Franklin Ellis.

History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men online

. (page 13 of 193)
Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 13 of 193)
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A few " military permits" were issued by the com-
mandant at Fort Titt, and under this authority two
or three (and perhaps more) temporary .settlers were
clustered in the vicinity of Fort Burd within about
three years after its erection. One of these was
William Colvin, who located near the fort in 1761,
and received a settlement permit not long afferward.s.
William Jacobs settled at the mouth of Redstone
Creek in 1761. He was driven away by fear of the
Indians about two years later, but afterwards returned,
and received a warrant for his claim soon after the
opening of the Land Office.

Upon the conclusion of peace between France and
England, by the treaty of Paris (Feb. 10, 1763), the
king of Great Britain, desiring to appear to have
the well-being of the Indians much at heart, issued a
proclamation (in October of that year) declaring that
they must not, and should not, be molested in their
hunting-grounds by the encroachments of settlers,
and forbidding any Governor of a colony or any
military commander to i.ssue any patents, warrants
of survey, or settlement permits for lands to the west-
ward of the head-streams of rivers flowing into the
-\tlantic, — this, of course, being an interdiction of all
settlements west of the Alleghenies. But the effect
was bad, for while the prohibition was disregarded by
settlers and by the colonial authorities (particularly
of Virginia), it caused the savages to be still more
je.alousof their rights, and to regard incoming settlers
with increased distrust and dislike. This state of af-
fairs was rendered still more alarming by the Indian
troubles in the West, known as the Pontiac war,
which occurred in that year, and by which the pas-
sions of the savages (particularly those west of the
Alleghenies) were inflamed to such a degree that the
few settlers in the valleys of the Monongahela and
Youghiogheny Rivers, as well as those in other parts
of the trans-Allegheny region, became terrified at the
prospect and fled from the country.

But the thorough and decisive chastisement admin-
istered to the savages by Gen. Bouquet on the Mus-
kingum in the fall of 1764 brought them to their



senses, and made the conntry once more safe, so that
tlie years 17G5 and 17GC not only saw the return of
the people who had fled from the country between
the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Elvers, but a
very considerable increase of settlements in the same
territory by fresh arrivals of immigrants from the
frontiers of Maryland and Virginia, to which latter
province this region was then supposed to belong.
A letter dated Winchester, Va., April 30, 176-5, said,
" The frontier inhabitants of this colony and Mary- [
laud are removing fast over the Allegheny Mountains
in order to settle and live there." The immigrants
who came here in that and several succeeding years
settled chiefly in the valley of the Redstone (which
included also Dunlap's Creek in usual mention), at
Turkey Foot, and some other points below on the
Youghiogheny, in the valley of the Cheat, and in
Gist's neighborhood. In the settlements at these
places, with that at Pittsburgh, were embraced nearly
all the white inhabitants of Pennsylvania west of the
AUeghenies' until about the year 1770.

Information having come to the king of England
that settlements were being made quite rapidly west
of the mountains in defiance of his prohibition, he,
in October, 176-5, sent the following instructions to
Governor Penn : " Whereas it hath been represented
unto us that several persons from Pennsylvania and the
back settlements of Virginia have immigrated to the
westward of the Allegheny Mountains, aud have there
seated themselves on lands contiguous to the river
Ohio, in express disobedience to our royal proclama-
tion of Oct. 7, 1763, it is therefore our will and pleas-
ure, and you are enjoined and required to put a stop
to all these and all other like encroachments for the
iuture by causing all persons who have irregularly
seated themselves on lands to the westward of the
Allegheny Mountains immediately to evacuate those
]iremises." Instructions of the same purport had
been sent to the Governor of Virginia in 1754, and a
proclamation had been issued by the Governor, but
without having the desired effect. The dissatisfaction
among the Indians increased rapidly, and to a degree
which awakened the authorities to the necessity for
some action to allay it. The chiefs of the Six Na-
tions were invited to a treaty council, which was
accordingly held at Fort Pitt in May, 1766, at which
no little dissatisfaction was expressed by the Indians i

1 Jutlge Vcech s.i.vs, " The documentary liistor}' of 17(35, '60, 'G7, and i
iudeeil of all that decade, tpejiUs of no other settlements in Western |
Pennsjivania, or the West generally, tlian those within or iinnie- [
diately bordering nron the Monongahela, upon Cheat, upon the
Yongh, the Turkey Foot, and Efrtstone, the first and last being the
most prominent, and the last the most extensive, covering all llie inte-
rior settlements about Uniontown. Georges Creek settlers were re-
ferred to Cheat, those abont Gist's to the Tough, while Turkey Foot
took in all the mnnntain districts. All these settlements seem to have
been nni !y -■ iit -nip iviiieotis, those on the Redstone and the Monou-
g.ih'Ii I . ' i i It ,ips the earliest, those on the Yough and Tur-
key K. :i '■!: i those of Georges Creek and Cheat occupy an
interiiH i, i 1 i, hug with all the others. They all range from

at the unwarranted encroachments being made by the
whites. In a letter dated at the fort on the 24th of
the month mentioned, George Croghan, deputy Indian
agent, said, " As soon as the peace was made last year
[meaning the peace that followed Bouquet's victory
of 1764], contrary to our engagements to them [the
Indians], a number of our people came over the Great
Mountain and settled at Redstone Creek and upon
the Monongahela, before they had given the country '
to the king, their father." He also addressed Gen.
Gage, commander-in-chief of the British forces in
America, saying, "If some effectual measures are not
speedily taken to remove those people settled on Red-
stone Creek till a boundary can be properly settled
or proposed, and the Governors pursue vigorous meas-
ures, the consequences may be dreadful, and we be
involved in all the calamities of another general

This resulted in the ordering of Capt. Alexander
Mackay, with a detachment of the Forty-second Regi-
ment of Foot, to Fort Burd, where he issued a proc-
lamation, dated at Redstone Creek,- June 22, 1766,
which proclamation was as follows : " To all people
now inhabiting to the westward of the Allegheny
]\Iountains: In consequence of several complaints
made by the savages against the people who have
presumed to inhabit some parts of the country west
of the Allegheny Mountains, which by treaty belong
to them, and had never been purchased, and which
is contrary to his Majesty's royal proclamation, his
Excellency, the commander-in-chief, out of compas-
sion to your ignorance, before he proceeds to extrem-
ity, has been pleased to order me, with a detachment
from the garrison at Fort Pitt, to come here and col-
lect you together, to inform you of the lawless and
licentious manner in which you behave, and to order
you also to return to your several provinces without
delay, which I am to do in the presence of some In-
dian chiefs now along with me. I therefore desire
you will all come to this place along with the bearer,
whom I have sent on purpose to collect you together.

" His Excellency, the commander-in-chief, has or-
dered, in case you should remain after this notice, to
seize and make prize of all goods and merchandise,
brought on this side the Allegheny Mountains, or
exposed to sale to Indians at any place except at his
Majesty's garrison ; that goods thus seized will be a
lawful prize, and become the property of the captors.
The Indians will be encouraged in this way of doing
themselves justice, and if accidents should happen,
you lawless people must look upon yourselves as the
cause of whatever may be the consequence hurtful to
your persons aud estates ; and if this should not be
sufficient to make you return to your several provinces,
his Excellency, the commander-in-chief, will order an
armed force to drive you from the lands you have-


taken possession of to the westward of the Alleglieny I
Mountains, the property of the Indians, till sucli time
as liis Majesty may be pleased to fix a fartlier bound-
ary. Snt-li people as will not come to this place are '
to send their names and the province they belong to,
and what they are to do, by the bearer, that his E.x- ]
celiency.the commander-in-chief, may be ac(iuainted
with their intentions." ;

On the 31st of July next following the publication
of Mackay's manifesto, Governor Fauquier, of Vir- ;
ginia, issued a proclamation to the people wiio had
presumed to settle to the westward of the Alleghenies
in defiance of his previous warning and prohibition I
(which had been regarded by the people as a merely i
formal compliance with the king's order, and not in- 1
tended to be enforced), and requiring all such to im-
mediately evacuate their settlements, which if they
failed to do promptly they must expect no jirotection I
or mercy from the government, but would be left to
the revenge and retribution of the exasperated In-

In October, 176C, Governor Penn, at the request of
the Assembly, addressed Governor Fauquier, saying
that, without any authority whatever from Pennsyl-
vania, settlements had been made near the Redstone
Creek and the Monongahela, and that he had no
doubt this had been done also without the consent of
the government of Virginia, and in violation of the
rights of the Indian nations. He desired Governor
Fauquier to unite with him in removing the settlers
from the lands in the Jlonongahela Valley, and prom-
ised, in case of necessity, to furnisii a military force
to etl'ect the object. Governor Fauquier replied to
this that he had already issued three proclamations
to tiic settlers without effect, but that the commander-
in-chief had taken a more effectual method to remove
them by ordering an officer and a detachment of sol-
diers to summon the settlers on Redstone Creek, on
the Monongahela, and in other parts west of the Alle-
gheny Mountains to quit their illegal settlements,
and in case of a refusal to threaten forcible expulsion
and seizure of their movable property.

All these proclamations, with the show of military
force, had the effect to terrify a few of the settlers
into removal ; but by far the greater part remained
and were not disturbed by the military, which, after
a short stay at Fort Burd, returned to garrison at Fort
Pitt. In the summer of 1767, however, troops were
again sent here to expel non-complying settlers,
many of whom were then actually driven away; but
they all made haste to return as soon as the force was
withdrawn, and not a few of those who had thus been
expelled came back accompanied by new settlers from
the east of the mountains.

Finally all efforts to prevent settlements in this re-
gion and to expel those who had already located here
failed. The extension of Mason and Dixon's line
to the second crossing of Dunkard Creek, in 1767,
showed that nearly all the settlements made were un-

questionably in the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania, and
in January, 17C8, Governor Penn called the attention
of the A.ssembly to this then recently discovered fact,
narrated the ineffectual efforts made to that time to
remove the settlers, mentioned the exasperation of
the savages, which might not improbably result in a
bloody war, and advised the enactment of a law severe
enough to effect the desired result, and thus avert the
horrors of a savage outbraak. Accordingly, on the
3d of February, 1768, an act was passed providing
and declaring, —

"That if any person or persons settle upon any lands
within this province not purchased of the Indians
by the proprietors thereof, and shall neglect or refuse
to remove themselves and fiimilies off and from the
said land within the space of thirty days after he or
they shall be required to do so, either by such per-
sons as the Governor of this province shall appoint
for that purpose, or by his proclamation, to be set up
in the most public places of the settlements on such
unpurchased lands, or if any person or persons being
so removed shall afterwards return to his or their set-
tlements, or the settlement of any other person, with
his or their family, orwitliout any family, to remain
and settle on any such lands, or if any person shall,
after the said notice, to be given as aforesaid, reside
and settle on such lands, every such person or persons
so neglecting or refusing to move with his or their
family, or returning to settle as aforesaid, or that
shall settle on any such lands after the requisition or
notice afore-said, being thereof legally convicted by
their own confessions or the verdict of a jury, shall
suffer death v'dhout the benefit of clergy.

" Provided always, nevertheless, that nothing here-
in contained shall be deemed or construed to extend
to any person or persons who now are or hereafter
may be settled on the main roads or communications
leading through this province to Fort Pitt, under the
approbation and permission of the commander-in-
chief of his Majesty's forces in North America, or of
the chief officer commanding in the Western .District
to the Ohio for the time being, for the more con-
venient accommodation of the soldiers and others,
or to such person or persons as are or shall be .settled
in the neighborhood of Port Pitt, under the approba-
tion and permission, or to a settlement made by
George Croghan, deputy superintendent of Indian
affairs under Sir William Johnson, on the Ohio River
above said fort, anything herein contained to the con-
trary notwithstanding."

This law was doubtless as severe as Governor Penn
had desired, but its folly exceeded its severity, for
the evident brutality of its provisions barred the pos-
sibility of their execution, and it is by no means cer-
tain that this was not had in view by many of the mem-
bers who voted for its enactment. A show was to be
made, however, of carrying the law into effect, and
soon after its passage the Governor appointed the
Reverend Captain John Steele, of the Presbyterian



Church of Carlisle, John Allison, Christopher Lemes,
and Capt. James Potter, of Cumberland County, to
visit the Jlonongahela, Youghiogheny, and Redstone
Valleys, as well as any other places west of the Alle-
glieny Mountains wliere settlements might have been
made within the supposed territory of Pennsylvania,
to promulgate and explain the law, and induce the
settlers to comply with its requirements. The com-
missioners took with them copies of a proclamation
by the Governor, •which, after a preamble reciting the
provisions of the law, proceeded, " In pursuance,
therefore, of the said act, I have thought proper, by
the advice of the Council, to issue this my proclama-
tion, hereby giving notice to all persons to remove
themselves and families off and from said lands on
or before the first day of May, 1768. And I do
hereby strictly charge and command such person or
persons, under the pains and penalties by it the said
act imposed, that they do not, on any pretense what-
ever, remain or continue on the said lands longer than
thirty days after the first day of May next." Besides
this proclamation, the commissioners also had the
Governor's instructions to call together at each of the
settlements .as many of the people as they could, and
at such gatherings to read and explain the proclama-
tion, to remonstrate with the settlers against their
continuing on lands which still belonged to the In-
dians, and to warn them of the terrible danger which
tliey, as well as other settlers, were incurring by their
persistent refusal to remove. Finally, they were in-
structed to procure, if possible, the names of all the
settlers at the several points, and report the list to the
Governor on their return.

The commissioners, with the Reverend Captain
Steele at their head, left Carlisle on the 2d of March,
and proceeded to Fort Cumberland, from which place
they traveled over the route pursued by Braddock's
army to the Youghiogheny and to Gist's, thence by
Burd's road to the Monongahela. What they did at
the various settlements visited was related in their
report to the Governor, as follows :

" AVe arrived at the settlement on Redstone on the
23d day of March. The people having heard of our
coming had appointed a meeting among themselves
on the 24th, to consult what measures to take. We
took advantage of this meeting, read the act of As-
sembly and proclamation explaining the law, and
giving the reasons of it as well as we could, and used
our endeavors to persuade them to comply, alleging
to them that it was the most probable method to en-
title them to favor with the honorable proprietors
when the laud was purchased.

" After lamenting their distressed condition, they
told us the people were not fully collected ; but they
expected all would attend on the Sabbath following,
and then they would give us an answer. They, how-
ever, affirmed that the Indians were very peaceable,
and seemed sorry that they were to be removed, and

said they apprehended the English intended to make
war upon the Indians, as they were moving off their
people from the neighborhood. We labored to per-
suade them that they were imposed upon by a few
straggling Indians; that Sir William Johnson, who
had informed our government, must be better ac-
quainted with the mind of the Six Nations, and that
they were displeased with the white people's settling
on their unpurchased lands.

" On Sabbath, the 27th of March, a considerable .
number attended (their names are subjoined), and
most of them told us they were resolved to move off, '
and would petition your Honor for a preference in ob- ;
taining their improvements when a purchase was
made. While we were conversing we were informed .
that a number of Indians were come to Indian Peter's.'
We, judging it might be subservient to our main de-
sign that the Indians should be present while we were
advising the people to obey the law, sent for them. ■
They came, and after sermon delivered a speech, with
a string of wampum, to be transmitted to your Honor.
Their speech was : ' Ye are come, sent by your great '•
men, to tell these people to go away from the land
which ye say is ours; and we are sent by our great .
men, and are glad we have met here this day. We
tell you the white people must stop, and we stop them
till the treaty, and when George Croghan and our
great men talk together we will tell them what to do.'
The names of the Indians are subjoined.'- They were
from the Mingo town, about eighty miles from Red-
stone (on the Ohio, below Steubenville).

" After this the people were more confirmed that
there was no danger of war. They dropt the design
of ])etitioning, and said they would wait the issue of
the treaty. Some, however, declared they would
move off.

" We had sent a messenger to Cheat River and to
Stewart's Crossings of Yougheganny, with several
proclamations, requesting them to meet us at Giesse's
[Gist's] place, as most central for both settlements.
On the 30th of March about thirty or forty men met
us there. We proceeded as at Red Stone, reading the
act of Assembly and proclamation, and endeavored
to convince them of the necessity and reasonableness
of quitting the unpurchased land, but to no purpose.
They had heard what the Indians had said at Red
Stone, and reasoned in the same manner, declaring
that they had no apprehension of war, that they
would attend the treaty and take their measures ac-
cordingly. Many severe things were said of Mr. Cro-
ghan, and one Lawrence Harrison treated the law and
our government with too much disrespect.

" On the 31st of March we came to the Great Cross-
ings of Yougheghanny, and being informed by one

1 " Iiuliiin Tt'ter" was then living in a cabin located on what is now
the property of Cul. Samuel Evans, three miles cast of Uniontown.

- \^ follows: "The Indians w!io came to Redstone, viz.: Captains
lI;.viMi, Hornets,>g-Wigo, Xogawucli, Strikehelt, ToirIj, Gillj-, and



Speer tliiit eight or ten families lived in a place called different settlements of Red Stone, Youghoganny, and
the Turkey Fool, we sent some proclamations thither [ Cheat."

by said Speer, as we did to a few families nigh the This estimate wsis intended to include all the set-
crossings of Little Yough, judging it unnecessary to tiers in what is now Fayette County, and the about
go amongst them. It is our opinion that some will j eight families on the east side of the Youghiogheny at
move off, in obedience to the law, that the greater I Turkey Foot. The lists given in the commissioners'
part will wail the treaty, and if they find that the In- j report of course omitted a great number of names of
dians are indeed dissatisfied, we think the whole will settlers, including a number who were somewhat
be persuaded to move. The Indians coming to Red prominent and well known as having been located in

Stone and delivering their speeches greatly ob-
gtructed our design."

Appended to the commissioners' report was a list
of settlers, as follows :

"The names of inhabitants near Red Stone: John
Wiseman, Henry Prisser, William Linn, William
Colvin, John Vervalson, Abraham Tygard, Thomas
Brown, Richard Rodgers, Henry Swatz fSwartz], Jo-
seph McClean, Jesse Jlartin, Adam Hatton, John
Verwal, Jr., James Waller, Thomas Douter [Douthet,
who owned a part of the site of Uniontown], Captain
Coburn, John Belong, Peter Y'oung, George Martin, I niained, for all the settlers were strong in coniidence

this region several years before 1708, as Christopher
and Richard Gist, William Cromwell, Stewart of the
"Crossings," Capt. William Crawford,- who had been
settled near Stewart for about three years ; Hugh
Stevenson, on the Youghiogheny ; Martin Hardin
(father of Col. John Hardin), on Georges Creek;
John McKibben, on Dunlap's Creek, and others.

The mission of the Rev. Mr. Steele and his asso-
ciates ended in failure, for the few people who had
promised to remove disregarded that pronii.«e and

Thomas Down, Andrew Gudgeon, Philip Sute, James
Crawford, John Peters, Michael Hooter, Andrew-
Linn, Gabriel Conn, John Martin, Hans Cook, Daniel
McKay, Josias Crawford, one Provence.

"Names of some who met us at Giesse's [Gist's]
place: One Bloomfield [probably BrowntieJd], James
Lvnn, Ezekiel Johnson, Richard Harrison, Phil Sute,

Jed Johnson, Thomas G

James Wallace [Waller?], Henry Burkniun, Law-
rence Harrison, Ralph Hickenbottom.'

"Names of the people at Turkey Foot: Henry
Abrahams, Ezekiel Dewitt, James Spencer, Benjamin
Jennings, John Cooper, Ezekiel Hickman, John Ens-
low, Henry Enslow, Benjamin Pursley."

Mr. Steele made a supplemental report to the Gov-
ernor, in which, referring to the conferences with the
settlers, he said, "The jieople at Red Stone alleged
that the removing of them from the unpurchased lands
was a contrivance of the gentlemen and merchants of
Philadelphia that they might take rights for their
improvements when a purchase was made. In con-
firmation of this they said that a gentleman of the
name of Harris, and another called Wallace, with
one Friggs, a pilot, spent a considerable time last
August in viewing the lands and creeks thereabouts.
I am of the opinion, from the appearance the people
made, and the best intelligence we could obtain, that
there are about an hundred and fifty families in the

• Rnlpli HlggenlKjItom resided on the Wojiiesbiirg mini, in Menalleii
iisliip, a little west uf ilic Siiiidy Hill Qimker giavcjanl" (" Munong-t-
Uelu "'f Old"). Mr. Veccli also siiya of tlif persons named by Uje cootDiis-
.■i>* that tliey resided nt considerable distances from tlie jilaces where
were met, as, for instance, "James McClean, who lived in North
>n township, near the base of Laurel Hill ; Thomas Ponthet, on the
tract where Uniontown now is; Captain Coburn, some ten miles south-
of Xow Geneva; Gabriel Conn, probably on Georges Creek, near
Wuodbridgetown. The Provances settled on Provancc's Bottom, near
sontown, and on the other side of the river at the mouth of Big

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 13 of 193)