Bradford Journal

3/14/1765 Bradford Journal


Extract of a letter from Carlifle, dated March 14.

“An affair has lately happened in the upper end of
Cumberland, which has given us, and the beft thinking
people of the county, much uneafinefs. Sometime ago
Capt. Calender demployed several waggons to carry Indian
goods to Mr. Pollan’s in Conogochieg, to be carried
thence by pack horfes to Fort Pitt. Unhappily the head
came out of one of the barrels which was full of fcalping
knives (fay the people) pruning knives fay others, the news
of this alarmed the upper end of the county, and the
neighbouring parts of Maryland and Virginia, upon
which advertifements were pofted up, inviting all to join
and prevent the carrying ammunition and fuch like
things to the Indians, by which the frontiers had fuffer-
ed fo much before. (This we in Carlifle heard by the
pack horfe mafters who came down to the fettlements).
Our next news was, that a number from Maryland, Vir-
ginia, and Conogochieg, had followed and overtaken
eighty-one horfes laden with goods, killed the horfes,
fired at the drivers, and burned the goods, which alarm-
ed us very much. Hereupon Mr. Calender rode thither,
by whom on his return we learned, that 4 or 5 horfes
were fhot, and fixty-one horfe load of goods were burned;
eighteen loads of rum, and two of match coating were
saved; we underftood likewife that Robert Alifon, who
had undertaken to carry out part of faid goods, was dif-
patched from Loudon, with a number of Higlanders
to the place where this happened, ivz. near Sidling-Hill,
and upon their return Loudon, took up two or three
people whom they fufpected, and brought to Loudon,
upon which we are informed, feveral parties appeared
in arms about Loudon, and demanded the men to be
enlarged upon bail which was accordingly done, and
then Mr. Calender returned to Carlifle.
We are further informed that another party, fuppofed
to be moftly from the borders of Maryland, met at Pol-
lan’s, alias Howe’s, and examined the remainder of the
goods, and fearched for ammuntion, but finding none
went to Mr. Maxwel’s, where they found and
burned fome cafks of powder. –This, Sir, is the trueft account
we could learn.—It gives us much concern that an af-
fair of this nature fhould have at all happened, and the
rather as the innocents will fhare in the reproach but
this is not to be omitted, which gives us a good deal of
fatisfaction, that few, if any of the principal inhabitants
of Conogochieg were concerned, and that upon under-
ftanding that there was a defign of this nature carried on
by fome hot-headed, ftiff people, they ufed their utmoft
endeavours to difcourage and diffuade them from fuch an
undertaking, and that particularly William Smith, Efq;
and John Mc. Dowel, ftrove with all their might to
crufh it.
We make no doubt, Sir, from the temper that feems
to prevail with fome, but that the body of Conogochicg
fettlement, will be reprefented as concerned, and from
the difpofition which fome are already difcovering, we
are ready to apprehend, that endeavours will be ufed,
and innuendo’s given that the whole county will be tra-
duced as privy, or acceffaries to a fact which we heartily
condemn; we therefore moft humbly requeft, Sir, that
you will inform our friends of the true ftate of the affair,
and we hope that the moft thinking and virtous of
every focity, will not eafily admit innuendoes and in-
difcriminate reflections, which men may to liberally
pour out on the county in general.”

Source:  microfilm edition of Bradford’s Pennsylvania Journal, transcribed by Karen Ramsburg.

3/19/1765 Bradford Journal

P H I L A D E L P H I A.

Extract of a letter from Carlifle, March 19, 1765.
“Some few days ago, we tranfmitted you an account
of the Connogochig affair, according to the beft infor-
mation we could obtain, and tho we have had later
accounts, yet nothing contrary to what we gave you.
A few days ago William Smith, Efq; came to Carlifle,
from whom we have had a very circumftantial narrative,
vis. That upon the firft report of goods being upon
the road, the country were alarmed, hearing that a
vaft quantity of ammunition and fcalping knives were
carrying out; that many of the people had applied to
him, complaining that before there was any confirmed
account of a peace being eftablifhed with the Indians,
ammunition fhould be fent to them; alledging that if it
had been by authority, either fome of the King’s troops
would have efcorted the ammnioion, or the General’s or-
ders been made known, and hence concluded that it muft
be the mere motion of fome merchants who wanted to
catch the benefit of an early commerce with the Savages.
So reafoned the people. Mr. Smith advifed them, not
to raife any difturbance, and to fatisfy themfelves by
enquiring of one Winfton who accompanied faid goods;
the young man was not condefcending enough to hum-
our the people, which increafed their fufpicion and
raifed their indignation. A part of the goods at
length fet off, and as the carriers were paffing into the
Great Cove by the houfe of faid William Smith, then
were overtaken by a confiderable body of men armed,
who feemed much enraged; but by the endeavours of
Mr. Smith and the fair words of Elias Davies and Ro-
bert Alifon who were employed to carry out faid goods,
were perfuaded not to ftop the horfes, and a good many
went home, but ftill a great number, fufpecting that
there was no ammunition; this the people feened
fatisfied, and next morning as Ellas Davies who was to
go no further than the Cove, returned, the greateft part
of the people returned with him, he thought they had
all come back and as they paffed Mr. Smith’s houfe,
Mr. Smith believed this to be the cafe and all danger
was over. But Mr. Smith thinks a few, not above 15
or 16 * according to the beft accounts he could get,
had parted that morning from the reft and privately
followed the carriers, and near Sidling Hill did the mif-
chief, viz. fhot fix horfes and burnt about fixty loads of
the goods. Mr. Smith was for fome time of the opinion
that it was done by a company from Virginia, as a
report prevailed among them, that the Virginians on
the frontier had fo threatened.
“As to the confequent burning of feven or eight cafks
of poder at Mr. Maxwells, our opinion that it was by
a company from Maryland is more confirmed by a depo-
fition made this day before John Holmes, Efq; by one
Mr. Volgomot in Maryland, near Potomack, who being
occafionally here, was taken up on fufpicion by Capt.
Callender, who was threatned to be put into goal unlefs
he would give bail for his appearance; he dipofed that
on the 10th inftant, a number of armed men rode by his
houfe towards Pennfylvania, he enquired whither they
were going, but gave him no other anfwer, “But up
the road.”—That faid company returned next day, and
he again afked where they had been, they anfwered
“Up the road,—and further faid, that on that or
net day on Pretor told him that faid company had de-
ftroyed the powder at Maxwell’s—And we are of the 0-
pinion, that the greateft part of the people who firft fol-
lowed the carriers, were moftly about the Line.—I would
only add, that however unreafonable the carrying out of
goods, efpecially ammunition to the Indians (before
there is the certainty of a peace) appears to many, yet
all the fenfible thinking people I have converfed with,
condemn the conduct of thofe who feized and deftroyed
* The carriers in their affidavits, fay about twenty.

Source:  microfilm edition of Bradford’s Pennsylvania Journal, transcribed by Karen Ramsburg.