Back in March I wrote a post about Thomas “Bigfoot” Sharp Spencer, the man who was supposedly friends with Timothy Demonbreun and for whom my 3rd great-grandfather was named. Today, while I was doing research for my American Indian History class, I happened to see his name pop up in a newspaper article that was published on May 21, 1794 in the Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, Massachusetts.
The same day (referring to April 1, 1794), a party of Indians, consisting of from 40 to 50, ambuscaded the road near the Crab Orchard, leading from Knoxville to Nashville, and fired upon a company of travellers, consisting of five persons, killed Thomas Sharp Spencer, wounded James Walker, killed two horses and wounded a third – Spencer had with him about one thousand dollars in gold, and many valuable articles which fell into their hands – These travellers left the blockhouse, at South-West Point, in the morning; and the survivors returned there the same night.
Most of what I had read about him prior to seeing this article had his death in 1793, so now there is an exact date!
Anyway, I then decided to just search for him, just to see if any other articles were written. On October 18, 1942 in the Greensboro Daily News, Greensboro, North Carolina there was an article about a book that was written about him.
Long Hunter Dug Frontier Trails
Long Hunter by Edd Winfield Parks. Farrar and Rinehart, New York. 270pp. $2.
The author, who is on leave from the English department of the University of Georgia, says that this story of Thomas Sharp Spencer, famed hunter of the Daniel Boone era, is an expansion of a legend, but that does not detract from the interesting story he has written. Spencer loved and lived in the deep forests and fought the Indians and the wild beasts of the forests until his death. The Indians knew him as “Big Foot,” apparently a deserved title, and even though he was captured by them, the Indians respected him.
The adventures of this hunter, written in such detail that the smell of the forests and the campfire hang over it like mist, will delight people who love the outdoors, the stories of a frontier fighter who learned to laugh at danger and to love it. Equally as adept at overcoming the dangers of the forests was Midnight, Spencer’s dog. Together they made paths through the wilderness. – A.
As soon as I saw this article, I looked the book up and purchased it from Abe Books (Amazon has copies, too!). I can’t wait to read it!