Facts and Events
The family story relates that while crossing the Conococheague Creek near Fort Loudon, their wagon broke down. John traded their horses and wagon to a Tuscarora Indian chief for the land that now is known as Cowans Gap. John secured peace pipe and tomahawk rights from the Indians, marking a big chestnut tree with three slashes, a sign of peace to the Indians. In 1785, John secured a warrant for the land from the Proprietors of Pennsylvania.
Samuel is commonly identified as "John Samuel Cowan" in genealogical presentations. Land and tax records for this individual consistently use the given name "Samuel". The name "John Samuel" appears to be a conflation, uniting the local known records using "Samuel" and a story written by B.L. Mauerer, which identifies this same person as "John Cowan". In a story published published in a local history magazine Source:Maurer, 1899 Mauerer (per Source:Fleming, 1971) tells us that while traveling in the area around Cowan's Gap some 40 years previously, he met a woman claiming to be the wife of "John Cowan, a British officer during the Revolution. Maurer's story is extraordinarily detailed. Some of the details are probably accurate enough, but the overall story appears to be more fanciful than factual. In addition, there are a number of specific reasons for doubting many of the basic elements of the story. Need to identify the specific reasons.