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to be tomahawked. One of these had like to have made his escape at the expense of the life of one of the murderers. The rope by which he was led was of some length. The two men who were conducting him to death fell into a dispute who should have the scalp. The Indian, while marching with a kind of dancing motion, and singing his death song, drew a knife from a scabbard suspended round his neck, cut the rope, and aimed at stabbing one of the men; but the jerk of the rope occasioned the men to look round. The Indian then fled towards the woods, and while running, dexterously untied the rope from his wrists. He was instantly pursued by several men who fired at him, one of whom wounded him in the arm. After a few shots the firing was forbidden, for fear the men might kill each other as they were running in a straggling man
A young man then mounted on a horse and pursued the Indian, who when overtaken struck the horse on the head with a club.. The rider sprang from the horse, on which the Indian seized, threw him down and drew his tomahawk to kill him. At that instant, one of the party got near enough to shoot the Indian, which he did merely in time to save the life of his companion.
Of the whole number of the Indians at Gnadenhutten and Salem, only two made their escape. These were two lads of fourteen or fifteen
One of them, after being knocked down and scalped, but not killed, had the presence of mind to lie still among the dead, until the dusk of the evening, when he silently crept out of the door and made his escape. The other lad slipped through a trap door into the cellar of one of the slaughter houses, from which he made his escape through a small cellar window.
These two lads were fortunate in getting together in the woods the same night. Another lad, somewhat larger, in attempting to pass through the same window, it is supposed stuck
fast and was burnt alive. The Indians of the upper town were apprised of their danger in due time to make their escape, two of them having found the mangled body of Shabosh. Providentially they all made their escape, although they might have been easily overtaken by the party, if they had undertaken their pursuit. A division of the men were ordered to go to Shonbrun; but finding the place deserted, they took what plunder they could find, and returned to their companions without looking farther after the Indians.
After the work of death was finished, and the plunder secured, all the buildings in the town were set on fire and the slaughter houses among the rest. The dead bodies were thus consumed to ashes. A rapid retreat to the settlements finished the campaign.
Such were the principal events of this horrid affair. A massacre of innocent, unoffending people, dishonorable not only to our country, but human nature itself.
Before making any remarks on the causes which led to the disgraceful events under consideration, it may be proper to notice the manner in which the enterprise was conducted, as furnishing evidence that the murder of the Moravians was intended, and that no resistance from them was anticipated.
In a military point of view, the Moravian campaign was conducted in the very worst manner imaginable. It was undertaken at so early a period, that a deep fall of snow, a thing very common in the early part of March in former times, would have defeated the enterprise. When the army came to the river, instead of constructing a sufficient number of rafts to transport the requisite number over the river at once, they commenced crossing in a sugar trough, which could carry only two men at a time, thus jeopardizing the safety of those who first went over. The two sentinels who shot Shabosh, according to military law ought to have been executed on the spot for having fired without orders, thereby giving premature notice of the approach of our men, The truth is, nearly the whole number of the army ought to have been transported over the river; for after all their forces employed, and precaution used in getting
possession of the town on the east side of the river, there were but one man and one squaw found in it, all the others being on the other side. This circumstance they ought to have known beforehand, and acted accordingly. The Indians on the west side of the river amounted to about eighty, and among them above thirty men, besides a number of young lads, all possessed of guns and well accustomed to the use of them; yet this large number was attacked by about sixteen men. If they had really anticipated resistance, they deserved to lose their lives for their rashness. It is presumable, however, that having full confidence in the pacific principles of the Moravians, they did not expect resistance; but calculated on blood and plunder without having a shot fired at them. If this was really the case, the author leaves it to justice to find, if it can, a name for the transaction.
One can hardly help reflecting with regret, that these Moravians did not for the moment lay aside their pacific principles and do themselves justice. With a mere show of defense, or at most a few shots, they might have captured and disarmed those few men, and held them as hostages for the safety of their people and property until they could have removed them out of their way. This they might have done on the easiest terms, as the remainder of the army could not have crossed the river without their permission, as there was but one canoe at the place, and the river too high to be forded. But alas! these truly christian people suffered themselves to be betrayed by hypocritical professions of friendship, until “they were led as sheep to the slaughter." Over this horrid deed humanity must shed tears of commiseration, as long as the record of it shall remain.
Let not the reader suppose that I have presented him with a mere imaginary possibility of defense on the part of the Moravians. This defense would have been an easy task. Our people did not go on that campaign with a view of fighting. There may have been some brave men among them; but they were far from being all such. For my part, I cannot suppose for a moment that any white man, who can harbor a thought of using his arms for the killing of women and children in any case, can be a brave man. No, he is a murderer.
The history of the Moravian settlements on the Muskingum, and the peculiar circumstances of their inhabitants during the revolutionary contest between Great Britain and America, deserve a place here.
In the year 1772, the Moravian villages were commenced by emigrations from Friedenshutten on the Big Beaver, and from Wyalusing and Sheshequon on the Susquehanna. In a short time they rose to considerable extent and prosperity, containing upwards of four hundred people. During the summer of Dunmore's war, they were much annoyed by war parties of the Indians, and disturbed by perpetual rumors of the ill intentions of the white people of the frontier settlements towards them; yet their labors, schools and religious exercises, went on without interruption.
In the revolutionary war, which began in 1775, the situation of the Moravian settlements was truly deplorable. The English had associated with their own means of warfare against the Americans, the scalping knife and tomahawk of the merciless Indians. These allies of England committed the most horrid depredations along the whole extent of our defenseless frontier. From early in the spring until late in the fall, the early settlers of the western parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania had to submit to the severest hardships and privations. Cooped up in little stockade forts, they worked their little fields in parties under arms guarded by sentinels, and were doomed from day to day to witness or hear reports of the murders or captivity of their people, the burning of their houses, and the plunder of their property.
The war with the English fleets and armies, on the other side of the mountains, was of such a character as to engage
the whole attention and resources of our government, so that, poor as the first settlers of this country
were, they had to bear almost the whole burden of the war during the revolutionary contest. They chose their own officers, furnished their own means, and conducted the war in their own way. Thus circumstanced,
they became a law unto themselves," and on certain occasions perpetrated acts which government was compelled to disapprove. This lawless temper of our people was never fully dissipated until the conclusion of the whisky rebellion in 1794.
The Moravian villages were situated between the settlements of the whites and the towns of the warriors, about sixty miles from the former, and not much farther from the latter, On this account they were denominated the half-way houses of the warriors.” Thus placed between two rival powers engaged in furious warfare, the preservation of their neutrality was no easy task, perhaps impossible. If it requires the same physical force to preserve a neutral station among belligerent nations that it does to prosecute a war, as is unquestionably the case, this pacific people had no chance for the preservation of theirs. The very goodness of their hearts, their aversion to the shedding of human blood, brought them into difficulties with both parties. When they sent their runners to Fort Pitt, to inform us of the approach of the war parties, or received, fed, secreted and sent home prisoners, who had made their escape from the savages, they made breaches of their neutrality, as to the belligerent Indians. Their furnishing the warriors with a resting place and provisions was contrary to their neutral engagements to us; but their local situation rendered those accommodations to the warriors unavoidable on their part, as the warriors possessed both the will and the means to compel them to give whatever they wanted from them.
The peaceable Indians first fell under suspicion with the Indian warriors and the English commandant at Detroit, to whom it was reported that their teachers were in close confederacy with the American congress, for preventing not only their own people, but also the