Many years ago, I came upon information on one 'Pvt. James Hendon', a member of the "Virginia Militia" and served during the French and Indian War (ca 1754 - 1763). His Company was under the command of Col. George Washington. James Hendon was killed on 14 Sept 1758 during the Battle of Ft. Dusquesne, site of present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
This battle proved to be a pivital point during the French and Indian War because of its location - where
three vital rivers meet - was considered strategically important for controlling the Ohio Country, for settlement, defense, and trade. Over 300 of the British and American force died during the battle.
Efforts to locate additional information on this Virginian, James Hendon, have so far been unsuccessful.
(Partial) List of casualties from the First Virginia Regiment Killed at the Battle of Fort DuQuesne, 14 Sep 1758. By Lloyd Dewitt Bockstruck
Col. Stephen’s Company : John Allen; John Anderson; Joseph Edwards; James Hendon; John Burk; Gowen Beasley; John Chambers; James Duglass; Samuel Peagh; John Williams; John Weatherspoon; George Davis; Joseph Dausey; Paul Quehan; Edward Sparks.
Benjamin Henden Jr., of Rhode Island
At least fifteen years before out Henden ancestors arrived in America, a "Benjamin Henden, Jr" had an altercation with the authorities due to his encounter with an Indian in Rhode Island. The official story follows........
In 1681, five years after King Philip’s War had ended, two men met in the woods outside Providence, Rhode Island. One was English, the other was an Indian. Both carried guns. When the Englishman, Benjamin Henden, saw the Indian (whose name is unknown), he ordered him to halt, but the Indian “would not obey his word, and stand at his command.” Furious, Henden raised his gun and fired, “with an intent to have killed him.” Luckily for the Indian, Henden was a lousy shot and missed his target entirely. And luckily for Henden, the Indian was not a vengeful man. “Notwithstanding the said violence to him offered did not seek to revenge himself by the like return; although he also had a gunn and might have shot at Henden again if he had minded so to have done.” Instead of shooting Henden, the Indian man “went peaceably away,” stopping only long enough to use “some words by way of Reproof; unto the said Henden blaming him for that his Violence and Cruelty, and wondering that English men should so to shoot at him and such as he was without cause.”
Had these same two men met in the same woods five or six years earlier, when King Philip’s War was still raging, it is unlikely that both would have survived the encounter unharmed. Henden, if he had traveled at all in Massachusetts, was probably familiar with the law passed in that colony in 1675 dictating that “it shall be lawful for any person, whether English or Indian, that shall find any Indian traveling or skulking in any of our Towns or Woods….to command them under their Guard and Examination, or to kill or destroy them as they best may or can.” But that Law was, of course, no longer in effect (and never was in Rhode Island), and for his anachronistic and misplaced aggression, Henden landed himself in court, condemned for his “late rash, turbulent and violent behavior.” The case even led the Rhode Island General Assembly to pass “an act to prevent outrages against the Indians, precipitated by a Rhode Islander shooting an Indian in the woods.” In the first place, as the Assembly declared, agreeing with Henden’s intended victim, Henden had “no authority nor just cause” to command the Indian to halt. “No person,“ the Assembly proclaimed, “shall presume to do any such unlawful acts of violence against the Indians upon their perils.” And more importantly, Henden and others like him must learn to “behave themselves peaceably towards the Indians, in like manner as before the War.”
Benjamin Henden's altercation with the unknown Indian prompted the Rhode Island General Assembly pass a law to correct the
treatment of Indians by white people. The actual Law enacted by the Rhode Island General Assembly follows.....