From The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Vol. 54, October, 1956, No. 189


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, [1] 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,[2] 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.[3] 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.[4]

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,[5] the British Lieutenant General, who was then Governor of Canada.[6]


In order to understand the tragedy enacted in the Blue Grass Region of Kentucky that lovely June day, it will be necessary to go back across the years and set the stage providing the background. It was a land of running waters, of groves and glades and canebrakes and of primeval forests of stately trees so closely grown a man could walk for days without stepping from under the shade. It was a land teeming with wild game, where the lordly elk roamed at will and the gentle deer found seclusion, where the panther, the wolf and the boar prowled undisturbed and where the shaggy-maned buffalo and his mammoth predecessors had beaten down the earth in moving from salt lick to salt lick into traces over which the settlers came into the coveted country. Birds of bright plumage flitted from tree to tree, flocks of wild geese and wild turkeys abounded and the land was knee-deep in bluegrass and wild clover.[7]

The beauty of the country was described by wandering fur traders who had ventured into the hinterland to trade with the Indians The colonists along the eastern shore heard their story and became literally obsessed with a desire to find a way over the seemingly impassable mountain wall of the Alleghenies and secure homes in this "second paradise," as Boone called it. As soon as the way through Cumberland Gap was made known, they came in what seemed to be an endless procession, bringing their wives, their children, their slaves, their live stock and all their worldly goods.

They came over the Wilderness Road on foot and on pack horses, the women riding and carrying their babies, the small children packed amidst the bedding in crates of hickory withes, swung pander-fashion across the backs of gentle horses. The older boys drove the live stock ahead, while the men with rifles ready kept vigilant eyes out for the redskins. There were long, weary days of travel, long, anxious nights of watching while the exhausted faltered leaving unnamed graves by the side of the trail. Many gave up the difficult journey and settled in the secure valleys of the mountains, but the hardy ones pushed on to the rich lands of Central Kentucky. There they built strong wooden forts, pre-empted their lands, cleared the forests, planted crops and established their homes.


Many of the Kentucky settlers came by the river route,[8] which was far, more dangerous than the Wilderness Road. No pen can picture a more pitiable plight than that of a cargo of immigrants on a rude drifting craft, helpless on the bosom of the Ohio wider the murderous fire of Indians along the banks. Yet so many came that it almost seemed an endless procession.

The boats were built at Redstone by tens of thousands for the journey down the Ohio. They were a mixture of log cabin, fort, barnyard and country grocery into which were jumbled men, women, children, horses, pigs, chickens, cows, dogs, powder, dishes, furniture, provisions and farm implements. As they drifted into the darkness their loopholes often spurted jets of rifle fire, while the women loaded the hot rifles of the men in the flickering light of pine knots held by the silent, frightened children.

The Kentucky flatboat, floating with the current and steered by a big sweep, was literally "the boat that never came back." The fact that it could not go upstream was taken into consideration in its construction, the materials being so cut that upon arriving at its destination the boat could be broken up and used to build a home. There were flatboat houses in many of the river towns, especially in Cincinnati where the first school was taught in a flatboat house. One such house marked by a D.A.R. chapter still stands near Maysville, Kentucky, the Limestone of pioneer days.


The forts were built usually in the form of a parallelogram, their site determined by the location of a good spring. Trees were chopped down and the logs neatly picketed and set close together in a trench which had been dug the shape and size desired. When these logs were rammed together, they made a solid wall from nine to twelve feet high, impervious to rifle fire and arrows used by the Indians, but not to cannon. The block houses or bastions, built at each of the four corners, extended over the lower story about eighteen inches so that no enemy could make lodgement under the walls without risk of enfilading fire.

The log cabins were built along the walls of the fort and had clapboard roofs, slab doors hung with deer thongs and windows covered with oiled paper. All of the cabins opened into the enclosure. Not a nail nor a scrap of iron was used in their construction.

The beds in the primitive cabins were constructed by forcing forked sticks into the floor, running poles through the forks into the log walls and stretching buffalo skins tightly over the frame work. Bedding consisted of homespun sheets and blankets and beautifully-pieced quilts and "kivers" or coverlets. In very cold weather bear skins or elk skins were added for warmth. The floor coverings were also of skins of wild animals Cooking was done at the open fireplaces with spits, pothooks and kettles. The tables were made of slabs of wood into which pegs were driven for legs. Noggins, piggies and bowls were neatly turned, and pewter plates and horn spoons were reserved for grand occasions.[9]


As a matter of convenience the men adopted a variation of the Indian dress, a hunting shirt hanging loose and reaching half way down the thighs. It was open anti overlapping in front with a most unsanitary wallet or pocket in the bosom in which were kept a piece of jerked meat, a chunk of bread and tow for wiping the rifle barrel. The hunting shirt was sometimes made of deer skin, but as that was cold and uncomfortable in wet weather, it was more frequently made of linsey-woolsey, a homespun material of flax nod wool. Leggings, covering the legs to the thighs, were fastened by strings to the belt which also held the bullet pouch, the tomahawk and the scalping knife. The breech clout was a piece of linen or cloth, about a yard long and nine inches wide which passed under the belt front and back, the ends sometimes embroidered, hanging down before and behind. The feet were shod in moccasins of dressed deer skin made of a single piece with a gathering seam along the top of the foot and another from the bottom of the heel as high as the ankle joint, without gathers. Flaps were left on each side reaching some distance up the leg and were adjusted by, deer thongs. In cold weather the moccasins were stuffed with deer hair or dried leaves to keep the feet warm, a poor protection, however, for many a brave pioneer suffered torture from "scald feet." The costume was completed by a coon-skin cap, the tail dangling down behind.

The women's clothing figured little in pioneer history. The linsey-woolsey petticoat and bed gown are mentioned, the bodice, the homespun kerchief at the neck and sunbonnets "of six or seven hundred linen." Some wore shoe packs instead of moccasins. The children wore diminutive models of the adult dress.[10]


In these forts friends found friends neighbors sought former neighbors, kith and kin banded (together in pre-empting lauds and building homes, and during the intermittent periods of peace when Indians were not on the warpath, there was visiting from fort to fort. Love affairs developed, for knights were bold and ladies fair, and itinerant preachers had many knots to tie. The young people reared large families, and life within the forts was unique in the history of the nation.

The duties of the household were discharged by the women. They milked the cows, prepared the food, spun and wove material for garments, household linens, "kivers" and rag carpets. They made the winter coat of the buffalo into a coarse, warm cloth. and discovered that the lint of the wild nettle could be made to take the place of flax. By combining it with the buffalo wool, they made a good substitute for that made by combining sheep's wool and flax. When their resourcefulness led them to experiment with dyes, they found that inner bark of the white walnut produces dull yellows; black walnut, dark; browns; indigo, blues; madder, dingy reds, hickory bark; yellows; sumac berries, deep reds; oak, purple; cedar berries, dove or lead color. They made their ink of oak bark mixed with cypress. When war was the order of the day, they ran the bullets and necked them or took their own portholes for the defense of the forts, many of them being expert with the rifle. Boys who had attained the age of twelve were given their portholes also and were expected to defend them in time of attack. The men cleared the forests, planted the crops, built the forts and cabins, hunted the game and constantly watched for the savages.

But there were better times when the Indians were not on the warpath. The restless forters sought excitement in sugarings, huskings, quiltings, log-rollings, house-warmings and in dancing the three- and four-handed jigs and Irish trots. If, perchance a fiddler found his way into the wilderness, there were gala nights when young folks reveled in the mazes of the Virginia Reel.

Although they held horse races from the very beginning, the pioneers were in a little while practicing Christians, too, as the respites from the Indian raids increased allowing the settlers a higher degree of civilization.[11]

Their homes were often established far afort, from which they ventured gun in hand to build their cabins, clear the forests and till the soil. When danger threatened, a messenger was sent from farm to farm at risk of his life to warn the settlers to gather their families and necessities together. Not then daring to light a candle or stir a fire, noiselessly, they crept through the savage-infested woodland to the sheltering fort. Even the dog of the pioneer was trained to silence lest his bark betray his master's whereabouts to the wily Indians.

Such was the life and such were the inhabitants of Ruddle's and Martin's Forts.


Hinkson's Settlement, later known as Ruddle's Fort, was built one month prior to the Battle of Lexington by Captain John Hinkson and his company of fifteen men.

Captain Hinkson's company was composed of:[12]

Captain John Hinkson
John Martin
Pat Callihan
George Gray
Silas Train
John Townsend
William Hoskins
John Woods
John Cooper
Dan Callihan
William Shields
John Haggin
Matthew Fenton
Thomas Shores
Samuel Wilson

Hinkson's Company came down the Ohio and up the Licking River in canoes as far as the forks where Falmouth is now. There they tarried a few days, then proceeded up the Licking to the Blue Licks and came over the Buffalo Trace to the point they selected for their future homes, one of the most beautiful spots in all Kentucky.[13]

They immediately took for themselves land and built fifteen cabins, named for members of their company. John Townsend on Townsend Creek, and John Cooper on Cooper's Run, raised corn in 1775 in sufficient quantities to furnish seed for the 1776 harvest.[14]


About four miles away on Stoner Creek, John Martin built his cabin in 1775 which became a fortified station about 1779. He brought his family from Uniontown, Pennsylvania, down the Ohio to Limestone and with other families settled first at Hinkson's Settlement. then at his own station on Stoner Creek in Bourbon County where the Buffalo Trace crosses the creek.[15]


Captain John Haggin built his blockhouse a short distance from Captain Hinkson's settlement at the place where Paddy's Run empties into the Licking River.[16]

Haggin's like Martin's, was small and depended on the larger settlement at Captain Hinkson's in time of danger.

Captain Hinkson's original fifteen cabins increased in number, and a thriving community had developed about his fort when a sharp Indian attack found him short of ammunition and obliged to surrender. After traveling a short distance with his captors, Captain Hinkson made his escape, but his little fort was abandoned July, 1776. Some of his people took refuge in McClelland's Fort,[17] now Georgetown, while others left the country.[18]

For three years there was no sign of life at Captain Hinkson's settlement. Then in 1779 Captain Isaac Ruddle arrived at the abandoned fort and established there what is known in history as Ruddle's Fort.


Captain Ruddle, who came from the Shenandoah Valley, was one of Kentucky's earliest settlers. While General Clark was conquering the Northwest, he lived on Corn Island and later at Logan's Fort[19] near what is now Stanford, Kentucky. In 1779 he established his own settlement at Ruddle's on Hinkson Creek in what is now Bourbon County.

Ruddle's wife, Elizabeth, came of heroic stock, being a sister of Colonel John Bowman, first Military Governor of Kentucky County, Virginia, and granddaughter of Jost Hite, one of the historic characters of the Shenandoah Valley.

As the Revolutionary War progressed, the Indians, incited by the British, traveled in war parties and committed depradations on isolated settlements such as Ruddle's Mills. Ruddle, therefore, decided for the safety of his own family and those that had gathered about him to move into Hinkson's deserted fort on the Licking River. He added to and fortified it, making it one of the largest and strongest in the Kentucky wilderness capable of accommodating from two to three hundred people.[20] His garrison was composed of forty-nine men as follows:

Isaac Ruddle, Captain
John Haggin, Lieutenant
John Mather, Ensign
Joseph Isaacs, Quartermaster
John Waters, Sergeant
John Cloyd, Drummer
Andrew Baker
Edward Low
Henry Loyl
George Loyl
Peter Loyl
Thomas Machen
Charles Munger, Sr.
Andrew Bartell
George Bronker
Ruben Boughner
John Burger, Sr.
Lconard Croft
David Erdman
George Baker
John Bird
Casper Brown
John Burger, Jr.
Peter Call
William Delinger
Thomas Emory
Paul Fisher
John Hulton
James Ruddle
John Smith, Sr.
Martin Tuffleman
Andrew Pirtenbustle
Henry Pirtenbustle
Len Pirtenbustle
H. Pirtenbustle, Jr.
Peter Rough
Stephen Ruddle
Patrick Ryan
William Scott
John Smith, Jr.
Frederick Tanner
Moses Waters
Jacob Leach, Sr.
William Marshall
George Hatfall
William Munger, Jr.
George Ruddle
William Sandidge
James Stewart


The land owners living near Ruddle's and Martin's Stations pre-empted lands for miles around, farming during intervals of peace and taking refuge within the forts when the Indians were on the warpath.[21] In the immediate neighborhood were Samuel McMillain, John Miller, Alex Pollock, Samuel Nesbitt, William McFall, Captain Asa Reese and E. E. Williams; Pat and Dan Callahan, who lived two miles from Ruddle's; Andrew Linn on Hinkson Creek; James Sodowsky and John Shelp on the Middle Fork of Licking; William Field at the mouth of Stone Creek; William Gillispie on Boone's Creek; John Cooper on Cooper's Run and Michael Stoner[22] on Stoner's Creek.

The spring following the hard winter of 1779 was unusually fine, and the inhabitants of Martin's and Ruddle's Stations saw their cattle grow fat on the luscious bluegrass and the rich soil give promise of bounteous crops. Everywhere there was an atmosphere of peace and prosperity and general well-being, and they went hopefully about their spring work with no premonition of the tragedy that awaited them unaware that a formidable force was being collected at Detroit for the invasion of Kentucky to counteract Clark's success in the West.[23]

Major A. S. DePeyster,[24] who replaced Lieutenant-Governor Hamilton[25] when he was captured by Clark, ordered the invading force to march under the command of Captain Bird. Bird at once began preparations by assembling an army of 150 British, Tories and Canadians and several hundred Indians whose numbers were increased as they advanced southward until they finally totaled between 1,000 and 1,200 men.[26] The attackers were equipped with sailing vessels, bateaux, and birch canoes in which they were floated down the Detroit River, across Lake Erie to the Maumee, up that river to the Great Miami, down the Great Miami to the Ohio and from there to the Licking on which they ascended to Ruddle's Station.[27]


The names of the British and Canadians who participated in the expedition of Captain Bird against Ruddle's and Martin's Forts are listed in an old ledger in the Burton Collection at Detroit.[28] The list of those who served from March 24 to May 24, 1780 contains eighty-six names and a payroll of 1165 pounds, 10 shillings and 8 1/2 pence. The list of those who served from May 25 to August 4, a term of seventy-two days, contains the names of fifty-eight and a payroll of 1079 pounds, 12 sllillings and 3 1/4 pence. The payrolls did not include all the cost of provisions and equipment. At the head of the militia muster were Captain Louis Jonclaire Chabert, Lieutenant Jonathan Scheiffeling,[29] Sergeants Francis Babault, Antoine Charon, William Gregg and James McAlphie, and Corporals Joseph Carrier, Joseph Touillier and Joseph Rough.

Captain Bird in his letter to Major DePeyster adds the names of Monsieur LeDuc who made himself useful "mending shafts and repairing carriages," Mr. Reynolds, "an excellent woodsman," and Duperon Baby who was one of the most influential of the French residents in Detroit.[30]

The Tories of the expedition included Matthew Elliott,[31] Alexander McKee[32] whose lands were escheated by Virginia for the benefit of Transylvania Seminary in 1783 and the two hated renegades, Simon and George Girty,[33] who frequently led the Indians in attacks on Kentucky settlers.

Finding it difficult to secure enough pack animals to transport his supplies, Captain Bird ordered Captain Alexander McKee, the Loyalist, to gather them for him. His letters indicate that the Indians were willing to do their part but were slow and inclined to act according to their own custom rather than according to his orders. He expressed anxiety lest certain persons who had escaped might carry a warning to the Falls and spoil the surprise he was planning for the Kentuckians. In his letter to DePeyster, dated May 21, 1789, he says:[34]

I have the pleasure to inform you that everything is six leagues below the portage, where the perrogues are making, they are not yet finished, therefore nothing on our part retards.

At the portage for some unaccountable reason, Bird took two weeks to transport his army and supplies from the Auglaise River to the Big Miami, a distance not exceeding twenty miles. his plans were set forth in a letter to Major DePeyster, dated June 3, 1780, the principal portion of which is shown below:[35]

The Prisoners who were sent off by the Hurons, or rather by Zeans, with their silent consent arrived some time ago at the Falls, with Intelligence of our approach, they went off to Col. Clarke to return immediately. He will not be able to join the Rebels assembling at the Falls-before the 15th of this month-He has certainly 200 Soldiers with him.

By what we can learn they are gathering as many as possible at the Falls to meet us-but there is much division amongst them.

I went to Capt. McKee ;and told him, I could wish he would attempt to biass the Indians as far as proper to proceed immediately to the Falls-I stated my reasons as follows-

It is possible before Col. Clark's arrival, they may raise 800 men, probably they may raise 600 certain they can raise 400.

Col. Clarke's arrival will add considerably to their numbers, and to their confidence. Therefore the Rebels should be attacked before the arrival, now it is possible he may return by the 14th probable by the 22nd certain by the 1st of July.

Tho possible for us to get to the Falls by the 10th of this month, certain by the 14th. The Indians have their full spirits, the ammunition and every thing plenty, and in the state we could wish it. After taking the Falls the Country on our return, will be submissive & in a manner subdued, but if we attack the nearer Forts first, as we advance we shall have continual desertion of Indians, the ammunition wasted, or expended, and our People far from fresh, our Difficulties will increase as we advance & Col. Clarke will he at the Falls with all his People collected to fight US at the close.

I have another reason for attacking the Falls, should he succeed, we can ambuscade Mr. Clarke as he returns.

Captain McKee thinks my reasons just, if this plan is not followed, it will be owing to the Indians who may adopt theirs.


John Bradford's Notes 8 and 9, published in the Kentucky Gazette October 13 and October 20, 1826, presents a thrilling account of the attack based on contemporary pioneer statements.[36]

Kentucky Gazette, Oct. 13, 1826

After Clark had established Fort Jefferson, he went to Coho and to St. Louis- the latter place attacked by an invading army from Michilimackimack; while at Coho French deserters came in and gave him the information of the intended expedition against Kentucky under the command of Colonel Byrd from Detroit. He sent three or four hundred men up the Illinois and to Rock River, who destroyed several towns.

Soon after receiving intelligence of Byrd's intentions General Clark, Major Harlan and Captain Consola, with a few others, set out from St. Louis for Fort Jefferson and sent fifty men up to Louisville with ammunition for the purpose of carrying an expedition into the enemy's country and if possible, intercept Byrd on his march for Kentucky.

From Fort Jefferson, Clark, Harlan and Consola set off on foot for Harrodsburg in Kentucky. It was a remarkably wet season, all the rivers were very full, so that they were obliged to make rafts to cross both the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, the smaller rivers, they swam. A short distance from the Tennessee River they were discovered by a party of Indians and pursued and very narrowly escaped, the Indians having crossed the Tennessee above them and waited to meet them on their landing; but fortunately they discovered the Indians in time to make their landing below the mouth of a wide deep creek. and immediately on landing were out of sight; not long after leaving the Tennessee they came across a bear, and being almost out of provisions, they killed it, but did not wait to skin it, but cut off eacha piece with the skin on and pushed on until night, when they found a sinkhole in which they made a fire and cooked and slept until morning. They crossed the Cumberland River not far below Nashville, and fell into the path from there to Kentucky, and arrived at Wilson's Station near Harrodsburg about one hour before the express. which brought the news that Ruddle's and Martin's Stations were taken. The plan of this expedition was laid by the British at Detroit, and with the aid of the northern tribes of Indians calculated on breaking up the settlements in Kentucky and bringing the whole country under their control to effect this project, the whole Indian force under the influence of the British were collected with Simon Girty and McKee, and joined by Colonel Byrd with some British regulars and Canadian volunteers; and besides small arms were provided with six pieces of artillery.

The original design of this expedition was first to have gone to Louisville and taken that, and establish their headquarters at that place, but on their approach to the Ohio, received information that the waters of Licking River, were sufficiently high to admit their boats to ascend that river, and from the unwillingness of the Indians to come in contact with a place where there was a cannon,[37] the project was changed.

The first intimation the people of Kentucky received of this meditated attack was from Major A. Chapline[38] who was taken prisoner by the Indians when Captain Rogers was killed in an attempt to ascend the Ohio the preceding fall, as has been noticed. Upon receiving information of the meditated attack on Kentucky, Major Chapline determined to appraise his country of their danger or perish in the attempt; he therefore made his escape and safely arrived at Harrodsburg, early in the month of May, and gave the information.

Immediately on the arrival of Major Chapline, the information he gave was sent to every station in the country and consultations were held to devise the best mode to defeat them. From the best calculations that could be made, it was considered impossible that they could arrive with such an army earlier shall the last of July or first of August, and all arrangements for defense were made according to that calculation; nor was that opinion changed until about the first of June, when a party of twenty-five men attempted to cross the Kentucky River at the ford below Frankfort on their way from Bryan's Station to Louisville, to purchase corn. As this party descended the bank, they were fired upon by a party of Indians with muskets charged with ball and buckshot. These were arms not generally used by Indians; it was therefore immediately conjectured that it was an advance party of the army that was expected.




This silver medal was later found near the site of Ruddle's Fort. It shows the effigy of the British lion on one side, and on the other side, King George III.[39]


BRADFORD'S NOTES No.9 Kentucky Gazette, Oct. 20, 1826

It has already been noticed that the summer of 1780 was exceedingly wet, and that all the water courses were full. This circumstance induced Colonel Byrd to change his original purpose of attacking Louisville first. He therefore decided to ascend Licking River into the heart of the country, by which means he would be enabled to take with him his artillery to Ruddle's Station, and would easily take it by land from Ruddle's to Martin's and Bryan's and Lexington, the ground being level and the roads easily made passable. Colonel Byrd landed his artillery, stores and baggage on the point at the forks of Licking, where he put up some huts to shelter them from the weather; and from there marched at the head of 1,000 men. In consequence of the extreme wetness of the weather which had continued for many days, the men at Ruddle's and Martin's Stations who were accustomed to be in the woods, had all come in, therefore Byrd taking advantage of that circumstance, arrived within gunshot of the fort, undiscovered, and the first information the people received of the approach of an enemy was the report from a discharge of one of the field pieces. Byrd sent in a flag and demanded surrender at discretion, to which demand Captain Ruddle answered that he could not consent to surrender, but on certain conditions, one of which was that the prisoners should be under the protection of the British and not suffered to be prisoners of the Indians; to these terms Colonel Byrd consented, and immediately the gates were opened to him. No sooner were the gates opened than the Indians rushed into the station and each seized the first person they could lay their hands on and claimed them as their own prisoner. In this way the members of every family were separated from each other, the husband from the wife, and the parents from their children. The piercing screams of the children, when torn from their mothers, the distracted throes of the mothers when forced from their tender offspring, are indescribable. Ruddle remonstrated with Colonel Byrd against this barbarous conduct of the Indians, but to no effect. He confessed that it was out of his power to restrain them, their numbers being so much greater than that of the troops over which he had control; that he himself was completely in their power.

After the people were entirely stripped of all their property and the prisoners divided among the captors, the Indians proposed to Colonel Byrd to march to and take Martin's Station which was about five miles from Ruddle's: but Colonel Byrd was so affected by the conduct of the Indians to the prisoners taken, that he peremptorily refused unless the chiefs would pledge themselves on behalf of the Indians that all the prisoners taken should be entirely under his control, and that the Indians should only be entitled to the plunder. Upon these propositions being agreed to by the chiefs, the army marched to Martin's Station and took it without opposition. The Indians divided the spoil among themselves, and Colonel Byrd took charge of the prisoners.

The ease with which these two stations were taken so animated the Indians that they pressed Colonel Byrd to go forward and assist them to take Bryan's Station and Lexington. Byrd declined going and urged as a reason the improbability of success: and besides the impossibility of procuring provisions to support the prisoners they already had, also the impracticability of transporting their artillery by land to any part of the Ohio River, therefore the necessity of descending Licking before the waters fell, which might be expected to take place in a few days.

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.

The Indians not only collected all the horses belonging to Ruddle's and Martin's Station, but a great many from Bryan's and Lexington, and with their booty crossed the Ohio River near the mouth of Licking, and there dispersed. The British descended Licking River to the Ohio, down the Ohio to the mouth of Big Miami, and up the Miami as far as it was navigable for their boats, where they hid their artillery and marched by land to Detroit. The rains fell so low that they were able to ascend the Miami but a short distance by water.

The route of Bird's march from the mouth of Licking to Ruddle's and Martin's Forts is clearly outlined on Filson's Map of Kentucky.


Alexander McKee, the noted Tory, in a letter to Major DePeyster, dated July 8, 1780,[40] says that he advanced with 200 Indians to surround the fort before daylight, but remained concealed until the main body arrived with cannon. The firing continued from daybreak; until noon. Captain Bird came up with a small gun and had two charges fired at the fort At the same time a six pounder was summoned. This determined the majority in Ruddle's Fort to capitulate.

Governor Jeremiah Morrow of Ohio later said that "the picketts were cut down like cornstalks," and "twenty persons were tomahawked in cold blood."[41]

The articles of capitulation were written by James Trabue, Deputy Surveyor under John May, who arrived at the fort the night before the disaster. His brother, Daniel Trabue, in an interview with Lyman Draper,[42] said that Bird sent in a flag demanding surrender, and that the cannon was only fired twice, knocking a log in about six inches. James Trabue and Captain Hinkson, according to Trabue, wanted to defend the fort, but Ruddle and the majority were for capitulation. The flag was sent back and forth several times.

By the terms of surrender Bird agreed that the women and children should be protected and taken to the nearest station and there safely delivered. The men were to be prisoners with the privilege of taking their rifles and such articles as they pleased.


The information of taking Ruddle's and Martin's Stations entirely changed the project that had been conceived of intercepting the army on its way to Louisville, where Major Chapline informed, was the place on which they designed to make their first attack. General Clark therefore recommended that the whole force that could possibly be raised should pursue the Indians to their towns and destroy all their provisions at least. This proposition was unanimously agreed to by all the officers of the Militia, and as there were a considerable number of men on a visit to the country, immediate orders were given to enroll every man and to prevent any from leaving the country. An officer with a sufficient force was stationed at Crab Orchard, the only outlet from the settled parts, with orders to stop all who attempted to leave the Country, and if they refused to return and join the expedition, to take from them their arms and ammunition.

The great panic occasioned throughout Kentucky by the taking of Ruddle's and Martin's Stations caused the people to look up to General Clark as their only hope. His counsel and advice was received as coming from an oracle. He advised that a levy of four-fifths should be made of all the men in the country capable of bearing arms, whether inhabitants or strangers, and to meet at the mouth of Licking on the 20th July. Those from Lincoln and Fayette, under the command of Colonel Logan, were to march down Licking-those from Jefferson under General Clark were to march up the Ohio.

As soon as it was decided that an expedition should be carried on against the Indians. Ceneral Clark gave orders to have a number of small skiffs built at Louisville capable of taking fifteen or twenty men, which together with batteaux, the provisions and military stores, were taken by water from Louisville to the mouth of the Licking. The vessels were under the direction of Colonel George Slaughter, who commanded about 150 troops raised by him in Virginia for Western Service.

In ascending the river, it was necessary to keep the vessels close to the shore, some of which were on one side and some on the other; it happened whilst one of these skiffs was near the north side of the river a party of Indians ran down to the water's edge and fired into it and killed and wounded several before assistance could be obtained from the other boats.

That party of the army commanded by Colonel Logan assembled at Bryan's Spring, about eight miles from Lexington, and on the following night a man by the name of Clarke stole a valuable horse and went off. It was generally believed that he intended to go to North Carolina. When the army arrived at the mouth of Licking, the horse was found there, when the conjecture was that he had been taken prisoner by the Indians; but it was afterwards discovered that he had gone to the Indians voluntarily in order to give them notice of the approach of an army from Kentucky.

The army rendezvoused and encamped on the ground where Cincinnati now stands, and the next day built two blockhouses, in which was deposited a quantity of corn, and where several men who were sick left with a small guard, until the return of the army.

The division of the army commanded by Colonel Logan took with them generally provisions, only sufficient to last them to the mouth of Licking, as it was understood a sufficient quantity for the campaign would be brought up from Louisville to that place; but when the army was about to march, the provisions were distributed among the men, and was only six quarts of Indian corn, measured in a quart pot for each man, most of whom were obliged to carry it on their backs, not having a sufficiency of pack horses to convey the whole, together with the military stores and the baggage of the army.


While General Clark was destroying the Indian towns and their provisions in retaliation, the captives from Ruddle's and Martin's Stations were wearily marching northward. Involuntarily we ask: Who were they? Where did they go? How were they treated?

The details of the route they took are given in a statement by Captain John Dunkin,[44] who says:

June 26, 1780, I was taken from Licking Creek in Kentucky County by Captain Henry Bird of the 8th Regiment of his Majestie's forces in conjunction with about eight hundred Indians of different Nations-Viz. Mingoes; Delawares, Shawnees, Hurons, Ottaways, 'Taways and Chippeways. We marched from our village the 27th, being in number 129 men, women and children. We marched down Licking about 50 miles to the Ohio and from thence up ye Big Miami River about 170 miles to the Standing Stone, and from thence up said river to Larramie's [Lorimer's] Store 14 miles on the head of the Miami; and from thence across by land 18 miles to the Landing on the River Glaise-and from thence down said river passing a Taway village and to the mouth of said river about 80 miles at a small village of Miami Indians on the River Miami; from thence down said river about 40 miles to an Indian village called Rose de Boo-and from thence down said river about 18 miles to Lake Erie, where we went on board the Hope, mounted six pounders, Captain Graves commander; and so across the said lake to the mouth of the Detroit River, and 18 miles up to the same to the fort and town of Detroit, which place we arrived at the 4th of August, 1780-where they were kept until the 24th when 33 of us were put on board the Gage, Captain Burnit commander, mounted 8 guns, and from thence to Fort Erie- and thence in battoes 18 miles down thc River Niagara to Fort Slusher, at the head of the great fall-and from thence in wagons, 9 miles, where we again went in battoes down said river to Fort Niagara at the mouth of said river on the 29th; and on the 5th of September we were again put on board the Ontario, Captain Cowan commander, and so across the Lake Ontario to Carlton Island on the 8th, and on the 10th we sent off down the long Sac and into Sandijest Lake, and so down Rapids into Grand River and through a small lake and so the Lasheen. From thence by land 9 miles to Montreal on the 14th of September, 1780, and on tile 17th we were sent into Grant's Island and remained there until the 25th of October, when we were again taken back into Montreal and billetted in St. Lawrence suburbs. I was put in confinement in the Long Gaol September 1st, and remained in close confinement until the 17th day of October, when I was permitted to go and live with my faintly with the privilege of walking the town and suburbs.

Over that narrow trail, the largest body of people ever gathered together in the wilderness of Kentucky wended their way into the Indian country, about 1,200 of these consisting of the invading force, and about 470 miserable prisoners, loaded down with household plunder from their own cabin homes. Captain Bird himself reported the miserable northward trek in a letter to Major DePeyster, written July 1, 1780:[45]

I marched the poor women & children 20 miles in one day over very high mountains, frightening them with frequent alarms to push them forward, in short, Sir, by water & land we came with all our cannon &c., 40 miles in 4 days rowing fifty miles the last day-we have no meat and must subsist on flour if there is nothing for us at Lorimiers [Lorimers].

A kettle on the head of a gentlewoman, Mrs. Peter Smith, so injured her scalp that the hair never grew on her head again, and she wore a cap the rest of her days.[46]

Joseph Conway, who had been scalped by the Indians two weeks before, was claimed by an old Indian whose daughter was allowed to travel with him to dress his bandaged head.[47]

Milo M. Quaife, in his monograph entitled, "When Detroit Invaded Kentucky,"[48] tells the story of Leonard Kratz, who had guided the Munger family into Kentucky and married their daughter Mary. Kratz was forced by his captors to carry a huge copper kettle strapped to his back, causing him to be unable to lie down for the soreness. He was rescued from starvation by a kindly squaw. He and his young wife and baby were separated on the march.

Patrick Mahan, a Pennsylvanian, came with his large family of three sons, John, Thomas and William and son-in-law, James Morrow. With Morrow were his wife and three single daughters, Isabella, Margaret and Jane, the latter of which who later married James Breckinridge. They emigrated to Kentucky from Bottetourt County, Virginia, with twenty pack animals besides the horses they rode, stopping at Bryan's Station on their way to Martin's Station.

James Breckinridge and his wife (Jane Mahan Breckinridge ) in their interview with Rev. John D Shane,[49] said that Bird was "an inhuman wretch" who gave them for rations only a pint of musty flour which sometimes turned green, though he had ample supply. When George Girty killed some deer and brought it in, Bird purchased it for himself and his officers, but gave none to the prisoners. According to the Breckenridges, thereupon, Girty cursed Bird "as being meaner than any Indian, having plenty of rations and carrying his prisoners back to starve without them." They declared that the British officer at Detroit was very much displeased and talked of breaking Bird's commission.[50] Jane Morrow later told Draper that Bird was court-martialed for his conduct at Ruddle's, but was acquitted.[51]

James Morrow was captured while hunting and was forced to run the gauntlet which he did successfully. A 1ittle later, however, the Indians decided to burn him at the stake and had made all their ghastly preparations when a hard rain set in. He was finally saved by an Indian who bought him for twenty buckskins. The Indian took him to the house where the British bought both prisoners and scalps and sold him for five pounds, a neat profit since a buckskin usually sold for a dollar and the price of twenty buckskins in the parlance of the woods was "twenty bucks." While Morrow was in that house he beheld the scalps of the prisoners taken, a large number of which were those of little children and heard an old Indian tearfully declare that the Great Spirit would be angry because they had scalped so many little infants.

To Mrs. Wilson, another daughter of Patrick Mahan, who lived to a ripe old age in Woodford County, we are indebted for many details of that sad journey.[52] She says that Bird gave the men a cup of flour and the women and children only half a cup. She says an Indian comfortably riding one of her father's best horses "and her saddle," while she was compelled to walk during that journey of six weeks and four days and carry a heavy pack. She says when they were taken to an island, the men had to work or go to prison. A Captain Grant was building a mill and made the men haul rock like horses, paying them a York shilling a day for their labors. While at Montreal, she says:

We had a very good house to stay in. After we were taken first, they wanted us, the single ladies, to go into the gentlemen's kitchens and cook for them. We single ladies and Captain Dunkin's lady and Mrs. Lapost and Mrs. Mahan, my mother and Mrs. Agnes Mahan, my brother's wife, sent a petition to Major Halserman [Haldimand], telling him we had never been accustomed to work in the kitchen and we wanted houses to live in. We considered it was too low, we never kind been used to such business. General Halderman [Haldimand] granted the petition. The second petition also, to let our men be out with us, and if that couldn't be, to let us have some one to wait upon us. They made them give oath that they wouldn't leave, and sent them out on parole...

An old adage says, it takes three generations of ladies to make a needlewoman, and these were ladies. Mrs. Wilson continues:

The women of us were generally pretty good at our needles, and we had pretty good employment at that. Got a dollar and a half for every fine ruffled shirt we made. They were in the habit of putting lace edging on their ruffles. We worked an open edge on them, and they took a great fancy to that, and we charged them another dollar and a half for that, making three dollars. Our needles were very well capable of supporting us decently. When we came to leave we had seven pieces of Irish linen in the house that we had to return. The people that we sewed for were mighty sorry. They always advanced the money, or were ready to pay when we brought the work.

A loyalist lady came to the prisoners' house to get washing. Miss Judy Lapost and her brother were just going to town. They said they were going to town to get a washerwoman. One day their mother was in a store in town and a town lady came and wanted to know if she wasn't one of the Virginia prisoners [Kentucky being part of Virginia]. Said the report was through the town that the Virginia prisoners were the proudest people in town. She said-Why shouldn't we be? We all had good homes and always had a-plenty.

Major Dupaster [DePeyster] was a great friend to the prisoners. We had no want of food after we got to Montreal.

Captain Hare was very kind. Would stay behind out of Byrd's sight to give Mahan, the old man, an opportunity of riding his horse.

Mrs. Honn and her daughter, Katherine, were among the captives from Ruddle's. Katherine, a fleet-footed girl of eighteen, was chased by the Indians a half a mile while running the gauntlet and was knocked down by an Indian club. She married first, Charles Munger, then Joseph Fenis. The mother, Mrs. Honn, was placed in Blue Jacket's family where she kept the cows and made the butter, esteeming herself fortunate to be so well placed.[53]

While the Indians were attacking Ruddle's Fort, one Indian succeeded in getting under the puncheon floor of Mrs. McFall's cabin.[54] She poured boiling water through the cracks routing him in a hurry. She remained in captivity many years, but her husband soon escaped during an attack by Clark upon the Indians.

The Indians killed and scalped a number of children because they could not keep up on the march. They seemed, however, to have taken a fancy to little Johnnie Lail, two years odd, and decided to see if he would make a "good Indian," rolling him rapidly down the river bank. He didn't cry, thus securing his own adoption and that of his brother George, three years older. Johnnie came back after Wayne's Treaty and lived to be an old and useful citizen of Harrison County. George married an Indian and lived among the Indians for many years. Finally, however, he came back to the home of his childhood, but his Indian wile deserted him and went back to her people.

One of the most important prisoners taken from Ruddle's was Captain John Hinkson, who had built the original fort. The second night after leaving the forks of the Licking, the Indians encamped near the river. They had difficulty in lighting a fire as everything was wet. There was a guard placed over the prisoners, but his attention was attracted by the efforts to start the fire. Hinkson saw this and realizing that the night was dark he sprang from his captors and dashed out of sight, lying down by the side of a log where it was quite dark until the excitement occasioned by his escape had subsided. Then he started toward Lexington, but it was too dark to see the moss on the sides of the trees, and there were no stars to guide him. In this dilemma, he dipped his hand in water and holding it above his head noted that one side of his hand immediately became cold. That he knew must be the side from which the wind came, and so for the rest of the night he followed the cold side of his hand which he knew to be toward the west, the course best suited to his purpose. He finally arrived safely at Lexington bearing the first news of the tragedy that had taken place at Ruddle's and Martin's Forts.[55]


Bombardier Homan, who had charge of artillery, referred to his battery as "the gun" and "smaller ordnance," presumably swivels.[56] Captain Bird in his report to DePeyster, says:[57]

The three pounder was not sufficient, our People raised a Battery of Rails and earth within eighty yards of the fort, taking advantage of a very violent storm of rain, which prevented their being seen clearly. They stood two discharges of the little gun, which only cut down a spar, and stuck the shot in the side of a house. When they saw the Six Pounder moving across the field, they immediately surrendered. They thought the Three Pounder a swivel.

One of Bird's cannon is probably lying today on the bottom of the Licking, just below Boyd Station at Bird's Crossing. After the two forts had been taken, the Indians mounted the horses of the Kentuckians to ride in comfort and drove the livestock and the prisoners along the trail, crossing the Licking at the Buffalo Ford just beyond Ruddle's Fort, crossing Gray's Run at Cynthiana, then Mill Creek and Raven Creek and the Licking again at a sweeping curve in the river still known as Bird's Crossing. At that point Bird built a temporary bridge by throwing rocks into the river and then having logs first crosswise then lengthwise the stream allowing passage for his cannon and other equipment and supplies. In his rapid retreat, one artillery piece slipped off the hastily constructed bridge and was mired in the river where it remained an object of interest to small boys of the neighborhood for fifty years afterward who went swimming there. It was their ambition to dive into the river and "touch the cannon."[58]

From Bird's Crossing they marched up the dry bed of Snake Lick, then across the country to the forks of the Licking where Falmouth is now andl from thence to the Ohio where the Indians scattered to their villages taking their captives with them. Captain Bird proceeded to Detroit with so many prisoners that DePeyster was filled with consternation, having difficulty in distributing them among various sections of the surrounding countryside. Finally he divided them among Detroit, Niagara and Michillimackinac. Those who remained at Detroit lived on Hog Island; some were sent to Carlton Island and as many as possible were distributed among the farmers to help with the harvest.


And so the years passed. After the Ordinance of 1787 Ohio was opened up for settlement and "the men who wore hats" began to build homes in the Indian country. Cincinnati and Marietta were laid out as towns, and the Ohio Company of Associates led by Israel Putman and Manasseh Cutler began a colonization scheme which was retarded by Indian atrocities. Notwithstanding the surrender of Yorktown and the end of the Revolution. England still held fast to Niagara and Detroit and continued to incite the Indians against the whites forcing the government to take measures to protect the infant settlements. General Harmer and General St. Clair suffered defeat, but Mad Anthony Wayne with his well-trained army and his careful plans won so decisive a victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers that the Indians sued for peace. The final treaty was signed August 3, 1795, at Greenville, Ohio. A general exchange of all prisoners still held by the British and the Indians took place. Wives and husbands were united who had been separated for years, and Kentucky parents welcomed to their hearthstones little children who had grown up among savages.


The fate of the Ruddle family was the most tragic of all. When the gates of Ruddle's Fort were opened the three-year-old baby of Mrs. Ruddle was snatched from her arms and thrown into the fire. Mrs. Ruddle had a bad cut across her forehead and one day while toiling along toward the Indian Country, she sent her little son, Stephen, into the woods to hunt some ginseng root to apply to it. The child was caught by an Indian and whipped, and when Stephen heard the report of a gun he supposed his mother had been killed. On the way an Indian forced Mrs. Ruddle to lie down across three roots threatening to beat her if she were caught trying to get into an easier position. After reaching Canada, however, she and her husband were treated so kindly it aroused some jealousy, but this kindness may have been due to the fact that Captain Ruddle was a Mason.[59]

Their two small sons, Stephen, age twelve, and Abraham, age six, were handed over to Shawnee Indians. Stephen entered the family of Blackfish as foster brother of the great Tecumseh.[60] Both boys became more like Indians than white men siding with the former against the latter. On one occasion Stephen came into Kentucky with a party of Indians to steal horses. His father owned a stud horse which he decided to take. When he reached his home and saw Isaac Ruddle kneeling in prayer, the boy raised his gun to shoot him, later saying that something, he knew not what, prevented this from happening. It did not, however, keep him from taking the horse.[61] Stephen served as interpreter for the Shawnees, and both he and Abraham married Indian women. Stephen Shelton, a friend of the family, was sent to find Stephen and Abraham Ruddle and bring them to Greenville for the Treaty. He found Abraham at a little town near Mackinaw and Stephen at the Lake of the Woods. Abraham came cheerfully, but Stephen refused to come unless he could bring his squaw. .At the Treaty of Greenville the kind father, Isaac Ruddle, was waiting for his sons with a nice new suit of clothes for each, but a few hours later they were both in Indian dress again.[62]

Another reason for Stephen returning was that he learned that his mother was living. This determined him to go back to Kentucky. When he returned he found that Kentucky had become a state and that a few forts which were still standing were used to shelter the stock of peaceful farmers. Old landmarks were obliterated, buffalo traces were being worked into roads, wheeled vehicles had succeeded Indian drags and pioneer pack trains, hewn log houses were going out of fashion while colonial mansions were being built of stone and brick. New neighbors had come from Culpepper and Fauquier and Bottecourt Counties in Virginia, from Scott's Plains in Jersey State, from Frederickstown, Maryland, and a few from Georgia, all of whom extended him a cordial welcome.[63]

The Ruddle family returned to their settlement at Ruddle's Mills in Bourbon County, Kentucky, where they operated a log mill on Hinkson Creek. Captain Isaac Ruddle's daughter, Elizabeth, married an Irishman named Mulharen who became a partner of his father-in-law.


Captain Isaac Ruddle's will, located in the Bourbon County Court House, dated March 1, 1806, and probated February 1812, shows, in addition to familiar names, those of other members of the family. It names sons, Stephen, Abraham, George, Isaac, Jr. (deceased), Cornelius (deceased), daughter Elizabeth Mulharen and daughter Margaret Dewit, and her sons, Isaac and John and Cornelius' two daughters, Polly and Nancy.

Abraham went west. He is said to have married Mary Culp in 1797. Isaac, Jr., probably married Mary Foster and died in 1794. George, Cornelius, James and John took pre-emtions. George and his wife Theodosia of New Madrid conveyed Bourbon County property. This may be the George of the Rockingham County Virginia Militia. One George Ruddle is said to have married Clorinda Gore and had a son, Ambrose Gore Ruddle. Mary Lair, sister of Lieutenant Andrew Lair of Logans Fort, Captain Matthias Lair of the Cedars and John Lair of Boscobel; and her husband, Ambrose Ruddle, are said to have been in Ruddle's Fort. However, their names are not included in any list found thus far, Dr. William E. Connelley, the eminent Kansas historian, adds the history of another member of the Isaac Ruddle Family. He says:[64]

A daughter of Isaac Ruddle [Sarah] was carried away captive when the station was destroyed and remained among the Shawnee Indians for a number of years. Later she married a man named Davis and settled at Fayette, Missouri. Her daughter married Rev. Thomas Johnson, a Methodist preacher, who founded the Old Shawnee Mission in what is now Johnson County, Kansas. When she came to live with her daughter she found many Shawnees she had known in Ohio when in captivity. They were much attached to her before she was rescued and they were greatly pleased to have her with them there. She knew the Shawnee language as well as she knew her own and the Shawnees spent hours and hours talking to her about old times.


On the site of Martin's Fort stands Mt. Lebanon, the historic home of James Garrard, second governor of Kentucky, a Revolutionary soldier and a scholar and gentleman of the old school.[65] At his home was held the first court of Bourbon County in 1786 when that county extended from the Fayette County line to the Ohio River. There in a walled-in graveyard which is on the exact site of Martin's Fort, a marker was erected by the Jemima Suggett Johnson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, June 24, 1921. The marker is dedicated to the memory of the brave pioneers who settled the fort and who were captured by Captain Bird in June, 1780. Only a short distance from the graveyard is Cooper's Run Meeting House.


When the captives returned after the Treaty of Greenville, they found no fort where the buffalo trace had crossed Stoner Creek, but in its stead, a stone church-The Cooper's Run Meeting House. Its church book of hand-tanned leather, dated June, 1787, gives the history of the community which gathered around Martin's Fort. It was written in longhand by James Garrard who used a quill pen and home-made ink. This document describes a crude structure without heat and with many inconveniences. Absences were severely dealt with, and members careless about attending divine worship were excluded from fellowship with no exception being made regardless of color or social position until the backsliders had mended their ways.[66] It was one and the same whether the offender was Sister Conway or Brother Isaac Ruddle's Black George.


Cooper's Run maintained an Indian mission. Among the church records, we can read about the mission and its most prominent missionary, Stephen Ruddle. Coming back to the land of his fathers after his long captivity, Stephen lived for a while in Kentucky, welcoming Indians to his home. With true Christian fortitude, he obeyed the Scriptural injunction: "Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that despitefully use and persecute you." In 1806 he reported to the Cooper's Run Church that at their request he "had proceeded on his mission to thc [Shawnee] Indians and found them collected and awaiting his arrival." He described them as having been attentive and desirous of being further instructed in the Christian religion. "They," he said, "approved the doctrines delivered to them and gave him a string of beads as a token of friendship for the Society which had sent him on a mission so desirable to them." With great formality, he then presented the beads to the church. Furthermore, Ruddle told the church, he had "attempted to remove some fears respecting the justice of the government toward them and succeeded in a very satisfactory way!" As an evidence of the entire satisfaction they felt, they sent a string of wampum also, which he likewise delivered. He said that it was his "belief that if proper and prudent measures were adopted 'to enlighten their minds with the blessing of God, the Gospel would become beneficial to these poor, unenlightened savages."[67]

The records of Cooper's Run Meeting House[68] show that the strings of wampum and the beads were received by the church and deposited among the church papers.

Messages were sent to the nearby churches at Indian Creek, Flat Lick, Somerset, Jacks Creek and Green Creek, asking that contributions be made to continue the work of "Brother" Ruddle. In 1810 Stephen was ordained a minister of the Gospel.


Captain Ruddle and his wife Elizabeth, lived out their allotted time, passing away about 1812. They are buried at Ruddle's Mills, Bourbon County, Kentucky, in the old Presbyterian graveyard, a tract of two acres which had been donated by Ruddle as a cemetery. There they lie in oblivion, for no gravestones mark the last resting place of these pioneers.


What of the rest of the captives? Who were they? What became of them after that sorrowful six-week journey to Detroit, Montreal and Mackinac?

Some of these questions can be answered because Lyman Draper became interested, followed them up and interviewed many of them. He discovered that they were often separated from their families and divided among the British and the Indians. Those held by the Indians either became like the Indians themselves or lived in slavery. After Wayne's Treaty of Greenville was signed, many of these captives returned to their Kentucky homes and attempted to reunite themselves with other scattered members of their families. From the Draper Papers and such materials as have been preserved for us in the form of old letters. newspapers, wills and settlements of estates, the following incomplete list has been compiled in the hope that others will take up the search and find a more complete answer to the questions we have posed. Approximately 250 names of soldiers and captives have been uncovered all total.

RUDDLE. The first and foremost family was that of Captain Isaac Ruddle, commander of the fort of the same name. With him at the time of Bird's raid was his wife, Elizabeth Bowman Ruddle, who had helped to defend the fort at a porthole; two sons, Stephen, twelve, and Abraham, six; two daughters, Elizabeth and Sarah; two men, James and Ambrose Ruddle. Elizabeth later married a man by the name of Mulharen. Sarah, after being freed by the Indians, married Thomas Davis. She and her husband lived in Pike County, Missouri. There her Shawnee friends visited her, and there she died in 1865 at the age of ninety-seven. An infant had been torn from the arms of Mrs. Ruddle and thrown into the fire that black day at Ruddle's Fort, June 24, 1780. At least two children were born later to Elizabeth Ruddle in Canada, both boys, Isaac, Jr. and John.

MAHAN. The family of Patrick Mahan settled in Martin's Fort. They were Patrick and his wife, John, Thomas, William, Isabella, Margaret, Jane and Agnes. The latter, Agnes, married first James Morrow, later Governor of Ohio, and second, a man by the name of Wilson with whom she lived in Woodford County, Kentucky. The family returned to Kentucky and have left descendants in Bourbon, Harrison and Woodford Counties.[69]

DUNCAN. Captain John Duncan, Mrs. Duncan and one son, Captain Duncan later told that he and 129 others were taken prisoners at Ruddle's Fort. The Duncans returned to Kentucky and settled in Whitley County.[70]

LAPOST. Mrs. LaPost, one son and a daughter, Judy.[71]

GOODNIGHT. Michael Goodnight, Peter Goodnight, John Goodnight and some girl children.[72]

WHITESIDES. William Whitesides.

WHITE. David White.

HINKSON. Captain John Hinkson and his family. In Dunmore's War, he was known as Major Hinkson. In 1775 he came to Kentucky where with a company of fifteen men he erected a fort on the Licking River. In July he was forced to abandon the fort by a superior force of Indians. In 1780 when he returned to Kentucky, he found his fort occupied by the Ruddles and other families. He had scarcely settled his family there when it was captured. His small sons were taken northward, but Hinkson escaped on the third night and carried the news of the disaster to Clark at Fort Nelson. He became a prominent citizen of Bourbon County where he was elected a major of militia in 1786 and a sheriff in 1788. He died at New Madrid in 1789. Many prominent descendants of his live today in Bourbon and Harrison Counties, some of whom own his original tract of land.[73]

McFALL. John McFall and his wife. At the time of Clark's retaliation into Indian country, John McFall escaped from Detroit. When Mrs. McFall was released, following Wayne's treaty with the Indians, the two settled in Harrison County on Mill Creek.[74]

LONG. John W. Long, his wife [formerly a Conway], and Rhoda, age six. Rhoda later married a man by the name of Ground and was living in Warren County, Kentucky, in 1844.[75]

RITTENHOUSE. Edmund Rittenhouse and family. They descended the Ohio in a flatboat and up the Licking to Ruddle's Fort. When they returned to Kentucky some time alter I793, they settled near Covington. Edmund was a cousin of the celebrated astronomer, David Rittenhouse.

MORROW. James Morrow. Married Agnes Mahan.

BROOKS. Samuel Brooks.

BERRY. Francis and wife, from Martin's Fort.[76]

HONN. Joseph Honn, his wife, Katherine, eighteen, Polly, Margaret and Joseph. The family returned to Kentucky to live in Montgomery County.[77]

MARKLE. Jacob Markle.[78]


McDANIELS. Robert McDaniels.

SPEARS. Christian Spears and wife. Mrs. Spears was drowned while crossing the Licking River. In Detroit, Christian married a fellow prisoner. They made their home in Paris, Kentucky, after peace was signed.

TUFFLEMAN. Martin Tuffelman, wife and six children.[80]

CONWAY. Samuel Conway, a brother, his wife, two daughters and a son, Joseph. Joseph, born in 1763, had been wounded by Indians two weeks before his capture.[81]

GRUFF or ERUFF. Henry Gruff. He returned to Kentucky where he settled in Whitley County.[81]

PURSLEY. A man by that name from Ruddle's Station.[83]

TRABUE. James Trabue, a surveyor. He wrote the terms of capitulation for Ruddle's Station. His diary says that he and one White arrived at Ruddle's the day before the siege. After the attack Trabue buried his compass at the root of a tree before surrendering to his pursuers. After two years of imprisonment, he escaped and moved to Virginia. Prominent descendants of his now reside in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky.[84]

BENTON. John Benton, wife and a daughter.[85]

SELLERS. A family of them were taken prisoners.

CONWAY. John Conway, wife and seven children. Among the children were Elizabeth Sallie, six, John, twenty-two and Joseph, fifteen. Elizabeth later married W. M. Daugherty. Sallie was returned to Kentucky when she was fifteen.

RAVENSCRAFT. Known as Lieutenant Ravenscraft. He was cruelly tortured by the Indians at the stake and was made to run the gauntlet. Kinney said of him: "If this is a man; then a man is a strange looking thing." Ravenscraft returned to live and die in Harrison County, Kentucky. His sufferings have been told and retold, but his grave is still unmarked. [Note: Later research shows that Thomas Ravenscraft was not at Ruddell's or Martin's forts. He was taken captive by the Indians at Floyd's Defeat and met some of the captives while in Detroit.--REF]

WISEMAN. A Mrs. Wiseman.

BURGER. John Burger.

VANHOOK. Samuel VanHook. He was the tailor in Ruddle's Fort noted there for his leather breeches. Later he was a farmer and hunter in Harrison County.

HART. Nicholas Hart. When the Indians came to Kentucky in 1782 to besiege Bryan's Station and to fight the Battle of Blue Licks, they brought Nicholas Hart and others to witness their cruel deeds.

LAIL. George and Johnnie Lail. George married an Indian. Johnnie returned to live in Harrison County.

DAVIS. Members of this family who were captured were relations of Thomas Davis, the husband of Sarah Ruddle. The Davises returned to live in Whitley County.[86]

EASTON. Mrs. Easton. She was drowned along with Mrs. Christian Spears while crossing the Licking River.

GATLIFFE. Charles Gatliffe, his wife and five children. They were from Martin's Fort. He was captured while hunting. His wife and children stayed together in captivity. Following their release, the family resettled in Whitley County where numerous descendants of theirs now live.[87]

MUNGER. He, his wife and daughter, Mary.[88]

KRATZ. Leonard Kratz, wife and baby. Leonard was called "Scratch" by the British. The baby died in captivity. When reunited with his wife, she had undergone such a physical strain that he didn't recognize her at first.[89]

LAFORCE or FORCE. Agnes. La Force, her five children and thirteen slaves. The slaves were taken by the British and the Indians, but upon protest to Sir Frederick Haldimand, some of them were returned.[90]

SHELTON. Stephen Shelton. From Ruddle's Fort. Later he was sent to find Abraham and Stephen Ruddle. He found both boys, but Stephen did not want to return to his true parents, but finally consented.[91]

KAVANAUGH. Joe Kavanaugh and his father's family.

CRAYCRAFT. Major Craycraft.

ORR. Captain Orr.

BAIGE. James Baige.

CRAWFORD. Joe Crawford.



SMITH. Peter Smith and his wife, from Ruddle's Fort.[92]

KENNEDY. "Escaped."


HARDEN. Serena Harden. Captured at the age of seven. She was adopted by the Wyandotts, but later escaped. She married Thomas Hutton.[93]

BERRY. Francis Berry. He later returned to Kentucky and settled in Whitley County.[94]

CARROLL. Man and wife.[95]

BRECKINRIDGE. James Breckinridge. Married Jane Mahan.


After the Revolutionary War, Captain Matthias Lair and his brother, John, settled on their 2,000 acre tract of land in the bend of the Licking on the site of Ruddle's Fort. Matthias built The Cedars, and John built Boscobel, a stone house which still stands. In 1825 Charles Lair, son of Matthias, remodeled The Cedars at a cost of $40,000, making it a showplace of the countryside. This handsome old home after more than a century of gracious living was burned in June, 1930. It was an architectural gem set in a forest of cedars on the river front. Today only the dining room, the two kitchens and the library (in a corner of the yard) remain. The remainder of the fifteen rooms are no longer existent: the drawing room with its reeded work and delicately carved mantel, the hall with its exquisite stairway and fan-lighted doors on both sides, the six bedrooms and the loom, sewing and utility rooms. Gone also are the old slave cabins. One interesting item which remains is the famous mapcase hanging from the ceiling of the library. Charles Lair used to open a window frame and pull one of five cords, letting down a canvas upon which were printed two maps. There he would stand by his books, recessed in nearby cabinets around the wall, and examine his ten maps at will. The books, some of which were printed in London, were purchased in Philadelphia. They were brought by Walters from Pittsburgh to Maysville and from Maysville by pack horses to The Cedars. The beautiful furniture is cherished today by the descendants of Charles Lair.

The most interesting spot today, however, at The Cedars is the family vault. Charles Lair blasted it out of the stone cliff along the Licking River and then called together all his relations to witness the removal of the ancestral Lairs from the family graveyard, which had been in the orchard, to his vault. Iron coffins were purchased in Philadelphia. As he opened each grave he moved the body from its crumbling casket into an iron one. Some of these were covered with black cloth, some with gray, and at least one with brown. They were placed in the vault together with the stone coffins in which the bodies of the twenty persons massacred at Ruddle's Fort had been preserved.


Appendix A.[96]


Ohio opposite Licking Creek
July 1st, 1780


After fatigues which only those that were present can entertain a proper idea of we arrived before Fort Liberty the 24th of June. I had before that day entreated every Indian officer that appeared to have influence among the Savages, to persuade them not to engage with the fort, untill the guns were up-fearing if any were killed it might exasperate the Indians & make them commit cruelties when the rebels surrendered.

Poor McCarty in every other respect an extreme, attentive, serviceable fellow, perished by disobeying this order. An Indian was shot through the arm. The Three Pounder was not sufficient, our people raised a battery of rails & earth within 80 yards of the fort-taking some advantage of a very violent storm of rain which prevented them being seen clearly-They stood two discharges of the little gun, which only cut down a spar and stuck the shot in the side of a house-When they saw the Six Pounder moving across the field, they immediately surrendered, they thought the Three Pounder a Swivel the Indians and their department had got with them - The conditions granted that their lives should be saved, and themselves taken to Detroit, I forewam'd them that the Savages would adopt some of their children. The Indians gave in council the cattle for food for our people & the prisoners and were not to enter till the next day: But whilst Capt. McKee and myself were in the fort settling these matters with the poor people, they rushed in, tore the poor children from their mothers breasts, killed a wounded man and every one of the cattle, leaving the whole to stink. We had brought no pork with us & were now reduced to great distress, & the poor prisoners in danger of being starved.

I talked hardly to them of their breach of promise-But however we marched to the next fort, which surrendered without firing a gun. The same promises were made & broke in the same manner, not one pound of meat & near 300 prisoners-Indians breaking into the forts after the treaties were concluded. The rebels ran from the next fort and the Indians burn's it - They then heard news of Col. Clark's coming against them & proposed returning-which indeed had they not proposed I must have insisted on, as I had then fasted some time & the prisoners in danger of starving-incessant rains rotted our people's feet the Indians almost all left us within a days march of the enemy. It was with difficulty I procured a guide thro' the woods - I marched the poor women & children 20 miles in one day over very high mountains, frightening them with frequent alarms to push them forward, in short, Sir, by water and land we came with all our cannon &c 90 miles in 4 days, one day out of which we lay by entirely, rowing 50 miles the last day-we have no meat and must subsist on flour if there is nothing for us at Lorimiers. I am out of hope of getting any Indians to hunt, or accompany us, however George Girty I detain to assist me-I could Sir by all accounts have gone through the whole country without any opposition, had the Indians preserved the cattle. Everything is safe, so far, but we are not yet out of reach of pursuit-As a very smart fellow escaped. from me within 26 miles of the Enemy-Provisions and perougues we shall want at the glaize and the vessel at the mouth of the Miamis.

I refer you to the bearer for particulars.

[I] am Sir with respect

Your most obdt Servant

Henry Bird


Appendix B.[97]


Capt. Chabert (61 Days) 10/. Sterling 52/5/81/2

Lt. Jonathan Scheiffeling 8/. York 24/8/0

Antoine Charon Sargent 6/. 18/6/0

Francis Baubault Sargent 6/. 18/6/0

Joseph Carrie Corporal 5/. 15/5/0

Louis Somlers Private 4/. 12/4/0

F. Trudelle Private 4/. 12/4/0

Antoine Truttie Private 4/. 12/4/0

Claude Richard Private 4/. 12/4/0

Bazil Moran Private 4/. 12/4/0

Jean Mary Plante Private 4/. 12/4/0

Pierre Loson Private 4/. 12/4/0

Andrew Bertiaume Private 4/. 12/4/0

Joseph LaFont Private 4/. 12/4/0

Guillaum Mallet Private 4/. 12/4/0

J.B. Baazau Private 4/. 12/4/0

John Jones Private 4/. 12/4/0

Jean Marie Marion Private 4/. 12/4/0

Pierre Tesier Private 4/. 12/4/0

Francois Tepier Private 4/. 12/4/0

Antoine Martell Private 4/. 12/4/0

Joseph Longuiel Private 4/. 12/4/0

Joseph Laliberte Private 4/. 12/4/0

William Greg Private 4/. 12/4/0

Edward Shehe Private 4/. 12/4/0

John Flurry Private 4/. 12/4/0

John Stockwell Private 4/. 12/4/0

Joseph Reigh Private 4/. 12/4/0

John Murray Private 4/. 12/4/0

James Tussy Private 4/. 12/4/0

Jean Marie Le Cerp Private 4/. 12/4/0

Jacques Prudhomme Private 4/. 12/4/0

Pierre Labutte Private 4/. 12/4/0

J.B. Labady Private 4/. 12/4/0

Louis Desaunier Private 4/. 12/4/0

Etienne Tramblay Private 4/. 12/4/0

Caleb Reynolds Private 4/. 12/4/0

J.B. Tavaun Private 4/. 12/4/0

Jacques Loson Private 4/. 12/4/0

Joseph Cote Private 4/. 12/4/0

Charles Campau Private 4/. 12/4/0

Amable St. Etienne Private 4/. 12/4/0

Benjamin Chapu Private 4/. 12/4/0

Pierre Misee Private 4/. 12/4/0

Louis Moine Private 4/. 12/4/0

Simon Bergeron Private 4/. 12/4/0

J.B. Lajeunepe Private 4/. 12/4/0

Pierre St. Louis Private 4/. 12/4/0

J.B. Ladaux Private 4/. 12/4/0

Charleboy Private 4/. 12/4/0

J.B. Peltier Private 4/. 12/4/0

Francois Bylair Private 4/. 12/4/0

Joseph Droulliart Private 4/. 12/4/0

Alex'r Johnson Private 4/. 12/4/0

Julien Labutte Private 4/. 12/4/0

J.B. Trambley Private 4/. 12/4/0

Pierre Miney Private 4/. 12/4/0

Charles Roseau Private 4/. 12/4/0

Simon Yax Private 4/. 12/4/0

Michael Tramblay Private 4/. 12/4/0

Chrisostome St. Louis Private 4/. 12/4/0

Ignace Billette Private 4/. 12/4/0

J.B. Mouinerel Private 4/. 12/4/0

Joseph Grimard Private 4/. 12/4/0

Andre Viger Private 4/. 12/4/0

Vincent Maw Private 4/. 12/4/0

Etienne Lebeau Private 4/. 12/4/0

Jean B. Lajeunepe Private 4/. 12/4/0

Francois Prudhomme Private 4/. 12/4/0

J.P. Yax Private 4/. 12/4/0

J.B. Labady, Jr. Private 4/. 12/4/0

Jacques Chauvin Private 4/. 12/4/0

Joseph Blay Private 8/. 12/8/0

Joseph Degagne Private 8/. 12/8/0

Charles Leblane Private 8/. 12/8/0

Pierre Robert Private 8/. 12/8/0

James McPhee Private 8/. 12/8/0

J.B. Ledue Private 4/. 12/4/0

Pierre Clenchette Private 4/. 12/4/0

Total 1165£ 10/8 1/2


Louis Jeancaire Chabert Captain @ 10/. 61/14/3 1/4

Jonathan Scheiffeling Lieutenant 8/. 28/16/3 1/4

Baubault Sergeant 6/. 21/12/3 1/4

Chanon Sergeant 6/. 21/12/3 1/4

Wm. Gregg Sergeant 6/. 21/12/3 1/4

James McAphie Sergeant 6/. 21/12/3 1/4

Joseph Carrier Corporal 5/. 18/0/0

Joseph Touillier Corporal 5/. 18/0/0

Joseph Rough Corporal 5/. 18/0/0

Francois Trudell Private 4/. 14/8/0

Guillaume Mallet Private 4/. 14/8/0

B. Brazaw Private 4/. 14/8/0

Claud Richard Private 4/. 14/8/0

Bazil Morran Private 4/. 14/8/0

Jean Marie Plant Private 4/. 14/8/0

Antoine Truttier Private 4/. 14/8/0

John Fleury Private 4/. 14/8/0

Pierre Lazon Private 4/. 14/8/0

Andre Berthiaume Private 4/. 14/8/0

Joseph LaForest Private 4/. 14/8/0

Joseph Longile Private 4/. 14/8/0

Edward Shehe Private 4/. 14/8/0

John Stockwell Private 4/. 14/8/0

John Johnes Private 4/. 14/8/0

John Murry Private 4/. 14/8/0

James Tussy Private 4/. 14/8/0

Jean Marie Marion Private 4/. 14/8/0

Pierre Tisier Private 4/. 14/8/0

Francis Tisier Private 4/. 14/8/0

Antoine Martell Private 4/. 14/8/0

Joseph Laliberty Private 4/. 14/8/0

J. B. Labadee Private 4/. 14/8/0

Jean Marie LeCerp Private 4/. 14/8/0

Joseph Bergeron Private 4/. 14/8/0

Bonavanture Lariviere Private 4/. 14/8/0

Jacques Prudhomme Private 4/. 14/8/0

Pierre Labutte Private 4/. 14/8/0

Louis Debonier Private 4/. 14/8/0

Etienne Tramblay Private 4/. 14/8/0

J. B. Favenau Private 4/. 14/8/0

Jacques Loson Private 4/. 14/8/0

Benjamin Chapue Private 4/. 14/8/0

Pierre Mizie Private 4/. 14/8/0

Louis Morran Private 4/. 14/8/0

J. B. Laduke Private 4/. 14/8/0

Touisaint Charleboy Private 4/. 14/8/0

J. B. Peltier Private 4/. 14/8/0

Julien Labutte Private 4/. 14/8/0

Jean B. Tramblay Private 4/. 14/8/0

Alex'r Johnson Private 4/. 14/8/0

Daniel Whaler May 25 - June 20 4/. (27 days) 5/8/0

Joseph Guilbeaux May 25 - July 1 4/. (38 days) 7/12/0

Henry Aunger May 25 - June 18 4/. (25 days) 5/0/0

John Rix May 25 - June 23 4/. (30 days) 6/0/0

Roger Welsh May 25 - June 23 4/.

Pierre Chinchett 4/. (72 days) 14/8/0

Caleb Reynolds 4/. (72 days) 14/8/0

Caitain Morran, 1 Lieut., 1 Sargt., and 40 men, 21 days on Survey with provisions for Captain Bird's party 199/10/0

Total 1079/12/3 1/4


Appendix C


Shawanese Village
July 8, 1780


The last letter I did myself the honor of writing you was dated from the Plains of the Great Miamis containing an account of every thing material to that time, and that our Force was to be collected upon the Ohio, at the mouth of that river we arrived the 13th of June & waited some days for a few chiefs of Chollicorthy [Chillicothe], who had fallen upon the river some miles above us, and upon their arrival at our camp, the number of Indians exceeded seven hundred when it was proposed and strongly urged by us, to proceed down the river against the enemies forts at the Falls of the Ohio, where we could have arrived in four days by water with the current. Besides this advantage we had previously received intelligence that Col. Clarke was gone from that place some weeks before with all the troops under his command to take post at the Iron Banks upon the Mississippi below the mouth of the Ohio, and that the inhabitants of the Falls, upon receiving advice of our approach (by two prisoners who escaped from the Hurons ) they had dispatched an Express to recall him to their assistance, but as he had a long distance, & against the current, it was not possible for him to return in time to interrup us in the execution of our design upon that place-but notwithstanding this favourable prospect, which would have been a fatal stroke to the enemies settlement in that country, the Indians could not be prevailed upon to come into it, and in a full council of the chiefs of their several Nations, determined to proceed to the nearest forts by way of Licking Creek giving for their reasons that it could not be prudent to leave their villages naked & defenceless in the neighborhood of those forts. Accordingly we advanced by this river [Licking] as far up as the forks, where we found it impracticable to get farther by water on account of its lowness, therefore were obliged to get out by land, and the 20th of June I accompanied about two hundred Indians and surrounded the enemys first fort [Ruddle's] before day, this was done before they were in the least apprised of us. It was then advised to remain in this situation and by no means to alarm the fort, if it could be avoided, until the arrival of the main body with the cannon, unless parties came out, in this case then to endeavour to take prisoners in order to gain intelligence of the enemies force and situation, but the eagerness of some Indians upon our left, fired upon a small party, who came out after day-break to cut grass-this commenced a firing, both from the fort and our Indians, which lasted till about 12 o'clock, when Capt. Bird came up with the small gun, and a battery being erected, after two discharges upon the enemy's fort, & the six pounder at the same time arriving in sight determined them to surrender the place.

The Indian chiefs agreed to the proposals, as well for the preservation of the prisoners as an equal distribution of the plunder amongst their several nations, to prevent jealousies or dissatisfaction, but the violence of the Lake Indians in seizing the Prisoners, contrary to agreement, threw everything into confusion, however the other nations next morning return all they had taken, back into Capt. Bird's charge.

The 27th I had dispatched some spies toward the enemies second fort [Martin's], who returned in the afternoon with a prisoner, having intercepted two men going express to alarm the other forts of our approach. The intelligence received from this prisoner determined us to set out immediately for the second fort, and reached it the next morning about 10 o'clock, being the 28th. The prisoner taken the day before was sent in to inform them of the situation- they agree'd to surrender, & being removed under a guard of the troops, the great propensity for plunder again occasioned discontent amongst them, and several parties set out toward the adjacent forts to plunder horses.

The prisoners now becoming numerous amounting to between three and four hundred, with a scarcity of provisions, added to many other insurmountable difficulties that must have attended going farther, determined the chiefs to return from this place, and the next day we were back at the first fort: here we were overtaken by one of the small parties with a prisoner, who had left the Falls of the Ohio eight days before; he says, that Col. Clarke was daily expected there and was to command an army against the Indians, who were to leave that place the 10th of July. He also adds that an account was brought there fron~ the inhabitants, that Charles Town South Carolina was in actual possession of the British Troops. I accompanied Capt. Bird back to the Forks of Licking Creek, from whence he was to proceed by water & having a very high flood would be able to reach the big Miamis in a very short time, the scarcity of provisions obliged the Indians to disperse.

I engaged a few of the chiefs to stay with Capt. Bird, more would be useless and troublesome to him, as there could be no apprehension of danger immediately from the enemy, however I have engaged the chiefs of the lower villages since my arrival, to send a party down upon the Ohio in his rear, and to send spies towards the Falls. The enemy abandoned two other forts, which has been set on fire by the Indians. These are the most material circumstances relative to this expedition carried on by the Indians in conjunction with the King's troops.

I am with great respect &c. &c

A. McKee


[1] Milo Quaife, "When Detroit Invaded Kentucky, " The Filson Club History Quarterly, I (January, 1927), 53-57.

[2] Letter, Col. Benjamin Logan to Governor Benjamin Harrison of Virginia, August 81, 1782, Calendar of Virginia State Papers, (Richmond: James E. Goode, 1883), III, 280-83.

[3] Draper MSS, 10S81-85. The Draper Manuscripts are owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

[4] Theodore Roosevelt, The Winning of the West (New York: The Knickerbocker Press, 1909), II, 102.

[5] Sir 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.

[6] 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. See letter, Captain Bird to Major Arent S. DePeyster, July 1, 1780, Appendix A.

[7] Robert S. Cotterill, History of Pioneer Kentucky (Cincinnati: Johnson & Hardin, 1917), 1-15.

[8] See Lewis and Richard H. Collins, History of Kentucky. . . (Louisville: John P. Morton, 1924), I, 17-20, for the increasing rate at which settlers came to Kentucky by the Ohio River route.

[9] Henry Howe, Historical Collections of the Great West (Cincinnati: Henry Howe, 1873), 211, 217.

[10] Cotterill, op. cit., 248; Howe, op. cit., 215-17.

[11] Thomas D. Clark, A History of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.: The John Bradford Press, 1954), 66-76; Robert Davidson, History of the Presbyterian Church in the State of Kentucky. (New York: Robert Carter, 1847), 63-87; Daniel Drake, Pioneer Life in Kentucky (Cincinnati: The Robert Clark & Co., 1870), 41-138; William C. Watts, Chronicles of a Kentucky Settlement ( New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1897), 458-62; John W. Wayland, A History of Rockingham County Virginia (Dayton, Va.; Ruebush - Elkins Company, 1912), 382-83.

[12] Collins, op. cit., II, 325.

[13] At Lair, Kentucky, a station on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, between Cincinnati and Lexington, about four miles south of Cynthiana.

[14] Collins op. cit., 11, 325-26.

[15] John Martin was born on the Atlantic Ocean, 1723, three days after his Quaker parents had left the shore of Ireland for America. He was one of Clark's six river spies, appointed by Colonel Logan to serve with John Conrad. Boone had appointed Simon Kenton and Thomas Brooks, and Harrod had appointed Samuel Moore and Bates Collier. It was their duty to go two by two each week and range up and down the Ohio River to watch for Indian signs and give timely warning to the forters. Collins, op cit., II, 423-24; William H. Perrin and Robert Peter, History of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison and Nicholas Counties. . . (Chicago: O. O. Baskin & Co., 1882). 36-37.

[16] John Haggin joined Colonel Bowman's Expedition in 1779 as Lieutenant Haggin with forty men from Ruddle's and Martin's Forts. As Captain Haggin he acted as one of Clark's river spies. He fell at the Battle of Blue Licks in 1782 while leading a charge. His blockhouse, built on a high bluff was surrounded by six or seven cabins. There, in a sharp Indian attack, two men, McFall and McCombs, were killed. Collins, op. cit., II, 325, 425, 445-46, 732.

[17] Situated at the Big Spring on the Buffalo Trace in Scott County where Georgetown now stands.

[18] Draper MSS, 17CC130.

[19] Also called St. Asaphs.

[20] Collins, op cit., II, 327-28; Draper MSS, 11CC268; William H. English, Conquest of the Country Northwest of the River Ohio (Indianapolis & Kansas City: The Bowen - Merrill Company, 1896) I, 142-43.

[21] Collins, op. cit., I, 13.

[22] Michael Stoner was one of the most courageous of the early settlers. He was in Kentucky as early as 1767, hunting on Rockcastle River with James Harrod. He planted Strode's Field on Stoner, between Paris and Winchester, Kentucky, in 1774. He lived in Boonesboro Fort in 1775 and was called by Henderson in his journal, "our hunter". He owned large bodies of land on Stoner Creek, giving fifty acres of it to James Kennedy for "stocking" a plow for him and one thousand acres to Samuel Clay for a negro woman, a horse and a gun. He was selected by Boone and appointed with him by Governor Dunmore to conduct the surveyors into the settlements when the Indians were on the warpath, preceding the Battle of Point Pleasant. They made two trips over the mountains, covering about eight hundred miles in sixty days, probably breaking all records for speed and endurance for that day.

[23] Bird's raid into Kentucky was one of four British offensive plans to recover the west. Temple Bodley, George Roger Clark. . . (Cambridge: Houghten Mifflin Company, 1926), p. 160.

[24] Arent Schuyler DePeyster was born in New York City, June 27, 1736. At the age of nineteen he entered the 8th Regiment and saw service abroad and in various parts of North America. His service in the Northwest during the Revolution was particularly notable. He was Commandant of Mackinac from 1774 until after the capture of Governor Henry Hamilton by George Rogers Clark at Vincennes, when (1779) DePeyster was promoted to the command at Detroit. He continued to command at Detroit until 1784. DePeyster and Askin were staunch friends, as many letters in the Askin papers attest. DePeyster accompanied his regiment to England where he died, November 2, 1832, in his 97th year. He was a man of literary tastes and a confirmed rhymster. A close friend and neighbor of DePeyster at Dumfries was Robert Burns, and what was said to have been the last poem ever composed by the latter was one addressed to DePeyster in reply to an inquiry concerning Burns' health. Milo M. Quaife (ed.) The John Askin Papers (Detroit: The Detroit Library Commission, 1928), I, 72.

[25] Henry Hamilton, a native of Ireland, came to America as a soldier in the French and Indian War. He served under Amherst at Louisville and under Wolf at Quebeq. From 1761-1763 he was in the West Indies, and some time later his regiment was returned to England. Prior to the Revolution the civil administration of all Canada had been entrusted to a governor with headquarters at Quebec. Soon after the war began, the Earl of Dartmouth created the office of lieutenant governor at Mackinac, Detroit, and Vincennes, and Hamilton receive d the appointment at Detroit. He reached detroit November, 9, 1775, and his vigorous and stormy administration was terminated by his departure on the Vincennes campaign in the Autumn of 1778 from which he was never to return to Detroit. Consigned to imprisonment in Virginia, on securing his release, he went to England whence he returned to Canada in 1782 bearing the appointment of Lieutenant-Governor. His administration was beset with difficulties even as the earlier one at Detroit had been. Ibid. I, 72-73.

[26] Quaife, "When Detroit Invaded Kentucky," op.cit., I, 55-56.

[27] Ibid., I, 56.

[28] See Appendix B, photostated from the ledger of Macomb, Edgar and Macomb, British Fiscal Agents, The Askin Papers, Burton Collection, Detroit, Michigan.

[29] Both Jacob and Jonathan Schieffling were active on the British side of the Revolution. Jonathan served as lieutenant in Louis Chabert De Joncaire's company of Detroiters which went on Captain Henry Bird's invasion of Kentucky in 1780.

[30] Appendix A.

[31] Matthew Elliott was a native of Ireland who came to America as a young man in 1761. He served in Bouquet's expedition for the relief of Fort Pitt in 1763. For many years thereafter he was engaged in the Indian trade or the government service, or both with headquarters at Pittsburg. By the opening of the Revolution he was conducting rather extensive trading operations and had acquired much influence over the Indians of the Ohio Valley. Probably by reason of his government employment, Elliott remained loyal to the King, and in the autumn of 1776 set out with two or three followers and a considerable train of goods for Detroit. En route his goods and slaves were seized by the Indians, but Elliott himself reached Detroit in safety. There, however, he incurred the suspicion of disloyalty and was arrested and sent down to Quebec by Gov. Hamilton. On being released he made his way back to Pittsburg, where he associated with other loyalists and became known as a dangerous character. On March 28, 1778, Elliott again sought refuge at Detroit in company with Alexander McKee and Simon Girtv. This time he won the confidence of the British authorities and was soon employed in the Indian department. Throughout the remainder of the Revolution he was an active leader of Indians in the warfare in the West, participating in almost every important expedition in the Ohio region during the war. He led 300 Indians in the defeat of Col. Crawford's expedition, aided in the slaughter of the Kentuckians at the Blue Licks and served with Hamilton on the Vincennes campaign and with Bird on his invasion of Kentucky in 1780. He effectively served his country in the operations in Western Ohio from 1790 to 1794, and July, 1796, was promoted to superintendency of Indian Affairs. When war with the United States seemed again impending, the government found that no one else could control the western Indians, and Elliott was reappointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs. He was as much as any man responsible for the River Raisin Massacre. Few men have known how to control the American Indian as successfully as did Elliott, and none have been such bitter foes of the United States. He died at Burlington Heights, May 7, 1814, a fugitive from his home which had been ravaged by the victorious Americans. Elliott married Sarah Donovan, daughter of Matthew Donovan, one of Detroit's early schoolmasters. The outward shell of his home still stands on the shore of the Detroit River, a short distance below Amherstberg. The John Askin Papers, I, 257-58.

[32] Alexander McKee was a native of Pennsylvania who engaged in the Indian trade, and in 1772 was appointed Deputy Agent of Indian Affairs at Fort Pitt. When the Revolution came on, McKee sympathized with the British government. In 1777 he was imprisoned by General Hand. Being released on parole, he fled to Detroit in the spring of 1778, in company with Simon Girty and Matthew Elliott. In the same year he was appointed captain in the British Indian Department, and before long was given rank of deputy agent, and subsequently became Superintendent of Indian Affairs at Detroit. In 1789 he was made a member of the Land Board of the District of Hesse. McKee was an inveterate foe of the Americans and had much to do with inciting the Indians to war against them. The Battle of Fallen Timbers in August, 1794, was fought in the immediate vicinity of his trading establishment on the Maumee River, and at its conclusion, Wayne proceeded to raze his property. The day before the battle McKee intending to participate in it, made his will. A copy of this will is now in the Burton Historical Collection. McKee removed to the River Thames upon the American occupation of Detroit, and died there of lockjaw on January 13, 1799. Ibid., I, 801.

[33] Simon Girty was born in Pennsylvania in 1741. At the age of fifteen captured by the Senecas and lived with them as a prisoner for three years. He subsequently acted as an interpreter, and in this capacity served in Lord Dunmore's campaign. Loyalist in his sympathies, Girty in the spring of 1778 accompanied Alexander McKee and Matthew Elliott on their flight from Pittsburg to Detroit. Girty, like Elliott and McKee, became a notable leader of the Indians in the Northwest in their warfare with the Americans. For some reason Simon Girty was regarded by the Americans with greater detestation than any other of their foes, and he seems to have returned their feeling in full measure. In the summer of 1784 Girty married Catherine Malott, who had been living for several years as a captive of the Delaware tribe in Ohio, and established a home a short distance below Amherstberg. For a decade longer he continued to lead, or encourage, the western Indians in their warfare with the Americans, but this phase of his career was definitely closed by Wayne's victory at Fallen Timbers and the peace which followed it. Save for a considerable period of exile during the War of 1812 when the Americans were in control of Amherstberg, Girty continued to reside there until his death, Februarv 18, 1818. Ibid. I, 308-09.

[34] Pioneer Collections Report of the Pioneer and Historical Society of the State of Michigan (Lansing: Thorp & Godfrey, 1886), IX, 584.

[35]Ibid., XIX, 528.

[36] John Bradford in 1787 founded the Kentucky Gazette, the second newspaper west of the Alleghanies. In this newspaper, from August 25, 1826 to January 9, 1829, Bradford wrote his invaluable "Notes on Kentucky," a contemporary account of the pioneer period. The Public Library of Lexington, Kentucky, has in its possession, the most complete file of the Kentucky Gazette.

[37] General Clark had cannon at the fort on the Falls of the Ohio.

[38] Abraham Chapline, a native of Virginia, came to Kentucky in 1774 with James Harrod. He took part in the battle of Point Pleasant and went with Clark on his Illinois expedition. Detailed to escort Colonel Roger's party to Fort Pitt, he was captured at its defeat and taken by the Indians to the head waters of Miami River, where he was forced to run the gauntlet and was then adopted into an Indian family. He later escaped, served till the end of the war, and settled in Mercer County, Kentucky, where he practiced medicine. He also served in the Kentucky Legislature. He died January, 1824, at Harrodsburg. Chapline Creek in Mercer County is named for him.

[39] The British, following the practice of the French, presented to the Indian Chiefs large silver medals in recognition of services and as tokens of chieftanship. A number of such medals, some with the effigy of George III, are in the Museum of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

[40] See Appendix C.

[41] Draper MSS, 29J23.

[42] Ibid., 57J51-52.

[43] Lexington Public Library. Also found in Douglas S. Watson (ed.), John Bradford's Historical, Etc. Notes on Kentucky (San Francisco: The Grabhorn Press, 1932), 79-80, 87-90.

[44] Draper MSS, 29J25.

[45] See Appendix A.

[46] Mrs. Peter Smith. William A. Galloway, Old Chillicothe Shawnee and Pioneer History (Xenia, Ohio: The Buckeye Press, 1934), 52.

[47] Draper MSS, 24S169-176.

[48]Op cit., 58-60.

[49] Draper MSS, 11CC28.

[50]Ibid., 11CC35.

[51]Ibid., 29J23.

[52]Ibid., 11CC276-80.

[53]Ibid., 17S200.

[54]Ibid., 18S113.

[55] Collins, op. cit., II, 329.

[56] Footnote, Roosevelt, op. cit., II, 103.

[57] See Appendix A.

[58] Letters and affidavits of citizens, whose fathers and grandfathers had told them the story, in possession of the writer.

[59] English, op. cit., I, 142-43.

[60] Galloway, op. cit., 122-23; Glenn Tucker, Tecumseh, Vision of Glory (Indianapolis & New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1956), 40-41. George W. Ruddle, a cousin of the two boys, told Lyman Draper in 1845 that both Stephen and Abraham were adopted brothers of Tecumseh and the Prophet and that both boys returned home seventeen years after their capture. Draper MSS, 20J24.

[61] Draper MSS, 13CC3.

[62] Draper MSS, 11CC267, 13CC2.

[63] Cooper's Run Church records in possession of Dr. Daugherty, Paris, Kentucky.

[64] Letter in possession of the writer.

[65] Just back of Runnymeade, famous horse farm of Colonel Zeke Clay, Bourbon County, Kentucky.

[66] The Kentucky colored people were members of the church but sat in the balcony.

[67] Cooper's Run Church records.

[68] Now in the possession of Dr. Daugherty, a descendant of James Garrard.

[69] Draper MSS, 11CC33, 11CC35, 11CC276, 11CC277, 11CC278, and 29J25.

[70]Ibid., 29J25, 11CC278.

[71]Ibid., 11CC578.

[72]Ibid., 12CC253.

[73] Watson (ed.), John Bradford's Notes, op. cit., 85-87; Collins, op. cit., II, 325-26; Draper MSS 25, Book 7:10-13, 388.

[74] Draper MSS, 10S178.

[75] Ibid., 29J18.

[76] Ibid., 29J25.

[77] Ibid., 17S200.

[78] Ibid., 20S220.

[79] Ibid., 18S114.

[80] Ibid., 20S218.

[81] Ibid., 24S169, 24S176.

[82] Ibid.

[83] Ibid.

[84]Ibid., 57J51.

[85] Ibid., 57J51, 57J52.

[86] Mattie R. Davis of Lexington, Kentucky, who is a descendant of this family.

[87] Draper MSS, 11CC137.

[88] Ibid., 17S200.

[89] Quaife, "When Detroit Invaded Kentucky," op cit., I, 59-60.

[90] Ibid., 58-59.

[91] Draper MSS, 11CC266, 267.

[92] Ibid., 18S434, 18S435.

[93] Hubert Hutton, 209 York Street, Louisville, Kentucky. Jap King and other leading citizens of Cynthiana, Kentucky, are descended from Serena and Thomas Hutton.

[94] Mattie Davis of Lexington, Kentucky.

[95] Draper MSS, 13CC207.

[96] This is a copy of photostats in the possession of the author of the original in the British Museum, through the courtesy of the Ottawa Archives. It is a part of the collection of 232 volumes of manuscripts known as the Haldiman Manuscripts in England and the Ottawa Manuscripts in Canada. Sir Frederick Haldiman was Governor of Canada at the time of Bird's invasion of Kentucky.

[97] Ibid.


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