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MASSACRE OF WYOMING.

135

were about to set forth on an expedi- every side. They defended themtion against them and made prepara- selves with great bravery, but only the tions to repel the attack. Entrench- commander and about 20 of his men ments and redoubts were constructed, succeeded in escaping. The enemy and about July 1, 1778, the enemy to now pushed forward to invest the fort the number of about 1,600 Indians, and cannonaded it the greater part of Tories, and English were seen to be the day. After a cessation of the aradvancing. The commander of this tillery fire, they demanded the surrenmotley combination was Colonel John der of the fort, and accompanying the Butler, probably one of the worst of message sent 196 scalps taken from the border ruffians. In the hope that the slain

slain among Butler's party. they might deceive the inhabitants as Colonel Nathan Dennison, who had to their intentions, the Indians noti- now succeeded to the command of the fied the settlers that they had no hos- fort, intrepidly defended himself until tile designs against them, and even most of his men had fallen. He then the treacherous Butler sent word that sent out a flag to inquire on what for the present nothing would be done terms the garrison could surrender, to molest the inhabitants in their daily and in reply received from the tasks. Nevertheless, the inhabitants ferocious Butler the answer -“ the distrusted these professions of peace

hatchet.*

Dennison was obliged to and with all rapidity pushed forward surrender at discretion, still retaintheir preparations for defending the ing, however, a hope of mercy. In settlement. The able bodied men were this he was utterly mistaken for Butplaced under command of Colonel ler's threat was rigorously executed. Zebulon Butler, while the women and After a few prisoners had been children were sent to the forts as the selected, the remainder of the people, safest place of refuge.

including the women and children, Hardly had this been done when the were shut in the houses and barracks, enemy approached, and pretending which were then set on fire and the that they desired to confer with whole consumed together. Another Colonel Butler, requested that he fort in the vicinity, containing 70 Conmeet them at some distance from the tinental soldiers, was also captured fort for that purpose. Butler sus- and butchered in a similar manner. pected their design and for protec- The entire settlement was then set tion took with him 400 armed men. afire, though the houses and farms of In this piece of strategy, however, he the Tories were spared. The Indians was at fault, for hardly had he then extended their cruelties to the reached the meeting place when the whole body of the enemy surrounded

* Lossing, however, says this story has no

foundation in truth -- Field-Book of the Revoluthe little band and attacked them from

tion, p. 359 note.

136

ATTACKS ON TAPPAN AND EGG HARBOR.

cattle in the field, committing all sorts plated an attack upon Boston, Washof barbarous acts upon the dumb ington established his headquarters beasts. One of the prisoners, Captain at Fredericksburg, near the ConnectiBadlock (or Bidlack), was tortured cut border, about thirty miles from by having his body stuck full of West Point. When the British fleet splinters of pine knots, and a fire of began the return voyage to New dry wood made around him; and two York, however, Washington knew of his companions, Captains Ranson that the enemy had no designs in that and Robert Durkee, were subjected to direction. But Clinton was not inexcruciating torture by being thrown active; into New Jersey and the terriinto the same fire and held there with

tory surrounding New York he sent pitchforks until dead. As stated be- foraging parties whose conduct was fore a number of families had been characterized by the same merciless split in twain over the merits of the cruelty as we have before noted in cause and the results were seen in connection with their foraging expethis massacre. Partial Terry, son of ditions. Toward the end of Septemone of the American adherents, joined ber, 1778, a regiment of troops under the Indian party and several times Colonel George Baylor had encamped warned the family that he would ex- near Tappan, New York, to watch a terminate it, if possible. During the foraging party of British in that vimassacre he carried out his threat, cinity, and in turn were themselves killing and scalping his

his father, suddenly surprised during the night. mother, brothers and sisters. Thomas

The slaughter was terrible and nearly Terry butchered his own mother, his

the whole troop were killed.* About father-in-law, his sisters and their in

the middle of October, Major Patrick fant children, thus exterminating the Ferguson made a similar assault family. A few of the inhabitants suc

upon the cavalry corps under Pulaski ceeded in escaping to the woods where

at Egg Harbor.† Regarding the imthey wandered for days in a starving and destitute condition until they

Jones, New York in the Revolution, vol. i., reached habitations which had not

p. 285; Stryker, The Massacre at Old Tappan; been subjected to the savage fury.

Stedman, American War, vol. ii., p. 41; Gordon, Such was one of the most dastardly Fisher, Struggle for American Independence, vol.

American Revolution, vol. iii., p. 194 (ed. 1788); acts perpetrated by the allies of the ii., pp. 219–221. See also Colonel Williams' and British. It was one of the darkest

Colonel Baylor's letters in Sparks, Correspondence

of the Revolution, vol. ii., pp. 211-212, 222-224. stains ever placed on the British

† Stryker, The Affair at Egg Harbor; Bancroft, escutcheon.*

vol. v., p. 288; Draper, King's Mountain and its

Heroes, pp. 56, 61; Jones, New York in the RevoluBelieving that Clinton contem

tion, vol. i., p. 287; Gordon, American Revolution,

vol. iii., pp. 195–196; Stedman, American War, * See also Pennsylvania Archives, vol. vi., pp. vol. ii., pp. 43–46; Lamb, City of New York, vol. 626, 634, 647, 664.

ii., pp. 211-212.

INDIAN TOWN DESTROYED.

137

policy of the British expeditions at Profound sympathy for the sufferthis time, Sparks makes the following ers at Wyoming was aroused remarks:

throughout the country, and every“In fact this point of policy was strangly mis.

where indignation was so high that a understood by the British, or more strangely per: strong desire to punish the savage inverted, at every stage of the contest. They had many friends in the country, whom it was their

vaders became prevalent. For this interest to retain, and they professed a desire to purpose a regiment and two comconciliate others; yet they burned and destroyed towns, villages, and detached farmhouses, plun panies of militia, under the command dered the inhabitants without distinction, and of Colonel Hartley, marched against brought down the savages, with the tomahawk

the Indian towns, destroyed a few and scalping knife, upon the defenceless frontier settlements, marking their course in every direc

and captured a number of prisoners, tion with murder, desolation and ruin. The min. but because of the insufficiency of the istry approved and encouraged these atrocities,

force a retreat soon became necesflattering themselves that the people would sink under their sufferings, bewail their unhappy con- sary. Another regiment, the fourth dition, become tired of the war, and compel their

Pennsylvania, together with a numleaders to seek an accommodation. The effect was directly the contrary in very instance. The ber of Morgan's.riflemen under compeople knew their rights, and had the common mand of Lieutenant-colonel William feelings of humanity; and, when the former were wantonly invaded, and the latter outraged, it

Butler, marched to the defense of the was natural that their passions should be in- western frontier. After a fatiguing flamed, and that they who were at first pacifically march, Butler reached the Indians inclined, should be roused to resistance and retaliation. If the British cabinet had aimed to de

towns of Unadilla and Anaquaqua, feat its own objects, and to consolidate the Amer.

near the source of the Susquehanna, ican people into a united phalanx of opposition,

where a considerable quantity of corn it could not have chosen or pursued more effectual methods." *

had been stored. Butler quickly de

stroyed this and the Indian villages, Having now become thoroughly aroused at the atrocious course pur

driving the savages far into the in

terior and rendering a recurrence of sued by the British, Congress also

their inroads more unlikely. took up the matter, and on October 30

These small expeditions, however, passed the following resolution:

did not inflict sufficient punishment “We, therefore, the Congress of the United on the Indians to deter them from States of America, do solemnly declare and proclaim that if our enemies presume to execute their

massacres at other places. On Nothreats, or persist in their present career of bar- vember 11 a body of 500 Indians barity, we will take such exemplary vengeance as shall deter others from a like conduct. We appeal

under Brant, and 200 rangers under to that God who searcheth the hearts of men,

Walter Butler made an attack upon for the rectitude of our intentions; and in his holy presence we declare, that, as

the settlement at Cherry Valley, New

are not moved by any light and hasty suggestions of anger

York.* In command of the fort at and revenge, so, through every possible change of

that place was

Colonel Ichabod fortune, we will adhere to this our determination."

we

99

* Life of Washington, pp. 282–283.

* Clinton Papers, vol. iv., pp. 266-300.

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