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Great Cove Massacre - Fulton County, Pennsylvania - 1 November 1755

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Great Cove Massacre - Fulton County, Pennsylvania - 1 November 1755

Posted: 1063056487000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1114267742000
Surnames: Scott, Potter
Ref: Early Fulton History, by Walter Reed Sloan, 1936

The history of the settlement of the territory now known as Fulton County stands prominently in the pioneer life of state. The early settlers, following Indian trails came from the east and south to carve out homes in this wilderness fastness. The trials and hardships that followed were many, and from the experience of these brave people has come a country which can be truly called "Historic Fulton Country."

When these venturesome and intrepid pioneers first set their stakes in the county is not known, but it was somewhere between 1730 and 1740. The oldest title to land is believed to be a Proprietary warrant dated November 6, 1749, granted to David Scott. The land west of the Kittatiny mountains was not purchased from the Indians until 1758, nine years after the issuing of the warrant to David Scott. The first settlements were made in the Great Cove, on Aughwick and Tonolaway (spelled Conolloways in early papers) section.

These early settlers were subjected to forays by predatory bands of Indians, who besides plunder, secured scalps and frequently made captives from among them. There is no record of any complaint on the part of the Indians against the whites for tresspassing on their land until 1742, when they formally lodged complaint to the authorities against this invasion of their domain by the settlers in the Great Cove, on Licking Creek, The governor of the Province, on this complaint in 1750, interposed legal force to eject the settlers. The number of settlers found at these points numbered 62. They were expelled by force by the officers of the Provincial government, with the aid of the magistrates and sheriff of Cumberland County. They were ejected "with as much leniency as the execution of the law would allow, and their cabins burnt." From this incidence we get the name for the town of Burnt Cabins.

But the restless spirit of adventure impelled these ejected pioneers to return to their desolated homes, and with them came others. After the defeat of Braddock, in 1755, the weight of savage ferocity fell heavily on the sturdy frontiersmen. On Saturday, November 1, 1755, a party of about one hundred Indians, Shawnees and Delawares, among them Shingas, the Delaware King, entered the Great Cove and began murdering the defenseless inhabitants and sestroying their property, one of which attacked the inhabitants of the Cove and the other swept down on Connoloways. Sheriff Potter on November 14, 1755 reported "that ninety three families which were settled in the Coves and the Connolways, forty seven were either killed or taken and the rest deserted."

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