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A Brief Account of Massy Harbison's
Encounter with the Indians
Milestones Vol 19 No 2 Summer 1994

On May 22nd, 1792, "a party of Indians, said to be about forty in number attacked Reed's Station, on the Allegheny river, about four miles below Kiskiminetas. They killed one man and a child, and wounded a soldier of McCully's corps, and took a woman and some children prisoners."

Hon. Win. Findley reports to Secretary Dallas, June lst, 1792, the same occurance as follows: The Indians broke into the settlement at Reed Is Station. It was garrisoned by rangers under Cooper. They had never scouted any. They had been frolicking and were surprised, in want of ammunition, and the officers were absent from the station. However, the Indians fired only a few rounds upon the blockhouse, with which they killed one man and wounded another, and went away without any exertions made by the rangers. They killed and took Harbison's family, in site of the station. Harbison was one of the spies.

Mrs. Harbison, known as Massy Harbison, made her escape from her captors after having been carried some distance into the wilderness, and her Narrative, set down circumstantially and supported by her affidavit, is one of the most remarkable in frontier annals. The unaffected simplicity of the style, the maternal devotion of the mother carrying her babe with her through the storm in her flight from the savages, the anguish and hunger and suffering which she endured, her providential rescue, the collapse of her physical nature and mental faculties, and her gradual restoration to health, form the subject matter of one of the most attractive chapters in the history border.

The site of the first blockhouse which was the nucleus of the station is located by Mr. David Reed, Sr., a descendant of John Reed on whose land the station was originally, on land now owned by Capt. Win. F. Aull. The last of the blockhouse was washed into the river Allegheny in 1840. A run which flows into the river at a point where the blockhouse stood is now known as Dimit run. After the burning of the blockouse, as narrated above by Patterson, the one erected at (now) Freeport took its place. Its name is associated with Reed's station, being in close proximity. The location of the later structure is given thus in Mr. Walter Smith's History of Armstrong county. It is in Freeport Township.

(Note - The Barensfelds are descendants of Massy Harbison)

Frontier Forts of Penna
Vol 2 - Albert - 1916