DESTRUCTION OF FORTS RICE, BOSLEY'S MILLS AND FORT JENKINS—CAPT. KLADER'S COMPANY AMBUSHED—BURIAL PARTY—JOHN BALLIETT—THE WALK PURCHASE—CHIEF NUTIMUS—PETER HESS MASSACRED, ETC.
BY the kindness of C. F. Hill, Esq., of Hazleton, the following facts concerning this sad event are herewith given. The bloody day was September 10, 1780, near what is now the village of Conyngham, Sugar Loaf township, in this county.
[p.200] Within the four days preceding this event was the attack on Fort Rice and the destruction of Bosley's mills, a fortified station near Washingtonville, and the destruction of Fort Jenkins and surrounding buildings. These all occurred between the 6th and 10th of September. There was a small settlement, Friends, and supposed tories, on the North Branch of the Susquehanna at a place called Catawissa and on Fishing creek. All other settlements in this region had been deserted, the inhabitants having fled to places of safety—the forts along the river. The settlement mentioned occupied their farms in apparent security—probably the chief cause of their being suspected. And it was said they gave the Indians information of the movements of the whites. The militia had lost several men who had strayed from the camps; Col. Hunter, the commander of Northumberland county, had been thus killed. Therefore Capt. Robinson was ordered to take his company and bring in these inhabitants. The authorities of Pennsylvania had considerable correspondence in regard to the people of Catawissa and Fishing creek as to their treasonable practices, and several were arrested, and supposed evidence of their giving aid to the enemy elicited.
Col. Hunter had determined to make a demonstration against this tory settlement, and arranged with Capt. Klader, of Northampton county, to join him in the enterprise, but the enemy heard of the contemplated movement and proceeded to thwart it. Before Capt. Klader was to meet Col. Hunter, the enemy, it is said, 250 to 300 strong, on September 6, 1780, appeared at Fort Rice and made an attack, keeping up the attack until after nightfall, when they set fire to the near buildings and haystacks adjacent. The garrison from Fort Jenkins was sent to their relief. Col. Kelly, 100 men, and Col. Purdy from Juniata with 100 men reached the place, when the enemy broke into small bodies and retreated. One of these squads (said to be forty strong) went via Knob mountain, passing near the spot where Van Campen's father, brother and uncle had been slain the previous spring: thence by way of Cabin run to Fort Jenkins, which had been evacuated, and destroyed that fort and the buildings in the vicinity. They had destroyed Bosley's mills near Fort Rice.
It is now pretty well known that this party knew that Capt. Klader intended to join Col. Hunter in the expedition up the river. They therefore proceeded up the river to Berwick, crossed the river and followed the path a distance of about seven miles from Nescopeck, and there lay in ambush awaiting Capt. Klader and his company. At high noon, September 10, while these unfortunate patriots were nooning, having stacked their arms and scattered about, many of them in the trees gathering grapes, they were surrounded, and, unaware of danger, attacked, and nearly all killed or taken prisoners. Capt. Klader was left dead where he fell fighting, and his lieutenant, John Moyer, was taken prisoner. The spot at that time where this occurred was known as Scotch Valley. Moses Van Campen afterward thus described the affair substantially as follows: The men had made a long and tiresome march and were nearing the end of their journey—it being only seven miles to Nescopeck Falls. When they reached what was the Scotch settlement, and entered upon the smooth, open fields, they were delighted, and they stopped to enjoy the scenery and refreshments, and many were engaged in innocent amusements and were scattered about over the meadow grounds. The Indians secretly hovering there saw their opportunity and swooped upon them. All were killed, it is said, by Van Campen, but three, who escaped and one other was taken a prisoner to Niagara —Ensign James Scobey.
Soon after this Van Campen was selected by Col. Hunter to gather a force of men and visit the field of slaughter and bury the dead. Of this expedition he said: "Never shall I forget the impression made on my mind on coming in sight of the slain bodies of my countrymen. Several days had elapsed since the time they had met such terrible deaths, and the bodies had been exposed to beasts of prey and [p.201] vultures. * * It was a scene that could only be looked upon by those accustomed to the horrors of war."
In after days several letters found their way into the chronicles of the day that dispute the statement of Van Campen as to his burial party, and claim that Col. Balliett was the one who conducted the expedition. Mr. C. F. Hill contends that the evidence is plain that both Balliett and Van Campen visited the ground; that they approached nearly at the same time from opposite directions—one from the Lehigh and the other from the Susquehanna, and this reconciles the apparent discrepancy.
The Historical Record, by Dr. F. C. Johnson, published the following: "Local tradition furnishes us with many interesting incidents and reminiscences of early times in Sugar Loaf valley that are worthy of preservation, being illustrative of the hardships encountered and privations endured by the pioneers of that beautiful and fertile valley; and there are old persons still living who have seen and conversed with some of the 'seven months' men' who escaped the massacre of 1780, near the spot where Conyngham now stands. Many of our readers are familiar with the short accounts of the Sugar Loaf massacre in Miner's history and Pearce's Annals. Brief as these accounts are, they however differ materially from the true version of the affair, if we may credit the statements of a score of men still living who heard the facts as detailed by those who were living actors of the scenes of those days; and by those who helped to bury the dead. Mr. Miner's account was from the lips of Abigail Dodson, a prisoner with the Gilbert family, who, as prisoners, were carried along the warpath which passed through the valley near Nescopeck. They were captured in April, 1780. The Sugar Loaf tragedy was in September of that year, and while Abigail was still a prisoner in Canada, where she got her account of the affair from prisoners brought in from this section. From these accounts it is learned that not one escaped, which at that time was generally believed. But the fact is that a great uncle of the present Engle brothers, of Hazleton, escaped across the Nescopeck mountain and fled to Fort Jenkins; that Abraham Klader, brother of the commander, concealed himself in the water of Little Nescopeck creek by clinging to a tree that had fallen across it, and was not discovered. Frederick Shickler also escaped across Buck mountain and finally reached the Lehigh settlement. A very old man, nearly eighty, affirms that he had often heard Shickler tell the particulars of his escape. These were not all that is known to have escaped, but it is all that can be named. Both Minor and Pearce make the mistake that the company was commanded by Myers [Ensign Moyer] instead of Capt. Klador, a man noted in the Revolutionary times for his valor in war, to be finally butchered and scalped. He and the most of his dead companions was buried where is now the farm of Samuel Wagner, about half a mile from Conyngham. Mr. Hill says: "We visited Mr. Wagner's farm a few days since, in company with S. D. Engle, and were conducted by Anthony Fisher, whose locks are whitened by ninety years, and went to the spot where the noble Klader rests, but no trace of the grave can be seen. It was under an oak tree on which the initials "D. K." had been rudely carved, and that for a century stood sentinel and marked his resting place; but seven years ago the tree had been cut down, and even now the decayed stump is gone. Mr. Fisher informed us that many years ago he intimately knew John Wertz, who had been one of the burying party, and who had made the letters on the tree to mark the spot. Wertz told how Klader had fought and died; four dead Indians, some said seven, were prone at his side before he yielded up his life."
A subsequent issue of the Record says: "In a former number we gave some account of the massacre of 1780 in Sugar Loaf valley. John Balliett expected to accompany the party sent to bury the victims, but sickness in his family compelled him to remain at home. Upon the return of the party, however, Balliett was favorably impressed with their glowing descriptions of the valley and resolved to go [p.202] there and settle, which he did in 1784, locating on what is now known as the Beisel farm, about one mile from Drums. As there was no road for a vehicle he crossed the mountain, and, on his back, carried all his worldly goods. In the absence of other conveniences he fixed a couple of beegums to carry the children in, and these were swung across a horse's back and thus carried on the journey. It is related that on the way the cord broke and 'down came beegums, babies and all,' but after rolling and tumbling down the mountain side awhile they were again socurely tied and across the animals back safely resumed the journey. When Balliett reached his chosen spot a residence was made by placing poles against and around a tree, over which branches and leaves afforded a protection. In time a real log cabin was put up, but after a year of comfort therein this was destroyed, and the contents were a total loss."
The following is an official letter, dated September 20, 1780, and throws some light on the transaction—copied from the Pennsylvania Archives:
I take the earliest opportunity to acquaint your excellency of the distressed and dangerous situation of our frontier inhabitants and the misfortune happened to our volunteers stationed at the Gnaden Hutts; they having received intelligence that a number of disaffected persons live near the Susquehanna at a place called the Scotch Valley, who have been suspected to hold up correspondence with the Indians and the tories in the country. They sat out on the 8th inst. for that place to see whether they might be able to find out anything of that nature, but were attacked on the 10th at noon about eight miles from that settlement, by a large body of Indians and tories (as one had red hair). (Our men numbered 41; the enemy supposed twice that; other estimates placed them at 260 to 300.) Twenty out of forty-one have since come in, several of whom are wounded. It is also reported too that Lieut. John Moyer had been made a prisoner, and made his escape from them again and returned to Wyoming.
On the first notice of the unfortunate event, the officers of the Militia have exerted themselves to get volunteers out of their respective divisions to go up and bury the dead. Their labors proved not in vain. We collected about 150 men and officers from Col. Giger's and my own command, who would undergo the fatigue and danger to go there and pay that respect to their slaughtered brethren, due to men who fell in support of the freedom of their country. On the 15th we took up our line of march (want of ammunition prevented going sooner). On the 17th we arrived at the place of action, where we found ten of our soldiers dead, scalped, stripped naked and in a most cruel and barbarous manner tomahawked, their throats cut, etc., whom we buried and returned without even seeing any of their black allies and bloody executors of British tyranny. I can not conclude without observing that the Cols. Kern, of the third battalion, and Giger, of the sixth, who is upwards of sixty years of age, together with all the officers and men, have encountered their many and high hills and mountains with the greatest satisfaction and discipline imaginable; and their countenances appeared to be eager to engage with their tyrannical enemies, who are employed by the British court and equipped at their expense, as appeared by a new fuse and several gun barrels, etc., bent and broken in pieces with a British stamp thereon, found by our men. We also have great reason to believe that several of the Indians had been killed by our men, in particular, one by Col. Kern and another by Capt. Moyer, both of whom went voluntarily with the party. We viewed where they said they fired at them and found the grass and weeds remarkably beaten down; they had carried them off. * * SETPHEN BALLIETT, Lieutenant-colonel.
The following extract from a letter written by Col. Samuel Roy, dated Mount Bethel, October 7, 1780:
Col. Balliet informs me that he had given counsel a relation of the killed and wounded he had found and buried near Nescopeck. As he was at the place of action, his account must be as near the truth as any that I could procure, though since Lieut. Myers [Moyers], who was taken prisoner by the enemy in that unhappy action, has made his escape from the savages and reports that Ensign Scoby and one private was taken with him and that the party consisted of thirty Indians and one white savage; that they had thirteen scalps along with them; that several of them were wounded, and supposes some killed.
It is difficult, impossible to reconcile the conflicting figures above given as to the number of our men in the expedition or the number of the enemy. In Col. Stephen Balliett's account it looks as if there were forty-one in the expedition, and twenty returned; but there were not that many is evident. So far only thirteen are accounted for, and yet others, supposed killed, finally returned, having escaped from the scene of slaughter. Altogether sixteen men are really accounted for—ten [p.203] lay dead and this number were buried, and six escaped or were taken prisoners. Except Capt. Klader, who were these fallen heroes? No names are now obtainable of the nine, beside the commander, whose dust is in the unmarked graves where they fell. Is it possible the burying party did not know their names, and, therefore, never gave the world the short, bloody list? They were a little band of volunteers, not even enrolled, nor were there any company books or records from which we can transcribe the names for the bright immortality they so richly earned.
Joseph Nutimus, king of Nescopeck, or chief of the Fork Indians, Mr. C. F. Hill informs us, was a Delaware. Toward the end of his life he was known as Old King Nutimus. Mr. Hill maintains he was the chief instigator and actor in the massacre of the Moravians in 1755. The Indians occupied Nescopeck between 1742 and 1763. One of the earliest references to Nutimus was in 1733, when Thomas Penn speaks of an expected visit from him, and expected trouble from him, as, he says, in their last year visit, they "left a bag of bullets."
Nutimus and his tribe had the lands in the forks of the Delaware and Lehigh rivers above Durham, and the tribe made headquarters where Easton now stands. In this territory this chief was supreme, subject only to such restrictions as the Six Nations imposed on the subjugated Delawares.
Nutimus and his tribe always claimed they were the chief sufferers in the land- trade swindle that has gone into history as The Walking Purchase by the Penns. The two sons of William Penn were the proprietaries, and it must be acknowledged that there was shrewd jockeying on their part whereby they got immensely the advantage of the Indians in that trade. And the bloody retaliation, as usual, fell upon the heads of innocent settlers. This Indian chief and his people watched the proceedings of that "walk" and denounced it at the time, and never ceased to proclaim their contempt for the whole thing, and when the settlers began to pour in upon these rich and coveted lands in the forks, the Indians obstinately, and with increasing insolence, held their grounds; they were very angry at the white intruders, and prepared to give them the reception of "hospitable hands to bloody graves." After five years of contention, the Pennsylvanians appealed to the Six Nations to control or punish the insubordination of the Delawares, and a council was called in Philadelphia July 12, 1742, where Cannassatego, a chief of the Six Nations, delivered his famous address to the Delawares. He told them they had sold their lands, given several releases, and warned them that they deserved to be taken by the ears and shaken into some sense. He closed his bitter and taunting speech by peremptorily ordering them to move to the place provided for them at Nescopec, on the Susquehanna river. This order Nutimus and his tribe had to obey, and the Penns were again the winners. No further notice came from the tribe at Nescopeck until 1757, and the Franco-Indian war was on. Conrad Weiser was sent to Nutimus, and reported that his people were much inclined to side with the French, and Nescopeck was now a town where the enemy rendezvoused. Two Indian spies were sent up from Harrisburg, and they reported seeing 150 warriors at Nescopeck, busy painting and dancing war dances. Gnadenhutten was burned and the people massacred in November, 1755. [Weissport is now built on that spot]. The slaughter of the inoffensive Moravians and the many murders about Nescopeck were simultaneous events largely, and showed an intimate connection with each other, and Mr. Hill has not much doubt but that Nutimus was fully cognizant, if not a participator, in the Moravian m assacre.
It is believed that Nutimus, with his family, left Nescopeck about 1763, and finally joined the Delawares in Ohio.
John W. Jordan replied to Mr. Hill's communication in the Record in regard to King Nutimus. He contends that this chief was a true friend of the Moravians at all times, and that it was the Monseys that were engaged in the wanton massacre. He quotes from a diary of a trip down the river by Zeisberger, of date of October [p.204] 10, 1744, an account of his party reaching Nescopeck and visiting Notimaes' [the correct name of Nutimus] cabin, where he was with his five sons and their wives; that the chief was not at home, but at work with his slaves [he owned five negroes] on his plantation below Nescopeck. Passing down the trail, the party met the chief at Nescopeck creek, and had a cordial and friendly interview.
Peter Hess was cruelly butchered by a band of Indians, said to have been led by Teedyuscung, in November, 1755. The marauders had been south on the river, and had captured Peter Hess, Henry Hess, Nicholas Cileman, Leonard Wesser, William Wesser and others. Returning to Wyoming, they camped for the night on the Pocono mountain. It was so cold they could not sleep, and they drank heavily and made a frolic of cutting Peter Hess literally in pieces, and tied the other prisoners to trees. To those of the prisoners who survived, it may well be said that nobody ever passed a more wretched night and survived.
In April, 1756, the governor and supreme executive council declared war against the Delawares and offered tempting prices for the scalps of Indian bucks and squaws over twelve years of age. The Quakers and Moravians denounced the offer for scalps, but the frontiersmen warmly approved of it. This proclamation of war, after many pow-wows, was suspended and the war averted. Then followed a period of five years when these frontiers were exempt from Indian marauds. Teedyuscung had withdrawn his bold charges of fraud in all the land purchases by the young Penns, except those in reference to the "walking purchase."
The anticipated blessings of peace after the last treaty at Easton were of short duration. The Moravians re-established their missions at Gnadenhutten, Wyoming and Wyalusing and the frontiers soon recovered their former prosperity. In April, 1763, Teedyuscung's hut was set on fire and he was burned in it. The belief was spread among the Delawares that the whites had committed the deed. In June following the Delawares and Shawnee murdered several families, and the Wyoming settlement was destroyed and scattered. These unprovoked and unexplained attacks excited the frontier settlers beyond all bounds. The Christian Indians at Conestoga were suspected of, and detected in, harboring hostile savages, and their removal or extermination was resolved upon. A number were killed by the exasperated men of Paxton; others were collected at Bethlehem, and, under the superintendence of David Zeisberger and Jacob Schmick, in April, 1764, they set out for Wyalusing, on the Susquehanna. They rested at Wyoming, and from this place proceeded by water to their place of destination, where they arrived after a journey of five weeks. Here they laid out a town, erected forty log houses and a meeting house, and named the place Friedenshutten—tents of peace.
John Penn, one of the proprietaries of Pennsylvania, and grandson of William Penn, arrived in Philadelphia and entered on the duties of governor in the fall of 1763; and in July, 1764, offered the following rewards for Indian scalps: "For every male above ten years of age, captured, $150, for every male above ten years of age, scalped, being killed, $130; for every female above ten years of age, scalped, being killed, $50." The war against the savages was now prosecuted with vigor by Gen. Gage, who sent several regiments of British troops into the western country and destroyed their towns. In November, Col. Bouquet had reduced them to a humiliating submission. The Delawares, Shawnee, and other tribes delivered up at Fort Pitt and other points, 300 prisoners, most of whom were women and children.
The Christian Indians at Wyalusing continued to increase, and, in 1767, erected a large and convenient church, with a cupola and bell. This bell was the first that ever sounded over the waters of the North Susquehanna. In 1769 they made an additional settlement at Sheshequin, thirty miles above Wyalusing; but the whites beginning to crowd into Wyoming and along the river, the Indians became dissatisfied with their location. With Zeisberger at their head they departed, in 1772, for the west, and were united to the Moravian Mission on the Muskingum.
[p.207] The "Walk" Treaty was one of the transactions of the sons of William Penn that was a bar sinister on the glorious escutcheon of their ancestor. It was downright jockeying, and deserved the hot denunciations hurled at it by the outraged Indians and all fair-minded white men. It is an important part of the history of our early times—the prelude to much suffering by innocent men and women on the frontier, especially here along the Susquehanna river. This transaction is so often referred to in preceding pages that it is not improper to here briefly explain it.
William Penn died July 30, 1718, aged seventy-four years, leaving six children. He bequeathed Pennsylvania to the three sons of his second marriage—John, Thomas and Richard. To the elder a double portion. John died in 1746, leaving his one- half to Thomas, who came here in 1732 and remained until August, 1741. Thomas Penn was a close-fisted trader who, according to Franklin, Thompson, Day and others, was not over-scrupulous in money transactions. While he had quite a little "patch" of land, enough to gratify any ordinary land-grabber, yet it seems he must have been the man who primarily wanted the earth.
In nearly every one of his purchases of the Indians the fact on final survey would come out that Penn would get several thousand more acres than the Indians under- stood they had sold. This was frequent cause of complaint. Over the "Walk" purchase, however, there was a mystery and continued secrecy as well as deception on all parties except Penn, it seems.
In Penn's books the earliest reference made to this land trade is "April 12, 1735. Lewis Smith expenses on travelling ye Indian purchase, £5." Penn probably first negotiated to purchase of the Indians in the early part of 1735, and then adjourned the matter, after agreeing that the lands purchased should be so much as, commencing at a given point, would be within a day and a half's walk going in a certain direction.
These very loose terms agreed to, then Penn set about to grab nearly everything in sight and claim it as in the purchase. He therefore hunted for the fastest walkers, and secretly provided for a trial walk, and sent his surveyors to pick out and blaze that route to be walked that would include all the best and coveted lands that lay in the forks of the Delaware and Lehigh rivers, where is now Easton and all the rich country surrounding. Timothy Smith went twice over this route to facilitate the movements as much as possible when the day came of walking off the line. The secret trial walk, after many investigations as to the best possible way, came off in May, 1735, and the Indian walk (that is, the walk agreed on) did not take place until September 20, 1737, and all this time Penn was figuring to his own advantage. In fact, there is now no serious doubt but that Penn had taken all these precautions before any treaty for the land had been effected with the Indians. This secret trial walk and the purchase walk, from the secrecy of the former, have puzzled historians in their account of the matter, and often confounding the two and thus making it impossible of any correct understanding of the matter.
The walking purchase was finally consummated August 25, 1737, and the Indians in council confirmed the previous negotiations that had then gone over before at least two years, if not four or five. In the deed signed by the Indians the boundaries are thus described: "Beginning upon a line formerly laid out from a Corner Spruce Tree by the River Delaware, about Makeerickkitton, and from thence running along the ledge or foot of the mountains, west-southwest to a Corner White Oak marked with the letter P, Standing by the Indian Path that Leadeth to an Indian Town called Playwicky, and from thence extending westward to Neshaminy Creek, from which said line the said Tract or Tracts thereby Granted doth extend itself back into the Woods as far as a man can goe in one day and a half, and bounded on the Westerly side with the Creek called Neshaminy or the most westerly branch thereof so far as the said branch doth extend and from thence by [p.208] line to the utmost extent of the said day and a half's journey, and from thence to the aforesaid River Delaware, and from thence down the Several Courses of the said River to the first mentioned Spruce Tree."
From the date of this instrument to the actual walk twenty-four days intervened. Penn published a notice and offered 500 acres of land and £5 in money to the man who could walk the farthest. Of many applicants three Men, Edward Marshall, Solomon Jennings and James Yates were selected to walk. The Indians were invited to have young men to go with the walkers and see that all was fair.
Twenty years after the "walk" the British government closely investigated the transaction in its attempt to ferret out the cause of the preceding Indian wars that had been so destructive to the colony. It was well understood that one of the leading causes of Indian outbreaks was this same "Walking Purchase" and therefore the authorities felt called upon to make a thorough investigation. As parties present and knowing about it the following persons were summoned before the board and gave testimony: Edward Marshall (the man who walked the day and a half, distancing the other two, but who never got his reward of the promised 500 acres of land), Timothy Smith, Alexander Brown, Nicholas Scull, Benjamin Eastburn, John Heider, Ephraim Goodman, Joseph Knowles, Thomas Furniss and James Steele. Their several accounts of the affair were taken down and are of record.
Early Monday morning, September 19, 1737, an interesting group of men assembled at the starting point on the Durham road, near a large chestnut tree at the corner of John Chapman's land, a few rods from Wrightstown meeting house in Bucks county. Timothy Smith, sheriff, had charge of the walk in Penn's interest. The Indians had three of their young men present to go with the walkers. The trained racers, for that is what it turned out io be, started at exactly 6 o'clock in the forenoon. Smith had sent in advance on horseback ample provisions and every comfort for the walkers. Instead of going along up the river as the Indians understood to be the contract, the walkers followed a blazed route striking straight north-northwest, and so palpable was the cheat that by noon of the first day the Indians denounced it all and ceased to take any further interest in it. The walkers pushed each other to the utmost degree; one would forge ahead and then the others would run to catch up, and so hard was the struggle that before noon Jennings gave out and retired leaving Marshall and Yates. Keeping this due northwest course until fifteen minutes past 6 o'clock in the evening as the first day's walk; the last fifteen minutes in a hard run, so much so that the men were completely blown. The Indians had left in disgust long before nightfall. The next morning at 8 o'clock the race again commenced, pushing rapidly in the same course. In a few hours Yates gave completely out and Marshall alone continued the long run. At 2 o'clock in the afternoon the eighteen hours was up and the walk ended, at a point on the Pocono mountain. From this point the proprietary at his leisure ran a direct line in a northeast direction to the Delaware river. The line of the walk may now be described as commencing on the Chapman farm, on the Durham road in Wrightstown, or rather on the line between Wrightstown and Newtown township line. By way of parenthesis it may be here mentioned that there was always much confusion as to the real starting point. And it is said that in this matter Penn gained fully a mile in the matter of the agreed starting point. The walkers then passed where is now Centerville, Pipersville, Bucksville, Springtown, crossing the Lehigh river just below Bethlehem, through the Lehigh Water Gap and crossing the river near Mauch Chunk (where Yates gave out). Marshall proceeded about four and a half miles on Broad or Second mountain, where it terminated.
The Indians realized before the first day's walk was over that it was the intention to take from them the rich and coveted lands in the forks of the Delaware and Lehigh rivers, occupied by Nutimus and his tribe. And they protested vigorously [p.209] but in vain. The end was Nutimus and his tribe were compelled to move to Nescopeck and give up their cherished home and hunting grounds. The Indians in their exasperation over the loss of their land in the rich Ninnisink country from protests proceeded to outbreaks and murders of the settlers, and the flames of war soon followed. While it perhaps can not be said that the Walk Purchase was the sole cause of what followed, yet there can be little doubt that it was one of the powerful incentives thereto.
The Last Indian Massacre in this county occurred July 8, 1782. The Jamesons, Aldens and Hurlbuts, after the battle in which Robert Jameson had been killed, fled to old Hanover, in Lancaster county. John Jameson with his brothers, Alexander and Joseph, and mother, who carried her child Samuel in her arms all the way to Sunbury. Soon after the families were safely landed at Fort Augusta (Sunbury), John Jameson returned to look after the farm and household and effects. The families did not return until 1780.
July 8, 1782, John Jameson, with his youngest brother, Benjamin, and a neighbor, Asa Chapman, started from their homes in Hanover township to Wilkes- Barre, on horseback. Approaching open ground near the church in "Hanover Green," John Jameson noticed Indians ambushed, and exclaimed, "Indians!" and was instantly shot from his horse, three balls striking him. His horse with empty saddle fled, and Jameson was found where he fell, tomahawked and scalped. Asa Chapman and horse were both wounded; but the horse turned and carried his rider home, where he died in a few days. Benjamin's horse wheeled at first fire, and carried him safely away. John Jameson was at the time thirty-three years old. He had married Abigail Alden, a descendant of John Alden, who came with the Pilgrims in 1620 to Plymouth, Mass. This first John Alden married Priscilla Mullins or Molines. in 1623. This is the girl that Miles Standish sent his friend John Alden, to propose marriage. Capt. Standish was a widower. The father of the girl called her in, and bade Alden tell her his mission. He told her that Capt. Miles Standish wanted her for a wife. The blushing maiden listened to the story, and then very sensibly said: "Prithee, John, why do you not speak for yourself?" The result is known to the world. Priscilla and John were duly married.