Stephen Morgan talks of David Morgan

Stephen Morgan, was the sheriff of Monongalia County when he made this statement to the Monongalia Gazette, of Morgantown, in October of 1808:

"Some historians have asserted that my father killed three Indians in the fight at our homestead in 1779. He was responsible only for the death of two Indians; they were of the Delaware Nation, and about thirty years old. One was very large, weighing about two hundred pounds; the other was short and stocky, weighing about one hundred and eighty pounds. My father (David Morgan) was six feet one inch tall, and at that time weighed one hundred and ninety pounds, about. It has been published that my father tomahawked and skinned the savages. This is not true. He left one Indian alive, but dying, and returned to the fort and to his bed, which he had left less than an hour before, where he remained for the remainder of the day. The oft' made statement that he attempted to escape to the fort by flight is not true. He did not run a single step with the expectation of getting away from the savages. The running he did was done to gain an advantage over the enemy, and this he accomplished.

"My father traveled the frontier wilderness from boyhood, from Canada, New York, Pittsburgh, to Kentucky, Tennessee, to South Carolina, and fought the Indians and other enemies of our country as often as became necessary. Before the fight at our homestead, he had fought and killed seven Indians in singlehanded combat. Others there were, including French and British soldiers, wounded and killed by him as a soldier in battle. He well understood the Indians and their method of warfare, and could speak the languages of the Delaware, Shawnee, and Wyndotte nations.

"In his manner of living and defending himself and others, he was no different from his contemporaries. I certainly would not class him an Indian-fighter, no more than I would class Jacob Prickett, Frederick Ice, or Nathaniel Cochran as such. He was a Christian, a patriot, a soldier, a surveyor, and a very good farmer, the profession of which he is most proud, and a loving, and most times, a too indulgent parent."

(Now and Long Ago, pp 521-522)

Copyright 1994-2011 Kelley Ward