Soon after the pioneers had commenced laboring on their lands their ardor was for a while paralized, and their hope of undisturbed and quiet possession of their new homes greatly weakened, by the murder of Capt. King by the Indians. His land lay in the middle settlement and while he was busily engaged in chopping on May 1st he was shot and scalped by two Indians. It was thought at the time they were Indians who had escaped from confinement in Fort Harmar, where they had been detained since the outrage, at Duncan's Falls the previous summer.

Captain King was from Rhode Island, where his family yet remained. He intended to move them after he had prepared a house and raised a crop for their support. He had been an officer in the United States Army and was a most excellent man. His loss was deeply felt and lamented by all his fellow pioneers.

A History of Belpre Washington County, Ohio
C. E. Dickinson, D.D.
Published by Globe Printing & Binding Company, Parkersburg, West Virginia


They decided that all, about thirty families, should be collected at the middle settlement where Col. Cushing and Col. Battelle had already built two large log houses, and erect a spacious, strong, and well arranged garrison, sufficient for the accommodation of all the inhabitants. The spot selected was on the bank of the river, about half a mile below the bluff, and nearly against the center of Backus Island. A swamp about six rods back from the Ohio protected the rear, while the river protected the front. The upper and lower ends opened into a smooth level bottom, suitable for a road by which to enter or depart from the garrison. The work was commenced the first week in January, and prosecuted with the utmost energy. As fast as the block houses were built the families moved into them. These were thirteen in number arranged in two rows with a wide street between. The basement story was in general twenty feet square, and the upper about twenty-two feet, thus projecting over the lower one and forming a defense from which to protect the doors and windows below, in an attack. They were built of round logs a foot in diameter, and the intersitives nicely chinked and pointed with mortar. The doors and window shutters were made of thick oak planks, or puncheon, and secured with stout bars of wood on the inside. ***The pickets were made of quartered oak timber growing on the plain back of the garrison formed from trees about a foot in diameter, fourteen feet long, and set four feet in the ground leaving them ten feet high, over which no enemy could mount without a ladder. The smooth side was set outward; and the palisades strengthened and kept in their places by stout ribbons, or wall pieces, pinned to them with inch tree nails, on the inside. The spaces between the houses were filled up with pickets, and occupied three or four times the width of the houses forming a continuous wall, or inclosure about eighty rods in length and six rods wide. The palisades on the river side filled the whole space and projected over the edge of the bank, leaning on rails and posts set to support them. They were sloped in this manner for the admission of air during the heat of summer. Gates of stout timbers were placed in the East and West ends of the garrison, opening in the middle, ten feet wide, for the ingress and egress of teams, and to take in the cattle in case of an attack. A still wider gate opened near the center of the back wall for hauling in wood, and all were secured with strong heavy bars. Two or three smal1er ones, called water gates, were placed on the river side, as all their water was procured from the Ohio. When signs of Indians were discovered by the spies, the domestic animals were driven within the gates at night. At sunset all the avenues were closed. Every house was filled with families and as new settlers arrived occasionally during the war some houses contained several families.

The corner block houses on the back side of the garrison were provided with watch towers running up eight feet above the roof, where a sentry was constantly kept. When the whole was completed, the inmates of the station called it "Farmers Castle" a name very appropriate, as it was built and occupied by farmers. The directors of the Ohio Company, with their characteristic beneficience, paid the expense of erecting three of the block houses, and the money was distributed among the laborers. The view of the Castle from the Ohio river was very picturesque and imposing; looking like a small fortified city amidst the surrounding wilderness. During the war there were about seventy able bodied men mustered on the roll for military duty, and the police within assumed that of a regularly besieged fort, as in fact it was a great portion of the time, the Indians watching in small parties, more or less constantly, for a chance to kill or capture the inhabitants when they least expected it. At sunrise the roll was called by the orderly sergeant, and if any man had overslept in the morning, or neglected to answer to his name, the penalty was fixed as the cutting out the stump of a tree level with the ground, stumps being thickly scattered over the surface within the Castle. This penalty was so rigidly exacted that but few stumps remained at the close of the war. A regular commander was appointed with suitable subalterns.

Maj. Nathan Goodale was the first Captain, and held that office until he removed into his own garrison in 1793, when Colonel Cushing took the command. The flagstaff stood a few yards west of the back gate near the house of Colonel Cushing on which floated the stars and stripes. Near the staff was a large howitzer, or swivel gun, mounted on a platform incased in wood, hooped with iron bands and painted to resemble a six pounder. It was so adjusted as to revolve on a socket, and thus point to any part of the works. During the Spring and Summer months, when there was any probability of Indians, it was fired regularly morning and evening. It could be distinctly heard for several miles around, especially up and down the river; the banks and hills, re-echoing the report. This practice no doubt kept the Indians in awe, and warned them not to approach a post whose inmates were habitually watchful, and so well prepared to defend themselves. Around this spot it was customary for loungers and news mongers to assemble, to discuss the concerns of the Castle and tell the news of the day. It was also the rallying point in case of an assault and the spot where the muster roll was called morning and evening. The spies and rangers here made reports of their discoveries to the Commandant; in short it was "place d'armes" of Farmers Castle.

In the upper room of every house was kept a large cask or hogshead constantly :filled with water to be used in case of fire. It was a part of the duty of the Officer of the day to inspect every house, and see that the cask was well filled. Another duty was to prevent any stack of grain or fodder being placed so near the Castle as to endanger the safety of the buildings should the Indians set them on fire or to shelter them in case of an assault.

They also inspected the gates, pickets, and houses, to see that all were in repair and well secured at night. They received dispatches from abroad, or sent out expresses to the other stations. Their authority was absolute and the government strictly military. The greatest and principal danger to the settlers arose from their exposure to attacks when engaged during the Spring and Summer months in working in their fields. The clearings of some of the inhabitants lay at the distance of three miles, while others were within rifle shot of the garrison. Those could only be visited in companies of fifteen or twenty men. Their exposure was not confined to their actual engagement in their fields, but chiefly in going to and returning from their labors. While at their work, sentries were constantly placed in the edge of the adjoining forest; and flanking parties examined the ground when marching through the wood between the upper and lower settlements. It was a great labor to transport their crops for so long a distance after they were harvested, although it was chiefly done by water. For these reasons, in the second year of the war, it was decided as best for them to divide into smaller communities. Accordingly, a strong stockade garrison was built three miles above called "Stones Garrison," and one below called "Goodales Garrison." To these several families, whose lands adjoined, removed and continued to occupy them until the close of the war. Fresh emigrants however continually arrived so that Farmers Castle remained crowded.

A list of families in Farmers Castle at Belpre in 1792:
No. 1 -Colonel Ebenezer Battelle, wife, and four children: Cornelius, Ebenezer, Thomas and Louisa.
No.2 -Captain William. James, wife, and ten children: Susan, Anna, Esther, Hannah, Abigal and Polly; William, John, Thomas, and Simeon. Also Isaac Barker, wife, and eight children: Michael, Isaac, Joseph, William and Timothy; Anna, Rhoda, and Nancy. Also Daniel Cogswell, wife and five children: John, Abigal, Peleg, Job and Daniel.
3. -Captain Jonathan Stone wife and three children: Benjamin Franklin, Samuel, and Rufus Putnam.
No.4 -Colonel Nathaniel Cushing, wife, and six children: Nathaniel, Henry, Varnum, Thomas, Sally and Elizabeth. Also Captain Jonathan Devoll, wife, and six children: Henry, Charles, Barker, Francis, Sally and Nancy, with a nephew, Christopher Devoll.
No. 5 -Isaac Pierce, wife, and three children: Samuel, Joseph and Phebe. Also Nathaniel Little, wife, and one child. Also Joseph Barker, wife and one Child, Joseph, born in Belpre.
No.6 -Maj. Nathan Goodale, wife, and seven children: Betsy, Cynthia, Sally, Susan, Henrietta, Timothy, and Lincoln.
No.7 -In the South west corner of the garrison; A. W. Putnam, wife, and one child, William Pitt born in the garrison. Also D. Loring, wife, and seven children: Israel, Rice and Jesse; Luba, Bathsheba, Charlotte and Polly. Major Oliver Rice lived in the family of Mr. Loring. Also Captain Benjamin Miles, wife, and five children: Benjamin, Buckmaster and Hubbard, (twins), Wil1iam, Tappan and Polly.
No. 8 -Griffin Green, Esq., wife, and four children, Richard, Philip, Griffin and Susan.
No. 9 -John Rouse, wife, and eight children: Michael, Bathsheba, Cynthia, Betsy, Ruth, Stephen, Robert and Barker, twins. Also Maj. Robert Bradford wife and three or four children. Several of these children died of scarlet fever, others were born after the war.
No. 10 -Captain John Leavens, wife, and six children: Joseph, and John, Nancy, Fanny, Esther and Matilda. Also Captain William Dana, wife, and eight children: Luther, William, (young men) Edmond, Stephen, John, Charles and Augustus; Betsy Mary and Fanny.
Between 10 and 11 there was a long low building, called the barracks in which a small detachment of United States troops were quartered.
No. 11 -Mrs. Dunham widow of Daniel Dunham, who died in 1791, one son and two daughters. Also Captain Israel Stone, wife, and ten children: Sardine, a young man, Israel, Jasper, Augustus, B. Franklin, and Columbus; Betsy, Matilda, Lydia and Harriet, born in the Castle.
No. 12 -Benjamin Patterson, wife, and six children: three of the rangers, or spies, who were single men, boarded with him, viz: John Shepherd, George Kerr, and Matthew Kerr. Patterson served as a spy three years for the settlement at Belpre and then moved down the river. Also Benoni Hurlburt, wife, and four children.
No. 13 -Colonel Alexander Oliver, wife, and eleven children: Launcelot, a young man, Alexander, John and David, Lucretia, Betsy, Sally, Mehala, Electa, Mary. Also Colonel Daniel Bent, wife and four children: Nathan, Daniel, Dorcas, and daughter who married Joel Oaks. Also Silas Bent, Esq., oldest son of the Colonel, wife and two or three children.
Several other families lived in Farmers Castle for a short time and then proceeded down the river but the above list contains nearly all the permanent and substantial heads of families who settled in Belpre in 1789 and 1790. Joshua Fleehart, wife, and four children, lived in a small cabin east of block house No.3. He was a noted hunter and supplied the garrison with fresh meat. Soon after the war closed he removed nearer to the frontier where he could follow trapping and hunting to better advantage. One of his hunting adventures will be related later.
Unmarried men in Farmers Castle: Jonathan Waldo, Daniel Mayo, Jonathan Baldwin, Cornelius Delano, Joel Oaks, James Caldwell, Wanton Casey, Stephen Guthrie, Truman Guthrie, Captain Ingersol, Ezra Phillips, Stephen Smith, Howell Bull, Samuel Cushing, William and John Smith, Jonas Davis, Dr. Samuel Barnes.

Within the walls of Farmers Castle there were assembled about two hundred and twenty souls, twenty-eight of these were heads of families. A number of those enumerated as children were males above sixteen years and enrolled for military duty. Others were young women from sixteen to twenty years of age. Among the inmates of the garrison the name of Christopher Putnam, or Kitt as he was familiarly called, must not be forgotten. He was a colored boy of sixteen or eighteen years of age, who had been the personal or body servant of General Israel Putnam, during the latter years of his life, and after his death lived with his son Col. Israel Putnam. In the fall of 1789, Colonel Putnam. came out to Marietta with his soil Aaron Waldo, and brought Kitt with him. In the Autumn of 1790 the Colonel returned to Connecticut for his family. That winter the war broke out and he did not move them until 1795. Kitt remained at Belpre with Mr. Putnam in the garrison and was a great favorite with the boys. He was their chosen leader in all their athletic sports, for his wonderful activity, and much beloved for his kind and cheerful disposition. When abroad in the fields cultivating or planting their crops, he was one of their best hands, either for work or to stand as a sentry. On these occasions he sometimes took his station in the lower branches of a tree where he could have a wider range of vision and give early notice of the approach of danger. Under the watchful vigilance of Kitt, all felt safe at their work. After he was twenty-one years of age and became a free man he lived with Captain Devoll, on the Muskingum and assisting in tending the floating mill and clearing the land on the farm. At the election for delegates, under the territory, to form a constitution for Ohio, Kitt was a voter and was probably the first and only black who ever exercised the elective franchise in Washington County as after the adoption of that article all colored men were disfranchised. (Later they were allowed the franchise.) . He died about the year 1802 much lamented for his many personal good qualities and industrious habits.

A History of Belpre Washington County, Ohio
C. E. Dickinson, D.D.
Published by Globe Printing & Binding Company, Parkersburg, West Virginia


On September 28th, 1791 Joshua Fleehart and Benomi Hulbert left the garrison in a canoe to hunt and to visit their traps near the mouth of the Little Hocking. Fleehart was a celebrated hunter and trapper. Like many other backwoodsmen he preferred following the chase for a living to that of cultivating the earth. Numbers of them depended on the woods for their clothing as well as their food. Hulberts family from the oldest to the youngest were clothed in dressed deer skins. These men had hunted a good deal together and supplied the garrison with fresh meat. As they passed the narrows above the mouth of the creek they were strongly inclined to land and shoot some turkeys which they heard gobbling on the side of the hill, a few rods from the river. It was a common practice with the Indians, when in the vicinity of the whites, to imitate the note of these birds, to call some of the unwary settlers within reach of their rifles. After listening a few moments the nice, discriminating ear of Fleehart satisfied him that they were made by Indians. Hulbert did not believe it but was finally induced not to land. They proceeded on and entered the mouth of the creek, where his companion landed and traveled along on the edge of the woods in search of game, while Fleehart paddled the canoe further up the stream. As they had seen no more signs of Indians, they concluded that the gobbling this time was done by the turkeys themselves. In a short time after Hulbert had left the canoe, the report of a rifle was heard, which Fleehart at once knew was not that of his companion and concluded was the shot of an Indian. He landed the canoe on the opposite shore, and running up the bank secreted himself in a favorable spot to fire on the Indians should they approach to examine the creek for the canoe. He directly heard a little dog belonging to his companion in fierce contest with the Indians trying to defend the body of his master; but they soon silenced him with a stroke of a tomahawk. After watching more than an hour, so near that he could hear the Indians converse and the groans of the dying man, but out of his sight and the reach of his rifle, the Indians being too cautious to approach where they expected danger, he entered his canoe and returned to the garrison, which he reached a little after dark and reported the fate of his companion. The next morning a party of men, conducted by Fleehart, went down by water, and found him dead and scalped on the ground where he fell, with the body of his faithful dog by his side. They brought him to the Castle where he was buried.

Mr. Hulbert was over sixty years old, and had moved into the country from Pennsylvania in the fall of 1788 and lived for a time at Marietta. He served as hunter to a party of Ohio Company Surveyors in 1789 and was esteemed an honest, worthy man.

He was the first man killed by the Indians in Belpre after the war broke out.

A History of Belpre Washington County, Ohio
C. E. Dickinson, D.D.
Published by Globe Printing & Binding Company, Parkersburg, West Virginia

The following letters written to her father by Mrs. Mary Bancroft Dana give us an inside view of conditions during those trying years.

Belpre, June 24th, 1790.
Honored Sir,
I have an opportunity to send a few lines by General Putnam which I gladly embrace to inform you that we all still exist, and have the addition of another son whom I shall call George. A fine little boy he is. We are as usual, sometimes sick and sometimes well. All of us at work for life to get in a way to be comfortable. We got through the Winter as well as I expected. We are more put to our trumps than I ever expected for bread. There is no corn nor flour of any kind to be had. We at present live entirely without it, as many of our neighbors do. There were very few potatoes raised for want of seed. Our whole family have not eaten two bushels since we came here. We have a plenty of corn and potatoes planted so that I expect to live in a short time, things look promising. Mr. Dana has worked himself almost to death to get things as forward as he has; he is poor and pale, as are all our family, but he is perfectly satisfied with what he has done and depends on reaping the good of his labor. I have passed through many scenes since I left you and am still the same contented being without fear from the natives. Great God! grant that I may still be protected and carried through every changing scene of life with fortitude and behave as becomes a Christian. I have not received a line from any of my friends but Mr. Atherton and Captain Blanchard. Mr. Atherton informed me that sister Sparrow had lost her little girl. What a distribution of Providence, there was enough to feed and clothe, still they must be afflicted. Infinite Wisdom no doubt thought it best. What ever is, is right, but we all mourn the loss of so sweet a child. My blood thrilled in my veins and though at so great a distance have very sympathetic feelings for the parents. I wish you would write me the manner of her death, and how you all are and everything that concerns my family. It would seem like a feast. Be assured now I have begun to write it seems like a visit. The hurry in which I have lived has kept me from almost every duty; and care for the safety of my own in the new world has kept me continually busy; there seemed not a moment to spare. The attention of a family that has but one cow and that wants everything is great and but one woman to do the whole, but I have not lost my spirits. It is now eleven at night, all are at rest and it rains very fast, and has for this thirty hours as fast as I ever knew it. The river rises and falls at an amazing rate. Everything grows as fast as we could wish but I fear we will still have to grind in a hand mill. As it grows late and our house is very wet must bid you adieu.

Your affectionate daughter,
Mary Dana.

The next letter was written two years later and indicates the changed conditions.

September 8, 1792.
Honored Sir:
I once more give myself the satisfaction to inform you and all my friends that we are all alive and in as good health as it is common for us to be. Various have been the scenes I have passed through since I left your peaceful dwelling. We lived in peace and safety as we thought for one year without a guard for selves or family.

At length an army was sent out against that injured nation for cruelties they were often committing upon persons or families.

A year ago last February three small settlements moved together. A garrison was created and block houses built. We continued there with two families in every house, one above and one below, three miles from our usual dwelling. We continued there nine months but before the defeat of the army we returned and lived in our own house all winter.

In the course of the winter Mr. Dana built a decent block house nigh a quarter of a mile from our other. I now live in a snug garrison where there are seven families. Nobody pretends to wa1k any distance without an instrument of death on his shoulder, continually looking for danger and trial. All necessary business is performed with alacrity and fortitude. Everything around us is flourishing and we are supported and prospered beyond our expectations. This letter I send by Mrs. Battelle who is about to set out for Boston. She has been in this country nigh four years and is now going to visit her friends. Me thinks it would add to my happiness to hear from every branch of my family; their situation, their prosperities, their adversities, although at so great a distance I should share every adversity, and partake of the prosperity. Not a single line have I received from any of you since I left you, and this wretched writing I hope will put you in mind, or one of my brothers, to write the first opportunity. I must conclude with sending duty and respects and love for myself and family.

Your dutiful daughter,

These letters reveal many of the privations of settlers in a new country with no public means of travel, and no mails, the only means of transporting letters being in the knapsacks of travelers, and sometimes years passed before they heard from friends in the old home.

Mrs. Dana was daughter of Capt. Edmond Bancroft, of Pepperell, Mass. She brought up a family of eleven children and did her full share in promoting the welfare of Belpre.

Click here for photo.

A History of Belpre Washington County, Ohio
C. E. Dickinson, D.D.
Published by Globe Printing & Binding Company, Parkersburg, West Virginia


This settlement was begun at the same time with that at Belpre, considered a part of it and called the "Lower Settlement." The location was six miles below Farmers Castle and was commenced by about fourteen associates. On the breaking out of hostilities, Jan. 2nd, 1791, they left their new clearing and joined the garrison at Belpre. Finding it out of their power to cultivate their land at so great a distance, early in the Spring of 1792, the men returned and built two blockhouses, with a few cabins and enclosed the whole with a Stockade on the bank of the river opposite a spot called "Newbury bar," and moved back their effects. There were now four or five fami1ies and eight single men; in all about twenty souls. A man by the name of Brown, from headwaters, with his wife and four children, had recently joined the settlement, and commenced clearing a piece of land about eighty rods from the garrison. On Sunday, March 15th, a mild and pleasant day, his wife went out to see him set some fruit trees they had brought with them. Not apprehending any danger from the Indians so near the garrison, she took along with her the children, carrying an infant in her arms, and leading another child of two years old by the hand, while Persis Dunham, a girl of fourteen, the daughter of widow Dunham, and a great favorite with the settlers, for her pleasant disposition, kind consiliating manners, and beautiful person, led another child, and the fourth loitered some distance behind them. When they arrived within a short space of Mr. Brown, two Indians sprang out from their concealment; one seized Mrs. Brown by the arm and sunk his tomahawk in her head. As she fell he aimed a blow at the infant which cut a large gash in the side of the forehead and nearly severed one ear. He next dashed his hatchet into the head of the child she was leading, and with his knife tore off their scalps. The other Indian fell upon Persis and the remaining child, sinking his tomahawk into their heads and tearing off their scalps with the remorseless fury of a demon.

The men in the garrison, hearing their screams, rushed out to their rescue; but only saved the little fellow who loitered behind, and commenced firing at the Indians. Brown, whom they had not discovered before, now came in sight but being without arms could render no assistance. The Indians immediately gave chase to him but he escaped and reached the garrison. As the men were not familiar with Indian warfare, no effective pursuit was made; whereas had there been several backswoodsmen among them they would doubtless have been followed and killed. When the bodies of the slain were removed to the garrison, the poor little infant was found in a state of insensibility lying by the side of its dead mother. It finally revived and was nursed with great tenderness by the females at Farmers Castle, where the child was soon after brought, whose deepest sympathies were awakened by its motherless condition and ghastly wound which had nearly deprived it of all its blood. By great care it was restored to health, and the father, with his two remaining children, returned to his relations. Newbury was again deserted and so remained until the end of the war.

A History of Belpre Washington County, Ohio
C. E. Dickinson, D.D.
Published by Globe Printing & Binding Company, Parkersburg, West Virginia


No people ever paid more attention to the education of their children than the descendants of the Puritans. One of the first things done by the settlers of Belpre, after they had erected their own log dwellings, was to make provision for teaching their children the rudiments of learning, reading writing and arithmetic.

Bathsheba Rouse, the daughter of John Rouse, one of the emigrants from near New Bedford Mass. was employed in the summer of 1789 to teach the small children, and for several subsequent summers she taught a school in Farmers Castle. She is believed to have been the first female who taught a school within the present bounds of Ohio. During the Winter months a male teacher was employed for the larger boys and young women. Daniel Mayo was the first male teacher in Farmers Castle. He came, a young man from Boston, with the family of Col. Battelle, in the Fall of 1788, and was a graduate of Cambridge University. The school was held in a large room of Col. Battelle's block house. He was a teacher for several winters, and during the Summer worked at clearing and cultivating his lot of land. He married a daughter of Col. Israel Putnam and after the war settled in Newport, Ky. Jonathan Baldwin, another educated man, also taught school a part of the time of their confinement in the garrison. These schools had no public funds as at this day to aid them but were supported from the hard earnings of the honest pioneers. (They received a small sum from the Ohio Company.)

A History of Belpre Washington County, Ohio
C. E. Dickinson, D.D.
Published by Globe Printing & Binding Company, Parkersburg, West Virginia


On March 1st, 1793, the colony met with the most serious loss it had yet felt from their Indian enemies, in the kidnapping and ultimate death of Maj. Goodale. On that day he was at work in a new clearing on his farm distant about forty rods from the garrison, hauling rail timber with a yoke of oxen from the edge of the woods bordering the new field. It lay back of the first bottom in open view of the station. An Irish man, John Magee was at work grubbing or digging the roots of the bushes and small saplings on the slope of the plain as it descends to the bottom, but out of sight of Maj. Goodale. The Indians made so little noise in their assault that John did not hear them. The first notice of the disaster was the view of the oxen seen from the garrison, standing quietly in the field with no one near them. After an hour or more they were observed still in the same place, when suspicion arose that some disaster had happened to Mr. Goodale. One of the men was called and sent up to learn what had happened. John was still busy at his work unconscious of any alarm. In the edge of the woods there was a thin layer of snow, on which he soon saw moccasin tracks. It was now evident that Indians had been there and had taken Maj. Goodale prisoner, as no blood was seen on the ground. They followed the trail some distance but soon lost it. The next day a party of rangers went out, but returned after a fruitless search. The river was at that time nearly at full banks and less danger was apprehended on that account. It was also early in the season for Indians to approach the settlements. The uncertainty of his condition left room for the imagination to fancy everything horrible in his fate; more terrible to bear than the actual knowledge of his death. The distress of Mrs. Goodale and the children was great. His loss threw a deep gloom over the whole community, as no man was more highly valued; neither was there anyone whose counsels and influence were equally prized by the settlement. He was in fact the life and soul of this isolated community and his loss left a vacancy that no other man could fill. His memory was for many years fresh and green in the hearts of his contemporary pioneers. At the treaty of 1795, when the captives were given up by the Indians some intelligence was obtained of nearly all the persons from this part of Ohio, but none of the fate of Maj. Goodale. About the year 1799 Col. Forrest Meeker, afterwards a citizen of Delaware County, and well acquainted with the family of Maj. Goodale, and the circumstances of his capture, when at Detroit on business fell in Company with three Indians, who related to him the particulars of their taking a man prisoner in Belpre in the Spring of 1793. Their description of his personal appearance left no doubt in the mind of Col. Meeker that it was Maj. Goodale. They stated that a party of eight Indians were watching the settlement for mischief; and as they lay concealed on the side of the hill back of the plain, they heard a man driving or "talking" to his oxen. After carefully examining his movements they saw him leave his work and go to the garrison, in the middle of the day. Knowing that he would soon return they secreted themselves in the edge of the woods, and while he was occupied with his work, sprang out and seized upon him before he was aware of their presence, or could make any defense, and threatened him with death if he made a noise or resisted. After securing him with thongs, they commenced a hasty retreat, intending to take him to Detroit and get a large ransom. Some where on the Miami or at Sandusky, he fell sick and could not travel, and that he finally died. A Mrs. Whittaker, the wife of a man who had a store and traded with the Indians at Sandusky, has since related the same account. That the Indians left him at her house where he died of a disease like pleurisy without having received any very ill usage from his captors, other than the means necessary to prevent his escape. This probably is a correct account of his fate; and although his death was a melancholy one, among strangers, and far away from the sympathy and care of his friends, yet it was a relief to know that he did not perish at the stake or by the tomahawk of savages.

A History of Belpre Washington County, Ohio
C. E. Dickinson, D.D.
Published by Globe Printing & Binding Company, Parkersburg, West Virginia

Click here to return to biography index.

Deb Murray