Lighting Ancestral Lamps

Page 45

CHAPTER VIII

Benjamin6, Patriarch
Southern Illinois Bunn Clan

war years of 1812-1813. In later years and until Benjamin and family left Ohio, the Metcalf and Bunn families were frequently associated with each other according to preserved historical records.

The long and tortuous journey of the bride and bridegroom west along mere trails was not without incident. For instance, after they reached the bounds of the new state of Ohio (admitted to the union in 1803), evening was approaching and they decided to camp overnight beside a giant log or fallen monarch of the forest. There was a glade nearby; thus, this seemed a natural place to camp. There was shade, grass for the horses, and water nearby for the travelers.

Benjamin unhitched his team, removed the harness, "panseled" (hobbled) them and turned them loose in the glade to graze. The next morning as the pioneering family prepared to travel on. Benjamin first of all sought his horses. They were not about the glade nor could they be found anywhere. As he followed their tracks he ran across an Indian in the woods. Since he had much contact with Indians in early years' he could speak a number of Indian dialects. For this reason, he had no difficulty in making the Indian understand that he was looking for his team. The Indian grunted that he knew where the horses were and motioned Benjamin to follow him.

Soon it became apparent that members of an Indian tribe had discovered the horses and had taken them to their village several miles distant. Noon came, mid afternoon, and Benjamin remarked that he was hungry. This resulted in the Indian drawing two roasted deer kidneys from his clothing. He at once handed one to the white man and began to eat the other. This was an embarrassing situation for Benjamin didn't want to offend his Indian friend, nor did he wish to eat the deer kidney. Thus, under Pretense, he smacked at the kidney for awhile, then slyly dropped it in the leaves. Very few comments were made over the long journey according to the story. Finally about sundown, the Indian village was reached. Sure enough, there were Benjamin's horses. The Indians were friendly, but they refused to turn the team over to Benjamin that evening. The Indians insisted that he remain in camp overnight. He finally consented. That evening about the campfire he ran races with the fleetest, and wrestled with their strongest. He did not choose to enter the competition but again the Indians insisted. Luckily, he excelled in each instance. He also examined the firearms of the braves, made some adjustments and repairs thereon. Through conversation he made it known that he was a gunsmith capable of repairing guns' etc. This versatility won the esteem of the tribe's Chief. The Chief Proposed that the team be returned provided Benjamin would bring his wife, his tools, and live among them. After a bit of trading the Indians promised to move some distance away and Let the white man and his wife move to the site of the village -- which undoubtedly was a small area previously cleared by the squaws. Benjamin returned with his team of horses to his bride the day following the powwow. Then the couple completed their journey to the Indian town.

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Cover | Contents | Forward | Intro | Orgins | England | Crest | First | Interlude | Benjamin 1

Benjamin | Hyatts | Hyatt1 | Hazard | Perry | William | HM Bunn | Index