Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Sketch of Early Times

The Marietta Register, August 28, 1873

Record of Mrs. Lucinda Fuller, daughter of the late Major Azariah Pratt, pioneer of the Northwestern territory in 1788, with his family.  Mrs. Fuller relates the following reminiscence of early times about Marietta:

Three boys by the names of Return J. Meigs, Joseph Kelly, and Thomas Kelly were engaged in planting corn on the west point of the Muskingum when, on a sudden, a squad of Indians rushed from the forest.  The boys rushed for the river and gained the sand island.  Thomas Kelly being the smallest, was taken prisoner on the island, and conveyed to Sandusky, the headquarters of the tribe, and held as a prisoner until Wayne's treaty, when he with the other prisoners was released.  The other two made their escape to Campus Martius.  Daniel Converse of old Waterford was taken prisoner by the same squad of Indians, about the same time.  When young Kelly returned home he was tall and straight, his hair black and long, his complexion of a red bronze, his whole appearance like an Indian.  He always liked their mode of living.

Mrs. Fuller says that as late as 1811 the Indians in squads would visit General Putnam (whom they called father) and encamp on the banks of the Muskingum, foot of Campus Martius, for the purpose of hunting and fishing.  They would often call at her father's shop to have their guns repaired.  The squaws had their papooses tied on a board, and at sunrise every morning would dip them in the river, and hang them on trees to drain.  She says she never saw a sick or dead papoose.

Mrs. Fuller says the pioneers had to grind their corn on hand mills and hominy blocks, and eat from wooden bowls.  Their daily meat was opossum, turkey, deer and raccoon and during the long confinement in Campus Martius, they suffered untold hardships and privations.  She says that during the bloody Indian war of five years, no emigrants arrived within the territory, that on hearing of the massacre on Big Bottom of the Muskingum, of the settlers, that the pioneers within Campus Martius hourly looked for a general massacre of all the settlers throughout the Northwest.  Alarming news was received that Farmers' Castle, Belpre, on the Ohio, had been taken by the Indians, and all the inmates murdered.  This, however, proved false.  The Fort was attacked by a squad of Indians, but the veterans within had served as officers and soldiers during the Revolutionary War, and proved too much for the Indians, who were glad to give up the attack, and made hasty their retreat.

Mrs. Fuller has promised to give, to the best of her recollection, items about the exciting times in 1806.  Colonel Burr, Blennerhassett, his noted Island, reminiscences of early habits, customs, fashions, general musters, first made drum and its history, names of first preachers, school teachers, school houses, singing schools, log rollings, huskings, quiltings, &c., which will no doubt amuse the numerous readers of the Advertiser, so I close the present brief sketch of early times by stating that Mrs. Fuller is now a resident of Twin Township, Ross County, with her son, Seth Fuller on 700 acres of choice land, and although advanced in years, she is up at five o'clock in the morning, milking her six cows, and does her share of other work.  She possesses the nerve and iron constitution of her father and can outwork forty young girls of the present age.

From the Chillicothe Advertiser.

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