Transcribed by Kathy Teter
Proofread by MaryKay Krogman
GEORGE HENDRICKS OF ST. CLAIR COUNTY
The following two letters are from the Draper Manuscript Collection at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Volume 24 C 159 and 160. I shall be eternally grateful to the late Dr. Lyman C. Draper for his diligence in collecting information from descendants of people barely mentioned in the pages of history. These letters provide me with the only proof I have of some aspects of the life of George HENDRICKS and his association with Daniel BOONE. I would remind all of you not to pass up this valuable collection. It is available on microfilm and is in the process of being re-examined for the publication of a new guide to the complete collection. John H. WILDERMAN was the son-in-law of Elizabeth RIDER, daughter of George HENDRICKS.
Belleville March the 3rd 1863
Dear Sir you wrote to me for information of one George HENDRICKS there is one of his daughters living with me and from her I can give you some little information of him
George HENDRICKS was born in Botetourt Co Virginia he joined Col. BOONE and went to Boones liks to make salt and while at work their was captured by the Indians and was with them three years and at the end of that time he made his escape from them but was afterward captured again and remained with them six months longer when he was bought by one ZANES an Indian trader he went to Kentucky volentered and piloted Col. CLARK to the Indian town his daughter does not know how many Battles he was engaged in but quite a number. he piloted the surveyors when they surveyd Kentucky. and then Emigrated to Illinois and was in the war in Illinois twelve years. his age was at the time of his Death was Thirty Three his hight was six feet Black hair and Black eyes and weighed 180 pounds. Thare is but two of his family living two Daughters thare names are Elizabeth RIDER and Mary GRIFFIN he bore a verry good name among his neighbors He was a member of the first Baptist Church in Illinois and lived a consistent member of that body until his Death as for any papers thare was none and he never Emigrated to Missouria. Col. MOREDOC Emigrated to this state in 1786 and resided there during life he was respected by everyone that knew him; and as for the other two men that you mentioned, his Daughter knows nothing about them.
This is as much as she can recolect
John H WILLDERMAN
To L C Draper
Belleville Ills Mar 29 1863
Lyman C DRAPER
I received your letter of Mar 16th in which you solicit further information concerning George HENDRICKS I will procede to answer your questions in rotation commencing with the first
1. Mr HENDRICKS was in no Indian fights before he was captured, he ran away from his father when he was fourteen years old and joined a party consisting of Col BOONE two men and twenty three boys engaged in making salt at a place called Boones lick in Kentucky and was captured while thare
2. It is not known what the Indians name was with whom he lived while in captivity but the tribe was called Pickaways, after he was with this tribe about one year there was a party of wariers started for the settlements on the Ohio river to give Battle to the whites he went with them so that he might gain some knowledge of the county - so, if an opportunity to escape occured, that he might make his way to the settlements on the Ohio, after they had got in one or two days march of the settlements some of the Indians got sick, and turned back, he pretended to be sick too, and went back with them, a short time after he got back he and two men captives in the same tribe escaped and got within a short distance of the settlements on the Ohio river he being some distance in advance of the men he saw a band of Kickapoo Indians he saw that it would be impossible for him to avoid being recaptured so he shouted to the men behind him to run that thare was Indians in sight so the two men escaped (names not known) and he was carried back to the Pickaway village and whipt almost to death the Kickapoos seeing that the Pickaways would kill him they took him away from them and took him to their own village he remained with them about two years, about this time ZANES purchest him for one Hundred Dollars
HENDRICKS worked for ZANES till ZANES was satisfied that he had received complete remuneration for the money advanced by him, the last work HENDRICKS done for ZANES was making fence rails HENDRICKS remaining in the woods all the time ZANES carrying provisions to him always taking more than was nessessary for immediate use so that he soon had provision sufficient to take him through to a fort on the ohio river (name of fort not recolected) when this was accomplisht two men joined him (captives) and they set out together for the Fort (they set out just for a meditated attack on the fort by those Kickapoo Indians) they arrived at the fort without any difaculty (apprised the inhabitants of their danger but they thinking them to be imposters paid no regard to the warning a short time after the fugitives warned them of their danger most if not all of the inhabitants was butchered by the Indians) thence across the country (now the state of Ohio) in to
4 HENDRICKS was in no regular service there being but fifteen men in and about a fort or Station called New Design they having frequent skirmishes with the indians.
5th HENDRICKS was married to a Daughter of one Nicholas SMITH by name Hannah, said SMITH emigrated from the State of Maryland HENDRICKS died Nov 17th 1799 he died in what is now called Monroe County Ills but at the time of his death was St Clair - at that time St Clair County embraced almost half of the State of Illinois
7th he left five children the oldest one resided with me her name is Elizabeth RIDER - her age is seventy years, the others name is Mary GRIFFIN She resides about three miles South of me in the same county
Elizabeth RIDER was born December 13th 1792
Mary GRIFFIN was born October 21 1798
You must excuse me for not answering your letters sooner as the old lady has been verry sick
Yours Verry Respectfully
John H. WILDERMAN
George HENDRICKS was listed in the 1787 census as being in Illinois in 1780. He married Hannah SMITH in the 1780s. She was the daughter of Nicholas and Sarah SMITH. George and Hannah HENDRICKS had five children. George died November 27, 1799; Hannah died August 1, 1814. George HENDRICKS served in the Kentucky Militia under Capt. William OLDHAM in 1780, served in the 1790 Militia of St. Clair County, served on a Grand Jury in 1791 in St. Clair County, and voted for Shadrach BOND in January 1799. Children:
1. Sarah, b. before 1790, m. Stephen WHITESIDE, d. before 1850.
2. James, m. Anne SHORT April 18, 1815, d. May 18, 1818.
3. Elizabeth, b. December 13, 1792, m. John RIDER January 19, 1809, d. January 5, 1875.
4. William, b. March 30, 1795, m. 1st Sarah ?, 2nd ??, 3rd Elizabeth WILLIAMS June 3, 1838, d. March 1, 1845.
5. Mary, b. October 21, 1798, m. William GRIFFIN September 4, 1817, d. after 1866
All children lived and died in St. Clair and Monroe Counties in Illinois.
[Source: Josephine Hendricks Moeller, "Whence They Came to Illinois - George Hendricks of St. Clair County", Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume XIII, Number 1, Spring 1981. P 42-43.]
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