Monday, July 13, 2009
"Among the prisoners taken by the Indians, were Colonel Crawford, the commander, and Dr. Knight of Pittsburgh, who had gone upon the expedition as surgeon. On the 10th of June, these gentlemen were marched toward the principal town of the Wyandots, where they arrived the next day. Here they beheld the mangled bodies of their late companions, and were doomed to see others, yet living, butchered before their eyes. Here likewise, they saw Simon Girty, who appeared to take infernal delight in gazing upon the dead bodies, and viewing the tortures that were inflicted upon the living. The features of this wretch, who had known Colonel Crawford at Fort Pitt, were clad in malicious smiles beholding the brave soldier in his preset strait; and toward Dr Knight he conducted himself with insolence as well as barbarity. The Colonel was soon stripped naked, painted black, and commanded to sit down by a large fire which was blazing close at hand; and in this situation he was surrounded by all the old women and young boys of the town, and severely beaten with clubs and sticks. While this was going on, the Indians were sinking a large stake in the ground, and building a circle of brushwood and hickory sticks around it with a diameter of some twelve or fifteen feet. These preparations completed, Crawford's hands were tied firmly behind his back, and by his wrists he was bound to the stake. The pile was then fired in several places, and the quick flames curled into the air. Girty took no part in these operations but sat upon his horse at a little distance, observing them with malignant satisfaction. Catching his eye at the moment the pile was fired, Crawford inquired of the renegade if the savages really meant to burn him. Girty coldly answered "Yes" and the Colonel calmly resigned himself to his fate..... For more than two hours did the gallant soldier survive at that flame-girdled stake; and during the latter half of this time, he was put to every torture which savage ingenuity could devise, and hellish vengeance execute. Only once did a word escape his lips. In the extremity of his agony he again caught the eye of Girty; and he is reported to have exclaimed "Girty! Girty! shoot me through the heart! Do not refuse me! quick!-quick!" And it is said the monster merely replied "Don't you see I have no gun, Colonel?" then burst into a loud laugh and turned away. Crawford said no more; he sank repeatedly beneath the pain and suffocation which he endured, and was often aroused by a new torture; but in a little while the "vital spark" fled, and the black and swollen body lay senseless at the foot of the stake."
From "The Life Of Daniel Boone" by Cecil B. Hartley, 1883