26 January 2014

A Fugitive At Gunpowder River

An Estate In The Vicinity of Gunpowder River, Maryland - Source

The facts...may be summed up as follows (source):

An elderly man named Charles Hewitt was living in the year 1697 on a plantation "upon the head of Gunpowder River," and had been living in the same place for four years previous to that date.

This plantation, in 1697, was about four miles from the nearest English inhabitants.

It was situated on or very near a highway followed by Indians in going to or returning from certain hunting grounds or when travelling on the warpath.

Reference to Charles Hewitt is made in the deposition of one John Indrell taken November 30th 1695. Indrell, it would appear, lived with a certain Thomas Litton at the head of Gunpowder River, and, for some petty offense, had become a fugitive from justice. The deponent testified that Litton hid him on an island in Gunpowder Falls, where he remained eight days almost without provisions. Finally he waded off from the island and returned to the house of Thomas Litton, who "when he thought not fltt to keepe me any longer, he furnished me with a gun, ammunition, and a tomahawk, and sent me in the woods to get my living or else starve, but could not get anything soe went to Charles Hewetts to get something to eate and was really intended to deliver myself up to Coll Richardson as I told Charles Hewett and Thomas Heath."

 Indians apparently continued to visit this neighborhood for some years after settlement of it had begun.

Additional information from the Baltimore Public Library:

"The oldest of these trails is Joppa Road, an Indian path which stretched from present-day Perry Hall to Towson. It was being used as late as 1697, when Charles Hewitt testified to the county court that he saw bands of Indians near his Forge Road home. The Indians traveled west on what is now Forge, Joppa, and Old Court Roads, on their way to hunting grounds north of the village of Baltimore. They had been forced by Europeans from their hunting grounds on the Chesapeake Bay and along the Gunpowder River."

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