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Oct
01

William Crawford Burned at the Stake

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When:
June 11, 2016 all-day
2016-06-11T00:00:00-04:00
2016-06-12T00:00:00-04:00
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William Crawford Burned at the Stake

Still working on this page, researched 2015, 2016 by Jim Moyer , updated 1/1-2/17

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crawford-burn-at-stake-wm-crawford

See that guy in the middle? The one tied to the stake? The one with burn marks from a hot poker? Yes, that one.

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Picture credit: see title on this album cover.  As with all pictures on this site, click on picture to enlarge, then hit backspace to return here.

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William Crawford. Land finder for George Washington.

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Old friend of George Washington’s. From the beginning.  See letters.

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Was here in Winchester in Washington’s VA Regiment at Fort Loudoun.

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Winchester, December 27th 1755

William Crawford1 received his Commission as Ensign in the Company of Scouts commanded by Captain Christopher Gist; who had money delivered him to Recruit with; the General Instructions, and the same private Instructions that were given the Officers at Alexandria the third instant (only the opportunities of Elections were omitted) and was ordered to Rendezvous here the fourteenth of February next.

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Founders Online Footnote:

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1William Crawford’s familiarity with the Shenandoah Valley region made him a particularly useful young officer in the Virginia Regiment during the next 3 years. See GW to David Bell, 25 April 1756, Robert Stewart to GW, 3 July 1756, and GW to Andrew Lewis, 21 April 1758. GW promoted Crawford to lieutenant 27 July 1757. After the war Crawford often acted as GW’s surveyor and land agent in Pennsylvania. Born in 1732, Crawford was killed at the age of 50 by Indians while on the Sandusky expedition in 1782.

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Source:

http://founders.archives.gov/?q=Date%3A1755-12-27&s=1111311111&r=2

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He was tasked to find William Smith, deemed “one of the greatest villains upon the continent” who then was sentenced to hang at Fort Loudoun 29 July 1757.

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William Crawford and his brother Valentine helped secure land for George Washington near the Ohio River.

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Washington went out there in 1770.

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4 years later Crawford is helping in Lord Dunmore’s War 1774.

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Now back to that Stake. June 1782.

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Picture Credit: James Boroff, Seneca County Museum in Tiffin, Ohio, USA.

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But that picture might not be there anymore. See link from 5/22/2011.

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crawford-at-stakeSee that White Man on a horse outside the fire perimeter?

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Simon Girty.

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The story:

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Captain Pipe, who knew Crawford from the 1778 Fort Pitt treaty, spoke to the crowd, pointing out that Crawford had been captured while leading many of the men who had committed the Gnadenhütten murders. Crawford had nothing to do with the massacre, but he had taken part in the “squaw campaign” in which several of Pipe’s family members had been killed. Pipe apparently mentioned this as well.[92]

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After Pipe’s speech, Crawford was stripped naked and beaten. His hands were tied behind his back, and a rope was tied from his hands to a post in the ground. A large fire was lit about six or seven yards (6 m) from the pole. Indian men shot charges of gunpowder into Crawford’s body, then cut off his ears. Crawford was poked with burning pieces of wood from the fire, and hot coals were thrown at him, which he was compelled to walk on. Crawford begged Girty to shoot him, but Girty was unwilling or afraid to intervene. After about two hours of torture, Crawford fell down unconscious. He was scalped, and a woman poured hot coals over his head, which revived him. He began to walk about insensibly as the torture continued. After he finally died, his body was burned.[93]

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crawford_expedition

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insert maps

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Of course you want to know the exact spot?

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And yes, there was a song about this.

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Find all the spots where William Crawford was?

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Click on top right corner square.

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A new window of this map will open.

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Click on Magnifying Glass on top left corner.

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Type in Crawford

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You will a list of locations. Click on any one of them to see that spot.

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THE BURN SITE

The Search for the Colonel William Crawford

Burn Site: An Investigative Report

Parker B. Brown

The Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, Vol. 68, No.1Qanuary 1985)

Copyright ©Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania

https://journals.psu.edu/wph/article/viewFile/3928/3745

 

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Links and Notes of Related Interest

Crawford at Fort Maidstone

Captains Stewart and Bell, Lt. John Campbell, ensigns John Deane and William Crawford, and 6 noncommissioned officers were at Maidstone with 101 soldiers. Captain Gist was in Winchester

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Source:

http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-03-02-0208-0001#GEWN-02-03-02-0208-0001-fn-0005

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GIRTY THE WHITE INDIAN

https://archive.org/stream/watsonsmagazines154wats#page/280/mode/1up

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William Crawford Burned at the Stake

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In 1782, a regiment of Virginia soldiers was sent in reprisal to destroy Indian villages on the Sandusky River, under the command of William Crawford, a friend of victorious General George Washington. However, the Crawford expedition ended on June 4 after a skirmish south of modern-day Carey, and the Americans retreated. Colonel Crawford was captured by the Indians after the battle, and seven days later he was tortured and burned at the stake on the banks of Tymochtee Creek in present-day northeastern Wyandot County

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Col._Crawford_Burn_Site_Monument

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Crawford’s death was widely publicized in the United States. A ballad about the expedition, titled “Crawford’s Defeat by the Indians“, became popular and was long remembered.[105][106] In 1783, John Knight’s eyewitness account of Crawford’s torture was published. The editor of Knight’s narrative, Hugh Henry Brackenridge, deleted all mention of Crawford’s trial and the fact that Crawford was executed in retaliation for the Gnadenhütten massacre. By suppressing the Indians’ motivation, Brackenridge was able, according to historian Parker Brown, to create “a piece of virulent anti-Indian, anti-British propaganda calculated to arouse public attention and patriotism.”[107] In an introduction, Brackenridge’s publisher made clear why the narrative was being published:

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But as they [the Indians] still continue their murders on our frontier, these Narratives may be serviceable to induce our government to take some effectual steps to chastise and suppress them; as from hence, they will see that the nature of an Indian is fierce and cruel, and that an extirpation of them would be useful to the world, and honorable to those who can effect it.[108]

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crawford_expedition

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Early career[edit]

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In 1722, Crawford was born in Orange County, Virginia, at a location which is now in Berkeley County, West Virginia.[1] He was a son of William Crawford and his wife Honora Grimes,[2] who were Scots-Irish farmers. After his father’s death in 1736, his mother married Richard Stephenson. Crawford had a younger brother, Valentine Crawford, plus five half-brothers and one half-sister from his mother’s second marriage.[3]

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In 1742 Crawford married one Ann Stewart and she bore him one child, a daughter also named Ann, born in 1743. Apparently she died in childbirth or soon after, and on 5 January 1744 he married Hannah Vance, said to have been born in Pennsylvania in 1723. She bore him a son named John (20 Apr 1744-22 Sep 1816; he married one Effie Grimes) and at least two daughters, Ophelia “Effie” (2 Sep 1747-1825, who married ?? McCormick), and Sarah (1752-10 Nov 1838, who married 1)Major William Harrison [c1740-13 June 1782], and 2) Lt. Col Uriah Springer [18 Nov 1754-21 Sep 1826]}. There may also have been another daughter, Nancy, born in 1767, who had apparently died when he wrote his will in 1782.[4]

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In 1749, Col. William Crawford became acquainted with George Washington, then a young surveyor somewhat younger than Crawford. He accompanied Washington on surveying trips and learned the trade. In 1755, Crawford served in the Braddock expedition with the rank of ensign. Like Washington, he survived the disastrous Battle of the Monongahela. During the French and Indian War, he served in Washington’s Virginia Regiment, guarding the Virginia frontier against Native American raiding parties. In 1758, Crawford was a member of General John Forbes’s army which captured Fort Duquesne, where Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania now stands. He continued to serve in the military, taking part in Pontiac’s War in 1763.

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In 1765 Crawford built a cabin on the Braddock Road along the Youghiogheny River in what is now Connellsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. His wife and three children joined him there the following year. Crawford supported himself as a farmer and fur trader. When the 1768 Treaty of Fort Stanwix with the Iroquois opened up additional land for settlement, Crawford worked again as a surveyor, locating lands for settlers and speculators. Governor Robert Dinwiddie had promised bounty land to the men of the Washington’s Virginia Regiment for their service in the French and Indian War. In 1770 Crawford and Washington travelled down the Ohio River to choose the land to be given to the regiment’s veterans. The area selected was near what is now Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Crawford also made a western scouting trip in 1773 with Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia. Washington could not accompany them because of the sudden death of his stepdaughter.[5]

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At the outbreak of Dunmore’s War in 1774, Crawford received a major’s commission from Lord Dunmore. He built Fort Fincastle at present Wheeling, West Virginia.[6] He also led an expedition which destroyed two Mingo villages (near present Steubenville, Ohio) in retaliation for Chief Logan‘s raids into Virginia.[7] During the expedition, Crawford’s men rescued two captives held by American Indians, killing six and capturing 14 Indians.[2]

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Crawford’s service to Virginia in Dunmore’s War was controversial in Pennsylvania, since the colonies were engaged in a bitter dispute over their borders near Fort Pitt. Crawford had been a justice of the peace in Pennsylvania since 1771, first for Bedford County, then for Westmoreland County when it was established in 1773. Arthur St. Clair, another Pennsylvania official, called for Crawford to be removed from his office, which was done in January 1775. Beginning in 1776, Crawford served as a surveyor and justice for Virginia’s short-lived Yohogania County.[8]

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Crawford_%28soldier%29

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From George Washington to William Crawford, 20 July 1757

To William Crawford

[Fort Loudoun, 20 July 1757]

To Ensign Crawford
By George Washington Esquire; Colonel of the Virginia Regiment.

You are ordered forthwith to go in pursuit of Wm Smith, a Deserter from the aforesaid regiment, and to use your best endeavours to apprehend and bring him to justice at this place.1

If he shou’d resist, and stand upon his defence, contrary to the Laws of the country; you are in that case, to fire upon him as an Enemy. Given &c. this 20th July 1757.

G:W.

 

LB, DLC:GW.

1. In the list of deserters advertised by Dinwiddie (see GW to Dinwiddie, 11 July 1757, n.4) a William Smith is named. He is identified as a 20–year-old “sadler.” See the General Court-Martial, 25–26 July, at which a William Smith in Crawford’s custody was tried for desertion and sentenced to be hanged. He was executed on 29 July.

Index Entries

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All the letters between GW and William Crawford:

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http://founders.archives.gov/search/Correspondent%3A%22Washington%2C%20George%22%20Correspondent%3A%22Crawford%2C%20William%22

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