The history of Queen Esther is one of remarkable interest. She led the Indians
into the fort at the time it was surrendered; and presided at the fatal ring, of
which Mrs. Durkee, an aged aunt, (See also the Hannah GORE Durkee Story) gives
the following account: "Fifteen or sixteen of our men, who had been taken
prisoners by the Indians, were assembled to receive their death-blow, by the
hand of Queen Esther, a large, middle-aged Seneca woman, who had such honors
In this case, it was thought to be revenge for the death of her son, who was
killed by the whites.
"Some of the prisoners made their escape from the ring; others attempted it, but
were unsuccessful. Among these was George Gore, who had broken through the ring
and ran for the river, but was overtaken by an Indian, who, with his knife and
tomahawk, cut him to pieces. He was an active and handsome young man. His hat
was picked up and taken to his friends at the fort."
The remaining twelve or more were murdered with the tomahawk, by the hand of
this savage Queen, on the "Bloody Rock," which may still be seen.
Queen Esther's residence was near Tioga Point. Her village was of considerable
size, two or three miles below the present village of Athens, on the west side
of the river, and within the township. It is said it contained about seventy
houses, of rude form.
An expedition to Tioga was planned by Colonel Hartley, in September, after the
battle, to destroy Indian towns and break up their hiding places.
With a small array of soldiers, they marched on their hazardous way toward
Sheshequnnunck, where they took fifteen prisoners, killed and scalped a chief,
and the rest fled. They made valuable discoveries, and moved rapidly towards
Captain Spalding, afterwards known among us as General Spalding, of Sheshequin,
had command of the 2d division. They were told that young Butler, a Tory, with
his Royal Greens, had just fled from Tioga with 300 men, toward Cliemung, 14
miles off, where they were fortifying, and were 1,000 strong. Colonel Hartley
was not prepared to meet them, and after burning Tioga, Queen Esther's town, and
palace, and all the Indian settlements in his way, crossing the "Sheshequin
Path," he returned to Sunbury, where a vote of thanks was passed for Colonel
Hartley and his brave men.
Captain Spalding is spoken of as having been efficient in that enterprise. They
accomplished much, and brought speedy retribution upon Queen Esther and her
associates, for. the untold misery they had inflicted upon Wyoming three month
Though savage in time of war, Queen Esther was represented as quiet and trustful
in time of peace. After the war closed she was often passing from Tioga to
Onondaga, unprotected. One time while Mrs. Durkee was residing in Scipio, N. Y.,
she came to her house in the evening, on her way to Onondaga, with a sister, who
was much intoxicated, carrying a papoose upon her back, and inquired in broken
English if they could stay there through the night and sleep on the kitchen
floor; Mrs. D. being well acquainted with her, she was permitted to stay until
morning, and then went on her way. It has excited some wonder how this Indian
Queen came by her Jewish name. If, as some suppose, the Indians have descended
from the lost tribes of Israel, it might thus be accounted for, or what is more
probable, she might have derived it from the Moravian Missionaries, who had many
stations among them, and whose names they often adopted. She married Tom Hill,
an Indian as forbidding as herself, and after she left Tioga she went to
Onondaga to reside.
Some writers have identified Catharine Monteur with Queen Esther, of Bloody Rock
notoriety; others say this is improbable, and that the general supposition
concerning Catharine is that she was the daughter of an early French Governor of
Canada, taken captive when a child, afterwards becoming the wife of a Seneca
Chief, and was a lady of comparative refinement. Her residence was at Seneca
Lake. The Indian village called Catharine's town, named for her, was destroyed
by Sullivan's army. She subsequently lived at Niagara.
Children of Queen Esther (Montour) Quebec and King of the Minis/Wolf Clan Delewares Eghohowin are:
- +Mary Montour, b. 1749.