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The Adventures of Isaac Knight
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The Adventures of Isaac Knight

         The only incident of more than passing interest which occurred within what is now the territory of Vanderburgh county, was the killing by a band of Pottawatomie and Kickapoo Indians of Peter Sprinkle and Jacob Upp, and the capture of Isaac Knight, George Sprinkle and John Upp. This occurred on the banks of the Ohio, in what is now Union township, about the year 1793 The victims, who at the time were all boys, were residents of Kentucky, but as one of the captives, Isaac Knight, became a resident of Vanderburgh county, and as he is remembered as one of her most prominent early settlers and most respected citizens, the incident will be read with additional interest.

         The following is taken from an account of the capture, suffering and escape, published in 1839, as narrated by Isaac Knight himself, and written by Hiram A. Hunter:

         Isaac Knight, the subject of the following narrative, was born in what was then called Washington county, in Pennsylvania; the record of his age being lost, the exact time of his birth cannot be ascertained.

         His father's name was John Knight, who married Ann Rolison, by whom he had seven sons, of whom Isaac was the eldest.

         When the subject of this narrative was a child, his father removed, by water, in company with his father-in-law, Mr. Lawrence Rolison, and Norod Franceway, who had married in the same family. These all settled at or near the place, now known by the name of Vienna, on Green River, about eighty miles above its mouth, where, with much difficulty, they lived some years, grinding their corn on hand mills or pounding it in a mortar; and at one time such was the difficulty with which bread stuff was had, that Isaac's father bought corn at the mouth of Green River, at one dollar and twenty-five cents per bushel, and conveyed it to his family in a perogue or canoe. Indeed, the difficulties under which the first settlers of that part of Kentucky labored, were almost insupportable.

         For the security of the whites and their families, they were impelled to build and resort to forts in as large bodies as their thinly settled population would permit. Uniting their energies, they labored by turn in each man's field, one or more, as necessity required, standing as sentinel.

         During the season in which corn was making, they remained in their forts; but returned to their lonesome and dangerous retreats for the remainder of the year.

         Seldom would anything short of abundant sign of Indian hostilities, drive them in the spring of the year, from their homely huts. It is, however, perfectly within the recollection of the author of this narrative, that, when a boy, he heard the report of a gun, which killed dead, one of the finest men in the settlement, and one, too, who lived within a few steps of his father's door. Mr. Downs, who was thus shot by the Indians, left a wife and seven children to lament his untimely death. He was most cruelly used by the savage butchers, and left scalped on the ground.

         About this time the country about the Red Banks, on the Ohio river, now known as Henderson, in Henderson county, Kentucky, began to be spoken of as a most desirable section, and Isaac's father, with the rest of the connection, moved to that place, where they found a few families residing. But one house was yet erected the rest of the families lived in camps. In removing to this place, their property being conveyed by water, except the stock, Isaac, then a boy about nine or ten years of age, assisted in driving them.

         They at length arrived all in safety at the Red Banks, where even greater difficulties were undergone by settlers, than had been endured by them at Vienna. Here, too, as at the former place, they cultivated the soil in safety, only by means of sentinels.

         About this time the small pox prevailed at the Red Banks, and little Isaac was vaccinated with it. He was, however, still under, the necessity of giving more or less attention to his father's cattle, in cutting cane, providing food for them. Accordingly, in company with others, he went frequently across the Ohio River in a canoe to cut cane. In one of those routes, accompanied by Peter Sprinkle, and George, his brother, John Upp, and Jacob, his brother, having arrived on the bank opposite to Henderson (as boys are naturally inclined to do), they commenced their sport, running and jumping along the bank, all alike ignorant of their danger, until from behind a blind, which was made of cane, cut and stuck in the ground, for the purpose of concealment, eight Indians, six of whom were found to be Pottawatomies, and two Kickapoos, came rushing upon them. In confusion and astonishment the boys all attempted to escape. The eldest, Peter Sprinkle, a young man of about seventeen or eighteen years of age, ran nearly to the river and was shot down, three guns being fired at him at once. Little Jacob Upp, a small boy of about seven years of age, finding escape impossible, stood still and begged for his life, crying "Don't kill me, don't kill me;" but it was to no purpose - the cruel savages buried the tomahawk in his skull, and put an end to his cries and his existence.

         George Sprinkle and John Upp, the former a little larger and the latter a little smaller than Isaac, were taken almost on the spot where the Indians were discovered. When the author of this narrative first saw the Indians, he ran, without saying a word; and on hearing the report of the guns that killed Peter Sprinkle, he looked back, and seeing one Indian in pursuit of him, he continued his race, until, in a short time, he felt a blow upon each shoulder, which he afterward found came from two Indians, instead of one, that had pursued him. These blows stunned him so that he fell, and in falling he lost his hat. He had no sooner touched the ground than his savage pursuers had each hold of an arm, lifting him up. Even in this predicament he attempted twice to reach for his hat, but failed to get it. He afterward learned from one of the Indians who took him, that if he had made a third attempt to get his hat, he would have killed him. These led the affrighted Isaac to the rest of the company, and, as he thought, to the place of execution; but to his surprise, when he came there, he found his associates, George Sprinkle and John Upp, in the custody of the savage red men, yet alive.

         Here, in full view of the Red Banks, the savages, holding up the yet warm scalps of Peter Sprinkle and Jacob Upp, raised the war whoop and started with their young prisoners, holding fast to Isaac's hand, as they compelled him to run after them. Such was their fearfulness that he would yet escape, that in swimming the bayou, a short distance from the river, one still held him by the hand. On reaching the camp where these savages had lain the preceding night, they put moccasins on the boys, and compelling them to follow them or keep up with them, running all day and traveling all night.

         In the evening of the first day, one of the boys, John Upp, became so much exhausted that he could run no longer. The Indians, with a view to compel him forward, threatened him with their tomahawks; but finding that he could not go, two of them assisted him. The morning of the second day they came upon three bears, which the Indians had killed, and in great haste took each a small portion along with him, until they crossed the Patoka river, and on the bank they stopped for the first time to cook and eat.

         The boys by this time were much fatigued, and well nigh worn out by means of constant and hard traveling. Nothing worthy of note transpired until the evening of the third day, when, after making a small fire of sticks, they produced the scalps of the murdered boys, and after cutting the meat out of one of them, carefully put it on sticks before the fire, and cooked it; then, in the presence of the boys, ate it, shaking the remaining scalp at them. This they did, not because they were hungry, but each, that he might thereby say, "I have killed a white man, and eat him." And thus they acquired no little reputation as warriors. The remaining scalps they then stretched on hoops, made for that purpose.

         That night they danced the war-dance, and made their young prisoners walk round with them, and would have had them dance, had they not been too much exhausted. This was afterward their regular employment, every other night.

         In their route they attempted to cross a stream in a small canoe, which was not more than large enough to carry two men in it; however, one of the Indians conveyed the boys across the creek, and, on striking the opposite bank, George Sprinkle being a little fearful, and knowing that he could not swim, leaped from the canoe to the bank on doing which the Indian gave him a blow with his paddle across the back, which injured him so seriously that it was with difficulty he ascended the bank.

         The reader will remember that Isaac was vaccinated, with the small pox. This was done just the day before he was taken by these cruel savages, on the 8th day of April 1793, according to his best recollection; and in something like a week he therefore became very sick with that disease; but was never the less impelled to travel every day, ever when scarcely able to hold up his head, or help himself in the smallest. The knowledge which his friends at home had of the fact that, if alive, he would be thus afflicted, augmented their uneasiness and anxiety about him. Their fears could but be great that the cruel wretches would kill him; and if not, both he and they expected he would die of the small pox, exposed as he was in an Indian camp. Their manner of crossing ponds, creeks and rivers was to wade or swim; and, sick as Isaac was, such was the manner in which he was compelled to pass them. After the disease above named had appeared on him, he was under the necessity of swimming a small river, which was the means of driving it in, so as to render him very sick. Then, for the first time, the savages discovered some humanity, and after kindling a fire, with a view to encamp for the night, they placed Isaac near the fire, wrapped in two blankets, in which situation he spent the night. In the morning the pox appeared again and he was some better, but still unable to travel. Nevertheless it was his fate to go, and he endeavored to do so, until, faint and sick, he fell to the ground. His Indian drivers, however, soon raised him and compelled him to go forward.

         Fatigued with traveling and afflicted with fever, he suffered much for water, which they frequently refused him. When in crossing water he would lift up some in his hand and put it to his mouth, they would push him down in the water. At night, encamping near a small branch, he asked leave to go for water; they granted it but an Indian followed him to the bank and then kicked him down a steep, where he fell among the rocks, and was not a little hurt by the fall. At another time, passing a small branch, he asked permission to drink, which was granted; but as he put his mouth to the water, an Indian with his foot, crushed his mouth into the sand. With this most brutal treatment, and swelled till shapeless, with sores which were constantly suppurating, and not unfrequently, especially of a morning, discharging blood, he was forced to march.

         Provisions growing scarce, they spent one day in hunting. In the afternoon, having killed two deer, they stopped to cook; Isaac being in the way of one of the Kickapoos, he took the liberty to kick him down a descending ground, some twelve or fifteen feet. This kicking was no pleasant thing to Isaac; and here he found in one of the Indians a friend, who claimed him as his, and was much offended at the conduct of the other.

         In a few days they passed the Kickapoo towns, where the two Indians of that nation left the company for home, and the prisoners saw them no more so as to recognize them. They soon arrived at another town of some note, on the Illinois river.

         As they entered the town, on the fifteenth day after they were taken, it being the twenty-third day of the month, on passing a few wigwams, some of the warriors gave a signal, which brought out several squaws, who relieved them all of their packs.

         At this place the prisoners were conducted into the presence of, and exposed to the view of, a vast crowd of Indians, many of whom came up with apparent friendship, and gave them a hearty shake of the hand.

         From this place they were conducted across the river to a wigwam, where something was provided for them to eat, which very much pleased their palates, as it somewhat resembled small hominy, and they had seen a squaw put a handful or two of sugar in it, after striking a dog over the head and driving him out of the wigwam with the ladle with which she stirred the mess.

         As the evening came on, the Indians began to collect, and as the other two boys had been painted and trimmed by the Indians, previous to their arrival in town, and Isaac was not (though none of them could account for it), it was the opinion both of him and them that it was their intention to burn him; however, when they were all collected, the young prisoners were ordered out, and the Indians, in one vast body, around a small fire, danced a war dance, the prisoners and the warriors that took them being next to the fire, and opposite to, or facing them as they danced round, were two squaws, bearing on canes from the Ohio Bottoms, the scalps of the little boy and the young man who had been killed when the other boys were taken.

         Next morning, as Isaac thought, almost all the Indians in the world collected on the opposite bank of the river for a ball play, where they spent the greater part of the day in that exercise, both men and women sharing its pleasures; the sexes engaging apart from each other, and seeming to delight greatly in the employment.

         In the evening, a company of some two or three hundred elderly Indians came marching down to the wigwam where the prisoners were kept, bearing two large kettles of hominy, beating their drums, rattling the deer's hoofs and making music of different kinds. They marched several times around the hut, and then with great apparent solemnity, placed the kettles on a handsome green, and when they were all seated around them, two men waiting on the rest, divided the contents of the kettles, putting a small portion in every man's bowl (for they all had bowls, and, as was their custom, ladles). A prophet then, as was supposed, repeated as he sat, a lengthy ceremony; after which they enjoyed their repast in good order, and dispersed.

         On the morning of the fourth day Isaac was presented with his moccasins by a squaw, who also gave them something to eat. Soon afterwards an Indian of the company that had taken the boys, came in and beckoned to Isaac to follow him, and without a thought that he and his associates were now to be separated until they should meet at home, he followed his guide that whole day up the Illinois river, wading many small swift-running streams, which, as Isaac expressed himself, washed off many a scab. By this Indian he was piloted to a wigwam where lived, as he afterward found, the mother of the two warriors that had taken him, and who were detained at the village by sickness, of which one of them died. Here, being delivered to this old mother and seated by her, she immediately gave him a new blanket and provided him something to eat. This day's travel had again freshened Isaac's sores, and so fatigued him that although he was wrapped in a new blanket and kindly treated, he had no rest, but felt in the morning almost as bad as formerly.

         The squaw in whose care Isaac was left, with a view to cure him, made preparation for it, and with a sharp flint scarified him, and rubbed the sores with a piece of rough bark to make them bleed; then caused him to jump in the Illinois river. This was all done through kindness, although it was harsh treatment.

         From this place Isaac, together with many Indians, started up the river to an Indian town situated upon a small island in a lake through which the Illinois river passes, now called Illinois lake; this place they gained in five days, nothing very important transpiring on the route. It was Isaac's fate, however, according to the direction of the squaw to whose care he was committed, to jump in the river every morning.

         Soon after this time the small-pox made its appearance among the Indians on this island, and the kind old squaw who had given so much attention to Isaac, and thereby endeared herself to him, was one of the first subjects and victims of that destructive disease. He had for a long time feared that if this disease broke out among them, they would kill him, as he had been the means of bringing it among them; and although he sometimes hoped that some of the most cruel and barbarous of them would die with it, yet he more frequently desired they might all escape it, as he feared the consequences. Their manner of treating the disease proved fatal in many instances: They invariably at first, in that, as in other cases of complaint, took a severe sweat and then jumped into the river; and so terminated the existence of many. The death of this humane and motherly old squaw gave the author of this narrative most unpleasant feelings, and was the cause of much distressing exercise of mind. He had found in her a true and tender friend, and one who was willing to do for him all she could, but when he saw her taken from him, he found himself far from home, without a friend, among strangers, in the midst of foes, and surrounded with sickness producing death in every direction. His spirits sunk and all hope was well nigh gone. No cheering thought checked his distress - no gleam of hope could light up his countenance, or buoy up his disconsolate spirit.

         The death and burial of the squaw, whom Isaac recognized almost as a mother, were extremely solemn and impressive. Appearing sensible of her approaching dissolution, she gave Isaac to her daughter, who lived along with her. She was buried after their manner, with great solemnity, and many of the Indians painted themselves black and mourned for her ten days, fasting every day until evening; but all this was not expressive of Isaac's grief for the death of her who had nursed him with so much tenderness, and friendless now left alone, he found no one to whom he could unbosom his sorrows.

         A number of Indians died of the disease on the island before they left it. Necessity seemed to compel them to leave the island, and, supposing that a change of situation would improve their health, they started, moving a short distance at a time and spending but little time at any one place. They had moved, however, but seldom, until the squaw in whose care Isaac had been left, followed her mother, by means of the same disease. Indeed, they lost some at every place where they stopped. This squaw left a young child, some twelve months old, which it fell to Isaac's lot to nurse, and besides the attention which he was compelled to give that infant, it devolved on him to nurse the sick, help to bury the dead, and frequently to do all alone. Worn down with fatigue by means of his arduous labor, he devised means to be relieved of the burden of the child. Accordingly, as he carried it on his back wrapped in a blanket in Indian style, he drew the blanket tight around it, and so put an end to its cries, removed his own burden and terminated its life.

         After the death of an Indian of some note in these woods, whom they buried in as much splendor as their circumstances would permit, his squaw and four children, the eldest of whom was large enough to support the family by hunting, left the rest of the Indians and moved down the Illinois river in a canoe.

         Isaac's fears being great lest he should yet be killed for bringing the small-pox among them, he was halting whether to tell or not that he brought it, when he heard two squaws conversing on the subject, and learned from their conversation that the Indians were of the opinion that they, in and by means of goods sold them by the French had taken the disease. This so relieved his mind that he told them nothing about it.

         Some weeks afterward the rest of the Indians turned their course down the river also taking Isaac along with them; still some of them were sick and dying all the time After passing the island in the lake where the disease first appeared amongst them they descended the river for some distance but how far and how long time, is not within the recollection of the author.

         A short time now elapsed until they started again up the river, passed the town on the island before mentioned, and Isaac, having been committed by some means to the care of another squaw, traveled up this river in the same canoe with her, and, passing the place where her husband had been buried, she steered the canoe to shore, and taking out some venison in a bowl, had Isaac to accompany her to the grave. Here she kindled a small fire over the head of the grave, into which she threw some of the venison. Setting down the bowl she told Isaac to eat of it, which he did, while she walked to some distance and mourned with loud and sore lamentations for near an hour; then returned to the grave, wiped off the tears, threw some more meat in the fire and on the grave and bade Isaac to start.

         About this time Isaac began to be threatened, as he learned from the Indian boys, by an old chief who said he had brought the small-pox among them, and while this was in agitation, one of the Indians arrived who had taken Isaac and who had been left sick at the first town, the place where Isaac had been separated from his associates, his fellow prisoners. This Indian Isaac met with much joy, and he claimed him as his property.

         A few Towa Indians now arrived among these Pottawatomies, selling them goods, trading for furs, etc. These Indians were acting as agents for a merchant at Mackinaw, as is frequently the case.

         To one of those Towa Indians Isaac was sold for what he thought would amount to about $500, and was delivered to his new master perfectly naked. He was then told to do so, and mounting the horse behind the man that bought him, rode oft across what he now thinks was Spoon river.

         They then traveled for some days north of the Ohio river, to the hunting ground of the Indians who had now purchased him. Here the "Big Buck" was killed and a feast prepared to have Isaac adopted into the family.

         Now being made an heir, Isaac was trimmed, his hair pulled out, as was the custom of that nation, except the scalp, and a hole made through his nose.

         In his nose they put six silver rings; his hair being long, it was divided and plaited, one-half before and the other half behind; the hinder part ornamented with beads, and the fore part filled with silver brooches.

         The season for making sugar being over, they moved to the mouth of Chicago river and commenced making arrangements to go to Mackinaw with their skins and furs.

         As the route which they had to go led them near the shore, they encamped every night on it, where, for the security both of the canoe and its loading, they were under the necessity of unloading, drawing it out of the water and turning it upside down, made it answer the purpose of a wigwam. They continued this route for some days, and arrived at a small island, on which was a number of Indians, where they landed and spent the night. Between that place and Mackinaw they landed on another small island, inhabited by Indians, with whom Isaac was left until his Indian father and mother returned from Mackinaw.

         Isaac's Indian father and family now started with him and their fresh supply of goods to return to Chicago. Nothing of importance transpired on the route. Sailing along the shore of Lake Michigan they encamped every night as before, and at length arrived at the mouth of the Chicago river, where they had embarked for Mackinaw. Here, having raised their canoe on forks and so secured it, they removed from place to place, principally up the river, trading with the Indians and making a living by fishing, they steered their course for the old hunting grounds on the Illinois river.

         Toward spring, but while the snow was yet on the ground, they turned their course again for Chicago, spending the time in hunting and trading, until in good time for sugar making they arrived at their old camp. Before they left the sugar camp they had many drunken sprees, in some of which Isaac's life was greatly endangered, but by some means preserved.

         Arrangements were now made for another trip to Mackinaw; and, having collected all the skins they could, they thought of taking Isaac along with them; but fearing that he would get away, they called in an old prophet, in whom they placed great confidence, who went into what they call a sweat house, to pow-wow, and inform them of such things as they wished to know, that would happen in the future. Accordingly, Isaac went to work to prepare the sweat house, within the wigwam, covering it with skins and blankets, rolling in a large hot stone, on which the prophet poured water, and leaving a place at the top for the steam to pass out. Into this house the old prophet entered, pow-wowing and singing, while Isaac and his little brothers danced around it, waiting on the prophet as he ordered, until the smaller boys, becoming sleepy, laid down and went to sleep. Some time elapsed, and the prophet came out. Isaac immediately, as if worn out and overcome with sleep, threw himself down on some deer skins, and pretended to be asleep. The old prophet took a seat near his Indian mother, and commenced speaking. She asked him many questions, and he answered them; but none of them so much interested Isaac until she wished to know if she would keep him if she took him all the way to Mackinaw. The prophet, much to Isaac's gratification, told her she would, but she must be careful not to let him talk much to white people.

         Now, full of glee and in fine spirits, they loaded their bark canoe and started. After many days' toil and sailing, they all arrived in safety at Mackinaw.

         Here, unloading the canoe, and preparing to encamp under it, Isaac was conducted by his Indian mother, in company with her two eldest boys, to the house of the merchant for whom they traded. After showing Isaac to them, and suffering him to talk but little with them, the merchant's lady gave each of the boys a slice of bread well buttered, which Isaac received very gratefully and ate it. It was the first bread he had tasted since he last ate at his father's table!

         Here Isaac was permitted to walk about in company with the Indian boys, but was generally accompanied by his Indian mother, and sometimes an uncle and aunt who had accompanied them to that place in a small bark canoe. In company with these, as they walked along the beach, seeing a ship lying at the wharf, and a man convenient to it, whom Isaac supposed was the Captain, their attention was mutually drawn to each other. The Captain perceiving that he was white, asked him where he was taken prisoner; he replied from the Red Banks, on the Ohio river. Isaac asked him, "are you the Captain of this vessel?" He said he was. "Where are you bound?" said Isaac. "Detroit," was the reply. "When will you start?" "In the morning." "Can I," said Isaac, "run away from the Indians and get aboard of your vessel?" "Yes; but you must be careful how you come." Here Isaac was commanded to hush and was taken away by his Indian friends. Toward evening, his Indian father being drunk, and some Indians being across an arm of the lake drinking and carousing, Isaac was called to convey him to them in the little bark canoe, belonging to his uncle. Having done this, he returned late in the evening, and landing near their camp, drew his little bark partly on the shore, and went to the camp contented as usual. Here he found an English soldier, who seemed to feel much solicitude about him, whom Isaac told he would rather live with the Indians than the white people. Fearing that such interviews with the white men would lead Isaac off, his Indian mother made him lie down by her, for she had gone to bed. The Englishman went away. Isaac, however, did not sleep, but waiting until he thought the rest were locked up in the quietness of a pleasant nap, he caught his blanket in his teeth, and softly stole from behind his mother, drawing his blanket after him. He got out, straightened himself, and listened; he could hear no stir, except the quiet music of the lake before him, which invited him to liberty! He stepped softly to the little bark he had drawn to the shore, arid seating himself in it, he moved as gently as possible around the picketing that enclosed the town and extended into the lake, and again turned to the shore. Giving his bark a push into the lake, he steered his course for the vessel on which he had learned he could make his escape. When he reached the vessel, the Captain was walking about on the deck, and seeing Isaac approach, he met him and told him to follow him. They went together into the cabin. The Captain was much perplexed to know what to do with Isaac, so as to secure him, and screen himself from the censure of the Indians, with whom his greatest success in trade was carried on. At length, however, he told him, "I have a little negro boy in the kitchen, who will find you out, let me do with you what I may. If you will go to him and tell him your situation and your object, he can take care of you; but don't tell him that I know anything about you." Isaac went into the kitchen and awoke the negro, but he appeared unwilling to have anything to do with him. Fearing that, between them, he would have to go back to the Indians, Isaac told the little negro that his master knew he was there, and had told him to come to him. "Then;" said the negro, still lying in his bunk, "get in here." Isaac tumbled in with him but not to sleep. His fate, as yet, was too uncertain. By the side of the sleepy-headed negro he laid and watched for the day to dawn. Seeing, as he did, the first appearance of light in the morning, with much difficulty, he awoke the little negro, and told him, "You must do something with me - this is no place for me." The negro arose, unlocked the lower part of their cupboard, and told Isaac to get in there. He did so; and the boy locked him up and left him.

         He had been there but a short time, until he heard the voice of his Indian mother and brother, as they came down the hatchway, in pursuit of him. Presently the Captain sprang out of his bed and began to rail out at the Indians for disturbing him in that way before he was out of his bed. The Indians being easily cowed by a white man of some character, and especially an officer, Isaac's Indian mother soon left the vessel.

         Fortunately for this Captain, as well as for Isaac, a barge which had lain at the wharf, started that same night about midnight, for Montreal, which circumstance afforded the Captain an opportunity of making the Indians believe that Isaac had gone on board of it, and to convince them that he was innocent and knew nothing about him, he remained there until 8 o'clock in the morning.

         Eight o'clock in the morning, the wind being fair, the sails of the Nancy were hoisted, Captain Mills commanding, Isaac started for the land of freedom!

         Isaac kept close to the negro's room until, in about five days, the vessel came safe to port at Detroit.

         Isaac bade Captain Mills adieu, and gave him his hearty thanks for his kindness and protection. He started, and soon found himself at the gate, and passing the pickets, the sentinel, a raw Irishman, cried, "Who goes there?" "A friend," said Isaac, and added in a hurry, "I am running away from the Indians, and want you to protect me." "Oh! be Jesus, my good fellow, come here" said he, "and damn the one of them shall hurt you." With this sentinel Isaac waited patiently for some minutes, when the relief guard came round. The sentinel then informed the sergeant that he had a prisoner. Isaac being delivered to the guard, was taken to the guard house, where the curiosity of the soldiers kept him up all night, giving a history of his sufferings with the Indians. About this time Isaac learned that a Captain and a company of soldiers were about to start to Fort Maumee, and having obtained permission of the Captain to accompany them, Isaac made ready, and early next morning, bidding his kind host adieu, and drawing rations in common with the soldiers, he went on board the boat, and sailed for Fort Maumee, which they made, having a favorable wind, in one day.

         Spending a few days at this place, some wagons came to the fort, bringing goods and presents for the Indians, to Way's treaty, and as these wagons were said to be returning to Cincinnati, Isaac asked permission of the wagon master to go with them, stating to him his situation; he gave consent, and drew rations for him accordingly.

         At Cincinnati he presented himself to the officer commanding, and was told that he could draw provisions until he met with an opportunity to go on. Perfectly composed, he laid down. to sleep, but was presently aroused and informed by the soldiers that a man by the name of David Pea, who had carried an express from Vincent, on the Wabash river, to the army at Detroit, and was then returning, was hunting for him. Isaac went immediately in pursuit of Mr. Pea; and, finding him, they drew provisions, and in a skiff, started for Louisville.

         After running some days, they landed at the mouth of Harden creek. Here Isaac met with a young married woman, with whom he had gone to school before he was taken by the Indians. They recognized each other, and she informed him that his father and friends had removed from the Red Banks to what was then, and is now called, Knight's Falls, on Green river. He was here advised to land at the Yellow Banks, which he did.

         From this place he started alone and afoot along a path some twelve miles in length, to the house of an old acquaintance, Mr. Martin Veranda, with whom he had been often forted at Vienna, when but a child.

         Next morning the kindness of Mr. Veranda and one of his sons impelled them to accompany Isaac, in a canoe, down Green river, to his father's house. After Isaac's arrival at home, he learned that his fellow prisoners, George Sprinkle and John Upp, had returned some three months before him.


Source:
History of Vanderburgh County, Indiana
Brant & Fuller, c.1889
Pages 31-40


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June 24, 1999