[ Return to the Table of Contents ]

In 1758 Christian Post led Moravian missionaries into Ohio to establish settlements and try to convert the Indians to Christianity. He successfully converted large numbers of Delaware and taught them to speak German.

In 1772 David Leisburger, a follower of Post, established a town and a mission near the present location of Schoenbrunn, Ohio. A second mission was formed in the same year near present day Gnadanhutten. Many converted Delaware lived at these two settlements.

In 1781 there was an attack on at a white settlement near the frontier. One survivor claimed that he heard the Indians speaking German, so it was assumed that the Moravian Delaware were responsible.

Dave Williamson led an army that was sent to retaliate against the Delaware. His army wiped out 96 Delaware, including 34 children, at Gnadenhutten. He then led his army to another Delaware village at Shoenbrunn. Two children who had survived the Gnadenhutten massacre raced ahead to warn the Delaware at Shoenbrunn and the village was abandoned before the Americans arrived.

A group of Ottawa, Shawnee and Delaware (along with Simon Girty) gathered near present-day Freemont to prepare retaliation. Sam Brady, an American scout operating out of Fort Pitt, during the Revolution disguised himself as an Indian and was spying on the gathering. The Indians discovered and captured Brady.

The Indians bound him and intended to burn him at the stake. Girty and Brady were childhood friends and Girty asked the Indians to spare Brady's life. Despite Girty's good friendship with the Indians, they refused his request.

When the fire was lit, Brady stuck his hands in the flames to burn the ropes that bound him. He leaped from the fire and through a squaw in the flames. During the confusion, he was able to run out of the camp and slip into the woods.

The Indians chased him for about 100 miles. Brady was on foot the entire time he was being tracked. Near the present-day city of Kent, Brady was almost captured as he tried to cross the Cuyahoga River. He was able to evade his pursuers by leaping across the river from a cliff that was 40' high and where the river was 23' across. He landed on the cliff face on the opposite side of the river while the Indians were shooting at him. He was shot once, but still managed to climb to the top and continue to run. The Indians crossed the river and continued their pursuit.

The Indians followed Brady's trail to a pond, knowing they had wounded him. They were unable to pick up his trail at that point and gave up their chase, assuming they had killed him.

Brady was able to survive by breathing through a reed and hiding under the surface of the pond. After the Indians left, Brady returned to Fort Pitt. He reported to his superiors that he had overheard plans the Indians and British were making to attack Fort Pitt.

Dave Williamson and William Crawford led 480 Pennsylvania soldiers from Fort Pitt to engage the Indian army.

The two armies met and fought the Battle of Sandusky. During the battle Crawford was captured and later burned at the stake. Simon Girty was present at Crawford's execution. The Indians drove the Americans further east and engaged them again at the Battle of Olentangy. The Indians again defeated the Americans and the survivors retreated back to Fort Pitt.

[ Return to the Table of Contents ]