Genealogy has become a hobby for me over the last 10 years. For me, it's like a puzzle, I love fitting the pieces together. But over the years, I've researched a lot that does not pertain to our family lines. Some for extended family, some for close friends, and some because I was trying to rule out lines to figure out where our line went exactly. I do not want these notes on my Heather's Genealogy Notes blog - because they are not our lines. But I do like to share all of my research, in case it benefits others. That is what this blog is for - research I have done that does not apply to our own family lines, but may be helpful for someone else.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jake Confare captured by Indians

 LOVE this story!

Jake Confare captured by Indians – from

1820 - 1915
Harold D. Hileman
On the 22nd of June, 1820, I was born in the log cabin which Grandfather Milligan had built when the country was almost a wilderness. I was the youngest of nine children. When grandparents established their residence in this three room log cabin, the Indians occasionally made raids on the settlement from their hunting grounds on the head waters of the Susquehanna River, beyond the Alleghenies. One of the worst of the raids of which Grandfather told me, was attended with the massacre of the HOWSER AND OLRAY families. Only two of the Howser families escaping the tomahawk and scalping knife, and these two were taken captive. They were very young children. They remained with the Potawatomies until forty years later, when the government in removing a tribe to the western reserve where what is now the state of Ohio, discovered JOACHIM AND RACHEL HOWSER who were now grown to middle age. Rachel was the wife of a Chief; Joachim, who had refused to marry a squaw, though he was made a chief by virtue of his bravery in the fight with the York State Indians in which the chief was killed by Joachim.

When told of the massacre of their parents and friends by the Potawatomies, when they were taken capture so long before, they were dazed and almost unable to comprehend the situation. However, their liberators prevailed upon them to return to their homeland, and scenes of their childhood, in the hope of that memory, when upon the scenes of their childhood, they would recall something to their minds of the time before the terrible time of their capture. Can we realize the feelings of these two unfortunate people as they were liberated from the Indians? Rachel being the mother of several papooses. Of course she was in the most trying of situation, for she had a mothers love for her children while they were plainly of Indian blood.

They returned to the beautiful and peaceful
Juniata valley amidst the splendid mammoth oaks, the shell bark hickory, the sycamore and the gigantic black walnuts. The swallows flitted over the stream, and the brownthirst sang in the midst of the bough just as they did forty years before, while this man and woman were barefoot children rollicking in their childish glee. In the presence of this scene much of it remained as it was in their childhood, but nothing was distinctly recalled to their memory, though they thought they could recall some glimpses of the past.

What a sad situation, the memories which might have heaved their bosom of motion, and pained their hearts, are not manifested in their beholding the scenes of their childhood. There remain in the neighborhood a few who will always remember the terrible ordeal, when these two were so cruelly taken from them; and these people tried to suggest things to their memory, but nature had almost sealed the past of that day to them. They remained but a little while until they returned to Potawatomies, to live and to die with them, far beyond the Alleghenies, in what is now the state of

Father said that several attempts had been made to find the captives but without success. The greatest attempt to do so was when a band of the strongest and the bravest of Huntingdon County ventured into the country of the Potawatomies at Cherry Tree, and while reconnoitering there one, of the strongest and the bravest of the party was suddenly surprised and taken captive by the very Indians whom they were hunting for.

Fortunate it was for JAKE CONFARE that he was so cool headed and brave. His companions soon discovered footprints in the forest and immediately decided that they were those of Jake's captures or slayers. They redoubled their efforts now to overtake them, if possible, but the wile red men escaped their pursuers without allowing themselves to be seen by the white men. They took their captive to their tribe on their hunting grounds in the pine groves of Kittatinny, and here JAKE awaited his fate or a chance to escape.

He lived with them for a year and a half without once events any desire to escape. But some traders came along with some ice skates, and they traded them to the Indians without the Indians having any idea how to use them, and Jake also pretended not to know. So one day while out wobbling about on his skates, he took a chance, and took off skating down the river. Obviously the Indians couldn't catch him, and so he made his escape.

The joy throughout the neighborhood was unbounded when the word was sent around of Jake's escape. The whole community had been in despair after the return of his companions without him. His account of his life while in captivity among the Potawatomie gave intense interest to young and old for many a day. At the time of the return of Rachel and Joachim, Jake Confare and Grandpa were old men. When the brother and his sister returned to the Indians to live the remainder of their lives, it was almost more than Jake and Grandfather could stand. They hated the Potawatomies, and in fact, all of the Indians so intensely.

 November, 1999 Copyright ©1999 by Harold D. Hileman

Permission to reprint the "The Memoirs of Michael Hileman Jr." is granted unless specifically stated otherwise, PROVIDED: (1) the reprint is used for non-commercial, educational purposes; and (2) a copy of this notice appears at the end of the reprint.

No comments:

Post a Comment