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Moravian Massacre at Gnadenbrutten

In the early part of the year 1763 two Moravian missionaries, Post and Heckewelder, established a mission among the Tuscarawa Indians, and in a few years they had three nourishing missionary stations, viz: Shoenbrun, Gnadenbrutten and Salem, which were about five miles apart and fifty miles west of the present town of Steubenville, Ohio. During our Revolutionary War their position being midway between the hostile Indians (allies of the British) on the Sandusky River, and our frontier settlements, and therefore on the direct route of the war parties of both the British Indian allies and the frontier settlers, they were occasionally forced to give food and shelter to both, which aroused the jealousy of both the Indian allies of the English and the American frontiersmen, although they preserved the strictest neutrality. In February 1772, the American settlers (nothing more could be expected) assumed to believe that the Moravian, or Christian Indians; as they were called, harbored the hostile Indians; therefore they pronounced them enemies, and at once doomed them to destruction. Accordingly on the following march, ninety volunteers, under the leadership of one David Williamson, started for Gnadenbrutten where they arrived on the morning of the 8th, and at once surrounded and entered the station; but found the most of the Indians in a field gathering corn. They told them they had come in peace and friendship, and with a proposition to move them from their unpleasant and dangerous position between the two hostile races to Fort Pitt for their better protection. The unsuspecting Indians, delighted at the suggestion of their removal to a safer place, gave up their few...

Narrative of the Captivity of Sergeant Lent Munson – Indian Captivities

Narrative of the captivity and escape of Sergeant Lent Munson, who fell into the hands of the Western Indians at the time of Lieut. Lowry’s defeat. As Lieut. Lowry and Ensign Boyd, with about one hundred men, were escorting two hundred and fifty pack horses with provisions from fort St. Clair to General Wayne’s camp, (six miles in advance of Fort Jefferson,) they were furiously assailed by about half their number of concealed Indians, and totally defeated. They had encamped four miles on their journey on the night of the 16th of October, 1793, and were sufficiently warned during the whole night of what they had to undergo at early dawn. However, no attack was made until the detachment was about ready to march on the morning of the 17th. At this juncture the Indians rushed upon them with great fury, and after a short but bloody engagement the whites were dispersed in every direction. In this onset Lieut. Lowry and Ensign Boyd both fell mortally wounded, and about twenty of their men were among the slain. The rest of this unfortunate escort, excepting eleven, who were taken prisoners, got back to Fort St. Clair. To the smallness of the number of the Indians is to be attributed the escape of any. Sergeant Munson was one of the eleven prisoners, and was hurried off with his companions towards the country of the Ottawas, to which nation of Indians this party belonged. They had not proceeded far when one of the prisoners, being but a boy, and weakly, was murdered and left on the way. The remaining ten were then...

Life and travels of Colonel James Smith – Indian Captivities

James Smith, pioneer, was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, in 1737. When he was eighteen years of age he was captured by the Indians, was adopted into one of their tribes, and lived with them as one of themselves until his escape in 1759. He became a lieutenant under General Bouquet during the expedition against the Ohio Indians in 1764, and was captain of a company of rangers in Lord Dunmore’s War. In 1775 he was promoted to major of militia. He served in the Pennsylvania convention in 1776, and in the assembly in 1776-77. In the latter year he was commissioned colonel in command on the frontiers, and performed distinguished services. Smith moved to Kentucky in 1788. He was a member of the Danville convention, and represented Bourbon county for many years in the legislature. He died in Washington county, Kentucky, in 1812. The following narrative of his experience as member of an Indian tribe is from his own book entitled “Remarkable Adventures in the Life and Travels of Colonel James Smith,” printed at Lexington, Kentucky, in 1799. It affords a striking contrast to the terrible experiences of the other captives whose stories are republished in this book; for he was well treated, and stayed so long with his red captors that he acquired expert knowledge of their arts and customs, and deep insight into their character.

Shawnee Indian Chiefs and Leaders

Big Jim Big Jim. The popular name of a noted full-blood Shawnee leader, known among his people as Wapameepto, “Gives light as he walks”. His English name was originally Dick Jim, corrupted into Big Jim. He was born on the Sabine Reservation, Texas, in 1834, and in 1872 became chief of the Kispicotha band, commonly known as Big Jim’s band of Absentee Shawnee. Big Jim was of illustrious lineage, his grandfather being Tecumseh and his father one of the signers of the “Sam Houston treaty” between the Cherokee and affiliated tribes and the Republic of Texas, February 23, 1836. He was probably the most conservative member of his tribe. In the full aboriginal belief that the earth was his mother and that she must not be wounded by tilling of the soil, he refused until the last to receive the allotments of land that had been forced upon his band in Oklahoma, and used every means to overcome the encroachments of civilization. For the purpose of finding a place where his people would be free from molestation, he went to Mexico in 1900, and while there was stricken with smallpox in August, and died. He was succeeded by his only son, Tonomo, who is now (1905) about 30 years of age. Chief Black Bob Black Bob. The chief of a Shawnee band, originally a part of the Hatha­wekela division of the Shawnee. About the year 1826 they separated from their kindred, then living in eastern Missouri on land granted to them about 1793 by Baron Carondelet, near Cape Girardeau, then in Spanish territory, and removed to Kansas, where, by treaty...

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