Judge David Lynn
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French and Indian War
For a more detailed account of the French and Indian Wars  and Fort Cumberland click here.

The French & Indians launch their attack on the British & American troops;
Braddock falls shot while George Washington attempts to assist him.

Link to Coombs Fort Info

The following text was copied from the Combs-Coombs & Co. Web Site due to the interesting references to John and William Linn who we believe are related to or could be brothers of Judge David Lynn.

The Tonoloways (a.k.a. Conolloway) Settlement is in present-day Fulton Co, PA, just across the state line from Washington Co, MD.  Tonoloways was the site of numerous disputes - with both Indians and Governments, the latter due to conflicts over the state line between Maryland and Pennsylvania - a state line which Tonoloways straddled. ,

The book, History of Allegany County, MD, Thomas and Williams, 1923, provided by Combs Researchers Matt Combs and Barbara Lovera, offers the following additional source references: Forman, Harry E., "History of Little Cove", pp. 44-7, 84-5; "History of Frederick County", pp. 36-40; The Fulton County News, "Fort Coombe Marker Dedication", pub. June 26, 1980; Nelson John H., "Frontier Forts of Fulton County, Pennsylvania", 1992, Vol. 14, pp. 21-4; "History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania", 1884, pp. 594-6; et al. Forman includes the statement: "Historical details of the families that lived in the area during that period of time are sketchy to say the least, but it is clear that Major Edward COOMBS and his brothers, Samuel & John were living in the area, and perhaps were at one time inhabitants of Fort COOMBS, if not the original builders of it."

1730 - 1736 According to writings by PA Governor Patrick Gordon who died in 1736, "The progress of the white population toward the west continued to alarm and irritate the Indians. The new settlers, impatient of the delays of the land office, or unable or unwilling to pay for their lands, or in search of richer soil, sought homes in districts to which the Indian title had not been extinguished. Especially was this the case with the Scotch-Irish, who had seated themselves....in the Great and Little Coves....and at the Big and Little Conolloways, ....and rapidly increased, in spite of the complaints of the Indians, the Laws of the Province, or the proclamations of the Governor." This establishes the settlement of the places above named, prior to 1736, and if, in that year (1736) the settlers had so increased as to 'alarm and irritate the Indians', it is entirely safe to say that the settlement(s)....began, certainly, as early as 1730, and probably earlier........... [ from' History of Bedford, Somerset,& Fulton Counties, PA' (1884)(republ.1975) pg. 637]24 Aug. 1747 - Original Maryland Grants - 100 acres "Conoloway's Lick" granted to James Dickson [per 'History of Western Maryland' by J. Thomas Scarf (1882)]By the time of the following petition (1749-50) however; whether the Tonoloways Settlement was actually in Frederick Co, MD or Cumberland Co, PA was unresolved, and whether it was Indian land or not even a more critical issue.

Conolloway Letter of Late 1749 or Early 1750 (Source: Minutes of the Provincial Council, pages 453 & 454)

"Petition of the Settlers of the Little Cove on the Temporary Line,

"To the Honourable Thomas Penn and Richard Penn, Esquires, true and absolute Proprietaries of the Province of Pennsylvania, &

"The Petition of Subscribers, Inhabitants of small Tracts of Land situate Westward of the Kittochtinny or Blue Hills, at a place known by the Name of the Little Cove and Conolloway's Creek, humbly sheweth:

"Whereas, sundry Inhabitants of the Province of Maryland (some of 'em vested with Authority) divers times within these three Years past have attempted to survey and take possession of the aforesaid Tracts, being at or near where the Temporary Line when extended will run, as we believe; We, therefore, willing to live under the Protection of the good Constitution and Government of the Province of Pennsylvania, have hitherto prevented the various Attempts of the People of Maryland, and have preseumed to seat ourselves and made small improvements on the said lands.

"As we have done this purely to defend it from the People of Maryland, and not in contempt of the laws of the Province of Pennsylvania nor the Governor's Proclamation, we humbly pray that we may be permitted to live on our respective Improvements at least until the Temporary Line shall be extended.

"And your Petitioners shall pray, &

John J HERROD (his mark) 
William JAMES
Thomas T YATES (his mark)
Joan 2 NEWHOUSE (his mark)
William O. LOFTON
Charles O WOODS (his mark)
George REES
William W M MORGAN (his mark)
John 4 LLOYED (his mark)
William LINN
Levi TM MOORE (his mark)

(Provided by Combs-Truax Researcher Combs Craig Truax, and transcribed by Combs Researcher Hannah Friedlander Combs. And as modified by Combs Researcher Thom Montgomery from Colonial Records of PA, Series Vol.5 )

15 May 1750 -  Richard Peters, Secretary of the Province [of PA], set out on a mission to locate and compel immediate removal of all settlers living in the western part of PA on lands not yet owned by the Proprietary of PA. His traveling party included magistrates, justices of the peace, Indian delegates, interpreters, and local authorities. After visiting all settlements south and west of Shippensburg over to Big Cove, his report dated July 2, 1750 says "the Little Cove, and the Big and Little Conolloways being the only places remaining to be visited, as this was on the borders of Maryland, the magistrates declined going there, and departed for their homes."....Mr. Peters further adds that 'the bulk of these settlements were made during the administration of President Palmer [of PA Proprietary Gov't.]', which lasted from May 1747 to November 1748.

6 July 1754 Penns purchased from the Six Nations (Indians) the lands encompassing the Tonoloways Settlement.

14 July 1755 Braddocks Army was defeated 75 miles to the west of Tonoloways. Indians threaten entire frontier, War declared by France (French & Indian War)....Yet the Tonoloways Settlers ask PA authorities for protection from Marylanders according to the following :

Petition to Governor MORRIS from Sufferers by Maryland, 1755. September 29h, 1755 (Source not known)

To ye honorable ROBERT HUNTER MORRIS, Esquire, Governor of Pennsylvania.

honered Sir, we, your humble pationers, sends you those few lines to inform you that we are very much imposed upon by ye Sherive of Fredrick County in Maryland, in coming to take our lands from us by a Meryland Right which we have had surveyed for us by a Mr. William LYON, Survayar, under Mr. John ARMST (ARMSTRONG?) Survayar for Cumberland County, in Pennsylvania. Last Spring, one mans place, viz., Peter BUTLER, has got survayed by bringing a Captain and a parsal of Soldiers to gard him while he was so doing, and has gone to farder strengthen him self, protesting yt in two or three weekstime yt he will come and take all land from ye forks of Tanolaways Crick, down to ye mouth thereof Straneind, and taking of our goods, chatel, horses, or anything yt he can find for ye levies or taxis, which he portends is due to Meryland; So yt without your honour will protect us, we belive we shall be ruened in a very short time. So that we desire that you would be pleased to send up a few lines by ye bearer thereof, what way or maner we shall proseed in ye afare which is ye humble desier of we, your humble patisioners.

William LINN
Richard ABBETT
Christr. ABBETT
Isarael HYNES
Samuel CROWN

and many others might be had but notis can't be givon.

Post. Thos. STODARD, Captain of a fort yt is lately areced with in four miles of William LINNS, is going by Governor SHARP'S orders to run, ye proven line ye 6th of Actor next ensuing.
Samuel HICKS, Moses HICKS

Petition Inhavitants of Little Cove and Tonolloways
reced 6 8ber, 1755

(Provided by Combs-Truax Researcher Combs Craig Truax, and transcribed by Combs Researcher Hannah Friedlander Combs)

1 Nov. 1755 A party of about one hundred Indians (Shawnees & Delawares) entered the Great Cove and began murdering the defenseless inhabitants and destroying their property. The savages divided into two parties, one of which attacked the inhabitants of the Cove, and the other swept down upon the Conolloways. All the settlers who had warning of the approach of the savages fled. Many thus saved their lives, and going into the neighboring settlements, gave the alarm to the inhabitants....On November 14 (1755) Sheriff Potter made the following statement to Provincial authorities in Philadelphia "Twenty seven plantations were burnt and a great quantity of cattle killed. A woman ninety three years of age was found lying killed, with her breast torn off and a stake run through her body. Of ninety three families which were settled in the two Coves and the Conolloways, forty seven were either killed or taken and the rest had deserted." [History of Bedford, Somerset & Fulton Counties, PA (1884)]

The next attack :

28 Jan. 1756 According to the Pennsylvania Gazette of Feb. 12, 1756....On Jan 28th 1756 "they killed and scalped James Leaton. Catherine STILLWELL and one of her children were killed and scalped, and two others carried off; one about eight, the other three years old. Her husband was at a neighbors house when his wife was attacked, and from thence got into Coom's fort. Elias STILLWELL had seven horses and a mare carried off, one cow killed and one burnt. John McKenny's house was burnt, with all his household goods and clothing, and what remained of three beeves and seven fat hogs; he had likewise three cows killed and three calves burnt in Samuel Eaton's barn. Samuel Hicks had eleven cattle and a valuable mare killed. Richard Malone's house and barn were burnt and two of his cattle killed; and a house was burnt that belonged to one Hicks, who had been murdered some time ago. The tracks of seven Indians and of a child, supposed to be Mr. Stillwell's, with those of the horses they carried off,were seen in a cornfield, and they seemed to be going towards Aughwick." [ 'History of Bedford, Somerset & Fulton Counties, PA (1884)]

The following similar version of this same attack is taken from the 'Stillwell Family Genealogy - Descendants of Richard Elias Stillwell'......"Richard Elias Stillwell lived along the Tonoloway Creek at a spot called 'The Narrows' near Warfordsburg, PA....On the night of 28 Jan. 1756 Richard Elias Stillwell's hearth fire went out in his cabin. Not wishing to try and light it with flint and steel, he went to the home of William Linn before daybreak the next morning to obtain some coals to re-start his fire. The custom was to carry coals covered with ashes. It was three miles to the Linn cabin and while he was gone a war party of savages struck the community without warning. Richard Elias Stillwell's wife, along with his eldest daughter, was killed and scalped. Two younger girls ages eight and three were carried off and never heard from again. Another settler, James Leaton was also killed and scalped. The rest of the community escaped to the Combe's Fort just south of Warfordsburg, PA. This fort was likely named for Joseph and Andrew Coombe who built a blockhouse near an Indian burial ground."

And then the following report of probably another attack :

29 Feb. 1756  As published by the Maryland Gazette on Mar. 11, 1756  a letter dated Feb. 29, 1756 by  Isaac BAKER from Conococheague wrote "...On our march to Toonoloways, about five miles this side of STODDERT'S Fort, we found John MEYERS' house in flames and 9 or 10 head of large cattle killed, besides calves and several horses and sheep. About three miles and a half further up the road, we found a man (one HYNES) killed and scalped, with one arm cut off and several arrows sticking in him; we could not bury him, having no tools with us for that purpose. Half a mile further (within a mile of Stoddert's Fort) we found Ralf MATSON'S house burnt down, and several sheep and hogs killed. When we came to STODDERT'S Fort, we found them all under arms, expecting every minute to be attacked. From thence we went to COMBE'S Fort where we found a young man about 22 years of age killed and scalped; there were only four men in this Fort, two of which were unable to bear arms, but upwards of forty women and children, who were in a very poor situation, being afraid to go out of the Fort even for a drink of water. The house caught fire during the time the Indians were surrounding the Fort and would have been burnt down, but luckily there were some soap suds in the house, by which they extinguished it. The young man mentioned above was one LYNN'S sons, and was sitting on the fence of the stockyard with  COMBE'S son, when they discovered the Indians, upon which they ran to get into the Fort, and before they reached it LYNN'S son was shot down, and an Indian pursued the other man with a tomahawk within thirty yards of the Fort, but he luckily got into the Fort and shot the Indian. We searched the woods to see if we could discover where the Indian was buried (as they supposed him to be mortally wounded). We found in two places a great quantity of blood but could not find the body. We saw several creatures, some dead and others going about with arrows sticking in them. About a half mile on this side of Mr. KENNEYS (in little Toonoloways), we found a load of oats and a load of turnips in the road which two boys were bringing to COMBE'S and it is imagined the boys are carried off by the Indians. When we came to Mr. KENNEY'S we saw several sheep and cattle killed. From thence we went to one LOWTHER'S about two miles further where we found his grain and two calves burnt, two cows and nine or ten hogs killed, and about 150 yards from the house we found LOWTHER dead and scalped, and otherwise terribly mangled, his brains were beat out as it is supposed with his own gun broken. There was an axe, two scythes and several arrows sticking in him. From here, we returned to COMBE'S and buried the young man and left ten of our men here to assist them to secure their grain, which as soon as they have done they proposed to leave that fort and go to STODDERT'S. From hence we went to STODDERT'S FORT where we laid on Friday night and yesterday. On our way down here, we buried the man left on the road." ( History of Western Maryland by J. Thomas Scharf - 1882)

Later that same year still another attack :

September 16, 1756 Pennsylvania Gazette (newspaper). Annapolis, September 2. By Letters lately received from the Frontiers, we learn, That on the 24th of August, Col. CRESAP, Capt. LASHMUTT, with a party of Militia, and an Officer, with a Detachment from Fort Frederick, in all about sixty, marched thence in Pursuit of the Indians, who lately made an Incursion into Pennsylvania, and this Province, and who have almost entirely broke up the Settlement of Conecocheague: The Party is returned without having seen an Enemy, but the following is an Extract from their Journal: "The fist Night we lay near Tonalloway, where STODDERT'S Fort was, and the next Morning went to COMBS'S Plantation, and thence through several deserted Plantations, to a Place where one RYLEY had a Fort; here we discovered the Tracks of several Indians who had gone down Great Tonallaways since the Rain fell on Sunday Night; these Tracks we followed about a Mile to a Place of one Elias STILLWELL, where we found a very large Indian Camp, which seemed to have been a Place of general Rendezvous for a considerable Time past, for there had been six fires, the Rails that enclosed the Plantation were all burnt, and a Row of Beds, near 30 Yards in Length, had been made with Flax on each side of the Fires; the Place was commodiously situation near a Spring, and the Bones, Skins etc. lying about, shewed that several Beaver and Hogs had been killed there: We found here a large Scalping Knife, an Iron Ram-Rod, a small Bag of Powder, some Bullets, and some thongs or ropes that had been just cut out of a Horse's Hide; we saw Tracks leading in and out of this Plantation but as the freshest seemed to lead towards Ray's Town, we pursued them several Miles through the Woods, but without Success: We apprehend that the Party is gone quite off, as we discovered the Tracks of seven or eight Horses among the Tracks of the Indians, and all tending Westward: While we were in Pursuit of the Indians, we found a Dutch Woman blue Apron, and suppose the Owner of it is carried away Prisoner. In the Evening we came around to one HICKS'S crossed a Branch of Big Tonallaway, and the Ridge we fell in with a Track of Indians, which was much larger and more beaten than that we made, it seemed to come from the Big Cove or Sugar Cabins, and to go towards the Rendezvous at STILLWELL'S above mentioned; as this Track seemed to have been made before the Rain, we proceeded down Licking-Creek to MILLS'S; and thence returned the same Night to Fort Frederick. (Matt Combs from the "Pennsylvania Gazette, 1728 - 1783, Philadelphia Pennsylvania," CD-ROM Produced by Accessible Ancestry, Inc.)