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History of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 online

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in our Colonial history. At this point the story will be confined to
Weiser's itinerary. Weiser's home was about one mile east of Womels-
dorf, in what is now Berks county, then in Lancaster. Weiser was on
horseback and made the forty-five miles to Croghan's on the second
day. From Harris' Journal it is established that Croghan's home was
west of the Susquehanna, for Harris wrote : "From my Ferry to George
Croghan's, five miles." This location was in Pennsboro township, now
Silver Spring township, Cumberland county. Robert Dunning's place
was below Le Tort's Spring, now Carlisle. August 14th, Weiser came
to the Tuscarora Path, now Path Valley, in Franklin county, crossing the
Blue Ridge through McAllister's Gap, thence through the valley and
through the Tuscarora mountain to the Black Log, a sleeping place,
a point at the gap of the same name east of the present town of Orbi-
sonia, in Huntingdon county; thence within two miles of the Standing
Stone, now the town of Huntingdon; thence to Frankstown, following
the Water street or Frankstown branch of the Juniata for thirty-eight
miles. The Allegheny hill was fourteen miles farther. Here the trail
ascended the mountain by way of Burgoon's Run Gap to the mouth of
Kittanning run, thence by way of that gap to the west side of the
mountains. This locality is well known to thousands as Kittanning
Point on the Pennsylvania railroad, Kittanning run flowing under the
tracks in the center of the Horseshoe Curve and joining the waters of
Burgoon's run, filling the large basins in the valley south of the railroad,
that furnish the water supply for the city of Altoona.

From Kittanning Point to the Clear Fields the the distance is six
miles, the trail having passed somewhat west of the village of Ash-
ville, in Cambria county, and proceeded diagonally across that county
to what is now the town of Cherry Tree, on the Susquehanna, in Indiana
county. The term "Clear Fields" designated an open meadow space
in the woods with which the top of the mountain was covered. It
might have been cleared by a forest fire, or by the hands of Indians at
some remote period. This locality was near the line between the town-
ships of Allegheny and Clearfield in Cambria county, a slight distance
east of the village of Chest Springs. From the Clear Fields to the head
of the Susquehanna (West Branch), or Canoe place, now Cherry Tree,
the distance is eighteen miles. This point marked the head of canoe
navigation on the Susquehanna. It is a historic point in Pennsylvania
history, an important point on the trail. The Shawanese cabins men-
tioned by Weiser were on a branch of Two Lick creek, in Indiana county,
about a mile southwest of the site of Cookport. The route Weiser trav-
eled passed close to the sites of Diamondville and Greenville (Penn Run
P. O.), Indiana county, and to Shaver's Spring and within what is now
the town of Indiana and on to the Kiskiminetas river at about the site

Pitts.— 18



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194 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

of Apollo, perhaps at the mouth of Carnahan's run. From the stopping
place at Ten Mile Lick or the Round Hole, to the Kiskiminetas was
about twelve miles. The Lick was thirty-two miles from the cabins.
From the crossing of the Kiskiminetas to the Ohio, or the Allegheny, was
twenty-six miles. This distance as given by Weiser fixes adequately
the point at which he crossed the Kiskiminetas. From the mouth of
this stream there was canoe navigation as far as the voyager desired
to go down the Ohio or up its tributaries. Chartier's Landing on the
Allegheny was almost due west from the Kiskiminetas town and about
eight miles below the mouth of the Kiskiminetas river. It is shown on
Lewis Evans' map of 1755; and on Father Bonnecamps' map of 1749
as "an old town of the Shawanese."^®

Weiser, like most chroniclers of his years, was a phonetic speller,
hence he has twisted some of the Indian names. Scaiohady is Scarroo-
yady, the successor of Tanacharison, the Half King whom Washington
met on his journey to the French forts in 1753, so called on account of
his authority as vicegerent of the Iroquois over their subjugated tribes
about the head of the Ohio. Tanacharison was ever a good friend of the
English. His death in 1754 was a serious loss to the Provinces of
Pennsylvania and Virginia. Weiser calls him "Tanughrisson," some
times simply the "Half King." He was a Seneca of the Mingo sec-
tion of that nation. Scarrooyady was an Oneida. Much will be heard
of the Half King in the history of Washington's first operations in
Western Pennsylvania, and of Scarrooyady, under his other name,
Monacatoocha, in the relation of Braddock's expedition. "Olomipes"
was AUumapees, a Delaware sachem better known in Pennsylvania
history as Sassoonan, who will be remembered as one of the leading
Delawares humbled by Cannassatego at Philadelphia in 1742, when the
Delawares were told they were women and to remove instantly. (See
Chapter VII).

The Tisagechroanu were the Mississagas from Lake Huron, a large
tribe and French Indians, or under French influences. The name Tisa-
gechroanue here is probably a misprint, for it is most often found Zisau-
geghroanu.^^ The curious spellings and the care that Weiser took to
enumerate the chiefs he met in order that the provincial authorities
might be informed of their friendship, must impress the readers of his
Journal in these late years. Certain names referring to Colonial and
French officials also require explanation. The French governor-general
is always referred to as Onontio, sometimes spelled Onondio. Corlaer
was the governor of New York, and Assaragoa, or Assaraqua, the gov-
ernor of Virginia. William Penn and the governors of Pennsylvania
are always Onas — the Iroquois word. The Delawares called him Miquon.



lOThc Wilderness Trail;" C. A. Hanna, Vol. I, pp. 350, 252-263, 266-270.
ii^CoL Rcc;" Vol. IV, p. 586. "Zisaugcgh-roanu, who live on the cast side of
Huron's Lake>" three large towns, etc



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CONRAD WEISER, AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY 195

The Indians had no written language, but they kept the records of
their Councils in a peculiar manner. They made pictures with beads
strung together in a belt. The famous treaty with William Penn was
commemorated by a belt of "wampum," as the strings were called.
The Penn treaty belt represented an Indian and a white man clasping
each other by the hand in token of friendship. Independent of any
picture, the arrangement of the beads and their colors had meanings.
When a "Council" was held, a fire was lit and the Indians were all
seated around it; hence the word "fire" used frequently by the Indian
speakers metaphorically referred to a council. Every tribe had its
wampum interpreters. By examination of a belt these could tell what
action had been taken at a past Council. The beads of these wampum
belts served also for money. Originally the beads were made of white
or colored shells strung on strings. When the Europeans came they
furnished glass beads. A certain number of beads represented a fixed
value. The Indians seldom had use for money. Nevertheless, Weiser
recorded that at Chartier's Old Town he gave a string of wampum to
enforce his request.

That Weiser traveled a rough road we may well believe, and we have
testimony to its character furnished twenty-three years afterwards.

The Rev. David McClure, who with companions made a missionary
journey to the Ohio country in 1772, describes their passage through
McAllister's Gap:

We passed through the Gap. The road was dismal. It was hollow through the
mountains about six miles, rough, rocky and narrow. It was a bed of stones and rocks
which, probably, the waters falling from each side had washed bare. In about two hours
we passed through the Gap, having walked almost the whole way. On the western side,
the descent into Path Valley was steep and stony, and so continued for more than a mile.
Leading our horses down they came near falling upon us several times.12

At the meeting of the Council held in Philadelphia, October 15, 1748,
"The Secretary was ordered to lay before the House Weiser's Journal
of his proceedings at Ohio."^'

Weiser's Journal of 1748, as recorded in the Colonial Records, is as
follows :

The Journal of Conkad Weiser, Esq., Indian Interferter.^^
Aug^ust II, 1748— Set out from my house. (Heidelberg township, Berks county. Pa.)

and came to James Galbreath's that dsiy. 30 miles.

August i2th.~Came to George Croghan's. 15 "

August 13th.— To Robert Dunning's. 20 "

August 14th.— To Tuscarora Path. 30 "

August 15th and i6th — Lay by, on account of the men coming back sick, and some

other affairs hindering us.

August 17th — Crossed the Tuscarora Hill, and came to the sleeping place, called

The Black Log. ao miles.



i2«Diary of David McQure;" August 12, 1773.

"See "Minutes Provincial Council," in "CoL Records;" Vol. V, p. 347.

""Hist. West Penna.;" Rupp, App. IIL



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196 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

August i8th — Had a great rain on the afternoon-beanie within two miles of the
Standing Stone. Huntingdon G)unty. 34 miles

Aug^ust 19th — ^We traveled but twelve miles — ^were obliged to dry our things in the
afternoon. 12 miles

August 20th — Came to Franks Town, but saw no houses or cabin. Here we over-
took the goods, because four of George Croghan's hands fell sick. 26 miles

August 22d — Crossed the Allegheny hills, and came to the Gear Fields. 16 "

August 23d — Came to the Shawanese Cabbins. 34 "

August 24th — Foimd a dead man on the road, who had killed himself by drinking
too much whiskey. — This place being very stony, we could not dig a grave. He smelling
very strong, we covered him with stones and wood and went on in our journey — came to
the Ten Mile Lick. 32 miles

August 25th — Crossed Kiskeminetoes Creek, and came to Ohioi5 that day. 26 "

August 26th — Hired a canoe — paid 1000 black wampum for the loan of it to Logs
Town. Our horses being all tired, we went by water, and came that night to a Delaware
town — ^the Indians used us very kindly.

August 27th — Set off again in the morning early — rainy weather. We dined in a
Seneka Town, where an old Seneka woman reigns with great authority. We dined at
her house, and they all used us very well at this and the last mentioned Delaware town.
They received us by firing a great many guns. We saluted the town by firing four
pairs of pistols. Arrived that evening at Logs Town and saluted the town as before.
The Indians returned about one hundred gtms. Great joy appeared in their cotmtenances.

From the place where we took water; i. e., from the Old Shawanese-Town com-
monly called Chartiers-Town, to this place is about one htmdred and sixty miles by
water, and but thirty-five or forty by land.

The Indian council met this evening to shake hands with me, and to show their sat-
isfaction at my safe arrival. I desired on them to send a couple of canoes to fetch down
the goods from Chartiers-Old-Town, where we had been obliged to leave them on
account of our horses being all tired. I gave them a string of wampum, to enforce my
request.

August 28th.— Lay still.

August 29th — The Indians set off in their canoes to fetch the goods. I expected the
goods would be all at Chartiers-Old-Town, by the time the canoes would get there, as
we met about twenty horses of George Croghan's at the Shawanese Cabbins, in order to
fetch the goods, that were then at Frank's-Town.

This day, news came to town, that the Six Nations were on the point of declaring
war against the French, for the reason that the French had imprisoned some of the
Indian deputies. A council was held, and all the Indians made acquainted with the news ;
and, it was said, the Indian messenger was, by the way, to give all the Indians notice to
make ready to fight the French.

This day my companions went to Coscosky, a large Indian Town about thirty miles
off.16

August 30th. — I went to Beaver Creek, an Indian town, eight miles off; chiefly
Delaware; the rest Mohawks, to have some belts of wampum made. This afternoon
rainy weather set in, which lasted above a week. Andrew Montour came back from
Coscosky, with a message from the Indians there, to desire me, that the ensuing coimcil
might be held in their town. We both lodged at this town, at George Croghan's Trad-
ing House.

August 31st — Sent Andrew Montour back to Coscosky, with a string of wampum,
to let the Indians know that it was an act of their own; diat the ensuing Council must
be held at Logs Town : they had ordered it so last spring, when George Croghan was up ;
and at the last treaty at Lancaster the Shawanese and Twightwees had been told so, and
they staid accordingly for the purpose; and both would be offended if the Council was



iBRupp's footnote : "Allegheny river, this being then called 'Ohio.' "
lORupp's footnote : 'This town is placed in Hutchin's map, on the west side of Big
Beaver, about one mile below where the Shenango and Mahoning unite." It has many
spellings in Pennsylvania records. Christian Fr^erick Post calls it "Kushkushing." A
common form is "Kuskuskies."



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CONRAD WEISER, AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY 197

to be held at G>8cosky ; besides my instnicticns bind me to Logs-Town, and could no
further go without giving offence.

September ist. — ^The Indians in Logs Town having heard of the message from
Coscosky, sent for me to know what I was resolved to do and told me that the Indians
at Coscosky were no more chiefs than themselves, that last spring they had nothing to
eat, and expecting that they should have nothing to eat at our arrival ; ordered that the
G>uncil should be held here. Now their com is ripe, they want to remove the G>uncil ;
but they ought to stand by their own word ; we have kept the Twightwees from below
on that account. As I told them about the message that I had sent by Andrew Montour,
they were content

September 2d. — The rain continued. The Indians brought in a good deal of venison.

September 3d. — Set up the Union Flag on a long pole. Treated all the company with
a dram of rum. The King's health was drunk by the Indians and white men. Towards
night a great many Indians arrived to attend the G>uncil. There was a great firing on
both sides. — The strangers first saluted the town at a quarter of a mile distance; and at
their entry the town's people returned the fire, also the English traders, of whom there
were about twenty. At night, being very sick of the cholic, I got bled.

September 4th — ^Was obliged to keep my bed all day, being very weak.

September 5th — Found myself better. Scaiohadyi? came to see me. I had some
discourse with him about the ensuing CotmciL

September 6th — Had a counafl with the Wandats [Wyandots], otherwise called
Inontady-Hagas ; they made a fine speech to me, to make me welcome, and appeared on
the whole very friendly. Rainy weather continued.

September 7th — Being informed that the Wandats had a mind to go back again to
the French, and had endeavored to take the Delawares with them to recommend them to
the French, I send Andrew Montour to Beaver Creek with a string of wampum to
inform himself of the truth of the matter. They sent a string in answer to let me know
that they had no correspondence that way with the Wandats, and that the aforesaid report
was false.

September 8th — Had a council with the Chief of the Wandats; inquired into their
number, and what occasioned them to come away from the French ; what correspondence
they had with the Six Nations, and whether or not they had ever any correspondence
widi the government of New York. They informed me their coming away from the
French was because of the hard usage they received from them; that they would always
get their young men to go to war against the enemies, and would use them as their own
people, that is, like slaves ; and their goods were so dear that they, the Indians, could not
buy them. That there were one hundred fighting men that came over to join the Eng-
lish, seventy were left behind at another town, a good distance off, and they hoped they
would follow them ; that they had a very good correspondence with the Six Nations for
many years, and were one people with them; that they could wish the Six Nations
would act more briskly against the French. That above fifty years ago they made a
Treaty of Friendship with the Governor of New York at Albany ; and they showed me a
large belt of wampum th^r received there from the Governor, as from the King of
Great Britain. The belt was twenty-five grains wide and two hundred and sixty-five
long, very curiously wrought There were seven images of men holding one another by
the hand. The first signifying the Governor of New York; or, rather as they said, the
King of Great Britain. The second, the Mohawks. The third, the Oneidos. The fourth,
the Cajugas. The fifth, the Onongagers. The sixth, the Senekas. The seventh, the
Owandats;i8 and two rows of black wampum under their feet, through the whole
length of the belt, to signify the road from Albany through the Five Nations to the
Owandats. That six years ago they had sent deputies with the same belt to Albany to
renew the Friendship.

I treated them with a quart of whiskey and a roll of tobacco. They expressed their
good wishes to King George and all his people, and were mighty pleased. that I looked
upon them as brethren of the English.

This day I desired the Deputies of all the Nations of Indians settled on the waters



i7Scarrooyady— better known as Monacatoocha— an Oneida sachem.

i^The Wyandots or Hurons. Weiser sometimes shortens the name to "Wandats."



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198 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

of the Ohio, to give me a list of their fighting men, which they promised to do. A
great many of the Indians went away this day, because the goods did not come, and the
people in the town could not find provision enough, the number was so great

The following is the number of every Nation given to me by their several Deputies
in G)uncil in so many little sticks tied up in a bundle: The Senekas, one hundred and
sixty-three. The Shawanese, one hundred and sixty-two. The Owandats, one hundred.
The Tisagechroanu, forty. The Mohawks, seventy- four. The Mohickons, fifteen. The
Onondagers, thirty-five. The Cajugas, twenty. The Oneidos, fifteen. The Delawares,
one hundred and sixty-iive — in all seven hundred and eighty-nine.

Sept 9th.~I held a G>uncil with the Senekas and gave them a large string of wam-
pum, black and white, to acquaint them I had it in charge from the President and G)un-
cil in Philadelphia, to enquire who it is that lately took the people prisoners in Gu'olina;
one thereof being a great man, and that by what discovery I had already made, I found
it was some of the Senekas did it; I therefore desired them to give me the reasons for
doing this; and as they had struck their hatchet into their brethren's body, th^ could
not expect that I could deliver them my message with a good heart, before they gave me
satisfaction in that respect ; for they must consider the English, though living in several
Provinces, are all one people ; and doing mischief to the one, is doing to the other. Let
me have a plain and direct answer.

September loth— A great many of the Indians got drunk. One Henry Noland had
brought near thirty gallons of whiskey to the town this day. I made a present to the old
Shawanese Qiief, Cackawatcheky, of a stroud,!^ a blanket, a match coat« a shirt, a pair
of stockings, and a large twist of tobacco ; and told him that the President and Grancil
of Philadelphia remembered their love to him, as to their old and true friend, and would
clothe his body once more, and wished he might wear them out so as to give them the
opportunity to clothe him again. There were a great many Indians present, two of which
were the Big-Hoimny and the Pride; those who went off with Chartier, but protested
against his proceedings against our Indian traders. Cackawatcfaeky returned thanks;
and, some of the Six Nations did the same; and expressed to see a true man taken notice
of, although he was now grown childish.

September nth — George Croghan and myself staved an eight gallon keg of liquor
belonging to the aforesaid Henry Noland, who could not be prevailed to hide it in the
woods, but would sell it and get drunk himself. I desired some the Indians in
council to send me some of their young men to meet our people with the goods and not to
come back before they heard of or saw them. I began to be afraid they had fallen into
the hands of the enemy ; so did the Indians. Ten warriors came to town, t^ water from
Niagara. We suspected then very much, and feared that some of their parties went to
meet our people by hearing of than.

September 12th. — Two Indians and a white man went out to meet our people, and
had orders not to come back before they saw them, or to go to Franks Town where we
left the goods. The same day the Indians made answer to my requests, concerning the
prisoners taken in Carolina. Thanagieson, a speaker of the Senekas, spoke to the fol-
lowing purpose, in the presence of all the deputies of the other Natk>ns : "We went out
door, brethren, you came a great way to visit us, and many sorts of evil might have
befallen you by the way, which might have been hurtful to your eyes and your inward
parts; for the woods are full of evil spirits. >Ve give you this string of wampum to
clear up your eyes and minds, and to remove all bitterness of your spirit, that you may
hear us speak a good cheer."

Then the speaker took his belt in his hand, and said: "Brethren— When we and
you first saw one another at your first arrival at Albany, we shook hands together, and
became brethren, and we tied your ship to the bushes ; and after we had more acquaint-
ance with you, we loved you more and more, and perceived that a bush would not hold
your vessel, we then tied her to a large tree and ever after good friendship continued
between us ; afterwards, you, our brethren told us, that a tree might happen to fall down,
and the rope rot where with the ship was tied; you then proposed to make a silver
chain, and tie your ship to the great mountains in the Five Nation's country ; and that

i^Strouds — woolen goods, made in Gloucestershire, England, on the banks of Stroud
Water — ^these goods much used in Indian trade.



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CONRAD WEISER, AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY 199

chain was called the Chain of Friendship ; and we were all tied by our arms together
with it; and we, the Indians of the Five Nations, heartily agreed to it and ever since
a very good correspondence has been kept up between us ; but, we are very sorry that at
your coming here, we are obliged to talk of the accident that lately befel you in Carolina,
where some of our. warriors by the instigation of the evil spirit, struck their hatchets into
our own body like; for our brethren, the English, and we are of one body; and what
was done, we utterly abhor as a thing done by the evil spirit himself : we never expected
any of our people would ever do so to our brethren. We, therefore, remove the hatchet,
which by the influence of the evil spirit, was struck into your body, and we desire that
our brotfier, the Governor of New York, and Onas, may use their utmost endeavors that
the thing may be buried in the bottomless pit; that it may never be seen again; that the
chain of friendship, which is of so long standing, may be preserved bright and unhurt"
Gave a belt.

The speaker then took up a string of wampum, mostly black, and said : "Brethren
— As we have removed our hatchet out of your body, or properly speaking, out of our
own, we now desire that the air may be cleared up again, and the wound given may be
healed, and everything put in good understanding, as it was before; and we desire you
will assist us to make up everything with the Governor of Carolina; the man that has
been brought to us prisoner, we now deliver up to you; he is yours." Then laid down
the string, and took the prisoner by the hand, and delivered him to me. By way of dis-
course the speaker said: 'The Six Nation warriors often met Englishmen trading to
the Catawbas, and often found that the Englbhmen betrayed them to their enemies and
some of the English traders had been spoken to by the Indian speaker last year in the
Cherrykees country, and were told not to do so; that the speaker and many others of
the Six Nations, had been afraid a long time, that such a thing would be done by some



Online LibraryAmerican Historical Society George Thornton FlemingHistory of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 26 of 81)