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CHRISTOPHER GIST'S JOURNALS
WITH HISTORICAL, GEOGRAPHICAL AND ETHNOLOGICAL NOTES
AND BIOGRAPHIES OF HIS CONTEMPORARIES
WILLIAM M. DARLINGTON [1815-1889]
PITTSBURGH, J. R. WELDIN & CO.,
[ Pages 137-158.Page numbers will appear in the text in brackets in bold print.]
[Transcription is Verbatim.]
[Footnotes appear in smaller font.]
to Gist's Second Journal, 1751-52.
Notes to Christopher Gist's Third Journal, 1753.
A Journal Descriptive of Some of the French Forts.
 NOTES TO GIST'S SECOND JOURNAL, 1751-52.
November 4, 1751.The Ohio Company's store-house stood on the south bank of the Potomac, directly opposite to the present city of Cumberland Maryland, in Frederick (now Hampshire) County, Virginia. It was built in the year 1750, by Hugh Parker, the Factor of the Company, on land purchased for them from Lord Fairfax by Parker and Colonel Thomas Cresap. The main building was constructed of timber, a double house and two stories in height; it stood on the bank, a short distance east of the present residence (1877.) of Captain Perry, fronting and near the river. (Copy of drawing in the King's Library, British Museum, made for W. M. Darlington, 1874. London Board of Trade MS. Fry & Jefferson's Map of Virginia, 1751. Sparks' "Washington Letters," Vol. II, p. 15. "Pennsylvania Archives," Vol. II, p. 134.) The name of "Caicutuck or Wills' Creek" first appeared on Fry & Jefferson's Map of Virginia and Maryland, 1751. It is accurately laid down, but not named, on Mayo's Map of the Survey of the Potomac in 1736. The gap in the Allegheny Mountains is four miles west of Cumberland, where the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad crosses the National Road at "Braddock's Run," as the southwest fork of Wills' Creek has been called since 1755; Braddock's route and the National Road as at first constructed being on the same track as that of Gist. ("Braddock's Expedition.")
November 5.To a point about three miles west of the present town of Frostburgh, in Garrett County, Maryland, on the National Road.
 November 8.Little Meadow Run and other small streams, heads of Castleman's River, or the middle fork of the Youghiogheny; on the west side or foot of Little Meadow Mountain, and about twenty miles west of Cumberland, in Garrett County, Maryland, and Elk Lick Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
November 20-21.Crossing Negro Mountain into Addison Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
November 22.The Youghiogheny River his three heads or forks: the main, or south fork, rises in Preston County, West Virginia, near the spring-head of the Potomac; the middle fork, or Castleman's River, rises in Garrett County, Maryland, and the north fork, or Laurel Hill Creek, rises in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The name first appears, marked "Spring heads of Yok-yo-gane river a south branch of the Monongahela," on a "Map of the Northern Neck in Virginia, the Territory of Thomas Lord Fairfax according to a late survey drawn in the year 1737 by Wm. Mayo." ("History of the Dividing Line," and other Tracts, Richmond, 1866, Vol. II, p. 117, etc.) It next appears on Fry and Jefferson's Map of Virginia and Maryland, of 1751, as the "Yawyawganey River." Gist seems to have reached the middle fork this day, above Lost Run, in the northwest part of Addison Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, thence crossed into Upper Turkey-foot Township.
November 24.Crossed the south fork at Turkey-foot, or Three Forks, near the present town of Confluence, in Somerset County, where the three branches of the Youghiogheny unite; thence proceeding, he encamped about the head of "Gabriel's Run," in Henry Clay Township, Fayette County. The name YoughioghenyYoughannéwas evidently given to this stream by the Indian tribe of the Kanhawhas, Conoys or Canawese, who, in the beginning of the last century, inhabited the country around the heads of the Potomac and  back of the great mountains in Virginia. (See notes on the Kanawha Post.) They were of the same nation and language as the Nanticokes, of the Algonquin, Lenape or Delaware stock. Yough-four-and Hannestream or rapid-flowing stream. As before mentioned, the three head branches of this river join at the point and form a fourth or main stream. (Smith's History of Virginia," 1629 Richmond edition, 1819 Vol. I, p. 147. "Hakluyt Society," 1849, p. 96. "Roger Williams' Key," p. 22. Heckwelder, "History of the Indian Nations," 1819, pp. 26-74. John Eliot's "Indian Grammar," Massachusetts Historical Collection, Vol. IX, Series 2, p. 260. Dr. Edwards' "Indian Language," id., Vol. X, p. 129. Connecticut Historical Society, Vol. II, pp. 412, etc. Gallatin's "Synopsis of the Indian Tribes." "Transactions of the American Antiquarian Society," Vol. II, pp. 52-56, and Vocabulary, same volume, p. 359.)
November 25.To the Licks, on Stony Fork of Big Sandy Creek, in Wharton Township, Fayette County, and near the National Road.
November 26-29.In George's and South Union townships, Fayette County.
December 6.The upper forks of the Monongahela are formed by the junction of Cheat River, in Fayette and Green counties, near the southern boundary-line of the State. The general course of Gist from Wills' Creek to the Monongahela was to the north of the road subsequently opened for the Ohio Company, in 175253, by Gist and Cresap, they employing Indians for that purpose. The troops under Washington, in 1754, greatly repaired it as far as Gist's plantation, and in 1755 it was widened and completed by General Braddock's army to within about six miles of Fort Du Quesne. (Resolutions of the Ohio Company, at a meeting held at Stafford Court House, June 21, 1749. Also at Ocquoquan Ferry, December, 1750, and in March, 1753. MS.) The reader will readily observe that Gist deviated continually from a direct path, in  order to explore the country thoroughly, pursuant to his instructions.
December 7.This Indian owner of this camp was the well known Delaware, Nemacolin. The creek was called by his name in early times, but subsequently changed to Dunlap's. (An old trader.) It empties into the Monongahela, at Brownsville. (Pennsylvania Archives," Vol. XII, "Shippen Papers," p. 163. "American Pioneer," Vol. II, p. 60.) Nemacolin was the principal of the Indians employed by Gist and Cresap to blaze and clear the road before mentioned. He was intelligent and trustworthy. (Jacobs' "Life of Cresap," 1828, p. 28.) A letter from his father, Checochinican, the chief of the Indians on the Brandywine, to Governor Gordon, June 24, 1729, is in the "Pennsylvania Archives," Vol. I, p. 239. It seems the Indians had sold their lands on the Brandywine, reserving a part on the head of the creek, by a writing, which was burned, with the cabin wherein it was deposited. The mill-dams of the white settlers destroyed their fishing, and they were otherwise "crowded out "as usual to the present day. (See "Pennsylvania Archives," Vol. XII, p. 281. "Colonial Records." Vol. III, p. 269. "Votes of Assembly," 1726, Vol. II, p. 481. Smith's "History of Delaware County," pp. 235, 240. Gordon's "History of Pennsylvania," p. 194. Hazard's Pennsylvania Register," Vol. I, p. 114.) Charles Pokes's name appears in the list of Indian traders in 1734. (Colonial Archives," Vol. 1, p. 425.) On Mayo's Map, of 1737, his name is marked, with those of four other settlers, at the north bend of the Potomac, where Hancock, Maryland, now stands. (See also "Colonial Records of Pennsylvania," Vol. V. p. 760.) In 1774 he lived on Cross Creek, West Virginia, about sixteen miles from the Ohio River,  where Wellsville is now situated. He was still living in Shelby County, Kentucky, in 1799. (See his Deposition in Appendix to Jefferson's "Notes on Virginia," edition of 1801, p. 368.)
December 9.River Monongahela, said to be from the Shawnee Mehmonauangehelak. Falling-in-Bank River. (See note to "Washington's Tour to the Ohio," p. 244.) "The Cavity in a Rock" was probably on the river bank, on the east side, six miles from Brownsville, up the river, on the farm now owned by Captain Jacobs; in the original patent it is called the Cave Tract, "Menangihilli;" this word implies "high banks breaking off in some places and tumbling down." (John Heckwelder, "American Philosophical Society," Vol. IV, new series, 1834, p. 376.) The correctness of these definitions is doubtful, the banks of this river do not "fall in" or "break off" more than those of the Ohio, Allegheny, and many other streams, nor is it known that they ever did, and the Indians invariably gave accurate descriptive names. It may be, however, that the banks at some point on the river "fell in" on some occasion, to commemorate which, the Indians applied the name. (The name Monongahela first appears on the map of William Mayo, in 1737, and next on the map of Fry and Jefferson, 1751.)
December 15.Crossed the Monongahela to the west side, below the mouth of the Youghiogheny.
December 17.Oppaymolleah, a Delaware Chief, appeared at the conference held at Fort Pitt, in April and May, 1768, by George Croghan, Deputy Agent for Indian Affairs, the Commissioners of Pennsylvania, Alexander McKee, the Commander, and officers of the garrison, with the chiefs and warriors of the Six Nations, Delawares, Wyandots and others residing on the waters of the Ohio. 1103 Indians were present, besides their women and children. ("Colonial Records," Vol. IX, p. 54, etc.)  Joshua was a Delaware also. In December, 1759, he and Tangoochqua (Wissameek) or Catfish, were sent as messengers from the Delawares on the Ohio, to Philadelphia, with a message to the Governor and Council of Pennsylvania. ("Colonial Records, Vol. VIII, p. 415. "Archives," Vol. III, p. 575.) The Beaver or Tamaquè, was the King or Head Chief of the Delaware tribe on the waters of the Ohio. He resided at Soh-kon, (mouth of Beaver Creek), afterwards at Kuskuskis, near the Forks, and in 1764, at the Forks of Tuscarawas. (Journals of C. F. Post, 1758. "Bouquet's Expedition Against the Ohio Indians," 1765.) He frequently appeared at conferences held at Fort Pitt, and also at Philadelphia. He was the brother of Shingiss and Custaloga. He died about 1770, on the Muskingum, where the Moravian town of Gnadenhutten was built two years afterwards, near the present town of New Philadelphia. (Pennsylvania Historical Society, Vol. I, 147153.)
January 8, 1752.To head of Fish Creek, Marshall County, West Virginia, and Green County, Pennsylvania.
January 22.To a point in Wetzel County, West Virginia, between Little and Big Fishing Creek.
January 27.To a point over south side of Fishing Creek, Wetzel County.
February 1.At Middle Island Creek, near Middlebourne, Tyler County.
February 2.Three miles south of Middlebourne.
February 10.On McKun's Fork of Middle Island Creek, Pleasants County.
February 11.Hughes River, near Hainesville, Ritchie County.
February 14.This stone stood on the creek bottom, opposite the slip in the hill, on the left hand or Parish Fork of Standing Stone Creek. Within the past ten years (1877.) oil having been found there the stone was broken up to make  walls for steam boilers. The inscription cut on it no doubt, had long previous been effaced by the lapse of time or incrusted over by lime. The date cut by Gist, February, 1751, was in accordance with the old style of computation, by which the year began on the 25th of March, instead of the 1st of January, to which it was changed throughout the British Dominions, by law, in 1751, the new style to commence on January 1, 1752. Why Gist cut the date 1751 instead of 1752 is not easy to explain, especially as his Journal is kept by the new method of computing time.
February 15.Near Wirt, C. H., (Elizabeth,) the creek is the Little Kanawha.
February 16.On the head of Lee's Creek, Wirt County.
February 17.To Poplar Fork of Thirteen-Mile Creek of the Big Kanawha, after passing through Jackson County. The Kanawha River derived its name from a tribe of Indians, who formerly inhabited the country on its waters, and also on the upper Potomac. These tribes were destroyed by the Iroquois or Five Nations about the close of the seventeenth century, and their remnants incorporated with their conquerors. At the Treaty of Lancaster, in 1744, the Iroquois Chief, Tachanoontia, said: "All the world knows we conquered the several nations living on Susquehannah, Cohongownton, (Potomac), and on the back of the great mountains in Virginia. The Conoy-uch-rooch (people), the Coh-no-was-ronaw, feel the effect of our conquests being now a part of our nations and their lands at our disposal," and, again, "as to what lies beyond the mountains, we conquered the nations residing there, and that land, if the Virginians ever get a good right to it, it must be by us." ("Treaty of Lancaster," printed by B. Franklin at Philadelphia, 1744. Vol. 11, pp. 57-71; also in Colden's "History of the Five Nations," 3d edition, 1755, Vol. II, pp. 57, 71. "Pennsylvania Colonial Records," Vol. IV, p. 712. Albert Gallatin's Synopsis of the Indian Tribes.") Mr. Gallatin  supposes the tribes on the Potomac and Kanawha to be distinct or different, although their names are near alike. Evidently they were kindred tribes of the same nation. John Heckwelder says: "The Conoys are the people we call Canais, Conoys, Canaways, Kanhawas. (Historical Sketch of the Indian Nations," p. 26.) In Pennsylvania they were called Canawese."
February 18.Over the Southern Fork of Big Mill Creek, thence to the top of the ridge near the Spruce Fork of Thirteen-Mile Creek.
February 19.Probably Big Buffalo Creek in Putnam county.
February 20.Across Little Buffalo Creek to head of Arbuckle's Creek, thence north, across Thirteen Mile Creek, in Mason County.
February 21.Probably encamped at the mouth of Ten-Mile Creek.
February 22.High Hill, the Kanawha Ridge, about eight miles northeast from Point Pleasant, at the mouth of the Kanawha River, thence to the river Ohio, at the mouth of Ten Mile Creek.
February 23.Le Tort's Creek, a small stream, empties into the Ohio, thirty miles above Point Pleasant, so called for James Le Tort, an early trader with the Indians on the Ohio. He was a French Huguenot, and lived near Philadelphia in his childhood; afterwards on the banks of the Susquehanna, and built a cabin about 1720, at Le Tort's Spring, where Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pa., now stands. (Rupp's History of Cumberland County," p. 389. "Hazard's Register of Pennsylvania," Vol. IV, p. 389, also Vol. XV, p. 82.) He was often employed as interpreter by the Provincial authorities. Trading on the Allegheny and Ohio, from 1729 to 1739, he appears  to have had a trading camp or station at this point, since well known as Le Tort's Rapids or Falls. (Pennsylvania Archives," Vol. I, pp. 255-301. "Rupp's History of Lancaster County," p. 512. "Colonial Records," Vol. IV, p. 237.)
February 24.Smith's Creek. Big Mill Creek, in Jackson County. Probably so named for Robert Smith, the trader, met by Gist, on the Miami, in the month of March. He had been trading in the Ohio country for some years previous. (See Gist's first Journal, March 1st, 13th.) The creek here called Beyansoss is Big Sandy Creek, in Jackson County.
February 26."Lawwellaconin." Pond Creek, in Wood County.
March 1."The little branch full of coal" is probably the head of the middle fork of Tygart's Creek, in Wood County. Naumissippia or Fishing Creek, another name for the Little Kanawha. Naemas, Fish, Sipia River or Creek, in the Delaware tongue. (See Fry and Jefferson's Map.)
March 3.Molchuconickon or Buffalo Creek, now Middle Island Creek, in Pleasants and Tyler counties. The name Buffalo is yet applied to one of its branches; the distance is greater to this stream from the little Kanawha than it is here given. (See Gist's statement relative to distances at the end of the Journal.)
March 4.Probably reached a point near the present Middlebourne, Tyler County.
March 5.Neemokeesy, (Naemas, Fish.) now Fishing Creek.
March 7.To the Ohio River, probably a few miles below Fish Creek, in Marshall County; then east and north across Big Grave Creek to Wheeling Creek, about the junction of the North and South Forks. Wheeling is from a Delaware  Indian word "Wihe," or "Wie," (a head), ung or unk, (place or locality), place of a head. A prisoner taken and put to death by the Indians and his head stuck upon a sharpened pole. (Pennsylvania Historical Society, Vol. 1, p. 131. American Antiquarian Society, Vol. II, p. 312. Schoolcraft, "American Aboriginal Archives," Vol. II, p. 470.) There was another "Wheeling" on the upper branch of the Mahoning Creek in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. (Hutchins' Map.)
March 9.The first creek here mentioned is now called Buffalo Creek. It empties into the Ohio at Wellsburg, in Brooke County. The second is Cross Creek. Directly opposite to it, on what was formerly called "The Indian side of the Ohio," is "Indian Cross Creek." These were the two creeks of the Indians and traders. A noted Indian path led down along the creek on the west side to the crossing place at its mouth. There the Indians crossed to the creek on the east side of the Ohio and took the path along its shore, hence the name of Cross Creeks. At a later time, these creeks were by some known as the "Two Upper Creeks," while " Short Creek," above Wheeling and "Indian Short Creek," opposite, were called the "Two Lower Creeks." (Hutchins' large Map, 1778. George Croghan's Journal, 1765, in Appendix to Butler's " History of Kentucky," second edition. Winterbotham's "America," Vol. I, p. 189.)
March 10.In Brooke County, West Virginia, and in Washington County, Pennsylvania.
March 11."Crossing Three Creeks," branches of Buffalo Creek in Washington County; thence south to the "camp" of December 21 to January 8, near the heads of Dunkard and Ten-Mile Creeks, in Greene County, Pennsylvania.
 NOTES ON CHRISTOPHER GIST'S THIRD JOURNAL, 1753.
November 14.Wills Creek empties into the Potomac.
November 15.Conegocheague, a branch of the Potomac; signifying, "indeed, a long way."
November 23.Shannopins Town, now Pittsburgh.
November 24King Shingiss, a noted Indian warrior, "a terror to the frontier settlements of Pennsylvania:"
November 27.Half King Scarrooyady, often mentioned by Croghan, Montour and others. He died at Paxton, October 5, 1754, His friends imputed his death to French witchcraft. Letter of Governor Morris to Governor Dinwiddie.
December 11.Fort Le Buf.
 A JOURNAL DESCRIPTIVE OF SOME OF THE FRENCH FORTS.
HAD FROM THOMAS FORBES. LATELY A PRIVATE
SOLDIER IN THE KING OF FRANCE'S SERVICE.
(MSS. "America and West Indies." P. R. O.)
ABOUT a Year and a half ago I with 120 private Soldiers and our officers embarked in old France for Canada.
Our Vessell was a Frigate of forty Guns and another Frigate of 30 Guns sailed at the same time with a company of Soldiers to relieve the Garrison at the Mouth of the Mississippi. After a short Voyage we disembarked at Quebeck, where we were permitted to stay three weeks to refresh ourselves.
The regular Troops in that City did not exceed 300, but I was told that there were many parties and Detachments quartered up and down the Country all round that Place.
Being joined by a Company of 50 Men from that Garrison we went in Batteaus to Montreal under the Command of Lieut. Carqueville and there we spent the last Winter.
At our arrival there was a Company of 50 men in the City where we were quartered, so that in all we made 220 exclusive of Officers. Very early in the Spring we were joined by near 400 more who were drafted out of the several Companies that Garrisoned the Forts and were posted on the Frontiers of Canada. Easter Tuesday we embarked to the number of six or 700 in about 300 Batteaus or Canoes (not Barken) and took with us a large quantity of Barreled Pork and Meal in Baggs; the Bags weighed sixty or 70 lb each, and I believe there  might have been 1500 of them, how many of the Pork there were I never heard nor could I guess, but I believe the Canoes that were not laden with Flour carried five or six Barrels at least, each of them, and the Batteaus received 17 or 20. We were three weeks going from Montreal to Lake Ontario keeping the shore close on board because of the rapidity of the Stream, and at Night we went ashore, excepting a few that were left with the canoes, that were fastened to stakes or trees on the shore.
Then we had our Biscuit, which was laid in for the Voyage, delivered to us, with 1 LB of Pork to each, and kindling large fires we cooked our Provisions for next day and slept around the Fires, each of us being provided with a blanket. We kept along the southeast shore of Ontario Lake, and passed so near to the English Fort called Conquen or Oswego that we could talk to the Centinels.
When we came to the Fort at the Falls of Niagara, we landed all our Provisions in which service the Garrison at the Fort assisted and carried them on sleds that were there at the fort, to a little Log House (called le petit Fort de Niagara) three Leagues beyond Niagara Fort, where we put them aboard other Batteaus and Canoes that were there ready to receive them. At our arrival at Niagara there were at that Fort 25 private men, commanded by Lieut. de la Perrie, but Monsieur Contrecur was also then in the Fort, and had the Chief command, there was also a Sergeant Guard at the little Fort. The Fort at Niagara is no more than an Emmenence surrounded with Stockadoes or Palisades, which stand about fourteen feet above the ground very close together, and are united or fastened together by three pieces of long scantling that is put transversly on the inside at the distance of three feet or so from each other. These Stockadoes enclose an Area near 300 paces square on which is built a  House for the Commandant, Barracks for the Men and a Smith's Shop, it is not rendered defensible by any out work even a Ditch and there are not mounted in it more than four Swivel Guns. As soon as we had put our Provisions on board at the little Fort that I mentioned, we proceeded to Lake Erie with Captain Contracur, who had himself now taken the Command of all the Troops in those Canoes. We kept along the Eastern Coast of this Lake to Fort Presqu' isle which I apprehend is about 50 Leagues from Niagara.
This Fort is situated on a little rising Ground at a very small Distance from the water of Lake Erie, it is rather larger than that at Niagara but has likewise no Bastions or Out Works of any sort. It is a square Area inclosed with Logs about 12 feet high, the Logs being square and laid on each other and not more than sixteen or eighteen inches thick. Captain Darpontine Commandant in this Fort and his Garison was 30 private Men. We were eight days employed in unloading our Canoes here, and carrying the Provisions to Fort Buff which is built about six Leagues from Fort Presqu' isle at the Head of Buffaloe River. This Fort was composed of four Houses built by way of Bastions and the intermediate Space stockaded. Lieut St Blein was posted here with 20 Men. Here we found three large Batteaus and between two or 300 Canoes which we freighted with Provisions and proceeded down the Buffaloe river which flows into the Ohio (Allegheny.) at about twenty Leagues (as I conceived) distance from Fort au Boeuff, this river was small and at some places very shallow so that we towed the Canoes sometimes wading and sometimes taking ropes to the shore a great part of the way. When we came into the Ohio we had a fine cheep water and a stream in our favour so that we rowed down that river from the mouth of the Buffaloe to Du Quesne Fort on  Monongehela which I take to be 70 Leagues distant in four days and a half.
At our arrival at Fort Du Quesne we found the Garison busily employed in compleating that Fort and Stockadoing it round at some distance for the security of the Soldiers Barracks (against any Surprise) which are built between the Stockadoes and the Glacis of the Fort.
Fort Du Quesne is built of square Logs transversly placed as is frequent in Mill Dams, and the Interstices filled up with Earth; the length of these Logs is about sixteen Feet which is the thickness of the Rampart. There is a Parapat raised on the Rampart of Logs, and the length of the Curtains is about 30 feet, and the Demigorge of the Bastions about eighty. The Fort is surrounded on the two sides that do not front the Water with a Ditch about 12 feet wide and very deep, because there being no covert way the Musqutteers fire from thence having a Glacis before them. When the News of Ensign Jumonville's Defeat reached us our company consisted of about 1400. Seven hundred of whom were ordered out under the command of Captain Mercier to attack Mr. Washington, after our return from the Meadows, a great number of the Soldiers who had been labouring at the Fort all the Spring were sent off in Divisions to the several Forts between that and Canada, and some of those that came down last were sent away to build a Fort some where on the Head of the Ohio, so that in October the Garison at Du Quesne was reduced to 400 Men, who had Provisions enough at the Fort to last them two years, notwithstanding a good deal of the Flour we brought down in the Spring proved to be damaged, and some of it spoiled by the rains that fell at that Time. In October last I had an opportunity of relieving myself and retiring, there were not then any Indians with the French but a considerable number were expected and said to be on their March thither.
 THE MONTOURS.
ABOUT the year 1667 a French gentleman named Montour settled in Canada. By a Huron Indian woman he had three childrenone son and two daughters. The son, Montour, lived with the Indians, and was wounded in the French service, in a fight with some Mohawks, near Fort La Motte, ("New York Colonial History:" Fort St. Anne, or La Motte, erected 1666, on the upper part of Lake Champlain.) on Lake Champlain, in 1694. He deserted from the French, and lived with "the farr Indians" the Twightwees (Miamis) and Diondadies (Petuns or Wyandots). By his assistance Lord Cornbury prevailed on some of these tribes to visit and trade with the people of Albany in 1708. For his endeavors to alienate the "upper nations" from the French, he was killed in 1709 by the troops under Lieutenant le Sieur de Joncaire, by orders of the Marquis de Vaudreuil, Governor of Canada, who wrote that he would have had him hanged, had it been possible to capture him alive.
Of the two daughters of the Frenchman, Montour, one became conspicuously known as Madame Montour. ("Massachusetts Historical Collection." "New York Historical Collection.") She was born in Canada about the year 1684, captured by some warriors of the Five Nations when she was but ten years old, taken to their country and brought up by them. It is probable that she lived with the Oneidas, as, on arriving at maturity, she was married to Carondawana, or the "Big Tree," otherwise Robert Hunter, a famous war-chief of that nation.  He was killed in the wars between the Iroquois and Catawbas, in the Carolinas, about the year 1729. (Marshe's Journal.)
The Proprietaries of Pennsylvania, John and Thomas Penn, expressed much concern for his death to some of the Indians who visited Philadelphia in September, 1734. Madame Montour was there also, and, for having underrated the rank or station of the Oneida visitors, she seems to have been angrily and unjustly charged by a prominent chief of the Six Nations, Hetanguantagetchy, before the Council at Philadelphia, in the month of October following, with spreading false reports. He said, further, that her "old age only protected her from punishment," and that they "must resent it and hope to get rid of her."
Madame Montour first appeared as interpreter at a conference held at Albany, in August, 1711, between the sachems of the Five Nations and Robert Hunter, the royal Governor of New York (from 1709 to 1719). Probably at that time Carondawana received, or took, the Governor's name, by which he was frequently known afterward. To adopt the name of a prominent white man was, by the Indians, considered a high compliment and a bond of friendship.
The war between the Tuscaroras and the people of North Carolina, commenced in September, 1711, was still raging in the summer of the following year. The Five Nations in New York became restless and uneasy; it was feared by the Governor and Assembly that, instigated by the French, the Northern Iroquois would join the Southern, and embroil the colonies in a general Indian war. ("New York Colonial History.")
The Five Nations informed the Governor that they desired "to interpose amicably in the matter." Distrusting their sincerity, and to "dissuade them from this fatal design," by  means of "presents and promises," the Assembly and Governor, in June, 1712, directed Colonel Peter Schuyler to "proceed to the Onondaga Country forthwith, taking with you Laurence Clause the Interpreter, Mrs. Montour and her husband and such others as you shall see fit."
At Onondaga he was to assemble all of the Indian sachems who could be got together for a conference on the subject of his mission. Any fresh "Surmises or Jealousies of the Indians" were to be overcome by his "own wisdom, with due regard to her Majesty's interest and honour and ye quieting ye minds of ye Indians."
The complete subjugation of the Tuscaroras, after a protracted struggle of two years' duration, removed all apprehension of trouble with the Five Nations. In the year 1714 the Tuscaroras migrated north, and were received into, the Iroquois Confederacy as the Sixth Nation. (Dr. Hank's "History of North Carolina.")
The influence of Madame Montour among the Indians was so great, and adverse to the French, that the Governor of Canada repeatedly endeavored to persuade her to withdraw from the English and remove to his Dominion, offering higher compensation as an inducement, but without success until the year 1719, when he sent her sister to prevail on her to remove to Canada. Apprehensive of her doing so, to the injury of the province to which she had been so serviceable, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs sent for her to Albany, when it appeared that she had not received a farthing of her stipulated pay for twelve months. The Commissioners promised that she should receive thereafter "a man's pay from the proper officer of the four Independent Companies posted in the Province," (MS., Secretary of State's office, New York.) and the business was thus satisfactorily settled.
 Madame Montour was present at Philadelphia in July, 1727, as interpreter, at a conference held by Governor Gordon with several chiefs of the Five Nations. Again, in October, 1728; her husband, Carondawana, otherwise Robert Hunter, was there also. She retained her father's name after marriage, and was usually mentioned as "Mrs. Montour, a French woman, wife to Carondawana or Robert Hunter." She appears to have lived among the Miamis, at the west end of Lake Erie, at one time prior to 1728. ("Colonial Records.") To one of that nation her sister was married. Her residence in 1734 was at the village on the Susquehanna, at the mouth of the Loyalsock Creek, on the West side, where Montoursville, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, now stands. It was known as Otstuago. (Otsteara, "Rock," in the Iroquois tongue.) Ots-on-wacken, or French Town.
On Evans' Map of Pennsylvania, of 1749, the village is marked "French T.," and the creek, the "Ostuega." There, in March, 1737, Conrad Weiser, Indian agent and interpreter, on his way to Onondaga with a message from the President of the Council of Pennsylvania, James Logan, lodged at Madame Montour's, who, he states, is a "French woman by birth, of a good family, but now in mode of life a complete Indian." She treated Weiser and his companions kindly, supplying them with food, although she had but little to spare.
In the fall of 1742 Count Zinzendorf, the Bishop and head of the Moravian Church, with a large party, and among them Conrad Weiser, visited the village of Oztenwacken, where he was received with military salutes and hospitably welcomed by Madame Montour and her son, Andrew. "He preached there in French to large gatherings." Madame Montour was deeply affected when she saw Zinzendorf and learned the  object of his visit. She had entirely forgotten the truths of the Gospel, and, in common with the French Indians, believed the story originated with the Jesuits, that the Saviour's birthplace was in France, and His crucifiers Englishmen. Count Zinzendorf appears to have visited Oztenwacken subsequently.
In June and July, 1744, the great treaty between the Six Nations and the provinces of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia was held at Lancaster. Madame Montour was present with two of her daughters. Witham Marshe, Secretary to the Maryland Commissioners, relates in his journal that he visited her at her cabin and obtained the particulars of her life. She told him that she had several children by the famous war captain, who had been killed in the war with the Catawbas fifteen years previous, that since she had not married. (Massachusetts Historical Society.) Marshe describes her as genteel, of polite address, and had been handsome. Her two sons-in-law and only son were away south, to war against the Catawbas. In June, 1745, Spangenburgh, Zeisberger, and other missionaries of the Moravians, accompanied by Conrad Weiser on their way to Onondaga, stopped for a few days at Shamokin (now Sunbury), on the Susquehanna. They visited Madame Montour, who was on the island with one of her daughters. (Moravian Historical Society.) She appears to have left Oztenwacken permanently, as there is no evidence of her residing there afterwards. Zeisberger found that village deserted and in ruins in 1748. The smallpox had desolated the valley. There is no further direct account of Madame Montour. It seems, however, that she was not living in 1754. Some time prior to that year she became blind, but was sufficiently vigorous to ride on horseback from Logstown, on the Ohio, to Venango in two days, a distance by the path  of over sixty miles, her son Andrew on foot, leading her horse all the way. Of her children but three can be identified with any certainty; one of the two daughters who were with her at the treaty of Lancaster in 1744, and two sons, Andrew alias Henry, and Louis. Her daughter, known as "French Margaret," was wife to Keterioncha, alias Peter Quebec, and living near Shamokin when Shikillimy lived there in 1733, probably on the island where Zeisberger and Spangenburgh visited her and her mother in 1745, as before related. Another of her daughters is mentioned as a sister of Andrew Montour's, and one of the converts at the Moravian Missions at New Salem, Ohio, April 14, 1791, and that she was a living polyglot of the tongues of the West, speaking English, French and six Indian languages. She must have been at least seventy years of age at that time.
Madame Montour evidently was older than she told Marshe, at Lancaster in 1744, as she was at Albany in 1711 as Mrs. Montourher old age referred to in 1734 as her protectionand blind before 1754. (Dussieux, Canada.) "It is probable that she was captured prior to 1696, after which year the raids of the Iroquois into Canada ceased for some time. That she was very young when captured, is clear. She could not have been less than sixty years old at the time of the treaty of Lancaster in 1744; and probably was older, and if but ten years of age when taken, as she said, the year of her captivity was 1694, and of her birth 1684. Of the many errors respecting this noted woman, the most prominent are, first, the frequently repeated statement that she was the daughter of a former governor of Canada." (Marshe's Journal.) This story originated with herself, or it may have been told by her savage captors to enhance the value of their prize. There never was a governor of Canada named Montour,  and the letter of Lord Cornbury, of August 20, 1708, before cited, is conclusive as to her origin, taken, of course, in connection with her own statement to Secretary Marshe. Second that she was living at the time of the American Revolution, and also confounding her with her granddaughter, Catherine of Catherine's Town, near the head of Seneca Lake, New York, destroyed by the army under General Sullivan in 1779. She is not mentioned in any work of original authority, as Catherine, but invariably as Mrs. or "Madame Montour." Highly colored accounts have been given respecting her association with the ladies of Philadelphia; who evidently, owing to her intelligence and previous history, treated her with considerate kindness and nothing more. From the authorities of the province she received such presents and compensation for services as were usually given to prominent Indian visitors. Those who knew her best, related that she was habited and lived like the Indians. Her French blood doubtless imparted a vivacity of manner to her, the like of which is observed at this day among the people of mixed French and Indian ancestry in Canada and along our northern frontier.
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