Fergus Moorhead (B132) 1742-1822

In May 1772, Fergus Moorhead, his wife and three children, his two brothers, Samuel and Joseph, James Kelly, James Thompson, and a few others, left Franklin County, and set off on a journey to the “Indian country” west of the Allegheny.  It took 4 weeks for the group to arrive at what is now Indiana.  This spot had been selected for a settlement by Fergus Moorhead, who had made an excursion into this section in 1770.  The group had to withstand horrible living conditions while keeping a watching eye out for venomous snakes.  The thought that his wife and three children were in the wild forests would not have helped his peace of mind.  Moorland and friends stayed in Indiana until the year of 1776.  Fergus’ brother, Samuel, had been elected captain was stationed with a small company of backwoods militia, in Kittanning in July 1776.  Samuel had caught smallpox and went back to Indiana to get better.  Therefore, the leadership of the militia was put into Fergus’ hands.  Samuel had returned after getting better where he and Fergus spent much time talking about their family, friends, and planning how they should manage their business.  It was agreed that Fergus should return to his home on the following morning, in company with a soldier named Simpson.

A party of Native Americans happened to overhear the conversation the night prior, and they hid themselves near it, on a hill about halfway between Kittanning and Indiana. Upon the arrival of Moorhead and Simpson, the Native Americans attacked, killing Simpson and the two horses on the spot.  Before Moorhead could flee on foot, he was taken as a prisoner until he died sometime before 1822.

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