Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Narrative of the Captivity of William Biggs among the Kickapoo Indians in Illinois in 1788   By: (1755-1827)

Book cover

First Page:



Heartman's Historical Series Number 37



Written By Himself

Eighty one Copies Re Printed In Nineteen Hundred and Twenty two.

Number ... of 81 Copies Reprinted.

Also Five Copies Issued on Japan Paper.


In the year 1788, March 28th, I was going from Bellfontain to Cahokia, in company with a young man named John Vallis, from the State of Maryland; he was born and raised near Baltimore. About 7 o'clock in the morning I heard two guns fired; by the report I thought they were to the right; I thought they were white men hunting; both shot at the same time. I looked but could not see any body; in a moment after I looked to the left and saw sixteen Indians, all upon their feet with their guns presented, about forty yards distant from me, just ready to draw trigger. I was riding between Vallis and the Indians in a slow trot, at the moment I saw them. I whipped my horse and leaned my breast on the horse's withers, and told Vallis to whip his horse, that they were Indians. That moment they all fired their guns in one platoon; you could scarcely distinguish the report of their guns one from another. They shot four bullets into my horse, one high up in his withers, one in the bulge of the ribs near my thigh, and two in his rump, and shot four or five through my great coat. The moment they fired their guns they ran towards us and yelled so frightfully, that the wounds and the yelling of the Indians scared my horse so that he jumped so suddenly to one side of the road, that my gun fell off my shoulder, and twisted out of my hand; I then bore all my weight on one stirrup, in order to catch my gun, but could not. I had a large bag of beaver fur, which prevented me from recovering my saddle, and having no girth nor crupper to my saddle, it turned and fell off my horse, and I fell with it, but caught on my feet and held the mane; I made several attempts to mount my horse again; but the Indians running up so close, and making such a frightful yelling, that my horse jumped and pranced so that it was impossible for me to mount him again, but I held fast to my horse's mane for twenty or thirty yards; then my hold broke and I fell on my hands and knees, and stumbled along about four or five steps before I could recover myself. By the time I got fairly on my feet, the Indians were about eight or ten yards from me I saw then there was no other way for me to make my escape but by fast running, and I was determined to try it, and had but little hopes at first of my being able to escape. I ran about one hundred yards before I looked back I thought almost every step I could feel the scalping knife cutting my scalp off. I found I was gaining ground on them, I felt encouraged and ran about three hundred yards farther, and looking back saw that I had gained about one hundred yards, and considering myself quite out of danger. A thought then occurred to me, that I was as safe and out of danger as I would be if I were in the City of Philadelphia: the Indians had quit yelling and slacked their running but I did not know it then. It being a tolerable cold morning and I was heavily clad, I thought perhaps the Indians would give me a long chase, and probably that they would hold out better than I could; although at that time I did not feel the least tired or out of breath. I concluded to throw off my two coats and shoes, as I would then be better prepared for a long race. I had my great coat tied around me with a silk handkerchief pretty much worn I recollect tying it with a slip knot, but being in a hurry, it was drawn into a double hard knot; I tried some little time to get it loose the longer I tried the harder the knot seemed to get, that stopped my running considerably; at length I broke it by some means, I do not know how. In the morning I forgot to put on my shot pouch before I put on my great coat, and then put it on over it... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books