Saturday, April 20, 2013

News from the Western Frontier - Indiana 1813: Report of Colonel Marston G. Clark

PENN.                                                                            Washington, April 12

               To the politeness of Colonel Marston G. Clark, we are indebted for the following information.[1]

               On Sunday the 21st inst. a party of Indians made an attack on the house of an old gentleman about twenty miles from the falls and eight miles from Charleston (I. T.) killed the odl man and wounded one of his daughters.[2]  Two gentlemen having rode up in the house, and having light, leaving their horses fastened to the fence, a few minutes before the attack, had their horses shot down and the saddles taken off by the Indians.  It is presumed the happy circumstance of the arrival of those gentlemen prevented the intended massacre of the whole family.  The following monring, at about two miles from whence the Indians commenced their attack, and committed the murdr on the old man; the same party shot a young man, several balls passing thro' his clothes - his horse was shot, but not so disabled as to prevent him making his escape - the horse is no doubt since dead.

               Col. Clark being in Charleston when the alarm was given (about mid-night) joined Major Davis Floyd, and Col. Bigger, with about 80 men; and at sun rise were on the fround where the mischief had been committed, at which place the Indians separated after foing the mischief staed above.  One party having taken a number of horses and made off; this party were pursued about twenty five or thirty miles, and came within gun shot just as they had crossed a large creek by rafting.  The Indians on discovering our approach took flight (leaving the horses and some trifling Indian trinkets,) which put it out of our power to get but a few fires at them as the creek was not fordable, and the raft on which they crossed was on the opposite shore.  A few of the party swam their horses across the creek with considerable difficulty and risk.  Finding the Indians could not be trailed as they were then on foot, further pursuit was declinded.  the party returned and have up the horses to the persons from whom they had been stolen.

               When the party left the house where the mischief had been done, a boy was missing, and it was not then ascertained whether he had been killed or taken prisoner.

               Col. Clark further states, as he passed trhrough Charleston, on his return home, on Tuesday last, capt. Baggs was out with a party in pursuit of that part of the Indians who remained in the settlement - their success not known.[3]

[1] Gen Marston Green Clark. [accessed April 20, 2013]

Obituary in The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge 1846

"July 25. — In Indiana, Gen. Marston G. Clark, aged 74. He was born in Lunenburgh County, Virginia, on the 12th of December, 1771, and was one of a family of twenty-nine brothers and two sisters, by the same father and mother. Before he was 21 years of age, he left his native state, and went to the West, then a wilderness. Gen. Clark shared much of the confidence and esteem of his fellow-citizens, having filled, with honor to himself and profit to his country many stations, both civil and military. He served in the campaigns of Gen. Wayne as a private soldier; and was aid to Gen. Harrison at the sanguinary battle of Tippecanoe. As Indian agent also, Gen. Clark served with much advantage, and was repeatedly a member of both branches of the legislature of Indiana."

"A prominent man among the early settlers of Clark County; had been a member of the first court organized in that county in 1801; had been one of the commissioners appointed to lay off the town of Jeffersonville; was now (1816) a citizen of Washington county, residing about eight miles south of the town of Salem, the countyseat." Biographical and Historical Souvenir for the Counties of Clark, Crawford, Harrison, Floyd, Jefferson, Jennings, Scott, and Washington, Indiana" (printed 1889)

[2] Charleston, Indiana Territory

[3] Baltimore Patriot; Date: 04-20-1813; Volume: I; Issue: 93; Page: [2]; Location: Baltimore, Maryland.
Transcribed by John Peter Thompson, April 20th, 2013.

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