Capt. David Morgan, Indian Fighter

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Captain David Morgan

Also Known As: "The Indian Fighter"
Birthdate: (92)
Birthplace: Christiana, New Castle County, Lower Counties on the Delaware, Colonial America
Death: May 19, 1813 (92)
Rivesville, Marion County, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Marion County, West Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Col. Morgan Morgan and Catherine Morgan
Husband of Sarah Morgan
Father of David Morgan; Lt. Morgan Morgan; James Morgan; Evan Thomas Morgan; Elizabeth Lowe and 6 others
Brother of James Morgan; Annie E. Paxton; Charles Morgan; Henry Morgan; Evan Morgan and 2 others

Occupation: Frontiersman/Rancher, The Indian Fighter, Surveyor, Planter, Soldier
Managed by: Darren Edward Blumer
Last Updated:

About Capt. David Morgan, Indian Fighter

Capt. David Morgan served in Co. B of the 10th West Virginia Infantry, for the Union. (Film Number M507 roll 9)

SON, Stephen Morgan, was the sheriff of Monongalia County when he made this statement to the Monongalia Gazette, of Morgantown, in October of 1808: Some historians have asserted that my father killed three Indians in the fight at our homestead in 1779. He was responsible only for the death of two Indians; they were of the Delaware Nation, and about thirty years old. One was very large, weighing about two hundred pounds; the other was short and stocky, weighing about one hundred and eighty pounds. My father (David Morgan) was six feet one inch tall, and at that time weighed one hundred and ninety pounds, about. It has been published that my father tomahawked and skinned the savages. This is not true. He left one Indian alive, but dying, and returned to the fort and to his bed, which he had left less than an hour before, where he remained for the remainder of the day. The oft' made statement that he attempted to escape to the fort by flight is not true. He did not run a single step with the exception of getting away from the savages. The running he did was done to gain an advantage over the enemy, and this he accomplished. "My father traveled the frontier wilderness from boyhood, form Canada, New York, Pittsburgh, to Kentucky, Tennessee, to South Carolina, and fought the Indians and other enemies of our country as often as became necessary. Before the fight at our homestead, he had fought and killed seven Indians in single handed combat. Others there were, including French and British soldiers, wounded and killed by him as a soldier in battle. He well understood the Indians and their method of warfare, and could speak the languages of the Delaware, Shawnee, and Wyndotte nations. "In his manner of living and defending himself and others, he was no different from his contemporaries. I certainly would not class him an Indian-fighter, no more than I would class Jacob Prickett, Frederick Ice, or Nathaniel Cochran as such. He was a Christian, a patriot, a soldier, a surveyor, and a very good farmer, the profession of which he is most proud, and a loving, and most times, a too indulgent parent." (Now and Long Ago, pp. 521-522).

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He was buried in (near) Rivesville, WV. (455) <fowsrc.htm> [Ancestral File provided by Del Osborn has burial place as Bunker Hill, WV, which is in north west WV, Rivesville is in north central WV south west of Morgantown.] "This is the same David a description of whom at the age of 19 years is given in documents found in Colonel Washington's Journals or MSS., was with the Virginia troops in the French and Indian War, and the same David who some sixty years later became the famous 'Indian-fighter' of the Monongahela Valley. ... was a boy 9 years of age when his parents moved to the Valley of Virginia. He married ... and settled on a farm near Winchester (VA?). He was a surveyor appointed by Colonial Governor of Virginia to assist Steven Holsten to make surveys and explorations in southwestern Virginia. Afterwards he was appointed one of the commissioners on the part of the Colony of Virginia to assist Colonel Washington in 1746 to locate and establish the northern boundary of the Fairfax estate, which was to be the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania. That historic monument erected at the head of the north branch of the Potomac, known as the Fairfax Stone, was the consummation of their labors.... moved from Town Creek (MD) to Frederick County, Virginia and in 1773 removed to Monongalia County (WV). He settled on a large farm of well-laying land about a half mile west of the river, and the same distance from the present village of Rivesville. The Indians were troublesome all during this period, and for mutual protection, the settlers erected a fort in 1774 at the mouth of Prickets Creek, which was called Prickets Fort. This was on the opposite side of the river from David's farm, and about a mile distant. No record has been found of David having been molested by the Indians until the spring of 1779, when he had his famous encounter with two of them on his farm, which has been recorded by contemporaneous writers." As recorded in the Lineage Books of the Daughters of the American Revolution, David served as private in Captain Haymond's Co., Virginia Militia; as private in Captain William Haymond's Co., Virginia Militia; and was Captain of 5th Co., 8th Battalion under Col. Peter Grub. "He possessed a high character for honor, beneficence, morality, and intelligence; was a member of the Episcopal Church, and lived in the highest esteem among the early settlers." A monument was placed to remember the site where David Morgan fought the two Indians to save his children. (PHOTO - Descendant, David M. Kober, is shown sitting on base of monument.) He was married to Sarah STEVENS in 1743 or 1745 in VA.


1. David moved 15 miles further up the Monongahila River to put some distance between himself and his brother sheriff in Monagoila County WV,

2. When David was about 55 years old, suffering from the flu, he killed two Indians and wounded a third. He noticed them approaching two of his younger children Steven and Sarah who were working the fields.

3.Monument and grave site for David are in Rivesville,WV.


3. CAPTAIN DAVID20 MORGAN (MORGAN19, CHARLES18, JOHN17, WILLIAM16, THOMAS15, ROWLAND14, THOMAS13, JOHN12, IEUAN AP LLEWELYN AP11, LLEWELYN AP10, MORGAN AP9 LLEWELYN, LLEWELYN AP8 IVOR, IFOR AP7 LLEWELYN, LLEWELYN LLEIA AP6 IVOR, IVOR AP5 LLEWELYN, LLEWELYN AP4 IVOR, IVOR AP3 BLEDRI, BLEDRI2, CADIFOR1 FAWR)82,83,84,85,86,87,88,89,90,91 was born May 12, 1721 in Christiana, New Castle, Delaware, USA92,93,94,95, and died May 09, 1813 in Monongalia, Virginia, USA96. He married SARAH STEVENS97,98,99 Dec 20, 1745 in Frederick County, Virginia or Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA100,101,102, daughter of JOHN STEVENS. She was born Oct 07, 1726 in Swedeland, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and died May 15, 1799 in Rivesville, Monongalia (Marion) County, Virginia103.

Notes for CAPTAIN DAVID MORGAN: 3rd child of Col. Morgan Morgan.

     David Morgan, called the "Indian Fighter," was born in Delaware, May 12, 1721, died May 19, 1813, married about 1745, Sarah Stephens, a Quaker lady of Pennsylvania and settled on a farm near Winchester, Frederick County, Maryland, and later to Monongalia County, Virginia. 

http://www.colmorganmorganreunion.org/ Daniel Boone’s Ginseng Adventure In the winter of 1787-88, Boone lost fifteen packs of ginseng in the Monongahela River at the first riffle below the mouth of Pricketts Creek. Boone was transporting the ginseng by packhorses from his home in Kentucky to Philadelphia, where the price of “good dry sang was very high”. As Boone drove his packers across the river, a panther screamed from a thicket; the horses, frightened, reared and bolted, losing their packs and the ginseng in the water. Joseph Hartley told Adam O. Heck of the happening, and said that Boone, aided by Jonathon Nixon and Edward Parrish, who were passing by, and a few men from the Prickett settlement, finally recovered about half the ginseng, and was able to “ dry it into marketable condition by digging a fire-pit and a flue-trench and making a screen of hickory withes and rigging it above the fire-pit and spreading the ginseng upon it”. It took about a week to dry the ginseng, Hartley said, during which time “Boone ate and slept at his cousin’s, David Morgan’s and Prickett’s Fort. Ref. Page 654, Now And Long Ago by Glenn D. Lough

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From Now and Long Ago:

DAVID MORGAN used to tell a story about "JAKE PRICKETT and the bean-shot Brave." The story was told to his nephew's "Chunk" and James, sons of Col. Zackwell Morgan. Chunk had a hunting camp on a dreen of Little Paw Paw Creek. Chunk had just married, and he and his brother built a cabin for the newlyweds to set up housekeeping in. Uncle Dave & Henry Batten came by, and were there to share the first fire and first meal, that was made in that cabin.

In the evening a "soiree" was held. David got to telling funny but true stories of his and JACOB PRICKETT'S adventures.

One story told that night was about the time that he and Jacob captured an Indian Brave. (The story, as printed, does not relate the whole particulars, as related by David Morgan.) The two men were out of lead, so Jacob loaded his musket with beans. Jacob shot the brave in the rump, and as the brave "was dancing around and yelping Prickett hit him with his fist and knocked him out, and they tied him and turned him in at Fort Rogers and later was exchanged for the Ramsey boy, who had been with the Indians for a year." It was a good story and everybody laughed hearing Uncle Dave tell about that Indian with beans in his bottom." Served as a private in Maj. William Haymond's Company of Virginia Militia. Came to present Berkeley County with father and later to Monogalla County.

Called "The Great Indian Fighter."

David Morgan was a son of Col Morgan ap Morgan. He was a surveyor, Planter and soldier.

David Morgan stood six feet, one inch tall, weighed about 190 pounds, was powerfully built, and had black hair and dark brown, nearly black, eyes. ("Now & Long Ago")

On October 23, 1746, the famous "Fairfax Stone" was laid. David Morgan, at 25, was one of the surveyors in the party, which included a young George Washington.

David fought in the French and Indian War, and was there for Braddock's disastrous campaign against the French at Fort Duquesne in the summer of 1755, and was left with a saber scar to his left cheek. His coat was red then, but it became blue soon enough.

Like his friend (and relation by marriage) Captain Jacob Prickett, David was a frontiersman on par with the legendary Daniel Boone.

Jake and David had a lot of experience fighting American Indians, and in fact, at the time of his death, had missing fingers from an Indian tomahawk hurled at the back of his head, (He was herding his children back into the fort, on the run, as he threw up his hand to protect the back of his skull-- the tomahawk struck and severed his fingers.)

Morgan was 57, and on his sick-bed at the time. In a feverish dream, "he saw" 2 of his children running around scalped and bleeding. It is said that he jumped out of his sick-bed, rushed out through the open fort gates, and found 2 of his children meandering down the cow path looking for a stray. He called to them to get back to the fort, and as they did, 2 braves attacked. David scuffled with one and managed to kill him, and was on the run through the gates when the tomahawk hit him squarely on the back of his head. Had he not thrown up his hand, he no doubt would have died then and there.

At the dawning of our great nation, David Morgan was there, blue-coated and willing to fight frontier style. (Might have even been a little of his ancestral Welsh style as well.) His brother, Zackquill Morgan, was a Colonel, their brother Evan "Chunk" Morgan was a scout and spy.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=57487192


Called "The Great Indian Fighter."

David Morgan was a son of Col Morgan ap Morgan. He was a surveyor, Planter and soldier.

David Morgan stood six feet, one inch tall, weighed about 190 pounds, was powerfully built, and had black hair and dark brown, nearly black, eyes. ("Now & Long Ago")

On October 23, 1746, the famous "Fairfax Stone" was laid. David Morgan, at 25, was one of the surveyors in the party, which included a young George Washington.

David fought in the French and Indian War, and was there for Braddock's disastrous campaign against the French at Fort Duquesne in the summer of 1755, and was left with a saber scar to his left cheek. His coat was red then, but it became blue soon enough.

Like his friend (and relation by marriage) Captain Jacob Prickett, David was a frontiersman on par with the legendary Daniel Boone.

Jake and David had a lot of experience fighting American Indians, and in fact, at the time of his death, had missing fingers from an Indian tomahawk hurled at the back of his head, (He was herding his children back into the fort, on the run, as he threw up his hand to protect the back of his skull-- the tomahawk struck and severed his fingers.)

Morgan was 57, and on his sick-bed at the time. In a feverish dream, "he saw" 2 of his children running around scalped and bleeding. It is said that he jumped out of his sick-bed, rushed out through the open fort gates, and found 2 of his children meandering down the cow path looking for a stray. He called to them to get back to the fort, and as they did, 2 braves attacked. David scuffled with one and managed to kill him, and was on the run through the gates when the tomahawk hit him squarely on the back of his head. Had he not thrown up his hand, he no doubt would have died then and there.

At the dawning of our great nation, David Morgan was there, blue-coated and willing to fight frontier style. (Might have even been a little of his ancestral Welsh style as well.) His brother, Zackquill Morgan, was a Colonel, their brother Evan "Chunk" Morgan was a scout and spy.

David Morgan has thousands (maybe even millions) of proud descendants, and his first name has come down through the Morgan, Swisher, and Ward lines. I'm sure it has come down through other family lines as well.


Family links:

Parents:
 Morgan Morgan (1688 - 1766)
 Catherine Garretson Morgan (1689 - 1773)

Spouse:
 Sarah Stevens Morgan (1726 - 1799)

Children:
 Morgan Morgan (1746 - 1826)*
 James Morgan (1748 - 1840)*
 Zackquill Morgan (1758 - 1834)*
 Stephen Morgan (1761 - 1850)*

Sibling:
 David Morgan (1721 - 1813)
 Zackquill Morgan (1735 - 1795)*
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: David Morgan Cemetery Fairmont Marion County West Virginia, USA

David Morgan stood six feet, one inch tall, weighed about 190 pounds, powerfully built, and had black hair and black eyes. He had a large scar on his cheek that he had gotten when he was soldiering with Braddock's army. His contemporaries say that he was one of the kindest people and the best neighbor that you could ever have. He was fearless when it came to Indians or wild beasts, and the only time he was ever out-shot was by his young friend, also our ancestor, JOHN BUNNER. David was not a man to suffer cowards gladly. He liked to talk like the frontiersman that he was, and threw off the genteel speech that characterized both his brothers, Col. Zackwell, and the young Reverend Morgan Morgan. But when the time came for his "company manners and speech" he was more than up for the task. His son said that he was a bit overindulgent with his children.

When he died, at 93, he was still pretty robust, and most of his hair was still black. He only lost his teeth in extreme old age. When he died, his body was held for five days to allow time for his friends and family from all over to get there. "Slow River Charlie" Nourse went around telling everone that "If ever things get so bad they can't be fixed, he (David) would put his bones and meat back together and come back and set things to rights." He carved the headstones for both himself and his wife. "He was honest and a first-rate surveyor who's surveys were so good that they are entered in the deed books."

He was appointed by the colonial gov. of VA to assist Steven Holsten in making surveys & explorations of the SW part of the state.

Later, he was appointed one of the commisioners on the part of the colony of VA to assist George Washington, in 1748, in discovering and establishing the North boundry of Lord Fairfax's estate, which constituted the boundry between Maryland and Virginia. (Mason / Dixon) The monument known as the Fairfax stone, at the mouth of the Potomac River, commerates their labors.

He fought under Capt. Chas. Lewis during the French and Indian War.

JACOB PRICKETT SR., & DAVID MORGAN, were both among the defenders of Washington's Fort Necessity. (1757) They also fought under Gen. Edward Braddock in the disastrous march on Fort Duquesne {dew-cane}, (9 July 1755) and other important battles of this war.


"In 1833, George Cox, while sick in bed and remembering the past, told his cousin Abraham Cox, of West Liberty, who was then twenty-four years old, that in May, 1757, his father, Reuben Cox; Garret and Tobias Decker, brothers; DAVID MORGAN, Nathaniel Springer, John Ice, Henry Falls, Samuel Bingaman, and others, trailed about twenty Indians and two Frenchmen from the South Branch of the Potomac River--where these Indians had murdered six white men and carried off another, George Delay--across the Allegheny Mountains and onto Cheat River, where they overtook and skirmished with them, killing seven Indians and one Frenchman." This happened about five or six miles above where the Ice family kept a ferry. Delay was wounded and died of his injuries while being carried across the mountains. Cox goes on to say that his father and DAVID MORGAN, among others, pursued the fleeing French and Indians, to Bingaman Creek, on the West Fork River. Here they lost the enemy's trail. DAVID MORGAN, Nathaniel Springer, Cox and others, then returned home to the South Branch, where they camped for about two weeks at the mouth of Deckers Creek. During this time, they hunted, gathered ginsing, and explored the Deckers Creek valley. (pp. 81; NOW AND LONG AGO) He moved to the mouth of Red Stone Creek, PA, in 1769; staying 2 yrs. (Fayette or Washington Co PA? "Redstone now Brownsville" Then he moved to Marion Co., WVA in 1771. He served as a Private in Wm. Haymonds Co., during the Revolution, where they saw action in PA. (Joined 1777)

In 1777, called the "Bloody year of the three sevens", there were many British sponsored Indian depredations. Two invasions were made into the Monongahela Valley. According to the "Morgan Bible" David Morgan killed 7 Indians total; earning the title: "The Great Indian Fighter".

In 1778, aged 57, he arose from a sickbed, where it is said he had dreamed he saw his children running around the fort scalped, and killed 2 Braves who were stalking Stephen, 16, & Sarah, 14. In the violent confrontation, David lost a finger of his left hand and had another one severed when a Brave threw his tomahawk at David's head. There are affidavits of people who claim to have seen a shot pouch made from a Brave's tanned skin. Some claim David skinned one of the Indians. (Which is doubtful as he was ill and injured.) Others claim that refugees at Prickett's Fort tanned the Brave, making 2 shot pouches and one girth from the leather; then presented them to David.

David was one of the builders of Fort Paw Paw. (Rivesville, WV) In the book Now and Long Ago' written in 1969, by Glenn D. Lough, {pronounced Low} there are a lot of stories about David. In 1785, in one of the few natural clearings in the "Big Shade", Thomas Stone was surprised, killed and scalped by Indians. JACOB PRICKETT SR., found the body. He got together with DAVID MORGAN, JOHN BUNNER and Nathaniel Springer, and "they trailed the savages for two days and nights, to Middle Island Creek, where the trail was lost in a rain-storm." (pp. 39)

Another story is told of a woman known as Aunt Sukey Nourse', who, in 1786, was drowned in Paw Paw Creek for being a witch. The story goes that some people's cattle had strangled to death on hair-balls. It was decided that it was of Aunt Sukey's doing, so they tied her up and threw her into the creek, where she drowned. The relater, Keziah Batten Shearer (1776-1872), continued: "David Morgan and some others were mad about it. Most people was glad and said she deserved it because she was a witch." (pps 9-10)

There was a painting of David as a young man. Where it is or even if it still exists, I don't know. HOWEVER, people who had seen this painting said that Francis H. Pierpoint, a great-nephew of David's, and Gov. of VA in 1861-1868, was "the spittin' image of his great-uncle Dave." (Sans scar of course.) The representative painting was based on this.

His son MORGAN was a slave owner. One wonders if the Great One was also? On 12 Oct 1889, a 14 foot tall monument was dedicated to him. It stands on the spot where one of the Indians died. The place had been marked by a dogwood tree that had sprung up there, by it's own accord, but after many years it had died leaving only a stump. The family was concerned that future generations would not know the spot where the event occurred, and desired a more permanent marker.



Called "The Great Indian Fighter."

David Morgan was a son of Col Morgan ap Morgan. He was a surveyor, Planter and soldier.

David Morgan stood six feet, one inch tall, weighed about 190 pounds, was powerfully built, and had black hair and dark brown, nearly black, eyes. ("Now & Long Ago")

On October 23, 1746, the famous "Fairfax Stone" was laid. David Morgan, at 25, was one of the surveyors in the party, which included a young George Washington.

David fought in the French and Indian War, and was there for Braddock's disastrous campaign against the French at Fort Duquesne in the summer of 1755, and was left with a saber scar to his left cheek. His coat was red then, but it became blue soon enough.

Like his friend (and relation by marriage) Captain Jacob Prickett, David was a frontiersman on par with the legendary Daniel Boone.

Jake and David had a lot of experience fighting American Indians, and in fact, at the time of his death, had missing fingers from an Indian tomahawk hurled at the back of his head, (He was herding his children back into the fort, on the run, as he threw up his hand to protect the back of his skull-- the tomahawk struck and severed his fingers.)

Morgan was 57, and on his sick-bed at the time. In a feverish dream, "he saw" 2 of his children running around scalped and bleeding. It is said that he jumped out of his sick-bed, rushed out through the open fort gates, and found 2 of his children meandering down the cow path looking for a stray. He called to them to get back to the fort, and as they did, 2 braves attacked. David scuffled with one and managed to kill him, and was on the run through the gates when the tomahawk hit him squarely on the back of his head. Had he not thrown up his hand, he no doubt would have died then and there.

At the dawning of our great nation, David Morgan was there, blue-coated and willing to fight frontier style. (Might have even been a little of his ancestral Welsh style as well.) His brother, Zackquill Morgan, was a Colonel, their brother Evan "Chunk" Morgan was a scout and spy.

David Morgan has thousands (maybe even millions) of proud descendants, and his first name has come down through the Morgan, Swisher, and Ward lines. I'm sure it has come down through other family lines as well.

view all 15

Capt. David Morgan, Indian Fighter's Timeline

1721
May 12, 1721
Christiana, New Castle County, Lower Counties on the Delaware, Colonial America
1744
1744
Age 22
Wales
1746
December 20, 1746
Age 25
Bunker Hill, Frederick County, Virginia
1748
April 5, 1748
Age 26
Frederick County, Province of Virginia
1753
March 1, 1753
Age 31
Town Creek,Alleghany County,Maryland
1755
1755
Age 33
1758
September 8, 1758
Age 37
1761
October 17, 1761
Age 40
1765
1765
Age 43
Berkeley, Berkeley, VA, United States