A Biography of COL John Hinkson:
by Robert E. Francis
John Hinkson is one of the most fascinating sons of the 18th century American frontier, and like this frontier, he has mostly vanished from our collective memory. Today, all that remains of this enigmatic figure are two waterways that bear his name: Hinckston's Run, a small stream that "comes down through the classic region of 'Frog Hollow,' in Millville (Johnstown, Pennsylvania) and flows into the Conemaugh"1 and "Hinkston Creek," a tributary which joins with Stoner Creek at Ruddles Mills, Kentucky, to form the south fork of the Licking river.
"First Visitors and Improvers.-From a comparison of numerous depositions of the visitors themselves, taken between the years 1793 and 1821, in several large land-suits in Mason, Nicholas, Bourbon, Harrison, Pendleton, Fayette, and other counties, it appears that a company of fifteen men (in after years frequently called "Hinkson's Company ")-John Hinkson, John Haggin, John Martin, John Townsend, James Cooper, Daniel Callahan, Patrick Callahan, Matthew Fenton, George Gray, Wm. Hoskins, Wm. Shields, Thomas Shores, Silas Train, Samuel Wilson, (only 15 or 16 years old,) and John Woods-in March and April, 1775, came down the Ohio and up the Licking river, in canoes, in search of lands to improve. They landed at the mouth of Willow creek, on the east side of Main Licking, four miles above the forks (where Falmouth now is); and on account of high water and rainy weather remained two nights and a day. "The hackberry tree out of which Sam. Wilson cut a johnny-cake board, in the point at the mouth of the creek, was still standing in 1806, 31 years after." (Seven of them, on their way home in the ensuing fall, stopped at the same place and "barbaqued enough meat to carry them home.") They proceeded on up the Licking to near the Lower Blue Licks, "where Bedinger's mill was in 1805," thence took the buffalo trace to the neighborhood between Paris and Cynthiana-where they "improved"' lands, made small clearings, built a cabin for each member of the company, named after some of the company Hinkston and Townsend creeks, and Cooper's run, and afterwards settled Hinkston and Martin's stations. John Townsend, on Townsend creek, and John Cooper, on the waters of Hinkston, raised corn in 1775, from which the latter furnished seed to a number of improvers in the same region in 1776."2
Hinkson is generally familiar to researchers of the pioneer outposts, Ruddell's and Martin's Forts, which were captured by the British and Native Americans on June 24 and 26, 1780. He stands out clearly amidst the dramatic events following the capture of the forts where, two days after being taken prisoner, he made a thrilling escape and was the first to bring the news of the tragedy to the nearby fort at Lexington, Kentucky. Yet, even this event, which captured the imagination of the first generations of settlers in the Blue Grass region, is now merely an faint echo of the past. Today, very few people are even aware of the horrific events that took place in the now tranquil countryside along the banks of the Licking river near the border of present day Harrison and Bourbon Counties; and fewer still know about the people who lived and died there. And what of John Hinkson, explorer and Revolutionary War hero? Only a shadow remains where once stood a bold and fearless frontiersman. This biography brings him to the light of day and, in doing so, resurrects the life and times of those brave souls, our forebears, who struggled for survival in the wilderness known as Kentucky.
Before I begin this biography in earnest, it is appropriate to give credit to a fellow researcher who shares my passion for early Pennsylvania and Kentucky history: Jim Sellars.3 Jim was the first person to actually introduce me to John Hinkson. Before meeting Jim, I was like most Hinkson descendants who had read general references to "John Hinkson, the famous Indian fighter and experienced woodsman" but did not know what this meant. This all changed in January 1998 when I received an e-mail message from Jim relating that he was the 6th great-grand nephew of John Sellers who was Lieutenant under Captain John Hinkson during the Revolutionary War. Jim wrote that he discovered Hinkson through his nine year research of Sellers; and, as he said, "everywhere I found the name Sellars, Hinkson was close behind." Over the next several months, he unselfishly shared all of this information with me, most of which will appear in this monograph. Thus, while my name heads this essay, the heart and soul of it belongs to Jim. My hat is off to you, Jim. Thanks!
The first thirty-five years of John's life is all-but-unknown. What little we know about him comes from two sources: (1) a Lyman Draper4 interview with John Hinkson's son, John, in 1845, and (2) from information concerning his half-brother, William McCune. The first reference is straightforward:
"From John Hinkson - now (1845) about 72 - born on the Monongahela. Son of Col. John Hinkson - who was a son of John (a native of Ireland) - emigrated to America a married man, died leaving John the pioneer and a sister - John (Col.) when young man went to Ireland to get some family patrimony, married Margaret McCracken, remained two years, and then returned to America, about 1765 - settled probably in Westmoreland Co. Pa on Monongahela, bringing from Ireland a store of goods In '89, Col. Hinkson went to New Madrid to look at the country, and there died. He was probably about 58 or 60 years old, leaving a wife and nine children."5
From this we can deduce that John Hinkson was born about 1729,6 possibly in Ireland7 to John Hinkson, Sr. and wife, and that he had a sister. Another piece of information from this interview provides an important clue to uncovering Hinkson's origins, as well as introduce us to the second source of information:
"(John Hinkson) Went and settled at Mann's Lick and stayed there till '81; then moved to Haggin's Station, near Danville and about '83, re-occupied his old settlement on Hinkson's Fork. William McCune, a half-brother of Hinkson's, (italics mine) moved with Hinkson to Kentucky in '80, and was captured with him; and was kept nearly two years."8
The second source of information involves William McCune, and by association, John Hinkson. While it is a rather circuitous route, it clearly establishes John's relationship with some important people later on, as well as providing a backdrop for his role as a soldier and frontiersman. It is our good fortune to have quite a bit of information about William McCune. William was born about 17519 to John McCune (1712-1766) and Agnes, of Hopewell Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.10
McCune's and Hinkson's relationship is made clearer through their kinsman, John Haggin. This is the same John Haggin listed as a member of the Hinkson expedition of the spring of 1775. In a deposition given by William McCune in 1811, we read:
"He came to this country (Bourbon County, Kentucky) in the spring of the year 1780 and settled at Ruddell's Station which stood on the bank of the South Fork of Licking, and he continued to reside at said station until it was taken by the Indians during the same year. Said Ruddell's Station was well known throughout the western country at the time he came to it. Thinks it consisted of thirty or Forty men, ladies, women and children, and it was much resorted to by adventurers to this country. John Haggin was his kinsman and informed him at Lexington when on his way to Ruddell's Station, that he had settled a place near said station but was compelled for danger of Indians to leave it"11
John Haggin was a kinsman of John Hinkson and William McCune through his marriage to their niece, Nancy Gibb:
"Capt. John Haggin was born in 1753 near Winchester, Va. In early life he removed to western Pennsylvania, where he married and served in Dunmore's campaign of 1774. He was one of the earliest settlers of Kentucky, coming out in the spring of 1775 with his wife's uncle, Col. John Hinkston (italics mine). The next year he brought out his family and built a cabin on Hinkston's fork of Licking; but because of Indian hostilities he removed that summer to McClelland's Station, on the site of the modern Georgetown. Haggin was at McClelland's when George Rogers Clark arrived at Limestone (Maysville) with gunpowder for the Kentucky settlements, and was one of the party who helped to carry it in to Harrodsburg. About that time (Jan. 1777), McClelland's Station was broken up, and the Haggins removed to Harrodsburg. There he had numerous adventures with Indians, was closely pursued, and at one time he was supposed for over two weeks to have been killed or captured. But later he walked into his cabin quite unconcerned, greeting his wife with, 'How are you by this time, Nancy?'"12
Agnes "Nancy" (Gibbs) Haggin was the daughter of Elizabeth Hinkson and Robert Gibbs.13 Nancy's mother, Elizabeth, was John Hinkson's full sister and William McCune's half-sister. The will abstract of Robert Gibbs, dated March 8, 1776, provides a definitive link between these families:
"Will abstract: Robert Gibbs, yeoman, Fairfield Township, dated March 8, 1776, proved April 20, 1776; wife Elizabeth; children Agnes, Hugh, John, Samuel, Thomas and William; wife and son Hugh executors; witnesses, William McCune and David Wilson."14
A another link between the families of McCune and Gibbs concerns Robert McCune. The above mentioned will of John McCune, Sr., mentions a son, Robert, who married an Elizabeth Gibb. While no clear relationship exists between Elizabeth and Robert Gibb, it is evident that these families were closely allied.
In summary, John Hinkson was probably born 1729 in Ireland to John Hinkson, Sr., and Agnes. He had a sister named Elizabeth who married Robert Gibbs and had a daughter (among several other children) named Agnes "Nancy." Nancy eventually married John Haggin. John's father died sometime before 1750 and Agnes remarried John McCune. John and Agnes McCune had several children, including William, John's half-brother, who was born in 1751.
John Hinkson enters the record books for the first time in the mid-1760's. John and Margaret established their home and began raising a family in Hopewell Township (then later Fairfield Township), Pennsylvania. John settled on 200 acres of land and began clearing it.15 In 1765, the couple had their first of nine children: Robert Hinkson was born November 24, 1765, in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. In March of that year, a Philadelphia newspaper ran a notice placed by John Hinkson:16
Philadelphia, March 21, 1765. The Pennsylvania Gazette, No. 1891, March 21, 1765: CAME to the Plantation of John Hinkson, of Hopewell Township, about the 10th of January last, a black Horse, branded something like A M on the near Shoulder and Buttock, seems to be a natural Trotter. The Owner is desired to come and prove his Property, pay Charges, and take him away.
On April 3, 1768, John purchased land at the "Squirrel Hill Old Town" on the Conemaugh river, in Fairfield township, Bedford County (later became Westmoreland), Pennsylvania. Squirrel Hill was the site of an old Indian village. In 1771, John Hinkson and his neighbors built a road from his plantation at Squirrel Hill to neighbor Arthur St. Clair's mill, then onward to Ligonier. The Bedford County record of this undertaking is as follows:
"On petition of Robert Hanna, Esq., James Pollock, and others, setting forth that they labor under many inconveniences for want of a road leading through the township of Fairfield, the same beginning at the plantation of John Hinkson at Squirrel Hill on Conemaugh, from thence the nighest and best road to Arthur St. Clair's mill, from thence the nighest and best road to Ligonier. Ordered that John Hinkson, John Ward, Thomas Jameson, James Pollock, Garret Pendergast Jr., & Samuel Shannon do view the same and make return at the next Court pursuant to Act of Assembly.
"In pursuant of an order of the court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace at last July Term to view and lay out a road from the plantation of John Hinkson at Squirrel Hill on Connymach in the township of Fairfield, the nighest and best way, to the mill of Arthur St. Clair Esq., and from thence to Ligonier; John Hinkson, John Woods, Thomas Jameson, James Pollock, and Garret Pendergrast, five persons appointed to view and lay out the same, do make return that they find the said road necessary and have laid it out in the following manner, viz; Beginning at a black oak at ma corner of John Hinkston's fence (description of road) to the house of John Campbell in Ligonier (formerly the property of Tom Green), which road the Court does confirm and orders to be opened as it is laid out (blank space) feet in breadth." 17
John's half-brother William, who by now had married Elizabeth McClintock and had two small children, Nancy and John, lived in nearby Armstrong Township18 along the Conemaugh river at the juncture of Stoney Run, just west of Squirrel Hill. We are fortunate to have an exceptional journal account of the McCunes, written by the Presbyterian missionary, David McClure. Though the account takes us somewhat afield from our subject, it nevertheless provides a fascinating snapshot of the rugged conditions of life in the Pennsylvania wilderness:
[December] "29. Rode in company with Mr. Wm. McCune 13 miles to Squirril Hill.
"30. Wednesday preached to the small new settlement there. It lies on the River Connemoh, which is formed by the junction of Stoney Creek & Quamahone, and empties into the Allegany River. There are about 12 families here. Experienced much kindness, particularly from Mrs. McCune and family.
"This place was formerly a settlement of Indians. Here are vestiges of their corn fields, & on the bank and ancient fortification, similar to many that are found through all this country.
"Wednesday, preached the first sermon ever preached in this place, on the rich provision of Gospel salvation."19
[April 6] "Tuesday. Received a present of a location of land on Connemoh (about 300 acres) of my good friend Mr. McCune. (This right was however lost to me by the war, & my absence.)20
[June 7] "Monday. Mr. McCune of Squirril Hill, sent a horse for me to ride to that settlement, 13 miles, to preach there in the afternoon. Preached to them my last sermon. The settlement is the most easterly of those to whom I have preached, & is not far distant from the western foot of the Appalachian mountains.
"Truly the people here, in this new country, are as sheep scattered upon the Mountains, without a Shepherd. At this time, not a single church has been formed, or Minister of the Gospel settled, west of the Appalachian Mountains, from Pennsylvania to Georgia, through an extent of many hundred miles, of new & sparse settlements. A great proportion of the people manifest a desire for the Gospel, and would gladly make provision, for the support of ministers, according to their ability. We had the satisfaction, if I may so express it, of planting the seeds of some future churches, by forming several settlements into something like ecclesiastical order, during 7 or 8 months of our preaching among them. May the good Lord, raise up & send forth faithful labourers into this part of this vineyard.
"8. June. Wednesday. Mr. Wm. McCune, Benja Sutton & myself, sailed in a boat up the River Connemoh, in one place, saw a solid body of stone coal, jutting from the bank. Same day went to see an Indian Fort, near the River."21
Such was life for the Hinkson and McCune families along the newly developing frontier of Pennsylvania. Both men struggled daily to clear the land and eke out a living. Until the spring of 1774, John Hinkson was just another of the white settlers streaming into this part of the world; kinsmen like John Haggin who married his niece, Nancy, and bought land nearby;22 friends like David Wilson, John Sellars, John and Thomas Woods, James Cooper; neighbors such as mill owner Arthur St. Clair and Thomas Galbraith, innkeeper at Ligonier. Little did these men realize at the time that the world was about to turn on its head and they would become bound together in events which would forever change their lives and that of the country. Some of these men would become bitter enemies while others would form bonds of friendship that would last a lifetime. The event that triggered this change occurred in May 1774, when John Hinkson became a murderer.
There is little doubt that John Hinkson, along with friend James Cooper, shot and killed an old Delaware Indian named Joseph Wipey. The murder took place, evidently, as Joseph was fishing in his canoe on or about the mouth of Hinckston's Run, "a stream which is a confluent of Conemaugh river, having its source in Blacklick, and Jackson townships, Cambria county, flowing in a westerly direction and emptying into the Conemaugh in the Fourteenth ward of the city of Johnstown, which stream, Hinckston's Run, takes its name from Hinckston, one of the men who killed Wipey."23
The first mention of the murder of Joseph Wipey comes from the pen of Arthur St. Clair,24 a local mill owner who, we may recall, had some dealings with John Hinkson in the building of a road through Ligonier valley:
"An affair, says he, that has given me much trouble and vexation had liked to have escaped my memory. The murder of a Delaware Indian, Joseph Wipey, about eighteen miles from this place. It is the most astonishing thing in the world, the Disposition of the common people of this Country, actuated by the most savage cruelty, they wantonly perpetrate crimes that are a disgrace to humanity, and seem at the same time to be under a kind of religious enthusiasm whilst they want the daring spirit that usually inspires. Two of the Persons concerned in this murder are John Hinkson and James Cooper. I had got information of their design some time before they executed it, and had wrote to Hinkson, whom I knew to be a leader amongst them to dissuade them, and threatened them with the weight of the Law if they persisted, but so far from preventing them, it only produced the enclosed Letter. The Body was discovered hid in a small run of Water and covered with stones. I immediately sent for the Coroner, but before he had got a Jury together the Body was removed, so that no inquest could be taken. I have issued Warrants on suspicion, but they are so much on their Guard I doubt they cannot be executed - Your Honor will please to consider whether it may be proper to Proclaim them-It is most unluckey at this time; the letter may perhaps be made use of as Evidence."25
Clarence Stephenson, who has provided the most comprehensive treatment of the Wipey Affair to date, chronicles St. Clair's correspondence in the coming days: 26
"On June 12th, St. Clair again reported to Governor Penn that the country between the Forbes Road and the Allegheny River was 'totally abandoned, except by a few who are associated with the People who murdered the Indian [Wipey], and are shut up in a small Fort on Conymack, equally afraid of the Indians and the Officers of justice.'27
"Four days later, June 16th, St. Clair, writing to Governor Penn, mentioned being visited by Major Edward Ward, who 'informed me that the Delawares had got notice of the Murder of Wipey and that Mr. Croghan [most noted of the traders with the Indians] had desired him [Ward] to come to me on that occasion, that he advised that they [the Delawares] should be spoke to and some small Present made to them as Condolence and "to cover his bones" as they express it.'"28
Frustrated that Hinkson might get away with his crime, on July 12, 1774, St. Clair informed the Governor that:
"Hinkston, with about eighteen men in arms, paid us a visit at Court [in Hannastown] last week, and I am very sorry to say, got leave to go away again, though there was a force sufficient to have secured two such parties. At the Sheriff's direction I got intelligence that they were to be there and expected to be joined by a party of Cresap's people. It is said a Commission has been sent him from Virginia; certain it is, he is enlisting men for that Service."29
On July 20, 1774, a resolution was passed from the Pennsylvania Assembly establishing a warrant for the arrest of John Hinkson and James Cooper:
"Resolved, That this House will make Provision for Paying the reward of One Hundred Pounds to any Person who shall apprehend James Cooper and John Hinkson, who, it is said, have barbarously murdered an Indian on the Frontiers of this Province, and deliver them into the Custody of the Keeper of the Gaol, within either of the Counties of Lancaster, York or Cumberland, or the sum of Fifty Pounds for either of them."30
Eight days later, Governor William Penn issued the following decree:31
"WHEREAS, I have received information that some Time in May last, a certain friendly Indian man, called Joseph Wipey, was barbarously murdered in the County of Westmoreland; And Whereas, there is great Reason to believe that John Hinkson, and James Cooper, of the same County, were concerned in the perpetration of the said Murder; And Whereas, it is at all Times, but more especially in the present Situation of our Affairs with the Western Indian Nations, of the utmost Consequence to the Peace of the Province, that the Perpetrators of such atrocious Offenses, not only against the Authority of Government, but in direct Violation of the Treaties with those Indians, should be brought to condign and exemplary Punishment; I have, therefore, thought fit, with the advice of the Council, to issue this Proclamation, And do hereby strictly charge and Command all Judges, Justices, Sheriffs, Constables, and other Officers, as well as all other His Majesty's liege Subjects within this Province, to make diligent Search and Enquiry after the said John Hinkson and James Cooper, and to use all lawful Means for apprehending and securing them, that they may be proceeded against according to Law. And I do hereby promise and engage, the Public Reward of one hundred Pounds shall be paid to any Person or Persons who shall apprehend the said John Hinkson and James Cooper, and deliver them into the Custody of the Keeper of the Gaol of either of the Counties of Lancaster, York, or Cumberland, or the Sum of fifty Pounds for either of them.
"Given under my Hand and the Great Seal of the said Provinces, at Philadelphia, the twenty-eighth day of July, in the fourteenth Year of His Majesty's Reign and in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-four.
"By His Honour's Command.
"JOSEPH SHIPPEN, Junr., Secretary.
"GOD SAVE THE KING."
C. M. Busch adds witnesses to his account of the Wipey Affair. He states:
"On this subject I am privileged to quote from a letter of the Hon. W. Horace Rose, of Johnstown, Pa., a gentleman who has given the subject of the early local history of his part of the country some attention. He says:
"'In reference to the killing of John [Joseph] Wipey, St. Clair's statement is in entire accord with the fact of the Indian being killed as I have stated. It is not above eighteen miles, perhaps but fifteen by the old Mountain road, from the mouth of Laurel Run, which is located about a mile and a half from Hinckston's Run [to Ligonier]. The old road, known as the Fairfield road, left the Conemaugh river about midway between the two runs. The statement I make about him having been shot below or near the mouth of Hinckston's Run is based upon the statement of the original settlers in this neighborhood made to my informants. The Adamses were well acquainted with Wipey, and from them directly those who informed me had the statement of his death, and the fact that he was killed while fishing, from a canoe or boat just below the mouth of Hinkston's Run. Their statement was that he was hidden in Laurel Run, to which point he floated in the canoe; and that the canoe was turned upside down and attracted the attention of some Indians who lived in the vicinity of what is now New, Florence. They recognized the boat, which led to a search for Wipey. Hinckston and Cooper fled but were subsequently arrested. It was not claimed that Wipey made his permanent home at this point, but that he frequently came here and was associated with the Adamses. The information I have comes but second-handed from the Adamses who were interested in the Indian, he having at one time given them warning of a foray. It is hardly possible that the story could have been invented with such circumstantial particulars as were given in the tradition here. George Beam was well acquainted with the Adamses, and from them directly he obtained the statement. I knew Beam very well. He died at an advanced age, and resided in this locality from the close of the last century. He was thoroughly posted in the land-marks, and the history of the ValleyThe statement to which Mr. Rose alludes in the first sentence above was one made by him in the History of Johnstown (The Johnstown Daily Democrat, souvenir edition, autumn, 1894).'"32
Several depositions given to Revolutionary War chronicler Lyman Draper support St. Clair's accusation against Hinkson and Cooper. John Hinkson's son, John, mentioned the incident to Lyman Draper:
"He and James Cooper killed Wipey, who had some figure against Hinkson and threatened his life - once came with two other Indians and wanted Hinkson to go a hunting with him - Hinkson went a little distance and knowing of Wipey's threats fell a little behind, and presenting his gun told them he knew their object and to move off or he would shoot some of them. They went off - and a few days after, with Cooper, came upon Wipey in a trail and shot him - expecting he would watch Hinkson and kill him."33
Mention of the killing also appeared in other depositions such as those of Samuel Murphy and James Chambers. Murphy seemed to favor Hinkson's action: "John Hinkson & Cooper killed Wipey in Westmoreland - made a great stir with the whites & Hinkson had a small party of rangers (8 or 10, or something like that) Cooper amongst them & were brave & useful, more so than most others. Hinkson and Girty were cronies."34 John Chamber's deposition expands upon Hinkson's relationship with Girty and explains how he helped Hinkson escape from the British after the capture of Ruddell's and Martin's forts:
"Capt. Bird's Kentucky Expedition of 1780. - Bird treated prisoners well. Chambers saw the 6 pounder at Detroit taken on Bird's expedition of '80, and saw the man who drove the horse that drew it on the land part of the march. Also got acquainted with several of the prisoners taken by Bird - Capt. Ruddell and Simon Girty was with Bird. John Hinkston was in possession of the Indians - Girty and Hinkston were old acquaintances - were great cronies, and swapped clothes when he was prisoner - Girty went to Bird, and said Hinkston was very supple and active, and if he (Bird) did not take him from the Indians and put him under a guard of British soldiers, he would be certain to effect his escape. Bird did so - that night Hinkston made his escape and it was thought Girty brought about this change of Hinkston from the Indians to the British, in order to aid him in escaping. John Sellers, another prisoner taken at Ruddells or Martins escaped a little before Hinkston - they were the only ones who did escape. Girty, too, knew of Hinkston's having killed Wipey, about '74, who hunted on Conemaugh, and kept it from the Indians, who, had they known it, would have killed him."35
The reasons for John Hinkson and James Cooper killing Joseph Wipey may never be known. St. Clair saw it as a result of the growing climate of distrust amongst the whites and the Native American population during a period of great unrest, and feared that an incident of this type could catapult the region into wholesale warfare. He decried what he perceived as a attitude of "religious fanaticism" among the young men of the area (Hinkson's group) of the type that prompted hysteria and acts of barbarity. Historians like Busch and Sipes present Hinkson and Cooper as cold-blooded killers while researcher Clarence Stephenson suggests the motive may have been none other than a kind of dumb prejudice which posits that "the only good Indian is a dead Indian."36 We will never know the full story. John Hinkson and James Cooper were never tried for their crime, no evidence was ever presented against them, no witnesses were ever brought forth to testify, and no legal verdict was ever rendered in a court of law. Yet, in the absence of a trial, it is fairly certain that John Hinkson and James Cooper did, in fact, murder the old Delaware Indian, Joseph Wipey.
The Wipey Affair forever changed the direction of John Hinkson's life. From this moment onward, he would choose the life of a soldier, adventurer, and woodsman. As mentioned in Arthur St. Clair's letter of July 12, 1774, John Hinkson and his group of volunteers enlisted to fight in Dunmore's War where he received the commission of Lieutenant.37 His company of men consisted of the following: "Thomas Chenney, James Cooper, James Connell, James Dongan (?), George Finley, James Grannell, William Haskins, William Haddin, William Anderson,38 John Jordan, John Hagen, Robert Knox, John Martin, Chris'r McMichael, John McGany (?), Hugh and Robert Porter, Matthew Sullivan, Thomas Shores, John Townsend, Thos. Tawnhill (?), Silas Train, William Worton (?) and William Wilson."39
"Dunmore's War" was one of those ugly little wars where the primary motive for fighting was greed, pure and simple. John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, known as "Lord Dunmore," and the last colonial governor of Virginia, sought to expand his holdings beyond Virginia into the Ohio Valley, including portions of southwestern Pennsylvania. To this end, in the summer of 1773 he appointed Dr. John Connolly as his lieutenant in Pittsburgh. Connolly was the nephew of George Croghan, then "Commandant of the District of West Augusta, of which Pittsburgh was the county seat."40 There Connolly assumed command of Ft. Pitt, renaming it "Fort Dunmore."41
Lord Dunmore encouraged settlement of the land by Virginians and, throughout the coming months, families poured into the territory. This situation did not set well with the Shawnees and Delawares whose lands were being taken without so much as a "thank you." Tensions rose and isolated incidents of brutality broke out on both sides. The atmosphere became a powder keg waiting to igniteand Dr. John Connolly was the man holding the match. He was waiting for an event that would ignite warfare and in April 1774, the event presented itself.
Along the Ohio and Kanawha rivers near Wheeling, (West) Virginia, a group of land jobbers accused some Indians of stealing horses. Though no evidence was ever presented to substantiate this claim, on April 27, the land jobbers congregated at the fort at Wheeling, then commanded by Captain Michael Cresap, and proceeded to lay plans to kill the Indians. Within the next few hours, the jobbers killed two Indians and some traders. Three days later a group of thirty two men, led by Daniel Greathouse, an agent of Dr. Connolly, proceeded down river to Captina and murdered the family of Logan, a friendly chief of the Cuyaga. The details of the murders are particularly heinous, in that the white men tricked the Indians into believing that they were friendly and, after helping the unsuspecting victims to get drunk, proceeded to gun down, tomahawk and scalp them.42
Even after the slaughter of Logan's family, Cornstalk, the chief of the Shawnees, tried to avoid bloodshed. He sent a letter through Shawnee emissaries to Connolly asking him to restrain the Virginians from committing more murders. Connolly responded by attempting to kill the emissaries. Connolly informed Lord Dunmore that war was inevitable; thus began "Dunmore's War." The "war" lasted five months and consisted of only one major battle, Point Pleasant, after which Cornstalk, the leader of the Indian forces sued for peace. At this meeting, a representative of Logan (who did not attend the meeting) read the Cuyaga chief's words to the council. These words stand among the most eloquent ever spoken among men:
"I appeal to any white man to say if ever he entered Logan's cabin hungry, and he gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked, and he clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate of peace. Such was my love for the whites that my countrymen pointed as they passed and said, 'Logan is the friend of white men.' I had even thought to have lived with you, but for the injuries of one man. Col. Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood, and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not even sparing my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it; I have killed many; I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my country I rejoice at the beams of peace; but do not harbor a thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one!"43
Such was the tragedy called Dunmore's War.
The summer and fall of 1774 seemed to be a particularly rough time for John Hinkson. Besides having a warrant of 50£ on his head for the murder of Joseph Wipey, he and several others were charged with "riot and assault" on John Burns.44 In August, 1774, John sold his land in Squirrel Hill to Ligonier innkeeper, Thomas Galbraith. Dunmore's War officially concluded in September and the soldiers returned to their homes shortly thereafter. We are not certain what took place between September 1774 and the spring of 1775; however, since several of his company accompanied him during the Kentucky expedition of 1775, we can speculate that these men decided to claim land beyond the Ohio in the wilderness of Kentucky. One can imagine the men sitting around the campfire in the evening discussing this issue. I suspect also that it was during this period that John Hinkson met and befriended Simon Girty.
Simon Girty was one of the most remarkable figures of the western frontier during and after the Revolutionary War. An Irishman like Hinkson, Girty was a hard-drinking, tough-as-nails woodsman whose name became feared throughout Pennsylvania and Kentucky as the very personification of Evil. 45 In his day, he was accused of every conceivable act of barbarity; yet, in truth, the actual man was a complete enigma. While it is true that at times Girty committed acts of extreme cruelty, he could also be kind and generous to a faultespecially to his friends. Girty and Hinkson were clearly friends who enjoyed one another's company. I imagine that the two men got rip-roaringly drunk from time to time and swapped stories of their various adventures. It was probably during these drinking sessions that Girty learned of Hinkson's murder of Wipey; knowledge which would prove fortunate for Hinkson in years to come.
It was in the spring of 1775 that John Hinkson entered into the history books as one of the first explorers of Kentucky. In that year John was in the prime of his life and, if we go by his son's account, he was 46 years old that year. He was a tall, rangy man, standing 6'1'' with strong "raw-boned" features and dark complexion.46 He dressed in the clothing of the western frontiersman of the type Joseph Doddridge describes in his Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars: He wore a hunting shirt which hung loose and reached halfway down his thighs. The front of the shirt was open and overlapped with a pocket in the bosom where he could keep jerked meat, or perhaps a piece of bread and a rag for wiping the barrel of his rifle. The shirt might have been made of deer skin or, more likely, linsey-woolseya material made from homespun combination of wool and flax. He wore "leggings," which covered the legs to the thighs, and were fastened to a belt by strings. The belt also held a bullet pouch, a tomahawk and a scalping knife. Attached beneath his belt in front and back and extending about a yard on both sides was piece of linen or cloth called the "breech clout." The ends of this cloth may have been embroidered, hanging down before and behind. Hinkson wore moccasins made of a single piece of dressed deer skin with a single seam along the top of the foot and another along the bottom of the heel as high as the ankle joint. Flaps were left on each side some distance up his legs and adjusted by thongs. When the weather turned cold, John would stuff the moccasins with deer hair or dried leaves to keep his feet warm. He completed his attire by wearing a coon-skin cap, with the tail dangling down behind.47
Hinkson's expedition was comprised partly of men from his old company during Dunmore's War: John Haggin, John Martin, John Townsend, James Cooper, Wm. Hoskins, Thomas Shores and Silas Train. An additional seven men joined the expedition: Daniel Callahan and Patrick Callahan, Matthew Fenton, George Gray, Wm. Shields, Samuel Wilson, (only 15 or 16 years old,) and John Woods.
The group left Pittsburgh sometime in March 1775 and traveled by canoe down the Ohio river to the mouth of the Licking river (just across from present day Cincinnati), then followed the river upstream to Willow creek, about four miles above where the Licking forked. Because of heavy rain they remained there for two days, then continued upriver to Blue Licks, then overland along an ancient buffalo trace to the site of what would become "Hinkston fort." The site is located on the south fork of the Licking river, about two miles from the present day village of Lair, Kentucky.48 Actually, Hinkson's "fort" was never a fort in the proper sense of the word, but a few cabins built to sustain the men as they explored the area and established their own "improvements."49
A deposition by William Steele, taken in 1816, provides another account of this expedition:
Nov. 25, 1816: Deposition; of Wm. Steele, taken at home of Jno Nesbitt, north side Hinkson Creek, to establish entry of 400 a. and preemption of 1000 a. entered by Wm. Nesbit, states he, deponent, came to Ky. 1775 in co. with Wm. Nesbitt, Joseph Houston and others to the matter of about fourteen, at lower Blue Licks his co. was joined by John Hinkson, John Martin and others who had just come into Ky. That each company sent our parties to explore, and on their return whole co. as well as that of Hinkston and others traveled along the buffalo trace now called Limestone, passing by Millersbnrg to Lexington until they came to the buffalo road now called Hinkston's trace, turned from Limestone road, that Hinkston's co. took Hinkston's trace and advanced to what is now called Hinkston's Station, that co. in which deponent was, entered Limestone trace until they came to buffalo trail, since called Ruddell's road, encamped on Miller's Run, that co. selected spots for improving and drew lots, deponent drew place on which he has since lived, and Wm. Nesbit improved on the place this day shown, that deponent in said yr of 1775 assisted Wm. Nesbit in making his improvement, that co. of deponent was visited by co. from Hinkson's Station in 1775, after improvements were made; that John Martin, who established Martin's Station, was one of Hinkson's co. Martin's Station was about seven or eight miles from Wm. Nesbit's improvement and Hinkson's Station about same distance. Deponent resided in Penn. in 1779 and in 1780 came to Ky., was at Martin's and Ruddle's Stations in 1780, that John Martin and John Haggin knew of improvement in 1779 or 1780, and he believes the following of Hinkson's co. knew of Nesbit's improvement 1775 and upwards to 1780: P. Logan, Richard Clark, Joseph Cowper, Joseph Houston and Jno. Miller.50
There is some question as to the exact location of Hinkson's settlement. Some claim that he built his cabins on the east side of the Licking while others argue for the west side. The argument for the east side is the common assertion that in April, 1779 Isaac Ruddell "enlarged and fortified" the site of Hinkson's abandoned settlement.51 Archaeological evidence shows that Ruddell's fort was definitely located on the east side.52 Fellow researcher, Jim Sellars disagrees with the east side theory. He argues as follows:
"I strongly believe that Hinkson's initial cabin was located on the west side of the South Fork Licking River. According to the land law, in order to claim a 400 acre preemption it had to include the original improvement, which was a cabin and/or crop of corn. We know from the records that Hinkson planted corn in 1775 and 1776. John Hinkson's 400 acre preemption was located on the west side of the river. This is what George Rogers Clark wrote in his diary regarding Hinkson's "cabin:" 'We parted by the Blue Lick, and the third day from our leaving the river got to Hinkston's cabin, on the west side of Licking creek.'"53
Hinkson's settlement was among the first in Kentucky. To give an idea of the white population of the Kentucky frontier of 1775, Charles Gano Talbert writes:
"The total population of Kentucky at this time (1775) was estimated at three hundred. James Harrod had returned with forty-two men to the Salt River tributary on which he had started a settlement the year before. There were four settlements or camps which were looked upon by Richard Henderson as towns, Boonesborough, St. Asaph's, Boiling Spring, which Harrod had just established, and Harrodstown, now beginning to be known as Harrodsburg, where the current leader was a North Carolinian, Thomas Slaughter. Scattered over a wide area other men were planting corn and building cabins. Some of these were associated with one or another of the four settlements, while others were operating alone. Isaac Campbell and Benjamin Pettit were near St. Asaph's, Richard Calloway, his nephew Flanders Calloway, and James Estill were on Otter Creek, John Hinkston and John Martin were on the South Fork of Licking River, William Gillespie was on Boone's Creek, and James Knox was on Beargrass Creek. Squire Boone, Daniel's brother, left Harrodsburg long enough to mark a claim in what is today Shelby County."54
In October 1775, a humorous incident occurred at Blue Licks which gives us the only first-hand account of a verbal exchange between John Hinkson and another man. The interchange was recorded by Lyman Draper in hand-written notes taken from an interview with a Dr. Bedinger who, in turn, heard it from the famous Kentucky explorer, Simon Kenton:
"The first white man Kenton ever saw in Kentucky was at the Blue LicksJohn Hinkston: On that occasion saw at the Licks what he estimated at 1500 buffaloes, who seemed rather shy (?). Kenton discovered at a short distance someone treed & K. also took tree (both avoiding the rush of the buffaloes): Kenton hailed Hinkson with'Come outshow yourself'when Hinkson replied, 'Come out yourself' When Kenton discovered he was a white man: they approached one another & shook hands."55
Kenton visited Hinkson's settlement on a number of occasions and actually spent the winter of 1775-76 at his settlement:
"They (Kenton and Williams) settled finally for the winter at Hinkston's blockhouse on the north side of the South Licking. One of Kenton's depositions, made July 8, 1823, gives the list of his progressive 'stands': 'I first made a stand at Hinkston's blockhouse which was afterward Riddle's Station, then to McClelland's for where Georgetown now is, then to Harrodsburgh, then to Boonesborough.'"56
John Hinkson and six other men, including John Haggin, returned to Pennsylvania sometime in the late fall of 1775.57 Hinkson and Haggin (with his family) returned the following spring along with several others, including Thomas Dunn,58 David Wilson,59 Thomas Moore,60 Benjamin Harrison,61 John Morgan, Belles Collier, Robert Keene,62 John Sellers,63 William Woods,64 Eneas McDaniel65 and William Kennedy.66
The men continued to improve the land throughout the spring and into the summer. However, within a few months events took a turn for the worse. The Shawnee and Cherokee were very angry that whites had encroached upon their "happy hunting grounds" and struck back at the settlers. On July 7, 1776, John's long time friend, James Cooper, was killed. In a report filed by John Hinkson to William Harrison (brother of Benjamin) on August 30, 1776, we read that
" one James Cooper, and another person, a Dutchman, being on their way to a buffalo lick, were fired upon by a couple of Indians, who shot down Cooper and frightened the Dutchman's horse so that he flung him; his foot hanging in the stirrup, one of the Indians walked up to him, to tomahawk him, but although in that disadvantages situation he found means to aim his gun so well (which he never gritted) as to shoot the savage dead on the spot and seeing the other Indian walking up to him, he disengaged himself from his horse, mounted Coopers, and got clear off to the inhabitants."67
On July 14, another incident involved the inhabitants of Boonesboro. This incident was the basis of James Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans. In a letter written from Col. Floyd of Boonesboro to Col. Preston in Virginia, we read:68
Boonsborough, July 21, 1776.
"My Dear Sir: The situation of our country is much altered since I wrote you last. The Indians seem determined to break up our settlement, and I really doubt, unless it was possible to give us some assistance, that the greatest part of the people must fall a prey to them. They have, I am satisfied, killed several which, at this time, I know not how to mention. Many are who, sometime ago, went out about their business who we can hear nothing of. Fresh sign of Indians is seen almost every day.
"I think I mentioned to you before of some damage they had done at Leesburg [Leestown, near Frankfort].
The seventh of this month they killed one [James] Cooper on Licking Creek [in Bourbon County, on a branch still known as Cooper's Creek]. The fourteenth they killed a man whose name I do not know, at your Salt spring on Licking Creek. The same day they took out of a Canoe, within sight of this place, Miss Betsey [or Elizabeth] Calloway, her sister Frances [or Fanny], and a daughter [Jemima] of Daniel Boone's; the two last are about 13 or 14 years old, and the other grown. The affair happened late in the afternoon; they left the canoe on the opposite side of the [Kentucky] river from us -which prevented our getting over for some time to pursue them. We could not, that night, follow more than five Miles before dark. Next morning by daylight we were on the tracks, but found they had totally prevented our following them by walking some distance apart through the thickest cane they could find. We observed their course, and on which side we had left their signs and traveled upwards of thirty miles. We then imagined they would be less cautious in traveling, and made a turn in order to cross their trace, and had gone but a few miles till we found their tracks in a buffalo path, pursued and overtook them in going about two miles, just as they were kindling a fire to cook. Our study had been more to get the prisoners without giving the Indians time to murder them after they discovered us, than to kill them [the Indians].
"We discovered each other nearly at the same time. Four of us fired and all rushed on them, which prevented their carrying any thing away except one shot gun without any ammunition. Mr. Boon and myself had each a pretty fair shoot just as they began to move off. I am well convinced I shot one through, and the one he shot dropt his gun. Mine had none. The place was very thick with cane, and being so much elated on recovering the three poor little heart-broken girls, prevented our making any further search; we sent them [the Indians] off almost naked, some without their moccasins, and not one of them so much as a knife or tomahawk.
"After the girls came to themselves enough to speak, they told us there were only five Indians-four Shawanees and one Cherokee; could all speak good English. They said they should take them to the Shawanee towns. And the war club we got was like those I have seen from that nation. Several words of their language which they retained was known to be Shawanee. They also told them the Cherokees had killed and drove all the people from Watago [northeast Tennessee] and thereabouts, and that fourteen Cherokees were then on the Kentucky waiting to do mischief. If the war becomes general, which there is now the greatest appearance of, our situation is truly alarming. We are about finishing a large fort [Boonesboroughl and intend to try to keep possession of this place as long as possible. They are, I understand, doing the same at Harrodsburg and also on Elkhorn at the Royal Spring [now Georgetown]. A settlement known by the name of Hinkston [later called Martin's Station] is broke up; nineteen of [the settlers of] which are now here on their way in, himself [John Hinkston] among the rest, who all seem deaf to anything we can say to dissuade them. Ten at least of our own people, I understand, are going to join them which will leave us with less than 30 men at this fort. I think more than 300 men have left the country since I came out, and not one has arrived except a few cabbiners down the Ohio.
"I want as much to return as any person can do, but if I leave the country now there is scarcely one single man hereabouts, but what will follow the example. When I think of the deplorable condition a few helpless families are likely to be in, I conclude to sell my life as dear as I can, in their defense, rather than to make an ignominious escape.
"I am afraid it is in vain to sue for any relief from Virginia; yet the convention [Virginia] encouraged the settlement of this country; and why should not the extreme parts of Fincastle [now Kentucky] be as justly entitled to protection as any other part of the colony? An expedition being carried on against those nations who are at open war with the people in general, might, in a good measure, relieve us by drawing them off to defend their towns. If any thing under Heaven can be done for us, I know of no person who would more willingly engage in forwarding us assistance than yourself.
"I do, at the request, and in behalf of all the distressed women and children and other inhabitants of this place, implore the aid of every leading man who may have it in their power to give them any relief.
"I cannot write; you can better guess at my ideas from what I have said than I can express them.
"I am, Sir, yours most affectionately to my last moments."
Thus, fearing that the conditions were unsafe for the development of a settlement, John Hinkson and several Pennsylvanians abandoned "Hinkson's Station" and returned to Pittsburgh.69
After returning to Pennsylvania, Hinkson and many of his old company joined in the fight against the British and their Indian allies. Responding to the call by Brigadier-General Edward Hand to muster troops and "carry the war against the Indian country west of the Ohio and Allegheny,"70 in June, 1777, Hinkson enlisted as Captain of 3rd Company, under Colonel Alexander Barr's 1st Battalion, Westmoreland, Pa., Militia His officers included Lieutenants John Wood and John Sellers, Ensign Thomas Wood, 55 privates, and two men, Joseph McCartney and Samuel Johnston, listed for Court Martial.71
Evidence suggests that Hinkson's company was a specially trained group of soldiers called "Rangers."72 The Rangers had their origin twenty-two years before in the French and Indian War under the Scotsman, Major Robert Rogers. The Rangers were light infantry units equipped for rapid deployment. Trained to live off the land and fight in the guerrilla style of the Indians, the Rangers were ideally suited for the Pennsylvania frontier.
Thomas Galbraith, John Hinkson's old acquaintance in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, presents a fascinating journal account of Hinkson and his Rangers in the Fall of 1777. Following are excerpts:
"September 28,  12 o'clock an Express from Palmer's fort that George Findlay come in wounded73 and some more men missing. In the evening Capt Shannon with 16 Men was ready to march, but the night's being very dark thot it most advisable to wait till day break."74
"September 29, 1777 - When day appeared the Men Marched to Palmer's Fort and were reinforc'd with 9 Men more then proceeded for Findlays about Twenty Miles distance from Ligonier. 4 Miles from Palmers we met with Capt. Hinkston & 12 Men returning from burying a Boy that the Indians had Kill'd & scalped at Findlays"75
"October 1, 1777 - Memorand: On our return to Ligonier 4 Miles Distance we were inform'd of THOMAS WOODS being kill'd about five miles from the Town, which occasioned us to make a forc'd March after Dark into the Town to have the greater certainty."76
"At 3:00 PM on October 22, 1777 two children were killed and scalped and two more were scalped alive within 200 yards of Palmer's Fort. A party of Hinkson men pursued the Indians and a short time later the people at Palmer's Fort fired off their guns to give those persons notice who had gone to their plantations, which the party in pursuit hearing, imagined the Fort to be attacked, immediately quit the pursuit and returned. Ft Ligonier and it's Times.
"On November 3, 1777, as a party was returning to Palmer's Fort from a Scout about a mile from that, one of the party being a small distance behind was called on to stop - first in a low voice, a second time louder, & a third time very loud. The person made up to the party, but being dusk did not return to the place until the next morningfound the [Here the manuscript is illegible. Probably the meaning is that the next morning the scouting party returned to the place where the voice called, and found the tracks of Indians.]"
The above incident took place near Hinkson's former plantation at Squirrel Hill. As mentioned above, Thomas Woods was Hinkson's Ensign. It must have been a sad day for the men of the 3rd Company, 1st Battalion, since Woods was a long time neighbor and old friend of many in the troop. We can conjecture that David Wilson became Ensign shortly thereafter.
In November, 1777, Hinkson's Rangers were recruited by the celebrated Colonel James Smith.77 On November 8, 1777, Colonel Smith wrote a letter to General Edward Hand at Ft. Pitt:78
Dr General From Col'l Proctor's, November the 8th, 1777
Whereas I am persuaded that you had not heard of Wallace's fort being invaded and other damages done by the Indians near this place when you gave orders to the Bedford militia to return and whereas there is a loud call for men here at present to defend and protect this distressed frontier; I have ordered the Bedford militia to march in connection with a party of my men over Conemaugh to reconnoiter and scour the woods and if possible to annoy the enemy or drive them over the Allegheny [mountains]; and I hope sir I will be justified by you in so doing. I am sir your most obedient humble servt.
To His Excellency General Edward Hand, Fort Pitt
N.B. my intention is to Detain those men but about ten Days; and by that time your pleasure may be known.
Colonel Smith recalled Hinkson's participation in the above mission:
"In the year , I received a colonel's commission, and after my return to Westmoreland, the Indians made an attack upon our frontiers. I then raised a body of men to pursue them. We likewise took four scalps, and recovered the horses and plunder which they were carrying off. At the time of this attack, Captain John Hinkston pursued an Indian, both their guns being empty, and after the fray was over he was missing;- While we enquiring about him, he came walking back, seemingly unconcerned, with a bloody scalp in his hand - he had pursued the Indian about a quarter of a mile, and tomahawked him."79
Colonel Archibald Lochry, County-Lieutenant of Westmoreland County, perhaps alludes to this episode in an excerpt from a letter, dated December 6, 1777, to President Wharton:
"I Wrote to your Excellency by Col. Shields, giving a State of the Ravages Committed by the Indians on the Inhabitants of this County; they have still Continued to Destroy and Burn Houses, Barns and Grain, as you will see more Particular in a Patation from the People to the Hounorable Assembly, Praying Relieff. My Situation Has Been Critical; Genneral Hand required more Men than I could Possibly furnish from Two Batalions, which is all I can Pertend to have jurisdiction over, on acc't of the unsettled Boundery between this State and Virginia. I sent One Hundred men for the Remainder was Stopt by His Order, at the same time the frontears of our County Lay Expossed to the Marcy of the Savages; Not a Man on Our fruntears from Logenear to the Alegenia River, Except a few at fort Hand, on Continental PayI Have sent five Indian Scalps taken by One of our Scouting Party, Commanded by Col'l Barr, Col'l Perry, Col'l Smith, & Cap't Kingston (Hinkston?], Being Voluentears in the Action. The Action Hapned Near Kittaning, they Retoock Six Horses the Savages Had Taken from the suffering fruntears; for Encouragement to other partys I Hoop your Excellency Will make a Retaliation in [compensation or reward?] for these Scalps."80
Hinkson's company joined General Hand's expedition of February-March, 1778.81 About Christmas, General Hand learned through intelligence reports that a large cache of arms, ammunition, clothing and supplies were stored in a magazine where present day Cleveland, Ohio, now stands. The General gathered a force of five hundred horseman at Ft. Pitt, and set out on his expedition on February 15, 1778. The force descended the Ohio to the mouth of the Beaver and then ascended the Beaver to the Mahoning. By the time the force reached the Mahoning, the stream was almost impassable and General Hand almost turned back at that point. However, scouts had found some footprints of Indians on highground, and the expedition tracked the footprints to a small village, which consisted of one old man, some squaws and children. The old man and a squaw were shot, one squaw was taken prisoner and the rest escaped. The woman captive told General Hand that she had seen ten Delawares of the Wolf Clan making salt about ten miles up the Mahoning. Hand then dispatched a detachment to find and destroy the Delawares. The soldiers did as ordered; however, the Indians proved to be four squaws and a boy. The soldiers killed three squaws and the boy, and took the remaining squaw as a prisoner. The weather took a turn for the worse making further progress difficult and General Hand decided to return to Ft. Pitt. His great expedition resulted in the killing of one old man, four women, one boy, and the capture of two women. The frontiersmen derided General Hand's expedition as the "Squaw Campaign" and shortly thereafter, the good General was relieved of his command.82
We are fortunate to have a first-hand account of the only major "battle" of the "Squaw Campaign," given by Samuel Murphy:
"General Hand's expedition. This was in the winter 1777-78 with slight fall of fresh snow. About 400 men went out. Col Providence Mounts, of Mounts Creek. which empties in Youghiogheny, was out. Col. William Crawford, Major Brenton, Capt. John Stevenson, captain Scott, etc. William Brady, a blacksmith of Pittsburgh, was chosen pilot. Simon Girty was out, and wanted the appointment.
"On the way out, Major Brenton lost his horse, and he got Simon Girty to remain with him, they found the horse, and rejoined the army just at the close of the fight, or rather firing, on the Indian town, in the forks of Neshaneck and Shenango and on the eastern bank of the latter. Orders had been given as they approached the town to surround it, but Colonel Mounts did not fully accomplish his part, and left a gap, and Pipe's wife and children got off, a little fall of snow on the ground. This Pipe was a brother of Captain Pipe. The mother of the Pipes, an old squaw was pursued and shot at repeatedly, when [Lieutenant] Thomas Ravenscroft ran up to the old squaw and tried to pull her away, but the bullets still flying, and had a ball through his legging; when a Major came up and put a stop to firing, when it was ascertained that the only injury she had received was the loss of an end of the little finger. An old squaw was shot by Lieut. [John] Hamilton and wounded in the leg, mistaking her for a warrior; and a soldier ran up and tomahawked her, and a second ran up and shot her. Pipe shot and wounded Captain Scott and disabled his arm, and when nearly ready to shoot again, someone shot Pipe, and Reason Virgin passing sunk the tomahawk in his head. Then commenced a wild yelling and shooting, without giving the least heed to the officers. A few cabins only were there, a little plunder obtained. This was about midday in February or March.
"That afternoon a party started off for a small Indian settlement several miles up the Mahoning at a place called the Salt Licks. Simon Girty went as pilot. They did not reach the place until in the night, found the warriors all absent hunting, found a few squaws there, and took [one] prisoner and brought her off, the others were left. A small Indian boy out with a gun shooting birds was discovered and killed, and several claimed the honor; and it was left to Girty to decide, and his decision that one Zach Connell killed the lad.
"At the first town, the mother of Pipe was left in the town. An old Dutchman scalped the squaw that had been killed, and put the scalp in his wallet with his provisions, and in swimming a stream on return the Dutchman lost off his wallet, and exclaimed pathetically 'O, I loss my prosoc and my sculpt.' This was long a byword with the troops.":83
This account is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it may be noted that Simon Girty was on this campaign on the side of he Americans. Shortly after this he defected and joined the British. His friendship with Hinkson may be underscored by this joint venture. A second person of note is Lieutenant Thomas Ravenscroft (Ravenscraft). Thomas Ravenscraft was a celebrated veteran of innumerable campaigns during and after the Revolutionary War. Several years hence he would marry John Hinkson's oldest daughter, Margaret. This is also the same Ravenscraft erroneously listed by Maude Lafferty as a captive by the British and Indians in the taking of Ruddell's and Martin's forts, June 24-26, 1780.84
Hinkson's Rangers continued to serve in the Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Militia for another year. We have three references to the company during this time:
1. A Return of the Militia in their ranks belonging to Westmoreland County in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (c.), First Battalion, April 25, 1778, 3rd Company:85
John Hinkson, Captain
John Woods, Lieutenant
John Sellers, Lieutenant
David Wilson, Ensign
2. Accounts of County Lieutenants, Colonel Archibald Lochery, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania..86 Paid Capt John Hinkson for paying his company for the defense of the frontiers, October 15, 177 - 150/0/0 (pounds/shillings/farthings?) - John Hinkson, in part for pay due his company, October 17, 1777 - 100/0/0 - John Hinkson, Captain, a balance of pay due his company, October 24, 1778- 135/16/0
3. A list of Captain John Hinkson's Company. (c.), circa 1779.87 John Hinkson, Captain; John Sellers, Lieutenant; David Wilson, Ensign; Privates: John Hanna, James Clifford, Robert McInoe, George Finley, High Knose, Samuel Cunning, James McDonald, Robert McDonald, William Lemmon, John Lemmon, Joseph Lemmon, Edward Burns, Wilson Buck, John Callet, Samuel Sellers, Hugh Gibb, John McMillan, Alexander Barlantine, John Burns, James McClennachan, James Staut.
Whereas John Hinkson the explorer entered into general history in April, 1775, his reputation as a legendary Indian fighter and frontiersman was forged in June, 1780, when the British and Indians swept down upon and captured two frontier outposts in Kentucky. Before recounting the events leading up to and following the taking of Ruddell's and Martin's forts, it is important to go back to the spring of 1779. While Hinkson and his Rangers were fighting the Indians in Pennsylvania, Captain Isaac Ruddell received a commission to build a frontier fort in Kentucky. Ruddell, a native of the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, chose to build his fort on the south fork of the Licking river where, three years before, John Hinkson had abandoned his settlement. Ruddell's fort was well built and large enough to house in excess of three hundred people88 and had a sizable contigient of men to protect the fort.89
Over the following monthsthrough summer and fall of 1779 and spring of 1780settlers began poring into Kentucky. In April, 1780, Captain John Hinkson joined a large group of settlers from Pittsburgh down the Ohio river to the Kentucky Bluegrass region. The following narrative by one of the member's of John Hinkson's group, provides a first-hand account of the journey:
"The winter proved uncommonly severe and, by suspending the operations of the sawmills in that country, procrastinated their arrangements until the first of April following. By advertisements all the adventurers in that part of the country who were bound to Kentucky were requested to assemble on a large island in the Ohio a few miles below Pittsburgh. It was proposed to remain here until a sufficient force should have assembled to pass with safety amidst the country of savage hostility which lay between them and Kentucky.
"So numerous was the concourse of adventurers to this point that in two days after his arrival sixty-three boats were ready to sail in company. A part of these boats were occupied by families; another by young men descending the river to explore the country, and the remaining portion by the cattle belonging to the emigrants.
"The number of fighting men on board probably amounted to nearly a thousand. The descending boats were arranged in an order of defense, not perhaps, entirely according to the technical exactness of a fleet in line of battle. Pilot boats headed the advance. The boats, manned by the young men sustained each wing, having the family, boats in the center and the stock boats immediately in the rear of them, and the rear guard boats floating still behind them. The boats moved with great circumspection, floating onwards, until they were abreast of a place favorable for furnishing range and grazing for the cattle, when they landed and turned them loose for this purpose. While their cattle were thus foraging in the joy of their short emancipation from the close prison of the boats, their owners kept a vigilant watch outside of their range to prevent the savages from assaulting them.
"We arrived without molestation at Limestone, now Maysville. Captain Hinkston, of our company, with three or four other families, concluded to remain here. They immediately commenced the customary preparations for rearing cabins. We tarried with them but half a day, during which time a company from our number turned out to hunt in the wild woods."90
John Hinkson's son, John, Jr., also recounts this journey:
"(John Hinkson) moved to Kentucky in Spring of '80, four or five boats came with him with about half a dozen families, stopped at Limestone about a week, built a block-house, the first erected there, and sent a message to his old station (better known as Ruddell's) to get help to aid in moving the families over, and while waiting at Limestone the Indians stole all the horses belonging to the company - some 20 in all - At the old station there was not a sufficiency of men to share, and advised a continuation to the Falls of Ohio.
"Went down there in his boats - got horses to transport some of the property leaving the family at the Falls, and he had been at Ruddell's but three or four days when Bird came"91
It is likely that Hinkson's half-brother William McCune92 was in the Hinkson party that dropped off their families at the Falls of the Ohio, the newly formed village of Louisville, and proceeded overland to Ruddell's fort. Others in the party included members of his old Ranger company: his Lieutenants John Sellers and Ensign David Wilson.93 John Mullin Reading94 may have also been in the party. The Hinkson party arrived at Ruddell's fort on about June 20, 1780. In four days hence, a large force of British and Indians attacked the fort.
While a full account of the taking of Ruddle's fort by the British and their Indian allies is not possible in this short essay, it is important to provide a summary of the events leading up to, and including, the capture of the fort. Maude Lafferty provides an excellent summary of these events: 95
"One of the outstanding events of the Revolutionary War in the West was the invasion of Kentucky by the British officer, Captain Henry Bird, of the Eighth Regiment of his Majesty's forces, and the destruction of Ruddle's and Martin's Forts. Coming in the summer of 1780 with an army of more than a thousand British regulars,96 Canadian volunteers, Indians and Tories, and bringing the first cannon ever used against the log forts of the wilderness, he captured 470 men, women and children,97 loaded them down with the plunder from their own cabin homes and drove them on foot from Central Kentucky to Detroit, a distance of 600 miles. There they were divided among their captors and some of them were taken 800 miles farther to Mackinac and to Montreal.98 The story of their capture, of the separation of families, of the hardships endured during the six-weeks journey and of the conditions under which they lived during the fourteen years of their captivity is one of the most shocking in the pioneer period of Kentucky's history.
"The invasion was planned by British officers at Detroit, their object being not only to exterminate the pioneer forts, but to force our western frontier back to the Alleghany Mountains, thus bringing out in bold relief the policy of Great Britain in the Revolutionary War-to prevent the westward growth of the American Colonies.99
"In executing their plan they waged the War of the American Revolution on Kentucky soil, for they came under the command of a British officer flying the British flag, demanding surrender in the name of his Britannic Majesty, King George III, and made official report of the expedition to Sir Frederick Haldimand,100 the British Lieutenant General, who was then Governor of Canada."101
The actual taking of Ruddle's fort is described in graphic detail by Daniel Trabue, a brother of one of the captives, James Trabue:
"The land office was opened this spring at Wilson's Station for entering land warrents. James Trabue and I went their to make some entries, but their was so many people their we had to cast lots. And according to lot he (James Trabue) made some few entries, and it would be several days before he could make any more. And it would be several days before I could make my entries as my warrents was not on the first day.
"So we went home and James Trabue told me he would make my entries for me when he made his, if I would stay at home and attend to howing our corn planted. I agreed to it and gave him my warrents and a memorandum where my land was to be laid. It was 2,000 acres and choice land. James Trabue said he would go to licking on his commessary business. He was very much [needed] their and could be back to Wilson's Station in time to lay our warrents.
"So he went to Licking and got Ruddle's Station at night. And when morning [June 24, 1780] came their fort was surrounded by Indians; and Col. Byrd, a british officer from Detroyt, soon arrived with a cannon. He (Byrd) sent in a flag to the fort, demanding them to surrender to him as prisoners of war, etc., to which they refused. The cannon was twise fired. Done no damage except knocked one cabin log so it was moved in about six inches.
"Capt. Ruddle insisted it would be best to cappitulate. Capt. Hinkston and James Trabue insisted to defend the fort. At length Capt. Ruddle got a majority on his side and petitioned Col. Byrd to capitula[te]. The flag was sent back and forward several times before they agreed and the articles was sighned and agreed to. James Trabue was the man that did wright in behalf of Ruddle and the people in the fort. The terms of cappitulation was that Col. Byrd and his white soldiers should protect the people that was in the fort and march thim to Detroyt as prisoners, and that the Indians should have nothing to do with them, that the peoples cloathing and papers should be sicure to themselves with some little exceptions.
"The fort gate was opined. The Indeans came rushing in and plundered the people, and they evin striped their cloaths of[f] them and dividing the prisoners among the indians. In a few minuts the man did not know where his wife or child was, nor the wife know where her husband or either of her children was, no the children where ther parrents or brothers and sisters weare, all contrary to the cappitulation. Nor they had no chance of seeing Col. Byrd, as the Indians kept them to themselves. They went and took Martain's station also."102
Of all that were taken captive by the British and Indians, only two men are recorded to have escaped: John Sellers and John Hinkson. The rest were either taken into captivity by the Indians, marched to Detroit, or killed. Very little is known about John Seller's escape. In his deposition, John Chambers made a passing comment about Sellers to the effect that
"John Sellers, another prisoner taken at Ruddells or Martins escaped a little before Hinkston - they were the only ones who did escape."103
By far the most colorful tale of this tragic affair involves the escape of our subject, John Hinkson. The most oft-quoted account of his escape is from the pen of John Bradford:
"Immediately after it was decided not to go forward to Bryan's Station, the army commenced their retreat to the forks of Licking, where they had left their boats, and with all possible dispatch got their artillery and military stores on board, and moved off. At this place the Indians separated from Byrd, and took with them the whole of the prisoners taken at Ruddle's Station. Among the prisoners were Capt. John Hinkston, a brave man and an experienced hunter and woodsman. The second night after leaving the forks of Licking, the Indians encamped near the river; every thing was very wet, in consequence of which it was difficult to kindle a fire, and before a fire could be made it was quite dark. A guard was placed over the prisoners, and whilst part of them were employedin kindling the fire, Hinkston sprang from among them and was immediately out of sight. An alarm was instantly given, and the Indians ran in every direction, not being able to ascertain what course he had taken. Hinkston ran but a short distance before he lay down by the side of a log under the dark shade of a large beach tree, where he remained until the stir occasioned by his escape had subsided, when he moved off as silently as possible. The night was cloudy, and very dark, so that he had no mark to steer by, and after travelling some time towards Lexington, as he thought, he found himself close to the camp from which he had just before made his escape. In this dilemma he was obliged to tax his skill as a woodsman, to devise a method by which he should be enabled to stear his course without light enough to see the moss on the trees, or without the aid of sun, moon or stars. Captain Hinkston ultimately adopted this expedient: he dipped his hand in the water, (which almost covered the whole country) and holding it upright above his head, he instantly felt one side of his hand cold; he immediately knew, that from that point the wind camehe therefore steered the ballance of the night to the cold side of his hand, that being from the west he knew, and the course best suited to his purpose. After travelling several hours he sat down at the root of a tree and fell asleep.
"A few hours before day, there came on a very heavy dense fog, so that a man could not be seen at twenty yards distance. This circumstance was of infinite advantage to Hinkston, for as soon as day light appeared, the howling of wolves, the gobling of turkeys, the bleating of fawns, the cry of owls, and every other wild animal, was heard in almost every direction. Hinkston was too well acquainted with the customs of the Indians, not to know that it was Indians, and not beasts or birds that made these soundshe therefore avoided approaching the places where he heard them, and notwithstanding he was several times within a few yards of them, with the aid of the fog he escaped, and arrived safe at Lexington. It was the 8th day after Ruddle's Station was taken, when Hinkston arrived in Lexington, and brought the first news of that event."104
Bradford's account, written October 20, 1826, already suffered from the encrustation of oral tradition. The story underwent many changes over the course of the next century, the most outrageous being the account given in Lucinda Boyd's Chonicles of Cynthiana:
"The Hinkstons.-Said Thomas Hinkston, of this place: My grandfather, Colonel John Hinkston, settled Hinkston Station in April, 1776. He was in command of it when Simon Girty and his Indian followers attacked it. Colonel Hinkston defended the station until his ammunition was exhausted, and then was forced to surrenderto the renegade Girty! He exacted a promise from him, before he gave himself up, that the men, women, and children should be allowed to remain in the fort in safety. The promise was given by Girty, and Colonel Hinkston was taken as a prisoner to the "broad ford," two miles north of Colemansville. That night the Indians put their arms stacked, and their prisoners, Colonel Hinkston and a young girl, in the center of a circle the inner circumference of which was described by their heads lying side by side, and their feet describing an outer circle or penumbra, for their heads were gayly decorated with war paint and feathers, and their feet were bare and seen dimly in the starlight.
"In the night the young girl cut the bonds that bound Colonel Hinkston, hand and foot, and he seized his gun, sprang across the narrowest part of the human circle, and made for the river and jumped into it and swam safely across it amid bullets striking the water all around him. As soon as he had crawled up the bank, he entered a thicket, and after some time he found a large fallen tree that was hollow. Into that he crept to await developments. There was a dense fog along the Licking the next morning, but the Indians were on the trail. He heard turkeys gobble in every direction, but he did not leave his retreat, for he knew the Indians were imitating the familiar sound of the then wild fowls. When night came down, he made his way to Hinkston Station and removed men, women, and children from it as soon as possible, and it was deserted for some time."105
As the reader can tell, there is precious little resemblance between the two tales, other than they both involve the capture of John Hinkson by Indians and his eventual escape. While the former tale adds suspenseful details to the harrowing escape of Hinkson from his Indian captors, the latter tale contains so many distortions that it is all but useless as an historical account. It's only historically accurate statement is that John Hinkson, in fact, established a station in April, 1775. From that statement onward, the account is pure fiction. Girty was not in Kentucky in 1775, much less in charge of Indians on the warpath. There were no women or children in the original settlement and there was no fight. The writer confused the events of 1775 with those of 1780 while making up a fanciful tale about Hinkson and a young girl tied up and adorned with warpaint and feathers. After having the girl free Hinkson, Boyd then adds Bradford's account to the mix, but instead of Hinkson bringing the news of the capture of the forts the hero returns to "save the day" by removing the men, women, and children from his Station!
So, how can we separate fact from fiction? Did John Hinkson actually make the dramatic and thrilling escape described by Bradford and Boyd? The answer is a very qualified "yes." We will now explore the records and determine, as best we can, what actually happened.
I believe we should begin with the earliest accounts. Perhaps the most telling account is that of John Chambers. Though mentioned in full earlier in this this biography, it is worthy of repeating here:
"James Chambers statement continued from book_______ of Westmoreland County Pa born in 1749. Capt. Bird's Kentucky Expedition of 1780. - Bird treated prisoners well. Chambers saw the 6 pounder at Detroit taken on Bird's expedition of '80, and saw the man who drove the horse that drew it on the land part of the march. Also got acquainted with several of the prisoners taken by Bird - Capt. Ruddell and Simon Girty was with Bird. John Hinkston was in possession of the Indians - Girty and Hinkston were old acquaintances - were great cronies, and swapped clothes when he was prisoner - Girty went to Bird, and said Hinkston was very supple and active, and if he (Bird) did not take him from the Indians and put him under a guard of British soldiers, he would be certain to effect his escape. Bird did so - that night Hinkston made his escape and it was thought Girty brought about this change of Hinkston from the Indians to the British, in order to aid him in escaping. John Sellers, another prisoner taken at Ruddells or Martins escaped a little before Hinkston - they were the only ones who did escape. Girty, too, knew of Hinkston's having killed Wipey, about '74, who hunted on Conemaugh, and kept it from the Indians, who, had they known it, would have killed him."106
Chamber's account shows that Hinkson and Girty were friends and that Girty helped him escape to avoid being discovered by the Shawnee whohad they discovered Hinkson as the man who killed the old Delaware Joseph Wipeywould have killed him. They swapped clothing and Hinkson escaped while being transferred to the British. The British commander, Captain Bird, confirms this in his letter to Major Arnet DePeyster: "Everything is safe so far, but we are not yet out of reach of pursuit - As a very smart fellow [Hinkson?] escaped from me within 26 miles of the enemy."107
After making his escape, Hinkson made his way to the nearby fort at Lexington and gave the first report of the British and Indian attack upon the two forts:
"Extract upon Capt. Hinkson's narrative, who was made prisoner on the surrender of Ruddle's Fort; in Kentucky the 25th of June (1780), and made his escape on the 28th. On the 24th about sunrise, a heavy fire was begun on the fort by small arms, which continued without intermission until noon, when it was observed, that a battery of two three pounders (cannons) was erected on an advantages spot. The first discharged made such an impression on the fort, that all within were convinced they could not hold out. A flag was sent out and the terms agreed to were that the garrison should surrender themselves as prisoners, be permitted to retain their wearing apparel, and conducted safely to a settlement near Detroit, where provisions should be found there until they could raise corn for themselves.
"On the 26th the white, with a party of Indians appeared before Martin's Fort, seven miles up Licking Creek, which surrendered without resistance on the same terms as the other fort and previous were in the hands of the enemy when Capt. Hinkson made his escape; who further adds, that they consisted of a company of regulars from Detroit, under Capt. Bird, a company of Canadians, thirty Tory volunteers, and about 700 Indians from various tribes. Capt. Bird informed Capt. Hinkson; that he had taken the Governors dispatches going down the Ohio, which gave an account that no expedition would be sent into their country this summer; which seemed to elate him much. The enemy came down Stoney River (on the Great Miami) up the Ohio and Licking, without being discovered."108
Captain Bird received the news of Hinkson's report and relayed this to Major DePeyster: "Capt Hinxon [Hinkson] who made his escape from us had candour sufficiant to tell Col. Clarke, he and the prisoners were treated in so different a manner from what they expected, that had not his family been at the Falls, he would have preferred going with us to Detroit."109
The only thing we know for sure is that John Hinksonwith the help of Simon Girtyescaped his captors and reported the tragedy of Ruddell's and Martin's forts to the Americans in Lexington, Kentucky; as to the intricate details of Hinkson's escape provided by John Bradfordwell, that is the stuff of legend. Several writers faithfully passed on Bradford's story as fact, each adding a bit of their own literary license as they created a myth and legend of John Hinkson.
And what of the men of John Hinkson's party? John Sellers escaped captivity and David Wilson, John Mullin Reading, and William McCune were taken into captivity.
The last decade of John Hinkson's life is almost as great a mystery as were his early years. After his harrowing escape from the Indians, he all but disappears from history. His whereabouts over the next decade are at best sketchy and found mostly in the "paper trails" of land acquisitions, tax rolls, military promotion lists, positions of public office and the like. From this information, one gets the impression that John Hinkson the frontiersman and Revolutionary War hero began to slow down and seek the quieter life of a gentleman and public servant. Yet, one also senses that during this time Hinkson became a restless spirit who increasingly felt out of place in the "civilized" world of the new settlements being forged out of the wilderness; and it may be this restlessness that led him to go on one last adventure into the new frontier of the Spanish territory then known as Missouri. It was there, in New Madrid, that LTC (or COL) John Hinkson died in 1789. His death was as unremarkable as his remarkable life. In his interview with Lyman Draper, John Hinkson, Jr., simply states that his father "was out with Gen. Ben Harrisonon his expeditionIn '89, Col. Hinkson went to New Madrid to look at the country, and there died."110 Following is a brief summary of the last years of his life.
Sometime during 1780, he moved to Mann's Lick in an old salt station located near the present town of Sheppardsville, KY. In April, 1781, he appeared in Jefferson County Court with John Sellers and appeared on a poll to elect delegates. In September, 1781, he moved again to Haggin's Station near Harrodsburg, Kentucky. In November, 1782, John served as private in Capt. John Smith's company on Clark's campaign, Lincoln County, Kentucky. Between 1783-1785, John received land grants on Licking River, (in present day Harrison County), and 1783-1784, he surveyed land with John Sellers and others around Ruddles Station, moving back to that area about this time. Hinkson served in Benjamin Logan's Campaign of 1786111 which was launched to squelch Indian forays into settled areas along the Ohio river.
John remained a professional soldier until his death and was clearly following in the footsteps of his friend and comrade-in-arms, Benjamin Harrison. Both men's recommendations and commissions to higher rank occurred on the same day in almost every instance. In September 1785, John was recommended as major and on January 12, 1786, he was commissioned as a major and Benjamin lieutenant colonel in Bourbon County, Kentucky. On August 20, 1788, Benjamin resigned his commission and on the same day John was recommended in his place as Lieutenant Colonel. John's commission was issued on November 4, 1788.112 To date, I have found no records verifying John's promotion to Colonel; yet, all historical references to John Hinkson list him as such. As further information is gathered, this uncertainty will be clarified.
Hinkson appears in the first Bourbon County Court book, dated May 16, 1786, in the following entries:113
"A new commission of the peace dated the twelfth day of January one thousand seven hundred and eighty six to this county directed to James Garrard, Thomas Swearington, John Edwards, Benjamin Harrison, John Hinkson, Avin Mountjoy, Thomas Warring, Edward Waller, and John Gregg Gentlemen was produced and read whereupon the said James Garrard took the oath of fidelity and the oath of justice of the peace which were administered to him by John Edwards114 Named in the said Commission And then the said James Garrard Gent. administered the aforesaid oathes to Benjamin Harrison, John Hinkson, Avin Mountjoy, Thomas Warring, Edward Waller, and John Gregg, Gentlemen who took the same respectively.
"A Commission from his excellency the Governor of this State (Virginia) to Benjamin Harrison Gent. to be Sheriff of this County was produced by the said Harrison who took the oath of fidelity and the Oath of Office and together with John Edwards and John Hinkson his securities entered into Bond for the due performance thereof according to law. Present John Hinkson Gent.
"On the motion of Benjamin Harrison, Gent. Sheriff Robert Hinkson115 was sworn as deputy Sheriff.
"James Garrard, John Hinkson, Thomas Warring, Edward Waller and John Gregg Gent. are sworn Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer for this county.
On December 1, 1787, John was appointed High Sheriff of Bourbon County, Kentucky.
Hinkson's close friendship with Benjamin Harrison led to their last adventure togethera land speculation venture into the Spanish territory of New Madrid, Missouri. We are fortunate to have the details of this venture in a lengthy article about Benjamin Harrison titled "Benjamin Harrison 1750-1808: A History of His Life and Some of the Events in American History in Which He was Involved," by Jeremy F. Elliot, 1978.116 While we have no first-hand information regarding John's role in this venture, it is safe to speculate that Benjamin Harrison confided in his friend that money was to be made in the deal and that he needed a man of experience to explore the new territory. It must be remembered that in 1789 Missouri was a virgin wilderness in much the same way that Kentucky had been 14 years earlier when John first traveled up the Licking river. He must have jumped at the chance of reliving one of the Great Adventures of his lifeand what better way to do so than by joining his old comrade-in-arms?
While John Hinkson, Jr., stated that his father died in 1789, Spanish records of "Anglo-Americans" residing in New Madrid lists "Hinkson, Juan" and "Harrison, Benjamin" on a ledger dated January 27, 1790.117 If this ledger is accurate, we can pinpoint his death as taking place sometime between January 27, 1790 and March 25, 1790; the latter of which was the marriage date of John Hinkson's widow, Margaret McCracken, to Humphrey Lyon. Now, if that doesn't cause an eyebrow to raise, I don't know what would! The more likely explanation is that John Hinkson died sometime in the fall of 1789 and the fact that his name was not deleted from the rolls was a clerical oversight.. Nonetheless, it is a mystery that will no doubt remain unsolved.
In closing, it is my earnest hope that this brief biography has brought to life one of the more colorful and interesting pioneers of early Pennsylvania and Kentucky history. John Hinkson rightly belongs alongside such great names as Simon Kenton, Robert Patterson, Daniel Boone, John Floyd, and James Smith. He was a flawed man, to be sure; but this is what made him all-the-more human. His fearlessness, bravery, strength of character, charisma and shear raw courage elevated himduring, and for almost a hundred years after his deathto legendary status. John Hinkson, the man and the legend, now emerges from the shadow and once again stands bold and fearless.
DUNN, THOMAS. Fayette County Circuit court Complete Record Book E, p.267, Deposition of Thomas Dunn, aged 71 years (taken at dwelling of James Ruddell in Bourbon County on May 1, 1811, before George Mountjoy and Joseph L. Stevens, Justices of the Peace): "Deponent came to this country in the year 1776 and lived on Hingston's above the junction with Stoner. John Hingston had a settlement or improvement on the south side of South Fork of Licking opposite the place afterwards called Hingston's Station by some and by others Ruddell's Station. Deponent was frequently in the year 1779 at Hingston's settlement which was resorted to by a number of adventurers to this country and deponent was frequently, during the spring and summer of said year, at this place, where John Haggin had built a cabin, cleared and located some lands, and resided with his wife and family at the period named. I returned to this country in the year 1785 or 1786, after leaving it in 1776, and was shortly afterwards at this place, and heard it frequently called Haggin's cabin."
HARRISON, BENJAMIN. Harrison County Court Order Book A, pg. 356, June 8, 1804. "The deposition of Benjamin Harrison taken to Establish William Woods land on the South Fork of Licking. I have known this Spring from between the first & ninth of May 1776. At the time I first saw it, there was an improvement at & near source thereof and from that time until this date it has been designated & known by the name or appellation of the Cave Spring. In the year of 1780 I was on this spot in the month of May or early in June in Company with John Hinkson & John Sellers and stayed all night & on the 24th day of June there after made two locations in the neighborhood thereof............... signed Benjamin Harrison"
HINKSON, JR., JOHN. Draper MSS 2S334-338 From John Hinkson - now (1845) about 72 "born on the Monongahela. Son of Col. John Hinkson - who was a son of John (a native of Ireland) - emigrated to America a married man, died leaving John the pioneer and a sister. John (Col.) when young man went to Ireland to get some family patrimony, married Margaret McCracken, remained two years, and then returned to America, about 1765 - settled probably in Westmoreland Co. Pa on Monongahela, bringing from Ireland a store of goods.
"In Dunmore's War, was a captain or lieutenant - probably the former, came to Kentucky in '75 - moved to Kentucky in Spring of '80, four or five boats came with him with about half a dozen families, stopped at Limestone about a week, built a block-house, the first erected there, and sent a message to his old station (better known as Ruddell's) to get help to aid in moving the families over, and while waiting at Limestone the Indians stole all the horses belonging to the company - some 20 in all. - At the old station there was not a sufficiency of men to share, and advised a continuation to the Falls of Ohio.
"Went down there in his boats - got horses to transport some of the property leaving the family at the Falls, and he had been at Ruddell's but three or four days when Bird came - Shot a cannon and knocked the corner of a house down - The station was on the east side of Hinkson's Fork, 8 miles from Paris - located on low land, with a overlooking hill, which the British occupied and from which they fired the cannon. Capt. Ruddell surrendered - Hinkson was opposed to it. Hinkson was kept and escaped the third night. Col. Bird gave him permission to stay with the Indians (who captured him) or with him, Bird chose the latter, and [Hinkson] made a bargain with one of the prisoners to run off, and the latter betrayed him and told Bird - and Bird placed an Indian guard over him, and in the night when raining, going down Licking by land (as he came with wagons - Bird's Old Trace), knocked an Indian over and into the River, at the mouth of Bank Lick Creek (some 3 miles above the mouth of Licking, west side of the river) - and himself plunged into the river and swam over, and escaped. Bird had got bewildered, came to Hinkson and told him as he was an old woodsman, that it would be better for him to tell the best route to take (they were then camped) - and Hinkson said if he must tell he would do his best, and commenced directing and pointing when the Indians were collecting around him, he knocked the one between him and the river down the bank into the river and himself jumped in and swam over, and made his way to Bryan's Station; next morning (that night didn't go far, too dark and got into a tree top and went to sleep, and awoke in the morning within view of a camp of the Indians who took after him, but he outstripped them, but he, in running through briars got the most of his clothing torn off - and was nearly naked when he got to Bryan's.
"Don't think Col. Hinkson went on campaign of '80 - nor in '82. Did go out with Logan in '86; was an officer under Col. Edwards on the Blackberry campaign. Was out with Gen. Ben Harrison (who died at New Madrid - some children living near St. Genevieve at the lead mines - Harrison died not long (2 or 3 years) before the War of 1812.) on his expedition. Also went out scouting with parties.
"Went and settled at Mann's Lick and stayed there till '81; then moved to Haggin's Station, near Danville and about '83, re-occupied his old settlement on Hinkson's Fork. William McCune, a half brother of Hinkson's, moved with Hinkson to Kentucky in '80, and was captured with him; and was kept nearly two years.
"In '89, Col. Hinkson went to New Madrid to look at the country, and there died. - He was probably about 58 or 60 years old: 6 feet and 1 inch - raw boned, dark complexion : leaving a wife and nine children.
"He and James Cooper killed Wipey, who had some figure against Hinkson and threatened his life - once came with two other Indians and wanted Hinkson to go a hunting with him - Hinkson went a little distance and knowing of Wipey's threats fell a little behind, and presenting his gun told them he knew their object and to move off or he would shoot some of them. They went off - and a few days after, with Cooper, came upon Wipey in a trail and shot him - expecting he would watch Hinkson and kill him.
"A party of Indians came to the region of Hinkson's Station and stole horses (after '83) and wounded John McCord in the chin riding to meeting on Sunday - Hinkson raised a party of 7 or 8 and pursued the Indians, and near mouth of Locust, came upon them encamped, and Hinkson killed one, David Wilson killed another just as he was getting into his canoe - the third escaped. This occurred the same spring Kenton waylaid and killed Indians at mouth of Locust; and of these latter Kenton rescued a horse they had stolen from Hinkson."
McMULLEN, SAMUEL. Charles R. Staples, History in Circuit Court Records, Fayette County, "Register of the Kentucky Historical Society," 1930), p. 216. In another suit between Humphrey Marshall and William Gunnell vs. John Fowler, Samuel McMullen deposed the following (Staples 1934:156): "He has this day [June 4, 1811] shown the surveyor of Bourbon County the place where John Haggin's cabin, that he lived in the summer of 1776 stood. Deponent came to this cabbin about the last of April 1776 in company with said Haggin and family and the said cabbin was notoriously known to the inhabitants of this part of the country at that time. Deponent continued with said Haggin and in the neighborhood until the Christmas following about which time the neighborhood was driven off by the Indians and the settlement entirely evacuated. Deponent first became acquainted with William Kennedy at Hinkston settlement about two miles from Haggin's cabbin during the summer of 1776. Kennedy alternately made his residence at Haggin's cabbin and at Hinkston's settlement during the summer of 1776."
MOORE, THOMAS. Fayette County Circuit court Complete Record Book A, pg. 339, Deposition of Thomas Moore, taken on the west bank of Stoner's creek near James Patton's house in Clark county, on 20th November 1802 before D. Harrison and H. Chiles, J.P. deposes "Early in the spring of 1776 this deponent in company with Benjamin Harrison, John Morgan, Belles Collier and one [Robert] Keene came down the Ohio to mouth of Licking River and from thence up Licking to Hingston station and from thence we proceeded up this stream now called Stoner's Fork, being pilated by John Morgan, who had been in this country the year before, till he informed us we were about [Christopher] Gist's military survey and sometime, as this deponent thinks, in the month of April we built a cabbin covered it over and made it fit for habitation. At this spot we cleared about a half an acre or 3/4 of an acre of land and planted corn. This improvement we made for John Morgan and after making several other improvements on the right hand fork, which puts in about 300 yards above this place, Harrison, and this deponent returned up the river, leaving Morgan and Collier at Morgan's cabbin, who were to remain there and to endeaver to prevent others from making improvements to interfere with ours, and we were to return the ensuing fall, and bring to Morgan and Collier such necessaries as they had sent for. The spring near this spot had the appearance of a lasting one was intended by Morgan as his useing spring."
SELLERS, JOHN. Harrison County Court Order Book A, pg. 337, November 10, 1803. The deposition of John Sellers of Full age & being first sworn deposeth and saith that some time in the year seventeen hundred and seventy six coming up the South Fork of Licking in Company with Capt. John Hinkson & others. I was informed by Capt. Hinkson of a Cave Spring that we would endeaver to get to that night to encamp at which place we got to a little before sunset which spring was on the south westardly side of the said South Fork which I believe to be the place we are now at between a half and a quarter of a mile below where James Wigglesworth now lives.
Question by John Smith agent of William Woods: How long have been living in this country?
Answer: Since the Spring Seventeen Hundred and Eighty.
Question 2nd: Did you ever know of any other spring on the other Main South Fork of Licking but this from first acquaintance to the present day.
Question 3rd: Do you consider a Cove Spring & a Cave Spring to mean one & the same thing.
Answer: I consider them the same. Signed John Sellers
"The deposition of John Sellers being of full age and duly sworn deposeth and saith that he saw Eneas McDaniel and his son frequently at work on the improvement mentioned in the preamble in the summer of 1776 and suppose they had between 2 or 3 acres cleared and have ever since known it by the name of said McDaniel's Improvement.
And further this deponent saith not. Signed John Sellers. Teste David Clarkson, John Smith, Thomas Mahan"
SUDDUTH, W. "Maj. John Hinkston descended the river from near Pittsburgh in the year 1775 and settled in what is now Harrison County. He was a brave enterprising man of good character. I became acquainted with him in 1786 while in Logan's campaign. I cannot tell whether he died in Harrison County or immigrated to some of the Western States, but he has been dead for many years and I can give no account of his family. I would refer you to Maj Thomas Curry of Cynthiana, Harrison County for his particular history. He located lands, built a station in Harrison near Cynthiana and was among the first improving companies in that quarter." (Draper Manuscript Collection 14U:110, Letter of W. Sudduth to Lyman C. Draper, May 22, 1845.)
WILSON, DAVID. Fayette County Circuit Court Complete Record Book E, p.268, Deposition of David Wilson, aged 63 years (taken at James Ruddell's in Bourbon County on May 22, 1811, before George Mountjoy and J. L. Stevens, Justices of the Peace): "Deponent came to this neighborhood after the new year of the same year that Hingston erected the station below this place, after the Indians took it while under the said Ruddell, the year the deponent does not recollect. Deponent assisted in the settlement of said station, and at that time he frequently saw the improvement at this place settled by Haggin some years before." Note: David Wilson was an Ensign in Capt. John Hinkson's company in PA.
1. From Chronicles of Border Warfare by Alexander Scott Withers:
"Among those who were taken captive at Ruddle's station, was a man of the name of Hinkstone, remarkable for activity and daring, and for uncommon tact and skill as a woodsman. On the second night of their march, the Indians encamped on the bank of the river, and in consequence of a sudden shower of rain, postponed kindling their fires until dark, when part of the savages engaged in this business, while the remainder guarded the prisoners. Hinkstone thought the darkness favorable to escape, and inviting its attempt. He resolved on trying it, and springing suddenly from them, ran a small  distance and concealed himself behind a large log, under the shade of a wide spreading tree. The alarm was quickly given, and the Indians, pursuing, searched for him in every direction. It was fruitless and unavailing. Hid in thick obscurity, no eye could distinguish his prostrate body. Perceiving at length, by the subsiding of the noise without the camp, that the Indians had abandoned the search, he resumed his flight, with the stillness of death. The heavens afforded him no sign, by which he could direct his steps. Not a star winkled through the dark clouds which enveloped the earth, to point out his course. Still he moved on, as he supposed, in the direction of Lexington. He had mistaken the way, and a short space of time, served to convince him that he was in error. After wandering about for two hours, he came in sight of the Indian fires again. Perplexed by his devious ramble, he was more at fault than ever. The sky was still all darkness, and he had recourse to the trees in vain, to learn the points of the compass by the feeling of the moss. He remembered that at nightfall, the wind blew a gentle breeze from the west; but it had now become so stilled, that it no longer made any impression on him. The hunter's expedient, to ascertain the direction of the air, occurred to him. He dipped his finger in water, and, knowing that evaporation and coolness would be first felt on the side from which the wind came, he raised it high in the air. It was enough. Guided by this unerring indication, and acting on the supposition that the current of air still flowed from the point from which it had proceeded at night, he again resumed his flight. After groping in the wilderness for some time, faint and enfeebled, he sat down to rest his wearied limbs, and sought their invigoration in refreshing sleep. When he awoke, fresh dangers encircled him, but he was better prepared to elude, or encounter them.
"At the first dawn of day, his ears were assailed by the tremulous bleating of the fawn, the hoarse gobbling of the turkey, and the peculiar sounds of other wild animals. Familiar with the deceptive artifices, practised to allure game to the hunter, he was quickly alive to the fact, that they were the imitative cries of savages in quest of provisions. Sensible of his situation, he became vigilant to discover the approach of danger, and active in avoiding it. Several times however, with all his wariness, he found himself within a few paces of  some one of the Indians; but fortunately escaping their observation, made good his escape, and reached Lexington in safety, gave there the harrowing intelligence of what had befallen the inhabitants of Ruddle's and Martin's stations."118
2. From Indian Wars of the West by Timothy Flint
"The escape of Hinkson from his savage captors, furnished an event of interest. He was remarkable for his tact and skill, as a woodsman; and in this escape evinced those powers of reasoning from circumstances, which would have escaped any observation, but one exercised like his: powers, which seem like the mysterious teaching of instinct. The second night of their march, the Indians encamped near the banks of the river. It rained, and the camp fires were not kindled until dusk of evening. Part of the savages guarded the prisoners, and part kindled the fires. While they were so occupied, Hinkston sprang away from them. The was given, and the Indians pursued him in every direction. He ran but a little distance before he laid down behind a great log, in the deep shade of a spreading tree. As soon as he perceived that the uproar occasioned by his escape had subsided, he recommended his flight as silently as possible. The night was profoundly dark; and even his experience could discern no marks by which to steer. After travelling some time, as he supposed, in the direction of Lexington, he found to his terror, that he had circled back in sight of the camp fires again. There was no mark in the sky. He could not see the moss on the trees; and could think of no clue to the points of the compass. Here he availed himself of his woodland skill. It occurred to him that, although he could not ascertain the direction of the air by his feelings, he might in another way. He dipped his hand in the water. When he raised it, he knew that evaporation and coolness would take place on that side of his hand, from which the wind came. He had observed that the wind was in the west at sunset. Guided by this sure indication, he once more resumed his flight. After travelling for some time, he sat down, exhausted, at the foot of a tree, and fell asleep. Just before day arose a dense fog, in which a man could not be seen at any distance. This aved him when the light of dawn appeared. His ear was assailed with the howl of wolves, the bleating of fawns, the gobbling of turkeys, the hooting of owls, and the cries of the wild animals of the wilderness. He was enough acquainted with savage customs, to be aware that these cries were savage imitations, to entice the animals within reach of their rifles. They pointed out to him, also, his own danger. He found himself more than once within a few yards of the foe. But he escaped all the dangers and arrived safe at Lexington. He reached there eight days after the capture of Ruddle's station, and brought the first intelligence of that event."119
3. Deposition of John Hinkson, Jr., 1845:120 Refer to depositions above, "HINKSON, JOHN. JR."
4. Excerpt of Sterling P. Hinkson BiographyE. Polk Johnson's Kentucky and Kentuckians:
"In April, 1775 Colonel Hinkson cleared a piece of ground and erected a log cabin on the banks of Licking, near the mouth of Townsend creek. Several other members of the party did likewise and they began to raise corn, with which they later furnished seed to a number of other improvers. Hinkson's settlement soon became a station and as such was the central source of supply. Shortly after the settlement there was quite an engagement between Colonel Hinkson, who was in command of the station, and the notorious renegade, Simon Girty, of the Indian forces. The ammunition gave out at the station and Colonel Hinkson was forced to surrender himself to the Indians. This he did under promise from Girty that the remainder of his men, women and children should be allowed to remain at the station unmolested and he, Hinkson, to be furnished with Girty's uniform as a guaranty of safety while a prisoner. These conditions were complied with and he was taken to "broad ford" on the south fork of Licking in the northern part of Harrison county. He was there hid and guarded by large numbers of Indians, who formed a circle facing to the center, and thus lay down to sleep, but when slumber closed upon them his cords were untied by Mrs. Boyers, who also was a prisoner, and he sprang to his feet seized a gun and ran to the bank of the river, which was very deep, plunged in and swam safely to the other side, amid a shower of bullets from the Indians, who had been suddenly awakened and were in hot pursuit. On the following day he returned to the station with clothes torn and presenting a very unnatural appearance. At first he was not recognized by his friends at the station but, when he received a hearty welcome."121
5. From William Perrin's History of Kentucky:
"Among the captives was John Hinktson, who had returned to his" improvement" when the advent of Ruddle's party had rendered it reasonably safe. He was a brave and experienced woodsman, and managed to make his escape on the first night of the retreat. Taking advantage of the guard's attempting to start a fire, he leaped into the darkness, where the friendly undergrowth enabled him to elude the swift pursuit of the savages. After many narrow escapes from recapture, he succeeded in reaching the fort at Lexington on the next day, where his story was the first information the garrison had of the disaster which had befallen the more advanced stations."122
HARRISON, BENJAMIN.123 He was born in Virginia in 1750; died in Washington County, Missouri, in 1808. Presumably, he accompanied his parents when they left Virginia for what is now Fayette County, Pennsylvania, where he had 300 acres of land along the banks of the Youghiougheny River, which were sold in 1784.124 This land, for which he was taxed in 1783,125 when originally surveyed by Captain William Crawford, was included in the Colony of Virginia. Surveying and land speculating were the chief callings of those who had this knowledge and Benjamin Harrison was one of them. In early 1776, he went down the Ohio River to Limestone, now Mayville; up the Licking River where is now Cynthiana, Kentucky; the county seat of Harrison County, about 40 miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio. "I have known the 'Cave Spring' on this land since May, 1776, I was on the spot in camp with John Hinkson and John Sellers; camped there all night, 24 June, 1776; made two locations, one in name of William Harrison, for 2,000 acres; one in name of Thomas Moore and Benjamin Johnston, for 2,000 acres.126 "Benjamin Harrison, 7 February, 1775, led a Company of Virginians to Hamestown and released prisoners."127 Benjamin Harrison entered the Army in December, 1776; was in service at Fort Pitt, under General Hand, 1777-78; at Brandywine and Germantown. In early 1779, he was again ordered to Fort Pitt, remaining until February, 1781, after which he was retired with the rank of Major. "Benjamin Harrison was appointed Captain in the 13th Virginia Regiment, December 16, 1776."128 "Captain Benjamin Harrison, of the 13th Virginia Regiment, was a son of Lawrence Harrison, an early settler of Fayette County, Pa."129 In 1782, Benjamin Harrison was made Colonel of the Westmoreland County Militia, Pennsylvania. Following the tragic death of his brother, Major William Harrison, removed to Kentucky, where he had prospected before the Revolutionary War. He settled in Bourbon, the older and mother of Harrison County, Kentucky. He was a delegate from Bourbon County to the convention that met at Danville, in 1787; also in 1788; again in 1792, at which, the Constitution of Kentucky was formed. He was a Senator from Bourbon; a member of the Legislature, in 1793, when Harrison County was established. Harrison county was named for him.130 He was a trustee of the Harrison Academy, incorporated, 1798.131 "Benjamin Harrison, entitled to land allowed a Captain of the Continental Line for three years service: Council Chamber, 20 April, 1812, J. S. Barbour, Gov. Received regular Warrant No. 6014 for 4,000 acres of iss (sic) 20, April, 1812. Signed-Battile Harrison (for myself and as attorney for Robert Harrison). Attest: John Davenport. "Robert Harrison, of Harrison County, Kentucky, one of the heirs-at-law of Benjamin Harrison, deceased, appointed his brother as his attorney, Battile Harrison, of Belmont County, Ohio," Hugh Newall, Robert Newall and Thomas Moore deposed before John Miller and L. Robinson, Justices of the Peace, March 5, 1812, that they had known Benjamin Harrison from the time of his marriage until his death; that Battile Harrison, of Belmont County, Ohio and Robert Harrison, of Harrison County, Kentucky, were acknowledged by Benjamin Harrison as his legitimate children.132 "Colonel George Morgan obtained concessions for land in Missouri; promoted the town of New Madrid in 1789. About 1802, Morgan took with him to New Madrid, Benjamin Harrison, Lawrence Harrison and William Harrison, surveyors of Cynthiana, Ky."133 Thus, Colonel Benjamin Harrison became a resident of Missouri, where he died, 1808. He married Mary Newall, a school teacher.
SMITH, COLONEL JAMES. "Col. James Smith was born in Franklin county, Pa., in 1737; was captured by Indiana in 1755, remaining in captivity until his escape in 1759. He served as ensign in 1763, and lieutenant under Bouquet in 1764; he was a leader, for several years, of the Black Boys-a sort of regulators of the traders who, the Black Boys thought, supplied the Indians with the munitions of war. As the troubles with the mother country began, Smith was selected for frontier service, and held civil and military positions-captain in the Pennsylvania line; then in 1777 as major under Washington; in 1778, he was promoted to the rank of colonel of militia, and led an expedition against the Indian town on French Creek. In 1788, he removed to Kentucky; served in the early Kentucky conventions, preparatory to State organization, and also in the legislature. He did missionary work in Kentucky and Tennessee, and preached among the Indians. He wrote a valuable account of his Indian captivity, republished a few years since by Robert Clarke & Co., Cincinnati, and a treatise on Indian warfare, besides two controversial pamphlets against the Shakers. He died in Washington county, Ky., in 1812, aged about seventy-five years.-L. C. D." (Withers, p. 106)
ST. CLAIR, ARTHUR "Arthur St. Clair, born in Thurso, Caithness, Scotland, in 1734, and settled in the Ligonier Valley, Westmoreland County, in 1764. He was an agent for the Penns and became a Major-General during the Revolutionary War; was appointed Governor of the Northwest Territory in January 1789. On November 4, 1791, St. Clair's army suffered "St. Clair's Defeat" at the hands of the western tribes. St. Clair died August 31, 1818, and is buried at the old Presbyterian Cemetery, Greensburg, Pennsylvania."134
In order to understand Benjamin Harrison's activities in 1788 and 1789, it will be helpful to know the situations of several other men. Colonel George Morgan had been the Indian agent and commissary for the government during the revolution. He had been stationed at Pittsburgh at the time Ben Harrison was there. It is possible that they knew each other at that time. Morgan's fortunes did not fare very well after the war. He had been a junior partner in the firm of Baynton, Wharton & Morgan at the time of its bankruptcy. During the year 1788 Morgan and other backers were trying to purchase land in Illinois from the U.S. Government. This deal fell through probably because of the efforts of another man. Don Diego de Gardoqui was Charge' D'affaires representing the King of Spain to the American Government. One of Gardoqui's assignments was to alienate western Americans (Kentucky) from the American Government. It was even hoped that some sort of buffer state could be established on Spanish soil and settled by Americans loyal to Spain. At this time, Spain was in possession of the Louisiana Territory. It was obvious to all who lived at that time that Americans were sweeping westward and that it would take more than a river to block this expansion. Gardoqui recognized Morgan as a likely instrument for developing such a state. Gardoqui had a third party discreetly suggest to Morgan that the Spanish Government might help him in a land development scheme. Morgan was immediately interested. Morgan and Gardoqui quickly agreed on many details. The site would be bounded on the east by the Mississippi River and on the north by a line extending west approximately from the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. In the South the site extended to the mouth of the St. Francis River. The tract extended west from the Mississippi River by two degrees of longitude and would contain fifteen million acres. George Morgan was to be commander of the colony and subject to the King of Spain. Morgan was to have powers to appoint officials, raise militia, establish schools, and make concessions of land in full title. Settlers were to enjoy religious freedom. Some degree of self-government was to be arranged.
Gardoqui felt that he had done a brilliant job of protecting his king's interests in the New World and Morgan immediately began to publicize the venture and to interest Americans in following him to "New Madrid". These preparations were being expedited even though the Spanish King had not yet approved the plan. Also, the plan had not even been described to Don Estevan Miro, the governor and intendant of Spanish Louisiana.
In January of 1789, Morgan assembled an expedition of about seventy farmers, artisans, tradesmen, etc. The expedition probably began at Pittsburgh and picked up additional people during the trip down the Ohio River. It may have been during this initial trip that Benjamin Harrison joined Morgan's project. In the spring of 1789, New Madrid was a busy scene. Surveyors were at work, stores were built and fields were cleared. In May, with everything running smoothly, Morgan went to New Orleans to discuss routine colony business with Miro who was to be his immediate superior. During his absence, Benjamin Harrison was to be in charge of surveying a thousand farms.
When Morgan reached New Orleans, he found that Miro was not at all in agreement with Gardoqui regarding the establishment of a colony of Americans on Spanish land. And also, another American had presented to Miro a scheme which might better serve the Spanish King's interests. General James Wilkinson of Kentucky had proposed to bring Kentucky out of the United States and over to Spanish rule. Miro was not totally opposed to the New Madrid project particularly since it was well under way. But Miro would not stand for all the liberal policies that Gardoqui had assumed would be acceptable. Morgan could only be an assistant to a Spanish commander. This commander would be Pedro Foucher. Only the Catholic Church would be permitted in New Madrid. No self-government would be tolerated. Also, land was not to be sold but granted free. Another objection was the name of the colony. It was not to be called New Madrid but rather "L'Anse a la Grasse".
At about the time of Morgan's meeting with Miro, Morgan learned that he had inherited the estate of his late brother.
He may have been more interested in the estate, or he may have been disappointed by the limitations placed on him by Miro. What ever the reason was, Morgan never returned to New Madrid but instead returned to Pennsylvania to live. After Pedro Foucher took charge of New Madrid, he replied to a petition from Benjamin Harrison saying that new settlers would not have to pay for land. Some of these settlers were Indians. Many were French whose ancestors had lived in Illinois under French rule during and before the French and Indian War.
Benjamin Harrison also left New Madrid for reasons unknown. His name does not appear on the Kentucky "Census" (tax list) for 1790. He was, however, a member of the Danville Convention of 1792 which formed the first constitution of Kentucky. In the same year, after the adoption of that constitution, Ben was elected senatorial elector from Bourbon County. In 1793, he was elected state representative from Bourbon County. While in this office, a new county was formed and named after him: Harrison County, Kentucky. Ben apparently remained in the state of Kentucky past the year 1800 since his name appears in the Harrison County census for that year.
During the first decade of the nineteenth century Louisiana was of great interest locally and also internationally. In 1801, Spain returned Louisiana to France and in 1803, Napoleon Bonaparte sold Louisiana to America. Benjamin Harrison returned to the Louisiana Territory sometime during that decade settling in the St. Genevieve District. This area is part of present day Missouri. Ben died in Washington County, Missouri in 1808.
1 Draper, MSS15J 125.
2 Richard H. Collins, History of Kentucky, Vol. II. (Covington, Kentucky: Collins & Co., 1882), p. 325.
3 Jim is a Technical Sergeant in the United States Air Force, currently assigned in Japan.
4 Lyman Draper is one of those rare and remarkable people for whom we owe an immense debt of gratitude. He came up with the idea of preserving the history of the Revolutionary War period by interviewing as many veterans (or their spouses and children) as he could.
5 Draper MSS 2S334-338. Refer to Appendix for complete deposition of John Hinkson, Jr.
6 Some D.A.R. records place his birth at 1740; however, no documentation exists to verify this date. Notwithstanding, the 1740 birth date seems to fit better into the events of his life. Consider the following: (1) Childrearing: this date certainly fits his mother's childrearing yearsthough technically possible, it is hard to imagine that a 21 year span existed between the birth of John in 1729 and his half-brother, William McCune, in 1751; (2) Marriage date: in 1763, he would have only been 24 years old when he married Margaret McCracken; (3) The Wipey Affair: during the Wipey Affair of 1774 he would have been 34 or 35 years old; again, fitting St. Clair's statement about the "young men" of the region and, since St. Clair was born in 1734, he could hardly have called Hinkson "young" if Hinkson were born 5 years before him; (4) Military Rank: The 1740 birthdate also fits John's attainment of military ranking; i.e., age 34, Lieutenant; age 37, Captain; age 46, Major; age 48, Lieutenant-Colonel.
7 A much later biography places his birth in Belfast, Ireland. Reference for place of birth, biography of John W. Hinkson, from A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians, Vol. III, by E. Polk Johnson, (Lewis Publishing Company: Chicago-New York, 1912), p. 1587: "Colonel John Hinkson, great-grandfather of him who initiates this interview, was born in Ireland, in the vicinity of Belfast" This biography freely embellishes upon the earlier material and should not be taken too seriously.
9 Bourbon County, Kentucky, Complete Record Book, p. 475; Kentucky Register, Vol. 32, p. 157; Vol. 21, p. 211. A second reference to his birth date is from an interview taken by George Mountjoy and Joseph L. Stevens, Justices of the Peace, Bourbon County, Kentucky. The recorder of the interview writes "Deposition of William McCune, aged 60 years (taken at dwelling house of James Ruddell in Bourbon County on May 11, 1811" (Bourbon County Court Order Book, p. 265) A third reference is as follows: "William McCune, b 1750 in Pa; d Dec 6, 1830 Pike Co. Mo. His will written Nov 9, 1819 in Pike Co., Mo. and proved Dec 6, 1830, Bowling Green, Pike Co., Mo." (Pike County Will Bk. 1-p 123)
10 William and Agnes are mentioned in John McCune, Sr.'s will. (Cumberland County, Pa., Will Book A, pp. 91-92, John McCune, Sr.)
11 Bourbon County Court Order Book, p. 265.
12 Louise Phelps Kellogg, Rueben Gold Thwaites, editors, Frontier Defense on the Upper Ohio, (Madison, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Historical Society, 1912), pp. 181-182.
13 The 1753 and 1764 Hopewell Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, tax records, list a Robert Gibbs.
14 The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, Disk 1, Volume V, Abstracts of Wills of Westmoreland County. Registered at Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Broderbund Software, Inc., Banner Blue Division, February 28. 1999, p. 327.
15 Pennsylvania Tax List: Cumberland County: 1765John Hinkson, Hopewell Township1 horse, 2 cattle, 4 sheep, 1 servant, 200 acres unwarranted, 30 acres cleared; 1766--John Hinkson, Hopewell Township, 2 horses, 2 cattle, 4 sheep, 1 servant, 200 acres unwarranted, 30 acres cleared.
16 William Nelson, editor, Documents Relating to the Colonial History of New Jersey Vol. XXIV, (New Jersey, 1894); Extracts from American newspapers relating to New Jersey, pg. 271.
17 Bedford County Pennsylvania Quarter Session Docket 1 16 July 1771. John's half-brother William, who lived nearby, was appointed supervisor of the road construction project for Fairfield Township in 1774 (Westmoreland County Court Order Book1774).
18 Pennsylvania Tax List: Bedford County (later became Westmoreland County): 1773William McCune Armstrong Township; 1773John Hankston Fairfield Township.
19 David McClure, Ohio Country Missionary: The Diary of David McClure 1748-1820, Including His Travels in Western Pennsylvania and Ohio with Descriptions of the Indian and White Inhabitants. (Retigs Frontier Ohio, 1996, Reprint, originally printed in 1899), p. 107.
20 Ibid., p. 110.
21 Ibid., p. 123-124.
22 John Haggin to John and Thomas Woods of Fairfield adjoining Enos McDonald, John Haggin's improvement. Westmoreland Co. PA Deed Book Volume A Part 1, 1773-1784, p. 53.
23 C. M. Busch, State Printer, Report Of The Commission To Locate The Site Of The Frontier Forts Of Pennsylvania. (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Indian Forts Commission, 1896), p. 278. Referred to hereafter as Frontier Forts of Western Pennsylvania.
24 Refer to Appendix for a brief biographical sketch of Arthur St. Clair.
25 Pennsylvania Archives First Series Vol. IV, pg. 503.
26 Clarence Stephenson, "The Wipey Affair: An Incident Illustrating Pennsylvanians Attitude During Dunmore's War," Pennsylvania History, a Quarterly Journal of the Pennsylvania History Association, Vol. XXIII, No. 4, October, 1956, p. 507.
27 Pennsylvania Archives, First Series, IV, 514.
28 Ibid., 520.
29 Ibid., p. 543.
30 Ibid., p. 549.
31 Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania, Vol. X, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Theo. Fenn & Co., 1852, p. 199.
32 Frontier Forts of Western Pennsylvnia, pp. 278-280. The information presented here is from a newspaper article written 120 years after the fact.
33 Draper MSS 2S334-338
34 Draper MSS 3S:52
35 Draper MSS 4S98-99
36 Stephenson, p. 512.
37 Draper MSS 2S334-338: "In Dunmore's War, he was captain or lieutenant, probably the former" Virginia Records in Pennsylvania: John Hinkson served as Lieutenant in the Yougheigheny County, Virginia militia, commanding a company of 10-15 men.
38 William Anderson eventually married John Hinkson's daughter, Elizabeth.
39 Archives Dept., St. Lib., Pittsburgh Rolls Virginia Soldiers of 1776, Vol. III, Louis A. Burgess, Reprint Co., North Carolina, 1973, p. 1246
40 C. Hale Sipes, The Indian Wars of Pennsylvania. (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1931, third reprint, Lewisburg, Pennsylvnia: Wennawoods Publishing, 1998) pp. 488-489.
41 Ibid., p. 489.
42 Joseph Doddridge, Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars, (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: John S. Ritenour & Wm. T. Lindsey, 1912; Fifth Reprinting, McClain Printing Co., Parsons, W. Va., 1996), pp. 172-173; refer also to Alexander Scott Withers and Reubin Gold Thwaites, Chronicles of Border Warfare, (Cincinnati, Ohio: The Robert Clarke Company, 1895; sixth reprint by McClain Printing Co., Parsons, W. Va., 1994), pp. 148-149.
43 Doddridge, p. 178. Logan was wrong in his condemnation of Captain Cresap. Cresap was not present during the slaughter of Logan's family nor ever condoned such actions. Refer to John S. Ritenour's essay "Logan, Michael Cresap, and Simon Girty, pp. 293-306, for a lengthy analysis of the "Captina Massacre."
44 July Sessions 1775. "The King vs. James Cooper, John Townsley, Sylas Strain, William Shields, William Huskins, John Hinkson, and John Palmer. Riot and Assault on John Burns and John Palmer. One of the defendants being arraigned pleads NOT guilty. Process awarded as to the rest. Issued. Enter 2 process. Enter 1 subpoena and 2 tickets. True Bill." NOTE: The wording of the court record is implies that John Palmer was a complainant when, in fact, he was one of the defendants. It should read: "Riot and assault on John Burns, and John Palmer, one of the defendants being arraigned, pleads not guilty."
45 Refer to Consul Wilshire Butterfield, The History of the Girtys, (Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co., 1890; reprint Lodi, Ohio: Log Cabin Shop, Inc., 1995) for the most comprehensive treatment of Simon Girty. Butterfield presents a balanced view of Girty and debunks many of the spurious myths.
46 Draper MSS 2S334-338
47 Doddridge, pp. 91-93.
48 Refer to Appendix for a detailed map of the site.
49 An improvement refers to land that has undergone some clearing, the construction of a cabin, and the planting of a crop.
50 Kentucky Records, Volume II, Bourbon Orders and Depositions, Deposition Book A, pp. 109-110.
51 Nancy O'Malley, Stockading Up: A Study of Pioneer Stations in the Inner Bluegrass Regions of Kentucky, (Frankfort, Kentucky: Kentucky Heritage Council, 1987; revised 1994 with Addendum), p. 243.
52 Ibid., p. 244.
53 (Dec 1776) Clark's Memoir from English's Conquest of the Country by George Rogers Clark, Readex Microprint Corp, 1966, p.464.
54 Charles Gano Talbert, Benjamin Logan: Kentucky Frontiersman, (University of Kentucky Press, 1962), p. 18.
55 Draper, 1.BB 1021775.
56 Ibid., pp. 71-72.
57 Page 141 - I, John Woods, for 200 £ and for other good causes, sell to Thomas Galbraith, Esq., a certain location by me or for me obtained out of the Proprietary's Land Office for Pennsylvania dated Sep 3, 1769 for 244 acres called Walnut Bottom, bounded by lands claimed by John Sellars, George Brattan, Daniel McClintock, & Connemagh river, #928. Signed Dec 3, 1775 - John Woods. Wit - John Hinkson, John Sellars, Jas Pollock. Recorded Apr 15, 1780.
58 Fayette County Circuit Court Complete Record Book E, p.267.
59 Ibid., p.268
60 Ibid., Book A, pg. 339
61 Harrison County Court Order Book A, pg. 356, June 8, 1804.
62 Refer to note 55.
63 Harrison County Court Order Book A, pg. 337
64 Refer to note 58.
65 Harrison County Court Order Book A, pg. 337
66 Charles R. Staples, History in Circuit Court Records, Fayette County, "Register of the Kentucky Historical Society," 1930), p. 216.
67 Draper 8CC2, 16J26 - Pennsylvania Gazette, Sept. 11, 1776.
68 Draper MSS. 17 CC 172-73.
69 Talbert, p. 26 reads: "In less than a week after the Boonesborough incident the people of John Hinkston's settlement on the South Fork of Licking River were on their way to safer regions. Those Kentuckians who had 'settled out' began to gravitate toward one or another of the three forts." William Harrison wrote, "nine days from Fort Pitt, we have advice; that Capt. John Hinkson, with a number of settlers, arrived from Licking Creek, near the Kentucky"
70 Sipe, p. 526.
71 PA Archives 6th Series, Vol 3, p. 300.
72 Sipe, p. 519.
73 Frontier Forts, Note 72, p. 285, reads: "On September 28, 1777, George Findley, a nearby resident on the Conemaugh River, and his bound boy, fourteen or fifteen years of age, but large and strong, started back from Palmer's Fort, whether they fled, in hopes of recovering a lost mare that had left them and which they supposed had returned home. They kept in the woods, not venturing into clearings, but notwithstanding this they were fired upon by some Indians, the boy falling. Findley, shot through the arm and bleeding much, effected his escape, and returned to Fort Palmer, bringing back with him, however, a girl who had remained about the Rogers settlement."
74 Ibid., p. 237.
75 Ibid., p. 237.
76 Ibid., p. 237.
77 "Col. James Smith was born in Franklin county, Pa., in 1737; was captured by Indiana in 1755, remaining in captivity until his escape in 1759. He served as ensign in 1763, and lieutenant under Bouquet in 1764; he was a leader, for several years, of the Black Boys-a sort of regulators of the traders who, the Black Boys thought, supplied the Indians with the munitions of war. As the troubles with the mother country began, Smith was selected for frontier service, and held civil and military positions-captain in the Pennsylvania line; then in 1777 as major under Washington; in 1778, he was promoted to the rank of colonel of militia, and led an expedition against the Indian town on French Creek. In 1788, he removed to Kentucky; served in the early Kentucky conventions, preparatory to State organization, and also in the legislature. He did missionary work in Kentucky and Tennessee, and preached among the Indians. He wrote a valuable account of his Indian captivity, republished a few years since by Robert Clarke & Co., Cincinnati, and a treatise on Indian warfare, besides two controversial pamphlets against the Shakers. He died in Washington county, Ky., in 1812, aged about seventy-five years.-L. C. D." (Withers, p. 106)
78 Draper MSS 1 U 130
79 An Account of the Remarkable Occurances in the Life and Travels of Col. James Smith, (Lexington, 1799), pg. 136. Interestingly, Wipey researcher Clarence Stephenson cites this account in support of his claim that Hinkson was a bigoted Indian-hater. Given the nature of the conflict along the frontier during this period and the fact that Hinkson and his company were Rangers, Stephenson's comments seem ill-informed. Hinkson simply used the same tactics as his enemies.
80 Frontier Forts of Western Pennsylvania, pp. 247-248.
81 Draper MSS. 3 NN 9-10: Abstract of Westmoreland Militia ordered out on an expedition to the Indian Country by Brigadier General Edward Hand, commanded by Col. Alexander Barr, from 10 Feb - 10 March, 1778, generally credited for, some to March 8: Alexander Barr, colonel 1st Battalion; John Pomroy, lieutenant colonel 1; Adam Guthrey, quarter master 1; Capt. John Hinkson & company " 18 (several other companies are listed in the original manuscript); Total Officers and men 362; Total pay and subsistence £1307. 3.6
82 Sipe, pp. 528-529.
83 Draper 3 S 28-32: Recollections of Samuel Murphy.
84 Maude Ward Lafferty, "The Destruction of Ruddle's and Martin's Forts in the Revolutionary War," The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Vol. 54, No. 189, October 1956, p. 322.
85 PA Archives, Series 6, Vol 3, p. 307-308.
86 PA Archives, Series ?, Vol ?, p. 118-119.
87 PA Archives 6th Series, Vol II, pg 272.
88 Lafferty, p. 303.
89 Draper Manuscript Collection. 17J:27-28 J-George Rogers Clark Papers, [papers of Col. John Bowman]
Capt. Isaac Ruddell's Pay Roll, company of militia, in Kentucky County, under command of Col. John Bowman. No date - except a few dates of enlistment are given, from July 21st to Oct 25th 1779: Isaac Ruddell, Capt.; John Haggin, Lieut.; John Machen, Ensign; Joseph, Essicks, Q.M.; John Waters, Sergt.; John Smith, Sr., Paul Fisher, Casper Brown, George Loyal, John Burger, Sr., Henry Burger, David Edderman, Edward Low, John Burger, Jr., Frederick Tanner, Thos. Machen, John Smith, Jr., George Ruddell, Wm. Scott, Stephen Ruddell, Wm. Marshall, Thos. Emery - killd 5th Oct., Patrick Ryan, Josiah Ryan, Reuben Bufuer, Moses Waters, Wm. Sandage, Henry Peslenbustle, George Hatfall, Jacob Leach Sr., Andrew Peslenbustle, Wm. Dellenger, Peter Call, Martin Tufflemier, Wm. Munger, Sr., Wm. Munger, Jr., Charles Munger, Peter Rough, Leonard Croft, Geo. Brinker, Leonard Peslenbustle, Henry Peslenbustle, Jr., John Bird, Andrew Bartle, James Stuart, Peter Loyal, George Baker, Andw Baker, Henry Loyal, John Hutton, James Ruddell, John Cloyd, Drummer.
90 "Personal Narrative of William Lytle: 1770-1832," Cincinnati Historical Society Bulletin, Vol 1, 1906.
91 Draper MSS 2S334-338
92 McCune had previously sold his property in Pennsylvania: Westmoreland Co., PA Deed Book, Volume A Part 1 1773-1784, p. 146. "Jan 10, 1780: William McCune to Barnard Dougherty, 750 pounds on north side of Conemaugh; William McCune to B. Dougherty, 2000 pounds, on north side of Conemaugh bounded by David Wilson on the east. 336 acres."
93 Refer to footnote 60.
94 Reference to John Mullin Reading's journey down the Ohio river and subsequent capture at Ruddell's fort is found in letters written by his father, George Reading, Sr., excerpts of which read as follows: "I purpose sending John down to Kentucky and the falls of the Ohio, in a month or six weeks to take up and secure land. We have the most favorable account of that country. It is land to be desired, where the winter (not like Pharoah's lean kine) don't devour the summer; withal very healthy (illegible) where I hope to (illegible) my days." In a letter dated Mar. 12, 1780, he writes he has made arrangements to go down the Ohio in a craft which he had built for this purpose. In several letters he refers to the "long captivity" of his son John, and the pension records of John Mullin Reading state that he was taken prisoner by the Indians at Ruddles Station, Ky., June 15, 1780 and held until May 1783. ("The Reading Family Genealogy" by Nell Downing Norton)
95 Lafferty, p. 297. Other references to this incident include: the above "When Detroit Invaded Kentucky" by Milo M. Quaife; "The Horrors at Ruddle's and Hinkston's Forts" from John Bradford's The Voice of the Frontier: Notes on Kentucky, Thomas D. Clark, editor, The University of Kentucky Press, 1993, pp. 35-39; J. Winston Coleman's The British Invasion of Kentucky, Winburn Press, Lexington, Kentucky, 1951.
96 Milo Quaife, "When Detroit Invaded Kentucky, " The Filson Club History Quarterly, I (January, 1927), 53-57.
97 Letter, Col. Benjamin Logan to Governor Benjamin Harrison of Virginia, August 81, 1782, Calendar of Virginia State Papers, III, (Richmond: James E. Goode, 1883), 28083.
98 Draper MSS, 10S8185. The Draper Manuscripts are owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society.
99 Theodore Roosevelt, The Winning of the West (New York: The Knickerbocker Press, 1909), II, 102.
100Sir Frederick Haldimand, a British Lieutenant General, succeeded Sir Guy Carleton as Governor of Canada in 1778, serving until 1784. His papers which have been bequeathed to the British Museum, cover 232 volumes of manuscript.
101 Quaife, "When Detroit Invaded Kentucky," op cit., I, 53. Captain Henry Bird's report to Major Arent S. DePeyster, British Commander at Detroit, reinforces the contention that the raid on Martin's and Ruddle's Stations constituted a British invasion of Kentucky.
102 "Westward into Kentucky," from Daniel Trabue's narrative found in the Draper Manuscript collection, 57J:51-63.
103 Draper MSS 4S98-99
104 Thomas D. Clark, editor, John Bradford's The Voice of the Frontier: Notes on Kentucky, (The University of Kentucky Press, 1993), pp. 36-37.
105 Lucinda Boyd, Chronicles of Cynthiana and Other Chronicles, (Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Company, 1894), pp. 29-31.
106 Draper MSS 4S98-99
107 Halderman Papers - July 1, 1780 - Capt Henry Bird to Maj Arnet DePeyster
108 Draper MSS 16j82-83; S. C. Gazette, June 31, 1781
109 Halderman papers - July 24, 1780 - Capt Henry Bird to Maj Arnet DePeyster
110 Draper MSS 2S334-338
111 Draper Manuscript Collection 14U:110, Letter of W. Sudduth to Lyman C. Draper, May 22, 1845;
112 Kentucky Genealogist, "Public Officials in Kentucky 1786-1792" contributed by John Frederick Dorman, Washington, D.C., p. 12.
113 William Henry Perrin, editor, History of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison and Nicholas Counties, Kentucky, (Chicago, Ill.: O. L. Baskin & Co., 1882), pp. 40-41.
114 First United States Senator from Kentucky.
115 John Hinkson's son.
116 Refer to the Appendix for the complete account of the New Madrid expedition.
117 Lawrence Feldman, Anglo-Americans in Spanish Archives, (Genealogical Publishing Society, 1991), p. 248.
118 Withers, pp. 297-298.
119 Timothy Flint, Indian Wars of the West, (Cincinnati: E. H. Flint, 1833), pp. 81-82.
120 Draper MSS 2S334-338
121 E. Polk Johnson, A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians, Vol III, (Chicago-New York: Lewis Publishing Co., 1912), p. 1446.
122 William Perrin, J. H. Battle, G. C. Kniffen, editors, Kentucky, A History of the State, (Louisville, Ky., Chicago, Ill.: F. A. Battey and Company, 1887), p. 172.
123 "BENJAMIN HARRISON 1750 1808: A History of His Life And of Some of the Events In American History in Which He was Involved," By Jeremy F. Elliot 1978
124 Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Court House, Deed Book A, p. 69.
125 PA. Archives, Series 3, Vol. 22, p. 384.
126 Deposition of Benjamin Harrison to establish land title for William Wood, South Fork of Licking River. Harrison County, Kentucky, Court Records, Cynthiana.
127 Charles A. Hanna, The Wilderness Trail, Vol. 2, p. 76.
128 Heitman's Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army 1776-1783.
129 Wisconsin Historical Publications, Frontier Edition, Upper Ohio, Vol. 23, p. 165 and p. 386, by Kellog.
130 Collins, History of Kentucky, Vol. 2, pp. 271, 299, 327, 331 and 475; Publication of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin Frontier Advance on Upper Ohio, 1778-1779. Draper Series Vol. 23, page 386.
131 Littel's Index, p. 78.
132 Va. Soldiers of 1776, Vol. 3, p. 1397.
133 History of S. E. Missouri, p. 286.
134 Sipes, p. 699.
135 Elliot, pp. 4-5.