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Josiah Rogers


Josiah Rogers settled with his family at Plymouth in 1776. He is found in the tax lists of 1776, 1777 and 1778. He was a member of Captain John Franklin's company of Militia at the post of Wyoming in April-May 1780. After the massacre, with his family he fled, taking his course down the Susquehanna two days journey, then across the mountains towards Northampton or Berks.

His wife, Hannah Ford, died escaping the Wyoming massacre. A broken piece of board that lay across the path was used for a spade, and in a hollow where a fallen tree had upturned it's roots, a shallow grave was dug, and her remains were buried with all the care and respect their distressed condition would allow. On the board placed over the grave, this inscription was written with a piece of charcoal: 'Here rest the remains of HANNAH, wife of Josiah Rogers, who died while fleeing from the Indians after the massacre at Wyoming'. After an exile of some months Josiah and the remainder of his family returned to Plymouth.

In the Spring of 1779, the next year after the massacre, Josiah Rogers said "I will lay my bones in Wyoming". Indians had not been seen in the valley for some time and Cpt. James Bidlack with Mr. Rogers, started on horseback to go to Plymouth to see, if they could move their families. After crossing the river, they continued on the road until they came near Toby's creek, where an Indian appeared and rushing towards them from behind the willows would have seized their bridles. He was followed by others. But, despite his age, he didn't give up. They were unarmed but wheeled their horses and made toward the block house on the bank of the river. Captain Bidlack's saddle broke and he fell to the ground. He was taken prisoner. Josiah's horse, who he said "didn't like the smell of an Indian", flew on. He felt bullets whizzing by, but felt no wound.

His descendant, Dr. Joel Rogers told the following, "The garrison at the block-house, on hearing the firing, advanced to the rescue. The cannon at the Fort in Wilkesbarre, of which the Indians were terribly afraid, was brought to bear, and discharged towards them, arresting their progress. My great-grandfather wore a tight-bodied coat, and an over coat of the same cloth, made of wool-coloured, one part butternut, the other blue, homespun woven, and dressed...Coming to a new country, he expected to preserve them unsullied for many years, when alas! on arriving at the block-house, he found the rascals had cut two holes through his over coat, passing near the small of his back on one side, coming out eight inches from it on the other, with a rent of a fingers' breadth in his tight-bodied coat. For many years he was compelled to wear, when abroad and at meeting, the evidence of Indian skill in shooting at a mark."

He lived to be 96 years of age and died in 1815 fulfilling his wish "to lay his bones at Wyoming"

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