John Carpenter


JOHN CARPENTER, about the time of the Wallace tragedy or very soon thereafter, he was captured on the waters of Buffalo Creek by six Indians, two of whom spoke good Dutch, and called themselves Moravians; that he was carried a prisoner to the middle Moravian town, where, among other things, he saw the bloddy dress of Mrs. Wallace, which was said to have inflamed the spectators to the point of massacre. Now John Carpenter was among the first, and with the exception of Maxwell, already mentioned possibly the first settler west of the Ohio River. He lived for several years on Buffalo Creek, ten or twelve miles east of the river, but becoming familiar through his hunting expeditions with the rich lands on this side, and foreseeing that the Indian titles would soon be extinguished, determined to secure a claim here. Accordingly, in the summer and fall of 1781, he cleared a piece of land and built a cabin at the mouth of Short Creek (afterwards the Bayless property). While thus engaged in September, he received warning of the second attack on Fort Henry, and hastily removed his family to the east side of the river to a place of safety. When the field was clear Carpenter returned to Ohio, and finishing his work late in the fall, went back to his home on Buffalo Creek with a full supply of wild game for his winter provision. He then took a pair of horses and started to Fort Pitt in order to secure a supply of salt, and while on his way was captured, taken to the Moravian town, and started from there in charge of two of his captors, from whom he escaped and made his way back to Fort Pitt, but all this took place two months or more prior to February 17, 1782, when the Wallace cabin was destroyed, and the family carried off. We may add, that he returned to Short Creek the following summer, where his cabin was afterwards strengthened into a small blockhouse, known as Carpenter's fort. One day, while at work in his garden, he was fired at by an Indian in the woods and severly wounded. The Indian attempted to scalp him, but Mrs. Carpenter, a strong, resolute woman, came to the rescue, and made such vigorous resistance that her husband escaped into the cabin and the Indian fled.

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