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