Flame Scalps Of The Chartiers





Before Pittsburg had become worthy to be called a settlement, a white man

rowed his boat to the mouth of Chartiers creek, near that present city.

He was seeking a place in which to make his home, and a little way

up-stream, where were timber, water, and a southern slope, he marked a

tomahawk claim, and set about clearing the land. Next year his wife,

two children, and his brother came to occupy the cabin he had built, and

for a long time all went happily, but on returning from a long hunt the

brothers found the little house in ashes and the charred remains of its

occupants in the ruins. Though nearly crazed by this catastrophe they

knew that their own lives were in hourly peril, and they wished to live

until they could punish the savages for this crime. After burying the

bodies, they started east across the hills, leaving a letter on birch

bark in a cleft stick at the mouth of Chartiers creek, in which the

tragedy was recounted.



This letter was afterward found by trappers. The men themselves were

never heard from, and it is believed that they, too, fell at the hands of

the Indians. Old settlers used to affirm that on summer nights the cries

of the murdered innocents could be heard in the little valley where the

cabin stood, and when storms were coming up these cries were often

blended with the yells of savages. More impressive are the death

lights--the will-o'-the-wisps--that wander over the scene of the tragedy,

and up and down the neighboring slopes. These apparitions are said to be

the spirits of husband and wife seeking each other, or going together in

search of their children; but some declare that in their upward streaming

rays it can readily be seen that they are the scalps of the slain. Two of

them have a golden hue, and these are the scalps of the children. From

beneath them drops of red seem to distil on the grass and are found to

have bedewed the flowers on the following morning.





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