John Heckewelder's Legendary Ride His Version From Fort Pitt to Lichtenau
THE FOLLOWING account, written in 1820 some forty-two years after the event, can be found in Heckewelder's A Narrative of the Mission of the United Brethren among the Delaware and Mohegan Indians; From Its Commencement, in the Year 1740, to the Close of the Year 1808, 176-82.
The narrative begins with Heckewelder and Schebosh hastily departing from Fort Pitt on April 3, 1778, at the height of the Delaware confrontation with McKee and his fellow conspirators. The Fort Pitt commander and Colonel Morgan were not aware of McKee's visit to Goschachgunk.
Accordingly, in the morning we made our resolution known to cols. Hand and Gibson, whose best wishes for our success, we were assured of; and leaving our baggage behind, and turning a deaf ear to all entreaties of well meaning friends, who considered us lost, if we went, we crossed the Allegheny river, and on the third day, at eleven o'clock at night, reached Gnadenhutten, after having several times narrowly escaped falling in with war parties.... We travelled day and night, only leaving our horses time to feed.... When arrived within a few miles of Gnadenhutten, we distinctly heard the beat of war drums, and on drawing near, the war songs sung to the beat of the drum, all which being in the direction of the town lay, we natu-