Simon Girty , White Renegade - Part 1

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Posted by Champ - the Cherokee Mix-blood Renegade on January 23, 1999 at 02:22:01:


I really enjoyed Elaine's info on Girty's wife. I thought since I base my "renegade longhunter" persona in Caldwell's Coy of Butler's Rangers on ol' Simon, that I would include this brief history on Simon Girty, in multi-parts. Its from a website on him, I hope y'all enjoy....

[the mixed-blood renegade]



was born in Northwestern Pennsylvania. His father was an Irishman. "The old man was beastly intemperate. A jug of whisky was the extent of his ambition.' 'Grog was his song, and grog would he have.' His sottishness turned his wife's affection. Ready for seduction, she yielded her heart to a neighboring rustic, who, to remove all obstacles to their wishes, knocked GIRTY on the head, and bore off the trophy of his prowess." There were four children at the time of the father's death: Thomas, Simon, George, and James. During the old French war the three last were taken prisoners by the Indians. Simon was adopted by the Senecas, and became an expert hunter. His Indian name was Katepacomen. It must be passed to his credit that his early training as a savage was compulsory, not voluntary, as has generally been supposed. His tribe roamed the wilderness northwest of the Ohio; and when the expedition under Colonel Henry BOUQUET, at the close of Pontiac's war in 1764, marched into the western wilderness to punish the Ohio Indians, one of the hostages delivered to that commander by the latter was GIRTY. He escaped, however, soon after, and returned to his savage life. But, as one of the conditions of peace was the yielding up by the Senecas of all their captives willing or unwilling, GIRTY was compelled to return to the settlements, making his home in the vicinity of Pittsburgh.

GIRTY took part in DUNMORE'S war in 1774, on the side of Virginia, during which time he was the bosom friend and companion of Simon KENTON. He was intimately acquainted with Colonel CRAWFORD, taking sides with the latter in opposition to Pennsylvania rule, in the boundary controversy. He was frequently a guest at CRAWFORD'S hospitable cabin, on the banks of the Youghiogheny. On the 22nd of February, 1775, he was commissioned an officer of the militia at Pittsburgh, taking the test and other necessary oaths upon that occasion. He aspired to a captaincy in the regular army; but in this he was disappointed; which, it seems, was the reason of his deserting to the enemy, early in the year 1778. It is probable, however, that his early education among the Senecas had much to do with his desire and resolution again to return to the wilderness. Much of his time previous to this had been employed in interpreting, as he was well skilled in Indian lore.

General HAND was commandant at Fort Pitt when GIRTY deserted to the enemy. The greatest consternation was produced at Pittsburgh when the event became known, as with him went a squad of twelve soldiers and the notorious ELLIOTT and MCKEE. From this defection the worst might reasonably be expected, as they would certainly have great power for mischief in persuading and assisting the Indians to murder and pillage. The now assured hostility of this ignoble trio of desperados to the government of the United States-GIRTY, ELLIOTT, And MCKEE-made at this time a dark outlook from the border across the Ohio. Their evil designs might be calculated on with certainty. And, as was feared, they went directly to the principal town of the now vascillating Delawares, situated upon what is the present site of Coshocton, Ohio, where they came very near changing the neutral policy of that tribe, as has already been observed, into one of open hostility against the Americans.

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