As I was preparing for my trip to Canada, I did a little digging to see if I could find out more on the prisoners held at Forty-Fort during the fighting there in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania during the Spring and Summer of 1778. I was hoping to find out more detail on my 4th great-grandfather Solomon Goss and his experience being held prisoner there and escaping according to the history books of that area.
Are you familiar with the events of the Wyoming Massacre July 3, 1778?
If not you can try the Google search engine. It will lead you to some information.
I traveled to Wilkes-Barre and wrote about my trip in the blog: Pennsylvania Wanderings in September 2008. It is getting old and that means links may be broken. I will be incorporating the information into this blog in the future. There are pictures of the Wyoming Monument and more.
I will eventually discuss and post more on the Wyoming Massacre and what I have learned in my attempt to dig further into the Goss family history, but right now I want to share with you the other side of the story: Canada holds Lt. Colonel John Butler in esteem.
Here are some things I found out:
Alas, I was disappointed to learn that the papers of Colonel John Butler may have been burned in the War of 1812. A letter written by Colonel John Butler is transcribed at this website: http://revwar75.com/battles/primarydocs/wiom1778.htm
There may be hope because a journal is mentioned in the letter and this source was provided at the bottom:
From microfilm of the Frederick Haldimand Papers, British Library Additional Manuscripts No. 21,760, folios 31-34, with thanks to the British Library (London, UK) and by courtesy of the Public Archives of Canada.
The Canadians see Lt. Colonel John Butler as a hero of the war and give him credit for building Canada. The perspective is opposite on the United States side.
The website Butler’s Rangers has interesting information concerning the military forces involved: http://iaw.on.ca/~awoolley/brang/brang.html There was a regiment lead by a McDonald?
Loyalist Institute: http://www.royalprovincial.com/military/musters/brangers/mrbrmain.htm
The Libraries and Archives of Canada lists some papers regarding the life of John Butler. Apparently they are at Brock University in St. Catherine, Ontario which is near Niagara? Hmmm….?
At the National War Memorial in Ottawa, there is the Valiants Memorial with busts of men who have fought for Canada. John Butler is among them.
I could not resist. So here I am next to the statue in Ottawa which is near the Rideau Canal. We had a nice chat!
There is a UEL Chapter “Col. John Butler, Niagara Branch.” http://www.coljohnbutleruel.com/
Loyalist Reenactors website: http://www.butlersrangers.com/
There are several books that have been written:
“Butler’s Rangers, The Revolutionary Period” by E.A. Cruikshank, published by the Lundy’s Lane Historical Society, , 1893, and his “The Story of Butler’s Rangers, the Settlement of Niagara,” 1893. (This last book is at Internet Archive: http://archive.org/details/storyofbutlersra00cruiuoft
Word of Caution: If you are a descendant of Solomon Goss, like me, or for that matter any of the Goss lines associated with this family who settled in the area of Wilkes-Barre be aware that some of this information might be a little upsetting.
I am trying to maintain an open-mind for there are always two sides of a story and one country’s villain is another’s hero?