Catharine Bard

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Catharine Bard (Poe)

Also Known As: "Kitty"
Birthdate: (74)
Birthplace: Franklin County, Province of Pennsylvania
Death: August 31, 1811 (74)
Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA
Place of Burial: Church Hill Graveyard Mercersburg Franklin County Pennsylvania
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Thomas Poe and Mary Poe
Wife of Richard Bard
Mother of John Bard; Isaac Bard; Mary (Bard) Dunlap; Hon. Archibald Bard; Olivia (Bard) Erwin and 7 others
Sister of Susannah Poe

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Catharine Bard

Catharine (Poe) Bard's Indian Captivity Spoon Ownership Maternal Lineage

1. Catharine (Poe) Bard b.1737 m. Richard Bard b.1736

2. Martha Bard b.1778 m. William Wilson b.1785

3. Catharine Poe Wilson b.1807 m. William C. McMean (McMeen)

4. Mary Naylor McMean m. Archibald Johnston

5. Lydia Sammet m. Edward Burtt Johnston

6. Ann Sammet Johnston b.1926 m. Alvin Woodrow Bunis b.?

7. Catherine Poe Bunis b.1965 m. McDonough b.

8. ________ McDonough b.?

Marriage: 22 December 1756 (Age 19) Richard Bard - Franklin Co., PA, USA.

Tradition/Misc.: "Kitty".

Judge Archibald Bard's FULL Narrative see: SCRAPBOOK.


My father, Richard Bard, lived in York Co., now Adams, and owned

the mill now called Marshall's mill, in what is called Carroll's tract,

where, on the morning of the 13th of April, 1758, his house was invested by a party of nineteen Indians. They were discovered by a little girl called Hannah M'Bride, who was at the door, and on seeing them, screamed, and ran into the house. At this time there were in the house, my father, mother, and lieutenant Thomas Potter, (brother of general Potter) who had come the evening before (being a full cousin) together with a child of about 6 months old, and a bound boy. The Indians rushed into the house... The door was now shut and secured as well as possible; but finding the Indians to be very numerous, and having no powder or ball, and as the savages might easily burn down the house by reason of the thatched roof, and the quantity of mill wood piled at the back of the building, added to the declarations of the Indians, that they would not be put to death, determined them to surrender; on which a party of the Indians went to a field and made prisoners Samuel Hunter, and Daniel M'Manimy. A lad of the name of William White coming to the mill, was also made a prisoner. Having secured the prisoners, they took all the valuable effects out of the house, and set fire to the mill.

They then proceeded towards the mountain, and my mother enquiring of the Indians who had care of her, was informed that they were of the Delaware nation. At the distance of about seventy rods from the house, contrary to all their promises, they put to death Thomas Potter, and having proceeded on the mountain about three or four miles, one of the Indians sunk the spear of his tomahawk into the breast of the small child, and after repeated blows scalped it... they reached the top of the Tuskarora mountain and all had sat down to rest, when an Indian, without any previous warning, sunk a tomahawk into the forehead of Samuel Hunter, who was seated by my father, and by repeated blows put an end to his existence.

He was then scalped, and the Indians, proceeded on their journey, encamped that evening some miles on the north of Sideling Hill. The next day they marched over the Allegheny mountain, through what is now called Blair's gap. On the fifth day, whilst crossing Stoney Creek... he severely beat my father with the gun, and almost disabled him from travelling any further. And now, reflecting that he could not possibly travel much further, and that if this was the case, he would be immediately put to death, he determined to attempt his escape that night. Two days before this, the half of my father's head was painted red.

This denoted that a council had been held, and that an equal number were for putting him to death and for keeping him alive, and that another council was to have taken place to determine the question... After some of the Indians had laid down, and one of them was amusing the others, with dressing himself with a gown of my mother's, my father was called to go for water. He took a quart and emptying it of what water it contained, stept about six rods down to the spring. My mother perceiving this, succeeded so well in confining the attention of the Indians to the gown, that my father had got about one hundred yards... They ran after him, and one having brought back the quart, said, here is the quart, but no man. They spent two days in looking after him... but after an unsuccessful search, they proceeded down the stream to the Alleghany river, thence to fort Du Quesne, now Fort Pitt. After remaining there one night and a day, they went about twenty miles down the Ohio, to an Indian town, on entering which a squaw took a cap off my mother's head, and with many others severely beat her.

Now almost exhausted with fatigue, she requested leave to remain at this place, but was told she might, if she preferred being scalped to proceeding. They then took her to a town called Cususkey. On arriving at this place, Daniel M'Manimy was detained outside of the town, but my mother, the two boys and girls, were taken into the town, at the same time having their hair pulled, faces scratched, and beaten in an unmerciful manner. Here I shall extract from my father's papers the manner and circumstances of M'Manimy's death. This account appears to have been obtained from my mother, shortly after her return, who received it from those who had been eye witnesses of the tragical scene. The Indians formed themselves into a circle, round the prisoner, and commenced by beating him; some with sticks, and some with tomahawks. He was then tied to a post near a large fire, and after being tortured sometime with burning coals, they scalped him, and put the scalp on a pole to bleed before his face. A gun barrel was then heated red hot, and passed over his body, and with a red hot bayonet they pierced his body with many repetitions. In this manner they continued torturing him, singing and shouting, until he expired.

Shortly after this, my mother set out from this place, leaving the two boys and girl, whom she never saw again, until they were liberated. She was now distressed beyond measure; going she knew not where, without a comforter, without a companion, and expecting to share the fate of M'Manimy in the next town she would reach. In this distressed situation she met a number of Indians among whom was a captive woman. To her my mother made known her fears, on which she was informed that her life was not in danger, for that belt of wampum, said she, about your neck, is a certain sign, that you are intended for an adopted relation. They, soon after, arrived at a town, and being taken into the council-house, two squaws entered in--one stept up and struck my mother on the side of the head. Perceiving that the other was about to follow this example, she turned her head-and received a second blow.

The warriors were highly displeased at such acts in a council-house, being contrary to the usage. Here a chief took my mother by the hand, and delivered her to two Indian men, to be in the place of a deceased sister. She was put in charge of a squaw in order to be cleanly clothed. She had remained here, with her adopted friends near a month, when her party began to think of removing to the head waters of the Susquehana, a journey of about two hundred miles. This was very painful to my mother, having already travelled about two hundred miles over mountains and swamps until her feet and legs were extremely swollen and sore. Fortunately, on the day of their setting out, a horse was given to her by her adopted brother; but before they had travelled far, one of the horses in the company died, when she was obliged to surrender hers to supply its place.

After proceeding on her journey some miles, they were met by a number of Indians one of whom told her not to be discouraged, as a peace was about to take place shortly, when she would have leave to return home. To this information she was the more disposed to give credit, as it came from one who was a chief counsellor in the Delaware nation with whom she was a prisoner. Having arrived near the end of her journey, to her great surprise, she saw a captive dead by the road side, having been tomahawked and scalped. She was informed that he had endeavored to escape, but was overtaken at this place. On arriving at the place of destination, having in all travelled near five hundred miles, the fatigue which she had undergone, with cold and hunger, brought on a severe fit of sickness, which lasted near two months. In this doleful situation, having no person to comfort, or

sympathize with her, a blanket was her only covering, and her bed was the cold earth... boiled corn was her only food. She was reduced to so week a state as to consider herself as approaching the verge of dissolution.

But recovering from her sickness, she met with a woman with whom she had been formerly acquainted. This woman had been in captivity some years, and had an Indian husband by whom she had one child. My mother reproved her for this, but received for answer, that before she had consented, they had tied her to a stake in order to burn her. She added, that as soon as their captive woman could speak the Indian tongue, they were obliged to marry some one of them or be put to death.

This information, induced her to determine never to learn the Indian language, and she adhered to this determination all the time she remained with them, from the day of her captivity to that of her releasement, a space of two years and five months. she was treated during this time, by her adopted relations, with much kindness; even more than she had reason to expect.

I shall now return to the narration of facts respecting my father, after

he had made his escape from the Indians as before stated.

The Indians, as soon as he was missed, gave chase. Finding himself closely pursued, he hid in a hollow log... being without food, except a few buds plucked from the trees... his feet were very much lacerated and swollen... found himself so lame that he could proceed no farther. His hands also, by crawling upon them in the snow, became almost as much swollen as his feet... he was in fact in a starving condition... he was fortunate enough to see a rattlesnake, which he killed and ate raw. After lying by three or four days, he allayed the swelling of his feet, by puncturing the festered parts with a thorn; he then tore up his breeches, and with the pieces bound up his feet as well as he could... he was startled by the welcome sound of a drum; he called as loud as he could, but there was no one to answer; it was but a delusion of the

imagination... he was attracted by the sight of a fire apparently

abandoned the day before, probably by a party of the settlers who were out in pursuit of the savages. Remaining here till morning, he discovered a path leading in the direction of the settlements, which he followed with as much speed as he was able. This was the ninth day since his escape, during which time a few buds and four snakes were all he had to subsist on. In the afternoon of this day he was alarmed by suddenly meeting at a turn of his path three Indians; but they proved friendly, and instead of killing him, as he expected when he first saw them, they conducted him in a few hours to Fort Littleton... where he remained a few days, until sufficiently recruited in strength to proceed home.

Some time after my father's return home, he went to Fort Pitt... a

number of Indians being on the opposite side of the river, about to form a treaty, he one evening went over, to make inquiry concerning my mother. My father observed among them several who were present when he was taken prisoner; to these he discovered himself. But they professed not to know him, on which he enquired of them if they did not recollect having been at the taking of nine persons, referring them to the time and place. They then acknowledged it, and enquired of him how he got home, &c., after which he made enquiry concerning my mother, ...they promised to give him some information by the time of his return the next day. He then returned to the fort.

Shortly after this, a young man, who had been taken by the Indians when a child, followed him, and advised him not to return, for that when he had left them he had heard them say, that they never had a stronger desire for anything than to have sunk the tomahawk into his head, and that they had agreed to kill him on his return next day... I may here state that from the time that my father was taken by the Indians, until my mother was released, he did little else than wander from place to place in quest of information respecting her, and after he was informed where she was, his whole mind was bent upon contriving plans for her redemption... asked captain White Eyes, who commanded a party of Indians, to promise to accompany him to Pittsburg... They had proceeded but about two miles, when an Indian turned off the road and took up a scalp which that morning had been taken off one of the wagoners. This alarmed my father not a little; but having proceeded about ten miles further, the Indians again turned off the road, and brought several horses and a keg of whiskey which had been concealed.

Shortly after this, the Indians began to drink so as to become intoxicated. White Eyes then signified to my father that as he had run off from them, he would then shoot him, and raised his gun to take aim; but my father, stepping behind a tree, ran round it while the Indian followed. This for a time gave great amusement to the bystanders, until a young Indian stepped up, twisted the gun out of the hands of White Eyes, and hid it under a log... White Eyes then made at him with a large stick, aiming at his head, but my father threw up his arm, and received so severe a blow as to blacken for weeks. At this time an Indian of another nation, who had been sent as an express to Bedford, came by. Captain White Eyes applied to him for his gun to shoot my father, but the Indian refused, as they were about making peace, and the killing of my father would bring on another war: (being of different nations they were obliged to speak in English.)... he said to captain White Eyes, our horses are going away, and went towards them, expecting every minute to receive a ball in his back, but on coming up to his horse, he got him and took to the road; he had gone but a short distance when he saw the Indian who had taken the gun out of White Eyes hand sleeping at a spring, and I have often heard him say, had it been any other of the Indians, He would have shot him... he got to Pittsburg the next morning shortly after sun-rise, and he was not there more than three hours until the Indians were in after him: but from a fear of injury being done my mother, should he kill them, he suppressed his anger, and passed the matter by.-

Here he had an opportunity of writing her a letter, requesting her to inform her adopted friends, that if they would bring her in, he would pay them forty pounds. But having waited for an answer until he became impatient... he resolved at all hazards to go himself and bring her; for which purpose he set out and went to a place on the Susquehannah, I think it was called Shomoken, not far from what is called the Big Cherry Trees. From here he set out on an Indian path, along which he travelled until evening, when he was met by a party of Indians who were bringing in my mother; the Indians passed him by, and raised the war halloo-my mother felt distressed at their situation, and my father perceiving the Indians not to be in a good humor, began to promise them their pay... he told them to keep him as a hostage out in the woods and send his wife into town, and he would send an order for the money to be paid them, and if it was not done they might do with him as they pleased.

This had the desired effect,-they got quite good humored and brought them in, on doing which the money was paid agreeably to promise. Before my father and mother left Shomoken, he requested an Indian who had been an adopted brother of my mother, if ever he came down amongst the white people to call and see him. Accordingly, Some time afterwards the Indian paid him a visit, he living then about ten miles from Chambersburg. The Indian having continued for some time with him, went to a tavern, known by the name of M'Cormack's, and there became somewhat intoxicated, when a certain Newgen, ?(since excuted in Carlisle for stealing horses,)? having a large knife in his hand, struck it into the Indian's neck, edge foremost... cut the forepart of the wind-pipe... it has been remarked, that ever after he continued to progress in vice until his death.

A physician was brought to attend the Indian; the wound was sewed up, and he continued at my father's house until he had recovered, when he returned to his own

people, who put him to death, on the pretext of his having, as they said, "joined the white people".

Death: (74 Years).

Sources: The Bard Family, by G.O. Seilhamer; Pg. 159-200.

  • * Note that 2 other sources (Kittochtinny Papers Vol VII "The Poes of Antrim" and the Kittochtinny record of the Bard family) list Catharine's birth date as 13 JUN 1737.- CB

Reference #: I0535

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Catharine Bard's Timeline

February 28, 1736
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA
June 3, 1737
Franklin County, Province of Pennsylvania
September 27, 1757
Age 20
Fairfield, York (Adams), PA
February 8, 1762
Age 24
Peters Twp., Franklin Co., PA, United States
August 28, 1763
Age 26
Peters Twp., Franklin Co., PA, United States
June 27, 1765
Age 28
Peters Twp., Franklin Co., PA, United States
March 26, 1767
Age 29
Peters Twp., Franklin, PA, United States
April 2, 1769
Age 31
Peters Twp., Franklin Co., PA, United States
March 25, 1771
Age 33
Peters Twp., Franklin Co., PA, United States