John Brady (1733 - 1779)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Newark, New Castle, Delaware
Death: Died in Wolf Run, , Pennsylvania
Managed by: Rebecca Sattler
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About John Brady

John Brady was trained as a surveyor. On 18 April 1760, at the time of the war against the French and the Indians in the west, John Brady received his first commission as Ensign in the 1st Battalion, colonial troops.

John Brady was commissioned as a Captain on July 19, 1763 in the Second Battalion of the Pennsylvania Regiments, commanded by Governor John Penn, which Regiments fought in Pontiac’s War. Captain John Brady actively fought against the Indian forces that were attacking and killing many frontier families in Bedford and Cumberland Counties, Pennsylvania. However, Pontiac took many frontier forts and settlements in present day Michigan and Ohio. Pontiac’s forces besieged Fort Pitt (presently Pittsburgh), Fort Ligionier and Fort Bedford in Pennsylvania. British Col. Henry Bouquet organized a force that marched to lift these sieges, which it did. Bouquet became the commander of Fort Pitt. In the fall of 1764, Col. Henry Bouquet commanded an army of colonial militia and regular British troops from Fort Pitt that moved into the Ohio Country and forced the Shawnees, Senecas and Delawares to make peace. Captain John Brady served in the Pennsylvania forces that participated in this expedition.

Captain John Brady received a land grant which was awarded to the officers who served in the Bouquet Expedition. He chose land west of present day Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He built a private stockade on this land in the Spring of 1776, close to present day Muncy, Pennsylvania, which he called "Fort Brady." John Brady's Muncy house was large for its day. He dug a 4-foot-deep (1.2 m) trench around it and emplaced upright logs in that trench side by side all the way around. He filled the trench with dirt and packed the dirt against the logs to hold the log wall solidly in place. This log wall ran about twelve feet high from the ground. He then held this wall in place upright by pinning smaller logs across its top, to keep the wall face steady and solid. The John Brady homestead was perilously close to the leading edge of the frontier of that time, the Susquehanna River. The other side of the Susquehanna was fiercely dominated by the Indians. The Indians resisted settler encroachment on their territory by routinely crossing the Susquehanna to raid the settlers. The settlers just as routinely crossed the Susquehanna to pursue the raiding war parties to retaliate and sometimes to rescue captives taken by the Indians during these raids. In this ongoing skirmishing, both sides committed unspeakable atrocities on the other, which drove a long-lasting cycle of revenge for revenge brutalities between the settlers and Indians. It was in the midst of this extreme danger and violence that Captain John Brady chose to settle his family, which set the stage for what happened to him and for what so greatly impacted and influenced his family—especially, his son, Continental Army Captain Samuel Brady.

Captain John Brady took his sons Samuel and James with him to fight in the trenches with General George Washington in Boston.

Captain John Brady was killed in an Indian ambush on April 11, 1779 according to author Belle Swope.


In the Spring of 1779 he received orders to join Colonel Hartley on the West Branch, and on the 11th of April, 1779, was killed by a concealed body of Indians. He had taken an active part in efforts to subdue their atrocities, and his daring and repeated endeavors intensified their hatred and desire to capture him resulting so fatally on that spring-time morning. With a guard and wagon he went up the river to Wallis' to procure supplies. His family was living at the 'Fort' at Muncy during the winter and early spring, and from his home to the provision house was only a few hours' ride. On their return trip, about three miles from Fort Brady, at Wolf Run, they stopped to wait for the wagon, which was coming another way. Peter Smith, whose family was massacred on the 10th of June, and on whose farm young James Brady was mortally wounded, was by his side. Captain John Brady said: 'This would be a good place for Indians to hide'. Smith replied in the affirmative, when the report of three rifles was heard, and the Captain fell without uttering a sound. He was shot with two musket balls between the shoulders. Smith mounted the horse of his commander and escaped to the woods unharmed, and on to the settlement. It was not known what Indians did the shooting, but proof was evident that a party had followed him with intent to kill. In their haste, they did not scalp him, nor take his money, a gold watch, and his commission, which he wore in a bag suspended from his neck, his dearest earthly possession. Thus perished one of the most skilled and daring Indian fighters, as well as one of the most esteemed and respected of men, on whose sterling qualities and sound judgment the pioneers of the entire settlement depended.


Captain John Brady's comrades carried his body to his home at Fort Brady (within the city limits of present day Muncy, Pennsylvania). His widow was presented with the grisly sight of his blood-covered body, all too soon after being presented with the sight of her horribly injured son, James. John Brady was buried on a hillside near his home, where a hundred years later, a monument was erected in his memory and in tribute to his many heroic deeds.

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Captain John Brady's Timeline

1733
1733
Newark, New Castle, Delaware
1755
1755
Age 22
Middle Spring, Cumberland, Pennsylvania
1756
May 5, 1756
Age 23
Shippensburg, Cumberland, Pennsylvania
1758
1758
Age 25
Shippensburg, Cumberland, Pennsylvania
1760
1760
Age 27
Shippensburg, Cumberland, Pennsylvania
1761
March 18, 1761
Age 28
Shippensburg, Cumberland, Pennsylvania
1766
August 16, 1766
Age 33
Shippensburg, Cumberland, Pennsylvania
1768
July 27, 1768
Age 35
Standing Stone, Bradford, Pennsylvania
July 27, 1768
Age 35
Standing Stone, Bradford, Pennsylvania
1770
September 12, 1770
Age 37
Northumberland, Northumberland, Pennsylvania