1755 Indian Raids on Virginia and Maryland Frontiers
Gentlemen's Magazine, London

by Terry Gruber

The following is an excerpt from the January 1756 issue of the Gentlemen's Magazine, a monthly periodical published in London from 1735 to around 1830 or '40, probably the longest continuous printing of any magazine. The magazine is an interesting source of world news, and particularly news from America. It generally has information that is different from that found in the colonial newspapers in America (colonial newspapers frequently copied news from other papers making really only one account of a particular event. The Gentlemen's Magazine, most of the time, acquired their information from sources other than those of the newspapers, thus making a true second account).

The event described involves the series of devastating Indian raids which occurred on the Virginia and Maryland frontiers, during the fall of 1755, shortly after Braddock's defeat in July. I'll have some eyewitness accounts of the destruction written in a Virginia Regiment officers journal as he was passing through the area in a future installment.

Part of the description is of the destruction along Patterson Creek, now in Mineral County, West Virginia and at Stoddart's Fort somewhere in the vicinity of Hancock, Maryland. The spellings, capitalization, and punctuation have been kept as in the original.

"The plantation of Paterson's Creek is intirely ruined, the inhabitants about Stoddart's Fort have all left their plantations, and above 80 families have fled to the fort for shelter; the enemy has also ravaged all the country about Potomack with so strong a party, that they repulsed a considerable force sent against them from Fort Cumberland; the officer who commanded this party, writes that the smoke of the ruined houses is so great as to hide the adjacent mountains, and obscure the day. They cut off all but the young women, whom they carry away to their towns."

The author welcomes your e-mail comments and questions: Terry Gruber

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