Indian Attacks on Five Neighboring Families|
Gaither, Hawkins, Hupp, Miller, Peak
During the Revolution western Washington County, Pennsylvania was often attacked by Indians. This is the story of five neighbors whose experiences are centered on two days: Saturday August 25-1781 and Sunday March 31-1782. In 1774-75 these families (likely from Maryland) settled on the upper part of the Dutch Fork of Buffalo Creek - a few miles west and northwest of present Claysville. Jacob Miller, John Hupp, Edward Gaither, Thomas Peak, William Hawkins. The maps show the five farms. All names were on the tax list in 1778 for Ohio County, (West) Virginia - now Donegal 'Township, Washington County. Each got a Virginia certificate for land in 1780 or 1781.These certificates entitled them to Pennsylvania land grants. On the evening of August 24-1781 Jacob Miller Jr; Francis Hupp, brother of John; and Jacob Fisher, on a scouting expedition, were invited to spend the night at the cabin of Jonathan Link on Middle Wheeling Creek, just east of the present state line. Link's family had gone to Wheeling for safety. The men were unaware that Indians would surround the cabin in the night1The next morning Fisher and Hupp were shot as they stepped out of the cabin. Link and Miller were taken captive. The Indians then headed northeast toward Dutch Fork to attack the cabins there. William Hawkins was visiting at the cabin of Thomas Peak. Hawkins and Presley Peak, son of Thomas, were taken captive. The Indians then divided into two groups. One went up the creek toward the Hawkins cabin, the other down toward the Gaither cabin. At the Hawkins cabin they captured Elizabeth, the Hawkins daughter, who was ill in bed. The mother and three younger children had heard the shots at Peak's and had fled into thick hazel bushes. The Indians passed within a few feet of them, but did not find them. The party going down the creek expected to surprise the Gaither family, but the Gaithers, about to be seated for dinner, hearing the shots at Peak's, fled north to the ort at Millers. They probably warned the Hupps to join them. The Indians ate the dinner at Gaither's and left after burning the cabin. John Cain lived here 100 years later. See map. The Indians killed Link and Hawkins, not liking his red hair. Miller escaped the first night by chewing his thongs.Elizabeth Hawkins must have been released after the War, for she married David Gibson. Presley Peak was released at Quebec November 2-1782. Collections of the Vermont Historical Society, II 357 (1871). What a story he must have told, when he returned home. At the time of the 1782 attack the settlers were gathered in the Miller fort, because of Indian alarms. The Indians had been aroused by the killing a few weeks before by Washington County men of 100 Moravian Indians at Gnaddenhutten, Ohio. Indians surrounded the fort during the night. The next morning, Easter Sunday March 31-1782, they killed John Hupp and Jacob Miller (Sr) who had gone out to look for a lost colt. In the fort were Mrs. Hupp; Mrs. Miller; Mathias Ault, stepfather of John Hupp; Edward Gaither; and their families. Jacob Miller (Jr) and others had gone to Rice's fort for any news of Indians. On hearing the shots at Miller's, Jacob (Jr); Jacob Rowe, brother of Ann Hupp; and Philip Hupp, brother of John returned to help defend the fort. The Indians finally left. To summarize: 1781 killed; Francis Hupp, Jacob Fisher, William Hawkins, Jonathan Link captured: Presley Peak, Ellizabeth Hawkins, Jacob Miller Jr 1782 killed: John Hupp, Jacob Miller Sr Only the Gaither family was unharmed. They may have been related to the Peak family, for Thomas Peak got his land from Edward Gaither. Many of the stories of these times have been lost, but the accounts of these two events were related by John Hupp, Jr (1780-1864) and published in Creigh's History of Washington County. An account of the 1781 event was given by Lydia Cruger (1766-1867) to Lyman Draper. Draper Papers 2S153-4, Madison, Wisconsin. The Hawkins, Hupp and Miller families continued to live on their farms. Edward Gaither sold his land in 1806. There is no further record. Thomas Peak sold his farm and all his possession in 1789. Is he the Thomas Peak who died in Butler County, Ohio in 1808? Family Records JACOB MILLER b c17266 d Mar 31, 1782 rn c1759 Mary --- 1736-1809 1. Mary 1760-1842 m Andrew Deeds 2. Jacob 1762-1830 Mary Leffler 3. John 1764-1842 m Margaret ?Miller 4. Adam c1766-c1793 killed by Indians 5. Catharine c1768-1786+ 6. Frederick 1771-1814 m Elizabeth Miller - wounded in 1782 attack 7. Peter 1775-1842 in Catharine Leffler - Indiana 8. Henry 1777-1860 m Agnes Thompson - Indians JOHN HUPP b 1747 d Mar 31-1782 m c1775 Ann Rowe b 1757 d Jun 23-1823 1. Mary b 1776 m Thomas Smith - Ohio 2. Margaret b 1778 m John Titus 3. John b Jul 27-1780 d Mar 12-1864 m Jan 19-1813 Ann Cox 1790-1875 Ch: Isaac, Joseph, Louisa (Clemens), John Cox d 1908 4. Elizabeth b 1782 m Charles Rodgers WIILLIAM HAWKINS b c1745 d Aug 25-1781 m c1773 Hannah - - - 1. Elizabeth b c1774 m David Gibson 2. Mary b c1776 3. Hannah b c1778 m Thomas Laughlin 4. William b 1780 d May 26-1826 ml Elizabeth --- b 1784 d Mar 19-1819 m2 Jan 17-1820 Nancy Wilson Ch: Nancy c1811-1826, Mary c18l3-l828; Elizabeth Blair c1821-, Hannah Jane c1823, James Wilsori c1825-1826 EDWAR GAITHER b cl735 m c1758 Nancy --- - likely from Anne Arundel Co, Maryland - had negro slave - sold land Apr 18-1806 1778 two sons over 16 - one may have been Cornelius 1790 one son under 16, 4 daughters 1800 two daughters over 16 THOMAS PEAK b c1735 m c1758 - likely from Montomery Co, Md - sold land to son, Presley Jul 3-1789 - Presley sold it 80 days later Thomas sold land, 2 horses, 3 cows, 6 sheep, bed, pewter and all possessions in the house - not listed in 1790 Pa census 1. Presley freeman 1782, captured Aug 25-1781, released Nov 2-1782 age listed as "19" - likely left with father 2. Priscilla scalped by Indians, survived - see Crumrine, History of Washington Co and others
This article was transcribed by Jeanne Walsh of Seward, NE in February 1998.
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Published with permission of Raymond M. Bell.