Tom Quick, Indian Slayer

Thomas Quick
10th Generation Shedden

Tom Quick
Son of Thomas Quick

For examples of music and stories about Tom Quick, go to:
Noel Paul Stookey

THOMAS QUICK was born about 1690 in New York. He married Margrieta Dekker December 22, 1713 in New York. They were the parents of at least seven children

The family eventually settled in Milford, Pennsylvania, about 1733 as the first white settlers recorded in the area. Milford is the county seat for Pike County and right on the Delaware River. During the summer of 1983 the town of Milford had a large celebration of this event, commemorating the 250 years since the first settler came to the area.

Although Thomas Quick is recorded as the first settler in the area, there probably were earlier people in the area as a number of settlers were listed as living just across the river in New Jersey as early as 1701. Since a number of Dutch related men were in the area, the Dutch Reformed Church sent their ministers into the area. For this reason the Historical Society does not feel that this Thomas Quick was the first settler and it should not be celebrated as such.

It was said that Indians were abundant in the area as it was on the Delaware River, rich in animals and fish for food and clothing. The Quicks had to live with the Indians for survival and therefore treated the Indians with respect and kindness. They supplied them with food and clothing. They were able to live with the Indians for over 20 years with only minor problems, even as more and more white settlers came to the area.

The legend goes that in 1756 while Thomas Quick and one of his sons and his son-in-law were working by the river, farming or cutting wood for their mill, they were attacked by Indians from a nearby woods. The Quicks, having no weapons, ran for their lives for the house.

The elder Quick was heavy and old (about 66 years old). His sons grabbed him by the arms and tried to hurry him along. He begged the boys to abandon him and flee.

One of the sons was wounded by a bullet. The boys at last had to leave their father. The boys escaped by crossing the frozen Delaware River into New Jersey. But they were able to see the Indians kill and scalp the elder Quick and cut a pair of silver buckles from his trousers.

One of his sons, Tom Quick, pledged he would revenge the death of his father. He was about 22 years old at the time. Years later he got the buckle back after killing a number of Indians in cold blood. Legend has it that he killed over 100 Indians. A number of books and articles on the internet have been written about the exploits of this Tom Quick as he became a famous frontiersman and Indian fighter. He lived until 1795, about 61 years old.

Was he history or legend? He became an official legend in 1889 when the town erected the Settler's Monument and transferred his remains there from a grave in Matamoras where he was buried.

In 1997, the Quick's zinc monument on Sarah Street was vandalized with a sledgehammer. It was repaired but has not been redisplayed because of objections by native Americans.