Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The First American Gold Rush

GOLD.—A gentleman of the first respectability in Habersham county, writes us thus under date of 22d July: "Two gold mines have just been discovered in this county, and preparations are making to bring these hidden treasures of the earth to use." So it appears that what we long anticipated has come to pass at last, namely, that the gold region of North and South Carolina, would be found to extend into Georgia.
—Notice in Milledgeville's Georgia Journal, dated 1 August 1829
Two parties of sixty-one families relocated from Burke County, North Carolina, to the Nacoochee River valley of Habersham County, Georgia, in the early part of 1822. Until about 1827 North Carolina had been the only site of gold production in the United States. Prospectors followed the veins southward into the mountains of North Georgia, and found that the further south they went, the purer the gold became. The first American gold rush followed.
It is the universal testimony of those who have worked in the placers of Georgia, that the gold is generally in larger lumps and particles, or is coarser than in the placers of the western parts of North Carolina, in Burke, McDowell and Rutherford counties. Mr. Blake also observes that the quality of the gold is excellent, rarely yielding less than 90 per cent., or 900 parts in 1,000, the difference being silver. The standard of gold of the United States consists of 900 parts of gold to 100 of alloy.
... At that time [1829] Habersham was an organized county, but the rest of the gold region was included in the Cherokee nation, over which the United States exercised a supervisory care. The richness of the newly-discovered mines soon brought together a large number of miners from Georgia and the adjoining States. These commenced mining chiefly on the lands of the Cherokees, and on that portion now included within the limits of Lumpkin county, the Chestatee River then being the eastern boundary of the Cherokee nation. This rush for the mines brought into the country thousands of men of great diversity of character, many of them dissipated and regardless of the future. 
—William Phipps Blake, Charles Thomas Jackson, The Gold Placers of the Vicinity of Dahlonega, Georgia, published 1859
By the late 1820s, on both federal and state levels, white settlement of Indian lands became generally sanctioned, if not outright encouraged. Habersham County, Georgia, had been created from two Cherokee cessions: one in 1817, the other in 1819. By 1830 the General Assembly of the state of Georgia had passed resolutions essentially disallowing Indian self-government, and extended the state's jurisdiction into the Cherokee territory of northern Georgia (as well as into that of the Creeks, further south). The mining of gold in Habersham's Nacoochee Valley also coincided with another new Georgia state law which prevented Indians from bringing lawsuits against white men.
 Sec. 6.  Provides that the laws of this State be extended over the territory, and white persons, residing, within the same, shall be subject to the operation of the said laws, as other citizens of said counties.
 Sec. 7.  From the 1st of June 1830, Indians in said territory, shall be subject to the operations of the said laws, and regulations as the Legislature may hereafter proscribe.
Sec. XV.  No Indian or descendant of an Indian, residing within the Creek or Cherokee Nation, shall be a competent witness, or a party to any suit, in any court created by the constitution or laws of this State, to which a white man may be a party.
Land within what was once Cherokee territory became a destination for thousands of gold speculators. According to Niles' Register, by spring of 1830 there were four thousand miners working along Yahoola Creek (near present-day Dahlonega, Georgia) alone. 
"The news got abroad, and such excitement you never saw. It seemed within a few days as if the whole world must have heard of it, for men came from every state I had ever heard of. They came afoot, on horseback and in wagons, acting more like crazy men than anything else. All the way from where Dahlonega now stands to Nuckollsville there were men panning out of the branches and making holes in the hillsides."
Benjamin Parks*
So much Georgia gold was being uncovered in Georgia that Congress, in 1837, chartered a branch of the United States Mint at Dahlonega. Soon after the mint began coinage production and the last of the Cherokee were removed, the reason for both maneuvers began to disappear: the gold was playing out. By the early 1840s it was becoming difficult for miners to make a living washing the placer deposits, and hard-rock gold veins were becoming harder to mine. 
In 1849 California became the highly publicized destination for gold prospectors. In 1861 the Dahlonegah mint closed its doors. Its building was destroyed by fire in 1878. The most visible remainder of the Georgia gold rush is the gold-leafed dome covering the rotunda of the State Capitol in Atlanta. 
Some of the early gold prospectors chose to remain in Georgia, and found other occupations. They built homes, married, and raised children in the hills of north Georgia.
* The Atlanta Constitution, 15 July 1894, interview with prospector Benjamin Parks (then in his nineties), excerpt

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Moores of Abbs Valley

On 21 July 1786, Walter Crockett, County Lieutenant of Montgomery County, Virginia, wrote Governor Patrick Henry the following:
"I am sorry to inform your Excellency that on the 14th instant, a party of Indians supposed to be about 40 or 50 in number, came to the house of Captain James Moore on Bluestone, in this county, and killed himself, and his whole family, eleven in number, and carried off his whole stock, which was very valuable. They likewise burned the house and fencing, and left several war clubs and arrows and to all appearances are for continuing hostilities."
In 1928 the descendants of Captain Moore erected a monument of gray limestone and placed upon it a large bronze placard engraved with the following:
"Erected to the memory of Captain James
Moore, a soldier of the Revolution having
commanded a company at Cowpens, Guilford
Courthouse and Kings Mountain.
Killed by Indians, July 14, 1786
Martha Poage and Jane Moore, wife and
daughter who were captured and taken to
Chillicothe, Ohio, and burned at the stake.
William, Alexander, Margaret, John, and
infant children of Captain Moore who were massacred.
James and Mary Moore, son and daughter,
and to Martha Evans, who were captured
and carried to Canada, held captive for five
years. Were rescued by Thomas Evans,
brother of Martha Evans.
Though he slay me yet will I trust him.
Erected by their descendants. 1928."

Monday, January 9, 2017

Captain John “Indian Wars” McDowell

John McDowell (born 1714), youngest son of American McDowell patriarch Ephraim and surveyor of Borden’s Grant in Virginia, married Magdalen Woods in 1734 while the family was still in Pennsylvania. Like so many of the McDowells, she had made the crossing to America from Ireland with her parents and siblings. John and “Magdalena” had three children together before John’s untimely death at age 28 on 14 December 1742. 
John received his Captain’s commission in the Virginia militia after numerous Augusta County landholders made a direct plea (in desperate need of spellcheck):
"To the Honorable, William Gooch Esqr His Majestys’ Lieut: Governor &c &c—
We your pittionours humbly sheweth that we your Honours Loly and Dutifull Subganckes hath ventred our Lives & all that we have In settling ye back parts of Virginia which was a veri Great Hassirt & Dengrous, for it is the Hathins [heathens] Road to ware, which has proved hortfull to severil of ous that were ye first settlers of these back woods & wee your Honibill pittionors some time a goo pittioned your Honnour for to have Commissioned men amungst ous which we your Honnours most Duttifull subjects thought properist men & men that had Hart and Curidg to hed us yn mind of — & to defend your Contray and your poor Sobgacks Intrist from ye voilince of ye Haithen—But yet agine we Humbly perfume to poot your Honnour yn mind of our Great want of them in hopes that your Honner will Grant a Captins’ Commission to John McDowell, with follring ofishers, and your Honnours’ Complyence in this will be Great settisfiction to your most Duttifull and Humbil pittioners—and we as in Duty bond shall Ever pray—
Andrew Moore, David Moore, James Eikins, Geroge Marfit, John Goof, James Sutherland, James Milo, James McDowell, John Anderson, Joabe Anderson, James Anderson, Mathew Lyel, John Gray and many others."*
Captain McDowell assembled a Company of thirty-three men, including his father Ephraim and brother James. In early December 1742, a similar number of Delaware Indians entered the McDowell settlement in Borden’s Grant, “saying that they were on their way to assail the Catawba tribe with which they were at war.” John McDowell met with the Indians, who professed their friendship for the whites. He, in turn, entertained them for a day and “treated them with whiskey.” The Delawares then traveled down the south branch of the North River and camped for about a week. Besides hunting, they proceeded to terrorize local settlers and shoot loose horses at random. In response to grievous complaints, Captain McDowell’s Company was ordered by Colonel James Patton of the Virginia militia to conduct the Delaware Indians beyond the white settlements. On 14 December 1742 they caught up with the suspect Indians at the junction of the James and North rivers. The Company proceeded to gather the group together and initiate the escort. About half of the Indians were on horseback, the rest on foot. One was said to have been lame, not keeping pace with the company, and had walked off into the woods. A soldier at the back of the line fired into the trees at him, and the Indians immediately began a full-fledged attack upon McDowell’s entire Company.** John and eight of his men were killed. At least seventeen Indians also died. In the battle’s aftermath, to avoid all-out war with the multiple nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, Lieutenant Governor George Thomas of Pennsylvania negotiated the Treaty of Lancaster in 1744. Agreement was reached that Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor William Gooch would pay the Iroquois a reparation of 100 pounds sterling. 
After what came to be called the “Massacre at Balcony Downs,” many referred to the Captain as John “Indian Wars” McDowell. By this time there were numerous McDowells up and down the Great Wagon Road, so it became a way to distinguish him from others in the retelling. 
*Petition to Lt. Governor William Gooch of Virginia, dated 30 July 1742, Calendar of Virginia State Papers, i, p. 235
**Joseph Addison Waddell, Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, from 1726 to 1871, 1902, C.R. Caldwell, Augusta County, Virginia. Specifics of the account are from an 1808 letter sent from Judge Samuel McDowell, son of Captain John McDowell, to Colonel Arthur Campbell.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Quaker Meadows is "Beshaged"

By 1776 Quaker Meadows, the Burke County estate of Colonel Charles McDowell, became a direct target of Cherokee raids, as General Griffith Rutherford of the North Carolina militia indicated in his letter to the new “Rebel” government in Hillsborough. 
Honourable Gentlemen,
I am under the nessety of sending you by express, the Allarming Condition this country is in, the Indins is making great prograce in Distroying and Murdering in the frontiers of this county. 37, I am informed was killed last Wedensday & Thursday on the Cuttaba [Catawba] River. I am also informed that Col. McDowel with 10 men and 126 women and children is Beshaged, in some kind of a fort, with Indins all round them, no help to them before yesterday and they were surrounded Wedensday. I expect the nex account to here that they are all destroyed. … Pray Gentlemen Consider our distress, send us plenty of Powder & I Hope under God we of Salsbury District is able to stand them, but, if you will allow us to go to the Nation, I expect you will order Hillsbourgh District to join Salisbury. Three of our Capitans is killed and one wounded. This day I set out with what men I can Raise for the relief of the Distrest. 
Your Humble Servant, 
Griffith Rutherford*
The government at Hillsborough called out the western militia. Help was received.
[I]n the spring of the year 1776 the Indians broke in upon the frontier settlements on the Catawba when there was a call for men to guard the inhabitants and bring them down to the Quaker Meadows when [Arthur McFalls] volunteered as a private and marched to their relief. And on their march back with the women and children, the Indians attacted [sic] them at the North Fork of the Catawba and pretty sharp action ensued but the Indians give way at last. The whites lost two men killed Captain Reuben White and Sabe Shelton a private & wounded captain Thomas Whitson. The Indians lost eight killed the number wounded not known – this battle was fought in the spring of 1776 he was under Captain John Harden after the Battle they took the women & children down to the Quaker Meadows where he was discharged after being out two weeks.
—Pension application of Arthur McFalls, excerpt**

*Dispatch from North Carolina militia’s General Griffith Rutherford to the Council of Safety, dated 14 July 1776
**Pension application of Arthur McFalls W91871, State of North Carolina, Yancey County: Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions June Court 1836, excerpt

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Chief Logan & The Porters

Patrick and Samuel Porter, early settlers of southwest Virginia, were intimately acquainted with Cayuga Indian Chief John Logan. Patrick Porter, while serving under General Lewis on the Ohio River, was approached by Chief Logan who, with a smile, extended his hand to Porter, at the same time saying, "I know you. You are Patrick Porter. I want to be your friend. You don't know me. I am Capt. John Logan. Many times I could have killed you, but would not."
He then asked Patrick about his son Samuel, but at that moment, he saw Samuel coming towards them. When Samuel walked up, Chief Logan said: "I am Logan, and was your friend. Many times I could have killed you, but would not. You were too good a man. You guarded the women and children, which made me love you and your father." On being assured of their perpetual love and friendship, he then mentioned several occurrences that had taken place in the vicinity of Porter's Fort. One of the incidents recalled was concerning a large, fine horse that was hitched to the fort gate. By some chance, the horse was left there a great while, night coming on in the meantime. Logan, who was skulking near the fort, had watched the horse with covetous eyes. Taking advantage of the darkness, he tried to steal him. Covering himself with a shock of fodder, he began gradually to approach the horse. But just at the moment when he was nearly ready to lay hold of the horse, a child inside the fort fell out of bed, and made such a noise that Logan, fearing discovery, dropped the fodder, and left. "Did you ever notice that shock of fodder?" asked Logan. "Yes," replied Samuel Porter. "The breaking of that child's arm saved your life, Logan; I was on guard at the fortgate that night, and observing the fodder moving toward me, cocked my gun and was in the very act of firing when you dropped the fodder and ran away. I was within twenty feet of you, with as good a gun as was ever fired." Logan replied that the Great Spirit did not let one friend kill another.
(Source: Draper Manuscripts; Collection of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, WI)

Frontier Forts

There were eight frontier forts in Scott County, Virginia territory built to provide protection against Indian raids and for use as stopping places for hunters and settlers:

  • Blackmore’s Fort, overlooking the Clinch River, was built by Capt. John Blackmore in 1772. It was attacked by Indians many times and several people were killed or captured near the fort. Daniel Boone was in command of Fort Blackmore and other forts on the Clinch in 1774 while the militia was engaged in the battle of Point Pleasant during Dunmore’s war.
  • Huston’s [Houston's] Fort was built in 1774 on the waters of Big Moccasin Creek by William Huston [Houston] on land assigned to him by Thomas McCulloch. McCulloch had established the first Scott County territory settlement there in 1769, but was forced out by Indians. In 1776 Fort Huston was attacked by an Indian force estimated to be near 300.
  • Porter’s Fort was built by Patrick Porter in 1775 on Falling Creek near present-day Dungannon. He built a grist mill there which was most likely the first mill in Scott County territory.
  • Other forts were Carter’s Fort located in Rye Cove, Duncan’s Fort on the Clinch River, Dorton’s Fort east of present Nickelsville, the Anderson Blockhouse located near the North Fork of the Holston River and Moccasin Gap, and Kilgore’s Fort built on the waters of Copper Creek west of Nickelsville.

  • (Source: Wilderness Road: Virginia's Heritage Migration Route)

    Friday, January 6, 2017

    Rabun County, Georgia's Native History

    As early as 1760, explorers came to the area of Georgia now known as Rabun County. In the 1700s, the Cherokee population in the area was so heavy that this portion of the Appalachian Mountains were sometimes called the "Cherokee Mountains." Early explorers and settlers divided the Cherokee people into three divisions depending on location and dialect: Lower, Middle, and Over-the-Hill.
    There were at least four Cherokee settlements in what would become Rabun County: a Middle settlement called Stikayi (Sticoa, Stekoa) was located on Stekoa Creek, probably southeast of the present-day Clayton. An Over-the-Hill settlement called Tallulah was located on the upper portion of the Tallulah River. There were also two Cherokee settlements of unknown division: Chicherohe (Chechero), which was destroyed during the Revolutionary War, located along Warwoman Creek, east of Clayton, and Eastertoy (Eastatowth, Estatowee) which was located near the present-day Dillard.
    Despite the prominence of Cherokee, there is evidence of other Native Americans in the region before them. A mound similar to others across North Georgia (e.g., the Etowah mounds) is located about one mile east of Dillard, Georgia, and is likely a remnant of an earlier mound-building culture known as the Mississippian culture.

    (source: Wikipedia)

    The Warriors Path becomes The Great Wagon Road

    In the 18th-century migrations, few trails in America were more important than the Indian route which ran east of the Appalachians from Pennsylvania to Georgia. This Ancient Warriors Path had long been used by Iroquois tribesmen of the north to travel south and trade or make war in Virginia and the Carolinas. By a series of treaties with the powerful Five Nations of the Iroquois, the English acquired use of the Warriors Path. After 1744 they took over the land itself. The growth of the route into the principal highway of the colonial backcountry was important in the development of the nation. Over this road came English, Scots-Irish, and German settlers to claim land. The Warriors Path led from the Iroquois Confederacy around the Great Lakes through what later became Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to Bethlehem, York, and Gettysburg, into western Maryland around what is now Hagerstown, across the Potomac River at Evan Watkins Ferry, following the narrow path across the "back country" (or "up country" or "Piedmont") to Winchester, Virginia, through the Shenandoah Valley, to Harrisburg, Staunton, Lexington, and Roanoke, to Salem, North Carolina, to Salisbury, where it was joined by the east–west Catawba and Cherokee Trading Path at the Trading Ford across the Yadkin River in Rowan County, to Charlotte, then to Rock Hill, South Carolina, where it branches into two routes to Augusta and Savannah, Georgia.

    (Source: The Scots-Irish From Ulster and The Great Philadelphia Wagon Road, by Brenda E. McPherson Compton,

    Wednesday, January 4, 2017

    The Paxton Boys

    (click image to enlarge)
    The 1763 uprising of the "Paxton Boys" was triggered by the Quaker government's perceived indifference to Indian attacks on the Pennsylvania frontier, and by the western district's underrepresentation in the colonial assembly.
    The Paxton Boys were Scots-Irish Presbyterian farmers from the area near Paxton Church, Paxtang, who formed a vigilante group in response to the Indian uprising known as Pontiac's Rebellion. The Paxton Boys felt that the government of colonial Pennsylvania was negligent in providing them with protection, and so decided to take matters into their own hands.
    As the nearest belligerent Indians were some 200 miles west of Paxton, the men turned their anger towards the local Conestoga (or Susquehannock) Indians—many of them Christians—who lived peacefully in small enclaves in the midst of white Pennsylvania settlements. (The Paxton Boys believed or claimed to believe that these Indians secretly provided aid and intelligence to the hostile Indians.) On December 14, 1763 a group of more than fifty Paxton Boys marched on an Indian village near Millersville, Pennsylvania, murdered the six Indians they found there, and burned the bloody cabin in which the killings were done. Later, colonists looking through the ashes of the cabin, found a bag containing the Conestoga's 1701 treaty signed by William Penn, which pledged that the colonists and the Indians "shall forever hereafter be as one Head & One Heart, & live in true Friendship & Amity as one People."
    The remaining fourteen Susquehannocks were placed in protective custody by Governor John Penn in Lancaster. But on December 27, Paxton Boys broke into the workhouse at Lancaster and brutally killed and mutilated all fourteen. These two actions, which resulted in the deaths of all but two of the last of the Susquehannocks, are sometimes known as the "Conestoga Massacre." The Governor issued bounties for the arrest of the murderers, but no one came forward to identify them.

    "Gone to Carolina"

    It is probable that some families left Virginia due to increasing conflict between settlers and Indians. In 1755 attacks by the Shawnee along the frontier increased significantly. In October 1755 Colonel Adam Stephen, one of George Washington's officers, wrote from Winchester, Virginia that the Indians "... go about and Commit their Outrages at all hours of the Day and nothing is to be seen or heard of, but Desolation and murder heightened with all Barbarous Circumstances and unheard of Instances of Cruelty.... The Smoke of the Burning Plantations darken the day, and hide the neighboring mountains from our sight...".
    These events were part of the struggle now known as the French and Indian War. During this struggle England and France strove for control of the lands west of the Alleghenies between New Orleans and Quebec. In order to forestall French intent, Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia sent a military expedition under General Edward Braddock to the Valley of the Ohio. Braddock and his men, however, were ambushed as they moved into the Ohio Valley; Braddock was killed, and only a few of his men (including George Washington) survived to make their way back to Virginia. This defeat left frontier settlements in the Shenandoah Valley virtually defenseless, and set off a panic among settlers. Many of the settlers fled to North Carolina at this time. County records of this period frequently identify settlers with the phrase "gone to Carolina."

    Tuesday, January 3, 2017

    The "Shawanoes" & A Motive for War

    From a speech delivered by a Shawnee chief (possibly Laulewasikaw, brother of Tecumseh) at Fort Wayne in 1803:

      "The Master of Life, who was himself an Indian, made the Shawanoes before any other of the human race; and they sprang from his brain; he gave them all the knowledge he himself possessed, and placed them upon the great island, and all the other red people descended from the Shawanoes. He made the French and English out of his breast, the Dutch out of his feet, and the Long-knives [Virginians] out of his hands. All these inferior races of men he made white and placed them beyond the stinking lake [Atlantic Ocean]. The Shawanoes continued for many ages to be masters of the continent, using the knowledge they had received from the Great Spirit in such a manner as to be pleasing to Him, and to secure their own happiness. In a great length of time, however, they became corrupt, and the Master of Life told them he would take away from them the knowledge which they possessed, and give it to the white people, to be restored when, by a return to good principles they should deserve it. Many ages after that, they saw something white approaching their shores; at first they took it for a great bird, but they soon found it to be a monstrous canoe, filled with those who had got the knowledge which belonged to the Shawanoes. After these white people landed, they were not content with having the knowledge which belonged to the Shawanoes, but they usurped their lands also: they pretended indeed to have purchased these lands; but the very goods they gave for them, were more the property of the Indians than the white people, because the knowledge which enabled them to manufacture these goods, actually belonged to the Shawanoes: but these things will soon have an end. The Master of Life is about to restore to the Shawanoes both their knowledge and their rights, and he will trample the Long-knives under his feet."

    Monday, January 2, 2017

    The Moores & the Shawnee (Part 2)

    From History of the Settlement and Indian Wars of Tazewell County, Virginia, by George W. L. Bickley, M.D., pub. 1852, Morgan & Co., Cincinnati, Ohio:

      In July, 1786, a party of forty-seven Indians, of the Shawanoes tribe, again entered Abb's Valley, Capt. James Moore usually kept five or six loaded guns in his house, which was a strong log building, and hoped, by the assistance of his wife, who was very active in loading a gun, together with Simpson, a man who lived with him, to be able to repel the attack of any small party of Indians. Relying on his prowess, he had not sought refuge in a fort, as many of the settlers had; a fact of which the Indians seem to have been aware, from their cutting out the tongues of his horses and cattle, and partially skinning them. It seems they were afraid to attack him openly, and sought rather to drive him to the fort, that they might sack his house.On the morning of the attack, Capt. Moore, who had previously distinguished himself at Alamance, was at a lick bog, a short distance from his house, salting his horses, of which he had many. William Clark and an Irishman were reaping wheat in front of the house. Mrs. Moore and the family were engaged in the ordinary business of housework. A man, named Simpson, was sick up-stairs.
      The two men, who were in the field, at work, saw the Indians coming, in full speed, down the hill, toward Captain Moore's, who had ere this discovered them, and started in a run for the house. He was, however, shot through the body, and died immediately. Two of his children, William and Rebecca, who were returning from the spring, were killed about the same time. The Indians had now approached near the house, and were met by two fierce dogs, which fought manfully to protect the family of their master. After a severe contest, the fiercest one was killed, and the other subdued. I shall again use Mr. Brown's narrative, it being quite authentic.
      "The two men who were reaping, hearing the alarm, and seeing the house surrounded, fled, and alarmed the settlement. At that time, the nearest family was distant six miles. As soon as the alarm was given, Mrs. Moore and Martha Ivins (who was living in the family) barred the door, but this was of no avail. There was no man in the house, at this time, except John Simpson, the old Englishman, already alluded to, and he was in the loft, sick and in bed. There were five or six guns in the house, but having been shot off the evening before, they were then empty. It was intended to have loaded them after breakfast. Martha Ivins took two of them and went upstairs where Simpson was, and handing them to him, told him to shoot. He looked up, but had been shot in the head through a crack, and was then near his end. The Indians then proceeded to cut down the door, which they soon effected. During this time, Martha Ivins went to the far end of the house, lifted up a loose plank, and went under the floor, and requested Polly Moore (then eight years of age) who had the youngest child, called Margaret, in her arms (which was crying), to set the child down, and come under. Polly looked at the child, clasped it to her breast, and determined to share its fate. The Indians, having broken into the house, took Mrs. Moore and her children, viz: John, Jane, Polly, and Peggy prisoners, and having taken everything that suited them, they set it and the other buildings on fire, and went away. Martha Evans remained under the floor a short time, and then came out and hid herself under a log that lay across a branch, not far from the house. The Indians, having tarried a short time, with a view of catching horses, one of them walked across this log, sat down on the end of it, and began to fix his gunlock. Miss Ivins, supposing that she was discovered, and that he was preparing to shoot her, came out and gave herself up. At this he seemed much pleased. They then set out for their towns. Perceiving that John Moore was a boy, weak in body and mind, and unable to travel, they killed him the first day. The babe they took two or three days, but it being fretful, on account of a wound it had received, they dashed its brains out against a tree. They then moved on with haste to their towns. For some time, it was usual to tie, very securely, each of the prisoners at night, and for a warrior to lie beside each of them, with tomahawk in hand, so that in case of pursuit, the prisoners might be speedily dispatched.
      "Shortly after they reached the towns, Mrs. Moore and her daughter Jane were put to death, being burned and tortured at the stake. This lasted some time, during which she manifested the utmost Christian fortitude, and bore it without a murmur, at intervals conversing with her daughter Polly, and Martha Ivins, and expressing great anxiety for the moment to arrive, when her soul should wing its way to the bosom of its Savior. At length an old squaw, more humane than the rest, dispatched her with a tomahawk."
      Polly Moore and Martha Evans eventually reached home, as described in the narrative of James Moore. ...
      It is said that Mrs. Moore had her body stuck full of lightwood splinters which were fired, and she was thus tortured three days, before she died.

    The Moores & the Shawnee (Part 1)

    From "Indian Tragedies of the Walker Family," by Emory L. Hamilton, Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia, 1974:

      In July 1784 the depredations by Indians began on the family of Captain James Moore when his fourteen year old son James Moore was captured by the Shawnee Black Wolf, his son, and another Indian, when he went to a field to get a horse to ride to the mill. He was carried to the Shawnee towns in Ohio and did not return until September, 1789. The only source I know for details of this capture is Pendleton's History of Tazewell County, and Pendleton lifted much of his material from Bickley's History of Tazewell, published about 1853. Pendleton states:
           "In 1785 he was so fortunate as to get away from the Indians, and several years after his return related the following incidents in connection with his captivity:
      'When we returned from hunting in the spring, the old man (Indian) gave me up to Captain Elliott, a trader from Detroit. But my mistress, Black Wolf's sister, on hearing this became very angry, threatened Elliott, and got me back. Sometime in April (1785) there was a dance at a town about two miles from where I resided. This I attended in company with the Indian to whom I belonged. Meeting with a French Trader from Detroit, by the name of Batest (Baptiste?) Ariome, who took a fancy to me on account of my resemblance to one of his sons, he bought me for fifty dollars in Indian money. Before leaving the dance, I met a Mr. Sherlock, a trader from Kentucky, who had formerly been a prisoner with the same tribe of Indians, who had rescued a lad by the name of Moffett (Captain Robert Moffett had two sons taken by the Indians from a Sugar Camp on the Clinch in 1782, and at the time James Moore refers to him, he was living in Jessamine County, Kentucky, having moved from the Clinch about 1783 or 84 in the same caravan that Mrs. Samuel Scott traveled with.) who had been captured at the head of Clinch, and whose father was a particular and intimate friend of my father. I requested Mr. Sherlock to write my father, through Mr. Moffett, informing him of my captivity, and that I had been purchased by a French Trader and was gone to Detroit. This letter, I have reason to believe, father received, and that it gave him the first information of what had become of me....'It was on one of these trading expeditions (with Mr. Ariome) that I first heard of the destruction of my family. This I learned from a Shawnee Indian with whom I became acquainted when I lived with them, and who was of that party on that occasion. I received the information sometime in the summer after it occurred.
      'In the following winter (1786-87) I learned that my sister, Polly, had been purchased by a Mr. Stagwell, an American by birth, but unfriendly to the American cause. He was a man of bad character - an unfeeling wretch and treated my sister with great unkindness. At the time he resided a great distance from me. When I heard of my sister, I immediately prepared to go and see her; but it was then in the dead of Winter, and the journey would have been attended with great difficulties. On being told by Mr. Stagwell that he intended to move to the neighborhood where I resided in the following spring, I declined it. When I heard that Mr. Stagwell had moved, as was contemplated, I immediately went to see her. I found her in the most abject condition, almost naked, being clothed only by a few dirty and tattered rags, exhibiting to my mind, an object of pity indeed. It is impossible to describe my feeling on the occasion; sorrow and joy were both combined; and I have no doubt the feelings of my sister were similar to my own. On being advised, I applied to the Commanding Officer at Detroit, informing him of her treatment, with the hope of effecting her release. I went to Mr. Simon Girty and to Colonel McKee, the Superintendent of the Indians, who had Mr. Stagwell brought to trial to answer the complaint against him. But I failed to procure her release. It was decided, however when an opportunity should occur for our returning to our friends, she should be released without renumeration. This was punctually performed on application of Mr. Thomas Evans, who had come in search of his sister, Martha, who had been purchased from the Indians by a family in the neighborhood, and was, at the time, with a Mr. Donaldson, a worthy and wealthy English farmer, and working for herself. ...'"
      On July 21, 1786, Walter Crockett, County Lieutenant of Montgomery County, Virginia, wrote to Governor Patrick Henry, stating:
           "I am sorry to inform your Excellency that on the 14th instant, a party of Indians supposed to be about 40 or 50 in number, came to the house of Captain James Moore on Bluestone, in this county, and killed himself, and his whole family, eleven in number, and carried off his whole stock, which was very valuable. They likewise burned the house and fencing, and left several war clubs and arrows and to all appearances are for continuing hostilities."