, David Evans, James Milliken, Abel McFarland, George Cooper and John Bates, some of whom served in the Revolutionary War with marked distinction.
"For their protection these settlers erected two forts, one called Fort Milliken, situated on a beautiful mound on the farm of Mrs. Samuel Bradon, the other was named Fort McFarland, and located on the farm of Peter Garrett. * * * The history of the North Tenmile Baptist Church runs back as far as the year 1772. In their first labors they were much troubled with the Indians, and were often compelled to hold their meeting in Fort McFarland."
"There was a third fort or blockhouse on the farm now (1870) owned by Nehemiah Woodruff, Esq., where many bones, arrows, wares, and trinkets are unearthed by the farmer's plow. The mound that encircled the area of this third fort until recently was covered with large trees, and in the immediate vicinity are numerous burying-grounds of the Indians." [Creigh's Hist. Wash. Co., 93-94.]
COX'S FORT OR STATION.
Mention is made of Cox's, (or Coxe's) Fort or Station frequently in the latter days of the Revolution, but it was in existence much earlier. Gabriel Cox, from whom the fort was named and on whose land the fort was built and the station established, was a Major under authority of Virginia from 1776 to 1782; and was a participant in various expeditions that went out from the Washington county region against the Indiana from 1778 to 1782. [History of Washington County, Crumrine, 961.]
In Dunlevy's declaration for a pension, as recited in a note to Mr. Butterfield's Crawford's Expedition, it is said: "Dunlevy volunteered about the first of March, 1778, for one month's service. The rendezvous was at Cox's Station, on Peter's creek. Colonels Isaac Cox and John Canon attended to organizing the men; but in eight days the militia relinquished their arms to some recruits for the regular army, who relieved them, and they returned home to attend to putting in their crops."
In mentioning the early settlers of Peters township (then embracing Union township), in the History of Washington County edited by Mr. Crumrine, it is said that "David Steele was in service in 1776 under Captain Isaac Cox, and himself rose to the grade of Captain. On the 1st of March, 1778, he was with the troops who rendezvoused at Cox's Station, under Colonel Isaac Cox and John Canon."
During the time that Virginia exercised jurisdiction over this portion of the State this was a notable point and is frequently mentioned in their records and in the minutes of their county courts. "Commissioners appointed by Virginia for the adjustment and settling titles of claimants to unpatented lands came to the western watters' in the Monongahela Valley in December, 1779, and in that and the following months sat at Redstone and at Cox's Fort, on the Monongahela, and granted scores of certificates to claimants under Virginia settlement rights."
Mr. Crumrine in a note to this text says: "There has been some doubt as to the locality of Cox's Fort. Mr. Veech calls it "Coxe's Fort, on the west side of the Monongahela." Some of the certificates are dated at Coxe's Fort, others at Cox's Fort, evidently meaning the same place. There was a Cox's Fort just above Wellsburg, on land about 1785 bought of Van Swearingen, but the locality called by this name in the text is believed to be the station or fort at Capt. Gabriel Coxes, in now Union Township."
Commissioners sat there till some time in 1780. "No event (says Judge Veech in Centenary Memorial, 336,) in the whole controversy so roused the ire of Pennsylvania."
The present owner of the land on which Cox's Fort stood, is Mr. Samuel Myers. The farm is a part of tract taken out by Gabriel Cox, under the name of Coxburg, Number 486, enrolled in patent book No. 4, P. 9 to 11. The location of the fort is in Union township, Washington county, one mile from Gastonville, on the Washington and Wheeling division of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, one mile from Shire Oaks on the Virginia and Charleston division of the Pennsylvania railroad; on the Monongahela river, fourteen miles from Pittsburgh.
Mr. Myers son plowed up a twelve pound cannon ball in the spring of 1892 on the site of the fort. (Thos. Denniston. Esq.)
All verbal accounts agree that the Fort was stockaded, but it is reasonable to suppose that latterly the chief features of the post were those structures which were necessary for the accommodation of the organized soldiery who on occasion were stationed here.
Mention is made in the correspondence of 1781-2 of McDonald's Station, sometimes fort. The following petition was sent to Gen. Irvine April 5th, 1782. The original is found in the Washington-Irvine Correspondence, page 298.
"To the Honorable General Irvine, commandant on the western waters:
"Your humble petitioners showing forth our situation since the year 1777, that we have lived in a state of anarchy. We were in great hopes that your honor would have supported us that we could have lived at our own homes; but lately, learning that the station is evacuated, we expect nothing else but that the Indians will be immediately amongst us. Therefore, we, the subscribers, have met this day at the house of John McDonald. At the risk of our lives and fortunes, with the assistance of the Almighty God, we are determined to make a stop here the ensuing summer. We look upon it prudent to use the means as well as prayers. Therefore, sir, we look for aid and assistance, as we are but a few in number, not able to repel the enemy. Therefore, we look to you for men, ammunition and arms.
"We know that provision is scarce, therefore we will find the men that are sent to us, only allowing us rations-pay. The number of men we request is ten. McDonald, last Tuesday, waited on Colonel James Marshel, our county lieutenant, requesting him for some assistance of men, powder and lead. His answer was he could not furnish him with either.
"Sir:We understand that George Vallandigham is to sit in council with you to-morrow, who was a sufferer as well as we are, and has lately left his place of abode, and took his refuge near Colonel [John] Canon's. Pray, sir, ask of him our present situation. [Signed] Wm. Littell, Joshua Meeks, John Robb, James Littell, James Baggs, John Hull, Thomas Moon, John McDonald, John Reed, Wm. Anderson.
"N. B.The situation of McDonald's place is pleasant, lying and being on a knoll or advantageous piece of ground for any garrison. We the subscribers observing that the states must have receiving and issuing stores, it is our opinion that according to McDonald's promise, we think it the best place for said, stores. McDonald's promises are that the states shall have, without cost, his still-house, hogheads, his cellar under his new house, together with the lowest story of his spring house, without price or fee to the states. We have appointed Joshua Meeks and John McDonald to lay our petitions before your honor. April 5, 1782."
Among the minutes of the proceedings of the Supreme Executive Council is the following, taken from Pa. Records, xvi, 283. Feb. 18th, 1790. "The Comptroller and Register General's Reports, upon the following accounts, [among which is the one quoted], were read and approved, vizt: Of Joseph Brown for one month's pay as a volunteer militia man, while stationed at one McDonald's, for the defense of the county of Washington, in Aug. 1782, amounting to five pounds, five shillings."
"This fort was located back of ____ Merryman's house some distance, on or near the site of the old school house. The fort was built of logs, with a stockade around it for the protection of their cattle in case of a general alarm." [Edward McDonald, Esq., McDonald, Pa. MS.]
Remarks.Chartiers creek flows a northeast course of thirty-five or forty miles and empties into the Ohio river five miles above Pittsburgh. This creek derives its name from Peter Chartiers, who went among the, Indians on the Ohio and tributary streams to deal for peltries. He was an influential Indian interpreter, and joined the French Indians on the Ohio, to the injury of Pennsylvania. Chartiers had a trading station on or near the mouth of the creek. Gov. Thomas, in 1745, said that the perfidious blood of the Shawanese partly runs in his veins.
Cross creek rises in Mount Pleasant township and runs northwest to the Ohio river, a few miles above Wellsburg, West Virginia.
"Mingo Bottom is a rich plateau on the immediate bank of the Ohio, in the south half of section 27 of township two, range one, of the government survey, extending south to a small affluent of the Ohio known as Cross creek. Opposite the upper portion of Mingo Bottom is Mingo Island, containing about ten acres, although much larger in 1782. It supports a scanty growth of willow bushes only, but within the recollection of many now living it was studded with trees of large size, particularly the soft maple. Cross creek, on the Virginia side, flows into the Ohio about three-fourths of a mile below. Before the great flood of 1832 the island contained not less than twenty acres. The usual place of crossing was from shore to shore, across the head of the island. At the landing on the west bank the vagrant Mingoes had once a village, deserted, however, as early as 1772. Their town gave name to the locality. The Ohio had been forded at this crossing in very low water. The bluffs of the river are below the island on the Virginia side, above on the Ohio side. Mingo Bottom contains about two hundred and fifty acres."
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