Chapter XVIII DELAWARE CO HISTORY
Crimes and Punishments. In April, 1728, a few Indians belonging to the Twetchtweys, a tribe without the borders of the province, made their appearance near the Warwick Iron Work, on French Creek, and, being well armed, created wide-spread alarm among the settlers. The air was filled with rumors of Indian outrages and murder. John and Walter Winter, two brothers, respectable farmers, it is thought under the apprehension of the savages, and believing that they were doing the State a service, fell upon a party of Indians at Cassea, when Walter Winter shot and killed an aged man named Toka Collie, who was friendly to the whites. John Winter, at the same time, shot one of the Indian women, and then ran and knocked out the brains of an old squaw, "Quilee," otherwise "Hannah." The Winter brothers, with Morgan Herbert, bore the corpses of the two Indian women from the road where they had fallen, and covered them with leaves. The two former men carried two Indian girls (one a cripple) before one of the county officers, demanding a reward for what they had done. Samuel Nutt, the iron-master at the forge, dispatched John Petty to the Governor with a letter informing him of the occurrence. The latter had warrants issued for the arrest of the men, and, on a "hue and cry," the two Winters, together with Morgan Herbert, their neighbor, were taken into custody and lodged in the jail at Chester, in all probability the old prison on Edgmont Street. John and Walter Winter were tried before David Lloyd, Richard Hill, and Jeremiah Langhorne, for the murder of the Indian woman, Quilee, June 19, 1728, and the jury found the defendants "Guilty of ye murder afd and must be hanged by the necks until they and each of them be dead.
Governor Gordon issued the warrant, fixing Wednesday, July 3, 1728, as the date of the execution. Morgan Herbert was convicted at the same court as an accessory to the murder, but he was recommended in a petition numerously signed by citizens, as well as by the judges who tried the case, setting forth that "though in strictness of law Herbert's offence may be adjudged murder, yet it appeared to them that he was not active in perpetrating thereof, but unhappily fell into ye company of those that committed it." The Governor granted a reprieve to Herbert, who was finally pardoned. The Winters seem to have done the deed under the impression that the Indians were at war with the whites, "and they felt justified in killing any of the natives with whom they met." A reason which, considering the times in which they lived, takes from the act that wicked animus which constitutes morally the crime of murder.
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