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HISTORY

O F

THE VALLEY.

CHAPTER I.

INDIAN WARS.

FROM the best evidence the author has been able to obtain, and to this end he has devoted much time and research, the settlement of our fine and beautiful valley commenced in the year 1732, about one hundred and twenty-five years from the first settlement in Virginia. Before going into a detail of the first immigration to and improvement of the Valley, the author believes it will not be uninteresting to the general reader, to have a brief history of the long and bloody wars carried an between contending tribes of Indians. Tradition relates that the Delaware and Catawba tribes were engaged in war at the time the Valley was first known by the white people, and that that war was continued for many years after our section of country became pretty numerously inhabited by the white settlers.

I shall commence with a narrative of Indian battles fought on the Cohongoruton. At the mouth of Antietam, a small creek on the Maryland

*Cohongoruton is the ancient Indian name of the Potomac, from its junction with the Shenandoah to the Allegany mountain. Lord Fairfax, in his grants for land on this water course, designated it Potomac; by which means it gradually lost its ancient name, and now is generally known by no other name. Maj. H. Bedinger writes the name of this fiver Cohongoluta. It is, however, written in the act laying off the county of Frederick in 1738, Cohongoruton.

side of the river, a most bloody affair took place between parties of the Catawba and Delaware tribes. This was probably about the year 1736. The Delawares had penetrated pretty far to the south, committed some acts of outrage on the Catawbas, and on their retreat were overtaken at the mouth of this creek, when a desperate conflict ensured. Every man of the Delaware party was put to death, with the exception of one who escaped after the battle was over, and every Catawba held up a scalp but one. This was a disgrace not to be borne; and he instantly gave chase to the fugitive, overtook him at the Susquehanna river, (a distance little short of one hundred miles,) killed and scalped him, and returning, showed his scalp to several white people, and exulted in what he had done.*

Another most bloody battle was fought at the mouth of Conococheague,† on Friend's land, in which but one Delaware escaped death, and he ran in to Friend's house, when the family shut the door, and kept the Catawbas out, by which means the poor fugitive was saved.‡

There is also a tradition, and there are evident signs of the fact, of another furious battle fought at what is called the Slim Bottom on Wappatomaka,§ (the ancient Indian name of the Great South Branch of the Potomac,) about one and a half miles from its mouth. At this place there are several large Indian graves, near what is called the Painted Rock. Onn this rock is exhibited the shape of a man with a large bloteth, intended, probably, to represent a man bleeding to death. The stain, it appeared to the author, was made with human blood. The top of the rock projects over the painted part so as to protect it from the washings of the rains, and is on the east side of the rock. How long the stain of human blood would remain visible in a position like this, the author cannot pretend to express an opinion; but he well recollects the late Gen. Isaac Zane informed him that the Indians beat out the brains of an infant (near his old iron works) against a rock, and the stain of the blood was plainly to be seen about forty years afterwards. In this battle it is

said but one Delaware escaped, and he did so by leaping into the river, diving under the water, and continuing to swim until he crossed the Cohongoruton.

A great battle between these hostile tribes, it is said, was fought at what is called the Hanging Rocks, on the Wappatomaka, in the county

*This tradition was related to the author by Capt. James Glenn, of Jefferson county, now upwards of 73 years of age, and confirmed by the venerable John Tomlinson, near Cumberland, Maryland, now 92 years old. †Mr. Tomlinson is of opinion this affair took place at the mouth of the Opequon.

Capt. James Glenn, confirmed by Mr. Tomlinson, except as to the place of battle.

The name of this water course in Lord Fairfax's ancient grants is written Wappatomac; but Mr. Heath and Mr. Blue both stated that the proper name was Wappatomaka.

Capt. James Glenn, confirmed by Mr. Garret Blue, of Hampshire.Indeed, this tradition is familiar to most of the elderly citizens on the South Branch, as also the battle of the Hanging Rocks.

A pretty

of Hampshire, where the river passes through the mountain.* large party of the Delawares had invaded the territory of the Catawbas, taken several prisoners, and commenced their retreat homewards. When they reached this place, they made a halt, and a number of them commenced fishing. Their Catawba enemies, close in pursuit, discovered them, and threw a party of men across the river, with another in their front. Thus enclosed, with the rock on one side, a party on the opposite side of the river, another in their front, and another in their rear, a most furious and bloody onset was made, and it is believed that several hundred of the Delawares were slaughtered. Indeed, the signs now to be seen at this place exhibit striking evidences of the fact. There is a row of Indian graves between the rock and public road, along the margin of the river, from sixty to seventy yards in length. It is believed that but very few of the Delawares escaped.

There are also signs of a bloody battle having been fought at the forks of the Wappatomaka; but of this battle, if it ever occurred, the author could obtain no traditional account.

Tradition also relates that the Southern Indians exterminated a tribe,. called the Senedos, on the North fork of the Shenandoah river, at present the residence of William Steenbergen, Esq., in the county of Shenandoah. About the year 1734, Benjamin Allen, Riley Moore, and William White, settled in this neighborhood. Benjamin Allen settled on the beautiful estate called Allen's bottom. An aged Indian frequently visited him, and on one occasion informed him that the "Southern Indians killed his whole nation with the exception of himself and one other youth; that this bloody slaughter took place when he, the Indian, was a small boy."*From this tradition, it is probable this horrid affair took place some time shortly after the middle of the seventeenth century. Maj. Andrew Keyser also informed the author that an Indian once called at his grandfather's, in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, appeared to be much agitated, and asked for something to eat. After refreshing himself, he was asked what disturbed him. He replied, "The Southern Indians have killed my whole nation."

There are also evident signs of the truth of this tradition yet to be seen. On Mr. Steenbergen's land are the remains of an Indian mound, though it is now plowed down. The ancient settlers in the neighborhood differ in their opinion as to its original height. When they first saw it, some say it was eighteen or twenty feet high, others that it did not exceed twelve or fourteen, and that it was from fifty to sixty yards in circumference at the base. This mound was literally filled with human skeletons; and it is highly probably that this was the depository of the dead after the great massacre which took place as just related.

This brief account of Indian battles contains all the traditionary infor

*As the author expects to give a detailed description of this extraordinary place, in his chapter of natural curiosities, he will barely mention the fact, that this rock, on one side of the river, is a perpendicular wall of several hundred feet high, and several hundred yards in length.

Mr. Israel Allen related this tradition to the author.

mation the author has been able to collect, with one exception, which will be noticed in the next chapter. There is, however, a tradition, that on one particular occasion, a party of thirty Delaware Indians, having penetrated far to the south, surprised a party of Catawbas, killed several, and took a prisoner. The party of Delawares, on their return, called at Mr. Joseph Perrill's near Winchester, and exulted much at their success.The next day a party of ten Catawbas called at Mr. Perrill's in pursuit.— They enquired when their enemy had passed. Being informed, they pushed off at a brisk step, overtook the thirty Delawares at the Cohongoruton, (Potomac,) killed every man, recovered their prisoner, called at Mr. Perrill's on their return, and told what they had done.* But it is probable this is the same affair which took place at the mouth of the Antietam, though it is possible that it may be a different one. Mr. Tomlinson is under the impression that there was an Indian battle fought at the mouth of Opequon.

The author has seen and conversed with several aged and respectable individuals, who well recollect seeing numerous war parties of the Northern and Southern Indians passing and repassing through the Valley.Several warrior paths have been pointed out to him. One of them led from the Cohongoruton, (Potomac,) and passed a little west of Winchester southwardly. This path forked a few miles north of Winchester, and one branch of it diverged more to the east, crossed the Opequon, very near Mr. Carter's paper mill, on the creek, and led on toward the forks of the Shenandoah river. Another crossed the North mountain and the Valley a few miles above the Narrow Passage, thence over the Fort mountain to the South river valley. Another crossed from Cumberland, in Maryland, and proceeded up the Wappatomaka or Great South Branch valley, in the counties of Hampshire and Hardy.

An aged and respectable old lady, on Apple-pie ridge, informed the author that she had frequently heard her mother speak of a party of Delaware Indians once stopping at her father's, where they stayed all night.—— They had in custody a young female Catawba prisoner, who was one of the most beautiful females she had ever seen. Maj. R. D. Glass also informed the author that his father, who resided at the head of the Opequon, stated the same fact. It was remarkable to see with what resignation this unfortunate young prisoner submitted to her fate. Her unfeeling tormentors would tie her, and compel her at night to lay on her back, with the cords distended from her hands and feet, and tied to branches or what else they could get at to make her secure, while a man laid on cach side of her with the cords passing under their bodies.

Mr. John Tomlinson also informed the author, that when about seven or eight years of age, he saw a party of Delawares pass his father's house, with a female Catawba prisoner, who had an infant child in her arms;and that it was said they intended to sacrifice her when they reached their towns.t

*Gen. John Smith communicated this tradition to the author.

Mr. Tomlinson's father then resided about 7 miles below the mouth of Conococheague on or near the Potomac, on the Maryland side.

Tradition also relates a very remarkable instance of the sacrifice of a female Catawba prisoner by the Delawares. A party of Delawares crossed the Potomac, near Oldtown, in Maryland, a short distance from which they cruelly murdered their prisoner: they then moved on. The next day several of them returned, and cut off the soles of her feet, in order to prevent her from pursuing and haunting them in their march.* Capt. Glenn informed the author that a Mrs. Mary Friend, who resided on or near the Potomac, stated to him that she once saw a body of four or five hundred Catawba Indians on their march to invade the Delawares ; but from some cause they became alarmed, and returned without success. The same gentleman stated to the author that a Mr. James Hendricks informed him that the last sacrifice made by the Delawares, of their Catawba prisoners, was at the first run or stream of water on the south side of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Here several prisoners were tortured to death with all the wonted barbarity and cruelty peculiar to the savage character. Mr. Hendricks was an eye witness to this scene of horror. During the protracted and cruel sufferings of these unhappy victims, they tantalized and used the most insulting language to their tormentors, threatening them with the terrible vengeance of their nation as long as they could speak.

This bloody tragedy soon reached the ears of the Governor of Pennsylvania, and he forthwith issued his proclamation, commanding and requiring all the authorities, both civil and military, to interpose, and prohibit a repetition of such acts of barbarity and cruelty.

The author will now conclude this narrative of Indian wars, with a few general reflections.

It is the opinion of some philosophers, that it is inherent in the nature of man to fight. The correctness of this opinion Mr. Jefferson seems to doubt, and suggests that "it grows out of the abusive and not the natural state of man. But it really appears there are strong reasons to believe that there does exist "a natural state of hostility of man against man.". Upon what other principle can we account for the long and furious wars which have been carried on, at different periods, among the aboriginals of our country?

At an immense distance apart,† probably little less than six or seven hundred miles, without trade, commerce, or clashing of interests-without those causes of irritation common among civilized states,-we find these two nations for a long series of years engaged in the most implacable and destructive wars. Upon what other principle to account for this state of things, than that laid down, is a subject which the author cannot pretend to explain. It, however, affords matter of curious speculation

*Mr. G. Blue, of Hampshire, stated this tradition to the author.

The Catawba tribes reside on the river of that name in South Carolina. They were a powerful and warlike nation, but are now reduced to less than two hundred souls. The Delawares resided at that period on the Susquehanna river, in Pennsylvania, and are now far west of the Allegany mountains.

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