Adam Poe 6 Jan 1849

Ravenna, Jany 6th 1849



Dear Sir

In compliance with your request I give you a

narrative of (my Father) Andrew Poe,s conflict the two
Indians the name of the large Indian was Bigfoot he was
an uncommon large man of very superior strength and
activity he was a chief among his tribe was a brave ?
? warrior the other Indians name was not known he was
also a large man our man measured him after he was killed
with their wepon as sticks and found him to be six feet and one inch
high well proportioned, but appeared small by the side of
name and
Bigfoot.  Through or from George Fulks  our people learned  the ^

carceter of Bigfoot. he (Fulks) was a prisoner with that tribe
of Indians for six years, had been with them three years before
Bigfoot and his party made that expedition they lived in

Andrew Poe was born in Frederick County in the State
of Maryland on the 30th September 1742 he was five feet
11 1/2 inches high, his common weight was 205 lbs. was a man of
great strength and being very quick and active he feared
not to compete with any man, he migrated a cross the
mountains in the year 1764 and lived in the neighbour
hood of Pittsburgh for some time, after exploring the then
new country he in company with two others commenced the
first settlement on Harmons Creeek Washington County Pa
then (Virginia) their settlement was about 12 miles from the
commencing the settlement
Ohio River two years after ^ Andrew went to Maryland

got his brother Adam who was six years younger than
Adam to join their settlement each of the party selecting to join their
a tract of land and improving by their being no settlementment
between ten and the Ohio River the Indians frequently
came a cross the river in small parteys and commited depri
dations on that settlement which had increased to ten or twelve
families.  they lived in great peril for sometime while their
settlement was small one year they moved their families into
the settlement on the Monongehale and the men came back and and with
all in one partey to save their crops whilst some stood guard, While
the Indians thus perplexed the white killing some and taking
some prisoners and taking off their horses, our people in town
frequently went in small scouting parteys into the Indian
settlements to learn their strength and retaliate their injureys
Andrew and Adam Poe who was of daring spirits and swift
on foot frequently went with them on those scouts, at
one time in the spring of 1782 whilest Andrew Poe
Robert Wallace and others was on one of those excurtions the
Indians come in the knight and killed the wife and child
of Wallace who was the nighist neighbour to Poe, the same
year in the month of June a partey of Indians seven in number settlement
with Bigfoot at their head came from Sandusky into that ^
about mid-knight broke into the house of William Jackson
a man about sixty years of age, he being alone in the house they
took him prisoner the also tried to get into another house where
was several men collected for safety but failing to get into
that house they made off with Jackson, the alarm was
immediately given by the men that was in that house to all the
settlement, they were all collected with their famileys to one
house and it was found that Jackson was missing, they made
preperations for following the Indians, and as soon as it was
light enough to see the Indians trail (which was very visible
in the thick and high growth of herbage) they went twelve in number the
command of the party was conceded to Andrew Poe they went on horseback
at full speede into the top of the Riverhill wich was about twelve miles
there they tied their horses as the hill was steep and went onfoot
when they got near the river the trail turned down the river, in cross
ing a little stream that put into the River Andrew observed where the
Indians had steped in the water that it was still riley he said that
they were close to them, and cautioned the men to keep quiet that the
Indians would hear them and kill the prisoner, as the men were
making considerable of noise with their feet running, but after
several fruitless efforts to quiet them he (Andrew) left the company
who followed on the trail he turner square to the right went
the bank of the river cautiously and looking down about 12 or 15
feet below him he seen two Indians standing about half bent
with their guns in their hands looking down the river in the direction
of the noise, they had a raft close by them appearently they had just
been going to cross as their blankets, shot pouches and tomahawks lay
on the raft, he observed that one was a very large man
who he afterwards learned was Bigfoot, the thought struck him that he
would shoot the large one and jump on the other before he would have
time to shoot and take him prisoner accordingly he crep to the very

which was nearly perpendicular verge of the bank ^ being

concealed in the weeds and took deliberate aim
at Bigfoot who stood about three feet in advance of the other but his
gun missed fire he instantly dropped his gun and sprang on
them, they on hearing the snap of his gun cried who, who and
wheeled round facing him brought them side by side but be
fore they had time to shoot Andrew was upon them he drove his
weight on Bigfoot catching each of them around the neck
his weight comeing on them with such force so suddenly theys
both down Bigfoot on his back Andrew fell on his
left side of him and his left around his neck the little
Indian fell rather behind Andrew who had his right arm aro
und his neck, their guns both fell out of their hands, one of them
laid within reach of Andrew who observed that it was cocked
Andrews butcher knife was in a scabbard fastened to his belt on
his left side and as he lay it was pressed between him and Bigfoot
he got a slight holt of the handle of his knife and was trying to
to get it out to dispatch Bigfoot who observing that, catched
his hand his long fingers raped around his hand so thight that
he could not get his knife out whilest in that position Bigfoot
spoke to the other very vehemently in his own tongue who was
struggling hard to get loose, Andrew made several efforts to
get out his knife in vain, at last he jerked with allhis might
Bigfoot instantly let his hand go Andrew not having a good
holt of the handle and the knife coming out unexpectedly as
by Bigfoot looseing his grasp the knife flew out of Andrews hand
and the little Indian drew his head from under Andrews arm
as it being slacked by drawing out the knife Bigfoot instantly
threw his long arms around Andrews body and hugged him like a Bear
whilst the little Indian sprang on the raft (which was about
six feet off) and got a tomahawk and struck at Andrews
head who threw up his foot and struck the Indian on the wrist
with the toe of his shoe and the tomahawk flew into the River, Bigfoot
yelled to the little one furiously, who sprang to the raft and got the
other tomahawk an after making several motions struck at Andrews
head he threw up his right arm and received the blow on his wrist
which cut off one bone of his wrist and the cords of three of his
fingers disabling all the fingers on his right hand but the forefinger
on receiving the blow Andrew inadvertently threw his hand on
his head the corner of the tomahawk catching on the sinews of his arm
drew the tomahawk out of the Indians hand and it flew over
Andrews head, as soon as the stroke was given Bigfoot let go of
Andrew who immediately sprang up, as he rose he took the gun
in his left hand which lay by his head it being already cocked
and shot the little Indian through the body, the gun had scarsely
cracaked when Bigfoot catched Andrew by the crotch and the
back of the neck and threw him in the river Andrew threw
his left hand back and catched im by the  breach clout
(which was buck-scin and brought him a long, the river being
high at the time  and the water deep they both went under
then a desparate effort was made by each of them to drowned
the other some times one was under the water and some times
the other and after both were under they had scuffled un-
til they got about 30 yards out in the river when An-
drew thought he had a victory, having held Bigfoot under
some time but himself was sinking not being able to do much
with the right hand he threw it over the back of Bigfoots neck
who was under the water and swam with the left hand to re-
cruit himself a little but Bigfoot got from under his arm
and got released from Andrew and swam to shore where the
guns and tomahawk lay Andrew followed him with all speed
but having but one hand to swim with he could not catch him
as soon as Bigfoot got to shoar he picked up the loaded
gun thatwas already cocked and went to cock it and
disabled the lock so that he could not get it off, he then
threw it down and picked up the empty gun that Andrew
had  shot the other Indian with, got the shot pouch
which lay on the raft and set to loading with all possible speed
in the meantime as soon as Bigfoot got out of the water and took
up the gun Andrew thought it not safe to go out of the water
but swam back into the river and called for his Brother Adam
who was with the other party about a hundred yards lower down the river
Adam came to the bank of the river where Andrew stood when he first
discovered the Indians.  as soon as Adam seen Bigfoot he began
to load his gun having discharged it at the other Indians, Andrew
continued swimming away from them on his back with nothing but
his face out of the water, still hurrying Adam to load
quick, the race between the two in loading was about equal
but Bigfoot in drawing out his ram rod to ram down his ball in
in too great haste let it fly out of his fingers into the water which
put him a little behind so that whilst in the act of raising his
gun to shoot Andrew, Adam shot Bigfoot and he fell forward
into the river as soon as he fell Andrew turned and swam to
wards the shore, the other men hearing Andrew calling to Adam
and urgein him to shoot the Indian (Adam having left his part
and was in persuit of Andrew before he called for him & had got near
to him) came running up the river on the high bank seeing Andrew
in the river swimming towards shoar some of them thought he was
an Indian and three of them fired at him almost simultaneously
one of them cut his hunting shirt on his shoulder another hit him
the ball entering his right shoulder near its junction with the
neck behind the colar bone passing quartering through his
bodey came out his left side between the lowes rib
and the cinch bone, Adam swam out and brought him out
of the water, as he began to sink as soon as he was shot not being
able to swim.  But to return to the rest of the party after
Andrew left them, they all followed the Indian trail to the river
where the other five Indians were with the prisoner (Jackson) they
also had a raft and were preparing to cross the river – their maner
of crossing the river was to make a raft of dry wood on the other side
and put their blankets guns and equipage on the raft and themselves


swim and draw the raft along with bark, and tie it at the shoar
until they returned, Jackson seeing the men comeing as soon
as the Indians did, run to them one of the Indians having a tom-
hawk run after him about 15 steps and struck him on the back
making but a slight wound in the flesh and he escaped to the men
the Indians fired at our men and plunged into the river with
their guns in their hands our men fired on them before they got in
the river and after but did not get any of them though they
all were killed but one, our men thought they had killed all of
them but one of them consealed himself in the water and mad his es
cape and got back to Sandusky George Fulks seen him after
he got back and says that he was shot through the hand^
Fulks also states that their was great lemantation amongst the
Indians for Bigfoot and his party – the Indians on firing
at our men hit but one his name was -Cherry, he was shot
though the side appearently slightly but the ball hit his
lights and he died in about an hour after he was shot
the men carried the dead man (Mr Cherry) and Andrew Poe
up the riverhill to the horses and then took them on horseback
home, the place on the Ohio river where they had the fight
is in Brooke County, Virginia, nearly opposite the mouth of little
Yellow Creek – Jackson, the prisoner, stated that Bigfoot was
appearently the stoutest man tat he ever seen and that he
was very humane to him that his party seemed to render him
implicit obedience – you ask if Andrew Poe eve held and of
fice, he never held any civil office higher than collector of taxes
He was Captain of the melitia time of the Indian war and had a
company of drafted melitia stationed at various points along the
river to guard the frontier settlements he at different times cut off
small parteys of Indians that came into the settlement, to illustrate
his caractor I will give you a nancdot that I heard heard Major Valandingham
who is still living relate at fort Meigs time of the last war
with England = I have also heard my Father tell the same tory

The Indians still continuing to harass the frontier settlers

near the Ohio River, some two years after Andrew Poe was
was sent with about 300 melitia
wounded  Coln Velandingham ^ (Father of the Major) to rout
the Indians on the Tuscarowa and destroy their settlement
Coln V had a Regiment of Drafted Melitia Andrew Poe volun
teered his service and went and joined him the Coln gladly
received him and appointed him Orderly sargent of one of the
companys they passed a long unmolested until they came within
about ten miles of the Indian settlements, one morning soon after
day lightas the were preparing to march a large party of In
dians appearently much more than their was of them, fired on ??
- it was so unexpected, that it threw the Regmt in confusion, some run
behind the pack horses, and some behind trees, the Officers were
contemplating a retreat, when Andrew Poe cryed out with a
very loud voice, “Rush on Boys! Rush on; don’t give them time
to load” – at the same time running upon the Indians loud as
he could and many others followed his example the routed the
Indians immediately, Valandingham sayed that Poe saved the
Regmt from a defeat.

Green Township, &was one of the first  settlers in that township

In the year 1784 Andrew Poe ^ moved to within 3/4 of a mile of the
Ohio River in Beaver County Pa where he lived the rest of
his life, he died the 15th July 1823 in the 81 year of his age
Adam Poe died near Massillon in Stark County in the Ohio
92nd year of his age – he remained at Harmons Creek several
years after Andrew left – he was Capt of the Melitia there, whilst Andrew
served on the Ohio River Built a fort at his own house where the 1st sett
lers lived in the time of the Indian war – also block houses along the River where men were
stationed Both Andrew and Adam were on frequent expeditions in small scouting
parteys and were as far as the Sandusky, time of the Indian was and at different times
intercepted parteys of Indians that were coming to the settlement, on two occasions
killing then and brot their guns home with them
3 Catp Bradys Leap Legend

My Father gave me Bigfoots tomahawk and I still have it
in my possession, it is a well finished instrument with a pipe on
the pole end, a hole through the center of the handle length ways with a silver
feral around the end of the handle with a silver tube to smoke with the tube
was in the shot pouch, & this statement is precisely as I have often hear my
Father and Uncle relate it. and there are meny still living who
have heard my Father relate it and have seen his scars, I have seen
several accounts of that transaction but have never seen acorrut one
Respecting Capt Brady I can give nothing that I can

avouch for its authenticity. I have been an only settler here and can
give you the traditions that are hear generally believed

Brady's Leap Map (Draper Manuscripts at the Wisconsin Historical Society)

Brady’s Leap Map (Draper Manuscripts at the Wisconsin Historical Society)

Tradition says that there were two occurrenses that gave rise
to the lake taking its name after Brady, the first was that
Capt Brady with some men made an excursion amongst the In=
dians west of the Cuyahoga River the Indians came upon him with
a superior force dispersed his men and took Brady prisoner
held a council and decided on burning him brought him to their
camp ground on the west side of the river and built a fire for that
purpose, Brady   was brought up to the fire but whilst waiting for
the fire to burn sufficiently strong to suit their purpose Brady
snatched a child out of the arms of a squaw that stood near him
and threw it into the fire the Indians all rushed to the rescue of the
child, Brady taking advantage of the confusion ran to the narrow
Bradys Leap – Bradys Lake Ambus Case

the river

pass on the Cuyahoga and leaped across, ^ the distance being
twenty nine feet precisely by actual measurement I have in the
place very often but never measured it a bridge was constructed across
the River att that place and all concur with the distance it being often
measured, the rocks projected on both sides and had a smoothe surface

on both sides their ^ laurel bushes growing on the Eastside near the verge
which he might of caught to keep from falling back when he lit
it was about twenty feet from the top of the rocks to the water, on building
Pa & Ohio cross cut canal these rocks have been cut away and the face of
the banks altered as they have slack water navigation on the River there
it is in Franklin Township Portage CO  The Indians persued after
Brady but would not shoot who they had determined to burn
the river

not thinking of him leaping the river but when he jumped across ^the
stood in surprise coyed well done Brady (they knew him for
he had been a prisoner with them before) at length they shot at him
but he had got a good ways off though one of them wounded him
slightly on the thigh which bled considerable  the Indians had to go
about 20 rods down the river to ford it and then they come up to
get on his tracks Brady made the best of his way to the pond
concealed himself under water the Indians came to the pond
but not finding him gave up the chase and Brady got home
Bradys pond is a beautiful body of water about one mile long
and a half a mile wide with a sandy bottom & shoars and a mall out
-let at the N end it is 11 1/2 mile E of the Cuyahoga River, also in Franklin
The other exploit is this.  Some time after Brady got home he raised
a company of 20 men and went against the Indians at the S end
of Bradys pond & about ten rods from its wet marsh between
the two is a high Ridge of land at the W end of this ridge he placed
10 of his men in ambush and he with the other ten of the swiftest
went to the Cuyahoga opposite their encampmentand fired on them


Bradys Leap – Bradys Lake Ambus Case

and retreated still keeping up his fire, but being careful
to keep out of reach of their fire, a large party of Indians
persued him brady retreated untill he drew them into the narrow
pass between the lake and the wet marsh when those men that
lay in ambush according to their instruction fired on their rear
and raised a great shout and fired on them in front the Indians fled
Some into the lake and some into the marsh whilst Brady and his
men made a great slaughter, from these exploits it is said
that the Pond took its name after Capt Brady
The first time I was in this section of the country which was in
1810 the Indian trails the one that had led to Sandusky also
one to Cuyahoga & thence to Tuscarowa was very plain to see
they were small foot paths deeply indented in the earth
I have not  had an opportunity of seeing Genl Harris yet
tho I have been at his house several times he is still County
Surveyor & is much from home-
I give you the information as I have you can use the
whole or such part of it as you choose
Yours with respect and esteem

Adam Poe



Mr Lyman C Draper



Memo by LCD  In vol 13th colonial records of Penna, p 248,under
                date Phila Ap 20 1782 the time of £12, 10S specie was ordered to be
                paid to Adam Poe for taking an Indian scalp, agreeably to proclama
                =tion of the board Vol 12th save work , p311,388,632 make
                further references to the  scalp reward.


Copyright © 2012 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved