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  • True Crime

In August of 1758, during the French and Indian War, this site in Crown Point, New York was where Israel Putnam, French and Indian War officer and Revolutionary War hero, was almost burned alive by the Native Americans who had allied themselves with the French.

Putnam had been captured by a Native American warrior during a battle near Crown Point, New York. Putnam was tied up struck by a French officer in the chest and jaw with his musket after an Indian had amused himself by throwing his tomahawk at Putnam’s head, trying to see how close he could get without hitting him.

It was soon after that the warriors decided to burn Putnam alive, so he was led into the forest, stripped naked, and bound to a tree. Dry brush and wood was set around him and set then set on fire, but a sudden rainfall put out it out. The Indians continued to start the fire, undeterred. Putnam, tied to the tree, twisted around its trunk avoiding the flames at different angles. French officer Molang, after having heard from an Indian what was going on, rushed to the scene and scattered the burning wood before untying Putnam. Molang kept Putnam with him before turning him over to the warrior that had captured him. That warrior treated Putnam well and helped feed him soft biscuits after discovering his jaw was broken. Putnam would eventually be sent as a prisoner to Montreal.

The lost tree that was traditionally believed to be where Israel Putnam was tied to

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