The Traitor Tree.
Mrs George Ward’s story about the Traitor Tree:
My husband George was worried sick about us. It was early March 1814 and he knew the Americans were coming from the West. We were here at the inn at Ward’s Landing and he was fulfilling his militia duty with the British company in Delaware – to the east. Neither Colonel Stewart nor Captain Wilson would give George permission to return to Wardsville to look after us. When it turned cold he headed home without permission. He spent an uncomfortably long time hanging from the Traitor Tree after he was overtaken by Lt. Gill of the Michigan Mounted Rangers near Strathburn.
My George, a tough old soldier and British patriot, held his tongue. The Americans took him back to their abattis at Twenty Mile Creek and hanged him again for further questioning. On the morning of the Battle of the Longwoods, March 4, he was released and he walked to the Edwards farm at the Big Bend. Ward asked Mathews to take his horse and warn the British but Mathews refused. The battle started at 5 p.m. and the Edwards could hear the battle from the Big Bend.
Alas, William Caldwell saw him leaving the American compound and assumed he was playing both sides. The British accused George of being a traitor! The accusation stuck. He lost his army pension and spent the rest of his life writing letters to the authorities requesting a fair trial. At the age of 94, George died in 1837 with a cloud still over his head.”
Written by Mary Simpson