Scotch-Irish-L Archives

Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-08 > 0902678063

From: victoria <>
Subject: idealizing Native Americans?
Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 09:54:23 -0600

Rebecca, I don't feel that my posts have "aggrandized" Native Americans
in any
way. I am as aware of you are of the wrongs they did. And could send
you many more stories, like the ones you've sent me, found on my own
bookshelves, to discredit native Americans. I won't romanticize them as
much as I won't romanticize our Scots-Irish ancestors. It's that I feel
that we always have to take the land
into account. The ability to own and work their own land was why most
came here early on. And those who make a cult out of the "independence"
and the
"work ethic" of our ancestors who came here and their "victimization" by
English need to look at the full picture. I don't think those of our
who came here worked any harder than those who stayed behind. And they
got to
own land. And while they achieved that advantage, there were others who
dispossessed, etc. Rebecca, I just want to look at things
clearly. There's
probably nothing more damning to a people than its inability to see its
faults. Regards, Victoria

Rebecca Bowers McGowan wrote:

> Victoria,
> Twice now, I have seen your posts slamming our European ancestors for
> treatment of the Native American in this country. I can't stand it
> anymore. My great grandmother was full blood Native American. She
chose to
> marry my great grandfather, who was Scots-Irish. STOP LOOKING AT
> You are guilty of doing the same thing with your ancestors that you
> the others on the list are doing with theirs. Except you are making
> out to be the consumate victim! You are agrandizing the Native
> without seeing the atrocities that they committed against the new
> as well as members of other Native American tribes. While it may not
> politically correct for you to recognize it in this climate of
> history, the door did swing in both directions. The Native Americans
> amonst themselves as much or more than they fought the white man.
> believed other tribes were of another race and discriminated against
> They stole land and horses from each other. During the hunt, they
> known to stampede herds of Buffalo off cliffs, leaving most of the
meat to
> rot!!! And some owned slaves, usually those captured from other
> during war, but also black Africans.
> A Brief Sketch of the Settlement and Early History of Giles
> County Tennessee by James McCallum 1876
> "The country between the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers had been
> for many years the great battle ground of the Indians, each
> Nation claiming an interest in it, but no one of them was
> permitted by the others to permanently occupy it; hence the
> vindictive and unceasing warfare they waged against the first
> white settlers."
> What did these babes do to deserve this?
> History of Greene County by Samuel Bates, pp 484, 485.
> "About the year 1775, three German families emigrated and settled
> near the mouth of Pursley Creek. Two of these, by the name of Sellers,

> appropriated the lands since owned by John Buchanan and Fordyce
> Thomas. The other family bore the name of Provator, and improved the
> tract where Edward Wood and Doc. Huffman live. A year later came
> Benjamin Pursley, and located the land now owned by George Hoge, Jr.,
> and from him Pursley Creek was named. The family of the elder Sellers
> consisted of himself, wife, and four sons, Leonard, Jacob, George and
> John, the latter being demented. They lived in a cabin built for
> defense, located near a spring below the house of Mr. Buchanan, still
> standing. Leonard Sellers* married Mary, the only child of Gasper
> PROVATOR, with whom the young couple lived. One afternoon in the fall
> 1780, or thereabouts, Leonard shouldered his gun, and journyed into
> forest for game. Molly, the wife, with her twin children, and her
> sister-in-law, went out to gather grapes. Molly spred her apron upon
> ground, and sat the two children upon it, and while busily engaged
> gathering clusters, Indians, creeping stealthily, fired or rushed
> suddenly upon them. Molly instinctively and instantly bounded away,
> oblivious to everything except the terrible vision of the inhuman
> savages rushing upon her, and firing after her. Having escaped their
> deadly clutch, she ran at her utmost speed, not halting till she had
> reached her own cabin, when some one exclaimed, "Why, Molly, where are

> your children?" This was the first thought that the terror-stricken
> mother had, that her babes had been with her in the woods. With a
> shrek and a bound she flew back over the ground by which she had come,

> to meet death if she must, only intent on rescuing her little ones.
> she reached the spot, she found the children sitting upon the apron as

> she had left them, but horrible to behold, both scalped. Fearing
> the Indians had fled. On approaching the children, one of them looked
> and smiled, when it recognized its mother. Folding them to her bosom
> the apron as they sat, she hurried home, and upon her arrival, found a

> huge butcher knife in the folds of the apron, that the savage had
> dropped. One of the children died, and the other lived to become the
> wife of Joseph Aukram, and the mother of a family. The sister-in-law,
> who was with her, was carried away, and was never heard of more.
> the first run home the mother saw the bark knocked off a sapling
> her by the ball from the Indian's gun, which passed between her body
> her arm, but fortunately did not harm her, and when she jumped off the

> creek bank into the sand she made a greater leap than any man in the
> settlement was able to do. But the powerful exertion required for the
> leap, and the running back and forth, together with the shock produced

> by seeing her poor scalped babes, proved nearly fatal. She was
> completely broken down, and for over a year was in a very feeble and
> critical condition, never regaining her natural vigor. So violent was
> her hatred of the savages ever after, that she not only became much
> excited whenever she related these incidents, but usually added, "If
> ever I should see an Indian, no difference where he was, or who, or
> friendly he pretended to be, I know I should try to kill him--I know I

> could not help it." The husband returned at evening, but so horror and

> grief stricken that he soon sickened and died. Thomas Hoge, who
> furnished many of the particulars related above, says: "My parents
> when first married, sixty years ago, settled on Pursley, where John
> now lives, on the improvement made by Ben Pursley, for whom both the
> creek and Ben's Run took their names. Old Molly was a practicing
> midwife. She also adds that when they settled on Pursley there were
> two or three families above them on all the waters of that stream.
> were in places two miles or more together of solid woods, without a
> stick amiss, where deer, wolves and wild turkeys were very plenty,
> a sprinkling of bears and rattle-snakes. The deer were very
> in pasturing off the young wheat in winter and early spring, and
> were so bold that it was difficult to raise poultry, lambs, or pigs."
> >From A History of Pendleton County, West Virginia by Oren F. Morton
> "It was now probably past noon and the Indians, with their convoy of
> captives
> and their own wounded comrade, borne on an improvised litter, began
> climbing
> of South Fork Mountain. A woman whose given name was Hannah had a
> baby. An Indian seized the infant and stuck its neck in the fork of a
> dogwood. The
> mother found some consolation in the belief that her child was killed
by the
> blow and
> not left to a lingering death. Greenwalt Gap, nine miles distant was
> by nightfall
> by taking an almost air line course regardless of the nature of the
> Here the
> disabled Indian died, after suffering intensely from a wound in the
head. He
> was
> buried in a cavern 500 feet up the mountain side. Until about sixty
> ago portions of the
> skeleton were still to be seen. The next halt was near the mouth of
> Seneca and
> without pursuit or mishap, the raiding party returned to its village
> Chillicothe, Ohio."
> (The whole story is at
> Rebecca
> (Not a hyphenated American, just an American!)

This thread: