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The Indian Situation — 4 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your accounts and analysis. My gggg grandfather was William Huff, Michael Huff’s brother, who sued (along with his siblings) John Moredock over the Michael Huff estate. I descend through William’s son Zacheus Biggs Huff who married Margaret Donahey. The more I look at the historical accounts the more inconsistencies and inaccuracies I find. However, the more that we can look at all of these historical books and transcribed pioneer accounts and compare them to the more reliable fixed dates in the court docket and such events, hopefully we can arrive at the truth of matters and reconcile the accounts. I know of one such researcher who is doing that now. I appreciate so much your perspective. Having researched my ancestors I have run across opinions of modern day people who want to cast blame on my ancestors and relatives, but when they are your own ancestors, it causes a person to pause and wonder what were the motivations and what were they actually faced with? And your account of how the Indians were meddled with by the British certainly puts things into perspective. I bet a lot of all of this conflicts and hair buying etc. was about money and power. All of the families marrying into the Huff family suffered kidnapping and depredation from the Indians, and one of the Doddridge girls even married the son of the chief of the tribe who kidnapped her and declined to go back and live with Philip Doddridge when he recognized her many years later, since she loved her Indian husband and family (or so the account goes anyway). My own ancestor Wm. Huff kept getting his cabin burned down in NW Territories after having secured the right to settle there by Virginia treaty only to have the federal government disavow the treaty. The feds even put a provision in a new treaty granting the right to the Indians to treat the unauthorized settlers as they saw fit, basically exercising criminal jurisdiction over the settlers who were newly unauthorized to settle there. Everyones cabins got burned except for one sick family. It was an interesting time indeed. Please keep up your work. I want to get to the truth on these accounts however unsavory the truth might seem.

  2. How fascinating! Thanks for leaving a comment. I’ll be writing more about the Huff family when I write the story of the Piggot settlement. Yes, I often wonder about the extenuating circumstances. Why did Michael Huff steal? I’d love to hear anything you may know about that generation of Huffs. When I write about real people, I do so cautiously, because the historical facts may be wrong and because the descendants had nothing to do with their forebear’s misdeeds.

    I hope you’ll get the chance to read and review Once Again for a look at the pioneers your ancestor lived near. Then stay tuned for the Piggot novel–probably in 2015.

  3. Hi Deborah. I did read your book “Once Again”. I thought you did a good job of presenting the historical/genealogical facts. The history books do confuse the family of James Garrison/Garretson Sr. John Moredock did in fact marry a daughter of James Garrison, but not Mary as stated in some accounts, but rather Sarah. As far as Michael Huff (step-father of John Moredock) stealing the door, I am not convinced this is Michael Huff. Disagreements obviously existed between Michael Huff & James Piggott as there were several court cases back & forth. In the Draper Manuscripts, I. N. Piggot (son of James Piggott) says that it was John Michael Duff, step father of John Moredock, who stole the door. There is no precedent for a John Michael Duff. There was a Michael Huff, who was the step father of John Moredock. There was also a John Duff, also known as John McElduff who was in the area. Sound this out John McElduff (John Michael Duff). This John Duff was in the small party that met up with Gen. George Rogers Clark on the march to IL in 1778, and later piloted the boat that brought the Moredock family to IL at the same time that Wm Biggs returned from Indian captivity. John Duff later turned to a life of crime and became a counterfeiter, according to the Wikipedia article. In the Draper Manuscripts there is the letter of John T. Lusk who claims John Duff was killed by Indians, assassinated actually as this was a planned murder, in 1799.

    • Thanks for commenting, Kerry. Isn’t it confusing? And then when new writers perpetuate the errors it gets so tangled. When I wrote Once Again, I was so worried that I’d get it wrong and annoy real historians. Just because my character is one, doesn’t mean I know it all. lol. Was John Duff the counterfeiter the one at Cave-in-Rock? Is John T. Lusk related to the ones at Golconda? Wish I could remember everything I read better!

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