It is generally thought that Frederick Michael married Catherine Vanderpool in Augusta County, Virginia, but it is possible the marriage took place in Tulpehocken (Palatine) settlement in Pennsylvania. It is believed that Catherine was a daughter of Abraham Vanderpool. About 1743 Frederick and his family migrated to the lower branch of the Potomac, not far from Moorefield in Hampshire County, Virginia. They, along with the Yoakums and Harness'.were among the first settlers of that region.
Frederick See built his cabin home along the Greenbriar river on what was called Muddy Creek. In 1755, war broke out between France and England and the French incited the native Indians to make war on the back-country inhabitants of Virginia. In 1762, after the Greenbrier settlement was renewed, it was felt that it was now safe for settlers to migrate back to the area. They were wrong.
The story of Frederick and Catherine See and their family is quite tragic. The following account of what has become known as "The Muddy Creek Massacre" has been gleaned from various accounts, primarily "A Chronicle of the See family and their Kindred", written and compiled by Irene See Brasel (1892-1963).
On Saturday, July 16, 1763, a party of 80 or 90 Shawnees, led by Chief Cornstalk and assisted by the great War Chief Puksinwah, having crossed over the Ohio River, swept up the Kanawha on a murderous rampage. Simultaneously they hit the Frederick See family, and the Felty Yocum family (Felty was a cousin of Frederick Michael See) whose cabin was nearby. According to all accounts, the Indians suddenly appeared at the Frederick See cabin, with all of the appearance of friendship.
The Sees welcomed them, and as it was near to mealtime they offered to share their food with the Indians. The Shawnees agreed, no doubt building cooking fires out of doors in order to feed such a large number of people. The meal finished, the Indians lounged around for a bit and rested. Suddenly with a whoop the Indians fell upon their hosts, killing the father (Fredrick Michael) , his son-in-law (Littleberry Roach) and Felty Yocum , scalping them before the eyes of their families. It is not known why Frederick and Catherine's son George wasn't also killed as he was 22 years old at the time. Perhaps he offered no resistance. Other men and older boys were killed.
The women and children of these and other victims of this massacre were taken prisoners. Leaving the dead where they were slain, the Indians began marching their prisoners back to their camp. On the way to Oldstown, in Ohio, these women and children who were unable to keep up were killed. The first born child of Margaret (See) Roach, a boy, was killed in a most brutal fashion after being snatched from her breast.
Accounts related by James Olson, also told by a descendant, was that Frederick See's children held up for two to three days. The smallest, John, was quite weak and Catherine feared for his life. Seeing a warrior riding their horse, Catherine indicated to him that she wanted it. When he refused, she picked up a club and attempted to knock him off the horse.
About to kill her, the amused Indians prevented the warrior from doing so, calling her a "fighting squaw." Once they reached the Indian campgrounds in what is now Ross County, Ohio, it is said the Shawnee had a celebration. The women were forced to sing for them, and Catherine was called upon to run the gauntlet. Grabbing a stick she began making whirling moves swinging the stick which pleased all the warriors greatly. Captives now for several months, soon cold weather was upon them.
There was not enough room inside for all the prisoners, and was crowded by old Indian squaws they shared a tent with. A child of Catherine's, a son, had to sleep outside with the dogs to keep warm. One day the warriors went off hunting leaving Catherine in charge of all the old Indian squaws sitting around the campfire. One had a fainting spell, falling into the fire. Catherine let her fall, thus making room for her children in the tent, a bravery which helped her family to survive, intact.
Catharine See and her children were taken to Old Town and kept there by the Shawnees until there was a treaty and an exchange of prisoners about a year later. A document written by Colonel Henry Bouquet to William Penn, Governor of Pennsylvania, on November 15, 1764, stated all Indian tribes led by Chief Cornstalk had at last agreed to release the prisoners, not only from the incident at the See home but a number of other similar incidents at other family homes on the South Branch.
Catherine and at least some of her children must have been separated during their captivity, because her youngest child, John, was adopted by an Indian family who had lost their son. The couple repeatedly told John that he would be burned alive if retaken by the whites. John became very fond of his new Indian parents, and the year with the Shawnees apparently did much to erase from his mind the memory of his natural family and his former life.
When the time arrived for the Indians to release their prisoners, all of the See family except the twin, nine-year-old Elizabeth, were freed. Cornstalk would not agree to let her go, but kept her for nine more years during which time his young son took her as his squaw and, according to family tradition, she had an Indian child by him. Later she escaped or was ransomed, because she eventually left the Indians, and married a white man named Peter Shoemaker.
After being released from the Indians the party traveled about nine miles before darkness overtook them, and made camp for the night. Young John made his bed between two of his sisters, but he did not sleep. He lay awaken until he was certain everyone else was asleep, then crept out of camp and hurried back to his adopted Indian family.
Here he stayed for some time. One version indicates one year, while another says four years. Eventually his uncle, Michael Adam See ( brother of Frederick Michael and husband of Barbara Rebecca Harness). ransomed his nephew John and took him back to Hampshire County, Virginia where the rest of the See family was then living.
NOTE: The return prisoner list included Catherine See and her children Michael, George, John, Mary, Margaret and Lois...along with Margaret, George, Elizabeth and Sally Yocum (Yoakum).
Frederick See's widow is believed to have later remarried a man named John Hardy, a Hardy County pioneer.