The Clowser House
Once upon a time horror came to town.
This horror came at the end
of the French and Indian War.
The French were done. They signed a treaty.
But these Indians weren't done.
This story stretches from
Frederick Co VA to
They have murals to depict this event.
We have a story and a house.
Wednesday 26 April 2017
that house was saved.
Quote from the Winchester Star 4/27/2017:
Ruth Perrine, co-chairperson of the Citizens’ Committee to Preserve the Clowser House, thanked the [the Frederick Co VA Board of] supervisors — particularly Red Bud Supervisor Blaine Dunn — for their decision, and residents who fought to help save the house. [from demolition].
And this story can also be read in this link:
Or . . .
For easier reading, Read below from pages 129 to 135 of Kerchival's book published originally in 1833, some 70 years after the event:
In the year 1764, a party of 18 Delawares crossed
the mountains. Furman's fort was about one mile
above the Hanging Rock, on the South Branch. William Furman and Nimrod Ashby had gone out from the
fort to watch a deer lick in the Jersey mountain.
The Indians discovered and killed them both, and passed on
into the county of Frederick, where they divided into
See Red colored Skull and Cross Bones on the map - - - for the conjectured vicinity of where William Furman and Nimrod Ashby were killed.
One party of eight moved on to the Cedar
creek settlement; the other of ten attacked the people
In the neighborhood of the present residence of Maj.John White.
On this place Dr. [Robert] White, the ancestor of
the White family, had settled, and on his land a stockade was erected. The people in the neighborhood had
taken the alarm, and were on their way to the fort, when
they were assaulted by these ten Indians.
They killed David Jones and his wife, two old people.
Some of Mrs. Thomas's family were killed, and she and one
daughter taken off.
An old man by the name of Lloyd, and his wife, and several of his children, were killed.
Esther Lloyd, their daughter, about 13 years old, re-
ceived three tomahawk wounds in the head, was scalp-
ed, and left lying, supposed to be dead.
Henry Clouser and two of his sons were killed, and his wife and
four of his daughters taken. The youngest daughter
was about two years old; and as she impeded the mo-
ther's traveling, when they reached the North moun-
tain the poor little innocent babe was taken by its heels,
its head dashed against a tree, and the brains beaten out,
and left lying on the ground.
See Blue Open Book Icon showing Clowser House on map.
Mrs. Thomas was taken to the Wappatomaka [South Branch of the Potomac River] ; but the river being pretty full, and deep fording, they encamped near Furman fort [See Blue Flag on map] for the night. The next morning a party of white men fired off their guns at the fort, which alarmed the Indians, and they hurried across the river, assisting all their female prisoners
except Mrs. Thomas, who being
quite stout and strong, was left to shift for herself. The
current, however, proved too strong for her, and she
floated down the river but lodged against a rock, upon
which she crawled, and saved herself from drowning.
Before her capture she had concealed half a loaf of
bread in her bosom, which, during her struggles in the
water, washed out, and, on her reaching the rock, float-
ed to her again. In this instance, the text of scripture,
" Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shaft find it
after many days," might have some application. It
was not "many days," but there appears to have been
something providential in it, for it saved her from ex-
The next morning Mrs. Thomas
made her way to Williams's fort [See Blue Circle on map] , two miles below
the Hanging Rock, on the South Branch.
The author [Kerchival] has received from Maj. John White, of
Frederick, another account of the foregoing outrages,
of which he will give in Maj. W.'s own words :
" In July, 1763, information was received by the late Maj. Robert White, (who had a small fort around his house as an asylum for the people in the neighborhood [See Yellow Open Book icon on map] ,) that Indians had been seen on that or the preceding day on Capon.
He immediately went to the several families
living near the base of the North mountain, as for as to
Owen Thomas's, live or six miles from the fort, told
them of the report, and advised them to go into the fort
until the danger should be over.
It being harvest time,
Owen Thomas was unwilling to leave home, and mount-
ed a horse to go to his neighbor Jacob Kackley's, who
had several sons grown, to propose to arm themselves
and work together in their respective grain fields ; but
on his way to Mr. Kackley's he was shot dead and scalp-
ed, the Indians having concealed themselves behind
two logs that lay one across the other near the road.
In June, 1764, similar information of Indians being
seen was received at the fort. Maj. White, as on the
former occasion, went in the afternoon to warn the peo-
ple of their danger; when the widow Thomas, Mr.
Jones and Mr. Clouser, set off with their families for the
fort ; but night coming on when they had reached Mr.
Lloyd's, (about two miles from the fort [White's Fort - see Yellow Open Book icon on map] ), they concluded to stay there all night.
In the morning, as soon as day
appeared, they resumed their journey ; but before they
were out of sight of the house, the Indians attacked
them, and killed, wounded, or took prisoners twenty-
two or twenty-three persons. Evan Thomas, a son of
the man killed the preceding summer, a boy of seven
years old, ran back into the house, and hid himself be-
hind some pimcheons that he placed across a corner of
the room, and remained concealed, notwithstanding the Indians brought the prisoners into the house, amongwhom were his mother and sister, both tied, and keptthem there till they fried bacon and ate their breakfast ;they then set fire to the house in two places, and wentaway.
* Mr. Gerrit Blue stated to the author that he was then a small boy, but
well recollects seeing Mrs. Thomas when she got into the fort.
Evan said he continued in the house as long
as he could on account of the fire ; that he saw through
a chink in the wall the direction the Indians went ;
and not knowing which way to go, he concluded to take
the contrary course from the one taken by them. He
rambled about all that day and the most of the next be-
fore he found any person, the houses which he passed
having been abandoned by their owners going to the
The Indians encamped the first night at a spring
on the Romney road, between the North river and Lit-
tle Capon ; and on the next day they stopped on the
bank of the South Branch, near where Romney now
stands, to eat their dinner.
While thus engaged, a par-
ty who were stationed in a fort a mile or two lower down
the river, and who had just returned from a scout, dis-
charged their guns in order to clean them, which alarm-
ed the Indians, and they hurried across the river, assisting
all their female prisoners excepting Mrs. Thomas, who
being a large fat woman, it was supposed would perish,
as the water was rapid and deep.
She floated down the
stream, however, until almost exhausted, when she had
the good fortune to get on a rock, and save herself from
drowning. She had put a piece of bread in her bosom
the morning she was taken, and lost it in the water ; but
it happened to float so near her while on the rock that
she caught it and ate it ; which, as she said, so revived
and strengthened her that she plunged into the water
again, and providentially got out on the east side of the
river. She reached Williams's fort, two miles below the
Hanging Rock, on the same day.
It was often remark-
ed by Mrs. Thomas's acquaintances, that after her re-
turn she would minutely relate the circumstances at-
tending the murder of her husband and children, and
her own sufferings, without shedding a tear.
five or seven of the persons wounded by the Indians,
were taken to the fort at Maj. Robert White's, and at-
tended by Dr. McDonald, though but one recovered,
Hester Lloyd, who had two scalps taken from her."
Mrs. Thomas's daughter, and Mrs. Clouser and her
three small daugliters, were taken to the Indian towns,
and after an absence of about six months, were released
from captivity, and all returned home safe.
See link on these hostages. Their names were spelled Clausser. See bouquet hostage list
There is something remarkable in the history of the
three Miss Clousers, who were all prisoners at the same
time. The eldest was about 10 years old, the next eldest
about 7, and the youngest between 5 and 6. They all
returned home from their captivity, grew up, were mar-
ried, raised families of children, and are now widows,
living in the same neighborhood, not more than five or
six miles apart. Two of them, Mrs. Sliultz and Mrs.
Snapp, reside aljout one and a half miles from the resi-
dence of the author, and the third. Mrs. Fry, not ex-
ceeding six miles.
Miss Lloyd, who was " tomahawked and scalped,"
was soon discovered not to be dead. The late Dr.McDonald was sent for, who trepanned her in the several
fractures in her head. She recovered and lived many
years after. There are several respectable individuals
now living who knew this woman.*
The other party of eight Indians committed several
murders on Cedar creek. It is probable this party killed
a Mr. Lylc, a Mr, Butler, and some others. Mr. Ellis
Thomas, the husband of the woman whose story has
just been given, was killed the harvest preceding. This
party of eight Indians took off two female prisoners,
were pursued by a party of v/hite men, overtaken in the
South Branch mountain, and fired upon, when one of
the Indians was killed. The others lied, leaving their
guns, prisoners, and plunder.t The prisoners and pro-
perty were brouglit home. Two of the fugitives over-
took the party in the Allegany mountain who had Mrs.
Clouser, her daughters, and other prisoners, in custody.
The fugitives appeared in desperate ill humor, and pro-
posed to murder the prisoners ; but the others peremp-
torily objected, and would not suffer their prisoners to
* General Smith, Maj. R. D. Glass, Miss Susan Glass, Mrs. Shultz, and Mrs. Snapp, severally- stated to the author that they frequently saw this wo man after she recovered from her wounds. Mrs. Shultz states that it was the first day of June the outrage was committed.
About the Author, from Wikipedia:
"Samuel Kercheval (March 1767 in Frederick County, Virginia – 14 November 1845 in Middletown, Virginia) was a Virginia lawyer and author. His A History of the Valley of Virginia (1st edition, 1833) provides important primary information on the earliest white settlements of the Shenandoah Valley and South Branch Potomac River and their encounters with local Indians.
His Valley of Virginia was so popular that the first edition was soon exhausted. He died before the second edition came out.He lived at the time of his death at “Harmony Hall” between Strasburg and Middletown."
Sep. 5. 1824 Monto Samuel Kerchival from Jefferson:
What is all this stuff about Colonel Bouquet?
He is the one who recovered some of the hostages of this attack.
Colonel Bouquet's Expedition retrieved over 200 white hostages held in Ohio by the Indians.
See link on these hostages.
Look for the names spelled Clausser.
See bouquet hostage list
Photo taken 11/18/2013 Scott Mason Winchester Star
The source of this map is from the application for assistance to the DHR Dept of Historic Resources of VA to help save the Clowser House.
This map is excellent for its research of the pioneer families living under the shadow of Great North Mountain and the threat of the Indians.
As all history is a rabbit hole that just goes on and on to explore, so too are some of these names.
Particularly notice Joshua Fry on the lower left.
ANSWER - NO.
The Indian attacks on this area happened in 1763 and 1764.
Colonel Joshua Fry died from falling off a horse on 31 May 1754 near Wills Creek (Cumberland MD).
J.B. Fry, Isaac Fry, Jos. Fry might be relatives to Colonel Joshua Fry.
More points of interest in this same area. This includes both the French and Indian War years and the Pontiac War year
HAYFIELD AREA 1966 - Topo map annotated by local historian Jeff Chamberlain. Click on PDF on right.
See link on these hostages. Their names were spelled Clausser. See bouquet hostage list
Kerchival uses the spelling Clouser.
The Colonel Bouquet Expedition on recovering captives from the Indians in Ohio spells Clausser.
Modern spellings use Clowser.
Not only names but also regular words had different spellings.
It wasn't until the 1840s that attempts at standardizing American English started to take hold. Noah Webster, like the Grimm Brothers did for Deutschland, started this standardization.
The Maj. White Fort was on the West side
of Hogue Creek about seven miles from Win-
chester. This place was known for more than
a century as the White Homestead. Dr. White,
son-in-law of Wm. Hogue, had settled there as
one of the first settlers.
In 1763 Maj. Robt
White, son of the Doctor, lived there, and for
the safety of the many families who had settled
along the Big North Mountain, he had erected
a small fort and stockade around his residence.
At the July term of that year, the Major ap-
peared in person before the Justices. He was
then a Justice himself and startled his brethren
by announcing that Indians had appeared in his
neighborhood the day previous, but disappeared
without molesting anyone; and that he also had
been informed that a large band was marauding
the settlements on Great Ca-Capon. The Court
was moved to convene and take steps to protect
No action was taken, and the
Major returned to take charge of the situation
himself. He warned the families, and went
along the mountain for fully six miles as far as
Owen Thomas’s home, and advised all to come
to his Fort.
As this raid involved families and
neighborhood so near to Winchester, it is well
to give the narrative as related by Maj. John
White a son of the owner of the Fort property.
Some little confusion as to dates appears. One
statement gives July, 1763, as the time; another
June, 1764. This may have occurred by two
raids, having been made, for we have evidence
that Indians raided that settlement twice.
of the families took no heed to the warning.
Owen Thomas being one, saying he could not
leave his harvest, and then rode to his neighbor
Jacob Keckley, who had several sons, to propose
that they arm themselves and work together at
their han’est. He was shot dead on this trip.
This was certainly the next day after Major
White had visited the Justices. In June, 1764,
Maj. White went again to warn the people that
they had better come to the Fort; that he was
reliably informed that a large band was on the
Now the narrative becomes intensely
interesting to many people who live in Frederick
County to-day, and especially in that section.
This warning was heeded, but the families mov-
ed slowly. Mrs. Thomas, the widow, Mrs. Jones,
and a man named Clowser started with their
families, but stopped at the house of a man nam-
ed Lloyd, two miles from the fort, and spent the
night, the next morning at an early hour they
resumed their journey, and before they were out
of sight of the house, the Indians attacked them,
and killed, wounded or took away as prisoners
A young son of Owen
Thomas who had been killed in the previous raid,
ran back into the house and hid himself, and es-
caped detection, although the Indians brought
his mother and sister back into the house bound,
and kept them there while they fried bacon and
ate breakfast. They then set fire to the house
and moved off. The boy managed to escape from
the fire and the Indians, although he rambled
about for two days before he found any person
to whom he could tell his direful story.
families had fled to the Fort, Lloyd and several
of his children, David Jones and wife, two old
people, some of the Thomas family also, Henry
Clowser and two of his sons were killed; Mrs.
Clowser and four of her daughters taken away
The youngest child about two years
old, was horribly butchered while crossing the
North Mountain, the band heading for the South’
They halted one night near Furman*s
fort; the men at the fort fired upon them. The
next morning they moved away, and while cross-
ing the river, which was dangerous fording,
Mrs. Thomas escaped, and lived for many years,
to tell her neighbors thrilling stories.
wounded who were left near Major White’s
were gathered up after the departure of the In-
dians and carried to the Fort, where they were
Out of the seven so found, only one
survived. This was Hester Lloyd, who had two
scalps taken from her. A Dr. McDonald at-
tended her; he trepanned her head and she re-
covered, and lived many years. Kercheval says
that Gen. Smith, Maj. R. D. Glass, Mrs. Susan
Glass, Mrs. Shultz, and Mrs. Snapp severally
stated to him that they frequently saw this
woman after she recovered from her wound.
Mrs. Thomas’s daughter and Mrs. Clowser and
her three small daughters were taken to the In-
dian town, and after an absence of about six
months were released from captivity and all re-
turned home safely. There is something in Ker-
cheval’s narrative about the three Miss Clowsers,
who were prisoners at the same time. They
were aged respective 10, 7 and 5 years.
After their return [Look for “Claussers” in link bouquet hostage list ] they grew up in their old neighborhood; were married, and raised families of chil-
dren, and they were all three widows when Ker-
cheval knew them, and lived not more than five
or six miles apart; two of them were Mrs.
Shultz and Mrs. Snapp, who lived about one and
a half miles from his residence, and a third,
Mrs. Frye, not exceeding six miles.
Such history must be accepted as entirely reliable. De-
scendants of all these families reside in Frederick
County at this writing. Major White reported
a list of those killed and obtained assistance
from the Court to relieve the wants of the
wounded and helpless.
The writer finds the name of Thomas appear-
ing in some traditionary history that is confusing
in one respect. He is given the name of Evan,
Owan, and Ellis Thomas, evidently confounding
him with some other than the man Maj. White
reported as being killed in the first raid.
About the publisher of this author:
Notice the publisher:”Printed by the Eddy Press Corp.”
C. Vernon Eddy was the first librarian of Winchester’s Handley Library, serving from 1913 until 1959.
Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendants, published in 1909.
Heavily reliant on Kerchival
Colonel Bouquet's Expedition retrieved over 200 white hostages held in Ohio by the Indians.
See link on these hostages. Look for the names spelled Clausser. See bouquet hostage list
"...Behind Judge Robert Batchelor’s bench in Coshocton County Common Pleas Court is a 35-foot-long mural depicting the signing of the treaty between Bouquet’s forces and the Native Americans near the Coshocton County Walhonding River. Painted in 1908 by Arthur William Woelfle, an artist who lived in Coshocton for a time, the mural has been touched up and restored twice."
Born in 1719 in Switzerland, Bouquet’s military training made him shrewd, logical and disciplined, Smailes said.
In 1764, after a major victory at the Battle of Bushy Run, Bouquet had become the commander of Fort Pitt. But he soon left on Oct. 2 for his 23-day trip that would lead to Coshocton with the objective to “take care of the Indians once and for all” . . .
His men left with 1,152 pack horses, each carrying 160 pounds of supplies; they also had 400 sheep and as many cattle. When the caravan was traveling, they stretched out for a mile.
He eventually arrived in Coshocton, where Native American leaders of various tribes approached him to pursue a treaty. The terms called for the release of more than 200 captive women and children, along with provisions to get them back to Fort Pitt, and in exchange, Bouquet would not attack them."
This Map shows Coshocton Ohio where Colonel Henry Bouquet retrieved many captives from the Indians.
This map also is global if you zoom back out using the minus sign.
This map shows forts, treaty sites, attacks, battles around the world.
Time period: French and Indian War and before and after, roughly a period of 1700 to 1800.
Click on CLOWSER HOUSE
From link immediately below:
"The 3 Clower Daughters: They were aged respectively at ages 10, 7 and 5 years. After their return, they grew up in their old neighborhood, and were married and raised families of children, They were all three widows when Kercheval knew then and lived not more than five or six miles apart. Two of them were Mrs. Shutlz and Mrs. Snapp who lived one and a half miles from his residence and a third, Mrs. Frye lived no more than six miles. Such history must be accepted as totally reliable. Descendants of all these families live in Frederick County at the time of this writing."
THE ABOVE LINK also indicates information about the CLOWSER HOUSE.
And this link shows some maps around of the CLOWSER HOUSE area.
Memoir of Col. Joshua Fry, sometime professor in William and Mary College, Virginia, and
Washington's senior in command of Virginia forces, 1754, etc., etc.,
with an autobiography of his son, Rev. Henry Fry, and a census of their descendants
CENSUS OF THEIR DESCENDANTS, BY THE Rev. P. SLAUGHTER, D. D. AUTHOR OF "History of St. George's Parish," "St. Mark's
Parish," "Bristol Parish," Etc, Etc. published 1880?
Remember those other Indians?
Remember how they split into 2 groups? One of 10.
The other of 8?
Well, that Eight went on down to the Star Tannery and Middletown area.
We haven't told that story.
In the meantime, a word over names.
Sticks and Bones they are not, to allude to the old rhyme that had a reason.
But the name of Indian?
We all know it derived wrongly from Columbus thinking we got near the Indian Subcontinent. Still after we knew better, the name stuck.
Our politically correct names of Native American? That's a white euro term too. America from Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian Cartographer.
Indigenous? A Latin word.
First Nations? A White Euro centric idea.
So, what did they call themselves? Frequently, their own names meant, THE PEOPLE. Or Human Beings. They were self centric too. When it's you, it's all about you. The names of the The People of the river or the mountain or of their skills or accomplishments.
So, what's in a name?
A lot. At some point we have to come to a neutral agreement for efficient communication without getting bogged down.
We do not have enough info on what that group called themselves. Often their origins and evolutions were mixed. Born a Seneca but joining the Delwares, then this amalgam of hostage adoptees, orphans, outcasts became the Mingos.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
"The name Miami derives from Myaamia (plural Myaamiaki), the tribe's autonym (name for themselves) in their Algonquian language of Miami-Illinois. This appears to have been derived from an older term meaning "downstream people." Some scholars contended the Miami called themselves the Twightwee (also spelled Twatwa), supposedly an onomatopoeic reference to their sacred bird, the sandhill crane. Recent studies have shown that Twightwee derives from the Delaware language exonym for the Miamis, tuwéhtuwe, a name of unknown etymology. Some Miami have stated that this was only a name used by other tribes for the Miami, and not their autonym. They also called themselves Mihtohseeniaki (the people). The Miami continue to use this autonym today."
"By my count this now gives us five entirely independent names for the home of the Volkswagen: Germany, Deutschland, Allemagne, Niemcy, and Saksa. To these we must add a sixth: the Lithuanian Vokietija. I dunno where it comes from, and I don't want to know. This has gone on long enough."
Originally posted by CalMeacham
See Cecil's column on why the Germans call themselves what they call themselves. The column in question
http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_162.html on why people call themselves what they do.
To this day, if you ask an American Indian, "what are you?" he or she will, in my experience, usually identify with his or her tribe.
Because of the close similarity of many Algonquian dialects and the vagaries of 17th Century phonetic spelling in English, there has been a lot of confusion about tribal names. One of the more shining examples of that confusion was by James Fennimore Cooper, whose Last of the Mohicans manages to thoroughly confuse the Mahican tribe of the Hudson River area with the Mohegan tribe of Connecticut.
I think that both names are a variant of the word "Muhhekunneuw (http://www.dickshovel.com/Mahican.html)," which means "people of the great river." This would make sense since the Mahicans were along the Hudson and the Mohegans were located along the Thames.
On a vaguely related note, Herman Melville (http://www.literaturepage.com/read/mobydick-81.html) saw fit to name Captain Ahab's ship Pequod, which "you will no doubt remember," says Melville, "was the name of a celebrated Indian tribe of Massachusetts Indians, now extinct as the ancient Medes." Even though Melville got the tribe's location wrong (they're in Connecticut, not Massachusetts) and the tribe's status (not only do they exist, they're now the wealthiest tribe in America), Melville may have known that "Pequot" means "the destroyers."
What Dogface says agrees with what a Cherokee man (who claimed to have studied the issue) told me some years ago: that tribes typically has an "us and them" worldview and there was little or no tendency toward a collective term for all native peoples.
I've also been told that the term "Indian" is now in common use among Indians, and that they find "Native American" to be affected and effete. (Anyone know if this is so?)