Brutality on the Frontier

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by Brandon Lohr

There have been several accounts of backwoodsmen and scouts upon the northwestern Virginia frontier. These accounts often tell of the lives and exploits of the “heroes” who saved the settlers of their respective areas from attacks from hostile Indians. These frontiersmen did contribute significantly to the safety and expansion of border settlements, but often did so by committing savage acts of brutality that showed they were little more then sadistic murderers.

Two of the most savage, yet notable Indian fighting frontiersmen were Jesse Hughes and Lewis Wetzel. These men gained prominence by killing Indians and boasting of their stories of brutality to settlers and friends who romanticized their exploits. They may have been heroes to the settlers, but their methods of assuring safety were quite gruesome. Had these men lived in the present day and committed these same acts, they would be labeled as deranged serial killers. They were able to get away with their sick indulgences because of the time and place in which they occurred. It was generally accepted on the frontier that Indians were going to be killed in order to secure white settlements. Hughes and Wetzel were pleased to kill as many Indians as possible.

John and Samuel Pringle were soldiers in the British army stationed at Fort Pitt during the French and Indian War. They apparently tired of military life, because in 1761 they deserted their post and settled for about a year near the south branch of the Potomac River. They also took with them two other deserters, William Childers and Joseph Linsey. The four deserters then moved to a settlement at Looney Creek, “but almost immediately Childers and Linsey were arrested.” The Pringle brothers then moved back to the area where they had spent the last year, staying until 1764.[1] In 1764 the brothers followed the right fork of the Buckhannon River. While following the River the brothers came across a large hollowed out sycamore tree at the spot that a small creek, that they named Turkey Run, meets the Buckhannon (near present day Buckhannon, West Virginia). They took up residence in this tree until 1767, when the need for powder and shot overcame their fear of being caught. John left his brother Samuel with the powder and shot for two loads and went in search of a settlement where he could attain necessities for a wilderness life. With his return he brought exciting news. Dunmore’s War was over. Since peace was found with the French and the Indians, and they were no longer criminals for desertion, they could once again rejoin society. In 1769 they returned to their home near the south fork of the Potomac, but Samuel soon returned to the area where they had lived in the sycamore on Turkey Run. He took with him a small group of prospective settlers, among them was a young man of nineteen years named Jesse Hughes. [2]

Jesse Hughes was born in 1750 on the south branch of the Potomac River in present day Grant County, West Virginia.[3] Hughes grew up on the borderland of the then western frontier of America. He spent most of his time in the woods surrounding his home and was known to be fierce young man. There are many accounts of Hughes’ mean nature. According to a woman who knew Jesse as a child, “Hughes’ countenance was hard, stern and unfeeling; his eyes were the most cruel and vicious I ever saw… His temper was fierce and uncontrollable, often finding vent in the abuse of his family.” The lady also went on to talk about Hughes’ clothing. She said, “When scouting, his dress consisted only of the long hunting shirt, belted at the waist, open leggings, moccasins, and a brimless cap; or a handkerchief bound about his head.” According to this lady, all of his clothing was dyed with “…the ooze made from the bark of the Chestnut Oak…” so that he may better be camouflaged in the woods.[4]

In 1769 at the age of 19, Jesse left his home at the Wappatomaka in search of new lands to explore.[5] He joined Samuel Pringle in settling the area around the Buckhannon River, where Samuel and his brother had lived earlier. Jesse Hughes married Grace Tanner in either 1770 or 1771 and settled into a cabin he built on Hackers Creek near West’s Fort and at the mouth of what was called Jesse’s Run.[6] Jesse Hughes was one of the most skilled frontiersmen of his time in northwestern Virginia (now north-central West Virginia). His hunting and scouting skills were unmatched by most in that area. It is said that his brother Elias Hughes was a better shot at long range, but Jesse was the better tracker and hunter.[7]

Hughes’ hatred of the Indians ran so deeply through him at this point in his life, that he lived for little else. His father was killed by Indians in 1778, but his extreme hatred of all Indians, friend or foe seems to have started much earlier in his life. There are many accounts that show Jesse Hughes to be nothing more then a cold blooded murderer, not a heroic protector of settlers.

One of the first accounts of Hughes’ savagery towards the Indians is given by McWhorter. Hughes arranged a meeting with a known friendly Indian of the area, so that they could go hunt together. He chose a place to meet that would require the Indian to come across Hackers Creek on a “foot-log,” or a log that has fallen across the creek. Hughes crept on silent feet well before the appointed meeting time to a thicket near the foot-log so that he would have a clear view. There he lay and waited until the Indian was in the middle of the foot-log, aimed and fired upon him. Hitting his mark, the Indian fell lifelessly into the creek.[8]

Hughes’ was also involved with a very important raid in June 1772. A group of Shawnees were passing near the Gauley River (what is now Braxton County, West Virginia) on their way to make war with the Cherokee Nation.[9] Upon coming to the Adam Stroud household, the Indians decided to exact revenge for a group of Shawnees that had been killed previously by settlers. Adam was away at the time of the massacre, but on returning found his entire family slaughtered and his cattle driven away. He immediately went for help in exacting his revenge against those who committed the atrocity. A group was assembled to follow the trail left by Indians driving the stolen Stroud cattle. The group was comprised of John Cutright, William Hacker, William White, an unnamed man, and Jesse Hughes. These settlers followed the trail in the general direction of Bull Town, although the trail never actually led to Bulltown.[10] They proceeded to Bull Town, killed every Indian in the village, and then threw their bodies in the river. The party did not find the Stroud cattle there, nor any sign of the cattle. Neither did they find any remnants of clothing or belongings of the Stroud family. The white men who committed the murders would never talk of what happened at Bull Town until 1852. At that time, laying on his deathbed at 105 years old, William Cutright admitted to the acts of cold blooded murder by the vigilante party at Bull Town.[11]

In late April, 1778 Jesses’ father, Thomas was shot by a Shawnee raiding party while he was helping tend the farm of a neighbor on Hackers Creek.[12] With the news of his father’s death, Jesses hatred for Indians increased. Jesse and his brother Elias made a vow “to kill Injuns as long as they lived and could see to kill them.”[13]

Yet another incident of Hughes’ cruelty towards Indians was shown when he and a group of scouts set out to recover settlers who had been taken by an Indian raiding party. Upon reaching the place the Indians were staying for the night, the scouts killed the Indians with their rifles. They then ran into the Indian camp and found that one of the wounded Indians was Captain Bull, the founder of Bull Town. Jesse, seeing that he was still alive, picked him up and dragged him into the coals of a freshly tended fire “while he was yet kicking.” This in itself was a cruel and sickening thing to do, but Hughes went even further. After the Chief had died, Hughes pulled out his knife and cut off pieces of his skin. He then used the skin to patch the holes in his moccasins, thinking it to be a joke. [14]

These are a few of the many accounts of Jesse Hughes’ savagery against Indians. He was said to have “…liked to kill an Indian rather than to eat his dinner.”[15] His never-ending hatred of Indians obviously caused him to cross a sometimes thin line between assuring security and committing brutal acts of murder. How Hughes’ hatred of the Indians began can be questioned, but the accounts of his brutality have been preserved.

The Indians and white settlers both lead a very tenuous life that required them to always be on guard. Both groups were constantly seeking to kill the other at any cost. The presence of Hughes may have been necessary to secure the settlement in which he lived due to his extraordinary abilities to survive in the woods. That does not excuse him from the fact that he was little more then a serial killer who happened to be in an environment conducive to his tendencies. If he were to commit such acts in the present day, he would probably be sitting on death row.

Jesse Hughes was not the only frontiersmen who had murderous and sadistic tendencies. Perhaps the most famous frontiersmen of northwestern Virginia in the 18th century also had these tendencies. His name was Lewis Wetzel.

Lewis Wetzel was born in August of 1763 in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. He was the fourth of seven children by Captain John Wetzel and his wife, Mary Bonnet Wetzel. [16] John Wetzel moved his family from a civilized life in Lancaster County to a life on the frontier of northwestern Virginia in 1764. They settled near Wheeling Creek, present day Wheeling, West Virginia.[17] Lewis grew up, just as his four brothers did, learning the ways of the woods. They quickly became efficient at hunting, tracking, shooting, and eventually fighting. As Lewis grew up he began to distance himself in both physical prowess and mental agility from his brothers. Although it should be said that the whole of the Wetzel family was formidable woodsmen and Indian fighters, Lewis was exemplary. He became so feared by the Indians that they began to refer to him as “Old Deathwind.”[18]

Lewis Wetzel was later described (Aug. 26, 1789) as being a broad shouldered man who stood about five foot, ten inches tall. He had dark skin and a face that had marks from small pox. His hair was so long that it reached his calves when it was brushed. McKnight states that “He certainly had a rare scalp-one for which the savages would at any time have given a dozen of their best warriors.” His eyes were very fierce and indicated he was not a good person to upset.[19]

It can be assumed that Lewis’ hatred for Indians dates back to 1776, when he and his brother were captured by Indians. They shot Lewis in the doorway of his father’s home, but only landed a glancing blow that took with it part of his breast bone. The Indians then kidnapped Lewis and his brother Jacob, forcing them to keep up with them at the point of their father’s stolen gun. The boys waited until the two nights later, when the Indians became careless and forgot to bind the boy’s hands and legs. They then escaped the grasp of the Indians, but did not return home until Lewis made two trips back into the Indian camp. The first was to secure moccasins for himself and his brother, the second to take back his fathers rifle and powder horn.[20]

In June of 1780 age of sixteen, Wetzel had his first taste of Indian blood. A band of settlers recruited young Wetzel to help pursue a group of Indians who had stolen horses from the settlers. The whites soon came upon the Indians, who were resting at a spring near what is now St. Clairsville, Ohio. Upon seeing the settlers, the Indians ran off leaving the horses behind. Most of the group left for home, but Wetzel’s intentions were more ambitious than simply regaining the stolen animals. He pursued the Indians, taking his first three scalps before returning home. Wetzel gained enormous respect from the settlers after this feat and secured him a place as a scout for the assembly. [21]

Wetzel’s first official job as an Indian fighter and scout came during the Revolutionary War. The war raged throughout the colonies as Indians led raids on colonial settlements to secure supplies and cause confusion in the backcountry. The assembly sought volunteers to scout the settlements and kill any Indians whose path was crossed. Wetzel, being well suited for this job, quickly volunteered. He was paid only by the scalps that he took and the satisfaction gained from killing Indians.[22]

In 1781, Lewis and his brother Jacob were at Fort Wheeling when Col. Daniel Brodhead and his militia stopped for a time at the fort. While at the fort, Col. Brodhead received two friendly Indians who came to see him. Lewis recognized one of these Indians as being one of the two who had kidnapped him and his brother a few years before. Lewis immediately swore death upon both of the Indians even though Jacob said that the Indian in question was not one of the boy’s captors. Col. Brodhead was warned that the local inhabitants would kill the Indians if they were not taken care of, so the Colonel put them in the blockhouse and had them guarded. Lewis waited for the time when the Indians were fed. He slipped in with a tomahawk hidden under his shirt and drove the blade into the skull of the first Indian. He was kept from dealing the same fate upon the second Indian because his tomahawk was lodged in the head of the first Indian. Wetzel then took to flight to evade capture.[23]

In 1782, Wetzel came a cross a man named John Mills, who had left his horse at a spring near present day Claysville, Pennsylvania. Mills asked Wetzel to go with him to get his horse, so he may be better protected from Indian attacks. Wetzel agreed and they set off for the spring. Upon reaching the spring Mills ignored Wetzel’s warnings that they were walking into a trap. Mills walked up to his horse and was shot dead. Lewis ran away but was followed by four braves. Upon distancing himself somewhat from the braves he spun on his heel and shot the first brave, killing him. He then continued running from the remaining three as he loaded his rifle. After reloading, he spun again to shoot the next brave, but the brave was closer then he had thought. The brave caught the muzzle of his gun and the physical battle began. The scout and the brave fought for the gun, but Lewis was able to dispose of his enemy with little trouble upon wrestling the gun from the brave’s hands. The thrill of killing Indians must have been so great for Wetzel that he was willing to endanger his life in order to take a few more scalps.

According to De Hass, Wetzel “…slackened his pace, and even stopped once or twice, to give his pursuers an opportunity to face him.”[24] After loading once again while running, he turned and dispatched the foremost Indian on his trail. The last of the pursuing Indians upon watching the third Indian fall, said “No catch dat man, gun always loaded” as he ran away from certain death.[25] Loading a rifle while running is an extremely difficult endeavor, one in which Wetzel was said to have been very proficient. This ability undoubtedly saved his life on numerous occasions.

Lewis Wetzel, like all human beings, made mistakes. He once made the mistake of falling asleep in the woods, only to be awakened by a group of Indians. They were unwilling to kill him immediately, because they wanted to take him home so that everyone could help decide the fate of this feared Indian killer. The general consensus was that he should be burned at the stake. One old chief disagreed. The old Indian argued that Wetzel was such a brave fighter, that it would not be right to kill him. However, he did not prevail and Wetzel was to be burned at the stake the next day. That night the old chief crept into the hut that Wetzel was being kept, and cut the cords that bound him. He then led him to the Muskingum River and gave him a knife, ammunition, and his son’s rifle. The Indian said “Good-bye,” then turned to walk away. Wetzel raised his new gift to his shoulder and fired, killing the old chief.[26] This was an act that truly illustrated the cruel and savage nature of Lewis Wetzel. Killing a person who not only saved him from a certain death, but also gave him a rifle is beyond savagery, it is sadistic.

In 1786, a man was killed by Indians near the Short Creek Settlement, which was near where Wetzel lived. The settlers were unwilling to let the killing go unpunished. A group of about twenty men, including Wetzel, were assembled to exact the settler’s revenge. This party, under the command of Major McMahon, was offered one hundred dollars to the first man to bring in an Indian scalp.[27] On August, 5 1786 the party crossed the Ohio River and started towards the area around the Muskingum River, an area well noted for its Indian activity. An advance scouting party was sent out in front of the main body of frontiersmen with orders to locate Indians. The scouting party soon reported that the Indian camp had been found and the number of Indians greatly surpassed their own. Col. McMahon quickly made the decision to retreat back across the Ohio, and the group soon began to head home. However, Wetzel refused to go with them. He argued that he came out to kill Indians and nothing was going to stop him from doing so. He said, “I am determined to take an Indian scalp, or lose my own.” Two days later he took the scalp from an unsuspecting Indian and returned home in such haste to claim his reward that he was only one day behind the retreating party.[28]

In the fall of each year Lewis Wetzel would take a hunting trip into Indian country with the sole intention of taking scalps. On one of these trips he was said to have taken three Indian scalps, which was not uncommon for Wetzel. However, the fact that he traveled no less then one hundred and seventy miles to do so shows his singleness of mind when it came to killing Indians.[29]

In June of 1786, while returning home from a farm near Middlebourne, West Virginia, Lewis’ father and brother George were killed by Indians. They were buried by Lewis near Grave Yard Run, Marshal County, West Virginia. An inscription upon a stone over their graves read “J.W. 1787; G.W. 1787.”[30] The savagery towards Indians prior to his father and brother being killed was rivaled by few. After the deaths it was not purely for the love of killing, Lewis and his remaining brothers “vowed sleepless vengeance against the whole Indian race.”[31] This incident obviously didn’t start his brutality towards Indians, but definitely intensified it.

In the fall of 1785, General Harmar issued a proclamation asking all people, Indian and white, to lay down their arms so that peace talks might take place.[32] The talks were to be held at Fort Harmar, near Marietta, Ohio. When Lewis Wetzel and his friend Veach Dickerson heard of these talks, they decided to go to Fort Harmar in the hopes of killing an Indian going to the conference. Wetzel and Dickerson laid in ambush to the side of the trail between the Fort and the Indian camp waiting for a victim. They did not have to wait long before a large Indian on a horse came galloping through.[33] The ambushers tried to get the Indian to stop, but he could not hear them over the galloping hooves of his horse. They jumped up form their hiding spot and decided to take a shot at the Indian, even though he was galloping hard at quite a distance. They both shot, but the Indian didn’t fall. Fearing that the Indian would ride to the fort and bring back large numbers, they made a quick escape. They later found out that the Indian died later that

night from a shot through the belly and one through the hip.[34] This incident proved to be a very troublesome mistake for Wetzel. General Harmar would not let Wetzel get away with this murder. He was caught on two different occasions, the first time he escaped, the second he was tried and acquitted of the crime.

Jesse Hughes and Lewis Wetzel were highly regarded as prominent frontiersmen in their time. They were loved by the people in the settlements which they protected and were immortalized by generations after they lived. The romanticization of these men began when they were still alive and continues still today. Exaggerated stories were told about these men’s exploits, by them and settlers who witnessed their deeds. There have also been places named after and poems written about these men.

Hughes’ romanticization occurred largely through exaggerated stories told by settlers and authors. One such story told of Jesse Hughes killing an Indian who had lured settlers to him by using the call of a turkey. This story is told by many authors; in fact nearly every book with reference to Jesse Hughes relates this story. Mr. William Powers, a settler of the time, stated that the above incident with the Indian never occurred. A women who had known Jesse Hughes and his family stated that the story in question had occurred, but some of the facts were mistaken.[35] This story most likely had some basis in truth; however it is a good example of how facts can be miscued concerning a famous individual.

The wife of a descendant of Jesse Hughes, Susan Turner Hughes, took it as a point of pride that Jesse was said to have been born at a place that she had visited with her then late husband. She also gave an account of Hughes’ countenance, which seems to be highly romanticized. “Old Jesse Hughes had eyes like a painter [panther] and could see at night almost as well as one…He was as stealthy and noiseless as a painter…He was as savage as a wolf.”[36]

McWhorter tells a story of how Hughes ran from one besieged fort to another in order to secure help in lifting the siege. He inserts a portion of a poem in the story; “Fate judges of the rapid strife; The forfeit, death-the prize is life.” This serves only to heighten the drama associated with this already famous man. He also went on to compare Hughes to “the wild Seri, impervious to fatigue…”[37] McWhorter later refers to Jesse Hughes as “the greatest of the pathfinders of western Virginia.”[38]

Jesse Hughes’ name became known throughout all of north western Virginia and western Pennsylvania as a skilled woodsmen and a relentless Indian killer. Judge R. S. Brown talked about Jesse Hughes in his Centennial address on July 4, 1876. He was obviously enamored with Hughes’ deeds and did much to further his prominence. He referred to Hughes as a “hero” and said: “His name was a terror to the savage foe and a household word of comfort to the scattered settlers on the Buckhannon River, Hackers Creek, and elsewhere where he visited with the brave and chivalrous spirit of the knight-errant to ward off the savage blow.”[39]

Due to his explorative spirit and fame unrivaled by most frontiersmen, there have been many waterways named after him. Such waterways include, Jesse’s Run (near Buckhannon, WV), the Hughes River (flows through Doddridge Co., WV), and Hughes Fork (a small creek in central WV). [40]

The name Lewis Wetzel is often heard, along with other names such as Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton. The fame of Wetzel is rivaled by none in northwestern Virginia at his time and continues still today. Wetzel has been romanticized by generations of settlers and people of the present through story, verse, and namesake.

McKnight adds to the legend by drawing parallels between Wetzel and Hamlet, saying “Without him [Wetzel] the history of Northwestern Virginia would be like the ‘play of Hamlet with Hamlet left out.’ He then goes on to praise Wetzel as a “pillar of strength…” and a “celebrated Indian hunter of Western Virginia.”[41] McKnight inserts a portion of a poem when telling a story of Wetzel creeping into an Indian camp and slaughtering a superior number of Indians in their sleep. “Cruel as death, and hungry as the grave, Burning for blood, bony, gaunt and grim,” this serves only to enhance the drama and romanticized ideas of already famous frontiersman.[42] McKnight not only defends and praises the actions of the man, but defends his moral character as well. When talking about the morals of Wetzel, McKnight states; “His morals and habits…were quite exemplary.”[43] This comment obviously illustrates the point to which the author was enamored with Wetzel. He was so taken with the frontiersman that he was willing to overlook the moral implications of Wetzel’s deeds. The following is a poem by McKnight:

Lewis Wetzel

He Needs no guide in the forest,

More than the hunter bees;

His guides are the cool, green mosses

To the northward of the trees.

Nor fears he the foe whose footsteps

Go light as the summer air,

His tomahawk hangs to his shirt belt,

And the scalp-knife glitters there.

The stealthy Wyandotes tremble,

And speak his name with fear;

For his aim is sharp and deadly,

And his rifle’s ring is clear.[44]

In a book on Lewis Wetzel, Allman opens and closes the book with poems about the frontierman. The first is “Stout-Hearted Lewis Wetzel” by Flohus B. Pimpton and the other is “The Ballad of Lewis Wetzel” by Glen Baker.[45] Both of these poems serve to add to the mystique and dramatic view of Wetzel.

DeHass has high praise for Wetzel as well. He asks; “Who in the west, has not heard of Wetzel- the daring borderer,-the brave and successful Indian hunter; the Boone of North-Western Virginia?” He then goes on to say; “He threw into the common treasury a soul as heroic, as adventurous, as full of energy, and exhaustless of resources, as ever animated a human breast.” He then goes on to give Wetzel animal characteristics; “He was brave as a lion, cunning as a fox…” [46] Although Dehass is an esteemed historian of his day, he not only succumbed to, but helped to propel the exaggerated stories and overly dramatic hype surrounding the man that Lewis Wetzel was.

Other authors also helped to add to Wetzel’s romanticization by speaking with great praise and admiration of the man they believed him to be. Lambert said of Wetzel that “No other pioneer scout deserves to be known as a protector of the frontier more than Lewis Wetzel.”[47] Hartley said: “Lewis Wetzel was one of the renowned among the heros [heroes] who signalized their valor in the Indian wars of the Western country.”[48] What more could be said to add to the romanticization of a person than to label them a “hero.” There is little more that could add to an increasingly inaccurate, yet dramatic, view of such a famous man.

The Indians helped to add to the romance of Wetzel when they began calling him “Deathwind.”[49] However, there are many Wetzel namesakes around today. The 1937 session of the West Virginia legislature officially named state route 7, “Lewis Wetzel Trail.” Wetzel County, West Virginia was named after Lewis Wetzel.[50] There is a street in Morgantown, West Virginia that bares the name Wetzel upon it, as there are many others throughout West Virginia and western Pennsylvania.[51]

The impact these men had on the frontier of northwestern Virginia was unquestionably far reaching. The stories of their deeds have been told and retold for generations, to the point that these men have become part of the folklore of north western Virginia. These stories have added to the romanticized views of these already famous men. They will forever live as heroes of the frontier because they have been immortalized in story, verse, and in name. Their prominence on the frontier was assured by their sadistic love for killing Indians coupled with their extraordinary backwoods skills. The murderous tendencies of these men have solidified their stories in history. Since the time of their exploits, they have been romanticized in book, song, and verse. Upon hearing the details of some of the acts committed by these men, it is difficult to look upon them in the same light. Although these men were protectors of white frontier settlements, it is exceedingly obvious that they were cruel sadistic murderers.

Appendix

There is a little known story of Lewis Wetzel that occurred somewhere in northwestern Virginia, must likely near Wheeling. Wetzel once spent some time with a woman whose name has not been unearthed; however, it was most likely Lydia Boggs, a woman that Wetzel had a relationship with. He only visited her twice, but prior to his second visit he went out in search of an Indian to kill so that he might take his scalp. He did so successfully and returned to the home of the women who he had previously spent some time with. He gave the lady the recently procured scalp as a symbol of his devotion to her, and told her that one day he would return to claim the scalp and he would then take her hand in marriage. With that, she nailed the scalp over the mantel of the fireplace and told him it would stay there until he returned. Unfortunately for the women, Wetzel never did return for the scalp. However, she was faithful to him until the day she died some 80 years later. The people who later took residence in the home of the women took down the scalp and buried it, claiming that it haunted the house. Although the scalp was removed, there still remained a grease spot on the wall where the scalp had hung for nearly a century. Almost two hundred years later, the grease spot can still be seen. Although the grease spot has little relevance to the topic at hand, the fact that Wetzel viewed a scalp as a symbol of his intentions to marry is very troubling.[52]

Bibliography

Allman, C.B. Lewis Wetzel, Indian Fighter. New York, 1961.

De Hass’, Wills. History of the Early Settlement and Indian Wars of West Virginia. Wheeling, 1851, 2000.

Doddridge, Joseph. Notes on the Settlements and Indian Wars. Pittsburgh, 1912.

Edgington, George. Further Materials of Lewis Wetzel and the Upper Ohio Frontier. Bowie, 1994.

Hartley, Cecil B. Life and Adventures of Lewis Wetzel. Philidelphia, 1860.

Payne, Dale. Indian Warfare and Massacres On the Virginia Frontier. Fayetteville, 2002.

Lambert, Oscar D. Camps and Firesides West of the Alleghenies. Charleston, 1941.

McKnight, Charles. Our Western Border. Philadelphia, 1876.

McWhorter, Lucullus V. The Border Settlers of Northwestern Virginia From 1768 to 1795. Richwood, 1973.

Spooner, Walter W. Back-Woodsmen or Tales of the Borders. Cincinnati, 1883.

Withers, Alexander S. Chronicles of Border Warfare. Cincinnati, 1920.

[1] McWhorter Bord. Sett. pg. 31.

[2] De Hass Hist.Ind Wars WV pg. 76-77.

McWhorter Bord. Sett. pg. 33.

[3] Payne Ind.War.Masc. Pg. 1.

[4] Payne Ind.War.Masc. Pg. 2.

[5] The Wappatomaka was the Algonquian Indian name for the South Branch of the Potomac River. McWhorter Bord. Sett Pgs. 31 and 415.

[6] The records are unclear as to whether the year was 1770 or 1771 that the couple was married. McWhorter Bord. Sett Pg. 64-65.

[7] McWhorter Bord. Sett Pg. 41.

[8] McWhorter Bord. Sett Pg. 66.

[9] McWhorter Bord. Sett. Pg. 435.

[10] Bull Town was a village of friendly Delaware Indians located near present day Burnsville, in Braxton County West Virginia. The village was founded by an Indian named Captain Bull, and was very near the Stroud homestead. McWhorter Bord. Sett. Pg. 86.

[11] Withers Chron. Bord. War. Pg. 137.

[12] Withers Chron. Bord. War. Pgs. 240-241.

[13] McWhorter Bord. Sett. Pg. 59.

[14] McWhorter Bord. Sett. Pg. 135..

[15] McWhorter Bord. Sett. Pg. 59.

[16] Allman Wetzel pg. 5.

[17] Allman Wetzel pg. 17.

[18] Allman Wetzel pg 120.

[19] McKnight Our West. Bord. Pg. 339.

[20] De Hass Hist.Ind Wars WV pg. 347.

[21] Allman Wetzel pg. 34-38.

[22] Allman Wetzel pg. 41.

[23] Edgington Fur. Mat. Wetzel Ohio Front. Pg. 12.

[24] De Hass Hist.Ind Wars WV pg. 349.

[25] Doddridge Not. Sett. Ind. War pg. 231.

[26] Allman Wetzel Pg. 118-120.

[27] The first name of this officer could not be attained.

[28] De Hass Hist.Ind Wars WV pg. 350.

[29] McKnight Our West. Bord. Pg. 333.

[30] Allman Wetzel pg. 108-109.

[31] McMechen Leg. Vall. Pg. 43.

[32] General Harmar’s First Name could not be found.

[33] He was a very prominent Indian named George Washington. De Hass Hist.Ind Wars WV pg. 355.

[34] Hartley Lewis Wetzel VA Rang. Pg. 67-70.

[35] McWhorter Bord. Sett. NWVA. pg. 55.

[36] McWhorter Bord. Sett. NWVA.pg. 58-59.

[37] McWhorter Bord. Sett. NWVA pg. 132.

[38] McWhorter Bord. Sett. NWVA pg. 217.

[39] McWhorter Bord. Sett. NWVA pg. 216-217.

[40] Mcwhorter Bord. Sett. NWVA pg. 69,216, 180.

[41] McKnight West Bord.pg. 327.

[42] McKnight West Bord.pg. 332.

[43] McKnight West Bord.pg. 339.

[44] This is a poem by McKnight, however I found it in Camps and Firesides West of the Alleghenies by Lambert. I could not find it in McKnight’s Our Western Border.

Lambert Camps Fire. West Allegh. pg. 124.

[45] Allman Lew. Wetz. Ind. Fight. pg. xiv and 196.

[46] Dehass Hist. Sett. Ind. Wars.pg. 344-345.

[47] Lambert Camps Fire. West Allegh. pg. 125.

[48] Hartley Life Adv. Lew. Wetz.pg. 13.

[49] Allman Lew. Wetz. Ind. Fight. pg. 120.

[50] Allman Lew. Wetz. Ind. Fight. pg. xvi.

[51] It just so happens that I live on Wetzel Ave. in Morgantown, WV.

[52] This story was told to me by a dear friend named Robert Guthrie, who lives in Bayard, which is in Grant County West Virginia. He has spent his life researching the ways and lives of backwoodsmen of the area. He was told this story from the residents of the home in which the story took place and was able to see and touch the grease spot on the wall. Unfortunately, his memory is not what it used to be, which has caused some of the details of the story to be lost.

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