George Washington's 1778 Papers on the Minisink

To read the commands of General George Washington echoing throughout the Minisink Valley during the Revolution in response to the poignant  requests for aid of October 14 and 24 from the residents of Peenpack and Smithfield and the plea of November 22 by the New Jersey frontier militiamen outlines how sorely pressed the circumstances of the settlers were in the Fall of 1778. The devastation ranged from Peenpack on the Neversink River in New York to Smithfield on the Delaware in Pennsylvania. The arrival of Pulaski's Legion of Horse and Foot soldiers from Sussex Court House, present day Newton, to the Minisink settlement only added to those burdens.

Note Washington's correspondence clearly identifies the location as the Minisink settlement upon Delaware, not to be confused with the present day Minisink, New York, and the region generally as the Minisinks or the neighbourhood of Minisink. For our entry on the Minisink settlement see also The Town Clerks of Minisink 1734 - 1782.

Note some links make require scrolling down, next image, to view.

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Tusten, Jr.
Goshen, [NY] Octobr 14th 1778

May it please Your Excellency
From various Accounts as well as the Concuring Testimony of a number of Credable Persons I lern that the Indians joind by a number of Tories who have gone from these parts made a decent on our western Frontiers yesterday & have reduced Pienpack a pleasent & welthy Village to Ashes Murderd numbers of the Inhabitants & Captivated the rest—We have a small Fort in the place guarded by a few Militia who I have the greatest reason to fear, ’tho not posses’d of evidence, have fallen into their hands—By the best accounts from Persons who have had an opertunity of viewing the Enemy from an Advantagious height they cannot be less than five Hundred & when the last Express came away were on their March toward Minisink another Village about six Miles distant—The few Militia in these parts have turn’d out with tolerable Spirit but give me leave to assure Your Excellency that we are very weak as every Regiment in this County except one have March’d into the Jersy; therefore if it might be consistent with Your Excellencies Grand Designs to spare us a Number of Your Troops in this Critical moment & save our Country from impending destruction it will be Joyous to thousands as well as Your Excellency’s most Obedient Servt
Benj. Tusten Lt Col.
p.s. Since writeing the Above I hear part of Minisink is Destroyed.
See also footnote 1. - Col. John Cantine, 3d Ulster County Regiment to Gov. Clinton, 14 Oct., Wawarsing, N.Y:  “I this Moment received Intelligence that a Number of the Enemy came yesterday at Eleven O:Clock at Peinpach—they have burnt the Barns & Barracks of that Place they made an Attack upon the Fort at Jacob Dewits which had about 25 Men in it who with Ease maintained it—The Enemy have burnt as far as Martines Decker’s where there is another Stockade Fort with near the same Number of Men from Dewitts to Decker’s about 10 Miles—the Express had no farther particulars.”

Journals of the American Congress from 1774-1788, October 30, 1778, p 107 
A letter of the 24th, from Nicholas Depui, John Chambers, Benjamin Van Camp, and others, directed to his honor George Bryan, Esq. was laid before Congress, and read, together with two affidavits therein enclosed: Ordered, That the same be referred to Gen. Washington, who is directed to take order thereon.

Henry Laurens to George Washington
Philadelphia, November 1, 1778
... I shall likewise transmit herewith a Letter of the 24th October 1778 from Nicholas Depui and others and two Affadavits referr’d to in the Letter which Congress refer to Your Excellency’s consideration:
Nicholas Dupui, et al to Pennsylvania Council, October 24, 1778.

Gentlemen we do with Reluctance adress you once more conscerning the aprehensions we are under of the Indin & Torey Incursions on the Frontiers which we have not Neglected to give you Notice of. when we entered into the Combination with you of Defending our Rights & privileges against the unjust Claims of great Briton we expected a Mutual combination would have procured Mutual defence & it has so happened in the Coarse of the War that we were part of those that was first cald on to make up our Co[s]ts of the flying camp which we on the shortest Notice complyd with, the next call was to Trenton when the fate of the war seemd dark on our side but still as Gloomy as our struggle apeard at that time, a Generous Compliance took place & we were the first in the State there ready to take the field excepting the brave Melitia from philadelphia & our atending last winter in that Inclement Season all Cooperates to prove that we have Acted our part in the present Strugle for which Conduct we are singled out by the enenemy & your Neglect to suffer the loss of our lives & our all whilst those persons among us that profest neutrality sits Quiet & none to make m afraid; so in the coarse of the present Strugle the my is comeing to Ruien us an Enemy that is desperate Lost to the feelings of humanity therefore we have nothing to expect but fire sword & Desolation for it seems all in Vain to call on you for assistance you seem Deef to our Complaints if you think this Indecent Languague such can only be expected from a disparing people; but by way of N.B. [Nota bene, Note well] we can assure you by certain Intiligence we receivd from Justice Vannakens [Van Aken or Van Auken] the Indians are at Coshiston [Cochecton NY] or perhaps now neaer on there way down towards this state the Information was from a party of Toreys that came down to Menisink from the great Corn Brant party to warn some of their Connections to move off, the reasons they give for their not proceeding farther after desolateing peanpack [Peenpack NY] was the waters being so high they could not pass therefore they retired as far as Coshiston with a View to turn back when the waters fell: we have here given you the best Intiligence we can, & we mentioned in our last to you that the Inhabiters of uper [Upper] Smithfield [PA] & great part of Deleware [Delaware Township PA] were movd over to the Jerseys where they still remain & the spirits of the fiew that remains amongs us is so depresd being without assistance that we are not able to keep a single scout out & the first Intiligence we may expect is a Stroke  - signed by Nicholas Depui, John Chambers, Benjamin Van Camp, and John Van Campen

George Washington to Continental Congress
Head Qurs., November 6, 1778.
....I have transmitted the Letter from Nicholas Dupui and others, with the Affidavits to His Excellency Govr. Clinton and have ordered Colonel Cortland to march with his Regiment towards the Minisinks and to take such Post as the Govt. may point out. 

George Washington to Count Casimir Pulaski
Poughkeepsie, November 10, 1778.
...Upon consulting Govr. Clinton, of the State of New York, upon a position, in which your Corps can be employed to advantage, and at the same time be plentifully subsisted in the Article of Forage, he advises the Minisink settlement upon Delaware. You will therefore be pleased to march immediately for that place, and take your Station as near Cole's Fort as you conveniently can. ... I must beg you to make use of all means to keep your Corps from marauding or in any way distressing the Inhabitants, who will cheerfully contribute every thing to your support if properly demanded. There are two Gentlemen of particular influence in that Country, Mr. [Nicholas] Depui and Mr. [Benjamin] Van Camp, who will assist you very much in procuring Forage and other necessaries....

Count Casimir Pulaski to George Washington
Rosecrantz, November 15, 1778  - in French, contemporary translation, translation in text,

Rosecrantz refers to the Rosenkrans family holdings on the Shapanack Tract in Walpack Township, NJ.

George Washington to Edward Hand
Head Quarters, Fredericksburg [NY], November 16, 1778
... If it shall not be judged expedient to carry an expedition at this time, you will then consult with the Gentlemen above mentioned upon the most proper disposition of the troops to support each other in case of an attack upon any of the separate posts, and at the same time to afford protection and cover to the Frontier. Count Pulaski's legion consisting of about 250 Horse and Foot are at Coles Fort in the Minisink settlement. I intend to strengthen them, with the addition of some other Corps say about 250 more. Colo. Cortlandts Regt. is between Minisink and Rochester. ...

George Washington to NJ Gov. William Livingston, November 18, 1778

George Washington to Edward Hand,
Head Quarters, Fredericksburg,  November 20, 1778 
 ... I have thought it would be more agreeable to you to remove down to the Minisink settlement and take the command of a Body of troops which we are under the necessity of assembling there to protect that Frontier against the incursions of the Indians. The Corps at the Minisink will consist of Count Pulaski's Legion, Colo. Armands Corps and Colo. Spencers Regt. making about 500 Horse and Foot. Colo. Cortlands Regt. is at Rochester in the neighbourhood of Minisink. ...

If you have in consequence of my last formed any plans of offence you will be pleased to communicate them to Genl. Clinton and repair as speedily as possible to Minisink and inform me upon your arrival there.

Samuel Westbrook, et al to Count Casimir Pulaski November 22, 1778

Samuel Westbrook, et al to Count Casimir Pulaski
Minnisinks November 22, 1778
May it Please your Honour, We the subscribers being Inhabitants of the the place above mentioned - hope your Honour will consider the situation of many distressed people, who as the Inhabitants of this place in humanity, have taken into our habitations, and maintain at our own expense, beings driven from their homes by the Indians and lost thus Cattle Grain [etc etc] - hope your Honor will consider the above - at the same time we are willing to assist any of our fellow soldiers, strugling in this our Glorious cause -  we therefore think that it will not be in our power, from the above circumstances, to support the Cavalry more than Seven days from this date - signed by Samuel Westbrook, Major; Samuel Meeker, Major [wounded at the Battle of Minisink Ford, 1779]; illegible possibly Abraham Shimer; and Peter Westbrook, Capt. [killed at the Battle of Conashaugh, 1780].

N.B. [Nota bene, Note well] we _ subscribers have examined the Country and made every possible means to support the Cavalry and find our efforts in vain to support them any longer than the time above mentioned

 [Enclosed in: 1778 Nov 23 Pulaski to Washington]

Count Casimir Pulaski to George Washington, November 23, 1778

Count Casimir Pulaski to George Washington,
Minnesink, November 23, 1778
Dear General -
agreeable to your order to me while at Sussex Court house [Newton NJ] - I marched the Legion to this Place & find the Indian Enemy have retierd near one hundred miles from this - from which it appears that there will be Nothing for us to do - on examining the Country I find it will be impossible to support the Cavalry with Forage ... the persons appointed for that Purpose have delivered me the enclosed address which will account for the matter - my reason for not marching to Coles Fort the Place pointed out by you; are that there is Neither Inhabitants Nor Forage for our subsistance & the gentleman to whom you refer me for assistance in this County live thirty miles below this Post & have not procured one Dock of Nag or bushel of grain - the People from the Back Country having fled to this Settlement among their friends our stay here will greatly distress the whole - I therefore should be glad your Excellency would remove my Corps to some other Post....

George Washington to Count Casimir Pulaski
Head Quarters, Fredericksburgh, November 24, 1778.
Sir: Your favour of the 15th. by Count Kolkowski, I received a few days since. If I have a right idea of your situation at Rosecrantz it will fulfil the object intended. Cole's Fort appeared a good position for covering a considerable part of the frontier; but any place in the vicinity of it, will answer the purpose as well; and as the circumstances you mention, make that particular spot inconvenient on the score of subsistence, you will either remain where you are or choose for yourself such other position in the neighbourhood as appears to you best adapted to the accommodation of your corps....

... nothing remains but the bears to fight with. - Congressional Edition Vol 2449, p 21

George Washington to Edward Hand
Head Quarters, Fredericksburgh, November 26, 1778.
Sir: When I first ordered troops to the Minisinks, Coles fort on the Delaware was recommended to me, as a proper place for them to be posted at, covering at the same time a part of the Frontier of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, agreeable to which, my directions to Count Pulaski were given. But the Count, on his arrival in that quarter, has represented to me the impossibility of taking post at Cole's Fort, that place and its environs having been desolated by the enemy, and being quite destitute of forage. I have since directed him to make such a disposition of his corps, as appeared to him best calculated for its accommodation, so as to be as near as possible to the place originally intended. When you arrive at Minisink you will dispose of these and all the other troops, under your command, on the same principles; attending as much to their convenience and easy subsistence, and to the convenience of the inhabitants as you can consistent with the main object of your command. You will then inform me where the troops are posted.

George Washington to Count Casimir Pulaski
Head Quarters, November 26, 1778.
... I shall only add to what I have already said on the subject, that you will keep your cavalry as near as you can to the place first pointed out, consistent with a proper supply of forage and subsistence without too much distressing the already distressed inhabitants. If this cannot be done where you now are, you will remove them to some other place.

If your cavalry must be sent to any considerable distance, your infantry can still remain, in the vicinity of Coles Fort. General Hand will soon be at the Minisinks, whose knowledge of the Country will be useful in making a proper disposition of the troops.

George Washington to Count Casimir Pulaski
Paramus, December 7, 1778.
I have directed the German Battalion to be stationed at Easton, with a view of ordering them to the Frontier should their assistance be needed. I have thought it better to let them remain there until wanted, than to send them up to consume your stores which I imagine are not very ample. I expect by the time this reaches you General Hand will have arrived. I am etc.

George Washington to Nathanael Greene
Head Quarters, December 15, 1778.
Dear Sir: His Excellency is not a little surprised to hear that Count Pulaski's legion has got back to Easton, from whence he will remove them the moment he knows where to send them. Colo. Moylans Regiment is certainly to remain at Lancaster so they cannot go there, and it will not do to send them to Frederick town upon the chance of that place being vacant. If there is a possibility of subsisting them at or near the Minisink His Excellency would order them back, he thinks their coming down is only a pretence to get into more comfortable quarters. Be pleased to enquire of Colo. Biddle whether he has had any representation of the state of Forage in that Country. If he is of opinion that they really cannot be subsisted there, let him name any place where there are no Horse at present and they shall be instantly ordered thither. All our Compliments wait upon Mrs. Greene. I am, etc.
[This letter is signed by Tench Tilghman, and is from a copy in the Toner Transcripts in the Library of Congress made from the original in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1892.]

Brigadier General Edward Hand to George Washington
Minisink 17th Decr 1778
Since my arrival here which has been much retarded by deep Snows, heavy Rains and consequently high Waters I have been honoured by the receipt of your Excellencies favour of the 26th Ultimo.

I cant find that Count Polaskies Horse can be accomodated so near this place as to be able to afford any assistance—the Forage they have already consumed has distressed the Settlement—indeed the Country is too rough for Horse to act to advantage. the Count has made application to Col. Hooper D.Q.M.G. at Easton for Quarters for the Horse who says he must send them 40 Miles beyond Easton, if that be the case I beleive I must call on the Garman Regt which Genl Clinton tells me lies at Easton subject to my Orders.

The Count has rightly informed your Excellency as to Coles Fort, Pienpack the Sittlement of the greatest consequence in its Vicinity being in a great Measure distroyed—yet there are some Fortified Houses above Coles Fort where I intend to place a few Foot. I beleive I shant be able to make a General Dispotition of the Troops in this Quarter untill Count Polaskies Departure it will take me that time to gain a sufficient Knowledge of the Country....

George Washington to Edward Hand
Head Quarters, Middle Brook, February 7, 1779
... Count Pulaski's Legion being ordered by a Resolve of Congress of the 2nd ... to repair to South Carolina, you will be pleased to direct the Officer commanding the Infantry of the Legion to march immediately, by the shortest Route to Lancaster where he will meet orders for his future destination. 

George Washington to Count Pulaski
Head Quarters, Middle Brook, February 8, 1779
... In consequence of the resolution of Congress of the 2nd Inst. directing your Legion to South Carolina "to act under the command of Major Genl. Lincoln, or the commanding officer of the Southern department I have ordered the Infantry of your corps which were stationed at the Minisink to march immediately to Lancaster in Pennsylvania...

detail of Upper Smithfield, Sussex Court House [Newton], Minisink, Cole's Fort, Montresor map, 1775

The 1778 Survivors' Account of the Battle of Wyoming

Transcription by Michael J. Harding

The following is a transcription of an article that appeared in The Connecticut Journal, 29 July 1778.  Where possible original spellings and syntax are maintained.

Since our last, many of the distressed Refugees from the Wyoming settlement on the Susquehannah, who escaped the general massacre of the inhabitants have passed this way, from whom we have collected the following account, viz.
[Previous to the narrative, it may be necessary to inform some of our readers, that this settlement was made by the people of Connecticut, on a grant of lands purchased by the inhabitants of that colony under sanction of the government, of the Indian proprietors; and that these lands falling within the limits of the Pennsylvania claim, a dispute concerning the right, has arisen, between the two governments, and proceeded to frequent acts of hostility.  When it was at a height that threatened the disturbance of the other governments, Congress interposed, by whose recommendation and authority, the decision of the dispute was suspended, till that with Great Britain, equally interesting to every American State, was concluded, when there might be more leisure to attend to the other, and consider the justice of each claim.
On this footing the dispute has lain dormant for two or three years; the inhabitants lived happily and the settlements increased, consisting of eight townships, viz. Lackewana, Exeter, Kingston, Wilksborough, Plymouth, Nanticoak, Huntington and Salem, each containing five miles square.  The six lower townships, were pretty full of inhabitants, the two upper ones, had comparatively but few, thinly scattered.  The lands are exceeding good beautifully situated along both sides of the Susquehannah, navigable for flat bottomed boats, and produced immense quantities of grain of all sorts, roots, fruits, hemp, flax etc. and stock of all kinds in abundance.  The settlement had lately supplied the Continental army with 3000 bushels of grain, and the ground was loaded with the most promising crops of every kind.  The settlement included upwards of a thousand families, which had furnished our army with a thousand soldiers, besides the garrisons of four forts, in the township of Lockewany, Exeter, Kingston and Wilkesbury.  One of these forts was garrisoned by upwards of 400 soldiers, chiefly of the militia, the principal officers in which were Cols. Dennison, and Zebulon Butler.   
The Tories and Indians, had given some disturbance to these settlements last year, before Gen. Harkemer’s battle at Oneida Creek, near Fort Stanwix, and our skirmishes soon after with parties of the enemy at and near Schohary, when they were dispersed, and the Tories concealed themselves among our different settlements; the people here remained undisturbed during the rest of the year.]
About this time the inhabitants having discovered that many of these villainous Tories who had stirred up the Indians, and been with them in fighting against us, were within the settlements, 27 of them were, in January last, taken up and secured.  Of these, 18 were sent to Connecticut, the rest, after being detained some time, and examined, were for want of sufficient evidence set at liberty; they immediately joined the enemy, and became active in raising in the Indians, a spirit of hostility against us.  This disposition soon after began to appear, in the behaviour of Tories and Indians, which gave the people apprehensions of danger, and occasioned some preparations for defence.
The people had frequent intimation that the Indians had some mischievous design against them, but their fears were somewhat abated by the seeming solicitude of the Indians to preserve peace; they sent down at different times, several parties with declarations of their peaceable disposition towards us, and to request the like on our part towards them.  They were always dismissed with assurances that there was no design to disturb them.  But one of those Indians getting drunk, said he and the other messengers, were only sent to amuse the people in the settlement, but that the Indians intended as soon as they were in order, to attack them.  On this the Indian men were confined, and the women sent back with a flagg.  In March, appearances became more alarming, and the scattered families settled for 30 miles up the river, were collected and brought into the more populous parts.  In April and May, strolling parties of Indians and Tories, about 30 and under in a company, made frequent incursions into the settlement, robbing and plundering the inhabitants, of provision, grain & live stock.  In June, several persons being at work on a farm, from which, the Tory inhabitants had gone to the enemy, were attacked, and one man of them killed; soon after, a woman (Wife of one of the 27 Tories before mentioned) was killed, with her five children, by a party of these Tories and Indians, who plundered the house of every thing they could take away, and destroyed the rest.
On the first instant, (July) the whole body of the enemy, consisting, it is supposed of near 1600 (about 300 of whom were thought to be Indians, under their own chiefs, the rest, Tories, painted like them, except their officers, who were dressed like regulars) the whole under the command of Col. John Butler, (a Connecticut Tory, and cousin to Col. Zebulon Butler, the second in command in the settlement) came down near the upper fort, but concealed the greatest part of their number, here they had a skirmish with the inhabitants, who took and killed two Indians, and lost ten of their own men, three of whom they afterwards found, killed, scalped and mangled in the most inhuman manner.
Thursday July 2.  The enemy appeared on the mountains, back of Kingston, where the women and children then fled into the fort.  Most of the garrison of Exeter fort were Tories, who treacherously gave it up to the enemy.  The same night, after a little resistance, they took Lackewana fort, killed Squire Jenkins and his family, with several others, in a barbarous manner, and made prisoners of most of the women and children; a small number only escaped.
Friday July 3.  This morning Col. Zebulon Butler, leaving a small number to guard the fort (Wilksbury) crossed the river with about 400 men, and marched into Kingston fort.  The enemy sent in a flag, demanding a surrender of the fort in two hours.  Col. Butler answered he should not surrender, but was ready to receive them.  They sent in a second flag demanding an immediate surrender, otherwise that the fort should be stormed, plundered and burnt, with all its contents, in a few hours – and said that they had with them 300 men.  Col. Z Butler proposed a parley, which being agreed to, a place in Kingston was appointed for the meeting, to which Col. Z Butler repaired with 400 men, well armed, but finding no body there, he proceeded to the foot of the mountain, where at a distance he saw a flag, which as he advanced, retired, as if afraid, 20 or 30 rods; he following, was led into an ambush, and partly surrounded by the enemy, who suddenly rose fired upon them.  Not withstanding the great disproportion of 1600 to 400, he and his men bravely stood and returned the fire for three quarters of an hour, with such briskness and resolution, that the enemy began to give way and were upon the point of retiring - when one of Col. Z. Butler’s men, either thro’ treachery or cowardice, cried out that the Colonel ordered a retreat - This caused a cessation of their fire, threw them into confusion and a total rout ensued.  The greatest part fled to the river, which they endeavoured to pass, to Fort Wilkesbury, the enemy pursued them with the fury of Devils, many were lost or killed in the river, and no more than about 70, some of whom were wounded escaped to Wilksbury.
Saturday morning, July 4.  The enemy sent 196 scalps into Fort Kingston, which they invested on the land side, and kept up a continual fire upon it.
This evening Col. Z. Butler with his family quitted the fort and went down the river.
Col. Nathan Dennison, went with a flag, to Exeter fort, to know of Col. John Butler what terms he would grant on a surrender.  Butler answered, the Hatchet.  Col. Dennison returned to fort Kingston, which he defended till Sunday morning, when his men being nearly all killed or wounded, he could hold out no longer, and was obliged to surrender at discretion.  The enemy took away some of the unhappy prisoners, and shutting up the rest in the houses, set fire to them, and they were all consumed together.  These infernals then crossed the river to Fort Wilkesbury, which in a few minutes surrendered at discretion.  About 70 of the men, who had listed in the Continental service to defend the frontiers, they inhumanly butchered, with every circumstance of horrid cruelty; and then shutting up the rest, with the women and children in the houses, they set fire to them and they all perished together in the flames.
After burning all the buildings in the fort, they proceeded to the destruction of every building and improvement, (except what belonged to some Tories) that came within their reach, on all these flourishing settlements which they had rendered a scene of desolation and horror, almost beyond description, parallel, or credibility; and were not the facts attested by numbers of the unhappy sufferers, from different quarters of the settlement, and unconnected with each other, it would be impossible to believe that human nature could be capable of such prodigious enormity.
When these miscreants had destroyed the other improvements, they proceeded to destroy the crops on the ground, letting in the cattle and horses, to the corn, and cutting up as much as they could of what was left.  Great numbers of the cattle they shot and destroyed; and cutting out the tongues of many others, left them to perish in misery.
The course of these truly diabolical proceedings, was marked by many particular acts of distinguished enormity, among which were the following, viz.
The Captains James Bedlock, Robert Durkee, and Samuel Ransom, being made prisoners by the enemy.  They stripped Capt. Bedlock, tied him to a tree and stuck him full of sharp splinters of pine knots, then pileing a heap of pine nuts round him, they set all on fire, put Durkee and Ransom into the fire, and held them down with pitch forks.
Thomas Hill, (whose father was killed by the Indians, last Indian war) with his own hands killed his own mother, his father in law, his sisters and their families.
Partial Terry, the son of a man who bore a very respectable character, had several times sent his father word, that he hoped to wash his hands in his heart’s blood.  Agreeable to such a horrid declaration, the monster, with his own hand murdered his father, mother, brothers and sisters, stripped off their scalps, and cut off his father’s head.
Col. Dennison was seen surrounded by the enemy, and was doubtless murdered.  Col. Zebulon Butler is supposed to be the only officer who escaped.
It is said he had several times written letters to the Congress and Gen. Washington, acquainting them with the danger the settlement were in and requested assistance; but that he received no answer, except that he had no cause to fear, since the Indians were all for peace, and quite averse to war.  However he lately received a letter from Capt. Spaulding, acquainting him that neither Congress nor Gen. Washington had received any of his letters, which had been intercepted by the Pennsylvania Tories, who in all probability acted in concert with these execrable miscreants, against Wyoming.  It is reported that these wretches, after completing their horrid business at Wyoming, are going or gone to Cherry Valley, and the parts adjacent.
We hear that a party of infernals of the like kind, have within this week or two, infested the parts about Leghawegh, near Rochester, on the Minisink road to Philadelphia, where a party of them, about 40 in number, have plundered and burnt several houses, abused some people and carried off three men - It is hoped speedy and effectual measures will be taken to punish and extirpate these monsters in human shape, from the face of the earth.
The distresses of the surviving inhabitants of that late flourishing settlement, are by their present circumstances, rendered such striking objects of charity, that withholding relief from them, by those who are able to afford it, argues a criminal obduracy, which deserves, and may be punished by distresses of a similar kind.
We are told that of the 1000 men in the Continental army, who went from that settlement, their number is by sickness and the cruel usage of the prisoners by the enemy, reduced to 400, who have now to lament the loss of their property, wives, children, and all that was dear to them in life!  The helpless fugitives from the place, escaped with little more than their lives, they could bring nothing with them – hardly clothes to cover them, and nothing to eat, many were two or three days without sustenance, and several pregnant women were delivered alone in the woods.  This it is hoped will be the concluding score of the tragedy acted by the British tyrant and his murderous diabolical emissaries, in a part of his late kingdom, which he has justly forfeited, and which is now forever departed from him. 

detail of the Wyoming to Easton route - 1778 Sauthier map, Library of Congress


"Poughkeepsie." The Connecticut Journal  29 July 1778: 563-1. America's Historical Newspapers. Web.  7 Nov 2013.
"Poughkeepsie." The Connecticut Courant, and the Weekly Intelligencer  28 July 1778: 705-2. America's Historical Newspapers. Web.  16 Dec 2013.
Rae, Noel.  " Pennsylvania and the Frontier." The Peoples War: Original Voices of the American Revolution (2012): 378-380. Print.
"The Connecticut Journal." Eighteenth-Century American Newspapers in the Library of Congress.  Print.
"The Connecticut Courant." Eighteenth-Century American Newspapers in the Library of Congress.  Print. 

MICHAEL J. HARDING is a descendant of many of the early Wyoming Valley and Minisink Valley settlers including the Revolutionary War era families of Capt. Samuel Ransom and his wife Esther Lawrence, Michael and Mehitable Dunning, William and Elizabeth Quick Ennes, Philip and Margaretha Koenig Reasor, and Capt. Jan and Maritie Westfael Van Etten.  Transcript corrections may be addressed to: gneissguy62 at