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their walls. In some forts, instead of block-houses, the angles of the fort were furnished with bastions. A large folding gate made of thick slabs, nearest the spring, closed the fort. The stockades, bastions, cabins and block-house walls, were furnished with port-holes at proper heights and distances. The whole of the outside was made completely bullet-proof.

It may be truly said that necessity is the mother of invention, for the whole of this work was made without the aid of a single nail or spike of fron, and for this reason, such things were not to be had.

In some places less exposed, a single block-house with a cabin or two' constituted the whole fort..

Such places of refuge may appear very trifling to those who have been' in the habit of seeing the formidable military garrisons of Europe and America; but they answered the purpose, as the Indians had no artillery. They seldom attacked, and scarcely ever took one of them.

The families belonging to these forts were so attached to their own cabins on their farms, that they seldom moved into the fort in the spring until compelled by some alarm, as they called it; that is, when it was announced by some murder that the Indians were in the settlement.

The fort to which my father belonged, was, during the first years of the war, three quarters of a mile from his farm; but when this fort went to decay, and became unfit for defense, a new one was built at his own house. I well remember that when a little boy the family were sometimes waked up in the dead of night by an express with a report that the Indians were at hand. The express came softly to the door or back window, and by a gentle tapping waked the family; this was easily done, as an habitual fear made us ever watchful and sensible to the slightest alarm. The whole family were instantly in motion: my father seized his gun and other implements of war; my step mother waked up and dressed the children as well as she could; and being myself the oldest of the children, I ́ had to take my share of the burthens to be carried to the fort. There was no possibility of getting a horse in the night to aid us in removing to the fort; besides the little children, we caught up what articles of clothing and provision we could get hold of in the dark, for we durst not light a candle or even stir the fire. All this was done with the utmost dispatch and the silence of death; the greatest care was taken not to awaken the youngest child to the rest it was enough to say Indian, and not a whimper was heard afterwards. Thus it often happened that the whole number of families belonging to a fort, who were in the evening at their homes, were all in their little fortress before the dawn of the next morning. In the course of the succeeding day, their household furniture was brought in by parties of the men under arms.

Some families belonging to each fort, were much less under the influence of fear than others, and who after an alarm had subsided, in spite of every remonstrance would remove home, while their more prudent neighbors remained in the fort. Such families were denominated "foolhardy," and gave no small amount of trouble by creating such frequent necessities of sending runners to warn them of their danger, and sometimes parties of our men to protect them during their removal.




THE acquisition of the indispensable articles of salt, iron, steel and castings, presented great difficulties to the first settlers of the western country. They had no stores of any kind, no salt, iron, nor iron works; nor had they money to make purchases where those articles were to be obtained. Peltry and furs were their only resources, before they had time to raise cattle and horses for sale in the Atlantic states.


Every family collected what peltry and fur they could obtain throughout the year for the purpose of sending them over the mountains for barter. In the fall of the year, after seeding time, every family formed an association with some of their neighbors for starting the little caravan. master driver was selected from among them, who was to be assisted by one or more young men, and sometimes a boy or two. The horses were fitted out with pack-saddles, to the hinder part of which was fastened a pair of hobbles made of hickory withs: a bell and collar ornamented his neck. The bags provided for the conveyance of the salt were filled with feed for the horses: on the journey a part of this feed was left at convenient stages on the way down, to support the return of the caravan. Large wallets, well filled with bread, jerk, boiled ham and cheese, furnished provision for the drivers. At night, after feeding, the horses, whether put in pasture or turned out into the woods, were hobbled, and the bells were opened. The barter for salt and iron was made first at Baltimore. Frederick, Hagerstown, Oldtown and Cumberland, in succession, became the place of exchange. Each horse carried two bushels of alumn salt, weighing eighty-four pounds the bushel. This, to be sure, was not a heavy load for the horses, but it was enough considering the scanty subsistence allowed them on the journey.

The common price of a bushel of alumn salt at an early period was a good cow and calf; and until weights were introduced, the salt was measured into the half bushel by hand as lightly as possible. No one was permitted to walk heavily over the floor while the operation was going on. The following anecdote will serve to shew how little the native sons of the forest knew of the etiquet of the Atlantic cities.

A neighbor of my father, some years after the settlement of the country, had collected a small drove of cattle for the Baltimore market. Amongst the hands employed to drive them was one who had never seen any condition of society but that of woodsmen.


At one of their lodging places in the mountain, the landlord and his hired man, in the course of the night, stole two of the bells belonging to the drove, and hid them in a piece of woods.

The drove had not gone far in the morning before the bells were missed, and a detachment went back to recover the stolen bells. The men were found reaping in the field of the landlord; they were accused of the theft, but they denied the charge. The torture of sweating, according to the custom of that time, that is, of suspension by the arms pinioned behind their backs, brought a confession. The bells were procured and hung around the necks of the thieves: in this condition they were driven on foot before the detachment until they overtook the drove, which by this time had gone nine miles. A halt was called and a jury selected to try the culprits. They were condemned to receive a certain number of lashes on the bare back from the hand of each drover. The man above alluded to was the owner of one of the bells. When it came to his turn to use the hickory, "Now," says he to the thief, "you infernal scoundrel, I'll work your jacket nineteen to the dozen. Only think what a rascally figure I should make in the streets of Baltimore without a bell on my horse." The man was in earnest: having seen no horse used without bells, he thought they were requisite in every situation,




THIS was an important part of the employment of the early settlers of this country. For some years the woods supplied them with the greater amount of their subsistence, and with regard to some families in certain times, the whole of it; for it was no uncommon thing for families to live several months without a mouthful of bread. It frequently happened that there was no breakfast until it was obtained from the woods. Fur and peltry were the people's money; they had nothing else to give in exchange for rifles, salt and iron, on the other side of the mountains.

The fall and early part of the winter was the season for hunting the deer, and the whole of the winter, including part of the spring, for bears and fur skinned animals. It was a customary saying that fur is good. during every month in the name of which the letter R occurs.

The class of hunters with whom I was best acquainted were those whose hunting ranges were on the western side of the river and at the distance of eight or nine miles from it. As soon as the leaves were pretty well down, and the weather became rainy accompanied with light suows, these men, after acting the part of husbandmen, so far as the state

of warfare permitted them to do so, soon began to feel that they were hunters. They became uneasy at home; every thing about them became. disagreeable; the house was too warm, the feather bed too soft, and even the good wife was not thought for the time being a proper companion; the mind of the hunter was wholly occupied with the camp and chase.

I have often seen them get up early in the morning at this season, walk hastily out and look anxiously to the woods, and snuff the autumnal winds with the highest rapture, then return into the house and cast a quick and attentive look at the rifle, which was always suspended to a joist by a couple of buck's horns or little forks; his hunting dog understanding the intentions of his master, would wag his tail, and by every blandishment in his power express his readiness to accompany him to the woods.

A day was soon appointed for the march of the little cavalcade to the camp. Two or three horses furnished with pack-saddles were loaded with flour, Indian meal, blankets, and every thing else requisite for the use of the hunter.

A hunting camp, or what was called a half-faced cabin, was of the following form: the back part of it was sometimes a large log: at the distance of eight or ten feet from this two stakes were set in the ground a few inches apart, and at the distance of eight or ten feet from these two more to receive the ends of the poles for the sides of the camp; the whole slope of the roof was from the front to the back; the covering was made of slabs, skins or blankets, or, if in the spring of the year, the bark of hickory or ash trees; the front was left entirely open; the fire was built directly before this opening; the cracks between the logs were filled with moss, and dry leaves served for a bed. It is thus that a couple of men in a few hours will construct for themselves a temporary but tolerably comfortable defense from the inclemencies of the weather; the beaver, otter, muskrat and squirrel are scarcely their equals in dispatch in fabricating for themselves a covert from the tempest!

A little more pains would have made a hunting camp a defense against the Indians. A cabin ten feet square, bullet proof and furnished with port holes, would have enabled two or three hunters to hold twenty Indians at bay for any length of time; but this precaution I believe was never attended to; hence the hunters were often surprised and killed in their camps.

The site for the camp was selected with all the sagacity of the woodsmen, so as to have it sheltered by the surrounding hills from every wind, but more especially from those of the north and west.

An uncle of mine, of the name of Samuel Teter, occupied the same camp for several years in succession. It was situated on one of the southern branches of Cross creek. Although I had lived many years not more than fifteen miles from the place, it was not till within a very few years that I discovered its situation, when it was shewn to me by a gentleman living in the neighborhood. Viewing the hills round about it, I soon perceived the sagacity of the hunter in the site for his camp. Not a wind could touch him, and unless by the report of his gun or the sound of his

axe, it would have been by incre accident if an Indian had discovered his concealment.

Hunting was not a mere ramble in pursuit of game, in which there was nothing of skill and calculation; on the contrary, the hunter before he set out in the morning was informed by the state of the weather in what situation he might reasonably expect to meet with his game, whether on the bottoms, sides or tops of the hills. In stormy weather the deer always seek the most sheltered places and the leeward sides of the hills. In rainy weather in which there is not much wind, they keep in the open woods on the highest ground.

In every situation it was requisite for the hunter to ascertain the course of the wind, so as to get to the leward of the game. This he effected by putting his finger in his mouth and holding it there until it became warm; then holding it above his head, the side which first becomes cold shews which way the wind blows.

As it was requisite too for the hunter to know the cardinal points, he had only to observe the trees to ascertain them. The bark of an aged tree is thicker and much rougher on the north than on the south side. The same thing may be said of the moss, it is thicker and stronger on the north than on the south side of the trees.

The whole business of the hunter consists of a succession of intrigues. From morning to night he was on the alert to gain the wind of his game, and approach them without being discovered. If he succeeded in killing a deer, he skinned it and hung it up out of the reach of the wolves, and immediately resumed the chase till the close of the evening, when he bent his course towards his camp; when arrived there, he kindled up his fire, and together with his fellow hunter cooked his supper. The supper finished, the adventures of the day furnished the tales for the evening; the spike buck, the two and three pronged buck, the doe and the barren doe, figured through their anecdotes with great advantage. It should seem that after hunting awhile on the same ground, the hunters became acquainted with nearly all the gangs of deer within their range, so as to know each flock of them when they saw them. Often some old buck, by the means of his superior sagacity and watchfulness, saved his little gang from the hunter's skill, by giving timely notice of his approach. The cunning of the hunter and that of the old buck were staked against each other, and it frequently happened that at the conclusion of the hunting season, the old fellow was left the free uninjured tenant of his forest; but if his rival succeeded in bringing him down, the victory was followed by no small amount of boasting on the part of the conqueror.

When the weather was not suitable for hunting, the skins and carcasses of the game were brought in and disposed of.

Many of the hunters rested from their labors on the Sabbath day, some fom a motive of piety, others said that whenever they hunted on Sunday, they were sure to have bad luck all the rest of the week.

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