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History of Wyoming
Charles Miner


History of Wyoming, In a Series of Letters, from Charles Miner, to his son William Penn Miner, Esq. 1845

Table of Contents (not a part of the original text)


Preliminary Chapter

Letter I. Natives inhabitants of Wyoming-Six Nations-Great Head, or Council Fire, at Onondago, Mohawks

Letter II. Masswames of Wyoming-Senecas and Oneidas-Indian Fortifications-Medal of George I.-Burying Places,- Exhumation of an Indian King-Probable likeness of Queen Anne-Spirit, power and dominion of the Iroquois, or Great Confederacy.

Letter III. Union, pride and policy of the Confederate Nations-Subjugated tribes, removal to Wyoming-Grand Council in Philadelphia-Canassatego-Count Zinzendorf visits Wyoming-Remarkable incident-Moravians-Mission from Wyoming to Gnadenhutten.

Letter IV. Old French War-Influence upon Wyoming-Paxinos-Second Mission to Moravian Christian Indians, at Gnadenhutten-Evasive answer-Terrible Threat-Paxinos’ Queen converted-Massacre at Fort Augusta-Melancholy massacre of Moravaians-Cunning and success of Iroquois at Fort Allen-Kings Tadame, and Tedeuscung- Grand Council at Easton-Murder of the Governor’s messenger, Charles Thompson-Second Congress at Easton-Peace agreed upon.

Letter V. Renewed efforts to Christianize Wyoming Indians-Pleasing success-Wyalusing-Murder of King Tedeuscung-First Connecticut Settlement-Their Massacre and expulsion-Expedition under Col. Boyd to Wyoming-John and Emanuel Hoover-Removal of Christian Indians to the Ohio-Exposition of an important matter.

Letter VI. Brief outline of controversy between Pennsylvania in Connecticut-Earliest charters of France and England-Great Plymouth Council Inc.-Massachusetts carved out of the Plymouth patent-Warwick's charter-Colony of Connecticut-charter of King Charles, 1662-extent of claim under Connecticut charter, included Wyoming-purchase of Indian right by Susquehanna Company-Incidental matters-Delaware Company’s purchase-first attempt to settle the lands-adverse claims of Penn set forth-charter to William Penn, 1681.

Letter VII. A more detailed view of the controversy-objections to the Connecticut claimed by charter-intervening settlements of the Dutch-dividing line between New York and Connecticut-letter of King Charles-final adjustment of that line, and plausible inference-Governor Penn-Pratt (British Attorney General's) opinion-Col. Dyer sent to England-counter opinions of Wedderburne, Thurlow, Jackson and Dunning-powerful argument of a known, but nameless American-Rev. Dr. Smith-Tench Cox Esq.

Letter VIII. The Susquehanna Company's Indian purchase-runs the gauntlet-keenly assailed-spiritedly defended-proceedings in Council-Peter Hendrick’s speech-letters from Governor Morris and Richard Peters, Esq.-purchase of Pennsylvania at Fort Stanwix-fierce assaults on that deed, by Connecticut claimants-close of documentary testimony.

Letter IX. Commencement of settlement, 1769-first Pennimite war-conspicuous men of the two parties marshaled for the field-Capt. Zebulon Butler, Col. John Durkee-Denison, the Gores, M’Dowell, Shoemaker, Stewart and others, on the part of the Yankees. Capt. Amos Ogden; John Jennings, Esq., Charles Stewart, with Clayton, Francis, Dick, Morris, Ledlie and Craig, on the part of Mr. Penn-Capt. Ogden invested in block house at mouth of Mill Creek-a parlay-Yankees outwitted-taken prisoners and sent to Easton jail-liberated, return and take possession of Wyoming-for Durkee built-expedition of Col. Francis-Mission of Col. Dyer and Elderkin to Philadelphia-Capt. Ogden returns-the four pounder-Durkee taken prisoner and sent to Philadelphia-the Fort surrenders-second expulsion of the Yankees.

Letter X. 1770-sudden descend on Wyoming-reinstatement of the Yankees-Capt. Ogden returns and resumes his old quarters at Mill Creek-a fortunate omen-his Fort invested by the Yankees-battle-William Stager killed-the Connecticut party defeated-reinforced and in possession of the four pounder, the Yankees renew the siege-stirring incidence-Governor Penn's application to General Gage for aid-surrender of Fort Ogden-proclamations of the Governor-Capt. Ogden returns-masterly address-impetus assault-Fort Durkee taken-the Yankees for the third time expelled-vicissitudes-with a "Hurrah for King George" the Connecticut claimants repossess themselves of the valley.

Letter XI. 1771-Capt. Ogden with increased force returns-summons Fort Durkee to surrender-built Fort Wyoming-battle-Nathan Ogden mortally wounded-Fort Durkee abandoned-a reward offered for Capt. Stewart-Fort Wyoming invested by Capt. Butler-the four pounder brought into action-Pepperage log cannon-remarkable feat of courage and conduct on the part of Capt. Ogden-he escapes to the city-Captains Dick, Morris, Clayton, Ledlie and Ogden, hasten with their companies to the relief of Fort Wyoming-soldierly conduct of Capt. Butler-ambush and victory-captains Dick and Ogden, with loss of provisions, forced into the starving garrison-fierce war-Ogden wounded-Redyard killed-Fort surrenders-capitulation-the Pennsylvania troops withdraw-close of hostilities-negotiation between the authorities of Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Letter XII. 1772-3.-list of settlers-first white women in Wyoming-stockade at Mill Creek, on the ruins of Fort Ogden-young Hollenback-furniture-mode of living-50 miles to mill-Indians-first marriage in Wyoming-doings of committee-famine-John Carey-interesting expedition-a wedding, and the benevolent Scotchman-sickness-first mills-David Meade-Wilkes-Barre-ferries-settlement of first gospel minister-Rev. Jacob Johnson-toleration-Rev. Mr. Gray-Rev. Elkaniah Holmes-free schools-military organization-prohibition of selling liquor to Indians-shares, and half share rights-Constitution of government, voluntarily established-physicians-vote of Connecticut assembly-renewed negotiations.

Letter XIII. 1774-Connecticut assumes jurisdiction-towel of Westmoreland-town meeting-districts-election of 100 officers-town sign post established-several town meetings-civil and military organization-representatives to assembly-school committee-insidious attacks-alarm-meeting of proprietors-proceedings-sales and price of land-census.

Letter XIV. 1775-prosperity-Revolutionary war-town meeting-patriotic resolutions-settlement on West Branch-Charleston and Judea destroyed by Col. Plunkett-vote of Congress; of Connecticut Council-of Pennsylvania assembly-Plunkett’s invasion of Wyoming-stirring scenes-interposition of Congress-civil war-Col. Butler-formidable breastwork-battle-defeat of Plunkett-painful incident-Connecticut prohibits further emigration-town meeting-rivalry between Kingston and Wilkes-Barre-amusements-prices of grain.

Letter XV. 1776-alarm-Indians-Council at Wyoming-Indian speech-letter of Col. Butler-second deputation of Indians-proceedings-danger apparent-numbers and strength of Wyoming-precautionary measures-strange and unwelcome settlers-alarm increases-John Secord-Tories arrested-sent to Connecticut-members of assembly-forts built-County created-enlistment of men-important proceedings of Congress-two companies raised to defend the town-immediately marched away.

Letter XVI. 1777-Wyoming companies-rivalry-political jealousy-town vote-the dreaded smallpox-pestilence spreads-first student to Yale College-Adonijah Stansbury-case curious and troublesome-Indian book debt-citation for Toryism-difficulty settled by marriage-post established to Hartford-Yankee official titles-tax-preparations for defense-Lieut. Jenkins, first prisoner-brave old Fitzgerald-companies of Durkee and Ransom-battle of Millstone-Porter killed-Washington's letter-Mud Fort-Lieut. Spalding-Matthewson killed-wealth and revenue of Westmoreland-warrant-excessive burdens on Wyoming-beautiful resolve.

Letter XVII. 1778-sketch-new oath of allegiance-established prices, (curious)-Women of Wyoming-scene darkens-mediated invasion-alarm-Congress orders a third company to be raised-William Crooks murdered-Miner Robin's shot-Indians spy-inexplicable delay of Congress-independent companies withheld-Wyoming defenseless-vote of Congress-reorganization of independent company-the four pounder-bold and imprudent treachery and deception of Congress by the Indians-invasion-murder of the Hardings, and Hadsells-Col. Z. Butler called to the command-Wintermoot’s Fort surrendered-Fort Jenkins surrendered-summons of Forty Fort-array-battle-defeat-dreadful massacre-bloody ring-soul stirring incidents-cruel torture.

Letter XVIII. 1778-morning of the Fourth-consternation and flight-incidents of suffering-Mr. Hollenback meets the starving fugitives with bread-Pittston forts surrender-negotiations-capitulation of Forty Fort-(note, Queen Esther)-(note, Brant)-Sergeant Boyd shot-incidents-Col. John Butler withdraws from the valley-his character-John Gardiner-the Indians that remain give up the valley to fire, plunder and devastation-murder of Hickman, wife and child-murder of Leach and St. John-murder of John Abbott and Isaac Williams-murder of Keys and Hocksey-Swetland and Blanchard carried away prisoners-Col. Zebulon Butler returns with Capt. Spalding's company to the valley-Col. Hartley joins Col. Butler-expedition to West branch and Sheshequin-remains of the slaughtered people buried-list of slain-Indian murders-William Jameson--John Perkins-William Jackson and Mr. Lester-Capt. Carr and Philip Goss-Robert Alexander and Amos Parker-the Utley family murdered-Isaac Inman murdered-Nathan Kingsley killed-Francis Slocum carried into captivity-Jonathan Slocum and Isaac Tripp murdered-the lost sister-Thomas Neill, the generous Irish men -- terms of capitulation, and official papers, from British archives.

Letter XIX. 1779-projected expedition into Indian country-(note, letter of General Hand)-Lieut. John Jenkins-Gershom Hicks-Washington-renewed invasion by savages-Capt. Bidlack taken prisoner-200 warriors attack upon Wilkes-Barre Fort, repelled-Sergeant William’s gallant conduct-Lieut. Buck-Stephen Pettibone and Elihu Williams murdered-Follet, speared and scalped-Col. Butler reinforced-Major Powell’s advance-Capt. Davis, Lieut. Jones and four-man killed on Laurel Run-audacity of the Indians-array for the Northern Campaign-Capt. John Paul Schotts-Sullivan's Army arrives at Wilkes-Barre-military execution-ascent of boats-Indian admirable war policy -- McDonald and Hiockoto’s attack near Sunbury on Sullivan's left-(note, anecdote of McDonald)-Brant's attack and massacre at Minisink-on Sullivan's right-fixed purpose of Sullivan-departure of the Army for the north-Grand display-incident of March-union with General Clinton at Tioga-battle on Chemung-Indian country devastated-melancholy fate of Lieut. Boyd and party-Army retires-treat of welcome at Wyoming-General Sullivan-Congress-civil affairs-town meeting-answer to Mrs. Bidlack’s petition.

Letter XX. 1780-renewed invasion-Bennett and Hammond taken-noble exploit-Upson murdered-VanCampen, Pike and Rogers taken-noble exploit and rescue-town meeting-civil affairs-generous donation from Virginia-good news from assembly-muster roll-a prize-Capt. John Franklin-Justice’s court-court-martial-news from below-death of Capt. Caldwell-Lieut. Lawrence Myers-50 miles to mill-various incidents-massacre near Sugarloaf-marriage of Capt. Schotts-J. Butler's Rangers-7 prisoners taken from Shawney-sickly summer-welcome supply of provisions.

Letter XXI. 1781-2.-the weather-chorus-Indians attacked Ransom's house-marriage-distance cannonading-losses by the enemy-assessments-extreme poverty-men killed below-alarm-Capt. Spalding's company was drawn, and Capt. Mitchell's substituted-obvious policy-Indians renew their attacks-Rosewell Franklin-Priest Johnson-bloody tragedy at Larned’s-Capt. Bidlack’s return-representatives to assembly-courts of law-legal proceedings-spirit of Blue Laws-curious trial, Ayres, versus Wolcott-scene of deepest woe-marriages-Hugh Foresman, Esq.-murder of John Jameson and Asa Chapman-touching incidents-surrender of Cornwallis-Dawn of peace-trial at Trenton-jurisdiction of Connecticut ceases.

Letter XXII. 1782-a paragraph of retrospect-opening of a very interesting matter-eloquent petition-important letter-proceedings of Pennsylvania assembly-a military force sent to Wyoming-Fort Dickinson-negotiations-Joseph Montgomery-John Jenkins-extraordinary proposition of compromise-Alexander Patterson-rupture of negotiations-consequent proceedings-report of commissioners to assembly-peace with Great Britain-incidents-settlers, broken hearted, look out for a new home-"act to stay suits"-military preparations-Col. Butler returns from the Army with his bride-is arrested by Patterson, and sent to Sunbury jail-major Prince Alden, Capt. James Bidlack, and Benjamin Harvey, arrested-further arrests-violent proceedings.

Letter XXIII. 1784-rife in stirring incidents-proceedings of settlers-petition to Connecticut-to Congress-committee from Northampton-Pennsylvania assembly-deceptive movement of Patterson-other influences dawn on the path of the settlers-action of Congress-ice flood-generous proposition of President Dickinson-Patterson inhuman conduct-expulsion of inhabitants-generous feelings aroused throughout Pennsylvania-negotiations-settler surrender their arms-resume them-proclamation-base treachery of Armstrong-settlers made prisoners, and sent to Sunbury and Easton jails-prisoners released-war renewed-Swift wounded-Henderson and Reed shot-Smith and Stevens killed-cruel courage of Ogden-Satterlee drowned-council of censors-highly important proceedings-Armstrong returns with armed man-Capt. Bolin killed-Franklin's oath on the bloody rifle-pleasing information-withdrawal of troops enlisted by Patterson-third Pennimite and Yankee war-battle-Garrett and Pierce killed-Capt. John Franklin-Fort Dickinson invested-part of Wilkes-Barre burnt-negotiations-Fort assaulted-Yankees defeated-Patterson indicted-civil authority arrives at Wyoming-affair at Locust Hill-Joseph Everett killed-Honorable John Armstrong.

Letter XXIV. 1785-petition to Congress for a federal court to try the right of soil-proceedings of Congress-spirited resolves of Pennsylvania assembly-interesting details-remarkable conclusion-gathering storm-David Meade, Esq.-Oliver Harmless-revival of old Susquehanna Company-danger threatening-proceedings Pennsylvania assembly. Sketch of John Franklin-civil government

Letter XXV. 1786-Susquehanna Company's resolves, at Hartford-Ethan Allen-civil government-trials at law-ludicrous defense-Susquehanna whole and half share rights in market-conciliatory policy-Luzerne County established name of Luzerne-(curious note)-pumpkin fresh-new and important personages appear on the stage-Joel Barlow-Hosmore-the Wolcotts, etc.-grand scheme to dismember Pennsylvania-new state contemplated.

Letter XXVI. 1787-Col. Timothy Pickering-Col. Butler-Wyoming people divided-elections-grand measure of conciliation-the confirming act-organization of Luzerne County-policy of Pickering-adverse policy of Franklin-great meeting-stormy discussion-broken up in confusion and riot-a stream of settler flowing in from the East, on share and half share rights-Ethan Allen on the ground-a crisis impending-Constitution for the new state-arrest of Col. Franklin for treason-spirit of Mrs. Slocum-bloody scene-a city paper-commotion-Pickering withdrawn-is elected member of the convention-another year closes in storms and tempest.

Letter XXVII. 1788-Col. Pickering's return-violent abduction-his account, with notes-Yankee war-a saucy boy-Capt. Ross wounded, Joseph Dudley killed-Col. Franklin in Philadelphia jail-the lion tamed-released on bail-Chief Justice McKeen and Judge Rush-trials-dawn of peace.

Letter XXIX. The Wallenpaupack

Letter XXX and last.

Appendix of the history of Wyoming: containing the Hazleton travelers; or, numerous personal and family sketches of the ancient sufferers.

No. 1 General Ross, No. 2 Col. Hollenback, No. 3 General Lord Butler, No. 4 Col. Benjamin Dorrance, No. 5 Rev. Benjamin Bidlack, No. 6 Noah Pettibone, No. 7 Mrs. Myers, No. 8 the Shoemaker Family, No. 9 Judge Denison, No. 10 Luke Sweetland, No. 11 Capt. McKerachan, No. 12 Mr. Samuel Carey, No. 13 Col. Ransom, No. 14 Col. John Jenkins, No. 15 the Inman Family, No. 16 Mrs. Lucy Ives, No. 17 Stephen Abbott, No. 18 the Blackman Family, No. 19 the Stark Family, No. 20 Nathan Beach, Esq. No. 21 Elisha Harding, Esq., No. 22 the Dana Family, No.23 the Jameson Family, No. 24 the Perkins Family, No. 25 Dr. William Hooker Smith, No. 26 the Searle Family, No. 27 the Gore Family, No. 28 Mrs. Young, No. 29 the Durkee Family, No. 30 Dr. Sill, No. 31 Jonathan Fitch, Esq. No. 32 the Athertons, No. 33 Benjamin Harvey, No. 34 Capt. Timothy Smith, No. 35 General Spalding, No. 36 Joseph Elliott, No. 37 Major Ezekiel Pierce, No. 38 the Fitch Family, No. 39 Thomas Brown, No. 40 Asa and John Stevens, No. 41 Lieut. James Welles, No. 42 Corey and Bullock, No. 43 the Church Family, No. 44 Capt. Rezin Gere, No. 45 Pittston, No. 46 the Gaylord Family, No. 47 Josiah Rogers, No. 48 Col. Zebulon Butler,

The ballad of the Wyoming Massacre

The Monument-the Wyoming massacre-Warriors of Wyoming

Indian eloquence

Wyoming claim on Congress

Col. Hubley's journal new.

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Published On Tri-Counties Site On 03/22/2003
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