Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sketches and statistics of Cincinnati in 1859...

"When I reached Point Pleasant, I saw Lewis Whetzel ranging the town as freely and unconcerned as though he had been on his own farm; while at the same time there was a large reward offered for his apprehension by General Harmar. While I remained there, Lieutenant Kingsbury, in scouting about town, met Whetzel unexpectedly. Lewis halted with great firmness in the path, leaving the Lieutenant to choose what course he pleased, feeling himself ready and prepared for whatever might be. Kingsbury, a brave man himself, had too much good will to such a gallant spirit as Whetzel to attempt his injury, if it were safe to do so. He contented himself with shouting to him, "Get out of my sight, you Indian killer!'' and Lewis, who was implacable only to the savages, retired slowly and watchfully, as a lion draws off, measuring his steps in the presence of the hunters, and as ready to avoid...

danger unnecessarily as to seek it when duty called him to act. Lewis had made his escape but a short time before from Marietta, with handcuffs on, and when he saw an acquaintance of his, Isaac Wiseman by name, fishing in a canoe, not daring to swim the river in that condition, nor to call to the opposite shore, for fear of being within hearing of some of the party in pursuit, waved his hat with his hands, until he succeeded in attracting his attention and assistance to escape. Once on the Virginia side, he feared nothing, as he indeed had none but well-wishers there, who would have shed their blood, if necessary, in his defence. Years, however, had to elapse, and Harmar to return to Philadelphia, before Wiseman dared acknowledge the service, the whole country being under military rule, and no civil authority at that time to interfere. I returned to Cincinnati in the summer of 1791..."
"...In 1850, I had the pleasure of bringing together, after a separation of sixty years, two of the surviving defenders of Dunlap's Station, which, it will be remembered, was attacked by the Girtys, and a large body of savages, on the 7th February, 1791. These were William Wiseman, Orderly-sergeant to Lieutenant Kingsbury, who commanded on that occasion, and Samuel Hahn, who, with 
his father, mother, four brothers, and three sisters, formed one of the families which were invested in the fort. Wiseman was nearly twenty-one, and Hahn between thirteen and fourteen years of age at the time — the first being, in 1850, in his eighty-first year, and the other over seventy-three. Both were of uncommon vigor of mind and body, for their respective ages. Wiseman is since dead, but Hahn still survives, residing at Newtown, in this county. The narrative they gave of that interesting scene, differs in many particulars from the popular version of the event, and as I had an opportunity of conversing with both before they had seen each other, I found that they corresponded to a degree which corroborated both statements. 
I give the personal narrative of Wiseman as a matter of preference in his own...
At the siege of Dunlap's Station, there was no cannon in the fort. The contrary I have seen stated, but it was a mistake. A small piece was sent to us a few days after the siege was raised, but during the attack we had nothing but muskets and rifles. It was also stated that a man was killed in the fort, but that, too, was an error; for there was none even wounded, save McVickar, in the mill-house, in the morning, as I have already related. No person but myself was in the canoe crossing the river, on the occasion referred to. The contrary has been several times erroneously stated. Neither did any person leave the fort during the siege, either by night or by day, before I thus crossed the river. 
I give Mr. Hahn's narrative in his own words: 
My father's name was Michael Hahn. He was born in York, Pennsylvania, and removed to Tygart's Valley, Virginia, where I was born, March 1, 1777. My father removed, while I was a small boy, to George's creek, near Redstone old Fort, now Brownsville, on which stream he built a grist-mill. He afterward emigrated to Paris, Kentucky, and finally, in 1789, to Ohio. We first settled at Colerain, Hamilton county, on the Big Miami. I was a stripling of twelve years when we came to Ohio. It was at this period that John Cleves Symmes had issued his proposals to settle the country between the two Miamis, but the surveys had not been regularly begun. John Dunlap, one of the 
surveyors on the Miami, had laid off a town in what is now the northwest corner of Hamilton county, for settlement to all new comers, which he called Colerain, naming it after his native place, in Ireland, and which he professed to own. To this we came, our family consisting of father and mother, four sisters, and three brothers; two sisters and one brother being older than myself. Every settler located as much land as he was prepared to cultivate, and for the sake of guarding against the Indians, whose marauding parties led down as far as the Ohio, the families built their cabins together, and facing each other with the lower ends to the outside. These were connected together with pickets eight feet high, composed of small timber, split in half, sharpened at the ends, and set a sufficient depth into the ground. Under some apprehensions of an immediate attack from the Indians, a detachment of troops, consisting of twelve or thirteen men, under command of Lieut. Kingsbury, had been sent out from Fort Washington. Orderly-sergeant Wiseman belonged to the party. The settlers, to the number of thirty, men, women, and children, all resided within the fort, which went by the name of Dunlap's Station. Early in February, John S. Wallace, accompanied Abner Hunt, who was a surveyor, with two other persons, Sloan and Cunningham, on surveys on the west bank of the Great Miami. On the night of the 6th, they encamped there. Next morning, after they had been roasting venison, on which they breakfasted, they set out to explore the Miami bottoms above where the Colerain settlement, or station, was located. They had hardly left their camp seventy yards behind, when they were beset by the savages on their rear, who fired a volley of eight or ten guns. Cunningham was killed on the spot.Hunt, having been thrown from his horse, was made a prisoner before he could recover, and Sloan, although shot through his body, kept his seat and made his escape, accompanied by Hunt's loose horse. Two of the Indians pursued Wallace more than a mile and a half, but, owing to his uncommon activity, he made out to overtake Sloan, with the spare horse, which he mounted, and succeeded in crossing the Miami in Sloan's company. In his flight on foot, he was twice shot at, but without effect. His leggings had been getting loose, and at the moment of the first shot, he tripped and fell. Supposing him struck by the bullet, the Indians raised a a shout, Wah! hoo! calculating, to a certainty, on his scalp; but 
hastily tying his leggings, he resumed his flight and effected his escape. After crossing the Miami, Sloan complained of faintness from his wound, when Wallace advised him to thrust a part of his shirt into the bullet hole, to stop the flow of blood. Leaving the river, they directed their course to Cincinnati
On the morning of the 7th of February, 1791, which was either Sunday or Monday, and just before daylight, the fort was attacked by a party of five hundred Indians, commanded by Simon GirtyHis brother George was of the party. Our first notice of their presence was given by a large black dog, belonging to my father, which sprang from a stump, on the outside, upon the cabin, and began barking furiously. Had he not then given the alarm, the Indians would have been in at the gates, and every soul in the garrison been massacred, so secret and quiet had been their approaches. The Indians, finding us prepared, as far as possible, commenced a parley with us, and for that purpose put forth Abner Hunt, whom they compelled to ask its surrender, which, in hope of saving his life, he did, in most pressing terms, promising that life and property should be held inviolate. But Kingsbury, who was in command, had no confidence in their promises. Another application was made by the assailants, and the garrison threatened with massacre, if they did not surrender at once; but Kingsbury was inflexible, and the savages began their attack by a general discharge of rifles at the port-holes of the block-houses, which formed the corners of the fort, and where the effective force of the garrison was stationed. The Indians were hidden behind standing and fallen timber, in front of the fort. This fallen timber, consisting of large logs and tree tops, had been cut down a short time previous, by the garrison, under the notion that it would promote their safety, in hindering a too nigh approach, without being seen, of an enemy; and if time had been allowed us to heap together the logs and limbs, and burn them, no doubt the cutting down of the timber would have been an advantage. But the Indians came upon us before we were prepared in this, as in other respects. One of the Indians had got behind a tree, the fork of which was as high as his head, from which he fired into the port-hole opposite, as he had opportunity. At this point my older brother was stationed, and it proved a trial of skill and patience which would I...
gel, the advantage of the other. At last my brother got a shot at him, and broke his back. He fell, and lay there all day; but the Indians did not dare to come to his relief, or drag him off. The attack on and defence of our fort, by rifle firing, continued throughout the whole day. When night came on, and gave tlie enemy an opportunity of leaving their hiding-places, burning arrows were fired upon the roofs. But the rain, which had fallen during the day and had frozen into sleet, as it fell after night, protected us from the threatened danger. During the night and at a late hour, finding that they could do nothing with us, they brought up Hunt, within a short distance of the fort, for the purpose of burning him alive. Accordingly, having stripped and fastened him to a log, they kindled a fire of dead limbs upon his belly, and commenced a horrid dance, whooping and yelling around the wretched object of their revenge. The screams of Hunt were plainly heard by the garrison, in the midst of these yells, for a long time, growing fainter as life expired. Such another night of horrors I had never witnessed, and never expect to; and I shall carry to my grave the impression it made upon my boyish memory. 
 During the night, or rather toward morning, William Wiseman, who had volunteered to make his way down to Fort Washington, for the purpose of obtaining aid from the garrison there, was accompanied to the river by my father and myself, and pushed off, by us, in a canoe, which was kept there by our settlers for the purpose of crossing the Miami, as they needed to do. Wiseman returned, in the course of the next day, with a party from Columbia and Fort Washington, but the Indians had de- camped, early in the morning, after doing all the mischief they could, by shooting all the cattle within their reach.John Young, one of the settlers, was the first one of our garrison to leave the inclosure, to reconnoitre, and found that the enemy had actually left. During the siege, the women had been employed running bullets for the men of our party. To the uncommon darkness of the night, and the freezing of the rain, we no doubt owed our escape from the overpowering force of the savages. 
 A short time before the attack on Dunlap's StationJohn Crumand David Gibson, two of our settlers, were captured by the Indians, who were always lurking about. Crum, who was a boy of thirteen, had gone to the woods for grapes, which, having given 
his sisters, they returned for home. He left his hat, unfortunately, at the foot of the tree he had climbed to get to the grape-vines. A party of five Indians passed by, and observing the hat, cast their eyes up the tree, and bade him get down. David Gibson was captured under my own eyes. He had gone out into the woods hunting, and just below the fort, perhaps a mile off, in the bend of the river, and clearly visible from the station, had shot a deer. This he hung up across the limb of a tree, and returned to get his horse for the purpose of taking the carcase home. The Indians lay concealed, not far otf, behind a large tree that had fallen out of root. The horse smelled them, and broke for home, although tied to a sapling, which was attributed, by Gibson, to the presence of the deer. While he was gone to regain his horse, the Indians, knowing now where he would fasten the animal, placed themselves in ambush nigher hand, and after Gibson tied his horse more carefully, crept up, and surrounding him, made him their prisoner. There were eight or ten of them in number. 
 Gibson, while in captivity, married a white woman who had been made a prisoner by the Indians, and, together with his wife and Crum, was released, with various other captives, at the time of Wayne's treaty. 
 My brother and father both lost their lives afterward, and by Indian rifles. My brother had been taking a cow out from Fort Washington to Dunlap's Station. He was in company with a party of three from the garrison, and on their way out called upon Col. Riddle, of our city, then a blacksmith, and paid him three dollars on account of a bill he had owed at the shop for some time. "You had better give me more," jocularly observed the Colonel, "the Indians will get the rest." "Never fear," was the careless reply. In tlie course of two hours afterward, he had a bullet put through him, his scalp taken, and the residue of his money carried off. The party had imprudently fastened a bell to the cow, which enabled the Indians to surprise and massacre them. 
My father was killed, April 25, 1792. He had been out with Martin Burkhardt and Michael Lutz, viewing some lots on what was called the Blue Bank, on the Miami, not far from the station, when they were fired on by Indians. They were all large, heavy Pennsylvania Dutchmen, and afforded easy marks to the savages. Lutz was killed and scalped on the spot, besides being afterward stabbed in different parts of the body. They shot Hahn through the 
body, and followed him in sight of the garrison; but, finding they could not get his scalp, they fired at him a second time, and killed him. Burkhardt was shot through the right shoulder, and in an effort to clear himself, took to the river to swim, but was drowned, and was found at North Bend six weeks afterward. 
 August 14, 1792, John MacNamara, Isaac Gibson, Jr., Samuel Carswell, and James Barrett, were bringing up a hand mill-stone, in a canoe, and at the riffle below the station, they were fired at by the Indians. Macnamara was killed, Gibson wounded in the knee, and Carswell in the shoulder; Barrett being the only one escaping without injury. 
 I close this narrative of Indian warfare with a statement given me by Garret Burns, at our last interview, in March, 1850. He is now, doubtless, no longer to be numbered among the living. No individual of that pioneer band, by whose labors and courage the broad and fertile fields of the west have been won from the savage beasts and more savage aborigines, the original occupants, has passed through a longer series of frontier service than Mr. Burns, as his narrative will clearly and fully exhibit. ..."
Sketches and statistics of Cincinnati in 1859 (1859)
Author: Cist, Charles, 1792-1868
Publisher: [Cincinnati : s.n.
Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT
Language: English
Call number: 9596106
Digitizing sponsor: Sloan Foundation
Book contributor: The Library of Congress
Collection: library_of_congressamericana
Scanfactors: 4
Full catalog record: MARCXML
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