"Andrew Poe and Bigfoot"

Andrew Poe was born in 1742 in Frederick County, Maryland.  In 1768, he settled on Harmon’s Creek in Washington County, Pennsylvania, along with John Christ and Andrew Rankin.  His property was named “Poe-Wood”.  There he built a half acre square stockade with block houses at each corner and a cabin in its center.  Andrew’s younger brother, Adam, joined him in 1772 and bought property nearby which he named “Poeville”.  The brothers served as militiamen, protecting the frontier against Indian attacks from 1776 through 1783. After a failed raid in June of 1781 against the home of Thomas Bay on Raccoon Creek, seven Wyandot warriors captured a carpenter named William Jackson and headed for the Ohio River.  Jackson’s son saw the abduction and ran to Cherry’s Fort for help.  Andrew and Adam, plus John Cherry, John Jack, William Castleman, William Rankin and James Whitacre set out to rescue Jackson.  When they reached the Ohio River, opposite the mouth of Yellow Creek, they dismounted and crossed a small stream.  Andrew noticed that the water in the Indians footprints was still muddy and cautioned the others to be quiet because the Indians would kill their prisoner at the first sign of rescuers.  He sent the men downstream while he alone went upstream.  Presently he spotted two warriors listening to the noise his friends were making downstream while rescuing Jackson.  He decided to shoot the larger Indian (whose name was Bigfoot) and capture his companion.  Andrew’s rifle misfired twice so he threw it to the ground and leaped upon the two men.  Poe seized each around their necks and they crashed to the ground.  All three knew this was a struggle to the death.  Andrew held both Indians down until he was able to pull his knife.  Bigfoot, after tightly gripping Poe’s knife hand, suddenly let go and the knife tumbled into the river.  At that point, the smaller Indian got free, grabbed a tomahawk and swung several times at Andrew’s head.  While fending off this attack, Andrew received a vicious chop to the wrist which broke one bone and severed the tendons of three fingers.  The tomahawks blade caught in the tendons of the arm and was yanked from the Indians grasp.  Bigfoot, who had been trying to hold Poe in a bear hug, lost his grip on his adversary.  Poe immediately grabbed one of the Indian’s rifles with one hand, whirled around and shot the smaller Indian through the body.  Bigfoot grabbed Andrew by the neck and they both fell into the river and were quickly swept into deep water.  After an extended struggle, Andrew appeared to be the victor, but as he tried to drag the Indian to shore, Bigfoot recovered, tore himself free and headed for the river bank.  Andrew realized that he was too far behind and he began yelling for his brother Adam.  Bigfoot reached dry land first and grabbed the remaining loaded rifle, but while violently cocking the weapon he broke the mainspring.  He quickly picked up the rifle that Poe had just fired plus a bullet pouch and frantically tried to reload.  At this point, Adam arrived on the scene with an empty rifle and he also tried to reload.  Both men were experts with their weapons and after dumping powder down their barrels and inserting a ball into each muzzle, they both drew their ramrods.  Bigfoot dropped his as it exited the thimbles giving Adam a split second advantage.  Adam rammed his bullet home and fired.  The bullet struck Bigfoot in the body.  The critically wounded warrior struggled to deep water and was carried off by the current while Adam went to the aid of his exhausted brother.  At this point the rest of the rescuers arrived, saw Andrew and Adam in the river and mistook Andrew for an Indian.  They fired three shots before discovering their error.  One of the shots pierced Andrew’s collarbone and went through his shoulder.  Adam got him to shore and cleaned the wound by poking a silk handkerchief into the hole and pulling it completely through.  Andrew and John Cherry, who had been shot through the lung during the rescue of Jackson, were carried back to the horses, but while they were returning to the settlements, Cherry died from his wound. The only Indian survivor of the event was a man named Scotash who later became a Christian convert.  Scotash told Thomas Edgington, a prisoner of the Wyandots which he befriended, that after he was wounded in the hand during the fight, he swam the river and hid in the brush.  After nightfall, he built a raft, returned to the scene of the rescue and recovered the bodies of his slain companions, except that of Bigfoot which the river had carried away.  He buried his companions on the Ohio side of the river and returned to his village. No scalps were taken by the whites and the only souvenir of the fight is the tomahawk that the smaller Indian used to wound Andrew.  It was picked up by Adam and handed down through the Poe family.  It is a pipe hawk with a 7¼” long head and a 2” edge. Andrew Poe survived his wounds and on July 15, 1781, he was made constable of Robinson Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania.  He held that office until 1784 when he moved to Beaver County.  Andrew Poe died of natural causes on July 15, 1823 at eighty three years of age.

Available As A Limited Edition Canvas Print
Ten In The Issue
Size - 24" x 20"     Framed Price - $440.00     Unframed Price - $250.00