« AnteriorContinuar »
Miuskillamize ordered Gibson to go into the woods and hunt for his horse, which he might know from others by his large bell; and he should ride him to Shenango, there to be burnt by Bisquittam, to whom he had previously sent word, impeaching his white brother. Gibson spent three days, with a sorrowful heart, hunting for the beast, but did not find him. In the mean time Bisquittam caused information to be given that he would return to Kuskuskin, to burn him at that place.
He accordingly came, and Gibson was standing at the door as he rode up, his face painted black, and vengeance sparkling in his eyes. His first salutation in English, which he well understood, was, "G-d d-n you; you want to run away, do you? The white girl will tell me all about it."
She was called, and Gibson went into the house; but was in a situation to hear all that passed, yet unknown to Bisquittam. The little captive was faithful in stating what Gibson had told her. Upon this, Bisquittam called to him to come out. He made no reply. The call, in a louder tone of voice, was repeated once or twice. At length Gibson answered, and made his appearance.
Bisquittam, speaking with great mildness and affection, said, "Brother, I find the Indians want to kill you. We will go away from them-we will not live with them any more. They then withdrew some distance, to a common, and erected their tent and kindled their fire, living by themselves. Thus he providentially escaped the most horrible kind of death ever inflicted by the savages.
In the spring of 1757 Gibson went to Soh'-koon, at the mouth of the Big Beaver, where he and his brother Bisquittam spent almost a year. At this place Bisquittam took a Dutch captive for his wife.
Gibson, and Hezekiah Wright, another captive, here cherished many serious thoughts of attempting an escape. Wright, to encourage Gibson in the enterprise, told him that he would teach him the millwright's trade, and would give him forty dollars. In pursuance of their object, Gibson took a horse, saddle and bridle, belonging to the Indians, and set out, intending to cross the Ohio river, Wright on the horse, and Gibson by swimming. This was in the autumn of 1757. They had not proceeded far before Wright began to rue the undertaking, well knowing the dreadful conse
quence if they should fail to accomplish their purpose. They soon came to the conclusion that it was prudent to abandon their hazardous project; and so they returned to their companions, before any suspicions had been excited.
Some Indians came to Fort McIntosh (now Beaver), and said in council, that a white man had run away, followed by two dogs; adding, that they supposed he would kill one of them and eat it, and afterwards the other.
It having been noticed that Gibson and Wright were often in close conversation, they were suspected of an intention to abscond. Bisquittam had no doubts on the subject, and gave vent to his indignation by English oaths and curses, which he had learned of his white fellow creatures; for the Indians have no words in any of their dialects for cursing and swearing. He then gave orders to the Indians to take Gibson away, and burn him. They accordingly took him and led him to the common, where they whipped him with a hickory stick till his body was perfectly livid. One of the Indians told another to go and get some fire, and they would burn him. Gibson now thought it proper to attempt an apology, which he hoped would be satisfactory, for his associating so much with Wright. He told the Indians that the reason why he was so frequently with Wright was, that he was a very ingenious man, and they were mutually contriving how to make a plough, like those used by white men, in order to plough in the rich bottom land, and to raise a great crop of corn. Upon this representation, the Indians told him that he must not be angry with them for what they had done; that Bisquittam was a great man; and that they must do whatever he commanded. They then, to make some amends for the flagellation they had given, Gibson, and to secure his future friendship, presented him a new shirt and a pair of new leggins.
On a certain time, Bisquittam came to him, where he was busy making clapboards, and said, "You good-for-nothing devil, why do you not work?" and kicked him down, and trampled him under his feet. At length Gibson, after having borne his abusive treatment for some time, looking up with an unruffled countenance, and in a soft and gentle manner, merely saying, "I hear you, brother," his master. was instantly disarmed of his rage, and showed him the greatest kindness.
In the fall of the year they went back to Kuskuskin, where they spent the winter. In the ensuing spring, an Indian, called Captain Birds, from the circumstance that he had two birds painted, one on each temple, was making arrangements for going to war at Tulpehokken. Gibson said that he wished to go too, but was opposed by Bisquittam. All contemplating this expedition were volunteers. Gibson attended the war-dance every night with the Indians. One of his cousins, who encouraged him in his purpose of joining the war party, advised him to spend a few days in hunting, stating that Bisquittam would soon be out of the way, as he was about to set out for Koh-hok-king, in the neighborhood of Painted Post. ઃઃ Then," said he, "you can go."
Gibson and a little boy, of twelve years of age, went on a hunting excursion, were absent three days, killed two turkeys, and returned; but Bisquittam, whether suspecting the plan or not is unknown, was still at the place. He, with the little boy again took a tour into the woods. They reached an Indian sugar camp the first evening, stole a horse and a bag of corn, rode seven miles to a cranberry swamp, tarried there seven days, parched and ate their corn, threw away the bag, killed one turkey, and returned to the sugar camp. Here they heard a gun. Gibson discharged his, which led the Indian who had first fired to come to him, as he expected and wished. His first inquiry was, whether Bisquittam had set out for Kohhokking, and, being answered in the negative, he sent the little boy to the Indian town, and the next morning took the nearest course to Fort McIntosh. He went to the warriors, among whom he saw the cousin who had encouraged him to join the war party. Bisquittam, having ascertained that Gibson was at McIntosh, sent word to the Indians that if they took him away so that he should lose him, he would make them pay him a thousand bucks, or return him another prisoner equally good.
Having spent several days with the warriors, till they were about to repair to Fort du Quesne for their equipments, they told him he should not go with them. One of the sayages held a tomahawk over his head and said he would kill him on the spot, and then he would not have the trouble of going and added, that he only wished to go to the war, in order to have a good opportunity to desert from the Indians. The cousin before-mentioned said, in Gibson's behalf, that
he should be with him all the time, and that there would be no danger of his escape, even if he wished it. Upon this, he went over the ferry and accompanied them about five miles, where he saw Buffalo Horn, another brother of Bisquittam, who asked the Indians if Gibson was going with them to the war. They replied, that they could not persuade him to go. Buffalo Horn said that, after he had done eating, he would talk to him about it. This chief shortly after took him aside and said, "Hughey, are you going to the war ? I tell you not to go. You and I are going into the country in the fall. I shall go to fight the Cherokees, and you shall go with me. Stay with me, your poor old sick brother: Get me some pigeons and squirrels." Gibson replied, "I will do whatever you wish me to do." He then said to Gibson, "Take my negro man and canoe, and fetch me some corn from McIntosh." In fulfilment of this direction,, he went to that Fort, where he saw King Shingiss, (giving the title to this chief which Gibson gave him), a brother of King Beaver, and Bisquittam. King Shingiss said. to him, "Are you here? You are a bad boy. We are all sick. You must go as an express to Kuskuskin, to tell the people that three Indians have been killed and three wounded by the Cherokees, and you will occupy my tent till I Gibson, taking a loaf of bread and two blankets, immediately set out and travelled on foot to the place, a distance of thirty-six miles, in six hours.
The Indians said that they would all come to him to hear the news, that they might have the truth. Here he remained, dwelling in King Shingiss's tent till autumn.
On one occasion King Shingiss and Gibson went into the woods, in pursuit of any wild animals they could find. The latter killed a large bear, much to the mortification of the former, as he killed nothing, and thought it highly derogatory to his character to be outdone by a white fellow hunter. While on this excursion, Gibson told King Shingiss there would shortly be a peace with the white men. "How do you know?" said he. Gibson replied, "I dreamed so." A few days after, Frederick Post, in company with Bisquittam, came to Kuskuskin, with a view to settle the preliminaries of a peace. This was in the latter part of 1758. Ever after, while Gibson continued with the Indians, he was called a prophet.
Gibson was afraid to see Bisquittam, because he had wished to join the Tulpehokken warriors, contrary to his master's will. However, he approached him affectionately, and said, "How do you, brother? I have brought a large bear skin, and make a present of it to you to sleep upon." Bisquittam received him kindly and thanked him for the donation. They both repaired to Fort McIntosh, where they abode till some time in the winter.
It was in the autumn of 1758, that General Forbes, being at Loyal Hanna, sent Captain Grant, with three hundred men and three days' provisions, to view the ground and ascertain the best route to Fort du Quesne. Grant exceeded his orders, being sanguine of success, and rashly urged his way with the expectation of taking the Fort. He was met and pursued by the French and Indians on or near the hill in Pittsburg, which bears his name to the present day. Grant killed many of the enemy, but not a few of his own men were destroyed and taken. He also became a captive and was sent to Canada. The residue of his forces retreated to Fort Ligonier. This is the purport of Gibson's state
The Indians, having strong suspicions that their brother intended to desert them, about the middle of October, 1758, took him to Kus'-kō-ra'-vis, the western branch, which uniting with White Woman's Creek, the eastern branch, forms the Muskingum. There was his home till the beginning of the ensuing April, when he found means to make his escape.
At this place was David Brackenridge, recently taken at Loyal Hanna. Here also were two German young women, who had been captured at Mok-ki-noy, near the Juniata, long before Gibson. The name of one was Barbara. The other was called by the Indians Pum-e-ra-moo, but she was from a family by the name of Grove. It was at length determined by the inhabitants of the forest that the latter should marry one of the natives, who had been selected for her. She told Gibson that she would sooner be shot than have him for her husband, and entreated him, as did Barbara likewise, to unite with them in the attempt to run away. They proposed a plan, which they supposed would afford facilities for the desirable object. They were to feign themselves indisposed; when it was expected that they