James McFarlane, killed by Neville's men during the Whiskey Rebellion from
The Causes of that so called Whiskey Insurrection of 1794
By C. M. Ewing (1930)
"Andrew McFarlane's house by J. Howard Iams. McFarlanes brother James was killed during the Attack on Gen. Neville's house."
Over in the Mingo Presbyterian churchyard is a large sandstone slab, marking the resting place of James McFarlane. While effaced by the storms of many years, one may yet read the following inscription: "Here lies the body of Capt. James McFarlane of Washington, Pennsylvania He departed this life July 17, 1794, age 43. He served through the war with undaunted courage in defense of American independence, against the lawless and despotic encroachment of Great Britain. He fell at last by the hands of an unprincipled villain, in support of what he supposed to be the rights of his country, much lamented by a numerous and respectable circle of acquaintances"
Who was the "unprincipled villain?" Findley seems to set the question at ease, and it is to be recalled that his book was published while those interested were yet living. If character has any relation to historic development, and there are those who wish to pursue the subject further, they %,4ill- find many surprises between the musty covers of Allegheny County Criminal Docket number one, now reposing in a safe in the office of the clerk of court. This criminal career extends from 1791 to December 1798. Abraham Kirkpatrick.
As to the flag of truce under which McFarlane was killed, we quote from page 49 of H. M. Brackenridge's "History of the Western Insurrection"
"About fifteen minutes after the commencement, a flag was presented from the house, upon which McFarlane, stepping from a tree behind which he stood, and commanding a cessation of firing, received a ball near the groin, and almost instantly expired." In referring to the surrender of the soldiers the same author continues: "The soldiers, three of whom were said to be wounded were suffered to pass by, and go where they pleased. Major Kirkpatrick had nearly passed, when he was distinguished from the soldiers, and ordered to deliver his musket, which he refused, when one presenting a gun to his breast, he dropped on his knee and asked for quarter."
"The death and funeral of McFarlane," says Rev. James Carnahan, D.D., at the time a student at Jefferson College, "greatly increased the excitement, and runners were sent forth to call a meeting of the people at Mingo Creek meeting house to determine what measures were to be taken. In the town of Washington among others, the messenger urged David Bradford and Col. James Marshall (we corrected the name given as John) to attend the proposed meeting. At first they both refused. Marshall said he would have. nothing to do with the business and Bradford declined on the grounds that was Prosecuting Attorney for the county. Afterwards they changed their minds, and they both attended the meeting. When Bradford and Marshall arrived at Mingo Creek, mingled with the crowd, heard the grievances stated, and the story of what they called the murder of McFarlane, their sympathies were excited, and they became as furious as any present at the meeting. Marshall, in form and decisive language, avowed his determination to go forward and to resist tyranny and oppression at all hazards. Bradford declaimed and wrought up the feelings of the people, already excited, to the highest pitch. This was a meeting composed chiefly of those in the immediate neighborhood, and open to every one who pleased to attend. The most hot and violent spirits of the county, and of the adjacent parts of Westmoreland and Allegany, were there. The more intelligent and sober-minded part of the community remained at home. Several gentlemen of Pittsburgh, from motives of policy, attended. They presumed that if they did not attend, it would be inferred that they were in alliance with Neville and his friends who resided in or near the town. Among those from Pittsburgh was H. H. Brackenridge, who went at the particular request of Col. Prestley Neville, the son of the Inspector."
It is of interest to note here that later on, during Hamilton's inquisition, held in Pittsburgh after the arrival of the army, the Nevilles double-crossed Brackenridge by presenting his attendance of this meeting as evidence against him.