The Robertson Genealogy Exchange

Draper Manuscript 6XX71
[12216] Dr. Felix Robertson

[The next paragraph is part of a letter from John Davis and signed by him, followed by notes from Felix Robertson signed F. R.]

The affair of Jonathan Robertson & the Coens closely connected with Murray's campaign was the affair of Jonathan Robertson and David, Daniel, and Absalom Coen with a party of some ten or twelve Indians. Robertson and his party were employed in clearing the same piece of ground which [Mr.] Helen had commenced and it was while we were in the pursuit of the Indians that killed Helen, that this skirmish happened. Robertson and the Coens were clearing this ground-the mode of clearing ground was to cut all the saplings near and push them on a large fire-when they were fired on. Daniel Coen was slightly wounded in the hand and had a ball shot through his hat. Robertson also had a ball through his hat. The party immediately seized their guns and took trees. Robertson and two of the Coens returned the fire but it is impossible to say with what effect; but the Indians immediately retreated.

JOHN DAVIS.

April 1859.
Lyman C. Draper Esq.

I think I have heretofore given you an account of this affair, but I may be mistaken. I will now state Davis is mistaken in some of the particulars.

There were but two of Cowan brothers — cousins of Jonathan F. Robertson's wife — Robertson & his negroe man Ephraim. They stacked their guns against large trees near together, about fifty yards from outside of clearing next the houses and were to rally there in case of alarm & make a stand.

The three whites did so, but Ephraim made no halt, but fled to the house & reported the others all killed, so the Indians rushed in crowd into the edge of the clearing. One of the Cowans discharged a large musket charged with bullets. Information reached here that five were killed & mortally wounded.

F.R.

Source: William Curry Harlee, Kinfolks: A Genealogical and Biographical Record, 3 vols. (New Orleans: Searcy & Pfaff, 1935-37), 3: 2516.

Last updated: Tuesday, September 9, 2003

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