Palo Alto Co,
Iowa USGenWeb Project
Emmetsburg Democrat, Thursday,
Dec. 20, 1928
Names of Pioneers Who
Petitioned For Protection From the Indians
When Northern Border Brigade Was
Organized and Stationed at Estherville in 1862. J.P. Crowley Was Last
Survivor of Historic Brigade.
To the Honorable Members of the Senate
and House of Representatives of the State of Iowa:
We, the undersigned inhabitants of
Emmet county, residing on this frontier of our state find, by several years
experience, that we are subject to the great inconvenience in consequence of
Indian excitement and the difficulties arising therefrom together with the
butcheries that have been committed by merciless savages with a country
composing the native elements of a rich and magnificent country, a fertile soil,
pure water, good timber and all the things combined to make it a country in
which to look for the cultivation of the soil and the raising of stock and from
manufacturing. The settlement and advancement of this northwestern country
has been kept back during the last five years since the depredations committed
at Spirit Lake by the Indians in the spring of 1857. The Indians have been
committing depredations every year during the above specified time, stealing
horses, destroying property, which has often caused a panic among the
inhabitants and we have been led to suppose that the same savage scenes of
bloodshed might again be re-enacted until the present time when we find that
peaceable citizens residing on the Des Moines river 30 miles above this point
have been butchered in the most inhuman manner and found horribly mutilated by a
savage foe who stops not at the destruction of man but buries the hatchet in the
brain of defenseless women and dashes out the brains of innocent children
against the nearest log as in the case above mentioned. A company of
citizens from this place repaired to the scene of bloodshed and returned making
the following report:
First found a man shot through the left
lung apparently with a musket ball.
Second, a woman shot through the left
breast and breast cut off, two gashes in the face with other things too horrible
Third, a woman shot through the body
and three children, a girl nine years old, shot through the body, a girl five
years old shot through the body and in the thighs with buckshot, also knocked on
the head, a boy three years old whose head had been smashed against a log.
The father was absent at the time; returning, he found the above mentioned
members of his family dead; also two children whose heads had been apparently
been knocked against the stove. One of the children has since died from
the effects of his wounds.
Fourth, a man shot through the heart.
Fifth, found a boy wounded in the head
by a ball.
Sixth, a man shot through the heart and
in the head.
The first intimations we had of this
massacre was from information obtained from a boy who escaped and came down to
the first settlement below on the river who had been shot in the arm by the
Indians. There are still four or five missing who are supposed to be dead
or taken prisoners. There was found to be one general destruction of
household property, aside from money and other valuables which were taken by the
savages. Several wagons were taken and stock driven off. Now, from
the best and most reliable information we are able to obtain, we are led to
conclude that the Indians have arisen in force, probably led on by those master
villians of the Southern Confederacy, for the express purpose of butchering the
inhabitants and calling the attention of the government in this direction.
Many, we are not prepared to state the exact number, have already been slain on
the Minnesota river and vicinity. As soon as the news of the butchery of
the settlement above, the inhabitants all fled and came down here, leaving their
property save their stock, which they drove, and a portion of their household
goods. They are thrown upon this settlement without the means of
sustenance and there being no more here then is needed for the sustenance of the
inhabitants who reside here. A state of things in itself deplorable but
which may be averted by stationing a sufficient force there for
protection. In view of these facts, it appears to us that active and the
most vigorous measures are required at once in order that the savages may be
driven back and the panic which is fast assuming a stampede, may at once be
stopped by the adoption of those measures which alone will lead to confidence
and security. It has now become an established fact that unless this
northwestern portion of our state is amply secured in life and property, it
will soon become depopulated and the country will go back to its wild state and
will be left for the savage to roam over unmolested, thereby defeating the ends
for which we struggle against, the privations incident to frontier life and our
endeavors to make for ourselves homes and improve this portion of our fair state
and avert one of the first objects of every state, namely, its expansion and
We hereby memorialize your honorable
body to establish a military post at this point with such fortifications as is
thought best and that a sufficient force be stationed here for ample
protection. We are disposed to do all in our power to assist the state in
its endeavors to protect citizens. We are busily engaged fortifying as
best we can under the circumstances. We have also ourselves into a company
for protection and have petitioned the govenor to be accepted in the
service of the state as Company A, Estherville Guards.
Estherville, Emmet county, Iowa, August
30, A. D., 1862.
Jeremiah Crowley, Thos. Maher, Patrick
Maher, William Maher, Miles Mahan, Edward Mahan, Lott Laughlin, Martin Laughlin,
Michael Crowley, James Maher, Martin Coonan, Patrick Lynch, John Pendergast,
Samuel McCellan, Thomas Dawson, Patrick Jackman, John M. Mulroney, Keran
Mulroney, Patrick Lauglin, Thomas A. Tobin, Patrick Mulroney, William Carter,
William Powers, Thomas Campbell, Daniel Ditch, James Hickey, Michael Hickey,
Welden Coates, Joseph T. Mulroney, R. F.Carter, Michael Collins, James White,
John McCormick, Jr., Thomas McCormick.
Joseph McCormick, John McCormick, John
Goff, Gaylord Graves, Howard Graves, C. Willis Jarvis, Ruel Fisher, Otto Schaef,
Byron Davis, Jep Overdaly, Lester Clark, A. Jenkins, I. Weehead.
Jared Palmer, Geo. W. Palmer, R. E. Ridley, Elbridge White, Judah Phillips, J.
R. Hopkins, Daniel Baker, Agro Estabrooks, F. Gilbert, Lewis Paulsen.
Wm. Humphrey, D. N. Hoyt, Jas. Jarvis,
Howard Graves, Samuel Shotwell, Edward Donahue, Patrick Conlon, Edwin Conlon,
Ole Haglin, Hogan Gilbert, Peter Baker, James Palmer, Ira Camfield, R. P. Rieley.
Stephen Mucke, Frank Jenkins, Wm.
McCaully, James Ryan, Wm. Webster, Charles Sleichborett, Stephen Sleichborett,
Christian Sleichborett, D. S. Perkins, L. Hosington.
A. Munson, Christopher Tomson, Burr
Oleson, Wm. Burrson, John Swinson, Ole Peterson, Lewis Oleson, John Oleson,
Engbert Oleson, Thomas Halverson, Ole Estherson, Ole Togerson, Henry Olson.
Knude Nelson, Edward Helverson, Henry
Keith, David Slawson, Milen Sharp, Perry Nowlan, John Svens, Wm. Svens, Henry
Jarvis, Wm. Jarvis, Wm. Struders, Rotherick Harris, James B. Graves, Selah
Cooke, Chas. Burdick, Adolphus Dart, Henry Jenkins, Morgan Jenkins, John
Jenkins, and A. A. Ellis.
Submitted by Kathleen