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Accounts of Capture by Indians & Rumor of Indian Attack on Detroit

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Source Name Image(s)
CollectionClements Library: Anthony Wayne Letterbooks view image
Document Information
Date August 6, 1792
Author Name Anthony Wayne (primary) Location: Pittsburgh
Recipient Name Henry Knox (primary)
Summary The letter begins by informing Knox that it is certain that Indians killed Colonel Harding and Major Truman. Two men who were taken prisoner by the Indians provide an account of how the men lost their lives. There is also a report that a Simon Girty left with four hundred Indians and is planning an attack on the Americans in Detroit.
Document Format Autograph Letter Signed
Document Notes [not available]
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Henry Knox; General Anthony Wayne; Indians; Colonel Harding; Major Truman; Simon Girty; McKee; Secretary of War; prisoner; Americans in Detroit; General James Wilkinson; Major Asheton; Sergeant's party; Captain Rogers; Bowyer's troop of dragoons; Chickasaws; Major General Knox; Kentucky volunteers; ;
Related Places Niagara; New York; Fort Jefferson; John Claghorn; Falls of Ohio River; Detroit; Pittsburgh; Nashville; Kentucky; ;
Keywords expedition; killing; death; attack; ;
Key Phrases [not available]

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No 11

To Genl Knox Secy of War

Pittsburgh augt 6th 1792


I have the honor to enclose you a copy of Genl Wilkinson's letter to you of the 9th [undecipherable] which was omitted tho' mentioned in my last of the 3 instant.

I am sorry to inform you, that the report of the murder of Col Harding & Major Trueman by the indians appears to be reduced to a certainty.

I have this moment examined two men just from Detroit, by the way of Niagara who were taken prisoners by the indians - one of them near Fort Jefferson on the 27th of october; and the other after John Highhorn, near the falls of Ohio in april last, who was carried to -
to Michilimackinac, & from there to Detroit, where he arrived on the 24th of June, and says that whilst he was at Michilimackinac accounts were received that a Captain Harding and one or two others were killed by the indians, and the papers that were found upon them, were sent or given to Capt McKee: he was also informated at Detroit (where the report was common) that a Captain Trueman, & another man were killed near the miami towns, by two indians who were in company with them in the Evening - that the indians affec ted to be very uneasy; upon which Capt Trueman told them they might tie the other man, so that their number sh be equal, which was accordingly done - that they then shot Capt Trueman and tomahawk'd the man that was tied that the interpreter made his escape into a Swamp or wood - that the Indians called to him & promised not to hurt him - upon which he came to them & they carried him to the Council as a prisoner, and reprobated the foolish conduct of Captain Trueman (as they termed it) for Suffering the man to be tied: that those papers were also given up to McKee, and said this was a fifth flag they had killed, nor had they any intention or wish to make peace with us, as the Americans had already deceived them, both last Summer & before.

He further says that a certain Simon Girty, with four hundred indians had left Detroit some days before he arrived - say about the 15th of June, and swore that he would make an immediate strike at the americans - and kill, or, be killed in the attempt - Query! may not
this be the person in read, or Scarlet, who was seen with the indians, in the attack upon the Sergeants party near Fort Jefferson, on the 25th of June as mentioned in Genl Wilkinson's letter of the 6th ultimo, & do not all the accounts from the different quarter's & channels strongly corroborate, so as to amount almost to positive proof of the murder of our flags, and the inveterate hostile spirit of the indians -?

This will be handed you by Major Asheton, who has obtained my permission to go to Philadelphia on business of consequence to himself - he is a vigilant & good Office, & promises to return with all possible expedition.

Under present circumstances, I have thought proper to authorise Genl Wilkinson to retain the hundred mounted volunteers from Kentucky, until the arrival of Capt Rodger's and Bowyer's troops of Dragoons - I have also constituted him sole judge of the policy & expediency of bringing forward the chickasaws from Nashville in case the war should progress.

I have the honor to be with much esteem
Your most obedient
and very humble Servant

Anty Wayne