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observed a party of hostile Indians standing before the house, with their pieces pointed towards the door. On its being opened, they immediately fired, and Martin Nitschman was killed on the spot. His wife and some others were wounded, but ran up stairs into the garret, and barricaded the door with bedsteads. Hither the savages pursued them; but, not being able to force open the door, they set fire to the house, which was soon enveloped in flames. Two of the brethren had previously made their escape, by jumping out of the back window; and a boy leaped down from the flaming roof, though not till one of his cheeks had been grazed by a ball, and his hand much burned. Sister Partsch, whose husband had escaped out of the window, likewise ventured to leap down from the burning roof. Unobserved by the enemy, she hid herself behind a tree, on rising ground, from whence she had a full view of the tragical scene. Brother Fabricious, in attempting to make his escape in the same manner, was perceived by the Indians, and instantly wounded by two balls. They then seized him, and having despatched him with their hatchets, took his scalp, and left him dead on the ground. Eleven persons, belonging to the mission, were burned alive; among whom, was a child only fifteen months old. Sister Senseman, already surrounded by the flames, was heard to exclaim: “'Tis all well, dear Saviour! I expected nothing else.” The murderers now set fire to the barns and stables, by which all the corn, hay, and cattle were consumed ; and, having made a hearty meal, they departed."
“ This melancholy occurrence proved the deliverance of the Christian Indians ; for, upon hearing the report of guns, seeing the flames, and learning the dreadful cause from those who escaped, they offered to attack the enemy without delay; but, being advised to the contrary, they all fled into the woods, and the settlement was thus in a few minutes cleared of its inhabitants. By the exertions and persuasions of the missionary, Shebosh, who, alone, remained at Gnadenhutten, most of the fugitive converts returned the next day. They now hoped to remain in safety, as, in consequence of a petition presented by the Brethren, at Bethlehem, the Governor of Pennsylvania sent a party of soldiers into these parts for the protection of the Christian Indians and the country in general. But, on New Year's day, 1756, the savages attacked these troops, set fire to the settlement, and laid waste all the plantations, by which both the congregation and the missionaries were reduced to the greatest poverty."
We add a few anecdotes, gleaned from various sources. The troops sent up by the Government, of course, occupied Fort Allen ; and for recreation, amused themselves with skating. It is no part of savage warfare to attack ramparts of stone, defended by ordnance; but in the stratagems of war, the soldiers were no match for the trained and wily Iroquois. Thus one or two Indians were, for some time, seen unguardedly skating too, on the frozen bosom of the Lehigh, but at a distance. At length a party left the Fort to surprise them; when, with seeming carelessness, they would first approach, and then extend their playful race, further and further. Thus, by degrees, drawing the party of whites beyond the reach of protection or retreat.-The scheme succeeded. Suddenly, from an ambush, cracked the deadly rifle-a yell arose—a large party rushed forth to seize the scalps of the slain,-scarcely one returned to the fort unhurt. Then, as if satisfied with their trophies, they gave the garrison to understand, (probably by a wounded prisoner, released on purpose,) that they were about to retire, threatening to return the next year, and skate with them again. Taking up their march on the war path, they left a strongly marked trail, as far as their enemies would be apt to pursue; when, returning by another unfrequented route, they again lay in ambush, waiting patiently, enduring the extremity of cold, rather than hazard exposure by kindling fires. At length, confidence being restored, the garrison went out and in, hunting or hauling wood, as if no enemy were within an hundred miles. Fatal security! The Indians again fell upon them, and made such slaughter, that the troops abandoned their fort, and fled below the mountains for safety, leaving a rich prize of booty to their eminently superior enemy.
War was formally proclaimed by Great Britain against France, in 1756, when, if possible, a renewed impulse was given to savage ferocity. As our purpose is only to record those events which are more immediately connected with Wyoming, we commend the bloody narrative of desolation, in Western Pennsylvania, to some abler hand. The writer should visit each interesting location, and gather from the children of the sufferers, every particular which tradition has handed down, and faithful memory preserved.
On the death of Tadame, treacherously murdered, but by whom, or for what cause, we find no record, Tedeuscung was elected king of the Delawares, at Wyoming; "a lusty, rawboned man,” says Major Parsons, “but haughty, and very desirous of respect and
command. He was born near Trenton, in 1705, and was now about fifty years old."
The Pennsylvania Government, anxious to conciliate the Indians, invited the various nations to a council, which was accordingly held at Easton, commencing on the 8th of November, 1756. Imposing ceremonies, both for state and security, were kept up throughout the negotiations. At three o'clock, Governor Dennie marched from his lodgings, to the place of Conference, guarded by a party of the royal Americans, in front and on the flanks, and a detachment of Col. Weiser's Provincials, in subdivisions in the rear, with colours flying, drums beating, and music playing; which order was always observed in going to the place where the Council was held.
Tedeuscung, who had been accompanied from Wyoming, by most of his principal warriors, performed the part of chief speaker on this occasion, for all the tribes present, as he had done at the preceding conferences. He is represented to have supported the rights and claims of the Indians in a dignified and spirited manner. Tedeuscung, in his talk before the Council, said in substance as follows: “ There are many reasons why the Indians have ceased to be the friends of the English. They had never been satisfied with the conduct of the English after the treaty of 1737, when their fathers, Tishekunk and Nutimus, sold them the lands upon the Delaware: that although the rights of the purchase were to extend “as far as a man can go in a day and a half,” from Neshamony creek, yet the man who was appointed to go over the ground, did not walk, but ran; and it was also expected he would go along the bank of the river, which he did not, but went in a straight line; and because they had been unwilling to give up the land to the English, as far as the walk extended, the Go
or who then had the command in Pennsylvania, sent for their cousins, the Six Nations, who had always been hard masters to them, to come down and drive them from the land.--That when the Six Nations did come down, they met them at the Governor's house, in Philadelphia, in 1742, with the view of explaining, why they did not give up the land; but the English made so many presents to the Six Nations, that they would hear no explanation from the Delawares, and the Chief of the Council of the Six Nations (Canassatego,) abused them, and called them women. The Six Nations had, however, given to them and the Shawanese, the country upon the Juniata, for a hunting ground, and had so informed the Governor; but notwithstanding this, the latter permitted the whites to go and
settle upon those lands. That two years before, the Governor had been to Albany, to buy more of the lands of the Six Nations, and had described their purchase by points of compass, which they did not understand, including not only the Juniata, but also the West Branch of the Susquehanna, which the Indians did not intend to sell; and when all these things were known, they declared they would no longer be friends to the English, who were trying to get all their country from them.
He assured the Council, that they were glad to meet their old friends, the English, to smoke the pipe of peace with them, and hoped that justice would be done to them, for all the injuries they had received. This Conference continued nine days, during which time, all matters of difference were considered, and the Shawanese and Delawares, the two principal tribes, became reconciled to the English, with whom they concluded a treaty of peace.”
Țedeusçung, you will perceive, bore at this Council a conspicuous part. Treaties of friendship were entered into with the Shawanese and Delawares-presents were received—smoke from the calumet ascended to the skies to bear aloft the record of reconciliation; and the vain and flattered king returned in proud triumph to the valley. It was his day of glory-bright but brief. In my view of the vassalage of these nations, the treaty, of course, I regard as nugatory, except so far as it might operate to awaken hopes of Independence, and tend to detach the Delawares from their conquerors. The contract needed the approbation of the “Gread Head at Onondago." We incline to believe the measure had been adopted, independently of their wishes, they being then, with their warriors, extremely engaged, if not severely pressed, in other quarters. What strengthens this opinion, are the facts, that almost immediately after the treaty, murders were committed below the Blue Mountains, which the Wyoming Indians solemnly disavowed; and when the Governor sent Mr. Hill on a message to Tedeuscung, he was waylaid on his journey from Minisink to the valley, by the Iroquois, and murdered. Indeed, Heckewelder states that the Delawares assured him those murders were committed by the Six Nations, to prevent the effects of the treaty. Charles Thompson, then a respected, since, a most venerable name, was present, and acted as one of the Secretaries during the negotiations. The fact he stated to the writer, at Lancaster, in 1808, where Mr. Thompson, being on business pending before the Assembly, spent part of the winter, and boarded at the same house. He further related, that Tedeuscung, pleased with
what he considered as the candour and fairness of Mr. T., adopted him as a member of the Delaware nation, and gave him a name, signifying, “ He who speaks the Truth.” After the breaking up of Council, Mr. Thompson, in compliance with the wishes of the Government, and an invitation from the king, accompanied him to Wyoming. When, pursuing the Indian path, (near the route of the present turnpike) they came to the top of the first mountain which overlooks the valley, the king expressed fears lest there might be danger below, (dreading, I apprehend, a visit from the Iroquois.) Mr. Thompson, and all the train, but one or two, who accompanied the king, turned down southwesterly from the path, and sought repose for the night, while the cautious chief went in, to reconnoitre; but he returned early the next morning, reporting that all was well. Mr. T. spoke of the valley as a delightful spot. “He did not wonder at the contest waged for its possession.” In respect to the subsequent massacre of the first settlers, he gave me a fact, and an opinion, which, not being recorded at the time, though indelibly imprinted on my memory, I think it more prudent to omit than to tell.
But the Government of Pennsylvania knew too well the importance of having the assent of the Six Nations, to rest satisfied with the treaty as made.
The influence of Sir William Johnson, agent for Indian affairs, was invoked to bring the Six Nations to a new Congress. Neither presents nor promises were spared, and in October 1758, there was opened at Easton, one of the most imposing 'assemblages ever beheld in Pennsylvania. Chiefs from the Six Nations were there, namely, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagos, Cayugas, Senecas, and Tuscaroras. There were also present ambassadors from the tributary tribes of Nanticokes, Canoys, Tuteloes, Chenangoes, Delawares, Unamies, Minisinks, Mobicans, Wapingers, and Shawanese. Both the Governors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, attended; with Sir William Johnson, and George Crogan, Esq., sub-Indian agent, a deputation from the Provincial Assembly at New Jersey, and a large concourse of eminent citizens from Philadelphia, and the neighboring counties. All the military pomp and parade exhibited at the previous treaty, were here renewed with additional ceremonies; and our intelligent neighbours of that flourishing town, should cause a splendid historical painting to be executed commemorative of an event so imposing, and so important in their annals.
Tedeuscung, on the way to the Conference, having fallen in company with the chief who had commanded the expedition against