Simon Girty , White Renegade - Part 3

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Posted by Champ on January 23, 1999 at 02:33:27:

Simon Girty - pt. 3

Strangely enough, one of GIRTY'S first exploits, after becoming fairly domiciled among the Indians, was highly creditable to him. Mention has been made of his intimacy, during DUNMORE'S war, with Simon KENTON. The latter was brought a captive to the Mac-a-chack town, in September, 1778, at which time GIRTY also happened to be in the Shawanese villages. KENTON was under sentence of death, and was to be burned at Wapatomika, just below the site of the present village of Zanesfield, Logan county, Ohio, where he was now awaiting his doom. GIRTY came to see the prisoner, and, as the latter had been painted black-a custom among the Indians when captives are to be burned-did not recognize his old associate. A few words between them, however, was enough for a recognition; whereupon GIRTY threw himself into KENTON'S arms, calling him his dear and esteemed friend. "Well," said he to KENTON, "you are condemned to die; but I will do all I can-use every means in my power to save your life." GIRTY immediately had a council convened, and made a long speech to the Indians, in their own language, to save the life of their prisoner. This they consented to, and KENTON was placed under the care and protection of his benefactor, by whom he was well cared for. The Indians, however, again condemned him to death, but GIRTY induced them to take him to Sandusky, when, at the interposition of a captain in the British service, he was sent to Detroit, and finally effected his escape.

GIRTY now began his wild career against the border settlements. General MCINTOSH wrote from Fort Pitt, under date of 29th January following, that Captain CLARK, of the Eighth Pennsylvania regiment, while returning from Fort Laurens with a sergeant and fourteen men, was attacked three miles from that post, by Simon GIRTY and a party of Mingoes, who killed two of his men, wounded four and took one prisoner. From this time onward, to the approach of CRAWFORD and his army against Sandusky, his career is mostly known by his cruel visitations of the frontier. His headquarters were at Sandusky, where he exercised great influence over the Half King, head chief of the Wyandots. He was frequently at Detroit; and DE PEYSTER, the commandant, who had succeeded HAMILTON upon the capture of the latter at Vincennes, on the 25th of February, 1779, by George Rogers CLARK, found him ready for any undertaking, either against the Americans or the missionaries and their converts upon the Muskingum, as his hostility to the latter seemed as unbounded as to the former. Sharing with him in his hate were his associates, ELLIOTT and MCKEE.

In the early part of July, 1779, a party of Indians, led by GIRTY, attempted to kill or capture David ZEISBERGER, one of the missionaries, who was then at Lichtenau, a Christian Indian village on the east bank of the Muskingum, two and a half miles below the site of the present town of Coshocton, Ohio, but which was deserted soon after. The missionaries, having received timely information of the design by the arrival of Alexander MCCORMICK, the trader living at Sandusky, were on the alert; and although the Moravian teacher came near being captured or killed, yet the assailants were so warmly received by the Delawares, who showed a determination, upon this occasion, to protect ZEISBERGER by all means in their power, that GIRTY was forced to retreat, "gnashing his teeth in impotent rage."

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