Two Unnamed Families Killed and Captured in New Garden

By Emory L. Hamilton

From the unpublished manuscript, Indian Atrocities Along the Clinch, Powell and Holston Rivers, page 131.

Colonel Arthur Campbell wrote to Governor Patrick Henry, on March 27, 1785, stating:

Since my last by Captain Rhea, I am informed that two families was killed and captivated by the Indians on the 24th instant, on that part of Clinch, called New Garden, which is nearly north of the Salt Works (Saltville), and about 20 miles distance from thence. The families consisted of 15 in number, and from appearances it is concluded that the mischief was done by the Shawnee.

Since the murder of Mrs. Walling (Wallen), which, I mentioned in my last, a Mrs. Cox was shot at by three Indians, but happily escaped. (Calendar Virginia State Papers, Vol. IV, page 20.)

Perhaps the two families mentioned above will continue to be among the many, many who were killed or captured on the frontier, whose names are lost with the passage of time and history, and of whom the militia officers did not find time or compunction to mention by name.

I have exhausted every resource in trying to fit these unknown killings to known events, but with no success, due to the dirth of records on the frontier in early days. Outside the Draper MSS, Court Records, Militia letters and Revolutionary pension statements few records exist that gives any insight into frontier events concerning Indian atrocities, with the Court records only being useful where a name is known, that can be associated with a will or settlement of estate. The frontier was very fluid and transitory, with the people constantly moving on westward, and in many cases leaving behind no descendants who could give a traditioal story of a family happening.



This file contributed by: Rhonda Robertson


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