Killing of Joseph Blackmore’s Children

By Emory L. Hamilton

From the unpublished manuscript, Indian Atrocities Along the Clinch, Powell and Holston Rivers, page 176.

One of the Blackmore’s resided on Clinch and the Indians attacked his family April 6, 1789, killing a son and daughter, and another son who ran for the river leaping into the stream some 50 or 60 feet. His companion was shot dead on the spot. (J. S. Hind, in the West Christian Advocate, November 1, 1859, Draper MSS 5 C 13.)

The above writer is referring to the children of Joseph Blackmore, for Captain John Blackmore, builder of Blackmore’s Fort, had in the year 1779, left for the area for settlement on the Cumberland in Tennessee. Joseph Blackmore was a brother of Captain John, and owned the adjoining farm to the old Fort tract to the south and down Clinch River. This writer gives the impression that four persons were killed in this attack, yet Bishop Francis Asbury, who visited at the fort in 1790, gives the impression that only two persons were slain. Asbury makes this entry in his Journal:

1790, Wednesday, April 28. We have had cold weather and severe frosts for two nights past. We had a dreary ride down to the ford of Clinch, through a solitary plain. We rode down to Blackmore’s Station, here the people have been forting on the north side of the Clinch. Poor Blackmore had a son and daughter killed by the Indians. They are of the opinion here that the Cherokees were the author of this mischief. I also received an account of two families having been killed, and of one female that was taken prisoner, and afterwards retaken by the neighbors and brought back.

Friday, 30. Crossed Clinch about two miles below the fort. In passing along I saw the precipe from which Blackmore’s unhappy son leaped into the river after receiving the stroke of the tomahawk in his head; I suppose, by measure of my eye, it must be between fifty and sixty feet descent. His companion was shot dead upon the spot. This happened on the 6th of April, 1789.

NOTE: Hannah Byrd, wife of Richard Byrd and daughter of Joseph Blackmore was born 1755, also Mary who married (1) Chadwell, (2) Jessee Adams (3) Henry Hamlin and was herself killed by Indians.



This file contributed by: Rhonda Robertson


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