Your Guide to the
and the Greater
October 03, 2023
History - Pioneers - Massa Harbison
The news of my arrival at the station spread with great
rapidity. The two spies took the intelligence, that evening, as
far as Coe's station, and the next morning to Reed's station,
to my husband. It also reached Pittsburgh that same evening.
And the next morning, a young man who was employed by
the magistrates of Pittsburgh, came for me, to go immediately
to town, to give in my deposition, that it might be
published to the American people. Being unable to walk, or ride
on horseback, some of the men took me and carried me into
a canoe on the river, and took me down in this manner; and
when I arrived in Pittsburgh, I was taken from the canoe, in
the arms of the men, to the office of John Wilkins, Esquire,
the father of the Hon. William Wilkins, judge of the United
States Court. The deposition which I then gave in was published
through the Union, in the different newspapers of the
day, and has since been preserved, and may be read in Loudon's
Narratives of outrages by the Indians, vol. 1, p. 85.
As the intelligence spread, the town of Pittsburgh, and
the country for twenty miles round, was all in a state of commotion.
About sunset the same evening, my husband came to
see me, in Pittsburgh, and I was taken back to Coe's station
on Tuesday morning. In the evening I gave the account of
the murder of my boy on the Island. The next morning,
(Wednesday,) there was a scout went out, and found it by
my direction, and buried it, after being murdered nine days.
Massa Harbison went on to raise a large family; her descendents continue in this area today.
The cemetery near the site of Reed's Station. The legible stones date from the 1880's; the smaller brown stones with no visible epitaph probably mark the graves of the pioneers.
Whether Massa's 5 year old, who was killed on Todd's island was returned here for burial has not been determined, but the body of her 3 year old and that of the waiter who were killed in the raid are almost certainly here.
Massa Harbison was first buried near Buffalo Creek and was later moved to Freeport Cemetery.
Take "A Look at Local Cemeteries"