John Gibson (soldier) : biography

May 23, 1740 - April 10, 1822

On May 16, 1775 Gibson was elected the colonel over the 6th Virginia.Hanko. Gibson. p. 38

In the early stages of the American Revolutionary War, Gibson was active in Indian negotiations. In early negotiations Netawatwees requested that traders be sent to his village for him and his fellow Lenape to sell furs to. He specifically requested that Gibson be included among these men, describing Gibson as a "good man".Hanko. Gibson. p. 39 From October 1778 until January 1779 Gibson served as the agent to the tribes in what is today Ohio for the Continental Congress government.Hanko. Gibson. p. 40

Gibson commanded a regiment during the battles in New York and stayed in the theater until after the retreat through the Jerseys. He was then reassigned to command the army on the western front and left in command of forces at Fort Laurens during the harsh winter of 1778–1779, during which the fort was subjected to a siege by British and native forces.Old Westmorland. Edgar Wakefield Hassler. p. 84 In the summer of 1779 Gibson was made the second in command to Daniel Brodhead. For a few months after Broadhead was removed in May 1781 Gibson was the commanding officer at Fort Pitt. Gibson had intended to send troops to support George Rogers Clark but the negative effects of Broadhead's actions prevented Gibson from doing so.David Curtiss Skaggs and Larry L. Nelson. The Sixty Years' War for the Great Lakes, 1754-1814. (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2001) p. 196

In August 1781 Broadhead returned to claim control at Fort Pitt. He arrested Gibson accusing him of having usurped his authority. George Washington sent orders to Braodhead to step down from his command, and so he released Gibson and let him take over command again. Civilian authorities in the area then arrested Broadhead. In November 1781 David Williamson brought in some Moravian Lenapes captured in Salem, Schoenbrunn and Gnadenhutten, Ohio to Fort Pitt. It is unclear if Gibson or William Irvine was in command when these Lenapes were released, but it seems that Gibson was at least blamed for this release. The problem was that after the release there were attacks on western Pennsylvania settlements. The fact that these were probably done by Half-King and his fellow Wyandots and not by the released Lenape was not factored into account by those who felt to denounce Gibson for this occurrence.Skaggs and Nelson. The Sixty Years' War. p. 197

In January 1782 Irvine went to Philadelphia to meet with congress and left Gibson in charge. The enlisted men at Fort Pitt then threatened to mutiny, which may have contributed to the conditions that led to the Gnadenhutten Massacre, although it was only one of many factors involved in the situation.Skaggs and Nelson. The Sixty Years' War. p. 198

Life in Pennsylvania

After the war Gibson returned to being a merchant but he went bankrupt, partly due to debts he had incurred in supporting the campaign of George Rogers Clark.

Gibson was a judge in Allegheny County from 1791-1800. He was also major-general and commanding officer of the militia for Allegheny County, and a member of Pennsylvania's constitutional convention in 1790.Woollen, p. 13Gugin, p. 29 Gibson was also involved with the purchase of the area of the Erie Triangle from the Iroquois for the state of Pennsylvania.

Early life

John Gibson was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on May 23, 1740, the son of George and Elizabeth de Vinez Gibson. Gibson's father was born in Antrim, Ireland and came to Pennsylvania in 1730. The elder Gibson was a trader, who exchanged goods with the Conestogas who often met near his tavern in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.Charles W. Hanko. The Life of John Gibson: Soldier, Patriot, Statesman (Dayton Beach, Florida: College Publishing Company, 1955) p. 10 John Gibson's mother Elizabeth was born in France and left that country because she was a HugenotHanko. Gibson. p. 11

Most of Gibson's early life was spent along the Allegheny frontier where he was a merchant trader. He held local office in several counties as a judge, clerk, and sheriff. Although there is no record of his schooling, he was reputed to be well educated for his times.Gugin, p. 28

In 1758, at age seventeen, he participated in the Forbes Expedition under General John Forbes against the French at Fort Duquesne as part of the French and Indian War. He remained at Fort Pitt after the war to engage in trade with Native Americans. He was captured by Lenape during Pontiac's Rebellion while trading in the west and was condemned to be burnt, but escaped death when he was adopted by an old Indian woman whose son had died in battle. He remained with the Lenape tribe for some time. Later Gibson was freed as a result of the Boquet Expedition.Earl P. Olmstead. David Zeisberger: A Life Among the Indians. (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1997) p. 394-395 note 20 After this Gibson returned to being an Indian trader. He built a house at Logstown which was described as the "only house there" by David McClure.Hanna. Wilderness Trail. p. 380 Gibson married a relative of Mingo leader Logan and also learned to speak the Mingo language.According to Gugin, Gibson's wife was Logan's sister. (Gugin, p. 28) Gibson's wife and several other Mingo were murdered by a group of settlers in May 1774.Woolen, p. 11 Gibson's daughter survived this incident, and was put into his care and he saw to her education.Charles Augustus Hanna. The Wilderness Trail (1911) Vol. 1, p. 381 In 1774, he participated in Dunmore's War and produced a written translation of Logan's famous speech suing for peace: "I appeal to any white man to say if he ever entered Logan's cabin hungry and he gave him not meat. . . . "Woollen, p. 12

Living octopus

Living octopus

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