JOHN TAYLOR B. 1775
1850 CENSUS FOR
JOSEPH C. TAYLOR
JOHN WESLEY TAYLOR
DANIEL KETCHAM TAYLOR
HENRY J.C. TAYLOR
the 1792 capture of Daniel Ketcham
During Daniel Ketcham's early years in Kentucky, 3 men were killed on his farm by Indians and on 2 occasions his family had to seek protection in Boone's Station (Shelbyville). Then one day in spring 1792 he was attacked by a party of 11 "Tawa" Indians. This is probably the Ottawa tribe which was then located near Detroit, where Ketcham's captors eventually took him. They shot his horse and he wisely surrendered when overtaken after running about 50 yards. One of the Indians took Ketcham's overcoat for himself, and the party set out for the north with their prisoner. For a while Ketcham suffered intensely from exposure and the resultant feverish pains in his joints but the Indians drove him on with punches from gun butts and lashes of ramrods.
| They crossed the Ohio River near
the future site of Madison, Indiana, and picked up some loads of furs the
Indians had collected during the preceding winter. When the Indians
realized Ketcham had somewhat recovered from his rheumatism they loaded
him with a heavy burden of their skins. They camped for some weeks
on one of the Miami Rivers and then proceeded on to the Indians' home village,
which was probably not far from Detroit. There Ketcham was put to
hard labor carrying firewood and pounding corn; the diet provided him was
quite inadequate and he soon realized that he must either escape or perish
there. He stole out of the village one night with a handful of corn
and some pieces of squash, but the Indians were in hot pursuit by morning.
He only avoided recapture and death through the occasional assistance of
isolated French settlers, who were nominally allies of the Indians.
At his moment of greatest disappear one of the Frenchmen led him to a river
and provided him with a canoe, and thus he eventually made his way to Detroit.
In that settlement he hired himself out to a French priest for 2 dollars
and a few items of clothing, but with his pittance somehow managed to gain
passage back to Maryland. He recuperated for a while in Washington
County before returning to his family in Kentucky. It seems his wife
never doubted he would come back, in time for the customary stalking of
the neighbors' wheat harvest.
Reminiscences of Col. John Ketcham of Monroe County, Indiana, by his Pastor, Rev. T.M. Hopkins of Bloomington 1866, p. 7-10.
Banta, Richard E., The Filson Club History Quarterly, vol. 22, no. 3, July 1948, p. 173-179.