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Letter from the Cosh, alias John Bull


The COSH, alias JOHN BULL, writes, dated 24th May last: "About three weeks ago John Jungman and myself were at Fort Pitt. On the way thither we heard that three Cherokee Indians going down the river had killed one trader and wounded another, and plundered the canoe: the traders had imprudently shewn their silver things they had for trading. In the Fort we heard that the Mingoes had stolen that night fifteen horses, and that they were all gone off from below Logtown. The white people began to be much afraid of an Indian war. We hastened to get home again, and after our return received the news that a company of Virginians, under one Cresap, enticed some of the Mingoes, living at the mouth of Yellow Creek, to the other side of the river, and gave them rum to make them drunk, and then they killed five; two others crossing the river to look after their friends were shot down as soon as they came ashore. Five more were going over the river whom they also waylaid, but the Indians perceiving them, turned their canoe to make their escape, but being immediately fired at, two were killed and two wounded. The day following they killed one Shawanese and one Delaware Indian, in a canoe down the river with two traders. The same party killed John Gibson' s wife, a Shawanese woman; they further pursued a canoe, killed a Shawanese Chief, and wounded another man. They said they would kill and plunder all that were going up and down the river. But they soon fled and left the poor settlers as victims to the Indians; many are fled and left all their effects behind. The Mingoes took their way up Yellow Creek, and struck our road just were it turns off from the road to Gekelemuckepuck, where they hunted for ten days to catch some traders, but as the Delawares had found them out, they stopped the traders from going that road. The Mingoes having sent word to the Shawanese they fetched them to their town Woakatameka, where they had a Council of War.


"We are in great distress and dont know what to do; our Indians keep watch about us every night, and will not let us go out of town, even not into our corn fields. If there should be more bad news, we will be forced to move from here, for we are in danger from both sides. I heard from some, that if the white brethren should be forced to leave them, the greatest part would return to the Susquehanna. But if only the Delawares continue in their peaceful mind it may go better than we now think. At the Council at Woakatameka, were several Headmen of the Delawares present, who live at Schonbrunn and Gnadenhutten, being particularly sent for by Netawatenees for to assist them in the good work of preserving peace. The Chief addressed the Shawanese and Mingoes present in a fatherly manner, shewing unto them the blessing of peace and folly of war; and pressed it very much upon their reason, what misery they would bring upon themselves and others by their madness, and told them positively that they had not to expect any help or assistance from the Delawares, and enjoined them very earnestly not to stop the road to Philadelphia; but to let it be free and open. The Shawanese gave him in answer, they did believe his words to be good, and they would take notice of them, and desired him to give also a fatherly admonition to their wives to plant corn for them; which he did, but they seemed more inclined to move off than to plant."