Luke Swatland note on skin, after 1779

Swatland, Luke


1 item, 23 x 33 cm.
Note written by Luke Swatland, on cowhide (allegedly on human skin). The note is as follows: "This is the skin of a White Man, taken by a Ingen. Scalped and skined Alive belly cut out. Tied to Bed of Cols and Rosted to Deth. A White skin if took is Prise of tribe(?). The Ingen from Ulisses(?) use Pale Skin for money. We Are ordered to Albeny. If we kep our skin. 117 Brave Men are lost some are sick. Genl Sullivan's ARMY. Luke Swaatland of Wyoming. Sept. 13th 1779."..
Luke Swatland was from Wyoming, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania -- It is possible that the author is Luke Swetland (1729-1807), a Connecticut settler in the Wyoming Valley, who spent a year as a captive of the Seneca Indians. He made his escape in September 1778 and spent a month following the army of John Sullivan during his expedition (Edward Merrifield, The Story of Captivity of Luke Swetland, Scranton, 1915).
Although the note is alleged to have been written on human skin, according to the analysis performed by Dan Kirby Analytical Services in December 2015, the note is written on a piece of cowhide.
HM 72607. The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.
In 1992, the Los Angeles County Medical Association put several collections on long-term loan here at the Huntington Library.

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