Narratives of the French and Indian War: 4—Captain Orme’s Journal, Royal Navy Officer’s Journal, George Croghan’s Statement, French and Indian Cruelty, Recollections of an Old Soldier the Life of Captain David Perry, Luke Gridley’s Diary of 1757
First-hand accounts from the French and Indian War
Interest in this 18th century war, fought in the woodlands and upon the lakes of the New World, not only between the regular troops of France and Britain, but also including the frontiersmen and militia of both sides including their respective Indian allies, continues to grow. This book, the fourth volume in the Leonaur series Narratives of the French and Indian War, will be of particular interest to all those fascinated by this conflict because it contains six smaller accounts which would be unlikely, because of their length, to be published individually in their own right. Each account contains essential source material and most focus on the experiences of an individual who took part in the conflict in one capacity or another.
Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket; our hardbacks are cloth bound and feature gold foil lettering on their spines and fabric head and tail bands.
At daybreak, my infernal masters ordered me to lie down my load, when tying my hands again round a tree with a small cord, they forced the blood out at my fingers ends. They then kindled a fire near the tree whereto I was bound, which filled me with the most dreadful agonies concluding I was going to be made a sacrifice to their barbarity.
This narrative, O reader! may seem dry and tedious to you: My miseries and misfortunes, great as they have been, may be considered only as what others have daily met with for years past; yet, on reflection, you can’t help indulging me in the recital of them: For to the unfortunate and distressed, recounting our miseries, is, in some sort, an alleviation of them.
Permit me therefore to proceed; not by recounting to you the deplorable condition I then was in, for that is more than can be described to you, by one who thought of nothing less than being immediately put to death in the most excruciating manner these devils could invent. The fire being thus made, they for some time danced round me after their manner, with various odd motions and antic gestures, whooping, hollowing, and crying, in a frightful manner, as is their custom.
Having satisfied themselves in this sort of their mirth, they proceeded in a more tragical manner, taking the burning coals and sticks, flaming with fire at the ends, holding them to my face, head, hands, and feet, with a deal of monstrous pleasure and satisfaction; and at the same time threatening to burn me intirely, if I made the least noise or cried out: Thus tortured as I was, almost to death, I suffered their brutal pleasure without being allowed to vent my inexpressible anguish otherwise than by shedding silent tears; even which, when these inhuman tormentors observed, with a shocking pleasure and alacrity, they would take fresh coals, and apply near my eyes, telling me my face was wet, and that they would dry it for me, which indeed they cruelly did. How I underwent these tortures I have here faintly described, has been matter of wonder to me many times; but God enabled me to wait with more than common patience for a deliverance I daily prayed for.
Having at length satisfied their brutal pleasure, they sat down round the fire, and roasted their meat, of which they had robbed my dwelling. When they had prepared it and satisfied their voracious appetites, they offered some to me; though it is easily imagined I had but little appetite to eat after the tortures and miseries I had undergone; yet, was I forced to seem pleased with what they offered me, lest by refusing it, they had again reassumed their hellish practices. What I could not eat, I contrived to get between the bark and the tree, where I was sixed, they having unbound my hands till they imagined I had eat all they gave me; but, then, they again bound me as before; in which deplorable condition was I forced to continue all that day. When the sun was set, they put out the fire and covered the ashes with leaves, as is their usual custom, that the white people might not discover any traces or signs of their having been there.
Thus, had these barbarous wretches finished their first diabolical piece of work; and shocking as it may seem to the humane English heart, yet what I underwent, was but trifling, in comparison to the torments and miseries which I was afterwards an eye witness of being inflicted on others of my unhappy fellow creatures.
Going from thence along by the River Susquehana, for the space of six miles, loaded as I was before, we arrived at a spot near the Apalatian Mountains, or Blue Hills, where they hid their plunder under logs of wood—And, oh, shocking to relate! from thence did these hellish monsters proceed to a neighbouring house, occupied by one Jacob Snider and his unhappy. family, consisting of his wife, five children, and a young man his servant. They soon got admittance into the unfortunate man’s house, where they immediately, without the least remorse, and with more than brutal cruelty, scalped the tender parents and the unhappy children.