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Cox Family in Pennsylvania

Submitted by Kim Barr

Will of John Cox

The last will and testament of JOHN COX, of Rathmullan Township, in Lancaster County and Provance of Pensalvania is as followth:-

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN. I, being at present under some indipossion of body but in perfect use of my reason and knowing it is appointed for all men to die, I do make, this my last will and testament first, then I leave my soul to God who gave it and my body to be buried where my friends think fitt and as for my worldly goods I do dispose of them in the mannore and form following:

After pay my just debts and funeral charges, first then I bequeath and leave to my loving wife the bed whereon we have ly on and her saddle, her cloths and a young mare of three year old of a gray colour and the third of all my other goods. The other two thirds of my estate and goods I leave and bequeath to my children to be equally divided among them and if it be so ordered in Providance that any of whom dy then that ones share shall be equally divided among the rest. I do appoint that soon after my death that all my goods and estate be prised and the account taken and kept. If my wife shall think fitt to marry again that, before she marry, that what I have left to my children be secured for them. There is a gun now in my house which was given to my son John in way of a gift which I acknowledge doth properly belong to him. There is also a young black mare of three years old given by Mr. Cochran to my daughter Mary that doth properly belong to her. I do appoint my beloved wife and my son Richard to be my executors to perform this, my last will and testament, I do appoint my neighbore John Holiday and my brother -in–law, William Rankin, to oversee and assist my wife as to this my last will.

/s/ JOHN COX (L.S.)

This 22 of April, 1747. Signed and sealed in the presence of: Robert Jordan and Andrew Donlap.

Statement of John Cox on September 6, 1756 Before the Provincial Council

On His Capture by the Delaware Indians

Then the Young Man, one John Cox, a Son of the Widow Cox, who had made his Escape from Kittannin, gave the following Information:

“That himself, his Brother Richard, and John Craig, in the begining of February last, were taken by nine Deleware Indians from a Plantation two Miles from McDowell’s Mill, and carried to the Kittanning Town on the Ohio; that on his way thither he met Shingas with a Party of thirty Men, and afterwards with Captain Jacobs and fifteen, who were going on a Design to destroy the Settlements in Conegochege; that when He arrived at Kittannin he saw there about one hundred fighting Men of the Deleware Tribe with their Families, and about Fifty English Prisoners, consisting of Men, Women, and Children; that during his stay there Shingas’ and Jacobs” Parties returned– the one with nine Scalps and ten Prisoners, the other with several Scalps and five prisoners, and that another Company of eighteen came from Diahogo with seventeen Scalps fixed on a Pole, and carried them to Fort Du Quesne to obtain their reward; That the Warriors held a Council, which with their Warr Dances continued a Week, after which Captain Jacobs went of with a party of Forty-eight Men, intending (as he was told) to fall upon the Inhabitants of Paxton; that the Indians frequently said they resolved to kill all the white Folks except a few, with whom they would afterwards make a Peace; that they made and Example of one Paul Broadly, whom they, agreeable to their usual Cruelty, beat for half an hour with Clubbs and Tomhawks, and afterwards fastning him to a Post cropt his Ears close to his head and cropt his Fingers; that they called together all the Prisoners to Witness to this Scene of their inhuman Barbarity.

He further said that about the Beginning of March he was taken by three Indians to Diahogo, where he found about Fifty Warriors belonging to the Delaware, Mohiccon, & Munsa Tribes, and about Twenty German Prisoners; that while he was there the Indians frequently went in parties of twelve to destroy the Inhabitants and as often returned with their Scalps, but no Prisoners; that their whole conversation was continually filled with Expressions of Vengeance against the English, and resolutions to kill them and lay waste their country; That in May all the Indians removed from Diahogo about Twenty-five Miles higher up the River to plant Corn, where most of them have since lived.

“That they, with the Prisoners, during the whole Summer have been in a starving Condition, having very little Venison & Corn, and reduced to the necessity of living upon Dog Flesh and the few Roots and Berrys they could collect in the Woods; that several of the Prisoners have dyed for want of Food; That six Weeks ago about a hundred Indians went off from the Susquehannah to the Ohio for a Supply of Provisions and Amunition, and were expected back in thirty days; That while they were in this distress situation they talked several times of making Peace with the English, and many of them observed that it was better to do so than Starve, for that the Rewards the French gave were not sufficient to support them, not having received from them more than one loaf of Bread for each Scalp. But that old Makomesy, his (Cox’s) Master, and one of their Chiefs endeavored to dissuade them from entering into say peaceable Measures with the English, and had constantly encouraged them to continue the War. That while these things were in Agitation an Indian Chief came among them, and informed them that the Mingo’s cou’d live with the English and be furnished with Provisions and every thing they wanted, while the Delawares were starving for carrying on the War against them.

“That about thirty days ago he saw several of the Indians going away, with an Intention (as he was informed) to know of the Governor of Pennsylvania whether the English wou’d agree to make peace, but that he was told by Makomesy, they were only gone to see whether the English were strong and get Provisions from them.

“That on the ninth of August he left Diahogo, and came down the River in a Canoe with Makomesy to Gnahay, to get some Corn that was left under Ground, and that in the Morning after he arrived there, The Indians having gone out to hunt, he made his Escape on the 14 August last, and came to Fort Augusta at Six O’Clock in the Evening.”

The Poor Boy was exteamly reduced, had dangerous Swellings on his Body, and was in a Sickly Condition. The Governor, therefore, ordered him lodging and the attendance of a Docter.

Indian Outrages

The Cox Brothers & John Craig

On the fourteenth of the former month (Feb., 1756), the savages attacked the house of F. Reichelsderfer, in Albany township, Berks County. The owner was in the field, and made his escape on the approach of the barbarians. They murdered his two children, and set his house and stables on fire, destroying his grain and his cattle. At the house of a neighbor (Jacob Gerhart), they killed one man, two women, and six children. Two children slipped under the bed, one of whom burned, the other escaped.

About the same time, the house of the widow Coxe, near McDowel’s mill, in Cumberland Co., was burned, and her two sons, and another destroyed or carried off. . .

John Craig was taken prisoner, by five Delawares, on the eleventh of February, whilst in search of the two sons of the widow Coxe, of Cumberland County, whose house was burned on that day by the Indians. His captors immediately stripped him, tied a rope about his neck, and drove him before them. Whilst traveling towards the Cove mountains, they gave the war halloo, which was answered by two Indians who had with them the two sons widow Coxe, with ropes about their necks. At night the three prisoners were stripped quite naked, and their limbs stretched out to the utmost extent, and tied to a post and trees; a blanket was then thrown over each. In the morning, the Indians loaded the prisoners with their luggage.

They travelled seven days north-westerly, till they reached the Kiskiminetas Creek, where on hearing the noise of many guns, they gave the war cry, which was answered by a party under Shingas. Being told that the King was ready to receive them, they again set up the war shout, and provided themselves with hickory swithes, with which they lashed the ground in a furious manner, and, when they came in sight of the other Indians, fell to whipping the prisoners most unmercifully, drawing blood at every stroke. When they met, a council was held concerning the prisoners, and Craig was given to Shingas, who adopted him as his son, and he and his party separating from the other Indians, took him with them to Loyal Hannah. From this place, Shingas, with the greater part of his force, went to attack McDowel’s Fort, and left Craig in the custody of four Indian men and two women. Soon after, captain Jacobs, with sixteen Indians, came to them, staid with them two nights, and then set out for cape Capon, in Virginia. The four Indians then made Craig assist them to construct a raft, upon which they crossed the river, and commenced hunting. The women also left the cabin to search for haws, when Craig made his escape.

Hi Jeff, I check out your page once in a while and had never clicked on the John Cox inf. until today…since John, who was captured by the Indians is a collateral line of mine-brother of my Lt. David Cox. However, I discovered you have the Joshua Cocks[Cox] will of 1747 transcribed by someone in Seattle.

I have a copy of the original will and it is signed Joshua Cox although at the top of the original it has Joshua Cocks [sic]. My brother James Cox corrected this inf. and sent it on to Sim Coxe, Jr., son of the Simeon Coxe who did such good work on the Cox family…it seems that a court clerk told him (by mail in those days) and I have a copy of the letter from the clerk to S. O. Cox, Sr., that the will was really signed John Cox and thus changed the index! You might inform your person who contributed the information. The Joshua Cox of the 1747 will is the father of the John who was captured by Indians. Best, Alice