Transcribed for Fair Use only. Emphasis added.
See Appendix E - Editor-Publisher's analysis!!!
John Reily lived from 1763-1850, so drafted then. Text quoted by Wells is on pg. 5+.
Add Burnet's letter from pg. 73?
https://archive.org/details/pioneerbiograph00mcbrgoog Various formats, or:
Pioneer biography, sketches of the lives of some of the early settlers of Butler county, Ohio (Google eBook)
Ohio Valley Historical Series,
SKETCHES OF THE
Lives of some of the Early Settlers
BUTLER COUNTY, OHIO. By JAMES MCBRIDE,
Vol. I. CINCINNATI :
ROBERT CLARKE & CO.
Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1869,
By ROBERT CLARKE & CO.
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern
District of Ohio.
OHIO VALLEY PRESS,
ROBERT CLARKE & CO.
THE present series of biographical sketches form part of the manuscript collections of the late James McBride, of Hamilton, which have been placed in our hands by his daughter. Having been partially prepared for the press by the author, we have selected them as our first publication from his papers. There were many dates, christian names, etc., left blank in the manuscripts, which we have endeavored to supply. We are especially indebted to Rev. Joseph Millikin of Hamilton for his aid in this matter, particularly in the sketches of John Reily, and of his grandfather Joseph Hough. These unpretending sketches were compiled chiefly from memoranda, letters, and journals of the persons whose lives and adventures he has so faithfully sketched — some of them, during their lives and with their approval. Many of the original papers, from which they were drawn, and the first drafts of the sketches, with marginal notes of emendations and additions, are in our possession, and we can bear testimony to the scrupulous care and fidelity with which he has performed his task. The work will, we think, be found to possess an interest beyond the mere details of the lives of the individuals. They were all of them men who took an active part in the settlement of the Miami country, were prominent in public affairs.
ii Publishers' Notice.
both civil and military, and participated in many of the early conflicts with the Indians in Ohio and Kentucky, and in the campaigns of Generals Harmar, St. Clair, Scott, and Wayne; so that, interspersed in the narratives, will be found many details of interest concerning these early struggles, from the notes and recollections of eye-witnesses, which have never before, with a few exceptions, appeared in print. This leads us to remark, that on first reading these papers, we were impressed with our familiarity with some of the descriptions, incidents, etc. On further investigation we found that portions of them had been published, years ago, by Mr. Charles Cist, in his Cincinnati Advertiser as editorial matter, and that the sketch of John Reily is, in many parts, word for word with that given by Judge Burnet in the last chapter of his Notes on the Northwestern Territory. These coincidences seemed to indicate a plagiarism on the part of the author, which, however, we could hardly entertain, as we have so many evidences of his authorship in the original papers, in our possession, from which he had drawn his narratives. We mentioned the matter to Mr. Cist, since deceased, and he stated that he had frequently applied to Mr. McBride for contributions to his paper, but that he never could induce him to write specially for him, though he was ever ready to place at his disposal any of his own sketches, or other papers in his possession. Of these, Mr. Cist said, he frequently availed himself, and used them in making up articles, without indicating the source from which he received them, with Mr. McBride's consent, and at his request. In reference to the sketch of Mr. Reily, in Burnet's Notes we have printed in the appendix (page 73) a long letter from Judge Burnet to Mr. McBride, dated four years before his work was published, acknowledging the receipt and perusal of McBride's sketch of the life of his
Publishers Notice. iii
old friend, and making comments thereon. He, doubtless, made use of the manuscript with his permission. Mr. McBride was exceedingly modest and diffident in regard to his own labors ; and though he liked to see them in print, he would seldom permit his name to appear in connection with them. Some of the sketches appeared in the Hamilton papers, as obituaries, anonymously, though their authorship was gen- erally known. We have deemed the above statements necessary in order to meet, beforehand, any charge of plagiarism which might be made by those familiar with the publications referred to. The biographies will make two volumes. The second volume will contain sketches of Captain John Cleves Symmes, Jr., with a full explanation of his celebrated theory of concentric spheres ; Robert McClellan, one of General Wayne's scouts during his campaign in Ohio; General John Wingate ; Judge Henry Weaver ; Isaac Paxton, and other pioneers of note. Among the papers are portions of a history of Oxford, Ohio, and the Miami University, and also of the town of Hamilton ; parts of these are, however, missing, and some chapters are only in outline. It may be some time before we will be able to complete them. The portrait of Mr. McBride which accompanies this volume has been pronounced by his old friends, a most excellent likeness.
Biographical Sketch of the Author, - - - - vii
Author's Preface, ------- xiii
John Reily, --------- j
Thomas Irwin, -------- 207
Joel Collins, --------- 179
Isaac Anderson, -------- 266
Samuel Dick, - - - - - - - - -301
Joseph Hough, -------- 311
John Woods, --------- 327
Index, ---------- 346 ...
"On the 10th of January, 1791, the settlers of Columbia were alarmed by an express which arrived from Cincinnati, with intelligence that an attack had been made on Dunlap's Station at Colerain, by a large body of Indians. The information had been brought to Cincinnati by some persons who had been out in the woods hunting in the neighborhood of Colerain, and were sufficiently near the fort to hear the firing when it commenced in the morning, and judging that the garrison was attacked, they immediately returned to raise the alarm.
A company of volunteers was very soon raised in Columbia, Mr. Reily among the number, armed with rifles and mounted. They formed under the command of Lieutenant Luke Foster, and marched to Cincinnati in the night where they joined Captain Alexander Truman, with thirty-eight regular soldiers from the garrison at Fort Washington, and thirty-three volunteer citizens under Lieutenant Scott Traverse, all mounted. They started for the relief of the station before daylight next morning. Two nights previous it had rained and frozen, and afterward snowed so that the ground was covered six or seven inches deep. John Reily and Patrick Moore, who both rode white horses, were directed to proceed a short distance in advance of the main body, as a picket guard or spies, to give notice if the enemy should appear. Samuel Davis was one of the volunteers from Cincinnati, on that occasion.
When the party had advanced about six miles from Cincinnati, they met John S. Wallace and William Wiseman, who had left the station during the night, to inform the garrison at Fort Washington of their situation. Between ten and eleven o'clock the party arrived at the top of the hills overlooking the plain on which Dunlap's Station was situated, when it was discovered that the Indians had abandoned the siege and retired.
On arriving at the fort they learned that the garrison, although in imminent danger, had sustained but little injury. On the first fire, the Indians shot into a building called the 'mill', where the hand-mill was kept for grinding the corn of the neighboring settlers and the garrison. It stood on a line with and near the block-house, and being neither chunked nor daubed the Indians shot between the logs, by which means they killed one man and wounded another. The body of Abner Hunt, who had been taken prisoner by the Indians a few days previous, was found near the fort, shockingly mangled and stripped naked, his head scalped, his brains beaten out, and two war clubs laid across his breast. He, in company with John S. Wallace, John Sloan, and a Mr. Cunningham, had been exploring the country on the west side of the Great Miami river. On the night of the 7th of January they encamped on the river bank a short distance above Colerain. Next morning, after roasting their venison and taking breakfast, they set out to explore the Miami Bottoms near where the town of Venice, Butler county, now is. (Note - Venice, est. in 1817?, is now called Ross. This was north of DsS on the west side of the Miami.) They had not proceeded from their camp more than a hundred yards when they were beset by the savages, in the rear, who fired a volley of eight or ten guns. Cunningham was killed on the spot; Hunt, being thrown from his horse, was made prisoner; Sloan, although shot through the body, kept on his horse and escaped, Hunt's loose horse following him. Wallace was on foot at the time, and took to the woods pursued by two Indians, but owing to his uncommon activity he out-ran them. During his flight he was twice shot at but without effect; his leggins loosened as he ran, and at the moment of the first shot they tripped him and he fell. The Indians supposing him struck by the bullet, raised their shout 'wah! hoo!' calculating to a certainty on getting his scalp, but Wallace hastily retied his leggins and resumed his flight. In about two miles he overtook Sloan with Hunt's horse following him, which he caught and mounted. The Indians had ceased their pursuit. Sloan complained of faintness from his wound, and by the advice of Wallace thrust a part of his shirt into the bullet hole to stop the flow of blood. Crossing the Miami they directed their course toward Cincinnati, but at length they halted and held a consultation, the result of which was a determination to go back to the station and apprise the garrison of the presence of Indians in the neighborhood, and put them on their guard.
When they arrived there, Sloan was very weak and faint, and his wound began to bleed afresh. Lieutenant Kingsbury, who commanded at the station, with true soldierly hospitality, surrendered his narrow quarters for the accomodation of the wounded man. The next day a party of five or six men, accompanied by Wallace, went out in search of the body of Cunningham, which they found tomahawked and scalped. They buried it where they found it, and returned to the station.
Before sunrise on the morning of the 10th of January, just as the women were milking the cows in the fort, the Indians made their appearance before it and fired a volley, wounding a soldier named McVicker. Every man in the fort was immediately posted to the best advantage by the commander, and the fire returned.
A parlay was then held at the request of the Indians, and Abner Hunt, whom they had taken prisoner as before mentioned, was brought forward securely bound, with his arms pinioned behind him, by an Indian, or as some say, the notorious Simon Girty, the leader of the party, holding him by the rope, mounting him on a stump within speaking distance of the garrison, he was compelled to demand and urge the surrender of the place, which, in the hope of saving his own life, he did in the most pressing terms, promising that if it were done, life and property would be held sacred. Not a single individual in the fort, however, would agree to a surrender. Lieutenant Kingsbury took an elevated position where he could over look the pickets, and promptly rejected all their propositions, telling them that he had dispatched a messenger to Judge Symmes, who would soon be up to their relief, with the whole settlement on the Ohio. He failed, however, to impose on them. They replied that it was a lie, as they knew Judge Symmes was then in New Jersey; and informed him that they had five hundred warriors, and would soon be joined by three hundred more, and that if an immediate surrender were not made, they would all be massacred and the station burned. Lieutenant Kingsbury replied that he would not surrender if he were surrounded by five hundred devils, and immediately leaped from his position into the fort. The Indians fired at him, and a ball struck off the white plume he wore in his hat. The prisoner Hunt was cruelly tortured and killed within sight of the garrison.
The station was completely invested by the Indians, and the attack was most violent. They commenced like men certain of victory, and for some time the garrison was in great danger. The Indians fired, as usual, from behind stumps, trees, and logs, and set fire to a quantity of brush-wood that had been collected by the settlers, and then rushing in with burning brands attempted to fire the cabins and pickets. The vigilance and close firing of the besieged, however, prevented the accomplishment of this object. One Indian was killed just as he reached the buildings. In the night they threw blazing arrows from their bows, against the stockade, and upon the roofs of the buildings, with the intention of firing them, but in this they were also unsuccessful. The garrison, well knowing that their lives depended upon it, met them at every point. The attack was continued, without intermission, during the whole of the day and the succeeding night, and until nine o'clock in the morning of the 11th, when the Indians, despairing of success and perhaps apprehensive of the arrival of reinforcements from Cincinnati, raised the siege, and retreated in two parties, one to the right and the other to the left, as was afterward discovered by their tracks.
The whole strength of the garrison was eighteen soldiers and eight or ten of the settlers capable of bearing arms; the entire number in the fort, including women and children, not counting the soldiers, did not exceed thirty souls. The Indians were estimated, by those in the fort, at from three to five hundred, led by the infamous renegade, Simon Girty, as was ascertained seven years after, on the return of a white man who had been taken prisoner near the station a few days before the attack.
The little garrison, although but a handful compared with the host by which they were assailed, displayed great bravery, in some instances amounting to rashness. During the incessant fire from both sides, they frequently, for a moment, exposed their persons above the tops of the pickets, mocking the savages and daring them to come on. Women, as well as men, used every expedient in their power to provoke and irritate the enemy. They exhibited the caps of the soldiers above the pickets, as marks to be shot at. According to their own accounts, they conducted themselves with great folly as well as bravery, though their apparent confidence may have induced the Indians to raise the siege the sooner. When the garrison was in danger of falling short of bullets, the women melted down all their pewter plates and spoons to keep up the supply.
John S. Wallace, who, as was said above, had made his escape from the Indians a few days previous, was still in the fort, and at night volunteered to pass through the enemy's lines to Cincinnati to obtain aid from General Harmar, at Fort Washington. At ten o'clock he made an attempt, but the place was so closely invested that he could not make his escape. The river side of the fort suggested itself as the place for another trial, as there were apparently no Indians on the west side of the river. Fortunately the night was very dark, and about three o'clock in the morning, Mr. Wallace, and a soldier named William Wiseman, got into a canoe and silently paddled across. They drew up the canoe on the opposite shore and concealed it among the bushes that it might not be discovered by the Indians, and then silently and swiftly made their way through the woods down the river bottom for a couple of miles, where they attempted to cross through the floating ice. The water proving too deep, they pursued their course down the river a mile or more, when they affected a crossing near where the town of New Baltimore now is, and striking through the woods for Cincinnati, they met the before-mentioned party from that place and Columbia, going to their relief, and returned with them to the station. A portion of the soldiers remained there to assist in strengthening the fortifications, the party to which Mr. Reily belonged returning to Columbia that evening.
Colonel John S. Wallace, who volunteered his services to make the hazardous attempt to leave the fort, afterward resided in Cincinnati, much respected as an amiable and worthy citizen, and holding several offices of honor and trust, at the time of his death, being auditor of Hamilton County. He died at his desk in the office. Mr. Wiseman, the soldier who accompanied him, was living when last heard from, in the vicinity of Lancaster, Ohio."
Judge Jacob Burnets Letter*
Cincinnati June 1, 1843
James McBride, Esc
Dear Sir: I have read your MS. sketches of our old friend, Mr. Reily, with pleasure.
As he was one of the first of the Western pioneers, his name and his agency in conquering the country from the Indians ought to be preserved and handed down to the future historian. I was not one of the little band of adventurers who with him commenced the occupancy of the Miami valley, in 1788, though I soon followed and became one of their number, before much progress had been made in settling and improving the country.
A person who has traveled through the eastern division of the northwestern territory, composing the State of Ohio, for the first time, at any period within the last forty-five years, can not form an adequate idea of its condition and appearance when Mr. Reily
* A revised copy of this letter with some additional matter of no special interest, was published, at the request of Judge Burnet, in the Cincinnati Gazette of October 28, 1843. We have preferred to print the letter from the original, which is among the McBride papers.
74 Pioneer Biographies.
selected it as his permanent home. Then it wore the rich, beautiful garb which nature had given it, not disturbed nor marred by the hand of art.
The great fertility of its soil was discovered in the exuberance and variety of its productions. Its forests and natural meadows abounded with game of the finest variety. Its only inhabitants were the aborigines, whose ancestors owned and had occupied it during a long succession of ages. They had learned from tradition that the country was theirs, and that the white man was an intruder. Nor did they doubt for a moment their ability to defend it. Hence their intercourse with the pioneers was, in the first instance, of a friendly character. They had not then become contaminated by the vice and crimes of the whites, for the reason that their intercourse with them was but just commencing. At that period of their history they were comparatively a moral people. If they professed friendship they were faithful and kind; but if otherwise, they were ferocious and cruel.
When the first efforts were making to settle the country, it was not a difficult matter to win their confidence, and that point being gained, the pioneers felt themselves safe. This security, however, continued but for a short time. The British government, which was then withholding from the United States the forts of Mackinac, Detroit, and Maumee in violation of the treaty of 1783, saw the efforts the Americans were making to settle and improve the northwestern territory. They were alarmed at the power and influence which the American government would obtain over the Indians by carrying out that plan, and they saw, as a matter of course, that it would soon compel them to relinquish the posts and retire within their own territory.
Hence they determined, if practicable, to defeat it.
John Reily — Appendix.
The most effectual way of accomplishing that object was to poison the minds of the Indians by misrepresentation and falsehood. They told them that the people of the United States were their natural enemies; that they were preparing to seize their lands and drive them beyond the lakes, and in such an emergency that their only chance for safety was to crush the project at its very commencement.
These appeals produced the desired effect, and the consequence was that when the pioneers were just beginning to gain the confidence and friendship of the natives, their progress was suddenly checked by manifestations of hostility at every point where settlements had been commenced. Thus were their hopes dashed, and in place of the friendship they were beginning to anticipate, they were admonished that they had to encounter a deadly foe in every savage they might meet.
This being the fact, the great disparity of numbers between the little handful of white adventurers who first crossed the Ohio and the hordes of savages who then occupied the forests into which they penetrated, would lead to the conclusion that the former must have been overwhelmed without even the possibility of a retreat. Such, however, was not the fact. Though in jeopardy every hour, and expecting to meet an enemy at every step, their courage did not desert them, nor did they harbor a thought of abandoning their purpose. Being hourly in danger prepared to meet it, habit soon made their condition familiar, and robbed fear of its distress.
This concise sketch may be taken as an epitome of the life a pioneer from the first attempt to settle the territory in 1788 till the treaty of General Wayne in 1795.
As our friend, Mr. Reily, was actively engaged in all these...
76 Pioneer Biographies.
struggles and dangers from their very commencement until their close, he comprehends them well; but no person can form a just conception of the privations and dangers of a pioneer who has not himself been one.
If my memory be correct, the battle of the Eutaw Springs was the last in which Mr. Reily was engaged, in the Revolutionary war. That brilliant affair occurred near the close of the struggle, and so crippled the enemy in that quarter as to deter him from any further effort. The severe campaigns of General Greene in the south have often furnished interesting topics of conversation between Mr. Reily and myself, from the fact that he knew my brother, who was one of the general's aids, actively engaged in the same conflicts in which he (Mr. Reily) distinguished himself. Intimacies and friendships formed under such circumstances are usually the most durable. They are most frequently adverted to in after life, and the recollections they call up are generally of an interesting character.
Everybody who knows Mr. Reily personally must have remarked the diffidence with which he refers to himself, and with what reluctance he speaks of any of the transactions of his life, especially of those which were attended with personal danger and privation or were productive of beneficial results to the community or to individuals.
It has been often remarked that when his attention has been called by a question or otherwise to any interesting transaction in his life, for the purpose of eliciting information, he has manifested the most sensible embarrassment, resulting from an unwillingness to become the herald of his own fame. Hence it is, in part, that his friends have not learned more of the interesting incidents of his long and useful life.
John Reily — Appendix.
The biographical sketches of him given in your MS, though concisely stated, are sufficient to place his name with the names of those who, in all time to come, ought to be remembered as patriots and devoted friends of their country. Services like his, which commenced in the most gloomy period of the Revolution, while he was yet a minor, and which were performed in a quarter of the country where the army was exposed to incessant toil and suffering, in an unhealthy climate, can not be valued too highly or recalled to memory too frequently.
It is now but very seldom that we meet with persons who were agents in the transactions of the great struggle which made our country independent. The mass of them, probably ninety-nine in a hundred, have been gathered to their fathers, and the few who remain, with here and there an exception, are compelled by the debility of age to withdraw from active life. There are, however, some yet living who, at the declaration of independence, had acquired enough of the strength of manhood to enable them to grapple with the enemy on the field; and the records of the country, as well as the certificate of an honorable discharge, under the sign-manual of Washington, attest that our friend, Mr. Reily, was of that number.
In connection with the transactions detailed in your narrative, in which Mr, Reily participated so largely, it may be added that during the first eight years of his residence in the territory, his life and habits corresponded very much with those of a soldier.
The settlers were so constantly exposed to the enemy that their safety consisted in being ready at a moment's warning to resist an attack. If you inquire of any of the few pioneers who survive, they will tell you that it was as natural for them to carry their rifles to their corn and potato-patches as their hoes
or any other instrument of husbandry; and that when they collected on the Sabbath to engage in religious duties, whether in a cabin or under a tree, it was with loaded rifles at their sides.
Indeed, it is impossible for those who have recently come to this country to realize, from such facts as are generally known, the true situation of the pioneer.
They encountered danger, privation, and suffering in forms not easily conceived of, and more appalling than those of hunger and exposure to the elements. But whatever they were, Mr. Reily partook of them all without murmur or complaint. With him it was a matter of calculation. Before he crossed the mountains or placed his foot beyond the limits of civilized society, he counted the cost, and his mind was deliberately made up that he would conform himself to the requirements of his new condition, be they what they might. His fellow adventurers have told us that he redeemed that pledge, and that in the winter of 1791, which was the midnight of the conflict, he manifested no despondency.
The defeat of General St. Clair and the ruin of his army, on the fourth of November of that disastrous year, gave the savages unrestricted access to our settlements. The consequences to our citizens of such an exposure are apparent. They were assailed by an enemy outnumbering them twenty to one, and at the same time depended for safety more on their ingenuity and bravery than on anything else. Yet their hearts were resolute and their faces cheerful. Each encouraged his fellow, and all adopted the motto, nil desperandum. In the trials and sufferings of that little band, Mr. Reily had a full share. If a station were attacked, he was among the Brst to go to its relief. If a murder or other depredation were committed, he was ready to take the trail in pursuit of the enemy without loss of time. In common
John Reily — Appendix.
with his hardy companions, he seemed to act as if danger was the natural condition of man, and his duty consisted in meeting it without reluctance or sense of fear.
I incline very much to the opinion that true bravery is the firm exercise of resolution, resulting from calm reflection, rather than any distinguishing property or quality of mind, inherent in some men and not in others. This idea is countenanced by the fact that the bravest men who have ever lived — men who have given evidence time and again that it would be as easy for them to commit suicide as to refuse an act of duty, merely because there was danger attending it, have been as careful to avoid unnecessary exposure as they have been to seek it when it became a duty to do so. It is also corroborated by the fact that there has not been one instance of cowardice among the Western pioneers. Not because their minds or nerves were organized differently from those of other men, but because the circumstances in which they had voluntarily placed themselves were such as identified the exercise of the most heroic courage with both duty and safety.
Superficial reasoners are apt to confound caution and prudence with timidity and fear, though there is not the least similitude between them.
A brave man retires as instinctively from danger, when exposure is useless, as he seeks it when it becomes a duty. But whether these reflections be philosophical or otherwise, it must be conceded that there were no cowards among the pioneers, which is enough for my present purpose, let the fact have come to pass how it may.
It is impressed on my mind that immediately after the Revolutionary war, Mr. Reily determined to establish himself in Georgia, and make that State his permanent residence, and that
80 Pioneer Biographies.
he actually went there with that view. Whether this be literally true or not, I know that shortly after the war he was in Georgia, where he purchased a warrant for a thousand acres of land, with an intention of improving it, but was prevented from doing so by the hostility of the Indians, who denied the right of the State to dispose of the land, and who had the power to prevent it from doing so. After remaining in that State for some time he became convinced that there was no prospect of a speedy termination of the difficulty with the Indians, and being anxious to make a permanent location somewhere, he left his land and came up to Tennessee. And thence he went to Kentucky, and after a short residence in that State he removed to the Miami purchase and settled at Columbia. In fact, he was one of the companions of Major Stites in laying out that village; and he assisted in erecting the first cabins that were built in it.* There, and at that time, his acquaintance commenced with the venerable Judge Dunlevy, who was also one of the pioneers, eminently distinguished for his energy and zeal in the common cause of the little band of adventurers who, like a forlorn hope, preceded the multitude who were to follow.
A friendship there began between him and Mr. Reily, which continued without interruption to increase and become more confidential till it was terminated by the death of the Judge.
The thought has often crossed my mind that the more intelligent portion of the pioneers was by far too negligent in making and preserving written memoranda of the transactions which took place in the early settlement of the western country. Had each of
* Judge Burnet is in error here, as the settlement was commenced in November 1788, Mr. Reily did not arrive at Columbia till December 1789.
John Reily — Appendix.
them preserved a sketch, however simple or concise, of the events in which he was a participant, in the order of their occurrence, these, when collected, would have furnished the material of one of the most interesting and thrilling histories that has yet been published. This, however, was not done, except in a limited degree, and it is now justly apprehended that the great zeal which exists to remedy this deficiency, and the careless manner in which it is done (by receiving without caution statements freshly reduced to writing as being Ex Cathedra), will be the means of imposing on society historical narratives of our early settlements which will be entitled to about as much credit as the History of Gulliver.
However desirable it is, and I admit it to be so in a high degree, to preserve to posterity a faithful narrative of the pioneers of the northwest, and of the means by which they were able to sustain themselves, with scarcely anything to rely on. Yet I can not forbear to say, that it will be better to let it all sink into oblivion, than palm on the world, as truth, such fabulous stories as we frequently meet with in respectable prints. If it be our desire to preserve truth, to the exclusion of fable, these statements must be received with increased caution, and be promptly rejected if their authenticity be not attested by unquestionable proof. Society sustains as much and probably more injury from falsehood imposed on them for truth than they do from the suppression or loss of authentic history.
In all periods of the world, men, with but few exceptions, have been pleased with the thought that a knowledge of their useful or brilliant achievements will survive them, and will preserve the memory, both of themselves and of their deeds, for after they are gone. Feelings like these are highly com-
82 Pioneer Biographies.
mendable, as they are strong incentives to useful and honorable efforts. They should be cherished and encouraged as far as practicable; and to accomplish this more effectually, there should be such an assurance of the authenticity of history as will give credence to the facts it may contain; for who can feel ambitious to have his claims to public respect or gratitude, however correctly stated, so mingled with falsehood and fiction as to involve the entire publication which contains them in doubt or ridicule. Those persons, then, who labor faithfully and cautiously to preserve authentic historical knowledge, entitle themselves to the gratitude of the world. It should, however, be borne in mind, that the office of the historian is one of immense responsibility, that it always tells for good or for evil, and that its compiler will be held responsible for the consequences of a want of fidelity.
Very respectfully, your friend.
Editor-Publisher's Apppendix D, pg. 85:
"In 1790, John Dunlap, who had been one of Judge Symmes' confidential surveyors, formed a settlement on the east side of the Great Miami river, at a point eight miles from where the town of Hamilton now is, and seventeen miles from Cincinnati. The river there makes a great bend to the west, enclosing in its curve a very fertile tract of land of about a thousand acres, which is bounded on the east by a range of hills almost one hundred feet high. On this bottom is one of those ancient works, supposed to have been constructed by a race of people who inhabited this county previous to the present race of Indians. The embankment, which is of earth, and in some parts is yet eight or ten feet high, encloses near one hundred acres of land. At the angle of the river below is a hill two hundred eighty feet high, on the top of which is a mound ten feet high, commanding an extensive view of the surrounding country. (Bowling Green) On the south side of this tract of bottom land, immediately on the bank of the river where the water is deep, the settlers erected a fortification for their security. It consisted of several block-houses built of logs, and a number of cabins, with pickets in the unoccupied space between them, in the form of a square, inclosing a little more than an acre of ground. On the south side it was protected by the deep waters of the river. The cabins, for the sake of convenience, were built with the roofs sloping outward, the very reverse of what they should have been for defense. The outer eaves were so low that it was no uncommon thing for the dogs, when shut out of the fort, to spring from an adjacent stump upon the roofs of the cabins and thence into the enclosure. The station and settlement were named after Mr. Dunlap. He also laid out a town at this place which he called Colerain, from his native place in Ireland. He failed, however, to perfect his title to the ground, and the settlers who had purchased from him lost their claims. Colerain afterward became the name of the township where the land lies. This was the first settlement in the interior back from the Ohio river.
For some time after the establishment of the station, the Indians gave these pioneer adventurers a great deal of trouble and anxiety. In 1790, David Gibson was taken prisoner by the Indians when passing, one day, along a narrow trace between the base of the hill and the river, a short distance below the station.
He remained a prisoner until Wayne's treaty in 1795. During the captivity, he married a white woman, who had been taken prisoner in Pennsylvania ten years previous to his own capture. When released, by the terms of the treaty, they settled in the south part of Butler county, where they resided many years, and finally removed to Indiana. William Crum and Thomas Larrison were chased at the peril of their lives into the station, and the inhabitants hardly dared venture after their cows when they strayed off into the woods. They applied, in the winter of 1790-1791, to General Harmar, then in command at Fort Washington, for a detachment of soldiers for their protection, and he detailed for that purpose Lieutenant Kingsbury, with a party of eighteen soldiers"...
John Reily — Appendix E. 87
The Attack on Dunlap's Station.
It may not be considered a very important matter when and
in what manner the attack on Dunlap station was made, and how
it was relieved, but a regard for the truth of history, however,
induces us here to record the various statements which have
been made with reference to it.
The account given in the text is that of Mr. Reily, who, in
his whole life, was remarkable for his accuracy and punctillious
regard for truth. It corresponds also with the story as often
related by John S. Wallace, one of the participants in the affair.
The main points in these accounts are as follows :
On Saturday morning, January 8, the surveying party (Sloan,
Wallace, Hunt, and Cunningham) was attacked. Sloan and
Wallace escaped to the station.
On Monday, January 10, the Indians invested the station.
Immediately after a parley, Hunt was tortured and killed.
On Tuesday, January 11, at 3 o'clock in the morning, Wal-
lace and Wiseman escaped from the station unnoticed by the
Indians, and six miles from Cincinnati met the party from
the town going to relieve the station, the alarm having been
given by some hunters the evening previous. They returned
with them, and between ten and eleven o'clock reached the top
of the hills overlooking the station. The Indians had abandoned
the siege an hour before.
88 Pioneer Biographies.
Fifty-nine years after the event (in 1850), Mr. Charles Cist
relates that he had the pleasure of bringing together two of the
defenders of Dunlap's Station, William Wiseman, above referred to, then in his eighty- first year, and Samuel Hahn, over
seventy-three years of age. He took down from their lips their
accounts of the attack, and published them in his Cincinnati in
1859." Wiseman's, page 91 ; Hahn's, page 103.
Mr. Wiseman's statement is briefly as follows :
On Saturday, February 5, the surveying party attacked.
On Monday, February 7, at day dawn, the Indians invest the
station. Hunt was tortured at midnight on the night of the
7th and 8th. His screams could be heard till toward daylight.
On Tuesday, February 8th, between seven and ten o'clock,
Wiseman started alone across the river amid a shower of bullets
from the Indians I reached Cincinnati at four o'clock that afternoon ; remained there all night.
On Wednesday, February 9th, the party started from Cincinnati to relieve the station, which they reached between one and
two o'clock. The Indians had raised the siege an hour or two
Mr. Hahn's account, though less circumstantial than Wiseman's, is substantially the same, except that he says the Indians
decamped "early in the morning" on Wednesday.
It will be perceived that there is four weeks difference in the
dates; that, according to Wallace, the siege lasted a little over
a day; by Wiseman's account, a little over two days.
Thomas Irwin, who was with the relieving party, gave Mr.
Cist an account of the affair, which was published in Cincinnati Advertiser for March 21, 1848. He gives the date "between
the first and ninth days of January, 1791." He says the news of
John Reily — Appendix E 89.
the attack was brought to Cincinnati by a hunter by the name of
Cox, who had encamped over night within five or six miles of
the station, and in the morning, hearing distinctly the firing at
the station, returned to the town to give the alarm. The relief
party started early next morning.
B. Van Cleve, a well-known pioneer, who was with the relief
party, says the Indians "continued the siege for about twenty-
six hours." See American Pioneer, vol. II, page 148.
Henry Howe, in his Historical Collections of Ohio., page 210,
follows Mr. Wallace's account.
In the historical sketches prefixed to Farnsworth's Cincinnati
Directory for 1819, page 22, is an account of the attack, corroborating Wallace's statement as to the dates and duration of
In view of the above evidence, we are inclined to give credence to Mr. Wallace's account in every respect except as to as to the timing of the torturing of Hunt, McBride does not say that it was in the morning, though its place in the narrative — immediately after the conference with the Indians — conveys the idea that it took place at that time. In weighing the testimony of Wiseman and Hahn, it must be borne in mind that it was given when they were both very old men, and fifty-nine years after the event. The statement that Wiseman made his escape from the station in broad daylight, and under a shower of bullets from the Indians, is particularly incredible. They would certainly not have permitted his escape, knowing, as they must, had they seen him, the object of his mission.
We have been unable to find any other mention of the attack, giving details which bear on the disputed points.
SAMUEL DICKSamuel Dick was born in the county of Antrim, Ireland, on the 21st of April, 1764. His parents, though not wealthy, were in comfortable circumstances, and occupied a respectable position in the middle ranks of life. His parents died while he was quite young, leaving him in a great measure to the guardianship of a few relatives and friends. While quite a youth he determined to leave the land of his birth, to seek his fortune on the other side of the Atlantic, in the far off wilds of North America. Accordingly, in the spring of the year 1783, being then just arrived at the age of nineteen, he embarked on board a ship at Belfast and sailed for America. They had a fine passage, and in due time landed at Philadelphia, whence he wended his way to Baltimore, where he met with two of his elder brothers, who had previously come to America. They were merchandising, and were about establishing themselves in business in Gettysburg, a town in the south part of Pennsylvania, and proposed to Samuel to take him into partnership with them; and although he was poor, and his brothers rich,
302 Pioneer Biography.
he declined their offer, determined to adhere to the resolution which he had first formed when he set out from Ireland, to be the builder of his own fortune. However, he went with his brothers to Gettysburg, with the intention of going to school, during the ensuing winter, as the education which he had been enabled to obtain in Ireland, was rather limited. For that purpose he provided himself with books and stationery, and made an agreement with a farmer that he would assist his sons with their work, on mornings and evenings and on Saturdays, in consideration for his boarding. The first Saturday after the school commenced, Mr. Dick with the farmer and his sons, after closing up some morning labor, went a few miles distant to a venue, where they met with a gentleman who wished to engage a person acquainted with the art of distilling, for the purpose of distilling brandy from apples. Mr, Dick being somewhat acquainted with the distilling business, and the gentleman promising his assistance, and the farmer with whom Mr. Dick was engaged, consenting, the school and the idea of prosecuting his education, were abandoned. He engaged with the gentleman. The brandy was distilled, for which he was handsomely remunerated, by which his purse was so well replenished that he was soon enabled to purchase a horse, saddle, and bridle. Mr. Dick spent the winter in the neighborhood of Gettysburg, in this employment. The tide of emigration was then setting toward the country west of
Samuel Dick. 303the Alleghany mountains, and Mr. Dick determined to seek his fortune still further in the "backwoods," as the western part of Pennsylvania was then called. The ensuing spring he crossed the mountains, where he met with a very worthy man by the name of Penticost, with whom he made an engagement in the distilling business. Soon after making this location with Mr. Penticost, he formed an acquaincance with another family by the name of Gillespie, in the neighborhood. He was employed by the old gentleman, George Gillespie, to teach one of his sons the art of distilling. This necessarily brought him much about the house and in frequent intercourse with the family, which resulted in an intimate and lasting friendship. During all this time, unknown to any one but himself, Mr. Dick was admiring the fine form, pleasant countenance, and Industrious, active habits of the old gentleman's daughter Martha. It so happened, on a certain occasion, her very uniform good temper became a little ruffled, by what she considered rather harsh treatment from her father. She said the first respectable man that offered, she would accept and marry. Mr. Dick, who happened to be in hearing, replied, laughingly, as though in jest, "Here is your man." He pursued his business, as usual, and at the same time pressed his suit with Martha, and finally what was said as a joke, was ratified in earnest. Samuel Dick and Miss Martha Allen Gillespie were married in Washington county, Pennsylvania, in the winter of 1785-6, and lived together in great harmony, prospering in all things necessary for their mutual comfort for nearly half a century. Mrs. Dick died at the old homestead, on Indian creek, in the year 1833. They lived in Washington county, Pennsylvania, a few years, when he concluded to push his fortune still further to the west, and in the year 1790, set out with his wife and two little children, and descended the Ohio river to Cincinnati. Cincinnati was then a small village composed of a few log cabins, and containing not more than two hundred inhabitants, exclusive of the garrison of Fort Washington. He arrived in Cincinnati a short time before General Harmar marched on his campaign against the Indians, on the 30th day of September, 1790. He was also a resident of Cincinnati during the time, and saw the armies of Generals St. Clair and Wayne march from there on their expeditions against the Indians. Early in the spring of 1790, John Dunlap and a few associates laid out a station on the east bank of the Great Miami river eight miles below where the town of Hamilton now is, and erected a work of defense, called Dunlap's Station, since known as Colerain. In January, 1791, it was attacked by the Indians and besieged for a day and night and part of the second day. Mr. Dick was one of a party that marched from Cincinnati for their relief; but, fortunately for them, perhaps, the Indians had abandoned the siege a few hours before they arrived at the brow of the hill overlooking the
Samuel Dick. 305
station. Mr. Dick purchased a lot in Cincinnati on the north-east corner of Front and Walnut streets, on which he erected a house where he resided during the time he lived in Cincinnati. He also possessed himself of several other lots and pieces of property, which then could be purchased at a small price. During his residence there he had a grocery establishment, and occasionally was engaged in forwarding provisions and supplies for the troops at Fort Hamilton, and other forts in the interior. He afterward kept a tavern in the house where he resided. Mr. Dick, at an early period, became the purchaser of a section of land containing six hundred and forty acres, lying on the head waters of the creek now called Dick's creek, Warren county, adjoining the Butler county line. It was within Judge Symmes' purchase; but Symmes failing to make payment for the whole of his purchase, it fell north of the tract of land for which he received a patent. However, the congress of the United States passed a law giving the right of pre-emption to those who had made contracts with Judge Symmes previous to a certain date. Mr. Dick availed himself of the privileges of the law; but had to pay the government two dollars per acre for the land. It is one of the richest sections of land on the Miami valley; the old Mad river trace, from Fort Washington to Mad river, passes through it. He had an improvement made upon the land among the first in the settlement, although he did not go there to reside
306 Pioneer Biography.
for some time. The United States public lands west of the Great Miami river, were first brought into market in the year 180T. The first public sale was held at Cincinnati on the first Monday of April of that year, at which sale Samuel Dick purchased a section containing six hundred and forty acres of land in the rich bottom of Indian creek, in what is now Butler county, and forthwith commenced improving and opening a farm upon it. In the year 1802, he, with his family, removed from Cincinnati to his land on Indian creek, where he raised all his family in great respectability, and here he spent the remainder of his days, excepting a very few weeks. Mr. Dick was one of the grand jurors in July, 1803, of the first session of the court of common pleas of Butler county. At the general election in October, 180J, he was elected a member of the house of representatives of the State of Ohio that met at Chilicothe on the first Monday of December, in that year. He served in the legislature during that session ; but ever afterward refused to permit his name to be used as a candidate for any public office, Samuel Dick died at the house of his son-in-law, Judge Fergus Anderson, in Ross township, Butler county, on the 4th of August, 1846, aged eighty-two years, and was buried beside his wife in the burying-ground at Bethel church. He sustained a high moral character through life. He was prompt in meeting all
Samuel Dick 307.his engagements, so that no one could charge him with want of punctuality. Having ample means, he was liberal in his contributions, for the purpose of forwarding improvements and useful public enterprises in his neighborhood. He was remarkably fortunate in all his financial transactions, and by his early enterprise, never-tiring industry, perseverance, and economy (without parsimony), he was enabled to rise from a small beginning to be a man of wealth. He was enabled, after settling all his children comfortably in the world, previous to his death, to leave a large unincumbered estate as the fruits of his labors, which his descendants are now enjoying. During a great portion of his life, Mr. Dick was a member and a regular attendant on the worship of the Presbyterian church, and in his will he bequeathed a legacy for the benefit of the Presbyterian church at Venice, to which congregation he belonged. Samuel Dick and his wife Martha had born to them four sons and five daughters, who arrived at maturity, and were all settled comfortably in life.
George Dick, the oldest son, was married in Cincinnati in the year 1811, to Miss Jane Anderson, a daughter of Isaac Anderson, an old pioneer of the country, who had lived near to Samuel Dick, in Cincinnati, and afterward removed to Indian creek, in his neighborhood. George Dick settled on the bank of the Great Miami river in Butler county, a short distance above where the town of Venice now is. He had mills on
308 Pioneer Biography.
the river and a post-office, called Dick's Mill Post Office, was established at the place, of which he was appointed postmaster. George Dick died on the 2d of September, 1828, leaving a widow and seven children, who all arrived at maturity, and are respectably settled in life.
David Dick, the second son, married Miss Judith Bigham, the youngest daughter of William Bigham, a respectable and wealthy gentleman, whose large landed estate was bounded by the "out-lots," on the north and east of the town of Hamilton. David Dick now is, and for a number of years past has been, a citizen of the town of Venice, Butler county, in very easy circumstances, a worthy member of the Presbyterian church, at peace with all his neighbors, and highly respected by all his numerous acquaintances.
Samuel Dick, the third son, named after his father, is married. He owns and lives on the north half of the section of land originally purchased by his father on Indian creek. He has raised a large and respectable family of children, who are all living.
James Dick, the youngest son, inherited the old homestead and farm, being the south half of the section of land on Indian creek, first purchased by his father. Here he resides with his wife and a small family of children, in comfortable and respectable circumstances.
The eldest daughter was named Elizabeth Dick.
Samuel Dick 309.
She married Joseph Wilson, who was a merchant in Rossville, and postmaster at that place for several years. She died several years ago. Her husband is also since deceased. They left two daughters. One of them married Joseph Blair, a son of Thomas Blair, formerly of Hamilton, Ohio. Joseph Blair died some years since. The other daughter married John M. Cochran, and now lives near Glendale, Hamilton county, Ohio.
Jane Dick, the second oldest daughter, married John Wilson, a brother of Joseph Wilson. He was a merchant, and for a time pursued his business in Dayton, and at other places. He afterward went to Switzerland county, Indiana, where he built mills, which he operated for some time. He laid out the town of Numa, Park county, Indiana, of which he was the proprietor. He died at that place in October, 1853, leaving his wife Jane a widow with eight children, all of whom are married excepting the youngest daughter. She is since married to a Mr. Hedges.
Mary Dick, the third daughter, on the 28th of June, 1821, intermarried with Fergus Anderson, a son of Isaac Anderson, an old pioneer of the country, who lived in the neighborhood, and who had been an associate of her father, Samuel Dick, from early times. Fergus Anderson has represented the county of Butler in the house of representatives and in the senate of the State of Ohio for several years. He was for some time a justice of the peace of Ross township, and served a term of
310 Pioneer Biography.
seven years as associate judge of the court of common pleas of Butler county. He and his wife are now living on a fine farm near Indian creek, in Ross township, Butler county, in the enjoyment of a happy family, and in independent circumstances.
Martha Dick, the fourth daughter, married James Bigham, a son of William Bigham, and brother to Judith who married David Dick. They live on a farm in Hanover township, Butler county, on the turnpike road leading from Hamilton to Millville, and are in affluent circumstances.Susan Dick, the youngest daughter, who is now deceased, became the wife of Thomas J. Shields, of Morgan township, Butler county, a worthy son of the late Hon. James Shields, who for many years was one of the people's representatives in the general assembly of the State of Ohio. He also served two sessions in the congress of the United States previous to his death...
Denman, Matthias, one of the original
proprietors of Cincinnati, 204.
Denny, Major, 117, 152.
Detroit, Captain Collins commands at,
Dewitt, Captain Z. P., 260.
Dick, Samuel. Birth, 301 ; lands in
America, 301 ; engages in distilling,
302; removes lo Western Pennsylvania, 303; marriage to Martha A.
Gillespie, 303 ; removes to Cincinnati,
304; one of the first trustees of Cincinnati, 42 ; settles at Indian creek,
306 ; elected to legislature of Ohio,
306; death, 306; family — George,
295, 307; David, 308; Samuel, 308;
James, 308 ; Elizabeth, 308 ; Jane,
309; Mary, 297, 309; Martha, 310 ; Susan, 310.
Dickey, Patrick, 105.
Dillon, Samuel, 50.
Doughty, Major, constructs Fort Washington, 115.
Duffold, Robert E., 55.
Dumont, Benjamin, 113.
Dunlap, John, 85.
Dunlap's Station, establishment of, 85 ;
various accounts of the attack on, 14,
87, 146, 304...