Thursday, February 20, 2014

John Dodge In Sandusky


The narrative of John Dodge is one of the records of frontier life during the period of the American Revolution that displays the intense feeling of hatred and unfairness evinced by the British soldiers to the American rebels. It was written and published during the time of the greatest excitement in the West—the scene of the Narrative—and is historically valuable because of being contemporary with the events in question.

He was born in Connecticut, July 12, 1751.... .

Source: Richardson book

Before John had reached his nineteenth year he had wandered into the northern part of the Ohio district and had entered into business as a trader in Sandusky. He was familiar with the Indian language used in his neighborhood and frequently acted as interpreter.

From John Montour's story:

In late April 1778, [British] Lieutenant Governor Hamilton informed Sir Guy Carleton that in late January of that year, John Montour [the son of a Metis trader and a Native American mother] helped three Virginia prisoners escape from Detroit.

Why would Montour take such a risk? Even if he had succeeded and had not suffered imprisonment, he would have lost what trust Hamilton placed in him. Perhaps part of the answer can be found in the identity of one of the prisoners. The evidence strongly suggests that John Dodge, an American trader in the Sandusky villages, was one of the escapees.

The connection is important because John Montour and John Dodge were friends.

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