Friday, February 22, 2013

HAWTHORNE'S "Endicott and the Red Cross"

Ancestors: BUTTON, FEAKE-FONES, WILLIAMS
Endicott and the Red Cross
from Twice-Told Tales, vol. 2 by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1838 
 Blogger's note:  I've read Anya Seton's historical novel "The Winthrop Woman" about our ancestors, 10th GGParent's ROBERT FEAKE and his wife, ELIZABETH FONES WINTHROP and found that -to her credit- Seton closely followed primary sources to craft her story line. Despite her attempts to fictionalize, romanticize and 'justifize' the ultimate betrayal of an unfaithful wife, Seton provides a glimpse into a time and place we can only imagine along with her.  The story tells how John Winthrop, Elizabeth's uncle and former father-in-law, plays a formative, zealous role in the early settlement of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His successor's story -as crafted by Nathaniel Hawthorne (born in Salem)- is presented below.  I include it as an introduction to two of my 9th Great grandfathers: MATTHIAS BUTTON, an ancestor who shared the transatlantic voyage in 1628 with Endicott and ROGER WILLIAMS, founder of Providence, Rhode Island.


'AT NOON of an autumnal day, more than two centuries ago, the English colors were displayed by the standard-bearer of the Salem trainband, which had mustered for martial exercise under the orders of John Endicott. It was a period, when the religious exiles were accustomed often to buckle on their armour, and practice the handling of their weapons of war. Since the first settlement of New England, its prospects had never been so dismal. The dissensions between Charles the First and his subjects were then, and for several years afterwards, confined to the floor of Parliament. The measures of the King and ministry were rendered more tyrannically violent by an opposition, which had not yet acquired sufficient confidence in its own strength, to resist royal injustice with the sword. The bigoted and haughty primate, Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, controlled the religious affairs of the realm, and was consequently invested with powers which might have wrought the utter ruin of the two Puritan colonies, Plymouth and Massachusetts. There is evidence on record, that our forefathers perceived their danger, but were resolved that their infant country should not fall without a struggle, even beneath the giant strength of the King's right arm.
'Such was the aspect of the times, when the folds of the English banner, with the Red Cross in its field, were flung out over a company of Puritans. Their leader, the famous Endicott, was a man of stern and resolute countenance, the effect of which was heightened by a grizzled beard that swept the upper portion of his breastplate. This piece of armour was so highly polished, that the whole surrounding scene had its image in the glittering steel. The central object, in the mirrored picture, was an edifice of humble architecture, with neither steeple nor bell to proclaim it,--what nevertheless it was,--the house of prayer. A token of the perils of the wilderness was seen in the grim head of a wolf, which had just been slain within the precincts of the town, and, according to the regular mode of claiming the bounty, was nailed on the porch of the meetinghouse. The blood was still plashing on the door-step. There happened to be visible, at the same noontide hour, so many other characteristics of the times and manners of the Puritans, that we must endeavour to represent them in a sketch, though far less vividly than they were reflected in the polished breastplate of John Endicott.
'In close vicinity to the sacred edifice appeared that important engine of Puritanic authority, the whipping-post,--with the soil around it well trodden by the feet of evil-doers, who had there been disciplined. At one corner of the meetinghouse was the pillory, and at the other the stocks; and, by a singular good fortune for our sketch, the head of an Episcopalian and suspected Catholic was grotesquely encased in the former machine; while a fellow-criminal, who had boisterously quaffed a health to the King, was confined by the legs in the latter. Side by side, on the meetinghouse steps, stood a male and a female figure. The man was a tall, lean, haggard personification of fanaticism, bearing on his breast this label,--A WANTON GOSPELLER,--
which betokened that he had dared to give interpretations of Holy Writ, unsanctioned by the infallible judgment of the civil and religious rulers. His aspect showed no lack of zeal to maintain his heterodoxies, even at the stake. The woman wore a cleft stick on her tongue, in appropriate retribution for having wagged that unruly member against the elders of the church; and her countenance and gestures gave much cause to apprehend, that, the moment the stick should be removed a repetition of the offence would demand new ingenuity in chastising it.
'The abovementioned individuals had been sentenced to undergo their various modes of ignominy, for the space of one hour at noonday. But among the crowd were several, whose punishment would be life-long; some, whose ears had been cropt, like those of puppy-dogs; others, whose cheeks had been branded with the initials of their misdemeanors; one, with his nostrils slit and seared; and another, with a halter about his neck, which he was forbidden ever to take off, or to conceal beneath his garments. Methinks he must have been grievously tempted to affix the other end of the rope to some convenient beam or bough. There was likewise a young woman, with no mean share of beauty, whose doom it was to wear the letter A on the breast of her gown, in the eyes of all the world and her own children. And even her own children knew what that initial signified. Sporting with her infamy, the lost and desperate creature had embroidered the fatal token in scarlet cloth, with golden thread, and the nicest art of needle-work; so that the capital A might have been thought to mean Admirable, or any thing rather than Adulteress.
'Let not the reader argue, from any of these evidences of iniquity, that the times of the Puritans were more vicious than our own, when, as we pass along the very street of this sketch, we discern no badge of infamy on man or woman. It was the policy of our ancestors to search out even the most secret sins, and expose them to shame, without fear or favor, in the broadest light of the noonday sun. Were such the custom now, perchance we might find materials for a no less piquant sketch than the above.
'Except the malefactors whom we have described, and the diseased or infirm persons, the whole male population of the town, between sixteen years and sixty, were seen in the ranks of the trainband. A few stately savages, in all the pomp and dignity of the primeval Indian, stood gazing at the spectacle. Their flint-headed arrows were but childish weapons, compared with the matchlocks of the Puritans, and would have rattled harmlessly against the steel caps and hammered iron breastplates, which enclosed each soldier in an individual fortress. The valiant John Endicott glanced with an eye of pride at his sturdy followers, and prepared to renew the martial toils of the day.
'"Come, my stout hearts!" quoth he, drawing his sword. "Let us show these poor heathen that we can handle our weapons like men of might. Well for them, if they put us not to prove it in earnest!"
'The iron-breasted company straightened their line, and each man drew the heavy butt of his matchlock close to his left foot, thus awaiting the orders of the captain. But, as Endicott glanced right and left along the front, he discovered a personage at some little distance, with whom it behoved him to hold a parley. It was an elderly gentleman, wearing a black cloak and band, and a high-crowned hat, beneath which was a velvet skull-cap, the whole being the garb of a Puritan minister. This reverend person bore a staff, which seemed to have been recently cut in the forest, and his shoes were bemired, as if he had been travelling on foot through the swamps of the wilderness. His aspect was perfectly that of a pilgrim, heightened also by an apostolic dignity. Just as Endicott perceived him, he laid aside his staff, and stooped to drink at a bubbling fountain, which gushed into the sunshine about a score of yards from the corner of the meetinghouse. But, ere the good man drank, he turned his face heavenward in thankfulness, and then, holding back his gray beard with one hand, he scooped up his simple draught in the hollow of the other.
'"What, ho! good Mr. Williams," shouted Endicott. "You are welcome back again to our town of peace. How does our worthy Governor Winthrop? And what news from Boston?"
'"The Governor hath his health, worshipful Sir," answered Roger Williams, now resuming his staff, and drawing near. "And, for the news, here is a letter, which, knowing I was to travel hitherward to day, his Excellency committed to my charge. Belike it contains tidings of much import; for a ship arrived yesterday from England."
'Mr. Williams, the minister of Salem, and of course known to all the spectators, had now reached the spot where Endicott was standing under the banner of his company, and put the Governor's epistle into his hand. The broad seal was impressed with Winthrop's coat of arms. Endicott hastily unclosed the letter, and began to read; while, as his eye passed down the page, a wrathful change came over his manly countenance. The blood glowed through it, till it seemed to be kindling with an internal heat; nor was it unnatural to suppose that his breastplate would likewise become red-hot, with the angry fire of the bosom which it covered Arriving at the conclusion, he shook the letter fiercely in his hand, so that it rustled as loud as the flag above his head.
'"Black tidings these, Mr. Williams," said he; "blacker never came to New England. Doubtless you know their purport?"
'"Yea, truly," replied Roger Williams; "for the Governor consulted, respecting this matter, with my brethren in the ministry at Boston; and my opinion was likewise asked. And his Excellency entreats you by me, that the news be not suddenly noised abroad, lest the people be stirred up unto some outbreak, and thereby give the King and the Archbishop a handle against us."
'"The Governor is a wise man,--a wise man, and a meek and moderate," said Endicott, setting his teeth grimly. "Nevertheless, I must do according to my own best judgment. There is neither man, woman, nor child in New England, but has a concern as dear as life in these tidings; and, if John Endicott's voice be loud enough, man, woman, and child shall hear them. Soldiers, wheel into a hollow square! Ho, good people! Here are news for one and all of you."
'The soldiers closed in around their captain; and he and Roger Williams stood together under the banner of the Red Cross; while the women and the aged men pressed forward, and the mothers held up their children to look Endicott in the face. A few taps of the drum gave signal for silence and attention.
'"Fellow-soldiers,--fellow-exiles," began Endicott, speaking under strong excitement, yet powerfully restraining it, "wherefore did ye leave your native country? Wherefore, I say, have we left the green and fertile fields, the cottages, or, perchance, the old gray halls, where we were born and bred, the church-yards where our forefathers lie buried? Wherefore have we come hither to set up our own tombstones in a wilderness? A howling wilderness it is! The wolf and the bear meet us within halloo of our dwellings. The savage lieth in wait for us in the dismal shadow of the woods. The stubborn roots of the trees break our ploughshares, when we would till the earth. Our children cry for bread, and we must dig in the sands of the sea-shore to satisfy them. Wherefore, I say again, have we sought this country of a rugged soil and wintry sky; Was it not for the enjoyment of our civil rights? Was it not for liberty to worship God according to our conscience?"
'"Call you this liberty of conscience?" interrupted a voice on the steps of the meetinghouse.
'It was the Wanton Gospeller. A sad and quiet smile flitted across the mild visage of Roger Williams. But Endicott, in the excitement of the moment, shook his sword wrathfully at the culprit,--an ominous gesture from a man like him.
'"What hast thou to do with conscience, thou knave?" cried he. "I said, liberty to worship God, not license to profane and ridicule him. Break not in upon my speech; or I will lay thee neck and heels till this time to-morrow! Hearken to me, friends, nor heed that accursed rhapsodist. As I was saying, we have sacrificed all things, and have come to a land whereof the old world hath scarcely heard, that we might make a new world unto ourselves, and painfully seek a path from hence to Heaven. But what think ye now? This son of a Scotch tyrant,--this grandson of a papistical and adulterous Scotch woman, whose death proved that a golden crown cloth not always save an anointed head from the block--"
'"Nay, brother, nay," interposed Mr. Williams; "thy words are not meet for a secret chamber, far less for a public street."
'"Hold thy peace, Roger Williams!" answered Endicott, imperiously. "My spirit is wiser than shine, for the business now in hand. I tell ye, fellow-exiles, that Charles of England, and Laud, our bitterest persecutor, arch-priest of Canterbury, are resolute to pursue us even hither. They are taking counsel, saith this letter, to send over a governor-general, in whose breast shall be deposited all the law and equity of the land. They are minded, also, to establish the idolatrous forms of English Episcopacy; so that, when Laud shall kiss the Pope's toe, as cardinal of Rome, he may deliver New England, bound hand and foot, into the power of his master!
'A deep groan from the auditors,--a sound of wrath, as well as fear and sorrow,--responded to this intelligence.
"Look ye to it, brethren," resumed Endicott, with increasing energy. "If this king and this arch-prelate have their will, we shall briefly behold a cross on the spire of this tabernacle which we have builded, and a high altar within its walls, with wax tapers burning round it at noonday. We shall hear the sacring-bell, and the voices of the Romish priests saying the mass. But think ye, Christian men, that these abominations may be suffered without a sword drawn? without a shot fired? without blood spilt, yea, on the very stairs of the pulpit? No,--be ye strong of hand, and stout of heart! Here we stand on our own soil, which we have bought with our goods, which we have won with our swords, which we have cleared with our axes, which we have tilled with the sweat of our brows, which we have sanctified with our prayers to the God that brought us hither! Who shall enslave us here? What have we to do with this mitred prelate,--with this crowned king? What have we to do with England?"
'Endicott gazed round at the excited countenances of the people, now full of his own spirit, and then turned suddenly to the standard-bearer, who stood close behind him.
'"Officer, lower your banner!" said he.
'The officer obeyed; and, brandishing his sword, Endicott thrust it through the cloth, and, with his left hand, rent the Red Cross completely out of the banner. He then waved the tattered ensign above his head.
'"Sacrilegious wretch!" cried the high-churchman in the pillory, unable longer to restrain himself; "thou hast rejected the symbol of our holy religion!"
'"Treason, treason!" roared the royalist in the stocks. "He hath defaced the King's banner!"
'"Before God and man, I will avouch the deed," answered Endicott. "Beat a flourish, drummer!--shout, soldiers and people!--in honor of the ensign of New England. Neither Pope nor Tyrant hath part in it now!"
'With a cry of triumph, the people gave their sanction to one of the boldest exploits which our history records. And, for ever honored be the name of Endicott! We look back through the mist of ages, and recognize, in the rending of the Red Cross from New England's banner, the first omen of that deliverance which our fathers consummated, after the bones of the stern Puritan had lain more than a century in the dust."'

Endicott is also featured in Quaker John Greenleaf Whittier's "The King's Missive" (Like Hawthorne, Whittier was from Essex County and resided in Haverhill -home to other ancestors)

VOYAGE OF THE ABIGAIL, 1628

The Abigail
 THE ABIGAIL
On June 20, 1628, the ship ABIGAIL
sailed fromWeymouth with a number
of 'Old' England emigrants
bound for 'New' England. 
Among them, our ancestor
arrived in Naumkeag, (Salem)
Massachusetts on September 6th.  Also aboard was the newly appointed governor for London's Plantation,  JOHN ENDICOTT.

The article excerpt below is based on the work "The Town and City of Waterbury, Connecticut", published by Joseph Anderson in 1896:
In 1628, Mr. John Endicott was commissioned to begin a colony at Massachusettes Bay.
In 1629, his group was joined by 300 men, 80 women, and 26 children, sailing for London's Plantation in the "George Bonaventure", the "Talbot", and the "Lion's Whelp". These passengers, paying 5 pounds apiece for passage, were joined by 140 head of cattle and 40 sheep. Among the possessions they brought were mill stones, stones for peaches, plums, filberts, and cherries; "kernells" of pear, apple, quince and pomegranates; seeds of liquorice, woad, hemp, flax and madder; roots of potatoes and hops; utensils of pewter, brass, copper, and leather; hogsheads of wheat, rye, barley, oats, beans, peas, and "bieffe"; thousands of bread; hundreds of cheese, and codfish; gallons of olive oil, and Spanish wine; tons of water and beer; thousands of billets of wood, besides chalk, brick, and "chauldrens of sea coales" to be used as ballast. Weaponry included halberts, muskets, fowling pieces, full muskets, bandaleeres with bullet bags, horn flasks for powder, "cosletts", pikes and half pikes, barrels of powder and shot, eight pieces of land ordnance for the fort, whole culverings, demiculverings, sackers and drakes, great shot, drums, and a sword and belt for each of the three hundred men. Scores of other ships soon followed, most notably,
Names from the partially reconstructed passenger lists include some surnames 
from our early colonial ancestry (of which I may have missed some):

Abbott, Abell, Agar, Alcock, Aleworth, Andrew, Archer, Aspinwall, Audley,
Baker, Balston, Barsham, Bartlett, Bateman, Baxter, Beamsley, Beecher, Belcher, Bendall, Benham, Biggs, Black, Boggust, Boswell, Bosworth, Bourne, Bowman, Bradstreet, Brand, Bratcher, Brenton, Bright, Browne, Buckland, Bugby, Bulgar, Burnell/Bunnell, Burr, Burroughs,
Cable, Cakebread, Chadwick, Chambers, Chase, Chauner, Cheesebrough, Child, Church, Clarke, Clough/Cluff, Coddington, Colbron, Colby, Cole(s), Converse, Cooke, Cowlishaw, Crabb, Crafts, Cranwell, Cribb, Crugott,
Dady, Deekes/Dix, Devereux, Dillingham, Dixon, Doggett, Downing, Dudley, Dutton,
Edmunds, Eggleston, Ellis, Elston, Eyens/Ijons/Irons,
Fayerweather, Feake, Finch, Firman, Fitzrandolph, Fox, Foxwell, Freeman, French, Frothingham,
Gage, Garrett, Gibson, Glover, Goldthwaite, Gosnall, Gosse/Goffe, Goulworth, Gridley, Gyver,
Haddon, Hale, Hall, Hammond, Harding, Harris, Harwood, Hawke, Hawkins, Ha(w)thorne, Hesselden, Hoames, Hough/Hoffe, Hopwood, Horne, Hosier, Howlett, Hudson, Hulbirt, Hutchins, Hutchinson,
James, Jarvis, Johnson, Jones,
Kidby, Kingsbury, Knapp, Knower,
Lamb, Lawson, Learned, Leatherland, Legge, Lockwood, Lynton, Lynn,
Masters,Matson, Mayhew, Millett, Mills, Morey, Morley, Morris, Morton, Moulton, Mousall, Munt,
Nash, Needham, Nowell,
Paige, Painter, Palmer, Palsgrave, Parke, Parker, Pattrick, Pelham, Pemberton, Penn, Penniman, Perry, Phillips, Pickering, Pickworth, Pierce, Pond, Porter, Pratt, Pynchon,
Rainsford, Ratcliffe, Rawlins, Reade, Reading, Reynolds, Richardson, Royse/Ryse, Ruggles,
Sales, Saltonstall, Sampson, Sanford, Saxton, Scott, Seaman, Seel(e)y, Sharpee, Simpson, Smead, Smith, Smyth, Squire, Stearns, Stileman, Stoughton, Sumner, Swaddon,
Talmadge, Taylor, Tomlins (Tomlyn), Turner, Tyndal,
Underhill, Vassall,
Wade, Walker, Ward, Warren[&Waring], Waterbury, Waters, Webb, Weed, Weldon, Weston, Wilbore, Wilkinson, Williams, Wilsby, Wilson, Wilton, Winthrop, Woods, Woolrich, Wright.



 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

RAID AT CHUNK'S RUN -Straight/Dragoo

DRAGOO/STRAIGHT/MAYFIELD/SEESE/GLOVER

In most cases, our family branches reach so far back in time that it is difficult to know where to begin to “tell the story”.  And, often, when I build background for that story …it turns into another story …and another… 
Such is the case with the Glover “French Connections.”  Climbing back up the tree along the GLOVER/SEESE branch, I found myself teetering among the generational offshoots to the MAYFIELD/STRAIGHT line that brings us up to what I thought was my destination:  the marriage of JACOB STRAIGHT and ELIZABETH DRAGOO.  And, instead of following the “French Connection” I was originally researching, I realized that this tale of tragedy ending at Chunks Run, (W)Virginia deserved telling first.
Though this story has been told and retold by a number of people, it was typically recorded in the storyteller’s later years in the form of oral history and, as such, tended to take “creative license” with the details.  The core of the tragic tale is revealed through each retelling, however, and we can at least believe that the basic facts remain true.  Below you will find two renditions of this very sad story that may best represent what ultimately happened to the JACOB STRAIGHT family, forever affecting our lives.
The reality is that this family –as many others in our family- lived and died helping to carve a new nation out of the wilderness.  These were dangerous times and, as we learned with the BATES, HUDSON and COON families, our family line continued despite the tragic effects of encroachment on once-held Indian territory.

  • Background on Jacob Straight:
    • Born 23 Jun 1741 Staten Island, New York
    • Married to Elizabeth Ann Dragoo in Marion, Smyth, Virginia
    • By 1780 Jacob Straight and John Dragoo settled on large adjoining farms on Straight Run, now Barrackville, in Maron County, WV
    • Jacob's sister Elizabeth (Betsy) married John Dragoo; John's sister Elizabeth married Jacob
    • Died 3 Oct 1786, age 45; scalped; Chunk Run, Monongalia, (W)Virginia

STORY #1:
MORE SCALPS
This story was told by G.W.T. Anderson (Brother to Elizabeth Anderson Morgan)
Copied by Missouri Morgan Detwyler on November 1, 1928
Copied by Day Bland Detwyler  on November 15, 1951
Copied by Fred Irvin Detwyler III on September 25, 1999
Submitted by Dianne Lowe Lemasters on February 6, 2000
Downloaded by Gail Glover Juntunen on August 22, 2012

 "As I have passed the seventieth mile stone and am well aware that the sun is getting low in the western horizon; and that the history I know of this section and of the first settler’s, will be lost soon, unless it is preserved in some permanent form by me, I am writing this little sketch.
 Most of this information came direct to me through my mother, Malinda Anderson, formerly Hays, whose father James Hays, was born October 15, 1773 not far from Winchester, VA, and who later came West and settled on Monongahela River not far from Barricksville. This James Hays became acquainted with the Dragoo Family. At this early day the Indians still made raids from the west of the Ohio River to get white scalps and horses from the settlers.
 In 1783, the settlers had not seen any Indians for some time. My mother’s grandmother, Elizabeth Dragoo, and her seven-year-old son ventured out from the fort without guard to their cornfield to pick beans. They remained so long that the people in the fort became alarmed about them and sent out a girl by the name of Straight with my grandmother, also named Elizabeth Dragoo (then 11 years old) to see what was wrong. They went to the field and could see no signs of them. So Grandmother climbed on a stump and hallowed for her mother. Just then the girls became frightened and ran to the fort. At this very moment the Indians had her mother tied to a tree and could hear her child calling her. It is supposed that the reason the Indians did not also take the girls prisoner was that they expected some men to come from the fort and they could get some more scalps. When the alarm was raised at the fort, every man made a dash for the Indians in an attempt to recapture great grandmother and Uncle Billy. On this same night the Indians scalped and tomahawked a man by the name of Jacob Straight and left him for dead. He recovered partially at least and sat on a log and cried. We know this is the truth for he was found dead the next morning by the log and the blood was washed from his face in streaks where the tears run down.
 The Indians made their escape carrying grandmother and her boy. They came up Buffalo Creek and down the North Fork of Fishing Creek to the mouth of what is Betse’s Run. Grandmother was tied on a horse they had stolen. The horse, in jumping over a log, caught and tore the calf of her leg very badly. The Indians stopped and tried to check the flow of blood, but without success. The main band passed on, leaving two Indians with her. Billy understood the purpose was to kill his mother and began crying. One big Indian took the little fellow on his back and told him in English that his mother could not travel or they would not kill her. A few minutes later, the warriors who had remained behind with the woman came running up with her scalp on a tomahawk handle.
 Uncle Billy was taken to the Indian village and remained with them for twenty-three years, marrying a squaw by whom he had four children…two boys and two girls.
 Old Levi Morgan with forty men made a raid on the Indians near the head of the Muskingham River for the purpose of getting Indian prisoners to exchange for the Dragoos. Back home they made canoes near Morgantown to carry all their men. They launched their canoes in the Monongahela River, paddled down past Pittsburgh to the Ohio and on down the river to Marietta and up the Muskingham River as far as their canoes would float. Then they sank them in the bed of the stream and made for the Indian town. When Levi Morgan came to where there were signs of Indians he placed his men behind trees at intervals of fifty yards. Morgan, with my own Grandfather’s brother, Henry Hays, then only 16 years of age, skulked ahead to reconnoiter. Morgan told my Uncle Henry, “Now Henry, when I raise my foot you step right in the track”. Shortly they heard horsed caffing and an Indian speaking to them. They saw the Indian was salting the horses. Morgan whispered to Uncle Henry, “Henry, I will see if I can’t hit him right in the mouth”. He drew his old flintlock and when the gun cracked, the Indian jumped about three feet, gave the warhoop, clapped his hand over his mouth and fell dead. The whole force of Morgan’s men rushed forward to the Indian village capturing some squaws. I do not know how many. They started for their canoes, on their way back to the canoes one of the squaws asked Morgan if they had killed a boy, or seen anything of him. Upon his replying in the negative she advised Morgan to make haste for not over two hours before, fully two hundred warriors had gone out on a hunting expedition.
 They reached their canoes, dumped the water from them, and made their escape without any hindrance, poling and paddling their canoes down the Muskingum and up the Ohio and Monongahela rivers to their homes. Sometime after that a treaty was entered into between the Whites and Indians. The meeting was held near Marietta where prisoners were exchanged. Uncle Billy Dragoo and his two sons were returned to the Whites at this time. They came home and lived with my grandfather, James Hays, who had married Elizabeth Dragoo, the girl who, had gone to hunt for her mother the time the Indians tied her to a tree..."
 STORY #2:
3 Oct 1786 , Straight Run near Barracksville (W) Virginia; In a letter dated 4 Jan 1915 from Adah Marria Eubanks to a Mrs Bredes
"I can give more in regard to the killing of Jacob Strait by the Indians, which has been given to me by my people.
In the fall of the year, when they were gathering their crops one evening the cattle came running up snorting and bellowing, making a great fuss. Immediately the family became alarmed as they knew from the action of the cattle that the Indians were around. They at once prepared to go to the fort, as that was their only safety. As it began to grow dark and Mrs. Dragoo and her son, who were out in the cornfield gathering beans, did not return to the house, they knew that they had been captured. Jacob Strait and Nicholas Wood went to see if they could get any clue to their whereabouts, till they could get help from the fort. Mrs. Strait and her children had already left the house to go to the fort. It was already dark. Strait and Wood had not gone very far until the Indians had shot Wood from ambush. Strait started to run, but the Indians dodged out in front of him stopping his flight. He held out his hands to them, showing them that he was not armed, and said, 'I mean you no harm, don't kill me and I will go with you.' The Indian gave a grunt - 'Go with me.' and raised the tomahawk and struck him. They then took three scalps from his head. One from the top and one from each side of the back. He had black curley hair. The Indians were selling the scalps to the British. After the Indians left their victim, Mrs. Strait came out of her place of concealment and waded the river to the fort [Pricketts Fort] and gave the alarm.
They returned the next morning and found the Indians had rifled the house of everything in the shape of clothing, even taking the feather beds. Emptying the feathers in the middle of the floor and taking their ticks. They set fire to the feathers, to burn the house no doubt, but they burnt a hole through the floor and the fire went out. They took the body of Mr. Strait and buried it close to where it lay, on the old Strait Homestead, and marked the place, but when the family returned in the spring they could not fnd the place. The winter rains had washed away all the markings.
Mrs. Dragoo could not travel as fast as they wanted to go, so one morning the boy was taken on ahead and told that his mother was ill and not able to travel. Later they told him that his mother had died. The Indians were kind to him. He married a squaw and they had four children, two boys and two girls. When the boys were grown he took them to the woods hunting one day and went on back to Virginia, leaving the two girls with the mother. He afterward married a white woman in Virginia, and lived very happy.
My grandfather, (Jesse B. Straight) was born and raised on the old Strait Homestead, also was my mother (Alcinda M. Straight). My mother, when a child, played hide and seek under the same rock where her great grandmother (Elizabeth) hid when the Indians killed her great grandfather (Jacob Strait), and that rock is still there on the Strait Homestead. Hoping that this will straighten out the mistakes, I will close."

Friday, February 1, 2013

COON'S FORT

MORGAN/BATES/BOOHER/COON
(from History of Harrison Co. VA by Henry Haymond)
“(The Monongalia Story) - Joseph Coon ... is intitled to four hundred acres of land on the waters of West fork adjoining the land of John Tucker to include his Settlement made thereon in the year 1772. Harrison County. Joseph Coon, son of Philip, was born near Philadelphia in 1720, and came here with three of his sons, Anthony, Conrad, and Philip. He supervised the building of Coon's Fort, where his daughter Maudline was killed by the Indians in 1777 (Lough,304-6, 386; Withers 218,219). His land was described as "near the right hand fork of Bingamon Creek on the left hand side as you up to it, including a large bear wallow" (Lough, 261,262)(History of Harrison Co. VA by Henry Haymond)
“The Monongalia Story, VOL I, by Earl L. Core - MARION COUNTY - Fort Coon, Joseph Coon (occasionally spelled Koon) built this small blockhouse to protect the fifty families who had settled in rolling country about four miles upstream from what is now the town of Everson. The stockade consisted of eight small cabins and a large two-storied blockhouse, the latter overlooking Coons Run. It was within a short distance of today's Harrison County line. The fort suffered many attacks, including those which sons, daughters, and grandchildren of the builder were killed. He died in 1798, and is buried near the site of the fort.
“ATTACK AT COON'S FORT - Soon thereafter, according to Withers, two Indians visited the Coon's Fort settlement on the West Fork. Maudline Coon, a daughter of Joseph Coon, "came out for the purpose of lifting some hemp in a field near the fort." While she was thus occupied, two neighbors, Thomas Cunningham and Enoch James, came by, conversed briefly with her, and passed on. Before they had gone far they heard the report of a gun. They looked back just in time to see an Indian run up to the fallen girl and scalp her. The people of the fort turned out in pursuit, but were unable to find the Indians.
“JOSEPH COON DIES - Joseph Coon, of the builders of Coon's Fort (Monongalia Story, vol. I, pp.347,348), died on April 6, 1798, and was buried near the old fort, in Harrison County. A son of Philip Coon, he was born April 4, 1720, near Philadelphia. He married Catherine Cunread and they had seven children, namely, Conrad (1751-1817), married Anne Barbara Stauffer; Joseph Jr. (1752-1830?) married Elizabeth Snyder, then Elizabeth Daniels; Anthony (1755-1835), married Anne Nancy Hellen; Mary, married George Tetrick; Philip (1757-1835?); Elizabeth, married George Smith; and Catherine.” [Catherine is our family link- see below]
OUR COON FAMILY LINE:  (sources for some B/D dates vary and are still under review)
 
JOSEPH COON (1720-1798) married Catherine Cunread (1732-1798)
b. Philadelphia, PA, d. Coon’s Run, Marion, WV  
Joseph is often linked to Philip Kuhn/Coon who immigrated from Germany in 1738.

CATHERINE KOON/COON (17??-1817) married (John) Henry Booher/Booker (1734-18??)
Daughter of Joseph

MARY ANNA BOOHER (1785-1840) married Emanuel (Squire) Bates, Sr. (1785-1820)
Daughter of Catherine

EMANUEL BATES JR. (1813-1881) married Mariah Mathews (1811-1913)
Son of Mary Anna

ANDREW JACKSON BATES (1837-1909) married Elizabeth Cordelia Smith (1841-1880-raised by Rev. J. Yeater)
Son of Emanuel Jr.

EMMA BATES (1865-1933) married William Thomas Morgan (1858-1951)
Daughter of Andrew Jackson