I want to comment on my own entry with some anecdotes told me by my grandfather, Joseph Mathias PLank, about his father, John Wesley Plank.I also want to thank profusely Audrey Philips and all the people who have done so much work.
My grandfater Joseph told me that his father had gone west in a wagon train headed by wagonmasters Andy Aker (sp) and Hardin Baker.As they had the wagons circled one evening a shot rang out and a man fell dead under his wagon.The wagonmasters went to the nearest Indian encampment and accused them of doing the deed and demanded that they turn the guilty one over to them.Indeed, after a while the Indians came escorting one of their number with their bows drawn at his back.The wagonmasters chose a firing squad and the Indian began to run. The wagonmaster cried out "Halt" several times, and since the man kept on running, he called out READY, AIM, FIRE and they killed the man.The Indians collected the body and had a noisy funeral after which they burind him standing up in a clay lined hole.
If you read the biography of Daniel Boone by the Yale historian John Mack Faragher, you get some idea of the traditionof the "long hunt."John Wesley Plank apparently was stil doing this.It is interesting to think that there were Planks in Tennessee during the 1760-1800, where Indian wars were particularly savage, with the Shawnee, Pequot, Mingo, and Cherokee in Kentucky.John Wesley had two big dogs, half great dand and half mastiff.He would be gone for days and come home with his boots frozen on him. When he slept in the woods, one dog slept on either side of him.One dog slept on either doorstep, front and back.One night a traveling salesman came into the yard looking for lodging and John just got to him in time: he was yelling Begone! Begone! as the dogs approached. John used the dogs to catch cows.A cow will throw down her head to present her horse when approached: A dog would grap her by the nose and twist, throwing the cow down and lying on her head until someone arrived with a rope. They would likewise catch pigs on the open range at butchering time: leading the pig in with one dog holding onto each ear.Occasionally they killed the pig before they got him in. I see from an unidentified source sent to me by AUDREY PHILLIPS,who sent me a wealth of information, that John Wesley also went on two trips to Ft. Vancouver WN between 1848-1851, each trip taking two years, serving as wagonmaster, one trip being made with oxen and one with mule teams....each with about 15 wagons.