Toryism in the Middle Colonies
The middle colonies had a substantial loyalist population. Several prominent loyalists, including Daniel Leonard, drew up a plan for establishing a loyalist stronghold on the eastern seaboard. Leonard was a prominent, if aristocratic, Boston lawyer and was one of the most able and literate of the loyalists. He had expounded the tory cause in a series of papers addressed to "the Inhabitants of the Province of Massachusetts" and signed with the pen name Massachusettensis. His arguments were drawn heavily on Thomas Hobbes. John Adams had considered these papers worthy of his attention and had responded in papers signed Novanglus. Should such a safe haven be created, with peace guaranteed by the British army backed by tory militia, Leonard believed that many loyalists would defect and enter the safe zone and there be gathered as his majesty's loyal subjects.ccclxxxv Leonard considered several sites for his loyalist community, among them the eastern shore of Maryland, Delaware and the greater Philadelphia area. The first key ingredient was a successful British invasion of the chosen area. Second, the British must secure the area so that all Tories could gather organize in an atmosphere of relative security. Third, the British must transport known loyalists from other areas and resettle them in the secure zone. Finally, the loyalists must themselves form a strong protective wing, a powerful and well-armed militia. The plan suggested that a minimum number of militia would have to be 10,000 to 12,000 men.ccclxxxvi
There were about 5000 tories in New Jersey during the Revolution, of which about 1200 were determined to have openly aided, or fought for, the enemy.ccclxxxvii This was one of the largest and most influential loyalist groups of loyalists in the new nation.ccclxxxviii There had been no sharp class distinctions or incidents of abuses by the wealthier citizens, so most inhabitants were neither disposed to support independence nor exert themselves to preserve union. As in most colonies, citizens chose sides merely on whim of the moment, according to successes of one or another side, or because of friendships and other loyalties.ccclxxxix There is strong evidence that in some counties, such as Bergen, that loyalists may have constituted a majority of the population.cccxc
As late as July 1774 the colony's political leadership was loyalist in sympathy. A state convention called to nominate delegates to the Continental Congress on 21 to 23 July resolved that the people "are, and ever have been, firm and unshaken in their loyalty" to the crown. Further, they "detest all thoughts of an independence" from the mother country.cccxci Governor William Franklin, natural son of Benjamin Franklin, became irrevocably alienated from his father over the issue of independence. Franklin's addresses of 3 and 13 February 1775 renewed the state's oath of loyalty to the crown.cccxcii As late as 30 November 1775 the Assembly pledged its commitment to reconciliation with England, and expressed a desire to retain and support Franklin as the legitimate executive. By 13 January 1776, the legislature had debated disarming loyalists and to take into custody those who refused to sign an oath of loyalty or report for duty in the state's patriot militia. Soon, loyalist property was confiscated and those persons joining tory militias or the British army were to be treated as traitors.cccxciii
New Jersey was a major battleground in the earliest years of the war, as Howe chased Washington's army deeper into the state. As Washington retreated, loyalism became more evident. In 1776 Washington noted that incidents of desertion from his army were greatest among troops from New Jersey because the men from that state frequently changed loyalties, perhaps under great pressures from home.cccxciv By laws of 1777 and 1782 any person entering an enemy camp, or otherwise holding conversation with the enemy, without high level, explicit permission might be sentenced to death.cccxcv On 27 June 1777 the Council of Safety ordered that wives and dependents of loyalist militiamen and other persons detained for suspicious activities be deported to British lines, from which they were to leave America.cccxcvi
Defections may have still greater at later dates had it not been that both the British and Hessian troops stationed in the state committed such great and well publicized outrages against both the patriot army and the civilian population. Even friends of the king complained of many outrages having been perpetrated against them by troops they considered to be "on their side."cccxcvii Later, as the focus of the war shifted south, and the British army no longer shielded the tories, loyalism in New Jersey receded.
In 1780 William Franklincccxcviii organized a loyalist association which operated independent of British military control. It was called The Honorable Board of Associated Loyalists. William Franklin recruited several of his royal authorities to form loyalist militias, including his former Attorney-general Cortlandt Skinner (1728-1799). Skinner attempted to recruit 2500 loyalists, offering the men the opportunity to elect their own officers. This force was well armed at government expense, but they clothed and equipped themselves. They raided the shores of Long Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey, and owned many sloops, whale boats, and private men of war. They formed three distinct corps, one of which was mounted. Skinner's New Jersey Volunteers was the largest of the tory militias.cccxcix
Governor Franklin commissioned Colonel Van Dyke to raise a loyalist militia in New Jersey. Van Dyke signed 306 men.cd John Coombs (1753-1827), a second lieutenant in the British army, was a recruiter for the New Jersey loyalist, raising volunteers for the First New Jersey Loyalist Volunteers. James Cougle (1746-1819) of Pennsylvania, a former officer in the militia, served as captain of the New Jersey Loyalist Volunteers.cdi Robert Drummond ( -1789) was commissioned a major in the Second New Jersey Volunteers. He recruited some 200 of his neighbors into tory militia units. Many of them later served as volunteers in South Carolina and Georgia, raiding out of Florida.cdii John Purvis (1757-1811) was initially commissioned to raise two companies of Whig militia, but decided to desert, leading most of his men to the tory side.cdiii Tory efforts in New Jersey received unexpected support from a mulatto slave named Titus, called Captain Tye, once the property of John Corlies. Titus recruited a band of about 60 raiders. He died of wounds received in raids in 1778.cdiv
It had been home government policy from the beginning to try to draw Washington's army into one large, hopefully decisive, battle. It was equally Washington's policy to prevent such a massive confrontation and to fight a prolonged war of attrition. Having failed to entrap and confront the patriot army, on 23 January 1779 Lord George Germain instructed Sir Henry Clinton to attempt to restrict Washington's army to the wilderness. The home government expressed the greatest concern for the safety of the loyalists and ordered Clinton to try to secure safe haven for them on the eastern seaboard, especially in the cities and in New Jersey and Delaware.cdv
Tories in the Middle and Southern States
Incidents of tory activity in Pennsylvania were highest in the backwoods where loyalists were uncommonly successful in enlisting the assistance of several Indian traders and general renegades; and on the eastern seaboard, especially among Philadelphia merchants. On the other hand, the long tradition of religious freedom and ethnic diversity, especially including Germans of Calvinist orientation, worked against toryism. Because it had always been a proprietary colony, Pennsylvania had only a partially pre-formed royalist political party. The proprietary party was led at the time of the revolution by John Dickinson, an ardent patriot; and Benjamin Franklin, another dedicated whig, was the most influential political figure in the colony. During the two decades preceding the war for independence, most influential inhabitants opposed British crown policy. One main ingredient in Pennsylvania toryism, which grew as the war dragged on, was the idea of establishing a tory safe haven somewhere along the eastern seaboard.
Many loyalists from Philadelphia and the contiguous counties of New Jersey had welcomed the British occupation of the Quaker city in 1777. The Friends had generally not expressed any preference for one government over the other. The loyalists and many neutrals had suffered enormously when the British withdrew from Philadelphia.cdvi Those who evacuated with the English lost all they had left behind; and many who stayed found themselves being attaindered by the provisional legislature.
Loyalism in urban Pennsylvania was, as a general rule, more intellectual than practical. The state produced some of the best and most subtle loyalist minds of the period. Many religious and other dissenters, in refusing to sign an oath of allegiance, were categorized as loyalists, and thus as traitors, when, in reality, they were politically neutral. Some patriots adopted the simplistic view of pamphleteer Thomas Paine, that those who were not with the patriots were necessarily opposed to them and thus were their enemies and must be punished.cdvii This silly argument forced some fine citizens to flee with the British or to be needlessly and unjustly black-balled and ostracized. Others, angered by the pressures, reacted by joining and supporting the loyalists.
At the beginning of the war for independence the most prominent tory leader was Joseph Galloway (1731-1803). During the Seven Years War, Galloway had united strongly with Franklin in seeking royal instead of proprietary government in Pennsylvania. Their party had dominated the colony's politics between 1763 and 1775. A former speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly and delegate to First Continental Congress, Gallowaycdviii concluded that the colonial leaders would settle for nothing less than full independence and he preferred submission to Parliament to the destruction of ties with England. He advocated the establishment of a tory haven, following Daniel Leonard's suggestion. He proposed a loose association in his "Plan for a Proposed Union between Great Britain and the Colonies," which drew heavily on Franklin's Albany Plan.cdix Galloway had assisted the British army of occupation in 1777 in Philadelphia, pointing out patriots and recruiting loyalists. He had also given them military, economic and political advice. At one point during the occupation Galloway had claimed that he could raise 10,000 tory militiamen in and around Philadelphia if the British army would assist in getting it set up and then supplying them with arms, supplies and money.cdx The prominence of Galloway in Pennsylvania and Leonard in the north lent much credence and popular support to this idea and helped to draw into the conspiracy a number of less-prominent tory militia leaders.
Galloway had complained bitterly that he had received virtually no support from British authorities while they were occupied Philadelphia, and that many troops, especially Hessians who read no English, had hassled loyalists as badly as they had the patriots. The plan for a stronghold would work only in the loyalists enjoyed the full protection and support of the British authorities. Galloway found new reason for complaint when Sir Henry Clinton decided to evacuate his army of occupation from Philadelphia. Galloway was certain that, had he enjoyed Clinton's full support, within a year he would have recruited and armed sufficient loyalist militiamen to carry out his plan. If Clinton had only waited another year before withdrawing from Philadelphia he would have left in full control by proxy of one of the most troublesome and strategically important areas of the colonies.
Both Galloway and the Home Office had decided that Britain's best opportunity for pacification lay in reconquering the colonies piecemeal, beginning with areas with the greatest tory concentrations. What they differed on was which area should be selected first. Galloway believed that the continued occupation of Philadelphia would have been a more much more wise than the invasion of the Carolinas and Virginia. The Home Office, for reasons best known to it, decided instead on seeking loyalist support in the southern colonies and establishing there, instead of in the middle colonies, the king's peace. Galloway argued that the primary reason Lord Cornwallis had experienced difficulties in recruiting loyalist militia in 1780 in the southern colonies was the general and widespread knowledge of his abandonment of the loyalists in Philadelphia in 1777.cdxi
Galloway returned to his initial plan of union between the thirteen colonies and Great Britain in 1778 and 1779. He began with the premise that the American people were weary of the war and would welcome any reasonable proposal of peace and reconciliation. If a good peace plan was combined with the formation of a strong tory militia system the war could terminate. The political part of his program was simple. Britain would offer a written constitution with a legislature and a bill of rights. The civil government would be guaranteed by the tory militia.cdxii
John Smyth,cdxiii a friend and associate of Galloway, offered a more detailed program for creating a tory safe area. He suggested moving a sufficient naval force into the Chesapeake Bay. A fully funded and equipped loyalist militia system covering the seaboard areas of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York and Delaware, would enlist upward of 12,000 men. The regular officers would select, say, 8000 of the best and train them completely. Select militiamen and British, but not Hessian mercenary, troops would board the fleet, strike at selected patriot ports and towns, and reconquer certain areas. The bulk of the tory militia would then land and act as occupation troops. None of the friction that accompanied the previous occupations, such as in Boston and Philadelphia, would be found here, since the peace-keepers would be sympathetic fellow Americans. The middle colonies would be liberated first, followed by New York, and finally the southern colonies. New England would then capitulate without a British invasion. The patriots would be isolated in the hinterland, cut off from supplies and from their French allies. They would either collapse after a slow death or offer to do battle and have it all over with quickly. In any event the days of rebellion would soon be ended. Smyth was willing to subject the New England colonists to a long period of tory militia occupation "with a rod of iron" because that area had been the seat of the treason.cdxiv
Urban Pennsylvania loyalists numbered in the thousands and often collaborated with loyalist Amerindians in attacking frontier outposts and isolated settlements. English officers enlisted many willing recruits who were either motivated by loyalty to the crown or by the hard currency offered by English recruiting officers. Rosters of three troops of loyalist Pennsylvania militiamen were discovered in 1910.cdxv There were many collaborators in Philadelphia during the British occupation of that city, including merchants who sold goods that might have helped General Washington during the awful winter at Valley Forge. They preferred to receive English hard coin and uninflated currency rather than take a risk by receiving inflated colonial currency and promissory notes of dubious value.cdxvi
In Philadelphia a recently arrived comb maker named Isaac Atwood headed one of the largest and most influential bands of Tories. John Kersey, a physician and surgeon who had lived in Philadelphia for about forty years, introduced Atwood to the loyalist circles. The active core counted about fifty Tories, but they boasted that, had they the arms, they could soon raise 3000 men who would collaborate with the British army. Their scheme never got much beyond the planning and wishful stage.cdxvii One Tory who carried his designs into execution was James Molesworth. He was caught trying to recruit loyalist river pilots to guide British troop ships up the Delaware River. He was the first man to be tried and convicted and hanged as a spy in Pennsylvania.cdxviii
James Humphreys, Jr., a former minor functionarycdxix in colonial government, published a staunchly loyalist newspaper in Philadelphia. The British recruited loyalist militiamen using advertisements and editorials in Humphreys' Pennsylvania Ledger.cdxx Humphreys was an ardent Protestant as well as loyalist and strongly opposed the patriot alliance with Roman Catholic France. He reported some of the more interesting lies to be found among the Tories. For example, he reported that an American attack on British forces in Rhode Island had been abandoned because the militiamen threatened to shoot their officers if they were forced to fight their English Protestant brethren.cdxxi He worked hard at seducing American militiamen to desert, especially in the winter of 1777-78, when reported the awful suffering of the patriot forces outside Philadelphia. Certainly some of his reports and interviews were based in fact, but others were quite fanciful.cdxxii He reported that the 5000 volunteer militia recruited by North Carolina Governor Caswell for relief of General Washington's beleaguered forces had either deserted or were far under the strength reported in the American press.cdxxiii He reported that Caswell and all other patriot governors and other political authorities were having to use force to recruit militiamen and that they refused to deploy them out of fear of open rebellion.cdxxiv He also reported that the Pennsylvania militia was filled with bandits, pirates and other undesirables. An example of their pillage and rapine was the burning of the home of British General de Lancey.cdxxv By February 1778, Humphreys reported, over 40,000 rebels had died either in battle or of disease in camp.cdxxvi The last issue of the Ledger was 23 May 1778.
Eventually, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had to decide how tories were to be treated. Were they prisoners of war or traitors and criminals? If they were on the water, were they pirates? The court decided that those who had not taken the oath of loyalty to the new nation who were captured were prisoners of war. The court held that a man was free to choose to join the new political entity or remain loyal to his previous national commitment. The war was civil, not foreign as the patriots had claimed. Thus, no man was legally obligated to renounce his former loyalty and pledge obedience to the new regime. Only those who had taken the oath of loyalty to the new government could be treated as a traitor.
Judge C. J. McKean wrote his opinion to President Reed. It is unclear precisely when the new government began to function, but the king's authority had ceased to exist no later than 14 May 1776. "Treason, being an offense against Government and tending to its dissolution, could not be committee in Pennsylvania until a new Government was formed, and then [only] by persons owing allegiance thereto." No charges of treason could be brought without appropriate legislation. The Convention had established an ordinance treating of treason, "but as they were chosen by the people for another purpose, and I do not find that their Ordinance has since confirmed or recognized by the legislature" the Convention's action was invalid.cdxxvii In the final analysis, McKean thought,
Upon the whole I think it the safer course in so unprecedented and doubtful a case to consider all the late inhabitants of this State taken in open war as enemies and prisoners of war, who did not on the eleventh day of February 1777, or since, owe allegiance to this State, as Treason was not accurately defined or declared by the Legislature until that period.
Pennsylvania did prosecute and execute tories who waged war against the state, usually under laws covering theft and robbery, wanton murder, rapine and pillaging for McKean's opinion did not extend to their exclusion or defense. Certain inhuman acts, including the above plus piracy in its various forms, were punishable under English common and statute law and the nation of nature and nations. One prominent tory marauder who was hanged was James Fitzpatrick, executed in 1778 after being convicted of burglary and larceny.cdxxviii
British successes near Philadelphia in 1777 gave courage to some Pennsylvania loyalists. On 11 September Howe's British army defeated Washington at the Battle of Brandywine, and, fifteen days later, contained the whig counter-attack at the Battle of Germantown. Howe then occupied the city while Washington's little army was encamped in the Valley Forge. Howe entertained the cream of Philadelphia society while Washington suffered enormously. Still, for strategic reasons, Howe abandoned Philadelphia in June 1778, and most Pennsylvania tories withdrew with him. Tory activity on the seaboard came to a virtual standstill and the scene shifted to the frontier where tories worked with Amerindians.
Successes and failures of loyalist efforts in western Pennsylvania were directly tied to the dealings and intrigues of these several Indian traders. If the British were to have success on the western frontier, Tory militia would have to ally with large numbers of Amerindian warriors. In the western part of Pennsylvania the infamous Girty family of Indian traders and Alexander McKee and Matthew Elliott, also traders, led the Tory efforts to recruit a loyalist militia. Butler especially wanted to recruit Alexander McKee into the Tory cause because he believed that no man knew the Delaware and Wyandots [Hurons] better than McKee. If anyone could bring them into the war on the same side as their traditional enemies the Six Nations it was McKee. Butler had a prime prize to offer McKee: the superintendency of Amerindian affairs.cdxxix
Alexander McKee was a son of Thomas McKee ( -1755). He also had a son named Thomas who was a trader among the Ohio Indians. From 17 October through 24 October 1767 Alexander McKee was a clerk for Baynton, Wharton & Morgan at Fort Pitt. He compiled a list, on orders from Colonel Bouquet, of traders taken by French Indians in Ohio. In 1769 McKee owned 300 acres near Fort Pitt. In 1771 Alexander McKee was a justice of the Court of Quarter Sessions in Bedford County, Pennsylvania; in 1773 he held the same judicial post in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. In 1774 he served as deputy Indian agent with Sir William Johnson in New York. As early as 1768 he had been an Indian trader at Fort Pitt in partnership with Alexander Ross. In April 1776 McKee was accused of Loyalist leanings and ordered to no longer represent patriot interests among the Amerindians. He was accused of being on a secret payroll of Lieutenant Governor Hamilton of Detroit. The accusation soon extended to a reported plot in which McKee was allegedly involved to surrender Fort Pitt to the Tories. After an abortive Tory uprising at Redstone Fort [Brownsville], General Hand ordered McKee to report to take the oath of loyalty to the colonies, which he did. Hand trusted McKee, but others did not. Hand ordered McKee to report to him at York, but McKee deserted his land holdings in Lancaster County and moved to Pittsburgh where he had extensive business investments. Exasperated at the refusal of the patriots refusal to believe him, he deserted.cdxxx On 28 March 1778 McKee led a small contingent to the English. That party of turncoats included Simon Girty and two slaves.
At the urging of Butler, the English granted McKee the rank of captain in the army and made him deputy Indian agent at Detroit. On their behalf he distributed goods among the Shawnee valued at £835/5/6. He was also active in recruiting Tory militiamen on the western frontier.cdxxxi Thomas McKee, II, was a son of Alexander McKee, deputy Indian agent for the English in western Canada. Thomas served as a trader and diplomat among the western Amerindian tribes. Thomas accompanied Simon Girty, distributing gifts on behalf of the British among Little Turtle's Delaware warriors in Ohio.cdxxxii
Matthew Elliott ( -1814), of Protestant Irish ancestry, before 1774 was a trader at Fort Pitt. In Dunmore's War at the Battle of Point Pleasant the Shawnee used him to interpret and to carry messages of peace.cdxxxiii On 6 August 1774 John Penn reported, "a young man of the name of Elliott who has been trading at Shawnee Town and lately came from thence, has offered his services to carry any messages from the government to the Indians and may be a very proper person to employ."cdxxxiv In October 1776 he traded on the Muskingum River in Ohio. His goods were stolen by the Wyandots at Dresden. Despite the fact that he spent much time among the Amerindians he hated them and they considered him to be an unfair and dishonest trader. In March 1777 he went to Fort Detroit where the English accused him of spying for the patriot cause, but released him on his parole that he would not aid the patriots. He returned to Fort Pitt, but on 28 March 1778 he deserted to the English along with Simon Girty and several other traders.cdxxxv Elliott was instrumental in convincing McKee to desert, reminding him that the colonists would never trust him. Since he was known to be the key to Amerindian affairs on the western frontier, Elliott told him, the Americans would assassinate him rather than permit him to desert.cdxxxvi On behalf of the English, Elliott distributed goods valued at £47/6/9 to the Shawnee for the English. In 1781 he was reported working with the Moravians at Upper Sandusky, Ohio. In 1785 he assisted James Moore, a Shawnee captive, to escape. The British rewarded Elliott for his loyalty. In the 1790s he was an Indian agent for the British in Canada.cdxxxvii In 1796 through 1798 and 1808 through 1814 he was a superintendent of the British West Indies.cdxxxviii
The Girty family of Indian traders were the most notorious of all Indian traders. Most were ardent loyalists. Those of the Girty family whom we meet during the Revolution were sons of Simon, Sr. ( -1751).cdxxxix George Girty (1745-1812) from 1756 through 1759 was held by the Delawares, but he was returned to the English after the French withdrew from western Pennsylvania. He was a trader among several Amerindian nations, most frequently the Delawares. On 6 February 1778 the patriots commissioned him a second lieutenant. He served in the Ohio territory and down the Mississippi River. He served through 4 May 1779 and then deserted to the English. They engaged him as an interpreter among the Shawnee. On one occasion he distributed goods valued at £75/17/0 among the Shawnee on behalf of the English in an attempt to enlist their aid in the war on the frontier. In 1781 he led a mixed force of English and tories that engaged militia under the command of Colonel Archibald Lochry of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. All but a very few of the 100 men in Lochry's command, including the colonel, were killed or captured. A survivor reported that Alexander McKee had led a band of 300 Delaware and Wyandot warriors in the ambush. McKee, in cooperation with Simon Girty, was also reported to be planning an assault on Forts Laurens and Bedford with a mixed Tory and Amerindian force. In June 1782 George Girty led the Amerindian force opposed by Colonel Crawford on the Upper Sandusky River, in what is now Crane Township, Wyandot County, Ohio.cdxl After the Battle of Blue Licks in August 1782 he gave himself up completely to the life of the Amerindians, living out his life among the Delawares.cdxli
James Girty (1743-1817) before the Revolution was a trader among the Shawnees. From 1756 through 1759 James Girty was held by the Delawares, but he was returned to the English after the French withdrew from western Pennsylvania. He assisted Reverend David Jones in making a translation of the Bible into the Shawnee language. He assisted Colonel George Morgan, the Indian Agent for the Middle Department for the Middle States, as an interpreter.cdxlii As early as July 1775 he was under suspicion as a potential traitor, and soon after he did desert to the English. In August 1778 his brothers induced him to ally with the English. The price of his treason was a new rifle, 3 horses, saddles and rations. Pennsylvania accused James and Simon Girty of high treason.cdxliii In 1779 the English Lieutenant Governor Hamilton used James Girty to distribute gifts among the Shawnee. In the 1780s he was a trader in Ohio and was quite financially successful. He married a Shawnee maid named Betsey. In 1782 he was a leader of the British-Amerindian force that laid siege to Fort Henry, now Wheeling, West Virginia. That was his last fight against the patriot forces. He moved to St. Mary's on the west branch of the Miami River, in what is now Auglaize County, Ohio. He founded Girty's Town where the English granted him a monopoly of seven years in the Indian trade for his support of their cause. He lived in the first decade of the nineteenth century in Gosfield Township, Essex County, Ohio, where he made a will dated 1804. His last trading post was on Girty's Island near Napoleon, Ohio. He died on 15 April 1817.cdxliv
Simon Girty, Jr. (1741-1818) in 1756, at age 15, was captured by the Delawares and by 1759 was delivered up to the Senecas. He saw his step-father burned at the stake. He was five feet, nine inches tall, and had black, penetrating eyes. He learned several Indian languages, including the tongues spoken by the Six Nations, Wyandots and Shawnee. He was an interpreter for the Virginia officials during Dunmore's War. On 11 August 1774 he met and traded with David Owens and twelve other traders who were returning from Upper Shawnee Town. During the French and Indian War he lost trade goods valued at £300/18/6.cdxlv In 1771 he voted in the first election in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. In 1776 he was an interpreter for the Six Nations at a meeting at Fort Pitt. On 11 August 1776 he sent a bill to the Continental Congress for extra services as a smith at Fort Pitt.cdxlvi On 28 March 1778 he deserted the patriot cause and joined the English. He took with him Alexander McKee, two slaves, Matthew Elliott and an Indian trader named Higgins.cdxlvii In 1781 he fought with the Wyandots at Upper Sandusky, Ohio. He was seriously wounded by a sabre slash given by Captain Brant [Thayendanega]. On 12 April 1782 Girty delivered on behalf of the English to the Wyandots one hundred pounds of gunpowder, 200 pounds of lead balls and eight dozen scalping knives.cdxlviii He was present at the torture and assassination of Colonel Crawford on 10 June 1782. It is alleged that as Crawford was writhing in pain, he asked Girty to kill him. Girty supposedly responded that he had no ammunition. Butterfield argued that Girty had tried to secure Crawford's release and could not, and that had he killed Crawford, Girty himself might have been killed. He was responsible for the deaths of David Rogers and 42 others and the capture of five soldiers in action against the patriots. On 13 July 1778 a group of English led Amerindians destroyed the town of Hanna's Town, then county seat of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. On 19 August 1782 Bedford County political leader Bernard Dougherty wrote to the Pennsylvania officials, "the noted Girty has for some years past threatened the town of Bedford with destruction in like manner as he has that of Hanna's Town."cdxlix Butterfield argued that Girty had nothing to do with the Amerindian attack on Hanna's Town. In 1784 he married Catherine Malott, a white captive taken by the Muncy Clan of the Delawares in 1780 when she was a teenager. Catherine died at Cochester South in January 1852. He moved to, and afterward operated out of, Essex County, western Canada. In 1787 he assisted James Moore in getting his sister back from the Shawnees. In the 1780s he was employed as an Indian agent by Alexander McKee. In June 1785 he assisted in securing the release of Mrs. Thomas Cunning from the Shawnee.cdl In 1791 he was a participant in the Amerindian defeat of General Arthur St. Clair's army near Fort Jefferson, Ohio. In 1794 he acted as an interpreter among the Shawnee for the English. He helped to secure the release of Mrs. Joseph Kinan, sister of Jacob Lewis, at Detroit. In 1794 he fought his last battle against the U.S. at Tallen Timbers. At that battle the army under General Anthony Wayne broke the power of the Amerindians in Ohio. He took no part in the War of 1812. By 1816 he was blind.
In August 1778 an American force of regulars and volunteer militia led by Lachlan McIntosh (1725-1806) penetrated the frontier as far west as the Tuscarawas River in Ohio. At the same time George Rogers Clark had successfully invaded what is now Indiana, capturing a British fort at Vincennes. In late summer 1779 Colonel Daniel Brodhead, who replaced McIntosh, led a mixed party of regulars and volunteer militia up the Allegheny River from Fort Pitt and into Seneca territory in New York. Brodhead's expedition was time to correspond with General John Sullivan's invasion of New York from the east. Some western Amerindian tribes, aware of patriot gains and victories, were considering entering the war on the side of the new nation. Upon Brodhead's return to Fort Pitt a party of Delaware, Shawnee and Wyandots awaited him, prepared to talk peace. They informed him of British fears of an attack on Fort Detroit. Brodhead was a military man and not a diplomat and the peace talks dragged on without conclusion. At this point Governor Guy Carleton sent Alexander McKee to the Shawnee, Delaware and Wyandot camps to dissuade them from making peace. On 27 September 1778 Simon Girty led a mixed force of Tories and Amerindians in the destruction of a Virginia supply train near the falls of the Ohio River. The train was moving up from St. Louis with supplies needed to keep the western campaign moving. Combined with McKee's diplomatic successes, this destruction of five large boatloads of supplies seriously disrupted the war effort and brought to an end this successful surge against the Amerindians on the frontier.cdli
In April 1778 a party of American soldiers deserted from garrison duty at Fort Pitt. When they were captured the patriots found them in the company of a small band of Tories. On interrogation they revealed the existence of a major Tory plot to disrupt the frontier. A party of Tories from Standing Stone [Huntingdon] had crossed the mountains to join an even larger Tory party at Redstone [Brownsville]. They were to receive uniforms from Butler and McKee and then were to join the Amerindians on an attack on the forts between Pittsburgh and Bedford. By the time the Tories had gone to meet the Amerindians at Kittanning they numbered no less than 150 militiamen. Something happened between the Tory leader and an Indian chief at Kittanning which the captured Tories did not understand. The Amerindian struck the Tory dead with a single blow of his hatchet and the meeting broke up. The thirty Tories from Huntingdon were returning home when they were captured. General Hand ordered his second in command, William Crawford, a judge in civilian life, to hold a military court martial. The civilians claimed that a military court held no jurisdiction over them, but the trial was held. Several leaders were executed and several more were whipped and then confined to jail for the duration of the war. The others were whipped and then dismissed, or simply let go on their parole to spread the word that the Tory design had been frustrated.cdlii
The Rein family was one of the oldest, established families in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The first man to carry the name Michael Rein arrived in Philadelphia on 11 September 1732cdliii and soon after settled in Earl Township, Lancaster County. Initially, the family seemed to be ardent patriots, enlisting in the county militia, serving in and around Philadelphia in support of General Washington's army. Various members of the family also held political offices of importance, such as membership on the Committee of Observation and Inspection. Lieutenant Henry Mansin, a German speaking officer in the Queen's Rangers, entered Lancaster County, searching for recruits, horses and general support for the loyalist cause. On his second trip, in February 1778, several farmers caught Mansin and several of his co-conspirators stealing horses. They implicated John, Michael and George Rein, saying that the family had offered them aid and comfort and had offered to sell them horses. A black- and gunsmith named Englehart Holtzinger and a few others among the conspirators, including John Rein, escaped to General Howe's lines in Philadelphia. His property, along with that of two members of the Rein family, was confiscated and sold at public auction. Henry Mansin and a man named Wendel Myer were hanged. John Rein and several of the others apparently fought with the loyalist militia and British army during the remainder of the war.cdliv Christian Fouts, a lieutenant-colonel in the loyalist militia, may have aided the loyalists in the Rein Affair since he was a native of Lancaster County.cdlv