The Saga of The Baker Family

With all of the fears of torment and capture there stands, however, a letter of testimony to the humane treatment of the prisoners by their Indian captors. A letter of proclamation was issued by Governor Henry Hamilton, dated January 5, 1778, an excerpt of which follows:

    "The persons undersigned are living witness of the moderation and even gentleness of Savages shown to them, their wives and children, which may, it is hoped, induce others to exchange the hardships experienced under their "present Masters" for Security and Freedom under "their lawful Sovereign". (Note that the "present Masters" alluded to is the Continental Congress and "their lawful Sovereign" is King George III.)

Appended to the proclamation was the following testimony:

    "We who have undersigned our names do voluntarily declare that we have been conducted from the several places mentioned opposite our names to Detroit, by Indians accompanied with white people, that we have neither been cruelly treated nor in any way ill used by them and further that on our arrival we have been treated with the greatest humanity and our wants supplied in the best manner possible".

To the appendage are found numerous signatures, the first of which is George Baker, for himself, wife and five (5) children, indicating their "from place" as "five miles below Logs Town" (colonial name for present day Monaca). Following are the remaining signatures:

  James Butterworth from Bigg Kenahawa
  Thomas Shoers from Harridge Town near Kentucky
  Jacob Pugh from six miles below the Fort at Wheeling
  Jonathan Muchmore from Fort Pitt
  James Whitaker from Fort Pitt, taken at Fish Creek
  John Bridges from Bedford taken at Sandy Run

The famous Daniel Boone was a prisoner of the Indians along with the Bakers and spent some time in the same camp. He was captured at Blue Licks, Kentucky, by a party of British/Shawnee on February 8, 1778.

It is stated by some historians that the Bakers were in captivity for four or five years and were exchanged a year or two after the surrender of Burgoyne. Chronological history indicates the surrender of General John Burgoyne at Saratoga on October 17, 1777. If The Bakers were in captivity for four or five years they would have been "exchanged" in 1781 or 1782. Since both George Baker and his oldest son Michael, saw service in the Revolutionary War, the period of captivity seems to have been less than the four or five years.