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The Indian Captive A narrative of the adventures and sufferings of Matthew Brayton in his thirty-four years of captivity among the Indians of north-western America   By:

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THE INDIAN CAPTIVE

A NARRATIVE OF THE Adventures and Sufferings

OF MATTHEW BRAYTON

IN HIS THIRTY FOUR YEARS OF CAPTIVITY AMONG THE INDIANS OF NORTH WESTERN AMERICA

FOSTORIA, OHIO. THE GRAY PRINTING COMPANY, 1896.

COPYRIGHT APPLIED FOR

PREFACE

The following brief narrative of the unparalleled adventures of MATTHEW BRAYTON is compiled for the satisfaction of those who wished to preserve a memorial of his romantic history.

Extraordinary as the incidents may appear, there is abundant proof of their entire truth. Living witnesses bear testimony to the circumstances of the mysterious loss of the hero, and his identity is established by incontrovertible proofs. Numerous circumstances also confirm the account given by him of his adventures during the thirty four years spent among the Indians.

THE INDIAN CAPTIVE

CHAPTER I.

THE LOST CHILD.

That portion of North western Ohio, situated to the South east of the Black Swamp, was but sparsely settled at the close of the first quarter of the present century. The hardy pioneers who had left their New England homes to open up the Western wilds, here and there built their modest dwellings and tilled the few acres won from the dense forest and luxuriant prairie. The dusky aborigines, driven from all other parts of Ohio, clung tenaciously to this comparatively neglected spot, and the smoke from the log hut of the settler rose within sight of the Indian wigwam. The two races were at peace with each other, for neither cared to convert a passive neighbor into an active enemy. The Indians had realized their inability to drive back the constantly advancing wave of civilization, and the white settlers had no desire to provoke the savage retaliations of their dusky neighbors unless compelled by necessity to do so.

In the neighborhood of the junction between the Sandusky and Tymochte rivers, in Wyandot county, a remnant of the once powerful Wyandot tribe still remained. One of their villages was at Upper Sandusky, and another at Springville, in Seneca county. A small band of Senecas were also located in the neighborhood, and some scattered Ottawas had their wigwams on Blanchard's Fork, a few miles to the west of the Wyandot settlements. An Indian trail led from Upper Sandusky to Springville, and thence, through the Black Swamp, to Perrysburg. At the latter place it crossed the Maumee, and reached the shore of the Detroit river opposite Malden, in Canada. Some of the Indians living in the North west of Ohio had sided with the British in the war of 1812, and these annually crossed over to Malden to receive their presents of guns, ammunition and blankets. The Canadian Indians sometimes visited their dusky brethren in Ohio, and thus the trail was frequently traversed.

Among the settlers who had located themselves in the neighborhood of the Wyandot villages was Elijah Brayton, a thrifty farmer from New England, who had established himself near the Tymochte river in what is now Crawford township, Wyandot county. In the year 1825, Mr. Brayton was thirty nine years of age, and his family consisted of his wife and their six children, William, Harriet, Lucy, Matthew, Mary and Peter. In that year Mr. Brayton was busy erecting a mill on the Tymochte, and towards the fall of the year he went to Chillicothe for the purpose of bringing up the mill stones. The journey at that time was long and tedious, and the home affairs were entrusted in his absence to Mrs. Brayton and the eldest son William, then a lad of sixteen.

On the 20th of September, 1825, William Brayton, with his younger brother Matthew, then nearly seven and a half years old, started out to hunt up some stray cattle... Continue reading book >>




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