Adam Poe 22 Mar 1849
Ravenna, 22nd March 1849
Mr. Lyman C. Draper
I owe an apology for being thus long in replying to your inquiries. I delayed writing until I had an opportunity of seeing my oldest sister Catherine Harris to obtain information from her respecting dates. She, Catherine, says that she well recollects of hearing her Mother say that she, Catherine, was not quite nine months old when Father was wounded and brought home, and no hopes of his living.
I am convinced that I was wrong in saying 1782. I have my Father’s family record before me. Catherine, the oldest child was born the 7th of October 1780, which would make it about the last of June 1781. I recollect of hearing Father say there had been a great freshet in June and that the river was very high at the time of the fight.
Respecting the name of the prisoner, I believe I am right. Phillip Jackson has frequently been at Father’s since my recollection, but he was not the prisoner, he lives on Harmon’s Creek. I believe it was Phillip’s father or uncle and that his name was William Jackson.
2nd, – The house the Indians attempted to enter, I believe, was Thomas Bays, and there at Bays the people had collected.
The women and children were taken to a fort where Burgets Town now is, that night, which was some 4 miles off.
3rd. – Inquiry respecting George Fulks I cannot now answer. After peace was made with the Indians he came home I think to Raccoon Settlement in Beaver Co. Pa. but went back to the Indians and married a squaw. He followed trading goods to the Indians for skins and fur. He had a brother Williams Fulks that was also a prisoner for a short time; he has a son that is Justice of the Peace living near Calcutta, Columbianna Co. Ohio, I do not know his given name.
4th – I do not know what year my Father settled on Harmon’s Creek, – but I think it was, from the information I have, as soon as 1768 if not before that time. John Crist was one of the men that first settled with him, and Andrew Rankin was the other first settler with him, they lived together and kept bachelor’s hall. Neither of them was married at that time.
Robert Canaday also lived with Father one year after Christ and Rankin left him. Canaday made improvement to land near to my Father, he married a wife and went on his own land. The Indians took Canaday and his wife and kept them about two years. Canaday has a son Jacob now living in Green Township, Pa. Beaver Co.
At my Father’s Andrew Poe the fort was built. It consisted of half an acre of ground picketed four square, with a block house on each corner, and Father’s house was in the center. In times of danger the inhabitants lived at the fort. The block houses remained until I was 16 years old.
With regards to the Indians coming to kill my Father or Uncle I know nothing. I am very sure that my Father had no apprehension of them wanting to kill him. When I was about seven years old, an Indian named White Eyes from Sandusky, said to be a noted warrior, came to my Father’s and stayed three days. One of the days was Sabbath and Father got White Eyes to go to meeting with him which was about three miles off, but White Eyes did not stay long at the meeting. He soon came back, and when Father and Mother came home he said people looked at him so that he did not like the meeting. Several Indians at different times came to my Father’s since my recollection. One named Enis Coon from Sandusky was there at two different times and stayed several days each time. He, Enis Coon, knew about Father having the fight with big Foot and spoke about it to Father.
Father always used the Indians very kind when they came to see him, but I think did not apprehend any danger from them after peace was finally made.
As near I can ascertain, Andrew Poe settled on Harmon’s Creek in the spring of 1768, and Adam settled there in 1772.
Adam Poe married in 1778, and Andrew was married to Elizabeth Rutan of Williamsport on the Monongahela, the 15 of January, 1780.
That year the Indians were very troublesome to the inhabitants of Harmon’s Creek; they took six horses from Andrew that summer that he never got again, and I believe it was the summer of 1780 that they took Robert Canaday and his wife prisoners. That summer Andrew and Adam Poe took their wives into the settlement and came back themselves and worked their farms, and went on some expeditions as scouts into the Indian country, and in the beginning of winter brought their wives to Harmon’s Creek again.
After block houses were built on the Ohio River and their men stationed there to guard the frontier settlements, quite a number of persons and families settled in Green Township, Beaver Co. also lower down the river in Virginia, and the inhabitants lived secure.
I can not say what year, nor how long these stations were kept up, but after they were abandoned, the Indians came across the River and drove the inhabitants off about as far into the settlement as Harmon’s Creek. The settlements were all vacuated for as long as two years or more.
In the year 1784 my Father traded his farm on Harmon’s Creek to James Mathews for a settlement right which Mathews had to a tract of land near the Ohio River in Green Township that Mathews had lived on one year and was drove off by the Indians. That year ’84 Father moved to that tract of land, and a number of people that had left their settlements moved back.
Father had a fort built at his house, and I have not heard of any but one man killed by the Indians after Father moved there. That was John Mc Cleary; he was killed about 70 rods from Father’s house whilst Father was at Harmon’s Creek harvesting.
Harmon’s Creek was about 16 miles from where Father lived, and the Indians were not overtaken. The Indians frequently came to that settlement after Father moved there. At two different times Father, with a party of men followed them and killed some of them.
My Father and Mother had eleven children, nine daughters and two sons. The five oldest were girls; I was the sixth child, then my brother George; then four youngest were girls. 10 of us are still living.
I was born the 4th of April 1793. I was drafted as a private, Infantry Co of Militia, for six months. We rendezvoused at Pittsburg the 1st of October, 1812. I was elected Orderly Sargent, our Captain David Strahan resigned, then Lieutenant Walker took command of the company. When we got to Sandusky, our Ensign Wm Hartford got sick and was sent home. Lieutenant Walker was killed by the Indians the 20th of Feb. about three miles from Fort Meigs, where General Harrison’smy then lay, to which we were attached.
After Walker’s death I had command of the company until the 2nd of April, 1813, when we were discharged. Walker was a son-in-law of Col. George Valandingham. Major Valandingham lived, the last I heard from him, on Montures Run, Allegheny Co., Pa. I have written to him and requested him to write to you.
Andrew Poe never was a pensioner, Adam Poe died in September, 1840 at his son’ Andrew’s near Massillon, Ohio, Stark County. Andrew now lives there. Adam Poe was a pensioner for several years before he died. Adam also has a son living in Georgetown, Beaver County, Pa., whose name is Thomas Poe.
Respecting the Brady tradition, I cannot say from where it originated. I live about 1 1/2 miles from Brady Lake, and about 3 miles from where it is said Brady leaped the Cuyahoga. I have heard the same story told by many first settlers, and as far as I know, all believed it to be true. The distance across the Cuyahoga, where it is supposed Brady leaped, is 29 feet from the surface of one bank to the other, but on the east side about five feet from the surface, rock projected about six feet over the River.
On that projecting rock it is supposed Brady lit, which would make the leap to be 23 feet, with a five foot descent. General Samuel D. Harris a few days since told me that he was preparing a corrected draft of the river and adjacent land. He has surveyed all the land in that vicinity. I will try to have him write soon; he feels interested in giving all the information that he can.
Andrew Poe, my Father, never lived on any but two places since he was married; first at Harmon’s Creek, and last in Green Township where he died on the 15th of July 1823.
Adam Poe moved from Harmon’s Creek after peace with the Indians, (I do not know the year) to near the mouth of Little beaver on the north side of the Ohio River, about four miles from Father. Neither of them ever lived nigher Little yellow Creek than about six or seven miles.
Thomas Poe, son of Adam Poe, is about ten years older than I am, and may recollect more of the particulars; his post address is George Town, Beaver County, Pa.
My Father was a man of few words and never spoke of those things without being inquired of. The time of year that my Father had the command of the Stations on the Ohio River, I cannot tell. He had a company of men and drew. US Muskets for them. I recollect of seeing his muster roll.
Respecting Maj Vallandingham, I do not remember how long he was in the army. It was on our way to Fort Meigs that I heard him relate the story of my father. He, Vallandingham, was not with us when Lieut. Walker was killed.
Another circumstance my sister says I was wrong in my statement to you, and I am inclined to think she is right. She says that the Indians first attempted to get into Thomas Bays house where there were a number of men, after leaving Bays they went to Wm Jacksons and took him prisoner. She was well acquainted with Phillip Jackson, that it was not him but Wm Jackson that was the prisoner.
I regret that I have been so long writing to you. And I am truly grateful to you for your noble effort to preserve the memory of those who have had so large a share of the hardships, privations, and sufferings which was endured by the first settlers in W. Pa.
Yours with respect,
Mr Lyman C Draper