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Capture of the Martin and Knox Families

Among the outrages committed by Shingas during the above incursion into Fulton Cdunty, was as has been seen, the capture of the family of John Martin, a settler in the Big Cove. On Saturday morning, November 1, 1755, Mrs. Martin learned that Indians were in the neighborhood, and, thereupon, sent her son, Hugh, aged seventeen, to their neighbor, Captain Stewart, re-questing him to come arid take her family with his to the block-house, as her husband, John Martin, had gone to Philadelphia for supplies for the family, and had not returned. When Hugh came in sight of his home on his way back from Captain Stewart's, whose house was burned, he saw the Indians capture his mother; his sister, Mary, aged nineteen; his sister, Martha, aged twelve; his sister, Janet, aged two; his brother, James aged ten; and his brother, William, aged eight. Hugh hid where a fallen tree lay on the bank of Cove Creek not far from the Martin house, which the Indians now burned to the ground.

It has been said that there were some Tuscaroras among the band that captured Mrs. Martin and her children. At least such is the tradition among her descendants. It may be that some of this tribe were among the hostile Delawares and Shawnees in this incursion, as there is evidence that there were a few Tuscaroras lingering in the Tuscarora or Path Valley as late as 1755, stragglers of the Tuscarora migration to New York. These may have been influenced by the hostile Delawares and Shawnees.

After the Indians left, Hugh started toward Philadelphia to meet his father. All that day he found nothing but desolation, and in the evening, he came to a stable with some hay in it. Here he lay until morning. During the night something jumped on him, which proved to be a dog. In the morning he found some fresh eggs in the stable, which he ate. When he was ready to leave, a large colt came to the stable. Making a halter of rope, he mounted the colt and rode on his way. In the afternoon, he met some men who had gathered to pursue the Indians, among them being the owner of the colt, who was much surprised to find itso easily managed, as it was considered unruly. It is not known when Hugh met his father, but, at any rate, they returned and rebuilt the house.

Mrs. Martin and her children were taken to the Indian town of Kittanning. A warrior wished to marry Mary, which made the squaws jealous and they beat h& dreadfully, so much so that her health rapidly declined, and one morning she was found on her knees dead in the wigwam. An Indian squaw claimed little Janet, and tied her to a rope fastened to a post. While she was thus confined, a French trader named Baubee came to the child, and she reached out her arms and called him father. He then took her in his arms, and the Indian woman who claimed her sold her to the trader for a blanket, who carried her to Quebec intending to adopt her. Later, Mrs. Martin was bought by the French, and also taken to Quebec, not knowing her child was there. Still later, Mrs. Martin bought her own freedom, and one day she found little Janet on the streets of Quebec. Janet was well dressed and had all appearances of being well cared for, but did not recognize the mother. Mrs. Martin followed Janet to the home of the French family who had her, identified her by some mark, and the family reluctantly gave up the child to the mother, who paid them what they had paid the Indians for her.

Mrs. Martin then sailed with Janet to Liverpool, England, from which place she took ship to Philadelphia, -and joined her husband.

The boys, James and William, and the daughter, Martha, were taken to the Tuscarawas and Muskingum, in the state of Ohio. After Mrs. Martin and Janet returned to their home in the Big Cove, Mr. Martin, upon the close of the French and Indian War, endeavored to recover his child from the Indians. Traveling on horseback to t'hie Ligonier Valley, he found an encampment of Indians, and tried to make arrangements with them for the return of his children, when they claimed to have raised his family and wanted pay. Being unable to pay them, he said something about not having employed them to raise his family; thereupon, they became angry, and he made his escape as fast as he could, being chased by two Indians on horseback to a point on the Allegheny Mountain, where the sound of the bells of the Indian horses ceased.

In the Penna. Archives (\7ol. 4, page 100), is a petition of John Martin, dated August 13th, 1762, presented to Governor James Hamilton at the Lancaster Council of that month and year, in which he says:

"I, one of the bereaved of my wife and five children, by savage war, at the captivity at the Great Cove, after many and long journeys, lately went to an Indian -town, viz., Tuskoraways [Tuscarawas, a Delaware and Wyandot village on the Tuscarawas River just above the mouth of Big Sandy Creek, in Tuscarawas County; Ohio] 150 miles beyond Fort Pitt, and entreated in Colonel Bouquet's and Colonel Croghan's favour, so as to -bear their letters to King Beaver and Captain Shingas, desiring them to give up one of my daughters to me, while I have yet two sons and one other daughter, if alive, among them-and after seeing my daughter with Shingas, he refused to give her up, and after some expostulating with him, but all in vain, he promised to deliver her up with the other captives, to your Excellency." -~

Many captives were delivered by King Beaver at the Lancaster Council of August, 1762, but the Martin children were not among them. These Martin children, James, William and Martha, were finally liberated by Colonel Henry Bouquet when he made his expedition to the Muskingum and Tuscarawas, in the late autumn of 1764. He brought them to Pittsburgh. Here Mr. Martin received them on November 28th,~ 1764, and then returned with them to his home, taking with him another liberated captive, John McCullough, who was captured in Frank-lin County, on July 26th, 1756. (*See John McCullough's "Narra-tive.") Martha could read when captured, but during her captivity, she had forgotten this art. William and James, during their captivity, assisted the squaws in raising vegetables, caring for the children and old people, and grew up as Indians, in con-trast to their brother, Hugh, who had escaped capture and be-came a man of considerable influence on the Pennsylvania frontier. Before being taken to the Muskingum, Martha, James, and William spent some time with their Indian captors on Big Sewickley Creek, in Westmoreland County. The boys be-came attached to the locality, and after their return, they patented two tracts of land in that vicinity, and lived there most of their lives.

Janet Martin, in 1774, married John Jamison. She has many descendants in Western Pennsylvania, especially in Westmore-land County, among them being the well-known Robert S. Jamison family, of Greensburg.

During the same incursion, occurred the capture of the Knox family, who lived some distance from the Big Cove. On Sunday morning, November 2nd, 1755, while the family were engaged in morning worship, they were alarmed by the barking of their dogs. Then, two men of their acquaintance, who had come to the Knox home on Saturday evening for the purpose of attending religious services the next day, went to the door. They were immediately shot down by the Indians, and the rest of the family taken prisoners. After the Indians returned to the town from where they had come, no doubt Kittanning, each warrior who had lost a brother in the incursion was given a prisoner to kill. As there were not enough men to go around, little Jane Knox was given to one of the warriors as his victim. Placing her at the root of a tree, this savage commenced throwing his tomahawk close to her head, exclaiming that his brother, who was killed, was a warrior, and that the other Indians had given him only a squaw to kill. Jane expected that every moment would be her last. - Presently, an Indian squaw came running and claimed Jane as her child, thus saving her life. She later returned to the settlements, and be-came the wife of Hugh Martin, mentioned above. -

* While this is Mccullough's statement. data in the possession of the descendants of Janet Martin indicates that the Martin children were delivered by the Shawnees to George croghsm, at Fort Pitt, early in May, 1765.


In concluding this chapter on the bloody incursion of the Dela-wares and Shawnees into the Scotch-Irish settlements in Fulton and Franklin Counties, in the late autumn days of 1755, we call attention to the fact that some historians have erroneously stated that the massacres mentioned in Penna. Archives, Vol.2, page 375, and Pa. Col. Rec., Vol.6, pages 641 and 642, took place on Pennsylyania soil, the former in the Great Cove and on the Conolloways, in Fulton County, and the latter in the vicinity of Patterson's Fort, in Juniata County. The former took place in the vicinity of Cumberland, Maryland, shortly after General Braddock's army left that place on its March against Fort Duquesne. The latter took place, October 2nd, 1755, on Patter-son's Creek, Maryland, a few miles from its mouth. The error on page 600 of Vol.1 of "The Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania" in stating that this massacre of October 2nd took place near Patterson's Fort, in Juniata County, no doubt is due to confusing Patterson's Creek, in Maryland, with Fatterson's Fort, in Juniata County, Pennsylvania. As stated in Chapter VII, the Penn 5 Creek massacre of October 16th, 1755, was the first massacre committed by the Indians on Pennsylvania soil following Brad-dock's defeat.

We also, at this point, call attention to the fact that Scotch-Irish settlers entered Franklin County prior to 1730. In this year, Benjamin and Joseph Chambers located at Falling Springs, now Chambersburg, coming from the east side of the Susquehanna above Harrisburg, and erecting a log house, a saw mill and grist mill at Falling Springs. After Braddock's defeat, Benjamin (Colonel) Chambers erected a large stone house at Falling Springs for the security of his family and neighbors. It was surrounded by water from the spring, the roof was of lead to prevent its being set on fire by the Indians, and it was also stockaded. The stockade also included the mill near the house. This fort was known as Chambers' Fort.

About 1740, many Scotch Irish settlers, mostly from Mary-land entered the Great Cove and the valleys of the Conol-loways.

As was pointed out in Chapter IV, in connection with the account of the Treaty of 1742, the Iroquois complained at this treaty, through their spokesman, Can-assatego, that Pennsyl-vania was permitting squatters to remain on lands not purchased from the Six Nation~in the Juniata Valley, in the Great and Little Coves, in the valleys of Big and Little Conolloways, in the valley of Aughwick Creek, in Path Valley and Sherman's Valley.

But Pennsylvania made no really energetic effort to remove these settlers until May, 1750, when, as was also pointed out in Chapter IV, they were removed by Richard Peters, George Cro-ghan, Conrad Weiser, James Galbraith and others by authority of Lieutenant-Governor Morris. Many of their cabins were burned on this occasion. But the restless spirit of these settlers impelled them to return to their desolated homes, and with them came others willing to risk the wrath of the Indians. Then came the Albany Purchase of July 6th, 1754, by which the Iroquois conveyed these lands to Pennsylvania-a purchase which mor-tally offended the Delawares and Shawnees, who claimed that the Six Nations, their conquerors, had guaranteed these lands to them upon their migration from the Susquehanna. "Our lands are sold from under our feet," said they. Later came Brad-dock's defeat, which gave the Delawares and Shawnees an op-portunity to wreak awful vengenance upon the Scotch-Irish settlers within the bounds of the Albany Purchase.

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