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scalped his father, his brother, and his uncle, and captured a boy named Pence. Directing their course northeast, the Savages passed through Huntington, where they were met by a scout of four men under the orders of Capt. Franklin. Shots were exchanged, and two of his men wounded. Too few to cope with the Indian party, Capt. Franklin took up a position in an old log house; but the enemy preferred to pursue their course, and the same evening came to a camp where Abraham Pike, with his wife, were making sugar. Pike, who was a British deserter, was a most desirable acquisition. The wife and her child they painted, and sent into the settlements. The party now bent their way to the lake country, crossed the Susquehanna at the little Tunkhannock, and pursued their course up the east branch of the river. Lieut. Van Campen, a man of true courage, brave and enterprising, formed a plan, with Pike, Rogers, and Pence, to rise on the ten Indians, and effect their liberation, or die in the attempt. It was a bold and hazardous enterprise. The party had ascended to within fifteen miles of Tioga Point, where they encamped on the night of the 3rd of April. The Indians, beyond the probability of pursuit, all lay down to sleep, five on each side of the prisoners, who were carefully bound. Van Campen had observed that a knise, used by one of the Indians, fell near hin, and placing his foot on it, secured the inestimable prize. About midnight, finding the enemy buried in profound sleep, Van Campen cut himself loose, and with noiseless celerity liberated the hands of his companions. Springing to their feet, placing the guns in a secure place, tomahawks were used with the utmost vigour. The Indians made a desperate, but unavailing effort for the mastery, but were overpowered, and several of the ten killed, two others wounded, and two or three escaped unhurt. After scalping the dead, recovering the scalps of those of our people whom the Indians had slain, making a hasty raft, the party, taking the guns, tomahawks, spears, and blankets of the foe, descended the Susquehanna, and on the evening of the 5th of April arrived with their spoils in triumph at Wyoming. No nobler deed was performed during the Revolutionary war. In a narrative of his life and services, written 1837, and presented as a memorial to Congress, asking for a pension, Lieut. Van Campen represents his companions in this affair, except Pence, as terrified and inactive, thus impairing his own credit, and marring the beauty of a most chivalrous achievement. There was honour enough for all; there could be no motive but excessive selfglorification, for representing Pike and Rogers as cowards. But when that narrative was written Van Campen was an old man, Pike
and Rogers were both dead, and he may have supposed no one remained to rescue their names from the odium. The writer of this knew Abraham Pike and Jonah Rogers well. Mr. Rogers was a highly respectable citizen, and was well understood, though quite a youth, to have performed his duty like a man. That he was collected and cool is evident from his observing that Pike struck his first blow with the head of his axe, then turned it and gave the edge. The former he has often heard recount the daring exploit, and until this recent statement of Van Campen, never heard a doubt of Pike's courage expressed. Familiarly he was called “Serjeant Pike, the Indian killer," and as such was every where welcome. An Irishman! A regularly disciplined soldier! The presumption would be strong against the charge of cowardice. But death was certain if taken to Niagara ; even cowardice itself would have stimulated a man, so situated, to fight. That Van Campen's memory had become impaired, is apparent from the fact that he claims to have killed nine of the ten Indians. Col. Jenkins, in a memorandum made at the time, says: “ Pike and two men from Fishing Creek, and two boys that were taken by the Indians, made their escape by rising on the guard, killed Three, and the rest took to the woods, and left the prisoners with twelve guns,” &c. No! without detracting from the bravery and good conduct of Van Campen, we cannot but conclude, that he had told the story of his own prowess, heightening the colouring in his own favour, as he found it gave him consideration with his wondering listeners, until, perhaps, he believed himself the sole hero of the victory.
On the 30th of March, three persons, named Avery, Lyons, and Jones, were taken off prisoners by the Indians, from Capouse.
The unfortunate, or fortunate Hammond, who, twice in such fearful jeopardy, had twice escaped, had now the pleasure of appearing at Head-Quarters, having been sent on the 3rd of April, by Col. Butler, express, with despatches for his Excellency.
In the course of these predatory excursions, the Savages set fire to the simple log buildings which the settlers had erected for their temporary residence.
In the midst of all this distress, the ever popular town meetings were not neglected.
“ At a town meeting, legally warned and held, in the town of Westmoreland, on Monday the 10th day of April, 1780,
“ John Franklin, Esq., was chosen Moderator for the work of the day.
“ John Hurlbut, Esq., was chosen to negotiate the affairs of this town, before the General Assembly, to be holden in Hartford, in May next.
“Obadiah Gore, Esq., John Franklin, Esq., and Lieut. Rosewell Franklin are appointed a Committee to assist the Agent in drawing up a just representation of our circumstances, to lay before the Honorable the General Assembly, in May next.”.
“ At a town meeting on the 20th of April, John Franklin, Esq., Lieut. Rosewell Franklin, and Ensign John Comstock, (titles as usual scrupulously given,) were appointed a Committee “to advise with the inhabitants of this town, about contracting their improvements to a smaller compass, and more defenceable situation, against the Savages, and to adopt measures for the security of their stock, and make their report to the commanding officer of the garrison, as soon as possible.”
The next Resolve should be printed in letters of gold.
“Voted— That whereas the parish of Dresden, in the State of Virginia, have contributed and sent one hundred and eighty dollars for the support of the distressed inhabitants of this town, that the selectmen be directed to distribute said money to those they shall judge the most necessitated, and report to the town at some future meeting
“ Voted–That Col. Nathan Denison return the thanks of this town to the parish of Dresden, in the State of Virginia, for their charitable disposition in presenting the distressed inhabitants of this town with one hundred and eighty dollars.”
Col. Butler's second Connecticut regiment consisted, at this time, of three hundred and fourteen men, fit for duty, and while he was stationed in Westmoreland, possessing, as he was known to do, more skill in Indian warfare, and enjoying in an eminent degr the confidence of the inhabitants, yet every man of his regiment was below the mountains, under the immediate orders of Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Sherman. Visiting his command, to see that proper discipline and order were preserved, then hastening back to Wyoming, to a station of excessive care and responsibility, yet affording no chance to gather laurels, so dear to the high-souled military man, Col. Butler performed most arduous duties, in a manner to entitle him to the gratitude and praise of his country.
Early in July, Esquire Hurlbut returned from Hartford, bringing the cheering news, that the Assembly, in answer to the petition of her Wyoming people, had resolved to take an account of their losses,
preparatory to making compensation therefor, when the public treasury should be in a condition to do so. The Resolve, itself, breathes a spirit, and shows an intention so just, that it should be carefully preserved.
" At a General Assembly of the Governor, and Company of the State of Connecticut, in America, holden at Hartford on the second Thursday of May, (being the 11th day of said month,) and continued by several adjournments until the 23d day of June following, Anno Domini, 1780.
Upon the Memorial of the Civil Authority, and Selectmen of the Town of Westmoreland, representing that the inhabitants of said town have sustained great losses by the invasions and depredations of the enemy, and that the Rate Bills issued against the inhabitants of said town, for State Taxes, have been taken, burnt and destroyed; the town depopulated, and the few remaining families greatly impoverished by the frequent incursions and depredations of the enemy. Praying this Assembly that an estimation of their losses may be made, and State Taxes abated in part compensation thereof, etc., as per Memorial.
“Resolved by this Assembly, That the whole of the State Taxes, for which warrants have already issued against the inhabitants of said town of Westmoreland, that are not paid into the hands of the State Treasurer, be, and the same are hereby abated, to be considered as in part compensation for their losses, whenever the United States shall order and direct the losses sustained by the citizens of said States, from the depredations of the enemy, to be compensated ; and John Hurlbut, Zebulon Butler, and Obadiah Gore, Esqs., be, and they are hereby appointed a Committee to repair to said Westmore
first giving public notice in the several newspapers in this State, of the time and place of their meeting, and there examine into the damages, injuries, and losses sustained and suffered by the present or late inhabitants of said town of Westmoreland, holding under this State, who shall, by themselves or others on their behalf, being duly authorized, make application to said Committee, during their continuance in said town, and report make to some future session of this Assembly, of what they shall find in the matters aforesaid.”
Capt. Simon Spalding's Independent Company, being the consolidated Wyoming companies of Ransom and Durkee, was stationed at Wilkesbarre fort, with Capt. John Paul Schott's rifle corps, and a detachment from the German regiment, under the command of Capt. Michael, making together, about one hundred and twenty men. The
militia consisted of one company under the command of Capt. John Franklin. How entirely broken and reduced was the country, will be apparent from the returns of this company.
" July 29, 1780, there were twenty-nine on the roll. At Hanover, to guard the mill, one lieutenant, one serjeant, and ten privates. At Kingston, one serjeant and fourteen men; and two on the sick list. Small detachments were frequently made for scouting parties, the utmost vigilance being indispensable. On the 9th of June, Captain Franklin, with five men, being on a scout sixty miles up the river, at Wysox, took three prisoners, viz: Jacob Bowman, Adam Bowman, and Henry Hoover, with, according to the language of the day, a fine lot of plunder, valued at £46 18s. 11d. Capt. l'ranklin and Serjeant Baldwin each shared a silver watch, several pocket compasses, silver buttons, and sleeve buttons; a scarlet broadcloth coat, several gold pieces, and a beautiful spy-glass, attest the consequence of the prisoners. The canoes sold for £4 10s. They were probably confidential messengers on public service from the enemy in New York, to Col. John Butler at Niagara. Col. Z. Butler, purchased the spy-glass from the victors, estimated at three guineas, hard money."
In the midst of this scene of general distress, it is difficult to suppress a smile, when we contemplate the variety of character sustained, and duties performed by Captain Franklin. We have seen him taking an active part on several committees in town meeting. Indefatigable in the command of his little company; during all this time, he was farming with an industry, that showed his reliance for subsistence was on the labour of his hands. A hunter, scarce a week passed, that he did not in the proper season, bring in a buck. But he was a Justice of the Peace, and the civil laws were regularly administered. As it is our purpose to present an accurate picture of Wyoming as we can possibly sketch, one or two causes, tried before Justice Franklin, will be quoted. August 19, 1780,
of Westmoreland, found guilty of playing cards, therefore ordered, that he pay a fine to the treasury of the town of Westmoreland of ten shillings, lawful money, with costs.
Test. John FRANKLIN, J. P.
At a Justice's Court, holden at Westmoreland, August 31, 1780, present, John Franklin, Justice of the Peace, wherein Phineas Pierce, is plaintiff, and Lebeus Tubbs, defendant: Whereas, the said Pierce, as administrator on the estate of Col. George Dorrance, deceased, com