Author: John L. Moore
Book Type: Trade Paperback
One Sunday in 1782, white vigilantes suddenly appeared at a camp of Delaware Indians on an island in the Allegheny River near Fort Pitt in western Pennsylvania. Guns blazing, they attacked, killing several Indians and neutralizing U.S. soldiers assigned to guard them.
These Delawares were active allies of the American army. Two held the rank of captain, and others had served as scouts. The chief, Colonel Killbuck, escaped by swimming.
The title of John L. Moore’s nonfiction book, “Murder at Killbuck Island,” comes from the true story of these killings. It is among the most obscure of the many unprovoked attacks that Native Americans suffered at the hands of white people.
The book is the fifth in Moore’s ongoing Revolutionary Pennsylvania Series. The account of the attack on Killbuck’s camp is one of seven dealing with various aspects of the Revolutionary War. Others tell how:
- Church bells rang to signal Benjamin Franklin’s return from London in May 1775. Hundreds of Philadelphians rode out to meet John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and John Adams, coming from Massachusetts to attend the Continental Congress.
- Pennsylvania soldiers mutinied in their winter camp at Morristown, N.J., in January 1781. Ten months later, they were in the American army’s front lines at Yorktown, Va.
- A wealthy landowner on the Susquehanna River’s West Branch wanted Hessian POWs to build a stone fort to replace a wooden defense burned by pro-British Indians.
- Pennsylvania militia officers confiscated the guns of Loyalists, then redistributed them to soldiers marching off the fight the British.
- Tories in Buck County robbed tax collectors whose revenues financed the local militia. After the war, several fled to Canada. At least two were hanged.