Location: Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Expeditions of Fowler and James to Santa Fe, 1821

When Pike returned from his western expedition and related his experiences in Santa Fe and other places among the Spaniards, his accounts excited great interest in the east, which resulted in further exploits. In 1812, an expedition was undertaken 1American State Papers, “Foreign Relations” vol. iv, 208. by Robert McKnight, James Baird, Samuel Chambers, Peter Baum, Benjamin Shrive, Alfred Allen, Michael McDonald, William Mines, and Thomas Cook, all citizens of Missouri Territory; they were arrested by the Spaniards, charged with being in Spanish territory without a passport, and thrown into the calabazos of Chihuahua, where they were kept for...

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Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa’s

Immediately after the peace of 1763 all the French forts in the west as far as Green Bay were garrisoned with English troops; and the Indians now began to realize, but too late, what they had long apprehended the selfish designs of both French and English threatening destruction, if not utter annihilation, to their entire race. These apprehensions brought upon the theatre of Indian warfare, at that period of time, the most remarkable Indian in the annals of history, Pontiac, the chief of the Ottawa’s and the principal sachem of the Algonquin Confederacy. He was not only distinguished for...

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Early Exploration and Native Americans

De Soto and his band gave to the Choctaws at Moma Binah and the Chickasaws at Chikasahha their first lesson in the white man’s modus operandi to civilize and Christianize North American Indians; so has the same lesson been continued to be given to that unfortunate people by his white successors from that day to this, all over this continent, but which to them, was as the tones of an alarm-bell at midnight. And one hundred and twenty-three years have passed since our forefathers declared all men of every nationality to be free and equal on the soil of the North American continent then under their jurisdiction, except the Africans whom they held in slavery, and the Native Americans against whom they decreed absolute extermination because they could not also enslave them; to prove which, they at once began to hold out flattering-inducements to the so-called oppressed people of all climes under the sun, to come to free America and assist them to oppress and kill off the Native Americans and in partnership take their lands and country, as this was more in accordance with their lust of wealth and speedy self-aggrandizement than the imagined slow process of educating, civilizing and Christianizing them, a work too con descending, too humiliating; and to demonstrate that it has been a grand and glorious success, we now point with vaunting pride and haughty...

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Narrative of the Captivity of Capt. William Hubbell – Indian Captivities

A Narrative of the desperate encounter and escape of Capt. William Hubbell from the Indians while descending the Ohio River in a boat with others, in the year 1791. Originally set forth in the Western Review, and afterwards republished by Dr. Metcalf, in his “Narratives of Indian Warfare in the West.” In the year 1791, while the Indians were yet troublesome, especially on the banks of the Ohio, Capt. William Hubbell, who had previously emigrated to Kentucky from the state of Vermont, and who, after having fixed his family in the neighborhood of Frankfort, then a frontier settlement, had been compelled to go to the eastward on business, was now a second time on his way to this country. On one of the tributary streams of the Monongahela, he procured a flat-bottomed boat, and embarked in company with Mr. Daniel Light and Mr. William Plascut and his family, consisting of a wife and eight children, destined for Limestone, Kentucky. On their passage down the river, and soon after passing Pittsburgh, they saw evident traces of Indians along the banks, and there is every reason to believe that a boat which they overtook, and which, through carelessness, was suffered to run aground on an island, became a prey to these merciless savages. Though Capt. Hubbell and his party stopped some time for it in a lower part of the river,...

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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.

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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.

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Philadelphia To Steubenville

Monday, Oct. 4, 1819.–Dr. Hall and myself left Philadelphia at 1 o’clock p. m. after taking an affectionate leave of friends and acquaintances. Fair and pleasant weather, and the roads very fine in consequence of a refreshing shower of rain which fell on the night previous to our setting out. After traveling twenty-two miles and passing some rich and well-cultivated farms we arrived at West Chester at 7 o’clock. West Chester contains about 600 inhabitants, several places of worship, a gaol, etc., etc. A man named Downey is confined in the gaol of this place for debt. He was once in affluence, but from misfortunes and some imprudence he became reduced in circumstances. During his confinement he determined to starve himself to death, and for seven days had refused nourishment of every description. Even the clergy waited on him and endeavored to dissuade him from his rash determination, offering him food of different kinds, but all without avail. He was able to stand. No doubt one or two more days will end his troubles. How long, O my country, will your cheeks continue to be crimsoned by the blush that must follow the plunging an innocent and unfortunate being, a debtor, in a dungeon, amongst murderers and cut-throats? Tuesday, Oct. 5.–Left West Chester at 7 o’clock a. m. Traveled a rough road. Passed some travelers on foot migrating to...

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Biography of A. W. Patterson, M.D.

A.W. PATTERSON, M.D. – Doctor Patterson was born in Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, October 14, 1814. He received his scholastic education in the village of Freeport, of his native state, and afterwards entered the Western University, at Pittsburgh. He subsequently studied medicine in the office of Doctor J.P. Gazzam, an old and prominent physician of that city, and in 1841 graduated with high honors from the Pennsylvania College of Medicine, of Philadelphia. Coming westward, he located at Greenfield, Indiana, and there practiced his profession until 1852, when he concluded to come to Oregon, and began the long and tedious journey known only to the pioneer. After his arrival he went to Lane county and there settled upon a Donation claim near the present site of the flourishing town of Eugene. The settlers in those days being few and far between, there was but little call for those skilled in his profession; and, being conversant with civil engineering, he engaged in the surveying business for a time. Among the contracts taken were several for the government, they being both in Oregon and Washington. The reports of surveys to be found in the surveyor-general’s office, submitted by him, will attest the guidance of a master hand. He also laid off the townsite of Eugene City. On the outbreak of the Indian war of 1855-56 in Southern Oregon, he at once offered his...

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Biography of Thomas R. Durning

Thomas R. Durning, of St. Louis, president of the Monroe Clothes Shop and also of the Burton Clothes Shop, ranks with the leading merchants of the state by reason of the enterprise and progressiveness which he displays in the management of the interests under his control. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 17, 1882, and is a son of Joseph S. Durning, deceased, who was a native of London, England. On crossing the Atlantic to the United States he took up his residence in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was a whitesmith by occupation. He was the possessor of marked inventive genius and was the inventor of the first cotton-bale tie used in the south, also of the post-hole auger and the first hayfork ever used. During the Civil war he warmly espoused the Union cause and for four and a half years served as color bearer of the Pennsylvania Volunteers. He wedded Amanda Cook, who for ten years was a schoolmate of H. J. Heinz, the pickle manufacturer. Mr. and Mrs. Durning were married in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and became the parents of two sons and three daughters, of whom Thomas R. is the youngest. He is a brother of Robert E. Durning. The sisters of the family are: Margaret, who is the wife of Thomas Macombs, with the American Bridge Company at Ambridge, Pennsylvania; Estelle, the wife of E....

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Biography of Edwin R. Christman

Edwin R. Christman, secretary of the Silurian Oil Company of St. Louis, was born September 6, 1887, in Wheeling, West Virginia, a son of Edwin A. Christman, a native of Tennessee and a representative of one of the old Pennsylvania families of Dutch descent and also of early American Quaker ancestry living in Pennsylvania. Edwin Christman was united in marriage to Margaret Cahill, a native of Tennessee and of Irish lineage. They have become the parents of four children, two sons and two daughters. Edwin R. Christman, the second in order of birth, was educated in the public schools of Washington, Pennsylvania, and completed a high school course there. His first employment was in the tin plate business, as a representative of the McClure Company at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was employed in a clerical capacity and when eighteen years of age began to earn his own livelihood, altogether continuing with the McClure Company for three years. He next became associated with the Silurian Oil Company at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, accepting the position of clerk in 1908, while in 1910 he was advanced to office manager and made secretary of the St. Louis office. This position he has since filled and the success of the enterprise in the middle Mississippi valley is attributable in large measure to his efforts, his enterprise, his thorough understanding of the business and his fidelity to...

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Biography of Floyd O. Hale

Floyd O. Hale, general manager of the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, with office in St. Louis, was born at West Windsor, Vermont, April 13, 1882. His father, Frank S. Hale, was likewise born in the Green Mountain state, where his ancestors, of English lineage, had settled at a very early day. In fact the family was founded in the new world when this country was numbered among the possessions of Great Britain and some of the family served with the American forces in the Revolutionary war. Frank S. Hale during his active life was engaged in agricultural and mercantile pursuits but is now living retired, enjoying a well earned rest. Politically he is a republican and has filled various offices of honor and trust, serving for two terms as a member of the state legislature. He wedded Mary J. Hale, a native of Vermont, and she, too, belongs to one of the old families of that state, of English origin. To Mr. and Mrs. Hale have been born three children, two sons and a daughter, but one of the sons is deceased. Floyd O. Hale was educated in the public schools of Windsor, Vermont, and in Dartmouth College, from which he was graduated in 1903 with the Bachelor of Science degree. In the fall of that year he became connected with the Central District Printing & Telegraph Company of...

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Slave Narrative of Samuel Simeon Andrews

Interviewer: Rachel A. Austin Person Interviewed: Samuel Simeon Andrews Location: Jacksonville, Florida Age: 86 For almost 30 years Edward Waters College, an African Methodist Episcopal School, located on the north side of Kings Road in the western section of Jacksonville, has employed as watchman, Samuel Simeon Andrews (affectionately called “Parson”), a former slave of A.J. Lane of Georgia, Lewis Ripley of Beaufort, South Carolina, Ed Tillman of Dallas, Texas, and John Troy of Union Springs, Alabama. “Parson” was born November 18, 1850 in Macon, Georgia, at a place called Tatum Square, where slaves were held, housed and sold. “Speculators” (persons who traveled from place to place with slaves for sale) had housed 84 slaves there – many of whom were pregnant women. Besides “Parson,” two other slave-children, Ed Jones who now lives in Sparta, Georgia, and George Bailey were born in Tatum Square that night. The morning after their births, a woman was sent from the nearby A.J. Lane plantation to take care of the three mothers; this nurse proved to be “Parson’s” grandmother. His mother told him afterwards that the meeting of mother and daughter was very jubilant, but silent and pathetic, because neither could with safety show her pleasure in finding the other. At the auction which was held a few days later, his mother, Rachel, and her two sons, Solomon Augustus and her infant who was...

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Biography of William O. Smith

William O. Smith. For more than half a century a resident of Champaign County, William O. Smith is known to the people of this section as a man who did his brave and efficient duty in the Civil W T ar, as an active and industrious farmer, and as one who in all the relations of a long and busy life has lived up to the best standards of citizenship. He is also known through his children, a number of whom now occupy worthy and honorable places in community affairs. Mr. Smith was born at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 5, 1839, a son of S. B. and Mary Ellen (Sheperd) Smith. His father’s native home was near Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. William O. Smith was one of a family of five sons and two daughters. In 1846, when he was seven years of age, the family removed to Sangamon County, Illinois, and rented a house in Sheldon’s Row in the city of Springfield. For two years they had the distinction of living in the same house with Abraham Lincoln and his wife. The house was a double apartment, the Smiths occupying one side and the Lincolns the other. S. B. Smith served eighteen years as justice of the peace in Sangamon County. Mr. W. O. Smith as a boy attended the Lake Creek District School in Sangamon County. After leaving the...

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Biography of James W. Ballantine

One of the foremost representatives of the mercantile interests of the Wood river valley is James W. Ballantine, of Bellevue. A native of Pennsylvania, he was born February 15, 1839, and in his life has manifested many of the sterling traits of his Scotch ancestry, who emigrated to the United States in 1825. His parents were Nathaniel and Sarah (Wallace) Ballantine, natives of Scotland, in which country they were reared and married. Crossing the Atlantic to America, they took up their residence near Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, where the father engaged in merchandising. They were Presbyterians in their religious faith, and were people of the highest integrity of character, respected by all who knew them. For more than forty years Nathaniel Ballantine was a successful business man of Pennsylvania, and lived to be seventy-eight years of age, while his wife passed away at the age of seventy. They had eight children, four of whom are living. James W. Ballantine is the eldest living of their sons. He was educated in the public schools of his native state, and received his business training at the store and under the direction of his father, whom he assisted in the conduct of a mercantile establishment until President Lincoln issued his first call for volunteers to aid in suppressing the rebellion in the south. Mr. Ballantine at once responded, enlisting in April 1861, and assisted...

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Biography of James King

A leading representative of the building interests, of Boise, and the present register of the land office of this city, James King is a native of Pennsylvania, his birth having occurred in Pittsburg, on the 15th of August 1832. He is of both German and English descent, his ancestors of those nationalities having settled in New York in 1664. They came with General Braddock and always remained in this land. In the war of the Revolution the family was represented by loyal Americans, who fought for liberty, and throughout many years they were prominently identified with the Presbyterian Church. The grandfather of our subject was the first of the name to locate in Pennsylvania. He was an industrious farmer and reached the commonly allotted age of three-score years and ten. His son, Jacob King, the father of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania, July 25, 1799, and married Miss Mary Covert, who represented an English family equally ancient and honorable. Among her ancestors were likewise found those who aided in throwing off the yoke of British tyranny. Jacob King departed this life in 1883, at the age of eighty-four years, and his wife, who was born in 1804, died in 1878, at the age of seventy-four years. James King is the second in their family of six children. He was educated in his native city of Pittsburg and is...

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