Statue of Slain American Hero, George Washington Confidant, Beheaded in Ohio Courtyard

William Crawford Statue Beheaded

The statue of a Revolutionary War hero standing guard at the Ohio Crawford County Courthouse in Bucyrus, Ohio, was beheaded some time last week, and a reward is being offered to help find the vandals who destroyed the likeness of William Crawford.

“According to Crawford County Prosecutor Matt Crall, the vandalism happened sometime this past week,” the local Fox affiliate reported. “He said that whoever vandalized the statue faces felony charges.”

“Meanwhile, Powell lawyer Joel Spitzer says he, along with other community members, are offering a $1,300 reward for information leading to an arrest,” Fox reported, and noted that the “reward is growing.”

Republican State Representative Wes Goodman tweeted on Friday: “Revolutionary War hero Colonel Crawford statue decapitated at the Courthouse. The lawless attacks on our history must end!”

In the left-wing frenzy to rid the American landscape of any memorial to the Confederate Army and its role in the Civil War, memorials that have nothing to do with that part of U.S. history are being targeted.

Crawford was, in fact, a remarkable American citizen and warrior and a close friend and confidant to George Washington.

The digital library collection at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia recounts his life and death.

The entry on Crawford reads, in part:

In 1749, while surveying land for Lord Fairfax, George Washington met a young man remarkably like himself. The person was William Crawford, a Virginian standing well over six feet tall who had been born in 1722 and raised by a widowed mother.

The two men struck up a friendship that lasted for more than thirty years until Crawford’s death at the hands of Native American warriors deep in the Ohio Country during the last days of the American Revolution.

Upon first meeting Crawford, Washington invited the young man to join him on his trip through northern Virginia and even taught the craft of surveying to his protégé. In return, Crawford looked up to his “friend and benefactor,” and later went on to survey tens of thousands of acres in western Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio for Washington.

The bond between Washington and Crawford deepened during the French and Indian War. Crawford fought with Washington at Braddock’s defeat near Fort Duquesne in July 1755. Three years later, they fought together again outside the walls of the fort, finally taking the post in November 1758.

Crawford went on to fight under Washington’s command at Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, and Germantown.

In 1780, Colonel Crawford returned to western Pennsylvania as the commander of American forces in the west. Exhausted from years of fighting, and hoping to retire to his home at Stewart’s Crossing just as Washington hoped to return to Mount Vernon, Crawford resigned from the army in 1781.

But when raids continued on the western frontier, General William Irvine, the commander at Pittsburgh, asked Crawford to lead a 500 man expedition against Native towns along the Sandusky River in June 1782.

After several days of fighting in the swampy country near Upper Sandusky, Crawford was captured. He was stripped naked, tied to a post, and tortured for hours until he finally died.

When Washington received the “melancholy tidings” of the murder of his friend William Crawford, he remembered the colonel as “an officer of much care and prudence,” and wrote sadly to General Irvine, “I lament the failure of the expedition against Sandusky, and am particularly affected with the disastrous death of Colonel Crawford.”

“Getting captured on the frontier was bad. Getting caught on the frontier by an Indian tribe that wrongly holds you responsible for the Moravian massacre, a slaughter of almost a hundred innocent Christian Indians, was even worse,” Philip Wegmann wrote in the Washington Examiner.

“An army surgeon, Dr. John Knight, recorded the colonel’s subsequent death,” Wegmann wrote.

“Crawford was stripped naked. His ears were cut off. Then he was bound to a stake, covered in gunpowder, and summarily set on fire.”

“At this point of his sufferings,” the surgeon wrote, “[Crawford] besought the Almighty to have mercy on his soul, spoke very low, and bore his torments with the most manly fortitude.” It took him “an hour and three quarters” to burn to death.

“A couple things are worth remembering,” Wegmann wrote. “First, Crawford was a loyal soldier fighting a declared enemy during a time of war. According to historical accounts, he died with the kind of dignity that makes one deserving of a statue.

“Second, the colonel had nothing to do with the Moravian massacre, an American holocaust worthy of solemn remembrance,” Wegmann wrote.

“Crawford’s now decapitated statue is just an hour’s drive to a monument in Gnadenhutten, Ohio commemorating the slaughter and recorded in the National Register of Historical Places.

“One wonders if the marble head hunter knew the history behind either or was simply whipped into such an ahistorical fervor that they wouldn’t care,” Wegmann wrote. “Giving way to passion rather than reason, that vandal brought back some of the savagery of the frontier.”

“For destroying history, they deserve punishment,” Wegmann wrote.


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