Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

An Account of the Sufferings of Mercy Harbison – Indian Captivities

On the 4th of November, 1791, a force of Americans under General Arthur St. Clair was attacked, near the present Ohio-Indiana boundary line, by about the same number of Indians led by Blue Jacket, Little Turtle, and the white renegade Simon Girty. Their defeat was the most disastrous that ever has been suffered by our arms when engaged against a savage foe on anything like even terms. Out of 86 officers and about 1400 regular and militia soldiers, St. Clair lost 70 officers killed or wounded, and 845 men killed, wounded, or missing. The survivors fled in panic, throwing away their weapons and accoutrements. Such was “St. Clair’s defeat.”

The utter incompetency of the officers commanding this expedition may be judged from the single fact that a great number of women were allowed to accompany the troops into a wilderness known to be infested with the worst kind of savages. There were about 250 of these women with the “army” on the day of the battle. Of these, 56 were killed on the spot, many being pinned to the earth by stakes driven through their bodies. Few of the others escaped captivity.

After this unprecedented victory, the Indians became more troublesome than ever along the frontier. No settler’s home was safe, and many were destroyed in the year of terror that followed. The awful fate of one of those households is told in the following touching narrative of Mercy Harbison, wife of one of the survivors of St. Clair’s defeat. How two of her little children were slaughtered before her eyes, how she was dragged through the wilderness with a babe at her breast, how cruelly maltreated, and how she finally escaped, barefooted and carrying her infant through days and nights of almost superhuman exertion, she has left record in a deposition before the magistrates at Pittsburgh and in the statement here reprinted.

Treaty of September 3, 1839

Articles of a treaty made at Stockbridge in the Territory of Wisconsin, on the third day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine, between the United States of America, by their commissioner Albert Gallup, and the Stockbridge and...

Treaty of February 5, 1856

Whereas by Senate amendment to the treaty with the Menomonees of February [twenty] eighth, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-one, two townships of land on the east side of Winnebago Lake, Territory of Wisconsin, were set aside for the use of the Stockbridge and...

Treaty of Sept. 3, 1839

Articles of a treaty made at Stockbridge in the Territory of Wisconsin, on the third day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine, between the United States of America, by their commissioner Albert Gallup, and the Stockbridge and...

Potawatomi Reservation

Pottawatomie and Great Nemaha Agency Report, of Special Agent Reuben Sears on the Indians of the Pottawatomie, Kickapoo, Iowa, and Chippewa and Munsee reservations, Kansas, August and September 1890. Names of Indian tribes or parts of tribes occupying said...

Chippewa And Munsee Reservation

The Chippewa, and Munsee (Christian) Indians have almost ceased to be Indians in the ordinary acceptation of the term. They are quite equal to the average white pioneers in mental capacity. They read, write, and speak the English language at all times. Their physical...

Treaty of July 16, 1859

Articles of agreement and convention made and concluded at the Sac and Fox agency on this sixteenth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine, by David Crawford, commissioner on the part of the United States, and the following-named delegates representing...

Treaty of July 4, 1805

A treaty between the United States of America, and the sachems, chiefs, and warriers of the Wyandot, Ottawa, Chipawa, Munsee and Delaware, Shawanee, and Pottawatami nations, holden at Fort Industry, on the Miami of the lake, on the fourth day of July, Anno Domini, one...
Page 1 of 212

Pin It on Pinterest