By Beverley Bittner.
Michael Hare claimed to have witnessed the horrible death of famed frontier soldier Col. William Crawford.
The colonel was a personal friend of George Washington. From Fort Pitt, he led many raids against hostile Indians.
In 1782, the fifty-year-old colonel led a major expedition into Ohio to put down an Indian uprising. He first encountered a group of Moravian Christian Indians and massacred them all. Then he came across a band of warlike Delawares. At first the battle went Crawford’s way. The fighting was fierce, then more Indians arrived, and finally Butler’s Rangers, a mixture of Tories, Indians, and regular British troops.
Crawford ordered his defeated troops to retreat.
As he attempted to reach the Ohio River at night, he was captured by Delawares. They marched their prized captive to a campsite near Sandusky and tethered him to a pole by a long leash. Fires were lit around the pole and the colonel was forced to dance through them as he was chased by frenzied Indians who poked at him with firesticks or flintlock rifles.
He died at the stake June 11, 1782.
Although Col. Crawford never lived in the county, in 1800 he was honored for his service to the state, by having Crawford County named for him.