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Miller, Samuel


Samuel Miller.... late of Unity township, came with his brother from North Ireland about the year 1760, as near as can be ascertained. The one brother remained east of the mountains, but Capt. Samuel was among the first settlers of Westmoreland. He settled on the place which afterwards attained a wide celebrity from the incursion of the Indians upon Hannastown and Miller’s Station, an event familiar to all Westmorelanders, and one of the most prominent in border annals. Capt. Miller’s name appears as a prominent settler so early as 1774 among the lists of the petitions to Governor Penn. He was one of the eight captains of the Eighth Pennsylvania Regiment in the Continental line. He was ordered from Valley Forge, Feb. 10, 1778, to Westmoreland County on recruiting service. While here he was killed, July 7, 1778, as appears from the following extract of a letter from Thomas Scott to T. Matlack, preserved in the sixth volume of the Archives (old series), page 673. That portion of the letter is here given, the original spelling and arrangement preserved:

"WESTMORELAND, August 1st, 1778.

"...... The Indians have made several breaches on the inhabitants of late in different parts of this country. Capt. Miller, of the 8th Penna. Regit, with a party of nine men, chiefly Continental soldiers, were Bringing grain from the Neighbourhood to a Fort, called Fort Hand, about 14 miles North of Hannas Town, on the seventh of last month (July), and on their return were surprised by a party of Indians, who lay in wait for them, and killed the Capt. & seven others."

The paper of which we here give a copy appears to have been a deposition made by Hon. William Jack in some contested title arising out of the ownership of the old Miller farm. It was apparently used in evidence, but is no part of the records. It preserves several interesting facts. The writing is in Judge Jack’s own hand:


"Before me, a Justice of the peace in and for said County of Westmoreland, personally appeared William Jack, Esq., who was duly sworn according to law, did depose and say that Capt. Samuel Miller, who was killed by the Indians in the year 1778, at the commencement of the Revolutionary war actually settled on a plantation now adjoining, Peter Eichar, John Sheoffer, John Mechling, and others in Hempfield Township in the County aforesaid, that Andrew Cruikshanks (who married the Widow of the said Capt. Samuel Miller), Joseph Russell, who is married to one of the Daughters of the said Samuel Miller, dec’d, claims the benefit of an act of Assembly passed Sept. 16, 1785, and that the said Andrew Cruikshanks was in the course of the said war actually in possession of the said plantation, and was drove away from his habitation on said land by the Indians on the 13th day of July, A.D. 1782, being the same day that Hannastown was burned and destroyed by the Indians, and that some of the heirs of the said Capt. Samuel Miller was killed and taken prisoners on the said day, and that the House was burned and the property in the House by the Enemy, and that afterwards the said Plantation lay waste and vacant for some time for fear and dread of the Indians.

"Sworn & subscribed before me the 9th day of March, A.D. 1814.

History of Westmoreland County PA 1882

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